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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, December 05, 1897, Image 21

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WITH THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN BANK HE ASKS TOR AID
If I had $4200 in the bank or anywhere
else and was able bodied myself and had
a willing and healthy wife and five sturdy
sons to share the burden of family sup
port among them I certainly should not
choose 'o live at 446 Clementina street.
If I hud 42 cents, even, and was not par
ticularly well able to faeht my own battles
and was quite alone in the world, I should
not. Indeed I would not. Guns and axes
could not compel me. But then, as we
say so often when brought lace to face
with the inexplicable idiosyncrasies of
other people, "tales differ.''
Cenainly my taste and that of Mr. Isaac
Brotsky, capitalist and street merchant,
differ, for he has lived there for a long
time now and has no present intention of
moving unless he finds the notoriety
which he suddenly achieved by losing his
bankbook and a $10 bill which he pur
posed adding to his already comfortable
bank account too much, for his sensitive
and retiring nature to endure.
Some little uncertainty exists even in
the minds of his nearest neighbors as to
what this suddenly conspicuous individ
ual's name really is. There are those who
cf'A him "Ike Brass." Personally he is
■s^audestly content to allow himself ana
\lns .Vtmily to be known, jointly and sever
i-V.'r, as "Bratz," and there are certain
persona who claim to know a good deal
more about him than he pretends to know
him-elf who state he has a right to the
far more dignified and pleasing name of
Brotsky.
I, however, can settle this vexed ques
tion at once and forever, for I know that,
|t whatever cognomen he has been called by
heretofore, the name that really belongs
to him by virtue of its fitness i 3 nothing
more nor less than Ananias. And as iar
as being a master of the gentle art of
lying goes — vigorously, persistently
and senselessly he could see that. ancient
versator and go him several millions
better.
I have had personal experience with
. Mr. Brotsky, and I know whereof I speak.
He is not artistic nor brilliant in his
*j ec;al line, but be is almost overwhelm
BAKERSFIELD NOW HAS A WOMEN'S CLUB
Bakersfield is the home of an interesting
organization known as the Woman's
Club of Bakersfield. The thinking ob
server of the operations of this organiza
tion is struck with astonishment at the
scope, breadth and uniqueness of its work.
It runs the golden gamut of investigation
from how to cook a pot of beans to the
questionsinvolved in theexalted sciences;
ivvm the self-denial that charity brings to
""""Tine enjoyment of genteel pleasure. In all
of its efforts and work it displays a liberal
ity of thought and of purpose indeed
charming.
This club is nearly two years old, hav
ing been first organized in January, 1896,
and is composed of 125 members, limited.
It is a corporate body, duly organized un
der the laws of the State of California
governing such matters. Therefore it can
sue and be sued, carry on and conduct
business like any other business organiza
tion.
) The club is liberally democratic in form
and action. All measures are handled
from a purely economical standpoint,
The matter of religion never enters imo
its deliberations. Not even is the "offl
. cial prayer" ever heard at any of its meet
ings. This does not signify that the In
dividual member is not religious. The
membership contains representatives of
most all of the leading Christian denom
inations. The great moving spirit of the
organization is 'to improve the golden
moments of opportunity and catch the
good that is within reach."
Tne club rests its powers on a brief
though firmly drawn constitution, sup
plemented with an equally brief and
fine drawn code of by-laws. It is offi
cered by a president, vice-president, re
cording secretary, corresponding secre
tary, treasurer and librarian. Its govern
ment or management is in the bands of
a . board of managers, composed of six
directors and the several officers. The
officers are elected annually and the di
rectors biennially. There are several com
mittees of work.
/The only dues required of the members
«■'- $1 a year as a membership fee. Except
dVring the months of July and August
regular weekly meetings are held each
Monid ay afternoon, including an annual
. meeting on the last Monday in February,
which is usually followed by an annual
reception of great social brilliancy. To
this all the friends of the club are invited.
