"I have killed a thousand men. In the dark alleys of small towns I have waylaid and slugged them; on foggy streets of sleeping cities I have clubbed and knifed them; in the dens of the tenderloin and the hideouts of gangsters I have shot them in cold blood; on the rolling pampas of the Argentine I have murdered them with my bola; on our own Western plains I have fanned them with my six-gun; aboard ships on every sea, in waterfront dives of every port, in tall city buildings and in quiet suburban homes, I have wrenched from my victims their last agonized cries, watched expressions of incredulity spread across their tortured faces. I have killed all these men in all these places -- for a penny a word...."
-- Opening lines from "A Penny A Word," a bitter confession published in the April 1936 issue of H. L. Mencken's American Mercury
. The anonymous author is now thought to have been Anthony M. Rud, novelist turned pulp writer, and my grandfather.
"Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion."
-- L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology.