Congratulations on your recent graduation.
Perhaps you are wondering if your father would be proud of you? Take pride in your own accomplishments, Clarice. It was my wish to have been able to attend your ceremony. But, alas, the presence of dear old Jackie-boy made that impossible. Your friends at the FBI and I do not have a history of fellowship. Though I cannot deny they enjoyed my company for more than eight years, my enjoyment was not comparable as the accommodations were less than desirable. A change of scenery was needed. Do excuse me for that. Though I enjoyed our talks immensely, the dungeon in which I was forced to reside made pleasant discourse difficult. If you have been implicated in my escape in any way, accept my apologies. I had but one opportunity. Again, dearest Clarice, forgive me.
I find myself wondering how you are doing. I myself have never been better.
I have quite a lovely view and have enjoyed many excellent meals. Tonight, once more, I’ll be having and old friend for dinner. Leftovers can be quite appealing if the meal was well enjoyed. Not a drop to waste, I assure you. Doctor Chilton, with all of his petty torments, has proven to be quite a pleasant companion to my dinner. Several dinners, if I’m being honest.
I’m sorry our last chat wasn’t very long. Dullards though they are I know of your intelligence. You would try to put on a trace. My freedom was hard fought and long awaited. I will not give it up easily. Not even for you Clarice.
Perhaps, if you are amenable, I will contact you from time to time. I do miss our talks. Your voice is the only thing within those walls to which I one day hope to return.
With your accolades and recent successes perhaps the lambs have quieted? For now. Do let me know if they start screaming, Clarice. One wishes to be of service. I am neither good nor bad. I am. In the words of Marcus Aurelius, “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not a truth.”
Do not believe what others say of me. Believe only what you feel.
Hannibal Lecter M.D.
P.S. Surely it goes without saying this letter is for your eyes only. There are no prints to check. There is not evidence to gather. Only my wishes for you health and happiness are enclosed within. Typhoids and swans, Clarice. Remember. I am with you always.