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T. E. Lawrence to Miss L. P. Black


Plymouth

7.XII.32.

Dear Miss Black

I should have written before to acknowledge the chocolates - but the pudding came, to suspend judgement. Also I have to ration letters now, and write only the more urgent ones. My rule is not more than six letters per day. They grow rather a tax upon my pocket and time!

However yesterday the pudding fell. We had been looking at it for a week and more, where it sat in its toupéed bowl on the shelf of our Marine Stores: and we finally decided we couldn't stand any further delay. So we drew a new galvanized iron bucket from Main Stores - on plea that a motor boat needed it - and hung the pudding from its top and set the whole affair on the office stove. Relays of us kept it boiling all the morning and in the afternoon we suspended work and ate it, with clasp knives, out of packing-paper plates. It was excellent. You would have been astonished to see how quickly it went away. That is the best of youth and cold winds and dirty weather. Nobody broke a tooth on the treasures buried in it. They are very grateful.

I see I have passed over the fate of the chocolates. They went down very well!

It was good of you. We settled to hold our Christmas now, because the winter leave period is just opening and hereafter our numbers will be going down and up, irregularly.

Yours sincerely

T E Shaw

My Odyssey has been published in the States in a cheap edition (acknowledged authorship) and is said to be selling fairly. It will be amusing if I can collect some dollars off them. Prose justice!

Source: DG 755-6
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 21 January 2006


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