Winters Walk Notebook/2
Setting out from Ayr
Here are RLS’s notes for Sunday 9 January 1876, the first morning of his Winter’s Walk. The mark [?] in the transcription refers to uncertain preceding word(s). Any help on these would be most gratefully received.
[written with notebook turned 90°]
289 Washington St
William. M. Everts.
Rockwood. 839 Broadway N. Y
large. c. d. v. profile
Ayr. Intense cold, ten o’ clock, dry snow. dark in streets with little irruptions of sun, last churchgoers. As you got: out spun ice low lemon sun in a gray smoke, cocks crowing birds twittering, cloudless sky. deserted houses. two dogs. The cocks, seem deep and rich and hoarse, some clear, high, glad and distant, as if they had to; dogs barking mingled with it, and then a clock striking the hours; some grele and crazy, some tremulously emphatic, some chorus [?] three near at hand in harmony, and then the faraway clear one in a dying fall
The meadows were all orange and white, a few swells of wood lay across the way. [?] Behind them Brown Carrick, daubed in the outline with two shocks of firs; and way down to Ayr heads & castle. Firs, some fields shining green. The freezing snow brushed away like meal and glittered in the sun like quartz, or as if it was powdered with sprinkled diamond dust. The hill out of the woods. [?]
[cont. on p. 9]
 Henry Ward Beecher (1813–1887), prominent Congregationalist clergyman, social reformer, and abolitionist. An advocate of Women’s suffrage, temperance and Darwin’s theory of evolution, and a foe of slavery and bigotry of all kinds (religious, racial and social), Beecher held that Christianity should adapt itself to the changing culture of the times. An 1875 adultery trial in which he was accused of having an affair with a married woman was one of the most notorious American trials of the 19th century (Wikipedia). This looks like details in order purchase; and being in RLS’s notebook he would be the presumed intending purchaser, but why we do not know.
 carte de visite; in 1859 Parisian photographer Disdéri published Emperor Napoleon III’s photos in this format and ‘This made the format an overnight success, and the new invention was so popular it was known as “cardomania” and eventually spread throughout the world… Albums for the collection and display of cards became a common fixture in Victorian parlors’ (Wikipedia).
 George Kendall Warren (1824-1884), American daguerreotypist and photographer.
 Untraced reference; it could be US politician and orator William M. Evarts (1818-1901), though why anyone (presumably RLS) would want a portrait of him is not clear.
 George Gardner Rockwood, photographer (1832-1911).
 Start of RLS’s notes made while on his ‘winter’s walk’; McKay: ‘A Winter’s Walk in Carrick and Galloway,’ notes (7174).
 10 a.m. on Sunday 9 January, after arriving from Edinburgh the day before.
 misplaced colon or just a mark on the page.
 curious hoar frost effect resembling spiders’ webs.
 French ‘grêle’: ‘high-pitched (voice)’.
 conjectural reading; cf. ‘An effusion of coppery light on the summit of Brown Carrick showed where the sun was trying to look through’ (‘Winter’s Walk’).
 : ‘This hill is known as the Brown Hill of Carrick, or, more shortly, Brown Carrick’ (‘Winter’s Walk’).
 headlands south of Ayr.
 ‘and glittering… diamond dust’ added at bottom of a page and insertion point indicated by an asterisk.