My darling Georgie, I have not spent Christmas quite as I expected. On the evening when I last saw you Antonia suddenly announced that she wished to leave me and to get married to Palmer Anderson. I won't tell you the details now, but it looks as if this is what is going to happen. Nor can I tell you exactly what my feelings are. I don't altogether know myself. As you may imagine, I am suffering from shock. Indeed, I feel scarcely sane and nothing seems solid any longer or real for the present. You will understand that there is nothing more I can say just now. I needed to tell you the facts anyway and it is a great relief simply to be writing to you. Hope and fear nothing if you can. Oh, sweetheart, I have never felt more wretchedly incapable of any bright or adventurous destiny. I feel half faded away like some figure in the background of an old picture. Try at least if you can, to restore to me some sense and some vigour. Darling child, your love and your devotion have been so precious to me: support me now with patience. Excuse this cowardly and distracted letter. Your discredited prince kisses your feet. I am simply too miserable to think straight. Please bear with me and go on loving me. If I can I'll call on you tomorrow at the usual time. If I can't come I'll telephone about then.
I sealed up the letters to Antonia and Georgie. I brooded for some time over the three versions of my letter to Honor Klein, and finally, with some misgivings, chose the second one. I was tempted to write a fourth version, and the notion of there being some further development of my thought which demanded expression became very compelling indeed. Yet when I reflected more I could not see what that further development could possibly be like. It remained though maddeningly present, shrouded in darkness. I eventually gave up, copied out Honor's letter and sealed it, and went to the post. The fog had cleared. When I returned I ate some biscuits and dosed myself with whisky and hot milk. I felt exhausted, having put more intellectual effort into the letters to Honor than I had expended since I wrote Sir Eyre Coote and the Campaign of Wandewash; yet I was quieted by an irrational feeling of having done a good morning's work. I went upstairs to lie down and fell into the most profound and peaceful sleep that I had experienced for a long time.
Martin, we are flying to America on the eleventh, and we intend to stay there, I shall probably be practising on the west coast, and Honor will be with me at a university job. There is no reason why our paths should cross again; and you will understand me when I say that it will be better for all of us if they do not cross. On reflection I feel sure that in returning to Antonia and mending your marriage you have done the right thing. You have, after all, a talent for a gentler world. I mean of course the right thing for your happiness and for the ultimate needs of your soul. I will not insult you with hollow words about morality. Your freedom from those bonds was what first made me take you as a companion. On what has passed you will not require, or receive, any commentary from me or from any other. Let the dignity of silence cover like the sea an enterprise which partook of madness to an extent which I think even you never realized. I wish you and Antonia well and will never forget that I loved you once. Do not reply to this letter which constitutes, from both of us, a final and authoritative farewell.