she carried her story very little way. From the beginning of the letters the autobiography stopped. It started abruptly, and ended in the same way.
There were trial titles in the MS. notes. "Between the Nisi and the Absolute" competed in favour with "The Love Story of a Woman of Genius."
Margaret Belinda Rysam was the daughter of a New Yorker on the up-grade. Her father began to make money when she was a baby and never left off, even to take breath, until she was between thirteen and fourteen. Then his wife died, not of a broken heart, but of her appetites fed to repletion, and an overwhelming desire for further provender. Her poor mouth, so much larger than her stomach, was always open. He piled a great house on Fifth Avenue into it and a bewilderment of furniture, modern old Masters and antiquities, also pearls and other jewellery. She never shut it, although later there were a country house to digest and some freak entertainments, a multiplicity of reporters and a few disappointments. The really "right people" were difficult to secure, the nearly "right people" were dust and ashes. A continental tour was to follow and a London season.... Before they started she died of a surfeit which the doctors called by some other name and operated upon, expensively.
In the pause of the hushed house and the funeral