This well-rounded California pastor, railroad man, actor, playwright and lecturer was a popular short story writer and novelist ("Those Who Have Come Back," 1914, "Tongues of Flame," 1924) and penned the scripts for the films "Guiles of Women" (1921, starring Will Rogers) and "A Pair of Hellions" (1924). TMS, 1p, 8½" X 11", Pacific Grove, CA, 1923 March 8. Near fine. Item #40509
Actual working draft page (p. 23) from a short story titled "Mercy," which was published in the May 1923 issue of "Cosmopolitan" magazine. Typed, double spaced, with numerous additions, deletions and corrections. Along the wide right margin, vertically, Macfarlane signs large and bold in full in black ink, adding date and place and noting, "a page from the MS of / 'Mercy,' Cosmopolitan for / May 1923." Content concerns a minister named Robert N. Mason confessing a sexual crime to a friend, George Fawcett, during a nighttime drive through what seems suspiciously like heading north from Macfarlane's home in Pacific Grove: In part, "The city of E____ enjoys a climate that has bland moments. This was one of them. It was a black, velvety, all-enveloping sort of night -- the very night for confidences; and the car was turned north, away from the city, away from the lights, away north, endlessly north into the open country. The minister, apparently suffering the greatest distress, with something upon his heart that demanded expression, seemed nevertheless quite unable to utter himself....." Interestingly, about a year after this was signed, on June 9, 1924, Macfarlane bought a gun at a local gun shop, said goodbye to wife and children, and drove north to San Francisco, where he put a bullet in his head outside the San Francisco morgue. The reason for his suicide at age 53? Diabetes. From the collection of Professor Albert Johannsen, author of "The House of Beadle and Adams and Its Dime and Nickel Novels" (University of Oklahoma Press, 1950), the definitive reference work and bibliography on the subject. Johannsen requested working draft pages from authors, so it's possible this manuscript leaf predates its 1923 date by quite a bit. Also present is Johannsen's original 8½" X 11" file folder, bearing his printed "Collection of Albert Johannsen" label (partly filled in by Johannsen).