Eliza S. Hendricks
[Marked "Indianapolis letter"]
611 N. Meridian St.,
Indianapolis, April 8, '95.
My dear Mr. Muir:
In a letter I wrote you not long since in acknowledgment of the receipt of your book, which I presume reached you in due time, I took occasion to tease you a little bit regarding the somewhat "fishy" flavor of your most interesting account of the irreverent behavior of the Douglas squirrels when you sang, or whistled the "Old Hundredth" in their ears. Although I told you at the time that I entirely believed your statement, yet I have had a slightly uncomfortable feeling ever since, that you might not wholly understand that I was only using a friend's privilege in guying you for telling a wonderful story, which, told by a less truthful man, I might have doubted. Jokes are dangerous things to handle and are sometimes misunderstood even by good friends. I once knew a prominent man, the late Attorney General Dunn of Washington City, who said he rarely attempted a joke, without giving offense. Now do not think that I believed Sidney Smith when he said "A joke could not reach a Scotchman's brain without a surgical operation." You can both give and take gracefully. I only feared I had not made myself clear-hence this note, which is perhaps a work of supererogation.
Your book, with the "presentation copy" remembrance added to its other charms, will always be a wellspring of pleasure to me. I am looking forward with interest to your Alaska book. Mrs. DeVore is in the East now, lecturing upon her work. She is a very interesting talker, and, in going about, is acting under orders from the Missionary Board. I met her at the house of a friend who entertained her when she recently visited Indianapolis, and was glad to find she knows and admires you.
Yours, with warm regard,
Eliza S. Hendricks.
1895 Apr 08
Original letter dimensions: 13 x 20.5 cm.
Hendricks, Eliza S., "Letter from Eliza S. Hendricks to John Muir, 1895 Apr 8." (1895). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 3078.
Reel 08, Image 0925
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