AR’s husband was appearing in a Connecticut summer stock production of Night of January 16th, in the role of Guts Regan.
Sixty-six Park Avenue
August 19, 1936
Cubby Sweet! [sketch of lion cub]
Well, here is the first love letter I ever had a chance to write. And I have nothing to say, except that I miss you terribly. As a matter of fact, I don’t really miss you, it’s the funniest feeling: on the one hand, I feel so blue that I could cry any minute, and on the other hand I feel very proud and virtuous that I’ve actually done it: let you go away and stayed to do “my duty”.
The worst thing was coming home from the station. It was terrible and I enjoyed it, because it was a completely new feeling, something I’ve
never felt before: the whole city seemed empty, and that’s not such a cliché as it sounds, it was the certainty that no one, not anywhere, on any street, really mattered to me. I felt free and bitter and I wanted to cry. I didn’t look back at your train once. How did you feel?
There’s one good thing, however: the absence of my “inspiration” inspires me more than anything else. I’ve really done grand work and I feel like working. I think mainly because I feel terribly guilty if I stop for a moment, because I have no right to be here if I’m not working. So I am. I just re-read the last scene of the first act and it still seems grand. Hope I’ll like it tomorrow.
No news of any kind, except that the script arrived from Reeid.[*] I haven’t read it
Sixty-six Park Avenue
yet. Marjorie stayed here last night and I saw her dance yesterday. It was really magnificent. I had some nice dialogue with the housekeeper: “My husband is away and I have a friend staying with me, will you please change the bed linen?” She brought it up herself, and was probably disappointed to see that it was only Marjorie.
Be sure and listen to me on the radio Sunday, if I don’t come up before then. I think it’s going to be good. It’s station 101 on the dial, at 5.30. Have you a radio there anywhere?
Tweetness, I miss you! This is fun, writing to you, but it seems silly and unreal. I’m waiting for your letter to see
how you do it. I’m a poor little feline with a can tied to my tail. And my tail is down, and my fur up, and I’m a Siberian blue “kittan.” Oscar and Oswald are no help, they’re mopping about and won’t talk to me.
Do I have to tell you that I love you?
Here’s a picture of us all and how we look here:
(tears) —–> [sketch of Oscar and Oswald crying] [sketch of a crying cat with its fur up and a can tied to its tail]
(drawn from nature)
Good night, Tweet!
P.S. Lions is felines!
*Nathaniel Edward Reeid was the “script doctor” hired by publisher Longmans Green to create a “cleaned-up” version Night of January 16th for amateur productions. The result: In her introduction to the New American Library (1971) publication of the original script, AR wrote that Reeid’s version “is not part of my works” but belongs to the “horror side” of the play’s history.