36. Isolation

Evelyn and Jack were enduring a life of bleak poverty in post-war London, and her letters convey their difficulties. These letters are lengthy and sometimes incoherent, possibly because Evelyn, alone all day and unable to go out due to her proclaimed lack of suitable clothing, filled the time by doing what she knew best, writing.

A search of the various collections yielded only two letters dating from 1950.. Judging by the very large number of surviving letters from 1951 and 1952, it is fair to assume that she wrote a similar number in 1950.  After Evelyn’s death, Jack destroyed a large quantity of her documents because he could not bear to see her writing on anything:  it is likely that this included many of the letters she wrote in 1950.

The following sequence is a very small selection of the letters written during the first half of 1951.  These letters are lengthy, repetitive and sometimes incoherent, and have been heavily edited to reduce repetition.  Evelyn’s language becomes increasingly bizarre, reflecting her growing conviction that her letters were being intercepted by political forces, with the specific aim of keeping her from her family. In his unpublished memoir, Confessions of an American Boy, Jigg refers to his mother’s overweening self-obsession, to the extent that she was incapable of understanding or responding to another’s needs or point of view. It appears she could not comprehend that someone to whom she wrote would choose not to respond to her letters: ergo unanswered letters were being intercepted for vague political reasons based, partly, on the fact that she and Jack remain in London even though she is an American citizen.

The first letter picks up from shortly after Jig’s visit to London in 1950.  The family had been living  in Rutherford, New Jersey since November 1949:  it just happened that a former lover of Evelyn’s, William Carlos Williams,  a well-regarded poet and a  paediatrician who had looked after Jigg when he was a small child, also lived in Rutherford.  It is not clear whether Jigg knew this when the family moved, but Evelyn took the opportunity to ask her former lover to visit the family:  Williams never responded to her pleas. 

Evelyn kept carbon copies of most of her correspondence, including the letters in the collection.  As a result, very few of them were signed by her.

* * * * *

To Creighton Scott

For Pavla to forward to Creighton Scott–ask Pavla to smile at the length I could never write short letters. It’s because there is so much to say

26 Belsize Crescent
March 19, 1950

Darling Jig

Jack and myself do so hope and hope and hope your return to London promised on November 26th will be soon.

Your visit of November was, as I have written to Pavla, the brightest spot of the last bloody five years, since the damn war was supposed to end. And to find you so like your original self in your interests and outgoingness filled us with an optimism of which we were becoming almost incapable.  You revived up and the good job you made of things when you were here can’t be undone.  However, even if that hadn’t happened, we will never change toward yourself and Pavla and the children and your art and her talent.

We love you Jig darling we love Pavla-Paula1 (I am really anxious for her to write as Pavla because of Paula Snelling, Pavla is more completely her name to us).  We think politicians scum but there are the exceptions there too so we hope the Conservatives will get their majority and tell the truth about this and bloody that in a world which has got so rotten it could hardly be more so.

Have you been able to see any of the France you knew when you were a child?  We think of what a really good and delightful and unique child you were Creighton-Jig darling when we were at Banyuls and Collioure, yourself and myself and Merton, and when you were with myself and Jack at Cassis-sur-mer and in Algeria with us.

English spring is pleasant.  Do try it please.

1Paula was born in a Spanish-speaking part of New Mexico and was named Pavli, the Spanish form of Paula. She was known as Pavli Scott until it became too burdensome to have to explain the origin of her name.

* * * * *

To Creighton Scott

26 Belsize Crescent
January 1, 1951

Please please send me your address should you move as I need and must really have it for the Consulate here whenever I do there.  Please don’t throw me back on Gladys1 I don’t like asking favours and Jack and I are with Jig as Cyril is–our address in the States is Jig’s

Darling Jig

This is for Pavla too and I send with this in one envelope the birthday letter for Mathew2 which you will see is one of the jingles from the juvenile by me of which I still have one copy.  I hope Mathew will like both the jingle that goes with the book and the illustrations for the impromptu jingles not to be included.

We don’t yet know whether at least three-quarters of our mail to the States has ever been received by anybody.  And though during the visit of 1949 here, Jig said he “thought” “most” of the letters we had sent there to yourselves were received there was no way of checking on it and we had no real opportunity to discuss particular letters and identify them by content–especially as this sort of thing has been going on continuously since 1944.

