H. P. Lovecraft
Written in 1926
Published October 1927
You needn't think I'm crazy, Eliot- plenty of others have queerer prejudices than this. Why don't you
laugh at Oliver's grandfather, who won't ride in a motor? If I don't like that damned subway, it's my
own business; and we got here more quickly anyhow in the taxi. We'd have had to walk up the hill
from Park Street if we'd taken the car.
I know I'm more nervous than I was when you saw me last year, but you don't need to hold a clinic
over it. There's plenty of reason, God knows, and I fancy I'm lucky to be sane at all. Why the third
degree? You didn't use to be so inquisitive.
Well, if you must hear it, I don't know why you shouldn't. Maybe you ought to, anyhow, for you kept
writing me like a grieved parent when you heard I'd begun to cut the Art Club and keep away from
Pickman. Now that he's disappeared I go round to the club once in a while, but my nerves aren't what
No, I don't know what's become of Pickman, and I don't like to guess. You might have surmised I had
some inside information when I dropped him- and that's why I don't want to think where he's gone. Let
the police find what they can- it won't be much, judging from the fact that they don't know yet of the
old North End place he hired under the name of Peters.
I'm not sure that I could find it again myself- not that I'd ever try, even in broad daylight!
Yes, I do know, or am afraid I know, why he maintained it. I'm coming to that. And I think you'll
understand before I'm through why I don't tell the police. They would ask me to guide them, but I
couldn't go back there even if I knew the way. There was something there- and now I can't use the
subway or (and you may as well have your laugh at this, too) go down into cellars any more.
I should think you'd have known I didn't drop Pickman for the same silly reasons that fussy old women
like Dr. Reid or Joe Minot or Rosworth did. Morbid art doesn't shock me, and when a man has the
genius Pickman had I feel it an honour to know him, no matter what direction his work takes. Boston
never had a greater painter than Richard Upton Pickman. I said it at first and I say it still, and I never
swenved an inch, either, when he showed that 'Ghoul Feeding'. That, you remember, was when Minot
You know, it takes profound art and profound insight into Nature to turn out stuff like Pickman's. Any