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#2142: Willa Cather to Roscoe Cather, [September to December, 1938]

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My Dear Roscoe1;

Until I began to get letters from Standard and Barnsdall oil asking where to send dividends, I never knew anything about the residuary estate clause—I had never read it! I had a copy of the will? Certainly. I glanced over the first part of it, thought the special bequests good, never read the last clause. You told me he3 had cut me in on the Montibello field with the others. I appreciated that as a nice recognition of kinship and had no curiosity about the residuary estate, or anything that reminded me that he had no estate for himself at all any more. None of the property that meant so much to him. Funny, how when the mind has had a great shock it just hides itself in the sand, like the ostrich—makes itself blind to anything that recalls what hurt it. I had a good deal of nausea & vomiting from the 14th of June until I got away to Grand Manan4 where Douglass had never been. I feared I could never come back here2 to this apartment5. I could see the way he sat in each chair, standing on the very spot of rug where he told me goodbye. I tried to get away from the "will" and the word "estate". You must have thought me very casual.

At some later time when you are out from under, I will ask your advice and help about the stone6 to Father7 and Mother8. You know Douglass had that much on his mind, and you and I must do it for him. I think we might use the dividends from these oil stocks in that way. We want it got from Overing9, but according to father's taste, which he developed to me at some length that last winter I was at home.

Very Lovingly Willie