- Jan 2009
- Minneapolis, MN
The Fool’s Errand finds few readers today, but when it appeared, in 1879, it took the country by storm. . .
C. Alphonso Smith, Biography O. Henry, p 61 ff.The story takes place in Greensboro, which is called “Verdenton”; Judge Tourgee, “the fool,” is “Colonel Servosse”; and most of the other characters are Greensboro men easily recognized. It is certainly a noteworthy fact that “John Burleson,” a citizen of Greensboro and the hero in “A Fool’s Errand,” has recently reappeared as “Stephen Hoyle,” the villain, in “The Traitor,” the novel which Mr. Thomas Dixon has wrought into the vast and stirring historic drama called “The Birth of a Nation.” Neither author attempts an accurate appraisal of the character or career of “John Burleson” alias “Stephen Hoyle,” both interpreting him only as the rock on which the Ku Klux Klan was wrecked.