Miss Harriet B. Elder
The Daily Mail & Times
December 5th, 189-
Dear Miss Elder,
You called upon me yesterday eve with the news that my father-in- law, the former Earl of Ravenglass, had arrived at a peaceful end, at long last, in the prison chamber where he was kept for the past seven years. You asked if I might be able to add to the obituary of this former Lord of the British Exchequer and low-fallen great man for your readers by giving some personal anecdote or other that might serve to make him more sympathetic. I find that I am not able to do so without further tarnishing his name, but upon reflection I recalled –indeed I had never forgotten and had written down in my girlhood diary – an incident regarding his wife, when she was Marchioness, from some years ago that you might find revealing.
It was in the year 184- and my Aunt Blassage from Lancaster, visited my family in the rectory here, upon the Ravenglass Manor estate. After she had gone, she left my mother as a gift, a lovely lacework collar, made in the Isle of Man, where Aunt had recently journeyed. My mother declared it beautiful if a great waste of money. She went out insufficiently to wear it, and anyway a Vicar’s wife, as Aunt B. should well know, oughtn’t to display such Vanities upon her Person.
IN WHICH THE AVERAGE OF THE PARTICULAR IS EQUAL
TO THE SPECIFIC: AND INDEED IN SEVERAL CASES PERILOUS
by Felice Picano
. . . seven, eight, nine people in front of me. There were fifteen when I arrived. That's progress. Two seventeen p.m. now. I've already been here for fifteen minutes. Only two minutes late to be here. Could this be the line for those who came -- or rather those who were supposed to come -- at two o'clock? Or is it, somehow, for others. Those due later. Say, at two-fifteen? Am I on the right line?
Only one line. Must be the right one.
No, time isn't what matters in these situations. It's something else. It's . . . .
Ah! Another person has left the line and gone up to the clerk's window. Clerk number one, I call him, and not only because he is one of two, or because he is the first of the two clerks, that I noticed when I arrived, although that alone would make sense and be significant for him to warrant the name, wouldn't it? And after all, he is straight ahead off this line, while the other clerk, number two, evidently, is kind of off to one side, which is I suppose why I only noticed him later on.
by Felice Picano
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