04 October

4 October 1920

Villa Isola Bella Menton, France

More reams from Brett.  Tennis and Gertler's threatened tuberculosis are the themes. How he mustn't be told and will crumple up if he is told and Dr Sorapure says and she dreams tennis. But I wish she would keep her pen off tuberculosis - she doesn't know what she is writing about & its desperately tactless to ‘tee-hee' at the idea of it. Heavens what irony! I have no doubt Gertlers friends will subscribe £1000 and send him to Egypt for the winter. Oh, Brett does make me loathe London. She seems to sweep a gutterful of it into an envelope and then she goads me - on purpose. Shes not ill she can run, she can play tennis with Murry. No, I can't write to her. "You must get better & you & I & Murry will go streaming away." OFT BOGEY!! But people with spots on their lungs are not subjects for merriment.
I feel this letter is cold and poor; the fruit is not good to eat. Its rather like that withered fig tree. Do you know there is a kind of fig tree which is supposed to be of the family of that unfortunate one - it is dark stemmed and its leaves are black. They flap on the blackened boughs -they are like leaves that a flame has passed over. Terrible. I saw one once in a valley, a beautiful valley with a river flowing through it. There was linen drying on the banks and the women were beating the water and calling to one another - gaily. And there was this sad tree. L.M. who was with me said "of course the explanation is that one must never cease from giving." The fig tree had no figs - so Christ cursed it. Did you ever! There's such a story buried under the whole thing - isn't there if only one could dig it out. [Letter to J. M. Murry in Collected Letters 1920]