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I have just come home from a few weeks at the Williams Inn, Williamstown, Massachusetts3. I went there to get a breath of fresh air after having been in hospitals4 and stifling New York2 ever since last March. I would have preferred my old haunt5 at Jaffrey6, but that is a trying trip by train. From New York to Williamstown there is an excellent train, five hours without stop - runs only on Saturday.
I have come home to a puzzling domestic situation. Mrs. Rabouin7, my housekeeper, is ill and will not be able to take up her work again for several weeks. She is such an excellent person and such a good cook, that I am not willing to go through the anguish of training a substitute. Therefore Miss Lewis8 and I are rubbing along as best we can, with the assistance of a cleaning woman and an excellent house man to keep the apartment9 clean. However, it is pretty desolate, with everything swathed in summer dust-covers and windows staring at us with naked blinds.
Because of this dismantled domestic situation, I hope you can defer your trip10 to New York until - - perhaps the twentieth? Better still, the 22nd? Of course, I shall manage to see you whenever you come, but I know from experience that old friends meet more pleasantly in orderly and undisturbed surroundings. I hope we can make a morning date, as just now I am not good for much in the afternoon.Faithfully yours, Willa Cather
P.S. No,11 I never met
Woodberry12 at Thunderbolt Hill13, but
several times I met him at 148
Charles Street14. I even accompanied him on a memorable visit to
Amy Lowell15. I would like to
tell you about that visit. She simply hated him on sight, and treated him with an
insulting discourtesy which makes my gorge rise after all these years.
It hurt Mrs. Fields16 very much
indeed, though I gave her no account of
Amy's actual behaviour - merely
told her, which was necessary, that after inviting him to her house to
examine her Keats17 manuscripts,
she never showed him a pen stroke of them after all.