9-12 May, 1924
I arrived in London on the 9th in the mid-afternoon and had a lovely time with my father and new mother. I am always in awe of how the mere presence of those you love can be such a immensely powerful method of detoxification. We did not stay in for long, though, for the next day we went to visit friends, look several walks in the city and then had a perfect dinner in the center of London. After that, time sort of blurs together (oh how I am ashamed to admit it!), though believe that I do remember most of it.
Honestly, I did not plan to forget my troubles by attending party after party, but my friends and family pounced on me and, well, a little persuasion and a few drinks was really all that was needed to get the ball rolling, so they say in America. And what better cure for one’s troubles than two nights of drinking, dancing and acting as if you haven’t a care in the world? Besides the peer pressure, I also put blame squarely on my stepmother, Aurelia, who wasted no time in presenting me with a divine dress that simply begged to be worn. While in the course of my work and everyday life I am not overly interested in skirts and dresses, I must admit that when it comes to an evening out I can be as dreadfully girlish as most of my sex manages to be at all hours of the day. I do love to dance and to just let go once in a while. Perhaps that is how I can maintain such a dull and serious air most of the time!
But, alas, it is but a temporary high. Nothing has been resolved, and I am left with a headache and a desire to escape once more from the pressures of the real world. I must be strong and resist the temptation to repeat the ordeal, though. Once in a while, yes, I will indulge. But now it is time to get down to work.
Oh, but I did, however, run into Kathleen Kenyon while I was out. She is now eighteen, just four years younger than me, and she quite surprised me by saying that she admired me! Why, I had not thought that anyone even noticed me at all! I am certainly no Gertrude Bell or Margaret Murray or Winifred Lamb! But of course I attempted to be humble and accepted the praise graciously, for who am I to correct the daughter of the director of the British Museum? But my interest in her is not only selfish. She does indeed have a wealth of interesting contacts, but she is also an intelligent, enlightened young woman and an interesting conversationalist. I have not felt so close to another woman in a long while, since dearest Priscilla.
I am debating how much to tell her about what went on in India. I would feel safer entrusting some of the specifics of this mystery—though certainly not all of it!—to a woman that I can relate to rather than any number of stuffy old men who run the museums and academies and institutes here. Some of them are quite nice (except that Earl of Balfour…I cannot stand the man!), but they might take one look at the amulet and decide that they must have it and the glory of deciphering it all to themselves. No, enquiries would have to be very, very careful.
Ugh, I fear it is time for a nap. Perhaps that will chase away the throbbing that plagues my skull.