FOR the regular readers of my personal letters and journals, you may recall a particularly enigmatic exchange of correspondence between myself and Commodore Hurlbut some time back. The particulars of which may be found filed away on the other, uncoded pages of my journal:
Letter 1 dated Friday, 15 November, '13
Letter 2 dated Thursday, 19 December, '13
Letter 3 dated Wednesday, 11 February, '14
Now, I would ask you bid me fair travels and good luck in my secret endeavours, for the time has come for the plan that was laid out some time back to be set in motion.
Want of time is, I think, the general complaint of all letter-writers, and it shall be mine upon this day as I depart from the relative comfort of the Acasta to undertake my covert mission for the Admiralty. I have struggled with my own conscience over it, but have finally resolved myself that it must be done, the good of the many outweighing the needs of the one. But I must confess it is a difficult thing to find yourself the 'one' in question whose needs are outweighed.
Never the less, I go forward in my beliefs, to do my duty for King and Country, therefore I shall contrive to be at leisure to pay these final respects to you, my dear friends. I shall not now pretend that my mission into the heart of the 'Lion's Den' will not be fraught with peril. War with one's neighbor is always a dangerous business, the covert sort doubly so. It is my sincere hope that the blow I deliver will be the final one required to put an end to England's never ending war with France.
As is my custom, I shall keep my journal whilst in the field, and transcribe it here for you, my dear friends, upon the occasion of my return. Should I not be so fortunate, Heaven forbid, I have left several letters in the care of Captain Freymann to be deliver'd to my wife and daughters and my man of business in London who will take care of my meager debts and arrange my financial affairs.
The little vial of 'instant death', whose formula was recommended to me by a medical colleague who occasionally has business along the intelligence line, is prepared and ready to strike its blow to tyranny. God send it a happy meeting with its intended recipient!
Watch for pictures of the Doctor from the coming 'secret mission', see if you can spot the green bottle!
I have done the last of my packing and the Captain has the longboat alongside ready to carry me to the other ship bound for my SECRET destination, therefore I will bid you all farewell, I beg that you shall think on me fondly and know that I most sincerely wish you all health and success in your endeavours; and am, with great respect, dear Friends,
Your most affectionate & obt. servant,