You do not know me, but a mutual acquaintance has assured me that you are a man of superior integrity and utmost discretion. It is because of this that I approach you in my hour of most desperate need.
My name is Kent Ketchum, and I am a resident of Grantville. I was brought here to this time and place by the hand of God in the event now known as the Ring of Fire. It was to my great misfortune that both of my parents were left behind. I am left with a terrible dilemma. My father, the Honorable Will Ketchum had a substantial contract to build roads for the state of West Virginia. The work had been completed already, and the funds were deposited in the Bank of Grantville two weeks before the tragedy struck us. Without my father here to claim these funds, they were held in an escrow account until the legal system here decided whom they belonged to. As I was under eighteen years of age, I could not yet legally inherit it. And I have no relatives available to help with me with my predicament. I have been living like a beggar on the pittance of money allowed to me by the Bank Manager. Within the last month I have discovered that the Bank Manager and the Judge in charge of my case have been conspiring to steal my father's money out from under me. They had my father declared officially dead, but did so in such a way that prevented me from hearing about it until it was almost too late. Had it not been for a most Christian woman who works at the bank, I would not have found out what had happened until after the money was gone. The evil men that seek my father's hard earned fortune do not know that I have learned of their nefarious plans, so I must make my moves quietly and discreetly if I intend to recover the money. I must raise one tenth of the total amount in the account in order to pay the taxes and free the money from the escrow account. If I fail to do so by my eighteenth birthday next month, it will all be declared forfeit, and be given to the Bank and the Government.
This brings me to why I am secretly contacting you. There is no possible way that I could earn that much money on my own in so little time. So I am willing to offer you a quarter of the 2500 guilder equivalent account if you would be able to help me pay the required taxes before the account expires. In addition, I would fully refund your two hundred fifty guilder investment as soon as the money in the account has the legal hold removed from it. Because both the Bank Manager and the Judge are involved, I would ask that you speak to no one of my dilemma and offer, lest they hear about it and realize that I know what they are doing. If they do, they will surely do everything in their power to thwart me and keep the money for themselves.
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- The Grantville Gazette Staff