Cover image for Selected letters of Dashiell Hammett, 1921-1960
Selected letters of Dashiell Hammett, 1921-1960
Hammett, Dashiell, 1894-1961.
Uniform Title:
Correspondence. Selections.
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Counterpoint, [2001]

Physical Description:
xx, 650 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3515.A4347 Z48 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This work is compiled of the letters, both private and professional, of Dashiell Hammett, creator of Sam Spade. In his five great crime novels, all of them written between 1927 and 1935, Dashiell Hammett gave America a cast of immortal characters - Sam Spade, the Continental Op, and Nick and Nora Charles, mold-breaking, red-blooded alternatives to Sherlock Holmes and Lord Peter Wimsey. A popular writer from the start, he aspired to a higher goal. As he was working on his classic The Maltese Falcon, he wrote a letter to his publisher about the potential of the detective-story form: Someday somebody's going to make literature out of it.

Author Notes

Samuel Dashiell Hammett was born on May 27, 1894 in St Mary's County, Maryland. Raised in Baltimore and Philadelphia, he attended Baltimore Polytechnic until he was 13 years old, but was forced to drop out and work a series of jobs to help support his family.

At the age of 21 Hammett was hired by the Pinkerton National Detective Agency as an operative. After a stint in the United States Army during World War II, he married a nurse named Josephine Annas Dolan, whom he met when he fell ill with tuberculosis.

In 1922, Hammett began writing for Black Mask magazine. Using his background in detective work, he created the tough guy detective characters Sam Spade and the Continental Op, as well as debonair sleuths Nick and Nora Charles. By 1927, Hammett had written the Poisonville series, which later became the novel Red Harvest. He wrote more than 85 short stories and five novels during his lifetime. The novels include The Dain Curse, The Glass Key, The Thin Man, and The Maltese Falcon, which was later adapted into a classic movie starring Humphrey Bogart. He also wrote an autobiography entitled Beams Falling: The Art of Dashiell Hammett.

After his marriage faltered in the late 1920s, Hammett met Lillian Hellman, then a married 24-year-old aspiring playwright. In 1930, Hellman left her husband for Hammett. Eventually they both divorced their spouses and, although the two never married, they remained together until Hammett's death on January 10, 1961.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Biographer Layman (Shadow Man: The Life of Dashiell Hammett) and Rivett, Hammett's granddaughter, offer a deeply involving anthology of the voluminous correspondence of Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961), culled from more than 1,000 surviving letters. The result (aided immensely by detailed annotation and crisp biographical sketches) narrates Hammett's literary success and the conflicted, enigmatic life he led following publication of The Thin Man (1934), his final novel. The letters illuminate the amazing texture of Hammett's life (from his well-paid Hollywood years to the joyful patriotism of his WWII service to his searing decline due to Red baiting) and writing (from prolific pulp contributor to innovator of popular, violent novels like Red Harvest). They also limn his unusual and intense personal relationships, particularly with the women in his life his estranged wife, longtime lover Lillian Hellman and his daughters and the warmth and chivalry concealed within an oblique persona. While Hammett was not given to detailed meditation on his fictive innovations, his astute reportage of his era's literary gossip, his street-level life and his moral complexities (which, touchingly, he discussed via correspondence with his young daughter Josephine, who writes the introduction) make up for this deficit. Although this collection is richly satisfying, reading it is a bittersweet, saddening experience. One senses that Hammett was knocked about in his lifetime and undervalued, both as a writer and for his dogged pursuit of social justice. Layman and company offer an important touchstone of literary history and a book that will remain a solid backlist title for mystery devotees. Illus. not seen by PW. (May 1) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Choice Review

Mystery writer Samuel Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) wrote most of these letters to women: Josephine, his estranged wife; Mary and Josephine, his daughters; Lillian Hellman, his companion of many years; and Prudence Whitfield, his lover. His daughter Josephine says his affectionate letters were how "Papa kept in touch with his family...." He usually took a wry, jaunty tone even when writing of his many illnesses, money concerns, food eaten and weight gained, his and Hellman's writing, army service in WW II, and books read (and generally disliked). Hammett's opinions are frank. The editors call him "witty, sarcastic, thoughtful, and eclectic in his interests; he was devoted to his beliefs and loyal to his friends." But though "he was not a man who tolerated pity" and "assiduously guarded his privacy"--thus not discussing his and Hellman's difficulties with the House Un-American Activities Committee--included here are some letters from his five-and-a-half month incarceration in federal prison after his HUAC appearance. This collection offers a slightly closer look at Hammett's private life than readers have previously had. The editors include footnotes, introductory biographical notes to each of the five sections, and photographs. Very highly recommended for literature and popular culture collections; all levels. J. Overmyer emeritus, Ohio State University

