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... - ..- ii - - ii -'n I, ,tMimMmmB,mmmMmmmwmmmwmmwm - . ummu, -- - . - . ... ..- -.tn.imm,. .-', SO ride mto New York on offense. Ine law says so. Railroad companies suggested the law and secured its enactment. They prefer - to handle their passenger traffic in the regular way. Fares cannot so easily be collected from passengers who are secreted around the trucks. Besides, freight train travelers have gained the reputation of being uncertain persons. They, sometimes steal small things that rich persons'would not think of stealing. Yet, against them as the law is, patrons of the box-cars pour into New York at all seasons of the year. An Ohio boy, one morning last winter, was in court for beating his way into the "metropolis. He was only sixteen years old, and rather small for his age. His coat fitted him a little too soon and axle-grease was on it. Hadn't had time to slick up since he was pulled from the trucks. Still, he was cheer-, ful. Answered the Court's questions as if it were a pleasure. Told all about the old folks at home, and why he left home. He and another boy craved the big life. They wanted to be in the midst of some thing and be something. Only, the other boy had a little hitch to his ambitions. He wanted to go to Chicago, where he had an aunt who, in an emergency, might be in- duced to provide food. The boy who stood before His Honor waved his comrade away. "I told my chum," he said, "that I would rather be in New York, broke and hungry, than be in Chicago with a meal ticket at every restaurant. I left my chum right there. I paid my fare as far as I could and beat it the rest of the way." The Court, some years back, having broken into town in substantially the same way, did not hear the boy's story without feeling. During the recital, the judicial mind had gone back to that other day, now long ago, when he, a penniless lad, had said good-bye to his native town. So he said to The YbyVr "My son, let me commend your judg ment. Any boy who will ride the trucks to New York, in preference to going to Chicago and living with his chum's aunt, has the right spirit. I think this town needs boys like you, and I am going to let you stay, Discharged." , , Nothing can illustrate better than this . incident the lure of New York. Perhaps no , 2 other city ever has so large a percentage of Vr"the world's population bluffed. A bigger "y word than "bluffed" is needed here, but it "-y does not come. The point is that the city has the power to cast a great spell, ana casts Si CL. 1 I T 1 it. She makes no comparisons. To make comparisons would be to admit that there are others in her class. She says only: "I am the wonderful city come." The-call goes north to the edge of the frozen world; east to the point where the east is west; south as far as a white man lives, and west till the west is east. Not ; everybody comes, but everybody hears. Millions would like to come, but can't. Everybody would like at least to see the siren city. And, untold thousands do come. One railroad thinks nothing of dumping 100,000 strangers into New York in a day. The reason for so much coming is plain. Everybody likes to be mixed up with a success. The bigger the success, the better. New York is universally regarded as a big success. It, has the tallest buildings, the richest men, the whitest "White Way" that ever cut a streak through the night,- and some of the most prodigal disbursers of the circulating medium that ever dazzled any coramunity. In a variety of ways comes the message to mix with this greet success to become a part of this wonderful bigness. Perhaps the newspapers and the stage do the most to spread the lure. New York date-lines appear over the most important items of news. There seems to be only one place in which anything worth while can happen. Has Mr. Morgan bought an old master or formed a new trust? Where did he do it? New York. Has Mr. Rockefeller paid hi3 annual visit to the office of Standard Oil? -Yes a New York despatch says so. Has Mr. Carnegie slipped in the icy park and sprained his ankle? What park? Why, Central Park, in New York, of course. And, whenever an Italian opera singer; a T" . . T m Russian revolutionist, or an Irish patriot comes to this country, where does he land? At New York. What city sends out the news? New York. s The Stage's Part As an advertiser of the glories and splen- dor of this great town, the stage is second ttt-L . xt only to the press. When an actor is in New lork between seasonsduring the dog days he may be eating beef and beans and walking Broadway disconsolately. But, let him sign up and get out on the road, and the songs he is paid to sing, or the lines he is paid to speak, tell a different story. Audi ences sit back and fonder, how he could ever leave the town. He sings about "Dear Old Broadway,'' flashes out in a yachting frisks over to "Coney Island by the Sea,' and winds