Your letter No. 15 arrived to my great pleasure.I
always love to hear of the exploits of my offspring and, in particular,
of the youngest [Johnny]óas you know, I love them most before they are
three, or is it five?You were very right about writing the children and I shall enclose notes to each of them.Also you ought to have more letters from me than you get but it is my impression that I answer every letter you send.
I learn that Whitney isnít coming back so I wonít hear from him what
you all look like, something I had been looking forward to.Although I am not ďinĒ the war this separation could not be much worse.You
can imagine the apathetic atmosphere that prevails here from what we
went through [in the United States, i.e., the isolationist spirit]
before Pearl Harbor [i.e., before Dec. 7, 1941], except that here no
one argues the cause of belligerency or even of the priciples for which
the Allies stand.Very depressing.This
attitude affects even those whom we used to think of as our friendsĖ
Christo [Gore-Grimes], Skinny, Boney [Jackson], everybody almost, since
those who feel otherwise have gone to join up.The
reasons given for this view are as varied as they are numerous but it
all boils down to ďlet George do itĒ, the same [isolationist] attitude
so many of our people had at home.
week I went out to Athlone and Carrick-on-Shannon in my car Ė a tiny
Ford that would fit into our car without much difficulty Ė and visited
with some friends.At Carrick I drove around to see Charles Kirkwood, the brother of Billy.As
I drove up, the maid told me he had just left for Dublin, so I rushed
around to the station and just arrived in time to pull him off the
train, luggage and all, and we drove down to Dublin together which made
the trip much pleasanter for me.Charles still wears that
marvellous tweed suit you probably remember, made out of horseblanket
material, and carries it off very well as long as he has a stock of
drawings under his arm or a pallet, as he usually does.
The pictures you sent me of yourself were very welcome.You
may be sure I shall use to good advantage the one with the priest and
yourself holding hands in front of Catholic University!The pictures of yourself and the children show you a little tired.You
are probably working much too hard but for the life of me I donít know
what to do about it except hope things will ease up for you and us soon.
Last night I had dinner with Harry and Billy [Kirkwood], Eric and Monica [Porter], and Ned and Mrs. Ned Maguire.They
Ė the Porters and Maguires Ė wanted me to remember them to you and your
mother and everyone was thrilled to hear that Willem would be coming
over soon.Please have him let us know when he arrives and what his address will be.Unless
a special arrangement with the British can be made he wonít be allowed
into Eire [the Irish Republic] so tell him to get in touch with me
directly he arrives.Also have him take a set of civilian clothes because uniforms of belligerents are banned here, of course.Eric, by the way, is a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, stationed near Belfast.His job is to fish up and explode mines and he is in charge of a long stretch of coast up in the North.Apparently he and Monica have been having lots of good times with our people in the North and get along very well with them.Ericís views on life and the relations between men and officers seems to have suffered a shock.It
appears our men do not draw any sharp lines in talking with officers
and one of them accosted Eric in a bar and quite easily entered into a
conversation.After his surprised at being addressed
socially by our man he found, to his astonishment, that the man was
quite well educated and very interesting so they got along quite well
and bought each other many drinks.Eric has written a scenario for a motion picture based on the life of Goya and now he is working on a novel of the same subject.I hadnít a chance to read the scenario but believe it to be quite good.Of course, if Hollywood decides to take it he will be on the pigís back.He and Monica expect to go to the US after the war.Amazing how many people over here want to go to the States after it is all over.They have the feeling that the old world they knew is breaking up and America still offers promise and hope to young people.
Joe Hone and Mrs. Hone asked after you yesterday and sent their best.Poor Joe has to work hard to keep his sonís family going.The
boy hasnít done very well for himself and his marriage didnít turn out
to be a howling success, either, so papa has to support them by writing
We are having an unprecedented heat wave, already 14 days over 90ļ.We are all sleeping on the porches, except Brigid and Sheila.Randal and Brigid have been to the wadingpool in Chevy Chase playground and are very sunburnt.Poor
John Anthony suffers a lot but he is kept happy with the hose in the
front porch and mother sits by the electric fan all day and goes to an
aircooled movie if itís too bad, but Birdie and I are carrying on.
