Date of publication
Linklater, Eric. ‘New Novels’. The Listener, vol. 7, no. 163, 24 Feb. 1932, p. 285; West, Geoffrey. ‘Time and Tide’. The Times Literary Supplement, no. 1572, 17 Mar. 1932, p. 196.
Selection of short stories from Time and Tide. A short enthusiastic foreword by John Galsworthy. No editorial commentary from Delafield, but she includes two of her own short stories: Gladys (pp62-67): Gladys is a fellow-guest of the narrator at a boarding-house. She is older, and her asthmatic husband Raymond a rather ridiculous old flirt. It turns out, however, that Gladys has been married before; her husband was in the Indian Army and they had a little girl. But she fell in love with Raymond, and went to Ceylon with him, hoping her first husband would divorce her and allow her to see her daughter. Eventually she got her divorce, but wasn’t allowed to see her daughter; she and Raymond have been quite poor afterwards. The narrator suggests to her that she has been brave, and Gladys agrees, but when it is suggested that Raymond was worth the sacrifice, her response is “Oh, I didn’t say that.” Sophy Mason Comes Back (pp287-304) A man called Fenwick tells a ghost story set in a house in a French provincial town. It was empty most of the year but in the summer a family would come, with an English ‘mees’ (governess) called Sophy Mason. Sent ahead to the country with the children, Sophy met and fell in love with a man called Alcide Lamotte, the charismatic son of a farmer. Betrayed to her employer, Sophy was persuaded to give him up in order to keep her job. Alcide did not propose to her to resolve the issue. Later, Sophy found herself pregnant, and wrote to Alcide for help. He ignored her and so she went down to the countryside to see him; he murdered her. Her employer and her only family at home (she was the illegitimate child of her late mother) were unworried by her disappearance and assumed she had run away. Fenwick came to know one of the grown-up children, Amede, who told the story of her disappearance. One day, near the house, Amede is told that a skeleton has been found. A witness comes forward who says she saw a man resembling Alcide dragging the body of a woman there. Fifteen years later, Alcide, rich after years in America, returned to the town. He has a business proposition for Amede, and comes to dinner. Sophy’s ghost appears at the meal, sobbing and wringing her hands. But Alcide notices nothing, and Fenwick is most frightened by his ability to separate his violent past from his successful present.