You can address me, if you will, as. I sign this way so as not to cause you or me any more trouble, see? Following that, because his mother had been anxious about him all this time and wondering where he was, he soon received a letter, postmarked Denver, which surprised him very much, for he had expected to hear from her as still in Kansas City.
I had hoped and prayed that you would return to the straight and narrow path — the only path that will ever lead you to success and happiness of any kind, and that God would let me hear from you as safe and well and working somewhere and doing well. And now he has rewarded my prayers. I knew he would. Blessed be His holy name. Not that I blame you altogether for all that terrible trouble you got into and bringing so much suffering and disgrace on yourself and us — for well I know how the devil tempts and pursues all of us mortals and particularly just such a child as you.
Oh, my son, if you only knew how you must be on your guard to avoid these pitfalls. And you have such a long road ahead of you. Will you be ever watchful and try always to cling to the teachings of our Saviour that your mother has always tried to impress upon the minds and hearts of all you dear children? Will you stop and listen to the voice of our Lord that is ever with us, guiding our footsteps safely up the rocky path that leads to a heaven more beautiful than we can ever imagine here?
There is where the devil reigns in all his glory and is ever ready to triumph over the weak one. I suffered terribly over that, Clyde, and just at the time when I had such a dreadful ordeal to face with Esta. I almost lost her. She had such an awful time. The poor child paid dearly for her sin. We had to go in debt so deep and it took so long to work it out — but finally we did and now things are not as bad as they were, quite.
As you see, we are now in Denver. We have a mission of our own here now with housing quarters for all of us. Besides we have a few rooms to rent which Esta, and you know she is now Mrs. Nixon, of course, takes care of. She has a fine little boy who reminds your father and me of you so much when you were a baby. He does little things that are you all over again so many times that we almost feel that you are with us again — as you were. It is comforting, too, sometimes. Frank and Julie have grown so and are quite a help to me.
Frank has a paper route and earns a little money which helps. Esta wants to keep them in school just as long as we can. I am awful glad, Clyde, that you are trying so hard to better yourself in every way and last night your father was saying again that your uncle, Samuel Griffiths, of Lycurgus, is so rich and successful and I thought that maybe if you wrote him and asked him to give you something there so that you could learn the business, perhaps he would.
After all you are his nephew. You know he has a great collar business there in Lycurgus and he is very rich, so they say. Somehow I feel that perhaps he would find a place for you and then you would have something sure to work for. Let me know if you do and what he says. I want to hear from you often, Clyde. Please write and let us know all about you and how you are getting along. Of course we love you as much as ever, and will do our best always to try to guide you right.
We want you to succeed more than you know, but we also want you to be a good boy, and live a clean, righteous life, for, my son, what matter it if a man gaineth the whole world and loseth his own soul? Write your mother, Clyde, and bear in mind that her love is always with you — guiding you — pleading with you to do right in the name of the Lord. And so it was that Clyde had begun to think of his uncle Samuel and his great business long before he encountered him.
He had also experienced an enormous relief in learning that his parents were no longer in the same financial difficulties they were when he left, and safely housed in a hotel, or at least a lodging house, probably connected with this new mission. Upon entering, who should he come in contact with but Ratterer in the uniform of a club employee.
He was in charge of inquiry and packages at the door. The devil! Whaddya know? Where do you come from anyhow? You working here? Surest thing you know. Been here for nearly a year, now. You driving a delivery. That kills me. What do you want to do that for? Where are you living? I get off here at six. Is that all right? At seven, say. I get off at six and I can be over there by then if you can. Clyde, who was happy to the point of ecstasy in meeting Ratterer again, nodded a cheerful assent.
He boarded his wagon and continued his deliveries, yet for the rest of the afternoon his mind was on this approaching meeting with Ratterer. He had not been standing on the corner a minute before Ratterer appeared, very genial and friendly and dressed, if anything, more neatly than ever. My sister wrote me after we left home that no one seemed to know what became of either Higby or Heggie, or you, either. They sent that fellow Sparser up for a year — did you hear that?
Tough, eh? But not so much for killing the little girl, but for taking the car and running it without a license and not stopping when signaled. Oh, gee, I was scared. And run? Oh, say. Tough, what? Just what else could a fellow do, though? No need of all of us going up, eh? What was her name? Laura Sipe. And that little Briggs girl of yours did, too.
Did you go home with her? Clyde told him. Some fellow who worked in a cigar store, so Louise told me. She saw her afterwards just before she left with a new fur coat and all. But you was pretty much gone on her, I guess, eh? But in regard to himself, he proceeded to unfold a tale of only modest adventure, which was very different from the one Clyde had narrated, a tale which had less of nerves and worry and more of a sturdy courage and faith in his own luck and possibilities. Haley who was superintendent of the club — and that if Clyde wanted to, and Mr. Haley knew of anything, he would try and find out if there was an opening anywhere, or likely to be, and if so, Clyde could slip into it.
Lightall at the Great Northern before noon to-morrow. And accordingly Clyde, after telephoning his department manager that he was ill and would not be able to work that day, made his way to this hotel in his very best clothes. And on the strength of what references he could give, was allowed to go to work; and much to his relief under his own name. Also, to his gratification, his salary was fixed at twenty dollars a month, meals included. But the tips, as he now learned, aggregated not more than ten a week — yet that, counting meals was far more than he was now getting as he comforted himself; and so much easier work, even if it did take him back into the old line, where he still feared to be seen and arrested.
