Wednesday, 31 December 2014

31st December 1934 - Mary to Terrick


In middle of Party

- Dearest Dear,

Jill & Hodson are being sardines and the rest of the party are making obscene noises in various parts of the house.  It's going quite well but I should be enjoying it a bit more if you were here.

I got into the same Green Line as Renny coming down and had a nice little chat with him all the way.  He tickles me tremendously - I hear he's going out with Barbara on Saturday!!

How did you get on at Folkestone today?  Crowds of people?

The one thing that's been a beacon light to me this evening is that Renny says Mrs FitzHugh isn't coming till next Monday now.

Will you be able to come down next weekend, then? - Because if you wangled next Saturday morning (owing to Folkestone today) you could stay on from Friday right over and it would be perfect. Oh darling - do try.

The thought has occurred to me that one day my unscrupulous persistency in trying to see you at any possible minute I can will drive you to maniacal desperation and you'll disown me - dear old thing - I'm sorry - but it's very difficult - and I don't really mean to worry you as much as I do, it just comes out before I think.

Tomorrow Hodson is coming down here to change and will take Jill and me up to Earls Court all ready.  We'll be up there about 8.00 - will that be all right?  I haven't any idea what time our thing starts - but we can always while away the time.

Renny wanted some repayment for delivering this but was highly shocked when I suggested a kiss from me - he thought one from Jill would be all right!

- Goodnight darling - the thought of you in "tails" again is too much for me.

All my love

Mary  xxx

P.S. I love you very much

signed MPO

Saturday, 12 April 2014

12th April 1934 - Mary to Terrick

My very dearest Ticky - from this you may correctly deduce that i am ailing!  Does everybody's state of health affect their emotions?

All last night - right on and on and on from stars to back clouds and then morning - the thought of getting a letter from you in the morning made me just able to bear everything without waking the family up!  I'm not very ill, but my face looks like this:-

The drawing has been cut out

The biggest sight you ever saw - I daren't look into a mirror because I can't recognise myself - and all from the tiniest little boil on the side of my nose!  I just keep praying & praying it'll be better by the time you come down - you couldn't possibly like anything that looks like I do now!  The doctor gave me an injection yesterday which hurts nearly as much as the place itself.  I spend all day with lint, lint, lint (oh, vile pink lint!) and hot water - which keeps hot just as long as I can keep my tears of anguish from avalanching into the basin and cooling it off!!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

5th April 1934 - Mary to Terrick

Sitting in the sun on the steps by the river

Thursday 10.45 am

Jill - Flip - Andrew - and I are keeping house this morning, and everything flows smoothly.

I've finished everything there is to do and am now sitting at sublime ease - perfect, save for a potent smell of pigs effervescing over the wall at me!

Thank you for your letter - I have just read it through for the second time.  I can't get over your making copies of your long F.W. letters! - Of course, they were excellent - and I'm not saying that they don't account for 50% of the results - but, gosh!, fancy troubling to copy them over twice!  You must have been inordinately proud of your style!  But, I must say, it's only reading them through at one sitting that I noticed the difference.

It's only natural that the letters we write after we've seen each other, fall a bit short of ones with hundreds of miles between us.

A really good letter must always contain a certain adventurous element - putting a feeling foot forward on uncharted land where there is always the hope of retaliation.

But when you really get to know a person too well and intimately - when most of the uncharted land has been explored and mapped out - then mere "blue-black" becomes superfluous - and - as you say - you save everything up until it can be delivered verbally - because it's become a real, live thing with a cause and effect instead of something invented in one's own head for self-satisfaction and the hope of effect.

There is something to be instilled in "love letters" though - because I've read some of Daddy's - but we're a bit too new.  We're in the stage when our "sub-human" and "human" have developed amazingly - and are proving reliable and engrossing (hence letters being inadequate) - But the greatest side of all - the "super-human" is naturally a very embryo of embryos.  Here I feel horribly handicapped by ignorance - but I've always had my own special "belief" - that all these hundreds and hundreds of people who make a hash of things - all the unsuitable nagging little couples who started with such high hopes and just the good intentions I've got - set sail for the greatest thing in life before making sure they'd got a complete cargo.  They didn't mean to - because they didn't know enough about the "high seas" to realize all the cargo they would ultimately need - they'd made a careful list of food and clothing - and friends - and perambulators - but were relying for always on a fair wind and had missed out the "petrol" which would have just been there - however far down in the bottom of the ship - in case of accidents and for when everything else failed.  I feel that we, - me and the person I love - must set out and find our own petrol (however far a garage is) while we're still on terra firma - and build up the rest of our cargo all round it.  So that a perfect peace of mind and fathomless understanding could always be ours whatever happened to the food - friends and perambulators.

This allegory won't bear with much probing but the surface work rings true - my idea of "petrol" at the moment is a divine cord connecting the minds, wills and lives of two people - and raising them above this human world into some spiritual unity - greater and cleaner and immeasurably finer than they could possibly be as humans.

But I don't think one can set out in a bee-line for it.  The super-human is the only one of the three that can't consciously be developed.  It has to be born and grow practically unconsciously and when it reaches perfection (without worry, or littleness or striving) it's just there for ever and ever - and is the absolute, final, and noblest gift ever given to man - because, in essence it is divine - and therefore immortal.

- But what worries me is, that if so many people never find it at all - shall we?  I suppose determination and belief will help - but I'm so overflowing with sins that I get seized with most dreadful pangs of conscience!

