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October 19, 1677

Morning tea

Jack has become more insistent, and insidious, than usual in promoting his latest scheme.  In the last two days he has mentioned "the Plan," "coming riches," "stocks" or "tea," at least sixty-four times, or an average of twice a waking hour.  I suspect the actual number of times to be much higher, because I must confess to becoming distracted by an unusual finch call on the ride this morning, and for most of it successfully and enjoyably ignored his musings.

It is a truism, but good help is hard to find these days.  Despite explicit, Exact instructions about the nature and sequence of my morning toilet and breakfast, Jack's butler bumbled into my chamber this morning with a tray overloaded with food.  In the process he spilled tea all over my beloved chimaera's tooth, an object of such rarity and prophetic value that, had he not immediately set the tray in my lap, I would have struck him about the ear.  I am not a superstitious man, but I have seen enough in my travels not to want to link small events with larger unfoldings. 

I am also not naive, and I have known Jack for some time.  It is entirely consistent with his manner to have orchestrated the whole event to make some impression on me.  I must watch him closely...


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