This transcript reproduces Eileen Younghusband's writing as accurately as possible, including errors of spelling and punctuation. When personal and place names are misspelt, we have attempted to include the correct versions of the names in square brackets [ ] after the misspelling.
The language and opinions found in the diaries reflect the ideas, attitudes and events of the period. Some of the terminology and language used at that time may cause offence today but the content has been made available unedited. We hope that the context of the material will be taken into account and apologise for any offence caused.
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Suggested citation for this volume: Diary 16, Oct-Dec 1924; Eileen Younghusband archive, Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick (MSS.463/EY/J16)
Images of the original diary are available through Warwick Digital Collections.
Monday Oct: 27th 1924 Milton Mass.
Thursday Oct: 23rd. Miss Anthony and I went and had breakfast at the Brunswick cafeteria. It was most amusing; as you come in you pick up a tray with forks & knives & spoon wrapped up in a napkin and then you go along a counter either taking or asking the cooks for what you want, at the end someone adds up the total and gives you a check for it and then you go to a table with your tray and pay on the way out. I had grape fruit and rolls and girdle cake with maple syrup and coffee. Miss Anthony then took me to a hair dresser where she had made an appointment for me and I had my hair washed by a damsel in large horn rimmed spectacles. Then I went back to the Ludlow and we set out for the Art Museum which is a large and very beautiful building with a wonderful collection of Chinese and Japanese things. They only have just a few things in a room and the whole background and design of the room is made to harmonize with the thing shown there and the result is wonderfully good. They also have a good collection of pictures mostly 18th century but there were quite a few modern ones including some of Sargeant's [ Sargent's ] pencil portraits.
I went along to the Bryants on Marlborough Street about 4 o'c. Poor Mrs Bryant was feeling deathly ill (she is fearfully delicate). She gave a tea for Mummy that afternoon. Miss Cunningham (whom we hadn't seen since the boat) was there and Miss Williams and Mrs Gillett the sister of Mr Rice whose husband is running for Senator and who lives in Washington and has said she will do everything she can for us if we go there, and Mrs Robey who is the head of the Boston Y.W.C.A and met the Waldegraves when they were here and various other people all equally nice. Mrs Bryant felt so ill by the time they had gone that she couldn't go to the dinner but said she would join us towards the end so Dr Bryant and I set off together. The dinner was at the Copley Plaza which is the big hotel in Boston and very ornate with a big circular dining room with painted walls and ceiling. We met Mr Rice there and the other two joined us about 20 minutes late, they were Sylvia Benson the daughter of the artist, very cheerful and an excellent person on a party, and Mr Chandler an architect, very amusing and the bosom friend of Mr Rice. We had a gorgeous dinner beginning with huge slices of melon packed in ice and were all extremely merry. Mrs Bryant came in with the ice and told us to hurry up because the curtain was going up but the ice was so icy that we couldn't hurry much. The play was "Wildflower" a musical comedy which is such a success that it has been running for two years in various parts of the U.S. The leading lady Edith Day was very pretty and attractive and full of life, she danced well and had a really good voice which is the rarest thing in the world in musical comedy. It was frightfully funny in parts especially at one point where the silly man and the Vampire sang sham n***** songs together.
We went back to the Copley Plaza afterwards and danced on a mosaic floor in another circular room and ate oyesters and grape fruit and sandwiches and drank strange pink iced fruit drinks through straws. Mr Rice told me that Copley Plaza was often translated Costly Pleasure and we ragged him unmercifully for telling me that when he was the host so he retaliated by telling Mr Chandler if he wanted a cigar he must pay for it himself! The two exhibition dancers whom we had seen in "Wildflower" were there and they danced at intervals, the lady with singularly little on. Most of the people both in the restaurant and having supper were in day dress, people seem to dress very little in the evenings over here and one never wears gloves at any sort of evening function which is a great blessing. We got home a little before 1 o'c.
Friday Oct: 28th
Friday Oct: 24th. I had breakfast in bed and read a novel & felt tremendously comfortable. Mrs Bryant came up and sat on the end of my bed and laughed at my description of the hours of breakfast at the Forbeses & was very amused because I said I felt almost immoral being in bed so late.
I finally got up and out about a quarter of 12 & went round to the Ludlow to see Mummy but they were both out so I walked slowly back to Marborough Street and on the way had several tussles with U.S mail boxes which although they are a nice fat square shape & painted a becoming shade of green have no apparent opening into which one could squeeze a pin far less a letter. When I got back I found Mrs Bryant hopping about in agitation saying Miss Benson was waiting for me on the steps of the public library to take me over it. She had called me up at the Ludlow & I had never got the message. I tore back in a taxi to the public library & she took me to see the mural paintings. On the stairway is the History of Art by Puvis de Chevannes [ Chavannes ], unfortunately he wouldn't come over here to do them and so did not know they were to be set in yellow marble and the colouring is wrong. On the top floor along a wide corridor is the History of Religion by Sargeant [ Sargent ], some of the figures & groupings are glorious. He begins with the gods of ancient Egypt and Babylon & goes on to the Jewish prophets and then to Christianity. The most beautiful part of all was a big room where books are taken out & given in and all the walls are painted with the History of the Holy Grail in lovely colourings and groupings. I thought it was by Sargeant but someone said it wasn't.
We went back in the taxi I dropping Miss Benson somewhere on the way. I did a lightening change & Mrs Bryant and I went to luncheon at the Somerset Club at 1 o'c. The Somerset is the oldest and most important men's club in Boston & has a ladie's annexe. It is on Beacon Street and has a real old 18th century house and is in fact remarkably like an English club except that the food is better.
Miss Dabney whom I have met once or twice before lunched with us and we went to the symphony concert after luncheon – it was of course packed, in fact every seat is sold for the whole season. They played a Brahms symphony and a delicious thing called The Flight of the Bees by Rimsky Korsakoff [ Rimsky-Korsakov ] and a weird thing about Sycthian [ Scythian ] gods by a modern Russian composer. Kousevitsky [ Koussevitzky ] is a marvellous conductor. We went on to a coming out tea at the Country Club which is at Brookline and corresponds to Hurlingham or Ranelagh. There was practically no one there when we arrived so we skirmished about a bit till some people Mrs Bryant knew came along & then we went in with them. There was soon a seething mass of people and it became quite unbearably hot. Margaret Forbes was there pouring tea. I was introduced to masses of people and we danced several dances and then went home. We found Mr Rice had rung up & asked me to go for an automobile drive with him that afternoon. He came to dinner and we had sherry at dinner and crême de menthe afterwards and were extremely lively and then we started playing Mah Jongg and no one knew the rules and we went on playing till nearly midnight.
Saturday Oct: 25th. I had breakfast in bed again and Mrs Bryant sat on the end of my bed and talked and then suddenly Miss Anthony rang up and said they were coming for me at 10.30 so I leaped up & dressed in a great hurry and got packed and they came for me in Mrs Forbes' car. We went out to the Widner [ Widener ] Library at Harvard where Mr Webster met us and took us over it. It was built by Mrs Hamilton Rice (whom we know slightly & who was Mrs Widner) in memory of her son who was drowned in the Titanic. It is a magnificent building with lofty rooms and a broad marble hall and staircase; and it contains the Harvard library which is one of the finest in the world. There was a large room with card index cases of all the books in the library (I thought how the heart of Busky would have rejoiced). We looked up Daddie & found they had everything he has written including magazine articles. There were charming people in each department who knew all about the things they were in charge of and came and showed me various treasures.
I was dropped at the Websters for luncheon and then Mummy & Miss Anthony went back to Boston. Ruth Forbes was there and also Will Forbes who was taking me to the Harvard Dartmouth football game – the third biggest of the year – that afternoon. A young man whom everyone called "Buddy" came for Ruth after luncheon & we all started off. Will Forbes & I had to go & pick up our tickets at some club & then walk to the Stadium. It was frightfully hot and I was simply boiled by the time we arrived. The Stadium was packed and they said there were 52,000 people there. The game is quite unlike our game, very difficult to follow at first but thrilling when one begins to get the hang of it. Everyone was very excited and yelled and shouted and then there was the organized cheering which is one of the great features of the game; at all possible moments in a lull three undergraduates on each side stood up & yelled through megaphones for three cheers for their own team and all the undergraduates in the Stadium gave the College Yell while the three on the ground kept time by going through extraordinary gymnastics with their bodies, finally leaping in the air and then clapping. In the intermission the two College bands came on and played and people sang College songs intermittantly while for some unknown reason everyone stood the whole time the bands were playing. Dartmouth won by 6 points to 0 and there was the most terrific excitement afterwards; the Dartmouth band marched about playing and hundreds of students and their friends flocked on to the ground dancing & skipping behind the band and throwing hats, sticks & papers over the goal posts till there was a perfect hail of things going up and down. We walked slowly down the step of the Stadium stopping to watch what was going on; the last thing was a snake dance in which everyone puts their hands on the shoulders of the person in front and then they all wind in and out like a huge snake. When we got out into the road there was one solid mass of people as far as one could see in each direction; we took about ten minutes to cross over a bridge but once clear of that we got off onto a side path and walked straight back to the Websters. The young man called "Buddy" motored Ruth & me back to Milton and dropped me at Mrs Forbes' house where I found Mummy so finally after many changes we arrived to stay here. Mrs Forbes seemed pretty well except for a cough. I was very tired and went to bed early.
Sunday Oct: 26th. We went to the Unitarian Church with Mrs Forbes & Mr Pommeroy [ Pomeroy ] preached a very fine sermon on the duty of taking politics seriously. He said no one ever did their duty because it was their duty to do it. We went for a drive in the Blue Hills Reservation afterwards and the colourings were all quite glorious. We drove for so long that we didn't get back for luncheon till 2.30 (its 2 o'c anyway on Sundays) and found Mrs Alexander & Janet & Irving & Mr Ralph Forbes & Margaret all waiting. They all talked interminably after luncheon & I felt very sleepy.
The Websters all came for a few minutes in the afternoon in an immense car with a trailer and a pig in it behind.
Mr Edward Forbes and Rosamund and Baisy came to supper. They are all three charming. We all sang songs without much success after supper.
Friday Oct: 31st.
Monday Oct: 27th. I sat in the garden all the morning reading and writing and enjoying the sunshine. Mrs Forbes took us for a long drive in the Blue Hills in the afternoon. The autumn colours in America are quite glorious and they say say this is the best autumn there has been for years and years.
I was very worried to get a letter from Anne saying things have been getting more and more difficult since July and finally she thinks her engagement is off. I can't think what has happened.
Tuesday Oct: 28th. I wrote to Anne in the morning.
Mummy and I went to luncheon with Miss Williams at Brookline. It was a little party given for us and there were three ladies - Mrs How, Mrs Coolidge & another and two girls Miss Jones & Miss Sturgis. All very nice and all taking life very solemnly like all Americans. Miss Williams is one of the best. She brought us back here and we went to Margaret Forbes' coming out tea together. There were a good many people there whom we knew and a good many more we didn't know. Everyone stood about talking and asking us if we'd been long in America & if it was our first visit and then later on there was dancing. Will Forbes was splendid in introducing people to me & I danced all the time. American men dance much better on the whole than English men. To our amazement Mr Cameron suddenly appeared there. He had just got back from the West and come straight on to the party. We stayed to the end and came home with Mrs Forbes at 7 o'c. Mr Cameron came here for supper; he seemed very pleased to see us again and started discussing going to New York. Mrs Webster also came here for the night.
Wednesday Oct: 29th We started off about 11 o'c to go to Concord for the night and stay in Emerson's house (Mrs Forbes is his daughter and owns the house) and see the sights there. The country immediately around Concord is very pretty indeed but all the first part was through the towns on the outskirts of Boston which are far from pretty. Emerson's house is occupied by two retired school teachers Miss Lygate and Miss Heard who are great friends of the family. Miss Lygate was the principal of the school for years and I gather ruled Concord with a rod of iron; she is a very interesting woman. The house is wooden and square and old fashioned and comfortably with square sunny rooms and practically everything untouched since Emerson lived there including all his books with his name written in them in the study. It was quite nice to see something comparatively old.
Dr & Mrs Emerson ("Uncle Edward & "Aunt Annie" of Naushon) came to luncheon and brought with them Edith Forbes whose father is the son of Mr Malcolm Forbes by his first wife (very complicated). They live in France but are over here on a visit.
We went out in the afternoon to see the sights. Concord is a pretty old town with wooden houses and 18th century churches and a big green. We went to see Concord Bridge where the first fighting of the American Revolution took place and there is a statue to the Minute Men and the grave of the two British soldiers who were killed. We also saw Louisa Alcott's and Hamilton's houses, the public library with a fine statue of Emerson and Sleepy Hollow Cemetary where Emerson and Louisa Alcott are buried. Miss Lygate told us very amusing stories about some of her pupils. Everyone got very sleepy after supper owing to the warm fug which Mrs Forbes has to have.
Saturday Nov: 1st
Thursday Oct: 30th. Miss Lygate and Miss Heard took us to see some lovely woods called Fairyland and Walden's Pond where Emerson and Thoreau and Hawthorne used to walk. It was beautiful with a brilliant blue sky & blue water and pines and scarlet oaks. We went to luncheon with the Emersons and found Edith Forbes & Mrs Raymond Emerson there. We started back about 3 o'c passing through Lexington and seeing the Monument to the Minute Men of the Battle of Lexington
Massachusetts Avenue begins at Lexington and we followed it more or less for the 8 miles into Boston where we were going to have tea with Miss Cunningham who lives at 31 Mass Ave. She had a delightful tea and dear Mrs Bryant was there and all sorts of other nice people several of whom asked us to luncheon & tea. We got back here at 6.30 and I dined with Ruth Forbes at their house at 6.45. There were three men there, Harry Fuller, Lyman Paine & the man called "Buddy" I had met them all before at Margaret's tea. After dinner we all went into Boston in two cars to go & see an English revue "Charlot's Revue of 1924". There were great jams in the streets owing to political demonstrations (the Presidential Election is on Tuesday) and we finally stuck altogether by the Public Library so it was decided that as it was already time for the play to start Margaret, Mr Paine & I should walk; we got along Boyleston Street & across a bit of the Common & then we ran bang into the Republican torchlight procession which really was a very fine sight; it stretched as far as one could see in each direction and the people walked six abreast carrying flaming torches and banners & with bands playing at intervals there were crowds of cheering people on the side walk & we heard afterwards that 10,000 took part in the procession. La Follette the progressive candidate was also speaking in Boston that evening. We finally reached the theatre by plunging into the subway and coming up onto the other side of the street and discovered we were the first people to arrive but were soon joined by the others & Will Forbes & another girl. We had missed half an hour of it but as it was a revue it didn't so much matter. Gertrude Lawrence & Beatrice Lillie were acting in it and a good many of the things were taken from "A to Z" which was on in England about two years ago & which I saw three times. It was very amusing & light & excessively English.
The crowds had all gone by the time we came out and we went to a garage and got out the cars & sorted ourselves according to our various destinations and got back quite easily
Sunday Nov: 2nd.
Friday Oct: 31st. We had been going to lunch with Miss Anthony in Boston and go out to see her neice in the country but Mrs Forbes sent a message to say it was such a beautiful day she thought it would be nice to motor to Plymouth where the Pilgrim Fathers landed and see the sights there. Her memory is very uncertain and she forgets engagements altogether and had quite forgotten we were spending the day with Miss Anthony so we rang up the latter and explained things to her and she quite agreed we should go with Mrs Forbes.
