OpenWindows User's Guide

Recovering Messages Being Composed

If you are in the middle of composing a mail message when your Mail Tool application or your window system crashes, you can recover a copy of the message from the file dead.letter in your home directory minus the last 80 edits, that is the application keeps track of the number of edits and files saves every 80 edits. So the most edits lost would be the last 80.

Your message is also saved in the file dead.letter whenever you click SELECT on the Clear button in the Compose window or choose Clear message from the Compose window's Deliver menu.

See the man page for mail for information about dead.letter and the save variable.