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Vicki Washuk World War ll Blitz  Buy On Smashwords    Also   Buy Diary's Here:
I am the great-granddaughter of Ruby Side Thompson. 
Recently I started re-reading the World War ll journals and felt that they were such an important part of a history that will soon be forgotten if not published and shared with the world. These diary excerpts are not the entirety of what is published in print and kindle.
Ruby grew up during a time when education was just beginning to be encouraged for both upper and middle class women. During the late 1890's Ruby explored many radical political ideas of London, England. She met many famous people including the writers George Bernard Shaw and William Butler Yeats. 
5.0 out of 5 stars A choice pick, not to be overlooked, November 6, 2011 By Midwest Book Review (Oregon, WI USA)

AFTER THE WAR

9-19-1945

Yes, the war is over, and Ted is picking up his old pre-war interests. I finished the Dickens’ Life. There is nothing really new in it, that is, to me. In this new depiction he remains what I always considered him, a very odious man. True, he was one of the Victorian geniuses, but his behavior was disgusting. What a hypocrite!

9-20-1945
Cuthie came home about midnight, after we had gone to bed. He is now in civvies, though he will not be officially discharged from the R.A.F. until January. William Joyce has been found guilty of treason and condemned to death of hanging.

As far as I can see I shall be putting in the rest of my life getting three meals a day in this hateful English cottage.

9-21-1945
Cuth will be at home now steadily, and as far as I can see I shall be putting in the rest of my life getting three meals a day in this hateful English cottage.


Ted and I went to the Havana, to see the film “Henry V” at the interval Ted: “I had a good laugh this afternoon. What do you think? When I went to Greene’s for the groceries, the girl said we had eggs come this week, but she hadn’t yet packed the basked, so when I called for it, to remind her about the eggs. I went in later and said, “Have you packed the eggs? And she said ‘no, you must get them on the other side,’ and she called across the shop, “give the gentleman his eggs; they are paid for.” So I said to the other girl, jokingly, “Don’t give me more then a half a dozen” and what do you think she said? She said, ‘I would, if your were twenty years younger.” What do you think of that for a remark?

He was bucked. He had received a compliment. I said “and did she give you any more?” and he said “No, only our measly two.”

There you are; Ted still intrigues the ladies. He is handsome, and deferentially polite, so of course women like him- and he likes their liking. Why can’t he be more often like this? Why oh Why, can’t he forget his damned piety and his hateful argumentativeness! If Ted would only chuck his damned religion overboard and be human and jolly, how much happier everyone around him would be!


Wednesday September 26, 1945
I went first to the passport office, to ask for a new passport. The sudden deaths of McCormack and Middleton last week got under my skin. I thought, my contemporaries, if they can die, I can die too. So I am determined to start my preparations for going to America. I was refused a passport. No passport will be issued until I can produce the American consuls vise, and he will not issue a visa until I can produce a transport ticket, air or sea. There is no transportation. I was told it would probably be 12-16 months before I could get a passage. So it looks as though I shall not get to America until 1947, if ever. I was upset and nearly cried in the office.


Friday October 12, 1945
I want to record last night’s healing dream. I had gone to bed in an agony of loneliness. I had tried to pray, to the Rosary, but couldn’t. My mind was anguished. Then, in sleep, I traveled back over forty years, and I was with W.H. once again. We were sitting on the side of a bed, and I was loosening the laces in my corset whilst we talked. Then he raised his hand to my face and softly traced the outlines of it; his fingers drew from my ear to my chin, over and over, gently stroking. He was quiet, gentle, loving, loving as I wished to be loved, not carnally, but purely, from the heart. We were friends together, loving friends, and it was rest and it was bliss. We were lovers, but it was that hour of sisterly sweet hand in hand.

I awoke annealed. The feeling of the dream stayed with me a long time. I think I was more in love with W.H. than I have ever been with anyone else, man or woman. Perhaps had we married he would have turned out as boring a husband as any. We didn’t marry. So he remains the dream lover, the perfect one, the only perfect one. Dreams are true. Down in the depth of dreams is the life of the soul. I balance my life by my dreams. In dreams I often relive my griefs and troubles, but also in dreams I often find my soul’s assuagements.



