John Ingerfield and Other Stories
To The Gentle Reader; Also To The Gentle Critic
Once upon a time, I wrote a little story of a woman who was crushed to death by a
python. A day or two after its publication, a friend stopped me in the street. "Charming
little story of yours," he said," that about the woman and the snake; but it's not as funny
as some of your things!" The next week, a newspaper, referring to the tale, remarked,
"We have heard the incident related before with infinitely greater humour."
With this--and many similar experiences--in mind, I wish distinctly to state that "John
Ingerfield," "The Woman of the Saeter," and "Silhouettes," are not intended to be
amusing. The two other items-- "Variety Patter," and "The Lease of the Cross Keys"--I
give over to the critics of the new humour to rend as they will; but "John Ingerfield,"
"The Woman of the Saeter," and "Silhouettes," I repeat, I should be glad if they would
judge from some other standpoint than that of humour, new or old.