Hello, Behemoth, old man.

You can't know how excited I was to receive a bid from The Octopus House again. We'd thought your collecting days over after the incident with the music boxes (I'll say no more about this, though as your long-enduring friend I feel a special responsibility to inform you that although your initial concerns were not unfounded, no permanent ill befell anyone involved. So pour yourself some brandy punch and stew on the luck of that!).

The question that seems to be marching purposefully from bidding chamber to display tableau is 'Why has the Octopus House risen to bid again?' Although the bids were secret, as always with Pennington's, voices carry, as they say. Whose voices? Who can say, but be assured none of my staff spoke word one about your interest in our recent acquisitions.

Feel free to call or drop by my office for a drink and we'll go on about the colorful days of our respective but equally ferocious youths. Perhaps, if your visit is soon enough, we'll spend the afternoon immersed in the delightful haze of one of my 7 remaining Hooke and Purles fine cigarellos (actually 6, as I am smoking one as I dictate this to Ms. Hallelujah, my lovely aide de campe).

Purveyor in Fine Goods,

Scourge of Basil Street, and

Ever your friend,

W. J. Pennington

Walthus .J. “Wattle” Pennington