The Coldfall Sanction
14 February, 1916
Dispatch to Corfu from Peter Hawkins Esq. to Lord Cyril Blathing, 7th Earl of Gavilshire
14 February, 1916
Dear Lord Cyril,
Received your letter with great enthusiasm.
I must say you have had more than a spot of good luck in having made it through the Albanian Golgotha. What a beastly trek through hell that flight from Montenegro must have been. I shall, of course, forward the glad tidings of good joy to Penelope as regards your safe passage and arrival on Corfu.
Our reports have of course been rather sketchy. We understand that some transport ships have been sent to Bizerte as well, but from all accounts given it appears conditions are rapidly deteriorating. If you feel the necessity, France has accepted some civilian evacuation and I can see to it that orders are routed so as to help your further retreat; but, if you are of a mind toward other endeavours, as you have indicated, in especial regards to having to hand “a few stout men” who can brave the mountains into Romania – then, I may have a little something of which I could use your assistance.
As you have correctly deduced we have some concerns about our representative in Bucharest. We have not received correspondence from Nigel Montague for a fortnight, which is troublesome to say the least. His last communiqué was quite suggestive in regards to certain information concerning Count de Ville. He was to visit Professor Klaus Johann Vordenburg, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Bucharest. If you should find a moment perhaps you might pay a visit yourself to the Professor.
I would suggest accommodations at the Athene Palace. But be forewarned, the Athene hosts a variable menagerie of disparate interests owing to Romanian neutrality. If your response is in the affirmative, I shall assure reservations.
It is of significant concern regarding your reports of Count De Ville. Please forward any future rumours of which you may hear.
Peter Hawkins, Esq.
Of the Romania folklore to which you refer, as always, you know my special interest.