New York: The Century Company, 1913. 1 page undated ads. Original blue-grey cloth decorated in black.
First Edition of this collection of ten short stories. In addition to the title story, the volume includes "The Madness of John Harned," "Bunches of Knuckles" and "To Kill a Man." This was the second of four books in a row published by Century, after Jack had strayed from Macmillan on his trip to New York a year earlier.
He had business in New York with the Millergraph investment [he had bought into the invention of a new lithographic process, which promptly went awry], and he took Charmian there in the winter of 1911. It was the worst time of her marriage. He abandoned her most of the time in an apartment on Morningside Heights, while he roistered night and day round the city with... a pack of friends. He stopped writing and drank heavily, unable to resist the lure of being a literary lion. He went to boxing matches, he spent the nights on Broadway or with chorus girls. [Sinclair]
It was in this frame of mind that Jack marched into Macmillan and demanded that his royalty be increased from 15% to 20% -- and wound up with Century instead.
This copy is in the primary binding (lettering in gilt, with totem poles in black); it has only one blank leaf at the rear (other than the endpaper), which is "presumed" by bibliographers to indicate the first state. It is an unusually bright copy, fine except for minor (natural) wrinkling of the spine cloth; this is a Decorative Designers binding. Sisson & Martens p. 68; Blanck 11942. Item #12684