Reaching for the Moon

1
 How often do you wish 
for something, and want it 
   very, very badly?

 The next time you do, make
a mental picture of the object
of your desire and hold it --
       concentrate!

2
  But, by the same token, 
be careful what you wish for,
  because you are likely 
        to get it.

3
Our hero - Alexis Caesar
Napoleon Brown, a young man
of boundless enthusiasm, whose
physical self is chained to a 
desk in a button factory, but
whose spirit, led by a vaulting 
ambition, walks with the kings
of the earth - and sometimes 
       stubs its toe.

4
  The household gods of 
Alexis Caesar Napoleon Brown

5
Alexis' mother, the lady of
mystery, who died in giving 
     our hero birth -

6
- and who was a refugee
from the little kingdom of
Vulgaria, during the fierce
conflict for the throne which
followed the death of the 
good king Alexis the Great.

7
Alexis' prison.

8
       Office of
Bingham's Button Factory.

9
Old man Bingham

10
 "Well, what's on your 
mind now?"

11
 "Now, there's a line
of buttons that would 
be worth making!"

12
 "Why couldn't I take a
run down to Washington
and get together with the
Chinese ambassador on
this?

13
 "I say, Al, when you see
the Prince, give him my best."

14
 "Gee, wouldn't you like 
to see him?"

15
   That evening
Alexis calls on his
 one good listener.

16
  Elsie Merrill,
the good listener.

17
 "I've read the book you
gave me through four times.
I almost know it by heart."

18
 "I ran across a new one 
today by the same author.
It's immense!"

19
 "We can be anything
in this world we want to 
be! I am going to make
a place for myself among
the kings of earth!"

20
 "Don't you think the
book means we should
begin with small things,
and work up gradually?"

21
 "No! Hitch your wagon
to a star!"

22
 But all good things 
must end -- even the
 orations of Alexis.

23
 "You know where Miss
Merrill's room is."

24
  In the hope of a
look-in at the home of
  Sturtevant Tish.

25
The long vigil of Alexis
   reaps its reward.

26
 "Gee, I wonder where 
he is stopping!"

27
  Alexis locates his new 
idol at the Plaza Hotel, and
    on his lunch hour
        next day -

28
"That's all."

29
 "What will you have to 
drink, sir?"

30
Two mysterious strangers.

31
"He looked at me!"

32
But every silver lining 
    has its cloud.

33
 "I've got a great idea, 
Mr. Bingham!"

34
 "Brown, you are a nice
fellow, and we all like you,
but I have come to the 
conclusion that your job
here is interfering with your
affairs of state."

35
 "The firm is going to try
to stumble along without 
your services until these
larger matters are off your 
mind."

36
 "When you have ad-
justed all the international
problems in the universe,
come back and we'll see
what we can do."

37
Back to the sympathetic 
       listener.

38
 "Alexis dear, why don't 
you stop reaching for the 
moon?"

39
 "You are the only one
who has ever understood
me, and if you turn against 
me --"

40
All gloom, all silence,
     all despair.

41
 "Mother, if you were 
here, you would under-
stand."

42
But it is always darkest 
 just before the dawn.

43
"What is your name?"

44
"Brown!"

45
"Y - yes sir! Alexis -
Caesar - Napoleon -
Brown."

46
 "My mother was from
Vulgaria. I never saw her.
She died when I was 
born."

47
 "Long live Alexis, King
of Vulgaria!"

48
 "Your mother was of
royal blood. The last of 
her house has died, leaving
you sole heir to the throne.
You must hasten to your
kingdom at once, Sire!"

49
 "Black Boris, the pre-
tender to your throne, is
very active. His spies are
everywhere - even here in
New York watching me.
We must board our ship
tonight, under cover of 
darkness."

50
 "They are four against 
two - we must wait!"

51
At the dock.

52
"Well, anyway -- !"

53
   But joy cometh in
the morning! For at least
 Alexis can revel in a
    royal breakfast.

54
 "I was afraid of that, 
Sire, but I am prepared 
for it."

55
"I'm a helluva king!"

56
"Ah ha! He admits it!"

57
 "You must be doubly
careful now! I'll be back
as soon as I get my
breakfast."

58
After dark -- his half-hour
       of liberty.

59
    As our old friend,
 Shakespeare, has said: --
"Uneasy lies the head that 
      wears a crown."

60
 "Now that those villains
are in chains, you may
talk all you like, Sire."

