Better-Looking', is exhorted to write 'a swell article' for his weekly feature in an Australian paper. But Mr Severn is upset over the goodbye letter he has just received from his very dear friend Hans and he can't get the swing of it. 'The swing's the thing, as everybody knows - otherwise the cadence of the sentence'. If he can once get into it, 'he could go ahead like an old horse trotting'. The loss of a very dear friend can make writing difficult, especially if the article is about the friend and the loss is permanent. Hans and Mr Severn were not old friends; Mr Severn had extended the hospitality of his flat after Hans had shown up in London with a broken leg. The friendship had evidently mushroomed quickly and ended abruptly. Hans had had enough: 'Good-bye. I'll write you again when times are better'.
Campbell, Elaine, From Dominica to Devonshire A Memento of Jean Rhys, Kunapipi, 1(2), 1979.