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A Hazard of New Fortunes — Complete by Howells

Fulkerson insinuated with impudent persiflage


"The

advertising department is the heart and soul of every business," said Fulkerson, hardily, "and I like to keep my hand in with a little practise on the trumpet in private. I don't believe Mr. Dryfoos has got any idea of the extent of this thing. He's been out among those Rackensackens, where we were all born, and he's read the notices in their seven by nine dailies, and he's seen the thing selling on the cars, and he thinks he appreciates what's been done. But I should just like to take him round in this little old metropolis awhile, and show him 'Every Other Week' on the centre tables of the millionaires--the Vanderbilts and the Astors--and in the homes of culture and refinement everywhere, and let him judge for himself. It's the talk of the clubs and the dinner-tables; children cry for it; it's the Castoria of literature and the Pearline of art, the 'Won't-be-happy-till-he-gets-it of every en lightened man, woman, and child in this vast city. I knew we could capture the country; but, my goodness! I didn't expect to have New York fall into our hands at a blow. But that's just exactly what New York has done. Every Other Week supplies the long-felt want that's been grinding round in New York and keeping it awake nights ever since the war. It's the culmination of all the high and ennobling ideals of the past."

"How much," asked Dryfoos, "do you expect to get out of it the first year, if it keeps the start it's got?"

"Comes

right down to business, every time!" said Fulkerson, referring the characteristic to March with a delighted glance. "Well, sir, if everything works right, and we get rain enough to fill up the springs, and it isn't a grasshopper year, I expect to clear above all expenses something in the neighborhood of twenty-five thousand dollars."

"Humph! And you are all going to work a year--editor, manager, publisher, artists, writers, printers, and the rest of 'em--to clear twenty-five thousand dollars?--I made that much in half a day in Moffitt once. I see it made in half a minute in Wall Street, sometimes." The old man presented this aspect of the case with a good-natured contempt, which included Fulkerson and his enthusiasm in an obvious liking.

His son suggested, "But when we make that money here, no one loses it."

"Can you prove that?" His father turned sharply upon him. "Whatever is won is lost. It's all a game; it don't make any difference what you bet on. Business is business, and a business man takes his risks with his eyes open."

"Ah, but the glory!" Fulkerson insinuated with impudent persiflage. "I hadn't got to the glory yet, because it's hard to estimate it; but put the glory at the lowest figure, Mr. Dryfoos, and add it to the twenty-five thousand, and you've got an annual income from 'Every Other Week' of dollars enough to construct a silver railroad, double-track, from this office to the moon. I don't mention any of the sister planets because I like to keep within bounds."

Dryfoos showed his lower teeth for pleasure in Fulkerson's fooling, and said, "That's what I like about you, Mr. Fulkerson--you always keep within bounds."

"Well, I ain't a shrinking Boston violet, like March, here. More sunflower in my style of diffidence; but I am modest, I don't deny it," said Fulkerson. "And I do hate to have a thing overstated."


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