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CHAPTER I CHANGING IT FOR VEE Say, what's next to knowin' when you're well off? Why, thinkin' you are. Which is a little nugget of wisdom I panned out durin' a chat I had not long ago with Mr. Quinn, that I used to work under when I was on the door of the Sunday sheet, three or four years back. "Hail, Torchy!" says he, as we meets accidental on Broadway. "Still carrying the burning bush under your hat, aren't you?" I grins good-natured at... more...

CHAPTER I ON THE WAY WITH CECIL It was a case of declarin' time out on the house. Uh-huh—a whole afternoon. What's the use bein' a private sec. in good standin' unless you can put one over on the time-clock now and then? Besides, I had a social date; and, now Mr. Robert is back on the job so steady and is gettin' so domestic in his habits, somebody's got to represent the Corrugated Trust at these function things. The event was the... more...

CHAPTER I THE UP CALL FOR TORCHY Well, it's come! Uh-huh! And sudden, too, like I knew it would, if it came at all. No climbin' the ladder for me, not while they run express elevators. And, believe me, when the gate opened, I was right there with my foot out. It was like this: One mornin' I'm in my old place behind the brass rail, at the jump-end of the buzzer. I'm everybody's slave in general, and Piddie's football in particular. You... more...

CHAPTER I VEE TIES SOMETHING LOOSE I forget just what it was Vee was rummagin' for in the drawer of her writin' desk. Might have been last month's milk bill, or a stray hair net, or the plans and specifications for buildin' a spiced layer cake with only two eggs. Anyway, right in the middle of the hunt she cuts loose with the staccato stuff, indicatin' surprise, remorse, sudden grief and other emotions. "Eh?" says I. "Is it a woman-eatin'... more...

CHAPTER I THE QUICK SHUNT FOR PUFFY I must say I didn't get much excited at first over this Marion Gray tragedy. You see, I'd just blown in from Cleveland, where I'd been shunted by the Ordnance Department to report on a new motor kitchen. And after spendin' ten days soppin' up information about a machine that was a cross between a road roller and an owl lunch wagon, and fillin' my system with army stews cooked on the fly, I'm suddenly called... more...


CHAPTER I WISHING A NEW ONE ON SHORTY Do things just happen, like peculiar changes in the weather, or is there a general scheme on file somewhere? Is it a free-for-all we're mixed up in—with our Harry Thaws and our Helen Kellers; our white slavers, our white hopes, and our white plague campaigns; our trunk murders, and our fire heroes? Or are we runnin' on schedule and headed somewhere? I ain't givin' you the answer. I'm just slippin'... more...

CHAPTER I Excuse me, mister man, but ain't you—Hello, yourself! Blamed if I didn't think there was somethin' kind of natural about the looks, as you come pikin' by. How're they runnin', eh? Well say, I ain't seen you since we used to hit up the grammar school together. You've seen me, eh? Oh, sure! I'd forgot. That was when you showed up at the old Athletic club the night I got the belt away from the Kid. Doin' sportin' news then,... more...

CHAPTER I GOLIAH AND THE PURPLE LID One of my highbrow reg’lars at the Physical Culture Studio, a gent that mixes up in charity works, like organizin’ debatin’ societies in the deaf and dumb asylums, was tellin’ me awhile back of a great scheme of his to help out the stranger in our fair village. He wants to open public information bureaus, where a jay might go and find out anything he wanted to know, from how to... more...

SHORTY AND THE PLUTE Notice any gold dust on my back? No? Well it's a wonder there ain't, for I've been up against the money bags so close I expect you can find eagle prints all over me. That's what it is to build up a rep. Looks like all the fat wads in New York was gettin' to know about Shorty McCabe, and how I'm a sure cure for everything that ails 'em. You see, I no sooner take hold of one down and outer, sweat the high livin' out of him,... more...

SKIPPER BEING THE BIOGRAPHY OF A BLUE-RIBBONER At the age of six Skipper went on the force. Clean of limb and sound of wind he was, with not a blemish from the tip of his black tail to the end of his crinkly forelock. He had been broken to saddle by a Green Mountain boy who knew more of horse nature than of the trashy things writ in books. He gave Skipper kind words and an occasional friendly pat on the flank. So Skipper's disposition was... more...