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26 June, 2013
The American Claimant
The Colonel Mulberry Sellers here re-introduced to the public is the same
person who appeared as Eschol Sellers in the first edition of the tale
entitled "The Gilded Age," years ago, and as Beriah Sellers in the
subsequent editions of the same book, and finally as Mulberry Sellers in
the drama played afterward by John T. Raymond.
The name was changed from Eschol to Beriah to accommodate an Eschol
Sellers who rose up out of the vasty deeps of uncharted space and
preferred his request--backed by threat of a libel suit--then went his
way appeased, and came no more. In the play Beriah had to be dropped to
satisfy another member of the race, and Mulberry was substituted in the
hope that the objectors would be tired by that time and let it pass
unchallenged. So far it has occupied the field in peace; therefore we
chance it again, feeling reasonably safe, this time, under shelter of the
statute of limitations.
The Weather in this Book
No weather will be found in this book. This is an attempt to pull a book
through without weather. It being the first attempt of the kind in
fictitious literature, it may prove a failure, but it seemed worth the
while of some dare-devil person to try it, and the author was in just the
Many a reader who wanted to read a tale through was not able to do it
because of delays on account of the weather. Nothing breaks up an
author's progress like having to stop every few pages to fuss-up the
weather. Thus it is plain that persistent intrusions of weather are bad
for both reader and author.
Of course weather is necessary to a narrative of human experience.
That is conceded. But it ought to be put where it will not be in the
way; where it will not interrupt the flow of the narrative. And it ought
to be the ablest weather that can be had, not ignorant, poor-quality,
amateur weather. Weather is a literary specialty, and no untrained hand
can turn out a good article of it. The present author can do only a few
trifling ordinary kinds of weather, and he cannot do those very good.
So it has seemed wisest to borrow such weather as is necessary for the
book from qualified and recognized experts--giving credit, of course.
This weather will be found over in the back part of the book, out of the
way. See Appendix. The reader is requested to turn over and help
himself from time to time as he goes along.