Friday, the Thirteenth
Thomas W. Lawson
Part 3 out of 3
at the desk was the beautiful gray-clad figure of five years ago. There
the two arms resting on the desk. There the two beautiful hands holding
the open paper, but the eyes, those marvellous gray-blue doors to an
immortal soul--they were closed forever. The exquisitely beautiful face
was cold and white and peaceful. Beulah Sands was dead. The hell-hounds of
the "System" had overtaken its maimed and hunted victim; it had added her
beautiful heart to the bags and barrels and hogsheads stored away in its
big "business-is-business" safe-deposit vaults. My eyes in sick pity
sought the form of my old schoolmate, my college chum, my partner, my
friend, the man I loved. He was on his knees. His agonised face was turned
to his wife. His clasped hands had been raised in an awful, heart-crushing
prayer as his Maker touched the bell. Bob Brownley's great brown eyes were
closed, his clasped hands had dropped against his wife's head, and in
dropping had unloosed the glorious golden-brown waves until in fond
abandon they had coiled around his arms and brow as though she for whom
he had sacrificed all was shielding his beloved head from the chills and
dark mists of the black river that laps the brink of the eternal rest. The
"System" had skewered Robert Brownley's heart too. I staggered to his
side. As I touched his now fast-icing brow my eyes fell upon the great
black headlines spread across the top of the paper that Beulah Sands had
been reading when the all-kind God had cut her bonds:
FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH
And beneath in one column:
TERRIBLE TRAGEDY IN VIRGINIA
THE RICHEST MAN IN THE STATE, THOMAS REINHART, MULTI-MILLIONAIRE, WHILE
TEMPORARILY INSANE FROM THE LOSS OF HIS WIFE AND DAUGHTER, AND OF HIS
ENORMOUS FORTUNE, WHICH WAS SHATTERED IN TO-DAY'S AWFUL PANIC, CUT HIS
THROAT. HIS DEATH WAS INSTANTANEOUS.
In another column:
ROBERT BROWNLEY CREATES THE MOST AWFUL PANIC IN HISTORY, AND SPREADS
WRECK AND RUIN THROUGHOUT THE CIVILISED WORLD.
* * * * *
_The following are fac-similes of a few of the letters received by the
author during the serial publication of "Friday, the Thirteenth."_
THE PAULIST FATHERS
2158 PINE STREET
San Francisco, CA
21 October 1906
My Dear Mr. Dawson
Kindly allow one of your countless admirers to express his extreme
gratification with the announcement that you will add fiction to your
distinguished literary achievements. Your gifts as a writer are so
wonderful and fascinating that I look forward eagerly to your work in this
new field--and I pray God to prosper you in all good.
John Marus Haudly
70 Kirkland St., Cambridge
Dec. 26, 1906.
Mr. T. W. Lawson,
My Dear Sir: Allow me to congratulate you on your last move and on your
story, "Friday, the Thirteenth".
It is the best yet, not merely as a story but as an eye opener. I can
begin to see daylight in spots, where it looks like a remedy and a real
one. I can't see how you will work it; but I think I do get a hint, and it
holds me tightly.
That story ought to be issued in a cheap (25c) edition in paper, and every
man in American ought to read it. The third part is yet to come; but, if I
mistake not, it will make us all say "Hurrah!" In this form the facts go
home. They were too abstract before. Now they live and palpitate.
[Illegible: H. W. Majorson]
Dowagiac, Mich., Dec 26, 1906.
Mr. T. Lawson,
I have just finished reading your second installment of "Friday the 13th."
It is one of the greatest stories I ever read. Your previous articles are
good, but this is a wonder. I believe you are sincere and cannot help
admiring your wonderful courage + grit in going up against big odds. I
have no axe to grind with you, simply think that no matter how big you may
be you like to know that what you write is appreciated by the majority of
good american citizens. So Here's to you Mr Lawson + I back you to
eventually win. Smash 'em good.
A. J. Hill.
Grinnell, Iowa, Nov. 3 1906
What did "Bob" hear when he picked up the receiver. Impossible to wait one
month to find out.
A. W. Talbott
103 Stedman Street
Dear Mr. Lawson:--
I have hit just read the first instalment of your serial "Friday the
I was so interested, aroused and stirred, I felt I must express to you
some of the appreciation I feel for the work you have done and are doing.
The army of those who suffer is so great the human spoilers so strong;
that one's heart goes out in gratitude to a champion who comes around and
able willing to do better for the oppressed.
Would it be an intrusion to extend sympathy to one bereft of the beautiful
gift of loving companionship? I hope that it is sincerely felt.
Many admire and rejoice in your work--may it go forward bringing the
knowledge which is power to ever increasing numbers of American people.
Marion E. Major
December 14th, 1906
L. GUY DENNETT
ATTORNEY AT LAW
48 TREMONT ST., BOSTON
Thomas W. Lawson Esq.
I take it for granted that you want to know how the "Public" is going to
take to your latest writing "fiction" and how are you to know unless your
unknown friends write you?
I have read every thing you have ever written because I believe in you and
admire the work you have done and are doing and allow me to say that I
finaly believe that you will one day be recognized as one of the greatest
story writers of the age. The first section of "Friday the Thirteenth" has
convinced me that you will be a sure winner.
Yours very truly,
L. Guy Dennett
Angola Tulare Co. Cal.
Dec. 29, 1906
W. T. Lawson,
I wanted to thank you for the first number of "Friday the 13th", but did
not know your address. "Everybody's" contains some letters written you to
Boston so hope this may reach its destination.
