Andy Blake’s Comet Coaster - Leo Edwards - ebook

Andy Blake’s Comet Coaster ebook

Leo Edwards

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Opis

Andy was an industrious young entrepreneur who grew increasingly rich from book to book, working as he did in advertising, in his airplane, the Comet Coaster, and looking for gold and helping erect profitable buildings. Blake meets new friends, three young men struggling to save an old carriage business from going to the wall. Will advertising help? Andy is enthusiastically hopeful. The later trickery of a junior employer puts the young advertising man in a bad hole. Things seem darker than ever for the tottering business. Then comes the idea of dropping carriages for coaster wagons.

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Liczba stron: 251

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Contents

CHAPTER I. A FALLEN GIANT

CHAPTER II. ANDY MEETS GEORGE WARMAN

CHAPTER III. TWO OLD CRONIES

CHAPTER IV. ANDY AT WORK

CHAPTER V. FLY PAPER

CHAPTER VI. THE BOY PRODUCTS COMPANY

CHAPTER VII. THE COASTER-WAGON RODEO

CHAPTER VIII. TIM SEEKS A CONFIDANT

CHAPTER IX. A MYSTERY

CHAPTER X. THREE GAMES OF CHECKERS

CHAPTER XI. ANDY SENDS FOR BUD YORK

CHAPTER XII. INTRODUCING TRIGGER BERG

CHAPTER XIII. THE NEW FIELD CAPTAIN

CHAPTER XIV. TRIGGER BERG’S FURTHER MISADVENTURES

CHAPTER XV. ANDY MAKES A BUSINESS CALL

CHAPTER XVI. ANDY’S WINNING SCHEME

CHAPTER XVII. PLANS FOR BIG BUSINESS

CHAPTER XVIII. A STRANGE ADVENTURE

CHAPTER XIX. ANDY LEARNS OF THE TRAGEDY

CHAPTER XX. ANDY’S REMORSE

CHAPTER XXI. MR. HATCH BEGS FOR FAVORS

CHAPTER XXII. THE GREAT MIRACLE

CHAPTER I. A FALLEN GIANT

Andy Blake had the somewhat scattered feeling of being jerked out of his thoughts as the brakeman thrust his head and shoulders into the coach door and intoned the name of the railroad station.

The young advertising man knew, of course, that he was getting close to Manton; but he had failed to observe the kaleidoscopic picture of dwellings and grimy factory chimneys that flitted past the car window. Everything had been excluded from his mind except the Warman Carriage Company inquiry. In shaping his plans for handling the inquiry it was his determination to acquit himself, and his company through him, in a creditable manner.

Very trim and businesslike he appeared as he passed briskly down the aisle. A year in the city had taught him many things that have a bearing on a young man’s success in the industrial world. He had developed poise. There was a keenness in his movements, in his brisk, elastic steps, and in the alert expression of his round, friendly face. His warm brown eyes seemed to snap with suppressed energy. Full of ambition and purpose; a worker; a wide-awake youth with big dreams–advertising dreams, selling dreams, merchandising dreams–Andy was the type of boy who finds a way to worth-while victories in the great lanes of business.

About to inquire his way to the Warman Carriage Company office, he was arrested by a hand that fell lightly on his arm. Turning quickly, he found himself looking into a face that was young in its pleasing fullness and color but rather old in its expression of graveness and reserve.

“I imagine that you are Mr. Andrew Blake.”

Andy promptly acknowledged ownership of the name and held out a friendly hand.

“My name is Harry Harnden,” stated the serious-looking young man, returning the hearty handclasp. “George Warman asked me to meet you. If you will come this way, please.”

Exchanging snatches of conventional conversation as they walked away from the depot, the two young men passed a block of dingy houses fronting on the railroad track, after which they turned into a business thoroughfare.

