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The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, September 13, 1903, Image 7

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1903-09-13/ed-1/seq-7/

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Xnd**d, on on* c-t these occasions, she
told a certain sympathetic lady among
the oustoxners that she had a cousin— this
seemed more delicate— who 'was a fireman,
and so, of course, she was ;. worried to
death whenever there was. a fire.
This customer was an influential "lady,
a serene, kind, rich person; regarded as
almost Indispensable to civilization by
many women and girls. She was able to
persuade them to do almost anything,
more. It must be acknowledged, by the
dignity of her presence than by the power
of her thought, which was of the most
soothing and casual nature, and made
no pretense of being convincing v
She used to come with" her daughter's
children to buy candy for them; and on
these occasions Annie would talk to her
about her nieces and nephews; how her
eldest niece had hair reaching below her
waist; how they were all such perfect
cut-ups; how on April Fool's day they
mad* iom» chocolates with cotton bat
ting Inside, and gave them to a friend of
hers— it had been Mr. Murphy: how they
were Just in mischief all the time, and
bow her youngest nephew took the prize
at a baby Bhow.
Mrs. La Grange on her side made ap
preciative monosyllabic replies. She was
so pleased with Annie taat she invited
her to come to see her and to bring her
nephews • and nieces to play, with her
daughter's children.
"Th. day was so oppressively warm that
the streets were empty and almost still;
the grass of the empty lots was gray
and parched, and the dust was thick on
the roads and on the ¦ burning asphalt
pavements; the few people they met had
handkerchiefs tucked in their necks, and
a man passing on a bicycle stopped and
sat' on the curbing to fan himself with a
newspaper. The children's arrangements
of their turns under their aunt's new
v hite satin parasol had just been fairly
"Tes," sh* answered, "I don't s«* hour
anythlng could be more Inspiring thaa
such a perfect and humble courage."
Meanwhile two young girls,* admirers of
Mrs. La Grange, had come up from tae
end of ths store. ,
"I've felt proud of being a Chicagoaa
ever since yesterday," said on*.
"Yes. Indeed." said the other. They w*r«
refer* ng to Mrs. La Grange's paper.
Bat Mrs. La Grange's head was so foil
of fire that she honestly misunderstood
them. She was absorbed In tho sense of
something finer, more helpful toward pro
gress than any paper she had ov«r
dreamed.
"He certainly deserves to be mad* hap
py." said Mrs. La Grange. "And you.
Annie, you know how much I hope 70a
will be happy, dear child."
"Oh. I'm not afraid." said Acnit, with
humble confidence. "He's lots too good
for me."
"It's him I'm going to marry, too," said
Annie, glancing dlstraltly about the shop
with shining eyes.
Mrs. La Grange's heart beat with rym
pathetic pride. "Why, Annie!" sh» said.
"That was him." she said.
But when he saw on the outskirts of
the people pressing around him Annie and
the little McGarrlgles. laughing and cry-
Ing, it ocourred to him with thrilling con
viction that this Incident would give* him
a considerable pull over Mr. O'Mara and
Mr. Sullivan. His hope was not vain.
"I'm afraid I won't see you any more In
the candy store," Annie said to Mrs. L*
Grange on the next day over the counter.
Mrs. La Grange made a low, dignified
sound, expressive of regret and Inquiry.
"I ain't going to be her* after tho first
of the month." continued Annie. 'Tm
going to be married. I'll be real sorry not
to see you so often. I started to see you
Saturday, v but I didn't get the time."
"I'm glad you didn't come." said Mrs.
La Grange. It had. indeed, been th«
afternoon of her paper at the club.
"I got caught in that big fire. Did you
see about It In the newspapers 7"
"Yes, Indeed," said Mrs. La Grange. It
was not a part of, her Christian Selene*
philosophy to acknowledge that flames
might b« painful, but she was sometime*
etartled Into moments of sanity and Incon
sistency. "That brave fireman who caught
the girls— I thought of your cousin at tfaa
time— I hope he wasn't In It." ; #.; '.•.
Annie looked down at the candy box ah*
was filling: the tears crowded to her tya*.
They could a«* Mr. Murphy's too* body
hurrying up tba ladder; he stood oa th«
top rung and steadied himself wlta on*
hand on a projecting rain pip*. Th* girls
began to speak and to ding together
then, and the old woman stopped moan-
Ing. He held out his right arm.
"Just drop alsy." they could hear him
call; the girl pressed closest to th» win
dow casing got out and poised giddily oa
the sill. "Hang by your hands I" ha
shouted; she clambered down. hung, and
dropped safe and plumb, caught In his
arm.
The ladder trembled, th* crowd yelled
hoarsely, and the girl, dizzy and white,
was helped down by the other firemen to
the crowded sidewalk, where the old wo
man, her mother, stood, now in a parox
ysm of Joy, pressing her hands together,
blessing the saints, blessing the firemen,
with tears pouring down her cheeks.
