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#2766: Willa Cather to James D. Cather, November 28, 1944

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My dear Jim1:
Some time ago when I was looking through a box of old papers, hunting for a letter5 which Father6 once wrote me about the early Cather settlers in America7 (your son Charles8 had asked me if I could give him any facts about those settlers), I found a pencil-scribbled letter from Mother9, written just after her return home from Rochester10 and the Mayo Clinic11. You will remember that you took Mother to the Clinic when12 she had a swelling on her neck which alarmed us, and that I went with you and Mother as far as Wymore13, where are our trains parted. The quotation follows:

“I had a very easy trip there and home. Jim was just as patient and kind as could be and attentive. No one of you all could have been more so. We had a stateroom both ways and our rooms connecting there at the Clinic with bath between. Jim dressed and undressed me just as you girls would do. Took me through the Clinic so nicely. I was tired out all the time, but I had everything just as nice as could be. I really enjoyed meeting the doctors and knowing others at the hotel. I was surprised and so pleased at seeing Jim so helpful and manly about everything. Since I have come home, dear, I have been sick with a dreadful cold and was not able to eat scarcely at all for several days. Jim is still looking after me and Ethel14 is making soup and other things to bring over to me. My thumb is still a bugbear, and you see I cannot write at all scarcely with it in a stall. So you must excuse this scratch dear.”

I thought you would surely like to have this quotation from Mother’s letter, Jim. Indeed, I think any son would like to have such proof of how much he had meant to his mother at a trying time. I remember how greatly relieved I was when you telegraphed me to Chicago15, in care of Irene16, that the swelling which had alarmed us all was merely an enlargement of the salivary gland.

We had a delightful evening17 when Charles came down from the Notre Dame Army game. Helen Louise18 and her husband19 came in and joined us. This time Charles wore his dress uniform, with all its gold buttons.! He has certainly a fine figure and the tailors do their best for him. Mr. Connick20, one of the owners of this apartment house3, happened to be waiting for the elevator when Charles and I came in from the street, and I introduced Charles to Mr. Connick. Several days afterward Mr. Connick stopped me in the hall and said, “What a fine fellow your nephew is, Miss Cather. He looks an older man in the eye in just the right way. And what grand tailors they have at West Point, to be sure!”

Affectionately Willie

My right hand has gone bad again21, and is tied up in a brace22. Disgusting!

FROM CATHER 570 PARK AVE.3, NEW YORK CITY2 Mr. J. D. Cather1 4209 Olive Avenue Long Beach4 California NEW YORK. N.Y2 NOV 29 1944 1030 AM