About an hour later he got up and pottered through to the majlis. It was a stifling night. He switched on the air conditioning and it shuddered into life with a terrible effort. Still in his sarong, he sat down at the table laden with the disordered typescripts of his book. He took a plain sheet of foolscap and fitted it into his old portable. In the top right-hand corner he typed the Post Box number of the Darwish and the date. Of his sons, he chose Paul to write to because Gavin was intolerant of him and always had been. He could tell that was still so from the tone of Gavin's occasional letters, and particularly from the letters of Gavin's wife (another scientist: Gavin had met her at university) when he wrote enquiring about the grandchildren: neither she nor Gavin ever asked anything about his life - never a query, never a speculation. Their rare letters fulfilled a dry duty.
[The Man Who Knew Everything, Stacey, T.]