45. Ships that pass. . . .

Having two narrative streams running concurrently is perhaps an inevitable recipe for confusion, but a necessary one.  Last week we caught up on events in Jigg’s life while Evelyn and Jack were concentrating on their return to the United States, believing (largely because Jigg had told them as little as possible about events in his life) that they would be reunited with him and his family on their return.  This selection of letters highlights Evelyn’s disappointment at discovering Jigg was not in New York, and her continuing attempts to get news of him.

* * * * *

To Creighton and Paula Scott

26 Belsize Crescent
November 28, 1952

Darling Jig and Pavla-Paula:

In Pavla’s letter of April she spoke somewhat sardonically of her “bi-annual” letter, and alluded to your finances as preclusive of that visit to Jack and myself here for which we had hopedbefore we go home.  However, as I myself continued to write frequently, and to inquire as to the receipt of the parcels sent to you both and the children and—like those sent to you at Grünwald, unacknowledged until I pressed to have news of them—I did not suppose even the “bi-annual” letter would fail me.

Nonetheless, it apparently did, and either was never written or was not delivered here; and my natural anxiety on behalf of you both and of the four children was so increased by this apparent silence that, a little over a week ago, I wrote to the American Consul in Munich, explaining that I am Mr Creighton Scott’s mother and that I have reason to wonder whether or not you have changed your address and informed me of it in some letter that has not yet got to me.

I asked the Consul to assist me as the American citizen I am to reach my son and daughter-in-law and four grandchildren.  And I think it would be inhuman to refuse my request in view of the actual conditions against which we are all struggling and especially would it be inhuman because Jack and myself will probably have landed in New York within six weeks or a little over.  I hope, therefore, that should the American Consul put me with Jack again in touch with my family, that you will not have been embarrassed by any misconstruction of what has happened about mail, for I also explained to the Consul that one of the three parcels sent since April was the carton of slightly worn clothing often mentioned by me in letters and mailed to you both August 1952 from Hamstead London NW3.

We hope to learn soon that you are all to return to the USA, and when.  The clothes are of enough value to make a stink about if anything was done amiss respecting to the parcel, but Jig’s own personal communication with Pavla’s is the one thing that will relieve both Jack and myself of the feeling of downright oppression in having thus had communication either discouraged or deliberately interfered with there.

Please darlings do whatever you can on your side to assist us to be in touch with each other and in one country—the USA.  Margaret De Silver has been the finest of real friends to us and, as she herself said, still wishes Jig and Harry De Silver could see more of each other.  And a few others, as well, have helped Margaret to help by contributing to my “fund”.  We will have to go on to the Huntington Hertford1 a few weeks after landing, but honestly I myself will be incapable of making full use of their generous and sustained offer of six months of free board and lodging at their California Colony unless our minds can be relieved in some measure by news of Jigl.  Down and out with every bloody tote and dictator in the world.  There we stood in the war and there we will always stand.

From Armies or any Government Department daring to direct individual human lives.  It is a crime to attempt such things.  And among the tools of totes is “economy”.  So I herewith implore you both to be as candid as I am especially where money figured.  [Remainder of letter missing]

After some effort, Jack had been offered 6 months’ visiting fellowship at the Huntington Hertford Foundation, founded by the eponymous heir to a major supermarket hortune.

* * * * *

The following letter was one of a number, discovered after Paula died, that had never been opened.

To Creighton Scott

February 4, 1953

Mr Creighton Scott
care Mrs Gladys Grant

For forwarding if necessary. 

Darlings please answer. The American Consul in Munich gave your forwarding address to relieve my distress when the parcels then there were unacknowledged. He wrote me a very good letter. We think of you six and Dad and Louise all the time so anxiously. My mss is still where it was there, unread—why doesn’t Gladys write, we wonder, too. We will let you know when we know precisely when we will arrive. Love Mother

Darling Jig:

Two letters to you and Paula-Pavla and one letter to your Dad have been sent to Gladys’ address since you all six returned home, with the request to her that if you were not stopping at her house, these be forwarded. The letters before this one went early in January, and when sending them I, also, wrote to her at some length. But there has been no reply so far, and I am very naturally somewhat distressed as I would like to know your precise whereabouts, how you and your Dad are when we arrive home again.

I said in the other letters that we were to sail on February 15th in the boat that would take about a week. This was the Ryndam, old Holland-Dutch Line. But we were counting on the letting of this re-furbished flat to complete the financing of our move; and as it is not rented yet and we have no cash for our train-fare to Southampton, for baggage mended and a little bought, for socks, stockings, warm undervests, an overcoat for Jack that will be presentable among social equals—he still has just his re-made service coat, recognizable as such and worn badlyand for baggage transport, porters’ tips, and the alteration of the second coatsuit sent to me, etc, etc—as all these items are lacking yet, we cannot sail until either the flat is rented and paid in advance to supply these needs, or somebody with some money helps again with two to three hundred dollars. Two hundred would do it, but three would allow less skimping.

The reason I write you again without waiting on an answer is that I do not wish you to be alarmed, as you well might be with all these floods and a Dutch boat arriving without us in it. We are still hoping for some cancellation that will permit us to transfer to the Veendam of the same Line, or to some larger boat tourist. But the larger boat will require slightly more fare, hence the hope of the three hundred, which—and I implore it—you and Paula are not to worry about even to the extent of regretting that, as I know, you can do nothing.

Our steamer fares at the lower rate are paid. On December 1st, 1952, Jack secured his quota entrance—or re-entry as his eighteen years prior residence there counted preferentially—and the health certificates required as to his normality in every way. And thinking then we would soon be out of the woods, expected by the school to give notice of his voluntary resignation, when the Christmas holidays came, he resigned his job, as, in any case, also, he would have had to do to see tenants with whom I cannot discuss the business aspects of tentative offers.

The renovation of the flat has been achieved in a very niggling way, as he had to pay in most of the help we have had, in the Fund Margaret set up for me, to clear up tax arrears and maintenance bulls; and the entire situation has been atrocious in that every delay has meant a re-accumulation of heating bills, small or large repairs, and, of course, taxes, also, mounting; and the sums at Jack’s disposal have been, as far as renovation went, too small to do everything at once, as we would have thought best. In December he secured the permission—maybe it was before December—of the Bank of England to reckon anything accruing on this house once the flat is rented as a transferable asset. He in this way satisfied the American Consular stipulations as to his finances; though had he been justly dealt with as the great author he actually is, he could have referred to his publishers there and here in proof of his comparative solvency.

But Jack MUST be in New York before April 9th, when his visa expires. Otherwise everything would have to be done again; there would be as much to clear up as before; and—beside—we are now without any source of income, and to take up a school jobherewould be a complete defeat.

I am, therefore, writing again to the few people I can think of who might know someone able to supply two to three hundred dollars more, so that we can GO HOME NOW without waiting on the rental of the flat. Jack has applied to the Admiralty about the Coronation, but they advertise only short period rentals for the Coronation proper. He has applied to the American Embassy’s Consulate and find they do not advertise flats except for Army Officers, and it is against regulations for these to pay more than a month in advance, though in Britain people often pay a quarter’s rent or six months when they have the funds and it is mutually convenient. A few people have looked at the flat, but left undecided and did not return; and yet there is a big demand for flats and this is comfortable with the central heat, plenty of hot water, three bedrooms, one large, one moderate and one small, a now largish hall dining-room, a large living room, a pretty bath and re-done lavatory, and a garden that—though not much cultivated now—can be made very nice. The furnishing is complete except for the dining room chairs to be bought with the rent. Once we have all travel expenses we can leave renting to the real estate agent. The rent is not in excess of other flats, and we have dropped a guinea a week off because a Frigidaire will have to be installed and rented, too, by those who feel they cannot do without one. It is our need for rent in advance at once that handicaps us. So we do implore “the gods” to supply what is lacking for travel independent of the flat as it will undoubtedly be taken with time. [Remainder of letter missing]

* * * * *

To Creighton Scott

March 27, 1953

Dear Jigg:–

Your mother presumably left for California at 3PM on Wed Mar 25—in all that downpour! I saw her several times + she does talk more reasonably than she writes, altho rather buttonholing type of talk like the Ancient Mariner, + after 2 hrs the conversation gets more paranoid. However, she seemed pretty well + calm—but will it last!? She told me Miss Allin [?] had told you you were at the Chelsea [Hotel], + she went there + they were very vague as to when you had left + where you had gone. . . I began to feel pretty low + horrible when she talked lovingly about “my son” + about “The Muscovites” + how she was using your agent Russell. However, I’m sure I did right. She saw Charlotte Wilder + May Mayers—who seems to be a good egg– + Dawn was hospitable + helpful. Jack got an agent, too, + registered at several teachers agencies, so here’s hoping!

Anyway, cheerio
MDeS

* * * * *

To Ralph Pearson

The Huntington Hartford Foundation
2000 Rustic Canyon Road, Pacific Palisades, California
April 6, 1953

Mr Ralph Pearson
Lecturer on Art
The University of New Mexico Arizona or New Mexico Phoenix or Albuquerque–we don’t know which

Dear Ralph:

Jack and I have been assisted by some generous friends, of whom Margaret De Silver, is the chief, to return home. We sailed from Southampton, on March 1st, on the Holland-American Liner “Veendam”, and were in New York just under two weeks, at the Hotel Earl off Washington Square, in Waverley Place.

Can you, if this reaches us, send Jig’s address to his mother? If so Jack and I both will take it to be a human and kindly act.

After that period in which I sent letters to Jig in your care, at 288 Piermont Avenue, Nyack, our contact was re-established; and both in Rutherford–at both their addresses, Hawthorne and Ridge Streets [sic]–and in Red Hook, at their Pitcher Lane address, we corresponded at intervals. And we continued to correspond when Jig and Pavla went to Munich, while they were both at Grunwald and at Grafelfing; Pavla writing most of the letters but Jig signing some with her

I had, as their forwarding address, the address of Mrs Gladys Edgerton Grant, RFD1, Scotch Plains; and sent a letter to her in which I mentioned what was then a hope–that we might be in New York by early January. We were unable to leave when we had thought we woud, and the very letter in which I first told the date of our sailing–that it would be March 1st, and our passages were certain–was the first letter returned unopened of course  to Mrs Grant by Free Europe New York office; to which she had been asked to forward Jig’s mail and Pavla’s.

I telephoned the Free Europe Radio Service in NY twice; and realize now I should have gone there. But their pleasant promise to do everything possible to locate him again in the USA put me off, so to speak. I know Jig’s job was not “hushy” and was ordinary civilian radio. Free Europe assures me he is in the USA, was seen on his return, had been “in the office” but is not there now. They also said he had stayed at the Chelsea Hotel on 23rd Street with his family on landing last autumn–September probably1. I don’t know what you think of the fact that we communicated when I was in London with Jack and Jig and Pavla were in Germany, yet are cut out of context with them the moment we set foot on the soil of the country of which I am native, but we regard such a contretemps as sheer barbarity–and not on Jig’s part or Pavla’s.

If you can help me, and care to take a human view, we shall be more than obliged.

We have Fellowships here, but no money whatever; and will return to New York in the late summer, as our fares back are guaranteed and Jack must have a school-job and is the one of us best qualified by experience and degree.

