When I enter the new home you have planned for me, a lonely and divorced woman, I shall think of you every day, and my thoughts will speak more cordial thanks than I can set down coldly in black and white on this paper.
I do not forbid you to write to me, but, save for a word of farewell, I would prefer your silence. No letters exchanged between us could bring back so much as a reflection of the happy hours we have spent together. Hours in which we talked of everything, and chiefly of nothing at all.
I do not think we were very brilliant when we were together; but we were never bored. If my absence brings you suffering, disappointment, grief—lose yourself in your work, so that in my solitude I may still be proud of you.
You taught me to use my eyes, and there is much, much in the world I should like to see, for, thanks to you, I have learnt how beautiful the world is. But the wisest course for me is to give myself up to my chosen destiny. I shut the door of my “White Villa”—and there my story ends.
Reading through my letter, it seems to me cold and dry. But it is harder to write such a letter to a dear friend than to a stranger.
LANDED ON MY ISLAND.
CREPT INTO MY LAIR.
The first day is over. Heaven help me through those to come! Everything here disgusts me, from the smell of the new woodwork and the half-dried wallpapers to the pattering of the rain over my head.
What an idiotic notion of mine to have a glass roof to my bedroom! I feel as though I were living under an umbrella through which the water might come dripping at any moment. During the night this will probably happen. The panes of glass, unless they are very closely joined together, will let the water through, and I shall awake in a pool of water.
Awake, indeed! If only I ever get to sleep! My head aches and burns from sheer fatigue, but I have not even thought of getting into bed yet.
For the last year I have had plenty of time to think things over, and now I am at a loss to understand why I have done this. Suppose it is a piece of stupidity—a carefully planned and irrevocable folly? Suppose my irritable nerves have played a trick upon me? Suppose ... suppose ...
I feel lonely and without will power. I am frightened. But the step is taken; and I can never turn back. I must never let myself regret it.
This constant rain gives me an icy, damp feeling down my back. It gets on my nerves.
What shall I come to, reduced to the society of two females who have nothing in common with me but our sex? No one to speak to, no one to see. Jeanne is certainly attractive to look at, but I cannot converse with her. As to Torp, she suits her basement as a gnome suits his mountain cave. She looks as though she was made to repopulate a desert unaided. She wears stays that are crooked back and front.