This article is part of the Fur Trapper Saga series.
TO MY VALUED CUSTOMERS
P. B. Fouke, President & Gen. Mgr.I, Phillip Bond Fouke III, sincerely apologize for the actions carried out by Captain H. W. Grieves. This man, tasked to act strong in my stead in order to lift this company and it patrons to new heights, instead used his considerable strength to maim and mutilate. It brings me great shame in knowing that he, unchained and free from oversight, would give spark to such an inferno. That he reigned over record profits is not enough to justify the fiery boldness of his dealings, let alone the lives lost in the flames.
Because of this and my recovery, I have relieved Captain H. W. Grieves of his duties. To my customers, take stock in this: NO OTHER MAN SHALL EVER OVERSEE THIS OPERATION SO LONG AS I LIVE. I will stay vigilant and focused for all the time that is allotted to me. When that time expires, I make no promises other than to use every fiber of my being to see that a worthy successor is appointed.
I have insisted that Captain H. W. Grieves issue an apology. I include here his unmodified words in hopes that they might ease suffering and bring peace of mind to those in need.
I am Captain H. W. Grieves. I did the job asked of me, and I did it as well as I was able. It is unfortunate that the Colonel disagrees with my methods, but I do not seek to question him. The knowledge that I disappointed a man of higher integrity is all the intelligence I require. For that I shall nurse a wound that will never heal. This wound shall throb without pause for the sum of my life. As many faces as I pummel and savage, as many bones as I break, as many jugulars that I might bite open and savor, no solace shall ever come to me. Like the sight of my mother's skull cracking open and revealing its contents, horrifyingly red and bursting with fluids, I shall carry this wound with me forever.
I do not apologize for my actions. They have hurt me more than they will ever hurt you. I do not apologize to the men irrevocably crippled or killed under my watch. Those endeared to an industry of blood and killing should not be so naïve as to expect safety and comfort. When tasked to defend a den, I do not hesitate to use every ounce of hatred that burns in my soul. I defended this den from all would be predators as was instructed.
A suit does not free a man from his animal nature. Words and speeches do not abate the longing to rape and murder inherent in every man's soul. If I am to be the villain for simply ignoring the façade and pretense of modern business and acting as a man does when in the wild, then so be it.
The Fouke Fur Company shall no doubt prosper under the oversight of the Colonel. I intend to prosper as well. You need not feel any sympathy for me, as I do not feel any for you. I shall land on my feet with fists clenched tightly and gaze fixed square on my enemies. I shall thrive stronger and more enlightened and take stock that I learned a valuable lesson under the employ of P. B. Fouke, a truly great man.
And so it is.
H. W. Grieves
To show my deep concern and regret over this matter, I ask that all who lost a loved one due to the exceptionally efficient leadership of Captain H. W. Grieves kindly deduct ten per cent (10%) from all catalogue prices. THE FOUKE FUR COMPANY LEAVES NO ONE DISSATISFIED OR MOURNING FOR LONG.
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