Books: In Rusty Armor

A CHILD OF THE CENTURY (654 pp.) —Ben Hecht—Simon & Schuster ($5).

As a young Chicago newspaperman, Ben Hecht once found himself standing in a train shed awaiting the arrival of a VIP when he observed a workman lying underneath a locomotive. "His legs protruded from the thighs down. I noted that the locomotive had steam up and that its bell was ringing." Next minute "the workman's long legs were lying on the platform . . . The rest of him . . . remained between the tracks." Just then the VIP's train pulled in, so Reporter Hecht left "the bloody scene"...

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