Tuesday, 29 October 2013

29th October 1933 - Terrick to Mary


29th October 1933

Dear Mary Pleasant, 

I am so glad to have seen you again' but how complicated everything becomes compared with the simplicity of writing to you.  In a letter one can isolate what one wants to say and shut everything else out, because it is much easier.  In a letter time and place mean practically nothing.  If I am writing from Dinard to you in Shepperton it is just the same as when I am writing to Mentone to you at, say, Hamburg.  It is the inside, mental me writing talking to the inside mental you.  But when we meet, there are Lyons's other customers and the orchestra and a million material things that obtrude between the conversion of our minds and make it far more difficult.  And there is another thing that steps in too and mixes everything up, the physical side.  As you are talking I suddenly think how your lips are like two red plums, and forget to listen to you.

So that if I can't convey what i mean when I'm with you, you can't be surprised.

Our meetings are like a ballet such as "Anna-Anna".  You have to have the meaning explained to you in writing of the apparently meaningless and futile actions of the dancers.  So this letter is a sort of footnote to Thursday and Saturday night.

In my previous affairs the physical has always played the main part, though I used to try and think it didn't.  And I saw on Thursday that until February it had played (as it probably should) a very big part in my interest in you, because now that I experience it again it comes as a great surprise and I find it rather in the way.  My eight months away were definitely for the best because it has shown me that my interest in you is independent of your physical charms, that I should feel just the same if your cheeks were like dried figs instead of rose petals.


I had decided that I wouldn't kiss you because if you let me it would only be from the same friendliness with which you let the others do so, or, as when I kissed you before, out of a sort of pity; and I didn't want either of those kisses.  I decided I would avoid anything at all that might look "sentimental" because it always looks so silly to a person who is not in the same mood for it.

But I  can't be near you and just coldly put theory into practise.  I wanted to kiss you on Thursday.  Coming home in the car on Friday I wanted to more and more, and in the garden I didn't care whether you kissed me from friendliness, pity, passion or love, as long as you kissed me.  But to save my face I cut it short and said clumsily: "A friendly one."  I am a fool.


The village post office only has one decent card of the village, the one I sent you yesterday.  They have sold out of the others, but I'll have a hunt round for some more.


My mother who is dozing over a newspaper by the fire has just woken up and said "Still writing!"  My people can't help seeing the photographs of you now that I am home, because they are on my mantelpiece.  I have torn up the two I showed you of Gilberte.  I only kept them to show you in case I should think it necessary.  And I thought I would after your fortnight's kissing orgy!!


I travelled up in great comfort, the only one in my compartment, and from the moment I got home became frenziedly busy.  Herbert Kühne had just written to my father for his consent to his marriage to Eileen, and as he doesn't speak a word of English and my people had both forgotten their German grammar, I had to do a hurried translation of my father's reply before post time.  I just got to the post office in time to be able to write you that card.  I could not think, in the minute I had to do it in, of anything to say except that I had had a jolly good tea!!  It wouldn't have done to put anything about Herbert on it as the post mistress here is also the village news-organ and the engagement is not yet announced.  My father has asked all about his (Herbert's) ability to support Eileen in comfort etc.  It was rather difficult translating the technical terms.  I know now what questions I shall have to answer when I get off.

Then from the post office I went on to see Bryan Cooke-Yarborough, the son of the estate-agent.  He was born stupid and after getting the sack from umpteen jobs his people are shipping him to Rhodesia on Wednesday.  I took him a goodbye present from my people.  I am going round there to tea today.

I got back just in time for dinner.  Then I went all round the house looking at our new furniture and pictures.  Wee have got thirteen new pictures, five in oils, two in watercolour, two prints and four photographic reproductions of oils.  Eight of them are ancestors, one of a house where one of them lived and one by my great-great-grandfather.  There are awfully nice inlaid tables and trays, a grandmother clock and tons of FitzHugh-crested silver.


Monday Morning

It looks as though it is going to be a fine day.  It is great to be back.  I'll read through Edwy today to make sure it is all legible and when I have got it off I'll go for a walk.

I wish you were here.  I love walking and talking and walking and not talking with someone I know well.

One day we are going to motor over the Pennines to Morecombe to lunch at a marvellous modern hotel that has just been built there.

I have got tons to say to you  but I want you to get this letter this evening or tomorrow morning, so I'll stop now and carry on in my next letter.

Coming back from the Rivieria and London to Wensley is like going back a hundred years.  My father and mother have such a funny way of looking at things and people sometimes.  it seems terribly snobbish to me, but it isn't that, it comes quite naturally to them because they have never mixed much.

