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County of Marion

Office of Tax Assessor

Government Haus, #109

High Street

Grantville

 

September 1, 1633

 

 

Tom Stone

Stonehaus

Grantville

 

Mr. Stone,

 

It has come to the attention of the assessor’s office that your

property tax assessment for the years 1631 and 1632 did not include a

valuation of the marijuana crops you produced during those years.

Please arrange with our office for an auditor to have access to your

records from 1631 to 1633 for a detailed audit.

 

 


 

September 5, 1633

 

 

Dear Assessor’s Office,

 

You should remember that Tom Stone, my husband, DONATED all of the marijuana crop during those years, because there was no other pain reliever available. In fact, he STILL donates the biggest part of that crop, because we STILL don’t have another safe serious pain reliever.

Therefore, I do not believe that he should be charged an additional assessment. We already pay you more than enough on the profits of the dyes and our investments.

 

Sincerely,

Magdalena Edelmannin verh. Stone

 

 


 

County of Marion

Office of Tax Assessor

Government Haus, #109

High Street

Grantville

 

September 9, 1633

 

 

Mrs. Magdalena Edelmannin verh. Stone

Stonehaus

Grantville

 

Frau Edelmannin,

 

An audit team will be arriving at your offices on Monday, January 2, 1634.

Please have all records from the period 1631 through 1633 available as per our previous request.

 

Albert Baumgärtner

Assistant to the Assessor

 

 


 

GRUBB WURMB & WULFF

Non Illegitimi Carborundum

A. N. D. Wulff, Partner

 

September 15, 1633

 

 

County of Marion

Office of Tax Assessor

Government Haus, #109

High Street

Grantville

Attention: Albert Baumgärtner

 

Gentlemen:

 

We have been retained on behalf of the Stone family and Lothlorien Farbenwerke and Pharmaceuticals to provide official response to your mistaken and misguided attempts to collect revenue on the crops of marijuana grown by Herr Tom Stone from years 1631-1633 inclusive.

You have already been advised by previous letter from Frau Edelmannin of the philanthropic nature demonstrated by Herr Stone because these crops were donated without cost to the local and state medical services for humanitarian use. In support of which, attached are certified copies of affidavits executed by President Michael Stearns and Doctor James Nichols, attesting to the existence of an oral agreement made between Herr Stone and the existing civil authorities in 1631 when he revealed the existence of his marijuana supplies, to wit, that he would be held free from and harmless under all civil statutes, and would not be liable to any regulation of any type as far as the growing of said marijuana for so long as his annual yield of said crop was delivered to the civil and medical authorities for the public good. Said certified copies are produced from the public records in the Office of the Registrar of Deeds and Records in Grantville, County of Marion, wherein the original documents were recorded on this date.

It is a matter of common legal understanding that an oral agreement is just as binding and just as enforceable as one drawn with care upon the finest vellum. Therefore, as you can see, until and unless said oral agreement is terminated or voided in some manner, you have no authority or legal capability to attempt to assess taxes or penalties upon the Stones in the matter. Consequently, if your audit team is so ill-advised as to actually present themselves at either the family residence or the corporate headquarters in pursuit of your stated aim of examining the corporate records, they will be denied admittance. Any attempt to insist upon admittance will have said team arrested for criminal trespassing.

Furthermore, under the time-hallowed legal principles of post hoc ergo propter hoc and quis custodiet ipsos custodes, be advised that at this moment we are considering the merits of filing litigation against your office in general and your managers and assessors individually for illegal operations under the West Virginia law of contracts, demonstrated unethical behavior under your own ethical code of conduct, and harassment of the Stones. We suggest that your position is not sound, and strongly recommend that you consult your own legal advisors. However, if you feel that you should continue in your present course, we are certain that we are ready to address your contentions in a most final form.

 

Sincerely,

A. N. D. Wulff

for the firm

 


 

September 19, 1633

 

My dear Thomas,

 

Hopefully this will catch up with you soon. I’m attaching one of the copies of the letter Andy Wulff sent to those horrid bureaucrats who are trying to, what is the word . . . stiff you for yet more taxes. I now understand why you call them the “infernal revenoors.”

At any rate, all should be well in that department.

However, here at home, well, not so much. Darling, I know that you love your geodesic dome and that it has great sentimental value to you and to the boys.

Alas, my dearest, the roof—such as it is—leaks like a sieve. Yes, I’ve had it patched. And patched again.

Dearest, the patching on top of the patches is not working. I’m afraid that we’re just going to have to tear it down and put up a real house, one that has a roof that does not leak. So I’ve made an appointment with Kelly Construction and they will be coming out to give me an estimate.

Please hurry home. It gets rather lonesome in this damp cavern when you’re away.

 

Magda

 

 


 

County of Marion

Office of Tax Assessor

Government Haus, #109

High Street

Grantville

 

September 27, 1633

 

 

Mrs. Magdalena Edelmannin verh. Stone

Stonehaus

Grantville

 

Frau Edelmannin,

 

Please find attached a tax assessment for the period 1631 through 1633 for the value of your pharmaceutical crops.

We have been directed to provide an explanation of how we arrived at the amount due. While not a formal legal opinion, we offer the following explanation.

The policy of the county government, both before and after the Ring of Fire has been that inventory of businesses is to be valued at its fair market value, and then the appropriate percentage assessment taken. While it is a great statement of your husband’s philanthropy that he chose to gift this valuable crop to the community, and your continuing compassionate contributions are admirable, the assessor’s office does not see what that has to do with valuation of your inventory for property tax purposes.

It is the responsibility of each property owner to pay property taxes. Property taxes are paid to the sheriff of each of the fifty-five counties. Each county and municipality can impose its own rates of property taxation. West Virginia law defines “Class I” of property for tax purposes as:

a. All tangible personal property used exclusively in agriculture, including horticulture and grazing;

b. All products of agriculture, including livestock, while owned by the producer, and

c. All notes, bonds, bills, and accounts receivable, stocks and any other intangible personal property

During the period in tax years 1631 and 1632, this office has based its valuation on the trading price of the only other analgesic being produced during that period. As you know, the cost of aspirin in 1631 was $2.00 a dose, falling to $0.50 per dose in late 1632. While there is no doubt that Mr. Stone’s “Mellow Edge” and “Marion County Wowie” varietals are more effective than aspirin, we can find no other basis of comparison for the assessment.

Property is assessed according to its use, location and value as of July 1. Due to your lack of cooperation with our auditor, we have been forced to estimate your inventory as of 1 July 1631 and 1 July 1632. Based on interviews with staff at the Medical center and interviews with individuals serving the refugee center describing deliveries in the summer of 1631 and 1632 we estimate that the on-hand stock must have been on the close order of fifty thousand doses, (approximately 400 pounds of product) and therefore value the inventory at $100,000 on 12/31/1631 and $25,000 on 12/31/1632.

The tax due is $0.50 per $100 of assessed value. Assessed value is 60% of the fair market value.

As a result, and as shown on the attached statement, Lothlorien Farbenwerke and Pharmaceuticals owes $300.00 for the tax year ending 1 July 1631 and $75.00 for the tax year ending 1 July 1632.

Please pay $375.00 to the county Sheriff’s office at your earliest convenience.

 

Albert Baumgärtner

Assistant to the Assessor

 

 


 

County of Marion

Office of Tax Assessor

Government Haus, #109

High Street

Grantville

 

September 27, 1633

 

 

A. N. D. Wulff, Partner

Grubb Wurmb & Wulff

Grantville

 

Dear Sir,

 

Please find attached our invoice to Lothlorien Farbenwerke and Pharmaceuticals for $375.00 and the attached letter explaining to Mrs. Stone how under West Virginia law the value of agricultural products was and is taxed.

While you are, of course, welcome to pursue whatever course you want in the courts, our research on the subject both with local scholars and with Master Thomas Riddle has led us to the conclusion that, in Master Riddle’s terms, you would be “Laughed out of court with your britches around your ankles.”

We look forward to your reply, accompanied by a check for $375.00 made out to the Sheriff’s office.

 

Albert Baumgärtner

Assistant to the Assessor

 

 


 

GRUBB WURMB & WULFF

Non Illegitimi Carborundum

A. N. D. Wulff, Partner

 

September 29, 1633

 

 

County of Marion

Office of Tax Assessor

Government Haus, #109

High Street

Grantville

Attention: Albert Baumgärtner

 

Dear Herr Baumgärtner:

 

We are in receipt of your recent communications both to this firm and to our clients, being the Stone family and Lothlorien Farbenwerke and Pharmaceuticals. As of this moment, you are requested and directed to ensure that all future communications to our client from your office also be communicated to this firm immediately, as we will be representing our client in any legal actions which may arise as a result of the matter of your attempting to impose an unlawful tax upon Lothlorien Farbenwerke and Pharmaceuticals.

We categorically deny all your assertions.

To begin with, although the West Virginia Tax Code does indeed include the provisions that you cite, it also includes the following provision which you appear to have either overlooked or intentionally omitted.

§11-3-9. Property exempt from taxation.

(a) All property, real and personal, described in this subsection, and to the extent herein limited, is exempt from taxation:

3. Property belonging exclusively to any county, district, city, village or town in this state and used for public purposes;

We submit to you that under the provisions of the oral contract which was documented to you in our previous conversation, Herr Stone and his employees are not independent farmers producing a crop that can valued and taxed as farm property, but they indeed legally and factually are acting as contract employees of the city while producing this crop. The marijuana so produced is grown solely for the City of Grantville, and there can be no denying that it is produced and used for public purposes, to wit, the alleviation of suffering. Ipso facto, it is properly tax-exempt under Tax Code §11-3-9 (a) 3.

