/usr/doc/ipchains-1.3.8/HOWTO.txt is full of ^H's making very difficult to read
Hm... views OK with less here. Do you have LESSCHARSET
or any locale settings set (yes, the ^H's are there, but
it's legible here)?
As a note, it looks like it was probably generated by
sgmltools from HOWTO.sgml, so that might be where the bug is.
Fixed in ipchain-1.3.9-2.