Mant aeons away, O Best Beloved, there was a large, dank, dim cave inhabited by a tribe of large, fierce, hairy Guardians. They wore dark robes that did not show the dirt; they never bathed, they never shaved. They were too busy guarding their sacred Treasures from the periodic raids of the Bandar‐Log—strange chattering simian creatures who dwelt in the shattered red brick Georgian ruins of something they called ‘durms’. From time to time one of these little anthropoids would steal past the Guardians into the back of the Cave and try to make away with one of the Treasures clutched in a prehensile paw. Needless to say, they were severely beaten as a lesson to their fellows. The best time for raiding was during the fifteen‐minute intervals, at ten in the morning and three in the afternoon, when the Guardians would sit down, grasp a mug of hot water and stare at the wall. The ritual was thought to have a religious significance—only the name survives, ‘kafe‐brick’.
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