up in the last act at a lobster palace. If he doesn't do any of these things, he poses majestically before a stock-ticker, becomes increasingly nervous as the ma chine clicks out its erist. finally sees a quotation that is supposed to mean a loss to him of more money than Monte Cristo ever dared to contemplate, and falls in a fit while mumbling that his hated rival has ruined him in order to prevent him from claiming the hand of Miss Astorbilt. It's indeed a great life this New York life as the newspaper despatches and the stage represent it. It is sometimes pretty hard to tell what either presentation wfll do to a rural community. Twenty years ago. for instance, a Nevada youth went to see a show in Carson City. The show was that old classic, "The Two Orphans." In the cast were extremely few persons besides the orphans themselves, as railway transporta- tion and board were both high. But the show made up in scenery what it lacked in cast. One scene, in particular, appealed to the chuckle-faced youth. It was a scene in which the two orphans "were sitting on the steps of Trinity Church. The snow was drifting down over their thin shoulders. Broadway was thronged with pedestrians. Horse-cars flew along at eight miles an hour. Nobody looked at the orphans. But the orphans, silent as little sphynxes, looked straight ahead straight up the street. There was Broadway I The infinite skill of the scene painter seemed to have carried the street clear to the horizon. Nothing but buildings and people and people and build- ings till they blended, at the finish, into an mdistinguishable haze of paint. The Nevada youth could hardly keep his seat. The painted scene had fired his mind with an intense desire. He must be off to New York. All during the show, which he saw not, though he looked straight at the stage, he kept his eyes riveted, to the splen did vista of Broadway. The whole thor oughfare seemed to him to be a treasure house of opportunity. Surely, in all this double row of buildings, there was some place in which he could get a job. Put him down where the two orphans were sitting and nothing could beat him. He would keep going and going and going; and, by the great homed spoon, a job would have to come into his hands before he stopped, or he wouldn't stop! That was the beauty of New York, as he then saw it. The place was so big that a boy looking for a job didn't have to stop. Always, there was some other place to go. Tf ft rr , . ... , xamiiy an airs were sucn mat mis ooy was kept in Carson five years. Then, the sweep of the current earned him to San Francisco. He ound work. Did well. Did as well as any of the young men in his line. Everybody liked him. He liked everybody. Everybody was therefore sur prised when, after a year, he spread the word that he was about to go. New York was calling to him. It had been calling to him ever since the night that he saw the painted picture of Broadway. He could dream and wait no longer. He must see the real. Kind friends accompanied him across the bay on the Oakland boat and saw him aboard the train. In a month, letters began to sift back from New York. Was it a great place? Why, it was the greatest place that ever lay out doors. San Francisco, in com parison, was a mere collection of dugouts. . No man who had the brains of a watermelon would stay in California fifteen minutes if he could raise the price of a ticket to New York. Already had a job that couldn t be duplicated anywhere else. Almost ashamed to take the salary but he took it. The New Arrivals First Sensation In a year he returned, for a short visit, to San Francisco. He wore a plug hat, a short coat, and a slight Eastern accent. The plug hat was a bluff the short coat was not. He didn't wear a plug hat in New York at all. He wore one on his visit to San Fran cisco because he knew it would be the quickest way to advertise his success in the East. As a matter of fact he had had no success in the East, except that he had kept out of the hands of the police and the under- .1 111 m taker. He had been making success, but hadn't finished it. It took him several years to finish it to make good on his dream that began in the Carson "opera" house. Every office building in New York is filled with men and women who were snared in some such way. The city reached out its long arm and clutched them in whatever place they happened to be at the theatre, xi. j. .1, - : j Tin in the store, or at the fireside. Wherever the imagination can work, New York's lure can reach. Everybody who is here once lived somewhere else; was content to live there until he had a vision of New York; was content to live there no longer after he had had a vision of New York. This statement seems not to take into account the tendency of New York's popu- lation to increase by natural processes, There ought to be some adult persons in New York who were born here. It is posi- tively known that babies are bom in