10-23-1945

A Mosquito has flown the Atlantic in five hours. The aircraft left Newfoundland at 10:28 a.m. G.M.T., and landed at St. Mawgan aerodrome in Cornwall at 3:38 p.m. Five hours and ten minutes. Not only, what is time? Where is time?






10-25-1945
Love deep in the night, the way I like it. I often, too often, think Ted a silly fool, but he is the only lover I have, and sometimes he can please and delight me. As he did last night. Today I feel fine, rejuvenated.



11-3-1945
Artie came in before lunchtime. He asked me for his birth certificate, if I had it. He told me that Cuthie has gone to the American Embassy today, to find out how to take an oath and resume his American citizenship. Also, that Cuth will find out all he can about Artie doing the same, and what could be done about his British pension, if he returns to America. Artie talked a lot about America. He says he does not want to stay in England, or to bring up Buster here; Hilda is quite willing to go with him and they want the rest of their family born in the states. Artie says England is finished, she is sovietized; life in England is never again going to be worthwhile. He went on about his feeling for America, nothing downs it, he said. “I was born there, I remember it, and really I belong there.” He spoke about his father. “I realize, these past years, how Dad really spoiled my life. I have two countries, and I have no country. When Dad brought us here it was wrong. I am always divided. If Sket goes to America, I want to go too. If I ever get there, I will damn well see to it that Buster never leaves it, or at any rate, not before he is twenty-one. I don’t want my son to go through what I have gone through. One country and one only, that’s what a man should have.”

Yes. Of course Ted was wrong, but this is the first time I have heard Artie voice this criticism. I have had it from the other side, both from Eddie and Johnnie; they knew it was wrong for their father to up and leave them as they did, and they have said so. Of course Ted was wrong, and his action has harmed all of us; me it has destroyed. Ted has been a poor father and a poor husband. He is the complete egotist who has lived for himself alone. He still lives for himself alone. He has five sons in America, and nineteen grandchildren, and he never thinks of one of them. All he thinks of is Father Bishop and the Catholic Church and going to mass everyday.
I was wrong in the beginning. I should have fought him in the early days, but I never did. I was so dismayed by the quarreling of my parents I started my own marriage with the determination never to fight, because I thought nothing was worth fighting about. The mistake I made was in thinking all marriages were alike, all men alike. My parents quarreled about trifles, and that was silly; but they never had any big issues to differ about. Their life always ran upon the appointed tracks; the same house, the same religion, the same politics, the same country, always. As I can see in retrospect, my father was stimulated by my mother’s violence. It made monotony exciting; as it was, and anyhow, as she said herself, he always let her have her own way.

What I didn’t realize in our beginnings was that Ted Thompson was an entirely different sort of person from my father, and a mental bully who should be stood up to. I never stood up to him. In every dispute I always let him win, merely because I hated quarreling. I should have quarreled, and even more violently than my mother did, because my man ought to have been prevented from getting his own way. His way wasn’t always the best way, indeed, it was often the very worst way for us, his dependents. If Ted knew how we regarded him! Someone we want to get away from, someone we want to forget. We don’t like him. We are respectful to him because he is a good citizen, the respectable husband and father, but our hearts disown him.

(1946 Diary Lost Next Diary Starts February 1947)


2-9-1947

For now that my mind is finally made up to return to America, also, I find, it is finally made up to return to the Anglican fold. In America it will be the Protestant Episcopal Church of America; it is the church in which I was married, was confirmed, and it will be the church from which I will be buried.

2-10-1947

I fixed Ted’s lunch and left him a note to tell him I had gone to town prospecting but expected to be back for tea. I had no luck at all at Cook’s my passage, my departure date, is still indefinite. From Cook’s I went to the offices of the United States Lines, but had no luck there either. They have only one ship, the American, and that is booked to capacity until the end of June.



2-25-1947
I received a short letter from Marjorie today, penciled on the back of a piece of wallpaper. This is to show me how Chili is fixing a room for me. When, oh when, shall I be able to start for Westwood?


I received a letter from Alfred Eris, written at sea, aboard the John Ericsson, Feb. 21st, and posted at Cork. So the Eris’s are on their way to New York. He writes: “There is quite a mixed passenger list on board- all the nationalities in the world including plenty of Americans, G.I. brides, peasant Slav women in heavy boots and handkerchiefs or scarves over their heads, French, Swiss, Scandinavian citizens, refugees, etc. It’s wonderful, I think, that all these poor souls are looking towards the U.S. with the same idea in mind Liberty and peace. Most of them have been pushed around for years and I think it is high time they were reassured they were human beings.”


