داستان کوتاه Proof of the Pudding صفحه 4
تعداد بازديد : 518
'Oh, I know; don't finish,' said Dawe. 'Give me a match. You have just ten minutes to spare. How did you manage to get past my office-boy and invade my sanctum? There he goes now, throwing his club at a dog that couldn't read the "Keep off the Grass" signs.'
'How goes the writing?' asked the editor. 'Look at me,' said Dawe, 'for your answer. Now don't put on that embarrassed, friendly-but-honest look and ask me why I don't get a job as a wine agent or a cab-driver. I'm in the fight to a finish. I know I can write good fiction and I'll force you fellows to admit it yet. I'll make you change the spelling of "regrets" to "c-h-e-q-u-e" before I'm done with you.' Editor Westbrook gazed through his nose-glasses with a sweetly sorrowful, omniscient, sympathetic, sceptical expression - the copyrighted expression of the editor beleaguered by the unavailable contributor.
'Have you read the last story I sent you - "The Alarum of the Soul"?' asked Dawe. 'Carefully. I hesitated over that story, Shack, really I did. It had some good points. I was writing you a letter to send with it when it goes back to you. I regret- ' 'Never mind the regrets,' said Dawe grimly. 'There's neither salve nor sting in 'em any more. What I want to know is why. Come, now; out with the good points first.' 'The story,' said Westbrook deliberately, after a suppressed sigh, 'is written around an almost original plot. Characterization - the best you have done. Construction - almost as good, except for a few weak joints which might be strengthened by a few changes and touches. It was a good story, except- ' 'I can write English, can't I?' interrupted Dawe. 'I have always told you,' said the editor, 'that you had a style.' 'Then the trouble is the- '
'Same old thing,' said Editor Westbrook. 'You work up to your climax like an artist. And then you turn yourself into a photographer. I don't know what form of obstinate madness possesses you, Shack, but that is what you do with everything that you write. No, I will retract the comparison with the photographer. Now and then photography, in spite of its impossible perspective, manages to record a fleeting glimpse of truth. But you spoil every denouement by those flat, drab, obliterating strokes of your brush that I have so often complained of. If you would rise to the literary pinnacle of your dramatic scenes, and paint them in the high colours that art requires, the postman would leave fewer bulky, self-addressed envelopes at your door.'