Friday, July 18, 2003

The Discontent of Nathan Cartwright - a short story (Part 2)
Nathan hung his cloak on the coathook and made his way to the drinking well located in the far corner of the Guildshop. The drinking well was where he would find his fellow Guildsmiths enjoying a ladle of water while discussing the politics and gossip of the day. Near the drinking well was located a brazier which warmed an iron coffee kettle. By the looks of it though, it was obvious that someone in the Guild had neglected to refresh the kettle. No matter though as Nathan was not partial to the brew of the Guild, as it was often watery and weak-willed. He made his way over to the drinking well and pulled up the rope that brought forth the bucket from the spring below. He raised the ladle to his lips and sipped the liquid, listening to the conversation that involved his fellow Guildsmiths.

"Indeed I fear not Treason! If Sedition it is then Sedition it is but nevertheless I will walk into our beloved Guildmaster's office, throw down this rag of a broadsheet and look him in the eye - kindly informing him that not even Satan's arsehole would produce such vileness!" bellowed John Winthrop, the brawniest of the Guildsmiths clustered by the well. The others laughed and backslapped in agreement. Nathan looked at the men quizzically and the group realized his confusion. One Guildsmith jutted towards Nathan a rolled up pamphlet for Nathan to take. "Here, " he said, "Compliments of the Guildmaster."

Nathan opened up the printing and viewed the headline. "From Good to Great: Highly Original and Thoughtful Theories on the Marshalling of Men and the Endeavoring of Tasks Towards a Greater Industrial Reward. Nathan glanced at the tract, recoiling at the suggestions elucidated within.

"This is pure and fetid nightsoil!" he remarked to the others. "Is this the new religion that our Guildmaster worships? The altar that encourages him to rename things En-ron, that commands him to organize us into "Forge Farms" where we sweat and toil in neat little stalls exhibiting the most cramped and soulless symmetry?"

"Indeed, Nathan. Indeed, "replied one of the Guildsmiths. "Our Guildmaster will latch on to any prevailing philosophy when it pertains to matters of industry and commerce. He will, to the ends of the Earth, follow any old seer with a quill and an inkwell who claims to unlock the secrets of success. This pamphlet is his latest Siren."

Nathan looked around him, inspecting the confines of En-Ron. No! To him the Guild was still Men of Iron. Nathan promised himself that he would resist the practices of what some were calling "Guild America". Indeed, he had not shot his musket at Johnny Burgoyne's boys, securing freedom for the colonies, to have peddling pamphleteers recreate King George's servitude within every blockhouse, warehouse, and guildshop around. No! He vowed he would resist this Guild America.


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