To Elizabeth Gray

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I would presume you are surprised that I wrote you a letter, especially one that suggests that I am in any way apologizing for the way I have treated you before. Frankly, I myself am surprised that I am writing to you at all. To think that I would spend the cost of postage (and ink and paper) by sending this, and subtract minutes from my already limited time, when I could be enjoying myself.

Yes, Elizabeth. I am dying.

Aren't you the least bit thankful, perhaps relieved that the world would soon be relieved of "the most miserable, selfish man" you ever had the misfortune to meet? Maybe not. You aren't one to think such negative thoughts -- actually, that is probably your only redeeming quality. You are too kind.

But yes, I would like to apologize for my behavior when we met at the National Museum Gala -- for saying that your complexion perfectly matches your surname. I know it is unbecoming of a gentleman such as myself to insult a woman, even if it were true.

And it is quite true, Elizabeth. Your skin has that grayish cast to it. You could refer to the photographs that have been published in the papers the day after the gala. There were quite a few of you. I could have sworn you were sick, except that you were quite sprightly when I saw you traipsing around the ballroom.

Truth be told, though, Elizabeth, I should not be apologizing when I was merely stating a fact. I believe that with your kindness, you will soon come to realize that I am not in any way at fault. In fact, while we are on the subject of truth and honesty, the only reason I am writing you this letter is because I have been advised to do so by my doctor (silly man). And the only reason I remember you is because of your skin. I am quite keen on the details, you see, as I should be, for it is one of the traits that makes a man wealthy, don't you think?


I will end my letter here and say goodbye. This is all my limited time will allow me to remember you.


With best regards and the hope you will feel better,

Henry Adam Wood


P.S. You are Elizabeth, aren't you? The daughter of the National Museum's director? (You see how your complexion supersedes your other characteristics? Because I clearly remember your pallor but not your name...)


P.P.S. I just remembered that the director's daughter is named Larissa. Wherever are you from? Why were you even at the Gala?

Created: Mar 14, 2014

Tags: the letters of h.a. wood, letters, story, the letters of henry adam wood, request

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