We set off about 11 o'c and had a beautiful drive of between 30 and 40 miles; all the second part was by immense woods of pine and scarlet oak with every now and then grass clearings and little wooden houses; it was a little like the New Forest. Plymouth is a fairly big town on the shores of a most beautiful bay. We went first to see the Faith Monument, a very large and very Victorian Monument with a perfectly huge figure of Faith on top of a pedestal and various other less big figures of other virtues round the bottom and in between bas reliefs of scenes in the history of the Pilgrim Fathers. We went next to the shore to see the Plymouth Rock, a very small rock with a very large monument erected over it; they know it was the rock the Pilgrims landed on because it was the only one in the bay. Next we saw Elder Brewster's spring and an excellent statue of one of the Pilgrim women erected this year and close by it a copy of one of the original little log cabins built by the Pilgrims on the spot where the first houses were on Lyden Street named for Lyden in Holland where they went first when they were persecuted in England. Then we went to the Plymouth Rock Inn for luncheon. It was a long low woden 18th Century house more or less modernized inside but still very like an English Inn. We had a moderately good luncheon and then went to Pilgrim Hall a museum where they have a very good collection of relics from the Mayflower and various documents and other things concerning the early days of the Colony. From there we went to call on the Miss Bartletts two old ladies (one of whom we met in Bath ten years ago) who live in an old house on the street and had quite the hotest and most airless parlour I have ever been in; there was almost no air at all and what there was had not been changed since the last century and was heated to the point of suffocation. They gave us a very good tea and then we went to Burial Hill (they enjoy cemeterys in this country) which is on the sight of the Pilgrims first fort and on the top are two cannon of the period presented by the British Honourable Artillary Company at the tercentenery in 1920. From there we started off home and had a lovely drive back with the sun setting behind pine woods & arrived back about 6.15. It was a very good day.
I heard the sad news that poor Mrs Bryant had had to go into a nursing home (she hadn't looked a bit well at Miss Cunningham's on Thursday) & so of course I couldn't go there for the week-end which I had been going to do.
Saturday Nov: 1st. Mrs Webster was here for the night and as she was going into Boston about 10.30 we went in with her because we were to have our posponed luncheon with Miss Anthony. She dropped us at the Public Library and we went into the reading room and saw a "Times" over a fortnight old and then went upstairs and had a good look at Abbey's beautiful Holy Grail pictures & Sargeant's [ Sargent's ] equally beautiful "History of Religion", the latter are, unfortunately, in a thoroughly bad position in a high rather narrow corridor so that you get a kink in your neck trying to look at them & the light is none too good either. I dropped Mummy at the Ludlow & then went to see the new chapel of Emmanuel Church Newbury Street which was designed by Mr Chandler whom I met the other night & which I had heard was beautiful; it was in the Gothic style & I thought dreadfully disappointing. I met Miss Anthony & Mummy just going to look at Trinity Church on Copley Square, it is a huge dark rather uninteresting building but has two stained glass windows of the Resurrection which for colouring & in fact everything are the most beautiful stained glass I have ever seen. Miss Anthony's neice who lives with her was there at luncheon, she is a nice fat jolly creature & very friendly. Dear "Cousin Annie Anthony" who is one of the kindest people who ever breathed gave me a fascinating sea blue Egyptian pendant.
Rees (Mrs Forbes' chauffeur) came for us at 2 o'c & Miss Anthony took us to see some of the streets of Boston; we went in and out of the old streets on Beacon Hill & saw Louisberg [ Louisburg ] Square & Charles River Square & the Embankment along the Charles River which is one of the prettiest views of Boston. Then we went downtown a bit & saw white tiled cafeterias which Mr Webster calls whited sepulchres & department stores but the streets were so crowded that we had to turn back & went to enquire after Mrs Bryant.
I saw Dr Bryant for a minute and he said she was feeling pretty ill and wouldn't be home till Tuesday. Miss Anthony left us & we came back here. Mrs Forbes went to Mrs Alexander's birthday tea but Mummy & I both felt a trifle weary so we didn't go. Mr Cameron appeared soon after we got back; tremendously kind & cheerful & full of glorious plans for New York. We are to go & stay with him at Westwood to-morrow till Thursday when we go till Monday to Greenwich to stay with those nice delightful Vincents whom we met when we first arrived at Naushon. On Monday we go to New York & join Mr Cameron, Mrs Forbes & Ruth and have a great jollification there till Thursday. It all sounds marvellous.
After supper Mrs Forbes told us a good deal about the days of the Civil War (she was 20 when it broke out) and about the "Underground Railroad" by which slaves escaped into Canada & one of the chief stations of which was at Concord & run by her father (Emerson), Hawthorne & others. It is extraordinary to think that her grandfather fought in the Revolution.
In all the stress & strain of keeping this diary written I have forgotten - or not had time - to mention that the Labour Government in England was defeated (alas!) on the absurd reason of the Communist Campbell case. There was a general election on the 29th & the Conservatives have come back with a largely increased majority. The last figures I saw so far as I can remember them, are: Conservatives 258, Labour 143 & Liberals 40. Asquith & Margaret Bondfield have lost their seats. It is all very depressing & I can't think why the country has suddenly turned round after the Labour Government did so well & voted Conservative. Everyone here seems to think very well of Macdonald & what these papers call the "Laborites".
The weather continues to be marvellous, I have only seen rain twice since we came to America. There is quite a severe drought on. Everyone says they have never seen the autumn colours so fine & the papers say it is the driest month there has been since 1818.
People are beginning to get fairly excited over the election here as the time is getting so near (Tuesday is Election Day). The candidates are: Coolidge Republican, Davis, Democrat and La Follette Progressive. Everyone seems to think Coolidge will be elected but possibly that is because most of the people we meet (conservatives) are going to vote for him.
Monday Nov: 3rd
Sunday Nov: 2nd. Mummy and I were very lazy and sat on the piazza reading and writing nearly all the morning.
Mr Ralph Forbes, Pauline & David, Mr Cameron, Mrs Webster, Mr Webster, Frederick & Edith came to luncheon and not long after luncheon Mrs Waldo Forbes appeared with Amelia, Stephen and Waldo. Mr Cameron took me for a drive in his beautiful 60 horse power Simplex. We went in and out of the Blue Hills and Stony Brook Reservations and ended up by going to see the Alexander Forbeses who were all at home.
Ruth came to supper & was trying hard to make up her mind whether she could chuck the Art School next week & go with us to New York. It sounded so like Kathleen! I had a splitting headache & went to bed early.
Wednesday Nov: 5th. Gay Farm Westwood.
Monday Nov: 3rd. We struggled with packing and sorting nearly all the morning. Soon after luncheon we all (Mrs Forbes, Mummy & I) came over to Westwood to stay with Mr Cameron. There was a nice old Colonel Bowditch and his son, who was A.D.C to General Pershing here when we arrived but they were just on the point of departure. This is a lovely house built by Mr Forbes about eight years ago nearly all the rooms are pannelled in Phillipine [ Philippine ] woods most of which are rather like walnut. He has a museum and a closet full of toys for children and a big library and a telephone in almost every room connecting with a main switchboard and a room full of theatrical costumes, and a food lift from a pantry which comes up inside the wall of his bed-room leval with his bed and a section of the pannelling lets down making a bed table. There is an elevator and bathrooms to nearly all the bedrooms and sleeping out balconies for the summer and furniture made of the same wood the room is pannelled in and glorious deep cupboards everywhere.
We went to tea with Mrs Alan Forbes who has a perfectly delicious house and an equally delicious youngest son of 22 years and a nice husband and rather a silly mother. She appeared to be very pleased to see us again as we were to see her and lent us a pile of the "Weekly Times" & the "Tatler".
A Dr & Mrs Strong came to dinner. He is sent all over the world by the Rockerfeller [ Rockefeller ] Foundation to investigate & help cure different diseases & has done tremendously interesting things. They had just been up the Amazon for four months with Dr & Mrs Hamilton Rice.
Tuesday Nov: 4th. Mr Forbes went off to vote directly after breakfast and when he returned took me over to join Mr Ralph Forbes at the latter's stables about a couple of miles away. We looked at about a dozen beautiful horses and a particularly stunning and very high spirited little Arab. A girl called Alice Lowell arrived to stay during the morning and the Govenor took us to see the farm. After luncheon we did cross word puzzles and were shown the museum full of all sorts of Phillipine [ Philippine ] and Japanese and Chinese things and the Carpenter's shop which has every imaginable tool.
I was going into Boston to dine with a girl called Margot Emery whom I met at Miss Cunningham's and staying the night with Miss Anthony. I was motored to Deadham [ Dedham ] & from there went by train to the Back Bay Station. It was my first experience of an American train; they have long cars with the seats all facing one way & a long corridor down the middle exactly like the tops of our buses. I sat with Miss Anthony for a little while and then went to the Hotel Hamilton on Clarendon Street where this girl's apartment was. She apparently lived with her Uncle & they had a beautiful apartment with big rooms & very well furnished. Three men came to dinner and we had cocktails before dinner; I have no idea what the mens names were as they were all called by their Christian names but they were nice and talkative. After dinner we picked up a girl at an apartment on Commonwealth Avenue & went to a movie. Election results were given every now & then & showed things were going pretty well for Coolidge. We saw a film called "Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall" beautifully produced & with Mary Pickford in the leading part. We left about 11 o'c, dropped the other girl at her home & went in search of excitement but found very little even at the newspaper offices downtown, there were quite a few people at the "Transcript & Post" offices but they were ceasing to put up the news by the time we arrived, however we found quite a good crowd at the "Herald" office on Tremont St. over looking the Common & all the news was still being shown. Coolidge seemed to be going pretty well but it was hard to tell from the more or less inconclusive results that came through. We got back about 12.15.
Tuesday Nov: 11th. Hotel Belmont New York.
Wednesday Nov: 5th. Miss Anthony and I went and had breakfast at a cafeteria & then as she had an appointment somewhere else I took a walk along Boyleston Street & then went back to the Ludlow.
Mr Cameron & Mummy picked me up at 10.30 and we went to the Agissize [ Agassiz ] Museum at Cambridge and saw marvellous glass flowers made by a secret process. They are so perfect that as they lay in their glass cases it would be impossible to tell them from real flowers. We went up to the research part and a nice Professor showed us wonderfully coloured birds from all over the world. We also saw the Medical School which is built entirely of marble but doesn't look it, and the Institute of Technology both remarkably fine buildings.
We got back to Gay Farm in time for luncheon. The Governor & I did cross word puzzles for a good time after luncheon and then went for a short ride. I rode Ladybird, a polo pony with the most perfect gait both trotting and galloping. There was a dinner party in the evening at which the guests were Proffessor & Mrs Lake who are both English and he is a Professor of English at Harvard; Mr & Mrs O'Brien (he is the editor of the "Boston Herald") Colonel Bowditch and his perfectly charming daughter Mrs Sturgis, Bud Ladd (the young man known as "Buddy") a nice boy called Churchill and another lady and gentleman whose name I forget. We sat in the Museum after dinner & when they had all gone Mr Cameron showed me the Library and the Oriental Room, the latter is a most thrilling place. You go through a secret panel in the wall into perfect darkness, then you are led across the room to a chair and through an opening in the wall you are shown the Taj Mahal by moonlight; it is a big alabaster model and the lighting comes through an alabaster dome covering the whole thing. Then a dim light is turned on and you are in an Oriental room filled with Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Phillipine [ Philippine ] things and looking very Eastern.
Thursday Nov: 6th. We were to go and stay with the Vincents at Greenwich on this day & there was some discussion as to whether we should motor the whole way or go by train but when it was discovered it would take 10 hours to motor it was decided we should go by train.
I was very sorry to leave Gay Farm. Mr Cameron had us motored to Providence about 30 miles away, we started late and did the 30 miles in an hour but arrived nearly a quarter of an hour before our train left at 2.14. We got on to the Boston - New York express and it was very fast and smooth and the car was very comfortable and everything was nice except for the appaling heat which made us both feel quite ill. We went through miles and miles of woods and caught glimpses of the sea every now and then and passed one or two big places like New London & New Haven, the latter the city of Yale and very ugly. We changed at Bridgeport and got into a local train for Stanford where Elizabeth met us and took us about 10 miles to their house at Greenwich. Mr & Mrs Vincent were dining with the Rockefellers in New York. It was a charming house about 100 years old built of wood and painted white and very pretty inside. Mummy felt so bad from the train that she went to bed straight off. Elizabeth & I had dinner together & then talked afterwards. I had a raging headache & felt perfectly [ illegible ] and ended by being sick during the course of the night: a good beginning for our first American train journey.
Saturday Nov: 15th Milton.
Friday Nov: 7th. I got down for breakfast fairly late. Elizabeth had gone off to New York by the early train because she works on the "New Republic". Mrs Vincent was there and welcomed us very enthusiastically and she and I went out riding. We went to the house of a gentleman about a couple of miles away to borrow a pony called Tex who was a Western pony and had been ridden by Tex Austin in the Rodeo at Wembley this summer. He was a dear pony and went like the wind. We rode in the woods for over 2½ hours. There are wonderful woods stretching for miles and miles and they say they have 50 miles of bridle pathes around their house which is pretty good for 25 miles of New York. In the afternoon I went with Mrs Vincent to the Country Club and watched her shoot clay pigeons in preparation for real shooting the next week; then we went back and picked up Mummy and took her for a drive by Long Island Sound and saw the millionaire houses along by the water.
Several ladies came for tea including Mrs Seton the wife of Francis Seton Thompson [ Ernest Thompson Seton ] who lives opposite. She is rather a tiresome lady reeking of scent and jewellery and having just got back from India and being in the throes of writing a book about it she gave us all her views on India much to Mummy's amusement. When she had gone all the other ladies who had apparently been hanging on every word she said started saying how much they disliked her which amused me very much.
A nice (he rather and she very) Mr & Mrs Cheever came to dine. Elizabeth and Mr Vincent got back in time for dinner, and Elizabeth's brother Johnny who turned out to be one of the sweetest and most angel-like people I've ever known. Everyone sat around and talked politics after dinner and started slanging La Follette who Elizabeth had voted for.
Saturday Nov: 8th. I got up at 6 o'c to go hunting and then when I was dressed discovered no one else was getting up till 6.45! We had hot coffee and then started off - Elizabeth, Mr Vincent and I. It was a glorious sunny, cold, crisp morning very clear and fresh. I rode the Western pony. The meet was about 1½ miles away and the whole thing looked very pretty starting off with the hounds and the pink coats and all the horses behind with their coats glistening in the sunshine. Mr Vincent and I got left behind quite early in the day because he has never done much jumping and neither I nor my pony could jump so we were very soon weeded out when they started going over a series of stone walls. We rode through the woods and had a lovely time. There was one place called the ravine which they say is exactly like the Western Woods; it had very steep, rocky sides covered with tall pines and at the bottom was a stream rushing over boulders while beside it was a log cabin with some campers just cooking their breakfast. We got in a little before 10 o'c and ate an enormous breakfast and rested for a short time till we had luncheon at 12.30 because Mr Vincent and I were going into New York to see the last performance - or the last but one - of "The Miracle" which has been running over here for 18 months and is one of the most wonderful plays that have ever been produced. I was thrilled to death at the thought of going into New York and it was a great moment when we crossed a small river and Mr Vincent said "we're now on Manhattan Island". The first sight of course was of slums, high red brick buildings with outside staircases and crowded streets with a view of Central Park every now and then. The train goes underground for the last three miles and we arrived at the low level part of the Grand Central Station and went upstairs through a wonderful huge marble hall called the Concourse & looking like the nave of some great modern cathedral. We got into a taxi and went to the Century Theatre along 5th Avenue and across Columbus Circle and Broadway. There was one skyscraper standing quite by itself and overlooking Central Park (I think it was the Gotham Bank Building); it was very tall and slender towering above everything else and looked like some strange mirage in its tremendous height. I kept mentally rubbing my eyes and saying "am I or does it?"
