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Item 488 - Jack London Catalog 580 (Apr 2020)

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Minimum Bid: $200.00
Sold Price: $453.75 (includes buyer's premium)


TLS, one page, 8.5 x 6.5, December 31, 1912. Letter to John A. Browne of the Vallejo Yacht Club, in full: "I had a lovely month's cruise. Got the Roamer squarely up into Big Lake, according to directions you so kindly gave me. Now concerning the skiff. She simply cannot lie out in the water, month in and month out, without being totally destroyed. When I first returned from the voyage I left the skiff tied up in the water, and inside of five days it was full of water. In the short time between the last painting and the trip I went on, the skiff was very badly scored on the port side forward. As I shall not use the skiff for many a month to come, the only thing to save the life of the skiff will be to give it inside protection. My Japanese boy tells me that he hauled it up half-in and half-out of the boat house the other day. This is certainly no good place, for it will be in everybody's way, and where the sun will get in its action on it. How about hoisting the skiff up to the ceiling inside the boat house anywhere? If this seems feasible, go ahead and get somebody to do it, and I'll pay for tackle and blocks, etc., on same. Ropes for the tackle could be found in my locker. By the way, will you please fix it up with the Steward to keep an eye on Roamer, and an occasional bucket of water on her decks, and to see that she is occasionally pumped out. Pay him whatever it's worth for this and let me fix it up with you afterward. Please don't forget when the good weather comes on, you and yours are due for a visit on the ranch." London makes a couple corrections to the text in his own hand. In very good to fine condition, with some light diagonal creasing to the right side. London bought an old 30-foot-long wooden boat named Isis for $175 in October 1910, renamed it Roamer, and kept it on the Napa River near the Vallejo Yacht Club, at which he soon attained membership. The next year, London began construction of his dream house on the Beauty Ranch near Glen Ellen. He made Beauty Ranch, now the Jack London State Park, his permanent home—and the Napa River and the Vallejo Yacht Club his home port.

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