But they are such sensible, practical people in most things that I find it amazing that they really believe the naive things they say about working-class people.  I remember when I was younger I used to argue with them about it.  I don't now.  It has become second nature to them to look at things that way and nothing will change it.

They are real dears though.




Tuesday, 22 October 2013

22nd October 1933 - Mary to Terrick



I am just home for the day - going back this evening.  It is nice being home again.  I expect you're getting awfully excited, aren't you?

I got your letter yesterday at tea-time.  I wonder if you really will arrive at 6.0 on Wednesday! - I'm afraid I can't see you that evening, though, because it just happens to be our dress rehearsal at school (Finchley) for the concert on Friday 27th.  At 6.0 I am calling in to see Mr Bernays for half an hour - then on to school - Norah comes to fetch me at 9.0 and we both go back & sleep at Grannie's so that I can run across to school early Thursday after breakfast (Did I tell you the school was just opposite Grannie's flat on Richmond Hill?)

I shall be up to French - 6-8pm on the Thursday evening - if you could possibly be outside King's at 8.0 I could have an hour to spare then - which I should love! - But will it be worth it? - I mean, it seems a bit silly to stop going home all Thursday just for a mouldy hour in the evening - when you will have lots more time to rake me out of my nunnery when you come back!

- I'm longing for you to come home here for a weekend.  Which will be the earliest one you can manage? -

                         - Oh - arn't we fools!

- (or Grannie's is RICHMOND 0797
                -after 10.0 on Wed evening)

P.S. I hope this reaches you in time!

Monday, 21 October 2013

21st October 1933 - Terrick to Mary

Hotel Brice
44, Rue du Maréchal-Joffre

21st October 1933

Dear Mary Pleasant,

As every post time goes by and no cancellation of my recall arrives I get quietly happier and happier.  I have been very restless at the thought that it will be put off again but now I am sitting humming loudly, like a cat purring.  This letter is nearly in poetry, to go with the time I have in my head.

I am so glad my letter bucked you up.  I wish I had been on hand to receive the hug.  Even though I knew it was only loneliness that caused it -, it would have suited me because it has been dashed lonely down here and a hug is what the doctor would order me.

When I ran into Marina on Sunday I nearly bust with pleasure.  She is an old flame of mine, a Russian refugee, and very sensible to talk to.  I didn't feel like hugging her but I took her out to Monte Carlo and spent nearly a week's wages on her.  By playing with my money she did what I can never manage for myself - I have giving up trying - won me some money at Roulette.

How are the various studies going?  What fifth form are in you for French?  Are you learning at the school as well as teaching?

The "Experience" tip was specially put in for you.

I got just the same impression of the London students as you, when I went to a sort of concert affair at King's once.  Steel spectacles is absolutely the key-note.

"For Sinners Only" certainly is 'vulgar propaganda'.  I told you the style was terrible journalese.  It may be that it was only because I was in the mood that I put up with the manner and absorbed the matter.

I admit I had suspected Mervyn Spragge, but, as in a detective story, one can only suspect the people who are mentioned, and I couldn't find any other possible one named.

I don't see anything so terrible in your third case.

The fellow I should like to kick in the pants is the one who wanted "to finish off his day well" that way.  If that is all he wants he ought to pick someone more appropriate.

Still, my sense of humour informs me that lots of reverent swains, if they only knew of me, would be thinking exactly the same about me.  So I let him off, if ever I see him.

After I had posted that letter to you I thought it rather cheek of me to have asked you about the above, and if I could have got it back, I would have cut it out.

I don't suppose your mother would have a fit if she knew.  She must have been the same.  On holiday it comes so much more naturally, doesn't it.

I should love to see you as Mrs Malaprop.  Sometimes, you know, you are a bit that way yourself.

Have you changed much to look at?  I am longing to see you give one of your "reminiscent" smiles again, when you are amused at something you are thinking of saying.

Look, if you have your lectures before your supper couldn't you have supper with me at a good fuggy Lyons and I will take you to Waterloo - by the longest way there is.  I don't care if I do forget everything I have to say.  There have been plenty of mere words between us these eight months; it is seeing you that is going to be so stupendous.

Let me know somehow, send a message to await me at Haverstock Hill, where and when I can see you that evening.  I would ring you up but I don't know where you are just after six on Wednesdays.