The play had unfortunately began when we arrived. One was immediately plunged in an atmosphere (both literal & metaphoric) very different from that of New York. The entire theatre had been transformed into a great medieval Cathedral so that one was actually sitting in the Church and facing the broad space in front of the high altar. The legend is of a young nun who discards her habit at the feet of a wonder working image of the Virgin and goes off into the world with a knight; the image comes to life and the Virgin puts on the nun's habit and carries on her duties for seven years. Meanwhile the nun has a rather unnecessarily thin time in the world. Everyone falls in love with her for her beauty and then all come to violent deaths because of her. Finally when she has sunk very low she drags herself into the Church one Christmas night to take shelter from the snow; the Virgin becomes an image again leaving behind the nun's habit which she puts on again all the other nuns come in again and there is great rejoicing. The first scene was the most impressive of all with the great dim Cathedral and the smell of incense and the organ playing and chanting in Latin and beautiful groups and colourings of nuns and priests in their vestments, and banners, and mediaeval crowds. The banquet scene at the Castle of the Robber Court was done in rainbow colours of greens and blues and purples with strange exotic prints and dances. The scene in the King's Palace was entirely in sort of dim, soft gold with wonderful dresses in weird designs. The Revolution scene was all black and red – that is to say the people were all dressed in black & red with a great black gallows in the middle. There were nine scenes altogether and of course they were all laid in the Cathedral because it was a solid building with all its great Gothic pillars and beautiful Rose windows; but it was changed for the various scenes by means of curtains and smoke clouds. There was no talking at all only the chanting of the nuns and an occassional shout in the worldly scenes when someone was killed or something equally unpleasant happened. It was quite the most wonderful and amazingly beautiful thing I have ever seen and there was nothing whatever that jarred which was very remarkable in a religious thing of that sort. The nun was played by a girl of 18 called Rosamund [ Rosamond ] Pinchot & they said she had to walk 7 miles in the course of each performance. There was, of course, no applause - in fact one never thought of it.
We went back to the Grand Central Station by subway, it was just like our underground except that it was faster and shook and rattled more. There was a magnificent marble arcade of shops at the Station in one of which we had tea - that is to say Mr Vincent had tea and I had a soda. He bought me some papers & put me on the Greenwich train and in spite of its being pitch dark I managed to get out at the right station because a car man came along shouting Green - wich. Johnny was also on the train and we were met at the station by the Vincent's delightful old coloured chauffeur William. Two nice young men whose surnames I have not got the remotest idea of came to dinner. Mummy & Mrs Vincent went to a buffet supper with a charming Mrs Adams who lives in a house of the unbelievable age of 200 years. Mr Vincent was dining in New York and so we were alone for dinner and had great jokes over English and American slang and telling funny stories. After dinner we went to a movie and saw Jackie Coogan in "Robinson Crusoe's Island" and laughed a good deal in the wrong places.
Then we went on to a dance at the golf club; there were a great many people there and it was horribly hot but I enjoyed it tremendously, it was my first experience of cutting in; I think it is a good system except that you are left with a man till someone else cuts in or on the other hand you may have some one cutting in on you every few steps. Elizabeth introduced heaps of people to me & I had a fine time. There was a first rate stand up supper and Johnny & I sat out for some time eating ices and talking. One of the disadvantages of the system is that the stags as they call the men who aren't dancing stand in solid lines across the room taking up a great deal of space while they scrutinize the girls to see who they want to cut in on. I felt pretty dizzy with tiredness and the heat before long and Johnny and I went home with the Adamses about 1 o'c. I was sorry to leave because it was a good dance but it had been a fairly hectic day and starting very early.
Sunday Nov: 9th. Mr & Mrs Vincent and I started off riding about 9.30 (Elizabeth & Johnny didn't wake till noon!) I rode Mr Vincent's mare Jenny a perfect mannered animal. We rode for three hours through the most lovely woodland pathes. I was so tired when we got back that I would have fallen out of the saddle for 2d. There was a short lul after luncheon during which Mr Vincent read aloud and several of us slept; the others slowly melted away & Johnny & I were left discussing the problems of life & were just getting into it when one of the men of the night before turned up & took us in his motor to the Country Club to play football; they wanted me to join in but as I can't even make out the rules of their football I thought it better not. Elizabeth came later & played, they all ran about a great deal and shouted and were pretty good in spots. We had tea at the Club and there were a great many other people coming and going whom everyone knew and we ate quantities of cinamon toast and drank tea with lemon. A Mr & Mrs Davison and a Mr & Mrs Boyd came to dine. Mr Vincent read aloud after dinner some excruciatingly funny things by Leacock and an Irish American. We all laughed a great deal and went to bed full of plans for riding in the morning.
Wednesday Nov: 19th.
Monday Nov: 10th. I got down for breakfast at 7.30 and found Elizabeth and Johnny hurrying off to catch the train to New York. Mr Vincent and I went riding, I on Elizabeth's big chestnut hunter who was glorious to ride and had the feel of the strength of an express train under one. We rode round Mr Rockerfeller's [ Rockefeller's ] race track and through the woods and back by Francis Seton Thompson's lake and woods where he has every kind of wild animal, and past his perfectly fascinating gabled house with queer animals and figures carved and painted on it built in 1918 and looking as if it had been there for ever.
I packed when we got back and we and Mr Vincent left for New York on the 11.28 train. I feeling very sad at the ending of such a perfect visit but very excited at the thought of New York. The Governor met us at the Grand Central Station and took us across to the Hotel Belmont which is over the road on the corner of 42nd Street and Park Avenue and a most palatial place with marble halls and gilding and rows of elevators and white marble passages and flower shops and jewelers shops and news stands all in the hotel. I nearly passed out as they say here at the thought of living in a place like that and walking in and out of it with a perfect right to do so. We had a whole suite of rooms on the third floor, first a parlour, then Mrs Forbes' room, then Mummy's & mine then the Governor's, then Elizabeth's (she was going to join us there in the evening). They all had bath rooms of their own and huge closets and writing tables with an assortment of pens and papers. In our room we found a sheath of white roses, a big bunch of violets and a basket of fruit all presents from the Governor. The whole thing really was like a story book. We had luncheon in the restaurant which was very like the restaurant of the Savoy.
The Governor asked me what I would like to do that afternoon and I said "go to the top of the Woolworth Building"; first he said there wouldn't be time before Mrs Forbes' train got in at 3.40 but then he said we could make it if we went by subway so we set out and got an express train from the Grand Central to Brooklyn Bridge; it went tremendously fast and was tremendously noisy. When we got up onto the surface there was Broadway ahead of us and a whole line of skyscrapers towering up into the sky and the Woolworth Tower high above them all looking like some strange and perverted but beautiful Gothic Cathedral. We went inside and saw lines of elevators labelled "express to 27th floor", "local" and so on. We got our tickets to go to the top and then got into an express elevator and were whirled at a perfectly incredible speed past endless floors till we reached the 57th story and there we got into a slow little elevator and went up the actual point of the tower till we came out on a balcony 750 feet above the street and got the most amazing view of New York; it was a little misty although there had been clear sunshine down on the ground. We just looked clean over the tops of the other skyscrapers on Broadway and Wall Street, the Singer Building, the Telephone Building, the Municipal Building and the Metropolitan Building. On the East we looked down Broadway and out to sea in the direction of Staten Island with the Statue of Liberty half veiled in the mist; on the South we saw the Hudson River and lines and lines of wharves and Jersey City, on the North the East River Brooklyn and Long Island and on the West New York stretching away into the mist and buildings of every size and shape imaginable all light coloured and gleaming in the sunlight. The oddest thing of all was to look down onto the streets below and see the people – funny little black specks - running about and motors and street cars looking just like clockwork toys wound up and and running along with queer mechanical movements. It was like the feeling of some savage god looking down on the earth at little playthings below and feeling one would like to flick a little street car with one's finger to see it topple over & the people all fall out just as one flicks an ants nest. It seemed extraordinary that the odd little motors didn't run over the odd little people and I believe one would have scarcely noticed it except with slight amusement such utter disregard does that sort of height give one for human beings and such queer enchantment does that distance lend the view. On the way down we went to see General Harbord who was a very big wig in the War and is now the president of some big business but he wasn't in. We went back in the subway and met Mrs Forbes on the 3.40 from Boston and conducted her over to the hotel. Later on on Mummy and I went out and got lost in the first five yards, however we bought a good many picture post-cards and had tea in one of the shops in the Grand Central Station and finally found our way back to the Belmont. Elizabeth came along after her work and a nice girl called Nancy Hitch who is a great friend of the Governor's came to dine and we went to the theatre crossing Broadway on our way and seeing all the wonderful illuminated signs, very like Piccidilly [ Piccadilly ] Circus only stretching for miles. The play was called "Expressing Willie" and was really funny and clever besides being well acted.
Thursday Nov: 20th.
Tuesday Nov: 11th. The Govenor and I played games and did cross word puzzles for some time in the morning, in fact for so long that I missed being in the streets for the 2 minutes Armistice Day silence at 11 o'c but I didn't know they had it over here.
We all went out in a taxi later in the morning and drove about New York. First we went along what I think was 4th Avenue, and across Union Square till suddenly we came out by the Woolworth Building there we stopped and went into the Telephone Building to see the president because Mrs Forbes' husband had been the first president of the Bell Telephone Co and had started it off on its career of prosperity. The president was in beautiful offices on the 26th floor and besides seeing him we saw the museum containing all sorts of documents and models relating to the beginning of the telephone. When we left there we drove down to Battery Park on the shore looking towards the open sea, then turned to the right and went for a long way along the water front of the Hudson River past all the Wharves and saw the funnels of several big steamers. We came back by Park Avenue where a great many of the very magnificent apartment houses and private houses are, it is very wide with a broad strip of grass down the middle like Commonwealth Avenue in Boston and to look along it gives one a fine idea of the lesser skyscrapers. We dropped Mummy at the Colony Club which is on Park Avenue, for luncheon with Mrs Seaton and then went back to the Belmont.
After luncheon I set out to see New York from the top of a bus and got onto a likely looking one on 5th Avenue; the conductor comes along and holds out a funny little machine to you into which you press a dime and that takes you as far as you want to go. Not long after I started I discovered that we were going up town instead of down which was a bit of a shock, however I decided to remain where I was. We went up 5th Avenue to Columbus Circle, that is by the beginning of Central Park then we went a short way up Broadway and turned off to the left along a street which brought us to the East River, then we turned up along Riverside Drive, a gloomy place rather like the Embankment at Chelsea. I got off the bus and walked along for a bit wondering how one stopped buses in America as they neither seemed to stop or be stopped, however after a time I came to a notice which said "buses stop by signal" so I planted myself beside it and signalled violently to the first bus that came along. I went further down 5th Avenue then 42nd Street to see a little more of the fascinating shops and then walked back. It is very easy to stop the buses from the inside because there is a bell beside every seat. Mummy was very enthusiastic having been to a wonderful symphony concert with Mrs Cheever.
Miss Deane's neice Rosalie Mackenzie who works at the American Geographical Society came to dinner. She looks on America & Americans with a gloomy dislike having been over here for five years but she can't go back to England because of the uncertainty of getting a job. She is interesting and very well read but I think perhaps takes life rather unnecessarily hardly.
After dinner with the Governor, Elizabeth, Rosalie and I went to see "Rain" a most gloomy and harrowing, wonderfully acted play purporting to show up the terrible behaviour of missionaries. The scene is laid on a tropical island and the rain comes down ceaselessly till one could scream. All the acting was as good as it could be but the best was Jeanne Eagels who is the American girl so badly treated by the missionary. On the way back we went to look at the extra ordinary Radiator Building behind the Public Library on 5th Avenue, it has a black and gold tower lighted up by concealed lights and the effect is extraordinary. We talked for quite a time after we got back.
Wednesday Nov: 12th. The Govenor took Mummy and me to drive round Central Park in the morning and see some of the big houses on Fifth Avenue. Central Park is composed mainly of rocks and grass land and didn't seem to have any flowers.
I dashed off as soon as we got back to go and have luncheon with Elizabeth at the "New Republic" office. I was to go along 5th Avenue in a bus till I came to 23rd Street which I did, there I was to get a street car along 23rd Street to 9th Avenue but no street car came so I walked crossing over 6th, 7th and 8th Avenues which all looked very like Whitechapel High Street, at 9th Avenue I turned down till I came to 21st Street and the office was a few doors down there. I arrived a panting mass of alarm and hurry and was plunged into a room full of Elizabeth and seven men of various ages and degrees of importance. At luncheon I sat between Mr Croaly [ Croly ] the Editor who talked like one of Rose Macauley's books and though kindly in the extreme did nothing to lessen my alarm, and Mr Johnstone (?) who I imagine was a lesser editor. Mercifully I got him going on the Government and education of the U.S.A and that kept him going. I felt I should have been done in completely if asked to explain the political situation in England incidently it was obvious that they knew far more about it than I did. After luncheon the conversation became general and was clever without having any very great point. When I got back to the Belmont I found a gentleman had come from the Telephone Co and was going to take us to see the Rhinelander exchange on, I think, 58th Street. This turned out to be the most thrilling experience, a charming and most competant woman who is the head of the whole exchange took us round and explained everything. There are 10,5000 subscribers on that exchange and we saw all their wires and the switchboard which runs nearly all round the hall while girls with headpeices over their ears sit in front of it jamming terminals into innumerable little numbered holes. Then we were taken to see the delightful rest room and rest annexe for the operators; they are paid $15 a week while they are training which takes 6 months and then anything from $22 to $26 a week according to whether they are on in the day or at night.
I was meeting Elizabeth for tea at a friend of her's, Betty Barbar who lives on 56th Street and the Governor dropped me there on his way somewhere else. Betty Barbar turned out to be a very attractive girl and lived in an even more attractive house full of old Italian furniture. Elizabeth told me her, B.B's, entire history on our way back.
There was a dinner party of 11 in the evening. I helped the Govenor order the dinner and felt quite terrific having a waiter stand in front of me in the Governor's room while I went through the menu and tried to decide whether we should have guinea fowl or turkey and cranberry sauce. The outsiders at the dinner were, Johnny, Nancy Hitch, General Hyser, Mr Mart Eager and an extremely nice young married couple whose name I have stupidly forgotten. I sat between the male portion of the Young Married Couple and Mr Eager who was a partner in J.P Morgan, very amusing and knows Mr Vivian Smith well. We went to see "Dixie to Broadway" and there I still clung to Mr Young Married Couple but had Johnny, who was as charming as ever, on the other side. "Dixie to Broadway" was a coloured revue, the humour was very unsubtle and at times not particularly humourous but there was the most marvellous patter dancing by three men each one streets better than the last. The leading lady was a most attractive creature just like a newly hatched robin. It was a most unsuitable thing to take Mrs Forbes to, she was dreadfully shocked and said afterwards she had sat with her eyes shut all the time! Some of the party came back to the Belmont afterwards and we had drinks and sandwiches.
Thursday Nov: 13th. Elizabeth left us for good in the morning amid great weeping and lamenting. She is the most fascinating person, very pretty with red-gold hair and big blue eyes, she is very clever, very enthusiastic, and charming. After regretting her loss for sufficiently long we went to see the Metropolitan Art Museum which is in Central Park opposite to 5th Avenue at 71st Street or thereabouts and is really the most wonderful place full of beautiful pictures and statues, and Chinese things and French things and Oriental things and every other joy. We looked particularly at the newly opened American Wing composed mostly of complete rooms from Old Colonial houses, furnished with Colonial furniture and silver.
Rosalie came along in the afternoon. There was a great plan that she should go with me on Friday night to Buffalo, see the Niagera [ Niagara ] Falls and go back Saturday night she to New York and I to Boston a distance of about 500 miles each way. First she said she would then she said she couldn't because of her work which was very tiresome. I discovered she was going to tea with Miss Busk who was stopping at the Hotel Gotham on 5th Avenue so I said I would go with her. We walked along there Rosalie reviling the Americans most of the time and arrived to find Miss Busk in a magnificent pink satin suite. It really was very odd meeting her in this Country, she seemed very pleased to see me & told me a good deal of the doing of Westerham.
