From then on, running all over the city, as a Western Union delivery boy, he was able to keep his brother John and his sister Prue in school,. For himself, he used all his time between deliveries, acquiring two skills. One was for tapping out dots and dashes, acquiring mastery of Western Union's variation of the Morris Code; and for the other, with just his two forefingers, he was becoming the world's champion hunt and peck typist.
But his life was not all drudgery. At eighteen, while wearing stiff white collars, his office assignments had him standing behind banks of neat girls who were relaying messages between the world's exciting places.
He became particularly obsessed with giving unasked-for help to Kitty Callahan. And then, when he heard Kitty telling the other girls that she had leave to spend two weeks with her cousins in Indiana, he asked for leave time to follow her.
With his boss turning him down, he anyway took a bus to Indiana. That gave him a black mark on the company's records, but four years later, when he was working nights, he got into company records, and he erased that black mark.