You shame me. I may not have always enjoyed Faras’s company, but that is a far cry from wishing him ill. I am (Drake, too, of course) exceedingly shocked and saddened to hear that he was murdered.
I am thankful that you moved rooms, but I worry this will not be enough. We agreed last year that this would be the time to [illegible smudge]
(Forgive Sootly again. Dratted cat.)
pursue this enquiry at long last, but I am ill at ease about it. Perhaps it is wee Drake’s grief and our own. Waking in the middle of the night to the child’s sobs between us has been a waking nightmare every time it happens, and it happens often. Drake mourning the loss of his sister and her husband and his niece is almost too much to bear for any of us. You and I have become somewhat more accustomed to–no. I cannot finish such a sentence. No one ever becomes accustomed to death, however frequently one encounters it.
I wish to help you, if I can. Tell me what you would have me do, and I will do it.
Can you believe me when I say this? I hope you will find it in yourself.
I went to the grove, as you requested. The trees are still in their unholy quiet, but they did not pull away from your letter this time. Their leaves sang their sadness. This, I feel certain you will believe.
Perhaps now is not indeed the time, Evermyn. I cannot be sure of anything just now.
You should know that our adoption of Drake the younger did go through. We finalised it with the solicitor yesterday, and he is now officially Drake Elsin Park II. You will notice the discrepancy, since my Drake’s (they are both my Drake–I shall have to find a better way to differentiate) name includes no middle name, or didn’t. We could not bear to make the child give up his surname, and changing his name at all was something that we were, in all honesty, loathe to do. However, the adoption requires him to be a Park for inheritance purposes, so both Drake the elder (this also sounds wrong the more often I write it) and I added Elsin to our own names. Though Park will be our only legal surname, the whole of our little family will now carry Carthia, Kubu, and Martia with us until the ends of our lives.
Samwell Elsin Park
Note from Vanhelm University: Records of the Park family clearly show this adoption–the tragic deaths of the first Drake Park’s family and his adoption of his nephew have long been part of public record and knowledge. Aside from a few legal documents, however (the mentioned adoption papers and inheritance records, along with their eventual final testaments), most institutions omitted ‘Elsin’ from their official accounts, likely as middle names are uncommon in this part of the commonwealth. -Dean Idan Simmon
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