Dear Lucile:

It was a long wait, but yours of Dec. 10th was certainly worth waiting for!

I'm sorry you and Stuart can't make it to St. Louis for Xmas. I had hoped to see you. I'm sorrier because I can't quite justify my going out there this winter. You know well I'd love to come! I could; but there's a situation that makes me feel I should not favor my own desire now. But surely I'll see you before too long — in May, it seems, from what you write; and that is something to look forward to! At the worst, I'll run out to see you'ns next summer, if I may.

Your blurb for the Lyrics record is excellent! Many thanks! There is nothing to change. I do hope Sandy can bring himself to act! It may be years before he can go ahead, or never. It's a really good recording with good natural talk which makes it rather more than a mere record of lyrics read. And your blurb is finely done. (It would be, of course, bless you, dear lady!)

I'm interested in Hanson and what you say of his reading. Perhaps he will write me. Have I told you that The Look in the Face was set to music by Thurton [Fleurance?] and given in public by his wife, who was a professional reader?

Incidentally, do you know the Short Story Index? I ran across it by accident. It gives a list of all my stories with dates and places of publication! It's strange the way my stuff gets into records that are intended to be permanent! How many short stories have appeared?!! Millions?? And why were mine remembered among so great a mass? I'm really greatly surprised.

Who is the lady instructor (instructoress?) who likes my stuff? According to me, she is most intelligent and discerning!!! I'd like to know her, of course.

And the Hunters who knew my friends at the U. of Neb! That was a valuable afternoon you had

with them. There's much to be known about that period of my life. Sherman (Shakespeare authority), Stuff (a real scholar),Sherman Chancellor Avery (like a dear uncle to me) and Hartley Burr Alexander (one-time president of the Nat. Philosophical Society and Sorbonne lecturer) were real friends of mine. They are all dead. Stuff got out a pamphlet of notes for the study of Hugh Glass. Have you seen it? (Better than Dr. Houses ​, I believe.) Do say very nice things to the Hunters for me. I'll mean whatever nice things you want. As for the contract with the University, I hope you and Bower might want to make suggestions for additions or changes. The agreement must be adequate. After awhile, everyone up there will be a stranger to us.

And Preston Little! I'm all for him too!

That program you are planning is a wow, and how you can do it! It's a preliminary exercise for the large work. I do wish I could hear you give it. Maybe somehow I can.

I'm glad you saw Mrs. Skillings and John Chaffee. It was very good of you to do that. What you say saddens me. I'm sure you will know what I mean. I'll find a picture if you think I should. The thought makes me feel a bit cheap. You'll understand this too.

I do admire her spirit! As you say, she's brave and good. My god, Lucile, what that woman has stood up under!! I'm sure you made her a bit happier.

Mona the silent indicated that the check was even more than satisfactory. I'm glad she found good letters to send you. There are no doubt many others in the library. I'll look out for them.

You once commented on my faithfulness to the task of writing the Cycle. You remarked: " There were many times when you could have quit". Indeed there were. No one knows, now that our Mona is gone, what that Cycle cost me, whether justified by the result or not. Day after day after day, week after week, month after month for years and

years and years. I did sacrifice that the work might go on. At the same time I made the needs of the family paramount, and somehow managed (with the help of whatever helps, and how I do know that I was helped!) I remember Mona too in the connection, as you know. Bless her! So often in those years I'd want to do something for pleasure, but I'd say to myself: "No! If I do, I'll lose a morning of work on the Cycle." For all the wonderful loyalty in my family, there were times when I was all alone; But as I look back, I'm amazed at the faith Mona had in me and the work — my mother too. I hope it was all justified, and as I think and write this I feel full of tears.

Now, Lucile, you are here, and are so important in the whole pattern. This is how I think of you, precious friend. When I was in N. Y. I became acquainted with the young publisher, Clarkson N. Potter. You must have heard of him. He has plenty on the ball. I feel he would be genuinely interested in your Biography. If not, there'd be others. I don't believe you'll have trouble finding a publisher.

I've heard very fine things about my affair at the big Arts & Science dinner for the Junior colleges.

Affectionate thoughts for old Stuart and Bower. (By the way if Bower comes to Columbia, he should let us see him at Skyrim.) And Perky, sweet sweet little doggie! I do often think of her. Yo-Yo is still my constant companion. Oh these four-leggeds!

Don't write until you feel like it; but please feel like it before too long!

The same always,


Get something for old Stuart with the enclosed, perhaps. For Xmas, of course.