I have no reason to suppose you feel any longer any interest whatever in us; but–again–I appeal to you on the basis of human feeling. I think the fact that we have four grandchildren–all American born–in common, should be enough to suggest loyalty to us as Jig’s near family as the most normal attitude. But goodness knows what anybody thinks of anything, since a disastrous metamorphosis has been wrought in so many of the country’s views. I am just hoping.

Sincerely yours,
Evelyn Dunn Scott Metcalfe (Mrs John or Mrs WJ)

Jigg and his family returned to the US in August 1952

* * * * *

To Creighton Scott

April 20, 1953

Dear Jigg

I enclose a letter from your mother [missing]which I hope you’ll read. I’d like to suggest that if + when you get yourself a far distant post office address, you write her a small non-committal letter telling her you’re alive + well. It is going to be increasingly difficult for me to keep my up-to-now successful dead-pan front when they come back in the Fall. Her address is:–

Huntington-Hartford Foundation
2000 Rustic Canyon Road
Pacific Palisades, Calif

Best wishes to you!
Faithfully
Margaret DeS

How is Paula? I regret that it is impractical for us to meet.

* * * * *

To Margaret DeSilver

[Chelsea Hotel]
April 24 [?1953]

Dear Margaret

Sorry my letter threw you, as it appears to have done, and which I didn’t intend. Your letters have never bored me, although I admit they have scared me at times. I don’t think it’s correct to say that you have been stupid about bringing E Scott and Jack to the ‘States. What I do contend is that you, and the others involved, have failed to take into consideration that she is, in the strictly clinical sense, insane.

As you say, my mother was a bit of a witch hunter in her time. I can remember when she approached the (then) Dies Committee1 with considerable zest. Everybody who knew her at the time realises that she went quite overboard on the idea that there was a terrible conspiracy afoot to repress True Art, and that the super patriots, as represented by the Hearst Press, the un-American Activities Committee, etc. were natural allies against such a conspiracy. The logic of this did then, and still does, escape me altogether.

As I say, everyone knew, or suspected, that she was doing a bit of witch hunting. What nobody knew, and what the people I told have steadfastly refused to believe up this moment, is that she was nuts.

At the time in question, for example, I spent many hours trying to convince her that she was wrong in supposing that there was in existence a machine (a kind of telepathic radio) which enabled malignant influences(at that time communist, but today God knows what) to tune in on one’s thoughts. A little later, I tried to talk her out of the notion that this same device had been improved to the point where it could not only be tuned in on one’s thoughts, but used to twist, pervert and direct them as well. In 1943, at a time when she was considered to be quite sane, and when my own rationality was called into question for suggesting that she was not, she was urging me to get rid of my wife (Paula), by poison if necessary, because, she claimed, Paula was a robot under the influence of this contraption. It was later perfected, as she took pains to inform me, to the point where it could make people ill (How’s your arthritis?). Not only that, but it soon transpired, as she made clear, that there was no such thing as a germ or a virus, or what have you. All diseases, mechanical fractures of the bone possibly excepted, were induced by this super-gadget. There was, however, a counteragent. If you thought “right” thoughts, and repeated the word “Peruna” frequently enough, you could outwit the gadget.

This is merely by way of illustrating the point things had reached ten years ago: they were plenty bad before that. I recall suggesting to various people that she might not be all there, and all I got was a sweet, sceptical smile—the smile one accords to someone who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. As a result, I tend to laugh a little bit sardonically, which I think I am entitled to do, because I have lived in a sweat for a good many years, with nobody to give me any advice.

Here is something else which will give him some intimation of what may—or may not—happen. One day I was called up on the mat by the President of the National Broadcasting Company, of which I was a rather humble employee. He had received a letter which was not easy for him to understand, from my mother. The gist of the intelligible parts was that NBC must be exerting some malignant influence over me, otherwise I would write more often (in those days I still wrote occasionally). I apologized to him and shortly thereafter found it convenient to find a job elsewhere, with ABC.

At ABC two things happened. Firstly, I found that my mother had a reputation among persons of more or less liberal complexion as their sworn enemy, and that it was assumed that I was her staunch supporter in this. My rather timid intimations that this was not so got me nowhere. The second thing that happened was that my boss at ABC goat the inevitable letter from my mother, asking, indirectly, that some kind of beat be put on me to make me a better correspondent, and suggesting that ABC was preventing me from writing. You can imagine what a difficult thing it was to explain to the foresaid boss. He is a pretty decent guy in many ways, but not subtle.

From ABC I moved to CBS. Ed Murrow is probably still puzzled by the letter he got from my mother trying to enlist his help in making me a more dutiful son. My mail was opened in Germany by the CIA, and I have often tried to imagine what General Walter Bedell Smith, or whoever my mother’s letters (forwarded from the ‘States) finally reached thought about their contents.

As far as I know she is still a confirmed letter writer.

Now I realize that the foregoing may sound completely incredible to you, or anyone else. Nevertheless it is true. However, about the only thing I have ever asked anybody to do about it is (1) kindly not hold me responsible for what my parents did—the sins of the fathers may be visited upon the sons in the bible, but this is supposed to be a non-biblical age; and (2) that someone look into the matter, with the aid of competent and qualified medical men, without automatically assuming that it couldn’t be true because it was I who said so. If I am wrong, I shall be happy to abide by the decision of an unbiased judge, but I’m afraid I’m right. I have been for fifteen years, and the fact that I spent 25 of my 38 years dancing attendance on my mother and father gives my opinion some weight.

So much for that. You now have the main facts in fairly comprehensible form. Sorry to bother you with it all, but it seems easier to state the whole case in one lump that to try to explain it piecemeal.

I’m very grateful to you for what you are trying to do for my mother, and I’ll do anything I can to help. Frankly, however, it presents certain problems. But don’t let it get you down. Best of luck from Paula and myself.

Jigg

Incidentally, you are the second person who asked me to write my mother in a week. Gladys Grant was the other. The letter is in the works.

1A predecessor of the House Un-American Activities Committee

* * * * *

To Creighton Scott

April 24, 1953

Dear Jigg;-

Your letter just received so horrifies and fascinates me that I hasten to answer it, even tho a letter from me must always scare and bore you! What fascinates me is the revelation of my own stupidity, and what horrifies me are the implications involved in E’s remarks to which I scarcely paid any attention!

First let me hasten to say that my arthritis—the present—was only mentioned to Evelyn because I was bored with hearing of her complaints and thought I’d just stick in one of my own. But I see that that is dangerous as, like other mentally ill people I know, Evelyn never forgets a damn thing. I have always assumed it was Evelyn’s enormous vanity that made her unable to admit that you of your own free will wish NOT to communicate with her, but had not the heart to come right out and say so—she would not have accepted it anyway. BUT I did NOT know she was so thoroughly au courant as to your ideas and intentions.

Plenty of people DID warn me against trying to bring Evelyn here are plenty are hiding out in fear and trembling, all of which makes me feel an utter ass, softy, simpleminded “Do-Gooder”—such always mess things up for all concerned. But I did somehow think that if E got out of that hideous environment she might be able to do some creative work again.

It was very sweet of Paula to write me a few lines. I did not know Margaret1 was so ill, and feel rather guilty because I did not answer a letter she wrote me about Foster’s book. Evelyn had also assailed Margaret as to your whereabouts and she had answered she did not know where you were. Knowing how Margaret has always felt about Evelyn, I was surprised that Evelyn would communicate with her. Dr Mayers, by the way, seems to have remained discretely loyal to you. She also told me that Paula is a beauty.

Yes, Cyril and E both sure have outsized egos but I sort of assumed that was a disease of artists—that they had to have egos to buck all sorts of things. But I must say when they get top-heavy, one certainly ceases to function and instead does only endless damage.

Well, that’s enough. Good luck to you both. And thank you for writing Evelyn.

Margaret DeSilver

1 Margué Foster, Paula’s mother.

* * * * *

To Evelyn Scott

Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico
May 24, 1953

Dear Evelyn:

As I wired you, it is absolutely impossible for me to see you at any time. This I explained in my wire. Joe also feels as I do that there is no use in post mortems.

So please do not come to see us at any time. I hope all goes well with you.

I have had no word from Pavli for months.

Yours sincerely,
Margué

* * * * *

To Paula Scott

Ranchos
September 6, 1953

Dearest Paula:

This is not an answer to your and [Denise’s] wonderful letters. That will come later.

This is on a subject I have held off writing you about since last March. Evelyn has written Frieda LawrenceD H 1 Ravagli a six-page letter like all her others to me trying to get her to get your address from me. It gives her father’s date of death and name and all his jobs, her mother’s etc. The exact words of her wire to me and may answer that I didn’t have your address.

So I am sending you her address and perhaps you can just write her you and Jigg are well and the children. You need not send your address but you could get her off our backs.

Frieda sent me the letter and said she could not make head or tail of it and what should she do. I’m sorry she has been bothered.

So no more of this. I’ll write soon.

Love to you, all of you,

Margué

1 D H Lawrence and his wife Frieda lived in Taos during the 1930s and in this small community would have known Margué and her husband.

* * * * *

To Creighton and Paula Scott

The Benjamin Franklin Hotel
222 West 77th Street
NYC 24, NY

March 31, 1954

Creighton and Paula Scott
care Mrs Gladys E Grant

Darlings:

We have arrived in New York again and will be here at shortest a week, at longest a month to six or seven weeks1, all depending on what is done for our financing, beginning today with Jack’s trying to connect with teaching posts, some for tutoring higher mat here as well as permanent for next autumn.

I have applied to other Foundations and am hopeful, as the responses have been kind cordial and remembering of everything we have done and will do soon with enough to complete our books own—nominally to me but actually saving two authors at once.

Ever since the letter each—one Jig’s and one Paula’s—in December and January we have been awaiting your address so we can stop this damnable nonsense of having to ask Gladys to forward all our letters to you. She is good about it but it makes no sense to us, and when we have every so often to admit to others this is the case, it makes no sense to them either. Give Jig’s Dad our love—on this we insist and will always insist as it DOES MAKE SENSE TO DO SO.

If there is any way at all that we can see you or you us as soon as we have any money to go anywyere for a day with you all and to see the five grands we will save for this really GREAT EVENT. Think how nice it will be for us all and for JACK TO MEET HIS STEP-GRANDCHILDREN.

I have not yet seen Mathew, Julia or Robert—please darlings let’s end a situation that is senseless and is bound to be equivocally interpreted by poison-minds—it just makes no sense and never will. We are all so lovingly well disposed—you, us and your Dad I am sure.

We are concerned as to your health, prospects and as to the mutual preservation of the dearest of our human contacts—one of the chief reasons we were so distressed that it took so long to finance our return from England.

I am naturally going to go on telling every body until we actually have your addresses—but we don’t want candour exploited either.

Jack may get a job near Chicago for next fall, though whether this is the best place or not we dont know until we know where you are—NOW NOW NOW tout de suite.

Remember your health and your prospects are one with ours to us because affection does just that—human attachments are at least half the value of every life.

We hope to see Gladys but she is Mrs Sherlock Holmes where any of you are concerned. I suppose that to her is loyalty. I don’t agree with it, because it implies you have “chosen” where I know damn well you cannot have “chosen” as you have far too much real sense to have done anything so stupid about addresses.

