I was fortunate in acquiring some letters written by Ion Idriess and Walter Cousins to a Mrs Van Cleef in Chicago. You can read more on this family here https://www.madeinchicagomuseum.com/single-post/van-cleef-bros/
The letters are personal in nature and there is an obvious warm connection between all involved. The letters begin at the start of WW1 and continue after the death of Walter Cousins with a letter from Mrs Cousins and the final letter is in September 1965.
I will post each of these chronologically as transcriptions with some images of the letters in the next posts.
Letter from Idriess - January 1939
Dear Mrs Van Cleef,
that was an awfully nice thought of yours, and a jolly practical one, those ties. No one can tell me now that there's not at least one woman every here and there in the world who can pick a man's ties. I'm not fussy about dress, any old thing does me, but I took a distinct liking to those ties. I don't mind admitting I showed them around a bit, my friends quite approve of them, which really does not matter so much because I like them myself.
I was real interested in your letter. That idea about the jackets of various books has made me ambitious to put a crowd of them together as decoration for the walls of a den. I believe I'll try the idea out some day.
I discussed your idea of a glossary of terms with Mr Cousins. The idea is good. We have filed it away and will put it into practice if ever my books are published in America. If at any time any other idea strikes you in regard to books etc. I would be jolly interested if you would let me know.
Glad to hear that your husband is still creating interest with his "movies". I wish he had been able to stay here longer and secure more pictures further North. All the same, a fascinating collection could be made within a comparatively few miles of Sydney. I hope hubby carries on with the good work, its a first class advertisement for Australia.
We are still going ahead here, there is no reason why all hands should not have another jolly good year. The only cloud on the horizon is the crazy war talk from Europe. Blessed if I know why they can't all live in peace with one another.
Well, so long, and here's wishing you both lots of cheery years
I. L. Idriess