Digging through the archive is never dull, though it is time-consuming since one thing leads to another. In this letter of 1897 we discover not only that Crockett has had a cycling accident, but also that he's been sent a consignment of Polish books by W.E.Baillie to read, which he has enjoyed. But who is W.E.Baillie, and what were the books? It may well be that answers lie elsewhere in the archive, perhaps in the folder which contains details of books sold from his library in 1913. Until then... it's a mystery.
To whet your appetite, here's a transcript of the letter, fortunately typewritten which makes it a lot quicker. SRC's handwriting is not the easiest to decipher.
15th May 1897.
Dear Mr Baillie,
I hurt my leg while cycling a fortnight ago, and had to have it surgically treated, so that I received your delightful package of books in bed, and have been reading them ever since. The Polish novels seem very strong, full of character and action. They are a remarkable find to a novelist like me.
Many thanks for the Cleg Kelly poster, which is striking and artistic. I fear our ancient Smith & Elder are not up to date with their methods.
We all remember the bright evening we spent with you. I think it was brightest to myself, because I have had no one to understand my first editions since you left.
My kindest regards to your wife, and many thanks to yourself.
Very Truly yours,