We left The Huntington Hertford Foundation in good standing and on an amiable footing with the Director Dr John Vincent;, his wife, his son and daughter—children—the Assistant Director Mr Proctor Stafford, and all the present Fellows. We have really liked a number, and most of the incomprehensions we first encountered were due to foreignness and poor English. Dr Vincent is tops as a classical composer.

We have been told several people were “dead” who have turned out to be still among the living. Once you hear that, you are in a spot as to saying the wrong thing. It is a lousy rumour unless well verified.

WE AIN’T LICKED YOU AIN’T LICKED CYRIL AIN’T LICKED.

Love love love love love love love
to Paula Evelyn—to Jigg Mother
Love from Jack

1 Despite this hopeful statement, they remained in the Benjamin Franklin Hotel until late 1963.

* * * * *

[The first pages of the following letter were torn up by Gladys, but the parts that remain are worth recording as they express her feelings, perhaps more forcibly than the undamaged letter would have done.]

To Evelyn Scott

June 28, 1954

I am answering at last after tearing …
us answers because I love you and …
of everything, hard as you may find …
Can’t you realize how much easier …
me to give you the old and probably …
that I have instead of keeping …
You have a right to feel that …
not to accuse me of injustice …
matter. I have forwarded you …

…itten appeals of my own to Jig and
… se were either never received or
… s for your other accusations and
… s ironic that you accuse me of
… ing a letter when I did so almost

The letter arrived late Monday …
was out and did not get home until …
but I answered first thing on …
Your postcard arrived here on

.. ng. Neither I nor the PO could
… answer to you in that short time.
…uch impossible demands on your other .
.. en scold them, no wonder you get no
…You are quite right that I avoid
… about Jig and Paula.

It is not that I don’t want to, but because you ask impossibly intimate questions that I have no way of answering and then accuse me of lying or concealing. For instance I have no possible way of knowing about Jig’s health. Even on the few past occasions when I visited them, I could only tell you what I saw or they volunteered. Evidently Jig told you much more when he saw you in London and this was only natural.I can’t possibly remember how many times I saw Jig or the family since 1941. Not many and we did not discuss you or Jack or any of them. And all you wrote abut 22 years ago was completely new to me. I was either selfishly absorbed in my own first love affair and did not know what was going on or was away in Darien. Both probably.

Please forgive the tone of this letter. I am no longer angry, but still deeply hurt. I do realize that you and Jack have been and are still going through terrible times and wish I could help. Yet you have your work and you have each other which is so much much much more than many of the rest of us. It is tragic that your work is not appreciated, but isn’t that always the fate of true artists? Not that that makes it any easier! But you have Jack’s love and I still and have always known that love is the greatest thing in the world!

Love to you both—
Always
Gladys

* * * * *

To Paula Scott

Brooklyn Hospital
July 5, 1954

Dearest Pavli—

No news is good news I trust, in this case, on your part.

Perhaps you already know the following—that Evelyn Scott has placed a notice in the NY Times asking anybody informed of it—to let her have the address of her son—someone sent the clipping to Gertrude—who I think mislaid it—Does Creighton know her address?

I am still here, you see—but improving—beginning practicing walking. I still have to push a chair before me—and have a nurse beside me—but the time is near when I shall be able to go home.

I save clippings for the children without being sure that they care for them.

Love to you all
Aunt Kitty

* * * * *

[The following two letters are linked:  Margué included the handwritten postcard from Evelyn in her letter to Paula.]

To Margaret Foster

August 1, 1954

Dear Margué:

I am still hoping, as Jack does, that you may, by now, have the address of Paula and Jig, Denise, Fredrick, Mathew, Julia and Robert, and will send it on to use for the sake of our love for themall. We havent been able to locate Ralph and family either. Evelyn.

To Paula Scott

August 19, 1954

Dearest P,

I’m so sorry for the delay in sending this card. I was up to my ears in work and forgot it!  I’m so glad you are better. But sorry you had pneumonia! Even mildly.  I’m feeling a little better since the cooler weather. And since all this work gets me more active.  But, alas, I must stop and get this off.

Best love to you all,
Margué

* * * * *

[It is not clear who the Herman Rappaport of this letter is, although it appears from the letter that another of a similar name helped Evelyn during the 1940s. This letter and the following give an insight into life at the Benjamin Franklin Hotel.[

To Herman Rappaport

November 14, 1954

Mr Herman Rappaport
125 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn 17, NY

Dear Mr Rappaport:

I trust the misleadingly “businesslike” look of this typewritten letter, will still allow me to say convincingly that my husband and myself both continue to be touched by your kindness, and that we are already thinking of you as someone we hope to meet in person in the spirit that can develop long-range acquaintance into friendliness on the firmer foundation of mutual personal knowledge.

I write on the typewriter because I always allow my personal mail to accumulate to be answered on Sunday, as the one way to get on with a novel that has suffered an infinitude of set-backs. But I ask you to believe, as it is the fact, that your gift to me of my first novel, The Narrow House, has been in my mind ever since it was delivered at the hotel on Tuesday or Wednesday, with the cheering effect you, in your generosity, of course, intended.

As it would have been natural to do so, I hope you read the letter that was missent, and for our very good old friends, the Rappoports, with your initials: Mr Harry Rappoport our lawyer of other days and, again, now, as we have recovered the contact. And the reason I especially hope you read it is that it conveyed something of our difficulties after 1945; which have been very little ameliorated since we came home.

So you see the real extent of your kindness! Here at the hotel we are still in one room, and as it is of moderate size and has just one table fit to type on, you can, I am sure, imaging the problem for two writers. That I have had the advantage of the table during much of the time is, by no means, a cause for congratulation on all scores, as John Metcalfe’s teaching job takes all his time from between 7.30 am, when he leaves here, and after six when he returns—this including those “descents into the maelstrom” that describe subway travel today, in New York. And on Saturdays and Sundays, he is usually too tired to do much more than correct pupil exercise books.

This is a state of affairs for which we are trying to find some solution in publication and revivals—our new books the main issue at stake at present—and in saving pennies so as to be sure of enough to live on next summer. That this particular aspect of artist-predicament is not peculiar to ourselves we well realize. I am an American citizen and have been continuously so all my life, and after Mr Metcalfe’s long familiarity with the country of eighteen years pre-war residence he was as shocked as I am to see how much the cultural scene had deteriorated since “planned living” became the rule. But we just don’t “give up the ship”.

We take this to be so of you, also, as of our other Rappoport friends; who, like you, staunchly support cultural values—or so I trust we rightly gather in view of your specific kindnesses to us. And knowing, because of your mention of it, that your interest in serious writing has weathered the illness to which you referred, we will, indeed, look forward to the long-deferred breathing-spell for us that will include an opportunity for us to come together in person at tea or over drinks. I trust this is not taking too much for granted. We, on our part, should like to know more of you.

I thought I would write, this time, one of my periodic long letters that really is intended for Mr Herman A Rappoport, to whom we are now both sincerely indebted for copies of our books.

With every appreciation and good wish, in which John Metcalfe joins me,

Evelyn Scott

* * * * *

To Herman Rappaport

December 4, 1954

Dear Mr Rappaport:

We have read with interest, as my postcard, I hope, indicated, your sympathetic account of our own difficulties of so many years in finding satisfactory quarters in which to make a home. It was just a usual run of “bad luck” that put me to bed temporarily just when we might have been meeting you and Mrs Rappaport. You are both generous again to proffer your hospitality in that full measure which includes cooking a dinner; especially when all we could—and it really is could—offer was eventual drinks in our room or near. This one of those ambiguous hotels that have the part privilege of an apartment-house, in that those who have no kitchenette in their rooms are at liberty to use the “community” kitchens on each floor. But we were in such a spot for a means to live during the summer, before my husband’s job began, that we have not yet invested in anything but some crude Woolworth cups and exactly two plates, and knives and forks; and haven’t even a saucepan other than one very small one.

This is a state of affairs we had vaguely assumed would be ended with the autumn, but there have been—as I suppose every one finds—drains on salary that have caused us to postpone the purchase of our kitchen equipment while we make sure—if we can—that next summer’s school vacation does not land us just where we were when we came back from the year at The Huntington Hartford Foundation that began our experiences since we came home.

This is all very elaborate explanation; but having been touched by the books, I feel niggardly and almost “mean”, in being unable—both of us—to respond with the hospitality that would be as “symbolic” as your gifts of our books.

However, indeed we do accept, as perhaps I have already made clear. But still we cannot set dates as John Metcalfe has about a week to do everything he should in respect to seeing people about the publication of new novels by him and the revival of old; and as a matter of diplomacy we have to leave it to others to decide first on convenient meetings.

Can you descent [sic] to my use of postcards, and sometime drop us a line indicating how many days notice you and Mrs Rappaport should have beforehand not to conflict with your own engagements, which may be complicated by Christmas, when everybody asks everybody somewhere, it still seems.

I don’t say telephone me because the public telephone is outside my door and has no box around it, and I am developing an anti-telephone phobia, the constant chatter of voluble ladies is so obstructing to my writing. I can hear everything they say, try NOT to though I do. This is nothing to sit on–they stand an hour at a time, like cows.

Your library, as you describe it, has a sound or look of healing. I used to be like Mrs Rappaport and say once I had absorbed the content of a book ownership mattered little. But I have become now, as John Metcalfe always was, like you; and as the good books published become fewer, have returned to that prizing view of my adolescence when my own—very own—carefully chosen small library was the most precious of my personal possessions. The horrible atrocious paper books with horrible atrocious bindings have tended to encourage the discarding of all books, after readings as cursory as the make-up. Even libraries can’t stock—public libraries—paper books until they are re-bound, hence often just don’t.

You write in the civilized way with a pen, and I don’t—so please don’t again feel you have ever to tax your strength—which I gather is not much—by replying in kind, unless you deeply wish to.

I write letters on Sundays, but this, too, is my substitute, a good part of the time, for conversation.

With sincerity, and many thanks to Mrs Rappaport too—from us both.

Evelyn Scott

Of course telephoning is not tabooed—just we don’t prefer it. The number is Endicott 2-1100, and by all means use it if it would save you inconvenience, but phoning is best around five pm.

* * * * *

 

 

44. Jigg goes to Germany

While Evelyn and Jack were pre-occupied with their financial problems and their desire to return to the United States where Evelyn was sure she would be reunited with Jigg and his family, Jigg was concentrating on finding new employment after his mother had written to his employers at CBS, a letter which eventually resulted in Jigg being dismissed from his post.

However, Jigg had built a solid reputation in radio news and in October 1951 he secured a post with Radio Free Europe, an anti-Communist radio network based in Munich and supported by the National Committee for a Free Europe, a CIA front organisation. His role was to create and develop the newsroom which would broadcast to countries behind the Iron Curtain.

The family spent the first weeks of their stay in Germany at the Hotel Regina Palast, in the very centre of Munich, then severely bomb-damaged. In spite of the war, the hotel retained much of its former luxury, and the family were housed there until accommodation could be found for them in a modest house in the suburb of Grünwald some 10 miles to the south of Munich.