The card I sent you yesterday was from an island called St. Honorat off Cannes.  We had great fun there picnicking just where the card sh0wed and later scrambling over rocks and paddling and going over the old castles and (men only) over the monastery.  Then we went to the island of Ste. Marguerite where the Man in the Iron Mask was imprisoned when he tried to escape from the Bastille.

tonight I have no clients left.  One arrives tomorrow.  But as he is at a different hotel, I am moving there too.  I shall be at the Pension Cavallero - but then you won't have time to write.  I shall come back here to pick up letters.

This evening I have been invited to go to the Casino Municipal with a most absurd fellow who is staying at the hotel.  His father runs a little tourist bureau in Putney, and he has come down here "to find out what's what". He has travelled "extensively" - to two places in Belgium; and he told my last lot of clients that he was going to pump me for useful information about the way the Poly did business.  He drinks no wine "except really fruity port" and doesn't like Belgium "because the morals are so lax".  I am going to try and have some fun with him tonight.  It is a pity I haven't got more cash on me, to make his hair really stand on end.  Nice is the place to make people sit up and blink.

The post goes in five minutes or I'd write pages more.

I am living for Wednesday evening.

Till then
  Lots of Love


(written up the side of the page) I don't believe you have got ugly, fat and spotty, but don't care if you are the ugliest, fattest, spottiest thing in London.  You are quite right about platonic friendships.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

16th October 1933 - Mary to Terrick

Old Vicarage School
Richmond.  Surrey.


- Thank you ever and ever so much!! - There it was just sitting smugly on the hall table as I let myself in the front door (I own a latch-key!) - Oh, Gosh! - if I told you all the feelings that went on inside me when I picked it up - and also I spent the whole of my lonely supper digesting it - well, it would be tremendously bad for you - because I metaphorically threw my arms around your neck and kissed you a hundred times! - (This is what comes of sitting down to answer a letter directly after receiving it!)

You couldn't have made it a nicer letter - It just came at the right moment and had just the right effect.  Did you mean it to do all this?

- Thank you for sending the photographs back again - and the ones of you - I don't know whether I like you looking quite such a "he-man" - because I don't recognise my Fort William rep. - but it's all right when I get to the face! - and of course, the company!!

I've come to the conclusion (once again) that you hardly know anything about me, do you?  I passed Matric years ago (when I was young, in fact!) - but without Latin - so tonight I have had another two hours sweat on Declensions & Conjugations & piles of necessary rules!! I'm so slow - and went puce tonight when I was informed I had made a prime howler! - Specially as the class consists of about 30 hulking lads and three meagre females - and the very dearest of professors.  Aren't females in Colleges dowdy & uninteresting?  Ours are dreadful! - and the men are, if anything, worse, all short and untidy with steel spectacles! - But I have discovered this evening one of the nicest ways of getting the most out of 6d (it was my last bean in the world, owing to Foyle's having cleared me out for French books!) - I was freezing cold and went into a nice "fuggy" Lyons and had a cup of gorgeous coffee for 2d - an enormous 1d bun with chocolate icing on the top - and 'for Sinners Only' - Then a 2d Cadburys block of milk chocolate to eat in the train and a 1d bus to Waterloo - I caught the fast train and felt completely satisfied! - But I had to walk from the station this end as I could only rake up a ½dand the latch-key! (where does money go to?)

- I'm taking Latin, English, French & Geog. for Inter. - and I'm afraid it's going to be at least 4 years before I shall feel it necessary for you to address me as M. Ormiston B.A. - if ever ! - It's appalling the way I have forgotten everything - all my French grammar - and yesterday I was humiliated unto the dust when I went to the Vth form French lesson - I made the most flagrant mistakes Madame Aubrey asked me what my name was - & when I said "Ormiston" - she said 'no, no - I mean your Christian name'!! - So in front of the whole blessed form (whom I have great difficulty in quelling!) I lamely got up & said "Mary" !! (Roars of laughter!) - (But it had it's humorous side!).

I'm rather good, I think, at keeping the children in order - the babies, anyway - and I have just started organising team races in Break - quite successful - so far.  - Thank you for the "experience" tip - was it specially put in for me? - or is it a general mistake? - Yes, thank heaven they are all girls - God forbid I should ever have to drive anything into a male!

I'm sorry to disappoint you about 'For Sinners Only' - but I only stuck it as far as page 63 - and hated it! - It gave me the feeling all the time of 'vulgar propaganda' - perhaps I didn't read enough to understand what they were after - but I'm afraid what I did read struck me as being entirely stupid.  I suppose there must be something in it - but it didn't make me feel interested - All the same, the things you said you had discovered in your letter, I mainly agree with - Let's talk about it one day & see.

