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September 23, 1677

Sludge, and an unwanted visitor

I have been much distracted, recently, by a study that has kept me rowing around the harbor in search of new forms of sludge and pondering how to remove them. The Thames River harbormaster, heeding complaints about the sight of the waters that lap the boards of England's proud merchant fleet, to say nothing of the smell, has asked me to see what may be done to improve the quality of our local waterways. One easy first step, I quickly advised, would be to convince Jack (and others like him) to forbid the men on their rum-runners from emptying their rum-soaked bilges into the harbor. The rum, or at least the sort Jack peddles, soaks into the already unpleasant detritus found in the bilge of a standard brig, rendering it extremely flammable. Jack's men very much enjoy setting this effluvia a-blaze as they pump it out, giving the ship the appearance that it is urinating fire. It is an extremely dangerous habit around wooden ships, of course, and burning these wastes seem to release foul stenches that would otherwise remain contained.

The study pays quite well, I should mention.

I leave the task of convincing Jack to discipline his men to others, as I have good reason to doubt my capacity as a negotiator. As you know doubt know if you follow Twitter feeds with any sort of attention, Sean has taken refuge once again in Jack's house, to escape the harpy he must now refer to as "wife."  She soon followed him there, and, as

1) Sean was senseless with drink;
2) Gustavo had immediately fled through the pantry, citing a sudden need to "revictual"; and
3) Jack was holding firm on his oath never to speak to a woman again unless money changed hands;

I was chosen to negotiate her immediate departure. Not only did I fail to remove her from the doorstep, but thanks to her swift, womanly wiles and demon-inspired sophistry, I: allowed her to stay in Jack's house, permanently; promised an expensive, labor-intensive breakfast - something with quails' eggs - to be readied for her daily, at some ungodly hour; and sworn upon my dear mother's honor that rum was henceforth forever banned from our house.

I gave up so much, with such dispatch, that Jack valued the reversal of my concessions as actual money regained and stepped in to achieve what I could not. Tho' I do consider the use of hounds an ungentlemanly way to improve ones terms.

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Comments

addy farmer

for god's sake, Patrick - what's the matter with you?
Addy

Patrick

Dear Addy,

I can only assume that you noticed, and are chastising me for, a subject-verb disagreement in the last sentence of the second to last para of this post. It should read, "...and SWORE upon my dear...," not "sworn."

My apologies, & many thanks for calling my attention to the error.

Yrs,
Patrick

addy farmer

oh dear, it's worse than I thought

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