Back in England, Evelyn had been busy compiling her “Précis of events leading to libel” which she intended should be widely distributed in support of the Evelyn Scott Fund. Although Margaret DeSilver (wisely) felt this would not help her cause, Evelyn persisted in compiling this document which she saw as the beginning of an autobiography yet to come, and asked Margaret to send a copy to Jigg in Red Hook.

[Many of the following letters from Evelyn are carbon copies, from which the signatures are often missing.]

* * * * *

To Evelyn Scott

130 West 12th St, New York City
December 12, 1951

Dear Evelyn

The précis which I sent by registered mail by Jig in Red Hook, NY, at your request, was returned to me with a forwarding address “Hotel Regina-Palast, Maximilian Platz, Munich, German, and a typewritten sticker from the PO saying “return to Postmaster—domestic registered mail cannot be forwarded to a foreign country”.  So I have re-registered and mailed it to the address given.  OK?

Love, M

* * * * *

To Creighton Scott

26 Belsize Crescent
January 1, 1952

Creighton Scott
Herzog Siegmund Str 3
Grünwald bei Munchen
Bavaria, Germany

Darling Jigeroo

I have already invited you here thinking Pavla must be still in Red Hook, in a letter sent to the Hotel Regina-Palast, Maximilian Platz, Munich, and I hope you will have received when you do this both the first letter and the outline of a part of an autobiography I propose writing about my author-experiences, as this outline went to the Regina-Palast when returned to Margaret De Silver by the Red Hook Postmaster with your forwarding address stamped on the parcel.  It is for reading by you and Pavla and by your Dad whose opinion on some portions we should have.

Jack and myself are delighted by the very thought of the nearness of all of you, this revealed by Pavla yesterday in her letter which was to have reached us for Christmas but took a week.  However New Year’s Eve was almost as appropriate, and the day would have been one for celebration for us whatever it was.  We hope you had reason to celebrate.

I am most anxious to see you first without waiting on other things as soon as it is convenient to you because we have been so cut off from communication.  But that is just because I am exhausted by the suspense which has resulted from knowing so little of you yourself specifically.  We are both also actually very eager to see Pavla and the four children, and were we able to provide the beds and fares we would urge having you all here now at once.  However, as soon as the expense can be met you must come please, and Pavla and Denise and the boys in relays—Julia we know going with Pavla at this age as she is too young to be left.

We have enough beds for three with some squeezing, and two we could easily have if camping out arrangements are tolerable to you.  And though we HOPE not to have to wait long in any case do let’s all try to so arrange it that we can all meet here before we all go home to the States, which, though it may still require time, we will all do.

It is a very sweet privilege to be allowed to feel myself really Grandmother again and Jack has touched me very much by saying spontaneously and with genuineness, on looking at the picture Pavla sent, “Well I am glad to have a family of my own again”—his emotional generosity is precisely as I tell you.  He is ready to reciprocate love and he is especially interested in meeting Denise as he has always been fond of little girls as I am of little boys—we will of course love both, regardless of sex, once there is a rapprochement that proves the responses to our interest are natural and are not forced.  Tell Denise I fell in love with her ten years ago—soon eleven and I will never fall out  I fell in love with Fredrick in 1943 I fell in love with Fredrick in 1943—it will be Mathew and Julia too soon I Know

* * * * *

To Paula Scott

January 1, 1952

Pavla Hale Pearson Scott—Mrs Creighton Scott

The picture of the family is already kissed every night.  It is yourselves and whenever we look at it love burgeons and we are very lucky in having you all “ours” too.  You are a lovely daughter-in-law.

You are the best of daughter-in-laws and I like your responsiveness and hope for the children’s and know Jig is with us as well as his Dad.  We think the same things and Cyril agrees as does his wife no doubt.  Divorces are a small matter in the arts.

Darling Pavla

I added the postscript to the letter to Mathew which I had already written—December 30th—your own Christmas letter arrived and this is to expand our reply and as the further sign of our delight in your nearness and our hope soon to see Jig and yourself and all four here with us, the sooner the better, and as many as we can provide beds for—three at once is the present limit.  Julia of course goes with you as she is too small to be left but perhaps there could be two visits with Denise and the boys divided between the two adults.

We would be somewhat crowded and that we wish were not the case but just to see you at all would be such refreshment to us we hope it will be to you and Jig.  I am sending Jig the letter explaining this to him because I am eager to break whatever jinx has been between my son and myself in respect to correspondence.  Your letters darling Pavla have just kept me from tearing my hair with anxiety but it is not right that I should have to depend on you for any news whatever and to have Jig himself write to us will be the restoration of common sense in our human stand.

Jack says you are his own family, too, far more than any of his uncles and cousins here—you and Jig and the children—and I wish Cyril would come over and we could have here the re-union we have been thinking of and hoping to have ever since distance intervened between us.  Do tell Jig’s Dad of this and please see that the outline of the mss of the future autobiography’s section regarding the war, which was mailed to Jig at Red Hook and returned for forwarding to the Hotel Regina-Palast Maximilian Platz Munich and forwarded there by Margaret De Silver is collected by Jig or someone who will give it to you both for your reading and to be sent to Cyril himself.

I have practical views as the explicit sign of idealism just as you and Jig and Jack have, and I am eager to see the boys built up in physical stamina without sacrifice of the sensibility evident in their faces even in the passport picture which is not just to any of you as a portrait.  You are recognizable and so is Freddy and I can just see the traces of the Denise of three-years-old but what no picture can disguise is that you all need an easier life with an end of strains, with good food and with those normal interest congenial to yourselves as individuals and very specific individuals none of you commonplace of “average”.

Jack will cook for you when you come.  He continues the chef de lux of the household.  I recommend to you the desert of semolina he is now preparing for supper.  It is very cheap and takes a comparatively small amount of sugar and he puts powdered coconut in it as he takes it from the stove and flavours it also when possible with brown-sugar.  For the author of so many fine books he has unsuspected accomplishments.  Tell Cyril Jack is almost as versatile in some ways as he is himself.

You should be in France I think because of the visual arts but Germany has a few fine painters and I hope Jig sometimes can paint again even there—and here’s to all our new books.  We must gradually become again the sort of creative people we are.  The things we have been compelled to do since the war are just a travesty of our real selves.  We will all go home to the States before too much time but some good will come of your being there.

* * * * *

To Creighton and Paula Scott

January 13 1952

Darling Jig and Pavla:

Please send some more news of yourselves and, also, tell us whether you have received and read the section of outline of possible autobiography which was forwarded to the Hotel Regina Palast, Maximilian Platz, Munich.

This is not one of my long letters—I will write more extensively when I have one of Jig’s and Pavla’s both—but this is to remind you we love you and we are eager for news and sight of you more than ever now you are almost near.

With our love
Mother for step-grandfather Jack too

I am so disgusted with “respectable” “pious” “religious” bloody “commerce” in people’s letters I could cheerfully see every purveyor of “popular” and “average” “tastes” shot—I hope you have something less inane than some letters from those of our friends who fall into the clutches of damnable putrid fallacious trade “psychology”—arrant rats propound it.  This is the result of a spatter of mail—since this was written—mail about nothing normal to the writer of these hocus-pocus suggested letters.

I hope for yours in different vein.

* * * * *

To Creighton and Paula Scott

February 11 1952

Darlings—

I refuse to be hurt, though there is not yet any acknowledgment yet received by me of the outline of the portion of the future autobiographical volume’s data—sent to Jig forwarded by Margaret De Silver to the Hotel Regina Palast, Maximilian Platz, Munich, and intended to be sent on to Jig’s Dad in the States for his opinion on how to combat imposed tinkerings with books with fine material, such as his Life Is Too Short must originally have been before some half-wit tried to re-write it for low-level consumption.

I have twice written to you that the Regina Palast has the outline—the parcel containing it—so I hope you have had those letters and, in any case, will receive this.  It is a very detailed compilation of personal data and there was very good sense in the effort to get across to you both and to Cyril himself my view of a distressing factor both in our personal “economic” plight and in a general total ruthlessness in handling literature as literature which deserves punishment legally if it cannot otherwise be stopped.

Well we hope the precis or outline has arrived and is read and has been sent on to Cyril himself and that we will both soon have his home address again.

We treasure the enlargement of the Passport photo of Pavla Denise Fredrick and Mathew and I now have one of the snapshots of Jig out with it so we can dote on all those we love most.  We do hope there are some compensations for being in Munich, but we insist it will be best when all of you are at home with us for we continue determined to go home and to do everything we can there toward the good job for Jig he should have as the son of Americans, the husband of an American, the father of four Americans and the grandson and great-grandson of Americans and—MOST IMPORTANT—AN AMERICAN HIMSELF ALL HIS LIFE.

Couldn’t Jig write us just a few lines please?  We would feel so much better if he wrote them himself.  He can’t be ill and we hope as well as very living he is very well indeed and you all are, but the very sight of his handwriting would be cheering.

I think it is a criminal racket that has produced such conditions, in which we are not allowed so much as a line from MY SON AND CRYIL KAY SCOTT’S.  I am tired of brutes and threats such as imposed silences imply, and those who impose them MUST BE PUNISHED.  It is not human.  Do we have to go home to the States to learn what is happening in Munich?

We are as militantly opposed to totalitarians as if we were the heads of the allied armies—or considerably more so, I may say ironically in view of the results of the war in landing us among the labour tyrants.  But we do not think any military or civil bureaucracy has any right to interfere at any state in civil human relations and civil careers and the communications essential to carrying these on.  And we protest the mail status quo as dense, stupid, brutal, wrong.  And if there is censoring between here and Munich—officially none has been allowed as far as I know—then I hope these guy-dan, god damn brutes will get a dirty, muddy eyeful, because I say as an American mother they should be shot.

How’s that for international diplomacy?  I will say precisely everything I think just until I die, and I really think my family will be better off eventually because I have.

NB Important We would love hearing of explicit happenings of your lives during these few months since you arrived there, but Pavla has the household, and Jig his job so notes help and are acceptable—more than.  And still taking the photograph to stand for the affection ours in common I would like to tell you of happenings here, if these as yet included anything whatever except stress and strain about how to keep just barely afloat, as we still await action on books for any money whatever.

We had an attack of fungus here that obliged us to take up three carpets in part to save them from rot.  There was no moisture on the good floor boards, so figure that out¬!

We have been using driers however and I find some make good furniture stains, which brings me back to Pavla who stained and oiled some furniture in Tappan like a professional cabinet-maker.

Do you have ready-cooked food in Munich?  There are a few  places here that sell it, frozen like birds’-eye vegetables such as we had in Canada, and not half-bad.  Some really rather good, and some dear and some not.  It might make a change sometimes should you discover any place where you can buy these things there and Jig bring home dinner in his pocket ready-cooked.

I still have no teeth as the money saved for them went to stave off a tax-summons, but although I refused to go to the Guild Hall and look up data for my French historical novel with such a denuded mouth I am entirely reconciled to being seen toothless by my family, so whenever any visit to London is possible we will be glad no matter how toothless.

