5 February 1922

Victoria Palace Hotel, Paris

I want to ask you something. Do you really believe all this? There is something that pulls me back the whole time and which wont let me believe. I hear, I see. I feel a great confidence in Manoukhine - very great - and yet - - I am absolutely divided. You know how, to do anything well, even to make a little jump, one must gather oneself together. Well, I am not gathered together. A dark secret unbelief holds me back. I see myself after 15 goes apologising to them for being not cured, so to speak. This is very bad. You realise I am in the mood now when I confess to you because I want to tell you my bad self But it may be its not me. For what is bad in me (i.e. to doubt) is not bad in you. Its your nature - If you do feel it - please tell me - please try and change. Try and believe. I know Manoukhine believes. I was sitting in the waiting room reading Eckermann when he came in, quickly, simply and took my hand and said "vous avez decide de commencer. C'est tres bien. Bonne sante!" But this was said beautifully, gently (Oh, Bogey I do love gentleness.) Now I have told you this I will get over it. It has been a marvellous day here, very soft, sunny and windy, with women selling les violettes de Parme in the street. But I could not live in a city ever again. That's done - that's finished with. I read Shakespeare (I am with you as I read) and I am half way through a new story. I long for your letter which follows mine. Oh, those precious birds at the coconut. How I see and hear them! And E's fig pudding.  [To John Middleton Murry, 3 February 1922.]

My darling Bogey
   Your letter came as a surprise to me but I absolutely agree with every word of it! It is far and away the best plan. I understand perfectly your feeling about your work and here is an opportunity. I, too, shall put in a great deal of work. I feel this year must float our ships if we are going to bring any cargo home. Goethe has filled me with renewed longing to be a better writer. No, I have no other idea to offer at all. Except - wouldn't it be far less unsettling if instead of you coming down for that week I got Brett over while Ida went up there. Shed come like a shot. In fact she begged me to let her come for a weekend. You know what energy a journey takes. We have nothing to talk over, darling that can't be done by letters. And then when you come in May all will be so different. I think wed better leave the Oiseau Bleu in the air - in flight - until we are certain we shall want to go there - But I hope you will agree with the Brett suggestion. Nothing is gained by you coming here for a week and you would lose a great deal by the geographical change. I don't think anyone can realise how different a city is until they come right into it. It makes a most extraordinary impression. I have a definite aim and hope in being here so I can ignore the effect - but for you at present in the middle of your novel it would be bad. [To J.M. Murry, 4 February 1922.]

Darling Marie,
   Do send me a line and say how you are. As you see I have left my mountains. I came here to see a specialist and I shall stay here until the second week in May taking a course of X ray treatment. A Russian doctor here has discovered a method of treatment of consumption by X raying the spleen (which lives next door to your heart my dear & in the same street with your liver.) It sounds very wonderful. It is terribly expensive. Each treatment costs 300 francs. But I was doing no good in Montana really and I have been ill nearly 5 years now. Anything rather than go on with a sofa life. Besides which it is my only chance, which makes a great difference towards what one can try to afford. By the way (a strictly family question, my dear) do you know a good depilatory. I wish you would tell me. I foresee the day is not far distant when I shall have to start using one.
   But above all do let me hear from you. Its like spring in Paris - so mild. Always your devoted sister
                 K. [To Charlotte Beauchamp Perkins, 5 February 1922.]