Two Scoops, Please.

Started by Snub Callahan at May 27, 2020 10:03 AM
February 25, 1924
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14 Posts

Snub Callahan

Reporter for the Herald's rival newspaper The Miami Daily News and Reporter
290
?Years Young
27 Posts

The desk clerk at The Herald that Monday morning had, of course, recognised Snub Callahan as a reporter: not just by the press ticket stuck in the hatband of his boater, or the notebook jutting from his jacket pocket, but from his unmistakable angular face, jutting jaw and somehow pugnacious flaming red hair; oh yes, he was a pretty well known guy in Miami journalistic circles all right. In fact, it was only minutes after the noisome journalist had gone through into the main offices that the guardian of the front door remembered that Callahan wasn’t actually one of their reporters.

Oh well, too late now, he reasoned, and went back to studying the form of the gee-gees running at the Hialeah race-track that coming weekend.

As for Snub, he crashed into the big, open main office of The Herald with a jocund greeting of “Hello, peasants!” followed by a stentorian announcement of “I’m Charles Callahan, representing Miami’s premier Newspaper, The Miami News and Reporter. Now, will one of you minions direct me to the desk of that girl-reporter, Miss Victoria Hayes?” This drew a predicable response of derisive cat calls, shouts of “Get lost, Callahan!” and not a few projectiles, though mostly they were harmless pencils and scrunched up failed news reports. However, a passing copy editor jerked a thumb in the right direction, which earned him a cry of “traitor” from the Herald journalists but also set the interloper on the right track.

Victoria’s desk didn’t look particularly welcoming, so the News reporter shifted a once neat pile of papers to one side to make a space to sit on; he dusted off the wood of this newly bared spot and planted down his tush. “Hullo Hayes” he proffered, looking over her typewriter and nosily reading her story upside down. Despite her obvious proficiency on the machine, which she was clackerty-clacking at a high rate of knots, he couldn’t help adding a derisory comment.

“Two finger typing, eh? Come over to my boudoir sometime, and I’ll teach you to touch-type!”


Victoria Hayes

Reporter for The Miami Herald
114
?Years Young
13 Posts

Victoria looked up from her typewriter and rolled her eyes, "Snub Callahan.  The last time I saw you was at that fund-raising event for the Miami County Children's Home and I'm still wondering how you managed to get into that one."

She sat up a bit more straighter, "As for your invitation to come visit you for lessons, I think I'll pass on that one."

Looking around she could see that a couple of her colleagues were interested in her visitor.  Part of her thought about taking Callahan elsewhere to talk in private might be a good idea.  However, the rest of her didn't want to give Callahan any ideas so she decided to stay put.

"So, what brings you to the enemy's camp?"


Liked 1

Snub Callahan

Reporter for the Herald's rival newspaper The Miami Daily News and Reporter
290
?Years Young
27 Posts

Victoria looked up from her typewriter and rolled her eyes, "Snub Callahan.  The last time I saw you was at that fund-raising event for the Miami County Children's Home and I'm still wondering how you managed to get into that one."

Snub frowned, and a look of mock indignation crossed his brow. “Hey, those brats loved me! Except that little fat one with the pea shooter. Ha, but I showed him! He’ll be shooting peas around corners from now on!” he grinned triumphantly.

“Now…” he turned his attention back to Victoria’s typing, pointing to the QWERTY keyboard, about to explain how the darn thing had been especially designed to slow down the operator’s typing speed, not make it easier, but she deftly headed him off at the pass.

She sat up a bit more straighter, "As for your invitation to come visit you for lessons, I think I'll pass on that one."

“Well, have it your way, sister. But don’t blame me when the latest instalment of ‘Society on Parade’ or whatever it’s called, goes late to the presses!”

Looking around she could see that a couple of her colleagues were interested in her visitor.  Part of her thought about taking Callahan elsewhere to talk in private might be a good idea.  However, the rest of her didn't want to give Callahan any ideas so she decided to stay put.

"So, what brings you to the enemy's camp?"

Callahan looked around at the office “Yeah, that was pretty brave of me sneaking in here, wasn’t it?” he preened “But listen, you did me a big favour with that tip off you gave me last month, and I don’t happen to like owing favors … it chafes me!” As he said this he pulled at his starched collar, like it was rubbing his neck sore.

“So, I’ve got a scoop for you, Toots, and one that’s right up your street. See, the News has been covering this new Boxer, Kid Kovach, for the last two weeks and frankly, until he actually fights in a big match again, I’m all out of angles.” It was true. Callahan had eventually got to interview the kid and, whereas he was dynamite in the ring, he was a dud out of it: getting anything interesting out of him that you could make into a story was like getting blood out of a stone.

