Mabel Dodge was the wealthy wife of the automobile manufacturer of the same name.
In the 1930s, she had an extraordinary villa built in New Mexico on the High Plateaux in the city of Taos. This paradise attracted a great many eccentric artists and characters. Mabel Dodge received all who thought and created, notably D. H. Lawrence who painted several of the windows of her house.
She died and, after many tribulations, her house became a hotel.
We went down to the hotel. After a delightful lunch with our friends, I announced that I would take a siesta in our room, which was the very same one as that of Mabel Dodge.
Marina advised me not to pull shut the latch so that she could enter the room without waking me. I fell asleep, only to be awakened half an hour later by a series of furious blows on the door.
It was Marina. “Let me in, you have closed the latch on the door”
– “No, I did not close it, I left the latch open precisely so that you could get in” – “The door has been locked closed”.
Now furious, I got up, half-asleep, and went to the door. The latch had indeed been pulled shut. Had I by chance closed it without thinking? It was possible.
Soon after, I told the story to the hotel manager, a charming, sharp-witted lady with a shaved head. “Oh so, she has done it again.” “She has started again.”
She told me that Mabel Dodge still lived in the room and had taken to closing the latch every week.
“But in your case, she was nice enough to wait until you were inside the room and were able to open the door again. Generally, we have to get the locksmith, as I told you, once a month. ”
Personally, I would have preferred the ghost of D.H. Lawrence who had painted the tiles of our bathroom in vibrant colours.