Iím sitting in the top porch all day drawing and then itís nice and cool whenI come down.I ought to lose weight, but I donít.But being in the open air 24 hours is very healthy anyway.John Anthony sleeps outdoors too, beside me.
I am very happy about Olga.She writes beautiful letter which I am sending you by ordinary mail.Mr. Smith noticed how much easier she was after she knew she was going to camp and it certainly is worth our summer in the city.Last summer was never out of her mind until camp cropped up.Since
then she has been thinking about camp and I know this summer will wipe
last summer completely away, the way a similar summer somewhere else
wouldnít have done.She gets arts and crafts and other teaching as well as hiking and swimming and sailing.Her uniform, orange and brown, looks charming on her.
Meanwhile, Brigid is the eldest at home for a while and is beginning to know responsibility.She is making a novena with me, with as special intention that she may get grace to carry her cross.Her idea entirely.
John Anthony walks around with all sort of objects in his mouth.Itís just like that joke in the circus when 12 people get out of a small car.You notice he has something in his mouth so first you take out a button.Then you discover a piece of blotting paper.You pull that out.He is still chewing.You find a cherry pip.Etc. etc.He even keeps them in his mouth while eating and takes them out to admire between spoonfuls.I am contemplating getting some chewing tobacco for him.
Brigid now takes Sheila out, which is very good for both.Brigid has written you a new fairy story.She
says she is sick of stories about a mother who dies and a stepmother.
When she is grown up, she is going to write a story about a father who dies.
John Anthony has 2 double teeth.Sheila has been cutting her hair again, as well as Johnnyís.She
gets into more mischief in shorter time than anyone I know but in
nursery school they she is exceptionally intelligent as well as babyish.So thatís a comfort.
Today, at last, the spell of separation from home was most delightfully broken by the arrival of your letter of November 16th with photos enclosed, the parcel of three books, and the family photographs.
Taking them in order, I liked the snaps of the three children because they were faithful likenesses of our eldest.Olga looks very well, thank the Lord.Are her teeth crooked?If they are, will you please see what the dentist can do about straightening them?It is now or never and I donít want her to grow up handicapped.Brigid also looks sweet and Randal is likeable little gamin. They all have big noses like your husband, I see.
How is it that Jules is a corporal?As a doctor he should be a least a lieutenant. Doesnít he practise medicine any more?Doctors are in very short supply just now.
fun for the children to have uniforms and how American that the
manufacturers should have thought of making them for the children.Such a thing doesnít exist here.I would like a picture of them in the uniforms, I must say.Full length photographs, if Gordon can be persuaded to do it.Willem would like copies too, Iím sure.
The picture of you bending earnestly over a canvas with a green smock on your lap, sloshing paint-brushes in the turpentine.Do spread some newspaper on the floor when you slosh so the room wonít go up in flames again!Incidentally, my colleague here, Philip Horton, is married to a painter who lives in Washington, in Georgetown.They have no children, however.I have suggested to Horton that you and his wife might get together sometime for a session.She goes in for landscapes, so you will have different viewpoints on things.They have a little house in Maine, the place we hope to go every summer when the world return to normal.She may ring you up or drop you a line one day.How did your lunch with Nicholas go off, I wonder?He was over to Dublin with me for a trip last September.
of lunches, I was at the Netherlands House with a Dutchman the other
day when I spied the Consul going out of the door with a man and rushed
up to greet him.We then arranged to meet for dinner the following Monday and I invited him to a very good, Victorian hotel.There
we dined in mahogany splendor, with a bottle of white wine -- the
consul canít drink red wine on account of his bone trouble -- and the
best food London can offer.He enjoyed himself very much and I felt it was only a small return for the many happy dinners he had given us.We talked about his career and his future, about which he was rather despondent.It was an evening well spent.
