My facsimile edition of The Universal Penman contained nothing remotely resembling the calligraphy on the call slip, nor did The Scribe's Companion. But I hit pay dirt with The English Writing Master. The anatomical structure of the penmanship specifically those parts of the bs and hs that rose above the waistline matched precisely a round hand taught during the late eighteenth century.
"Can't you put things back?"
Engrossed in my sleuthing, I hadn't noticed Nic glowering by the door, milk pitcher clutched accusingly. Apparently, I'd left it on the counter.
My first thought was, This from a woman who uses the fridge as a storage closet. I didn't have the energy for a fight, so I mumbled an apology. That earned me one of those withering shrugs all French women seem to master, and the suggestion that I go see my "shrimp."
Copyright © 2001 by Allen Kurzweil. Reprinted by permission of Hyperion.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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