“Suppose now, in the issue of the Courier that is due tomorrow morning there appeared an interesting write-up about a certain Marshal Hastings who was visiting Scranton, having come all the way from Texas to find and take back a certain party who was badly wanted there for some serious offense; the story could give little hints that would point to Brother Lu as the man, without actually saying so. Hugh, tell me, what do you think of that for a scheme; and might it do the work, would you say?”
SETTING THE MAN TRAP
Hugh jumped up from his chair and clapped a cap on his head.
“It’s now about four o’clock of a Friday afternoon,” he remarked, “and if we could only run across Jim Pettigrew, and he got interested in our story, why it might not be too late to get the little write-up arranged before they went to press tonight.”
Thad was all animation.
“Fine! Let’s rush around to the Courier office and see Jim!” he hastened to say. “I’ve an idea he’s a sort of Jack-of-all-trades there, writing up news, setting type in an emergency, and even helping turn off the limited edition of about five hundred copies of the paper that are run every week. So, as Friday night is the climax to their week’s work, we’re likely to find Jim there with his coat off, and on the job.”
They soon arrived at the small building on a side street where the local paper had its offices, and, indeed, every other thing connected with it, for that matter.
“There’s Jim sitting in the editor’s chair,” observed Thad, looking through a dusty window.
“Must be Mr. Adoiphus Hanks, who owns and edits the Courier, is out of town just at present. Say, that would just suit us to a fraction, wouldn’t it, Hugh?”
“It might make things easier for us,” admitted the other; and then they burst in on the important if diminutive Jim, who received them with all the airs of a metropolitan editor.
“Glad to see you, boys,” he told them; “just take seats, will you, and excuse me for three minutes. I’m winding up the main editorial for this week’s issue. Hanks is out of town, and has left me in full charge; but then that happens frequently nowadays; and, say, some foolish people have gone so far as to say they can tell when he’s absent because, well, the paper shows it; but I tell them they are only saying that to flatter me. Three minutes, boys, and I’ll be at your service.”
Whatever it was Jim was doing on the typewriter, he continued to pound laboriously away for about that length of time. Then finishing he drew the sheet out, glanced over it, made some corrections, smiled as though highly pleased, and called out to a boy who was working a hand press to come and take it to the lone compositor, standing at his case in a distant corner of the den.