TC-cnnbsSecond, we categorically reject your valuation of the marijuana produced. This marijuana is in no way analogous to the aspirin example which you cited. Marijuana can be grown for free by anyone who troubles to acquire the seeds and spends a little time tending the plants while they grow. And the resulting product is not the result of the chemical and manufacturing processes required to produce aspirin or similar products, so there is no cost basis of manufacturing to serve for a cost comparison. Our clients receive no compensation for producing the marijuana, and the medical centers to which the marijuana is distributed by the City of Grantville do not charge for it, so there is no real world cost or valuation consideration to be derived there, either. In short, Herr Baumgärtner, your purported valuation of the product in question has no basis in reality, and again, amounts to nothing more than a flagrant attempt to exact an unlawful tax from a hard-working and law-abiding corporate citizen of the City of Grantville.

Finally, while the principals of Grubb Wurmb and Wulff are well acquainted with Master Thomas Price Riddle, and indeed respect and admire his knowledge, wisdom, discernment, and perspicuity, as well as his ability to craft a phrase, we cannot help but believe that he was not presented with all the facts of this matter before uttering the response you quoted. Be that as it may, it is our considered and collective opinion that the issues are not as settled as Master Riddle’s response might at first indicate. Be aware that we will defend our clients in this matter to the utmost of our ability, knowing that they are indeed in the right in this matter of principle. And if you persist in this unlawful activity, then since you seem to appreciate pithy up-time phrases, we will close with this one: “Bring it on!”

 

Sincerely,

A. N. D. Wulff

for the firm

cc: Lothlorien Farbenwerke and Pharmaceuticals

 

 


 

September 30, 1633

 

Dear Andy,

 

Oh, thank you! I was so pleased to see the strength of the response you sent to that weasel Baumgärtner. Did you know that he’s been feuding with my father for years? Apparently he decided that attacking Tom was a way to win whatever it is that he’s looking to win.

At any rate, I appreciate it, and I’m sure that Tom will also. I do wish he would get back home soon. I don’t know why he had to go on this trip while we’re trying to get ready to go to Venice, but he insisted that we need to find new suppliers of alum, since our current provider is, as he so colorfully puts things, “jacking us up on price and cutting the quality to the bone.” So nothing would do but he heads off for who knows where. I’m sure I’ll find out where he’s been, but he’s not too good about telling me where he’s going.

I’ve got another case, or what might be another case, I’m afraid. I had a letter, copy attached, from an organization which purports to be the “Grantville Historical Preservation Society.” Well, I suppose I can understand this society wanting to protect that dreadful mural at the post office, although I do truly think it is not well done.

However, Andy, you’ve seen the dome, yes? Tom was here when it was built. There when it was built. Oh, whichever. Tom saw it being built; let’s put it that way. I can agree that it is certainly a . . . unique structure. I suppose anything that was built using hand-hammered car hoods and salvaged windows may certainly be described that way.

Unfortunately, said car hoods and windows leak rain. They leak melt water from the snow, which melts because all of the insulation rotted from the wet and fell down. Truly, the dome is nearly uninhabitable. I want to tear it down and build a real house. But this Historical Preservation Society claims that they will file a lawsuit to stop that, because the dome is of historical interest and is probably the only geodesic dome extant in the world today. Probably because no one in their right mind wants to live in a damp, cold, cavern!

Why, I suspect that the sale of the metal from the car hoods and the glass from the windows could finance the building of a real house. And the metal, as you know, is always in demand.

Please investigate the possibilities, Andy. If I must keep living here, I’m going to mold.

 

Magda

 


 

Frieda Schultz, Chairperson

The Grantville Historical Preservation Society

 

September 27, 1633

 

 

Mrs. Stone:

With good greetings, from The Grantville Historical Preservation Society, I am writing to inquire what your plans are for the splendid example of up-time architecture in which you currently reside?

We have been told that you plan to remove the geodesic dome house and build a new home on the site. If this is true, we must ask you to desist.

The Stone House is the only extant example of avant-garde up-time architecture that came through the Ring of Fire– —all the rest of Grantville’s architecture being disturbingly prosaic in design. We believe strongly that the Stone House must be preserved intact exactly as it came through the Ring of Fire.

We intend to ask the Grantville City Council at the next meeting to declare it a “civic treasure” and require that it be left exactly as it is.

Please feel free to contact us at any time to discuss your plans.

 

With good will,

Frieda Schultz, Chairperson

The Grantville Historical Preservation Society

 

 


 

GRUBB WURMB & WULFF

Non Illegitimi Carborundum

A. N. D. Wulff, Partner

 

October 4, 1633

 

 

Frau Magdalena Edelmannin verh. Stone

Stonehaus

Grantville

 

Dear Magda,

 

Thank you for that piece of information concerning Herr Baumgärtner. That will most likely prove to be useful, perhaps even critical, as the taxation matter moves forward.

As to the matter of the geodesic dome, from what you tell me it is not yet a matter requiring us to provide you with legal advice or other services. An expression of desire on the part of The Grantville Historical Preservation Society is not binding in any manner.

That said, allow me to set aside my lawyer hat for a moment, and give you a bit of advice from a husband and father who is also a friend. Please don’t do anything unilaterally. From what I can tell, Tom and the boys all have a strong attachment to that building, and any act against it might drive a wedge in your relationships, which would be regrettable. Anything done should—even must—be done with a consensus of the family.

Looked at objectively, it really is a striking building; most unusual. In my own mind, I would like to see it preserved. But, nothing says it must be preserved on that specific site. You might give some consideration to a couple of alternatives. One is to simply donate it to the Grantville Historical Preservation Society with the understanding that it will be removed to a site of their choice within, oh, perhaps a year’s time. A second alternative is for either Lothlorien Farbenwerke and Pharmaceuticals or the Stone family, whichever would be more advantageous, to pay to have the building moved to a civic site for preservation, perhaps also setting up a non-profit foundation to see to its maintenance. Either way, the building is gone and the land is clear. I’m sure that there are other alternatives; those were just the first that came to mind.

The next time you’re in town, drop by the house. Portia was saying she hadn’t seen you in a while and wanted to talk to you. If you’ll give us a little advance notice, she’ll fix that lasagna you like so much and we’ll break out a bottle of the good wine. We look forward to it.

 

Sincerely,

A. N. D. Wulff

cc: personal correspondence 1633

 

 


 

Marion County Sanitary Commission

PO Box 911

Grantville

 

October 5, 1633

 

 

Mrs. Frieda Schultz, Chairperson

The Grantville Historical Preservation Society

Grantville

 

Dear Mrs. Schultz:

 

At the request of Frau Magdalena Edelmannin, I have undertaken an inspection of the Stone House from a health, safety and sanitation standpoint. I was accompanied by several advanced engineering and architectural students from the Technical Center to assist in the evaluation of the home and a possibility of moving said structure to another, more accessible location so that the Stones would be able to donate this unique example of up-time construction to your group.

It grieves me to inform you that the poor condition of said ‘geodesic dome’ is such that it is barely habitable due to multiple leaks leading to significant water damage and some of the ugliest black mold that I have ever had the misfortune to encounter. It is only through major efforts on the part of Frau Edelmannin that the house remains even marginally habitable.

Structurally, the problems are even worse. Some of the major structural elements have suffered damage from dry rot and powder post beetles, leading the students (and the Consulting Engineer who is their mentor) to believe that any attempt to move the dome intact would result in a catastrophic collapse.

The students did make the suggestion that it would be possible to take the dome apart and salvage virtually all of the materials for reconstruction on another site by preserving the irreplaceable up-time parts. This would cost a substantial sum of money compared to Frau Edelmannin’s suggestion of hitching a couple of stout draft horses to the platform and pulling the dome down in to a pile to be burned.

Please discuss the situation with the other principles of the Grantville Historical Preservation Society and let Frau Edelmannin know your response. She is anxious to begin construction on a more comfortable abode.

 

For the Sanitary Commission:

Georg Ludwig Lenkert

 

cc: Frau Magdalena Edelmannin verh. Stone

Grubb Wurmb & Wulff, A. N. D. Wulff, Partner

 

 


 

October 5, 1633

 

Dear Andy,

 

Oh, Portia’s lasagna! I remember it well. I’ll certainly stop by at some point. I could use a bit of girl talk, perhaps some shopping.

I’m not acting unilaterally, Andy. I’ve discussed this with Tom, of course. He laments the lack of “silicon caulk,” in fact. And we haven’t made a final decision yet. I’m still waiting for an estimate from Kelly Construction. They, like everyone else, have more jobs than they can handle.

So nothing will be done until we all have time to sit down and discuss possibilities. After all, the boys are busy, Tom is busy, I am busy. At the moment, I wish only to keep these things in mind for the future.

I did receive a letter from Tom. He said, about the taxes, “It’s probably better to just pay it. That amount of money is peanuts.”

Of course that amount of money to him is now “peanuts”. But paying that amount at the behest of that weasel Baumgärtner means that he will win, and I don’t care to have that happen. He only wanted to send an auditor to get into our business and try to stir up trouble

I’ll be by next week, Thursday, I think. I’ll let Portia know if my plans change.

 

Magda

 

 


 

GRUBB WURMB & WULFF

Non Illegitimi Carborundum

Leopold Wurmb, Partner

 

October 5, 1633

 

 

Andy,

 

Have you been driven mad?

My clerk just presented me with my copy of your latest letter to Baumgärtner at the tax assessor’s office. Clearly, you’ve lost what common sense you may once have had.

Once again, we see why you are the firm’s litigator and, while excellent in the court room, we don’t have you draft contracts and correspondence.

There are technical legal issues which, once again, you should have run by the youngest of your clerks before you actually sent the letter. Also, you will recall the agreement that before you write “for the firm” you will have someone OF the firm review your letter; but those are the smallest issues.

