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251 pages, Kindle Edition
First published June 16, 2015
‘A Note to the Editor, .. (...) ..I have decided. I shall write the Secret Casebook , record the truth of our lives— not Simon Feximal’s life alone, but Robert and Simon, together. It is for you to decide what to do with the tale when it is told.’
‘But I knew in that moment, as he kissed me with such angry, loving care, that I was forgiven for my presumption in saving his life, and that was all I needed.’
‘I have seen many things that bewilder the senses. Sometimes I think that the depth of poverty in the greatest and wealthiest city on earth is the most astounding of all.’
Simon kissed me this evening, a snatched kiss in a canvas tent, and said, quite calmly, 'I love you.'
'Do you know,' I told him, 'it has been twenty-three years and you have never said that before?'
'Have I not?' he asked, slightly surprised. 'But you knew.'
'Of course I knew. I have always known.'
'Well, then,' he said, with mild exasperation, and put his arm round my shoulders.
If Fate grants us another twenty-three years, preferably in comfortable retirement, that would be very welcome. But if it ends tonight, as long as we go together, I shall feel entirely satisfied with my lot.
But I had to tell the story, Henry. I had to let someone know who I was: not merely Simon's assistant, his chronicler, his poor scribbling friend, but the great love of a great life. That I may have lived in his shadow, but I was always by his side. That I was as needful to him as air.