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An Adventure with a Genius   By:

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Juliet Sutherland, Charles Franks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team.






In the course of my wanderings about the labyrinth of life it has been my good fortune to find awaiting me around every corner some new adventure. If these have generally lacked that vividness of action which to the eye of youth is the very test of adventure, they have been rich in a kind of experience which to a mature and reflective mind has a value not to be measured in terms of dramatic incident.

My adventures, in a word, have been chiefly those of personal contact with the sort of men whose lives are the material around which history builds its story, and from which fiction derives all that lends to it the air of reality.

I have had friends and acquaintances in a score of countries, and in every station of society kings and beggars, viceroys and ward politicians, judges and criminals, men of brain and men of brawn.

My first outstanding adventure was with a stern and formidable man, the captain of a sailing vessel, of whose ship's company I was one in a voyage across the Pacific; one of my most recent was with a man not less stern or formidable, with the man who is the central figure in the present narrative.

The tale has been told before in a volume entitled "Joseph Pulitzer: Reminiscences of a Secretary." The volume has been out of print for some time, but the continued demand for it has called for its re issue. The change in title has been made in response to many suggestions that the character of the material is more aptly described as "An Adventure with a Genius."

ALLEYNE IRELAND. New York, 1920.


I. In a Casting Net II. Meeting Joseph Pulitzer III. Life at Cap Martin IV. Yachting in the Mediterranean V. Getting to Know Mr. Pulitzer VI. Weisbaden and an Atlantic Voyage VII. Bar Harbor and the Last Cruise



A long illness, a longer convalescence, a positive injunction from my doctor to leave friends and business associates and to seek some spot where a comfortable bed and good food could be had in convenient proximity to varied but mild forms of amusement and I found myself in the autumn of the year 1910 free and alone in the delightful city of Hamburg.

All my plans had gone down wind, and as I sat at my table in the Cafe Ziechen, whence, against the background of the glittering blue of the Alster, I could see the busy life of the Alter Jungfernstieg and the Alsterdamm, my thoughts turned naturally to the future.

It is not the easiest thing in the world to reconstruct at forty years of age the whole scheme of your life; but my illness, and other happenings of a highly disagreeable character, had compelled me to abandon a career to which I had devoted twenty years of arduous labor; and the question which pressed for an immediate answer was: What are you going to do now?

Various alternatives presented themselves. There had been a suggestion that I should take the editorship of a newspaper in Calcutta; an important financial house in London had offered me the direction of its interests in Western Canada; a post in the service of the Government of India had been mentioned as a possibility by certain persons in authority.

My own inclination, the child of a weary spirit and of the lassitude of ill health, swayed me in the direction of a quiet retreat in Barbados, that peaceful island of an eternal summer cooled by the northeast trades, where the rush and turmoil of modern life are unknown and where a very modest income more than suffices for all the needs of a simple existence.

I shall never know to what issue my reflections upon these matters would have led me, for a circumstance, in the last degree trivial, intervened to turn my thoughts into an entirely new channel, and to guide me, though I could not know it at the time, into the service of Joseph Pulitzer... Continue reading book >>

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