Geography and Plays, by Gertrude Stein

Tourty or Tourtebattre
A Story of the Great War

Tourtebattre came to visit us in the court he said he heard Americans were in town and he came to see us and we said what is your name and what americans have you known and we said we would go to see him and we did not and we did not give him anything.

Then when we went out to see the hospital we did not take him anything. We asked to see him. Then when the new things came we did take a package to him and we did not see him but he came and called on us to thank us and we were out.


If I must reflect I reflect upon Ann Veronica. This is not what is intended. Mrs. Tourtebattre. Of this we know nothing.

Can we reflect one for another.

Profit and loss is three twenty five never two seventy five.

Yes that is the very easy force, decidedly not.

Then Tourtebattre used to come all the time and then he used to tell us how old he was when he was asked and he took sugar in his coffee as it was given to him. He was not too old to be a father he was thirty seven and he had three children and he told us that he liked to turn a phrase.

China. Whenever he went to the colonies his sister was hurt in an automobile accident. This did not mean that she suffered.

Some one thought she was killed. Will you please put that in.

His father's watch, his wife gave all his most precious belongings to a man who did not belong to the town he said he belonged to. We did not know the truth of this.


We should not color our hero with his wife's misdeeds. Because you see he may be a religion instead of a talker. Little bones have to come out of his hand for action this was after his wound. A good deal.

He was wounded in the attack in April right near where he was always going to visit his wife and he saw the church tower and then he was immediately evacuated to an american hospital where every one was very American and very kind and Miss Bell tried to talk french to him and amuse him but overcome with her difficulties with the french language she retired which made him say she was very nice and these stories that he told to us you told to Sister Cecile which did not please her and she said we must come and hear from every one else the stories they all told of the kindness they had received in the American hospital before they came to her and she said to them what did the major do, and they said he played ball. He did. And you too and all of them said, no sister but you were wounded in an attack. We were both wounded, said the soldier.


Reflections on Sister Cecile lead us to believe that she did not reflect about Friday but about the book in which she often wrote. We were curious. She wrote this note. This is it. Name life, wife, deed, wound, weather, food, devotion, and expression.

What did he ask for.

Why I don't know.

Why don't you know.

I don't call that making literature at all.

What has he asked for.

I call literature telling a story as it happens.

Facts of life make literature.

I can always feel rightly about that.

We obtained beads for him and our own pictures in it.

Dear pictures of us.

We can tell anything over.

We gave him colored beads and he made them with paper that he bought himself of two different colors into frames that we sent with our pictures to our cousins and our papas in America.

Can we say it.

We cannot.


Then he told us about his wife and his child.

He does not say anything about them now.

Some immediate provision was necessary.

We said in English these are the facts which we are bringing to your memory.

What is capitol.

He told us of bead buttons and black and white. He answered her back very brightly.

He is a man.


What were the reflections.

Have we undertaken too much.

What is the name of his wife.

They were lost. We did not look forward. We did not think much. How long would he stay. Our reflections really came later.

The first thing we heard from her was that the woman was not staying and had left her new address.

How do you do.

We did not look her up.

Her mother and her mother.

Can you think why Marguerite did not wish Jenny Picard to remain longer.

Because she stole.

Not really.

Yes indeed. Little things.

This will never do.

And then.

I said we must go to see her.

And you said we will see.

One night, no one day she called with her mother.

Who was very good looking.

She was very good looking.

And the little boy.

Can you think of the little boy.

They both said that they were not polite.

But they were.

Reflections can come already.

We believed her reasons were real reasons.

Who is always right.

Not she nor her eleven sisters.

No one knew who was kind to her.

What is kindness.

Kindness is being soft or good and has nothing to do with amiable. Albert is kind and good.

And their wives.

Can you tell the difference between wives and children.

Queen Victoria and Queen Victoria.

They made you jump.

And I said the mother you said the mother. I did not remember the mother was in Paris but you did.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:59