“Not missing anything, are you, Mr. Denton?”
“I’ve got it all.”
Throughout, Douglas, with a strained face, had been plucking at his principal’s arm. Now Elias M. Pierce turned to him.
“Go to Judge Ransome,” he said sharply, “and get an injunction against the ‘Clarion.’”
McGuire Ellis sauntered over. “I wouldn’t,” he drawled.
“I’m not asking your advice.”
“And I’m not looking for gratitude. But just let me suggest this: Ransome may be one of the judges you brag of owning. But if he grants an injunction I’ll advise Mr. Surtaine to publish a spread on the front page, stating that we have the facts, that we’re enjoined from printing them at present, but that now or a year from now we’ll tell the whole story in every phase. With that hanging over him, I don’t believe Judge Ransome will care to issue any fake injunction.”
“There’s such a thing as contempt of court,” warned Douglas.
“Making and unmaking judges, for example?” suggested Ellis.
“Just one final word to you.” The Pierce face was thrust close to Hal’s. “You keep your hands off my daughter if you expect to live in this town.”
“My one regret for Miss Pierce is that she is your daughter,” retorted Hal. “You have given me the material for a leading editorial in to-morrow’s issue. I recommend you to buy the paper.”
The other glared at him speechless.
“It will be called,” said Hal, “‘A Study in Heredity.’ Good-day.”
And he gave the retiring magnate a full view of his back as he sat down to write it.
“Never write with a hot pen.” Thus runs one of McGuire Ellis’s golden rules of journalism. Had his employer better comprehended, in those early days, the Ellisonian philosophy, perhaps the “Heredity” editorial might never have appeared. Now, as it lay before him in proof, it seemed but the natural expression of a righteous wrath.
“Neither Kathleen Pierce nor her father can claim exemption or consideration in this instance,” Hal had written, in what he chose to consider his most telling passage. “Were it the girl’s first offense of temerity, allowance might be made. But the city streets have long been the more perilous because of her defiance of the rights of others. Here she runs true to type. She is her father’s own daughter. In the light of his character and career, of his use of the bludgeon in business, of his resort to foul means when fair would not serve, of his brutal disregard of human rights in order that his own power might be enhanced, of his ruthless and crushing tyranny, not alone toward his employees, but toward all labor in its struggle for better conditions, we can but regard the girl who left her victim crushed and senseless in the gutter and sped on because, in the words of her own bravado, she ’had a train