It all started with a document in 1635. The letter written that day was "taken" by an American soldier in Paris during WWII within the walls of a supposedly bombed library. In January of 2005, I was contacted by the soldier's nephew in the hope I might help them solve the mystery of the letter nobody can decipher. I agreed to look at it, although my area of expertise is more XVIII and XIX century. What I could read of it would not have been sufficient for me to provide any insight. I told him I could potentially find him someone who could read it and transcribe it, and then, if he is still interested, I could translate it. After much research, for which he wanted to pay me, and I declined, I found a student at the Ecole des Chartes who was willing to do it for a mere 45 euros. The student delivered the transcription within 2 weeks. Upon receiving the transcription, Mr. M. asked me what it was, and why it wasn't in English. I explained he had not asked me to translate it yet, that we had agreed I would simply get it transcribed, and upon knowing the nature of the document, he could then decide how he wanted to proceed. He wrote it was fine as is (I understood: "don't translate" - Ouf, I really didn't have time for that .-) and that he would pay the student. That was February 8. Since then, Mr. M. has not paid, even though he wrote he would, and has not responded to my last three emails. I was thinking about writing him a registered letter asking that he immediately remit payment. No, there was no contract. It is not about money. I will pay the student if he doesn't. What would you do? I just find the whole thing a little saddening.
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4/11/05 at 2:35pm