Andy, it’s THREE HUNDRED SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLARS. Ignore, for a moment, the law. We would have been laughed out of court win-or-lose, and the Stones would have lost face. Do you know what the Stones’ account is worth to the firm? Do you recall how much your bonus was last year?

To that end, I have sent my clerk to the sheriff’s office with $375.00 taken from petty cash, and have obtained a receipt.

Please inform Frau Edelmannin that it has “been taken care of” and that she will be troubled no more. And no, I am NOT padding their bill to include my time, the clerk’s time, or the $375.00

Next time you decide to start a rant in the name of the firm, remember your promise to check with your partners.

 

Leopold

 


 

October 7, 1633

 

 

Marion County Sanitary Commission

PO Box 911

Grantville

My dear Herr Lenkert,

 

Pull it down and burn it? How can you or the Stone family even think of such a thing? The historical importance of this building, which you even acknowledge is unique, far outweighs any cost, and the City needs to be able to preserve its one piece of distinctive architecture.

My organization is filing a petition with the City Council and we hope to get on the agenda this coming week.

The GHPS is not in principle opposed to relocating the structure. Perhaps the Stone family might be willing to fund a grant for this purpose if the City Council cannot be persuaded to.

With gracious wishes,

 

Frau Frieda Schultz, Chairperson

Grantville Historical Preservation Society

 

Copies to the Stone family and to Grubb Wurmb & Wulff

 

 


 

GRUBB WURMB & WULFF

Non Illegitimi Carborundum

From the Desk of

A. N. D. Wulff, Partner

 

October 7, 1633

 

 

Leopold –

 

You bloody idiot!

You may have just cost us the Lothlorien account, which, may I just remind you, is our largest and most lucrative account!

The issue was never the money. I agree that the Stones, either personally or through the company, could have paid the tax bill out of their postage slush fund without even thinking about it. They have more money than anyone else in Grantville, for God’s sake! For your information, I in fact advised Frau Edelmannin in our initial consultation that the simplest and cheapest solution was to simply pay the tax bill and give the receipt to their accountants for handling when they file the corporate taxes next year. But Frau Edelmannin was insistent that she wanted it clarified and agreed to by the government that the company owed no taxes on the marijuana donated to the civil governments per the terms of the oral agreement reached between Mr. Stone and the then heads of civil government in Grantville.

Also for your information, this case and the appropriate approach to it were discussed in the most recent partners’ meeting, as you would know if you had deigned to attend, or if you had even read the minutes of the meeting, your copy of which has been gathering dust on your secretary’s desk since last week. Karl Grubb and the junior partners all agreed that we should continue with the case and approved my hardball approach. As you would know if you had even bothered to step down the hall to ask me or my clerks about it.

This is a case about principle, and I was following the client’s explicit wishes. It is a case whose strategy has become noticeably impaired and whose execution is now measurably more difficult because you couldn’t keep your hands off it. Let me also remind you that GW&W is a partnership, and not a corporation. In this matter, Lothlorien Farbenwerke and Pharmaceuticals and Frau Edelmannin are my clients, not yours, and by intruding in the matter you have violated attorney/client privilege and committed more than one breach of professional ethics.

In addition, it turns out that Herr Baumgärtner at the tax assessor’s office is a scrofulous toad, who loves browbeating elderly widows and old maiden aunts to extract additional funds from them. He makes pre-reform Zacchaeus look good. He thought he had a safe target in Frau Edelmannin, since Herr Stone is out of town. So our client has a secondary agenda of exposing this wretch and his practices and shining the light of day on them, which you have also made more difficult.

And the money—Leopold, have you forgotten everything you ever knew about professional ethics? First, we never pay anything on behalf of a client unless it is at the direction of the client, which you most certainly did not have. Second, we never never never use general funds for those payments; it always either comes out of special expense accounts or out of client escrow funds that we maintain separately. By using general funds, you’ve now attached the firm to the issue as something other than our client’s attorneys. You’ve exposed the partners individually and jointly to risks that were not entertained. And despite your accusation that I acted unilaterally without consulting the partners, it was, in truth, you who did that very thing.

Yes, I am the firm’s lead litigator, and you’re right, I am good at it. You seem to be under the impression that I don’t practice contract law because I’m not good at that. I understand contract law quite well, actually. I just find it boring. To prove my point, let me remind you that I drafted the partnership agreement for GW&W, which you signed along with Karl Grubb and myself. And speaking of the partnership agreement, if you ever stick your fingers or nose into one of my cases again without my express permission and invitation, one of two things will occur: either I will invoke Section 4, subsection D, paragraph 1, in which case you will find yourself on the streets holding nothing more than your placard and a broken quill; or I will invoke Section 3, subsection B, paragraph 3, and leave GW&W, taking with me the better part of our junior partners and clerks and our biggest accounts, and leaving you nigh to paupered from having to purchase my share.

So since you’re the one who dug this particular hole, here’s what you’re going to do: first, you personally are going to take that tax payment receipt back over to the sheriff’s office and explain that your clerk misunderstood your intent and the payment should not have been made, and you’re not leaving there until they have voided the receipt and refunded the $375.00. Then you personally are going to meet with Frau Edelmannin, apologize profusely for the mix-up, and proceed to make whatever amends she desires. And as you stated, Lothlorien Farbenwerke and Pharmaceuticals and Frau Edelmannin are not going to billed for any of this. And neither am I. Anything you can’t recover, and any billable hours that I or my juniors or clerks have to spend on straightening this mess out, will come out of your share. Count on it.

Leopold, I will return the compliment. You are an excellent contract lawyer. Stick to your contracts and mind your jots and tittles. If you’re very lucky, Frau Edelmannin won’t lodge a complaint with the Grantville Bar about this. If she does, I warn you, you will face the bar alone, as neither Karl nor I will take the stand with you.

Finally, if you ever do anything else like this again, well . . . I suggest you contemplate the similarities between the words litigator and alligator.

 

Andy

cc: Karl Grubb

 


 

[penciled note attached to memo]

 

Leopold—

If I were you, I wouldn’t count too much on your old school boy connections with Karl to help you. You may have gone to school with him, but remember—I married his daughter.

A

 


 

October 7, 1633

 

Thuringen Gardens

Grantville

 

Dear Mrs. Stone,

 

It has come to the attention of the Thuringen Gardens Partnership that you are considering either selling or tearing down the geodesic dome in which you live, and also that the structure has numerous problems.

My partners and I propose that we buy your dome. Our intention is to carefully take it apart and relocate it here on Gardens’ property. We intend to make a dance hall, and we can’t think of a better structure than your dome. It’s large and spacious and once rebuilt should have excellent acoustics for the bands.

Please let us know what price you would require.

 

Sincerely,

Willie Ray Hudson

 


 

GRUBB WURMB & WULFF

Non Illegitimi Carborundum

A. N. D. Wulff, Partner

 

October 7, 1633

 

 

Frau Magdalena Edelmannin

Stonehaus

Grantville

 

Dear Magda,

 

I think I have headed or can head off anything that might have come from Herr Wurmb’s error. He will be coming by to apologize. Do with him as you will.

The correspondence about the dome provides interesting reading. There are some interesting personalities in play there. Just remember to hold out for three things: total removal from your land, total release of liability, and the highest price. Oh, and agreement from the family. Until you have a bona fide contract offer and an earnest money deposit, there’s no need for us to be involved yet.

 

Sincerely,

A. N. D. Wulff, Partner


 

Marion County Sanitary Commission

PO Box 911

Grantville

 

October 10, 1633

 

 

Mrs. Frieda Schultz, Chairperson

The Grantville Historical Preservation Society

Grantville

 

Dear Mrs. Schultz:

 

It was NOT my suggestion to tear the dome down and burn it. I respect the uniqueness of The Stone House, and was happy to suggest that there might be a way to salvage it. Frankly, it was all I could do to convince Frau Edelmannin NOT to pull the dwelling down when I informed her of the condition of the underlying structure.

Please direct your response to Herr Wulff, as I believe that when Frau Edelmannin hears of your demands not only to keep the building intact but also for the Stone family to pay for you to take possession of it . . . let us say that she will be less than charitable.

Right now, the County Government is NOT in her good graces.

 

For the Marion County Sanitary Commission,

Georg Ludwig Lenkert

 

cc: Frau Magdalena Edelmannin verh. Stone

Grubb Wurmb & Wulff, A. N. D. Wulff, Partner

 


 

Undated, scribbled on paper, laid on Magda’s table

 

Mom,

What’s all this scuttlebutt about the dome? We had been using it to grow some pharmaceutically interesting specimens. It sounds like we need to talk. Give me a call or let me know when you’ll be home.

Love,

Ron

 


 

The Ring of Fire Experience, Inc.

 

October 11, 1633

 

 

Lothlorien Farbenwerke and Pharmaceuticals

Grantville

 

Gentlemen:

 

The principal owners of the Ring of Fire Experience, Inc., a company devoted to serving the tourists and pilgrims visiting the Ring of Fire area, wish to provide them, to the extent possible, a taste of what life up-time must have been.

To that end, we have heard that you may be considering relocating the geodesic dome originally erected for the use of the Lothlorien commune.

We would like to make an offer, in the amount of $750,000 for the rights to disassemble the dome and re-assemble it, possibly with some replacement parts crafted from available autos no longer being used.

It is our intention to re-locate the dome to one of the high-points over-looking the ring wall, re-creating the interior to provide a true “20th century Commune” experience while at the same time providing the highest level of service and amenities, a combination which we acknowledge will present a challenge.

If you were to agree, we would effect payment immediately and begin disassembly of the up-time components the next day.

