Leonard Hevia wrote: Nobody is immune to misplaced or missing quotation marks. Vernon is discussing Sprong's encounter with Drake, and then it seems as if he suddenly placed himself inside the story without any preamble about searching for Drake to ask him in person. If you pencil in the quotation marks, then the narrative about Sprong continues in a logical fashion.
Inferring the "phantom quotation marks" puts that Vernon Touch narrative in perfect harmony with Vernon's discussion in the Revelations video.
Brad Jeffers wrote:Vernon never spoke to Drake.
The August 1970 Vernon Touch column reads in such a way, that it seems Vernon himself is the one who "went back there religiously for months and kept badgering the old man to tell me something about this man Andrews."
Whether this was intentional, or an error in transcription, or a consequence of faulty punctuation is debatable.
I need to watch the Vernon DVD. And while I read Leonard's explanation when he posted it, there has been so much to absorb on the Erdnase thread the last six weeks that it slipped my mind.
FWIW, when David Ben quoted the passage in his biography of Vernon, he added quote marks:
"He said he found out from Drake, who was one of the later publishers
of Erdnase that Erdnase is Andrews spelled all mixed up. His real
name was Andrews. "I [Sprong] asked Mr. Drake who this fellow
Andreios was, and he said he was sorry, he couldn't tell me. So I went
back there religiously for months and kept badgering the old man to
tell me something about this Andrews. He said he couldn't betray a
confidence and couldn't tell anything about Andrews." "
Bill Mullins wrote:Except that he told Smith that his name was Andrews, Sprong and Rullman said his name was Andrews, and possibly someone at Drake when Vernon spoke to them.
But none of this needs to be true. Gardner planted the name Andrews in Smith's mind who later by his own admission is not good with names. All the other apparent confirmations of Andrews is hearsay that cannot be confirmed.
Smith didn't act like Gardner "planted" the name, he acted like it was on the tip of his tongue and Gardner reminded him of it. "His face lighted up and he was sure that was it."
Sprong was interested in sleight of hand (he was willing to pay $100 for a center deal), and motivated to find the author. He had been interested in magic since soon after the publication of Expert. His statement carries more weight than a hearsay rumor.
Rullman's statements may in fact be speculation, but again, he was knowledgeable about the magic book scene, and his statements would have at least been _informed_ speculation.
And who says that Drake actually knew who the real author was?
If Drake didn't know, why didn't he just tell Sprong "I don't know?" What's the advantage to him to make up a story for Sprong? And then continue to maintain the story as Sprong continues to pester him?
We do not know how the book actually ended up in Drake's hands. Perhaps the author sold it to McKinney who sold it to Drake.
One thing the bankruptcy records show that hadn't been clear to me was that all of these early people were tied up with one another. Gallaway, Drake, McKinney -- their business relationships were much more incestuous than I would have guessed.
Drake may have been on the scene when McKinney printed the book. It's clear he knew McKinney. But he was involved in selling Expert so soon after its publication that McKinney's transactions with Erdnase would have been a recent memory. There's no reason to think he would have been in the dark about the matter -- it would have been due diligence for him to find out about Erdnase from McKinney before he started printing it and selling it himself.
Perhaps Drake couldn't say more because he didn't know more except the rumor that everybody seems to be repeating to this day.
Except when Drake told Sprong, it wasn't a rumor -- Drake's statement is the first time anyone said Erdnase = Andrews. Are you suggesting he made it up out of thin air?