To John Innes 6 September 
Down Bromley Kent
Many thanks for your kind enquiries about Etty. I am glad to be able to give a decidedly better account, though her progress is excessively slow. She now sits up several hours every day & has taken two or three very short drives. What is best of all is that the Doctors are now convinced there is no organic mischief.— We have had an unhappy Summer; but I hope the worst is over.— I am glad to have a pretty good account of your son; & I hope Mrs Innes is fairly well.1 My wife joins me in very kind remembrances to her.—
I hope you have not given up thinking about Down; though what house you could get, I cannot tell. I hear dreadful reports on the state of Mr. Ainslie’s house.—2 We were away from Down for an unusual time this summer, namely, six weeks; & have hardly seen a soul since our return;—except J. Lubbock to talk Natural History with. Every thing goes on much as usual. 〈I some〉times see Mr Phillips, 〈 〉 of 〈 〉.— 〈 〉 〈re〉membering my hobby of striped asses.3 I must say that I am a complete skeptic about the powers of rooks,—curious as your stories are.
What stories one hears about the spirit-rapping now-a-days— the old saying to believe nothing one hears & only half of what one sees is a golden rule.
Farewell | with every good wish. | 〈 〉4
Etty [Henrietta Darwin] much improved.
Reference to his "hobby of striped asses".
Sceptical of JBI’s "curious stories" on spirit-tapping: "believe nothing one hears & only half of what one sees".
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 2907,” accessed on 23 April 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-2907