1 Ladbroke Gardens
Notting Hill Gate
9th October 1914
My dear Eugénie
Excuse my not having replied before to your last letter which, I am sorry to say, has gone, together with all the other things in my pocket book, my pocket having been picked just a fortnight ago today.
It is very kind of you to ask us to go and stay with you, and we thoroughly appreciate your kindness in asking us to do so, but you see, it would not be wise for us to leave our boarding house, as we might not be able to get our rooms again, they are all so full now with the influx of French and Belgian refugees.
We had to leave Queens Gardens on account of being too high up. Fannie cannot manage stairs, otherwise we were very comfortable there. We went from there to Harrington Gardens, but there it was too awful, so had to search again. Here we are very comfortable and cheaper than at Queens Gardens which, under the circumstances, is very appreciable, more especially when you get more than £20 “escamote” out of your product “en un chi d’oeil”, as I did.
We hope to get back to Paris before long, but question when that will be.
Before we do leave, I shall try and run down to see you for 24 hours as I should like to see you all, being so near.
Fan I saw on Friday, she was looking well, she is also going away for a few days or so into Devonshire.
Gus, I have had no news of for some time past, it seems impossible to get him to write to anyone.
We had great difficulty getting away from Paris but I will tell you all about this when I see you.
Things look on the whole better, but still all is most mysterious in this war, so it is really impossible to know what really is going on. The papers know absolutely nothing and are full of a lot of rotten inventions; there is only one thing real and that is that, when we left Paris, the Germans were very near the doors of Paris and now they are at about 150 kilometres, but they seems to stick there stubbornly.
Have you any news of Arthur and the others?
Fannie joins me in love to you all (many thanks for your kind invitation), hoping you are now feeling quite well again.
Your affectionate brother
PS – Excuse this scrawl, pen and ink awful.