Adventures and Letters
PHILADELPHIA. August, 1888.
The St. Nicholas people sent me a check for $50 for the "pirate" story. It would be
insupportable affectation to say that I was not delighted. Jennings Crute and I were
waiting for breakfast when I found the letter. I opened it very slowly, for I feared they
would bluff me with some letter about illustrations or revision, or offering me a reduced
subscription to the magazine. There was a letter inside and a check. I read the letter
before I looked at the check, which I supposed would be for $30, as the other story was
valued at $20. The note said that a perfect gentleman named Chichester would be pleased
if I would find enclosed a check for $50. I looked at Jenny helplessly, and said, "It's for
fifty, Jenny." Crute had an insane look in his eyes as he murmured "half a hundred
dollars, and on your day off, too." Then I sat down suddenly and wondered what I would
buy first, and Crute sat in a dazed condition, and abstractedly took a handful of segars out
of the box dear old Dad gave me. As I didn't say anything, he took another handful, and
then sat down and gazed at the check for five minutes in awe. After breakfast I calculated
how much I would have after I paid my debts. I still owe say $23, and I have some shoes
to pay for and my hair to cut. I had a wild idea of going over to New York and buying
some stocks, but I guess I'll go to Bond's and Baker's instead.
I'm going down street now to see if Drexel wants to borrow any ready money-on the way
down I will make purchases and pay bills so that my march will be a triumphal
I got a story on the front page this morning about an explosion at Columbia Avenue
Station--I went out on it with another man my senior in years and experience, whom
Watrous expected to write the story while I hustled for facts. When we got back I had all
the facts, and what little he had was incorrect--so I said I would dispense with his
services and write the story myself. I did it very politely, but it queered the man before
the men, and Watrous grew very sarcastic at his expense. Next time Andy will know
better and let me get my own stories alone.
Your Millionaire Son,
I'm still the "same old Dick"; not proud a bit.
This was my mother's reply:
Your letter has just come and we are all delighted. Well done for old St. Nicholas! I
thought they meant to wait till the story was published. It took me back to the day when I