So I'm working on a Tolkien article and could use some help.

The end of Tolkien's coded letter to Father Francis from 1904 is reproduced in The Tolkien Family album on page 22. (If you'd like a picture of it, PM me).

The letter ends with a (non-coded) limerick about F. Francis and then this funny little parenthetical comment (the first half of this is quoted in the Tolkien C&G):

"(This is to pay you out for not coming! [some mark, perhaps an "and" symbol?] sending Father [name of priest] instead)"

Here's a list of past priests at the Birmingham Oratory: ... graphies-of-past-members/

José Manuel Ferrández Bru in "'Wingless fluttering': Some Personal Connections in Tolkien’s Formative Years" (_Tolkien Studies_) translates the beginning of the coded letter this way:

My dear wise owl Father Francis
you are too bad
not to come, in
spite of Father Denis

It seems to be a different "Father" at the end, though, because the first two letters of the name seem to be "E" and "d." Father Edward would make the most sense, but the reproduction seems to cut off part of the text.

The answer might lie in the coded letter somewhere--the beginning of the letter is reproduced in _Tolkien: Life and Legend_ (page 17) or _The Invented Worlds of J. R. R. Tolkien_ (page 24)

Any help, thoughts, or suggestions with the mark or name of the priest would be much appreciated.