April 6, 1938;
19:03:29 - 19:07:16
- - Western submits a last-minute order...
There were only a few cars on the opposite side of the street when Artesian arrived. Normally there wouldn't be any cars parked here, since all the stores nearby were closed hours ago. Most people that worked the day shift were already on their way home if not already there, and night shift still had a few hours to come. Triton Needleworks, however, was in the midst of a sharp increase for production orders, as demand for all sorts of apparel related to The Rag continued to rise. What helped maintain the interest in the new products was Mr. Hojon's continual creation of new designs, the latest of which came in just four days ago. When he approached the entrance he saw someone walking around the counter where the register was located. It was a younger man that Ashland didn't recognize offhand, and he was busy counting the totals from the day's sales. Having seen him inside, he tried the door to the storefront of the factory and found it locked, which didn't suprise him because it was after the store's normal hours of operation and the room was half lit. Ashland struck the door by the handle a few times despite the store clerk already approaching when he heard the attempted entrance. The clerk cracked the door open enough for his body to cover the gap and leaned forward to speak while keeping his hand on the doorknob.
"We closed a while ago, sir, sorry."
"It's OK. I'm here to deliver an urgent message to your boss, George. I'll wait for a reply."
"Who's it from?"
Artesian scowled at the clerk while holding the brown envelope out to him.
"Someone he knows. It's important, trust me."
The clerk took the envelope in his fingertips and maintained his stance at the door.
"Would you mind waiting here? I'll take it to him now."
"That's fine, kid."
Artesian took a step back from the entrance and prepared a cigarette while the clerk promptly closed the door, walked two steps away, then quickly returned the lock the door before leaving again. No cars passed by the store during this exchange, and the street continued to remain quiet, but he kept his gaze directly upon the store while waiting for the clerk to return; a lesson still fresh in his mind was that you do not expose your face to the public if you can avoid it.
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