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The New York Times, December 31, 1884


BOSTON, Mass., Dec. 30. - Samuel L. Clemens, (Mark Twain,) through his counsel, George L. Huntress, filed today in the United Stated Circuit Court a bill in equity against Estes & Lauriate, publishers, praying that they may be restrained for further distribution of a catalogue of books in which they announce that the forthcoming book by Mark Twain, entitled "Huckleberry Finn," is now ready for sale at a price reduced from $2.75 to $2.25. The bill alleges that said Estes & Lauriate publish said statement knowing it to be untrue and for the purpose of injuring the author and interfering in his business and hindering and delaying sales by his authorized agents at the regular subscription price of $2.75; that Estes & Lauriate have not said book for sale, and have never even seen a copy; that said book has not been published, as they well know, and is not for sale by any one; that said statement is made for the purpose of preventing subscriptions, and is false; that no copies of said book are to be sold except to subscribers, and that ever after publication it can be obtained by Estes & Lauriate only by collusion and conspiracy with the plaintiff's agents and by inducing them to break their lawful contract with the plaintiff to sell only to subscribers, and that they are now so conspiring. The bill also alleges past damages.

Judge Colt has issued an order to the defendant to appear on Tuesday, Jan. 6, to show cause, at which time the plaintiff will make a formal motion for an injunction. This is a test question between rival methods of publishing popular books.

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