The Clarion HTML version
Following this indication, Hal examined the decorations. On every side were ordinary
newspaper advertisements, handsomely mounted, most of them bearing dates on brass
plates. Here and there appeared a circular, or a typed letter, similarly designated.
Above Dr. Surtaine's desk was a triple setting, a small advertisement, a larger one, and a
huge full-newspaper-page size, each embodying the same figure, that of a man half-bent
over, with his hand to his back and a lamentable expression on his face.
Certain strongly typed words fairly thrust themselves out of the surrounding print:
"Pain—Back—Take Care—Means Something—Your Kidneys." And then in
"What do you think of Old Lame-Boy?" asked Dr. Surtaine.
"From an æsthetic point of view?"
"Never mind the æsthetics of it. 'Handsome is as handsome does.'"
"What has that faded beauty done, then?"
"Carried many a thousand of our money to bank for us, Boyee. That's the ad. that made
"Did you design it?"
"Every word and every line, except that I got a cheap artist to touch up the drawing a
little. Then I plunged. When that copy went out, we had just fifty thousand dollars in the
world, you and I. Before it had been running three months, I'd spent one hundred
thousand dollars more than we owned, in the newspapers, and had to borrow money right
and left to keep the manufacturing and bottling plant up to the orders. It was a year before
we could see clear sailing, and by that time we were pretty near quarter of a million to the
good. Talk about ads. that pull! It pulled like a mule-team and a traction engine and a
fifty-cent painless dentist all in one. I'm still using that copy, in the kidney season."
"Do kidneys have seasons?"
"Kidney troubles do."
"I'd have thought such diseases wouldn't depend on the time of year."