James Thorne Smith, Jr. was an American writer of humorous supernatural fantasy fiction under the byline Thorne Smith. He is best known today for the two Topper novels, comic fantasy fiction involving sex, much drinking and supernatural transformations. Smith’s literary debut was „Biltmore Oswald” (1918), the comic fictional diary of a hapless naval recruit, drawing heavily on wartime experience with the Navy. Episodes had featured in Broadside. The book sold well enough to allow the appearance of a sequel, „Out o’ Luck” (1919). The book continues hapless sailor Oswald’s exploits in diary form throughout 1918 and the armistice and up to his eventual demobilization. Many of the entries have little or nothing to do with navy life and some of the best could easily stand alone as short stories, the best of which has Oswald looking for a bath and ending up in a duel.