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The friar sat at his computer and stared at the screen for some time. 'How could this man expect him to send $1800?' he wondered. he went back to the original letter and reread it. 'You have no money to spend while this business progresses' it told him. He took a deep breath and started to type:


Dear Mr Justice,

Thank you for your compliments about the Letter of Guarantee. Modesty insists that I remind you that you wrote it, I just signed it.

It has been a very trying day. I must apologise for the wombat question. For your information I accidentally killed the Abbot's pet wombat and I was in search of ways to try to make amends for my carelessness. The Abbot is treating me very coolly at present; the gentleman seems to hold a grudge most unreasonably.

I knew that you wouldn't have a wombat recipe so I guess it was a bit of a rhetorical question. Then again, if you had a recipe for aardvark or wildebeest, that would probably have done as well.

The normal way to cook a wombat is generally to casserole it. You put the wombat and an old boot in a pot and boil it until the boot is soft then throw away the wombat and eat the boot. In this case it was a quite young wombat so in the end we left the arrow in place and spit roasted it.

I was a bit disturbed to find that there are such costs involved in the establishing of the framework for the transaction.

I do refer you to your original letter where your said: 'you early informed that you have no money to spend while this business progresses.'. What has happened? Has something gone amiss?

But on the positive side the amount does look much more attractive when halved. But half of nothing would be even more appealing.

I must ask you something. It has appeared in a number of your emails and it is a word I do not know: what does 'revert' mean? You obviously wish me to do it but I am not understanding what it is. Please explain.

Yours in Christ,

Friar Augustus Tuck.

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They cried unto thee, and were delivered:
They trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

- Psalm 22:5

Then he had finished he pushed the 'send' button and reached for a bottle on the table beside the bed. He took a deep gulp of the contents. There is a small but largely unmearurable period of time where the body talks to the brain and the brain talks to the body and both of them reach the same conclusion and shout the same word at once: 'Tincture!'. The friar spat out the liquid and rushed to the basin to rinse his mouth.


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