Letter to Sydney B. Whipple (9 may 1923)
The Brown Palace Hotel
May 9, 1923.
The report in the Denver Express that I offered to bring back the spirit of my mother for five thousand dollars, in order to confute Mr. Houdini, is a monstrous fabrication, and I cannot imagine how you dare to print such a thing, which is on the face of it so blasphemous and absurd.
What actually occurred was that your reporter said that my friend Mr. Houdini had wagered $5,000 that he could do anything any medium could do, to which I answered "To do that he would have to show me my mother." This is surely very different.
(Signed) A. Conan Doyle.