When I left there I went to join Mummy at tea with Miss Mabel Gerry's sister who lives in a palace on the corner of 61st Street and 5th Avenue. The door was opened by a butler and two footmen and I was taken through lines of red and gold rooms till I came to a tea table at which sat Miss Gerry, Mummy & several women in black satin and pearls which Mrs Bryant tells me is the uniform of New York women. The conversation was mainly gossip flavoured with scandal but I thought Miss Gerry a nice woman. From there we went to see Mrs Hamilton Rice at 901 Fifth Avenue, she has a really beautiful house, the hall had French pannelling, a white marble floor and tomato velvet curtains; we were taken up in a lift with walnut pannelling to a perfect room with a great stone medieval fire place and beautiful old pictures and comfortable chairs and sofas, the whole thing suddenly made the Gerry house seem uninteresting and a little tawdry. Mrs Hamilton Rice greeted us as if we had been her longest lost friends and made herself quite charming. Her son Mr George Widner [ Widener ] was there he was extremely nice and had been with the Prince of Wales all the time on Long Island and told us quite a lot about it. We went back to the hotel from there. The Govenor and I played Russian Bank after dinner but I was so desperately sleepy that I let everything slip by.
Friday Nov: 21st.
Friday Nov: 14th. I wanted to do a little more exploring before we left for Boston on the 1 o'c train so as soon as I'd finished my packing I set out and went in the subway to Brooklyn Bridge and then walked across to the Waterman Fountain Pen shop on Broadway near the Woolworth Building. There I bought for $2.50 the pen I am now writing with to replace the one I lost at Avignon this Spring. From there I walked onto Brooklyn Bridge to look back at the New York skyline but the Bridge was much long than I expected and I only had time to walk to the beginning of the real bridge part; however it was rather a wonderful view all the same that line of great buildings of wildly different heights and shapes and far up-town the Wurlitzer Building (at 42nd Street) just catching a ray of sunshine and gleaming pale pinky-sandy colour. I walked back to Broadway and got into a street car to go back, it was dreadfully full and one can't see much from a street car anyway (there are no buses on Broadway) and we got in prepetual blocks and it seemed an age before we even began the numbered streets and I had got to get to 42nd Street, however finally we reached Times Square where Broadway and 5th Avenue meet and I leapt onto a 5th Avenue bus and got back to the hotel to find that no one showed the least sign of being ready to go. We did finally collect all our things and march out of the majestic portals of the Belmont and into the even more majestic halls of the Grand Central Station and found our train the Knickerbocker Limited composed entirely of Pullman cars with carpets all over the floors and an observation car and numbered swivel armchairs for each person to sit in and a steward and stewardess on each car to do anything you might want in return for a tip of a quarter at the end of the journey. The perfect beauty and harmony was a little destroyed by the discovery that they had sold Mummy's armchair to another lady as well but an official came along and settled that quite happily. We said good bye to the Govenor who was going down to West Virginia duck shooting and just as he and the train were going it was decided that we should sail on the America on the 27th. The train went rather slowly as far as Newhaven the first stop, possibly because the line is electrified and perhaps electric trains can't go so fast. After Newhaven we went along and collected Mrs Forbes who was in another car and managed to get seats in the dining car and had a very good luncheon but the prices are quite ruinous $1 for a portion of chicken mayonnaise with not over much chicken in it. The food was equally dear at the Belmont from what I saw of the menus and people say one is ruined as soon as one sets foot in a New York hotel. We went along the same line - the Shoreline - that we had gone over to Greenwich. The sea looked lovely whenever we caught glimpses of it gleaming like an opal in the sunshine. I turned my swivel chair round to face the window and fell heavily asleep and found to my surprise when I woke that it was nearly dark and the remains of a red-gold sunset were disappearing in the distance. We got in at the Back Bay Station a little after 6 o'c and were met by Rees and the car at the Back Bay Station and came out here.
I was very sorry to leave New York which is fascinating and the easiest place in the world to find one's way about in.
Saturday Nov: 15th. We rang up Miss Anthony after breakfast to ask if we could see her and she said she would be at home in the morning so we went in by the street cars and managed to find our way although we got a little puzzled at times. The first part was through Dorchester which is, I believe, part of the Irish Quarter and is composed of endless small dingily painted wooden houses all slightly dilapidated. I have seen few things more depressing than the outskirts of Boston, the only bright spot is the wording of some of the advertisements "good eats here", "The inferno: come and see hell as Dante saw it! Wonderful Spectacle!" and on a factory: "So & So song publishers. Soul shakers, heart throbs"! We changed at Andrew's Square into the Subway and then at Park Street onto a street car for Copley Square and arrived at the Ludlow feeling like Henley "Bloody but unbowed"
We told Miss Anthony what we had been doing and all our plans and then left and went went into the Waldorf a nice white tiled lunch place. We sat down innocently at a table and nothing happened, then it dawned on us that it was a quick lunch place where you wait on yourself so we went to the counter and got what we wanted. I had an excellent luncheon very well served and cooked for 35c; I think they might teach Lyons a thing or two! We next walked along to Marlborough Street to call on the Bryants. Dr Bryant was at home but poor Mrs Bryant was still at the hospital. He insisted on sending for the car they hire to take us to see her. She was in Philips [ Phillips ] House a wing of the Mass. General Hospital. It was all very clean and white and airy; the nurses all wear white with sensible turned down collars instead of our stiff high ones and no starched belts round their waists: they have funny little round caps perched on top of their heads. We found Mrs Bryant lying in bed surrounded by flowers and looking a great deal better than when we saw her last. She has had what they call a mean time but she seemed very cheerful. We went back to Marlborough Street and had tea with Dr Bryant and then as he had got to go and see a patient in Milton he very kindly motored us back here. We found everyone in a tearful state thinking we had got lost!
Sunday Nov: 16th
Mr Alexander rang up in the morning to say they were having a mounted paper chase on the Blue Hills that afternoon and asking if I would like to go; of course I said yes with alacrity.
We went to Church at the Unitarian Church. I felt rather annoyed at first with the comfort and richness of it all but Mr Pommeroy [ Pomeroy ] preached the most wonderful sermon. He has a great control of language and throws and splashes it about like an artist painting vivid masses of colour on a canvas.
I went back to luncheon with Mrs Waldo Forbes taking my riding things in a suit case. Dr Harry Forbes and his wife and her father were there for luncheon. We had most luscious ice cream - vanilla with hot chocolate sauce and walnuts. I changed into my riding things after luncheon and was picked up by Mrs Alexander Forbes and two other people and taken to Mrs Chases house where we were starting from. Ruth and Mr Alexander were the hares and they said there were between 25 and 30 hounds. I had a nice English hack with a very fast trot. It was most terrific fun tearing along the trail then losing it and hunting about, then someone giving a yo ho! and everyone dashing after them, then crashing through the woods, then having to dismount and lead your horse over a rough place, then finding yourself separated with just a few people and suddenly meeting all the others again. I was with the first lot to get in - that was to the Alexander Forbes' house but we didn't follow the trail strictly at the end. We heard that two people got thrown and one girl was lost in the woods and they sent out a search party and telephoned the patrol police about her. We all had tea and then Mrs Waldo had me motored back here in her car.
Mr Ralph Forbes came in after dinner.
Monday Nov: 17th. I went into Boston on the street cars to spend a couple of nights with Miss Anthony. It was a freezing cold day with a bitter west wind that whistled through one's bones. Miss Anthony was out when I arrived but she came in before long. We exchanged remarks for a short time and then as she was going to see someone not far from Philips House she took me in her taxi and dropped me there. I found Mrs Bryant most cheerful and amusing. Her English nurse was there a charming elderly woman who has been in this country for a long time. Dr Bryant came in for a few minutes and then Mrs Bryant insisted on sending round the hospital to collect all the English nurses who were available; a very nice nurse came and a young girl who is the heart dietitian and orders all the food, she turned out to have been at King's College and knew Hilary Bonham-Carter and Westerham.
Miss Anthony and I had luncheon together and then she rested and I read a delightful book "The Pastor's Wife" by the author of "Elizabeth & Her German Garden" till about 4 o'c, when we went to an exhibition of French and Italian railway posters at a settlement house on Berkeley Street. There were several that I remembered seeing in France this year. They were being sold in aid of the settlement funds and Miss Anthony bought one and gave it to me. We had tea there and saw a lot of small boys being taught to play gymnastic games. Then we went down town to the Post Office about a parcel of Mummy's from England, it was a huge rabbit warren of a place and when we did finally find the Customs place the man had gone. Miss Anthony went to dinner with her nephew to play bridge. She was very repentant about going but I was quite happy and wrote several long overdue letters and read "The Pastor's Wife".
Tuesday Nov: 18th. We went & had breakfast at the Brunswick Cafeteria. I mixed too much butter with the maple syrup of my hot buckwheat griddle cakes and was nearly ill.
We went out to Chestnut Hill Country Club to hear a currant events lecture by an excellant woman of the name of Mrs Fletcher. The room was chock full of ladies all in short black or brown fur coats and smart black or brown hats and all looking exactly alike. Mrs Fletcher talked on the Conservative Government in England; the opium traffic, unrest in Egypt and Arabia and the efforts being made to settle international war debts. She was remarkably clear and lucid and very unbiased.
After luncheon I went to see Mrs Bryant. Miss Nichols the dietitian wasn't there because she had eaten something which made her ill. She is always complaining of American food which makes Mrs Bryant rather indignant because she says Miss Nichol is over here getting a much larger salary than she would at home which is quite true. A charming little lady who was about to have a baby and was very amusing came in while I was there. I stayed for tea and then walked back to the Ludlow. It was a glorious evening with all the lights of Boyleston Street shining against the clear frosty blue sky.
Miss Anthony and I went to see "St Joan" Bernard Shaw's play in the evening. It lasted for 3 ¼ hours with practically no intermission and is a wonderful play but the acting was only good second rate and not worthy of the play. Julia Arthur who did St Joan is, I believe, a charming woman and she has a fine voice but she is 60 and rather fat and she had her short hair marcel waved. The trial scene was the best done and that really was rather terrific.
Sunday Nov: 23rd.
Wednesday Nov: 19th. Miss Anthony & I went to the cafeteria for breakfast and then had a look at the shops. She showed me photographs of California and the Yosemite Valley till I nearly howled with longing to go there.
I went to see Mrs Bryant later on in the morning. Miss Nichols came up and Mrs Bryant sent us out of the room to "go and discuss those terrible Americans" so we had quite a long talk.
I met Mummy and Mrs Forbes for luncheon with Mrs Parkman in Beacon Street. Mrs Parkman is a cousin of Mrs Leigh's and she has a daughter called Cathleen Roach who is a great friend of Rowly's and is just coming out in Boston. They had a charming house full of pretty things and we had a perfectly excellent luncheon. There was another girl, Olivia Howard, there who I thought nicer than Cathleen Roach who is rather affected. They talked about dances and young men and what a lot they were doing just like debs in London. We went straight back to Milton. I went to call on Mrs Malcolm Forbes when we got back but she wasn't at home. Mr Ralph Forbes came across with our steamship tickets and a paper of instructions about sailing cards and other worries. I struggled with diary for as much as possible of the remainder of the day.
Thursday Nov: 20th. I went into Boston at the screech of dawn to Sear's Building the office of J.M. Forbes and Co to meet Mr Ralph Forbes and he very kindly went with me to the office of the U.S Line on State Street which corresponds to Cockspur Street as far as steamship offices go and is very like a bit of the City, at one end is the old State house with the Lion and the Unicorn still on its front and up to the Revolution the name of the street was King Street. The man in the office told us we didn't have to have sailing cards as that regulation had been taken off within the last few days but we had to go to the Income Tax people and get an income tax clearance certificate, and he thought it would be as well if we went to the British Consulate to make sure we didn't have to have our passports visa-ed. We picked his brains a good deal more about how to send luggage, reservation of a table and hundred subjects and then went across the road to the British Consulate where, thank goodness, they told us our passports were all right. Then we went in the subway to Park Square to a huge and magnificent building in a small portion of which the income tax people lived. A weary but aimiable man filled up our forms and wrote "none" against all questions about our incomes and tax paying capabilities.
I got back here just in time to join Mummy and Mrs Forbes and go to luncheon with Mrs Alan Forbes at Westwood. Mrs Crosbie, Mrs Alan's mother, was still there she is a nice old lady but oh dear! She does say silly things against the Germans. Bennett and Phyllis seemed very pleased to see us and Mrs Alan was of course quite delightful and very amusing. She has got the most enchanting old farm-house full of old prints and models of ships which Mr Alan collects.
We got back here about 4 o'c and again I had a hard struggle with diary. Only a week more here!
Friday Nov: 21st. I did diary and letter writing most of the morning and packed a steamer trunk which utterly refused to shut when I had fitted a huge mass of things in with great skill. Mrs Ralph Forbes came up and went for a walk with Mummy.
I was going out to Cambridge to spend the night with the Websters for a party in Edith Forbes' honour. Rees took me into Boston to pick up Edith Webster at her dentist and there Mr Webster met us and took us out to Gerry's Landing. I dined with the Edward Forbeses who have a big house in the same grounds. Mrs Edward Forbes who has just got back from Europe is rather of the type of Mrs Alan Forbes, that is to say very smart and societyish compared to most of the other Forbes. Ruth was there and of course Rosamund and Mr Edward Forbes; the three other men were Mr Scott (very nice) Mr Pratt who turned out to be Mrs Bryant's nephew, and a young Mr Shaw. We had a good dinner but there is practically never any attempt at intelligent and sustained conversation at an American dinner party. Baisy came in from a party after dinner and we talked and looked at pictures till about 9 o'c when we went over to the Websters. Margaret was there and her brother Will and Mr Churchill, Mr Ladd, Mr Paine and Mr Fuller besides about a dozen other people. Most of the party was disappearing to get ready a Charade when we arrived. The word was diaphason [ diapason ] and was guessed by some supernaturally gifted member of the audience. I have never seen a charade so well acted besides being terribly funny. We danced in a big studio at the top of the house to the strains of an inaudible gramaphone. They danced with the cutting in system of course and it was the most tremendous fun.
I had a great arguement about heaven and hell with Lyman Paine and Harry Fuller and I continued our criticism of England and the United States each being brutally frank about the other's country, it was most amusing. He told me the English have no sense of humour (a common American idea) I told him Americans were very conceited; resented any breathe of criticism and would never own themselves in the wrong. Everyone melted away by 12.15 because most of them were getting up early the next - or rather that - morning to go down to Newhaven for the Yale – Harvard football game. Edith Webster and I did a cross word puzzle after they'd gone.
Saturday Nov: 22nd. I woke at breakfast time and after breakfast Mr Webster took me into Cambridge and showed me the Germanic Museum which contains perfectly excellent plaster reproductions of doorways, arches, statues, rood screens, tombs and altars from old cathedrals and churches in Germany. They are painted in the colours of the originals and at a distance it is impossible to tell they are only reproductions. There are also very good copies of silverwork and big photographs of towns and churches in Germany. I think the museum was started by a German professor, before the War and a good deal was given by the Kaiser. From there Mr Webster dropped me at the Fogge [ Fogg ] Art Museum of which Mr Edward Forbes is the director. It is quite a small building but he has been collecting money to build a big one and has got several million dollars. There are some very fine old Italian and Chinese pictures and beautiful etchings of the 14th and 15th Centuries. I went from there by the Subway to Mass: Avenue Station on my way to Mrs Bryant but I got lost and wandered round the Fenway and it was a warm muggy day and I had on a fur coat and was carrying my night's luggage so I became very overheated and cross. However finally I arrived. Mrs Bryant was home and sitting up in bed about to have her hair waved. All American women seem to have their hair waved into the most terrible contortions and then put under nets. She told me the address of a French dressmaker in London and one or two stories about the Prince of Wales when he was over here; there seem to be differences in opinion as to his behaviour and the desirability of the people he stayed with but he seems to have been very popular on the whole.
