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J M Barrie to Sylvia Llewelyn Davies - 1904

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Letter from Barrie to Sylvia re the gift of a horse and cart, 15 September 1904



Transcription

Black Lake Cottage,
Nr. Farnham, Surrey.
15 Sep. 1904.

My dear Jocelyn,
If K[illegible name of horse] is right I think you should get her. She sounds promising. The thing to do is to have her sent you on trial, so do that. I think the fact of her being, a pony will comfort you. I'm writing our friend "Marty" that you are having a pony, also writing to Windover to hurry the cart. I suppose there's no reason agst. having the pony before the cart comes. If K [illegible] doesn't suit, you might try the roan. This is a very horsey letter. Yoicks gee whoa, there.
Your loving,
J.M.B.

Peter's comments:

I imagine the lavish gift of a pony and cart – a sort of governess cart, as I recall it – was bestowed as a tangible recognition of indebtedness to "Sylvia and Arthur Llewelyn Davies and their boys (my boys)” for their contribution to “The Little White Bird” and “Peter Pan”. It must have been rather difficult for A. But for all that side of things, see Denis Mackail. Note the signature. [AB: This appears to have been the first time Barrie signed off as “loving”.]

The pony with the illegible name [Konig?] was either rechristened or, more probably, rejected in favour of the roan; at any rate the animal eventually selected was called Crichton.

At the end of the letter is a scribbled representation of a horse in full gallop bearing a female figure with an infant in her arms and four male figures of decreasing sizes astride behind her.

I wonder whether any sharp words passed between A. and S. before this gift was accepted? [AB: Nico thought not.] One of the many things which conspire to lend a certain unreality to childish recollection is that it is almost impossible to me to conceive a quarrel between those two. But on the other hand it it is equally impossible to believe that relations weren't strained, and at pretty frequent intervals, too, by the infiltrations of this astounding little Scotch genius of a lover. The few letters I have dealing with this period tend to emphasize this side almost unduly, I regret to say. Had more letters to or from other people survived, a truer picture could have been presented, no doubt.

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