12th February 1908
Mrs Maleficent Bunting
32 Broom Lane
Dear Mrs Bunting,
Regarding your cordial letter; dated 12th February 1863.
Allow me first to extend my sincere apology for the delay in this return mail. Unfortunately, it appears your letter on its arrival slipped behind the cabinet. The discovery of your letter was indeed serendipitous; for a random set of circumstances came to unveil it.
You see, my wife returned from an overseas retreat with a bee in her bonnet. She had left my side for a year; her health was poorly and the doctor suggested a trip would cure her ailment. Her return was met with fanfare, I had the gardener plant her favourite flowers, and the cook baked all her favourite dishes. The pebbles on the pathway were washed, the silver polished, the linen ironed.
Sadly, all of this did not make her happy. My wife seemed possessed, the first thing she said to me on greeting, was. “I don’t want any of this.” Over the next several months my wife toiled, stripping the house of everything that was not nailed down.
One Monday the 5th of February 1908, my office became subject to my wife’s outrageous behaviour. It was on this day, all my furniture was removed and it was in this very act, I came to hold your letter in my hand.
I apologise for the aforementioned; I thought it prudent to explain and hoped it would be of some consolation.
In regard to your concern, you will appreciate my difficulty. As, I must inform you my Father is no longer living. I am his only living relative. I have been fortunate in my circumstance to inherit all of his wealth. His business as you might know was closed down at the turn of the century.
I am unable to provide you with a substitute part for Darling Dell 564 sewing machine. I do acknowledge your complaint. The DD564 was sold with a guarantee that no parts would wear out. You are therefore entitled to a new machine or your money returned and of course with interest.
Once again, I apologise for the lengthy delay.
I do hope you will not find this presumptuous but I would like to meet you in person, so that I may give you a cheque and kiss your cheek.
My wife left today, she burnt everything and left with nothing.
I have only your letter; I read it day and night.
Mr James Singer