I live in the wildest of the wooley west + such a god send as in
"Everybody's" (sent me by a sister in Oakland Cal.) + containing the first
number of your story, words inadequately suffices. Friday the 13th made an
impression on me which I could not easily shake off if I would. I was so
sorry it ended where it did that I wanted to cry out + could hardly wait
for the Jan. number. Yesterday I bought one in Hanford Cal. rode 30 miles
north to get it. I live a mile from the recently filled in basin of old
Tulare Lake. The snowfall on the mountains argue that our part of the Wild
+ Wooley may soon be a fishing station instead of an alfalfa ranch.
Perhaps you don't understand how much your story is appreciated.
You are Bob Brownley, _I know_. Can you really _feel_ what you write as
you make us do? Your characters appeal to me so that I live with them,
every nerve alert to the straining point (but with pleasure). You are
certianly the idol of the American people. I've heard you discussed by
rich + poor, monopolist + antimonopolist during the publication of
"Frenzied Finance" + the worst a monopolist could say was that you were as
bad as the Standard Oil, but wanted to get even. "What is that but a
virtue," exclaimed I. "Couldn't he have made millions by staying in, but
_he_ recognized his past failings and exposed [them] S.O. to uphold a
nation. May honor attend him. Isn't that being a man and a gentleman?"
People read "Frenzied Finance" to a man + would loan the magazine one to
another so those who felt the 15c impossible could get the good of your
I'm glad you believe in sentiment--the heart-lasting sentiment (instead of
dollars and desire) which I feared was becoming a thing of the past; There
are still splendid men in America. God bless them.
O happy New Year may the weight of your pen sway millions. Amen.
Louise D. Tennent
See 14 Kings
December 28. 1906.
Mr. Thomas W. Lawson,
I have lived nine years in Anaconda, Montana, and therefore become
somewhat familiar with amalgamated copper, etc. I want to say I have
followed your writings with lively interest and have sworn by all the
statements you have made. It is, therefore, with the greatest regret that
I am compelled to state that my faith in you has been shattered.
When you state in your story of "Friday the 13th" that the heroine walked
in to an office in New York in the middle of July with a feather turban on
her head I simply cannot swallow it. That a lady of refinement and good
taste with $30,000 in the bank, and anxious to make a good appearance,
should walk into an office in New York with a winter hat taxes my
credulity to the breaking point. However, be that as it may, I want to say
that you have made a big fight against great odds and that I admire your
pluck and genius, and I hope you will keep right on fighting for the
By the way, I might as well admit that it was my wife by the way is a
superior woman who called my attention to the turban when I was reading
your story aloud to her. I am,
Very truly yours,
O'Fallon, Ill. Nov. 22nd, 1906
Thos W. Lawson
It has afforded me great pleasure to just have finished your first
installment to "Friday the 13th," as have also your previous writings,
from which I learned a great deal,--although from a financial standpoint,
following what I thought to be your advice, I am several thousand dollars
looser,--and I take this means of contributing my mite of encouragement,
firmly believing that your work is doing a great good, and trusting that
success on the lines you have mapped out, will be your reward.
Very respectfully, Wm. A. Staney.
(I'm awaiting your next installment)
I have only had the pleasure of meeting you once--in your private car,
with Thayer, when you were returning from your western trip--but I hope
you will not consider me presuming if I take a moment of your valuable
time to thank you for your masterpiece just begun in Everybody's.
Such magic has not flowed from a pen for many a year.
John O Powers
206 North 34th Street
Des Moines, Iowa, 11/20, 1906
Mr. Thos. Lawson
I like your story "Friday the Thirteenth." For the information and added
knowledge your previous writing has given me I thank you.
--"for the crow that is in him and the spurs that are on him to back up
the crow with." You certainly are a game and competant old fighter.
Sincerely, with best wishes
[Illegible signature: A. S. Goodman]
St. Paul, Minn.,
November 26, 1906.
Mr. Thomas W. Lawson,
I wish to congratulate you on the good story you wrote in Everybody's
Magazine this month. It is the beat story I ever read and the best I ever
saw published in any magazine.
I am well posted on the "Brokers" business and enjoyed your story very
much. I hope you will continue to write them. I know they are taken more
from real life than immagination. I am sure they will be appreciated as
much as "Frenzied Finance". I have taken the liberty to send a good word
With best wishes, I remain
Western Union Telegraph Co.
Los Angeles, Calif.,
December 11, 1906.
Mr. Thomas W. Lawson,
My dear Sir:
It was indeed a pleasure to read your novel in this month's Everybody's.
Being an old trader myself, I have appreciated every word of it and look
forward for the continuation with much interest.
I just want to say this too--that anyone who says that you cannot write
anything else but "Street" gossip had better cover his "shorts".
Wishing you all kinds of success, and with congratulations on your
splendid work, I am
214 Citizens Nat'l Bank Bldg.
December 1, 1906.
Thos. W. Lawson, Esq.,
I have just read with very great pleasure and edification the first
installment of your excellent story "Friday the 13th". It is so far a
Congratulating you. I remain
M. H. Ramaze
Cleburn, Texas, Dec 3 1906
Mr. Thos. W. Lawson
I have just your first installment of "Friday 13th." It is OK + if the
balance of the story is as good (+ I have no doubts on that score) you are
"It" when it comes to writting fiction as well as tricking the Insurance
Thief + Standard Oil Grafters.
Wishing you success
I am yours very truly
S. F. Welch
Rumford Falls, Maine,
November 20, 1906.
Mr. Tom Lewson,
I have read all your writings in Everybody's, including the first
installment of your story in the December number, and I must say that I am
more than pleased with it. As a writer of fiction you are sure to make
another big hit.
W. I. White.
 "26 Broadway" is the Wall Street figure of speech for "Standard Oil,"
which has its home there.
 Those who seek to depress the price of a stock are known as bears, and
those who oppose them by trying to raise the price are bulls.
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