Dear Lucile:

I was so glad to receive your good letter of the 9th just now upon our return from shopping, Enid & I. It did me a world of good.

I don't want you to hurry with the biography. It is going to be a fine thing, and that is what matters. So long as I know it's growing, I'll not be impatient. I had feared that your interest in research might be keeping you from work on the MS; but even if that were true, the quality of the biography, whenever it might be finished, is what matters. It would be well if a shorter version of the work could be available within a year or so, without sacrificing quality. I want to see the book with these old eyes, dear Lady. And I do want to help by checking details that you could not know.

I'm delighted to hear that you found a good article on Bergson and one on Babbit - articles dealing with the whole matter of impressionism. Bully! Do you know, Lucile, people are not aware of what happened to our values back in 1912. They were born & reared in this time mood, and they naturally take what is pretty much for granted, unaware that their thinking is determined for them by the time-mood. I run into this all very often. The articles you mention, along with others like The White Radiance, really throw light on our time.

What you say (and have said before) about my being essentially Hamiltonian is really pretty damned smart. (You are smart anyway, bless you, dear Lady!) I was a radical in matters pertaining to fundamental human needs. Beyond and above that my attitude has always been aristocratic, even when I did not know know it. In the old days I thought I'd be willing to die for the right of men & women & children to have enough for a decent life. But I drew the line at whe where the higher values were concerned.

Just the other day Hilda & I were talking about values, and she remarked — with emphasis, "Jeffersonian democracy can be horrible, perfectly horrible." Don't you know what she intended to say? I certainly do!

And the article on the American epic and how it must differ from the classic! I'm do not remember this that one, altho there is a vague echo back in my head that seems to recall it. That was a discovery too, wasn't it?

You do enjoy ferreting out these things, don't you? You seem to have a [?] for it. (My kitty is insisting that I quit writing & pet her — she is lying on the paper as I write and purring, & licking my fingers, and biting my pen! Sweet thing!)

I understand why you don't want to commit yourself regarding the publication of the biography. There will be a publisher. You could stall them off with a few kind words somehow, since you might want them later.

Yes, I am well this winter. I caught a cold (the first for nearly four years) but it left in three days. I don't know how that could be. I lost no no time on my TV work, which, by the way, goes very well. I've completed the Indian Wars & tomorrow (Thursday, the 13th) I begin on the Messiah.

No formal information invitation from New Delhi yet. I fear the war situation may interfere, but I'm not sure. They are in a mounting war mood in New Delhi, I note.

O Lucile! My precious Jacques is gone! He went out to play with Lassie and and a visiting Beagle, Sunday the 9th, and did not come back with the others! He may have been stolen, being worth around $200 & I've advertised on radio & in the papers I'm all alone here at Skyrim. I often eat at Enid's, Hilda's or Alice's; but I live alone.

You are so dear

John N.

Affection for Bower & Stewart

John Neihardt Route 7 Columbia, Mo.
COLUMBIA, MO. DEC [?] 12 - M [19?]62


Dr. Lucile Aly, 1138 22nd Ave., East Eugene, Oregon.
____ over
The invitation has arrived from New Delhi. Will tell you about it. J -