I wrote to David then to tell him that that copy was the very one I'd used for a paper I'd written on Norris when I was a junior at Hiram College. The course was American Thought II; the teacher was Prof. Abe C. Ravitz, from whom I would eventually take seven courses. Norris (1870-1902) wrote in the tradition of Realism and Naturalism, and Dr. Ravitz assigned his McTeague and The Octopus in different classes.
I liked Norris--mostly, at that time, because I could understand him! (I wasn't always too sure what was going on in Hawthorne and Melville; good old FN, though, he kept it simple--and grim.) Blix, however, is not grim--though it is uncomplicated--more a simple story, a romance, really. Near the end, for example, our boy and girl are now united: "But his arm was around her and the strong young force that looked into her eyes from his gave her courage" (338-39). That sort of thing.
Well, you can guess what was inside the wrapping of David's present. Blix. And I wept in gratitude--for David's incredible thoughtfulness. For Prof. Abe C. Ravitz. For unexpected--and treasured--gifts.