Following the quite dreadful and emotionally exhausting week after Christmas — as well as the long months before — during which Jac had suffered from Jim Perrin’s intransigence; and her consequent decision to go to Yorkshire for three weeks to escape him, ref. our post Gone to Ground, he tried, as was always his way with her, to overrule her wishes.
Even in the aftermath of his uncontrolled assault on one of her sons, ref. our post Breaking Point, and after the melodrama of his caravan ‘sit in’, he wrote to her from the caravan, only days later, a letter which was (unbelievably, considering the very recent circumstances) still full of recrimination, and annoyance with her sons, family and friends. At the end of this two-page letter — with no hint of remorse, contrition or apology for his recent behaviour— he tried to persuade/prevent Jac from going away to stay with her ‘Yorkshire’ sister as they had planned after he had attacked her son…
Bearing in mind his latest transgressions — even his cruelty towards her, he still (amazingly, it seems to us) had the nerve to write to her in this vein. For background to this, please read our post ‘Swallow Falls’ in which we describe how Jim Perrin had, in a conversation with our sister, blamed her family for his own failure to be able to relate to his son. Not unnaturally she had refuted this yet given the circumstances we have shown above, he still, like a dog with a bone, wrote the letter from which we now quote, which demonstrates his determination always to justify himself:
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He began, with no preamble and straight in: ‘I don’t know where it gets us, returning to this one. For the record, Will didn’t come here as often as to Manchester House [the house he moved from to live at Jac’s] because he might have run into the boys — they were simply not to his taste. He abhorred — was brought up to abhor — bullshit in any form, and your boys, in his company, traded in that commodity — therefore he wished to avoid them. And I totally understand and sympathise with that. As to no-one being here the last three times he came — NOT TRUE. At Easter — there were many people here, including the boys, and he was abashed by it. When we [J.P. and Jac] got back from La Gomera [Jac’s son] was here, and [nephew] and [friend] called in later. On the last occasion, when he had his stitches out, that time too [Jac’s son] and [nephew] and [friend] were around. Please don’t argue any more on this — these facts are correct.’
It is clear from this text that Jac had been attempting some kind of ‘defence’ against his accusatory stance; it is equally clear, from his response in this letter — as well as from our notes, that he was as usual being entirely unreasonable: he was endlessly jealous.
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As we have said before, it was Jac’s family and their friends to whom he was referring! And as it was Jac herself * who took out Will’s stitches, the words Jim Perrin uses there are rather odd. We wonder too how he expected the cats — all seven of them — could have been fed while he and our sister were away in La Gomera had there been no-one at the house. And then, after much more of the same, he writes at the end :
‘I would think the right thing is for you to stay here — and for us to re-establish in all things. I want you to do this. If you love me and want to be with me you will do this. It’s a foolish and wrong idea to go to Yorkshire at this time. Think about it and be wise’.
He is so bumptious, and determined to control her and always there is his consummate will to dominate…
Of course Jac did go to Yorkshire — she was by now entirely against him; her daughter drove her as she and Jac’s sisters had arranged, and she was more happy there and more relaxed than she had been for a very long time. When one considers that this visit followed her penultimate session of a gruelling six-part course of chemotherapy, it shows how desperate she was to avoid the pressure to which Jim Perrin constantly subjected her; and her desire to be free from him: she certainly told us so at the time when she related the endless occasions of his mistreatment.
* Jac knew Will little — he had been away much of the time she had been with Jim Perrin — but she nevertheless knew him well enough to be confided in and he had told her of his unhappiness and that he was made to feel he could never live up to his father.