Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/321

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“The next day he went back to his home town carrying his enthusiasm with him.

“In two months the usual book notices began to crop out in the papers—all written in the publisher’s establishment—a fact which he must have known, but which, from his enthusiastic letters, I saw he had overlooked. His own village papers reprinted the notices with editorial comments of their own—‘Our distinguished fellow-citizen,’ etc.—that sort of thing.

“These were also forwarded to me by mail with renewed thanks for the service I had done him—he, the ‘modern Lazarus snatched from an early grave.’ When a bona fide reviewer noticed the book at all, it was in half a dozen lines, with allusions to the amateurishness of the effort—‘his first and, it is hoped, his last,’ one critic was brutal enough to add. When one of these reached him, it was dismissed with a smile. He knew what he had done, and so would the world once the book got out among the people.

“Then the first six months’ account was mailed him. The royalty sales had not reached one-half of the first payment!

“He sat—so his brother told me afterward