Page:The Yellow Book - 01.djvu/179

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161
By Fred M. Simpson

Harold.I shall begin to be jealous. You will soon be more in love with my book than you are with me.

Lucy.And why shouldn't I be? Haven't you always said that a man's work is the best part of him?

Harold.If my silly sayings are to be brought up in evidence against me like this, I shall——

Lucy.You shall what?

Harold.Take the book back.

Lucy.Oh, will you? I should like to see you do it.[Holds it behind her.]You have got to get it first.

Harold.And what are you going to give me for it?

Lucy.Isn't it a presentation copy?

Harold.It is the very first to leave the printer's.

Lucy.Then you ought not to want any payment.

Harold.I do though, all the same. Come—no payment, no book.

Lucy.There, there, there!

Harold.And there.

Lucy.Oh! don't! You'll stifle me. And is this for me; may I really keep it?

Harold.Of course you may; I brought it expressly for you.

Lucy.How nice of you! And you'll write my name in it?

Harold.I'll write the dedication.

Lucy.What do you mean?

Harold.You shall see. Pen and ink for the author! A new pen and virgin ink!

Lucy.Your Authorship has but to command to be obeyed.

Harold.[Sitting down, writes.]It is printed in all the other copies, but this one I have had bound specially for you, with a blank sheet where the dedication comes, so that in your copy, and yours alone, I can write it myself. There.

Lucy.