Tuesday, 25 August 2015

25th August 1935 - Terrick to Mary

35 Nevern Place
S.W. 5

25th August 1935

My Darling Mary, 

Only three more days now.

At the last minute I didn't have to go to Boulogne, so I was here when your letter arrived.  The photographs are very good aren't they?  I had already seen them as a matter of fact, on the day we left Schwaneberg.  I got my copies from Eileen on Friday & have sent them home for my father to see.  I don't suppose you want me to send yours back, do you?  I'll  keep them till you come.  I think I am going to ask Eileen to let me have the one of her with the buck & the one of her, Derek, Bodil & Heinrich in the matt surface as at present they are glossy & don't go with all the others.

Your last letter was opened by the censor.

I shouldn't let the Aumunds get your mother a camera.  You'll never get it through the customs & the duty of photographic articles is terrific.  Did I tell you that I saw the Tempophot Exposure Meter in London for £3. 15s. 0d?  Is there room for it to lie under the camera in the case without making it look funny.  Still, the camera case is so old that I don't suppose it will occur to anyone to look into it.  They didn't when I came back from Nice.  Anyhow put the German instruction how to use it in your handbag.  If they are not there it might have been bought in England.

Yesterday afternoon I went to see "Der Schimmelreiter". It is very good indeed but the end they make a man explain in words instead of showing it in pictures which weakens the force of it.  The hero was the hero of "The Blue Light".  "Turkey Time" was in the same programme.  Very funny but very artificial after "Der Schimmelreiter" (The Rider on the White Horse).

Aunt Mildred, just before leaving for Auchen, sent me a card to say that "Robert does k now something about what we were talking about", which was getting an introduction to someone in the film world.  So I am writing to him to-day.

Yesterday I typed out "Murder at the Dinner-Table, a radio play by Mary P. Ormiston & Terrick FitzHugh" and stored it in a case with my Collected Works.

The play plot I thought of on my way back from Bournemouth was apropos of my mother's pathetic belief that "common people" are naturally - not merely socially - inferior to "gentle people".  The plot is about a Earl of somewhere who is engaged in a dispute with his tenants, one of whom, the stupidest and most uncultivated of them all, turns out to be his own half-brother, by an affair that the late Earl, their father, had with one of the village maidens.  The Earl, who is himself rather a stupid man & thinks socially like my father & mother, puts things right in his own mind by thinking that the utter un-couthness of his half-brother is due to the fact that his mother was a working-woman.  He is, however, shocked out of this comfortable belief by finding that the village girl had her revenge by changing the babies and that he himself is her son, while the uncouth uncultured labourer is the some of Lady Daphne de Montmorency-Coucy etc.

This brings home to him the for-some-people unwelcome truth that it is only their environment, upbringing and education that give them, average specimens of their class, their superiority to the average specimens of the working-class.  And being an honest man he wishes to give up his title and wealth to their real, & wronged, owner.  I may prevent this actually being done - it is the conviction only that matters - by making it further transpire that the late Earl had secretly married the village maiden before his engagement to Lady Daphne & that therefore it is he, the rich man, who is legitimate after all, & the labourer, though Lady Daphne's son illegitimate through being born of a bigamous marriage.

You see, on the framework of a well-worn melodramatic plot: the substitution of a rich baby for a poor one, I am putting a theme of real social truth.  Of course the "social truth" is as old as the hills too, but it hasn't yet been heard of by people like my father & mother, none being so deaf as those who won't hear.

It will all need a lot of turning over in my mind & thinking of in bed in the morning before I can see my characters and scenes properly.

I have found an old M.S. of "Menter's Conscience" which I can usefully compare with my half-finished new one.

To-day is lovely: sunny but cool, Yesterday and the day before we had some terrific downpours that cleared the air.

What sort of things do you think you are right about, and Jack wrong?

I am so glad the film was good.  It was a panchromatic.  I am dying to edit it; Yes, we must do it together.

It doesn't matter your taking Inge having breakfast after she drove off on her bicycle.  We'll edit.

Sunday Evening

I have spent a peaceful but fairly busy afternoon, getting ready material for "Robin Hood" and studying the Abyssinian question in the Observer and with maps.  I don't suppose you know the latest news, do you?  It is quite on the cards that we may go to war against Italy, but personally I think it is bluff on our part to make our eventual concessions look more desirable.

On Thursday, will you come to dinner here? Our seats are reserved for "Love on the Dole" so we don't need to hurry.  

I suppose this will be the last letter it will be any use sending, as you'll be leaving Berlin on Tuesday evening.  Still I might get one more in.

I got a letter from Jill on Friday.  There doesn't seem to be any friction.  Any how, if there is, I'll have plenty of time to eliminate it while waiting for your train.  Try to get on the first train; there will be sure to be several. I shall be dying to see how you are looking and if you are wearing your German mackintosh.

I am looking forward to seeing Dick.  Is he fat? That's what the word means in German.

Of course, you don't pay for the developing of the Schwaneberg film.  That is my job.  How many reels are you taking of the Aumunds?  Just the one?

You look very nice just a foot away from my nose dressed in Grecian costume.  But you must come with me to Le Dernier Cru & have a really slinky one of you taken, showing you for the sophisticated vamp you are.  But wait till I have finished the Schwaneberg film & can afford to have my eyes done so that I shan't need to be photographed in y glasses.  I wonder if I shall look like those photos I had taken in 1928.

Oh darling, I do miss you.  You are definitely a part of me now and I limp and grope without you - sometimes.  I am quite a different person from what I was up till the time I knew you. Now I'm more brought to earth and also to one spot of earth than I was.  Funnily enough, I think your family have had an influence on me.  At least not they as individuals, but my having a family life (practically every weekend) that I like has made a difference.  It is a good thing for you I think, that influence on me; but not perhaps so good on me.  What I mean s that it has made me into a better prospective husband, but not a better cog in the world machinery.  It is a taming influence.  But I may be wrong in attributing it to a family influence, perhaps it is just me growing old and losing my ideals, letting them be choked in the nice luxuriant comfortable weeks of a family life of my own in prospect.

Perhaps you don't see what I mean.  I am not very clear myself.

Well (as Renny would say), I must stop now and write to Robert about a film job.  If wonder if that pompous little ass really does know something that will lead me on the road to fortune and happiness. If he does I'll promise to try and think better of him from then on.

Did I tell you that Uncle Val wrote from America that in a little while it might be worth my while to go round to Raymond & Whitcomb again & ask for a job.  They were the American Company that were going to start me at £5 a week and my keep when I was only twenty-two.

Something is coming, dear, I feel it in my bones.

At the moment, though, all I can look forward to is your coming.

I'll be on the platform, my dear.

When we are married, I shall do my very utmost to see that married life is for you as happy as married life can be.  I love you very, very much.

Terrick  XXX

The stamp machine had no 1d stamps so I'll have to put on 8 halfpenny ones!  The stamps themselves will probably make it overweight.

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