Dear Lucile:

Here is the translation of the Greek dedication in Three Friends. I was reading Sappho at the time, and I loved her description of her little girl, so like my Hilda. So I used three lines, which read, literally, as follows:

"Like a sweet apple on the topmost bough,
The very tip-toppest bough, that the apple-pickers overlooked;
No, they did not overlook it; they could not reach it."

My happy letters to you have shown how I feel about your MS. We've read four chapters (up to 10 o'clock last evening), and the delight continues. It's excellent writing, Lucile! I've dictated comment for Florence to write on the margin — mostly rejoicing. It was the same all through the fourth chapter, and we are eager to get going again.


It's too bad you had not seen 800 Rubles produced, Lucile. If you had seen it, you could not possibly have made your comment on the Girl's closing song. I have seen the play produced five times, and the effect of the Girl's happy song heard in the distance and growing louder as she approaches, is simply overwhelming. Its effect on the audiences was unquestionably great. The play was produced beautifully at the Stuhr Museum Theater near Grand Island last winter. They did it twice and could not accomodate the all who came to see.

Lucile, you should look up Minnie Maddern Fiske. She was not merely "an actress of the time". She was regarded as one of the Greats, and, I suspect, she still is so regarded. She has been dead 35 years, but she she is in Random House Dictionary, a very modern work.

When I lectured at the Rockwell Temple Center in Cincinnati, 800 Rubles was produced in the Workshop Theater there. There was a lot of enthusiasm. The actress who played in it spent the evening with me at the [Sinton?] Hotel, trying to persuade me to write a full-length play for her. (I was busy with the Cycle).

These people did not lack "grease paint", Lucile!

But this is only a detail, and a slip-up. The mass of what you have done is admirable, and I am deeply greatful ​ for it.

You know my Jacquot (the divine poodle) I believe. Well, he is a dramatic critic! He attended both shows at the Stuhr Museum, and at the first one, he barked violently at the mean old mother!!!

He made a sensation! But at the second show he remained quiet, having learned that the white people were only "playing like", and didn't really mean it!

I am still far from happy about the Ollie material. It would present me to many in grotesquely out of focus to many nice people who do not know me. There is no re I value the Rabelaisian strain in my nature, but I don't go around exhibiting it.

You could suggest by describing instead of quoting. This could be both amusing and effective.

(My eyes mislead me, as you see by this page.

Love, dear Lady

John N.