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Newspaper Page Text
His nerves were already tingling.
This slight incident completely upset
his equilibrium. He saw the puffy
faced man, who had begun to look
exceedingly uncomfortable, appar
ently attempting to conceal himself
behind his newspaper. On the other
side of the girl the mean-faced in
dividual was snickering, evidently at
her indignation. It was just a com
mon Subway incident; the p"ffy
faced man was evidently one of those
despicable creatures who make a
practice of molesting women. Col
lins leaped forward and dragged the
puffy-faced man from his seat. Hold
ing him by the collar with one hand
he delivered a clean uppercut with
the free fist, and had the satisfaction
of landing squarely upon the puffy
faced man's optic.
Instantly the car was in an uproar.
Collins found himself the center of
a mass of. struggling humanity. A
man was clapping him on the shoul
der and shouting approvingly. "Wei!
done, young fellow!" he exclaimed.
"That's the way we Southerners
would do. Give him what he de
serves!" Others were straining to
get at the puffy-faced man, who,
prone on the floor, was endeavoring
to shield himself from a rain of kicks
Collins worked himself free and
tried to help the girl through the
throng. He reached her and offered
her his arm. She declined it indig
nantly, and Collins, crestfallen, fol
lowed her to the car door, where he
was at once seized by a gray-coated
"Hold him!" yelled the puffy-faced
man, who, hatless and coatless, now
appeared on the scene. Even then
Collins noticed with satisfaction that
his eye .was nearly closed and sur
rounded by a widening circle of black,
shading off into a medley of crimson,
magenta and maroon. "That's the
fellow that assaulted and tried to rob
Collins saw the girl stop suddenly,
hesitate, and then return impulsively
toward him. She laid her hand upon
"No, it is a mistake," she said.
''This gentleman tried to protect me
against a despicable fellow who was
insulting me, only only "
Her lips were trembling and she
was evidently overcome by her emo
tion. Collins looked up, wretched to
think that he should have been the
cause of bringing tears to her eyes.
Then, to his amazement, he saw that
it was mirth, not fear, that agitat"i
"Only he struck the wrong man,"
she said. "This gentleman was per
"Innocent!" snorted the puffy
faced man. "I should say that V am
innocent. I am a family man, and I
can't go home with a black eye. Be
sides, I'm a churchwarden, and
there's nothing in my life I have to
conceal. My name is Robert B. Al
lison, president or the Western Man
ufacturing Company, and the little
influence that I have I shall use to
see that this young blackguard gets
the punishment he deserves."
Collins was thunderstruck at this
piece of information. Surely fate
had dealt very hardly with him. The
puffy-faced man, who had now ad
justed his coat and hat, did not look
much like a prospective employer.
"Mr. Allison," he said impulsively,
"I don't care for myself, but if you
are a gentleman you will let me get
this lady out of this crowd. Won't
you accept my humble apologies?
My name is Collins Frank Collins,
and I was on my way downtown to
apply to you for a position. I lose
the position; let us call the account
"You are Mr. Allison!" exclaimed
the girl. "Why, I am Grace Loomis,
and I was on my way to your office
in answer to your letter JLo call con
cerning a private secretaryship."
There was an awful silence. Col
lins dared not look up. The crowd
was melting away; the three stood
there together, for even the guard