The Clarion HTML version
11. The Initiate
Within a month after Hal's acquisition of the "Clarion," Dr. Surtaine had become a daily
caller at the office. "Just to talk things over," was his explanation of these incursions,
which Hal always welcomed, no matter how busy he might be. Advice was generally the
form which the visitor's talk took; sometimes warning; not infrequently suggestions of
greater or less value. Always his counsel was for peace and policy.
"Keep in with the business element, Boyee. Remember all the time that Worthington is a
business city, the liveliest little business city between New York and Chicago. Business
made it. Business runs it. Business is going to keep on running it. Anybody who works
on a different principle, I don't care whether it's in politics or journalism or the pulpit, is
going to get hurt. I don't deny you've braced up the 'Clarion.' People are beginning to talk
about it already. But the best men, the moneyed men, are holding off. They aren't sure of
you yet. Sometimes I'm not sure myself. Every now and then the paper takes a stand I
don't like. It goes too far. You've put ginger into it. I have to admit that. And ginger's a
good thing, but sugar catches more flies."
The notion of a breakfast to the staff met with the Doctor's instant approval.
"That's the idea!" said he "I'll come to it, myself. Lay down your general scheme and
policy to 'em. Get 'em in sympathy with it. If any of 'em aren't in sympathy with it, get rid
of those. Kickers never did any business any good. You'll get plenty of kicks from
outside. Then, when the office gets used to your way of doing things, you can quit
wasting so much time on the news and editorial end."
"But that's what makes the paper, Dad."
"Get over that idea. You hire men to get out the paper. Let 'em earn their pay while you
watch the door where the dollars come in. Advertising, my son: that's the point to work
at. In a way I'm sorry you let Sterne out."
The ex-editor had left, a fortnight before, on a basis agreeable to himself and Hal, and
McGuire Ellis had taken over his duties.
"Certainly you had no reason to like Sterne, Dad."
"For all that, he knew his job. Everything Sterne did had a dollar somewhere in the
background. Even his blackmailing game. He worked with the business office, and he
took his orders on that basis. Now if you had some man whom you could turn over this
news end to while you're building up a sound advertising policy—"
"How about McGuire Ellis?"