Dear Lucile:

I'm surprised to note that your latest letter was actually written two weeks ago! I've read it more than once, you may be sure, and I've thought unwritten letters in your direction ever since it came. I'm so glad and grateful that you and Bower are in the world, along with so much else that is good and wonderful. I suppose there must be a hollow place in my deeper consciousness that is still and full of loneliness; and your letters, symbolizing belief in what is worthy in my life, find their way there.

I've just returned from St. Louis where I spent a happy day and evening with old friends and talked to a group of English teachers belonging to the St. Louis and St. Charles Suburban Assn. It was a picked group, and we had a good time together. I got away from the group at 10 o'clock, and when I got back to the home of my friend, Ward Moore (where I stayed overnight) the dinner guests were waiting for me and were still going strong! We talked until midnight, took the universe to pieces and got it all back together again and [?] much as usual before we called it a day! Ward Moore is an old hand at the P-D, and the guests were old hands too — Paul Greer (whom Bower knows) and Tony Schink. Of course the ladies were there too.

I ran onto something you will want to follow up. Paul Greer was my friend when he was managing editor of the old Omaha Bee, and it was he who made me write Easter, which, I believe, is one of my very best lyrics. I think you know the story, but Paul has more to give that I had forgotten. He says I sent him several versions of Easter, and that he has them still, along with correspondence! He will be glad, he says, to loan you the letters and tell you what he remembers.

I enclose Greer's card, and you may feel free to write him.

I will send you a letter received from G. Arthur Bailey which is self-explanatory. He is a very fine gentleman in the good old sense. When my short stories and A Bundle of Myrrh were coming out, we were close friends & often took long walks into the country — and he could walk with those long legs of his! Still, I was some walker myself in those days and managed to match my pony gait against his high-horse stride! Often when we were striding down the street on our way out into the country, someone would remark, "The long and the short of it "! This original remark was made so often that Bailey and I would say it in unison when we saw someone about to say it again!

I've been wishing it might be possible to find John S. Phillips and Albert Boyden. They were chief editors of American Magazine when my short stories were being featured. Boyden went over to Appleton-Century (publishers) and I have no notion what happened to Phillips. They were really sold on my stuff. They are not in Who's Who and I fear they are "dead." Another important person was Rutger Jewett, the big man in John Lane Company when my Lonesome Trail was published. He too was a great believer. Jewett was Mark Twain's intimate friend & it was he who (with Geo. Iles) was going to take me to Mark Twain for a visit when a severe attack of quinsy put the old man to bed. How I wish I had stayed in New York until Mark Twain recovered!! Geo. Iles is another I wish we could find, but I'm fairly sure he is gone too. It was to him that Mark Twain gave the carbon copy of Conversation at the Fireside of Queen Elizabeth to be given to me. So the great old man did know of my existence!

Love to you and Bower and Stewart. You are dear.

John Neihardt