The alarm in his voice was the signal for them to attack. In a moment he was the center of a mob of women all bent, it seemed, on his destruction. He fought at first as gently as he could. But as some of the stones hit and some of the clubs struck vulnerable parts of his anatomy, he fought with less gentleness. Finally, he was forced to club one of the women with his fist. She went flying backward and landed flat on her back.
Instantly the attack ceased.
He watched them move away from him and wondered why. His question was answered as the woman he had struck crawled to him and embraced his legs. He tried to withdraw her hands but she held only tighter and said: "We are mated. You made the choice. I am Sala...."
"You're nuts!" Allerdyce said sharply. He turned to call the guards to help him with the woman when he discovered that they were gone.
"Are customs different in your tribe?" Sala asked. "Do you not mate with a woman in this manner?"
The beginning of a hope came to him in a rush as he realized the consequences of what had happened. He was free now. He tried to put the proper authority in his voice, when he said: "Go woman! Find me a corner and bring me food...."
Without the slightest hesitation Sala rose and trotted to a far corner of the cave. Allerdyce followed and squatted beside her. He had always been a shy man and had never known many women, especially women with as little clothes as Sala wore. She was beautiful by any standard he thought. But only for a moment. His thoughts for the first time centered on his predicament.
His mind allowed for but a single conclusion. That the plane had run into a time-fault and that he and Ed Finster had been drawn into it. The others must have died in the plane crash. Since the giant ship was over the Atlantic at the time of the crash it was reasonable to assume that time only was involved and not space. Therefore, by the same line of reasoning, he and Ed were to be here for the rest of their lives. That is unless somehow they found the same fault again. But that was not probable, he realized.
For a moment fear lay heavy on him. Then the scientist came uppermost. What an opportunity he had. A man of science among these children. The chance to build a civilization. It could be done with his knowledge. But first he had to get the power over these people.
Sala came back just then with what looked like the leg of a rabbit. It was very underdone but Allerdyce didn't quibble. If he were going to live as they did then he might as well start right there.
Three days went by and nothing changed. He learned all about his mate. She had been one of Ugg's tribe. Now she was part of the tribe of Gomar. It was that simple. She was a tigress when she thought another woman was even looking at her mate and fought with the savagery of a beast for him. And he had been granted his freedom with his acquisition of a mate. He learned to hunt as the others did, with spear and club. But already he had fashioned his first bow and arrow, and knew it would be a matter of time before he was taught the rest. There was but one fly in the ointment, Ed Finster. As yet he had no mate. And he looked with avaricious eyes on Sala.
It was on the fourth day.
Allerdyce had returned from the hunt. He had killed an animal with his arrow and the tribe looked on him with respect. As he neared his cave he heard shrieks of pain and anger. And as he watched with amazement, Ed Finster appeared, dragging Sala by her hair. His action was instinctive. Rushing forward, he threw his bow to one side and knocked Ed to the ground.
Immediately a circle of warriors were drawn about the two men and Gomar stepped forward.
"It is time," he said. "I have wondered about this. A combat of arms will settle it. Whoever wins will have the woman ... and his freedom."
As they stood facing each other, Finster turned aside as though to say something to Gomar. Allerdyce relaxed naturally. But Finster had done it with that view in mind. Like a flash he whirled on Allerdyce and grabbed a headlock. It would have ended right then had not both men been barefoot. For Allerdyce had not stiffened his neck muscles. But Finster stepped on a thorn and the shock made him loosen his grip for an instant. It was enough for Allerdyce to break free.
There were no more surprises.
Bit by bit Allerdyce wore the other down. At last he straddled Finster, who lay face down on the ground. Then Allerdyce grabbed the other by the shock of black hair, pulled his neck up until he could get his arm under it. Then slowly, using all his strength, Allerdyce pulled back until after a moment there was a sharp crack. Finister would be no more trouble.
Algernon Allerdyce rose and throwing his head back let out a bellow of triumph, and knew then he was no longer Algernon Allerdyce. He was in fact Oogie the Caveman, replete with wife. For Sala had been the first to rush to his side. And as he threw his arms around her he knew love had come to him. She was his and woe betide the one who tried to take her from him.
But when Gomar stepped to his side and asked: "This sliver of wood you made and the bow of elk thong.... Could you make another for me...?" Oogie the Caveman knew his life had begun in earnest....
By Winston Marks
The remarkable thing about Atummyc Afterbath Dusting Powder was that it gave you that lovely, radiant, atomic look--just the way the advertisements said it would. In fact, it also gave you a little something more!
The advertising game is not as cut and dried as many people think. Sometimes you spend a million dollars and get no results, and then some little low-budget campaign will catch the public's fancy and walk away with merchandising honors of the year.
Let me sound a warning, however. When this happens, watch out! There's always a reason for it, and it isn't always just a matter of bright slogans and semantic genius. Sometimes the product itself does the trick. And when this happens people in the industry lose their heads trying to capitalize on the "freak" good fortune.
