Physical pain can be alleviated by a strong drug.
Emotional pain can be destroyed by suicide.
Psychological pain can be smothered by a blackout.
But the pain being sold down the river by a longtime friend is something that can never be erased. Especially if it has now been emblazoned in print for all the world to see and the victim put to mockery.
When you sold me the rights to Dr. Schweiker’s brilliant book on Spacemarks of Science, I immediately labelled it top priority and predicted it would be acclaimed as a breakthrough in scientific publishing. The book’s publication and our support of it through extensive advertising and promotion were fully justified by the reception it had in all quarters.
Then came the pain, like that of a dull knife that has been plunged into the breast and twisted so that no organ of the body has been left untouched. I learned just this morning that – in total violation of our contract – you had sold the serial rights for the book to a British publisher. You did not even have the decency to tell me to my face what you were doing, or intended to do.
This act is so clearly a violation of our contract that I am terminating all the agreements contained in its 26 clauses. I have ordered that all copies of the book be impounded in our warehouse, that bookstores return shipments not yet opened, and that plans for a second printing be scrapped. If you try to sue me to reverse these decisions, you do so at great personal risk. I have asked our general counsel to review the contract with meticulous care, and she has just reported that your violation is specific, premeditated, and without the slightest iota of justification.
The book will be forgotten long, long before the pain will ever subside.