The Lanark Island Herald: The Intern

10Aug11

Mary Louise Rossington stood at the front of the Lanark Island Ferry craning her neck for her first glimpse of what was to be her home for the year. She still could not believe her luck that out of who knows how many thousand applicants she had been picked as this year’s intern for the prestigious Lanark Island Herald.

Only a week before she had found out that she had been on a shortlist of five with a Stanford girl, a woman from Princeton and two Harvard graduates who had majored in Journalism. As a girl who had never left Iowa, she knew she was a make-weight candidate and had already settled for wondering how to best to exploit the fact that she had even been shortlisted for her resume.

The Lanark Island Herald was a small newspaper serving an island community of at best a few hundred people clinging to an old fashioned way of life off the Massachusetts coast. It employed only two people and came out only once a week, so when she had told her non-journalist friends about it they had not understood the significance of the honour. Even her parents had urged her to apply for one of the big city newspapers for her internship.

“But Mom you don’t understand, it was the first newspaper in the US that had a women editor,” she had tried to explain.

“Oh Mary, that was ancient history, no one cares now. Don’t you know all that ultra-feminist stuff is so 1980s?”

“But Mom that isn’t it; the publisher owns half the press on the East Coast. Sure, the Herald is run just for history’s sake, but every Lanark intern since the year dot has gone on to big things. They say if you complete an internship with the Herald then you are in the ‘family’ and half the women editors in the country started out on the LIH.”

Mary hugged herself in disbelief. She doubted her folks got it, but she did. Not that everything was clear cut; there had been some strange stories and legends about Lanark Island. They said that not everyone took to island life and one in five girls did not stick the year out. That’s why the application and interview process had been so strange, she supposed.

There had been over a 1000 multiple choice questions in the attitude survey and she had had to write three essays on literature comparatives, including one on the Story of O as compared with Justine. That had been fun, but she had thought at one point after she submitted her efforts that she should have taken a stronger traditional feminist line.

Then there had been the interview. The woman who interviewed her was a fashion editor in New York. She had taken Mary out to dinner and asked her about her home life.

“Were you ever spanked at home?” The question had been thrown out between the soup and the main course.

“Eh… well yes sure,” Mary had blustered.

“When did that stop?”

Mary blushed. Being still at college she wasn’t completely sure that it had stopped. She was just pondering whether or not she should lie or just confide that she had been last spanked at Thanksgiving during her sophomore year when she was 19.

“Do you resent it at all?” The woman had obviously picked up on Mary’s discomfort and took her blush for an answer.

“No… I…” Mary shifted uncomfortably in her seat.

“I envy you. I wasn’t spanked at home and probably should have been. But I didn’t find out about that until… later.”

That had been an odd thing to say, Mary thought, but she was way too pleased to let the subject drop to ask.

The interview, such that it was had gone well enough, and as they said their goodbyes the woman had said, “I was an Intern at Lanark once; if you’re chosen I’m sure you’ll fit right in. That’s what I’ll what I’ll be saying anyway. However, Mrs Bonham-Smyth will make the final choice.

Mary’s thoughts were interrupted by a change in the engine pitch and the ferry slewed around to line up with a jetty.

The island was low to the water, with no obvious hills, although Mary could see a tree line well above the dunes that lined the beach.

Apart from the white wooden jetty the only other structure was a beach hut and as she watched an old man walked lazily from it and looked set to do something to help.

The only other person waiting was a girl who might have been 18, dressed in cut-off jeans and wearing her dark blonde hair in a ponytail.

There was a grind of something in the engine and someone threw the old man a rope. Mary grabbed her bags and made ready to step off.

“Are you Miss Rossington,” the girl with the ponytail asked as Mary stepped from the boat onto the jetty.

At only 21 Mary was a little disconcerted to be addressed as Miss by a girl not much younger than herself.

“Mary,” Mary said dropping her bags and extending her hand.

The girl regarded the cool city brunette for a moment and looked at her hand as if it would be withdrawn before she could shake it; then grasping it she smiled. “Kelly, Kelly Granger, you’re gonna to be staying with us. Mom sent me to meet you.”

“Great, is it far?”

“Nothing’s too far on Lanark, the whole island is less than 10 miles long. Town’s ‘bout a mile that way and we live a mile and a half over yonder.”

