Standing at the counter in the New Babbage Free Press office, Mumsy Abigail read through the notice that Martin Malus had handed her for approval. He could barely contain his contempt as she did so.
1. Salvagers, to remove ruins of ominous old occultist hall and any attendant gods (as is practical). Must provide own steam crane.
2. Reclaimed lumber, glass, fixtures and other housing materials, for new construction.
3. Ordained cleric, to bless foundation of ominous old occultist hall in preparation of new construction. Must be qualified to exorcise and/or evict any lingering deities, spirits, nightmares, dinosaurs, crabs, assassins, zombies or other manifestations of evil as appropriate and necessary.
4. Construction gang. Must provide own tools. May camp as necessary at worksite until project completion.
Negotiable in each category. Please note that there will be no loss-of-immortal-soul benefit paid to survivors. Bid at your own risk.
Please inquire with Miss Juniper Ginsburg at The Gangplank, Clockhaven, on behalf of her aunt, Mrs. Abigail Sharp.
Nodding to indicate her satisfaction, Mumsy handed the notice back to the young man who had been serving as her chauffeur. Martin sneered as he handed it over to the clerk, who officiously stamped it with a date, initialed it and put it into a stack of yellow papers. With a halting glance at the old woman and the youth, he quickly made the Sign of the Hammer and hurried into a back room.
Martin’s face felt warm as it reddened with embarrassment. He, formerly a talented novice in the great Church of the Builder, gone from the fold but still trained in logic and reason, placing a ridiculously superstitious advert for a frightened, pathetic old woman.
Mumsy opened the door of the office to leave, a tiny bell in the frame tinkling cheerfully as she did so. “Finally,” she said of the clerk, “someone who understands.”