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Such a long while I have wanted to write you, but life hurries me along so fast. I have just come back from Washington3 where I went because of the illness of an old and dear friend4—whom I left much better when I came away, but my going put me ten days behind with all my engagements here2.
I did not know of Margie's5 death until
sometime after it occurred, but I feared it was coming and all the autumn
you four sisters6 who have
meant so much in my life have been in my mind every day and often at night.
I write now to ask a favor of you. Dear Mary, do
please write me a word about Irene. Is she
ill? Have I
in in some way hurt her
feelings? Or is it that the pressure of life
from all sides keeps her from writing to me? She never replys to my letters. It's unkind to keep an old friend in anxiety, and I
have felt anxious about her health for a
year now. I know you will take the trouble to tell me.
The Red Cloud7
paper8 comes occasionally, (was stopped during
summer and autumn) and from it I learn that you had Evelene Vesty9 with you for a few days. That
must have been a pleasure, even though the cause of her homecoming was so
sad. You will all miss Louie10; such a
queer fellow, and such a kind heart. Like Peter
Pan11 he never quite grew up. Maybe he was the happier for that. I
often feel that the
wor world used to be a
great deal happier for everyone, young and old, than it is now. I am so glad
my gentle father12 did not live on into
these ⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ hard times. I had hoped to be at home with you and Carrie
this Christmas, but now I know that I cannot be. I am so far behind in my
work that I feel as if I could never catch up again. The trouble is one has
to have some spring in one to work, and just now I haven't any. My new book13 has been out two weeks, and already a
third edition is being made. I sent Carrie a copy. Lucy Gayheart14 has been translated into about every European
language, even Hungarian!
Tomorrow is my birthday, and a gardenia bush as tall as I am and all covered with flowers and birds has just arrived from the Menuhins15—ordered from a florist here, of course, with the note I enclose tied to it, signed with all their funny Russian names. The father signs first, then the mother and children. I'm sorry I can't go to them this winter, but I don't quite feel up to it. When I am with them I simply can't rest, they are too exciting and I am too fond of them.
I wish this were a cheerful letter, dear Mary, instead of a rather somber
one. I am well enough, and came down from the country in November in high
spirits. But getting a new out always means such a lot of useless work;
floods of letters and telegrams and nervy requests and demands to answer.
It's such a
a waste of time, and there seems
to be no escaping it. After this, I'll always go to Europe18 when I publish a book, as I did
when when "Lucy" came out. This letter
is for you and Carrie both, and it takes you
a great deal of love from me to you both and to Irene.
Do not return—glance at it and destroy.From W. S. Cather 570 Park Avenue19 New York2. Mrs. E. A. Creighton1 Red Cloud7 Nebraska NEW YORK,N.Y.STA Y2 DEC 8 1936 12-M about Charles Cather Louie Analomy[?]