Vol. 8, Issue 3, May 4, 2010
The Aeronautical Cure
The Bentinel

Once a Friend... er... Who, Exactly, Are You Again?

Ezekiel F. Watley, Esq.

The Webamagraph is truly a modern Marvel, which would Certainly be deemed the Eighth Wonder of the World if anyone could determine how to charge Tourists for visiting - or, for that Matter, how to make any money at All from it. Our difference-engines chug quietly away in the News-room, spreading our matchless journalism at the speed of the Telegraph the world over. It is a Most convenient means of dispatching Electro-mail as well, as zeppelin mail costs have regrettably Risen so.

However this network is such a Vast jungle that it never fails to hold a Surprise or two in store, such as the greeting card that I found this morning sitting neatly atop my mahogany In-box. The faint whiff of Ozone about this missive told me straightaway that it had arrived via the Electro-mail, a whiff somewhat but not Entirely offset by the distinctive odor of fine Tobacco, polished leather Furniture, and starched Shirt-collars: in other words, clearly one of my Peers. The message held a cheerful Greeting, an aphorism about the Bull Moose party, and a suggestion that we meet for Luncheon Tuesday Next; with compliments, signed by a mister Igor.

The trouble is, I have no Idea who this individual Is!

Now, my career is a long and Storied one, involving a goodly bit of world Travel, a brief stint in Politics, an even Briefer time spent in an Ambassadorial capacity - not to mention Decades of service in the Legal system, along with countless attendant Social events. It is not Uncommon for a name to slip my Mind now and again. However, usually some Cue floats to my mind, flotsam of past experience bubbling to the surface with some useful Association. I might, for example, have an inexplicable urge to Sneeze (bespeaking Snuff with someone at the Taurus Club, perhaps), or hear the echoing Pounding of a judicial Gavel (clear proof that I encountered the person in Court). There was even one unsavory individual who brought to mind a peculiar image of a Hammerhead pounding a Nail (apparent testament to a particular Whist game some years back involving a great deal of Absinthe - do remind me to Tell the Tale at some point). But for mister Igor? Not a whisper comes forth from the dusty Recesses of my Mind.

In vain I enjoy several glasses of Aberlour while allowing my mind to Roam: the scotch is not entirely Wasted, per se, but I am no closer to recalling who this gentleman is. A more Scientific approach is called for: quick - to the Pipe-rack! It is quite a three-pipe Problem. I decide Also to peruse my old college Year-books, seeking amongst a sea of staid Sepia portraits for some clue as to the man's origin. The process calls to mind searching through albums of Mug-shots down at the Station when I need to find certain friends of my Nephew. Alas, an hour later, I have reacquainted my creaky memory with Scores of names long since forgotten - good old Elias, I wonder if he ever found his missing Finger - but Igor remains a mystery.

My exhaustive Research concluded only long after the Sun had set, resting my weary self in a chair by the Fire after making the rounds of most of my preferred Public-houses, meeting-halls, and social clubs. Only then does it Occur to me, watching my faithful dog Baron snooze on the hearth-rug, that perhaps, if ever I knew this Gentleman, the acquaintance was not worth Remembering. We are all of us mortal and Fallible; but fleeing from the smoky heat of our Youth into the cooler, bracing decades of old Age, we do tend to carry forth that which is most Important - much like saving the family Photo-album from a House fire.

Mister Igor, I am afraid that I must pass on your kind Invitation. I am more willing than Most to relive my Yesterdays, but at some point, one must move on.


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