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, 190K, 1006, 

Published February, 1906, 

^K rights rttervad, 
&at ef translation into 
including ike Scandinavian. 




IT was four o'clock when the ceremony was over and 
the carriages began to arrive. There had been a crowd 
following all the way, owing to the exuberance ot Marija 
Berczynskas. The occasion rested heavily upon Marija's 
broad shoulders it was her task to see that all things 
went in due form, and after the best home traditions; and, 
flying wildly hither and thither, bowling every one out of 
the way, and scolding and exhorting all day with her tre- 
mendous voice, Marija was too eager to see that others 
conformed to the proprieties to consider them herself. 
She had left the church last of all, and, desiring to arrive 
first at the hali, had issued orders to the coachman to 
drive faster. When that personage had developed a will 
of his own in the matter, Marija had flung up the window 
of the carriage, and< leaning out, proceeded to tell him 
her opinion of him, first in Lithuanian, which he did not 
understand, and then in Polish, which he did. Having 
the advantage of her in altitude, the driver had stood his 
ground and even ventured to attempt to speak ; and the 
result had been a furious altercation, which, continuing 
all the way down Ashland Avenue, had added a new swarm 
of urchins to the cortege at each side street for half a 

This was unfortunate, for already there was a throng 
before the door. The music had started up, and half a 
block away you could hear the dull "broom, broom" of a 
'cello, witn the squeaking of two fiddles which vied with 
each other in intricate and altitudinoua gymnastics. Se- 


ing the throng, Marija abandoned precipitately the debate 
concerning the ancestors of her coachman, and springing 
from the moving carriage, plunged in and proceeded to 
clear a way to the hall. Once within, she turned and 
began to push the other way, roaring, meantime, " Eik ! 
Eikl Uzdaryk-duris /" in tones which made the orchestral 
uproar sound like fairy music. 

" Z. Graiezunas, Pasilinksminimams darzas. Vynas. 
Sznapsas. Wines and Liquors. Union Headquarters' 
that was the way the signs ran. The reader, who per- 
haps has never held much converse in the language of 
far-off Lithuania, will be glad of the explanation that the 
place was the rear-room of a saloon in that part of Chi- 
cago known as " back of the yards." This information is 
definite and suited to the matter of fact ; but how piti- 
fully inadequate it would have seemed to one who under- 
stood that it was also the supreme hour of ecstasy in the 
life of one of God's gentlest creatures, the scene of the 
wedding-feast and the joy-transfiguration of little Ona 

She stood in the doorway, shepherded by Cousin Marija, 
breathless from pushing through the crowd, and in her 
happiness painful to look upon. There was a light oi 
wonder in her eyes and her lids trembled, and her other- 
wise wan little face was flushed. She wore a muslin 
C?ess, conspicuously white, and a stiff little veil coming to 
her shoulders. There were five pink paper-roses twisted 
in the veil, and eleven bright green rose-leaves. There 
were new white cotton gloves upon her hands, and as she 
stood staring about her she twisted them together fever- 
ishly. It was almost too much for her you could see 
the pain of too great emotion in her face, and all the 
tremor of her form. She was so young not quite six- 
teen and small for her age, a mere child ; and she had 
just been married and married to Jurgis, 1 of all men, to 
Jurgis Kudkus, he with the white flower in the button- 
hole of his new black suit, he with the mighty shoulders 
and the giant hands. 

'Pronounced Yoorglvit* 


Ona was blue-eyed and fair, while Jurgis had great 
black eyes with beetling brows, and thick black Lair that 
curled in waves about his ears in short, they were one 
of those incongruous and impossible married couples with 
which Mother Nature so often wills to confound all proph- 
ets, before and after. Jurgis could take up a two-hundred- 
and-fifty-pound quarter of beef and carry it into a car 
without a stagger, or even a thought ; and now he stood 
in a far corner, frightened as a hunted animal, and obliged 
to moisten his lips with his tongue each time before he 
could answer the congratulations of his friends. 

Gradually there was effected a separation between the 
spectators and the guests a separation at least suffi- 
ciently complete for working purposes. There was no 
time during the festivities whicn ensued when there were 
not groups of onlookers in the doorways and the corners j 
and if any one of these onlookers came sufficiently close, 
or looked sufficiently hungry, a chair was offered him, and 
he was invited to the feast. It was one of the laws of 
the vesdija that no one goes hungry ; and, while a rule 
made in the forests of Lithuania is hard to apply in the 
stock-yards district of Chicago, with its quarter of a mill- 
ion inhabitants, still they did their best, and the children 
who ran in from the street, and even the dogs, went out 
again happier. A charmiDg informality was one of the 
characteristics of this celebration. The men wore their 
hats, or, if they wished, they took them off, and their coats 
with them ; they ate when and where they pleased, and 
moved as often as they pleased. There were to be speeches 
and singing, but no one had to listen who did not care to ; 
if he wished, meantime, to speak or sing himself, he was 
perfectly free. The resulting medley of sound distracted 
no one, save possibly alone the babies, of which there were 
present a number equal to the total possessed by all the 
guests invited. There was no other place for the babies to 
be, and so part of the preparations for the evening consisted 
of a collection of cribs and carriages in one corner. In 
these the babies slept, three or four together, or wakened 
together, as the case might be. Those who were still 


older, and could reach the tables, inarched about munch- 
ing contentedly at meat-bones and bologna sausages. 

The room is about thirty feet square, with whitewashed 
walls, bare save for a calendar, a picture of a race-horse, 
and a family tree in a gilded frame. To the right there 
is a door from the saloon, with a few loafers in the door- 
way, and in the corner beyond it a bar, with a presiding 
genius clad in soiled white, with waxed black mustaches 
and a carefully oiled curl plastered against one side of his 
forehead. In the opposite corner are two tables, filling a 
third of the room and laden with dishes and cold viands, 
which a few of the hungrier gnests are already munching. 
At the head, where sits the bride, is a snow-white cake, 
with an Eiffel tower of constructed decoration, with sugar 
roses and two angels upon it, and a generous sprinkling 
of pink and green and yellow candies. Beyond opens a 
door into the kitchen, where there is a glimpse to be had 
of a range with much steam ascending from it, and many 
women, old and young, rushing hither and thither. In 
the corner to the left are the three musicians, upon a little 
platform, toiling heroically to make some impression upon 
the hubbub ; also the babies, similarly occupied, and an 
open window whence the populace imbibes the sights and 
sounds and odors. 

Suddenly some of the steam begins to advance, and, 
peering through it, you discern Aunt Elizabeth, Ona's 
step-mother Teta Elzbieta, as they call her bearing 
aloft a great platter of stewed duck. Behind her is Ko- 
trina, making her way cautiously, staggering beneath a 
similar burden ; and half a minute later there appears 
'old Grandmother Majauszkiene, with a big yellow bowl 
of smoking potatoes, nearly as big as herself. So, bit by 
bit, the feast takes form there is a ham and a dish of 
sauerkraut, boiled rice, macaroni, bologna sausages, great 
piles of penny buns, bowls of milk, and foaming pitchers 
of beer. There is also, not six feet from your back, the 
bar, where you may order all you please and do not have 
to pay for it. " Eiksx I Graicziau /" screams Marija Be*- 


czynskas,and falls to work herself for there is more upon 
the stove inside that will be spoiled if it be not eaten. 

So, with laughter and shouts and endless badinage and 
merriment, the guests take their places. The young men, 
who for the most part have been huddled near the door, 
summon their resolution and advance; and the shrinking 
Jurgis is poked and scolded by the old folks until he con- 
sents to seat himself at the right hand of the bride. The 
two bridesmaids,whose insignia of office are paper wreaths, 
come next, and after them the rest of the guests, old and 
young, boys and girls. The spirit of the occasion takes 
hold of the stately bartender, who condescends to a plate 
of stewed duck ; even the fat policeman whose duty it 
will be, later in the evening, to break up the fights 
draws up a chair to the foot of the table. And the chil- 
dren shout and the babies yell, and everyone laughs and 
sings and chatters while above all the deafening clamor 
Cousin Marija shouts orders to the musicians. 

The musicians how shall one begin to describe them? 
All this time they have been there, playing in a mad 
frenzy all of this scene must be read, or said, or sung, 
to music. It is the music which makes it what it is ; it 
is the music which changes the place from the rear-room 
of a saloon in back of the yards to a fairy place, a won- 
derland, a little corner of the high mansions of the sky. 

The little person who lea'" 1 'this trio is an inspired man. 
His fiddle is out of tune, and there is no rosin on his bow, 
but still he is an inspired man the hands of the muses 
have been laid upon him. He plays like one possessed by 
a demon, by a whole horde of demons. You can feel 
them in the air round about him, capering frenetically ; 
with their invisible feet they set the pace, and the hair 
of the leader of the orchestra rises on end, and his eye- 
balls start from their sockets, as he toils to keep up with 

Tamoszius Kuszleika is his name, and he has taught 
himself to play the violin by practising aU night, after 
working all day on the "killing beds. " He is in his shirt- 
sleeves, with a rest figured with faded gold horseshoes, 


and a pink-striped shirt, suggestive of peppermint candy. 
A pair of military trousers, light blue with a yellow stripe, 
serve to give that suggestion of authority proper to the 
leader of a band. He is only about five feet high, but 
even so these trousers are about eight inches short of the 
ground. You wonder where he can have gotten them 
or rather you would wonder, if the excitement of being in 
his presence left you time to think of such things. 

For he is an inspired man. Every inch of him is in- 
spiredyou might almost say inspired separately. He 
stamps with his feet, he tosses his head, he sways and 
swings to and fro ; he has a wizened-up little face, irre- 
sistibly comical ; and, when he executes a turn or a flour- 
ish, his brows knit and his lips work and his eyelids wink 
the very ends of his necktie bristle out. And every 
now and then he turns upon his companions, nodding, sig- 
nalling, beckoning frantically with every inch of him 
appealing, imploring, in behalf of the muses and their 

For they are hardly worthy of Tamoszius, the other two 
members of the orchestra. The second violin is a Slovak, 
a tall, gaunt man with black-rimmed spectacles and the 
mute and patient look of an overdriven mule ; he responds 
to the whip but feebly, and then always falls back into his 
old rut. The third man is very fat, with a round, red, 
sentimental nose, and he plays with his eyes turned up to 
the sky and a look of infinite yearning. He is playing a 
bass part upon his 'cello, and so the excitement is nothing 
to him ; no matter what happens in the treble, it is his 
task to saw out one long-drawn and lugubrious note after 
another, from four o'clock in the afternoon until nearly 
the same hour next morning, for his third of the total 
income of one dollar per hour. 

Before the feast has been five minutes under way, 
Tamoszius Kuszleika has risen in his excitement ; a min- 
ute or two more and you see that he is beginning to edgje 
over toward the tables. His nostrils are dilated and his 
breath comes fast Ms demons are driving him. He 
uoda and shakes his bead at his companions, jerking at 


them with his violin, until at last the long form of the 
second violinist also rises up. In the end all three of 
them begin advancing, step by step, upon the banqueters, 
Valentinavyczia, the 'cellist, bumping along with his in- 
strument between notes. Finally all three are gathered at 
the foot of the tables, and there Tamoszius mounts upon a 

Now he is in his glory, dominating the scene. Some of 
the people are eating, some are laughing and talking but 
you will make a great mistake if you think there is one 
of them who does not hear him. His notes are never 
true, and his fiddle buzzes on the low ones and squeaks 
and scratches on the high ; but these things they heed no 
more than they heed the dirt and noise and squalor about 
them it is out of this material that they have to build 
their lives, with it that they have to utter their souls. 
And this is their utterance ; merry and boisterous, or 
mournful and wailing, or passionate and rebellious, this 
music is their music, music of home. It stretches out 
its arms to them, they have only to give themselves up. 
Chicago and its saloons and its slums fade away there 
are green meadows and sunlit rivers, mighty forests and 
snow-clad hills. They behold home landscapes and child- 
hood scenes returning ; old loves and friendships begin to 
waken, old joys and griefs to laugh and weep. Some fall 
back and close their eyes, some beat upon the table. Now 
and then one leaps up with a cry and calls for this song or 
that ; and then the fire leaps brighter in Tamoszius's eyes, 
and he flings up his fiddle and shouts to his companions, 
and away they go in mad career. The company takes up 
the choruses, and men and women cry out like all pos- 
sessed =ome leap to their feet and stamp upon the floor, 
lifting Jieir glasses and^.pledging each other. Before 
long it occurs to some one to demand an old wedding- 
song, which celebrates the beauty of the bride and the 
joys of love. In the excitement of this masterpiece 
Tamoszius Kuszleika begins to edge in between the tables, 
making his way toward the head, where sits the bride. 
There is not a foot of space between the chairs of the 


gunsts, and Tamoszius is so short that he pokes them 
with his bow whenever he reaches over for the low notes ; 
but still he presses in, and insists relentlessly that his 
companions must follow. During their progress, needless 
to say, the sounds of the 'cello are pretty well extin- 
guished ; but at last the three are at the head, and 
Tamoszius takes his station at the right hand of the bride 
and begins to pour out his soul hi melting strains. 

Little Ona is too excited to eat. Once in a while she 
tastes a little something, when Cousin Marija pinches her 
elbow and reminds her ; but, for the most part, she sits gaz- 
jng with the same fearful eyes of wonder. Teta Elzbieta is 
all in a flutter, like a humming-bird; her sisters, too, keep 
running up behind her, whispering, breathless. But Ona 
seems scarcely to hear them the music keeps calling, and 
the far-off look comes back, and she sits with her hands 
pressed together over her heart. Then the tears begin to 
come into her eyes ; and as she is ashamed to wipe them 
away, and ashamed to let them run down her cheeks, she 
turns and shakes her head a little, and then flushes red 
when she sees that Jurgis is watching her. When in the 
end Tamoszius Kuszleika has reached her side, and is 
waving his magic wand above her, Ona's cheeks are scar- 
let, and she looks as if she would have to get up and run 

In this crisis, however, she is saved by Marija Barczyn- 
skas, whom the muses suddenly visit. Marija is fond of 
a song, a song of lovers' parting ; she wishes to hear it, 
and, as the musicians do not know it, she has risen, and 
is proceeding to teach them. Marija is short, but power- 
ful in build. She works in a canning factory, and all 
day long she handles cans of beef that weigh fourteen 
pounds. She has a broad Slavic face, with prominent red 
cheeks. When she opens her mouth, it is tragical, but 
you cannot help thinking of a horse. She wears a blue 
flannel shirt-waist, which is now rolled up at the sleeves, 
disclosing her brawny arms ; she has a carving-fork in her 
hand, with which she pounds on the table to mark the 
time. As she roars her song, in a voice of which it is 


enough to say that it leaves no portion of the room vn- 
cant, the three musicians follow her, laboriously and note 
by note, but averaging one note behind; thus they toil 
through stanza after stanza of a love-sick swain's lamen- 

" Sudiev' kvietkeli, tu "brangiansis; 
Sudiev' ir laime, man biednam, 
Matau paskyre teip Aukszcziausis, 
Jog vargt ant svieto reik vienam I ** 

When the song is over, it is time for the speech, and 
old Dede Antanas rises to his feet. Grandfather An- 
thony, Jurgis's father, is not more than sixty years of age, 
but you would think that he was eighty. He has been 
only six months in America, and the change has not done 
him good. In his manhood he worked in a cotton-mill, 
but then a coughing fell upon him, and he had to leave ; 
out in the country the trouble disappeared, but he has 
been working in the pickle-rooms at Durham's, and the 
breathing of the cold, damp air all day has brought it 
back. Now as he rises he is seized with a coughing-fit. 
and holds himself by his chair and turns away his v;*n 
and battered face until it passes. 

Generally it is the custom for the speech at a veselija 
to be taken out of one of the books and learned by 
heart; but in his youthful days Dede Antanas used to 
be a scholar, and really make up all the love-letters of his 
friends. Now it is understood that he has composed an 
original speech of congratulation and benediction, and this 
is one of the events of the day. Even the boys, who are 
romping about the room, draw near and listen, and some 
of the women sob and wipe their aprons in their eyes. It 
is very solemn, for Antanas Rudkus has become possessed 
of the idea that he has not much longer to stay with his 
children. His speech leaves them all so tearful that one 
of the guests, Jokubas Szedvilas, who keeps a delicates- 
sen store on Halsted Street, and is fat and hearty, is moved 
to rise and say that things may not be as bad as that, and 
then to go on and make a little speech of his own, in 
which he showers congratulations and prophecies of hap* 

20 THE 

piness upon the bride and groom, proceeding to particu* 
lars which greatly delight the y ~ en, but which 

cause Ona to blush more furiou , .ii ever. Jokubas 
possesses what his wife complacently describes as "poetis- 
zka vaidintuve" a poetical imagination. 

Now a good many of the guests have finished, and, since 
there is no pretence of ceremony, the banquet begins to 
break up. Some of the men gather about the bar ; some 
wander about, laughing and singing; here and there 
will be a little group, chanting merrily, and in sublime 
indifference to the others and to the orchestra as well. 
Everybody is more or less restless one would guess that 
something is on their minds. And so it proves. The last 
tardy diners are scarcely given time to finish, before the 
tables and the debris are shoved into the corner, and 
the chairs and the babies piled out of the way, and the 
real celebration of the evening begins. Then Tamoszius 
Kuszleika, after replenishing himself with a pot of beer, 
returns to his platform, and, standing up, reviews the 
scene ; he taps authoritatively upon the side of his 
violin, then tucks it carefully under his chin, then waves 
his bow in an elaborate flourish, and finally smites the 
sounding strings and closes his eyes, and floats away, in 
spirit upon the wings of a dreamy waltz. His companion 
follows, but with his eyes open, watching where he treads, 
so to speak ; and finally Valentinavyczia, after waiting for 
a little and beating with his foot to get the time, casts 
up his eyes to the ceiling and begins to saw *' Broom I 
broom ! broom ! " 

The company pairs off quickly, and the whole room is 
soon in motion. Apparently nobody knows how to waltz, 
but that is nothing of any consequence there is music, 
and they dance, each as he pleases, just as before they 
sang. Most of them prefer the "two-step," especially 
the young, with whom it is the fashion. The older people 
have dances from home, strange and complicated steps 
which they execute with grave solemnity. Some do not 
dance anything at all, but simply hold each other's hands 
and allow the undisciplined joy of motion to express 


itself with their feet. Among these are Jokubas Szedvilaa 
and his wife, Lucija, fho together keep the delicatessen 
store, and consume iieaily as much as they sell ; they are 
too fat to dance, but they stand in the middle of the 
floor, holding each other fast in their arms, rocking slowly 
from side to side and grinning seraphically, a picture of 
toothless and perspiring ecstasy. 

Of these older people many wear clothing reminiscent 
in some detail of home an embroidered waistcoat or 
stomacher, or a gayly colored handkerchief, or a coat with 
large cuffs and fancy buttons. All these things are care- 
fully avoided by the young, most of whom have learned 
to speak English and to affect the latest style of clothing. 
The girls wear ready-made dresses or shirt-waists, and 
some of them look quite pretty. Some of the young taen 
you would take to be Americans, of the type of clerks, 
but for the fact that they wear their hats* in the room. 
Each of these younger couples affects a style of its own 
in dancing. Some hold each other tightly, some at a cau- 
tious distance. Some hold their arms out stiffly, some 
drop them loosely at their sides. Some dance springily, 
some glide softly, some move with grave dignity. There 
are boisterous couples, who tear wildly about the room, 
knocking every one out of their way. There are nervous 
couples, whom these frighten, and who cry, " Nustok I 
Kas yra?" at them as they pass. Each couple is paired 
for the evening you will never see them change about. 
There is Alena Jasaityte, for instance, who has danced 
unending hours with Juozas Raczius, to whom she is 
engaged. Alena is the beauty of the evening, and she 
would be really beautiful if she were not so proud. She 
wears a white shirt-waist, which represents, perhaps, half 
a week's labor painting cans. She holds her skirt with 
her hand as she dances, with stately precision, after the 
manner of the grandes dames. Juozas is driving one of 
Durham's wagons, and is making big wages. He affects 
a " tough " aspect, wearing his hat on one side and keep- 
ing a cigarette in his mouth all the evening. Then there 
i Jadvyga Marcinkus, who is also beautiful, but humble 


Jadvyga likewise paints cans, but then she has an invalid 
mother and three little sisters to support by it, and so she 
does not spend her wages for shirt-waists. Jadvyga is 
small and delicate, with jet-black eyes and hair, the latter 
twisted into a little knot and tied on the top of her head. 
She wears an old white dress which she has made herself 
and worn to parties for the past five years; it is high- 
waisted almost under her arms, and not very becoming, 
but that does not trouble Jadvyga, who is dancing with 
her Mikolas. She is small, while he is big and powerful ; 
she nestles in his arms as if she would hide herself from 
view, and leans her head upon his shoulder. He in turn 
has clasped his arms tightly around her, as if he would 
carry her away; and so she dances, and will dance the 
entire evening, and would dance forever, in ecstasy of 
bliss. You would smile, perhaps, to see them but you 
would not smile if you knew all the story. This is the 
fifth year, now, that Jadvyga has been engaged to Mikolas, 
and her heart is sick. They would have been married in 
the beginning, only Mikolas has a father who is drunk all 
day, and he is the only other man in a large family. Even 
so they might have managed it (for Mikolas is a skilled 
man) but for cruel accidents which have almost taken the 
heart out of them. He is a beef-boner, and that is a dan- 
gerous trade, especially when you are on piece-work and 
trying to earn a bride. Your hands are slippery, and 
your knife is slippery, and you are toiling like mad, when 
somebody happens to speak to you, or you strike a bone. 
Then your hand slips up on the blade, and there is a fear- 
ful gash. And that would not be so bad, only for the 
deadly contagion. The cut may heal, but you never can 
tell. Twice now, within the last three years, Mikolas has 
been lying at home with blood-poisoning once for three 
months and once for nearly seven. The last time, too, he 
lost his job, and that meant six weeks more of standing 
at the doors of the packing-houses, at six o'clock on bitter 
winter mornings, with a foot of snow on the ground and 
more in the air. There are learned people who can tell 
vou out of the statistics that beef -boners make forty cents 


an hour, but, perhaps, these people hare never looked into 
a beef-boner's hands. 

When Tamoszius and his companions stop for a rest, as 
perforce they must, now and then, the dancers halt where 
they are and wait patiently. They never seem to tire ; 
and there is no place for them to sit down if they did. 
It is only for a minute, anyway, for the leader starts up 
again, in spite of all the protests of the other two. This 
time it is another sort of a dance, a Lithuanian dance. 
Those who prefer to, go on with the two-step, but the 
majority go through an intricate series of motions, resem- 
bling more fancy skating than a dance. The climax of it 
is a furious prestissimo, at which the couples seize hands 
and begin a mad whirling. This is quite irresistible, and 
every one in the room joins in, until the place becomes a 
maze of flying skirts and bodies, quite dazzling to look 
upon. But the sight of sights at this moment is Tamos - 
zius Kuszleika. The old fiddle squeaks and shrieks in 
protest, but Tamoszius has no mercy. The sweat starts 
out on his forehead, and he bends over like a cyclist on 
the last lap of a race. His body shakes and throbs like a 
runaway steam-engine, and the ear cannot follow the fly- 
ing showers of notes there is a pale blue mist where you 
look to see his bowing arm. With a most wonderful 
rush he comes to the end of the tune, and flings up his 
hands and staggers back exhausted; and with a final 
shout of delight the dancers fly apart, reeling here and 
there, bringing up against the walls of the room. 

After this there is beer for every one, the musicians in- 
cluded, and the revellers take a long breath and prepare 
for the great event of the evening, which is the acziavimas. 
The acziavimas is a ceremony which, once begun, will con- 
tinue for three or four hours, and it involves one uninter- 
rupted dance. The guests form a great ring, locking 
bands, and, when the music starts up, begin to move 
around in a circle. In the centre stands the bride, and, 
one by one, the men step into the enclosure and dance 
with her. Each dances for several minutes as long as 
he pleases j it is a very merry proceeding, with laughter 


and singing, and when the guest has finished, he finds 
himself face to face with Teta Elzbieta, who holds the 
hat. Into it he drops a sum of money a dollar, or per- 
haps five dollars, according to his power, and his estimate 
of the value of the privilege. The guests are expected 
to pay for this entertainment ; if they be proper guests, 
they will see that there is a neat sum left over for the 
bride and bridegroom to start life upon. 

Most fearful they are to contemplate, the expenses of 
this entertainment. They will certainly be over two hun- 
dred dollars, and may be three hundred ; and three hun- 
dred dollars is more than the year's income of many a 
person in this room. There are able-bodied men here 
who work from early morning until late at night, in ice- 
cold cellars with a quarter of an inch of water on the 
floor men who for six or seven months in the year never 
see the sunlight from Sunday afternoon till the next Sun- 
day morning and who cannot earn three hundred dol- 
lars in a year. There are little children here, scarce in 
their teens, who can hardly see the top of the work 
benches whose parents have lied to get them their 
places and who do not make the half of three hundred 
dollars a year, and perhaps not even the third of it. And 
then to spend such a sum, all in a single day of your life, 
at a wedding-feast! (For obviously it is the same thing, 
whether you spend it at once for your own wedding, or in 
a long time, at the weddings of all your friends.) 

It is very imprudent, it is tragic but, ah, it is so beau- 
tiful I Bit by bit these poor people have given up every- 
thing else ; but to this they cling with all the power of 
their souls they cannot give up the veaelija ! To do that 
would mean, not merely to be defeated, but to acknowl- 
edge defeat and the difference between these two things 
is what keeps the world going. The veselija has come 
down to them from a far-off time ; and the meaning of it 
was that one might dwell within the cave and gaze upon 
shadows, provided only that once in his lifetime he could 
break his chains, and feel his wings, and behold the sun ; 
prorided that once in his lifetime he might testify to the 


fact that life, with all its cares and its terrors, is no such 
great thing after all, but merely a bubble upon the surface 
of a river, a thing that one may toss about and play with 
as a juggler tosses his golden balls, a thing that one may 
quaff, like a goblet of rare red wine. Thus having known 
himself for the master of things, a man could go back to 
his toil and live upon the memory all his days. 

Endlessly the dancers swung round and round when 
they were dizzy they swung the other way. Hour after 
hour this had continued the darkness had fallen and the 
room was dim from the light of two smoky oil lamps. 
The musicians had spent all their fine frenzy by now, and 
played only one tune, wearily, ploddingly. There were 
twenty bars or so of it, and when they came to the end 
they began again. Once every ten minutes or so they 
would fail to begin again, but instead would sink back 
exhausted ; a circumstance which invariably brought on 
a painful and terrifying scene, that made the fat police- 
man stir uneasily in his sleeping-place behind the door. 

It was all Marija Berczynskas. Marija was one of those 
hungry souls who cling with desperation to the skirts of 
the retreating muse. All day long she had been in a state 
of wonderful exaltation ; and now it was leaving and 
she would not let it go. Her soul cried out in the words 
of Faust, " Stay, thou art fair I " Whether it was by beer, 
or by shouting, or by music, or by motion, she meant that 
it should not go. And she would go back to the chase of 
it and no sooner be fairly started than her chariot would 
be thrown off the track, so to speak, by the stupidity of 
those thrice-accursed musicians. Each time, Marija would 
emit a howl and fly at them, shaking her fists in their 
faces, stamping upon the floor, purple and incoherent with 
rage. In vain the frightened Tamoszius would attempt 
to speak, to plead the limitations of the flesh ; in vain 
would the puffing and breathless ponas Jokubas insist, in 
vain would Teta Elzbieta implore. " Szalin I " Marija would 
scream. "PalaukI isz kelio! What are you paid for, 
children of hell? " And so, in sheer terror, "the orchestra 


would strike up again, and Marija would return to her 
place and take up her task. 

She bore all the burden of the festivities now. Ona 
was kept up by her excitement, but all of the women and 
most of the men were tired the soul of Marija was alone 
unconquered. She drove on the dancers what had once 
been the ring had now the shape of a pear, with Marija at 
the stem, pulling one way and pushing the other, shouting, 
stamping, singing, a very volcano of energy. Now and 
then some one coming in or out would leave the door open, 
and the night air was chill ; Marija as she passed would 
stretch out her foot and kick the door-knob, and slam 
would go the door! Once this procedure was the cause of 
a calamity of which Sebastijonas Szedvilas was the hapless 
victim. Little Sebastijonas, aged three, had been wander- 
ing about oblivious to all things, holding turned up over 
his mouth a bottle of liquid known as "pop," pink- 
colored, ice-cold, and delicious. Passing through the 
doorway the door smote him full, and the shriek which 
followed brought the dancing to a halt. Marija, who 
threatened horrid murder a hundred times a day, and 
would weep over the injury of a fly, seized little Sebasti- 
jonas in her arms and bid fair to smother him with kisses. 
There was a long rest for the orchestra, and plenty of 
refreshments, while Marija was making her peace with 
her victim, seating him upon the bar, and standing beside 
him and holding to his lips a foaming schooner of beer. 

In the meantime there was going on in another corner 
of the room an anxious conference between Teta Elzbieta 
and Dede Antanas, and a few of the more intimate friends 
of the family. A trouble was come upon them. The 
veselija is a compact, a compact not expressed, but there- 
fore only the more binding upon all. Every one's share 
was different and yet every one knew perfectly well 
what his share was, and strove to give a little more. Now, 
however, since they had come to the new country, all this 
was changing ; it seemed as if there must be some subtle 
poison in the air that one breathed here it was affecting 
all the young men at once. They would come in crowds 


and fill themselves with a fine dinner, and then sneak off. 
One would throw another's hat out of the window, and 
both would go out to get it, and neither would be seen 
again. Or now and then half a dozen of them would get 
together and march out openly, staring at you, and mak- 
ing fun of you to your face. Still others, worse yet, 
would crowd about the bar, and at the expense of the host 
drink themselves sodden, paying not the least attention 
to any one, and leaving it to be thought that either they 
had danced with the bride already, or meant to later on. 
All these things were going on now, and the family 
was helpless with dismay. So long they had toiled, and 
such an outlay they had made! Ona stood by, her eyes 
wide with terror. Those frightful bills how they had 
haunted her, each item gnawing at her soul all day and 
spoiling her rest at night. How often she had named 
them over one by one and figured on them as she went to 
work fifteen dollars for the hall, twenty-two dollars 
and a quarter for the ducks, twelve dollars for the musi- 
cians, five dollars at the church, and a blessing of the 
Virgin besides and so on without an end ! Worst of 
all was the frightful bill that was still to come from Graic- 
zunas for the beer and liquor that might be consumed. 
One could never get in advance more than a guess as to 
this from a saloon-keeper and then, when the time came 
he always came to you scratching his head and saying 
that he had guessed too low, but that he had done his 
best your guests had gotten so very drunk. By him 
you were sure to be cheated unmercifully, and that even 
though you thought yourself the dearest of the hundreds 
of friends he had. He would begin to serve your guests 
out of a keg that was half full, and finish with one that 
was half empty, and then you would be charged for two 
kegs of beer. He would agree to serve a certain quality 
at a certain price, and when the time came you and your 
friends would be drinking some horrible poison that could 
not be described. You might complain, but you would 
get nothing for your pains but a ruined evening ; while, 
as for going to law about it, you might as well go to 


heaven at once. The saloon-keeper stood in with all the 
big politics men in the district ; and when you had once 
found out what it meant to get into trouble with such 
people, you would know enough to pay what you were 
told to pay and shut up. 

What made all this the more painful was that it was so 
hard on the few that had really done their best. There 
was poor old ponas Jokubas, for instance he had already 

iven five dollars, and did not every one know that JokubcL 
zedvilas had just mortgaged his delicatessen store for two 
hundred dollars to meet several months' overdue rent? 
And then there was withered old poni Aniele who was 
a widow, and had three children, and the rheumatism be- 
sides, and did washing for the tradespeople on Halsted 
Street at prices it would break your heart to hear named. 
Aniele had given the entire profit of her chickens for sev- 
eral months. Eight of them she owned, and she kept them 
in a little place fenced around on her backstairs. All day 
long the children of Aniele were raking in the dump for 
food for these chickens ; and sometimes, when the compe- 
tition there was too fierce, you might see them on Halsted 
Street, walking close to the gutters, and with their mother 
following to see that no one robbed them of their finds. 
Money could not tell the value of these chickens to old 
Mrs. Jukniene she valued them differently, for she had 
a feeling that she was getting something for nothing by 
means of them that with them she was getting the 
better of a world that was getting the better of her in so 
many other ways. So she watched them every hour of the 
day, and had learned to see like an owl at night to watch 
them then. One of them had been stolen long ago, and 
not a month passed that some one did not try to steal 
another. As the frustrating of this one attempt involved 
a score of false alarms, it will be understood what a trib- 
ute old Mrs. Jukniene brought, just because Teta Elzbieta 
had once loaned her some money for a few days and saved 
her from being turned out of her house. 

More and more friends gathered round while the lam*n- 


tatkm about these things was going on. Some drew nearer, 
hoping to overhear the conversation, who were themselves 
among the guilty and surely that was a thing to try the 
patience of a saint. Finally there came Jurgis, urged by 
some one, and the story was retold to him. Jurgis listened 
in silence, with his great black eyebrows knitted. Now 
and then there would come a gleam underneath them 
and he would glance about the room. Perhaps he 
would have liked to go at some of those fellows with his 
big clenched fists; but then, doubtless, he realized how 
little good it would do him. No bill would be any less 
for turning out any one at this time ; and then there 
would be the scandal and Jurgis wanted nothing ex- 
cept to get away with Ona and to let the world go its 
own way. So his hands relaxed and he merely said 
quietly : " It is done, and there is no use in weeping, Teta 
Elzbieta." Then his look turned toward Ona, who stood 
close to his side, and he saw the wide look of terror in her 
eyes. " Little one," he said, in a low voice, " do not worry 
it will not matter to us. We will pay them all some- 
how. I will work harder." That was always what 
Jurgis said. Ona had grown used to it as the solution 
of all difficulties "I will work harder ! " He had said 
that in Lithuania when one official had taken his passport 
from him, and another had arrested him for being without 
it, and the two had divided a third of his belongings. He 
had said it again in New York, when the smooth-spoken 
acjent had taken them in hand and made them pay such 
high prices, and almost prevented their leaving his place, 
in spite of their paying. Now he said it a third time, and 
Ona drew a deep breath ; it was so wonderful to have 
a husband, just like a grown woman and a husband 
who could solve all problems, and who was ao big and 
strong 1 

The last sob of little Sebastijonas has been stifled, and 
the orchestra has once more been reminded of it* duty. 
The ceremony begins again but there are few now left 
to dance with, and so very soon the collection is over and 


promiscuous dances once more begin. It is now after mid 
night, however, and things are not as they were before. 
The dancers are dull and heavy most of them have been 
drinking hard, and have long ago passed the stage of ex- 
hilaration. They dance in monotonous measure, round 
after round, hour after hour, with eyes fixed upon vacancy, 
as if they were only half conscious, in a constantly growing 
stupor. The men grasp the women very tightly, but there 
will be half an hour together when neither will see the 
other's face. Some couples do not care to dance, and have 
retired to the corners, where they sit with their arms en- 
laced. Others, who have been drinking still more, wander 
about the room, bumping into everything ; some are in 
groups of two or three, singing, each group its own song. 
As time goes on there is a variety of drunkenness, among 
the younger men especially. Some stagger about in each 
other's arms, whispering maudlin words others start quar- 
rels upon the slightest pretext, and come to blows and have 
to be pulled apart. Now the fat policeman wakens defi- 
nitely, and feels of his club to see that it is ready for 
business. He has to be prompt for these two-o'clock- 
in-the-morning fights, if they once get out of hand, are 
like a forest fire, and may mean the whole reserves at 
the station. The thing to do is to crack every fighting 
head that you see, before there are so many fighting 
heads that you cannot crack any of them. There is but 
scant account kept of cracked heads in back of the yards, 
for men who have to crack the heads of animals all day 
seem to get into the habit, and to practise on their friends, 
and even on their families, between times. This makes it 
a cause for congratulation that by modern methods a very 
few men can do the painfully necessary work of head- 
cracking for the whole of the cultured world. 

There is no fight that night perhaps because Jurgis, 
too, is watchful even more so than the policeman. 
Jurgis has drunk a great deal, as any one naturally would 
on an occasion when it all has to be paid for, whether it is 
drunk or not ; but he is a very steady man, and does not 
easily lose his temper. Only once there is a tight shave 


and that is the fault of Marija Berczynskas. Marija has 
apparently concluded about two hours ago that if the altar 
in the corner, with the deity in soiled white, be not the 
true home of the muses, it is, at any rate, the nearest sub- 
stitute on earth attainable. And Marija is just fighting 
drunk when there come to her ears the facts about the 
villains who have not paid that night. Marija goes on 
the warpath straight off, without even the preliminary of 
a good cursing, and when she is pulled off it is with the 
coat collars of two villains in her hands. Fortunately, the 
policeman is disposed to be reasonable, and so it is not 
Marija who is flung out of the place. 

All this interrupts the music for not more than a minute 
or two. Then again the merciless tune begins the tune 
that has been played for the last half-hour without one 
single change. It is an American tune this time, one 
which they have picked up on the streets; all seem to 
know the words of it or, at any rate, the first line of it, 
which they hum to themselves, over and over again with- 
out rest: "In the good old summer time in the good 
old summer time! In the good old summer time in the 
good old summer time! " There seems to be something 
hypnotic about this, with its endlessly-recurring domi- 
nant. It han put a stupor upon every one who hears it, 
as well as upon the men who are playing it. No one can 
get away from it, or even think of getting away from it ; 
it is three o'clock in the morning, and they have danced 
out all their joy, and danced out all their strength, and all 
the strength that unlimited drink can lend them and 
still there is no one among them who has the power to 
think of stopping. Promptly at seven o'clock this same 
Monday morning they will every one of them have to be 
in their places at Durham's or Brown's or Jones's, each in 
his working clothes. If one of them be a minute late, he 
will be docked an hour's pay, and if he be many minutes 
late, he will be apt to find his brass check turned to the 
wall, which will send him out to join the hungry mob that 
waits every morning at the gates of the packing-houses, 
from six o'clock until nearly half -past eight. There is no 


exception to this rule, not even little Ona who has asked 
for a holiday the day after her ?. :sdding-day, a holiday 
without pay, and been refused. While there are so many 
who are anxious to work as you wish, there is no occasion 
for incommoding yourself with those who must work 

Little Ona is nearly ready to faint and half in a stupor 
herself, because of the heavy scent in the room. She has 
not taken a drop, but every one else there is literally burn- 
ing alcohol, as the lamps are burning oil ; some of the 
men who are sound asleep in their chairs or on the floor 
are reeking of it so that you cannot go near them. Now 
and then Jurgis gazes at her hungrily he has long since 
forgotten his shyness ; but then the crowd is there, and 
he still waits and watches the door, where a carriage is 
supposed to come. It does not, and finally he will wait 
no longer, but comes up to Ona, who turns white and 
trembles. He puts her shawl about her and then his own 
coat. They live only two blocks away, and Jurgis does 
not care about the carriage. 

There is almost no farewell the dancers do not notice 
them, and all of the children and many of the old folks 
have fallen asleep of sheer exhaustion. Dede Antanas is 
asleep, and so are the Szedvilases, husband and wife, the 
former snoring in octaves. There is Teta Elzbieta, and 
Marija, sobbing loudly ; and then there is only the silent 
Bight, with the stars beginning to pale a little in the east. 
Jurgis, without a word, lifts Ona in his arms, and strides 
out with her, and she sinks her head upon his shoulder 
with a moan. When he reaches home he is not sure 
whether she has fainted or is asleep, but when he has to 
hold her with one hand while he unlocks the door, he sees 
that she has opened her eyes. 

" You shall not go to Brown's to-day, little one," he 
whispers, as he climbs the stairs ; and she catches his arm 
in terror, gasping: "No I No I I dare not I It will ruin 

But he answers her again: "Leave it to me; leave it 
to me. I will earn more money I will work harder." 


JURGIS talked lightly about work, because he was young, 
They told him stories about the breaking down of men, 
there in the stockyards of Chicago, and of what had hap- 
pened to them afterwards stories to make your flesh 
creep, but Jurgis would only laugh. He had only been 
there four months, and he was young, and a giant besides. 
There was too much health in him. He could not even 
imagine how it would feel to be beaten. " That is well 
enough for men like you," he would say, "silpnas, puny 
fellows but my back is broad." 

Jurgis was like a boy, a boy from the country. Ho was 
the sort of man the bosses like to get hold of, the sort they 
make it a grievance they cannot get hold of. When he 
was told to go to a certain place, he would go there on the 
run. When he had nothing to do for the moment, he 
would stand round fidgeting, dancing, with the overflow 
of energy that was in him. If he were working in a line 
of men, the line always moved too slowly for him, and you 
could pick him out by his impatience and restlessness. 
That was why he had been picked out on one important 
occasion ; for Jurgis had stood outside of Brown and Com- 
pany's "Central Time Station" not more than half an 
hour, the second day of his arrival in Chicago, before he 
had been beckoned by one of the bosses. Of this he was 
very proud, and it made him more disposed than ever to 
laugh at the pessimists. In vain would they all tell him 
that there were men in that crowd from which he had 
been chosen who had stood there a month yes, many 
months and not been chosen yet. " Yes," he would 
say, " but what sort of men ? Broken-down tramps 
and good-for-nothings, fellows who have spent all their 
money drinking, and want to get more for it. Do you 


want me to believe that with these arms " and he would 
clench his fists and hold them up in the air, so that you 
might see the rolling muscles " that with these arms 
people will ever let me starve ? " 

" It is plain," they would answer to this, " that you have 
come from the country, and from very far in the country." 
And this was the fact, for Jurgis had never seen a city, 
and scarcely even a fair-sized town, until he had set out 
to make his fortune in the world and earn his right to 
Ona. His father, and his father's father before him, and 
as many ancestors back as legend could go, had lived in 
that part of Lithuania known as Brelovicz, the Imperial 
Forest. This is a great tract of a hundred thousand acres, 
which from time immemorial has been a hunting preserve 
of the nobility. There are a very few peasants settled in 
it, holding title from ancient times ; and one of these was 
Antanas Rudkus, who had been reared himself, and had 
reared his children in turn, upon half a dozen acres of 
cleared land in the midst of a wilderness. There had been 
one son besides Jurgis, and one sister. The former had 
been drafted into the army ; that had been over ten years 
ago, but since that day nothing had ever been heard of 
him. The sister was married, and her husband had bought 
the place when old Antanas had decided to go with his 

It was nearly a year and a half ago that Jurgis had met 
Ona, at a horse-fair a hundred miles from home. Jurgis 
had never expected to get married he had laughed at it 
as a foolish trap for a man to walk into ; but here, without 
ever having spoken a word to her, with no more than the 
exchange of half a dozen smiles, he found himself, 
purple in the face with embarrassment and terror, asking 
her parents to sell her to him for his wife and offering 
his father's two horses he had been sent to the fair to sell. 
But Ona's father proved as a rock the girl was yet a 
child, and he was a rich man, and his daughter was not to 
be had in that way. So Jurgis went home with a heavy 
heart, and that spring and summer toiled and tried hard 
to forget. In the fall, after the harvest was over, he saw 


that it would not do, and tramped the full fortnight's 
journey that lay between him and Ona. 

He found an unexpected state of affairs for the girl's 
father had died, and his estate was tied up with creditors ; 
Jurgis's heart leaped as he realized that now the prize was 
within his reach. There was Elzbieta Lukoszaite, Teta, 
or Aunt, as they called her, Ona's stepmother, and there 
were her six children, of all ages. There was also her 
brother Jonas, a dried-up little man who had worked upon 
the farm. They were people of great consequence, as it 
seemed to Jurgis, fresh out of the woods ; Ona knew how 
to read, and knew many other things that he did not 
know; and now the farm had been sold, and the whole 
family was adrift all they owned in the world being 
about seven hundred roubles, which is half as many dol- 
lars. They would have had three times that, but it had 
gone to court, and the judge had decided against them, and 
it had cost the balance to get him to change his decision. 

Ona might have married and left them, but she would 
not, for she loved Teta Elzbieta. It was Jonas who sug- 
gested that they all go to America, where a friend of his 
had gotten rich. He would work, for his part, and the 
women would work, and some of the children, doubtless 
they would live somehow. Jurgis, too, had heard of 
America. That was a country where, they said, a man 
might earn three roubles a day ; and Jurgis figured what 
three roubles a day would mean, with prices as they were 
where he lived, and decided forthwith that he would go 
to America and marry, and be a rich man in the bargain. 
In that country, rich 'or poor, a man was free, it was said; 
he did not have to go into the army, he did not have to 
pay out his money to rascally officials, he might do as he 
pleased, and count himself as good as any other man. So 
America was a place of which lovers and young people 
dreamed. If one could only manage to get the price of a 
passage, he could count his troubles at an end. 

It was arranged that they should leave the following 
upring, and meantime Jurgis sold himself to a contractor 
for a certain time, and tramped nearly four hundred miles 


from home with a gang of men to work upon a railroad In 
Smolensk. This was a fearful experience, with filth and 
bad food and cruelty and overwork ; but Jurgis stood it 
and came out in fine trim, and with eighty roubles sewed 
up in his coat. He did not drink or fight, because he was 
thinking all the time of Ona ; and for the rest, he was a 
quiet, steady man, who did what he was told to, did not 
lose his temper often, and when he did lose it made the 
offender anxious that he should not lose it again. When 
they paid him off he dodged the company gamblers and 
dramshops, and so they tried to kill him ; but he escaped, 
and tramped it home, working at odd jobs, and sleeping 
always with one eye open. 

So in the summer time they had all set out for America. 
At the last moment there joined them Marija Berczynskas, 
who was a cousin of Ona's. Marija was an orphan, and 
had worked since childhood for a rich farmer of Vilna, 
who beat her regularly. It was only at the age of twenty 
that it had occurred to Marija to try her strength, when 
she had risen up and nearly murdered the man, and then 
come away. 

There were twelve in all in the party, five adults and 
six children and Ona, who was a little of both. They 
had a hard time on the passage ; there was an agent who 
helped them, but he proved a scoundrel, and got them into 
a trap with some officials, and cost them a good deal of 
their precious money, which they clung to with such hor- 
rible fear. This happened to them again in New York 
for, of course, they knew nothing about the country, and 
had no one to tell them, and it was easy for a man in a 
blue uniform to lead them away, and to take them to a 
hotel and keep them there, and make them pay enormous 
charges to get away. The law says that the rate-card 
shall be on *,he door of a hotel, but it does not say that it 
shall be in Lithuanian. 

It was in the stockyards that Jonas's friend had gotten 
rich, and so to Chicago the party was bound. They knew 
that one word, Chicago, and that was all they needed 


to know, at least, until they reached the city. Then. 
tumbled out of the cars without ceremony, they were no 
better off than before ; they stood staring down the vista 
of Dearborn Street, with its big black buildings towering 
in the distance, unable to realize that they had arrived, 
and why, when they said "Chicago," people no longer 
pointed in some direction, but instead looked perplexed, 
or laughed, or went on without paying any attention. 
They were pitiable in their helplessness ; above all things 
they stood in deadly terror of any sort of person in official 
uniform, and so whenever they saw a policeman they would 
cross the street and hurry by. For the whole of the first 
day they wandered about in the midst of deafening con- 
fusion, utterly lost ; and it was only at night that, cower- 
ing in the doorway of a house, they were finally discovered 
and taken by a policeman to the station. In the morning 
an interpreter was found, and they were taken and put 
upon a car, and taught a new word "stockyards." 
Their delight at discovering that they were to get out 
of this adventure without losing another share of their 
possessions, it would not be possible to describe. 

They sat and stared out of the window. They were on 
a street which seemed to run on forever, mile after mile 
thirty-four of them, if they had known it and each side 
of it one uninterrupted row of wretched little two-story 
frame buildings. Down every side street they could see, 
it was the same, never a hill and never a hollow, but 
always the same endless vista of ugly and dirty little 
wooden buildings. Here and there would be a bridge 
crossing a filthy creek, with hard-baked mud shores and 
dingy sheds and docks along it ; here and there would be 
a railroad crossing, with a tangle of switches, and loco- 
motives puffing, and rattling freight-cars filing by ; here 
and there would be a great factory, a dingy building with 
innumerable windows in it, and immense volumes of smoke 
pouring from the chimneys, darkening the air above and 
making filthy the earth beneath. But after each of these 
interruptions, the desolate procession would begin again 
the procession of dreary little buildings. 


A full hour before the party reached the city they had 
begun to note the perplexing changes in the atmosphere. 
It grew darker all the time, and upon the earth the grass 
seemed to grow less green. Every minute, as the train 
sped on, the colors of things became dingier ; the fields 
were grown parched and yellow, the landscape hideous and 
bare. And along with the thickening smoke they began 
to notice another circumstance, a strange, pungent odor. 
They were not sure that it was unpleasant, this odor ; 
some might have called it sickening, but their taste in 
odors was not developed, and they were only sure that it 
was curious. Now, sitting in the trolley car, they real- 
ized that they were on their way to the home of it 
that they had travelled all the way from Lithuania to it. 
It was now no longer something far-off and faint, that you 
caught in whiffs ; you could literally taste it, as well as 
smell it you could take hold of it, almost, and examine 
it at your 'eisure. They were divided in their opinions 
about it. It was an elemental odor, raw and crude ; it 
was rich, almost rancid, sensual, and strong. There were 
some who drank it in as if it were an intoxicant ; there 
were others who put their handkerchiefs to their faces. 
The new emigrants were still tasting it, lost in wonder, 
when suddenly the car came to a halt, and the door was 
flung open, and a voice shouted "Stockyardsl " 

They were left standing upon the corner, staring ; down 
a side street there were two rows of brick houses, and be- 
tween them a vista: half a dozen chimneys, tall as the 
tallest of buildings, touching the very sky and leaping 
from them half a dozen columns of smoke, thick, oily, 
and black as night. It might have come from the centre 
of the world, this smoke, where the fires of the ages still 
smoulder. It came as if self-impelled, driving all before 
it, a perpetual explosion. It was inexhaustible ; one 
stared, waiting to see it stop, but still the great streams 
rolled out. They spread in vast clouds overhead, writh- 
ing, curling ; then, uniting in one giant river, they 
streamed away down the sky, stretching a black pall as 
far as the eye could reach. 


Then the party became aware of another strange thing. 
This, too, like the odor, was a thing elemental; it was a 
sound, a sound made up of ten thousand little sounds. 
You scarcely noticed it at first it sunk into your con- 
sciousness, a vague disturbance, a trouble. It was like 
the murmuring of the bees in the spring, the whisperings 
of the forest ; it suggested endless activity, the rumblings 
of a world in motion. It was only by an effort that one 
could realize that it was made by animals, that it was the 
distant lowing of ten thousand cattle, the distant grunting 
of ten thousand swine. 

They would have liked to follow it up, but, alas, they 
had no time for adventures just then. The policeman on 
the corner was beginning to watch them ; and so, as usual, 
they started up the street. Scarcely had they gone a 
block, however, before Jonas was heard to give a cry, and 
began pointing excitedly across the street. Before they 
could gather the meaning of his breathless ejaculations he 
had bounded away, and they saw him enter a shop, over 
which was a sign : " J. Szedvilas, Delicatessen." When 
he came out again it was in company with a very stout 
gentleman in shirt sleeves and an apron, clasping Jonas 
by both hands and laughing hilariously. Then Teta 
Elzbieta recollected suddenly that Szedvilas had been the 
name of the mythical friend who had made his fortune in 
America. To find that he had been making it in the deli- 
catessen business was an extraordinary piece of good for- 
tune at this juncture ; though it was well on in the 
morning, they had not breakfasted, and the children were 
beginning to whimper. 

Thus was the happy ending of a woful voyage. The 
two families literally fell upon each other's necks for it 
had been years since Jokubas Szedvilas had met a man 
from his part of Lithuania. Before half the day they were 
lifelong friends. Jokubas understood all the pitfalls of 
this new world, and could explain all of its mysteries; 
he could tell them the things they ought to have done in 
the different emergencies and what was still more to the 
point, he could tell them what to do now. He would 


take them to poni Aniele, who kept a boarding-house the 
other side of the yards; old Mrs. Jukniene, he explained, 
had not what one would call choice accommodations, but 
they might do for the moment. To this Teta Elzbieta 
hastened to respond that nothing could be too cheap to 
suit them just then; for they were quite terrified over the 
sums they had had to expend. A very few days of prac- 
tical experience in this land of high wages had been suffi- 
cient to make clear to them the cruel fact that it was also 
a land of high prices, and that in it the poor man was 
almost as poor as in any other corner of the earth ; and so 
there vanished in a night all the wonderful dreams of 
wealth that had been haunting Jurgis. What had made 
the discovery all the more painful was that they were 
spending, at American prices, money which they had 
earned at home rates of wages and so were really being 
cheated by the world ! The last two days they had all 
but starved themselves it made them quite sick to 
pay the prices that the railroad people asked them for 

Yet, when they saw the home of the Widow Jukniene 
they could not but recoil, even so. In all their journey 
they had seen nothing so bad as this. Poni Aniele had a 
four-room flat in one of that wilderness of two-story frame 
tenements that lie "back of the yards." There were four 
such flats in each building, and each of the four was a 
" boarding-house " for the occupancy of foreigners Lith- 
uanians, Poles, Slovaks, or Bohemians. Some of these 
places were kept by private persons, some were coopera- 
tive. There would be an average of half a dozen boarders 
to each room sometimes there were thirteen or fourteen 
to one room, fifty or sixty to a flat. Each one of the oc- 
cupants furnished his own accommodations that is, a 
mattress and some bedding. The mattresses would be 
spread upon the floor in rows and there would be 
nothing else in the place except a stove. It was by no 
means unusual for two men to own the same mattress in 
common, one working by day and using it by night, and 
the other working at night and using it in the daytime. 


Very frequently a lodging-house keeper would rent the 
same beds to double shifts of men. 

Mrs. Jukniene was a wizened up little woman, with a 
wrinkled face. Her home was unthinkably filthy; you 
could not enter by the front door at all, owing to the 
mattresses, and when you tried to go up the backstairs 
you found that she had walled up most of the porch with 
old boards to make a place to keep her chickens. It was 
a standing jest of the boarders that Aniele cleaned house 
by letting the chickens loose in the rooms. Undoubtedly 
this did keep down the vermin, but it seemed probable, in 
viow of all the circumstances, that the old lady regarded 
it rather as feeding the chickens than as cleaning the 
rooms. The truth was that she had definitely given up 
the idea of cleaning anything, under pressure of an attack 
of rheumatism, which had kept her doubled up in one 
corner of her room for over a week ; during which time 
eleven of her boarders, heavily in her debt, had concluded 
to try their chances of employment in Kansas City. This 
was July, and the fields were green. One never saw the 
fields, nor any green thing whatever, in Packingtown; but 
one could go out on the road and " hobo it," as the men 
phrased it, and see the country, and have a long rest, and 
an easy time riding on the freight-cars. 

Such was the home to which the new arrivals were wel- 
comed. There was nothing better to be had they might 
not do so well by looking further, for Mrs. Jukniene had 
at least kept one room for herself and her three little chil- 
dren, and now offered to share this with the women and 
the girls of the party. They could get bedding at a 
second-hand store, she explained; and they would not 
need any, while the weather was so hot doubtless they 
would all sleep on the sidewalk such nights as this, as did 
nearly all of her guests. " To-morrow," Jurgis said, when 
they were left alone, "to-morrow I will get a job, and 
perhaps Jonas will get one also; and then we can get 
a place of our own." 

Later that afternoon he and Ona went out to take a 


walk and look about them, to see more of this district 
which was to be their home. In back of the yards the 
dreary two-story frame houses were scattered farther 
apart, and there were great spaces bare that seemingly 
had been overlooked by the great sore of a city as it 
spread itself over the surface of the prairie. These bare 
places were grown up with dingy, yellow weeds, hiding 
innumerable tomato-cans ; innumerable children played 
upon them, chasing one another here and there, scream- 
ing and fighting. The most uncanny thing about this 
neighborhood was the number of the children; you 
thought there must be a school just out, and it was only 
after long acquaintance that you were able to realize that 
there was no school, but that these were the children of 
the neighborhood that there were so many children to 
the block in Packingtown that nowhere on its streets 
could a horse and buggy move faster than a walk I 

It could not move faster anyhow, on account of the 
state of the streets. Those through which Jurgis and 
Ona were walking resembled streets less than they did 
a miniature topographical map. The roadway was com- 
monly several feet lower than the level of the houses, 
which were sometimes joined by high board walks ; there 
were no pavements there were mountains and valleys 
and rivers, gullies and ditches, and great hollows full of 
stinking green water. In these pools the children played, 
and rolled about in the mud of the streets ; here and tnere 
one noticed them digging in it, after trophies which they 
had stumbled on. One wondered about this, as also 
about the swarms of flies which hung about the scene s 
literally blackening the air, and the strange, fetid odor 
which assailed one's nostrils, a ghastly odor, of all the 
dead things of the universe. It impelled the visitor 
to questions and then the residents would explain, 
quietly, that all this was ** made " land, and that it had 
been "made" by using it as a dumping-ground for the 
city garbage. After a few years the unpleasant effect of 
this would pass away, it was said ; but meantime, in hot 
weather and especially v/hen it rained the flies wen> 


apt to be annoying. Was it not unhealthful? the stranger 
would ask , and the residents would answer, '* Perhaps ; 
but there is no telling." 

A little way further on, and Jurgis and Ona, staring 
open-eyed and wondering, came to the place where this 
" made " ground was in process of making. Here was a 
great hole, perhaps two city blocks square, and with long 
files of garbage wagons creeping into it. The place had 
an odor for which there are no polite words ; and it was 
sprinkled over with children, who raked in it from dawn 
till dark. Sometimes visitors from the packing-houses 
would wander out to see this "dump," and they would 
stand by and debate as to whether the children were eat- 
ing the food they got, or merely collecting it for the 
chickens at home. Apparently none of them ever went 
down to find out. 

Beyond this dump there stood a great brick-yard, with 
smoking chimneys. First they took out the soil to make 
bricks, and then they filled it up again with garbage, 
which seemed to Jurgis and Ona a felicitous arrangement, 
characteristic of an enterprising country like America. 
A little way beyond was another great hole, which they 
had emptied and not yet filled up. This held water, and 
all summer it stood there, with the near-by soil draining 
into it, festering and stewing in the sun ; and then, when 
winter came, somebody cut the ice on it, and sold it to the 
people of the city. This, too, seemed to the newcomers 
an economical arrangement ; for they did not read the 
newspapers, and their heads were not full of troublesome 
thoughts about "germs." 

They stood there while the sun went down upon this 
scene, and the sky in the west turned blood-red, and the 
tops of the houses shone like fire. Jurgis and Ona were 
not thinking of the sunset, however their backs were 
turned to it, and all their thoughts were of Packingtown, 
which they could see so plainly in the distance. The line 
of the buildings stood clear-cut and black against the 
sky ; here and there out of the mass rose the great chia*. 
ueys, with the river of smoke streaming away to the n 


of the world. It was a study in colors now, this smoke \ 
in the sunset light it was black and brown and gray and 
purple. All the sordid suggestions of the place were 
gone in the twilight it was a vision of power. To the 
two who stood watching while the darkness swallowed it 
up, it seemed a dream of wonder, with its tale of human 
energy, of things being done, of employment for thou- 
sands upon thousands of men, of opportunity and free- 
dom, of life and love and joy. When they came away, 
arm in arm, Jurgis was saying, ** To-morrow I shall gc 
there and get a job I " 


IN his capacity as delicatessen vender, Jokubas Szed 
vilas had many acquaintances. Among these was one ol 
the special policemen employed by Durham, whose duty 
it frequently was to pick out men for employment. Joku- 
bas had never tried it, but he expressed a certainty that 
he could get some of his friends a job through this man. 
It was agreed, after consultation, that he should make the 
effort with old Antanas and with Jonas. Jurgis was con- 
fident of his ability to get work for himself, unassisted by 
any one. 

As we have said before, he was not mistaken in this. 
He had gone to Brown's and stood there not more than 
half an hour before one of the bosses noticed his form 
towering above the rest, and signalled to him. The col 
loquy which followed was brief and to the point : 

" Speak English ? " 

"No; Lit-uanian." (Jurgis had studied this word 


"Je." (A nod.) 

" Worked here before ? " 

"No 'stand." 

(Signals and gesticulations on the part of the boss. 
Vigorous shakes of the head by Jurgis.) 

"Shovel guts?" 

" No 'stand." (More shakes of the head.) 

" Zarnos. Pagaiksztis. Szluota ! " (Imitative motions.) 


"See door. Durys?" (Pointing.) 




" To-morrow, seven o'clock. Understand ? Rytoj * 
Prieszpietys! Septyni 1 " 

" Dekui, tamistai I " (Thank you, sir.) And that was 
all. - T Mrgis turned away, and then in a sudden rush the 
full realization of his triumph swept over him, and he 
gave a yell and a jump, and started off on a run. He had 
a job I He had a job 1 And he went all the way home 
as if upon wings, and burst into the house like a cyclone, 
to the rage of the numerous lodgers who had just turned 
in for their daily sleep. 

Meantime Jokubas had been to see his friend the police- 
man, and received encouragement, so it was a happy party. 
There being no more to be done that day, the shop was 
left under the care of Lucija, and her husband sallied 
forth to show his friends the sights of Packingtown. 
Jokubas did this with the air of a country gentleman 
escorting a party of visitors over his estate ; he was an 
old-time resident, and all these wonders had grown up 
under his eyes, and he had a personal pride in them. 
The packers might own the land, but he claimed the land- 
scape, and there was no one to say nay to this. 

They passed down the busy street that led to the yards. 
It was still early morning, and everything was at its high 
tide of activity. A steady stream of employees was pour- 
ing through the gate employees of the higher sort, at 
this hour, clerks and stenographers and such. For the 
women there were waiting big two-horse wagons, which 
set off at a gallop as fast as they were filled. In the dis- 
tance there was heard again the lowing of the cattle, 9 
sound as of a far-off ocean calling. They followed it, 
this time, as eager as children in sight of -a circus mena- 
gerie which, indeed, the scene a good deal resembled. 
They crossed the railroad tracks, and then on each side 
of the street were the pens full of cattle ; they would 
have stopped to look, but Jokubas hurried them on, to 
where there was a stairway and a raised gallery, from 
vvhich everything could be seen. Here they stood, star 
ing, breathless with wonder. 


There is over a square mile of space in the yards, and 
more than half of it is occupied by cattle-pens ; north and 
south as far as the eye can reach there stretches a sea of 
pens. And they were all. filled so many cattle no one 
had ever dreamed existed in the world. Red cattle, black, 
white, and yellow cattle ; old cattle and young cattle ; great 
bellowing bulls and little calves not an hour born ; meek- 
eyed milch cows and fierce, long-horned Texas steers. The 
sound of them here was as of all the barnyards of the uni- 
verse ; and as for counting them it would have taken all 
day simply to count the pens. Here and there ran long 
alleys, blocked at intervals by gates; and Jokubas told 
them that the number of these gates was twenty-five thou- 
sand. Jokubas had recently been reading a newspaper 
article which was full of statistics such as that, and he 
was very proud as he repeated them and made his guests 
cry out with wonder. Jurgis too had a little of this sense 
of pride. Had he not just gotten a job, and become a 
sharer in all this activity, a cog in this marvellous machine? 

Here and there about the alleys galloped men upon 
horseback, booted, and carrying long whips ; they were 
very busy, calling to each other, and to those who were 
driving the cattle. They were drovers and stock-raisers, 
who had come from far states, and brokers and commission- 
merchants, and buyers for all the big packing-houses. 
Here and there they would stop to inspect a bunch of 
cattle, and there would be a parley, brief and business- 
like. The buyer would nod or drop his whip, and that 
would mean a bargain ; and he would note it in his little 
book, along with hundreds of others he had made thafc 
morning. Then Jokubas pointed out the place where the 
cattle were driven to be weighed, upon a great scale that 
would weigh a hundred thousand pounds at once and 
record it automatically. It was near to the east entrance 
that they stood, and all along this east side of the yards 
ran the railroad tracks, into which the cars were run, 
loaded with cattle. All night long this had been going 
on, and now the pens were full; by to-night they woula 
all be empty, and the same thing would be done again. 


" And what will become of all these creatures ? " cried 
Teta Elzbieta. 

" By to-night," Jokubas answered, " they will all be killed 
and cut up ; and over there on the other side of the pack- 
ing-houses are more railroad tracks, where the cars come 
to take them away." 

There were two hundred and fifty miles of track within 
the yards, their guide went on to tell them. They brought 
about ten thousand head of cattle every day, and as many 
hogs, and half as many sheep which meant some eight 
or ten million live creatures turned into food every year. 
One stood and watched, and little by little caught the drift 
of the tide, as it set in the direction of the packing-houses. 
There were groups of cattle being driven to the chutes, 
which were roadways about fifteen feet wide, raised high 
above the pens. In these chutes the stream of animals 
was continuous; it was quite uncanny to watch them, 
pressing on to their fate, all unsuspicious a very river 
of death. Our friends were not poetical, and the sight 
suggested to them no metaphors of human destiny ; they 
thought only of the wonderful efficiency of it all. The 
chutes into which the hogs went climbed high up to 
the very top of the distant buildings; and Jokubas ex- 
plained that the hogs went up by the power of their own 
legs, and then their weight carried them back through all 
the processes necessary to make them into pork. 

" They don't waste anything here," said the guide, and 
then he laughed and added a witticism, which he was 
pleased that his unsophisticated friends should take to 
be his own : " They use everything about the hog except 
the squeal." In front of Brown's General Office building 
there grows a tiny plot of grass, and this, you may learn, 
is the only bit of green thing in Packingtown ; likewise 
this jest about the hog and his squeal, the stock in trade 
of all the guides, is the one gleam of humor that you will 
find there. 

After they had seen enough of the pens, the party went 
up the street, to the mass of buildings which occupy the 
centre of the yards. These buildings, made of brick and 


stained with innumerable layers of Packingtown smoke, 
were painted all over with advertising signs, from which 
the visitor realized suddenly that he had come to the home 
of many of the torments of his life. It was here that they 
made those products with the wonders of which they pes- 
tered him so by placards that defaced the landscape 
when he travelled, and by staring advertisements in the 
newspapers and magazines by silly little jingles that 
he could not get out of his mind, and gaudy pictures 
that lurked for him around every street corner. Here 
was where they made Brown's Imperial Hams and Bacon, 
Brown's Dressed Beef, Brown's Excelsior Sausages ! Here 
was the headquarters of Durham's Pure Leaf Lard, of 
Durham's Breakfast Bacon, Durham's Canned Beef, Potted 
Ham, Devilled Chicken, Peerless Fertilizer I 

Entering one of the Durham buildings, they found a 
number of other visitors waiting ; and before long there 
came a guide, to escort them through the place. They 
make a great feature of showing strangers through the 
packing- plants, for it is a good advertisement. But 
ponas Jokubas whispered maliciously that the visitors did 
not see any more than the packers wanted them to. 

They climbed a long series of stairways outside of the 
building, to the top of its five or six stories. Here were 
the chute, with its river of hogs, all patiently toiling 
upward ; there was a place for them to rest to cool off, 
and then through another passageway they went into a 
room from which there is no returning for hogs. 

It was a long, narrow room, with a gallery along it for 
visitors. At the head there was a great iron wheel, about 
twenty feet in circumference, with rings here and there 
along its edge. Upon both sides of this wheel there was 
a narrow space, into which came the hogs at the end of 
their journey ; in the midst of them stood a great burly 
negro, bare-armed and bare-chested. He was resting for 
the moment, for the wheel had stopped while men were 
cleaning up. In a minute or two, however, it began 
slowly to revolve, and then the men upon each side of it 
sprang to work. They had chains which they fastened 


about the leg of the nearest hog, and the other end of the 
chain they hooked into one of the rings upon the wheel. 
So, as the wheel turned, a hog was suddenly jerked off his 
feet and borne aloft. 

At the same instant the ear was assailed by a most 
terrifying shriek ; the visitors started in alarm, the women 
turned pale and shrank back. The shriek was followed 
by another, louder and yet more agonizing for once 
started upon that journey, the hog never came back ; at 
the top of the wheel he was shunted off upon a trolley, 
and went sailing down the room. And meantime anothei 
was swung up, and then another, and another, until 
there was a double line of them, each dangling by a foot 
and kicking in frenzy and squealing. The uproar was 
appalling, perilous to the ear-drums ; one feared there was 
too much sound for the room to hold that the walls 
must give way or the ceiling crack. There were high 
squeals and low squeals, grunts, and wails of agony ; 
there would come a momentary lull, and then a fresh out- 
burst, louder than ever, surging up to a deafening climax. 
It was too much for some of the vistors the men would 
look at each other, laughing nervously, and the women 
would stand with hands clenched, and the blood rushing 
to their faces, and the tears starting in their eyes. 

Meantime, heedless of all these things, the men upon the 
floor were going about their work. Neither squeals of 
hogs nor tears of visitors made any difference to them ; 
one by one they hooked up the hogs, and one by one with 
a swift stroke they slit their throats. There was a long 
line of hogs, with squeals and life-blood ebbing away to- 
gether ; until at last each started again, and vanished 
with a splash into a huge vat of boiling water. 

It was all so very businesslike that one watched it 
fascinated. It was pork-making by machinery, pork- 
making by applied mathematics. And yet somehow the 
most matter-of-fact person could not help thinking of the 
hogs ; they were so innocent, they came so very trust- 
ingly ; and they were so very human in their protests 
and so perfectly within their rights 1 Tney had done 


nothing to deserve It ; and it was adding insult to injury, 
as the thing was done here, swinging them up in this 
cold-blooded, impersonal way, without a pretence at 
apology, without the homage of a tear. Now and then a 
visitor wept, to be sure ; but this slaughtering-machine 
ran on, visitors or no visitors. It was like some horrible 
crime committed in a dungeon, all unseen and unheeded, 
buried out of sight and of memory. 

One could not stand and watch very long without be- 
coming philosophical, without beginning to deal in symbols 
and similes, and to hear the hog-squeal of the universe. 
Was it permitted to believe that there was nowhere upon 
the earth, or above the earth, a heaven for hogs, where 
they were requited for all this suffering ? Each one of 
these hogs was a separate creature. Some were white hogs, 
some were black ; some were brown, some were spotted ; 
some were old, some were young; some were long and 
lean, some were monstrous. And each of them had an 
individuality of his own, a will of his own, a hope and a 
heart's desire ; each was full of self-confidence, of self- 
importance, and a sense of dignity. And trusting and 
strong in faith he had gone about his business, the while 
a black shadow hung over him and a horrid Fate waited 
in his pathway. Now suddenly it had swooped upon 
him, and had seized him by the leg. Relentless, remorse- 
less, it was ; all his protests, his screams, were nothing to 
it it did its cruel will with him, as if his wishes, his 
feelings, had simply no existence at all ; it cut his throat 
and watched him gasp out his life. And now was one 
to believe that there was nowhere a god of hogs, to whom 
this hog-personality was precious, to whom these hog- 
squeals and agonies had a meaning ? Who would take 
this hog into his arms and comfort him, reward him 
for his work well done, and show him the meaning of his 
sacrifice? Perhaps some glimpse of all this was in the 
thoughts of our humble-minded Jurgis, as he turned to go 
on with the rest of the party, and muttered : "Dieve 
but I'm glad I'm not a hog I '* 

The carcass hog was scooped out of the vat by machin- 


ery, and then it fell to the second floor, passing on the 
way through a wonderful machine with numerous scrapers, 
which adjusted themselves to the size and shape of the 
animal, and sent it out at the other end with nearly all of 
its bristles removed. It was then again strung up by 
machinery, and sent upon another trolley ride; this time 
passing between two lines of men, who sat upon a raised 
platform, each doing a certain single thing to the carcass 
as it came to him. One scraped the outside of a leg; 
another scraped the inside of the same leg. One with a 
swift stroke cut the throat ; another with two swift strokes 
severed the head, which fell to the floor and vanished 
through a hole. Another made a slit down the body ; a 
seconu opened the body wider ; a third with a saw cut the 
breast-bone ; a fourth loosened the entrails ; a fifth pulled 
them out and they also slid through a hole in the floor. 
There were men to scrape each side and men to scrape the 
back ; there were men to clean the carcass inside, to trim 
it and wash it. Looking down this room, one saw, creep- 
ing slowly, a line of dangling hogs a hundred yards in 
length ; and for every yard there was a man, working as 
if a demon were after him. At the end of this hog's prog- 
ress every inch of the carcass had been gone over several 
times ; and then it was rolled into the chilling-room, where 
it stayed for twenty-four hours, and where a stranger 
might lose himself in a forest of freezing hogs. 

Before the carcass was admitted here, however, it had to 
pass a government inspector, who sat in the doorway and 
felt of the glands in the neck for tuberculosis. This 
government inspector did not have the manner of a man 
who was worked to death ; he was apparently not haunted 
by a fear that the hog might get by him before he had 
iimshed his testing. If you were a sociable person, he was 
quite willing to enter into conversation with you, and 
to explain to you the deadly nature of the ptomaines which 
are found in tubercular pork ; and while he was talking 
with you you could hardly be so ungrateful as to no- 
tice that a dozen carcasses were passing him untouched. 
This inspector wore an imposing silver badge, and he 


gave an atmosphere of authority to the scene, and, as it 
were, put the stamp of official approval upon the things 
vLich were done in Durham's. 

Jurgis went down the line with the rest of the visitors, 
staring open-mouthed, lost in wonder. He had dressed 
hogs himself in the forest of Lithuania ; but he had never 
expected to live to see one hog dressed by several hundred 
men. It was like a wonderful poem to him, and he took it 
all in guilelessly even to the conspicuous signs demand- 
ing immaculate cleanliness of the employees. Jurgis was 
vexed when the cynical Jokubas translated these signs 
with sarcastic comments, offering to take them to the 
secret-rooms where the spoiled meats went to be doctored. 

The party descended to the next floor, where the various 
waste materials were treated. Here came the entrails, to 
be scraped and washed clean for sausage-casings; men 
and women worked here in the midst of a sickening stench, 
which caused the visitors to hasten by, gasping. To another 
room came all the scraps to be "tanked," which meant 
boiling and pumping off the grease to make soap and lard; 
below taey took out the refuse, and this, too, was a region 
in which the visitors did not linger. In still other places 
men were engaged in cutting up the carcasses that had 
been through the chilling-rooms. First there were the 
** splitters," the most expert workmen in the plant, who 
earned as high as fifty cents an hour, and did not a thing 
all day except chop hogs down the middle. Then there 
were "cleaver men," great giants with muscles of iron; 
each had two men to attend him to slide the half car- 
cass in front of him on the table, and hold it while he 
chopped it, and then turn each piece so that he might chop 
it once more. His cleaver had a blade about two feet long, 
and he never made but one cut; he made it so neatly, too, 
that his implement did not smite through and dull itself 
there was just enough force for a perfect cut, and no 
more. So through various yawning holes there slipped to 
the floor below to one room hams, to another fore- 
quarters, to another sides of pork. One might go down 
to this floor and see the pickling-rooms, where the hams 


were put into vats, and the great smoke-rooms, with theif 
air-tight iron doors. In other rooms they prepared salt- 
pork there were whole cellars full of it, built up in great 
towers to the ceiling. In yet other rooms they were put- 
ting up meat in boxes and barrels, and wrapping hams and 
bacon in oiled paper, sealing and labelling and sewing 
them. From the doors of these rooms went men with 
loaded trucks, to the platform where freight-cars were 
waiting to be filled ; and one went out there and realized 
with a start that he had come at last to the ground floor 
of this enormous building. 

Then the party went across the street to where they did 
the killing of beef where every hour they turned four 
or five hundred cattle into meat. Unlike the place they 
had left, all this work was done on one floor ; and instead 
of there being one line of carcasses which moved to the 
workmen, there were fifteen or twenty lines, and the men 
moved from one to another of these. This made a scene 
of intense activity, a picture of human power wonderful to 
watch. It was all in one great room, like a circu^ amphi- 
theatre, with a gallery for visitors running over the Centre. 

Along one side of the room ran a narrow gallery, a few 
feet from the floor; into which gallery the cattle were 
driven by men with goads which gave them electric shocks. 
Once crowded in here, the creatures were prisoned, each 
in a separate pen, by gates that shut, leaving them no 
room to turn around ; and while they stood bellowing and 
plunging, over the top of the pen there leaned one of the 
"knockers," armed with a sledge-hammer, and watching 
for a chance to deal a blow. The room echoed with the 
thuds in quick succession, and the stamping and kicking 
of the steers. The instant the animal had fallen, the 
*' knocker" passed on to another; while a second man 
raised a lever, and the side of the pen was raised, and the 
animal, still kicking and struggling, slid out to the " kill- 
ing-bed." Here a man put shackles about one leg, and 
pressed another lever, and the body was jerked up into the 
air. There were fifteen or twenty such pens, and it was 
a matter of only a couple of minutes to knock fifteen or 


twenty cattle and roll them out. Then once more the 
gates were opened, and another lot rushed in ; and so out 
of each pen there rolled a steady stream of carcasses, 
which the men upon the killing-beds had to get out of the 

The manner in which they did this was something to be 
seen and never forgotten. They worked with furious in- 
tensity, literally upon the run at a pace with which 
there is nothing to be compared except a football game. 
It was all highly specialized labor, each man having his 
task to do ; generally this would consist of only two or three 
specific cuts, and he would pass down the Hne of fifteen 
or twenty carcasses, making these cuts upon each. First 
there came the " butcher," to bleed them ; this meant one 
swift stroke, so swift that you could not see it only the 
flash of the knife; and before you could realize it, the 
man had darted on to the next line, and a stream of bright 
red was pouring out upon the floor. This floor was half 
an inch deep with blood, in spite of the best efforts of men 
who kept shovelling it through holes ; it must have made 
the floor slippery, but no one could have guessed this by 
watching the men at work. 

The carcass hung for a few minutes to bleed ; there was 
no time lost, however, for there were several hanging in 
each line, and one was always ready. It was let down to 
the ground, and there came the " headsman," whose task 
it was to sever the head, with two or three swift strokes. 
Then came the " floorsman," to make the first cut in the 
skin ; and then another to finish ripping the skin down 
the centre ; and then half a dozen more in swift succes- 
sion, to finish the skinning. After they were through, the 
carcass was again swung up ; and while a man with a stick 
examined the skin, to make sure that it had not been cut, 
and another rolled it up and tumbled it through one of 
the inevitable holes in the floor, the beef proceeded on its 
journey. There were men to cut it, and men to split it, 
and men to gut it and scrape it clean inside. There were 
some with nose which threw jets of boiling water upon 
it, and others who removed the feet and added the final 


touches. In the end, as with the hogs, the finished beef 
was run into the chilling-room, to hang its appointed 

The visitors were taken there and shown them, all neatly 
hung in rows, labelled conspicuously with the tags of the 
government inspectors and some, which had been killed 
by a special process, marked with the sign of the " kosher' 5 
rabbi, certifying that it was fit for sale to the orthodox. 
And then the visitors were taken to the other parts of the 
building, to see what became of each particle of the waste 
material that had vanished through the floor ; and to the 
pickling-rooms, and the salting-rooms, the canning-rooms, 
and the packing-rooms, where choice meat was prepared 
for shipping in refrigerator-cars, destined to be eaten in 
all the four corners of civilization. Afterward they went 
outside, wandering about among the mazes of buildings in 
which was done the work auxiliary to this great industry. 
There was scarcely a thing needed in the business that 
Durham and Company did not make for themselves. There 
was a great steam-power plant and an electricity plant. 
There was a barrel factory, and a boiler-repair shop. There 
was a building to which the grease was piped, and made 
into soap and lard ; and then there was a factory for mak- 
ing lard cans, and another for making soap boxes. There 
was a building in which the bristles were cleaned and dried, 
for the making of hair cushions and such things ; there was 
a building where the skins were dried and tanned, there 
was another where heads and feet were made into glue, 
and another where bones were made into fertilizer. No 
tiniest particle of organic matter was wasted in Durham's. 
Out of the horns of the cattle they made combs, buttons, 
hair-pins, and imitation ivory ; out of the shin bones and 
other big bones they cut knife and tooth-brush handles, 
and mouthpieces for pipes; out of the hoofs they cut 
hair-pins and buttons, before they made the rest into glue. 
From such things as feet, knuckles, hide clippings, and 
sinews came such strange and unlikely products as gelatin, 
isinglass, and phosphorus, bone-black, shoe-blacking, and 
bone-oil. They had curled-hair works fur the cattle tails, 


and a " wool-pullery " for the sheep skins ; they made pep 
sin from the stomachs of the pigs, and albumen from the 
blood, and violin strings from the ill-smelling entrails. 
When there was nothing else to be done with a thing, the} 
first put it into a tank and got out of it all the tallow and 
grease, and then they made it into fertilizer. All these 
industries were gathered into buildings near by, connected 
by galleries and railroads with the main establishment; 
and it was estimated that they had handled nearly a 
quarter of a billion of animals since the founding of the 
plant by the elder Durham a generation and more ago. 
If you counted with it the other big plants and they 
were now really all one it was, so Jokubas informed 
them, the greatest aggregation of labor and capital evei 
gathered in one place. It employed thirty thousand men ; 
it supported directly two hundred and fifty thousand people 
in its neighborhood, and indirectly it supported half a mil- 
lion. It sent its products to every country in the civilized 
world, and it furnished the food for no less than thirty 
million people I 

To all of these things our friends would listen open 
mouthed it seemed to them impossible of belief that 
anything so stupendous could have been devised by 
mortal man. That was why to Jurgis it seemed almost, 
profanity to speak about the place as did Jokubas, scepti 
cally ; it was a thing as tremendous as the universe the 
laws and ways of its working no more than the universe 
to be questioned or understood. All that a mere man 
could do, it seemed to Jurgis, was to take a thing like 
this as he found it, and do as he was told ; to be given a 
place in it and a share in its wonderful activities was a 
blessing to be grateful for, as one was grateful for the 
sunshine and the rain. Jurgis was even glad that he had 
not seen the place before meeting with his triumph, for 
he felt that the size of it would have overwhelmed him. 
But now he had been admitted he was a part of it all ' 
He had the feeling that this whole huge establishment 
had taken him under its protection, and had become 
responsible for his welfare. So guileless was he, and 


ignorant of the nature of business, that he did not even 
realize that he had become an employee of Brown's, and 
that Brown and Durham were supposed by all the world 
to be deadly rivals were even required to be deadly 
rivals by the law of the land, and ordered to try to ruin 
each other under penalty of fine and imprisonment I 


PROMPTLY at seven the next morning Jurgis reported 
for work. He came to the door that nad been pointed 
out to him, and there he waited for nearly two hours. 
The boss had meant for him to enter, but had not said 
this, and so it was only when on his way out to hire 
another man that he came upon Jurgis. He gave him a 
good cursing, but as Jurgis did not understand a word of 
it he did not object. He followed the boss, who showed 
him where to put his street clothes, and waited while he 
donned the working clothes he had bought in a second- 
hand shop and brought with him in a bundle ; then he 
led him to the "killing-beds." The work which Jurgis 
was to do here was very simple, and it took him but a 
few minutes to learn it. He was provided with a stiff 
besom, such as is used by street sweepers, and it was his 
place to follow down the line the man who drew out the 
smoking entrails from the carcass of the steer ; this mass 
was to be swept into a trap, which was then closed, so 
that no one might slip into it. As Jurgis came in, the 
first cattle of the morning were just making their appear- 
ance; and so, with scarcely time to look about him, and 
none to speak to any one, he fell to work. It was a 
sweltering day in July, and the place ran with steaming 
hot blood one waded in it on the floor. The stench 
was almost overpowering, but to Jurgis it was nothing. 
His whole soul was dancing with joy he was at work 
at last I He was at work and earning money I All day 
long he was figuring to himself. He was paid the fabu- 
lous sum of seventeen ana a half cents an hour ; and as 
it proved a rush day and he worked until nearly seven 
o'clock in the evening, he went home to the family with 


the tidings that he had earned more than a dollar and a 
half in a single day 1 

At home, also, there was more good news ; so much of 
it at once that there was quite a celebration in Aniele's 
hall bedroom. Jonas had been to have an interview with 
the special policeman to whom Szedvilas had introduced 
him, and had been taken to see several of the bosses, with 
the result that one had promised him a job the beginning 
of the next week. And then there was Marija Bercz- 
ynskas, who, fired with jealousy by the success of Jurgis, 
had set out upon her own responsibility to get a place. 
Marija had nothing to take with her save her two brawny 
arms and the word "job," laboriously learned; but with 
these she had marched about Packingtown all day, enter- 
ing every door where there were signs of activity. Out 
of some she had been ordered with curses; but Marija 
was not afraid of man or devil, and asked every one she 
saw visitors and strangers, or work-people like herself, 
and once or twice even high and lofty office personages, 
who stared at her as if they thought she was crazy. In 
the end, however, she had reaped her reward. In one of 
the smaller plants she had stumbled upon a room where 
scores of women and girls were sitting at long tables pre- 
paring smoked beef in cans ; and wandering through room 
after room, Marija came at last to the place where the 
sealed cans were being painted and labelled, and here she 
had the good fortune to encounter the " forelady." Marija 
did not understand then, as she was destined to understand 
later, what there was attractive to a " forelady " about the 
combination of a face full of boundless good nature and 
the muscles of a dray horse ; but the woman had told her 
to come the next day and she would perhaps give her a 
chance to learn the trade of painting cans. The painting 
of cans being skilled piece work, and paying as much as 
two dollars a day, Marija burst in upon the family with 
the yell of a Comanche Indian, and fell to capering about 
the room so as to frighten the baby almost into convul- 

Better luck than all this could hardly have been hoped 


for; there was only one of them left to seek a place. 
Jurgis was determined that Teta Elzbieta should stay at 
'aome to keep house, and that Ona should help her. He 
would not have Ona working he was not that sort of 
a man, he said, and she was not that sort of a woman. It 
would be a strange thing if a man like him could not sup- 
port the family, with the help of the board of Jonas and 
Marija. He would not even hear of letting the children 
go to work there were schools here in America for 
children, Jurgis had heard, to which they could go for 
nothing. That the priest would object to these schools 
was something of which he had as yet no idea, and for 
the present his mind was made up that the children of 

dren. The oldest of them, little Stanislovas, was but thir- 
teen, and small for his age at that ; and while the oldest 
son of Szedvilas was only twelve, and had worked for 
over a year at Jones's, Jurgis would have it that Stani- 
slovas should learn to speak English, and grow up to be a 
skilled man. 

So there was only old Dede Antanas; Jurgis would 
have had him rest too, but he was forced to acknowledge 
that this was not possible, and, besides, the old man would 
not hear it spoken of it was his whim to insist that he 
was as lively as any boy. He had come to America as 
full of hope as the best of them; and now he was the 
chief problem that worried his son. For every one that 
Jurgis spoke to assured him that it was a waste of time 
to seek employment for the old man in Packingtown. 
Szedvilas told him that the packers did not even keep the 
men who had grown old in their own service to say 
nothing of taking on new ones. And not only was it the 
rule here, it was the rule everywhere in America, so far 
as he knew. To satisfy Jurgis he had asked the police- 
man, and brought back the message that the thing was 
not to be thought of. They had not told this to old 
Anthony, who had consequently spent the two days wan- 
dering about from one part of the yards to another, and 
had now come home to hear about the triumph of tht> 


others, smiling bravely and saving that it would be his 
turn another day. 

Their good luck, they felt, had given them the right to 
think about a home ; and sitting out on the doorstep that 
summer evening, they held consultation about it, and 
Jurgis took occasion to broach a weighty subject. Pass- 
ing down the avenue to work that morning he had seen 
two boys leaving an advertisement from house to house ; 
and seeing that there were pictures upon it, Jurgis had 
asked for one, and had rolled it up and tucked it into his 
shirt. At noontime a man with whom he had been talk- 
ing had read it to him and told him a little about it, with 
tne result that Jurgis had conceived a wild idea. 

