The work which Eugene undertook in connection with the art department of th_World_ was not different from that which he had done ten years before i_hicago. It seemed no less difficult for all his experience—more so i_nything, for he felt above it these days and consequently out of place. H_ished at once that he could get something which would pay him commensuratel_ith his ability. To sit down among mere boys—there were men there as old a_imself and older, though, of course, he did not pay so much attention t_hem—was galling. He thought Benedict should have had more respect for hi_alent than to have offered him so little, though at the same time he wa_rateful for what he had received. He undertook energetically to carry out al_he suggestions given him, and surprised his superior with the speed an_magination with which he developed everything. He surprised Benedict th_econd day with a splendid imaginative interpretation of "the Black Death,"
which was to accompany a Sunday newspaper article upon the moder_ossibilities of plagues. The latter saw at once that Eugene could probabl_nly be retained a very little while at the figure he had given him. He ha_ade the mistake of starting him low, thinking that Eugene's talent after s_evere an illness might be at a very low ebb. He did not know, being new t_he art directorship of a newspaper, how very difficult it was to ge_ncreases for those under him. An advance of ten dollars to anyone mean_arnest representation and an argument with the business manager, and t_ouble and treble the salary, which should have been done in this case, wa_ut of the question. Six months was a reasonable length of time for anyone t_ait for an increase—such was the dictate of the business management—and i_ugene's case it was ridiculous and unfair. However, being still sick an_pprehensive, he was content to abide by the situation, hoping with returnin_trength and the saving of a little money to put himself right eventually.
Angela, of course, was pleased with the turn of affairs. Having suffered s_ong with only prospects of something worse in store, it was a great relief t_o to the bank every Tuesday—Eugene was paid on Monday—and deposit ten dollar_gainst a rainy day. It was agreed between them that they might use six fo_lothing, which Angela and Eugene very much needed, and some sligh_ntertainment. It was not long before Eugene began to bring an occasiona_ewspaper artist friend up to dinner, and they were invited out. They had gon_ithout much clothing, with scarcely a single visit to the theatre, withou_riends—everything. Now the tide began slowly to change; in a little while,
because they were more free to go to places, they began to encounter peopl_hom they knew.
There was six months of the drifting journalistic work, in which as in hi_ailroad work he grew more and more restless, and then there came a time whe_e felt as if he could not stand that for another minute. He had been raise_o thirty-five dollars and then fifty, but it was a terrific grind o_xaggerated and to him thoroughly meretricious art. The only valuable result_n connection with it were that for the first time in his life he was drawin_ moderately secure living salary, and that his mind was fully occupied wit_etails which gave him no time to think about himself. He was in a large roo_urrounded by other men who were as sharp as knives in their thrusts of wit,
and restless and greedy in their attitude toward the world. They wanted t_ive brilliantly, just as he did, only they had more self-confidence and i_any cases that extreme poise which comes of rare good health. They wer_nclined to think he was somewhat of a poseur at first, but later they came t_ike him—all of them. He had a winning smile and his love of a joke, so keen,
so body-shaking, drew to him all those who had a good story to tell.
"Tell that to Witla," was a common phrase about the office and Eugene wa_lways listening to someone. He came to lunching with first one and the_nother, then three or four at a time; and by degrees Angela was compelled t_ntertain Eugene and two or three of his friends twice and sometimes thre_imes a week. She objected greatly, and there was some feeling over that, fo_he had no maid and she did not think that Eugene ought to begin so soon t_ut the burden of entertainment upon their slender income. She wanted him t_ake these things very formal and by appointment, but Eugene would stroll i_enially, explaining that he had Irving Nelson with him, or Henry Hare, o_eorge Beers, and asking nervously at the last minute whether it was al_ight. Angela would say, "Certainly, to be sure," in front of the guests, bu_hen they were alone there would be tears and reproaches and firm declaration_hat she would not stand it.
"Well, I won't do it any more," Eugene would apologize. "I forgot, you know."
Still he wanted Angela to get a maid and let him bring all who would come. I_as a great relief to get back into the swing of things and see lif_roadening out once more.
It was not so long after he had grown exceedingly weary of his underpai_elationship to the _World_ that he heard of something which promised a muc_etter avenue of advancement. Eugene had been hearing for some time from on_ource and another of the development of art in advertising. He had read on_r two articles on the subject in the smaller magazines, had seen from time t_ime curious and sometimes beautiful series of ads run by first on_orporation and then another, advertising some product. He had always fancie_n looking at these things that he could get up a notable series on almost an_ubject, and he wondered who handled these things. He asked Benedict on_ight, going up on the car with him, what he knew about it.
"Why so far as I know," said Benedict, "that is coming to be quite a business.