“His management won’t even let us print anything about him being Jewish, which would have least given me something” Snub elaborated, throwing his hands into the air to imitate a newspaper headline “Splash: Kosher Kovach, the Hard Hitting Hebrew!” I coulda gone to town on that one!” he sighed.

“Anyhow, as a publicity stunt, this kid’s being taken on an all expenses cruise on that gin tub down in the harbor, the Chantooz or whatever it’s called, with tickets for a tame journalist and a photo guy to tag along and write nice things about him. The News isn’t really interested, you wan’it?”

Snub shifted on the desk, this perch was pretty uncomfortable. Victoria didn’t seem quite as enthusiastic about the whole cruise thing as he’d hoped, and he racked his brains to think if he’d left any information out.

“Oh yeah, an’ Kovach’s going with some dame called Mrs Fredegund von Epp.” He laughed “Boy, does she sound like an old frump!” Snub’s ignorance of this celebrated society beauty and out and out vamp, who had left a sea of broken hearted men and even a couple of suicides across the continents of the world, showed just how out of touch he was with the refined upper echelons of news reporting.


Made Me Laugh 1

Victoria Hayes

Reporter for The Miami Herald
114
?Years Young
13 Posts

Victoria's face stay neutral as she listened to Callahan ramble on.  She wasn't interested in anything he was saying until he mentioned Fredegund von Epp.  The woman's reputation was well-known amongst the elite of Miami and those who covered them.  Even though she hadn't met or even hear of the boxer, she already felt sorry for him.

"All right, Snub.  Let's just say I'm interested in the von Epp angle.  If it is as you say it is, then she might be on this publicity cruise, then it's worth pursing."

She paused, "However, I get the feeling that there's more to this than what you're telling me.  What's in it for you, other than paying off a debt?"


Snub Callahan

Reporter for the Herald's rival newspaper The Miami Daily News and Reporter
290
?Years Young
27 Posts

"All right, Snub.  Let's just say I'm interested in the von Epp angle.  If it is as you say it is, then she might be on this publicity cruise, then it's worth pursuing."

“Oh, ol’ von Eppy’ll be there OK” he replied, whipping a couple of fancy looking tickets out of his vest pocket and placing them on the desk. He stood to go. “Well, I’m glad that’s all sorted out. I’ll get out of your hai…” but Victoria stopped him with one of those knowing frowns.

She paused, "However, I get the feeling that there's more to this than what you're telling me.  What's in it for you, other than paying off a debt?"

“It’s strictly on the level” he assured her, ebulliently “Sure, I get little seasick, too, you know. And after that piece the News did about one of the MacLeods last month, they’re likely to make me walk the plank.” he joked. Then, a phenomenon never witnessed before, Snub’s face became a little serious. He looked around the office, as if suspicious of eavesdroppers, and clambered back onto her desk, leaning in over her typewriter and speaking in low, conspiratorial tones.

“Listen, Hayes, if I tell you something, do you promise to keep it under a lid? Girl Reporter’s Honor?” he demanded her most binding oath of secrecy.

“I’m actually working on a story that day, see.” It almost pained him to reveal it, but it was burning a hole in his pocket and he had to get it out to somebody, and a fellow journalist who was unlikely to want to steal it from him was the best person to test it out on. “You’ll think I’m nuts, but there’s something funny going on at the Funny Farm. And when I say funny, I don’t mean funny, I mean … funny!”


Victoria Hayes

Reporter for The Miami Herald
114
?Years Young
13 Posts

At the mention of the MacLeods, Victoria smirked.  It wasn't a good idea in anybody's book to write a story about them. Whoever decided to give the go ahead on that one was probably either new in town or they were looking to stir up trouble.  She remembered Lucian saying he was going to do something about it.  She didn't know what it was exactly or if he had been done already.  Whatever it was, she knew she didn't want to be in that reporter's shoes.

All of a sudden, Callahan turned serious.  This took her by surprise as the man was considered to be a bit of a joker by most of the reporters around town, so when he started to speak in hushed tones, she took notice.  Whether or not it was on the level remained to be seen.

Even though she wanted to be a hard-hitting reporter, visiting an asylum was not the answer.  In the fact the place scared her a little and if she ever went there, she would have a good reason to and definitely not by herself.  There were rumours circulating that it was a good place to get rid of troublemakers.  However, she was interested in what his story might be.

"All right, on my honour, I won't tell anyone," she answered.  "But I do think you should let someone know of your intentions if you plan to visit the place.  I wouldn't want anybody to go there and never make it out."