Booklist Review

Dashiell Hammett, who gave the world five groundbreaking mysteries (Red Harvest, The Dain Curse, The Maltese Falcon, The Glass Key, and The Thin Man) in five years, also gave his family, lovers, and colleagues robust and revealing letters, chronicling his personal and writing life, from the end of World War I to just weeks before his death. The floodgates of Hammett's correspondence were opened in 1996, when Hammett's daughter (who writes a wonderful introduction of personal reminiscences about her enigmatic father) gave permission for more than 1,000 of Hammett's letters to be reprinted in full. Many of these are newly discovered (one treasure trove of love letters to Hammett's wife was found in a garage in Southern California). The letters are organized, with insightful introductions, into sections spanning roughly 10 years, ranging from Hammett's work as a Pinkerton detective to his boozy Hollywood heyday and his collapse. His voice emerges as funny, truthful, jaunty in the midst of troubles. Reading his letter submitting The Maltese Falcon for approval--"Herewith, an action-detective novel for your consideration" --raises goosebumps, as does his last letter to playwright Lillian Hellmann, Thanksgiving, 1960, in which he celebrates their 30-year relationship: "The love that started on that day was greater than all love anywhere, anytime, and all poetry cannot include it." --Connie Fletcher

Library Journal Review

The more than 1000 lively, personal letters selected here, many hitherto unpublished, are addressed primarily to Hammett's wife; their two daughters; fellow writer Lillian Hellman, with whom he carried on a 30-odd-year liaison; and the classic crime writer's various loves. To these people, Hammett reveals himself to be, between 1927 and 1935, the hard-working inventor of both hard-boiled detective Sam Spade and delightful inebriate Nick Charles. During the war years, he comes across as a routine-loving member of the Signal Corps in the Aleutians; finally, for the last 15 years of his life, he is the tireless Communist sympathizer whose activities earn him a six-month jail sentence that wrecks his health beyond repair. Despite infrequent assertions that the mystery novel, in the right hands, might become "literature," these letters are striking for their unflagging sense that, to Hammett, writing was simply a trade to pay the bar bills and keep his little family afloat. His ebullient persona, even when he was sick and incarcerated, and his preoccupation with the homely details of living strongly suggest that behind Hammett's many letters hides a man who himself remains a mystery. Highly recommended for all libraries with extensive Hammett collections. Charles C. Nash, Cottey Coll., Nevada, MO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Excerpt PART ONE Writer 1921-1930 "He knew then that men died at haphazard like that, and lived only while blind chance spared them." The Maltese Falcon , Chapter 7 Samuel Dashiell Hammett was born on May 27, 1894, in rural Saint Mary's County, Maryland. His father, Richard Hammett, was an opportunist who tried his hand at several occupations, none very successfully. His mother, Annie Bond Dashiell, was trained as a nurse, but respiratory illness kept her at home most of the time--that and the demands of her three children, Dashiell, his older sister, Reba, and his younger brother, Richard, called Dick. At the time Dashiell was born, his family was living with his paternal grandfather on a plot of land the Hammetts called "Hopewell and Aim."     When Dashiell was six, his father failed in a bid for political office after an acrimonious campaign and felt compelled to leave the county. He took his family to Philadelphia, where the prospects did not meet his expectations, and, after a year, they turned to Mrs. Hammett's mother for support, moving in with her in the house she rented in Baltimore. Richard Hammett was struggling to support the family and Dashiell dropped out of high school after one semester to help. He never returned to the classroom. His early education came from the streets, from his avid reading, and from a series of odd jobs he held during his teens. When he turned twenty-one, he began what he considered a career as an operative for Pinkerton's National Detective Service. The job suited his intelligence, his sense of adventure, and his curiosity.     Hammett was still living with his parents in 1918 when he took leave from Pinkerton's to join the army during World War I. Though he did not travel more than about fifteen miles from his home during the war, the experience turned his life upside down. He was stationed at Camp Mead, Maryland, and assigned to a Motor Ambulance Company, transporting wounded soldiers returning from Europe. The worldwide Spanish influenza epidemic was especially evident in the United States at military installations, where soldiers returning from foreign service spread the disease that killed more people during the war years than warfare did. In 1919, Hammett was struck, and he spent the rest of his military service recuperating.     "I have always had good health until I contracted influenza, complicated by bronchial pneumonia treatment," Hammett told a doctor during his predischarge medical exam on 24 May 1919. The army pronounced his tuberculosis "arrested," and he was able to resume his prewar occupation as an operative for the Pinkerton's National Detective Service, working first in Baltimore, and then, after the beginning of 1920, in Spokane, Washington. Eighteen months after his discharge, however, his TB flared up again and he "broke down," in the words of a medical report. In November 1920 Hammett was among the first patients admitted to the newly opened Cushman Institute, a U.S. Public Health Service hospital in Tacoma, Washington.     Josephine Dolan, a pretty twenty-three-year-old from Anaconda, Montana, was among the staff of half a dozen nurses in the respiratory illnesses ward at Cushman. She and Hammett struck up a friendship that quickly became amorous. (She never believed that his tuberculosis was confirmed, despite the doctors' reports, and so discounted the possibility of becoming infected herself, a measure of how lovestruck she was.) Within a month they were dating; within two they were intimate. By the end of his third month, Hammett was among a group of tubercular patients transferred south to USPHS facilities in a warmer, drier climate. She stayed behind; he was admitted to the hospital at Camp Kearney near San Diego, and they continued their courtship by mail. These letters are the earliest surviving correspondence from Hammett. He was twenty-six years old when he began writing to Josephine Dolan in February 1921. They apparently did not know she was pregnant.     When Hammett was discharged from Camp Kearney in May 1921, he went first to see her in Spokane, stopping at Cushman to complain about his labored breathing. He then went to San Francisco, to search for an apartment where they could begin their married life. He and Josephine, whom he called Jose (pronounced "Joe's"), were married in the rectory at St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco on 7 July 1921. Their daughter Mary Jane was born on 15 October. Hammett returned to work as a private detective, but soon found he was not physically fit for the job. He stood six foot one and a half inches, weighed 135 pounds, and suffered from dizziness, shortness of breath, and chest pains on exertion. He told a Health Service nurse that he was employed as a detective "at intervals" in the fall of 1921, earning $21 per week when he worked, to supplement his disability income of $40 a month. By the end of December he was too sick to work at all. His disability rating was revised to 100 percent, but his pension, though increased to $80 a month, barely paid the rent, and he had a family to support.     Hammett began vocational rehabilitation at Munson's Business College in February 1922, training as a reporter. That fall, he began writing fiction on spec to supplement his income, and soon afterward reported to a visiting nurse that he was writing stories four hours a day. The pulp magazines were an easy market to crack, and though the pay was only a penny or two a word, an industrious writer could make $30 or $40 a month. Hammett had his experience as a private detective to mine for material, and he soon became a favorite of detective pulp readers for his tough stories that had the ring of truth. He churned them out at the rate of better than one a month, and the paychecks bought groceries.     That was how he lived until 1926. Jose was pregnant with his second daughter. Hammett needed more money. When he failed to get it from the editors at Black Mask magazine, his most reliable publisher, he decided to venture again into the workforce. This time, he determined to draw on his writing ability and the journalistic skills he had learned in his vocational training course. He answered a want ad for an advertising copywriter/ad manager at Albert S. Samuels Jewelers. The pay was $350 a month--about four times the income from his writing and pension combined. The job seemed perfect for him. Samuels was a congenial boss, and the social aspects of the job were very attractive to a man who had been a virtual shut-in for most of the past six years. Hammett enjoyed the freedom of the workplace; he enjoyed it too much. He began drinking heavily, spending too many evenings in speakeasies with cronies. Within six months the pace caught up with him. He collapsed at his office in a pool of blood, suffering from hepatitis and a recurrence of tuberculosis. Once again he was unable to hold a full-time job. That was his situation in winter 1926-7, when Joseph Shaw, the new editor at Black Mask magazine, wrote to Hammett with ambitious plans for revamping the magazine with a stable of star writers.     Shaw was a promoter with business savvy. He understood that the fortunes of his magazine were directly related to the success of his writers. He also recognized that readers respect novelists more than short story writers, so he encouraged his stable to undertake longer works and to aspire to book publication. Meanwhile, he began promoting them as an elite group pioneering a new type of mystery fiction. Shaw bragged that Herbert Hoover, J. P. Morgan, and A. S. W. Rosenbach read Black Mask , and that Hammett's contributions to the magazine were some of the best mystery fiction ever published. Soon Hammett had completed his first novel and submitted it unsolicited to Alfred A. Knopf, Publishers, who had just launched an imprint called Borzoi Mysteries. Within a year's time, Hammett had emerged as the most celebrated young mystery novelist in America, and respected reviewers were declaring him as good as if not better than Ernest Hemingway.     