This article is part of the Fur Trapper Saga series.

A glorious day has dawned, faithful Carnivores! It is with great pleasure that I announce to you that my $1,000.00 challenge has been met! Ah, how this quest has eluded me for so long! At last, after years of searching, fate has seen fit to award me that most precious thing each Carnivore yearns for: The taste of a new meat.

The prize came encased inside a crudely built wooden crate. Within was a glorious leg of meat and a note from its procurer. As luck would have it, this man was not far, so the meat traveled only a short distance before finding its way to my gullet. Alas, I am displeased to admit that I know the winner, as many in the great mid-continent metropolis do, tho I most now graciously cast aside all past judgments in light of his tremendous accomplishment. This man achieved the impossible, and thus deserves the full respect of any Carnivore.

I therefore include the note, so as to let his words and his story be heard and celebrated.

I am Captain H. W. Grieves and I have bested your challenge with minimal effort. You are known to me, E. C. Fouke, by reputation as a fat, pompous man. You received none of the greatness of your cousin, who is a great man by all accounts. Should the opportunity arise, and one day I believe it shall, I will plunge my hands into your fat belly, draw out your intestines and rope them about your neck until you suffocate. However, at this time I seek employment, and believe you are a man with the resources to take on a capable agent such as myself.

The meat was obtained from my former place of employ, M. P. Knickerbocker's Bowling Alley, where I recovered it from the burning rubble. I am not ashamed to admit the fire was caused by my hand in a calculated move to disrupt the young pinsetters in their efforts to organize. I do not tolerate unionization or greedy attempts by workers to plunder the pockets of their employers. Mr. Knickerbocker felt my actions, while just, were entirely too thorough. He asked that I seek employment elsewhere, and I agreed.

The policing force of St. Louis also voiced concern over my fiery proclamation, but I quickly reminded them how strong I am, and how ill-suited they were to dole out justice, let alone arrest me for carrying out a perfectly righteous act. The chief factor of the force could not dispute my claims and reined in his boys. The mayor, whom I have personally hoisted over my head on several occasions, made no protest.

I gladly accept your $1,000.00 prize and intend to hide it under a rock near a creek known only to me.

As your new agent, I shall assist you in the procurement of any meat. Killing is not a difficult task, nor a pleasant one. It is merely a task that need be done. I have killed as many men as I have beasts, and anticipate the killing of many more before the Lord calls me home. You will not want for any meat from henceforth.

I have already started. You will pay me as you see fit. I am a man of few needs.

And so it is.

Captain H. W. Grieves

While I have reservations about Mr. Grieves, especially given his propensity to mutilate members of this fair city, I cannot argue with his singular focus, great physical strength and raw animal cunning. He will make a fine employee, and I am pleased to see this enterprise I started as a personal venture now double in size. I fear it only a matter of time before I become head officer of an operation as big and robust as Cousin Philip's.

That business aside, let us now turn to that which every Carnivore endeavors to read: My thorough accounting of the great library of meats. Today we shall review not just the prize-winning meat, but a hardy selection of other delicious animal offerings.

~ Cuscus ~

The small cuscus is perhaps the most ignorant and naïve of God's creatures. It possess no fear of man or instinct to evade capture. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a more willing meal. Connoisseurs of possum will be at home with the cuscus, for it varies little in taste and texture.

~ Seven-arm Octopus ~

I spared no expense transporting a beautiful specimen of octopus from the depths of the Pacific Ocean to my home in St. Louis. To ensure the creature would be eaten fresh, it was kept alive for the duration in a special salt water tank, and its transport across rail garnered considerable interest from the press. Many a paper documented its magnificent journey from sea to stomach, perhaps the longest such journey in history. Unfortunately, I found the creature entirely unappetizing, and disposed of most of it after a scant few bites. Far too rubbery and tough to chew, the meat offered little more than the scarcest hint of fish flavor.

~ Barnacle ~

Barnacles are found in great abundance in the maritime regions. I found them to be a satisfying treat during my own travels about the ocean. One need simply pry the barnacle off a rock, boat, dock or any other hardened surface exposed to the ocean. Their crunchy shell is not unlike bone, which I consider to be a type of meat. No preparation is necessary, for the ocean provides them ready to eat, shell and all. Bon appétit!

~ Peregrine Falcon ~

I was once the recipient of a beautiful Peregrine falcon, given to me as a birthday gift by my dear friend Augustus Charles Barney, a gifted surgeon who has many a time removed large meat blockages from my veins and arteries. Alas, Mr. Barney failed to specify the falcon was intended to remain alive as pet and amusement, and was promptly consumed the following day. This incident caused much animosity between us, tho I am pleased to say we have since made amends. I recall the meat being very tough with a flavor reminiscent of game bird and thus wholly unremarkable.

~ Cane Toad ~

This interesting toad was brought to me by a fellow Carnivore as a souvenir from Barbados. While I am not keen on eating any warted creature, I could not discount the fat, meaty nature of the toad. Curiosity got the better of me, and I dug in with great gusto. What was not known to me at the time was that the toad possess a most unusual poison, and I ingested all of it. While not strong enough to kill me, the poison induced frightening visions, and, tho I am unable to recall the exact details, an ability to move through walls and barriers when naked. As such behavior is not appropriate for a gentlemen, I have refrained from proving it scientifically.

~ Mr. Grieves' Prize Meat ~

What meat could be worth $1,000.00 you ask? I do not have a name for it, as Mr. Grieves failed to include any such description. Its taste is very familiar, and not unlike some of the finer simian meats I have sampled in my travels of Africa. I made quick work of the hunk of meat, which clung to a frail and delectable bone, itself oozing with delicious marrow. My great regret is that I found the meat so succulent that I consumed it in the manner of a starving dog, taking no time to savior it. I'm already salivating at the prospect of more. I must confess I am experiencing a new type of hunger, one which no other meat seems capable of satiating. A further consequence seems to be constant sweating and acute delirium. Truly, never before has a meat left me so utterly desperate for a second helping.

And so I leave you a humbled, trembling man. Tho there are many meats left to document, none shall ever be as sweet as that which I have tasted today. I can only hope that as man expands deeper into every nook and cranny this world hides, bold new frontiers of meet open up in kind.

With great profound hunger,

Eugene Cranford Fouke
Proud American Carnivore

– E. C. Fouke (@Livestock)

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About this series

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.

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