Jiggie darling Mother to you please
Jack’s love to all

* * * * *

To Creighton and Paula Scott

March 2 1952

Darling Jig and Pavla:

Have you yet received any notification respecting the parcel containing the segment of an outline of the future autobiographical volume I propose to add eventually to my published volumes?   This was nearly three months ago—two and a half approximately may be more exact, as I do not know precisely the date on which she mailed it—and as there has been ample time for its receipt by you and its arrival has not been acknowledged in any letter as yet received by me, I have written to the Manager of the hotel requesting him as a very great favour to do me the kindness to ascertain if he can whether or not it is yet at the hotel yet or has already been delivered to you at your Herzog Siegmund address.  There hasn’t really been time to have his reply—or that of some member of the hotel staff—but I send this on to you, too, hoping you will check up on the parcel in any case and if you have it, whether or not you have already written saying so, write and tell me again.

Should the hotel Manager or any of his staff assist to locate the parcel of mss please offer him my thanks as Jig’s American mother—we will all be thankful to have no further trouble of this sort, in London and in the States I am sure.

How is everything with you both now?  We are eager for news specific enough to bring you nearer.  Don’t forget the invitation Jack extends again with me to allow us to “put you up” as well as we can with limited space and a blanket situation to solve.  In warmer weather the paucity of blankets will matter less and if there is any way to wangle expenses—also we wish we could pay them for you but our circumstances have yet to improve—please please know we love you and would like it next best to being at home in the States with you both and having everybody normally painting and writing again and publishing and exhibiting, including Cyril and his present wife.

We are so glad the school the children attend is good, but it still seems too far away, regarded selfishly.  Tell us more of it and as we are thankful it is an American school, what sort of Americans are there.  There is one little German boy at the school  where Jack teaches and Jack says he seems to him very nice and sensitive and a sympathetic child.

What is the garden there developing into?  Ours is useless until we can completely exclude the public and throw every window in the basement open without concern for intrusion or theft.  I think if we could build a wall completely enclosing the rear garden and cutting it off from the front so it is reserved for this flat, we could probably rent the flat to some advantage as an aid to going to the States refurbishing and demolition of inside shelter included, of course.

Please tell us more please please.

Jig’s affectionate and loving mother and Pavla’s affectionate friend for Jack and myself both—he sends love to all six

* * * * *

To Creighton and Paula Scott

March 12 1952

Darlings:

Please please please help me to expose the truth as to the difficulties we continue to have with mail as between myself and yourselves and every one of our American relatives including Jig’s Dad.

I have written to you both three times about this and the outline or “precis” of a segment of data compiled for the third of my autobiographical volumes, which has yet to be written but which I wish to have read as data yet in which we all figure, both by you and Cyril and his wife.  This compilation an outline isn’t a book but it is valuable as author record for my family and myself, and a record merely, not a book for publication as data, is the parcel sent to Margaret De Silver for conveyance to Jig at Pitcher Lane, Red Hook, Duchess County, NY, where you both were in the summer and early fall.   And this is the gist of the request I made of the hotel over two weeks ago; explaining when I did so that this parcel was actually sent by Jack for me from London in early November and was forwarded to Munich either the end of November or the first of December.  I think it is like “psychological warfare” to impose on us all the sort of anxiety this represents, which, in any one instance, would be “minor”, but as an accumulation of years and in connection with important matters like writing books and knowing how one’s nearest and dearest really are and whether or not they do receive their mail, it is serious as augmenting strains that are already enough.

I have complained so continually about the situation at home in this respect that there may have been some action taken there to improve it, as I am now having many more letters actually acknowledged which I receive.  But this still does not include my letters to my family and relatives.  It would seem to me that with the numbers of Americans there are in Germany, this stupidity about mail should not be allowed and that there should be steps taken there to make an end of conditions anything but conducive to peace in the world.

Pavla and Jig my dears you should both acknowledged letters which are to both—even if it is just in the matter of signatures.  And it would probably be helpful not to sign initials as Pavla sometimes does as we would like to hit any censors who meddleif they meddle, we are just guessing—hit them in the eyes as meddlars by making as public as we can your and my American identity, so that mail when lost can always be traced.

We all despise commercial “art”, just as we despise “token” publication and the ratty commercialism that imposed it on us.  To hell with commercial “levellers”, “tokens”, etc.  Communication has been so interfered with it has created an entirely false impression—that and that dirty commercial tinkering with Cyril’s autobiography:  something for which someone deserves shooting.

Our love Jack’s and mine to yourselves and the four children—please do write and tell me just where we are in respect to this utterly poppycock situation about mail and that parcel the handkerchief and the children’s book sent Mathew.  I have a book for Freddy and don’t yet dare send it.  Tell me when—love—Mother to Jig to Pavla Evelyn

I always think of Margue when I sign Mother to you—Jack’s love sent with this to both.

* * * * *

Regina Palast hotel
Regina Palast Hotel [www.zveb.com]

To Evelyn Scott

 Regina-Palast-Hotel München 2
Maximiliansplatz 5
Munich, March 16 1952

Dear Madame,

In reply to your letter of 25th February I beg to inform you that the two parcels in question has received your son.  I got the information by your daughter in law.

Thrusting that you will receive the parcel safely, we beg to remain

faithfully yours
Regina-Palast Hotel

* * * * *

To Regina Palast Hotel

March 31, 1952

Dear Sir:

Your reply to my inquiry of February 25th, 1952, arrived here on March 23rd, and I am greatly obliged to you for attempting to ascertain for me whether or not the parcel containing data to be used by me in a book I propose to write, had been forwarded by the hotel to my son Mr Creighton Scott.

I gather you have communicated with my daughter-in-law, Mrs Creighton Scott at the family’s present address of this winter, Herzog Siegmund Str, 3, and as you quote her as saying two parcels have been received there, I trust one is the manuscript of data I compiled for my own reference.

As I have no German whatever at my command, I hope my attempt to be explicit in English is comprehended, because actually, in the final line of your note of March 16th, you say you hope I “will receive the parcel safely”.  It was not intended that the parcel I sent to my son and daughter-in-law in the States, and which was forwarded from there, on postal instructions, to Mr Creighton Scott at the Hotel Regina Palast—the temporary address he gave when he sailed from home—should be returned to me!  On the contrary, I sent it to my son to forward as soon as he and my daughter-in-law had read it, to Mr Creighton Scott’s father, Mr Cyril Kay Scott, the American painter and author who was my first husband and from whom I am divorced.

I tell you this because the acknowledgment of this manuscript by my son himself as well as his daughter-in-law should, of course, be made to me; the reason I wish to have them and my first husband see the data being that I will write to them in this book, which will be my third volume of autobiography.  And I will again appreciate the preservation of this record, if it is possible, until I am completely certain that the parcels sent from London directly to Munich since Christmas and containing trivial and unsolicited gifts for my grandchildren have not been confused with the parcel already twice forwarded after I sent it to the States last autumn before I had been informed when my son had gone to Germany.

I do indeed thank you for your kindness in attempting to assist me to locate the parcels.  But the parcel I as an author value most is naturally the book synopsis, and it is in connection with this that I shall be indebted to you whenever I have reassurance in full.

Whenever I do I will send you a line to that effect, and meanwhile I continue greatly obliged,

Faithfully yours,

* * * * *

In the spring of 1952 the family moved from their small house in Grünwald to a much larger property in Gräfelfing, a suburb of Munich.  They were now living in a substantial house with a large garden which backed on to extensive woodland.  The house had been, Jigg was led to understand, commandeered by the Americans from a local high-ranking Nazi.  Whether this was true or not, it was spacious and comfortable in the traditional Bavarian style, complete with bierstubl and weinkeller.

* * * * *

To Creighton and Paula Scott

April 14,1952

Otilostrasse 22
Grafelfing-bei-Muchen, Bavaria, Germany

Darling Jig and Pavla:

When are we again to experience that pleasure of surprise ours when we had Pavla’s Christmas note signed for both and telling us that you were comparatively near?

We have not had a word since.  And as I wrote to the Regina Palast respecting the segment of an outline for an autobiographical volume by me in which you both and Cyril are to be included and the hotel assures me Pavla—or “my daughter-in-law”—assured them it was received, I am distressed again that I have not yet obtained your personal affirmation of this.

I don’t think I should have had to ask the hotel, if this is the case, and to find that there are mail problems there  as there have been every so often when mailing letters and parcels to the States, is upsetting.  should know you have received and sent it to him without a doubt.

I don’t like to write of nothing but mail problems, parcels etc, and I know you don’t either, but just sensibly prompt replies to specific issues would relieve us both of burdens.  Have you received any of my detailed letters about this?  I have sent several, some addressed to Pavla some to Creighton some to both and some to the children.    Please please PLEASE do anything you can at your end to conclude this interminable business about mail and whether it is actually received or not by the personal addressees.

There has never been any comment on our hope that you will visit us and that your visit will be the first chapter in the journey home.  We are still fighting for your art as well as ours whenever we can.  It is utterly rotten wrong that both of you should have been removed as you were from your real milieu in art, and wrong we think as well that you should have been moving to Europe just as we were given our first positive hope of the financing of our return to the States to write near you there, and to clear up every ambiguity distance has imposed during these years since the war.

We should actually all be peacefully in one country, the country normally preferable the USA—but as artists and as we originally were except that we are older, have learned more, and have something of a common feeling of response and responsibility in respect to Denise, Fredrick, Mathew and Julia.

We implore and don t know whom to implore, we so need details of yourselves and your lives in Munich as well as at home.  Whatever has been at the bottom of a lack of free communication is criminal.  We would so like to be precise as to this in order to combat it.

Are you both and the children well?  What sort of job is Jig doing?  Is it something Army or hushy, or something he can speak of freely? We are all fed to the gills with war and everything to do with it.  And I think it high time that, among the things one has to re-learn, we learned again to be just ourselves, without any directing or manipulating, be it called “patriotic” or not.

The trees in front are just ready to bloom.  We have hoped every year you would all see them.  There have been nine daffodils out, and a few bluebells, but the garden is still a wilderness of weeds and needs a wall to shut it in so the flat can be private.  It is warm here at present.  How is it there?  Do you see mountains afar?  We haven’t yet any map of Germany.  Are you both writing at least a little, and is Jig—fine artist that he actually is—painting some?  We so hope so.  Did the school continue satisfactory?  When are we all to go home to live near and love each other and our various arts.

Creighton Scott with Mother and Jack USA—temporary address on envelope otilostrasse 22 Graefelfing bei Munchen  This make sending Jig to Germany a catastrophe!  Rat [illeg] don’t.

* * * * *

To Evelyn Scott and Jack Metcalfe 

19 April 1952

Dear Evelyn and Jack—

I’m scribbling my twice yearly note and sending along these snaps of the kids.  We’re all pretty well, but have no hope whatever of making any visits.  It’s hard for us to get away on a Sunday afternoon, although last Sunday we managed to take the whole day off for a drive to Innsbruck—very nice.  I am tired of this duty scribble—What the hell is Innsbruck to us?  A char employed where I boarded in 1901.

The baby [Julia] stands up and has 2 teeth, now

Love,
Paula—Pavla Scott I despise her senseless use of Paula

PS  Your MSS arrived, but I can’t sent it on to Cyril as I haven’t the remotest idea where he is now.  Haven’t heard from him for 6 months when he was about to move.

