Letter from Joseph Conrad to his agent, J.B. Pinker
place de la Comedie
21st Febr '06
My dear Pinker.
I send you the first 13 pp of Verloc partly that you should see what the story is going to be like and partly as evidence that the Capri fatality is not likely to overcome me this year. After all, considering that we have been just a week here and that it takes some time to feel settled I haven't done so badly. There is a good bit more MS actually written but I can't part with it yet. I've also worked at the text of the M of the Sea. That and the balance of Verloc you'll get in the course of a week. Meantime I hope you won't think I am stretching the point unduly if I ask you to send me £20 on the day you receive this -- which I imagine will be Friday -- either in English notes or by draft on the Credit Lyonnais who have a house here -- whichever is less trouble.
Don't imagine that the story'll be unduly long. It may be longer than the Brute but not very much so. What has delayed me was just trying to put a short turn into it. I think I've got it. I haven't done anything to Chance of course. I imagine it would go easiest at the Pent. But that or some other MS you are sure to have from here. I feel well and have a few ideas.
PS Would you have the extreme kindness to buy for me and send out by parcel post a fountain pen of good repute -- even if it has to cost 10/6. I am doing much of my writing in the gardens of Peyron under a sunny wall and the horrible stylo I've got with me is a nuisance.
n.b. Verloc became The Secret Agent