Letter by CJD to R.H. Croll 1914.03.27

March 27/14

Dear Rob,

The evolution of laurel jam:

Thro' resting too long on my laurels I found that I had crumpled them so much that they were not fit to wear again this season, so I picked the berries off, mixed them with some of Pegasus's horse feed, some fruit of the Fakus hebagreeni that I found near the foot of Parnassus. Then, as my Muse had a good deal of spare time, and is becoming domesticated -

Hell!! There is a hail-storm on. Hail as big as eggs! I must go and see it.

It's all over now. I have never seen anything quite like it. It had been thundering continuously for a quarter-hour, and then Hughie sent down blankly great lumps of ice bigger than the bowl of my pipe. Jim Wood who is sitting on the verandah, brought in a huge one. Hence my profane exclamation on page one. It is now raining a treat and the house is leaking beautifully.

I was about to say that I got my Muse to make a little jam of the mixture and you have the result.

Seriously, the stuff is made from the berries of a shrub or tree called locally - and elsewhere, I believe - the Laurel. In my childhood these berries were believed to be poisonous.

Suppose you saw the "Pilot Cove" in this week's "Bulletin". Simultaneously I got a letter of congratulations from Arthur Adams.

But they should have printed the "Siren" first.

Am hoping they will publish the others soon so that I can get the book out about Xmas. Don't think I shall publish in a cheap edition at first. A daintily got up cloth volume at 2/6. What do you think?

Grace seems to be having a good time; but I guess, if they are getting this weather they will want to come home.

Have been firing topical stuff at the "Bulletin" by almost every mail. Next week, am on a yarn for "Lone Hand."

Do you think you will be able to see our sports? Am sending you a bill, but I am not responsible for its composition.

Ye Olde Potte has sent me yet another enlargement.


CROLL Collection MS 8910, 1202/1(b) - State Library of Victoria.

The "Olde Potte" referred to is J. G. Roberts.
Arthur Adams was, at this time, the editor of the Red Page of the Bulletin.
"Grace" is either Croll's wife or daughter - I'm not sure at this stage.

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002