A LETTER TO
David Grayson, Esq.
OF HEMPFIELD, U.S.A.
MY DEAR SIR,
Although my name appears on the title page, the real author of this
book is Miss Helen McGill (now Mrs. Roger Mifflin), who told me the
story with her own inimitable vivacity. And on her behalf I want to
send to you these few words of acknowledgment.
Mrs. Mifflin, I need hardly say, is unskilled in the arts of
authorship: this is her first book, and I doubt whether she will
ever write another. She hardly realized, I think, how much her
story owes to your own delightful writings. There used to be a
well-thumbed copy of "Adventures in Contentment" on her table at the
Sabine Farm, and I have seen her pick it up, after a long day in
the kitchen, read it with chuckles, and say that the story of you
and Harriet reminded her of herself and Andrew. She used to mutter
something about "Adventures in Discontentment" and ask why Harriet's
side of the matter was never told? And so when her own adventure
came to pass, and she was urged to put it on paper, I think she
unconsciously adopted something of the manner and matter that you
have made properly yours.
Surely, sir, you will not disown so innocent a tribute! At any rate,
Miss Harriet Grayson, whose excellent qualities we have all so long
admired, will find in Mrs. Mifflin a kindred spirit.
Mrs. Mifflin would have said this for herself, with her characteristic
definiteness of speech, had she not been out of touch with her
publishers and foolscap paper. She and the Professor are on their
Parnassus, somewhere on the high roads, happily engrossed in the
most godly diversion known to man--selling books. And I venture
to think that there are no volumes they take more pleasure in
recommending than the wholesome and invigorating books which bear
Believe me, dear Mr. Grayson, with warm regards,