1952-November This letter of my daughter-in-law is all any news of her with my son and grandchildren—four since April  The art of EVELYN SCOTT with Cyril Kay Scott is with Scott the art with JOHN METCALFE WITH CREIGHTON Scott with Pavla This arrived on a brutal day an intolerable criminal day May 24th

* * * * *

To Creighton and Paula Scott

April 20 1952

Do you give Gladys address now as your address at home or Jigs Dad’s.  I gave Jigs of Ridge Street Rutherford at the US Consulate here and I suppose I will have to go back to Gladys again for us

Darlings—

Where are the answers to my letters?  Where is your personal acknowledgment of the outline of the autobiography I sent for you to read and send on to Cyril?  Do you reply and are the letters stopped somewhere, or what?  I can’t help it.  So would you were you in my place.

The plum tree in the front garden is beautiful just now.  We so hoped some of you could manage a visit in time to see it.  The spring bloom here is a very fine sight.  We have nothing comparable in any city, though of course we do in the country.  This tree is flawless, every cluster of white perfect, and the tree—there are two or three in front—has echoes up the street—in fact up both the streets at the crossing the house faces.  They are airy gardens with that unreality of American autumns—so extravagantly lovely one is wordless, as one can’t relate them to anything in the experience of every day.

Also ce soir we had a treat in a honey-dew melon for supper which we bought as a celebration as we have had no green stuff for months—just tinned things.  And as this may be the truth about you, too, I wished as we ate it that you all had some.  Really first rate garden produce, I don’t know from where, as the season is so early.  It was not expensive either, about sixty cents American—that is not for a treat and for April.  Well, here’s hoping—

The teeth will soon have their first try-out.  I have been to the dentist’s and he tried to make the old set fit but it could not be did.  It will have been nearly nine months or more like ten months if you count the first extractions, since I had any to speak of.

I have written Margué again, now some months, but had no reply as yet.  Hope to soon.  Feel better when we all correspond normally.

How are Denise Fredrick and Mathew and the school? How are our Jiggie and Pavli—

Please we love you—do reply again
To Jig mother
To Paula Evelyn
To all six my love and with Jacks.

* * * * *

Some time in the late summer of 1952 Jigg’s employment with Radio Free Europe came to an end.  There is no clue in the correspondence why this might have happened–perhaps Evelyn wrote to his employers, as she had so often done before?  In any case, the family left Munich for New York in September 1952 and found themselves without an income in the Hotel Chelsea in lower Manhattan, where they rented a cheap 2-room (including a small bath and a basic kitchen) serviced apartment. 

Hotel Chelsea
Hotel Chelsea [www.ny-architecture.com]

[The following letter was never opened, but was kept by Paula in the family archives, where it was discovered after her death.]

* * * * *

To Creighton Scott

October 26, 1952

Darling Jig:

Here’s to your fine paintings and your novels.  I have sent on the letter I hope arrived with you for your birthday, but I will reiterate on every birthday our unshaken belief in the high and fine creative talents Creighton Scott has proven both in the field of water-colour and oil and as an author of serious books.  There would have been many more paintings by Creighton Scott and, at least, two or three more serious novels by now, had the genuinely discriminating been better aware of the extent of senseless sacrifice that has been involved in the attempts  of the Creighton Scotts, Cyril Kay Scotts and the Evelyn Scott-John Metcalfe’s merely to survive.

Unless, by the time Jack and myself arrive in New York, I have full information as to the family’s present whereabouts, whether still in Munich or elsewhere, and am given accurate and full knowledge of their present and future prospects, and assurances as to the health—in every respect—of every one of them, I propose to raise hell.  I will do so very publically if need be, and in no uncertain terms.  I love my son and I consider what we have all been put through as to communication, as well as in regard to “planned” lives and a virtual dictation regarding what is published—in part circumstantial but a reasonable assertion on the basis of my own experiences and Jack’s, as well as yours—so blatantly inexcusable that it would merit a public crisis.  Are we to be driven to insisting on one, or not?  If we eventually are do know that everything we attempt is done for our own and most of all for you, darling Jig, whom Jack myself and Cyril love as we know Pavla does.

We continue to await public sanity, we ourselves being on every hand eminently sane individuals just as you and Pavla are.

Our love

–call it finite or infinite, it matters not at all—it IS OUR LOVE and we insist on personal and public truth for the reason that love for you demands this insistence.

Mother with our love to Pavla too and to four good bright children

* * * * *

Paula’s family on her mother’s side were not wealthy but were fairly prosperous, and Paula had to turn to them more than once.  Her latest plea was to her great-aunt Gertrude Brownell, who lived in late-Victorian splendour on Central Park West.

* * * * *

To Paula Scott

50 Central Park West
New York City

22 November 1952, Saturday evening

Dearest Pavli,

I am terribly distressed by your news—your suffering—and your difficulties.

You are creating difficulties for me too—who am taken for little less than half my income and need the other half for inevitable expenses (rent service living)

It seems unkind to mention this when you are so afflicted—but mentioning it makes me hope that Creighton will think better of going abroad—leaving a large family for others to provide for.  My hope is that he will look for a job in New York or at least in this country and so be able, to some extent at least, to look after the family for which he is responsible.

You evidently think that I can give you 500 dollars by sending a cheque by reply mail—I have to go to a savings bank to draw out the 500.00 additional—and will do this in Monday—(send you some part of it at least)

With much love to you all
Aunt Kitty

* * * * *

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

38. Paranoia?

In October 1951, while Evelyn was still wrestling with letters to Red Hook, Jigg found employment with the Free Europe Committee to establish a newsroom and be editor-in-chief of news at their new station in Munich, Radio Free Europe. In the immediate post-war climate, anti-communist propaganda was seen as extremely important and much of Radio Free Europe’s output was supported by the CIA and was aimed at countries behind the Iron Curtain. The family followed him to Munich, staying in the Hotel Regina Palast in Munich for some weeks before accommodation was found for them in late November in the little town of Grünwald in southern Bavaria, about 10 miles from Munich.

* * * * *

Charles Day1 to Evelyn Scott

Hickman, Williams & Company
Pig Iron, Ferro-Alloys, Coal, Coke
Arcade Building
St Louis 1

September 18, 1951

My dear Evelyn:

I was extremely sorry to get the news of the various troubles that you have been running into, particularly where you have not been able to satisfactorily contact Jig.  I get to New York about once a year, generally at the time of the Iron & Steel Institute Meeting which is as a rule the latter part of May in each year.  I have, therefore, taken the liberty of writing to the head of our New York Office, Norman Craig, and have asked him to look in the telephone book and see if Creighton Scott is listed in any of the several Red Hooks and particularly the one which seems to have connection with Rhinebeck, and to, if possible to find, give me the complete address.  This was done last week and I should be hearing something from him, providing he was in town at the time I wrote, before the end of this week. [remainder of letter missing]

1Charles Day was a childhood friend of Evelyn’s from Clarksville and had met Jigg some years earlier in New York City.

* * * * *


To Creighton Scott

Hickman, Williams & Company
Pig Iron, Ferro-Alloys, Coal, Coke

September 18, 1951

Mr Creighton Scott
Pitcher Lane
Red Hook, Duchess County, New York

My dear Creighton:

I suppose I should say “Jig”, as that is the only name by which I have ever known you.  You probably do not remember me, but I met you one evening, I believe in 1938, when you were living on Commerce Street in New York City with your mother.  I am an old friend of your mother’s, having known her many years ago when she spent considerable time in Clarksville, Tennessee, with her Gracey relatives..  I had completely lost track of her whereabouts, but did know that she was writing.  Finally in 1938 I was able to secure her address, and [on a trip to New York] we had dinner together.  It was after dinner that you came in and that is the first and only time that I have ever met you.

I wish to apologize for this letter, as you might think that it is presumptuous, but I do not know how else to handle it.  The facts are as follows:  A few days ago I received a letter from your mother, which was the first time that I had had any communication with her since the above mentioned trip to New York.  In this letter she stated that she had not been able to contact you or get any real word from you for quite a long period of time.  She felt that the reason for her not receiving answers to her numerous letters was a combination of your not receiving the letters or she not receiving your answers.  Knowing that I occasionally went to New York, the main purpose in writing me was that I try to get in touch with you when next in New York and to please give her some word as to how you, your wife and children are getting along.  As I do not anticipate being in New York for almost another year, I am writing you this so that you will know that your mother is desperately anxious to hear from you.

In case you see fit to acknowledge receipt of this letter, I would appreciate it very much.  At the time your mother wrote me her address was 26 Belsize Crescent, Hampstead, London NW3, England.

I have many times recalled the very pleasant evening that we had in New York, and have regretted that conditions have been such that I was unable to get to know you better.

With very best regards to you and your family, which I understand now is quite sizable, I am,

Sincerely

* * * * *

To Evelyn Scott

Hickman, Williams & Company
Pig Iron, Ferro-Alloys, Coal, Coke

[September 19, 1951]

Dear Evelyn:

I wrote you yesterday, telling you that I had asked our New York Manager, Norman Craig, to endeavor to get Creighton’s address. I, this morning received a letter from Norman, advising me that he had located a Creighton Scott at Pitcher Lane, Red Hook, Duchess County, New York, and that the ‘phone number was 5391.  Norman put in a call to that number, but the line was busy.  He then later on got a report that the number did not answer.  He did not go beyond this, as he understood from me that what I wanted was the positive address.

I have, this morning, written Creighton a letter, copy of which I am enclosing.  Should I hear anything from him direct, I will certainly pass on the word immediately, but the main thing is that I sincerely trust that this letter will enable him to get in touch with you.  I sincerely hope the way I have handled this meets with your approval.  I can fully understand the strain this inability to get word has put on you.

My sincere regards.
Charles

* * * * *
To Charles Day

[Red Hook, New York]
September 25, 1951

Dear Mr Day–

Creighton is in Europe now, so I’ve taken the liberty of opening your letter to him.  It is too bad that you should have been troubled by Evelyn’s insatiable lust for news of us, in spite of our more or less regular letters to her.

You certainly needn’t apologise, however, for your letter, which is a much appreciated effort to be helpful.

If you wish, you may tell her that we are all about to go abroad to join Creighton, and that we are all well.

Sincerely,
Paula Scott

PS.  Not to England!  But she will soon know all about it from us direct.  And thanks again for your nice letter.

* * * * *
To Paula and Creighton Scott

26 Belsize Crescent
October 1, 1951

Darlings

Pavla’s letter, postmarked September 17th, was a joy to receive and the more so that she SIGNED IT PAVLA

Well, perhaps that was a “repeat”; and in a different category, as eager to help with the dismissal of confusion as to our precise identities on specific occasions, is Charles Day whose letter I hope Jig has received for I consider Charles really the “good egg” Jig first designated him in 1938.  Charles too has been doing his best to assure me that the Red Hook containing the Creighton Scotts and Pitcher Lane is where it is, and has written me that his personal friend Mr Norman Craig telephoned to Red Hook recently—the right Red Hook as you were in the phone book—and was sure it must be the Red Hook I was writing to, although the phone, busy a minute before, did not reply!—but we sometimes have such experiences because for one reason or another, we can’t answer when the phone begins.

