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Chronicles of Clovis

Filboid Studge, The Story Of A Mouse That Helped
"I want to marry your daughter," said Mark Spayley with faltering eagerness. "I am only
an artist with an income of two hundred a year, and she is the daughter of an enormously
wealthy man, so I suppose you will think my offer a piece of presumption."
Duncan Dullamy, the great company inflator, showed no outward sign of displeasure. As
a matter of fact, he was secretly relieved at the prospect of finding even a two-hundred-a-
year husband for his daughter Leonore. A crisis was rapidly rushing upon him, from
which he knew he would emerge with neither money nor credit; all his recent ventures
had fallen flat, and flattest of all had gone the wonderful new breakfast food, Pipenta, on
the advertisement of which he had sunk such huge sums. It could scarcely be called a
drug in the market; people bought drugs, but no one bought Pipenta.
"Would you marry Leonore if she were a poor man's daughter?" asked the man of
phantom wealth.
"Yes," said Mark, wisely avoiding the error of over-protestation. And to his astonishment
Leonore's father not only gave his consent, but suggested a fairly early date for the
wedding.
"I wish I could show my gratitude in some way," said Mark with genuine emotion. "I'm
afraid it's rather like the mouse proposing to help the lion."
"Get people to buy that beastly muck," said Dullamy, nodding savagely at a poster of the
despised Pipenta, "and you'll have done more than any of my agents have been able to
accomplish."
"It wants a better name," said Mark reflectively, "and something distinctive in the poster
line. Anyway, I'll have a shot at it."
Three weeks later the world was advised of the coming of a new breakfast food, heralded
under the resounding name of "Filboid Studge." Spayley put forth no pictures of massive
babies springing up with fungus-like rapidity under its forcing influence, or of
representatives of the leading nations of the world scrambling with fatuous eagerness for
its possession. One huge sombre poster depicted the Damned in Hell suffering a new
torment from their inability to get at the Filboid Studge which elegant young fiends held
in transparent bowls just beyond their reach. The scene was rendered even more
gruesome by a subtle suggestion of the features of leading men and women of the day in
the portrayal of the Lost Souls; prominent individuals of both political parties, Society
hostesses, well-known dramatic authors and novelists, and distinguished aeroplanists
were dimly recognizable in that doomed throng; noted lights of the musical- comedy
stage flickered wanly in the shades of the Inferno, smiling still from force of habit, but
with the fearsome smiling rage of baffled effort. The poster bore no fulsome allusions to
 
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