J. E. Calkins
large, but the house is one of those protean affairs that may be added to at pleasure. Being of "California" construction it would not take long or cost much to throw another room against one side of it, and make it fit the needs, whatever these might be.
Suppose we build such an addition as would suit you to work in, and devote it to your needs all the way through. If you wished you might also use it as your sleeping room, or if you preferred the open air at night we might equip a comfortable tent, or make such other arrangement as you should choose. Suppose you pack up those notes, books, specimens, and what not, and strew them about this added room as you pleased and consider that you have made it the headquarters of your literary work. Then suppose that you consider yourself one of the family, and perfectly at home in all respects. We will order the table, the meal hours, etc to suit you, and laundry, mending, and whatever personal attention you may need from womankind Mrs. C. will be glad to supply.
Then suppose that I give you practically my whole time, to perform whatever service you may require, such as taking dictation, transcribing with the machine, etc., with anything else I may be able to do; and suppose we go at this writing business in earnest. Would this arrangement suit you?
Of course if I retire from the field I shall be compelled to put another man there in my place. If I had the means to do so I should be delighted to give you my service for the pleasure of the work, but my present means and situation do not permit this. It would be necessary for me to have the means to do this hiring. However I should not want to receive more than enough to take care of this increase of expense, and this amount, I imagine, would be less than you would have to pay for living and stenographer where you now are. I should say that a matter of $5o a month would buy all the labor I should need to employ, with the small additional quantity of breadcrumbs and tea you would consume; which sum would cover your living and my services. You should be as much to yourself as you might wish, and, of course, wholly free to come and go as you might wish; your place would always be ready for you whenever you came back. It would be necessary, of course, for me to give the place my supervision, but with the work going on under my eye very little time would suffice for this. Practically all of the time I should be at your disposal; and I should expect to do for you whatever you might wish me to do. It would be left with you to arrange the hours of labor. I belong to no union, and there would be no walking delegate to interfere with overtime.
We have a richly beautiful landscape, the mountains hardly more than half an hour from us, and the groves all about us. We have the finest of water, the brightest of winter-summer sunshine,
1908 Dec 30
Original letter dimensions: 21.5 x 18.5 cm.
Reel 17, Image 1133
Copyright status unknown