Dear Comrade:

I see that it has actually been two weeks since I received your last letter. My delay has meant nothing. I am carried along by routine and sometimes I let things slide.

I am in a quandry as to whether or not we ought to run any of the MESSIAH in advance of book publication. At about the same time that I received your letter, I had one from the Frontier Magazine of the University of Montana, asking for some of the poem. Naturally, it would go to you if it went to anybody.

William Morrow and Company have made me a rather remarkable offer. They want me to do a book on the Sioux Indians built around the life of Black Elk and they offer me one thousand dollars cash advance and better royalty than I have been receiving if I will undertake the job. They seem surprisingly eager. I rather think that in April I will ask for a leave of absence from the Post for three months and go up to Pine Ridge with Enid as my secretary. With her help, I should be able to drive the book through rapidly. Perhaps this is my way out to a resumption of work on the Cycle.

You are indeed doing a fine thing with your magazine and you have every reason to be happy in what you are doing, although I am sure it must crowd you at times. I doubt if there is a better magazine of its sort in the country right now. I am so glad that you have been able to make this outlet for your fine spirit.

Yes, I saw Cestro's book. I have also seen Robinson's latest, but I have not thus far been able to make myself read it. There is a miserly grudging spirit in this man's treatment of human nature that makes me heartsick and I cannot believe that we can use that sort of vision. I will agree with anyone who insists that our present civilization has in it the seeds of a terrible catastrophe and that hardly any characteristic institution of our world is sane, but I will not agree that human nature itself is a washout. They may gabble in fine critical terms about Robinson's vision, but there is a sour smell of decayed New Englandism in him that I can no longer bear. I read Cestro and said nice things of it. More and more I have the feeling that, in dealing with characteristic contemporary tendencies, one is dealing with childishness and might better say "Yes, yes, run on and play" or something with some such significance.

When you write Mary again, give her love and best wishes from all the Neihardts, and let us hear how she is getting on with her great adventure.

With love as always,