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MRWILLIAM DEVERAUX MAGINN
And His Technical
ten years later the firm was occupying a brick building in Liberty, the county
seat, and employing eighty workmen. LD man Parker pushed back And there were plenty of the green Parthe little black silk skull-cap ker wagons, with the red wreath on the
which was the symbol of his dash, still hauling corn to market over authority in the shops, sniffed scornfully, the dirt roads of Liberty county. Noand beckoned to Cutler, his assistant, who body talked foolishness about technical walked across the little office and leaned education in those days. over his chief's chair.
Then the bicycle craze came along, "The trouble with us, Cut," sneered and Parker had been persuaded to organthe old man, with a nasty, gutturalize a stock company and turn his big chuckle, “is that we never learned to play plant to the manufacture of wheels. The lawn ten is. Listen to this letter:
new stockholders had offered to make the “'Mr. Maginn played left guard on the old man President and put Cutler in as Varsity football eleven, and was also second or third Vice. But neither of the champion lawn tennis player and heavyweight boxer of his year-quite an . "No," Parker told them, firmly. “Cut unusual record in the athletic line.'” and I'll stay out in the shops. We know
Cutler laughed in a dry, unpleasant the men, and the men know us. You can way. “I wonder what those Indians out get somebody else to wear the silk hats." in the foundry will do to Willie when he When the Parker “bike” presently took goes out there with his white flannel a high place with the trade and the big panties on?” he said. "Have they de plant had to be twice enlarged to keep up cided on him ?”
with the demand, they both felt fully jus“Yeh." answered Parker. “He'll be tified. And the directors acknowledged here next Monday to take hold.”
their debt by passing resolutions of thanks and adding a thousand dollars to
the salary of each of them. It had been a bitter day for Parker During this period a few young cubs and his assistant when the directors of from the technical schools were put on the Gray Ghost Automobile Company de- the pay-roll in subordinate positions. cided that they must have a new super- They did well enough in their fussy way, intendent. The old man could remember but the old chaps always looked at thein the day when he first hung out his sign- patronizingly, with never a suspicion that John Parker-Wagon Maker-over the their own place at the head of the shops door of the little one-storied frame was being threatened. shop in Ridott, next to the grain elevator. “Nothing like having practical men at Cutler was a boy then, learning his trade. the top," Parker said more than once, as They had made mighty good wagons, he and Cutler, on their way home, looked too. That was proved by the fact that back at the great row of factories behind them. “Test-tubes and micrometers and of Directors, and Cutler was gracefully fancy machines for findin' the maximum shelved under the title of First Vicestrain, may be all right; but they ain't President. nothin' like learnin' a thing by doin' it, Then the new managers wrote to the eh Cut?”
presidents of half a dozen great techniThen they would turn in together at cal schools, asking them to recommend the little saloon on the corner; and a general superintendent for the Gray Casey, the old bartender with the long, Ghost Automobile Company. They had white beard, would set a couple of beers even changed the name of the old comon the bar without a word spoken. pany. That was the last and most cutting
“To the works and their daddy!" Cut- stroke of all. ler would whisper, as he emptied his Both Parker and Cutler felt as does glass.
a mother when her only son calmly rele"To the factory and its godfather!" gates her to the rear and puts in first Parker would answer, wiping the foam place a younger and fresher woman. from his shaggy, gray moustache. Consequently, when the young fellows in
It was a foolish little ceremony the control of the company did old Parker two went through two or three times a the tardy courtesy of consulting him as week.
to which of the engineers recommended A man may never feel a passion for a for the position should be made General woman, and yet know what it is to be in Superintendent, they found him in no love. And "wedded to his business' is- mood to look at the situation fairly. And occasionally-more than a figure of when, over his sullen protest, they sespeech.
