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Newspaper Page Text
A COMBINATION AFFAIR
By John Edgerton
At 12 o'clock John Jennings laid
down his pen, got down from his high
stool and went quietly-toward the
office of Mr. Campion, the new man
ager. He knocked timidly at the
"Come in!" shouted Campion. "Oh,
it's you, Jennings?"
"Yes, sir," stammered Jennings,
looking at Campion with courage
born of desperation. "Mr. Campion, I
want to ask if the firm couldn't let
me have a little more than a hundred
after this month. I've been here 20
years, sir, and it's eight years since
I had my last increase."
That was known to Campion. Un
der the old regime Jennings had been
in a fair way to being promoted to the
post of manager himself. But the
new people had had other ideas. They
regarded Jennings as an old fossil.
Campion had taken a secret dislike
toward the patient bookkeeper, whose
back was always bent so humbly over
' ' "You see, sir," said Jennings, "my
'wife has been ordered away for two
for three months and and it's pretty
hard to keep things going on $25 a
J "Sit down, Jennings," said Cam
pion. He found what he meant to say
iunaccountably difficult and for that
reason he began to bluster. "Jen
.nings. I have been thinking about you
ifor some time," he said. "We can't
raise you. In fact, it was my inten
sion to ask you to resign at the end
. of the month."
Jennings .struck dumb by the blow,
i :nly looked appealingly at Campion.
'We'll give you a month's salary
1 ahead. And no doubt you'll fall into
t another position very soon one
;more suited to you. That'll be all,
Utterly crushed, Jennings crept
back to his stooL His mind whirled,
chaos seemed to have, opened be
neath his feet. To lose his positioi
after 20 years-' service, at-forty-three
What could he do? It was the mos
terrible thing that had ever happened
He said nothing to his wife. Mary
and he never discussed office affairs.
He watched her faded beauty, her
thin face, he looked at her shabby
clothes and an immense bitterness
filled his heart. Why 'should he be
deprived of all the joy of life, why
should Mary be condemned to this
They Wrestled To and Fro.
poverty, why should both be at the
mercy of a man like Campion.
Rothway, the president, was well
disposed toward Jennings, but he
would never go over Campion's head.
Campion was a bully and a fast liver.
He had bluffied his way into his post
and inspired a faith in Rothway's
mind which was unwarranted. If
Rothway had known Campion's his
tory but he knew nothing of Cam
pion except what he had, read on his
The days flew by. Jennings had
barely a week at the office where "he