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#2147: Willa Cather to Roscoe Cather, May 26, 1939

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My dear Roscoe1:

I am sending you a carbon of the letter I have written Elsie5, and I think your decision6 about the house7 is perfectly right. There is no reason why she should slave and worry to keep a stage–setting for other people. Douglass8 and I were very fond of the place. We had both spent much time there. I cared enough about it to give up the most enticing vacations abroad all my expenses paid by Carnegie Foundation9. and tThe last winter I spent there alone with Father10 and Mother11, was one of the happiest of my life. However, for Douglass the house is there forever. aAnd it will be there for me as long as I have memories. Elsie's struggle was not quite so unassisted as you think it. I have my check stubs only as far back as 1930, but I find that since 193012 I have sent Elsie $1,61040 40 toward the upkeep of the house. Some of these checks ($25, $39, $25, etc.) are made out to Carrie Sherwood13, as she was on the spot and could pay the money directly to the men who were keeping up the yard for Elsie. I only hope Elsie will not sell the place to Retta14 or Jennie15 – both would make good use of it, from their point of view. I also paid for the new roof Elsie put on the house in 1932—one hundred dollars. Total $1,740.

I owe you a world of thanks, dear brother, for your long business letter and your advice about the property that I so unwillingly acquired in Nebraska16. I will write you an answer very soon. I long ago decided to turn everything over to Willard Crowell17, and will ask Walter18 to honor his checks drawn on my account. My only fear is that Willard may forget to send me a statement of all taxes paid out for me, together with the section, range, etc., description of the land for which each tax payment was made. It is very important to me to have a definite statement of taxes paid to check off on my income tax. The Government agents here are very fussy about having exact descriptions of property on which taxes were paid, especially property consisting of Western farms.

With my love Willie

I just can't bear it that Douglass did not live to see his Montebello19 field20 turn out so well. It breaks my heart. He was the one who cared. Caring is the most expensive thing in life.

FROM CATHER 570 PARK AVE3., NEW YORK CITY2 Mr. R. C. Cather,1 First Savings Bank of Colusa, Colusa,4 California. NEW YORK, N. Y. STA Y2 MAY 29 1939 1030 AM Personal 548