By Maurice Merchant, Editor in Chief
10/4- You’ve probably never heard of Argathal Gladstone, unless you live in the small village of Leadhills in the region of Crowndon colloquially known as the Middle of Nowhere. But if Gladstone has his way, his name will be sung with reverence throughout all the corners of the Triumvirate.
“I have discovered a Blackwood alternative that will change everything,” he writes to us, his words written with the shaky hand of someone very excited, or perhaps lacking in blood sugar.
“The answer to the looming Blackwood crisis lies not in coal, or the diesel engines being developed by those heathens in Sarnwain.*
“It lies in perpetual motion, that most alluring and elusive of scientific endeavors. Many have tried. I have succeeded. In my workshop I now possess a working model. Enclosed is a sketch.”
The sketch Mister Gladstone provided was impossible to interpret, much less print. He continues:
“Currently, I’m in in the planning stages of a full scale model, which I will unveil at this year’s IIC. Prepare yourselves, citizens of the Triumvirate. A reckoning is at hand! With my machine, we shall be free of the Blackwood Dictatorship!”
Out of curiosity, I sent one of our interns to Leadhills to interview Mr. Gladstone. The man had locked himself in his workshop and refused to come out, but the intern reported loud banging and manic laughter.
At a loss, the intern turned to the townspeople to get a better idea of the man.
“Oh, he’s genuine, that’s for sure,” said one old man, sitting on a porch outside the local tavern and smoking a pipe. “When my coach broke down last year, he fixed it right up. A right mechanist, that one. If he says he can do it, I believe him.”
The majority, however, were less impressed.
“He’s a lunatic,” said the mistress of the same local tavern, who was quick to offer her opinion after hearing the old man’s account. “He’s always in here, raising hell about Blackwood this and Technological oppression that. You say he’s planning on going to that fancy convention in Nor Easter? Good riddance I say. The man ought to be right at home with that sort.”**
*,**: Editor’s Note: the opinions of Mister Gladstone and the citizens of Leadhills are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blackwood Gazette or its employees.