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#1291: Willa Cather to Alfred A. Knopf, Jr., January 19, 1936

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ My dear Pat1:

The typescript of A LOST LADY3 was certainly a forgery. I had but one, and that I burned with a lot of other typescripts4 before I left Bank Street5. Since then I have been offered a good deal of money for certain ones of those manuscripts, but when I was packing to go into storage, those dusty old typescripts did not seem to me worth the room they would take up.

I hope the English play "Libel"6 will still be on when you come back for the Easter vacation - but perhaps you did see it when you were here2? It is the one really well made play I have seen this winter. There is never a let down in the interest for a moment, and there are no long rambling speeches inserted to exhibit the author's7 wisdom.

There have been splendid snows at Jaffrey8, and my young English friend9 there has been out on skis. I don't think he has ever seen so much snow before, and he is having a perfectly thrilling time. And now as to your young friend, he is rather aspiring, don't you think? While I was abroad an American magazine cabled me an offer of $500 for two hundred words. I refused it because, as your father10 knows, I never write about anything unless it happens to interest me very much. I would much rather write an article for your friend's toy press11 than one for a bumptious American editor who thinks he can get whatever he wants if he pays for it. But there is the question of time,; and your father knows how far I am behind in everything I have promised to do for him. For instance, next week I am going to fulfill an engagement with Carl Van Vechten12, which I have put off for three years! I have let other things crowd in ahead of it until this winter I felt ashamed to meet him anywhere - and it has always been a great pleasure to me to meet him, we have so many tastes in common. At your mother13's Christmas party I made him once more a solemn promise which I am going to discharge14 on Wednesday, the 22nd, if I have to be carried to his apartment on a stretcher.

By the way, Pat, send the books along that you want me to autograph, right here to the apartment15. Miss Bloom16 will mail them back to you for me.

We17 are buried in snow today, and this afternoon I am going for a walk in the Park. By the way, Pat, I am delighted to see how much your handwriting is improving - that is, I mean it is a grown up hand now and not a young boy's. It has been interesting to me to watch the change in Yuhudi18's handwriting and in that of his two beautiful sisters19. Theirs, like yours, changed suddenly, within a period of five or six months.

Affectionately yours, Willa Cather