Wednesday, October 27, 2004 +

Yours Very Truly, Rockwell Kent

Peg Rogers, whose house we bought, left behind the book World-Famous Paintings, "edited" by Rockwell Kent. A Christmas gift from the Kents to the Rogers, the book is inscribed, and an envelope containing a letter written by Rockwell Kent to Roderick Rogers the day after Christmas is attached to the title page.

The inscription:

A time-honored time-piece that hung on the wall
Must sometime and somehow have had a great fall:

Not all the King's horses and all the king's men
but Roderick put it together again!

For so kindly expending such time on the clock
Merry Christmas to Peggy, the children, and Rock.

Frances and Rockwell Kent

The letter:

Ausable Forks, New York
December 26th, 1939.

Roderick Rogers, Esq.,
Ausable Forks,
New York.


It was our understanding, both implicit and expressed, that the valuable time-piece entrusted to your care for minor adjustments was delivered by you as in full repair and running order. The mere fact that both the Art Book and the poem enscribed on its fly-leaf were rotten in no way justifies your having swindled me by representing as in perfect order for continued running a clock that, after sixteen hours of terrific effort during which it lost ten minutes of valuable time, expired from exhaustion. That sixteen hours of concentrated effort seems to have undermined its constitution. Assisted by occasional pushes on the pendulum it will now gasp through five torturing minutes - and no more.

It betrays, perhaps, a fatuous belief in the innate honest[y] of man that I suggest to you by this letter that you make it a point of honor with yourself to make the clock work. However, I do offer you this opportunity in preference to immediately pursuing that course which the laws of our Country wisely provide for the protection of honest citizens against the criminal classes.

I am Sir,

Yours very truly,
Rockwell Kent