OCR Interpretation


The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, July 06, 1912, Image 13

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1912-07-06/ed-1/seq-13/

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Cool deep shadows lurked un
der the gay red and white awning
of the feast Side mission. The
door yawned hospitably open and
"Kansas" altered his course sou'
east by east, to plump its depths.
The Rev. "Jim" was nowhere
in sight. Pungent odors of soap
and washing soda and utter clean
liness dwelt in the shadows. The
thousand smells of an East Side
thoroughfare lingered with "Kan
sas" on the pavement outside.
Somehow, the sweet, clean smell
of that freshly scrubbed little
mission reminded him of a big
country kitchen where a boy he
used to know took forced baths
on Saturday afternoons
It was hot, piping hot. The
asphalt held the print of feet; it
seemed about to boil over. Babies
wailed fitfully from cavernous in
teriors, not clean and soapy like
this, but reeking with fetid eman
ations. "Kansas" removed his battered
headpiece, holding it gingerly be
tween thumb and fingers, and
stepped inside. Far in the rear,
where the shadows were deepest,
he curled up on a wooden bench,
.propped a folded newspaper over
his face, and fell peacefully
asleep. '
The Rev. Jas. Eastman, short
sightedly peering over his bible
at the evening servicer failed to
discover the recumbent figure in
the corner.
"Consider the lilies of the
field," he read from the big bibk
in rapt accents. The Rev. "Jim,"
fresh from the theological semin-
ary, was intent on bringing Deau
ty atfcTicleality into the lives of
the lowly.
With vivid imagery he painfed
a picture that held these men and
women of the underworld open
mouthed, breathless.
Field of lilies? They could see
them, inhale their fragrance, ffeel
them. ,
Not merely a withered bloom
plucked fr,om a funeral bier or res
cued from the gutter, but fields, of
lilies, acre', upon acre, snowy,
white golden - hearted; lifted
daintily from their silken green
sheaths, waving gracefully in the
perfumed breeze under blue, se
rene skies, in wide spaces
There would be bees buzzing
over them, and great, iridescent
butterflies poised lightly on gauzy
wings; and the cool trickle of
water
He dashed this splendid vision
with the bitter truth of man's un
escapable duty; Man, the Indus
trial Unit; Man, the Drudge,
whose debt to society is Toil. '
Wide-eyed and wakeful, "Kan
sas" gripped the '. edge of the
bench he sat on. Not sun, nor
soapy smells, nor all the entice
ment'of cool, deep shadows would
medicine him to that-sweet sleep,
which he knew a short hour ago.
Responsibility gripped him by
the throat. He was an Industrial
Unit.
He, "Kansas," owed a debt to
Society, and the pay car was on
its rounds.
Held by this strange, new doc
trine, he rose unsteadily to his'

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