Peter Arno’s Escapades

Sorry about bringing you in here at the middle of the Arno story, do have earlier clippings but they’re lost somewhere in the paper bizzard. The article does bring you up to date, though.

A second tangential interest to comics historians here in these stories; Cornelius Vanderbilt for a short while ran his own newspaper syndicate (the CV Syndicate, appropriately), which included several comic strips in their offerings.

Vanderbilt’s Tale Myth, Says Counsel
Lawyers for Arno and Mrs. Vanderbilt Give New Version of Clash

Reno, Nev., June 18 – An entirely new version of the trouble between Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr, author, and Peter Arno, New York illustrator, was told tonight by William Woodburn, attorney for Mrs. Vanderbilt, as a pending separation suit was dismissed.

Woodburn’s statement preceded a scheduled conference of Sam Platt, attorney for Vanderbilt, and himself, on the separate maintenance suit Mrs. Vanderbilt intends to file. The conference was postponed until Friday.

Vanderbilt claimed he chased Arno from his home Monday morning and tried to fire at the cartoonist, but his revolver was empty. Arno has denied knowledge of the chase.

“Mr. Arno and Mrs. Vanderbilt arrived home Sunday morning from a party at the home of mutual friends,” Woodburn said. “Before Mr. Vanderbilt arrived home they were in the house talking.

“When Mr. Vanderbilt entered the three of them talked amiably. Then Arno went home, parting as a friend.

“The next day Mr. Vanderbilt telephone Mr. Arno, threatening to pump him full of lead.

“Mr. Vanderbilt also threatened to shoot Mrs. Vanderbilt. Monday night Mr. Arno and True Vencill, a friend of Mrs. Vanderbilt came to my house to see me about it. The next day Mr. Arno told the police.”

Woodburn and Clyde Souther, attorney for Arno, both said they believed the whole affair had been fabricated by Vanderbilt. Souther added:

“Arno believes in justice and his discussion will be limited to the mere statement of fact that his relation to Mrs. Vanderbilt has always been eminently proper.”

Lois Long Divorces Arno, Cartoonist
Writer-Wife Cites Cruelty; Husband is Accused in Vanderbilt Case

Reno, Nev., June 29 – Lois Long, writer-wife of Peter Arno, obtained a divorce from the cartoonist here today on a cross complaint, which charged that she lived in “abject terror” of Arno because he was violently abusive on “hundreds of occasions.”

Miss Long did not personally appear in court, her testimony being offered by deposition.

Arno was there, however. His only witness was True Vencill, at whose home Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jr. had been staying since she separated from Vanderbilt after a quarrel, a fortnight ago, over attentions Arno was allegedly paying her. Vencill established proof of Arno’s residence in Reno for a six weeks’ period.

Within two months after their marriage at Stamford, Conn., on August 12, 1927, Arno became subject to “outbursts of jealousy,” his wife’s deposition said.

On one occasion, she alleged, he dragged her from a table at which she was dining with a friend, and there were “several occasions” when he struck her. They separated November 10, 1930.

Arno will pay $8,000 alimony the first year, $7,000 for each of the two succeeding years, and $6,000 a year thereafter. Two hundred dollars a month is to go to support of their daughter, Patricia, whose custody will be divided.

Arno, whose true name is Curtis Peters, Jr., expects to remain here for another week, and then go to Los Angeles. He had no comment to make on any future matrimonial ventures.

Arno Slips, Falls In Vanderbilt Row
One Blow Lands and Men are Separated at Chance Reno Meeting

Reno, Nev., July 3 – George E. Killmer, head of a private protective association, said Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jr., and Peter Arno, the noted cartoonist accused by Vanderbilt of breaking up his home, fought at a chance meeting at a railway station here early today.

Killmer said Vanderbilt had gone to the station “to bid good-by to Logan Billingsiea, president of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce, New York.

After they had passed each other several times hostilitiess began. Killmer related, when Arno descended from a railway coach, in appearance “retaining an insulting grin.” The officer said Mrs. Vanderbilt’s name was used by the two men, but that he “could not get them.” Vanderbilt was declared to have struck Arno, who slipped and fell, after which the men were separated.

Peter Arno Takes Count in Dispute With Entertainer

Hollywood, Nov. 6 – The New Yorker cartoonist, Peter Arno, was knocked “cold” in an Embassy Club fist fight today while celebrities looked on.

Somebody planted a “haymaker” on his chin. The knockout followed words between him and Drexel Biddle Steel, entertainer and actor from Philadelphia, who was giving a supper party for Claire Delmar, Swiss actress.

Steel denied he delivered the potent poke and Sally O’Neill, actress, companion of Arno at the club denied reports that she belabored Steel with a chair. Steel said Arno was struck by Gordon Butler, Steel’s business manager.

Arno, who once had a sensational altercation with Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jr., said he was struck by Butler after he, Arno, had seized Steel and “popped him” for “annoying my women guests, Miss Sally O’Neill and another young woman.”

Among those at the scene were Joan Crawford, Franchot Tone and Mr. and Mrs. Clark Gable.

Miss O’Neill verified Steel’s statement that it was another man who struck Arno. She said her impression was that the “other man” struck her companion on the chin from the rear, which the ringsiders agreed would have been quite a feat. One version was that Steel drew back to “paste” Arno, but that someone beat him to the punch.

Steel Wires Statement

Steel wired to New York a statement indicating he became incensed at something Arno said after Steel introduced him to Miss Delmar. Steel said Arno approached the Delmar party table and “accused me (Steel) of knowing him when his name was Curtis Peters, interior decorator for Gilda Gray.”

“I arose and presented him to Miss Delmar, which she acknowledged,” said Steel. “That was not enough for him and I explained at that moment there was just one thing he lacked – besides being born a man he had failed being born a gentleman.

“Mr. Gordon Butler, when Mr. Arno made a pass at me, stepped in to defend not only Miss Delmar but me, and sent Mr. Arno sailing across the dance floor, much to Miss Delmar’s amusement and to Mr. Arno’s surprise.”

Miss O’Neill said she supposed the way the report started that she hit Steel with a chair was that Steel stood near Arno with a chair in hand and after the knockout and that she rushed over in an attempt to prevent further toruble.

Arno Tells His Side

“Last night at the club,” said Arno, “Steel came to my table and I told him to cut out talk about his being an intimate friend of mine and that I was going in business with him.

“He went back to his table. A few minutes after that I went over to the orchestra leader and agreed to play the piano. While I was playing I saw Steel had returned to my table and was annoying my women guests.

“I walked back over to the table, grabbed him, pushed him back over to his table and then popped hiim. As I did so, this man Gordon Butler – Steel has a butler – smacked me on the side of the head and I went down.

“While this was going on Steel raised a chair and made for me. Miss O’Neill rushed in between us.

“The next time I see Drexel Biddle Steel,” Arno added, “I’m going to hang one on him that he won’t forget for a long time.”

There were no hard feelings held by Steel.

Butler admitted modestly he was the hero of the occasion.

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