Mary wondered how old the girl was, she looked near 19 or even 20 up close, but her clothes and demeanour was more like that of a 14-year-old.

“You go to school on the mainland Kelly?” It seemed like an oblique way of asking.

“Oh shucks no, I quit school summer ‘fore last, I turn 20 next month.” Kelly giggled shyly, completely at odds with her stated age. “Can I help you with your bags Miss… I mean Mary?”

“Sure.” Mary smiled and picked up the heaviest bag to leave Kelly with the small holdall.

*

On the walk to the house Kelly said that her father had died on the mainland some years before.

“Don’t matter none, I barely knew him anyways.” Kelly had supplied before Mary could offer her condolences.

She went on to explain that her mother had taken up with a fisherman, Jack, shortly after her father had gone and her two sisters, Erin and Hazel, were his daughters.

“Half-sisters?”

“Oh surely,” Kelly said and laughed.

“So it’s the five of you?”

“Oh no, Jack let out of here some eight years back. I figure no man can stand Mom for too long. No it’s just Mom and me and the twins.” Kelly seemed eager enough to talk so that she was all but walking backwards as she explained, not the least concerned for any bad impression she may be creating.

“The twins are quite young then?”

“’Spose.” Kelly shrugged. “They’re both a mite younger than me anyways. They turned 18 just last week and have another year of schooling to go. That is if they ain’t fixing to go to college, which I doubt on account of them being dumber than me and I ain’t got enough smarts for that. Not like you eh…? You taking one of them Sabbath years?”

“Sabbatical, yes, I got an internship at the Herald.”

“Oh I know; we get one almost every year. Staying with us I mean. It’s how we make ends meet. Mrs Bonham-Smith pays good money for her interns; well it ain’t like there’s too many other places to go.”

“I see,” Mary said thoughtfully. “What is Mrs Bonham-Smyth like?”

“It’s Smith. Oh I know it’s written down Smy… what you said, but she don’t hold with it. Mrs Bonham I mean.”

“Oh I see, thanks.” Mary nodded and filed away that bit of info for future reference. Then to change the subject she asked: “what do you do here Kelly?”

“Oh I help Mom out and I have a part-time job at the store. This is it.” Kelly pointed out a white wooden slat-board house sitting on the rise beyond the dunes. It stood on a kind of headland into a tree lined lagoon. From where Mary stood it appeared to have a porch running all the way around.

“It’s nice.”

Kelly shrugged.

The house wasn’t large but as they approached Mary could see that there were small windows in the roof, one on each side. A large homely woman with a rather severe expression and a dated floral cotton dress walked out onto the porch wiping her hands with a kitchen towel.

Behind her were two girls. One wore her hair in a neat short reddish-blonde bob and was wearing a knee-length grey skirt. The other had bunches and wore jeans. Otherwise they could have been the same person. The twins, Mary realised.

The bobbed-haired girl slouched against the wall and regarded Mary with her steely-blue eyes while the other took a step forward and leaned on the rail to more openly appraise the visitor.

“Mrs Granger? I’m Mary Rossington,” Mary offered as she approached.

“Indeed yes Mary, be welcome,” Mrs Granger said with an easy smile that took years off her. “Kelly, take Miss Rossington’s bags to her room.”

“Yes Ma’am,” Kelly said enthusiastically and took Mary’s other bag from her.

“Come and set awhile and I’ll fetch some lemonade,” Mrs Granger said leading Mary to a chair of the porch.

Mary looked around at the idyllic water and the afternoon sun on the sand as the wind touched the trees and thought, this will do.

*

Mary sat on the porch watching the late afternoon glow bathe the sand in its red light as the sun drifted ever lower to the treeline. The rest of the family were nearby as the Granger’s had no TV, a common situation on Lanark, she had been told. She didn’t mind so much, but they also had no Wi-Fi or any Internet connection of any kind. There was only one phone and in any case her lap-top had no dial-up modem on it. Who would believe that she would still need one? As for her mobile, Kelly said that there was usually a signal available in town, but rarely anywhere else. Oh well, Mary thought, I still have the view.

“There is something I wanted to talk to you about,” Mrs Granger said emerging from inside the house.

