Roger Bushell’s Last Letter from Stalag Luft III
My Darlings-The mail continues to be appalling and this month’s crop has only produced one letter from Father 30/11/43 + one from Eliza in her own inimitable type writing + dated Nov 11th. Whenever I get one of Eliza’s letters a wave of sympathy for that unfortunate type-writer sweeps over me. What a pounding it must get! The Herculean force which has superimposed an e over a recalcitrant l or z that has got into the wrong place must shake its wretched bones like dice in a box. As for the dashing vertical dashes which constitute the polite fiction of erasure, they are a dagger’s wounds that send the word “to heaven or to hell” far more effectively than did ever Macbeth’s send Duncan. And then there are the complicated mental gymnastics, (which have a charm all their own) required to decypher both the punctuation + the syntax. I start by taking a mental cold plunge into the middle of it, come up gasping, jump out + then wade in with deep breathing exercises from the beginning. Brushing aside obscenities in the text, I dash through, get the general sense (sic) of the thing + then start over again. Next installment next month! Bless you all. I am very well and full of confidence as usual! Roger.