Tell your good man that I long to look once more into the sweet face of the Shepaug, and that while I have been wandering in the delicious and rare places, I have not forgotten the fresh wholesomeness of the Hoosatonic. My first visit shall be to the meeting place of the Three Rivers. Why might not fortune lead us to have a summer in Connecticut and a winter in California? “I know a place where the wild thyme grows,” many such places indeed, and high hillsides of wild lilac and a wee mountain crowned with the flowering manzanita. Oh, this world is a place to make souls grow if one can get an apple tree, a pine and an oak, a few lilies, a circle of crimson phlox, a stretch of moving water and a sweep of sky, that can be called one’s own.
We saw Cordy Severance’s place on Sunday—went there from the wedding of my boy to Catherine McCahill—and found a volume of the Chinese Lyrics [Footnote: By Dr. Frederic Peterson.] in the big room. Great chap Cordy, and a great room he has to play the organ in, and more people love him than anyone else I know, for he loves them with an aggressiveness that few men dare to show, that gives him distinction and is a glory.
How far away the war seems—way back yonder with the fight for Independence and the French Revolution, almost back to Caesar. Well, I must quit mental meanderings. With all good will,
To Roland Cotton Smith
Rochester, Minnesota, [April] 30
And you know that I cannot even write Spoon River! Vain man! Strutting cock o’ the walk! Knight of the Knickerbocker Club! Gazer upon Fifth Avenue and the Foibles and Frivolities! Reveller in things of life and Enjoyer of Gaiety!
Look thou upon me. To Minnesota driven. In a hospital-hotel. Punched and tapped by every stray Knight of the Golden Fleecers. Awaiting a verdict from puzzled doctors. ... Bless you, I have been through years of watchful waiting but not of this kind, and a few weeks of this is enough. But I am a patient, long-suffering, Christian martyr upon whom the Pagans work their will.
And you, poor man. Tied to a woman’s foot! Now that is what I call humiliating. Worse than being tied to her apron strings or to her chariot, (in the latter, they say, there is often much joy.) Why should people have feet anyway in these days of autos? A mere transportation convenience! Well, all our transportation facilities seem to be out of order these days. Fallen arches, in sooth! Reminds one of Rome. Very much more aristocratic than infected gall-bladder after all. And I do hope they can be restored, those arches, and the world once more put on its peripatetic way.