St-Patrick-Hartbrooke finishes his letter, and signs it with his usual overstated flair. He takes out the pocketwatch he intends to give as a gift, wearing white microfibre gloves to prevent it from being tarnished in any way, and compares it to his own. The gift is newer, of course, not being an heirloom (yet), and the coat of arms on its cover is that of Mr. Farnsworth, not the crosses and harts of St-Patrick-Hartbrooke.
Opening the cover, he can see the slight differences in the mechanisms behind the glass, improvements made in the half-century since his own watch was produced. With a competent watchmaker to maintain it, both will go on ticking for centuries, but the newer SWIM chronometer should need less maintenance than his own.
One day, Aaaakzee knows, the St-Patrick-Hartbrooke watch will die its final death, and whichever heir to the legacy will commission a new one with the latest state-of-the-art enhancements, but, for now, the watch’s persistence through time is a more auspicious symbol to carry around, rather than the Farnsworth watch’s novelty. A tie to the past, to its traditions and values, rather than a tie to the present, ephemeral as any given moment may be.
With one final glance at the inside of the cover, he spots the barely-visible etching of the St-Patrick-Hartbrooke heraldry on each; only a very small fraction of the watches produced by his family have this etching, and any of his descendants, if presented with such a watch, will feel obligated — as the gift-giver himself would — to give the bearer a moment of his time, no questions asked.
The letter he has written to accompany the watch states none of this outright, but obliquely hints at all of it. Hopefully, the message gets through that a favour may be begged by any of of the St-Patrick-Hartbrooke line by presenting the watch, but he is not going to write it explicitly; it is simply not in his nature to.
He places the watch back in its protective box, and sends it off for delivery. There is something more important to take care of, now: to secure the St-Patrick-Hartbrooke family line, so that there is such a person to respond to such favours when demanded in the future. He has every reason to believe that Miss Penumbra is amenable to a proposal, but he still feels the pressure of nerves and doubts.
The owner of a seaside resort has, hearing the story of the duel, offered the use of the resort for a wedding (for a fee, of course), making use of the Space Griffin’s notoriety in order to boost his own. It seems a fair enough trade, but confirming such a thing before the bride has accepted the proposal would be inviting the deepest humiliation. Which is to say, he has a question to ask, and a deadline within which to ask it.
Taking a sip of schnapps to steady his nerves, he dons a tasteful, light jacket and steps out into the summer heat to present his proposal.
Propose Madeline Penumbra Venue 3 Gift @Wisconsin_Platt 50 A SWIM Pocketwatch, emblazoned prominently with Mr. Farnsworth's heraldry