The Clarence Darrow Digital Collection
Written letter from Clarence Darrow collection
Collage of Clarence Darrow at different ages Postcard from Clarence Darrow Collection

Clarence Darrow Signature

The Clarence Darrow Letters

Ruby Darrow to Gifford Ernest, May 22, 1936

Click on the image to view as a PDF. A transcription of the letter is on the right.

Dear Friend: –––
Usually I am not so impolite, etc.– and would have answered your letter long ago, but that the housekeeper is still trying to get well enough to return, – and I am still her sorry "stand-in" and Mr. D—'s somewhat-secretary, and that's the bedtime story going into latest collection at the corner tonight. Meantime, Mr. D- is in Ohio, revisiting mainly memories, I fancy, and may not be back till sometime next week, tho' I probably can suggest (about the proposed talk with-or to- Gorky,) that as a rule Clarence does not do that sort of thing well, -and extends an altogether unnatural and unfavorable impression, I feel, -too self-conscious, or concentrating on what should say, instead of the spontaneous way he otherwise expresses himself; the voice takes on
a hesitating monotone, he rather stumbles with the words, as tho' wondering just what they should be, and the mechanical quality is unfair to him, to any one not acquainted with him. You know how much he likes you, and would wish to oblige your friend, and you,– and probably would, or will, if asked to,–––– (I have not told him about it, yet –) but I believe he should not try, and fail; then, he has not an aptitude for saying the sort of thing that would be gracious off-hand stuff, when not facing the one addressed; he tried radio-work once or twice, and didn't feel at home [w]ith it, and altho' others said he did mighty well, I, for one did not feel sure. His forte is facing his audience, one or more persons, and exchanging signs of understanding, etc. and does not readily imagine the absent one, or convey the impression that he does! He markedly (?) addresses no one, who is nowhere, who does not hear him; you would not like to present him that way!
By all means, forget the other matter about B–McF–. We were frank with you about that, and have nothing more or worse hidden, and wish you would believe that we thought of it as merely a business-proposition, a message conveyed –first, to your friend, then to you, then to us, -and we all received the answer, and that ended that, and certainly no feeling about it can have lodged, or lapped over. We both have hoped to ask you, and few others out here, long ere this,- but, not so easy, with no help, and not a favorable arrangement here for an outsider protem; we still hope that Miss Thompson will come back in time for the talked-of "he-party" before you go; if no better, we'll ask you and Mr. Kasper, etc. in for a visit, some afternoon, or evening, as you say. Without any question Clarence will want to have the letter to Gorky. More about it all when C– D– comes home. Our 'phone is Hyde Park 5657, any time you care to call either of us,
Most cordially,
Ruby Darrow