It was when they left the restaurant, that they were approached by three young men, obviously Balkans by their unfashionable dress, but each fired with his own enthusiasm: "may I," said the eldest, giving an uncharacteristically formal bow, which the others hastily copied, introduce us – my name is Laszlo Licinic, from Rumania, this," he indicated the boy on his right, "is Tristan Tzara, also Rumanian, and this," turning to his left, "Gavrilo Princip from Bosnia; we were at the back of the room earlier and heard your Declaration and want to sign up for your War on Art!" and Jakob found it hard not to laugh, or even smile, at the sight of these determinedly serious young men, little more than schoolboys, but he was all too aware of the lasting damage that a snigger could wreak on an untutored mind, so he invited the boys to join himself, Dada, Miriam and Magda on a stroll through the Pleasure Gardens, while they told him a little about themselves and how they came to be together in Vienna: "the third is the easiest," stammered Princip, "we met on the train from Belgrade, but obviously the others had been travelling for longer than me to reach the station," and Tzara chipped in: "Laszlo and I met on the train from Bucharest, but not straight away, we were in different carriages for a while, but the train was old and in a parlous state and there was a breakdown and everyone was transferred to another train, which is how we came to find ourselves together, and he told me that it was intended we should meet and I asked him why and he told me about The Laws of Chance and showed me your book, and," Jakob butted in: "you have a copy of my book?" and Licinic grinned broadly and replied in an extempore clerihew:
It taught me all I wanted to know,
And having bought it,
I've come to shake the hand of the man who wrought it!
why else would we be here?" which caused Jakob to begin to dance a jig, while Dada and Magda stared in confusion, until Jakob stopped and explained to them that he had written a book called According to The Laws of Chance which recounted a journey of discovery he had made, spending twelve months travelling in which every choice – direction, destination, accommodation, mode of transport, even what to have from a menu and what to wear each day – was determined by some form of chance, cast of a die, random selection of a card, toss of a coin, suggestion of a stranger, and even, on one memorable day, by following a balloon carried on the breeze – and he learned not to blate if he was late for a train or bus, or the route determined for him meant wading across a river in spate; Dada in particular was excited by it and asked if he could borrow the book, but Miriam said: "we have it in the bookshop, and if you buy it, a royalty percentage goes to the author!" and Dada looked hard at Jakob, then asked: "should I borrow a copy or buy another?" and Jakob took a coin from his pocket and asked Magda to choose Heads or Tails and she said Heads Buy, Tails Borrow; all eyes followed the coin as it spun high, flicked hard by Jakob's thumb, until it dropped and rattled on the pavement, then, when it had stopped bouncing and rolling, Magda carefully picked it up, showing that she would not alter the result and held it out on the palm of her hand: "chance decrees that you Borrow it," said Jakob, "congratulations on the first step towards Personal Independence and Freedom!" and everyone cheered as Laszlo handed over his copy of the book with a wink, a conspiratorial grin and a cautionary: "you ain't a member of the priviligentsia yet, so don't lose it, mind, it's still mine, only on loan!"