For sale! A secondhand buggy in fine and sturdy condition. Previous owner elderly invalid plutocrat. Pony not included. Reasonable terms. Kindly direct any and all inquiries to the Zweibel Estate.

What young gentleman striving to make his mark in the world wouldn't wish to possess such a praiseworthy vehicle? It was in such a rig that I set out to make my own fortune. I traveled the countryside in a modest but handsome fringe-topped surrey, from Calumet City to Brewster-town, selling Onion subscriptions and patent medicines to the yeomanry. I met my dear wife in one of these quaint hamlets, the daughter of an unlettered but wealthy self-made turpentine manufacturer. And it was in this reliable old phaeton that I took her back to my home, strapping her and her sizeable dowry to the buckboard. How it greatly pleased my old father, who was able to stir himself long enough from his laudanum haze to pat my shoulder.

But now, I too am an old man incapable of venturing past his bedpan, and I no longer have need for such a vehicle. As for the aforementioned buggy, I resolved to pass it down to my eldest son, R. Buckminster, or J. Phineas, or whoever he is, but he would have none of it, preferring to gallivant about in his zeppelin. Foul, gaseous device! It's always bumping into my prize azaleas and the 60-foot statue of myself that graces the courtyard.

Therefore I have no choice but to sell it off to a member of the public. I should hasten to mention that potential owners must agree to submit to and pass a rigorous series of phrenological examinations before being considered mentally sufficient to come within several hundred yards of my presence. I will suffer no jackanapes or ladykillers who cock their caps to one side and think they can take advantage of a frail yet vastly wealthy old man. And if you offer to bathe me I'll sic the mastiff on you. I've since learned to see through that ruse.