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T. E. Lawrence to A.E. Chambers


Cattewater
Plymouth

27.IV.29

Dear Jock,

So there you are. One said dead, one deserted, one signed on: and all the while you sort letters in the Post Office. Such a nice job, sorter. If you send the Glasgow letters to Costa Rica nobody can trace it to you: and the Daily Mail makes a snappy paragraph and Punch ditto.

I am now at Cattewater, and very seldom stir out of camp: so we can't hope to meet till my leave comes, if come it does. I hoard that month, against the dread day that a film about me may be released. If it comes I take the month, and hide somewhere.

Clouds Hill is still there. I saw it for an hour in February. It is lovely as ever: only chimney-pots are added as a monument of the new tenants' taste. Jock, the old tenants were 'some' people. You and me, and Guy, of the R.A.F. and the brothers Salmond, (Marshals of sorts) Hardy, Graves, Siegfried Sassoon, poets: Forster, Tomlinson, Garnett, prose-writers. Spencer and John, artists. It was a good place while it lasted. I wish there was a Clouds Hill in every camp, assigned for the use of aircraft hands.

One Serg-Pilot Thomson asked lovingly after you lately. I told him you were dead. He said it was unlikely. More probably you were making someone carry a bag of your books.

The books have not increased much, in the last five years. Sometimes I send three or four to join the others in Richards' hands: sometimes I part with a few. Richards himself has now gone to S. Wales, and his brother, Dr. E.M. Richards of 3 Loudoun Road, St. John's Wood (not so far from Dollis Hill: Oval Tube and then walk it, probably) has them in his house. If you had this letter, and found him in, he would let you take a bag-full of them away, and exchange at leisure.

Jock, I'm very weary of being stared at and discussed and praised. What can one do to be forgotten? After I'm dead they'll rattle my bones about, in their curiosity.

Au revoir

T.E.S.

I've put W.C. Chambers, because those obviously aren't your initials. We always called you Jock for short. What's C.E. in the address?

Source: DG 654-655  
Checked: dn/  
Last revised: 30 January 2006  


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