From W. B. Tegetmeier [after 26 January 1863]1
Muswell Hill | London N
My dear Sir
I never heard of such a case nor can I believe it possible,2 but I think the idea very likely to have arisen from many dorkings having two or three extra toes partially developed, one of these (the longest) may have been removed accidentally and the others having been noticed afterwards may have been mistaken for new growths—3 Some old Dorking breeders always used to cut off the extra toes and they never grew again.
I have been to Ireland or should have replied to your former letter before— I should be very glad to undertake the Spanish and Silk hen experiment, and will at once fit up a place for their reception—.4
I cannot see your motive for suggesting turbits and carriers for the pigeon experiment as I do not think there would be any probability of a sterile cross— doubtless however you have some good reason5
The Pigeon at the Philoperisteron was very peculiar— I wrote the account in the Cottage Gardener.6 And will get you a much more detailed account of measurement—. Mr Wallace7 was there and examined it with some interest.
I shall not see owner for fortnight but will ask him to bring bird to town and supply you with full details
Believe me | Yours very truly | W B Tegetmeier
Does not believe in regeneration of monstrous toe.
Pigeon and poultry experiments.
Peculiar pigeon at Philoperisteron [pigeon fanciers’ club].
Please cite as
Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3949,” accessed on 23 February 2017, http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/DCP-LETT-3949