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an unoflficial historian, having authored a sensational catalogue of footnotes on the Beat Generation as well as several other cheap paper pulps about the drug-oriented, bohemian way of life to appeal to the insatiably prurient appetites of middle-class suburbia. While Claude operated the Gestefax stencil maker and printed up handouts on the machines, Chester would scour the Haight-Ashbury district, looking for "hot" news items which he jotted down in one of the many composition books he carried around in a weathered canvas bag that hung from his shoulder by an adjustable strap which had been in the same position for about fifteen years.

The Communication Company had been modeled after the Digger Papers' operation, and the service it provided the people of the Haight was exceedingly valuable because the news it disseminated was for the most part, essential and needed. The only trouble was that both Claude and Chester also worked on the staff of Ramparts' advertising department where they spread all the newsworthy information about the Haight-Ashbury to the magazine's editors, as a matter of conversation. Since Chester had a well-marked and unrelenting ambition to become a famous underground journalist, Emmett suspected him of feeding those editors too much "news" about the Diggers that was nobody's business. So, he remained wary, and considered himself alone, when he entered Warren Hinckle III's house with the two of them. His sole mistake was in going there at all.

Hinckle III glad-handed him at the door and invited them all inside an expensively furnished, tastelessly comfortable salon where Emmett planted the grimy seat of his dungarees on a large, clean, white-tufted sofa. After he was asked his preference, he was handed a giant tumbler filled with practically half a pint of Southern Comfort and several square chunks of ice, which clinked around in the thick, heavy glass, making that rich, solid sound you hear in Hollywood movies. It was all right and Emmett enjoyed the juice, even though he had to use both hands to drink it.

Warren Hinckle III was pouring himself a fist of whiskey from a bottle on a portable liquor cart. He appeared to be one of those middle-aged, heavy-drinking, college fraternity types who operate as journalists in the radical-liberal political arena for their own personal prestige and self-importance, as well as for the money they make from their usually short-lived publications and the exaggerated influence they feel they assert on minor public officeholders. Their motives are seldom, if ever, based on any progressive, hu [end page 313]


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