29 May 1922

Victoria Palace Hotel, Paris

Dear Koteliansky
   You cannot have believed for one moment that I was taken in by the Hippius tale. Whoever spoke to me unfavourably about you would speak in vain. But that you know, of course, it is absurd to write it. My only reason for telling you of the affair was that I considered you had a right to know. Such things should not be said behind your back. I am going to see Manoukhin today and I shall tell him the facts of the shameful, revolting story. It is hard to understand how anyone can be taken in by her who has soon her. I have never felt a more complete physical repulsion for anyone. Everything about her is false — her cheeks, glowing softly with rouge. Even her breath – soft and sweet. She is a bad woman, and it is simply infernal that she should worry you. In one evening I saw enough of her to write a wholo book about. And little Dmitri M. who listens to every word, leaning forward with a hand to his ear like a shady little chemist leaning over his counter – They will live for evor, though. Nothing could kill Hippius. If there were a wreck at sea she and Dmitri would be in the first boat. In fact she thrives on disaster. [To S.S. Koteliansky, 29 May 1922.]