Rebecca's Diary is an object carried by Rebecca Norton. Cath can access it in her Compartment E
"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.”
“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 rae vie intene” in this rattling, old box racing into the future...then she made me sleep up above. There I lay, gusting 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 Zathruasta”. 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 Tear 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 mentined 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 smeak 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 fuddenly 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 volinist. 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 debesing it must be to be a professional artul 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