Correction: so far as I know, that was when we started keeping guns. I may be mistaken.
While Brian went to Ohio, Nelson and I tried a project: articles for trade journals such as Mining Journal, Modern Mining, and Gold and Silver. Brian Smith Associates ran small display advertisements in each issue. Nelson had pointed out to Brian that we could get major advertising free by Brian writing articles for these journals - each of them carried about the same number of pages of articles and editorials as it did of advertisements. So instead of a little bitty one-column three-inch display card-no, not instead of but in addition to - in addition to advertising Brian should write articles. ‘Lord knows that the stuff they print is dull as ditch water; it can't be hard to write. ' So said Nelson.
So Brian tried and the result was dull as ditch water.
Nelson said, ‘Brian old man, you are my revered senior partner. .. Do you mind if I take a swing at this? '
‘Help yourself. I didn't want to http://www.art-lit.ru do it, anyhow. '
‘I have the advantage of not knowing anything about mining. You supply the facts - you have; I have them in my hand - and I will slide in some mustard. '
Nelson rewrote Brian's sober factual articles about what a mining consultant's survey could accomplish in a highly irreverent style. .. and I drew little pictures, cartoons, styled after Bill Nye, to illustrate them. Me an artist? No. But I had taken Professor Huxley's advice (A Liberal Education) seriously and had learned to draw. I was not an artist but I was a competent draughtsman, and I stole details and tricks from Mr Nye and other professionals without a qualm without realising that I was stealing.
Nelson's first attempt retitled Brian's rewritten article as ‘How to Save Money by Skimping' and featured all sorts of grisly mining accidents - which I illustrated.
The Mining Journal not only accepted it; they actually paid for it, five dollars, which none of us had expected.
Nelson eventually worked it into a deal in which Brian's by-line (ghosted by Nelson) appeared in every issue, and a quarter-page display for Brian Smith Associates appeared in a good spot.
At a later time a twin of that article appeared in the Country Gentleman (the Saturday Evening Post's country cousin) telling how to break your neck, lose a leg, or kill your worthless son-in-law on a farm. But the Curtis Publishing Company refused to dicker. They paid for the article; Brian Smith Associates paid for their display cards.
In January 1910 a great comet appeared and soon it dominated the evening sky in the west. Many people mistook it for Halley's Comet, due that year. But it was not; Halley's Comet came later.
In March 1910 Betty Lou and Nelson set up their own household - two adults, two babies - and Random Numbers had a bad time trying to decide where he lived, at The Only House, or with his slave, Betty Lou. For a while he shuttled between the two households, riding any automobile going his way.
In April 1910 the real Halley's Comet began to be prominent in the night sky. In another month it dominated the sky, its head as bright as Venus and its tail half again as long as the Great Dipper. Then it got too close to the Sun to be seen. When it reappeared in the morning sky in May it was still more magnificent. On is May Nelson drove us out to Meyer Boulevard before dawn so that we could see the eastern horizon. The comet's great tail filled the sky, slanting up from the east to the south, pointing down at the Sun below the horizon, an incredible sight.
But. I got no joy from it. Mr Clemens had told me that he had come in with Halley's Comet and he would go out with, it. .. and he did, on 21 April.
When I heard - it was published in the Star- I shut myself in our room, and cried.