MARK TWAIN YEARS AGO
W. Landsittle is the grizzled foreman of The Lyons Republican, which is the Republican organ of Wayne County, N. Y.
"I've been in this business for fifty years now," he said to a TIMES reporter last week as he stroked his gray mustache, "and I have seen some lazy people in my time. Yes, Sir, while the newspaper business is exacting and telling on the nerves it does harbor some real lazy folks from time to time."
"Whom do you consider the champion lazy man of the newspaper game?" he was asked.
"That is so easy to answer," was his reply with a wan smile. "Almost any of the real old-timers in this business would give you his name right off the bat. Why, Mark Twain holds the belt."
The Republican's foreman reflected.
"I was a printer's devil on The Buffalo Express forty years ago," he said, "and one of my duties was to sweep the room where reporters and editors worked. Every day during the time that Mark was a partner in the publication of The Express I was bribed by him in the cause of rest and ease. I would sweep every corner of that room, and when I came to Mark's desk, on which his feet reposed, he would look me over and ask me to go away. 'I don't want my part of the office cleaned up.' he would say. 'Please don't make me move, I'm so comfortable.' Then he would give me a nickle to get away from him and leave him in his own corner without any of the debris of the business cleared away. He would rather die there in the dust and truck than uncross his legs or tilt his chair back so that I could sweep up."
Brother Landsittel stopped the press long enough to find out what was chipping the corners of his pages as they were swept downward from the big rollers.
"Yes, Sir," he ruminated, "he was certainly lazy. One day he gave me a nickle to dot an 'i' in his copy for him. He did certainly enjoy life, that man did."
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