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#2815: Willa Cather to Charles Douglas Cather, May 14 and 15, 1938

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I will return the Overing3 cards in my next letter. Their catalogue I have already sent.

My dear Douglass1:

I came back4 to New York2 the day before yesterday, pretty well cured of the bronchitis that has been bothering me for so long. I am more than sorry that your letter has had to wait so long for an answer.

I think all the stones in the Overing catalogue are perfectly hideous; they look as if they were intended for the Van Dycks5 and the Kurt Evans6 family. I do not see how Father7 managed to get from Overing such a decent looking little stone as the one he put up for Grandmother Boak8.

When he took me down to see show me Grandmother Boak's stone , he spoke very strongly about one thing; he said he hated granite and thought the only proper stone for a grave was white or cream colored marble. He seemed to feel strongly about this and pointed out some of the red and gray stones which he particularly disliked

If you have to choose from the cards from the Vermont9 Marble Company, I would say that the stone Father ordered for Grandmother Boak, made three times as high and three times as wide as hers, but only twice as thick, would be better than anything that shows up in these Vermont Marble cards. However, I cannot think that the Vermont Marble Company is fairly represented by the cuts they sent the Overings. The company has -2-its headquarters here on Park Avenue, and I will get designs from them within the next few days,which I will send to you. Even though you selected a design from their catalogue here, the transaction could still be put through by Ed Overing10.

All my San Francisco11 friends, even two who are very limited as to income, seem to have stood by me in the complete edition12 put out by Houghton Mifflin. When the list of subscribers to the edition came in to me, there were, of course, some unpleasant surprizes. I had expected to find some names from Southern California13, Zoeë Aiken14's, for instance, and the Huntington Library15. Zoeë has spent a lot of money buying up first editions, of my books which are shabby and worn. I should think she would have preferred an edition like this, which is really very handsome. The people who subscribe for this set give me a definite proof of their loyalty and appreciation. After a continuous endeavor which has lasted nearly a lifetime, that sort of recognition is a pleasant thing to receive. I am happy to find on the English list some of the best literary names in England16. Of course I realize that all my Nebraska17 friends, and perhaps all of my family, are much too poor to indulge in expensive sets18 of books. Therefore I intend to divide up the onemy own set, which came to me gratis, among my old friends; sending a single volume to this and that person whom I know would have bought the set had they been able to do so. When Irene19 was here just before I left for the South, she sent off for me the volume which was to go to Carrie Sherwood20.

Wasn't it terrifying how nearly Roscoe21's family22 were -3- all smashed up on their way to church on Elizabeth's23 wedding morning? I should say that getting a little bride smashed up on her way to church was about the worst thing that could happen to any father. I wonder his nerves were not all smashed up.

I am keeping the photographs of our lot24 in Red Cloud25 for the present, but will return them to you as soon as I have seen what the Vermont Marble Company has to offer.

This morning, on her way to the office, Edith Lewis26 was badly cut up when her taxi ran into the rear of another car. The bad contusions are about the throat and shoulder, but her upper lip is so badly cut that she will have a long scar if not a more serious disfigurement from the lip being drawn. I have seen the Vermont Marble people; they have some very good designs which I will send 2 you within a few days. It will take a little time to select from their large number.

For the present I am pretty well tied up with doctors and lawyers, trying to get Edith com compensation for her loss of time and a scar on her face.

I think you will like some of the cards from the Vermont Marble Company. Overing must have chosen the worst The they had.

Among other places in Virginia27 3 I stopped at Winchester28 and went ont on to Fairview Cemetary29, which Father always admired and where so many of his old friends ar buried.

Hoping you will have the best luck in the world with the new well


The taxi driver who got Edith hurt was not Henry30.