While Hammett's reputation soared, his personal life deteriorated. When his second daughter was born, Health Service nurses advised that Jose and the girls should not share quarters with the tubercular writer, who was sometimes too ill to walk unassisted to the bathroom. Jose and the girls went to Montana to visit her relatives in the fall of 1926, then they took a rented house fifteen miles north of San Francisco, where Hammett visited them on weekends. Such conditions made married life difficult; soon even the pretense of a marriage was abandoned. Hammett loved and supported his family, but he looked elsewhere for companionship and found it easily. His brief experience with family life had proven what he had clearly suspected: that it was not for him, especially when so many opportunities were available. He had a career to develop that required all his energies.     Within two years after his collapse at the jewelry store, Hammett had written three novels. Red Harvest and The Dain Curse were among the most prominently reviewed books of 1929, and The Maltese Falcon was recognized as possessing, in the words of one reviewer, "the absolute distinction of real art." Hammett was not satisfied, though. He saw greater opportunities in the writing game.     In 1927, Darryl F. Zanuck introduced sound to motion pictures with The Jazz Singer . By Valentine's Day 1930, when The Maltese Falcon was published, studios had already abandoned silent films because they recognized the enormous audience for talkies. That, in turn, created an unprecedented need for writers to provide scripts. The money was huge, even during the Depression, and Hammett capitalized on the opportunity to turn his reputation as a writer into pure gold. He left San Francisco for New York in the fall of 1929 and kept steady company with writer-musician Nell Martin, to whom he dedicated The Glass Key in 1930. They both had interests in Hollywood. Roadhouse Nights , a movie adaptation of Hammett's Red Harvest , was released by Paramount in February 1930, and her novel Lord Byron of Broadway was released as a movie by M-G-M in March. That year Hammett claimed to be making $800 a week--twice as much each month as the average American worker made in a year. And he spent it all, on starlets and hotel suites and limousines and chauffeurs and bootleg liquor and speakeasy nights. When he had money left over, he gave handouts to his friends. To Josephine Dolan On 21 February 1921 Hammett was transferred from Cushman Hospital, in Tacoma, Washington, to the U.S. Public Health Service hospital at Camp Kearney, near San Diego. He and Josephine Dolan, one of his nurses at Cushman, had fallen in love just after he arrived, in November 1920, and she was pregnant, though neither seems to have been aware of her condition . 27 Sept [i.e., February] 1921, [Camp Kearney, California] Dear Little Fellow--     We had just enough excitement on the trip down to keep away monotony, and landed here yesterday afternoon in pretty good shape.     This will be a pretty fair sort of a place, I reckon, after we get accustomed to it, but the going hasn't been any too smooth so far. Before we had our bags unpacked they flashed a set of rules on us (I mailed my copy to Larry Brazer--he'll get a kick out of 'em) but we have broken all but a couple and none of us have been shot yet, so I think we'll get along all right.     The food and the weather here are good so we should be able to put up with the rest of it.     But that's enough of the Kearn[e]y talk--now for a little Cushman.     Which lunger are you taking out now and dragging into town when he should be sleeping? Or are you storing up a little sleep before you start off again?     (If I put in two or three months of this life don't trust yourself out on the bridge with--not even a middle-aged, homely and legless woman would be safe with me.)     The lights have gone democratic, so I'll have to stop this.     When you answer this tonight give me all the latest Cushman gossip--just the same as if we were sitting in the Peerless Grill. Love Hammett ALS Marshall To Josephine Dolan Friday [probably 4 March 1921], Camp Kearney, California Dear Lady--     I didn't intend doing this--writing you a second letter before I got an answer to my first--but that's the hell of being in love with a vamp, you do all sorts of things. Before long, most likely, I'll have fallen into the habits of your other victims and will be writing you frequent and foolish letters, which you won't trouble yourself to answer. And then I'll be getting so I can't eat or sleep, and will lose my immortal soul lying to you about the 15 and 18 hour naps I'm taking and the pounds of meat I am eating--for I'd never admit that I allowed you to interfere with my comfort and health. You'd enjoy that too much!     