Feb. 22nd ’35.
Now that your miracle is in a fair way to be accomplished, I still find it difficult to believe. Partly because just now I can register things only mentally. I see the light on the sea & the gulls vol-planing down the wind, but there is nothing in me that answers. I am glad to find, however, that I do feel grateful to you for all you have done & are doing. I hear you talking & booming, & I feel grateful. And I will do my best not to create difficulties; extra, special, frilly difficulties, beyond those that stand there & stare at me. Such as, for example, the fact that I cannot pay D. £3, let alone £300, or whatever it is he asks (you have the detailed account) save by passing on what is paid to me; that some definite arrangement must be made in regard to the American rights, which will in the long run be more valuable than the British; (they are mine & not D’s); also in regard to translation rights. Incidentally, if the re-issue is to wait for a whole year after the appearance of the new book &, meanwhile D. is to cease publication, there will be a big gap – for Heaven alone knows when I’ll be able to finish the book.
I will write to Mr Cohen in the course of a few days.
Pray for me Kot, with or without shawl, & send strengthening thoughts.
Also n.b., when you go out to lunch on
Monday, please drink your coffee to my health, I mean drink my health in coffee, & the health of volume XI. For I hear that both, on that day, are to be gravely toasted in New York at a luncheon which is to precede a discussion of Pilgrimage. I will undertake, for my part, to blush, at two o’clock precisely. Genuinely, & not merely as a result of standing, myself, glass in hand, as I am, in social honour, bound to do. For, if you can believe it, a reader of mine who wrote to me for the first time a few weeks ago, asking where certain volumes could now be obtained and, in response to my answer, told me of this literary meeting, has ordered Fortnum & Mason, in Piccadilly, to send a “toast” down here so that I can, in a sense, be at the party. Now is that not American, and charming? The little note I sent was merely to the point in question; no word, naturally, as to any personal circumstances. So this fraternal wine is just an enchanting gesture. We shall don velvet coats & have a jar of wild flowers on the table. So don’t forget.