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No--Amory was not a clerk.
"Whatever your line is," said the little man, seeming to agree wisely
with something Amory had said, "now is the time of opportunity and
business openings." He glanced again toward the big man, as a lawyer
grilling a witness glances involuntarily at the jury.
Amory decided that he must say something and for the life of him could
think of only one thing to say.
"Of course I want a great lot of money--"
The little man laughed mirthlessly but conscientiously.
"That's what every one wants nowadays, but they don't want to work for
"A very natural, healthy desire. Almost all normal people want to be
rich without great effort--except the financiers in problem plays, who
want to 'crash their way through.' Don't you want easy money?"
"Of course not," said the secretary indignantly.
"But," continued Amory disregarding him, "being very poor at present I
am contemplating socialism as possibly my forte."
Both men glanced at him curiously.
"These bomb throwers--" The little man ceased as words lurched
ponderously from the big man's chest.
"If I thought you were a bomb thrower I'd run you over to the Newark
jail. That's what I think of Socialists."
"What are you," asked the big man, "one of these parlor Bolsheviks,
one of these idealists? I must say I fail to see the difference.
The idealists loaf around and write the stuff that stirs up the poor
"Well," said Amory, "if being an idealist is both safe and lucrative, I
might try it."
"What's your difficulty? Lost your job?"
"Not exactly, but--well, call it that."
"What was it?"
"Writing copy for an advertising agency."
"Lots of money in advertising."
Amory smiled discreetly.
"Oh, I'll admit there's money in it eventually. Talent doesn't starve
any more. Even art gets enough to eat these days. Artists draw your
magazine covers, write your advertisements, hash out rag-time for
your theatres. By the great commercializing of printing you've found a
harmless, polite occupation for every genius who might have carved his
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