Page:Twilight.djvu/140

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132
TWILIGHT

large public, made a large income, but had no recognition, no real reputation, was never in the "Literary Review of the Year," was not jeered at as other popular writers, but only ignored. Well, I did not overrate my work. I never succeeded in pleasing myself. I began every book with unextinguishable hope, and every one fell short of my expectations. People wrote to me and told me I had made them laugh or cry, helped them through convalescence, cheered their toilsome day.

"I love your 'Flash of the Footlights.'"

To repletion I had had such letters, requests for autographs, praise, and always : "I love your 'Flash of the Footlights.'" Fifty-eight thousand copies had been sold in the six-shilling edition. I wonder what were the figures of Margaret Capel's biggest seller. Under four thousand I knew. Little Billie Black told me, cherubic Billie, the publisher, with his girlish complexion and his bald head, who knew everybody and everything and told us even more.

I was getting drowsy again, figures, confused and confusing, passing over the surface of my mind. Billie Black and Sir George Stanton, Gabriel, then Ella, a dim glance of my long-lost husband, Dennis, a smiling flash in the foreground; my eyes were hot with tears because of this short glad sight of him. Then Peter Kennedy again; awkward in his tweed cutaway morning coat. What did she mean by saying I was jealous of Peter Kennedy? I smiled