Rebecca's Diary is an object carried by Rebecca Norton. Cath can access it in her Compartment E whenever she and Sophie are not present. It also serves as the epilogue for the game's various endings.
Contents[edit | edit source]
First Entry[edit | edit source]
"Friday, July 24th, evening
At last! To-day Sophie and I set forth on our journey. A journey to the east, away from the London and Paris we have seen far too much of, and toward an unknown future. The sense of liberty is intoxicating. Surely even the most jaded appetite cannot resist the thrill of travel: the glamor and bustle of the Gare de l'Est, the furtive glances of the passengers as they assess each other (for three days can be a very long time crowded together in these elegant carriages); and then the irrevocable moment when the train begins to move forward, the rhythm growing, the countryside beginning to flash by, and the past is left behind...
No more Reginald, with his wet little handshake and mild assurances of our future together. (In his underheated flat with his mother's furniture!) Sophie has saved me in her careless, wonderful way! I have made the break; I do not care! Even my mother agrees that Sophie, daughter of her closest friend, is the perfect travelling companion to help me recover from my broken heart. We have escaped!
Of course, I must remember that Sophie has travelled more widely than I. How jealous I always was, hearing her stories of that rich and gorgeous lifestyle she led before we met! But now, I too can lay claim for some adventure when I, the little grey mouse, will be able to tell a tale or two~though of course I shall always remain silent; I shall see my experience reflected in the eyes of my beloved.
They have called the second service. Sophie is hungry. Until later.
Sophie seemed bored at dinner; I hope this trip was the right decision. But I will make it right; she will see. Very tired now, I shall lie in my little cot and watch the ceiling sway. Until tomorrow.”
Second Entry[edit | edit source]
“Saturday, July 25
Dear Friend: Last night, my seductress allowed me to sit by the side of her bed for a long time and brush her hair. How happy I was! Her embrace pulls me into a dream - far away from my old, upholstered world - at last “une vraie vie intime” in this rattling, old box racing into the future...then she made me sleep up above. There I lay, guarding her slumber like an old and faithful dog. She is beautiful in her sleep.
We joked about our fellow travelers. There’s a fat German businessman with a little red mouth; he speaks very loudly to the waiter and strokes the lapels of his jacket with plump fingers. In the corridor I passed a dark, seedy young student type, Russian I think, who is rather self-consciously carrying a copy of “Also Sprach Zarathustra”. There are two other Russians in our own car, an old gentleman with a lovely young schoolgirl. Madame Boutarel tells me he is a Count and some sort of cousin of the Tsar at least I think so, as her English is hardly better than my French.
I forgot to mention Madame B. She and her son are in the compartment next to ours, and with her husband across the way. (Isn‘t marriage wonderful!) M. Boutarel is an engineer of some sort, and he is taking them all to live in some little town in Persia. Madame B grits her teeth when she talks about it, emphasising the importance of her husband's work. I told her it may not be as bad as she expects, although of course it'll probably be worse. At least in the desert their little boy will be able to make all the racket he wants without bothering anyone.
Madame Boutarel also mentioned that a real Harem and its guard, a Eunuch, are travelling in the first sleeping car. We have seen little of them. Sophie says we should sneak into their chambers after dinner, but I think their guard would see this in a very dim light.
Just down the corridor is a compartment filled with Gypsies with execrable manners and rough clothing. One, I think, is clearly a woman travelling dressed as a man; flashing eyes, and a nasty expression. How can they afford a first class sleeper? What a snob I‘ve suddenly become! I don‘t imagine I could ask them! but I‘m sure Madame B will find out.
To be complete, I suppose I must mention the American: earnest, square shouldered, quite uninteresting. But I have saved the best for last; she is a dark severe Venus, travelling alone. The conductor tells me she is Anna Wolff, the concert violinist. Very self possessed, solitary (dreadful dark mauve hat with two peaks in it; she looks like a Cardinal in sateen). Yet she is surprisingly sociable to the fat German. How debasing it must be to be a professional artist and have to buy up good connection. I would love to talk to her, but as usual, I do not dare. Imagine to be an artist, and travel throughout Europe alone! Sophie tells me I lack confidence.
Ah well I suppose one is far too likely to ascribe to all kinds of dramatic stories to people on trains, who are merely travelling about their business. But I have spent too many afternoons at endlest tear with pleasant people whose kindness is all the same! I need adventure!
Underneath everything is the rocking sound of the train, receding into the lack of everyone's consciousness.
Last night apparently there was quite a little drama, though of course Sophie and I missed it all. The Russian Count had some sort of seizure and is very ill. It must be horrible for his granddaughter. Sophie is all for trying to console her personally; she says she will be one of greatest heiresses in Europe, and that it would do no harm to become better acquainted. But then Sophie has always had a “tendresse“ for the young and helpless. Miss Wolff has taken the little princess in hand; I‘m sure she will be much better off with her help.
