The city editor was excited.
“Here, Larry!” he cried. “Jump right out on this. The police have just received a report that Hamden Potter, the millionaire financier, is missing. They tried to keep it quiet, but Harvey got on to it. Hustle up to Potter’s house and get all the particulars you can. Get a picture of him. Hamden Potter missing!” he went on, as Larry hurried away on his assignment. “There’s something queer in the wind, that’s sure!”
There was—something more strange than Mr. Emberg suspected, and Larry’s assignment was one destined to last for some time.
A BRAVE GIRL
Hamden Potter lived in one of the finest houses in New York. Larry had often admired it as he walked in the neighborhood of Central Park, in which vicinity many other New York millionaires have their residences.
“Now I’ve got a chance to see the inside,” thought Larry, as he sat in the elevated train, and was whirled along toward his destination. “That is if they let me in. Guess I’ll have my hands full getting information up there. Still, if I work it right, I may learn all I want to know.”
There are only two general classes of persons from whom reporters can get news. One class is that which is only too ready to impart it, for their own ends and interests, and this news is seldom the kind the papers want. The other class consists of persons who are determined that they will give no information to the representatives of the press. This class usually has the very news that the papers want, and the journals strive all the more eagerly to get it, from the very fact that there is a desire to hold it from them. Both classes must be approached in ways best suited to them; the one that they may not take up a reporter’s valuable time with a lot of useless talk, and the other that they may be tricked into giving out that which they are determined to keep back. It was to the latter class that Larry was going that morning. On his way up he was turning over in his mind the best means of getting what he wanted.
“Some butler or private secretary will come to the door,” he reasoned. “I’ve got to get in to see a member of the family. There’s only Mrs. Potter and her daughter Grace,” for, in common with other rich men and those in the public eye, Mr. Potter’s family affairs were, in a measure, public property to the New York newspaper world.
As Larry had surmised, his ring at the door was answered by a stately butler.
“I wish to see Mr. Potter,” said the reporter, venturing on a bold stroke. He had learned several tricks of the trade.
“Mr. Potter is not home,” and the door was about to close.
“Will you take a message to Mrs. Potter?” asked Larry quickly.
The door was opened a little.
“What name?” and the butler did not relax his severity.