J. H. Todd
1212 Webster St.
San Francisco, Cal.
Your letter is an insoluble puzzle to me. The handwriting is good and
exhibits considerable character, and there are even traces of intelligence
in what you say, yet the letter and the accompanying advertisements profess
to be the work of the same hand. The person who wrote the advertisements is
without doubt the most ignorant person now alive on the planet; also without
doubt he is an idiot, an idiot of the 33rd degree, and scion of an ancestral
procession of idiots stretching back to the Missing Link. It puzzles me to
make out how the same hand could have constructed your letter and your
advertisements. Puzzles fret me, puzzles annoy me, puzzles exasperate me;
and always, for a moment, they arouse in me an unkind state of mind toward
the person who has puzzled me. A few moments from now my resentment will
have faded and passed and I shall probably even be praying for you; but
while there is yet time I hasten to wish that you may take a dose of your
own poison by mistake, and enter swiftly into the damnation which you and
all other patent medicine assassins have so remorselessly earned and do so
Adieu! Adieu! Adieu!