Dear brother and sister,
Sunday has left me a very pleasant memory. In this way we really feel that we’re not so far from one another, and I hope that we’ll see each other again often.1 Since Sunday I’ve done two studies of houses in the greenery;2 a whole colony of Americans has installed itself beside the house where I am. They paint, but I haven’t yet seen what they do.3
On reflection, as regards taking that house or another one, here’s what there is. Here I pay one franc a day for my bed,4 so if I had the furniture the difference between 365 francs and 400 wouldn’t, in my opinion, be of very great importance, and then I’d very much like you to have a pied-à-terre in the country at the same time as myself. But I’m beginning to believe that I must consider the furniture lost.
1v:2 As far as I can imagine, my friends where it is won’t put themselves out to send it to me, as I’m no longer there.5 It’s above all the traditional laziness and the old traditional story that on their side strangers who pass through leave the temporary furniture in the place where it is. But I’ve just written to them again for the third time that I have urgent need of it,6 I said in my letter that if I didn’t have news of them I would feel obliged to send them a louis7 for the costs of sending it. That will probably have some effect, but it’s impolite.
What can you do, in the south it isn’t entirely as it is in the north. The people there do what they want and don’t give themselves the trouble of thinking or paying attention to others if one isn’t there.
The moment you’re in Paris it’s like being in the otherworld. And
1v:3 I think that they probably won’t put themselves out, all the more so because they won’t like to get more mixed up in this business which people have talked so much about in Arles.8
It’s odd, all the same, that the nightmare should have ceased to such an extent here. I always told Mr Peyron that the return to the north would rid me of it, but odd, too, that it had got rather worse under the latter’s supervision, although he’s very capable and definitely wished me well.
On my side, too, it causes me distress to stir all this up by writing to people.
I thought that the little one looks well, and you two also; you must come back quickly.
As regards a carrier, there’s none from here directly to Paris, but there is one from Pontoise. Now there’s one every day from Pontoise to here. So please would you ask père Tanguy to set to work with all speed to take all the nails out of the canvases that are on stretching frames up there in the attic.9 He can make rolls of the canvases, parcels of the stretching frames.
Then either I’ll send the carrier from Pontoise or else I’ll come in a fortnight one time with Mr Gachet and take some. At your place, too, in the pile under the bed, I’ve seen many that I can retouch, I believe, to their advantage. I really regret not seeing the Raffaëlli exhibition.10 I would especially also like to see your arrangement of those drawings on cretonne,11 as you were saying.
One day or another I believe I’ll find a way to do an exhibition of myself in a café. I wouldn’t detest exhibiting with Chéret, who must certainly have ideas on that.12 More soon.
I shake your hand firmly, wishing you good fortune, especially with the little one.