I continue to think people we all used to know have been monsters–whatever their reason–in none of them so far having made so much as one gesture toward seeing Jig and Pavla and the children–all five of you–personally and giving me some first-hand information, as there are a few whose mail apparently is not stopped or obstructed–something that leads me to wonder if I have not–ever since I complained about the results of phoney–I think–“inquiries” into “subversiveness” in 1939–been on some kind of damn libellous “list”.  That is the single explanation that occurs to me of mail that apparently does get here in a few selected instances and not others.

We were given just a sketchy idea of events between 1944 and 1949, and when on top of that no word came from France after Jig promised he would be here again in two weeks, the impact has been a disaster to everything but love.  We love him and I love every one of you and we both really love Cyril as the best friend we ever had yet, and just discount whatever appears to have resulted in a breech we can’t yet elucidate.

I know we are every one sane and good individuals, and until dirty war politics impinged on our lives our lives were full of interest and achievement.  Please help to lift and remove the bann on both plain speaking and art, for we have every proof that there must be one.

We love you and our love is really indestructible but common humanity insists we know how rotten silence was imposed on our free human interchanges. We are not politicians but artists who think–and until thinking is re-encouraged in the States Civil

1Evelyn had been using Gladys Grant’s New Jersey address as her “permanent” US address. This request may have been another ploy to persuade Jigg to answer her letters.

2Matthew’s birthday was 26th January, when he would be 6 years old.

 

* * * * *

To May Mayers1

January 8, 1951

My dear May

This is to thank you and Lew for your Christmas gift.  This and my hope that you would see Jig and Pavla in person and relieve my mind respecting them are of great importance to me.

This you will grasp is to me very significant.   When Jig was here in November 1949 his physical aspect was so altered I would hardly have known my own son, though just five years had elapsed since I was in Tappan with him and Pavla.  And though the atmosphere during his five days in this house was affectionate and genial, he was plainly somewhat constrained in his allusions to the injustices and humiliations he and Pavla, who are just innocents, have had to endure since their marriage.

He is good and we love him and I know he is not changed actually.  But as I have said to many people, there is everything in my own experience to indicate that the books of Evelyn Scott were “listed”—perhaps by the Government—as not conducive to that bovine frame of mind unscrupulous commerce encourages2, and although the utmost quibbling could never discover anything “suspect” he and Pavla have actually suffered something on my behalf.

You, May, are the medico, and an advocate of the normal and perhaps you will tell me why you think Jig, who when I saw him in 1944, was muscular and in good condition as to weight should suddenly have gotten stout, and why even his nose didn’t look like Cyril’s as it always has, and why his very expression of the eyes was changed.  The very colour of his eyes has changed and their very shape—they were unusually large for a man, blue in which grey predominated and were deep set and very pretty and they are now blue—pure blue—or were in 1949—and do not give an impression of being deep-set or large, just average.  Could any medical monkeying in the Army have done this?  If so they are criminal fools.

Please tell me whatever you can you and Lew May my dear.
Our love

1May Mayers was introduced to Evelyn by Gladys Grant and was a long-term and loyal friend. She was a physician,working at Mt Sinai Hospital in New York and was often the recipient of Evelyn’s theories about medical issues.

 

2Evelyn was highly contemptuous of books which she perceived as having been written for financial return, not as “art”.

* * * * *

To Evelyn Scott

214 East 18th Street, NYC
January 12, 1951

Evelyn dear

Your letter of Dec 11th has just been forwarded to me from Mt Sinai Hospital.  I regret to say that I received your previous letter, but I was travelling thru the State and so busy I did not get to answer it.  I

It seems too bad that somehow your contacts and correspondence with Jig has been so intermittent and unsatisfactory.  At such long distance I am inclined to think this is almost inevitable.  But it makes me sad.  I see no way to intrude into this situation, however.  I wish that Jig would keep you in equally close touch with his affairs. But you know how it is Evelyn, some people are better at that sort of thing than others.  I am sure he thinks of you a lot even when he doesn’t get down to the business of writing.

I hope the new year will somehow get you and Jack in the clear.  I wish you were not so far away.

