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Letter 12389

Johnson, Mary to Darwin, C. R.

[Jan 1880]


She and her father will not be idle working on worms for CD.


My dear Mr. Darwin—

How much more lasting is the friendship between two men than two women! My father’s very warm feeling for you is not lessened by absence & he gloats over yr. books & any word of you he hears— When yr. letter came I saw such a glow of pleasure on his dear old face & with as much joy as if announcing a legacy (in wh: respect we have been lucky of late) he said “Darwin is still at wormbs”— my thoughts flew to the foreign city with that unattractive name but soon all was explained & I am as keen as he. If you hear nothing for a day or two do not think we are idle— One of the most curious adventures in our wanderings was that while at Penally near Tenby I heard through a cottager’s wife that “some swell fr. Oxford was opening a hole in the rock”— I sniffed it fr. afar as a bit of fun for my father & after his own heart & refreshing too when he had been suffering fr. afternoon teas & garden parties.

We timidly neared the spot & were cheered to hear the tap of hammers— a great scramble & we were at the entrance when to our surprise a giant in shirt sleeves came forward with two out-held hands & “Hoorah here is Dr. Johnson”   it was Proffessor Rolleston of Oxford who had often called & had long talks with father in our old home— he then jokingly greeted me as the first female who had entered since the flood except a she bear or so— we had such an interesting day among the bones & fed by the Proff: with Coffee out of a Soda water bottle, the workmen all round with their dinners but father says he must post his letter & I must stop

Goodbye & thank you for all the pleasure you give us— | Yrs. truly | Mary Johnson

DAR 168: 73


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