It’s gone. The valise.
She knows the porter put it right there. And she went to get a bottle of water. She’s come back. And now it’s gone.
American ex-pat Hadley Hemingway, 31, is traveling to Lausanne, Switzerland, to visit her husband, American foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star, Ernest Hemingway, 23, who is covering the Lausanne Peace Conference.
Ernie’s been there for about a week; he’d begged her to come with him, but Hadley hadn’t been feeling well. When she received his letter yesterday saying how much he missed her, she threw together some skiing clothes and stuffed a small valise full of the fiction stories he’s been working on. Hadley figured he’d want to show them to his friend, American investigative reporter Lincoln Steffens, 56.
Lincoln Steffens and Ernest Hemingway in Lausanne
And now they’re gone.
She finds the porter who helped her and they search the whole train. Nada.
Hadley is devastated. How is she going to tell Ernie?! All his hard work. His first novel. The writing that is so much more important to him than the journalism he’s being paid for.
All the carbons were in the valise too.
In Lausanne, Hemingway is filing story after story about the conference which brings together leaders from Great Britain, France, Greece, Italy and Turkey.
Lord Curzon, Benito Mussolini and Raymond Poincare in Lausanne
For the Toronto Star. But also for the American Hearst publications. And the International News Service (INS), using the name “John Hadley,” so the Star won’t catch him.
But the INS has become suspicious. They have asked for some more details about the expense claims Hemingway has been turning in. That just makes Ernie angry, so he sends them a cable:
SUGGEST YOU UPSTICK BOOKS ASSWARD.”
Today Hemingway is looking forward to seeing his wife, Hadley, just arriving from Paris. At the train station he sees her step out onto the platform. He can’t believe the look on her face. She’s obviously been crying for hours.
What on earth could have happened to upset her so much?!
“Such Friends”: 100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”: The Literary 1920s. Volumes I through III, covering 1920 through 1922 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at the Osher program at Carnegie-Mellon University.
Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.
If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.