Please let us know as soon as possible if you would consider this offer.

 

Albrecht Durer

Hospitality Director

 


 

GRUBB WURMB & WULFF

Non Illegitimi Carborundum

Leopold Wurmb, Partner

 

October 11, 1633

 

 

Andy,

 

Your mismanagement has turned this into a needless debacle. Frau Edelmannin was upset about something that Stone himself would have paid in ten seconds and been done with. Tom would have welcomed the auditors in and probably ended up with a lower assessment.

Irrespective of Baumgärtner’s morals or lack of them—and us shouting “morals” at the community is a matter of blackest irony—you needed to take into account not just Frau Edelmannin’s dislike of Baumgärtner but also Tom Stone’s long-term easy-going ways, and more importantly, how the richest man in West Virginia would look fussing about a $375.00 tax bill.

Do you really think that Baumgärtner would not have had the county’s attorney call for a jury trial? Do you really want to stand there while Hermann Hardegg waxes poetic on how the great Doctor Stone—who makes $375.00 every time he breathes—how he refuses a simple small property tax bill while home-owners are being forced to move out of Grantville because they can no longer pay the taxes on their own homes, their only link to their previous life up-time?

Do you want to be made a laughingstock as Baumgärtner and Hardegg, Selfish and Krapp produce a realistic valuation of the marijuana crop at the time?

And then, having taken care of this, having sent my youngest clerk to pay the bill with cash and received an anonymous receipt, you went and TOLD HER? When you could have just basked in the glory of besting Herr Baumgärtner? “It’s all taken care of Magda. He shall not bother you again. Oh, there are things in the law that we just can’t share, but I assure you, it’s done.”

But NO…. you were unable to hold your tongue.

If you are wanting to break up arguably the best legal partnership in the USE (Hardegg’s protestations to the contrary) then so proceed. I’ll put it to Grubb with you at the partnership meeting on Monday, and then we shall see who shall grovel.

I look forward to the occasion

 

Leopold

 

cc: Karl Grubb

 


 

October 12, 1633

 

Dear Ron,

 

Was the mold that the inspector found of some use to humanity? Is that what you were growing, and were you growing it deliberately? The inspector seemed to think it was rather dangerous.

Son, I want a real house, not this cavernous, echoing space that leaks and leaks and leaks. I did mention it to your father when he came home a few days ago and before he and Frank left again, and he, as usual, shrugged and said “Whatever you say, babe.” Which makes it rather difficult to know if he really meant it, I admit.

Of course, we will not do anything drastic to the greenhouses and they will always be available for the company. But, truly, when the time comes for your father and I to stop all this traveling and settle down—and we will get to that point someday—I want a normal house to live in.

At the moment, I’m merely getting estimates and looking at the various offers that are being made—some of which are fairly startling. And I’m getting an estimate on building a real house as well. A place that can be kept dry!

 

Love you too. Come to supper soon.

Mom

 


 

October 12, 1633

 

Dear Herr Durer,

 

I received your offer and forwarded it to my husband, who is currently on a business trip. I’m afraid that I don’t feel that I can accept any offer until he responds, but I will keep this in mind.

 

Thank you.

Magdalena Stone

 

 


 

The Ring of Fire Experience, Inc.

 

October 14, 1633

 

 

Frau Frieda Shultz, Chairperson

The Grantville Historic Preservation Society

Grantville

 

Dear Frau Shultz,

 

This note is to make you aware that we have tendered a very generous offer to Frau Edelmannin verh. Stone for the Lothlorien Commune Geodesic Dome, with the intention to move it to a place of prominence overlooking the Ring Wall and rebuild and restore the interior to its state when used by an actual twentieth-century commune.

We hope to obtain your organization’s good wishes and assistance in convincing the Stones to allow this use for the benefit of the community.

It would be a shame if all signs of the up-time culture “Hippie” movement were lost.

 

Albrecht Durer

 

 


 

Frau Frieda Schultz, Chairperson

The Grantville Historical Preservation Society

 

October 17, 1633

 

 

To Georg Ludwig Lenkert, Mrs. Magdalena Stone

With a copy to Grubb Wurmb & Wulff, A. N. D. Wulff, Partner

 

My dear Mrs. Stone and Mr. Lenkert

 

I have just heard an unbelievable rumor regarding the Stone House. I have heard that you are considering selling it to the owners of the Thuringen Gardens, to be used as a dance hall. This is outrageous. It would have to be moved, first, and you, Mr. Lenkert, have specifically said it would be destroyed if it were attempted to move it. Second, it would have to be significantly modified inside to permit use as a dance hall. Third, the level of heavy use it would receive could only damage this unique but highly fragile structure even more than it already has been.

We of The Grantville Historical Preservation Society demand that this nonsense cease immediately. What we have here is a unique resource of up-time architecture, and it MUST be preserved in situ as a part of up-time technology that may never be replicated!

Please understand this. You may be represented by the meanest, most despicable law firm in Grantville, but The Grantville Historical Preservation Society has right on our side!

We will see you at the City Council meeting!

 

Frieda Schultz, Chairperson

 

 


 

Frau Frieda Schultz, Chairperson

The Grantville Historical Preservation Society

 

October 18, 1633

 

 

Mr. Albrecht Durer

The Ring of Fire Experience, Inc.

 

Dear Mr. Durer,

Perhaps we could make common cause here. Could we meet and discuss your plans and how the Grantville Historical Preservation Society could assist you? Might we meet at Cora’s for a cup of coffee and see where our mutual interest in the Stonehaus might lie?

 

Yours,

Frieda Schultz, Chairperson

 

 


 

GRUBB WURMB & WULFF

Non Illegitimi Carborundum

A. N. D. Wulff, Partner

 

October 18, 1633

 

 

Leopold—

 

What part of “case and hardball approach approved by the partners” didn’t you understand? The only mismanagement that has occurred in this whole fiasco is you treading on a delicate situation with your oversized brogans when you had no more idea of what was really going on than Portia’s cat Precious does.

I shall now lay it out for you in very simple terms. Pay attention this time.

1. This case is not about the money. It never was about the money. It’s about the government reneging on an assurance made to Tom Stone in the early desperate days after the Ring of Fire. He has more than kept his side of the agreement, but now the government—in the person of Albert Baumgärtner—is trying to change the rules, and Frau Edelmannin caught him out. She wants the principle that the marijuana provided to the civil government causes no tax liability to the Stone family and businesses nailed down and documented so that when someone in the government finally wakes up and realizes that an ounce of Stone’s Finest should be valued at $2000/ounce instead of $2/ounce, the family firms don’t get slammed with an astronomical tax bill. Frau Edelmannin understands the risk here very clearly, and she is very firm about pressing forward with this.

2. Yes, Tom Stone would have paid the tax bill when he got it. But Tom doesn’t have the head for business that his wife has. He knows that, and he freely admits it. So if you think for even one moment that he would overrule her on something that she feels strongly about (see No. 1), you need a vacation.

3. I find your lack of comprehension perplexing, Leopold. As attorneys, once we take a case, our responsibility is to do our best to carry out our client’s wishes. If we have doubts as to the wisdom of a client’s directives, then we either don’t take the case or we try to change his mind (which I’ll remind you I did in fact try to do). We don’t go off and do something that the client specifically directed us not to do, thinking that we can wave our hands and make it all work out. Well, you might get by with that with your wife, but I promise you Frau Edelmannin wouldn’t have accepted it. As it turns out, someone from the sheriff’s office called her and thanked her for sending in her payment in such a timely manner. I had to spend three hours on the phone with her calming her down and salvaging the case and the account. Three hours. I’ve never heard livid before, Leopold, but I did in that phone call. Did you honestly think she wouldn’t notice? That she wouldn’t care? That she’d just accept your bland “there are things you don’t need to know” and move on? Leopold, she’s the daughter of one of the toughest merchants in all the Germanies. She grew up hearing and seeing cut-throat business in her home and at their dining table every week. She’s more astute than you are, and almost as hard-nosed as I am, for God’s sake! You’re lucky she hasn’t pulled her accounts from the firm and sued you for malpractice.

4. Do I really expect this to go to trial? Not really. I figure the chances are six out of ten, maybe seven out of ten that the tax assessor will back down. It’s the most graceful thing for them, and it’s not like they’d be giving up anything, since Lothlorien Farbenwerke and Pharmaceuticals and the Stone family have never paid these taxes anyway.

5. Why will they back down? Because Tom Stone is genuinely the nicest guy in the ROF, and everybody in Grantville likes him. When word starts leaking out to the press that the government is trying to renege on an agreement with him, that will automatically stir up sympathy for him. After all, he’s well liked, and the government isn’t. But when they find out what all the rancor is really about, then the fecal material will really start flying. Anything that gives the slightest hint of affecting the supply and the price of Stone’s Finest will cause an uproar. Good Lord, Leopold, if nothing else, every woman in Grantville and its environs who has had trouble with her monthly courses will rally to his defense. You’ll see a letter-writing campaign and marching pickets that will make the to-do over the horse-dung in the street look like a children’s Sunday School catechism debate. And I predict that as soon as that wave of anger and emotion begins to build, Baumgärtner’s bosses will recognize the better part of valor, yank his leash up short, and concede on the tax assessment.

But say they do go to trial. Good! Because that courtroom will be packed with angry women, and there will be more of them marching outside with picket signs. They won’t even be able to seat a jury—there won’t be twelve objective adults in the entire state, much less the county.

When we win, Frau Edelmannin gets her principle nailed down, GW&W basks in the glow of defending the nicest man in town who’s being “persecuted by the government” while at the same time protecting the supply of cheap Stone’s Finest, and Baumgärtner gets reined in. A perfect trinity. And the Stones then donate twice the amount of the taxes to some worthy cause, which will somehow get leaked to the papers.

