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ORCHARD STREET, WHEN THE MERCURY BOILS
A street of the night-blooming cereus order, unfolding at
twilight, wilting with the dawn, in the vast hothouse of
New York's lower East Side.
By FAIRFAX DOWNEY Illustrations by ALBERT LEVERING
The pushcart oculist doesn't
specialize in prescription
THEY still pick fruit along OTch
Ml?there is ?omething in a na
?though it'? not from tree?, 1
pushcart?. And how they do pick
Hercule? back looking for twelve mod?
labors would flrat be urged to dig a little ?
and run a few train?; than, to put him on 1
mettle, ha would be told:
I golden apples of Hesperide? ha
been placed in tho carta of Orchard Stri
peddlers. It I? your task to obtain those i
It would be up to Herc?lea to rise ve
?early in order to anticipate the East Si
housewives, ?o keen to ?pot 'Value." Ai
?tranger, that he would be, he would find
was far eaaler to bring Cerberus out of t
lower world than a bargain out of the low
I'pon a cart at a corner a great heap i
cherries glow? like rubies under the flickerii
. light of an oil lamp, which Illuminates all
the rolling fountain of a lemonade man. Tl
light, with mutual benefit? and upkeep, hi
brought them In alliance, which, no doub
they have pledged in twin beakers of the la
ttr's brew. Perhaps they have even more i
1 common. It may be that a glass of lemonad
inspires a desire for a cherry or two to b
immersed therein, or partaking of the fru:
engenders a thirst most ?weetly assuaged by
citrou? draft. It is a device of trade whic
is old but always effective. Are not the mos
enterprising and up-to-the-moment bootleg
ger? equipped with quantities of peanut
along with the rest of the contents of thei
Two Cents Won't Quench
A Five-cent Thirst
It is a hot night and the dispenser of ice<
quenchers i? doing the better business. It'i
so good that he feels justified in having a ni]
every now and then himself, only as a qualit*
sampler, of course. His sign offers lemonad?
for 2, 3 or 5 cents, which are the monetary
measures of hi? array of shining glasses
They look as if they had been made for th?
, Three Bears of fsiry tale fame, do those
glasses. One can imagine Goldilocks sipping
from all three ?ires and when the Bear? re?
turn to their stand being charged 10 centa,
for one doesn't get things free on Orchard
Across the street there is an oil pointing?
or that is what it should be. It is a cobble*'s
shop, no more than a "hole In the wall."
Framed Iry the blackness of adjoining tene
!!>???>>???% th* ?ivini* picture is lighted by a hood?
ed electric bulb, which throws the figures into
relief: three old cronies, two of them with
patriarchal beards. Such is the Interest of
nth-? topic, a shoe lies untouched on the lap of
the cobbler. For a moment the picture might
have been posed; then it i? broken by gesticu?
A patrolman, tall and spruce, has beer,
watching, perhapa with artistic enjoyment of
the vivid scene, th:ugh he doesn't recognize
It as that. To him it all seems very odd and
?Enroling and foreign. Obviously American,
mor. cbviously New York, he fails to realise
?.hat it is he who is out of place on Orchard
?Mroot, he who is the Jarring note. His grin
ling comment is:
"Aw, why don't dem guys try talkin* wid
Vo, "If Winter Comes" Here;
The Word Is "When"
It may be the middle of summer, but yon
ier ?habby old chap, bowed and wizened,
cnowa from past experience that winter can
lot be far behind. That'? why he'? gathering
?p the wood that the leaa forealghted leave
ylng about Orchard Street in this warm sea
ion. A baby's broken crib is one of his
rophics taken from the muddy sidewalk?th?
olic of ? tragedy, perhaps, but kindling, ju?t
Not much is abandoned to the refuse of
)rchard Street without thought, but some
imei people haven't thought enough and
?then realize on the discards, as ia that old
nan rummaging among the hopeleaa-looking
ock? in the a?h cana The fate of the cata
' f Orchard Street i? on the lap of the goda,
oo, and summer picking? have made sleeker
b'ack and white feline furs. Black and white
they all seem to be; 't;s the favorite local
shading. Black cats are as raro as tow-headed
children, and white cats arc not possible by
the very nature of their environmr
the compromise, hence the protective e<
Past Delancey Street an elderly man is
peering at the contents of a well stocked push?
cart. You can toll that his eyes aren't as
good as they once were, even before he begins
to sort over a large tray of spectacles. Some
of them should afford better vision thr?
pince-nez he is wearing. He tries them all
on, but can't seem to decide. It is the un?
professional opinion of the pushcart proprie?
tor, who doesn't possess one - I hrink
ing alphabet? the oculists use, that th
tomcr's eyes may in some wa
the large diamond he sp ?
