Vol. 1, Issue 17, September 9, 2003
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Remembrance Of Things Past: The Eyes Have It

Ezekiel F. Watley, Esq.

I received in the Post the other day (the Conventional Post, not the Electro-Mail) a rather careworn Package from my great-uncle Elijah's solicitors. I was rather Startled, as I had believed all Matters pertaining to that excellent man's Estate long since Concluded; but as the accompanying Letter stated, one of the Associates in the Firm which handled Elijah's will was abroad at the time of his Demise, in a remarkable effort to Escape the Tax Authorities. Hence, this Package had been overlooked.

What a Man, Great-Uncle Elijah. Those familiar with our own History will note that the Trust Fund he kindly Bequeathed me enabled the foundation of our Comely Publication; but I have not done him Justice so far.

How to describe the man? - A Salt-Water Tang entered the room with the cheerful Clomp of his wooden Leg, along with other less Savory Tangs that Seamen are wont to Accumulate. A fiery Glint in his remaining Eye, and a gently yellowed Beard - telltale Aureole of Tobacco Use - were testament to his Manliness and Appeal to the Ladies. He ever had a Trinket for me as a child, be it a Scrimshaw Knife, Scrimshaw Buckle, Scrimshaw toy Soldier... there was no End to the Variety of Gifts he would bring! Ever did I look forward to his roguish Tales of Whales he Almost Caught. Of which there were Plenty, since lady Luck was not on his Side and he caught very Few, if Any.

I deftly Opened the Packet, and found within a few Artifacts which brought back a Flood of Memories. A Diary, acquired in a Card game from a French Countess; his favorite marked Deck of Cards; and - most Poignant of All - his best, spare Scrimshaw Eye, which he only used in place of his Glass eye on Special Occasions.

I perceived that the Eye was Masterfully carved, such that I could almost imagine Elijah glaring with it. Beware, you Whales!

I take it for a Sign, that this most Adventurous of the Watleys still keeps his Eye upon me; and also for a Vision. For delicately inscribed in the Pupil of this Eye, a virtual Reflection as it were, is a faint image of the Whale: the fateful Ivory Whale which he pursued throughout his Life, yet was ultimately his Undoing. Spending one's life in Pursuit of such a Cetacean is a noble and fruitful Pursuit, and it is no Wonder he was so Successful. Though I never opted for a Seafaring life myself - the first male Watley to have nothing to do with the Sea, or Fish - I confess the image in the Eye is compelling. Perhaps it is the Scotch talking, but I cannot get the Tang of the Sea Air out of my mind. Or clothing, for that matter, as the packet is Plenty Pungent.

I believe a bit of Adventure is called for; My Walking-stick! My Flask! Extra Cravats and Glue! I shall this very Day purchase a Ticket aboard a Vessel for a much-needed Vacation, and trust the Shop to Elisabeth, Ephram, and the stalwart Fellows on the floor in there. I shall be sure to send a Post-Card, and to provide a full Recounting when I return. Cheers!


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