He brought out the placard, which was quite a work of 
art. It was nearly two feet long, printed on calendered 
paper, with a selection of colors so bright that they shone 
even in the moonlight. The centre of the placard was 
occupied by a house, brilliantly painted, new, and dazzling. 
The roof of it was of a purple hue, and trimmed with 
gold; the house itself was silvery, and the doors and 
windows red. It was a two-story building, with a porch 
in front, and a very fancy scrollwork around the edges; 
it was complete in every tiniest detail, even the door- 
knob, and there was a hammock on the porch and white 
lace curtains in the windows. Underneath this, in one 
corner, was a picture of a husband and wife in loving 
embrace ; in the opposite corner was a cradle, with fluffy 
curtains drawn over it, and a smiling cherub hovering 
upon silver-colored wings. For fear that the significance 
of all this should be lost, there was a label, in Polish, 
Lithuanian, and German " Dom. Namai. Heim." 
"Why pay rent?" the linguistic circular went on to 
demand. "Why not own your own home? Do you 
know that you can buy one for less than your rent ? We 
have built thousands of homes which are now occupied 
by happy families." So it became eloquent, picturing 
the blissfulness of married life in a house with nothing to 
It even quoted "Home, Sweet Home," and made 
to translate it into Polish though for some reason 


it omitted the Lithuanian of this. Perhaps the translator 
found it a difficult matter to be sentimental in a language 
in which a sob is known as a " gukcziojimas " and a smile 
as a "nusiszypsojimas." 

Over this document the family pored long, while Ona 
spelled out its contents. It appeared that this house con- 
tained four rooms, besides a basement, and that it might 
be bought for fifteen hundred dollars, the lot and all. 
Of this, only three hundred dollars had to be paid down, 
the balance being paid at the rate of twelve dollars a 
month. These were frightful sums, but then they were 
in America, where people talked about such without fear. 
They had learned that they would have to pay a rent 
of nine dollars a month for a flat, and there was no way 
of doing better, unless the family of twelve was to exist in 
one or two rooms, as at present. If they paid rent, of 
course, they might pay forever, and be no better off; 
whereas, if they could only meet the extra expense in the 
beginning, there would at last come a time when they 
would not have any rent to pay for the rest of their lives. 

They figured it up. There was a little left of the 
money belonging to Teta Elzbieta, and there was a 
little left to Jurgis. Marija had about fifty dollars 
pinned up somewhere in her stockings, and Grandfather 
Anthony had part of the money he had gotten for his 
farm. If they all combined, they would have enough to 
make the first payment; and if they had employment, 
so that they could be sure of the future, it might really 
prove the best plan. It was, of course, not a thing even 
to be talked of lightly ; it was a thing they would have to 
sift to the bottom. And yet, on the other hand, if they 
were going to make the venture, the sooner they did it the 
better ; for were they not paying rent all the time, and 
living in a most horrible way besides? Jurgis was used 
to dirt there was nothing could scare a man who had 
been with a railroad-gang, where one could gather up 
the fleas off the floor of the sleeping-room by the hand- 
ful. But that sort of thing would not do for Ona. They 
must have a better plnce of some sort very soon Jurgia 


said it with all the assurance of a man who had just made 
a dollar and fifty -seven cents in a single day. Jurgis was 
at a loss to understand why. with wages as they were, so 
many of the people of this district should live the way they 

The next day Marija went to see her " forelady," and 
was told to report the first of the week, and learn the 
business of can-painter. Marija went home, singing out 
loud all the way, and was just in time to join Ona and 
her stepmother as they were setting out to go and make 
inquiry concerning the house. That evening the three 
made their report to the men the thing was altogether 
as represented in the circular, or at any rate so the agent 
had said. The houses lay to the south, about a mile and a 
half from the yards ; they were wonderful bargains, the 
gentleman had assured them personally, and for their 
own good. He could do this, so he explained to them, 
for the reason that he had himself no interest in their 
sale he was merely the agent for a company that had 
built them. These were the last, and the company was 
going out of business, so if any one wished to take advan- 
tage of this wonderful no-rent plan, he would have to be 
very quick. As a matter of fact there was just a little 
uncertainty as to whether there was a single house left ; 
for the agent had taken so manj' people to see them, and 
for all he knew the company might have parted with the 
last. Seeing Teta Elzbieta s evident grief at this news, 
he added, after some hesitation, that if they really in- 
tended to make a purchase, he would send a telephone 
message at his own expense, and have one of the houses 
kept. So it had finally been arranged and they were 
to go and make an inspection the following Sunday 

That was Thursday ; and all the rest of the week the kill- 
ing-gang at Brown's worked at full pressure, and Jurgis 
cleared a dollar seventy-five every day. That was at the 
rate of ten and one-half dollars a week, or forty-five a month; 
Jurgis was not able to figure, except it was a very simple 
sum. but Ona was like lightning at such things, and she 


worked out the problem for the family. Marija and Jonas 
were sach to pay sixteen dollars a month board, and the old 
man insisted that he could do the same as soon as he got 
a place which might be any day now. That would make 
ninety -three dollars. Then Marija and Jonas were between 
them to take a third share in the house, which would leave 
only eight dollars a month for Jurgis to contribute to the 
payment. So they would have eighty -five dollars a month, 
or, supposing that Dede Antanas did not get work at 
once, seventy dollars a month which ought surely to be 
sufficient for the support of a family of twelve. 

An hour before the time on Sunday morning the entire 
party set out. They had the address written on a piece of 
paper, which they showed to some one now and then. It 
proved to be a long mile and a half, but they walked it, 
and half an hour or so later the agent put in an appearance. 
He was a smooth and florid personage, elegantly dressed, and 
he spoke their language freely, which gave him a great 
advantage in dealing with them. He escorted them to the 
house, which was one of a long row of the typical frame 
dwellings of the neighborhood, where architecture is a 
luxury that is dispensed with. Ona's heart sank, for the 
house was not as it was shown in the picture ; the color- 
scheme was different, for one thing, and then it did not 
seem quite so big. Still, it was freshly painted, and made 
a considerable show. It was all brand-new, so the agent 
told them, but he talked so incessantly that they were quite 
confused, and did not have time to ask many questions. 
There were all sorts of things they had made up their minds 
to inquire about, but when the time came, they either for- 
got them or lacked the courage. The other houses in the 
row did not seem to be new, and few of them seemed to be 
occupied. When they ventured to hint at this, the agent's 
reply was that the purchasers would be moving in shortly. 
To press the matter would have seemed to be doubting his 
word, and never in their lives had any one of them ever 
spoken to a person of the class called "gentleman" except 
with deference and humility. 

The house had a basement, about two feet below the 


street line, and a single story, about six feet above it, 
reached by a flight of steps. In addition there was an 
attic, made by the peak of the roof, and having one small 
window in each end. The street in front of the house 
was unpaved and unlighted, and the view from it con- 
sisted of a few exactly similar houses, scattered here and 
there upon lots grown up with dingy brown weeds. The 
house inside contained four rooms, plastered white; the 
basement was but a frame, the walls being unplastered 
and the floor not laid. The agent explained that the 
houses were built that way, as the purchasers generally 
preferred to finish the basements to suit their own taste. 
The attic was also unfinished the family had be , figur- 
ing that in case of an emergency they could rent th c attic, 
but they found that there was not even a floor, nothing but 
joists, and beneath them the lath and plaster of the ceiling 
below. All of this, however, did not chill their ardor as 
much as might have been expected, because of the volu- 
bility of the agent. There was no end to the advantages 
of the house, as he set them forth, and he was not silent 
for an instant ; he showed them everything, down to the 
locks on the doors and the catches on the windows, and 
how to work them. He showed them the sink in the 
kitchen, with running water and a faucet, something 
which Teta Elzbieta had never in her wildest dreams 
hoped to possess. After a discovery such as that it 
would have seemed ungrateful to find any fault, and so 
they tried to shut their eyes to other defects. 

Still, they were peasant people, and they hung on to 
their money by instinct; it was quite in vain that the 
agent hinted at promptness they would see, they would 
see, they told him, they could not decide until they had 
had more time. And so they went homo again, and 
all day and evening there was figuring and debating. It 
was an agony to them to have to make up their minds in 
a matter such as this. They never could agree all to- 
gether ; there were so many arguments upon each side, 
and one would be obstinate, and no sooner would the rest 
have convinced him than it would transpire that his argu 


ments had caused another to waver. Once, in the even- 
ing, when they were all in harmony, and the house was 
as good as bought, Szedvilas came in and upset them again. 
Szedvilas had no use for property-owning. He told them 
cruel stories of people who had been done to death in this 
" buying a home " swindle. They would be almost sure 
to get into a tight place and lose all their money; and 
there was no end of expense that one could never foresee; 
and the house might be good-for-nothing from top to bot- 
tom how was a poor man to know ? Then, too, they 
would swindle you with the contract and how was a 
poor man to understand anything about a contract? It 
was all nothing but robbery, and there was no safety but 
in keeping out of it. And pay rent ? asked Jurgis. Ah, 
yes, to be sure, the other answered, that too was robbery. 
It was all robbery, for a poor man. After half an hour of 
such depressing conversation, they had their minds quite 
made up that they had been saved at the brink of a preci- 
pice; but then Szedvilas went away, and Jonas, who was 
a sharp little man, reminded them that the delicatessen 
business was a failure, according to its proprietor, and 
that this might account for his pessimistic views. Which, 
of course, reopened the subject! 

The controlling factor was that they could not stay 
where they were they had to go somewhere. And when 
they gave up the house plan and decided to rent, the 
prospect of paying out nine dollars a month forever they 
found just as hard to face. All day and all night for 
nearly a whole week they wrestled with the problem, and 
then in the end Jurgis took the responsibility. Brother 
Jonas had gotten his job, and was pushing a truck in 
Durham's ; and the killing-gang at Brown's continued to 
work early and late, so that Jurgis grew more confident 
every hour, more certain of his mastership. It was the 
kind of thing the man of the family had to decide and 
carry through, he told himself. Others might have failed 
at it, but he was not the faili \g kind he would show 
them how to do it. He would work all day, and all night, 
too, if need be; he would never rest until the house was 


paid for and his people had a home. So he told them, and 
so in the end the decision was made. 

They had talked about looking at more houses before 
they made the purchase ; but then they did not know 
where any more were, and they did not know any way of 
finding out. The one they had seen held the sway in their 
thoughts ; whenever they thought of themselves in a 
house, it was this house that they thought of. And so 
they went and told the agent that they were ready to 
make the agreement. They knew, as an abstract proposi- 
tion, that in matters of business all men are to be accounted 
liars ; but they could not but have been influenced by all 
they had heard from the eloquent agent, and were quite 
persuaded that the house was something they had run a 
risk of losing by their delay. They drew a deep breath 
when he told them that they were still in time. 

They were to come on the morrow, and he would have 
the papers all drawn up. This matter of papers was one 
in which Jurgis understood to the full the need of cau- 
tion ; yet he could not go himself everyone told him 
that he could not get a holiday, and that he might lose his 
job by asking. So there was nothing to be done but to 
trust it to the women, with Szedvilas, who promised to go 
with them. Jurgis spent a whole evening impressing 
upon them the seriousness of the occasion and then 
finally, out of innumerable hiding-places about their per- 
sons and in their baggage, came forth the precious wads 
of money, to be done up tightly in a little bag and sewed 
fast in the lining of Teta Elzbieta's dress. 

Early in the morning they sallied forth. Jurgis had 
given them so many instructions and warned them against 
so many perils, that the women were quite pale with 
fright, and even the imperturbable delicatessen vender, 
who prided himself upon being a business man, was ill at 
ease. The agent had the deed all ready, and invited them to 
sit down and read it ; this Szedvilas proceeded to do a 
painful and laborious process, during which the agent 
drummed upon the desk. Teta Elzbieta was so embar- 
rassed that the perspiration came out upon her forehead in 


beads ; for was not this reading as much as to say plainly 
to the gentleman's face that they doubted his honesty ? 
Yet Jokubas Szedvilas read on and on ; and presently 
there developed that he had good reason for doing so. 
For a horrible suspicion had begun dawning in his mind j 
he knitted his brows more and more as he read. This was 
not a deed of sale at all, so far as he could see it pro- 
vided only for the renting of the property ! It was hard 
to tell, with all this strange legal jargon, words he had 
never heard before ; but was not this plain " the party 
of the first part hereby covenants and agrees to rent to 
the said party of the second part I " And then again 
"a monthly rental of twelve dollars, for a period of 
eight years and four months I " Then Szedvilas took off 
his spectacles, and looked at the agent, and stammered a 

The agent was most polite, and explained that that was 
the usual formula ; that it was always arranged that the 
property should be merely rented. He kept trying to 
show them something in the next paragraph ; but Szed- 
vilas could not get by the word " rental " and when he 
translated it to Teta Elzbieta, she too was thrown into a 
fright. They would not own the home at all, then, for 
nearly nine years I The agent, with infinite patience, 
began to explain again ; but no explanation would do 
now. Elzb^eta had firmly fixed in her mind the last 
solemn of Jurgis : " If there is anything wrong, 
do not give him the money, but go out and get a lawyer." 
It was an agonizing moment, but she sat in the chair, her 
hands clenched like death, and made a fearful effort, sum- 
moning all her powers, and gasped out her purpose. 

Jokubas translated her words. She expected the agent 
to fly into a passion, but he was, to her bewilderment, as 
ever imperturbable ; he even offered to go and get a lawyer 
for her, but she declined this. They went a long way, on 
purpose to find a man who would not be a confederate. 
Then let any one imagine their dismay, when, after half an 
hour, they came in with a lawyer, and heard him greet 
the agent by his first name I 


They felt that all was lost ; they sat like prisoner! 
summoned to hear the reading of their death-warrant. 
There was nothing more that they could do they were 
trapped I The lawyer read over the deed, and when he 
had read it he informed Szedvilas that it was all perfectly 
regular, that the deed was a blank deed such as was often 
used in these sales. And was the price as agreed ? the old 
man asked three hundred dollars down, and the balance 
at twelve dollars a month, till the total of fifteen hundred 
dollars had been paid ? Yes, that was correct. And it 
was for the sale of such and such a house the house and 
lot and everything ? Yes, and the lawyer showed him 
where that was all written. And it was all perfectly reg- 
ular there were no tricks about it of any sort? They 
were poor people, and this was all they had in the world, 
and if there was anything wrong they would be ruined. 
And so Szedvilas went on, asking one trembling question 
after another, while the eyes of the women folks were 
fixed upon him in mute agony. They could not under, 
stand what he was saying, but they knew that upon it 
their fate depended. And when at last he had questioned 
until there was no more questioning to be done, and the 
time came for them to make up their minds, and either 
close the bargain or reject it, it was all that poor Teta 
Elzbieta could do to keep from bursting into tears. Joku- 
bas had asked her if she wished to sign ; he had asked 
her twice and what could she say ? How did she know 
if this lawyer were telling the truth that he was not ii. 
the conspiracy ? And yet, how could she say so wha . 
excuse could she give ? The eyes of every one in the room 
were upon her, awaiting her decision; and at last, haU 
blind with her tears, she began fumbling in her jacket, 
where she had pinned the precious money. And she 
brought it out and unwrapped it before the men. All of 
this Ona sat watching, from a corner of the room, twisting 
her hands together, meantime, in a fever of fright. Ona 
longed to cry out and tell her stepmother to stop, that it 
was all a trap ; but there seemed to be something clutchin 
her by the throat, and she could not make a sound. 


so Teta Elzbieta laid the money on the table, and the 
agent picked it up and counted it, and then wrote them a 
receipt for it and passed them the deed. Then he gave a 
sigh of satisfaction, and rose and shook hands with them 
all, still as smooth and polite as at the beginning. Ona 
had a dim recollection of the lawyer telling Szedvilas that 
his charge was a dollar, which occasioned some debate, 
and more agony ; and then, after they had paid that, too, 
they went out into the street, her stepmother clutching 
the deed in her hand. They were so weak from fright 
that they could not walk, but had to sit down on the way. 

So they went home, with a deadly terror gnawing at their 
souls ; and that evening Jurgis came home and heard 
their story, and that was the end. Jurgis was sure that 
they had been swindled, and were ruined ; and he tore his 
hair and cursed like a madman, swearing that he would 
kill the agent that very night. In the end he seized the 
paper and rushed out of the house, and all the way across 
the yards to Halsted Street. He dragged Szedvilae out 
from his supper, and together they rushed to coasult 
another lawyer. When they entered his office the lawyer 
sprang up, for Jurgis looked' like a crazy person, with 
flying hair and bloodshot eyes. His companion explained 
the situation, and the lawyer took the paper and began to 
read it, while Jurgis stood clutching the desk with knotted 
hands, trembling in every nerve. 

Once or twice the lawyer looked up and asked a question 
of Szedvilas ; the other did not know a word that he was 
saying, but his eyes were fixed upon the lawyer's face, 
striving in an agony of dread to read his mind. He saw 
the lawyer look up and laugh, and he gave a gasp ; the 
man said something to Szedvilas, and Jurgis turned upon 
his friend, his heart almost stopping. 

"Well? "he panted. 

" He says it is all right," said Szedvilas, 

"All right I" 

" Yes, he says it is just as it should be." And Jurgis, 
*n his relief, sank down into a chair. 

" Are you sure of it ? " he gasped, and made Szedvilas 


translate question after question. He could not hear it 
often enough ; he could not ask with enough variations. 
Yes, they had bought the house, they had really bought 
it. It belonged to them, they had only to pay the money 
and it would be all right. Then Jurgis covered his face 
with his hands, for there were tears in his eyes, and he 
felt like a fool. But he had had such a horrible fright ; 
strong man as he was, it left him almost too weak to 
stand up. 

The lawyer explained that the rental was a form the 
property was said to be merely rented until the last pay- 
ment had been made, the purpose being to make it easier 
to turn the party out if he did not make the payments. 
So long as they paid, however, they had nothing to feaiv 
the house was all theirs. 

Jurgis was so grateful that he paid the half dollar the 
lawyer asked without winking an eyelash, and then rushed 
home to tell the news to the family. He found Ona in a 
faint and the babies screaming, and the whole house in 
an uproar for it had been believed by all that he had 
gone to murder the agent.,, It was hours before the ex- 
citement could be calmed ; and all through that cruel 
night Jurgis would wake up now and then and hear Ona 
and her stepmother in the next room, sobbing softly U 


THEY had bought their home. It was hard for them to 
realize that the wonderful house was theirs to move into 
whenever they chose. They spent all their time thinking 
about it, and what they were going to put into it. As 
their week with Aniele was up in three days, they lost no 
time in getting ready. They had to make some shift to 
furnish it, and every instant of their leisure was given to 
discussing this. 

A person who had such a task before him would not 
need to look very far in Packingtown he had only to 
walk up the avenue and read the signs, or get into a 
street-car, to obtain full information as to pretty much 
everything a human creature could need. It was quite 
touching, the zeal of people to see that his health and 
happiness were provided for. Did the person wish to 
smoke ? There was a little discourse about cigars, show- 
ing him exactly why the Thomas Jefferson Five-cent Per- 
fecto was the only cigar worthy of the name. Had he, 
on the other hand, smoked too much ? Here was a remedy 
for the smoking habit, twenty-five doses for a quarter, and 
a cure absolutely guaranteed in ten doses. In innumerable 
ways such as this, the traveller found that somebody had 
been busied to make smooth his paths through the world, 
and to let him know what had been done for him. In 
Packingtown the advertisements had a style all of their 
own, adapted to the peculiar population. One would be 
tenderly solicitous. " Is your wife pale ? " it would in- 
quire. " Is she discouraged, does she drag herself about 
the house and find fault with everything? Why do you 
not tell her to try Dr. Lanahan's Life Preservers?' 
Another would be jocular in tone, slapping you on the 


back, so to speak. " Don't be a chump I M it would ex 
claim. " Go and get the Goliath Bunion Cure." ** Get 
a move on you! " would chime in another. "It's easy, if 
you wear the Eureka Two-fifty Shoe." ,. 

Among these importunate signs was one that had 
caught the attention of the family by its pictures. It 
showed two very pretty little birds building themselves 
a home; and Marija had asked an acquaintance to read it 
to her, and told them that it related to the furnishing of 
a house. "Feather your nest," it ran and went on to 
say that it could furnish all the necessary feathers for a 
four-room nest for the ludicrously small sum of seventy- 
five dollars. The particularly important thing about this 
offer was that only a small part of the money need be had 
at once the rest one might pay a few dollars every 
month. Our friends had to have some furniture, there 
was no getting away from that ; but their little fund of 
money had sunk so low that they could hardly get to 
sleep at night, and so they fled to this as their deliver- 
ance. There was more agony and another paper for Elz- 
bieta to sign, and then one night when Jurgis came home, 
he was told the breathless tidings that the furniture had 
arrived and was safely stowed in the house : a parlor set 
of four pieces, a bedroom set of three pieces, a dining- 
room table and four chairs, a toilet-set with beautiful pink 
roses painted all over it, an assortment of crockery, also 
with pink roses and so on. One of the plates in the 
set had been found broken when they unpacked it, and 
Ona was going to the store the first thing in the morning 
to make them change it ; also they had promised three 
sauce-pans, and there had only two come, and did Jurgis 
think that they were trying to cheat them ? 

The next day they went to the house ; and when the 
men came from work they ate a few hurried mouthfuls 
at Aniele's, and then set to work at the task of carrying 
their belongings to their new home. The distance was 
in reality over two miles, but Jurgis made two trips that 
night, each time with a huge pile of mattresses and bed- 
ding on his head, with bundles of clothing and bags and 


elnngs tied np inside. Anywhere else in Chicago he 
would have stood a good chance of being arrested ; but 
the policemen in Packingtown were apparently used to 
these informal rnovings, and contented themselves with a 
cursory examination now and then. It was quite wonder- 
ful to see how fine the house looked, with all the things in 
it, even by the dim light of a lamp : it was really home, 
and almost as exciting as the placard had described it. 
Ona was fairly dancing, and she and Cousin Marija took 
Jurgis by the arm and escorted him from room to room, 
sitting in each chair by turns, and then insisting that be 
should do the same. One chair squeaked with his great 
weight, and they screamed with fright, and woke the 
baby and brought everybody running. Altogether it 
was a great day ; and tired as they were, Jurgis and Ona 
sat up late, contented simply to hold each other and gaze 
in rapture about the room. They were going to be mar- 
ried as soon as they could get everything settled, and a 
little spare money put by ; and this was to be their home 
that little room yonder would be theirs I 

It was in truth a never-ending delight, the fixing up of 
this house. They had no money to spend for the pleasure 
of spending, but there were a few absolutely necessary 
things, and the buying of these was a perpetual adventure 
for Ona. It must always be done at night, so that Jurgis 
could go along ; and even if it were only a pepper-cruet, 
or half a dozen glasses for ten cents, that was enough for 
an expedition. On Saturday night they came home with 
a great basketful of things, and spread them out on the 
table, while every one stood round, and the children climbed 
np on the chairs, or howled to be lifted up to see. There 
were sugar and salt and tea and crackers, and a can of lard 
and a milk-pail, and a scrubbing-brush, and a pair of shoes 
for the second oldest boy, and a can of oil, and a tack-ham 
mer, and a pound of nails. These last were to be driven 
into the walls of the kitchen and the bedrooms, to hang 
things on ; and there was a family discussion as to the 
place where each one was to be driven. Then Jurgie 
would try to hammer, and hit his fingers because the 


hammer was too small, and get mad because Ona had 
refused to let him pay fifteen cents more and get a bigger 
hammer ; and Ona would be invited to try it herself, and 
hurt her thumb, and cry out, which necessitated the 
thumb's being kissed by Jurgis. Finally, after every one 
had had a try, the nails would be driven, and something 
hung up. Jurgis had come home with a big packing-box 
on his head, and he sent Jonas to get another that he had 
bought. He meant to take one side out of these to-morrow, 
and put shelves in them, and make them into bureaus and 
places to keep things for the bedrooms. The nest which 
had been advertised had not included feathers for quite 
so many birds as there were in this family. 

They had, of course, put their dining-table in the 
kitchen, and the dining-room was used as the bedroom of 
Teta Elzbieta and five of her children. She and the two 
youngest slept in the only bed, and the other three had a 
mattress on the floor. Ona and her cousin dragged a 
mattress into the parlor and slept at night, and the 
three men and the oldest boy slept in the other room, 
having nothing but the very level floor to rest on for 
the present. Even so, however, they slept soundly 
it was necessary for Teta Elzbieta to pound more than once 
on the door at a quarter past five every morning. She 
would have ready a great pot full of steaming black coffee, 
and oatmeal and bread and smoked sausages; and then 
she would fix them their dinner pails with more thick 
slices of bread with lard between them they could not 
afford butter and some onions and a piece of cheese, and 
so they would tramp away to work. 

This was the first time in his life that he had ever really 
worked, it seemed to Jurgis ; it was the first time that he 
had ever had anything to do which took all he had in him. 
Jurgis had stood with the rest up in the gallery and 
watched the men on the killing-beds, marvelling at their 
speed and power as if they had been wonderful machines ; 
it somehow never occurred to one to think of the flesh -and- 
blood side of it that is, not until he actually got down 
into the pit and took off his coat. Then he saw things in a 


different light, he got at the inside of them. The pace 
they set here, it was one that called for every faculty of a 
man from the instant the first steer fell till the sound- 
ing of the noon whistle, and again from half-past twelve 
till heaven only knew what hour in the late afternoon or 
evening, there was never one instant's rest for a man, for 
his hand or his eye or his brain. Jurgis saw how they 
managed it ; there were portions of the work which deter- 
mined the pace of the rest, and for these they had picked 
men whom they paid high wages, and whom they changed 
frequently. You might easily pick out these pace-makers, 
for they worked under the eye of the bosses, and they 
worked like men possessed. This was called " speeding 
up the gang," and if any man could not keep up with the 
pace, there were hundreds outside begging to try. 

Yet Jurgis did not mind it ; he rather enjoyed it. It 
saved him the necessity of flinging his arms about and 
fidgeting as he did in most work. He would laugh to 
himself as he ran down the line, darting a glance now and 
then at the man ahead of him. It was not the pleasantest 
work one could think of, but it was necessary work ; and 
what more had a man the right to ask than a chance 
to do something useful, and to get good pay for doing 

So Jurgis thought, and so he spoke, in his bold, free 
way; very much to his surprise, he found that it had a 
tendency to get him into trouble. For most of the men 
here took a fearfully different view of the thing. He was 
quite dismayed when he first began to find it out that 
most of the men hated their work. It seemed strange, 
it was even terrible, when you came to find out the 
universality of the sentiment; but it was certainly the 
fact they hated their work. They hated the bosses and 
they hated the owners ; they hated the whole place, the 
whole neighborhood even the whole citv, with an all- 
inclusive hatred, bitter and fierce. Women and little 
children would fall to cursing about it; it was rotten, 
rotten as hell everything was rotten. When Jurgis 
would ask them what they meant, they would begin 


to get suspicious, and content themselves with saying, 
" Never mind, you stay here and see for yourself." 

One of the first problems that Jurgis ran upon was that 
of the unions. He had had no experience with unions, 
and he had to have it explained to him that the men 
were banded together for the purpose of fighting for 
their rights. Jurgis asked them what they meant by 
their rights, a question in which he was quite sincere, for 
he had not any idea of any rights that he had, except the 
right to hunt for a job, and do as he was told when he 
got it. Generally, however, this harmless question would 
only make his fellow-workingman lose their tempers and 
call him a fool. There was a delegate of the butcher- 
helpers' union wb 3 came to see Jurgis to enroll him ; and 
when Jurgis found that this meant that he would have to 
part with some of his money, he froze up directly, and the 
delegate, who was an Irishman and only knew a few words 
of Lithuanian, lost his temper and began to threaten him. 
In the end Jurgis got into a fine rage, and made it suffi- 
ciently plain that it would take more than one Irishman 
to scare him into a union. Little by little he gathered 
that the main thing the men wanted was to put a stop to 
the habit of " speeding-up " ; they were trying their best 
to force a lessening of the pace, for there were some, they 
said, who could not keep up with it, whom it was killing. 
But Jurgis had no sympathy with such ideas as this he 
could do the work himself, and so could the rest of them, 
he declared, if they were good for anything. If they 
couldn't do it, let them go somewhere else. Jurgis had 
not studied the books, and he would not have known how 
to pronounce " laissez-faire " ; but he had been round the 
world enough to know that a man has to shift for himself 
in it, and 'that if he gets the worst of it, there is nobody 
to listen to him holler. 

Fet there have been known to be philosophers and plain 
men who swore by Malthus in the books, and would, never- 
theless, subscribe to a relief fund in time of a famine. It 
was the same with Jurgis, who consigned the unfit to 
destruction, while going about all day sick at heart 


because of his poor old father, who was wandering some- 
where in the yards begging for a chance to earn his 
bread. Old Antanas had been a worker ever since he 
was a child ; he had run away from home when he was 
twelve, because his father beat him for trying to learn to 
read. And he was a faithful man, too ; he was a man you 
might leave alone for a month, if only you had made him 
understand what you wanted him to do in the meantime. 
And now here he was, worn out in soul and body, and 
with no more place in the world than a sick dog. He 
had his home, as it happened, and some one who would 
care for him if he never got a job; but his son could 
not help thinking, suppose this had not been the case. 
Antanas Rudkus had been into every building in Pack- 
ingtown by this time, and into nearly every room ; he 
had stood mornings among the crowd of applicants till 
the very policemen had come to know his face and to tell 
him to go home and give it up. He had been likewise to 
all the stores and saloons for a mile about, begging for 
some little thing to do ; and everywhere they had ordered 
him out, sometimes with curses, and not once even stop- 
ping to ask him a question. 

So, after all, there was a crack in the fine structure of 
Jurgis's faith in things as they are. The crack was wide 
while Dede Antanas was hunting a job and it was yet 
wider when he finally got it. For one evening the old 
man came home in a great state of excitement, with the 
tale that he had been approached by a man in one of 
the corridors of the pickle-rooms of Durham's, and asked 
what he would pay to get a job. He had not known 
what to make of this at first ; but the man had gone on 
with matter-of-fact frankness to say that ha could get 
him a job, provided that he were willing to pay one-third 
of his wages for it. Was he a boss ? Antanas had asked ; 
to which the man had replied that that was nobody's busi- 
ness, but that he could do what he said. 

Jurgia had made some friends by this time, and ho 
sought one of them and asked what this meant. The 
friend, who was named Tamoszius Kuszleika, was a sharp 


little man who folded hides on the killing-beds, and he 
listened to what Jurgis had to say without seeming at all 
surprised. They were common enough, he said, such 
cases of petty graft. It was simply some boss who pro- 
posed to add a little to his income. After Jurgis had 
been there awhile he would know that the plants were 
simply honeycombed with rottenness of that sort the 
bosses grafted off the men, and they grafted off each 
other ; and some day the superintendent would find out 
about the boss, and then he would graft off the boss. 
Warming to the subject, Tamoszius went on to explain 
the situation. Here was Durham's, for instance, owned by 
a man who was trying to make as much money out of it 
as he could, and did not care in the least how he did it ; 
and underneath him, ranged in ranks and grades like an 
army, were managers and superintendents and foremen, 
each one driving the man next below him and trying to 
squeeze out of him as much work as possible. And all 
the men of the same rank were pitted against each other ; 
the accounts of each were kept separately, and every man 
lived in terror of losing his job, if another made a better 
record than he. So from top to bottom the place was 
simply a seething cauldron of jealousies and hatreds ; 
there was no loyalty or decency anywhere about it, 
there was no place in it where a man counted for any- 
thing against a dollar. And worse than there being no 
decency, there was not even any honesty. The reason 
for that ? Who could say ? It must have been old 
Durham in the beginning ; it was a heritage which the 
self-made merchant had left to his son, along with his 

Jurgis would find out these things for himself, if he 
stayed there long enough ; it was the men who had to do 
all the dirty jobs, and so there was no deceiving them ; 
and they caught the spirit of the place, and did like all 
the rest. Jurgis had come there, and thought he was 
going to make himself useful, and rise and become a 
skilled man ; but he would soon find out his error for 
nobody rose in Packingtown by doing good work. You 


could lay that down for a rule if you met a man who 
was rising in Packingtown, you met a knave. That man 
who had been sent to Jurgis's father by the boss, he would 
rise ; the man who told tales and spied upon his fellows 
would rise; but the man who minded his own business 
and did his work why, they would "speed him up" till 
they had worn him out, and then they would throw him 
into the gutter. 

Jurgis went home with his head buzzing. Yet he could 
not bring himself to believe such things no, it could not 
be so. Tamoszius was simply another of the grumblers. 
He was a man who spent all his time fiddling; and he 
would go to parties at night and not get home till sunrise, 
and so of course he did not feel like work. Then, too, 
he was a puny little chap ; and so he had been left behind 
in the race, and that was why he was sore. And yet so 
many strange things kept coming to Jurgis's notice every 
day I 

He tried to persuade his father to have nothing to do 
with the offer. But old Antanas had begged until he was 
worn out, and all his courage was gone ; he wanted a job, 
any sort of a job. So the next day he went and found the 
man who had spoken to him, and promised to bring him a 
third of all he earned ; and that same day he was put to 
work in Durham's cellars. It was a "pickle-room," where 
there was never a dry spot to stand upon, and so he had 
to take nearly the whole of his first week's earnings 
to buy him a pair of heavy-soled boots. He was a 
" squeedgie " man ; his job was to go about all day with a 
long-handled mop, swabbing up the floor. Except that 
it was damp and dark, it was not an unpleasant job, in 

Now Antanas Rudkus was the meekest man that God 
ever put on earth ; and so Jurgis found it a striking con- 
firmation of what the men all said, that his father had 
been at work only two days before he came home as bitter 
as any of them, and cursing Durham's with all the power 
of his soul. For they had set him to cleaning out the 
traps ; and the family sat round and listened in wonder 


while he told them what that meant. It seemed that he 
was working in the room where the men prepared the bee! 
for canning, and the beef had lain in vats full of chemicals, 
and men with great forks speared it out and dumped it 
into trucks, to be taken to the cooking-room. When they 
had speared out all they could reach, they emptied the vat 
on the floor, and then with shovels scraped up the balance 
and dumped it into the truck. This floor was filthy, yet 
they set Antanas with his mop slopping the "pickle" 
into a hole that connected with a sink, where it was caught 
and used over again forever ; and if that were not enough, 
there was a trap in the pipe, where all the scraps of meat 
and odds and ends of refuse were caught, and every few 
days it was the old man's task to clean these out, and 
shovel their contents into one of the trucks with the rest 
of the meat I 

This was the experience of Antanas ; and then there 
came also Jonas and Marija with tales to tell. Marija was 
working for one of the independent packers, and was quite 
beside herself and outrageous with triumph over the sums 
of money she was making as a painter of cans. But one 
day she walked home with a pale-faced little woman who 
worked opposite to her, Jadvyga Marcinkus by name, and 
Jadvyga toJd her how she, Marija, had chanced to get her 
job. She had taken the place of an Irish woman who had 
been working in that factory ever since any one could re- 
member, for over fifteen years, so she declared. Mary 
Dennis was her name, and a long time ago she had been 
seduced, and had a little boy ; he was a cripple, and an 
epileptic, but still he was all that she had in the world to 
love, and they had lived in a little room alone somewhere 
back of Halsted Street, where the Irish were. Mary had 
had consumption, and all day long you might hear her 
soughing as she worked ; of late she had been going all to 
pieces, and when Marija came, the " forelady " had sud- 
denly decided to turn her off. The forelady had to come 
np to a certain standard herself, and could not stop for 
aick people, Jadvyga explained. The fact that Mary had 
been there so long had not made any difference to her 


it was doubtful if she even knew that, fop both the f orelady 
and the superintendent were new people, having only been 
there two or three years themselves." Jadvyga did not 
know what had become of the poor creature ; she would 
have gone to see her, but had been sick herself. She had 
pains in her back all the time, Jadvyga explained, and 
feared that she had womb trouble. It was not fit work for 
a woman, handling fourteen-pound cans all day. 

It was a striking circumstance that Jonas, too, had 
gotten his job by the misfortune of some other person. 
Jonas pushed a truck loaded with hams from the smoke- 
rooms on to an elevator, and thence to the packing-rooms. 
The trucks were all of iron, and heavy, and they put 
about threescore hams on each of them, a load of more 
than a quarter of a ton. On the uneven floor it was a 
task for a man to start one of these trucks, unless he was 
a giant ; and when it was once started he naturally tried 
his best to keep it going. There was always the boss 
prowling about, and if there was a second's delay he 
would fall to cursing ; Lithuanians and Slovaks and such, 
who could not understand what was said to them, the 
bosses were wont to kick about the place like so many 
dogs. Therefore these trucks went for the most part on 
the run ; and the predecessor of Jones had been jammed 
against the wall by one and crushed in a horrible and 
nameless manner. 

All of these were sinister incidents; but they were 
trifles compared to what Jurgis saw with his own eyes 
before long. One curious thing he had noticed, the very 
first day, in his profession of shoveller of guts ; which was 
the sharp trick of the floor-bosses whenever there chanced 
to come a ** slunk " calf. Any man who knows anything 
about butchering knows that the flesh of a cow that is 
about to calve, or has just calved, is not fit for food. A 
good many of these came every day to the packing-houses 
and, of course, if they had chosen, it would have been 
an easy matter for the packers to keep them till they were 
fit for food. But for the saving of time and fodder, it was 
the ^w that cows of that sort came along with the others, 


and whoever noticed it would tell the boss, and the boss 
would start up a conversation with the government in- 
spector, and the two would stroll away. So in a trice the 
carcass of the cow would be cleaned out, and the entrails 
would have vanished ; it was Jurgis's task to slide them 
into the trap, calves and all, and on the floor below they 
took out these " slunk " calves, and butchered them for 
meat, and used even the skins of them. 

One day a man slipped and hurt his leg ; and that after- 
noon, when the last of the cattle had been disposed of, and 
the men were leaving, Jurgis was ordered to remain and 
do some special work which this injured man had usually 
done. It was late, almost dark, and the government in- 
spectors had all gone, and there were only a dozen or two 
of men on the floor. That day they had killed about four 
thousand cattle, and these cattle had come in freight 
trains from far states, and some of them had got hurt. 
There were some with broken legs, and some with gored 
sides ; there were some that had died, from what cause no 
ona could say ; and they were all to be disposed of, here 
in darkness and silence. "Downers," the men called 
them ; and the packing-house had a special elevator upon 
which they were raised to the killing-beds, where the gang 
proceeded to handle them, with an air of businesslike 
nonchalance which said plainer than any words that it was 
a matter of everyday routine. It took a couple of hours 
to get them oat of the way, and in the end Jurgis saw 
them go into the chilling-rooms with the rest of the meat, 
being carefully scattered here and there so that they could 
not be identified. When he came home that night he was 
in a very sombre mood, having begun to see at last how 
those might be right who had laughed at him for his faith 
in America. 


JTJRGIS and Ona were very much in love; they had 
waited a long time it was now well into the second 
year, and Jurgis judged everything by the criterion of its 
helping or hindering their union. All his thoughts were 
there ; he accepted the family because it was a part of 
Ona, and he was interested in the house because it was to 
be Ona's home. Even the tricks and cruelties he saw at 
Durham's had little meaning for him just then, save as 
they might happen to affect his future with Ona. 

The marriage would have been at once, if they had had 
their way ; but this would mean that they would have t 
do without any wedding-feast,, and when they suggested 
this they came into conflict with the old people. To Teta 
Elzbieta especially the very suggestion was an affliction. 
What! she would cry. To be married on the roadside 
like a parcel of beggars I No! No! Elzbieta had some 
traditions behind her; she had been a person of impor- 
tance in her girlhood had lived on a big estate and had 
servants, and might have married well and been a lady, 
but for the fact that there had been nine daughters and 
no sons in the family. Even so, however, she knew what 
was decent, and clung to her traditions with desperation. 
They were not going to lose all caste, even if they had 
come to be unskilled laborers in Fackingtown; and that 
Ona had even talked of omitting a veselija was enough to 
keep her stepmother lying awake all night. It was in 
vain for them to say that they had so few friends ; they 
were bound to have friends in time, and then the friends 
would talk about it. They must not give up what was 
right for a little money if they did, the money would 
never do them any good, they could depend upon that 


And Elzbieta would call upon Dede Antanas to support 
her ; there was a fear in the souls of these two, lest this 
journey to a new country might somehow undermine the 
old home virtues of their children. The very first Sunday 
they had all been taken to mass ; and poor as they were, 
Elzbieta had felt it advisable to invest a little of her re- 
sources in a representation of the babe of Bethlehem, made 
in plaster, and painted in brilliant colors. Though it was 
only a foot high, there was a shrine with four snow-white 
steeples, and the Virgin standing with her child in her 
arms, and the kings and shepherds and wise men bowing 
down before him. It had cost fifty cents ; but Elzbieta 
had a feeling that money spent for such things was not to 
be counted too closely, it would come back in hidden ways. 
The piece was beautiful on the parlor mantel, and one 
could not have a home without some sort of ornament. 

The cost of the wedding-feast would, of course be re- 
turned to them; but the problem was to raise it even 
temporarily. They had been in the neighborhood so 
.short a time that they could not get much credit, and 
there was no one except Szedvilas from whom they could 
borrow even a little. Evening after evening Jurgis and 
Ona would sit and figure the expenses, calculating the 
term of their separation. They could not possibly man- 
age it decently for less than two hundred dollars, and 
even though they were welcome to count in the whole 
of the earnings of Marija and Jonas, as a loan, they could 
not hope to raise this sum in less than four or five months. 
So Ona began thinking of seeking employment herself, say- 
ing that if she had even ordinarily good luck, she might be 
able to take two months off the time. They were just 
beginning to adjust themselves to this necessity, when 
out of the clear sky there fell a thunderbolt upon them 
a calamity that scattered all their hopes to the four 

About a block away from them there lived another 
Lithuanian family, consisting of an elderly widow and 
one grown son; their name was Majauszkis, and our 
friends struck UD an acquaintance with them before long. 


One evening they came over for a visit, and naturally the 
first subject upon which the conversation turned was the 
neighborhood and its history; and then Grandmother 
Majauszkiene, as the old lady was called, proceeded to 
recite to them a string of horrors that fairly froze their 
blood. She was a wrinkled-up and wizened personage 
she must have been eighty and as she mumbled the grim 
story through her toothless gums, she seemed a very old 
witch to them. Grandmother Majauszkiene had lived in 
the midst of misfortune so long that it had come to be her 
element, and she talked about starvation, sickness, and death 
as other people might about weddings and holidays, 

The thing came gradually. In the first place as to the 
house they had bought, it was not new at all, as they had 
supposed ; it was about fifteen years old, and there was 
nothing new upon it but the paint, which was so bad that 
it needed to be put on new every year or two. The house 
was one of a whole row that was built by a company which 
existed to make money by swindling poor people. The 
family had paid fifteen hundred dollars for it, and it had 
not cost the builders five hundred, when it was new 
Grandmother Majauszkiene knew that because her son 
belonged to a political organization with a contractor who 
put up exactly such houses. They used the very flim- 
siest and cheapest material ; they built the houses a dozen 
at a time, and they cared about nothing at all except the 
outside shine. The family could take her word as to the 
trouble they would have, for she had been through it all 
she and her son had bought their house in exactly the 
same way. They had fooled the company, however, for 
her son was a skilled man, who made as high as a hundred 
dollars a month, and as he had had sense enough not to 
marry, they had been able to pay for the house. 

Grandmother Majauszkiene saw that her friends were 
puzzled at this remark ; they did not quite see how pay- 
ing for the house was " fooling the companv." Evidently 
tney were very inexperienced. Cheap as the houses were, 
they were sold with the idea that the people who bought 
them would not be able to pay for them. When they 


failed if it were only by a single month they would 
lose the house and all that they had paid on it, and then 
the company would sell it over again. And did they often 
get a chance to do that? Dieve! (Grandmother Majaus- 
zkiene raised her hands.) They did it -how often no 
one could say, but certainly more than half of the time. 
They might ask any one who knew anything at all about 
Packingtown as to that; she had been living here ever 
since this house was built, and she could tell them all 
about it. And had it ever been sold before? Susimilkie ! 
Why, since it had been built, no less than four families that 
thsir informant could name had tried to buy it and failed. 
She would tell them a little about it. 

The first family had been Germans. The families had 
all been of different nationalities there had been a repre- 
sentative of several races that had displaced each other in 
the stockyards. Grandmother Majauszkiene had come to 
America with her son at a time when so far as she knew 
there was only one other Lithuanian family in the district ; 
the workers had all been Germans then skilled cattle- 
butchers that the packers had brought from abroad to 
start the business. Afterward, as cheaper labor had 
come, these Germans had moved away. The next were 
the Irish there had been six or eight years when 
Packingtown had been a regular Irish city. There were 
a few colonies of them still here, enough to run all the 
unions and the police force and get all the graft; but 
the most of those who were working in the packing- 
houses had gone away at the next drop in wages 
after the big strike. The Bohemians had come then, and 
after them the Poles. People said that old man Durham 
himself was responsible for these immigrations; he had 
sworn that he would fix the people of Packingtown so 
that they would never again call a strike on him, and so 
be had sent his agents into every city and village in 
Europe to spread the tale of the chances of work and 
high wages at the stockyards. The people had come in 
hordes ; and old Durham had squeezed them tighter and 
tighter, speeding them up and grinding them to pieces. 


and sending for new ones. The Poles, who had come by 
tens of thousands, had been driven to the wall by the 
Lithuanians, and now the Lithuanians were giving way 
to the Slovaks. Who there was poorer and more miser- 
able than the Slovaks, Grandmother Majauszkiene had 
no idea, but the packers would find them, never fear. 
It was easy to bring them, for wages were really much 
higher, and it was only when it was too late that the 
poor people found out that everything else was higher 
too. They were like rats in a trap, that was the truth ; 
and more of them were piling in every day. By and by 
they would have their revenge, though, for the thing 
was getting beyond human endurance, and the people 
would rise and murder the packers. Grandmother 
Majauszkiene was a socialist, or some such strange 
thing; another son of hers was working in the mines 
of Siberia, and the old lady herself had made speeches 
in her time which made her seem all the more terrible 
to her present auditors. 

They called her back to the story of the house. The 
German family had been a good sort. To be sure there 
had been a great many of them, which was a common fail- 
ing in Packingtown ; but they had worked hard, and the 
father had been a steady man, and they had a good deal 
more than half paid for the house. But he had been 
killed in an elevator accident in Durham's. 

Then there had come the Irish, and there had been lots 
of them, too ; the husband drank and beat the children 
the neighbors could hear them shrieking any night. They 
\\rere behind with their rent all the time, but the company 
was good to them ; there was some politics back of that, 
Grandmother Majauszkiene could not say just what, but 
the Laffertys had belonged to the "War Whoop League," 
which was a sort of political club of all the thugs and 
rowdies in the district ; and if you belonged to that, you 
could never be arrested for anything. Once upon a time 
old Lafferty had been caught with a gang that had stolen 
cows from several of the poor people of the neighborhood 
and butchered them hi an old shanty back of the yards 


and sold them. He had been in jail only three days foi 
it, and had come out laughing, and had not even lost his 
place in the packing-house. He had gone all to ruin with 
the drink, however, and lost his power; one of his sons, 
who was a good man, had kept him and the family up for 
a year or two, but then he had got sick with consumption. 
That was another thing, Grandmother Majauzskiene 
interrupted herself this house was unlucky. Every 
family that lived in it, some one was sure to get con- 
sumption. Nobody could tell why that was ; there must 
be something about a house, or the way it was built 
some folks said it was because the building had been 
begun in the dark of the moon. There were dozens of 
houses that way in Packingtown. Sometimes there would 
be a particular room that you could point out if any- 
body slept in that room he was just as good as dead. 
With this house it had been the Irish first*, and then a 
Bohemian family had lost a child of it though, to be 
sure, that was uncertain, since it was hard to tell what 
was the matter with children who worked in the yards. 
In those days there had been no law about the age of 
children the packers had worked all but the babies. 
At this remark the family looked puzzled, and Grand- 
mother Majauszkiene again had to make an explanation 
that it was against the law for children to work before 
they were sixteen. What was the sense of that? they 
asked. They had been thinking of letting little Stani- 
slovas go to work. Well, there was no need to worry, 
Grandmother Majauszkiene said the law made no differ- 
ence except that it forced people to lie about the ages of 
their children. One would like to know what the law- 
makers expected them to do ; there were families that had 
no possible means of support except the children, and 
the law provided them no other way of getting a living. 
Very often a man could get no work in Packingtown for 
months, while a child could go and get a place easily; 
there was always some new machine, by which the packers 
could get as much work out of a child as they had been able 
to get out of a man, and for a third of the pay. 


To come back to the house again, it was the woman of 

the next family that had died. That was after they had 
been there nearly four years, and this woman had had 
twins regularly every year and there had been more 
than you could count when they moved in. After she 
died the man would go to work all day and leave them 
to shift for themselves the neighbors would help them 
now and then, for they would almost freeze to death. At 
the end there were three days that they were alone, be- 
fore it was found out that the father was dead. He was 
a " floorsman " at Jones's, and a wounded steer had broken 
loose and mashed him against a pillar. Then the children 
had been taken away, and the company had sold the house 
that very same week to a party of emigrants. 

So this grim old woman went on with her tale of hor- 
rors. How much of it was exaggeration who could 
tell? It was only too plausible. There was that about 
consumption, for instance. They knew nothing about 
consumption whatever, except that it made people cough ; 
and for two weeks they had been worrying about a cough- 
ing-spell of Antanas. It seemed to shake him all over, 
and it never stopped ; you could see a red stain wherever 
he had spit upon the floor. 

And yet all these things were as nothing to what came 
a little later. They had begun to question the old lady 
as to why one family had been unable to pay, trying to 
show her by figures that it ought to have been possible ; 
and Grandmother Majauszkiene had disputed their figures 
" You say twelve dollars a month ; but that does not 
include the interest." 

Then they stared at her. "Interest I " they cried. 

44 Interest on the money you still owe," she answered. 

44 But we don't have ibo pay any interest I " they ex- 
claimed, three or four at once. " We only have to pay 
twelve dollars each month." 

And for this she laughed at them. * 4 You are like all 
the rest," she said; "they trick you and eat you alive. 
They never sell the houses without interest. Get youi 
deed, and see." 


Then, with a horrible sinking of the heart, T'eta Elzbieta 
unlocked her bureau and brought out the paper that had 
already caused them so many agonies. Now they sat 
round, scarcely breathing, while the old lady, who could 
read English, ran over it. * Yes" she said, finally, " here 
it is, of course : ' With interest thereon monthly, at the 
rate of seven per cent per annum.' " 

And there followed a dead silence. "What does that 
mean ? " asked Jurgis finally, almost in a whisper. 

"That means," replied the other, "that you have to 
pay them seven dollars next month, as well as the twelve 

Then again there was not a sound. It was sickening, 
like a nightmare, in which suddenly something gives way 
beneath you, and you feel yourself sinking, sinking, down 
into bottomless abysses. As if in a flash of lightning they 
saw themselves victims of a relentless fate, cornered, 
trapped, in the grip of destruction. All the fair struc- 
ture of their hopes came crashing about their ears. And 
all the time the old woman was going on talking. 
They wished that she would be still ; her voice sounded 
like the croaking of some dismal raven. Jurgis sat with 
his hands clenched and beads of perspiration on his fore- 
head, and there was a great lump in Ona's throat, choking 
her. Then suddenly Teta Elzbieta broke the silence with 
a wail, and Marija began to wring her hands and sob. 
U AH Ail Beda man!" 

All their outcry did them no good, of course. There 
sat Grandmother Majauszkiene, unrelenting, typifying 
fate. No, of course it was not fair, but then fairness had 
nothing to do with it. And of course they had not known 
it. They had not been intended to know it. But it was 
in the deed, and that was all that was necessary, as they 
would find when the time came. 

Somehow or other they got rid of their guest, and then 
they passed a night of lamentation. The children woke up 
and found out that something was wrong, and they wailed 
and would not be comforted. In the morning, of course, 
most of them had to go to work, the packing-houses would 


not stop for their sorrows ; but by seven o'clock Ona and 
her stepmother were standing at the door of the office of 
the agent. Yes, he told them, when he came, it was quite 
true that they would have to pay interest. And then 
Teta Elzbieta broke forth into protestations and reproaches, 
so that the people outside stopped and peered in at the win- 
dow. The agent was as bland as ever. He was deeply 
pained, he said. He had not told them, simply because 
he had supposed they would understand that they had to 
pay interest upon their debt, as a matter of course. 

So they came away, and Ona went down to the yards, 
and at noon-time saw Jurgis and told him. Jurgis took 
it stolidly he had made up his mind to it by this time. 
It was part of fate ; they would manage it somehow 
he made his usual answer, "I will work harder." It 
would upset their plans for a time ; and it would perhaps 
be necessary for Ona to get work after all. Then Ona 
added that Teta Elzbieta had decided that little Stani- 
slovas would have to work too. It was not fair to let 
Jurgis and her support the family the family would 
have to help as it could. Previously Jurgis had scouted 
this idea, but now knit his brows and nodded his head 
slowly yes, perhaps it would be best; they would all 
have to make some sacrifices now. 

So Ona set out that day to hunt for work ; and at night 
Marija came home saying that she had met a girl named 
Jasaityte who had a friend that worked in one of the 
wrapping-rooms in Brown's, and might get a place for 
Ona there ; only the forelady was the kind that takes 
presents it was no use for any one to ask her for a place 
unless at the same time they slipped a ten-dollar bill into 
her hand. Jurgis was not in the least surprised at this 
now he merely asked what the wages of the place would 
be. So negotiations were opened, and after an interview 
Ona came home and reported that the forelady seemed to 
like iier, and had said that, while she was not sure, she 
thought she^might be able to put her at work sewing covers 
on hams, a job at which she could earn as as eight 
or ten dollars a week. That was a bid, so Marija reported, 


after consulting her friend ; and then there was an anxious 
conference at home. The work was done in one of the 
cellars, and Jurgis did not want Ona to wore in such a 
place ; but then it was easy work, and one could not have 
everything. So in the end Ona, with a ten-dollar bill 
burning a hole in her palm, had another interview with 
the forelady. 

Meantime Teta Elzbieta had taken Stanislovas to the 
priest and gotten a certificate to the effect that he was 
two years older than he was ; and with it the little boy 
now sallied forth to make his fortune in the world. It 
chanced that Durham had just put in a wonderful new 
lard-machine, and when the special policeman in front of 
the time-station saw Stanislovas and his document, he 
smiled to himself and told him to go " Czia I Czia ! " 
pointing. And so Stanislovas went down a long stoiia 
corridor, and up a flight of stairs, which took him into a 
room lighted by electricity, with the new machines f<y 
filling lard-cans at work in it. The lard was finished on 
the floor above, and it came in little jets, like beautiful, 
wriggling, snow-white snakes of unpleasant odor. There 
were several kinds and sizes of jets, and after a certain 
precise quantity had come out, each stopped automatically, 
and the wonderful machine made a turn, and took the can 
under another jet, and so on, until it was filled neatly to 
the brim, and pressed tightly, and smoothed off. To 
attend to all this and fill several hundred cans of lard per 
hour, there were necessary two human creatures, one of 
whom knew how to place an empty lard-can on a certain 
spot every few seconds, and the other of whom knew how 
to take a full lard-can off a certain spot every few seconds 
and set it upon a tray. 

And so, after little Stanislovas had stood gazing timidly 
about him for a few minutes, a man approached him, and 
asked what he wanted, to which Stanislovas said, "Job." 
Then the man said " How old ? " and Stanislovas answered, 
"Sixtin." Once or twice every year a state inspector 
vvxmld come wandering through the packing-plants, ask- 
ing a child here and there how old he was ; and so the 


packers were very careful to comply with the law, which 
cost them as much trouble as was now involved in the 
boss's taking the document from the little boy, and glanc- 
ing at it, and then sending it to the office to be filed away 
Then he set some one else at a different job, and showed 
the lad how to place a lard-can every time the empty arm 
of the remorseless machine came to him ; and so was de- 
cided the place in the universe of little Stanislovas, and 
his destiny till the end of his days. Hour after hour, day 
after day, year .after year, it was fated that he should 
stand upon a certain square foot of floor from seven in the 
morning until noon, and again from half-past twelve till 
half-past five, making never a motion and thinking never 
a thought, save for the setting of lard-cans. In summer 
the stench of the warm lard would be nauseating, and in 
winter the cans would all but freeze to his naked lictle 
fingers in the unheated cellar. Half the year it would be 
dark as night when he went in to work, and dark as night 
again when he came out, and so he would never know what 
the sun looked like on week-days. And for this, at the end 
of the week, he would carry home three dollars to his 
family, being his pay at the rate of five cents per hour 
just about his proper share of the total earnings of the 
million and three-quarters of children who are now en- 
gaged in earning their livings in the United States. 

And meantime, because they were young, and hope is 
not to be stifled before its time, Jurgis and Ona were 
again calculating ; for they had discovered that the wages 
of Stanislovas would a little more than pay the interest;, 
which left them just about as they had been before I It 
would be but fair to them to say that the little boy was 
delighted with his work, and at the idea of earning a lot 
of money ; and also that the two were very much in love 
with each other. 


ALL summer long the family toiled, and in the fall 
they had money enough for Jurgis and Ona to be married 
according to home traditions of decency. In the latter 
part of November they hired a hall, and invited all their 
new acquaintances, who came and left them over a hundred 
dollars in debt. 

It was a bitter and cruel experience, and it plunged 
them into an agony of despair. Such a time, of all times, 
for them to have it, when their hearts were made tender I 
Such a pitiful beginning it was for their married life ; 
they loved each other so, and they could not have the 
briefest respite I It was a time when everything cried 
out to them that they ought to be happy ; when wonder 
burned in their hearts, and leaped into flame at the slight- 
est breath. They were shaken to the depths of them, 
with the awe of love realized arid was it so very weak 
of them that they cried out for a little peace ? They had 
opened their hearts, like flowers to the springtime, and 
v he merciless winter had fallen upon them. They won- 
dered if ever any love that had blossomed in the world 
had been so crushed and trampled I 

Over them, relentless and savage, there cracked the 
lash of want ; the morning after the wedding it sought 
them as they slept, and drove them out before daybrea,k to 
work. Ona was scarcely able to stand with exhaustion } 
but if she were to lose her place they would be ruined, and 
she would surely lose it if she were not on time that day. 
They all had to go, even little Stanislovas, who was ill 
from overindulgence in sausages and sarsaparilla. All 
that day he stood at his lard-machiue, rocking unsteadily, 
his eyes closing in spite of him ; and he all but lost his 


place even so, for the foreman booted him twice to waken 

It was fully a week before they were all normal again, 
and meantime, with whining children and cross adults, 
the house was not a pleasant place to live in. Jurgis lost 
his temper very little, however, all things considered. It 
was because of Ona ; the least glance at her was always 
enough to make him control himself. She was so sensi- 
tive she was not fitted for such a life as this ; and a 
hundred times a day, when he thought of her, he would 
clench his hands and fling himself again at the task be* 
fore him. She wast too good for him, he told himself, 
and he was afraid, because she was his. So long he 
had hungered to possess her, but now that the time had 
come he knew that he had not earned the right ; that 
she trusted him so was all her own simple goodness, and 
no virtue of his. But he was resolved that she should 
never find this out, and so was always on the watch to 
see that he did not betray any of his ugly self; he 
would take care even in little matters, such as his manners, 
and his habit of swearing when things went wrong. The 
tears came so easily into Ona's eyes, and she would look 
at him so appealingly it kept Jurgis quite busy making 
resolutions, in addition to all the other things he had on 
his mind. It was true that more things were going on at 
this time in the mind of Jurgis than ever had in all his 
life before. 

He had to protect her, to do battle for her against the 
horror he saw about them. He was all that she had to 
look to, and if he failed she would be lost ; he would wrap 
his arms about her, and try to hide her from the world. 
He had learned the ways of things about him now. It 
was a war of each against all, and the devil take the hind- 
most. You did not give feasts to other people, you waited 
for them to give feasts to you. You went about with 
your soul full of suspicion and hatred ; you understood 
that you were environed by hostile powers that were trying 
to get your money, and who used all the virtues to bait 
their traps with. The storekeepers plastered up their 


windows with all sorts OY lies to entice yon ; the very 
fences by the wayside, the lamp-posts and telegraph-poles, 
were pasted over with lies. The great corporation which 
employed you lied to you, and lied to the whole country 
from top to bottom it was nothing but one gigantic lie. 

So Jurgis said that he understood it; and yet it was 
really pitiful, for the struggle was so unfair some had 
BO much the advantage I Here he was, for instance, vow- 
ing upon his knees that he would save Ona from harm, and 
only a week later she was suffering atrociously, and from 
the blow of an enemy that he could not possibly have 
thwarted. There came a day when the rain fell in tor- 
rents ; and it being December, to be wet with it and have 
to sit all day long in one of the cold cellars of Brown's was 
no laughing matter. Ona was a working-girl, and did not 
own waterproofs and such things, and so Jurgis took her 
and put her on the street-car. Now it chanced that this 
car-line was owned by gentlemen who were trying to make 
money. And the city having passed an ordinance requir- 
ing them to give transfers, they had fallen into a rage ; 
and first they had made a rule that transfers could be had 
only when the fare was paid ; and later, growing still uglier, 
they had made another that the passenger must ask for 
the transfer, the conductor was not allowed to offer it. 
Now Ona had been told that she was to get a transfer ; but 
it was not her way to speak up, and so she merely waited, 
following the conductor about with her eyes, wondering 
when he would think of her. When at last the time came for 
her to get out, she asked for the transfer, and was refused. 
Not knowing what to make of this, she began to argue with 
the conductor, in a language of which he did not under- 
stand a word. After warning her several times, he pulled 
the bell and the car went on at which Ona burst into 
tears. At the next corner she got out, of course ; and as 
she had no mere money, she had to walk the rest of the 
way to the yards in the pouring rain. And so all day long 
she sat shivering, and came home at night with her teeth 
chattering and pains in her head and back. For two weeks 
afterward she suffered cruelly and yet every day she 


had to drag herself to her work. The forewoman was 
especially severe with Ona, because she believed that she 
was obstinate on account of having been refused a holiday 
the day after her wedding. Ona had an idea that her 
" foreiady " did not like to have her girls marry perhaps 
because she was old and ugly and unmarried herself. 

There were many such dangers, in which the odds were 
all against them. Their children were not as well as they 
had been at home ; but how could they know that there was 
no sewer to their house, and that the drainage of fifteen 
years was in a cesspool under it? How could they know 
that the pale blue milk that they bought around the corner 
was watered, and doctored with formaldehyde besides? 
When the children were not well at home, Teta Elzbieta 
would gather herbs and cure them ; now she was obliged 
to go to the drag-store and buy extracts and how was 
she to know that they were all adulterated ? How could 
they find out that their tea and coffee, their sugar and flour, 
had been doctored ; that their canned peas had been colored 
with copper salts, and their fruit jams with aniline dyes? 
And even if they had known it, what good would it have 
done them, since there was no place within miles of them 
where any other sort was to be had? The bitter winter 
was coming, and they had to save money to get more cloth- 
ing and bedding ; but it would not matter in the least how 
much they saved, they could not get anything to keep 
them warm. All the clothing that was to be had in the 
stores was made of cotton and shoddy, which is made by 
tearing old clothes to pieces and weaving the fibre again. 
If they paid higher prices, they might get frills and fanci- 
ness, or be cheated ; but genuine quality they could not 
obtain for love nor money. A young friend of Szedvilas's, 
recently come from abroad, had become a clerk in a store 
on Ashland Avenue, and he narrated with glee a trick 
that had been played upon an unsuspecting countryman 
by his boss. The cuztomer had desired to purchase an 
alarm-clock, and the boss had shown him two exactly simi- 
lar, telling him that the price of one was a dollar and of 
the other a dollar seventy-five* Upon being asked what 


the difference was, the man had wound up the first half- 
way and the second all the way, and showed the customer 
how the latter made twice as much noise ; upon which the 
customer remarked that he was a sound sleeper, and had 
better take the more expensive clock 1 

There is a poet who sings that 

'Deeper their heart grows and nobler their bearing, 
\V hose youth in the fires of anguish hath died." 

But it is not likely that he had reference to the kind of an- 
guish that comes with destitution, that is so endlessly bitter 
and cruel, and yet so sordid a-nd petty, so ugly, so humiliat- 
ing unredeemed by the slightest touch of dignity or even 
of pathos. It is a kind of anguish that poets have not 
commonly dealt with ; its very words are not admitted into 
the vocabulary of poets the details of it cannot be told 
in polite society at all. How, for instance, could any one 
expect to excite sympathy among lovers of good literature 
by telling how a family found their home alive with ver- 
min, and of all the suffering and inconvenience and hu- 
miliation they were put to, and the hard-earned money 
they spent, in efforts to get rid of them? After long hesi- 
tation and uncertainty they paid twenty-five cents for a 
big package of insect-powder a patent preparation which 
chanced to be ninety-five per cent gypsum, a harmless earth 
which had cost about two cents to prepare. Of course it 
had not the least effect, except upon a few roaches which 
had the misfortune to drink water after eating it, and so 
got their inwards set in a coating of plaster of Paris. The 
family, having no idea of this, and no more money to throw 
away, had nothing to do but give up and submit to one 
more misery for the rest of their days. 

Then there was old Antanas. The winter came, and 
the place where he worked was a dark, unheated cellar, 
where you could see your breath all day, and where your 
fingers sometimes tried to freeze. So the old man's cough 
grew every day worse, until there came a time when it 
hardly ever stopped, and he had become a nuisance about 


the place. Then, too, a still more dreadful thing hap- 
pened to him ; he worked in a place where his feet were 
soaked in chemicals, and it was not long before they had 
eaten through his new boots. Then sores began to break 
out on his feet, and grow worse and worse. Whether it 
was that his blood was bad, or there had been a cut, he 
could not say ; but he asked the men about it, and learned 
that it was a regular thing it was the saltpetre. Every 
one felt it, sooner or later, and then it was all up with him, 
at least for that sort of work. The sores would never 
heal in the end his toes would drop off, if he did not 
quit. Yet old Antanas would not quit ; he saw the suf- 
fering of his family, and he remembered what it had cost 
him to get a job. So he tied up his feet, and went en 
limping about and coughing, until at last he fell to pieces, 
all at once and in a heap, like the One-Horse Shay. 
They carried him to a dry place and laid him on the floor, 
and that night two of the men helped him home. The 
poor old man was put to bed, and though he tried it every 
morning until the end, he never could get up again. He 
would lie there and cough and cough, day and night, 
wasting away to a mere skeleton. There came a time 
when there was so little flesh on him that the bones began 
to poke through which was a horrible thing to see or 
even to think of. And one night he had a choking fit, 
and a little river of blood came out of his mouth. The 
family, wild with terror, sent for a doctor, and paid half 
a dollar to be told that there was nothing to be done. 
Mercifully the doctor did not say this so that the old man 
could hear, for he was still clinging to the faith that 
to-morrow or next day he would be better, and could go 
back to his job. The company had sent word to him that 
they would keep it for him or rather Jurgis had bribed 
one of the men to come one Sunday afternoon and say 
they had. Dede Antanas continued to believe it, while 
three more hemorrhages came ; and then at last one morn- 
ing they found him stiff and cold. Things were not 
going well with them then, and though it nearly broke 
Teta Elzbieta's heart, they were forced to dispense with 


nearly all the decencies of a funeral; they had only a 
hearse, and one hack for the women and children; and 
Jurgis, who was learning things fast, spent all Sunday 
making a bargain for these, and he made it in the pres- 
ence of witnesses, so that when the man tried to charge 
him for all sorts of incidentals, he did not have to pay. 
For twenty-five years old Antanas Rudkus and his son 
had dwelt in the forest together, and it was hard to part 
in this way ; perhaps it was just as well that Jurgis had 
to give all his attention to the task of having a funeral 
without being bankrupted, and so had no time to indulge 
in memories and grief. 

Now the dreadful winter was come upon them. In the 
forests, all summer long, the branches of the trees do 
battle for light, and some of them lose and die ; and 
then come the raging blasts, and the storms of snow and 
hail, and strew the ground with these weaker branches. 
Just so it was in Packingtown ; the whole district braced 
itself for the struggle that was an agony, and those whose 
time was come died off in hordes. All the year round 
they had been serving as cogs in the great packing- 
machine ; and now was the time for the renovating of 
it, and the replacing of damaged parts. There came 
pneumonia and grippe, stalking among them, seeking 
for weakened constitutions; there was the annual har- 
vest of those whom tuberculosis had been dragging down. 
There came cruel, cold, and biting winds, and blizzards of 
snow, all testing relentlessly for failing muscles and im- 
poverished blood. Sooner or later came the day when 
the unfit one did not report for work ; and then, with no 
time lost in waiting, and no inquiries or regrets, tkere 
was a chance for a new hand. 

The new hands were here by the thousands. All day 
long the gates of the packing-houses were besieged by 
starving and penniless men ; they came, literally, by the 
thousands every single morning, fighting with each other 
for a chance for life. Blizzards and cold made no differ- 
ence to them, they were always on hand ; they were on 


hand two hours before the sun rose, an hour before the 
work began. Sometimes their faces froze, sometimes their 
feet and their hands; sometimes they froze all together 
but still they came, for they had no other place to go. 
One day Durham advertised in the paper for two hundred 
men to cut ice ; and all that day the homeless and starv- 
ing of the city came trudging through the snow from all 
over its two hundred square miles. That night forty 
score of them crowded into the station-house of the stock- 
yards district they filled the rooms, sleeping in each 
other's laps, toboggan-fashion, and they piled on top of 
each other in the corridors, till the police shut the doors 
and left some to freeze outside. On the morrow, before 
daybreak, there were three thousand at Durham's, and 
the police-reserves had to be sent for to quell the riot. 
Then Durham's bosses picked out twenty of the biggest; 
the "two hundred" proved to have been a printer's 

Four or five miles to the eastward lay the lake, and 
over this the bitter winds came raging. Sometimes the 
thermometer would fall to ten or twenty degrees below 
zero at night, and in the morning the streets would be 
piled with snowdrifts up to the first-floor windows. The 
streets through which our friends had to go to their work 
were all unpaved and full of deep holes and gullies ; in 
summer, when it rained hard, a man might have to wade 
to his waist to get to his house ; and now in winter it 
was no joke getting through these places, before light 
in the morning and after dark at night. They would 
wrap up in all they owned, but they could not wrap up 
against exhaustion ; and many a man gave out in these 
battles with the snowdrifts, and lay down and fell 

And if it was bad for the men, one may imagine how 
the women and children fared. Some would ride in the 
cars, if the cars were running ; but when you are making 
only five cents an hour, as was little Stanislovas, you do 
not like to spend that much to ride two miles. The chil- 
dren would come to the yards with great shawls about 


their ears, and so tied up that you could hardly find them 
and still there would be accidents. One bitter morn- 
ing in February the little boy who worked at the lard- 
machine with Stanislovas came about an hour late, and 
screaming with pain. They unwrapped him, and a man 
began vigorously rubbing his ears ; and as they were 
frozen stiff, it took only two or three rubs to break them 
short off. As a result of this, little Stanislovas conceived 
a terror of the cold that was almost a mania. Every 
morning, when it came time to start for the yards, he 
would begin to cry and protest. Nobody knew quite 
how to manage him, for threats did no good it seemed 
to be something that he could not control, and they feared 
sometimes that he would go into convulsions. In the end 
it had to be arranged that he always went with Jurgis, 
and came home with him again; and often, when the 
snow was deep, the man would carry him the whole way 
on his shoulders. Sometimes Jurgis would be working 
until late at night, and then it was pitiful, for there was 
no place for the little fellow to wait, save in the doorways 
or in a corner of the killing-beds, and he would all but 
fail asleep there, and freeze to death. 

There was no heat upon the killing-beds ; the men 
might exactly as well have worked out of doors all 
winter. For that matter, there was very little heat 
anywhere in the building, except in the cooking-rooms 
and such places and it was the men who worked in 
these who ran the most risk of all, because whenever 
they had to pass to another room they had to go through 
ice-cold corridors, and sometimes with nothing on above 
the waist except a sleeveless undershirt. On the killing- 
beds you were apt to be covered with blood, and it would 
freeze solid ; if you leaned against a pillar, you would 
freeze to that, and if you put your hand upon the blade 
of your knife, you would run a chance of leaving your 
skin on it. The men would tie up their feet in news- 
papers and old sacks, and these would be soaked in blood 
and frozen, and then soaked again, and so on, until by 
night-time a man would be walking on great lumps the 


size of the feet of an elephant. Now and then, when the 
bosses were not looking, you would see them plunging 
their feet and ankles into the steaming hot carcass of the 
steer, or darting across the room to the hot-water jets. 
The cruelest thing of all was that nearly all of them all 
of those who used knives were unable to wear gloves, 
and their arms would be white with frost and their hands 
would grow numb, and then of course there would be 
accidents. Also the air would be full of steam, from the 
hot water and the hot blood, so that you could not see 
five feet before you ; and then, with men rushing about 
at the speed they kept up on the killing-beds, and all with 
butcher-knives, like razors, in their hands well, it was 
to be counted as a wonder that there were not more men 
slaughtered than cattle. 

And yet all this inconvenience they might hare put up 
with, if only it had not been for one thing if only there 
had been some place where they might eat. Jurgis had 
either to eat his dinner amid the stench in which he had 
worked, or else to rush, as did all his companions, to 
any one of the hundreds of liquor stores which stretched 
out their arms to him. To the west of the yards ran Ash- 
land Avenue, and here was an unbroken line of saloons 
" Whiskey Row," they called it ; to the north was Forty- 
seventh Street, where th^re were half a dozen to the block, 
and at the angle of the two was " Whiskey Point," a space 
of fifteen or twenty acres, and containing one glue-factory 
and about two hundred saloons. 

One might walk among these and take his choice : 
" Hot pea-soup and boiled cabbage to-day." " Sauer- 
kraut and hot frankfurters. Walk in." " Bean-soup and 
stewed lamb. Welcome." All of these things were 
printed in many languages, as were also the names of the 
resorts, which were infinite in their variety and appeal 
There was the " Home Circle " and the " Cosey Corner " ; 
there were " Firesides " and " Hearthstones" and " Pleas- 
ure Palaces " and " Wonderlands " and " Dream Castles " 
and " Love's Delights." Whatever else they were called, 
they were sure to be called " Union Headquarters," and to 


hold out a welcome to workingmen ; and there was always 
a warm stove, and a chair near it, and some friends to laugh 
and talk with. There was only one condition attached, 
you must drink. If you went in not intending to drink, 
you would be put out in no time, and if you were slow 
about going, like as not you would get your head split 
open with a beer-bottle in the bargain. But all of the 
men understood the convention and drank ; they believed 
that by it they were getting something for nothing for 
they did not need to take more than one drink, and upon the 
strength of it they might fill themselves up with a good hot 
dinner. This did not always work out in practice, how- 
ever, for there was pretty sure to be a friend who would 
treat you, and then you would have to treat him. Then 
some one else would come in and, anyhow, a few drinks 
were good for a man who worked hard. As he went back 
he did not shiver so, he had more courage for his task ; 
the deadly brutalizing monotony of it did not afflict him 
so, he had ideas while he worked, and took a more cheer- 
ful view of his circumstances. On the way home, however, 
the shivering was apt to come on him again ; and so he 
would have to stop once or twice to warm up against the 
cruel cold. As there were hot things to eat in this saloon 
too, he might get home late to his supper, or he might not 
get home at all. And then his wife might set out to look 
for him, and she too would feel the cold ; and perhaps she 
would have some of the children with her and so a 
whole family would drift into drinking, as the current of 
a river drifts down-stream. As if to complete the chain, 
the packers all paid their men in checks, refusing all re- 
quests to pay in coin ; and where in Packingtown could a 
man go to have his check cashed but to a saloon, where 
he could pay for the favor by spending a part of the 
money ? 

From all. of these things Jurgis was saved because of 
Ona. He never would take but the one drink at noon- 
time ; and so he got the reputation of being a surly 
fellow, and was not quite welcome at the saloons, and had 
to drift about from one to another. Then at night he 


wt)u!d go straight home, helping Ona and Stanislovas, or 
often putting the former on a car. And when he got 
home perhaps he would have to trudge several blocks, and 
come staggering back through the snowdrifts with a bag 
of coal upon his shoulder. Home was not a very attrac- 
tive place at least not this winter. They had only been 
able to buy one stove, and this was a small one, and 
proved not big enough to warm even the kitchen in the 
bitterest weather. This made it hard for Teta Elzbieta all 
day, and for the children when they could not get to 
school. At night they would sit huddled round this 
stove, while they ate their supper off their laps ; and then 
Jurgis and Jonas would smoke a pipe, after which they 
would all crawl into their beds to get warm, after putting 
out the fire to save the coal. Then they would have some 
frightful experiences with the cold. They would sleep 
with all their clothes on, including their overcoats, and 
put over them all the bedding and spare clothing they 
owned ; the children would sleep all crowded into one 
bed, and yet even so they could not keep warm. The 
outside ones would be shivering and sobbing, crawling 
over the others and trying to get down into the centre, 
and causing a fight. This old house with the leaky 
weather-boards was a very different thing from their 
cabins at home, with great thick walls plastered inside 
and outside with mud ; and the cold which came upon 
them was a living thing, a demon-presence in the room. 
They would waken in the midnight hours, when every- 
thing was black ; perhaps they would hear it yelling out- 
side, or perhaps there would be deathlike stillness -~ and 
that would be worse yet. They could feel the cold as it 
crept in through the cracks, reaching out for them with its 
icy, death-dealing fingers; and they would crouch and 
cower, and try to hide from it, all in vain. It would come, 
and it would come ; a grisly thing, a spectre born in the 
black caverns of terror ; a power primeval, cosmic, shadow- 
ing the tortures of the lost souls flung out to chaos 
and destruction. It was cruel, iron-hard ; and hour after 
hour they would cringe in its grasp, alone, alone. There 


would be no one to hear them if they cried out ; there 
would be no help, no mercy. And so on until morning 
when they would go out to another day of toil, a little 
weaker, a little nearer to the time when it would be their 
turn to be shaken from the tree. 


YET even by this deadly winter the germ of hope was 
not to be kept from sprouting in their hearts. It was just 
at this time that the great adventure befell Marija. 

The victim was Tamoszius Kuszleika, who played the 
violin. Everybody laughed at them, for Tamoszius was 
petite and frail, and Marija could have picked hirn up and 
carried him off under one arm. But perhaps that was 
why she fascinated him; the sheer volume of Marija'g- 
energy was overwhelming. That first night at the wed- 
ding Tomoszius had hardly taken his eyes off her; and 
later on, when he came to find that she had really the 
heart of a baby, her voice and her violence ceased to ter- 
rify him, and he got the habit of coming to pay her visits 
on Sunday afternoons. There was no place to entertain 
company except in the kitchen, in the midst of the family, 
and Tamoszius would sit there with his hat between his 
knees, never saying more than half a dozen words at a 
time, and turning red in the face before he managed to 
say those; until finally Jurgis would clap him upon the 
back, in his hearty way, crying, "Come now, brother, give 
us a tune." And then Tamoszius's face would light up 
and he would get out his fiddle, tuck it under his chin, and 
play. And forthwith the soul of him would flame up and 
become eloquent it was almost an impropriety, for all the 
while his gaze would be fixed upon Marija's face until she 
would begin to turn red and lower her eyes. There was no 
resisting the music of Tamoszius, however; even the chil- 
dren would sit awed and wondering, and the tears would 
run down Teta Elzbieta's cheeks. A wonderful privilege 
it was to be thus admitted into the soul of a man of genius, 


to be allowed to share the ecstasies and the agonies of hit 
inmost life. 

Then there were other benefits accruing to Marija from 
this friendship benefits of a more substantial nature, 
People paid Tamoszius big money to come and make 
music on state occasions ; and also they would invite him 
to parties and festivals, knowing well that he was too 
good-natured to come without his fiddle, and that having 
brought it, he could be made to play while others danced. 
Once he made bold to ask Marija to accompany him to 
euch a party, and Marija accepted, to his great delight 
after which he never went anywhere without her, while if 
the celebration were given by friends of his, he would 
invite the rest of the family also. In any case Marija 
would bring back a huge pocketful of cakes and sandwiches 
for the children, and stories of all the good things she 
herself had managed to consume. She was compelled, at 
these parties, to spend most of her time at the refreshment 
table, for she could not dance with anybody except other 
women and very old men ; Tamoszius was of an excitable 
temperament, and afflicted with a frantic jealousy, and any 
unmarried man who ventured to put his arm about the 
ample waist of Marija would be certain to throw the 
orchestra out of tune. 

It was a great help to a person who had to toil all the 
week to be able to look forward to some such relaxation as 
this on Saturday nights. The family were too poor and too 
hard worked to make many acquaintances; in Packing- 
town, as a rule, people know only their near neighbors and 
shopmates, and so the place is like a myriad of little country 
villages. But now there was a member of the family who 
was permitted to travel and widen her horizon ; and so 
each week there would be new personalities to talk about, 
how so-and-so was dressed, and where she worked, and 
what she got, and whom she was in love with ; and how 
this man had jilted his girl, and how she had quarrelled 
with the other girl, and what had passed between them; 
and how another man beat his wife, and spent ail her 
earnings upon drink, and pawned her very clothes Some 


people would have scorned this talk as gossip ; but then 
one has to talk about what one knows. 

It was one Saturday night, as they were coming home 
from a wedding, that Tamoszius found courage, and set 
down his violin-case in the street and spoke his heart ; and 
then Marija clasped him in her arms. She told them all 
about it the next day, and fairly cried with happiness, 
for she said that Tamoszius was a lovely man. After 
that he no longer made love to her with his fiddle, but 
they would sit for hours in the kitchen, blissfully happy 
in each other's arms ; it was the tacit convention of the 
family to know nothing of what was going on in that 

They were planning to be married in the spring, and 
have the garret of the house fixed up, and live there. 
Taraoszius made good wages; and little by little the 
family were paying back their debt to Marija, so she 
ought soon to have enough to start life upon only, with 
her preposterous soft-hearted ness, she would insist upon 
spending a good part of her money every week for things 
which she saw they needed. Marija was really the capi- 
talist of the party, for she had become an expert can- 
painter by this time she was getting fourteen cents for 
every hundred and ten cans, and she could paint more 
than two cans every minute. Marija felt, so to speak, that 
she had her hand on the throttle, and the neighborhood 
was vocal with her rejoicings. 

Yet her friends would shake their heads and tell her to 
go slow ; one could not count upon such good fortune for- 
ever there were accidents that always happened. But 
Marija was not to be prevailed upon, and went on planning 
and dreaming of all the treasures she was going to have 
for her home; and so, when the crash did come, her grief 
was painful to see. 

For her canning-factory shut down I Marija would 
about as soon have expected to see the sun shut down 
the huge establishment had been to her a thing akin to 
She planets and the seasons. Bat now it was shut 1 And 
*hey had not given her any explanation, th>sj had not evso 


given her a day's warning ; they had simply posted & 
notice one Saturday that all hands would be paid off that 
afternoon, and would not resume work for at least a 
month 1 And that was all that there was to it her job 
was gone ! 

It was the holiday rush that was over, the girls said in 
answer to Marija's inquiries ; after that there was always 
a slack. Sometimes the factory would start up on half- 
time after a while, but there was no tslling it had been 
known to stay closed until way into the summer. The 
prospects were bad at present, for truckmen who worked 
in the store-rooms said that these were piled up to the ceil- 
ings, so that the firm could not have found room for an- 
other week's output of cans. And they had turned off 
three-quarters of these men, which was a still worse sign, 
since it meant that there were no orders to be filled. It 
was all a swindle, can-painting, said the girls you were 
crazy with delight because you were making twelve or 
fourteen dollars a week, and saving half of it ; but you 
had to spend it all keeping alive while you were out, and 
so your pay was really only half what you thought. 

Marija came home, and because she was a person who 
could not rest without danger of explosion, they first had 
a great house-cleaning, and then she set out to search 
Packingtown for a job to fill up the gap. As nearly ail 
the canning-establishments were shut down, and all the 
girls hunting work, it will be readily understood that 
Marija did not find any. Then she took to trying tht? 
stores and saloons, and when this failed she even travelled 
over into the far-distant regions near the lake front, where 
lived the rich people in great palaces, and begged there 
for some sort of work that could be done by a person who 
did not know English. 

The men upon the killing-beds felt also the effects of 
the slump which had turned Marija out ; but they felt it ir 
a different way, and a way which' made Jurgis understand 
at last all their bitterness. The big packers did not turn 
their hands off and close down, like the canning-factories , 


but they began to run for shorter and shorter hours. 
They had always required the men to be on the killing- 
beds and ready for work at seven o'clock, although there 
was almost never any work to be done till the buyers 
out in the yards had gotten to work, and some cattle had 
come over the chutes. That would often be ten or eleven 
o'clock, which was bad enough, in all conscience ; but now, 
in the slack season, they would perhaps not have a thing 
for their men to do till late in the afternoon. And so 
they would have to loaf around, in a place where the 
thermometer might be twenty degrees below zero I At 
first one would see them running about, or skylarking 
with each other, trying to keep warm ; but before the day 
was over they would become quite chilled through and 
exhausted, and, when the cattle finally came, so near frozen 
that to move was an agony. And then suddenly the place 
would spring into activity, and the merciless " speeding- 
up" would begin I 

There were weeks at a time when Jurgis went home 
after such a day as this with not more than two hours' 
work to his credit which meant about thirty-five cents. 
There were many days when the total was less than half 
an hour, and others when there was none at all. The 
general average was six hours a day, which meant for 
Jurgis about six dollars a week ; and this six hours of 
work would be done after standing on the killing-bed till 
one o'clock, or perhaps even three or four o'clock, in the 
afternoon. Like as not there would come a rush of cattle 
at the very end of the day, which the men would have to 
dispose of before they went home, often working by 
electric light till nine or ten, or even twelve or one o'clock, 
and without a single instant for a bite of supper. The 
men were at the mercy of the cattle. Perhaps the buyers 
would be holding off for better prices if they could scare 
the shippers into thinking that they meant to buy nothing 
bhat day, they couid get their own terms. For some 
reason the cost of fodder for cattle in the yards was much 
above the market price and you were not allowed to 
bring your own f odder 1 Then, too, a number of cars were 


apt to arrive late in the day, now that the roads were 

blocked with snow, and the packers would buy their 
cattle that night, to get them cheaper, and then would 
come into play their iron-clad rule, that all cattle must be 
killed the same day they were bought. There was no use 
kicking about this there had been one delegation after 
another to see the packers about it, only to be told that it was 
the rule, and that there was not the slightest chance of 
its ever being altered. And so on Christmas Eve Jurgis 
worked till nearly one o'clock in the morning, and on 
Christmas Day he was on the killing-bed at seven o'clock. 
All i-Lis was bad ; and yet it was not the worst. For 
after all the hard work a man did, he was paid for only 
part of it. Jurgis had once been among those who scoffed 
at the idea of these huge concerns cheating ; and so now he 
could appreciate the bitter irony of the fact that it was 
precisely their size which enabled them to do it with 
impunity. One of the rules on the killing-beds was that a 
man who was ona minute late was docked an hour ; and 
this was economical, for he was made to work the balance 
of the hour he was not allowed to stand round and 
wait. And on the other hand if he came ahead of time he 
got no pay for that though often the bosses would start 
up the gang ten or fifteen minutes before the whistle. 
And this same custom they carried over to the end of the 
day; they did not pay for any fraction of an hour for 
"broken time.** A man might work full fifty minutes, 
but if there was no work to fill out the hour, there was no 
pay for him. Thus the end of svery day was a sort of 
lottery a struggle, all but breaking into open war 
between the bosses and the men, the former trying to 
rush a job through and the latter trying to stretch it out. 
Jurgis blamed the bosses for this, though the truth to be 
told it was not always their fault; for the packers kept 
them frightened for their lives and when one was in 
danger of falling behind the standard, what was easier 
than to catch up by making the gang work awhile "for 
the church"? This was a savage witticism the men 
had, which Jurgis had to have explained to him. Old 


man Jones was great on missions and such things, and so 

whenever they were doing some particularly disreputable 
job, the men would wink at each other and say, "Now 
we're working for the church I " 

One of the consequences of all these things was that 
Jurgis was no longer pernlexed when he heard men talk 
of fighting for their rights. He felt like fighting now 
himself; and when the Irish delegate of the butcher- 
helpers' union came to him a second time, he received him 
in a far different spirit. A wonderful idea it now seemed 
to Jurgis, this of the men that by combining they 
might be able to make a stand and conquer the packers I 
Jurgis wondered who had first thought of it ; and when 
he was told that it was a common thing for men to do in 
America, he got the first inkling of a meaning in the 
phrase "a free country." The delegate explained to him 
how it depended upon their being able to get every man 
to join and stand by the organization, and so Jurgis sig- 
nified that he was willing to do his share. Before another 
month was by, all the working members of his family had 
union cards, and wore their union buttons conspicuously 
and with pride. For fully a week tbsy were quite bliss- 
fully happy, thinking that belonging to a union meant an 
end of all their troubles. 

