Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1943 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
Newspaper Page Text
"fVJIV" VCtf1"!,"" " J lJyjP!'
EINGERS AND THUMBS
By Elizabeth Benton.
, "So you're the young man that
tliinks he can act as my secretary,
liey?" inquired Mr. Fagan, swinging
round in his swivel chair and staring
at Blake under a pair of bushy gray
eyebrows. "Nine and twenty I've
tjirned down today, but if you think
you can manage shake hands!"
The transition from sternness to
suavity was entirely disconcerting to
the young college man. It was his
first application for a position, and
the salary as secretary to the owner
of the big chemical works was fifty
dollars a week. Blake had flown at
high game for a youngster of twenty
five. He gave Mr. Fagan his hand and
felt a peculiar pressure of the fingers,
which his own leaped to meet Then:
"I left college last year, sir," he
began. "I can "
"Tut, tut, young man!" replied the
centric, "Consider yourself, en
gaged. It warms my tieaf to meet '
you. No, no explanations. I don't
want to know what you are or what
you can.do. I'm a judge of men and
we're both Irishmen, ain't we?"
"Indeed we are," said Blake enthu
siastically. And so he went to work
and proved highly efficient. In fact,
before the month was out Fagan had
become so attached to him that he
was constantly requesting his pres
ence at his splendid home on the
outskirts of the manufacturing town.
Blake had two troubles about this
time. One was his inability to dis
cover how it could be that a man of
Fagan's apparent limited education
had gone through college. The other
was Fagan's daughter, Muriel. It was
a case of love at first sight with both
the young people. When Blake held
Miss Muriel's little hand in his and
looked into her eyes he knew that he
had met his destiny.
But how could a fifty-dollar a week
man, with an uncertain future, aspire
to the hand of the daughter of Pitts
ton's wealthiest citizen? If he had
known it, Fagan could have been
taken by storm during those first two
or three weeks. A self-made man,
he admired the young collegian im
mensely and had secretly considered
him in the light of Muriel's suitor.
But Blake did not know that Fagan's
education had been derived from
reading the newspapers he sold in
front of the chemical works, before
these became his own property. And,
as a. supposed college man who had
deliberately cultivated rough ways
and coarse language, Blake looked
upon his employer with something
It was about two months after his
introduction to the manufacturer's
house that he found himself seated
beside Miss Muriel upon the piazza.
It was a moonlight night; the view
was superb; the noises of the city
sounded far away and remote; and
Fagan was snoring in his library. The
combination proved irresistible. And
besidesjthat hand that hung near hi3