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. If your visit is truly an emergency, deposit
one hundred crowns via your credit code. If I agree that waking me is justified,
I will return your money. If I disagree-laugh, chortle, chuckle!- I'll spend it
on gin and keep you out anyhow. If your call is not an emergency, please record
a message at the sound of my scream."
This was followed by a high scream which ended abruptly as if a hapless
wench had been choked to death.
Was this an emergency? Was it a hundred-crown emergency? I decided that it
was not any sort of emergency, so I recorded:
"Dear Gwen, this is your fairly-faithful swain Richard speaking. Somehow we
got our wires crossed. But we can straighten it out in the morning. Will you
call me at my digs when you wake up? Love and kisses, Richard the Lion-Hearted."
I tried to keep my not-inconsiderable irk out of my voice. I felt badly
used but underlying it was a conviction that Gwen would not intentionally
mistreat me; it had to be an honest mixup even though I did not now understand
Then I went home whuff! bing! barn!... barn! bing! whuff!
I have a deluxe compartment with bedroom separate from the living room. I
let myself in, checked for messages in the terminal-none-set it for sleep
conditions both for door and terminal, hung up my cane, and went into the
Gwen was asleep in my bed.
She looked sweetly peaceful