A Brilliant Ruse
The rancour between Sean and me appears to have subsided somewhat. I have endeavoured to smile at him on every possible occasion to show that I bear him no ill feeling—until he begged me to stop, saying that my face, unaccustomed to contorting itself in such a fashion, was making him uneasy. But since then, we have been cordial to one another, and yesterday afternoon, over a jug of ale, we fell to discussing both the business of Lloyd's & Co. (and their aggravating suspicions that I have defrauded them by burning my ships to collect insurance money from them), and the threatening letters we have both been receiving from a mysterious gentleman who identifies himself only with his initials, "EJT". Sean noted that the Lloyd's problem might be dealt with quite easily, if only we could find a way to cast suspicion for the unfortunate accident with my ships on someone else. Then it would fall to their part to prosecute their new suspect, and they would have no choice but to pay me my dues and have done with it.
Before I had time to compliment him on having uttered what may well be the first intelligent sentiment of his entire life, I was struck with a brilliant idea of my own. A new letter, which I had received from EJT that very morning, was all that was required to give both parties exactly what they deserved and rid ourselves of our worries all at once! With some deftly applied ink and water to create the appearance of a stain, EJT's tedious rants were transformed into an unequivocal admission of guilt. Fortunately, I posted the original letter last night, and you may view that here in order to fully appreciate just what a bit of careful and judicious editing can do. The new letter, or should I say, "evidence", is posted below.