Well darling, this is enough for now, take care of yourself and the little ones and greet your mother for me.
I just received your letter of November 24 with Mayís letter to you enclosed.She expresses what I feel about Gerrit
Ė that the story has been rather wound about the bright sayings of the
children instead of the sayings embellishing and being an essential
part of the story.
She really is a wonderful woman to work for, Miss Massee, and her advice very sound.I hope you will rest your writing side for a while and take up painting again as you seem to have done.What fun it will be to see your work again after I come back!
I am sorry Gerrit
hasnít been reviewed at all in the big papers, it deserves better
treatment than that, after all the pictures in it alone are
exceptionally good and the story very charming, true to life, and of
interest to children.People who have read it here, including me, have liked it tremendously.So donít worry.
for Mrs. Collins, it probably was not a good idea to refer to his
transfer back to the Budget Bureau, since it probably meant a demotion
and a loss of position.It doesnít surprise me too much, because Maurice surrounded himself with people of rather inferior quality Ė people he knew and whom he felt would be loyal to him.There is a terrible lot of throat-cutting in govít which is rather disgusting.
What a job you must have keeping the five in order!I
console myself about the absence of paternal supervision with the
thought that they would probably be worse with me around, not better,
which is no reason for not being there and trying.Tell me how the children liked the ballet, also take them to some good music if you can.I am most anxious for them to play music, as you know.Lilliam Dalton, who married the Belgian cellist, is now in London with husband and I saw them last night.He
says we ought to put the strong square-fingered children on stringed
instruments; the strongest on the cello and the pointed-fingered ones
(your fingers) on the piano.He says start them at eight.On Tuesday I shall hear him give a concert at the Institute Belgique, he is most amusing and a magnificent musician.In 1928 he was offered $50000 a week to come to America for a permanent job but the immigration quota stopped him.
to your coming over that will have to be left in the hands of fate. I
am aware of the family problem and the awful business of dragging up
the childrenís roots.But is it much worse than moving to a different neighborhoodóexcept for the furniture transport & the journey?Weíll see.There is no prospect yet of anything definite happening so we neednít worry.Enclosed are letters from the Consul.On Friday morning I go to Sutton. Willem will be there on Wednesday.I go by Army plane to Belfast & then down by train.Iíll get this off right away so goodbye & write me more about John and Sheila.
Light of my dark existence (pro tempore absentiae tuae) -
letter let me breathe easier and if you realize that my respiratory
system has been out of gear for five days you can judge what a reliefI am experiencing.So you arrived safely.Good!Nevertheless
I know what a long and tiresome journey it must have been and you would
do well to break it in half as I suggested, on your way back.
The uncle is a good sort.Iím
glad to hear that, although not altogether surprised when I take into
account the fact that he has a second wife and a second family.A man with as many children as he has couldnít be so selfish.And you like their place too.That is a beautiful part of the country and I know it well.The mountains you see where you are donít compare with the real Adirondack peaks Ė Mt. Marcy for instance.You must have glimpsed the big ones from the train.I
am so happy that you enjoy everything there, - it gives me a feeling of
pleasure too because I understand all the sensations you are
experiencing; the woody smells, the balcony breezes, the dreariness of
a rainy day, the hot mid-day sunshine, the tall grass, the cultivated
fields Ė I recognize them all.Are you near the lake - Champlain?Something on the Zuider Zee style, that.
A registered letter came to ď420Ē and it is being sent on to you.Also a packet from Harperís which I took the liberty of opening.It contained proofs of the coloured pictures.I
must confess they disappointed me very much, especially the kitchen
scene which is very black- for that matter all the pictures are
colourless.The worst one of all, the scene on the ice, is going to be done over so donít worry about it.Miss Raymond says these are only first proofs and the later ones will be better.I hope so.
A bit of luck has come my way (accidentally, Iím sure).Prof.
