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Naught to Hide (A Tale of Modern Chivalry) 

Who says chivalry is dead? Why, we need look no farther than the upper ranks of the Nagin Administration to see modern-day knights in shining armor gallantly rushing to the aid of those in distress. Just last week, the royally compensated members of Hizzoner's inner circle selflessly opted to forgo generous raises in a righteous display of affection for the serfs in the city's employ.

And they did it without the slightest prompt from their lord and liege, King C. Ray, or his Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Charles Rice.

Surely, all is well and good in the realm of King C. Ray!

But let us not stop there, for this is a tale worth re-telling.

So good and kind is King C. Ray that after his royal budget for the current year was adopted by the Councilors, he saw fit to bestow upon 12 of his most trusted knights and ladies such additional sums in recompense of their fealty that their draws from the kingdom's coffers should grow fatter and more reflective of their service to the crown. And, best of all, good King C. Ray heaped these blessings upon them without so much as a word in advance.

Oh, how saintly a king is he! Truly, his right hand knoweth not what his left hand doleth out.

Ah, but this tale grows e'en more celebrated.

Knowing full well the impecunious state of so many of their serfs, a good many of whom toil for wages below the already artificially low Official Line of Impoverishment, every one of King C. Ray's 12 favored knights and ladies hastened to eschew His Royal Highness' well-intentioned but theretofore secret munificence -- cashing nary a paycheck amongst them. Thus did they remove all evidence of the king's kind-heartedness.

Such chivalry must truly have brought a tear to King C. Ray's eye. And I tell you, dear reader, that your humble scribe himself fights back sobs even as he writes these words.

Oh, how blessed are we to live in the realm of King C. Ray!

But hearken ye well, fair readers, there are those who dare to doubt the motives and actions of King C. Ray and his 12 favored knights and ladies in this matter. Though it weighs heavy on the heart, your scribe must tell of vicious rumors propounded by the town criers -- those knaves and witches at The Times-Picayune. How scurrilous a rag is that daily scroll! Its unworthy gossip-mongers allege that King C. Ray conferred the increased remunerations upon his favored knights and ladies in secret because he feared an uprising among his royal subjects, and the Councilors. These same purveyors of poppycock claim that the real reason for the subsequent return of all the fattened paychecks was to cover the king's royal tracks after the muckrakers' official inquiry and request for public documentation of the entire matter.

Give the lie to such nonsense! These are the same conjurers and imps who would have us believe that the earth is round or that it revolves around the sun. Rubbish!

Such theories would require that we believe our noble King to be a mere mortal, tempted the same as we by material pleasures and worldly pursuits. Or that his coterie of jesters and courtiers consists of persons more concerned about their own welfare than ours.

Fie! We have only to ask the royal mouthpieces to discern the truth, and fortunately they have already proclaimed that the King and all his favored knights and ladies have naught to hide. So let that be the end of such seditious lies and other slander. Let us instead be grateful for the selfless service of his knights and ladies, and bask in the flawless gaze of our devout king, for indeed all is well in the realm of King C. Ray.

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