And if we somehow lose (which we won’t), we file an appeal to the Reichskammergericht in Wetzlar, the Stones get portrayed as martyrs which helps our publicity, Baumgärtner (if he has any sense) moves to Vienna to avoid roving mobs of angry women, and GW&W still basks in the warm light of being the defenders of the right.

If you hadn’t trod in the middle of everything, the news leaks would have already started.

Now, I’m going to say this one time: Back. Off. I don’t mess in your contracts. You stay out of my litigations. Period.

Go talk to Karl if you want. As I said, he’s aware of this, and is on board with it. Then go take care of the business to clean up your mess I told you to do in the last memo.

I don’t want any more turmoil in the firm than you do, but if you step over this line, there will be. And if you want to contest me about it in the next partners’ meeting, fine. Just make sure you bring your sharpest knife and take your best thrust early, because there will only be one man standing when the dust settles. I wasn’t kidding about what I’m prepared to do.

 

Andy

cc: Karl Grubb

 


 

DO NOT COPY OR FILE, SHRED AFTER READING

 

October 18, 1633

 

Leopold, Andy:

 

This has gone far enough! Both of you shut up about this, before we blow up a partnership that makes each of us more than we’d ever make separately.

I’m making arrangements to take care of the mess that’s developed, but, unlike you two, I am not going to act without making sure all three of us are on the same page. Drop by my house tonight, and we can discuss the tentative plans privately.

 

Karl

 

 


 

::Undated hand written note::

 

Karl

 

Okay, I’ll be good. I’ll pull in my horns. This time. I was probably a bit over the top with Leopold, but you have to admit, I did have cause. I will go along with anything reasonable, except I won’t consider dropping the Stone tax case.

In return, I want it clearly understood that in the future, if Mr. Wurmb has any problems with my execution of one of my cases, he brings it to the partners committee instead of unilaterally doing something that he “thinks is right.” I don’t care what he does with his contracts. But if he pulls something like this again with one of my litigation cases, I will bounce his pudgy homely butt off of the cobblestones outside. I’m serious with this, Karl. I will force him out, one way or another, if he steps over that line again.

There comes a point where money is no longer the prime consideration, and I’m approaching that point with Leopold. Make him see that, Karl.

 

Andy

 

 


 

Marion County Sanitary Commission

PO Box 911

Grantville

 

October 19, 1633

 

 

Frieda Schultz, Chairperson

The Grantville Historical Preservation Society

Grantville

 

Dear Mrs. Schultz:

 

Once again, you are including me in a correspondence where I have simply done my job, reported honestly and have no further input to offer at this time. I was able to offer some suggestions as to what is needed to rehabilitate the building and how The Stone House could be safely moved, thanks to the input from the engineering and architectural students who volunteered to evaluate the House with me.

A small suggestion: I have come to know Frau Edelmannin both professionally and personally over the last several months. She is a kind and generous person when approached in a genteel fashion.

May I suggest that both of you have something to gain from the transaction, and a more business-like approach would go a long way towards preserving the dome?

 

For myself and not on behalf of the Commission:

Georg Ludwig Lenkert

 


 

October 19, 1633

 

Frau Magdalena Edelmannin

Stonehaus

Grantville

 

My Dear Magda:

 

My Georg just showed me copies of the letters back and forth from that harridan Frau Schultz over at the “save it in amber” society. My advice to you is hold her group of self-righteous biddies up for everything you can squeeze out of them!

On the other hand, one of my students is the younger sister of one of the engineering students that went with Georg to evaluate the place, and her best friend is the niece of Herr Durer…as a result, during a coffee break with a gaggle of students, I now understand that the idea of Herr Hudson is not as outlandish as it might seem—the basic idea of the dome as a dance hall is fine, as long as the dome is set up on a foundation that will support the needed surface for dancing. The engineering students, several of whom come from builders’ families, are quite certain that the dome itself can be rebuilt strong enough to handle the weather (although admittedly, it will still leak more than you are willing to put up with).

On a more personal note, thank you for the extra bundle of Wowie. Georg has been having trouble sleeping at night due to the pain in his leg. I keep trying to get him to let it finish healing, but you know men! He is now down to only one bag of potato chips before bedtime, and sleeps through the night, something that neither Dr. G’s “little blue pills” nor a dose of laudanum managed in the past.

Yours in conspiracy against menfolk who have trouble listening to their wives!

 

Kat

 


 

The Ring of Fire Experience, Inc.

 

October 19, 1633

 

 

Frau Frieda Schultz, Chairperson

The Grantville Historical Preservation Society

 

Frau Schultz,

 

I would be most happy to meet you at Cora’s for coffee, say Saturday morning at 07:00?

I think we may make common cause against these idiots who would turn the Lothlorien Commune dome into a “Dance Hall”.

That a unique piece of up-time architecture should be so debased from its original purpose is unacceptable. Our organization’s plan keeps the dome in its original form as a residence, at least of sorts, and as a symbol of the spirit of the “Hippie” movement that originated it.

Dance Hall indeed!

I look forward to meeting with you. Perhaps we can also discuss a donation in support of your worthy organization.

 

Albrecht Durer

The Ring of Fire Experience, Inc.

 

 


 

Frau Frieda Schultz, Chairperson

The Grantville Historical Preservation Society

 

October 20, 1633

 

 

Dear Herr Durer,

 

I will see you then!

 

Frau Frieda Schultz, Chairperson

 


 

October 20, 1633

 

My dearest Thomas,

 

Excuse me while I scream. YAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHH!

All I wanted was a house that didn’t have a leaking roof. Not to mention the leaking walls.

Also, I must admit, I wanted that weasel Baumgärtner not to win about those taxes he claimed we owe. Which I still do not believe we owe, by the way. There wasn’t even a legal government at the time, as near as I’m able to figure. No elected officials, no tax code, nothing that made any sense. And while I do agree that we can well afford $375, Andy and his partners are in a fizz about it.

Just from mentioning that I intended to get an estimate on building us a real house, I’ve now got dozens of offers to buy the dome—not to mention that there is a city council meeting coming up in which The Grantville Historic Preservation Society is going to try to force us to maintain the dome exactly as it stands. What’s more, the HPS wants you and me to provide funding for the maintenance of it.

I’ll burn it down first, I swear I will. I’m so sorry, but in your own words, “this place is a dump.”

Where, Thomas, is the democracy in this? How can a bunch of lunatics who haven’t enough to do with their lives dare to attempt to force you and me to pay for their somewhat . . . well . . . kinky pleasure in maintaining a building that has been proven to be unsafe?

I must ask you to give me some guidance here. I thought I had democracy figured out. I thought I understood the concept of private property. I thought that the decision to build a better home was up to you and me, not to three-quarters of the town of Grantville.

I’m afraid I’m at a loss just at the moment, Thomas.

 

Magda

 


 

From the Desk

of

Phillip Theophrastus Gribbleflotz D. Alch.

 

October 20, 1633

 

 

Frau Magdalena Edelmannin verh. Stone

Lothlorien Commune

Grantville

 

Frau Edelmannin,

 

It has come to my attention that you are desirous of replacing the Lothlorien dome built by your husband and his associates with more conventional and comfortable housing.

I further am given to understand that in order for you to most conveniently reside where your stepsons were reared, and near the headquarters of your family’s enterprises, you would see the dome relocated.

During the last several years, I have been engaged in the pursuit of methods which take the up-time knowledge of natural science, and combine them with the nearly lost arts of the alchemist. Many of my experiments are well known, and the outcomes have been occasionally useful. To that end, I have, over that time engaged in a series of public lectures and demonstrations, making available to the public the results of my researches.

Still, time, both in the form of my research, and the management of my affairs presses heavily on me and the increasing mass of material makes it impossible to present in even a few evenings’ showings, the results of those labors.

Frau Edelmannin, you know that our two firms, Lothlorien Farbenwerke and Pharmaceuticals and HDG Enterprizes, have not merely cooperated but COLLABORATED in making available to this new world the best products of science combining the best of the old with the best of the new.

What greater purpose, what more appropriate possibility, what most marvelous serendipity, one might almost say “Tensegrity” would allow the Stone Dome to provide the skin for the most wonderful theatre of the mind, a display, not unlike an up-time ‘science museum’ where the works of those researches could be displayed for all to see and to be educated at their leisure without requiring the time of the great Herr Stone, or of myself?

TC-fllrThere is a suitable plot of land, still unused near the round-barn museum. How perfect then to build a new structure, conforming in its entirety to Herr Buckminster Fuller’s principles of Tensegrity, and then, to coat it with the salvaged skin and windows of the Lothlorien Stone Dome, sealing that skin from the elements with the newest product of my laboratories, Gribbleflotz Foaming Mastic.

We have recently discovered that the Urea we used to use in the production of Sal Aer Fixus could be combined with simple formaldehyde to produce a lovely light-yellow foam that expands to fill cracks and which can utterly and completely seal a construction against the influx of vapors or water.

By the simple application of Gribbleflotz Foaming Mastic on the interior of the dome, and the coating of the external gaps, now filled, with a simple oil paint, we shall prevent any future difficulties such as your residence has experienced to date.

If you would accord myself, and my lovely wife a few minutes of your time, we would love to call, or perhaps, it would be better for us to plan to meet in the private room at Cora’s Coffee Shop, to discuss such an opportunity. The creation of a community asset for the ages, the co-joining of the Stone with the Gribbleflotz, creating the Stone Gribbleflotz museum of science and alchemy. The ages shall rejoice.

I anxiously await your reply.

 

Phillip Theophrastus Gribbleflotz D. Alch.