When the last frantic girl was safe on
the ground Murphy turned around to tho
hurrahing, weeping people, and climbed
down the ladder. They shook his band,
some of them kissed it. they wept over
him; they cheered for him; they carried
him on their shoulders.
It cannot be said that Mr. Murphy
knew so well how to behave on this occa
sion as he knew how to behave in dis
tributing the prizes of the Elks or in lead-
Ing the grand march. He hung bis head
and even growled when the old women
kissed his hand, and wtshed they
wouldn't do it; and when no observed
Kitty and her parent excitedly approach
ing him he longed more than for anything
else to be able to get out of their way.
The engines were already playing, and
the steam from tn* jets of watar drew a>
thicker and thicker veil of wtUto mi»t. oo
casionally blown aside by a light and ris
ing wind. b«tw*«n th» clamoring ptopj*
below and the Isolated girls abo»r». TE*
old woman pressed her hands against b*r
head. "My Kitty! My Xittyr sh«
groaned monotonously ovor and ort
again. ,
They heard the Jarring of the hooks and,
ladders through the chuffing steam and
the murmuring crowd, and then in th*
blowing smoke they saw two men set.tb*
top of the- ladder against the row of win
dows marking the floor next below that
where the girls were. They could not put
it higher, for the fire had curled up
around the sill above, and evidently the
smoke was becoming -stifling there, for
the girls put their beads farther out of
the window.
But that Impulse of «xdttm«nt which
had drawn them to It as to an exhilarat
ing spectacle received a cold and dizzying
shock when they saw standing on tho
doorstep of a house opposite* a stocky.
grim-faced old Irish woman, her face
white and her lips working, straining her
absorbed gaze at one of the windows of
the stricken building, where a little group
of factory girla was occasionally and dim
ly visible through the mists of tho smoke.
The people in tho crowd wer* making
frantic and helpless gestures; they
stretched out their arms to th« girts; they
called to them not to jump— to wait. Th»
girls were .quiet and clinging tofwthar. ap
parently In a panic of dumb and hopeleu
horror.
decided, and they were approaching the
corner where the eldest child must give
up her place, when there sounded on the
heavy air the startling, hurrying clang of
a fire belL - -
People put their heads out of the win
dows; they rushed from all sides; .they
looked north and south and east and
west; they peered up and down the cross
streets, and then they saw and heard, far
down the street, a rattling, glittering
mass, the swept manes and headlong gait
of galloping horses,, and amidst smoke
clouds and clanging, in a furious whirl of
brass and scarlet, a leviathan fire engine
rolled past, reverberating. Two more en
gines rumbled fiercely behind, like char
lota In a terrific chariot race, with enor
mous plunging horses, and helmeted fire
men straining forward on the front seats.
Little boys chased behind through the
stifling clouds of dust, stumbling and
whistling and yelling in an ecstasy of ex
citement, and a hurrying crowd walked
and ran in their wake.
In this crowd Annie and the children
were swept. Just as they, were always
swept when there was sv fire in their
neighborhood, but this time with ah espe
cial enthusiasm, for high up on the front
of the Jarring hook and laflder wagon
that closed the procession they- saw Mr.
Murphy. What was more remarkable, in
all the crowd and in his, rushing passage
he had seen them and touched his helmet
and smiled magnificently at them.
And it seemed only fitting when they
reached the object of so rapid a chase,
led by engines so glorious, that this
should be a raging fire in a building so
given up to It that its square lines and
flat front were seen wavering and almost
hidden in clouds of black smoke, with
sheets of flame rising from its roof and
brilliant tongues darting from Its lower
windows.
A QUESTION OF SERVICE
Annie used to think with pleasure of
his arrival whenever she had a new hat
or a new collar; and she felt an especial,
even a proprietary. Interest when ' she
heard the fire bells clanging.
of her little nieces and nephews with h«e
Z, ° ahe 1 . went to walk in the park with
Mr Murphy or Mr. Sullivan on Sunday.,
mis, too, was not because she was apa
thetic to the charms of these gentlemen,
for, indeed, Mr. Murphy, 1 who was widely
Popular among his brother. firemen and
even in the social circles' of the police,
absorbed most of he C .r«lectiona. •
IrS'/^L^u Wa8 * ¦. lEr * e dark b^
irishman, with very square shoulders and
a -very long waist He had quick, gay
blue eyes, a small top for his head, an
enormous face and a '-'long upper lip
covered with a deep black cataract of
mustache. He used almost always to lead
the grand march. at the Elks' ball, and
he \. often awarded' the. prizes for the
wheelbarrow race, the three-legged race
and the fat men'a race at the picnics at
Ogden's Grove. It was a grand sight- to
see him swooping down a room in a two
step with- a high-stepping, prancing gait,
holding his partner's hand lightly and
proudly between his finger and thumb,
or cutting a pigeon wing after elegantly
handing a partner back in allemande left.
Besides these material exterior advant
ages he possessed the "innate spiritual
charm of good nature. He used to lunge
at and tickle the nieces and nephews
when they appeared ready for a walk in
stead of looking slightly sullen and mo
rose, as Mr Sullivan, and Mr. O'Mara
sometimes did. .-,. , ¦¦ . .