*       *        *       *  

 Whiskey has just fallen clean into the river - his front paws on land and his back ones in the boat and he just divided!  Consequently I am saturated as he has shaken himself all over me - but he's quite recovered after a rub down in front of the fire.  He was terrified when I fished him out.

I love your idea of the first step towards making money! - Knowing what to do with it when you've got it - and how easy is it going to be?

Flip's just caught a fish and thrown it back - but I'm afraid it'll die because he threw it back so hard.

The sun is simply boiling on my back - I've rolled my sleeves up and feel like going to sleep.  Oh, this time last week! - and that wonderful perfect weekend.

Thank heaven I shall see you on Saturday - and I'm sorry that I appear so "fussy" about you - but you'll allow me that it's a natural feeling - won't you?  However _ I'll curb it when I remember - I suppose it must be rather embarrassing!

The "achey" feeling is wearing off, through lack of stimulant - but I'm still rather unsafe in the "self-control" line.

If possible, I should come down from Waterloo on Saturday (to Richmond) and get a cheap day return.  Because we'll go up to the Old Vic by train after tea.  There won't be enough room in the car to come back in afterwards - so I said we'd come down by train as long as they all contribute to the fare!

I must stop this letter now - I feel quite "last-summerish" going on and on.  I don't know if it's all sense - but it's all "me" anyway (without a copy!)

We're going to see "Jack Ahoy" this evening - it'll make me think of the last time I saw it - and therefore I shall feel a bit incomplete.

Be extra specially kind to me, old thing,


Mary P

P.S. If I ever give you the feeling that my affection is on the wane - just take no notice of me - be severely indifferent for a specified time - and you can be sure of good results.

P.P.S. - I thought you might find this old reference list of yours useful - to tick off as I improve.


1)   Idealistic                                    
2)   Understanding                       
3)   Cheerful                                  
4)   Sympathetically critical        
5)   Brave
6)   Active (calmly not restlessly)
7)   Good taste
8)   Clean and neat 
9)   Interested in the important things beyond her own personal sphere
10) Love of country-life
11) Plenty of general knowledge
12) Sense of Humour
13) As much money as I have


Friday, 4 April 2014

4th April 1934 - Terrick to Mary


4th April 1934

My Darling Mary,

I expect this letter will cross one from you.  I do feel the need of you to talk to.  Business is fairly quiet, which is lucky because these last two days I haven't felt a bit like working.

Last night I went out to dinner with three Polyites who were at Mentone.  We dined at the Chanticler in Frith St and then went and sat in the Palm Lounge at the Regent Palace till about 10.15.

This evening after dinner I am getting down again to an attack on Edwy.  I hope to have it finished before I come to stay with you.


After Dinner

Wash out that last sentence.  It won't be finished before this Saturday.

I have gone and promised you a good letter, and my heart is so full of things to say that they will all come out scrambling together and incoherent.  I can't find something sensible to start off with -, except "I love you" which you know already.   Still, if I start with that the other thoughts may follow naturally from it.

I love you.

I have never loved anyone but you.

In the days when I used to write poetry, I could never write about something when actually with it.  My verses on the Scottish Lowlands were written when I had not been near them for about six years.  the ones in praise of Rhinish wine were made a month before I actually went to the Rhine.  For me writing, I think, must always entail a certain amount of invention, even when I am most sincere.  To put down just what I am feeling at the moment is too much for me.

"Macbeth" is the play of Shakespeare's that I want to see most of all.  I have read it tons of times.  It is very good of Mrs Ormo to have me - and for the weekend.  Have you room for me in the house, with A. Pears there?

It would be far too much for you to have me down every week-end.  You have been passing on my mother's and father's molly coddling remarks about my not getting enough to eat at "Ventnor".  I don't mean to look a gift-horse in the mouth, but I don't want to impose on Mrs Ormo's good nature on the strength of the remarks of my dear old parents for whom, as far as their children are concerned, time has stood still since we were in our 'teens.

I am looking forward to Saturday.  If it is raining at about midday, I'll ring you up and we'll find a substitute for a walk.

Two young people here in the digs have got engaged over the Easter week-end.  The girl is very bucked with her diamond ring.  They are a nice couple.

I could have gone to Bruges this week-end with a party.  Being a pal of the Chief Conductor's I can get given that job whenever I like.  I shall wait till I can be surer of a good crossing.

Fancy you thinking that I should arrange to see you next on Saturday week! It is all I can do to wait till this Saturday.

After you had rung up I went back to my pudding and could hardly eat it, my throat being more in tune for singing.

Several people in the Poly have been suddenly reminded, a propos apparently of some piece of serious business, that it is a great life.  However, most of them are getting used to me by now.  They class me as a harmless optomisniac (if there were such a thing) who hasn't lived long enough to find that life is real, life is earnest, and damn serious.

I have switched my intellect onto the question of making a fortune and I think it will prove easier than I had previously imagined.  At any rate I have solved the problem of what I shall do with it when I have got it; which is the first important step.

We were lucky with our week-end.  Besides Walter Lamb falling ill, Paul as stricken with a rash on his wrists and ankles.  hew went to a doctor who said there was not much wrong with him, but he still feels a bit shaky.

He too is considering the money-making problem.  I suppose the wire trade doesn't want two live wires?

Last time we walked in Richmond Park, I heard you your part in "Dangerous Corner", and we had tea in a very nice little tea shop.  Shall we go there again?It is now half past nine and it doesn't look as though I shall get much of "Edwy" done tonight.

