Dear Sterling:—

Your letter reached me at Sioux Falls, S.D., after going to Bancroft, Nebr., and Branson, Mo. Since writing you last I have moved away from Nebraska and am now located on Lake Taneycomo in the Ozark Mountains of So. Missouri. It's a very beautiful place and the climate is wonderful. at the present moment the grass is as green as a relative's eye, and the butter we make is golden. It's a lazy place, and few people seem to be "on the make". I have bought four acres and a rather large house on top of a hill 500 feet above the lake. Such a view, and such a dear place in which to live and be one's best!

Branson has 1100 population & during the summer 50,000 people come here. We are certainly not out of the world. Our home is within a minute's walk of virgin woods, and yet we have electricity for light & power and our supplies are delivered at the house.

I have just come home from a three weeks lecture trip through the north. Will be going out again toward the end of February, & will get as far west as Spokane. I do wish I could get down there to see you, but doubt if I can make it. I like you, Geo. Sterling! Maybe that isn't thrilling to you, but it is to me.

You were very good to take my quibbling about the drama without ill feeling. There is no question as to your power or your expression of it. I merely raise a fundamental question as to your characteristic attitude toward human nature. You realized that, didn't you? Sterling, Old Man, you're wrong about human nature. It is essentially noble. I said to my wife last night: If Sterling were on a sailing ship, he'd be a hero. I can see you disproving your own theory regarding fundamental human nature. So much for you. As for others, an insane economic system is to blame for nearly all damnable meanness. Up in the the Dakotas I found it horrible to set a grip down any place without fear of having it stolen. In Omaha & Kansas City one must actually keep his hands on his baggage if he doesn't want it stolen. The economic pressure in the cities turns the human animal into all sorts of beasts. In a clean uncrowded country the same human nature is trustworthy. Too much at one end and too little on the other — that is the cause of most distortions of human nature. In great tragic moments, involving the lives of men & women, a large percentage of men & women will prove their essential nobility. All the sickly hellishness that is expressed in jazz can be traced directly back to an economic situation. (I am merely suggesting, not trying to prove anything — I mean, I'm not trying to prove anything conclusive. We've got to smash individualism Sterling; because individualism is producing an inferior type of man.

I say these things not because I have no knowledge of men & women, Old Man. I know the animal & have done about everything anybody else has done in the way of hell-raising & general oneriness. I was raised on the raw edge of things, and I know a lot about inhumanity & slow torture. But I am able now to see why men become so. We must kill this insane economic individualism, and then men will prove my contention as to essential nobility.

My history, "The Splendid Wayfaring" came out in November. My "Two Mothers"(verse dramas) is due now. You'll see a copy of the latter, and the former too, if you want it.

When I read before the University [?] in Omaha, the affair was turned into a business meeting, & a "Neihardt [?] Club" was organized for propaganda purposes. The members are prominent business men of the city, & the president is principal of Central High School. Pretty good for a roughneck town, isn't it?

I'm told that the present legislature of Nebraska is about to make me "Laureate of Nebraska & The Prairies" by joint resolution. They tell me that a number of delegations are strong for it, & that the Governor favors the movement. Now, of course, I see how funny this could be; but there's evidently some affection in it, & I can't feel funny about any expression of affection.

Mrs. Trine is working in Los Angeles to get "Glass" into the "Movies", & Braithwaite in Boston seems very hopeful as to the possibilities back there.

This is my news.

Luck to you in everything, Sterling!

Always yours,