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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, September 17, 1916, Image 28

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up my job, how shall we pay the rent next
week'/ Or the grocer,vman? Or anybody
else? Listen. lie told me to think it over
and let him know if 1 don't feel perfectly
satisfied. Know what that means, don't
you, honey? It means the bounce! I
can't leave there till I get another job;
but how can I get another job as long as
I'm there? Just as soon as anybody asked
him for a reference, I'd get the bounce so
quick it would make your eyes blink! No,
sir! I've got nerve enough to do a lot of
things, but 1 haven't got nerve enough to
take a ehanco on being out of work for
six months, and seeing you and the kids
turned out on the street and starving to
death. 1 haven't nervo enough for that!"
As the old saying goes, "Work is a
pleasure, but worry kills." But for the
next few weeks Paul proved the first part
of the proverb was wrong, even while he
was demonstrating that the second part
was right.
^ND then, one evening when he re
turned home, he found Margaret at
tired in her prettiest dress and wearing
the unmistakably bright look of one who
has good news to tell.
"What do you think?" she began; and,
because he could never, never guess, she
joyfully added: "The children and I have
been invited away for the summer. And
oh, Paul, it'll do them so much good!"
Inquiry revealed the fact that the fairy
godmother was an aunt of Margaret's
who lived in Massachusetts.
"She has the loveliest farm, Paul, and
she wants us to go right away and stay
till next October."
"Why, great Scott!" cried the aston
ished Paul. "That means six months."
"Yes! And I've been thinking, Paul.
There's no use in paying rent for this big
house while the children and 1 are away.
So we might just as well store the furni
ture, and you eau board near the office."
"Well, well, well!" cried Paul. "We'll
certainly have to talk this over after
supper!"
But, as every married man who reads
this story will understand, the matter
had been settled from the moment that
Margaret had put on her prettiest dress.
At the same time, it didn't hurt Paul to
talk about it a little; and almost before he
knew what ho was doing he had fetched a
barrel up out of the cellar, and they had
started to pack the china.
Oh, a thorough girl was Margaret, as
most girls are who go down on their knees
to pray; and if you want any further
proof of her thoroughness you shall have
it in a most unexpected manner just be
fore my story's done.
Meanwhile, the landlord was notified,
the furniture was moved into a neighbor's
empty barn, and on Saturday afternoon
Margaret and the children kissed Paul
good-by and started off for Massachusetts.
"You needn't be frightened now!" Mar
garet whispered in Paul's ear. "Break loose
and win!"?and sealed her words with a
kiss on the ear.
The train pulled out, and Paul stared
after it.
"By jingo, she's right!" ho exclaimed
at last. "I wonder if she's going to her
aunt's just to gi\e me a chance? By
jingo, she's right!" ho exclaimed again.
"If I don't break loose now, 1 never shall
?never! It's certainly up to me!"
He strode up and down the station
platform, waiting for a train to take him
to the city, keen-faced, reflective, thinking
those thoughts which every clerk knows
well. "If I only had a trade I could start
a little business somewhere, but?Lord!?
the only thing I know is office work, and
there's nothing in office work. My job at
the offico is nothing better than a bad
habit, and I've got to break myself of
that?or it's going to break me!"
Keen-faced, thoughtful, and most des
perately in earnest, Paul reached the city.
"I'll get a furnished room somewhere,"
he thought, "and make that my head
quarters. There used to be a lot of places
up in the Fifties."
Accordingly he took a car, and
twenty minutes later ho was walking
along West Fifty-fourth Street, looking
for those little paper signs'over the door
bells. He hadn't gono far when his eyes
fell upon a larger sign hanging on the
doorway of a garage. "Car Washer
Wanted," was the legend.
"'Quick on the jump!'" muttered Paul.
"And I could always leave it when 1 find
something better. One thing sure: I'm
through with old Xailor, and I've got to
make something to pay my board till I
find a good opening somewhere else."
