Vol. 2, Issue 32, August 24, 2004
Luck to Spare
My nephew Ephram rarely stirs from his Couch in the News-room to disturb me in the inner sanctum of my Office; I know full well he saves most of his Visits for times when I am at the Club, so he may continue his Search for my special Reserve of fine Scotches unmolested. Hence, when he does bestir himself to slouch purposefully through my Door, I know it is something Special that impels his sluggish frame over the Threshold.
As always, I quickly lock away my Cheque-Book, slam shut the Roll-top Desk which has all my most Important documents secure in their Pigeon-holes; and give my Full Attention to dear Ephram, mindful not to let my gaze wander for an Instant (he is Adept at Prestidigitation: several very fine Letter-Openers and a gold-inlay Snuff Box were the price of my Education in this regard).
"Uncle Zeke," he began with his usual lack of Preamble, "I have a deal you cannot afford to pass up."
I did but Smile and grip my wallet all the Tighter.
In response, however, he raised a small plain Envelope before me, and withdrew a Remarkable and instantly recognizable Object: a Four-Leaved Clover.
Now, I am generally a man of Singular rationality; but I confess a vestigial Weakness in this regard - a fondness for these Marvelous lucky charms of Nature. It has been the case ever since a missed opportunity of my Youth - when the Flaherty Hot-dog factory nearby accidentally (the story goes) knocked a Leprechaun into its Processing-machinery, and gave everyone in the Neighborhood who ate Flaherty Frankfurters uncommonly good fortune at the Track for a Month. Except for me and my Family, for my father did not Believe such fare was Healthy; and we dined on Fish and Chips instead. Alas! - I have sought in vain to Recapture this missed opportunity ever Since, in a way. Which Ephram knows full well, unfortunately.
But as he twirls it, and names a Price beyond all reason - is he perhaps thinking to purchase a Boat or a small House? - I cannot help but Wonder at this strange flaw in my character. For I confess I already consider myself a Fortunate man: I have all I could Want in life, in games of Chance I am no worse than the common Man, and considerably Better at some (beware my Whist game, good readers!) Why, then, should this small slip of Clover hold so much Attraction? I am not even of recent Irish extraction.
But Men are not Machines, neither are we Angels; if we were fully Knowable, we would be a sorry lot Indeed. It is illogical, it defies the light of Reason with which I chart my Course through the days; it serves no Purpose, it is not even Defensible on spiritual grounds. But it Pleases me nonetheless. I offer a lesser sum, which Ephram gleefully takes, scampering Off before I can change my Mind. There is no need to fear That, however. At times such as this, I may be a veritable Enigma to myself; the smallest mysteries of the Self are oftentimes the most Intractable. It is, I think, not a cause for Concern.
By Jove, that is a simply Splendid clover.