Andy liked the appearance of the stores. They carried an air of prosperity. The wide street, busy under the ebb and flow of the early afternoon traffic, was a smooth stretch of asphalt. There was a small central park with scattered green benches. A number of children were playing in the park band stand, chasing each other, with shrill cries, up the steps and over the wooden railing, from where they dropped to the ground.

“A typical Illinois manufacturing town,” mused the observing young visitor, in shaping his opinion of Manton. “Big enough to have desirable city ways and small enough to be neighborly.”

As he kept pace with his silent companion he found his thoughts returning to the letter, a copy of which was now contained within his inner coat pocket, that Rollins and Hatch had received from the Warman Carriage Company. In substance the letter read: “We are anxious to learn to what extent advertising may be used to widen the market for carriages. If you will send a man to talk the matter over with us we will gladly defray his expenses. Kindly let us know in advance what day he will be here.”

A member of the copy staff of the Rollins and Hatch advertising agency, where we had left him in the conclusion of the initial volume of this series, Andy had been spending a short spring vacation with his widowed mother in Cressfield, his home town, when the Chicago agency employing him had gotten in touch with him on long distance. Without difficulty he had recognized the cheery voice of his young office companion.

“Hello, little one,” had been Tom Dingley’s characteristic facetious greeting. “Listen. I’ve got a job for you. Mr. Hatch wants you to add a day or two to your vacation–”

“How lovely,” Andy had interjected, knowing Dingley well.

“–and go down to Manton–it’s a little town about fifty miles south of Cressfield–and call on George Warman, Jr., of the Warman Carriage Company.”

“What for?” Andy had wanted to know.

“Business–maybe. It’s worth looking into. Rated at two hundred and fifty thousand, first-grade credit. Not so worse.”

“Have they been bit by the advertising bug?” Andy had inquired.

“Kinda looks that way. If there’s anything in it for us, sign ’em up temporarily and we’ll reward you with a box of cough drops when you get back to your desk next week.”

“I’ve got an awful cough,” Andy had barked into the mouthpiece.

“Which proves that you’ve been exposing yourself to the damp night air in some young lady’s porch swing. Now, pull out your nickel-plated Eversharp and take down this letter.”

This took two minutes.

“Well, so long,” Dingley had concluded the conversation. “I’ve talked two dollars’ worth. If I run the bill any higher Mr. Hatch will call a special directors’ meeting. You know how tight he is! When the inquiry came in I wanted to follow it up myself. No, sir, he saw a way of saving money by having you take care of it.”

“But had you not thought that I’m a bit young?”

“Oh, don’t let that worry you. We’ll write and tell them that you’re older than you look... and smarter, too! Good luck, old hunk. Give my regards to the village pump.”

The guide’s earnest voice cut in on Andy’s thoughts.

“This is our carriage factory, Mr. Blake.”

The two young men passed through a wooden gate, the weathered posts of which formed a sagging arch, while at each side a rusted wire fence stretched out, obviously enclosing the group of shabby, flat-roofed buildings that met Andy’s observing eyes. These buildings, some of which were two stories, some three stories, were cheaply constructed of wood. At some definite point the business had started, and expansion had been simply a process of building on.

From the factory there came no sounds of flapping belts; no whir of revolving machinery. Possibly the guide read the question in Andy’s eyes.

“We are closed down for a week,” he explained. “An efficiency vacation, we call it. As a matter of fact, the factory’s idleness is no hardship for us. For we are over-stocked with carriages; the orders haven’t been coming in.”

There was a detached office, a square wooden building, and opening the door the grave-faced guide courteously stood to one side on the worn door stone.

Andy found himself in a small lobby, beyond the corral of which he could see vacated desks. There was a dusty, papery stuffiness in the atmosphere. The office walls were depressingly time-stained; the furniture seemed ashamed of its creaky joints and marred surfaces. A tall iron vault door was set into one of the office walls, giving the room somewhat the aspect of a prison. Just without the vault entrance was a high, old-fashioned bookkeeping desk with its battery of pens and inkwells.

The guide reached out and touched the desk. There was a softer quality in his voice when he informed:

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