Jane Neill Scott to Mary Rozet Smith, June 26, 1923


June 26

My dear Miss Smith: --

It would be impossible to exaggerate the horror with which I perused the article in today's Advertiser. Miss Kawai and I were going to see Mr. Fleisher the moment we had disposed of the committee meeting for which the morning was scheduled, but before we could get off Mr. Fleisher called me up. I talked with him over the phone and in the course of the conversation he said that he would like to see you which I told him I thought he had better do and which I assume that he has done, as he said that he would go at two o'clock. For that reason, I will not attempt to summarize our telephone conversation because he will have said to you all that he said to me. I told him that reporters had been dogging you yesterday and that when you asked me if I thought that the initial information which had started them could have come from Mr. Fleisher I replied "Absolutely not; I am sure we can trust Mr. Fleisher." He declares that he made no statement until it had come to him from other sources -- all of which he will have told you. Be that as it may, I pointed out clearly that the only way he could absolve himself was to find out and tell us what the source was and he said that he was on the trail of it and would run it down. He feels distinctly that his honor is at stake and it must be said that he does stand in this community as a man of unimpeachable honor. I know that he is very much on the inside with the various embassies and must be from time to time in possession of news the publication of which would entail most serious consequences.

I was particularly annoyed at the frivolous item of our having lunched at the cafeteria yesterday -- harmless enough in itself. I saw Mrs. Fleisher yesterday afternoon and upon her inquiring as to how Miss Addams is feeling, I assured her that she seemed wonderfully in command of herself and laughingly said that she had insisted on going with us out to lunch at Hoshi's yesterday.

I suppose all this is the penalty of greatness but it does not make it any less vexatious. I should be sick with worry if it were not that Miss Addams herself seems not to allow it to distress her unduly and thus reduce in any degree her powers of resistance. What I have seen of her quietness and equanimity in this whole matter has ministered to me personally in a large way. She is a woman who is truly great and one feels it in her presence.

I am afraid this day has been almost unbearably hard for you.

With keen appreciation of your distress,

Jane N. Scott [signed]