Miss Margaret Ramsay, Home Forum Editor, Boston, Mass.
My dear Miss Ramsay:

I thank you for your letter of Dec. 31st regarding the article by A.J. Peel in your issue of December third.

Herewith I enclose a copy of Mr. Peel's explanation. I am sorry to say that it fails to explain. The long arm of coincidence is here far too long.

It is indeed "curious" that the article should have followed my own plan, as Mr. Peel remarks. What is equally "curious" is the fact that my own wording should have been retained in many places -- somewhat garbled here and there, but recognisably my wording. Also notations I used for particular points are retained, and the points are my own. Why exactly those points and just those quotations? It is doubtful if Mr. Peel knows where the Hugo quotation is to be found, for the book from which it is taken is very little known.

Surely Mr. Peel's friend has remarkable powers to be able to transmit in casual conversation not only the order of my argument but much of the wording; and Mr. Peel's ability for "registering vividly" is certainly amazing. I should say that a man who habitually registers so vividly needs watching.

As to Mr. Peel's "impression" that the book was a compilation of critical opinions on poetry, that is absurd, and his article proves, line by line, that he was in position to know as much. If his article has been inspired by a compilation of opinion, he would have found some other opinions than my own to quote without credit. The injustice that Mr. Peel grants is of a graver character than a man of his peculiar vividness could possibly know. I have spent my life in defense of the higher values. My book was one result of a life so lived; and in a world obviously little concerned with those values, I had hoped for a better reception from the Christian Science Monitor, of all papers.

I know that you personally are in no way to blame. I shall have no communication with Mr. Peel. I do not care to have any direct relations with so vivid a man. For the time being, I leave him to the Christian Science Monitor, and I believe you will know what to do.

Very truly yours,

John G. Neihardt.