lected “Billy" Maginn, Cornell, 98, for
the post, the old man made small effort to When destiny punctured the inflated conceal how sore he felt. Maginn was tire of the bicycle business, the Parker. said to be an expert in internal-combuscompany was a trifle slow in finding it- tion motors and to have had experience self, Perhaps it would be fairer to say in shop practice and in machine design; that the two men in the active manage- but what aroused Parker's scorn was his ment of the factory were reluctant to ad- record as a lawn tennis champion. mit the facts. A good many of the old “I can't help wonderin', Cut,” he restockholders had died or retired, and peated to his assistant, "what Mike Nagle there were several youngsters on the and that gang of devils in the foundry'll board of directors. They raised the do to Willie and his white panties?" question of making automobiles promptly enough, but Parker and Cutler dodged it. Parker and Cutler were far too loval Meanwhile they were both trying to get to the business and far too honorable, a thorough understanding of the new personally, to do anything consciously, craze.
which would make the place of the new “Chassis and tonneau and garage and superintendent any harder than it must chauffeur !” Cutler burst out complain necessarily be. But, in some occult way, ingly one day. “My Lord! It'd take a the feeling of bitterness and resentment dago to know what it's all about.”
which filled them both spread rapidly "Don't worry, Cut," Parker put in, through the shops; and when “Billy" consolingly. “It'll never go in this coun Maginn took command of the plant on a try.”
Monday morning, he was facing a seethBut it did “go,” and the whole bottom ing mutiny, which was ready to burst dropped out of the bicycle industry. forth at the slightest cause. Presently a special meeting of the stock. Maginn brought two young assistants holders was called to consider the situa- with him. They were installed in a little tion. Parker had paid little attention to room, off his office, with a lot of testthe financial department of the business. tubes, retorts, and other scientific appaHe and his friends were outvoted at the ratus. For the first two weeks, Maginn meeting, and, much against his will, the hardly went outside the room. He called old man was made Chairman of the Board in the foremen, one after another, and
talked with them at length; and he held Parker's grim answer. “Now the show's many conferences with Parker and Cut- ready to start.” ler. But he issued no orders of any kind. The raising of the curtain certainly
"I'll be glad if you'll keep things run wasn't long delayed. Maginn called ning till I get my hand on the throttle," Mike Nagle, the foreman, to his desk he said to the old man.
the first morning he went to the foundry, And Parker was fair enough to admit to his man Friday, that, for a mere boy of thirty, and a champion tennis player at that, “Billy" Maginn was a decent enough chap.
"But won't he think he's struck a nest of snakes when he tackles the foundry, Cut?” the old fellow concluded. He was beginning to feel a little sorry for “Billy” Maginn.
Meanwhile, out in the milling-room and all through the shops, the men were talking more · and more sullenly about their new boss. Stories went from machine to machine and from bench to bench, with covert sniffs and sneers, that the new "supe" was a dude, that he had his hands manicured, that he smoked cigarettes and wore ice-cream pants on Saturday afternoons. A really beautiful mess was brewing for Mr. William Dev
"THERE'S A NEW FORMULA I'D LIKE TO HAVE YOU TRY." ereaux Maginn, which was the name somebody had seen on one and as the man came up handed him a of his engraved cards.
little slip of paper. At the end of the second week, his as- “There's a new formula I'd like you to sistants in the little laboratory brought have your mixer try,” he said. "I want the results of several tests in to the Sup- to get castings of a little higher tensile erintendent. And promptly on Monday strength.” morning Mr. Maginn had a little desk in- Nagle—“Red Mike," the boys called stalled in the foundry, and started to him-made a bow that was a studied inspend a couple of hours a day there. sult, and answered, “I'll give it to him ;"
"By Jim Blaine! The boy's out look- and "Billy” Maginn turned back to his ing for trouble, ain't he?" Cutler said to desk without another word. his old chief when he heard the news. Chris Metzger, a huge young German,
"He's picked out the sorest place in the was the head mixer. Nagle took the slip whole works—that's dead certain," was of paper to him, and said: "Say, Chris,
His Cigarettes wants you to work by this "How's the new formula working ?" dope.
asked Maginn. “The hell he does !” Metzger answered, “Haven't mixed any of it, yet,” Nagle and thrust the crumbled paper into his answered, with equal sharpness. overalls.
