We do of course quite understand why, after her death, Jim Perrin should have wished to stay on at our sister’s house; and given his particular circumstances — out-lined in our previous posts — the remote moorland location and the low costs of living there made it ideal for him: but, as we have shown, his plan to take over the tenancy had markedly failed.
However, even while Jac was alive, his dissatisfaction was never far from the surface. He actively discouraged visitors — both her family and her friends — sometimes even sneakily disconnecting the telephone (although it was not at first realised by the family that he had done so) as he was less able to be in control, of her and of the situation, when they were not alone; as he wrote to her once:
‘When you began to re-engage with your former acquaintances and with your family, things began to go wrong.’ !?!?!
This was written when she had returned to her own home after staying at his house for just under three weeks and he had been completely in charge! ref. Jac’s Accident and he wrote, in another letter — he had by this time moved into her house:
‘From the moment I came here you began to withdraw, and a different pattern started to assert itself [sic] between us. I usurped the monopoly of affection and attention, sexuality, [!] and shared activity formerly held by your sons.’
Please read our post, ‘Jim Perrin Writes to Our Sister’ with the following three posts (his letters) for more details. We think these letters are proof, not only of his controlling mind-set but also, possibly, of psychopathic tendencies: we believe, given all that we witnessed while our sister was alive, and have learned since she died, that he is a man with a most questionable personality: indeed who would write so, and who would behave as he has done?
He would frequently disparage Jac and compartmentalise her if he could: except when, after she died, he rushed to write his Observer article; then the chapter containing such lies about her in his book The Climbing Essays and followed by West, his ‘simply heart-rending ‘magnum opus’ which contained so much that is a fundamentally dishonest record of Jac (as well as others). In our opinion it is merely a vehicle for his ego and his fanciful descriptions of their short time together do not at all reflect how he treated her whilst she was alive. To be fair, there would have been many ‘sunny’ moments, yet as the weeks went by his overwhelming need to dominate made our sister’s life increasingly stressful and his problematic relationship with her sons caused her endless concern.
* * * * *
But our ‘Yorkshire’ sister who over the years had travelled to Wales at every opportunity, (we explained in an earlier post how their babies had been born almost in parallel and that the cousins have been close friends since childhood), now came down to see Jac for a brief pre-birthday visit; next day would be her birthday, March the 12th.
We were by this time familiar with Jim Perrin’s behaviour towards her, and saw her frequently to show him that we did understand how things were and this sister had come down many times in the last two years of Jac’s life — and, as well, Jac had been in Yorkshire with her. She was not one to be put off by this man… and so, she set off to Wales.
She arrived to find a crisis in the kitchen, flooded as it was to a depth of three inches or more with water which was gushing from a broken pipe. Jac was there, on her own and ‘up to her ankles’, as her sister later described it, valiantly bailing out and mopping and trying to stem the flow.
Having just driven down from Yorkshire she had no idea that there was a problem and was appalled by the state of things and that Jac, who was by now very weakened with her cancer and depleted from her chemo-therapy, should be struggling with this herself; she exclaimed:
‘For God’s sake Jac, what on earth are you doing?’
She sat her down, made coffee, and then after working at the flood herself for a while she asked Jac where Jim Perrin was — he had not appeared and she had assumed he was out.
To her astonishment Jac replied: ‘He’s in the sitting-room. He’s depressed’ !
Instantly her sister went through to find him. The curtains were drawn and in the gloom he was slumped in an arm-chair with his head clasped in his hands; and she demanded angrily, fiercely:
‘Why are you sitting in here? — Why are you not helping Jac in the kitchen? — How can you leave her to cope with this on her own? — What kind of man are you?’…
Not in the least perturbed by her anger, he replied: ‘ I’m so terribly depressed.’
* * * * *
Jim Perrin is ‘the sort of man’ who, knowing how desperately ill his partner was — and how weak — had left her to use what little strength she had whilst he indulged himself in his ‘depression’.
Our ‘Yorkshire’ sister, scorning him and washing her hands of him, left him there to mope (there was no question of his leaping into action) and went back into the kitchen to help Jac as much as she could.
Only minutes earlier Jim Perrin had described Jac’s house to her as:
‘This black hole which is [the house’s name].’
It was not, though, such a ‘black hole’ that he did not attempt, by duplicity, to take over the tenancy: the tenancy of what was Jac’s children’s home, when exactly two months later, on May 11th, our sister died.