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#1951: Willa Cather to Charles F. Cather, September 25 [1913]

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My Dear Father1

I spent most of yesterday afternoon with Mary Smith4, and then Isabelle5 and I called again in the evening and I took her some roses. She was terribly bruised and is still suffering a good deal, but was keen and chatty as ever. She has aged a good deal, but I would have known her anywhere. She was delighted to see me and sent you and mother6 many affectionate messages. I went to the Bank to see Walter Gore7. He was polite but not very cordial. He lives only a block from the bank but he did not ask me to go to see his wife8. You remember when Lillian Gore9 came back from Europe10 a few months after Walter's marriage, she came up to Winchester11 with a lot of silver she had bought for them in Holland12. She sent up her card to Mrs. Walter, who sent back word that she was not feeling well and could not see Lillian. After she left the house Lillian met Walter on the street. He said very cordially "Hello, Aunt Lillian, I didn't know you were in town!" but he said no more. Lillian went back to Washington13 in a rage and has never been back since. Walter seems a nice lad, but he does not find his relatives interesting, and is sensible enough not to pretend.


I had such a nice long visit with Miss Jennie Smith, now Mrs. Garvin14, before I left Gore15. She is almost as large as her mother16 and has only two teeth, but there is something fine and dignified about her face all the same. How many relatives she has nursed and buried! The last was the aunt Mary17 (or Liza18) Trone who used to keep house for Captain Muse19. I met the old Captain on horseback, still a fine upright figure of a man, I declare; with wonderful white beard and hair.

One beautiful day we walked up to Anderson's Ca Cove. I had never been there before. It is one of the finest views I have ever seen in any country. We stopped and had a chat with Miss Ellen Anderson20; such a dear little house as she has away up there, with lovely flowers and a grand "balm o' Gilead"21 tree, and everything whitewashed like snow. She seemed so lonely and glad of company. "Yes ladies," she said, "the view's grea grand; but ladies, I prefer city life!" She was so earnest one could not even smil smile. It was a glorious walk up and down, and we saw only one small copperhead. That afternoon Miss Ellen rode down the mountain on her cavalry saddle with in a flowing skirt to get another look at us.


We saw Giles22 and Dorothy23 set out for the North River in a their "jagger"24 that looked as if Noah25 had built it instead of Mr. Potts26. They went up in summer clothes and came back in winter clothes, Giles in a fur cap and Dorothy veiled like an ancient priestess. They drove a mouse colored horse, as round as a barrel. I never saw such a fat, sleepy horse. They are dear people, and I love them dearly. They brought back watermelons for us to eat, but our stay was over and we could not go over to their house again. We left the morning after they got back. Giles will be delighted to get the seeds and your letter. They were in the post office when I left Gore, but he checks for his mail only twice a week.

Tell Mother I will write to her soon, and that I send much love to you both.