I myself despise Rutherford after the way William Carlos Williams1 behaved—or appears to have—in not acknowledging letters as far as I know, and the reason I make a distinction between Pavla and him so marked as I do in not giving him the benefit of the doubt to the same extent is that we know the affections of Pavla and Jig are pure and they are loyal, and I would have supposed that Williams would try to see Jig whether or not I seemed to have received letters, since he knew us all when Jig was a child of six.

The asters are very much like the michaelmas daisies in our front yard, which are on a rampage of profusion this year, and almost conceal the flag-stones on the front terrace; but golden-rod I think has never been tried here, and though I think I have seen Queen Anne’s lace here by some other name, we have none.  A few white roses—little ones—bloomed, but not another rose—first time since I arrived that none here.  Is little Fredrick still among the family’s botanists  It will be further cause for rejoicing when any of them write to us of their own interests

I myself continue to be the world’s indefatigable correspondent, but this is partly circumstances and that awful handicap of distance.  I am now compiling for Margaret De Silver Alan Tate and “The National Institute of Arts and Letters” a precis of happenings since 19392, which have made it impossible, as yet for Evelyn Scott and John Metcalfe to return to the States, to which the had proposed to return with the end of the war.  And I think I do not require Jig’s permission to say of him and his wife that both are talented and I am proud of them and that they are artists and I hope they will be enabled to retrieve their appropriate milieu as we ours.  I mention Jig’s paintings and The Muscovites very especially and as my precis includes the precise documentation of my citizen status and covers Brazil in brief summary as relevant,

Duchess County is said to have lovely landscape.  How I hope we will soon all see yourselves and the surroundings and see you both and the four children surrounded again by real friends.

Give Dad your love  We love the six of you very much  We do not change toward him

Evelyn=Mother

Williams was a resident of Rutherford, a former lover of Evelyn’s and the paediatrician who cared for Jigg as a young child.  Evelyn had written to ask him to visit the Scotts and report on their welfare:  he did not even acknowledge her request.

This 74-page single-spaced typescript, is a detailed account of events as Evelyn saw them from 1939 until the date of its writing in late 1951. It was prompted by a suggestion from Margaret DeSilver that she might start a fund to enable Evelyn and Jack to return to the United States.

* * * * *


From John Metcalfe’s diary:

October 2, 1951: E got letters from Charles Day enclosing one to her from Paula saying Jig was in Europe.

* * * * *

 

In the autumn of 1951, Evelyn began the writing of what became a 74-page single-spaced typed document, setting out iin some detail the forces she felt were preventing her and Jack from seeing their family and from getting their books published.  Each page was headed by a short paragraph:  the first reads

“To those with Pride in the Preservation of the Ingegrity of American and British Artists and Art”

with each succeeding heading longer than the preceeding one until the heading on the final page reads

“Precis indicative of libel, to be read AS SOON AS POSSIBLE BY CREIGHTON AND PAVLA SCOTT BY THE PERSONAL FRIENDS OF JOHN METCALFE AND EVELYN SCOTT AND, if possible, BY CYRIL KAY SCOTT whom Evelyn Scott is convinced has been victimized with Life Is Too Short, either in mss or when rushed to the printers during Mr Kay Scott’s illness which was preceeded by illness among the Wellmans, this tampering or tinkering probably illegal because unauthorized and done without consulting Mr Kay Scott himself respecting certain facts involving Evelyn Scott with him and their son, these facts so controverted by interpolations in the text of Mr Kay Scott recognizably not his, that the result has been as damaging to him as to any concerned, though most of all to Mr Creighton Scott and his wife, who, inference, in a list of “acknowledgements”, might easily have been misconstrued as having somehow sanctioned a villification of Evelyn Scott which also cannot be Mr Kay Scott’s and is a controversion of the truth as to the life-long affection of son for Mother and of Mother for son–all these things intollerable and compelling and necessitation protest here.  This precis is the condensation of a longer precist to be completed in consistence with this one, and its aim is the restoration of the integrity of American and British Artists——“

Inserted in the front of this document is a short note in Paula’s handwriting:  “This MS contains an enormous amount of inaccuracy and I can only caution any reader to check almost any statement in it.  [signed] Paula Scott”

* * * * *

To Creighton Scott

October 7, 1951

Darling Jigeroo

Please you yourself acknowledge this letter as received so there will again be more than ever an occasion here as well for celebrating on that intangible basis which is all we can yet afford though we hope and hope you and Pavla Denise Fredrick Mathew Julia and perhaps your Dad can be with you then.

We love you both–Jig and Pavla–and we love the children all four and Cyril as our friend.  And we do so wish there would be a public end made of “war spites” and hypocrisies connected therewith, which probably have in some way interfered with normal communication or acted on it dissuasively there, very unjustly

Charles Day sent me the letter Pavla wrote for you about your being “in Europe”.  If it was so, it could have been no more than very temporary, and of course I realize that, ever since 1943-44, Jig has dodged our friends–love you just same Jig darling and in some measure grasp why, I think.

Pavla, in writing to Charles, said I would soon “hear all about it”–so here’s hoping we both do soon, whatever the explanation is.  Jiggie you are good sensitive and brilliant and Pavla is as fine and rare a human as even her mother thinks her–which is rating her high as she deserves.  I know you must be just as you were intrinsically.

And as Pavla has written twice since July 6th to us both and has written to Charles, it is now time we think for Jig himself to write to us of himself and permit us to love him more expressively and adequately

We love Pavla the more because we love Jiggeroo, and is the truth as to the children and Jig’s Dad.

Very very very very AFFECTIONATELY in every good sense of the word
Mother
Evelyn Dunn Scott Metcalfe nee Elsie Dunn
to complete Jig’s own record

 * * * * *

To Frederick Scott1

November 4, 1951

Dear Freddy Scott

You’ll soon be nine.  Your mind already is so fine Denise should rightly say–“Like mine!”  Your Grandmother as poor as ever, still insisting now or never, again sends word from London town that ought to turn this paper brown, she’s so disgusted every year that she and Jack continue here when, by this time, they should be near enough to bring you birthday cake!.  Publish our books for good sense sake, is our demand each night and day!  Publish our books and see they sell, and we’ll help keep four children well, and lovingly observe them grow in cozy warmth without much snow.  We’ll call sometimes in Pitcher Lane, to make sure Daddy writes again and Mother writes like him and Mathew learns to really spell and little Julia doesn’t yell.  We’re glad that Mathew, too, ‘s at school to prove no Kay-Scott is a fool.

On days when Daddy has a rest we hope he’ll really paint with zest, draw you, Denise and Mathew’s hair, just as he did when you weren’t there.  When Mother wrote the queen anne’s lace, asters and golden-rod were all over the place.  Now leaves I guess are underfoot, the chimney’s cleaned and there’s not soot, and fires are lit in a few grates.  This winter you will NOT need skates, they say.  It won’t be cold before next may.  I hope this isn’t just a joke–if so, the jokers ought to choke!

The leaves are lying on the ground. You walk on them, they make a paper sound.  But the hydrangeas are green yet, so where you have them don’t forget we have them too, and think of you.  The rose-tree, oddly, didn’t bloom till now!  The shell-pink roses were a year ago, and this year there’s just one, bloomed in October and completely white!  How do plants alter in a night?

Last summer, I lost twenty teeth!  The dentist’s still a cause for grief!  False teeth don’t fit, so I feel bit!  I can’t buy any more just yet, so indoors I’m a prisoner yet!  It isn’t fair!  I look bizarre!  So don’t forget to brush your teeth.  They’re yours, at least–that’s some relief!

Of course you’re still collecting things, though Mother writes of healthy baseball flings.  Have you as yet tried to find shells of snails, near springs or even by old water pails?

When I think very much of someone now and then I see them anyway, and I saw Julia just as plain as plain, the other day.  At least, I thought so because Pavla too was there, combing a nice baby’s just-new hair.  Do you think it was she?  I wish you’d ever write to me!

Well, anyhow, Jack and myself both hope you have the birthday cake, and you yourself won’t have to wait on us to celebrate.  You’re nine, Denise will soon be eleven and Mathew six, and the years since I was with you all are seven and Jack has not so much as seen you yet–remember we don’t change, we love you all and don’t forget.

November could be dark as night and bright for us because you’re bright–and so are Mathew and Denise

So here’s a gift no one save you can see–it’s love the love of Jack and me

Your Grandmother Evelyn

This letter is best appreciated read aloud.

* * * * *

To Creighton and Paula Scott

 

November 25, 1951

Dear Darling Good Children

You will realize I am anxiously awaiting your opinion of my intention to protest on behalf of myself yourselves and with myself and yourselves and Jack’s on behalf of Cyril Kay Scott as the author, the unauthorized tinkering that must have gone on with Life Is Too Short1 when he was ill, Paul had just been ill, and the book was scheduled to go to press.

I think Jig’s Dad had written most of it in rough draft, but had omitted the Cercadinho section because of Escapade2 and that whoever got hold of it and went through it inserted some sleazy “pulp” writing which consisted in misinterpreting Cyril and myself by just reversing the truthful account of his own and my relations then and thereafter, and that this same interloper on the fine arts, being imperfectly informed as to the reason why Ambassador Morgan at the American Embassy in Rio first issued to Cyril for him and me and Jig the Emergency Passport accepting Cyril’s change of name, just concocted a stupid pulp thriller pseudo-“explanation”, which was an occasion for rumour, has steadily raised more and more unnecessary hell for all concerned every year.

The reason, as I said in the letter sent recently, for the issuance of this Passport was humane, as I had been seriously ill most of the time since Jig’s birth and had been operated on twice within a few weeks at the Presbyterian Mission Hospital in the interior of Pernambuco, where the operator was Dr Butler, a Mayo-trained surgeon who was associated with Clare Sifton’s Father, Mr Ginsburg, as I recall it—anyhow a Jewish name that is of that type, as Claire Sifton is the daughter of a converted Jew and a gentile mother.

Please also try to find some means of reading the precis of happenings since 1939 which has been sent to Margaret De Silver, who has generously tried to bestir someone to attempting the financing of our return to the States and the end of this impossible, ambiguous living in limbo, which has resulted from our penuriousness here, and which CANNOT be any further endured.

When you have read the precis please return it to Margaret who will not offer it for general circulate [sic], but will allow it to be read by a few friends who may be helpful in deciding what is to be done to counteract on our behalf an effect of the libel which has continued during eight damn bloody years.

I think the time has come to call a halt on desecrating art.  Jig’s Dad is certainly not the man who would inscribe “antic hay” on a tomb, and still more impossible would it have been to him to despoil the lives of the living he loves as he does all his children.  He could NOT have written the cheap passages in that book, and he could NOT have knowingly allowed them because of the degrading inferences that might be drawn and harm us all.  Please speak out  Mother

This is a recurring theme. Evelyn was convinced that the manuscript of Cyril’s autobiography had been tampered with at the publishers’.

Escapade also described the time in Cercadinho: her description was much different to Cyril’s.

