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#1750: Willa Cather to Carrie Miner Sherwood, January 26, 1947

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ Dear Carrie1:

After you had written the clear and convincing letter3 which you mailed to 570 Park Avenue4 on October ninth and received no reply, you must have thought me a very callous person indeed, and a cold friend. David5, the chief hall boy, has always looked after my mail very carefully. I have always before returned to New York2 in the first week of October. But this year I waited over for two weeks in Boston6 to be with an old friend, and David, the conscientious hall boy, left on his vacation October first. After that date my mail rather took a chance. On the night I got back to my apartment at 570 Park Avenue, I found a great bundle of letters tied up with string lying on the table in my front hall. There were nearly a hundred of them - many unimportant, and some very important. But your letter with a few others (one long delayed letter from Mrs. George Arliss7) were found in a special portfolio which David had himself taken care of and left on my desk.When our faithful cleaning woman and anher assistant came in a week before our return to clean the appartment thoroughly, this portfolio with the few special letters was found on my desk. There was so little in it they thought it was empty, and piled several reference books on top of it. There it lay - the letters inside it, until the day I telegraphed you. . . . This is a long story to explain a mistake which might have occasioned great unhappiness. Your letter about the Hospital is so clear and convincing that I do not for one moment hesitate to reply to it. A check went out by yesterday’s mail for ⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩the hospital fund, and it will not be the last one. I only ask you not to use my name.

We won’t dwell on it, but you must know, my dear Carrie, that I have bitter enemies in Red Cloud8 - though some of them may have pretended to be friendly. My early indifference about the hospital I must explain by the great changes that have taken place within the last ten years. I had no idea the Mary Lanning Hospital9 was crowded. When Mr. Crowell10 was hurt so badly, he remained in that hospital for nearly a year - or maybe quite a year - and I used to hear from one of his sons from time to time about his condition.

I have never given up hope of a visit with you, dear Carrie, and some day I shall telephone you by long distance - or get Edith Lewis11 to telephone you (which would be safer) that I am coming. You and Mary Creighton12 are the only people whom I would greatly wish to see there. I would love to see Trix13 again, too - I had such a pleasant visit with her when she was in New York - Sidney Florance14 has been very kind to me.

I wish Irene15 and I could meet at your house sometime. I haven’t heard from her for a long while. Could you drop me just a line sometime and tell me how she is, and how Mr. Weisz16 is?

Lovingly Willie