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October 17, 1677

Chimeras & Catholics

Well, it has been two days since our scheme was hatched, and Patrick is being recalcitrant and obtuse (as is his wont), while the Irishman remains simply incomprehensible. I can receive no clear indication from him as to his own opinions about the task at hand, except, I think, that he desires remuneration. As if his eating me out of house and home, and my tolerating -- with a forbearance worthy of Seneca -- the malodorous emissions from his person and the guttural moaning which he attempts to pass off as discourse were not payment enough for a job that requires him merely to be himself for an hour.

As in the past, when I have fallen in with business partners who are incapable of making intelligent decisions for themselves, I have had to take matters into my own hands and create for them the necessary incentives to do the right thing of their own accord. In Patrick's case, I have played upon his superstition. He keeps with him at all times what he thinks is a Chimera's tooth (though it has quite clearly been removed from some unfortunate rodent), which he believes brings him good luck, and which he values above all of his other possessions. He wears the foul thing on a necklace during the day, but at night he keeps it on his bedside table so that it will be near him.

My plan is to encourage Patrick to make an association in his mind between the tea stock that I need him to procure for me and the mystical powers that he believes to inhere in his ludicrous totem, and to that end, I directed George to bring Patrick his breakfast in bed this morning and to make a show of stumbling and spilling some tea over the tooth. Even if this does not fully convince him that it is in his best interests to meet with O'Flanahan next week, I am certain that it will shake his resolve to fight me at every turn -- and I have some other tricks up my sleeve that will quell the remainder of his stubbornness.

The Irishman is an easier dupe. I have hinted to him that if he proves less than amenable, I will have no choice but to report his subversive Catholic sympathies to certain members of Parliament who will find them very interesting indeed.

I shall post again soon with the results of these endeavours, but with two such easy marks, I am quite certain of success.


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