Happy holidays to you all, sirs and madams, and welcome back to the blog-about.

Once more, the days have slipped away from me, and nearly two months have elapsed without a word exchanged between us; truly, I am beginning to wonder if the expectations I have set for myself are unreasonable, given my circumstances. I shall elaborate for you, but please do bear with me, for the severity of my exhaustion is such that even the simple task of writing threatens to overwhelm me.

First, I must provide you with the sixth chapter, which I cannot be bothered to analyze—indeed, I can barely stand to look at the bloody thing. You will have to trust in your own intellect to carry you through this chapter of King Orofyld's tale, my friends:

Read Chapter Six

Now, then, to the matter of Sir Quincy Jones.

If I had been retaining even the smallest shadow of doubt regarding either the authenticity or the profundity of my associate's madness, then I assure you that the time I have spent as a resident of his estate has entirely expunged it from my heart. Sir Quincy, once-beloved aristocrat, has descended into a bout of delusional insanity from which I fear he may never fully return.

The incident that finally convinced me of this truth occurred on Wednesday afternoon of last week when Roland, Fuser, and I agreed that something would have to be done about Sir Quincy's condition; at the very least, he would have to be made to stop wreaking destruction upon his ancestral home and property (the most optimistic of Roland's calculations estimate the cost of repairs at fourteen thousand dollars—a billiards cue, by God!).

We three enacted our plan at noon that day. While Roland and I kept Sir Quincy occupied with questions about magic, monsters, and the many other nonsensical facets of his fantasies, Fuser crept off by himself with the intention of making a telephone call to Dr. Thompson, Sir Quincy's family physician. After a few minutes, the Argentinian fellow returned to serve our tea, and he gave me an inconspicuous nod as he did so. I smiled in return, for I knew the doctor would soon arrive.

As our midday meal progressed, I informed Sir Quincy that I had taken the liberty of inviting a guest to join us for the afternoon. Sir Quincy was curious as to who it might be, but when I mentioned Dr. Thompson, he did not seem to recognize the name. He wondered aloud if the man was a scholar, or an historian, perhaps, an educated man who might be familiar with the enjoyable tale of King Orofyld XVIII and would be able to discuss it at length. Having learned through much disastrous trial and error that humoring my associate is frequently the most effective means of avoiding any undesirable behavior he might exhibit, I suggested that it was certainly possible that Dr. Thompson knew of the tale, and that the both of us might gain much knowledge by conversing with him, for he was said to be a very wise and astute individual. Sir Quincy was taken with this notion, and he praised me heartily for extending the invitation, saying that he very much looked forward to hearing what the man had to say.

We finished our meal and chatted pleasantly, for there are moments when Sir Quincy seems to regain complete possession of his senses and is able to demonstrate the reason and prudence which once earned him such favor in our social circles, and these moments can interrupt even the most lucid and incensed of his raving fits. At about one-thirty, the doorbell sounded, and while Fuser dutifully went to admit our visitor, Sir Quincy said again how pleased he was with my decision.

When Fuser returned, however, he did not bring with him Dr. Richard Thompson, but his younger brother Samuel Thompson, the preacher. Sir Quincy and I stood from our seats, and while my associate politely stepped forward to greet our guest, calling him “Sir Thompson” and shaking his hand emphatically, I approached Fuser and quietly demanded an explanation. He told me apologetically that he had made the telephone call as per my request, but that he had accidentally called the wrong number. By the time he had realized his mistake, he had already told Pastor Thompson about his master's condition, and the preacher had insisted on making a visit in the hopes of providing Sir Quincy with spiritual guidance during what was undoubtedly a very trying time for him.

Seeing that my annoyance with him was not assuaged in the least, Fuser meekly suggested that the counsel of a priest could sometimes be just as helpful as that of a doctor, depending. I shook my head wearily and returned to my seat, unable to reprimand him just then (it is often very difficult to be angry with Fuser, endearing soul that he is).

Roland watched all of this in silence, chuckling to himself like an imp.

I wanted desperately to remove Pastor Thompson from the estate as soon as possible, but Sir Quincy, excited as he was, had already struck up a lively conversation with the preacher, and the preacher was fascinated by the strangeness of the armored aristocrat. It seemed clear that separating them would end poorly; thus, after briefly introducing myself, I attempted to relax in my chair while I observed, among other, less notable bits, the following exchange between the lunatic and the preacher, which I do not think I shall ever forget:

Pastor Thompson: Now, Sir Quincy, what seems to be ailing you?

Sir Quincy: Why, whatever do you mean, Sir Thompson? Do I appear ill to you?

Pastor Thompson: Oh, not ill. Troubled, though, you seem troubled. Are the holidays getting to you, you think? Christmas can be a very stressful time of year.

Sir Quincy: I am not familiar with “Christmas,” but as for my health, dear friend, I am quite well.

Pastor Thompson: Huh? You don't know what Christmas is? You've gotta be pulling my leg! You and your folks used to come to church every Sunday, you goof! How did you go and forget about the birth of our Lord?

Sir Quincy: You forget yourself, Sir Thompson. I have never frequented a church in all my days, for I am a knight, and I honor the gods through the valor of my deeds, not through prayer. But I shall excuse your breach of etiquette, for you are a scholar and historian, and as such you are entitled to a certain measure of leniency. Tell me, have you read the tale of King Orofyld XVIII, penned by Jonathon?

Pastor Thompson: What? Historian? I'm a pastor, Sir Quincy, a priest, you know that. Shoot, Fuser, you weren't kidding, he's clear out of his head! What in the world happened to him?

(Fuser shrugs coyly)

Sir Quincy: You try my patience, fellow. Good Sir Darcy and I were under the impression that you were a brilliant scholar, but now you claim to be a priest? Which god do you champion, then?

