Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 136

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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 136


ONE evening some literary men were dining together previous to going to a private house where a number of authors were to give readings from their books. At the table the talk turned on the carelessness with which the public reads books. Richard Harding Davis, one of the party, contended that the public read more carefully than the others believed. It was just at the time when Du Maurier’s Trilby was in every one’s hands.

“Don’t you believe it,” said one of the diners. “I’ll warrant you could take a portion of some well-known story to-night and palm it off on most of your listeners as new stuff.”

“Done,” said Davis. “Come along, and I’ll prove you wrong.”

The reading was to be at the house of John Kendrick Bangs at Yonkers. When Davis’s “turn” in the programme came, he announced that he would read a portion from an unpublished story written by himself. Immediately there was a flutter in the audience, particularly among the younger element.

Pulling a roll of manuscript out of his pocket, Davis began:

“It was a fine, sunny, showery day in April. The big studio window——”

XIII. Publishing Incidents and Anecdotes
 

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