I started this letter ages ago, but I haven't had a second to finish it.
Isn't this a nice thought from Stevenson?
The world is so full of a number of things, I am sure we should all be as happy as kings.
It's true, you know. The world is full of happiness, and plenty to go round, if you are only willing to take the kind that comes your way. The whole secret is in being PLIABLE. In the country, especially, there are such a lot of entertaining things. I can walk over everybody's land, and look at everybody's view, and dabble in everybody's brook; and enjoy it just as much as though I owned the land--and with no taxes to pay!
It's Sunday night now, about eleven o'clock, and I am supposed to be getting some beauty sleep, but I had black coffee for dinner, so--no beauty sleep for me!
This morning, said Mrs. Semple to Mr. Pendleton, with a very determined accent:
`We have to leave here at a quarter past ten in order to get to church by eleven.'
`Very well, Lizzie,' said Master Jervie, `you have the buggy ready, and if I'm not dressed, just go on without waiting.' 'We'll wait,' said she.
`As you please,' said he, `only don't keep the horses standing too long.'
Then while she was dressing, he told Carrie to pack up a lunch, and he told me to scramble into my walking clothes; and we slipped out the back way and went fishing.
It discommoded the household dreadfully, because Lock Willow of a Sunday dines at two. But he ordered dinner at seven--he orders meals whenever he chooses; you would think the place were a restaurant-- and that kept Carrie and Amasai from going driving. But he said it was all the better because it wasn't proper for them to go driving without a chaperon; and anyway, he wanted the horses himself to take me driving. Did you ever hear anything so funny?
And poor Mrs. Semple believes that people who go fishing on Sundays go afterwards to a sizzling hot hell! She is awfully troubled to think that she didn't train him better when he was small and helpless and she had the chance. Besides--she wished to show him off in church.
Anyway, we had our fishing (he caught four little ones) and we cooked them on a camp-fire for lunch. They kept falling off our spiked sticks into the fire, so they tasted a little ashy, but we ate them. We got home at four and went driving at five and had dinner at seven, and at ten I was sent to bed and here I am, writing to you.
I am getting a little sleepy, though. Good night.
Here is a picture of the one fish I caught.
Ship Ahoy, Cap'n Long-Legs!
Avast! Belay! Yo, ho, ho, and a bottle of rum. Guess what I'm reading? Our conversation these past two days has been nautical and piratical. Isn't Treasure Island fun? Did you ever read it, or wasn't it written when you were a boy? Stevenson only got thirty pounds for the serial rights--I don't believe it pays to be a great author. Maybe I'll be a school-teacher.
Excuse me for filling my letters so full of Stevenson; my mind is very much engaged with him at present. He comprises Lock Willow's library.
I've been writing this letter for two weeks, and I think it's about long enough. Never say, Daddy, that I don't give details. I wish you were here, too; we'd all have such a jolly time together. I like my different friends to know each other. I wanted to ask Mr. Pendleton if he knew you in New York--I should think he might; you must move in about the same exalted social circles, and you are both interested in reforms and things--but I couldn't, for I don't know your real name.
It's the silliest thing I ever heard of, not to know your name. Mrs. Lippett warned me that you were eccentric. I should think so!
PS. On reading this over, I find that it isn't all Stevenson. There are one or two glancing references to Master Jervie.