It was not so very long after this — not more than three months — before a vacancy occurred in the Union League staff. Ratterer, having some time before established himself as day assistant to the club staff captain, and being on good terms with him, was able to say to the latter that he knew exactly the man for the place — Clyde Griffiths — then employed at the Great Northern. And accordingly, Clyde was sent for, and being carefully coached beforehand by Ratterer as to how to approach his new superior, and what to say, he was given the place.
And here, very different from the Great Northern and superior from a social and material point of view, as Clyde saw it, to even the Green—Davidson, he was able once more to view at close range a type of life that most affected, unfortunately, his bump of position and distinction. For to this club from day to day came or went such a company of seemingly mentally and socially worldly elect as he had never seen anywhere before, the self-integrated and self-centered from not only all of the states of his native land but from all countries and continents.
American politicians from the north, south, east, west — the principal politicians and bosses, or alleged statesmen of their particular regions — surgeons, scientists, arrived physicians, generals, literary and social figures, not only from America but from the world over. Here also, a fact which impressed and even startled his sense of curiosity and awe, even — there was no faintest trace of that sex element which had characterized most of the phases of life to be seen in the Green—Davidson, and more recently the Great Northern. In fact, in so far as he could remember, had seemed to run through and motivate nearly, if not quite all of the phases of life that he had thus far contacted.
But here was no sex — no trace of it. No women were admitted to this club. These various distinguished individuals came and went, singly as a rule, and with the noiseless vigor and reserve that characterizes the ultra successful. They often ate alone, conferred in pairs and groups, noiselessly — read their papers or books, or went here and there in swiftly driven automobiles — but for the most part seemed to be unaware of, or at least unaffected by, that element of passion, which, to his immature mind up to this time, had seemed to propel and disarrange so many things in those lesser worlds with which up to now he had been identified.
After he had worked here a little while, under the influence of this organization and various personalities who came here, he had taken on a most gentlemanly and reserved air. When he was within the precincts of the club itself, he felt himself different from what he really was — more subdued, less romantic, more practical, certain that if he tried now, imitated the soberer people of the world, and those only, that some day he might succeed, if not greatly, at least much better than he had thus far.
And who knows? What if he worked very steadily and made only the right sort of contacts and conducted himself with the greatest care here, one of these very remarkable men whom he saw entering or departing from here might take a fancy to him and offer him a connection with something important somewhere, such as he had never had before, and that might lift him into a world such as he had never known.
For to say the truth, Clyde had a soul that was not destined to grow up. He lacked decidedly that mental clarity and inner directing application that in so many permits them to sort out from the facts and avenues of life the particular thing or things that make for their direct advancement. However, as he now fancied, it was because he lacked an education that he had done so poorly. Because of those various moves from city to city in his early youth, he had never been permitted to collect such a sum of practical training in any field as would permit him, so he thought, to aspire to the great worlds of which these men appeared to be a part.
Yet his soul now yearned for this. The people who lived in fine houses, who stopped at great hotels, and had men like Mr. Squires, and the manager of the bell- hops here, to wait on them and arrange for their comfort. And he was still a bell-hop. And close to twenty-one. At times it made him very sad. He wished and wished that he could get into some work where he could rise and be somebody — not always remain a bell- hop, as at times he feared he might.
About the time that he reached this conclusion in regard to himself and was meditating on some way to improve and safeguard his future, his uncle, Samuel Griffiths, arrived in Chicago. And having connections here which made a card to this club an obvious civility, he came directly to it and for several days was about the place conferring with individuals who came to see him, or hurrying to and fro to meet people and visit concerns whom he deemed it important to see. And it was not an hour after he arrived before Ratterer, who had charge of the pegboard at the door by day and who had but a moment before finished posting the name of this uncle on the board, signaled to Clyde, who came over.
He has a big collar factory in Lycurgus. Swell-looking man, too. You better keep your eye open and take a look at him when he comes down again. Wears a small gray mustache and a pearl gray hat. If it is your uncle you better shine up to him. Clyde laughed too as though he very much appreciated this joke, although in reality he was flustered.
His uncle Samuel! And in this club! Well, then this was his opportunity to introduce himself to his uncle. He had intended writing him before ever he secured this place, but now he was here in this club and might speak to him if he chose. But hold! What would his uncle think of him, supposing he chose to introduce himself?
For he was a bell-boy again and acting in that capacity in this club. For he was over twenty now, and getting to be pretty old for a bell-boy, that is, if one ever intended to be anything else. A man of his wealth and high position might look on bell-hopping as menial, particularly bell-boys who chanced to be related to him. He might not wish to have anything to do with him — might not even wish him to address him in any way. It was in this state that he remained for fully twenty-four hours after he knew that his uncle had arrived at this club. The following afternoon, however, after he had seen him at least half a dozen times and had been able to formulate the most agreeable impressions of him, since his uncle appeared to be so very quick, alert, incisive — so very different from his father in every way, and so rich and respected by every one here — he began to wonder, to fear even at times, whether he was going to let this remarkable opportunity slip.