This can lead to disaster. May I cite one example?
I was on loan to Elaine Templeton, Inc., the big cosmetics firm, when one of these "prairie fires" took off and, as product engineer from the firm of Bailey Hazlitt & Persons, Advertising Agency, I figured I had struck pure gold. My assay was wrong. It was fool's gold on a pool of quicksand.
Madame "Elaine", herself, had called me in for consultation on a huge lipstick campaign she was planning--you know, NOW AT LAST, A TRULY KISS-PROOF LIPSTICK!--the sort of thing they pull every so often to get the ladies to chuck their old lip-goo and invest in the current dream of non-smearability. It's an old gimmick, and the new product is never actually kiss-proof, but they come closer each year, and the gals tumble for it every time.
Well, they wanted my advice on a lot of details such as optimum shades, a new name, size, shape and design of container. And they were ready to spend a hunk of moolah on the build-up. You see, when they give a product a first-class advertising ride they don't figure on necessarily showing a profit on that particular item. If they break even they figure they are ahead of the game, because the true purpose is to build up the brand name. You get enough women raving over the new Elaine Templeton lipstick, and first thing you know sales start climbing on the whole line of assorted aids to seduction.
Since E. T., Inc., was one of our better accounts, the old man told me to take as long as was needed, so I moved in to my assigned office, in the twelve-story E. T. building, secretary, Scotch supply, ice-bags, ulcer pills and all, and went to work setting up my survey staff. This product engineering is a matter of "cut and try" in some fields. You get some ideas, knock together some samples, try them on the public with a staff of interviewers, tabulate the results, draw your conclusions and hand them over to Production with a prayer. If your ad budget is large enough your prayer is usually answered, because the American Public buys principally on the "we know what we like, and we like what we know" principle. Make them "know it" and they'll buy it. Maybe in love, absence makes the heart grow fonder, but in this business, familiarity breeds nothing but sales.
Madame Elaine had a fair staff of idea boys, herself. In fact, every other department head had some gimmick he was trying to push to get personal recognition. The Old Hag liked this spirit of initiative and made it plain to me I was to give everyone a thorough hearing.
This is one of the crosses you have to bear. Everyone but the janitor was swarming into my office with suggestions, and more than half of them had nothing to do with the lipstick campaign at all. So I dutifully listened to each one, had my girl take impressive notes and then lifted my left or my right eyebrow at her. My left eyebrow meant file them in the wastebasket. This is how the Atummyc Afterbath Dusting Powder got lost in the shuffle, and later I was credited with launching a new item on which I didn't even have a record.
It came about this way: * * * * *
Just before lunch one day, one of the Old Hag's promotion-minded pixies flounced her fanny into my interview chair, crossed her knees up to her navel and began selling me her pet project. She was a relative of the Madame as well as a department head, so I had to listen.
Her idea was corny--a new dusting powder with "Atummion" added, to be called, "Atummyc Afterbath Dusting Powder"--"Atummyc", of course, being a far-fetched play on the word "atomic". What delighted her especially was that the intimate, meaningful word "tummy" occurred in her coined trade name, and this was supposed to do wonders in stimulating the imaginations of the young females of man-catching-age.
As I said, the idea was corny. But the little hazel-eyed pixie was not. She was about 24, black-haired, small-waisted and bubbling with hormones. With her shapely knees and low-cut neckline she was a pleasant change of scenery from the procession of self-seeking middle-agers I had been interviewing--not that her motive was any different.
I stalled a little to feast my eyes. "This Atummion Added item," I said, "just what is Atummion?"
"That's my secret," she said, squinching her eyes at me like a fun-loving little cobra. "My brother is assistant head chemist, and he's worked up a formula of fission products we got from the Atomic Energy Commission for experimentation."
"Fission products!" I said. "That stuff's dangerous!"
"Not this formula," she assured me. "Bob says there's hardly any radiation to it at all. Perfectly harmless."
"Then what's it supposed to do?" I inquired naively.
She stood up, placed one hand on her stomach and the other behind her head, wiggled and stretched. "Atummyc Bath Powder will give milady that wonderful, vibrant, atomic feeling," she announced in a voice dripping with innuendo.
"All right," I said, "that's what it's supposed to do. Now what does it really do?"
"Smells good and makes her slippery-dry, like any other talcum," she admitted quite honestly. "It's the name and the idea that will put it across."
"And half a million dollars," I reminded her. "I'm afraid the whole thing is a little too far off the track to consider at this time. I'm here to make a new lipstick go. Maybe later--"
"I appreciate that, but honestly, don't you think it's a terrific idea?"
"I think you're terrific," I told her, raising my left eyebrow at my secretary, "and we'll get around to you one of these days."
"Oh, Mr. Sanders!" she said, exploding those big eyes at me and shoving a half-folded sheet of paper at me. "Would you please sign my interview voucher?"
