RLS was always interested by his own retentiveness of memory for childish things, and here asks her old nurse, Cummy, some questions to test the quality of hers.
[For correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 5, 1661.]
To Alison Cunningham [Colvin 1912, pp. 216-217]
[Skerryvore, Bournemouth, ? July 1886.]
My dear Cummy,
I was sorry to get so poor account of you and Hecky. Fanny thinks perhaps it might be Hecky’s teeth.
Sir Walter Simpson has a very clever vet.
I have forgotten his name; but if you like, I send a card and you or James might ask the address.
Now to what is more important. Do you remember any of the following names: Lady Boothroyd, Barny Gee, Andrew Silex, the Steward, Carus Ream, Peter Mangles, Richard Markham, Fiddler Dick?
Please let me know and I will tell you how I come to ask. I warn you, you will have to cast back your eyes a good long way, close upon thirty years, before you strike the trail onwhich I wish to lead you.
When I have had an answer I will write you a decent letter. To-day, though nothing much is wrong with me, I am out of sorts and most disinclined for writing. – Yours most affectionately,
Robert Louis Stevenson