For after all, his uncle did not look to him to be at all unkindly — quite the reverse — very pleasant. But plainly he did not. And he went away a little crest-fallen. Take those up to him. Who are you? At the mention of this particular brother, who, to the knowledge of all the members of this family, was distinctly not a success materially, the face of Samuel Griffiths clouded the least trifle. For the mention of Asa brought rather unpleasingly before him the stocky and decidedly not well-groomed figure of his younger brother, whom he had not seen in so many years.
But how different! His chin was not firm, his eyes a pale watery blue, and his hair frizzled. Whereas this son of his was neat, alert, good- looking and seemingly well-mannered and intelligent, as most bell- hops were inclined to be as he noted. And he liked him. It was this thought in connection with this younger brother that now caused him to stare at Clyde rather curiously.
Rather he was more like his own son, Gilbert, whom, as he now saw he resembled. For to Samuel Griffiths, who was more than less confined to the limited activities and environment of Lycurgus, the character and standing of this particular club was to be respected.
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And those young men who served the guests of such an institution as this, were, in the main, possessed of efficient and unobtrusive manners. Therefore to see Clyde standing before him in his neat gray and black uniform and with the air of one whose social manners at least were excellent, caused him to think favorably of him. I do declare! Well, now, this is a surprise. About forty rooms, I believe. He and my mother run that and the mission too. He was so anxious to make a better impression on his uncle than the situation seemed to warrant that he was quite willing to exaggerate a little.
No, Mr. My mother wanted me to write you once and ask whether there was any chance in your company for me to begin and work up, but I was afraid maybe that you might not like that exactly, and so I never did. Clyde noted that he was hesitating to encourage him. Samuel Griffiths merely stared at him thoughtfully. He liked and he did not like this direct request.
However, Clyde appeared at least a very adaptable person for the purpose. He seemed bright and ambitious — so much like his own son, and he might readily fit into some department as head or assistant under his son, once he had acquired a knowledge of the various manufacturing processes. At any rate he might let him try it. There could be no real harm in that. Besides, there was his younger brother, to whom, perhaps, both he and his older brother Allen owed some form of obligation, if not exactly restitution. Not every one is suited to it by a long way. This last remark pleased Samuel Griffiths.
Plainly he and his achievements had stood in the nature of an ideal to this youth. It may be that I will be able to do something for you. And Clyde, feeling that he had made as good an impression as could be expected under the circumstances and that something might come of it, thanked him profusely and beat a hasty retreat. The next day, having thought it over and deciding that Clyde, because of his briskness and intelligence, was likely to prove as useful as another, Samuel Griffiths, after due deliberation as to the situation at home, informed Clyde that in case any small opening in the home factory occurred he would be glad to notify him.
But he would not even go so far as to guarantee him that an opening would immediately be forthcoming. He must wait. In the meanwhile Samuel Griffiths had returned to Lycurgus. And after a later conference with his son, he decided that Clyde might be inducted into the very bottom of the business at least — the basement of the Griffiths plant, where the shrinking of all fabrics used in connection with the manufacture of collars was brought about, and where beginners in this industry who really desired to acquire the technique of it were placed, for it was his idea that Clyde by degrees was to be taught the business from top to bottom.
And since he must support himself in some form not absolutely incompatible with the standing of the Griffiths family here in Lycurgus, it was decided to pay him the munificent sum of fifteen dollars to begin. For while Samuel Griffiths, as well as his son Gilbert, realized that this was small pay not for an ordinary apprentice but for Clyde, since he was a relative yet so inclined were both toward the practical rather than the charitable in connection with all those who worked for them, that the nearer the beginner in this factory was to the clear mark of necessity and compulsion, the better.
Neither could tolerate the socialistic theory relative to capitalistic exploitation. As both saw it, there had to be higher and higher social orders to which the lower social classes could aspire.
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One had to have castes. One was foolishly interfering with and disrupting necessary and unavoidable social standards when one tried to unduly favor any one — even a relative. It was necessary when dealing with the classes and intelligences below one, commercially or financially, to handle them according to the standards to which they were accustomed.
And the best of these standards were those which held these lower individuals to a clear realization of how difficult it was to come by money — to an understanding of how very necessary it was for all who were engaged in what both considered the only really important constructive work of the world — that of material manufacture — to understand how very essential it was to be drilled, and that sharply and systematically, in all the details and processes which comprise that constructive work.
And so to become inured to a narrow and abstemious life in so doing. It was good for their characters. It informed and strengthened the minds and spirits of those who were destined to rise. And those who were not should be kept right where they were. But he must give due notice in writing of at least ten days in advance of his appearance in order that he might be properly arranged for. And upon his arrival he was to seek out Mr. Gilbert Griffiths at the office of the mill, who would look after him.
And upon receipt of this Clyde was very much thrilled and at once wrote to his mother that he had actually secured a place with his uncle and was going to Lycurgus. Also that he was going to try to achieve a real success now. Whereupon she wrote him a long letter, urging him to be, oh, so careful of his conduct and associates. Bad companionship was at the root of nearly all of the errors and failures that befell an ambitious youth such as he.
If he would only avoid evil-minded or foolish and headstrong boys and girls, all would be well. It was so easy for a young man of his looks and character to be led astray by an evil woman. He had seen what had befallen him in Kansas City. But now he was still young and he was going to work for a man who was very rich and who could do so much for him, if he would. And he was to write her frequently as to the outcome of his efforts here. And so, after having notified his uncle as he had requested, Clyde finally took his departure for Lycurgus.
