Point Loma, California: .
Unbound. Mimeographed letter with typed greeting. pp., printed rectos only, on Mundy's Tilgaun stationery. Old folds, first leaf with a tiny bit of marginal loss in the lower corner, near fine. Signed by Mundy at the conclusion.
Nearing the disastrous end of an ambitious business venture drilling for oil in Mexico (that once included Mexican president Plutarco Calles as an investor), Talbot Mundy has an idea: write to readers who had written him about his work, and offer them a piece of the action. According to *Talbot Mundy, Philosopher of Adventure: A Critical Biography*, by the time it came to writing his readers, Mundy was frantically trying to stave off bankruptcy. The well never came in, and he was eventually defrauded by a longtime partner; the company was a complete failure.
This lengthy and very interesting letter, addressed "My dear Mr. Scott," begins: "Our acquaintance and my excuse for writing is due entirely to a letter that you once wrote me with reference to one of my stories. As a writer of adventure, and as an explorer into more or less untravelled [sic] realms of thought, I have contrived to touch a chord of mutual interest... ." Mundy proceeds to relate a brief story about a Mr. Gates "of Texas Oil fame," and his possible discovery of oil in Mexico during a quail hunting trip 15 years prior.
He goes into some detail about the process of drilling for oil adjacent the U.S. border. Mundy is soliciting a $250 (or $500) investment, for a 5 (or 10) acre sublease on drilling land. Mundy writes that he and his associates have formed a Mexican corporation, The Liafail Development Syndicate, and invested $100,000 of their own money. He projects a possible "10,000 to 1 return" on the investment, although he repeatedly warns that "it is a speculation" and that they may all "go broke." "Several hundred acres are already sold. It is impossible to guarantee a reservation for many days (...) it would please me enormously to be the means of having put fortune in your way in the event that this speculation should turn out as we all think it will. Please don't come in if you can't afford it, but if you are interested act immediately. Yours faithfully and friendly, [signed] Talbot Mundy, Secretary. The Liafail Development Syndicate."
The bulk of the letter is mimeographed but the salutation is clearly typed. Given that this letter was almost certainly produced in multiples, each addressed to a potential investor, it could be considered a bibliographical "A" item. An uncommon and compelling letter, utilizing Mundy's skills as a storyteller, written to his fans in an attempt to prevent financial collapse.