Dear Comrade:

Your air mail letter to your boyhood friend, Mrs. Sprague, was handed to me by her at the reception in Lincoln. I had more than six hundred hands to shake (incidentally at ten cents a hand)! and not very much time to talk to her, but she seems a sweet old lady. The reception was quite an affair, Ruth Bryan Owen and the governor's lady being in the receiving line.

Immediately after this affair, at 11:30 p.m., Sig and I started for Kearney. I did some sleeping in the back seat and we arrived at 3:35 a.m.; up at seven and at them in a big auditorium by nine. It seemed to go exceptionally well. Then we rushed on to McCook where it went well again. Previous to these three were ten other places and about sixteen speeches. All of this in nineteen days. On the return from McCook, Sig and I drove to Beecher's Island and I think I made a discovery there. The monument seems to me almost certainly to be 250 yards downstream from the real scene of the battle. I found the configurations of the old Island with a cottonwood tree, at least seventy years old, growing at the point of the raised pattern in the sand. It is not only the shape of this sand pattern and the tree that make me think I found the spot where the battle took place. The adjacent topography is right when standing on this spot and it is not so when standing by the monument. A bitter high wind from the north was blowing and the air was full of sand, so that I could not camp there and dig as I wanted to do. I feel sure that I could find many empty Spencer shells in that sand if I had a day for digging.

I shall begin again with the Post-Dispatch on November 20, this time with a Sunday Department on the Editorial Page under the Cartoon. I like the new arrangement, and it pays well for the little time it will take. "I, JAMES LEWIS" will be handled in this connection and for you.

The MESSIAH started out easily after my absence of three weeks and I am sure it will go on steadily. I see no reason to change my mind about the matter of which I wrote you in my last.

I may not have told you of a mechanical rifle sight that I have been working out during the past year. Last year I saw the thing in my sleep working very nicely and since then I have worked out the details that I did not dream. It works beautifully and does something that no other sight I know does. While I was in Omaha, I showed it to a friend of mine there and he said, "Colonel Whelen ought to see this". I was surprised to hear that Colonel Townsend Whelen was in Omaha, for is Jove in the gun crank world, and wherever two or three gun cranks are gathered together, there Whelen is sure to be mentioned. My friend took me to see Whelen who is high in the Ord nance Department of the Army. He was leaving town the next day, and I just caught him. He was very cordial and said, after carefully examining my contraption, "This is a very ingenious and useful rifle sight, and I have never seen anything like it. I think you ought to push it." So Judge Vinsonhaler took me over to a patent attorney and I am having a search made of the records. If this sight goes, I'll have another which I will work out. It is designed to give the range accurately and set the sights with a single simple operation, something certainly that no sight on the market has ever attempted to do, so far as I know. I was talking to an old artilleryman about it in Omaha and he said that he had never heard of a sight of that type. It seems odd that I should be working on rifle sights and writing the MESSIAH at the same time; but it is a world full of apparent discrepancies.

With love always,