I've been chasing the cure since I landed here, partly from choice but mostly from poverty. Most of the crew went into San Diego the other night but I am holding just about enough money to keep me in Bull Durham and postage till my check comes (that should be in about two weeks) so I am sticking at home and spending my days reading or playing lady-like games such as Hearts and Five Hundred. She is a great world!     Richards and I have become quite chummy and ever so often he starts telling me what a wonderful person "little Miss Dolan" was. I usually change the subject as soon as possible, for he has the regular and usual opinion of you: that the Virgin Mary was a wild woman in comparison. Seriously, tho--he has a glorious opinion of the Little Handful, so you can add his name to your list--unless you already have.     The Cushman party has been split up--Goodhue and I are in the same ward. (I'll probably kill the God-damned fool one of these days!) The nurse here, a Miss Brown, is a friend of Mrs. Kelly's.     I like this joint very much and shall put in at least two months here. I've gained five pounds since I left Tacoma but I am pushing the thermometer up to 99° too often to please me.     The worst part of the day is when the clock shows 740 P.M., and I know that I should be down in front of the office, in the rain, waiting for Josephine Anna. Six o'clock worries me, also--occasionally, when I figure it's time for your afternoon off and I should be standing on the People's Store corner, still in the rain, cursing you because you are fifteen minutes late and haven't shown up yet. I'll never awake at eleven, or I reckon I'd be thinking we ought to be out on the bridge--in the rain, of course--staging our customary friendly, but now and then a bit rough, dispute over the relative merits of "yes" and "no."     Are you still thinking of leaving Cushman? And do you think you could be persuaded to come to California? Has Miss Squally resigned yet? Has Mr. Brown left for Texas? Is Miss Jacobs as sweet as ever?     If you answered my other letter at all promptly (and God help you if you didn't) I should hear from you tomorrow or Monday, at the latest. And if my memory is right, you were to inclose a picture in the first letter! The question is: will it be there? You're such a dear little liar, Sweet, that I'd hate to bet my right arm on it being in the letter. If I'm ever to get it I'll most likely have to come up and take it away from you. Maybe that's what I should have done about something else I wanted.     I've just time for a shower before lights-out Love Hammett     1. Josephine Dolan's middle name was Annis, not Anna.     2. Inge Qually was on the nursing staff at Cushman Institute. ALS Marshall To Josephine Dolan 9 March 1921 [Camp Kearney, California] Dear Dear--     Your letter of the fourth got here this afternoon--so you see it does take nearly a week.     I was tickled pink to get your letter. I wasn't at all sure you'd write till some tiresome, draggy evening when you couldn't find anything else to do. But the letter came and so I feel as if I had the world by the tail--it was better than a shot of hooch.     I'm still a long way from finding anyone to take part of your place. (I don't expect to find any one who could completely fill it.) All the nurses here are impossible. A few with fair ankles but, My God! the faces--like cartoons! But, seriously, I am being remarkably faithful to you. Some day I may partially forget you, and be able to enjoy another woman, but there's nothing to show that it'll be soon. If anything, I'm a damnder fool over you now than I ever was.     Mr. Brown is one fine ass, isn't he? I wonder where he got all his information. Dream Book? Or Ouija board? But I reckon it was half quesswork and half based on information furnished by Jacobs. Now you can paste the following in your hat:     I may have done a lot of things that weren't according to scripture, but I love Josephine Anna Dolan--and have since about the sixth of January--more than anything in Christ's world. I know you don't expect or want me to deny Mr. Brown's news, so I won't bother you with it.     Meldner and Goodhue were kicked out a couple days ago for putting on a booze-party. I think they are at Alpine now--a san[i]torium about 30 miles out of San Diego.     You can't be missing me any more than I'm missing you, Sweet. It's pretty tough on these lonesome nights.     I'll have to cut this off now and fall in bed.     Yes'um, I deserve all the love you can spare me! And I want a lot more than I deserve. Love Sam ALS Marshall To Josephine Dolan 11 March 1921 [Camp Kearney, California] Dear Little Handful--     Your letter deserved at least two answers, so here goes for the second.     First for the news, of which there isn't very much.     Armstrong is in the venereal ward. For a while it looked as if Byrd, Shell, Richards and a couple others would join him there, but they didn't.     I had a letter from Larry yesterday, giving me all the latest doings in the old home. He cheered me up by telling me he thought you were missing me. I don't know how he could tell, but I am anxious to believe him.     