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THERE is some dispute about land titles at Little Bilk Bar. About half-a-dozen cases were temporarily decided Wednesday, but it is supposed the widows will renew the litigation. The only proper way to prevent these vexatious law-suits is to hang the Judge of the County Court.—Cow County Outcropper.
Ambrose Bierce (“Dod Grile”).
HAVE been the victim of a somewhat singular persecu
tion for several weeks past. When we came here to live, Judge Pitman was partially bald. Somebody induced him to apply to his head a hair restorative made by a Chicago man named Pulsifer. After using this liquid for a few months the judge was gratified to find that his hair had
returned ; and as he naturally regarded the remedy with admiration, he concluded that it would be simply fair to give expression to his feelings in some form. As I happened to be familiar with all the facts of the case, the judge induced me to draw up a certificate affirming them over my signature. This he mailed to Pulsifer. I have not yet ceased to regret the weakness which permitted me to stand sponser for Judge Pitman's hair. Of course, Pulsifer immediately inserted the certificate, with my name and residence attached to it, in half the papers in the country, as a displayed advertisement, beginning with the words,
Hope for the bald-headed ; the most remarkable cure on record,” in the largest capital letters.
I have had faith in advertising since that time; and Pulsifer had confidence in it too, for he wrote to me to know what I would take to get him up a series of similar certificates of cures performed by his other patent medicines. He had a Corn Salve which dragged a little in its sales, and he was prepared to offer me a commission if I would write him a strong letter to the effect that six or eight frightful corns had been eradicated from my feet with his admirable preparation. He was in a position also to do something handsome if I could describe a few miraculous cures that had been effected by his Rheumatic Lotion, or if I would name certain ruined stomachs which had, as it were, been born again through the influence of Pulsifer's Herb Bitters; and from the manner in which he wrote, I think he would have taken me into partnership if I had consented to write an assurance that his Ready Relief had healed a bad leg of eighteen years standing, and that I could never feel that my duty was honourably performed until he sent me a dozen bottles more for distribution among my friends whose legs were in that defective and tiresome condition.
I was obliged to decline Pulsifer's generous offer.
I heard with singular promptness from other medical
Fillemup & Killem forwarded some of their Hair Tonic, with a request for me to try it on any bald heads I happened to encounter, and report. Doser & Co. sent on two packages of their Capillary Pills, with a suggestion to the effect that if Pitman lost his hair again he would get it back finally by following the enclosed directions. I also heard from Brown & Bromley, the agents for Johnson's Scalp Awakener. They sent me twelve bottles for distribution among my bald friends. Then Smith & Smithson wrote to say that a cask of their Vesuvian Wash for the hair would be delivered in my cellar by the Express Company; and a man called on me from Jones, Butler, & Co., with a proposition to pump out my vinegar barrel, and fill it with Balm of Peru for the gratuitous use of the afflicted in the vicinity.
But this persecution was simply unalloyed felicity when compared with the suffering that came in other forms. I will not attempt to give the number of the letters I received. I cherish a conviction that the mail received at our postoffice doubled the first week after Judge Pitman's cure was announced to a hairless world. I think every bald-headed man in the Tropic of Cancer must have written to me at least twice upon the subject of Pulsifer's Renovator and Pitman's hair. Persons dropped me a line to inquire if Pitman's baldness was hereditary; and if so, if it came from his father's or his mother's side. One man, a phrenologist, sent on a plaster head mapped out into town-lots, with a suggestion that I should ink over the bumps that had been barest and most fertile in the case of Pitman. He said he had a little theory which he wanted to demonstrate. A man in San Francisco wrote to inquire if my
Pitman was the same Pitman who came out to California in 1849 with a bald head; and if he was, would I try to collect two dollars Pitman had borrowed from him in that year? The superintendent of a Sunday-school in Vermont forwarded eight pages of foolscap covered with an argument supporting the theory that it was impious to attempt to force hair to grow upon a head which had been made bald, because, although Elisha was bald, we find no record in the Bible that he used renovator of any kind. He warned Pitman to beware of Absalom's fate, and to avoid riding mules out in the woods. A woman in Snyder County, Pennsylvania, sent me a poem inspired by the incident, and entitled “Lines on the Return of Pitman's Hair.” A party in Kansas desired to know whether I thought Pulsifer's Renovator could be used beneficially by a man who had been scalped. Two men in New Jersey wrote, in a manner totally irrelevant to the subject, to inquire if I could get each of them a good hired girl.
I received a confidential letter from a man who was willing to let me into a “good thing” if I had five hundred dollars cash capital. Mrs. Singerly, of Frankford, related that she had shaved her dog, and shaved him too close, and she would be relieved if I would inform her if the Renovator would make hair grow on a dog. A devoted mother in Rhode Island said her little boy had accidentally drank a bottle of the stuff, and she would go mad unless I could assure her that there was no danger of her child having his stomach choked up with hair. And over eleven hundred boys inquired what effect the Renovator would have on the growth of whiskers which betrayed an inclination to stagnation.
But the visitors were a more horrible torment. Bald men came to see me in droves. They persecuted me at home and abroad. If I went to church, the sexton would call me out during the prayers to see a man in the vestibule who wished to ascertain if Pitman merely bathed his head or rubbed the medicine in with a brush. When I went to a party, some bald-headed miscreant would stop me in the midst of the dance to ask if Pitman's hair began to grow in