My dear Mr. Davis:—

I have just read you ​ last letter again, and it seems to me now that I must have answered it in a way that shall seem light to you.

It was written in a hurry, as I was leaving town, and I think I must have overlooked a paragraph in your letter. You say that you think what I need is a larger audience — a few more people who understand me for my own sake. I am deeply grateful to you for saying that, for you hit upon that which I feel with considerable bitterness at times. This is the sort of conversation which might be heard in this town concerning me "What do you think of that Neihardt?" "O, rather queer in his ways!"

Vermin! My best speaking must always be to myself. I am forced to guard myself in talking before this sort of people. A lot of sordid little shopkeepers who never read!

I don't think for a minute that I should be any more than a very tiny taper in the midst of a conflagration back there; but at least I could see some light.

You know what these Western towns are, don't you? The people are all right, they have nothing to do with my business. I don't think for a minute that I am so lofty that I am misunderstood; I am simply out of place here; I'm an alien, and always have been. I wish to God I could get among my people. I'm not a whiner; I've stuck to my Gleam about thirteen years in the worst of circumstances, and I have done some good work - some that is still in manuscript - most of it, in fact. But did you ever notice the alien cry in most of my stuff that you have read? There's a reason for that.

I believe, Davis, that if I don't get cut down for ten years yet, I'll make some of the fossils out here discover that I'm alive. A man who has scrapped his way up from the sage- brush, as you have, can not fail to sympathize with that sort of egotism. You know!

I'm writing this extra letter to let you know how very deeply I appreciate your understanding me and caring about my future.

When my friend Streamer gets back to your town he will call on you. I have discovered that he intends making it the object of his life to see me placed. He wouldn't tell me this. What do you think of such a man? Since he is that kind of a man, I shall send him to you, for he will understand me, detecting what is false in me and still not missing what is true. He shall be the tertium quid between us — for I want to know you; you were the first

July 12, 1906
to reach a hand to me.

Sometimes I smoke myself black in the face with impatience. I have often felt like a fellow marooned on an uncharted island of wild goats. Blat, blat, blat! I don't know for certain yet which of us is the wiser; I only know that we don't mix well.

Two volumes of my stuff are in London getting the look-over; have been there almost three months. They might snatch me out of this; but I have quit taking Fate by the forelock. I wait. But God! what a lot of good tobacco I spoil while I wait.

But you never can tell — and I'm not dead yet.

Thanks again for your great kindness in caring about me at all.

Most sincerely yours,

Jno. G. Neihardt