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Within a few days you will receive the package of manuscript which you sent me3 some time ago,- unread and unopened. If you asked me, as a personal favor, to read almost any other manuscript, I would manage to oblige you. But I am now working hard at something which interests me very much, and I find it bothers me and makes me uncomfortably self-conscious to have this bunch of manuscript lying about. If Isabelle McClung4 were still living , I would ask her to read it for me. She would be the best person to do so.
This young woman5's information about me would
probably come from Professor Foerster6's
recollections. I have never seen Professor Foerster since his first year in high school7, when I was twenty-four
years old and Professor Foerster was probably fifteen. He was an intelligent boy and
I liked him, but he was not, naturally
, at that time, a mature observer. At that
time I was very busy. I had high school classes from nine o'clock in the morning
until four in the afternoon, and I spent two hours every evening, from eight to ten,
working on the volume of short stories which Mr.
McClure8 afterward published under the title,"The Troll Garden"9. I was then living in Judge McClung10's house11, 780 Murray Hill Avenue, Pittsburgh12, and Isabelle's kindness made this
double shift of work possible.
most books about writers who are still
living are a mistake. A few weeks ago someone called my attention to a short sketch
of me in the Fourteenth Edition of the Encyclopaedia
Britannica13. It is short, but it seems to me fair and sufficient14.
I hate to bother you about sending this manuscript back, but I find it does bother me and "crimp my style", as the saying is.Faithfully yours,Willa Cather