Mummy and Mrs Forbes picked me up to go to luncheon with Mrs Gorham Brookes whom Daddie knew years ago in India when she was Miss Dicksee aged 14. She lives in an old house on Beacon Street looking over the Charles River at the back and the Common in front and full of all sorts of joys and delights inside. Her husband was there and her aunt Miss Mary Tappan and a charming Mr Perry who, like all men in Boston, was an architect. We didn't leave till 3.45 which filled me with horror when I saw a clock because I was meeting Miss Nichols at Philips House at 5 o'c, however when I got there I found she had been kept and didn't appear till several minutes after my arrival. I bought her out here for tea to meet the Pommeroys [ Pomeroys ] who are of course also English. Mrs Pommeroy, Miss Nichols and I sat together and talked about all sorts of English things and the differences here and poor Miss Nichols became more and more homesick. Mrs Pommeroy was very amusing and nice and has asked her to go and see them which is a good thing; she seemed to really enjoy coming out here and she is such a nice girl.
We went to dine with the Ralph Forbeses and found there Mrs Alexander, Dr & Mrs Harry Forbes, Margaret, Pauline, David and a nice Professor and Mrs Ropes while Mrs Waldo Forbes came in after dinner. It was Mrs Forbes' 83rd birthday and there was a birthday cake with innumerable pink and white candles. Several people were in evening dress, most in afternoon frocks while Dr Harry Forbes had on a tweed suit. There seems to be no fixed rule at all here as to what one wears in the evening and I must say I don't like afternoon frocks at dinner.
It poured with rain all night, the first rain there's been for 50 days.
Monday Nov: 24th.
Sunday Nov: 23rd. I got them to drop me at the Episcopal Church on their way to the Unitarian Church yesterday. It was a pretty little church and their prayer book is the same as our's except that they have altared a word or two here and there - mostly for the better - and of course they pray for the President instead of the Royal Family. The choir was partly composed of women, they were dressed in long black cloaks and black Quaker caps turned back with white and they sang very well indeed – in fact they would have knocked sparks out of Westerham Choir.
There was a large collection of family at luncheon: Mr & Mrs Ralph Forbes, Margaret, David and Pauline, Mrs Alexander Forbes, Catherine, Janet, Florence and Irving. "Sunday dinner" as it is called is a tremendously solid meal and doesn't begin till 2 o'c, it's mainstays are roast beef and ice cream and after it everyone remains in more or less a state of coma till supper time. Margaret stayed all the afternoon and we talked as much as our sleepiness would allow us to.
Mr Edward Forbes, Rosamund, Baisy and Edith and Frederick came to supper. Rosamund and Baisy are delightful children (or girls rather) and have very pretty manners which is more than can be said for most American children.
Monday Nov: 24th. We went through a fearful orgy of packing with the aid of Flora Mrs Forbes' maid. There was the usual awful moment when it seemed as though nothing could possibly go in but it did all finally get in and the big boxes which are to go on ahead were locked with a fearful effort. I can't imagine what will happen if the Customs people at Plymouth open them. A most gloomy day, grey mist and rain. It is rather thrilling sitting in my room surrounded by trunks covered with the blue U.S Line labels and knowing we're so soon starting off on a long voyage; the greyness of the day makes it more thrilling. I feel as if we were going to India or somewhere else glorious, and sunny.
We all went to luncheon with Miss Anthony. After luncheon she called up Mr Conrad Hatheway the Governor's Secretary and he came along to see us about all our sailing arrangement which he has been making. He said all the seats on the earlier trains for New York on Wednesday have been sold weeks ago because of Thanksgiving and the only train they could get seats on was the 4 o'c which doesn't get in at New York till 10 o'c, it is a nuisance because we shan't be able to see anyone in New York in the afternoon as we had hoped to do if we got in at 3.40. He said he would telegraph to the Belmont for rooms and have a porter meet us at the train and take over charge of our heavy luggage and see it to the ship. He is the most efficient person.
Mrs Alan Forbes called for us at 3 o'c and took us to see a beautiful old Georgian house on the corner of Cambridge and Lynde Streets. It belonged to some people called Otis but has now been bought by the Society for the Preservation (Mrs Alan would call it Prevention!) of New England Antiquities and turned into a museum. The interior was very like the Bath houses and reminded me of what someone said the other day that people forget Boston is a much older city than Sheffield. We went back to the Ludlow, picked up Mrs Forbes and went to leave cards on Mrs Brookes. Then Mrs Forbes dropped us at the Somerset Club to have tea with Mrs Alan Forbes. Mrs Alan Forbes was there and a charming Mrs Rantoul who was a Talbot and a cousin of all our Talbots and of course English. We had delicious muffins for tea and Mummy was thrilled with the Somerset Club and the way it is run. We went on to Mrs Bryant and found her dressed and lying on the sofa and nice Mr Rice there. We had another tea there and then said a sad farewell to Mrs Bryant with many injunctions to her to come to England and from her for us to come back soon to America. Then we went to the Mayflower Club and picked up Mrs Forbes who had insisted on waiting in Boston till we were through with everything.
The Websters came to supper as it was Edith's birthday (Edith is living here for the winter because she goes to school at Milton Academy). They gave us our tickets for New York and there was a great discussion as to which train we go on because there are two starting at 4 o'c one is the Pittsburgh Express and goes by the Hell Gate Route to the Pennsylvania Station and the other is an ordinary peaceful train which goes to the Grand Central; there was nothing on the Pullman tickets to say which we go by so we shan't know till we get to the station. I sent a night letter to Elizabeth telling her we didn't get in till the late evening and so I shouldn't see her in New York in the afternoon. A night letter is a beautiful arrangement, you can send 50 words for the price of 10 in the day time, you send it anytime in the evening and it is delivered anywhere in the U.S early the next morning.
I had a letter from Anne saying she thinks the only thing to do is to break off her engagement. Can't think what has happened.
Tuesday Nov: 25th. It was a perfect day and I sat outdoors in the sunshine most of the morning looking over Boston Harbour. Our heavy luggage went off and I photographed its departure.
Mrs Forbes was rather tired so she stayed in bed all day. Miss Williams came in the early afternoon to say good bye to us. Her mother died very suddenly the other day; she is quite wonderful about it because her mother (who was an invalid) was everything to her and she was always talking about her.
Mummy and I went into Boston to pay calls; we went first to the Copley Plaza and asked for Mrs Hamilton Rice but she didn't arrive till the next day so we asked for Mr Parker the amusing old Irish gentleman of the Cedric; he was there and came down to see us and insisted on our having tea. He was just as amusing as ever and told us he was talking to an American girl the other day and happened to mention Cambridge England whereat she said "good gracious have you got a Cambridge too? there you see how you copy everything from us even our names"! Mr Parker says he said nothing.
We next went to call on Mrs and Miss Bolles at 305 Commonwealth Avenue but I'm sorry to say they were away so we went on to Miss Cunningham at 31, Mass: Ave. and found her at home. She seemed very pleased to see us and was horrified to hear we are leaving tomorrow. Then we went to call on Mrs Howe at Brimmer St whom Mummy met at Miss Williams; the maid said she was in but when we got inside she discovered she was dressing for dinner so as we were beginning to be pressed for time we joyfully said we shouldn't dream of disturbing her and fled. We went out to Cambridge to have dinner with the Websters and Mr & Mrs Edward Forbes were there; they are both so nice. We had a perfectly delicious ice cream with ginger over it. It was funny our last dinner here should have been in the same house as out first one on landing. We left early so as to get back and see Mrs Forbes, and as Rosamund was going to a school speeching making we gave her a lift there. We felt very sad when we thought of loosing that big comfortable car which has taken us all over the place and made everything so easy. I don't know what England will seem like with so few cars. Of course they are far cheaper here, one can get a new Ford for £60 and a big six cylinder Buick for £300 while gasoline is only 16c a gallon.
We came back to Milton almost the identical way we went to Naushon that first morning when everything seemed so strange and now it is so familiar it is difficult to realize anything else.
Mr Hatheway telephoned this morning to say he had had a telegram from Mr Taylor the manager of the Belmont who is a personal friend of his, to say he will do everything to make us comfortable and to see that our luggage is conveyed safely to the steamship. It is the Pittsburgh Express we go on to-morrow which I am very glad of because there is a good deal more thrill about it and also we shall get a drive through New York at night and see another station.
Feeling rather sad and sentimental about last night and leaving America and one thing and another but looking forward to the ship.
I had a letter from Daddie saying he had been to Helen St Maur's Wedding and enclosing a photograph of it. Wonder what it will feel like to be back amongst all the English things. Wish Kathleen wasn't going.
Wednesday Nov: 26th.
Woke and felt miserable at the thought of the last awakening here but promptly fell asleep again and so had another wakening.
Mr Ralph Forbes came in and sat with us through breakfast telling us all the things we ought to do next time we come. I feel now as if it were a mere nothing coming to America but am afraid it will look very different from the other side of the Atlantic when the money question re-asserts its self once more.
A beautiful day but freezing cold. Everywhere they have been putting out the narrow board pathes which people have to walk on in the Winter when the ground is covered with snow and ice.
I must honestly say that I feel no violent desire to return to England just now although if I stayed on here I should like to go and see other places, and this isn't just the best time of year for anywhere except California and the South. It will seem funny not to have American food. The endless ice cream and pie and sweet jellies and sauces with meat and sweet cider and cereal and grape fruit or some other fruit to begin breakfast and cookies and cinamon toast and corn bread and all sorts of other fancy breads & scones at luncheon and dinner, and clams and scollops, and sweet potatoes (very nasty) and an individual course of salad that takes longer to eat and is more filling than any other course, and celery, and cheese with apple pie, and lemon in tea, and squash, and finger bowls and little napkins given you when you even look at any kind of food.
American servants work considerably harder than English servants for instance the Cook very seldom has a kitchen made and only a very big house would have more than one housemaid. There are practically no real American servants and they say what there are are appalingly bad; almost all the ones we've seen have been Swedes, Irish, Scotch, Canadian or Coloured. They are not expected to do nearly as much for you as English servants are but these are mostly very friendly and obliging and thank you profusely when you tip them. The Vincents dear old coloured chauffeur William, who has been with them for years said good bye to us and hoped we would come again very soon. We went for a drive in the Blue Hills this morning; they looked pretty even with the leaves off the trees because the land lies in such lovely curves and lines and there are little white pines between the bigger trees and they of course keep their green. We got a beautiful view over to Boston and the sea.
Just starting off to catch the train for New York.
Hotel Belmont New York Thursday Nov: 27th.
Wednesday 26th con:. Mrs Forbes was going over to Cambridge for the night so she went to the South Station with us and then on to Cambridge. We went into Boston by a new and much nicer way along the sea shore looking over the Bay and the way we had come in when we landed and then inland past the docks and wharves.
Mr Ralph Forbes & dear Miss Anthony met us at the Station each bearing boxes of candy and they conducted us to our seats, our pullman was nearly up at the top of a very long train. When we were settled in I got Mr Ralph to take me to see the engine; it was a perfectly gigantic black creature about twice the height and size of our big engines and of course with its cow bell and big lantern right up in front. We left at 4 o'c and it began to get dark very soon after that. I tried to sleep rather unsuccessfully so then I tried more successfully to be thrilled by the thought that I was sitting in the Pittsburgh Express bound for New York. I must say their trains are far more comfortable than ours, none of those small carriages with only four people able to sit next the window and being able to buy a seat on a pullman car for a very small sum over what is the equivalent of our 3rd class fare and so knowing that however late you arrive and how ever full the train is your seat will be there.
On board S.S. America Saturday Nov: 29th
Wednesday Nov: 26th con: We went along to the dining car after New London but found it was full so we sat in a next door car till it showed signs of emptying and then went in. The prices on the trains are quite enormous, I had eggs and bacon & it cost 70 c without any vegetables. Unfortunately we couldn't see anything of the Hell Gate Bridge but it was rather exciting seeing the lights of the houses twinkling far down below as we went across Long Island. The train stopped a great deal in between stations just the last part and when we arrived at the Pennsylvania Station we found we were ¾ of an hour late and it was nearly 10.45. A porter from the Belmont met us and conducted us up and into a taxi. The Pennsylvania is not nearly such a fine station as the Grand Central but all the same it beats any of our's with the possible exception of Waterloo, into cocked hats. We saw all the brilliant lights of Broadway, and Madison Square and the black and gold tower of the Radiator Building lighted up; and when we got to the Belmont there standing on the top of the stairs was the Governor looking very well and cheerful having got into New York from North Carolina early that morning. We sat and talked for a little but I was too desperately tired and sleepy to be at all intelligent. He had to leave before long to catch the midnight train for Boston so we said a sad good bye. We both fell into bed as soon as possible in a room exactly like the one we had had before.
Thursday Nov: 27th. It was a beautiful sunshiny morning. I was dressed by 7.30 and went for a walk down Fifth Avenue; the streets were quite empty and the skyscrapers looked freshened and somehow more friendly in the clear cold light. New York has a strange but tremendous fascination which one feels almost at once - in fact it has what in a person we call charm, so unlike dear Boston which is solid and worthy and dependable with small scattered streaks of romance but no charm whatsoever.
We telephoned to Mrs Culman when I got back and she said she would try and be at the hotel at 9.15 to go with us to the boat. Then we had breakfast I was desperately hungry and ate a great deal. After breakfast I went & bought a packet of post-cards for Mummy and just after I got back Elizabeth called up to say good bye. She had gone to meet the 3.40 the day before thinking my letter was sent after the telegram. It was very sad not to see them again.
We sat in the hall waiting for Mrs Culman who never came till finally I began to get uneasy about the time. A wonderful sort of feeling - I think we really ought to go now or we shall miss the boat for Europe! We started at 9.45 and as things happened the streets were perfectly clear. We tore down Fifth Avenue, across Madison Square & along 23rd Street - just the way I went to luncheon with Elizabeth at the "New Republic" office. There were very few people about and no decorations in spite of the fact that it was Thanksgiving Day. At the bottom of West 23rd Street we came to the Hoboken Ferry and taxi and all went onto the ferry boats there were high walls on each side of us so we could only catch glimpses out in front and behind as we crossed the Hudson River to Lackawanna Station Hoboken; when we got there it only took about two minutes to the United States Line piers and we could see the funnels of our ship as we came along - that is always one of the thrills of a sea voyage to see one's own ship in the distance. We were taken up in an elevator to a big sort of hall where a few steamer trunks were lying about dejectedly and I began to fuss round thinking I ought to find ours which had been checked to the Grand Central and then transported to the pier by the Belmont, however all the officials said they would be on board so I temporally gave up thinking about them and showed our tickets and passports and income tax clearance forms before going on board. We were taken straight down to our stateroom - no 203 - a beautiful big room with four berths, two portholes, two washbasins & cupboards and a very roomy big cupboard and the whole place was covered with parcels of flowers and fruit and books and candy. We didn't stop to open them then because we wanted to see if there was any sign of Mrs Culman; I went all over the boat and onto the dock but saw nothing of her, however I suddenly ran into Mummy and she had discovered both Mr & Mrs Culman and they were up on the deck. He turned out to be a nice, good natured middle aged man. I took Mrs Culman to see our cabin and she was much impressed by it especially the wonderful price, only $130 a head; the Govenor had wanted to have us go on the Berengaria but I thought it would be too smart and like being in a big hotel. The Culmans talked with us for a little and we went to look at the dining saloon all decorated with coloured papers and lanterns and flags and pictures for Thanksgiving Day and a long table in the centre with turkies and ducks and salmon and all sorts of other things wonderfully decorated; they went ashore about 11.30 when the bugles began to blow for visitors to land. We sent a telegram to the Governor and wrote several letters to be posted by the pilot when he left us at Sandy Hook.
The sky became grey and overcast and I rushed up on deck to take a photograph of New York while there was still a little sunshine. I cannot honestly say the view of New York from Hoboken is impressive, there is a long straggling waterline and the skyscrapers look dwarfed but the river is exciting with the endless little boats and big steamers with all sorts of strange coloured funnels lying in the docks on both sides. The George Washington was next us and opposite us was a big White Star liner, I think the Homeric, also the good old Cedric must have been there because she sailed on Saturday. There were a good many tearful farewells going on all over the place and handkerchief waving and shouts of good bye as we cast off at noon. It is a wonderful thing to see a big ship slowly slip away from her moorings.