From an upr
kB automatic piano profa:
Further along, a music store with a mail
onographs illustrates its wares by play
he "Colonel Bogey March"??hor-ver he
is, remarks Orchard Street Another I
barker is the proprietor's son giving graphi?
cally on a banjo-mandolin musical intima
? *e regardless of costs.
?'s black-eyed aub
?-*ht the ja down the
from a ' ?no on top of
?.rt man out front selling those busts
for just that purpose and aren't they just the
for all the best decorated pianos? For
the other end of the instrument one buys a
bust of ? .??not that he had any
more to do with the South Seas or Dixieland
than Wagner, nor a- ? ern with music,
hut those two fellows, they team up well on top
of a piano, thinks Orchard i-'trc. *.
Next to a pushcart with a varied line of
hardware, stands a mobile book stall, which, if
it carries the classics, has disguised them in
Hebrew characters. Perhaps the beat of the
other volumes might be described as bargains;
THE MOSQUITO, PRINCE OF FATALISTS
By JAMES J. MONTAGUE Illustrations by MEARLE JOHNSON
UNFORTUNATELY for humanity, the
mosquito is a fatalist. Like the late
Julius Cawar, he figures that death
will come when it will o l
fore his practice is to eat, drink and be merry
while there is still an opportunity.
A creature which is absolutely fearless?
which will die for his dinner with a song still
on his lips?is not going to be easily extermi
Time was when we pinned a great deal of
faith on the good work the W ?m'.
New Rochelle was doing in raising a fund to
drain the swamps and apply crude oil to the
casual pools on the golf c
This process made the course smelly, and
when the water subsi.kd the grass was M
slippery that one couldn't make a shot without
following through with hia feet and hurting
hi* head. But the mosquitoes couldn't u:
casual water as nurseries, and it soon
ly that their numbers would decrease during
the next few weeks.
However, they merely went elsewhere.
They found casual water in still larger quan?
tities in the salt meadows near by, raise :
Did it turn them from their sin U
purpose? It did not.
brought them all
back to the golf
HTM to pasture
on the players.
So we didn't
subscribe to the
fund the follow
Wh e n , after
many weeks of
, the parent
plied in our back
yard, and with
sight and parent?
al p r o v i d ence
, when young and sm&: the
meshes of our screena to .grow up inside the
house, wc sought to cope with them 1
?-muting a rt-ign of terror.
ry night before bedtime we lit the lights
all over the house, so that all the mosquitoes
gathered therein could see what we wer*
ing, and then went about with a wet I
noisily killing or maiming such of them as had
parked themselves on the walls and ceilings.
It was our idea that the ghastly spectacle
of mutilated mosquito carcasses about
plastering would convince their wrriving
panions that the place was no* . that
their most prudent course was to get outside
as soon as possible.
We had forgotten that the mosquito is a
I after insect f?-!l dead at the
feet of thiir friends and relatives, but
' daunt the latter in the least or I
? from their sinister purpose?
A creature which will die for its dinner with
a song still on its lips.
It did not.
light was turned
out '.l:ey swept
on us in
our beds in mass
when we gather
they sank their
them into such
f us as
were most pene
Ottii.g up and
- 'he at?
tack did no good
As i ?ht would shine out some
lid buzz a warning and
all his fellows would betake themselves to
n I the picture mold?
ing and stay tl were exhausted in
the search for I
reat they would watch
us swatting with wet towels already dead and
:.:osquitoes which spotted the walls.
. of course, we rnistx-k for live one?.
After you have killed two or thre* hundred
mosquitoe.- Tage bedroom the place
;? m ne ? ? > '.'. i-. . : with the?. that y... can-,
:"ad from the living and
arc pli-ccd at a idvantage.
Of course, no otic could sleep while ?o many
were crooning g!?***? and madri?
gal? about one's ears and boaitfng turn?'
of what they ?, ? t to do.
So wc tried gassini* th?*rn. We 'losed all
the doors and windows, ?topped up the chinks
with rags and put a charcoal burner in the
room before going to bed.
When we opened the doors we found the
mosquitoes ga'.he.vd around the burner, admir?
ing the red glow from the embers within it
and drying their hi.midity-dampened wings In
th* genial warnuh.
They seemed anr.oyed that our coming had
interrupted this pleasant method of spending
an evening and, buzzing nastily, retired again
behind the picture molding.