3-1-1947
Yes – Liberty and Peace.

I received a “Priority” telegram from Cook’s this morning.

Can offer austerity passage Aquitania March Eleven Liverpool also arrange Rail tickets Halifax New York phone acceptance immediately= coupon + 78 Aquitania Austerity.

So I have phoned them I accept. I am to call at their office on Monday, to fill in more papers, pay transport, etc. Thank-God- at last the door out is opening.


                                                                      AMERICA

Old Hook Road Westwood, N.J.

5-13-47

The Record: 3-16-47
                                                                
Landed at Halifax

3-18-47 

Reached New York: Pennsylvania Station about 6:30 p.m. Charlie and Marjorie, Harold and Betty, Johnnie and Jimmie were there to meet me. Motored with Charlie to Westwood, reaching here about 9 p.m.

3-19-47

Aileen phoned. Ruth came. Bill Berry phoned.

3-23-47
Family luncheon party. Aileen and Roger came, also many of Marjories friends.

3-30-47
Hamilton and Marion Harvey came.

4-6-47
Ruth Eason came to lunch with Ruth and me in Tenafly.

4-9-47
To tea with Gertie Chandler in Bergenfield.

4-12-47
To supper with Bill and Jean Berry in Englewood. 

4-13-47
Returned to Westwood

4-18-47
My sixty-third birthday. Marjorie gave a tea for me. Old friends who came: Mary Spencer Smith, Elsa Palmenberg, Mrs. Woodman.

4-29-47
Lunch and supper at Jimmie's, in Bergenfield.

5-3-47
Our 42nd wedding anniversary. Went to town and lunched and supped with Harold and Betty on West 22nd St.

5-4-1947


Went to mass in the Roman Catholic Church in Westwood. Charlie drove me there, and also came to the service

5-11-1947
In America, Mother’s Day. About noon I asked Charlie to drive me to Tenafly, to Johnnie’s. I went in and invited Ruth to come to New York with me “for an outing”. I surprised her, but she came, leaving Johnnie to mind the children. We took the bus to Time’s Square. Thence took a taxi to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, arriving in time to hear Compline, Rosary and Benediction. Afterwards walked down Fifth Avenue to 42nd Street. We had dinner in King Edward Hotel. Then went back by bus to Tenafly. I phoned Bill Berry about nine p.m. asking him to drive me back to Westwood. A nice good day.

5-15-47
To the Harvey’s in Bloomfield, N.J. Marjorie drove me there to lunch. Met Elizabeth Harvey, Bob’s widow, and also her daughter Mary and grandson, Jimmie. Marjorie left for Westwood about 4 p.m., and I remained for the week-end.

5-22-47
Dinner party at Johnnie's. Ruth entertaining Bill and Jean Berry. Little Julia also there. Marjorie drove me over after an early lunch, and Bill Berry drove me back at night. In the afternoon was invited to a tea at Gretel Meyers.

5-29-47
To Tenafly, Marjorie driving me there. After supper (to which Marjorie did not stay) Ruth with Adele and Gary went off to Belmore, L.I. for a week-end visit with her mother, Mrs. Ferris. Johnnie home about midnight. Bad thunderstorm. 

5-31-47
A quiet day in Johnnie's house. Reading autobiography of William Allen White.

6-1-47 (My father's birthday)
Another lovely pleasant day in Johnnie's house. Ruth and her children returned about 8 p.m. Charlie and Marjorie came for me about 10 p.m. Returned to Westwood.

6-6-47
In late evening a telephone call from Ruth telling that Jimmie had left Doris. Ruth was then about to start form Bogata to see Doris and said that Johnnie would go there also straight from town. 

6-8-47
Confirmation day in Tenafly. Adele and Jacqueline confirmed. In the evening Ruth and Johnnie came and stayed until after midnight, talking about Jim and Doris and their matrimonial breakup, all very sad and very bewildering. 

