We were going to the valley of the Rh?ne for the first time since the war and Janet and a friend in a duplicate Godiva were to come too. I will tell about this very soon.
We soon got to know them all well and some of them very well. There was Duncan, a southern boy with such a very marked southern accent that when he was well into a story I was lost. Gertrude Stein whose people all come from Baltimore had no difficulty and they used to shout with laughter together, and all I could understand was that they had killed him as if he was a chicken. The people in N?mes were as much troubled as I was. A great many of the ladies in N?mes spoke english very well. There had always been english governesses in N?mes, and they, the nimoises had always prided themselves on their knowledge of english but as they said not only could they not understand these americans but these americans could not understand them when they spoke english. I had to admit that it was more or less the same with me.
So taking both passports I went down stairs to see the officials. Ah, said one of them, and where is Miss Gertrude Stein. She is on deck, I replied, and she doe& not care to come down. She does not care to come down, he repeated, yes that is quite right, she does not care to come down, and he affixed the required signatures. So then we arrived in London. Edith Sitwell gave a party for us and so did her brother Osbert. Osbert was a great comfort to Gertrude Stein. He so thoroughly understood every possible way in which one could be nervous that as he sat beside her in the hotel telling her all the kinds of ways that he and she could suffer from stage fright she was quite soothed. She was always very fond of Osbert. She always said he was like an uncle of a king. He had that pleasant kindly irresponsible agitated calm that an uncle of an english king always must have.
The most moving thing Gertrude Stein has ever written is The Life and Death of Juan Gris. It was printed in transition and later on translated in german for his retrospective show in Berlin.
There were CÃ©zannes to be seen at Vollardâ€™s. Later on Gertrude Stein wrote a poem called Vollard and CÃ©zanne, and Henry McBride printed it in the New York Sun. This was the first fugitive piece of Gertrude Steinâ€™s to be so printed and it gave both her and Vollard a great deal of pleasure. Later on when Vollard wrote his book about CÃ©zanne, Vollard at Gertrude Steinâ€™s suggestion sent a copy of the book to Henry McBride. She told Vollard that a whole page of one of New Yorkâ€™s big daily papers would be devoted to his book. He did not believe it possible, nothing like that had ever happened to anybody in Paris. It did happen and he was deeply moved and unspeakably content. But to return to that first visit.