Page:Buttered Side Down.djvu/174

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district, all within a few blocks. From the sidewalk in front of his groggery, "Bath House John" can see the City Hall. The trim, khaki-garbed enlistment officer rubs elbows with the lodging house bum. The masculine Clark Streeter may be of the kind that begs a dime for a bed, or he may loll in manicured luxury at the marble-lined hotel. South Clark Street is so splendidly indifferent.

Copy-hunting, I approached Tony with hope in my heart, a smile on my lips, and a nickel in my hand.

"Philadelphia—er—Inquirer?" I asked, those being the city and paper which fire my imagination least.

Tony whipped it out, dexterously.

I looked at his keen blue eye, his lean brown face, and his punishing jaw, and I knew that no airy persiflage would deceive him. Boldly I waded in.

"I write for the magazines," said I.

"Do they know it?" grinned Tony.

"Just beginning to be faintly aware. Your stand looks like a story to me. Tell me, does one ever come your way? For instance, don't they come here asking for their home-town paper