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July 10, 1677

A Visitation from Becky Fagan

For the third morning in a row, I was awoken today by the banshee-like screeching of Sean’s new wife, Rebecca, informing her husband (and most of my neighbours) that he was a coward, a sissy, and a disgrace to all men the world over. While I am quite ready to admit that these sentiments are very much in accordance with my own opinions, I could wish that she would choose a more felicitous time and venue to express them than 3 a.m. and my doorstep.

But far be it from me to venture a confrontation with the harpie on my own initiative, and Sean—who has spent the last week sleeping in my guest bedroom, (no doubt a contributing factor in the general air of marital discord that characterizes their union)—appeared even less qualified to deal with this fearful apparition than did I. So it was that, by an exceeding close vote of 2 to 1, Patrick was nominated to reason with young Becky Fagan in the dark and the chill outside my home this morning, and (should his wit and diplomacy not desert him) to dissuade her from performing these nightly ministrations at my door, or at least encourage her to do so at a more appealing volume.

I cannot say that he was successful. It is not for me to decide whether the blow to his pride or the one to his cheek was the more painful to Patrick, but I am certain that he suffers greatly from both. And though we were granted a brief intermission from the invective that had been hurled at these walls following Patrick’s ill-fated intervention, it was shortly to be replaced by an unearthly wailing which promised to rob us all of our sleep until it finally and abruptly ceased at around six o’clock.

It is clear that something must be done. I have given Sean a number of practical suggestions (such as poison) to alleviate his marital woes, but he is not, at present, disposed to receive advice from even his dearest and most deeply concerned friends. I have given him a week to sort it out before I set the dogs upon him.

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