Dear Mrs. Aly:

Another good letter from you — and more good copy! Mona read the MS aloud, and we like it. Here are some comments:

The spelling of "Kreymborg" would have to be a slip of the pen. I know the man, and have had reason to be well aware of him. I fear I hurt his feelings once. In 1912 he published a little book of verse with a blood-red cover. He called it "The Blood of Things". The verse was god-awfully modernistic, and I was mean enough to write: "The blood is on the outside; the things are on the inside". Wasn't that onery of me?! I met him in 1927 and we acted friendly. I hope he did not see my article; but he deserved it surely.

Pages 19, 20 —

You certainly make most effective use of the Indian speeches. This had not occurred to me, but what you make of it all is true. Bully! However, this is to be noted: Eastman was a Sioux. I have never known an Indian writer to give a correct picture of his people. An Indian tries to think like a White, and the result is that he loses the essential "Indian-ness". Eastman merely paraphrased and Anglicized the speeches. As he gives them, the Indian idiom is lost. You speak of my adding figures of speech. I merely supplied characteristic Sioux expressions in place of his bald, Americanized paraphrase. You will remember what Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte, an educated Omaha, said about my reproduction of the Indian idiom: She said she didn't see how it was possible, but nevertheless I did it in my Omaha stories. I did the same with the Sioux, but with far more to back me than in the Omaha Indian days. Figures of speech are used in Indian tongues because the languages vocabularies are pretty limited. Keep all that you say, except the statement noted. Briefly you can indicate what I've said here without altering your argument in the least.

The Indian writes addressing the white world, thinks white, or tries to do so. The white writer striving to represent the Indian, strives to think Indian. Note this also: The gesture of Sitting Bull (throwing dust aloft and watching it fall) was is authentic. In a recorded speech; he did just that and I used it in The Indian Wars. You will save it. The thing is too significant to lose; but you can present it as my use of the fact. (Just a twist of the wrist will do it!)

I am much impressed with your use of the Indian speeches. It does throw a strong light on my notions about speakers, crowds, voice, etc.

I have been elected a Fellow of the International Institute of Arts and Letters, Lindau, Germany.

Page 21

The second line is needed, thus " — as the birds upon the wide insouciance of air.". John's comment about Schlatter. The evangelist's name was not Schlatter. — Schlatter was a mysterious person who appeared near Denver, preached & healed for about a year, and the disappeared. He must have had supernormal power of some sort. The press all over the U. S. gave voluminous reports of him. We evidently used the name by way of kidding the local evangelist.

I seem to recall vaguely that W. J. Bryan was at a summer session of our little college, but that was, I'm sure, before John and I began to run around together. W. J. B. was still only a Congressman and, I believe, had not yet been defeated in his race for the Senate. This would be around 1893-4. I seem to recall that he did room with the Chaffees. Rooms were scarce during summer session. I heard W. J. B. speak several times. Admired his voice. Never met him, being only a kid. But I did know his daughter, Ruth Bryan Owen, later when I was lecturing. She headed a reception line in my honor once — at Lincoln! I got $60 for standing in line with a frozen grin and a stiff right arm! There were 600 in the string that passed me — 10 cents a hand for shaking! Ruth was a wonderful woman — sweet, gracious, and strong! And really beautiful — with an august beauty!

Frank Whitney was my pal before John C. That was when I was still going to be an inventor! I dreamed the turbine steam engine when he and I needed better power than sail for our two battle fleets.

Affectionate thoughts from us to you'ns.

John Neihardt