Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 224



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

Page 224

dread that some one will mention Alice in his presence. Curious, but there it is.”

Edward Bok’s next quest was to be even more disappointing; he was never even to reach the presence of the person he sought. This was Florence Nightingale, the Crimean nurse. Bok was desirous of securing her own story of her experiences, but on every hand he found an unwillingness even to take him to her house. “No use,” said everybody. “She won’t see any one. Hates publicity and all that sort of thing, and shuns the public.” Nevertheless, the editor journeyed to the famous nurse’s home on South Street, in the West End of London, only to be told that “Miss Nightingale never receives strangers.”

“But I am not a stranger,” insisted the editor. “I am one of her friends from America. Please take my card to her.”

This mollified the faithful secretary, but the word instantly came back that Miss Nightingale was not receiving any one that day. Bok wrote her a letter asking for an appointment, which was never answered. Then he wrote another, took it personally to the house, and awaited an answer, only to receive the message that “Miss Nightingale says there is no answer to the letter.”

Bok had with such remarkable uniformity secured whatever he sought, that these experiences were new to him. Frankly, they puzzled him. He was not easily baffled, but baffled he now was, and that twice in succession. Turn as he might, he could find no way in which to reopen an approach to either the Oxford tutor



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