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Roads of Destiny

On Behalf Of The Management
This is the story of the man manager, and how he held his own until the very last
paragraph.
I had it from Sully Magoon, viva voce. The words are indeed his; and if they do not
constitute truthful fiction my memory should be taxed with the blame.
It is not deemed amiss to point out, in the beginning, the stress that is laid upon the
masculinity of the manager. For, according to Sully, the term when applied to the
feminine division of mankind has precisely an opposite meaning. The woman manager
(he says) economizes, saves, oppresses her household with bargains and contrivances,
and looks sourly upon any pence that are cast to the fiddler for even a single jig-step on
life's arid march. Wherefore her men-folk call her blessed, and praise her; and then sneak
out the backdoor to see the Gilhooly Sisters do a buck-and-wing dance.
Now, the man manager (I still quote Sully) is a Cæsar without a Brutus. He is an autocrat
without responsibility, a player who imperils no stake of his own. His office is to enact,
to reverberate, to boom, to expand, to out-coruscate—profitably, if he can. Bill-paying
and growing gray hairs over results belong to his principals. It is his to guide the risk, to
be the Apotheosis of Front, the three-tailed Bashaw of Bluff, the Essential Oil of Razzle-
Dazzle.
We sat at luncheon, and Sully Magoon told me. I asked for particulars.
"My old friend Denver Galloway was a born manager," said Sully. He first saw the light
of day in New York at three years of age. He was born in Pittsburg, but his parents
moved East the third summer afterward.
"When Denver grew up, he went into the managing business. At the age of eight he
managed a news-stand for the Dago that owned it. After that he was manager at different
times of a skating-rink, a livery-stable, a policy game, a restaurant, a dancing academy, a
walking match, a burlesque company, a dry-goods store, a dozen hotels and summer
resorts, an insurance company, and a district leader's campaign. That campaign, when
Coughlin was elected on the East Side, gave Denver a boost. It got him a job as manager
of a Broadway hotel, and for a while he managed Senator O'Grady's campaign in the
nineteenth.
"Denver was a New Yorker all over. I think he was out of the city just twice before the
time I'm going to tell you about. Once he went rabbit-shooting in Yonkers. The other
time I met him just landing from a North River ferry. 'Been out West on a big trip, Sully,
old boy,' says he. 'Gad! Sully, I had no idea we had such a big country. It's immense.
Never conceived of the magnificence of the West before. It's gorgeous and glorious and
infinite. Makes the East seemed cramped and little. It's a grand thing to travel and get an
idea of the extent and resources of our country.'
 
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