Our best to you both
Love
May

* * * * *

To Gladys Grant

Scotch Plains, NJ
January 15, 1951

My dear Gladys

Jack and myself were really glad to have your letter, and we think of you as we do of Dudley on every occasion likely to revive affectionate associations.

But we continue to be troubled by a constraint in your correspondence which we do not blame you yourself for, but which we must construe as a commentary on rotten conditions in the States.

I haven’t asked you to do anything for us since spring 1950–almost a year, now.  But notwithstanding your saying “I can’t do any of the things you want me to”, I am now asking you something again, because I think as my requests are every one sane normal human and reasonable, if you “can’t” execute them, it’s time you, too, did something to assist to make it possible for normal Americans to carry on normally with their lives and careers.

We have not yet ceased to have egregious criminal interferences with mail.  I think there has to be a check on it and this probably to take the form of more “police” trial.

I cannot even conjecture any reason why it is we yet have been unable to account for so many of our letters and have had no acknowledgement that they were received.  It is either the fault of supposed authorities here or there, but that phoney “probing” in the States, of which I had that sample so often sanctioned, leads us to infer the fault is more there than here.

Pavla has written me many letters I have never received though I did receive a single note sent here in October 1950, which advised me of Jig’s being home.  And as I have had very few specific acknowledgements of any letters sent to them and to other friends during the year, I am still in the predicament of not knowing whether to condemn the mishandling of mail by postal authorities as the cause of all this, or whether in some instances, people have not replied because they were otherwise badgered.

Can you see Pavla and Jig now?  I hope so.  I can’t see any sane sensible reason why an old friend of the family living just a short journey from Rutherford should find it difficult,, or even if it is, why that friend–who all her life has been humane and generous, should not be willing to make the effort to again relieve our minds completely.

In 1944, in bloody damn Tappan, he was, it was obvious to me, already being made alarming respecting myself and Cyril and Jack and our friends, and what I gather to have been intimations that we were blacklisted for Government inquiry as “subversive” because we do not write sheep-fold “literature” for low-level commerce and nincompoop “labour”.  And as the impression I had then was even more pronouncedly my own in 1949, and I also know he and Pavla must have been “pushed around” to some extent–perhaps in connection with us and Jack’s being British–it was a very severe strain on my poise when, on his leaving here for France, he did not return when he said.  And it has become still more a strain to not be allowed any correspondence with him and Pavla save those two notes, she of an entire year, neither informative save as to Jig’s re-appearance.

He is restored to radio announcing and there can certainly be no damn mystery respecting this.  But on every occasion of my writing to ask anybody we know who knows him to please go to Rutherford to see them, there has been no responsive move and ninety-nine-and-a-half-percent of the times no allusion to the request, afterward.  We must begin to be humans again NOW–we shouldn’t permit American to become a country of “psychological dog-trainers”–like these tote countries are!  Will you please try to see Jig Pavla and the children and tell me your impressions of them genuinely.

Please be our old Gladys and don’t be afraid to speak out against the stupidities inane fools aspiring to dictate must have attempted to impose on Americans–results prove it [remainder of letter missing]

1Evelyn was concerned always to have a “permanent” US address to give to the US Consulate in London.

 

* * * * *

To Creighton and Paula Scott

January 15, 1951

My dear Jig and Pavla

It is preposterous we decent people with distinctions in achievement to our credit should be shoved, here by finances, preponderantly, into analogous and ambiguous positions.  It is rotten and intolerable.

We are so tired of political tyranny.  We hope for the change to Republicans but are without illusions and know the cultured men of intellect must go on pressing the rattybottom or peruna dregs of very party until tyranny ceases.

We think Jig should paint and write and Pavla write and every one of us should be revived and restored and we know even mentions in print will assist revivals.  It is black rot that during these three years since 1937 we have been treated as ghouls treat authors, who will not be forgotten or ignored an should be restored to the normal means of living and their normal careers and contacts now.

We would be so grateful for specific acknowledgements of specific letters.  I am now trying to think of something to enliven the mail for Denise in February.

Love is not all-powerful–damn hokey-pokey fake religiosity.  But it is high value in the world given over to hatred, and we do stand by our affections these cannot be shaken nor can our confidence in ourselves and yourselves creatively.

