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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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down there and have breakfast or a soda and what-not. It would be a late breakfast. Everybody came trailing in whenever they felt like it. Louis Kronenberger arrived very late one day and was having breakfast about half past ten when Liveright walked in. Kronenberger said, “Here's where I catch it.” Liveright saw him and came walking over to the counter where Louis sat. Liveright pulled out his watch, shook his head and said, “Ten-thirty. Isn't this a hell of a time for me to be getting into the office?" Liveright was apologizing to Kronenberger for being so late! This was typical of Horace.

Another night I went to a show called “The Racket.” The reason I remember it is that Claudette Colbert was in it. I took my girl to show her the Liveright office after the show. It was a good place to take a girl and do a little necking, too, you know. We walked into Horace's private office, and there he was with a girl on the couch absolutely caught in the act. Of course I pulled my girl out of there. We were deeply embarrassed. I said, “Well, that's the end of me. I'll be fired tomorrow morning.”

The next day, sure enough, Horace sent for me. I came down waiting to get the bad news. Horace closed the door and said, “What must you think of me, Bennett? I know you're a very moral young man.” Then he explained, “This girl is a very promising young writer, and the only way I felt I could really get her was to have a little affair with her.” I assured him I understood fully. And he said, “I'm ashamed of myself.” That was Horace Liveright.

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