, retreated in bewildered defeat before the clanging blows of steel on steel that meant the erection of
That oily-tongued , persuasive , soft-stepping stranger in the rusty Prince Albert and the black string tie who had been wont to haunt
back steps and
front offices 6
carefully wrapped bundle 5
the first twenty-story skyscraper 7 .
" As slick , "
we 3 used to say , " as
a lightning-rod agent 8 . "
Of what use
his 5 wares on
a building whose tower was robed in clouds and which used the chain lightning for a necklace 7 ?
had another curio to add to
The Fourth Avenue 10
antique dealer 9
his 9 collection of andirons , knockers , snuff boxes and warming pans .
But even as
this quaint figure 9 vanished there sprang up a new and glittering one to take
his 9 place .
He 11 stood framed in the great plate-glass window of
the very building which had brought about the defeat of 7
A miracle of close shaving
his 11 face was , and a marvel of immaculateness
his 11 linen .
he 11 was , and dressy , albeit inclined to glittering effects and a certain plethory at the back of the neck .
him 11 stood shining shapes that reflected
his 11 glory in enamel , and brass , and glass .
His 11 language was floral , but choice ;
his 11 talk was of gearings and bearings and cylinders and magnetos ;
his 11 method differed from that of
him 11 who went before as the method of
a skilled aëronaut 12 differs from that of
the man who goes over
in a barrel 13
he 11 multiplied and spread over
the land 15
we 3 coined a new figure of speech .
" Smooth ! "
we 3 chuckled .
" As smooth as
an automobile salesman 16 . "
But even as
we 3 listened , fascinated by
his 11 fluent verbiage there grew within
us 3 a certain resentment .
his 11 glittering wares bred a contempt of them , so that
he 11 fell to speaking of them as necessities instead of luxuries .
He 11 juggled figures , and thought nothing of four of them in a row .
We 3 looked at
our 3 five-thousand-dollar salary , so strangely shrunken and thin now , and even as
we 3 looked
we 3 saw that the method of
the unctuous , anxious stranger 11 had become antiquated in its turn .
his 11 ashes emerged
a new being 17 .
urger 18 nor
he 17 .
The twentieth century was stamped across
his 17 brow , and on
his 17 lips was ever the word " Service . "
Silent , courteous , watchful , alert ,
he 17 listened , while
you 20 talked .
His 17 method , in turn , made that of
the silk-lined salesman 11 sound like the hoarse hoots of
the ballyhoo man 21 at a county fair .
he 17 accepted five hundred thousand dollars and gave in return -- a promise .
we 3 would search
our 3 soul for a synonym to express all that was low-voiced , and suave , and judicious , and patient , and sure ,
we 3 began to say , " As alert as
an advertising expert 22 . "
Jock McChesney 23 , looking as fresh and clear-eyed as only twenty-one and a cold shower can make one look , stood in the doorway of .
His 23 toilette had halted abruptly at the bathrobe stage .
One of those bulky garments swathed
his 23 slim figure , while over
his 23 left arm hung a gray tweed Norfolk coat .
his 23 right hand dangled a pair of trousers , in pattern a modish black-and-white .
Jock 23 regarded the gray garment on
his 23 arm with moody eyes .
" Well ,
I 23 'd like to know what 's the matter with it ! "
he 23 demanded , a trifle irritably .
Emma McChesney 25 , in the act of surveying
her 25 back hair in the mirror , paused , hand glass poised half way , to regard .
" All right , "
she 25 answered cheerfully .
I 25 'll tell
you 23 .
It 's too young . "
" Young ! "
He 23 held it at arm 's length and stared at it .
" What d'you mean -- young ? "
Emma McChesney 25 came forward , wrapping the folds of
her 25 kimono about
her 25 .
She 25 took the disputed garment in one hand and held it aloft .
I 25 know that
you 23 look like
a man on a magazine cover 26 in it .
But Norfolk suits spell tennis , and seashore , and elegant leisure .
you 23 're going out this morning ,
Son 23 , to interview
business men 27 .
You 23 're going to try to impress
the advertising world 28 with the fact that it needs
your 23 expert services .
You 23 walk into
a business office 29 in a Norfolk suit , and
the office boy 31
the president of the company 32 30
you 23 what
your 23 score is . "
She 25 tossed it back over
his 23 arm .
I 23 'll wear the black and white , " said
Jock 23 resignedly , and turned toward .
his 23 doorway
he 23 paused and raised
his 23 voice slightly : " For that matter ,
they 27 're looking for
young men 34 .
Everybody 35 's young .
the biggest men in the advertising game 36 are just
kids 60 . "
He 23 disappeared within , still talking .
" Look at
McQuirk 37 ,
advertising manager of
the Combs Car Company 38 59
He 37 's so young
he 37 has to disguise
himself 37 in bone-trimmed eye-glasses with a black ribbon to get away with it .
Hopper 39 , of
the Berg , Shriner Company 40 .
Pulls down ninety thousand a year , and if
he 39 's thirty-five
I 23 'll -- " " Well ,
you 23 asked
my 25 advice , " interrupted 's voice with that muffled effect which is caused by a skirt being slipped over the head , " and
I 25 gave it .
