‘Tushery’ had been a name in use between RLS and Henley for romances of the Ivanhoe type. He now applies it to his own tale of the Wars of the Roses, The Black Arrow, written for Young Folks. RLS began writing it on May 26th, 1883.
[As usual, dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 4, 1108.]
To William Ernest Henley [Colvin 1911, 2, pp. 137-138]
[Hyères, Late May 1883]
[…] The influenza has busted me a good deal; I have no spring, and am headachy. So, as my good Red Lion Courter begged me for another Butcher’s Boy — I turned me to — what thinkest ’ou? to Tushery, by the mass! Ay, friend, a whole tale of tushery. And every tusher tushes me so free, that may I be tushed if the whole thing is worth a tush. The Black Arrow: A Tale of Tunstall Forest is his name: tush! a poor thing![…]
Will Treasure Island proofs be coming soon, think you?
I will now make a confession. It was the sight of your maimed strength and masterfulness that begot John Silver in Treasure Island. Of course, he is not in any other quality or feature the least like you; but the idea of the maimed man, ruling and dreaded by the sound, was entirely taken from you.