576 Life and Letters of Francis Galton
BRIDGE END, OCKHAM, SURREY. August 18, 1906.
DEAREST MILLY, I am glad that the proposed time for my visit suits you. The progress of the drains must be interesting to watch! We, like you, have at length bad much rain, sorely needed here, and it is cold in the evenings, so we have begun fires and sit but little out of doors. The hammock had been put up and the tent peg seemed as firm as iron when I lay in it, but after the rain had soaked the ground, Eva tried it and out came the peg and down she came " Hammock and all " like the nursery song of the bird in its nest on the tree-top. We had tea yesterday with an interesting man, Mr Stokes, the iron contractor for the big Egyptian dams. His wife, an Ionides, is half-Greek, and grand-daughter of the Ionides who gave the collection of pictures to our government. Everything about his cottage by the side of a rushing mill-stream is thought out, home-made for the most part, and' interesting. The stream is of considerable width and he built with his own hands two bridges across it; each is on a peculiar principle, and a water-wheel pumps water high up to his garden. Lucy Cameron Galton is with us for some days. The weather has been much against her sketching, but she thoroughly appreciates the paintability of the place. Cameron is taking a walking tour in Wales with Violet.
You recollect my pinched thumb-nail. It happened about July 26, more than three weeks ago, during which time the black has travelled only 7 millimetres forwards, say at the rate of 2 millimetres a week. It is now, as well as I can draw it, like thisand there is more black to an as yet unexplored distance below the flesh. In fact, it gets blacker and the nail seems more rotten nearer its root. I wish the surgeons would make bioscopes of healing wounds. In fact everything that grows might be bioscoped-humans, trees, etc. For a landscape, either a stone, or three smaller stones or bricks, would have to be fixed permanently in the ground, with holes in them for the legs of the camera, that it might be always in exactly the same place, then the photographs would have to be taken at the same hour on different days*. My machine f is now worked in my little so-called dressing-room here-sometimes still out of doors. All it wants is a common (it can't be too common) table to put it on, and it does not hurt a good one. A small table, so long as it is not less than 2 ft. 8 in. in length and 9 in. in breadth, is handier than a larger one. If you have not such, I could easily buy one in Bovey, or if none are to be bought, I could get a carpenter to nail up something thus:
So I will bring the machine down on spec., unless I shall have done enough with it before then. But the inquiry is very troublesome. I am 2 still uncertain as to the real utility of such results as I am likely to get. Best loves. Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
BRIDGE END, OCKIIAM, SURREY. August 26, 1906.
DEAREST MILLY, If all goes well and the May Bradshaw is to be trusted, Gifi and I will reach Bovey Station on Saturday next at 3.9, and will drive straight thence to Edymead, with the awning and with the machine. I have only just got it all into fluent working order, though it is so simple. Best congratulations to Amy on the Pope's autograph. May it convey a blessing! I feel quite interested about the progress of your drain. About the black on my nail, it is now 10 millimetres long and has five more to accomplish to reach the end. By pushing the skin back at the base I fancy I see the root of it (the black part), and its very rough commencement. This too is a subject of present interest and amusement. Nothing out of the common way has happened here since I wrote, and being at this moment rather handweary with much writing, and as we shall meet so soon, I will not write more. Lucy Cameron Galton has been a most. pleasant visitor. She left two or three days. ago. I take such a sound sleep in the middle of the day that each one seems to be two days and my dates are apt to be mixed. Best loves. Ever affectionately, FRANCIS GALTON.
* The coming of spring, or the passing of summer, might be effectively represented in this way.
t The 11 Measurement of Resemblance" apparatus, still preserved in the Galton Laboratory.