Story short no. 0934


The man sat on his stool, writing his words on the parchment scroll. The eagle-feather quill scratched quietly on the paper; the candles around him flickering slightly as the pen stirred the air around it in a elderly dance.

He looked at the man in front of him and frowned slightly. These people, he thought, always looking for loans and grants for their own means. Rubbish. Saving is the by-word of the times. A penny a day keeps the taxman away, a motto that he followed to the letter for all of his life.

He put the quill back into the inkwell, sanded the letter, folded and sealed it. “Here you are, sir,” he said in thick, treacle tones, as if he was breathing molasses instead of air. “A grant of a thousands pounds for your company.”

The man took it and bowed in respect. “Thank you sir, many thanks.”

The banker nodded and jumped off the stool. He smiled as he noticed the look of surprise of the supplicant’s face, hastily smoothed over. It gave him great satisfaction for people to find that he was only three feet tall, but that did not stop him from becoming one of the most powerful bankers in London, nay, the entire English country.

He lead the man to a sitting room, where already a steaming pot of tea and assorted tidbits laid around. “I always find that a hearty cup of Indian tea does the trick,” he said. He waved vaguely towards a horsehair chair. “Sit. Help yourself.”

The man, unaccustomed to such hospitality in this situation, mumbled his thanks and poured himself some, deftly balancing it on his knee as well as a iced scone.

The banker hopped on a chair and poured himself a cup. “Now, young man,” he said, stirring in a spoonful of honey, “tell me more about this endeavor you have set yourself with.”