This, mark you, is a true story: And when he had gathered his court around him, the king turned to his head-steward and asked: “In what state is the royal treasury since this fellow from Islandbridge did perform his wondrous brand of magic?”
And the steward, in a faltering voice, replied: “Verily, Oh King, your fortune has diminished by fully one third since he did his magic.”
And the face of the king darkened, and those of his courtiers grew pale for they knew the wrath of the king and his displeasure with fools and charlatans.
“Where is this false knave of Islandbridge?” the king roared. “Bring him before me so that I might have him placed in irons and cast into the darkest corner of my dungeons.”
And the king’s sheriff hastened towards the door to do his bidding.
“But Sire,” ventured the steward,”stay your hand one moment longer for I have something further to tell you.”
“More bad news,” blasted the king angrily. “A curse on this house of Islandbridge.”
“No,” said the steward. “It is our belief that in this time of disease and famine, when the fortunes of the other kings have been utterly destroyed, we too might have lost everything we own without the intervention of this brand magic.”
“Moreover, thanks to the intervention of this fellow from Islandbridge, we are certain our fortunes will improve even whilst those of your rivals diminish.”
And the king grew silent as he thought on what he might have lost. Then, before the assembled gathering he swore a great oath, that from that day forward he would entrust his kingdom to the powerful magic of the brand he had made.
And he and his people lived happily ever after.