Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 182



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

Page 182

Paris to buy her trousseau. The paragraphs were worded in the most matter-of-fact manner, and completely fooled the newspapers, even those of Boston. Field was delighted at the success of his joke, and the fact that Bok was in despair over the letters that poured in upon him added to Field’s delight.

He now asked Bok to come to Chicago. “I want you to know some of my cronies,” he wrote. “Julia [his wife] is away, so we will shift for ourselves.” Bok arrived in Chicago one Sunday afternoon, and was to dine at Field’s house that evening. He found a jolly company: James Whitcomb Riley, Sol Smith Russell the actor, Opie Read, and a number of Chicago’s literary men.

When seven o’clock came, some one suggested to Field that something to eat might not be amiss.

“Shortly,” answered the poet. “Wife is out; cook is new, and dinner will be a little late. Be patient.” But at eight o’clock there was still no dinner. Riley began to grow suspicious and slipped down-stairs. He found no one in the kitchen and the range cold. He came back and reported. “Nonsense,” said Field. “It can’t be.” All went down-stairs to find out the truth. “Let’s get supper ourselves,” suggested Russell. Then it was discovered that not a morsel of food was to be found in the refrigerator, closet, or cellar. “That’s a joke on us,” said Field. “Julia has left us without a crumb to eat.

It was then nine o’clock. Riley and Bok held a council of war and decided to slip out and buy some food, only to find that the front, basement, and back doors



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