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Three-page autograph letter to his mistress Carlotta Monti, signed by Fields as "Continental Claude", calling Hitler "full of mierda" and confiding, "like the three monkeys I see nothing, know nothing, and won't drink anything 'cept Beer.…"

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Three-page autograph letter to his mistress Carlotta Monti, signed by Fields as "Continental Claude", calling Hitler "full of mierda" and confiding, "like the three monkeys I see nothing, know nothing, and won't drink anything 'cept Beer."
Autograph Letter signed: "Continental Claude", 3 pages, 8½x11. Bel Air, Labor Day. To "Katrinka & Claudia". ["Katrinka" was Fields' pet name for Carlotta Monti.] In full: "I suppose you are wondering why you have not received your packard as yet. And telling your friends I am not a man of my word. Give me time and I can explain anything. Practically all nations will be in the war by the time this missive arrives. But you, unfortunately for yourself contended the whole world would be at war. It was then I accepted your wager 'I'll bet you the whole world will be at war by 1940. If not you give me a packard.' It was a bet made in all fairness. I forget what I was to receive had you lost. However all is fair in something or other and war. I will pay off if it becomes real serious. I firmly believe it will be of short duration, in which case you will receive a small packard. Hitler is full of 'mierda' [Spanish for "shit"] and the unfortunate part of it for him is it is mostly in his neck and he can taste it. I hope you have a radio for these are historic and memorable things that you or anyone else should not miss or be interested in and kept up to the minute on the news. That is why you found a check for 30 [1 word illegible] to buy a portable 'Mission-Bell'. I am remaining home today to avoid the carnival - the peripatetic crowds. I have my gates fastened & locked and everyone must ring the bell and announce themselves. Mr. Roberto Howard has just rung the bell - good god he is here. Katrink there is nothing new I make U talk to Charlie or put their answer to my letters in writing. If you do not sign the affidavit it is ok. I do not blame you for not wanting to get mixed up with this noxious affair. I will understand. Tilly and John said they could have won the case for me last time. I asked them if they would testify this time but they refused and I do not blame anyone for not wanting to have their name associated with Citron. [Fields switches pens here.] Everything is very quiet right now. But I expect some fireworks today. In which case I shall write you full details. Keep well and happy. Little Jay was up here yesterday to do her monologue on a record she wishes to go on the radio as I explained in a forward letter. She has had a 'bust up' with her husband whom she loves very much and is broken hearted. She is very intelligent and would like some advice. But I am cured - like the three monkeys I see nothing, know nothing, and won't drink anything 'cept Beer. It is now some later and Mike has just arrived also your letter. You did not ask to be my interpreter is my answer to you. You said Andrew could speak Spanish! Nothing more of interest. Keep knocking on them. Mickey joins me in very best to you as did Jay yesterday. As ever". Red-nosed, gravel-voiced, bottle-hitting American comedian W.C. Fields (1880-1946), born William Claude Dukenfield, began his film career in silents. He later excelled in such films as David Copperfield (as Micawber), My Little Chickadee (with Mae West) and The Bank Dick. The vaudeville veteran, who appeared in every version of the Ziegfeld Follies from 1915 to 1921, made his last film, Sensations of 1945, in 1944. Fields, married to Harriet "Hattie" Hughes in 1900, separated from her in 1904, but she would never grant him a divorce. Fields' mistress from 1932 until his death was starlet Carlotta Monti, the "Katrinka" of this letter. She wrote a tell-all memoir in 1971, which was the basis for the 1976 film W. C. Fields and Me. Further research would be required to identify all the persons named in this letter, but Fields had just finished a court proceeding. After he refused to pay a $12,000 hospital bill from 1936 (large for the time), he was sued by the doctors. A first trial upheld the doctors' full claim, but a second, concluded in 1939, reduced Fields' liability to $2,000. Fields' claim that Monti's prediction of every nation at war by 1940 had gone unfulfilled, argues for a 1940 date for this letter. However, Fields' reference to an unfinished lawsuit - resolved in late 1939 - argues that the letter was written on Labor Day in that year. Horizontal and vertical mailing folds, one through the "o" in "Continental". Some light creases and toning, ¼" notched at top margin in center fold on first two pages, page 3, ¾" tear at upper left margin, ½" tear at top margin in vertical fold, ¼" tear at left and right margin in horizontal fold, wear holes in vertical fold. First half of text is lighter than other half.

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