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When I came back from a little trip last week I found Elsie's3 letter telling me of Margie
Gund's4 illness. It makes me so sad for all of you that I can scarcely
write at all. In the happy time of our childhood you four sisters5 were all
like sisters to me, and when any misfortune happens to you it touches me closer than
the troubles of later friends, however dear. The bond between me and you and your
sisters is almost like a family tie. One doesn’t have to explain it, it is just
there, at the root of me, like the tie between
and Douglass7 and
myself. Since I got Elsie’s letter there is
an hour in the day, I think, when Margie’s illness and your anxiety and sadness does
not flash into my mind. I have worried a lot about Irene8 this past year. She was not at all well when I last saw her9 in Chicago10, when she helped me so much with Isabelle11. I am sure I would never have had the grit
to go to Italy12 if Irene had not encouraged
me so earnestly. She almost pushed me off with her two hands, and nothing on the
whole trip gave me more than the great box of lovely flowers from the three of you.
It was as if you were in the cabin with me when I
opened the box.
This has been the least successful summer I have ever spent on this island. The climate has been perfect, as always, and our little home and garden dear, but there has been illness and death among our friends here and I have not been well. Roscoe’s twins13 were the bright spot of the summer. They made me perfectly happy, and everyone here loved them.
Goodbye, dear friend of so many years. My heart is with you all, even more than it ever was before.Devotedly always Willie
I am going down to New York14 next week.