Our affectionate for yourselves we hope helps

Mother-to-Jig Evelyn-to-Pavla Jack-to-both and-anything-they-like-as-to-name-to-Denise Fredrick and Mathew

* * * * *

To Evelyn Scott

February 16, 1951

Evelyn dear

I have never answered a letter so promptly before—your letter arrived yesterday am!

What is important is what you say about Jig, Pavla and the kids.  As a mother, you can be very sure the situation you have been telling me about has troubled me greatly—far more than I was willing to admit to you, since I saw no way of doing anything about it.  But since you are really putting me on the spot, tho’ ever so gently, I will pick up the challenge and tell you a little bit more about it as it looks from where I sit.

Since you left for England, I have lost all contact with the mutual friends we had.  The one exception is Gladys—I have seen her once in 2 years perhaps for a brief visit and lunch, or something like that.

After receiving your previous letter however, I took the liberty of inquiring again about Jig and his family from one of your friends, explaining frankly that you were worried and that I wanted to give you some information.  I was informed that Jig and his family are all well, that he has had some difficulty in supporting his family, that the change in his appearance which you observed when he was in England, was probably the result of all those stresses and strains.  But I was informed that they are in no different situation from most families having several growing children to raise in these troublesome times of high prices etc.  Apparently Jig had hoped to improve his situation when he went to Europe, but things did not work out as anticipated.  Pavla makes a wonderful mother, the kids adorable and well brought up and cared for.

There it is in a nutshell.  Whatever block there is between you and Jig—as regards communication—is not, I am convinced, the result of any conspiracy.  Your politics, your writing, the British Labor Govt etc etc have nothing to do with it.  And mail in this country is never intercepted.  I am sure that whatever letters you write are delivered.

Otherwise, no special news.  I am glad you are well again and I hope you and Jack do keep well.  We are all find at present—but facing this troublesome world, with crisis after crisis, it takes courage to try to maintain a balanced and objective outlook.

Our very best to you both
Love
May

* * * * *

To Evelyn Scott

March 10, 1951

Dear Evelyn:

I don’t know what to write as you disbelieve what I say and accuse me of hiding things when I try to be absolutely frank.  That naturally leads to constraint and makes me put off writing–Perhaps the same is true of others and is the reason they don’t write either.

Now about Jig and his family.  Of course I see them!  I wrote you in detail when they were here about a year ago, i.e. Paula and kids, Jig was in Europe, and have kept in touch ever since.  The were over for Denise’s birthday celebration–all fine.  I haven’t seen them since but have talked on telephone.  The kids had the flu like almost everybody here, but not bad and were fine two days ago when I talked to Paula on phone.

Jig was pretty sick in Europe but is better now.  I can’t give details because they don’t want to talk about it and so I don’t know–He lost a bit of weight which I think was good.  So far as I know they are settled in Rutherford.  Like lots of the younger generation  they don’t like questions and withdraw from those who ask them.

I want to remain friends to you and Jack.

Gladys

 * * * * *

To May Mayers

March 11, 1951

May my dear

I am pleased that you thought my letter was “more relaxed”, my dear May, but I am sorry to say it wasn’t.  I am compelled by the incredible cold-blooded obtuseness of most of those dominant in Britain and America today to protest the conditions here and in the States which have been imposed on Jack and myself and Jig and Cyril and their families—I am compelled by my natural human feelings and by the sort of literary and financial impasses we have yet to surmount, to protest over and over.  If you were here or we could meet otherwise than in correspondence, you would have ample proof that I am NOT “tense” as a matter of “temperament” which can be put aside, but because we are still fighting for our lives every moment of every day.

What the hell am I supposed to think?  Talk about totalitarian oppression, it could hardly be beat in the sort of things that have happened during my seven years and Jack’s of attempting to preserve normal contacts and communications with our family in the United States of America.  I have never seen anything so rottenly evasive and whoever or whatever it is that has interfered.  And as for being “tense”, if I starting breaking up the china and hurling the bric a brac it would still be just the normal human reaction to such senseless atrocity respecti9ng decent normal human connections there.

So don’t ask me to just accept such a situation because I won’t.  We all know what low caliber minds have figured in American politics from the start.  I think these have been at work.  And I think they must have become for more brazen as a result of dumping foreigners in the States adlib.

