In the morning he had recovered his balance, and with it his dogged determination to see the matter through. He forced himself to read the leading editorial, finding spirit even to admire the dexterity with which he had held out the promise of good behavior to the business interests, whilst pretending to a sturdy independence. Shearson met him at the entrance to the building, beaming.
“That’ll bring business,” said the advertising manager. “I’ve had half a dozen telephones already about it.”
“That’s good,” replied Hal half-heartedly.
“Yes, sir,” pursued the advertising manager: “I can smell money in the air to-day. And, by the way, I’ve got a tip that, for a little mild apology, E.M. Pierce will withdraw both his suits.”
“I’ll think about it,” promised Hal. He was rather surprised at the intensity of his own relief from the prospect of the court ordeal. At least, he was getting his price.
McGuire Ellis was, for once, not asleep, though there was no work on his desk when Hal entered the sanctum.
“Veltman’s quit,” was his greeting.
“I’m not surprised,” said Hal.
“Then you’ve seen the editorial page this morning?”
“Yes. But what has that to do with Veltman’s resignation?”
“Everything, I should think. Notice anything queer about the page?”
“Look it over again.”
Hal took up the paper and scrutinized the sheet. “I don’t see a thing wrong,” he said.
“That lets me out,” said Ellis grimly. “If you can’t see it when you’re told it’s there, I guess I can’t be blamed for not catching it in proof. Of course the last thing one notices is a stock line that’s always been there unchanged. Look at the motto of the paper. Veltman must have chiseled out the old one, and set this in, himself, the last thing before we went to press. How do you like it? Looks to me to go pretty well with our leading editorial this morning.”
There between the triumphal cocks, where formerly had flaunted the braggart boast of the old “Clarion,” and more latterly had appeared the gentle legend of the martyred President, was spread in letters of shame to the eyes of the “Clarion’s” owner, the cynic profession of the led captain, of the prostituted pen, of all those who have or shall sell mind and soul and honor for hire;—
"Whose Bread I Eat, his Song I Sing."
Mr. Belford Couch was a man of note. You might search vainly for the name among the massed thousands of “Who’s Who in America,” or even in those biographical compilations which embalm one’s fame and picture for a ten-dollar consideration. Shout the cognomen the length of Fifth Avenue, bellow it up Walnut and down Chestnut Street, lend it vocal currency along the Lake Shore Drive, toss it to the