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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, October 18, 1915

Château de Genay

Par Semur-en-Auxois

Côte d’Or

18 Oct. 1915Monday.

Dear Mildred

I was deeply shocked and grieved to hear of that atrocious accident.Russell Greeley (1878–1956), a portrait painter, and Charles Robert Cross (1881–1915), an American lawyer, who assisted in the relief work of Mildred Barnes Bliss’s American Distributing Service (Service de distribution américaine), were in an automobile accident near Dinard. Cross died on October 8, 1915, from injuries that he sustained in the accident. See Bliss Papers, HUGFP 76.12, box 1 (3 folders); Mark Antony de Wolfe Howe, Memoirs of the Harvard Dead in the War Against Germany (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1920–24), 1:58–69; and “Dr. Charles R. Cross Killed Accidentally; Car Overturned While Taking Hospital Supplies to Dinard—Russell Greely [sic] Injured,” New York Times, October 10, 1915. For the Blisses and the American Distributing Service, see letters of September 30, 1914; and December 26, 1914. GreeleyRussell Greeley (1878–1956), a portrait painter, was director of Mildred Barnes Bliss’s American Distributing Service (Service de distribution américaine). For the Blisses and the American Distributing Service, see letters of September 30, 1914; and December 26, 1914. is with you, so he’s all right.See also letter of October 10, 1915. Please remember me most kindly to him and tell him I’ll come to see him if I may when I return to Paris.

Elisina came back still radiant from her hour with you the evening before. You are a wonder, dear Mildred. I told Elisina long before she ever saw you that you were, and now she has known you long enough herself to be aware of that, in these and all other trying circumstances, most consoling fact. What am I, I sometimes ask myself? Elisina has sent me some of G.’s letters, and his careful, wise, kind thoughts impress me with a sense that his childhood’s experiences have made of him something much more deeply human than any normally untroubled boy ever could grow into. And the way it has affected him shows that there are marvelous compensations. I am very fond of him, even if he won’t have any use for me; someday perhaps he will, and in any case fond of him I am, and shall be.

Little Dummer was to have been made a captain at the next vacancy. He was a first rate soldier, as every one of his superiors bear witness, and did before he was killed, not merely to get over the page in letters of condolence to his people. It is a very welcome thought to me that at the end he was doing something with all his heart.Royall repeats here much of what he wrote in his letter of October 6, 1915.

Love from William, very big and rather good. My love to Robert.

Yours always sincerely

R.T.

 

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