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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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