6-11-47
Went to Bogata to see Doris. Mrs. Tassie, Ruth's friend, drove me there. She and Ruth came to Westwood for an early lunch with Marjorie, then Ruth, Aileen Tassie, and I, drove to Bogota, and left me there for a few hours.

6-12-47
Quite ill. Too much heat, too much Doris.

7-4-47

To town to visit with Jimmie in his new apartment in Greenwich Village. Supper in Jim's apartment, joined by Harold and Betty, who had been spending the day on a yacht off Port Washington, and in the sound. Stayed over night.

7-5-47
Harold called for me at 11 a.m. and took me to his new  apartment at 623 Hudson Street. Betty working until 3 p.m. Supper with them, then caught the 8 p.m. bus back to Westwood. A pleasant week-end.

7-7-47
Aileen in her Dodge called for me about noon and I  went off with her for the day. Crossed to Alpine, and then drove up to Bear Mountain, lunching en route. Then returned to N.Y. crossing the Bear Mountain bridge to Cortlandt Village, and down the River Park Road. Supper with Roger in Aileen's West 8th St. apartment. A most delightful day. Weather perfect, scenery grand, and much good talk. Not so good meditations. 

7-9-47
To New York alone by bus. Macy's.

7-11-47
To Tenafly. Eileen Tassie with Ruth came to fetch me. Lunch with Ruth. In the afternoon Gertie Chandler came. Much talk until one a.m. when I had to leave for Westwood, the Goodyear's taxing me home.

7-13-47
Last Sunday in Westwood for a couple of months or so. John and Ruth came to supper.

7-14-47
Left Westwood at 7:15 a.m. Bill Berry drove me to Grand Central, and Chili also came along. Caught a 9 o'clock train to Niagara Falls. Arrived there at 6:45 p.m. Eddie met me at the station. Drove to his home, 1924 Whitney Avenue. 

7-20-47
Went with Chic to the 12:15 mass at the Church of The Sacred Heart. Low mass for summer time. No lessons read, no sermon. Total blank. In the afternoon Eddie drove up up to the State Park to see the Falls. These are impressive as ever. My sense of the crowd was the same as that I receive in N.Y.; viz; foreigners. These people are not Anglo Saxons, and I do not like them. I found myself thinking of D.H. Lawrence and his sojourn in Australia, thinking too, of his constant roamings, and of his books. Also thinking of my own books which I do not write, and wanting to write. 

7-24-47
I am very broody: composition flowing and should like to be writing, but cannot. As I awoke this morning I was thinking how it was the old novelists were so right in their endings. "Reader, I married him." "And so they were married and lived happily ever afterward." "They had many children, etc, etc. Finis." Yes, marriage is the end of the story. A novel is a story about love; when love is consummated there is no story. And, after all, there is but one story in the world. It is the story of the desire of the male for the female. Therein is comprised everything, every tale. 

When I rode up here in the train from Grand Central I was interested all day in watching two couples just ahead of me in my coach. The men were elderly and very fat, obviously German, and one nearly as obese as Goring. Their women were fiftyish, smart, but not as smart in the American way, and sophisticated. It was plain that they were not long over from Europe; they had that unmistakable air of aristocratic culture, nowhere to be noted here. After awhile they changed their seats about, the two men sitting together directly in front of me, and the two women sitting together one seat forward across the aisle. I watched them talking. I watched the men getting up and talking to them, going to the dining car, returning, being solicitous about wraps, draughts, and so on. The men looked like prosperous businessmen; the women might have been high-class whores, or elderly actresses, or baronesses: all four fascinated me; and suddenly I saw the cleverness and the importance of women. Those women were secure, and moreover they knew it. They had the assurance of the cherished woman. Then I saw once, for all that the most important thing in the world for a woman is to secure herself a mate, and to keep him. Love. The eternal desire of the male for the female. The most important characteristics for a woman are beauty and charm; the most important characteristics for a man are strength and power. The first and the whole business of a woman's life is to get herself a man, and if she is so unfortunate as to lose him, then to get herself another, and another, so long as ever she lives. Her children are not important to a woman, they are merely a job of work she has to do; for her children get up and go and leave her; it is her supreme business to keep her man; and the clever women do it. A husband less woman is a very poor critter. 