Besides this event, during the year enter
tainments consisting of musical, literary
and dancing parties, lectures by prom
inent people, etc., are given. To these an
admission fee is charged, and this is the
way the club replenishes its treasury. I
These never fail to attract a large crowd, i
ingly voluminous, and when he gets him
self completely tangled up in a maze of
contradictions he takes refuge in the al
ways convenient "nicht verstehe," from
behind which fortification it is almost im
possible to rout any one.
I heard things about Mr. Brotsky last
week which interested me. Perhaps be
hind the sordid story which was gossiped
about, with so much of careless scorn for
the man and his surroundings and his
miserly life, there might lie a motive
which wouia explain and ennoble the
whole. Perhaps he was planning, when a
certain sum was reached, to carry his
loved ones back to his Continental home
and pass his declining days there with
them in ease and comparative luxury,
which would make up to them for the
hardships which they have all endured in
this far-off land. Perhaps he was plan-
I ning to give his little ones— there were
j five of them, I heard — college educations
j and fit them to take places far above their
parents in American liie. 1 had heard of
such things — of fathers and mothers
! scraping and scheming and almost starv
ing themselves and their families for the
sakeof gratifying such an ambition— I
have rather honored them for it. Perhaps
this person whose secret hoard was so sud
denly discovered might be one of these;
at any rate, I would go and see for my
self — and I did.
There are wider and pleasanter and
sweeter-smelling streets in our fair city
than that known as Clementina, but I
question if there is one which on sunny
days swarms thicker with children of all
degrees of prettine.ss of face and. .to put it
mildly, untidiness of attire. They ran
across my path like frightened rabbits,
they tumbled against me in their romping
play, they impeded ray progress by stand
ing in groups discussing various questions
of the hour and place, but non* of them
were intentionally rude or saucy, and
every one of them who noticed ms at all
answered my smile of good-fellowship with
J one wider, perhaps, but not less cordial
and sincere,
j The Brotskys live In an upper flat— an
Mrs. R. H. Stevens, President.
T c literary and musical programmes
of the club's weekly meetings are ar
ranged beforehand for the entire year and
printed in a pamphlet designated the
"Club Calendar." Here is the programme
for December 6 and 13:
I. Mohammedanism — Tbe founder as a
reformer and religious teacher.
11. Great political leaders of the day —
Lord Salisbury, Gladstone. Crispt, B.s
marck, Li Hung Cnang.
111. The Horne — Relative nutritive
properties of food.
I. Paper— Gluck and Puccini.
11. Selections from "William Tell,"
"Semiramide," "Lncretia Borgia" and
"Lucia di Lammermoor."
111. Sketches of the lives of Rossini ana
Donizetti.
Each of these programmes is under the
direction of a member style 1 a committee.
She has the exclusive power to divid- and
arrange the subjects and select ihose who
are to assist ber in presenting them.
The club's regular meeting-place is in
the Odd Fellows' lodgeroom. It owns a
handsome piano and several hundred vol
umes as a nucleus of a fine library. The
list of books was selected with great care
and is, therefore, made up of the best
standard works. The library-room ad
joins the meeting-room and is prettily
fitted up. It is presided over by Miss
Flora Willow as librarian. It is opened
once a week 'to cive the members a
chance to procure books. Within the li
brary-room is to be seen a handsome glass
case filled with beautiful chinaware, the
gilts of individual members. This ware
TIIE SAN FRANCISCO CALL., SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5. IS9T.
j upper rear flat, to be more precise — and
the way thereto looks from the street tar
{ from inviting, although the outer do
stands hospitably wide open. The lower
hail issmallana dark and dirty; the walls
are cracked and bulging and covered with
a gloomy and ragged paper; there is a rag
of oilcloth on the floor, eked out with a
piece of matting which through age and
general discouragement has well-nigh re
solved itself into a tangle of straw and
I string. The fossil remains of what was
j once a tarpet cover the narrow stairs
; which lead up into absolute darkness. I
! hesitated at the bottom, looking upward,
and then I captured a small buy who stood
on the pavement interestedly regatding
me, and asked him to pilot me to the door
of the Brotsky family.
