The conteur, a wandering teller of strange tales, has imagined a new story, a lively yet profound story that is his best yet, one that is sure to make his fortune.
But the story escapes from him, and in the next town he visits, the people say they’ve heard it before, and better told at that.
The tale precedes its conteur to every town he goes to, ruins his acts, reduces audience gifts to a few pitched pennies. Eventually, the poor man kills himself in despair. But word of that, too, was foretold, rumored mouth to mouth, old news ho hum. <END>