“Ef thet’s the case, an’ there’s goin’ ter be a newspaper here in Millville, we may as well give up the struggle, fer the town’ll be ruined!”
DIVIDING THE RESPONSIBILITY
The rest of that day and a good share of the night was devoted to an earnest consultation concerning the proper methods of launching the Millville Daily Tribune.
“We must divide the work,” said Patsy, “so that all will have an equal share of responsibility. Louise is to be the literary editor and the society editor. That sounds like a good combination.”
“There is no society here,” objected Louise.
“Not as we understand the term, perhaps,” replied Miss Doyle; “but every community, however small, believes it is a social center; and so it is—to itself. If there is a dance or a prayer meeting or a christening or illness, it must be recorded in our local columns. If Bob West sells a plow we’ve got to mention the name of the farmer who bought it; if there’s a wedding, we’ll make a double-header of it; if a baby is born, we will—will—”
“Print its picture in the paper. Eh, Uncle John?” This from Beth.
“Of course,” said Mr. Merrick. “You must print all the home news, as well as the news of the world.”
“How are you going to get the news of the world?” asked Arthur.
“That was my question.”
“Private wire from New York,” said Mr. Merrick, as the girls hesitated how to meet this problem. “I’ll arrange with the telegraph company to-morrow to have an extension of the wire run over from Chazy Junction. Then we’ll hire an operator—a girl, of course—to receive the news in the office of the paper.”
“But who will send us the news?” asked Beth.
“The Associated Press, I suppose, or some news agency in New York. I’ll telegraph to-morrow to Marvin to arrange it.”
Arthur whistled softly.
“This newspaper is going to cost something,” he murmured. Uncle John looked at him with a half quizzical, half amused expression.
“That’s what Marvin warned me yesterday, when I ordered the equipment,” said he. “He told me that before I got through with this deal it would run up into the thousands. And he added that Millville wasn’t worth it.”
“And what did you say to that, Uncle John?” asked Beth.
“In that case, I said, I would be sure to get some pleasure and satisfaction out of your journalistic enterprise. My last financial statement showed a frightful condition of affairs. In spite of Major Doyle’s reckless investments of my money, and—and the little we manage to give to deserving charities, I’m getting richer every day. When a small leak like this newspaper project occurs, it seems that Fortune is patting me on the back. I’ve no idea what a respectable newspaper will cost, but I hope it will cost a lot, for every dollar it devours makes my mind just that much easier.”