“Oh yes.” Mary had hoped to have seen the town by now, but Mrs Granger had been more than demanding on her time that day and when Kelly had suggested a walk she had been only too happy to go. However they had gone into the woods and out to Martin’s Point in the other direction and had only seen the town from the high ground. From what Mary could see it consisted of just a church and a few white houses scattered around it. Then she saw that Mrs Granger was watching and waiting for Mary’s full attention. “Sorry you were saying.”

“You should be more attentive to your elders,” Mrs Granger said with a scowl.

Mary blushed and tried to look as attentive as possible.

“I was saying that I wanted to talk to you before something came up, but it has.”

Mary pursed her lips and shrugged. Then she followed Mrs Granger’s gaze to a rather sheepish looking Erin who was hovering on the porch by the door.

“You see we run a tight ship here and when one of my girls misbehaves then… well mama spank.”

Mary opened her mouth and closed it again. “You want me to leave for a bit?”

It hadn’t been so long since her last spanking and if she screwed up she wasn’t quite sure if she wouldn’t be again, so the fact that Mrs Granger spanked her 18-year-old daughter was not such a big deal. However she knew that sometimes families liked to be discreet.

“No, that’s not exactly what I meant.” Mrs Granger paused. “You see while you are here then you will be considered one of my girls. I had hoped to explain this before you got to see… well how we do things around here.”

“Now hang on I lodge with you, that doesn’t mean…”

“Mrs Bonham pays the rent and I assure you she has given me full authority to… well you’ll get the idea.”

Mary blushed again. She had heard of such things, but she had hardly thought it would come up and certainly not in front of the other girls.

“Look Mrs Granger…”

“Hush now girl, it is you that needs to look and listen,” Mrs Granger said easily, offering Mary a reassuring smile. “I know it’s not always what you’re used to, what with the city and such, but it isn’t open for debate.”

“I come from Iowa Mrs Granger, but…”

“Iowa ay… then I think we understand one another, don’t we?”

Mary shifted uncomfortably in her seat and looked uneasily at Erin who looked like she wanted to anywhere but where she was.

“Don’t we? Understand one another?” Mrs Granger pressed.

“Yes Ma’am,” Mary mumbled as she scanned the floor for an escape of her own.

“Speak up dear; your diction should be better as a college girl and all.”

“Yes Ma’am.” Mary forced herself to look up. “But…”

“Good girl.”

Then Mary watched as Mrs Granger produced a hairbrush not unlike the one her mother used at home and beckoned Erin to come to her. The girl rubbed her hands on her jeans and stumbled over half dragging her feet.

It all seemed so casual to Mrs Granger, but Mary took a deep breath as Erin placed herself reluctantly over her mother’s thighs so that her bunches flapped against her face. Then with a deep sigh Erin allowed her jeans to be unbuttoned and shucked down off her healthy brown legs.

The girl was wearing sensible white cotton panties and even as Mary wondered if they would stay up, they didn’t. Mrs Granger eased them by hooking them at the cleft and dragged them over Erin’s firm pale bottom.

“Erin here has forgotten to take out the trash for the third time in a week. We have serious problems with wildlife and the like so I really shouldn’t have let it slide twice. Isn’t that right Erin?”

Erin was blushing like her head would melt and cast an angry glance at the watching Mary. Then she reluctantly said between her teeth: “No Ma’am.”

“No Ma’am.” Mrs Granger took command of her daughter by placing her hand on the small of her back and swiped the hairbrush down for the first spank.

The sudden crack of the impact made Mary jump.

Erin’s arms fluttered on the boards and her legs shot out straight as she hissed. Mary could see a small red oval develop on the girl’s bottom, but it was instantly obliterated by another spank.

The spanking was obviously a hard one and in very short order Erin was in difficulty and for a moment it looked like Mrs Granger might have trouble keeping her daughter in her lap. But no such luck for Erin as the spanking continued to light a fire where she lived.

Watching the proceedings Mary began to feel a little light-headed. She was torn by the desire to be somewhere else and the compulsion to watch Erin’s spanking. The fact that she couldn’t help comparing her own bottom after a spanking with the one being set ablaze in front of her eyes did not help.

As far as Mary remembered her own bottom went a dull heavy pink that persisted for the rest of the day of the spanking. Erin’s bottom on the other hand was a bright red and was raised a little in tight little goose bumps everywhere that the brush had left its mark.

Also Mary usually reacted in angry grunts during a spanking and only afterwards in her room did she allow herself to cry. But Erin had collapsed into wails pretty much from the get-go and as she protested there were already tears rolling down her cheeks and off the end of her nose.

