18 Feb

18 February 1920

Villa Flora, Menton - France

The courier was so late. She rang and asked the eternal déja passé & heard the eternal ‘pas encore Madame.' At last Armand appeared with a letter from him & the papers. The letter. She read - she read to "don't give me up entirely". When she read those words it happened again - again there seemed to be a dreadful loud shaking & trembling, her heart leaped, she sank down in the bed. She began to weep and could not stop. What was he made of - to talk of them giving each other up. The cruel - the ghastly ice-cold cruelty. Never say again you have imagination - never say you have the capacity to love and that you know pity. You have said things to me that have wounded me for ever. I must go on but I'm wounded for ever by you.

The first bell rang. She got up. She began to dress, crying & cold. The second bell. She sat down & steeled herself - her throat ached, ached. She powdered herself thickly & went downstairs. In the ascenseur: Armand cherchez-moi une voiture pour deux heures juste. And then 1 hour and a quarter in the brilliant glaring noisy salle, sipping wine to stop crying & seeing all the animals crack up the food. The waitress kept jerking her chair offering food. It was no good. She left & went upstairs but that was fatal. Have I a home? A little cat? Am I any man's wife? Is it all over? He never tells me a thing - never a thing - just all those entirely self-absorbed letters and now just these notes. What will come next? He asks if I believe he loves me & says "don't give me up" but as though perfectly prepared for it. She wrote out the telegram. He is killing me, killing me. He wants to be free - that's all. [KM Notebooks, dated February 1920 by J.M. Murry]