26 December 1920

26 December 1920

Villa Isola Bella, Menton, France

I am still hard at the story writing and still feeling that only now do I begin to see what I want to do. Im sending you my book. Its not a good one. I promise the next will be better but I just wanted you to have a copy. Living solitary these last months with a servant who is a born artist & says "un ou deux bananes faisent plus intrigantes le compotier" & who returns from market with a basket which just to see on the kitchen table is food for the day - makes work a great deal easier to get at. The strain is removed. At last one doesn't worry any more. And fancy ones domestique having an idea of what work is! She won't even let a person talk at the front door if Im working. She whispers to them to go to la porte de la cuisine.... parce que c'est tres enervant pour Madame d'entendre causer quelqu'un pendant qu'elle travaille! Its like being in Heaven with an ange gardienne.
Murry is here for Christmas. The weather is superb & champagne is only 30 francs a bottle. There is always un feu d'enfer in my chambre à coucher. The result is, there (oh I can only say these things to YOU!) we are continually suggesting to Marie she should go to Vespers, Benediction, la messe. The poor old creature can't understand this mania de la pousser vers l'église. Its a mystery! But what is one to do? The house is so small. I send her to market, to the poste, out to see her friends - anywhere ... and when she comes back she cries Dieu me garde! Que Madame et Monsieur ont bonne mine! Champagne in this air & this sun is unsafe for all people under - say ninety-nine. [Letter to Anne Drey in Collected Letters]