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GOOD REFERENCES by E. J. Rath
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GOOD REFERENCES

by E. J. Rath

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There was only one man in the office of the Brain Workers' Exchange and he was an obscurity who "kept" the books in the farthest corner of the room. Girls of various ages and women of all ages crowded him remorselessly out of the picture, so that when it was possible to obtain even a glimpse of him he served merely as a memorandum of the fact that there are, after all, two sexes. A few of the girls and women sat at desks; they were the working staff of the Exchange. One of them was also the owner and manager.
Outside a railing that divided the room there were a few chairs, very few, because it was not the policy of the Exchange to maintain a waiting-room for clients. It was a quiet and brisk clearing house, not a loitering place nor a shop-window for the display of people who had brains to sell by the week or the month. The clients came and went rather rapidly; they were not encouraged to linger. Sometimes they were sent for, and after those occasions they usually disappeared from the "active-list" and became inconsequential incidents in the history of the Exchange. The Exchange had pride in the fact that it made quick turnovers of its stock; nothing remained very long on the shelves. And in times such as these there were no bargain sales in brains.
Mary Wayne paused for a second on the threshold as her eyes swiftly reviewed the details of the picture; then she closed the door gently behind her, conscious of a distinct feeling of encouragement. She had been apprehensive; she had faced an expected sense of humiliation. There had been in her mind an idea that she was about to become one of a clamorous crowd. But things were very much otherwise in the Brain Workers' Exchange - gratefully so.
She walked over to a desk, where a small brass sign said "Registry," sensing that this must be her first port of call. A young woman who sat at the desk glanced up, saw a stranger, reached for a form-card that lay on top of a neatly stacked pile and dipped a pen. ( )
  amzmchaichun | Jul 19, 2013 |
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