September 30th, 1938, New York City
At long last I have landed a job and will not longer be living off the good graces of Ana’s family. Makes me delighted to pull my own weight but I have enjoyed the vacation. If I hadn’t have had it I’d never have met Merlin and he’d never have introduced me to the writings I now make my living from.
I went to central park as I usually do. The colors in late September–Hildebrand, I’m sure you’ve seen nothing like it. Not even the Rhine boasts such colors when the seasons change as New York and England sees a country of black and white in comparison. It’s as if the trees were set alight, but they won’t burn you. Went there everyday just to breathe the crisp scent of decay. So many people visit central park, unfortunately, that all the leaves that touch the ground are turned black by footsteps.
I finally know how Frost felt when finding not one, but two paths with not a blackened leave. I’d not know which to take either, Hildebrand. I suppose I’ve already made that decision.
I went to my favorite bridge. I looks out onto a large pond where some people will paddles little diggys about. The water seems to absorb nothing dull lighting when overcast. It makes the colors of the trees that much more extravagant.
Early that week I’d stumbled upon a curious book at the local shop. Inside cover reads published by John Lane, The Bodley Head, in England of this year. How the book came to be in The Blank Page. A charming little shop, quite as nice as anything we have in England, and twice as musty, which adds to its charm. Merlin enjoys spending all day there squeezing himself into the cracks and corners to find the most forgotten volumes. When he does this the owner watches with interest and a kind of bemused smiled. A black man works there from time to time also, most brilliantly read man I’ve ever met. First time I spoke with him he said he enjoyed Plato’s Republic. I told him it was a fine elementary read in the way of philosophy, but held little of interest in our current day and age. Told me if we couldn’t learn from men like Plato who could we learn from?
I’m afraid he has a point.
Asked him what he was reading now. Handed me the book in question. Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis. I’d told him I’d never heard of the man. The negro seems surprised. Said a rising star in literature, was Mr. Lewis. Englishman, like myself. I asked the negro what the book was about. Said it was about a man who travels into space. I say, Hildebrand, there is not a race more fanciful than the english. It is rather embarrassing.
Oh, dear. Ana is calling me to dinner. Do take care of yourself and keep your head down. I’ll pick this line up soon, just don’t be angry if there’s not resolution in this letter. I feel as though I can’t write more than a sentence without digressing.
You’re friend, Samuel Honeysett.