I will now confess that my first letters to you were written twice, first in the rough and then a fair copy.  I used to take a pride in them as compositions, and you were a female to show off to.  I stopped that about a year ago and now write as unpremeditatedly as I speak to you.  The result is a falling off in the style; but you see the first letters were written when I was at Fort William in the winter with nothing to do all day.  Now, I should never have the time to write a letter of this length twice.

When I was talking to you over the phone no one could hear me from the dining-room, but various people who had just finished dinner went out through the hall, which was cramping to the style when I knew I had a smirk all over my face that I couldn't take off.

Did you read all the forty-two letters?  I should like to see them again some time.  Perhaps I shall be as surprised at them as you were at yours.  What I am interested to see is what bits you kept as being the nicest.  I expect they will be much as I thought them when I was writing, because I was consciously trying to achieve my effects, whereas you got yours unconsciously.

Another thing that is spoiling my letter-writing is that now when I think of something particularly important or nice to say, I decide to tell you when I see you rather than write it in crude blue-black; whereas before I wasn't intimate enough with you to say a lot of the things that I dared write.

You have changed me very much in one way.  Until I fell in love with you I had so many interests that if one could not be satisfied at any time, I could always turn to the others and be quite happy, but now I can never be happy without you.  I am anchored, - and  incidentally an anchor is a steadying influence.  I can now for the first time see myself abandoning a lot of my time-wasting hobbies to fix my attention on a limited number of important things that will help me gain my objective.  You won't need to keep me up to it.  You won't be able to help it.

A rich and varied horizon of interests is a very good thing for people who have not got to make an effort in any one direction, but for people who have, it is better to wear blinkers that keep their eyes to the road that they have to push along.

A Guiding Star serves the same purpose of blinkers.  Only instead of not being able to take your eyes from the road, you don't want to

You just await developments!

In the meantime love me as much as I love you - if you can.

All my heart is yours.

             xxxxxxxx ad lib.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

26th March 1934 - Mary to Terrick

Dunally Lodge

Monday 1934

Very, very many happy returns of the day.  I can't think of anything to say that sounds adequate - but it would make a tremendous difference to me if you didn't have any more happy ones !!!

I'm at home today because of another rotten boil I've got over one eye - I spent this morning in bed, but it's much better now and I've been dragged out on the river by Flip - hence appalling writing!

We're quite mad - it's about 6.30pm - and dusky - but I suppose it's doing Flip good.

- I shall see you tomorrow & give you your birthday present then.  I won't come inside but will wait on the pavement (shades of mother!) I don't seem to have talked to you for years - such a lot has happened since last time I saw you.

- Heaven bless us next weekend - about the weather I mean!

- the best of everything for always

Love Mary   xxx

Thursday, 20 March 2014

20th March 1934 - Terrick to Mary



Thanks for your letters.  I hope you can come to Wensley.  Surely your mother will see enough of you in a month!

I discovered that Sadler's Wells is not open on Mondays, so Rosemary and I shall be coming on Thursday, it being the only day we can both manage.  Shall we meet outside the theatre?  What seats were you thinking of taking?

I don't see anything funny in Rosemary suggesting you should come too.  She has heard all about you from me.  She and I are like you and Verney - as much friends as cousins.

I had a scream of a time last night.  I saw an advertisement in the Daily Worker, the communist paper, of the inaugural meeting of "The West-London Workers' Arts Club" at 8 p.m. in Hammersmith.  So I went down to see if there was any likelihood of my finding a market for some of the kind of stuff I enjoy writing.  I got to the place at a quarter to eight.  It was a private house of a most respectable kind in a most respectable road, but though many of the houses were lit up, No 34, the one in question, was as black as the grave.  There was only one light coming from the back-door in the area-basement.  I thought this odd and decided to wait and see other people going in.  But nobody did.

At three minutes to eight when, in spite of the fact that I had checked the name and number of the road most carefully, I came I came to the conclusion that this must be the wrong house, a fellow came up wheeling a bicycle and said: "Is this Hazlitt Rd?"  I said "Yes" and he looked up to the dark fanlight over the front door and said: "This is number 34".

"Have you come to a meeting?" I asked.  He said he had and I told him that we appeared to be the only people who had.  He had an educated voice, but was very poorly dressed with a sweater instead of collar and tie, and was as ugly as sin.  About my own age.

He said that he would wait with me and that if nobody had come by 8 o'clock he would slip round to the offices of the local Communist Party and verify the place and time.

Eventually we waited till nearly five past eight and then decided to go and ask at the back-door.  He chained up his bike to the area railings and down we went.

                         A girl in a red jumper answered the door.
                         "Have you come for Sloane?" she asked.
                         "Well we've come to a meeting".
                         "Yes, Sloane is waiting for you".
And in we went.

Have you ever read the Modern Arabian nights? (I think that is the name) by R.L. Stevenson? The situation exactly reminded me of it.

The girl showed us into a kitchen, complete with stove and dresser with flowered china plates and hard kitchen chairs.  The only unkitcheny thing about it was that the table was covered with a dark red cloth.  By the stove another woman sat knitting.  She was about 35 and dressed in a flowered-overall.  "Come in" she said "Sloane's not here yet.  he's always late. When he gets married his bride will wait at the church all night ofr him.  He hasn't had anything to eat since breakfast.  Sit down.  You won't grow good.  You're past that, aren't you."