Wear a white duck sailor suit with blue anchors and carry a red tin pail and a shovel , if
you 23 want to look young .
Only get into it in a jiffy ,
Son 23 , because breakfast will be ready in ten minutes .
I 25 can tell by the way
Annie 41 's crashing the cups .
So step lively if
you 23 want to pay 's subway fare . "
Ten minutes later
, sat opposite
the slim young figure , in
English-fitting black and white 23
Emma McChesney 25 at the breakfast table and between excited gulps of coffee outlined a meteoric career in
his 23 chosen field .
And the more
he 23 talked and the rosier
his 23 figures of speech became , the more silent and thoughtful fell .
She 25 wondered if five o'clock would find a droop to the set of those young shoulders ; if the springy young legs in their absurdly scant modish trousers would have lost some of their elasticity ; if the buoyant step in the flat-heeled shoes would not drag a little .
Thirteen years of business experience had taught
her 25 to swallow smilingly the bitter pill of rebuff .
this boy 23 was to experience
his 23 first dose to-day .
She 25 felt again that sensation of almost physical nausea -- that sickness of heart and spirit which had come over
her 25 when
she 25 had met
her 25 first sneer and intolerant shrug .
It had been
her 25 maiden trip on the road for
the T.A. Buck Featherloom Petticoat Company 42 .
She 25 was
now , and moving spirit in
that company 42 61
its 42 policy .
But the wound of that first insult still ached .
A word from
her 25 would have placed
the boy 23 and saved
him 23 from curt refusals .
She 25 withheld that word .
He 23 must fight
his 23 fight alone .
I 23 want to write the kind of ad , "
Jock 23 was saying excitedly , " that
you 43 see 'em staring at in the subways , and
street cars 44 and
L-trains 45 .
I 23 want to sit across the aisle and watch
their 46 up-turned faces staring at that oblong , and reading it aloud to each other . "
" Is n't that an awfully obvious necktie
you 23 're wearing ,
Jock 23 ? " inquired irrelevantly .
" This ?
You 23 ought to see some of them .
This is a Quaker stock in comparison . "
He 23 glanced down complacently at the vivid-hued silken scarf that the season 's mode demanded .
he 23 was off again .
" And the first thing
you 25 know ,
Mrs. McChesney 25 ,
ma'am 25 ,
we 47 'll have
a motor truck 48 backing up at the door once a month and
six strong men carrying
salary to the freight elevator in sacks 49
Emma McChesney 25 buttered
her 25 bit of toast , then looked up to remark quietly : " Had n't
you 23 better qualify for the trial heats ,
Jock 23 , before
you 23 jump into the finals ? "
" Trial heats ! " sneered
Jock 23 .
" They 're poky .
I 23 want real money .
It is n't enough to be just well-to-do in these days .
It needs money .
I 23 want to be rich !
Not just prosperous , but rich !
So rich that
I 23 can let the bath soap float around in the water without any pricks of conscience .
So successful that
they 50 'll say , ' And
he 23 's
a mere boy 62 , too .
Imagine ! ' "
And , "
Jock 23 dear , "
Emma McChesney 25 said , "
you 23 've still to learn that plans and ambitions are like soap bubbles .
you 23 blow and the more
you 23 inflate them , the quicker they burst .
Plans and ambitions are things to be kept locked away in
your 23 heart ,
Son 23 , with
to take an occasional peep at them . "
no one but
yourself 23 51
Jock 23 leaned over the table , with
his 23 charming smile .
You 25 're
a jealous blonde 63 , "
he 23 laughed .
I 23 'm going to be
a captain of finance 64 --
an advertising wizard 65 ;
you 25 're afraid
I 23 'll grab the glory all away from
you 25 . "
[ Illustration : " '
You 25 're a jealous blond , '
he 23 said " ]
Mrs. McChesney 25 folded
her 25 napkin and rose .
She 25 looked unbelievably young , and trim , and radiant , to be
the mother of
this boasting boy 23 25
I 25 'm not afraid , "
she 25 drawled , a wicked little glint in
her 25 blue eyes .
You 23 see ,
they 27 'll only regard
your 23 feats and say , ' H 'm , no wonder .
He 23 ought to be able to sell ice to
an Eskimo 52 .
Emma McChesney 25 . ' "
And then , being
a modern mother 25 ,
she 25 donned smart autumn hat and tailored suit coat and stood ready to reach by nine-thirty .
she 25 was as motherly as
she 25 was modern
she 25 swung open the door between
kitchen 54 and
dining-room 55 to advise with
Annie 41 ,
the adept 66 .
" Lamb chops to-night , eh ,
Annie 41 ?
And sweet potatoes .
Jock 23 loves 'em .
And corn au gratin and some head lettuce . "
She 25 glanced toward
Jock 23 in
the hallway 56 , then lowered
her 25 voice .
Annie 41 , "
she 25 teased , " just give
us 57 one of
your 41 peach cobblers , will
you 41 ?
You 41 see
he 23 --
he 23 's going to be awfully -- tired when
he 23 gets
home 58 . "