February 28, 1876
To Directors Northampton National Bank:
Dear SirsWhen you are satisfied with detective skill you can make a proposition to us, the holders, and if you are liberal we may be able to do business with you. If you entertain any such ideas please insert a personal in the New York Herald. Address to XXX, and sign "Rufus," to which due attention will be paid. To satisfy you that we do hold papers, we send you a couple of pieces.
October 13, 1876.
GentlemenDoubtless you have been considerably annoyed by importunate brokers and others; so have we, and that this may cease we presume to address a few lines. Unknown parties have sent agents to us at various times, during the last six months, to negotiate for the purchase of the securities taken from your vault, last winter. Some of these agents have pretended to be acting for you and by your authority, but from what little conversation they were permitted to have on the subject, we judge that they were persons trying either to obtain a footing from which they might manipulate both ends, or purchase the securities with their capital by way of speculation.
That you had authorized any parties to treat with us for you, and instructed that party to take such a course as the above-mentioned parties did take, looked to us a little out of order, considering the fact that in our letter to you, last winter, we told you how to reach us; but at least different persons assured us that you had objections against inserting that particular "personal," and they gave us very plausible reasons for your objections. In view of these facts, we will alter the "word," so that if you are really desirous to open communications with us, you may do so by inserting in the New York Herald, instead of the old one, the following: "Hope;" after which you make any remarks which you may deem appropriate and intelligible to us. Or none at all, if you choose. But we will add that we will pay no attention to any proposition coming from any other source, but if the above "personal" appears, we will send you such instructions as will enable you to communicate by a direct channel. You need refer us to no lawyer nor agent, but allow us to make such arrangements as will suit our convenience, as we have the greatest interest.
New York, October 20, 1876
Gentlemen: Since you have seen fit to recognize the receipt of our letter, we will now send you our price for the return of the goods. The United States coupon bond and money taken cannot be returned, but everything elsebonds, letters and papers to the smallest document, will be returned for $150,000. If these figures suit you, we will make arrangements according to our promise, and you may have the goods as soon as preliminaries can be arranged for the safe conduct of the business. If you agree to this price, insert in the New York Herald personal column the simple word, "Agatha."
New York, October 30
Gents: In response to the above, we will say that we do not propose to enter into an argument about the value of the paper; we know what it is worth to us, and we arranged our price accordingly. Those figures we will not reduce. If you feel disposed to accept at that price, there will be no obstacle to a hasty transaction of the business, but if you do not accept, the negotiations we will have to stop. You will confer a favor by giving a decisive answer. In giving you answer in the Herald, please drop words "Hope" and "Agatha," and use instead the capitals "SSS"