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all ready now

                                                                about the fire with a show of keeping himself occupied   ₁
                                                        about the table, he came over to   ₂
                                                little lamps with steel instruments like knitting-needles. She saw   ₃
                                        parts of the gliders Humphrey had been puttering with for a long time.
                                Three years, he had once said   ₄
                        over her make-up box.
                She seemed really confused.
        Finally she turned, said, with averted glance   ₅
“Stop puttering. Come over here.”   ₆


  1. “Will you go to the maid, Father, and get straight at the truth? You see that I cannot meddle with her thoughts without danger of being misinterpreted. It is you who must be her adviser.”
          The priest acquiesced, and they returned to the camp, to find the maid still sitting alone, with a troubled face, and Danton puttering about the fire with a show of keeping himself occupied. They ate in silence, in spite of Menard’s efforts to arouse them.

    Samuel Merwin. The Road to Frontenac (1901) : 91
    NYPL copy/scan (via hathitrust) : link

    nice summary and assessment at Rich Horton, his blog Strange at Ecbatan
    Old Bestseller: The Road to Frontenac, by Samuel Merwin (July 13, 2017) : link

  2.       He was in his bunk, pretending to be asleep, when Bruce came stamping down the steps into the cabin. He watched Bruce as he lighted the lamp. Bruce was grinning. After puttering about the table, he came over to Hunch’s bunk and stood looking down at him. Then he laughed out loud and dug his fingers into Hunch’s ribs.
          “Get out of here,” Hunch growled.
          “Say, Hunch, wake up! It’s all right. We’re going to be married next month.”

    Samuel Merwin. His Little World : The Story of Hunch Badeau (1903) : 23
    NYPL copy/scan (via hathitrust) : link

    Harvard and NYPL copies at hathitrust, where this catalog entry :
    Merwin, Samuel, 1874-1936.
    Hall, Alberta, binding designer.
    Kimball, Alonzo, illustrator.
    New York : A.S. Barnes & Company, 1903.
    A romance featuring Hunch Badeau, the commander of a small lumber schooner on Lake Michigan who loses his ship and its cargo in a storm off Manistee.

    amusing (though paywalled) review, at the New York Times (December 5, 1903) : link

  3.       “Wait” — she found herself saying, with a sense of grotesque inadequacy to the occasion — “I can’t breathe! Won’t they open a window?”
          Along the walls of the room and grouped about the pillars in the center were couches. On many of these lay men, sunk in slumbrer, or propped on an elbow puttering over little lamps with steel instruments like knitting-needles. She saw one man raise what she knew to be an opium pipe and with the knitting-needle work up a soft brown pellet on the flat surface of his pipe-bowl.

    Samuel Merwin. The Charmed Life of Miss Austin (1914) : 17
    NYPL copy/scan (via hathitrust) : link

    Forty illustrations by R. M. Crosby (1876-1945 : American Art Archives : link)

    Set in Shanghai. Merwin had gone to China in 1907 to investigate the opium trade for his magazine Success. See Samuel Merwin, Drugging A Nation : A personal investigation, during an extended tour, of the present conditions of the opium trade in China and its effects upon the nation (1908)
    via hathitrust : link

  4.       He crept through the dim shop, among Humphrey’s lathes, belts, benches of tools, big kites and rows of steel wheels mounted in frames. There were large planes, too, parts of the gliders Humphrey had been puttering with for a long time. Three years, he had once said.
          Henry lingered on the stairs and looked about the ghostly room. Beams of moonlight came in through the windows and touched this and that machine. He felt himself attuned to all the trouble, the disaster, in the universe. Life was a tragic disappointment. Nothing ever came right. People didn’t succeed; they struggled and struggled to breast a mighty, tireless current that swept them ever backward.
          Poor old Hump! he had put money into this shop. All the little he had; or nearly all. And into the technical library that lined his bedroom walls up-stairs. His daily work at the Voice office was just a grind, to keep body and soul together while the experiments were working out. Hump was patient.

    Samuel Merwin. Henry is Twenty : A Further Episodic History of Henry (1918) : 215
    NYPL copy/scan (via hathitrust) : link

  5.       ‘I’ll go on out, Marian.’
          ‘No. Please wait for me.’
          Ethel knit her brows, but stood patiently enough by the door. Miss Hawksby was puttering over her make-up box. She seemed really confused. Finally she turned, said, with averted glance, ‘All ready now,’ and stepped out ahead. This was even more curious.

    Samuel Merwin. The Moment of Beauty (1925) : 294
    U Michigan copy/scan (via hathitrust) : link

    Set in the theater world; see Merwin’s “Theatrical Experiences,” in The Piper (March 1925) : 7-9
    U Illinois at Urbana-Champaign copy/scan (via hathitrust) : link

  6.       A brief time passed. Then, “John,” said she.
          “Yes, little woman.”
          “Stop puttering. Come over here.”
          He tipped back in his swivel chair. Already he was feeling more like his normal self. Evidently Margaret’s little outburst had done them both good. Now he smiled and gazed languidly at her.
          “What are up to, youngster?”
          Watching her, he began to realize that her mood had changed violently.

    Samuel Merwin. The Citadel : A Romance of Unrest (1912) : 407
    LoC copy/scan (via hathitrust) : link

    a political novel, in which Congressman John Garwood

    reviews —

    A. L. Muzzey, “A Story of Modern Political Life.”
    The Public (September 13, 1912) : 883-884
    (hathitrust) : link

    The Public was edited (at the time of the review) by Louis F. Post (1849-1928), a Henry “Georgist” proponent of the single tax, attorney, and principled Assistant Secretary of Labor where he resisted overreach (by Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer and J. Edgar Hoover, the head of the Justice Department’s “Radical Division”) in deporting anarchists and many others.
    wikipedia : link

    The Bookseller, Newsdealer and Stationer (June 15, 1912)
    (hathitrust) : link
    from which this capsule review of the book —
    “...a story of modern politics and love with scenes that shift between Washington and a city in Illinois. The hero is a young Senator, elected and supported by the financiers of the district, but after several years service to their interests, he breaks loose and expresses the most radical ideas in abuse of the Constitution and other time honored institutions which results in his being obliged to break with his party and become the representative of the Socialists. Incidentally he is engaged, in the beginning of the story, to the daughter of the local magnate — but his ambition to fight the people's cause is fired by a young woman with a very clear mind and a very charming personality who of course takes the other girl’s place in the affections of the radical young Senator. The story is well written with clearly defined characters and some strong arguments in defense of the hero’s point of view.”

    The Metropolitan 36:4 (August 1912)
    (hathitrust) : link

Samuel Merwin (1874-1936), dramatist, novelist, muckracker, editor (Success *)
wikipedia : link

Samuel Merwin is perhaps best known now for Calumet “K” (1901, co-written with Henry Kitchell Webster) — Ayn Rand’s “favorite novel.” He was prolific, and his output was probably too varied to be characterized in simple terms.

Some context is provided in two essays by Scott Dalrymple :
“John Hay’s Revenge : Anti-Labor Novels, 1880-1905,” in Business and Economic History 28:2 (Fall 1999); and
“A Glass Half Full : Capitalist Ethics in the Novels of Will Payne,” in Essays in Economic and Business History 23:1 (2005)

18 April 2024