Posted by: Oklahoma Sun | January 27, 2010

The Lamore Scoop.

The Lamore Scoop.

Bailey Millard. Songs of the Press, 1902.


“TRAIN robbed at Lamore,” came the message,
And it made me spring out of my chair.
We were just closing up our edition
And there was n’t a clock-tick to spare.
I fired to Lamore a rush lightning,
And waited with fingers in hair.

“Three miles south,” swift came back the answer,
“Nobody to go for you now.”
“But our correspondent?” I queried.
“Died Monday.” “Will you go?” “Yes; how?”
“Hire engine,” “ None ready.” “Ride horse then,
Or bicycle, jackass, or cow!”

“All right,” was replied, “but it’s raining,
And I’ll charge you a dollar an hour.”
“Call it ten if you rush in the story,”
And I sat back with countenance sour,
For of all the blest dough-heads and asses
Here surely was flower of the flower.

We waited and waited near press-time;
The minutes were nuggets of gold.
But at last the old telegraph rattled
And the fool at Lamore slowly told.
“Nothing in it; ‘t was only a hot box;
That robbery story don’t hold.”

But a tip came from Goshen—they knew it,
And the Times men had covered it well.
‘T was a scoop and a big one, I gathered,
And the man at Lamore was a sell.
I’m afraid that some pretty strong language
From my lips at that moment there fell.

My call upon Goshen was frantic:
“Send the robbery—rush it, d. q.”
“Nothing definite known at this office,”
Came swiftly to add to my rue,
And I pranced ‘round the shop like a demon
With ten thousand imps to subdue.

In a moment the sounder was clicking,
And I read it all off in a flash:
“Have you got the train robbery covered?”
It asked with its dot and its dash—
Lamore date. Again that fool rustic,
Or some other dolt just as brash?

No! Glory! ‘T was our girl reporter,
Who chanced to be there on the train.
“Filed two thousand words on a hazard,”
She wired, and my joy was insane.
The treasure, the darling, the angel;
She had run all the way in the rain!

Her story was graphic and simple,
Not one little sentence awry.
The robbers had captured a fortune,
But ‘t was one thief’s misfortune to die,
And a brakeman was shot in the stomach
And the end of his braking was nigh.

We hustled the stuff as it came in,
And I gloated in triumph to see
That the story was full and well-rounded,
Just as every good story should be.
At the tail of it—there my heart fluttered—
I saw her “Good night. Jessie B.”

We beat the whole town with the story.
The Times had enough for a sign
And a small head, with laughable figures,
While the World had n’t even a line.
‘T was the very best beat of the whole year,
But hers was the triumph, not mine.

They may cry down the newspaper women,
They may tell them to go home and sew,
They may preach and pray over and scold them,
But for this girl reporter I know
That rather than lose her forever
We’d let any staff man of them go.