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SHORT STORY
By Theo. C. Jenkins

The 10th Man. (It is estimated that 1/10 of the population of the United States is colored.)[[/bold]]

There's many a slip:-

John Scott sat on his stool and chewed his pencil thoughtfully.  That pencil showed marks of use and age plainly.  John had been figuring and chewing for the past five weeks.

The frown slowly cleared from his face and a slow grin replaced it as he set down the last few figures and drew a heavy line underneath the column.

An office boy came up and tapped him on the arm.  "Old Chizzlewit wants to see you," he said, and went back to his corner.  Old Chizzlewit was office manager.  His real name was Savage.

"Scott," he began, as John sidled up to his desk, "I've been watching you for more than a month now, and you haven't been giving the company your best.  This is just a warning.  Snap into it.  That's all.

For the rest of that day Scott moved as in a daze.  He went to lunch, ate his usual bowl of soup and a sandwich, and came back to his high stool at 1 o'clock.  He worked steadily until five o'clock, and moved mechanically towards the cloak room, muttering to himself.

"Chizzlewit's" words had failed to register.  John was thinking two more days and then three long weeks of vacation.  He had studied maps and camp sites all winter and now he knew just where he was going and just what to do.  His wife didn't like the country and he had envisioned three weeks of heavenly solitude for months.  No 7:30 alarm, no hastily applied styptic to the razor slash on his chin, no gulped down scalding coffee, no dashing for the 8:23 for town.  Nothing to do that he didn't wasn't to do for three weeks.

His mind dwelt on an old trunk, carefully shoved into one corner of the attic.  Old clothes, drapes, carpets had been tossed upon it with studied carefulness.  For eleven months and two weeks, Scott has been stealing two, three and five dollars from his pay.  Tucking it into one corner of the trunk under all the old dresses, strange hats and discarded clothes that had belonged to another day.

With his pay tomorrow he would have enough to carry him through and to give his wife sufficient to last three weeks.  He had gone up to the attic Sunday while she was at church and counted every nickel.  He had also taken his new fishing rod from the eaves where he had hidden it and made several imaginary casts.  Nothing stood between him and bliss except two more days of Chizzlewits.

As he approached his gate he straightened his shoulders and increased his stride.  In his home he was "Big Business."  He pictured himself as he would look as he told his wife "Old Chizzlewits" called me today.  He needed some help on a knotty problem and, of course, he called me in his office to solve it.

His gey grated in the lock and the door slammed shut as he hung his hat on the rack.  He whistled softly for his wife, their old signal, and immediately a voice floated downstairs.  Oh, John! is that you?  She came downstairs radiant and kissed him.  Johnny dear, I have the grandest news.  He looked at her fondly, he love this little woman but sometimes wives can be so unreasonable.  O. K., he said, tell the old man all about it-but wait, come here, and he pulled her on his lap.

You know, she began breathlessly, today the Orphan's Home called and asked me if I had some things to give away.  It seems they are having an old-fashioned cantata and they want all the old clothes and things they could get.  Well, I thought of that old trunk of mother's in the attic and I went there to get some of her dresses, and what do you think?  I found three hundred and fourteen dollars and ninety cents tucked way down in one corner.  It must have been there for years.

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Harlem at a Glance
By Donald K. Douglas

Harlem's Lafayette Theatre, now a unit of the Federal Theatre project, was the first theatre of the entire project to open with a show.
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