Pastor Thompson: Beg your pardon? What do you mean, which god?

Sir Quincy: I mean what I say, Sir Scholar-Priest, and nothing more! Tell me, then, who is your patron deity?

Pastor Thompson: I serve God Almighty, my friend, you know that.

Sir Quincy: Yes, but which almighty god? Is it the Great Redeemer, merciful light of life? He Who Tends the Scales, whose domain is honest fortune and prosperity?

Pastor Thompson: I believe in God, Sir Quincy! The one true God, whose Son died on the cross to save mankind from sin!

Sir Quincy: I have not heard of this god, but he must be callous indeed to allow his son to bear such an unfair burden. What is his name, then? Whose will do you impose upon the world with your divine magic?

(Roland chuckles quietly)

Pastor Thompson (standing): Magic? What in the world...? Sir Darcy, I doubt there's anything I can do for him, he's clearly mad. I'll get my brother over here as soon as I can, he should be able to tell you what the next step ought to be.

(I begin to reply, but am interrupted)

Sir Quincy (standing): What is this? You claim priesthood, but can wield no magic? Then you are neither a scholar nor a priest! What are you, then, false prophet? By the olive crown, your nameless god will not save you should you dare lie to me again!

Pastor Thompson: What in blazes...my friend, God does not save His children with magical powers. We are saved through our faith in His love, through our acceptance of Christ as the savior of men.

Sir Quincy: Do you mean to tell me...that your god does not provide you with the power to effect meaningful change in his name, and therefore you cannot know for certain that he is real?

Pastor Thompson: If I did, there wouldn't be much point in having faith, would there? You can't have faith in something you know is real, Sir Quincy.

Sir Quincy: Ah, now you speak sense, for it would be an inanity to merely believe in something that is known, or to profess absolute knowledge of something that is a mere belief. Yet you talk of your god as a “true” god, as if you know he exists.

Pastor Thompson: My faith in God is unshakable, and His love for me is true. That is all I need to know.

Sir Quincy: But you do not know it, for your god will not make his presence known to you! Though he does not reward your loyalty by imparting to you the power to heal wounds and right the wrongs of the world, you still choose to worship him?

Pastor Thompson: “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James, one-six.

Sir Quincy: You speak of James Frelicton? You have read the tale, then! Enough of you, duplicitous fiend! I know not whether you are scholar, historian, or priest, nor does it matter! Perhaps you have been enchanted and sent by some lowborn sorcerer to torment me with your foolishness! Out with you! Out, Sir Tooth Fairy, weaver of desert-myths! Out, lest this mine glorious blade strike true upon thy erroneous brow!

Sir Quincy Jones then took up his deadly billiards cue, and as Fuser and I looked on in horror, he commenced beating Pastor Thompson about the shoulders and ribs with its weathered length. The preacher, who was not accustomed to being treated so violently, gave a shrill scream and fled the room in panic, and the enraged Sir Quincy chased him from the grounds, his war-cries carrying far and wide over the land of South Carolina. Fuser and I were able to dissuade him from pursuing the poor preacher into town and managed to convince him to return to the estate, where Roland had remained throughout the whole ordeal, unable to assist us on account of the uncontrollable laughter which had seized him.

This all occurred last week, ladies and gentlemen, and since that time there have been precious few moments when Sir Quincy has not felt the need to constantly deride the victim of his assault. “Sir Tooth Fairy” is the epithet he uses most frequently in describing the preacher, and when I inquired as to the meaning of the phrase, he replied matter-of-factly that Pastor Thompson's beliefs were equivalent in sensibility and verity to a child's belief in the existence of a benevolently dontophilic pixie, and that, being equally meaningful, they should be afforded a similar amount of respect. I did not argue the point.

In spite of his intolerance, however, my associate was curious about the idea of Christmas, and upon questioning me about it, he became quite charmed with the practice of gift-giving, seeing it as having much in common with the teachings of Pelor and Abadar, the fictitious gods described in Jonathon's story. So inspired was he, in fact, that he decided to participate in the custom, and a few days later, he presented me with a gift. It was (and I swear by the honesty of my words) a shirt of light, supple chain mail, the sort that might have been worn by horsemen or squires during the feudal era, and I was alarmed to find that it fit my frame almost perfectly. Tentatively, I thanked Sir Quincy and asked him where in the world he had found such a lovely gift. He told me with a proud grin that it had belonged to his grandfather, who had been a brave and virtuous warrior much like Balek Bida had been in his heyday, and that he had suspected it would fit me quite well, for he had surreptitiously taken my measurements while I had slept. I was both confused and disturbed by his answer, and I elected not to inquire further.

So you see, sirs and madams, the current situation in Charleston is dire. I am unable to make contact with either of the Thompson brothers; I fear they are purposefully avoiding my calls, and while I am offended by their behavior, I cannot say that I do not understand their rationale. Sir Quincy is, without doubt, a violent madman, a danger to himself and to those around him. I hope to keep him confined to his estate until proper psychiatric aid can be secured for him, but I worry that this may not be possible; he has begun talking vaguely of a “grand adventure” he has planned, and I tremble to think of what that might mean for the people of America, who are already plagued by a slew of difficult problems and certainly do not need another in the form of my deranged associate.

I swear to you, friends, that I shall remain vigilant; by my honor, Sir Quincy Jones shall receive the help he so desperately needs, and this whole affair shall be put to rest. Until that time, pray for me—truly, I would accept whatever aid the heavens might send, whether from God, Allah, Buddha, Pelor, or the devil himself.

Ever yours, and ever classy,

Good Sir Darcy