In Chapter Twelve: Parker poses as a servant while providing security at a very important gathering for a friend.

Officially can be used in a lot of good ways. Your definition of officially is similar to the US version. Must be a universal thing




My dear Robert,

Yes, I think I will take you up on that shoulder.

The situation may not be classified, but it does touch on the image of the service, so I might not choose to discuss specifics with you. I’m glad you understand, though.

In other news, I have been approved for long leave before my next posting! I will have a whole two months off before going on to — where? The time has not been determined yet, it depends on who I will be handing over to. And where I will be going after that. I have put in for London and the Home Counties first, UK second, but it depends on a lot of things, including what is available and when.

When I come back, I usually spend some time with Uncle Marc and Aunt Melanie and the children before going out on my own. They have five children and live in the West of England. A good thing — I am my father’s only chick and child. They would be very disappointed if I don’t spend this time with them, so I am planning on going there for the first two weeks — I hope you don’t mind.

That will give us six weeks together — will you be able to get any leave time, do you know yet? You will have been there for — what, a year then?

We accumulate leave on an on-going basis but it can only be taken at certain times, I should imagine it is much the same in your profession.

‘officially yours’,




To start, family is really a lot more important than many would believe. Most military groups, which I know of including my own time with the US Navy, encourage their service people to spend any free time they are able to with family. There was one of my men who very rarely sent any letters home and I nearly had to threaten him with disciplinary action when I kept receiving requests from his mother for him to send even a postcard to let her know he was alive. I knew he was receiving an unusual amount of communication from home at every mail call and thought how lucky he was to be so loved. He even cheerfully shared all the goodies sent by his mother with everyone, including me. It just didn’t click that he never returned the correspondence until I was getting letters from his mother. So spend all the time you need with your family. Perhaps, someday I’ll get the chance to meet them.

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