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The Young Folks Kindly Entertain an Old Man.

The end of a very difficult week; my calculations were off, my tolerances failing, my objectives slipping away from practicality. In all likelihood my equations were going to have to all be adjusted; the quaternion underpinnings of my theories might very well be failing. Mister Underwood is showing the stress and once again pining in matters of the heart. Major Oldrich, part of the project himself, is having some problems with his mechanical dynamic balance and has become, well, unsound. 

So, this last Sunday, it was time to ‘throw the dog a bone’. My one frivolous acquisition recently, a rotary winged aerostat, needed its engines run at any rate. I had not seen the Major for several days and the burdensome necessity of locating him and determining his mental state was pressing; finding him from the air presented a mild possibility of some source of recreation. I lifted off from the Lemon Snickity house to go on a search for a putative clockwork madman. 

a half hour of high level surveillance, I discovered no Teutonic lunatic, but I did find an assembly of joy seekers at Cuffs, an establishment I had not recently frequented. Mister Arnold, Brother Rudyard and Erehwon Yoshikawa were there; I
landed near the docks and went up the stairs and into the open wall
entrance. Ianone Constantine gave me a pint of Ale upon my
arrival, which I accepted but could only sip with a gout bout just
lately past. The Attentive Miss Constatine was engaged in the rather
unusual activity  of throwing a hammer through the panes of a





I inquired, but none had seen the Major, or, distressingly, had ever
heard of him. And then, as luck would have it, 
a contingent of Armadans from the Raft City, located temporarily in our oceanic environ sea and friends of Herr Oldrich, came
tumbling in, evidently for the Pub Crawl we have been hearing about
lately: Vernden Jervil, Robin Sprocket, Strider Llewellyn, someone new to me called Jane, as well as our own Kimika Ying. During the ensuing festivities the propietors, Scottie and Sky Melnik, perhaps summoned by the commotion, arrived, as did Mss Phaedra Byrne and Jimmy

To my disappointment, none had seen Philipp lately. Young Sprocket, in quite a festive mood, entertained us with dancing, after a fashion,
and singing. I was not comfortable as long as she pirouetted on the
bar-top, but felt myself lose tension as she descended, safely, to
perform on the floor. The conversation was quite lively and covered
diverse topics. Initially the tales of Mondrago were discussed, then
it coursed to various martial studies, then, finally, to literature.
Some wag pointed out we consisted of thirteen people and a cat, and
it was wondered if that was fortuitous or no. As the evening matured
and my weary old bones cried out for horizontality, the topic turned
to some ominous personage named Jack the Rapper or such-like. I bade farewell, was well sent off, and returned home quite refreshed.

I have determined that I should get out more, reflecting on the wonderful
evening, surcease from anxiety, and patience of the population here
with an antique such as myself.



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