the great city. But, between birth and matu- rity, they seem to disappear. Everybody who amounts to anything and a good many who don't, came here from somewhere else. Mr. Roosevelt is one of the few exceptions, ne is tne omy rresiaent wno was Dorn m New York. Here is a striking illustration of the ten dency of New Yorkers to choose other E laces in which to be bom. It was given y the late Edmund Clarence Steadman, who banked in Wall Street that he might nave enough money to enable him to write poetry somewhere else. Mr. Steadman was at a reception.. He met a young man. "Are you a New Yorker?" asked the poet. ' " "No," was the modest reply. "I live here, but I came from Michigan." "Why, coming from Michigan does not prevent you from being a New Yorker," replied Mr. Steadman. "Every. New Yorker came from somewhere else. I will venture to say that there isn't a person at this reception who was bom in New York." When a favorable opportunity came, Mr. Steadman asked if there was anybody among the one hundred present who was bom in New York. For a moment, there was as much silence as if he had asked who would be the first to contribute $100 to the African heathen. Then, a young woman pleaded guilty with extenuating circum stances. She said she was the daughter of a man who, at one time, was a foreign consul, accredited to the American metropolis. His sovereign sent him to New York and he had to come. Also, in order to avoid the appear- ance of harshness, he had to bring his wife, But possibly nobody reaches New York with quite the same feeling of elation that is felt by the country boy, or the boy from the small town. The Metropolitan Tower is fifty stories high, but he can look down upon it the first time he passes it provided he has secured a job. My, but it's good to get where something is doing! At last, he is where life centers. He is in the midst of all the things he has read about. When there is a ruction in Wall Street, the news V I. Mf - W&i W if -i f . -. IT HAS THE WHITEST "WETTE WAY" THAI comes to him, not as it did in Iowa, but as if he were a part of the street; for he is so near. And, at dusk, when the lights begin to blaze up along the "Great White Way" ah, it is all just as he had dreamed it to be! All grand! All surpassingly great! But, kind friends, he dines at no lobster palace that evening. Nor do his magnifi cent jewels glittetin the "horseshoe cres cent" at the opera. With the money that he can spare for his. evening meal, he couldn't buy a lobster's tail, and a diygopds a. if - box in an alley would fit him better than a box at the opera. So, he dines poorly for sixty cents at a side-street restaurant, gets a glassy eye from the waiter for not giving a tip, finds a room in which there is no light by day, nor pure air night or day and goes to sleep to dream of home and mother, The next morning, he is awakened by a miscellaneous assortment of noises, ranging irom elevated car wheels to horses hoofs. As he puts on the shirt that mother laun dered for him, his heart takes a sudden lurch back to the old roof. He calls his heart back. He is in New York to make good. It is up to him to do it. And, by the time he is ready to go out to hunt for breakfast. his nerve is all back. The clatter of the streets has revived him. His Struggle for Work With nothing to do but get a job or starve, he looks for work. He hears that motormen are wanted on the subway. Half afraid to offer his services, he nevertheless decides to do so. On the way to the com pany's offices, he considers all of the situa tion's glorious possibilities. Never in the country did he dare dream that some day he might make a battery of motors bite off 2.000 horsepower of electricity and snatch eight loaded cars through the subterranean night. With his liking for machinery it would be the ideal occupation. But he knows nothing of any machinery, except the plow, the harrow, and the other machines of the farm. What does it matter if he doesn't? Far mers are made into subway motormen in a few weeks. Electric locomotives are so simple that anybody can run them, and automatic devices for preventing accidents are so nearly perfect that nobody can wreck a tram. All there is to do is to stand in a little dark closet at the head of the train, wear a nice pair of gloves, and twist an eight-inch lever whenever a station is reached, or the gong overhead rings. The good news goes home to the old folks that their boy is going to run a train in the New York subway. Oh, if the boy could only see the mingled sorrow and pride that light up his mother's eyes when she reads the letter. It breaks her heart to have her boy away, but it mends it to know how am "v.'