The spanking lasted about 10 minutes before Mrs Granger let up and by then Erin was sobbing hard and looked very sorry for herself.

“Alright, go stand and face the wall until I tell you to move.”

Erin reined in her tears almost at once and hurried to do as she was told and Mary noted that she made no attempt to get dressed of hide her bottom. Given Mrs Granger’s earlier threat to her own behind this was way too public for Mary’s liking. As Kelly strolled up grinning from ear to ear Mary asked: “Does she really have to stand there? What if someone sees?”

“Not many people about around here, but Mom don’t care anyways,” Kelly shrugged, “I’m betting Erin’ll be there ‘til supper time.”

Erin shifted uneasily and sighed. That would be her guess as well, she thought miserably.

*

Come supper time Erin was ordered in from the porch and sent to the corner, where she remained throughout a very subdued supper with her still red bare bottom displayed to the room. Even afterwards Erin had to stay at her post and for the rest of the evening, which caused Mary to squirm in her seat, torn between embarrassment and some unnamed excitement. She noticed that Hazel also looked somewhat abashed at her sister’s plight. It seemed that only Kerry was able to relax. In fact she gave every impression of enjoying the whole situation.

Erin’s penitent vigil cast a pall and the atmosphere around the small house was rather muted. Hazel sat quietly reading a book, only occasionally looking up to glance at her twin in the corner, while Mary kept as far away from Erin as she could and still see her. Once or twice Mary caught Mrs Granger’s amused eye and quickly looked away as she blushed.

“You’ll get used to it,” Mrs Granger suggested with a chuckle. “It happens a lot around here. If it’s not one twin then it’s both or sometimes even Kelly. No doubt your turn will come.”

The smile went from Kelly’s face, but only for a moment.

Mary let her mouth hang open and pretended not to hear and hoped that the other girls would do the same, but Hazel stole a quizzical look in her direction and Kelly positively smirked.

“When you were spanked at home did you have to go to the corner?” Kelly asked casually as she cast an eye at her bare-bottomed sister.

“No,” Mary said sullenly, wishing she could change the subject.

“But you were spanked?”

“Sometimes.” Mary found a spot in the wall and stared at until she fancied that her gaze would bore a hole.

“Erin, get your things and get to bed.” Mrs Granger brought the impossible conversation to a grateful end. “Hazel, you to.”

Erin doubled over to seize her discarded clothes and dashed out and up the narrow stairs almost before the words were out of her mother’s mouth.

Her clone got slowly to her feet and said her ‘good nights.’ “May I read for a while?” She asked her mother.

“You may.”

*

The next morning was Monday and Mary finally got to go to the office of the Lanark Island Herald. Kelly, who had to work at one of the island’s few stores, offered walk with her to town.

There was a chill in the air and despite wanting to look her best, Mary opted to don a pink cardigan, which didn’t exactly go with her smart grey business skirt-suit.

The beach path took them past the jetty at which Mary had arrived, although this time there was no boat. This made Mary feel a little isolated, knowing that she was effectively marooned here for the time being.

“The regular ferry only comes once a week out of season. Although at the moment it calls Saturday, Tuesdays and Thursdays until the end of September,” Kelly explained when she saw Mary looking forlornly at the empty sea.

Mary nodded and would have hurried on as if uncaring, but the old man she had seen when she had arrived on Saturday emerged from the hut to stare at her.

“Pay no mind to Wheeler, he just ain’t used to strangers.” Kelly’s nose crinkled up and she looked like she had forgotten something. “I mean Mr Wheeler. Hello Mr Wheeler.”

The old man half waved and nodded and then turned back to his hut.

It didn’t take long to reach the edge of town. It stood at the end of a long creek, which was why the ferry moored at the jetty, Kelly explained.

The first building was the General Store where Kelly worked and Mary could see that it was old. Although the upper floor held white clap-boarding like most other buildings, the lower half was of red brick with stone work marking the corners in an old colonial style.

“This is my stop,” Kelly said with an easy smile. “The newspaper office is up the street past the inn and just before you get to the church.”

Before Mary could remark that there wasn’t much of a street, Kelly was gone, leaving her to negotiate the rough gravel track up the rise to the church.

