Prologue to The Final Edition

The day began—officially at least—at five a.m., when Walt Morgan showed up in the newsroom. Walt had been the early man for eleven years, and his routine was the same. Winter or summer, he took off his coat, rolled up his shirtsleeves to mid-forearm, and then poured himself a cup of coffee, black, no sugar, from the thermos he had brought from home. He reached into his shirt pocket, removed a pair of horn-rimmed reading glasses—something he had not had to do when he started this duty eleven years before—and scanned the wire stories that Ernie Black, the night wire clerk, had arranged neatly on his desk in three distinct news groups—local, national, and international.

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