We took off our coats and sat down.  Then the woman said: "Well, we'll leave you now", and she and the girl in the red jumper went out.

The ugly fellow and I sat one on each side of the stove and talked, till after five minutes or so we heard voices and footsteps upstairs on the ground floor.  The woman was calling out: "Down the stairs! Now to your left!  The second door". Several people seemed to be coming downstairs and walking up and down the passage in a hesitant sort of way, so I called out: "Here we are!" There was a knock a the door.  I said, "Come in", and a man's face appeared round the side of the door.  It was decorated with spectacles one glass of which was black!

I repeated "come in" and the man came round the door holding a bowler hat nervously in front of him.  A woman and a girl came in after him.

                  "Is this the meeting?" asked the man.
                  "We don't know", I said as cryptically as possibly
                  "Who's the host?"
                  "He hasn't arrived"

A minute or two later, after the same calling from upstairs a man of about 28 with a most charming smile and attractive brown eyes came in.  He beamed at us and I thought that this must be the mysterious Sloane.  However, his first words were:

                  "Which is the host?"
                  "He hasn't arrived": I said
                  "Who is he?"
                  "Sloane", said I as if that explained everything.
                  "But Sloane's in Moscow! I was talking to him there only a fortnight ago."

It was only after he had spoken a bit that one could tell that this fellow was a foreigner.  His name I found later was Osakiavski.

More people trickled in.  One looked like the pictures of Maxim Gorki, another was the kind of woman who runs the G.F.S. and a third was the typical headmistress of an aristocratic girl's school.  It was most incongruous to hear her say later in her high-falutin' accent: "It is essential that it should be revolutionary in it's tendency".

When there were nine of us, Sloane suddenly burst in.  He was a rather handsome young Jew.

"I'm awfully sorry to be late.  Have you been waiting long?" ("No", said somebody) "Do you mind waiting now while I get some grub?" (No, said somebody again) and out he went, leaving us to talk for about quarter of an hour till he came back.

And this is where things should reach a climax, and also where they don't.  The tone of the evening switches from being intriguing to being amusing.  The meeting was a gem but quite different from the incidents leading up to it.  If you feel inventive you can supply a good exciting end to the above and send it to the magazines.  It is all exactly true, for while it was happening I kept thinking "Oh, wouldn't Mary love this! I must tell her all about it" and I noted all the interesting bits most carefully.

Here is a selection of books that I should like for my birthday:

                           1) The Face of London                              7/6
                           2) The Psalms for Modern Life               6/6
                           3) The Philosophy of Communism           ?
First Edition of 4) Three Plays by Bernard Shaw            7/6    (On the Rocks, Too True to    )
                           5) Words & Places (Everyman Edition)  2/-    (be Good, The Village Wooing)
                           6) The Study of Words (   "             "    )  2/-
                           7) Anglo-Saxon Poetry (   "             "    )  2/-
                           8) Thesaraus of English Words & Phrase 4/- (Everyman Ed. 2 vols)

5 & 6 will be useful for "Robin Hood", 7 will be useful for Edwy, I want a real Anglo-Saxon song to take the place of my uninspired verse in Act II, 8 will be useful for every kind of writing, 1 is to increase my pleasure in my trips about London, 2 is for the fine wood-cuts that bring the psalms to life again, 4 is for pleasure and also for examples of dramatic technique, 3 is of course political.  You can take your pick.

How did you like "the Wind and the Rain"?  have pity on poor Andrew Pairs.  You seem to have started again leading him up the garden.  Hit someone your own size.

I must stop now and get down to work at Edwy.

This time last year I was doing midnight bathes at Mentone! Ugh! This morning the fog at Hampstead was so dense that we had to have breakfast by electric light.  But I wouldn't swop for a hundred pounds.

Goodbye, dear, till tomorrow evening.

I love you.


Wednesday, 19 March 2014

19th March 1934 - Mary to Terrick


Monday 7-15

Dearest old thing - thank you ever so much for the too letters which both arrived at breakfast this morning.  I have only just had time to finish reading the second one.  The "play" rush gets more frantic as the hours leap on.  I shall possibly enter as Sir Christopher Hatton in my best petticoat - not having had time to make my doublet & hose.

Thank you for the over-poweringly unexpected invitation for Easter.  I can't think of anything I'd like to do better in one way - but there are a tremendous lot of "againsts" too - don't you think so? - Perhaps the greatest is that my family couldn't spare me.  I don't think - at least I fondly imagine Mummy would prefer Easter with me at home.  I haven't asked her yet - but I will and see what effect the suggestion has on her!  Anyway - it gives me a gigantically gratified feeling to think I've been asked - I hope you didn't have to "season" the suggestion too much when broaching it to Wensley!  Gosh - I should love it - fancy going all that way with just you - but I'm afraid I shall have to wait until another opportunity crops up - (unless it doesn't!)

But, look here, if your family want you at home for Easter - you'll go - won't you?  I should naturally forgive your contract with us if it was to go home - & we shall have lots more week-ends - shan't we?

Yesterday I shocked both Miss X & Grannie on the subject of religion.  They're both intending to do something about it before it's too late - so, who knows, but that I am bound for the gates of Heaven once more.  I shouldn't mind if I could really be persuaded to believe - i.e. find someone to answer all my questions - because I know such a large number of people I should like to convert!

