Soon the snow will close on us; we are here some twenty miles - twenty-seven, they say, but this I profoundly disbelieve - in the woods; communication by letter is slow and (let me be consistent) aleatory; by telegram is as near as may be impossible.
I had some experience of American appreciation; I liked a little of it, but there is too much; a little of that would go a long way to spoil a man; and I like myself better in the woods. I am so damned candid and ingenuous (for a cynic), and so much of a 'cweatu' of impulse - aw' (if you remember that admirable Leech), that I begin to shirk any more taffy; I think I begin to like it too well. But let us trust the Gods; they have a rod in pickle; reverently I doff my trousers, and with screwed eyes await the AMARI ALIQUID of the great God Busby.
I thank you for the article in all ways, and remain yours affectionately,
R. L. S.
Letter: TO W. H. LOW
[SARANAC, OCTOBER 1887.]
SIR, - I have to trouble you with the following PAROLES BIEN SENTIES. We are here at a first-rate place. 'Baker's' is the name of our house, but we don't address there; we prefer the tender care of the Post-Office, as more aristocratic (it is no use to telegraph even to the care of the Post-Office who does not give a single damn). Baker's has a prophet's chamber, which the hypercritical might describe as a garret with a hole in the floor: in that garret, sir, I have to trouble you and your wife to come and slumber. Not now, however: with manly hospitality, I choke off any sudden impulse. Because first, my wife and my mother are gone (a note for the latter, strongly suspected to be in the hand of your talented wife, now sits silent on the mantel shelf), one to Niagara and t'other to Indianapolis. Because, second, we are not yet installed. And because third, I won't have you till I have a buffalo robe and leggings, lest you should want to paint me as a plain man, which I am not, but a rank Saranacker and wild man of the woods. - Yours,
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.
Letter: TO WILLIAM ARCHER.
SARANAC LAKE, OCTOBER 1887.
DEAR ARCHER, - Many thanks for the Wondrous Tale. It is scarcely a work of genius, as I believe you felt. Thanks also for your pencillings; though I defend 'shrew,' or at least many of the shrews.
We are here (I suppose) for the winter in the Adirondacks, a hill and forest country on the Canadian border of New York State, very unsettled and primitive and cold, and healthful, or we are the more bitterly deceived. I believe it will do well for me; but must not boast.
My wife is away to Indiana to see her family; my mother, Lloyd, and I remain here in the cold, which has been exceeding sharp, and the hill air, which is inimitably fine. We all eat bravely, and sleep well, and make great fires, and get along like one o'clock,
I am now a salaried party; I am a BOURGEOIS now; I am to write a weekly paper for Scribner's, at a scale of payment which makes my teeth ache for shame and diffidence. The editor is, I believe, to apply to you; for we were talking over likely men, and when I instanced you, he said he had had his eye upon you from the first. It is worth while, perhaps, to get in tow with the Scribners; they are such thorough gentlefolk in all ways that it is always a pleasure to deal with them. I am like to be a millionaire if this goes on, and be publicly hanged at the social revolution: well, I would prefer that to dying in my bed; and it would be a godsend to my biographer, if ever I have one. What are you about? I hope you are all well and in good case and spirits, as I am now, after a most nefast experience of despondency before I left; but indeed I was quite run down. Remember me to Mrs. Archer, and give my respects to Tom. - Yours very truly,
ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON.
Letter: TO HENRY JAMES
[SARANAC LAKE, OCTOBER 1887.] I know not the day; but the month it is the drear October by the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir
MY DEAR HENRY JAMES, - This is to say FIRST, the voyage was a huge success.