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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, July 22, 1915, NOON EDITION, Image 18

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1915-07-22/ed-1/seq-18/

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THE LAGGARD
By John Allardyce
"Haow's that garding of yourn, Mr.
Rochester?" inquired John Roches
ter's neighbor, -surveying the little
strip of spaded grouiid over the fence.
"Wa'al, I swan! Coming up ain't it!"
"It's mighty slow," said John
Rochester, impatiently.
The old man tugged at his goatee
reflectively. "I dunno," he said.
"Planted it two weeks ago, didn't
you? You got to wait and have pa
tience, you know. They say all
things come to him who knows haow
to wait"
He stalked away over the flats,
leaving John Rochester standing
'moodily in his little garden strip be
side the tumbledown colonial house
he occupied alone.
The proverb came home to him
with bitterness. All things come to
him who waits! He remembered Les;
bia's despairing cry that morning
when he last saw her:
"But you waited too long, John!
You should have told me years ago."
John Rochester had inherited a lit
tle money from his father, the bulk
going to his younger brother, who
displayed that business aptitude
which he had never possessed. John
was nothing but an author. He never
aimed at anything but the scribbler's
trade, but he had that fatal fire
which cannot be quenched, though
it can be dampened. For 15 years
lie had toiled, struggling to win fame
and achieve success.
At 30 a little sport of popularity
with his stories had enabled him to
turn to novels. But here he failed dis
mally. The critics roasted him un
mercifully. They condemned the very
qualities which John aimed to put
into his book to please the public.
For at 30 he had suddenly grown
worldly wise. Lesbia had come into
his life and to make enough mouej
to marry her he had thrown his ideals
overboard, trying only to write the 1
sort of tales and books that the pub
lic wanted. It was a fatal error, but
excusable, John believed, under the
circumstances. He awoke to realize
that he had sold his soul and he had
not been paid for it
For his first two novels were utter
failures and his publishers had re
fused to accept the third. (i
Then the iron entered the man's
soul. He sat down and wrote the
book that h had alwavs wrintptf o
write. He hardly stirred from Ms
room during those two teverish,
i K
He Hardly Stirred From His Room
months. But when the manuscript
lay before him he knew thathe had
at last achieved what he had always
hoped to achieve.
He sent it to his publishers and fiw
went to see Lesbia. He meant to tell
her about his long struggle for her to
ask her if she would share his life,
that of a failure. And he always re
membered her look, her words,
sobbed out despairingly:
"You waited too long! You should
iiavt lulu me ears ago. I am en
gaged to be married."
At once the man's plans fell crum-(
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