Four Brook Farm
Tyringham, Berkshire Hills,
Nov. 1, 1898
My dear Helen.
This is Mr. Gilder's place in the country about 150 miles from New York. It is in a broad glacial valley & is the most famed for its picturesque beauty of all New England. Mr. Gilder invited me up here last Saturday & Ive been rambling with him & resting & having a fine time everway Mr. Gilder has five children two of the boys are at school & two of the girls are here they are about 6 & 8 years old & a few minutes ago it was funny to see these merry red cheeked [lassies?] driving off by themselves in a comical little cart, drawn by a comical little donkey to buy cats. One of the girls had a basket & the other a handful of greenbacks & I said "where are you going my pretty maids" To buy sweet little kitties sweet sir she said or something like it. Surely you dont need to much money for cats I said
O Yes we do said they for they are beautiful Angoras sweet white Angora kitties, & we are going to take them to New York. I said well dont let the donkey run away "O no he wont run away we have to whip him sometimes to make him just walk. Just at this moment the girls & the new cats have come all the them beauties very expressive faces & silky hair How you would enjoy the fun of introducing your Maggie & Wanda to them.
Tell Mamma Ive enjoyed Mr & Mrs Gilder ever so much. On the way here on the car I was introduced to Joseph Choate the great lawyer & on Sunday Mr Gilder & I drove over to his fine residence at Stockbridge to dinner & I had a good long talk with him about forests as well as glaciers etc. Today we all go back to New York. This evening I dine with Johnson & tomorrow I go up the Hudson to the Osburns. There probably I dine with Tesla (I saw him in his workshop) then I suppose Ill have to go to Florida & then gladly home
It is a bright autumn day the North wind is blowing swirling the brown & yellow leaves in heaps & sheets & windrows & soon the trees will be bare & ready for winter these three days are the first real rest days Ive had since I last saw you my dear. Mrs Gilder was asking all about you & I showed her your pictures & she said they were lovely & like me I wish I could start straight home from these charming Berkshire hills I'll soon be back anyhow. Give my love to all & Maggie. Here are some Wintergreens from the hill back of the house.
Yours my darlings
Four Brook Farm, Tyringham, Berkshire Hills [N.Y.]
1898 Nov 1
Original letter dimensions: 28 x 21.5 cm.
Muir, John, "Letter from John Muir to Helen [Muir], 1898 Nov 1." (1898). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 2293.
Reel 10, Image 0419
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