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#0936: Willa Cather to Mary Rice Jewett, May 30 [1928]

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The Grosvenor
New York

This hotel4 is decent and nice, though the stationary is so vulgar!

My dear, dear Mary Jewett1:

I feel almost sure that Doctor Eastman5 will be at home with you today, and I so wish to tell him and you what a great comfort and satisfaction his letter was to me. I know what it means when a man with so many professional and personal responsibilities takes the time to write a letter like that, telling one all the little things one longs to know about the daily life of a sick friend. It's about the richest and most expensive gift one can offer to friendship!

I got back to New York2 late in April, having stopped on the way at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester6 to be looked over for a bothering hurt7 which proved to be a very slight matter. But no sooner was I settled in this comfortable old hotel that than the Spanish chambermaid fell ill of a deadly variety of influenza and was rushed to the hospital—not, however before she had imparted this vicious germ to me. I was in bed for two weeks with two nurses and a temperature that simply wouldn't go down. When it did VIRTUS NON STEMMA
The Grosvenor
New York
drop, it dropped me with it, weak as a cat, and I've just begun to get around in the world again. I have to be in town to take a degree from Columbia on the fifth, and after that I'll go as soon as possible up to Grand Manan8, that island off the coast of New Brunswick9 where I often go, and where I now have a little cottage right on the sea.

If I were in any sort of health I'd go by Boston10, as I've fondly planned to do ever since I knew you were ill, and run out to South Burwick3 for a peep at you, if you could see me, and at the dear house and Katy11 if you couldn't. But being such a used-up thing for the present, I'll have to take the night train for Montreal12, rest there, then get on to St. John's13 and the Island. I shall have an able bodied friend14 to go with me, Heaven be thanked! I'm not sick any longer, simply no force, two or three hours a day are all I'm good for. Well, life does beat us up sometimes, and we must take our drubbing. There are always some happy moments mixed in with the difficulties15. I feel that I shall VIRTUS NON STEMMA
The Grosvenor
New York
be awfully strong once I get over this temporary fatigue. The cool spring is a blessing to me, since I have to be in town so late. I expect it holds your garden back, though, and cuts short your hours out of doors. Doctor Eastman will not try to answer this letter, I know, for that would make me feel I must now write to you. I'll just send along a little note to you when I can, to remind you that you are in my thoughts and my heart always. How often I thought about you when I was ill and a trifle flighty—one's mind is very active then, and quite often it actually seemed as if I were having a visit with you, talking of old friends and old times, and places we both love.

My heart to you, dear friend, and a warm, warm, handclasp to your dear nephew who took such pains to let me know all about your life now-a-days.

Very lovingly Willa Cather
From W. S. Cather Hotel Grosvenor New York2 Miss Mary R. Jewett1 South Berwick3 Maine GRAND CENT STA 2 N. Y.2 MAY 30 1928 330 PM 26. 99
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