Page images

Wade contrived a perfunctory smile and a monosyllabic answer. He wasn't for anybody, much, except Theron.

many frugalities. This was never expressed in words, but Theron felt it. So he hated Brill in growing measure as weeks and months drifted by.

The young men worked in silence for a few minutes. Then Walter Pratt, the chief of their division, entered. He was a drab, gray, little man in his dwindling fifties, soberly garbed like a preacher of the old school, hopelessly steeped in routine. His voice was dusty, like his eyes protected by thick, polished lenses.

“Brill, here's this new schedule proof to compare with the original. Read it very carefully, please, and I'd like to have it soon after lunch to send downstairs. There's been delay on it already."

He glided noiselessly upon rubber soles back into his office. The door swung shut bebind him. From the basement, far below, came the muffled thunder of the presses, busy turning out the printed matter of diversified sales systems which were finding favor around the world.

D RILL stretched back in his chair with a

prodigious yawn, while he stared in enmity at some sheets of figures requiring immediate attention. “Too fine a day to be cooped up with this junk!” grumbled his resonant baritone. “Makes you feel like an old woman with her tatting! Wadie, wouldn't it give you a pain in the gizzard, if you had any?”

The good-natured mockery got no "rise” from Theron. Back in school days they had said he was about as sensitive to flings as a tortoise to mosquito stings. His cold gray eyes, bleakly lighting a bawk's profile, stared unblinkingly at Brill.

“It's work,” replied his dry, precise voice. “We've got to work to live.”

“I'd rather live than work,” flippantly responded Lambert, yawning again. “Well, if I have to—” and with a prodigious sigh he languidly stretched forth a brown, stubby hand for the sheets of figures.

As he made ready to attack his own columns, preparatory to a session at the adding machine, Wade glanced at Brill, from under lowered lids, in a stealthy habit he had. That he did not care for Lambert was evident from this look. His mask of cool friendliness, assumed for Brill's face, was-only that. The lightninglike look from the gray eyes had shown startling malice.

Yet the well-groomed, dark-skinned, tall young fellow, with coal-black hair brushed straight back, had never harmed Wade. Quite the contrary. At Pratt's request, Brill had broken him in to the work when he had come the year before. Two or three times Brill had asked him out to lunch and enabled him to save that much more during that particular week. He had never returned the courtesy; especially as Brill lunched at more expensive resorts than he frequented. The mere possibility of paying such a check, for two, would have caused his frugal soul intense pain.

Wade hated Brill because he was so wholly the antithesis of himself; just as some other persons hate each other because they are so much alike. Theron had found that Brill received five dollars a week more than he did; he hated him for that. He would bave bet that Lambert lived weekly to the limit of his forty-fifth dollar; he wore good clothes; he had “breeze," sang froid, a careless twentieth-century nonchalance, hallmark of his twenty-six years.

More than these, he had a tolerant contempt for Wade's colorless mode of life and for his

T AMBERT BRILL glowered at the sheets

which Pratt had left, while he ran his fingers through tousled hair.

“Schedule proofs,” he growled, though with a whimsical light in his eyes. “Soon after lunch. That makes a full day for me, all right, with the rest of it. And I had a little date for this morning, and anotber one for the afternoon!”

Theron looked up. There flashed into his memory other recent occasions when Brill had absented himself from the office upon outside business. To him came the beginnings of a plan of action, nebulous as yet, but stealthy. He spoke from sudden impulse.

“Keep your dates if you want to, Brill. I can manage that schedule proof, along with my work. I can get Miss Thomas to read the copy while I correct.” .

At the ring of eagerness in his tone Brill stared at him in justified surprise. The pace required of Pratt's two young assistants was not of the lash-driven order. He had often helped Wade, especially when he was breaking in. Never till this moment had Theron ever offered to relieve him, even in temporary interims when more than the usual quota of work had been thrust upon him.

The fellow must be growing human! Well, in that case, he should be encouraged! Brill grinned gratification.

“Why, thanks, old man!” as he handed Wade a couple of cigars. “That's decent of you! Do as much for you sometime. I'll manage to duck out after an hour, I think.”

Greedily Wade pocketed the cigars, which were of quality better than twice his own.

