The Nine and Six and One
From: Mr. Neils Barreck, Fairhaven, Aundair
To: Mr. Arden Barreck, Arnheim, Aundair
Forgive my abrupt departure during your absence. It was not my intention to leave the store in the hands of another without your express consent, but a matter of great importance arose from which I could not turn away. I was left with little choice and I trust that you abide my judgment.
I apologize that I am not at liberty to discuss the details of my task in this medium, nor my whereabouts over the past season. Perhaps one day I will be able to tell you more. You may know that I currently find myself in Fairhaven, though I do not anticipate being here more than a few days. You may also know that my quest is of the highest regard; I did not depart Arnheim lightly. I believe this quest will allow me to gain the recognition you are aware I have already rightly earned. I will also bring honor to the Barreck name.
I trust that Mr. Tomkins* provided an adequate service in minding the store during our mutual absence. I had seen him frequenting the shop of late and found him to have a relatively keen grasp of the written word (more keen than the average rabble of Arnheim, anyway), even if he does not have a true appreciation for every nuance of the literature we stock. He seemed sufficiently reliable and affable enough to attend to our clientele. I left him with explicit and detailed instructions as to his duties until your return. Assuming his services met to your satisfaction, you may hire him on a more long-term basis. I regret that it may be some time before I am able to return home.
I will attempt to write to you as I am able to keep you abreast of my activities. I fear that I foresee being quite mobile for the known future. Please do not attempt to send correspondence to this location, for it is unlikely to reach me. Should I become sedentary for some extended period of time, I will inform of my address.
I hope this letter finds you well and that your latest trade mission went as you planned. Know that I am well and am enjoying myself thus far on this adventure.
*Note: Alexar Tomkins is a young resident of Arnheim, about 18, with an affinity for books, though he is not as obsessed as Neils. He is actually quite sociable (unlike Neils) and would have been liked reasonably by the customers. He is capable of running a store, at least on a short-term basis.