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Taking It For Granted
by [?]

MR. EVERTON was the editor and publisher of the—-Journal, and, like too many occupying his position, was not on the best terms in the world with certain of his contemporaries of the same city. One morning, on opening the paper from a rival office, he found an article therein, which appeared as a communication, that pointed to him so directly as to leave no room for mistake as to the allusions that were made.

Of course, Mr. Everton was considerably disturbed by the occurrence, and thoughts of retaliation arose in his mind. The style was not that of the editor, and so, though he felt incensed at that personage for admitting the article, he went beyond him, and cast about in his mind for some clue that would enable him to identify the writer. In this he did not long find himself at a loss. He had a man in his employment who possessed all the ability necessary to write the article, and upon whom, for certain reasons, he soon fixed the origin of the attack.

“Have you seen that article in the Gazette?” asked an acquaintance, who came into Everton’s office while he sat with the paper referred to still in his hand.

“I have,” replied Everton, compressing his lips.

“Well, what do you think of it?”

“It’ll do no harm, of course; but that doesn’t touch the malice of the writer.”


“Nor make him any the less base at heart.”

“Do you know the author?”

“I believe so.”

“Who is he?”

“My impression is, that Ayres wrote it.”



“Why, he is indebted to you for his bread!”

“I know he is, and that makes his act one of deeper baseness.”

“What could have induced him to be guilty of such a thing?”

“That’s just what I’ve been trying to study out, and I believe I understand it all fully. Some six months ago, he asked me to sign a recommendation for his appointment to a vacant clerkship in one of our banks. I told him that I would do so with pleasure, only that my nephew was an applicant, and I had already given him my name. He didn’t appear to like this, which I thought very unreasonable, to say the least of it.”

“Why, the man must be insane! How could he expect you to sign the application of two men for the same place? Especially, how could he expect you to give him a preference over your own nephew?”

“Some men are strangely unreasonable.”

“We don’t live long in this world ere becoming cognisant of that fact.”

“And for this he has held a grudge against you, and now takes occasion to revenge himself.”

“So it would seem. I know of nothing else that he can have against me. I have uniformly treated him with kindness and consideration.”

“There must be something radically base in his character.”

“I’m afraid there is.”

“I wouldn’t have such a man in my employment.”

Everton shrugged his shoulders and elevated his eyebrows, but said nothing.

“A man who attempts thus to injure you in your business by false representations, will not hesitate to wrong you in other ways,” said the acquaintance.

“A very natural inference,” replied Everton. “I’m sorry to have to think so badly of Ayres; but, as you say, a man who would, in so base a manner, attack another, would not hesitate to do him an injury if a good opportunity offered.”

“And it’s well for you to think of that.”

“True. However, I do not see that he has much chance to do me an ill-turn where he is. So far, I must do him the justice to say that he is faithful in the discharge of all his duties.”

“He knows that his situation depends upon this.”

“Of course. His own interest prompts him to do right here; but when an opportunity to stab me in the dark offers, he embraces it. He did not, probably, imagine that I would see the hand that held the dagger.”