Friday Nov. 21
I am contrite and filled with utmost remorse. Dear, dear, Bill please, please forgive me I have been a horrid girl and deserve no sympathy, I know, but because I do love you forgive me. I have been a wretch about writing and you have been so kind. I can never tell you what your letters have meant. I have loved each & every one. Don’t don’t [sic] be [apprehensive?] sending them. When you spoke of the cold bleakness of Oxford it was almost more than I could bear, I wanted you here with me in front of a warm, warm fire and a [illegible] – heated back [ground?] and a nice book and Kind [sic] words and gentleness. But then I suppose you men are meant for a coarse [inside?] life that is why you appreciate us so much more, we are the softening, mellowing influence. I am [forced?] to enclose a rather nice poem of Masefields-
Her heart is always doing lovely things
Filling my wintry mind with simple flowers
Playing sweet tunes on my untuned strings
Delighting all my undelightful hours
She plays me like a lute, what tune she will
No string in me but trembles at her touch
Shakes into sacred music, or is still
Trembles or stops, or swells, her skill is such
And in the dusty taverns of my soul
Where filthy lusts drink witches brew for wine
Her gentle hand still keeps me from the bowl
Still keeps me man, saves me from being swine
All grace in me, all sweetness in my verse,
Is hers, is my dear girls, & only hers
Perhaps a bit [showy?] but nevertheless amazingly flattering to my sex. I hate to think that is the only reason I like it.
You sweet, sweet person, a wave of pain smites me when I think how little I’ve written and how often I have really wanted to, you must believe that. It is so difficult when insisting demanding [illegible]-
I don’t quite understand your last letter, it baffles me. In the first place it started “Eleanor dear” and that made me shiver just a bit. Then I didn’t quite see – you know about that friend. To whom did you refer. You didn’t go into any details. Am I stupid? I’m sorry if so I really don’t mean to be. Do explain, it left me in a [quandary?] & I reread it many times. I felt you were very angry & at me. Bill at times I rebel so at our being so far away, it is so so difficult, our love was quite new & forming, it should have been tended carefully & allowed to expand & grow great & strong. What right have we to test it so. I often think letters a great curse and [inserted with a carrot: the] cause [inserted with a carrot: of] more misunderstandings than any one thing. I really hate them. I want to see your face & watch you when you say things – I pound my fist in the desk and childishly say “Why is is [sic] be love [sic]” – Silly Eleanor – what is a year- a long long time and I’m miserable – Stop it atonce [sic]-
Dearest, underneath it’s all quite the same so don’t be alarmed that I didn’t understand your last letter. I’m really just a peevish silly child, but please bear with me- because I do love you-
Your letter to the [illegible] was returned to me – you asked me to send it so I will. I seem like last weeks [sic] cake, hard & stale but I will.
I can’t bear it if you don’t write often. I will really write you constantly now-
 John Masefield (1878-1967), a British poet and author who was originally trained as a merchant seaman. He was appointed the British poet laureate in 1930, and was awarded the Order of Merit in 1935 (“Biography John Masefield.” Poetry Foundation, 2016. Source.; “John Masefield | British Poet | Britannica.com.” Accessed 5 July 2016. Source).
 Bill’s letter on 23 November 1924, though probably too early to have been sent in response to this one, mentions a discussion he had with a friend named Helen about his love for Eleanor. It is possible that this is the same friend being referred to here (William Stevenson to Eleanor Bumstead, 23 November 1924. Subgroup I. William E. Stevenson papers, Series 1. Correspondence, Box 3. William and Eleanor Stevenson Papers, RG 30/219. O.C.A.).