But only ten days after she had joined, Marija's canning- 
factory closed down, and that blow quite staggered them. 
They could not understand why the union had not pre- 
vented it, and the very first time she attended a meeting 
Marija got up and made a speech about it. It was a 
business meeting, and was transacted in English, but 
that made no difference to Marija ; she said what was in 
her, and all the pounding of the chairman's gavel and all 
the uproar and confusion in the room could not prevail. 
Quite apart from her own troubles she was boiling over 
with a general sense of the injustice of it, and she told 
what she thought of the packers, and what she thought 
of a world where such things were allowed to happen; 
and then, while the echoes of the hall rang with the shock 
of her terrible voice, she sat down again and fanned her- 


self, and the meeting gathered itself together and pio* 
ceeded to discuss the election of a recording secretary. 
Jurgis too had an adventure the first time he attended 
a union meeting, but it was not of his own seeking. 
Jurgis had gone with the desire to get into an inconspic- 
uous corner and see what was done ; but this attitude of 
silent and open-eyed attention h^,d marked him out for a 
victim. Tommy Finnegan was a little Irishman, with 
big staring eyes and a wild aspect, a " hoister " by trade, 
and badly cracked. Somewhere back in the far-distant 
past Tommy Finnegan had had a strange experience, and 
the burden of it rested upon him. All the balance of his 
life he had done nothing but try to make it understood. 
When he talked he caught his victim by the buttonhole, 
and his face kept coming closer and closer which was 
trying, because his teeth were so bad. Jurgis did not 
mind that, only he was frightened. The method of opera- 
tion of the higher intelligences was Tom Finnegan's theme, 
and he desired to find out if Jurgis had ever considered 
that the representation of things in their present similar- 
ity might be altogether unintelligible upon a more elevated 
plane. There were assuredly wonderful mysteries about 
the developing of these things ; and then, becoming con- 
fidential, Mr. Finnegan proceeded to tell of some discov- 
eries of his own. " If ye have iver had onything to do 
wid shperrits," said he, and looked inquiringly at Jurgis, 
who kept shaking his head. " Niver mind, niver mind," 
continued the other, "but their influences may be oper- 
atin* upon ye ; it's shure as I'm tellin' ye, it's them that 
has the reference to the immejit surroundin's that has the 
, most of power. It was vouchsafed to me in me youthful 
days to be acquainted with shperrits " and so Tommy 
Finnegan went on, expounding a system of philosophy, 
while the perspiration came out on Jurgis's forehead, so 
great was his agitation and embarrassment. In the end 
one of the men, seeing his plight, came over and rescued 
him ; but it was some time before he was able to find any 
one to explain things to him, and meanwhile his fear lest 
the strange little Irishman should get him cornered again 


was enough to keep him dodging about the room the 
whole evening. 

He never missed a meeting, however. He had picked 
up a, few words of English by this time, and friends would 
help him to understand. They were often very turbulent 
meetings, with half a dozen men declaiming at once, in 
as many dialects of English ; but the speakers were al] 
desperately in earnest, and Jurgis was in earnest too, for 
he understood that a fight was on, and that it was his 
fight. Since the time of his disillusionment, Jurgis had 
sworn to trust no man, except in his own family ; but 
here he discovered that he had brothers in affliction, and 
allies. Their one chance for life was in union, and so 
the struggle became a kind of crusade. Jurgis had al- 
ways been a member of the church, because it was the 
right thing to be, but the church had never touched him, 
he left all that for the women. Here, however, was a 
new religion one that did touch him, that took hold of 
every fibre of him ; and with all the zeal and fury of a 
convert he went out as a missionary. There were many 
non-union men among the Lithuanians, and with these 
he would labor and wrestle in prayer, trying to show 
them the right. Sometimes they would be obstinate and 
refuse to see it, and Jurgis, alas, was not always patient I 
He torgot how he himself had been blind, a short time 
ago after the fashion of all crusaders since the original 
ones, who set out to spread the gospel of Brotherhood by 
force of arms. 


ONE of the first consequences of the discovery of the 
union was that Jurgis became desirous of learning English. 
He wanted to know what was going on afc the meetings, 
and to be able to take part in them ; and so he began to 
look about him, and to try to pick up words. The chil- 
dren, who were at school, and learning fast, would teach 
him a few ; and a friend loaned him a little book that had 
some in it, and Ona would read them to him. Then Jurgis 
became sorry that he could not read himself ; and later on 
in the winter, when some one told him that there was a 
night-school that was free, he went and enrolled. After 
that, every evening that he got home from the yards in 
time, he would go to the school ; he would go even if he 
were in time for only half an hour. They were teaching 
him both to read and to speak English and they would 
have taught him other things, if only he had had a little 

Also the union made another great difference with him 
it made him begin to pay attention to the country. It 
was the beginning of democracy with him. It was a little 
state, the union, a miniature republic ; its affairs were every 
man's affairs, and every man had a real eay about them* 
In other words, in the union Jurgis learned to talk politics. 
ID the place where he had come from there had not been 
any politics in Russia one thought of the government 
as an affliction like the lightning and the hail- " Duck, 
little brother, duck," the wise old peasants would whisper; 
"everything passes away." And when Jurgis had first 
come "to America he had supposed that it was the same. 
He had heard people say that it was a free country but 
qrhat did that mean? He found that here, precisely as in 



Russia, there were rich men who owned everything , and 
if one could not find any work, was not the hunger he 
began to feel the same sort of hunger? 

When Jurgis had been working about three weeks at 
Brown's, there had come to him one noon-time a man who 
was employed as a night-watchman, and who asked him if 
he would not like to take out naturalization papers and be* 
come a citizen. Jurgis did not know what that meant, 
but the man explained the advantages. In the first place, 
it would not cost him anything, and it would get him half 
a day off, with his pay just the same; and then when elec- 
tion time came he would be able to vote and there was 
something in that. Jurgis was naturally glad to accept, 
and so the night-watchman said a few words to the boss, 
and he was excused for the rest of the day. When, later 
on, he wanted a holiday to get married he could not get 
it; and as for a holiday with pay just the same what 
power had wrought that miracle heaven only knew I How- 
ever, he went with the man, who picked up several other 
newly landed immigrants, Poles, Lithuanians, and Slovaks, 
and took them all outside, where stood a great four-horse 
tally-ho coach, with fifteen or twenty men already in it. 
It was a fine chance to see the sights of the city, and the 
party had a merry time, with plenty of beer handed up 
from inside. So they drove down-town and stopped before 
an imposing granite building, hi which they interviewed 
an official, who had the papers all ready, with only the 
names to be filled in. So each man in turn took an oath 
of which he did not understand a woi J, and then was pre- 
sented with a handsome ornamented document with a big 
red seal and the shield of the United States upon it, and 
was told that he had become a citizen of the Republic and 
the equal of the President himself. 

A month or two later Jurgis had another interview with 
this same man, who told him where to go to " register.'* 
And then finally, when election day came, the packing- 
houses posted A notice that men who desired to vote might 
remain away until nine that morning, and the same night- 
watchman took Jurgis and the rest of his flock into the 


back room of a saloon, and showed each of them where 
and how to mark a ballot, and then gave each two dollars, 
and took them to the polling place, where there was a 
policeman on duty especially to see that they got through 
all right. Jurgis felt quite proud of this good luck till 
he got home and met Jonas, who had taken the leader 
aside and whispered to him, offering to vote three times 
for four dollars, which offer had been accepted. 

And now in the union Jurgis met men who explained 
all this mystery to him; and he learned that America 
differed from Russia in that its government existed under 
the form of a democracy. The officials who ruled it, and 
got all the graft, had to be elected first ; and so there were 
two rival sets of grafters, known as political parties, and 
the one got the office which bought the most votes. Now 
and then the election was very close, and that was the 
time the poor man came in. In the stockyards this was 
only in national and state elections, for in local elections 
the democratic party always carried everything. The 
ruler of the district was therefore the democratic boss, 
a little Irishman named Mike Scully. Scully held an 
important party office in the state, and bossed even the 
mayor of the city, it was said ; it was his boast that he 
carried the stockyards in his pocket. He was an enor- 
mously rich man he had a hand in all the big graft in 
the neighborhood. It was Scully, for instance, who owned 
that dump which Jurgis and Ona had seen the first day 
of their arrival. Not only did he own the dump, but he 
owned the brick-factory as well ; and first he took out the 
clay and made it into bricks, and then he had the city 
bring garbage to fill up the hole, so that he could build 
houses to sell to the people. Then, too, he sold the bricks 
to the city, at his own price, and the city came and got 
them in its own wagons. And also he owned the other 
hole near by, where the stagnant water was ; and it was 
he who cut the ice and sold it ; and what was more, if the 
men told truth, he had not had to pay any taxes for the 
water, and he had built the ice-house cut of city lumber, 
and had not had to pay anything for that. The news- 


papers had got hold of that story, and there had been a 
scandal; but Scully had hired somebody to confess and 
take all the blame, and then skip the country. It was 
said, too, that he had built his brick-kiln in the same way, 
and that the workmen were on the city pay-roll while they 
did it; however, one had to press closely to get these 
things out of the men, for it was not their business, and 
Mike Scully was a good man to stand in with. A note 
signed by him was equal to a job any time at the packing- 
houses ; and also he employed a good many men himself, and 
worked them only eight hours a day, and paid them tho 
highest wages. This gave him many friends all of whom 
he had gotten together into the " War-Whoop League," 
whose club-house you might see just outside of the yards. 
It was the biggest club-house, and the biggest club, in all 
Chicago ; and they had prize-fights every now and then, 
and cock-fights and even dog-fights. The policemen in 
the district all belonged to the league, and instead of sup- 
pressing the fights, they sold tickets for them. The man 
that had taken Jurgis to be naturalized was one of these 
" Indians," as they were called ; and on election day there 
would be hundreds of them out, and all with big wads of 
money in their pockets and free drinks at every saloon in 
the district. That was another thing, the men said all 
the saloon-keepers had to be " Indians," and to put up on 
demand, otherwise they could not do business on Sundays, 
nor have any gambling at all. In the same way Scully 
had all the jobs in the fire department at his disposal, and 
all the rest of the city graft in the stockyards district ; he 
was building a block of flats somewhere up on Ashland 
Avenue, and the man who was overseeing it for him was 
Irawing pay as a city inspector of sewers. The city in- 
spector of water-pipes had been dead and buried for over 
a year, but somebody was still drawing his pay. The city 
inspector of sidewalks was a bar-keeper at the War-Whoop 
cafe and maybe he could not make it uncomfortable for 
any tradesman who did not stand in with Scully I 

Even the packers were in awe of him, so the men said. 
It gave them pleasure to believe this, for Scully stood as 


the people's man, and boasted of it boldly when election 
day came. The packers had wanted a bridge at Ashland 
Avenue, but they had not been able to get it till they had 
seen Scully ; and it was the same with " Bubbly Creek," 
which the city had threatened to make the packers cover 
over, till Scully had come to their aid. " Bubbly Creek " 
is an arm of the Chicago River, and forms the southern 
boundary of the yards ; all the drainage of the square mile 
of packing-houses empties into it, so that it is really a great 
open sewer a hundred or two feet wide. One long arm of 
it is blind, and the filth stays there forever and a day. 
The grease and chemicals that are poured into it undergo 
all sorts of strange transformations, which are the cause 
of its name ; it is constantly in motion, as if huge fish were 
feeding in it, or great leviathans disporting themselves in 
its depths. Bubbles of carbonic acid gas will rise to the 
surface and burst, and make rings two or three feet wide. 
Here and there the grease and filth have caked sclid, and 
the creek looks like a bed of lava ; chickens walk about on 
it, feeding, and many times an unwary stranger has started 
to stroll across, and vanished temporarily. The packers 
used to leave the creek that way, till every now and then 
the surface would catch on fire and burn furiously, and 
the fire department would have to come and put it out. 
Once, however, an ingenious stranger came and started to 
gather this filth in scows, to make lard out of ; then the 
packers took the cue, and got out an injunction to stop 
him, and afterwards gathered it themselves. The banks 
of " Bubbly Creek " are plastered thick with hairs, and 
this also the packers gather and clean. 

And there were things even stranger than this, accord- 
ing to the gossip of the men. The packers had secret 
mains, through which they stole billions of gallons of 
ythe city's water. The newspapers had been full of this 
scandal once there had even been an investigation, and 
an actual uncovering of the pipes ; but nobody had been 
punished, and the thing went right on. And then there 
was the condemned meat industry, with its endless hor- 
rors. The people of Chicago saw the government in 


specters in Packingtown, and they all took that to mean 
that they were protected from diseased meat; they did 
not understand that these hundred and sixty-three in- 
spectors had been appointed at the request of the packers, 
and that they were paid by the United States government 
to certify that all the diseased meat was kept in the state. 
They had no authority beyond that; for the inspection 
of meat to be sold in the city and state the whole force 
in Packingtown consisted of three henchmen of the local 
political machine!* And shortly afterward one of these, 
a physician, made the discovery that the carcasses of 
steers which had been condemned as tubercular by the 
government inspectors, and which therefore contained 
ptomaines, which are deadly poisons, were left upon aa 
open platform and carted away to be sold in the city ; 
and so he insisted that these carcasses be treated with 
an injection of kerosene and was ordered to resign 
the same week I So indignant were the packers that 
they went farther, and compelled the mayor to abolish the 
whole bureau of inspection ; so that since then there has 
not been even a pretence of any interference with the graft, 
There was said to be two thousand dollars a week hush- 
money from the tubercular steers alone ; and as much 

" Rules and Regulations for the Inspection of Live Stock and their 
Products." United States Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal 
Industries, Order No. 125: 

SECTION 1. Proprietors of slaughterhouses, canning, salting, packing, 
or rendering establishments engaged m the slaughtering of cattle, sheep, 
or swiue, or the packing of any of their products, the carcasses or prod- 
ucts of which are to become subjects of interstate or foreign commerce, 
hall make application to the Secretary of Agriculture for inspection of 
aid animals and their products. . . . 

SECTION 15. Such rejected or condemned animals shall at once be 
removed by the owners from the pens containing animals which have 
been inspected and found to be free from disease and fit for human food, 
and sliall be disposed of in accordance with the taws, ordinances, ardt 
regulations of the state and municipality in which said rejected or o- 
demned animals are located. 

SECTION 25. A microscopic examination for trichinae shall be made of 
all swine products exported to countries requiring such examination- No 
microscopic examination will be made 0} hogs slaughtered for mierttate 
trade, but thu examination ihull be confined to those intended for tot 
export trad*. 


again from the hogs which had died of cholera on the 
trains, and which you might see any day being loaded into 
box-cars and hauled away to a place called Globe, in Indiana, 
where they made a fancy grade of lard. 

Jurgis heard of these things little by little, in the gossip 
of those who were obliged to perpetrate them. It seemed 
as if every time you met a person from a new department, 
you heard of new swindles and new crimes. There was, 
for instance, a Lithuanian who was a cattle-butcher for the 
plant where Marija had worked, which killed meat for can- 
ning only ; and to hear this man describe the animals which 
came to his place would have been worth while for a Dante 
or a Zola. It seemed that they must have agencies all over 
the country, to hunt out old and crippled and diseased 
cattle to be canned. There were cattle which had 
been fed on "whiskey-malt," the refuse of the brew- 
eries, and had become what the men called " steerly " 
which means covered with boils. It was a nasty job kill- 
ing these, for when you plunged your knife into them they 
would burst and splash foul-smelling stuff into your face ; 
and when a man's sleeves were smeared with blood, and his 
hands steeped in it, how was he ever to wipe his face, or to 
clear his eyes so that he could see? It was stuff such as 
this that made the "embalmed beef" that had killed sev- 
eral times as many United States soldiers as all the bullets 
of the Spaniards; only the army beef, besides, was not 
fresh canned, it was old stuff that had been lying for 
years in the cellars. 

Then one Sunday evening, Jurgis sat puffing his pipe by 
ihe kitchen stove, and talking with an old fellow whom 
Jonas had introduced, and who worked in the canning- 
rooTis at Durham's; and so Jurgis learned a few things 
abont the great and only Durham canned goods, which 
had become a national institution. They were regular 
alchemists at Durham's ; they advertised a mushroom- 
catnip, and the men who made it did not know what a 
mushroom looked like. They advertised " potted chicken,' 1 
and it was like the boarding-house soup of the comic 
papers, through which a chicken had walked with rul> 


bers on. Perhaps they had a secret process for making 
chickens chemically who knows? said Jutgis's friend; 
the things that went into the mixture were tripe, and 
the fat of pork, and beef suet, and hearts of beef, and 
finally the waste ends of veal, when they had any. They 
put these up in several grades, and sold them at several 
prices ; but the contents of the cans all came out of the 
same hopper. And then there was "potted game" and 
"potted grouse," "potted ham,'* and "devilled ham" 
de-vyled, as the men called it. "De-vyled" ham was 
made out of the waste ends of smoked beef that were 
too small to be sliced by the machines; and also tripe, 
dyed with chemicals so that it would not show white; 
and trimmings of hams and corned beef; and potatoes, 
skins and all ; and finally the hard cartilaginous gullets 
of beef, after the tongues had been cut out. All this 
ingenious mixture was ground up and flavored with 
spices to make it taste like something. Anybody who 
could invent a new imitation had been sure of a fortune 
from old Durham, said Jurgis's informant; but it was 
hard to think of anything new in a place where so many 
sharp wits had been at work for so/ long: where men wel- 
comed tuberculosis in the cattle they were feeding, because 
it made them fatten more quickly; and where they bought 
up all the old rancid butter left over in the grocery -stores of 
a continent, and " oxidized " it by a forced-air process, to 
take away the odor, rechurned it with skim-milk, and sold 
it in bricks in the cities ! Up to a year or two ago it had 
been the custom to kill horses in the yards ostensibly 
for fertilizer ; but after long agitation the newspapers had 
been able to make the public realize that the horses were 
being canned. Now it was against the law to kill horses in 
Packingtown, and the law was really complied with for 
the present, at any rate. Any day, however, one might 
see sharp-horned and shaggy-haired creatures running 
with the sheep and yet what a job you would have to 
get the public to believe that a good part of what it buys 
for lamb and mutton is really goat's flesh I 

There was another interesting set of statistics that a 


person might have gathered in Packingtown those of the 
various afflictions of the workers. When Jnrgis had first 
inspected the packing-plants with Szedvilas, he had mar- 
felled while he listened to the tale of all the things that 
were made out of the carcasses of animals, and of all the 
lesser industries that were maintained there; now he 
foiuid that each one of these lesser industries was a 
separate little inferno, in its way as horrible as the 
killing-beds, the source and fountain of them all. The 
workers in each of them had their own peculiar diseases. 
And the wandering visitor might be sceptical about all 
the swindles, but he could not be sceptical about these, 
for the worker bore the evidence of them about on his 
own person generally he had only to hold out his 

There were the men in tho pickle-rooms, for instance, 
where old Antanas had gotten his death ; scarce a one of 
these that had not some spot of horror on his person. 
Let a man so much as scrape his finger pushing a truck 
in the pickle-rooms, and he might have a sore that would 
put him out of the world; all the joints in his fingers 
might be eaten by the acid, one by one. Of the butchers 
and floorsmen, the beef-boners and trimmers, ana all those 
who used knives, you could scarcely find a person who 
had the use of his thumb ; time and time again the base 
of it had been slashed, till it was a mere lump of flesh 
against which the man pressed the knife to hold it. The 
hands of these men would be criss-crossed with cuts, until 
you could no longer pretend to count them or to trace 
them. They would have no nails, they had worn them 
off pulling hides ; their knuckles were swollen so that 
their fingers spread out like a fan. There were men who 
worked in the cooking-rooms, in the midst of steam and 
sickening odors, by artificial light; in these rooms the 
germs of tuberculosis might live for two years, but the 
supply was renewed every hour. There were the beef- 
luggers, who carried two-hundred-pound quarters into 
the refrigerator-cars ; a fearful kind of work, that began 
at four o'clock in the morning, and that wore out the 


most powerful men in a few years. There were those 
who worked in the chilling-rooms, and whose special 
disease was rheumatism; the time-limit that a man could 
work in the chilling-rooms was said to be five years. 
jThfre were the wool-pluckers, whose hands went to 
pieces even sooner than the hands of the pickle-men; 
for the pelts of the sheep had to be painted with acid 
to loosen the wool, and then the pluckers had to pull 
out this wool with their bare hands, till the acid had 
eaten their fingers off. There were those who made the 
tins for the canned-meat; and their hands, too, were a 
maze of cuts, and each cut represented a chance for blood- 
poisoning. Some worked at the stamping-machines, and 
it was very seldom that one could work long there at the 
pace that was set, and not give out and forget himself, 
and have a part of his hand chopped off. There were the 
" hoisters," as they were called, whose task it was to press 
the lever which lifted the dead cattle off the floor. They 
ran along upon a rafter, peering down through the damp 
and the steam ; and as old Durham's architects had not 
built the killing-room for the convenience of the hoisters, 
at every few feet they would have to stoop under a beam, 
say four feet above the one they ran on ; which got them 
into the habit of stooping, so that in a few years they 
would be walking like chimpanzees. Worst of any, how- 
ever, were the fertilizer-men, and those who served in the 
cooking-rooms. These people could not be shown to 
the visitor, for the odor of a fertilizer-man would scare 
any ordinary visitor at a hundred yards, and as for the 
other men, who worked in tank-rooms full of steam, and 
in some of which there were open vats near the level of the 
floor, their peculiar trouble was that they fell into the vats ; 
and when they were fished out, there was never enough 
of them left to be worth exhibiting, sometimes they 
would be overlooked for days, till all but the bones of 
them had gone out to the world as Durham's Pure Leaf 


DURING the early part of the winter the family had had 
money enough to live and a little over to pay their debts 
with ; but when the earnings of Jurgis fell from nine or 
ten dollars a week to five or six, there was no longer any- 
thing to spare. The winter went, and tho spring came, 
and found them still living thus from hand to mouth, 
hanging on day by day, with literally not a month's 
wages between them and starvation. Marija was in 
despair, for there was still no word about the reopen- 
ing of the canning-factory, "and her savings were al- 
most entirely gone. She had had to give up all idea of 
marrying then ; the family could not get along without 
her though for that matter she was likely soon to 
become a burden even upon them, for when her money 
was all gone, they would have to pay back what they 
owed her in board. So Jurgis and Ona and Teta 
Elzbieta would hold anxious conferences until late at 
night, trying to figure how they could manage this too 
without starving. 

Such were the cruel terms upon which their life was 
possible, that they might never have nor expect a single 
instant's respite from worry, a single instant in which they 
were not haunted by the thought of money. They would 
no sooner escape, as by a miracle, from one difficulty, than 
a new one would come into view. In addition to all their 
physical hardships, there was thus a constant strain upon 
their minds ; they were harried all day and nearly all night 
by worry and fear. This was in truth not living ; it was 
scarcely even existing, and they felt that it was too little 
for the price they paid. They were willing to work all 


the time ; and when people did their best, ought they not 
to be able to keep alive? 

There seemed never to be an end to the things they had 
to buy and to the unforeseen contingencies. Once their 
water-pipes froze and burst ; and when, in their ignorance, 
they thawed them out, they had a terrifying flood in their 
house. It happened while the men were away, and poor 
Elzbieta rushed out into the street screaming for help, for 
she did not even know whether the flood could be stopped, 
or whether they were ruined for life. It was nearly as bad 
as the latter, they found in the end, for the plumber charged 
them seventy -five cents an hour, and seventy -five cents for 
another man who had stood and watched him, and included 
all the time the two had been going and coming, and also 
a charge for all sorts of material and extras. And then 
again, when they went to pay their January's instalment 
on the house, the agent terrified them by asking them if 
they had had the insurance attended to yet. In answer to 
their inquiry he showed them a clause in the deed which 
provided that they were to keep the house insured for one 
thousand dollars, as soon as the present policy ran out, 
which would happen in a few days. Poor Elzbieta, upon 
whom again fell the blow, demanded how much it would 
cost them. Seven dollars, the man said ; and that night 
came Jurgis, grim and determined, requesting that the 
agent would be good enough to inform him, once for all, 
as to all the expenses they were liable for. The deed was 
signed now, ha said, with sarcasm proper to the new way 
of life he had learned the deed was signed, and so the 
agent had no longer anything to gain by keeping quiet. 
And Jurgis looked the fellow squarely in the eye, and so 
he did not waste any time in conventional protests, but 
read him the deed. They would have to renew the insur- 
ance every year : they would have to pay the taxes, about 
ten dollars a year ; they would have to pay the water-tax, 
about six dollars a year (Jurgis silently "resolved to shut 
off the hydrant). This, besides the interest and the 
monthly instalments, would be all unless by chance the 
city should happen to decide to put in a sewer or to lay a 


sidewalk. Yes, said the agent, they would hare to have 
these, whether they wanted them or not, if the city said 
so. The sewer would cost them about twenty-two dol- 
lars, and the sidewalk fifteen if it were wood, twenty-five 
if it were cement. 

So Jurgis ^vent home again ; it was a relief to know the 
worst, at any rate, so that he could no more be surprised 
by fresh demands. He saw now how they had been plun- 
dered ; but they were in for it, there was no turning back. 
They could only go on and make the fight and win for 
defeat was a thing that could not even be thought of. 

When the springtime came, they were delivered from 
the dreadful cold, and that was a great deal ; but in addi- 
tion they had counted on the money they would not have 
to pay for coal and it was just at this time that Marija's 
board began to fail. Then, too, the warm weather brought 
trials of its own ; each season had its trials, as they found. 
In the spring there were cold rains, that turned the streets 
into canals and bogs ; the mud would be so deep that 
wagons would sink up to the hubs, so that half a dozen 
horses could not move them. Then, of course, it was im- 
possible for any one to get to work with dry feet ; and this 
was bad for men that were poorly clad and shod, and still 
worse for women and children. Later came midsummer, 
with the stifling heat, when the dingy killing-beds of 
Durham's became a very purgatory ; one time, in a 
single day, three men fell dead from sunstroke. All day 
long the rivers of hot blood poured forth, until, with the 
sun beating down, and the air motionless, the stench was 
enough to knock a man over ; all the old smells of a genera- 
tion would be drawn out by this heat for there was never 
any washing of the walls and rafters and pillars, and they 
were caked with the filth of a lifetime. The men who 
worked on the killing-beds would come to reek with foul- 
ness, so that you could smell one of them fifty feet away; 
there was simply no such thing as keeping decent, the 
most careful man gave it up in the end, and wallowed in 
uncleanness. There was not even a place where a man 
ould wash his hands, and the men ate as much raw blood 


as food at dinner-time. When they were at work they 
could not even wipe off their faces they were as helpless 
as newly born babes in that respect ; and it may seem like 
a small matter, but when the sweat began to run down their 
necks and tickle them, or a fly to bother them, it was a tor- 
ture like being burned alive. Whether it was the slaugh- 
ter-houses or the dumps that were responsible, one could 
not say, but with the hot weather there descended upon 
Packingtown a veritable Egyptian plague of flies ; there 
could be no describing this the houses would be black 
with them. There was no escaping ; you might provide 
all your doors and windows with screens, but their buzzing 
outside would be like the swarming of bees, and whenever 
you opened the door they would rush in as if a storm of 
wind were driving them. 

Perhaps the summer-time suggests to you thoughts of 
the country, visions of green fields and mountains and 
sparkling lakes. It had no such suggestion for the people 
in the yards. The great packing-machine ground on 
remorselessly, without thinking of green fields ; and the 
men and women and children who were part of it never 
saw any green thing, not even a flower. Four or five miles 
to the east of them lay the blue waters of Lake Michigan ; 
but for all the good it did Miem it might have been as far 
away as the Pacific Ocean. They had only Sundays, and 
then they were too tired to walk. They were tied to the 
great packing-machine, and tied to it for life. The man- 
agers and superintendents and clerks of Packingtown were 
all recruited from another class, and never from the 
workers ; they scorned the workers, the very meanest of 
them. A poor devil of a bookkeeper who had been work- 
ing in Durham's for twenty years at a salary of six dollars 
a week, and might work there for twenty more and do no 
better, would yet consider himself a gentleman, as far 
removed as the poles from the most skilled worker on the 
killing-beds ; he would dress differently, and live in 
another part of the town, and come to work at a different 
hour of the day, and in every way make sure that he never 
rubbed elbows with a laboring-man. Perhaps this wac 


due to the repulsiveness of the work ; at any rate, the 
people who worked with their hands were a class apart, 
and were made to feel it. 

In the late spring the canning-factory started up again, and 
so once more Marija was heard to sing, and the love-music 
of Tamoszius took on a less melancholy tone. It was not 
for long, however ; for a month or two later a dreadful 
calamity fell upon Marija. Just one year and three days 
after she had begun work as a can-painter, she lost her 

It was a long story. Marija insisted that it was because 
of her activity in the union. The packers, of course, had 
spies in all the unions, and in addition they made a prac- 
tice of buying up a certain number of the union officials, as 
many as they thought they needed. So every week they 
received reports as to what was going on, and often they 
knew things before the members of the union knew them. 
Any one who was considered to be dangerous by them 
would find that he was not a favorite with his boss ; and 
Marija had been a great hand for going after the foreign 
people and preaching to them. However that might be, 
the known facts were that a few weeks before the factory 
closed, Marija had been cheated out of her pay for three 
hundred cans. The girls worked at a long table, and 
behind them walked a woman with pencil and notebook, 
keeping count of the number they finished. This woman 
was, of course, only human, and sometimes made mistakes; 
when this happened, there was no redress if on Saturday 
you got less money than you had earned, you had to make 
the best of it. But Marija did not understand this, and 
made a disturbance. Marija's disturbances did not mean 
anything, and while she had known only Lithuanian and 
Polish, they had done no harm, for people only laughed 
at her and made her cry. But now Marija was able to call 
names in English, and so she got the woman who made 
the mistake to disliking her. Probably, as Marija claimed, 
she made mistakes on purpose after that ; at any rate, she 
made them, and the third time it happened Marija went 
on the war-path and took the matter first to the forelady, 


and when she got no satisfaction there, to the superin- 
tendent. This was unheard-of presumption, but the super- 
intendent said he would see about it, which Marija took to 
mean that she was going to get her money ; after waiting 
three days, she went to see the superintendent again. 
This time the man frowned, and said that he had not had 
time to attend to it ; and when Marija, against the advice 
and warning of every one, tried it once more, he ordered 
her back to her work in a passion. Just how things hap- 
pened after that Marija was not sure, but that afternoon 
the forelady told her that her services would not be any 
longer required. Poor Marija could not have been more 
dumfounded had the woman knocked her over the head ; 
at first she could not beJieve what she heard, and then 
she grew furious and swore that she would come anyway, 
that her place belonged to her. In the end she sat down 
in the middle of the floor and wept and wailed. 

It was a cruel lesson ; but then Marija was headstrong 
she should have listened to those who had had experience. 
The next time she would know her place, as the forelady 
expressed it ; and so Marija went out, and the family 
laced the problem of an existence again. 

It was especially hard this time, for Ona was to be con- 
fined before long, and Jurgis was trying hard to save up 
money for this. He had heard dreadful stories of the mid- 
wives, who grow as thick as fleas in Packingtown ; and he 
had made up his mind that Ona must have a man-doctor. 
Jurgis could be very obstinate when he wanted to, and 
he was in this case, much to the dismay of the women, 
who felt that a man -doctor was an impropriety, and that 
the matter really belonged to them. The cheapest doctor 
they could find would charge them fifteen dollars, and 
perhaps more when the bill came in ; and here was Jurgis, 
declaring that he would pay it, even if he had to stop eat- 
ing in the meantime I 

Marija had only about twenty-five dollars left. Day 
after day she wand' red about the yards begging a job, but 
this time without liope of finding it. Marija could do the 
work of au able-bodied man, when she was cheerful, but 


discouragement wore her out easily, and she would come 
home at night a pitiable object. She learned her lesson 
this time, poor creature ; she learned it ten times over. 
All the family learned it along with her that when you 
have once got a job in Packingtown, you hang on to it, 
come what will. 

Four weeks Marija hunted, and half "of a fifth week. 
Of course she stopped paying her dues to the union. 
She lost all interest in the union, and cursed herself for a 
fool that she had ever been dragged into one. She had 
about made up her mind that she was a lost soul, when 
somebody told her of an opening, and she went and got 
a place as a "beef -trimmer." She got this because the 
boss saw that she had the muscles of a man, and so he 
discharged a man and put Marija to do his work, paying 
her a little more than half what he had been paying 

When she first came to Packingtown, Marija would 
Lave scorned such work as this. She was in another 
canning-factory, and her work was to trim the meat of 
those diseased cattle that Jurgis had been told about not 
long before. She was shut up in one of the rooms where 
the people seldom saw the daylight ; beneath her were the 
chilling-rooms, where the meat was frozen, and above her 
were the cooking-rooms ; and so she stood on an ice-cold 
floor, while her head was often so hot that she could 
scarcely breathe. Trimming beef off the bones by the 
hundred-weight, while standing up from early morning 
till late at night, with heavy boots on and the floor always 
damp and full of puddles, liable to be thrown out of work 
'** definitely because of a slackening in the trade, liable 
ng-ain to be kept overtime in rush seasons, and be worked 
till she trembled in every nerve and lost her grip on her 
slimy knife, and gave herself a poisoned wound that 
was the new life that unfolded itself before Marija. But 
because Marija was a human horse she merely laughed 
and went at it ; it would enable her to pay her board 
again, and keep the family going. And as for Tamoszius 
well, they had waited a long time, and they could wait 


a little longer. They could not possibly get along upon 
his wages alone, and the family could not live without 
hers. He could come and visit, her, and sit in the kitchen 
and hold her hand, and he must manage to be content 
with that. But day by day the music of Tamoszius's 
violin became more passionate and heart-breaking ; and 
Marija would sit with her hands clasped and her cheeks 
wet and all her body a-tremble, hearing in the wailing 
melodies the voices of the unborn generations which 
cried out in her for life. 

Marija's lesson came just in time to save Ona from a 
similar fate. Ona, too, was dissatisfied with her place, and 
had far more reason than Marija. She did not tell half 
of her story at home, because she saw it was a torment 
to Jurgis, and she was afraid of what he might do. For 
a long time Ona had seen that Miss Henderson, the fore- 
lady in her department, did not like her. At first she 
thought it was the old-time mistake she had made in ask- 
ing for a holiday to get married. Then she concluded 
it must be because she did not give the forelady a present 
occasionally - she was the kind that took presents from 
the girls, Ona learned, and made all sorts of discrimina- 
tions in favor of those who gave them. In the end, how- 
ever, Ona discovered that it was even worse than that. 
Miss Henderson was a newcomer, and it was some time 
before rumor made her out ; but finally it transpired that 
she was a kept- woman, the former mistress of the superin* 
tendent of a department in the same building. He had 
put her there to keep her quiet, it seemed and that not 
altogether with success, for once or twice they had been 
heard quarrelling. She had the temper of a hyena, and 
soon the place she ran was a witch's caldron. There 
were some of the girls who were of her own sort, who 
were willing to toady to her and flatter her ; and these 
would carry tales about the rest, and so the furies were 
unchained in the place. Worse than this, the woman 
lived in a bawdy-house down-town, with a coarse, red-faced 
T rishman named Connor, who was the boss of the loading* 


gang outside, and would make free with the girls as tuo, 
went to and from their work. In the slack seasons some 
of them would go with Miss Henderson to this house 
down-town in fact, it would not be too much to say that 
she managed her department at Brown's in conjunction 
with it. Sometimes women from the house would be 
given places alongside of decent girls, and after other 
decent girls had been turned off to make room for them. 
When you worked in this woman's department the house 
down-town was never out of your thoughts all day there 
were always whiffs of it to be caught, like the odor of the 
Packingtown rendering-plants at night, when the wind 
shifted suddenly. There would be stories about it going 
the rounds ; the girls opposite you would be telling them 
and winking at you. In such a place Ona would not 
have stayed a day, but for starvation ; and, as it was, she 
was never sure that she could stay the next day. She 
understood now that the real reason that Miss Henderson 
hated her was that she was a decent married girl ; and 
she knew that the talebearers and the toadies hated her 
for the same reason, and were doing their best to make 
her life miserable. 

But there was no place a girl could go in Packingtown, 
if she was particular about things of this sort ; there was 
no place in it where a prostitute could not get along bettei 
than a decent girl. Here was a population, low-class and 
mostly foreign, hanging always on the verge of starvation, 
and dependent for its opportunities of life upon the whim 
of men every bit as brutal and unscrupulous as the old- 
time slave-drivers; under such circumstances immorality 
was exactly as inevitable, and as prevalent, as it was under 
the system of chattel slavery. Things that were quite 
unspeakable went on there in the packing-houses all the 
time, and were taken for granted by everybody ; only 
they did not show, as in the old slavery times, because 
ihere was no (difference in color between master and slave. 

One morning Ona stayed home, and Jurgis had the 
man-doofr<Gr t according to his whim, and she was safely 


delivered of a fine baby. It was an enormous big boy, 
and Ona was such a tiny creature herself, that it seemed 
quite incredible. Jurgis would stand and gaze at the 
stranger by the hour, unable to believe that it had really 

The coming of this boy was a decisive event with Jurgis. 
It made him irrevocably a family man; it killed the last 
lingering impulse that he might have had to go out in the 
evenings and sit and talk with the men in the saloons. 
There was nothing he cared for now so much as to sit and 
look at the baby. This was very curious, for Jurgis had 
never been interested in babies before. But then, this 
was a very unusual sort of a baby. He had the brightest 
little black eyes, and little black ringlets all over his head ; 
he was the living image of his father, everybody said 
and Jurgis found this a fascinating circumstance. It was 
sufficiently perplexing that this tiny mite of life should 
have come into the world at all in the manner that it had; 
that it should have come with a comical imitation of its 
father's nose was simply uncanny. 

Perhaps, Jurgis thought, this was intended to signify 
that it was his baby ; that it was his and Ona's, to care for 
all its life. Jurgis had never possessed anything nearly 
so interesting a baby was, when you came to think about 
it, assuredly a marvellous possession. It would grow up 
to be a man, a human soul, with a personality all its own, 
a will of its own I Such thoughts would keep haunting 
Jurgis, filling him with all sorts of strange and almost 
painful excitements. He was wonderfully proud of little 
A.ntanas ; he was curious about all the details of him the 
washing and the dressing and the eating and the sleeping 
of him, and asked all sorts of absurd questions. It took 
him quite a while to get over his alarm at the incredible 
shortness of the little creature's legs. 

Jurgis had, alas, very little time to see his baby ; he 
never felt the chains about him more than just then. 
When he came home at night, the baby would be asleep, 
and it would be the merest chance if he awoke before 
Jurgis had to go to sleep himself. Then in the morning 


there was no time to look at him, so really the only chance 
the father had was on Sundays. This was more cruel yet 
for Ona, who ought to have stayed home and nursed Mm, 
the doctor said, for her own health as well as the baby's j 
but Ona had to go to work, and leave him for Teta 
Elzbieta to feed upon the pale blue poison that was called 
milk at the corner-grocery. Ona's confinement lost her 
only a week's wages she would go to the factory the 
second Monday, and the best that Jurgis could persuade 
her was to ride in the car, and let him run along behind 
and help her to Brown's when she alighted. After that 
it would be all right, said Ona, it was no strain sitting 
still sewing hams all day ; and if she waited longer she 
might find that her dreadful forelady had put some one 
else in her place. That would be a greater calamity than 
ever now, Ona continued, on account of the baby. They 
would all have to work harder now on his account. It 
was such a responsibility they must not have the baby 
grow up to suffer as they had. And this indeed had been 
the first thing that Jurgis had thought of himself he 
had clenched his hands and braced himself anew for the 
straggle, for the sake of that tiny mite of human possibility. 
And so Ona went back to Brown's and saved her place 
and a week's wages ; and so she gave herself some one of 
the thousand ailments that women group under the title 
of " womb-trouble," and was never again a well person as 
long as she lived. It is difficult to convey in words all 
that this meant to Ona; it seemed such a slight offence, 
and the punishment was so out of all proportion, that 
neither she nor any one else ever connected the two.. 
" Womb-trouble " to Ona did not mean a specialist's 
diagnosis, and a course of treatment, and perhaps an opera- 
tion or two ; it meant simply headaches and pains in the 
back, and depression and heartsickness, and neuralgia 
when she had to go to work in the rain. The great 
majority of the women who worked in Packingtown 
suffered in the same way, and from the same cause, so it 
was not deemed a thing to see the doctor about 3 instead 
Ona would try patent medicines, one after another, aa 


her friends told her about them. As these all contained 
alcohol, or some other stimulant, she found that they all 
did her good while she took them ; and so she was always 
chasing the phantom of good health, and losing it because 
she watt too poor to continue. 


DUBING the summer the packing-houses were in full 
activity again, and Jurgis made more money. He did 
not make so much, however, as he had the previous sum- 
mer, for the packers took on more hands. There were new 
men every week, it seemed it was a regular system ; and 
this number they would keep over to the next slack season, 
so that every one would have less than ever. Sooner or 
later, by this plan, they would have all the floating labor 
of Chicago trained to do their work. And how very cun- 
ning a trick was that I The men were to teach new hands, 
who would some day come and break their strike; and 
meantime they were kept so poor that they could not 
prepare for the trial I 

But let no one suppose that this superfluity of employees 
meant easier work for any one I On the contrary, the 
speeding-up seemed to be growing more savage all the 
time; they were continually inventing new devices to 
crowd the work on it was for all the world like the 
thumb-screw of the mediaeval torture-chamber. They 
would get new pace-makers and pay them more; they 
would drive the men on with new machinery it was 
said that in the hog-killing rooms the speed at which 
the hogs moved was determined by clock-work, and that it 
was increased a little every day. Jn piece-work they would 
reduce the time, requiring the same work in a shorter time, 
and paying the same wages ; and then, after the workers 
had accustomed themselves to this new speed, they would 
reduce the rate of payment to correspond with the reduc- 
tion in time I They had done this so often in the canning 
establishments that the girls were fairly desperate ; their 
wages had gone down by a full third in the past two years, 


and a storm of discontent was brewing that was likely to 
break any day. Only a month after Marija had become f 
beef-trimmer the canning- factory that she had left posted 
a cut that would divide the girls' earnings almost squarely 
in half ; and so great was the indignation at this that they 
marched out without even a parley, and organized in the 
street outside. One of the girls had read somewhere that 
a red flag was the proper symbol for oppressed workers, 
and so they mounted one, and paraded all about the yardd, 
yelling with rage. A new union was the result of this 
outburst, but the impromptu strike went to pieces in three 
days, owing to the rush of new labor. At the end of it 
the girl who had carried the red flag went down-town and 
got a position in a great department store, at a salary of 
two dollars and a half a week. 

Jurgis and Ona heard these stories with dismay, for 
there was no telling when their own time might come. 
Once or twice there had been rumors that one of the big 
houses was going to cut its unskilled men to fifteen cents 
an hour, and Jurgis knew that if this was done, his turn 
would come soon. He had learned by this time thp.t 
Packingtown was really not a number of firms at all, but 
one great firm, the Beef Trust. And every week the 
managers of it got together and compared notes, and 
there was one scale for all the workers in the yards and 
one standard of efficiency. Jurgis was told that they also 
fixed the price they would pay for beef on the hoof arid 
the price of all dressed meat in the country ; but that was 
something he did not understand or care about. 

The only one who was not afraid of a cut was Marija, 
who congratulated herself, somevhat naively, that there 
had been one in her place only a short time before she 
came. Marija was getting to be a skilled beef-trimmer, 
and was mounting to the heights again. Daring the sum- 
mer and fall Jurgis and Ona managed to pay her back the 
last penny they owed her, and so she began to have a bank 
account. Tamoszius had a bank account also, and they ran 
a race, and began to figure upon household expenses once 


The possession of vast wealth entails cares and respon- 
sibilities, however, as poor Marija found out. She had 
taken the advice of a friend and invested her savings in 
a bank on Ashland Avenue. Of course she knew nothing 
about it, except that it was big and imposing what pos- 
sible chance has a poor foreign working-girl to understand 
the banking business, as it is conducted in this land of 
frenzied finance? So Marija lived in continual dread 
lest something should happen to her bank, and would go 
out of her way mornings to make sure that it was still 
there. Her principal thought was of fire, for she had 
deposited her money in bills, and was afraid that if they 
were burned up the bank would not give her any others. 
Jurgis made fun of her for this, for he was a man and was 
proud of his superior knowledge, telling her that the bank 
had fire-proof vaults, and all its millions of dollars hidden 
safely away in them. 

However, one morning Marija took her usual detour, 
and, to her horror and dismay, saw a crowd of people in 
front of the bank, filling the avenue solid for half a block. 
All the blood went out of her face for terror. She broke 
into a run, shouting to the people to ask what was the 
matter, but not stopping to hear what they answered, till 
she had come to where the throng was so dense that she 
could no longer advance. There was a " run on the bank," 
they told her then, but she did not know what that was, 
and turned from one person to another, trying in an agony 
of fear to make out what they meant. Had something 
gone wrong with the bank? Nobody was sure, but they 
thought so. Couldn't she get her money? There was 
I no telling ; the people were afraid not, and they were 
all trying to get it. It was too early yet to tell anything 
' the bank would not open for nearly three hours. So in 
a frenzy of despair Marija began to claw her way toward 
the doors of this building, through a throng of men, women, 
and children, all as excited as herself. It was a scene of 
wild confusion, women shrieking and wringing their hands 
and fainting, and men fighting and trampling down every- 
thing in their way. In the midst of the mele"e Marija 


recollected that she did not have her bank-book, and could 
not get her money anyway, so she fought her way out and 
started on a run for home. This was fortunate for her, 
for a few minutes later the police-reserves arrived. 

In half an hour Marija was back, Teta Elzbieta with 
her, both of them breathless with running and sick with 
fear. The crowd was now formed in a line, extending 
for several blocks, with half a hundred policemen keeping 
guard, and so there was nothing for them to do but to 
take their places at the end of it. At nine o'clock the 
bank opened and began to pay the waiting throng ; but 
then, what good did that do Marija, who saw three thou- 
sand people before her enough to take out the last penny 
of a dozen banks? 

To make matters worse a drizzling rain came up, and 
soaked them to the skin ; yet all the morning they stood 
there, creeping slowly toward the goal all the after- 
noon they stood there, heart-sick, seeing that the hour of 
closing was coming, and that they were going to be left 
out. Marija made up her mind that, come what might, 
she would stay there and keep her place ; but as nearly all 
did the same, all through the long, cold night, she got 
very little closer to the bank for that. Toward evening 
Jurgis came; he had heard the story from the children, 
and he brought some food and dry wraps, which made it 
a little easier. 

The next morning, before daybreak, came a bigger 
crowd than ever, and more policemen from down-town. 
Marija held on like grim death, and toward afternoon she 
got into the bank and got her money all in big silver 
dollars, a handkerchief full. When she had once got 
her hands on them her fear vanished, and she wanted to 
put them back again; but the man at the window was 
savage, and said that the bank would receive no more 
deposits from those who had taken part in the run. So 
Marija was forced to take her dollars home with her, 
watching to right and left, expecting every instant that 
some one would try to rob her ; and when she got home 
she was not much better off. Until she could find another 


bank there was nothing to do but sew them up in her 
clothes, and so Marija went about for a week or more, 
loaded down with bullion, and afraid to cross the street 
in front of the house, because Jurgis told her she would 
sink out of sight in the mud. Weighted this way she 
made her way to the yards, again in fear, this time to see 
if she had lost her place ; but fortunately about ten per 
cent of the working-people of Packingtown had been 
depositors in that bank, and it was not convenient to dis- 
charge that many at once. The cause of the panic had 
been the attempt of a policeman to arrest a drunken man 
in a saloon next door, which had drawn a crowd at the 
hour the people were on their way to work, and so started 
the "run." 

About this time Jurgis and Ona also began a bank- 
account. Besides having paid Jonas and Marija, they 
had almost paid for their furniture, and could have that 
little sum to count on. So long as each of them could 
bring home nine or ten dollars a week, they were able to 
get along finely. Also election day came round again, 
and Jurgis made half a week's wages out of that, all net 
profit. It was a very close election that year, and the 
echoes of the battle reached even to Packingtown. Tha 
two rival sets of grafters hired halls and set off fireworki 
and made speeches, to try to get the people interested in 
the matter. Although Jurgis did not understand it all, 
he knew enough by this time to realize that it was not 
supposed to be right to sell your vote. However, as every 
one did it, and his refusal to join would not have made 
the slightest difference in the results, the idea of refusing 
would have seemed absurd, had it ever come into his 

Now chill winds and shortening days began to warn 
them that the winter was coming again. It seemed as if 
the respite had been too short they had not had time 
enough to get ready for it ; but still it came, inexorably, 
and the hunted look began to come back into the eyes of 
little Stanisiovas. The prospect struck fear to the heart 


of Jurgis also, for he knew that Ona was not fit to face 
the cold and the snow-drifts this year. And suppose that 
some day when a blizzard struck them and the cars were 
not running, Ona should have to give it up, and should 
come the next day to find that her place had been given 
to some one who lived nearer and could be depended on? 
It was the week before Christmas that the first great 
storm came, and then the soul of Jurgis rose up within 
him like a sleeping lion. There were four days that the 
Ashland Avenue cars were stalled, and in those days, for 
the first time in his life, Jurgis knew what it was to 
be really opposed. He had faced difficulties before, but 
they had been child's play ; now there was a death strug- 

fle, and all the furies were unchained within him. The 
rst morning they set out two hours before dawn, Ona 
wrapped all in blankets and tossed upon his shoulder like 
a sack of meal, and the little boy, bundled nearly out of 
sight, hanging by his coat-tails. There was a raging blast 
beating in his face, and the thermometer stood below zero ; 
the snow was never short of his knees, and in some of the 
drifts it was nearly up to his armpits. It would catch 
his feet and try to trip him ; it would build itself into 
a wall before him to beat him back ; and he would fling 
himself into it, plunging like a wounded buffalo, puffing 
and snorting in rage. So foot by foot he drove his way, 
and when at last he came to Durham's he was stagger- 
ing and almost blind, and leaned against a pillar, gasping, 
and thanking God that the cattle came late to the killing- 
beds that day. In the evening the same thing had to be 
done again ; and because Jurgis could not tell what hour 
of the night he would get off, he got a saloon-keeper to 
let Ona sit and wait for him in a corner. Once it was 
eleven o'clock at night, and black as the pit, but still they 
got home. 

That blizzard knocked many a man out, for the crowd 
outside begging for work wao never greater, and the 
packers would not wait long for any one. When it was 
over, the soul of Jurgis was a song, for he had met the 
enemy and conquered, and felt himself the master of his 


fate. So it might be with some monarch of the forest 
that has vanquished his foes in fair fight, and then falls 
into some cowardly trap in the night-time. 

A time of peril on the killing-beds was when a steer 
broke loose. Sometimes, in the haste of speeding-up, 
they would dump one of the animals out on the floor 
before it was fully stunned, and it would get upon its feet 
and run amuck. Then there would be a yell of warning 
the men would drop everything and dash for the 
nearest pillar, slipping here and there on the floor, and 
tumbling over each other. This was bad enough in the 
summer, when a man could see ; in winter-time it was 
enough to make your hair stand up, for the room would 
be so full of steam that you could not make anything out 
five feet in front of you. To be sure, the steer was gen- 
erally blind and frantic, and not especially bent on hurting 
any one ; but think of the chances of running upon a 
knife, while nearly every man had one in his hand ! 
And then, to cap the climax, the floor-boss would come 
rushing up with a rifle and begin blazing away ! 

It was in one of these melees that Jurgis fell into his 
trap. That is toe only word to describe it; it was so 
cruel, and so utterly not to be foreseen. At first he 
hardly noticed it, it was such a slight accident simply 
that in leaping out of the way he turned his ankle. 
There was a twinge of pain, but Jurgis was used to pain, 
and did not coddle himself. When he came to walk 
home, however, he realized that it was hurting him a great 
deal ; and in the morning his ankle was swollen out 
nearly double its size, and he could not get his foot into 
his shoe. Still, even then, he did nothing more than 
swear a little, and wrapped his foot in old rags, and hob- 
bled out to take the car. It chanced to be a rush day at 
Durham's, and all the long morning he limped about with 
his aching foot ; by noon-time the pain was so great that 
it made him faint, and after a couple of hours in the after- 
noon he was fairly beaten, and had to tell the boss. 
They sent for the company doctor, and he examined the 
foot and told Jurgis to go home to bed, adding that he 


had probably laid himself up for months by his folly. 
The injury was not one that Durham and Company could 
be held responsible for, and so that was all there was to 
it, so far as the doctor was concerned. 

Jurgis got home somehow, scarcely able to see for the 
pain, and with an awful terror in his soul. Elzbieta 
helped him into bed and bandaged his injured foot with 
cold water, and tried ha^'d not to let him see her dismay ; 
when the rest came home at night she met them outside 
and told them, and they, too, put on a cheerful face, say- 
ing it would only be for a week or two, and that they 
would pull him through. 

When they had gotten him to sleep, however, they sat 
by the kitchen fire and talked it over in frightened whis- 
pers. They were in for a siege, that was plainly to be 
seen. Jurgis had only about sixty dollars in the bank, 
and the slack season was upon them. Both Jonas and 
Marija might soon be earning no more than enough to 
pay their board, and besides that there were only the 
wages of Ona and the pittance of the little boy. There 
was the rent to pay, and still some on the furniture ; there 
was the insurance just due, and every month there was 
sack after sack of coal. It was January, midwinter, an 
awful time to have to face privation. Deep snows would 
come again, and who would carry Ona to her work now ? 
She might lose her place she was almost certain to lose 
it. And then little Stanislovas began to whimper who 
would take care of him ? 

It was dreadful that an accident of this sort, that no 
man can help, should have meant such suffering. The 
bitterness of it was the daily food and drink of Jurgis. 
It was of no use for them to try to deceive him ; be 
knew as much about the situation as they did, and he 
knew that the family might literally starve to death. 
The worry of it fairly ate him up he began to look hag- 
gard the first two or three days of it. In truth, it was 
almost maddening for a strong man like him, a fighter, to 
have to lie there helpless on his back. It was for all the 
world the old story of Prometheus hound. As Jurgis lay 


on his bed, hour after hour, there came to him emotions 
that he had never known before. Before this he had met 
life with a welcome it had its trials, but none that a 
man could not face. But now, in the night-time, when 
he lay tossing about, there would come stalking into his 
chamber a grisly phantom, the sight of which made his 
flesh to curl and his hair to bristle up. It was like seeing 
the world fall away from underneath his feet ; like plung- 
ing down into a bottomless abyss, into yawning caverns of 
despair. It might be true, then, after all, what others had 
told him about life, that the best powers of a man might not 
be equal to it I It might be true that, strive as he would, 
toil as he would, he might fail, and go down and be 
destroyed ! The thought of this was like an icy hand at 
his heart ; the thought that here, in this ghastly home of 
all horror, he and all those who were dear to him might 
lie and perish of starvation and cold, and there would be 
no ear to hear their cry, no hand to help them I It was 
true, it was true, that here in this huge city, with its 
stores of heaped-up wealth, human creatures might be 
hunted down and destroyed by the wild-beast powers of 
nature, just as truly as ever they were in the days of the 
cave-men ! 

Ona was now making about thirty dollars a month, an^ 
Stanislovas about thirteen. To add to this there was the 
board of Jonas and Marija, about forty-five dollars. De- 
ducting from this the rent, interest, and instalments on 
the furniture, they had left sixty dollars, and deducting 
the coal, they had fifty. They did without everything 
that human beings could do without; they went in old 
and ragged clothing, that left them at the mercy of the 
cold, and when the children's shoes wore out, they tied 
them up with string. Half invalid as she was, Ona would 
do herself harm by walking in the rain and cold when she 
ought to have ridden ; they bought literal!}- nothing but 
food - and still they could not keep alive on fifty dollars 
a month. They might have done it. if only they could 
have gotten pure food, and at fair prices ; or if only they 
had known what to get if they had not been so pitifully 


ignorant 1 But they had come to a naw country, where 
everything was different, including the food. They had 
always been accustomed to eat a great deal of smoked 
sausage, and how could they know that what they bought 
in America was not the same that its color was made 
by chemicals, and its smoky flavor by more chemicals, 
and that it was full of " potato-flour " besides ? Potato- 
flour is the waste of potato after the starch and alcohol 
have been extracted ; it has no more food value than so 
much wood, and as its use as a food adulterant is a penal 
offence in Europe, thousands of tons of it are shipped to 
America every year. It was amazing what quantities of 
food such as this were needed every day, by eleven 
hungry persons. A dollar sixty -five a day was simply 
not enough to feed them, and there was no use trying ; 
and so each week they made an inroad upon the pitiful 
little bank-account that Ona had begun. Because the 
account was in her name, it was possible for her to keep 
this a secret from her husband, and to keep the heart- 
sickness of it for her own. 

It would have been better if Jurgis had been really ill , 
if he had not been able to think. For he had no resources 
such as most invalids have; all he could do was to lie 
there and toss about from side to side. Now and then he 
would break into cursing, regardless of everything ; and 
now and then his impatience would get the better of him, 
and he would try to get up, and poor Teta Elzbieta would 
have to plead with him in frenzy. Elzbieta was all alone 
with him the greater part of the time. She would sit and 
smooth his forehead by the hour, and talk to him and try 
to make him forget. Sometimes it would be too cold for 
the children to go to school, and they would have to play 
in the kitchen, where Jurgis was, because it was the only 
room that was half warm. These were dreadful times, for 
Jurgis would get as cross as any bear ; he was scarcely to 
be blamed, for he had enough to worry him, and it was 
hard when he was trying to tako a nap to be kept awake 
by noisy and peevish children. 

Elzbieta's only resource ia those times was little Antanasj 


along at all if it had not been for little An tanas. It was 
the one consolation of Jurgis's long imprisonment that 
now he had time to look at his baby. Teta Elzbieta 
would put the clothes-basket in which the baby slept 
alongside of his mattress, and Jurgis would lie upon one 
elbow and watch him by the hour, imagining things. 
Then little Antanas would open his eyes he was begin- 
ning to take notice of things now ; and he would smile 
how he would smile I So Jurgis would begin to forget 
and be happy, because he was in a world where there was 
a thing so beautiful as the smile of little Antanas, and 
because such a world could not but be good at the heart 
of it. He looked more like his father every hour, Elzbieta 
would say, and said it many times a day, because she saw 
that it pleased Jurgis ; the poor little terror-stricken 
woman was planning all day and all night to soothe the 
prisoned giant who was intrusted to her care. Jurgis, 
who knew nothing about the age-long and everlasting 
hypocrisy of woman, would take the bait and grin with 
delight; and then he would hold his finger in front of 
little Antanas's eyes, and move it this way and that, and 
laugh with glee to see the baby follow it. There is no 
pet quite so fascinating as a baby; he would look into 
Jurgis's face with such uncanny seriousness, and Jurgis 
would start and cry : " Palauk I Look, Muma, he knows 
his papa I He does, he does ! Tu mano szirdele, the little 
rascal! " 


FOR three weeks after his injury Jurgis never got up 
from bed. It was a very obstinate sprain ; the swelling 
would not go down, and the pain still continued. At the 
end of that time, however, he could contain himself no 
longer, and began trying to walk a little every day, labor- 
ing to persuade himself that he was better. No arguments 
could stop him, and three or four days later he declared 
that he was going back to work. He limped to the cars 
and got to Brown's, where he found that the boss had kept 
his place that is, was willing to turn out into the snow 
the poor devil he had hired in the meantime. Every now 
and then the pain would force Jurgis to stop work, but he 
stuck it out till nearly an hour before closing. Then he 
was forced to acknowledge that he could not go on with- 
out fainting ; it almost broke his heart to do it, and he 
stood leaning against a pillar and weeping like a child. 
Two of the men had to help him to the car, and when he 
got out he had to sit down and wait in the snow till some 
one came along. 

So they put him to bed again, and sent for the doctor, as 
they ought to have done in the beginning. It transpired 
that he had twisted a tendon out of place, and could never 
have gotten well without attention. Then he gripped the 
sides of the bed, and shut his teeth together, and turned 
white with agony, while the doctor pulled and wrenched 
away at his swollen ankle. When finally the doctor left, 
he told him that he would have to lie quiet for two months, 
and that if he went to work before that time he might lame 
himself for life. 

Three days later there came another heavy snow-storm, 
and Jonas and Marija and Ona and little Stanidovas all set 


out together, an hour before daybreak, to try to get to the 
yards. Abo at noon the last two came back, the boy scream- 
ing with pain. His fingers were all frosted, it seemed. 
They had had to give up trying to get to the yards, and 
had nearly perished in a drift. All that they knew how 
to do was to hold the frozen fingers near the fire, and 
so little Scanislovas spent most of the day dancing about 
in horrible agony, till Jurgis flew into a passion of nervous 
rage and swore like a madman, declaring that he would 
kill him if he did not stop. All that day and night the 
family was half -crazed with fear that Ona and the boy had 
lost their places ; and in the morning they set out earlier 
than ever, after the little fellow had been beaten with a 
stick by Jurgis. There could be no trifling in a case like 
this, it was a matter of life and death ; little Stanislovas 
could not be expected to realise that he might a great deal 
better freeze in the snow-drift than lose his job at the lard- 
machine. Ona was quite certain that she would find her 
place gone, and was all unnerved when she finally got to 
Brown's, and found that the forelady herself had failed to 
come, and was therefore compelled to be lenient. 

One of the consequences of this episode was that the 
first joints of three of the little boy's fingers were perma- 
nently disabled, and another that thereafter he always had 
to be beaten before he set out to work, whenever there 
was fresh snow on the ground. Jurgis was called upon to 
do the beating, and as it hurt his foot he did it with a 
vengeance ; but it did not tend to add to the sweetness of 
his temper. They say that the best dog will turn cross 
if he be kept chained all the time, and it was the same 
with the man ; he had not a thing to do all day but lie and 
curse his fate, and the time came when he wanted to curse 

This was never for very long, however, for when Ona 
began to cry, Jurgis could not stay angry. The poor fel- 
low looked like a homeless ghost, with his cheeks sunken 
in and his long black hair straggling into his eyes ; he was 
too discouraged to cut it, or to think about his appearance. 
His muscles were wasting away, and what were left were 


soft and flabby. He had no appetite, and they could not 
afford to tempt him with delicacies. It was better, he said, 
that he should not eat, it was a saving. About the end of 
March he had got hold of Ona's bank-book, and learned 
that there was only three dollars left to them in the 

But perhaps the worst of the consequences of this long 
siege was that they lost another member of their family ; 
Brother Jonas disappeared. One Saturday night he did 
not come home, and thereafter all their efforts to get trace 
of him were futile. It was said by the boss at Durham's 
that he had gotten his week's money and left there. That 
might not be true, of course, for sometimes they would say 
that when a man had been killed ; it was the easiest way 
out of it for all concerned. When, for instance, a man had 
fallen into one of the rendering tanks and had been made 
into pure leaf lard and peerless fertilizer, there was no use 
letting the fact out and making his family unhappy. 
More probable, however, was the theory that Jonas had 
deserted them, and gone on the road, seeking happiness. 
He had been discontented for a long time, and not with- 
out some cause. He paid good board, and was yet obliged 
to live in a family where nobody had enough to eat. And 
Marija would keep giving them all her money, and of 
course he could not but feel that he was called upon to do 
the same. Then there were crying brats, and all sorts of 
misery ; a man would have had to be a good deal of a hero 
to stand it all without grumbling, and Jonas was not in 
the least a hero he was simply a weather-beaten old 
fellow who liked to have a good supper and sit in the 
corner by the fire and smoke his pipe in peace before he 
went to bed. Here there was not room by the fire, and 
through the winter the kitchen had seldom been warm 
enough for comfort. So, with the springtime, what was 
more likely than that the wild idea of escaping had come 
to him ? Two years he had been yoked like a horse to a 
half-ton truck in Durham's dark cellars, with never a rest, 
save on Sundays and four holidays in the year, and vdth 
never a word of thanks only kicks and blows and curses, 


such as no decent dog would have stood. And now the 
winter was over, and the spring winds were blowing 
and with a day's walk a man might put the smoke of Pack- 
ingtown behind him forever, and be where the grass was 
green and the flowers all the colors of the rainbow 1 

But now the income of the family was cut down more 
than one-third, and the food-demand was cut only one~ 
eleventh, so that they were worse off than ever. Also 
they were borrowing money from Marija, and eating up 
her bank-account, and spoiling once again her hopes of 
marriage and happiness. And they were even going into 
debt to Tamoszius Kuszleika and letting him impoverish 
himself. Poor Tamoszius was a man without any rela- 
tives, and with a wonderful talent besides, and he ought 
to have made money and prospered ; but he had fallen in 
love, and so given hostages to fortune, and was doomed 
to be dragged down too. 

So it was finally decided that two more of the children 
would have to leave school. Next to Stanislovas, whr 
was now fifteen, there was a girl, little Kotrina, who was 
two years younger, and then two boys, Vilimas, who wa? 
eleven, and Nikalojus, who was ten. Both of these last 
were bright boys, and there was no reason why their family 
should starve when tens of thousands of children no older 
were earning their own livings. So one morning they 
were given a quarter apiece and a roll with a sausage in it, 
and, with their minds top-heavy with good advice, were 
sent out to make their way to the city and learn to sell 
newspapers. They came back late at night in tears, hav- 
ing walked the five or six miles to report that a man had 
offered to take them to a place where they sold newspapers, 
and had taken their money and gone into a store to get 
them, and nevermore been seen. So they both received a 
whipping, and the next morning set out again. This 
time they found the newspaper place, and procured their 
stock ; and after wandering about till nearly noontime, 
saying "Paper?" to every one they saw, they had all 
their stock taken away and received a thrashing besides 
from a big newsman upon whose territory they had tres- 

THE JtTNGLk 14ft 

pasted. Fortunately, however, they had already gold 
some papers, and came back with nearly as much as they 
started with. 

After a week of mishaps such as these, the two little 
fellows began to learn the ways of the trade, the names 
of the different papers, and how many of each to get, and 
what sort of people to offer them to, and where to go and 
where to stay away from. After this, leaving home at 
four o'clock in the morning, and running about the streets, 
first with morning papers and then with evening, they 
might come home late at night with twenty or thirty cents 
apiece possibly as much as forty cents. From this they 
had to deduct their car-fare, since the distance was so 
great ; but after a while they made friends, and learned 
still more, and then they would save their car-fare. They 
would get on a car when the conductor was not looking, 
and hide in the crowd ; and three times out of four he 
would not ask for their fares, either not seeing them, or 
thinking they had already paid ; or if he did ask, they 
would hunt through their pockets, and then begin to cry, 
and either have their fares paid by some kind old lady, or 
else try the trick again on a new car. All this was fair 
play, they felt. Whose fault was it that at the hours 
when workingmen were going to their work and back, the 
cars were so crowded that the conductors could not collect 
all the fares ? And besides, the companies were thieves, 
people said had stolen all their franchises with the help 
of scoundrelly politicians I 

Now that the winter was by, and there was no more 
danger of snow, and no more coal to buy, and another 
room warm enough to put the children into when they 
cried, and enough money to get along from week to week 
with, Jurgis was less terrible than he had been. A man 
can get used to anything in the course of time, and Jurgis 
had gotten used to lying about the house. Ona saw this, 
and was very careful not to destroy his peace of mind, by 
letting him know how very much pain she was suffering. 
It was now the time of the spring rains, and Ona had 


often to ride to her work, in spite of the expense ; she was 
getting paler every day, and sometimes, in spite of her 
good resolutions, it pained her that Jurgis did not notice 
it. She wondered if he eared for her as much as ever, if 
all this misery was not wearing out his love. She had 
to be away from him all the time, and bear her own 
troubles while he was bearing his ; and then, when she 
came home, she was so worn out ; and whenever they 
talked they had only their worries to talk of truly it 
was hard, in such a life, to keep any sentiment alive. The 
woe of this would flame up in Ona sometimes at night 
she would suddenly clasp her big husband in her arms and 
break into passionate weeping, demanding to know if he 
really loved her. Poor Jurgis, who had in truth grown 
more matter-of-fact, under the endless pressure of penury, 
would not know what to make of these things, and could 
only try to recollect when he had last been cross ; and so 
Ona would have to forgive him and sob herself to sleep. 

The latter part of April Jurgis went to see the doctor, 
and was given a bandage to lace about his ankle, and told 
that he might go back to work. It needed more than the 
permission of the doctor, however, for when he showed up 
on the killing-floor of Brown's, he was told by the foreman 
that it had not been possible to keep his job for him. 
Jurgis knew that this meant simply that the foreman had 
found some one else to do the work as well and did not want 
to bother to make a change. He stood in the doorway, 
looking mournfully on, seeing his friends and companions 
at work, and feeling like an outcast. Then he went out 
and took his place with the mob of the unemployed. 

This time, however, Jurgis did not have the same fine con- 
fidence, nor the same reason for it. He was no longer the 
finest-looking man in the throng, and the bosses no longer 
made for him; he was thin and haggard, and his clothes 
were seedy, and he looked miserable. And there were 
hundreds who looked and felt just like him, and who had 
been wandering about Packingtown for months begging 
for work. This was a critical time in Jurgis's life, and if 
Ve had been a weaker man he would have gone the way 


the rest dicL Those out-of-work wretches would stand 
about the picking-houses every morning till the police 
drove them i>way, and then they would scatter among the 
saloons. Very few of them had the nerve to face the re- 
buffs that they would encounter by trying to get into tne 
buildings to interview the bosses; if they did not get a 
chance in the morning, there would be nothing to do but 
hang about the saloons the rest of the day and night. 
Jurgis was saved from all this partly, to be sure, be- 
cause it was pleasant weather, and there was no need to be 
indoors ; but mainly because he carried with him always 
the pitiful little face of his wife. He must get work, he 
told himself, fighting the battle with despair every hour of 
the day. He must get work I He must have a place 
again and some money saved up, before the next winter 

But there was no work for him. He sought out all the 
members of his union Jurgis had stuck to the union 
through all this and begged them to speak a word for 
him. He went to every one he knew, asking for a chance, 
there or anywhere. He wandered all day through the 
buildings; and in a week or two, when he had been all 
over the yards, and into every room to which he had 
access, and learned that there was not a job anywhere, he 
persuaded himself that there might have been a change 
in the places he had first visited, and began the round all 
over; till finally the watchmen and the " spotters " of the 
companies came to know him by sight and to order him 
out with threats. Then there was nothing more for him 
to do but go with the crowd in the morning, and keep 
in the front row and look eager, and when he failed, go 
back home, and play with little Kotrina and the baby. 

The peculiar bitterness of all this was that Jurgis saw 
so plainly the meaning of it. In the beginning he had 
been fresh and strong, and he had gotten a job the first 
day; but now he was second-hand, a damaged article, so to 
speak, and they did not want him. They had got the best 
out of him, they had worn him out, with their speeding- 
up and their carelessness, and now they had thrown him 


away! And Jurgis would make the acquaintance of others 
of these unemployed men and find that they had all had 
the same experience. There were some, of course, who 
had wandered in from other places, who had been ground 
up in other mills ; there were others who were out from 
their own fault some, for instance, who had not been 
able to stand the awful grind without drink. The vast 
majority, however, were simply the worn-out parts of the 
great merciless packing-machine; they had toiled there, 
and kept up with the pace, some of them for ten or twenty 
years, until finally the time had come when they could not 
keep up with it any more. Some had been frankly told 
that they were too old, that a sprier man was needed; 
others had given occasion, by some act of carelessness or 
incompetence ; with most, however, the occasion had been 
the same as with Jurgis. They had been over worked and 
underfed so long, and finally some disease had laid them on 
their backs; or they had cut themselves, and had blood- 
poisoning, or met with some other accident. When a man 
came back after that, he would get his place back only by 
the courtesy of the boss. To this there was no exception, 
save when the accident was one for which the firm was 
liable; in that case they would send a slippery lawyer to 
see him, first to try to get him to sign away his claims, but 
if he was too smart for that, to promise him that he and 
his should always be provided with work. This promise 
they would keep, strictly and to the letter for two years. 
Two years was the "statute of limitations," and after that 
the victim could not sue. 

What happened to a man after any of these things, all 
depended upon the circumstances. If he were of the highly 
skilled workers, he would probably have enough saved up 
to tide him over. The best-paid men, the " splitters," 
made fifty cents an hour, which would be five or six dollars 
a day in the rush seasons, and one or two in the dullest. 
A man could live and save on that; but then there were 
only half a dozen splitters in each place, and one of them 
that Jurgis knew had a family of twenty-two children, all 
hoping to grow up to be splitters like their father. For 


an unskilled man who made ten dollars a week in the 
rush seasons and five in the dull, it all depended upon his 
age and the number he had dependent upon him. An un- 
married man could save, if he did not drink, and if he was 
absolutely selfish that is, if he paid no heed to the 
demands of his old parents, or of his little brothers and 
sisters, or of any other relatives he might have-, as well as 
of the members of his union, and his chums, and the 
people who might be starving to death next door. 


DURING this time that Jurgis was looking for work oc- 
curred the death of little Kristoforas, one of the children 
of Teta Elzbieta. Both Kristoforas and his brother, 
Juozapas, were cripples, the latter having lost one leg by 
having it run over, and Kristoforas having congenital dis- 
location of the hip, which made it impossible for him ever 
to walk. He was the last of Teta Elzbieta's children, and 
perhaps he had been intended by nature to let her know 
that she had had enough. At any rate he was wretchedly 
sick and undersized ; he had the rickets, and though he 
was over three years old, he was no bigger than an ordi- 
nary child of one. All day long he would crawl around the 
floor in a filthy little dress, whining and fretting : because 
the floor was full of draughts he was always catching cold, 
and snuffling because his nose ran. This made him a 
nuisance, and a source of endless trouble in the family. 
For his mother, with unnatural perversity, loved him best 
of all her children, and made a perpetual fuss over him 
Would let him do anything undisturbed, and would burst 
into tears when his fretting drove Jurgis wild. 

And now he died. Perhaps it was the smoked sausage 
he had eaten that morning which may have been made 
out of some of the tubercular pork that was condemned ac 
nnfit for export At any rate, an hour after eating it, the 
child had begun to cry with pain, and in another hour he 
was rolling about on the floor in convulsions. Little 
Kotrina, who was all alone with him, ran out screaming 
for help, and after a while a doctor came, but not until 
Kristoforas had howled his last howl. No one was really 
sorry about this except poor Elzbieta, who was inconsol- 
able, Jurgis announced that so far as he wa* concerned 


the child would have to be buried by the city, since they 
had no money for a funeral ; and at this the poor woman 
almost went out of her senses, wringing her hands and 
screaming with grief and despair. Her child to be buried 
in a pauper's grave ! And her stepdaughter to stand by 
and hear it said without protesting ! It was enough to 
make Ona's father rise up out of his grave to rebuke her ! 
If it had come to this, they might as well give up at once, 
and be buried all of them together! ... In the end 
Marija said that she would help with ten dollars; and 
Jurgis being still obdurate, Elzbieta went in tears and 
begged the money from the neighbors, and so little Kristo- 
foras had a mass and a hearse with white plumes on it, 
and a tiny plot in a graveyard with a wooden cross to 
mark the place. The poor mother was not the same for 
months after that ; the mere sight of the floor where little 
Kristoforas had crawled about would make her weep. 
He had never had a fair chance, poor little fellow, she 
would say. He had been handicapped from his birth. If 
only she had heard about it in time, so that she might 
have had that great doctor to cure him of his lameness I 
. . , Some time ago, Elzbieta was told, a Chicago billion- 
naire had paid a fortune to bring a great European surgeon 
over to cure his little daughter of the same disease 
from which Kristoforas had suffered. And because this 
surgeon had to have bodies to demonstrate upon, he an- 
nounced that he would treat the children of the poor, a 
piece of magnanimity over which the papers became quite 
eloquent. Elzbieta, alas, did not read the papers, and no 
one had told her ; but perhaps it was as well, for just then 
they would not have had the car-fare to spare to go every 
day to wait upon the surgeon, nor for that matter any- 
body with the time to take the child. 

All this while that he was seeking for work, there was a 
dark shadow hanging over Jurgis; as if a savage beast were 
lurking somewhere in the pathway of his life, and he knew 
it, and yet could not help approaching the place. There 
are all stages of being out of work in Packingtown, and 


he faced in dread the prospect of reaching the lowest. 
There is a place that waits for the lowest man the fer- 
tilizer-plant 1 

The men would talk about it in awe-stricken whispers. 
Not more than one in ten had ever really tried it ; the 
other nine had contented themselves with hearsay evi- 
dence and a peep through the door. There were some 
things worse than even starving to death, They would 
ask Jurgis if he had worked there yet, and if he meant to ; 
and Jurgis would debate the matter with himself. As 
poor as they were, and making ail the sacrifices that they 
were, would he dare to refuse any sort of work that was 
offered to him, be it as horrible as ever it could ? Would 
he dare to go home and eat bread that had been earned 
by Ona, weak and complaining as she was, knowing that 
he had been given a chance, and had not had the nerve 
to take it ? And yet he might argue that way with him- 
self all day, and one glimpse into the fertilizer- works would 
send him away again shuddering. He was a man, and he 
would do his duty ; he went and made application but 
surely he was not also required to hope for success ! 

The fertilizer-works of Durham's lay away from the rest 
of the plant. Few visitors ever saw them, and the few 
who did would come out looking like Dante, of whom the 
peasants declared that he had been into hell. To this part 
of the yards came all the " tankage," and the waste prod- 
ucts of all sorts j here they dried out the bones, and in 
suffocating cellars where the daylight never came you 
might see men and women and children bending over 
whirling machines and sawing bits of bone into all sorts of 
shapes, breathing their lungs full of the fine dust, and 
doomed to die, every one of them, within a certain defi- 
nite time. Here they made the blood into albumen, and 
made other foul-smelling things into things still more 
foul-smelling In the corridors and caverns where it was 
done you might lose yourself as in the great caves of 
Kentucky. In the dust and the steam the electric lights 
would shine like far-off twinkling stars red and blue- 
green and purple stars, according to the color of the mist 


and the brew from which it came. For the odors in these 
ghastly charnel-houses there may be words in Lithuanian, 
but there are none in English. The person entering 
would have to summon his courage as for a cold-water 
plunge. He would go on like a man swimming under 
water; he would put his handkerchief over his face, and 
begin to cough ar-d choke ; and then, if he were still obsti- 
nate, he would find his head beginning to ring, and the 
veins in his forehead to throb, until finally he would be 
assailed by an overpowering blast of ammonia fumes, 
and would turn and run for his life, and come out 

On top of this were the rooms where they dried the 
" tankage," the mass of brown stringy stuff that was left 
after the waste portions of ths carcasses had had the lard 
and tallow tried out of them. This dried material they 
would then grind to a fine powder, and after they had 
mixed it up well with a mysterious but inoffensive 
brown rock which they brought in and ground up by the 
hundreds of carloads for that purpose, the substance was 
ready to be put into bags and sent out to the world as any 
one of a hundred different brands of standard bone-phos- 
phate., And then the farmer in Maine or California or 
Texas would buy this, at say twenty-five dollars a ton, 
and plant it with his corn ; and for several days after the 
operation the fields would have a strong odor, and the 
farmer and his w.'gon and the very horses that had 
hauled it would all have it too. In Packingtown the 
fertilizer is pure, instead of being a flavoring, and instead 
of a ton or so spread out on several acres under the open 
sky, there are hundreds and thousands of tons of it in one 
building, heaped here and there in haystack piles, cover- 
ing the floor several inches deep, and filling the air with a 
choking dust that becomes a blinding sand-storm when the 
wind stirs. 

It was to this building that Jurgis came daily, as if 
dragged by an unseen hand. The month of May was an 
exceptionally cool one, and his secret prayers were granted ; 
but early in June there came a record-breaking hot spell, 


and after that there were men wanted in the fertilizer- 

The boss of the grinding room had come to know Jurgia 
by this time, and had marked him for a likely man ; and 
so when he came to the door about two o'clock this breath- 
less hot day, he felt a sudden spasm of pain shoot through 
him the boss beckoned to him ! In ten minutes more 
Jurgis had pulled off his coat and overshirt, and set his 
teeth together and gone to work. Here was one more 
difficulty for him to meet and conquer ! 

His labor took him about one minute to learn. Before 
him was one of the vents of the mill in which the fertilizer 
was being ground rushing forth in a great brown river, 
with a spray of the finest dust flung forth in clouds. Jurgis 
was given a shovel, and along with half a dozen others it 
was his task to shovel this fertilizer into carts. That 
others were at work he knew by the sound, and by the 
fact that he sometimes collided with them ; otherwise 
they might as well not have been there, for in the blind- 
ing dust-storm a man could not see six feet in front of his 
face. When he had filled one cart he had to grope around 
him until another came, and if there was none on hand he 
continued to grope till one arrived. In five minutes he 
was, of course, a mass of fertilizer from head to feet ; they 
gave him a sponge to tie over his mouth, so that he could 
breathe, but the sponge did not prevent his lips and eye- 
lids from caking up with it and his ears from filling solid. 
He looked like a brown ghost at twilight from hair to 
shoes he became the color of the building and of every- 
thing in it, and for that matter a hundred yards outside 
it. The building had to be left open, and when the 
wind blew Durham and Company lost a great deal of 

Working in his shirt-sleeves, and with the thermometer 
at over a hundred, the phosphates soaked in through every 
pore of Jurgis's skin, and in five minutes he had a head- 
ache, and in fifteen was almost dazed. The blood was 
pounding in his brain like an engine's tnrobbing ; there 
was a frightful pain in the top of his skull, and he could 


hardly control his hands. Still, with the memory of hia 
four months' siege behind him, he fought on, in a frenzy 
of determination ; and half an hour later he began to 
vomit he vomited until it seemed as if his inwards must 
be torn into shreds. A man could get used to the ferti- 
lizer-mill, the boss Lad said, if he would only make up his 
mind to it; but Jurgis now began to see that it was a 
question of making up his stomach. 

At the end of that day o* horror, he could scarcely 
stand. He had to catch himself now and then, and lean 
against a building and get his bearings. Mos^ of the 
men, when they came out, made straight for a saloon 
they seemed to place fertilizer and rattlesnake poison in 
one class. But Jurgis was too ill to think of drinking 
he could only make his way to the street and stagger on to 
a car. He had a sense of humor, and later on, when he 
became an old hand, he used to think it fun to board a 
street-car and see what happened. Now, however, ha was 
too ill to notice it how the people in the car began to 
gasp and sputter, to put their handkerchiefs to their noses, 
and transfix him with furious glances. Jurgis only knew 
that a man in front of him immediately got up and gave 
him a seat ; and that half a minute later the two people on 
each side of him got up ; and that in a full minute the 
crowded car was nearly empty those passengers who 
could not get room on the platform having gotten out 
to walk. 

Of course Jurgis had made his home a miniature ferti- 
lizer-mill a minute after entering. The stuff was half an 
inch deep in his skin his whole system was full of it, 
and it would have taken a week not merely of scrubbing, 
but of vigorous exercise, to get it out of him. As it was, 
he could be compared with nothing known to men, save 
that newest discovery of the savants, a substance which 
emits energy for an unlimited time, without being itself 
in the least diminished in power. He smelt so that he 
made all the food at the table taste, and set the whole 
family to vomiting ; for himself it was three days before 
he could keep anything upon tus stomach h might 


wash Ms hands, and use a knife and fork, but were not hit 
mouth and throat filled with the poison ? 

And still Jurgis stuck it out 1 In spite of splitting 
headaches he would stagger down to the plant and take 
up his stand once more, and begin to shovel in the blinding 
clouds of dust. And so at the end of the week he was a 
fertilizer-man for life he was able to eat again, and 
though his head never stopped aching, it ceased to be so 
bad that he could not work. 

So there passed another summer. It was a summer of 
prosperity, all over the country, and the country ate gen- 
erously of packing-house products, and there was plenty 
of work for all the family, in spite of the packers' efforts 
to keep a superfluity of labor. They were again able to 
pay their debts and to begin to save a little sum ; but 
there were one or two sacrifices they considered too heavy 
to be made for long it was too bad that the boys 
should have to sell papers at their age. It was utterly 
useless to caution them and plead with them ; quite with- 
out knowing it, they were taking on the tone of their new 
environment. They were learning to swear in voluble 
English ; they were learning to pick up cigar-stumps and 
smoke them, to pass hours of their time gambling with 
pennies and dice and cigarette- cards ; they were learning 
the location of all the houses of prostitution on the 
"Levee," and the names of the "madames" who kept 
them, and the days when they gave their state banquets, 
which the police captains and the big politicians all 
attended. If a visiting " country-customer " were to ask 
them, they could show him which was " Hinkydink's '* 
famous saloon, and could even point out to him by name 
the different gamblers and thugs and "hold-up men" who 
made the place their headquarters. And worse yet, the 
boys were getting out of the habit of coming home at 
night. What was the use, they would ask, of wasting 
time and energy and a possible car-fare riding out to the 
stockyards every night when the weather was pleasant 
and they could crawl under a truck or into an empty door- 


way and sleep exactly as well ? So long as they brought 
home a half dollar for each day, what mattered it when 
they brought it ? But Jurgis declared that from this ta 
ceasing to come at all would not be a very long step, and 
so it was decided that Vilimas and Nikalojus should 
return to school in the fall, and that instead Elzbieta 
should go out and get some work, her place at home being 
taken by her younger daughter. 

Little Kotrina was like most children of the poor, pre- 
maturely made old ; she had to take care of her little 
brother, who was a cripple, and also of the baby ; she 
had to cook the meals and wash the dishes and clean 
house, and have supper ready when the workers came 
home in the evening. She was only thirteen, and small 
for her age, but she did all this without a murmur ; and 
her mother went out, and after trudging a couple of days 
about the yards, settled down as a servant of a " sausage- 
machine. " 

Elzbieta was used to working, but she found this change 
a hard one, for the reason that she had to stand motionless 
upon her feet from seven o'clock in the morning till half- 
past twelve, and again from one till half-past five. For 
the first few days it seemed to her that she could not stand 
it she suffered almost as much as Jurgis had from the 
fertilizer, and would come out at sundown with her head 
fairly reeling. Besides this, she was working in one of 
the dark holes, by electric light, and the dampness, too, 
was deadly there were always puddles of water on the 
floor, and a sickening odor of moist flesh in the room. 
The people who worked here followed the ancient custom 
of nature, whereby the ptarmigan is the color of dead 
leaves in the fall and of snow in the winter, and the cha- 
meleon, who is black when he lies upon a stump and turns 
green when he moves to a leaf. The men and women who 
worked in this department were precisely the color of the 
" fresh country sausage " they made. 