I'm afraid I shall have to relinquish my ambition to attend the Drama League Easter School - 
(1) I'm not sure about my 10/- a week - and anyway it'll all be spent on Latin coaching
(2) Mummy would hate me going up to town every day for 10 days when I seem to spend so little time at home now.

You see it would cost me about £4 altogether - and after all it only boils down to flattering a lately developed side of my vanity! - So cross out your engagement with me on April 14th & find something else to write over the mess!

I went to interview my Latin coach this evening - the dearest old man - frightfully squashing & disillusioning.  Apparently I know no Latin at all - worth knowing and have to spend the whole of the next fortnight learning elementary grammar!  I ask you!

It's awful to feel myself wavering at the first obstacle!

- Am going to see 'The wind & the Rain' with A. Pears this evening - I hope it's good.

Do you still want "The face of London"? - Anyway I shan't get it until next Monday - so let me know if you think of something nicer.

- It seems years & years ago since I spent half an hour choosing your hankies in Southampton Row - I remember asking Mummy if she thought it would be "proper" for me to send you a birthday present!!

- Gosh how funny! But I sent them with quite a different feeling from what i shall this time.

- You're practically an "old flame" now - ain't you?

I hope you enjoy "Love for Love" - write & tell me what you think of it - I wish I was going with you - it seems such waste of a good ticket when I go with someone else.  I wonder why Rosemary suggested my coming too - very nice of her.

I'm sorry about your not being able to send up your coupons yet - I suppose that because of me last Thursday.  Anyway you'll be free of your "gold-digger" this week won't you? - & let's sit on a seat on the Embankment next Thursday - or go for a tram-ride.

I'm afraid I shan't be shepherding children on Wednesday owing to other people thinking they can do it better! - But I'll come round straight away afterwards.  Ask Jill to point out Greig to you.

- It'll be so much nicer behind knowing you're there.


xxx               Mary Pleasant

Please forgive the pencil

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

18th March 1934 - Mary to Terrick



Just before post goes

Frightful rush - but this is in the hopes that I'm crossing one to me in the post! - Anyway - if I'm not - do write please - It makes such a tremendous difference to the whole day.

Have sat in the lounge solidly since church this morning sewing, sewing, sewing - I shall tack on gold braid in my sleep.

Spent all yesterday morning at the Hall arranging rehearsal times and scenery  - and all the afternoon painting the "garden hedge" - its in two pieces and each half is entirely different and neither look anything like a garden hedge.

Went to "youth Campaign" meeting on Friday - we have 80 people down from Oxford billeted on the town for 2 weeks to try and revive "personal religion" in people form 16 - 35 years old.  very interesting - it was held in the most wonderful old house - just the kind I'd like to live in one day.

The family & Grannie & Auntie Nell are coming on Wednesday - & Miss Cross is making a speech from the platform in the middle so do come.

I long terrifically for Easter weekend - you won't suddenly decide to go somewhere else will you?

- Thank you ever & ever so much for last Thursday - you are a dear - I'm so unbelievably silly.

- You're such a boon to me in being something else to think about besides "school".


Mary P.    xxx

Monday, 17 March 2014

17th March 1934 - Terrick to Mary again


17th March 1934


I resisted an invitation from Paul to go to Carshalton and do a long walk, in order to finish my swotting of dramatic technique for Edwy.  My library book was due back in the Drama League Library on Thursday so I had to get down to it.

I worked all this afternoon by the dining-room window with the sun shining, and finished at quarter to seven.  I have made fifty-six exercise-book pages of notes.  Tomorrow I'll start testing Edwy by the principles I have written down.

The woman who sits at the table next to mine is a great handicap.  She will insist on talking to me while I am reading or writing.  I now answer her very shortly without looking up.
I have got out of the library now "the Passion Play of Oberammagau" and three plays by Lunachanski, the Russian Minister for Education.

The proprietor of 186 has suddenly put daffodils on all the dining-room tables!! Daffodils in a boarding-house are like a child in a work-house.  Mrs White must have gone out and come all over spring-like.

Paul and I are contemplating another push with the Mutual Marketing co., but first revising it.  If the present proposed revision goes through I believe that you will get 2/6 commission immediately, as the idea is to pay commission on the 2nd sale onwards, instead of only on the 4th sale.  I believe you sold two, didn't you?  Another improvement will be a better value article.  It will mean less profit per article for us, but we hope for a bigger turn-over.  When I say "less profit", don't laugh.  Now that I am in England I can do my share of pushing the scheme.

I have finished collecting my coupons for the short story volumes, but I am too broke to send them in yet.

If we do go to Wensley for Easter I shall take some books back with me that I don't want here.  Soon I shall have to buy a bookshelf.  Already I have to keep my five short story volumes piled up on end.

Have you got your beefeater hat yet?  I am longing to see you showing your girls into their seats 0 shepherding them I meant to say.  I can only just - with an effort - picture you as a school ma'am. Miss Cross I am curious to see too - and Miss Gregg (Greig?).

I'll look round and see if I can find something out of the ordinary to do on Tuesday week.

People started talking all round, and I have to keep giving German words to explain to a Danish girl what the others mean.  so I'll pack up.  Goodnight old thing and



Terrick    xxx

17th March 1934 - Terrick to Mary

17th March 1934


Darling Mary,

It is exactly a year and a half to-day since we met, at eight o'clock in the evening.

