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DRAWING-ROOM

COLLABORATORS

MRS. WILLIAMSON

CHÂLET DES PINS

THE AUTHORS OF "THE LIGHTNING CONDUCTOR"

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"A

Personal Study."

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The Purloined Pages.

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Faithfully yours,

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A London magazine says of William Travers Jerome, "There is no explosive element in his psychical make-up," and adds mysteriously that "if Bryan is two-pence coloured, then Jerome is a penny-plain personality," who might "reach the White House if only he could have two or three coats of psychological pigment, but as it is, he will never reach Albany." This is inscrutable, and no one would recognise Jerome from it, but it marks an earnest attempt at the journalism of “intimate touches."

C. N. WILLIAMSON.

Fate, said Kipling in "A Conference of the Powers," never does things by halves. Only a few months ago we heard of a wild-eyed and irate author who was rushing madly from one London publishing house to another excitedly inquiring if any one knew anything or had heard anything of the whereabouts of his manuscript entitled Lost, Strayed or Stolen. Still more recently Fate's business was to look about for an author to be made the victim of the stealing of a story, and doing the work with unfortunate thoroughness, selected the man who first won general attention by the publication of a yarn entitled The Stolen Story, which along Park Row is still held to be the best tale ever written about the office of an American newspaper.

Mr. Jesse Lynch Williams's misfortune, however, was not in the matter of The Stolen Story itself, which, by the way, has been dramatised and is, we understand, to be played in New York

some time this winter, but concerns the novel upon which he has been working pretty steadily for the past two or three years. This novel was originally called The Real World. Then Mr. Robert Herrick's book came out under that title, and Mr. Williams changed the name of his manuscript to His Share of the World. Early last summer, when near the end of the first draft, Mr. Williams engaged as secretary an Englishmanwhose name does not matter, since he has other names in other places-who professed to have been graduated from Oxford. From the very beginning the secretary insisted upon an ethical standard that was positively embarrassing. Whenever in the course of the narrative the hero did or said anything that was in any way too human he would shake his head sadly and remonstrate gently. That might be life, but it was not the ideal. Apart from this oversensitiveness, however, he proved efficient and enthusiastic. One part of the novel in particular appealed to him. It would. in itself, he said, make a remarkably good plot for a shorter story. That he was thoroughly sincere in expressing this opinion became evident when, one day, the manuscript of his favourite chapters disappeared, and likewise the appreciative secretary, with a hundred dollars more than was due him.

The situation in the purloined pages is something as follows: Two young men, in love with the same girl, are racing across the Atlantic to secure proxies for voting stock which will determine a fight to the finish between "big interests" in Wall Street. Neither is certain of the other's whereabouts. One is on the same steamer with the girl. Just as she is about to engage herself to him, the other-whom she really loves-interrupts with a Marconigram, which causes her to hesitate. Thereafter, in London and Paris each man is trying to discover the other's whereabouts and read his hand. The girl is trying to play fair with both, but every time she permits the unscrupulous rival to be with her she is keeping him from the work he has to do, and every time

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she repels the true lover she is helping him by turning him to the task that means so much to him.

During the past four or five years Mr. Williams has played so small a part in the affairs of "the Literary Shop" as to have raised frequently the question of whether he had not dropped out of it altogether. From time to time a fugitive article signed by him has appeared in one of the magazines, and two years ago were published The Adventures of a Freshman and New York Sketches. But a good deal more than this had been expected of the man who began with The Stolen Story. On Mr. Williams's part this apparent idleness was a matter of design. He came to the conclusion that it would be best to let five or six years go by before beginning to publish in earnest. Accordingly he left New York and settled down in Princeton, where he established the Princeton Alumni Weekly, which he actively edited until 1903. The greater part of his working time that was not taken up in the con

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HARVARD'S FOOTBALL ELEVEN OF 1909, UNDER PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT OF HARVARD Copyright, 1904, by the Life Publishing Company

Popular Light Illustrations.

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duct of the paper has been devoted to His Share of the World, which he considers his first serious effort. It will be finished some time this winter.

Several men of varied interests were sitting casually about a round table in a club reading-room. A casual remark à propos of Mr. Charles Dana Gibson's announced intention of giving up a large revenue and a wide and appreciative audience in order to devote himself to more ambitious work, led to a discussion in general about illustrators and illustrations. Some phases of this discussion provoked us to make, quite informally, a canvass as to the one or two most effective light drawings that have appeared in the American press during the past twelve months-not the drawings best in execution, but those that, in an ephemeral way, made the most striking impression. The canvass was quite limited, yet the general agreement of the people who expressed opinions gave it

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