Well, well, fate works in strange ways. I solved the problem of where to get my first cadaver, but not in the way I had expected. I believe I mentioned in the last letter my concerns about the neighborhood. Well, the day after I mailed that letter, I purchased a revolver, and that very night I had cause to use it. Jean-Jacques and I were leaving the lab after a night of work, but just as we opened the door to the outside, two men rushed the door and forced their way in. One of them had a heavy piece of wood and cracked Jean-Jacques on the head, putting him down. I had no choice; I pulled my revolver and shot them both point-blank. After I shot the first the second turned to run, so I had to shoot him in the back.
I quickly shut and locked the door, and then looked to Jean-Jacques. He had a bad bump on his head, but otherwise did not seem hurt. He had a terrific headache when he woke, though. I made him as comfortable as I could, and then got to the corpses.
We had reached a point in our work where I was ready to try some new techniques. As luck would have it, we had just enough tetrodotoxin for two subjects. Jean-Jacques awoke just as I was finishing the ritual on the first one, but as he was still in pain and somewhat befuddled, he merely sat and watched. I'm pleased to say that I had a limited amount of success! When I completed the ritual, the corpse opened its eyes. I waited for it to do more, but it just lay on the operating table where I had placed it. I propped it to a sitting position, and tested its reflexes, which were present but poor, so at least I had indications that the central nervous system was still responding to peripheral input. I did note that the fact that the corpse was so fresh might have something to do with the reflexes still being present, but overall I was happy with this result.
For the second corpse, I tried a slight variation of the ritual, but in this case got no result at all. If the success with the first one was because of its freshness, perhaps the extra length of time to attempt reviving the second one was just enough to cause failure.
In my excitement, I never even thought about the possibility that the gunfire had attracted any attention, until I was done, that is. Nobody came to investigate that I know of, but certainly these men might have had friends who knew where they were going. So we'll have to keep a double-sharp eye out. Of course, this might just provide me with more cadavers. Or, it could prove to be very troublesome. I will surely keep you posted as events proceed.