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written by "Seltzer, Thomas, 1875?-1943"
...w it will be a year since you came to us direct from Bremen, after your second journey, with a trunk full of stories, photographs, and the cigarettes of Simon Arzt. I had scarcely set foot in England when twenty paces from the landing-place, I beheld our beloved brand in a shop window. Of course, I bought some, by wholesale, in fact, and am smoking one while writing, for the sake of auld lang syne. Unfortunately, this horrible reading-room in which I am writing doesn't get any the warmer, no matter how many cigarettes I light. You were with us two weeks when fate came and knocked at the door. We both rushed to the door and caught a cold, it seems. As for me, I have sold my house, given up my practice, and put my three children in a boarding school. And as for my wife, you know what has befallen her. The devil! Sometimes it makes one creepy to think of the past. To both of us it seemed a splendid thing for you to take over our sick colleague's practice. I can see you dashing about to visit your patients in his sleigh and fur coat. And when he died, I had not the slightest objection to your settling down as a country physician in the immediate vicinity, although we had always poked a lot of fun at a country physician's starvation practice. Now things have turned out very differently. Do you remember with what an endless number of monotonous jokes the goldfinches that fairly overran the Heuscheuer Mountains used to furnish us? When we approached a bare bush or tree, it would suddenly sway to and fro and scatter gold leaves. We interpreted that as meaning mountains of gold. In the evening we dined on goldfinches, because the hunters who went out on Sundays sold them in great quantities and my tippling cook cooked them deliciously. At that time you swore you would not remain a physician. You were not to live from the pockets of poor patients; the State was to salary you and put at your disposal a huge store of provisions, so that you ...

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