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, became cold an nike air max 90 d draughty. The leaf carpet proved to be soggy; and as for the birds thems cheap air max 90 elves, their whistles suddenly grew plaintive as though with the portent of late autumn.
This sudden transformation, usual enough with every passing cloud in the childhood of the spring, reacted still further on Bob’s spirits. He trudged doggedly on. After a time a gleam of water caught his attention to the left. He deserted the River Trail, descended a slope, pushed his way through a thicket of tamaracks growing out from wire grass and puddles, and found himself on the shores of a round lake.
It was a small body of water, completely surrounded by tall, dead brown grasses. These were in turn fringed by melancholy tamaracks. The water was dark slate colour, and ruffled angrily by the breeze which here in the open developed some slight strength. It cheap nike air max trainers reminded Bob of a „bottomless“ lake pointed out many years before to his childish credulity. A lonesome hell diver flipped down out of sight as Bob appea red.
The wet ground swayed and bent alarmingly under his tread. A stub attracted him. He perched on the end of it, his feet suspended above the wet, and abandoned himself to reflection. The lonesome diver reappeared. The breeze rustled the dead grasses and the tamaracks until they seemed to be shivering in the cold.
Bob was facing himself squarely. This was his first grapple with the world outside. To his direct American mind the problem was simplicity in the extreme. An idler is a contemptible being. A rich idler is almost beneath contempt. A man’s life lies in activity. Activity, outside the artistic and professional, means the world of business. All teaching at hom nike air max classic e and through the homiletic magazines, fashionable at that period, pointed out but one road to success in this world–the beginning at the bottom, as Bob was doing; close application; accuracy; frugality; honesty; fair dealing. The homiletic magazines omitted idealism and imagination; but perhaps those qualities nike air max 90 sale are so common in what some people are pleased to call our humdrum modern business life that they were taken for granted. If a young man could not succeed in this world, something was wrong with him. Can Bob be blamed that in this baffling and unsuspected incapacity he found a great humility of spirit? In his fashion he began to remember trifling significances which at the time had meant little to him. Thus, a girl had once told him, half seriously:
„Yes, you’re a nice boy, just as everybody tells you; a nice, big, blundering, stupid, Newfoundland-dog boy.“
He had laughed good-humouredly, and had forgotten. Now he caught at one word of it. That might explain it; he was just plain stupid! And stupid boys either played polo or drove fancy horses or ran yachts–or occupied ornamental–too ornamental–desks for an hour or so a day. Bob remembered how, as a small boy, he used to hold the ends of the reins under the delighted belief that he was driving his father’s spirited pair.
„I’ve outgrown holding the reins, thank you,“ he said aloud in disgust. At the sound of his voice the diver disappeared. Bob laughed and felt a trifle bette nike air max 1 r.
He reviewed himself dispassionately. He could not but admit that he had tried hard enough, and that he had courage. It was just a case of limitation. Bob, for the first time, bumped against the stone wall that hems us in on all sides–save toward the sky.
He fell into a profound discouragement; a discouragement that somehow found its prototype in the mournful little lake with its leaden water, its cold breeze, its whispering, dried marsh grasses, its funereal tamaracks, and its lonesome diver.
Part 1 Chapter 10
But Bob was no quitter. The next morning he tramped down to the office, animated by a new courage. Even nike air max stupid boys learn, he remembered. It takes longer, of course, and requires more application. But he was strong and determined. He remembered Fatty Hayes, who took four years to make the team–Fatty, who couldn’t get a signal through his head until about time for the next play, and whose great body moved appreciable seconds after his brain had commanded it; Fatty Hayes, the „scrub’s“ chopping block for trying o air max 90 ut new men on! And yet he did make the team in his senior year. Bob acknowledged him a very good centre, not brilliant, but utterly sure and safe.
Full of this dogged spirit, he tackled the day’s work. It was a heavy day’s work. The mill was just hitting its stride, the tall ships were being laden and sent away to the four winds, buyers the country over were finishing their contracts. Collins, his coat off, his sleeve protectors strapped closely about his thin arms, worked at an intense white heat. He wasted no second of time, nor did he permit discursive interruption. His manner to those who entered the office was civil but curt. Time was now the essence of the contract these men had with life.
About ten o’clock he turned from a swift contemplation of the tally board.
„Orde!“ said he sharply.
Bob disentangled himself fr nike air max 95 om his chair.
„Look there,“ said the bookkeeper, pointing a long and nervous finger at three of the tags he held in his hand.
„There’s three errors.“ He held out for inspection the original sealers‘ report which he had dug out of the files.
Bob looked at the discrepant figures with amazement. He had checked the tags over twice, and both times the error had escaped his notice. His mind, self-hypnotized, had passed them over in the same old fashion. Yet he had taken especial pains with that list.
„I happened, just happened, to check these back myself,“ Collins was saying rapidly. „If I hadn’t, we’d have made that contract with Robinson on the basis of what these tags show. We haven’t got that much seasoned uppers, nor anything like it. If you’ve made many more breaks like this, if we’d contracted with Robinson for what we airmax 90 haven’t got cheap nike air max or couldn’t get, we’d be in a nice mess–and so would Robinson!“
„I’m sorry,“ murmured Bob. „I’ll try to do better.“
„Won’t do,“ said Collins briefly. „You aren’t big enough for the job. I can’t get behind, checking over your work. This office is too rushed as it is. Can’t fool with blundering stupidity.“
Bob flushed at the word.
„I guess you’d better take your time,“ went on Collins. „You may be all right, for all I know, but I haven’t got time to find out.“
He rang a bell twice, and snatched down the telephone receiver.
„Hullo, yards, send up Tommy Gould to the office. I want him to help me. I don’t give a damn for the scaling. You’ll have to get along somehow. The five of you ought to hold that down. Send up Gould, anyhow.“ He slammed up the receiver, muttering something about incompetence. Bob for a mome nike air max sale nt had a strong impulse to retort cheap nike air max , but his anger died. He saw that Collins was not for the moment thinking of him at all as a human being, as a personality–only as a piece of this great, swiftly moving machine, that would not run smoothly. The fact that he had come under Fox’s convoy evidently meant nothing to the little bookkeeper, at least for the moment. Collins was entirely accustomed to hiring and discharging men. When transplanted to the frontier industries, even such automatic jobs as bookkeeping take on new duties and responsibilities.
Bob, after a moment of irresolution, reached for his hat.
„That will be all, then?“ he asked.
Collins came out of the abstraction into which he had fallen.
„Oh–yes,“ he said. „Sorry, but of course we can’t take chances on these things being right.“
„Of course no

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