- To change the subject - - You know you said you thought you knew who had kissed me before I went away? - Did you think Mervyn? - Because, if so, I feel I must clear his name!  He's the least 'sloppy' boy I've ever met - & we just get on well together because he's never once held my hand- and simply hasn't even thought of kissing me! (That's why he's nice!) - no - it happened to be a very blasé, terribly young, friend of his from Cambridge, who thought the world of himself - and considered it necessary to finish his day well! - I don't even remember his name! - The second one, on board, was Gerhard Traupe - the Hamburg N.Y.K. boy - who did it most beautifully - just like Jack would!! - & the third (I don't know whether I like owning up to this) - I met him the last night on the boat (I hadn't noticed him before) - he travels for Cuttall's Steel Windows - we discussed business, Germany , war, slums, house-building, ideals, and matrimony - all in everybody's (supposed) original manner (Norah was in bed with a cold!) - we went out on deck for a breather before going to bed & behaved with great decorum.  He enquired whether I would be embarrassed if he kissed me goodnight - & I very lamely said 'Don't be silly' - & he did  - & I hated it - but I didn't see him again and I don't know his name - & ever since I've thought how very cheap & nasty I was - but it didn't seem it a bit while I did it - and, anyway, one learns by experience - & I've promised myself I'll never be so stupid again! - (He was honestly nice, and very well-meaning, though!)

- So now what do you think of me? - I'm sorry to force my "lowness" upon you - but it's better telling someone - & Mummy would have a fit!

- There - now you know the entire whole of my 'lapses from grace' - & I'm filled wih the apprehension that it was stupid of me to tell you !!

- I'll keep your pencil for you - and I'm longing for "Edwy".

- If you think you'll be home on 22nd - that's next weekend that ever is - isn't it?  - I don't suppose for a minute you will be - but anyway I'm not sure if I'm having it off or not - most probably "yes" - but as I specially wan thte 27th weekend (because of the Rivals) - I may have to be on duty on the 22nd instea. - And when you do see me I bet you'll have forgotten everything you meant to say - and we'll find we have to start at the beginning anyway - let's hope you like the new 'me' thought - I'm afraid I'm fatter & uglier & spottier - and far older - & just like anybody else you can pick up anywhere - so what will you do about it? - Perhaps we'd both better go miles away & forget each other!

- I've had to stop 'elocution' - owing to lack of time - Mrs Malaprop will be the last thing I do at 'Holmewood'.

I'm frightfully bucked at the moment about Miss Greig coming to take gym here on Tuesdays.  She taught me at Holmewood, you know - & I was simply mashed on her then!

She's the most wonderful woman I know - & now she's turned up again here - I think God must have done something!  I'm going out to teah with her one Tuesday.  - She was the first person to drum the meaning of 'sporting' and 'unselfish' into me - & for that bless her always! - Although I think perhaps a little more of the latter is still necessary!

- Well, you must be bored to tears with all this about me - but you will allow me that the myriad questions in your letter rather asked for it, didn't they?  - & I believe you did it on purpose because you knew talking about myself would cheer me up!  It does! - and that's why I can't adequately thank your unselfish gesture on my behalf!

- My love

Mary Pleasant x x x 

P.S. I have four weeks holiday at Christmas - so I should go to the Hunt Balls - I should think they're wonderful!

P.P.S. Platonic friendships never work - although I suppose I'm making a good effort!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

13th October 1933 - Terrick to Mary

Hotel Brice
Rue Marechal Joffre
Nice (A-M)

13th October

My Dear Old Mary,

Sorry this is not by return of post but I got your letter just as I was going off on a whole day excursion.  It is now evening and I will have the letter off by the first English post tomorrow.

You do seem to have had a good holiday.  I liked looking at the photographs.  "The Hon. Togawaya" in one photo seems to be identical with "Prince" in another.  I seem to have seen Miss James somewhere, though perhaps it was only someone with rimless glasses and the same type of face.

You seem to be going in strong for kissing.  I was twenty-three, I think, before I got up to the three-a-fortnight mark.  It was the beginning of the end, and my record, three in one evening, was achieved a few weeks later.  I hope you won't have fallen as low as that before I get back.

It is funny, isn't it? I didn't enjoy kisses a bit at first, even though I frequently wanted to do it.  It is an acquired taste.  When you get used to it (which the Lord forbid) you will find it can have the most heady effects compared with which strong wine is as water.  But perhaps I am particularly sensual.

