It still gives me a list to starboard (let us be ever nautical!)

Alexander Hay Japp (1837-1905), Scottish author, journalist and publisher, had paid his visit at Braemar as proposed, and listened delightedly to the first chapters of Treasure Island (then entitled The Sea Cook). He had proposed to offer the story for publication to his friend James Henderson, the proprietor and editor of Young Folks. Japp had sent RLS a copy of that magazine in which Treasure Island was to be serialised, October 1881 to January 1882.

[As usual, dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 3, 846 and 847.]

To Alexander H. Japp [Colvin 1911, 2, p. 62]

Castleton of Braemar, Tuesday [6] September 1881.

My dear Dr. Japp,

[…] My father has gone, but I think I may take it upon me to ask you to keep the book. Of all things you could do to endear yourself to me, you have done the best, for my father and you have taken a fancy to each other.

Thomas Stevenson (1818-1887) []

[…] I do not know how to thank you for all your kind trouble in the matter of The Sea Cook, but I am not unmindful. My health is still poorly, and I have added intercostal rheumatism – a new attraction – which sewed me up nearly double for two days, and still gives me a list to starboard – let us be ever nautical!

The sea cook, Long John Silver, from ‘Treasure Island’, 2002 ed., ill. M. Winter []

Rheumatism and stomach remedy, 1897 []

[…] I do not think with the start I have there will be any difficulty in letting Mr. Henderson go ahead whenever he likes.

I will write my story up to its legitimate conclusion; and then we shall be in a position to judge whether a sequel would be desirable, and I would then myself know better about its practicability from the story-teller’s point of view.

First instalment of the sequel novel ‘Treasure Island’, in ‘Young Folks’, Oct. 1881 []

[…] – Yours ever very sincerely,

R.L. Stevenson

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