October 12, 1930 -- Letter To Dacia Neville
Mailed From Boston, MA
Boston, Mass 3pm, October 12th, 1930
I have perhaps two hours to write this, if I wish to get it in the evening post before I leave Boston. It will be a difficult letter to write, because I do not wish to alarm you or hurt you, but just now I am as enraged as I can ever recall, and when I am angry I am not a nice man.
I have your letter of the 29th in hand. It has been languishing at my house for a week, and I wish to God I had known. A telegram is on its way to you, but if there were some way to take back the past week of silence, I would take it in an instant. As it is, I am torn between returning at once to Washington, in hopes that you will call, and storming into Alexi’s house and bloodying his walls for what he has done. He and Jack, the pair of them, may they rot. Be very glad that I do not see them now. One of us would surely end up in hospital or worse.
Dacia, I know about their thrice-damned prophecy(*). I’ve known for almost a year; it was all over that house of theirs in France when we were there, and Grimaldi and the rest were sniffing after you like a choice entrée. That was one of the reasons I was so desperate to get us both out of there: That and a conviction, that has only strengthened, that those people are dangerous, to themselves and to us. I wouldn’t go back there by choice, and I beg you not to consider it either.
If it were up to me, I’d stay away from the whole affair like the plague. Never mistake a premonition for a prophecy, Dacia; there’s a lot of the one about, and I’ve never seen a true example of the other. I hope I never do, because by definition anyone involved with a true prophecy is a slave to pre-destination, and that means the death of free will and makes God’s creation of Man’s soul a lie. Premonition is out there aplenty – visions of things that might be, that perhaps ought to be, but can be avoided at will. Never the other kind. I pray I never see the other.
I’m not going to talk about the rest of this. Not in a letter. I haven’t the heart for the dispassionate persuasion it requires – not when I want to smash things, to hide you away from this presumptuous abuse, and keep you far away and safe. There are limits to what I will endure for any cause, and I cannot bear
No. Let us turn this topic aside. I ought to give you my strength not my vitriol; please forgive me.
You know already (I hope) how much you mean to me. Dacia, I need you here. And now, it seems, others do as well, and for ordinary mundane reasons that have little to do with prophecies and the end of the world. Let me ramble on a bit, and perhaps you’ll see what I mean.
I mentioned in my wire, did I not, that I had both bad news and good? Well, be assured, my girl: The bad news is not mine or ours. Read on.
You know from my letters that I have been working for Edgar Winslow. Winslow is a very important man, and was tasked by none other than President Curtis himself with the task of putting together a body of evidence that can be used to bring the abuses of magical practice under the umbrella of the Law. I, and Stevens and the others of whom I wrote, have been doing just that – gathering facts, illuminating the dangers, trying to help Winslow to walk the fine line between ignoring the supernatural on the one hand, and condemning it all in vicious witch-hunts on the other.
It’s good work. I’m proud to be a part of it, and it is something I am quite suited to do for my country and those I love. I have been teaching skills and telling anecdotes to the others, all of whom are stand-up sorts, not a bad one in the lot. We’ve been in the field a time or two, and we’ve seen enough that there are no doubters in the team – and we have gathered up evidence that cannot be ignored as well.
Unfortunately, Winslow has enemies, and one of them struck a couple of weeks ago. Edgar Winslow and his son Tommy were kidnapped from his home. We don’t know who sent the assailants or for certain why; my own guess is that it was to silence him.
Dacia, we found Winslow’s body in upstate New York. What was done to it is terrible to contemplate; I will not darken your dreams with the details. The boy – well, let me cut several corners and save the details for when we can speak. Suffice for now that I say this: Tommy, or at the least a confused young man who knows he is Tommy, is with me. He has a room in my house in Washington, him and his great big dog. I wish I were a better friend to him. I wish you were here; you seem to know what to do with children much better than I.
We are hiding him, you see. There are people out there, relatives of Tommy’s mother, who want to kill the boy for their religion. It is one of those slippery-slope affairs, I fear, and the end is not yet in sight. For the moment, he needs a quiet home where he can safely stay, and that he has with me. I do not know what will happen if I have to travel far; take him along perhaps.
Because, you see, although Winslow is gone, no one knows it. No one but me, my team, the President, and now you. I met the President of the United States last week, Dacia. An interesting man. Very smart, in his quiet way.
President Curtis has asked me to take Edgar Winslow’s place, to finish what he began. It is quite an honor, and a job that needs doing, even though it comes with pre-packed enemies.
We have stepped aside from the question for the moment. Although I am inclined to accept the honor, we do not wish the world to know of Winslow’s demise; we maintain the fiction of his absence on family matters as long as we can. And this gives me time to speak to you. I would not want to make such a grave decision without hearing what you might have to say.
I am going to mail this letter now.
It is a nice house, Dacia. It sits on a slight hillside, not far from a stream and from Montrose Park. I bought it with you in mind; we can take walks in the park on crisp spring evenings.(**)
How I long for those evenings, and for the chance for these ugly decisions to be made and put behind. For the chance to hold your hand again and to see your smile.
Words cannot express how much I miss these things.
You are all that really matters, now and always.
(*)Dacia was told that she was one of the women to fulfill the prophecy of The Tablets of Aelda
(**)Sometime between July and October of 1930 Lamont asked Dacia to marry him.