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#1548: Willa Cather to Zoë Akins, September 17, 1941

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ My dear Zoöe1:

As you probably guessed, I was already away from New York2 when your flowers arrived and therefore I never thanked you for them. In April my older brother4, who lives in Colusa, California5, had a heart lesion and his condition was very serious. His doctors told me that I could not possibly see him for eight weeks. On the 20th of June Miss Lewis6 and I left for the West, over the Santa Fe, when I was still wearing my steel brace7 and was too much incapacitated to travel alone. We stopped over for some time in Chicago8 and again in New Mexico9, but finally reached the Fairmont Hotel10 in San Francisco11 by the date when I have written my brother and his wife12 to meet me there. We stayed a month in San Francisco, so that my brother could come down from Colusa twice for long week-ends at the Fairmont. He lives and draws his breath in a very critical condition, but is perfectly philosophical about it and I think he enjoys life day by day. While I was in San Francisco I saw absolutely no one, not even the Menuhins13. Most of my friends there were out of town, so I had no chance encounters. Miss Lewis, who went to San Francisco not from choice but because she wanted to help me through, wanted to return East by way of Vancouver14 and the Canadian Rockies. Your letter telling me that you had sent me some flowers reached me at the Empress Hotel, Victoria15, B. C. after much forwarding. In the grounds of the Empress Hotel I began to take normal exercise, and I said goodbye to the metal brace that had been a friend to my right hand for so long. My hand is now perfectly free and I am able to do almost everything with it, which I think will put a very different light on the future.

This is not a letter but an explanation of my long silence. Since I arrived here Sept. 16 the heat has been prostrating. I hope all is well with you, dear Zöe.

Yours Willa
Zoeë Akins Rumbold1, 2041 Brigden Road, Pasadena3, California. NEW YORK, N. Y. 2 SEP 18 1941 230 PM Air Mail