The 19th of July 1883 – Dorchester, Dorset

(found by the skins of three rabbits)

Dearest Mae,

What a thought just struck my mind while on my morning constitutional.

For, as I was walking down the path so briskly past the outskirts of the town, I passed by the figure of a poor and hobbled beggar. He sat there, without even any rough-hewn patches to cover the tears in his pants and jacket – thin enough to be nigh translucent – and he was covered in dust from the road.

It was such a hot morning – with the sun already bleating ferociously from its position high above us – yet this frail man sat there shivering. Doubtless, his teeth would have chattered had his mouth any occupants.

I was so struck by the man’s sudden appearance, as he must have just tumbled out of the long grass bordering my walkway as I came around a curve or somesuch, that I was overtaking in the moment by a dreadful anxiety.

My eyes flickered over the poor man’s face – pouches marked with bold lines hung from his cheeks and from below his bloodshot eyes, his scalp was bloody and well-scratched and nearly uncovered by a few thin strands of straw-colored hair – yet I kept on walking.

What world is this? Where a man can be so assured of his survival that – in the name of health – he burns his fuel with caprice while another, forlorn and outcast, bundles his body with thin and ragged scraps and still shivers in the hottest sun?

Yet I kept on walking, so struck by it all that all I could do was move past with shame and regret.

Dutifully,

Horace

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