Third Entry[edit | edit source]
July 25 evening
Dear Friend, I neglected to mention the dark gentleman, a Prince (we are told) named Kronos, whose private car is attached to our train. He had kept very much to himself until this afternoon, when he suddenly announced a concert with Miss Wolff in his state-room. Madame Boutarel says that he is a noble man of some strange tribe from North Africa, that he has made an enormous fortune in diamond mining, that he has his own private army, and even more unlikely stories. Madame ß was quite excited about the concert until she realised she wasn’t going to be invited; after that she demoted him from Prince and started making the most unkind insinuations about his ancestry.
After such a buildup, I was rather sorry to meet only a very elegant gentleman, curiously flat in his manner, a bit dusky certainly but otherwise disappointingly European. The only mal exoticism came from his African servant. Should I even call her a servant? She is so extraordinarily beautiful, in a way that brings to mind Greek status, that one can’t help speculating as to the nature of their relationship (I won’t repeat Sophie's comment). But there is something about the Prince that makes it impossible to imagine him being intimate with a woman, or with a man for that matter. He seems...aware of people, yet uninterested. His private car holds a large unusual modern art collection—most surreal in a disturbing way.
They chose the Franck violin sonata. The Prince played surprisingly well for someone with so much money. As for Anna Wolff, she was all I had hoped for. Sophie thought her cold, but I disagree. Her playing is disciplined and unsentimental; it does not aim to please, but beneath the cool surface their is passion and vitality to spare. How I shivered all during the finale! 'I am alive, alive, I am not dead' the violin seemed to be insisting: a lone voice, brave and defiant to the end. I cannot get that little phrase out of my head.
Sophie says Miss Wolff dresses in too unfeminine a manner and has no money. Still, I would like the chance to know her better.
A most unusual thing happened which I must relate. In the middle of the concert, the door to the Prince’s inner compartment opened and who should walk out but the American, carrying a suitcase, looking rumpled and a bit dirty. No apology, not even embarrassment that he’d just walked through someone’s home (which is really what it was), just a smirk! Before anyone could react, he was gone. Kronos and Miss Wolff continued to play as if nothing had happened. Afterwards, I began to wonder if it had really happened. But Sophie assured me she was as startled as I. What was behind that little episode? The traveling life is full of mysteries.
All day today, Sophie has been casting her sloe eyes at the American and the German businessman in the way I know so well. Of course Sophie can not help but attract admirers. She flirts by habit, like a woman who, dancing in a close embrace, still searches the nest of the room with a yearning glance. Of course the German is very good for her. But the American! Those stupid quips and jokes, that syrupy voice—it makes me feel sick just to look at him. When I was engaged to Reginald, Sophie laughed at me for even thinking of touching such a man, now look at his own behavior!
I still think of Reginald, standing by the fire, looking at nothing, after I had told him it was impossible. For the first time then, I had an impulse to put my hand on his shoulder. I did not do it; but for some reason the memory has not left me, I don’t know why. I do not want to live a life of negation, of things not done. It is hard to love Sophie. To-day before the concert, I was in such misery that I had determined to end it, and to tell her tonight. But then, as the music flowed over us, she leaned over and grasped my hand, the felt the warmth, the smoothness of her skin. In an instant my bitterness was swept away; all was understood and forgiven. I must remind myself that I have never been so happy.
Still I dread the island. Why did she have to invite Josephine? Who else has she told? I cannot even ask her.
Fourth Entry[edit | edit source]
I am not sure exactly what has happened, but it is surely something terrible. It seems that the Russian student attacked Count Obolensky, and the Count, although a very old and ill man, struck him dead in self-defense. Now this young man, whom I saw only this afternoon playing chess with the Count’s grand-daughter, lies cooling in the baggage car. They say the police will straighten everything out when we get to Budapest.
Sophie refuses to discuss the incident. Events that happen outside her immediate circle of warmth and light are quite unimportant to her. It's just the same when I try to read her the morning papers. She doesn't believe there will be a war, and that's politics as an advanced form of gossip between countries.
But the farther we get from London, the easier it is for me to believe we are on the brink of some terrible conflagration. The headlines of foreign papers trumpet more loudly than the Chronicle, and it is news we never hear. With every stop, the crowds that surround the train seem to grow more threatening, shouting in strange tongues as if they mean to smash the windows and pull us from the train. Now there has been a murder. I am terrified; but in some small part of myself, I want to grab everyone and scream at them: "Tell me what you know! Tell me everything you know!"
Sophie wants me to read to her. She says she is bored. Perhaps she is a little frightened as well. I must go.