[Dots between square brackets indicate cuts made by Colvin. For full, correct and critical edition of this letter, see Mehew 6, 1972.]
To Harriet Monroe [Colvin 1911, 3, pp. 36-37]
Saranac Lake, New York [December 19, 1887]
Dear Miss Monroe,
Many thanks for your letter and your good wishes.
It was much my desire to get to Chicago:
had I done − or if I yet do − so, I shall hope to see the original of my photograph, which is one of my show possessions; but the fates are rather contrary. My wife is far from well; I myself dread, worse than almost any other imaginable peril, that miraculous and really insane invention the American Railroad Car.
Heaven help the man − may I add the woman − that sets foot in one! Ah, if it were only an ocean to cross, it would be a matter of small thought to me − and great pleasure.
But the railroad car − every man has his weak point; and I fear the railroad car as abjectly as I do an earwig,
and, on the whole, on better grounds. You do not know how bitter it is to have to make such a confession; for you have not the pretension nor the weakness of a man.
If I do get to Chicago, you will hear of me: so much can be said. And do you never come east?
I was pleased to recognise a word of my poor old Deacon in your letter.
It would interest me very much to hear how it went and what you thought of piece and actors; and my collaborator, who knows and respects the photograph, would be pleased too.
− Still in the hope of seeing you, I am, yours very truly,
Robert Louis Stevenson