[Dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Sidney Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 6, 1964.]
To Charles Baxter [Colvin 1911, 3, pp. 35-36]
Saranac Lake, 12th December ’87
My dear Charles,
Will you please send £20 to [Aunt Alan] for a Christmas from [my mother]?
Moreover, I cannot remember what I told you to send to [Katharine];
but as God has dealt so providentially with me this year, I now propose to make it £20. […]
I beg of you also to consider my strange position. I joined a club which it was said was to defend the Union; and I had a letter from the secretary, which his name I believe was Lord Warmingpan (or words to that effect), to say I am elected, and had better pay up a certain sum of money, I forget what.
Now I cannae verra weel draw a blank cheque and send to −
LORD WARMINGPAN (or words to that effect),
And, man, if it was possible, I would be dooms glad to be out of this bit scrapie. Mebbe the club was ca’d ‘The Union,’ but I wouldnae like to sweir; and mebbe it was nae, or mebbe only words to that effec’ but I wouldnae care just exac’ly about sweirin’. Do ye no think Henley, or Pollick, or some o’ they London fellies, micht mebbe perhaps find out for me?
and just what the soom was? And that you would aiblins pay for me? For I thocht I was sae dam patriotic j’inin’, and it would be a kind o’ a comedoun to be turned out again. Mebbe Lang would ken;
or mebbe Rider Haggyard:
they’re kind o’ Union folks. But it’s my belief his name was Warmingpan whatever. Yours,
alias Robert Louis Stevenson
Could it be Warminster?
Give us news of all your folk. A Merry Christmas from all of us.