T.A. Buck threw out helpless hands. “What are we going to do about it?”
“Do? I’ve already done it.”
“Written the kind of copy that I think Featherlooms ought to have. I just took my knowledge of Featherlooms, plus what I knew about human nature, sprinkled in a handful of good humor and sincerity, and they’re going to feed it to the public. It’s the same recipe that I used to use in selling Featherlooms on the road. It used to go by word of mouth. I don’t see why it shouldn’t go on paper. It isn’t classic advertising. It isn’t scientific. It isn’t even what they call psychological, I suppose. But it’s human. And it’s going to reach that great, big, solid, safe, spot-cash mass known as the middle class. Of course my copy may be wrong. It may not go, after all, but—”
But it did go. It didn’t go with a rush, or a bang. It went slowly, surely, hand over hand, but it went, and it kept on going. And watching it climb and take hold there came back to Emma McChesney’s eye the old sparkle, to her step the old buoyancy, to her voice the old delightful ring. And now, when T.A. Buck strolled into her office of a morning, with his, “It’s taking hold, Mrs. Mack,” she would dimple like a girl as she laughed back at him—
“With a grip that won’t let go.”
“It looks very much as though we were going to be millionaires in our old age, you and I?” went on Buck.
Emma McChesney opened her eyes wide.
“Old!” she mocked, “Old! You! I! Ha!”
THE MAN WITHIN HIM
They used to do it much more picturesquely. They rode in coats of scarlet, in the crisp, clear morning, to the winding of horns and the baying of hounds, to the thud-thud of hoofs, and the crackle of underbrush. Across fresh-plowed fields they went, crashing through forest paths, leaping ditches, taking fences, scrambling up the inclines, pelting down the hillside, helter-skelter, until, panting, wide-eyed, eager, blood-hungry, the hunt closed in at the death.
The scarlet coat has sobered down to the somber gray and the snuffy brown of that unromantic garment known as the business suit. The winding horn is become a goblet, and its notes are the tinkle of ice against glass. The baying of hounds has harshened to the squawk of the motor siren. The fresh-plowed field is a blue print, the forest maze a roll of plans and specifications. Each fence is a business barrier. Every ditch is of a competitor’s making, dug craftily so that the clumsy-footed may come a cropper. All the romance is out of it, all the color, all the joy. But two things remain the same: The look in the face of the hunter as he closed in on the fox is the look in the face of him who sees the coveted contract lying ready for the finishing stroke of his pen. And his words are those of the hunter of long ago as, eyes a-gleam, teeth bared, muscles still taut with the tenseness of the chase, he waves the paper high in air and cries, “I’ve made a killing!”