Alison Cunningham, daughter of a weaver of Torryburn, Fife, became RLS’s ‘good nurse’ when he was 18 months old. He was highly influenced by her in his childhood and remained devoted to her, all his life.
[As usual, dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 3, 917.]
To Alison Cunningham [Colvin 1911, 2, pp. 76-77]
[Chalet am Stein, Davos-Platz, ? February 1882]
My dear Cummy,
My wife and I are very much vexed to hear you are still unwell. We are both keeping far better; she especially seems quite to have taken a turn – the turn, we shall hope. Please let us know how you get on, and what has been the matter with you; Braemar I believe – the vile hole.
You know what a lazy rascal I am, so you won’t be surprised at a short letter, I know; indeed, you will be much more surprised at my having had the decency to write at all. We have got rid of our young, pretty, and incompetent maid; and now we have a fine, canny, twinkling, shrewd, auld-farrant peasant body, who gives us good food and keeps us in good spirits. If we could only understand what she says! But she speaks Davos language, which is to German what Aberdeen-awa’ is to English, so it comes heavy.God bless you, my dear Cummy; and so says Fanny forbye. – Ever your affectionate,
Robert Louis Stevenson