To Mary Inloes [Letter 18]

Item Reference Code: 099_09x_005_001

Date(s) of creation

March 16, 1935


Mary Inloes


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56 East 66 th Street,
New York City.

March 16, 1935

Dear Miss Inloes,

I owe you many apologies for my long silence. I hope you realize that its reason has been the long string of continuous delays I have encountered with “Woman on Trial”. The matter is still unsettled. Mr. Woods is still searching for a leading lady. All these months I have been waiting to hear that he has found one, every hour of every day. I have heard many promises that it would be settled “not later than Monday,” then “not later than Thursday” and so on, for over three months. I have delayed writing to you in the hope that, at any moment, I may have definite news to tell you. Unfortunately, the matter is still where it stood in December, so I am writing without waiting any longer. I hope you will forgive my delay.

Frankly, I am very bitterly disappointed in the way Mr. Satenstein has handled our contract. If you remember, I wanted to insist on a definite short option in the contract, but waived it aside on Mr. Satenstein’s assurance that Mr. Woods had every intention to produce the play immediately and no specified time was necessary. As it stands now, Mr. Woods has a legal option of six months, which I would have hesitated to grant him for the little advance I received.

I am convinced that both Mr. Satenstein and Mr. Woods acted in good faith and that the delay is an unfortunate, unforeseen circumstance. Nevertheless, it has put me in the most impossible situation and I am carrying the hardest end of a matter for which I was least responsible. I consider it a great mistake on Mr. Satenstein’s part to have taken anyone’s word in a legal matter, which should have been specified on paper. As circumstances stand, with Mr. Woods obviously anxious not to lose the play, I would have received a second option, by now, had we specified a shorter time in the contract. As it is, Mr. Woods actually does not have to hurry, having legally six months in which to produce the play.

Needless to say, my situation is desperate, not to say a catastrophe. I could hardly have been expected to live in New York for six months on two hundred and fifty dollars, on less than that when one considers that to reach New York was impossible on the hundred dollars allowed for the purpose. Mr. Satenstein has tried to help me, but the only job he could get for me is that of a reader for R.K.O. here, at which I am earning an average of ten dollars a week, working ten hours a day. Mr. Satenstein has undertaken to get another advance

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for me from Mr. Woods, but up to now nothing has happened. I can hardly be blamed for considering the whole situation rather unfair.

I do not like to complain about it and that was another reason for my delay in writing to you. I had hoped that the situation would be solved any minute, but as it stands, it still may be solved tomorrow—or in another three months. So I had to tell you the whole truth.

Now, in regard to another matter, I am sending you a night letter, which you will have received before this reaches you. I was informed that E. E. Clive has gone into bankruptcy and that a meeting of his creditors is to be held Tuesday, March 19, at 10 o’clock A.M., in the courtroom of the Referee, 832 H.W. Hellman Building, 4 th and Springs Streets, Los Angeles. The 20% Author’s rights to “Woman on Trial”, which Mr. Clive owned, are listed among his estate. I would appreciate it very much if you could investigate the matter for me and find out just what is to happen, whether these rights are sold to a third party or whether they are to be sold. In the event of this last, I would like to purchase them back myself, if the price is within reason, as I may be able to get credit for the purpose. Would you be so kind as to represent me in this?

To pass on to more pleasant matters, I must tell you that I have met Miss Ann Watkins and am now on her list. She is one of the most delightful women I have ever met and I have full confidence in her. She is handling my novel, “Airtight”, which I have withdrawn from Miss Wick. I am very grateful to you for having introduced me to Miss Watkins and I am sure that she will be able to handle “Airtight” to the satisfaction of all of us.

Hoping to hear from you soon and thanking you again for all your efforts on my behalf, I am

Sincerely yours,