For Violet – To Be Opened Should Anything Happen

Dearest Violet,

I know we have not known each other long, and I have a habit of being over-familiar in life and letter-writing. If you are reading this then I assume that something has happened, either with George or with me. Or both. In any case, this is to the care of my boys.

Violet, they are already more yours than mine. I am not a natural mother, though I hate to admit it George is right when he calls me selfish and vain. Those poor little ones, they deserve a better mother. Which is why I entrust them to you and your care. I know how much you love them, and hope that I have not assumed wrong. When the time comes for you I hope they will act as the best big brothers to your own darling children.

There have been funds left for you should I disappear, but if George is still here take the boys and leave. Take all the money you can find, plus that which is in this envelope. The boys shall inherit the house when George dies. You will live here together.

I fear I am being overly optimistic about the state of affairs. But otherwise I do not know what to do. I have been known to be slightly unaware of life’s little legalities.

One day I shall come and find you, hopefully grown-up and able to take care of myself. But the boys will always be yours. Do not let them forget how much I love them, and how much I love you.

I can never repay your sacrifices and friendship. Please do not think to harshly of me.

In faith and in hope.

Lady Marie Ashley

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