3 January, 1963
I am very sorry to hear of your sister’s distressing death.  You must pray for her soul. This is best done by going to a chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. The most convenient for you is Westminster Cathedral; go up the far left aisle under the screen. Kneel. Dispel from your mind all other considerations. Say, not out loud but in your mind : “I have no right to ask you for anything. Please don’t consider my merits or my sister’s. You made her and me what we are. But you sent Jesus to die for us. Accept his sacrifice. With luck I have a few years left in me to make amends. She hasn’t. So please accept anything good I have ever done as a negligible contribution to the immeasurable sacrifice of the incarnation, and let my sister into heaven.’ Easy? Yes, really, particularly for you who have no pride. Try it anyway.
I will proudly dedicate my little story to you. Thank you for allowing it. Would you like your full name on the page or just ‘A.F.’? 
We are almost totally cut-off. Only H.M. mails plod through. I cleverly ordered a regular supply of tasty little pies from Fortnum and Mason during Meg’s caviar season. These arrive stale but regularly, so I am not hungry. The rest of the family live on tinned beans.
I don’t suppose you remember this house. The back part is a glass-roofed courtyard. This is now quite dark with accumulated snow. Local wiseacres say that when the snow falls off the roof the whole glass house will collapse. It holds a hogshead of Burgundy (French not Portuguese) waiting to be bottled.
Disaster is certain . . . .
Disaster is certain . . . .
Yours ever affect.
 Mary-Rose Charteris (1919-62) She married in 1940 Roderick Thesiger and in 1949 Francis Eggerton Grey.
 Basil Seal Rides Again is prefaced with an explanatory note in the form of a letter to ‘Mrs. Ian Fleming,’ beginning:
In this senile attempt to recapture the manner of my youth I have resurrected characters from earlier stories which, if you ever read them, you will have forgotten.’
Combe Florey River
Ann Fleming. Ann Charteris, granddaughter of the Earl of Wemyss, married in 1932 Baron O’Neill, who was killed in 1944; 1945-52 Viscount Rothermere; and in 1952 Ian Fleming who created James Bond the next year and died in 1964. Though a cousin of Laura Waugh’s and an acquaintance as Lady Rothermere the political hostess, she became a close friend of Waugh’s at the same time she married Ian Fleming and he stayed with them in Jamaica. Stylish and witty, she was not in the least afraid of Waugh and when he used his large ear-trumpet more than necessary she struck it with a spoon. ‘The noise, Evelyn told me later, was that of a gun being fired an inch away.’ Evelyn Waugh by Christopher Sykes, p. 374.
Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966)