St-Patrick-Hartbrooke turns his head from the paper for a moment to cough into his kerchief.
This is unacceptable. It’s despicable. It’s unconscionable…
And Aaaakzeee St-Patrick-Hartbrooke III knows exactly who is responsible.
Very well, then. If that coward wants war, let there be such a war. He will burn down his enemy’s fortunes, his social standing, and his very manor around him, for daring to inflict such a pestilence upon him. In the Lord’s name, Dr. Franksenketchup (@Old) will pay for this indignity.
There could be no doubt. First, the “doctor” had requested a DNA sample for his unnatural experiments, to which there could only be one response: a polite but firm denial. Perhaps, it is true, the Taaa’keee had thrown a few too many plausibly-deniable mortal insults into the response, but they had been in proportion — exactly in proportion, he thinks — to the insult given by asking for the sample in the first place.
And now, he falls sick, not only as the Space Griffin had described in his refusal, but in such a way that would allow the doctor a chance to obtain such a sample… It is far too preposterous a set of circumstances to be coincidental.
He had felt that Franksenketchup had responded far too kindly to the insults he had levied upon him, and had been expecting a similar rejoinder, or a challenge to a duel of honour, or a test of skill, or some response he could leverage into higher social standing. However, this was not how a gentleman settled a grudge. Biological warfare was completely unacceptable.
And, to cap it all off, timing it to coincide with the arrival of the plague…
St-Patrick-Hartbrooke grows very still. No. Surely he isn’t that evil. A “Coat of arms,” though… What other abominations would the “doctor” be willing to unleash?
No. The Taaa’keee can prove nothing, and this is perhaps a leap of logic too far. So, for the moment, he will settle for avenging his personal wrong. Frakesnketchup wants war, does he? Then there will…
He breaks down into another coughing fit in the middle of his resolution. He will not meet his enemy in this condition, and give him the chance to collect his sample. So, there will be war… just as soon as this cough subsides.
Besides, St-Patrick-Hartbrooke is quite certain that Franksenketchup is out there destroying his own social standing well enough without any help. Let him build his own pyre, and Aaaakzeee will time his arrival perfectly in order to set it alight.
Resolution made, St-Patrick-Hartbrooke examines his options for investing in the next season.
He is still uninterested in investing in land; Hartbrooke Hall is home, and he needs no more soil than that.
And, while he enjoys the income from his current business endeavours, he fully acknowledges that he has no head for business, and would probably only get in the way of his business partners if he tried to find efficiencies.
However, he has heard rumours of some inventors who would require funding. His grandfather, the originator of the St-Patrick-Hartbrooke line, had been the inventor of the Self-Winding Interplanetary Mechanical Chronometer, marketed as the SWIM Watch. That invention was the basis for the St-Patrick-Hartbrooke fortune, and the Taaa’keee was sure that his grandfather, God rest his soul, would encourage invention as a worthy place to invest the money that, before it was inherited, originated from sales of the SWIM Watch.
That settled, he will, of course be attending the most fashionable party in the land. After all, there is no chance whatsoever of meeting an uncultured buffoon like his new adversary in such a setting. However, he must needs acquire an appropriate hat for such an event - the best that his funds can obtain for him. A few other accessories may not go awry, either (although not a snuffbox; a filthy habit, that is).
Totalling his expenses, he finds he has a few dollars left over, and decides, despite his previous failure, to wager them on another Lagoderm race. Scanning the papers, he finds that one is named after the Lord’s Day. Surely, that is a sign worth a wager, despite the dismal (but, if successful, very rewarding!) odds.
His funds committed, St-Patrick-Hartbrooke sets out, handkerchief pressed to his face, to affix his choices within the Public Ledger.
Invest 3 250
Buy Silk Bowler
Buy Provocative Novel
Buy Fashionable Handkerchief
Wager Sunday Stroll 28