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December 23, 1865


I am composed of sixteen or seventeen letters.

My 16, 14, 3, 4, 6, 9, 15, is something or other, in a general way.

My 2, 11, 7, 14, is something else.

My 9, 6, 4, 10, 15, 11, is the other thing.

My 6, 16, 8, 14, 9, 3, 2, 1, 11, is most anything.

My 5, 3, 9, 14, 7, 3, 1, 11, 5, 6, 16, 2, 13, is most anything else.

My 4, 2, 16, 9, is a good deal like some of the things referred to above, though in what respect it has baffled even me to determine.

My 9, 3, 8, 12, is - is - well, I suppose it is, although I cannot see why.

Now, if anybody can cipher out that enigma, he is an abler man than I am, notwithstanding I got it up myself. It would be a real favor if some one would try, however. I have figured at it, and worked at it, and sweated over it, until I am disgusted, and I can make neither head nor tail of it. I thought it was rather neat at first, but I do not like it so well, now that I can't find out the answer to it. It looks rather easy at a first glance, but you will notice that the further you get into it the more it widens out.

This is my first effort in the enigma line, and, to speak the plain truth, I am considerably stunned at my own success. I do not seem to have just got the hang of this sort of thing, somehow. But I offer the entertaining little trifle to your readers for what it is worth - it may serve to amuse an idle year - and it cannot do much harm - it cannot more than drive a man mad, and make him massacre his relations.

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