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Arthur Dorward's "Scoop"
"What's wrong, old man?" Bellamy asked quickly.
Dorward from a side table had seized the bottle of whiskey and a siphon, and was mixing
himself a drink with trembling fingers. He tossed it off before he spoke a word. Then he
turned around and faced his companion. "Bellamy," he ordered, "lock the door."
Bellamy obeyed. He had no doubt now but that Dorward had lost his head in the
Chancellor's presence - had made some absurd attempt to gain the knowledge which they
both craved, and had failed.
"Bellamy," Dorward exclaimed, speaking hoarsely and still a little out of breath, "I guess
I've had the biggest slice of luck that was ever dealt out to a human being. If only I can
get safe out of this city, I tell you I've got the greatest scoop that living man ever
"You don't mean that - "
Dorward wiped his forehead and interrupted.
"It's the most amazing thing that ever happened," he declared, "but I've got it here in my
pocket, got it in black and white, in the Chancellor's own handwriting."
"Got what?"
"Why, what you and I, an hour ago, would have given a million for," Dorward replied.
Bellamy's expression was one of blank but wondering incredulity.
"You can't mean this, Dorward!" he exclaimed. "You may have something - just what the
Chancellor wants you to print. You're not supposing for an instant that you've got the
whole truth?"
Dorward's smile was the smile of certainty, his face that of a conqueror.
"Here in my pocket," he declared, striking his chest, "in the Chancellor's own
handwriting. I tell you I've got the original verbatim copy of everything that passed and
was resolved upon this afternoon between the Czar of Russia, the Emperor of Austria and
the Emperor of Germany. I've got it word for word as the Chancellor took it down. I've
got their decision. I've got their several undertakings."
Bellamy for a moment was stricken dumb. He looked toward the door and back into his
friend's face aglow with triumph. Then his power of speech returned.
"Do you mean to say that you stole it?"