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The Louisiana editor and poet Basil Thompson (1892-1924) was a friend and colleague to many who signed the door. Well-known in the New Orleans literary community, Thompson had his work published in nationally known magazines such as the Bookman and Smart Set, and he published two books of poetry before becoming cofounder and editor, with Julius Weis Friend, of the little magazine the Double Dealer in 1920. Printed in New Orleans, the Double Dealer published fiction, essays, and poems by many major writers. It includes frequent contributions of the lesser known Vincent Starrett, who was a good friend of Thompson's. Thompson worked on the magazine until his unexpected death from pneumonia in 1924. His signature on the door, "Sir" Basil Thompson, is a joking reference to the similarly named Sir Basil Thomson, a well-known British government official and writer.
A letter from Theodore Dreiser to Basil Thompson, November 20, 1920
The Double Dealer did not publish the story offered in this note, presumably due to the high fee required by the well-established Dreiser. The story was published as "Khat" in Dreiser's 1927 collection Chains: Lesser Novels and Stories.