IN DICKENS'S LONDON
won't do you any good. What you want to do is to go up two flights in a house on the opposite corner and call on Miss Dickens. Her sign is on the outside. She has a business office there and can look into the room where her grandfather used to edit the magazine, and she can do that without getting out of her seat. Tell her your story and see what'll happen. Next thing you want to do is to walk around to Henrietta Street, where you'll find Chapman & Hall, Mr. Dickens's publishers, and tell them the same thing you told Miss Dickens; then you'll find out what'll happen next. What they don't know of what's left of Mr. Dickens's day isn't worth mentioning. Is that all?"
That was all—every item, every detail. I told him so, tears of gratitude streaming down my cheeks. He screwed up both eyes, pursed his mouth until the sponge bag was tied tight, and dropped his head below the edge of the cashier's box. The proprietor took in the perspective, saw that I was alone, came out into the open, and remarked as he bowed me out: "I thought he could tell you. Knows a lot. I tell you he's got a great head. Come again. I'm glad to have helped you out." He glad to help me out! Thus it is that the deserving are robbed of their just deserts.
Into my cab once more and along one side of Covent Garden and Henrietta Street, and into an old-time publishing house—a real one—smelling of printer's ink, hot glue, and leather. The desks, tables, and chairs made in the year one, the mahogany kept bright by a line of editors, proof-readers, and critics going back to the Palæozoic Age; a place where the insides of unbound books are carted around on low trucks; where clerks, some in their shirt-sleeves,