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Martin Eden 163







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Books:

Martin Eden

The Pickwick Papers

The Sea Wolf




And when he had paid everything, and lifted the hundred-dollar note with Brissendens lawyer, he still had over a hundred dollars in pocket. He ordered a suit of clothes from the tailor and ate his meals in the best cafes in town. He still slept in his little room at Marias, but the sight of his new clothes caused the neighborhood children to cease from calling him "hobo" and "tramp" from the roofs of woodsheds and over back fences. "Wiki-Wiki," his Hawaiian short story, was bought by Warrens Monthly for two hundred and fifty dollars. The Northern Review took his essay, "The Cradle of Beauty," and Mackintoshs Magazine took "The Palmist"--the poem he had written to Marian. The editors and readers were back from their summer vacations, and manuscripts were being handled quickly. But Martin could not puzzle out what strange whim animated them to this general acceptance of the things they had persistently rejected for two years. Nothing of his had been published. He was not known anywhere outside of Oakland, and in Oakland, with the few who thought they knew him, he was notorious as a red-shirt and a socialist. So there was no explaining this sudden acceptability of his wares. It was sheer jugglery of fate. After it had been refused by a number of magazines, he had taken Brissendens rejected advice and started, "The Shame of the Sun" on the round of publishers. After several refusals, Singletree, Darnley & Co. accepted it, promising fall publication. When Martin asked for an advance on royalties, they wrote that such was not their custom, that books of that nature rarely paid for themselves, and that they doubted if his book would sell a thousand copies. Martin figured what the book would earn him on such a sale. Retailed at a dollar, on a royalty of fifteen per cent, it would bring him one hundred and fifty dollars. He decided that if he had it to do over again he would confine himself to fiction. "Adventure," one-fourth as long, had brought him twice as much from The Millennium. That newspaper paragraph he had read so long ago had been true, after all. The first-class magazines did not pay on acceptance, and they paid well. Not two cents a word, but four cents a word, had The Millennium paid him. And, furthermore, they bought good stuff, too, for were they not buying his? This last thought he accompanied with a grin. He wrote to Singletree, Darnley & Co., offering to sell out his rights in "The Shame of the Sun" for a hundred dollars, but they did not care to take the risk. In the meantime he was not in need of money, for several of his later stories had been accepted and paid for. He actually opened a bank account, where, without a debt in the world, he had several hundred dollars to his credit. "Overdue," after having been declined by a number of magazines, came to rest at the Meredith-Lowell Company. Martin remembered the five dollars Gertrude had given him, and his resolve to return it to her a hundred times over; so he wrote for an advance on royalties of five hundred dollars. To his surprise a check for that amount, accompanied by a contract, came by return mail. He cashed the check into five-dollar gold pieces and telephoned Gertrude that he wanted to see her. She arrived at the house panting and short of breath from the haste she had made. Apprehensive of trouble, she had stuffed the few dollars she possessed into her hand-satchel; and so sure was she that disaster had overtaken her brother, that she stumbled forward, sobbing, into his arms, at the same time thrusting the satchel mutely at him. "Id have come myself," he said. "But I didnt want a row with Mr. Higginbotham, and that is what would have surely happened." "Hell be all right after a time," she assured him, while she wondered what the trouble was that Martin was in. "But youd best get a job first an steady down. Bernard does like to see a man at honest work. That stuff in the newspapers broke m all up. I never saw m so mad before." "Im not going to get a job," Martin said with a smile. "And you can tell him so from me.

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