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Graeve, Oscar (ed.) / Delineator
Vol. 118, No. 6 (June, 1931)

Lewis, Grace Hegger
Half a loaf,   pp. 16-17 PDF (1.3 MB)

Page 16

Tim whispered, "I wish I could feel the way you are feeling now. With a heart
like yours, plus my ability to write, I'd be the best known author in America"
And now, dramatically, comes fame in
full and overflowing measure, to the
novelist who is the husband in this
story by the former Mrs. Sinclair Lewis
A JOLLY married life they lived-young Timothy
"A writer has an easy time of it-he can work
wherever his fancy pleases," their acquaintances
would say.
And true enough, the Hales seemed to enjoy every
moment of their roving life together. They gypsied all
over the United States. The coming of their baby son,
Roger, did not deter them from Tim's insatiable search
for richly American characters and background. Florida;
California; Tim's home town-Bannerman, Ohio; Cape
Cod; St. Paul, Minnesota-all these places sheltered
them for a time during the bitter years of the world war.
And gradually, laboriously, a mighty novel began
to take shape.
The Hales feared no publisher would accept it. But
a new firm, Darcy and Loose, caught wind of the book,
and rushed to interview Timothy. Fired by their en-
thusiasm for his novel's scope and daring, Tim turned to
"Only you, Sue, can help me. This means the strictest
economy from now on, with the prospect of another lean
year if the novel is a flop. Are you game?"
It was easier to face poverty for herself than for Roger;
"We'll steal the baby's milk and go on a nut diet," she
answered with a gallant smile. Here the story continues:
"   TRICTEST economy" kept them in small towns in
the middle-west, with occasional swoops on New
York when plays with original companies, oysters, and
conversation seemed the end-all of existence. The novel
was well in hand though not yet ready for the publisher
when the shuttle of their restless lives carried them to
Washington in the early autumn of 1920.
They wanted to be near New York yet not in it, and
the nation's capital was a logical choice for itinerants like
themselves. To find a furnished house was comparatively
easy. Into a tiny house they moved, with a mahogany-
and-chintz drawing-room, a sunny nursery, an excellent
gas stove, practically no closets, and colored people living
two doors away. To write in, Timothy found a furnished
room ten blocks off, far enough removed from home to
give him a pleasant walk after breakfast and yet not too
far to encourage him to loaf about the house and then in
high virtue to leap into a taxi.
The Hales liked Washington at once. It was a friendly
city, friendly from the moment the colored porters took
their bags at the Union Station. People actually called
and left cards, and no one dined in a restaurant. During
the season in the northwest section of town there was a
pervading sense of festivity. From lunch time on, one
IL-A  A.

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