the KING LEAR version

Dear President/CEO

This letter will come as a surprise, since we have never met, but please treat it as the plea of a woman in distress.

I am Cordelia, third - and most loyal - daughter of King Lear, whose morale, and if I may say so, mental state, has taken a turn for the worse. He used to praise me for being plainspoken and honest, but now he loses his temper over every small thing, and in one of his recent mood swings, banished me from the kingdom when I refused to compliment him on a small matter. My sisters, Regan and Goneril, know how to flatter him. They remain in his good graces while I am driven from my home onto the windy heath. I don't know if you have ever passed the night on a windy heath but it's not pleasant.

My father (the King) has not profited thereby. I was the only one, apart from his poor court Fool, who was truly fond of him, even if I did not know how to show it in style. Poor Father quickly found himself surrounded by sycophants and power-hungry schemers, and ended up exiled in the wilderness, with only the Fool for company.

You might be wondering where I am going with this.

The proposition:
Before I lost his favor, almost as if he knew the way things were heading, my father (the King) told me he had placed an immense quantity of silver in two trunk boxes with the idea of giving them to me someday. He had lodged the boxes with a "security company" in the neighboring kingdom. I don't know if you are familiar with security companies - they are very handy enterprises, which will store valuables without question. Unfortunately they charge money for this service.

This is why I am contacting you. After a night or two on the windy heath my hair-do was ruined, and I could take it no longer. I fled to the aforesaid neighboring kingdom and am now living there as a refugee. My father (the King) has forgotten his earlier generosity and the trunk boxes, and in any event the Earl of Kent, under whose protection I am (barely) surviving, is no longer on good terms with my father (the King). Therefore I could conceivably claim the contents of the trunk boxes. I would become rich, and so would anyone who helps me.

The security company demands a redemption fee of a mere 5000 perflorins, but in my condition that might as well be 50,000 or 5 million. If you can find it in your heart to send me that sum, I will reward you with 30% of the value of the silver, currently estimated at 10 million perflorins. This means 3 million perflorins for you. That is only 5 pounds in your currency, but allowing for 3% inflation over a period of only 400 years, your reward should be worth considerably more in the end.

Please contact me through the Earl of Kent, or, alternately, the Fool, who has tired of my father (the King) 's ill treatment and come to serve me, although I can only pay in in gruel and the occasional half-eaten leg of lamb.

Remember this is top secret and ultra confidential, and if you are not attracted by this offer, please (i) let me know so that I may send the Fool on another Fool's errand and (ii) eat this message before the constables reach the top of the stairs.

Best royal (if dispossessed) wishes