Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 186



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

Page 186

trying to curb Field’s industry, and so he wired the editor of the Chicago News for his cooperation. Field, now checked, asked Bok and his fiancée and the parents of both to come to Chicago, be his guests for the World’s Fair, and “let me make amends.”

It was a happy visit. Field was all kindness, and, of course, the entire party was charmed by his personality. But the boy in him could not be repressed. He had kept it down all through the visit. “No, not a joke—cross my heart,” he would say, and then he invited the party to lunch with him on their way to the train when they were leaving for home. “But we shall be in our travelling clothes, not dressed for a luncheon,” protested the women. It was an unfortunate protest, for it gave Field an idea! “Oh,” he assured them, “just a goodbye luncheon at the club; just you folks and Julia and me.” They believed him, only to find upon their arrival at the club an assembly of over sixty guests at one of the most elaborate luncheons ever served in Chicago, with each woman guest carefully enjoined by Field, in his invitation, to “put on her prettiest and most elaborate costume in order to dress up the table!”

One day Field came to Philadelphia to give a reading in Camden in conjunction with George W. Cable. It chanced that his friend, Francis Wilson, was opening that same evening in Philadelphia in a new comic opera which Field had not seen. He immediately refused to give his reading, and insisted upon going to the theatre. The combined efforts of his manager, Wilson, Mr. Cable, and his friends finally persuaded him to keep his engagement and join in a double-box party later at the


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