Have Your Ticket Punched by Frank James by Fedora Amis

Have Your Ticket Punched by Frank James by Fedora Amis

Author:Fedora Amis
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Gale, Cengage Learning
Published: 2019-06-24T16:00:00+00:00


CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

Wednesday Morning, November 23, 1898

Suetonius Hamm’s bald-headed self met them at the door with a gruff, “My office. Now.”

Hal hustled to park his camera equipment and ran to catch up to Jemmy. Hamm stood in the open office door with the knob in his hand. Hal flattened himself to slide in without touching Hamm’s protruding belly.

Hamm shut the door and tromped round to plop behind his desk. “What’s this I hear about shoes?” His lower lip drew up in a pout that made him look even more like an English bull terrier.

Thoughts raced through Jemmy’s head. I’ve gone and done it now. Hamm is going to fire both of us.

Hamm smacked his desk with a copy of the Illuminator. “Well? Say something. McBustle, who told you to butter up one of our advertisers?”

All of a sudden, Jemmy’s wool cape seemed to grow twenty pounds heavier. Perspiration trickled down from her hat and made her forehead itch. An overwhelming desire to cast it aside flooded her brain. She didn’t dare move, not even to take off her smothering gloves.

Some stunt reporter I am. Getting myself fired—and Hal, too—because I’m always after the big story instead of sticking to my assignments. “It was all my fault, Mr. Hamm. It was my idea. Please don’t blame Hal.”

“Blame? Who said anything about blame?”

Hal and Jemmy traded sidelong glances at this unforeseen development. Is Hamm going to fire us or not?

Jemmy ventured, “I don’t quite understand.”

“What’s there to understand? Mr. Barr called Mrs. Willmore and doubled the size of his adverts. Mrs. Willmore invited me to her office to congratulate me on my good business sense.

“I felt a ruddy fool, I can tell you. Had no idea what she was talking about.” He pointed at Jemmy with his rolled-up Illuminator. “Next time you let me know before you charge off on some wild-haired plan. If advertisers are involved, you let me know.”

“Does that mean you’re happy because we did something right?”

Hamm snorted. “As Virgil says, ‘Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas. Happy the man who could search out the causes of things.’ ”

“So Mrs. Willmore liked the idea of my feature story on winter shoes?”

Jemmy felt Hal’s elbow nudge her arm. “And the picture? Does she approve of using a photograph, too—even with the added expense?”

“Mr. Barr said photography clinched the deal.”

Reluctance written all over his face, Hamm opened his cigar humidor—the humidor reserved for handing out honors to reporters who landed big stories. He delivered one each to Jemmy and to Hal. “Back to work with you two, and, next time, ask permission.”

Jemmy had previously earned two of Hamm’s cigars. Of course, she had to open the humidor herself and appropriate them as her just and proper reward. This was the first time Hamm actually handed her a cigar. So what if he only gave her the cigar because Jemmy made Mrs. Willmore happy?

No longer overheated, Jemmy walked calmly into the pressroom and held her trophy cigar aloft. She motioned for Hal to follow suit.



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