I'll pin you down, Cora Lesley! You with your bright smile and winsome ways! You who looked so innocent smiling across the page at me! You who promised me smooth sailing, for after all you are fourteen years old and ought to know how to behave!
But I'll tell you one thing, Little Missy: you are giving me more trouble than all of the Seasoning children put together! [Dill and Angelica included] What is it about you that is so hard for me to write? Why do I feel that as soon as you arrived at Puddleby Lane you shut me out and ran away from me across the smooth yellow sands, free and swift as a sandpiper? I can't understand you right now. I write you into a scene and make you say and feel things I know you never saw nor felt, but you aren't helping a bit. You smile at me with that sweet complacency and look over my shoulder at these fictional actions. When I ask you what you think of it you shake your head and say, "It may be like me and then again it may not. You decide."
But I don't want to decide! I want you to let me in on that secret of yours. I find I understand Ann Company with all her eccentricities far more than I do you. Cora Lesley, I brought you into being and I find you are an enigma. So simple and yet so complex. What in tarnation did I write you for?
And yet for all this I love you. I love you for your complex simplicity, even when I'm foundering in misunderstanding. I love you for your quiet strength that is so foreign to me. I love you for being bold when I'd be frightened, and for being weak when I'd be strong. I'm sorry I'm not able to read what's behind those soft brown eyes. You are the sweetest character [despite your prejudices against being written] that I've created thus far. But, dear Cora, couldn't you be a little more forthcoming? I'd appreciate it.
Your Befuddled Admirer,