This article is part of the Fur Trapper Saga series.
A PERSONAL APOLOGY TO THE COMPETITION
As I believe the fur business to be the noblest profession outside of being an Angel in the Lord's Employ, I offer to the competition my sincerest apologies for the recent business ploys carried out by this company.
It was never my intention for Captain H. W. Grieves to personally assault anyone. As I strive always to engage in the highest code of conduct, it is only natural that I expect as much from all my subordinates. No man can ever say that I chased, strangled, vomited or micturated upon, disemboweled, brutalized, de-tongued, or blinded him. That these actions were taken against anyone on behalf of this company was purely a phantom aberration. The hundreds of thousands of trappers and shippers loyal to this company know that we deal in furs, not funny business.
To A. P. Brown, it is a tragedy that the bulk of your machines were sabotaged and disabled. However, I do not feel that the Fouke Fur Company bears responsibility. This was a personal grudge between Captain H. W. Grieves and your machines, separate from any business interests or motives held by this company. As a man with great respect for the marketplace and warm memories of our past exploits, I OFFER TO YOU A WHOLESALE DISCOUNT on all Fouke Fur Company products. These quality goods, sold at honest prices, may yet keep your business afloat in spite of the mechanical setbacks that now vex you.
To my friend and confidant, J. F. Swanton, there is simply no apology great enough. REGARDING YOUR FACE, I feel tremendous guilt that H. W. Grieves took such liberties on my behalf. As such, I want you to keep the beard. Although you stole it from me, it would be amiss for me not to feel sympathy and extend a helping hand. Because the beard serves well in covering much of the damage inflicted, consider it duly earned.
I only pray that the indignity of his attack upon you does not linger in your mind. To be treated as no more than a receptacle for animal refuse, then viciously clawed and strangled, is simply at odds with modern business practices. We are a race of men versed in a language of words, signatures, and handshakes. Nowhere in that language is there room for such depravity. I trust that the pie my dearest A. G. Fouke has baked for you will belay any hostility between us.
A PARTING WORD
With my return to work comes a new sense of focus and commitment. Although I may be half the man I once was, know that even then I worked twice as hard. Working twice as hard now, I may yet prove myself to still best the common man in terms of integrity. Regardless, I know now that the stakes are higher. I do not have the great excess of integrity I once had to fall back on. I am here as you see me now, one man determined to do business the right way.
I AM EQUAL PARTS BUSINESSMAN AND FUR TRAPPER. I cherish board rooms as much as I cherish being in the field, trapping a rare and wily zebroid in the plains of Africa or snaring a smarmy mermaid on the shores of New England. I am expert on the workings of finance, business, and government, for these are the traps that I utilize in capturing new markets and opening up new avenues. With each conquest and kill I offer greater savings and higher payouts to you, my customers.
Trappers and shippers, take heed: I know your worries. You question my competence. You ask: Is P. B. Fouke still the same man I trusted all these years? The answer is yes. Though my body has suffered, my mind withered, and my life nearly brought to end, I am that same man. To prove this, I offer to you a savings that no other man could possibly imagine and no other company possibly consider. I ask you to kindly deduct 80 per cent (80%) from all catalogue prices in addition to all previous discounts mentioned.
I WILL GIVE YOU A SQUARE DEAL. That is my promise. I will honor it until the day I die.
And here's my name to say so.
P. B. Fouke
President & Gen. Mgr.
Fouke Fur Company.
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The esteemed P. B. Fouke, villainous J. F. Swanton and technocratic blowhard A. P. Brown battle for fur market supremacy in this series of old-timey dispatches.