“Poor Scott! He certainly knows nothing about business matters. I know he had no desire to increase his private fortune; he tells me that what interested him in the Cascade Development and Securities Company was the chance that cheap radium might stimulate scientific research the world over. Poor Scott!
“Dear, you are not to think for one instant that any trouble which may involve Scott is due to you or yours. And if it were, Duane, it could make no difference to him or to me. Money and what it buys is such a pitiful detail in what goes to make up happiness. Who but I should understand that!
“Loss of social prestige and position, is a serious matter, I suppose; I may show my ignorance and inexperience when I tell you how much more serious to me are other things—like the loss of faith in one’s self or in others—or the loss of the gentler virtues, which means the loss of what one once was.
“The loss of honour
is, as you say, a pitiful thing; yet, I think
that when that happens, love and compassion were never more truly
“Honour, as I understand it, is not to take advantage of others or of one’s better self. This is a young girl’s definition. I cannot see—if one has yielded once to temptation, and truly repents—why honour cannot be regained.
“The honour of men and nations that seems to require arrogance, aggression, violence for its defence, I do not understand. How can the misdeeds of others impair one’s true honour? How can punishment for such misdeeds restore it? No; it lies within one, quite intangible save by one’s self.
“Why should I not know, dear?—I who have lost my own and found it, have held it desperately for a while, then lost it, then regained it, holding it again as I do now—alas!—against no other enemy than I who write this record for your eyes!
“Dear, I know of nothing
lost which may not be regained, except
life. I know of nothing which cannot be rendered tolerable through
“That material happiness
which means so much to some, means now so
very little to me, perhaps because I have never lacked it.
“Yet I know that, once
mistress of myself, nothing else could matter
unless your love failed.”
Again she wrote him toward the end of November:
“Why will you not let
me help you, dear? My fortune is practically
intact so far, except that, of course, I met those obligations which
Scott could not meet. Poor Scott!
“You know it’s rather bewildering to me where millions go to. I don’t quite comprehend how they can so utterly vanish in such a short time, even in such a frightful fiasco as the Cascade Development Company.
“So many people have been here—Mr. Landon and Mr. Gayfield, Mr. Stainer of Elting