This article is part of the Fur Trapper Saga series.
A most obnoxious man.The most irritating aspect of this new position is the constant howling emanating from just outside my office window. Mr. C. A. Freeman informs me that these cacophonous cries belong to one J. F. Swanton, Philip's best friend and chief rival. Mr. Swanton, apparently unable to express his deep concern in any of the normal avenues afforded to civilized man, bellows out one mournful howl after another like some wounded beast waiting impatiently for death.
The ceaseless howling hardly seems worth mentioning when one takes into account this company's appalling financial dilemma. It would appear Philip's desire to please you has left this company very near to bankruptcy, having somehow survived a solid year of loss. Thus, as a matter of economic survival, we will no longer honor any previous discounts offered by Philip. Should we receive an order accompanied by insufficient funds, we will burn it immediately as a courtesy.
Having observed the unprofitable nature of this company, I must now announce my first and grandest executive decision: We will no longer concern ourselves with the business of fur. From henceforth, we will be the Fouke Meat Co. of St. Louis, Missouri. After all, I find fur to be the least palatable part of the beast. What allures me so is that which dwells beneath the fur: the meat! I would sooner suckle upon the raw and bloodied innards of a beast than drape myself in its fur. To that I offer no apology, for none is needed.
Ah hah! And there you have the great division that put Philip and I at odds throughout our youth. Where he loved nothing more than fur, I suffered an insatiable hunger for meat. All his teasing, shoving, poking, and repudiating were for naught! I knew in time my viewpoint would win out. I only regret that it had to happen under such tragic circumstance. But, assuming Cousin Philip ever does return to the realm of the working, he shall see his business transformed for the better!
Now that I have a platform from which to pursue my agenda, let me outline where I see this business going.
$1,000.00 to the main who acquaints me with a new meat
Allow me to end this first correspondence with an irresistible challenge. I cannot name a creature upon this Earth that I have not sampled. My hunger for meat has led me into darkened grottos, cramped burrows, dense jungle, and far, far from home. If the Lord saw fit to create it, it is almost certain that I have eaten it.
Yet, I cannot help but wonder if there is some elusive prey that has yet to find its way into my maw. It is this nagging question that keeps me up at night and compels me to rise each day.
Should you find me a meat I have not eaten, I will award you the tidy sum of $1,000.00 dollars. My taste buds are as refined and precise as the most sophisticated apparatus, so I will know instantly if the meat is new and untasted.
And thus I conclude this inaugural entry in quiet hope that you continue the journey you started with my cousin. I promise you that the rewards will be delicious!
With great pride & hunger for success,
Eugene Cranford Fouke,
Acting President & Gen. Mgr.
Fouke Meat Co.
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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.