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Greek Form
by Kenneth O'Reilly
For Sale
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It is due to the nature of the case that there will
be those individuals whom fate has placed in the lowest
level of the social scale, who have been gifted beyond
the common level; who, though not having received
an education, reach heights of knowledge
inaccessible to but a few. John Pasley was such a
person. At the age of four he had been placed in an
orphanage in 1922. There he was taught the three Rs:
reading, 'riting and 'rithmatic as he expressed it
later in life. Two months before his fourteenth
birthday John was sent to a hostel in Isleworth. He
was taken into the office of the person in charge,
and was told: "We've got a job for you in a factory
at twenty-one shillings a week. You will pay nineteen
shillings a week for your board here and, you must be
out of this hostel within two months." Don't get any
idea in your head that John thought he was being hard
dealt with. No, this was heaven for him. And, even if
he hadn't been told to be out of the hostel in any
specific time, he would have been out just as quickly.
Within the two months John was in digs in the poor
district of Hounslow with an aged couple who had no
children. He had also quit his job at the factory, and
had got a job in Hounslow, as an Improver in a
shoe-repair shop at twenty-five shillings a week.
Before he was sixteen John rented a three room flat at
thirty bob a week, and let two of his mates from the
orphanage live with him for fifteen bob a week each.
And that's how it continued 'business-wise', until
John bought his own shoe-repair shop at the age of
twenty-four, in Fulham, London. The business urge in
John had been so strong that it had overridden his
desire to get himself educated. He had reached such a
stage of wisdom that, after he had listened to a
philosophical discussion on the radio, he, due to
not understanding what was said, could say of
himself: "I'm one heck of an ignorant bastard." The
first thing he bought during the first week in the
shop was a second-hand radio. He placed this on a
shelf near his work bench and listened to it while
working. His favourite programs all had to do with
knowledge. He was soon buying up to ten books a week
from the local junk shop at from tuppence to
fourpence each, and he was borrowing books from the
Fulham library by the cart load. Although the
knowledge he acquired at this time was not organized,
it can truly be said that he increased in knowledge. By
the age of twenty eight John was by nature a man of
Irish wit, Scottish dourness and English
phelgmatism - a word made up by himself - and as you
have no doubt already guessed, his philosophy was
eclectic. He owed allegiance to none save the
unknown God he was trying to contact. How could it
be otherwise. He considered it chaotic madness for
people to say the world was a beautiful place, when
all around him nature showed itself to be as pitiless as
a wind in a blizzard. John was also a chap who liked to
solve problems, as a hobby, just for the fun of it.
All sort of problems: mechanical, logical,
mathematical, theological - yes, even problems to do
with God, Whom he held in the highest respect. It
was with no disrespect, or exaggeration, that
John could eventually say that he had solved the
problem of the Trinity in Unity. And yet, John had
acquired such an affinity with the Divine that, though
he had not studied Koine Greek to that degree needed to
actually converse with the Almighty, he understood by
hint and innuendo that it was not he who had solved this
pro- blem, but that the solution had been granted to him
by Revelation. Whenever John was together with any
of his friends they always asked him had he read
any good books lately, or what was the current problem
he was trying to solve. This was usually when they were
in a pub, or in the garage messing about with their
bikes, or in a cafe having a meal. Mind you, these
questions were always intended seriously. John was the
only one among them who had his own business, and
besides, he was the leader of the motor-bike club, and
was known to be able to throw a pretty good Uchimata.
