Wing Commander R_. C_., RCAFVR, DFC (Bar),
Isle of Axholme,
I am glad that I was able to wish you a Happy Christmas in my last, for I see that I have held on to this one until it is too late even to wish you a Happy Christian New Year. Like many other people, I have been in a mood at the recent German successess, and only their definitive reversal has allowed me to get back to things such as my correspondence.
As though that were not stress enough, we had alarming news Christmas Even, as Tommy Wong received abrupt orders cancelling his leave and recalling him to appear before a Board chaired by one Captain Herbert Gates. It was not until the 26th that we had word from Uncle George, who knows Captain Gates socially, as well as being his advisor on matters radio repair-related (more maths, Uncle George complains, than he has seen since Keyham). It turns out that Captain Gates has the Admiral before him on another matter, his second "fouled bottom" in two months, and this one so serious that Chester himself is flying out from Pearl. Captain Gates is not a man who expects future promotions, but that does not mean that he is insensible to his prospects, and the news that Tommy could only speak to the earlier mistake put him right out of the witness list. Then, just as I recovered from that, word that James was also to go to Uthili, as the schedule for the new fire control apparatus was accelerated by demands from the battlefront again.
Nor was Tommy's recall was rescinded. Something else is going on. If I could finagle an audience with Chester, I might learn just what, but as far as I know, it is nothing bad.
So there you have it, little word of Christmas in Santa Cruz, perhaps not surprising with so much to worry us, and so many of the young people away, and myself indisposed, once more the object of more care and concern of the matriarchs of our clan than I particularly care for --you must not breathe a word of that to your wife!
Look to the next, when perhaps Tommy's fate will be decided, on the eve of the Lunar festival, and we will look to signs of an auspicious future.
P.S. Oh. And this little matter, from Time: “Murder at Honingham Hall” Sir Eric Teichman, lord of the manor, shot in the woods, and it is agreed that it was by two American soldiers, who were poaching in his hunting preserve. Given the murder mystery setup, I can’t avoid noticing that his wife and her friend found the body. Though in a good novel, it would turn out to be related to his Central Asian adventures. At least I can safely say that Father liked him, and I am sure that no-one asked it of Fat Chow, who really does not like that kind of work. In case anyone was thinking of demanding it of him.