Friday, August 13, 1869

Dear Diary,

The night before last, I did something that I fear was beneath me: I hypnotized Gordon. Actually, I paid Miss Charisma to do so. Obviously, I lack any knowledge whatsoever with regard to such matters. An unsuspecting Gordon came to my house so that I could paint him (or her, rather, given the effects my foray into artistic expression). Miss Charisma then put him under for his “thirty day check.”

What followed was a fascinating foray into the mind of a doll. Indeed, all of Gordon’s clockwork functions proved very much intact. Miss Charisma then used her considerable talents of persuasion to arrange a few safeguards for me. First, she manipulated Gordon’s understanding of the first law, which is something about keeping humans free from harm, so that the dear doll will be obliged to spirit me away to my home should Mr. Plutonian ever harm me. I believe the injunction even applies to as trivial a harm as the onset of tears. I feel guilty for betraying Gordon’s trust, but I cannot help but also feel justified. After all, it is the demon himself who chose to employ his maid in the task of breaching my mental barriers. Since I cannot be certain of my safety or even of my free will when I am in Mr. Plutonian’s presence, devil that he is, it seems only reasonable that I should be permitted to take reasonable precautions. My uncle may not always be present to enact my speedy escape from Mr. P.’s evil snares. Why should I not ensure that someone else may extricate me when next I am in need?

Miss Charisma did not stop at that, though. She delved into Gordon’s memories. She coaxed from him an incantation, quick and effective, that might allow one to keep a demon at bay. A word, short and ancient sounding, was produced. With it, Gordon defended his master from some sort of otherworldly presence. Well, with that word and a solid thunk upon the creature’s head. I believe Gordon used a rolling pin. At any rate, I know not how effective this word may prove against Mr. Plutonian himself, but I am pleased to have yet another weapon in my arsenal. Should Gordon not be present when I feel threatened by the beast, perhaps this word will assist me in distracting the demon so that I may make my escape.

The whole nasty business was about escape, you see. I wish no harm to anyone. Truly, I have taken one life too many already. I do not think my conscience could stand another such incident. After Miss Charisma departed, I painted Gordon as promised. Did I take too great advantage of him, do you think?

I fear that I have acted in a manner unbecoming a lady. I have taken advantage of Gordon’s trust and of his helpless state. True, I am not the one who cast him into that helpless state. Even so, I am ashamed to have resorted to trickery. Unfortunately, no amount of shame renders me actually sorry for what I did. I face a frightening enemy, one who has proven himself willing and able to tamper with my very mind. Dishonesty is necessary in order to combat a foe who can see into one’s thoughts and schemes. If I have debased myself, I hope it was only to prevent further harm.

And so, dear Diary, I find I must leave you when I am in a state of disquiet. My rationalization, however sound, cannot quite overcome my sense of shame. If only Mr. Plutonian would leave me be!

Your distressed,

–Miss Palabra Puddlegum–

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