"I'm receiving a curious reaction from this telegram
"How is that, sir?"
"Well I sent a letter to my friend, saying that I had made it to Austria
, and that the beach in the bay
here was absolutely lovely, though the climate was quite hot, and at precisely the wrong time of year. I told him that Austria was a strange country indeed."
"It does seem a bit different than what I expected, sir."
"And he sent a letter back -- it took much too long to arrive, I shall have to have a word with the post office about that -- and he asked me if, perchance, I had accidentally wound up in Croatia
, which is, admittedly, an easy mistake to make. So I replied that no, I was quite certain that I had gone to Austria, I could even see the name emblazoned on the post office
, though with a few too many L's in it, and that I was certain I had not made a mistake."
"And what was your friend's response?"
"Well that's just it. I expected him to send a letter back, but all he sent was a telegram that said -- here, look at it. He's never quite so curt or so rude. I don't understand what's the matter with him."
"Hm. 'Am tired of stupid jokes -- where are you really -- this falderal
has gone on long enough -- Am not the least amused.' No indeed, it doesn't sound like his usual, although one often sounds curt in a telegram. They charge by the letter, you know."
"I know. But it hurts nonetheless. I shall have to ask him about it, when I see him again."
"Perhaps it would be best to take a trip now, sir, and settle the matter sooner rather than later. I believe the SS Strathnaver
is in harbor for the next few days. You could book passage before the first-class cabins are taken, and be on your way to your friend swiftly."
"Goodness, and cut my Grand Tour
short? No, no. I shall send my friend another letter with a fuller explanation, and hope he takes it better than he took the last one. I will let you know when I am ready for you to send the letter. In the meantime can you ask the hotel manager if he knows what those large jumping rats
on the grounds are? They give me a bit of a fright. He ought to clear the beastly things away."
"I shall see to it presently, sir."