The Bluidie Tryst,
Sir Joseph Noel Patton, 1855,
Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow.
Sophisticated professionals tsk-tsk about amateur paranoia.
Even laugh outright about writers who are afraid their brilliant opus on the love songs and sex life of Bulgarian tree-frogs will be filched by evil editors.
One may wonder why such unurbane myths persist.
We generally assume such claims and apprehensions are based on an abysmal ignorance of the industry, the conceit of isolation, or just plain conceit.
Amid the fallout from the recent implosion of a certain publisher, from the pile of bloody bodies and radioactive debris, there rose a strong - and specific - suspicion of plagarism: that a submission was stolen and glossed.
It only takes a single incident to give a legend legs.
Just like the opposite belief - that publication equals automatic best-seller - such myths are driven by a constitutional inability to separate the possible from the probable, to recognize exceptions to the rule of thumbs and averages.
So I guess, like the single swallow, these legends will always exist.