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May 17, 1976

The Bounty Hunters

Author Affiliations

Bloomington, Hawaii

JAMA. 1976;235(20):2188. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260460012003

To the Editor.—  During the winning of the West, bounties were frequently offered for the heads of villains, dead or alive. As suggested in Bierce's Devil's Dictionary, bounties were prompted or supported, or even paid, by insurance companies, for which Bierce entertained woeful disrespect.This led to my great uncle Gregory's Third Law of Liddle, "Whither there shall be a bounty proffered, there shall be a hunter thereof, or two." Honoring this major contribution to the humanities, the hunters lined up in echelon. Often viewed as renegades, disreputably motivated by size of the bounty, they were really noble citizens, merely dedicated to the purification of society.Within the purviews of ordinary men, the purlieus of the bounty hunter now embrace those fields of corporate medicine that involve readjustment of limb, transmutation of golden brain to alchemical slush, and cutting up generally. Although bounty sizes seem inflationary, one must remember that