In Madame Elaine's organization you had to have a written "excuse" for absenting yourself from your department during working hours. I supposed that the paper I signed was no different from the others. Anyway, I was still blinded by the atomic blast of those hazel eyes.
After she left I got to thinking it was strange that she had me sign the interview receipt. I couldn't remember having done that for any other department heads.
I didn't tumble to the pixie's gimmick for a whole month, then I picked up the phone one day and the old man spilled the news. "I thought you were making lipstick over there. What's this call for ad copy on a new bath powder?"
The incident flashed back in my mind, and rather than admit I had been by-passed I lied, "You know the Madame. She always gets all she can for her money."
The old man muttered, "I don't see taking funds from the lipstick campaign and splitting them off into little projects like this," he said. "Twenty-five thousand bucks would get you one nice spread in the Post, but what kind of a one-shot campaign would that be?"
I mumbled excuses, hung up and screamed for the pixie. My secretary said, "Who?"
"Little sexy-eyes. The Atomic Bath Powder girl."
Without her name it took an hour to dig her up, but she finally popped in, plumped down and began giggling. "You found out."
"How," I demanded, "did you arrange it?"
"Easy. Madame Elaine's in Paris. She gave you a free hand, didn't she?"
"Well, when you signed your okay on the Atummyc--"
"That was an interview voucher!"
"Not--exactly," she said ducking her head.
The damage was done. You don't get ahead in this game by admitting mistakes, and the production department was already packaging and labelling samples of Atummyc Bath Powder to send out to the distributors.
I had to carve the $25,000 out of my lipstick budget and keep my mouth shut. When the ad copy came over from my firm I looked it over, shuddered at the quickie treatment they had given it and turned it loose. Things were beginning to develop fast in my lipstick department, and I didn't have time to chase the powder thing like I should have--since it was my name on the whole damned project.
So I wrote off the money and turned to other things.
We were just hitting the market with Madame Elaine Templeton's "Kissmet" when the first smell of smoke came my way. The pixie came into my office one morning and congratulated me.
"You're a genius!" she said.
"Like the Kissmet campaign, do you?" I said pleased.
"It stinks," she said holding her nose. "But Atummyc Bath Powder will pull you out of the hole."
"Oh, that," I said. "When does it go to market?"
"Done went--a month ago."
"What? Why you haven't had time to get it out of the lab yet. Using a foreign substance, you should have had an exhaustive series of allergy skin tests on a thousand women before--"
"I've been using it for two months myself," she said. "And look at me! See any rashes?"
I focussed my eyes for the first time, and what I saw made me wonder if I were losing my memory. The pixie had been a pretty little French pastry from the first, but now she positively glowed. Her skin even had that "radiant atomic look", right out of our corny, low-budget ad copy.
"What--have you done to yourself, fallen in love?"
"With Atummyc After Bath Powder," she said smugly. "And so have the ladies. The distributors are all reordering."
Well, these drug sundries houses have some sharp salesmen out, and I figured the bath powder must have caught them needing something to promote. It was a break. If we got the $25,000 back it wouldn't hurt my alibi a bit, in case the Kissmet production failed to click.
Three days later the old man called me from the New York branch of our agency. "Big distributor here is hollering about the low budget we've given to this Atummyc Bath Powder thing," he said. "He tells me his men have punched it hard and he thinks it's catching on pretty big. Maybe you better talk the Madame out of a few extra dollars."
"The Old Hag's in Europe," I told him, "and I'm damned if I'll rob the Kissmet Lipstick deal any more. It's mostly spent anyway."
The old man didn't like it. When you get the distributors on your side it pays to back them up, but I was too nervous about the wobbly first returns we were getting on the Kissmet campaign to consider taking away any of the unspent budget and throwing it into the bath powder deal.
The next day I stared at an order from a west coast wholesaler and began to sweat. The pixie fluttered it under my nose. "Two more carloads of Atummyc Bath Powder," she gloated.
"Two more carloads?"
"Certainly. All the orders are reading carloads," she said. "This thing has busted wide open."
And it had. Everybody, like I said earlier, lost their head. The bath-powder plant was running three shifts and had back-orders chin high. The general manager, a joker name of Jennings, got excited, cabled Madame Elaine to get back here pronto, which she did, and then the panic was on.
The miracle ingredient was this Atummion, and if Atummion sold bath powder why wouldn't it sell face-cream, rouge, mud-packs, shampoos, finger-nail polish and eye-shadow?
For that matter, the Old Hag wanted to know, why wouldn't it sell Kissmet Lipstick?
The answer was, of course, that the magic legend "Contains the Exclusive New Beauty Aid, Atummion" did sell these other products. Everything began going out in carload lots as soon as we had the new labels printed, and to be truthful, I breathed a wondrous sigh of relief, because up to that moment my Kissmet campaign had promised to fall flat on its lying, crimson face.