All over the continent holding hands and kissing in public is the done thing.

I am sorry to do Jill out of a silver pencil but I haven't got one.

Here are two photographs of me.  The diving one was taken at Menton and the other at Nice.

I have revised the first act of "Edwy" so now the play is more or less finished, but I am going to spend the remaining time I have here in titivating the whole thing.

I have also drawn sketches of the scenes for you, so that when you read it you will be able to picture them better.

In spite of the fact that it is not me but a sympathiser that you want to see, I think I shall look you up when I get back. (As if I could keep away!)

Will the weekend 21st - 22nd October be one of your free ones?  I think that will be when I shall come home.  I'll let you know anyhow.  Paul also wants me to meet his fiancee before I go on my holiday.  I was thinking of obliging him by combining the two and going somewhere to dance all four.  But that would only be if you were free on the Monday, which I imagine is always your Latin day.

I would rather have you to myself because there is so much I want to hear from you and tell you.  I am sure I could talk the clock round to you.  Isn't life fearfully exciting and such fun!  Everything is opening out into something strange and beautiful.  You are on your way to a B.A. and Heaven knows what discoveries.  And I am about to launch "Edwy the Fair" and start "Robin Hood".  And whether we succeed or fail, wear are steering ourselves, not just drifting.  Life only becomes dreary and sordid when you lose (a) your youthful enthusiasm and (b) your high ideals.

All this is not in response to your request to know why it is a great life, it is just me letting off steam, playing variations on the theme.

Do let me know any interesting bits you learn about "King Lear" and "Much Ado".  Since I have been out here I have read:  "Antony & Cleopatra", "Richard II", "Henry IV Part I", half of "Henry IV Part II", "Cymbeline", "Julius Caesar", "Troilus & Cressida" and "King John".  I must read "Lear" again and "Much Ado".

By the way, what happened to your recitation lessons?

Did you land at Heligoland?

I wandered round some of the points you stressed in your last letter because my answer to the real point of them is one that wants saying, not writing.  And, I think, not saying just yet.

While you are in your nunnery I think I shall have to carry on a so-called platonic friendship with Miss Somebody Martin the scenario-writer.  You must meet her, she is a scream.  I think I told you about her.  Her favourite exclamation is "Oh Heck!" and she wrote the scenario for "The Lodger".  I met her at Bruges last year.  We have quite a lot in common.  At the same time you need never hope that she will distract my embarrassing attentions from you, as her sex-appeal is a minus-quantity.

What are you going to call me when I get back - Fitz or Terrick?

Shall you tell me who the person was who kissed you the week before you went away?  It is not difficult to pick on him, but I'd like to know if I'm correct.  I shouldn't ask I suppose, but you did say you would tell me if I told you.  I also deduce, though I'm not quite sure, that it was not the first time he had done it.  If I say it was not the first time he had attempted it I am on safe ground.

Next Morning

Still no letter from H.O. about leaving.  One more person has just booked for the week after next.

Do you find it difficult to keep the children in order?  Don't get like the traditional school mistress - dictatorial in private life.  Would it undermine your English pupils' confidence in you to know that you were learning English yourself?  They might think you were doing it like the men who started teaching Sanskrit.  He kept one lesson ahead and allowed no questions.

I should love to see you at it.  What is the headmistress like?

A useful tip for when your kids get to ten-letter words: no A in Experience!

I suppose they are all girls.

Have you picked on your other subject for study?  What about History?

I shall be fearfully thrilled the day I can put B.A. after your name on my envelope.

Have you passed Matric?  I didn't think you had.

What part are you taking in "The Rivals"? I shall be up in Yorkshire on the 27th.

Renny (my brother) has left Haverstock Hill.  (I believe I told you that in my last letter).  He is living free of charge in return for entertaining foreigners in the evening.  he did it in Eastbourne for part of his holidays and got sacked in the middle of the night!  Now they have taken him on again.  The woman who runs the place is a most hysterical creature.  Because he didn't go to the station at Eastbourne to meet her.  She sent a maid to his room to tell him to leave by the first train, before breakfast, in the morning.

You must meet him sometime.  He is the exact opposite of me.

The first three chapters of "For Sinners Only" are the least interesting.  I have just bought a second-hand copy.

Each day I say to myself "Nine more days; Eight more days' Seven more days" but I wish I could be sure of it.  I have half a mind not to take my holiday now, but to put it off til the first week in January when the hunt balls are on in the North riding.  And yet, now I come to think of it, you will be on holiday then, I suppose, so that will be my best opportunity for seeing something of you.

