Ernest Hemingway Autograph Letter Signed "Hem. ...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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DescriptionErnest Hemingway Autograph Letter Signed "Hem. Hollow Bone Stein." Six pages, 5.5" x 5.5", [Petoskey, Michigan]; undated [circa September 1919]. In a letter to his friend, Howell G. Jenkins, Hemingway describes a recent trip he took with his friends Jack Pentecost and Al Walker. The 20-year-old Hemingway was still recovering from wounds received on the Italian Front one year earlier, as well as from a broken heart. Agnes von Kurowsky, the nurse who had tended to him in hospital, had broken off their engagement in March. The trip to Seney, Michigan, was to be a fishing and hunting trip and would become the inspiration for his short story Big Two-Hearted River.
The letter reads, in full:
"Jock and Al Walker and I just got back from Seney. The Fox is priceless. The big fox is about 4 or five times as large as the Black and has ponds 40 feet across. The little Fox is about the size of the Black and lousy with them. Jock caught one that weighed 2 lbs. 15 and a half of the inches. I got one 15 inches on the fly! Also one 14 inches. We caught about 200 and were gone a week. We were only 15 miles from Pictured Rockets on Lake Superior. Gad that is great country. I saw several deer and put three shots in one at about 40 yds. with the 22 machine gun. But didn't stop him. Yesterday Bill and Kate and Jock and I and the Madam [Jack and Kate's aunt, Mrs. Joseph William Charles of St. Louis] went over to the Black and it rained like hell so we only got 23. Jock 8 – I nine Bill 4 – Kate 2. They weren't biting because of the rain. But we had some Darbs. 11 1/2 of the inches. We were over at the Black once before and rated 40. Bill had one that broke his leader on the stricture. Bill claims he was 3 or 4 of the pounds. A Hooper [grasshopper] is an easy article to lay hold of now that today is the last day of the season. The rainbow have come into the Bay and I expect some super whangleberries. You can see ‘em jumping from Dilstein's porch. Jo heesus an be Guy Mawd Fever I lost one on the Little Fox below an old dam that was the biggest trout I've ever seen. I was up in some old timbers and it was a case of a hose out. I got about half of him out of wasser and my hook broke at the shank! He struck on 4 hoopers. He was as big as any rainbow I've ever caught. I tried for him for 4 different days later but he only struck once and felt like a ton of the Bricks. There are no [illegible] up there and very few flack Blies. Pock is going to get a Ford up next year and you'll be up there. We'll get the Corp [Carleton Shaw] and Bill Horne and Yali and the Bird [Bill Smith] and Jock and Marby [Larry Barnett] and have a peach of a gang. Take in both the Black and the Fox. Say Shittle you and Marby owe 5 bones apiece on the grub. If you want to, send it to me. I wouldn't mention it only I've only 5 to my name and don't see how I'm going to get out of the country. These are damned good pictures e vero?
[Postscript on page 1] Bill sends his best. Jock is home care J.L. Pentecost Jr. Elmhurst, Ill. Call him up."
The letter is accompanied by a transmittal envelope marked, "undated. From Petoskey Summer 1919", written in an unknown hand.
Condition: Letter has flattened mail folds. Pages 5 and 6 have a rough left edge. Light toning throughout. The corners are slightly bumped. The envelope is toned throughout and worn.
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