But on his arrival there, since his original notification from his uncle had called for no special hour at which to call at the factory, he did not go at once, but instead sought out the important hotel of Lycurgus, the Lycurgus House. He now ambled out into Central Avenue, the very heart of Lycurgus, which in this section was crossed by several business streets, which together with Central Avenue for a few blocks on either side, appeared to constitute the business center — all there was to the life and gayety of Lycurgus.
But once in this and walking about, how different it all seemed to the world to which so recently he had been accustomed.
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For here, as he had thus far seen, all was on a so much smaller scale. The depot, from which only a half hour before he had stepped down, was so small and dull, untroubled, as he could plainly see, by much traffic. And the factory section which lay opposite the small city — across the Mohawk — was little more than a red and gray assemblage of buildings with here and there a smokestack projecting upward, and connected with the city by two bridges — a half dozen blocks apart — one of them directly at this depot, a wide traffic bridge across which traveled a car-line following the curves of Central Avenue, dotted here and there with stores and small homes.
But Central Avenue was quite alive with traffic, pedestrians and automobiles. Opposite diagonally from the hotel, which contained a series of wide plate-glass windows, behind which were many chairs interspersed with palms and pillars, was the dry-goods emporium of Stark and Company, a considerable affair, four stories in height, and of white brick, and at least a hundred feet long, the various windows of which seemed bright and interesting, crowded with as smart models as might be seen anywhere. Also there were other large concerns, a second hotel, various automobile showrooms, a moving picture theater.
He found himself ambling on and on until suddenly he was out of the business district again and in touch with a wide and tree-shaded thoroughfare of residences, the houses of which, each and every one, appeared to possess more room space, lawn space, general ease and repose and dignity even than any with which he had ever been in contact. In short, as he sensed it from this brief inspection of its very central portion, it seemed a very exceptional, if small city street — rich, luxurious even.
So many imposing wrought-iron fences, flower-bordered walks, grouped trees and bushes, expensive and handsome automobiles either beneath porte-cocheres within or speeding along the broad thoroughfare without. And in some neighboring shops — those nearest Central Avenue and the business heart where this wide and handsome thoroughfare began, were to be seen such expensive-looking and apparently smart displays of the things that might well interest people of means and comfort — motors, jewels, lingerie, leather goods and furniture.
But where now did his uncle and his family live? In which house? What street? Was it larger and finer than any of these he had seen in this street? He must return at once, he decided, and report to his uncle. He must look up the factory address, probably in that region beyond the river, and go over there and see him. What would he say, how act, what would his uncle set him to doing? What would his cousin Gilbert be like? What would he be likely to think of him? In his last letter his uncle had mentioned his son Gilbert.
He retraced his steps along Central Avenue to the depot and found himself quickly before the walls of the very large concern he was seeking. It was of red brick, six stories high — almost a thousand feet long. It was nearly all windows — at least that portion which had been most recently added and which was devoted to collars. An older section, as Clyde later learned, was connected with the newer building by various bridges. Clyde made his way to the office portion and finding no one to hinder him, passed through two sets of swinging doors and found himself in the presence of a telephone girl seated at a telephone desk behind a railing, in which was set a small gate — the only entrance to the main office apparently.
And this she guarded. She was short, fat, thirty-five and unattractive. Clyde Griffiths is my name. I have a letter here from my uncle, Mr. Samuel Griffiths. As he laid the letter before her, he noticed that her quite severe and decidedly indifferent expression changed and became not so much friendly as awed. For obviously she was very much impressed not only by the information but his looks, and began to examine him slyly and curiously. Word coming back to her apparently that Mr.
Clyde Griffiths. He has a letter from Mr. Gilbert Griffiths will see you in a moment. And Clyde, noting the unusual deference paid him — a form of deference that never in his life before had been offered him — was strangely moved by it. To think that he should be a full cousin to this wealthy and influential family! This enormous factory!
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So long and wide and high — as he had seen — six stories. And walking along the opposite side of the river just now, he had seen through several open windows whole rooms full of girls and women hard at work. And he had been thrilled in spite of himself. For somehow the high red walls of the building suggested energy and very material success, a type of success that was almost without flaw, as he saw it.
Samuel Griffiths, Pres. Any one of the clerks inside will show you. She half rose as if to open the door for him, but Clyde, sensing the intent, brushed by her. And all were apparently intent on their duties before them. Most of them had green shades over their eyes. Quite all of them had on short alpaca office coats or sleeve protectors over their shirt sleeves. Nearly all of the young women wore clean and attractive gingham dresses or office slips. And all about this central space, which was partitionless and supported by round white columns, were offices labeled with the names of the various minor officials and executives of the company — Mr.
Smillie, Mr. Latch, Mr. Gotboy, Mr. Since the telephone girl had said that Mr. He was dressed, as Clyde noted at once, in a bright gray suit of a very pronounced pattern, for it was once more approaching spring. He had on a pair of large horn-rimmed glasses which he wore at his desk only, and the eyes that peered through them went over Clyde swiftly and notatively, from his shoes to the round brown felt hat which he carried in his hand.
