Comparing the number of the receipt which Jimmy handed him with the numbers upon a file of little pigeonholes, the clerk presently turned back toward the counter with a handful of letters.
“Whew!” thought Jimmy. “I never would have guessed that I would receive a bunch like that so early in the morning.” But then, as he saw the clerk running through them one by one, he realized that they were not all for him, and as the young man ran through them Jimmy’s spirits dropped a notch with each letter that was passed over without being thrown out to him, until, when the last letter had passed beneath the scrutiny of the clerk, and the advertiser realized that he had received no replies, he was quite sure that there was some error.
“Nothing,” said the clerk, shaking his head negatively.
“Are you sure you looked in the right compartment?” asked Jimmy.
“Sure,” replied the clerk. “There is nothing for you.”
Jimmy pocketed his slip and walked from the office. “This town is slower than I thought it was,” he mused. “’I guess they do need some live wires here to manage their business.”
At noon he returned, only to be again disappointed, and then at two o’clock, and when he came in at four the same clerk looked up wearily and shook his head.
“Nothing for you,” he said. “I distributed all the stuff myself since you were in last.”
As Jimmy stood there almost dazed by surprise that during an entire day his ad had appeared in Chicago’s largest newspaper, and he had not received one reply, a man approached the counter, passed a slip similar to Jimmy’s to the clerk, and received fully a hundred letters in return. Jimmy was positive now that something was wrong.
“Are you sure,” he asked the clerk, “that my replies haven’t been sidetracked somewhere? I have seen people taking letters away from here all day, and that bird there just walked off with a fistful.”
The clerk grinned. “What you advertising for?” he asked.
“A position,” replied Jimmy.
“That’s the answer,” explained the clerk. “That fellow there was advertising for help.”
Jimmy Hunts A job.
Once again Jimmy walked out onto Madison Street, and, turning to his right, dropped into a continuous vaudeville show in an attempt to coax his spirits back to somewhere near their normal high-water mark. Upon the next day he again haunted the newspaper office without reward, and again upon the third day with similar results. To say that Jimmy was dumfounded would be but a futile description of his mental state. It was simply beyond him to conceive that in one of the largest cities in the world, the center of a thriving district of fifty million souls, there was no business man with sufficient acumen to realize how badly he needed James Torrance, Jr., to conduct his business for him successfully.