July 13, 1908


Scribe Was Fresh From School and
His Experience Reminds Other
Newspaper Workers of Some
Strenuous Assignments.

"I'm glad that Earl Burnham is dead," said the reporter. "All I wish is that he had been hung. He was the only man who ever drew a gun on me."

"I suppose you took it away from him, didn't you?" smiled the assistant city editor.

"Not much. That was three years ago, and I was just out of school. I had been on the paper only a few weeks when they sent me out to talk to Burnham, who had been causing all kinds of trouble by shooting at his wife while he was kidnaping his own child. The paper had been running some stuff that was unfavorable to Burnham, but I didn't know that. I was told to get his side of the story and expected him to welcome me with open arms.

"He was living in a tumble down house in a yard full of big trees out on Eighteenth street. I got there about 10:30 o'clock at night. He was sitting on the back porch. When I went up to him my heart began to thump and I felt as though we two were alone in the world. He jumped up as I came around the corner and growled, 'Whater you want?'

" 'I'm a reporter,' I said timidly, 'and want to talk--'

" 'Get out of here --- --- --,' he shouted, and pulled out a gun that looked three feet long.

"I was more discouraged with the newspaper business at that moment than I ever have been in my life.

"One glance at that gun and I started for the street, jumping from side to side as I had heard that Indians pursued by rangers were wont to do. The house was on a high terrace and I went down that like a swimmer on a slippery slide, picking myself up and jumping on a car that, luckily for me, I thought, was just passing. I was ashamed of my hasty retreat and reported to the office that I couldn't find Burnham."

"That's tame," said the sporting editor who had just come in to answer a phone call as to which man goes out first in a pitch game. "I had a real scare up in Kalamazoo when I was working there. I vanquished a big bartender with a tin pail full of water. I had a reputation as a fighter up there and they always sent me out out when somebody wanted to lick a reporter. There was a bartender who had run off with another man's wife and the office sent me out to ask him why he did it. I heard that the fellow was a scrapper and really I didn't care much why he did it. I found his rooms, though. They were in a block of sort of flats. I knocked on the door and it opened suddenly and a man about six feet six inches tall and weighing more than 200 pounds stood before me.

"I asked him why he did it, and he started after me. There happened to be a tin pail full of water standing near the door. I stooped and grabbed this by the hands and swung it around and let go. It hit him in the face, stopping him. I tore down the stairs and got away. But I never did find out why he did it.

"I was thrown out of a saloon in Pittsburgh once," said the man who had recently joined the force. "I went in to cover a political meeting of a gang that my paper was against. They knew me and grabbed me before I could say a word. The bartender got one side and the president of the meeting the other and the way they shot me through those swinging doors wasn't slow. I landed on the sidewalk and started for a cop. The place was pinched and the bartender and the president of the meeting got $100 and costs, while all the others got $10 and costs."

"I know just how that feels," put in a reporter who wore glasses and did police on Sunday.

"I went after a picture of a Dago girl in St. Louis once, and when I insisted, a bunch of her admirers threw me downstairs. I rolled into a cop at the bottom and he suggested that I go back. I picked up a brick and followed him, and with his assistance I got the picture."

"I had a deal like that once. A cop helped me get a picture," recalled another reporter. "I was sent out for a picture of a girl who was about to marry a freak She wouldn't give me a picture, but when she stepped out of the room I was a picture of her on the mantel and slipped it into my pocket. She yelled and grabbed me. Her father came on the scene and demanded the picture. I dept it an he called a policeman. Father stood between me and the door until the policeman came and then demanded that the cop search me. I knew the policeman an we quietly winked at each other. He told the father that I couldn't be searched except at police headquarters and took me away with him, promising to send back the picture if it was found on me.

"We got around the first corner and he told me to beat it. I hurried to the office, had the etcher take a shot at the picture an then rushed back to the police station,where I turned the photograph over to the waiting policeman. He returned it to the father an daughter two hours after I had been escorted away from the house."

"Talk about pictures," said the assistant head artist, who had stuck his head in the door as he was passing, "I had a big fight once. Went with a reporter out to get a story from a woman who was suing for divorce. The reporter was to get the story while I was to sit quiet and make a sketch of the woman -- we had tried all sorts of schemes to get a photograph of her but had failed. I had a good sketch when her little daughter looked over my shoulder. I had been pretending to take notes while I was sketching. The girl saw the picture and said, 'Oh, mamma, look at the picture.' The woman started toward me and said, 'Don't you dare make a picture of me if you don't want to get in trouble.' She turned and called two of her brothers. As she turned her head I slipped the paper with the sketch on it into my pocket and still held the rest of the paper. The top sheet luckily had a few pencil marks on it. The reporter and I were backing for the door when the brothers came in. One grabbed the paper I was holding. I made a play and tried to hold it. He jerked it away and the reporter and I broke for the door. They thought they had the sketch and didn't try to stop us. We had the picture in the morning, all right."