Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/320

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“‘No; suppose my friend reads it—you have enough of that to do all day.’

“Just as I expected, the reader’s personality again transformed everything. The long-winded descriptions under the magic of his voice seemed too short, while every conversation thought dull before appeared to be illumined by a hidden meaning tucked away between the lines.

“When the editor left at midnight the coffin was in his pocket. Two days later the book department forwarded a contract with a check for five hundred dollars as advance royalties.

“There was no holding my friend down to earth after that. His joy and pride in that shambling, God-forsaken, worthless plodder whom he had despised for years was overwhelming. He was like a boy out of school. Stories which he had forgotten were pulled out of the past and given with a humor and point that dazzled every one around my study fire. Personal reminiscences of politicians he had known, and campaigns he had directed from his editorial chair, were told in a way that made them live in our memories ever after. Never had any of my friends met so delightful and cultivated a man.