(From a Private Communique, dated
IX XXX MMVIII, found in memorabilia of the
Aloisius Bartholomew Reginald Masterson-Smythe collection. I report with minimal editing; the remainder of the entry follows.)
The Macanudo 1968
part the third
Wreaths of smoke crowned our heads and filled the room with opulent aromas. Hasim and I nodded our heads as we bandied. This strange Macanudo cigar left us puzzled: was our long-time foe truly making a gesture of reconciliation, or had the Einrich the Teuton crafted a masterly deception?
Much debate on either side ensued; we passed the cigar between us, so as to dilute any Frankish poisons it might contain. The cigar seemed to be an innocuous puzzlement.
"Curious," observed my Arabian friend, "this is at once reminiscient of both old library upholstry and apricots, although that not an unpleasant taste."
It seemed a strange comparison to me, but when he handed the cigar back to me I pondered his words and found myself nodding in agreement. We exchanged the Macanudo at a mad pace, each trying to understand what was happening and yet avoid any Teutonic poison slipped in by the treacherous Einrich.
"Einrich's great fondness for fine cigars is not yet so well-grown as his penchant for treachery. I am uneasy that he should not have had some ulterior motive. I begin to worry that he might be... sincere."
I was nodding in agreement when I exclaimed "Hold! The bitterness is intensifying, and the flavors now are of old stale muffins-- the draw waxes tight! What treachery is this?"
We smoked more slowly, wondering if this was at last the vile poison we had feared. Yet, the clouds of smoke were not miasmic-- merely too bitter for pleasure.
I noticed that the cigar had begun to run a little bit, but took a few more puffs anyway. The strength began to mature, and it was soon clear that the only poison in the cigar was a deceptively high amount of nicotine.
"This begins to bore me, my friend. Clearly it is not poisoned. There is a bit more flavor here toward the end, yet it is the exact same flavor. The acridity comes and goes, the dry taste sometimes more reminiscent of smoking the box instead of the cigars inside of it."
I nodded. "The burn has rectified itself, the run is corrected. And yet, my head begins to spin a little-- indeed, Hasim, this is far stronger tobak than I had suspected!"
Hasim nodded sagely, his Arabian eyes drooping thoughtfully.
"I admit that there is some craft here," I said "yet, it seems to me that this humdrum Macanudo-- though disguised with some art-- remains a naive smoke to the end."
Scratching my chin, I motioned for my dwarf to bring the tobacco-jar. Long we three talked, planning how best to extend our goodwill to Einrich, who had not poisoned us after all. Peddigrew the albino dwarf brought sherry, and we made merry long into the perfumed night.
"Soon," I thought to myself, "Soon I shall have my own revenge."