tales of the hotel st crispian, chapter 70: the procedures of pete palomine
by manfred skyline
illustrated by roy dismas and rhoda penmarq
editorial consultant: Prof. Dan Leo
"yes, of course," cosima answered. "as i said, pete has brought a lot of the opprobrium down on himself quite deliberately, in order to generate controversy and publicity. and has, i am sure, exaggerated the extent he uses the techniques he describes." she laughed. "when he talks of 'hypnotizing' his subjects - or apprentices or collaborators or whatever he calls them, he neglects to mention that he has no expertise in hypnosis. he may go through the motions of hypnotizing them, and they may humor him - you get the idea."
fortescue nodded politely.
"if he is hypnotizing these people," cosima went on, "i am sure he does it much more efficiently with bottles of scotch or sticks of tea."
"so he has these - apprentices or collaborators - doing how much of the work exactly?"
"until quite recently," cosima replied drily, "all of it."
"i see." fortescue nodded politely and picked a cup up from the coffee service that lay between them.
"of course, as he points out whenever pressed on the subject, the use of apprentices could hardly be a more time-honored procedure."
"indeed. but do the buyers in today's market accept that? excuse me for saying so, but i have noticed that the yankee mentality has a partiality for what it is regards as the "real thing".
"yes. and that accounts for some of the hostile criticism, but by no means all. much of it is the usual - a monkey could do it, a child could do it, and so forth."