Martin's principle virtue in the view of his editor (once he actually sits down to finish something) is his quickness. This offsets the instances of periodic indulgence-related indiscretions, as recently provoked by the cancellation of a gang fight story by out-of-town policymakers. The onsite editor, an in-between, stood the brunt of Martin's wrath, yanked the (long distance) phone cord after having turned his back a moment, and managed to forestall a hard-to-unstick dismissal notice.

Martin was known to turn out an entire front page feature in forty-five minutes flat, given a minimum of raw materials. He had the inner blank forms, the all-purpose filler resources that others were still learning. He could be called into the plant from sleep, would go ten hours beyond his regular day if needed.

These are the saving graces he wears upon his sleeve when he leaves the copy room at will, tracked by the cool glares of other laborers. He calls upon them also when field work is distasteful, preferring at-home cleanups of other's work (a task the editor gladly gives up) and frequent fact-finding visits to the Coney Island.

He has known Mac four years, and his tolerance, stemming from some inscrutable source, is widely speculated upon--perhaps chivalrous duty mixed with amusement? There but for Grace is the usual assumption. And an occasional (mostly accidental) story source.