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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to Nancy Astor


[Postmarked Mar.2, 1931]

Viscountess!

Forgive the typing of your slave: he makes his living by his keys. A poor living, as you will see.

I had meant not to write to you before it could be a song of 'nunc dimittis': and that is not yet. I think the battle is won. The Coroner was a perfect pet. He asked all the nibbly, difficult, hurtful questions, so innocently and so smoothly that everything came out. The poor officers did nobly (Wing Commander Smith at the head of them, adjuring all of us to tell the truth) and the press followed up, saying nothing mean or spiteful, but scaring the Air Ministry almost to death.

The best results are coming, though slowly. They have set the reforms afoot, and I think they may be trusted to push them through. I am watching very closely and will move another little lever or two when or if it is necessary. There has been no reflection upon me, and no threat to end my happy days. Good.

I need hardly say how grateful I am to you for your help. It is such a pleasure to get a thing done cleanly and naturally, without fuss. Nobody knows that anything has been done, and yet, I fancy, there will not be another case of this sort in our memories.

Now I am deader tired than ever; I type because my eyes are so faded. Tomorrow I get a change from Mount Batten, for I go to Hythe, near Southampton, for ten days instruction in a new fast motor boat being built for the R.A.F. Not very fast, I'm afraid, but faster than the old crocks.

To get away and forget camp for these few days will be a little bit of heaven. Ring me up if you come to Plymouth after March 9th; and let me take you up the Tamar for a picnic-tea.

T.E.S.

If you see Walling any time please tell him he did a very good piece of work.
 

Source: DG 713-714  
Checked: dn/  
Last revised: 2 February 2006  


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