Jack Heaton: Wireless Operator, A. Frederick Collins, 1919, pages 229-232:
JACK HEATON and I had just finished our goulash at Moquin's on Sixth Avenue (New York), and the waiter, under the stimulus of a piece of money, graciously removed the table cloth as he had been asked to do on twelve previous occasions.
I took a couple of quires of blank paper out of my brief case and laid them in front of me; then I produced a pair of fountain pens, one filled with black ink and the other with red ink, the latter for writing on chapter headings and putting in such corrections as might be necessary, and all of which showed without any deduction that I was in for a writing spell.
"Well, Jack, we've got down to the last chapter and this sitting will finish it," I started off encouragingly.
I've told you all my experiences and if there's any more to be said I guess you'll have to say it, Mr. Collins," remarked the bored young soldier.
"No, my boy," I said firmly, "there are still some outstanding features about wireless I want to talk over with you, and besides I have never turned in a script to my publishers that had less than twelve chapters, that is, except a shortcut arithmetic and the shorter a book of that kind is the better."
"I don't know of any outstanding features as you call them; it seems to me I've told you everything that ever happened to me. What else can I say?" protested the young man.
"Give me your version of how we met, tell how you looked in that natty overseas uniform, how I looked, what is on your mind now and all that sort of thing. Then we'll discuss the wireless transmission of power, wireless airships and submarines, talking to Mars and finally about the diamond fields of South America for I'm as interested in them as your friend Bill Adams," I suggested.
"Why, if I painted a word picture of you I'm afraid you and I'd part company."
"Hardly, my boy, hardly," I reassured him. "I've gone through war, or what war is; I've licked a couple of would-be Kaisers myself and I'm going after a few more of them before I have done with life. I am, forsooth, a bit battle scarred but my skin is as thick as that of a rhinoceros. Any little thing that you might say about me I'd be delighted to jot it down."
"Let's see," reflected Jack, "when we left off yesterday I had just been discharged from the hospital and was back with my folks in Montclair. When I was able to get around I wanted to see Broadway and came over one morning with dad, I was feeling bully as I was strolling down the trail when suddenly I spied a man I once knew although I hadn't seen him in years, no, not since I was a kid operator learning wireless.
"He was a tall, spare man like yourself, whose legs, as honest Abe once said, were long enough to reach to the ground. He might have been anywhere up to a hundred and five, by which I mean his age and not his weight; at any rate he had surely seen fifty summers and heaven only knows how many hard falls.
"He was slightly stoop-shouldered, which I suspect was due to his sticking to his desk too closely, or perchance because he couldn't shake the weight of his own tragedies from them. His face was pale, quiet and cadaverous, but whatever troubles he may have had and however many, they seemed not to have attacked his hair for it was all there, nearly,--though I didn't count 'em--with not a gray one to mar their beautiful mouse-like color. In truth, he dressed like you, looked like you and, by gravy, he was you, Mr. Collins."
Jack laughed heartily at this photo-impression of his old friend and I was glad to know that after all he had gone through with here, there and everywhere and the pain he had suffered and was suffering even then, he was still able to see the humor in so grisly a subject. I laughed, too, just to show him that I had not yet given up the ship and, hence, there was still hope for us both.