A bitter confession?

Tallis Steelyard


I have always held that it is the main duty of an artist to ensure that he is paid for his services. After all, entertain your patrons for free and they will chatter as you declaim your finest work. But if you extract silver from their tightly clenched palms, then they will sit in utter silence, afraid that a dreg’s worth of art should somehow evade them.

It is one of the things I feel strongly about, an ideal I have built my life around. And now this Webster chap wanders casually along with a pile of documents and says, “Tallis old chap, just give them away.”

He’s mad, stark mad,

Still lest it be a dangerous madness I will comply. It seems that he has some bizarre idea that if you read this one short story, ‘A Nice Devotion’, then you will immediately hasten out and purchase the others…

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