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July 22, 1677

EJT

Sean returned home yesterday, walked straight into the kitchen without saying a word, picked up an empty wine bottle from the table, and hurled it in my direction. The missile shot past my left ear and exploded into a thousand pieces behind me. Thankfully, no one was harmed (unless you count my manservant, who was knocked unconscious by the exploding bottle, leaving me with no one to clean up the mess for several hours). Evidently, Sean's financial people have been filling his head with garbage about the money he stands to lose if Lloyd's Insurance (which company he has a considerable stake in) is made to pay me for my two trading ships that were burned in a terrible accident two weeks ago, after I filled them with gunpowder and set them alight.

Fortunately, Sean's head for business is even worse than his aim, and I was able to persuade him that it is in both of our best interests for Lloyd's to pay up, since an insurance company that is seen to be publicly reneging on a gentleman's agreement with a man who has done nothing but stand by and watch, in anguish, while his beautiful (albeit termite-ridden) ships burn to the ground will not be likely to attract investors in the future. After we were friends again, Sean told me of a threatening letter he had received, signed only with the initials EJT. The news filled me with consternation, as, that very morning, I had received an ominous note from the same lunatic! I have posted it below for my readers' benefit. If any of you have information as to the identity of this fellow, I would be grateful to hear it.

Sir,

As my net draws ever closer around you and your ugly, feeble-minded friend, it will be my considerable pleasure to watch you both squirm. You may expect retribution for your abominable actions at any moment, though the punishment that it is my duty to impose upon you for your crimes against my family will be as nothing compared with the eternal punishment you will receive at the hands of the Lord for your crimes against honour and religion.

Yours, etc.

EJT

P.S. In case it wasn't clear, the punishment I have planned for you is exceptionally nasty.

My first assumption was that the letter came from my mother-in-law, as the tone of the message bears considerable similarities to the missives I am accustomed to receiving from her, but her initials are not EJT, and she never fails to include some advice in her letters related to my personal hygiene. The "ugly, feeble-minded friend" the note refers to must be Sean, as the only other candidate who fits the description is still lost at sea somewhere, to the best of my knowledge.

An odd business, to be sure. I shall post again once I have delved further into the matter.

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