"It's the rear flat up there," he said,
and then with the quick "putting two and
two togeti er" characteristic of the street
' gamin: "Did you find his book fcr him?
! He'll give yer as much as two bits fer it ef
' yer did."
I disclaimed being heir to any such
I good fortune, and he straightway lost in-
I terest in me, thougn he was good enough
■ to go up the stairs ahead of me and throw
; open the back door that I might see my
j way.
"He's in there," he said tersely, "I seen
his head at de winder; an* Mrs. Bratz is
there, too, fer I hear her talkin'." And
then ha delivered a startling double knock
on the shedlike door that opened off the
shaky little back porch and fled down the
stairs like a "youthful hart or roe."
It was a boy who opened the door — a
pleasant-faced little fellow, with wide,
honest eyes and a shy smile.
"Is Mr. Brotsky at home?" I asked, and
he answered innocently and honestly,
"Yes," admitting me at the same time
into a room which was at once the dir
tiest and most disorderly of any that I
ever graced with my presence.
It was piled full of things which had no
homoceneomness whatever, and it looked
like a junkshop in which some tempora
rily homeless family was making a shift
for shelter until some better accommoda
Mrs. H. F. ConJict, Vice-President.
is not there merely to look at. Frequently
the club at recess enjoys sips of tea, with
other li.'ht refreshments, and it is then
this pretty ware is brought forth from its
case by deft hands.
One unique feature of this organization
is that its memoership is composed of all
ages. There you wiil see the kindly face
of the gray-haired mother, the matured
and self-contained wile, the dignified and
earnest young woman and the blushing,
timid miss, all measuring the sword of in
tellect upon the one common field, for one
common purpose — to do good to them
selves and each other; all realizing that
the democracy of thought takes no ac
counting of age or financial condition.
While this club is exclusively woman,
the male s x is not shut out from enjoy
ing its meetings. Men, as well as women
not belonging, are frequently extended
invitations to attend these meetings. Es
pecially are the men invited when meas
ures ot a general interest to the com
muni v are up for consideration, and they
are always invited to talk, too, on such
questions.
When the club was first organized the
limit of its membership was placed at
twenty-five. It was soon discovered, how
ever, that the limit was too small, and in
consequence the limit was raised from
time to ime until it reached the present
membership of 125.
The names of the officers and directors
of tbe club are: Mrs. R. H. Stevens,
president; Mrs. H. F. Condict, vice-presi
dent; Miss Clophine Bernard, recording
secretary; Mrs. T. W. Lockhart, cot
tions could be secured. Dirt and confu
sion ruled over all, their reign disputed
only by a Smell — forceful, emphatic and
self-assertive; a very terror of a Smell,
which met me at the door and well-nigh
denied me entrance, and being defied
clung around me and tried its best to
strangle me as lone as I remained under
tbat portion of the Clementina street roof
which shuts away the Brotsky flathold—
more's the pity— from the purifying winds
and rains of high heaven.
The presence of a rusty cook stove in
active operation and a creasy sink in th*
corner nearest the window apprised me
that I was In the kitchen of the establish
ment; it was also evidently the dining
room and parlor. Through an open door
I bad a slantinsr view of another room,
the view embracing only a sort of trundle
bed, in which, among a tumble of soiled
quilts, sat a pale old woman with her
head tied up in a once white cloth and a
dingy little shawl pinned across her bent,
old shoulders. She looked out at me with
the cowed and turtive expression of .a
much-beaten animal, and then busied
herself pulling the bedclothes about, aim
lessly affecting to be unaware of my in
terrogative pre-ence. Mrs. Brotsky,
dowager, was evidently not receiving on
this particular day, nor was her daughter
in-law, who had, though audible to my
guide previous to ihe opening of the door,
become invisible when 1 entered the
portal.
