IN A rapidly changing world in which surfeit—in the shape of four‐letter words, full frontal nudity and the freak antics of so‐called Trendy Man, all in the seclusion of one's own private sitting room—has reduced what was once remarkable to mere commonplace, there is perhaps nothing now which excites the curiosity of trusty old Tribology Man as much as a simple knock on the door, unless it is the intriguing plop of the postal packet which sometimes marginally precedes it. On this particular occasion the PANJANDRUM OIL COMPANY envelope carried but a solitary missive. “URGENT!” it cried, followed by a frantically scrawled appeal from a harrassed Sales clerk calling for an early visit to Mr Sam Shuttleworth, natural‐born despot and tyrannical owner of a northern rubber manufacturing outpost aptly titled Bleak Mill.
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