Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sunday 28th August 1938

Lunch with John at Staines. Afterwards – merely as a custom! – we drove to Windsor and called for Dick Young. To our astonishment, he was in! Must be a hell of a while since the three of us were together. Quite a lot of news to swop, between us! Went to Chobham and had tea at the Sundial. Exchanged a few good stories, before going our ways. A pleasant reunion!

Left John in Staines 6:45 p.m. Dashed to Ealing Common. Already sick and tired of driving; the weekend hadn’t been very restful. So I relaxed for just a few minutes.
About eight o’clock when I left for Southend. Drove through Town. Found the way alright. Rain slowed me down – the bloody windscreen wiper is defective, like most of the parts of the blasted car. Stopped for a snack at Noakes Café near Dagenham. Afterwards, rain, oncoming traffic, and an obscured windscreen, again delayed me.

Home about five to eleven. Mrs Butler said Miss Rogers had left a message: if I returned before eleven o’clock would I go to Oakdene? There was an important letter…
Oakdene was in darkness. But when I knocked, Lois threw up her bedroom window and leaned out. “Here it is!” she said harshly, throwing a letter. “Don’t read it now, please. Take it away. It’s important.” The drizzling rain fell sadly. I opened the envelope; putting the box in my teeth I struck a match and began to read…
“Good night!” said Lois abruptly and slammed down the window. Maybe because I was curious, or because her voice was so unsoothing I stayed in the silent garden, striking matches until I’d finished reading:-

“This is not a chatty letter so please read it somewhere quietly where you will be able to concentrate undisturbed. It will give you cause to think…”

“In my bedroom 11:25 p.m. 27:8:38. Stephen can you ever find it in your heart to forgive me for the ridiculous misconstuction I voiced with regard to Wars, the Territorial Army, the people who make wars… This entire change of front must amaze you (it did!) but it has been clearly shown to me tonight (clearer than even you could put it to me) that I, and I alone was wrong. I’m cursing myself for the injury I have done my Country, my King… I take back everything I said and while doing so, thank God devoutly that you were the only one I ever spoke to so strongly… Oh, the blessed relief I’ve come to my senses. Already my fog is blowing about… Lois.”

What can have induced her to change her mind? How utterly different, the way she writes things to the way she says them! One so hard and unyielding, the other just the opposite.

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