There is a man out in Chicago, Saljerian, an American Syrian—his father was _yrian, but he was born over here—who has built up a tremendous business ou_f designing series of ads like that for big corporations. He got up tha_olly Maguire series for the new cleaning fluid. I don't think he does any o_he work himself. He hires artists to do it. Some of the best men, _nderstand, have done work for him. He gets splendid prices. Then some of th_ig advertising agencies are taking up that work. One of them I know. Th_ummerville Company has a big art department in connection with it. The_mploy fifteen to eighteen men all the time, sometimes more. They turn ou_ome fine ads, too, to my way of thinking. Do you remember that Korn_eries?"—Benedict was referring to a breakfast food which had been advertise_y a succession of ten very beautiful and very clever pictures.
"Yes," replied Eugene.
"Well, they did that."
Eugene thought of this as a most interesting development. Since the days i_hich he worked on the Alexandria _Appeal_ he had been interested in ads. Th_hought of ad creation took his fancy. It was newer than anything else he ha_ncountered recently. He wondered if there would not be some chance in tha_ield for him. His paintings were not selling. He had not the courage to star_ new series. If he could make some money first, say ten thousand dollars, s_hat he could get an interest income of say six or seven hundred dollars _ear, he might be willing to risk art for art's sake. He had suffered to_uch—poverty had scared him so that he was very anxious to lean on a salary o_ business income for the time being.
It was while he was speculating over this almost daily that there came to hi_ne day a young artist who had formerly worked on the _World_ —a youth by th_ame of Morgenbau—Adolph Morgenbau—who admired Eugene and his work greatly an_ho had since gone to another paper. He was very anxious to tell Eugen_omething, for he had heard of a change coming in the art directorship of th_ummerville Company and he fancied for one reason and another that Eugen_ight be glad to know of it. Eugene had never looked to Morgenbau like a ma_ho ought to be working in a newspaper art department. He was too self-poised,
too superior, too wise. Morgenbau had conceived the idea that Eugene wa_estined to make a great hit of some kind and with that kindling intuitio_hat sometimes saves us whole he was anxious to help Eugene in some way and s_ain his favor.
"I have something I'd like to tell you, Mr. Witla," he observed.
"Well, what is it?" smiled Eugene.
"Are you going out to lunch?"
"Certainly, come along."
They went out together and Morgenbau communicated to Eugene what he ha_eard—that the Summerfield Company had just dismissed, or parted company with,
or lost, a very capable director by the name of Freeman, and that they wer_ooking for a new man.
"Why don't you apply for that?" asked Morgenbau. "You could hold it. You'r_oing just the sort of work that would make great ads. You know how to handl_en, too. They like you. All the young fellows around here do. Why don't yo_o and see Mr. Summerfield? He's up in Thirty-fourth Street. You might be jus_he man he's looking for, and then you'd have a department of your own."
Eugene looked at this boy, wondering what had put this idea in his head. H_ecided to call up Dula and did so at once, asking him what he thought woul_e the best move to make. The latter did not know Summerville [ _sic_ ], bu_e knew someone who did.
"I'll tell you what you do, Eugene," he said. "You go and see Baker Bates o_he Satina Company. That's at the corner of Broadway and Fourth Street. We d_ big business with the Satina Company, and they do a big business wit_ummerfield. I'll send a letter over to you by a boy and you take that. The_'ll call Bates up on the phone, and if he's favorable he can speak t_ummerfield. He'll want to see you, though."
Eugene was very grateful and eagerly awaited the arrival of the letter. H_sked Benedict for a little time off and went to Mr. Baker Bates. The latte_ad heard enough from Dula to be friendly. He had been told by the latter tha_ugene was potentially a great artist, slightly down on his luck, but that h_as doing exceedingly well where he was and would do better in the new place.
He was impressed by Eugene's appearance, for the latter had changed his styl_rom the semi-artistic to the practical. He thought Eugene looked capable. H_as certainly pleasant.
"I'll talk to Mr. Summerfield for you," he said, "though I wouldn't put muc_ope in what will come of it if I were you. He's a difficult man and it's bes_ot to appear too eager in this matter. If he can be induced to send for yo_t will be much better. You let this rest until tomorrow. I'll call him up o_nother matter and take him out to lunch, and then I'll see how he stands an_ho he has in mind, if he has anyone. He may have, you know. If there is _eal opening I'll speak of you. We'll see."
Eugene went away once more, very grateful. He was thinking that Dula ha_lways meant good luck to him. He had taken his first important drawing. Th_ictures he had published for him had brought him the favor of M. Charles.
Dula had secured him the position that he now had. Would he be the cause o_is getting this one?
On the way down town on the car he encountered a cross-eyed boy. He ha_nderstood from someone recently that cross-eyed boys were good luck—cross-
eyed women bad luck. A thrill of hopeful prognostication passed over him. I_ll likelihood he was going to get this place. If this sign came true thi_ime, he would believe in signs. They had come true before, but this would b_ real test. He stared cheerfully at the boy and the latter looked him full i_he eyes and grinned.
"That settles it!" said Eugene. "I'm going to get it."