4 January 1923

La Prieuré, Fontainebleau, Avon

   But such grand flights being impossible I burned what boats I had and came here where I am living with about fifty to sixty people, mainly Russians. It is a fantastic existence, impossible to describe. One might be anywhere - in Bokhara or Tiflis or Afghanistan (except alas! for the climate!). But even the climate does not seem to matter so much when one is whirled along at such a rate. For we do most decidedly whirl. But I cannot tell you what a joy it is to me to be in contact with living people who are strange and quick and not ashamed to be themselves. It's a kind of supreme airing to be among them.
   But what nonsense this all sounds. That is the worst of letters; they are fumbling things.
   I haven't written a word since October and I don't mean to until the spring. I want much more material, I am tired of my little stories like birds bred in cages.
   But enough. Dear Elizabeth, I have not thanked you even for the Enchanted April. It is a delectable book; the only other person who could have written it is Mozart.
   My [word missing], from the moment they arrived in Italy had a separate blissful existence of its own. How do you write like that? How? How?
   Do you see John, I wonder? He sounds very happy and serene - Life is a mysterious affair!
   Goodbye, my dearest Cousin. I shall never know anyone like you; I shall remember every little thing about you for ever.
                       Lovingly yours,
                           Katherine. [To Elizabeth, Countess Russell, 31 December 1922.]