At his home were a great many portraits of himself painted by his friends. Among others one by one of the two russian brothers and one by a young englishman. Gertrude Stein was not particularly interested in any of these portraits. There was however a painting of a hand by this young englishman which she did not like but which she remembered.
Stirred by the publication of Tender Buttons many newspapers had taken up the amusement of imitating Gertrude Steinâ€™s work and making fun of it. Life began a series that were called after Gertrude Stein.
Before I decided to write this book my twenty-five years with Gertrude Stein, I had often said that I would write, The wives of geniuses I have sat with. I have sat with so many. I have sat with wives who were not wives, of geniuses who were real geniuses. I have sat with real wives of geniuses who were not real geniuses. I have sat with wives of geniuses, of near geniuses, of would be geniuses, in short I have sat very often and very long with many wives and wives of many geniuses.
Gertrude Stein has never seen Demuth since. When she first heard that he was painting she was much interested. They never wrote to each other but they often sent messages by mutual friends. Demuth always sent word that some day he would do a little picture that would thoroughly please him and then he would send it to her. And sure enough after all these years, two years ago some one left at the rue de Fleurus during our absence a little picture with a message that this was the picture that Demuth was ready to give to Gertrude Stein. It is a remarkable little landscape in which the roofs and windows are so subtle that they are as mysterious and as alive as the roofs and windows of Hawthorne or Henry James.
Bilignin brings me to a new old acquaintance. One day Gertrude Stein came home from a walk to the bank and bringing out a card from her pocket said, we are lunching to-morrow with the Bromfields. Way back in the Hemingway days Gertrude Stein had met Bromfield and his wife and then from time to time there had been a slight acquaintance, there had even been a slight acquaintance with Bromfieldâ€™s sister, and now suddenly we were lunching with the Bromfields. Why, I asked, because answered Gertrude Stein quite radiant, he knows all about gardens.