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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, February 21, 1917, LAST EDITION, Image 18

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1917-02-21/ed-1/seq-18/

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THE FIRST PRIZE
By Frances Elizabeth Lanyon
(Copyright, 1917, W. G. Chapman.)
"If I only win the first prize!"
Roscoe Merriam paused there, for
a vivid picture filled his mind. His
mental vision wove a glowing fairy
trail of thought travel, a renewed
wardrobe, better living quarters and
Shirley.
Prize or no prize, as his award
might me, he had one overpower
ing satisfaction though competing
for the same, he had come across
Shirely Moore and that meant de
light and longing, and hope at times
only, for he was poor and obscure
and was finding the literary path
neither one of roses or reward.
A frail stipend attended certain
newspaper writing a part of the day.
Roscoe had leisure for rea literary
work and had completed a novel. It
was the day the last page was writ
ten that he noted an advertisement
in a bookman's magazine. Duryea &
Nevis, publishers, offered three prizes
for the three best novels handed in
within 90 days. The first prize was
$5,000. The novel was ready for im
mediate delivery. He packed up his
manuscript neatly and went direct to
the office of the publishing firm.
Then Shirley. She was the secre
tary of Mr. Woods, editor of the es
tablishment. She was, as well, the
information clerk, when not engaged
in taking dictation. There was
something of a mutual but unspoken
exchange of soulful sentiment
through the interchange of a glance.
Beyond taking the manuscript, giv
ing it a number and encouragingly
complimenting Roscoe on having
made the first entry in the competi
tion, the lovely young secretary had
nothing further to say during later
calls of the anxious author, except
to express the hope that he would
wm the award The reading of the
20Yel rested with Mr. Woods, she told
Knscoe sininlv. . As to the later vis- I
its of Rosecoe, they were purely inci
dental and resulted from his chanc
ing to come across Miss Moore in a
Testaurant. She nodded and smiled
and even moved her chair at the ta
ble, tactfully inviting his company.
He was, indeed, nothing loath, and
she showed that she liked this manly
young fellow. He dropped in at the
publishing office one day as if duite
casually. The acquaintance ripened.
He invited her to the theater on the
"I Wouldn't Co Back and Work for
Them."
strength of free passes. The friend
ship grew and there was a mutual
pleasure experienced in .discussing
the past, their hopes and their fu
ture. Roscoe called upon her one even
ing and found her more cheery and
sympathetic than ever. She had
some news for him, she said, but oh!
he must guard intelligence as strict
lv confidential
ecatiij. cfc m

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