He said we came here solely on my account, that I was to have perfect rest and all the air I could get. “Your exercise depends on your strength, my dear,” said he, “and your food somewhat on your appetite; but air you can absorb all the time.” So we took the nursery at the top of the house. . . . The paint and paper look as if a boys’ school had used it. It is stripped off—the paper—in great patches all around the head of the bed, about as far as I can reach, and in a great place on the other side of the room low down. I never saw a worse paper in my life.
John says if I don’t pick up faster he shall send me to Weir Mitchell in the fall. But I don’t want to go there at all. I had a friend who was in his hands once, and she says he is just like John and my brother, only more so!
I’m getting really fond of the room in spite of the wall-paper. Perhaps because of the wall-paper. It dwells in my mind so! I lie here on this great immovable bed—it is nailed down, I believe—and follow that pattern about by the hour. It is as good as gymnastics, I assure you. I start, we’ll say, at the bottom, down in the corner over there where it has not been touched, and I determine for the thousandth time that I will follow that pointless pattern to some sort of conclusion.
I really have discovered something at last. Through watching so much at night, when it changes so, I have finally found out. The front pattern does move—and no wonder! The woman behind shakes it! Sometimes I think there are a great many women behind, and sometimes only one, and she crawls around fast, and her crawling shakes it all over. . . . And she is all the time trying to climb through.
I kept on creeping just the same, but I looked at him over my shoulder. “I’ve got out at last,” said I, “in spite of you and Jane. And I’ve pulled off most of the paper, so you can’t put me back!”