CHAPTER I GETTING IN WITH THE GLORY BE
Sure, I was carryin' the banner. But say, I ain't one of them kids that gets callouses on the hands doin' it. When I'm handed the fresh air on payday, I don't choke to death over it. I goes out and rustles for another job. And I takes my pick, too. Why not? It's just as easy.
This time I gets a bug that the new Octopus Buildin' might have been put up special for me. Anyway, it looked good from the outside, and I blows in through the plate glass merry go round. The arcade was all to the butterscotch, everything handy, from an A. D. T. stand to Turkish baths in the basement.
"Got any express elevators?" says I to the starter guy.
"Think of buying the buildin', sonny?" says he.
"There'd be room for you on the sidewalk if I did," says I. "But say, if you can tear your eyes off the candy counter queen long enough, tell me who's got a sign out this mornin'."
"They're going to elect a second vice-president of the Interurban to-day. Would that suit you?" says he, twistin' up his lip whisker and lookin' cute.
"Maybe," says I; "but I'd take a portfolio as head office boy if I knew where to butt in."
"Then chase up to 2146," says he. "You'll find 'em waitin' for you with a net. Here's your car. Up!" and before I knows it I has done the skyrocket act up to floor twenty-one.
Well say, you wouldn't have thought so many kids read the want ads. and had the courage to tackle an early breakfast. The corridor was full of 'em, all sizes, all kinds. It looked like recess time at a boys' orphan asylum, and with me against the field I stood to be a sure loser. I hadn't no more'n climbed out before they starts to throw the josh my way.
"Hey, Reddy, get in line! The foot for yours, Peachblow!" they yells at me.
And then I comes back. "Ah, flag it!" says I. "Do I look like I belonged in your class? Brush by, you three-dollar pikers, and give a salaried man a show!"
With that I makes a quick rush at 2146 and gets through the door before they has time to make a howl. The letterin' on the ground glass was what got me. It said as how this was the home office of the Glory Be Mining Company, and there was a string of high-toned names as long as your arm. But the minute I sizes up the inside exhibit I wasn't so anxious. I was lookin' for about a thousand feet of floor space; but all I could see was a couple of six by nines, includin' a clothes closet and a corner washbowl. There was a grand aggregation of two as an office force. One was a young lady key pounder, with enough hair piled on top of her head to stuff a mattress. The other was a long faced young feller with an ostrich neck and a voice that sounded like a squeaky door.
"Go outside!" says he, wavin' his hands and puttin' on a weary look. "Mr. Pepper can't see any of you until he has finished with the mail. Now run along."
"I can't," says I; "my feet won't let me. Is that the Pepper box in there?"
The door was open a foot or two; so I steps up to take a peek at the main squeeze. And say, the minute I sees him I knew he'd do....