My Dear Ina,
Your letter was a good one even though it was not so long. It had a few cheerful remarks which hit the spot. You don’t know how much better one feels when he is working his head off to find out something, when along comes a letter telling him that it’s a chance for him to “make good.” Best of all is to know that you have confidence in me and that you are “even proud of me.” You couldn’t have said anything to have given me more encouragement and, Dear, I needed it too, for it seems that this thing has been unraveled slowly. It is so different from what anyone would expect and in fact is not a problem of an entomologist, though I have made it one. I have about established evidence that the thing is a spirochaete, which might come under the work of either a bacteriologist or a protozoologist. I hope that I can establish sufficient proof before returning and I will unless some new findings upset everything. This can hardly happen as I worked with a process of eliminating the things it might have been, and then hit upon this. I haven’t heard from Mr. Bishopp since I wired him a few days ago, but I’ll probably hear tomorrow. I shipped some slides for examination in Washington and he is probably waiting until someone identifies them. I would not be surprised to find that this thing is entirely new from a standpoint of description as I cannot find one that describes it. I do know that it fits into that group and I trust that they won’t find two different kinds as this would make it more complicated to work with. By the time Mr. Bishopp gets here I hope to have it all worked out so I can lay my cards on the table.
Am sorry that you found the mosquitoes so annoying on your camping trip, but it takes something of this kind to make us appreciate the otherwise delightful nights. An automobile trip is more fun, when it is completed, if we had some trouble, but of course we don’t think so at the time the trouble happens. No doubt you enjoy home comforts a great deal more since you returned.
I hope that you have sent the negatives that I asked you for as I really want them and will return them. I keep the small pictures in my desk and find myself admiring them quite frequently. Can’t help it. When I see the pictures I always think that there is bound to be something to a girl who can work in a tax collectors office and at the same time win an automobile in a newspaper contest*. The odds were certainly not in your favor, for I know what it means to meet the public on that basis. You have a personality that does it. Usually, a real pretty girl is aware of the fact, having been reminded of it so many times, and they lose the personal charms which would otherwise develop a lot of personal magnetism. I am telling you what I really think without any reservation, because I know that it doesn’t “go to your head.”
Must get some sleep now for that is one requisite to good work.
Kindest regards to all and pleasant dreams.
*Ina won a contest by selling more newspaper subscriptions than anyone else, and the prize was a brand-new Willys-Knight
roadster Touring car. Because there were so few cars around at the time, licensing was non-existent. When states did finally issue drivers’ licenses, they started by simply giving one to everybody who owned a car, which is how Ina initially got hers. She didn’t take a driving test until she was in her 80s.