One of John's mates, Derek, who was going to
evening classes, was always giving him puzzles to
solve. Many of the problems put to John by Derek were
of a practical nature, and connected with his
evening-class studies. Derek wanted to get a job in a
Broker's office. One evening in a pub, Derek produced
a piece of paper, and asked John: "D'you think you
could write a program to solve this, Johnny?" handing
the paper to him. John looked at the paper. "Wow!" he
gasped, "what's this?" "It's the Black-Scholes formula
for calculating the Option price of a share," said
Derek, "and I've got a month to write a usable
program as my end-of-term paper." Although John knew
at a glance that his knowledge of mathematics was not up
to the level of the formula, he knew he could solve
this particular problem. There was an area of
knowledge into which John had entered that he never
mentioned to anybody. He had discovered that he was
surrounded by an invisible aura of light which was
completely white. This aura was not invisible to
John. He could see it by simply willing himself to
do so. It was that easy. The fact that this aura was
completely white, and did not have any band of other
colours mixed in with it, was of great
significance - very great significance indeed,
for it was a matter of . . . knowing, but only in
some areas. After the pub kicked out, John went back
to the flat above his shop and started to think
about the formula Derek had given him. He switched
on the Morphy computer and began entering some Pascal
code. Within a couple of hours he believed he was
well on the way to solving the problem. Over the next
month John met Derek to get as much information as
possible from him relating to the subject of
Traded-Options. He bought Chamberlain's book on the
subject, and within one year he had opened a
Traded-Options account with Peppards in London for the
minimum amount permissible, one thousand pounds. He
experimented with the various strategies, never
placing more than five percent of his available cash in
any one deal. From the beginning he had offered Derek
the opportunity to come in with him, which he now and
again accepted. Some years after this, John went on
holiday in September of 1982 to Finarli Ligiura in
Italy. He met a Danish girl, Kristine, who was staying
at the same hotel with her grandmother. She came from
the town of Ribe in Denmark and was working there as a
psychiatric nurse. They were together for a week.
John invited her to England during her winter holiday.
She accepted. He sent her a return air-ticket. She
arrived, and during the week of her stay they
became engaged. She returned to Denmark having made
arrangements for John to come to Denmark the
following February to be married. John went to
Denmark in Febuary, was married, stayed there for
three weeks, and then returned to England with his
bride. They stayed in the flat above the shop for
five years. John then decided, with his wife, to sell
up and move to Ribe, Denmark and open a business
there. They arrived in Denmark in April, 1982.
Within a month they bought a house near Ribe. John
started making arrangements to open some sort of
business using the house as a base. Meanwhile, he got a
job as a teacher, while his wife continued her
career in nursing. About fifty percent of John's
income now came from his investments in Traded
Options, Gearing with Gilts, the return on about 4,000
Premium Bonds and a new investment form just
introduced by the Danish Government:
Gevinstopsparing which was a savings scheme with a
low interest-return, but which included a lottery
ticket for every one hundred kroners worth of savings
that one had. Another area of income for John was the
sale of the software that he had developed since the
time he had been handed the Black-scholes formula by
Derek. During the first year in Denmark John met
about 200 people associated with his wife and her
family. Among these was a young man who was the only
son of a family friend. The young man, Jens, was
twenty three and was studying for his Cand-Merc
degree at Aarhus university. Kristine had a sister
who owned a house in Aarhus, and as she was a close
friend of Jens' family, he stayed there for the three
years he was at the university. John was in Aarhus
now and again, and each time he was there he visited
them. On his first visit to Aarhus he found out that
Jens was taking maths for his Datalogi exam, and, as
at that time John was looking for the formula for the
calculation of the possible return on Premium Bonds,
he arranged to discuss the matter with Jens the next
time he was in Aarhus. About two months later John
had to go to Aarhus for a couple of days. As
usual he stayed with Kristine's sister. While there
he was able to discuss the formula relating to
Premium-Bond return, and other subjects which he found
he had in common with Jens. Jens told John that he had
had a dream the night after they had discussed the
Premium Bond problem. It was so fantastic - and
incorrect in certain details, that John was a little
reluctant to mention it to Kristine when he came home.
But he was curious to know if it was common knowledge
or not that Jens was 'psychic'. "Is Jens known to be
psychic," he asked her after they were finished with
dinner the day he arrived home. "Not that I've
heard of," she answered. "Why do you ask?" "Well,
really, it sounds a little crazy. I asked him
about the formula I want concerning Premium-Bond
return. He said he might have it on his TRS, so we went
to his room where its set up. He uses the Comal-80
programming language, which is much like Pascal, so it
wasn't too difficult to follow his coding. Anyway,
we spent the whole evening on this and other
subjects. The next day when we were alone he suddenly
tells me that he dreamt about me and these premium
bonds." "And what's so crazy about that?" asked
Kristine. "It's the content, not the dream that's
crazy. He said he saw it raining where I live, raining
brown and white envelopes, and that two of these
envelopes went in through the letter box of our house."
