“That’s your master plan to ruin the cotillion?” said Randall. “A belch?”

“Small minds think that big problems require big solutions,” said Brinson. “I have calculated this exhaustively. The beverage I have just imbibed–the ’46 St. Vignette–has the highest proportion of bubbles in any real or manufactured beverage. I have increased its potency tenfold by eating an entire sleeve of the Sentom mint candies, causing me considerable gastric distress for the moment, admittedly.”

“Still, hardly a cotillion ruiner.”

“When the moment comes, in just a few short seconds, you’ll disagree,” Brinson continued. “I’ve positioned myself–perfectly, I might add–to take advantage of this room’s acoustics. It was built for concerts, you know, for projection. Move a few steps to the right, and everyone will be able to hear my riposte like the tuning of an orchestra. And it will be precisely when the real band has stopped playing, and Rosalina will be asking for silence before her big announcement.”

“But-”

“Sorry, old sport, the time is now.” Brinson stepped into his sweet spot, and took a deep breath.

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