Letter from Katherine Fite to Mr. and Mrs. Emerson Fite, September 9, 1945. K. Lincoln Papers, War Crimes File. (Harry S. Truman Presidential Museum & Library)
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Sunday, Sept. 9,
Last night in London and I hate to leave. It is a charming old city. Am all packed, and how I get everything in is more than I know. I shall carry my hats wrapped up in a scarf, and two handbags and an umbrella and two coats and wear my uniform plus sweater and my Army raincoat with winter lining buttoned in. I am at the moment waiting for Watty - he is back from Germany and in this hotel. I shall suggest a bus ride to St. Paul's and back, tho it is even now getting dark - the days are waning rapidly.
Have had a most interesting last day. Miss Shelling had told me to look up Thackeray's granddaughter which I put off doing. Friday night I decided she'd scalp me if I didn't, and that it would do no harm to phone. The which I did and was promptly urgently invited to lunch. Her husband was an American, a Mr. Fuller. So a niece or cousin was to drive me to Wimbledon. I joined her in a slummy part of town where as a doctor she maintains a "surgery", and off we went in a minute Ford, with right hand drive, surely built for the British trade. Wimbledon, where Mrs. F. lives, is lovely - with its common or green - small row house - but the most beautiful garden with enormous asters, nasturtiums, apples, pears, and everything. Lunch was marrow stuffed with meat hash - a large vegetable speading the size of a family omelet - potatoes - more marrows and tomatoes and puffs with a sort of whipped cream and jam. They probably wasted rations but I took them four Hershey bars.
After lunch, I saw the Thackerayana - his furniture, portrait as a young man - Sargent's portrait of his daughter - his own copies of his works - his schoolbooks. The thing that appealed to me most was his school copy of Horace with pencil pictures and words translated in the margin. He was at the Charterhouse School which was printed in Latin on the title page. He had added in pencil, "Some say this is a good school". Then out came his pen, his paints, his sand box - his seal - Browning's mother's lorgnettes, a purse, many copies of his handwriting. I sat on a sofa Charlotte Bronte had sat on. All very Victorian. But I had a delightful time. A very charming German refugee lives with her. And they had had two American officers billeted in that small house. Later to tea with Hope French whom E.D.F. may remember.
Interrupted. Watty called. We bussed to St. Paul's which I love - still beautiful at night with the street lights lighting up the white parts - most of the stone is black with age or smoke. The fire at the time of the Blitz stopped short of it. Then walked over to the Old Lady of Threadneedle St. - and back by bus to a pub. So it has been a good day. And tomorrow I do my uniform and we're off to Germany around 9.30. Will write soon. Am eager to see if mail comes faster or slower.
I love you all dearly and get homesick for 112 even after our short tenure. I sent Nannie a card. Ask her if she got it.
Lots of love,