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Barren Shore

"One day there came in to London Opinion an excellent story signed by one Barton Shore," Lincoln Springfield recalled years later. "I was on the point of dictating a letter of acceptance when the chords of memory began to vibrate. There were some droll references to whiskers. Who was always getting fun out of whiskers? Frank Richardson, of course. An examination of one of Richardson's volumes revealed the fact that Barron Shore had copied an incident of a thousand words and submitted it as his own.

"This was a serious business. Had we failed to detect the trick we should have published the stolen story, and thereby have let ourselves in for a penalty for infringement of copyright.

"I wrote to the person calling himself Barron Shore, asking if the story he had submitted was his own, and if he was requiring payment for it; and upon his assurance that this was so I instructed our solicitors to prosecute the man for attempting to obtain money by false pretences. They were of the opinion that he would be difficult to convict on a mere attempt to obtain money. So we sent him two guineas for Frank Richardson's story and had him brought up at Bow Street.

"The magistrate was the aged Mr Mersham, who should have retired twenty years earlier. He fined the peccant litterateur ten shillings and two shillings costs. He had our two guineas in his purse, so that deducting the out-of-pocket expenses which his interview with the magistrate had cost him, he was left with thirty shillings profit."

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