At this ho resolutely shook himself free
from tho restraining hands of prido and
marched boldly into the garage.
"Had any experience?" asked the man
ager, looking doubtfully at Paul's clothes.
"Just try me on one car," suggested
Paul. "It won't cost you anything. Then
you can hire me or fire me, to suit your
self."
"Good boy," said the manager, with
an approving nod. "There's a car on the
washing floor now. Go to it, and let me
know when it's done."
^OW, there's no great trick in washing
a car, particularly when a man is clean
by nature and has often helped his wife to
wash the dishes, and especially when he
has a hose and a sponge and more wasto
and soft cloths than he knows what to do
with. So half an hour later Paul was duly
engaged as ear washer at the Imperial
Service Station. His hours were to be
from eight to six, and his wages?no
longer salary, but wages?ten dollars a
week. Paul worked tho rest of that after
noon, and more than onco he found him
self smiling at a cheerful young mechanic
who was making adjustments on cars that
didn't liavo to bo taken to tho workshop.
"Say," said tho latter once, "you ought
to wear a pair of rubber sleeves 011 that
job. Fox.v left his hanging in tho corner."
"Thanks," said Paul, and he donned
Foxy's rubber sleeves forthwith. "You
know where I can get a room around
here?" he asked.
"Sure," said the cheerful young me
chanic. "I eat my prunes next door but
one. Six a week, and all you can eat.
Say, what's your name?"
"Paul Manion; what's yours?"
"Jimmy Hritt ? hard to hit?that's me."
At this tho young men grinned at each
other like two boys in their teens.
"All right, Jimmy Britt?hard to hit,"
said Paul, swabbing away at his car. "I'm
Paul Manion?good companion; and I'll
tako a look at your boarding-house as
soon as the whistle blows."
On figuring it over, he decided to board
instead of hiring a room and eating out.
"The only way you can beat the fur
nished room game is to starve to death,"
said Jimmy. "Say, ask her to give you
the other bed in my room, will you?
There's a fellow there now who snores
liko a pipe-organ. She can shift him to
somebody elso who's studying music."
So, before dark, it happened that Paul
had found three things he hadn't known
that morning: a new job, a now place to
live, and a new friend.
"And now," thought Paul, "I must keep
my eyes open and be quick on the jump.
Then I'll find something better, just the
same as I found this."
T^OIl three weeks Paul washed cars at tho
Imperial Service Station, and every
time ho cleaned one ho learned a bit more
about it. He got a list of spares from the
office; and when he had exhausted that
he bought a second-hand edition of "IIo
man's Self-Propelled Vehicles," and began
to learn tho whys and the wherefores. At
odd times ho ran upstairs and watched
the mechanics doing repair work; and one
day, greatly daring, he climbed into a
machine he hail just cleaned, started it,
and ran it slowly oft tho washing floor.
From that it was only a stop to when ho
was driving machines into the street and
lining them up against tiio ,-urb; and after
that, of course, it was no ume at all before
ho was running them around the block.
One dav he was polishing the nickcl
work on a car, when the manager camo
out of his office and called him by a name
to which Paul was rapidly growing ac
customed?to wit: "Iley, you!"
"Iley, you!" said the manager. "I've
got a hurry call and all the boys are out.
You can drivo a car, can't you?"
"Yes, sir!" said Paul.
"Come to tho office, then. I'll find
you a cap and a coat."
For two hours that
afternoon, Pan! con
scientiously tooled
two old ladies around
Central l'ark and up
to Grant's Tomb,
driving with such
great care that they
fell violently in love
with his caution.
"Those old ladies
want you again," said
the manager next
day. "You'd better
get a license, and I'll
hire somebody else to
wash the ears. You
certainly made a hit
yesterday."
"I guess it was be
cause I went slow,"
thought Paul. "If I
was an old lady with
a lot of money, I'd
want to travel slow,
too. It's only human.