A small man extricated himself from
a clatter of pans and dishes at the sink
and came forward wiping his hands on
bis trousers legs. He was a man of per
haps a few years over 40 and well-looking
of his kind, with rather unusually good
features, closely curling brown hair, a
really handsome full beard, long and
curling as that of Jove himself, and a most
obsequious manner.
He was Mr. Brotsky? I asked the
question merely as a mailer of form, for I
knew from a description that had been
furnished me, as well as the unsought
testimony of my young cavalier of a few
moments before, that be was. But to mv
utter surprise and the almost complete
paralyzation of bis astonished offspring
who was acting as master of ceremonies
he smilingly denied the imputation. He
was not that gentleman, oh, no; that gen
tleman had cone away, out in the country,
to return possibly to-morrow, or the nex
day, or, possibly — hi* eyes grew dreamy
with speculation— not until next week. A
gioan from the next room punctuated bis
remarks. Evidently the sick woman
owned something like a conscience and
her son's denial of his identity caused her
pain; or else her feminine subtlety made
her feel that he had done a most unwise
thing in eliminating himself before he
h. leirned my errand.
Could I see Mrs. Brotsky then? The
siightly ajar door at my side quivered
anxiously, but the Brotsky who was hot
Brotsky frowned darkly in its direction
and regretted much that the lady of the
flat was also absent. Was there no one io
whom I could speak of matters concerning
the family? The old lady in that other
room she was Mr. Brotsky's mother I
knew, and she could doubtless tell m
what I wished to know — but a very deter
mined shoulder was interposed between
me and any communication with that
inner room. She could tell nothing; she
\\_t too old, and it was not well for her to
see company. If I had business I might
tell it to him, he was a friend of the
family, staying there to look out for things
during the absence of the rightful heads o.
the e-tab.ishment, and he was the soul of
reliability and prudence.
Part of my business was to find out
something definite about the family and
its circumstances, but my questions hit
against a solid wall of simulated ignor
ance and bounded merrily back to me un
answered. This trusted friend of the fam
ily knew nothing, asked nothing, and
speculated not at all concerning the af
lairs of the eight who made this place
their home. Indeed he did not know that
there were eight of them, for when I asked
him how many children there were in the
family he declared that be was unaware
of their exact number.
"1 count no man's children for him." he
said loftily; ".et each man count his own.
It Mr. Brotsky was here he might tell you,
I cannot."
Miss Clophine J. Bernard, Sec'ry,
responding secretary; Mrs. O. J. Wag
goner, treasurer; Miss Flora Willow,
librarian; Mrs. H. P. Bender, Mrs. a!
Harrell, Mrs. D. 11. Taggart, Mrs. E. R.
Jameson, Mrs. C. C. Stockton and Mrs. H.
L. Packard, directors.
For any measure to have the united
moral support of 125 of the best and most
progressive mothers, wives and daughters
of a community is no small thing, and
therefore the Woman's Club of Bakers
field is a power in the community. Much
c<suld be written of its influence upon the
community, and the business-like schemes
it has under consideration. Among these
is a proposition to erect its own hall.
The men of Bakersfield are proud of
the organization. They see arising from
it wondrous, broad and practical and sub
stantial good. The mora thoughtful ones
see in it the natural growth of the benign
spirit of mutual help that is dawning on
the horizon of these evolutionary days. It
has been said of the log-schoolbouse de
bating societies, that they were the nur
series of statesmen. A similar truth can
be said of the true woman's clubs of this
country — they are the nurseries of
mothers. The country is in greater need
o: mothers than of statesmen, for as it has
been said:
Mother, thy gentle hand hath power to train
and mold and guide
Plants that shall bloom with odor sweet;
Or, like the accursed fig tree, wither and die
And become vile cumberers of the ground.
There are. two solid silver tea-tables at
Windsor Castle.
