Ik a CT*4 hJ I
Habited according to the most exact rules of
smart, but highly conventional dress. Housed
with full consideration for the comforts of
mind and body. McKnight Kauffer is mathe
matically exact in the spiritual composition
of his life.
Born in Great Falls, Montana, at thirteen
he gave up academic education as it was con
ceived and executed in a school in Evansville,
Indiana, where he had already won padded
poets as prizes for his art efforts, and appren
ticed himself to the scene painter of a 10-20-30
stock company, for the wage of three-and-one-
half dollars per week.
Two years later the company failed in
Washington. After taking tickets at a third-
rate theater there for a time he got a job with
Street Kaufman, scene painters of Philadel
phia, where he worked on settings for Frank-
lyn Arbuckle's "Roundup."
A year later he was sent for by his former
boss, and joined him in Omaha. Frank Bacon,
of "Lightnin"' fame, was the lead in this stock
company and he tried to make an actor of
Kauffer. He failed. Later Kauffer went to
live for a time on Bacon's ranch in California.
I wondered at this artistic, reserved, lad among
cow punchers, Chinese cooks, Mexican bravos,
and all the rest of the melange supposed to
make up the personnel of such an establish
I asked for stories of the wild life. McKnight
Kauffer smiled and said it was a prune ranch.
Later he went to work in Paul Elder's book
shop in San Francisco, selling books some of
the time, reading them all of the timeexcept
at night when he went to art school.
A college professor offered him fifty dollars
a month to travel and study art. Kauffer nosed
his way into the Chicago Art Institute, for a
few weeks. Refusal of admittance to the life
class and a demonstration of the students
against an exhibition of modern French art
caused him to shake off the dust of that insti
tution and sail for Europe. Munich attracted
him but the language repelled him. He wan
dered on to Paris. There, in the same group
of studios in which this story is being written,
THE LONDON DYER! CLEANER!