Young John was quite angry with his brother’s room-mate for pulling such a childish prank on him over a simple remark made in an ale house during the past weekend.
It would seem that someone who had attained a degree in philosophy and was working on his Master’s would have more maturity, especially with his career in the higher echelons of the English Court in jeopardy.
The question was, as John saw it, what his response to the forged letter addressed to and published in the London Newspaper should be.
His anger was definitely interfering with his common sense. After all, many people who read the article which proclaimed him to hold unpopular and possibly damaging political views, would believe the he had, indeed, written it, and held to the views it projected.
What could he do? “Rather,” he sighed, “what SHOULD he do?
With much thought and craft on his part, John decided to make use of the newspaper to get back at George’s room-mate, just as the newspaper had been used against him.
John, an excellent artist, made sure that the comic of the culprit was shown with him clearly writing up the fake letter, while dressed in the outfit of a jester, just different enough in character so as not to project slander. He proceeded in requesting that it be published on a Sunday, when many readers would see it.
John would come out looking bright and intelligent while his nemesis would look like an utter fool.
John smiled as he licked the envelope, stepped out the door in his long black coat and made his way to the Newspaper office, in the thick London mist.
On his way out of the newspaper office, he stopped to buy a newspaper from a young man who was hawking the latest edition with a loud call, “Graduate student found dead in his quarters!”
John placed the coins in the lads hand and opened up the paper to the front page. With horror, he discovered that the dead man was his brother’s room mate and realized that his letter might make him look guilty of committing murder, or at least some sort of involvement in the tragedy. He hurried back to the desk where he had dropped off his letter and was able to retrieve it just as a clerk approached in order to collect the latest contents of the “in” box.
John breathed a sigh of relief as he tore up the letter and threw it into a barrel filled with flames surrounded by a group of vagrants, warming themselves against the cold mist. He shivered as he thought of how the nature of his act of craft had nearly propelling him into the justice system when he had done nothing at all.
Indeed, his speed and quick wit in retrieving and destroying the comic and accompanying letter had been the better craft, after all.