I turned to the boy beside me, stiff en<d
into a statuette of suiprised bewilder
ment, his puzzled eyes fastened on the
face of the lather who denied that he was
his father, and a crimson flag of shame
caused by that father's awe-inspirinir
falsehoods, flying— poor child— in both his
cheeks.
"You are a Brotsky boy, are not you?"
I asked, and he answereu "Yes."
"You are not I" said the man, sharply.
"You are only a neighbor boy and have
no business here, and you know nothing
about the folks." And then the fright
ened boy corrected himself hastily and
assured me that this latter information
was correct.
After that I had no mercy and simply
amused myself with the crafty d<ceiver
who has been playing a practical joke on
his neighbors and the charitable organ
izations for years and is now quaking with
tear of the possible consequences. He
was afraid to be rude to me and afraid to
turn me out — afraid to do anything but
lie. and I made him do that until lie was
fairly exhausted. I asked him all man
ner of questions and 1 doubled tbem and
.wisted them and tripped him up with
them, and then at last I told him that,
not believing the story of hoarded wealth
which 1 had heard, I had come prepared —
here I exhibited my pocketbook, ex
teriorly fat and promising-looking — to
make the family a small present, but of
course, since no responsible person was at
home, I should be obliged to deny myself
that pleasure.
MEDITATIONS
OF ONE WAITING ON THE EDGE
OF THE CROWD
I do not like being in a crowd, though I have no objection
to being of it, particularly if I am at the end of it. It maybe
I'm presumptious in taking a view so far behind many dis
tinguished persons who, from the beginning of epigrammatic
flashlights, have decided in favor of front views and reiterated
heir wish to be "in a crowd, not of it."
I recall a favorite maxim of an old teacher who instructed
me to go always to the bead when I wanted anything. Said
he: "The tail has no value, as it is dictated to by the bead."
It has occurred to me that the repetition, throughout the cen
turies, of just such advice is one of the probable reasons for
the disappearance of man's caudal appendage. Man continually
said to his tail, "I have no use for you," so it disappeared.
But that same tail, whatever may have become of it, is now
having its revenge. In a world full of people compelled to
"hang on" to an existence in which they cannot gain a "foot
hold," they are deprived of that which, under the circum
stances, wouid be invaluable — something with which to bang.
So, while acknowledging the wisdom of a bead, I may be par
doned this digression concerning the value of a tail.
I have a young friend who, hearing me describe an acci
dent resulting irom a boy's careless stepping upon a rotten
bridge and thereby being led. interrupted me to ask: "Why
didn't the boy run away?" "Because." answered I, "tie could
not. As soon as he put ona loot on the bridge, the boards
gave way, he fell through and was killed."
"Yes, I know. That's what you said before, but,* with
convincing logic in his baby eyes, "if he only put one foot on
the bridge, couldn't he run away with the other leg? or couldn't
his hands dreg out the one that got stuck?"
Then, as if unable io account for the dead boy's stupidity,
he di missed the matter with, "I guess his bead got too dizzy
to use his other leg."
1 «m convinced that this infant Plato will some day quiet a
startled world by proving to it tbat its only ailment is dizzi
ness, and that it will have nothing to fear when it learns to
control its legs.
Any one who has intently watched a crowd knows of the
dizziness induced by the kaleidoscopic shifting of forms and
colors; of the hypnouc influence 'of the million feet with their
quaintly mnsical tramp." Furthermore, he knows that this
dizziness is greatly lessened, if not entirely prevented, by gaz
ing from tne rear at the crowd.
Such view will necessarily miss expressions, details; but, on
the other hand, one obtains outlines, averages, which, if not
so fascinating, are more restful. And it is rest which we as md
iv iduals, as a nation, need more than aught else, to preven
us from growing dizzy, to keep us on our leg.
The 10 o'clock broad-gauge has just emptied itself of its
motley freight, which, spreading as it approaches the stair
ways leading to the waiiing-room of the ferry, looks not un
like an army of gigantic insects whose common instinct leads
them to the same goal. As they mass near the doors, their
pushing and elbowing, the restlessness of arms and legs, re
minds one of the antennae of creatures that crawl and fly.