Still, I have some[thing] more vital to write about than the past.  Would you like, instead of having me to stay with you, to come to Wensley and stay with us?  I have an invitation for you.  We should get there late on Saturday afternoon and leave on Tuesday afternoon, if you think it worth it.  It isn't nearly so far as Penzance.  Of course it wouldn't be so jolly.

I thought it would be a good idea to invite you now as the Hunt Ball scheme can't come off this year.  I heard from my mother to-day saying O.K.

I'm going to Rosemary to "Love for Love" probably on Monday.  She asked if you would like to come too, but I said that you had already engaged to go with somebody.

Yesterday was a very spring-like day.  I felt - It's no good, I can't describe anything unmaterial.  I am writing this in the office and am constantly interrupted by the Chief Conductor, as Hawken, our boss, is away.

As a letter this is no good, but there is matter in it at any rate.  The invitation will give you something to write about in your letter, which I hope will be a nice one.

I'll write you a better letter this evening.


Terrick   xxx

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Early March - Terrick to Mary

Dearest Mary

Here is your ticket.  The time is 7.15.  If you arrive at about 6.45 you will have plenty of time to find the box.  I enclose a plan of the hall but Box 18 is not mentioned.  Perhaps though it will help you later in the evening to find your way about.

A client sent five shillings as a tip to someone who, she thought, had done her a service but who, in fact, did not exist.  So this evening the Administration Dept, that is Hawken, the staff manager; Digby, the Chief Conductor, and I went out and had some beers on it.  We drank for 5.50 to 8.5 p.m. and just remained sober - , but only just.  when the 5/- was finished the S.M. stood the drinks.  I had to have dinner at Lyons.

I heard from the S.M., while expansive after much beer, that I could have Easter free from midday on Saturday till Wednesday morning.  So I shall start saving up for something enterprising.  Have you any ideas?

In the box at the Albert Hall there will be: Peter Corbould, his sister, my cousin Rosemary and Capt Adshead (husband of same) probably, two strange friends of Paul's Not Brenda (who has a bad throat), probably Alex Smith & Pat Smith whom you have met and possibly Oswald Hollmann, another prep. school friend of mine.  I shall come round as much as possible.

I have had no reply from Bernard Newman.  One was hardly necessary; perhaps he is thinking up something rude to say about my acting in retaliation.

I hope you enjoyed yourself this evening.

Tomorrow morning I have to go and meet the General Manager of the Swiss Federal Railways in London prior to our both meeting the yodellers in the afternoon.  Our managing director Commander Studd, is also going to be there, so I'll put on my best overcoat.

The yodellers will probably leave the Albert Hall before 10 p.m so I hope to have time to dump them and come back to dance.  Unfortunately they are staying at a hotel in Bloomsbury.  There are fifteen of them and one woman.

Goodbye, dear, till Saturday.

Love from 

Terrick   xxx

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Early March 1934 - Terrick to Mary

Me Old Companion, 

To make up for two empty envelopes: -
When I got home last night I found the first five volumes of the Daily Sketch "1,000 short stories" waiting for me.  I have been reading some in my lunch hour which I spent in the city.  I had to go to Bishopsgate about flags, pennants and bunting (!!) to decorate the ballroom at Fort William and I had lunch at Dirty Dick's: sausages & mash, beer, bread and butter and cream cheese (the butter & cheese not spread but sloshed on in lumps nice and thick and satisfying)

Paul and I are trying to get a box for our friends at hte Albert Hall.  The big ones hold ten so we shall have you, Renny, five foreigners, Brenda, Peter Corbould (2nd brother) and his sister (I can't remember her name).

I feel quite bored about to-night's performance; that (except for the danger of it making me yawn on the stage) will probably make me act a lot better than when I was all keyed up at knowing that you were smiling your chubby smile of amusement at my efforts.

Bung ho, old thing!!

and Love  Terrick  XXX

Friday, 28 February 2014

28 February 1934 - Mary to Terrick


Wednesday 10.45

I have just received a message that a gentleman with a "Z" in his name 'phoned last night to ask me to return my Albert Hall Ticket so enclose it herewith.  I hope that's O.K.  I suppose you didn't get my yesterday's letter until late last night.  How did the rehearsal go?  After the most lovely English lecture I didn't feel like going to Andrew Pears' a bit.  But it was quite nice when I got there - we ate ham sandwiches and talked about me, I'm afraid.  I got back at 10.45.

Masses more Poly. Literature arrived with the post this morning - I should simply love to go to Lucerne - but it'll depend on Norah - and I also can't get rid of the feeling that a Poly. holiday would definitely lack something if we weren't provided with the right "Polytechnic Representative in Residence"! - And I've decided on going for 2 weeks this year - because you're just getting into everything at the end of the first!

- Why I'm expending energy on two nice newsy letters straight after each other, I can't imagine.  So as not to waste a stamp perhaps.

- Shall see you on Thursday, then, shan't I? - Best of luck -

With lots of love to my Poly. rep.


Mary  xxx

Thursday, 27 February 2014

27 February 1934 - Mary to Terrick



Tuesday. 11.15

- I found you last newsy letter somewhat of a whited sepulchre!  But I suppose you're very pressed for time this week.

After due deliberation I think I can manage Thursday - it'll mean skipping French for two weeks running - but I feel I ought to return the compliment.  I catch a tube train from Charing X, do I? to Mornington Crescent - and will wait in the hall for you afterwards.  I hope it won't be over too late, will it?  Because I'm going to see A. Pears tonight - and that'll mean two late nights this week.

