THE ARM-CHAIR AT THE INN
ability for turning out phrases. As an actor steps in between the dramatist and the audience—visualizing and vitalizing the text by deft gestures, telling emphases, and those silent pauses often more effective than the speech itself—so must the author with his pen: in other words, he must infuse into the written word something that presents to you in print that which the actor makes you see beyond the footlights. This, however, you men know all about, so I won’t dilate on it.
“Well, he started in and threw himself into the task with a grip and energy of which I had not thought him capable. It took him about six months to finish the novel; then he came East and laid the manuscript in my hands. We shut ourselves up in my study and went over it. When I suggested that a page dragged, he would snatch it from my hand, square himself on my hearth-rug with his back to the fire, and read it aloud, pumping his personality into every line. Conversations which, when I read them, had seemed long-winded and commonplace took on a new meaning. When he had gone to bed I reread the passages and again my heart sank.
“The publisher came next, I delivering the