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Black Oxen   By: (1857-1948)

Book cover

First Page:

BLACK OXEN

by

GERTRUDE ATHERTON

Author of " Sisters in Law "

The years like Great Black Oxen tread the world And God the herdsman goads them on behind. W. B. Yeats.

[Frontispiece: Their tete e tete ended, Clavering (Conway Tearle) was about to make his departure when Judge Trent (Tom Guise), who held buried in his mind the secret of the charming Madame Zattiany's (Corinne Griffith), entered. ( Screen version of "The Black Oxen." )]

A. L. Burt Company Publishers New York Published by arrangement with Boni and Liveright

Printed in U. S. A.

Copyright, 1923, by Gertrude Atherton

Printed in the United States of America

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Their tete e tete ended, Clavering (Conway Tearle) was about to make his departure when Judge Trent (Tom Guise), who held buried in his mind the secret of the charming Madame Zattiany's (Corinne Griffith), entered. ( Screen version of "The Black Oxen." ) . . . . Frontispiece

Returning home one night Clavering (Conway Tearle) found Janet Oglethorpe (Clara Bow), daughter of his old friend, in a semi intoxicated condition. ( Screen version of "The Black Oxen." )

It took a lot of self possession and grit for Zattiany (Corinne Griffith) and Clavering (Conway Tearle) to hide their feelings when she alighted to go to the ship which was to return her to Europe. ( Screen version of "The Black Oxen." )

At Dinwiddie's mountain lodge Clavering (Conway Tearle) pleaded with Madame Zattiany (Corrine Griffith) to marry him. ( Screen version of "The Black Oxen." )

BLACK OXEN

I

"Talk. Talk. Talk. . . . Good lines and no action . . . said all . . . not even promising first act . . . eighth failure and season more than half over . . . rather be a playwright and fail than a critic compelled to listen to has beens and would bes trying to put over bad plays. . . . Oh, for just one more great first night . . . if there's a spirit world why don't the ghosts of dead artists get together and inhibit bad playwrights from tormenting first nighters? . . . Astral board of Immortals sitting in Unconscious tweaking strings until gobbets and sclerotics become gibbering idiots every time they put pen to paper? . . . Fewer first nights but more joy . . . also joy of sending producers back to cigar stands. . . . Thank God, no longer a critic . . . don't need to come to first nights unless I want . . . can't keep away . . . habit too strong . . . poor devil of a colyumist must forage . . . why did I become a columnist? More money. Money! And I once a rubescent socialist . . . best parlor type . . . Lord! I wish some one would die and leave me a million!"

Clavering opened his weary eyes and glanced over the darkened auditorium, visualizing a mass of bored resentful disks: a few hopeful, perhaps, the greater number too educated in the theatre not to have recognized the heavy note of incompetence that had boomed like a muffled fog horn since the rise of the curtain.

It was a typical first night audience, assembled to welcome a favorite actress in a new play. All the Sophisticates (as Clavering had named them, abandoning "Intellectuals" and "Intelligentsia" to the Parlor Socialists) were present: authors, playwrights, editors and young editors, columnists, dramatic critics, young publishers, the fashionable illustrators and cartoonists, a few actors, artists, sculptors, hostesses of the eminent, and a sprinkling of Greenwich Village to give a touch of old Bohemia to what was otherwise almost as brilliant and standardized as a Monday night at the opera. Twelve years ago, Clavering, impelled irresistibly from a dilapidated colonial mansion in Louisiana to the cerebrum of the Western World, had arrived in New York; and run the usual gamut of the high powered man from reporter to special writer, although youth rose to eminence less rapidly then than now. Dramatic critic of his newspaper for three years (two years at the war), an envied, quoted and omniscient columnist since his return from France... Continue reading book >>




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