Nors came over to tea yesterday - and asked if I didn't find you a bit "dull"? - Because, apparently, you never say anthing interesting to her! - I truthfully replied that I had discovered you to be many things - but never "dull"!

I shall always remember last Saturday and how we became commercial!

Love,    Mary   xxx

Sunday, 23 February 2014

23rd February 1934 - Terrick to Mary


23rd February 1934

Dear Heart,

I don't try to find original beginnings.  I have so many things to call you that rise up in my mind that you may find them constantly different.

If you had not asked for the letter to arrive tomorrow morning I should have written yesterday.

By the time you get this you will have "done your stuff"; the first performance, the worst, will have been got through.  I hope you do it well.  I think you will because you are pretty confident on the stage.

As a return ticket is the same price as a single one there will be no advantage for me in making a third for Norah.  Also probably I shall be thus able to see more of you to talk to alone.

Very likely you intended your postscript about "feeling differently etc" to be quite plain, but I, in the course of thinking constantly of it, have found about half a dozen possible meanings to it.  So I shall bring it up for discussion when I see you.

Yesterday I finished my two scenes very early and went to see the company do "Abraham Lincoln", free.  The fellow who did Lincoln was splendid.

I came to the conclusion a little time ago that our office (room) was such a mess that it caused us a great waste of time in looking for things.  So yesterday I waited till the Staff Manager went out to lunch and then started in on it.  I made files and cleared drawers, finding, in the process, all sorts of things that I never knew existed, some important, some rubbish, and some doubtful.  When in doubt I scrapped and by the time the S.M. came back I had filled all our four waste paper baskets to overflowing and was throwing things under the table.  Fortunately I had reduced the worst part of the room to order and he was very pleased, so I went on.  I made three dusters so black that they made more dirt than they removed.  I had time to do two thirds or so of the total job and shall do the rest to-day and to-morrow.

9.40. at 186.

Now you are on the stage.  If willing you from a distance does any good, you should be all right.

I went down to the Drama League in the lunch hour and changed my books. I got permission to take the one on Play writing out again.  It must be the most detailed book on the subject in existence.  We are allowed three books at a time.  My other two are "Producing Plays" and "Medieval England".  The last is a mine of information for "Robin Hood".

To be working at the thing I like best and to have you not only encouraging me but helping me is my idea of happiness. (It is not so egoistical and one-sided as it sounds.  To do the same to you at the same time would double the happiness).  So if you have good reference books there I will gladly accept your help.  It won't have to start "after Robin Hood", because the references I shall have to consult before a chapter of  Robin can be written are legion. In a play all the "period" is the job of the stage-manage, in a book the author has to put it in himself.

I am going to keep as close to history as possible, and as close to the legends as possible.  Where the two clash I shall fix things as I like.

My notes on the history and life of the time already fill pages and pages of exercise-book sheets.

Yesterday I definitely refused the black slave part.  I suppose really I am going into the production of plays rather late for the moment, now that Edwy is practically finished and the next job is a book.

It was very interesting watching "Oberammergau" being re-set by the producer after it had already been done badly by her assistant.   I was privately bucked to see that two alterations that I had kept saying should be made, were done, of her own accord, by the producer.

You will not miss anything by not seeing "Oberammagau".  It is a bad play, and it might easily have been a good one.  The author seems preoccupied with sex and so misses a deeper point that the play should have made.

Nor is the final "catastrophe" properly led up to.

I'll stop now, - till this time to-morrow when I shall be watching you.  I am glad I am not sitting next to anyone I know.  I'll do my duty through the intervals.  I suppose I'll identify the two Vicaragians by their being two young girls together and by one of them being the prettiest girl in the gallery.  You had better warn them that you have told me to speak to them.  Otherwise they'll be simply too thrilled!  Will they be in uniform?  You can't answer now, so I'll use my ingenuity.

I say, old thing, can you lend me some articles of make-up?  Because if this is the only play I'm going to be in this spring, it will be a waste of money for me to buy a complete set.  If you can lend me some of the things I can buy the rest.  Your grease-paint - if you have any - will be a womans, but rouge and the haresfoot etc. do fine for both.

Something has happened that may spoil the Reunion for us.  We are having the champion Swiss Yodellers over for it and as they do not speak any English and I am the premier German speaker of the firm I have got to look after them from the time of their arrival in England to their departure, including of course their time at the Albert Hall.  However, I'll slide out of it as much as possible.  There can't be much that I can do for them there except translate "bier" into "beer" or "wein" into "wine".  One day I have to take them twice to the B.B.C. to rehearse and perform.  That should be great fun.

Well, I must stop now.  I have to write to an aunt and forward a letter from Eileen to Renny.

Till to-morrow night, dear.

Love & Kisses


Friday, 21 February 2014

21st February 1934 - Mary to Terrick

Face gets spottier and spottier.


Wed: 3.0 p.m.

You know where the road turns off down beside the school.  Well, I'm sitting on the window ledge with my feet out on the parapet - looking up the hill - just basking in the gentle spring sunshine! - Also writing with my fountain pen - hence different writing.