 

 


Snub Callahan

Reporter for the Herald's rival newspaper The Miami Daily News and Reporter
290
?Years Young
27 Posts

"All right, on my honour, I won't tell anyone," she answered.  "But I do think you should let someone know of your intentions if you plan to visit the place.  I wouldn't want anybody to go there and never make it out."

“Plan to visit…?” Snub shook his head “Sister, I’ve been there!”

“I tell you, the place is guarded like a fortress! And they’ve got eyes everywhere, I’d only been in the grounds five minutes before they set the dogs on me. Boy, was I in  fix – I though they were going to put me in a straight jacket and lock me up in a padded cell!” He pulled out a hankie and dabbed his brow at the thought of it.

 “They frisked me down, and when they realised that I was a ‘gentleman of the press’ the big boss man there, some foreign palooka called Dr. Janos, he just had me booted out on my fanny, with a warning never to show my roguishly good looking face there again.” He recalled.

There was more to his story, and he settled himself comfortably on Victoria’s desk and began to relate it, leafing nonchalantly through the papers on her desk as he did so.

“That was two weeks ago. I went there again last Saturday: that’s visiting day and, believe me Hayes, those nut-jobs don’t get many visitors. I waited outside the walls in my trusty old Ford, and when one of the visitors left, I trailed her to where she lived. Called on her yesterday afternoon, but all I got was some mutt barking behind the door fit to raise the dead. That brought a neighbor out, and she told me that this dame works – get this – as a doctor over at Doc Steele’s place.”

He shook his head at the sad state of the world. “Girl Reporters, Girl Doctors, why don’t you dames stick to traditional, respectable women’s roles: like bathing beauties, and exotic dancers?”

Well, that finished his description of his investigations so far, but it still begged the question of why he was interested in the Asylum in the first place.


Made Me Laugh 1

Victoria Hayes

Reporter for The Miami Herald
114
?Years Young
13 Posts

By the time Callahan had gotten to the bit about being booted out on his fanny, Victoria was starting to regret wanting to know.  The man always took the roundabout way of getting to the point.  When he finally did, it ended in a remark she didn't like and a disgruntled look appeared on her face.  Men like Callahan belonged in the Dark Ages.

"Well whoever she is, I say good for her. We need more women doctors.  If Doctor Greyson Steele hired her then she must be good at her job.  He doesn't hire just anybody who can pick up a scalpel."

She took a deep breath, "I don't see how someone visiting the asylum is that odd.  Most of them would have a relative or two living here in Miami.  There has to be something more to this then you're letting on."


Snub Callahan

Reporter for the Herald's rival newspaper The Miami Daily News and Reporter
290
?Years Young
27 Posts

"Well whoever she is, I say good for her. We need more women doctors.  If Doctor Greyson Steele hired her then she must be good at her job.  He doesn't hire just anybody who can pick up a scalpel."

For a moment Snub was tempted to comment on the word on the journalistic grapevine, which was that whereas Steele might be fussy about whom he hired to do the doctoring, he wasn’t quite so fussy about which patients he chose to patch up. But that was all hearsay.

“All right, Carrie Chapman Catt, keep your undershirt on! All I’m saying is that if this lady is screwy enough to visit that place every week, she might be able to find out what’s going on there.” he replied, leafing through the February edition of Vogue and lingering on an interesting advertisement for ladies’ foundation garments.

She took a deep breath, “I don’t see how someone visiting the asylum is that odd.  Most of them would have a relative or two living here in Miami.  There has to be something more to this then you’re letting on.”

He put the issue of Vogue down and leaned in conspiratorially again. 

“Listen Hazy, you’re probably too busy writing about Vivian Flanders’ latest wild parties, or Mrs von Epp’s choice in stays, to read the crime columns, but last month the Dade County coroner had a stiff on his slab that they’d pulled out of the Miami and it was a doozy. Female, aged about 25, pretty little thing apparently, at least the side of her face that hadn’t been eaten by the fishes.”

Snub never was one to pull his punches, either in print or in conversation.

“But get this: turns out that our little mermaid was an inmate at the Asylum, they said she’d escaped.” 

Then he readied himself for the final punch, the one that made this a really hot story. 

“And here’s the big thing. The coroner had never seen anything like this girl.” Snub’s voice lowered to a whisper. “He told my snitch that the body had been completely drained of blood!” 

 


Victoria Hayes

Reporter for The Miami Herald
114
?Years Young
13 Posts

Victoria cringed a little at the mention of the bloodless corpse.  She wasn't what to make of what Callahan had just said.  If it was true, then someone would have to know about it.  There was some doubt that Callahan knew anybody in law enforcement but she decided to ask anyway.

"Look Snub, if your think there is somebody out there who is some sort of Dracula, maybe you should go to the police about it.  It wouldn't be worth if you're not alive to tell the story."