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#2415: Willa Cather to Mary Virginia Boak Cather, [late November to December 1918]

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My Dearest Mother1:

The other day I stopped up town2 and ordered some of that orange-blossom talcum powder that you and father3 both liked. Let me know if you don't receive it. Tell father he need not be saving of it for I will send him some more when this is gone.

Alfred McClung4 is still dangerously ill. His wife5, writing to thank me for flowers, said she was almost in despair. His heart has to be stimulated Cons constantly.

Dear Mother, I wish I could be there to have tea with you and Ethel6 and that cunning baby. Edith7 says that I am really ridiculous the way I talk about my nieces and nephews, for they can't all be wonderful. But I tell her most of them are, and Helen Louise8 is surely the most interesting little baby I have ever known. I'd love so see her drink her prune juice and have tea with her grandmother. I often think I am a very lucky person. Not many women of my age have a father and mother both well enough to be able to enjoy things, and to ride around over the country with them and have good times. And I think both my father and mother are very good-looking, what is more,—and not all people of your age are, even when they were handsome in their youth. I am very proud of you both—that is, when daddy wears nice clothes and enough of them! I know dear Isabelle9 is a little envious of me that I am so rich in family and have you both, and she has lost nearly all her blood-kin, even the aunts and uncles she cared most for. Oh I do hope Alfred will pull through!

Josephine10 was delighted with her slippers and aprons. I haven't given her the shoes yet—I am saving them to give her for Christmas. She has cross-stitched some lovely new bureau scarfs for us.

Mother I'm so sorry I forgot the roll for holding doylies and center-pieces that you gave me. You must let me take it next time.

I've got a new beaver hat and new high shoes, and had the worn spots in my fur coat patched with new skins until it looks like new. Later I'll have the beautiful piece of burgundy-colored velvet that Mrs. Kirk11 gave me made up into a dress.

Tell father all beef is now 50¢ a pound

Mutton " " 55¢ " "

Chicken " " 55¢

It is terrible! All cream is 54 cents a pint! Josephine cooks rabbit well, and we are going to have that instead of chicken. Calf's liver is 50 cents a pound, pork is 48 cents. Well, the famine12will be over sometime. Tell Margie13 I don't expect to eat another chicken until I come home next summer!

With much love, dear mother Willie