Dear M. Fournier,
So! You have finally managed to forge a relationship with the publishers in Yorke! I am delighted for you; I know that has been your dearest wish these past years. I am equally delighted to know that you now have a stock of Cumbrian books for sale, for though I have become fluent in Provençese I miss reading in my mother tongue. Yes, and I would like more books to share with my Amelie, and with Luc.
Please put together an assortment of the kinds of authors we spoke of so long ago—Becker, and Dikkons, Whelkie and Maltspire, and anything in that vein. Speak to M. Suprenant, and he will arrange payment.
In the meantime…if I were to wish to have a book privately printed, is there a printer in Mont-Havre with whom I could arrange it? Or would the work need to be done across the Abyss?
Wishing you much prosperity, I remain
Mon cher Leon,
My friend M. Fournier the bookseller will be approaching you in regard to some books I have ordered. Please see him paid, and square it through the firm. And on that note—
It is too absurd that I am relying on you, my good friend, as my personal banker! It was reasonable enough, I suppose, when I was in your employ and all I had in the world were my wages. And I know you will not grudge me any service you can do me. But I find that I am becoming a man of property, and I do not wish to strain our friendship unduly. Is there a banker in Mont-Havre that you would recommend? Or perhaps a man-of-business to whom I might entrust my interests outside of Tuppenny Wagons? I would not need them to devote themselves solely to my needs, far from it! I leave this in your wise and capable hands.
I have often spoken to you of Patches the Goat, how she took to visiting me at unpleasant and inopportune times, and how I was compelled to take her in to avoid discommoding my neighbors. What you do not know, I believe, is that she is now responsible for pulling my cart to and from the wagon works. It is quite a sight, and she has become much the favorite of the children along the way—from a safe distance of course. They laugh and call out her name as she plods along. She has become quite the most popular goat in town, and given the nature of Armorican goats, she may well be the most popular Armorican goat in history. My life in Bois-de-Bas was founded on goats, and now I have one as my own prop and stay. I would not have believed it, had someone told me about it on my first exposure.
I find myself wondering if Patches would make a suitable mascot for our firm. Aussi dur qu’une chèvre, as tough as a goat!
Fortunately I do not need to milk her myself—what joy!—but she does still require daily attention from me if she is to remain in her pen. Conveying me through town seems to scratch her itch quite nicely.
Ever your friend,