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Memories and Portraits
written by "Stevenson, Robert Louis, 1850-1894"
... at work in riverside fields and to the drums of the gray old garrison upon the neighbouring hill.  And this was, I think, done rightly: the place was rightly peopled—and now belongs not to me but to my puppets—for a time at least.  In time, perhaps, the puppets will grow faint; the original memory swim up instant as ever; and I shall once more lie in bed, and see the little sandy isle in Allan Water as it is in nature, and the child (that once was me) wading there in butterburrs; and wonder at the instancy and virgin freshness of that memory; and be pricked again, in season and out of season, by the desire to weave it into art. There is another isle in my collection, the memory of which besieges me.  I put a whole family there, in one of my tales; and later on, threw upon its shores, and condemned to several days of rain and shellfish on its tumbled boulders, the hero of another.  The ink is not yet faded; the sound of the sentences is still in my mind’s ear; and I am under a spell to write of that island again. I The little isle of Earraid lies close in to the south-west corner of the Ross of Mull: the sound of Iona on one side, across which you may see the isle and church of Columba; the open sea to the other, where you shall be able to mark, on a clear, surfy day, the breakers running white on many sunken rocks.  I first saw it, or first remembered seeing it, framed in the round bull’s-eye of a cabin port, the sea lying smooth along its shores like the waters of a lake, the colourless clear light of the early morning making plain its heathery and rocky hummocks.  There stood upon it, in these days, a single rude house of uncemented stones, approached by a pier of wreckwood.  It must have been very early, for it was then summer, and in summer, in that latitude, day scarcely withdraws; but even at that hour the house was making a sweet smoke of peats which came to me over the bay, and the bare-legged daugh...

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