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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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business. Of course, I had complete trust in Donald Klopfer-- and Random House was still relatively small at the time. Donald took long vacations, too.


Did Harold Guinzburg's wife go along on the trip?


No, she met us later. I'll tell you about that.

We left in May. The night before we left. Beatrice and George Kaufman gave us a farewell party. They lived in a big house on 94th Street, and it was a gay, huge party, with over a hundred guests. Ross arrived at the party, and immediately he spotted Harold and me, he demanded that we go upstairs and play some backgammon with him. I said, “How can we go upstairs with you, you idiot? We're the guests of honor.”

He said, “Three games, you yellow dogs.” That's the way he used to talk. So we went upstairs and played three games with him and murdered him, of course. It was very easy.

I said, “We can't play any more. This is outrageous. We've got to pay some attention to our guests.”

Ross screamed so piteously that finally Harold said, “I'll stay up and play for both of us if you'll trust me; you go down and help entertain the guests.”

I said, “That'll be fine,” because Harold was a very good backgammon player. The two of them came down about an hour later. I could see by the look on Harold's face that all had gone extremely well. In fact, Ross owed each of us $1600. Ross liked to play for big stakes! I told you we used to chop up his salary.

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