A successful reporter—
the editor decides to send
him as correspondent
to the Philippines— leaving new York— in Chicago.
At three o’clock in the afternoon Archie was seated in Mr. Van Bunting’s office, together with Mr. Jennings and several of the chief members of the editorial staffs of both editions of the paper. The editors had spread out before them, on the large table, several maps, and most of them were busily engaged in making notes on little paper pads. All the time, however, an excited conversation was being carried on, for some editors wanted Archie to proceed to the Philippines one way, and some thought that the better plan would be for him to go by some other route. But the important fact with Archie was that he was really going to be sent to the Philippines as a war correspondent, and that he was going to start very shortly. He had called on Mr. Van Bunting early in the afternoon, and had then learned for the first time what the new plan was to be. When the managing editor asked him how he would like to go to the Philippines, Archie could scarcely reply, so delighted was he with the brilliant prospect before him. He managed to stammer out a few words, though, in spite of his surprise. “I always thought war correspondents were selected from the most experienced men in journalism,” he said, but Mr. Van Bunting only laughed. “That’s what we have already done, my boy,” he said, “and so far none of our distinguished correspondents have sent us a thing worth printing that we didn’t already know. You see they can’t send any more to us in the way of news than we can get from the War Department in Washington, and most of these men are too old fogy to send us anything out of the ordinary line of war correspondence. Now, what we want is for you to go over there and have some adventures, and write us something which will be different from what we have had before from the Philippines. We are sending you, because you have had no experience at such work, and will be sure to send us something unusual, and that is what we want. If you can only do as well in the tropics as you have done here in New York, we shall be more than satisfied with your work. I am sorry that I won’t have time to give you very complete instructions, but perhaps it will be as well. And now some of the men are waiting outside to come in and talk this matter over, so we’ll have them in now.”
And Archie found himself in the midst of an editorial conference, during which many things were discussed. The meeting lasted more than two hours, and finally it was decided that Archie should travel from New York to San Francisco, and go from there to Manila on the army transport which was to sail on the twenty-fifth of the month. This meant that he would have to leave the city in two days’ time, and Archie