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Ghosts I have Met and Some Others


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Author Topic: Ghosts I have Met and Some Others  (Read 1136 times)
Keeper of the Seven Keys
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« Reply #90 on: November 03, 2009, 02:15:54 am »

Thereupon we became involved in a general discussion of literary men
and their works, and I found that my visitor certainly did have a
pretty thorough knowledge of what has been produced by the writers
of to-day. I was quite won over to him by his simplicity, as well as
attracted to him by his kindly opinion of my own efforts, and I did
my best to entertain him, showing him a few of my little literary
treasures in the way of autograph letters, photographs, and
presentation copies of well-known books from the authors themselves.
From this we drifted naturally and easily into a talk on the methods
of work adopted by literary men. He asked me many questions as to my
own methods; and when I had in a measure outlined to him the manner
of life which I had adopted, telling him of my days at home, how
little detail office-work I had, he seemed much interested with the
picture--indeed, I painted the picture of my daily routine in almost
too perfect colors, for, when I had finished, he observed quietly
that I appeared to him to lead the ideal life, and added that he
supposed I knew very little unhappiness.

The remark recalled to me the dreadful reality, that through some
perversity of fate I was doomed to visitations of an uncanny order
which were practically destroying my usefulness in my profession and
my sole financial resource.

"Well," I replied, as my mind reverted to the unpleasant predicament
in which I found myself, "I can't say that I know little
unhappiness. As a matter of fact, I know a great deal of that
undesirable thing. At the present moment I am very much embarrassed
through my absolute inability to fulfil a contract into which I have
entered, and which should have been filled this morning. I was due
to-day with a Christmas story. The presses are waiting for it, and I
am utterly unable to write it."

He appeared deeply concerned at the confession. I had hoped, indeed,
that he might be sufficiently concerned to take his departure, that
I might make one more effort to write the promised story. His
solicitude, however, showed itself in another way. Instead of
leaving me, he ventured the hope that he might aid me.

"What kind of a story is it to be?" he asked.
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