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The streets were windy with smoke from the boilers, and cloudy with flakes of soot from the Con Edison plant on Fourteenth Street, which blackens the sky and pollutes the air of the Lower East Side. He walked north on Avenue A towards Tompkins Square Park, past bundled-up longhairs and thin-clad Puerto Ricans bopping along with their fists clenched inside their pockets against the cold, on their way to cop. He bought a World Journal Tribune and an East Village Other and entered an old-time ice-cream parlor and lunch counter called the Sweet Shoppe, where he sat in a booth and had a cup of coffee and a toasted English muffin.

It was two o'clock in the afternoon, and he felt good and rested from the long hours of sleep and doing nothing but eating Candy Sand's cooking and thinking about the past six months, which now seemed so long ago to him. But a short article in the East Village Other newspaper snapped it all back home. On the top of one of the inside pages was a story about the Glide Church meeting between the San Francisco Diggers and the HIP merchants that had been held several weeks before. The story was the same one which had been printed in the L.A. Free Press under Jerry Hopkins' byline, and it told about Emmett Grogan threatening to bomb the HIP merchants' shops if they refused to kick back some of their profits to the community.

Emmett got real fucking sore about the article all over again. He paid his check and steamed out of the Sweet Shoppe along Avenue A towards Ninth Street, and the address he read on the underground newspaper's masthead. The East Village Other's office was a storefront across the street from Tompkins Square Park and Emmett had no trouble finding it. There was a girl sitting at a desk which guarded the entrance to a back room where the next edition of the newspaper was being composed. Emmett told her he wanted to speak with the editor. She asked his name and "what about," and he said it was none of her business, and she replied that if he didn't answer her questions, he wouldn't get to see the editor. But he insisted, saying it was an "urgent personal matter," which seemed to make some sort of sense to her because she got up and went into the back room, giving him the cool eye as she turned.

The whole front portion of the outer office was crowded with back issues of the paper piled all over the floor, and the walls were entirely covered with the different poster-size front pages representing each and every edition of the newspaper that had been published since its birth. Emmett scanned the series of headline graphics [end page 319]


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