mastering the machine. Each day he typed what he composed, and he typed his earlier manuscripts as fast as they were returned him. He was surprised when the typed ones began to come back. His jaw seemed to become squarer, his chin more aggressive, and he bundled the manuscripts off to new editors.
The thought came to him that he was not a good judge of his own work. He tried it out on Gertrude. He read his stories aloud to her. Her eyes glistened, and she looked at him proudly as she said:-
Aint it grand, you writin those sort of things.
Yes, yes, he demanded impatiently. But the story how did you like it?
Just grand, was the reply. Just grand, an thrilling, too. I was all worked up.
He could see that her mind was not clear. The perplexity was strong in her good-natured face. So he waited.
But, say, Mart, after a long pause, how did it end? Did that young man who spoke so highfalutin get her?
And, after he had explained the end, which he thought he had made artistically obvious, she would say:-
Thats what I wanted to know. Why didnt you write that way in the story?
One thing he learned, after he had read her a number of stories, namely, that she liked happy endings.
That story was perfectly grand, she announced, straightening up from the wash-tub with a tired sigh and wiping the sweat from her forehead with a red, steamy hand; but it makes me sad. I want to cry. There is too many sad things in the world anyway. It makes me happy to think about happy things. Now if hed married her, and You dont mind, Mart? she queried apprehensively. I just happen to feel that way, because Im tired, I guess. But the story was grand just the same, perfectly grand. Where are you goin to sell it?
Thats a horse of another color, he laughed.
But if you did sell it, what do you think youd get for it?
Oh, a hundred dollars. That would be the least, the way prices go.
My! I do hope youll sell it!
Easy money, eh? Then he added proudly: I wrote it in two days. Thats fifty dollars a day.
He longed to read his stories to Ruth, but did not dare. He would wait till some were published, he decided, then she would understand what he had been working for. In the meantime he toiled on. Never had the spirit of adventure lured him more strongly than on this amazing exploration of the realm of mind. He bought the text-books on physics and chemistry, and, along with his algebra, worked out problems and demonstrations. He took the laboratory proofs on faith, and his intense power of vision enabled him to see the reactions of chemicals more understandingly than the average student saw them in the laboratory. Martin wandered on through the heavy pages, overwhelmed by the clews he was getting to the nature of things. He had accepted the world as the world, but now he was comprehending the organization of it, the play and interplay of force and matter. Spontaneous explanations of old matters were continually arising in his mind. Levers and purchases fascinated him, and his mind roved backward to hand-spikes and blocks and tackles at sea. The theory of navigation, which enabled the ships to travel unerringly their courses over the pathless ocean, was made clear to him. The mysteries of storm, and rain, and tide were revealed, and the reason for the existence of trade-winds made him wonder
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