[As usual, dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 6, 1895.]
To W. H. Low [Colvin 1911, 3, pp. 16-17]
[Saranac Lake, c. 8 October 1887]
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