Menu

DHLSNA

D.H. Lawrence Society of North America

header photo

Nomination Appendix 3:  (Letter)

National Register Nomination for the D.H. Lawrence Ranch

LETTER FROM D. H. LAWRENCE TO WRITER CATHERINE CARSWELL

 

Del Monte Ranch.  Questa.  New Mexico

                                                         18 May 1924

 

My dear Catherine

             We have often spoken of you lately.  I wonder what you are doing.  We had your letter about your cottage and Don's job.  That was mean, to take the job back again.  You do have bad luck. 

            Did I tell you Mabel Luhan gave Frieda that little ranch‑‑about 160 acres‑‑up here in the skirts of the mountains.  We have been up there the last fortnight working like the devil, with 3 Indians and a Mexican carpenter, building up the 3‑room log cabin, which was falling down.  We've done all the building, save the chimney‑‑and we've made the adobe bricks for that.  I hope in the coming week to finish everything, shingling the roofs of the other cabins too.  There are two log cabins, a 3‑roomer for us, a 2‑roomer Mabel can have when she comes, a little one‑roomer for Brett‑‑and a nice log hay‑house and corral.  We have four horses in the clearing.  It is very wild, with the pine‑trees coming down the mountain‑‑and the altitude, 8,600 ft. takes a bit of getting used to.  But it is also very fine.‑‑Now it is our own, so we can invite you to come.  I hope you'll scrape the money together and come for a whole summer, perhaps next year, and try it.  Anyway it would make a break, and there is something in looking out on to a new landscape altogether.‑‑I think we shall stay till October, then go down to Mexico, where I must work at my novel.  At present I don't write‑‑don't want to‑‑don't care.  Things are all far away.  I haven't seen a newspaper for two months, and cant bear to think of one.  The world is as it is.   I am as I am.  We don't fit very well.‑‑I never forget that fatal evening at the Cafe' Royal.  That is what coming home means to me.  Never again, pray the Lord.

            We rode down here, Brett and I.  Frieda lazy, came in the car.  The spring down in the valley is so lovely, the wild plum everywhere white like snow, the cotton‑wood trees all tender and plumy green, like happy ghosts, and the alfalfa fields a heavy dense green.  Such a change, in two weeks.  The apple orchards suddenly in bloom.  Only the grey desert the same.‑‑Now there is a thunderstorm, and I think of my adobes out there at the ranch.‑‑We ride back tomorrow.‑‑One doesn't talk any more about being happy‑‑that is child's talk.  But I do like having the big, unbroken spaces round me.  There is something savage unbreakable in the spirit of place out here‑‑the Indians drumming and yelling at our camp‑fire at evening.‑‑But they'll be wiped out too, I expect—schools and education will finish them.  But not before the world falls.

            Remember me to Don.  Save up‑‑and enjoy your cottage meanwhile.

                                                                                                                                    Yrs DHL

The Letters of D.H. Lawrence, Vol. 5, ed. James T. Boulton and Lindeth Vasey (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), pp. 46‑47.