61
"I can't talk now. It hurts."

62
 "What would the
Princess say if she
could see you now?"

63
 "The Princess Valentina,
whom you are to marry."

64
 "I have always thought 
that some day I would
marry her."

65
 "But, Sire, kings cannot 
marry the women they 
love."

66
"Is she pretty?"

67
 "All princesses are
beautiful, Sire."

68
In Vulgaria

69
  The two American agents
of Black Boris having failed 
to 'get' Alexis, he calls upon
    his native henchmen.

70
 After a hungry voyage
and several close squeaks
 at the hands of other
henchmen of Black Boris,
 Alexis finally reaches
Vulgaria, and is acclaimed
 by his 'loyal' subjects.

71
 "This lets me out! You
get Boris to take this job
if he wants it. I'm going
back to New York!"

72
 "Sire, we have to expect 
these little annoyances when 
in the poorer districts. Come, 
the Water Fete awaits us 
on the Great Canal!"

73
"Long live the king!"

74
"Aw, shut up!"

75
"Wait, we'll get him yet!"

76
The Water Fete on the 
     Great Canal.

77
"Sire!"

78
 "Sire, the whole city is
a network of traps! The
Princess Valentina, know-
ing this, has placed her 
men everywhere!"

79
"Long live the King!"

80
"Long live the King!"

81
 "Can that hokum, and
get me out of here!"

82
 "The third house down
is the Chancellor's. You
will be safe there -- I 
think."

83
"Long live the King!"

84
The chancellor's house.

85
"Long live the King!"

86
 "Sire, you must hurry 
and dress. We have an-
other fete in the palace 
tonight."

87
 "Aw, say, let's call this 
a day and knock off."

88
 Remember, you are to 
meet the Princess tonight."

89
 "Be assured, Sire, I shall
not leave your side for 
one moment tonight."

90
"Long live the King!"

91
On the way to the ball.

92
   The fête at the 
palace in honor of the 
  Princess Valentina.

93
 "His Royal Highness,
King Alexis."

94
 "Her Royal Highness,
Princess Valentina, Guine-
viera Cavalieri Antoinetta
Beatrixa de Caucasia!"

95
 "Beware of Black Boris!
He is jealous, and has
sworn to take me from 
you."

96
After the ball is over.

97
 "For the love of 
Mike, someone give 
me a cigarette!"

98
 "Fulminate! Enough to kill 
twenty men!"

99
 "It is no use, we shall
have to resort to violence."

100
 "This is where I quit!
I've had enough!"

101
 "Look here, Boris, if you
want that comic valentine 
of a princess, you can have
her, and the Kingdom goes
with her. I'm done!"

102
 "You have insulted the
Princess Valentina! King 
or no King, you shall
answer to me for this!"

103
 "Remember, Sire, you
are a king! Kings do not
fight with their fists!"

104
"Why in America -- !"

105
 "You are to fight in
Suicide Park at dawn.
We have chosen swords."

106
At dawn.

107
 "Mother, whatever you 
were, I hope you were 
never a Princess!"

108
"I just got back!"

109
 "Oh - I mean - are
you all right?"

110
 "May I come up to see 
you tonight? I have some-
thing to ask you."

111
 "Do come. I have a 
surprise for you."

112
 "I'm cured. May I have 
my job back?"

113
 "If you have really learn-
ed your lesson, I am going 
to tell you what I think 
of you!"

114
 "An imagination and en-
thusiasm like yours, directed 
in the right channels, would
mean thousands of dollars 
a year to us, and incidentally,
thousands to you."

115
 "Now keep your feet on
the earth, and stop reach-
ing for the moon!"

116
   As the evening 
 shadows fell on poor 
Alexis, something else
   dropped on him.

117
 "Mr. Brown, this is Mr.
Mann, who has some
beautiful little cottages for
sale, on easy terms, in
Jersey."

118
 "I am going to buy this 
one, in case - well, in
case I ever want to live in 
Jersey."

119
 "I got my job back today,
and I think I'd like a little
cottage in Jersey myself."

120
 "How would you like to 
spend your money on a 
trousseau?"

121
"Bunk!"

122
 "Wait! I have tried what 
that book says, and it's
worked!"

123
 "Let you and me con-
centrate on something a 
little better than that."

124
And did it work 
  this time?

125
 "Come out and look at 
the moon - it's beautiful."

126
 "No, I've had enough of 
the moon - I am more 
interested in the son."

THE END


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