- Thank you for this morning's letter - what will happen when you run out of original beginnings? - I suppose you'll start all over again.  What did you write it for? - the letter, I mean. - just to keep up the current?  I was going to write to you yesterday, too because I've got your ticket to send you - apparently it's the last one in the front of the balcony - but now I believe Genevieve & my little German girl are both coming on Saturday - so I've got to try for two tickets for them.  They'll probably be somewhere behind you - so do see to them in the 20 mins interval - will you?  -

- I think I must have got out of bed the wrong side this morning- the children were dreadful - in the first place I could have sworn you spelt "Pharaoh" - "pharoah"! - & they all fished out their bibles & proved me wrong! - Wherewith I blushed becomingly - because I also made a blunder with "vallies" last week! - perhaps spelling isn't my strong point. - and then the babes nearly wore my patience through with asking silly questions & getting their arithmetic wrong! - & Jean nudges Daphne in the middle of lunch to show her the bud she's fished out of her onion on the end of her fork - my lunches are absolute purgatory unless I've been to see a new "Mickey Mouse" the day before!  Anyway, I feel better now - the window ledge & sun is restoring me to my original state!

I went up to English yesterday evening - (thinking all the way "this time last week") & was dashing for my train at 8.17 - (the first time I've had an early Tuesday this term) when I ran straight into Andrew Pears.  He was running for the train too & said he had a "secret mission" in Richmond so we came down together - when I first ran into him I thought he must be quite mad - but he'd apparently done the same thing on Monday - only missed me because I left early for rehearsal.  Poor kid! - I'm tremendously sorry for him - he's in a rotten state & terrifically worried money & a job. - so now he's worried me too!

I'm going to rehearsal early this evening to do my dead man bit. - I shouldn't be a black slave unless you can help it - you'd catch your death of cold on that draughty little stage & besides, you haven't got the right kind of hair!

Can't you possibly manage the Old Girls dance next Saturday? - Or is it because you know you wouldn't enjoy it? - or because you think you've been to enough with me lately? - I don't mind, of course, if you honestly can't come - but if you don't I shall go with Jack & I hate wasting 4/6. - and it would be horrible after going to Hansel & Grethel in the afternoon - but it doesn't really matter - (in case I sound 'come-hitherish'!)

- This is a horrid weekend - I've got a horribly stupid inside -

write to me - please- 


Thursday, 20 February 2014

20th February 1934 - Terrick to Mary


20th February 1934


Yesterday (Monday) evening our real producer, Miss Pezano, appeared for the first time.  She had been ill.  She is a tartar.  Only about thirty, rather nice looking, with a voice like a machine gun volley.  She has altered the set of the play, cut pages and changed all the business.

In "Good Friday", which she set on Monday, I have go the part of a black slave who wears nothing, I believe, but a loin cloth.  At its next rehearsal I am going to find out for certain how much I wear, because if I have to black myself nearly all over, it is not worth the trouble for only three lines, particularly in view of the rush on the bathroom here at 186.  The play is by Masefield and is in only one act.

All my work on biscuits, coffee and paper cups has been for nothing.  We have been successful in arranging for breakfast to be supplied at Basle.  Still I have learnt a lot from my investigations.

I got "a medal" today for discovering the maker of the bakelite tops to Woolworth's salt and pepper pots.  I spent about an hour oat the telephone in finding out.

This is not a very nice letter because there are stacks of people all round talking.

I must stop now too because I have two three other letters to write in quarter of an hour.

It seems a long time till Saturday.


Terrick  xxx

Sunday, 16 February 2014

16th February 1934 - Terrick to Mary



16th February


I will come on Saturday but I think that two week-ends running is a tall order, so tell your mother that I'm coming this weekend instead of next.  Perhaps I'll come and have tea with you on Sunday week if you are all alone.  I'll come to the play of course.

I hope you will recognise me when we meet, but as I have just got a new pair of glasses perhaps I had better wear a carnation in my button-hole.  My new glasses have no metal in them.

It is a wonderful day to-day.  Too good for office-work.

Have you started the orange psychology book yet?

And - 

When are you going to read - "The Life of the Bee"?

You will love it when you do.  I shan't get you a birthday present till you have read the Christmas one.

I'll be outside Richmond station at 9.15 on Saturday, you know how I am looking forward to it!


Terrick xxx

Saturday, 15 February 2014

15th February 1934 - Terrick to Mary

"The Devonshire" Pub.

Lunch Time

15th February 1934


Last night I went to dinner with my father & mother at the Tasc.  We took two hours and a quarter over it and I suppose it was jolly good.  We did not go to a cinema as neither of them was keen, but we went to Mummy's club and sat and talked about the wedding.  Just the evening my f. likes best!

Did you see the photograph in the "Daily Sketch" of the couple and the account of the wedding in the "Morning Post"?  There will be fuller accounts in the Northern Papers which I will show you when I get them.

What time can I see you this Sunday?  If you are free I shan't go and see Joan and Rosemary.

My mother said you look a nice girl and a jolly girl.  I believe she said very nice and very jolly.  She said you had a high colour.  I told her that was merely shyness that gave you that.


Later                                           Office

I have just taken my watch back to Benson's for overhaul.

I have refused Aunt Katherine's invitation for the 23rd, but the reason why I can't go to that is also valid for not going to "Dangerous Corner" that evening.  I have a rehearsal.  I shall have to make it the 24th and go to Shepperton by train.

In the bus going to Benson's I have been reading up on the subject of Make-up.  I shall have to buy some soon and practise every night making myself up.

Spending Tuesday evening with you made the day perfect.  I enjoyed the wedding so much that anything else would have been bound to be anticlimax. 

I expect you only got my Valentine about midday.  I tried two boxes but the last collection had been made at both of them.

You are the dearest of the dear.

Write soon.

All my Love

Terrick  xxx