"Yes, that is strange," said Kristine. "But that's not
all. He said he saw two white envelopes go through
our letter box." John told Kristine all the other
details of his conversation with Jens concerning
figures, numbers, dates, etc.
John and Derek exchanged four or five letters a year,
and they visited each other occasionally. By 1986 John
had 9,228 Premium Bonds. In July of that year John and
Kristine went on holiday for two weeks to Aabenraa on
the east coast of Jutland. When they arrived home there
were two white envelopes among the mail, and John knew
they were Premium Bond prizes. He didn't pay any
particular attention to these because he had
received dozens in recent years, as many as four in
one month. His only remark was to Kristine: "They're
using white envelopes now, luv," he said, flipping them
to the side, not bothering to open them. As was usual,
Kristine asked would he mind if she opened them. She
opened the first one and said: "It's a fifty . . . and
there's this leaflet," handing it to him. John read it
and said: "They've altered the prize structure. The
lowest prize has been raised from twenty five to
fifty, and the highest is now two hundred and
fifty thousand instead of one hundred thousand. Oh,
and they're raising the rate from 5.9 to 7 percent."
John didn't like that at all. "That's gonna knock my
return down," he said grudgingly. "How's that," said
Kristine, picking up the other white envelope. "They've
increased the interest rate, you said." "Yes, but it's
the number of prizes paid out that's the important
thing in calculating, not only the number of prizes
you can win, but the return you can get and . . . Oh,
never mind, luv." Kirsten opened the second white
envelope. "It's got the same leaflet as the other one,
but the certificate isn't the same," she said. "Fifty,
I suppose," said John, looking at a tax form he'd just
take out of an envelope. "No," said Kristine, "it's two
hundred and fifty. I suppose that's why the certificate
is different." John looked up at the white form
Kristine was holding towards him. He took it from her
and glanced at it. His eyes moved to the figure on the
top line. "You Danes use a comma where we use a
decimal point, luv. It's a quarter of a million," he
said, without apparent emotion. In Denmark 250,000
means 250. The comma is the Danish decimal point.
For it to be the same as the English figure it would
have to be written 250.000. During the evening they
discussed what Jens had said back in the seventies.
In November John received three Premium prizes. Two
for fifty pounds and a prize of one hundred
thousand pounds. As a Christmas present from Derek,
John received a book he had chosen himself. It
included the usual card and a longish letter. In it
Derek mentioned he had gone into partnership in a
car-hire business. He also mentioned that he was going
to pass on to John a problem that was sent to him by
a friend in New Zealand: "I haven't got any
problems of my own to send you, Johnny," he wrote,
"but a mate of mine in New Zealand whose studying
classical literature, ask me could I write a story in
fiction, but produce irrefutable evidence that it was
true, or produce evidence that was hard to refute." The
letter ended with his usual greeting: ta la for now,
Dell. Derek always signed himself Dell. John was so
taken up with other things, mostly investment, that he
had no time or interest in solving a problem that
would clearly involve a fair amount of work, and
which was entirely different to any problem he had
tried to solve before. He considered he did not
have the necessary skills to solve the problem. It
wasn't until the beginning of February that he could
get down to wishing Derek good luck with his new
business venture:

38 Vest Vedsted Bramminge 6760 Ribe
Denmark. Feb 2.1987.

