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October 27

Excuses, Excuses

On top of my convalescence from the braining by Jack's lintel stone, the effort required to scour this accursed city, in the (by definition) vain hope of finding worthy substitutes for the largely irreplaceable specimens from my formerly envied collection of world-wide flora and fauna, which collection Jack and Sean committed to the eternal grave in a foolish, if touching, effigy of me, has kept me both very busy and rather too irascible to post on yet another day's failures.

Further, while I was confined to my bed, Sean and Jack took the well-intentioned liberty of inventing and then delivering to my esteemed colleagues at the Society preliminary and completely fraudulent descriptions of my findings from my time in the Orient. The Society now await eagerly tractati on, among other ludicrous topics, the customs of a fictitious tribe that only walk on their hands, the "werefish," and the vegetable lamb of Tartary. Between drafting more truthful versions of these and the constant flow of quacks who, at Sean's behest, "treat" me for melancholy (from which no one has ever died anyway), I have had little time and still less energy to post.

But true to his word, this evening Jack set the dogs on Sean's latest fool before the poor man had even crossed the threshold, and the sight raised my spirits considerably.

October 26


I will be the first to admit that I have been negligent in keeping up this blog the past three weeks. I am not a man to shy away from my mistakes; to make excuses where an apology is required; to shrug off blame when the time has come to take responsibility. But the truth is that it is all Sean’s fault.

Since returning home from Indochina last month, Patrick has been an utterly changed man—he largely keeps to himself, and when he is in company, he barely utters a word. Quite frankly, this suits me very well indeed, but it has had an effect on Sean that is as utterly pathetic as it is insufferable. For two weeks on end now, my hallways have been a waiting area for London’s most notorious quacks—my withdrawing room a symposium for some of the least credible men on the planet—as Sean trots in (one following the other, in dizzying succession) doctor after doctor in an attempt to “cure” Patrick of his silent melancholy (as if such a thing could be considered anything other than a felicitous improvement upon his previous state of noisy silliness), and I have not had a moment’s peace in which to write. 

We have had an apothecary, who, with great fanfare, held Patrick’s nose and fed him castor oil (to be honest, this was actually quite entertaining); a physick, who covered our friend from head to toe in leeches (we later discovered that he charged by the leech); a herbalist, who left us with some leaves which have significantly improved my roast potatoes, but which utterly failed to bring about a change in Patrick beyond a fit of sneezing; a mesmerist, who succeeded only in hypnotizing the cat, which now refuses to eat any fish; and (tonight) an exorcist, who has been slapping Patrick across the face for such a long time now that it has genuinely ceased to be amusing.

Sean has promised me that this will be his last attempt at a cure, which is fortunate, since the next physician who enters my home will be fed to the dogs.

October 3

Lord of the Dance

If you want to wake up feeling like a King, I suggest that you spend a night at the Crimson Unicorn. Their beds are soft, their girls are willing, and you might leave with a bit of your purse intact.

If you fancy a smack in the head with a walking stick, I would suggest coming to spend the night at Jack’s domicile. I awoke this morning once again to him beating me about the head and shoulders and railing about the latest injustice inflicted upon his person.


The topic of the day was how I had failed to take full advantage of my wealth and that if I “damn well want to be a gentleman, I better start acting like one.”

My failings in this department evidently centered on my inability to dance. Having placed first in the county fair at Cork no less than three times in my past I was quick to object, but Jack would have none of it. “If you want to look like a backwoods Irishman that is your own business, but to stay in my house you will have to learn how to act around your betters.” I cautiously reminded Jack that I was now in fact far richer than he, and that I resided in his house not on his sufferance, but so that he could “keep and eye on my frightful expenditures.”


What proceeded was the most agonizing three hours I have spent in quite a while. Jack forced me to take quarter turns with George until the poor fellow had to beg out due to both bruised shins and feet. Every misstep was met with a filthy oath from Jack as the self proclaimed “Master of Dance” claimed he had never had so poor a pupil. I was saved in the end by poor Patrick who wandered in the room at the most inopportune moment. Jack, in an attempt to demonstrate a particular of the Minuet, had found someone whose talent for rhythm was less blessed than mine, and I slunk out of the room to bathe my broken feet.