The church itself was of the all prevailing white clap-board, but was graced with something of a steeple nonetheless. Mrs Granger had gone to morning services the day before with the twins, but when Mary had declined on the grounds of her lack enthusiasm, Kelly had opted to stay with her. Not so reluctantly either, Mary guessed.

The inn could have been a duplicate of the Granger house, but Mary didn’t look too closely for no sooner had she reached it, when she saw the newspaper office.

It wasn’t large; no bigger than the shop and it was built with the same brick and clapboard hybrid. Unlike the shop though it had a proper plate glass shop window that carried across it a black and gold legend embossed in arched letters on the glass: Lanark Island Herald.

Mary’s feet made a satisfactory clank on the wooden boardwalk porch as she stepped onto it and she took one last look around at the world as if seeing it for the last time, which in a sense she was. Then she tried the door, which opened with a slight squeal and went in.

The room smelt of wood polish and stale newspaper and the whole office was cast in yellow morning light so that the legend on the window was projected onto the oak-tan wood panel wall. She might have stepped back into the office of a frontier publication in Wyatt Earp’s Dodge or the movie set of an old James Stewart movie. Except that is, for the modern PC on each desk and the digital phone.

On the facing wall were old time pictures of the island and various framed front pages from the 19th and 20th century. To her left were photographs in neat rows almost filling the wall that on inspection Mary saw were young women. Some obviously recent, but others were of women long dead going back to… she checked, 1894. The first assistant to the editor, Margaret Susan Lockwood, the caption read. The picture immediately to its right was of the second assistant a year later. Both women looked young and beautiful but a little severe with their hair up and dressed in Victorian finery. Looking along the rows of picture she saw that all had been in post for just a year right up to last year, each progressively wearing more modern dress.

“Interns from yesteryear,” came a voice behind her.

Mary turned with a start to be confronted by a smart young-forty-something woman who looked vaguely familiar. She had dark hair worn up in an old-fashioned business way and hard but friendly deep brown eyes. For all that she had an undoubted elegance and had a delicate beauty that defied her age.

“I am up there somewhere,” she continued, “1986.”

Mary looked back and found the picture. “Rachel Lockhart… the Rachel Lockhart?” Mary turned back in surprise.

“That was a long time ago. I use my married name now; I’m Mrs Bonham-Smyth with a Y but pronounced Smith.”

“So I was told,” Mary said still taken aback. “I had no idea that… well you…”

Rachel Lockhart was a Pulitzer Prize winning writer who had written several books and had briefly been editor of the political section of the Wall Street Journal.

“You may call me Mrs Bonham, everybody else does. My husband passed on… well a few years back. He always used to call himself Bonham. The habit kind of stuck.”

“Yes Ma’am,” Mary offered her hand. “Mary Louise Rossington.”

The woman’s grasp was firm and brief.

“If you look you will find a veritable who’s who of female journalists,” Mrs Bonham explained indicating the wall and then turned to point to a rather stern looking woman in a large hat on the opposite wall. “Our founder, Amelia Law, began the Herald against all the odds in 1861. She was so concerned about promoting women in journalism that she started the intern programme in…”

“1894,” Mary supplied.

“Yes, that’s right. You have been paying attention, haven’t you?” Mrs Bonham smiled. “Let me show you around.”

*

The room beyond the office floor contained a modern printer set-up in one corner and two antique printers in the other, one of which would have been the pride of any museum in the world.

“That’s Betsy, the very first printer, which was in use until 1950. The other was still here when I was an intern and sadly had to be replaced,” Mrs Bonham explained. “Lisa takes care of that.”

“Lisa?”

“Oh she’s the general factotum and high lord of just about everything technical. She runs the printer, the boiler, the generator… well just about everything, you get the idea.”

Mary nodded and cast her eyes around. At the back of the print room were the bathroom and a small area with staff lockers and a kitchen of sorts.

“We use the inn most days when it’s open, otherwise it’s sandwiches from home.” Mrs Bonham picked up a kettle as if to show it off before carelessly tossing it aside.

Then Mary was led up a small narrow staircase to the upper landing. This opened up into a large room with another staircase to the attic and rows of shelves and file cabinets.

“Back copies and cuttings. There are also maps and books and various directories going back to year dot.” Mrs Bonham waved it all away carelessly as she strode towards one of the rooms off. “This is the private office.”

