Friday, July 04, 2008

"It makes a pretty book"

From the press and just sewn together, it still smelled of ink and smudged as Paine held it in his hands, a thin book called “Common Sense, written by an Englishman,” with big black letters on the cover, sticky as Paine opened it.

“Done,” Bell said.

Paine told him, “I don’t want you to suffer for this,” and Bell shrugged. “I’ll want to buy a few copies,” said Paine.

Bell nodded.

“To show them to my friends.”

“Ye may.”

“You’ll give it to me a little cheaper than the regular price?” Paine remarked, not able to keep a note of anxiety out of his voice, his hand in his pocket, holding all the money he had in the world.

“I may.”

“It makes a pretty book,” said Paine.

Citizen Tom Paine
by Howard Fast
(Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1943)

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