8 February 1921

8 February 1921

Villa Isola Bella, Menton, France

My dear Sydney,

Don't feel bound to answer this, but I can't enjoy a letter as I did yours without saying thank you . . . And I want to tell you a queer thing. You know where you speak of your "superiority of apprehension" . . . God knows we have seen little enough of each other, & I hadn't (to be frank) the faintest idea that you thought of me other than as a "cold aloof little creature" - that you shared the general opinion, in fact. And yet, just before Christmas I wrote a very long story & YOU were my reader. I hope that doesn't sound impertinent. I confess the impression was that you enjoyed the story, saw it, felt it, as I did - in a quite special way that outsiders wouldn't appreciate. I even had a mental picture of you sitting in an armchair, reading it. It is called, in case you should ever see it "The Daughters of the Late Colonel" . . . and Squire is going to publish it in The Mercury.

Let me salute you, Sydney, through my story; let us be friends because of it. Good Heavens if you knew how pleasant it is to know there is someone who cares to tell you he makes his fire first arranging the twigs in a pyramid, & that the logs are "self cut". I share that delicious first moment & while I warm my fingers I forget these nasty foreign palms . . . Your room sounds lovely.

[Letter to Sydney Waterlow in Collected Letters, 9 February 1921.]