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Purdue
Jan. 16, 1920

Dear Esther,

So according to your friend's statement your last letter was wrong. Well, so far as the style of writing is concerned, and since I am to blame also, may assure you that it's all right. I just read another letter recently from another girl that was written similarly. But, as you never said, are you ready to put the agreement into action? I can't blame you for making so many indefinite statements to me; but you know that exact manner in which you think and believe. You are clever enough to know a fact or a truth without trying to believe differently. Of course a person's mental attitude helps a great deal in bringing about ideal conditions; but a blind determination to ignore is not the proper way to achieve things that are especially hard to gain.

I wish I were in the proper mood to discuss that poem in connection with you and I also. The atmosphere around me is not conductive of any fair inspirational thoughts. A friend is here waiting to go to the show with me and roomy is lying on the bed playing "Pop Goes the Weasel" and all other such jazz he knows. "You'd be Surprised"! Well, I went over to the library this evening and finally procured a red bound "Poems of the Home" through the tireless assistance of a librarian. It seems that Robert Browning created a puzzle to suit even himself. I cannot discuss it very fully; but I think the man (me) is the one to be pitied, if that is right. He took the "mistress" because he wished to satisfy his "thirst". I know what ought to be done for the good of all three, and that is for the friend and the woman to join hands in a new combination. But that is not so easy to do. It is as "she" said, "What wrong have I done you". She would not likely change her views, and would refuse to be cast off. I think the friend will go raving mad, bitter against all "friends" and cause someone to under go his last physical change. But that is not harmonious with the rest of the poem. I think, really, that if the older man were a big man and the "wanton eyes" were willing he would gratify his friends desire for love,--you don't want me to tell you that I think you are a mercenary little girl, do you?

Yours,
Richard



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