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Do Not Be Cross With Me, Sweet Lillian

From The Death-Bed Of T. Herman Zweibel, The Zweibel Estate.

To Miss Lillian Gish, Holly-wood, Calif.

Dearest Lillian,

I apologize for not writing you lately. So much has happened in the past several months that I haven't the space to summarize it all here. I haven't heard from you recently, either. I believe the last letter I received from you was in 1916. Actually, that was a letter of mine addressed to you which was labeled "Return To Sender" in a feminine hand. And a deliciously feminine hand it was, too, sweet Lillian!

I do not blame you if you are angry with me. After all, my torrid affair with Miss Bernadette Fiske was highly publicized, and after my wife passed away in 1937, I had pledged my eternal love to you and only you. So why, you must be asking in your tearful anguish, did I succumb to the charms of another woman?

I did this, sweet Lillian, because Miss Fiske was a candle in the tempest who needed the love and guidance of an older gentle-man. Her constant entreaties for large sums of money tugged at my heart-strings as they would any man's. The help-less kitten! How she reminded me of your fellow thespianess of the photo-plays, Mary Miles Minter. Now there was a dame who wasn't too stuck-up to let me ride her like a race-horse.

What I really want to say is, you are still my true soul-mate, and if you can find it in your-self to get over your anger, please know that you are welcome at any time to come live at the Zweibel Estate. N. Aeschylus, the beautiful and enormous love-child that Miss Fiske bore me, needs a mama. Right now, he has taken to a wire-mother that he constructed him-self, and he often embraces it close with his precociously long, telescoping arms. He seems to like it a lot, but I would prefer a mother of flesh and blood, and you would suit this to a T, dear Lillian.

I require your loving attentions, as well, especially in the night-time. Lately, I have been plagued with night-mares of my nemesis, the hideous mechanical ro-bot Mr. Tin, lumbering into my bed-chamber and injecting me with serum designed to make me stupid. My blood runs cold just thinking of it! That is why I wish to have you by my side, and we can all be a happy little family, watching N. Aeschylus fly about on his jet-feet.

As ever, I remain yours, fondly,

Your loving and devoted T. Herman.

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