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Newspaper Page Text
Somebody explained the situa
tion in a few words, and Dun
ning's face took on an expression
of intense sympathy. He placed
one arm about Broad's shoulders
and drew him ta his feet.
"To bad, old man," he said.
"But I guess you'll be crazy now
unless you get to Crayfield as
soon as possible, so perhaps it
would be the kindest thing to let
you cover the assignment. You
had better take a taxi from the
office and. you ought to be there
in three-quarters of an hour."
"Yes, I'll go," cried Broad,
pulling himself together. There
was no longer any trace of the"
influence of liquor nbout him.
"You're right, Dunning. I'll go
at once and telephone you all
particulars. You'll have a good
story, no matter what hap
pens." He pulled his overcoat from
its hook and clapped on his hat.
As he was nearing the door Dun
ning called after him:
"Don't forget to telephone a
list a full list of the casualties,"
he said. "That's the main part,
I think. There'll be many half
crazy people in town tonight un
til they know. The 'Planet' says
that 14 were killed. But it may
be exaggerated." And he went
back to his seat, while Broad dis
appeared through the doorway.
Then, one after another, he de
tailed us; one to the railroad of
fices, another to the president's
house, another to catch the gen
eral manager at his club. I was
among the few not assigned and,
retreating to my desk, waited.
It was Dunning's custom to?
throw the papers upon the floor, .
when he had glanced over them,,
but on this occasion he folded the
"Planet" carefully and laid it.
away in his desk. This act seem
ed strangely significant to all of
"Do you think her. name is in
the 'Planet' list?" asked Kemp,
the newest reporter. "Good Lord!-'
If it were would he have let
Broad go there on an assign
ment?" We did not like to think about
the subject. It was too ghastly
for conversation. There was no
body but liked Broad, big, generous-hearted,
his occasional lapses into inso
briety had never affected his
status with the paper. And some
of us had met Miss Phayre. She
was just the kind of girl who
would make a proper wife for
Broad and keep him straight. I
had seen her at dinner with him;
the thought of that fragile, high
spirited girl crushed under the
wheels of the Washington flyer
seemed too sickening to contem
plate. Three-quarters of an hour
elapsed. Dunning sat stiffly at
his desk, writing indefatigably,
glancing over flimsies and casting
copy aside. His face was blanch
ed; the situation seemed to have
affected him as much as any of
us. Once in a while the telephone
would ring, but it was always lo--cal
news or a report from some or
the men on assignment. There
was no word from Broad.
"If she's among thema" begaa