"Everyone is more or less mad on one point"

“Good morning, Sam,” Rud said in a voice uncharacteristically cheerful for him since his arrival in San Francisco on May 29th, 1889. He was expecting some good news on this morning.

A door-boy was sitting at a desk, applying a coat of polish to a pair of wing-tips. He snapped up from his labor when he heard his name called.

“Yassir, what can I...”Sam began, but his voice caught in his throat when his eyes met Rud’s.

“Is your proprietor available?” Rud asked, jokingly formal.

Sam dropped his gaze to the floor as he replied, “Well... sir... I... I think your story is really good.”

“What? You’ve read it, have you?”

“Well sir, not exactly all of it. I been workin’ on it for five days now and I don’t, well I don’t read that fast...”

“Five days? I dropped it off only a week ago! Didn’t you give it to Mr. Hearst?” Rud was flabbergasted.

Tears formed at the corners of Sam’s eyes as he explained. “Well sir... they gave it back to me the day after they got it. They said to tell you not to bother makin’ no more submissions.” Sam started breathing a little harder as he continued, “But I think it’s the best story I ever read.”

He bent down below his desk to pick up the manuscript sitting by his shine-kit and handed it carefully, almost reverently, to the gentleman. The margins of it were covered with smudges of black polish.

Rud noticed the handwritten note from the editor of the San Francisco Examiner that was clipped to it. It read: "I'm sorry Mr Kipling, but you don't know how to use the English language."

Two years later, Rudyard Kipling’s The Light That Failed would be published, its author already becoming known the world-round.


Karinann said...

I would have to agree with Sam on this one, I tend to like Kiplings work although this is one I haven't read yet- thanks for the link to it.

cyurkanin said...

I liked Kipling more in my twenties than I did in my thirties. We'll see what the forties bring!

dave hambidge said...

Hope for all us aspiring scribblies.

Excellent site BTW.

cyurkanin said...

There's always hope LOL Thanks Dave