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Simplified Parking

By George M. Rock
Author of "Oil in Time," etc.

 A "Windy" Bellows Story 

THE passing of time found Mr. Charles Bellows growing more and more disconsolate. He'd had a good job, but a good job wasn't exactly what Bellows wanted. Indeed, deciding that no mere position could make him happy, he quit. He wanted to be a power in the business world, a man of wealth and wide influence.

For this modest ambition, no one could justly censure him. Even his roommate and best friend, Joe Plodson, thought it a creditable thing at which to aim. But it was Windy's impatience with the slow and not always so sure process of working up that caused people to regard him with concern or amusement, or both. "Shucks!" Bellows would say now and then, "I don't want to be dodderin' around with a walking stick in one hand and a box of pills in the other by the time I've made my pile. If I'm going to have that yacht, I want some enjoyment out of it!"

Plodson would nod, for he knew that there was no need in trying to offer Windy advice. The two had long been friends, and together they had come to the city to make their fortunes. Utterly unlike, they got along famously, chiefly because Plodson was willing to give his friend more credit than he deserved.

"Windy" Bellows, as he was called by most people, was inclined to plumpness. This was in no manner offset by the clothes he wore, which only a person totally colorblind would have called becoming. A lavender shirt with a burned-orange tie was Windy's favorite combination.

Bellows' temperament matched his clothes. He was anything but modest. He could talk at length on any subject under the sun, since facts, for their own sake, were not of much concern to Windy. He was a perfect mine of misinformation; but he had his opinions and he was not backward about expressing them.

Joe Plodson, on the other hand, was probably too retiring. He never spoke for the sake of hearing his own voice. Tall and slender, he dressed modestly; and his eyes, which were blue and steady under dark, level brows, gave him a frank and trustworthy appearance. Windy called him "Plod" because he was content to do his work well and make his way to higher things step by step.

Having resigned from the position which Joe got him, Windy began to look about for some pursuit worthy of his talents. He finally decided to become a promoter. Accordingly, he rented himself a neat office, inserted a couple of ads in the daily papers, and then he sat down to wait for someone to come along with something that needed promoting.

But a week and more passed, and no one entered Windy's office but the cleaning woman. It was most discouraging. He confided his troubles to Joe with such pathos that he was able to borrow twenty-five dollars.

"I'm bound to get a break one of these days," he told Plodson. "Yes, sir! Promoters, Plod, is what puts all these big things over, from railroads to prize fights."

Joe, however, decided not to lose any sleep over the matter. Windy had caused him plenty of worry when the two of them—on Windy's much- advertised brains and Joe's money—tried to accumulate wealth through various get-rich-quick schemes. He was now well occupied with his position as secretary to the head research chemist of a big oil company. He made Windy the loan with a warning that there'd be no more.

So, day by day, Windy sat in his office expectantly, reading news accounts of how well talking pictures were going over, and of the fortune made by the man who invented the convertible coupe.

"Something like that's what I got to get connected with," Windy told himself. "Something right up to the minute, and progressive." It was while he was figuring the many things he'd do, once he made his money, that a timid knock came on the outer door. Windy jumped to his feet, spruced his hair, rattled some papers and banged shut some drawers—so the visitor would not know they were empty—and then he answered the hesitant rap.

II.

"Ah," said Windy, and then he hesitated, looking over his caller with obvious disappointment. "Is there something I can do for you?"

The man stood in the hallway, fingering his soft, brown-felt hat nervously. He was small and shabbily dressed in an unpressed suit. His tie was frayed and on crooked, and his scuff...

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