Countess Vera's Declination

Lord Hethelwaite of Cleveridge
Buckstable House

Dearest Charles,

I am writing to advise you that we are unable to attend on the 12th, as I have a prior engagement with my chiropodist in London.

At least, that is what we shall tell people, and what you may tell others. 

You’ll understand, of course, that the real reason for our absence is that Cybil and I couldn’t bear to spend another moment in the company of your American harlot.

Really Charles, I have no idea what you were thinking inviting us? Did you imagine for one moment that we would have forgotten her behaviour at your last ‘party’? Singing in public? And that dress; did she get it sent over directly from a geisha? As for the food, what was that contrivance of soggy meat scraps in those ridiculous bread rolls? A bugger? It was quite disgusting, whatever she called it.

My poor dear man, I do so understand the grief you must have endured following the death of Beatrice, in such unfortunate circumstances. Who would have imagined that driving that motoring contraption would prove such a dangerous endeavour? Inappropriate and indecent for a woman, of course (I cannot imagine what she was thinking), but so deadly? At least we were able to hide the evidence of her misadventure before it brought shame upon the family. I do occasionally think of the chauffeur, sacrificed to prison to cover her misdemeanours, and the poor gardener she ran over; good staff are so difficult to find.  

You were, of course, entirely within your rights to marry again, and whomsoever you wished. Even an American harlot, if that is the route the heart chose; Englishman cannot be expected to survive alone. But I do feel it was a decision taken with undue haste and I do, most strongly, feel that you might have looked closer to home for companionship before embarking on such a mad scheme. Much closer to home.

Having chosen to marry an American, and one with no family history at all, I feel that the least you could do is pass the estate on to your brother Jonathan and go and live quietly somewhere else. If not America, then perhaps some other haven of depravity, like the Isle of Wight.

Nevertheless, it is not for me, your late wife’s sister, to judge your actions and I shall not do so. But I cannot in all good conscience attend your party, no matter how valiant your efforts to make it appear respectable.

With Affection,




Rod Webb
Aug 15 2020

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Definitely more upper crust than soft bap.

Tony Spencer
Aug 15 2020

I'm reading this and remembering your "plumb in the mouth" accent when you read it this morning at the virtual coffee! - still has me chuckling!

Paul Sterlini
Aug 15 2020