The Scott Specialized Catalogue lists a variety of the first cigarette tubes tax stamps as RH1a, "without period."
One might think that this was perhaps an unintentional error on the part of the hardworking guy who set the type for this particular overprint. He somehow forgot the period for just this one setting.
However, it is not until one sees this variety in person, that the period was not in fact just not included, but it was actually summarily squished out of the equation altogether. This is shown by the damaged "E" that was right next to it. At some point, the overprint at this one position got damaged.
Everyone can sleep well tonight, having now known the true answer to this ongoing, perplexing issue.
p.s. The current Scott catalog value for this variety in a block of four is $70.00. But try to find one at any price, now!