The view of the skyscrapers was quite lovely when we got a little way down the Hudson, even in spite of the dreary day, they looked beautiful this little group of buildings standing up naked & almost aloof from all the little sordid houses like some race of magnificent giants. The Statue of Liberty may be fine coming in but it is disappointing as you go out, it is very much on one side and rather swallowed up by the buildings on Ellis Island & others. An American said the other day "Liberty stands looking out to sea and turning her back on America." I took several photographs looking back at New York which probably won't come out. There was a sudden wonderful moment when a shaft of sunlight caught the skyscrapers and turned them into fairy palaces with the great Brooklyn Bridge like a drawbridge leading up to them. We got out into a broad channel very soon and the land was flat and uninteresting. Luncheon was at one o'c and in the middle I rushed up to see the last of America, flat land with a misty hill down towards the South; queerly I wasn't sad at seeing it go because somehow it didn't seem to be good bye but only au revoir. There was an even nicer cabin next to ours empty, with four berths, a sofa and portholes direct onto the sea (ours looked onto the deck) so Mummy went to ask the purser if we could change into it but while she was gone a Jew came & deposited his things in it. He was a nice Jew & suggested to Mummy that we should take the opposite cabin which was also vacant and he said the nicest one on the boat (we longed to ask him if that was the case why he hadn't taken it himself!) but it had all four berths along one side and we didn't like it so much. While we were thinking an officer came with the captain's compliments to say would we sit at his table? We didn't want to at the time but were very glad afterwards that we did. We asked him about changing and he sent along the purser who showed us a small cabin on A deck (we were on C) and then a larger two berth one with a sofa and just opposite the bath, one of the disadvantages of 203 was that it was miles from the bath; we decided on this cabin - no: 8 - and moved up there and undid all our parcels, there were flowers and a brace of wild duck from the Governor; masses of roses and chrysanthemums from the Alan Forbes; a large basket of fruits from Mrs Malcolm Forbes and a book and a three pound box of candy from the Vincents. Americans are wonderful people & have some very pretty habits, we didn't have a single present at the Ship from all our friends in England when we left; it was particularly nice of Mrs Malcom Forbes whom we had each of us only seen once & who wrote on her card that she hoped we would come back to the States soon.
We had tea on deck & did a little necessary unpacking after. Dinner was at 7 o'c Mummy sat on the right of Captain Rind - only he wasn't there, I had on my other side a Mr Holt and then the rest of the names were Mrs Cohen, Miss Brandt, Mrs Witten, Mrs Sayer [ Sayre ], Dr Sayer, Mrs Holmes & the Captain. They all nodded & smiled & spoke straight off unlike the stiff people on the Cedric. Mummy & I sat in what is called the Winter Garden on account of its having two palm trees & I read the American Geographic magazine. We were very tired & went to bed early. I was fearfully happy in the upper berth; it has been my ambition for years to sleep in an upper berth again.
Monday Dec: 1st 1924.
Friday Nov: 28th. We talked to Mrs Holmes at breakfast, she comes from Chicago and has six children, one little girl is ill in Paris and shes on her way back to her after having been over to the States for three weeks to see her family. She lent me a book and I sat on deck reading all morning. It was a grey day with an oily smooth sea, most uninteresting. We passed a sailing ship which is the last thing we are like to see till we get near England. I slept for a bit in the afternoon and felt very depressed and first day - at - seaish. The Captain asked us to tea with him and when we got there we found Mrs Holmes, Mrs Whitten and Miss Brandt. Captain Rind was born English, he is rather of the type of Captain Dalglish and told us tremendously amusing stories which he acted till we all nearly had hysterics. He was also very interesting telling us things that had happened when this boat was a transport ship and after the War when she brought 7,500 Czecho-Slovakians from Vladivostock to Trièste. General Dawes & the members of his repatriation scheme went over to Europe on her this summer and they used to hold committee meetings in the play room every day to rehearse exactly what would happen and be prepared beforehand for any questions the Germans might ask.
Mummy's Jew came and told us all about his engagement to a girl in America. He says he is a Russian Jew and he started life on £1 a week.
Mr Ralph Forbes had given us a letter to the Sayers. Mrs Sayer [ Sayre ] is President Wilson's daughter and they are going over to France where he has just got a job on the Reparations Commission. We sent in the note they asked us to come and talk with them in the Winter Garden after dinner and both turned out to be charming and most interesting. She told me that a prominent militant suffragette came to her once and said "oh you know Mrs Sayer we are working for quite the same things as your father and he quite agrees with us. Now we're going to have a big demonstration to-morrow to support him" and Mrs Sayer heard afterwards that their idea of supporting President Wilson had been to burn him in effegy! Another time she helped a woman pacifist to get a political prisoner released and this lady said "Oh Mrs Sayer I want you to come to a dinner to meet the ex-prisoner and she has promised not to say a word against your father if you come"! Mrs Sayer said she didn't think it fair to handicap her like that so she didn't go!
Saturday Nov: 29th. A glorious morning; sunshine and a deep blue sea with white crests. Mrs Holmes, a Miss Connell and I walked around the decks for a bit then we went exploring the empty cabins and got our ex-steward to show us the big empty ones on C deck. Then we found the Purser who is rather fond of me. I asked him what suites there were thinking of Miss Anthony and three friends who are crossing in April and he took us to see a lovely little suite with a little hall, a stateroom, a marble lined bath-room and a French pannelled sitting room with a fire place and book case. Then Mrs Holmes and I went up onto the top deck and found the Sayers playing deck tennis; they asked us to join them which we did and had several very good sets. I read in the afternoon and also went to sleep, and Mrs Holmes took me to see her cabin, it was just like ours only very tidy. I made a great effort at diary writing after it got too dark to sit on deck. There was a movie show after dinner; we went to it with the Sayers, Mrs Holmes and Miss Connell; they had fixed up a screen between the masts aft so that the steerage could see it too and we sat at the end of the deck with steamer rugs over our legs. The film was "Babbitt" taken from the novel by Sinclair Lewis, it was well acted in fact better than most films but it was not a story that bore dramatizing very well. All of them except Mrs Holmes and I got bored and left before the end. After it was over she took me up to the wireless room to see if there was any radio on. The wireless officer became most charmingly friendly insisted on hold my hand very tightly and offered me a drink. He told Mrs Holmes we didn't want any chaperones and to my horror she went away but she came back in a minute when she found I wasn't following (I was held in a grip of iron so I couldn't!) Finally we got away with many injunctions to come back again which of course we don't meant to do. Poor thing he was Scotch and had no love and a terrible look like a lost dog. We sat talking with Mr Holt and a Mrs Van Densen who is a Canadian and I didn't get to bed till 11.30.
Saturday Nov: 30th. A grey day, pouring with rain, and an angry grey sea. I felt very happy and walked round the deck most energetically with Mrs Holmes. There was a service at 10.30 read by the Purser who is a Dutchman. They use the Episcopal prayer book which is practically the same as ours and we sang hymns very indifferently. The Sayers [ Sayres ], Mrs Holmes & I had arranged to play deck tennis but it was far too wet. I read till luncheon time and after luncheon alternately slept and read. A thick fog come on and the siren blew dismally at intervals.
On Saturday morning we were woken up at screech of dawn by the steward with a cable for me. I was very excited as to what it might be and didn't even know which side of the Atlantic it came from. When I opened it it said "Hope the sea is rough enough. Bolles Cunningham" I roared with laughter.
I tried to do a little more diary writing after tea. It was too misty for a movie show in the evening and there was nothing happening at all so as I had a sick headache I went to bed early.
Monday Dec: 1st. A splendid day, strong west wind, gleams of sunshine and the sea getting rougher and rougher. I nearly burst with joy when I saw it. We sat on deck reading, and talking to a man in the next chair who is Scotch but goes over to Canada, and the States about twice a year. I went & played deck tennis with Mrs Holmes, Dr Sayer [ Sayre ] and a nice American boy; we had three very close sets but Dr Sayer & Mrs Holmes won. It was awful fun & the wind was blowing so hard that we slid about all over the place & couldn't control the ring a bit. I read for what remained of the morning. Mr Holt & I did cross word puzzles all through luncheon and in the afternoon I went with Mrs Holmes to her cabin and she showed me all the toys she is taking to her little girl in Paris. The poor little thing is only four years old and she broke a glass across her eyes some time ago; she has been ill for months and will have to be operated on some time soon. We went and tried to look at another suite but found there was someone in it and so discouraged we went and had tea and then practised deck tennis until it was too dark to see and we were rolling so much that it was hard to stand firmly on ones legs. The sea got quite a long way towards being rough, there were lovely white crested breakers and the ship rolling and water tearing against the portholes of the dining saloon every now & then and the deck chairs tied to the rail & the edges of the dining tables up and all the boats and the hold in canvas covers and a wintery look in the evening on the great waste of grey & turbulent water and the wind howling and the windows rattling and all the woodwork creaking.
A large part of the passengers on this ship are German (she goes on to Bremen) and the crew are almost entirely German and most efficient and obliging. In fact it is hard to realize one is not on a German ship instead of one belonging to the U.S. Government and of which the advertisement says it is manned by Americans & run for Americans!
The ship is rolling and vibrating so much I can't write straight and the awful American central heating - or overheating - is enough to make anyone faint.
Mummy, Mrs Holmes & I went to sit in the Winter Garden after dinner and were joined by the Sayers, Mrs Morris a nice lady from Connecticut and Miss Connell who is doubtless nice but rather uninteresting. The talk swung about between the situation in India, the future of America, hospitality in the Middlewest, the game of "Beaver", hairdressers, scent, Lloyd George and the Peace Conference.
Apparently we rolled considerably during the night but Mummy & I slept through it. Also someone on C deck left their portholes open and the water came in and several people were flooded out.
Mrs Van Dansen said she was in the Captain's room when a wireless message came from the Berengaria to say something had gone wrong with her propellor (she had one missing when she sailed) and could we come and help her but we were 400 miles away and couldn't get to her. Mummy did nothing but say how glad she was we didn't sail on her. We have heard no more.
The Captain said at dinner that if things go on like this we shall reach Plymouth at 6 a.m. Friday which will be the Ship's record trip.
Tuesday Dec: 2nd. It was raining and therefore impossible to play deck tennis so I read for some time and the Purser took us to see several suites which was amusing.
After luncheon I got up the energy to write to Mrs Malcolm Forbes & the Governor. Letter writing is not easy because the writing room is so hot that one's brain becomes just a lump of cotton wool and it's not very comfortable writing on ones knee in one's cabin as I am doing now.
A ship passed us this morning going towards America. Some people said it was a Canadian Pacific Liner and others a Hamburg America. A large three funnel boat passed in the afternoon and there was great excitement, someone said it was the Leviathan but an officer told Mummy it was the France of the French Line.
The food is very good on this boat and all the crew are so nice always thinking what they can do for you. People tell us this line is run at a heavy loss (it is the Government line) because they are new and are trying to make their name. Also being dry ships they have got to offer a great many other attractions to compete with the wet ships. As a matter of fact there are a good many people on board who have got wine with them and an American Consul who is going to Germany has either red wine or champagne at his table every night.
There has been a heavy swell on and we rolled and pitched quite a good deal.
I was sitting on a sofa waiting for Mummy to come for dinner when a young German Jew plumped down beside me and enquired why I didn't go to the dancing, then he asked if I was going back to Germany, I said "n-no, I'm English" and he said in a surprised voice "oh I thought you were German, you look much more German than English"!
We sat with Mrs Morris and her son after dinner and I had a long talk with the son who is charming. Afterwards we went up to the Winter Garden and talked with Mrs Van Dansen and other people and didn't go to bed till 11.30.
Thursday Dec: 4th 1924.
Wednesday Dec: 3rd. It was a misty day with an uninteresting sea and soft rain all the time which made it impossible to play deck tennis. I walked with Mrs Holmes and then read on deck. The deck was rather dull because our chairs are just at the end of the glassed in part and as the rain was coming in the canvas had to be up so one couldn't see much.
After luncheon I went and sat on deck again and after tea I got up the energy to write a couple of letters.
The Captains Dinner took place in the evening, although he himself wasn't able to be there. We had an enormous special menu and crackers and flags, and cap-bands of the America in all our places and the room was decorated and everyone made everyone else sign their menus and we all put on paper caps and stuck flags in our hair.
Mummy didn't feel very well so she came and laid down in our cabin after dinner and I went up to the Winter Garden. Mr Morris came and asked me to go with him to the masquerade ball the next evening and Mrs Morris came and talked about costumes. She hasn't been to Europe for 20 years and he has never been so I told them a little about how one does the equivalent of "checking" ones luggage in England and a few more things. I spent ages after I came to bed trying to evolve a fancy dress.
There was a howling gale blowing and I lay in bed listening to it and loving the ship rolling and hoping there would be a really rough sea by the morning but of course there wasn't. This has been a desperately poor voyage from the point of view of rough seas and storms. It is very bad luck as there is no reason in the natural course of things why I should go another long sea voyage for years.
Thursday Dec: 4th. The weather was thick and misty and raining - obvious that we were getting near England.
Mrs Morris came and helped me with my fancy dress and then I sat on deck & talked to Mrs Holmes & read and looked up trains to Plymouth.
After luncheon Mrs Holmes & I went with Mr Holt to his private sitting room and he gave us candy and cigarettes & offered us drinks & talked extremely interestingly.
I did some packing and then went on deck where I discovered Mummy talking to a charming English lady, a Mrs Gascoigne, it turned out Mummy knew her husband's people, he is at the British Legation in Pekin [ Peking ] and they know Joan Hoare and Sir Ernest Wilton. Its a great pity we didn't know her before. I have often seen her walking up & down and thought she looked so nice.
There was a beautiful children's party in the dining saloon, it was covered with decorations and they had a band and tiny little menus and crackers and air balloons and a lovely supper.
There aren't nearly enough people getting off at Plymouth for there to be a special train (they have to have 40 people and there are only 170 on the whole boat most of whom are going to Cherbourg or Bremen) but the Purser says they may have to have a special because there are 4,000 bags of mail on this boat. It seems extraordinary that we shall be back at Currant Hill to-morrow evening. I don't know whether I shall be glad or sorry to be back but I don't feel very much about it either way except sorrow at leaving the ship and excitement at the idea of seeing land. Its extraordinary how soon one gets settled down on a ship and not thinking very much about getting anywhere till the actual time of arrival comes.
Saturday Dec: 6th Currant Hill
Thursday Dec: 4th con: I went down to Mrs Morris' cabin and helped her fixed up Mr Morris and get down some orange and red and black window curtains from the passageway of deck A to make a kind of tunic for him. We dress up after dinner, I put on a very long pink slip, then most luckily I had with me a white Kashmiri shawl which I had put in in case it was cold at night this I drapped round me and put part of it over my head and bound it on with a narrow band of a magenta and various other coloured oriental embroidery, I hung round my neck all the coloured bead chains I had with me and Mummy lent me two gold Indian bangles. The whole effect was highly Eastern! Mr Morris was the nearest we could manage to an Arab, he had a towel on his head bound on with the cord of his sisters bath robe, he was swathed in two sheets and had the curtains put on like a tunic and a green and black scarf tied round his middle, the sheets were made into baggy trousers at the bottom and his legs had tight bindings of towels. The whole result was extremely good. We went down to the dining saloon where all the masqueraders were to assemble and found between 25 & 30 other people mostly dressed in the ship's linen. The Phillipino [ Filipino ] jazz band came and played at the head of the procession as we marched two and two along the passages on each deck and then up into the lounge where all the people who weren't taking part were assembled. We marched round & round & counter marched till I was dizzy in the head and then at last we stopped & I went to sit by Mrs Sayre, Mrs Gascoigne and Mrs Holmes. There was a lull for a bit and then to my unbounded amazement the master of the ceremonies came and offered me his arm to go and receive the first prize. I was led up amidst clapping to the judges who consisted of Mr Sayre, Mr Holt & two other people; one of the others made a sort of speech & told me to take off my mask & I was presented with a really very good bead bag as the prize. Mr Holt told me afterwards that the judges decision had been unanimous & everyone congratulated me very much. Mr Morris got the 3rd prize for the gentlemen so we did very well between us. There was a good deal of speech making and cheers for the Commander & cheers for the Purser & cheers for the Ship & cheers for ourselves and then the band started & we danced. The room was desperately hot & my shawl was very warm & the only relief was an iced orangeade sucked through a straw. I danced with my young German Jew & Mr Holt & Mr Hart & one or two strangers including a Frenchman who came from Nimes. I told him I was there this spring which excited him very much and then I said as he came from Nimes he should have dressed up as a bull fighter but that was altogether too much for his English and he said "yes next Wednesday". I danced a good deal with Mr Morris, he was going to Europe for the first time which thrilled me very much, the thought of someone seeing old things for the first time. The band stopped at 12 o'c and we went to bed about 12.30. I climbed up into my bunk for the last time and turned on the little reading lamp.