On the instant, as he now saw, he could not possibly have the same regard and esteem for this cousin, as he could and did have for his uncle, whose very great ability had erected this important industry. At the same time so groundless and insignificant were his claims to any consideration here, and so grateful was he for anything that might be done for him, that he felt heavily obligated already and tried to smile his best and most ingratiating smile.
Yet Gilbert Griffiths at once appeared to take this as a bit of presumption which ought not to be tolerated in a mere cousin, and particularly one who was seeking a favor of him and his father. Did you have a pleasant trip? Most sharply, as Clyde said this, he felt that he was dreadfully lacking in every training. And now Gilbert Griffiths looked at him as though he were rather a hopeless proposition indeed from the viewpoint of this concern. Afterwards, when we see how you do down there, we can tell a little better what to do with you.
If you had any office training it might be possible to use you up here. It pleased him. He knows more about the town than you do. At the same time, he was greatly concerned lest Clyde get the notion that the family was very much concerned as to where he did live, which most certainly it was NOT, as he saw it. His final feeling was that he could easily place and control Clyde in such a way as to make him not very important to any one in any way — his father, the family, all the people who worked here. He reached for a button on his desk and pressed it. A trim girl, very severe and reserved in a green gingham dress, appeared.
She disappeared and presently there entered a medium-sized and nervous, yet moderately stout, man who looked as though he were under a great strain. He was about forty years of age — repressed and noncommittal — and looked curiously and suspiciously about as though wondering what new trouble impended.
His head, as Clyde at once noticed, appeared chronically to incline forward, while at the same time he lifted his eyes as though actually he would prefer not to look up. You remember I spoke to you about him. Afterwards you had better have Mrs. Braley show him where he can get a room. Whiggam turned. And young Gilbert as briskly turned to his own desk, but at the same time shaking his head.
His feeling at the moment was that mentally Clyde was not above a good bell-boy in a city hotel probably. Else why should he come on here in this way. And Clyde, as he followed Mr. Whiggam, was thinking what a wonderful place Mr. Gilbert Griffiths enjoyed. No doubt he came and went as he chose — arrived at the office late, departed early, and somewhere in this very interesting city dwelt with his parents and sisters in a very fine house — of course. Nevertheless, once they were out of the sight and hearing of Mr.
Gilbert Griffiths, he was somewhat diverted from this mood by the sights and sounds of the great manufactory itself. For here on this very same floor, but beyond the immense office room through which he had passed, was another much larger room filled with rows of bins, facing aisles not more than five feet wide, and containing, as Clyde could see, enormous quantities of collars boxed in small paper boxes, according to sizes. These bins were either being refilled by stock boys who brought more boxed collars from the boxing room in large wooden trucks, or were being as rapidly emptied by order clerks who, trundling small box trucks in front of them, were filling orders from duplicate check lists which they carried in their hands.
Griffiths, I presume? Whiggam with somewhat more spirit, once he was out of the presence of Gilbert Griffiths. Clyde noticed at once the Mr. This is the stuff from which the collars are cut, the collars and the lining. They are called webs. Each of these bolts is a web.
If they are, the collars would shrink after they were cut. We tub them and then dry them afterwards. He marched solemnly on and Clyde sensed once more that this man was not looking upon him as an ordinary employee by any means. His MR. Griffiths, his supposition to the effect that Clyde was to learn all about the manufacturing end of the business, as well as his condescension in explaining about these webs of cloth, had already convinced Clyde that he was looked upon as one to whom some slight homage at least must be paid.
He followed Mr. Whiggam, curious as to the significance of this, and soon found himself in an enormous basement which had been reached by descending a flight of steps at the end of a third hall. Here, by the help of four long rows of incandescent lamps, he discerned row after row of porcelain tubs or troughs, lengthwise of the room, and end to end, which reached from one exterior wall to the other.
And in these, under steaming hot water apparently, were any quantity of those same webs he had just seen upstairs, soaking. And near-by, north and south of these tubs, and paralleling them for the length of this room, all of a hundred and fifty feet in length, were enormous drying racks or moving skeleton platforms, boxed, top and bottom and sides, with hot steam pipes, between which on rolls, but festooned in such a fashion as to take advantage of these pipes, above, below and on either side, were more of these webs, but unwound and wet and draped as described, yet moving along slowly on these rolls from the east end of the room to the west.
This movement, as Clyde could see, was accompanied by an enormous rattle and clatter of ratchet arms which automatically shook and moved these lengths of cloth forward from east to west. As fast as it had gone the way of all webs, another was attached. Between each two rows of tubs in the center of the room were enormous whirling separators or dryers, into which these webs of cloth, as they came from the tubs in which they had been shrinking for twenty-four hours, were piled and as much water as possible centrifugally extracted before they were spread out on the drying racks.
Primarily little more than this mere physical aspect of the room was grasped by Clyde — its noise, its heat, its steam, the energy with which a dozen men and boys were busying themselves with various processes. They were, without exception, clothed only in armless undershirts, a pair of old trousers belted in at the waist, and with canvas-topped and rubber-soled sneakers on their bare feet. The water and the general dampness and the heat of the room seemed obviously to necessitate some such dressing as this.
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A short, stocky, full-chested man, with a pate, full face and white, strong-looking arms, dressed in a pair of dirty and wrinkled trousers and an armless flannel shirt, now appeared. Like Whiggam in the presence of Gilbert, he appeared to be very much overawed in the presence of Whiggam. I spoke to you about him last week, you remember? Whiggam, as Clyde noticed, held his head higher and spoke more directly and authoritatively than at any time so far. He seemed to be master, not underling, now.
