Dacelo’s handwriting tilts as it advances, like a man on a drunken boat, until by the ragged right edge it’s nearly horizontal. It always starts again straight and tall on the next line, though. It speaks to Proserpina of an endlessly misplaced optimism.
He spells everything right but misplaces the ends of his adverbs; his stationery is scented, filched from a woman’s desk. Proserpina remembers the absence of his mother at their dinner together.
She folds the letter and slips it under the lining of the chest at the foot of her bunk. Very sincerely, he says in closing. Your servant.