Cooper, Ethel – September 1917
I have just met Frau Jaeger at the station, had supper with her, and we sat on and gossiped over the last month.
…she tells me that she had not heard from me for a week, and thought something was wrong. My letters are certainly being held back again – it can’t be only chance that I so often find that they are delayed or go astray.
I am feeling very cheerful. The Consul sent for me on Thursday to say that Berlin had telephoned to ask if my pass had reached me safely. Anyway he says I shall certainly get it this time.
And the next day, Mrs. Oldenbourg sent me on £35 from Mr. Bullock. The last I had reached me in February, and for weeks I have been living on the proceeds of things that I sold and from what the Consul could advance me.
Yesterday morning I saw Frau Jaeger off to Kissingen, where her husband is taking the baths. She made the kindest suggestion, that instead of taking a room if I am here on the 1st, I should go to her and stay there till I know what I am going to do. In these times….I accepted very gratefully, and shall move there towards the end of the month.
I hate the station with its endless tramp of soldiers going away, and the endless rows of crying women, waving till the trains are out of sight. I don’t know which is more tragic – 1914, with the music and flowers and enthusiasm, or the utter hopelessness now.
In spite of certain discomforts, I enjoy a move – one makes so many discoveries. Last week, in the top shelf of the kitchen cupboard, I found a bottle of lamp-oil. I fried some potatoes in it and they were not at all bad, and since then I have used it every day for frying my bread for breakfast.
Here is my last letter from the Grassistrasse, for in a few days I move to Mrs. Jaeger’s.
It is chilly – in other years, one would have been heating for the last week or two, but now one just sits in one’s coat!
It is strange – I have spent 5 ½ years in this flat, and have nothing but pleasant memories of it – even the last three years have been more happily spent here than they could have been anywhere else in Germany, and yet I am leaving it without a single regret.
The German official reports are very scanty, but the fighting in the West seems to be terrible.