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I had met him, thought that he was a wonderful
gentleman, and, also, did not think that he was through by
a long-shot. We had lunch and talked. Harry Maule is one
of the great gentlemen of this world. He's still alive--
just. He's very old and very feeble today. He retired a
couple of years ago. He stayed with us, this man that
Malcolm Johnson said was through in 1940, ‘till about 1964.
He was with us about twenty-three or twenty-four years. At
this luncheon he said, “I would like to come with Random
House, but I won't guarantee to deliver one author.” This
delighted me. You know, he didn't say, “I'll bring you so
and so.” He said, “I won't guarantee you. I may not be
able to get one author, but I'm very close friends with the
authors that I edited and there's a chance that I can get.
...” Then he made a list of authors that floored me,
beginning with Sinclair Lewis, William McFee--at that time
famous for Casuals of the Sea, Command, Captain Macedoine's
Daughter--and Vincent Sheehan and Mignon Eberhardt. Well,
those were the plums, and he said, “I don't know if I can
get any of them.”
Well, he got them all--every single one of them!
A humble man though.
And a superb editor! Of course this was the end of
Malcolm Johnson. What a deserved fate! And Harry came with
us and, as I say, we signed all of his authors.
Now, Sinclair Lewis, I had known. But...
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