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Section 1

I think it only right and fittin' I make my mark 'ere. I've lived life in toil, make no mistake, all the while knowing there's to be nothin' at the end of it for the likes of me.

Well that won't do. I must have a piece of this "immortality", even if I must scriven in ink to get at it. I was born in 2800 precise, being the "first glad baby of the century" - so said my mother, though I know her to be false on at least a thousand counts, since I did not shoot out from her until the month of \uood6evel.

Still, those early years were happy for my siblin's and I. The corn grew over and about us. I remember, we used to roll up the shuck paper, and steam fish within.

My brother and I'd scale the Cross Fields hillock, and look valley-long at the sights of windmills a-turnin', the bobbin' of boats on the river, and the long dunes that come between us and southern folk.


Section 2

As I oldened, I's made to do more farm work. Days're long, and once we'd tilled, sown, or watered, there followed little time for ought else.
Mother said our soul were the best in all Sabor, meanin'. it were the best in all Foundation. But still we never held much corn over when it came time to collect. The God'nds came with they bags, and threw in our corn with less than half the love we gave to grow it. It withered any joy I took in the toil.

I'cud scarcely stomach the days then, and father, though he winced at every stroke, used to bat me for mitchin' off. Instead of labourin', l'd play in the grey hollow with then wood doves, see. I found I could make them appear to disappear: a “trick“ if you will.

I tried it on all I met. The family bloody loved it in Spring, when the eggs were painted, and the neighbours gathered to shatter the» with their brooms.

Years passed, and I conjured more distrac-shuns. oftentimes the tearing and folding of corn shucks, which baffled everyone as to the method (the secret was all in me hands).
I practiced when I ought to have been in the fields. Father bat me into my twenties, but by then his stick'd gone soft, as it were.


Section 3

I learned little of farming, and a Pilipus can use little else. It troubled my mother, who said, "if you don't expect to work, you shouldn't expect to feed."
One day, Cross Fields came together for harvest. Mannequins stuck the wagons, and the wall was built for steepling. Third, a pedestal was stood for funnymen.
My mother and sister excited me into performing. I told them "I'm no funnyman", but they wouldn't hear of it.
I confess, there are moments of my illusyon that depend upon the titivation of an audience to laughter, such that they do not see the exercises of my hands.
This was excuse enough for the crowd, and the surprising arrival of my doves from nothing diminished all the competition! Many offered up the things they had brought to market as reward for the spectacle, and I was the talk of Cross Fields.

After that, it grew beyond pastime. I'd visit the farms of the crescent, receiving whatever they'd to offer - supper, clothes they'd darned - in return for an evening's entertainment.

For many years did I make such amiable circuits. I needed only to provide for mesel', and in the evening I made merry on the wine slopes. The vintners treated me to it, for they had privilege, theirs being an endurin' commodity.


Section 4

But summat awoke in me at thirty. I longed for company, and before long I'd taken a wife. Not long after that, came lit'luns. A zest filled me to brimmin' (I had their needs to account for, see) and I desired to grow an enterprise of my illusyon.

I procur'd paper from the pappymill, ink from the sea-fishers, and I set about the manufacshure of handbills. I had them scattered in each place, writ with the particulars of my shewings.
When I next performed, oh how they did flock! So many, I couldn't hope to greet 'em all. I decided that thereafter an entrance levy should be applied in gen'ral terms, comprisin' whatever produce each guest could muster. I own, there were murmurin's about he propriety of it even then, but I had to make a livin' somehow.

My wife, while not a beauty, became greatly important. More so p'raps, than I. She saw to the lit'luns, but still found time to barter with our neighbours. What good were five boxes of corn, when we could only use one? The wife saw that livestock and supplies came our way, and even wooden toys for the lit'luns.

Much of the overrun went to mother and father, who had waited so long to see a benefit in me! I used wood from down the lane to construct a fine dwellin' for our young family, with lands all around.


Section 5 MISSING


Section 6

When I were cut loose I had not a trifle to my name, and I lamented that I must return to a humbler life.
As I departed the gaol by the gate, a pale woman approached me. Strange voice she did have, claimin' to be steward of a "frillship". A vessel of "significant portions."

She'd borne witness to my trial, and knew everythin' on the matter - and every other matter too. Not a lot of it stuck to me, except that she wished for my presence aboard her vessel, whereabout I could continue my favourite illusyons in return for gold. Gold!

It all sounded rather plum. I was even given a warm coat, assuredly lined with the long-neck wool of far Pin. We took to the shipyard, where he vessel was moored. Never in all my days.. This ship, the Diva, was vast!

We broke from Momoros, and I was skyborne for the first time in my life. The itin'ry was detailed, and I would begin at the foot o' the bill, to "learn my craft". Not much room for learnin' so late in life I thought - I was then thirty-six or thereabouts - but illusyon was my love, and those exercises of the hands were somewhat known to me already.


Section 7 MISSING


Section 8

After fifteen years aboard the Diva, I was known to most of Foundation as ”Phantom Hands" on account of my dextrous illusyons. Known equally well, because I used it for patterin', were my complaints regardin' the God'nds, and their treatment of my family.
I was vouched for by some Verduban friends, who I did tell about life as a Pilipus. The horror of it confounded 'em, and they soon petition'd Sabor, havin' agency in the writing of newspappy articles.

The matter inflat'd far beyond my means. Sabor, hearin' their good name dragged in dirt, gave apology, with which my friends were still not content. I'd not invited their protestations, yet they argued my cause longer and louder than I'd ever think to.

Soon I was invited by the Utopian herself, to the Stalk in Redusa, to settle. Eager to see the matter closed, I made my way to the capital.


Section 9

As it turned out, this 'ere Utopian asked me if I'd be an hon'rary citizen. She said I was god, and that my illusyons had brought glory to Sabor. She said my wife and lit'luns could be made citizens too, and I'd be free to live in a city habitat with all my needs met.
"Redusa?" I said.
"Wherever you wish," she said.
Of course agreed to it without delay. I longed to be back on home soil, it being in my blood, and restorin' my family.

My newspappy friends ditched me when they found out, what with the 'hippocrissy". My shipmates too, wondered how I could "live a lie", and so the Diva sailed on without me.

At first, it was a fine life. My distrac-shuns proved popular as ever, and l was taken with the city and my spacious residence.
But when l inquired as to the wellbein' of my wife and lit'luns, l was inform'd they'd long been dead. Died of the wastin' disease, so common among Pilipai.

There be an despair, for they could not now come to the risin' place with me. The whole circumstance contriv'd by the Utopian, who'd've known full well of their passin' when we met. It made me wonder to what other dishonesties l was bound.


Section 10 MISSING


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