1 February 1922

Victoria Palace Hotel, Paris

My precious
   I rested all today, but after sending your letter I wrote one to Manoukhine, saying that before I decided anything I would like to know all there was to know about this treatment, whether one ran any risks, what its effects were on the heart, and so on. I told him that I was very much in the dark, that I could not afford an experiment, and in a word that I would be obliged if he would let me see his french partner & talk it all over. His reply was to ask me to meet them both at 5 oclock at their cabinet medicale. So we took a taxi and I went. The general impression was good, all in the highest degree simple, scientific, professional, unlike anything I have seen before. Manoukhine came & took me in to Donat. He (D) is an elderly man, rather like Anatole France in style, wearing a white coat and skull cap. Quite unaffected, and very clever, I should imagine. I told them my difficulties. It was a little bit awkward, especially as Donat has evidently a great regard and admiration for M. But there you were. This matter is serious & past pretending. And they were awfully kind. Donat delivered an absolute lecture; they drew diagrams, described the process, told me of its effects and so on. There is no risk. It is, as you know the application of X rays to the spleen. It produces a change of blood. It is a kind of immensely concentrated sun action. What the sun does vaguely and in a dissipated way this gently forces. He discovered it while working at typhus & cholera and applied it to tuberculosis. Donat spoke of it always as my colleagues discovery. "Dr M. has taught us". "Dr M. then experimented on so many animals and so on and found such and such results".  [To John Middleton Murry, 1 February 1922.]

   I have seen Manoukhine. Yes, one has every confidence in such a man. He wishes me to begin the treatment at once. I am taking steps to try to do so, but it is not quite easy to arrange. It will cost me much money. I have £100 saved but I must make not only another £100 but enough to live on here and for special food and so on. Also I have Ida Baker to keep as well until I am strong enough to walk about and so on. It is all difficult, and for some reason I find it hard to accept all its difficulties, as one must. Perhaps for one thing it is not nice in a city. I had forgotten how women parade about, idle and unworthy, and how ignoble are the faces of men. It shocks me to see these faces. I want more than anything simply to cry! Does that sound absurd? But the lack of life in all these faces is terribly sad.
   Forgive me, my dear friend. Let me speak of something else for a moment. While I was waiting at the clinique tonight the doors were all open & in the doctor's cabinet people were talking russian. They talked all together. Doctor M's voice was above the other voices, but there was a continual chorus - all speaking. I cannot tell you how I love Russian. When I hear it spoken it makes me think of course always of Tchekhov. I love this speech. I thought also of you, and I wished you were with me.
   Send me a note here. Not a letter. I don't expect you to write. If I get well you will let me help you with the people you help, won't you? Now a bell is striking as though it turned over in its sleep to strike. Its very late. [To S.S. Koteliansky, 1 February 1922.]