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A Hazard of New Fortunes — Complete by Howells

Dryfoos glared at him for a moment


"What

does he do?" March echoed, as people are apt to do with a question that is mandatory and offensive.

"Yes, sir, what does he do? Does he write for it?"

"I suppose you mean Lindau," said March. He saw no reason for refusing to answer Dryfoos's demand, and he decided to ignore its terms. "No, he doesn't write for it in the usual way. He translates for it; he examines the foreign magazines, and draws my attention to anything he thinks of interest. But I told you about this before--"

"I know what you told me, well enough. And I know what he is. He is a red-mouthed labor agitator. He's one of those foreigners that come here from places where they've never had a decent meal's victuals in their lives, and as soon as they get their stomachs full, they begin to make trouble between our people and their hands. There's where the strikes come from, and the unions and the secret societies. They come here and break our Sabbath, and teach their atheism. They ought to be hung! Let 'em go back if they don't like it over here. They want to ruin the country."

March could not help smiling a little at the words, which came fast enough now in the hoarse staccato of Dryfoos's passion. "I don't know whom you mean by they, generally speaking; but I had the impression that poor old Lindau had once done his best to save the country. I don't always like his way of talking,

but I know that he is one of the truest and kindest souls in the world; and he is no more an atheist than I am. He is my friend, and I can't allow him to be misunderstood."

"I don't care what he is," Dryfoos broke out, "I won't have him round. He can't have any more work from this office. I want you to stop it. I want you to turn him off."

March was standing at his desk, as he had risen to receive Dryfoos when he entered. He now sat down, and began to open his letters.

"Do you hear?" the old man roared at him. "I want you to turn him off."

"Excuse me, Mr. Dryfoos," said March, succeeding in an effort to speak calmly, "I don't know you, in such a matter as this. My arrangements as editor of 'Every Other Week' were made with Mr. Fulkerson. I have always listened to any suggestion he has had to make."

"I don't care for Mr. Fulkerson? He has nothing to do with it," retorted Dryfoos; but he seemed a little daunted by March's position.

"He has everything to do with it as far as I am concerned," March answered, with a steadiness that he did not feel. "I know that you are the owner of the periodical, but I can't receive any suggestion from you, for the reason that I have given. Nobody but Mr. Fulkerson has any right to talk with me about its management."

Dryfoos glared at him for a moment, and demanded, threateningly: "Then you say you won't turn that old loafer off? You say that I have got to keep on paying my money out to buy beer for a man that would cut my throat if he got the chance?"

"I say nothing at all, Mr. Dryfoos," March answered. The blood came into his face, and he added: "But I will say that if you speak again of Mr. Lindau in those terms, one of us must leave this room. I will not hear you."


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