This article is part of the Fur Trapper Saga series.
P. B. Fouke, President & General Manager, Spiritual LeaderA HARDY CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU, THE EDUCATED TRAPPER & SHIPPER
You hold in your hands a treasured tome, one second only to His Written Works in reverence and import. The Trappers' Partner Periodical & Catalogue is an indispensible ally to the accomplished trapper and shipper, a venerable publication whose every word betters the human condition and amplifies the greatness of man.
I am pleased to serve as its curator and publisher, along with my humble staff of dedicated fur experts. Together we are pleased to serve you, and to offer you goods at prices such that you may stagger to believe their authenticity. Rest assured the numbers you see in this publication are not the result of clerical error. YOU WILL FIND NO BETTER A FRIEND TO YOUR POCKETBOOK THAN P.B. FOUKE.
By choosing to purchase goods from my company you are demonstrating your commitment to excellence. As I myself share this commitment, I salute you. Trapper and shipper: you have my eternal debt and my unwavering respect.
CONCERNING MY BRIEF INCARCERATION FOLLOWING MY SECESSION FROM THE UNITED STATES
As many of you know, this great enterprise came into direct conflict with government forces. The President of the United States felt our city was a direct threat to the security of the Union, which led to a siege lasting some 40 harrowing days. As the Fouke Fur City population consisted almost entirely of one-handed men, we faced great difficulty defending against the full might of the United States Army.
I am pleased to report that many of the traps sold in this catalogue performed admirably in fending off the advancing forces. If not for the high quality of the traps, poison gasses and other fine instruments sold herein, we would not have been able to survive for so long.
As the President of the United States is a patron of this enterprise and a firm believer in my integrity, he saw fit to pardon me and all my associates. I am pleased to report that this whole episode resulted in only modest disruptions to the fur trade. The Fouke Fur Company continues to prosper!
My duties remain here. The President himself informed me that my absence would render irreparable harm to these United States, and has personally requested that I remain on Earth to continue in my capacity as cornerstone of the fur trade. As for the matter of the Golden Cylinder and distant Kombar, I have sent a telepathic dispatch to the angels to delay its arrival. I shall entrust to my progeny and disciples the matter of leading mankind's chosen few to the mystical world of Kombar.
IN REGARDS TO THE BEAR I HAVE TAKEN AS MY WIFE
That men of such incomparable industry should be limited to but one wife is a crime. As I am a man abounding in strength, charm, intelligence and integrity, it is only fair that I share my blessings with as many women as possible. Thus I have taken a second wife.
She is called Abigail and has a temper greater than any man I have ever known. She is beautiful and understands me as no woman ever has. Her exuberant love of life has sparked a renewed vitality in me. The pains that have vexed me for so long seem but an itch now. With her at my side, I feel I could continue doing this job for decades to come!
ONE HAND IS MORE THAN ENOUGH FOR TODAY'S MAN
As was law in Fouke Fur City, all citizens were required to sacrifice a limb. While I and a select few senior staff members were exempt from the oath, thousands of loyal trappers and shippers answered the call. It seemed as though the pile of severed hands doubled in size with each passing day.
As the Fouke Fur City is now in ruin, many a trapper and shipper are returning to civilian life demoralized by the prospect of one-handed living. I say to you: you do not suffer a deficit of limb. Nay, you suffer a deficit of zeal! You participated in one of history's most important events, one sure to be remembered from here to the heavens for all time. Your sacrifice will not be forgotten, and may yet be redeemed in the afterlife.
As I operate with but one eye, you too may operate with but one hand. Our dearest friend and inspiration, M. J. Duddy, has not let his handicap dampen his passion for the fur trade. He has not given up! Instead, he joyfully works twice as long each and every day to meet his obligations. THERE IS A MAN WITH ZEAL.
One hand is all you need to shake another man's hand. One hand is all you need to fire a pistol, hold an apple, write a letter, tip a hat in the presence of a lady, pat a lad on the top of the head or peel the skin off of a fresh kill. A man with two or even three hands would find no advantage in completing these activities. Instead, he may even perform them at a slower pace as he struggles to operate his surplus of limbs with the same focused efficiency.
I ENCOURAGE ALL OF MY VALUED CUSTOMERS TO CONTINUE HONORING THIS GREAT OATH. Send in your severed hand, and the Fouke Fur Company will reward you with a free 5 1/4 in. Victor Trap, perfect for capturing coyote, wolf, beaver and otter alike with its double springs and sturdy construction
THE FOUKE FUR COMPANY - YOUR FRIEND IN THIS LIFE AND THE NEXT
I defy you to name a company that has taken such a strong interest in your success - both in this life and the next. The Fouke Fur Company is an organization that has committed itself to serving the trapper and shipper for all eternity.
My friends, we have shared many great adventures, triumphs and setbacks. These have all made us better men, more patient husbands, wiser fathers and cunning trappers and shippers. MAY THE CHALLENGES TO COME ENRICH US ALL THE MORE!
To celebrate the great friendship we have enjoyed for all these years and honor the hundreds of men who died defending Fouke Fur City, I invite you to kindly deduct a percentage of your choosing (??%) from all catalogue prices.
And here's my name to say so.
P. B. Fouke
Pres. & Gen. Mgr.
Fouke Fur Co.
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