8 October 2008

Letter 3.58

I've had a bad case of visa-itis, which required emergency treatment at the Thai Consulate in Penang. My file received an I.V. solution of 5% black ink and 3% red tape and is now recuperating. I've managed to get back to Suan Moke with an interrupted past and an uncertain future. Not a great deal to say for the present either. (Although one thing about the present, you can't fault it for endurance.)

Could your 'gift' of Bones (if such a gift can be made), besides being graciously magnanimous and possibly saving complications (I've got an excellent collection of complications which I must show you some time -- I save them, like bits of string), also have been inspired by the suspicion that by the time I'd finished with it it would be too removed from your intents and attempts to want anything more to do with it? (When either of us whistles now, what comes?) I have, I see, made it a rather different book. Or, atleast, more like a book I remember... once upon a time, I've not put a highway through your jungle, but I've cut out everything that looked to me like undergrowth, trimmed what was left, and did a bit of planting myself. Perhaps everyone needs his own jungle. Your comments (cloud gristle) have contained some useful suggestions, however.

By the way, I beg to differ with your friend, Polly Ethyl Lean, in her crusade to stop the slaughter of the naugas for their hides. I refer to her uninformed comment about 'placid herds of naugas'. I have a friend whose grandfather was killed by one of those placid herds. Stamp out the menace, I say!


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