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When London Lost

Jack London has a reputation for winning most of his bets. Also, his novels have been translated into many languages, “including the Scandinavian,” and thereby hangs a tale. It is London’s habit to pass some such translation of one of his books to a friend, with the remark, “If you can read it you may have it.” Recently, with a sense of entire security, he handed a Danish translation of “Before Adam” to Mrs. Adolph Spreckels. Mrs. Spreckels still has the book, London being unaware that her great-great grandfather, the Marquis le Normand de Bretteville, was an émigré of the French revolution, and was knighted by the king of Denmark. What is more to the purpose, Mrs. Spreckels has visited the numerous estates and castles of his descendants, and is familiar with the Danish tongue. But London says he would never have guessed it.

Social Prattle
By Tantalus
Town Talk The Pacific Weekly
January 17, 1914