December 26, 1934
Here’s the deep dark secret which you will have to keep mum on your life. In other words, don’t dare tell Leo or anyone that you are the author of that story you sent me.
I took it up to Leo and told him here was a writer who had to keep his name secret for alimony reasons and that I could deliver him more material from the same pen.
This morning he called me up and wanted to know if it was a plagiarism for it was a damn good yarn, but the best he could offer was $100. I told him to send the check. Then he wanted to know who the author was and if he had ever heard of him. All I said, I would guarantee on my own rep that it wasn’t a plagiarism and that I was pledged to secrecy on the name and couldn’t tell my own mother.
Suppose you give me some pen name to keep in my files as I don’t want to keep the docket on you in your own name in case one of my assistants should spill the beans, someday accidentally. This would sour Leo toward me too.
Frankly, I’d like to get you into LIBERTY on some adventure stuff. I’ve sold LIBERTY over 50,000 words of adventure within the last few weeks. How about a name like Legionnaire Longworth, or some name we could build.
But of course, that’s up to you. Just keep it mum that I have any of your stuff and someday the story of your secret trail will make good reading.
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