In the crowd before me there are slim-waisted wasp-women
and obese spider-men; tbere are several blue-bottle sports,
one of whom owns a beautiful greyhound that has come my
wav, and whose head I venture to touch. He repays my ad
miration with a look lull of human wistfulness. There are gay
butterflies, most of them on closer inspection revealing a loss
of scales which covered their gauzy wings. There are long
faced, loose- jointed, cadaverous grasshopper beings; and there
is one heavy, big-limbed, goggle-eyed creature whose identity
I am unable to guess-, but who resembles an "electric-light
bug."
There is a scorpion, for all his purple and fine linen; he
hides his sting with a haughty demeanor; be sees no one, is
interested in nothing. But then, with whom can a scorpion be
companionable. However, I am pleased that his nearest neigh
bor appears to be a tarantula.
There are a lew sad-colored moths and several caterpillars
the latter chiefly interesting because they are not yet them-,
selves. There are ants everywhere— all sizes and forms. They
are tor the most part a courteous lot, but being workers they
lose little time.
I believe I'm the last one to mount the stairway. No, I'm
not, either. And in my curiosity to take a look at the couple
just ascending from the other side I forget to lift my gown,
step on it, lurch forward and fall upstairs.
I feel badly. There are several excellent reasons why a
woman may be permitted to feel badly when she falls upstairs,
not the least of which is that she will not be married during
the year. Just why. l do not know, unless because it's so stupid
that it unfits one for the important ceremony of marriage. But
I have another reason for feeling badly. I have torn off at
least a yard of brail and I cannot find a em which I know I
have put under the lapel of my coat for just such an emergency.
All th* passengers have passed on, all except the couple
who served to cause my mishap.
| We meat at the door and I now observe why the man
moved so slowly. He is a tall, stalwart, square-jawed, clean
shaven fellow, whose features are good, whose expression is
open. His companion is an elderly, small, delicate-looking
woman, with snow-white hair.
She leans heavily upon the arm which half encircles her,
using as additional support a cane, for she is very lame.
I know now why I waited at the edge of the crowd. lam
glad I fell upstairs, even with such a penalty. I have found
1 the predominant idea for my picture.
I step aside that they may precede me. As I move on I
recommence my search for a pin which I do not want to find.
I must have an excuse for loitering. But lam not so engrossed
in my search that i fail-to hear a deep voice with a caressing
note in it say: "Now, mother, don't hurry. It injures you and
we've plenty of time.".
"Are you sure, Stephen?" says "mother's" anxious, quiv
ering voice. "What a drag lam if—"
But Stephen interrupts with: "Now, mother, if you talk
like that I'll just pick you up before all these people and carry
you if only to disprove such a heavy-weight assertion. You a
drag! What a joke." And, holding her as tenderly, more
carefully than any lover ever held a sweetheart, he looks laugh
ingly into her aged, worried face.
I have found my pin, but I regulate my pace by those mov
ing so slowly in front of me. Somehow they have become the
center of all that is.
I am listening to the Voice of the Ages, a voice which sol
emnly proclaims, "Honor thy father and thy mother that thy
days may be long, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth
i thee."
Then the incognito Brotsky began to
perspire. In this new light he saw he
had overreached himself and made a mess
of things generally, and he proceeded to
deliquesce before my eyes. Limpid
streams trickled down his forehead and
dripped off the end of his handsome nose,
and he squirmed in unavailing anguish.
It may be agreeable to be invisible from
choice, but to be invisible when you want
to be otherwise — judging from the expres
sion of my absent host as I took myself
and my purse out of his presence — must
be torture.
