Dearest, sweet, loving Rose:
I am free! A long telegram from Brent reached me just yesterday. He has granted my request for a divorce. He says the papers will arrive in Paris soon and once I sign them I shall be his property no longer. He was quite nasty about it all. Oh, the things he wrote! He will give me nothing. No money, nor property, not even those personal possessions I left in St. Paul. I do not care. I am free, free, my loving sister, free to marry James Dahlin, and I will marry him! I called him the moment the telegram arrived yesterday morning. Oh, what a brilliant, clear, sunny morning, and everything beautiful. He collected me and we went for a drive along the river. It was so charming, Rose, a surprise around every bend, little villages climbing the hills. We drove just exclaiming with joy at every sight until we were really tired with the excitement of the exquisite beauty and we stopped at a tiny church. I do not even remember its name, yet it was so lovely. We admired the beautiful choir stalls and the fine fifteenth-century pipe organ. I expressed a desire to hear the organ, so Jimmy asked the organist to play for us, and he did! For fifteen minutes or more—such heavenly music as we sat there where monks have sat for hundreds of years. It was a thrilling experience. The moment the music ended, Jimmy got down on one knee and presented me with a ring that he said he had been carrying all these long weeks and asked me to become his bride. I could only nod my head, sweet Rose. My heart was so full I could not speak.
Your loving sister,
October 13, 1933
Let me tell you again how deeply sorry I am that I did not wait for you, Mother, and Father to cross before I married Jim—but oh, my darling sister, I could not wait. Not for another moment. In any case, I have already had a big wedding, as you know, one that cost Father a great deal of money. This time I chose to marry with only a few friends in attendance, in the tiny church where Jim first proposed. If you were here, if you could see how indescribably happy we are, you would understand. I did try to wait for you to join us. Truly, I did. It was impossible. We had spent the day shopping, walking the boulevards arm in arm, and then went to Margueray’s for soup St. Germaine, fillet de sole, and fraises à la crème! Afterward, I met with Madame Feranus, who came to the hotel to fit me—corsets and lingerie. I also went to Marcelle Demay’s and bought a hat and a sweater at Maison Royale, opposite the Madeleine Church, and ordered three handkerchiefs at Maison de Blanc. Then Jimmy and I spent a great amount of time looking at the French models showing gowns, wraps, negligees, etc., to dressmakers and women buyers at Drecolls. We were fascinated by the girls and the wonderful clothes. Jimmy bought me three dresses and two gowns. He said he wanted to buy me a negligee, the naughty boy, but I declined. We are not married yet, I told him. Instead I ordered a three-piece dress and wraps that I am sending to you and Mother. Tell me that you think they are wonderful. It was then that Jimmy said he did not want to wait, that he wanted to marry me right away. At that moment. I said no, but he was quite persistent in a playful, charming way. The next morning, before the sun even rose, he called and asked again. Maybe I was addled by lack of sleep, but this time I said yes. We drove with our friends to the tiny chapel and married. Afterward we dined at Ciro’s with four other Americans. It is out of season but the place was nice and the dinner fair and the company just wonderful. Later we went to the much-talked-about Les Folies Bergère and then—Rose, I have to laugh. I expected Jim to take me back to the Hotel Crystal and was surprised when he didn’t. Instead, we arrived at his hotel and I asked why we had gone there and he looked at me with such affection and then he laughed and I understood, I am a married lady now, and I laughed too and we laughed all the way to his rooms. I am so happy!
Your loving sister,
“Well, good for her,” I said.
“I think so, too,” Nina said. We were eating the bread and cheese and drinking the wine at the dining room table—it wasn’t at all what I had in mind when I invited her over. “She seems so happy.”
“You notice that she never mentioned to her sister that she was at least four months pregnant when she married James Dahlin. Do you think he knew?”
“Of course he knew,” Nina said. “He married her anyway. I like this guy. I don’t even know who he is and I like him.”
“I wonder,” I said.
“Wonder what?” Nina said.
“When she was on the ship, do you think she could have been suffering from morning sickness?”
“I suppose it’s possible. You know what I noticed?”
“Kathryn never once mentioned Jelly Nash or his gold.”