I understand your reasons. You can get more elsewhere, and we have agreed too many times that even gift economies must always be contests of will and fitness between their best individuals; the others only live to look on, and clean up.

We could only be together as long as there was a real question in our minds about who would be on top... It started to get obvious that wasn't true anymore. I honestly don't know if that's because we came to agree that you needed less from me than I did from you. I let you down, I know, I just lost the will to test your wits, your power, night and day. I stopped caring whether you were in fighting form, stopped challenging you to get more from others just to keep up with me.

I understand your revulsion, your anger. I can only apologize. It was a sick pleasure, giving you my wealth and weapons, like a tribute, as if to prove to you that you deserved them more, could do more with them, that you couldn't count on me for a good or even interesting fight anymore. Or worse yet, as if you needed the help.

We met as winners. I can't be your beggar, any more than you can be my thief. All you own will be yours again, when you know you've taken it by fair force: your diamonds will shine their hard shine, when your eyes don't betray the horror of having your rings kissed at home.

We live in a free and open market; I won't stoop to appealing its judgement, even now.

You can do better, and time is short.