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dodge to get your story read by the public is to
assert that it is true, and then add that Truth
is stranger than Fiction. I do not know if the
yarn I am anxious for you to read is true; but
the Spanish purser of the fruit steamer El
Carrero swore to me by the shrine of Santa
Guadalupe that he had the facts from the U. S.
vice-consul at La Paz—a person who could not
possibly have been cognizant of half of them.
As for the adage quoted above, I take pleasure
in puncturing it by affirming that I read in a
purely fictional story the other day the line:
"'Be it so,' said the policeman." Nothing so
strange has yet cropped out in Truth.
When H. Ferguson Hedges, millionaire promoter,
investor and man-about- New-York, turned his
thoughts upon matters convivial, and word of it
went "down the line," bouncers took a
precautionary turn at the Indian clubs, waiters
put ironstone china on his favourite tables, cab
drivers crowded close to the curbstone in front
of all-night cafés, and careful cashiers in his
regular haunts charged up a few bottles to his
account by way of preface and introduction.
As a money power a one-millionaire is of small
account in a city where the man who cuts your
slice of beef behind the free-lunch counter
rides to work in his own automobile. But Hedges
spent his money as lavishly, loudly and showily
as though he were only a clerk squandering a
week's wages. And, after all, the bartender
takes no interest in your reserve fund. He would
rather look you up on his cash register than in
The song was over. The words were David's;
the air, one of the countryside. The company
about the inn table applauded heartily, for the
young poet paid for the wine. Only the notary,
M. Papineau, shook his head a little at the
lines, for he was a man of books, and he had not
drunk with the rest.
David went out into the village street, where
the night air drove the wine vapour from his
head. And then he remembered that he and Yvonne
had quarrelled that day, and that he had
resolved to leave his home that night to seek
fame and honour in the great world outside.
"When my poems are on every man's tongue," he
told himself, in a fine exhilaration, "she will,
perhaps, think of the hard words she spoke this
Except the roisterers in the tavern, the village
folk were abed. David crept softly into his room
in the shed of his father's cottage and made a
bundle of his small store of clothing. With this
upon a staff, he set his face outward upon the
road that ran from Vernoy...
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