Ruskin had taken up a position as a discreditor for Lloyd’s West. Naturally, Lloyd’s West wasn’t Lloyd’s East, and St. Louis wasn’t Carthage, but final notices were now arriving in neatly twined bundles and Ruskin’s cornershop sinecure as a “deporter of poets” had lately brought volumes of sweat and panic.
Rapidly the St. Louis life grew stale and cumbersome; daytime fancies of downriver New Orleans rafts began to gestate. Ruskin knew that city was impossible, full of violent men to whom he owed money and favour. But he had often thought of having a small courtyard.
Ruskin enlivened himself through the small available means. He took a flat above the City Museum, a weekday valet and a subscription to the Business Press. He didn’t get a dog this time, as they barked when he masturbated.