In the neighborhood 1 found out ali
that I wanted to know of the private life
of the family which has suddenly sprung
into unpleasing prominence by reason of
its enforced confession of unsuspected
prosperity. There are ei.'ht of them — the
old grandmother, the father and mother,
and five sous, ranging in age from 9 to 19
years. All except the grandmother add
something to the family income. The
mother works in a pickle factory in the
season, the father and older boys peddle
vegetables, another boy works at a trade,
and the two youngest ones black boots
daytimes and attend school in the even
in >.
In spite of this commendable industry,
the most squalid miserliness is character
istic of the Brotsky menage. They waste
their substance on neither clothes' nor
decent food, but subsist for the most part
on the refuse vegetables and fruit which
they find unsalable, and plead poverty
and actual distress on all occasions. They
By Ray Frank.
I am so late I take it for granted that my favorite seat is
occupied, when I find that what I covet so much has by others
been passed by. Not only is the seat unoccupied, but the en
tire bench is tenantless. I seat myself ana look up at the dear
old lace, hoping its venerable owner will share my bench. Son
Stephen evidently thinks it a good resting place and so I have
them for neighbors.
Carefully wrapping a warm shawl about the shrunken
shoulders Stephen seats himself— not to read but to point out
the beauties of the bay. which to-day is a veritable Bay of Opals,
changing, quivering, greenish yellow opals, with here and there
masses of foamy pearls.
The sky is turquoise blue; off toward the Berkeley shores
is a bank of fantastic clouds resembling a lion "lying on bis
back, and between whose uplifted paws is the head of a giant
but the clouds are shifting and my lion is elongating himself'
absorbing the giant, and now I see a clown with his peaked
symbol. I have barely time to reflect on the moral of this be
fore I have caught the outline of a splendid castle, composite
in structure having towers, minarets, domes, Gothic intricacy
Grecian simplicity. As the walls dissolve I fancy I see a goodly
company of shadowy beings— Moors, Saracens and Norman
Crusaders; but they, too, dissolve.
"Beautiful, beautiful," said the quavering voice at my side
and the old face has a rapt expression upon it, as though it
sees diviner vision. ■
A systematic chord sends her next words to myself "Are
they not graceful, and how near they fly 1" As\he seagulls
cleave the azure in beauty's curve. "
We chat for a while about the fair scene, and then I learn
that Stephen is a prosperous business man in San Francisco
and that he went over early this morning for "mother" i
learn further that "mother" and Stephen are both educated
and cultured. 1 look from the aged refined face with its faded
blue eyes to Stephen, with his strong profile and his protecting
arm which enfolds "mother" as if she were a child and I
understand more clearly than ever why an ancient 'people
deemed an insult to father or mother punishable by death
I turn my head and deliberately survey th? faces on the
deck. It is a relief to come back to my neighbors, for in them
I see the strength of the nations of the earth.
A modern author has written, "From our' systems of phil
osophy down to our advertisements in our daily papers every
thing bears witness to a policy of reiteration." '
One who dares to cry "black" when all others are crying
"white is apt to find his temerity rewarded with blows- but
let the howling heretic be patient. Time will treat him at'least
as kindly as it is treating that tail which man insulted out of
use.
Some day a whole people will rise to call him prophet
who has termed the present methods in our common schools
"pedagogic materialism."
Respect for authority, veneration for the experience of age
must be primary ideas in education, must permeate ail knowll
edge in order to "make men and citizens incarnations of
humanity itself."
The wind is blowing brisk and sharp. Stephen tucks the
shawl closer. "Now, mother, we're just about in" and as
the whistle blows and the passengers begin to move forward
he continues: "Pretty soon we can get a seat where we can
watch the crowd as ii leaves the boat."
