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datatime: 2022-12-03 07:56:30 Author:kZgRRYcy

THE TALE OF THE BODY THIEF

"Wait just a minute, you can't ring off, I won't allow it, don't you realize-"

"Father worked almost all his life for Cunard shipping, spending his last years as a cabin steward in first class on the Queen Elizabeth 2. Very proud of his record. Great scandal and disgrace not so many years ago, when James was also hired, thanks to the influence of his father, and promptly robbed one of the passengers of four hundred pounds in cash. Father disowned him, was reinstated by Cunard before he died. Never spoke to his son again."

"Of course I do, David."

"So? Where did it all start?"

"He was highly educated, spent years at Oxford, though at times he had to live like a pauper. Started dabbling in medium-ship even before his mother died. Didn't come into his own until the fifties, in Paris, where he soon acquired an enormous following, then started bilking his clients in the most crude and obvious ways imaginable, and went to jail.

"Ah, the photograph on the ship," I said.

"Father worked almost all his life for Cunard shipping, spending his last years as a cabin steward in first class on the Queen Elizabeth 2. Very proud of his record. Great scandal and disgrace not so many years ago, when James was also hired, thanks to the influence of his father, and promptly robbed one of the passengers of four hundred pounds in cash. Father disowned him, was reinstated by Cunard before he died. Never spoke to his son again."

"Lestat, you must understand how destructive and vicious this individual can be. You can't give your body over to him! And that is just what you mean to do. Look, if you meant to possess a mortal body for a while, I'd be dead against it, for that is diabolical and unnatural enough! But to give your body to this madman! Ye gods, will you please come here to London? Let me talk you out of this. Don't you owe me as much!"

"Not important, go on. How did he get into the occult?"

"Of course I do, David."

"Raglan," I said.

THE TALE OF THE BODY THIEF

"Lestat, there is something positively stupid about this creature. He speaks eight languages, can invade any computer network, and possess other people's bodies long enough to loot their wall safes-he is obsessed with wall safes, by the way, hi an almost erotic fashion!-and yet he plays silly tricks on people and ends up with handcuffs on his wrists! The objects he took from our vaults were nearly impossible for him to sell. He ended up dumping them on the black market for a pittance. He's really something of an arch fool."

"He was highly educated, spent years at Oxford, though at times he had to live like a pauper. Started dabbling in medium-ship even before his mother died. Didn't come into his own until the fifties, in Paris, where he soon acquired an enormous following, then started bilking his clients in the most crude and obvious ways imaginable, and went to jail.

"Raglan," I said.

"Understandable," I said.

"Why are you so afraid of him!"

"Lestat, you must understand how destructive and vicious this individual can be. You can't give your body over to him! And that is just what you mean to do. Look, if you meant to possess a mortal body for a while, I'd be dead against it, for that is diabolical and unnatural enough! But to give your body to this madman! Ye gods, will you please come here to London? Let me talk you out of this. Don't you owe me as much!"

"Why are you so afraid of him!"

"Father worked almost all his life for Cunard shipping, spending his last years as a cabin steward in first class on the Queen Elizabeth 2. Very proud of his record. Great scandal and disgrace not so many years ago, when James was also hired, thanks to the influence of his father, and promptly robbed one of the passengers of four hundred pounds in cash. Father disowned him, was reinstated by Cunard before he died. Never spoke to his son again."

"Lestat, you must understand how destructive and vicious this individual can be. You can't give your body over to him! And that is just what you mean to do. Look, if you meant to possess a mortal body for a while, I'd be dead against it, for that is diabolical and unnatural enough! But to give your body to this madman! Ye gods, will you please come here to London? Let me talk you out of this. Don't you owe me as much!"

"But, Lestat, it's an endlessly destructive game."

"Family was rich, merchant class. Lost its money before the war. Mother was a famous medium, apparently quite legitimate and dedicated, and charged a pittance for her services. Everybody in London knew her. I remember hearing of her, long before I was ever interested in that sort of thing. The Talamasca pronounced her genuine on more than one occasion, but she refused to be studied. She was a fragile creature, and very much loved her only son."

"But, Lestat, it's an endlessly destructive game."

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