Here, we meet one of those peculiar people:
The newsboys and the one schoolboy turned to the voice and saw a man they all recognized. He had just stepped out of the office of the Alta California, a newspaper many of the boys worked for. He wore a stiff British tweed suit, the kind that looked gray from a distance, but when you got closer, you could see it was made of little bands of dark and light woven together in zig-zag fashion. His beard bushed left and right with a part down the middle and mostly covered his tie. A waxed mustache jutted out straight at the sides like two sharp pencils. The newsboys recognized him as Mister Evans, a reporter for the Alta California. You and I will call him Albert.
As there was no other Peter in the group, the newsboys turned to the schoolboy. Tommy said, “Is that your pop?”
Peter said, “Uhh... Yep.” The boys let out a snicker.
Albert called, “Peter, come here.” Peter dragged over to him as the newsboys drifted up the street. Albert asked, “What were you doin’ with those newsboys?”
“Nothin’,” said Peter.
Albert said, “Well, I don’t see any reason for you to run with that sort of crowd.”
Peter said, “What if I want to be a newsboy?”
“Balderdash!” Albert blurted. “You can aspire to better thin’s than sellin’ newspapers.”
At ten years old, Peter hadn’t yet realized not to say aloud anything that came to mind, and so he observed, “That’s what you do.”
Albert protested, “I write news. I do not sell papers. Now go home and do some school work or somethin’. I’m sure you can find somethin’ better to do.”
Peter shuffled off down the street. Albert shook his head and set out the opposite way. He did not notice Bummer trailing behind.