Then I think of Kay and Doris, fools who throw their men away. No, I'll never do that. Was also seeing why certain of the old authors keep coming to my mind. I think of William Dean Howells because he brought some of his characters to Niagara Falls; also because he was of the period of this place. I am thinking of Jane Austen and of George Meredith, because the set out of this houses, and the manner and natural elegance of chic, suggest them to me. Chic is a very modern young American matron; but she is also a lady in my nineteenth century sense of the term. It is good to know her, and pleasant to be here in her house. Hardy? I am thinking of Thomas Hardy because I am homesick for England, and he is England. 

8-9-47

Short air-mail note from Ted telling me he had a verbal offer of a passage on the "Mauritania" for 11-8, and suggesting I sent a cable if this was satisfactory to me. The Cunard were communicating with NY to confirm. "Is this o.k. if so suggest you send blank cheque or marked. My previous letter on Queen Eliza said they expected a 12 months wait but this is unexpected. Suggest you cable if satisfactory. I don't know price but had told them the equivalent of 2nd or 3rd, so as not to involve your bank balance too much. So now its up to you.
Tell Eddie I have written to him. Lots of love- Ted."

This note was  written 8-5 in haste and it began, Dear Lady. I'm glad. 


Eddie went out almost immediately and sent cable for me, saying "Please secure on Mauritania if possible" and later I sent off an air mail letter with blank cheque as requested.


I do hope this matter goes through. I am longing to be home in Romford. I have had enough of America to last me the rest of my life. 


8-16-47

Letter from Ted suggesting I communicate with Cunard in NY. 

8-17-47

If I am lucky I could be back home in Romford 3 months today. Wrote the Cunard office today; also a long air-mail to Ted. 

9-10-47

Received a letter from Cunard offering passage for 10-3, and asking exact name of husband and his address; cash to be paid by the 15th. Telegraphed Cunard in NY acceptance, and cabled Ted to give Romford agent cheque for same. Fare, 62.10.0 pounds.

9-12-47

Left Niagara Falls. Travelled to NY by the Empire State Express, leaving Buffalo at 1:30 p.m. Eddie came to Buffalo with me. Chili, Johnnie, and Bill Berry met me at Grand Central. 

10-3-47

Went aboard the S.S. Queen Elizabeth at 8:30 a.m. Marjorie, Chili, and two children accompanied me to ship. Johnnie and Bonnie came aboard later, also Jimmie. Found Harold already in cabin. Sailed at 11:30 a.m. A fine beautiful morning.

10-9-47

Landed at South Hampton at 6 o'clock last night, but too late for getting to London. Special train left at 10:20 a.m. Reached Waterloo at 12:15 p.m. Ted on platform to meet me. A beautiful day.

10-10-47

A strenuous day. unpacking small baggage, etc. In morning had to go to Food Office to get new Ration Book. Happy. I'm glad to be back. Romford looks good to me. Ted sweet and kind. Yes, I'm content, I'm happy. Very happy.

10-25-47

Alone all day, but very happy. I am glad to be here, in Romford, in this house. At last I feel at home. The house is now clean and orderly all through. I like it. Ted has had some refresher work done in it, ceilings done, dining-room re-papered and painted, stairs painted, etc. It is my house. I've had a lovely summer; all my children were gracious, admiring, and loving in fact, they treated me like a queen-but I like best to be in my own house and so here I am, and thanking God for it. 

11-5-47

Not only am I indelibly an Englishwoman, I am indelibly a Londoner. Inevitably these November days bring back memories of my childhood. I am thinking of the Bonfire Parties with the Barleighs today. Thinking of my father talking to me about history-the history of England. Thinking of him and of how passionately he loved London, and lo, I find I love it passionately myself. Yes, I love London. I belong to London. I find I am glad I'm alive now, and that I have come back to it. I'm glad I lived here through the war years. I'm glad I live in these times. What if they are troublesome times? I find I think them great to be alive in. Yes, Ive come home, back to where I belong. London, City of my hear. London, England.

News John G. Winant has committed suicide. Today's times states: NY Nov. 4- Mr. John G. Winant, United States Ambassador to the court of St. James during the late war, killed himself early last night by a shot through the head at his home in Pleasant St., Concord. He was 58. 


This dismays me. He was a good man, a man who should have remained in this awful world to have done something for it. He killed himself from a sense of despair over the state of the world, the breakdown of our civilization. He shouldn't have despaired. He was needed. I am so sorry about this. 