-irfA EVER CUT A STREAK TOTOTGH THE NIGHT emphatically he has made good in the big town. Going to run a train driven by elec tricity! Going to run a train bearing fifteen hundred human beings, each of whom has put his life, for a time, in her son's keeping! Such confidence as the company must have had in her boy to intrust him with so grave a responsibility. Oh, it is such a comfort to her to know that her son, whom she has loved since she felt his first hrcrt-beat; for whom she has toiled and suffered and denied herself it is such a comfort to her to know on i- m mil ni,ir'llv that he has been recognized at what she knows to be his true worth, by the most wonderful city in the world. Father's joy is not quite so exquisitely refined as mother's, because father s brain is a shade less sensitive to impressions. Mother's brain, you know, is like a photo graphic plate that can grab every detail of a landscape in a thousandth part of a second. But father, in his quiet way, feels mighty good. That boy was always his idol. Promising boy, too. Smarter'n chain lightning. Hundreds of people had said he was just like his father. A year later, what rejoicing there was in the little home when the boy wrote that he was coming back on a vacation. Mother could hardly read the letter, she was so ex cited. Ran to the fields to tell father. Ran back to get dinner. Could hardly cook burned the eggs to a crisp, something she had not done in thirty years, and had to fry some more. In such a hurry to put on her "other dress" and run over to Mrs. Pratt's to tell her: "My boy is coming home" The boy came home. When he took mother in his arms and held her for a full minute, she couldn't speak. All choked up. So glad to see him, she couldn't say a word. And, when she did speak, the first thing she said, as she looked up into his brown eyes, was: "Oh, mv boy, how pale you are! He was pale. He knew it. Subway air makes no red blood-corpuscles. Kills some of the red ones that exist. Nor does the electric light of the subway brown the cheek as the sunlight browns the cheek of the far mer. All the year that he had been away, mother had carried in her mind" the picture of her farmer boy. Never had dreamed that her farmer boy would come home with a grayish-white face. Didn't need to say she was shocked. Looked it. The boy caught the message and laughingly replied: "Oh, mother, all city folks are pale." Maybe mother believed him. She didn't say. If she didn't quite believe him, it was because she remembered that years ago, when he broke bis arm, he told her, as she picked him up, that he had only fallen a little. Told her a story, to keep her from worrying until he could get his father to go with him to the doctor. Anyway, there wasn't time to think about it. Friends were crowding around. Station agent. Farmers. A dozen, at least, who had known the boy all his life. Everybody glad to see him. Nobody quite at ease. Sent a little thrill through everybody to shake hands with a man from New York. Seemed so much like shaking hands with New York. His Actual Life During the week that he remained at home, the boy was kept talking. Father and mother constantly asking questions. Seemed to mother as if she couldn't ask questions enough. Wanted to get first hand information about everything of which she had read. Had he been to the top of the Metropolitan Tower? No never cared to take the trouble. My, but how big her boy had become to think so little of this great tower so it seemed to her. Had John D. Rockefeller ever ridden on his train? No, not that he knew of; but he once pulled Vice-President Sherman from Wall Street to Forty-second, and didn't notice that it took any more electricity. And, had he seen the ocean? He had not. The nearest he had come to the ocean was the subway terminal at the Battery. Could get to the ocean in an hour, but never cared to bother about it. But, notwithstanding that the boy seemed to have missed everything in New York that country folk consider worth see ing, he could not paint too radiantly the picture of New York life. The only life worth living. The greatest town in the world. In short, the boy did what all New Yorkers do swelled his town and himself as soon as he was out of town. A New Yorker never feels so little as when he is in New York; never so big as when he is some where else. On Broadway, he may be as meek as Moses, but a thousand miles inland he feels like an Ambassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, officially charged with the duty of representing New York in the particular town in which he may happen to be stopping. Likewise, New York never seems so big to a New Yorker as it does when he is not in New York. The farther he goes, the bigger the town becomes. And, away out on an Iowa farm, New York looked -as big to this boy as the rest of the United States. Six months after he returned to work, his mother had an opportunity to see for her self, just how big 'was New York. A tele gram told her that her boy had been hurt. She and father found him in a hospital, with his head bandaged until they could barely see his eyes. At the end of his run, he had tried to cross the tracks to catch another