I write with good news; my assistant Jean-Jacques is working out wonderfully, and I'm more hopeful about my research than I have been in a while. He's a very inquisitive fellow, and we've spent long hours talking about my work, during which he has given me some surprising and useful insights. We have gotten the lab mostly set up, so now our chief remaining obstacle is finding a subject to test with. I checked out the city morgue, but I believe the only reliable way to get a body out of there would be through bribery, and I feel that would be too risky, in case the accomplice had second thoughts. And of course, once a body went missing, there would be an investigation, which may prevent me from using the morgue a second time anyway. And although it would be wonderful if my first experiment succeeded, most likely I shall need more than one subject. So I need a different source. There are people passing away in the hospital all the time, poor devils, so perhaps I can find a way to spirit someone away from there just after they have passed.
I have other troubles, too. The neighborhood in which I have my lab is not particularly safe, and it appears that my late hours have been noticed by some of the denizens. I've noticed people skulking about when I leave, but I'm not quite sure if they're more interested in me or in the lab. The lab doesn't have any windows, so if they really want to know what's inside they'll have to break the locks. I hope they aren't that curious. And in case they're planning to rob me at knifepoint, I make sure that Jean-Jacques and I leave together, parting only when we get to safer streets. Perhaps I should purchase a revolver, in case things get nasty.
But all in all, I have to say that I'm pleased with how things are going. By the way, I probably don't need to mention this, as you are quite experienced in dealings with the law, but I ask you to please take care that these letters don't fall into the wrong hands, especially when my activities begin in earnest. Hopefully my next letter will bring even better news!