The whereabouts of the manuscrip
The whereabouts of the manuscript was then disclosed, and the editor
called for its return. He had called the department "Side Talks with
Girls" by Ruth Ashmead.
"My girls all hope this is going into the magazine," said the
superintendent when he returned the manuscript.
"Why?" asked the editor.
"Well, they say it's the best stuff for girls they have ever read.
They'd love to know Miss Ashmead better."
Here was exactly what the editor wanted, but he was the author! He
changed the name to Ruth Ashmore, and decided to let the manuscript go
into the magazine. He reasoned that he would then have a month in which
to see the writer he had in mind, and he would show her the proof. But a
month filled itself with other duties, and before the editor was aware
of it, the composition-room wanted "copy" for the second installment of
"Side Talks with Girls." Once more the editor furnished the copy!
Within two weeks after the second article had been written, the magazine
containing the first installment of the new department appeared, and the
next day two hundred letters were received for "Ruth Ashmore," with the
mail-clerk asking where they should be sent. "Leave them with me,
please," replied the editor. On the following day the mail-clerk handed
him five hundred more.
The editor now took two letters from the top and opened them. He never
opened the third! That evening he took the bundle home, and told his
mother of his predicament. She read the letters and looked at her son.
"You have no right to read these," she said. The son readily agreed.