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Ashburn VA US [X]

The Old Reporter (1912)

Drama | Short

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The new proprietor of the "Star," discharges two old reporters, Joe Norris, who has worked for the paper thirty years, is one of them. After a week's search Joe lands a place on another paper, but only as a space writer, and with very uncertain pay. He is indifferently told to go and bring in what news he can of the theft of a famous painting from the art gallery. Arriving there he meets several detectives and newspaper men whom he knows, all bent upon the same mission as himself. Kean, a detective with whom he has exchanged courtesies for years, tells him there is absolutely no clew. As he makes a few notes, his pencil breaks, and he borrows a knife of an attendant of the gallery who is passing. A bit of gilt on the blade of the knife attracts his attention. The frame from which the painting was cut is a gold one; the attendant knew its enormous value. He borrows a small magnifying glass from his friend, the detective, and makes comparisons. The clew is a strong one and he gets his friend's promise to give him two hours' grace to scoop the story, should he land the thief. They watch the suspected man and trail him to a saloon, where he meets two art dealers. The detective interests the bartender, while Joe watches over the partition of the back room. The painting is brought from underneath the attendant's vest, where it had been wrapped around his body. There is a sensational arrest of the three and Joe rushes off, writing his story. A habit of thirty years is not easily broken, and in his enthusiasm over getting the story, Joe unconsciously goes to the "Star" office and to his old desk. When the city editor sees him, and looks over his shoulder at the scoop, he promises Joe to see that the boss takes him back, for he has done what none of the new regime could accomplish.
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