Dear Aunt Maggie,
Thank you for writing; it's good to hear from you. I hope all is well with Uncle George?
Now that that's covered—it's all very well for you to say that I should have spoken with you before I left, but you know as well as I do that if I had you'd have felt compelled to tell Mum, and Mum would have felt compelled to tell Dad, and Dad would have taken steps, and I'd still be in Yorke. That might have been a favorable outcome for the three of you, but it would have been a far from favorable outcome for me.
Nevertheless, you're quite right. I should have foreseen that Dad would learn of my letters and would forbid Mum from communicating with me, and I should have begun by writing to you rather than to her. Dad can hardly forbid Mum from visiting her own sister, after all, especially when you live in the same street. To do so would offend your esteemed father, and that would never do, no, no, not at all, mustn't do that, Dad would never do that. Not when Grandfather's influence and fortune are at stake!
Burning my letters on arrival, on the other hand, that's well within his authority as my father and my mother's husband, and will cause no political difficulty whatsoever. I suppose I should be grateful that he is burning them unread, and so has no notion of my nom de guerre, as they call it here.
Do I sound bitter? I suppose I am, a little. This is precisely the sort of thinking I left home to avoid having to do. Here I am merely young M. Armand Tuppenny, a lowly clerk out to seek his fortune in a new world. As the other new colonists have similar ambitions, mine pass unremarked, indeed are wholly unremarkable; it is a lack of ambition that would be worthy of note. I am unimportant enough that no one is seeking to thwart me, and I need play no one's game but my own.
Do you know, I find it quite refreshing.
Dear Auntie, you know you are my favorite of all my aunts and uncles, and I thank you for your kind offer. From now on I shall write to you, trusting that you will share my news with Mum discreetly and in such a way that she can honestly say that she is not in communication with me, while still consoling her fears and comforting her in my absence.
If you please, Auntie, could you find out how many letters Mum received before Dad started burning them? At least the first two or you'd not have known how to reach me, but I'm guessing not many more. Once I know, I'll try to fill you in on what's happened since then.
Please tell Mum that I'm doing well. I'm working as a clerk in a shipping firm, and have recently been promoted to work the front desk, a position of great responsibility as it means that I am trusted to take in and disburse money. I would not have you think that I am a mere sales boy: large sums of cash cross that desk! Tell her that I have plenty to eat and a comfortable place to sleep; I am making friends and continuing my studies. I do not intend to remain a clerk forever!
Please give my regards to Cousin Jack, and tell him he owes me a letter.
Your loving nephew,