Dear Mr. White;

For one as dour of temper as you, I admit that I am aghast to have to allow myself to write that you are a man of many surprises. Thankfully, I am relieved in the reassurance that whatever surprise that you bring into my life is guaranteed to be unpleasant at best and utterly abysmal at worst. I suppose that I should be grateful that it is the former this time around. While I still stand by my statement that a man is only as useful in the operations at hand if he is informed, I suppose I can accept that there might have been some thought put behind your obvious omissions. Almost touching, really. Did it pain you to write these things to me? That you might have to admit a kind of concern for one such as myself? It wasn’t out of a misplaced fondness for my personality, I understand. I like to think I know you better than this. At least I assumed I did.

Moving onward, however, we might make this brief because there is much to do this week. By the time of this letter’s arrival, I will already have secured a meeting with a most important business contact. Someone who needs a bit of incentive to see things in a way that is more profitable than he may have prior. Details will be spared for now as I need to make certain arrangements to ensure that this gentleman is comfortable in this meeting. And before you ask, he and I will be meeting personally if I can manage it. This is a delicate contact and while you may not appreciate my company, I assume that my track record for getting financial assistance speaks for itself. Considering the importance of this event, I will be attending to it to make sure all goes according to plan. Should this prospect go as I am projecting, a new set of contracts can be assured and expansion beyond the scope of the county will be assured. And before you concern yourself with the details, I have taken the liberty of involving a few other associates in this as well. They are young and eager to prove their worth. Nothing in the way that Brother Edward was, rest the poor soul, but perfection is truly hard to come by at the best of times and impossible to replace. A small bit of advice you might be keen to remember in coming months.

I imagine that none of this is to your liking and to this end, I am anticipating your answer and I would request you simply leave this matter for the moment. I am not exaggerating when I say that the delicacy of this plan is somewhat tenuous at this point and to spoil it might end in disaster. There are things that have been happening in weeks past that have threatened to become quite a bit more difficult a headache than they originally seemed and while I know that you are likely to be very happy about this, I assure you that you are less likely to enjoy the aftermath should it come to such measures. I request that you leave me to the work that I know I can do well and allow me the time to make good on these issues before they become large and unmanageable.

Because of this more pressing issue at hand, I have been forced to place some holds on the regular business of things. I can only assume that statement will be the cause of much ill-founded anxiety but I can assure you that there has been a plan in place for a while in this regard. I took the liberty, somewhat owing to your recent absence, of drafting a better method of contending with the times that either of us are unavailable for whatever reason. I had been somewhat concerned about this for a while but the plan is in place now and seems that it has been successful to this point. Admittedly, this has been easier than originally anticipated. Fear not, as I know you are apt to do at this point. I remain the only other party other than yourself that is privy to anything that we might consider sensitive and the daily work is always done by those who should be doing it. No, I mean that the work that might be allowed to slip to trustworthy hands that might not find themselves in too much danger and might be able to act as my emissary have been employed while I secure the means for something bigger. Anything that could be on hold at the moment has been explained away as a matter of holiday season nonsense that has come between business days. Most everyone has been more than supportive of this idea and there have been no true complaints from almost everyone. The few that have made noise have had some of my better associates dealing with the matter and tying up anything that could keep everyone quiet while I am otherwise occupied. I have yet to hear of any trouble and will deal with it as soon as time and matter at hand allow.

Now onward to this proposal of yours. You’ll be happy to know that I find this intriguing and have every intention on hearing more details in this regard. Currently, I haven’t necessarily the need for any financial assistance but should that change in the near future, you will hear from me as soon as possible. I admit that I would be interested more in the particulars of this proposal but I have some other counter offers to make. These offers, you’ll forgive me, are somewhat difficult to do justice to in a letter. They must be seen. I have secured at least one such piece of my counter offer and would like to get your opinion and your feedback before moving forward. Once again, this is not something that might be read about but really ought to be experienced in person. While I know you are still in recovery and likely busy frittering away your hours with your own affairs, I should hope that you will attend my invitation to meet. I assure you that I’m as excited as you likely are about the prospect of having to sit in the same room but I really must insist upon this. Considering the letter that you sent me, I can assure you that you will find it much to your benefit. I will be sure to have everything you need to truly understand my response.

In the interest of time, I will insist that instead of writing a follow up correspondence to me, please copy down the return address that I have so thoughtfully written on the inside of the envelop of this letter. If you come there on the afternoon of November 25th no later than 2 pm, you will understand my response and you will get your answer to your proposal. I trust that I will be able to count on you to attend. In the event that you do not show up or if I receive a follow up letter detailing anything short of your falling back on your deathbed, I shall be forced to assume that my hard work has gone unappreciated. I do so hate such things so I would ask that this proposed meeting go forward as planned.

Until we meet,

Mr. Gray

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