Sunday Dec: 7th.
Friday Dec: 5th. I got up at 6 o'c and looked out of the porthole window, it was still dark but the Eddystone light was flashing. I dressed and went on deck and oh goodness the thrill of seeing those great rays of light flashing round across the sea in the dark. I walked up & down eating apples and then went in and packed my suitcase and returned to the deck to find Eddystone disappearing and light just coming. Mr Morris appeared soon after thirsting for his first glimpse of Europe, we went onto the upper deck and as the light grew we could just make out the coast of Cornwall hanging like a darker cloud on the horizon but the ship was a good deal too far out for us to see at all clearly. There was quite a good deal of light by 8 o'c and I felt an awful aching void for breakfast but Mr Morris was quite determined to stay on & see the sunshine so we stayed and really were well rewarded, all the sky turned pink and then suddenly up came the sun through the clouds in a burst of glory and I went to breakfast and ate tremendously. The masquerade photographs were printed & so I bought one, I looked like a dying duck in a thunderstorm & we all had more or less black faces.
When I got on deck we were right in by the coast & everyone was looking through glasses; the Morrises all came tumbling up & we went as far forward as we could, we were a little way outside Plymouth Harbour, the coast was very rocky with steep grass covered hills behind; the Morrises had never seen anything like it before and they got wildly excited. I cannot imagine what the thrill must be like of seeing Europe for the first time, America was bad enough but of course that isn't the same thing. We passed Mount Edgecombe & some pretty woods on the side of the hill with higher up a ruined castle - the oldest thing Mr Morris had ever seen, his mother had been to Europe before but she'd only seen England for a few minutes through a port-hole. I went & finished packing and then watched us come into Plymouth Harbour. We anchored just inside the breakwater and two tenders came alongside to take off the mail and passengers. I came in to find Mummy about something and there to my utter amazement standing with his back turned to me was Daddie! I said "what on earth are you doing here?" it was so extraordinary to see him standing there quite unexpectedly. He looked very well and full of spirits and had already seen Mummy. I took him to see the ship and some of our friends and then they began shouting about passports. We had to go into the lounge & have our passports seen and landing cards stamped but it was over in a minute and much easier than when we arrived at Boston. I went and found the Sayres and we introduced Daddie to them and then we said good bye and did a great deal of hoping that we should meet before long in London. Daddie began to get in a great fuss thinking the tender would go off without us so we went down to it but it wasn't going for a long time and they wouldn't let us get on till the purser came down to take the landing cards. I went up to say good bye to Mrs Holmes, on the way I met Mrs Morris & she was very anxious for the boy to be introduced to Daddie so I took them down and they were introduced. We were down in the steerage part so we went and explored it, there was quite a good dining saloon with long tables, and a social hall but the cabins looked pretty uncomfortable most of them were inside ones & even the outside ones had four berths, one fixed basin & 2 jugs (no water laid on), four hooks (no cupboards), one porthole and scarcely room for one person to stand in the middle of the cabin. Mr Morris and I decided we were not going steerage if we could help it! The tenders were all piled up with great stacks of mail bags (the first instalment of Christmas mails) and finally we got on. We said goodbye to the Morrises and I promised to show Mr Morris London when he comes over here (Mrs Morris has got to go straight back to the States). Everyone was standing looking over us as we left and all our friends waved and called good-bye.
As we came into the harbour we saw advertisements for Oxo and the Daily Mail and they and the whole town looked quite strange and foreign. We had to wait a little time while the luggage was collected and then went through into the Customs hall; the man asked me if we had got tobacco or spirits, I said no but that we had a good deal of candy, he asked to see it so I opened my brown suitcase and let him see several boxes, he said that was perfectly all right and never asked to have anything else opened. There was a special train on account of the mail bags - nearly two tenders full of them - and while we were waiting for the Customs Daddie went and managed to get a carriage specially reserved for us. We had got well settled in when Mrs Gascoigne came along the corridor with the Guard very excited because she'd called from the ship for a reserved compartment and the G.W.R had done nothing about it so we asked her and the two children to come into our carriage which they did. The carriages looked very small & narrow and almost badly made & the seats were short and uncomfortable.
We left at 12 o'c. It was a glorious clear sunny day and all the Devonshire country looked beautiful, little steep hills and valleys and rushing streams and everything very green. At Newton Abbot we saw three tors in the distance, one, I suppose, must have been Hay Tor. The red cliffs before Exeter were lovely and the sea very blue. All the houses look incredibly old and solid and dumpy and very nearly theatrical. We went into the odd little narrow dining car for luncheon and the waiter spoke with a strong English verging on Cockney accent. The train went fairly slow in the hill parts of Devonshire but we came up from Hungerford to Paddington in an hour and there was a bit in the papers next day to say we had done the 226 miles from Plymouth to Paddington in 239 minutes. We got all our nine pieces of luggage onto one taxi, said good bye to Mrs Whitten and Miss Brandt who were on the platform, the latter arriving in Europe for the first time, and we were away from Paddington in 10 minutes after we arrived. It was rather thrilling driving across London to Cannon Street, I tried to see it through the eyes of an American arriving for the first time and managed to make it feel quite foreign and exciting. An excellent porter at Cannon Street heaved all our luggage into the van and we had tea at the buffet and then caught the 5.4 which is the through train to Westerham. We travelled 1st to avoid paying excess and had the carriage to ourselves. I slept all the way.
Shortie met us at the station with Joffie and Chi Chi all very excited. Shortie talking a great deal and running about and grinning all over. We met Mrs Farnsworth on our way from the station, she said she and Edith had meant to come and meet me but they didn't know what time we were arriving. Mrs Idie meet us at the door all wreathed in smiles and clucking like an excited chicken. There are new cretonnes covers in the sitting room, the house is all being wired for electric light and boards are loose and carpets up all over the place. I found a letter from Kathleen asking me to her farewell party on the 12th so I rang her up, a firm cold voice said "it's Kathleen Corry speaking" so I said "you needn't be so cocky about it this is Eileen Younghusband speaking", and then there were two wild shrieks one from each end. I had a bad headache & was pretty tired so I went to bed before dinner and slept loggishly all night.
Monday Dec: 8th 1924.
Saturday Dec: 6th. I woke very late and very slowly, thinking I was still in America, to find sunshine pouring into my room and Shortie running about. I had a bath in what looked a very extraordinary high and narrow bath and got dressed about ¾ of an hour late for breakfast. We went and saw the stables which they have finished rebuilding. I got out all the boxes of candy and Daddie did nothing but chew candy all morning so you could only hear what he said through a haze of suck and munch. I showed them the post-cards & all the endless little oddments I have brought back.
After luncheon we went to the stables to look over electric light fittings and then Daddie and I walked up the hill to see Edith and Miss Deane; on the way we met the Miss Liddells and they seemed very pleased at seeing me back. Edith & Miss Deane had unfortunately gone to Sevenoaks so we walked down the hill again. After tea we all went to see the Boyds, they were awfully cordial but rather silly about America, they talked in what they fondly imagined to be an American accent and asked if the Americans used all sorts of expressions which are only used by very middle class people and correspond more or less to Cockney. I foresee people are going to be dreadfully silly about the U.S.
When I got home I passe partouted and hung in my sitting room a reproduction of Sargeant's [ Sargent's ] frieze of the Prophets in Boston Public Library.
Aunt Di rang up after dinner; poor Uncle Claude has not been at all well. Edith also rang up and we arranged a meeting on Sunday.
Sunday Dec: 7th. I went to Church at 10 o'c. The Service was a little funny; after a prolonged course of Unitarianism so much reference to Christ seemed strange.
I came home and wrote long letters to Mrs Forbes and Elizabeth Vincent.
After luncheon I went up to the Cottage. Miss Deane tore out to welcome me & embrassed me warmly and Edith appeared in a minute or two also very enthusiastic; they wanted to know all about New York and Rosalie Mackenzie. Edith and I set out to walk across to Brasted Chart and call on Mrs Brenner. Her husband was there and three other men and a girl. They were all tremendously English, I found myself looking at them in a queer, detached sort of way, they were all nice and perfectly friendly but they seemed to make no effort at all at conversation or to try and talk about anything except what interested themselves. The men had on plus fours and I suddenly caught myself thinking "good gracious theres a man in bloomers", (the girls in the U.S wear very baggy blue serge bloomers and sailor jumpers). They were very silly about America & one man dismissed the Country & all it contained with "no, I don't think I'd care to go there". It was funny to look at one's own people as if one was a foreigner but I understood then what foreigners say about our offhandness & unreadiness to talk. At present I feel much more American than English and it feels like being re-born into some old-new life to come back to everything here.
Edith and I walked back through Brasted and she came up to see Mummy.
Friday Dec: 12th 1924.
Monday Dec: 8th. I went up into the village in the morning to take my American films to be developed and printed and also to have my watch mended.
Mrs Harold Streatfeild came to call in the afternoon after an interval of two years since our arrival. She seemed nice but is painfully shy.
Edith came to tea and she & I went to the library after tea. The library seems to be the only thing in Westerham which has changed at all and that is probably due to Mrs Busk's American hustle! they have new members, new books and new methods of doing things.
Tuesday Dec: 9th. I went up to London by the 9.38 and made straight for York Terrace. Anne & Christina were there and Anne told me all about the breaking of her engagement. It really is a fearful tragedy: apparently Philip suddenly took a most extraordinary dislike to her, everything she said and did was wrong and he was very rude, this went on for some time & she put up with it but finally it became quite impossible to go on with the engagement so she broke it off. Apparently he was very badly gassed in the War & lately he has been overworking most fearfully electioneering & it has affected him mentally so that he can't bear the sight of people he is very fond of in reality. It is rather the same principle as Simon only that was pure loss of memory. The only people who know what has really happened are Christina, Miss Constance Waldegrave, Gus Blackburn & myself, everyone else is being told that they thought they weren't sufficiently suited to each other to go on with it. Gus apparently knew a case of a couple who were married before the war and perfectly devoted to each other and then the husband went to the war and suddenly got so as he couldn't bear the sight of his wife who he really adored and they had to be separated. It is a great mercy Anne & Philip weren't already married but it is a ghastly thing and I think Anne has been quite wonderful about it.
I went to luncheon - with Kathleen. She leapt at me & nearly devoured me and I had to transfer myself as quickly as possible from Anne's sorrows to Kathleen's joys. The whole house was strewn with great tin lined wooden boxes and things waiting to be packed while poor Mrs Corry was standing on her head in boxes & pathetically begging Kathleen to give her more things to pack. I gave K various items of bad advice as to what she would & would not want on the voyage and after sorting piles of shoes and trying to persuade her not to take sundry incredibly old pairs and being shown stacks of lovely new underclothes we set out in "Aunt Lilly's" car which she had been left for the afternoon.
We went first - inevitably - to Peter Jones, then to the P & O Office where there was a great deal of talk about what size trunk would or would not fit under a berth, and then she dropped me at Madame Henry in Bond Street to be measured for George Younghusband and Barbara Foster's bridesmaid dress. I said I had come about it so the girl said she supposed to make an appointment & would Wednesday morning do, I said no certainly not I was up from the country for the day & wanted to be fitted there & then; she said it was quite impossible and could I come back at 5.30 which I had finally to agree to do. Then I had to wait a good ¾ of an hour for Kathleen who had gone to do several other errands and was allowing me plenty of time for the fitting. She turned up at last and we went to Lafayette to order some of the excellent photographs they have taken of her in her wedding dress.
Then we went to Eve Valerie in Knightsbridge and were met by Constance Young, Miss Lutyens and the entire staff of Y.S.G. Kathleen put on her wedding dress and head gear and veil and gave us a private exhibition. I have never seen such a lovely wedding dress; it is soft white satin, perfectly straight and all round the bottom, round the neck & down the front as far as the waist is wide uneven embroidery of pearls, white steel beads & little round pieces of looking glass. The head thing is in the shape of a broad Russian coronet; two sprays of orange blossom come round the sides & end just beyond the ears; then the whole thing is made of diamanté with a diamond crescent in the middle, the head part is made of white tuille and then there is a long lace train behind. The whole thing is quite beautiful and suits her perfectly.
I telephoned to Peggy to say I couldn't get to her for tea and then tore back to Sloane Gardens, picked up some things I had left there & went to Madame Henry for a fitting that took less than five minutes. Then I went to Miss Wolff & met Mummy there. Miss Wolff was delighted to see us back and more than kind. We changed into evening clothes there and went to dine with Lady Emma Crichton at 3, Buckingham Gate. Mrs Fanshaw was there & we went on afterwards to the Scala Theatre for the first night of the Everest film. Uncle Eric and Aunt Mabel met us there. Prince Henry came & made a speech (written by Daddie) in the beginning and Daddie sat with him in the Royal Box all the way through. They have brought over 7 Lamas from Thibet [ Tibet ] and they blew trumpets 10 feet long & clashed cymbals & beat drums & chanted & danced all dressed up in their wonderful robes and behind them they had a most beautiful scene of Lhasa & the Himalayas painted by Harker our greatest scene painter, the tops of the mountains slowly went rose colour as the dawn was supposed to come up. The film itself was really wonderful. Nowell [ Noel ] has got some very fine pictures of the scenery especially the ice and snow and the actual photographs of the climbers at 28,000 feet. It all gave one a great idea of all the hardships they had to go through and the thrill & adventure of it all sent cold creeps up & down one's spine especially those great expanses of ice & snow & rock where no one had ever been before & no man on earth could tell them the way. Most unfortunately there was a fog on and it got into the theatre dimming the light and taking the edge off the film. We went to Charing X [ Cross ] to catch the 11.45 for Westerham but owing to the fog it was an hour late coming in. Stone met us at Sevenoaks & we didn't get back here till 2 o'c, however it was worth it to see that film.
Monday Dec: 15th 1924.
Wednesday Dec: 10th. There was a thick fog here all day. I went to the W.I annual meeting in the afternoon & voted for the new committee. All the usual people were there. Mrs Busk made a speech & Mrs Streatfeild made a speech & there were long secretary's & financial reports and Mrs Farnsworth told me all through it how much she hated Mrs French. They sang Folk Songs & we had tea & Miss Deane & I had quite an interesting talk on America for a few minutes. Then they acted two plays one indifferently & the other rather well, then we pulled crackers & sang Auld Lang Syne & it was over having lasted 3 ¼ hours.
Thursday Dec: 11th. I wanted to go up to London to get several electric light fittings because the electrician was hung up for want of them but the fog was so bad I couldn't go. The papers said it stretched from Liverpool to Southampton & the trains were all completely disorganized.
I got my America photographs in the afternoon. Some of the Naushon & Milton ones were quite good but all the New York harbour & Plymouth ones were completely spoilt by the light getting into the camera. I subsequently discovered there was a screw out of the shutter so the light was just pouring in.
Tuesday Dec: 16th 1924.
Friday Dec: 12th. Mummy went to London to see Uncle Douglas who has retired and is leaving Stable Yard.