She lived with a married sister, to
whom she gave almost all her wages,
and of whose crowded Irish ilat she was
the light and joy: and justly, for she/ was
so good that she used to take numbers
Her days she spent in smilingly tying
up b«xes of candy, always hospitably
handing out a piece to the customer be
fore she closed the box; in tripping about
with a tray of Ice cream soda water, In
allowing children to choose their pur
chases by tasting them and in tactfully
guiding men, doubting over offerings to
young girls, into the judicious path of
mixed chocolates.
Her evenings and her holidays she spent
in the attendance of butchers' and gro
cers' picnics ' In Ogden's Grove, and of
the Elks', the Foresters*, and the fire
men's balls, masquerades and dancing
parties, at the numerous and pressing in
vitations of the happy young milkman,
floor walkers and firemen honored with
her acquaintance and favor.
soni»v«mes chaste, snowy squares of op
era caramels, looking doubtless much as
manna looked, but revealing to the taste
the ethereal sweetness of the ambrosia of
the ecstatic gods. Inside, of course, there
are lavender, candied violet leaves and
pink, candied rose leaves, whose flavor is
doubtless much like that of the pearl dis
solved in wine and which are probably
bought only by people who choose their
pleasures rather from a degenerate
esthetic ambition than from a healthy,
natural taste. •
Amid the mingled fragrances of these
condiments and of nuts, raisins and sug
ared almonds move lightly and gracefully
numbers of extremely pretty shopgirls;
and of all these shopgirls the very pret
tiest was Annie O'Grady.
Annie O'Grady had the sunniest smile,
the deepest dimples, the bluest eyes, the
fluffiest brown hair, the most fairy-like
figure, the whitest apron and the pinkest
shirt waist.
the midst of all the hurrying and
nervous anxiety of ehoppers and of busi
ness men, and it is Just as pay and as
gUtttrlng when the air la richly yellow
with damp, eort-ccaJ emoke, when all the
women's skirts are drabbled and when
every one i* either drapplr.g despondently
or hurrying: distractedly as It Is when the
walk* look wide and clean, when the air
blow* free and cool from the lake, when
the women have on white gloves and
every one seems to b© taking a pleasant
promenade.
It le decorated with pink and white
stucco 'and silver, like a birthday cake or
& paper-lace valentine, and It has a
gleaming" marble floor and dazzling mir
rors, plainly visible from the outside
through the broad, high windows. But
all this pink and white, these beveled
glasses and lustrous floors are only the
shrine of what lies In long rows on the
showcases. This Is sometimes balls of
rich, smooth, black chocolate; sometimes
twists of pale, creamy molasses; some
times dignified columns of shining-, striped
crimson and white peppermint sticks and
ON the moat crowded part of Btat*
¦treet. Chicago, 1b a beautiful
candy store.
It stands, cay and rlltterfng-, In
CCopyrig-fct, 1KB).
THE SUNDAY CALL.
7
ADVEBTISE3QS2TTS.
DR. CHARLES FLESH FOOD
Fop the Form and Complexion*
Has betn sueoesa-
/fSSv*!ft!"»s fully us«d by 1**4-
/tSJSv^ *v>w ln * aetraasaa, aing**
%>§?' vVcy fashion for mar*
Vv^J */ jj» tiian 23 jt»s%.
3S JTj "Wherewr applied
•V -J it la Instantly a.b>
, y 1 *T aorbed through th*
/ k^& c porea of th« ijun.
[y X *nd Its wonderful nu-
rr trttion feeds Ul*
'm wasting- tlssut*,
firftU Rsinovihg Pimplas
1*1 «PPHeatloa often
I Uc\»^M showing a remark*.
• *ZJ I / bl<» lmpnjv«rn«nc •
DR. CHARLES FLESH FOOD la poalttrely
the only preparation known to medical acienc*
that will round out hollows in ths neck ami
produce firm, healthy flesh on thin c&eeka,
arms and banda^ • •
70S DEVHIiOPUTQ TO.H BXTST
Or breasts shrunken from nursing It has th«
highest Indorsement of physicians. Two boxes
ar* often sufficient to male* th» bust firm.
larce » nd beautiful.
BOLD BY THE EMPORIUM AND OTHER
DEPARTMENT STORES AND DRUGGISTS.
Regular price. (1.00 a box. but to all who
take advantas* of this BPECIAL OFFEK and
send us on* dollar we will aend two (2) boxes.
In plain wrapper.
FD F 7 P — A aampls box and oar book.
K D C ART OB* MAS3AOE." folly ul
lustrated. will be sent free to any lady sanding
10 cent* to pay fcr cost of mailing. Address
CS. CEAXLS3 CO., 19 Far* Flaw. Htw Tirfc
Literary Furor?
Well Rather!
E. W. TOWNSEND
tHe Famous
Author of
Chimmie Fadden
Will Make His
Debut as a
Writer for
?5hQ Sunday Call
Next Sunday. .

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