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July 12, 1677

"Suspicious Circumstances"

I have had a most vexing week indeed. Evidently, I congratulated myself too early on my clever little scheme to burn my ships and collect the insurance money. Those tight-fisted, mammon-worshipping thieves at Messrs. Lloyd & Company who had so few qualms about accepting my money when the boot was on the other foot have had the audacity to accuse me of fraud! I received a pompous note from Mr. Lloyd on Wednesday full of base accusations about "suspicious circumstances surrounding the fire," which have rendered his company "unable to pay in full until such a time as the exact cause of the incident can be determined." This note was followed by a most unpleasant visit from a low, servile little man who asked me impudent questions about why I happened to be present at the fire and whether it was true that I had been seen purchasing quantities of gunpowder the previous week, with such an obsequious manner that I had no choice but to set the dogs on him.

A second visit, an hour later, from Sean's ludicrous "financial adviser" made matters a good deal more complicated. In an infuriating piece of ill timing, the fool had invested a sizeable portion of Sean's estate in this very company, and was "exceedingly interested" to hear, as he put it, my "side of the story." And so my poor, exhausted dogs were set to work again. I have a good mind to charge both of these gentlemen for the extra feed I have had to give the overworked animals on their account.

A letter from Sean this morning informed me that he is returning to London from God knows what den of infamy he has been holed up in, and that we have much to speak about. I hope very much that at least he will be reasonable about this unfortunate misunderstanding, but I will keep Rex and Cerberus well rested nonetheless.

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