I'm beginning to sen
that whenever I get
down to something
human I'm pretty
sure to be right."
So Paul, beginning
to get in touch with
human nature for the
first time in his life,
started to figure what
he would like if he
'?/?Vir two hours that afternoon, Paul con
seientiously tooled tieoold Indies around
Central Park and Cram's Tomb."
wore a passenger and some one else
were the chauffeur. As a result ho bought
the nattiest motoring togs on Broadway,
kept his ear shining like a piece of
jewelry, drove elderly passengers with
decorum, and whisked dashing young
couples over tho road at intoxicating
speeds. And whenovor ho wasn't out on
the road or polishing his ear, Paul Manion
was in the repair shop, preparing himself
for tho next jump ho had in mind.
Ono day, when taking out his two old
ladies to Grant's Tomb, it suddenly oc
curred to him that he had seen that inter
esting mausoleum quite enough for the
present. Til bo doing this for the next
ten years if 1 don't look out," he thought.
"Its time to jump again!"
Accordingly, upon his return to the
Service Station, Paul spent the better
I'art of an hour in putting a perfect polish
on his car, and then he slowly drove
around to the front office, as the Broad
way sales-room of the Imperial Car Com
pany was called., He knew that Mr.
Martin was the big boss of the New York
office, and Paul wout straight to him
"Mr. Martin," ho said, "I started in
your garage washing cars. Then I be
canio chauffeur, and have helped on re
pairs. I know the Imperial car almost as
well as I know the alphabet, and I'd like
to have a job as demonstrator. It, isn't
more money I'm after," he quickly added.
1 only want a chance to get on. I'll
work a week for nothing if you like, and
then you can keep me hero or send me
back to the Service Station?as you think
best."
Mr. Martin looked him over keenly.
Know the car pretty well, do vou?"
"\es, sir."
"Mmm. Let's see. One of our cus
tomers has just brought his car around
here because the gear-lever is sticking all
the time. Oh, Air. Wisnor!"
A disgusted-looking man approached
trom the other end of the room.
"Let's go out and look at your ear.
1 crhaps this young man can put you right "
As a matter of fact, Paul could have
put him right without moving from the
ofliee; for in his experionce sticking gear
levers were always caused by the same
trouble. W ltliout a word, Paul unscrewed
a grease-cup in the floor-board.
"A most natural thing to forget, Mr
W isnor, he said. "You see'.' No grease
here. If you 11 jump in tho car with me,
we II run around to tho Service Station
and I 11 fill your cup."
"Very good!" cried Mr. Martin heartily.
And when you're through with that,
young man, come back to the office."
"Getting there with both feet." wrote
lau to Margaret that night. "Tell the
Little \\ onder he's going to college when
he grows up, and with heaps of love?"
JT was the custom in the Imperial office
o have one of the salesmen go out
with a prospective customer whenever a
demonstration was made. But some
times when all tho salesmen were out,
for instance, or the prospective customer
didn t look sufficiently promising?the
demonstrator was placed in sole charge.
p? i Ret a ohanoo like that," thought
Paul, 1 ve got to bo ready for it."
Now, one of the first things that Paul
did after getting his job as a demonstra
tor was to explore the streets in tho
neighborhood of the Imperial sales-room,
making careful note of those thorough
fares where the asphalt was in a particu
larly good condition.
",N? ua? bumping 'om," he thought,
its t,ho first and last impressions that
count; and it's only human."
So, early the next week, oil an after
noon when all the salesmen were busv and
aul took out his first prospects by him
s' ' ! turned and twisted around the
streets a truly wonderful manner. "You
see what a flexible car it is?" he smiled
over his shoulder. "Seo how easily she
threads in andoutand round the corners?"
It certainly rides easy," said the pros
pective customer. "Does it have regular
springs?"
If that isn't tho greatest compliment
I ve hoard yet!" said Paul. "Yes, sir; it's
a stock car in every detail!"

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