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#2430: Willa Cather to Mary Virginia Boak Cather, September 19 [1920]

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My Dearest Mother1:

I have just come back from hearing a glorious service at Notre Dame, with the two great organs going and the boy-choir. But the truth is, just now I would rather hear Mr. Bates3 and Molly4 sing "The Church's One Foundation"5 in the church in Red Cloud6. I have been homesick for a week now, and I wish I were to sail Sept. 25 instead of October 25th—that is a whole long month away! Don't think I'm not enjoying Paris2, and the golden autumn weather we are having—so rare here, where autumn usually means only rain and cold—but I would much rather have had October in Red 2 Cloud than in France7 this year. I've had four months of France, and have loved it, but now I want to get home to my own apartment8, and to my mother and my book9. I am working here, but I can't work whole-heartedly and at my best except when I am settled down in my own place and have a typewriter. There are no typewriters for rent here, and of course I can't buy one. After I haven't worked for three or four months, I get perfectly frantic to get back to it.

I changed my sailing date from Sept 25 to Oct 25 on 3 Edith's10 account. She was so used up by the heat and lack of food in Italy11 that w when she met me in the south of France she begged me to wait another month and let her rest and build up in Paris. She is looking much better, and she enjoys every day, and so do I. All the same, if I could be at home tomorrow, I would! I have a good time, and then I want to go home. I've always been curse with spells of home-sickness, as some people are with toothache.

Isabelle12 sailed for Canada13 Friday, she wrote me a gay and cheerful letter from the boat. She sailed from Liverpool14.

We are living very quietly, as I am trying to work and Edith to 4get stronger. In Paris you don't have to do things to enjoy yourself. Just walking about the beautiful city itself is one's greatest pleasure. The Opera here is very wonderful. The Hambourgs15 took me often when they were here, and I am going next week. But I seldom go to the theatre because the streets and the life in them is so much more interesting than anything else.

Please send this note on to Roscoe16 and Meta17, as I have not yet found time to write them. I will send both Virginias18 a post-card of that noble cathedral, Notre Dame. Please tell Ethel19 that in the south I got some nice coral beads for my godchild20. I wonder whether Elsie21 has gone back to Lincoln.

Did Miss Blumer22 get the two cards I sent her? Tell her I bought a fall hat the other day for three dollars! That is because I have a very expensive one at home that must serve me for two winters.

Goodbye now, dearest mother. Tell Margie23 I have no place to make tea here, and have to go out to a tearoom for it. I wish I were having it with you on our nice upper porch24 this very afternoon! How jolly and cozy that is!

Your very, very loving daughter Willa

Please give my special love to Mr. Bates and Molly. Ask Ethel to hug the baby for me.


If Ross has left before you get this letter, send it on to Red Cloud again.