Lord Fielford to his Heir

To The Honourable Monsieur Buté,

Young Sir, I can assure you it has come

As a great shock to discover that you

Are my natural son and, for the want

Of another, my heir. I remember

My cordial relations with Mila

Hazily, but I can recall she was

Of a honeyed complexion and of a

Winsome disposition. Regardless of

Her charm, she was unfit to a fault for

Respectable society. I’ve since

Been told that we met in Deauville, at the

Casino, one muggy August Sunday,

Which followed a lucrative day in the

Art of betting on the equine species.

She seemed to stick by my shoulder as a

Lucky charm well into the dark hours

At the roulette wheel, as numbers seven,

Thirteen and thirty-three contributed

To the complex stacking of my chips in

The form of a Gothic tower. In the

Morning, as I parted with the lady,

I left her there with a large share of my

Money I’m sure you are sufficiently

A man of the world to appreciate

The reasons why. We stayed in touch during

The remainder of my stay on the coast,

As she appeared to travel from port to

Port for her work, but after that we lost

Contact until last week. A moment of

Weakness? Perhaps, I have so few. I don’t

Regret creating you, as it was the

Happiness on offer during a month

Of dull delivery. Naturally,

I offer my apologies from a

Retrospective standpoint for my selfish

Affair, I’m sure you would have loved the chance

To have your say on whether you should have

Been born, I kept well out of it.

I gather your mother’s lifestyle is a

Wretched template, which is no great surprize

Based on recollection, and, for my sins,

She has passed my details to you so that

I may help to develop your sense of

Proprietary. She differed much from when

We said goodbye, I almost threw her out

The door, but then she showed me your photo,

And your likeness is unmistakable.

The only good aspect that we have in

Common. It gives me great satisfaction

That you’ve agreed to gain unbound wisdom

And have not come to me for my money

All I have left is my title as Lord

Fielford. All my wealth I obtained, often

Dispersed and in the end relinquished in

Many betting jungles. Firstly, based on

Your self critique, your view as a success

Financially but a social failure

Is a correct and frank account; further,

That you consider me as a doctor

To cure your ills, prescribe preventatives,

And so offer methods to improve your

Place in the world is a strong sign of good

Judgement; and finally your wish to gain

Knowledge from me about the arts as a

Means of reaching the next stage of mankind

Displays a willingness to savour the

Best of potions, of which there are no half

Measures. I quite often intoxicate

Myself and recommend its smoky taste.

It’s not appropriate for us to meet

Face to face yet in our current guises,

At least not till you’re an exact model

Of comportment. Therefore, it would be best

To act under false names and pretences,

Meeting somewhere neutral of your free choice,

Lest our identities be discovered

And pilloried. So, please reply with your

Current way of living, and I will try

To fit it within a framework of rules

By which you ought to live. Yours, Lord Fielford.

 

© 2017 AGP

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