Actress Virginia Bradford recalls an evening with Chaplin, frolicking nude around his house, the night before his mother passed away.
(Note: the dashes & ellipses are hers)
I saw him one night at his home in a mad mood, stripping off his clothes and ruffling his curly hair until it looked like horns sprouting through -- stretching his arms and body as though he were going to spring into the woods out of sight, showing his protruding teeth in a grin as he said, “Down gods. My name is Pan -- And you are Daphne. --I like you because you are a nut the same as I.”
And because I was just as mad as he, I took off my clothes, and we ran all over his grand mansion like something wild in the woods. He sprang upon the seat of his pipe organ and after a moment of silence, he played chords -- And I saw how sad and lonely he really was -- then his mood changed. -- He showed me his curiosities from the Emperor and Empress of China. They were in a glass case. He danced around a Chinese mask. Then he was a child showing another child his toys. -- Later we got into a shower together and imagined it was raining in a woodland. The glass-enclosed shower bath with its elaborate fixtures prevented him from seeing trees dripping with rain. -- We held each others hands and danced around and around.
Surely, I should be envied by the rest of the world who have not seen him as “Pan." For that is the very soul of his genius.
The next morning, he received word that his mother was dead [Hannah Chaplin died August 28, 1928 from an infected gall bladder.] The servant who brought me my breakfast told me. Later, I met him downstairs. He was only the famous man now who had lost his mother. He took me home in his car -- All the way he talked about her -- disconnected sentences. -- How young she looked. -- Her eyes were blue -- “I hate funerals. I wish I didn’t have to go. But I have to. Can’t send anyone else in my place. --Three weeks ago she was dancing the Charleston. -- Didn’t feel any grief when they told me. -- Just a pain in my stomach. --I wonder what the nurse thought yesterday when I was holding her hand. -- While my mother looked up at me I wondered what was…in the nurse’s mind as she watched. --This…dying mother. --Interesting to know."