The Drums of Jeopardy (Chapter 4, page 1 of 16)


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Chapter 4

Kitty Conover had inherited brains and beauty, and nothing else but the
furniture. Her father had been a famous reporter, the admiration of
cubs from New York to San Francisco; handsome, happy-go-lucky, generous,
rather improvident, and wholly lovable. Her mother had been a comedy
actress noted for her beauty and wit and extravagance. Thus it will be
seen that Kitty was in luck to inherit any furniture at all.

Kitty was twenty-four. A body is as old as it is, but a brain is as old
as the facts it absorbs; and Kitty had absorbed enough facts to carry
her brain well into the thirties.

Conover had been dead twenty years; and Kitty had scarcely any
recollections of him. Improvident as the run of newspaper writers are,
Conover had fulfilled one obligation to his family--he had kept up his
endowment policies; and for eighteen years the insurance had taken care
of Kitty and her mother, who because of a weak ankle had not been able
to return to the scenes of her former triumphs. In 1915 this darling
mother, whom Kitty loved to idolatry, had passed on.

There was enough for the funeral and the cleaning up of the bills; but
that was all. The income ceased with Mrs. Conover's demise. Kitty saw
that she must give up writing short stories which nobody wanted, and
go to work. So she proceeded at once to the newspaper office where
her father's name was still a tradition, and applied for a job. It was
frankly a charity job, but Kitty was never to know that because she fell
into the newspaper game naturally; and when they discovered her wide
acquaintance among theatrical celebrities they switched her into the
dramatic department, where she had astonishing success as a raconteur.
She was now assistant dramatic editor of the Sunday issue, and her pay
envelope had four crisp ten-dollar notes in it each Monday.

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