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February 22, 1677

Midas' Touch

There is a creature in Ireland that I was taught to fear more than any other, and to cross its path was to encounter a mortal dread greater than if one had spat on the Pope himself. That creature is the Banshee and its inhuman wail could be heard many a night when I was just a wee bairn, snug and safe in my bed with my five brothers knowing that another man had passed on.

Such was the sound Jack made when he learned that it was I who was to sell the papers to the Dutchman.

If only Jack were as lovely

Luckily, I was in civilized company or I expect that Jack would have thrown himself bodily across the table and wrapped his fingers around my throat. Nevertheless, after his initial outburst he regained his composure and spent most of the meeting glowering at me with hate in his eyes.

Surprisingly, Patrick was in attendance as well, hoping to attract visitors for his mission to the Orient. I felt bad for the man as I had entered the room during the apex of his speech during which he was loudly denouncing the rumor of “fearsome monkeys” bringing his last venture to disaster.

When all attention had turned to me, I soon learned that I was in trouble. The Dutchman, or Hans Broekman as he preferred to be called, was a fierce negotiator and as discussions progressed I had the sinking feeling that I was about to be fleeced.  In fear for my fortune that was rapidly disappearing before my eyes I called a quick break to get some air and escape the black-toothed Broekman.

I then proceeded to do something that I hope I never have to do again in my life. I asked Jack for help.

Jack was no fool and quickly took the lead in negotiation. I had to part with twenty percent of my earnings to him and make a strict promise that he be allowed to handle any future investments with my windfall. It was a hard bargain, but one much better than what the insufferable Dutchman proposed.

The long and short of it is that I am now a disgustingly wealthy man. And while Jack may have some say in my future endeavors, there is nothing he can say to my taking Patrick to the Crimson Unicorn tonight and celebrating until daylight tomorrow morning.


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