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Newsboys
by Jerry Slauter 
02/03/14
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Chapter 3 of Fine Line is Newsboys. Fine Line is the sequel to Woodcutter's Revival and is scheduled to be released in 2014. Daryl has found himself in a legal scrape. To properly defend him, Stewart and James question him to determine if he has anything on his record that can be used against him in the present situation. He tells his story of being orphaned as a child in New York.

When Daryl became orphaned in New York,the Foundling Society took him in. They offered orphanages, industrial schools, boarding houses and jobs – mostly delivering papers on the street. They also ran orphan trails to help get the orphans out of the city and into homes in the country. The orphan trains were running since before the Civil War.

While the Newsboys were on strike in 1899, Daryl became a reluctant leader of a segment of the Newsboy population. The Newsboys struck in all 5 Burroughs and miraculously were able to coordinate their efforts to successfully increase the amount of money they received for their work.

The Newsboys struck mostly against Joseph Pulitzer's New York World and William Randolph Hearst's The Journal. The other newspapers became sympathetic with the Newsies and began running some of their stories. Daryl encountered a shill hired by the newspaper magnates to write articles sympathetic to the management perspective. The shill's name was Gaylord Lynchbaugh. The following excerpt is a description of that encounter told through Daryl's narrative:

“Hearst and Pulitzer found a shill to spout their virtue and to condemn the collective actions of the newsboys. Gaylord Lynchbaughm used to write independent editorials and sell them to the United Press International. He claimed he was independent and worked for himself. We were sure he was paid to specifically place his editor/owner favorable articles in the World and the Journal. Of course, he commented on enough other information to sell some articles to other papers.

"Funny thing, though, the other papers began to support the newsboys. Hearst’ circulation began to drop. They threatened his job as they could no longer afford to keep Lynchbaughm on the dole.

“Lynchbaughm started in Chicago with Scripps, which became United Press International in eighteen-ninety three. Melville Stone, Associated Press manager kicked him out of the Chicago News, because the Associated Press upheld standards of accuracy, impartiality and integrity. The UPI was competitive and scrappy. That was when he found his way to New York and linked with Pulitzer and Hearst.

“Since I was older and had built up some seniority, I was able to have a stand on Newspaper Row. Lynchbaughm used to like to stroll by every day about ten in the morning. He always bought a paper and opened it to his column. He liked to see his picture and read the column from the paper as he proceeded his office.

“Before the strike, he used to lecture me about his views. Sometimes, he wore a big top hat and heavy wool coat with a fur color. He smoked a huge cigar and brandished it as if it were a symbol of his importance. When he had no hat, his thinning gray hair was slicked back. As he began to talk, his fat cheeks would blubber. With his large protruding teeth, he looked like a big wood chuck attempting to clean an ear of corn as his head bobbed in a rhythmic nod, jabbing his cigar at us to emphasize a point.

“As I watched and listened, it was very difficult for me to keep a straight face. He always became indignant, as though I was mocking him. He would make a point raising his finger into the air and then, dramatically, pausing as if reaching an epiphany and place his pointed finger on his lips in a moment of pregnant pause and reflection.

“He would talk to us as if we could not read and had no interest in the real world. If only he knew how hard our world was. He would tear up and say, ‘Do you know I tell you this because I love this country?’

“We just let it go and baited him into discussion every day, as it drew a crowd, and crowds sold papers. The distraction was also useful in breaking the monotony from the long day. He would tell us we could not understand the big picture without his interpretation. He said he stayed up late at night studying so he could educate the common man. He was oblivious to the mocking and jeering expressions of the onlookers in the gathering crowds.

“He would go on a rant and state that Herman and Gladden should not be allowed to incite the youth. He said they preached a ‘social gospel’ because they sought social justice. He said anybody who hears their preacher say anything about a social gospel should flee.

"Then, during the strike, our tempers were at an edge. He was tense because he had already been threatened with his job if circulation did not return to normal. He started, ‘If you could read…’

“I burst out, what makes you think I can’t read? Do you think we just sell these things and don’t have time to study them? I am a newsboy and proud of it. You’re a views boy. You don’t report the news. You attempt to create it. What’s the matter, Lynchbaughm? You look as if somebody just stepped on your grave!

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About the Author:

Jerry Slauter is a retired school teacher who loves to read, write, work with wood, metal and leather. He published Woodcutter's Revival in 2012. He also published Revived: Story of Publishing a Christian Novel.

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