Henry Clay Frick, by our staff artist.
It is embarrassing to admit how much certain parts of the library have been neglected over the years. Dr. Boli often runs across books that have escaped the catalogue, hats or cloaks that have been misplaced for years, wandering packs of coyotes, and other phenomena that would probably not be found there if the staff were more carefully supervised. Just the other day, looking for a folio of engravings of well-known varieties of beets, he came across a man who proved to be an artist who had misplaced himself in the Flemish Renaissance department. This artist, invited at one time to use the library for his research, had been wandering in there for some years, subsisting by filching snacks left unguarded by the staff; but Dr. Boli’s appearance encouraged him to reveal himself and ask directions to the exit.
Feeling somewhat responsible for the man, Dr. Boli asked him whether he had any prospects for remunerative employment in a world that has doubtless changed a good deal since the man last saw it. The artist responded by taking up paper and pencil and dashing off a very tolerable likeness of the industrialist Henry Clay Frick, expressing confidence that Frick would be happy to commission a full-size portrait.
To this Dr. Boli was not sure how to respond. He delicately hinted that Frick was perhaps no longer in a position to make such commissions. Taking the hint, the artist asked directly whether Mr. Frick had passed on to his reward. Dr. Boli replied that he hoped the Deity was more merciful than that, but that in any case Mr. Frick had passed on, and that modern robber barons were less likely to commission portraits in oils. At this revelation the man seemed so nonplussed that Dr. Boli decided to offer him a position in his own celebrated publishing empire. It will be good to have a staff illustrator to toss off an occasional sketched portrait when an article demands one, and the artist may now continue to live in the Flemish Renaissance section of Dr. Boli’s library, on the assurance that he will not be disturbed as long as he cleans the cracker crumbs out of the folios before he shelves them again.