“The boys say they can’t sell any copies of the news tonight because the prize fight isn’t in it,” replied George, looking curiously at the editor as so many of the employees had done during the day. Mr. Norman hesitated a moment, then walked into the room and confronted the boys.
“How many papers are there here? Boys, count them out, and I’ll buy them tonight.”
There was a combined stare and a wild counting of papers on the part of the boys.
“Give them their money, George, and if any of the other boys come in with the same complaint buy their unsold copies. Is that fair?” he asked the boys who were smitten into unusual silence by the unheard of action on the part of the editor.
“Fair! Well, I should—But will you keep this up? Will dis be a continual performance for the benefit of de fraternity?”
Mr. Norman smiled slightly but he did not think it was necessary to answer the question.
He walked out of the office and went home. On the way he could not avoid that constant query, “Would Jesus have done it?” It was not so much with reference to this last transaction as to the entire motive that had urged him on since he had made the promise.
The newsboys were necessarily sufferers through the action he had taken. Why should they lose money by it? They were not to blame. He was a rich man and could afford to put a little brightness into their lives if he chose to do it. He believed, as he went on his way home, that Jesus would have done either what he did or something similar in order to be free from any possible feeling of injustice.
During the week he was in receipt of numerous letters commenting on the absence from the News of the account of the prize fight. Two or three of these letters may be of interest.
Editor of the News:
Dear Sir—I have been thinking for some time of changing my paper. I want a journal that is up to the times, progressive and enterprising, supplying the public demand at all points. The recent freak of your paper in refusing to print the account of the famous contest at the Resort has decided me finally to change my paper.
Please discontinue it.
Very truly yours,-------
Here followed the name of a business man who had been a subscriber for many years.
Editor of the Daily News, Raymond:
Dear Ed.—What is this sensation you have given the people of your burg? What new policy have you taken up? Hope you don’t intend to try the “Reform Business” through the avenue of the press. It’s dangerous to experiment much along that line. Take my advice and stick to the enterprising modern methods you have made so successful for the News. The public wants prize fights and such. Give it what it wants, and let some one else do the reforming business.