Dear Lucile:

I have two reasons for writing you out of turn. One is concerned with the Edna Skillings letter which I enclose. I'm wondering what I can do without seeming to pay for her kindness. How does one go about it to deserve the kindess of good souls? She has little to look forward to but trouble and sorrow, and yet she is kind and "giving", as you say.

The other reason is that a correction is needed in my last letter to you! I awoke this morning seeing the error! Funny! It isn't very important. Make "or eating mama milk" read "or else you were still" etc. If I hadn't made this correction, you might have had earth-quakes up and down the coast, or a spell of deep-freeze weather that would have blasted the camellias, turned the blessed green grass brown, and silenced all the birds! I felt under a heavy moral obligation to forestall such calamaties. (I'm really an awfully nice old man!)

Everything is becoming beautiful out here — the hedges, the fields, the landscape in general. But the opening passages of The Messiah have a personal meaning now. The flowering crab in the backyard has gone mad with masses of pink-and-red blossoms. It's a great show. We always looked forward to its blooming. Those crystal-bowl sounds came last year at blossom time. "Coincidence", no doubt. But I wish it could happen again just that way.

My little Hackney mare, Lucifer's Carolyn, has a new baby, by golly! Beautiful little rascal! But we haven't been able to get near enough to see whether it's a boy or a girl! The mama is very wild yet. Either stallion or filly will do, for its mama and daddy (Carolyn's half-brother, Lockburn Lucifer) are both snooty aristocrats! Alice called me from a Memphis hospital last night. She was thrown by a filly and broke an ankle. No other inquiry. She is not blue, and insurance takes care of expenses and pays her for not working, while her income from the business continues.

Mona is working like a beaver on the library letters. Also, she is copying significant inscriptions in autographed books by people of some importance.

Lynn and Erica talked with me by phone from Memphis. Sweethearts! Dear, dear little women! Here's big news from Erica! "Gaki, I got a pony!" Isn't that wonderful?! It's spotted too! Think how you would feel if you had a spotted pony!

Always —