It might save a little time. Or, you can leave it until then if you want to. Braley there for you. He lowered his head and started to go away just as Clyde began. And at once Mr. Kemerer — still nervous and overawed apparently — began. His manner quite like that of Mr. At first sight, and considering what his general dreams in connection with this industry were, Clyde was inclined to rebel. For the type of youth and man he saw here were in his estimation and at first glance rather below the type of individuals he hoped to find here — individuals neither so intelligent nor alert as those employed by the Union League and the Green—Davidson by a long distance.
And still worse he felt them to be much more subdued and sly and ignorant — mere clocks, really. And their eyes, as he entered with Mr. Whiggam, while they pretended not to be looking, were very well aware, as Clyde could feel, of all that was going on. Indeed, he and Mr. Whiggam were the center of all their secret looks. At the same time, their spare and practical manner of dressing struck dead at one blow any thought of refinement in connection with the work in here.
How unfortunate that his lack of training would not permit his being put to office work or something like that upstairs. He walked with Mr. Kemerer, who troubled to say that these were the tubs in which the webs were shrunk over night — these the centrifugal dryers — these the rack dryers. Then he was told that he could go. He made his way out of the nearest door and once outside he congratulated himself on being connected with this great company, while at the same time wondering whether he was going to prove satisfactory to Mr.
Kemerer and Mr. It was pretty rough. Well, if worst came to worst, as he now thought, he could go back to Chicago, or on to New York, maybe, and get work. Why had that young Gilbert Griffiths smiled so cynically? And what sort of a woman was this Mrs. Had he done wisely to come on here? Would this family do anything for him now that he was here? It was thus that, strolling west along River Street on which were a number of other kinds of factories, and then north through a few other streets that held more factories — tinware, wickwire, a big vacuum carpet cleaning plant, a rug manufacturing company, and the like — that he came finally upon a miserable slum, the like of which, small as it was, he had not seen outside of Chicago or Kansas City.
He was so irritated and depressed by the poverty and social angularity and crudeness of it — all spelling but one thing, social misery, to him — that he at once retraced his steps and recrossing the Mohawk by a bridge farther west soon found himself in an area which was very different indeed — a region once more of just such homes as he had been admiring before he left for the factory. And walking still farther south, he came upon that same wide and tree-lined avenue — which he had seen before — the exterior appearance of which alone identified it as the principal residence thoroughfare of Lycurgus.
It was so very broad and well-paved and lined by such an arresting company of houses. At once he was very much alive to the personnel of this street, for it came to him immediately that it must be in this street very likely that his uncle Samuel lived. The houses were nearly all of French, Italian or English design, and excellent period copies at that, although he did not know it. Impressed by their beauty and spaciousness, however, he walked along, now looking at one and another, and wondering which, if any, of these was occupied by his uncle, and deeply impressed by the significance of so much wealth.
How superior and condescending his cousin Gilbert must feel, walking out of some such place as this in the morning. At once Clyde straightened up, as though dashed with cold water. His residence! Then that was one of his automobiles standing before the garage at the rear there. And there was another visible through the open door of the garage. Indeed in his immature and really psychically unilluminated mind it suddenly evoked a mood which was as of roses, perfumes, lights and music. The beauty! The ease! What member of his own immediate family had ever even dreamed that his uncle lived thus!
The grandeur! And his own parents so wretched — so poor, preaching on the streets of Kansas City and no doubt Denver. Conducting a mission! And although thus far no single member of this family other than his chill cousin had troubled to meet him, and that at the factory only, and although he had been so indifferently assigned to the menial type of work that he had, still he was elated and uplifted.
For, after all, was he not a Griffiths, a full cousin as well as a full nephew to the two very important men who lived here, and now working for them in some capacity at least? And must not that spell a future of some sort, better than any he had known as yet? The enormous difference! A thing to be as carefully concealed as possible. At the same time, he was immediately reduced again, for supposing the Griffiths here — his uncle or his cousin or some friend or agent of theirs — should now investigate his parents and his past? The matter of that slain child in Kansas City!
At once his face fell, his dreams being so thickly clouded over. If they should guess! If they should sense! Oh, the devil — who was he anyway? And what did he really amount to? What could he hope for from such a great world as this really, once they knew why he had troubled to come here? A little disgusted and depressed he turned to retrace his steps, for all at once he felt himself very much of a nobody.
The room which Clyde secured this same day with the aid of Mrs. Braley, was in Thorpe Street, a thoroughfare enormously removed in quality if not in distance from that in which his uncle resided. Indeed the difference was sufficient to decidedly qualify his mounting notions of himself as one who, after all, was connected with him. The commonplace brown or gray or tan colored houses, rather smoked or decayed, which fronted it — the leafless and winter harried trees which in spite of smoke and dust seemed to give promise of the newer life so near at hand — the leaves and flowers of May.
Yet as he walked into it with Mrs. Braley, many drab and commonplace figures of men and girls, and elderly spinsters resembling Mrs. Braley in kind, were making their way home from the several factories beyond the river. And at the door Mrs. Braley and himself were received by a none-too-polished woman in a clean gingham apron over a dark brown dress, who led the way to a second floor room, not too small or uncomfortably furnished — which she assured him he could have for four dollars without board or seven and one-half dollars with — a proposition which, seeing that he was advised by Mrs.
