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While Publisher Stern was bustling into New York last week, the Curtis retreat from Manhattan was having significant consequences in Philadelphia. There has always been a polite family feud between John Charles Martin and the other Curtis heirs who run the profitable Satevepost and the Ladies' Home Journal. Last week Publisher Martin resigned from the directorate of Curtis Publishing Co. to devote himself exclusively to the Curtis-Martin Morning and Evening Ledgers and the Inquirer, his three remaining papers.
Almost "Almost Reilly"
In November 1931, the Satevepost published a short story called "Almost Reilly," by Robert Winsmore. Plot : Scatterbrained young Mrs. Madge Wrenn repeats to her stockbroker husband a tip which her hairdresser has received from someone whose name is "Almost Reilly. . . . Not Kelly. More like Reilly." The tip turns out to have come from an astrologer. By the time William Wrenn finds this out, he and his friends have bought the stock and lost money. Madge Wrenn has bought before gossip sent the stock, up, sold for a profit on the bulge caused by the talk the tip started.
In June 1933, Collier's published a short story called '"On a Lady's Advice." by Edward Gardner Jr. Plot: Scatterbrained young Betty Woods repeats to her stock broker husband a tip which her dress maker has received from a woman whose name Betty Woods does not know. The tip turns out to have come from an astrologer. By the time Jerry Woods finds this out, he and his friends have bought the stock and made money. Betty Woods has bought before gossip sent the stock up, sold for a profit on the bulge caused by the talk the tip started, increased her winnings by selling short as the stock goes down. Similar in treatment, both stories start with hero and heroine dressing for dinner, continue at a dinner party, contain more conversation than description. "Almost Reilly" is laid in New York, told in first person. "On a Lady's Advice " is laid in California, told in the third person. Parallels:
Almost Reilly "This woman, she's marvelous. . . . She tell Miss Cora about the stock market, and Miss Cora makes thousands and thousands just by doing it."
On a Lady's Advice "This woman," Betty continues, "she's marevelous! I mean she tells Jo things about the stock market and Jo makes hundreds and hundreds just by doing it."
Author Robert Winsmore is middleaged, fat, a member of the Author's League of America, Inc. He has contributed stories to the Post for the last five years. Author Gardner is in his early thirties. He began to write in the summer of 1931, after a training in Wall Street. "On a Lady's Advice" was his first story for Collier's. Last week Author Winsmore brought a plagiarism suit against Author Gardner and Collier's for $100,000 on the grounds that "the infringing story has ruined his market for that type of story."
* Last week, Vice Suppressor Sumner was reduced to writing a letter to the New York Herald Tribune threatening to prosecute publishers & distributors of indecent Christmas cards.