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I returned last week from a long vacation on Mt. Desert3 - - plenty of good scenery but very little good food.
Of course4 it is all right about the Armed Service edition5 of ÁNTONIA6. Several of Knopf's books went into the same edition a year ago. It will be quite satisfactory to me if we divide the $803.38 paid by the Government for the Armed Service edition into two equal parts.
The postscript of your letter7, however, is very perplexing. Before I left Maine8 I had a confidential letter from an old and loyal friend who had just returned from an extensive tour in South America9 and Central America. He is not, and never has been, connected with any publishing house. He is a linguist and scholar. Collectors often consult him for his expert knowledge of rare editions, etc.
He wrote to urge me to make no definite commitment (for the present) as to the
projected twenty-five cent reprint "Pocket Edition". He has been informed that a
translation of six or more of my books is being made in Spain10
and even in South America that translation would
probably have the greater prestige. I have thought the matter over, and at this time
I am unwilling to grant the option you ask. When I learn something more about the
progress of the Spanish translation, and about the twenty-five cent American-Spanish
edition (put out by a combination of several New
York2 publishing firms), I may change my mind. At present I can see
only a proposition to sell forty thousand books for four hundred dollars, of which
sum I would receive two hundred dollars. I cannot see that it would be good business
for either you or me.