A little after ten o'clock, Brill seized his hat Talcott Storm looked up from the loaded but w and disappeared, saying he would be back about well-ordered mahogany desk in the center of the van hour after lunch. Wade worked steadily, most ornate office Theron had ever seen. Wade

and more rapidly than usual, so as to be abreast of caught a fleeting impression of a sturdy, mediumbis his own work and the extra task of Brill's which sized figure that could not have been tailored inhe had taken upon himself.

side of a couple of hundred dollars. That soft There was a light in his eyes. But it was not silk collar and the loosely knotted tie, they must the warm glow of good fellowship. Rather, it have together required fifteen. And, if he had was the icy sheen of self-seeking, like bleak sun- time to think of them, the probable cost of those light upon ice.

polished russet shoes and brown silken hose, We At last he understood the impulse which had matching the suit, would have filled him with dis

led him to offer to do a part of Brill's work, so as approving horror. to allow him egress from the office during busi- It was like Wade, when meeting a man for the ness hours. As the minutes ticked away he first time, to lower his gaze and to meet his eyes gloated in it. He had been looking for an op- last. So, when after a fleeting instant, his look portunity to better his fortunes; to conserve his met Storm's he felt sudden perturbation new in savings and to add to them. The chance was his experience. For his gaze had traveled uphere, and now.

ward, from sordid details of polished shoes and If a man didn't look out for himself, who was clothing of dark, rich sheen like the mahogany's going to do it for him!

luster, to two living, brilliant, disconcerting A face fitted through his mental vision as he eyes. worked at an increasing pace. It was not Brill's, Never had Wade previously remarked, in nor Pratt's. It was the face of the man “higher seeing Storm from a distance, the penetrating up”; the cold, rocklike, keen-eyed face of the quality of those eyes. With the detachment of Marathon's new general manager, Talcott cold steel, they seemed to look, from under Storm.

somewhat narrowed lids, right through one. That surname of “the boss” had struck young "Well?” prompted Talcott Storm, as Theron Wade as incongruous when the new arbiter had seemed rooted before his desk. No shadow of come from New York, six months before, to take impatience showed in his thin, ruddy, shaven the tiller. Rather, his aspect was as bleak and face, the visage of a healthy, coördinated, poised calm and uncompromising as a November day. man in the full flood of matured powers. He was A stickler for duty, for pace, for results; a man somewhere in the forties; thin gray hair was who interested himself in every department; who brushed straight back upon a symmetrical head. viewed at close range with the naked eye instead His voice, a part of his controlled personality, of afar through a telescope, he was emphatically exuded neither warmth nor coldness, but only. the man for Wade's hour. He and Theron polite inquiry. Somehow it proved further diswould understand each other!

concerting to Wade, who had been so sure of So, while one hour glided into the next, and himself when he had asked at the switchboard the work of the Marathon and of the rest of the for this interview. work-a-day world went on, Theron Wade was "I-1-sir,-I can save you money,” he asdoubly busy.

serted, rather lamely. At the front of his brain reigned twin duties Storm's thin lips relaxed in a slight, grim of the day, his own and the extra task of his smile. He indicated a chair at the side of his office mate, which he had assumed. At the back, desk. “We're always glad to entertain sugwelling from dark chambers of the subconscious gestions pertaining to that matter. Sit down, mind, rose dubious vapors which coalesced in a Mr. Wade, and tell me about it. Something saffron-hued scheme.

about Mr. Pratt's department, I assume?" . That plan, if carried out as Wade desired The slight smile had sufficed to reassure Theron. would financially benefit him and Lambert Brill He slid into the chair with passing wonderment. not at all.

He was but one of many cogs in that big wheel of

business, and he had merely given his name to the "QEND him in.” The direction was ex switchboard girl, with no reference to the departD tended at ten the next morning.

ment. Yet Storm had placed him. Nobody The girl at the switchboard on the main floor, saw him around overmuch, but he evidently had turned to Wade. But he had heard the even, the business at his fingers' ends. And he was a clean-cut, resonant voice carrying beyond the stickler for efficiency, for production, for devotion transmitter. He was already striding toward the .. to the job. general manager's office.