I wonder if I shall be going up to Fort William again to look after the hotel during the Howes' holiday.

I think I shall go and have a bathe now.  I haven't had one all the week as I have been on trips whenever the weather was fine.  The sea is getting much colder now.

Lots of Love


Thursday, 10 October 2013

10th October 1933 - Mary to Terrick

Old Vicarage School
Richmond Hill
Richmond.  Surrey.

Tuesday 3-15

Dear Terrick

- Complete with new pad containing 200 sheets 'Large Post Quarto Size' - I settle myself down to the weekly budget.  Thank you for your letter which somewhat wandered round the points I so deeply stressed.  But doubtless everything works for the best!

- Our boat arrived at Tilbury at 1.30p.m on Sunday - after the most wonderful holiday - far more wonderful than the best I could have imagined beforehand - and also a little surprising.  I should never have thought it possible for a person like me to be kissed by three different men in the course of two weeks!! - and, in Hamburg, everybody holds each other's hands - I've never seen such a town.  - We went out (or rather, were taken out) each of the three nights we were there, to about 6 different places of amusement, with different drinks at each one, getting back to the boat about 3.30a.m - The German boys from the N.Y.K. offices at Hamburg too us - we were frightfully lucky because no one else got the chance - These two just took us everywhere  - we danced and drank (!!) and saw wonderful cabarets & varieties & went to a beer-garden - and oh gosh! how I loved it all - everybody's mad on Hitler & Natzis (sic) and uniform and swastika badges (Norah's Gerhard gave her his badge) - oh - it was lovely - just for 3 days anyhow! - Everybody seemed to like us so much and honestly you couldn't help holding each others hands - or letting them kiss you, for that matter! - Although I positively can't see what enjoyment they get out of it - can you? - I haven't enjoyed it once yet - but, as one of them said, perhaps I'm quite a 'hopeless' sort of person to get romantic with - specially as I always think 'Mummy would laugh if she could see me now' in the middle of everything!! - We had so much money over on the Friday evening that we dashed into Hamburg & bought masses of presents for the family - I've got a silver pencil for you, if you haven't already got one- but I'll keep it until you come home - (if you have got one I'll give it to Jill!).  The photographs I took are fairly good I'll send them with this - but let me have them back at once - won't you?  (It's a great favour my letting you have them at all!)

Yesterday evening I went up to King's for my first Latin - from 6-30 - 8-30 - they're starting at the beginning, thank goodness! - Tonight I have English - and on Thursdays French - then next year I drop English & take Geography as they both happen to fall on the same night - a 2 yrs. course, you see.

This morning I arrived here plus baggage - I'm sleeping in a room with a French girl - and this morning I took the babies (8, 9 & 10) for Arithmetic, Reading & English - took duty in break & after lunch and have just corrected my books in the staff-room - I think it should all be rather fun - oh - but how I'm longing for you to come home - just to see you once will do! - (I don't often feel this quite so badly - but I think it's sitting alone here with noone to sympathize with my feelings!) - and it's not you actually I'm longing for - only someone who likes me!  So I shouldn't come home, if I were you! - & I'm beginning to feel so old & experienced - what can I do?

I'm glad Paul came for those few days - it's quite impossible for me to imagine what you're both like together - but I liked him immediately I saw him.

I've only read about the first 3 chapters of "For Sinners Only" - and am not progressing too well - perhaps I'm not interested enough - but I'll plod on & see if it improves.

*          *         *         *         *


- I went to English last night - we have Shakespeare from 6-7 and English Literature 1579-1800 from 7-8.  King Lear & Much Ado are the set books. - I loved the classes - all the professors seem frightfully nice and we roared with laughter at some of his remarks in English Literature.  This evening I go up to school for a rehearsal of our scenes from The Rivals.  The actual concert is on Oct 27th.

This letter is being written in the most frightful scraps & pieces, in between classes, and consequently I forget everything I want to say. - The main thing is how much I'm looking forward to seeing you again - and please write me lots of letters before you come - or just post-cards now & again will do - so that I know that at least one person thinks about me in my nunnery!

- I'm just going into the town to post this.

- Please write by return - just to say It's a great life! - I know it is really, but I'd like to hear just why you think so!

- Love

        Mary Pleasant  xxx

P.S This is a horrible letter - but my brain refuses to function except on lines of spelling & arithmetic ! - (already!)

