Pulitzer, a cub newspaper reporter, was walking down Main Street of St. Louis, on his way to a meeting of reporters at a saloon. His stroll, it is safe to say, was not pleasant. Other reporters were following him and, as they liked to do, were making fun of him, for he was a fairly recent Jewish looking immigrant with a strong Hungarian accent.
“That’s Jewseph Pulitzer,” said one.
“You mean Joey the Jew,” said another.
“Naw, he’s Pull It Sir,” said yet another, sarcastically pulling at his nose.
Pulitzer forged onward, trying to keep his temper down amidst the cascade of anti-Semitic insults. He was six feet four inches tall and very skinny, with thick glasses perched at the end of a long nose. He would not be a formidable adversary in a fist fight.
“Hey Joey, your mother says it’s time for bed.”
“His English isn’t very good.”
“It’s time to go back to Germany, Joseph.”
Joseph, mounting the steps to the dining room of the establishment, returned fire.
“I’m from Hungary, you idiot!”
“He says he’s hungry.”
“Mommy must not have given him dinner.”
Pulitzer stomped into the restaurant, wishing these buffoons would go away, but of course, they would not. His fellow reporters were, at that point, a proverbial lodestone around his neck. On top of that, a lively crowd of manly men were imbibing whiskey in the bar room adjoining the restaurant, and there another enemy awaited him. It was Edward Augustine, who clutched a copy of a newspaper containing an article Pulitzer had written exposing him as a corrupt judge. Augustine, actually, was more of a contractor than a judge, but had a very convenient position as a judge on the County Court to award himself contracts. He was perturbed, to say the least, that Pulitzer had pointed this out. As a contractor, he was a strong and burly man, and he discarded his drink to confront the beanpole Pulitzer, and stormed toward him.
“Let’s see if you have the kind of guts in public that you do at the paper, Pulitzer,” he fumed.
“You are both a liar and a crook, Mr. Augustine, and by the time I’m done with you you’re going to wish you’d never come to St. Louis.”
Before Pulitzer could add on to this sally Augustine seized him by the lapels and hurled him into the wall, and the thin Hungarian collapsed on the floor before rising to his knees to look up at the bully, who now had his fists up in the boxing pose. Pulitzer, realizing he had no chance in such an encounter, decided to flee, and stumbled to his feet before scurrying out of the door that he had come in, and hustled away down the street.
“You’re not going to dare write about me like that again, you little pipsqueak!” Augustine blared after him.
Pulitzer rushed toward the rooming house where he was living seething with passions of revenge. On the way, he had a telling remark to make to a reporter on his way into the meeting.
“Stick around and you’ll have a real story to write about,” he said, without waiting for a response.
Pulitzer galloped up the stairs to his bedroom and burst into his room, searching his meager possessions for a pistol he owned. He made sure that it was loaded, and retraced the route from whence he’d come. When he reentered the restaurant Augustine again turned to confront him.
“Back for more, you little sissy?!” he cried out, storming forward.
But Pulitzer raised and cocked his pistol, in a rather clumsy fashion, allowing the men who surrounded Augustine to close in upon the attacker, and push his shooting arm downward, so the shot only grazed Augustine’s leg, who fell to the floor in a not a very pleasant mood.
“You goddamn little bastard, you coward, you sneaky little dog. This ain’t gonna be the end of this, I’ll tell you that!”
As the manly men took their hero away Pulitzer was disarmed by others, and then taken aside by his suddenly silent reporter acquaintances, two of whom escorted him to the Police Station.
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