Some of these features are only visible when "plain text" is off.
|passage deleted with a strikethrough mark|
|passage deleted by overwritten added letters|
|passage added above the line||passage with added text above|
|passage added on the line||passage with added text inline|
|passage added in the margin||passage with text added in margin|
|handwritten addition to a typewritten letter||typed passage with added handwritten text|
|missing or unreadable text||missing text noted with "[illegible]"|
|notes written by someone other than Willa Cather||Note in another's hand|
|printed letterhead text||printed text|
|text printed on postcards, envelopes, etc.||printed text|
|text of date and place stamps||stamped text|
|passage written by Cather on separate enclosure.||written text|
In the first place, those letters are entirely artificial and unrepresentative of me. Your feeling that they might be of some guidance to a future biographer is mistaken; they would only mislead him. Mrs. Fields was so new a type in my expenrience that I was never at ease in writing to her. I was always afraid of touching upon one of her prejudices, or in some way letting the noisy, modern world in upon her. So I always tried to write her long sentences that meant nothing. I remember perfectly well how I used to struggle to fill out a few pages and say nothing at all.
Of course, when I was with Mrs. Fields herself, I never felt any constraint; in fact, there were few people with whom one could be so unguarded. That was because she was the soloist and I the accompanist. How delightful it was to have her look up from the morning paper and ask gravely: "My dear, who is this Rex Beach5, has he to do with letters?"
But there was none of this genuineness and spontaneous pleasure in my letters to Mrs. Fields. They were written from a sense of duty - just because she enjoyed opening the morning mail. So if you will just ⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ put them in the furnace, I shall be greatly obliged to you.Always faithfully yours, Willa Cather
P.S. It has just occurred to me that the most satisfactory arrangement would be to ask you to send the letters in question to me, at the Grosvenor Hotel6, 35 Fifth Avenue, New York2, where I shall be stopping for a week or ten days. I will glance at them, and if there are any that seem to be more than mere formal evasion, I will return them to you for your collection.