Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 201

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


Page 201

saw clear weather and the port of success. Never did he waver: never did he deflect from his course. He knew no path save the direct one that led straight to success, and, through his eyes, he made Bok see it with equal clarity until Bok wondered why others could not see it. But they could not. Cyrus Curtis would never be able, they said, to come out from under the load he had piled up. Where they differed from Mr. Curtis was in their lack of vision: they could not see what he saw!

It has been said that Mr. Curtis banished patent-medicine advertisements from his magazine only when he could afford to do so. That is not true, as a simple incident will show. In the early days, he and Bok were opening the mail one Friday full of anxiety because the pay-roll was due that evening, and there was not enough money in the bank to meet it. From one of the letters dropped a certified check for five figures for a contract equal to five pages in the magazine. It was a welcome sight, for it meant an easy meeting of the pay-roll for that week and two succeeding weeks. But the check was from a manufacturing patent-medicine company. Without a moment’s hesitation, Mr. Curtis slipped it back into the envelope, saying: “Of course, that we can’t take.” He returned the check, never gave the matter a second thought, and went out and borrowed more money to meet his pay-roll!

With all respect to American publishers, there are very few who could have done this—or indeed, would do it to-day, under similar conditions—particularly in that day when it was the custom for all magazines to

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