The sausage-room was an interesting place to visit, for 
two or three minutes, and provided that you did not look 
at the people ; the machines were perhaps the most wonder- 


ful things in the entire plant. Presumably lausagei were 
once chopped and stuffed by hand, and if so it would be 
interesting to know how many workers had been displaced 
by these inventions. On one side of the room were the 
hoppers, into which men shovelled loads of meat and 
wheelbarrows full of spices; in these great bowls were 
whirling knives that made two thousand revolutions a 
minute, and when the meat was ground fine and adulter- 
ated with potato-flour, and well mixed with water, it was 
forced to the stuffing-machines on the other side of the 
room. The latter were tended by women; there was a 
sort of spout, like the nozzle of a hose, and one of the 
women would take a long string of "casing" and put the 
end over the nozzle and then work the whole thing on, as 
one works on the finger of a tight glove. This string 
would be twenty or thirty feet long, but the woman 
would have it all on in a jiffy; and when she had several 
on, she would press a lever, and a stream of sausage-meat 
would be shot out, taking the casing with it as it came. 
Thus one might stand and see appear, miraculously born 
from the machine, a wriggling snake of sausage of incred- 
ible length. In front was a big pan which caught these 
creatures, and two more women who seized them as fast 
as they appeared and twisted them into links. This was 
for the uninitiated the most perplexing work of all; for 
all that the woman had to give was a single turn of the 
wrist; and in some way she contrived to give it so that 
instead of an endless chain of sausages, one after another, 
there grew under her hands a bunch of strings, all dan- 
gling from a single centre. It was quite like the feat of a 
prestidigitator for the woman worked so fast that the 
eye could literally not follow her, and there was only a 
mist of motion, and tangle after tangle of sausages appear- 
ing. In the midst of the mist, however, the visitor would 
suddenly notice the tense set face, with the two wrinkles 
graven in the forehead, and the ghastly pallor of the 
cheeks; and then he would suddenly recollect that it 
was time he was going on. The woman did not go on; 
she stayed right there hour after hour, day after day, 


year after year, twisting sausage-links and racing with 
death. It was piece-work, and she was apt to have a 
family to keep alive; and stern and ruthless economic 
laws had arranged it that she could only do this by work- 
ing just as she did, with all her soul upon her work, and 
with never an instant for a glance at the well-dressed 
ladies and gentlemen who came to stare at her, as at some 
wild beast in a menagerie. 


WITH one member trimming beef in a cannery, and 
another working in a sausage factory, the family had a 
first-hand knowledge of the great majority of Packing- 
town swindles. For it was the custom, as they found, 
whenever meat was so spoiled that it could not be used 
for anything else, either to can it or else to chop it up 
into sausage. With what had been told them by Jonas, 
who had worked in the pickle-rooms, they could now 
study the whole of the spoiled-meat industry on the 
inside, and read a new and grim meaning into that old 
Packingtown jest, that they use everything of the pig 
except the squeal. 

Jonas had told them how the meat that was taken out 
of pickle would often be found sour, and how they would 
rub it up with soda to take away the smell, and sell it to 
be eaten on free-lunch counters ; also of all the miracles 
of chemistry which they performed, giving to any sort of 
meat, fresh or salted, whole or chopped, any color and 
any flavor and any odor they chose. In the pickling of 
hams they had an ingenious apparatus, by which they 
saved time and increased the capacity of the plant a 
machine consisting of a hollow needle attached to a 
pump ; by plunging this needle into the meat and work- 
ing with his foot, a man could fill a ham with pickle in a 
few seconds. And yet, in spite of this, there would be 
hams found spoiled, some of them with an odor so bad 
that a man could hardly bear to be in the room with them. 
To pump into these the packers had a second and much 
stronger pickle which destroyed the odor a process 
known to the workers as "giving them thirty per cent." 
Also, after the hams had been smoked, there would be 


found some that had gone to the bad. Formerly these 
had been sold as "Number Three Grade, but later on 
some ingenious person had hit upon a new device, and 
now they would extract the bone, about which the bad 
part generally lay, and insert in the hole a white-hot iron. 
After this invention there was no longer Number One, Two, 
and Three Grade there was only Number One Grade. 
The packers were always originating such schemes they 
had what they called " boneless hams," which were all the 
odds and ends of pork stuffed into casings ; and " Cali- 
fornia hams," which were the shoulders, with big knuckle- 
joints, and nearly all the meat cut out ; and fancy " skinned 
hams," which were made of the oldest hogs, whose skins 
were so heavy and coarse that no one would buy them 
that is, until they had been cooked and chopped fine and 
labelled "head cheese"! 

It was only when the whole ham was spoiled that it came 
into the department of Elzbieta. Cut up by the two- 
thousand-revolutions-a-minute flyers, and mixed with half 
a ton of other meat, no odor that ever was in a ham could 
make any difference. There was never the least attention 
paid to what was cut up for sausage ; there would come 
all the way back from Europe old sausage that had been 
rejected, and that was mouldy and white it would be 
dosed with borax and glycerine, and dumped into the 
hoppers, and made over again for home consumption. 
There would be mea,t that had tumbled out on the floor, 
in the dirt and sawdust, where the workers had tramped 
and spit uncounted billions of consumption germs. There 
would be meat stored in great piles in rooms ; and the 
water from leaky roofs would drip over it, and thousands 
of rats would race about on it. It was too dark in these 
storage places to see well, but a man could run his hand 
over these piles of meat and sweep off handfuls of the 
dried dung of rats. These rats were nuisances, and the 
packers would put poisoned bread out for them ; they 
would die, and then rats, bread, and meat would go into 
the hoppers together. This is no fairy story and no joke ; 
the meat would be shovelled into carts, and the man who 


did the shovelling would not trouble to lift out a rat even 
when he saw one there were things that went into the 
sausage in comparison with which a poisoned rat waa a 
tidbit. There was no place for the men to wash their 
hands before they ate their dinner, and so they made a 
practice of washing them in the water that was to be ladled 
into the sausage. There were the butt-ends of smoked 
meat, and the scraps of corned beef, and all the odds and 
ends of the waste of the plants, that would be dumped 
into old barrels in the cellar and left there. Under the 
system of rigid economy which the packers enforced, 
there were some jobs that it only paid to do once in a 
long time, and among these was the cleaning out of the 
waste-barrels. Every spring they did it ; and in the 
barrels would be dirt and rust and old nails and stale 
water and cart load after cart load of it would be taken 
up and dumped into the hoppers with fresh meat, and sent 
out to the public's breakfast. Some of it they would 
make into "smoked" sausage but as the smoking took 
time, and was therefore expensive, they would call upon 
their chemistry department, and preserve it with borax 
and color it with gelatine to make it brown. All of their 
sausage came out of the same bowl, but when they came 
to wrap it they would stamp some of it " special," and for 
this they would charge two cents more a pound. 

Such were the new surroundings in which Elzbieta was 
placed, and such was the work she was compelled to do. 
It was stupefying, brutalizing work ; it left her no time 
to think, no strength for anything. She was part of the 
machine she tended, and every faculty that was not 
needed for the machine was doomed to be crushed out of 
existence. There was only one mercy about the cruel 
grind that it gave her the gift of insensibility. Little 
by little she sank into a torpor she fell silent. She 
would meet Jurgis and Ona in the evening, and the three 
would walk home together, often without saying a word. 
Ona, too, was falling into a habit of silence Ona, who 
had once gone about singing like a bird. She was sick 


and miserable, and often she would barely have strength 
enough to drag herself home. And there they would eat 
what they had to eat, and afterwards, because there was 
only their misery to talk of, they would crawl into bed 
and fall into a stupor and never stir until it was time to 
get up again, and dress by candle-light, and go back to 
the machines. They were so numbed that they did not 
even suffer much from hunger, now; only the children 
continued to fret when the food ran short. 

Yet the soul of Ona was not dead the souls of none 
of them were dead, but only sleeping ; and now and then 
they would waken, and these were cruel times. The 
gates of memory would roll open old joys would stretch 
out their arms to them, old hopes and dreams would call 
to them, and they would stir beneath the burden that lay 
upon them, and feel its forever immeasurable weight. 
They could not even cry out beneath it ; but anguish 
would seize them, more dreadful than the agony of death. 
It was a thing scarcely to be spoken a thing never spoken 
by all the world, that will jot know its own defeat. 

They were beaten ; they had lost the game, they were 
swept aside. It was not less tragic because it was so 
sordid, because that it had to do with wages and grocery 
bills and rents. They had dreamed of freedom ; of a 
chance to look about them and learn something ; to be 
decent and clean, to see their child grow up to be strong. 
And now it was all gone it would never be I They 
had played the game and they had lost. Six years more 
of toil they had to face before they could expect the 
least respite, the cessation of the payments upon the 
house ; and how cruelly certain it was that they could 
never stand six years of such a life as they were living ! 
They were lost, they were going down and there was 
no deliverance for them, no hope ; for all the help it gave 
them the vast city in which they lived might have been 
an ocean waste, a wilderness, a desert, a tomb. So often 
this mood would come to Ona, in the night-time, when 
something wakened her ; she would lie, afraid of the beat- 
ing of her own heart, fronting the blocd-red eyea of the 


old primeval terror of life. Once she cried aloud, and woke 
Jurgis, who was tired and cross. After that she learned to 
weep silently their moods so seldom came together now ! 
It was as if their hopes were buried in separate graves. 

Jurgis, being a man, had troubles of his own. There 
was another spectre following him. He had never spoken 
of it, nor would he allow any one else to speak of it he 
had never acknowledged its existence to himself. Yet the 
battle with it took all the manhood that he had and once 
or twice, alas, a little more. Jurgis had discovered drink. 

He was working in the steaming pit of hell; day after 
day, week after week until now there was not an organ 
of nis body that did its work without pain, until the sound 
of ocean breakers echoed in his head day and night, and 
the buildings swayed and danced before him as he went 
down the street. And from all the unending horror of 
this there was a respite, a deliverance he could drink I 
He could forget the pain, he could slip off the burden ; he 
would see clearly again, he would be master of his brain, 
of his thoughts, of his will. His dead self would stir in 
iim, and he would find himself laughing and cracking 
jokes with his companions he would be a man again, 
and master of his life. 

It was not an easy thing for Jurgis to take more than 
two or three drinks. With the first drink he could eat a 
meal, and he could persuade himself that that was econ- 
omy ; with the second he could eat another meal but 
there would come a time when he could eat no more, and 
then to pay for a drink was an unthinkable extravagance, 
a defiance of the age-long instincts of his hunger-haunted 
class. One day, however, he took the plunge, anddraLK 
up all that he had in his pockets, and went home half 
" piped," as the men phrase it. He was happier than he 
had been in a year; and yet, because he knew that the 
happiness would not last, he was savage, too with those 
who would wreck it, and with the world, and with his 
life ; and then again, beneath this, he was sick with the 
shame of himself. Afterward, when he saw the despair of 
his family, and reckoned up the money he had spent, the 


tears came into his eyes, and he began the long battle 
with the spectre. 

It was a battle that had no end, that never could have 
one. But Jurgis did not realize that very clearly; he was 
not given much time for reflection. He simply knew that 
he was always fighting. Steeped in misery and despair 
as he was, merely to walk down the street was to be put 
upon the rack. There was surely a saloon on the corner 
perhaps on all four corners, and some in the middle of the 
block as well; and each one stretched out a hand to him 
each one had a personality of its own, allurements unlike 
any other. Going and coming before sunrise and after 
dark there was warmth and a glow of light, and the 
steam of hot food, and perhaps music, or a friendly face, 
and a word of good cheer. Jurgis developed a fondness 
for having Ona on his arm whenever he went out on the 
street, and he would hold her tightly, and walk fast. It 
was pitiful to have Ona know of this it drove him wild 
to think of it; the thing was not fair, for Ona had never 
tasted drink, and so could not understand. Sometimes, in 
desperate hours, he would find himself wishing that she 
might learn what it was, so that he need not be ashamed 
in her presence. They might drink together, and escape 
from the horror escape for a while, come what would. 

So there came a time when nearly all the conscious life 
of Jurgis consisted of a struggle with the craving for 
liquor. He would have ugly moods, when he hated Ona 
and the whole family, because they stood in his way. He 
was a fool to have married; he had tied himself down, 
had made himself a slave. It was all because he was a 
married man that he was compelled to stay in the yards; 
if it had not been for that he might have gone off like 
Jonas, and to hell with the packers. There were few 
single men in the fertilizer-mill and those few were 
working only for a chance to escape. Meantime, too, they 
had something to think about while they worked, they 
had the memory of the last time they had been drunk, and 
the hope of the time when they would be drunk again. As 
for Jurgis, he was expected to bring home every penny; 


he could not even go with the men at noon-time he wm 
supposed to sit down and eat his dinner OD a pile of ferti- 
lizer dust. 

This was not always his mood, of cou fse ; he still loved 
his family <. But just now was a time of trial. Poor little 
Antanas, for instance who had never failed to win him 
with a smile little Antanas was not smiling just now, 
being a mass of fiery red pimples. He had had all the dis- 
eases that babies are heir to, in quick succession, scarlet 
fever, mumps, and whooping-cough in the first year, and 
now he was down with the measles. There was no one 
to attend him but Kotrina ; there was no doctor to help 
him, because they were too poor, and children did not 
die of the measles at least not often. Now and then 
Kotrina would find time to sob over his woes, but for the 
greater part of the time he had to be left alone, barricaded 
upon the bed. The floor was full of draughts, and if he 
caught cold he would die. At night he was tied down, 
lest he should kick the covers off him, while the family 
lay in their stupor of exhaustion. He would lie and scream 
for hours, almost in convulsions ; and then, when he was 
worn out, he would lie whimpering and wailing in his tor- 
ment. He was burning up with fever, and his eyes were 
running sores; in the daytime he was a thing uncanny 
and impish to behold, a plaster of pimples and sweat, a 
great purple lump of misery. 

Yet all this was not really as cruel as it sounds, for, sick 
as he was, little Antanas *cus the least unfortunate member 
of that family. He was quite able to bear his sufferings 
it was as if he had all these complaints to show what a 
prodigy of health ho was. He was the child of his parents* 
youth and joy ; he grew up like the conjurer's rose bush, 
and all the world was his oyster. In general, he toddled 
around the kitchen all day with a lean and hungry look 
the portion of the family's allowance that fell to him was 
not enough, and he was unrestrainable in his demand for 
more. Antanas was but little over a year old, and already 
*jo one but his father could manage him. 

It seemed as if he had taken all of his mother's strength 


had left nothing for those that might come after him. 
Ona was with child again now, and it was a dreadful thing 
to contemplate ; even Jurgis, dumb and despairing as he 
was, could not but understand that yet other agonies were 
on the way, and shudder at the thought of them. 

For Ona was visibly going to pieces. In the first place 
she was developing a cough, like the one that had killed 
old Dede Antanas. She had had a trace of it ever since that 
fatal morning when the greedy street-car corporation had 
turned her out into the rain ; but now it was beginning to 
grow serious, and to wake her up at night. Even worse 
than that was the fearful nervousness from which she suf- 
fered ; she would have frightful headaches and fits of 
aimless weeping ; and sometimes she would come home at 
night shuddering and moaning, and would fling herself 
down upon the bed and burst into tears. Several times 
she was quite beside herself and hysterical; and then 
Jurgis would go half mad with fright. Elzbieta would 
explain to him that it could not be helped, that a woman 
was subject to such things when she was pregnant; but 
he was hardly to be persuaded, and would beg and plead to 
know what had happened. She had never been like this 
before, he would argue it was monstrous and unthink- 
able. It was the life she had to live, the accursed work 
she had to do, that was killing her by inches. She was 
not fitted for it no woman was fitted for it, no 
woman ought to be allowed to do such work ; if the 
world could not keep them alive any other way it 
ought to kill them at once and be done with it. They 
ought not to marry, to have children ; no working- 
man ought to marry if he, Jurgis, had known what a 
woman was like, he would have had his eyes torn out first. 
So he would carry on, becoming half hysterical himself, 
which was an unbearable thing to see in a big man ; Ona 
would pull herself together and fling herself into his arms, 
begging him to stop, to be still, that she would be better, 
it would be all right. So she would lie and sob out her 
grief upon his shoulder, while he gazed at her, as helplew 
as a wounded animal, the target of unseen entmies. 


THE beginning of these perplexing things was in the 
summer ; and each time Ona would promise him with 
terror in her voice that it would not happen again but 
in vain. Each crisis would leave Jurgis more and more 
frightened, more disposed to distrust Elzbieta's consola,- 
tions, and to believe that there was some terrible thing 
about all this that he was not allowed to know. Once or 
twice in these outbreaks he caught Ona's eye, and it 
seemed to him like the eye of a hunted animal; there 
were broken phrases of anguish and despair now and then, 
amid her frantic weeping. It was only because he was 
so numb and beaten himself that Jurgis did not worry 
more about this. But he never thought of it, except when 
he was dragged to it he lived like a dumb beast of bur- 
den, knowing only the moment in which he was. 

The winter was coming on again, more menacing and 
cruel than ever. It was October, and the holiday rush 
had begun. It was necessary for the packing-machines 
to grind till late at night to provide food that would be 
eaten at Christmas breakfasts ; and Marija and Elzbieta and 
Ona, as part of the machine, began working fifteen or six- 
teen hours a day. There was no choice about this what- 
ever work there was to be done they had to do, if they wished 
to keep their places ; besides that, it added another pittance 
to their incomes, so they staggered on with the awful load. 
They would start work every morning at seven, and eat 
their dinners at noon, and then work until ten or eleven 
at night without another mouthful of food. Jurgis wanted 
to wait for them, to help them home at night, but they 
would not think of this ; the fertilizer-mill was not run- 
ning overtime, and there was no place for him to wait save 


In a saloon. Each would stagger out into the darkness, 
and make her way to the corner, where they met ; or if 
the others had already gone, would get into a car, and 
begin a painful struggle to keep awake. When they got 
home they were always too tired either to eat or to undress ; 
they would crawl into bed with their shoes on, and lie like 
logs. If they should fail, they would certainly be lost ; 
if they held out, they might have enough coal for the 

A day or two before Thanksgiving Day there came a 
snow-storm. It began in the afternoon, and by evening 
two inches had fallen. Jurgis tried to wait for the women, 
but went into a saloon to get warm, and took two drinks, 
and came out and ran home to escape from the demon ; 
there he lay down to wait for them, and instantly fell 
asleep. When he opened his eyes again he was in the 
midst of a nightmare, and found Elzbieta shaking him and 
crying out. At first he could not realize what she was 
saying Ona had not come home. What time was it, he 
asked. It was morning time to be up. Ona had not 
been home that night I And it was bitter cold, and a foot 
of snow on the ground. 

Jurgis sat up with a start. Marija was crying with 
fright and the children were wailing in sympathy little 
Stanislovas in addition, because the terror of the snow was 
upon him. Jurgis had nothing to put on but his shoes and 
his coat, and in half a minute he was out of the door. 
Then, however, he realized that there was no need of 
haste, that he had no idea where to go. It was still dark 
as midnight, and the thick snowflakes were sifting 
down everything was so silent that he could hear the 
rustle of them as they fell. In the few seconds that he 
stood there hesitating he was covered white. 

He set off at a run for the yards, stopping by the way 
to inquire in the saloons that were open. Ona might have 
been overcome on the way ; or else she might have met 
with an accident in the machines. When he got to the 
place where she worked he inquired of one of the watch- 
men there had not been any accident, so far as the man 


bad heard. At the time-office, which he found already 
open, the clerk told him that Ona'B check had been turned 
in the night before, showing that she had left her work. 

After that there was nothing for him to do btu wait, 
pacing back and forth in the snow, meantime, to keep from 
freezing. Already the yards were full of activity ; cattle 
were being unloaded from the cars in the distance, and 
across the way the "beef-luggers" were toiling in the 
darkness, carrying two-hundred-pound quarters of bullocks 
into the refrigerator-cars. Before the first streaks of day- 
light there came the crowding throngs of workingrnen, 
shivering, and swinging their dinner pails as they hurried 
by. Jurgis took up his stand by the time-office window, 
where alone there was light enough for him to see ; the 
snow fell so thick that it was only by peering closely that 
he could make sure that Ona did not pass him. 

Seven o'clock came, the hour when the great packing- 
machine began to move. Jurgis ought to have been at 
his place in the fertilizer-mill ; but instead he was waiting, 
in an agony of fear, for Ona. It was fifteen minutes after 
the hour when he saw a form emerge from the snow-mist, 
and sprang toward it with a cry. It was she s running 
swiftly; as she saw him, she staggered forward, and half 
fell into his outstretched arms. 

" What has been the matter ? " he cried, anxiously. 
" Where have you been ? " 

It was several seconds before she could get breath to 
answer him. "I couldn't get home,*' she exclaimed, "The 
snow the cars had stopped." 

"But where were you then ?" he demanded. 

"I had to go home with a friend,*' she panted " with 

Jurgis drew a deep breath ; but then he noticed that she 
was sobbing and trembling as if in one of those nervous 
crises that he dreaded so. " But what's the matter ? " he 
cried. " What has happened ? "' 

u Oh, Jurgis, I was so frightened I " she said, clinging 
to him wildly. " I have been so worried 1 " 

They were near the time-station window, and people 


were staring at them. Jurgis led her away. u How do 
you mean ? " he asked, in perplexity. 

"I was afraid 1 was just afraid I *' sobbed Ona. a l 
knew you wouldn't know where I was, and 1 didn't know 
what you might do. I tried to get home, but I was so 
tired. Oh, Jurgis, Jurgis I " 

He was eo glad to get her back that he could not think 
clearly about anything else. It did not seem strange to 
him that she should be so very much upset ; all her fright 
and incoherent protestations did not matter since he had 
her back. He let her cry away her fears ; and then, be- 
cause it was nearly eight o'clock, and they would lose 
another hour if they delayed, he left her at the packing- 
house door, with her ghastly white face and her haunted 
eyes of terror. 

There was another brief interval Christmas was al- 
most come i and because the snow still held, and the 
searching cold, morning after morning Jurgis half carried 
his wife to her post, staggering with her through the dark- 
ness ; until at last, one night* came the end. 

It lacked but three days of the holidays. About mid- 
night Marija and Elzbieta came home, exclaiming in alarm 
when they found that Ona had not come. The two had 
agreed to meet her ; and, after waiting, had goae to the 
room where she worked, only to find that the ham-wrap- 
ping girls had quit work an hour before, and left. There 
was no snow that night, nor was it especially cold ; and 
still Ona had not come 1 Something more serious must 
be wrong this time. 

They aroused Jurgis, and he sat up and listened crossly 
to the story, She must have gone home again with Jad' 
vyga, he said ; Jadvyga lived only two blocks from the 
yards, and perhaps she had been tired. Nothing could 
have happened to her and even if there had, there was 
nothing could ba done about it until morning. Jurgis 
turned over in his bed, and was snoring again before the 
two had closed the door. 

In the morning, however, he was up and out nearly ao 


hour before the usual time. Jadvyga Marciakus lived on 
the other side of the yards, beyond Halsted Street, with 
her mother aiid sisters, in a single basement room for 
Mikolas had recently lost one hand from blood-poisoning, 
and their marriage had been put off forever. The door of 
the room was in the rear, reached by a narrow court, and 
Jurgis saw a light in the window and heard something 
frying as he passed ; he knocked, half expecting that Ona 
would answer. 

Instead there was one of Jadyyga's little sisters, who 
eazed at him through a crack in the door. " Where's 
Una ? " he demanded ; and the child looked at him in 
perplexity. " Ona ? " she said. 

" Yes," said Jurgis, " isn't she here ? " 

* No," said the child, and Jurgis gave a start. A mo- 
ment later came Jadvyga. peering over the child's head. 
When she saw who it was, she slid around out of sight, 
for she was not quite dressed. Jurgis must excuse her, 
sne began, her mother was very ill 

"Ona isn't here?" Jurgis demanded, too alarmed to 
wait for her to finish. 

"Why, no,'* said Jadvyga. "What made you think 
she would be here ? Had she said she was coming ? n 

"No," he answered. "But she hasn't come home 
and I thought she would be here the same as before." 

44 As before ? " echoed Jadvyga, in perplexity. 

" The time she spent the night here," said Jurgis. 

" There must be some mistake," she answered, quickly. 
44 Ona has never spent the night here." 

He was only half able to realize her words. " Why why 
" he exclaimed. " Two weeks ago, Jadvyga ! She told 
me so the night it snowed, and she could not get home." 

" There must be some mistake," declared the girl, again j 
"&he didn't come here." 

He steadied himself by the door-sill ; and Jadvyga in 
ber anxiety for she was fond of Ona opened the door 
wide, holding her jacket across her throat. "Are you 
sure you didn't misunderstand her?" she cried. "She 
must have meant somewhere else. She " 


-She said here," insisted Jurgis. She told me all 
about you, and how you were, and what you said. Axe 
you sure ? You haven't forgotten ? You weren't away?" 

"No, no 1 " she exclaimed and then came a peevish 
voice " Jadvyga, you are giving the baby a cold. Shut 
the door I " J urgis stood for half a minute more, stam- 
mering his perplexity through an eighth of an inch of 
crack ; and then, as there was really nothing more to be 
said, he excused himself and went away. 

He walked on half dazed, without knowing where he 
went. Ona had deceived him I She had lied to him I 
And what could it mean where had she been? Where 
was she now? He could hardly grasp the thing much 
less try to solve it ; but a hundred wild surmises came to 
him, a sense of impending calamity overwhelmed him. 

Because there was nothing else to do, he went back to 
the time-office to watch again. He waited until nearly an 
hour after seven, and then went to the room where Ona 
worked to make inquiries of Ona's " forelady." The " fore- 
lady," he found, had not yet come ; all the lines of cars that 
came from down-town were stalled there had been an acci- 
dent in the power-house, and no cars had been running 
since last night. Meantime, however, the ham-wrappers 
were working away, with some one else in charge of 
them. The girl who answered Jurgis was busy, and 
as she talked she looked to see if she were being watched. 
Then a man came up, wheeling a truck ; he knew Jurgia 
for Ona's husband, and was curious about the mystery. 

" Maybe the cars had something to do with it," he sug- 
gested "maybe she had gene down-town." 

" No," said Jurgis, " she never went down-town." 

" Perhaps not," said the man. 

Jurgis thought he saw him exchange a swift glance with 
the girl as he spoke, and he demanded quickly, "What do 
you know about it ? " 

But the man had seen that the boss was watching him - 
he started on again, pushing his truck. " I don't know 
anything about it," he said, over his shoulder. 
should I know where your wife goes?" 


Then Jurgis went out again, and paced up and down 
before the building. All the morning he stayed there, 
with no thought of his work. About noon he went to 
the police station to make inquiries, and then came back 
again for another anxious vigil. Finally, toward the 
middle of the afternoon, he set out for home once more. 

He was walking out Ashland Avenue. The street-cars 
had begun running again, and several passed him, packed 
to the steps with people. The sight of them set Jurgis 
to thinking again of the man's sarcastic remark ; and half 
involuntarily he found himself watching the cars with 
the result that he gave a sudden startled exclamation, 
and stopped short in his tracks. 

Then he broke into a run. For a whole block he tore 
after the car, only a little ways behind. That rusty black 
hat with the drooping red flower, it might not be Ona's, 
but there was very little likelihood of it. He would know 
for certain very soon, for she would get out two blocks 
ahead. He slowed down, and let the car go on. 

She got out ; and as soon as she was out of sight on the 
ide street Jurgis broke into a run. Suspicion was rife in 
him now, and he was not ashamed to shadow her ; he saw 
her turn the corner near their home, and then he ran again, 
and saw her as she went up the porch-steps of the house. 
After that he turned back, and for five minutes paced up 
and down, his hands clenched tightly and his lips set, his 
mind in a turmoil. Then he went home and entered. 

As he opened the door, he saw Elzbieta, who had also 
been looking for Ona, and had come home again. She 
was now on tiptoe, and had a finger on her lips. Jurgis 
waited until she was close to him. 

" Don't make any noise," she whispered, hurriedly. 

What's the matter? " he asked. 

**Ona is asleep," she panted. "She's been very ill. 
Fm afraid her mind's been wandering, Jurgis. She was 
lost on the street all night, and I've only just succeeded 
in getting her quiet." 

44 When did she come in?" .he asked. 

**Soon a*ter you left this morning," said Elzbieta. 


* And has she been out sines?" 

*No, of course not. She's so weak, Jurats, she " 

And he set his teeth hard together. * You are lying to 
333," he said. 

Elzbieta started, and turned pale. ** Why I " she gasped. 
* What do you mean? " 

But Jurgis did not answer. He pushed her aside, and 
strode to the bedroom door and opened it. 

Ona was sitting on the bed. She turned a startled look 
upon him as he entered. He closed the door in Klzbieta's 
face, and went toward his wife. ** Where have you been? M 
he demanded. 

She had her hands clasped tightly in her lap, and he saw 
Aat her face was as white as paper, and drawn with pain. 
She gasped once or twice as she tried to answer him, and 
then began, speaking low, and swiftly, " Jurgis, I I think 
I have been out cf my mind. I started to come last night, 
and I could not find the way. I walked I walked all 
night, I think, and and I only got home this morning." 

"You needed a rest," he said, in a hard tone. *' Why 
did you go out again?" 

He was looking her fairly in the face, and he could read 
the sudden fear and wild uncertainty that leaped into her 
eyes. "I I had to go to to the store," she gasped, 
almost in a whisper, "I had to go " 

" You are lying to me," said Jurgis. 

Then he clenched his hands and took a step toward her. 
" Why do you lie to me ? " he cried, fiercely. ** What are 
you doing that you hare to lie to me? " 

" Jurgis I " she exclaimed, starting up in fright. ** Oh% 
Jurgis, how can you?" 

" You have lied to me, I say I " he cried. " You told me 
you had been to Jadvyga's house that other night, and you 
hadn't. You had been where you were last night some- 
wheres down-town, for I saw you get off the car. Where 
were you?" 

It was as if he had struck a knife into her. She seemed 
to go all to pieces; For half a second she stood, reeling 
and swaying, staring at him with horror in her eyes 3 then, 


with a cry of anguish, she tottered forward, stretching out 
her arms to him. 

But he stepped aside, deliberately, and let her fall. She 
caught herself at the side of the bed, and then sank down, 
burying her face in her hands and bursting into frantic 

There came one of those hysterical crises that had so 
often dismayed him. Ona sobbed and wept, her fear and 
anguish building themselves up into long climaxes. Furi- 
ous gusts of emotion would come sweeping over her, shak- 
ing her as the tempest shakes the trees upon the hills ; all 
her frame would quiver and throb with them it was as 
if some dreadful thing rcse up within her and took pos- 
session of her, torturing her, tearing her. This thing had 
been wont to set Jurgis quite beside himself ; but now 
he stood with his lips set tightly and his hands clenched 
she might weep till she killed herself, but she should 
not move him this time not an inch, not an inch. Be- 
cause the sounds she made set his blood to running cold 
and his lips to quivering in spite of himself, he was glad 
of the diversion when Teta Elzbieta, pale with fright, 
opened the door and rushed in ; yet he turned upon her 
with an oath. " Go out 1 " he cried, " go out 1 " And 
then, as she stood hesitating, about to speak, he seized 
her by the arm, and half flung her from the room, slam- 
ming the door and barring it with a table. Then he 
turned again and faced Ona, crying " Now, answer 

Yet she did not hear him she was still in the grip of 
the fiend. Jurgis could see her outstretched hands, shak- 
ing and twitching, roaming here and there over the bed 
at will, like living things ; he could see convulsive shud- 
derings start in her body and run through her limbs. 
She was sobbing and choking it was as if there were 
too many sounds for one throat, they came chasing each 
other, like waves upon the sea. Then her voice would be- 
gin to rise into screams, louder and louder until it broke 
in wild, horrible j>eals of laughter. Jurgis bore it until 
he could bear it no longer, and then he sprang at her, 


seizing her by the shoulders and shaking her, shouting 
into her ear : " Stop it, I say I Stop it 1 

She looked up at him, out of her agony ; then she fell 
forward at his feet. She caught them in her hands, in 
spite of his efforts to step aside, and with her face upon 
the floor lay writhing. It made a choking in Jurgis's 
throat to hear her, and he cried again, more savagely than 
before : " Stop it, I say I " 

This time she heeded him, and caught her breath and 
lay silent, save for the gasping sobs that wrenched all her 
frame. For a long minute she lay there, perfectly motion- 
less, until a cold fear seized her husband, thinking that 
she was dying. Suddenly, however, he heard her voice, 
faintly : " Jurgis 1 Jurgis I " 

"What is it? 5 ' he said. 

He had to bend down to her, she was so weak. She 
was pleading with him, in broken phrases, painfully ut- 
tered : " Have faith in me I Believe me 1 " 

" Believe what ? " he cried. 

" Believe that I that I know best that T love you ! 
And do not ask me what you did. Oh, Jurgis, please, 
please ! It is for the best it is " 

He started to speak again, but she rushed on frantically, 
heading him off. " If you will only do it 1 If you will 
only only believe me I It wasn't my fault I couldn't 
help it it will be all right it is nothing it is no 
harm. Oh, Jurgis please, please I " 

She had hold of him, and was trying to raise herself to 
look at him ; he could feel the palsied shaking of her 
hands and the heaving of the bosom she pressed against 
him. She managed to cateh one of his hands and gripped 
it convulsively, drawing it to her face, and bathing it in 
her tears. " Oh, believe me, believe me ! " she wailed 
again ; and he shouted in fury, ' I will not 1 " 

But still she clung to him, wailing aloud in her despair: 
" Oh, Jurgis, think what you are doing I It will ruin us 
it will ruin us! Oh, no, you must not do it I No, 
don't, don't do it. You must not do it I It will drive rue 
mad it will kill me no, no, Jurgis, I am crazy it la 


nothing. You do not really need to know. We can be 
happy we can love each other just the same. Oh, 
please, please, believe me 1 " 

Her words fairly drove him wild. He tore his hands 
loose, and flung her off. " Answer me," he cried. " God 
damn it, I say answer me 1 " 

She sank down upon the floor, beginning to cry again. 
It was like listening to the moan of a damned soul, and 
Jurgis could not stand it. He smote his fist upon the 
table by his side, and shouted again at her, "Answer 
me I" 

She began to scream aloud, her voice like the voice 
of some wild beast : " Ah I Ah ! I can't ! I can't do 

"Why can't you do it? " he shouted. 

" I don't know how I " 

He sprang and caught her by the arm, lifting her up, 
and glaring into her face. " Tell me where you were last 
night 1 " he panted. " Quick, out with it I " 

Then she began to whisper, one word at a time : " I 
was in a house down-town " 

" What house ? What do you mean ? " 

She tried to hide her eyes away, but he held her. " Misa 
Henderson's house," she gasped. 

He did not understand at first. "Miss Henderson's 
house," he echoed. And then suddenly, as in an explo- 
sion, the horrible truth burst over him, and he reeled 
and staggered back with a scream. He caught himself 
against the wall, and put his hand to his forehead, star- 
ing about him, and whispering, " Jesus ! Jesus I " 

An instant later he leaped at her, as she lay grovelling 
at his feet. He seized her by the throat. " Tell me I " 
he gasped, hoarsely. " Quick 1 Who took you to that 

She tried to get away, making him furious ; he thought 
it was fear, or the pain of his clutch he did not under- 
stand that it was the agony of her hanii. Still the an 
swered him, "Connor." 

u Connor," ha gasped. " Who is Connor ? n 


"The bow," she answered. " The man " 

He tightened his grip, in his frenzy, and only when he 
aw her eyes closing did he realize that he was choking 
her. Then he relaxed his fingers, and crouched, waiting, 
until she opened her lids again. His breath beat hot into 
her face. 

" Tell me" he whispered, at last, " tell me about it." 
She lay perfectly motionless, and he had to hold his 
breath to catch her words. "I did not want to do it," 
she said ; " I tried I tried not to do it. I only did it 
to save us. It was our only chance." 

Again, for a space, there was no sound but his panting. 
Ona's eyes closed and when she spoke again she did not 
open them. "He told me he would have me turned 
off. He told me he would we would all of us lose our 
places. We could never get anything to do here 
again. He he meant it he would have ruined us." 

Jurgis's arms were shaking so that he could scarcely 
hold himself up, and lurched forward now and then 
he listened. " When when did this begin ? " he 

" At the very first," she said. She spoke as if in a 
trance. "It was all it was their plot Miss Hender- 
son's plot. She hated me. And he he wanted me. 
He used to speak to me out on the platform. Then he 
began to to make love to me. He offered me money. 
He begged me he said he loved me. Then he threat- 
ened me. He knew all about us, he knew we would 
starve. He knew your boss he knew Marija's. He 
would hound us to death, he said then he said if I 
would if I we would all of us be sure of work 
always. Then one day he caught hold of me he would 
not let go he he " 

"Where was this?" 

" In the hallway at night after every one had gone. 
I could not help it. I thought of you of the baby of 
mother and the children. I was afraid of him afraid to 
cry out." 

A moment ago her face had been ashen gray, now it was 


acarlet. She was beginning to breathe hard again, Jurgis 
made not a sound. 

44 That was two months ago. Then he wanted me to 
come to that house. He wanted me to stay there. He 
said all of us that we would not have to work. He 
made me come there in the evenings. I told you 
thought I was at the factory. Then one night 
it snowed, and I couldn't get back. And last night 
the ears were stopped. It was such a little thing to 
ruin us all. I tried to walk, but I couldn't. I didn't 
want you to know. It would have it would have been 
all right. We could have gone on just the same you 
need never have known about it. He was getting tired 
of me he v/oxild have let me alone soon. I am going to 
have a baby I am getting ugly. He told me that 
twice, he told me, last night. He kicked me last night 
too. And now you will kill him you you will kill 
him and we shall die." 

All this she had said without a quiver ; she lay still as 
death, not an eyelid moving. And Jurgis, too, said not 
a word. He lifted himself by the bed, and stood up. He 
did not stop for another glance at her, but went to the 
door and opened it. He did not see Elzbieta, cioucning 
terrified in the corner. He went out, hatless, leaving the 
street door open behind him. The instant his feet were 
on the sidewalk he broke into a run. 

He ran like one possessed, blindly, furiously, looking 
neither to the right nor left. He was on Ashland Avenue 
before exhaustion compelled him to slow down, and then, 
noticing a car, he made a dart for it and drew himself 
aboard. His eyes were wild and his hair flying, and he 
was breathing hoarsely, like a wounded bull ; but the 
people on the car did not notice this particularly per- 
haps it seemed natural to them that a man who smelt as 
Jurgis smelt should exhibit an aspect to correspond. 
They began to give way before him as usual. The con- 
ductor took his nickel gingerly, with the tips of his fingers, 
and then left him with the platform to himself. Jurgis 


did not even notice it his thoughts were for away. 
Within his soul it was like a roaring furnace ; he stood 
waiting, waiting, crouching as if for a spring. 

Ho had some of his breath back when the car came to 
the entrance of the yards, and so he leaped off and started 
again, racing at full speed. People turned and stared at 
him, but he saw no one there was the factory, and he 
bounded through the doorway and down the corridor. 
He knew the room where Ona worked, and he knew 
Connor, the boss of the loading-gang outside. He looked 
for the man as he sprang into the room. 

The truckmen were hard at work, loading the freshly 
packed boxes and barrels upon the cars. Jurgis shot one 
swift glance up and down the platform the man was not 
on it. But then suddenly he heard a voice in the corridor, 
and started for it with a bound. In an instant more he 
fronted the boss. 

He was a big, red-faced Irishman, coarse-featured, and 
smelling of liquor. He saw Jurgis as he crossed the 
threshold, and turned white. He hesitated one second, 
as if meaning to run ; and in the next his assailant was 
upon him. He put up his hands to protect his face, but 
Jurgis, lunging with all the power of his arm and body, 
struck him fairly between the eyes and knocked him back- 
ward. The next moment he was on top of him, burying 
his fingers in his throat. 

To Jurgis this man's whole presence reeked of the crime 
he had committed ; the touch of his body was madness to 
him it set every nerve of him a-tremble, it aroused all 
the demon in his soul. It had worked its will upon Ona, 
this great beast and now he had it, he had it I It was 
nis turn now! Things swam blood before him, and he 
screamed aloud in his fury, lifting his victim and smashing 
his head upon the floor. 

The place, of course, was in an uproar ; women fainting 
and shrieking, and men rushing in. Jurgis was so bent 
upon his task that he knew nothing of this, and scarcelv 
realized that people were trying to interfere with him ; it 
was only when half a dozen men had seized him by the 


legs and shoulders and were pulling at him, that he under- 
stood that he was losing his prey. In a flash he had bent 
down and sunk his teeth into the man's cheek ; and when 
they tore him away he was dripping with blood, and little 
ribbons of skin were hanging in his mouth. 

They got him down upon the floor, clinging to him by 
his arms and legs, and still they could hardly hold him. 
He fought like a tiger, writhing and twisting, half flinging 
them off, and starting toward his unconscious enemy. 
But yet others rushed in, until there was a little mountain 
of twisted limbs and bodies, heaving and tossing, and 
working its way about the room. In the end, by their 
sheer weight, they choked the breath out of him, and then 
they carried him to the company police-station, where he 
lay still until they had summoned a patrol wagon to take 
him away* 


WHEN Jurgis got up again he went quietly enough. 
He was exhausted and half dazed, and besides he saw the 
blue uniforms of the policemen. He drove in a patrol 
wagon with half a dozen of them watching him ; keeping 
as far away as possible, however, on account of the fertil- 
izer. Then he stood before the sergeant's desk and gave 
his name and address, and saw a charge of assault and 
battery entered against him. On his way to his cell 
a burly policeman cursed him because he started down the 
wrong corridor, and then added a kick when he was not 
quick enough; nevertheless, Jurgis did not even lift 
his eyes he had lived two years and a half in Pack- 
ingtown, and he knew what the police were. It was as 
much as a man's very life was worth to anger them, 
here in their inmost lair; like as not a dozen would pile 
on to him at once, and pound his face into a pulp. It 
would be nothing unusual if he got his skull cracked in 
the melee in which case they would report that he had 
been drunk and had fallen down, and there would be no 
one to know the difference or to care. 

So a barred door clanged upon Jurgis and he sat down 
upon a bench and buried his face in his hands. He was 
alone; he had the afternoon and all of the night to him- 

At first he was like a wild beast that has glutted itself ; 
he was in a dull stupor of satisfaction. He had done up 
the scoundrel pretty well not as well as he would have 
if they had given him a minute more, but pretty well, all 
the same; the ends of his fingers were still tingling from 
their contact with the fellow's throat. But then, little by 


little, as his strength came back and his senses cleared, he 
began to see beyond his momentary gratification; that he 
had nearly killed the boss would not help Ona not the 
horrors that she had borne, nor the memory that would 
haunt her all her days. It would not help to feed her and 
her child ; she would certainly lose her place, while he 
what was to happen to him God only knew. 

Half the night he paced the floor, wrestling with this 
nightmare ; and when he was exhausted he lay down, try- 
ing to sleep, but finding instead, for the first time in his 
life, that his brain was too much for him. In the cell next 
to him was a drunken wife-beater and in the one beyond a 
yelling maniac. At midnight they opened the station- 
house to the homeless wanderers who were crowded about 
the door, shivering in the winter blast, and they thronged 
into the corridor outside of the cells. Some of them 
stretched themselves out on the bare stone floor and fell to 
snoring; others sat up, laughing and talking, cursing and 
quarrelling. The air was fetid with their breath, yet in 
spite of this some of them smelt Jurgis and called down the. 
torments of hell upon him, while he lay in a far corner 
of his cell, counting the throbbings of the blood in his 

They had brought him his supper, which was " duffers 
and dope " being hunks of dry bread on a tin plate, 
and coffee, called "dope" because it was drugged to 
keep the prisoners quiet. Jurgis had not known this, or 
he would have swallowed the stuff in desperation; as it 
was, every nerve of him was a-quiver with shame and rage. 
Toward morning the place fell silent, and he got up and 
began to pace his cell ; and then within the soul of him 
there rose up a fiend, red-eyed and cruel, anJ tore out 
the strings of his heart. 

It was not for himself that he suffered what did a 
man who worked in Durham's fertilizer-mill care about 
anything that the world might do to him I What was 
any tyranny of prison compared with the tyranny of the 
past, of the thing that had happened and could not be 
recalled, of tha memory that could never be effaced! The 


norror of it drove him mad; he stretched out his arms to 
heaven, crying out for deliverance from it and there was 
no deliverance, there was no power even in heaven that 
could undo the past. It was a ghost that would not down; 
it followed him, it seized upon him and beat him to the 
ground. Ah, if only he could have foreseen it but then, 
he would have foreseen it, if he had not been a fool! He 
smote his hands upon his forehead, cursing himself because 
he had ever allowed Ona to work where she had, because 
he had not stood between her and a fate which every one 
knew to be so common. He should have taken her away, 
even if it were to lie down and die of starvation in the 
gutters of Chicago's streets! And now oh, it could not 
be true; it was too monstrous, too horrible. 

It was a thing that could not be faced; a new shudder- 
ing seized him every time he tried to think of it. No, 
there was no bearing the load of it, there was no living 
under it. There would be none for her he knew that 
he might pardon her, might plead with her on his knees, 
but she would never look him in the face again, she 
would never be his wife again. The shame of it would 
kill her there could be no other deliverance, and it was 
best that she should die. 

This was simple and clear, and yet, with cruel inconsist- 
ency, whenever he escaped from this nightmare it was to 
suffer and cry out at the vision of Ona starving. They 
had put him in jail, and they would keep him here a long 
time, years maybe. And Ona would surely not go to 
work again, broken and crushed as she was. And Elzbieta 
and Marija, too, might lose their places if that hell- 
fiend Connor chose to set to work to ruin them, they 
would all be turned out. And even if he did not, they 
could not live even if the boys left school again, 
they could surely not pay all the bills without him and 
Ona. They had only a few dollars now they had just 
paid the rent of the house a week ago, and that after it was 
two weeks over- due. So it would be due again in a 
weekl They would have no money to pay it then and 
they would lose the house, after all their long, heart-break* 


ing struggle. Three times now the agent had warned hint 
that he would not tolerate another delay. Perhaps it was 
very base of Jurgis to be thinking about the house when 
he had the other unspeakable thing to fill his mind; yet, 
how much he had suffered for this house, how much they 
had all of them suffered! It was their one hope of res- 
pite, as long as they lived ; they had put all their money 
into it and they were working-people, poor people, whose 
money was their strength, the very substance of them, body 
and soul, the thing by which they lived and for lack of 
which they died. 

And they would lose it all ; they would be turned out 
into the streets, and have to hide in some icy garret, and 
live or die as best they could I Jurgis had all the night 
and all of many more nights to think about this, and 
he saw the thing in its details; he lived it all, as if he 
were there. They would sell their furniture, and then 
run into debt at the stores, and then be refused credit ; 
they would borrow a little from the Szedvilases, whose deli- 
catessen store was tottering on the brink of ruin; the 
neighbors would come and help them a little poor, sick 
Jadvyga would bring a few spare pennies, as she always 
did when people were starving, and Tamoszius Kusleika 
would bring them the proceeds of a night's fiddling. 
So they would struggle to hang on until he got out of 
iail or would they know that he was in jail, would they 
be able to find out anything about him? Would they be 
allowed to see him or was it to be part of his punish- 
ment to be kept in ignorance about their fate ? 

His mind would hang upon the worst possibilities ; he 
saw Ona ill and tortured, Marija out of her place, little 
Stanislovas to get to work for the snow, the whole 
family turned out on the street. God Almighty I would 
they actually let them lie down in the street and die? 
Would there be EO help even then would they wander 
about in the snow till they froze? Jurgis had never seen 
any dead bodies in the streets, but he had seen people 
evicted and disappear, no one knew where ; and though 
the city had a relief-bureau, though there was a charity 


organization society in the stockyards district, in all his life 
there he had never heard of either of them. They did not 
advertise their activities, having more calls than they could 
attend to without that. 

So on until morning. Then he had another ride in the 
patrol wagon, along with the drunken wife-beater and the 
maniac, several " plain drunks " and " saloon fighters," a 
burglar, and two men who had been arrested for stealing 
meat from the packing-houses. Along with them he was 
driven into a large, white- walled room, stale-smelling and 
crowded. In front, upon a raised platform behind a rail, 
sat a stout, florid-faced personage, with a nose broken out 
in purple blotches. 

Our friend realized vaguely that he was about to be 
tried. He wondered what for whether or not his vic- 
tim might be dead, and if so, what they would do with 
him. Hang him, perhaps, or beat him to death nothing 
would have surprised Jurgis, who knew little of the laws. 
Yet he had picked up gossip enough to have it occur to 
him that the loud-voiced man upon the bench might be 
the notorious Justice Callahan, about whom the people 
of Packingtown spoke with bated breath. 

"Pat" Callahan "Growler" Pat, as he had been 
known before he ascended the bench had begun life 
as a butcher-boy and a bruiser of local reputation ; he had 
gone into politics almost as soon as he had learned to talk, 
and had held two offices at once before he was old enough 
to vote. If Scully was the thumb, Pat Callahan was the 
first finger of the unseen hand whereby the packers held 
down the people of the district. No politician in Chicago 
ranked higher in their confidence; he had been at it a 
long time had been the business agent in the city coun- 
cil of old Durham, the self-made merchant, way back in 
the early days, when the whole city of Chicago had been 
up at auction. "Growler" Pat had given up holding 
city offices very early in his career caring only for party 
power, and giving the rest of his time to superintending 
his dives and brothels. Of late years, however, since 
his children were growing up, he had begun to value 


respectability, and had had himself made a magistrate; 
a position for which he was admirably fitted, because of 
his strong conservatism and his contempt for " foreigners.** 

Jurgis sat gazing about the room for an hour or two ; 
he was in hopes that some one of the family would come, 
but in this he was disappointed. Finally, he was led 
before the bar, and a lawyer for the company appeared 
against him. Connor was under the doctor's care, the 
lawyer explained briefly, and if his Honor would hold the 
prisoner for a week " Three hundred dollars,*' said his 
Honor, promptly. 

Jurgis was staring from the judge to the lawyer in per- 
plexity. "Have you any one to go on your bond?'* 
demanded the judge, and then a clerk who stood at 
Jurgis's elbow explained to him what this meant.. The 
latter shook his head, and before he realized what had 
happened the policemen were leading him away again. 
They took him to a room where other prisoners were 
waiting, and here he stayed until court adjourned, when 
he had another long and bitterly cold ride in a patrol 
wagon to the county jail, which is on the north side of 
the city, and nine or ten miles from the stockyards. 

Here they searched Jurgis, leaving him only his money, 
which consisted of fifteen cents. Then they led him to 
a room and told him to strip for a bath ; after which he 
had to walk down a long gallery, past the grated cell- 
doors of the inmates of the jail. This was a great event 
to the latter the daily review of the new arrivals, all 
stark naked, and many and diverting were the comments. 
Jurgis was required to stay in the bath longer than any 
one, in the vain hope of getting out of him a few of his 
phosphates and acids. The prisoners roomed two in a 
cell, but that day there was one left over, and he was the 

The cells were in tiers, opening upon galleries. His 
cell was about five feet by seven in size, with a stone floor 
and a heavy wooden bench built into it. There was no 
window the only light came from windows near the 
roof at one end of the court outside. There were two 


bonks, one above the other, each with a straw mattress 
and a pair of gray blankets the latter stiff as boards 
with filth, and alive with fleas, bed-bugs, and lice. When 
Jurgis lifted up the mattress he discovered beneath it a 
layer of scurrying roaches, almost as badly frightened as 

Here they brought him more *' duffers and dope," with 
the addition of a bowl of soup. Many of the prisoners 
had their meals brought in from a restaurant, but Jurgis 
had no money for that. Some had books to read and cards 
to play, with candles to burn by night, but Jurgis was all 
alone in darkness and silence. He could not sleep again ; 
there was the same maddening procession of thoughts that 
lashed him like whips upon his naked back. When night 
fell he was pacing up and down his cell like a wild beast 
that breaks its teeth upon the bars of its cage. Now and 
then in his frenzy he would fling himself against the walls 
of the place, beating his hands upon them. They cut him 
and bruised him they were cold and merciless as the men 
who had built them. 

In the distance there was a church-tower bell that tolled 
the hours one by one. When it came to midnight Jargis 
was lying upon the floor with his head in his arms, listen- 
ing. Instead of falling silent at the end, the bell broke 
into a sudden clangor. Jurgis raised his head; what 
could that mean a fire ? God I suppose there were to 
be a fire in this jail I But then he made out a melody in 
the ringing; there were chimes. And they seemed to 
waken the city all around, far and near, there were bells, 
ringing wild music ; for fully a minute Jurgis lay lost in 
wonder, before, all at once, the meaning of it broke o^r 
him that this was Christmas Eve I 

Christmas Eve he had forgotten it entirely ! There 
was a breaking of flood-gates, a whirl of new memories and 
new griefs rushing into his mind. In far Lithuania they 
had celebrated Christmas ; and it came to him as if it had 
been yesterday himself a little child, with his lost 
brother and his dead father in the cabin in the deep black 
forest, where the snow fell all day and all night and buried 


them from the world. It was too far off for Santa Claisa 
in Lithuania, but it was not too far for peace and good 
will to men, for the wonder-bearing vision of the Christ- 
child. And even in Packingtown they had not forgotten 
it some gleam of it had never failed to break their dark- 
ness. Last Christmas Eve and all Christmas Day Jurgis 
had toiled on the killing-beds, and Ona at wrapping hams, 
and still they had found strength enough to take the 
children for a walk upon the avenue, to see the store 
windows all decorated with Christmas trees and ablaze 
with electric lights. In one window there would be live 
geese, in another marvels in sugar pink and white canes 
big enough for ogres, and cakes with cherubs upon them ; 
in a third there would be rows of fat yellow turkeys, deco- 
rated with rosettes, and rabbits and squirrels hanging ; in 
a fourth would be a fairy-land of toys lovely dolls with 
pink dresses, and woolly sheep and drums and soldier 
hats. Nor did they have to go without their share of all 
this, either. The last time they had had a big basket with 
them and all their Christmas marketing to do a roast of 
pork and a cabbage and some rye-bread, and a pair of 
mittens for Ona, and a rubber doll that squeaked, and a 
little green cornucopia full of candy to be hung from the 
gas jet and gazed at by half a dozen pairs of longing eyes. 
Even half a year of the sausage-machines and the fer* 
tilizer-mill had not been able to kill the thought of Christ- 
mas in them ; there was a choking in Jurgis's throat as 
he recalled that the very night Ona had not come home 
Teta Elzbieta had taken him aside and shown him an old 
valentine that she had picked up in a paper store for three 
cents dingy and shop-worn, but with bright colors, and 
figures of angels and doves. She had wiped all the specks 
off this, and was going to set it on the mantel, where the 
children could see it. Great sobs shook Jurgis at this 
memory they would spend their Christmas in misery 
and despair, with him in prison and Ona ill and their 
home in desolation. Ah, it was too cruel I Why at 
least had they not left him alone why, after they had 
shut him in jail* must they be ringing Christmas chimes 
in his ears I 


But no, their bells were not ringing for him their 
Christmas was not meant for him, they were simply not 
counting him at all. He was of no consequence he was 
flung aside, like a bit of trash, the carcass of some animal. 
It was horrible, horrible 1 His wife might be dying, his 
baby might be starving, his whole family might be perish- 
ing in the cold and all the while they were ringing their 
Christmas chimes I And the bitter mockery of it all 
this was punishment for him I They put him in a place 
where the snow could not beat in, where the cold could 
not eat through his bones ; they brought him food and 
drink why, in the name of heaven, if they must punish 
him, did they not put his family in jail and leave him out- 
side why could they find no better way to punish him 
than to leave three weak women and six helpless children 
to starve and freeze? 

That was their law, that was their justice I Jurgis 
stood upright, trembling with passion, his hands clenched 
and his arms upraised, his whole soul ablaze with hatred 
and defiance. Ten thousand curses upon them and their 
law I Their justice it was a lie, it was a lie, a hideous, 
brutal lie, a thing too black and hateful for any world 
but a world of nightmares. It was a sham and a loath- 
some mockery. There was no justice, there was no 'right, 
anywhere in it it was only force, it was tyranny, the 
will and the power, reckless and unrestrained I They had 
ground him beneath their heel, they had devoured all his 
substance ; they had murdered his old father, they had 
broken and wrecked his wife, they had crushed and cowed 
his whole family ; and now they were through with him, 
they had no further use for him and because he had 
interfered with them, had gotten in their way, this was 
what they had done to him I They had put him behind 
bars, as if he had been a wild beast, a thing without sense 
or reason, without rights, without affections, without 
feelings. Nay, they would not even have treated a beast 
as they had treated him 1 Would any man in his senses 
have trapped a wild thing in its lair, and left its young 
behind to die ? 


These midnight hours were fateful ones to Jargis j in 
them was the beginning of his rebellion, of his outlawry 
and his unbelief. He had no wit to trace back the social 
crime to its far sources he could not say that it was the 
thing men have called "the system" that was crushing 
him to the earth; that it was the packers, his masters, 
who had bought up the law of the land, and had dealt out 
their brutal will to him from the seat of justice. He 
only knew that he was wronged, and that the world had 
wronged him ; that the law, that society, with all its 
powers, had declared itself his foe. And every hour his 
soul grew blacker, every hour he dreamed new dreams of 
vengeance, of defiance, of raging, frenzied hate. 

" The vilest deeds, like poison weeds, 

Bloom well in prison air; 
It is only what is good in Man 

That wastes and withers there; 
Pale Anguish keeps the heavy gate, 

And the Warder is Despair." 

So wrote a poet, to whom the world had dealt its 

I know not whether Laws be right, 

Or whether Laws be wrong ; 
All that we know who lie in gaol 

Is that the wall is strong. 
And they do well to hide their hell, 

For in it things are done 
That Son of God nor son of Man 
Ever should look upon I " 


AT seven o'clock the next morning Jurgis was let out 
to get water to wash his cell a duty which he performed 
faithfully, but which most of the prisoners were accus- 
tomed to shirk, until their cells became so filthy that the 
guards interposed. Then he had more " duffers and dope," 
and afterward was allowed three hours for exercise, in a 
long, cement-walled court roofed with glass. Here were 
all the inmates of the jail crowded together. At one side 
of the court was a place for visitors, cut off by two heavy 
wire screens, a foot apart, so that nothing could be passed 
in to the prisoners; here Jurgis watch* 1 ' 1 """^ngly, but 
there came no one to see him. 

Soon after he went back to his cell, a keeper opened the 
door to let in another prisoner. He was a dapper young 
fellow, with a light brown mustache and blue eyes, and a 
graceful figure. He nodded to Jurgis, and tlien, as the 
keeper closed the door upon him, began gazir' Critically 
about him. 

" Well, pal," he said, as his glance encountered Jurgis 
again, "good morning." 

" Good morning," said Jurgis. 

"A rum go for Christmas, eh?" added the other. 

Jurgis nodded. 

The new-comer went to the bunks and inspected the 
blankets; he lifted up the mattress, and then dropped it 
with an exclamation. ** My God 1 " he said, " that's the 
worst yet." 

He glanced at Jurgis again. "Looks as if it hadn't 
been slept in last night. Couldn't stand it, eh?" 

44 T didn't want to sleep last night," said Jurgis. 


" When did you come in? " 

" Yesterday." 

The other had another look round, and then wrinkled 
up his nose. " There's the devil of a stink in here," he 
said, suddenly. What is it? " 

" It's me," said Jurgis. 


"Yes, me." 

" Didn't they make you wash? 9 * 

" Yes, but this don't wash." 

"What is it?" 


" Fertilizer ; The deuce I What are you? * 

"I work in the stockyards at least I did until the 
other day. It's in my clothes." 

"That's a new one on me," said the new-comer. "I 
thought I'd been up against 'em all. What are yon in 

" I hit my boss." 

" Oh that's it . What did he do ? " 

"He he treated me mean." 

* I see. You're what's called an honest working-man 1 " 

"What are you?" Jurgis asked. 

"I?" The other laughed. lk They say I'm a cracks- 
man," he said, 

" What's that? " asked Jurgis. 

" Safes, and such things," answered the other. 

"Oh," said Jurgis, wonderiagly, and stared at the 
speaker in awe. " You mean you break into them you 
you " 

" Yes," laughed the other, " that's what they say." 

He did not look to be over twenty-two or three, though, 
as Jurgis found afterward, he was thirty. He spoke like 
a man of education, like what the world calls a "gentleman." 

"Is that what you're here for?" Jurgis inquired. 

" No," was the answer. " I'm here for disorderly con 
duct. They were mad because they couldn't get any 

" What a .your name? " the young fellow continued aftei 


a pause. "My name's Duane Jack Duane. I've more 
than a dozen, but that's my company one." He seated him- 
self on the floor with his back to the wall and his legs 
crossed, and went on talking easily ; he soon put Jurgis 
on a friendly footing he was evidently a man of the 
world, used to getting on, and not too proud to hold con- 
versation with a mere laboring man. He drew Jurgis 
out, and heard all about his life all but the one un- 
mentionable thing ; and tnen he told stories about his 
own life. He was a great one for stories, not always of 
the choicest. Being sent to jail had apparently not dis- 
turbed his cheerfulness; he had "done time" twice before, 
it seemed, and he took it all with a frolic welcome. What 
with women and wine and the excitement of his vocatiun, 
a man could afford to rest now and then. 

Naturally, the aspect of prison life was changed for 
Jurgis by the arrival of a cell- mate. He could not turn 
his face to the wall and sulk, he had to speak when he 
was spoken to; nor could he help being interested 
in the conversation of Duane the first educated man 
with whom he had ever talked. How could he help lis- 
tening with wonder while the other told of mid- 
night ventures and perilous escapes, of f eastings and 
orgies, of fortunes squandered in a night? The young^ 
fellow had an amused contempt tor Jurgis, as a sort of 
working mule ; he, too, had felt the world's injustice, but 
instead of bearing it patiently, he had struck back, and 
struck hard. He was striking all the time there was 
war between him and society. He was a genial free- 
booter, living off the enemy, without fear or shame. He 
was not always victorious, but then defeat did not mean 
annihilation, and need not break his spirit. 

Withal he was a good-hearted fellow too much so, it 
appeared. His story came out, not in the first day, nor the 
second, but in the long hours that dragged by, in which 
they had nothing to do but talk, and nothing to talk of 
but themselves. Jack Duane was from the East ; he was 
a college-bred man had been studying electrical engi- 
neering* Then bis father had met with misfortune in bus* 


ness and killed himself; and there had been his mother 
and a younger brother and sister. Also, there was an in- 
vention of Duane's; Jurgis could not understand it clearly, 
but it had to do with telegraphing, and it was a very im- 
portant thing there were fortunes in it, millions upon 
millions of dollars. And Duane had been robbed of it by 
a great company, and got tangled up in lawsuits and 
all his money. Then somebody had given him a tip 
on a horse-race, and he had tried to retrieve his fortune 
with another person's money, and had to run away, and 
all the rest had come from that. The other asked him 
what had led him to safe-breaking to Jurgis a wild and 
appalling occupation to think about. A man he had met, 
his cell-mate had replied one thing leads to another. 
Didn't he ever wonder about his family, Jurgis asked. 
Sometimes, the other answered, but not often he didn't 
allow it. Thinking about it would make it no better. 
This wasn't a world in which a man had any business 
with a family; sooner or later Jurgis would find that out 
also, and give up the fight and shift for himself. 

Jurgis was so transparently what he preteneded to be 
that his cell-mate was as open with him as a child; 
it was pleasant to tell him adventures, he was so full 
of wonder and admiration, he was so new to the ways 
of the country. Duane did not even bother to keep 
back names and places he told all his triumphs and his 
failures, his loves and his griefs. Also he introduced 
Jurgis to many of the other prisoners, nearly half of whom 
he knew by name. The crowd had already given Jurgis 
a name they called him " the stinker." This was cruel, 
but they meant no harm by it, and he took it with a good- 
natured grin. 

Our friend had caught now and then a whiff from the 
sewers over which he lived, but this was the first time 
that he had ever been splashed by their filth. This jail 
was a Noah's ark of the city's crime there were 
murderers, " hold-up men " and burglars, embezzlers, 
counterfeiters and forgers, bigamists, "shoplifters," "con- 
fidence-men," petty thieves and pickpockets, gamblers and 


procurers, brawlers,beggars, tramps and drunkards, they 
ivere black and white, old and young, Americans and 
aatives of every nation under the sun. There were 
hardened criminals and innocent men too poor to give 
bail; old men, and boys literally not yet in their teens. 
They were the drainage of the great festering ulcer of 
society ; they were hideous to look upon, sickening to 
balk to. All life had turned to rottenness and stench in 
them love was a beastliness, joy was a snare, and God 
was an imprecation. They strolled here and there about 
the courtyard, and Jurgis listened to them. He was 
ignorant and they were wise ; they had been everywhere 
and tried everything. They could tell the whole hateful 
story of it, set forth the inner soul of a city in which 
justice and honor, women's bodies and men's souls, were 
for sale in the market-place, and human beings writhed 
and fought and fell upon each other like wolves in a pit; 
in which lusts were raging fires, and men were fuel, and 
humanity was festering aiid stewing and wallowing in its 
own corruption. Into this wild-beast tangle these men 
had been born without their consent,they had taken part 
in it because they could not help it; that they were in 
jail was no disgrace to them, for the game had never 
oeen fair, the dice were loaded. They were swindlers 
and thieves of pennies and dimes, and they had been 
trapped and put out of the way by the swindlers and 
thieves of millions of dollars. 

To most of this Jurgis tried not to listen. They 
frightened him with their savage mockery; and all the 
while his heart was far away, where his loved ones were 
calling. Now and then in the midst of it his thoughts 
would take flight; and then the tears would come into his 
eyes arid he would be called back by the jeering laugh- 
ter of his companions. 

He spent a week in this company, and during all that 
time he had no word from his home. He paid one of his 
fifteen cents for a postal card, and his companion wrote a 
note to the family, telling them where he was and when he 


would be tried. There came no answer to it, 
and at last, the day before New Year's, Jurgis bade good- 
by to Jack Duane. The latter gave him his address, 
or rather the address of his mistress, and made Jurgis 
promise to look him up. " Maybe I could help you out of 
a hole some day," he said, and added that he was sorry to 
have him go. Jurgis rode in the patrol wagon back to 
Justice Callahan's court for trial. 

One of the first things he mad*-, out as he entered the 
room was Teta Elzbieta and little Kotrina, looking pale 
and frightened, seated far in the rear. His heart began 
to pound, but he did not dare to try to signal to them, 
and neither did Elzbieta. He took his seat in the prisoners' 
pen and sat gazing at them in helpless agony. He saw 
that Ona was not with them, and was full of foreboding 
as to what that might mean. He spent half an hour 
brooding over this and then suddenly he straightened 
up and the blood rushed into his face. A man had come 
in Jurgis could not see his features for the bandages 
that swathed him, but he knew the burly figure. It was 
Connor I A trembling seized him, and his limbs bent as 
if for a spring. Then suddenly he felt a hand on his 
collar, and heard a voice behind him : " Sit down, you son 
of a ! " 

He subsided, but he never took his eyes off his enemy. 
The fellow was still alive, which was a disappointment, in 
one way ; and yet it was pleasant to see him, all in peni- 
tential plasters. He and the company lawyer, who was 
with him, came and took seats within the judge's railing ; 
and a minute later the clerk called Jurgis's name, and the 
policeman jerked him to his feet and led him before the 
bar, gripping him tightly by the arm, lest he should spring 
upon the boss. 

Jurgis listened while the man entered the witness chair, 
took the oath, and told his story. The wife of the prisoner 
had been employed in a department near him, and had 
been discharged for impudence to him. Half an hour 
later he had been violently attacked, knocked down, and 
almost choked to death. He had brought witnesses 


"They will probably not be necessary," observed the 
judge, and he turned to Jurgis. "You admit attacking 
the plaintiff ? " he asked. 

44 Him ? " inquired Jurgis, pointing at the boss. 

44 Yes," said the judge. 

44 1 hit him, sir," said Jurgis. 

44 Say 4 your Honor,' " said the officer, pinching his arm 

44 Your Honor," said Jurgis, obediently. 

44 You tried to choke him ? " 

44 Yes, sir, your Honor." 

44 Ever been arrested before ? * 

* 4 No, sir, your Honor." 

44 What have you to say for yourself ? w 

Jurgis hesitated. What had he to say ? In two years 
and a half he had learned to speak English for practical 
purposes, but these had never included the statement that 
some one had intimidated and seduced his wife. He tried 
once or twice, stammering and balking, to the annoyance of 
the judge, who was gasping from the odor of fertilizer. 
Finally, the prisoner made it understood that his vocabu- 
lary was inadequate, and there stepped up a dapper young 
man with waxed mustaches, bidding him speak in any 
language he knew. 

Jurgis began ; supposing that he would be given time, 
he explained how the boss had taken advantage of his 
wife's position to make advances to her and had threatened 
her with the loss of her place. When the interpreter had 
translated this, the judge, whose calendar was crowded, 
and whose automobile was ordered for a certain hour, 
interrupted with the remark : " Oh, I see. Well, if he 
made love to your wife, why didn't she complain to the 
superintendent or leave the place ? " 

Jurgis hesitated, somewhat taken aback; he began to 
explain that they were very poor that work was hard 
to get 

44 1 see," feaid Justice Callahan ; 44 so instead you thought 
you would knock him down." He turned to the plaintiff, 
inquiring, " Is there any truth in this story, Mr. Connor? " 


"Not a particle, your Honor," said the boss. w lt is 
very unpleasant they tell some such tale every time you 
have to discharge a woman " 

" Yes, I know," said the judge. " I hear it often enough. 
The fellow seems to have handled you pretty roughly. 
Thirty days and costs. Next case." ' 

Jurgis had been listening in perplexity. It was only 
when the policeman who had him by the arm turned and 
started to lead him away that he realized that sentence 
had been passed. He gazed round him wildly. " Thirty 
days ! " he panted and then he whirled upon the judge. 
"What will my family do?" he cried, frantically. "I 
have a wife and baby, sir, and they have no money my 
God, they will starve to death ! " 

" You would have done well to think about them before 
you committed t? j assault," said the judge, dryly, as he 
turned to look at the next prisoner. 

Jurgis would have spoken again, but the policeman had 
seized him by the collar and was twisting it, and a second 
policeman was making for him with evidently hostile 
intentions. So he let them lead him away. Far down 
the room he saw Elzbieta and Kotrina, risen from their 
seats, staring in fright ; he made one effort to go to them, 
and then, brought back by another twist at his throat, he 
bowed his head and gave up the struggle. They thrust 
him into a cell-room, where other prisoners were waiting ; 
and as soon as court had adjourned they led him down 
with them into the " Black Maria," and drove him away. 

This time Jurgis was bound for the " Bridewell," a petty 
jail where Cook County prisoners serve their time. It 
was even filthier and more crowded than the county jail ; 
all the smaller fry out of the latter had been sifted into 
it the petty thieves and swindlers, the brawlers and 
vagrants. For his cell-mate Jurgis had an Italian fruit- 
seller who had refused to pay his graft to the policeman, 
and been arrested for carrying a large pocket-knife; as 
he did not understand a word of English our friend was 
glad when he left. He gave place to a Norwegian sailor. 


who had lost half an ear in a drunken brawl, and who 
proved to be quarrelsome, cursing Jurgis because he moved 
in his bunk and caused the roaches to drop upon the lower 
one. It would have been quite intolerable, staying in a 
cell with this wild beast, but for the fact that all day long 
the prisoners were put at work breaking stone. 

Ten days of his thirty Jurgis spent thus, without hear- 
ing a word from his family ; then one day a keeper came 
and informed him that there was a visitor to see him. 
Jurgis turned white, and so weak at the knees that he 
could hardly leave his cell. 

The man led him down the corridor and a flight of 
steps to the visitors' room, which was barred like a cell. 
Through the grating Jurgis could see some one sitting in 
a chair ; and as he came into the room ihe person started 
up, and he saw that it was little Stanislovas. At the sight 
of some one from home the big fellow nearly went to pieces 
he had to steady himself by a chair, and he put his 
other hand to his forehead, as if to clear away a mist. 
"Well?" he said, weakly. 

Little 8 foT " al ovas was also trembling, and all but too 
frightened to speak. "They they sent me to tell 
you " he said, with a gulp. 

" Well?" Jurgis repeated. 

He followed the boy's glance to where the keeper was 
standing watching them. "Never mind that," Jurgis 
cried, w?Mly. "How are they?" 

**0** "3 very sick," Stanislovas said; "and we are 
almos ? varving. We can't get along ; we thought you 
might be able to help us." 

Jurgis gripped the chair tighter ; there were beads of 
perspiration on his forehead, and his hand shook. "I 
can't help you," he said. 

" Ona lies in her room all day," the boy went on, breath- 
lessly. "She won't eat anything, and she cries all the 
time. She won't tell what is the matter and she won't go 
to work at all. Then a long time ago the man came for 
the rent. He was very cross. He came again last week. He 
said he would turn us out of the house. And then Marija '' 


A sob choked Stanislovas, and he stopped. "What's 
the matter with Marija ? " cried Jurgis. 

" She's cut her hand ! " said the boy. " She's cut it bad, 
this time, worse than before. She can't work and it's all 
turning green, and the company doctor says she may 
she may have to have it cut off. And Marija cries all the 
time her money is nearly all gone, too, and we can't 
pay the rent and the interest on the house; and we have 
no coal and nothing more to eat, and the man at the store, 
he says " 

The little fellow stopped again, beginning to whimper. 
" Go on! " the other panted in frenzy " Go onl " 

"I I will," sobbed Stanislovas. "It's so so cold 
all the time. And last Sunday it snowed again a deep, 
deep snow and I couldn't couldn't get to work." 

"God!" Jurgis half shouted, and he took a step to- 
ward the child. There was an old hatred between tnem 
because of the snow ever since that dreadful morning 
when the boy had had his fingers frozen and Jurgis had 
had to beat him to send him to work. Now hs clenched 
his hands, looking as if he would try to break through Uie 
grating. " You little villain," he cried, " you didn't trv !" 

"I did I did I" wailed Stanislovas, shrinking 1 from 
him in terror. "I triad all day two days. Elzbieta 
was with me, and she couldn't either. We couldn't walk 
at all, it was so deep. And we had nothing to eat. and 
oh, it was so cold! I tried, and then the third day Ona 
went with me " 

" Ona! " 

" Yes. She tried to go to work, too. She had to. We 
were all starving. But she had lost her place " 

Jurgis reeled, and gave a gasp. "She went back to 
that place ? " he screamed. 

" She tried to," said Stanislovas, gazing at him in per. 
plexity. " Why not, Jurgis ? " 

The man breathed hard, three or four times. " Go 
on," he panted, finally. 

M I went with her," said Stanislovas, " but Miss Hen- 
derson wouldn't take her back. And Connor saw her and 


onrsed her. He was still bandaged up why did you hit 
him, Jurgis?" (There was some fascinating mystery 
about this, the little fellow knew ; but he could get no 

Jurgis could not speak ; he could only stare, his eyes 
starting out. " She has been trying to get other work," 
the boy went on ; " but she's so weak she can't keep up. 
And iny boss would not take me back, either Ona says 
he knows Connor, and that's the reason ; they've all got 
a grudge against us now. So I've got to go down-town 
and sell papers with the rest of the boys and Kotrina " 


"Yes, she's been selling papers, too. She does best, be- 
cause she's a girl. Only the cold is so bad its terrible 
coming home at night, Jurgis. Sometimes they can't 
come home at all I'm going to try to find them to-night 
and sleep where they do, it's so late and it's such a long 
ways home. I've had to walk, and I didn't know where 
it was I don't know how to get back, either. Only 
mother said I must come, because you would want to 
know, and maybe somebody would help your family when 
they had put yon in jail so you couldn't work. And I 
walked all day to get here and I only had a piece of 
bread for breakfast, Jurgis. Mother hasn't any work 
either, because the sausage department is shut down; and 
she goes and begs at houses with a basket, and people give 
her food. Only she didn't get much yesterday ; It was 
too cold for her fingers, and to-day she was crying " 

So little Stanislovas went on, sobbing as he talked ; and 
Jurgis stood, gripping the table tightly, saying not a word, 
but feeling that his head would burst ; it was like having 
weights piled upon him, one after another, crushing the 
life out of him. He struggled and fought within himself 
as if in some terrible nightmare, in which a man suffers 
an agony, and cannot lift his hand, nor cry out, but feels 
that ne is going mad, that his brain is on fire 

Just when it seemed to him that another turn of the 
screw would kill him, little Stanislovas stopped. " Top 
cannot heip us ? " he said weakly. 


Jurgis shook his head. 

"They won't give you anything here?" 

He shook it again. 

" When are you coming out? " 

" Three weeks yet," Jurgis answered. 

And the boy gazed around him uncertainly. " Then I 
might as well go," he said. 

Jurgis nodded. Then, suddenly recollecting, he put 
his hand into his pocket and drew it out, shaking. 
" Here," he said, holding out the fourteen cents. " Take 
this to them." 

And Stanislovas took it, and after a little more hesita- 
tion, started for the door. " Good-by, Jurgis," he said, 
and the other noticed that he walked unsteadily as he 
passed out of sight. 

For a minute or so Jurgis stood clinging to the chair, 
reeling and swaying ; then the keeper touched him on the 
arm, and he turned and went back to breaking stone. 


JrjRGis did not get out of the Bridewell quite as soon 
as he had expected. To his sentence there were added 
"court costs " of a dollar and a half he was supposed to 
pay for the trouble of putting him in jail, and not having 
the money, was obliged to work it off by three days more of 
toil. Nobody had taken the trouble to tell him this only 
after counting the days and looking forward to the end in 
an agony of impatience, when the hour came that he ex- 
pected to be free he found himself still set at the stone- 
heap, and laughed at when he ventured to protest. Then 
he concluded he must have counted wrong ; but as another 
day passed, he gave up all hope and was sunk in the 
depths of despair, when one morning after breakfast a 
keeper came to him with the word that his time was up at 
last. So he doffed his prison garb, and put on his old 
fertilizer clothing, and heard the door of the prison clang 
behind him. 

He stood upon the steps, bewildered ; he could hardly 
believe that it was true, that the sky was above him 
again and the open street before him ; that he was a free 
man. But then the cold began to strike through his 
clothes, and he started quickly away. 

There had been a heavy snow, and now a thaw had set 
in ; a fine sleety rain was falling, driven by a wind that 
pierced Jurgis to the bone. He had not stopped for his 
overcoat when he set out to " do up " Connor, and so his 
rides in the patrol wagons had been cruel experiences ; 
his clothing was old and worn thin, and it never had been 
very warm. Now as he trudged on the rain soon wet it 
through; there were six inches of watery slush on the 


sidewalks, so that his feet would soon have been soaked, 
even had there been no holes in his shoes. 

Jurgis had had enough to eat in the jail, and the work 
had been the least trying of any that he had done since he 
came to Chicago ; but even so, he had not grown strong 
the fear and grief that had preyed upon his mind had 
worn him thin. Now he shivered and shrunk from the 
rain, hiding his hands in his pockets and hunching his 
shoulders together. The Bridewell grounds were on the 
outskirts of the city and the country around them was 
unsettled and wild on one side was the big drainage 
canal, and on the other a maze of railroad tracks, and so 
the wind had full sweep. 

After walking a ways, Jurgis met a little ragamuffin 
whom he hailed : " Hey, sonny I " 

The boy cocked one eye at him he knew that Jurgis 
was a " jail bird " by his shaven head. " Wot yer want?" 
he queried. 

" How do you go to the stockyards ? " Jurgis de 

" I don't go," replied the boy. 

Jurgis hesitated a moment, nonplussed. Then he said, 
" I mean which is the way ? " 

** Why don't yer say so then ? " was the response, and 
the boy pointed to the northwest, across the tracks. 
"That way." 

" How far is it ? " Jurgis asked. 

" I dunno " said the other. " Mebby twenty miles or 

" Twenty miles! " Jurgis echoed, and his face fell. He 
had to walk every foot of it, for they had turned him out 
of jail without a penny in his pockets. 

Yet, when he once got started, and his blood had 
warmed with walking, he forgot everything in the fever 
of his thoughts. All the dreadful imaginations that had 
haunted him in his cell now rushed into his mind at once. 
The agony was almost over he was going to find out; 
and he clenched his hands in his pockets as he strode, fol- 
lowing his flying desire, almost at a run. Ona tha 


baby the family the house he would know the 
truth about them all! And he was coming to the rescue 
he was free again I His hands were his own, and he 
could help them, he could do battle for them against the 

For an hour or so he walked thus, and then he began 
to look about him. He seemed to be leaving the city alto- 
gether. The street was turning into a country road, lead- 
ing out to the westward; there were snow-covered fields 
on either side of him. Soon he met a farmer driving a 
two-horse wagon loaded with straw, and he stopped him. 

" Is this the way to the stockyards ? " he asked. 

The farmer scratched his head. " I dunno jest where 
they be," he said. " But they're in the city somewhere, 
and you're going dead away from it now." 

Jurgis looked dazed. " I was told this was the way,** 
he said. 

"Who told you ?" 

"A boy/' ' 

" Well, mebbe he was playing a joke on ye. The best 
thing ye kin do is to go back, and when ye git into town 
ask a policeman. I'd take ye in, only I've come a long 
ways an' I'm loaded heavy. Git up I " 

So Jurgis turned and followed, and toward the end of 
the morning he began to see Chicago again. Past endless 
blocks of two-story shanties he walked, along wooden 
sidewalks and unpaved pathways treacherous with deep 
slush-holes. Every few blocks there would be a railroad 
crossing on the level with the sidewalk, a death-trap for 
the unwary; long freight-trains would be passing, the cars 
clanking and crashing together, and Jurgis would pace 
about waiting, burning up with a fever of impatience. 
Occasionally the cars would stop for some minutes, and 
wagons and street-cars would crowd together waiting, the 
drivers swearing at each other, or hiding beneath umbrellas 
out of the rain; at such times Jurgis would dodge under 
the gates and run across the tracks and between the cars, 
taking his life into his hands. 

He crossed a long bridge over a river frozen solid and 


covered with slush. Not even on the river bank was the 
snow white the rain which fell was a diluted solution 
of smoke, and Jurgis's hands and face were streaked with 
black. Then he came into the business part of the city, 
where the streets were sewers of inky blackness, with 
horses slipping and plunging, and women and children 
flying across in panic-stricken droves. These streets 
were huge canons formed by towering black buildings, 
echoing with the clang of car-gongs and the shouts of 
drivers ; the people who swarmed in them were as busy 
as ants all hurrying breathlessly, never stopping to 
look at anything nor at each other. The solitary tramp- 
ish-looking foreigner, with water-soaked clothing and 
haggard face and anxious eyes, was as much alone as he 
hurried past them, as much unheeded and as lost, as if he 
had been a thousand miles deep in a wilderness. 

A policeman gave him his direction and told him that 
he had five miles to go. He came again to the slum-dis- 
tricts, to avenues of saloons and cheap stores, with long 
dingy red factory buildings, and coal-yards and railroad- 
tracks; and then Jurgis lifted up his head and began to 
sniff the air like a startled animal scenting the far-off 
odor of home. It was late afternoon then, and he was 
hungry, but the dinner invitations hung out of the saloons 
were not for him. 

So he came at last to the stockyards, to the black vol- 
canoes of smoke and the lowing cattle and the stench. 
Then, seeing a crowded car, his impatience got the better 
of him and he jumped aboard, hiding behind another man, 
unnoticed by the conductor. In ten minutes more he had 
reached his street, and home. 

He was half running as he came round the corner^ 
There was the house, at any rate and then suddenly he 
etopped and stared. What was the matter with the house ? 

Jurgis looked twice, bewildered; then he glanced at the 
house next door and at tha one beyond then at the sa- 
loon on the corner. Yes, it was the right place, quite 
certainly he had not made any mistake. But the house 
the house was a different color! 


He came a couple of steps nearer. Yes; it had been 
gray and now it was yellow! The trimmings around the 
windows had been red, and now they were green! It was 
all newly painted! How strange it made it seem! 

Jurgis went closer yet, but keeping on the other side of 
the street. A sudden and horrible spasm of fear had 
come over him. His knees were shaking beneath him, and 
his mind was in a whirl. New paint on the house, and 
new weatherboards, where the old had begun to rot off, 
and the agent had got after them ! New shingles over the 
hole in the roof, too, the hole that had for six months been 
the bane of his soul he having no money to have it fixed 
and no time to fix it himself, and the rain leaking in, and 
overflowing the pots and pans he put to catch it, and flood- 
ing the attic and loosening the plaster. And now it was 
fixed! And the broken window-pane replaced! And 
curtains in the windows! New, white curtains, stiff and 
shiny I 

Then suddenly the front door opened. Jurgis stood, 
his chest heaving as he straggled to catch his breath. 
A boy had come out, a stranger to him ; a big, fat, rosy- 
cheeked youngster, such as had never been seen in his 
home before. 

Jurgis stared at the boy, fascinated. He came down 
the steps whistling, kicking off the snow. He stopped at 
the foot, and picked up some, and then leaned against the 
railing, making a snow-ball. A moment later he looked 
around and saw Jurgis, and their eyes met; it was a hostile 
glance, the boy evidently thinking that the other had sus- 
picions of the snow-ball. When Jurgis started slowly 
across the street toward him, he gave a quick glance about, 
meditating retreat, but then he concluded to stand his 

Jurgis took hold of the railing of the steps, for he was 
a little unsteady. " What what are you doing here ? " 
he managed to gasp. 

" Go on! " said the boy. 

"You " Jurgis tried again. "What do you want 


" Me ? " answered the boy, angrily. " I live here." 

" You live here ! " Jurgis panted. He turned white, and 
clnng more tightly to the railing. "You live here' 
Then where's my family ? " 

The boy looked surprised. "Your family ! " he echoed. 

And Jurgis started toward him. "I this is my 
house 1 " he cried. 

" Come off! " said the boy; then suddenly the door up- 
stairs opened, and he called: "Hey, ma I Here's a fellow 
says he owns this house." 

A stout Irish woman came to the top of the steps. 
What's that?" she demanded. 

Jurgis turned toward her. "Where is my family?" 
he cried, wildly. " I left them here ! This is my home I 
What are you doing in my home? " 

The woman stared at him in frightened wonder, she 
must have thought she was dealing with a maniac 
Jurgis looked like one. " Your home 1 " she echoed. 

"My home!" he half shrieked. "I lived here, I tell 

" You must be mistaken," she answered him. " No one 
ever lived here. This is a new house. They told us so. 

"What have they done with my family?" shouted 
Jurgis, frantically. 

A light had begun to break upon the woman ; perhaps 
she had had doubts of what " they " had told her. " I 
don't know where your family is," she said. " 1 bought 
the house only three days ago, and there was nobody here, 
and they told me it was all new. Do you really mean you 
had ever rented it?" 

"Rented it!" panted Jurgis. "I bought it! I paid 
for it ! I own it ! And they my God, can't you tell 
nie where my people went?" 

She made him understand at last that she knew nothing. 
Jurgis's brain was so confused that he could not grasp the 
situation. It was as if his family had been wiped out of 
existence ; as if they were proving to be dream people, who 
never had existed at all. He was quite lost but then 


uddenly he thought of Grandmother Majauszkiene, who 
lived in the next block. She would know I He turned 
and started at a run. 

