It was late morning when Sam turned his thoughts to his protégé, Johnny Holiday, while sitting at his desk, looking out of his window over Downtown Saint Anthony, with a view of city hall with its copper spires.
He wondered how Johnny had gotten along with Colonel Forrester, thinking that the interview should be over by now, and wondering what kind of arrangements the Colonel had made for him, what kind of a deal Johnny had struck for himself.
Doing work for the Colonel could be lucrative, Sam knew it from firsthand experience, though in his heart he wondered if he should have tried harder to steer Johnny away from the old man, because the work could also be dangerous too, as anything having to do with the Colonel Forrester could be.
Sam was fond of Johnny, he had known him for the better part of the boy’s life, watched him grow up at the paper, learning every job there was to do in the newsroom.
Sam told Johnny that he had recommended him to Colonel Forrester, for a writing assignment that called for first class prose.
Johnny was young, and he wrote beautifully but the truth of the matter was that there were a half a dozen more experienced writers he would have preferred to recommend to the Colonel if the only qualification was beautiful prose.
When the Colonel came to him asking for a recommendation he asked for Johnny Holiday by name, and really the Colonel was asking Sam if there was some reason that he should not offer Johnny this assignment, then informed Sam that he would appreciate it if Johnny came to the work believing that Sam had made the recommendation on his own.
Sam starred out his window looking over the city watching the clouds approach, telling himself that no harm could come from recommending Johnny to the Colonel, and curious as to what the assignment entailed.
He sipped his coffee, turned his back on the city and returned to the stack pilling up on his desk.