DEAR SIR:—For about a year I have seen fit to offer to Mrs. Lockwin such consolation as I thought might lessen her grief. Will you kindly inform me if my suggestions have at any time mitigated her sorrow? I shall be happy to know that an earnest and faithful labor has done some little good. You may inclose a letter to the care of Robert Chalmers, New York City, who will deliver it to me.
The reply is prompt:
CHICAGO, May 1.—I am in receipt of a type-written communication from an unknown party, and am not unwilling to inform the writer that Mrs. Lockwin’s mail all comes to me. I have for a year burned every one of the consolatory letters alluded to, in common with thousands of other screeds, which I have considered as so many assaults on the charity of an unhappy lady.
The series of letters from New York have, however, been the most persistent of these demonstrations. I have expected that at the proper time we should have a claimant, like the Tichborne estate. Some experience in administrative affairs, together with the timely suggestions of a friend, lead me to note the opportunity for a claimant in our case. David Lockwin’s body was not found. I have, therefore, kept a sharp eye out for claimants, and will say to the writer of the “consolatory letters” that our proofs of Lockwin’s death are ample. Two persons saw him die. Mrs. Lockwin is a sagacious woman, keenly aware of the covetousness aroused by the public mention of her great wealth.
The writer will therefore, if wise, abandon his attentions and intentions. If I receive any more of his “consolatory letters” I shall look up Robert Chalmers with detectives. Respectfully,
IRENAEUS TARPION, M. D.
It is about 10 o’clock at night in the office of the great newspaper. The night editor sits at his desk reading the latest exchanges. The telegraph editor labors under a bright yellow light, secured by the use of a vast expanse of yellow paper.
The assistant telegraph editor is groaning over a fraudulent dispatch from a correspondent whose repute is the worst.
A place is still vacant at the tables. The marine dispatches are piling high.
“Where is the sea-dog?” asks the night editor, who is in command of the paper.
“Good evening, Corkey,” says the telegraph editor. “I trust we are spared for another day of usefulness,” says the night editor, with an unction which is famous in the office.
“How is the ooze of the salt deep, commodore?” asks the night editor.
“How is the coral and green amber?” asks the telegraph editor.
“Green nothing!” mutters Corkey. He feels weary.
“How did you leave great Neptune?” asks the assistant telegraph editor.