King Cotton Hotel
4. November. 1927
very heavenly remembrance over the wire reached me just
before I had to "go on" for my reading and
was most invigorating. It was ever blessed of you to
be at that pains to reach a pal. I was just having a
sip of cherry-brandy before dinner with a new friend
when the word came over the phone, and the word was
more potent than the goodly alcohol. Having given thanks
for the one, I gave double thanks for the other.
reading was very select and appreciative as to audience,
though a majority of the three hundred were men students
of the co-ed State University.1
It is a fine old institution with some very nice buildings.
The most beautiful being a very old red stone Greek-temple
sort of place now used as a little theatre. Their theatre
here is about the best of its kind in America I should
say. I have seen nothing like it, for thoroughness and
successful performance, though I have not seen them
play. Chapel Hill is a lovely old (very small) town.
The little old Chapel from which it takes its name is
a beauty, and the whole place very quiet and atmospheric,
in a pine-wood country.
morning I leave for Spartanburg, reading there at Converse
College, the best woman’s college of the South.2
Men are all very well—but
I should say the lydies is easier to read at. I have
never had an audience walk out "on me". But
I could not blame them if they did.
hotel is a huge new most luxurious place, "all
same" Toronto or any other queenly city, with innumerable
black bell-hops, waiters, fine orchestra at dinner,
and all [ ] the rest of it, reading light
at the head of the bed—at the head of both beds, for
that matter, so that we could both read—if there were
any both. This is a happy thought of Willie‘s.3
But to me it seems rather sad and too utterly trivial
for the occasion.
dear darling I must flop down to sleep now, being tired
after a busy interesting day, and having to be up at
love and more
is O. Henry’s town,4
and there is a large hotel here named The O. Henry.
University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, chartered
in 1789 and opened in 1795. [back]
College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, is a womens’
college founded in 1889. (See also Letters 29 and
abbreviation of Carman’s first name (see Letter
8 n.12), and possibly a reference to "Willie
Monkey," "Carman’s comic interpretation
of the theosophical ‘elemental’ or incorporeal spirit
inhabiting one of the four elements, visible only
to those with inner sight . . . a
whipping boy he could blame for his imperfect comprehension
or for any minor misdemeanour" (Gundy in Letters,
308). In "Lorne Pierce’s 1927 Interview with
Charles G.D. Roberts (as Reported by Margaret Lawrence),"
ed. Terry Whalen, Canadian Poetry: Studies, Documents,
Reviews 21 (1987), 75, Roberts observes that
"[w]hen [Carman] was happy we called him Willie."
is the birth-place of William Sydney Porter (1862-1910),
the American short-story writer who published under
the name O. Henry. Notable examples of his work
are "The Furnished Room" (1902), "The
Trimmed Lamp" (1906), and "The Last Leaf"