"Did'nt you give it to the mixer?" Word went to Parker that the crisis “Yes." was at hand, and he took occasion to re “Metzger!” monstrate with both Nagle and Chris The voice of “Billy" Maginn rang Metzger.
through the foundry. The head mixer, "Give the young fellow a fair chance, his face twisted in a leer, walked slowly boys," he urged. But he got no encour- over from his corner. agement. They both grinned and told “Metzger," demanded the new Sup'im not to worry about things.
erintendent, "why haven't you mixed that esday, Wednesday, Thursday, and new formula I gave you?" Friday went by, and “Billy” Maginn The mixer's heavy eyebrows dropped made no sign. Meanwhile Metzger went low over his little rat-eyes, and his wide on making the old mixture, and every mouth flattened to a straight line. He body on the pay-roll knew that the new held out the crumpled slip of paper in one Superintendent was being openly defied. grimy paw.
"I ought to go and warn him, Cut," "Say,” he began, in a tone that was old Parker said several times to his pal. heard all over the foundry, "why don't
“This ain't your funeral, Parker,” you talk United States ? I can't undercame the invariable answer.
stand these here hen-tracks.” "He don't want no advice from us old
“Metzger," answered “Billy" Maginn, has-beens, anyhow."
in a calm, almost caressing voice, "for On Saturday morning, Cutler called about fifteen minutes we'll forget that Parker to the window in a hurry.
I'm your Superintendent. If you'll step "By the great jumping Jehoshaphat! out there on the shipping platform, I'll Look at that!” he gasped.
try to hammer my meaning into your Strolling across the shipping platform, thick Dutch head!" about which stood all the buildings of the
There were thirty-six moulders within great plant, was Mr. William Devereaux
hearing of that low-voiced speech. To ginn attired in a complete suit of the begrimed and grinning face of each spotlessly white tennis flannels. And
of them came a sudden and almost into add the last touch to the amazing pic
credulous look of pleased anticipation. ture—he nonchalantly swung a tennis
In the reckless, blue eyes of Mike Nagle, racket in one hand.
the foreman, shone the light with which Parker and Cutler, leaning against the
the fighting Irishman hails the presence wall for support, watched him in utter
of a kindred spirit. Only Metzger, fascination, pop-eyed and speechless, un
startled out of all self-possession, hung til he vanished into the open door of the
back, heavy and silent. foundry. Then they looked at each other,
The men on either side pushed him and both collapsed into the nearest
forward. “Go an," one of them whischairs. Cutler burst into a roar of half
pered. “Don't let the lady bluff ye.”
pe hysterical laughter.
"Billy” Maginn threw open the door leading to the shipping platform. “After
you, Metzger,” he said. "Billy” Maginn laid his tennis racket In that mysterious and incomprehension the top of his desk, took off his white ble way by which news spreads through flannel coat, and hung it on the nail. All a great plant, it became known, almost over the foundry the men were going instantly, all over the building, that into contortions of mirth.
"something was doing” on the shipping “Nagle!" the voice of the new Superin- platform. tendent sounded sharply.
A thousand blank windows were as The foreman, his face in a broad grin quickly filled with eager faces. Even the he was at no pains to conceal, stepped to girl trimmers, up on the fourth floor of the side of the desk.
the main building, had left their piece
work and were staring down breathless. Superintendent met him with a couple of
“Billy” Maginn calmly rolled up the upper-cuts, each of which staggered the sleeves of his white shirt. Then he held man, strong and heavy as he was. He out his right hand. “We'll begin by threw up both hands to protect his face, shaking hands, Metzger," he said. and “Billy” Maginn instantly sent home
The head mixer drew back, swearing a hard left-hander over the heart that and doubling his arm for a blow. Ma- toppled Metzger to the floor with a crash. ginn sent in a quick short-arm jolt, and a Two of the moulders helped him up little jet of blood leaped from Metzger's again, and he leaned back against the nose, where the fist struck. With a bel- power house, gasping, and spitting blood. low, the big moulder charged forward. “Metzger," said the even voice of the Maginn side-stepped and landed a swing new Superintendent, close at his ear, “do on the side of the jaw as his man went you think you can make out that formula by. Metzger fell, but was on his feet in now ?” an instant and rushing for a clinch. The For answer the mixer aimed a heavy