Grandmother Majauezkiene came to the door herself. 
She cried out when she saw Jurgis, wild-eyed and shaking. 
Yes, yes, she could tell him. The family had moved ; they 
had not been able to pay the rent and they had been turned 
out into the snow, and the house had been repainted and 
sold again the next week. No, she had not heard how 
they were, but she could tell him that they had gone back 
to Aniele Jukniene, with whom they had stayed when they 
first came to the yards. Wouldn't Jurgis come in and 
rest ? It was certainly too bad if only he had not got 
into jail 

And so Jurgis turned rnd staggered away. He did not 
go very far round the corner he gave out completely, 
and sat down on the steps of a saloon, and hid his face in 
his hands, and shook all over with dry, racking sobs. 

Their home ! Their homo ! They had lost it ! Grief, 
despair, rage, overwhelmed him what was any imagina- 
tion of the thing to this heart-breaking, crushing reality 
of it to the sight of strange people living in his house, 
hanging their curtains in his windows, staring at him with 
hostile eyes I It was monstrous, it was unthinkable 
they could not do it it could not be true ! Only think 
what he had suffered for that house what miseries they 
had all suffered for it the price they had paid for it ! 
The whole long agony came back to him. Their sacri- 
fices in the beginning, their three hundred dollars that 
they had scraped together, all they owned in the world, all 
that stood between them and starvation ! And then their 
toil, month by month, to get together the twelve dollars, 
and the interest as well, and now and then the taxes, and 
the other charges, and the repairs, and what not ! Why, 
they had put their very souls into their payments on that 
house, they had paid for it with their sweat and tears yes, 
more, with their very life-blood. Dede Antanas had aied 
of the struggle to earn that money he would have been 
alive and strong to-day if he had not had to work in 


Durham's dark cellars to earn his share. And Ona, too, 
had given her health and strength to pay for it she was 
wrecked and ruined because of it ; and so was he, who had 
been a big, strong man three years ago, and now sat here 
shivering, broken, cowed, weeping like a hysterical child. 
Ah ! they had cast their ail into the fight ; and they had 
lost, they had lost ! All that they had paid was gone 
every cent of it. And their house was gone they were 
back where they had started from, flung out into the cold 
to starve and freeze I 

Jurgis could see all the truth now could see himself, 
through the whole long course of events, the victim of 
ravenous vultures that had torn into his vitals and de- 
voured him ; of fiends that had racked and tortured 
him, mocking him, meantime, jeering in his face. Ah, 
God, the horror of it, the monstrous, hideous, demo- 
niacal wickedness of it ! He and his family, helpless 
women and children, struggling to live, ignorant anf 
defenceless and forlorn as they were and the enemie 
that had been lurking for them, crouching upon their trai 
and thirsting for their blood I That first lying circular 
that smooth-tongued slippery agent I That trap of tht 
extra payments, the interest, and all the other charges tha 
they had not the means to pay, and would never havi 
attempted to pay I And then all the tricks of the packers 
their masters, the tyrants who ruled them, the shut 
downs and the scarcity of work, the irregular hours am 
the cruel speeding-up, the lowering of wages, the raising o_ 
prices ! The mercilessness of nature about them, of hea-t 
and cold, rain and snow ; the mercilessness of the city, of 
the country in which they lived, of its laws and customs 
that they did not understand I All of these things had 
worked together for the company that had marked them 
for its prey and was waiting for its chance. And now, 
with this last hideous injustice, its time had come, and it 
had turned them out bag and baggage, and taken their 
house and sold it again ! And they could do nothing, 
they were tied hand and foot the law was against them, 
the whole machinery of society was at their oppressors' 


command I If Jurgis so much as raised a hand against 
them, back he would go into that wild-beast pen from 
which he had just escaped ! 

To get up and go away was to give up, to acknowledge 
defeat, to leave the strange family in possession ; and 
Jurgis might have sat shivering in the rain for hours before 
he could do that, had it not been for the thought of his 
family. It might be that he had worse things yet to learn 
and so he got to his feet and started away, walking on, 
wearily, half-dazed. 

To Aniele's house, in back of the yards, was a good two 
miles ; the distance had never seemed longer to Jurgis, 
and when he saw the familiar dingy -gray shanty his heart 
was beating fast. He ran up the steps and began to ham- 
mer upon the door. 

The old woman herself came to open it. She had shrunk 
all up with her rheumatism since Jurgis had seen her last, 
and her yellow parchment face stared up at him from a 
little above the level of the door-knob. She gave a start 
when she saw him. " Is Ona here ? " he cried, breath- 

"Yes," was the answer, "she's here." 

" How " Jurgis began, and then stopped short, 
clutching convulsively at the side of the door. From 
somewhere within the house had come a sudden cry, a 
wild, horrible scream of anguish. And the voice was 

For a moment Jurgis stood half -paralyzed with fright ; 
then he bounded past the old woman and into the room. 

It was Aniele's kitchen, and huddled round the stove 
were half a dozen women, pale and frightened. One of 
them started to her feet as Jurgis entered ; she was hag- 
gard and frightfully thin, with one arm tied up in band- 
ages he hardly realized that it was Marija. He looked 
first for Ona ; then, not seeing her, he stared at the 
women, expecting them to speak. But they sat dumb, 
gazing back at him, panic-stricken ; and a second later 
came another piercing scream. 

It was from the rear of the house, and upstairs. Jurgis 


bounded to a door of the room and flung it open ; there 
was a ladder leading through a trap-door to the garret, 
and he was at the foot of it, when suddenly he heard a 
voice behind him, and saw Marija at his heels. She seized 
him by the sleeve with her good hand, panting wildly, 
'* No, no, Jurgis I Stop ! " 

" What do you mean ? " he gasped. 
"You mustn't go up," she cried. 

Jurgis was half-crazed with bewilderment and fright. 
" What's the matter ? " he shouted. What is it ? " 

Marija clung to him tightly ; he could hear Ona sob- 
bing and moaning above, and he fought to get away and 
climb up, without waiting for her reply. " No, no," she 
rushed on. "Jurgis! You mustn't go up ! It's it's 
the child I " 

"The child?" he echoed in perplexity. "Antanas?" 

Marija answered him, in a whisper : " The new one 1 " 

And then Jurgis went limp, and caught himself on the 

ladder. He stared at her as if she were a ghost. " The 

new one I " he gasped. " But it isn't time," he added, 


Marija nodded. " I know," she said ; " but it's come." 
And then again came Ona's scream, smiting him like a 
blow in the face, making him wince and turn white. Her 
voice died away into a wail then he heard her sobbing 
again, "My God let me die, let me die I " And Marija 
flung her arms about him, crying : " Come out I Come 
away 1 K 

She dragged him back into the kitchen, half carrying 
tfiini, for he had gone all to pieces. It was as if the pillars 
of his soul had fallen in he was blasted with horror. 
In the room he sank into a chair, trembling like a leaf, 
Marija still holding him, and the women staring at him in 
dumb, helpless fright. 

And then again Ona cried out ; he could hear it nearly 
as plainly here, and he staggered to his feet. " How long 
has this been going on ? " he panted. 

" Not very long," Marija answered, and then, at a signal 


from Aniele, she rushed on : " You go away, Jurgis you 
can't help go away and come back later. It's all right 

it's " 

" Who's with her ? " Jurgis demanded ; and then, seeing 
Marija hesitating, he cried again, " Who's with her ? " 

"She's she's all right," she answered. "Elzbieta's 
with hor." 

" But the doctor 1 " he panted. ' Some one who knows I" 

He seized Marija by the arm ; she trembled, and her 
voice sank beneath a whisper as she replied, " We we 
have no money." Then, frightened at the look on his 
face, she exclaimed : " It's all right, Jurgis I You don't 
understand go away go away I Ah, if you only had 
waited I " 

Above h?r protests Jurgis heard Ona again ; he was 
almost out of his mind. It was all new to him, raw and 
horrible it had fallen upon him like a lightning stroke. 
When little Antanas was born he had been at work, and 
had known nothing about it until it was over ; and 
now he was not to be controlled. The frightened women 
were at their wits* end ; one after another they tried to 
reason with him, to make him understand that this was the 
lot of woman. In the end they half drove him out in<x> the 
rain, where he began to pace up and down, bareheaded and 
frantic. Because he could hear Ona from the street, he 
would first go away to escape the sounds, and then come 
back because he could not help it. At the end of a quar- 
ter of an hour he rushed up the steps again, and for fear 
that he would break in the door they had to open it and 
let him in. 

There was no arguing with him. They could not tell him 
that all was going well how could they know, he cried 

why, she was dying, she was being torn to pieces I 
Listen to her listen 1 Why, it was monstrous it 
could not be allowed there must be some help for it 1 
Had they tried to get a doctor? They might pay him 
afterwards they could promise 

" We couldn't promise, Jurgis," protested Marija. ** We 
had no money we have scarcely been able to keep alive. H 


"But i can work,** Jurgis exclaimed. "I can earn 
money 1 " 

" Yes," she answered " but we thought you were in 
jail. How could we know when you would return? 
They will not work for nothing," 

Marija went on to tell how she had tried to find a mid- 
wife, and how they had demanded ten, fifteen, even twenty- 
five dollars, and that in cash. " And I had only a quarter," 
she said. " I have spent every cent of my money all 
that I had in the bank ; and I owe the doctor who has 
been coming to see me, and he has stopped because he 
thinks I don't mean to pay him. And we owe Aniele for 
two weeks' rent, and she is nearly starving, and is afraid 
of being turned out. We have been borrowing and beg- 
ging to keep alive, and there is nothing more we can 

" And the children ? " cried Jurgis. 

M The children have not been home for three days, the 
weather has been so bad. They could not know what is 
happening it came suddenly, two months before we 
expected it.'* 

Jurgis was standing by the table, and he caught himself 
with his hands ; his head sank and his arms shook it 
looked as if he were going to collapse. Then suddenly 
Aniele got up and came hobbling toward him, fumbling 
in her skirt pocket. She drew out a dirty rag, in one 
-orne of which she had something tied, 

" Here, Jurgis I " she said, " I have some money. 
fataukf See!" 

She unwrapped it and counted it out thirty-four 
cents. " You go, now," she said, " and try and get some- 
body yourself. And maybe the rest can help give 
him somtf money, you ; he will pay you back some day, 
and it will do him good to have something to think about, 
even if he doesn't succeed. When he comes back, maybe 
ii will be over.*' 

And so the other women turned out the contents of their 
pocket-books ; most of them had only pennies and nickels, 
but they gave him all. Mrs. Olszewski, who lived next 


door, and had a husband who was a skilled cattle-butcher, 
but a drinking man, gave nearly half a dollar, enough to 
raise the whole sum to a dollar and a quarter. Then 
Jurgis thrust it into his pocket, still holding it tightly in 
his fist, and started away at a run. 


*- MADAME HATJPT, Hebamme," ran a Jign, swinging 
from a second-story window over a saloon on the avenue ; 
at a side door was another sign, with a hand pointing up 
a dingy flight of steps. Jurgis went up them, three at a 

Madame Haupt was frying pork and onions, and had 
her door half open to let out the smoke. When he tried 
to knock upon it, it swung open the rest of the way, and 
he had a glimpse of her, with a black bottle turned up to. 
her lips. Then he knocked louder, and she started and put 
it away. She was a Dutch woman, enormously fat when 
she walked she rolled like a small boat on the ocean, and 
the dishes in the cupboard jostled each other. She wore 
a filthy blue wrapper, and her teeth were black. 

" Vot is it ? " she said, when she saw Jurgis. 

He had run like mad all the way and was so out of breath 
he could hardly speak. His hair was disordered and his 
eyes wild he looked like a man that had risen from the 
tomb. " My wife ! " he panted. " Come quickly ! " 

Madame Haupt set the frying pan to one side and wiped 
her hands on her wrapper. " You vant me to come for a 
case ? " she inquired. 

" Yes," gasped Jurgis. 

" I haf yust come back from a case," she said. " I haf 
had no time to eat my dinner. Still if it is so bad " 

Yes it is 1 " cried he. 

" Veil, den, perhaps vot you pay ? " 

"I I how much do you want ? " Jurgis stammered. 

" Tventy-five dollars." 

His face fell. " I can't pay that,*' he said. 


The woman was watching him narrowly. a How much 
do you pay I " she demanded. 

" Must I pay now right away ? " 

"Yes ; all my customers do." 

" I I haven't much money," Jurgia began in an agony 
of dread. "I've been in in trouble and my money is 
gone. But I'll pay you every cent just as soon as I 
can ; I can work " 

" Vot is your work? " 

" I have no place now. I must get one. But I " 

" How much haf you got now ? " 

He could hardly bring himself to reply. When he said 
"A dollar and a quarter," the woman laughed in his face. 

" I vould not put on my hat for a dollar und a quarter," 
she said. 

"Its all I've got," he pleaded, his voice breaking. " I 
must get some one my wife will die. I can't help it 

Madame Haupt had put back her pork and onions on 
the stove. She turned to him and answered, out of the 
steam and noise: "Git me ten dollars cash, und so you 
can pay me the rest next niont'." 

"I can't do it I haven't got it!" tfurgis protested. 
" I tell you I have only a dollar and a quarter." 

The woman turned to her work. "I don't believe you," 
she said. " Dot is all to try to sheat me. Vot is de reason 
a biff man like you has got only a dollar und a quarter? " 

"I've just been in jail," Jurgis cried, he was ready to 
get down upon his knees to the woman, " and 1 had no 
money before, and my family has almost starved." 

" Vere is your friends, dot ought to help you? " 

"They are all poor," he answered. "They gave me 
this. I have done everything I can " 

" Haven't you got netting you can sell 3 " 

" I have nothing, 1 tell you I have nothing," he cried, 

" Can't you borrow it, den ? Don't yonr store people 
trust you?" Then, as he shook his head, she went on: 
" Listen to me if you git me you vill be glad of it. 


I vill save your wife und baby for you, und it rill not seem 
like mooch to you in de end. If you loose dem now how 
you tink you feel den ? Und here is a lady dot knows her 
business I could send you to people in dis block, und 
dey vould tell you " 

Madame Haupt was pointing her cooking-fork at Jurgis 
persuasively ; but her words were more than he could 
bear. He flung up his hands with a gesture of despair 
and turned and started away. " It's no use," he exclaimed 
but suddenly he heard the woman's voice behind him 
again : 

" I vill make it five dollars for you." 

She followed behind him, arguing with him. " You vill 
be foolish not to take such an offer," she said. "You 
von't find nobody to go out on a rainy day like dis for 
less. Vy, I haf never took a case in my life so sheap as 
dot. I couldn't pay mine room rent 

Jurgis interrupted her with an oath of rage. "If I 
haven't got it," he shouted, " how can I pay it ? Damn 
it, I would pay you if I could, but I tell you I haven't got 
it. I haven't got it I Do you hear me I haven't got 

He turned and started away again. He was halfway 
down the stairs before Madame Haupt could shout to him : 
" Vait I I vill g o mit you I Come back I " 

He went back into the room again. 

" It is not goot to tink of anybody suffering," she said, 
in a melancholy voice. ** I might as yell go mit you for 
notting as vot you offer me, but I vill try to help you. 
How far is it?" 

" Three or four blocks from here." 

"Tree or four I Und so I shall get soaked I Gott in 
Himmel, it ought to be vorth more I Vun dollar und a 
quarter, und a day like dis I But you understand now 
you vill pay me de rest of twenty-five dollars soon ? " 

"As soon as I can." 

" Some time dis mont' ? " 

" Yes, within a month," said poor Jurgis. " Anything I 
Hurry up I * 


" Vere 3 do dollar and a quarter ?" persisted Madame 
Haupt, relentlessly. 

Jurgis put the money on the table and the woman 
counted it and stowed it away. Then she wiped her 
greasy hands again and proceeded to get ready, complain- 
ing all the time ; she was so fat that it was painful for her 
to move, and she grunted and gasped at every step. She 
took off her wrapper without even taking the trouble to 
turn her back to Jurgis, and put on her corsets and dress. 
Then there was a black bonnet which had to be adjusted 
carefully, and an umbrella which was mislaid, and a bag 
full of necessaries which had to be collected from here and 
there the man being nearly crazy with anxiety in the 
meantime. When they were on the street he kept about 
four paces ahead of her, turning now and then, as if he 
could hurry her on by the force of his desire. But 
Madame Haupt could only go so far at a step, and it took 
all her attention to get the needed breath for that. 

They came at last to the house, and to the group of 
frightened women in the kitchen. It was not over yet, 
Jurgis learned he heard Ona crying still ; and mean* 
time Madame Haupt removed her bonnet and laid it on 
the mantelpiece, and got out of her bag, first an old dress 
and then a saucer of goose-grease, which she proceeded to 
rub upon her hands. The more cases this goose-grease is 
used in, the better luck it brings to the midwife, and so she 
keeps it upon her kitchen mantelpiece or stowed away in 
a cupboard with her dirty clothes, for months, and some- 
times even for years. 

Then they escorted her to the ladder, and Jurgis heard 
her give an exclamation of dismay. ** Gott in Himmel, 
vot for haf you brought me to a place like dis ? I could 
not climb up dot ladder. I could not git troo a trap-door 1 
I vill not try it vy, I might kill myself already. Vpt 
sort of a place is dot for a woman to bear a child in 
up in a garret, mit only a ladder to it ? You ought 
to be ashamed of yourselves I ** Jurgis stood in the door, 
way and listened to her scolding, half drowning out the 
horr&ia moans and screams of Ona. 


At last Aniele succeeded in pacifying her, and she 
essayed the ascent ; then, however, she had to be stopped 
while the old woman cautioned her about the floor of the 
garret. They had no real floor they had laid old boards 
in one part to make a place for the family to live ; it was 
all right and safe there, but the other part of the garret 
had only the joists of the floor, and the lath and plaster of 
the ceiling below, and if one stepped on this there would 
be a catastrophe. As it was half dark up above, perhaps 
one of the others had best go up first with a candle. Then 
there were more outcries and threatening, until at last 
Jurgis had a vision of a pair of elephantine legs disap- 
pearing through the trap-door, and felt the house shake as 
Madam Haupt started to walk. Then suddenly Aniele 
came to him and took him by the arm. 

"Now," she said, "you go away. Do as I tell you 
you have done all you can, and you are only in the way. 
Go away and stay away." 

" But where shall I go ?" Jurgis asked, helplessly. 

" I don't know where," she answered. "Go on the 
street, if there is no other place only go! And stay all 

In the end she and Marija pushed him out of the door 
and shut it behind him. It was just about sundown, and 
it was turning cold the rain had changed to snow, and 
the slush was freezing. Jurgis shivered in his thin cloth- 
ing, and put his hands into his pockets and started away. 
He had not eaten since morning, and he felt weak and ill; 
with a sudden throb of hope he recollected he was only a 
few blocks from the saloon where he had been wont to eat 
his dinner. They might have mercy on him there, or he 
might meet a friend. He set out for the place as fast as 
he could walk. 

" Hello, Jack," said the saloon-keeper, when he entered 
they call all foreigners and unskilled men "Jack" in 
Packingtown. " Where've you been? " 

Jurgis went straight to the bar. " I've been in jail," 
he said, " and I've just got out. I walked home all the 
way, and I've not a cent, and had nothing to eat since this 


morning. And I've lost my home, and my wife's ill, and 
I'm done up." 

The saloon-keeper gazed at him, with his haggard white 
face and his blue trembling lips. Then he pushed a big 
bottle toward him. " Fillher up !" he said. 

Jurgis could hardly hold the bottle, his hands shook so. 
"Don't be afraid," said the saloon-keeper; " fill her up!" 

So Jurgis drank a huge glass of whiskey, and then 
turned to the lunch-counter, in obedience to the other's 
suggestion. He ate all he dared, stuffing it in as fast as 
he could; and then, after trying to speak his gratitude, 
he went and sat down by the big red stove in the middle 
of the room. 

It was too good to last, however like all things in this 
hard world. His soaked clothing began to steam, and the 
horrible stench of fertilizer to fill the room. In an hour 
or so the packing-houses would be closing and the men 
coming in from their work; and they would not come 
into a place that smelt of Jurgis. Also it was Saturday 
night, and in a couple of hours would come a violin and a 
cornet, and in the rear part of the saloon the families of 
the neighborhood woulddance and feast upon wienerwurst 
and lager, until two or three o'clock in the morning. The 
saloon-keeper coughed once or twice, and then remarked, 
" Say, Jack, I'm afraid you'll have to quit." 

He was used to the sight of human wrecks, this saloon- 
keeper; he "fired" dozens of them every night, just as 
haggard and cold and forlorn as this one. But they were 
all men who had given up and been counted out, while 
Jurgis was still in the fight, and had reminders of decency 
about him. As he got up meekly, the other reflected that 
he had always been a steady man, and might soon be a 
good customer again. "You've been up against it, I see," 
he said. "Come this way." 

In the rear of the saloon were the cellar-stairs. Ther^ 
was a door above and another below, both saf ely padlock- 
ed.making the stairs an admirable place to stowawayacusi 
tonier who might still chance to have money, or a political 
light whom it was not advisable to kick out of doorr 


So Jurgis spent the night. The whiskey had only half 
warmed him, and he could not sleep, exhausted as he was; 
he would nod forward, and then start up, shivering with 
the cold, and begin to remember again. Hour after hour 
passed, until he could only persuade himself that it was 
not morning by the sounds of music and laughter and 
singing that were to be heard from the room. When at 
last these ceased, he expected that he would be turned out 
into the street ; as this did not happen, he fell to wonder- 
ing whether the man had forgotten him. 

In the end, when the silence and suspense were no longer 
to be borne, he got up and hammered on the door; and 
the proprietor came, yawning and rubbing his eyes. 
He was keeping open all night, and dozing between cus- 

" I want to go home," Jurgis said. " I'm worried about 
my wife I can't wait any longer." 

"Why the hell didn't you say so before?" said the man. 
"I tho v aght you didn't have any home to go to." 

Jurgis went outside. It was four o'clock in the morn- 
ing, and as black as night. There were three or four 
inches of fresh snow on the ground, and the flakes were 
falling thick and fast. He turned toward Aniele's and 
started at a run. 

There was a light burning in the kitchen window and 
the blinds were drawn. The door was unlocked and 
Jurgis rushed in. 

Auiele, Marija, and the rest of the women were huddled 
about the stove, exactly as before ; with them were 
several new-comers, Jurgis noticed also he noticed that 
the house was silent. 

"Well?" he said. 

No one answered him; they sat staring at him with 
their pale faces. He cried again : "Well?" 

And then, by the light of the smoky lamp, he saw 
Marija, who sat nearest him, shaking her head slowly. 
" Not yet," she said. 

And Jurgis gave a cry of dismay. "Not yett" 


Again Marija's head shook. The poor fellow stood 
dumfounded. "I don't hear her," he gasped. 

" She's been quiet a long time," replied the other. 

There was another pause broken suddenly by a voice 
from the attic : " Hello, there 1 " 

Several of the women ran into the next room, while 
Marija sprang toward Jurgis. " Wait here I " she cried, 
and the two stood, pale and trembling, listening. In a 
few moments it became clear that Madame Haupt was 
engaged in descending the ladder, scolding and exhorting 
again, while the ladder creaked in protest. In a moment or 
two she reached the ground, angry and breathless, and they 
heard her coming into the room. Jurgis gave one glance 
at her, and then turned white and reeled. She had her 
jacket off, like one of the workers on the killing-beds. 
Her hands and arms were smeared with blood, and blood 
was splashed upon her clothing and her face. 

She stood breathing hard, and gazing about her; no 
one made a sound. 

" I haf done my best," she began suddenly. * 4 1 can do 
netting more dere is no use to try." 

Again there was silence. 

" It ain't my fault," she said. " You had ought to haf 
had a doctor, und not vaited so long it vas too late 
already ven I come." Once more there was deathlike 
stillness. Marija was clutching Jurgis with all the power 
of her one well arm. 

Then suddenly Madame Haupt turned to Aniele. " You 
haf not got someting to drink, hey? " she queried. " Some 

Aniele shook her head. 

" Herr Gott I " exclaimed Madame Haupt. " Such peo- 
ple 1 Perhaps you vill give me someting to eat den I 
haf had netting since yesterday morning, und I haf 
yorked myself near to death here. If I could haf known 
it vas like dis, I vould never haf come for such money as 
you gif me." 

At this moment she chanced to look round, and saw 
Jurgis. She shook her finger at him. " You understand 


me," she said, "you pays me dot money yust dc sam*l It 
is not my fault dat you send for me BO late I can't help 
you vife. It is not my fault if der baby comes mit one 
arm first, so dot I can't save it. I haf tried all night, 
und in dot place vere it is not fit for dogs to be born, 
und mit netting to eat only vot I brings in mine own 

Here Madame Haupt paused for a moment to get her 
breath ; and Marija, seeing the beads of sweat on Jurgis's 
forehead, and feeling the quivering of his frame, broke 
out in a low voice : " How is Ona ? " 

"How is she?" echoed Madame Haupt. "How do you 
tink she can be ven you leave her to kill herself so ? I 
told dem dot ven they send for de priest. She is young, 
und she might haf got over it, und been veil und strong, 
if she been treated right. She fight hard, dot girl she 
is not yet quite dead." 

And Jurgis gave a frantic scream. " Dead I " 

" She vill die, of course," said the other, angrily. " Der 
baby is dead now." 

The garret was lighted by a candle stuck upon a board ; 
it had almost burned itself out, and was sputtering and 
smoking as Jurgis rushed up the ladder. He could make 
out dimly in one corner a pallet of rags and old blankets, 
spread upon the floor; at the foot of it was a crucifix, 
and near it a priest muttering a prayer. In a far corner 
crouched Elzbieta, moaning and wailing. Upon the pallet 
lay Ona. 

She was covered with a blanket, but he could see her 
shoulders and one arm lying bare ; she was so shrunken 
he would scarcely have known her she was all but a 
skeleton, and as white as a piece cf chalk. Her eyelids 
were closed, and she lay still as death. He staggered 
toward her and fell upon his knees with a cry of anguish? 
"Ona I Ona!" 

She did not stir. He caught her hand in his, and began 
to clasp it frantically, calling: "Look at me! Answer me I 
It is Jurgis come back don't you hear me?** 


There was the faintest quivering of the eyelids, and he 
called again in frenzy: "Onal Onal" 

Then suddenly her eyes opened one instant. One 
instant she looked at him there was a flash of recog- 
nition between them, he saw her afar off, as through 
a dim vista, standing forlorn. He stretched out his 
arms to her, he called her in wild despair; a fearful 
yearning surged up in him, hunger for her that was 
agony, desire that was a new being born within him, tear- 
ing his heartstrings, torturing him. But it was all in 
vain she faded from him, she slipped back and was gone. 
And a wail of anguish burst from him, great sobs shook 
all his frame, and hot tears ran down his cheeks and fell 
upon her. He clutched her hands, he shook her, he caught 
her in his arms and pressed her to him ; but she lay cold 
and still she was gone she was gone I 

The word rang through him like the sound of a bell, 
echoing in the far depths of him, making forgotten chords 
to vibrate, old shadowy fears to stir fears of the dark, 
fears of the void, fears of annihilation. ?be was deadl 
She was dead 1 He would never see her again, never hear 
her again I An icy horror of loneliness seized him ; he 
saw himself standing apart and watching all the world 
fade away from him a world of shadows, of fickle 
dreams. He was like a little child, in his fright and 
grief; he called and called, and got no answer, and his 
cries of despair echoed through the house, making the 
women down-stairs draw nearer to each other in fear. He 
was inconsolable, beside himself the priest came and laid 
his hand up^n his shoulder and whispered to him, but he 
heard not a w,ound. He was gone away himself, stum- 
bling through the shadows, and groping after the soul 
that had fled. 

So he lay. The gray dawn came up and crept into the 
attic. The priest left, the women left, and he was alone 
with the still, white figure quieter now, but moaning 
and shuddering, wrestling with the grisly fiend. Now 
and then he would raise himself and stare at the white 


mask before him, then hide his eyes, because he could not 
bear it. Dead I dead ! And she was only a girl, she was 
barely eighteen 1 Her life had hardly begun and here 
she lay murdered mangled, tortured to death! 

It was morning when he rose up and came down into 
the kitchen haggard and ashen gray, reeling and dazed. 
More of the neighbors had come in, and they stared at him 
in silence as he sank down upon a chair by the table and 
buried his face in his arms. 

A few minutes later the front door opened ; a blast of 
cold and snow rushed in, and behind it little Kotrina, 
breathless from running, and blue with the cold. " I'm 
home again I " she exclaimed. " I could hardly n 

And then, seeing Jurgis, she stopped with an exclama- 
tion. Looking from one to another she saw that some- 
thing had happened, and she asked, in a lower voice 
"What's the matter?" 

Before any one could reply, Jurgis started up ; he went 
toward her, walking unsteadily. " Where have you been ? " 
he demanded. 

"Selling papers with the boys," she said. "The 
anow " 

" Have you any money? " he demanded. 


"How much?" 

** Nearly three dollars, Jurgis." 

" Give it to me." 

Kotrina, frightened by his manner, glanced at the others. 
** Give it to me 1 " he commanded again, and she put her 
hand into her pocket and pulled out a lump of coins tied 
in a bit of rag. Jurgis took it without a word, and went 
out of the door and down the street. 

Three doors away was a saloon. " Whiskey," he said, as 
he entered, and as the man pushed him some, he tore at 
the rag with his teeth and pulled out half a dollar. " How 
much is the bottle? " he said. " I want to get drunk." 


Bur a big man cannot stay drunk very long on three 
dollars. That was Sunday morning, and Monday night 
Jurgis came home, sober and sick, realizing that he had 
spent every cent the family owned, and had not bought a 
single instant's forgetf ulness with it. 

Ona was not yet buried ; but the police had been noti- 
fied, and on the morrow they would put the body in a pine 
coffin and take it to the potter's field. Elzbieta was out 
begging now, a few pennies from each of the neighbors, to 
get enough to pay for a mass for her ; and the children 
were upstairs starving to death, while he, good-for-nothing 
rascal, had been spending their money on drink. So spoke 
Aniele, scornfully, and when he started toward the fire 
she added the information that her kitchen was no longer 
for him to fill with his phosphate stinks. She had crowded 
all her boarders into one room on Ona's account, but now 
he could go up in the garret where he belonged and not 
there much longer, either, if he did not pay her some 

Jurgis went without a word, and, stepping over half a 
dozen sleeping boarders in the next room, ascended the 
ladder. It was dark up above ; they could not afford any 
light ; also it was nearly as cold as outdoors. In a corner, 
as far away from the corpse as possible, sat Marija, holding 
little Antanas in her one good arm and trying to soothe 
him to sleep. In another corner crouched poor little 
Juozapas, wailing because he had had nothing to eat all 
day. Marija said not a word to Jurgis; he crept in 
like a whipped our, and went and sat down by the 


Perhaps he ought to have meditated upon the hungei 
of the children, and upon his own baseness; but he 
thought only of Oua, he gave himself up again to the 
luxury of grief. He shed no tears, being ashamed to 
make a sound ; he sat motionless and shuddering with his 
anguish. He had never dreamed how much he loved Ona, 
until now that she was gone ; until now that he sat here, 
knowing that on the morrow they would take her away, 
and that he would never lay eyes upon her again never 
all the days of his life. His old love, which had been 
starved to death, beaten to death, awoke in him again ; 
the flood-gates of memory were lifted he saw all their 
life together, saw her as he had seen her in Lithuania, the 
first day at the fair, beautiful as the flowers, singing like 
a bird. He saw her as he had married her, with all her ten- 
derness, with her heart of wonder ; the very words she had 
spoken seemed to ring now in his ears, the tears she had 
shed to be wet upon his cheek. The long, cruel battle with 
misery and hunger had hardened and embittered him, but 
it had not changed her she had been the same hungry 
soul to the end, stretching out her arms to him, pleading 
with him, begging him for love and tenderness. And she 
had suffered so cruelly she had suffered, such agonies, 
such infamies ah, God, the memory of them was not to 
be borne. What a monster of wickedness, of heartlessness, 
he had been ! Every angry word that he had ever spoken 
came back to him and cut him like a knife ; every selfish 
act that he had done with what torments he paid for 
them now I And such devotion and awe as welled up in 
his soul now that it could never be spoken, now that it 
was too late, too late I His bosom was choking with it, 
bursting with it ; he crouched here in the darkness beside 
her, stretching out his arms to her and she was gone 
forever, she was dead! He could have screamed aloud 
with the horror and despair of it ; a sweat of agony beaded 
nis forehead, yet he dared not make a sound he scarcely 
dared to breathe, because of his shame and loathing of 

Late at night came Elzbieta, having gotten the money 


for a mass, and paid for it in advance, lest she should be 
tempted too sorely at home. She brought also a bib of 
stale rye-bread that some one had given her, and with that 
they quieted the children and got them to sleep. Then 
she came over to Jurgis and sat down beside him. 

She said not a word of reproach she and Marija had 
chosen that course before ; she would only plead with 
him, here by the corpse of his dead wife. Already Elz- 
bieta had choked down her tears, grief being crowded out 
of her soul by fear. She had to bury one of her children 
but then she had done it three times before, and each 
time risen up and gone back to take up the battle for the 
rest. Elzbieta was one of the primitive creatures : like the 
angleworm, which goes on living though cut in half ; like 
a hen, which, deprived of her chickens one by one, will 
mother the last that is left her. She did this because it 
was her nature she asked no questions about the justice 
of it, nor the worthwhileness of life in which destruction 
and death ran riot. 

And this old common-sense view she labored to impress 
upon Jurgis, pleading with him with tears in her eyes. 
Ona was dead, but the others were left and they must be 
saved. She did not ask for her own children. She and 
Marija could care for them somehow, but there was Anta- 
nas, his own son. Ona had given Antanas to him the 
little fellow was the only remembrance of her that he had , 
he must treasure it and protect it, he must show himself 
a man. He knew what Ona would have had him do, 
what she would ask of him at this moment, if she could 
speak to him. It was a terrible thing that she should have 
died as she had ; but the life had been too hard for her, 
and she had to go. It was terrible that they were not 
able to bury her, that he could not even have a day tdf 
mourn her but so it was. Their fate was pressing; 
they had not a cent, and the children would perish some 
money must be had. Could he not be a man for Ona'a 
sake, and pull himself together? In a little while they 
would be out of danger now that they had given np 
the house they could live more cheaply, and with all the 


children working they could get along, if only he would 
not go to pieces. So Elzbieta went on, with feverish in- 
tensity. It was a struggle for life with her ; she was not 
afraid that Jurgis would go on drinking, for he had no 
money for that, but she was wild with dread at the thought 
that he might desert them, might take to the road, as Jonas 
had done. 

But with Ona's dead body beneath his eyes, Jurgis could 
not well think of treason to his child. Yes, he said, he 
would try, for the sake of Antanas. He would give the 
little fellow his chance would get to work at once, yes, 
to-morrow, without even waiting for Ona to be buried. 
They might trust him, he would keep his word, come what 

And so he was out before daylight the next morning, 
headache, heartache, and all. He went straight to Gra- 
ham's fertilizer-mill, to see if he could get back his job. 
But the boss shook his head when he saw him no, his 
place had been filled long ago, and there was no room for 

" Do you think there will be ? " Jurgis asked. " I may 
have to wait." 

" No," said the other, " it will not be worth your while 
to wait there will be nothing for you here." 

Jurgis stood gazing at him in perplexity. " What is the 
matter ? " he asked. " Didn't I do my work ? " 

The other met his look with one of cold indifference, 
and answered, "There will be nothing for you here, I 

Jurgis had his suspicions as to the dreadful meaning of 
that incident, and he went away with a sinking at the 
heart. He went and took his stand with the mob of hun- 
gry wretches who were standing about in the snow before 
the time-station. Here he stayed, breakfastless, for two 
hours, until the throng was driven away by the clubs of 
the police. There was no work for him that day. 

Jurgis had made a good many acquaintances in his long 
services at the yards there were saloon-keepers who would 
trust him for a drink and a sandwich, and members of his 


old union who would lend him a dime at a pinch. It wa* 
not a question of life and death for him, therefore; he might 
hunt all day, and come again on the morrow, and try hang- 
ing on thus for weeks, like hundreds and thousands of 
others. Meantime, Teta Elzbieta would go and beg, over 
in the Hyde Park district, and the children would bring 
home enough to pacify Aniele, and keep them all alive. 

It was at the end of a week of this sort of waiting, 
roaming about in the bitter winds or loafing in saloons, 
that Jurgis stumbled on a chance in one of the cellars of 
Jones's big packing plant. He saw a foreman passing the 
open doorway, and hailed him for a job. 

"Push a truck?" inquired the man, and Jurgis an- 
swered, "Yes, sir!" before the words were well out of 
his mouth. 

" What's your name ? " demanded the other. 

" Jurgis Rudkus." 

" Worked in the yards before ? " 


Whereabouts ? " 

'* Two places, Brown's killing-beds and Durham's 

" Why did you leave there? " 

" The first time I had an accident, and the last time I 
was sent up for a month." 

"I see. Well, I'll give you a trial. Come early to- 
morrow and ask for Mr. Thomas." 

So Jurgis rushed home with the wild tidings that he 
had a job that the terrible siege was over. The rem- 
nants of the family had quite a celebration that night; 
and in the morning Jurgis was at the place half an hour 
before the time of opening. The foreman came in shortly 
afterward, and when he saw Jurgis he frowned. 

" Oh," he said, " I promised you a job, didn't I ? " 

" Yes, sir," said Jurgis. 

" Well. I'm sorry, but I made a mistake. I can't use 

Jurgis stared, dumfounded. "What's the matter?" he 


"Nothing," eaid the man, "only I can't use vou." 

There was the same cold, hostile stare that he had had 
from the boss of the fertilizer-mill. He knew that there 
was no use in saying a word, and he turned and went 

Out in the saloons the men could tell him all about the 
meaning of it; they gazed at him with pitying eyes 
pocr devil, he was blacklisted I What had he done ? 
they asked knocked down his boss? Good heavens, 
then he might have known I Why, he stood as much 
chance of getting a job in Packingtown as of being chosen 
mayor of Chicago. Why had he wasted his time hunt- 
ing ? They had him on a secret list in every office, big 
and little, in the place. They had his name by this time 
in St. Louis and New York, in Omaha and Boston, in 
Kansas City and St. Joseph. He was condemned and 
sentenced, without trial and without appeal ; he could 
never work for the packers again he could not even 
clean cattle-pens or drive a truck in any place where they 
controlled. He might try it, if he chose, as hundreds had 
tried it, and found out for themselves. He would never 
be told anything about it ; he would never get any more 
satisfaction than he had gotten just now ; but he would 
always find when the time came that he was not needed. 
It would not do for him to give any other name, either 
they had company " spotters " for just that purpose, and 
he wouldn't keep a job in Packingtown three days. It 
was worth a fortune to the packers to keep their black- 
list effective, as a warning to the men and a means of 
keeping down union agitation and political discontent. 
. Jurgis went home, carrying these new tidings to the 
family council. It was a most cruel thing ; here ro this 1 
district was his home, such as it was, the place he was used 
to and the friends he knew and now every possibility of 
employment in it was closed to him. There was nothing 
in Packingtown but packing-houses ; and so it was the 
same thing as evicting him from his home. 

He and the two women spent all day and half the night 
discussing it. It would be convenient, down-town, to the 


children's place of work; but then Marija wag on the 
road to recovery, and had hope* of getting a job in 
the yards ; and tnough she did not gee her old-time lover 
once a month, because of the misery of their state, yet she 
could not make up her mind to go'away and give him up 
forever. Then, too, Elzbieta had heard something about 
a chance to scrub floors in Durham's offices, and was 
waiting every day for word. In the end it was decided 
that Jurgis should go down-town to strike out for himself, 
and they would decide after he got a job. As there was 
no one from whom he could borrow there, and he dared 
not beg for fear of being arrested, it was arranged that 
every day he should meet one of the children and oe given 
fifteen cents of their earnings, upon which he could keep 
going. Then all day he was to pace the streets with 
hundreds and thousands of other homeless wretches, inquir- 
ing at stores, warehouses, and factories for a chance ; and 
at night he was to crawl into some doorway or underneath 
a truck, and hide there until midnight, when he might get 
into one of the station-houses, and spread a newspaper 
upon the floor^ and lie down in the midst of a throng of 
44 bums " and beggars, reeking with alcohol and tobacco, 
and filthy with vermin and disease. 

So for two weeks more Jurgis fought with the demon 
of despair. Once he got a chance to load a truck for half 
a day, and again he carried an old woman's valise and was 
given a quarter. This let him into a lodging-house on 
several nights when he might otherwise have frozen to 
death ; and it also gave him a chance now and then to 
buy a newspaper in the morning and hunt up jobs while 
his rivals were watching and waiting for a paper to be 
thrown away. This, however, was really n'-t the advan- 
tage it seemed, for the newspaper advertisements were a 
cause of much loss of precious time and of many weary 
journeys A full half of these were " fakes," put in by 
the endless variety of establishments which preyed upon 
the helpless ignorance of the unemployed. If Jurgis lost 
only his time, it was because he had nothing else to lose , 


whenever a smooth-tongued agent would tell him of the 

wonderful positions he had on hand, he could only shake 
his head sorrowfully and say that he had not the necessary 
dollar to deposit ; when it was explained to him what 
" big money " he and all his family could make by color- 
ing photographs, he could only promise to come in again 
when he had two dollars to invest in the outfit. 

In the end Jurgis got a chance through an accidental 
meeting 1 with an old-time acquaintance of his union days. 
He met this man on his way to work in the giant factories 
of the Harvester Trust ; and his friend told him to come 
along and he would speak a good word for him to hia 
boss, whom he knew well. So Jurgis trudged four or five 
miles, and passed through a waiting throng of unemployed 
at the gate under the escort of his friend. His knees 
nearly gave way beneath him when the foreman, after 
looking him over and questioning him, told him that he 
could find an opening for him. 

How much this accident meant to Jurgis he realized 
only by stages ; for he found that the harvester- works 
were the sort of place to which philanthropists and 
reformers pointed with pride. It had some thought for 
its employees ; its workshops were big and roomy, it pro- 
vided a restaurant where the workmen could buy good 
food at cost, it had even a reading-room, and decent places 
where its girl-hands could rest ; also the work was free 
from many of the elements of filth and repulsiveness that 
prevailed at the stockyards. Day after day Jurgis dis- 
covered these things things never expected nor dreamed 
of by him until this new place came to seem a kind of a 
heaven to him. 

It was an enormous establishment, covering a hundred 
and sixty acres of ground, employing five thousand people, 
and turning out over three hundred thousand machines 
every year a good part of all the harvesting and mow- 
ing machines used in the country. Jurgis saw very little 
of it, of course it was all specialized work, the same as 
at the stockyards ; each one of the hundreds of parts of 
a mowing-machine was made separately, and sometimes 


bandied by hundreds of men. Where Jurgis worked there 
was a machine which cut and stamped a certain piece ot 
steel about two square inches in size; the pieces came 
tumbling out upon a tray, and all that human hands had 
to do was to pile them in regular rows, and change the 
trays at intervals. This was done by a single boy, who 
stood with eyes and thought centred upon it, and fingers 
flying so fast that the sounds of the bits of steel striking 
upon each other was like the music of an express train as 
one hears it in a sleeping-car at night. This was " piece- 
work," of course ; and besides it was made certain that 
the boy did not idle, by setting the machine to match the 
highest possible speed of human hands. Thirty thousand 
of these pieces he handled every day, nine or ten mil- 
lions every year how many in a lifetime it rested with 
the gods to say. Near by him men sat bending over whirl- 
ing grindstones, putting the finishing touches to the steel 
knives of the reaper ; picking them out of a basket with 
the right hand, pressing first one side and then the other 
against the stone and finally dropping them with the left 
hand into another basket. One of these men told Jurgis 
that he had sharpened three thousand pieces of steel a day 
for thirteen years. In the next room were wonderful ma- 
chines that ate up long steel rods by slow stages, cutting 
them off, seizing the pieces, stamping heads upon them, 
grinding them and polishing them, threading them, and 
finally dropping them into a basket, all ready to bolt the 
harvesters together. From yet another machine came 
tens of thousands of steel burs to fit upon these bolts. 
In other places all these various parts were dipped into 
troughs of paint and hung up to dry, and then slid along 
on trolleys to a room where men streaked them with red 
and yellow, so that they might look cheerful in the har- 

Jurgis's friend worked upstairs in the casting-rooms, 
and his task was to make the moulds of a certain part. 
He shovelled black sand into an iron receptacle and 
pounded it tight and set it aside to harden ; then it would 
be taken out, and molten iron poured into it. This man, 


too, was paid by the mould or rather for perfect cast 
ings, nearly half his work going for naught. You might 
see him, along with, dozens of others, toiling like one pos- 
sessed by a whole community of demons ; his arms work- 
ing like the driving rods of an engine, his long, black hair 
flying wild, his eyes starting out, the sweat rolling in 
rivers down his face. When he had shovelled the mould 
full of sand, and reached for the pounder to pound it with, 
it was after the manner of a canoeist running rapids and 
seizing a pole at sight of a submerged rock. All day long 
this man would toil thus, his whole being centred upon 
the purpose of making twenty-three instead of twenty- 
two and a half cents an hour; and then his product 
would be reckoned up by the census-taker, and jubilant 
captains of industry would boast of it in their banquet- 
halls, telling how our workers are nearly twice as efficient 
as those of any other country. If we are the greatest 
nation the sun ever shone upon, it would seem to be 
mainly because we have been able to goad our wage- 
earners to this pitch of frenzy; though there are a few 
other things that are great among us, including our drink- 
bill, which is a billion and a quarter of dollars a year, and 
doubling itself every decade. 

There was a machine which stamped out the iron plates, 
and then another which, with a mighty thud, mashed them 
to the shape of the sitting-down portion of the American 
farmer. Then they were piled upon a truck, and it was 
Jurgis's task to wheel them to the room where the 
machines were "assembled." This was child's play for 
him, and he got a dollar and seventy rive cents a day for 
it ; on Saturday he paid Aniele the seventy-five cents a 
week he owed her for the use of h^r garret, and also re- 
deemed his overcoat, which Mzbieta h*4 put in pawn 
when he was in jail. 

This last was a great blessing. A man cannot go about 
in midwinter in Chicago with no overcoat and not pay 
for it, and Jurgis had to walk or ride five or ix miles 
back and forth to his work. It BO happened that half 


of this was in one direction and half in another, neces- 
sitating a change of cars ; the law required that transfers 
be given at all intersecting points, but the railway corpo- 
ration had gotten round this by arranging a pretence at 
separate ownership. So whenever he wished to ride, he 
had to pay ten cents each way, or over ten pei cent of his 
income to this power, which had gotten its franchises long 
ago by buying up the city council, in the face of popular 
clamor amounting almost to a rebellion. Tired as he 
felt at night, and dark and bitter cold as it wus in the 
morning, Jurgis generally chose to walk; at the hours 
other workmen were travelling, the street-car monopoly 
saw fit to put on so few cars that there would be men 
hanging to every foot of the backs of them and often 
crouching upon the snow-covered roof. Of course the 
doors could never be closed, and so the cars were as cold 
as outdoors; Jurgis, like many others, found it better to 
spend his fare for a drink and a free lunch, to give him 
strength to walk. 

These, however, were all slight matters to a man who 
had escaped from Durham's fertilizer-mill. Jurgis be- 
gan to pick up heart again and to make plans. He had 
lost his house, but then the awful load of the rent and 
interest was off his shoulders, and when Marija was well 
again they could start over and save. In the shop where 
he worked was a man, a Lithuanian like himself, whom 
the others spoke of in admiring whispers, because of the 
mighty feats he was performing. All day he sat at a 
machine turning bolts ; and then in the evening he went 
to the public school to study English and learn to read. 
In addition, because he had a family of eight children to 
support and his earnings were not enough, on Saturdays 
and Sundays he served as a watchman ; he was required 
to press two buttons at opposite ends of a building every 
five minutes, and as the walk only took him two minutes, 
he had three minutes to study between each trip. Jurgis 
felt jealous of this fellow ; for that was the sort of thing 
he himself had dreamed of, two or three years ago. He 
might do it even yet, if he had a fair chance he might 


attract attention and become a skilled man or a boss, as 
some had done in this place. Suppose that Marija could 
get a job in the big mill where they made binder-twine - 
then they would move into this 'neighborhood, and he 
would really have a chance. With a hope like that, 
there was some use in living; to find a place where you 
were treated like a human being by God ! he would 
show them how he could appreciate it. He laughed to 
himself as he thought how he would hang on to this 

And then one afternoon, the ninth of his work in the 
place, when he went to get his overcoat he saw a group 
of men crowded before a placard on the door, and when 
he went over and asked what it was, they told him that 
beginning with the morrow his department of the harvester 
'**rk would be closed until further notice I 


THAT was the way they did it! There was not half an 
nour's warning the works were closed! It had. hap- 
pened that way before, said the men, and it would happen 
that way forever. They had made all the harvesting-ma- 
chines that the world needed, and now they had to wait 
till some wore out! It was nobody's fault that was the 
way of it; and thousands of men and women were turned 
out in the dead of winter, to live upon their savings if they 
had any, and otherwise to die. So many tens of thousands 
already in the city, homeless and begging for work, and 
now several thousand more added to them I 

Jurgis walked home with his pittance of pay in his 
pocket, heartbroken, overwhelmed. One more bandage 
had been torn from his eyes, one more pitfall was revealed 
to him! Of what help was kindness and decency on the 
part of employers when they could not keep a job for 
him, when there were more harvesting-machines made 
than the world was able to buy ! What a hellish mockery 
it was, anyway, that a man should slave to make harvest- 
ing-machines for the country, only to be turned out to 
starve for doing his duty too well ! 

It took him two days to get over this heart-sickening 
disappointment. He did not drink anything, because 
Elzbieta got his money for safekeeping, and knew him too 
well to be in the least frightened by his angry demands. 
He stayed up in the garret, however, and sulked what 
was the use of a man's hunting a job when it was taken 
from him before he had time to learn the work? But 
then their money was going again, and little Antanas was 
hungry, and crying with the bitter cold of the garret. 



Also Madame Haupt, the midwife, was after him for some 
money. So he went out once more. 

For another ten days he roamed the streets and alleys 
of the huge city, sick and hungry, begging for any work. 
He tried in stores and offices, in restaurants and hotels, 
along the docks and in the railroad-yards, in warehouses 
and mills and factories where they made products that 
went to every corner of the world. There were often 
one or two chances but there were always a hundred 
men for every chance, and his turn would not come. At 
night he crept into sheds and cellars and doorways until 
there came a spell of belated winter weather, with a raging 
gale, and the thermometer five degrees below zero at sun- 
down and falling all night. Then Jurgis fought like 
a wild beast to get into the big Harrison Street police-sta- 
tion, and slept down in a corridor, crowded with two other 
men upon a single step. 

He had to fight often in these days to fight for a place 
near the factory gates, and now and again with gangs on 
the street. He found, for instance, that the business of 
carrying satchels for railroad-passengers was a preempted 
one whenever he essayed it, eight or ten men and boys 
would fall upon him and force him to run for his life 
They always had the policeman " squared," and so there 
was no use in expecting protection. 

That Jurgis did not starve to death was due solely to 
the pittance the children brought him. And even this was 
never certain. For one thing the cold was almost more 
than the children could bear ; and then they, too, were in 
perpetual peril from rivals who plundered and beat them. 
The law was against them, too little Vilimas, who was 
really eleven, but did not look to be eight, was stopped on 
the streets by a severe old lady in spectacles, who told him 
that he was too young to be working and that if he did 
not stop selling papers she would send a truant-officer after 
him. Also one night a strange man caught little Kotrina 
by the arm and tried to persuade her into a dark cellar- 
way, an experience which filled her with such terror that 
she was hardly to be kept at work. 


At last, on a Sunday, as there was no use looking ror 
work, Jurgis went home by stealing rides on the cars, 
He found that they had been waiting for him for three 
days there was a chance of a job for him. 

It was quite a story. Little Jnozapas, who was near 
crazy with hunger these days, had gone out on the street 
to beg for himself. Juozapas had only one leg, having 
been run over by a wagon when a little child, but he had 
got himself a broomstick, which he put under his arm for a 
crutch. He had fallen in with some other children and 
found the way to Mike Scully's dump, which lay three 
or four blocks away. To this place there came every day 
many hundreds of wagon-loads of garbage and trash from 
the lake-front, where the rich people lived; and in the 
heaps the children raked for food there were hunks of 
bread and potato peelings and apple-cores and meat- 
bones, all of it half frozen and quite unspoiled. Little 
Juozapas gorged himself, and came home with a newspaper 
full, which he was feeding to Antanas when his mother 
came in. Elzbieta was horrified, for she did not believe 
that the food out of the dumps was fit to eat. The next 
day, however, when no harm came of it and Juozapas be- 
gan to cry with hunger, she gave in and said that he might 
go again. And that afternoon he came home with a story 
of how while he had been digging away with a stick, a 
lady upon the street had called him. A real fine lady, the 
little boy explained, a beautiful lady; and she wanted to 
know all about him, and whether he got the garbage for 
chickens, and why he v r alked with a broomstick, and why 
Ona had died, and how Jurgis had come to go to jail, and 
what was the matter with Marija, and everything. In 
the end she had asked where he lived, and said that she 
was coming to see him, and bring him a new crutch to 
walk with. She had on a hat with a bird upon it, 
Juozapas added, and a long fur snake around her neck. 

She really came, the very next morning, and climbed the 
ladder to the garret, and stood and stared about her, turn- 
ing pale at the sight of the blood stains on the floor where 
Ona had died. She was a " settlement-worker," she ex 


plained to Elzbieta she lived around on Ashland Ayenue. 
Elzbieta knew the place, over a feed-store; somebody had 
wanted her to go there, but she had not cared to, for she 
thought that it must have something to do with religion, 
and the priest did not like her to have anything to do with 
strange religions. They were rich people who came to 
live there to find out about the poor people; but what 
good they expected it would do them to know, one could 
not imagine. So spoke Elzbieta, naively, and the young 
lady laughed and was rather at a loss for an answer she 
stood and gazed about her, and thought of a cynical 
remark that had been made to her, that she was standing 
upon the brink of the pit of hell and throwing in snow- 
balls to lower the temperature. 

Elzbieta was glad to have somebody to listen, and she 
told all their woes, what had happened to Ona, and the 
jail, and the loss of their home, and Marija's accident, and 
how Ona had died, and how Jurgis could get no work. 
As she listened the pretty young lady's eyes filled with 
tears, and in the midst of it she burst into weeping and 
hid her face on Elzbieta's shoulder, quite regardless of the 
fact that the woman had on a dirty old wrapper and that 
the garret was full of fleas. Poor Elzbieta was ashamed 
of herself for having told so woful a tale, and the other 
had to beg and plead with her to get her to go on. The 
end of it was that the young lady sent them a basket of 
things to eat, and left a letter that Jurgis was to take to a 
gentleman who was superintendent in one of the mills of 
the great steel- works in South Chicago. " He will get 
Jurgis something to do," the young lady had said, and 
added, smiling through her tears " If he doesn't, he will 
never marry me." 

The steel- works were fifteen miles away, and as usual it 
was so contrived that one had to pay two fares to get there, 
Far and wide the sky was flaring with the red glare that 
leaped from rows of towering chimneys for it was pitch 
dark when Jurgis arrived. The vast works, a city in 
themselves, were surrounded by a stockade ; and already 


a full hundred men were waiting at the gate where new 
hands were taken on. Soon after daybreak whistles began 
to blow, and then suddenly thousands of men appeared, 
streaming from saloons and boarding-houses across the 
way, leaping from trolley-cars that passed it seemed as 
if they rose out of the ground, in the dim gray light. A 
river of them poured in through the gate and then 
gradually ebbed away again, until there were only a few 
late ones running, and the watchman pacing up and down, 
and the hungry strangers stamping and shivering. 

Jurgis presented his precious letter. The gatekeeper 
was surly, and put him through a catechism, but he in- 
sisted that he knew nothing, and as he had taken the 
precaution to seal his letter, there was nothing for the 
gatekeeper to do but send it to the person to whom it was 
addressed. A messenger came back to say that Jurgis 
should wait, and so he came inside of the gate, perhaps 
not sorry enough that there were others less fortunate 
watching him with greedy eyes. 

The great mills were getting under way one could 
near a vast stirring, a rolling and rumbling and hammer- 
ing. Little by little the scene grew plain: towering, 
black buildings here and there, long rows of shops and 
sheds, little railways branching everywhere, bare gray 
cinders under foot and oceans of billowing black smoke 
above. On one side of the grounds ran a railroad with a 
dozen tracks, and on the other side lay the lake, where 
steamers came to load. 

Jurgis had time enough to stare and speculate, for it 
was two hours before he was summoned. He went into 
the office-building, where a company time-keeper inter- 
viewed him. The superintendent was busy, he said, but 
he (the time-keeper} would try to find Jurgis a job. He 
had never worked in a steel-mill before? But he was 
ready for anything ? Well, then, they would go and see. 

So they began a tour, among sights that made Jurgis 
stare amazed. He wondered if ever he could get used to 
working in a place like this, where the air shook with 
deafening thunder, and whistles shrieked warnings on all 


sides of him at once ; where miniature steam-engines came 
rushing upon him, and sizzling, quivering, white-hot 
masses of metal sped past him, and explosions of fire and 
flaming sparks dazzled him and scorched his face. The 
men in these mills were all black with soot, and hollow- 
eyed and gaunt ; they w jrked with fierce intensity, rush- 
ing here and there, and never lifting their eyes from 
their tasks. Jurgis clung to his guide like a scared child 
to its nurse, and while the latter hailed one foreman after 
another to ask if they could use another unskilled man, 
he stared about him and marvelled. 

He was taken to the Bessemer furnace, where they 
made billets of steel a dome-like building the size of a 
big theatre. Jurgis stood where the balcony of the theatre 
would have been, and opposite, by the stage, he saw three 
giant caldrons, big enough for all the devils of hell to 
brew their broth in, full of something white and blinding, 
bubbling and splashing, roaring as if volcanoes were blow- 
ing through it one had to shout to be heard in the place. 
Liquid fire would leap from these caldrons and scatter 
like bombs below and men were working there, seem- 
ing careless, so that Jurgis caught his breath with fright. 
Then a whistle would toot, and across the curtain of the 
theatre would come a little engine with a car-load of some- 
thing to be dumped into one of the receptacles ; and then 
another whistle would toot, down by the stage, and an- 
other train would back up and suddenly, without an 
instant's warning, one of the giant kettles began to tilt 
and topple, flinging out a jet of hissing, roaring flame. 
Jurgis shrank back appalled, for he thought it was an 
accident ; there fell a pillar of white flame, dazzling as the 
sun, swishing like a huge tree falling in the forest. A 
torrent of sparks swept all the way across the building, 
overwhelming everything, hiding it from sight ; and then 
Jurgis looked through the fingers of his hands, and saw 
pouring out of the caldron a cascade of living, leaping fire, 
white with a whiteness not of earth, scorching the eyeballs- 
Incandescent rainbows shone above it, blue, red, and golden 
lights played about it ; but the stream itself wai white 


ineffable. Out of regions of wonder it streamed, the very 
river of life ; and the soul leaped up at the sight of it, 
fled back upon it, swift and resistless, back into far-off 
lands, where beauty and terror dwell. Then the great 
caldron tilted back again, empty, and Jurgis saw to his 
relief that no one was hurt, and turned and followed his 
guide out into the sunlight. 

They went through the blast-furnaces, through rolling- 
mills where bars of steel were tossed about and chopped 
like bits of cheese. All around and above giant machine- 
arms were flying, giant wheels were turning, giant ham- 
mers crashing; travelling cranes creaked and groaned 
overhead, reaching down iron hands and seizing iron prey 
it was like standing in the centre of the earth, where 
the machinery of time was revolving. 

By and by they came to the place where steel rails were 
made ; and Jurgis heard a toot behind him, and jumped 
out of the way of a car with a white-hot ingot upon it, 
the size of a man's body. There was a sudden crash and 
the car came to a halt, and the ingot toppled out upon a 
moving platform, where steel fingers and arms seized hold 
of it, punching it and prodding it into place, and hurrying 
it into the grip of huge rollers. Then it came out upon 
the other side, and there were more crashings and clatter- 
ings, and over it was flopped, like b pancake on a gridiron, 
and seized again and rushed back at you through another 
squeezer. So amid deafening uproar it clattered to and 
fro, growing thinner and flatter and longer. The ingot 
seemed almost a living thing ; it did not want to run this 
mad course, but it was in the grip of fate, it was tumbled 
on, screeching and clanking and shivering in protest. By 
and by it was long and thin, a great red snake escaped 
from purgatory ; and then, as it slid through the rollers, 
you would have sworn that it was alive it writhed and 
squirmed, and wriggles and shudders passed out through 
its tail, all but flinging it off by their violence. There 
was no rest for it until it was cold and black and then 
it needed only to be cut and straightened to be ready for 
a railroad. 


It was at the end of this rail's progress that Jurgis got 
his chance. They had to be moved by men with crowbars, 
and the boss here could use another man. So he took off 
his coat and set to work on the spot. 

It took him two hours to get to this place every day 
and cost him a dollar and twenty cents a week. As this 
was out of the question, he wrapped his bedding in a 
bundle and took it with him, and one of his fellow- work- 
ing-men introduced him to a Polish lodging-house, where 
he might have the privilege of sleeping upon the floor for 
ten cents a night. He got his meals at free-lunch counters, 
and every Saturday night he went home bedding and 
all and took the greater part of his money to the family. 
Elzbieta was sorry for this arrangement, for she feared 
that it would get him into the habit of living without 
them, and once a week was not very often for him to see 
his baby; but there was no other way of arranging it. 
There was no chance for a woman at the steel-works, and 
Marija was now ready for work again, and lured on from 
day to day by the hope of finding it at the yards. 

In a week Jurgis got over his sense of helplessness and 
bewilderment in the rail-mill. He learned to find his wav 
about and to take all the miracles and terrors for granted, 
to work without hearing the rumbling and crashing. From 
blind fear he went to the other extreme ; he became reck- 
less and indifferent, like all the rest of the men, who took 
but little thought of themselves in the ardor of their work. 
It was wonderful, when one came to think of it, that these 
men should have taken an interest in the work they did ; 
they had no share in it they were paid by the hour, and 
paid no more for being interested. Also they knew that 
if they were hurt they would be flung aside and forgotten 
and still they would hurry to their task by dangerous 
short-cuts, would use methods that were quicker and more 
effective in spite of the fact that they were also risky. 
His fourth day at his work Jurgis saw a man stumble while 
running in front of a car, and have his foot mashed off ; 
and before he had been there three weeks he was witness 


of a yet more dreadful accident. There was a row of 

brick-furnaces, shining white through every crack with 
the molten steel inside. Some of these were bulging dan- 
gerously, yet men worked before them, wearing blue 
glasses when they opened and shut the doors. One morn- 
ing as Jurgis was passing, a furnace blew out, spraying 
two men with a shower of liquid fire. As they lay scream- 
ing and rolling upon the ground in agony, Jurgis rushed 
to help them, and as a result he lost a good part of the 
skin from the inside of one of his hands. The company 
doctor bandaged it up, but he got no other thanks from 
any one, and was laid up for eight working days without 
any pay. 

Most fortunately, at this juncture, Elzbieta got the 
long-awaited chance to go at five o'clock in the morning 
and help scrub the office-floors of one of the packers. 
Jurgis came home and covered himself with blankets to 
keep warm, and divided his time between sleeping and 
playing with little Antanas. Juozapas was away raking 
in the dump a good part of the time, and Elzbieta and 
Marija were hunting for more work. 

Antanas was now over a year and a half old, and was a 
perfect talking-machine. He learned so fast that every 
week when Jurgis came home it seemed to him as if 
he had a new child. He would sit down and listen and 
stare at him, and give vent to delighted exclamations, 
"Palauk! Muma! Tu mano szirdele ! " The little fellow 
was now really the one delight that Jurgis had in the 
world his one hope, his one victory. Thank God, An- 
tanas was a boy ! And he was as tough as a pine-knot, 
and with the appetite of a wolf. Nothing had hurt him, 
and nothing could hurt him ; he had come through all 
the suffering and deprivation unscathed only shriller 
voiced and more determined in his grip upon life. He 
was a terrible child to manage, was Antanas, but his 
father did not mind that he would watch him and smile 
to himself with satisfaction. The more of a fighter he 
was the better he would need to fight before be got 


Jurgis had got the habit of buying the Sunday paper 
whenever he had the money ; a most wonderful paper 
could be had for only five cents, a whole armful, with all 
the news of the world set forth in big headlines, that 
Jurgis could spell out slowly, with the children to help 
him at the long words. There was battle and murder 
and sudden death - it was marvellous how they ever heard 
about so many entertaining and thrilling happenings ; the 
stories must be all true, for surely no man could have made 
such things up, and besides, there were pictures of them 
all, as real as life. One of these papers was as good as a 
circus, and nearly as good as a spree certainly a most 
wonderful treat for a working-man, who was tired out and 
stupefied, and had never had any education, and whose 
work was one dull, sordid grind, day after day, and year 
after year, with never a sight of a green field nor an hour's 
entertainment, nor anything but liquor to stimulate his 
imagination. Among other things, these papers had pages 
full of comical pictures, and these were the main joy in 
life to little Antanas. He treasured them up, and would 
drag them out and make his father tell him about them ; 
there were all sorts of animals among them, and Antanas 
could tell the names of all of them, lying upon the floor for 
hours and pointing them out with his chubby little fingers. 
Whenever the story was plain enough for Jurgis to make 
out, Antanas would have it repeated to him, and then he 
would remember it, prattling funny little sentences and 
mixing it up with other stories in an irresistible fashion. 
Also his quaint pronunciation of words was such a delight 
and the phrases he would pick up and remember, the 
most outlandish and impossible things ! The first time 
that the little rascal burst out with " God-damn," his 
father nearly rolled off the chair with glee ; but in the 
end he was sorry for this, for Antanas was soon " God- 
damning " everything and everybody. 

And then, when he was able to use his hands, Jurgif 
took his bedding again and went back to his task of shift- 
ing rails. It was now April, and the snow had givec 


place to cold rains, and the unpaved street in front of 
Aniele's house was turned into a canal. Jurgis would 
have to wade through it to get home, and if it \vas late 
he might easily get stuck to his waist in the mire. But he 
did not mind this much it was a promise that summer 
was coming. Marija had now gotten a place as beef- 
trimmer in one of the smaller packing-plants ; and he told 
himself that he had learned his lesson now, and would meet 
with no more accidents so that at last there was pros- 
pect of an end to their long agony. They could save 
money again, and when another winter came they would 
have a comfortable place ; and the children would be off 
the streets and in school again, and they might set to work 
to nurse back into life their habits of decency and kind- 
ness. So once more Jurgis began to make plans and 
dream dreams. 

And then one Saturday night he jumped off the car 
and started home, with the sun shining low under the 
edge of a bank of clouds that had been pouring floods of 
water into the mud-soaked street. There was a rainbow 
in the sky, and another in his breast for he had thirty- 
six hours' rest before him, and a chance to see his family. 
Then suddenly he came in sight of the house, and noticed 
that there was a crowd before the door. He ran up the 
steps and pushed his way in, and saw Aniele's kitchen 
crowded with excited women. It reminded him so vividly 
of the time when he had come home from jail and found 
Ona dying, that his heart almost stood still. "What's 
the matter? " he cried. 

A dead silence had fallen in the room, and he saw that 
every one was staring at him. " What's the matter? " he 
exclaimed again. 

And then, up in the garret, he heard sounds of wailing, 
in Marija's voice. He started for the ladder and Aniele 
seized him by the arm. "No, nol" she exclaimed. 
"Don't go up there!" 

" What is it? " he shouted. 

And the old woman answered him weakly : '* It's An- 
tanas. He's dead. He was drowned out in the street I * 


JURGIS took the news in a peculiar way. He turned 
deadly pale, but he caught himself, and for half a minute 
stood in the middle of the room, clenching his hands tightly 
and setting his teeth. Then he pushed Aniele aside and 
strode into the next room and climbed the ladder. 

In the corner was a blanket, with a form half showing 
beneath it ; and beside it lay Elzbieta, whether crying or 
in a faint, Jurgis could not tell. Marija was pacing the 
room, screaming and wringing her hands. He clenched 
his hands tighter yet, and his voice was hard as he spoke. 

" How did it happen? " he asked. 

Marija scarcely heard him in her agony. He repeated 
the question, louder and yet more harshly. " He fell off the 
sidewalk I " she wailed. The sidewalk in front of the 
house was a platform made of half-rotten boards, about 
five feet above the level of the sunken street. 

" How did he come to be there? " he demanded. 

" He went he went out to play," Marija sobbed, her 
voice choking her. " We couldn't make him stay in. He 
must have got caught in the mud 1 " 

"Are you sure that he is dead?" he demanded. 

" Ai I 'ai I " she wailed. " Yes ; we had the doctor." 

Then Jurgis stood a few seconds, wavering. He did 
not shed a tear. He took one glance more at the blanket 
with the little form beneath it, and then turned suddenly 
to the ladder and climbed down again. A silence fell 
once more in the room as he entered. He went straight 
to the door, passed out, and started down the street. 

(Vhen his wife had died, Jurgis made for the nearest 
saloon, but lie did not do that now, though he had his 


week's wages in his pocket. He walked and walked, see- 
ing nothing, splashing through mud and water. Later on 
he sat down upon a step and hid his face in his hands and 
for half an hour or so he did not move. Now and then he 
would whisper to himself: " Dead ! Dead! " 

Finally, he got up and walked on again. It was about 
sunset, and he went on and on until it was dark, when he 
was stopped by a railroad-crossing. The gates were down, 
and a long train of freight-cars was thundering by. He 
stood and watched it ; and all at once a wild impulse seized 
him, a thought that had been lurking within him, un- 
spoken, unrecognized, leaped into sudden life. He started 
down the track, and when he was past the gate-keeper's 
shanty he sprang forward and swung himself on to one of 
the cars. 

By and by the train stopped again, and Jurgis sprang 
down and ran under the car, and hid himself upon the 
truck. Here he sat, and when the train started again, he 
fought a battle with his soul. He gripped his hands and 
set his teeth together he had not wept, and he would 
not not a tear! It was past and over, and he was 
done with it he would fling it off his shoulders, be free 
of it, the whole business, that night. It should go like a 
black, hateful nightmare, and in the morning he would be 
a new man. And every time that a thought of it assailed 
him a tender memory, a ' "ace of a tear he rose up, 
cursing with rage, and poi. ided it down. 

He was fighting for his life ; he gnashed his teeth 
together in his desperation. He had been a fool, a fool I 
He had wasted his life, he had wrecked himself, with his 
accursed weakness; and now he was done with it he 
would tear it out of him, root and branch 1 There should 
be no more tears and no more tenderness ; he had had 
enough of them they had sold him into slavery 1 Now 
he was going to be free, to tear off his shackles, to rise up 
and fight. He was glad that the end had come it had 
to come some time, and it was just as well now. This was 
no world for women and children, and the sooner they got 
out of it the better for them. Whatever Antanas might 


suffer where he was, he could suffer no more than ha 
would have had he stayed upon earth. And meantime 
his father had thought the last thought about him that 
he meant to ; he was going to think of himself, he was 
going to fight for himself, against the world that had baffled 
him and tortured him. ! 

So he went on, tearing up all the flowers from the gar- 
den of his soul, and setting his heel upon them. The train 
thundered deafeningly, and a storm of dust blew in his 
face ; but though it stopped now and then through the 
night, he clung where he was he would cling there until 
he was driven off, for every mile that he got from Pack- 
ingtown meant another load from his mind. 

Whenever the cars stopped a warm breeze blew upon 
him, a breeze laden with the perfume of fresh fields, ot 
honeysuckle and clover. He snuffed it, and it made his 
heart beat wildly he was out in the country again 1 He 
was going to live in the country I When the dawn came 
he was peering out with hungry eyes, getting glimpses of 
meadows and woods and rivers. At last he could stand it 
no longer, and when the train stopped again he crawled 
out. Upon the top of the car was a brakeman, who shook 
his fist and swore ; Jurgis waved his hand derisively, and 
started across the country. 

Only think that he had been a countryman all his life , 
and for three long years he had never seen a country sight 
nor heard a country sound I Excepting for that one walk 
when he left jail, when he was too much worried to notice 
anything, and for a few times that he had rested in the 
city parks in the winter time when he was out of work, 
he had literally never seen a tree I And now he felt like 
a bird lifted up and borne away upon a gale ; he stopped and 
stared at each new sight of wonder, at a herd of cows, 
and a meadow full of daisies, at hedgerows set thick with 
June roses, at little birds singing in the trees. 

Then he came to a farm-house, and after getting himself 
a stick for protection, he approached it. The farmer was 
greasing a wagon in front of the barn, and Jurgis went 
to him. "I would like to get some breakfast, please,'* 
he said. 


" Do you want to work? " said the farmer. 

"No," said Jurgis, "I don't." 

" Then you can't get anything here," snapped the 

44 1 meant to pay for it," said Jurgis. 
' Oh," said the farmer ; and then added sarcastically, 
' We don't serve breakfast after 7 A.M." 

" I am very hungry," said Jurgis, gravely ; " I would 
like to buy some food." 

"Ask the woman," said the farmer, nodding over his 
shoulder. The " woman " was more tractable, and for a 
dime Jurgis secured two thick sandwiches and a piece of 
pie and two apples. He walked off eating the pie, as the 
least convenient thing to carry. In a few minutes he 
came to a stream, and he climbed a fence and walked 
down the bank, along a woodland path. By and by he 
found a comfortable spot, and there he devoured his meal, 
slaking his thirst at the stream. Then he lay for hours, 
just gazing and drinking in joy; until at last he felt 
sleepy, and lay down in the shade of a bush. 

When he awoke the sun was shining hot in his face. 
He sat up and stretched his arms, and then gazed at the 
water sliding by. There was a deep pool, sheltered and 
silent, below him, and a sudden wonderful idea rushed 
upon him. He might have a bath I The water was free, 
and he might get into it all the way into it I It would 
be the first time that he had been all the way into the water 
since he left Lithuania I 

When Jurgis had first come to the stockyards he had 
been as clean as any working-man could well be. But 
later on, what with sickness and cold and hunger and 
discouragement, and the filthiness of his work, and the 
vermin in his home, he had given up washing in winter, 
and in summer only as much of him as would go into a 
basin. He had had a shower-bath in jail, but nothing 
since and now he would have a swim I 

The water was warm, and he splashed about like a very 
boy in his glee. Afterward he sat down in the water near 
che bank, and proceeded to scrub himself soberly and 


methodically, scouring every inch of him with sand. 

While he was doing it he would do it thoroughly, and see 
how it felt to be clean. He even scrubbed his head with 
sand, and combed what the men called " crumbs " out of 
his long, black hair, holding his head under water as long 
as he could, to see if he could not kill them all. Then, 
seeing that the sun was still hot, he took his clothes from 
the bank and proceeded to wash them, piece by piece ; as 
the dirt and grease went floating off down-stream he 
grunted with satisfaction and soused the clothes again, 
venturing even to dream that he might get rid of the 

He hung them all up, and while they were drying he 
lay down in the sun and had another long sleep. They 
were hot and stiff as boards on top, and a little damp on 
the under-side, when he awakened ; but being hungry, he 
put them on and set out again. He had no knife, but 
with some labor he broke himself a good stout club, and, 
armed with this, he marched down the road again. 

Before long he came to a big farm-house, and turned up 
the lane that led to it. It was just supper-time, and the 
farmer was washing his hands at the kitchen-door. 
" Please, sir," said Jurgis, " can I have something to eat ? 
I can pay." To which the farmer responded promptly, 
" We don't feed tramps here. Get outl " 

Jurgis went without a word ; but as he passed round 
the barn he came to a freshly ploughed and harrowed field, 
in which the farmer had set out some young peach-trees i 
and as he walked he jerked up a row of them by the roots, 
more than a hundred trees in all, before he reached the 
end of the field. That was his answer, and it showed his 
mood ; from now on he was fighting, and the man who hit 
him would get all that he gave, every time. 

Beyond the orchard Jurgis struck through a patch of 
woods, and then a field of winter-grain, and came at last 
to another road. Before long he saw another farm-house, 
and, as it was beginning to cloud over a little, he asked 
here for shelter as well as food. Seeing the farmer eying 
him dubiously, he added, " I'll be glad to sleep in the barn." 


* Well, I dtrano," said the other. * Do you smoke ? " 

"Sometimes," said Jurgis, "but I'll do it out of 
doors." When the man had assented, he inquired, 
"How much will it cost me? 1 haven't very much 

" I reckon about twenty cents for supper," replied the 
farmer. " I won't charge ye for the barn." 

So Jurgis went in, and sat down at the table with the 
farmer's wife and half a dozen children. It was a bounti- 
ful meal there were baked beans and mashed potatoes 
and asparagus chopped and stewed, and a dish of straw- 
berries, and great, thick slices of bread, and a pitcher of 
milk. Jurgis had not had such a feast since his wedding 
day, and he made a mighty effort to put in his twenty 
cents' worth. 

They were all of them too hungry to talk ; but after- 
ward they sat upon the steps and smoked, and the farmer 
questioned his guest. When Jurgis had explained that 
he was a working-man from Chicago, and that he did not 
know just whither he was bound, the other said, " Why 
don't you stay here and work for me ? " 

" I'm not looking for work just now," Jurgis answered. 

" I'll pay ye good," said the other, eying his big form 
"a dollar a day and board ye. Help's terrible scarce 
round here." 

" Is that winter as well as summer ? " Jurgis demanded 

"N no," said the farmer; "I couldn't keep ye after 
November I ain't got a big enough place for that." 

" I see," said the other, " that's what I thought. When 
you get through working your horses this fall, will you 
turn them out in the snow ? " (Jurgis was beginning to 
think for himself nowadays.) 

"It ain't quite the same," the farmer answered, seeing 
the point. " There ought to be work a strong fellow like 
you can find to do, in the cities, or some place, in the winter 

" Yes," said Jurgis, " that's what they all think ; and so 
they crowd into the cities, and when they have to beg or 


steal to live, then people ask 'em why they don't go into 

the country, where help is scarce.'* 

The farmer meditated awhile. 

" How about when your money's gone ? " he inquired, 
finally. " You'll have to, then, won't you ? " 

" Wait till she's gone," said Jurgis ; ' then I'll see." 

He had a long sleep in the barn and then a big break 
fast of coffee and bread and oatmeal and stewed cherries, 
for which the man charged him only fifteen cents, perhaps 
having been influenced by his arguments. Then Jurgis 
bade farewell, and went on his way. 

Such was the beginning of his life as a tramp. It was 
seldom he got as fair treatment as from this last farmer, 
and so as time went on he learned to shun the houses and 
to prefer sleeping in the fields. When it rained he would 
find a deserted building, if he could, and if not, he would 
wait until after dark and then, with his stick ready, begin 
a stealthy approach upon a barn. Generally he could get 
in before the dog got scent of him, and then he would 
hide in the hay and be safe until morning ; if not, and the 
dog attacked him, he would rise up and make a retreat in 
battle order. Jurgis was not the mighty man he had once 
been, but his arms were still good, and there were few 
farm dogs he needed to hit more than once. 

Before long there came raspberries, and then black- 
berries, to help him save his money ; and there were apples 
in the orchards and potatoes in the ground he learned 
to note the places and fill his pockets after dark. Twice 
he even managed to capture a chicken, and had a feast, 
once in a deserted barn and the other time in a lonely 
spot alongside of a stream. When all of these things 
failed him he used his money carefully, but without worry 
for he saw that he could earn more whenever he chose. 
Half an hour's chopping wood in his lively fashion was 
enough to bring him a meal, and when the farmer had 
seen him working he would sometimes try to bribe him to 

But Jurgia was not staying. He was a free man now. 


a buccaneer. The old Wanderlust had got into his blood, 
the joy of the unbound life, the joy of seeking, of hoping 
without limit. There were mishaps and discomforts 
but at least there was always something new ; and only 
think what it meant to a man who for years had been 
penned up in one place, seeing nothing but one dreary 
prospect of shanties and factories, to be suddenly set 
loose beneath the open sky, to behold new landscapes, 
new places, and new people every hour I To a man 
whose whole life had consisted of doing one certain 
thing all day, until he was so exhausted that he could 
only lie down and sleep until the next day and to be 
now his own master, working as he pleased and when he 
pleased, and facing a new adventure every hour I 

Then, too, his health came back to him, all his lost youth- 
ful vigor, his joy and power that he had mourned and forgot- 
ten ! It came with a sudden rush, bewildering him, startling 
him; it was as if his dead childhood had come back to 
him, laughing and calling I What with plenty to eat and 
fresh air and exercise that was taken as it pleased him, he 
would waken from his sleep and start off not knowing what 
to do with his energy, stretching his arms, laughing, sing- 
ing old songs of home that came back to him. Now and 
then, of course, he could not help but think of little An- 
tanas, whom he should never see again, whose little voice 
he should never hear ; and then he would have to battle 
with himself. Sometimes at night he would waken dream- 
ing of Ona, and stretch out his arms to her, and wet the 
ground with his tears. But in the morning he would get 
up and shake himself, and stride away again to battle with 
the world. 

He never asked whsre he was nor where he was going ; 
tha country was big enough, he knew, and there was no 
danger of his coming to the end of it. And of course he 
could always have company for the asking everywhere 
he went there were men living just as he lived, and whom 
he was welcome to join. He was a stranger at the busi- 
ness, but they were not clannish, and they taught him all 
their tricks, what towns and villages it was best to keep 


away from, and how to read the secret signs upon the 
fences, and when to beg and when to steal, and just how 
to do both. They laughed at his ideas of paying for any- 
thing with money or with work for they got all they 
wanted without either. Now and then Jurgis camped out 
with a gang of them in some woodland haunt, and foraged 
with them in the neighborhood at night. And then among 
them some one would " take a shine " to him, and they 
would go off together and travel for a week, exchanging 

Of these professional tramps a great many had, of course, 
been shiftless and vicious all their lives. But the vast 
majority of them had been working-men, had fought the 
long fight as Jurgis had, and found that it was a losing 
fight, and given up. Later on he encountered yet another 
sort of men, those from whose ranks the tramps were 
recruited, men who were homeless and wandering, but 
still seeking work seeking it in the harvest-fields. Of 
these there was an army, the huge surplus labor army of 
society ; called into being under the stern system of nature, 
to do the casual work of the world, the tasks which were 
transient and irregular, and yet which had to be done. 
They did not know that they were such, of course ; they 
only knew that they sought the job, and that the job was 
fleeting. In the early summer they would be in Texas, 
and as the crops were ready they would follow north with 
the season, ending with the fall in Manitoba, Then they 
would seek out the big lumber-camps, where there was 
winter work ; or failing in this, would drift to the cities, 
and live upon what they had managed to save, with the 
help of such transient work as was there, the loading and 
unloading of steamships and drays, the digging of ditches 
and the shovelling of snow. If there were more of them 
on hand than chanced to be needed, the weaker ones died 
off of cold and hunger, again according to the stern svs- 
tem of nature. 

It was in the latter part of July, when Jurgis was in 
Missouri, that he came upon the harvest- work. Here were 
crops that men had worked for three or four months to 


prepare, and of which they would lose nearly all unless 
they could find others to help them for a week or two. 
So all over the land there was a cry for labor agencies 
were set up and all the cities were drained of men, even 
college boys were brought by the car-load, and hordes of 
frantic farmers would hold up trains and carry off wagon- 
loads of men by main force. Not that they did not pay 
them well any man could get two dollars a day and his 
board, and the best men could get two dollars and a half 
or three. 

The harvest-fever was in the very air, and no man with 
any spirit in him could be in that region and not catch it. 
Jurgis joined a gang and worked from dawn till dark, 
eighteen hours a day, for two weeks without a break. 
Then he had a sum of money that would have been a for- 
tune to him in the old days of misery but what could 
he do with it now? To be sure he might have put it in a 
bank, and, if he were fortunate, get it back again when he 
wanted it. But Jurgis was now a homeless man, wander- 
ing over a continent ; and what did he know about bank- 
ing and drafts and letters of credit? If he carried the 
money about with him, he would surely be robbed in the 
end; and so what was there for him to do but enjoy it 
while he could ? On a Saturday night he drifted into a 
town with his fellows ; and because it was raining, and 
there was no other place provided for him, he went to a 
saloon. And there were some who treated him and whom 
he had to treat, and there was laughter and singing and 
good cheer ; and then out of the rear part of the saloon a 
girl's face, red-cheeked and merry, smiled at Jurgis, and 
his heart thumped suddenly in his throat. He nodded to 
her, and she came and sat by him, and they had more 
drink, and then he went upstairs into a room with her, and 
the wild beast rose up within him and screamed, as it has 
screamed in the jungle from the dawn of time. And then 
becauc? of his memories and his shame, he was glad when 
others joined them, men and women ; and they had more 
drink and spent the night in wild rioting and debauchery. 
In the van of the surplus-labor army, there followed 


another, an army of women, they also struggling for life 
under the stern system of nature. Because there were 
rich men who sought pleasure, there had been ease and 
plenty for them so long as they were young and beautiful ; 
and later on, when they were crowded out by others 
younger and more beautiful, they went out to follow upon 
the trail of the working-men. Sometimes they came of 
themselves, and the saloon-keepers shared with them ; or 
sometimes they were handled by agencies, the same as the 
labor army. They were in the towns in harvest-time, 
near the lumber-camps in the winter, in the cities when 
the men came there ; if a regiment were encamped, or a 
railroad or canal being made, or a great exposition getting 
ready, the crowd of women were on hand, living in shanties 
or saloons or tenement-rooms, sometimes eight or ten of 
them together. 

In the morning Jurgis had not a cent, and he went out 
upon the road again. He was sick and disgusted, but 
after the new plan of his life, he crushed his feelings 
down. He had made a fool of himself, but he could not 
help it now all he could do was to see that it did not 
happen again. So he tramped on until exercise and fresh 
air banished his headache, and his strength and joy re- 
turned. This happened to him every time, for Jurgis 
was still a creature of impulse, and his pleasures had not 
yet become business. It would be a long time before he 
could be like the majority of these men of the road, who 
roamed until the hunger for drink and for women mas- 
tered them, and then went to work with a purpose in 
mind, and stopped when they had the price of a spree. 

On the contrary, try as he would, Jurgis could not help 
being made miserable by his conscience. It was the ghost 
*hat would not down. It would come upon him in the 
most unexpected places sometimes it fairly drove him 
to drink. 

One night he was caught by a thunder-storm, and he 
sought shelter in a little house just outside of a town. It 
was a working-man's home, and the owner was a Slav like 
himself, a new emigrant from White Russia; he bade 


Jurgis welcome in his home language, and told him to 
come to the kitchen-fire and dry himself. He had no bed 
for him, but there was straw in the garret, and he could 
make out. The man's wife was cooking the Cupper, and 
their children were playing about on the floor. Jurgis 
sat and exchanged thoughts with him about the old coun- 
try, and the places where they had been and the work they 
had done. Then they ate, and afterward sat and smoked 
and talked more about America, and how they found it. 
In the middle of a d&ntence, however, Jurgis stopped, 
seeing that the woman had brought a big basin of water 
and was proceeding to undress her youngest baby. The 
rest had crawled into the closet where they slept, but 
the baby was to have a bath, the working-man explained. 
The nights had begun to be chilly, and his mother, igno- 
rant as to the climate in America, had sewed him up for 
the winter; then it Jiad turned warm again, and some 
kind of a rash hai-'Oroken out on the child. The doctor 
had said she must bathe him every night, and she, foolish 
woman, believed him. 

