Copy of the letter to be sent through Olcott. I want you to correct it. I am determined to sue the Coulombs for this.
— Hodgson Esq.
I have always laboured under the impression that in English law so long as one was not proven "guilty" legally, one was held innocent; and that a one sided testimony — especially that of recognised enemies could be put aside even in a Court of Justice. You seem to act on different principles. You are welcome to do so. In the matter of phenomena I have come to care very little whether I will be proclaimed in your Report to the P.R.S. a humbug and a fraud twenty times over, or not; though I doubt the propriety and good taste of your proclaiming me all this beforehand among your Madras acquaintances. However, even to this I am indifferent.
But you went further. At Mr. Garstin's dinner the other night you spoke of me as a "Russian Spy." You have supported this assertion against Mr. Hume's laugh and denial, and that of Mr. and Mrs. C. O. so seriously and with such emphasis that it becomes a matter of the gravest importance for me to have it proved publicly whether I am a "Spy" or not. As I defy any mortal man to bring valid proof that I have ever written one line or received one from the Russian Govt. for the last 15 years during which period I became an American citizen, and that I am as loyal to the British Govt. that now gives me hospitality as you can be — I would have been perfectly justified in taking out summonses and have you arrested, for the vile and dangerous calumny but for three considerations:
(1) You are the friend of the Oakleys whom I love and respect and would avoid dragging as unwilling witnesses;
(2) Only a fortnight ago I had an affectionate regard for yourself whom I believed impartial and just;
(3) People might, and would say that it was a revenge for your having "found me out" and shown "a consummate fraud" as you express it.
And pray do not think for a moment that any one has repeated to me your conversations and accusations at Mr. Garstin's. I know every word that was said at table by means that even your P.R.S. recognise and could not deny in me. I thank you also for your additional fling at an innocent and absent woman who has never done you any harm, in saying that you believed her a woman capable of every and any crime. You may believe me personally what you like, but you have no right to express your slanders publicly.
However it may be, I expect from you a written statement over your signature of all you heard from the Coulombs about my being a spy that led you to form such a conclusion. I will also beg of you a description of the paper or papers she showed you, for this time I mean to sue her and put an end to such an infamy. This is a serious affair Mr. Hodgson and it is yourself who have forced me into this course of action.
H. P. B.