St-Patrick-Hartbrooke looks at the various pamphlets that have been dropped at his door; many are from the city, others are from the military.
The military ones he deals with first, by consigning them to their appropriate place in the dustbin. While he is certainly not opposed to the war with New Prussia now that they have initiated aggressions, he has neither the skill nor the temperament for military service, and especially not as an officer. Quite frankly, if he were to lead troops into combat, he would most likely be leading them to pointless deaths, and that would not be an acceptable loss of life. The military thinking that it was appropriate for commanders to be appointed by money instead of merit was, quite frankly, insane. St-Patrick-Hartbrooke prayed that this decision did not lose them the war, by leaving them with an aristocratic, inexperienced officer corps instead of a well-trained, veteran one.
In addition, he was experiencing feelings of EE’rrak, a Keeen’Arrr word which would translate roughly as “blood on the talons.” Admittedly, the only blood on his talons after the duel had been his own, but the phrase, generally applied to Space Griffins who had flown, hunted down, and killed and butchered their first kill, was appropriate nonetheless. He had killed — had not landed the fatal blow, but had killed nonetheless — someone who he had felt to be a threat to him and to society, and could not blot the hum-cube’s death from his conscience. He certainly didn’t trust himself to be in a position to take anyone else’s life right now.
As for the other missives, from Mayor Tidewell, asking for funds for various city projects, and promising to laud the names of the donors in the presses… It is yet more reason why is becoming increasingly disturbed by the Mayor’s actions. Does not the Good Book say,
Be careful not to perform your righteous acts before men to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be praised by men. Truly I tell you, they already have their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
This situation and be contrasted with that of the plague relief (which, if anything, was a more appropriate situation for lauding the contributors). Those contributions were for a life-saving treatment, were made publicly because a certain threshold needed to be reached, and none of the contributors received so much as a “thank you” for their assistance. Which was as it should be. That the Mayor should promise otherwise for this… It rankles at him, just as the proposition that she had made after the rescue mission had.
With some hesitation, he bins these entreaties as well. He would rather these particular efforts fail entirely than have this kind of “Money for Social Standing” transaction become entrenched into society.
His letters already written, he commits two short lines to the Public Ledger, dons his hat and coat, and makes his way to Leviathan’s, to toast His Majesty the King, God rest his soul, and Her Majesty the Queen, long may she reign.
WRITE 1 Miss Rockingham
WRITE 2 Miss Penumbra