Hello Derek,

Thanks for the parcel with the Xmas presents, cards and
your letter. Kristine was very happy with the book
Gestalt-Therapy and the scarf. I know I will enjoy
the Spanish Instruction book when I can get the time to
study it. We hope to go to Tenerife late in the
summer. If you happen to come across any
reasonably priced Spanish-instruction software I'd
like to have some info - there's nothing this side. We
were pleased to hear of your venture into Car Hire and
we both hope it succeeds for you. As you are no doubt
aware, the problem you have sent will take a great
deal of time, and no doubt a deal ingenuity. To be
honest I doubt whether I'm up to it. I am so busy
at present that I must lay it aside. I know you will
understand. Actually I have been itching to write to
you for some months now regarding an incident which I
know you will find interesting. I have been waiting
for the second part of the incident to occur before I
would mention it in any letter. As you know, part of
my investment strategy involves Premium Bonds, and,
some years ago I wanted to know what was the minimum
number one should buy so as to guarantee a return equal
to the percentage used by the UK government to
calculate the amount they pay out in prizes. They've
been using 5.9% but it's recently been changed to
7%. Some years ago I was up in Aarhus, and I visited a
young friend who was studying maths at the
university there. I put the problem to him. I had a
particular formula with me that I had received from
an engineer in Esbjerg. I showed it to him, and we
came to discuss whether the formula was actually
correct! I disputed that there was no way of knowing
by actual practice whether the power to which X should
be raised ought to be ALL the number of P.Bonds
drawn for a prize, or, X should be raised to the power
of 1 (one) and the result should be multiplied
by the total number of P.Bonds drawn for a prize! X in
the above is the number of P-bonds you actually own.
He was able to show me that according to the
book-theory one should hold at least 4,000 P-Bonds to
guarantee a yearly return of 5.9%. It so happened
that at that time I had 4,028 P-Bonds, but I was not
keeping an exact check on the yearly return - but,
with the exact information I did have, I knew that the
book-theory was giving a result that was lower than
the figures and percentages as they worked out with
reference to the P-Bonds I owned. I decided to
gradually increase my holdings of P-Bonds to over
9,000 so as to achieve a return of over 10% a year.
After my first meeting with Jens I arranged to see
him again the next evening to discuss some matters
relating to para-psychology and the corruption of
computer data, and the Kirlian effect, which, as you
know, I'm interested in. Over a cup of coffee he
said to me: "I had a funny dream about you last night.
It rained in the area where you live - but only on
your house, not anywhere else, but the rain was made
up of envelopes, brown and white envelopes." Although
he had said 'funny dream', he recounted this quite
seriously. "Brown and white envelopes!" I said, "what
does that mean!" He said: "I noticed two of the
envelopes, two white ones, go in through your
letter-box, and on one of the envelopes I saw '3000 PC
ROTTERDAM' to the left of the post-mark which I couldn't
quite make out; but, on the other envelope, inside a
black oblong I saw a very large figure 1 (one) with
'BLACKPOOL' just to the right." As soon as he said
that, I knew that the only envelopes I ever received
which were like that were BROWN envelopes sent from
Lytham St. Annes, Blackpool, the government
Premium-Bond office. None of this had been mentioned to
him by me. "I've got stacks of them," I said, "but
not white, they're all brown." This was true, for I
had won many prizes up to that point. "It's not just
that," he said, seeming to ignore my remark, "no! It's
what I saw inside them - I can see that you are fated
to be very wealthy for I saw the figure 250,000
inside one, and 100,000 inside the other, with the date
1986 - and I don't know if they're Danish Crowns
or English Pund." He meant Danish Kroner because
the Danish word for 'crown' which you put on your
head is 'krone', and the Danish word for 'pound' is
'pund'. "Two-hundred-and-fifty-thousand!" I
said, referring to the first figure, "that can't be.
The highest prize is only one-hundred-thousand!" "Well,"
he said, "isn't there a prize for 25,000 pund and for
10,000 pund, because I think the pund is worth about ten
crowns ... no! no!" he said very quickly, "I saw
Rotterdam and Blackpool spelled the English way, so
everything must be English ... no, it must be pund."
"But there isn't a prize for 250,000 pounds," I said
to him. As time went by I simply forgot all about
this incident, until last August when I received two
prizes both in WHITE envelopes, one for 50 quid and
one for 250,000. Then in Nov I won 100,000. They were
no longer to be sent in Brown envelopes. Included
was a new prize list. The new monthly prize had been
raised from 100,000 to 250,000. The three top
monthly prizes were now 250,000, 100,000 and 50,000.
The notification of these higher prizes from the P-Bond
office must be returned to them with the Bond
containing the winning Bond number. It's a Claim-form
which they send for you to fill in. Clearly there are
very few among the 25 million who have P-Bonds who
will ever see one of these top prizes, so I'm sending
you a photocopy to drool over. Once again, good luck
with the firm.

John and Kristine.

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