The long-lashed girl remembered the letter in August. It was yellow, crumbling and singed at one edge. She glanced at it. How strange that it should be written in Swedish, a language she knew from the first part of her life which had been spent in that country. The girl began to read. She could not read to whom it was addressed to, so she moved onto the main body of the letter, another word also of which was illegible, for it lay at the edge and was singed away.


Dear ----,

I got your letter and I honestly don't know how Jo----- is. There's a rumour about a pretty dark-haired woman giving birth to a particularly huge baby in her ward. Apparently she's in a huge amount of pain and they don't know if she'll live. Silly thing for refusing the drugs. But that's onyl a rumour and I wouldn't worry if I were you. It could be her, or someone else, or it could be completely made up. People don't die of such things these days, but I, having no children, wouldn't really be in much of a position to talk about the pain of it. I'll get back to you in about a week. I'm sorry I only had time for a short letter. Maybe I'll send a longer one next time. Your friend's baby should be here during the week, so I'll write as soon as it comes, unless it's the baby in the rumour. It's a pity you don't have a phone at your house. Tell Henry to buy one from me. It could help you sometime. I can't communicate with you from here properly, especially as most of our post office staff have gone on strike again! You'll know what I mean. It's just because Mr Patriksson holds such grudges against Mrs Munson. Silly, I call it. Never mind, that isn't remotely important. Hope to see you sometime soon, and I hope England is proving all you thought it to be. Personally I wouldn't care to move to Britain. Rain, rain, rain. Snobbish and pretentious are the English, yet dependant on just about every other civilisation for their daily bread. Still, I hope you aren't doing too badly. I don't expect you to mix much. I never heard that you spoke a word of English, and I generally know these things, as you should be familiar with.

Yours forever, love from your friend Synnove Cederberg


It was a short letter and the girl did not udnerstand it in the least. After all, she should not be meddling with people's private concerns, even dead concerns, as this one obviously was. It was none of the girl's business, but as she looked at the date she realised that there was something strange about the whole picture. The exact day was blotted, but the letter had been sent in mid-July, ten years ago. The girl realised something with a shock, and then forced it out of her mind. Of course that was not true. It was a pity that two names were invisible. However, what she could see of one of the names made her wonder.

The End

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