Braley that this was somewhat better than he would get in most places for the same amount, he decided to take. And here, after thanking Mrs. Braley, he decided to remain — later sitting down to dinner with a small group of mill-town store and factory employees, such as partially he had been accustomed to in Paulina Street in Chicago, before moving to the better atmosphere of the Union League. And after dinner he made his way out into the principal thoroughfares of Lycurgus, only to observe such a crowd of nondescript mill-workers as, judging these streets by day, he would not have fancied swarmed here by night — girls and boys, men and women of various nationalities, and types — Americans, Poles, Hungarians, French, English — and for the most part — if not entirely touched with a peculiar something — ignorance or thickness of mind or body, or with a certain lack of taste and alertness or daring, which seemed to mark them one and all as of the basement world which he had seen only this afternoon.
Yet in some streets and stores, particularly those nearer Wykeagy Avenue, a better type of girl and young man who might have been and no doubt were of the various office groups of the different companies over the river — neat and active. And Clyde, walking to and fro, from eight until ten, when as though by pre-arrangement, the crowd in the more congested streets seemed suddenly to fade away, leaving them quite vacant. And throughout this time contrasting it all with Chicago and Kansas City.
And perhaps because of its smallness, liking it — the Lycurgus Hotel, neat and bright and with a brisk local life seeming to center about it. And the post-office and a handsomely spired church, together with an old and interesting graveyard, cheek by jowl with an automobile salesroom. And a new moving picture theater just around the corner in a side street. And various boys and girls, men and women, walking here and there, some of them flirting as Clyde could see.
And with a suggestion somehow hovering over it all of hope and zest and youth — the hope and zest and youth that is at the bottom of all the constructive energy of the world everywhere. And finally returning to his room in Thorpe Street with the conclusion that he did like the place and would like to stay here. That beautiful Wykeagy Avenue! The many pretty and eager girls he had seen hurrying to and fro! In the meantime, in so far as Gilbert Griffiths was concerned, and in the absence of his father, who was in New York at the time a fact which Clyde did not know and of which Gilbert did not trouble to inform him he had conveyed to his mother and sisters that he had met Clyde, and if he were not the dullest, certainly he was not the most interesting person in the world, either.
He thinks clothes are the whole thing, I guess. He had on a light brown suit and a brown tie and hat to match and brown shoes. His tie was too bright and he had on one of those bright pink striped shirts like they used to wear three or four years ago. He might even be made into a salesman later on, I suppose. But what he sees in all that to make it worth while to come here is more than I can guess. Myra paused, and Gilbert, who had had this same hint from his mother before now, chose to ignore the implication of it.
Meeting his mother and Bella later, he volunteered the same news and much the same ideas. Griffiths sighed; for after all, in a place like Lycurgus and established as they were, any one related to them and having their name ought to be most circumspect and have careful manners and taste and judgment.
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It was not wise for her husband to bring on any one who was not all of that and more. She did not know Clyde, but she did know Gilbert, and as she knew he could decide very swiftly that this or that person was lacking in almost every way, when, as a matter of fact, they might not be at all as she saw it.
In the meanwhile on the following morning, Clyde, returning to the mill, found that the name, or appearance, or both perhaps — his resemblance to Mr. Gilbert Griffiths — was of some peculiar advantage to him which he could not quite sufficiently estimate at present. For on reaching number one entrance, the doorman on guard there looked as though startled. Clyde Griffiths? Yes, I know. Yes, sir. Here you are, Mr. Kemerer spoke to me about you yesterday. Number seventy-one is to be yours. Gilbert Griffiths? What is he, do you suppose, a brother or a cousin, or what?
When I seen him first, I thought it was Mr. And in the shrinking room when he entered, as on the day before, he found Kemerer as respectful and evasive as ever. For, as Whiggam had informed Kemerer the day before, Mr. Gilbert had said no least thing which tended to make Mr. Whiggam believe that things were to be made especially easy for him, nor yet hard, either.
On the contrary, Mr. No different. And Clyde, noticing this, was quite set up by it, for he could not help but feel that this in itself, and apart from whatever his cousin Gilbert might either think or wish to do, might easily presage some favor on the part of his uncle that might lead to some good for him. So when Kemerer proceeded to explain to him that he was not to think that the work was so very hard or that there was so very much to do for the present, Clyde took it with a slight air of condescension.
And in consequence Kemerer was all the more respectful. The days that followed were diverting and yet troublesome enough to Clyde, who to begin with was puzzled and disturbed at times by the peculiar social and workaday worlds and position in which he found himself.
For one thing, those by whom now he found himself immediately surrounded at the factory were not such individuals as he would ordinarily select for companions — far below bell-boys or drivers or clerks anywhere. They were, one and all, as he could now clearly see, meaty or stodgy mentally and physically. They wore such clothes as only the most common laborers would wear — such clothes as are usually worn by those who count their personal appearance among the least of their troubles — their work and their heavy material existence being all.