The room beyond was how it must have been back when the newspaper started. The desk was even more impressive as an antique than Betsy downstairs. There were also books bound in leather and some more portraits on the walls.

In the corner was a glass case with more books and various other miscellaneous items.

“They belonged to our founder.”

Mary took a step forward to look. There were yet more photographs of what appeared to be the early days of the Herald. One showed a young woman standing with a horse outside the current building but clearly taken in the 19th century. There was also an old baseball glove and what Mary had taken at first to be a bat was in fact a paddle of some sort. There were three Greek letters embossed on it and looking more closely dozens of signatures.

“That’s Amelia Law with the horse as a young woman. The paddle is from her old sorority. I gather she used it to keep order in the early days.”

“And the strap and walking stick; something to do with the horse perhaps?” Mary suggested.

“It’s a razor strop and it’s not a walking stick it’s a cane; also to keep order.”

“Order?”

“Oh yes, before the intern programme there were several volunteers and spirited young ladies from the mainland eager to help.”

“And she…?”

“She very much did,” Mrs Bonham chuckled.

Mary was reminded of Mrs Granger with Erin and blushed. To change the subject she asked about the other room.

“I think I’ll show you that when the need arises. I was shown it on my first day here and I nearly got the first boat home,” Mrs Bonham said enigmatically. “Besides, Lisa is… occupied at the moment and it wouldn’t be fair to disturb her. Not today.”

Mary was beyond intrigued and made up her mind to sneak up here for a look the first chance she got.

As if reading her mind Mrs Bonham moved to stand in the way of the door.

“Now for the rules,” Mrs Bonham paused and waited until she was sure that she had Mary’s undivided attention.

“Ma’am?” Mary said at last.

“This is a newspaper, we may only go out once a week, but a deadline is a deadline and we never miss an issue. Two, you are never late. I know things can happen to get in one’s way, things go wrong after all and we are all human. But a journalist can never be late. A journalist foresees possible delays and avoids them at all costs. In short, you will never be late.”

“Yes Ma’am, I mean no Ma’am.”

“Three. You may have noticed that education is not exactly a priority on Lanark, so we are the custodians of culture and language. You will not use bad English, spelling or use slang and journalese. Four, you will pay careful attention to accuracy especially when dealing with stories concerning islanders. One mistake can ruin a hard one reputation, not to mention upsetting the neighbours.”

“I understand Mrs Bonham.”

“I hope so.” Mrs Bonham smiled and then added, “And one more thing. No using your PC for personal pursuits in work time. I don’t know if you have your own lap top, but this office is the only place connected to the Net, so if you want to go online after work, ask permission first and then we will have no misunderstandings.”

“Yes Ma’am.”

“Good, because failure to keep to the rules has consequences,” Mrs Bonham said with emphasis.

The rest of the day was taken up with setting Mary up with a logon account and getting a rundown of prospective news stories for that week. Then Mary was told to read back issues of the Herald and familiarise herself with the archives. Once or twice while upstairs, she was tempted to look in the room. Glancing at the stairs down, Mary moved to the door to listen. Could she hear breathing? There was a scrape of something like a foot on a bare floorboard from inside. Mary listened. What could be so shocking that the great Rachel Lockhart would consider running away? There was a noise at the foot of the stairs and Mary crept briskly back to the cuttings table to continue her work.

To be continued



9 Responses to “The Lanark Island Herald: The Intern”

  1. 1 Mindy

    I can’t wait to read the rest of the story. It’s so engaging. 😀

  2. 2 fatherjim

    I agree with Mindy! It has my attention. Just what is in that room?

    Wonferful lead-in!

    Jim

  3. 3 George

    Very promising story.
    We need many more places like this one!

  4. 4 paul1510

    DJ, intriguing story, I guarantee there will be no rioting on that island. 😀

  5. That’s a wonderful introduction. True journalistic integrity is so scarce these days, Mrs.Smyth is kind of inspiring.

  6. I love the setting, and the set up. Keep going…:)

  7. I did try to comment ealier – silly Internet
    Evocative and wonderfully written as always.

  8. 8 Emilio

    Excellent mothers.
    Hope there are many more even today!

  9. 9 Old Tom

    What an excellent introduction and build up. The whole idea of the modern lass thrust back into quite an old fashioned regime, but with the carrot of future advancement for sticking it out, is so well written and persuasive.


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