HDG Enterprizes

Jena

 


 

From the Desk

of

Phillip Theophrastus Gribbleflotz D. Alch.

 

October 20, 1633

 

 

Frau Edelmannin,

 

I had no more than sealed the envelope when I realized that I had not described what I was actually considering.

Imagine, if you will, upon entry into the Dome, that you see the entirety of the space, open and unsupported, yet amazingly fluid and light due to the windows and the near-miraculous operation of the principle of Tensegrity in the Dome.

Just inside the entrance would be a full sphere, tesselated with the semi-periodic pentagons of the Fullerene dome perfect in its symbolism standing as it does for the most perfect of Molecules, Buckminster Fullerene C60… the model realized in thin laths which would show its strength and lightless somehow symbolic of the Sphere of the Ring of Fire, and of Chemistry and of Human Achievement. This, and every other lesson to be shown on the sides of the supporting pillar in Latin and in German and in English.

Then, as you move past the sphere, a path is laid out on the floor which takes you from display to display.

An Array of yarns and fabrics colored with Stone dyes, and an explanation of their chemistry and uniqueness.

A display of Gribbleflotz Aeolean transformers bringing the sounds of the ether to the ears of man.

A miniature of the Stone greenhouses with a small greenhouse lit from above by electrics in which is grown a regularly replaced example of the dwarf Cannabis that is Stone’s gift to the world.

An example of an Aluminum Pyramid with colored Corundum at the joints, with an explanation of its failure to achieve the quienta essentia humana.

TC-glssA selection of Glassworks such as Herr Stone himself used to prepare LSD.

A Gribbleflotz Kirilean Aura imaging unit.

And so on, along the yellow path winding its way through the Dome in a Serpinsky space-filling fractal, the path itself a display for the creative mind, a rebirthing in the new age of the spirit labyrinth of antiquity.

Can you not see it madam? It will be MAGNIFICENT.

 

I tremor in anticipation of our meeting.

(scrawled) P T Gribbleflotz

 

 


 

October 21, 1633

 

 

Phillip Theophrastus Gribbleflotz D. Alch.

HDG Enterprizes

Jena

 

Herr Doctor Gribbleflotz,

 

I must say that your descriptive powers are amazing. Your description of your vision for the dome is absolutely extraordinary.

At the moment, however, I’m awaiting a response from my husband, so I feel that I should not make any definite commitments at the present time.

Just so that my mind is clear about this, though, I do have some questions.

Your Foaming Mastic, for instance. This foam, once painted, is waterproof? Do you know how long it will remain waterproof? If, for some reason, the paint failed, would the foam come tumbling off the roof and walls? As a foam, is it also a type of insulation, to retard the extreme cold we have been experiencing? Is it possible to paint the Foaming Mastic on both sides, or must the interior remain yellow?

I should very much like to meet you and your wife at Cora’s one afternoon next week. Perhaps Wednesday? I await your response, eagerly.

 

Magdalena Edelmannin

 


 

October 21, 1633

 

Letter to Ron Stone, special delivery

 

Dear Ron,

 

Please see the attached letter from Dr. Gribbleflotz. Do you know anything about his mysterious Foaming Mastic? Do you think it will work? If it will work, we could refurbish the dome and send all of these offers and demands packing.

 

Mom

 


 

October 22, 1633

1:27 p.m.

 

Bitte, deliver to Ron Stone, und mach schnell!

 

Ron, can you come down to the jail and bail me out?

 

Dr. Gribbleflotz made a surprise visit to Grantville today and asked me to join him at Cora’s to discuss his offer, and as we were talking, a woman came up to me and said she was Frieda Schultz from the Grantville Historical Preservation Society. She said she was meeting with some guy who’s backing her in trying to steal our dome and make us pay for it.

She was rude and insulting to me, and I am not sure what happened, but I said some things back, and then she started yelling, and she pounded on the table and my coffee cup spilt all over my dress, and I picked up Dr. G’s coffee cup and threw the coffee on her and she punched me. I threw another piece of crockery, and she threw it back, and it of course shattered. I’m not sure what happened after that.

Cora called the police and we both got arrested. Now I have a black eye, and I’ve been in the same holding cell with that nasty woman for three hours now. Every time we start back up, one of the jailers throws a bucket of cold water on us. And I have a black eye.

Please get me out of here.

 

Mom

 


 

Grantville Police Department

Incident Report

 

Incident Report Number: 1231634
Reporting Unit: 3A40
Reporting Officer: Officer Ernst Grüber #144
Location of Incident: Cora's
Type of Incident: Mutual Combat
Reportee: Cora (Name Redacted)
Arrestees: (Names, addresses and other personal information redacted)

 

Incident Narrative:

 

On today’s date I was called to the above address to respond to an ongoing fight at Cora’s. As I was already en route to the cafe, I arrived very shortly after the proprietor called for service.

On arrival, I saw two women struggling in the middle of the dining area. Both combatants were cursing and visibly upset, slipping and sliding in a pool of spilled drink and food. The one, later identified as (Booked 1) Name Redacted had the larger of the two combatants (Booked 2) Name Redacted in a head-lock and was screaming, “And that’s what I think of your ideas about my home, you crazy fool!”

I called out to the combatants, ordering them to desist. They continued, the larger of the pair (Booked 2) surging upright, lifting her captor from the floor. As I picked my way through the broken pottery and dinnerware, the pair slipped or overbalanced, falling to the ground amid the mess.

With a good deal of effort, made more difficult by my desire to avoid injury to either party, I managed to separate them from one another and, concerned for my safety given the violence of their combat, I placed both parties in handcuffs.

That done, I began to assess the situation. Both were red-faced and disheveled. (Booked 2) made no complaint of pain while (Booked 1) complained that some of her hair had been pulled from her scalp and that her hip hurt from the fall.

I noted some of (Booked 1)’s hair in (Booked 2)’s fist, confirming (Booked 1)’s assertion that (Booked 2) had yanked it from her head. This discovery sparked another angry confrontation, this time of words, between the two.

Keeping them separate, I called for witnesses to inform me what they had seen and heard.

I first spoke to (Reportee/Witness 1) Cora, who informed me that she had just spoken to (Booked 1) who was seated at a table with (Reportee/Witness 2) Dr. Gribbleflotz, “minding their own business” when (Booked 2) approached and said something in a shrill tone of voice.

According to Cora:

(Booked 1) answered more calmly than “that woman from the Historical Society deserved.” (Booked 2) then slammed her fist down on (Booked 1)’s table, spilling hot coffee on (Booked 1). Cora then claimed that “All hell broke loose.” and that she had no recollection of exactly what came next.

I then spoke with (Reportee/Witness 2) Dr. Gribbleflotz, who told me the following:

Dr. Gribbleflotz was conversing with (Booked 1) when (Booked 2) suddenly approached and said, most disrespectfully, “Name Redacted you can’t sell the dome out from under the citizens of Grantville, The Historical Society won’t allow it!” and slapped the table threateningly. (Booked 1)’s drink fell into her lap, scalding her. Booked One responded by rising to her feet. As she did so, the coffee cup struck (Booked 2) in the body. (Booked 2) then punched (Booked 1) in the face. Dr. Gribbleflotz attempted to intervene, but was rendered hors de combat by a blow to his genitals. Dr. Gribbleflotz could not be certain who struck him or if the blow was intentional, and expressed a complete lack of desire to press charges against either of the booked parties.

All other witnesses confirmed Dr. Gribbleflotz and Cora’s statements as to what occurred.

I arranged for transport for both parties and called for a sergeant, given the prominence of Booked 1’s family. Sergeant (Scratched out) arrived and assisted.

Both parties, still angry and verbally assaultive to one another, were transported to the holding center, where I gave over custody and prepared this report. At the time of the writing of this report, the exact charges levied against both booked parties have yet to be determined.

 

Under penalty of perjury,

Officer Ernst Grüber #144

October 22, 1633

 


 

From the desk of Lyndon Johnson, Grantville police officer

 

October 22, 1633

 

Chief, you will just not believe this one. Just not.

Since it was dark by the time Ron Stone got here to bail out his step-mom, I—being the nice guy I am—gave them a ride out to the dome. Tom’s wife was pretty huffy about it all, I have to tell you. So, anyway, she went stomping off into the dome while I spoke to Ron for a bit.

And then . . .

I don’t know how to describe the sound, Chief. Blood-curdling scream doesn’t quite cover it. I’m here to tell you, that Magdalena has got a set of lungs on her.

Once our ears quit ringing, Ron and I took off running into the dome.

There stood his step-mom, on top of a chair, still screaming at the top of her lungs. And all over the floor, just one rabbit after another. Fluffy bunnies, non-fluffy bunnies. Heck, mutant vampire bunnies, considering those screams. And I’m pretty sure there were a few mice, moles, voles and other assorted rodents in the mix.

Some of the rooms of the dome are pretty weirdly shaped because it’s basically round.  Apparently, one of those rooms has not been used much lately, no one noticed that one spot of the floor had gotten pretty weak. And it looks like it got that way because various critters have been chewing on the flooring. There’s quite a moderately good-sized hole there now. The glue on that batch of plywood must taste good to mice, or something.

Have to say, was it me, I’d think about torching that place. It’s a little more run-down than people think.

My official report won’t say that, of course. Although it will certainly recommend an exterminator. Several of them.

 

Lyndon

 


 

OCTOBER 22, 1633

THE GRANTVILLE TIMES

SUBMITTED FOR SUNDAY OCTOBER 23 1633 ISSUE

PERSONALS COLUMN

 

MSG TO BAUMGÄRTNER:

BACK OFF OR DIE. YOU’RE CHEATING AND WE KNOW IT.

