ROUND PEGS AND SQUARE HOLES
there was something lacking in his artistic make-up. With the master standing over him advising a bit of clay put on here, or a slice taken off there, he had seemed to progress; when, however, he struck out for himself his results were most disheartening. It was during this part of his life that I came to know him. He was then a man of forty, ten years younger than your dead novelist, High-Muck, and, like him, a man of many sorrows. The difference was that all his life my man had been poor; at no time for more than a week had he ever been sure of his bread. As he was an expert moulder and often gratuitously helped his brother sculptors in taking casts of their clay figures, he had often been begged to accept employment at good wages with some of the stucco people, but he had refused and had fought on, preferring starvation to pâtisserie, as he called this kind of work.
“Nor had he, like your novelist, happiness to look back upon. He had married young, as they all do, and there had come a daughter who had grown to be eighteen, and who had been lost in the whirl—slipped in the mud, they said, and the city had rolled over her. And then the wife died and he was alone. The girl had crept up his stairs one night and lay shivering outside