Page:Abroad with Mark Twain and Eugene Field.djvu/211

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"Well, to cut a long story short, that rascally manager did the boy out of a hundred with every succeeding course, and when finally he pulled a fountain pen on him, Jimmy signed his laughter-provoking powers away for five hundred and twenty-five dollars a week. Subtract five-twenty-five from a thousand and you will find that Jimmy's one dollar meal netted the manager exactly $24,700 per annum. Neat piece of work, eh?"

Mark's admiration for the fair-dealing Osgood was reflected in his own treatment of General Grant. He not only paid Grant double the royalties a rival publisher had offered, but actually wrote out to Grant the largest check any author ever received from a publishing house up to that time.

Yet in the numerous discussions of royalties, authorship and the publishing business which he conducted in my hearing, he never mentioned the generosity he had displayed towards the old boy. Poetry was Mark's weakness, or rather his ambition to dabble in poetry was; he had no other small vices to shock his friends.