“I’ll be damned if I’m going to quit,” he said to himself, “if I have to turn street-sweeper. There must be some job here in the city that I am capable of filling, and I’m pretty sure that I can at least get a job as office-boy.”
And so he presented himself to the office manager of a life-insurance company that had advertised such a vacancy. A very kindly gentleman interviewed him.
“What experience have you had?” he asked.
Jimmy looked at him aghast.
“Do I have to have experience to be an office-boy?” he asked.
“Well, of course,” replied the gentleman, “it is not essential, but it is preferable. I already have applications from a dozen or more fellows, half of whom have had experience, and one in particular, whom I have about decided to employ, held a similar position with another life-insurance company.”
Jimmy rose. “Good day,” he said, and walked out.
That day he ate no lunch, but he had discovered a place where an abundance might be had for twenty-five cents if one knew how to order and ordered judiciously. And so to this place he repaired for his dinner. Perched upon a high stool, he filled at least a corner of the aching void within.
Sitting in his room that night he took account of his assets and his liabilities. His room rent was paid until Saturday and this was Thursday, and in his pocket were one dollar and sixty cents. Opening his trunk, he drew forth a sheet of paper and an envelope, and, clearing the top of the rickety little table which stood at the head of his bed, he sat down on the soiled counterpane and wrote a letter.
I guess I’m through,
I have tried and
failed. It is hard to admit it, but I guess I’ll
have to. If you will send me the price I’ll
Slowly he folded the letter and inserted it in the envelope, his face mirroring an utter dejection such as Jimmy Torrance had never before experienced in his life.
“Failure,” he muttered, “unutterable failure.”
Taking his hat, he walked down the creaking stairway, with its threadbare carpet, and out onto the street to post his letter.
Jimmy Lands one.
Miss Elizabeth Compton sat in the dimly lighted library upon a deep-cushioned, tapestried sofa. She was not alone, yet although there were many comfortable chairs in the large room, and the sofa was an exceptionally long one, she and her companion occupied but little more space than would have comfortably accommodated a single individual.
“Stop it, Harold,” she admonished. “I utterly loathe being mauled.”
“But I can’t help it, dear. It seems so absolutely wonderful! I can’t believe it—that you are really mine.”
“But I’m not—yet!” exclaimed the girl.