FIRST AND LAST WARNING.

 


 

October 24, 1633

 

Dear Magda:

 

I’m not sure what’s going on, but my Georg is more upset than I’ve seen him since that family tried to get away with breaking quarantine for their kids with the chickenpox!

He came home from the office muttering something about Dr. Gribbleflotz and his crazy foam….something about “was that maniac trying to poison the whole town?”

I finally got him to calm down and talk to me about what was bothering him. He’s been doing research into the “Urea Formaldehyde Insulating Foam” that you asked him about after you got the letter from Dr. Phil. Yes, the stuff is amazing for insulation, yes, it is quite waterproof to start with. The problem is that to get the stuff to work right, you have to use an excess of formaldehyde, and that stuff is nasty- we use it at the hospital as part of our ‘cold sterilizing’ solution, and it’s also used in the lab to preserve body parts and other specimens. I know that I get a headache anytime I’ve got to work with it, and there are many folks at the hospital that get just plain sick if they are around it too much.

Anyhow, even after the foam sets, that formaldehyde leaks out into the air of the home- —since part of the idea to insulate with it is to cut down on the cold drafts, that means that the chemicals can build up inside your home, with nasty results. Another thing is that the foam can break down over time, again releasing more of the toxic gas.

I’ve not had a chance to go over the other information about it, but Georg has sent a message to Prof. Ferrara about it. Georg is going to take this to the Sanitary Commission meeting to see if anything needs to be done about getting Dr. Phil to work on a safer way to make the foam to insulate the dome (and other buildings as well!).

 

Kat

 

P.S.—I heard about your little soirée down at the Cafe! You should have invited me!

K

 


 

:note left on Magda’s table:

 

October 24, 1633

 

Mom,

 

If you want to live in that dome after it’s had formaldehyde foam in it, I would very strongly urge you to go live in the woods around a campfire. It would be better for your lungs.

Formaldehyde is, as Dad would say, stuff that’s very bad karma. And living in foam that would cause more of that formaldehyde to be made would be very bad karma. It would be hard to breathe, and it would stink. And it’s flammable. And if it gets wet, it molds, and the only way you can get the mold out is if you tear it out. You can probably find some of that awful yellow foam down still in the corner under the blue-green window. If any is left. We didn’t want to waste a gift, and someone threw out the two cans, back when it was a do-it-yourself spray foam with twin cans.

I’m sure Dad would help you tear down the dome with his own hands, rather than have your surrounded by a fire hazard that’s toxic. And you know what he thinks of wasting things, rather than reusing things. Too much stuff holds you down and causes pain, but I know he would want to minimize your pain, also.

How long ago did you write to Dad? Gerry will be back in two days. Please come over night after next. Come over, please, and we’ll talk.

 

Ron

 


 

October 26, 1633

 

Dear Kat,

 

Well, naturally the foam is toxic! Why wouldn’t it be, considering the run of bad luck I’m having lately?

So much for that idea, then. We’re back to trying to figure something else out, I suppose.

Between that lunatic Frieda Schultz and her so-called historical preservation society, and her “friend,” (and one wonders just how close a friend he is) Albrecht Durer and his “Ring of Fire Experience,” I’m close to the end of my rope. And I got a call from the Baptist Ladies, complaining that a dance hall “isn’t the impression we want to make.”

What impression do they want to make, I wonder? How anyone could look at that dome and assume that up-time was as pure as some people want to make it out to be is totally beyond understanding.

Oh, and you don’t know the worst yet. Once I FINALLY got bailed out of JAIL, I went to the dome to pack a bag so I could move into the Higgins. When I opened the door there was a FLOOD OF RABBITS! Hundreds of rabbits! IN MY HOUSE!!!! They chewed up the floor!

I’m never wearing angora again. Disgusting creatures, rabbits.

As well, I’m staying at the Higgins until I have a new, proper house to move into. I flatly refuse to set foot into that dome again. If there is anything that Thomas wants out of it, he’d just better get himself back here and get it, because I am not going to.

The whole place can fall down and I will stand by and cheer!

Tell me, Kat, have you got any limes? I sure could use a frozen margarita, even if there isn’t any tequila anymore. Several of them. Lots and lots of them.

 

Sheesh!

Magda

 


 

October 26, 1633

 

Dear Ron,

 

I don’t want to live in that dome at all, ever again. What is more, I have no intention of doing so.

I’m going to live at the Higgins, or I’m going to travel with your father, or I’m going to have a proper house somewhere, but I’m not setting foot in that dome again.

It has rabbits, mice, mold, mildew and leaks. NEVER. AGAIN.

Yes, I will be there night after next. Not at the dome. At your house. I’ll be glad to see Gerry.

I truly don’t know why your father hasn’t answered my letter yet. There’s been plenty of time.

 

Mom

 


 

Hardegg, Selfisch, & Krapp

From the Desk of Hermann Krapp

 

October 27, 1633

 

 

From: Hermann Krapp

To: A. N. D. Wulff

 

Andy, what the hell are you doing? Let my client Frau Schultz off the hook, will you? She doesn’t have the money to defend a civil suit (trust me, I’m doing this pro bono for The Grantville Historical Preservation Society) and as far as that goes, your client didn’t exactly sit there and take it. She was a willing participant in the mutual assault, both at Cora’s and later in the jail. And she has deep pockets.

Let’s all settle down, and be friendly and play nice, okay? Frau Schultz is willing to apologize for her behavior and also said the GHPS had no further interest in preserving the Stonehaus dome. She noted that the technology exists downtime now, and the Stonehaus dome is likely not going to be unique much longer. I understand the dancehall contingent is asking for a building permit for a large geodesic dome structure of their own.

So let Frau Schultz off the civil suit too, will you?

 

Hermann

 


 

October 27, 1633

 

Lyle

 

Here’s the latest article from the local news writer for tomorrow’s Local Interest column. Good stuff, man—I’m still laughing at it.

 

Paul

Ass’t Editor, Grantville Times

 

=================================================================

 

Grand Times in Grantville

– by Dunkin Winchell

I reported last week on all the talk and discussions (arguments) that have been going on about the geodesic dome out at the Lothlorien company property, and how Frau Edelmannin is thinking about having it torn down as an eyesore and a safety hazard. You all know how some sorts in town just keep sticking their noses in everyone else’s business, and some of those sorts were just having a high old time trying to find some way to not only save the dome, but also make the Stones pay for moving it and fixing it up. Feelings been getting pretty wound up over this. Even the League of Women Voters was having meetings about it.

Well, last Saturday the whole hoo-raw blew up like a volcano, like that there Vesuvius down in Italy. It seems that Frau Edelmannin was having what you might call a business meeting in Cora’s with Herr Doctor Phillip Theophrastus Gribbleflotz (ain’t that a moniker?) talking about that very thing. It seems that the good doctor is one of what you might call the interested parties. And so far, from what some little birds have whispered in my ear, he’s about the only one who’s gone so far as to lay some moola on the table.

Anyways, like I said, Frau E and Dr. P were sitting across the table from each other talking business, when up walks this Frieda Schultz woman, looking like Sally Hardeman did back in my senior year when she entered into the drug store and caught Biff Richards sharing a large triple-malted vanilla shake with Mary Colleti. And just like Sally did, Frau Schultz commences to screeching at the top of her lungs about how Frau Edelmannin couldn’t sell the dome and that she and her friends were going to see to it that it wouldn’t happen. And Frau E, not taking too kindly to Frau S’s tone of voice, let it be known that if she chose to sell it, there wasn’t nothing that Frau E could do about it, so there.

Well, that just seemed to ruffle Frau S’s feathers all over, so she picked up Frau E’s coffee cup and tossed the coffee in her face. To which Frau E responded in a very Biblical manner by tossing Dr. G’s coffee into Frau S’s face. And at that point, the fight was on!

The first blow was struck when Frau S scooped up a saucer full of apple pie slice and pitched it in the general direction of Frau E. Frau E dodged the pie, and retaliated by sliding Dr. G’s slice of blueberry pie (complete with whipped cream) out from under the good man’s fork—before he could even get his first bite—and lobbed it at her opponent. Direct hit! (Note to Frau S—you don’t look good in dark blue, honey.)

After that, they closed in to the clinch. Fists were flailing, tables were being jostled, food was flying everywhere, folks were scrambling out of the way, when suddenly Frau S had a big handful of Frau E’s hair and yanked a hank of it right out. Well, that escalated the conflict, let me tell you! Frau E reared back and threw a big old punch right in Frau S’s bread basket, then grabbed her in a headlock—chokehold, actually—and looked for all the world like she was going to launch out into a Texas Bull-dogging move like that Kerry fellow used to do in the wrestling shows and plant Frau S’s face right in the middle of someone’s hot beef sandwich laying in its glorious gravyness in the middle of the floor.

I was getting 3 to 2 odds on Frau E at that point, when the police showed up. Fellow named Grüber; tall, lean, looked more like he came from Dallas than from Bamberg or Jena. He took a moment to see what was going on, then he waded right in and had them separated and handcuffed before anyone else had a clue what was going on.

It was about that time we all noticed that Dr. G was laying on the floor in the middle of someone’s strawberry-rhubarb pie, which had made a real mess of his brand new Lemon Yellow with DayGlo Orange Damask Jacket. (Don’t you just love a man with a sense of style?) He was clutching himself and moaning. Seems he’d tried to break up the fight, and took a shot to the family jewels for his trouble. He may be one educated fellow, but seems like he’s missing on the common sense. Trying to break up a good girl fight; silly guy. He’s lucky they were both down-timers wearing sensible shoes. He could have had four-inch spike heels putting holes in his personal skin.

