Dear Lady:

Every time I receive a letter from you, it's like a nice rain after a dry spell! Yours of the 17th was a sun shower — very good for this old man!

There are so many things to say, that I don't know what to say first. Your comments on individualism mean a great deal to me. Indeed, I was not influenced by existentialism. On the contrary, I have regarded it as another manifestation of the anarchic spirit of our time. When I was elaborating my thesis on the mood of our time and its cause, existentialism had not yet become widely known and discussed over here. But I think of it as a further proof of my contention as found in so many of my articles in the P-D (and in the Journal-Post and even the Minn. Journal). In the P-D there must be several articles on the subject, as I remember; and you seem to have at least one in mind when you refer to the sort of person who thinks he is intensely individualistic — a non-conformist — when, in fact, he is slavishly conforming to the dominant fashion among "sophiscates". I recall an article on the sort of self-styled socialist who is anarchic in his thinking — while socialism connotes the exact opposite. This is very common.

What you say about "a follower of the crowd" is the indicates that you must know some of my articles bearing on this matter (Was this in the Goldenrod?) I have have always been, in fact and in expressed theory, an individualist. But I have always been profoundly aware that the individual is important only as a component of social and cosmic pattern. In Dr. House's book this was stated, as you will remember. This is it: I am nothing in myself; but as a part of a vast pattern, I can partake of the greatness of the pattern; and I am under what I may well regard as divine compulsion to contribute as much to the pattern as it is possible for me, by effort and sacrifice, to contribute.

O Lucile, dear lady, I've done that, even tho' what I was able to do may not matter very much; but I know it matters far more than much that was done under a different compulsion.

I'm genuinely glad for the message from Old Man Stewart, whether he actually told you to send it, or not. I know he feels that way, and he knows I am deeply fond of him — if he ever thinks about the matter. He is going to be such a fine fine man. I know he is. And I'd feel greatly flattered if sweet, precious little Perky should have even the vaguest dream-like memory of me. She probably hasn't, but I'll bet she'll be sweet to me when I come back.

Animals mean a very great deal to me (Animals! How funny!) Somewhere someone has remarked that a profound love of animals indicates a nearness to the other world. I do feel the thrill of truth in this. Last Sunday I went out to Skyrim to visit the darling horses. Four of them were obviously delighted to see me. They crowded against the paddock fence, thrusting their noses through the bars and striving to get all the petting, each for himself. They all wanted to be kissed; and they got kissed on the soft place between the nostril and the mouth. It's a wonderful feeling. There's a touch of ecstacy in it!! The sweet things! Neither they nor I wanted anything in a selfish way. We just felt very close to each other.

Lucile, that is something very good; And very beautiful too Lucile, I'm constantly being surprised and delighted as I go about the campus and the town, at the way people treat me. So very many, whom I do not know, speak to me as though they felt affection. Why should this be? It frightens me, sometimes — for I fear I may outlive the feeling people have towards me; and I often wish I could go before the mood changes. I do hope my heart will give out in time — before an anti-climax can begin!

As for Perky, you just wait until she really gets big, and knows it! I'll bet she will take care of her precious family! I'd hate to be a [?] around there when she is in full charge!!

Old Yo-Yo has some gray hairs, but she is still very active in social affairs, and the she often tells me where to get off!

Love to each of you — meaning Gramby too, of course.