1 February 1921

1 February 1921

Villa Isola Bella, Menton, France

My dear Richard,

I dont suppose you really realise what your two last letters to me have been like. Well, I must say Ive never had any letters to beat them, and when you are in Paradise I hope the Lord will present you with two brushes of comets hair in token of appreciation for same. Paint brushes, of course I mean. In the meantime je vous serre le main bien fort as they say, for them . . . Ill take em in order.

The first, I must say, was what the French newspapers call un espece de bowl-over! Your interview with Fate (not forgetting his Secretary) written on that beautiful leming coloured paper was simply a proof of what you could do at this imaginative short story writing if you really got going. Richard Murry enters he ring & shows Kid Mansfield How to Do it. I leave the drawing of the scene to you - me, in black velvet shorts with a crochet lace collar and you in a kind of zebra tights costume . . . well, dear old boy you wiped the ring with me. Not only that I do really think that things have taken a Turn and that Jack and I have seen our worst days. Hope so, at any rate.

I think your Easter plan is a first rate one. Its down in my diary as a certainty. Do lets bring it off! Dont worry about the fare. When the time comes just put your toospeg, pyjames and a collar (for Sundays & fête days) into a handkerchief & Ill send along the ticket & a dotted line for you to follow. Seriously a rucksack is all you'll need. My grandpa said a man could travel all over the world with a clean pair of socks and a rook rifle. At the age of 70 odd he started for England thus equipped but Mother took fright & added a handkerchief or two. When he returned he was shorn of everything but a large watering can which he'd bought in London for his young marrows. I don't suggest him as a Man to be Followed, however.

[Letter to Richard Murryl in Collected Letters, 3 February 1921]