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The Abbot walked aroung his garage as if repeated looking would somehow return his car.

It didn't.

His humour was not improved by the information that the monastery bank account had been emptied that morning.

The police had been and left before he had a chance to sit down to reply to the email from the strange man in Nigeria:


My Good Sir,

Thank you for your letter.

It has been a traumatic day. Friar Tuck, who you said I should forgive, has run away from the monastery. He took with him a Sister from the neighbouring convent, the contents of the monastery bank account, my car and the monastery goat.

You never really know a person until you leave them alone with your goat.

I probably miss the goat more than I do my car, a Studebaker Hawke, recently rebuilt.

Anyway, I must move on with life and not trouble you with the woes that beset me.

I am still confused about the $25,000,000,000,000 that you talk about. The entire gross domestic product of Australia is only $528,000,000,000. Are you REALLY sure that this amount is correct? FIFTY times the GDP of Australia? Quite extraordinary and, if I may be so bold as to point out, most unlikely to avoid the attention of authorities when it comes into the country!

And, correct me if I am wrong, you want me to send $3,600 to your lawyer? It is most confusing. You say that it is not $3,000 but $3,600 and then talk of $3,800. What is the REAL amount? I am confused.

My first priority tomorrow is an interview with the police. I must give my account of today's proceedings.

My second is a talk to the bank to see if the monastery is covered by insurance for the loss of the contents of its bank account. Obviously this may slow down the payment that you require.

There is a possibility that I could do it directly from my own funds but would this create legal complications for you?

Please advise me on this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Abbot Costello.

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But foolish and unlearned questions avoid,
knowing that they do engender strifes.

- 2 Timothy 2:23

He looked at the clock. It said eleven o'clock.

He looked at at the bottle of brandy. It said drink me.


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