My dear Mrs. Brockway:-

Many thanks for letting me see the letter from Major Macfall. He is not only one of the foremost art critics in England but, strangely enough, a military strategist of distinction. He is undoubtedly sincere in his enthusiasm, but I am sure that you will feel with me that the general tone of his letter is rather too dithyrambic.

I must tell you about the unfortunate matter to which he alludes. Some six months after my book, "The Splendid Wayfaring", was published, my friend Macfall wrote me that one of his books bore the same title. This sort of thing is of common occurrence, and I had no way of knowing that the title had ever been used. His book has not appeared outside of England and is evidently not well known even there. You may be sure that such news bothered me a good deal. I wrote to my publishers, telling them all about it and asking if the title of my book could not be changed in the second printing. They replied that there was no reason in the world why I should change the title, either from a moral or a legal standpoint. So there I am.

I wrote Macfall again, enclosing the letter from my publishers. While he remains very friendly, he seems to make much of the matter. I have pointed out to him the fact that the duplication of title is quite as likely to damage me as him. He seems overwrought, makes far too much of the matter affair. A book's value depends upon its contents, not its title. His, I understand, discusses the principles of art. Mine deals with Western American history. They are as far apart as books could be.

My titles "The Lonesome Trail" and "The Stranger at the Gate" were both used after the appearance of my books. When my novel, "Life's Lure", was in galley proofs under the title "Gold", it was learned that a novel by Stewart Edward White was about to be issued under the same title, and I had to change. My volume of short stories was to be called "The Clutch of Circumstance", but an English writer got out a book by that title after mine had been announced. So I called mine "The Lonesome Trail". So it goes, and there's no help for it.

Things seem to be moving in the right direction for the big scheme, and the books sell better every day. "The Song of the Indian Wars" moves on finely.

With all kind thoughts,

Jno. G. Neihardt

Please let Doctor House see this letter.

It did not occur to me to protest when my titles were used. I was convinced that a good book may live and that a bad one will surely die, regardless of title.