Note from Vanhelm University: The following letter appears to have been written over several days or even weeks, judging by the dating process used on the inks. This fits well with the knowledge that the first Drake Park lived for decades with the bone-quake illness that ultimately claimed his life. If our dating is correct and this letter was written in 5820-5821, Drake Park would have been nearing the end of his life (he was just past his fiftieth year when he passed away) and would have had significant difficulty with fine motor skills. Professor Trakynd, Chair of the Epidemiology Department’s Tribunal for Genetic Research states that given the relatively ineffective treatments available in the fifty-ninth century, writing a letter of this length would have caused Drake Park severe pain. -Prof. Adelyn Trummel
5821, first thaw
I don’t dare tell Samwell that I am writing this letter, as I know it will skirt dangerously close to encouraging you to break the promise you made, but I cannot bear to let this continue. Samwell does not understand your endeavour, and while I loathe such a thing bearing down upon your shoulders, I know you well enough to understand that you will not let it pass to anyone else.
I wish you not to worry after me. While your long silence did distress me, I worry that too frequent correspondence will spark unnecessary gossip. The last letter we received from Faras implied as much, my dear. Let us not trouble the high society of the capital and Silvanfall with our back-and-forth.
The children left just the day before yesterday. I will miss them ever so much. Samwell and I have long discussed adopting a child, but with my health in decline it is unlikely we will be able to manage. We neither of us would like to leave the raising of a child to a nanny. We will miss the children so, and their parents, of course.
Carthia left a small knitted square for you, which I have enclosed. I believe she thought it could be a pot-holder, but I’m afraid you wouldn’t like the smell of burning wool if you were to place a hot pot on it.
Be well, my dear. Let us plan on midsummer’s night well in advance this time, shall we not?
All my love,
5821, first flood
Drake thinks he is more stealthy than he is. It’s always endeared him to me, this fact that he cannot hide secret nor surprise from me.
It pains me to see what he has written you, however, though I understand why he did so. (I did not snoop–I doubt you will believe me, but he showed me his letter of his own accord once I caught him at it.)
I am not certain there is a way around it, Evermyn. There is the promise, and there is the question of society’s prying eyes, and while I hesitate to write so plainly, I do not think it behooves either of us to skirt the issue. I worry that we are on a course now that will not be corrected.
The trees were quiet today when I went out to them. I could not tell you why.
Note from Vanhelm University: The original here has a break in lines, and the remainder is written in uncharacteristic haste for Samwell Park. Some words were blotched by water droplets and have been restored with the assistance of Prof. Adelyn Trummel.
Since writing the above, I am afraid we have received dreadful news. Martia and Kubu were aboard the transport that overturned on its rail a fortnight ago. We both saw it in the newspaper delivered from the capital, but it wasn’t until yesterday that the messenger arrived, along with a warder from the capital’s Department of Child Welfare.
Forgive me. Forgive me. I cannot seem to make my hand write the words.
Martia and Kubu and our beloved Carthia were killed in the crash. Little Drake–that precious child–has been brought to the Park Estate, along with a physician who will be staying on with our family indefinitely, as Drake’s left hand was crushed in the crash, and had to be amputated at the elbow. Kubu and Martia wrote in their final testaments (long ago; Drake the elder and I have known for some time) that should anything happen to them, they wanted the children to come live with us.
I am sorry, Evermyn. I am sorry.
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