James T. Fields
To JAMES T. FIELDS
April 14?, , Wheeling
I am at home again and hope to get letters safely once more. I received the newspaper criticism and am more grateful than I can tell you for the clipping and marking and trimming you spent on them. I know you have precious little time to spare and value it accordingly.
I will finish David Gaunt as soon as I can work myself out of this lazy fit. I believe I have had to sleep in months like the bears.
You have not spoiled the story by asking me to re-write it. I felt that you were right or I shouldn’t have yielded so easily ‘Why cannot I come to Boston this spring?’ Because, like that dear ‘lady in the corner’ I am sewing and gardening and ‘up to the eyes’ in a dozen businesses more important (with deference to the Atlantic) than story writing or having a good time seeing you all, that I so much wish to see. But in the fall, I mean to go east. I will!! if I [ride?] over impossibilities so expect a very determined looking female–like Sally Brass, you know, with a green [ ] turban and ruler in hand.
I am afraid you sent only the sugary notices. When you write, please tell me how ‘Margret’ is making her way in the world. Some paper said it was in the third edition. Is that true? Please remember me most warmly to Mrs. Fields.
You may expect a very abolitionist story in David Gaunt. How can I help it? Here [ ] Gen. Fremont has confiscated one of my friend’s houses for headquarters just across the street and Zagonyi is charging continually past the windows on the [ ] boys in the [ ]. My secession proclivities (if I had any) are oozing out at my ribbons, like Bob Acres’ courage
 A character in Charles Dickens’ Old Curiosity Shop (1841).
 Charles C. Frémont (1813-1890), an ardent abolitionist and commander of the Mountain Department of the Union Army in Wheeling.
 Charles Zagonyi (1826-?), a Hungarian officer who served as an aide to General Frémont.
 A character in The Rivals (1775), a comedy by Richard Sheridan (1751-1816).