I've got lots more photographs to show you when you come home.

Monday, 7 October 2013

7th October 1933 - Terrick to Mary

Hotel Brice
Rue du Marechal Joffre

7th October 1933

Dear Mary Pleasant,

Now for a lovely morning writing to you!

Thanks for the letter and the card, which has just arrived.

I have been having a good week.  Who should be the conductor or the party that arrived on Sunday but Paul!

He was on holiday when the Asst. Gen. Manager rang him up and asked him to take the Nice party.  He refused, but the A.G.M. said that if he would like to stay with his old pal Fitz for a few days the railway pass was not urgently needed!  So he did.  He was here till Wednesday.  The hotel charged him nothing, and I got him free excursions.

We had great fun on Monday.  In the afternoon we started on the excursion to the Gorges de Loup and Grasse, and when we had just got through the Gorges the car broke down.  I tried to fill in the time of waiting for the party by taking them to see a waterfall and to have tea, but when that was done the car was still likely to be a long time so I let the people wander where they liked and I set out with Paul to find the old footpath that had been the only way through he gorge before the road was built.

We found it and it led straight down into the river.  I suppose it had been washed away.  Anyhow we didn't intend to turn back so we got out onto a large rock in the middle of the torrent and then had a bit of difficulty as to how to get any farther.  Paul is a splendid fellow to go climbing with.  He gets the "I must go on" fever.  So many people say, "I don't think it's worth risking".

After throwing heavy stones onto a patch of mud to test it's firmness, I took off my shoes and socks and, holding onto the rock with one hand and to Paul with the other, lowered myself onto a ridge just under the surface of the water.  This was crossing the Rubicon because we now could not get back.  We had a terrible time getting any farther too.  Our faces were cut in tons of places by branches and the leather was scraped off our shoes by the scree, and all the time I was thinking: "perhaps the car has been ready for ages and they are all waiting for us".  When we eventually did get onto the road again we looked as though we had been fighting; tangled hair, sweat and blood on our faces and hands, and our shirts coming out of our trousers, and as happy as the dickens.  The car was not ready for another two hours.  Paul and I must do some really big climbs together some day.

I had another very funny excursion, the last week I was at Menton, the Monte Carlo by Night trip.  There were five in the party.  After coming out of the Casino we could not go to the Summer Sporting Club as it was closed, and the Knickerbocker was not yet busy.  So to give the latter time to warm up we went to a fashionable bar and the whole party started standing each other drinks.  they had so many that the barman gave us one on the house, which is not the usual custom here.  Then we went on to the Knickerbocker and had some more.  In the end we took one woman home unconscious, and two men were sick.  The other two were sober because one was rather a prim old maid and the other was the husband of the unconscious woman and was too busy looking after her.  If I hadn't been sober they wouldn't be back at the hotel yet.  All the same I had a bad head the next morning.  The woman felt so bad that she and her husband, who were leaving that day, had to put it off till the next day.

And now I am in bally old Nice and people are still booking up.  As far as I can see now I shall not be home before the 22nd October.

You have obviously never worked hard for any length of time before, if you think you can work through a term without any relaxation.  Your work would soon suffer if you tried it.

I was very annoyed with myself for not sending you a postcard of Bon Voyage before you started.  I got mixed in my dates and found I had left it too late.

You don't think I am going to give up hope and abandon the campaign just because the Poly sends me a thousand miles away.  I am out of sight but I don't intend to be out of mind.  Or when I come back I should have to start right at the beginning again.

I am glad you are getting experience.  It was the only thing you lacked to make you perfect.

Except when they're in love, men are always as dirty as they dare be.  It doesn't matter so much to us as to women.  If you find any man trying to be dirty, tell me and I'll pull his guts out.

I don't like you any better because of your marvellous letters, only differently.  When I am away from you it is entirely your mental and spiritual part that I find so completely satisfying.  When I am with you, however much I know that it is your inside that matters, your outside will insist on playing an important part.  Somebody once wrote:

Why do her lips control
The kisses of a summer night, 
When I would love her soul?

Got set her brave eyes wide apart
And painted them with fire.
They stir the ashes of my heart
To embers of desire."

Etc;  there are a good many verses.  And that expresses it exactly.

But I think it is that subtle mixture that distinguishes love (sexual love I mean of course) from friendship.

I expect you have read:

And the white roles breathes of love.
O, the red rose is a falcon
And the white rose is a dove.

But I send you a pure white rosebud
With a flush on its petal tips, 
For the love that is purest and dearest
Has a kiss of desire on the lips."

