We often receive letters that make us an analog effect with the unpredicted encounter with the ancient sphinx. There are people who have ugly habit or caprice to sign in such a way that no one than them can read the signature. We recommend these people the following historical anecdote that should be dedicated to them:
Emperor Nicolay Pavlovich once receives from the Siberian General Governor a very nice written report, but the signature could not be discerned. He immediately sends the messenger with the command that the general should come to Petersburg in the hurry.
Three months later the general arrives. He asks to be received by the emperor, but he is told to leave immediately back to his job. Another three months to traveling back. When he arrives at his residence in Tobolsk, the messenger of the emperor gets himself too. Back to Petersburg.
As soon as he arrives, he asks again to be received by the emperor, and again he is sent urgently back. Another three months on the road. And again the messenger, and back again going through Ural and Volga to Neva. Finally, after fifteen months of travel, three winters and two summers, he arrives at the Emperor’s Court. The emperor receives as soon as he sees him and asks:
“Who are you ?”
“I’m the general governor of Siberia, Your Highness.”
“And what do you want ?”
“Your Highness called me, I don’t know why.”
‘Oh, yes ! I called you to ask what your name was because your signature could not be deciphered.”
“My name is Boris Spinachov, Your Highness.”
“Very well… You have to go to Siberia right this evening.”
I. L. Caragiale, Nedescifrabil
published in “Moftul român”, 1893