So you see I disagree with your interpretation of these extraordinary silences about my family as not being connected with external aspects of things, I am damn sure they must be and criminally so.

Love to Dan and Lew us both

* * * * *

 

To Creighton and Paula Scott

March 25, 1951

Any news of you whatever does Jack and myself good, but Gladys recent note about you mentioned that Jig, when in France, was ill, I am distressed to think that happened when he was so comparatively near here and could have been so well taken care of by me in the room he was in here those five days.

I had asked May Mayers to go see you and find out how Jig is and think it would be good should she do so, but she won’t go unless asked specifically as a doctor, and so I just hope you’ll decide to ask her and relieve my mind and perhaps get some valuable help.

Jack has had to borrow again to get even a beginning on the [garden] wall that fell down.  Ninety pounds estimate for repairs, so I could have kicked that damn fund.  They are all alike—a lot of political fifth-rate hoaxers.  But I think a waterloo for the funds that are merely that is due.  They have spent billions literally on just stereotyping voters—what it amounts to.

Our love to yourselves and the children.  I am going to be a real grandmother to be proud of yet or but, tell them.  We just WON’T be licked nor will you I know and certainly Cyril won’t.

Jack’s love and mine

* * * * *

To May Mayers

March 28, 1951

May darling

Don’t throw up your hands when I appeal to you again.

Now May darling please know I really am imaginative toward you yourself and if I were the sort who can see people suffer and not turn a hair I would not protest these things to you.  But I have no one else in any sense associated with medicine to whom I can appeal.  Your brochures on industrial disease have now arrived and I am going to read them as soon as I complete this eleventh-millioneth typing of my novel mss—which will NOT be typed again honestly this time, as it is now clear.

And now Gladys, when I implore her to see the family—writes me in a letter of March 10th, as vaguely as ever.  She says “I don’t know what to write to you as you disbelieve what I say and accuse me of hiding things when I try to be absolutely frank”.  Well I HAVE JUST ACCUSED HER OF NOT ANSWERING my questions—that’s all.  I never at any time ever said I “disbelieved” her.  I don’t know where she gets such misconceptions unless she has neighbours who pump her full of guff.

I was glad to hear you were in touch with Gladys, I think she is very unfortunately situated in isolation such as has been “wished” on her by the isolation of her house.  I am not angry with her herself and have never been, but I don’t think she is using her imagination as she can when conditions are normal–that is to say when she is not heckled or harried, as she must be periodically to say such really stupid things when she isn’t really stupid.  And I think she has too much pseudo “legal” advice from a lawyer who has become antagonistic and unfriendly to ourselves–to myself and Creighton, at any rate.

She never writes except on these damn via air, self-contained envelope-cum-note-paper things–just one page and almost always handwriting so there is no room to say much.  And here is the rest of what she has to say this time in the letter that must have crossed yours to me or mine to you:

Jig and Pavla I know despise “youth guff”–it is for utter driveling fools.  Pavla has written me and I know she has, and her letters were not allowed to reach me and this is the truth as to Jig when in France also.

If I had the power to indite official mystifiers at any point I’d have ‘em hanged or electrocuted or shot.

There I stand myself and I think it probable that if the genuine opinions of the people I know best were obtainable now most of them would agree with me and my family would completely.

Affectionately

I have been twice x-rayed as a “TB suspect”1 and once was pronounced a “case” but the opinion was later revoked as a “mis-diagnosis”—and I am still alive and KICKING and my lungs are normal.

1Evelyn died of lung cancer in 1964. This is one of several references to possible problems with her lungs.

* * * * *

To Creighton and Paula Scott

April 1951

Darling Jig and Pavla

Darling Jig and Pavla when will I have your letters?  When?  We do love you so and Jig as artist has proven he is so completely worth saving for the fine arts and Pavla also, though she has just begun and he has accomplished considerable–to use an old-fashioned American phrase.

But as we all get well and we everyone have I hope there will soon be an end and an end of hushiness about whatever goes on that fuddles doctors as it evidently does.  You will remember Ingermann’s twice “diagnosing” me as a “cancer” patient, disproved by the Rockefeller Cancer Hospital’s real tests and no recurrences.  So what I might add is that they all seem to be  swallowing bee-bee, to all intents and purposes.  TS Eliot and Bevin had anal operations, which has included myself and Jack and Hall Bynner

It may be a “wonderful world”, but I think it is a helluva one just the same, and hope you will agree optimistically that it is.

