1 Dec 1921

1 December 1921

Chalet des Sapins, Montana-sur-Sierre, Switzerland

And then finally there is his first leave. She does not go to the station to meet him - Daddy goes alone. As a matter of fact she is frightened to go. The shock may upset her & spoil their joy. So she tries to bear it at home.
   Late afternoon. The lights on. Gorgeous fires everywhere - in his bedroom too, of course. She goes to see it too often - but each time there is something to be done - the curtains to be drawn, or she makes sure he has enough blankets. For some reason there is no place for the girls in this memory; they might be unborn. She is alone in that warm, breathing lighted house except for the servants. Each time she comes into the hall she hears that distant twitter from the kitchen - or the race of steps down the area. They are on the lookout. And at this point she always remembers his favourite dinner - roast chicken, asparagus, meringues, champagne. And then - oh God help me to bear this moment - there's the taxi. It's turned into the square. Is it slowing.
No.
There it is'm.
No, Nellie, I don't think so.
Yes, yes. It is. Courage. Be brave. It's stopping. Is that father's glove at the window Then the door is open - she is on the step. Father's voice rings out. Here he is - and all at one & the same moment the taxi stops & bursts open, a young muffled figure bounds up the steps. Mummy.
My precious precious son! And here it's no use - here she must break down - just a moment, just one - pressing her head against the cold buttons of his British Warm while he holds her & his Father is behind him patting his shoulder & his laugh rings out.
Well you've got him. Are you satisfied?
The door is shut. He is peeling off his own world[?] - his gloves & scarf & coat & tossing them on to the chest in the hall. The old familiar quick shot back of his head while he looks at her laughing, then he describes how he spotted Daddy immediately & Father absolutely refused to recognise him.

[KM Notebooks 2, undated.]