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#1578: Willa Cather to Harriet Fox Whicher, April 22, 1942

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ My stenographer5 is a pretty dense one, but I can’t see how she turned my throat into a tooth! My dear Mrs. Whicher1:

History repeats itself, and I followed your example. Your letter reached me when I was in the hospital being treated for an ulcerated sore tooth throatand a mysterious high temperature6 that came from God knows where - nobody else seems to know. I still see Dr. Frank Ober7 from time to time, although my right hand8 is just as good as it ever was and my friends all say that my handwriting is much improved. I will make almost any excuse to see Dr. Ober, because he always gives me a brace.

I wonder whether you got down to hear Jack9 sing at St. Paul’s Chapel10 on March 15th. I was still in the hospital then and Miss Lewis11 was visiting some Czech friends12 of hers in the country.

It did astonish me to hear that Jack is taking a course in Columbia Law School. But on second thought it occurred to me that our Bench and Bar would be a good deal more lively, and quick to see a point that changed the whole trend of evidence, if there were more people in it with the flashes of intuition which Jack used to have when he was a young lad.

Aren’t you yourself living up to a pretty stiff schedule these days? Just the outside pressure of affairs all over the world is so heavy and so constant that I have let up on my personal schedule a good deal. It seems to me that the life of those who merely stand and wait - and dread the morning paper - is hard enough.

My love to both you and Mr. Whicher13, Willa Cather

Undset14 told me she met you at Mount Holyoke15. Her “Return to the Future”16 has done very well, I’m glad to say. I think it’s broadminded of our countrymen to read it without prejudice, at this time when we are all out for Russia17 and all cursing Japan18. Of course the book was written more than a year before Pearl Harbor19. But I doubt that subsequent events would have influenced her. She hated the Russians because they were so horribly dirty, and she sh was charmed by the Japanese because they were very clean and had a sort of personal elegance. Do read “Gunner’s Daughter”20. To me it is her best book, though very few people seem to know anything about it.

Yours W. S. C.
FROM CATHER 570 PARK AVE.3, NEW YORK CITY2 Mrs. George Whicher1, 260 Amity Street, Amherst4, Massachusetts. NEW YORK, N. Y.2 APR 22 1942 2 - PM