Love and love and love

* * * * *

To May Mayers

Personal
April 29, 1951

May my dear

There is no “impasse” with Jig and his family my dear May.  I disagree with you about a “block within the family”.  I know how comprehending and good our relations with own family have been for every year of our lives until the war and there were no quarrels in the war.  But remember that Cyril’s autobiography which publically disclosed the identity of my father was virtually suppressed.  It was egregiously edited and distorted as regards our personal relations; and that he ever endured such editing can reasonably be attributed by those who know his character completely to the fact that he was financially pinched to the point we have been or worse at the time it was published—a pinching consequent not on him or ourselves but on political manoeuvrings in the book world and the art world.

This is guffy of course.  But I can see the pattern of libel in such a happening; and the fact that Jack is well-born1 and not scum probably figured.  I remember at “Yaddo” when the “dialectical” Jews among the guests jumped down my throat because I was a “Southern aristocrat”!  Well I was actually born in the South in a genuine ante-bellum mansion, but if they’d ever lived in Clarksville they might—if they ever grasped anything—have seen how ironically ludicrous it was as an “accusation”.

We my darling May don’t “gloss” anything unless you are bent on stirring my ire because when anything is “glossed” I feel like a fourth-of-July firecracker ready to explode.

1Jack Metcalfe’s family included minor gentry.

* * * * *

To Evelyn Scott

May 2, 1951

Dear Evelyn:

Sorry if you don’t approve of this paper1. I won’t inflict it on you after the present supply is used up. I use it because of its convenience and the saving in time and money–time because I have to stop and get each letter weighed and often have to make a special trip to the PO. Money because this is considerably less than the same amount of air mail stationery plus stamp.

I did not mean to say you accused me of lying in so many words. But time after time you have asked questions about Jig or his family. I have reassured you when I knew and you have immediately written or asked me to contact others to find out the very things I have told you. Or I have told you I did not know certain things, such as Jig’s whereabouts when in Europe, and you accuse me of reticence or lack of frankness. I realize you do not mean it as it sounds, but it shows a lack of trust which is hard to bear by an old friend. If you have shown the same to others who are less understanding, it is no wonder you receive no answers.

It’s no use talking about conditions so far away. I think they are very different here from what you think them. Things have changed a lot since even Jack was here, both for better and worse. But certainly there is no censorship on the mails that I have ever heard of. Sometimes everyone expresses their views too freely! We are all confused and I think the English are too, though I don’t feel competent to judge from across the ocean.

Love to you and Jack both–I’ll write again. Glads

1Gladys had been using pre-stamped air letters, commonly used at that time and until the 1970s

* * * * *

To Gladys Grant

Personal
May 20, 1951

My dear Glad

If I went into the chronology of our correspondence and you yourself read over my file of letters and questions and your replies and these dates of these indicating the time between my writing and your answers you would not say I was unreasonable. I am not. However, I don’t see why you should have interpreted this as “mistrust” of yourself. It is mistrust of a policy of evasiveness regarding most specific facts which seems to have become pervasive in America, like a sort of contagion. But I have never blamed you yourself, nor do I specifically blame the many others who have followed a policy of never replying to me or whose letters–so I know in a few instances, were either lost in the PO, confiscated thee under some pretext of “censoring”–wrong I think in communications to Britain–or were not delivered here because of factionalism in the PO either in the States or Britain.

Our finances here are as dire as ever. Jack has never been as discouraged as recently. He just hasn’t had the heart to write. And that is criminal. We do not want to be reduced to “turning on the gas”, but we would rather than be shoved from pillar to post by such conditions as the government here–probably dominated by uno’s extremists–have imposed on us. We will not be paupers. And that is that. But we can’t merely “exist”, and in order to live at all require both cash at once and the restoration of our raison d’etre in specific terms of art.

I have re-registered at the American Consulate and the preservation of my citizenship is prized by me and I am honestly very grateful that it is now grasped there that I am not indifferent to it nor is Jack but that we have been too broke to go home—home for me and home for Jack too should our lives become normal again and he be enabled to resume his quota residence. But we have been “economically” exiled. You cannot call it anything else. The furthest thing from our thoughts when Jack was re-patriated during his war service, was to be stuck here as we have been and not allowed any “choice” whatever as to how long we remained.