No one here has heard from Meldner or Goodhue since they left us.     My hands are usually quite warm nowadays so you needn't be afraid of 'em. But if you write me very much of that "in your nightie," "feeling chilly," "need someone to warm you" stuff I'll be climbing on a northbound train and coming up to take the job.     I wouldn't want to give you any advice as to whether or not it's best for you to be going out with patients. Some day another "tall man" will come to Cushman and you'll have him losing his head over you and keeping you out on the bridge at all hours, and freezing you.     But the chances are I'll never hear of it and I'll go to my grave thinking you were true to me.     In spite of the fact that I know you are a liar I really think you love me a little--just because you said you did--for I've nothing else to base such a bel[ie]f upon. So if you don't, why then lie to me about it. I'll be happy that way till I find you out--and that may take months. Love in chunks Hammett ALS Marshall To Josephine Dolan 13 March 1921 [Camp Kearney, California] Dear Nurse--     I should have started this "Dear Mama," for quite a bit of your last letter was most motherly--the advice about being a good boy and taking the cure and so forth. It only fell short of being a maternal letter in that you didn't give me any advice about my underwear. Don't forget that next time.     I have been following your orders tho--a few weeks more of this life and I'll be ready to grow a pair of downy wings and a pair of blue eyes. But my check should arrive (God only knows if it will) this week. Tijuana is open again so I reckon I'll make a trip down there as soon as I've something in my pockets besides my hands.     Altho it is none of my business, I'm glad you are sticking to your resolution about keeping away from the patients after hours. Even if it only lasts a little while. This is the first time I ever felt that way about a woman; perhaps it's the first time I have ever really loved a woman. That sounds funny but it may be the truth.     All the Cushman crew are quiet and well-behaved these days, except that Albert is becoming a chronic gambler. I'm afraid the boy is going to hell proper!     If I didn't know that you are an angel--even when the devil is looking out of your eyes--I'd begin to think you hard to get along with; after reading of all these scraps you are having, and the "I hate him," and "I don't care if he never comes back," and the rest of it.     What was the trouble with McDermott? Or shouldn't I ask?     If you and anyone fall out I am willing to gamble it's their fault. And when you can't get along with the rest of the world, look me up. I'll let you walk all over me--I'd get a good view of the pretty legs while you were doing it.     Lots of love to the dearest small person in the world, and lots of thanks for her dear letters S.D.H. ALS Marshall To Josephine Dolan 21 March 1921 [Camp Kearney, California] Dear Josephine Anna--     After a long while of waiting--an even week it was--a letter from you came Saturday. I was beginning to think that another "tall man" had shown up and was dragging you into town every evening or so, and not leaving you time to write to me.     Meldner was up from Alpine a couple days ago. Said he liked it down there as they had no more rules than Cushman had.     That's all the news there is--nobody ever does anything here. And if they did I'd probably be asleep at the time and miss it. I'm the sleeping kid these days. It's about all I do--besides write letters to you when I am lucky enough to have one to answer.     I'm glad you're keeping your promise to "try not forget me for a couple weeks." You always were a mystery to me, Little Chap. I never could figure out whether you liked me a little (I mean "love"--I wouldn't give a God-damn to have you "like" me) or were just giving me your evenings because you hadn't anything else much to do with 'em, or merely vamping me to keep your hand in. Whichever it was tho, I had a mighty enjoyable time of it and right now I'd like to be anyplace at all with you.     If you'll live up to your dream and join me in a Los Angeles hotel (any time you say) I'll do my share and buy all the hot-water bags you want--if you think you'll need 'em.     You aren't the only one to dream these days. Even I, who have about three a year, dreamed of you during rest-hour yesterday. It was quite a remarkable dream--and I want a little information. Has the lady a mole on or near one hip? I want to know--if that part is true I can rely upon the rest coming true.     How about the picture, Sweet?     I'll be a "good boy" if I get enough letters from you to keep my mind occupied. If I don't I can't say what my behavior will be. Lots of the meanest sort of love-- Daddy L. L. ALS Marshall (Continues...) Copyright © 2001 Josephine Hammett Marshall and Richard Layman. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

Josephine Hammett MarshallRichard Layman
"A Reasonable Amount of Trouble"p. vii
Prefacep. xiii
A Note on the Textsp. xix
I. Writer, 1921-1930p. 1
II. Celebrity, 1931-1942p. 57
III. Soldier, 1942-1945p. 179
IV. Activist, 1945-1951p. 447
V. Survivor, 1952-1960p. 575
Codap. 625
Appendix Hammett's Readingp. 627
Indexp. 633