Sunday, March 02, 2008

Tuesday 22nd March 1938

I seethed inwardly all day. Business was bad; came back to Roedean at 4 o’clock.
Elocution class. The last one before the Dress Rehearsal. I was as curt as possible with Pat (ie. Once as I sat on a table watching rehearsals she came and perched beside me. “Hullo” she whispered in a chummy way. I muttered something and edged a little further off.) Like a sulky child!

Miss Hollingsworth passed “Fantastic Flight” as OK for dress rehearsal except for one part – that of my wife – Stella. The original Stella (presumably an attack of premature stage fright) resigned the part a month ago. Mary Squire, the new Stella, took her place therefore at very short notice. She is trying jolly hard but hasn’t grasped the part yet. Nor even sure of her words. (Nor were any of us after one months rehearsals.) We went into a room by ourselves tonight for special study of her scene. Within a few minutes, the door opened and Hope Tregoring came in. As chaperone? Was she jealous? I gleefully scowled at her. We rehearsed the scene six times, until I loathed every word.

Left school at 10 o’clock. Drove Pat through wisps of fog, to The Roadhouse. The saucepan of fury boiled over eventually, soon after we’d finished supper. Driving home I made magnificent and utterly ridiculous speeches, explaining how a recital of her calf-love for beastly Boy Scouts was intensely boring to me. Then she – not unnaturally – became equally heated and told me a thing or two. Back at Prittlewell, I parked Zephyr on a most unromantic patch of waste ground, whilst we still quarrelled. Our taunts and bitter words gradually became quieter. At last I suddenly kissed her and she snuggled up close to me.

More, much more, than I deserved! Back at 218 I discovered the gate had a ripping latch hole. Through this, our fingers could touch, whilst parting words were spoken.


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