We can easily be saved and if and when we are well and good–anything else is murder.

You are our good friend Glad or I would not confide. I am very clear in distinguishing you and your character from surroundings and such changes in the States as have been for the worst. The competence of generals in military spheres is one thing and important no doubt, but there are problems at home there as there are here which require the first attention and get very little.

Our very real love to you and everything good and genuine to yourself. I appreciate every one of your helpful moves.

* * * * *

To May Mayers

Personal
May 27th 1951

My dear May

Jack and myself grow increasingly desperate about getting home to the States—we will just die here as a result of “economy” unless something is done for our books there.  I call it murder.  We have been economically exiled and it is preposterous to say we were ever allowed any choice about it.  We may move before long to cheaper quarters and sublet this flat—once it is repaired—but we are still having to mend the garden wall that collapsed last summer, and the law about taking out money should we sell it would have to be abolished for any sort of sale to be worthwhile—it couldn’t be very profitable in any case unless the mortgage were paid off.  I’ll let you know if and when we move.

So you see again when you say we “isolate ourselves” in England you are not as accurate about me as you are about medicine, I here quote your own words May darling.

Well you will see that the financial pressures that have compelled us to remain in a veritable slough of despond, unable to buy more than postage stamps and certainly not boat fares, are scarcely to be classified as our “choice”.  Don’t forget that when Jack went over in 1947 to maintain his quota and tried to get a job to bring me over there—me born there—he didn’t succeed and had one substantial offer after he was on en route home.  Jack is qualified to teach as very few of those who “thrive” in our robot system of “education” are, but it cut no ice.  He is honours in philosophy University of London and has also much experience in teaching higher mathematics and every sort.

We just go on fighting and hoping so please you do too.  I know Jig and myself and Jack and Cyril and Pavla and the children will meet you and Lew and Dan on the old footing eventually, and just hope before long.

Affectionately

Please don’t forget—regarding legalities—how unjust every repercussion of libel about me and Cyril has been on Jack and on the Jig of Escapade.  They were even less responsible for any result whatever of our elopement of 1913.  Cyril’s divorce from me as his Common Law wife secured in Chichuaua County Mexico is legal and was witnessed by the US Consul there.  We are not renegades who ignore responsibilities.  And if you were Jack and had been as good as he has to both myself and Jig as Cyril’s con and my son and had lived in the States as he and I were in 1930—well, May my dear you too would find some of the things we now know have been said about us very embittering.  America ain’t perfect, and you know it isn’t!  I speak as an old old American—so old I can claim Bunker Hill and early Virginia.  I dont because it also has been made a guffy cause, but I know my America.

* * * * *

To Frederick Scott

Personal
May 27, 1951

Dear Freddy1

As your father when little Jiggie–or Jiggeroo–was very much interested in collecting stamps I take the liberty of supposing you probably are also interested and I send herewith a few stamps from old letters I have received here for which I hope you have an album. Or if it chances Denise is the collector, you can hand them on to her please.

I hope my letters reach you and Papa and Mama and Denise and Mathew because I write to every one of you and very seldom have any reply, though I know Mama and Papa have complained there that some letters sent me here were not received.

“Gladys”–Mrs Grant–has written me of having seen you three children and Mama and Papa recently and she says Denise is sweet and pretty and Fredrick is as pretty as little boys have a right to be and Mathew is very pretty as–being the last and youngest–he should be, whether girl or boy. And she also says you are three bright and good children–and Fredrick is the most interesting little–but no longer very little–boy she knows. I am sure you are growing up at such a rate that I and Stepgrandpappy Jack are the more eager to get back to the States before you are grown completely so we can be acquainted with you as children too.

Give Mama and Papa and Denise and Mathew and your own Grandfather Scott our affectionate thoughts of them.

And please please do write to us one of you NOW.

1Frederick, Jigg and Paula’s second child, was 8 years old when this letter was written

* * * * *

In the summer of 1951 the family moved to a house in Red Hook, a small town in the Hudson River valley about 100 miles north of New York city.  Next week, Evelyn attempts to locate the family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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