Anyway, that was pretty much the end of it, except that Frau S and Frau E kept spitting at each other like two horny tomcats. Although another little bird tells me that the jailers just about had to pull out the fire hose to keep the two of them under control before they got bailed out.

That was the most fun I’ve had since Hulk Hogan won Wrestlemania III! I don’t know what we’ll do for excitement next week.

Anybody know if Officer Grüber is married? I just truly admire a strong man in a uniform.

 

— 30 —

 


 

GRUBB WURMB & WULFF

Non Illegitimi Carborundum

From the Desk of A. N. D. Wulff

 

October 28, 1633

 

 

From: A. N. D. Wulff

To: Hermann Krapp

 

Hermann,

 

I’m sorry, but my client is not agreeable to granting your request. Above and beyond the events of the food fight at Cora’s and the cat fight in the jail (in both of which I would argue that my client was reacting to your client’s provocations), your client has a demonstrated pattern of being, shall we say, overly assertive with my client. In other words, your client’s attitudes, statements, and actions constitute a significant pain in my client’s gluteus maximus, and have cost her time and money. Yes, I know Frau Schultz wants to apologize, and will no doubt promise that she won’t do it again. But frankly, we have no reason to trust her, so we intend to keep a little leverage in place to nudge her to keep to the straight and narrow path.

If your client does what she says—apologizes, keeps quiet about my client and her business affairs, doesn’t interfere with my client’s life, businesses, and particularly the disposition of the dome—we’ll leave the civil suit in limbo. No action, no additional motions, etc. And, after the Stones have made final disposition of the dome–conveyances executed and handed over, purchase price paid, dome is removed from the Stones’ property—we’ll drop the civil suit. Word of honor.

On the other hand, if Frau Schultz steps out of line at all—any word or action, anytime, anywhere, that touch on my client’s family or business in any way—before the disposition of the dome is finalized, that civil suit will resurrect immediately, and I’ll have your client served with a restraining order so stiff she’ll have to move to Jerusalem to be in compliance.

Make sure your client understands this clearly, Hermann. After the last week or so my client has had, I’m in a “take no prisoners” mood. Frau Schultz really does not want to attract my attention right now.

See you at the bar meeting next week.

 

Andy


 

October 29, 1633

 

 

From Frau Frieda Schultz

To Frau Magdalena Edelmannin

Stonehaus

Grantville

 

Dear Frau Edelmannin,

 

At the advice of my attorney, Hermann Krapp, and of my own free will, I wish to give you my most sincere apology for my behavior at Cora’s Coffee Shop yesterday, and after that, in the jail. Whatever you may think of me, I am not normally such a b*tch. Please forgive me. I got carried away with the thought of saving a piece of unique up-time architecture.

I have been informed of the actual state of the building. Rabbits, mice, mold, mushrooms, eeeech. I completely understand why you wished to tear it down, and I am able to tell you that the Grantville Historical Preservation Society will not stand in your way if you choose to destroy the dome.

I would be grateful, however, if you would please retract the criminal complaint your attorney filed against me so that I can be released from this cell.

 

Yours most abjectly,

Frau Frieda Schultz

 


 

GRUBB WURMB & WULFF

Non Illegitimi Carborundum

From the Desk of A. N. D. Wulff

 

October 31, 1633

 

 

Magda—

 

Written apology from the Shultz woman attached. I told you it would work. I’ll talk to the public prosecutor about dismissing the criminal charges. That will keep her out of jail and let her recover her bail money, but again I suggest we not move too fast in dropping the civil charges. Having a bit of leverage over this woman until the dome situation is settled one way or the other may still prove to be prudent.

Have you decided if you’re going to accept the offer from the Thuringen Gardens to buy the dome? If the preservation society backs off, that may be the only other real option on the table. I won’t believe the tourist society offer is real until they put their money on the table. Same for Dr. Gribbleflotz.

I still haven’t heard all the sordid details about your little adventure. Portia hadn’t put the lasagna in the oven when we got the word what had happened, so she put it back in the refrigerator. Say the word, and it can go in the oven tonight and you can tell Portia all the good bits that didn’t make it into the newspaper accounts over a good dinner. She’ll make me break out the really good wine for this.

 

Andy

 


 

October 31, 1633

 

Frau Schultz—

 

Very well, Frau Schultz. I’ll drop the assault charge, but not the civil suit. Not yet.

Do, please, for your own good, stay away from me and mine.

 

M. Edelmannin

Stonehaus

 

 


 

October 31, 1633

 

Andy, tell Portia that I’ll be there tomorrow. And break out a couple of bottles of the good stuff. It’s been a really long couple of weeks. Maybe my luck will change since tonight is All Hallow’s Eve.

 

Magda

 

 


 

Neustatter’s European Security Services

6732 Route 250

Grantville, Marion County

 

October 31, 1633

 

 

Albert Baumgärtner

Marion County Tax Assessors Office

Government Haus

High Street

Grantville, Marion County

 

Dear Sir,

 

Neustatter’s European Security Services regrets to inform you that our schedule is nearly full. We are unable to provide enough personnel to mount both day and night guard for an indefinite period.

We recommend one of the larger security contractors.

 

Sincerely,

Astrid Schäubin, for Edgar Neustatter

 

 


 

handwritten note attached to letter:

 

Neustatter:

 

I replied to the tax office. I didn’t see any reason to actually say that the “larger security contractor” you recommended was Holk, on the grounds that he and the Tax Office have a similar rapacious attitude. I don’t need the extra investigation and paperwork that would cause.

 

Astrid

 

 


 

November 2, 1633

 

 

TO: All regularly scheduled publications in the USE

TO: All Broadcast radio stations

TO: Grantville Cablecasting News

 

For Immediate Release

 

HDG Enterprizes wishes to announce the formation of its newest subsidiary Gribbleflotz Tensegrity Domes.

Beginning with the forthcoming construction of the Gribbleflotz Museum of Science and Industry, and available to all interested parties, GTD will be contracting for the construction of true C60 style – Buckminster Fullerene domes in either 1/2 or 2/3 sphere configurations.

Domes will be available in a variety of diameters from twenty to one hundred feet span. As such, they will be perfect for any use requiring or which would benefit from a column-free span.

GTD domes will be built following the prescriptions of the great up-time realizer Buckminster Fuller who was the first to recognize this pattern’s ability to combine minimal materials with maximal strength.

Dome will be available covered with a variety of materials, and sealed in a variety of ways. Domes which are not intended as personal residences can benefit from the application of a layer of Gribbleflotz Foaming Mastic as a sealant and adhesive over the outside of the dome before covering with linen and sealing with an oil paint.

Exterior decoration, including both advertising and decorative murals are also available via Gribbleflotz Enterprises contracting ability with some of the best muralists known downtime, based on research of their works in the up-time library.

Interested parties should contact GTD at Gribbleflotz Enterprises in Jena.

 

–30–

 


 

GRUBB WURMB & WULFF

Non Illegitimi Carborundum

From the Desk of A. N. D. Wulff

 

November 3, 1633

 

 

Magda—

 

Thanks for dropping by Saturday night. We enjoyed having you over, and I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. Your accounts of the food fight and the jail fight were hilarious. My ribs are still sore from laughing. I’m glad you were able to keep a good sense of humor about all this.

Enclosed is another bottle of that Hungarian white wine you liked so well. Enjoy it in good health.

I’ll send you a formal report on the tax matter in a couple of days. No real movement on it yet, basically.

Stay in touch with Portia. She really enjoys her times with you. And the next time you need bail, just call me, okay?

 

Andy

 


 

November 5, 1633

 

Dear Andy and Portia,

 

I had a wonderful time. And Portia’s new chopped salad with bleu cheese dressing was just amazing! I must have that recipe, please.

As soon as I get into a real house, I’ll have you two over for a meal.

In the meantime, however, why don’t you meet me at the Higgins on Friday evening? I’ll get you two a room for the night and we’ll have dinner there. I have to say, the food there is fabulous most of the time.

 

Magda

 


 

County of Marion

Office of Tax Assessor

Government Haus, #109

High Street

Grantville

 

November 11, 1633

 

 

A. N. D. Wulff, Partner

Grubb Wurmb & Wulff

Grantville

 

Dear Sir,

 

With reference to our proposed audit of the records of your clients Tom Stone and Lothlorien Farbenwerke and Pharmaceuticals, please be advised that after additional review of the matter, the assessor’s office has determined that former Assistant to the Assessor Herr Baumgärtner was mistaken in his interpretation of both the facts of the situation and of the applicable statutes. Consequently, the proposed audit has been canceled. Also, attached you will find a cancellation notice which nullifies the invoice for $375.00 that was presented by letter from Herr Baumgärtner dated September 27, 1633.

The office of the assessor apologizes for any inconvenience that may have been caused in this matter.

It may be of some interest to you to know that Mr. Baumgärtner suddenly announced that he had inherited property from a very distant relative in Krakow, Poland, resigned his position, and left town immediately, leaving no forwarding address.

Please feel free to contact us for any desired clarification of this issue. We trust that this resolution will be acceptable to your clients.

 

Winifred Grüber

Assistant to the Assessor


 

Afterword:  Back in 2012, on the 1632 Tech board, someone asked for a writing cue, an opening line. It was suggested that Tom Stone hadn’t paid taxes on his, ah, crop. This was followed by a letter from the tax office and then by a reply from Tom’s wife Magda.  Lots of folks joined in with their own characters.  It’s an epistolary story that was written in the round.  David Carrico compiled the posts and edited them into a coherent storyline.  The story includes contributions from Paula Goodlett, Rick Boatright, David Carrico, Walt Boyes, Charles Krin, Kerryn Offord, Griffin Barber, Laura Runkle, Stephen St. Onge, and Bjorn Hasseler.