I have received yet another reply from Brent. Still he refuses to grant me my freedom. He writes that I am his wife, the way he might write that I am his automobile. I have vowed never to return to that mausoleum on Summit Avenue that he claims he built for me. He built it for himself Rose! To show off, just as he carries me on his arm to show off. I should never have married a man so much older than myself. I should have married a man such as James Dahlin. Yes, he is still in Paris. He has scarcely left my side since we met. Last week we were up quite early and drove to Le Sainte Chapelle—it means Holy Chapel, and I was speechless at the beauty of it! The glass especially. Then it was off to Notre Dame. Afterward we walked along the river past the statue of Charlemagne. Jimmy described the transitional architecture. What a brilliant man. Later we taxied to L’Escargot for lunch. Jim had snails and enjoyed them. I was not quite up to the experiment and had sole. We both had fraises à la crème—so delicious. Yesterday Jimmy and I visited the cathedral in Rheims where Joan of Arc succeeded in having Charles VII crowned King of France in 1429. We both thought it an impressive church. We drove through the Forest of Ardennes and the beautiful valley of the River Meuse, which Jimmy did not enjoy. He seemed preoccupied. Later we stopped at the Joan of Arc Hotel. It was a pigpen, the most disagreeable restaurant I have found in France. I did not like the house, so we ate in a little two-by-four garden. It was there that Jimmy confessed that our meeting had not been an accident. He said that he had come to Paris for the express purpose of seeing me; that it was my own loving sister Rose—you wonderful, naughty woman—who told him where I could be found. He loves me, Rose! He came all this way to Paris because he loves me.
Your grateful sister,
August 30, 1933
I do not know what to do. I have written Brent again and again begging for my freedom, yet still he refuses. He will never give me up, he writes. I do not understand. Why would he want a wife who despises him so? Knowing what we both know about each other, does he think we shall ever be happy again? In the meantime, Jimmy has been so understanding, so affectionate, but surely he must be growing weary of our situation. Last week Jim and I took a steamer on the River Seine to St. Cloud, where we had dinner with Mrs. Clarke, her son Dean, Princeton ’26, her daughter Caroline, and Caroline’s friend June, a lovely young woman of Spanish descent. During the meal Dean told Jim that he had connections at a brokerage house in New York if Jimmy should decide to end his life of leisure. Jimmy thanked him and said nothing more, but I know he was thinking about it. I am sure he was thinking about it the next day as well when we met more of his Princeton friends at l’Auberge du Pere Larius, where we had an excellent and cheap dinner. Later, we went to the opera for “Samson and Delilah,” but I know Jimmy did not hear it. Then just yesterday, we went to the Louvre for two hours in the morning. We had Mr. Arthur Higgler for a guide, another Princeton friend trying to persuade James to join his company. That is two job offers in a week! Jim says that he must find work, that he cannot expect his father to support him forever. Rose, I am in despair. I do not know what would become of me should James leave.
Your loving sister,
September 29, 1933