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Newspaper Page Text
A DOUBLE IDENTITY
By Augustus Goodrich Sherwin
A poor room in a wretched tene
ment house. Dirt and-gloom within,
3moke and factory smut outside. A
man, haggard, breathing deeply as
he slept, lay upon a bed. He moved
restively and finally sat up as there
came a thundering knock at the ram
"Hi, there, Johnson!" sang out a
gruff, peremptory voice. "If you ex
pect to have that job I told your land
lady I'd get for you,' move lively."
"Eh? What's this? Jackson job
oh, my head! I'll be out there in a
- "All right, only look spry."
The occupant of the room arose. A
suit of coarse working clothes lay
across a chair. He stared at them.
He rubbed his head as though in a
void of unnatural stupor. Then he
slowly put them on.
Once he sat down and tried to
think. Some perverse mental process
caused him to ignore the effort Fi
nally he unlocked the dodr and went
down the stairs. A man in laborer's
clothes nodded crisply to him.
"Of course you're the man our half
blind landlady promised to get a job
for? Come ahead. I think I can place
. "See here!" revolted the confused
man, "I'm not my head seems
"That's last night's rampage, I sup
pose," observed the other coarsely.
"Landlady says you was brought
home full seas over. You'll have to
cut that out if you want a steady job."
Whatever was stirring or would
,not stir in the mind of the man
dubbed "Johnson," he kept on with
his guide, acting in a dense, automat
ic fashion. Always a question in his
thoughts as to his environment, the
circumstances, his companion! Al--ways
a dim picture of some far past
where he had been quite another in
jUvidual or was it a dream?
He gave it up as they reached a big
plant, where" he was directed to a
bench with other workmen sorting
bronze castings. He went back to the
room, wearied, without an appetite,
at nightfall, to throw himself dressed
on the rude bed and fall into a sort
of somnambulistic daze.
He was "Johnson" the next morn
ing, fdr those in the boarding house
called him that In the midst of oc-
Sat Up as There Came a Thundering
cupation a sudden spur of awakening
thought would halt him in the work
he was at His mind went groping,
but not far. He would., shake his
head dubiously and resume the
dreary treadmill of accepted routine.
Three evenings later when he ar
rived at the old tenement the landlady
called him into her own living rooms.
There sat two little children a girl
Sit four and a lady of six.