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Kill your guardian, have another piece of toast. I’m not sure there’s a better last line in literature. If revenge is a dish best served cold, this one comes in at absolute zero.

A couple of final thoughts. I think that I, personally, like the story because as a kid who was small, a little dreamy and often alone, I can relate to Conradin. At one time, some of those bad memories of childhood were so painful I tried to put them away, but I actually found they were useful to mine and twist around when I started writing fiction. My work isn’t straight autobiography by any means, but sometimes memory can help you hit an emotional truth.

If you don’t know much about Saki, he’s an interesting character in himself. I have not read him very deeply, but he mostly satirized British upper crust life (toast pun intended) during the great days of the empire. His life was cut short when he was killed by a German sniper during World War I, in France.

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