The prompt words this week were:
disown :: doldrums :: narrow :: curse :: assemble
The Prodigal’s Return
Oppressive times here, old chum. Oppressive indeed. This morning’s post brought a missive from Pater regarding my apparent ‘profligacy,’ ‘throwing away the family coin on women and wine,’ &c., and threatening the dreaded cut-off if such damnable behaviour does not cease forthwith. Blithering old fool. What business is it of his how I conduct myself here, far from his maddening grasp? Curse him. What irks most is how on earth he’s aware. Of course, he doesn’t know the half of it, but the half he does know, he appears to understand with perfect clarity.
All I wish is to be left in peace to write. Once my novel is completed, and I am being fêted on the London literary scene, we’ll see who requires money from whom.
I say, you couldn’t assemble a small packet of necessities, could you? A razor, some soap, a little cologne if you can spare it, some ink and nibs? Would be most grateful, of course. Recompense at a later date, and all that.
Must dash –
The doldrums continue apace, their sole lightening your letter, received yesterday with childlike gratitude. I thank you most sincerely for the ink and sundries you were good enough to send. When I came upon the inner package and found just how far your generosity had extended, I was quite moved, old boy. Assure yourself that I shall use it to pay for the roof above my head and the cuisine – victual as opposed to venereal, naturally – of which, perforce, I must partake.
Work continues well. I am all but finished the first draft. Not that Pater cares: along with your wonderful package came another ‘I Shall Thee Disown’ decree, filled with the most dreadful vitriol. It’s enough to make one dizzy.
Off for a walk in the Spring sunshine before returning to my narrow quarters, to sleep perchance to dream – perchance to write.
I can feel it, Robinson. The acclaim. Time, o Time, that blessed mistress; Time is all I need.
Yours in gratitude
Bridgwater House, Taunton, 17.V.34
I hold no ill-will, old chap. I’m sure you felt your hand forced, your conscience pricked without cease, and all that. I saw his top hat, first of all (nobody in Aix wears such things – he stood out like blood on a wedding gown); I tried to run, but could not decide what to leave, and what to bring. I froze, like a fool. He came straight to my door; there was no other way he could have known. I hope he made it worth your while, at least.
He flung my work upon the flames. It is ash, as am I.
No matter. Chin up, eh? Summer is high. The family coffers are, once again, sealed. Rejoice, o Israel.
Remember me, won’t you? With affection, if you can?
Yours eternally, in comradeship most fond,