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Newton, A. Edward
"What Might Have Been'
A Light-Blue Stocking .
More Letters from France
Schauffler, Robert Haven, Safe.
The Western Front.
Sperry, Willard L., The Gulf
Taylor, Arthur Russell, The Return of Mr.
Tolfree, A. G., The Russian Character
On Making Calls
ists who devoted all their spare time
and sacrificed a great deal of their earn“Say, kid, wake up! Are you going ings for the creation of a literary folkto sleep all day?'
theatre. That evening the last rehearSunk in despondency, I had forgot- sal for the next day's performance had ten everything: my surroundings, the taken place. hall where the Dramatic Club was Confused and puzzled, I had sat meeting, the members of the club, all through the rehearsal. The poor light had vanished in my misery.
in the hall had brought the ceiling still “Are you asleep?'
lower, making me sink deeper into I jumped up. Near me stood Clara, despair. Was the play interesting or one of the members of the club, who not, the acting good or bad? Where had always taken a friendly interest in had my enthusiasm gone? What was me. She recalled me with a start to the nagging me so dreadfully? present. I was sitting in a dark humble My mind wandered in dark confuhall, a low ceiling over our heads —the sion. Unconsciously, my hand, digging shelter of the Dramatic Club. Slowly in my pocket, crumpled a small piece and monotonously, the rehearsal had of paper. What was it? dragged along. The director, his body Oh, the two-dollar bill! And the enreeking with sweat, had repeated for lightenment came: my only two dollars the tenth time the act which failed to all my precious wealth! And over please him.
me swept the past nine weeks of weary, The object of the club was to ac- never-ending search for work. Rising quaint the Yiddish public of the East each day with new hope, looking over Side of New York with literary dramas, every advertisement, running from to encourage a better understanding of place to place, all fruitless, until, brokliterature than they could gain from the en with fatigue, I would return home, Yiddish theatres, which usually fed throw myself on my bed, and spend the their patrons with the trash common in rest of the day in the stupor of despair, the theatrical world. The best dramas apathetically gazing at the ceiling. of Ibsen, Maeterlinck, Hauptmann, Most of the advertisements wanted Sudermann, and other modern writers skilled 'hands,' others were four-dollar were translated into Yiddish and pro- jobs with little chance for advanceduced in that small hall by a few ideal- ment. My self-consciousness would not VOL. 121- N0.1
allow me to work for four dollars a kid; your boats are not all sunk, are
'I think they are, Clara,' I answerFrom the dark brooding that made ed, clutching my only two-dollar bill, me unconscious of my surroundings, I which so painfully reminded me of my was reça lied by Clara's kindly voice. situation.
The lights were all out, the people all Her efforts to start a conversation gone.
were not successful. I was too tired and 'I hope you don't mind if I walk discouraged to speak, and silently we home with you?'
reached my door. After wishing each I looked up at her as if I saw her for other good-night and a Happy New the first time - a face full of wrinkles, Year, I climbed the dark, dirty staira cut on the lower lip, big inflamed eyes, way to the fourth floor and opened the looked at me smilingly; a face which door into a cold, unfriendly room. An I had never liked before looked much old couch, two chairs, a broken white
a pleasanter to me now.
table, and an old, once-white dresser 'Why, yes, I shall be glad,' I said. furnished the small room. The only
We climbed down the dark creaking window faced a narrow court that never staircase, tracing our way along Or- allowed the sunlight to break in. chard Street, the small dirty thorough- My room-mate was absent. I lightfare crowded with push-carts and peo- ed the gas. Lonely and homesick, I I ple. The noise of the elevated trains on paced back and forth from one corner Allen Street was deafening, but above to another, my mind painfully wanderthe din was a greater noise than usual. ing far away to my home, now clad in Bells were ringing, whistles blowing, silver white. the air was full of merriment and joy. H-p-ough; h--ough; h--ough; Young people, holding feather-dusters h-y-ough! dipped in some ill-smelling white pow- Oh, those sickening sounds from my der or in charcoal, smeared the faces of snoring neighbors, coming from the the people as they passed by.
windows crowded around the narrow ‘New Year's Eve! New Year's Eve!' airshaft! They played on my weakClara joyfully exclaimed, infected by ened nerves and drove me almost to the merriment around her. To me it distraction. For two months that was annoying. Could not the people snoring discord so near my room disenjoy themselves more intelligently? turbed my peace, irritated my nerves, On New Year's Eve, in Russia, the and kept me awake through the nights. peasants usually get drunk and often break the windows of the Yiddish dwellings. Here the young folks were running round screaming like wild ani- The city clock slowly struck twelve. mals, tormenting the passer-by. The New Year had come. More bells
"You're moody to-night. Cheer up, ringing, cheerful voices greeting: 'Hap