train back and get to dinner more quickly. Didn't see a train running in the opposite direction. Car struck him. Picked up for dead. Seemed to have a fractured skulL Fortunately, did not. Revived in the hospital and would get welL Oh, but the mother's heart was glad when she heard the best instead of the worst. Glad until she and father went to the boy's room. Net his room in the hospital, but his room in a lodging-house. Glad until she saw how miserably he had lived. A dirty street. A dirty house. A dirty halL A . cheerless room. Little light Bad air. A skimpy bed. A frayed counterpane. Not a decoration, save her own picture, stuck in the edge of a mirror. Her boy could stford no better place to live His pay was only $2.25 a day. That is, his pay from the company was only $2.25 a day. The lure of New York made up the rest that was needed to induce him to stay. Such is life for millions in New York. Not life as the newspaper despatches de scribe it. Not life as the stage pictures it. life as it is. Life as it is for at least three of the city's five millions. Few comforts. No prospects. Just work. Sleep a little and work again. Just work. A few draw colossal prizes. A few mora draw good prizes. But if only those should come to New York who can earn a better living here than they can elsewhere, a hand car, running once a day, would almost bring them in. Ninety-two per cent, of the popu lation have not drawn enough prizes to enable them to own their own homes. Yet people come. Come from every State in the Union. Come from every town in every State every hamlet. Cone from Italy, Norway, Sweden, . Turkey come from everywhere. Men come to New York for love of money and stay for love of life. With infinitesimal exceptions, they do not get the money. With no exceptions, they do get the life. They come here believing the town is full of money. Before they have been here many years they know that while the money is here, it might as well not be. They can get enough of it only for board and clothes. No one who has not been a tenant of a New York office building can know how desperately these dreamers struggle before they wake up. The sign-painters are busy all the while. One man's name no sooner goes up on a door than it comes down to make way for another. One procession is coming in at the front door and another is going out the back. The members of the first procession believe they can crowd in where others are making money, and the members of the second procession know they can't. One man out of a thousand crowds his way in and thus shows how nearly impossible it is for one to crowd his way in. Constantly the lesson is being taught that it is all right to come to New York for love of life, but all wrong to come for love of money. The chances of success are too few, even to make it a good gambling proposi tion. The Italian who comes to New York is really about the only one who realizes his financial aspirations. An Italian who gets a job with a construction gang at $2.50 a day comes as near as Rockefeller to con verting his hopes into facts. The Big Town Yet there is consolation for the New Yorker who, having learned his lesson, settles down to be a small toad in a big pud dle. He is ahead to the extent that he has satisfied his love for life, and he possesses the paradoxical knowledge that no toad of his size, from any other place, is as big as he is. More than that, all outside toads cheerfully recognize this fact, which holds true through all gradations of society. A New York vagrant has a craft superi ority over a Kokomo vagrant. The New York vagrant can tell how he was once taken over to "300 Mulberry" and told to get out of town within six hours. The Kokomo vagrant can only tell, with a proper sense of his own unworthiness, that the village marshal "canned" him. Also, a New York man worth $20,000 can throw out his chest before a Milwaukee man worth $20,000 and the Milwaukee man will stand for it. Even a man's initials on his suitcase, with "N. Y." stamped below them, are enough to throw a certain awe into the eyes of villagers who see him pick up his baggage at the station. So, after all, "bluffed" isn't such a wrong word to use in describing the effect of New York's lure upon outside human beings. New York says: "I am the wonderful city come." Five millions have come. Almost all are sleeping under roofs that they do not own. In 1007, 204,119 were thrown into jail; 7,486 were picked up for vagrancy; 53,741 applied at the Municipal Lodging House for free shelter; 10,000 girls began to lead disreputable lives, and 40,000 others continued the life they were leading; 800 men and women committed suicide, and a considerable addition was made to the 150 000 graves in the Potter's Field. , A few made fortunes, or increased the fortunes they had. But the unlucky, no less than the lucky, the bad no less than the good they had to come. They had felt the lure of the town.