I was delighted to receive your letter telling me of the birthday surprise for Abigail. I know she will be thrilled to find out that we will all be celebrating together in Paris.
It has been an exciting month since I last wrote to you, and I'm not sure where to begin. You know of the avalanche, but did you know it was caused by an earthquake in Libya?
The young man who sometimes traveled with me as a valet was arrested recently in the city of Tobruk when he was visiting family whose home had been damaged in the earthquake. Apparently he has been under suspicion of conducting several robberies on a local ferry, and rolling his victims into the water. One of them died when they were attacked by crocodiles, and he is now being charged with murder as well as robbery. I was quite shocked and appalled to hear the news and am not quite sure if I believe it was him, or if he is being set up by another of his family. He has an older brother who could almost pass as his twin. I shall be speaking to the magistrate soon to give a character reference for him. My fear, however, is that despite my words on his behalf, that they will order his execution. I have kept a ledger of every penny I've ever entrusted him with when we traveled together, and he has never once stolen from me even when he had ample opportunity and the temptation must have been great.
Do you think Abigail would enjoy seeing Paris, the City of Light, as Audrey Hepburn may have seen it when she was in "Sabrina?" I have found a small group of history and film lovers who attempt to recreate scenes from famous movies. They are offering a dinner cruise on the Seine, complete with costumes from the movie. Both you and Abigail would have the opportunity to wear a dress from the film's collection.
I must get going if I'm going to meet with the magistrate this afternoon. But I also want to tell you that I've taken more pictures of Abigail's Pooh Bear in some exotic locations, and will be working on getting them printed and put into an album for her birthday. I'm sure she will be quite surprised at his travels. I will be surprised if she even remembers having him. How old was she when he was left behind on one of your trips? Was she 4 or 5? I seem to remember that you told me it was weeks before she stopped crying for him. I wish it hadn't taken me more than a year to find him in that trunk so I could have saved her the grief.
Dearest sister-in-law, you have become such a good friend to me these past years. There almost seems to be something offensive by adding "in-law" after sister when I speak of you. You and Abigail are the only family I have left now. I am so looking forward to seeing both of you in Paris.
Until then ... Ivan