The Crusaders

On Thursday, Ralph Breck insulted Ellen Major for perhaps the fifteenth time that month. She would never have mentioned it to anybody herself, because she was that rather anachronistic and touching thing, a lady, and she wished to enjoy no special immunity on account of her sex. However, the walls of Breck's office were thin, and his secretary, who was subsequently replaced, was of a confiding disposition, and it wasn't long before the story got around. It seemed that Ellen had gone in with the proof of an advertisement for her employer's approval. The earlier part of the conversation had been amiable, or at least inaudible, but Breck's voice had risen toward the end. It had been rough and hectoring, and punctuated with jarring laughter.

"He sounded even more horrible than usual," the secretary testified.

Anyway, his final remark had been quite clear, and the secretary was able to report it verbatim.

"What the hell do you think this joint is?" Breck had shouted. "A God-damn kindergarten?"

Ellen had left the office rather pink and with tears of vexation in her lovely eyes.

Inevitably, this disagreeable episode soon came to the ears of three of Ellen's fellow copy writers, all of whom re-

-257-

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More in Sorrow
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents xi
  • Parodies Regained 1
  • Time . . . Fortune . . . Life . . . Luce 3
  • Death in the Rumble Seat 20
  • Topless in Ilium 24
  • The Factory and the Attic 27
  • Glorious Calvin (a Critical Appreciation Many Years Later) 33
  • Shad Ampersand 37
  • The Education of Henry Apley 47
  • Eva's Deathbed Revisited 51
  • Shakespeare, Here's Your Hat 56
  • To a Little Girl at Christmas 62
  • On a Darkling Plain 66
  • Zulu, Watch the Snakes 71
  • Some Matters of Fact 77
  • Big Nemo 79
  • Lady of the Cats 126
  • St. George and the Dragnet 140
  • One with Nineveh 162
  • Battle's Distant Sound 174
  • Robert Benchley: in Memoriam 180
  • So-So Stories 185
  • Outwitting the Lightning 187
  • Ring Out, Wild Bells 191
  • The Secret Life of Myself 196
  • Song at Twilight 202
  • Crusoe's Footprint 211
  • The Courtship of Milton Barker 223
  • The Curious Incident of the Dogs In the Night-Time 246
  • The Crusaders 257
  • Wounds and Decorations 265
  • The Country of the Blind 267
  • O.K., Zanuck, Take It Away 275
  • The Big Boffola 285
  • The Personality Kid 291
  • Adultery Makes Dull Bedfellows 294
  • The Mantle of Comstock 297
  • Two Very Sad Young Men 301
  • At Home with the Gants 304
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