Being the Ingenuous and Unvarnished History of Artemas Quibble, Esquire, One-Time Practitioner in the New York Criminal Courts, Together with an Account of the Divers Wiles, Tricks, Sophistries, Technicalities, and Sundry Artifices of Himself and Others of the Fraternity, Commonly Yclept "Shysters" or "Shyster Lawyers"
e masterful in order to carry off the pose of leadership, but I had not yet learned when to conciliate.
It so happened that in the spring of my junior year my creditors became more than usually pressing, and at the same time a Jew by the name of Poco Abrahams began to threaten suit on a note of mine for two thousand dollars, which I had discounted with him for seven hundred and fifty. I made my usual demands upon my friends and offered to do them the favor of letting them go on some more of my paper, but without the usual result. I then discovered to my annoyance that a wealthy young fellow know as "Buck" de Vries, who had considered himself insulted by something that I had said or done, had been quietly spreading the rumor that I was a sort of hocus-pocus fellow and practically bankrupt, that my pretensions to fashion were ridiculous, and that I made a business of living off other people. Incidentally he had gone the rounds, and, owing to the rumors that he himself had spread, had succeeded in buying
Written in 1911 by Arthur Train, onetime assistant district attorney for New York county, later known for his humorous stories about the fictional lawyer Ephraim Tutt, "the best-known lawyer in America," these fictional reminiscences describe early 20th-century law as recounted by Artemas Quibble, a successfully shady New York criminal lawyer.
The story is most interesting in the beginning, when Quibble recounts his early life and how he came to practice law, rather than later when it settles into a series of anecdotes about his cases and pettifogging legal slight of hand. But there's not enough action or humor to sustain it all the way through.
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