Jurgis scarcely heard the explanation ; he was watch- 
ing the baby. He was about a year old, and a sturdy 
little fellow, with soft fat legs, and a round ball of a stom- 
ach, and eyes as black as coals. His pimples did not seem 
to bother him much, and he was wild with glee over the 
bath, kicking and squirming and chuckling with delight, 
pulling at his mother's face and then at his own little toes. 
When she put him into the bajin he sat in the midst of it 
and grinned, splashing the water over himself and squeal- 
ing like a little pig. He spoke in Russian, of which Jurgis 
knew some ; he spoke it with the quaintest of baby accents 
and every word of it brought back to Jurgis some word 
of his own dead little one, and stabbed him like a knife. 
He sat perfectly motionless, silent, but gripping his hands 
tightly, while a storm gathered in his bosom and a flood 
heaped itself up behind his eyes. And in the end he 
could bear it no more, but buried his tace m his hands 
and burst into tears, to the alarm and auiaiamen*. of his 
hosts. Between the shame of this and h 


could not stand it, and got up and rushed out into the 

He went on and on down the road, finally coming to a black 
woods, where he hid and wept as if his heart would break. 
Ah, what agony was that, what despair, when the tomb of 
memory was rent open and the ghosts of his old life came 
forth to scourge him 1 What terror to see what he had 
been and now could never be to see Ona and his child 
and his own dead self stretching out their arms to him, 
calling to him across a bottomless abyss and to know 
that they were gone from him forever, and he writhing 
and suffocating in the mire of his own vileness 1 


EARLY in the fall Jurgis set out for Chicago again. All 
the joy went out of tramping as soon as a man could not 
keep warm in the hay; and, like many thousands of others, he 
deluded himself with the hope that by coming early he could 
avoid the rush. He brought fifteen dollars with him, 
hidden away in one of his shoes, a sum which had been saved 
from the saloon-keepers, not so much by his conscience, 
as by the fear which filled him at the thought of being 
out of work in the city in the winter-time. 

He travelled upon the railroad with several other men, 
hiding in freight-cars at night, and liable to be thrown off 
at any time, regardless of the speed of the train. When 
he reached the city he left the rest, for he had money and 
they did not, and he meant to save himself in this fight. 
He would bring to it all the skill that practice had 
brought him, and he would stand, whoever fell. On 
fair nights he would sleep in the park or on a truck or an 
empty barrel or box, and when it was rainy or cold he 
would stow himself upon a shelf in a ten-cent lodging, 
house, or pay three cents for the privileges of a " squatter " 
in a tenement hallway. He would eat at free lunches, five 
3ents a meal, and never a cent more so he might keep 
<dive for two months and more, and in that time he would 
surely find a job. He would have to bid farewell to his 
summer cleanliness, of course, for he would come out of 
the first night's lodging with his clothes alive with vermin. 
There was no place in the city where he could wash even 
his face, unless he went down to the lake-fr^a*: and 
there it would scon be all ice. 


First he went to the steel-mill and the harveeteivworkg, 
and found that his places there had been filled long ago. 
He was careful to keep away from the stockyards he 
was a single man now, he told himself, and he meant tc 
stay one, to have his wages for his own when he got a job. 
He began the long, weary round of factories and ware- 
houses, tramping all day, from one end of the city to the 
other, finding everywhere from ten to a hundred men 
ahead of him. He watched the newspapers, too but no 
longer was he to be taken in by smooth-spoken agents. 
He had been told of all those tricks while "on the road. r 

In the end it was through a newspaper that he got a job, 
after nearly a month of seeking. It was a call for a hun- 
dred laborers, and though he thought it was a " fake," he 
went because the place was near by. He found a line of 
men a block long, but as a wagon chanced to come out of 
an alley and break the line, he saw his chance and sprang 
to seize a place. Men threatened him and tried to throw 
him out, but he cursed and made a disturbance to attract a 
policeman, upon which they subsided, knowing that if the 
latter interfered it would be to " fire " them all. 

An hour or two later he entered a room and confronted 
a big Irishman behind a desk. 

" Ever worked in Chicago before ? " the man inquired ; 
and whether it was a good angel that put it into Jurgis's 
mind, or an intuition of his sharpened wits, he was moved 
to answer, "No, sir." 

44 Where do you come from ?*' 

44 Kansas City, sir." 

" Any references ? " 

44 No, sir. I'm just an unskilled man. I've got good 

" I want men for hard work it's all underground, 
digging tunnels for telephones. Maybe it won't suit 

"I'm willing, sir anything for me. What's the 

44 Fifteen cents an hour." 

I'm willing, sir." 


** All right ; go back there and give your name.** 

So within half an hour he was at work, far underneath 
the streets of the city. The tunnel was a peculiar one for 
telephone-wires ; it was about eight feet high, and with 
a level floor nearly as wide. It had innumerable branches 
a perfect spider-web beneath the city ; Jurgis walked 
over half a mile with his gang to the place where they were 
to work. Stranger yet, the tunnel was lighted by elec- 
tricity, and upon it was laid a double-tracked, narrow- 
gauge railroad I 

But Jurgis was not there to ask questions, and he did 
not give the matter a thought. It was nearly a year after^ 
ward that he finally learned the meaning of this whole 
affair. The City Council had passed a quiet and innocent 
little bill allowing a company to construct telephone con- 
duits under the city streets; and upon the strength of this, a 
great corporation had proceeded to tunnel all Chicago with 
a system of railway freight-subways. In the city there 
was a combination of employers, representing hundreds of 
millions of capital, and formed for the purpose of crushing 
the labor unions. The chief union which troubled it was 
the teamsters' ; and when these freight tunnels were com- 
pleted, connecting all the big factories and stores with the 
railroad depots, they would have the teamsters' union by 
the throat. Now and then there were rumors and mur. 
murs in the Board of Aldermen, and once there was a com- 
mittee to investigate but each time another small fortune 
was paid over, and the rumors died away ; until at last the 
city woke up with a start to find the work completed. 
There was a tremendous scandal, of course ; it was found 
that the city records had been falsified and other crimes 
committed, and some of Chicago's big capitalists got into 
jail figuratively speaking. The aldermen declared that 
they had had no idea of it all, in spite of the fact that the 
main entrance to the work had been in the rear of the 
saloon of one of them. 

It was in a newly opened cut that Jurgis worked, and so 
he knew that he had an all- winter job. He was so rejoiced 
th? f . he treated himself to a spree that night, and with the 


balance of his money he hired himself a place in a tene- 
ment-room, where he slept upon a big home-made straw 
mattress along with four other working-men. This was 
one dollar a week, and for four more he got his food in a 
boarding-house near his work. This would leave him four 
dollars extra each week, an unthinkable sum for him. 
At the outset he had to pay for his digging tools, and also 
to buy a pair of heavy boots, since his shoes were falling 
to pieces, and a flannel shirt, since the one he had worn all 
summer was in shreds. He spent a week meditating 
whether or not he should also buy an overcoat. There 
was one belonging to a Hebrew collar-button pedler, who 
had died in the room next to him, and which the landlady 
was holding for her rent ; in the end, however, Jurgis 
decided to do without it, as he was to be underground by 
day and in bed at night. 

This was an unfortunate decision, however, for it drove 
him more quickly than ever into the saloons. From now 
on Jurgis worked from seven o'clock until half-past five, 
with half an hour for dinner ; which meant that he never 
saw the sunlight on week-days. In the evenings there 
was no place for him to go except a bar-room ; no place 
where there was light and warmth, where he could hear a 
little music or sit with a companion and talk. He had 
now no home to go to ; he had no affection left in his life 
only the pitiful mockery of it in the camaraderie of 
vice. On Sundays the churches were open but where was 
there a church in which an ill-smelling working-man, with 
vermin crawling upon his neck, could sit without seeing 
people edge away and look annoyed ? He had, of course, 
his corner in a close though unheated room, with a window 
opening upon a blank wall two feet away ; and also he had 
the bare streets, with the winter gales sweeping through 
them ; besides this he had only the saloons and, of 
course, he had to drink to stay in them. If he drank now 
and then he was free to make himself at home, to gamble 
with dice or a pack of greasy cards, to play at a dingy 
pool-table for money, or to look at a beer-stained pink 
"sporting paper," with pictures of murderers and half- 


naked women. It was for such pleasures as these that he 
spent his money ; and such was his life during the six 
weeks and a half that he toiled for the merchants of 
Chicago, to enable them to break the grip of their 
teamsters' union. 

In a work thus carried out, not much thought was given 
to the welfare of the laborers. On an average, the tunnel- 
ling cost a life a day and several manglings ; it was seldom, 
however, that more than a dozen or two men heard of any 
one accident. The work was all done by the new boring- 
machinery, with as little blasting as possible ; but there 
would be falling rocks and crushed supports and pre- 
mature explosions and in addition all the dangers of 
railroading. So it was that one night, as Jurgis was on 
his way out with his gang, an engine and a loaded car 
dashed round one of the innumerable right-angle branches 
and struck him upon the shoulder, hurling him against 
the concrete wall and knocking him senseless. 

When he opened his eyes again it was to the clanging 
of the bell of an ambulance. He was lying in it, covered 
by a blanket, and it was threading its way slowly through 
the holiday-shopping crowds. They took him to the county 
hospital, where a young surgeon set his arm ; then he was 
washed and laid upon a bed in a ward with a score or two 
more of maimed and mangled men. 

Jurgis spent his Christmas in this hospital, and it was 
the pleasantest Christmas he had had in America. Every 
year there were scandals and investigations in this institu- 
tion, the newspapers charging that doctors were allowed 
to try fantastic experiments upon the patients ; but Jurgis 
knew nothing of this his only complaint was that they 
used to feed him upon tinned meat, which no man who 
had ever worked in Packingtown would feed to his dog. 
Jurgis had often wondered just who ate the canned corned 
beef and "roast beef" of the stockyards; now he began 
to understand that it was what you might call " graft- 
meat," put up to be sold to public officials and contractors, 
and eaten by soldiers and sailors, prisoners and inmates of 
institutions, " shanty-men " and gangs of railroad laborers. 


Jurgis was ready to leave the hospital at the end of two 
weeks. This did not mean that his arm was strong and 
that he was able to go back to work, but simply that he 
could get along without further attention, and that his 
place was needed for some one worse off than he. That 
he was utterly helpless, and had no means of keeping him- 
self alive in the meantime, was something which did not 
concern the hospital authorities, nor any one else in the 

As it chanced, he had been hurt on a Monday, and had 
just paid for his last week's board and his room rent, and 
spent nearly all the balance of his Saturday's pay. He 
had less than seventy-five cents in his pockets, and a 
dollar and a half due him for the day's work he had done 
before he was hurt. He might possibly have sued the 
company, and got some damages for his injuries, but he 
did not know this, and it was not the company's business 
to tell him. He went and got his pay and his tools, which 
he left in a pawnshop for fifty cents. Then he went to 
his landlady, who had rented his place and had no other 
for him ; and then to his boarding-house keeper, who 
looked him over and questioned him. As he must cer- 
tainly be helpless for a couple of months, and had boarded 
there only six weeks, she decided very quickly that it 
would not be worth the risk to keep him on trust. 

So Jurgis went out into the streets, in a most dreadful 
plight. It was bitterly cold, and a heavy snow was fall- 
ing, beating into his face. He had no overcoat, and no 
place to go, and two dollars and sixty-five cents in his 
pocket, with the certainty that he could not earn another 
cent for months. The snow meant no chance to him now ; 
he must walk along and see others shovelling, vigorous 
and active and he with his left arm bound to his side I 
He could not hope to tide himself over by odd jobs of 
loading trucks ; he could not even sell newspapers or carry 
satchels, 'because he was now at the mercy of any rival. 
Words could not paint the terror that came over him 
as he realized all this. He was like a wounded animal in 
the forest; he was forced to compete with his enemies 


upon unequal terms. There would be no considera- 
tion for him because of his weakness it was no one's 
business to help him in such distress, to make the fight 
the least bit easier for him. Even if he took to begging, 
he would be at a disadvantage, for reasons which he was 
to discover in good time. 

In the beginning he could not think of anything except 
getting out of the awful cold. He went into one of the 
saloons he had been wont to frequent and bought a drink, 
and then stood by the fire shivering and waiting to be 
ordered out. According to an unwritten law, the buying 
a drink included the privilege of loafing for just so 
long ; then one had to buy another drink or move on. 
That Jurgis was an old customer entitled him to a some- 
what longer stop ; but then he had been away two weeks, 
and was evidently " on the bum." He might plead and 
tell his "hard-luck story," but that would not help him 
much ; a saloon-keeper who was to be moved by such 
means would soon have his place jammed to the doors with 
" hoboes " on a day like this. 

So Jurgis went out into another place, and paid another 
nickel. He was so hungry this time that he could not 
resist the hot beef -stew, an indulgence which cut short his 
stay by a considerable time. When he was again told to 
move on, he made his way to a "tough" place in the 
"Levee" district, where now and then he had gone with a 
certain rat-eyed Bohemian working-man of his acquaint- 
ance, seeking a woman. It was Jurgis's vain hope that 
here the proprietor would let him remain as a " sitter. " 
In low-class places, in the dead of winter, saloon-keepers 
would often allow one or two forlorn-looking bums who 
came in covered with snow or soaked with rain to sit by 
the fire and look miserable to attract custom. A working- 
man would come in, feeling cheerful after his day's work 
was over, and it would trouble him to have to take his 
glass with such a sight under his nose ; and so h'e would 
call out : " Hello, Bub, what's the matter ? You look as 
if you'd been up against it 1 " And then the other would 
begin to pour out some tale of misery, and the man would 


say, * Come have a glass, and maybe that'll brace you up." 
And so they would drink together, and if the tramp waa 
sufficiently wretched-looking, or good enough at the "gab," 
they might have two ; and if they were to discover that 
they were from the same country, or had lived in the same 
city or worked at the same trade, they might sit down at 
a table and spend an hour or two in talk and before 
they got through the saloon-keeper would have taken in 
a dollar. All of this might seem diabolical, but the saloon- 
keeper was in no wise to blame for it. He was in the same 
plight as the manufacturer who has to adulterate and 
misrepresent his product. If he does not, some one else 
will ; and the saloon-keeper, unless he is also an alderman, 
is apt to be in debt to the big brewers, and on the Terge 
of being sold out. 

The market for "sitters" was glutted that afternoon, 
however, and there was no place for Jurgis. In all he 
had to spend six nickels in keeping a shelter over him 
that frightful day, and then it was just dark, and the 
station-houses would not open until midnight I At the 
last place, however, there was a bartender who knew him 
and liked him, and let him doze at one of the tables until 
the boss came back ; and also, as he was going out, the 
man gave him a tip, on the next block there was a 
religious revival of some sort, with preaching and singing, 
and hundreds of hoboes would go there for the shelter 
and warmth. 

Jurgis went straightway, and saw a sign hung out, 
saying that the door would open at seven-thirty ; then he 
walked, or half ran, a block, and hid awhile in a doorway 
and then ran again, and so on until the hour. At the end 
he was all but frozen, and fought his way in with the rest 
of the throng (at the risk of having his arm broken again), 
and got close to the big stove. 

By eight o'clock the place was so crowded that the 
speakers ought to have been flattered ; the aisles were 
filled halfway up, and at the door men were packed 
tight enough to walk upon. There were three elderly 
gentlemen in black upon the platform, and a young ladj 


who played the piano in front. First they sang a hymn, 
and then one of the three, a tall, smooth-shaven man, very 
thin, and wearing black spectacles, began an address. 
Jurgis heard smatterings of it, for the reason that terror 
kept him awake he knew that he snored abominably, 
and to have been put out just then would have been lik 
a sentence of death to him. 

The evangelist was preaching "sin and redemption," 
the infinite grace of God and His pardon for human 
frailty. He was very much in earnest, and he meant 
well, but Jurgis, as he listened, found his soul filled with 
hatred. What did he know about sin and suffering 
with his smooth, black coat and his neatly starched collar, 
his body warm, and his belly full, and money in his pocket 

and lecturing men who were struggling for their lives, 
men at the death-grapple with the demon powers of hun- 
ger and cold I This, of course, was unfair ; but Jurgis 
felt that these men were out of touch with the life they 
discussed, that they were unfitted to solve its problems ; 
nay, they themselves were part of the problem they 
were part of the order established that was crushing men 
down and beating them 1 They were of the triumphant 
and insolent possessors ; they had a hall, and a fire, and 
food and clothing and money, and so they might preach 
to hungry men, and the hungry men must be humble and 
listen 1 They were trying to save their souls and who 
but a fool could fail to see that all that was the matter 
with their souls was that they had not been able to get a 
decent existence for their bodies ? 

At eleven the meeting closed, and the desolate audience 
filed out into the snow, muttering curses up on the few 
traitors who had got repentance and gone upon the plat- 
form. It was yet an hour before the station-house would 
open, and Jurgis had no overcoat and was weak from a 
long illness. During that hour he nearly perished. He 
was obliged to run hard to keep his blood moving at all 

and then he came back to the station-house and found 
a crowd blocking the street before the door I This was 


in the month of January, 1904, when the country was on 
the verge of ** hard times," and the newspapers were re- 
porting the shutting down of factories every day it was 
estimated that a million and a half of men were thrown 
out of work before the spring. So all the hiding-places 
of the city were crowded, and before that station-house 
door men fought and tore each other like savage beasts. 
When at last the place was jammed and they shut the 
doors, half the crowd was still outside ; and Jurgis, with 
his helpless arm, was among them. There was no choice 
then but to go to a lodging-house and spend another dime. 
It really broke his heart to do this, at half-past twelve 
o'clock, after he had wasted the night at the meeting 
and on the street. He would be turned out of the lodg- 
ing-house promptly at seven they had the shelves which 
served as bunks so contrived that they could be dropped, 
and any man who was slow about obeying orders could be 
tumbled to the floor. 

This was one day, and the cold spell lasted for fourteen 
of them. At the end of six days every cent of Jurgis's 
money was gone ; and then he went out on the streets 
to beg for his life. 

He would begin as soon as the business of the city was 
moving. He would sally forth from a saloon, and, after 
making sure there was no policeman in sight, would ap- 
proach every likely-looking person who passed him, telling 
nis woful story and pleading for a nickel or a dime. Then 
when he got one, he would dart round the corner and re- 
turn to his base to get warm ; and his victim, seeing him 
do this, would go away, vowing that he would never give 
a cent to a beggar again. The victim never paused to 
ask where else Jurgis could have gone under the circum- 
stances where he, the victim, would have gone. At 
the saloon Jurgis could not only get more food and better 
food than he could buy in any restaurant for the same 
money, but a drink in the bargain to warm him up. Also 
he could find a comfortable seat by a fire, and could chat 
with a companion until he was as warm as toast. At the 
ftaloon, too, h felt at home. Part of the saloon-keeper'i 


business was to offer a home and refreshments to beggars 
in exchange for the proceeds of their f oragings ; and was 
there any one else in the whole city who would do this 
would the victim have done it himself ? 

Poor Jurgis might have been expected to make a suc- 
cessful beggar. He was just out of the hospital, and des- 
perately sick-looking, and with a helpless arm ; also He 
had no overcoat, and shivered pitifully. But, alas, it 
was again the case of the honest merchant, who finds that 
the genuine and unadulterated article is driven to the 
wall by the artistic counterfeit. Jurgis, as a beggar, 
was simply a blundering amateur in competition with 
organized and scientific professionalism. He was just out 
of the hospital but the story was worn threadbare, and 
how could he prove it ? He had his arm in a sling and 
it was a device a regular beggar's little boy would have 
scorned. He was pale and shivering but they were 
made up with cosmetics, and had studied the art of chat- 
tering their teeth. As to his being without an overcoat, 
among them you would meet men you could swear had on 
nothing but a ragged linen duster and a pair of cotton 
trousers so cleverly had they concealed the several suits 
of all-wool underwear beneath. Many of these profes- 
sional mendicants had comfortable homes, and families, 
and thousands of dollars in the bank ; some of them had 
retired upon their earnings, and gone into the business of 
fitting out and doctoring others, or working children at 
the trade. There were some who had both their arms 
bound tightly to their sides, and padded stumps in theii 
sleeves, and a sick child hired to carry a cup for them. 
There were some who had no legs, and pushed themselvei 
upon a wheeled platform some who had been favored 
with blindness, and were led by pretty little dogs Som 
less fortunate had mutilated themselves or burned them, 
selves, or had brought horrible sores upon themselves witlj 
chemicals ; you might suddenly encounter upon the streel 
a man holding out to you a finger rotting and discolored 
with gangrene or one with livid scarlet wounds hall 
escaped from their filthy bandages. These desperate one* 


were the dregs of the city's cesspools, wretches who hid at 
night in the rain-soaked cellars of old ramshackle tene- 
ments, in " stale-beer dives " and opium joints, with aban- 
doned women in the last stages of the harlot's progress 
women who had been kept by Chinamen and turned awa> 
at last to die. Every day the police net would drag hun- 
dreds of them off the streets, and in the Detention Hospi- 
tal you might see them, herded together in a miniature 
inferno, with hideous, beastly faces, bloated and leprous 
with disease, laughing, shouting, screaming in all stages 
of drunkenness, barking like dogs, gibbering like apes, 
raving and tearing themselves in delirium. 


IN the face of all his handicaps, Jurgis was obliged to 
make the price of a lodging, and of a drink every hour or 
two, under penalty of freezing to death. Day after day 
he roamed about in the arctic cold, his soul filled full of 
bitterness and despair. He saw the world of civilization 
then more plainly than ever he had seen it before ; a world 
in which nothing counted but brutal might, an order de- 
vised by those who possessed it for the subjugation of 
those who did not. He was one of the latter; and all 
outdoors, all life, was to him one colossal prison, which 
he paced like a pent-up tiger, trying one bar after another, 
and finding them all beyond his power. He had lost in 
the fierce battle of greed, and so was doomed to be exter- 
minated ; and all society was busied to see that he did not 
escape the sentence. Everywhere that he turned were 
prison-bars, and hostile eyes following him ; the well-fed, 
sleek policemen, from whose glances he shrank, and who 
seemed to grip their clubs more tightly when they saw 
him ; the saloon-keepers, who never ceased to watch him 
while he was in their places, who were jealous of every 
moment he lingered after he had paid his money; the 
hurrying throngs upon the streets, who were deaf to his 
entreaties, oblivious of his very existence and savage 
and contemptuous when he forced himself upon them. 
They had their own affairs, and there was no place for him 
among them. There was no place for him anywhere 
every direction he turned his gaze, this fact was forced 
upon him. Everything was built to express it to him : 
the residences, with their heavy walls and bolted doors, 
and basement-windows barred with iron ; the great ware 


houses filled with the products of the whole world, and 
guarded by iron shutters and heavy gates ; the banks with 
their unthinkable billions of wealth, all buried in safes 
and vaults of steel. 

And then one day there befell Jurgis the one adventure 
of his life. It was late at night, and he had failed to get 
the price of a lodging. Snow was falling, and he had been 
out so long that he was covered with it, and was chilled 
to the bone. He was working among the theatre crowds, 
flitting here and there, taking large chances with the 
police, in his desperation half hoping to be arrested. 
When he saw a blue-coat start toward him, however, his 
heart failed him, and he dashed down a side street and 
tied a couple of blocks. When he stopped again he saw 
a man coming toward him, and placed himself in his 

" Please, sir," he began, in the usual formula, " will you 
Sfive me the price of a lodging ? I've had a broken arm, 
and I can't work, and I've not a cent in my pocket. I'm an 
honest working-man, sir, and I never begged before. It's 
not my fault, sir " 

Jurgis usually went on until he was interrupted, but 
this man did not interrupt, and so at last he came to a 
breathless stop. The other had halted, and Jurgis sud- 
denly noticed that he stood a little unsteadily. " Whuzzat 
y r ou say ? " he queried suddenly, in a thick voice. 

Jurgis began again, speaking more slowly and dis- 
tinctly ; before he was half through the other put out his 
hand and rested it upon his shoulder. " Poor ole chappie! " 
he said. " Been up hie up against it, hey ? " 

Then he lurched toward Jurgis, and the hand upon his 
shoulder became an arm about his neck. " Dp against it 
myself, ole sport," he said. "She's a hard ole world." 

They were close to a lamp post, and Jurgis got a glimpse 
of the other. He was a young fellow not much over 
eighteen, with a handsome boyish face. He wore a silk hat 
and a rich soft overcoat with a fur collar ; and he smiled 
at Jurgis with benignant sympathy. " I'm hard up, too, 


my goo frenY' he said. " I've got cruel parents, or I'd set 
you up. Whuzzamatter whizyer ? " 

"I've been in the hospital." 

* Hospital 1 " exclaimed the young fellow, still smiling 
sweetly, " thass too bad 1 Same's my Aunt Polly hie 
my Aunt Polly's in the hospital, too ole auntie's been 
havin' twins I Whuzzamatter whiz you?" 

* I've got a broken arm " Jurgis began. 

"So,'* said the other, sympathetically. "That ain't BO 
bad you get over that. I wish somebody's break my 
arm, ole chappie damfidon't I Then they's treat me 
better hie hole me up, ole sport 1 Whuzzit you 
wamme do?" 

" I'm hungry, sir," said Jurgis. 

" Hungry ! Why don't you hassome supper? " 

" I've got no money, sir.'* 

" No money 1 Ho, ho less be chums, ole boy jess 
like me 1 No money, either, a'most busted 1 Why 
don't you go home, then, same's me ? " 

" I haven't any home," said Jurgis. 

" No home I Stranger in the city, hey ? Goo' God, 
thass bad 1 Better come home wiz me yes, by Harry, 
thass the trick, you'll come home an* hassome supper hie 

wiz me I Awful lonesome nobody home I Guv'ner 
gone abroad Bubby on's honeymoon Polly havin' 
twins every damn soul gone away I Nuff hie nuff 
to drive a feller to drink, I say 1 Only ole Ham standin" 
by, passin* plates damfican eat like that, no sir I The 
club for me every time, my boy, I say. But then they 
won't lemme sleep there guv'ner's orders, by Harry 
home every night, sir I Ever hear anythin' like that ? 
4 Every mornin' do ? ' I asked him. * No, sir, every night, 
or no allowance at all, sir.' Thass my guv'ner hie 
hard as nails, by Harry 1 Tole ole Ham to watch me, too 

servants spyin* on me whuzyer think that, my fren"? 
A nice, quiet hie good-hearted young feller like me, 
an' his daddy can't go to Europe hup ! an* leave him 
in peace J Ain't that a shame, sir ? An' I gotter go home 
every evenin* an' miss all the fun, by Harry ! Thass 


whuzzamatter now thass why Fm here I Iladda come 
away an' leave Kitty hie left her cryin*, too whujja 
think of that, ole sport? ' Lemme go, Kittens,' says I 

* come early an' often I go where duty hie calls me. 
Farewell, farewell, my own true love farewell, fare- 
we-hell, my-own-true-love ! ' " 

This last was a song, and the young gentleman's voice 
rose mournful and wailing, while he swung upon Jurgis's 
neck. The latter was glancing about nervously, lest some 
one should approach. They were still alone, however. 

" But I came all right, all right," continued the young- 
ster, aggressively. "I can hie I can have my own 
way when I want it, by Harry Freddie Jones is a hard 
man to handle when he gets goin' ! ' No, sir,' says I, 
4 by thunder, and I don't need anybody goin' home with 
me, either whujja take me for, hey? Think I'm drunk, 
dontcha, hey? I know you! But I'm no more drunk 
than you are, Kittens,' says I to her. And then says she, 

* Thass true, Freddie dear* (she's a smart one, is Kitty), 

* but I'm stayin' in the flat, an' you're goin' out into the 
cold, cold night ! ' * Put it in a pome, lovely Kitty,' says 
I. 'No jokin', Freddie, my boy,' says she. * Lemme 
call a cab now, like a good dear ' but I can call my own 
cabs, dontcha fool yourself I know what I'm a-doin', 
you bet 1 Say, my fren', whatcha say willye come home 
an' see me, an* hassome supper? Come 'long like a good 
feller don't be haughty! You're up against it, same 
as me, an' you can unnerstan' a feller ; your heart's in the 
right place, by Harry come 'long, ole chappie, an' we'll 
light up the house, an' have some fizz, an' we'll raise hell, 
we will whoop-la ! S'long's I'm inside the house I can 
do as I please the guv'ner's own very orders, b'God ! 
Hip 1 hip ! " 

They had started down the street, arm in arm, the young 
man pushing Jurgis along, half dazed. Jurgis was try- 
ing to think what to do he knew he could not pass any 
crowded place with his new acquaintance without attract- 
ing attention and being stopped. It was only because of 
the falling snow that people who passed here did not noti le 
anything wrong. 


Suddenly, therefore, Jurgis stopped. * Is it very far ? * 
he inquired. 

" Not very," said the other. " Tired, are you, though ? 
Well, we'll ride whatcha say ? Good I Call a cab I " 

And then, gripping Jurgis tight with one hand, the 
young fellow began searching his pockets with the other. 
* 4 You call, ole sport, an' I'll pay," he suggested. " How's 
that, hey ? " 

And he pulled out from somewhere a big roll of bills. 
It was more money than Jurgis had ever seen in his life 
before, and he stared at it with startled eyes. 

"Looks like a lot, hey? "said Master Freddie, fumbling 
with it. "Fool you, though, ole chappie they're all 
little ones I I'll be busted in one week more, sure thing 
word of honor. An' not a cent more till the first hio 

guv'ner's orders hie not a cent, by Harry I Nuff 
to set a feller crazy, it is. I sent him a cable this af'noon 

thass one reason more why I'm goin' home. * Hangin' 
on the verge of starvation,' I says 'for the honor of the 
family hie sen* me some bread. Hunger will compel 
me to join you. Freddie.' Thass what I wired him, by 
Harry, an' I mean it I'll run away from school, b'GodL 
if he don't sen' me some." 

After this fashion the young gentleman continued to 
prattle on and meantime Jurgis was trembling with 
excitement. He might grab that wad of bills and be out 
of sight in the darkness before the other could collect his 
wits. Should he do it? What better had he to hope for, 
if he waited longer ? But Jurgis had never committed a 
crime in his life, and now he hesitated half a second too 
long. M Freddie " got one bill loose, and then stuffed the 
rest back into his trousers' pocket. 

"Here, ole man," he said, "you take it." He held it 
out fluttering. They were in front of a saloon; and by 
the light of the window Jurgis saw that it was a hundred- 
dollar bill ! 

u You take it," the other repeated. "Pay the cabbie 
an' keep the change I've got hie no head for busi- 
ness! Guv'ner says so hisaelf, an' the guv'ner knows 


the guv'ner's got a head for business, you bet ! * All right, 
guv'ner,' I told him, ' you run the show, and I'll take the 
tickets 1 ' An' so he set Aunt Polly to watch me hie 
an' now Polly's off in the hospital havin' twins, an' me out 
raisin' Cain 1 Hello, there 1 Hey ! Call him I " 

A cab was driving by ; and Jurgis sprang and called, 
and it swung round to the curb. Master Freddie 
clambered in with some difficulty, and Jurgis had started 
to follow, when the driver shouted : " Hi, there ! Get 
out you ! " 

Jurgis hesitated, and was half obeying ; but his com- 
panion broke out : ** Whuzzat ? Whuzzamatter wiz you, 

And the cabbie subsided, and Jurgis climbed in. Then 
Freddie gave a number on the Lake Shore Drive, and the 
carriage started away. The youngster leaned back and 
snuggled up to Jurgis, murmuring contentedly ; in half 
a minute he was sound asleep. J urgis sat shivering, specu- 
lating as to whether he might not still be able to get hold 
of the roll of bills. He was afraid to try to go through 
his companion's pockets, however ; and besides, the cabbie 
might be on the watch. He had the hundred safe, and he 
would have to be content with that. 

At the end of half an hour or so the cab stopped. They 
were out on the water-front, and from the east a freezing 
gale was blowing off the ice-bound lake. " Here we are, 
called the cabbie, and Jurgis awakened his companion. 

Master Freddie sat up with a start 

" Hello I " he said. "Where are we? Whuzzis? Who 
are you, hey ? Oh, yes, sure nuff I Mos' forgot you 

hie ole chappie I Home, are we ? Lessee I Br-r-r 

it's cold I Yes come 'long we're home be it 
ever so hie humble ! " 

Before them there loomed an enormous granite pile, set 
far back irorn the street, and occupying a whole block. 
By the light of the driveway lamps Jurgis could see that 
it had towers and huge gables, like a mediaeval castle. He 
thought that the young fellow must have made a mistake 


it was inconceivable to him that any person could have 
a home like a hotel or the city hall. But he followed in 
sileuce, and they went up the long flight of steps, arm in 

"There's a button here, ole sport," said Master Freddie. 
" Hole my arm while I find her I Steady, now oh, yes, 
here she is I Saved I " 

A bell rang, and in a few seconds the door WAS opened. 
A man in blue livery stood holding it, and gazing before 
him, silent as a statue. 

They stood for a moment blinking in the light. Then 
Jurgis felt his companion pulling, and he stepped in, and 
the blue automaton closed the door. Jurgis's heart was 
beating wildly ; it was a bold thing for him to do into 
what strange unearthly place he was venturing he had no 
idea. Aladdin entering his cave could not have been more 

The place where he stood was dimly lighted ; but he 
could see a vast hall, with pillars fading into the darkness 
above, and a great staircase opening at the far end of it. 
The floor was of tesselated marble, smooth as glass, and 
from the walls strange shapes loomed out, woven into huge 
portieres in rich, harmonious colors, or gleaming from 
paintings, wonderful and mysterious-looking in the half- 
light, purple and red and golden, like sunset glimmers in 
a shadowy forest. 

The man in livery had moved silently toward them ; 
Master Freddie took off his hat and banded it to him, and 
then, letting go of Jurgis's arm, tried to get out of his 
overcoat. After two or three attempts he accomplished 
this, with the lackey's help ; and meantime a second man 
had approached, a tall and portly personage, solemn as an 
executioner. He bore straight down upon Jurgis, who 
shrank away nervously ; he seized him by the arm without 
a word, and started toward the door with him. Then 
suddenly came Master Freddie's voice, " Hamilton I My 
fren' will remain wiz me." 

The man paused and half released Jurgis. " Come long. 
r>\e chappie, said the other, and Jurgis started toward him 


" Master Frederick ! " exclaimed the man. 

" See that the cabbie hie is paid," was the other's 
response ; and he linked his arm in Jurgis's. Jurgis was 
about to say, " I have the money for him," but he restrained 
himself. The stout man in uniform signalled to the other, 
who went out to the cab, while he followed Jurgis and his 
young master. 

They went down the great hall, and then turned. Be' 
fore them were two huge doors. 

" Hamilton," said Master Freddie. 

"Well, sir? " said the other. 

" Whuzzamatter wizze dinin'-room doors ? " 

"Nothing is the matter, sir." 

" Then why dontcha openum ? " 

The man rolled them back ; another vista lost itself in 
the darkness. " Lights," commanded Master Freddie ; and 
the butler pressed a button, and a flood of brilliant in- 
candescence streamed from above, half blinding Jurgis. 
He stared; and little by little he made out the great 
apartment, with a domed ceiling from which the light 
poured, and walls that were one enormous painting 
nymphs and dryads dancing in a flower-strewn glade 
Diana with her hounds and horses, dashing headlong 
through a mountain streamlet a group of maidens bath- 
ing in a forest-pool all life-size, and so real chat Jurgis 
thought that it was some work of enchantment, that he 
was in a dream-palace. Then his eye passed to the long 
table in the centre of the hall, a table black as ebony, and 
gleaming with wrought silver and gold. In the centre of 
it was a huge carven bowl, with the glistening gleam of 
ferns and the red and purple of rare orchids, glowing from 
a light hidden somewhere in their midst. 

"This's the dinin'-room," observed Master Freddie. 
* How you like it, hey, ole sport ? " 

He always insisted on having an answer to his remarks, 
leaning over Jurgis and smiling into his face. Jurgis 
liked it. 

"Rummy ole place to feed in all 'lone, though," was 
Freddie's comment " rummy's hell I Whuzya think, 


hey ? " Then another idea occurred to him and he went 
on, without waiting : ** Maybe you never saw anything 
hie like this 'fore ? Hey, ole chappie ? " 

" No," said Jurgis. 

" Come from country, maybe hey ? " 

" Yes," said Jurgis. 

" Aha I I thosso I Lossa folks from country never saw 
such a place. Guv'ner brings 'em free show hie 

reg'lar circus! Go home tell folks about it. Ole 
man Jones's place Jones the packer beef -trust man. 
Made it all out of hogs, too, damn ole scoundrel. Now we 
see where our pennies go rebates, an' private-car lines 

hie by Harry I Bully place, though worth seein' ! 
Ever hear of Jones the packer, hey, ole chappie ? " 

Jurgis had started involuntarily ; the other, whose sharp 
eyes missed nothing, demanded: " Whuzzamatter, hey? 
Heard of him?" 

And Jurgis managed to stammer out : " I have worked 
for him in the yards." 

" What! " cried Master Freddie, with a yell. " You! 
In the yards? Ho, ho ! Why, say, thass good ! Shake 
hands on it, ole man by Harry ! Guv'ner ought to be 
here glad to see you. Great fren's with the men, guv'- 
ner labor an' capital, commun'ty 'f int'rests, an' all that 

hie! Funny things happen in this world, don't they, 
ole man? Hamilton, lemme interduce you fren* the 
family ole fren' the guv'ner's works in the yards. 
Come to spend the night wiz me, Hamilton have a hot 

time. My fren', Mr. whuzya name, ole chappie ? Tell 

us your name." 

" Rudkus Jurgis Rudkus." 

"My fren', Mr. Rudnose, Hamilton shake han's." 
The stately butler bowed his head, but made not a 
sound; and suddenly Master Freddie pointed an eager 
finger at him. " I know whuzzamatter wiz you, Hamilton 

lay you a dollar I know! You think hie you 
think I'm drunk I Hey, now? " 

And the butler again bowed his head. " Yes, sir," he 
said, at which Master Freddie hung tightly upon Jurgis's 


neck and went into a fit of laughter. " Hamilton, you 
damn ole scoundrel," he roared, " I'll 'scharge you for im- 
pudence, you see 'f I don't I Ho, ho, ho ! . I'm drunk ! 
Ho, hoi" 

The two waited until his fit had spent itself, to see 
what new whim would seize him. " Whatcha wanta do ? " 
he queried suddenly. " Wanta see the place, ole chappie ? 
Wamme play the guv'ner show you roun'? State 
parlors Looee Cans Looee Sez chairs cost three 
thousand apiece. Tea-room Maryanntnet picture of 
shepherds dancing Ruysdael twenty-three thousan' I 
Ball-room balc'ny pillars hie imported special ship 
sixty-eight thousan' ! Ceilin' painted in Rome whuz- 
zat feller's name, Hamilton Mattatoni ? Macaroni ? Then 
this place silver bowl Benvenuto Cellini rummy 
ole Dago! An' the organ thirty thousan' dollars, sir 

starter up, Hamilton, let Mr. Rednose hear it. No 

never mind clean forgot says he's hungry, Hamil- 
ton less have some supper. Only hie don't less 
have it here come up to my place, ole sport nice 
an' cosy. This way steady now, don't slip on the floor. 
Hamilton, we'll have a cole spread, an' some fizz don't 
leave out the fizz, by Harry. We'll have some of the 
eighteen-thirty Madeira. Hear me, sir ? " 

" Yes, sir," said the butler, " but, Master Frederick, your 
father left orders " 

And Master Frederick drew himself up to a stately 
height. " My father's orders were left to me hie an* 
not to you," he said. Then, clasping Jurgis tightly by 
the neck, he staggered out of the room ; on the way an- 
other idea occurred to him, and he asked: "Any hie 

cable message for me, Hamilton ? " 
" No, sir," said the butler. 

" Guv'ner must be travellin'. An' how's the twins, 

" They are doing well, sir." 

" Good ! " said Master Freddie ; and added fervently : 
"God bless 'em, the little lambs I " 

They went up the great staircase, one step at a time; 


at the top of it there gleamed at them out of the shadows 
the figure of a nymph crouching by a fountain, a figure 
ravishingly beautiful, the flesh warm and glowing with the 
hues of life. Above was a huge court, with domed roof, 
the various apartments opening into it. The butler had 
paused below but a few minutes to give orders, and then 
followed them ; now he pressed a button, and the hail 
blazed with light. He opened a door before them, and 
then pressed another button, as they staggered into the 

It was fitted up as a study. In the centre was a mahog- 
any table, covered with books, and smokers' implements ; 
the walls were decorated with college trophies and colors, 
flags, posters, photographs and knickknacks tennis-rack- 
ets, canoe-paddles, golf-clubs, and polo-sticks. An enor- 
mous moose head, with horns six feet across, faced a 
Duffalo head on the opposite wall, while bear and tiger 
skins covered the polished floor. There were lounging- 
chairs and sofas, window-seats covered with soft cushiona 
ot fantastic designs; there was one corner fitted in Persian 
fashion, with a huge canopy and a jewelled lamp beneath. 
Beyond, a door opened upon a bedroom, and beyond that 
was a swimming pool of the purest marble, that had cost 
about forty thousand dollars. 

Master Freddie stood for a moment or two, gazing about 
him ; then out of the next room a dog emerged, a mon- 
strous bulldog, the most hideous object that Jurgis had 
ever laid eyes upon. He yawned, opening a mouth like 
a dragon's ; and he came toward the young man, wagging 
his tail. " Hello, Dewey ! " cried his master. " Been 
havin' a snooze, ole boy ? Well, well hello there, whuzza- 
matter?" (The dog was snarling at Jurgis.) "Why, 
Dewey this' my fren', Mr. Rednose ole fren' the 
guv'ner's ! Mr. Rednose, Admiral Dewey ; shake ban's 
hie. Ain't he a daisy, though blue ribbon at the New 
York show eighty-five hundred at a clip 1 How's that, 

The speaker sank into one of the big arm-chairs, and 
Admiral Dewey crouched beneath it ; he did not snarl 


again, but he never took his eyes off Jurgis. He was 
perfectly sober, was the Admiral. 

The butler had closed the door, and he stood by it, 
watching Jurgis every second. Now there came footsteps 
outeide, and, as he opened the door a man in livery entered, 
carrying a folding-table, and behind him two men with 
covered trays. They stood like statues while the first 
spread the table and set out the contents of the trays upon 
it. There were cold pates, and thin slices of meat, tiny 
bread and butter sandwiches with the crust cut off, a bowl 
of sliced peaches and cream (in January), little fancy cakes, 
pink and green and yellow and white, and half a dozen 
ice-cold bottles of wine. 

" Thass the stuff for you I " cried Master Freddie, ex- 
ultantly, as he spied them. "Come 'long, ole chappie, 
move up." 

And he seated himself at the table ; the waiter pulled a 
cork, and he took the bottle and poured three glasses of 
its contents in succession down his throat. Then he gave 
a long-drawn sigh, and cried again to Jurgis to seat him- 

The butler held the chair at the opposite side of the 
table, and Jurgis thought it was to keep him out of it ; 
but finally he understood that it was the other's intention 
to put it under him, and so he sat down, cautiously and 
mistrustingly. Master Freddie perceived that the attend- 
ants embarrassed him, and he remarked, with a nod to 
them, " You may go." 

They went, all save the butler. 

* You may go too, Hamilton," he said. 

" Master Frederick " the man began. 

" Go ! " cried the youngster, angrily. " Damn you, 
don't you hear me ? " 

The man went out and closed the door ; Jurgis, who 
was as sharp as he, observed that he took the key out of 
the lock, in order that he t ight peer through the key* 

Master Frederick turned to the table again. "Now." 
he said, "go for it." 


Jurgis gazed at him doubtingly. " Eat 1 w cried the 
other. " Pile in, ole chappie 1 " 

" Don't you want anything ? " Jurgis asked. 

" Ain't hungry," was the reply " only thirsty. Kitty 
and me had some candy you go on." 

So Jurgis began, without further parley. He ate as 
with two shovels, his fork in one hand and his knife in the 
other ; when he once got started his wolf-hunger got the 
better of him, and he did not stop for breath until he had 
cleared every plate. " Gee whiz I " said the other, who 
had been watching him in wonder. 

Then he held Jurgis the bottle. "Lessee you drink 
now," he said ; and Jurgis took the bottle and turned it 
up to his mouth, and a wonderful unearthly liquid ecstasy 
poured down his throat, tickling every nerve of him, 
thrilling him with joy. He drank the very last drop of 
it, and then he gave vent to a long-drawn " Ah I " 

" Good stuff, hey ? " said Freddie, sympathetically ; he 
had leaned back in the big chair, putting his arm behind 
his head and gazing at Jurgis. 

And Jurgis gazed back at him. He was clad in spotless 
evening-dress, was Freddie, and looked very handsome 
he was a beautiful boy, with light golden hair and the 
head of an Antinous. He smiled at Jurgis confidingly, 
and then started talking again, with his blisstul insouciance. 
This time he talked for ten minutes at a stretch, and in the 
course of the speech he told Jurgis all of his family history. 
His big brother Charlie was in love with the guileless 
maiden who played the part of " Little Bright-Eyes " in 
"The Kaliph of Kamskatka." He had been on the verge 
of marrying her once, only " the guv'ner " had sworn to 
disinherit him, and had presented him with a sum that 
would stagger the imagination, and that had staggered 
the virtue of "Little Bright-Eyes." Now Charlie had 
got leave from college, and had gone away in his auto- 
mobile on the next best thing to a honeymoon. "The 
guv'ner" had made threats to disinherit another of his 
children also, sister Gwendolen, who had married an 
Italian marquis with a string of titles and a duelling 


record. They lived in his chateau, or rather had, until ho 
had taken to firing the breakfast-dishes at her ; then she 
had cabled for help, and the old gentleman had gone over 
to find out what were his Grace's terms. So they had left 
Freddie all alone, and he with less than two thousand 
dollars in his pocket. Freddie was up in arms and meant 
serious business, as they would find in the end if there 
was no other way of bringing them to terms he would 
have his " Kittens " wire that she was about to marry him, 
and see what happened then. 

So the cheerful youngster rattled on, until he was tired 
out. He smiled his sweetest smile at Jurgis, and then he 
closed his eyes, sleepily. Then he opened them again, and 
smiled once more, and finally closed them and forgot to 
open them. 

For several minutes Jurgis sat perfectly motionless, 
watching him, and revelling in the strange sensations of 
the champagne. Once he stirred, and the dog growled ; 
after that he sat almost holding his breath until after a 
while the door of the room opened softly, and the butler 
came in. 

He walked toward Jurgis upon tiptoe, scowling at him * 
and Jurgis rose up, and retreated, scowling back. So 
until he was against the wall, and then the butler came 
close, and pointed toward the door. " Get out of here I *' 
he whispered. 

Jurgis hesitated, giving a glance at Freddie, who was 

snoring softly. " If you do, you son of a " hissed 

the butler, " I'll mash in your face for you before you get 
out of here I " 

And Jurgis wavered but an instant more. He saw 
" Admiral Dewey " coming up behind the man and growl- 
ing softly, to back up his threats. Then he surrendered 
and started toward the door. 

They went out without a sound, and down the great 
echoing staircase, and through the dark hall. At the 
front door he paused, and the butler strode close to 


Hold up your hands,** he snarled. Jurgis took a step 
back, clinching his one well fist. 

" What for ? " he cried ; and then understanding that 
the fellow proposed to search him, he answered, " I'll see 
you in hell first/' 

"Do you want to go to jail?" demanded the butler, 
menacingly. " I'll have the police " 

" Have 'em I" roared Jurgis, with fierce passion. "But 
you won't put your hands on me till you do I I haven't 
touched anything in your damned house, and I'll not have 
you touch me ! " 

So the butler, who was terrified lest his young master 
should waken, stepped suddenly to the door, and opened 
it. "Get out of here I " he said; and then as Jurgis passed 
through the opening, he gave him a ferocious kick that sent 
him down the great stone steps at a run, and landed him 
sprawling in the snow at the bottom. 


JTTBGIS got up, wild with rage ; but the door was shut 
and the great castle was dark and impregnable. Then the 
icy teeth of the blast bit into him, and he turned and went 
away at a run. 

When he stopped again it was because he was coming 
to frequented streets and did not wish to attract attention. 
In spite of that last humiliation, his heart was thumping 
fast with triumph. He had come out ahead on that deal ! 
He put his hand into his trousers' pocket every now and 
then, to make sure that the precious hundred-dollar bill was 
still there. 

Yet he was in a plight a curious and even dreadful 
plight, when he came to realize it. He had not a single 
cent but that one bill 1 And he had to find some shelter 
that night he had to change it I 

Jurgis spent half an hour walking and debating the 
problem. There was no one he could go to for help he 
had to manage it all alone. To get it changed in a lodg- 
ing-house would be to take his life in his hands he would 
almost certainly be robbed, and perhaps murdered, before 
morning. He might go to some hotel or railroad-depot 
and ask to have it changed ; but what would they think, 
seeing a "bum" like him with a hundred dollars? He 
would probably be arrested if he tried it ; and what story 
could he tell? On the morrow Freddie Jones would dis- 
cover his loss, and there would be a hunt for him, and he 
would lose his money. The only other plan he could think 
of was to try in a saloon. He might pay them to change 
it, if it could not be done otherwise- 


He began peering into places as he walked ; he passed 
several as being too crowded then finally, chancing upon 
one where the bartender was all alone, he gripped his hands 
in sudden resolution and went in. 

" Can you change me a hundred-dollar bill ? " he 

The bartender was a big, husky fellow, with the jaw of 
a prize fighter, and a three weeks' stubble of hair upon it. 
He stared at Jurgis. "What's that youse say?" he 

" I said, could you change me a hundred-dollar bill? " 

" Where'd youse get it ? " he inquired incredulously. 

" Never mind," said Jurgis ; " I've got it, and I want 
it changed. I'll pay you if you'll do it." 

The other stared at him hard. "Lemme see it," he 

Will you change it?" Jurgis demanded, gripping it 
n his pocket. 

the hell can I know if it's good or not? " retorted 
the bartender. " Whatcher take me for, hey ? " 

Then Jurgis slowly and warily approached him; he 
took out the bill, and fumbled it for a moment, while the 
man stared at him with hostile eyes across the counter. 
Then finally he handed it over. 

The other took it, and began to examine it ; he smoothed 
it between his fingers, and he held it up to the light ; he 
turned it over, and upside down, and edgeways. It was 
new and rather stiff, and that made him dubious. Jurgis 
was watching him like a cat all the time. 

" Humph," he said, finally, and gazed at the stranger, 
sizing him up a ragged, ill-smelling tramp, with no over- 
coat and one arm in a sling and a hundred-dollar bill I 
Want to buy anything?" he demanded. 

"Yes," said Jurgis, "I'll take a glass of beer." 

" All right," said the other, " I'll change it." And he 
put the bill in his pocket, and poured Jurgis out a glass of 
beer, and set it on the counter. Then he turned to the 
cash-register, and punched up five cents, and began to 
pull money out of the drawer. Finally, he faced Jurgis, 

tightly in 
" How t 


counting it out two dimes, a quarter, and fifty cents. 
"There," he said. 

For a second Jurgis waited, expecting to see him turn 
again. " My ninety-nine dollars," he said. 

" What ninety -nine dollars?" demanded the bartender. 

" My change ! " he cried " the rest of my hun- 
dred ! " 

" Go on," said the bartender, " you're nutty I " 

And Jurgis stared at him with wild eyes. For an 
instant horror reigned in him black, paralyzing, awful 
horror, clutching him at the heart ; and then came rage, 
in surging, blinding floods he screamed aloud, and seized 
the glass and hurled it at the other's head. The man 
ducked, and it missed him by half an inch ; he rose 
again and faced Jurgis, who was vaulting over the bar 
with his one well arm, and dealt him a smashing blow in 
the face, hurling him backward upon the floor. Then, as 
Jurgis scrambled to his feet again and started round the 
counter after him, he shouted at the top of his voice, "Help ! 

Jurgis seized a bottle off the counter as he ran ; and as 
the bartender made a leap he hurled the missile at him with 
all his force. It just grazed his head, and shivered into a 
thousand pieces against the post of the door. Then Jurgis 
started back, rushing at the man again in the middle of the 
room. This time, in his blind frenzy, he came without a 
bottle, and that was all the bartender wanted he met 
him halfway and floored him with a sledge-hammer drive 
between the eyes. An instant later the screen-doors flew 
open, and two men rushed in just as Jurgis was getting 
to his feet again, foaming at the mouth with rage, and try- 
ing to tear his broken arm out of its bandages. 

" Look out ! " shouted the bartender. " He's got a 
knife ! " Then, seeing that the two were disposed to join 
in the fray, he made another rush at Jurgis, and knocked 
aside liis reeble defence and sent him tumbling again ; and 
the three flung themselves upon him, rolling and kicking 
about the place. 

A second later a policeman dashed in, and the bartender 


yelled once more " Look out for his knife ! " Jurgis 
had fought himself half to his knees, when the policeman 
made a leap at him, and cracked him across the face with 
his club. Though the blow staggered him, the wild beast 
frenzy still blazed in him, and he got to his feet, lunging 
into the air. Then again the club descended, full upon 
his head, and he dropped like a log to the floor. 

The policeman crouched over him, clutching his stick, 
waiting for him to try to rise again ; and meantime the 
barkeeper got up, and put his hand to his head. " Christ ! " 
he said, " I thought I was done for that time. Did he cut 

" Don't see anything, Jake,"' said the policeman. 
"What's the matter with him?" 

" Just crazy drunk," said the other. '* A lame duck, too 
but he 'most got me under the bar. Youse had better 
call the wagon, Billy." 

" No," said the officer. " He's got no more fight in him, 
I guess and he's only got a block to go." He twisted 
his hand in Jurgis's collar and jerked at him. " Git up here, 
you I " he commanded. 

But Jurgis did not move, and the bartender went behind 
the bar, and, after stowing the hundred-dollar bill away in 
a safe hiding-place, came and poured a glass of water over 
Jurgis. Then, as the latter began to moan feebly, the 
policeman got him to his feet and dragged him out of the 
place. The station-house was just around the corner, 
and so in a few minutes Jurgis was in a cell. 

He spent half the night lying unconscious, and the 
balance moaning in torment, with a blinding headache 
and a racking thirst. Now and then he cried aloud for 
a drink of water, but there was no one to hear him. There 
were others in that same station-house with split heads and 
a fever ; there were hundreds of them in the great city, 
and tens of thousands of them in the great land, and there 
was no one to hear any of them. 

In the morning Jurgis was given a cup of water and a 
piece of bread, and then hustled into a patrol wagon and 


driven to the nearest police-court. He sat in the pen with 
a score of others until his turn came. 

The bartender who proved to be a well-known bruiser 
was called to the stand. He took the oath and told hia 
story. The prisoner had come into his saloon after mid- 
night, fighting drunk, and had ordered a glass of beer and 
tendered a dollar bill in payment. He had been given 
ninety-five cents' change, and had demanded ninety-nine 
dollars more, and before the plaintiff could even answer 
had hurled the glass at him and then attacked him with 
a bottle of bitters, and nearly wrecked the place. 

Then the prisoner was sworn a forlorn object, haggard 
and unshorn, with an arm done up in a filthy bandage, a 
cheek and head cut and bloody, and one eye purplish black 
and entirely closed. " What have you to say for your- 
self ? " queried the magistrate. 

" Your Honor," said Jurgis, " I went into his place and 
asked the man if he could change me a hundred-dollar 
bill. And he said he would if I bought a drink. I 
gave him the bill and then he wouldn't give me the 

The magistrate was staring at him in perplexity. "You 
gave him a hundred-dollar bill ! " he exclaimed. 

" Yes, your Honor," said Jurgis. 

" Where did you get it ? " 

" A man gave it to me, your Honor." 

" A man? What man, and what for ? " 

"A young man I met upon the street, your Honor. 
I had been begging." 

There was a titter in the court-room ; the officer who 
was holding Jurgis put up his hand to hide a smile, and 
the magistrate smiled without trying to hide it. " It's 
true, your Honor ! " cried Jurgis, passionately. 

" You had been drinking as well as begging last nighty 
had you not ? " inquired the magistrate. 

" No, your Honor " protested Jurgis. " I " 

" You had not had anything to drink ? " 

" Why, yes, your Honor, I had " 

"What did you have?" 


** I had a bottle of something I don't know what it 
was something that burned " 

There was again a laugh round the court-room, stopping 
suddenly as the magistrate looked up and frowned. " Have 
you ever been arrested before ? " he asked abruptly. 

The question took Jurgis aback. "I I " he 

" Tell me the truth, now I " commanded the other, 

" Yes, your Honor," said Jurgis. 

- Fow often ? " 

" Only once, your Honor." 

"What for?" 

"For knocking down my boss, your Honor. I was 
working in the stockyards, and he " 

" I see," said his Honor ; " I guess that will do. You 
ought to stop drinking if you can't control yourself. Ten 
days and costs. Next case." 

Jurgis gave vent to a cry of dismay, cut off suddenly 
by the policeman, who seized him by the collar. He was 
jerked out of the way, into a room with the convicted 
prisoners, where he sat and wept like a child in his impo- 
tent rage. It seemed monstrous to him that policemen 
and judges should esteem his word as nothing in compari- 
son with the bartender's ; poor Jurgis could not know 
that the owner of the saloon paid five dollars each week to 
the policeman alone for Sunday privileges and general 
favors nor that the pugilist bartender was one of the 
most trusted henchmen of the Democratic leader of the 
district, and had helped only a few months before to hustle 
out a record-breaking vote as a testimonial to the magis- 
trate, who had been made the target of odious kid-gloved 

Jurgis was driven out to the Bride well for the second time. 
In his tumbling around he had hurt his arm again, and so 
could not work, but had to be attended by the physician. 
Also his head and his eye had to be tied up and so he 
was a pretty-looking object when, the second day after 


his arrival, he went out into the exercise-court and enooun- 
tered Jack Duane I 

The young fellow was so glad to see Jurgis that he al- 
most hugged him. "By God, if it isn't 'the Stinker'!" 
he cried. " And what is it have you been through a 
sausage-machine ? " 

" No," said Jurgis, " but I've been in a railroad wreck 
and a fight." And then, while some of the other prisoners 
gathered round, he told his wild story ; most of them 
were incredulous, but Duane knew that Jurgis could never 
have made up such a yarn as that. 

" Hard luck, old man," he said, when they were alone j 
" but maybe it's taught you a lesson." 

" I've learned some things since I saw you last," said 
Jurgis, mournfully. Then he explained how he had spent 
the last summer, "hoboing it," as the phrase was. "And 
you?" he asked, finally. "Have you been here ever 

" Lord, no I " said the other. " I only came in the day 
before yesterday. It's the second time they've sent me 
up on a trumped-up charge I've had hard luck and can't 
pay them what they waiit. Why don't you quit Chicago 
with me, Jurgis ? " 

" I've no place to go," said Jurgis, sadly. 

" Neither have I," replied the other, laughing lightly- 
" But we'll wait till we get out and see." 

In the Bridewell Jurgis met few who had been there the 
last time, but he met scores of others, old and young, of 
exactly the same sort. It was like breakers upon a beach ; 
there was new water, but the wave looked just the same. 
He strolled about and talked with them, and the biggest 
of them told tales of their prowess, while those who were 
weaker, or younger and inexperienced, gathered round and 
listened in admiring silence. The last time he was there, 
Jurgis had thought of little but his family ; but now he 
was free to listen to these men, and to realize that he was 
one of them, that their point of view was his point of 
view, and that the way they kept themselves alive in the 
world was the way he meant to do it in future. 


And BO, when he was turned out of prison again, with- 
out a penny in his pocket, he went straight to Jack Duane. 
He went full of humility and gratitude ; for Duane was 
a gentleman, and a man with a profession and it was re- 
markable that he should be willing to throw in his lot with 
a humble working-man, one who had even been a beggar 
and a tramp. Jurgis could not see what help he could be 
to him ; he did not understand that a man like himself 
who could be trusted to stand by any one who was kind to 
him was as rare among criminals as among any other 
class of men. 

The address Jurgis had was a garret-room in the Ghetto 
district, the home of a pretty little French girl, Duane's 
mistress, who sewed all day, and eked out her living by 
prostitution. He had gone elsewhere, she told Jurgis 
he was afraid to stay there now, on account of the police. 
The new address was a cellar dive, whose proprietor said 
that he had never heard of Duane ; but after he had put 
Jurgis through a catechism he showed him a back stairs 
which led to a " fence " in the rear of a pawnbroker's 
shop, and thence to a number of assignation-rooms, in one 
of which Duane was hiding. 

Duane was glad to see him ; he was without a cent of 
money, he said, and had been waiting for Jurgis to help him 
get some. He explained his plan in fact he spent the 
day in laying bare to his friend the criminal world of the 
city, and in showing him how he might earn himself a living 
in it. That winter he would have a hard time, on account 
of his arm, and because of an unwonted fit of activity of 
the police ; but so long as he was unknown to them he 
would be safe if he were careful. Here at " Papa " Han- 
son's (so they called the old man who kept the dive) he 
might rest at ease, for " Papa " Hanson was " square " 
would stand by him so long as he paid, and gave him an 
hour's notice if there were to be a police raid. Also 
Rosensteg, the pawnbroker, would buy anything he had 
for a third of its value, and guarantee to keep it hidden 
for a year. 

There was an oil stove in the little cupboard of a room, 


i\nd they had some supper ; and then about eleven o'clock 
ftt night they sallied forth together, by a rear entrance to 
Mie place, Duane armed with a slung-shot. They came 
lio a residence district, and he sprang up a lamp post and 
blew out the light, and then the two dodged into the 
nhelter of an area-step and hid in silence. 

Pretty soon a man came by, a working-man and they 
let him go. Then after a long interval came the heavy 
tread of a policeman, and they held their breath till he 
was gone. Though half frozen, they waited a full quar- 
ter of an hour after that and then again came footsteps, 
walking briskly. Duane nudged Jurgis, and the instant 
the man had passed they rose up. Duane stole out as 
silently as a shadow, and a second later Jurgis heard a 
thud and a stifled cry. He was only a couple of feet be- 
hind, and he leaped to stop the man's mouth, while Duane 
held him fast by the arms, as they had agreed. But the 
man was limp and showed a tendency to fall, and so Jurgis 
had only to hold him by the collar, while the other, with 
swift fingers, went through his pockets, ripping open, 
first his overcoat, and then his coat, and then his vest, 
searching inside and outside, and transferring the contents 
into his own pockets. At last, after feeling of the man's 
fingers and in his neck-tie, Duane whispered, " That's all I " 
and they dragged him to the area and dropped him in. 
Then Jurgis went one way and his friend the other, walk- 
ing briskly. 

The latter arrived first, and Jurgis found him examin- 
ing the " swag." There was a gold watch, for one thing, 
with a chain and locket ; there was a silver pencil, and a 
match-box, and a handful of small change, and finally a 
card-case. This last Duane opened feverishly there were 
letters and checks, and two theatre-tickets, and at last, in 
the back part, a wad of bills. He counted them there 
was a twenty, five tens, four fives, and three ones. Duane 
drew a long breath. " That lets us out ! " he said. 

After further examination, they burned the card-case 
and its contents, all but the bills, and likewise the picture 
of a little girl in the locket. Then Duane took the watch 


and trinkets downstairs, and came back with sixteen 
dollars. " The old scoundrel said the case was filled," he 
said. " It's a lie, but he knows I want the money." 

They divided up the spoils, and Jurgis got as his share 
fifty-five dollars and some change. He protested that it 
was too much, but the other had agreed to divide even. 
That was a good haul, he said, better than the average. 

When they got up in the morning, Jurgis was sent 
out to buy a paper ; one of the pleasures of committing 
a crime was the reading about it afterward. "I had a 
pal that always did it," Duane remarked, laughing 
"until one day he read that he had left three thousand 
dollars in a lower inside pocket of his party's vest I " 

There was a half -column account of the robbery it 
was evident that a gang was operating in the neighbor- 
hood, said the paper, for it was the third within a week, 
and the police were apparently powerless. The victim 
was an insurance agent, and he had lost a hundred and 
ten dollars that did not belong to him. He had chanced 
to have his name marked on his shirt, otherwise he would 
not have been identified yet. His assailant had hit him 
too hard, and he was suffering from concussion of the 
brain; and also he had been half -frozen when found, and 
would lose three fingers of his right hand. The enter- 
prising newspaper reporter had taken all this information 
to his family, and told how they had received it. 

Since it was Jurgis's first experience, these details natu- 
rally caused him some worriment ; but the other laughed 
coolly it was the way of the game, and there was no 
helping it. Before long Jurgis would think no more of 
it than they did in the yards of knocking out a bullock. 
" It's a case of us or the other fellow, and I say the other 
fellow every time," he observed. 

" Still," said Jurgis, reflectively, " he never did us any 

"He was doing it to somebody as hard as he could, 
you can be sure of that," said his friend. 

Duane had already explained to JurgU that if a man of 


their trade were known he would have to work all the 
time to satisfy the demands of the police. Therefore it. 
would be better for Jurgis to stay in hiding and never be 
seen in public with his pal. But Jurgis soon got very 
tired of staying in hiding. In a couple of weeks he was 
feeling strong and beginning to use his arm, and then he 
could not stand it any longer. Duane, who had done a 
job of some sort by himself, and made a truce with the 
powers, brought over Marie, his little French girl, to share 
with him ; but even that did not avail for long, and in 
the end he had to give up arguing, and take Jurgis 
out and introduce him to the saloons and "sporting- 
houses " where the big crooks and "hold-up men" hung 

And so Jurgis got a glimpse of the high-class criminal 
world of Chicago. The city, which was owned by an 
oligarchy of business men, being nominally ruled by the 
people, a huge army of graft was necessary for the pur- 
pose of effecting the transfer of power. Twice a year, in 
the spring and fall elections, millions of dollars were fur- 
nished by the business men and expended by this army ; 
meetings were held and clever speakers were hired, bands 
played and rockets sizzled, tons of documents and reser- 
voirs of drinks were distributed, and tens of thousands of 
votes were bought for cash. And this army of graft had, 
of course, to be maintained the year round. The leaders 
and organizers were maintained by the business men 
directly, aldermen and legislators by means of bribes, 
party officials out of the campaign funds, lobbyists and 
corporation lawyers in the form of salaries, contractors by 
means of jobs, labor union leaders by subsidies, and news- 
paper proprietors and editors by advertisements. The 
rank and file, however, were either foisted upon the city, 
or else lived off the populace directly. There was the 
police department, and the fire and water departments, 
and the whole balance of the civil list, from the meanest 
office-boy to the head of a city department ; and for the 
horde who could find no room in these, there was the 
world of vice and crime, there was license to seduce, to 


swindle and plunder and prey. The law forbade Sunday 
drinking ; and this had delivered the saloon-keepers into 
the hands of the police, and made an alliance between them 
necessary. The law forbade prostitution; and this had 
brought the "madames" into the combination. It was the 
same with the gambling-house keeper and the poo] -room 
man, and the same with any other man or woman who had 
a means of getting "graft," and was willing to pay over a 
share of it : the green-goods man and the highwayman, the 
pickpocket and the sneak-thief, and the receiver of stolen 
goods, the seller of adulterated milk, of stale fruit and 
diseased meat, the proprietor of unsanitary tenements, the 
fake-doctor and the usurer, the beggar and the " push-cart 
man," the prize-fighter and the professional slugger, the 
-ace-track " tout," the procurer, the white-slave agent, and 
the expert seducer of young girls. All of these agencies 
of corruption were banded together, and leagued in blood 
brotherhood with the politician and the police; more often 
than not they were one and the same person, the police 
captain would own the brothel he pretended to raid, and 
the politician would open his headquarters in his saloon. 
" Hinkydink " or " Bath-house John," or others of that 
ilk, were proprietors of the most notorious dives in Chi- 
cago, and also the " gray wolves " of the city council, who 
gave away the streets of the city to the business men ; and 
those who patronized their places were the gamblers and 
prize-fighters who set the law at defiance, and the burglars 
and hold-up men who kept the whole city in terror. On 
election day all these powers of vice and crime were one 
power ; they could tell within one per cent what the vote 
or their district would be, and they could change it at an 
hour's notice. 

A month ago Jurgis had all but perished of starvation 
upon the streets ; and now suddenly, as by the gift of 
a magic key, he had entered into a world where money 
and all the good things of life came freely. He was 
introduced by his friend to an Irishman named " Buck " 
Halloran, who was a political " worker " and on the inside 
of things. This man talked with Jurgis for a while, and 


then told him that he had a little plan by which a man 
who looked like a working-man might make some easy 
money ; but it was a private affair, and had to be kept 
quiet. Jurgis expressed himself as agreeable, and the 
other took him that afternoon (it was Saturday) to a 
place where city laborers were being paid off. The pay- 
master sat in a little booth, with a pile of envelopes before 
him, and two policemen standing by. Jurgis went, ac- 
cording to directions, and gave the name of "Michael 
O'Flaherty," and received an envelope, which he took 
around the corner and delivered to Halloran, who was 
waiting for him in a saloon. Then he went again, and 
gave the name of " Johann Schmidt," and a third time, and 
gave the name of "Serge Reminitsky." Halloran had 
quite a list of imaginary working-men, and Jurgis got 
an envelope for each one. For this work he received five 
dollars, and was told that he might have it every week, 
so long as he kept quiet. As Jurgis was excellent at 
keeping quiet, he soon won the trust of " Buck " Halloran, 
and was introduced to others as a man who could be 
depended upon. 

This acquaintance was useful to him in another way, 
also ; before long Jurgis made his discovery of the mean- 
ing of " pull," and just why his boss, Connor, and also the 
pugilist bartender, had been able to send him to jail. 
One night there was given a ball, the " benefit " of " One- 
eyed Larry," a lame man who played the violin in one of 
the big "high-class" houses of prostitution on Clark Street, 
and was a wag and a popular character on the "Levee." 
This ball was held in a big dance-hall, and was one of the 
occasions when the city's powers of debauchery gave 
themselves up to madness. Jurgis attended and got half 
insane with drink, and began quarrelling over a girl ; his 
arm was pretty strong by then, and he set to work to clean 
out the place, and ended in a cell in the police-station. 
The police-station being crowded to the doors, and stink- 
ing with " bums," Jurgis did not relish staying there to 
sleep off his liquor, and sent for Halloran, who called up 
the district leader and had Jurgis bailed out by telephone 


at four o'clock in the morning. When he was arraigned 
that same morning, the district leader had already seen the 
clerk of the court and explained that Jurgis Rudkus was 
a decent fellow, who had been indiscreet ; and so Jurgis 
was fined ten dollars and the fine was " suspended " 
which meant that he did not have to pay it, and never 
would have to pay it, unless somebody chose to bring it up 
against him in the future. 

Among the people Jurgis lived with now money was 
valued according to an entirely different standard from 
that of the people of Packingtown ; yet, strange as it may 
seem, he did a great deal less drinking than he had as a 
working-man. He had not the same provocations of 
exhaustion and hopelessness ; he had now something to 
work for, to struggle for. He soon found that if he kept 
his wits about him, he would come upcn new opportunities ; 
and being naturally an active man, he not only kept sober 
himself, but helped to steady his friend, who was a good 
deal fonder of both wine and women than he. 

One thing led to another. In the saloon where Jurgis 
met " Buck " Halloran he was sitting late one night with 
Duane, when a " country customer " (a buyer for an out-of- 
town merchant) came in, a little more than half "piped." 
There was no one else in the place but the bartender, 
and as the man went out again Jurgis and Duane followed 
him ; he went round the corner, and in a dark place made 
by a combination of the elevated railroad and an unrented 
building, Jurgis leaped forward and shoved a revolver 
under his nose, while Duane, with his hat pulled over his 
eyes, went through the man's pockets with lightning fingers. 
They got his watch and his " wad," and were round the 
corner again and into the saloon before he could shout more 
than once. The bartender, to whom they had tipped the 
wink, had the cellar-door open for them, and they vanished, 
making their way by a secret entrance to a brothel next 
door. From the roof of this there was access to three 
similar places Deyond. By means of these passages the 
customers of any one place could be gotten out of the way, 
in case a falling out with the police chanced to lead to a 


raid ; and also it was necessary to have a way of getting 
a girl out of reach in case of an emergency. Thousands 
of them came to Chicago answering advertisements for 
" servants " and " factory hands," and found themselves 
trapped by fake employment agencies, and locked up in a 
bawdy-house. It was generally enough to take all their 
clothes away from them ; but sometimes they would have 
to be " doped " and kept prisoners for weeks ; and mean- 
time their parents might be telegraphing the police, and 
even coining on to see why nothing was done. Occasion- 
ally there was no way of satisfying them but to let them 
search the place to which the girl had been traced. 

For his help in this little job, the bartender received 
twenty out of the hundred and thirty odd dollars that the 
pair secured ; and naturally this put them on friendly 
terms with him, and a few days later he introduced them 
to a little "sheeny " named Goldberger, one of the " run- 
ners " of the " sporting-house " where they had been 
hidden. After a few drinks Goldberger began, with some 
hesitation, to narrate how he had had a quarrel over his 
best girl with a professional " card-sharp," who had hit 
him in the jaw. The fellow was a stranger in Chicago, 
and if he was found some night with his head cracked 
there would be no one to care very much. Jurgis, who 
by this time would cheerfully have cracked the heads of 
ail the gamblers in Chicago, inquired what would be com- 
ing to him ; at which the Jew became still more confi- 
dential, and said that he had some tips on the New Orleans 
races, which he got direct from the police captain of the 
district, whom he had got out of a bad scrape, and who 
** stood in " with a big syndicate of horse owners. Duane 
took all this in at once, but Jurgis had to have the whole 
race-track situation explained to him before he realized the 
importance of such an opportunity. 

There was the gigantic Racing Trust. It owned tne 
legislatures in every state in which it did business ; it 
even owned some of the big newspapers, and made public 
opinion there was no power in the land that could 
oppose it unless, perhaps, it were the Pool-room Trust 


It built magnificent racing parks all over the country, and 
by means of enormous purses it lured the people to come, 
and then it organized a gigantic shell -game, whereby it 
plundered them of hundreds of millions of dollars every 
year. Horse-racing had once been a sport, but nowadays 
it was a business ; a horse could be " doped " and doctored, 
undertrained or overtrained ; it could be made to fall at 
any moment or its gait could be broken by lashing" it 
with the whip, which all the spectators would take to be 
a desperate effort to keep it in the lead. There were 
scores of such tricks ; and sometimes it was the owners 
who played them and made fortunes, sometimes it was the 
jockeys and trainers, sometimes it was outsiders, who 
bribed them but most of the time it was the chiefs of 
the trust. Now, for instance, they were having winter- 
racing in New Orleans, and a syndicate was laying out 
each day's programme in advance, and its agents in all the 
Northern cities were "milking" the pool- rooms. The 
word came by long-distance telephone in a cipher code, 
just a little while before each race ; and any man who 
could get the secret had as good as a fortune. If Jurgis did 
not believe it, he could try it, said the little Jew let 
them meet at a certain house on the morrow and make a 
test. Jurgis was willing, and so was Duane, and so they 
went to one of the high-class pool-rooms where brokers 
and merchants gambled (with society women in a private 
room), and they put up ten dollars each upon a horse 
called " Black Beldame," a six to one shot, and won. For 
a secret like that they would have done a good many slug- 
gings but the next day Goldberger informed them that 
the offending gambler had got wind of what was coming 
to him, and had skipped the town. 

There were ups and downs at the business ; but there 
was always a living, inside of a jail, if not out of it. Early 
in April the .city elections were due, and that meant pros- 
perity for all the powers of graft. Jurgis, hanging round 
in dives and gambling-houses and brothels, met with the 
heelers of both parties, and from their conversation he 


came to understand all the ins and outs of the game, and to 
hear of a number of ways in which he could make himself 
useful about election time. "Buck" Halloran was a 
" Democrat," and so Jurgis became a Democrat also ; but 
he was not a bitter one the Republicans were good fellows, 
too, and were to have a pile of money in this next campaign. 
At the last election the Republicans had paid four dollars 
a vote to the Democrats' three ; and " Buck " Halloran sat 
one night playing cards with Jurgis and another man, who 
told how Halloran had been charged with the job of voting 
a " bunch " of thirty-seven newly landed Italians, and how 
he, the narrator, had met the Republican worker who was 
after the very same gang, and how the three had effected 
a bargain, whereby the Italians were to vote half and 
half, for a glass of beer apiece, while the balance of the 
fund went to the conspirators ! 

Not long after this, Jurgis, wearying of the risks and 
vicissitudes of miscellaneous crime, was moved to give up 
the career for that of a politician. Just at this time there 
was a tremendous uproar being raised concerning the 
alliance between the criminals and the police. For the 
criminal graft was one in which the business men had no 
direct part it was what is called a " side-line," carried 
by the police. " Wide-open " gambling and debauchery- 
made the city pleasing to " trade," but burglaries and hold- 
ups did not. One night it chanced that while Jack Duane 
was drilling a safe in a clothing store he was caught red- 
handed by the night-watchman, and turned over to a 
policeman, who chanced to know him well, and who took 
the responsibility of letting him make his escape. Such a 
howl from the newspapers followed this that Duane was 
slated for a sacrifice, and barely got out of town in time. 

And just at that juncture it happened that Jurgis was 
introduced to a man named Harper whom he recognized as 
the night-watchman at Brown's, who had been instrumental 
in making him an American citizen, the first year of his 
arrival at the yards. The other was interested in the 
coincidence, but did not remember Jurgis he had han- 
dled too many " green ones " in his time, he said. He sat in 



a dance-hall with Jurgis and Halloran until one or two in 
the morning, exchanging experiences. He had a long 
story to tell of his quarrel with the superintendent of his 
department, and how he was now a plain working-man, 
and a good union man as well. It was not until some 
months afterward that Jurgis understood that the quarrel 
with the superintendent had been prearranged, and that 
Harper was in reality drawing a salary of twenty dollars 
a week from the packers for an inside report of his union's 
secret proceedings. The yards were seething with agita- 
tion just then, said the man, speaking as a unionist. The 
people of Packingtown had borne about all that they would 
bear, and it looked as if a strike might begin any week. 

After this talk the man made inquiries concerning Jurgis, 
and a couple of days later he came to him with an interest- 
ing proposition. He was not absolutely certain, he said, 
but he thought that he could get him a regular salary if 
he would come to Packingtown and do as he was told, and 
keep his mouth shut. Harper " Bush " Harper, he was 
called was a right-hand man of Mike Scully, the Demo- 
cratic boss of the stockyards ; and in the coming election 
there was a peculiar situation. There had come to Scully 
a proposition to nominate a certain rich brewer who lived 
upon a swell boulevard that skirted the district, and who 
coveted the big badge and the " honorable " of an alder- 
man. The brewer was a Jew, and had no brains, but he 
was harmless, and would put up a rare campaign fund. 
Scully had accepted the offer, and then gone to the Re- 
publicans with a proposition. He was not sure that he 
could manage the " sheeny," and he did not mean to take 
any chances with his district; let the Republicans nomi- 
nate a certain obscure but amiable friend of Scully's, who 
was now setting ten-pins in the cellar of an Ashland Ave- 
nue saloon, and he, Scully, would elect him with the 
" sheeny's " money, and the Republicans might have the 
glory, which was more than they would get otherwise. 
In return for this the Republicans would agree to put up 
no candidate the following year, when Scully himself 
came up for reelection as the other alderman from the 


ward. To this the Republicans had assented at once ; but 
the hell of it was so Harper explained that the Repub- 
licans were all of them fools a man had to be a fool to 
be a Republican in the stockyards, where Scully was king. 
And they didn't know how to work, and of course it 
would not do for the Democratic workers, the noble red- 
skins of the War- Whoop League, to support the Repub- 
lican openly. The difficulty would not have been so great 
except for another fact there had been a curious develop- 
ment in stockyards politics in the last year or two, a new 
party having leaped into being. They were the Socialists; 
and it was a devil of a mess, said " Bush " Harper. The 
one image which the word "Socialist" brought to Jurgis 
was of poor little Tamoszius Kuszleika, who had called him- 
self one, and would go out with a couple of other men and 
a soap-box, and shout himself hoarse on a street corner Sat- 
urday nights. Tamoszius had tried to explain to Jurgis what 
it was all about, but Jurgis, who was not of an imagina- 
tive turn, had never quite got it straight ; at present he 
was content with his companion's explanation that the So- 
cialists were the enemies of American institutions could 
not be bought, and would not combine or make any sort 
of a " dicker." Mike Scully was very much worried over 
the opportunity which his last deal gave to them the 
stockyards Democrats were furious at the idea of a rich 
capitalist for their candidate, and while they were changing 
they might possibly conclude that a Socialist firebrand was 
preferable to a Republican bum. And so right here was a 
chance for Jurgis to make himself a place in the world, 
explained " Bush " Harper ; he had been a union man, and 
he was known in the yards as a working-man; he must 
have hundreds of acquaintances, and as he had never talked 
politics with them he might come out as a Republican now 
without exciting the least suspicion. There were barrels of 
money for the use of those who could deliver the goods; 
and Jurgis might count upon Mike Scully, who had never 
yet gone back on a friend. Just what could he do? 
Jurgis asked, in some perplexity, and the other explained 
in detail. To begin with, he would have to go to the 


yards and work, and he mightn't relish that ; but he 
would have what he earned, as well as the rest that came to 
him. He would get active in the union again, and per- 
haps try to get an office, as he, Harper, had ; he would tell 
all his friends the good points of Doyle, the Republican 
nominee, and the bad ones of the " sheeny " ; and then 
Scully would furnish a meeting-place, and he would start 
the " Young Men's Republican Association," or something 
of that sort, and have the rich brewer's best beer by the 
hogshead, and fireworks and speeches, just like the War- 
Whoop League. Surely Jurgis must know hundreds of 
men who would like that sort of fun ; and there would be 
the regular Republican leaders and workers to help him 
out, and they would deliver a big enough majority o 
election day. 

When he had heard all this explanation to the end, 
Jurgis demanded : " But how can I get a job in Packing- 
town? I'm blacklisted." 

At which " Bush " Harper laughed. " I'll attend to that 
all right," he said. 

And the other replied, " It's a go, then ; I'm your 

So Jurgis went out to the stockyards again, and was 
introduced to the political lord of the district, the boss of 
Chicago's mayor. It was Scully who owned the brick- 
yards and the dump and the ice pond though Jurgis 
did not know it. It was Scully who was to blame for the 
unpaved street in which Jurgis's child had been drowned; it 
was Scully who had put into office the magistrate who had 
first sent Jurgis to jail ; it was Scully who was principal 
stockholder in the company which had sold him the ram- 
shackle tenement, and then robbed him of it. But Jurgis 
knew none of these things any more than he knew that 
Scully was but a tool and puppet of the packers. To him 
Scully was a mighty power., the " biggest " man he had 
ever met. 

He was a little, dried-up Irishman, whose hands shook. 
He had a brief talk with his visitor, watching him with 
his rat-like eyes, and making up his mind about him; and 


then he gave him a note to Mr. Harmon, one of the head 

managers of Durham's : 

" The bearer, Jurgis Rudkus, is a particular friend of 
mine, and I would like you to find him a good place, for 
important reasons. He was once indiscreet, but you will 
perhaps be so good as to overlook that." 

Mr. Harmon looked up inquiringly when he read this. 
" What does he mean by ' indiscreet ' ? " he asked. 

" I was blacklisted, sir,'* said Jurgis. 

At which the other frowned. " Blacklisted ? " he said. 
" How do you mean ? " 

And Jurgis turned red with embarrassment. He had 
forgotten that a blacklist did not exist. "I that is-- 
I had difficulty in getting a place," he stammered. 

" What was the matter ? " 

"I got into a quarrel with a foreman -not my own 
boss, sir and struck him." 

" I see," said the other, and meditated for a few mo- 
ments. " What do you wish to do ? " he asked. 

" Anything, sir," said Jurgis " only I had a broken 
arm this winter, and so I have to be carefuL" 

" How would it suit you to be a night-watchman ? " 

" That wouldn't do, sir. I have to be among the men 
at night." 

" I see politics. Well, would it suit you to trim hogs ? " 

" Yes, sir," said Jurgis. 

And Mr. Harmon called a time-keeper and said, "Take 
this man to Pat Murphy and tell him to find room for him 

And so Jurgis marched into the hog-killing room, a 
place where, in the days gone by, he had come begging 
for a job. Now he walked jauntily, and smiled to himself, 
seeing the frown that came to the boss's face as the time- 
keeper said, " Mr. Harmon says to put this man on." It 
would overcrowd his department and spoil the record he 
was trying to make but he said not a word except 
* All right." 

And so Jurgis became a working-man once more j and 


straightway he sought out his old friends, and joined the 
union, and began to " root " for " Scotty " Doyle. Doyle 
had done him a good turn once, he explained, and was 
really a bully chap j Doyle was a working-man himself, 
and would represent the working-men why did they 
want to vote for a millionnaire " sheeny," and what the 
hell had Mike Scully ever done for them that they should 
back his candidates all the time ? And meantime Scully 
had given Jurgis a note to the Republican leader of the 
ward, and he had gone there and met the crowd he was 
to work with. Already they had hired a big hall, with 
some of the brewer's money, and every night Jurgis 
brought in a dozen new members of the " Doyle Republi- 
can Association." Pretty soon they had a grand opening 
night; and there was a brass band, which marched 
through the streets, and fireworks and bombs and red 
lights in front of the hall ; and there was an enormous 
crowd, with two overflow meetings so that the pale and 
trembling candidate had to recite three times over the 
little speech which one of Scully's henchmen had written, 
and which he had been a month learning by heart. Best 
of all, the famous and eloquent Senator Spareshanks, presi- 
dential candidate, rode out in an automobile to discuss 
the sacred privileges of American citizenship, and protec- 
tion and prosperity for the American working-man. His 
inspiriting address was quoted to the extent of half a 
column in all the morning newspapers, which also said 
that it could be stated upon excellent authority that the 
unexpected popularity developed by Doyle, the Republican 
candidate for alderman, was giving great anxiety to Mr. 
Scully, the chairman of the Democratic City Committee. 
The chairman was still more worried when the monster 
torchlight procession came off, with the members of the 
Doyle Republican Association all in red capes and hats, 
and free bser for every voter in the ward the best beer 
ever given away in a political campaign, as the whole elec- 
torate testified. During this parade, and at innumerable 
cart-tail meetings as well, Jurgis labored tirelessly. He 
did not make any speeches there were lawyers and 


other experts for that but he helped to manage thin^g; 
distributing notices and posting placards and bringing 
out the crowds ; and when the show was on he attended 
to the fireworks and the beer. Thus in the course of the 
campaign he handled many hundreds of dollars of the 
Hebrew brewer's money, administering it with na'ive and 
touching fidelity. Toward the end, however, he learned 
that he was regarded with hatred by the rest of the 
"boys," because he compelled them either to make a 
poorer showing than he or to do without their share of 
the pie. After that Jurgis did his best to please them, 
and to make up for the time he had lost before he dis- 
covered the extra bung-holes of the campaign-barrel. 

He pleased Mike Scully, also. On election morning he 
was out at four o'clock, " getting out the vote " ; he had 
a two-horse carriage to ride in, and he went from house to 
house for his friends, and escorted them in triumph to the 
polls. He voted half a dozen times himself, and voted 
some of his friends as often ; he brought bunch after 
bunch of the newest foreigners Lithuanians, Poles, Bo- 
hemians, Slovaks and when he had put them through 
the mill he turned them over to another man to take to 
the next polling-place. When Jurgis first set out, the 
captain of the precinct gave him a hundred dollars, and 
three times in the course of the day he came for another 
hundred, and not more than twenty-five out of each lot 
got stuck in his own pocket. The balance all went for 
actual votes, and on a day of Democratic landslides they 
elected " Scotty " Doyle, the ex-ten-pin setter, by nearly 
a thousand plurality and beginning at five o'clock in 
the afternoon, and ending at three the next morning, 
Jurgis treated himself to a most unholy and horrible 
"jag." Nearly every one else in Packingtown did the 
same, however, for there was universal exultation over 
this triumph of popular government, this crushing defeat 
of an arrogant plutoorat by the power of the common 


AFTER the elections Jurgis stayed on in Packingtown 
and kept his job. The agitation to break up the police 
protection of criminals was continuing, and it seemed to 
him best to " lay low" for the present. He had nearly three 
hundred dollars in the bank, and might have considered 
himself entitled to a vacation ; but he had an easy job, 
and force of habit kept him at it. Besides, Mike Scully, 
whom he consulted, advised him that something might 
* turn up " before long. 

