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 Taken up by this man in this way and with Maxwell as my literary guide and still, I could not help but to an extent at this task, and I did. I cannot recall now all the things that I was called upon to do, but one of the things that shortly after the arrival of McEnnis was assigned to me and that eventually brought my Chicago newspaper career to a close in a sort of blaze of glory as I saw it, at least, was a series of articles or rather a campaign to close a group of fake shops which were daily fleecing hundreds by selling bogus watches, , diamonds and the like, yet which were by the city and from which the police were a very handsome revenue. Although so new at this work the task was placed in my hands as a regular daily assignment by Mr. McEnnis with the comment that I must make something out of it, whether or not I thought I could put a news punch in it and close these places. That would be a real newspaper victory and ought to do me some good with my chief the managing editor. Campaigns of this kind are undertaken not in a spirit of righteousness as a rule but because of public pressure or a wish to increase circulation and popularity; yet in this case no such laudable or excusable intent could be .  
This paper was controlled by John B. MacDonald, an Irish politician, gambler, racer of horses, and the owner of a string of local houses of prostitution, saloons and , all of which brought him a large income and made him politically. Recently he had fallen on comparatively difficult days. His reputation as a shady character had become too widespread. The pharisees and influential men generally who had profited by his favor now found it to pass by on the other side. Public sentiment against him had been aroused by political attacks on the part of one newspaper and another that did not belong to his party. The last election having been lost to him, the police and other departments of the city were now supposed to work in harmony to root out his though profitable privileges.
Everybody knows how these things work. Some administration attacks were made upon his privileges, whereupon, not finding suitable support in the papers of his own party in the city, they having axes of their own to grind, he had started a paper of his own, the Globe. He had brought on a capable newspaper man from New York, who was doing his best to make of the paper something which would satisfy MacDonald’s desire for circulation and influence while he lined his own pockets against a rainy day. For this reason, no doubt, our general staff was underpaid, though fairly capable. During my stay the police and other departments, under the guidance of Republican politicians and newspapers, were making an attack on Mr. MacDonald’s preserves; to which he replied by attacking through the medium of the Globe anything and everything he thought would do his rivals harm. Among these were a large number of these same mock auction shops in the downtown section. Evidently the police were deriving a direct revenue from these places, for they let them alone but since the administration was now anti-MacDonald and these were not Mr. MacDonald’s property nothing was left by us to stop this traffic. We charged, and it was true, that though victims daily appeared before the police to complain that they had been swindled and to ask for , nothing was done by the police.
I cannot now recall what it was about my treatment of these institutions that aroused so much interest in the office and made me into a kind of Globe hero. I was innocent of all knowledge of the above complications which I have just described when I started, and almost as innocent when I concluded. Nevertheless now daily at ten in the morning and again in the afternoon I went to one or another of these shops, listened to the of the noisy barkers, saw tin-gilt jewelry knocked down to unsuspecting from the South and West who stood open-mouthed watching the hypnotizing movements of the auctioneer’s hands as he waved a glistering or watch in front of them and on the beauties and perfections of the article he was compelled to part from for a song. These places were not only and frauds in what they pretended to sell but also gathering-places for thieves, pick-pockets, footpads who, finding some bystander to be of a watch, pin or roll of money other than that from which he was parted by the auctioneer or his associates, either then and there by some robbed him or followed him into a dark street and knocked him down and did the same. At this time Chicago was notorious for this sort of thing, and it was openly charged in the Globe and elsewhere that the police at and thrived by the transactions.
My descriptions of what was going on, innocent and matter of fact as they were at first and of or make-believe, so pleased Mr. McEnnis beyond anything I had done that he was actually and yet at the same time and restraining in his compliments. I have no desire to praise myself at this time. Such things and so much that seemed so important then have since become trivial beyond words but it is only fair to state that he was seemingly immensely pleased and amused as was Maxwell.
“Upon my word,” I once heard him exclaim, as he read one of my daily effusions. “The . Who would think that such scamps would be allowed to run at large in a city like this! They certainly ought to be in jail. Every one of them. And the police along with them.” Then he , slapped his knee and finally came over and made some in regard to a certain whom I had chanced to picture. I was cautioned against overstating anything; also against detection and being beaten up by those whom I was offending. For I noticed after the first day or two that the barkers of some of the shops occasionally studied me or ceased their more in my presence and produced something of more value. The facts which my articles presented, however, finally began to attract a little attention to the paper. Either because the paper sold better or because this was an excellent club wherewith to his enemies, the publisher now to call the attention of the public via the , to what was going on in our columns, and McEnnis himself undertook to frighten the police into action by swearing out warrants against the different owners of the shops and thus compelling them to take action.
I became the center of a semi-literary, semi-public reform . The principal members of the staff assured me that the articles were forceful in fact and color and highly amusing. One day, by way of the bureau and with the aid of McEnnis, I secured the names of the alleged owners and managers of nearly all of these shops and thereafter attacked them by name, describing them just as they were, where they lived, how they made their money, etc. In company with a private detective and several times with McEnnis, I personally served warrants of arrest, accompanied the sharpers to police headquarters, where they were immediately released on , and then ran to the office to write out my impressions of all I had seen, repeating conversations as nearly as I could remember, describing faces and bodies of , policemen and detectives, and by sly indicating what a and was the whole seeming interest ............
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