Brebner, you remember who came to tea at our cave, was asked to give
his historical advice to a certain author, but he declined and referred
the gentleman to me!The author in question, Mr. Lepton Close, is a specialist on Japanese affairs and he is writing a book about that country.He wants tobring out the parallel between the development of Japan and England and I am to act as his English expert adviser.Inventor of parallels at $2.00 per hour!I hope to meet him on Friday night for the first time and we will then go into the matter - at considerable length I hope.Very
decent of Brebner to be sure, Iíll advise him of the outcome, meanwhile
I am getting up some information on Japanese history so I can talk
intelligently when the time comes.
grey suit is ready and I am rather frightened about our meeting again
because if I wonít be able to recognize you, you wonít recognize me in
my new clothes, what then?Iíll wear a pink carnation in my lapel!
It was very satisfying for me to read about the Christmas celebrations and I shared with you the childrenís pleasures over their gifts.Of course the two youngest are most interesting to us, as they unflower and reveal their minds and characters.So far we have been very fortunate in our children, havenít we?Little John Anthony on the bench in front of the fireplace makes an unforgettable picture.Do you think Gordon could take some more snaps of you all one day soon?
I must say the photos you sent me for Xmas were extremely poor and inflattering.I didnít even show them to Peter and Billy; Willem persuaded me they were too bad for that.It isnít that any of you are less good-looking; the man who took them was simply incompetent.I told you briefly about my visit there.Willem and I shared a room until the Robertsonís went home.Then Willem moved around the corner to the room with the lovely view over Clontarf.Mostly he slept, being rather tired for one reason or another.After a few days of that kind of thing I went to town every day on business.
Peter produced a pianiste, the daughter of a British official in town, and she performed twice.Willem was supposed to fall in love with her, but fortunately he didnít.I always thought her a poisonous woman.On the other hand, I approved highly of Phoebe Kirkwood, Billyís niece.
played golf twice and discovered I was absolutely terrible so I hope to
brush up and surprise them all the next time I go over.Golf is a good game to my mind and body.
For the rest, we sat around and argued.Peter
is a constant source of amazement to me the way she can go on until the
wee hours, fighting and disputing with Willem, long after Billy and I
had dozed off in our chairs with exhaustion.Did I tell you how pleased she was with the pictures in Gerrit?She thought them the best so far!Back here in London I was very glad to get into the swing of things again.Now my newest interests are the London International Assembly in which I shall be a member of the American delegation.
It is terribly hard to realize that Willem has been reported ďMissing.ĒAfter the RAF had notified me of this I went up to his station and talked withhis commanding officer and some of the men who knew him and who had flown along on the same mission.This target was in Northern France, behind the beachead on the night of June 9thand they flew in very bad weather.Two planes in Willemís squadron were lost that night.We can only hope that he and his crew were able to bail out in time.On
account of the clouds and because it was night no one else on the
mission saw what happened to him, so we can only conjecture and trust
to his luck and judgement.
people at his station had great confidence in Willem and his chief told
me that he had expected Willem to complete his tour of duty without any
trouble.This was his sixth mission over France and he was acquiring the self-confidence of an old hand at his job.If he got into trouble of one kind or another he would have managed if it was at all humanly possible.If the mission goes on at the rate we hope, it should not be long before we hear what happened to Willem and his crew.There is nothing more I can do here to find out what his prospects are.So
I shall now try to get back to you as fast as I can although not by
air, but by sea which may take longer but will be much safer.Naturally the date of departure cannot be made known either to me or by me to you.What I said in my last letter will give you an idea of when you may expect me.As for the rug money I am grateful to Mr. Smith for helping you out in the predicament I unwittingly placed you and will restore the balance of payments when I get back home.Thank you for the childrenís pictures.They look lovely and I can scarcely wait to see them.Little John Anthony especially fascinates me.But however glad I may be to get back, it will be a sad reunion until the day when Willem comes back, d.v.
[Fragment on University Club, Dublin, stationery.]