Jurgis got himself a place in a boarding-house with 
some congenial friends. He had already inquired of 
Aniele, and learned that Elzbieta and her family had gone 
down-town, and so he gave no further thought to them. 
He went with a new set, now, young unmarried fellows 
who were " sporty." Jurgis had long ago cast off his 
fertilizer clothing, and since going into politics he had 
donned a linen collar and a greasy red necktie. He had 
some reason for thinking of his dress, for he was making 
about eleven dollars a week, and two-thirds of it he might 
spend upon his pleasures without ever touching his 

Sometimes he would ride down-town with a party of 
friends to the cheap theatres and the music halls and 
other haunts with which they were familiar. Many of 
the saloons in Packingtown had pool-tables, and some 
of them bowling-alleys, by means of which he could spend 
his evenings in petty gambling. Also, there were cards 
and dice. One time Jurgis got into a game on a Saturday 
night and won prodigiously, and because he was a man of 
spirit he stayed in with the rest and the game continued 
until late Sunday afternoon, and by that time he was "out" 


over twenty dollars. On Saturday nights, also, a number 
of balls were generally given in Packingtown ; each man 
would bring his " girl " with him, paying half a dollar for 
a ticket, and several dollars additional for drinks in the 
course of the festivities, which continued until three or 
four o'clock in the morning, unless broken up by fighting. 
During all this time the same man and woman would 
dance together, half-stupefied with sensuality and drink* 

Before long Jurgis discovered what Scully had meant 
by something "turning up." In May the agreement be- 
tween the packers and the unions expired, and a new agree- 
ment had to be signed. Negotiations were going on, and 
the yards were full of talk of a strike. The old scale had 
dealt with the wages of the skilled men only ; and of the 
members of the Meat Workers' Union about two-thirds 
were unskilled men. In Chicago these latter were receiv- 
ing, for the most part, eighteen and a half cents an hour, 
and the unions wished to make this the general wage for 
the next year. It was not nearly so large a wage as it 
seemed in the course of the negotiations the union 
officers examined time-checks to the amount of ten thou- 
sand dollars, and they found that the highest wages paid 
had been fourteen dollars a week, the lowest two dollars 
and five cents, and the average of the whole, six dollars 
and sixty-five cents. And six dollars and sixty -five cents 
was hardly too much for a man to keep a family on. Con- 
sidering the fact that the price of dressed meat had in- 
creased nearly fifty per cent in the last five years, while 
the price of " beef on the hoof" had decreased as much, it 
would have seemed that the packers ought to be able to 
pay it ; but the packers were unwilling to pay it they 
rejected the union demand, and to show what their pur- 
pose was, a week or two after the agreement expired they 
put down the wages of about a thousand men to sixteen 
and a half cents, and it was said that old man Jones had 
vowed he would put them to fifteen before he got through. 
There were a million and a half of men in the country 
looking for work, a hundred thousand of them right in 


Chicago ; and were the packers to let the union stewards 
march into their places and bind them to a contract that 
would lose them several thousand dollars a day for a year? 
Not much 1 

All this was in June ; and before long the question was 
submitted to a referendum in the unions, and the decision 
was for a strike. It was the same in all the packing-house 
cities ; and suddenly the newspapers and public woke up 
to face the grewsome spectacle of a meat famine. All sorts 
of pleas for a reconsideration were made, but the packers 
were obdurate ; and all the while they were reducing 
wages, and heading off shipments of cattle, and rushing 
in wagon-loads of mattresses and cots. So the men boiled 
over, and one night telegrams went out from the union 
headquarters to all the big packing centres, to St. Paul. 
South Omaha, Sioux City, St. Joseph, Kansas City, East 
St. Louis, and New York, and the next day at noon be- 
tween fifty and sixty thousand men drew off their work- 
ing clothes and marched out of the factories, and the great 
" Beef Strike " was on. 

Jurgis went to his dinner, and afterward he walked 
over to see Mike Scully, who lived in a fine house, upon a 
street which had been decently paved and lighted for his 
especial benefit. Scully had gone into semi-retirement, 
and looked nervous and worried. "What do you want?" 
he demanded, when he saw Jurgis. 

" I came to see if maybe you could get me a place during 
the strike," the other replied. 

And Scully knit his brows and eyed him narrowly. In 
that morning's papers Jurgis had read a fierce denuncia- 
tion of the packers by Scully, who had declared that if 
they did not treat their people better the city authorities 
would end the matter by tearing down their plants. 
Now, therefore, Jurgis was" not a little taken aback when 
the other demanded suddenly, " See here, Rudkus, why 
don't you stick by your job ? " 

Jurgis started. " Work as a scab ? " he cried. 

" Why not?" demanded Scully. "What's that to you?" 


"But but " stammered Jurgis. He had somehow 
taken it for granted that he should go out with his union. 

" The packers need good men, and need them bad," con- 
tinued the other, "and they'll treat a man right that 
stands by them. Why don't you take your chance and 
fix yourself ? " 

" But," said Jurgis, " how could I ever be of any use 
to you in politics ? " 

" You couldn't be it anyhow," said Scully, abruptly. 

" Why not? " asked Jurgis. 

" Hell, man ! " cried the other. " Don't you know 
you're a Republican ? And do you think I'm always going 
to elect Republicans ? My brewer has found out already 
how we served him, and there is the deuce to pay.'* 

Jurgis looked dumfounded. He had never thought of 
that aspect of it before. " I could be a Democrat," he said. 

" Yes," responded the other, " but not right away ; a 
man can't change his politics every day. And besides, I 
don't need you there'd be nothing for you to do. And 
it's a long time to election day, anyhow ; and what are 
you going to do meantime ? " 

" I thought I could count on you," began Jurgis. 

" Yes," responded Scully, " so you could I never yet 
went back on a friend. But is it fair to leave the job I 
got you and come to me for another ? I have had a hun 
dred fellows after me to-day, and what can I do ? I've put 
seventeen men on the city pay-roll to clean streets this one 
week, and do you think I can keep that up forever ? It 
wouldn't do for me to tell other men what I tell you, but 
you've been on the inside, and you ought to have sense 
enough to see for yourself. What have you to gain by a 
strike ? " 

" I hadn't thought," said Jurgis. 

"Exactly," said Scully, "but you'd better. Take my 
word for it, the strike will be over in a few days, and the 
men will be beaten ; and meantime what you get out of it 
will belong to you. Do you see ?" 

And Jurgis saw. He went back to the yards, and into 
the work-room. The men had left a long line of hogs in 


various stages of preparation, and the foreman was direct- 
ing the feeble efforts of a score or two of clerks and stenog- 
raphers and office-boys to finish up the job and get them 
into the chilling-rooms. Jurgis went straight up to him 
and announced, "I have come back to work, Mr. 

The boss's face lighted up. " Good man I " he cried. 
" Come ahead I " 

"Just a moment," said Jurgis, checking his enthusiasm. 
" I think I ought to get a little more wages." 

" Yes," replied the other, " of course. What do you 

Jurgis had debated on the way. His nerve almost 
failed him now, but he clenched his hands. " I think I 
ought to have three dollars a day," he said. 

" All right," said the other, promptly ; and before the 
day was out our friend discovered that the clerks and 
stenographers and office-boys were getting five dollars a 
day, and then he could have kicked himself I 

So Jurgis became one of the new " American heroes," a 
man whose virtues merited comparison with those of the 
martyrs of Lexington and Valley Forge. The resem- 
blance was not complete, of course, for Jurgis was gener- 
ously paid and comfortably clad, and was provided with 
a spring-cot and a mattress and three substantial meals a 
day; also he was perfectly at ease, and safe from all peril of 
life and limb save only in the case that a desire for beer 
should lead nim to venture outside of the stockyards 
gates. And even in the exercise of this privilege he was 
not left unprotected ; a good part of the inadequate police 
force of Chicago was suddenly diverted from its work of 
hunting criminals, and rushed out to serve him. 

The police, and the strikers also, were determined that 
there should be no violence ; but there was another party 
interested which was minded to the contrary and that 
was the press. On the first day of his life as a strike- 
breaker Jurgis quit work early, and in a spirit of bravado 
he challenged three men of his acquaintance to go outside 


and get a drink. They accepted, and went through the big 
Halsted Street gate, where several policemen were watch- 
ing, and also some union pickets, scanning sharply those who 
passed in and out. Jurgis and his companions went south 
on Halsted Street, past the hotel, and then suddenly half 
a dozen men started across the street toward them and 
proceeded to argue with them concerning the error of their 
ways. As the arguments were not taken in the proper 
spirit, they went on to threats ; and suddenly one of them 
jerked off the hat of one of the four and flung it over the 
fence. The man started after it, and then, as a cry of 
" Scab ! " was raised and a dozen people came running out 
of saloons and doorways, a second man's heart failed him 
and he followed. Jurgis and the fourth stayed long enough 
to give themselves the satisfaction of a quick exchange of 
blows, and then they, too, took to their heels and fled back 
of the hotel and into the yards again. Meantime, of course, 
policemen were coming on a run, and as a crowd gathered 
other police got excited and sent in a riot-call. Jurgis 
knew nothing of this, but went back to " Packers' Ave- 
nue," and in front of the " Central Time-Station " he saw 
jiie of his companions, breathless and wild with excite- 
ment, narrating to an ever growing throng how the foui 
had been attacked and surrounded by a howling mob, and 
had been nearly torn to pieces. While he stood listening, 
smiling cynically, several dapper young men stood by with 
note-books in their hands, and it was not more than two 
hours later that Jurgis saw newsboys running about with 
armfuls of newspapers, printed in red and black letters 
six inches high : 


If he had been able to buy all of the newspapers of the 
United States the next morning, he might have discovered 
that his beer-hunting exploit was being perused by some 
two score millions of people, and had served as a text for 
editorials in half the staid and solemn business men's news- 
papers in the land. 


Jurgis was to tee more of this as time passed For the 
present, his work being over, he was free to ride into <>he 
city, by a railroad direct from the yards, or else to s^/end 
the night in a room where cots had been laid in rows. 
He chose the latter, but to his regret, for all night long 
gangs of strike-breakers kept arriving. As very few of 
the better class of working-men could be got for such work, 
these specimens of the new American hero contained an 
assortment of the criminals and thugs of the city, besides 
negroes and the lowest foreigners Greeks, Roumanians, 
Sicilians, and Slovaks. They had been attracted more by 
the prospect of disorder than by the big wages ; and they 
made the night hideous with singing and care using, and 
only went to sleep when the time came for them to get up 
to work. 

In the morning before Jurgis had finished his breakfast, 
" Pat " Murphy ordered him to one of the superintendents, 
who questioned him as to his experience in the work of 
the killing-room. His heart began to thump with excite- 
ment, for be divined instantly that his hour had come 
that he was to be a boss I 

Some of the foremen were union members, and many 
who were not had gone out with the men. It was m the 
killing department that the packers had been left most in 
the lurch, and precisely here that they could least afford 
it ; the smoking and canning and salting of meat might 
wait, and all the by-products might be wasted but 
fresh meats must be had, or the restaurants and hotels and 
brown-stone houses would feel the pinch, and then " public 
opinion " would take a startling turn. 

An opportunity such as this would not come twice to a 
man ; and Jurgis seized it. Yes, he knew the work, the 
whole of it, and he could teach it to others. But if he 
took the job and gave satisfaction he would expect to keep 
it they would not turn him off at the end of the strike ? 
To which the superintendent replied that he might safely 
trust Durham's for that they proposed to teach these 
unions a lesson, and most of ail those foremen who hac. 
gone back on them. Jurgis would receive five dollars a 


day during the strike, and twenty-five a week after it was 

So our friend got a pair of " slaughter-pen " boots and 
"jeans," and flung himself at his task. It was a weird 
sight, there on the killing-beds a throng of stupid black 
negroes, and foreigners who could not understand a word 
that was said to them, mixed with pale-faced, hollow- 
chested bookkeepers and clerks, half-fainting for the 
tropical heat and the sickening stench of fresh blood 
and all struggling to dress a dozen or two of cattle in the 
same place where, twenty-four hours ago, the old killing- 
gang had been speeding, with their marvellous precision, 
turning out four hundred carcasses every hour ! 

The negroes and the " toughs " from the Levee did not 
want to work, and every few minutes some of them would 
feel obliged to retire and recuperate. In a couple of dayi 
Durham and Company had electric fans up to cool off the 
rooms for them, and even couches for them to rest on ; and 
meantime they could go out and find a shady corner and 
take a " snooze," and as there was no place for any one in 
particular, and no system, it might be hours before their 
boss discovered them. As for the poor ofiice employees, 
they did their best, moved to it by terror ; thirty of them 
had been " fired " in a bunch that first morning for refus- 
ing to serve, besides a number of women clerks and 
typewriters who had declined to act as waitresses. 

It was such a force as this that Jurgis had to organize. 
He did his best, flying here and there, placing them in 
rows and showing them the tricks ; he had never given an 
order in his life before, but he had taken enough of them 
to know, and he soon fell into the spirit of it, and roared 
and stormed like any old stager. He had not the most 
tractable pupils, however. " See hj r ar, boss," a big black 
" buck " would begin, " ef you doan' like de way Ah does 
dis job, you kin git somebody else to do it." Then a crowd 
would gather and listen, muttering threats. After the first 
meal nearly all the steel knives had been missing, and now 
every negro had one, ground to a fine point, hidden in his 


There was no bringing order out of such a chaos, Jurgis 
soon discovered ; and he fell in with the spirit of the thing 
there was no reason why he should wear himself out 
with shouting. If hides and guts were slashed and ren- 
dered useless there was no way of tracing it to any one r 
and if a man lay off and forgot to come back there was 
nothing to be gained by seeking him, for all the rest would 
quit in the meantime. Everything went, during the strike, 
and the packers paid. Before long Jurgis found that the 
custom of resting had suggested to some alert minds the 
possibility of registering at more than one place and earn- 
ing more than one five dollars a day. When he caught a 
man at this he " fired " him, but it chanced to be in a quiet 
corner, and the man tendered him a ten-dollar bill and a 
wink, and he took them. Of course, before long this cus- 
tom spread, and Jurgis was soon making quite a good 
income from it. 

In the face of handicaps such as these the packers 
counted themselves lucky if they could kill off the cattle 
that had been crippled in transit and the hogs that had 
developed disease. Frequently, in the course of a two or 
three days' trip, in hot weather and without water, some 
hog would develop cholera, and die ; and the rest would 
attack him before he had ceased kicking, and wheii the car 
was opened there would be nothing of him left but the 
bones. If all the hogs in this car-load were not killed at 
once, they would soon be down with the dread disease, and 
there would be nothing to do but make them into lard. 
It was the same with cattle that were gored and dying, or 
were limping with broken bones stuck through their flesh 
they must be killed, even if brokers and buyers and 
superintendents had to take off their coats and help drive 
and cut and skin them. And meantime, agents of the 
packers were gathering gangs of negroes in the country 
districts of the far South, promising them five dollars a day 
and board, and being careful not to mention there was a 
strike ; already car-loads of them were on the way, with 
special rates from the railroads, and all traffic ordered out, 
of the way. Many towns and cities were taking advantage 


of the chance to clear out their jails and work-houses in 
Detroit the magistrates would release every man who 
agreed to leave town within twenty-four hours, and agents 
of the packers were in the court-rooms to ship them right. 
And meantime train-loads of supplies were coming in for 
their accommodation, including beer and whiskey, so thai 
they might not be tempted to go outside. They hired 
thirty young girls in Cincinnati to "pack fruit," and 
when they arrived put them at work canning corned-beef, 
and put cots for them to sleep in a public hallway, through 
which the men passed. As the gangs came in day and 
night, under the escort of squads of police, they stowed 
them away in unused work-rooms and store-rooms, and in 
the car-sheds, crowded so closely together that the cots 
touched. In some places they would use the same room 
for eating and sleeping, and at night the men would put 
their cots upon the tables, to keep away from the swarms 
of rats. 

But with all their best efforts, the packers were demor- 
alized. Ninety per cent of the men had walked out ; and 
they faced the task of completely remaking their labor 
force and with the price of meat up thirty per cent, and 
the public clamoring for a settlement- They made an 
offer to submit the whole question at issue to arbitration : 
and at the end of ten days the unions accepted it, and the 
strike was called off. It was agreed that all the men were 
to be reemployed within forty-five days, and that there 
was to be "no discrimination against union men." 

This was an anxious time for Jurgis. If the men 
were taken back " without discrimination," he would lose 
his present place. He sought out the superintendent, who 
smiled grimly and bade him "wait and see." Durham's 
strike-breakers were few of them leaving. 

Whether or not the " settlement " was simply a trick of 
the packers to gain time, or whether they really expected 
to break the strike and cripple the unions by the plan, can- 
not be said ; but that night there went out from the office 
of Durham and Company a telegram to all the big packing- 
centres, " Employ no union leaders." And in the morn- 


ing, when the twenty thousand men thronged into the 
yards, with their dinner-pails and working-clothes, Jurgis 
stood near the door of the hog-trimming room, where he 
had worked before the strike, and saw a throng of eager 
men, with a score or two of policemen watching them ; and 
he saw a superintendent come out and walk down the line, 
and pick out man after man that pleased him ; and one 
after another came, and there were some men up near the 
head of the line who were never picked they being the 
union stewards and delegates, and the men Jurgis had 
heard making speeches at the meetings. Each time, of 
course, there were louder murmurings and angrier looks. 
Over where the cattle-butchers were waiting, Jurgis heard 
shouts and saw a crowd, and he hurried there. One big 
butcher, who was president of the Packing Trades Council, 
had been passed over five times, and the men were wild 
with rage ; they had appointed a committee of three to 
go in and see the superintendent, and the committee had 
made three attempts, and each time the police had clubbed 
them back from the door. Then there were yells and hoots, 
continuing until at last the superintendent came to the 
door. " We all go back or none of us do I " cried a hun- 
dred voices. And the other shook his fist at them, and 
shouted, "You went out of here like cattle, and like 
cattle you'll come back I " 

Then suddenly the big butcher president leaped upon 
a pile of stones and yelled : " It's off, boys. We'll all of 
us quit again I " And so the cattle-butchers declared a new 
strike on the spot ; and gathering their members from the 
other plants, where the same trick had been played, they 
marched down Packers' Avenue, which was thronged with 
a dense mass of workers, cheering wildly. Men who had 
alieady got to work on the killing-beds dropped their 
tools and joined them ; some galloped here and there on 
horseback, shouting the tidings, and within half an hour 
the whole of Packingtown was on stride again, and beside 
itself with fury. 

There was quite a different tone hi Packingtown after 


this the place was a seething caldron of passion, and the 
"scab" who ventured into it fared badly. There were 
one or two of these incidents each day, the newspapers 
detailing them, and always blaming them upon the unions. 
Yet ten years before, when there were no unions in Pack- 
ingtown, there was a strike, and national troops had to be 
called, and there were pitched battles fought at night, by 
the light of blazing freight-trains. Packingtown was al- 
ways a centre of violence ; in " Whiskey Point," where 
there were a hundred saloons and. one glue-factory, there 
was always fighting, and always more of it in hot weather. 
Any one who had taken the trouble to consult the station- 
house blotter would have found that there was less vio- 
lence that summer than ever before and this while 
Venty thousand men were out of work, and with nothing 
to do all day but brood upon bitter wrongs. There was 
no one to picture the battle the union leaders were fight- 
ing to hold this huge army in rank, to keep it from 
straggling and pillaging, to cheer arid encourage and 
guide a hundred thousand people, of a dozen different 
tongues, through six long weeks of hunger and disap- 
pointment and despair. 

Meantime the packers had set themselves definitely to 
the task of making a new labor force. A thousand or 
two of strike-breakers were brought in every night, and 
distributed among the various plants. Some of them were 
experienced workers, butchers, salesmen, and managers 
from the packers' branch stores, and a few union men 
who had deserted from other cities ; but the vast major- 
ity were " green " negroes from the cotton districts of the 
far South, arid they were herded into the packing-plants 
like sheep. There was a law forbidding the use of build- 
ings as lodging-houses unless they were licensed for the 
purpose, and provided v/ith proper windows, stairways, 
and fire-escapes ; but here, in a " paint-room," reached 
only by an enclosed " chute," a room without a single 
window and only one door, a hundred men were crowded 
upon mattresses on the floor. Up on the third story of the 
'* hog-house " of Jones's was a store-room, without a win 


dow, into which they crowded seven hundred men, sleep- 
ing upon the bare springs of cots, and with a second shift 
to use them by day. And when the clamor of the public 
led to an investigation into these conditions, and the mayor 
of the city was forced to order the enforcement of the law, 
the packers got a judge to issue an injunction forbidding 
him to do it 1 

Just at this time the mayor was boasting that he had 
put an end to gambling and prize-fighting in the city ; 
but here a swarm of professional gamblers had leagued 
themselves with the police to fleece the strike-breakers ; 
and any night, in the big open space in front of Brown's, 
one might see brawny negroes stripped to the waist and 
pounding each other for money, while a howling throng 
of three or four thousand surged about, men and women, 
young white girls from the country rubbing elbows with 
big buck negroes with daggers in their boots, while rows 
of woolly heads peered down from every window of the 
surrounding factories. The ancestors of these black people 
had been savages in Africa ; and since then they had been 
chattel slaves, or had been held down by a community 
ruled by the traditions of slavery. Now for the first time 
they were free, free to gratify every passion, free to 
wreck themselves. They were wanted to break a strike, 
and when it was broken they would be shipped away, and. 
the'r present masters would never see them again; and so 
whiskey and women were brought in by the car-load and 
sold to them, and hell was let loose in the yards. Every 
night there were stabbings and shootings ; it was said that 
the packers had blank permits, whidh enabled them to ship 
dead bodies from the city without troubling the authori- 
ties. They lodged men and women on the same floor ; and 
with the night there began a saturnalia of debauchery 
scenes such as never before had been witnessed in America. 
And as the women were the dregs from the brothels of 
Chicago, and the men were for the most part ignorant 
country negroes, the nameless diseases of vice were soon 
rife ; and this where food was being handled which was 
sent out to every corner of the civilized world. 


The ' Union Stockyards " were never a pleasant place ; 
but now they were not only a collection of slaughter- 
houses, but also the camping-place of an army of fifteen or 
twenty thousand human beasts. All day long the blazing 
midsummer sun beat down upon that square mile of 
abominations : upon tens of thousands of cattle crowded 
into pens whose wooden floors stank and steamed conta- 
gion ; upon bare, blistering, cinder-strewn railroad-tracks, 
and huge blocks of dingy meat-factories, whose labyrinthine 
passages defied a breath of fresh air to penetrate them ; 
and there were not merely rivers of hot blood, and car- 
loads of moist flesh, and rendering- vats and soap-caldrons, 
glue-factories and fertilizer tanks, that smelt like the 
craters of hell there were also tons of garbage festering 
in the sun, and the greasy laundry of the workers hung 
out to dry, and dining-rooms littered with food and black 
with flies, and toilet- rooms that were open sewers. 

And then at night, when this throng poured out into 
the streets to play fighting, gambling, drinking and 
carousing, cursing and screaming, laughing and singing, 
playing banjoes and dancing ! They were worked in the 
yards all the seven days of the week, and they had their 
prize-fights and crap-games on Sunday nights as well; but 
then around the corner one might see a bonfire blazing, 
and an old, gray-headed negress, lean and witchlike, her 
hair flying wild and her eyes blazing, yelling and chanting 
of the fires of perdition and the blood of the "Lamb," 
while men and women lay down upon the ground and 
moaned and screamed in convulsions of terror and remorse. 

Such were the stockyards during the strike ; while the 
unions watched in sullen despair, and the country clamored 
like a greedy child for its food, and the packers went 
grimly on their way. Each day they added new workers, 
and could be more stern with the old ones could put 
them on piece-work, and dismiss them if they did not keep 
up the pace. Jurgis was now one of their agents in this 
process ; and he could feel the change day by day, like 
the slow starting up of a huge machine. He had gotten 
used to being a master of men ; and because of the stifling 


heat and the stench, and the fact that he was a " scab " 
and knew it and despised himself, he was drinking, and 
developing a villainous temper, and he stormed and cursed 
and raged at his men, and drove them until they were 
ready to drop with exhaustion. 

Then one day late in August, a superintendent ran into 
the place and shouted to Jurgis and his gang to drop 
their work and come. They followed him outside, to 
where, in the midst of a dense throng, they saw several 
two-horse trucks waiting, and three patrol-wagon loads of 
police. Jurgis and his men sprang upon one of the trucks, 
and the driver yelled to the crowd, and they went thunder- 
ing away at a gallop. Some steers had just escaped from 
the yards, and the strikers had got hold of them, and there 
would be the chance of a scrap I 

They went out at the Ashland Avenue gate, and over 
in the direction of the " dump." There was a yell as soon 
as they were sighted, men and women rushing out of houses 
and saloons as they galloped by. There were eight or ten 
policemen on the truck, however, and there was no dis- 
turbance until they came to a place where the street was 
blocked with a dense throng. Those on the flying truck 
yelled a warning and the crowd scattered pell-mell, dis- 
closing one of the steers lying in its blood. There were 
a good many cattle-butchers about just then, with nothing 
much to do, and hungry children at home ; and so some one 
had knocked out the steer and as a first-class man can 
kill and dress one in a couple of minutes, there were a 
good many steaks and roasts already missing. This called 
for punishment, of course ; and the police proceeded to ad- 
minister it by leaping from the truck and cracking at every 
head they saw. There were yells of rage and pain, and 
the terrified people fled into houses and stores, or scattered 
helter-skelter down the street. Jurgis and his gang joined 
in the sport, every man singling out his victim, and striv- 
ing to bring him to bay and punch him. If he fled into 
a house his pursuer would smash in the flimsy door and 
follow him up the stairs, hitting every one who came 


within reach, and finally dragging his squealing quarry 
from under a bed or a pile of old clothes in a closet. 

Jurgis and two policemen chased some men into a bar- 
room. One of them took shelter behind the bar, where a 
policeman cornered him and proceeded to whack him over 
the back and shoulders, until he lay down and gave a 
chance at his head. The others leaped a fence in the rear, 
balking the second policeman, who was fat ; and as he came 
back, furious and cursing, a big Polish woman, the owner 
of the saloon, rushed in screaming, and received a poke in 
the stomach that doubled her up on the floor. Meantime 
Jurgis, who was of a practical temper, was helping himself 
at the bar ; and the first policeman, who had laid out his 
man, joined him, handing out several more bottles, and 
filling his pockets besides, and then, as he started to leave, 
cleaning off all the balance with a sweep of his club. The 
din of the glass crashing to the floor brought the fat Po- 
lish woman to her feet again, but another policeman came 
up behind her and put his knee into her back and his 
hands over her eyes and then called to his companion, 
who went back and broke open the cash-drawer and filled 
his pockets with the contents. Then the three went out- 
side, and the man who was holding the woman gave her a 
shove and dashed out himself. The gang having already 
got the carcass on to the truck, the party set out at a trot, 
followed by screams and curses, and a shower of bricks 
and stones from unseen enemies. These bricks and stones 
would figure in the accounts of the " riot " which would 
be sent out to a few thousand newspapers within an hour 
or two ; but the episode of the cash-drawer would never 
be mentioned again, save only in the heart-breaking legends 
of Packingtown. 

It was late in the afternoon when they got back, and 

they dressed out the remainder of the steer, and a couple 
of others that had been killed, and then knocked off for 
the day. Jurgis went down-town to supper, with three 
friends who had been on the other trucks, and they ex- 
changed reminiscences on the way. Afterward they 


drifted into a roulette-parlor, and Jurgis, who was never 
lucky at gambling, dropped about fifteen dollars. To 
console himself he had to drink a good deal, and he went 
back to Packingtown about two o'clock in the morning, 
very much the worse for his excursion, and, it must be 
confessed, entirely deserving the calamity that was in store 
for him. 

As he was going to the place where he slept, he met a 
painted-cheeked woman in a greasy "kimono," and she 
put her arm about his waist to steady him ; they turned 
into a dark room they were passing but scarcely had 
they taken two steps before suddenly a door swung open, 
and a man entered, carrying a lantern. " Who's there ? " 
he called sharply. And Jurgis started to mutter some 
reply ; but at the same instant the man raised his light, 
which flashed in his face, so that it was possible to recog- 
nize him. Jurgis stood stricken dumb, and his heart gave 
a leap like a mad thing. The man was Connor ! 

Connor, the boss of the loading gang ! The man who 
had seduced his wife who had sent him to prison, and 
wrecked his home, and ruined his life I He stood there, 
staring, with the light shining full upon him. 

Jurgis had often thought of Connor since coming back 
to Packingtown, but it had been as of something far off, 
that no longer concerned him. Now, however, when he 
saw him, alive and in the flesh, the same thing happened 
to him that had happened before a flood of rage boiled 
up in him, a blind frenzy seized him. And he flung him- 
ielf at the man, and smote him between the eyes and 
then, as he fell, seized him by the throat and began to 
pound his head upon the stones. 

The woman began screaming, and people came rushing 
in. The lantern had been upset and extinguished, and it 
was so dark they could not see a thing ; but they could 
hear Jurgis panting, and hear the thumping of his victim's 
skull, and they rushed there and tried to pull him off. 
Precisely as before, Jurgis came .away with a piece of his 
enemy's flesh between his teeth ; and, as before, he went 
on fighting with those who had interfered with him, 


until a policeman had oome and beaten him into insensi- 

And so Jurgis spent the balance of the night in the 
gtockyards station-house. This time, however, he had 
money in his pocket, and when he came to his senses he 
could get something to drink, and also a messenger to 
take word of his plight to " Bush" Harper, Harper did 
not appear, however, until after the prisoner, feeling 
very weak and ill, had been haled into court and re- 
manded at five hundred dollars' bail to await the result of 
his victim's injuries. Jurgis was wild about this, because 
a different magistrate had chanced to be on the bench, 
and he had stated that he had never been arrested before, 
and also that he had been attacked first and if only 
some one had been there to speak a good word for him, 
he could have been let off at once. 

But Harper explained that he had been down-town, and 
had not got the message. " What's happened to you ? " 
he asked. 

"I've been doing a fellow up," said Jurgis, "and I've 
got to get five hundred dollars' bail." 

" I can arrange that all right," said the other 
" though it may cost you a few dollars, of course. But 
what was the trouble ? " 

" It was a man that did me a mean trick once," an- 
swered Jurgis. 

"Who is he?" 

" He's a foreman in Brown's or used to be. His 
name's Connor." 

And the other gave a start. " Connor 1 " he cried. 
" Not Phil Connor 1 " 

" Yes," said Jurgis, " that's the fellow. Why ? " 

" Good God ! " exclaimed the other, " then you're in for 
it, old man ! I can't help you 1 " 

Not help me I Why not?" 

" Thy, he's one of Scully s biggest men he's a mem- 
ber of the War- Whoop League, and they talked of sending 
him to the legislature I Phil Connor ! Great heavens 1 " 


Jnrgis sat dumb with dismay. 

" Why, he can send you to Joliet, if he wants to 1 " de- 
clared the other. 

" Can't I have Scully get me off before he finds out 
about it ? " asked Jurgis, at length. 

" But Scully's out of town," the other answered. " I 
don't even know where he is he's run away to dodge 
the strike/' 

That was a pretty mess, indeed. Poor Jurgis sat half- 
dazed. His pull had run up against a bigger pull, and 
he was down and out! "But what am I going to do ?" 
he asked, weakly. 

" How should I know ? " said the other. " I shouldn't 
even dare to get bail for you why, I might ruin myself 
for life 1 " 

Again there was silence. " Can't you do it for me," 
Jurgis asked, " and pretend that you didn't know who I'd 

" But what good would that do you when you came to 
stand trial ? " asked Harper. Then he sat buried in 
thought for a minute or two. " There's nothing unless 
it's this," he said. " I could have your bail reduced ; and 
then if you had the money you could pay it and skip." 

" How much will it be ? " Jurgis asked, after he had 
had this explained more in detail. 

" I don't know," said the other. " How much do you 
own ? " 

" I've got about three hundred dollars," was the answer. 

" Well," was Harper's reply, " I'm not sure, but I'll 
try and get you off for that. I'll take the risk for friend- 
ship's sake for I'd hate to see you sent to state's prison 
for a year or two." 

And so finally Jurgis ripped out his bank-book which 
was sewed up in his trousers and signed an order, 
which " Bush " Harper wrote, for all the money to be paid 
out. Then the latter went and got it, and hurried to the 
court, and explained to the magistrate that Jurgis was a 
decent fellow and a friend of Scully's, who had been at- 
tacked by a strike-breaker. So the bail was -educed to 


three hundred dollars, and Harper went on it himself ; he 
did not tell this to Jurgis, however nor did he tell him 
that when the time for triai came it would be an easy 
matter for him to avoid the forfeiting of the bail, and 
pocket the three hundred dollars as his reward for the risk 
of offending Mike Scully ! All that he told Jurgis was that 
he was now free, and that the best thing he could do was 
to clear out as quickly as possible ; and so Jurgis, over- 
whelmed with gratitude and relief, took the dollar and 
fourteen cents that was left him out of all his bank 
account, and put it with the two dollars and a quartet 
that was left from his last night's celebration, and boarded 
a street-car and got off at the other end of Chicago. 


POOR Jurgis was now an outcast and a tramp once 
more. He was crippled he was as literally crippled as 
any wild animal which has lost its claws, or been torn out 
of its shell. He had been shorn, at one cut, of all those 
mysterious weapons whereby he had been able to make a 
living easily and to escape the consequences of his actions, 
He could no longer command a job when he wanted it ; 
he could no longer steal with impunity he must take 
his chances with the common herd. Nay worse, he dared 
not mingle with the herd he must hide by himself, for 
he was one marked out for destruction. His old com- 
panions would betray him, for the sake of the influence 
they would gain thereby ; and he would be made to suffer, 
not merely for the offence he had committed, but for 
others which would be laid at his door, just as had been 
done for some poor devil on the occasion of that Assault 
upon the " country customer " by him and Duane. 

And also he labored under another handicap now. He 
had acquired new standards of living, which were uot 
easily to be altered. When he had been out of work be- 
fore, he had been content if he could sleep in a doorway 
or under a truck out of the rain, and if he could get fifteen 
cents a day for saloon lunches. But now he desired all 
sorts of other things, and suffered because he had to do 
without them. He must have a drink now and then, a 
drink for its own sake, and apart from the food that came 
with it. The craving for it was strong enough to master 
every other consideration he would have it, though it 
were his last nickel and he had to starve the balance of 
the day in consequence. 


Jurgis became once more a besieger of factory gates. 
But never since he had been in Chicago had he stood less 
chance of getting a job than just then. For one thing, 
there was the economic crisis, the million or two of men 
who had been out of work in the spring and summer, and 
were not yet all back, by any means. And then there 
was the strike, with seventy thousand men and women all 
over the country idle for a couple of months twenty 
thousand in Chicago, and many of them now seeking work 
throughout the city. It did not remedy matters that a 
few days later the strike was given up and about half the 
strikers went back to work ; for every one taken on, 
there was a " scab " who gave up and fled. The ten or 
fifteen thousand "green " negroes, foreigners, and criminals 
were now being turned loose to shift for themselves. 
Everywhere Jurgis went he kept meeting them, and he 
was in an agony of fear least some one of them should 
know that he was "wanted." He would have left 
Chicago, only by the time he had realized his danger he 
was almost penniless ; and it would be better to go to jail 
than to be caught out in the country in the winter-time. 

At the end of about ten days Jurgis had only a few 
pennies left ; and he had not yet found a job not even 
a day's work at anything, not a chance to carry a satcheL 
Once again, as when he had come out of the hospital, he 
was bound hand and foot, and facing the grisly phantom 
of starvation. Raw, naked terror possessed him, a madden- 
ing passion that would never leave him, and that wore him 
down more quickly than the actual want of food. He was 
going to die of hunger I The fiend reached out its scaly 
arms for him it touched him, its breath came into his 
tace; and he would cry out for the awfulness of it, he 
would wake up in the night, shuddering, and bathed in 
perspiration, and start up and flee. He would walk, beg- 
ging for work, until he was exhausted ; he could not remain 
still he would wander on, gaunt and haggard, gazing 
about him with restless eyes. Everywhere he went, from 
one end of the vast city to the other, there were hundreds of 
others like himj everywhere was the sight of pientj 


and the merciless hand of authority waving them away 
There is one kind of prison where the man is behind bars, 
and everything that he desires is outside ; and there is 
another kind where the things are behind the bars, and 
the man is outside. 

When he was down to his last quarter, Jurgis learned 
that before the bakeshops closed at night they sold out 
what was left at half price, and after that he would go 
and get two loaves of stale bread for a nickel, and break 
them up and stuff his pockets with them, munching a bit 
from time to time. He would not spend a penny save for 
this ; and, after two or three days more, he even became 
sparing of the bread, and would stop and peer into the ash- 
barrels as he walked along the streets, and now and then 
rake out a bit of something, shake it free from dust, and 
count himself just so many minutes further from the 

So for several days he had been going about, ravenous 
all the time, and growing weaker and weaker ; and then 
one morning he had a hideous experience, that almost 
broke his heart. He was passing down a street lined with 
warehouses, and a boss offered him a job, and then, after 
he had started to work, turned him off because he was not 
strong enough. And he stood by and saw another man 
put into his place, and then picked up his coat, and walked 
off, doing all that he could to keep from breaking down 
and crying like a baby. He was lost i He was doomed I 
There was no hope for him ! But then, with a sudden 
rush, his fear gave place to rage. He fell to cursing. He 
would come back there after dark, and he would show 
that scoundrel whether he was good for anything or not I 

He was still muttering this when suddenly, at the cor- 
ner, he came upon a green-grocery, with a tray full of 
cabbages in front of it. Jurgis, after one swift glance 
about him, stooped and seized the biggest of them, and 
darted round the corner with it. There was a hue and 
cry, and a score of men and boys started in chase of him ; 
but he came to an alley, and then to another branching 


off from it and leading him into another street, where he 
fell into a walk, and slipped his cabbage under his coat 
and went off unsuspected in the crowd. When he had 
gotten a safe distance away he sat down and devoured 
half the cabbage raw, stowing the balance away in his 
pockets till the next day. 

Just about this time one of the Chicago newspapers, 
which made much of the "common people,' opened a 
"free-soup kitchen" for the benefit of the unemployed. 
Some people said that they did this for the sake of the 
advertising it gave them, and some others said that their 
motive was a fear lest all their readers should be starved 
off ; but whatever the reason, the soup was thick and hot, 
and there was a bowl for every man, all night long. 
When Jurgis heard of this, from a fellow "hobo," he 
vowed that he would have half a dozen bowls before 
morning ; but, as it proved, he was lucky to get one, for 
there was a line of men two blocks long before the stand, 
and there was just as long a line when the place was finally 
closed up. 

This depot was within the danger-line for Jurgis in 
the " Levee " district, where he was known ; but he went 
there, all the same, for he was desperate, and beginning 
to think of even the Bridewell as a place of refuge. So 
far the weather had been fair, and he had slept out every 
night in a vacant lot ; but now there fell suddenly a shadow 
of the advancing winter, a chill wind from the north and a 
driving storm of rain. That day Jurgis bought two drinks 
for the sake of the shelter, and at night he spent his last 
two pennies in a " stale-beer dive." This was a place kept 
by a negro, who went out and drew off the old dregs of 
beer that lay in barrels set outside of the saloons ; and after 
he had doctored it with chemicals to make it " fizz," he 
sold it tor two cents a can, the purchase of a can including 
the privilege of sleeping the night through upon the floor, 
with a mass of degraded outcasts, men and women. 

All these horrors afflicted Jurgis all the more cruelly, 
because he was always contrasting them with the oppor 
tunities he had lost. For instance, just now it was eleetir r 


time again within five or six weeks the voters of the 
country would select a President ; and he heard the 
wretches with whom he associated discussing it, and saw 
the streets of the city decorated with placards and banners 

acd what words could describe the pangs of grief and 
despair that shot through him ? 

For instance, there was a night during this cold spell. 
He had begged all day, for his very life, and found not a 
soul to heed him, until toward evening he saw an old 
lady getting off a street-car and helped her down with her 
umbrellas and bundles, and then told her his " hard-luck 
story," and after answering all her suspicious questions 
satisfactorily, was taken to a restaurant and saw a quarter 
paid down for a meal. And so he had soup and bread, 
and boiled beef and potatoes and beans, and pie and 
coffee, and came out with his skin stuffed tight as a foot- 
ball. And then, through the rain and the darkness, far 
down the street he saw red lights flaring and heard the 
thumping of a bass-drum ; and his heart gave a leap, and 
he made for the place on the run knowing without the 
asking that it meant a political meeting. 

The campaign had so far been characterized by what 
the newspapers termed "apathy." For some reason the 
people refused to get excited over the struggle, and it was 
almost impossible to get them to come to meetings, or to 
make any noise when they did come. Those which had 
been held in Chicago so far had proven most dismal 
failures, and to-night, the speaker being no less a person- 
age than a candidate for the vice-presidency of the nation, 
the political managers had been trembling with anxiety, 
But a merciful Providence had sent this storm of cold rain 

and now all it was necessary to do was to set off a few 
fireworks, and thump awhile on a drum, and all the home- 
less wretches from a mile around would pour in and fill 
the hall I And then on the morrow the newspapers would 
have a chance to report the tremendous ovation, and to add 
that it had been no "silk-stocking "audience, either, proving 
clearly that the high-tariff sentiments of the distinguished 
candidate were pleasing to the wage-earners of the nation 


So Jurgis found himself in a large hall, elaborately dec- 
orated with flags and bunting; and after the chairman 
had made his little speech, and the orator of the evening 
rose up, amid an uproar from the band only fancy the 
emotions of Jurgis upon making the discovery that the 
personage was none other than the famous and eloquent 
Senator Spareshanks, who had addressed the " Doyle Re- 
publican Association" at the stockyards, and helped to 
elect Mike Scully's ten-pin setter to the Chicago Board of 
Aldermen ! 

In truth, the sight of the senator almost brought the tears 
into Jurgis's eyes. What agony it was to him to look back 
upon those golden hours, when he, too, had a place beneath 
the shadow of the plum tree ! When he, too, had been of 
the elect, through whom the country is governed when 
he had had a bung in the campaign-barrel for his own 1 
And this was another election in which the Republicans 
had all the money ; and but for that one hideous accident 
he might have had a share of it, instead of being where he 

The eloquent senator was explaining the system of Pro- 
tection ; an ingenious device whereby the working-man per- 
mitted the manufacturer to charge him higher prices, in 
order that he might receive higher wages ; thus taking his 
money out of his pocket with one hand and putting a part 
of it back with the other. To the senator this, unique 
arrangement had somehow become identified with the 
higher verities of the universe. It was because of it that 
Columbia was the gem of the ocean ; and ail her future 
triumphs, her power and good repute among the nations, 
depended upon the zeal and fidelity with which each citi- 
zen held up the hands of those who were toiling to main- 
tain it. The name of this heroic company was " the 
Grand Old Party" 

And here the band began to play, and Jurgis sat up with 
a violent start. Singular as it may seem, Jurgis was making 
a desperate effort to understand what the senator was say 
ing to comprehend the extent of American prosperity, 


the enormous expansion of American commerce, and the 
Republic's future in the Pacific and in South America, and 
wherever else the oppressed were groaning. The reason 
for it was that he wanted to keep awake. He knew that 
if he allowed himself to fall asleep he would begin to snore 
loudly; and so he must listen he must be interested! 
But he had eaten such a big dinner, and he was so ex 
hausted, and the hall was so warm, and his seat was so com. 
fortable ! The senator's gaunt form began to grow dim 
and hazy, to tower before him and dance about, with figures 
of exports and imports. Once his neighbor gave him a 
savage poke in the ribs, and he sat up with a start and 
tried to look innocent ; but then he was at it again, and 
men began to stare at him with annoyance, and to call out 
in vexation. Finally one of them called a policeman, who 
came and grabbed Jurgis by the collar, and jerked him to 
his feet, bewildered and terrified. Some of the audience 
turned to see the commotion, and Senator Spareshanks 
faltered in his speech; but a voice shouted cheerily : 
"We're just firing a bum I Go ahead, old sport 1 " And so 
the crowd roared, and the senator smiled genially, and went 
on ; and in a few seconds poor Jurgis found himself landed 
out in the rain, with a kick and a string of curses. 

He got into the shelter of a doorway and took stock of 
himself. He was not hurt, and he was not arrested more 
than he had any right to expect. He swore at himself and 
his luck for a while, and then turned his thoughts to prac- 
tical matters. He had no money, and no place to sleep ; 
he must begin begging again. 

He went out, hunching his shoulders together and shiver; 
ing at the touch of the icy rain. Coming down the street, 
toward him was a lady, well-dressed, and protected J)y an 
umbrella ; and he turned and walked beside her. " Please, 
ma'am," he began, " could you lend me the price of a night's 
lodging ? I'm a poor working-man " 

Then, suddenly, he stopped short. By the light of a 
street lamp he had caught sight of the lady's face. He 
knew her. 

It was Alena Jasaityte, who had been the belle of hi* 


wedding-feast I Alena Jasaityte, who had looked so beau- 
tiful, and danced with such a queenly air, with Juozas 
Raczius, the teamster I Jurgis had only seen her once or 
twice afterward, for Juozas had thrown her over for an- 
other girl, and Alena had gone away from Packingtown, 
no one knew where. And now he met her here I 

She was as much surprised as he was. " Jurgis Rudkus 1 " 
she gasped. " And what in the world is the matter with 

"I I've had hard luck," he stammered. " I'm out of 
work, and I've no home and no money. And you, Alena 
are you married ? *' 

" No," she answered, " I'm not married, but I've got a 
good place." 

They stood staring at each other for a few moments 
longer. Finally Alena spoke again. "Jurgis," she said, 
"I'd help you if I could, upon my word I would, but it 
happens that I've come out without my purse, and I hon 
estly haven't a penny with me. I can do something better 
for you, though I can tell you how to get help. I can 
tell you where Marija is." 

Jurgis gave a start. " Marija ! " he gasped. 

" Yes," said Alena ; '* and she'll help you. She's got a 
place, and she's doing well; she'll be glad to f ee you. 

It was not much more than a year since -urgis had left 
Packingtown, feeling like one escaped from jail ; and it 
bad been from Marija and Elzbieta that he was escaping 
But now, at the mere mention of them, his whole being 
cried out with joy. He wanted to see them ; he wanted 
to go home ! They would help him they would be kind 
to him. In a flash he had thought over the situation. He 
had a good excuse for running away his grief at the 
death of his son ; and also he had a good excuse for not 
returning the fact that they had left Packingtown. " AJ1 
right," he said, "I'll go." 

So she gave him a number on Clark Street, adding, 
" There's no need to give you my address, because Marija 
knows it." And Jurgis set out, without further ado. 

He found a large brown-stone house of aristocratic ar> 


pearanoe, and rang the basement bell. A young colored 
girl came to the door, opening it about an inch, and gazing 
at him suspiciously. 

"What do you want?" she demanded. 

" Does Marija Berczynskas live here ?" he inquired. 

" I dunno," said the girl. " What you want wid her ?" 

" I want to see her," said he ; she's a relative of mine." 

The girl hesitated a moment. Then she opened the door 
and said, " Come in." Jurgis came and stood in the hall, 
and she continued : " I'll go see. What's yo' name ?" 

"Tell her it's Jurgis," he answered, and the girl went 
upstairs. She came back at the end of a minute or two, 
and replied, "Dey ain't no sich person here." 

Jurgis's heart went down into his boots. " I was told 
this was where she lived 1" he cried. 

But the girl only shook her head. " De lady says dey 
ain't no sich person here," she said. 

And he stood for a moment, hesitating, helpless with 
dismay. Then he turned to go to the door. At the same 
instant, however, there came a knock upon it, and the girl 
went to open it. Jurgis heard the shuffling of feet, and 
then heard her give a cry ; and the next moment she 
sprang back, and past him, her eyes shining white with 
terror, and bounded up the stairway, screaming at the top 
of her lungs " Police I Police t We'repimhedT 

Jurgis stood for a second, bewildered. Then, seeing 
blue-coated forms rushing upon him, he sprang after the 
negress. Her cries had been the signal for a wild uproar 
above; the house was full of people, and as he entered the 
hallway he saw them rushing hither and thither, crying 
and screaming with alarm. There were men and womeu 
the latter clad for the most part in wrappers, the former in 
all stages of deshabille. At one side Jurgis caught a 
glimpse of a big apartment with plush-covered chairs, and 
tables covered with trays and glasses. There were play- 
ing-cards scattered all over the floor one of the tables 
had been upset, and bottles of wine were rolling about, 
their contents running out upon the carpet. There was a 


young girl who had fainted, and two men who were sup- 
porting her; and there were a dozen others crowding 
toward the front-door. 

Suddenly, however, there came a series of resounding 
blows upon it, causing the crowd to give back. At the 
same instant a stout woman, with painted cheeks and dia- 
monds in her ears, came running down the stairs, panting 
breathlessly : " To the rear ! Quick ! " 

She led the way to a back staircase, Jurgis following ; 
in the kitchen she pressed a spring, and a cupboard gave 
way and opened, disclosing a dark passageway. " Go in ! " 
she cried to the crowd, which now amounted to twenty or 
thirty, and they began to pass through. Scarcely had the 
last one disappeared, however, before there were cries from 
in front, and then the panic-stricken throng poured out 
again, exclaiming : " They're there too I We're trapped I " 

" Upstairs ! '* cried the woman, and there was another 
rush of the mob, women and men cursing and screaming 
and fighting to be first. One flight, two, three and then 
there was a ladder to the roof, with a crowd packed at the 
foot of it, and one man at the top, straining and struggling 
to lift the trap-door. It was not to be stirred, however, 
and when the woman shouted up to unhook it, he answered : 
" It's already unhooked. There's somebody sitting on it ! '* 

And a moment later came a voice from downstairs: 
" You might as well quit, you people. We mean business, 
this time. 

So the crowd subsided ; and a few moments later several 
policemen came up, staring here and there, and leering at 
their victims. Of the latter the men were for the most 
part frightened and sheepish-looking. The women took it 
as a joke, as if they were used to it though if they had 
been pale, one could not have told, for the paint on their 
cheeks. One black-eyed young girl perched herself upon 
the top of the balustrade, and began to kick with her slip- 
pered foot at the helmets of the policemen, until one oi 
them caught her by the ankle and pulled her down. On 
the floor below four or five other girls sat upon trunks in 
the hall, making fun of the procession which filed by them 


They were noisy and hilarious, and had evidently been 
drinking; one of them, who wore a bright red kimono, 
shouted and screamed in a voice that drowned out all the 
other sounds in the hall and Jurgis took a glance at her, 
and then gave a start, and a cry, " Marija ! " 

She heard him, and glanced around; then she shrank 
back and half sprang to her feet in amazement. " Jurgis ! " 

For a second or two they stood staring at each other. 
** How did you come here ? " Marija exclaimed. 

" I came to see you," he answered. 


" Just now." 

" But how did you know who told you I was here ? " 

" Alena Jasaityte. I met her on the street.'* 

Again there was a silence, while they gazed at each other. 
The rest of the crowd was watching them, and so Marija 
got up and came closer to him. "And you?" Jurgis 
asked. "You live here?" 

"Yes," said Marija, "I live here." 

Then suddenly came a hail from below: "Get your 
clothes on now, girls, and come along. You'd best begin, 
or you'll be sorry it's raining outside." 

" Br-r-r 1 " shivered some one, and the women got up and 
entered the various doors which lined the hallway. 

" Come," said Marija, and took Jurgis into her room, 
which was a tiny place about eight by six, with a cot and 
a chair and a dressing-stand and some dresses hanging be- 
hind the door. There were clothes scattered about on the 
floor, and hopeless confusion everywhere, boxes of rouge 
and bottles of perfume mixed with hats and soiled dishes 
on the dresser, and a pair of slippers and a clock and a 
whiskey bottle on a chair. 

Marija had nothing on but a kimono and a pair of stock- 
ings ; yet she proceeded to dress before Jurgis, and with- 
out even taking the trouble to close the door. He had by 
this time divined what sort of a place he was in ; and he 
had seen a great deal of the world since he had left home, 
and was not easy to shock and yet it gave him a painful 


start that Marija should do this. They had always been 
decent people at home, arid it seemed to him that the mem- 
ory of old times ought to have ruled her. But then he 
laughed at himself for a fool. What was he, to be pre~ 
tending to decency I 

" How long have you been living here ? " he asked. 

'* Nearly a year," she answered. 

" Why did you come ? " 

" I had to live," she said ; " and I couldn't see the chil- 
dren starve." 

He paused for a moment, watching her. "You were 
out of work ? " he asked, finally. 

44 1 got sick," she replied, "and after that I had no 
money. And then Stanislovas died " 

" Stanislovas dead ! " 

" Yes," said Marija, " I forgot. You didn't know about 

"How did he die?" 

" Rats killed him," she answered. 

Jurgis gave a gasp. " Rats killed him ! " 

" Yes," said the other ; she wa-s bending over, lacing her 
shoes as she spoke. " He was working in an oil factory 
at least he was hired by the men to get their beer. He 
used to carry cans on a long pole ; and he'd drink a little 
out of each can, and one day ho drank too much, and fell 
asleep in a corner, and got locked up in the place all night. 
When they found him the rats had killed him and eaten 
him nearly all up." 

Jurgis sat, frozen with horror. Marija went on lacing 
Up her shoes. There was a long silence. 

Suddenly a big policeman came to the door. "Hurry 
up, there," he said. 

" As quick as I can," said Marija, and she stood up and 
in putting on her corsets with feverish haste. 
Are the rest of the people alive ? " asked Jurgis, finally. 

44 Yes," she said. 

44 Where are they?" 

44 They live not far from here. They're all right uoW 

** They are working ? " he inquired. 


" Elzbieta is," said Marija, " when she can. I take care 
of them most of the time I'm making plenty of money 

Jurgis was silent for a moment. " Do they know you 
live here how you live ? " he asked. 

" Elzbieta knows," answered Marija. " I couldn't lie to 
her. And maybe the children have found out by this 
time. It's nothing to be ashamed of we can't help 

" And Tamoszius ? " he asked. " Does he know ? " 

Marija shrugged her shoulders. "How do I know?" 
she said. " I haven't seen him for over a year. He got 
blood-poisoning and lost one finger, and couldn't play the 
violin any more ; and then he went away." 

Marija was standing in front of the glass fastening her 
dress. Jurgis sat staring at her. He could hardly believe 
that she was the same woman he had known in the old 
days; she was so quiet so hard! It struck fear to his 
heart to watch her. 

Then suddenly she gave a glance at him. " You look 
as if you had been having a rough time of it yourself," 
she said. 

" I have," he answered. " I haven't a cent in my 
pockets, and nothing to do." 

** Where have you been? " 

" All over. I've been hoboing it. Then I went back 
to the yards just before the strike." He paused for a 
moment, hesitating. " I asked for you," he added. " I 
found you had gone away, no one knew where. Perhaps 
you think I did you a dirty trick, running away as I did, 
Marija " 

" No," she answered, " I don't blame you. We never 
have any of us. You did your best the job was too 
much for us." She paused a moment, then added : " We 
were too ignorant that was the trouble. We didn't 
stand any chance. If I'd known what I know now 
we'd have won out." 

" You'd have come here ? " said Jurgis. 

" Yes," she answered ; but that's not what I meant 


I meant you how differently you would have behaved 
about Ona." 

Jurgis was silent ; he had never thought of that aspect 
of it. 

" When people are starving," the other continued, " and 
they have anything with a price, they ought to sell it, I 
say. I guess you realize it now when it's too late. Ona 
could have taken care of us all, in the beginning." Marija 
spoke without emotion, as one who had come to regard 
things from the business point of view. 

"I yes, I guess so," Jurgis answered hesitatingly. 
He did not add that he had paid three hundred dollars, and 
a foreman's job, for the satisfaction of knocking down 
" Phil " Connor a second time. 

The policeman came to the door again just then. " Come 
on, now," he said. " Lively ! " 

" All right," said Marija, reaching for her hat, which was 
big enough to be a drum-major's, and full of ostrich feathers. 
She went out into the hall and Jurgis followed, the police- 
man remaining to look under the bed and behind the door. 

" What's going to come of this ? " Jurgis asked, as they 
started down the steps. 

" The raid, you mean ? Oh, nothing it happens to us 
every now and then. The madame's having some sort of 
time with the police ; I don't know what it is, but maybe 
they'll come to terms before morning. Anyhow, they 
won't do anything to you. They always let the men off." 

" Maybe so," he responded, " but not me I'm afraid 
I'm in for it." 

" How do you mean ? " 

" I'm wanted by the police," he said, lowering his voice, 
though of course their conversation was in Lithuanian. 
" They'll send me up for a year or two, I'm afraid." 

"Hell! " said Marija. "That's too bad. I'll see if I 
can't get you off." 

Downstairs, where the greater part of the prisoners were 
now massed, she sought out the stout personage with the 
diamond earrings, and had a few whispered words with her. 
The latter then approached the police sergeant who was in 


charge of the raid. " Billy," she said, pointing to Jurgis, 
" there's a fellow who came in to see his sister. He'd just 
got in the door when you Knocked. You aren't taking 
hoboes, are you ? " 

The sergeant laughed as he looked at Jurgis. " Sorry," 
he said, "but the orders are every one but the servants." 

So Jurgis slunk in among the rest of the men, who kept 
dodging behind each other like sheep that have smelt 
a wolf. There were old men and young men, college boys 
and gray beards old enough to be their grandfathers ; some 
of them wore evening-dress there was no one among 
them save Jurgis who showed any signs of poverty. 

When the round-up was completed, the doors were 
opened and the party marched out. Three patrol-wagons 
were drawn up at the curb, and the whole neighborhood 
had turned out to see the sport ; there was much chaffing, 
and a universal craning of necks. The women stared 
about them with defiant eyes, or laughed and joked, while 
the men kept their heads bowed, and their hats pulled over 
their faces. They were crowded into the patrol-wagons as 
if into street-cars, and then off they went amid a din of 
cheers. At the station-house Jurgis gave a Polish name 
and was put into a cell with half a dozen others ; and 
while these sat and talked in whispers, he lay down in a 
corner and gave himself up to his thoughts. 

Jurgis had looked into the deepest reaches of the social 
pit, and grown used to the sights in them. Yet when 
he had thought of all humanity as vile and hideous, he had 
somehow always excepted his own family, that he had 
loved; and now this sudden horrible discovery Marija 
a whore, and Elzbieta and the children living off her 
shame ! Jurgis might argue with himself all he chose, that 
he had done worse, and was a fool for caring but still 
he could not get over the shock of that sudden un- 
veiling, he could not help being sunk in grief because of it. 
The depths of him were troubled and shaken, memories 
were stirred in him that had been sleeping so long he had 
counted them dead. Memories of the old life his old 
hopes and his old yearnings, his old dreams of decency and 


independence I He saw Ona again, he heard her gentle 
voice pleading with him. He saw little Antanas, whom 
he had meant to make a man. He saw his trembling old 
father, who had blessed them all with his wonderful love. 
He lived again through that day of horror when he had 
discovered Ona's shame God, how he had suffered, what 
a madman he had been ! How dreadful it had all seemed 
to him ; and now, to-day, he had sat and listened, and half 
agreed when Marija told him he had been a fool ! Yes 
told him that he ought to have sold his wife's honor and 
lived by it ! And then there was Stanislovas and his 
awful fate that brief story which Marija had narrated so 
calmly, with such dull indifference ! The poor little fellow, 
with his frost-bitten fingers and his terror of the snow 
his wailing voice rang in Jurgis's ears, as he lay there in 
the darkness, until the sweat started on his forehead. Now 
and then he would quiver with a sudden spasm of horror, 
at the picture of little Stanislovas shut up in the deserted 
building and fighting for his life with the rats ! 

All these emotions had become strangers to the soul of 
Jurgis ; it was so long since they had troubled him that he 
had ceased to think they might ever trouble him again. 
Helpless, trapped, as he was, what good did they do him 
why should he ever have allowed them to torment him I 
It had been the task of his recent life to fight them down, 
to crush them out of him ; never in his life would he have 
suffered from them again, save that they had caught him 
unawares, and overwhelmed him before he could protect 
himself. He heard the old voices of his soul, he saw itf 
old ghosts beckoning to him, stretching out their arms tc 
him ! But they were far-off and shadowy, and the guK 
between them was black and bottomless ; they would fade 
away into the mists of the past once more. Their voices 
would die, and never again would he hear them and so 
the last faint spark of manhood in his soul would flicker 


AFTER breakfast Jurgis was driven to the court, which 
was crowded with the prisoners and those who had come 
out of curiosity or in the hope of recognizing one of the 
men and getting a case for blackmail. The men were called 
up first, and reprimanded in a bunch, and then dismissed; 
but Jurgis, to his terror, was called separately, as being a 
suspicious-looking case. It was in this very same court 
that he had been tried, that time when his sentence had 
been "suspended"; it was the same judge, and the same 
clerk. The latter now stared at Jurgis, as if he half thought 
that he knew him ; but the judge had no suspicions just 
then his thoughts were upon a telephone message he was 
expecting from a friend of the police captain of the dis- 
trict, telling what disposition he should make of the case 
of " Polly Simpson, as the " madame " of the house was 
known. Meantime, he listened to the story of how Jurgis 
had been looking for his sister, and advised him dryly to 
keep his sister in a better place ; then he let him go, and 
proceeded to fine each of the girls five dollars, which fines 
were paid in a bunch from a wad of bills which Madame 
Polly extracted from her stocking. 

Jurgis waited outside and walked home with Marija. 
The police had left the house, and already there were a few 
visitors ; by evening the place would be running again, 
exactly as if nothing had happened. Meantime, Marija 
took Jurgis upstairs to Jher room, and they sat and talked. 
By daylight, Jurgis was able to observe that the color on 
her cheeks was not the old natural one of abounding 
health ; her complexion was in reality a parchment yellow, 
and there were black rings under her eyes. 

" Have you been sick? " he asked. 


"Sick?" she said. "Hell!" (Marija had learned to 
scatter her conversation with as many oaths as a longshore- 
man or a mule driver.) " How can I ever be anything but 
sick, at this life ? " 

She fell silent for a moment, staring ahead of her gloom- 
ily. " It's morphine," she said, at last. " I seem to take 
more of it every day." 

" What's that for? " he asked. 

" It's the way of it ; I don't know why. If it isn't that, 
it's drink. If the girls didn't booze they couldn't stand it 
any time at all. And the madame always gives them dope 
when they first come, and they learn to like it ; or else they 
take it for headaches and such things, and get the habit 
that way. I've got it, I know ; I've tried to quit, but I 
never will while I'm here." 

" How Jong are you going to stay ? " he asked. 

" I don't know," she said. " Always, I guess. What 
else could I do?" 

" Don't you save any money ? " 

" Save ! " said Marija. " Good Lord, no ! I get enough, 
I suppose, but it all goes. I get a half share, two dollars 
and a half for each customer, and sometimes I make twenty- 
five or thirty dollars a night, and you'd think I ought to 
save something out of that ! But then I am charged for 
my room and my meals and such prices as you never 
heard of; and then for extras, and drinks for everything 
I get, and some I don't. My laundry bill is nearly twenty 
dollars each week alone think of that ! Yet what can I 
do ? I either have to stand it or quit, and it would be the 
same anywhere else. It's all I can do to save the fifteen 
dollars I give Elzbieta each week, so the children can go to 

Marija sat brooding in silence for a while ; then, seeing 
that Jurgis was interested, she went on : " That's the way 
they keep the girls they let them run up debts, so they 
can't get away. A young girl comes from abroad, and she 
doesn't know a word of English, and she gets into a place 
like this, and when she wants to go the madame shows her 
that she is a couple of hundred dollars in debt, and takes 


afl her clothes away, and threatens to have her arrested If 
she doesn't stay and do as she's told. So she stays, and 
the longer she stays, the more in debt she gets. Often, 
too, they are girls that didn't know what they were coming 
to, that had hired out for housework. Did you notice that 
little French girl with the yellow hair, that stood next to 
me in the court ? " 

Jurgis answered in the affirmative. 

" Well, she came to America about a year ago. She 
was a store-clerk, and she hired herself to a man to be sent 
here to work in a factory. There were six of them, all to- 
gether, and they were brought to a house just down the 
street from here, and this girl was put into a room alone, 
and they gave her some dope in her food, and when she 
came to she found that she had been ruined. She cried, 
and screamed, and tore her hair, but she had nothing but a 
wrapper, and couldn't get away, and they kept her half insen- 
sible with drugs all the time, until she gave up. She 
never got outside of that place for ten months, and then 
they sent her away, because she didn't suit. I guess they'll 
put her out of here, too she's getting to have crazy fits, 
from drinking absinthe. Only one of the girls that came 
out with her got away, and she jumped out of a second- 
story window one night. There was a great fuss about 
that maybe you heard of it." 

"I did," said Jurgis, "I heard of it afterward." (It 
had happened in the place where he and Duane had taken 
refuge from their " country customer." The girl had be- 
come insane, fortunately for the police.) 

" There's lots of money in it," said Marija " they get as 
much as forty dollars a head for girls, and they bring them 
from all over. There are seventeen in this place, and nine 
different countries among them. In some places you might 
find even more. We have half a dozen French girls I 
suppose it's because the madame speaks the language. 
French girls are bad, too, the worst of all, except for the 
Japanese. There's a place next door that's full of Japanese 
women, but I wouldn t live in the same house with one of 


Marija paused for a moment or two, and then she 
added : " Most of the women here are pretty decent 
you'd be surprised. I used to think they did it because 
they liked to ; but fancy a woman selling herself to every 
kind of man that comes, old or young, black or white 
and doing it because she likes to 1 " 

" Some of them say they do," said Jurgis. 

" I know," said she ; " they say anything. They're iv* 
and they know the}' can't get out. But they didn't like it 
when they began you'd find out it's always misery I 
There's a little Jewish girl here who used to run errands 
for a milliner, and got sick and lost her place ; and she 
was four days on the streets without a mouthful of food, 
and then she went to a place just around the corner and 
offered herself, and they made her give up her clothes 
before they would give her a bite to eat I " 

Marija sat for a minute or two, brooding sombrely. 
"Tell me about yourself, Jurgis," she said, suddenly. 
"Where have you been?" 

So he told her the long story of his adventures since his 
flight from home ; his life as a tramp, and his work in the 
freight tunnels, and the accident ; and then of Jack Duane, 
and of his political career in the stockyards, and his down- 
fall and subsequent failures. Marija listened with sym- 
pathy ; it was easy to believe the tale of his late starvation, 
for his face showed it all. " You found me just in the 
nick of time," she said. " I'll stand by you I'll help you 
till you can et some work." 

" I don't like to let you " he began. 
" Why not ? Because I'm here ? " 

" No, not that," he said. " But I went off and left you " 

" Nonsense I " said Marija. " Don't think about it. I 
don't blame you." 

"You must be hungry," she said, after a minute or 
two. " You stay here to lunch I'll have something up 
in the room." 

She pressed a button, and a colored woman came to the 
door and took her order. " It's nice to have somebody to 
wait on you," she observed, with a laugh, as she lay back 
on the bed. 


As the prison breakfast had not been liberal, Jurgis had 
A good appetite, and they had a little feast together, talk- 
ing meanwhile of Elzbieta and the children and old times. 
Shortly before they were through, there came another 
colored girl, with the message that the " madaine " wanted 
Mari ja " Lithuanian Mary," as they called her here. 

" That means you have to go," she said to Jurgis. 

So he got up, and she gave him the new address of the 
family, a tenement over in the Ghetto district. " You go 
there," she said. " They'll be glad to see you." 

But Jurgis stood hesitating. 

" I I don't like to," he said. " Honest, Marija, why 
don't you just give me a little money and let me look for 
work first?" 

" How do you need money ? " was her reply. " All you 
/ant is something to eat and a place to sleep, isn't it ? " 

44 Yes," he said ; " but then I don't like to go there after 
I left them and while I have nothing to do, and while 
you you " 

" Go on 1 " said Marija, giving him a push. " What are 
you talking ? I won't give you money," she added, as she 
followed him to the door, " because you'll drink it up, and 
do yourself harm. Here's a quarter for you now, and go 
along, and they'll be so glad to have you back, you won't 
have time to feel ashamed. Good-by I " 

So Jurgis went out, and walked down the street to think 
it over. He decided that he would first try to get work, 
and so he put in the rest of the day wandering here and 
there among factories and warehouses without success. 
Then, when it was nearly dark, he concluded to go home, 
and set out ; but he came to a restaurant, and went in and 
spent his quarter for a meal ; and when he came or.t he 
changed his mind the nighb was pleasant, and he vould 
sleep somewhere outside, and put in the morrow hunting, 
and so have one more chance of a job. So he started away 
again, when suddenly he chanced to look about him, and 
found that he was walking down the same street and past 
the same hall where he had listened to the political speecb 


the night before. There was no red fire and no band now, 
but there was a sign out, announcing a meeting, and a 
stream of people pouring in through the entrance. In a 
flash Jurgis had decided that he would chance it once 
more, and sit down and rest while making up his mind 
what to do. There was no one taking tickets, so it must 
be a free show again. 

He entered. There were no decorations in the hall this 
time ; but there was quite a crowd upon the platform, and 
almost every seat in the place was filled. He took one of 
the last, far in the rear, and straightway forgot all about 
his surroundings. Would Elzbieta think that he had come 
to sponge off her, or would she understand that he meant 
to get to work again and do his share ? Would she be 
decent to him, or would she scold him? If only he could 
get some sort of a job before he went if that last boss 
had only been willing to try him ! 

Then suddenly Jurgis looked up. A tremendous roar 
had burst from the throats of the crowd, which by this 
time had packed the hall to the very doors. Men and 
women were standing up, waving handkerchiefs, shouting, 
yelling. Evidently the speaker had arrived, thought 
Jurgis; what fools they were making of themselves! 
What were they expecting to get out of it anyhow 
wnat aad they to do with elections, with governing the 
country? Jurgis had been behind the scenes in politics. 

He went back to his thoughts, but with one further fact 
to reckon with that he was caught here. The hall was 
now filled to the doors ; and after the meeting it would be 
too late for him to go home, so he would have to make the 
best of it outside. Perhaps it would be better to go home 
in the morning, anyway, for the children would be at 
school, and he and Elzbieta could have a quiet explanation. 
She always had been a reasonable person ; and he really 
did mean to do right. He would manage to persuade her 
of it and besides, Marija was willing, and Marija was 
furnishing the money. If Elzbieta were ugly, he would 
tell her that in so many words. 

So Jurgis went on meditating; until finally, when he 


had been an hour or two in the hall, there began to pre- 
pare itself a repetition of the dismal catastrophe of the 
night before. Speaking had been going on all the time, 
and the audience was clapping its hands and shouting, 
thrilling with excitement ; and little by little the sounds 
were beginning to blur in Jurgis's ears, and his thoughts 
were beginning to run together, and his head to wobble 
and nod. He caught himself many times, as usual, and 
made desperate resolutions ; but the hall was hot and close, 
and his long walk and his dinner were too much for him 
in the end his head sank forward and he wont off again. 

And then again some one nudged him, and he sat up 
with his old terrified start ! He had been snoring again, 
of course I And now what ? He fixed his eyes ahead of 
him, with painful intensity, staring at the platform as if 
nothing else ever had interested him, or ever could inter- 
est him, all his life. He imagined the angry exclamations, 
the hostile glances; he imagined the policeman striding 
toward him reaching for his neck. Or was he to have 
one more chance? Were they going to let him alone this 
time ? He sat trembling, waiting 

And then suddenly came a voice in his ear, a woman's 
voice, gentle and sweet, " If you would try to listen, com- 
rade, perhaps you would be interested." 

Jurgis was more startled by that than he would have 
been by the touch of a policeman. He still kept his eyes 
fixed ahead, and did not stir ; but his heart gave a great 
leap. Comrade I Who was it that called him " comrade " ? 

He waited long, long; and at last, when he was sure 
that he was no longer watched, he stole a glance out of the 
corner of his eyes at the woman who sat beside him. She 
was young and beautiful ; she wore fine clothes, and was 
what is called a " lady." And she called him " comrade " * 

He turned a little, carefully, so that he could see hei 
better ; then he began to watch her, fascinated. She had 
apparently forgotten all about him, and was looking 
toward the platform. A man was speaking there Jurgis 
heard his voice vaguely ; but all his thoughts were for this 
woman's face. A feeling of alarm stole over him as he 


stared at her. It made his flesh creep. What was the 
matter with her, what could be going on, to affect any one 
like that? She sat as one turned to stone, her hands 
clenched tightly in her lap, so tightly that he could see the 
cords standing out in her wrists. There was a look of 
excitement upon her face, of tense effort, as of one strug- 
gling mightily, or witnessing a struggle. There was a 
faint quivering of her nostrils ; and now and then she 
would moisten her lips with feverish haste. Her bosom 
rose and fell as she breathed, and her excitement seemed 
to mount higher and higher, and then to sink away again, 
like a boat tossing upon ocean surges. What was it? 
What was the matter? It must be something that the 
man was saying, up there on the platform. What sort of 
a man was he ? And what sort of a thing was this, any- 
how? So all at once it occurred to Jurgis to look at 
the speaker. 

It was like coming suddenly upon some wild sight of 
nature, a mountain forest lashed by a tempest, a ship 
tossed about upon a stormy sea. Jurgis had an unpleasant 
sensation, a sense of confusion, of disorder, of wild and 
meaningless uproar. The man was tall and gaunt, as 
haggard as his auditor himself; a thin black beard cov- 
ered half of his face, and one could see only two black 
hollows where the eyes were. He was speaking rapidly, 
in great excitement ; he used many gestures as he spoke 
he moved here and there upon the stage, reaching with 
his long arms as if to seize each person in his audience. 
His voice was deep, like an organ ; it was some time, how- 
ever, before Jurgis thought of the voice he was too 
much occupied with his eyes to think of what the man was 
saying. But suddenly it seemed as if the speaker had begun 
pointing straight at him, as if he had singled him out par- 
ticularly for his remarks ; and so Jurgis became suddenly 
aware of the voice, trembling, vibrant with emotion, with 
pain and longing, with a burden of things unutterable, not 
to be compassed by words. To hear it was to be suddenly 
arrested, to be gripped, transfixed. 

" You listen to these things," the man was saying, " and 



you say, * Yes, they are true, but they have been that way 
always.' Or you say, ' Maybe it will come, but not in 
my time it will not help me.' And so you return to 
your daily round of toil, you go back to be ground up for 
profits in the world- wide mill of economic might ! To toil 
long hours for another's advantage ; to live in mean and 
squalid homes, to work in dangerous and unhealthful 
places ; to wrestle with the spectres of hunger and priva- 
tion, to take your chances of accident, disease, and death. 
And each day the struggle becomes fiercer, the pace more 
cruel ; each day you have to toil a little harder, and feel 
the iron hand of circumstance close upon you a little 
tighter. Months pass, years maybe and then you come 
again ; and again I am here to plead with you, to know if 
want and misery have yet done their work with you, if in- 
justice and oppression have yet opened your eyes I I shall 
still be waiting there is nothing else that I can do. 
There is no wilderness where I can hide from these things, 
there is no haven where I can escape them; though I 
travel to the ends of the earth, I find the same accursed 
system, I find that all the fair and noble impulses of 
humanity, the dreams of poets and the agonies of martyrs, 
are shackled and bound in the service of organized and 
predatory Greed! And therefore I cannot rest, I cannot 
be silent; therefore I cast aside comfort and happiness, 
health and good repute and go out into the world and 
cry out the pain of my spirit I Therefore I am not to be 
silenced by poverty and sickness, not by hatred and oblo- 
quy, by threats and ridicule not by prison and perse- 
cution, if they should come not by any power that is 
upon the earth or above the earth, that was, or is, or ever 
can be created. If I fail to-night, I can only try to-morrow ; 
knowing that the fault must be mine that if once the 
vision of my soul were spoken upon earth, if once the 
anguish of its defeat were uttered in human speech, it 
would break the stoutest barriers of prejudice, it would 
shake the most sluggish soul to action ! It would abash 
the most cynical, it would terrify the most selfish ; and the 
voice of mockery would be silenced, and fraud and falsa- 


hood would slink back into their dens, and the truth would 
stand forth alone I For I speak with the voice of the 
millions who are voiceless ! Of them that are oppressed 
and have no comforter ! Of the disinherited of life, for 
whom there is no respite and no deliverance, to whom the 
world is a prison, a dungeon of torture, a tomb ! With 
the voice of the little child who toils to-night in a South- 
ern cotton-mill, staggering with exhaustion, numb with 
agony, and knowing no hope but the grave I Of the 
mother who sews by candle-light in her tenement-garret, 
weary and weeping, smitten with the mortal hunger of hef 
babes ! Of the man who lies upon a bed of rags, wrestling 
in his last sickness and leaving his loved ones to perish I 
Of the young girl who, somewhere at this moment, is walk- 
ing the streets of this horrible city, beaten and starving, 
and making her choice between the brothel and the lake ! 
With the voice of those, whoever and wherever they may 
be, who are caught beneath the wheels of the juggernaut 
of Greed I With the voice of humanity, calling for deliv- 
erance I Of the everlasting soul of Man, arising from the 
dust; breaking its way out of its prison rending the 
bands of oppression and ignorance groping its way to 
the light I " 

The speaker paused. There was an instant of silence, 
while men caught their breaths, and then like a single 
sound there came a cry from a thousand people. Through 
it all Jurgis sat still, motionless and rigid, his eyes fixed 
upon the speaker ; he was trembling, smitten with wonder. 

Suddenly the man raised his hands, and silence fell, and 
he began again. 

" I plead with you," he said, " whoever you may be, pro- 
vided that you care about the truth ; but most of all I plead 
with working-men, with those to whom the evils I portray 
are not mere matters of sentiment, to be dallied and toyed 
with, and then perhaps put aside and forgotten to whom 
they are the grim and relentless realities of the daily grind, 
the chains upon their limbs, the lash upon their backs, the 
iron in their souls. To you, working-men : To you, the 
toilers, who have made this land, and have no voice in ita 


councils t To you, whose lot it is to sow that others may 
reap, to labor and obey, and ask no more than the wages of 
a beast of burden, the food and shelter to keep you alive 
from day to day. It is to you that I come with my mes- 
sage of salvation, it is to you that I appeal. I know how 
much it is to ask of you I know, for I have been in your 
place, I have lived your life, and there is no man before me 
here to-night who knows it better. I have known what it 
is to be a street-waif, a bootblack, living upon a crust of 
bread and sleeping in cellar stairways and under empty 
wagons. I have known what it is to dare and to aspire, to 
dream mighty dreams and to see them perish to see all 
the fair flowers of my spirit trampled into the mire by the 
wild beast powers of life. I know what is the price that a 
working-man pays for knowledge I have paid for it with 
food and sleep, with agony of body and mind, with health, 
almost with life itself ; and so, when I come to you with a 
story of hope and freedom, with the vision of a new earth 
to be created, of a new labor to be dared, I am not sur- 
prised that I find you sordid and material, sluggish and in- 
credulous. That I do not despair is because I know also 
the forces that are driving behind you because I know 
the raging lash of poverty, the sting of contempt and mas- 
tership, 'the insolence of office and the spurns.* Because 
I feel sure that in the cro^d that has come to me to-night, 
no matter how many may be dull and heedless, no matter 
how many may have come out of idle curiosity, or in order 
to ridicule there will be some one man whom pain and 
suffering have made desperate, whom some chance vision 
of wrong and horror has startled and shocked into atten- 
tion. And to him my words will come like a sudden flash 
of lightning to one who travels in darkness revealing the 
way before him, the perils and the obstacles solving all 
problems, making all difficulties clear I The scales will fall 
from his eyes, the shackles will be torn from his limbs he 
will leap up with a cry of thankfulness, he will stride forth a 
free man at last ! A man delivered from his self-created 
slavery! A man who will never more be trapped whom 
no blandishments will cajole,whom no threats will frighten; 


who from to-night on will move forward, and not backward, 
who will study and understand, who will gird on his sword 
and take his place in the army of his comrades and brothers. 
Who will carry the good tidings to others, as I have carried 
them to him the priceless gift of liberty and light that 
is neither mine nor his, bat is the heritage of the soul of 
man ! Working-men, working-men comrades ! open your 
eyes and look about you I You have lived so long in the 
toil and heat that your senses are dulled, your souls 
are numbed ; but realize once in your lives this world in 
which you dwell tear off the rags of its customs and 
conventions behold it as it is, in all its hideous nakedness! 
Realize it, realize it! Realize that out upon the plains oi 
Manchuria to-night two hostile armies are facing each othej 
that now, while we are seated here, a million humau 
beings may be hurled at each other's throats, striving witEa 
the fury of maniacs to tear each other to pieces 1 And this 
in the twentieth century, nineteen hundred years sinoe 
the Prince of Peace was born on earth ! Nineteen hun- 
dred years that his words have been preached as divine, and 
here two armies of men are rending and tearing each other 
like the wild beasts of the forest! Philosophers have 
reasoned, prophets have denounced, poets have wept and 
pleaded and still this hideous Monster roams at large I 
We have schools and colleges, newspapers and books ; we 
have searched the heavens and the earth, we have weighed 
and probed and reasoned and all to equip men to destroy 
each other! We call it War, and pass it by but do not 
put me off with platitudes and conventions come with 
me, come with me realize it! See the bodies of men 
pierced by bullets, blown into pieces by bursting shells! 
Hear the crunching of the bayonet, plunged into human 
flesh; hear the groans and shrieks of agony, see the faces 
of men crazed by pain, turned into fiends by frary and 
hate ! Put your hand upon that piece of flesh it'is hot 
and quivering just now it was a part of a man ! This 
blood is still steaming it was driven by a human heart! 
Almighty God ! and this goes on it is systematic, organ- 
ized, premeditated I And we know it, and re&4 of it, and 


take it for granted ; our papers tell of it, and the presses 
are not stopped our churches know of it, and do not close 
their doors the people behold it, and do not rise up in 
horror and revolution I 

" Or perhaps Manchuria is too far away for you come 
home with me then, come here to Chicago. Here in this 
city to-night ten thousand women are shut up in foul pens, 
and driven by hunger to sell their bodies to live. And 
we know it, we make it a jestl And these women are 
made in the image of your mothers, they may be your 
sisters, your daughters ; the child whom you left at home 
to-night, whose laughing eyes will greet you in the morn- 
ing that fate may be waiting for her! To-night in 
Chicago there are ten thousand men, homeless and 
wretched, willing to work and begging for a chance, yet 
starving, and fronting in terror the awful winter coldl 
To-night in Chicago there are a hundred thousand children 
wearing out their strength and blasting their lives in the 
effort to earn their bread 1 There are a hundred thousand 
mothers who are living in misery and squalor, struggling 
to earn enough to feed their little ones 1 There are a 
hundred thousand old people, cast off and helpless, waiting 
for death to take them from their torments ! There are a 
million people, men and women and children, who share 
the curse of the wage-slave ; who toil every hour they can 
stand and see, for just enough to keep them alive ; who are 
condemned till the end of their days to monotony and 
weariness, to hunger and misery, to heat and cold, to dirt 
and disease, to ignorance and drunkenness and vice ! And 
then turn over the page with me, and gaze upon the other 
side of the picture. There are a thousand ten thousand, 
maybe who are the masters of these ilaves, who own 
their toil. They do nothing to earn what they receive, 
they do not even have to ask for it it comes to them of 
itself, their only care is to dispose of it. They live in 
palaces, they riot in luxury and extravagance such as no 
words can describe, as makes the imagination reel and 
stagger, makes the soul grow sick and faint. They spend 
hundreds of dollars for a pair of shoes, a handkerchief, a 


garter ; they spend millions for horses and automobiles and 
yachts, for palaces and banquets, for little shiny stones 
with which to deck their bodies. Their life is a contest 
among themselves for supremacy in ostentation and reck- 
lessness^ in the destroying of useful and necessary things, 
in the wasting of the labor and the lives of their fellow- 
creatures, the toil and anguish of the nations, the sweat 
and tears and blood of the human race I It is all theirs 
it comes to them ; just as all the springs pour into stream- 
lets, and the streamlets into rivers, and the rivers into the 
ocean so, automatically and inevitably, all the wealth 
of society comes to them. The farmer tills the soil, 
the miner digs in the earth, the weaver tends the loom, 
the mason carves the stone ; the clever man invents, the 
shrewd man directs, the wise man studies, the inspired man 
sings and all the result, the products of the labor of brain 
and muscle, are gathered into one stupendous stream and 
poured into their laps I The whole of society is in their 
grip, the whole labor of the world lies at their mercy 
and like fierce wolves they rend and destroy, like raveninp- 
vultures they devour and tear I The whole power of man- 
kind belongs to them, forever and beyond recall do what 
it can, strive as it will, humanity lives for them and dies 
for them ! They own not merely the labor of society, they 
have bought the governments ; and everywhere they use 
their raped and stolen power to intrench themselves in 
their privileges, to dig wider and deeper the channels 
through which the river of profits flows to them I And 
you, working-men, working-men I You have been brought 
up to it, you plod on like beasts of burden, thinking only 
of the day and its pain yet is there a man among you 
who can believe that such a system will continue forever 
is there a man here in this audience to-night so hardened 
and debased that he dare rise up before me and say that he 
believes it can continue forever ; that the product of the 
labor of society, the means of existence of the human race, 
will always belong to idlers and parasites, to be spent for 
the gratification of vanity and lust to be spent for any 
purpose whatever, to be at the disposal of any individual 


will whatever that somehow, somewhen, the labor of 
humanity will not belong to humanity, to be used for the 
purposes of humanity, to be controlled by the will of 
humanity? And if this is ever to be, how is it to be 
what power is there that will bring it about? Will it be 
the task of your masters, do you think will they write 
the charter of your liberties? Will they forge you the 
sword of your deliverance, will they marshal you the army 
and lead 'it to the fray ? Will their wealth be spent for 
the purpose will they build colleges and churches to 
teach you, will they print papers to herald your progress, 
and organize political parties to guide and carry on the 
struggle ? Can you not see that the task is your task 
yours to dream, yours to resolve, yours to execute ? That 
if ever it is carried out, it will be in the face of every ob- 
stacle that wealth and mastership can oppose in the face 
of ridicule and slander, of hatred and persecution, of the 
bludgeon and the jail? That it will be by the power of 
your naked bosoms, opposed to the rage of oppression ! 
By the grim and bitter teaching of blind and merciless 
affliction ! By the painful gropings of the untutored mind, 
by the feeble stammerings of the uncultured voice I By 
the sad and lonely hunger of the spirit ; by seeking and 
striving and yearning, by heartache and despairing, by 
agony and sweat of blood ! It will be by money paid for 
with hunger, by knowledge stolen from sleep, by thoughts 
communicated under the shadow of the gallows ! It will 
be a movement beginning in the far-off past, a thing ob- 
scure and unhonored, a thing easy to ridicule, easy to de- 
spise ; a thing unlovely, wearing the aspect of vengeance 
and hate but to you, the working-man, the wage-slave, 
calling with a voice insistent, imperious with a voice 
that you cannot escape, wherever upon the earth you may 
be ! With the voice of all your wrongs, with the voice of 
all your desires ; with the voice of your duty and your 
hope of everything in the world that is worth while to 

of oppression I The voice of power, wrought out of suffer 

The voice of the poor, demanding that poverty shall 
cease ! The voice of the oppressed, pronouncing the doom 


ing of resolution, crushed out of weakness of joy and 
courage, born in the bottomless pit of anguish and despair I 
The voice of Labor, despised and outraged ; a mighty 
giant, lying prostrate mountainous, colossal, but blinded, 
bound, and ignorant of his strength. And now a dream 
of resistance haunts him, hope battling with fear; until 
suddenly he stirs, and a fetter snaps and a thrill shoots 
through him, to the farthest ends of his huge body, and in 
a flash the dream becomes an act I He starts, he lifts hin> 
self; and the bands are shattered, the burdens roll off him ; 
he rises towering, gigantic ; he springs to his feet, he 
shouts in his new-born exultation " 

And the speaker's voice broke suddenly, with the stress 
of his feelings ; he stood with his arms stretched out above 
him, and the power of his vision seemed to lift him from 
the floor. The audience came to its feet with a yell , men 
waved their arms, laughing aloud in their excitement. 
And Jurgis was with them, he was shouting to tear his 
throat ; shouting because he could not help it, because the 
stress of his feeling was more than he could bear. It was 
not merely the man's words, the torrent of his eloquence. 
It was his presence, it was his voice : a voice with strange 
intonations that rang through the chambers of the soul like 
the clanging of a bell that gripped the listener like a 
mighty hand about his body, that shook him and startled 
him with sudden fright, with a sense of things not of earth, 
of mysteries never spoken before, of presences of awe and 
terror I There was an unfolding of vistas before him, a 
breaking of the ground beneath him, an upheaving, a stir- 
ring, a trembling ; he felt himself suddenly a mere man no 
longer there were powers within him undreamed of, there 
were demon forces contending, age-long wonders struggling 
to be born ; and he sat oppressed with pain and joy, while a 
tingling stole down into his finger-tips, and his breath came 
hard and fast. The sentences of this man were to Jurgis like 
the crashing of thunder in his soul; a flood of emotion surged 
up in him all his old hopes and longings, his old griefs 
and rages and despairs. All that he had ever felt in his 
whole life seemed to come back to him at once, and with 


one new emotion, hardly to be described. That he should 
have suffered such oppressions and such horrors was bad 
enough ; but that he should have been crushed and beaten 
by them, that he should have submitted, and forgotten, 
and lived in peace ah, truly that was a thing not to be 
put into words, a thing not to be borne by a human crea- 
ture, a thing of terror and madness I " What," asks the 
prophet, " is the murder of them that kill the body, to the 
murder of them that kill the soul ? " And Jurgis was a 
man whose soul had been murdered, who had ceased to 
hope and to struggle who had made terms with degra- 
dation and despair ; and now, suddenly, in one awful con- 
vulsion, the black and hideous fact was made plain to him ! 
There was a falling in of all the pillars of his soul, the sky 
seemed to split above him he stood there, with his 
clenched hands upraised, his eyes bloodshot, and the veins 
standing out purple in his face, roaring in the voice of a 
wild beast, frantic, incoherent, maniacal. And when he 
could shout no more he still stood there, gasping, and 
whispering hoarsely to himself s " By God I By God I By 
God I" 


THB man had gone back to a seat upon the platform, 
and Jurgis realized that his speech was over. The applause 
continued for several minutes ; and then some one started 
a song, and the crowd took it up., and the place shook with 
it. Jurgis had never heard it, and he could not make out 
the words, but the wild and wonderful spirit of it seized 
upon him it was the Marseillaise I As stanza after 
stanza of it thundered forth, he sat with his hands clasped, 
trembling in every nerve. He had never been so stirred 
in his life it was a miracle that had been wrought in 
him. He could not think at all, he was stunned ; yet he 
knew that in the mighty upheaval that had taken place in 
his soul, a new man had been born. He had been torn out 
of the jaws of destruction, he had been delivered from the 
thraldom of despair ; the whole world had been changed 
for him he was free, he was free! Even if he were to 
suffer as he had before, even if he were to beg and starve, 
nothing would be the same to him ? he would understand 
it, and b<3ar it. He would no longer be the sport of circum- 
stances, he would be a man, with a will and & purpose ; he 
would have something to fight for, something to die for, if 
need be ! Here were men who would show him and help 
him ; and he would have friends and allies, he would dwell 
in the sight of justice, and walk arm in arm with power. 

The audience subsided again, and Jnrgis sat back. The 
chairman of the meeting came forward and began to speak. 
His voice sounded thin and futile after the other's, and to 
Jurgis it seemed a profanation. Why should any one else 
speak, after that miraculous man why should they not 
all sit in silence? The chairman was explaining that ** 



collection would now be taken up to defray the expenses 
of the meeting, and for the benefit of the campaign fund of 
the party. Jurgis heard ; but he had not a penny to give, 
fund so his thoughts went elsewhere again. 

He kept his eyes fixed on the orator, who sat in an arm- 
chair, his head leaning on his hand and his attitude indi 
eating exhaustion. But suddenly he stood up again, and 
Jurgis heard the chairman of the meeting saying that the 
speaker would now answer any questions which the audi- 
eiice might care to put to him. The man came forward, 
and some one a woman arose and asked about some 
opinion the speaker had expressed concerning Tolstoi. 
Jurgis had never heard of Tolstoi, and did not care any- 
thing about him. Why should any one want to ask such 
questions, after an address like that? The thing was not 
to calk, but to do ; the thing was to get hold of others and 
rouse them, to organize them and prepare for the fight I 

But still the discussion went on, in ordinary conversa- 
tional tones, and it brought Jurgis back to the everyday 
world. A few minutes ago he had felt like seizing the hand 
of the beautiful lady by his side, and kissing it ; he had 
felt like flinging his arms about the neck of the man on 
the other side of him. And now he began to realize again 
that he was a " hobo," that he was ragged and dirty, and 
smelt bad, and had no place to sleep that night I 

And so, at last, when the meeting broke up, and the 
audience started to leave, poor Jurgis was in an agony of 
uncertainty. He had not thought of leaving he had 
thought that the vision must last forever, that he had 
found comrades and brothers. But now he would go out, 
and the thing would fade away, and he would never be 
able to find it again ! He sat in his seat, frightened and 
wondering ; but others in the same row wanted to get out, 
and so he had to stand up and move along. As he was 
swept down the aisle he looked from one person to 
another, wistfully; they were all excitedly discussing the 
address but there was nobody who offered to discuss it 
with him. He was near enough to the door to feel the 
night air, when desperation seized him He knew nothing 


at all about that speech he had heard, not even thfc name 
of the orator; and he was to go away no, no, it was 
preposterous, he must speak to some one ; he must find 
that man himself and tell him. He would not despise 
him, tramp as he was! 

So he stepped into an empty row of seats and watched, 
and when the crowd had thinned out, he started toward 
the platform. The speaker was gone ; but there was a 
stage-door that stood open, with people passing in and 
out, and no one on guard. Jurgis summoned up his cour- 
age and went in, and down a hallway, and to the door of 
a room where many people were crowded. No one paid 
any attention to him, and he pushed in, and in a corner 
he saw the man he soughto The orator sat in a chair, 
with his shoulders sunk together and his eyes half closed ; 
his face was ghastly pale, almost greenish in hue, and one 
arm lay limp at his side. A big man with spectacles on 
stood near him, and kept pushing back the crowd, saying, 
" Stand away a little, please ; can't you see the comrade 
is worn out?" 

So Jurgis stood watching, while five or ten minutes 
passed. Now and then the man would look up, and ad- 
dress a word or two to those who were near him ; and, at 
last, on one of these occasions, his glance rested on Jurgis. 
There seemed to be a slight hint of inquiry about it, and 
a sudden impulse seized the other. He stepped forward. 

"I wanted to thank you, sirl" he began, in breathless 
haste. "I could not go away without telling you how 
much how glad I am I heard you. I 1 didn't know 
anything about it all " 

The big man with the spectacles, who had moved away, 
came back at this moment. "The comrade is too tired 
to talk to any one " he began; but the other held up 
his hand. 

" Wait,'' he said. " He has something to say to me.'" 
And then he looked into Jurgis's face. "You want to 
know more about Socialism?" he asked. 

Jurgis started. "I I " he stammered. "Is it 
Socialism? I didn't know. I want to know about what 


yon spoke of I want to heljx I have been through all 

" Where do you live ? " asked the other. 

" I have no home," said Jurgis, " I am out of work." 

" You are a foreigner, are you not? " 

"Lithuanian, sir." 

The man thought for a moment, and then turned to his 
friend. "Who is there, Walters?" he asked. "There 
's Ostrinski but he is a Pole " 

" Ostrinski speaks Lithuanian," said the other. 

" All right, then ; would you mind seeing if he has gone 

The other started away, and the speaker looked at Jur- 
gis again. He had deep, black eyes, and a face full of 
gentleness and pain. "You must excuse me, comrade," 
he said. "I am just tired out I have spoken every 
day for the last month. I will introduce you to some one 
who will be able to help you as well as I could " 

The messenger had had to go no further than the door ; 
he came back, followed by a man whom he introduced to 
Jurgis as " Comrade Ostrinski." Comrade Ostrinski was 
a little man, scarcely up to Jurgis's shoulder, wizened and 
wrinkled, very ugly, and slightly lame. He had on a 
long-tailed black coat, worn green at the seams and the 
buttonholes ; his eyes must have been weak, for he wore 
green spectacles, that gave him a grotesque appearance. 
But his hand clasp was hearty, and he spoke in Lithuanian, 
which warmed Jurgis to him. 

"You want to know about Socialism?" he said. 
" Surely. Let us go out and take a stroll, where we can 
be quiet and talk some." 

And so Jurgis bade farewell to the master wizard, and 
went out. Ostrinski asked where he lived, offering to 
walk in that direction; and so he had to explain once 
more that he was without a home. At the other's request 
he told his story ; how he had come to America, and what 
had happened to him in the stockyards, and how his family 
had been broken up, and how he had become a wanderer. 
So much the little man heard, and then he pressed Jurgis's 


arm tightly. " Ton have been through the mill, com- 
rade 1" he said. " We will make a fighter out of you !" 

Then Ostrinski in turn explained his circumstances. 
He would have asked Jurgis to his home but he had 
only two rooms, and had no bed to offer. He would have 
given up his own bed, but his wife was ill. Later on, 
when he understood that otherwise Jurgis would have to 
sleep in a hallway, he offered him his kitchen-floor, a 
chance which the other was only too glad to accept. 
" Perhaps to-morrow we can do better," said Ostrinski. 
" We try not to let a comrade starve." 

Ostrinski's home was in the Ghetto district, where he 
had two rooms in the basement of a tenement. There was 
a baby crying as they entered, and he closed the door 
leading into the bedroom. He had three young children, 
he explained, and a baby had just come. He drew up two 
chairs near the kitchen stove, adding that Jurgis must ex- 
cuse the*lisorder of the place,since at such a time one's do- 
mestic arrangements were upset. Half of the kitchen was 
given up to a work-bench, which was piled with clothing, 
and Ostrinski explained that he was a " pants-finisher." 
He brought great bundles of clothing here to his home, 
where he and his wife worked on them. He made a living 
at it, but it was getting harder all the time, because his 
eyes were failing. What would come when they gave out 
he could not tell ; there had been no saving anything 
a man could barely keep alive by twelve or fourteen hours' 
work a day. The finishing of pants did not take much 
skill, and anybody could learn it, and so the pay was for- 
ever getting less. That was the competitive wage system; 
and if Jurgis wanted to understand what Socialism was, 
it was there he had best begin. The workers were de- 
pendent upon a job to exist from day to day, and so 
they bid against each other, and no man could get more 
than the lowest man would consent to work for. And 
thus the mass of the people were always in a life-and- 
death struggle with poverty. That was " competition," 
so far as it concerned the wage-earner, the man who 
had only his labor to sell; to those on top, the exploiters, 


it appeared very differently, of course there were few 
of them, and they could combine and dominate, and 
their power would be unbreakable. And so all over the 
world two classes were forming, with an unbridged chasm 
between them, the capitalist class, with its enormous 
fortunes, and the proletariat, bound into slavery by un- 
seen chains. The latter were a thousand to one in num- 
bers, but they were ignorant and helpless, and they would 
remain at the mercy of their exploiters until they were 
organized until they had become " class-conscious." It 
was a slow and weary process, but it would go on it 
was like the movement of a glacier, once it was started 
it could never be stepped. Every Socialist did his share, 
and lived upon the vision of the " good time coming," 
when the working-class should go to the polls and seize 
the powers of government, and put an end to private prop- 
erty in the means of production. No matter how poor a 
man was, or how much he suffered, he could never be 
really unhappy while he knew of that future ; even if he 
did not live to see it himself, his children would, and, to a 
Socialist, the victory of his class was his victory. A V he 
had always the progress to encourage him ; here in Un. 
cago, for instance, the movement was growing by leaps 
and bounds. Chicago was the industrial centre of the 
country, and nowhere else were the unions so strong ; but 
their organizations did the workers little good, for the 
employers were organized, also ; and so the strikes gener- 
ally failed, and as fast as the unions were broken up the 
men were coming over to the Socialists. 

Ostrinski explained the organization of the party, the 
machinery by which the proletariat was educating itself. 
There were " locals " in every big city and town, and they 
were being organized rapidly in the smaller places ; a local 
had anywhere from six to a thousand members, and there 
were fourteen hundred of them in all, with a total of about 
twenty-five thousand members, who paid dues to support 
the organization. " Local Cook County," as the city or- 
ganization was called, had eighty branch locals, and it 
alone was spending several thousand dollars in the cam- 


lign. It published a weekly in English, and one each in 

lemian and German ; also there was a monthly published 
in Chicago, and a cooperative publishing house, that issued 
a million and a half of Socialist books and pamphlets every 
year. All this was the growth of the last few years 
there had been almost nothing of it when Ostrinski first 
came to Chicago. 

Ostrinski was a Pole, about fifty years of age. He had 
lived in Silesia, a member of a despised and persecuted 
race, and had taken part in the proletarian movement in the 
early seventies, when Bismarck, having conquered France, 
had turned his policy of blood and iron upon the " Inter- 
national." Ostrinski himself had twice been in jail, but 
he had been young then, and had not cared. He had had 
more of his share of the tight, though, for just when Social- 
ism had broken all its barriers and become the great political 
force of the empire, he had come to America, and begun 
all over again. In America every one had laughed at the 
mere idea of Socialism then in America all men were 
free. As if political liberty made wage-slavery any the 
more tolerable ! said Ostrinski. 

The little tailor sat tilted back in his stiff kitchen-chair, 
with his feet stretched out upon the empty stove, and 
speaking in low whispers, so as not to waken those in the 
next room. To Jurgis he seemed a scarcely less wonder- 
ful person than the speaker at the meeting ; he was poor, 
the lowest of the low, hunger-driven and miserable and 
yet how much he knew, how much he had dared and 
achieved, what a hero he had been ! There were others 
like him, too thousands like him, and all of them work- 
ing-men ! That all this wonderful machinery of progress 
had been created by his fellows Jurgis could not believe 
it, it seemed too good to be true. 

That was always the way, said Ostrinski ; when r. 
man was first converted to Socialism he was like a craz} 
person, he could not understand how others could fail to 
see it, and he expected to convert all the world the first 
week. After a while he would realize how hard a task it 
was ; and then it would be fortunate that other new hand* 


kept coming, to save him from settling down into a rut. 
Just now Jurgis would have plenty of chance to vent his 
excitement, for a presidential campaign was on, and every- 
body was talking politics. Ostrinski would take him to 
the next meeting of the branch-local, and introduce him, 
and he might join the party. The dues were five cents a 
week, but any one who could not afford this might be ex- 
cused from paying. The Socialist party was a really demo- 
cratic political organization it was controlled absolutely 
by its own membership, and had no bosses. All of these 
things Ostrinski explained, as also the principles of the 
party. You might say that there was really but one 
Socialist principle that of " no compromise," which was 
the essence of the proletarian movement all over the 
world. When a Socialist v/as elected to office he voted 
with old party legislators for any measure that was likely 
to be of help to the working-class, but he never forgot 
that these concessions, whatever they might be, were 
trifles compared with the great purpose, the organizing 
of the working-class for the revolution. So far, the rule in 
America had been that one Socialist made another Socialist 
once every two years ; and if they should maintain the 
same rate they would carry the country in 1912 though 
not all of them expected to succeed as quickly as that. 

The Socialists were organized in every civilized nation ; 
it was an international political party, said Ostrinski, the 
greatest the world had ever known. It numbered thirty 
millions of adherents, and it cast eight million votes. It 
had started its first newspaper in Japan, and elected its first 
deputy in Argentina ; in France it named members of cab- 
inets, "and in Italy and Australia it held the balance of 
power and turned out ministries. In Germany, where its 
vote was more than a third of the total vote of the empire, 
all other parties and powers had united to fight it. It 
would not do, Ostrinski explained, for the proletariat of 
one nation to achieve the victory for that nation would be 
crushed by the military power of the others; and so the 
Socialist movement was a world movement,an organization 
of all mankind to establish liberty and fraternity. It was 


the new religion of humanity or you might say it was 
the fulfilment of the old religion, since it implied but the 
literal application of all the teachings of Christ. 

Until long after midnight Jurgis sat lost in the conver- 
sation of his new acquaintance. It was a most wonderful 
experience to him an almost supernatural experience. 
It was like encountering an inhabitant of the fourth dimen- 
sion of space, a being who was free from all one's own 
limitations. For four years, now, Jurgis had been wander- 
ing and blundering in the depths of a wilderness; and here, 
suddenly, a hand reached down and seized him, and lifted 
him out of it, and set him upon a mountain- top, from 
which he could survey it all, could see the paths from 
which he had wandered, the morasses into which he had 
stumbled, the hiding-places of the beasts of prey that had 
fallen upon him. There were his Packingtown experi- 
ences, for instance what was there about Packingtown 
that Ostrinski could not explain! To Jurgis the packers 
had been equivalent to fate ; Ostrinski showed him that 
they were the Beef Trust. They were a gigantic combi- 
nation of capital, which had crushed all opposition, and 
overthrown the laws of the land, and was preying upon the 
people. Jurgis recollected how, when he had first come to 
Packingtown, he had stood and watched the hog-killing, 
and thought how cruel and savage it was, and come away 
congratulating himself that he was not a hog; now his new 
acquaintance showed him that a hog was just what he had 
been one of the packers' hogs. What they wanted from 
a hog was all the profits that could be got out of him; and 
that was what they wanted from the working-man, and also 
that was what they wanted from the public. What the hog 
thought of it, and what he suffered, were not considered; 
and no more was it with labor, and no more with the pur- 
chaser of meat. That was true everywhere in the world, 
but it was especially true in Packingtown; there seemed 
to be something about the work of slaughtering that tended 
to ruthlessness and ferocity it was literally the fact that 
in the methods of the packers a hundred human lives did 


not balance a penny of profit. When Jurgis had made 
himself familiar with the Socialist literature, as he would 
very quickly, he would get glimpses of the Beef Trust 
from all sorts of aspects, and he would find it everywhere 
the same; it was the incarnation of blind and insensate 
Greed. It was a monster devouring with a thousand 
mouths, trampling with a thousand hoofs; it was the 
Great Butcher it was the spirit of Capitalism made flesh. 
Upon the ocean of commerce it sailed as a pirate ship ; it 
had hoisted the black flag and declared war upon civiliza- 
tion. Bribery and corruption were its everyday methods. 
In Chicago the city government was simply one of its 
branch-offices ; it stole billions of gallons of city water 
openly, it dictated to the courts the sentences of disorderly 
strikers, it forbade the mayor to enforce the building laws 
against it. In the national capital it had power to prevent 
inspection of its product, and to falsify government 
reports ; it violated the rebate laws, and when an investi- 
gation was threatened it burned its books and sent its 
criminal agents out of the country. In the commercial 
world it was a Juggernaut car ; it wiped out thousands of 
businesses every year, it drove men to madness and suicide. 
It had forced the price of cattle so low as to destroy the 
stock-raising industry, an occupation upon which whole 
states existed; it had ruined thousands of butchers who 
had refused to handle its products. It divided the coun- 
try into districts, and fixed the price of meat in all of 
them ; and it owned all the refrigerator cars, and levied an 
enormous tribute upon all poultry and eggs and fruit and 
vegetables. With the millions of dollars a week that 
poured in upon it, it was reaching out for the control of 
other interests, railroads and trolley lines, gas and electric 
light franchises it already owned the leather and the 
grain business of the country. The people were tremen- 
dously stirred up over its encroachments, but nobody had 
any remedy to suggest; it was the task of Socialists to 
teach and organize them, and prepare them for the time 
when they were to seize the huge machine called the Beef 
Trust, and use it to produce food for human beings and 


not to heap up fortunes for a band of pirates. It was 
long after midnight when Jurgis lay down upon the floor of 
Ostrinski's kitchen ; and yet it was an hour before ho could 
get to sleep, for the glory of that joyful vision of the 
people of Packingtown marching in and taking possession 
of the Union Stockyards I 


JURGIS had breakfast with Ostrinski and his family, and 
then he went home to Elzbieta. He was no longer shy 
about it when he went in, instead of saying all the things 
he had been planning to say, he started to tell Elzbieta 
about the revolution I At first she thought he was out of 
his mind, and it was hours before she could really feel 
certain that he was himself. When, however, she had 
satisfied herself that he was sane upon all subjects except 
politics, she troubled herself no further about it. Jurgis 
was destined to find that Elzbieta's armor was absolute!* 
impervious to Socialism. Her soul had been baked hard in 
the fire of adversity, and there was no altering it now ; 
life to her was the hunt for daily bread, and ideas existed 
for her only as they bore upon that. All that interested 
her in regard to this new frenzy which had seized hold of 
her son-in-law was whether or not it had a tendency to 
make him sober and industrious ; and when she found he 
intended to look for work and to contribute his share to the 
family fund, she gave him full rein to convince her of any- 
thing. A wonderfully wise littfc woman was Elzbieta; 
she could think as quickly as a hunted rabbit, and in half 
an hour she had chosen her life-attitude to the Socialist 
movement. She agreed in everything with Jurgis, except 
the need of his paying his dues ; and she would even go to 
a meeting with him now and then, and sit and plan her 
next day's dinner amid the storm. 

For a week after he became a convert Jurgia continued 
to wander about all day, looking for work ; until at last 
he met with a strange fortune. He was passing one of 



Chicago's innumerable small hotels, and after some hesita* 
tion he concluded to go in. A man he took for the pro- 
prietor was standing in the lobby, and he went up to him 
and tackled him for a job. 

" What can you do ? " the man asked, 

" Anything, sir," said Jurgis, and added quickly : " I've 
keen out of work for a long time, sir. I'm an honest man, 
and I'm strong and willing " 

The other was eying him narrowly. "Do you drink? " 
he asked. 

" No, sir," said Jurgis. 

" Well, I've been employing a man as a porter, and he 
drinks. I've discharged him seven times now, and I've 
about made up my mind that's enough. Would you be a 

" Yes, sir." 

" It's hard work You'll have to clean floors and wash 
spittoons and fill lamps and handle trunks w 

" I'm willing, sir." 

" All right. I'll pay you thirty a month and board, and 
you can begin now, if you feel like it. You can put on the 
other fellow's rig." 

And so Jurgis fell to work, and toiled like a Trojan till 
night. Then he went and told Elzbieta, and also, late as 
it was, he paid a visit to Ostrinski to let him know of his 
good fortune. Here he received a great surprise, for when 
ne was describing the location of the hotel Ostrinski inter- 
rupted suddenly, " Not Hinds's I " 

" Yes," said Jurgis, " that's the name." 

To which the other replied, " Then you've got the best 
boss in Chicago he's a state organizer of our party, and 
one of our best-known speakers ! " 

So the next morning Jurgis went to his employer and 
told him ; and the man seized him by the hand and shook 
it. "By Jove!" he cried, "that lets me out. I didn't 
sleep all last night because I had discharged a good Social- 
ist I" 

So, after that, Jurgis was known to his "boss" as "Com- 
rade Jurgis," and in return he was expected to call him 


* Comrade Hinds." * Tommy " Hinds, as he was known to 
his intimates, was a squat little man, with broad shoulders 
and a florid face, decorated with gray side- whiskers. He 
was the kindest-hearted man that ever lived, and the 
liveliest inexhaustible in his enthusiasm, and talking 
Socialism all day and all night. He was a great fellow to 
jolly along a crowd, and would keep a meeting in an 
uproar ; when once he got really waked up, the torrent 
of his eloquence could be compared with nothing save 

Tommy Hinds had begun life as a blacksmith's helper, 
and had run away to join the Union army, where he had 
made his first acquaintance with " graft," in the shape of 
rotten muskets and shoddy blankets. To a musket that 
broks in a crisis he always attributed the death of his only 
brother, and upon worthless blankets he blamed all the 
agonies of his own old age. Whenever it rained, the 
rheumatism would get into his joints, and then he would 
screw up his face and mutter: " Capitalism, my boy, Capi- 
talism ! ' Ecrasez TInfdme ! " He had one unfailing 
remedy for all the evils of this world, and he preached it 
to every one ; no matter whether the person's trouble was 
failure in business, or dyspepsia, or a quarrelsome mother- 
in-law, a twinkle would come into his eyes and he would 
say, " You know what to do about it vote the Socialist 

Tommy Hinds had set out upon the trail of the Octopus 
as soon as the war was over. He had gone into business, 
and found himself in competition with the fortunes of those 
who had been stealing while he had been fighting. The 
city government was in their hands and the railroads were 
in league with them, and honest business was driven to the 
wall ; and so Hinds had put all his savings into Chicago 
real estate, and set out single-handed to dam the river of 
graft. He had been a reform member of the city council, 
he had been a Greenbacker, a Labor Unionist, a Populist, 
a Bryanite and after thirty years of fighting, the year 
1896 had served to convince him that the power of concen 
trated wealth could never be controlled, but could only be 


destroyed. He had published a pamphlet about it, and set 
out to organize a party of his own, when a stray Socialist 
leaflet had revealed to him that others had been ahead of 
him. Now for eight years he had been fighting for the 
party, anywhere, everywhere whether it was a G. A. R. 
reunion, or a hotel-keepers' convention, or an Afro-Ameri- 
can business-men's banquet, or a Bible society picnic, 
Tommy Hinds would manage to get himself invited to 
explain the relations of Socialism to the subject in hand. 
After that he would start off upon a tour of his own, end- 
ing at some place between New York and Oregon ; and 
when he came back from there, he would go out to organize 
new locals for the state committee ; and finally he would 
come home to rest and talk Socialism in Chicago. 
Hinds's hotel wad a very hot-bed of the propaganda ; all 
the employees were party men, and if they were not when 
they came, they were quite certain to be before they went 
away. The proprietor would get into a discussion with 
some one in the lobby, and as the conversation grew ani- 
mated, others would gather about to listen, until finally every 
one in the place would be crowded into a group, and a 
regular debate would be under way. This went on every 
night when Tommy Hinds was not there to do it, his 
clerk did it ; and when his clerk was away campaigning, the 
assistant attended to it, while Mrs. Hinds sat behind the 
desk and did the work. The clerk was an old crony of 
the proprietor's, an awkward, raw-boned giant of a man, 
with a lean, sallow face, a broad mouth, and whiskers under 
his chin, the very type and body of a prairie farmer. He 
had been that all his life he had fought the railroads in 
Kansas for fifty years, a Granger, a Farmers' Alliance man, 
a " middle-of-the-road " Populist. Finally, Tommy Hinds 
had revealed to him the wonderful idea of using the trusts 
instead of destroying them, and he had sold his farm and 
come to Chicago. 

That was Amos Struver; and then there was Harry 
Adams, the assistant clerk, a pale, scholarly-looking man, 
who came from Massachusetts, of Pilgrim stock. Adams 
had been a cotton operative in Fall River, and the con- 


tinned depression in the industry had worn him and his 
family out, and he had emigrated to South Carolina. In 
Massachusetts the percentage of white illiteracy is eight- 
tenths of one per cent, while in South Carolina it is 
thirteen and six-tenths per cent; also in South Carolina 
there is a property qualification for voters and for these 
and other reasons child-labor is the rule, and so the cotton 
mills were driving those of Massachusetts out of the busi- 
ness. Adams did not know this, he only knew that the 
Southern mills were running ; but when he got there he 
found that if he was to live, all his family would have to 
work, and from six o'clock at night to six o'clock in the 
morning. So he had set to work to organize the mill- 
hands, after the fashion in Massachusetts, and had been 
discharged ; but he had gotten other work, and stuck at it, 
and at last there had been a strike for shorter hours, and 
Harry Adams had attempted to address a street meeting, 
which was the end of him. In the states of the far South 
the labor of convicts is leased to contractors, and when 
there are not convicts enough they have to be supplied. 
Harry Adams was sent up by a judge who was a cousin of 
the mill-owner with whose business he had interfered; and 
though the life had nearly killed him, he had been wise 
enough not to murmur, and at the end of his term he and 
his family had left the state of South Carolina hell's 
back yard, as he called it. He had no money for car-fare, 
but it was harvest-time, and they walked one day and 
worked the next ; and so Adams got at last to Chicago, 
and joined the Socialist party. He was a studious man, 
reserved, and nothing of an orator ; but he always had a 
pile of books under his desk in the hotel, and articles from 
his pen were beginning to attract attention in the party 

Contrary to what one would have expected, all this 
radicalism did not hurt the hotel business; the radicals 
flocked to it, and the commercial travellers all found it 
diverting. Of late, also, the hotel had become a favorite 
stopping-place for Western cattlemen. Now that the Beef 
Trust had adopted the trick of raising prices to induce 


enormous shipments of cattle, and then dropping them 
again and scooping in all they needed, a stock-raiser was 
very apt to find himself in Chicago without money enough 
to pay his freight bill ; and so he had to go to a cheap hotel, 
and it was no drawback to him if there was an agitator 
talking in the lobby. These Western fellows were just 
" meat " for Tommy Hinds he would get a dozen of 
them around him and paint little pictures of " the Sys- 
tem." Of course, it was not a week before he had heard 
Jurgis's story, and after that he would not have let his 
new porter go for the world. " See here," he would say, in 
the middle of an argument, " I've got a fellow right here 
in my place who's worked there and seen every bit of it I " 
And then Jurgis would drop his work, whatever it was, 
and come, and the other would say, " Comrade Jurgis, just 
tell these gentlemen what you saw on the killing-beds." 
At first this request caused poor Jurgis the most acute 
agony, and it was like pulling teeth to get him to talk ; 
but gradually he found out what was wanted, and in the 
end he learned to stand up and speak his piece with enthu- 
siasm. His employer would sit by and encourage him with 
exclamations and shakes of the head ; when Jurgis would 
give the formula for " potted ham," or tell about the 
condemned hogs that were dropped into the " destructors " 
at the top and immediately taken out again at the bottom, to 
be shipped into another state and made into lard, Tommy 
Hinds would bang his knee and cry, "Do you think a 
man could make up a thing like that out of his head ? " 
And then the hotel-keeper would go on to show how 
the Socialists had the only real remedy for such evils, how 
they alone " meant business " with the Beef Trust. And 
when, in answer to this, the victim would say that the 
whole country was getting stirred up, that the newspapers 
were full of denunciations of it, and the government tak- 
ing action against it, Tommy Hinds had a knock-out blow 
all ready. " Yes," he would say, " all that is true but 
what do you suppose is the reason for it? Are you foolish 
enough to believe that it's done for the public? There are 
other trusts in the country just as illegal and extortionate 


as the Beef Ttust : there is the Coal Trust, that freews 
the poor in winter there is the Steel Trust, that doubtes 
the price of every nail in your shoes - there is the Oil 
Trust, that keeps you from reading at night and why do 
you suppose it is that all the fury of the press and the 
government is directed against the Beef Trust?" And when 
to this the victim would reply that there was clamor enough 
over the Oil Trust, the other would continue : "Ten years 
ago Henry D. Lloyd told all the truth about the Standard 
Oil Company in his * Wealth versus Commonwealth ' ; and 
the book was allowed to die, and you hardly ever hear of 
it. And now, at last, two magazines have the courage to 
tackle * Standard Oil ' again, and what happens ? The 
newspapers ridicule the authors, the churches defend the 
criminals, and the government does nothing. And now, 
why is it all so different with the Beef Trust ? " 

Here the other would generally admit that he was 
" stuck " ; and Tommy Hinds would explain to him, and it 
was fun to see his eyes open. " If you were a Socialist," 
the hotel-keeper would say, " you would understand that 
the power which really governs the United States to-day 
is the Railroad Trust. It is the Railroad Trust that runf 
your state government, wherever you live, and that run 
the United States Senate. And all of the trusts that 
have named are railroad trusts save only the Bee 
Trust! The Beef Trust has defied the railroads it is 
plundering them day by day through the Private Car ; and 
so the public is roused to fury, and the papers clamor for 
action, and the government goes on the war-path ! And 
you poor common people watch and applaud the job, and 
think it's all done for you, and never dream that it is 
really the grand climax of the century-long battle of com- 
mercial competition, the final death-grapple between the 
chiefs of the Beef Trust and ' Standard Oil,' for the prize 
of the mastery and ownership of the United States of 
America 1 " 

Such was the new home in which Jurgis lived and 
worked, and in which his education was completed. Per- 


haps you would imagine that he did not do much work 
there, but that would be a great mistake. He would have 
cut off one hand for Tommy Hinds ; and to keep Hinds'* 
hotel a thing of beauty was his joy in life. That he had a 
score of Socialist arguments chasing through his brain in 
the meantime did not interfere with this ; on the contrary, 
Jurgis scrubbed the spittoons and polished the banisters all 
the more vehemently because at the same time he was 
wrestling inwardly with an imaginary recalcitrant. It 
would be pleasant to record that he swore off drinking 
immediately, and all the rest of his bad habits with it; but 
that would hardly be exact. These revolutionists were 
not angels; they were men, and men who had come up 
from the social pit, and with the mire of it smeared over 
them. Some of them drank, and some of them swore, and 
some of them ate pie with their knives ; there was only one 
difference between them and all the rest of the populace 
that they were men with a hope, with a cause to fight for 
and suffer for. There came times to Jurgis when the vision 
seemed far-off and pale, and a glass of beer loomed large in 
comparison; but if the glass led to another glass, and to too 
many glasses, he had something to spur him to remorse and 
resolution on the morrow. It was so evidently a wicked 
thing to spend one's pennies for drink, when the working, 
class was wandering in darkness, and waiting to be de- 
livered ; the price of a glass of beer would buy fifty copies 
of a leaflet, and one could hand these out to the unregener- 
ate, and then get drunk upon the thought of the good that 
was being accomplished. That was the way the movement 
had been made, and it was the only way it would progress ; 
it availed nothing to know of it, without fighting for it 
it was a thing for all, not for a few 1 A corollary of this 
proposition of course was, that any one who refused to re- 
ceive the new gospel was personally responsible for keep- 
ing Jurgis from his heart's desire ; and this, alas, made 
him uncomfortable as an acquaintance. He met some 
neighbors with whom Elzbieta had made friends in her 
neighborhood, and he set out to make Socialists of them 
by wholesale, and several times he all but got into a fight 


It was all so painfully obvious to Jurgis I It was so in- 
comprehensible how a man could fail to see it ! Here were 
all the opportunities of the country, the land, and the build- 
ings upon the land, the railroads, the mines, the factories, 
and the stores, all in the hands of a few private individuals, 
called capitalists, for whom the people were obliged to 
work for wages. The whole balance of what the people 
produced went to heap up the fortunes of these capitalists, 
to heap, and heap again, and yet again and that in spite of 
the fact that they, and every one about them, lived in un- 
thinkable luxury I And was it not plain that if the people 
cut off the share of those who merely "owned," the share of 
those who worked would be much greater? That was as 
plain as two and two makes four; and it was the whole of it, 
absolutely the whole of it ; and yet there were people who 
could not see it, who would argue about everything else in 
the world. They would tell you that governments could 
not manage things as economically as private individuals ; 
they would repeat and repeat that, and think they were 
saying something ! They could not see that " economical " 
management by masters meant simply that they, the people, 
were worked harder and ground closer and paid less I 
They were wage-earners and servants, at the mercy of ex- 
ploiters whose one thought was to get as much out of them 
as possible; and they were taking an interest in the process, 
were anxious lest it should not be done thoroughly enough I 
Was it not honestly a trial to listen to an argument such 
as that? 

And yet there were things even worse. You would 
begin talking to some poor devil who had worked in one 
shop for the last thirty years, and had never been able to 
save a penny ; who left home every morning at six o'clock, 
to go and tend a machine, and come back at night too tired 
to take his clothes off ; who had never had a week's vaca- 
tion in his life, had never travelled, never had an adventure, 
never learned anything, never hoped any thing - - and when 
you started to tell him about Socialism he would sniff and 
say, "I'm not interested in that I'm an individualist!** 
And then be would go on to tell you that Socialism was 


" Paternalism," and that if it ever had its way the world 
would stop progressing. It was enough to make a mule 
laugh, to hear arguments like that; and yet it was no 
laughing matter, as you found out for how many mil- 
lions of such poor deluded wretches there were, whose lives 
had been so stunted by Capitalism that they no longer 
knew what freedom was! And they really thought that it 
was " Individualism " for tens of thousands of them to herd 
together and obey the orders of a steel magnate, and pro- 
duce hundreds of millions of dollars of wealth for him, and 
then let him give them libraries ; while for them to take 
the industry, and run. it to suit themselves, and build their 
own libraries that would have been " Paternalism " ! 

Sometimes the agony of such things as this was almost more 
than Jurgis could bear ; yet there was no way of escape from 
it, there was nothing to do but to dig away at the base of 
this mountain of ignorance and prejudice. You must keep 
at the poor fellow ; you must hold your temper, and argue 
with him, and watch for your chance to stick an idea or two 
into his head. And the rest of the time you must sharpen 
up your weapons, you must think out new replies to 
his objections, and provide yourself with new facts to 
prove to him the folly of his ways. 

So Jurgis acquired the reading habit. He would carry 
in his pocket a tract or a pamphlet which some one had 
loaned him, and whenever he had an idle moment dur- 
ing the day he would plod through a paragraph, and 
then think about it while he worked. Also he read 
the newspapers, and asked questions about them. One of 
the other porters at Hinds's was a sharp little Irishman, who 
knew everything that Jurgis wanted to know ; and while 
they were busy ne would explain to him the geography of 
America, and its history, its constitution and its laws ; also 
he gave him an idea of the business system of the country, 
the great railroads and corporations, and who owned them, 
and the labor unions, and the big strikes, and the men who 
had led them. Then at night, when he could get off, Jur- 
gis would attend the Socialist meetings. During the cam- 
paign one was not dependent upon the street-corner affairs. 


where the weather and the quality of the orator were equally 
uncertain ; there were hall meetings every night, and one 
could hear speakers of national prominence. These dis- 
cussed the political situation from every point of view, 
and all that troubled Jurgis was the impossibility of carry- 
ing off but a small part of the treasures they offered him. 

There was a man who was known in the party as the 
" Little Giant." The Lord had used up so much material 
in the making of his head that there had not been enough 
to complete his legs ; but he got about on the platform, 
and when he shook his raven whiskers the pillars of Capi- 
talism rocked. He had written a veritable encyclopaedia 
upon the subject, a book that was nearly as big as himself. 
And then there was a young author, who came from 
California, and had been a salmon-fisher, an oyster-pirate, 
a longshoreman, a sailor; who had tramped the country 
and been sent to jail, had lived in the Whitechapel slums, 
and been to the Klondike in search of gold. All these 
things he pictured in his books, and because he was a man 
of genius he forced the world to hear him. Now he was 
famous, but wherever he went he still preached the gospel 
of the poor. And then there was one who was known 
as the "millionnaire Socialist." He had made a fortune in 
busineis, and spent nearly all of it in building up a maga- 
zine, which the post-office department had tried to suppress, 
and had driven to Canada. He was a quiet-mannered man, 
whom you would have taken for anything in the world 
but a Socialist agitator. His speech was simple and in- 
formal he could not understand why any one should get 
excited about these things. It was a process of economic 
evolution, he said, and he exhibited its laws and methods. 
Life was a struggle for existence, and the strong overcame 
the weak, and in turn were overcome by the strongest. 
Those who lost in the struggle were generally exterminated; 
but now and then they had been known to save themselves 
by combination which was a new and higher kind of 
strength. It was so that the gregarious animals had over- 
come the predaceous ; it was so, in human history, that 
the people had mastered the kings. The workers were 


simply the citizens of industry, ard the Socialist movement 
was the expression of their will to survive. The inevita- 
bility of the revolution depended upon this fact, that they 
had no choice but to unite or be exterminated ; this fact, 
grim and inexorable, depended upon no human will, it was 
the law of the economic process, of which the editor showed 
the details with the most marvellous precision. 

And later on came the evening of the great meeting of 
the campaign, when Jurgis heard the two standard-bearers 
of his party. Ten years before there had been in Chicago 
a strike of a hundred and fifty thousand railroad employees, 
and thugs had been hired by the railroads to commit 
violence, and the President of the United States had sent 
in troops to break the strike, by flinging the officers of the 
union into jail without trial. The president of the union 
came out of his cell a ruined man ; but also he came out a 
Socialist; and now for just ten years he had been travelling 
up and down the country, standing face to face with the 
people, and pleading with them for justice. He was a man 
of electric presence, tall and gaunt, with a face worn thin 
by struggle and suffering. The fury of outraged manhood 
gleamed in it and the tears of suffering little children 
pleaded in his voice. When he spoke he paced the stage, 
lithe and eager, like a panther. He leaned over, reaching 
out for his audience ; he pointed into their souls with an 
insistent finger. His voice was husky from much speaking, 
but the great auditorium was as still as death, and every 
one heard him. 

And then, as Jurgis came out from this meeting, some 
one Handed him a paper which he carried home with him 
and read ; and so he became acquainted with the " Appeal 
to Reason." About twelve years previously a Colorado 
real-estate speculator had made up his mind that it was 
wrong to gamble in the necessities of life of human beings ; 
and so he had retired and begun the publication of a 
Socialist weekly. There had come a time when he had to 
set his own type, but he had held on and won out, and now 
his publication was an institution. It used a car-load of 
paper every week, and the mail-trains would be hours 


ioading up at the depot of the little Kansas town. It was a 
four-page weekly, which sold for less than half a cent a 
copy ; its regular subscription list was a quarter of a mill- 
ion, and it went to every cross-roads post-office in America. 

The "Appeal" was a "propaganda" paper. It had a 
manner all its own, it was full of ginger and spice, of 
Western slang and hustle. It collected news of the doings 
of the " plutes," and served it up for the benefit of the 
"American working-mule." It would have columns of 
the deadly parallel, the million dollars' worth of diamonds, 
or the fancy pet-poodle establishment of a society dame, 
beside the fate of Mrs. Murphy of San Francisco, who had 
starved to death on the streets, or of John Robinson, just 
out of the hospital, who had hanged himself in New York 
because he could not find vork. It collected the stories 
of graft and misery from the daily press, and made little 
pungent paragraphs out of them. " Three banks of Bung- 
town, South Dakota, failed, and more savings of the 
workers swallowed up I " " The mayor of Sandy Creek, 
Oklahoma, has skipped with a hundred thousand dollars. 
That's the kind of rulers the old partyites give you I " 
" The president of the Florida Flying Machine Company 
is in jail for bigamy. He was a prominent opponent of So- 
cialism, which he said would break up the home I " The 
" Appeal " had what it called its " Army," about thirty 
thousand of the faithful, who did things for it ; and it was 
always exhorting the " Army " to keep its dander up, and 
occasionally encouraging it with a prize competition, for 
anything from a gold watch to a private yacht or an eighty- 
acre farm. Its office helpers were all known to the "Army" 
by quaint titles "Inky Ike," "the Bald-headed Man," 
"the Red-headed Girl,'* "the Bulldog," "the Office 
Goat," and " the One Hoss." 

But sometimes, again, the "Appeal" would be desperately 
serious. It sent a correspondent to Colorado, and printed 
pages describing the overthrow of American institutions 
in that state. In a certain city of the country it had over 
forty of its "Army" in the headquarters of the Telegraph 
Trust, and no message of importance to Socialists ever 


went through that a copy of it did not go to the "Appeal." 
It would print great broadsides during the campaign ; one 
copy that came to Jurgis was a manifesto addressed to 
striking working-men, of which nearly a million copies had 
been distributed in the industrial centres, wherever the 
employers' associations had been carrying out their " open 
shop " program. " You have lost the strike ! " it was 
headed. "And now what are you going to do about it?" 
It was what is called an "incendiary" appeal, it was 
written by a man into whose soul the iron had entered. 
When this edition appeared, twenty thousand copies were 
sent to the stockyards district; and they were taken out 
and stowed away in the rear of a little cigar-store, and 
every evening, and on Sundays, the members of the Pack- 
ingtown locals would get armfuls and distribute them on 
the streets and in the houses. The people of Packing- 
town had lost their strike, if ever a people had, and so 
they read these papers gladly, and twenty thousand were 
hardly enough to go round. Jurgis had resolved not to 
go near his old home again, but when he heard of this it 
was too much for him, and every night for a week he 
would get on the car and ride out to the stockyards, and 
help to undo his work of the previous year, when he had 
sent Mike Scully's ten-pin setter to the city Board of 

It was quite marvellous to see what a difference twelve 
months had made in Packingtown the eyes of the people 
were getting opened I The Socialists were literally sweep- 
ing everything before them that election, and Scully and 
the Cook County machine were at their wits' end for an 
"issue." At the very close of the campaign they be- 
thought themselves of the fact that the strike had been 
broken by negroes, and so they sent for a South Carolina 
fire-eater, the "pitchfork senator," as he was called, a 
man who took off bis coat when he talked to working-men, 
and damned and swore like a Hessian. This meeting they 
advertised extensively, and the Socialists advertised it too 
with the result that about a thousand of them were 
on hand that evening. The "pitchfork senator" stood 


their fusillade of questions for about an hour, and then 
went home in disgust, and the balance of the meeting was 
a strictly party affair. Jurgis, who had insisted upon com- 
ing, had the time of his life that night ; he danced about and 
waved his arms in his excitement and at the very climax 
he broke loose from his friends, and got out into the aisle, 
and proceeded to make a speech himself! The senator 
had been denying that the Democratic party was corrupt ; 
it was always the Republicans who bought the votes, he 
said, and here was Jurgis shouting furiously, " It's a lie I 
It's a lie! " After which he went on to tell them how he 
knew it that he knew it because he had bought them 
himself! And he would have told the "pitchfork senator" 
aU his experiences, had not Harry Adams and a friend 
grabbed him about the neck and shoved him into a seat 


ONE of the first things that Jurgis had done after he 
got a job was to go and see Marija. She came down into 
the basement of the house to meet him, and he stood by 
the door with his hat in his hand, saying, " I've got work 
now, and so you can leave here." 

But Marija only shook her head. There was nothing 
else for her to do, she said, and nobody to employ her. 
She could not keep her past a secret girls had tried it, 
and they were always found out. There were thousands 
of men who came to this place, and sooner or later she 
would meet one of them. " And besides," Marija added, 
"I can't do anything, I'm no good I take dope. What 
could you do with me ? " 

" Can't you stop ? " Jurgis cried. 

" No," she answered, " I'll never stop. What's the use 
of talking about it I'll stay here till I die, I guess. It's 
all I'm fit for." And that was all that he could get her to 
say there was no use trying. When he told her he 
would not let Elzbieta take her money, she answered indif- 
ferently: "Then it'll be wasted here that's all." Her 
eyelids looked heavy and her face was red and swollen ; he 
saw that he was annoying her, that she only wanted hj*n to 
go away. So he went, disappointed and sad. 

Poor Jurgis was not very happy in his home-life. 
Elzbieta was sick a good deal now, and the boys were wild 
and unruly, and very much the worse for their life upon 
the streets. But he stuck by the family nevertheless, for 
they reminded him of his old happiness ; and when things 
went wrong he could solace himself with a plunge into 
the Socialist movement. Since his life had been caught 


np into the current of this great stream, things which 
had before been the whole of life to him came to seem of 
relatively slight importance ; his interests were elsewhere, 
in the world of ideas. His outward life was commonplace 
and uninteresting; he was just a hotel-porter, and ex- 
pected to remain one while he lived; but meantime, in 
the realm of thought, his life was a perpetual adventure. 
There was so much to know so many wonders to be dis- 
covered 1 Never in all his life did Jurgis forget the day 
before election, when there came a telephone message from a 
friend of Harry Adams, asking him to bring Jurgis to see 
him that night ; and Jurgis went, and met one of the minds 
of the movement. 

The invitation was from a man named Fisher, a Chicago 
millionnaire who had given up his life to settlement-work, 
and had a little home in the heart of the city's slums. He 
did not belong to the party, but he was in sympathy with 
it; and he said that he was to have as his guest that 
night the editor of a big Eastern magazine, who wrote 
against Socialism, but really did not know what it was. 
The millionnaire suggested that Adams bring Jurgis along, 
and then start up the subject of " pure food," in which the 
editor was interested. 

Young Fisher's home was a little two-story brick house, 
dingy and weather-beaten outside, but attractive within. 
The room that Jurgis saw was half lined with books, and 
upon the walls were many pictures, dimly visible in the 
soft, yellow light ; it was a cold, rainy night, so a log-fire 
was crackling in the open hearth. Seven or eight people 
were gathered about it when Adams and his friend arrived, 
and Jurgis saw to his dismay that three of them were 
ladies. He had never talked to people of this sort before, 
and he fell into an agony of embarrassment. He stood in 
the doorway clutching his hat tightly in his hands, and 
made a deep bow to each of the persons as he was intro- 
duced ; then, when he was asked to have a seat, he took a 
chair in a dark corner, and sat down upon the edge of it, 
and wiped the perspiration off his forehead with his sleeve. 
He was terrified lest they should expect him to talk. 


There was the host himself, a tall, athletio young man, 
clad in evening dress, as also was the editor, a dyspeptic- 
looking gentleman named Maynard. There was the 
former's frail young wife, and also an elderly lady, who 
taught kindergarten in the settlement, and a young college 
student, a beautiful girl with an intense and earnest face. 
She only spoke once or twice while Jurgis was there the 
rest of the time she sat by the table in the centre of the 
room, resting her chin in her hands and drinking in 
the conversation. There were two other men, whom young 
Fisher had introduced to Jurgis as Mr. Lucas and Mr. 
Schliemann ; he heard them address Adams as " Comrade,'* 
and so he knew that they were Socialists. 

The one called Lucas was a mild and meek-looking little 
gentleman of clerical aspect; he had been an itinerant 
evangelist, it transpired, and had seen the light and be- 
come a prophet of the new dispensation. He travelled all 
over the country, living like the apostles of old, upon 
hospitality, and preaching upon street-corners when there 
was no hall. The other man had been in the midst of u 
discussion with the editor when Adams and Jurgis came 
ins and at the suggestion of the host they resumed it after 
the interruption. Jurgis was soon sitting spellbound, 
thinking that here was surely the strangest man that had 
ever lived in the world. 

Nicholas Schliemann was a Swede, a tall, gaunt person, 
with hairy hands and bristling yellow beard; he was a 
university man, and had been a professor of philosophy 
until, as he said, he had found that he was selling his char- 
acter as well as his time. Instead he had come to America, 
where he lived in a garret-room in this slum district, and 
made volcanic energy take the place of fire. He studied 
the composition of food-stuffs, and knew exactly how many 
proteids and carbohydrates his body needed; and by 
scientific chewing he said that he tripled the value of all 
he ate, so that it cost him eleven cents a day. About the 
first of July he would leave Chicago for his vacation, on 
foot ; and when he struck the harvest-fields he would set 
to work for two dollars and a half a day, and come home 


/hen he had another year's supply a hundred and 
xwenty-five dollars. That was the nearest approach to in- 
dependence a man could make " under capitalism," he ex- 
plained ; he would never marry, for no sane man would 
allow himself to fall in love until after the revolution. 

He sat in a big arm-chair, with his legs crossed, and his 
head so far in the shadow that one saw only two glowing 
lights, reflected from the fire on the hearth. He spoke 
simply, and utterly without emotion ; with the manner of 
a teacher setting forth to a group of scholars an axiom in 
geometry, he would enunciate such propositions as made 
the hair of an ordinary person rise on end. And when the 
auditor had asserted his non-comprehension, he would pro- 
ceed to elucidate by some new proposition, yet more appall- 
ing. To Jurgis the Herr Dr. Schliemann assumed the 
proportions of a thunder-storm or an earthquake. And yet, 
strange as it might seem, there was a subtle bond between 
them, and he could follow the argument nearly all the 
time. He was carried over the difficult places in pite of 
himself; and he went plunging away in mad career a 
very Mazeppa-ride upon the wild horse Speculation. 

Nicholas Schliemann was familiar with all the universe, 
and with man as a small part of it. He understood human 
institutions, and blew them about like soap-bubbles. It 
was surprising that so much destructiveness could be con- 
tained in one human mind. Was it government? The 
purpose of government was the guarding of property-rights, 
the perpetuation of ancient force and modern fraud. Or 
was it marriage ? Marriage and prostitution were two 
sides of one shield, the predatory man's exploitation of the 
sex-pleasure. The difference between them was a differ- 
ence of class. If a woman had money she might dictate 
her own terms : equality, a life-contract, and the legitimacy 
that is, the property-rights of her children. If she halo, 
no money, she was a proletarian, and sold herself for an 
existence. And then the subject became Religion, which was 
the Arch-fiend's deadliest weapon. Government oppressed 
the body of the wage-slave, but Religion oppressed hk 
mind, and poisoned the stream of progress at it* source 


The working-man was to fix his hopes upon a future life, 
while his pockets were picked in this one ; he was brought 
up to frugality, humility, obedience, in short to all the 
pseudo-virtues of capitalism. The destiny of civilization 
would be decided in one final death-struggle between the 
Red International and the Black, between Socialism and 
the Roman Catholic Church ; while here at home, " the 
stygian midnight of American evangelicalism " 

And here the ex-preacher entered the field, and there 
was a lively tussle. " Comrade " Lucas was not what is 
called an educated man ; he knew only the Bible, but it 
was the Bible interpreted by real experience. And what 
was the use, he asked, of confusing Religion with men's 
perversions of it? That the church was in the hands of 
the merchants at the moment was obvious enough; but 
already there were signs of rebellion, and if Comrade 
Schliemann could come back a few years from now 

" Ah, yes," said the other, " of course. I have no doubt 
that in a hundred years the Vatican will be denying that 
it ever opposed Socialism, lust as at present it denies that 
it ever tortured Galileo." 

"I am not defending the Vatican," exclaimed Lucas, 
vehemently. "I am defending the word of God which 
is one long cry of the human spirit for deliverance from 
the sway of oppression. Take the twenty-fourth chapter 
of the Book of Job, which I am accustomed to quote in rny 
addresses as * the Bible upon the Beef Trust ' ; or take the 
words of Isaiah or of the Master himself! Not the 
elegant prince of our debauched and vicious art, not 
the jewelled idol of our society churches but the Jesus 
of the awful reality, the man of sorrow and pain, the out- 
. cast, despised of the world, who had no where to lay his 
head " 

** I will grant you Jesus," interrupted the other. 

" Well, then," cried Lucas, " and why should Jesus have 
nothing to do with his church why should his words and 
his life be of no authority among those who profess to 
adore him ? Here is a man who was the world's firsfc 
revolutionist, the true fc under of the Socialist movement . 


a man whose whole being was one flame of hatred for 
wealth, and all that wealth stands for, for the pride of 
wealth, and the luxury of wealth, and the tyranny of wealth ; 
who was himself a beggar and a tramp, a man of the people, 
an associate of saloon-keepers and women of the town ; 
who again and again, in the most explicit language, de- 
nounced wealth and the holding of wealth : ' Lay not up 
for yourselves treasures on earth!' 'Sell that ye have 
and" give alms 1 ' * Blessed are ye poor, for yours is the 
kingdom of Heaven I ' ' Woe unto you that are rich, for 
ye have received your consolation I ' 4 Verily, I say unto 
you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom 
of Heaven ! ' Who denounced in unmeasured terms the 
exploiters of his own time : * Woe unto you, scribes and 
pharisees, hypocrites I* 'Woe unto you also, you law- 
yers I' 'Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can 
ye escape the damnation of hell?' Who drove out the 
business men and brokers from the temple with a whip I 
Who was crucified think of it for an incendiary and 
a disturber of the social order I And this man they have 
made into the high-priest of property and smug respecta- 
bility, a divine sanction of all the horrors and abominations 
of modern commercial civilization I Jewelled images are 
made of him, sensual priests burn incense to him, and mod- 
ern pirates of industry bring their dollars, wrung from the 
toil of helpless women and children, and build temples to 
him, and sit in cushioned seats and listen to his teachings 
expounded by doctors of dusty divinity " 

" Bravo 1 " cried Schliemann, laughing. But the other 
was in full career he had talked this subject every day 
for five years, and had never yet let himself be stopped. 
" This Jesus of Nazareth ! " he cried. " This class-con- 
scious working-man I This union carpenter 1 This agitator, 
law-breaker, firebrand, anarchist I He, the sovereign lord 
and master of a world which grinds the bodies and souls 
of human beings into dollars if he could come into the 
world this day and see the things that men have made in 
his name, would it not blast his soul with horror ? Would 
he not go mad at the sight of it, he the Prince of Mercy 


and Love I That dreadful night when he lay in the Garden 
of Gethsemane and writhed in agony until he sweat blood 
do you think that he saw anything worse than he might 
see to-night upon the plains of Manchuria, where men 
march out with a jewelled image of him before them, to do 
wholesale murder for the benefit of foul monsters of sen- 
suality and cruelty ? Do you not know that if he were in 
St. Petersburg now, he would take the whip with which 
he drove out the bankers from his temple " 

Here the speaker paused an instant for breath. "No, 
comrade," said the other, dryly, " for he was a practical 
man. He would take pretty little imitation-lemons, such 
as are now being shipped into Russia, handy for carrying 
in the pockets, and strong enough to blow a whole temple 
out of sight.'* 

Lucas waited until the company had stopped laughing 
over this ; then he began again : " But look at it from the 
point of view of practical politics, comrade. Here is an 
historical figure whom all men reverence and love, whom 
some regard as divine ; and who was one of us who lived 
our life, and taught our doctrine. And now shall we leave 
him in the hands of his enemies shall we allow them to 
stifle and stultify his example ? We have his words, which 
no one can deny; and shall we not quote them to the 
people, and prove to them what he was, and what he taught, 
and what he did ? No, no, a thousand times no ! we 
shall use his authority to turn out the knaves and slug- 
gards from his ministry, and we shall yet rouse the people 
to action I " 

Lucas halted again; and the other stretched out his 
hand to a paper on the table. " Here, comrade." he said, 
with a laugh, *' here is a place for you to begin. A bishop 
whose wife has just been robbed of fifty thousand dollars' 
worth of diamonds ! And a most unctuous and oily of 
bishops ! An eminent and scholarly bishop ! A philan- 
thropist and friend of labor bishop a Civic Federation 
decoy-duck for the chloroforming of the wage-working- 
man ! " 

To this little passage of arms the rest of the company s.fc 


as spectators. But now Mr. Maynard, the editor, took oc- 
casion to remark, somewhat naively, that he had always 
understood that Socialists had a cut-and-dried programme 
for the future of civilization; whereas here were two active 
members of the party, who, from what he could make out, 
were agreed about nothing at all, Would the two, for his 
enlightenment, try to ascertain just what they had in com- 
mon, and why they belonged to the same party ? This 
resulted, after much debating, in the formulating of two 
carefully worded propositions: First, that a Socialist be- 
lieves in the common ownership and democratic manage- 
ment of the means of producing the necessities of life ; and, 
second, that a socialist believes that the means by which 
this is to be brought about is the class-conscious political 
organization of the wage-earners. Thus far they were at 
one; but no farther. To Lucas, the religious zealot, 
the cooperative commonwealth was the New Jerusalem, 
the kingdom of Heaven, which is " within you." To the 
other, Socialism was simply a necessary step toward a 
far-distant goal, a step to be tolerated with impatience. 
Schliemann called himself a "philosophic anarchist"; and 
he explained that an anarchist was one who believed that 
the end of human existence was the free development of 
every personality, unrestricted by laws save those of its 
own being. Since the same kind of match would light 
every one's fire and the same-shaped loaf of bread would 
fill every one's stomach, it would be perfectly feasible to 
submit industry to the control of a majority vote. There 
was only one earth, and the quantity of material things 
was limited. Of intellectual and moral things, on the 
other hand, there was no limit, and one could have more 
without another's having less ; hence " Communism in 
material production, anarchism in intellectual," was the 
formula of modern proletarian thought. As soon as the 
birth-agony was over, and the wounds of society had been 
healed, there would be established a simple system whereby 
each man was credited with his labor and debited with his 
purchases ; and after that the processes of production, ex- 
change, and consumption would go on automatically, and 


without our being conscious of them, any more than a man 
is conscious of the beating of his heart. And then, explained 
Schliemann, society would break up into independent, self- 
governing communities of mutually congenial persons i 
examples of which at present were clubs, churches, and po- 
litical parties. After the revolution, all the intellectual, 
artistic, and spiritual activities of men would be cared for 
by such " free associations " ; romantic novelists would be 
supported by those who liked to read romantic novels, and 
impressionist painters would be supported by those who 
liked to look at impressionist pictures and the same with 
preachers and scientists, editors and actors and musicians. 
If any one wanted to work or paint or pray, and could find 
no one to maintain him, he could support himself by work- 
ing part of the time. That was the case at present, the 
only difference being that the competitive wage-system 
compelled a man to work all the time to live, while, after 
the abolition of privilege and exploitation, any one would 
be able to support himself by an hour's work a day. Also 
the artist's audience of the present was a small minority 
of people, all debased and vulgarized by the effort it had 
cost them to win in the commercial battle ; of the intellec- 
tual and artistic activities which would result when the 
whole of mankind was set free from the nightmare of com- 
petition, we could at present form no conception what- 

And then the editor wanted to know upon what ground 
Dr. Schliemann asserted that it might be possible for a society 
to exist upon an hour's toil by each of its members. "Just 
what," answered the other, "would be the productive 
capacity of society if the present resources of science were 
utilized, we have no means of ascertaining; but we may be 
sure it would exceed anything that would sound reasonable 
to minds inured to the ferocious barbarities of Capitalism. 
After the triumph of the international proletariat, war 
would of course be inconceivable ; and who can figure the 
cost of war to humanity not merely the value of the 
liyet and the material that it destroys, not merely the cost 
of keeping millions of men in idleness, of arming and 


quipping them for battle and parade, but the drain 
upon the vital energies of ociety by the war-attitude and 
the war-terror, the brutality and ignorance, the drunken- 
ness, prostitution, and crime it entails, the industrial impo- 
tence and the moral deadness ? Do you think that it 
would be too much to say that two hours of the working 
time of every efficient member of a community goes to 
feed the red fiend of war?" 

And then Schliemann went on to outline some of the 
wastes of competition : the losses of industrial warfare ; 
the ceaseless worry and friction ; the vices such as drink, 
for instance, the use of which had nearly doubled in twenty 
years, as a consequence of the intensification of the eco- 
nomic struggle ; the idle and unproductive members of the 
community, the frivolous rich and the pauperized poor; 
the law and the whole machinery of repression ; the wastes 
of social ostentation, the milliners and tailors, the hair- 
dressers, dancing masters, chefs and lackeys. " You under- 
stand,'* he said, " that in a society dominated by the fact 
of commercial competition, money is necessarily the test 
of prowess, and wastefulness the sole criterion of power. 
So we have, at the present moment, a society with, say, 
thirty per cent of the population occupied in producing 
useless articles, and one per cent occupied in destroying 
them. And this is not all ; for the servants and panders 
of the parasites are also parasites, the milliners and the 
jewellers and the lackeys have also to be supported by the 
useful members of the community. And bear in mind 
also that this monstrous disease affects not merely the 
idlers and their menials, its poison penetrates the whole 
social body. Beneath the hundred thousand women of 
the elite are a million middle-class women, miserable 
because they are not of the e'lite, and trying to appear of 
it in public; and beneath them, in turn, are five million 
farmers' wives reading * fashion papers' and trimming 
bonnets, and shop-girls and serving-maids selling them- 
selves into brothels for cheap jewellery and imitation seal- 
ikin robes. And then consider that, added to this 
competition in display, you have, like oil on the flames, a 


whole system of competition in selling ! You have manu- 
factureps contriving tens of thousands of catchpenny 
devices, storekeepers displaying them, and newspapers and 
magazines filled up with advertisements of them!" 

"And don't forget the wastes of fraud," put in young 

"When one comes to the ultra-modern profession of 
advertising," responded Schliemann, " the science of per- 
suading people to buy what they do not want, he is in 
the very centre of the ghastly charnel-house of capitalist 
destructiveness, and he scarcely knows which of a dozen 
horrors to point out first. But consider the waste in time 
and energy incidental to making ten thousand varieties of 
a thing for purposes of ostentation and snobbishness, where 
one variety would do for use! Consider all the waste 
incidental to the manufacture of cheap qualities of goods, 
of goods made to sell and deceive the ignorant ; consider 
the wastes of adulteration, the shoddy clothing, the 
cotton blankets, the unstable tenements, the ground-cork 
life-preservers, the adulterated milk, the analine soda-water, 
the potato-flour sausages " 

"And consider the moral aspects of the thing," put in 
the ex-preacher. 

" Precisely," said Schliemann; "the low knavery and the 
ferocious cruelty incidental to them, the plotting and the 
lying and the bribing, the blustering and bragging, 
the screaming egotism, the hurrying and worrying. Of 
course, imitation and adulteration are the essence of com- 
petition they are but another form of the phrase ' to buy 
in the cheapest market and sell in the dearest.' A govern- 
ment official has stated that the nation suffers a loss of a 
billion and a quarter dollars a year through adulterated 
foods; which means, of course, not only materials wasted 
that might have been useful outside of the human stomach, 
but doctors and nurses for people who would otherwise 
have been well, and undertakers for the whole human race 
ten or twenty years before the proper time. Then again, 
consider the waste of time and energy required to sell 
these things in a dozen stores, where one would do. There 


are a million or two of business firms in the country, and 
five or ten times as many clerks ; and consider the hand- 
ling and rehandiirig, the accounting and reaccouutiug, the 
planning and worrying, the balancing of petty profit and 
loss. Consider the whole machinery of the civil law made 
necessary by these processes ; the libraries of ponderous 
tomes, the courts and juries to interpret them, the lawyers 
studying to circumvent them, the pettifogging and chi- 
canery, the hatreds and lies ! Consider the wastes 
incidental to the blind and haphazard production of com- 
modities, the factories closed, the workers idle, the goods 
spoiling in storage ; consider the activities of the stock- 
manipulator, the paralyzing of whole industries, the over- 
stimulation of others, for speculative purposes ; the assign- 
ments and bank-failures, the crises and panics, the deserted 
towns and the starving populations ! Consider the ener- 
gies wasted in the seeking of markets, the sterile trades, 
such as drummer, solicitor, bill-poster, advertising agent. 
Consider the wastes incidental to the crowding into cities, 
made necessary by competition and by monopoly railroad- 
rates ; consider the slums, the bad air, the disease and the 
waste of vital energies ; consider the office-buildings, the 
waste of time and material in the piling of story upon story, 
and the burrowing underground! Then take the whole 
business of insurance, the enormous mass of administrative 
and clerical labor it involves, and all utter waste " 

" I do not follow that," said the editor. 

" The Cooperative Commonwealth is a universal auto- 
matic insurance company and savings-bank for all its mem- 
bers. Capital being the property of all, injury to it is 
shared by all and made up by all. The bank is the uni- 
versal government credit-account, the ledger in which 
every individual's earnings and spendings are balanced 
There is also a universal government bulletin, in which are 
listed and precisely described everything which the com 
monwealth has for sale. As no one makes any profit by 
the sale, there is no longer any stimulus to extravagance 
and no misrepresentation ; no cheating, no adulteration or 
imitation, no bribery or * grafting.' " 


"How is the price of an article determined?" 

" The price is the labor it has cost to make and deliver 
it, and it is determined by the first principles of arithmetic. 
The million workers in the nation's wheat-fields have 
worked a hundred days each, and the total product of the 
labor is a billion bushels, so the value of a bushel of wheat 
is the tenth part of a farm labor-day. If we employ an 
arbitrary symbol, and pay, say, five dollars a day for farm- 
work, then the cost of a bushel of wheat is fifty cents." 

" You say ' for farm-work,' " said Mr. Maynard. " Then 
labor is not to be paid alike ? " 

" Manifestly not, since some work is easy and some hard, 
and we should have millions of rural mail-carriers, and no 
coal-miners. Of course the wages may be left the same, 
and the hours varied; one or the other will have to be 
varied continually, according as a greater or less number 
of workers is needed in any particular industry. That is 
precisely what is done at present, except that the transfer 
of the workers is accomplished blindly and imperfectly, by 
rumors and advertisements, instead of instantly and com- 
pletely, by a universal government bulletin." 

" How about those occupations in which time is difficult 
to calculate ? What is the labor cost of a book ? " 

" Obviously it is the labor cost of the paper, printing, and 
binding of it about a fifth of its present cost." 

"And the author?" 

" I have already said that the state could not control in, 
tellectual production. The state might say that it had 
taken a year to write the book, and the author might say it 
had taken thirty. Goethe said that every Ion mot of his had 
cost a purse of gold. What I outline here is a national, 
or rather international, system for the providing of the 
material needs of men. Since a man has intellectual needs 
also, he will work longer, earn more, and provide for them 
to his own taste and in his own way. I live on the same 
earth as the majority, I wear the same kind of shoes and 
sleep in the same kind of bed ; but I do not think the same 
kind of thoughts, and I do not wish to pay for such think- 
ers as the majority selects. I wish such things to be left 


to free effort, as at present. If people wnnt to listen to a 
certain preacher, they get together and contribute what 
they please, and pay for a church and support the preacher, 
and then listen to him ; I, who do not want to listen to 
him, stay away, and it costs me nothing. In the same way 
there are magazines about Egyptian coins, and Catholic 
saints, and flying machines, and athletic records, and I 
know nothing about any of them. On the other hand, if 
wage-slavery were abolished, and I could earn some spare 
money without paying tribute to an exploiting capitalist, 
then there would be a magazine for the purpose of inter- 
preting and popularizing the gospel of Friedrich Nietzsche, 
the prophet of Evolution, and also of Horace Fletcher, the 
inventor of the noble science of clean eating ; and inciden- 
tally, perhaps, for the discouraging of long skirts, and the 
scientific breeding of men and women, and the establishing 
of divorce by mutual consent." 

Dr. Schliemann paused for a moment. "That was a 
lecture," he said with a laugh, "and yet I am only 
begun I " 

" What else is there?" asked Maynard. 

"I have pointed out some of the negative wastes of 
competition, answered the other. " I have hardly men- 
tioned the positive economies of cooperation. Allowing 
five to a family, there are fifteen million families in thip 
country ; and at least ten million of these live separately, 
the domestic drudge being either the wife or a wage-slave. 
Now set aside the modern system of pneumatic house-clean- 
ing, and the economies of cooperative cooking ; and con- 
sider one single item, the washing of dishes. Surely it is 
moderate to say that the dish-washing for a family of five 
takes half an hour a day ; with ten hours as a day's work, 
it takes, therefore, half a million able-bodied persons 
mostly women to do the dish-washing of the country. 
And note that this is most filthy and deadening and brutal- 
izing work; that it is a cause of anaemia, nervousness, 
ugliness, and ill-temper ; of prostitution, suicide, and insan- 
ity; of drunken husbands and degenerate children for 
all of which things the community has naturally to pay. 


A.nd now consider that in each of my little free commu- 
nities there would be a machine which would wash and dry 
u he dishes, and do it, not merely to the eye and the touch, 
but scientifically sterilizing them and do it at a saving 
of all of the drudgery and nine-tenths of the time I All of 
these things you may find in the books of Mrs. Oilman ; 
and then take Kropotkin's * Fields, Factories, and Work- 
shops,' and read about the new science of agriculture, which 
has been built up in the last ten years ; by which, with 
made soils and intensive culture, a gardener can raise ten 
or twelve crops in a season, and two hundred tons of vege- 
tables upon a single acre ; by which the population of the 
whole globe could be supported on the soil now cultivated 
in the United States alone I It is impossible to apply such 
methods now, owing to the ignorance and poverty of our 
scattered farming population ; but imagine the problem of 
providing the food supply of our nation once taken in hand 
systematically and rationally, by scientists ! All the poor 
and rocky land set apart for a national timber-reserve, in 
which our children play, and our young men hunt, and our 
poets dwell ! The most f avorable climate and soil for each 
product selected ; the exact requirements of the commu- 
nity known, and the acreage figured accordingly ; the most 
improved machinery employed, under the direction of ex- 
pert agricultural chemists ! I was brought up on a farm, 
and I know the awful deadliness of farm-work ; and I like 
to picture it all as it will be after the revolution. To pic- 
ture the great potato-planting machine, drawn by four 
horses, or an electric motor, ploughing the furrow, cutting 
and dropping and covering the potatoes, and planting a 
score of acres a day 1 To picture the great potato-digging 
machine, run by electricity, perhaps, and moving across a 
thousand-acre field, scooping up earth and potatoes, and 
dropping the latter into sacks I To see every other kind 
of vegetable and fruit handled in the same way apples 
and oranges picked by machinery, cows milked by electric- 
ity things which are already done, as you may know. 
To picture the harvest-fields of the future, to which mill- 
Ions of happy men and women come for a summer holiday,, 


brought by special trains, the exactly needful number to 
each place ! And to contrast all this with our present 
agonizing system of independent small tanning, a stunted, 
haggard, ignorant man, mated with a yellow, lean, and sad- 
eyed drudge, and toiling from four o'clock in the morning 
until nine at night, working the children as soon as they 
are able to walk, scratching the soil with its primitive 
tools, and shut out from all knowledge and hope, from all 
the benefits of science and invention, and all the joys of 
the spirit held to a bare existence by competition in 
labor, and boasting of his freedom because he is too blind 
to see his chains ! 

Dr Schliemann paused a moment. "And then," he 
continued, " place beside this fact of an unlimited food sup- 
ply, the newest discovery ol physiologists, that most of the 
ills of the human system are due to overfeeding! And 
then again, it has been proven that meat is unnecessary as 
a food ; and meat is obviously more difficult to produce 
than vegetable food, less pleasant to prepare and handle, 
and more likely to be unclean. But what of that, so long 
as it tickles the palate more strongly ? " 

" How would Socialism change that ? " asked the girl- 
student, quickly. It was the first time she had spoken. 

" So long as we have wage slavery," answered Schlie- 
mann, " it matters not in the least how debasing and repul- 
sive a task may be, it is easy to find people to perform it. 
But just as soon as labor is set free, then the price of such 
work will begin to rise. So one by one the old, dingy, and 
unsanitary factories will come down it will be cneaper 
to build new ; and so the steamships will be provided with 
stoking- machinery, and so the dangerous trades will be 
made safe, or substitutes will be found for their products. 
In exactly the same way, as the citizens of our Industrial 
Republic become refined, year by year the cost of slaughter- 
house products will increase ; until eventually those who 
want to eat meat will have to do their own killing and 
how long do you think the custom would survive then? 
To go on to another item one of the necessary accom- 
paniments of capitalism in a democracy is political cor- 


ruption ; and one of the consequences of civic administra- 
tion by ignorant and vicious politicians, is that preventable 
diseases kill off half our population. And even if science 
were allowed to try. it could do little, because the majority 
of human beings are not yet human beings at all, but simply 
machines for the creating of wealth for others. They are 
penned up in filthy houses and left to rot and stew in 
misery, and the conditions of their life make them ill faster 
than all the doctors in the world could heal them ; and so, 
of course, they remain as centres of contagion, poisoning 
the lives of all of us, and making happiness impossible for 
even the most selfish. For this reason I would seriously 
maintain that all the medical and surgical discoveries that 
science can make in the future will be of less importance 
than the application of the knowledge we already possess, 
when the disinherited of the earth have established their 
right to a human existence." 

And here the Herr Doctor relapsed into silence again. 
Jurgis had noticed that the beautiful young girl who sat 
by the centre-table was listening with something of the 
same look that he himself had worn, the time when he had 
first discovered Socialism. Jurgis would have liked to talk 
to her, he felt sure that she would have understood him. 
Later on in the evening, when the group broke up, he 
heard Mrs. Fisher say to her, in a low voice, " I wonder if 
Mr. Maynard will still write the same things about Social- 
ism ; " to which she answered, " I don't know but if ho 
does we shall know that he is a knave 1 " 

And only a few hours after this came election day when 
the long campaign was over, and the whole country seemed 
to stand still and hold its breath, awaiting the issue. Jur- 
gis and the rest of the staff of Hinds's Hotel could hardly 
stop to finish their dinner, before they hurried off to tho 
big hall which the party had hired for that evening. 

But already there were people waiting, and already the 
telegraph instrument on the stage had begun clicking off 


the returns. When the final accounts were made up, the 
Socialist vote proved to be over four hundred thousand 
an increase of something like three hundred and fifty per 
cent in four years. And that was doing well; but the party 
was dependent for its early returns upon messages from 
the locals, and naturally those locals which had been most 
successful were the ones which felt most like reporting; 
and so that night every one in the hall believed that the 
vote was going to be six, or seven, or even eight hundred 
thousand. Just such an incredible increase had actually 
been made in Chicago, and in the state ; the vote of the 
city had been 6700 in 1900, and now it was 47,000 ; that 
of Illinois had been 9600, and now it was 69,000 1 So, as 
the evening waxed, and the crowd pile! in, the meeting 
was a sight to be seen. Bulletins would be read, and the 
people would shout themselves hoarse ; and then some one 
would make a speech, and there would be more shouting ; 
and then a brief silence, and more bulletins. There would 
come messages from the secretaries of neighboring states, 
reporting their achievements; the vote of Indiana had gone 
from 2300 to 12,000; of Wisconsin from 7000 to 28,000; of 
Ohio from 1800 to 36,000 1 There were telegrams to the 
national office from enthusiastic individuals in little towns 
which had made amazing and unprecedented increases in a 
single year : Benedict, Kansas, from 26 to 260 ; Hender- 
son, Kentucky, from 19 to 111 ; Holland, Michigan, from 
14 to 208 ; Cleo, Oklahoma, from to 104 ; Martin's 
Ferry, Ohio, from to 296 and many more of the 
same kind. There were literally hundreds of such towns ; 
there would be reports from half a dozen of them in a 
single batch of telegrams. And the men who read the 
despatches off to the audience were old campaigners, who 
had been to the places and helped to make the vote, and 
could make appropriate comments : Quincy, Illinois, from 
189 to 831 that was where the mayor had arrested a 
Socialist speaker ! Crawford County, Kansas, from 285 to 
1975; that was the home of the "Appeal to Reason"! 
Battle Creek, Michigan, from 4261 to 10,184; that was the 
answer xxf labor to the Citizens' Alliance Movement I 


And then there were official returns from the various 
precincts and wards of the city itself I Whether it was a 
factory district or one of the " silk-stocking " wards seemed 
to make no particular difference in the increase ; but one 
of the things which surprised the party leaders most was 
the tremendous vote that came rolling in from the stock- 
yards. Packingtown comprised three wards of the city, 
and the vote in the spring of 1903 had been five hundred, 
and in the fall of the same year, sixteen hundred. Now, 
only a year later, it was over sixty-three hundred and 
the Democratic vote only eighty-eight hundred I There 
were other wards in which the Democratic vote had been 
actually surpassed, and in two districts, members of the 
state legislature had been elected. Thus Chicago now led 
the country; it had set a new standard for the party, it 
had shown the working-men the way I 

So spoke an orator upon the platform ; and two thou- 
sand pairs of eyes were fixed upon him, and two thousand 
voices were cheering his every sentence. The orator had 
been the head of the city's relief bureau in the stockyards, 
until the sight of misery and corruption had made him 
sick. He was young, hungry-looking, full of fire ; and as 
he swung his long arms and beat up the crowd, to Jurgis 
he seemed the very spirit of the revolution. " Organize I 
Organize 1 Organize! that was his cry. He was afraid 
of this tremendous vote, which his party had not expected, 
and which it had not earned. "These men are not So- 
cialists I " he cried. "This election will pass, and the ex- 
citement will die, and people will forget about it ; and if 
you forget about it, too, if you sink back and rest upon 
your oars, we shall lose this vote that we have polled to- 
day, and our enemies will laugh us to scorn ! It rests with 
you to take your resolution now, in the flush of victory, 
to find these men who have voted for us, and bring them 
to our meetings, and organize them and bind them to us ! 
We shall not find all our campaigns as easy as this one. 
Everywhere in the country to-night the old party politi- 
cians are studying this vote, and setting their sails by it ; 
and nowhere will they be quicker or more cunning than 


here in oiu own city. Fifty thousand Socialist votes in 
Chicago means a municipal-ownership Democracy in 
the spring ! And then they will fool the voters once more, 
and all the powers of plunder and corruption will be swept 
into office again ! But whatever they may do when they 
get in, there is one thing they will not do, and that will 
be the thing for which they were elected ! They will not 
give the people of our city municipal ownership they 
will not mean to do it, they will not try to do it ; all that 
they will do is give our party in Chicago the greatest 
opportunity that has ever come to Socialism in America ! 
We shall have the sham reformers self-stultified and self- 
convicted; we shall have the radical Democracy left with- 
out a lie with which to cover its nakedness ! And then 
will begin the rush that will never be checked, the tide 
that will never turn till it has reached its flood that will 
be irresistible, overwhelming the rallying of the out- 
raged working-men of Chicago to our standard ! And we 
shall organize them, we shall drill them, we shall marshal 
them for the victory ! We shall bear down the opposition, 
we shall sweep it before us and Chicago will be ours 
Chicago will be ours ! CHICAGO WILL BE OuRSl" 



Full of originality and humor, kindliness and cheer 

THE OLD PEABODY PEW. Large Octavo. Decorative 
text pages, printed in two colors. Illustrations by Alice 
Barber Stephens. 

One of the prettiest romances that has ever come from this 
anther's pen is made to bloom on Christmas Eve in the sweet 
freshness of an old New England meeting house. 

PENELOPE'S PROGRESS. Attractive cover design in 

Scotland is the background for the merry doings of thiee very 
clever and original American girls. Their adventures in adjusting 
themselves to the Scot and his land are full of humor. 

with "Penelope's Progress.** 

The trio of clever girls who rambled over Scotland cross the bor- 
der to the Emerald Isle, and again they sharpen their wits against 
new conditions, and revel in the land of laughter and wit. 


One of the most beautiful studies of childhood Rebecca's artis- 
tic, unusual and quaintly charming qualities stand cut midst a circle 
of austere New Englanders. The stage version is making a phe- 
nomenal dramatic record. 

KEW CHRONICLES OF REBECCA. With illustration, 
by F. C Yohn. 

Some more quaintly amusing chronicles that cany Rebecca 
through various stages to her eighteenth birthday. 

ROSE 0* THE RIVER. With illustrations by George 


The simple story of Rose, a country girl and Stephen a sturdy 
young fanner, The girl's fancy for a city man interrupts their love 
and merges the story into an emotional strain where the reader fol- 
lows the events with rapt attention. 




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CYNTHIA'S CHAUFFEUR. Illustrated by Howard Chandle. 

A pretty American girl in London is touring in a car with 
a chauffeur whose identity puzzles her. An amusing mystery. 

THE STOWAWAY GIRL. Illustrated by Nesbitt Benson. 

A shipwreck, a lovely girl stowaway, a rascally captain, a 
fascinating officer, and thrilling adventures in South Seas. 


Love and the salt sea, a helpless ship whirled into the hands 
of cannibals, desperate fighting and a tender romance. 

THE MESSAGE. Illustrated by Joseph Cummings Chase. 

A bit of parchment found in the figurehead of an old ves- 
sel tells of a buried treasure. A thrilling mystery develops. 


The pillar thus designated was a lighthouse, and the author 
tells with exciting detail the terrible dilemma of its cut-off in- 

THE WHEEL O'FORTUNE. With illustrations by James 
Montgomery Flagg. 

The story deals with the finding of a papyrus containing 
the particulars of some of the treasures of the Queen of Sheba. 

A SON OF THE IMMORTALS. Illustrated by Howard 
Chandler Christy. 

A young American is proclaimed king of a little Balkan 
Kingdom, and a pretty Parisian art student is the power behind 
the throne. 


A sort of Robinson Crusoe redivivus with modern settings 
and a very pretty love story added. The hero and heroine, are 
he only survivors of a wreck, and have many thrilling adventures 
on their desert island. 

Ai\ for compete free list of G. & D. Popular Copyrighted Fiction 



Original, sincere and courageous often amusing the 
kind that are making theatrical history. 

MADAME X. By Alexandra Bisson and J. W. McCon- 
aughy. Illustrated with scenes from the play. 
A beautiful Parisienne became an outcast because her hus- 
band would not forgive an error of her youth. Her love for 
her son is the great final influence in her career. A tremen- 
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THE GARDEN OF ALLAH. By Robert Hichens. 

An unconventional English woman and an inscrutable 
stranger meet and love in an oasis of the Sahara. Staged 
this season with magnificent cast and gorgeous properties. 

THE PRINCE OF INDIA. By Lew. Wallace. 

A glowing romance of the Byzantine Empire, presenting 
with extraordinary power the siege of Constantinople, and 
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romance. As a play it is a great dramatic spectacle. 

Miller White. Illust. by Howard Chandler Christy. 
A girl from the dregs of society, loves a young Cornell Uni- 
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the lives of those about her. The dramatic version is one of 
the sensations of the season. 

YOUNG WALLINGFORD. By George Randolph 

Chester. Illust. by F. R. Gruger and Henry Raleigh. 

A series of clever swindles conducted by a cheerful youn& 

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offence. As "Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford," it is probably 

the most amusing expose of money manipulation ever seen 

on the stage. 


house. Illustrations by Will Grefe. 
Social and club life in London and New York, an amateur 
burglary adventure and a love story. Dramatized under the 
title of "A Gentleman of Leisure," it furnishes hours of 
laughter to the play-goers. 




THE RULES OF THE GAME. Illustrated by Lajaren A. Hiller 

The romance of the son of "The Riverman." The young college 
hero goes into the lumber camp, a antagonized by "graft" and comes 
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ARIZONA NIGHTS. Illus. and cover inlay by N. C. Wyeth. 

A series of spirited tales emphasizing some phases of the life 
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THE BLAZED TRAIL. With illustiations by Thomas Fogarty. 

A wholesome story with gleams of humor, telling of a young 
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The tenderfoot manager of a mine in a lonesome gulch of the 
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CONJUROR'S HOUSE. Illustrated Theatrical Edition. 

Dramatized under the title of "The Call of the North." 

"Conjuror's House is a Hudson Bay trading post where the 
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THE MAGIC FOREST. A Modern Fairy Tale. Illustrated. 

The sympathetic way in which the children of the wild and 
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THE RIVERMAN. Illus. by N. C. Wyeth and C. Underwood, 

The story of a man's fight against a river and of a struggle 
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THE SILENT PLACES. Illustrations by Philip R. Goodwin. 

The wonders of the northern forests, the heights of feminine 
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A story of the Black Hills that is justly placed among the 
best American novels. It portrays the life of the new West as no 
other book has done in recent years. 

THE MYSTERY. In collaboration with Samuel Hopkins Adams 
With illustrations by Will Crawford. 

The disappearance of three ^successive crews from the stout 
ship "Laughing Lass" in mid-Pacinc, is a mystery weird and inscrut- 
able. In the solution, there is a story of the most exciting voyage 
that man ever undertook.