From: <> (Charles G. Hill)
To: <> (The Nibelung)
Date: Friday, 24 Mar 2000 (-0200 Valhalla Mean Time)
Subject: This "renunciation of love" business

Dear Al:

I got your note, and to be perfectly frank about it, I'm worried.

If you have to blame somebody, blame Richard and his damned 136 bars of E-flat chords. That's enough to lull anyone into a false sense of security. Obviously you weren't yourself when you introduced yourself to the Rhinemaidens; you were just, well, hopeful for once. I know the feeling, and it's disturbing as all hell.

Needless to say, you weren't prepared for any kind of attention from the girls, and once they figured out you weren't out to swipe their treasure, they decided to have a little fun with you — at your expense, of course. I can't blame you for wanting something real out of this. (That Flosshilde, she's a major babe.) But you have to learn, just as I had to learn: Just because someone hangs on your every word, or even your every other word, it doesn't mean she's interested. It doesn't even mean she's listening. She might be just bored out of her skull. (Of course, if she had been listening to me, she would have been bored out of her skull anyway, but that's another story.)

Anyway, you overreacted. Oh, sure, it would be nice to make yourself master of the world and all, and I have no doubt that shapeshifting is a blast and a half — you really ought to get