* * * * *


To Creighton and Paula Scott

December 9, 1951

Darlings—

Margaret De Silver writes me she has sent you the precis I compiled as my own reference for use whenever I write my own realistic and completely authentic account of the life of an author.  I hope soon to have JIG’S OWN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT that both of you have received it.  As soon as Jig can write to my letters respecting important matters and run no risk of any interference or “economic” discouragement—due sometimes probably to communicating with a mother in England—ONE of our anxieties will considerably diminish.

Can Jig’s Dad be persuaded to give us his address and his wife’s.  I should so appreciate their advice on the matter of counteracting libel, and Cyril with his accustomed insight could probably advise me wisely on some procedure to take to stop this damn mystification about my Father’s estate, also.

Please give me both of you as soon as you can your opinion on the libel which has apparently resulted from the sort of interpolated writing in Life Is Too Short.  I KNOW CYRIL COULD NOT HAVE DONE IT HIMSELF—he is too intellectual and fastidious a man.

I hope Fredrick had a nice little birthday.  He is eight now and I like to think of the nice things one can do when eight years old—the age I was in Evansville.  Mathew is going to school earlier than I did.  We hope all our behaving and as bright as good as always, including Julia who is still competing with me on teeth.

Can Pavla write sometimes a little when just she and Julia are at home and can Jig paint or write seriously at any time whatever?

We hope the house is warm and that warm clothes are enough to more than “just get by on”.  I hope soon to go to the dentist again—thanks to Margaret and Charles Day, both having helped to eeke out.  I always wish for ten times as much for your six.  How wonderful to be again able to earn money with books.

Denise Fredrick Mathew and Julia I know love you both as we love you we love you we love you we love you PLEASE ACKNOWLEDGE and see whether we can overcome impasses about mail.

Evelyn
to Jig Mother

 * * * * *

From John Metcalfe’s diary:

November 5, 1951: Letter from Maggie enclosing $25.

* * * * *

To Margaret DeSilver

December 11, 1951

Maggie darling—

I would not have supposed when Jack mailed you my letter of recent date, thanking you for the check and making for me some assurance that the precis is in the hands of both Jig and Pavla themselves, that I would be compelled, as I think I already am, to add this note.

I should think it would have become completely obvious to the veriest moron by now that Jig and Pavla do not of themselves invent situations which embarrass and distress them just as much as us, and yet this is what has happened, and is to me—my opinion—continued proof that their lives are being “directed” in some fashion or manner which just makes them serve as crook cover for whoever began libelling the Scott-Metcalfes when tampering was imposed on Cyril’s autobiography during the war, and misstatements were made so damningly disadvantageous to the author himself that it is NOT possible that he was consulted as to detail.

Something like a month ago Charles Day,whom I knew as a child and whom Jig and myself met in New York in 1938, Charles Day wrote to Jig at my request, recalling this meeting and asking for news of him and Pavla and the children to pass on to me.  I had actually asked Charles to go to Red Hook, Duchess County, to Pitcher Lane to see them both in person, because I had hoped then Charles might be going to New York and could do so without inconvenience.  But he was not able to go there as he has not been East, and as a makeshift he thought better than neglect, he asked some man who is his own friends, and an employee of the same firm, and who lives in New York, to telephone them—Jig and Pavla—at Red Hook and ask how they all were.

This friend—I have his name somewhere in letter files—ascertained they have a telephone—Creighton Scott Pitcher Lane, Red Hook, and he tried to phone and found the line busy, this, of course, suggesting someone was at home.  He repeated his phone call, but the line did not answer, and he finally gave it up, and reported this to Charles; who, also, had already written to Jig as I say.  And Charles, at about the same time he received news of his friend’s failure to connect satisfactorily with Red Hook, had a letter from Pavla in which she apologized for replying in Jig’s stead and said “Jig is abroad”.

This letter sent by Pavla to Charles Day in Saint Louis, was forwarded by Charles to me, and I had it, air mail, within a week of having already received a note from Pavla for me myself, which was the second note I have had from her since little Julia’s birth.  In fact there is every indication that she was writing to me of Red Hook and the health of the children and Jig’s commuting just when she was writing to Charles that Jig was elsewhere.

What are we to do?  It is as bad as dictator countries, to be cut of repeatedly this way from those human ties most essential to our normal lives even as are our books.

The object of the precis is to clear up every serious misunderstanding.  It is personal but its success in achieving the end we ourselves have in view would be a sign of peace here and with our own.  I don’t want to depend on Gladys, however good she has been comparatively in this respect, for an occasional very meager comment on my family even to know they still exist!

My own common sense and reason tells me they could NOT have chosen to be continually embroiled and involved in utter nonsense.  But I naturally am not cheered or assisted by allusions to Germany—the country I have never liked much—as if we were all a damn pack of “refugees” and had to go into “hiding” whenever an acquaintance phoned for an old friend.

I don’t Margaret darling know any more than you do how to be really certain Jig and Pavla themselves and not some bloody damn fake “censor” or “detective” “intelligence” holds mail up—but there we are!  Not a hand lifted yet to put a stop to pseudo “war” poppycock in the form of civil lives wrecked, and it began in 1939.

The Cyril Kay Scotts including Evelyn and John Metcalfe are NOT bloody damn criminals who must go skulking about the States, but the utter rottenness of these provocations to confusion and distress would make you think so if you did not know them.  I do NOT believe Jig is in Germany, or ever was,  And I do believe both are truthful—and that seeming inconsistencies is merely apparent.

Love—I hope you read this.  I don’t apologise, because I don’t think apologizing means a bloody thing.  But I know you must long for sense somewhere just as Jack and I do.

* * * * *

To Evelyn Scott

December 12,1951

Dear Evelyn

The précis which I sent by registered mail by Jig in Red Hook, NY, at your request, was returned to me with a forwarding address “Hotel Regina-Palast, Maximilian Platz, Munich, Germany, and a typewritten sticker from the PO saying “return to Postmaster—domestic registered mail cannot be forwarded to a foreign country”.  So I have re-registered and mailed it to the address given.  OK?

Love
Margaret

* * * * *

To Margaret DeSilver

December 27, 1951

Dear Maggie:

Thank you for sending on the temporary address.  I suppose Jig must have been “economically” compelled to go to Munich in connection with jobs.  It has been so invariable as yet that, whenever I have had anything important to tell Jig and Pavla there has been some sort of fool mix-up or shenanigan about mail that I cannot say I am surprised.  It was in what has become positive anticipation of such occurrences that I asked you whether you could find anyone to hand the precis to Jig in person, and as you mailed it instead, I suppose you could not.  I would not have troubled you with it at all, however, except that I hoped to forestall precisely what has happened.

I think it is probable that Pavla is still at Red Hook with the four children, and the whole situation is sickening, as Jig should be saved NOW from being just a damn stud-horse, and Pavla is NOT a brood-mare.  To hell with the way our lives have been made to fall out—it is senseless wreckage.

I will be for Jig FIRST as long as I live, but I am naturally affectionate in my feeling for our original Pavla and I don’t know what sort of tosh and bosh has been fed her that makes her do the sort of thing she did this time, write me mentioning Jig for the first time in literal years as “commuting” when he was writing Charles Day he was in Germany, as probably he either was already or was about to be.  I think she has been senselessly alarmed by some idea that mother is an obstacle of some sort, and this is NOT so.  I just think the shibboleths that go with too much progeny must be put an end to and something allowed both that is normal to their character and innate capacities as individuals—Jig first because of his proven talent having exceeded hers in proof, but taking her individual capacities as well into consideration as this bloody blasted damn breed thing has not allowed for her development OR his since 1943

I am somewhat bitter over Jig’s being forced “economically” to take German jobs just because Germany is NOT his milieu or that of any of us and Cyril our opinions—Jig Pavla Jack self—are diametrically the opposite of everything damn hoch-de-kaiser stood for.

Jig should NOT be in Munich, ever were it the old and far more interesting Munich known to many people fifty years ago.  Jig and Pavla are both visual artists primarily and although it is JIG WHO HAS THE INTELLECT there have also been proofs of Pavla’s sensitive quality.  It should have been FRANCE where they would be welcomed, and it strikes me as muddled folly that when Jig was there in 1949 he was reduced to nincompoop level by the sort of damn fools who now govern the French; probably the very ones who, in 1926, struck us all as too damn much like “ants” to be tolerable.

This is just opinion.  Remember I cannot see anyone, having no teeth and no money and having still to be reassured about last summer and its hefts, cannot yet leave the house.  And I do think it is a criminal commentary on the entire Scott-Metcalfe situation that an American artist and creative author of Jig’s proven ability, who has, also, proven ability in those practical ways that have to matter, though things should not have come to this, has to go to a German city to pick up bloody damn crumbs in order to support a family that would never have been of its present dimensions but for just the sort of bloody alternate sex starvation and over propagation bloody religious dictation imposes.  [ . . . ]

[Typed carbon copy, not signed.  Handwritten insertions.  UTK: 511217]

* * * * *

To Creighton Scott

December 28, 1951

Mr Creighton Scott
Hotel Regina-Palast
Maximilian Platz
Munich, Germany

Darling Jigeroo

I hope this can be forwarded to you as I suppose this address is merely temporary and Jack and myself would so much like to see you at least for a week or so before you go home to the USA.

I also suppose I might have known should I send any mail of real importance to yourself and Pavla something would happen, if not what has, an obstacle of some sort to your receiving it.  I have this address because the precis was sent to you at Pitcher Lane for Pavla and yourself to read and send to your Dad.  I had first sent it to Margaret De Silver with the request that, since she almost never sees you and Pavla any more, she try to find someone to give it to you in person. She mailed it instead, probably having had too much to do to look for anyone and having, apparently, more faith in circumstances than I have; and the Postmaster at Red Hook returned it to her with the above address on it as the forwarding address for you.  And she at once sent it on to that address as she never should have since it represents about two months of work for me, off and on, of course, and hotel addresses are seldom more than temporary.

I can’t be annoyed with her because she has really saved the day with the help she has given respecting many of our problems in being still stranded here “economically”, damn it, but I wish she had thought twice, and the awful anxieties I have had ever since we have been here as a result of the lack of communication with you darling Jig, has been hell.

However, I will just hope that the hotel forwards it if necessary and you will receive it and write to tell me and say something of why you are in Germany and whether or not you can visit us here briefly as we hope and have a steamer rug please bring it as blankets are our present greatest need when anyone is here.

The precis was sent especially because of my opinion, which cannot be shaken, that somebody tampered with Cyril’s autobiography at those points involving ourselves before and since our divorce, and that this tampering, just before the book was completed, when first your stepbrother had been ill and Cyril had been to his bedside, then Cyril himself had been ill, was done without consultation with him and that he has never since been in a position to publically protest the incontestable great damage done him us and yourselves because he and his wife also are under “economic” duress.

This is far more than a “merely” personal issue and as long as I live I will do everything I can to smash “silencers”. It is my conjecture that I aroused enmity by reporting an intimidating janitor, in the early stages of the war, in New York, and that some very low minion of the police department made this a pretext for meddling with the lives of moral and intellectual superiors and somehow somebody on some other pretext which, since, has been carefully “white-washed” by utter scum, tried to “get even” that way.

* * * * *

Evelyn’s continuing obsession with sending her précis to Jigg and with the “tampering” of Cyril’s book continue into the following months, Not even a plan to bring her and Jack back to the United States would temper these concerns,