Ö But she canít be moved about so easily unless she goes by plane.In a few weeks it will become possible to take a plane from Dublin to North Africa in a few hours.
told them of your idea to come to Ireland for a few months to see your
friends, etc., and both Harry and Billy [Kirkwood] were very pleased
with the idea.Harry thought it would be better if your
mother stopped in Sutton while you moved in with the children wherever
we can find a house.Cristo Gore-GrimesĖ two boys and one girl Ė says he could find a house for about ₤25 a month ($100) for such a period.He
thought of a place near his own house, right near a lovely strand where
the children would be very safe, and not far from Sutton.Cristo lives at Howth Junction, near the Claremont Hotel and I must say it would be perfectly lovely for you there.I havenít seen May Murray yet, but if you came across she might work for you and perhaps come back to Canada.Of
course, the great problem is cost: it will be very expensive to pay for
the passage of our enormous brood but if your book is doing well that
may not be impossible.If it is too much, of course, then it may be possible only for your mother to go.I think that under the circunstances it should not be postponed.
Harry and Billy did not say very much about Willem nor did I, neither did we talk of Phoebe although Charles Kirkwood was there.He is a very human sort and gave me all the details of Harryís illness, what would happen to the house if she died, etc., etc.
It seems that Jamesonís is a kind of family institution and the shares in the business pass on to members of the family by rule.The control of the business also passes on just as in feudal succession from father to son or daughter to nearest of kin.If you own shares in the business you derive a fine safe income so you neednít do any work.The
directors of Jamesonís appear at their offices at 11 a.m., open all the
letters together, talk about them, and then go into the important work
of the day Ė lunch.After lunch, they doze a bit, and go home at 4 p.m. or earlier.What a ghastly life for anyone with ambition!Of course, Ireland is not a country which encourages ambition so that kind of existence fits in perfectly with the environment.
Just to bring you up to date, I attended the conference on private air law in Paris, then went to London where I spent last week at the meetings of the United Nations, and came over here on Friday.I
shall be here for two days, then go back to Paris to help the French
get ready for their conference in April, back to London to see what the
United Nations have done and then here to Dublin to attend the North
Atlantic conference which will last for about two weeks and then home.I may not go to the Dublin meeting but at any rate will return to Dublin on my way back.
Think over the possibility of coming here and weíll talk it over when I return.
Love from Spike.
-------------------  Letter breaks off here.Page missing.Maybe censor.
 The V letter was a very thin letter folded over.The airplanes were acutely conscious of weight and airmail letters were very expensive if you didnít use the V letter.Charles Lindbergh is said to have cut off the edges of his maps to reduce their weight.
 Again!This mishap was not reported to the children.
 May Massee, Childrenís Book Editor, Viking Press, New York City.
 Chief of Staff in the U.S. Ministerís Office in Dublin.
Robert Boissevain, who lived on a chicken farm in upstate New York,
near Lake Champlain and near the home in Elizabeth, NY of his brother
Eugenís father-in-law, John E. Milholland, Meadowmount.John E. died a few years earlier.Eugen
had in 1923 was remarried (his first wife Inez died in 1916) to Edna
St., Vincent Millay and they settled in Austerlitz, NY.Eugen died in 1949 and his wife Edna in 1950; two new biographies of Edna appeared in 2001.
 The Marlin family Christmas was the subject of an article in the Horn Book in 1944.
 Deo volente (God willing).God was not willing, and Willem died in 1944.
is 1946, because of the references to the United Nations and to Canada,
where the Marlins moved in 1946 along with the ICAO.
 By this time, Willemís death was well known in Dublin.Willem was buried where he was shot down, in Laval, France.
Jamesonís Distillery was the source of the wealth of the Jameson
family, including Guglielmo Marconiís mother and the Crichtons.
 This became Spikeís career for the next 20 years.He
was the Secretary to the organizing meeting of the Provisional
International Civil Aviation Organization in Chicago in 1944 and from
then on spent his life in the United Nations.He wanted
to work in the State Department after World War II but because of the
wartime feud between the State Department (in the form of the Minister)
and the OSS (for which Spike worked), he could not work for the State
Department until many years later, after his career in the ICAO and
then the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva.