Fraternal Brother Liu Chu Wan!
Knowing of old how discretely you vet my cousin's correspondence. I implore your assistance. The matter of self-murder comes up several times in the letter which follows, and I fear my cousin's mood, as he will have heard of the first, the death of Admiral Moon. There has been a fall in the American female suicide rate this year, which Time magazine attributes to nothing less than prosperity. I do not wish to infect my cousin with mad impulses, but I do believe that this anecdote will illuminate changes in the American mood, changes that confirm to me the odds of a postwar housing boom. The item is on a a separate page, if you deem it best to remove it, I would ask that word of it might be whispered in the ear of my cousin and lord.
Your Loving Elder Brother, Tay Chao She
My Dearest Reggie:
Just a brief note to append here before I sail. I will left the household in Santa Clara bring you up to date. Sparrow is refit and ready to sail. Fat Chow will join us in Hawaii. As I have hinted several times, our orders take us to the Philippines as part of MacArthur's navy for a landing on Leyte preparatory to the taking of Luzon. The young people are proceeding south with Wong Lee, your youngest to begin his V-12 programme at the University of California, "Miss V.C." to enroll at Stanford, of all places. She had a busy summer, even managing to reach Nootka, where I relented and had Joseph George take her under his wing and spin tales about the old blackbirding voyages up to Tsawatti. Combine that with Old Liu's tales of Chilcotin cattle drives and Columbia river barges, and she has the old "Red Route" from Whampoa to Spokane. Now she only needs the deeds, to know when and how the ranches along the way came into her family's ownership, to put the rest of the Nootka connection together. As far as I know, those do not exist outside Chicago, but that does not mean that she will not keep looking.
I am sorry to divert you with my little game at this moment. I cannot, still, believe that I am sailing to war at my age, but all the arrangements have been made, and if the strain prove too much for me, there will at least be some poetic closure of a life spared by Japanese shrapnel so long ago. I am sentimental.
I would prefer better.