Miss Deane & Edith came to tea mainly to see Mummy who had unfortunately trotted off to London. However I showed them my America photographs & post cards & things and they were very interested in them and asked intelligent questions.
I had telephoned to Cecil about electric fittings and she sent down three for Mummy's & my bed-rooms and my sitting room. The sitting room one is extraordinarily pretty, it is a large bunch of amber coloured glass grapes suspended on chains and looks very pretty with the light behind it.
Saturday Dec: 13th. I went to London by the 8.40 to stay the night for Kathleen's farewell party. Having left my things at Culford Gardens I went to Harvey to be fitted for the bridesmaid shoes; they are very pretty indeed, pale gold crinkly tissue, one bar. I didn't even dare ask how much they are but just said they were to be entered. From there I went to Madame Henry & was met by Anne. The bridesmaids dresses are really lovely, they are pale gold stuff with an almost imperceptable pattern in the gold and they have a broad band of dark fur round the bottom. I went with Anne to Madame Pomeroy and the Times Book Club and then we walked back to York Terrace and talked about Thom who wants to marry Anne but who unfortunately she doesn't want to marry.
I went to luncheon with Peggy. Quite glorious to see her again and she was perfectly sweet. We were alone for luncheon and I spent the whole afternoon with her. She has met a new man one Charles Greaves [ Graves ] who is a journalist and brilliantly clever and very much in love with her and she says if at the end of a year nothing better turns up she is going to marry him; we discussed him very thoroughly as if he were a piece of furniture or a good investment and decided it would probably be quite a good thing to marry him. We also had a desperately involved arguement as to whether one existed at all apart from one's brain.
I went to tea with Kathleen; Majorie & Rosalind Webster (Mrs Webster: "French Revolution"; Mr Bevan's sister) were there and we had great jokes. Kathleen had bought a beautiful cigarette case for Bendy's wedding present and was discussing with perfect seriousness whether she should have his name engraved in it or whether that wouldn't detract from its value if he ever wanted to pop it!
I was quite alone at Culford Gardens as everyone had gone away for the week-end. Anna called for me on her way to the Berkeley looking very blooming and with shingled hair which suits her amazingly well. The party consisted of Mrs Corry, Kathleen, Anna, Enid Lowe, Mrs Ozanne (future sister-in-law), me, Richard Stile, Edred [ Eadred ] Lutyens, Jock, Arthur Montgomery, another man called, I think, Geoffry [ Geoffrey ] Walford and an old gentleman for Mrs Corry. I sat between Richard Stile & Jock and we had an excellent dinner enlivened by fearful jokes between Kathleen, Jock & me. After dinner we, & a good many other people, danced. I found Edred Lutyens delightful and he seems very glad to be having Kathleen for a sister-in-law. Jock was very indignant with me because I said American men were much nicer & easier to get on with than Englishmen and I only rescued him from deep gloom by rapidly leading off into a political arguement.
Mrs Corry & the unknown old gentleman left early. The Berkeley closed at 12.45 and there was a great deal of discussion as to where we should go next. Kathleen asked a waiter for the address of a night club which seemed rather a precarious way of finding one but Jock said he could get us into Lambs Night Club so he, Kathleen, Anna, Edred Lutyens, Arthur Montgomery & I went there while the rest went home to bed. It was over the Tottenham Court Road tube station and eminantly respectable. The walls were painted with futuristic pictures and a girl in green sang about nobody wanting her & held out her arms to various gentlemen. We had bacon & eggs & lemonade & then danced. Enid Stanhope & her gloomy brother Eddy were there. Arthur Montgomery was in very good form. We were all very cheerful but I was suddenly smitten with an all pervading fit of silence. We all left in the same taxi at 3.30 dropping people as we went along.
Sunday Dec: 14th. I got up considerably before I wanted to, had breakfast, and met Uncle Vesey at Stable Yard at 10.20. He took me to the Guard's Chapel, Wellington Barracks for the unveiling of the War memorial by the Price of Wales. It was very full, Guardsmen in immaculate uniforms and women in black. We sat in the third row & in the front row on the other side were amongst others, Uncle George, Cousin Nell & the Prince of Wales. The singing was very good - "For All the Saints" & "Oh Valient Hearts" & beautiful prayers for universal brotherhood & peace. The Chaplain read as though he were rapping out commands on the parade ground & Bishop Taylor-Smith Chaplain General to the Forces preached a desperately uninspiring & tedious sermon. The Prince was never still for an instant, always his hands fidgetting with somthing & his leg was shaking like a leaf when he stood up. He was standing by me talking for some minutes; he has got suddenly to look old and with an odd sort of hunted look. I think he is a great tragedy.
Uncle Vesey & I walked to the Guard's Club and he gave me luncheon there. After luncheon I went to York Terrace and sat with Anne all afternoon, we were mainly fairly foolish especially when Christina appeared but in our moments of lucidity we discussed my getting a job. Jock & Kathleen turned up for tea but I had to leave at 5 o'c to go & pick up my things at Culford Gardens and catch the 6 o'c train.
Saturday Dec: 20th.
Monday Dec: 15th. I went to the library in the morning & helped Mrs Busk who was really quite interesting about library systems.
There came a tremendous & triumphant moment in the late afternoon when the electric light was turned on & we went all over the house turning down switches & standing gaping at the result. The grapes in my sitting room were especially successful.
I went to help at the library after tea. Not many people came because of the torrents of rain and I spent most of the time reading "Punch".
Tuesday Dec: 16th. Kathleen had been coming down for the day but she wrote to say she didn't think she'd better because it was getting so near to the end of her time.
I did oddments and had a glorious time with a pot of cream coloured paint which the electrician left behind & with which I started to paint my hideous tea pot, brown mantlepiece & maroon red tiles.
The Tennisons, the Miss Liddells & Miss Vincent came to tea.
Sunday Dec: 21st 1924.
Wednesday Dec: 17th. I went to London by the 9.42. There had been an accident on the line and the train was an hour late which upset my plans badly. I tore to York Terrace and hurtled Anne off to Cecil's electric light shop to change my shade for a parchment one. Then I said good bye to Anne and dashed off to Miss Buxton's where I was lunching and changing into my bridesmaids things for George's wedding. The dress looked lovely and so did the flame coloured wreath and tulle scarf with it. Daddie & Mummy picked me up & we all went to St Peters Eaton Square. The other bridesmaids were Barbara Foster's two sisters, a Foster cousin, a girl called Joan Lascelles also a cousin, two small girls and a most delicious and self possessed infant of 2 ½ who was the train bearer. George's presents to the bridesmaids were most beautiful immense ostrich feather flame coloured fans shaded a darker colour at the ends.
There was only one contretemps when the baby caught sight of a brooch with a rabbit on it which one of the other small girls was wearing and said in a loud clear voice "want to play with bunny" whereupon the small girl with great presence of mind put her hand over it's mouth! They had all the usual hymns and a boy with a beautiful voice sang "Oh for the Wings of a Dove". All the bridesmaids went in a big car to 49, Pont Street the Foster house. George & Barbara were being photographed with a terrible green light turned on them which made them look as though they had some ghastly skin disease. All the bridesmaids had to join in next and the man went on posing us for ever while all the guests swarmed up the stairs in a solid mass and Mrs Foster tore in and out getting more and more frenzied. I found Mummy and Daddie after a time and we saw the Yates and Eve Ferguson, Davie and Uncle Leslie and Aunt Kathleen (who told me she was sure Laurie was destined for a literary career) and several tiresome old ladies and Edred [ Eadred ] Lutyens and of course Uncle Jack and Aunt Madeleine and at last like an oasis in the desert, Cecil very full of life and stories. Edred Lutyens, Daddie and I went to tea with Kathleen as soon as the bride and bridegroom had gone. Needless to say I found Kathleen upstairs washing her hair with poor Evie Townshend watching her.
We had great jokes with Edred Lutyens as to whether Kathleen would marry someone else she met on the boat and go off to Australia with them and also whether she would try to pop the bridesmaids dresses as she came down the aisle. Miss Lutyens came in later and Constance Young, Douglas Lockheart and General & Lady Flora Bore (Cousin Bertie & Cousin Flora). Mrs Corry had very kindly asked me for the night for a farewell dinner to Kathleen which Anna was giving. Esther Macartney was there besides Anna, K & me. We were very hilarious during dinner and more so after dinner when we played games. Joan came in later on getting back from a dinner party and gave us a new lease of life and then came Mr & Mrs Talbot and we all became doubled up and speechless with laughter without having any clear idea what we were laughing about.
We finally left at 12.45, Kathleen saying tremendous farewells to the Talbots to most of whom she'd said good bye already. She most efficiently tore after a taxi for poor Esther who didn't want one in the least and flung her into it and we walked back to Sloane Gardens.
Thursday Dec: 18th. I left early because Kathleen had a great deal to do and I had already on the previous day nearly upset her entire apple cart by witnessing Kathleen's signature to the marriage settlement in the place where Bendy's witness ought to have signed desperate excitement ensued, the lawyer was rang up & I had to scratch out my signature initiale it & sign again in the proper place.
I went to see Cecil who says business is booming, and bought some Christmas presents there. Then I went to Selfridge to get a bottle opener for Kathleen and from there to luncheon with the Bevans, they were most amusing at luncheon but Anne was very gloomy when we were alone which had the effect of plunging me in gloom too and we just sat saying nothing except to growl. Finally we decided it would be a good plan if I had my hair shingled so we rang up Figaro and made an appointment for the next day giving a false name in case Mummy refused to let me be done. I went to tea with Peggy & found Julia Davis, now Adams, there, she is the daughter of the Ambassador Davis who was running in the last U.S Presidential elections.
I found Mummy very pleased at the idea of shingling.
Friday Dec: 19th. Shortie and I went to London by Oxted going in on the 11.12 bus. I was going to St Pancras to see Kathleen off, my train was late at Victoria, I had to wait a long time for a bus and then first it broke down & after that ran into a hand burrow in Euston Road so I didn't get to St Pancras till 1.45 and when I did get there found a notice to say the Mooltan boat special left at 1.45, I dashed through wildly and then found the train went in sections and Kathleen wasn't going till 2 o'c as they had said. Poor Mrs Corry was there very tearful and Mummy, Daddie, Edred Lutyens & his sister. Conversation languished a good deal and was artificially cheerful. The guard came along to make people take their seats whereupon Kathleen flung her arms round everyone's necks & kissed them including Daddie & Edred Lutyens! I said "Kathleen, you've forgotten somthing you havn't kissed the guard" he was very amused & she promptly took him by the hand shook it up & down & said "good bye, good bye, good bye"! She was quite wonderful, absolutely cheerful the whole time but it was beastly seeing her go. I dashed off to Figaro and arrived there panting a quarter of an hour late. Shortie was there to see the deed done, they cut off my hair and then washed and waved it and the effect was fearfully good. Shortie and I had coffee and brioche at De-bris & then I went to show my head to the Bevans who thought it was splendid.
I met Shortie at Victoria to catch the 5.48. The train was late at Oxted so we missed the bus and had to wait an hour for another. Daddie sat by me half through dinner without noticing my hair & then he didn't see it was shingled! Mummy was very pleased with it when she came in by a later train & saw it.
Saturday Dec: 20th. I wrote letters in the morning including one to Kathleen to catch her at Marseilles.
After luncheon I went up to the Cottage to see Edith & as it was rather a nice sunny afternoon we went for a walk & then I went back to tea with her. She said that the Sunday before last when we went out Alice & Paul were lunching with Miss Colville and they went over to the Cottage to see me just after we left. Funny if I had seen them & I wish I had too.
Wednesday Dec: 31st 1924.
Sunday Dec: 21st. I went to Church at 10 o'c and then came back and had a fearful orgy of letter writing and getting Christmas parcels done up. Mrs Busk & her younger son came to tea; she talked in a very loud voice without pause but was rather interesting. Shortie & I went to Church in the evening & there was carol singing.
Monday Dec: 22nd. I went to London by the 10.35 & found Edith on the train so we travelled up together. I went through to Waterloo and waited about 1/2 an hour till I was joined by Anne & we went down to Ascot to stay with the Waldegraves. We ate our luncheon in the train and got sillier and sillier.
Esther met us at the station and then the Ford wouldn't start, half a dozen chauffeurs collected to help & finally we jacked her up and still she wouldn't start & then some intelligent person discovered that somthing quite simple hadn't been turned on & when that was done the engine started straight off. We arrived at the Knoll to find a frenzied group on the door step waiting for the car to return to take Mrs Blackburn to the Station, after a great deal of screaming & "good byes" Esther set off with her for Sunningdale. John & Betty were there & a youth called John Acland-Hood who was very good natured but silly & tiresome.
About half a dozen girls came to tea belonging to a debating society & after tea we had a debate on whether or not Capital Punishment should be abolished. I thought it would be terrifying but no one had prepared speeches & everyone talked at once & wandered from the point & we were no nearer reaching a decision at the end than the beginning. After dinner we played Mah Jongg and Anne & I talked for ages after we went up to bed.
Tuesday Dec: 23rd. We went over to Windsor in the morning and shopped it poured & poured & we all got drenched. John Acland-Hood departed much to Anne's & my relief. I read nearly all the afternoon & felt very bad tempered & gloomy for no reason at all.
Betty & I had a political discussion with Anne after tea but Anne quoted facts all the time which we could only do spasmodically so we were rather beaten. I went up & talked to Mrs Waldegrave who was in bed with a bad cold; she asked me questions about Anne's engagement to which I returned evasive replies & then we discussed Betty's future career apparently she wants to go to the London School of Economics which Mrs Waldegrave is not at all keen on because there are a pretty queer lot of people there & Betty is so easily influenced by people.
After dinner I was shown their photographs of America & we listened in & then made a marvellous drink of hot stout & brandy & sugar & beaten up eggs but unfortunately the mixture was too hot when we put the eggs in so that they scrambled themselves!
Anne & I talked till 1 o'c on the problem of Esther & Betty's future.
Christmas Eve. Esther told Anne's & my hand after breakfast, it was very funny in parts. I packed & helped Betty cut holly and left at 12 somthing. There was an awful moment when Esther & Betty suddenly presented me with Christmas presents and I had none for them however I rose to the occasion & gave them the things I had got for Anne & Daddie. Anne had got a large jar of ginger to give them all collectively & as there was no place in her room she hid it in my room; I said to Betty & John "are you fond of ginger?" & they said "no" heartily so I said "oh well I'm giving Anne a jar for Christmas & she'll probably keep it all to herself but you see that she gives you some", I hope when Christmas Day came they thought Anne was giving them my present to her!
I met Mummy and Daddie at Waterloo and we went down to Ashtead arriving at the Cottage about 3.30. Uncle Claude has been very ill indeed but he was much better & quite cheerful.
Christmas Day. We went to Church. Aunt Di & I stayed on for the 2nd service. How very ugly most well known Christmas hymns are, no Christian or anyone else could fail to wake in those high note shrieks of "Christians Awake Salute the Happy Morn".
Mr Meyers came to luncheon & after luncheon we went over to his house to borrow some records for the gramaphone Aunt Di had hired to amuse me. He came back to tea & we played the records. We had turkey & plum pudding for dinner & felt very over full after.
My presents this year were, Daddie brown gloves with fur border; Anne 6 months subscription to the "New Statesman"; Betty pair of blue viole knickers; Esther crêpe de chine handkerchief; Miss Wolff huge reel of cotton; Anne pen painted nightdress bag; Mrs Maguire tortoiseshell & gold (not real) clock; Miss Anthony candy; Aunt Alys & Uncle Romer chocolates; Aunt Madeleine 3 crepe de chine handkerchieves; Cousin Nell artificial flower; Peggy address book; Anna leather belt; Lil painted box; Daisy jumper; Cecil yellow leather bag; Sir David Prain "A Shepherd's Life" by W.H. Hudson; Mr Ernest Austin piece of music; Anne, Joan and Anthony blue china lady powder bowl; May calendar. Mummy's, Shortie's, Mrs Idie's are yet to come & there is some wild complication about Kathleen's.