11-7-47

The honeymoon is over. Ted is in his normal state of crankiness. He is being cranky about the shopping, about the fire, about the placing of furniture, about my manner of speech. Just plain cranky. Alright. I smile. 

11-10-47

Potatoes are rationed as from today. Three pounds per adult per week. 1 1/2 pounds for children. This is extremely little for English folk.

News from Australia of a heavy Labour Defeat. From Melbourne the Times reports: "The Victorian State Election for the Legislative Assembly yesterday (the 8th) was an anti-Labour avalanche and a decisive vote against the Federal Government's bank nationalization proposal. When the counting ended at midnight on Saturday it was evident that the official Labour Party, which held 31 seats at the dissolution, would be lucky to return with 17 seats. The feature of the election was the great upsurge of Liberalism."…


This is good news. Apparently the common people are getting sick of their common Labour politician. Labour is sick and tired of Labour. Maybe a day for gentleman is dawning once again. 


11-20-47

Day of the Royal Wedding. Princess Elizabeth married to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten in Westminster Abbey. The whole ceremony broadcast. Every word came through very clearly. Made me very emotional. As I listened I wept. The marriage service exactly as is in the Book of Common Prayer: no difference made for exaltedness; they were "this man"- "this woman." It is a beautiful service. The very word "obey" was not omitted. They made their vows simply as the simplest man and woman in the Kingdom. -forsaking all others-till death us do part- and hereto I plight thee my troth.-

I thought of my own wedding so long ago. Ted and I made these promises. It is till death do us part. It is forsaking all others. 


This Princess left her father's house forever, as irrevocably as any girl. As I left my father's house.

And as I too have just forsaken my sons-forsaken them. -A woman's desire shall be towards her own husband.- Forsaking all others, cleave thee only unto him.-? Yes, marriage; as final and fated as birth or death. As hard to endure. Yet happiness and joy. So strange, so sad, so hard, so kind, so lovely.


11-29-1947
News from New York that today the United Nations has voted for the Partition of Palestine. This will mean war. Perhaps another worldwide war. Already the Arabs have declared they will resist the implementation to enforce the division by taking arms. Naturally.










12-15-47
Nine p.m. news, first item: The four foreign ministers this afternoon adjourned their conference indefinitely. At Mr. Marshall’s suggestion, it is said: because it is obvious Mr. Molotov is determined to keep up Soviet obstruction to every plan, and to continue the conference would be only waste of time.










1-30-48

On the one o’clock news was told of the assassination of Gandhi. He was shot at his prayer meeting, at 5 o’clock today Indian time. Queer how these self appointed leaders seldom die in their beds.

3-10-48
At 1 o’clock today news was given that the dead body of Jan Masaryk had been found, outside his home in Prague. Suicide? Or murder? It had been distressing to us, the English, that Jan Masaryk had not repudiated the Communists when they took over Czechoslovakia a week or more ago. Instead, it was announced that he retains his post as Foreign Secretary for his country. The Prime Minister was “found” one day, “fallen from the window of his apartment” not dead, but with a fractured skull, and, it was said, he would “probably recover.” Today it is Masaryk who has “been found” on the pavement, but Masaryk is dead. He could have committed suicide, from grief and hopelessness, yet he was not the sort of character to commit suicide; rather, he could have stood by his country, whatever befell, it is more likely his enemies threw him from his window – “purged” him.

I hold my breath about this.  I feel sick about it. I feel sick about the Communists, and about Russia. It is a diabolical world we live in today. I think maybe Christianity is necessary for the peace of the world. The Russians are barbarians. The Communists are devils. Men without religion, it is no good. Men without religion are lost. Europe is Christendom or at least it was. The Russians are Asiatic, non-Christians. Are the Russians to over run all Europe, to destroy it-to destroying Christendom? God forbid. I think if it is necessary to be actively and positively a Christian, then I will be a Christian, actively and positively. If it is necessary to be a Catholic, and out and out Christian, then I will be a Catholic. I am frightened. I think war is blowing up again. Haven’t we had enough war? God help us!


















































1 comment:

  1. You should post more of the diary or publish another book in Amazon. I already read the first 4 and loved them. Please Victoria, do it for us readers!

    ReplyDelete

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