The success of Field's
The success of Field's paragraph engaging Bok to Miss Pinkham stimulated
the poet to greater effort. Bok had gone to Europe; Field, having found
out the date of his probable return, just about when the steamer was
due, printed an interview with the editor "at quarantine" which sounded
so plausible that even the men in Bok's office in Philadelphia were
fooled and prepared for his arrival. The interview recounted, in detail,
the changes in women's fashions in Paris, and so plausible had Field
made it, based upon information obtained at Marshall Field's, that even
the fashion papers copied it.
All this delighted Field beyond measure. Bok begged him to desist; but
Field answered by printing an item to the effect that there was the
highest authority for denying "the reports industriously circulated some
time ago to the effect that Mr. Bok was engaged to be married to a New
England young lady, whereas, as a matter of fact, it is no violation of
friendly confidence that makes it possible to announce that the
Philadelphia editor is engaged to Mrs. Frank Leslie, of New York."
It so happened that Field put this new paragraph on the wire just about
the time that Bok's actual engagement was announced. Field was now
deeply contrite, and sincerely promised Bok and his fiancйe to reform.
"I'm through, you mooning, spooning calf, you," he wrote Bok, and his
friend believed him, only to receive a telegram the next day from Mrs.
Field warning him that "Gene is planning a series of telephonic
conversations with you and Miss Curtis at college that I think should
not be printed." Bok knew it was of no use trying to curb Field's
industry, and so he wired the editor of the Chicago News for his
cooperation. Field, now checked, asked Bok and his fiancйe and the
parents of both to come to Chicago, be his guests for the World's Fair,
and "let me make amends."