I may not have remembered the words exactly.

Have you read "For Sinners Only" now?  I had to leave it behind at the Hotel Bellevue, and also the German Testament.  not wanting to be without either I wrote to Renny and asked him to send me my "New Testament in Modern English", but he has left Haverstock Hill and is at the other end of London.

I read the fortnightly articles that I told you about in "The Listener".  But reading lectures is not the same thing as reading of somebody who has actually lived the life desired.  "An ounce of practice is worth a pound of theory".

I have found what I told you in my last letter to be very true.  Whatever the difficulties you have in finding out what is the truth about the Great Things beyond our knowledge, I think it is uncontradictable that "It must be right to do right".  Philosophers say: "Yes, but what is "right"?" but I think that a perfectly satisfactory answer to that is "What ever you think is."

And I have found just lately that if you try to live a life of absolute right at spiritual one-ness with everybody then you do find, unaccountably, that the New Testament, Resurrection and all, does become credible.  But when I forget in the heart of business to stick to this attempt at perfect living, and then read about God the Father, it sounds all very thin and rather childish to say that he loves this and hates that, and is all-powerful etc.  I will lend you Spinoza's treatise "On God" some time.  It is very difficult to read, but when you understand it (It is the pantheist conception of God) the Christian conception seems very primitive.

Christ comes into it because it is his description and example of God that Christians believe in.

It is all very difficult.  I cannot believe in saying "please" prayers even if you believe in a personal God; because he is supposed to have made the universe and set it to run according to the Laws of Nature and for him to keep butting in at people's special request, would make him, as Bernard Shaw puts it, a law-breaker as well as a law-giver.

Also I don't believe in "thankyou" prayers for benefits received, because if it wasn't for him you wouldn't be in this mess of a world at all.

The only prayers that I think legitimate are ones to strengthen one in living according to the high standard of perfect love.

My mother has got gall-stones and is still up in Dumfrieshire staying with my uncle who is treating her for it.  On is in rather an awkward place, but he thinks he can get rid of it by treatment.

Do you remember that a fool of a client told me that I should come into some money at the end of September on the death of a relative?  That gave me a bade scare.  I don't wonder fortune-telling is prosecutable.  My mother will be home again this week.

The rep has got the sack owing to reduction of staff.  My successor at Dinard has also got it.  It is these hard times.  At the end of last summer all the reps were sacked except three (including yours truly) whereas we generally keep on about fifteen.  This year will not be quite so bad.

Ian went off with £60 odd of the firm's, something of my successor's, about £10 of his fellow assistant's and various items from clients!  So unless the Poly call in the police, which I hope they won't, we shan't see him again.  The Staff Manager went to Edinburgh to interview Ian's father last week, so Paul told me.

The haunting female has written again!  You do seem to have been lucky at the ship's races.  I used to love them.  I am dying to hear of all you have done on your holiday.  Have you found a "1933 model"?

I had gathered by reading between the lines of some of your letters that you were having "experiences" (I expect you meant me to).  I felt rather jealous at the time - because I was only reading between the lines I expect, - but now that I have read it on the lines I am not.  It was always bound to happen and will help me in the end.

That does sound so conceited, but it isn't that.  If you have two nuts, three nuts and four nuts, when you add them up you will find you have nine.  That is the only possible answer, and it is an answer that exists whether you do the addition or not.  I think that all our ideas and ideals are the two, three and four nuts, and that our idea and ideals put together are as inevitably what I say, when we come to add them together, as the 2, 3 & 4 make 9.

I have been two and a half hours writing this letter.  Fortunately I have no one to curse me for it.  Give Norah my love.  I sympathise with her, waiting & keeping the ship waiting.  I hope she looked after you at your ports of call.  What you really needed was a man with you two, someone who is used to looking after innocents abroad and could speak French for you at Antwerp (or Flemish), Dutch at Rotterdam and German at Hamburg, preferably too someone who knows the ins and outs of liner life.

The post goes in quarter of an hour so that will just about give me time to read this through.



Thursday, 3 October 2013

3rd October 1933 - Mary to Terrick

- They give these post-cards free - hence artistic decoration! - having a wonderful time in spite of human mixture!
- We won about £2.10 at the two race-meetings! - Dancing every night - mostly with dear little Japanese men.  Hamburg nicest of 3 towns - but I keep on wishing I could speak German.  We stood on deck this morning at 1.30a.m and passed Euschaven in brilliant moonlight - too perfect

Love  Mary