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#1858: Willa Cather to Elsie Cather, [January 5, 1935]

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ My Very Dear Sister1;

Here was I, dreading to hear that you had been through struggles with snow and cold and discomfort, and you write me about something that was really beautiful and full of gentleness! I can only say with the neighbors that you gave her a beautiful 'laying away.' How right and lovely it was of you to have the Christmas tree for Bess3! She had tr trimmed so many Christmas trees for so many children. I wish I could have been there and heard the sermon4 and met the kind neighbors. Edith5 and I read your letter over more than once, and last night I mailed it to Virginia6, but she is to send it back to me. You are the only one of our family who have has met and paid the debt we all seven7 owe to Bess, and I think you paid it in full by the comfort and affection you have given her in these last years. Please let me pay for the roses, since I could do nothing else. If there is any shortage about the funeral expenses, please let me meet it. Will8 ought to have as much as possible out of the little money she had left. He is a good fellow, too. Life in this world is surely perplexing. The good people seem to get so little.

I gave Mrs. Lambrecht9 and Annie10 a good Thanksgiving and a good Christmas, and bought feed to get Annie's stock through the winter. I sent poor Jack11 fifty dollars. I wrote the Bishop12 and Mollie13 and Gertrude Coon14.

Don't try to write me when you are tired, my dear, but just send me a little slip of paper with the cost of the flowers and any other items of expense i jotted down on it. I sent each of my nieces15 ten dollars.

I belong to the Society Library16; don't you think the enclosed is a nice historical Christmas card17? Did you ever know he18 was a real person? I hope he had lots of children in that nice old house.

Happy New Year, my dear sister.

Lovingly Willie