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Newspaper Page Text
scrupulous. But- she would rather
have postponed their marriage for
ever than 'have permitted Harold to
violate -his conscience.
During the next few weeks Rawson
discovered that the ramifications of
the business were more numerous
than he could possibly have dreamed
of. There was a sort of free masonry
about the office which made all the
records; except the most secret ones,
open to the investigation of everyone.
Old Smith had meant "what he said
when he told Rawson that the man
with brains had his opportunity. .
Before two months- had elapsed
half a dozen of the clerks had left.
Mysteriously; without notice, they
disappeared. It was a prevalent idea
that nobody liad a chance at Smith &
Blake's. "The minute old Smith be
gins to notice1 you, you may as well
look round for another job," declared
one of the men t6 Rawson. "The old
ghoul sucks his employes' brain's dry
and flings them aside like sucked"
After six monihs Rawsoii was still
getting nine dollars a week. He now
stood sixth, in order of priority among
the clerks. And then came the morn
ing when Smith sent for him into his
"Mr. Rawson," declared the old
man, waving him to a chau "I have
been watching you and your, record. I
am pleased to see that your are punc
tual, indusbfiqus and courteous, and
that you havecommon sense."
'This must be the beginning of. the
end, thought Rawson, yet feeling flat
tered by -the old man's words.
"Those qualities," continued Smith,
"are possessed -by , many excellent
street car conductors, elevator men,
railroad porters and ice cream ped
dlers They are invaluable as props
tOrability, but they are of no use un
less supported by brains. Now, Mr.
Rawson, Mr. Blake and.I want advice
upon-a certain brief. We have inves
tigated the matter and. have both
come to the same decision. We 'want
further advice. We want your advice.
Take it home with you, study it cara
fully, and do not return until Satur-,
day morning, when I shall ask to have,
your own recommendations-typewritten
in about two thousand words."
Rawson looked at the paper which
Mr. Smith 'handed him. It startled
him. It was a lawsuit proposed by the
famous Pontifex corporation against
an unknown individual named-Jones.
The Pontifex corporation owned mil
lions of dollars' worth of land" in the
business section of the city; their
patronage alone must suffice to keep
a firm like Smith & Blake in exist
ence, clerks and all.
On the following Friday afternoon
Netta was startled by a visit from- her
fiance. He looked haggard and dis
mayed. "What is. it, dearest?" she asked in
bewilderment. "Are you ill? You "
"I am out-tf -Smith & Blake," answered-
Harold despondently. "The
scoundrels! They have asked my ad
vice, about a case.. involving five mil
lion ,dollars',.worth:of . patent rights.
The fee alone is worth a quarter of a
million. They are-trying to swindle
an inventor, and .Smith & Blake ex
pect me to tell them whether the
roguescan"skin tfirough and ' save
themselves from the penitentiary. I
havej written my advice, to the effect,
that. I haven't examined-the statute,
because tie statutes never contem
plated trickery of this kind "
H$ be'came' incoherent as he pro
ceeded. The shock of. the discovery
of the firm's crookedness had over
whelmed him. Prom first to last ia the
brief :there was no word or suggestion
as td the moral aspect of the case.
"Harold, I think you will do right to
leave" them? said Netta firmly, lifting
her sweet hps to his.
Fortified by which decision Rawson
appeared before Smith next
"My. advice, sir," he said, handing
the -lawyer a typewritten paper con
taining three lines of letting.
Mr. Smith looked at it, then looked
up at tie young fellow. "Hum! This