“If we could only avoid a disjointed effect.”
“Dizjoin’—my dear sir! They are going to read thad book biccause the dizjointed—by curio-zity. You’ll see! That Am-erican pewblic they have a passion, an insanitie, for the dizjointed!”
The week so blissfully begun in the Chapdelaines’ garden and at Spanish Fort was near its end.
The Courier des Etats-Unis had told the Royal Street coterie of mighty doings far away in Italy, of misdoings in Galicia, and of horrors on the Atlantic fouler than all its deeps can ever cleanse; but nothing was yet reported to have “tranzpired” in the vieux carre. The fortunes of “the book” seemed becalmed.
It was Saturday evening. The streets had just been lighted. Mlles. Corinne and Yvonne, dingy even by starlight, were in one of them—Conti. Now they turned into Royal, and after them turned Chester and Aline. Presently the four entered the parlor of the Castanados. Their coming made its group eleven, and all being seated Castanado rose.
After the proper compliments—“They were called,” he said, “to receive——”
“And discuss,” Chester put in.
“To receive and discuss the judgment of their——”
“The suggestions,” Chester amended.
“The judgment and suggestion’ of their counsel, how tha’z best to publish the literary treasure they’ve foun’ and which has egspand’ from one story to three or four. Biccause the one which was firzt acquire’ is laztly turn’ out to be the only one of a su’possible incompat’—eh—in-com-pat-a-bil-ity—to the others.” His bow yielded the floor to Chester. “Remain seated, if you please,” he said.
“In spite of my wish to save this manuscript all avoidable delay,” Chester began, “I’ve kept it a week. I like it—much. I think that in quieter times, with the reading world in a more contemplative mood, any publisher would be glad to print it. At the same time it seems to me to have faults of construction that ought to come out of it before it goes to a possibly unsympathetic publisher. Yet after—was Mme. Alexandre about——?”
“Juz’ to say tha’z maybe better those fault’ are there. If the publisher be not sympathetique we want him to rif-use that manuscrip’.”
“Yes!” several responded. “Yes! He can’t have it! Tha’z the en’ of that publisher.”
“Well, at any rate,” Chester said, “after using up this whole week trying, fruitlessly, to edit those faults out of it, here it is unaltered. I still feel them, but I have to confess that to feel them is one thing and to find them is quite another. Maybe they’re only in me.”
“Tha’z the only plase they are,” said Dubroca, with kind gravity. “I had the same feeling—till a dream, which reveal’ to me that the feeling was my fault. The manuscrip’ is perfec’.”