Dearest Ass,

            For all your talk of nerves, I am inveterate. Though I must get over the Principle which is said to sting or strike with its rear teeth in a most unusual way, it is one thing if we actually trained the weapons on ourselves, but we should wait for something a little more auspicious than a snow day. To this you will say “tut,” for it seems as if one’s genius would crawl out of the den & you would write an unlikely piece on Braille, & so on, until we forgot that the initial suspicion is simply that and not beutiful [sic] or true, insofar as those are still indispensable, though of course they are not, despite your celebrated, omniscient Interior.

            Thus it is that Character is all the more susceptible. You said the awfulness was rampant, that the affair with poor Tupper was in some respects a sign of what I hate to consider the “wicked impulse” over a tip of zinc or otherwise dormant conductor — the white flume, rosemary under the fingernail — because he had stuck his digit in that bed or because you had read Sensation into everything. You sat up and cried pffff! but still could not establish verity. Nails grow on the dead, you see. Consider their waxen, ocherous lure, something the body will accomplish utterly on its own and against your wishes. In the end it is merely essential to have the horses and quit experiment. Let acorns judge of acorns, as weaknesses from theory flow from the vestiges of rot and the merest whiff of suspicion. The supernatural is a rift.

In friendship I send you the glass — implore you not to muse on the clouds but upon the taverns, and thus you will find me between here and the candle-wood like a regular —

yr most affectionate Ox

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