As they rise, "mother" turns to me and says "Don't yon
like to watch the people?" I go with her. The passengers are
waiting for the bar to swing back, at least that fraction of the
crowd that has not already, bent its back and passed under the
bar, illustrative of much that we as a nation do-put un the
bars and then crawl under. p tde
I delight in observing people, and so I'm pleased to note
one of the commonest sights aboard the ferry-boat as it
doubtless is everywhere-some one and his sweetheart Th,,
time he is small, wiry, pale, black-haired; she big buxom
florid, complacent; both of them neanng the forties. I am sure
she has been through- all this before; her calmness and self
satisfaction are too patent for a novice. Depend on it she is a
Mrs. .He is anxious and nervous. She draws nearer the
bar, jostling her neighbors a trifle. She knows he will follow
and he does, putting a timid pressure on her plump arm He
means to be protecting, but succeeds in being only eager and
awkward. Poor little fellow, my sympathies are with you I
wonder what made him turn round. Eyes, small, deep-set
glittering, wide apart; mouth— but it doesn't matter what
your mouth's like; my sympathies are with you only for to-day •
to-morrow, when you are married, they will be with your
buxom partner. I have seen your eyes. They tell me enough
Going, going! Wasp-women, spider-men, ants all Now
we watch you from a height. We have a pretty neighbor a
sweet-faced, stylish girl wbo looks so earnestly at the moving
coats below that her fair young face is all a-pucker.
Don't watch. It will be just as well to get one of your old
frocks or pinafores and learn your fate as you did in childhood
"Rich man, poor mau, beggar man, thief, doctor lawyer"
Indian chief." ' *
Once upon a time I wondered why "Indian chief" was one
of the notes in this social scale; then, why he was the last
note. To-day lam persuaded of the practicability of placing the
noble savage just afttr the apostle of Blackstone.
It was a head as wise as Solomon's, learned 'as Spencer's
proper as Weed McAllister's, which so classified humanity
Note the system, the social and moral philosophy contained
in this jingle; the prominence given the rich man and the re
sultant of his antithesis, the poor man; the professions follow
ing alter the moneyed-man, and the scalper "rounding" tnem
all.
Come, pretty girl, it's time to leave the boat. Take mv
word for it, it's safer to try your fate on the buttons of your
trock.
Stephen is waiting to help "mother;" but there's a woman
with a crying baby on one arm, a big heavy basket on the other
and a draggling dress on the stairway, a menace to all.
Stephen would like to have her go first, but she, poor soul,
thinks her burden the heaviest and waits for him.
Here, let me carry your basket. You take care of the baby.
Oh, don't turn your big, soft, Italian eyes on me in that way!
I'm not doing anything to be thanked for. Don't you know
you and I are ants? Now you are downstairs, now you're off
the boat. Here's your basket; you've got your baby. Good
luck go with you!
Good luck has been with me in my ride. Good luck in the
guise of filial devotion, reverence for age, respect for law. Good
luck to have met the highest type of chivalry. Good luck to
know it is American manhood.
have been the recipients of many kindly
favors /rem neighbors who are really poor,
and sympathized with them on account of
their apparently hard fate, and have also
been assisted by more than one Hebrew
charitable society, while the Brotsky bank
book was in modest retirement and tha
fact of its existence unknown to any but
■Brotsky and the Dank.
Avarice has been the sole cause of all
the Brotsky wretchedness and suffering—
winch has doubtless been real and con
tinuous—and of the Brotskv lies, which
have been quite as real and fearfully and
wonderfully numerous; and avarice ha 3
been the cause of their present undoing,
for had they not been stung to public
outcry by the loss of one small bill they
might have lived on in their own pecu
liar way tor years and flourished on the
help given them by those who judged
them by their life and surroundings.
A white-haired woman sat on a sunny
step nursing her knees and crooning to
herself, and she beckoned to me as I
came out of the Brotsky doorway. She
wished "to speak her mind" about them,
she said, and she did.
"And to think," sha said in conclusion,
"that many's the day I've stinted my
own stummick to take that old one a bit
and a sup! And others besides me has
done the same. It's taken the heart out
of my bosom almost to find them so deceiv
in'—gettin' wnat ought to go to them
that needs it. It's a crying shame, so it
is!" And I fully agreed with her.
Florence Matheson.
21

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