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38 can continue with their ileceptions
I their treacheries.
business taking part in any way.
have no right to try to infltioii
SATURDAY, JAN. 1, 1921.
And that will be a victory, for until such a answer for the new structure remains to be
foundation is laid no victory for labor is pos- seen but that either they or others will form
sible. Some corner stones of the new form have the basis of the new order is as certain as that
already been laid. To what extent these will the hour of Craft Unionism has struck!
Shadows Of The Sweatshop
By Mary Heaton Vorse.
Joe Kosinsky leaned over to his friend, Mor
ris Peritz, and whispered to him "What's eating
you? You look like your family was all dead."
"My mother's sick," Morris answered.
It was at the neeting of the Cutters in the
first days of the 1 ckout. If it was successful it
would destroy the organization, but in spite of the
importance of the meeting, Morris had hardly been
able to keep his mind on the speakers. The crowd
of intent men seemed far off and dim; and he
would see instead his mother jerking herself
back and forth, back and forth, like a mechanical
toy, made crazy by suffering, wrapping her two
great arms around herself as though nursing the
terrible pain that was eating her life away.
A hundred times during the meeting "I
wish I knew how Mama was," he thought.
Everyone was rising now. Everyone was go
ing. The vision of his mother held Morris a second
while the crowd jammed ahead of him. The hall
was being cleared because a wedding was to be
hold there at six. Weddings went on just the same,
strikes or no strikes, hard times or not. Morris
met the wedding part , ".rrying great white box
es of roses up to the dressing room. "Baby cof
rins" flashed unseasonably through his mind. Mor
ris shivered. He had death on the brain today.
Again he saw the great silhouette of his mother
wrapped in pain, her body jerking to and fro, to
and fro, with an awful insistent rhythm.
A panic of anxiety seized Morris and he
threaded like an eel through the weltering east
side which meant life to him. Life here flowed in
a hotter, richer stream than in other places. His
well built, well dressed body slid in and out past
gravely playing chikhn, past the women doing
some late buying from push-carts, on to his hvme.
He plunged up the two flights of stairs and
then opened the door of the flat with caution The
place seemed very quit. Then he heard his mother's
voice, talking with insistent monotony. The rooms
were all threaded on a long dark hall, down which
Morris tiptoed. He beckoned his older sister Reba
who was standing just outside the front room.
"How's Mama been?" he asked.
"Mama's terrible worried about the strike. If
I could get her mind off the strike, I think I'd
get her asleep. The pain comes and goes. But no
matter how hard the pain is she can't forget the
strike. She's afraid we're going back to the old
"Mrs. Strunsky and Mrs. Edelson was in.
They worried her by talking how the bosses are
trying to get us at last, and how they want to
smash us. All the time mama had seemed asleep
but then she woke up when they talked about
the old misery again. 'Never,' she said. 'Never!'
and since then she's been rambling on She stops
and then she begins again. If only I could get her
into bed. "
They stepped into the familiar clutter, that
meant home to Morris. There was a brand new
sewing machine and beside it the familiar mend
ing basket, large and overflowing. The children
joked about their mother patching such worn out
( "It's a wonder you wouldn't buy something
new, Mama she wouldn't be comfortable if her
petticoat wasn't patched."
His mother sat in her favorite chair in the
middle of the room. It seemed as though death
had already blown a chill wind over her and isolat
ed her from the circle of the living.
His two little brothers, the visiting neighbors.
Miriam, the younger sister, who lived away from
home, all sat on sofas and chairs, watching the
sick woman. Morris went over to her.
"How are you Mama? Do you feel better?"
For recognition she stroked his face. "Can I get
you something. Mama?"
She spoke with effort.