'The man that gives advice is a bigger fool than the man that takes it,' he fleered impatiently. 'Go and do your best!'
Before he had given me this injunction he had dipped his pen and begun to write hurriedly. If I had known him longer I should have known that, while he had been talking to me, that tireless mind of his had summoned him to its service. I went out, in high spirits, and sat down a moment on one of the benches in the little park near by, to think it all over. He was going to measure my judgement, my skill as a writer- my resources. 'Rats,' I said to myself thoughtfully. 1 had read much about them. They infested the ships, they overran the wharves, they traversed the sewers. An inspiration came to me. I started for the waterfront, asking my way every block or two. Near the East River I met a policeman - a big, husky, good-hearted Irishman.
'Can you tell me,' I said, 'who can give me information about rats?'
'Rats?' he repeated. 'What d' ye wan't' know about thim?'
'Everything,'I said. 'They ve just given me a job on the New York Tribune,'I added proudly.
He smiled good-naturedly. He had looked through me at a glance.
'Just say "Tribune",' he said. 'Ye don't have t say "New York Tribune" here. Come along wi me.'
He took me to a dozen or more of the dock masters.