I am sorry for the pain this letter will cause, but this is the only option available to me. The time has come for me to face the truth, and in so doing pay its consequences. I hope this will answer some of your questions, and that someday you can forgive me.
James Morton contacted me. That is why I reopened the hearings. I made the mistake of revealing his identity to the President, and the President made sure he wouldn’t be around for the hearing. There IS a James Morton, Orrin; Leffingwell is a dirty liar and the President will stop at nothing to make sure his nomination is approved.
For this reason I must take the course of action I have taken. I know that this seems a drastic step, but I have already lost everything else. Were Fred to reveal what he knows, I would lose my family, my career, my livelihood, my safety, and my happiness. Indeed, my happiness is long gone. It is on a beach in Honolulu, right where I left it during the War.
You’ve no doubt heard the rumors; they are true. His name was Ray. We met when I was on leave, and we began seeing each other. Our relationship was passionate yet naïve. When we had been together a month, the pressures of reality tore us apart and we went our separate ways. Neither before nor since have I done anything similar. I thought this was all in the past, but they found him and he cracked, and the right information got in the wrong hands. I can’t escape this anymore. I tried so hard to be the man Mabel and Pidge need me to be, but I can’t, and I hate myself for it. They don’t deserve to go through this with me. I must handle this alone.
I don’t want to be like Leffingwell. I’m not going to lie about the indiscretions of my past, however painful they may be. Nor will I let them ruin me anymore. They got what they wanted: I will no longer stand in their way. That job falls to you now, Orrin. I trust you. I know that you will not rest until Leffingwell is soundly defeated. The world wouldn’t survive it if he should succeed.
Thank you for everything, from the bottom of my heart. You are a cherished friend, and I wish I could continue to benefit from that friendship. If the contents of this letter change your opinion of me, I understand, and I wish you all the best. I’m truly sorry.
Please look after Mabel and Pidge. I really do love them, even if not the way they deserve. I regret that I will not be able to see Pidge grow up, but I know she will be a fantastic young woman someday. If you see Lafe, I ask you to please tell him that I appreciate him trying to save me, and I’m sorry it didn’t work. He truly is the best friend a man could ask for. Send Beth and Hal and Crystal my love.
I’m done hiding. Share the contents of this letter with whomever you want. If Fred wants it out, then it’s out. He can’t hurt me anymore.