In addition, not knowing just what Clyde was, or what his coming might mean to their separate and individual positions, they were inclined to be dubious and suspicious. After a week or two, however, coming to understand that Clyde was a nephew of the president, a cousin of the secretary of the company, and hence not likely to remain here long in any menial capacity, they grew more friendly, but inclined in the face of the sense of subserviency which this inspired in them, to become jealous and suspicious of him in another way. For, after all, Clyde was not one of them, and under such circumstances could not be.
He might smile and be civil enough — yet he would always be in touch with those who were above them, would he not — or so they thought. He was, as they saw it, part of the rich and superior class and every poor man knew what that meant.
The poor must stand together everywhere. They all appeared to be lost in the humdrum and routine of their work. In consequence his mind went back to happier scenes. He wished at times he were back in Chicago or Kansas City. Squires, Hortense — all of the young and thoughtless company of which he had been a part, and wondered what they were doing.
What had become of Hortense? She had got that fur coat after all — probably from that cigar clerk and then had gone away with him after she had protested so much feeling for him — the little beast. After she had gotten all that money out of him. The mere thought of her and all that she might have meant to him if things had not turned as they had, made him a little sick at times. To whom was she being nice now? How had she found things since leaving Kansas City? And what would she think if she saw him here now or knew of his present high connections? That would cool her a little.
But she would not think much of his present position. That was true. But she might respect him more if she could see his uncle and his cousin and this factory and their big house. It would be like her then to try to be nice to him. Well, he would show her, if he ever ran into her again — snub her, of course, as no doubt he very well could by then. In so far as his life at Mrs. For that was but a commonplace rooming and boarding house, which drew to it, at best, such conservative mill and business types as looked on work and their wages, and the notions of the middle class religious world of Lycurgus as most essential to the order and well being of the world.
From the point of view of entertainment or gayety, it was in the main a very dull place. At the same time, because of the presence of one Walter Dillard — a brainless sprig who had recently come here from Fonda, it was not wholly devoid of interest for Clyde. He was spry, avid, attractive enough physically, with very light hair, a very light and feeble mustache, and the delicate airs and ways of a small town Beau Brummell. Never having had any social standing or the use of any means whatsoever — his father having been a small town dry goods merchant before him, who had failed — he was, because of some atavistic spur or fillip in his own blood, most anxious to attain some sort of social position.
But failing that so far, he was interested in and envious of those who had it — much more so than Clyde, even. The glory and activity of the leading families of this particular city had enormous weight with him — the Nicholsons, the Starks, the Harriets, Griffiths, Finchleys, et cetera. A Griffiths! The nephew of the rich Samuel Griffiths of Lycurgus!
And in this boarding house! Tennis; no one knew anything about the facility. It was as though they had just opened for the very first time. Pool: We were treated like intruders. The employees clearly couldn't be bothered to smile let alone do their jobs. Golf course: Kids running the pro shop. Chef seemed competent but food was boring. I don't expect a hot dog to be a featured lunch item at an exclusive country club. Waitress was competent but alone- service was slow. Woman in charge no name tag wouldn't answer my questions about membership fees and told me to make an appointment for a less busy time.
Positives: The golf course itself is very well kept. The carts were operational and the golf challenging. The clothes in the pro shop are cute and current. The roads are [mostly] paved and landscaping is lovely. I don't want to abandon my dreams of this picturesque neighborhood, but they need a serious change in management before I give them one penny. A perfect place to unwind and enjoy the beauty of the pocono mountains. The golf course and clubhouse under new management provide good golfing and food. The atmosphere is inviting and very inclusive.
The wooded surroundings are gorgeous - so peaceful. The food at the Clubhouse restaurant under new management this year is outstanding. Service is friendly and high quality at all of the amenities. If you are visiting the Poconos, make a point to check out Pinecrest as a destination.
You'll be so glad you did! We prefer to come in the fall, when the colors are amazing. There is nothing like the combination of luxury and beautiful surroundings like PIncrest. We are thinking about buying a home, or building one, as it is great all year. Great location with the outlet malls, a great sushi restaurant, and skiing within 15 min. Airy casino is just a short ride away for fun. The beautiful lake and pool are a bonus for the kids. I hightly recommend it to everyone.
The lake was closed for two days when we visited due to the high bacteria count. This may be the result of the staff throwing the piles of goose poop from the swimming dock directly into the water - when they have a chance to clean it. The roads and trails are lovely. The pool staff is officious, and make it clear that the clients are an imposition.
The annual event for members was cancelled due to a conflict with the members. There are very few activities here. We've been there during all seasons now and we can't decide which we like best. Winters there are beautiful and peaceful, although not much snow this year. Summer was equally beautiful with somewhat more activities going on. A huge pool with a snack bar for food and drinks seemed to be the gathering place. The fall colors were fantastic! We prefer to stay in condos rather than hotel rooms wherever possible, and these are our favorite condos anywhere.
Large decks, nice fireplace, convenient wet bar and fully stocked kitchen. Just take your own linens. Everything else is already there! Flights Vacation Rentals Restaurants Things to do. Tip: All of your saved places can be found here in My Trips. Log in to get trip updates and message other travelers. Profile Join. Log in Join. Lowest prices for your stay. Guests 1 room , 2 adults , 0 children Guests 1 2. Show Prices. Like saving money? We search up to sites for the lowest prices.
Waste of Money. More Show less. Date of stay: June Trip type: Traveled as a couple.
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