Letter (WCP154.154)


Parkstone, Dorset.

April 29th. 1891

My dear Will

Violet has come & gone. Her first exam. is today, & she forgot her ticket, — & wired for it this morning — & perhaps did not get it in time. She had a rabbit to dissect one day, but it smelled so that she could not get further than the lungs.

Last week & on Monday was pretty hot & the smell was in your room as bad as ever! So I wrote [2] to Mr. Rigler to send a bricklayer instantly. To day he came, & we found out another Charles’ of little games. Just under the wall where the drain turns into the house he had put another broken &pipe, without a proper flange, & only mortared up! So it leaked just in the wall, & all the smell went up the hollow wall into your room! [A sketch of the pipe appears below]

So I had two rows of bricks taken out of the wall above the drain and all filled [3] in with solid brick and cement, as it ought to have been at first, — and I think it will puzzle any stink to get up now. To make sure I have had 6 air bricks put it in (there were none!) 2 to ventilate the kitchen floor and four to your room and the bath room. The moment it was done your room smelt different! Quite wholesome! Next week it will be sweet!! The week after like a bed of violets & cowslips!!!

The illustrious Slugophilite1 is appointed slug-catcher to her Majesty [4] in her Majesty’s Island of Jamaica. On the strength of it he is going to be married instantly, & sails in 3 weeks. In that far-off Isle the snails groan & the slugs tremble! Besides slug-hunting he has a Museum to look after "in his leisure moments — but Slugicide will be "the serious business of his life." He is coming to Corfe for his honeymoon, & promised us another visit, with Mrs. Slugophilite. The slug you found near Lytchet is a new British Variety! Hurrah!!

Mind & tell us all the news collegiate and Crumpian.

Your affectionate Papa | Alfred R. Wallace — [signature]

Wallace referred to his friend Theodore Dru Alison Cockerell (1866 — 1948) as the 'Slugophilite'.

Please cite as “WCP154,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 25 February 2024, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP154