This article is part of the Fur Trapper Saga series.
P.B. FOUKE RESCUES FRIEND FROM CERTAIN DEATH
P. B. Fouke, Pres. & Gen. Mgr.Trappers and shippers, I come before you with news of glory and triumph! So great is my satisfaction right now that I CAN SCARCELY FEEL THE SHARP PAIN IN MY SKULL THAT PLAGUES ME DAY AND NIGHT. The source of this unbridled joy: MY HEROIC RESCUE OF J. F. SWANTON FROM CERTAIN DEATH.
After several Sundays had come and gone without producing sight of my dearest friend and colleague, J. F. Swanton of the Swanton Furs operation, I became concerned that he may have relapsed into his old ways of WANTON OPIUM USE AND DEPRAVED WORSHIP OF ANIMALISTIC IDOLS.
Believing my friend to be in dire need of the Lord's Graces, I sought him out at his heavily fortified estate. Having grown accustomed to his medley of barbaric traps, I carefully made my way to his front door and knocked, fully expecting it to swing open and he to appear with knife in hand ready and eager to stab me. This familiar sight was not to be.
It was some hours later when a strange and sudden thought entered my head. Perhaps that ghastly moaning I heard emanating from the ominous gape near his home was not the cry of some foolish beast but rather of Swanton himself. When I arrived once more at the Swanton estate and peered into that vulgar cavity, I saw a sight I pray never to see again: A DECREPIT BADGER ENGAGED IN UNHOLY CONGRESS WITH THE BODY OF MY DEAD FRIEND.
The horrific scene disgusted me such that I IMMEDIATELY RETCHED DOWN INTO THE HOLE. It was then that I noticed a slight movement. I began shouting and, much to my delight, Swanton answered my excited cries as best he could. It was heartbreaking to hear his once mighty roar reduced to the whimper of a baby.
Knowing my friend's body and soul were both in jeopardy, I quickly fashioned a ladder out of his extensive collection of lynching ropes and made my way to the bottom of that godforsaken hole. Once there, I hoisted my friend up over shoulder and carried him back into the light. HIS BODY, SO EMACIATED AND RAW, COULD NOT HAVE WEIGHED MORE THAN A SMALL CHILD.
Once in the light, Swanton insisted that I venture back into the moist darkness and retrieve the badger that had defiled him. Fearing that even the slightest disappointment would be enough to squelch what remained of his spirit, I hurriedly plucked the filthy creature from out of the well. I do believe the foul-smelling beast weighed even more than Swanton himself.
Knowing my friend was but a single breath from death, I brought him back to the Fouke Fur Company headquarters where he was deposited in our auxiliary fur shed. At first this arrangement proved tenuous at best, as he wasted no time in trying to eat C. A. Freeman's face. Freeman, bereft of operational digits from a previous workplace accident, was unable to fend off Swanton's animal savagery. Indeed, it took no less than the combined efforts of R. J. Heckwolf, M. J. Duddy and D. J. Halley to pry Swanton's jaw open wide enough for C. A. Freeman to remove his right cheek and nose.
I was greatly relieved to see that even after such a horrible ordeal the irascible Swanton maintained an admirable level of bloodlust. C. A. Freeman, now several pounds lighter in the face, was offered the day off to recuperate, but declined due to his unwavering sense of duty to you, THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF TRAPPERS AND SHIPPERS LOYAL TO THIS GREAT COMPANY!
Three years ago, when we were burying my uncle, Cleaver and some gross lady dog (Solstice???) showed up at the cemetery and starting going at it really loudly. It ruined everything and we had to have a "re-do" the next day and it cost a fortune. I've hated him ever since for that.
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