"No, but aside from this pleasant personal conclusion," persisted
Simpkins, modestly shedding the compliment.
"Well, I guess we won't bother with the Blavatsky story just now, but
here's a clipping about a woman who's discovered what she calls soul
aura--says we've got red, white and blue souls and all that sort of
stuff. You're our soul expert now, so go over to the City Hall and ask
the mayor and any politicians you meet what's the color of their souls.
It ought to make a fair Sunday special." And Naylor swung around to his
desk, for the city editor had just told him that the headless trunk of a
woman had been picked up in the river--a find that promised a good
story--and a newspaper man cannot waste time on yesterday.
Simpkins' face fell. That he had not been assigned to find the head was,
he knew, the beginning of his punishment. But as he walked down the
dingy hall to the street his step became more buoyant, and once in the
open air he started off eager and smiling. For a good opening sentence
was already shaping in his head, and as he stepped into the City Hall he
was repeating to himself:
"Yesterday, when the Mayor was asked, 'What is the color of your soul?'
he returned his stereotyped 'Nothing to give out on that subject,' and
then added, 'But it would be violating no confidence to tell you that
Boss Coonahan's is black.