(Continued on page 139)

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

THAT a wonderful thing it would be for

mankind if every human being could

have the benefit of a stimulus sufficiently powerful to unlock all his powers and make him Employees on small salaries who have been do what he is capable of doing! How quickly the for many years in one position without an world would go forward. What marvelous un- advance, often write to me for advice. Many dreamed of resources would be brought to light! of them think they have been treated unWhat courage, what progress, what happiness justly. While this is sometimes the case, the would crown the race!

fault usually lies in themselves. Promotion is Many of us think we are doing our best, yet based upon better work, greater effort. Many how much better we could do under a greater employees seem to ignore this fact. stimulus! If you are an ordinary employee, and The vast majority of people who complain knew that, to-morrow morning, you would be because they have not been advanced more called into your employer's private office and rapidly, the men who have worked hard for offered a partnership in the business, provided years and feel dissatisfied with the small returns for the next three months you could very materi- for their experience and service, are themselves ally improve on your past; if you knew that this much to blame for their unsatisfactory condition. great dream of yours was unexpectedly to be They have not put their best into their endeavors. realized, provided you could measure up to a They may have worked hard, but they have not certain standard, don't you think you would find been the exceptional employees. a way to improve very materially on what you The “John Allen” who returns from a business have been doing?

trip to find his name on the door is the "John Allen” who has put extra effort into his work, come to a human being is the ambition to raise who has used original methods, who has been up the things that come into his life to their highest and doing, who has bettered his best. Such a possible value, to raise the standard of everything man is made of partnership material.

he touches so that when it leaves his hands it will You may think you are doing about as well as bear the stamp of superiority, the stamp of his you can in the way of making good; but if your manhood, his character. name were on the door don't you think you would Make up your mind at the very outset that take a little more interest in the business? Could you will have nothing to do with inferiority, with you not find a much better way of doing your cheapness in the quality of your efforts, that work, improving on it in every particular if the nothing shall bear your name unless it is the best motive were big enough, stimulating enough? of its kind, that excellence shall be your trade Yes, in your heart you know that you could, and mark, that your superior touch shall be protecyet you perhaps say that you are doing the best tion enough for your work without a patent from you can!

the government. None of us are really doing the best we can. I don't know of a soul in my whole acquaintance; I BELIEVE that the host of people who have I don't know of a single clerk, or a single sales I asked my advice know perfectly well what man, a lawyer, a writer, an artist or a business they ought to do, but they are not willing to pay man, who cannot do his work better than he is the price, to make the larger effort to do the doing it right now.

bigger thing they long Even the most con

to do. They are after scientious of us can do TOVE is the great disci

bargains, short cuts; better than we are

they don't want to go doing. Double and

plinarian, the supreme the regulation route. treble the motive and harmonizer, the true peace

They are dreaming of you will be surprised

the big things but are to see what will come maker. It is the great balm

not willing to pay the out of your effort. It for all that blights happiness price for them. is all a matter of trying

"Success," said the harder, and you know or breeds discontent, a sov

late John A. Bracher, perfectly well that you ereign panacea for malice, master instrumentcan try harder than revenge, and all brutish maker of the world, “is you have tried so far.

in having an ideal and passions and propensities.

living up to it as closely TF many of you who As cruelty melts before as one can.” And the I are dissatisfied and kindness, so the evil pas

great scientist adds: discontented really

“If there is anything in knew how little of sions find their antidote in my life uncommon it is yourself you are giving sweet charity and loving because from the time your employer, and

I was a boy, no matter what a small percentsympathy.

what I had to do, I age of your ability you

tried to do it a little are bringing into play

better than it had ever in his service, you would probably be ashamed of been done before. If a workman in the rollingyour criticism of him for not advancing you. An mill broke a hammer handle and I set out to make employer is not looking for half men or quarter him another, I tried to make him the best hammen. He is looking for men who are all there, mer handle he had ever had.” who are willing to fling their whole life, the whole Is it surprising that a man with such an ideal, weight of their being, into their work with enthu- such a motive, as this, should have risen from the siasm; men who will bring zest to their task and position of a mechanic in the rolling-mills of who will look upon it as their own, whose motive Pennsylvania to that of one of the world's greatis to give conscientious, good service. Don't est scientists? If the motive is big enough the think that you can watch the clock, shirk your ability is usually forthcoming, often where it is work and go blundering on, spoiling merchan- not expected. Dr. Bracher was president of the dise, making all sorts of mistakes, and get a raise American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and of salary every few months. You really ought a member of the world's greatest scientific to be discharged if you are doing these things. societies. He was given degrées by colleges and

The highest motive or ambition that can ever universities, but for twenty-one years he worked

« PreviousContinue »