This article is part of the Fur Trapper Saga series.
A WORD ON THE COMPETITION
P. B. Fouke, President & Gen. Mgr.I am certain that you have not been spared sight of the tempestuous spectacle surrounding the supposed return of A. P. Brown to the St. Louis area. His gross vociferation has seemingly permeated every ear in the vicinity, for not a day goes by that someone does not beckon my opinion on the matter.
I shall thus make clear my opinions in hopes of assuaging any fears that you, my hundreds of thousands of valued customers, might be burdened with.
For him to say that I intruded on his former territory is a statement of unbound ego and delusion. It would appear his long travels at sea have left him demented and mad, barking lunacy like some sick dog. No man shall dispute that I have been operating for some 30 years in this region. It shall neither be disputed that my operation has seen to the extinctions of no less than one dozen of God's finest creations, as ordered to do so BY HIS HOLY WORD. That he should infer my operation is anything less than an integral part of this region is profane and insulting to any learned man in the trade. A. P. Brown is clearly for want of integrity. I, on the other hand, have more integrity than any one single man in the business.
I am well acquainted with A. P. Brown, his methods and his beliefs. Left to his means and devices, you, the dedicated trapper and shipper, will find yourself without creature to hunt, and a market saturated such that fur will be a valueless commodity. A. P. Brown asks you to step headfirst into one of his traps and be ground up by his machines. It is a simple question of giving your power to one of Brown's ghastly apparatuses. Your own sense of survival mandates your continued business with the Fouke Fur Company, THE HOUSE THAT TREATS YOU RIGHT!
A WHOLE MAN ONCE MORE!
I am pleased to announce that I have met and wed my newest wife. My dull days of being a widower are at long last over. While I will always reflect fondly on the marriage venture I undertook with the late M. V. Fouke, I am infinitely pleased at the prospects offered by my newest wife, the lovely A. G. Fouke.
I discovered this blushing bride while on a trapping expedition in the remote northwest reaches of Alaska. That is where I first procured her picture from the pocket of a fallen comrade, R. R. Morgan, who was viciously mauled by a bear. I was able to kill the beast, but not in time to save my beleaguered friend. Although I carried both his failing frame and the bear's carcass some twenty miles to civilization, my haste was for naught. Doctors were unable to treat his substantial wounds and his complete loss of blood. I did the honorable thing and returned Mr. Morgan's remains to his poor widow, along with the severed head of the bear. She was so pleased by my noble efforts that she immediately accepted my marriage proposal.
A fine wife she is already proving to be. She has also proven an acceptable replacement for M. V. in the realm of mothering. My son has graciously welcomed his new mother to the team. The Fouke Family operation is functioning excellently and I am pleased and honored to be the patriarch of this noble enterprise.
This is just one more example of how every cloud can have a silver lining. In honor of our blessed union, I ask you to kindly deduct twenty five per cent (25%) from all catalogue prices.
A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO MY CUSTOMERS
Working this job has taken a tremendous toll on my body. This is because I give every fiber of my being to the task of pleasing you. What few fibers I have left are awarded to my lovely wife, A. G. Fouke, whose simplistic beauty adequately abates the constant physical torment I am grateful to endure on your behalf. I am pleased to have such a loyal and wonderful customer base, and I AM HONORED TO GIVE SO MUCH OF MYSELF TO YOUR SATISFACTION.
Each and every spasm I have is for you. The crushing headaches, the bleeding nostrils and the intermittent vision are all aspects of my dedication to the fur trade. Though I sometimes black out and fall to the floor, it is because I am overwhelmed with good fortune. I have been blessed with the integrity to lead the greatest fur company this nation has ever known. I shall never make a decision that I have not first considered from your perspective. You have blessed us with good fortune, and in turn I WILL WORK HARD TO SEE THAT IT IS EARNED.
My personal physician and shaman, F. Gerald Thornton, urges me to rest, saying that death will surely result if I do not relax in my duties. I respect him and his trade, but I would never put a doctor's word in front of my commitment to you.
The singer dove off the stage and crowd surfed in a sort of reverse funeral procession where the person being carried is the only one truly alive. Touching him I felt religious ecstasy and started speaking in tongues and requesting songs that didn't exist.
There's no easy way to put this, so I'll tell it like it is. Bouillon is died. He went missing before the weekend and yesterday I found his skeletonized remains at the bottom of the #3 soup vat during one of my swims. I thought the cream of mushroom soup had an especially nourishing taste, and a lot more clumps of fur and skin than usual.
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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.