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Dreiser put down his pencil and looked at Liveright.
He said, “Do you mean to tell me you're going to take $17,500
of my money?”
Horace said, “Dreiser, that was the deal we made. You
didn't think I'd sell your book at all. You're going to get
Just at this moment the waiter brought the coffee in.
Suddenly Dreiser seized his steaming cup of coffee and threw
it in Liveright's face. It was shocking. Of course the women
around screamed. Hoarce jumped up. Luckily it didn't hit him
in the eye. It hit him just below the nose, and the coffee
streamed down his shirt front. Dreiser got up from the table
without a word and marched out of the restaurant. And Hoarce,
as I say, always the showman, always rather gallant, mopping
himself up, retained enough of his equilibrium to say, “Bennett,
let this be a less on to you. Every author is a son of a bitch.”
Did Dreiser finally stick by what they shook on?
Oh, they had had some pencilled agreement. Sure, he
stuck by it. He had to stick by it.
Did Dreiser leave him then?
I lost track then. The next time I became involved
with Dreiser, Liveright had, and Dreiser wanted to sign with
another publisher. Pell, who inherited the business, was in
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