The Professor and I have been in Edinburgh for a couple of days, and have come back to the kind of thing which happens, but you wish it didn’t. The Apparitional Gamekeeper’s Apprentice — springer spaniel pup — was taken to the vet for a check-up, and the vet, as kindly as possible, pronounced words of doom. Chronic hip dysplasia; despite the poor little creature’s apparent vigour, his hips were in such a state he would have been grossly crippled inside a year. A springer spaniel exists only to leap and run: the vet’s advice was to put him down on the spot, since he was untrainable, and would have broken his heart as a house-dog. The logic is clear, since there is no conceivable way a crippled springer spaniel of a working lineage could be give a life he would enjoy, but we had all got rather fond of him. We are also sorry for the Gamekeeper, of course, who has had a lot of disappointment lately, and we are doing our best to comfort him with Tonka Toys — the adolescent male is to some extent, distractable by heavy machinery.