Dear Comrade:

You say that you don't like your letter of December 11, but I decidedly do. You were not writing; you were talking, and that is what I like about it.

You say that I did not write in reply to your letter in which you spoke of going to Greece. I feel practically sure that I did write you about this, and I think it was then that I ventured to suggest that you might well cash your life insurance and make life as rich for yourself as you could. I think that now, and I think the idea of going to Greece is, for you, a really sensible one. No one has a deeper feeling for the Greek spirit than you have. I feel sure of this. There is no need to give any reason for your going either to yourself or to any other. There is no reason why you should even have anything to show for the time you might spend there. The value of the experience would be very great to you and therefore to your friends. If you go over there, and my reasonably good luck holds, you and I will camp on Olympus together, not to mention nosing about the places that have deep meaning for us. We both know that the spirit is not in geography, but physical nearness can help in making more vivid what we already know and feel.

I took the trouble to vote for Norman Thomas and so did the rest of the family. I say "took the trouble", for voting means nothing to me. It was not for me a "practical" act. I did not think it would do any good. It was rather in the nature of a right, a spiritual gesture for my own inner satisfaction. You say you would like to work with a local socialist organization; and that would be all right if it gave you satisfaction. But there is no use in doing anything of the sort so far as any practical effect is concerned. We have been raised to believe, without considering the belief, that somehow the better reason is powerful and that if we only work to disseminate the better reason better things will come, but this is hardly true. Only a relatively small minority is able to distinguish between a valid reason and an emotional attitude. Peoples do not rebel against an idiotic social set-up for "reasons". They rebel because they can no longer stand their misery; and until the misery is intense enough no amount of effort to teach the many will have the slightest effect. When the misery is intense enough a state of chaos will develop, and in that state of chaos the intelligent minority may achieve power. Up until about a year ago or less I was hurting myself with my intense feeling on the social situation. I was doing that in 1926, and straight on through the period of "prosperity" I was writing about the doom that was clear to me at a time when great statesmen and captains of industry were singing hymns of praise to prosperity. Suddenly, a year or less ago, it came to me that I was making a mistake in acting as though I considered the human race intelligent in the aggregate. It is not; it is simian, which does not mean that I despise it. It means that I have no faith in its ability to solve its really serious problems, save through disaster, and even then only if it should be lucky enough to fall under the control of a really intelligent minority. I am really quite happy, and I feel ready for anything, although I am sure that there will be plenty to experience before my generation is through.

The MESSIAH has been coming along in bully shape, though since the first of December it has not been going so fast, for the simple reason that this is wild turkey season, and I have set myself the task of getting one of those birds. Up to date I have followed tracks in the snow and once I was with a chap who swore that he saw two of them. I asked him if he actually saw the turkeys, and he replied that he had not, but that he had seen the "glimmers on their backs". Just the same there are plenty of turkeys and I will be out after them again early tomorrow morning. The last time I was out I trailed one for five miles in the snow. Twice he took off, when I was getting a little close to him I suppose, and that second time it was too near sundown to follow him.

Another reason why the MESSIAH has been going a little slow this month is that I have had work to do on the application for my gun sight patent. The application is now prepared and that is off my mind. It is really an excellent sight and will do almost everything a hunter may want done, save peel potatoes or fry meat. The small compact sight gives rapidly and easily all elevations for range up to the capacity of the gun, gives a choice of various types and sizes of peep apertures, gives an open sight if wanted and makes it possible to use either low speed or high speed ammunition at will.

I am just approaching a very impressive climax in the MESSIAH which involves the aging Red Cloud. He has not appeared in the poem since he was a man of might and a fighter. Now he has become pretty much an old woman and he is blind. Once he would have been advising war. Now he advises his people to live on the hope that the spirit world is coming. It is a simple and pitiful scene.

I am enjoying my work on the Post-Dispatch, which takes only one day of my time a week. The stuff has been appearing since November 20, and they have given me the most conspicuous place in the Sunday Edition, three broad columns under the Cartoon on the Editorial Page. This gives me an opportunity to say a mouthful now and then about social matters. I am really surprised what they allow me to get away with. Any other great paper in the United States, upon seeing some of my copy, would yell bloody murder and kick me seven miles. Positively no other paper of standing would have me around the place. I am proud of my connection with the Post and have been from the beginning.

With love always,


(Dear Doctor House: Daddy just went turkey hunting this morning early and asked me to get this letter out to you.

After 5 days, return to:
John G. Neihardt ..........................
BRANSON DEC 17 2-PM 1932 MO.


MONTGOMERY DEC 20 1230PM W.VA. 1932 1
Dr. J. T. House New River State College Montgomery, West Virginia 311 West 23rd St., New York, N. Y.