The Clarence Darrow Digital Collection
Written letter from Clarence Darrow collection
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Clarence Darrow Signature

The Clarence Darrow Letters

John Thomas Scopes to Clarence Darrow, November 15, 1927

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Maracaibo Venezuela.
November 15, 1927

My dear Mr.and Mrs. Darrow:

I received your very enjoyable letter written during your trip abroad, and was certainly glad that you remembered me. You do not know how sorry I am that I have not had a chance to write to you befor this for it would appear that I did not wish to hear from you. I hope you know me well enough by now to know that is not the case. The trouble is that I have been out in the field ever since I came and there was practically no mail accommodations.

I landed on the fourth of July and on the thirteenth of the same month I left to join a field party seventy-four kilometers east of Lake Maracaibo. I was out until the fourth of November. In that time I saw about six white people, not including the two other men in the field party, and about two hundred natives. We received [?] [?] able to send mail only when one of the party had to go into Maracaibo for some reason. That was about once a month. The other two Americans suffered from malaria so that I was the one to stay in camp and keep the work going. Everything considered I had my hands full and did not have much time except

for work and tending to carry business. You can imagine how I looked when I came in from the field. I had taken clothes for a one month trip and stayed three and a half. In that time I was able twice to get laundry done, and as it was done by a native woman each time, it was only a washing in name. I had not had a hair cut since July the eighth. All of these things along with a liberal coating of tan gave me a very rugged appearance.

We were supposed to get out again tomorrow for another two month but one of the men is already in the hospital with malaria and the chief of our party is in his room with an attack. If he recovers soon we will leave - if not I am likely to have quiet a stay in the city. I hope the chief recovers, both for his sake and mine. I had gained seven pounds while working in the field, but in seven days in the office I lost seven pounds. I hate office work and city life in one of these Spanish American cities. It surely is not like being in Chicago.

I suppose that by this time of the year you people are planning a trip for the winter for some sunnier climate. That is one thing I will not have to worry over this year. I was never able to pick out a warm place to winter, but this year it will be thrust upon

me. The nearest to winter here is the rainy season which is about over, according to the old tropical troups. It is never so warm but that one can stand it, but if the temperature drops to 65°-70° one nearly dies from the cold. A coat feels very comfortable at times

I can hardly realize that I have been here five months and that almost six months of my contract has expired Five more field trips as long as the one I have just had and I will be ready to go back to the States. Eighteen months sounds like a long time but if I can only put the time in in the field, it will not be long.

I hope you will not be disappointed because I am not trying to write my impressions of this country or trying to tell you what it is down here. You have traveled so much that you know a person has to see a place to really know about it, besides if you wanted a good interesting colorful story of Venezuela, I am afraid I would fall down on the job. I cannot compete with the experienced writers.

I am sending two or three pictures with this letter. So far I have not had a chance to get any pictures of the really interesting local features, but if I do

I will send you some,

I hope that you both are enjoying the very best of health.

Your friend.