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Have you borrowed since?
We've been in and out of the banks quite often.
Publishing is a very seasonal business, and often you have
to borrow money to tide you over the fall season because
your customers don't pay you usually until the turn of the
year. But we're always in the clear by February.
This was the first time?
It was a period of great discouragement because
Barnhart turned out to be more or less of a visionary, and
every time that he came in I said, “Oh, God, he wants another
$50,000.” I was always right, too--unless he needed even
more. The time was slipping by too. But we found out that
this is more or less the regular procedure with a dictionary
or a big reference book.
One of the great things that came out of this venture
was not Mr. Barnhart, who didn't win my heart particularly,
but an assistant named Jess Stein. Jess Stein, as is so
often the case in projects of this kind, was the assistant
who really did the main body of the work while Barnhart took
the credit. We fell in love with Jess Stein, and made him
the permanent head of our reference department and later
promoted him to the head of our whole college textbook
department. He is one of the most important people at
Random House today.
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