8 May 1922

Victoria Palace Hotel, Paris

My dear W.J.D.
   I have been trying to arrive at this moment ever since your letter came about J.M.Ms book. But the cares of my dilapitated little house take up nearly all my time. Last month I really began to breathe again, as they say, but in stalked the influenza and he is a persistent fellow; he's not gone yet. This is very annoying. But please do not hate me for it. . .
   I did not expect you to write to me about my Garden Party. But I wanted you to have a copy. A strange thing - the night of the day when I last wrote to you, just before I fell asleep I saw, in the air, the envelope of my letter to you about Miss M. I had addressed it 14 Annesley Road. But it seems to me impossible you should not know how much I loved Miss M. She is part of my world. I wish you were here; I wish we could talk about her for a long time - no less than walk through whole chapters. But these are bold words.
   Your Fanny seems to me so much the one and only Fanny that I feel I must apologise for using her name in vain in The Nation. Florence (whom I feel understands Fanny best) I expected to challenge me to a duel. Speaking of Florence, there is a Florence Dela Mare in this hotel. We keep no end of an admiring eye on her. Sometimes she is late for lunch and we pine. Then she comes down to dinner in a frock to take the breath. We met her first in the lift - flew up in the air with her. And J.M.M. said ‘Florence De la Mare' and I said ‘of course'. [To Walter J. de la Mare, 6 May 1922.]