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7. VII. MAYMEYS FROM CUBA
There is nothing new in this. It has all been done before. But tell me, what is new? Does the aspiring and perspiring summer vaudeville artist flatter himself that his stuff is going big? Then does the stout man with the oyster-colored eyelids in the first row, left, turn his bullet head on his fat-creased neck to remark huskily to his companion:
"The hook for him. R-r-r-rotten! That last one was an old Weber'n Fields' gag. They discarded it back in '91. Say, the good ones is all dead, anyhow. Take old Salvini, now, and Dan Rice. Them was actors. Come on out and have something."
Does the short-story writer felicitate himself upon having discovered a rare species in humanity's garden? The Blase Reader flips the pages between his fingers, yawns, stretches, and remarks to his wife:
"That's a clean lift from Kipling--or is it Conan Doyle? Anyway, I've read something just like it before. Say, kid, guess what these magazine guys get for a full page ad.? Nix. That's just like a woman. Three thousand straight. Fact."
To anticipate the delver into the past it may be stated that the plot of this one originally appeared in the Eternal Best Seller, under the heading, "He Asked You For Bread, and Ye Gave Him a Stone." There may be those who could not have traced my plagiarism to its source.
Although the Book has had an unprecedentedly long run it is said to be less widely read than of yore.
Even with this preparation I hesitate to confess that this is the story of a hungry girl in a big city. Well, now, wait a minute. Conceding that it has been done by every scribbler from tyro to best seller expert, you will acknowledge that there is the possibility of a fresh viewpoint--twist--what is it the sporting editors call it? Oh, yes--slant. There is the possibility of getting a new slant on an old idea. That may serve to deflect the line of the deadly parallel.
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