In a coupie of days on? of them found a
little water in an old pickl? jar in the cellar
and informed hi fellows of his And. Of
?oursc, all the mother mosquitoes went down
there immediately ai.,1 reared thriving fami?
lies of two or tl ?nds to the family.
We might havo killed most of them in time,
bit When we saw them, m the day
of their graduation from the pool, swarming
up stains to take their nocturnal stations in
our bedroom we did the only thing that waa
possible to do.
We moved out and left them to feed on the
furniture?if they could find any nouri.<hiiu-nt
(Copyright, Uli, by Jam*. J, Montagu* )
All the mother mosquitos went down
and reared thriving families.
fiie worst by that pithy review of Hatr.lefi:
"Words, word?, word?."
If the literature offered by Orchard Stroot
la<*ka the magic touch, it is to be found r.e?r by
m little bottles that ?erve only the innocent
purpose of anointing straw hats vhick h?v?
seen ?ervice and making them as the d?7 from
the blackness of Er_bus.
The entrepreneur holds aloft a bottle, tnm,
moning a crowd. He draw? the cork ?r.d "lib?
erally moisten? a rag, by no means dam-inghis
commodity with faint praise. Fron*, the rtck
on his c?rt he acizes an ancient straw hat
which in careful prepsratio* . very
demonstration must have spent some timo hi
a coal bin. With the rag, he rr.ak-i a pan it
"iM the magick fluit. The hat ras I
Now the hat is? blak and vite.'*
A Little Demonstration
Is a Risky Thing
There isn't a doubt of h. In mm then
?hould be some lingering suspicions, however,
the vender of the magic fluid deftly removes the
headgear of s bystander. It is but the woric of
an instant to apply the potion, and across Um
crown is a broad white ?tripe. Rer.ark?W|!
K\en the bystander is struck. Ir. a met ?*?*.
when it dawns on him that he is going to hait
to purchase a bottle of the magic (laid ifl order
to eliminate the zebra design from his hat, be
will be even more struck.
A cart of watermelons rolls by, some of :hem
eat to display the alluring pinkn? -
interiors to the gaze of the multitude a
indicate ? willingness net only to sell a whole
melon, but any fraction thereof. Ur.cer the
wagon seat is a tub of rinds which would seen
to ascribe to the melon seller a neatness bit'
always in evidence in Orchard ItfMt But the
.-keptical hint that there is a bit of change to
be picked up in rinds as hog feed.
Lights from the street lamps, from win
flows, from cart torche?, illumine Orchard
Street's color and its commerce. It"? a com?
merce that does not ?corn conduct in termi
of cent??not in the $4.99 bargain, but in
splits of nickels. It is an all-pervading com?
merce, too. It is represented ?n the person of
the aged Kosher butcher, in whose long white
beard all the fowls cf Lear's nonsense rl
Ad uwi ?o. a wrta.
Two l-r-i an. a hta.
might have built precarious nesta Small
wonder that the very children love to play
store and that favorite playthings are
toy scales. ChiMi.h accents lisp of costs and
profit?. The ey??? of youth see busine? $f*
Business Is Business Early
In Orchard Street
A lsd lolls on the stone doorsteps of his
home, lazily watching others play bounce-and
catch against the convenient backstop those
?"?eps offer. Suddenly his eyes brighten snd
"I should charge you a cent for using these
It's only an idea and the boy? laugh it off.
But a business instinct is in the bud. So it is
in the case of the urchin who runs errsnd?
and confesses: "A cop gimme nine cents to git
free peaches an' I tol' d' stand man dey ?u?
fer de cop and he gimme >:n fer nuttin'." To
be perfectly^egitimate about it. Tory
the cop ond is allowed to keep the nine
f?r his errand. Net result?cordiality promoted
between the cop and the stand man and a
profit to Tony of the difference between nine
cents and the normal tip for the errand.
Take care of the pennies
Through the narrow thoroughfare that is
Orchard Street a big sightseeing bus is glid?
ing along. The faces of its occupant? aro
t-xpresslve, mostly of a thank-heaven-I-don't
have-to-live-down-here feeling. The bui
paues and th? mournful voice of the mega?
phoning guide float? back.
"Down here on a hot summer'? night"?*
A? the word? trail away a ?railing, ?warthy
man emerge? from hi? home with hi? family?
He walk? toward th? curb, where a man very
lik? him was conducting a thriving pushcart
bualne?? that morning. There'? an automo?
bile there no?. The ??arthy man loads hi?
family in and drives off.