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“Yes,” she says, “I should think that an ediitor would give a good deal for the chance to publish such a wonderful piece of work as that."
Well, old man, I seen it was gettin' on toards rest hour so I and Barker gets up and tears ourselfs away, and Mrs. H. says she aint had such an entertainin' time in a long wile. She aint a bad old scout neither Sid, and her and me is goin' to the movies some night this week.
Well, I guess I have wrote more than I was going to when I started in and it bein' prety late, I had better ring off for now. Give my love to Gert, and tell her I haven't gave up all hope of them doenuts yet. Tell her they aint no duty on them and as sugar has went down lately, she hadn't ought to have no good reason for holdin' out on me no longer. Write soon, old man and don't forget to put enuff postage on youre letter nex time. Last letter, I had to go and shell out for deficient postage on that there letter off yourn, and two cents is two cents, these days, Sid. Yours, hungry for them doenuts,
here war stuff bein' wrote these days that I thought somethin' on that line might be approbate. It's kind of sad and it aint so bad. bein' full of human interst.”
As I was tellin' you, Sid, I had sat up prety late the night before, writin' it out and makin' it as good as possible, and I had took a lot care with the grammer and the spellin' as you know, I am a little careless sometimes about my spellin' etc. when I aint thinkin'. But I had took extra special care about this here pome, gettin' it all wrote out nice an havin' all the spellin' and meters right so as it would sound good, and I spoke it off to her when we was all settin' there in the parlor, and everythin' was all quiet so as she could get the propper spirit and sourroundings and appreceate it good. Them things has to have the propper acompaniement, Sid, or you don't apreceate them like they was meant for, specialy when it is something sad and pathetic like. I have wrote the pome down for you so as you can see just what it was like and see that it needs good affects so as to put it over propper. Here is the pome, Sid, and have you ever saw anything better in lots of these here cheap magazines ? I'll bet you aint. HE DONE IT FOR HIS COUNTRY
BY JAMES KELLY
Aint that a pretty good peice off work, Sid? Some folks seems to like that there sort of sentemental stuff, and althoug I don't care for that sad poetery myself, I can write it all O. K., and after all, old man, it's the public what a fella has to catter to, if he wants to make a success off his writin'.
Well, I guess the old girl was effected prety bad for I seen there was teres in her eyes when I got done, and she was sort of tryin' to stiffle her sobbs and not show me how much she was effected by it. She got controll of herself prety good though after wile, and says it was fine.
"You should be writing for some reputable magazine, Mr. Kelly,” she says, smilin' her apreciation.
"Oh," I says, “I aint never thought of makin' money off my work. It might be worthwhile to let some of these here magazines publish it, though!"
101 Lake Ave., Saranac Lake Dear Old Sid:
Honest, Siddy, I prety near died off surprise and to say nothin' of delite when I got youre telegramm this mornin'. And to think that yourn truly hadn't never even a idea off what was in the wind and me goin' on at Gert all the time about them there doenuts what never come and what I don't give a dam if they was never to come now. Because even if them doenuts didn't come, somethin' else did, eh Sid? I'll say so, old man, and to think that yourn truly should wake up all off a sudden in the morning an find hisself an uncle. And me with T. B. too, old boy, and an uncle. I wisht I could get home to see the nephew, he must be like you, Sid, which aint complementin' him a hole lot but still Gert aint nothin' to be makin' a pattern off'n if you was lookin for the beauty part of it, neither. Honest, Sid, I am dam glad you was sensibel and had it a boy. Girls is all right, old man, but they aint nothin' like a boy for the first one.
Well, old man, this wasn't meant only for a short note and to congratulat you an Gert. So I will half to close now. Give the kid a squeeze for yourn truly. The poor kid aint to blame for havin an old man whose looks aint up to normal, but if he looks like his Uncle Jim he'll be all 0. K. Eh, Sid? Don't mind me old man. No one couldn't help sayin' that you and Gert is both got the best harts in the world and deserve all the joy that's comin' to you, but when they have said that, they're all done. Opinions about yours and Gert's looks is best left unsaid. I will write Gert right a way, Sid, and give her my love an tell her she don't need to worry about them doenuts and when she does make them to give them to little Jim. Kids is always hungry at that age.
Yours effect, JIM.
EDITORIAL NOTE This article on "Tables" is the fifth in a series by Mr. Aiton. The other articles in previous numbers have dealt with "Beds and Pillows," "Chairs," “Footstools,” “Bureaus or Dressers," and "Washstands.” In a recent letter Mr. Aiton says, “I wish to thank you for the opportunity for doing this work. I believe that it is the magic that is helping me. To-day completes my 89th day without fever, the best record in eight years."
OUR BEDROOM WORLD_TABLES
By THOMAS A. AITON, SARANAC LAKE, N. Y.
In one way at least a Japanese has an advantage over us. Employing a mat for his bed, a preference we proud mortals scorn, he has at his command the entire floor for his bedside-table. Give that a thought, you supermen and women, with your vaunted practical civilization.
There is always room upon his bedside table for one more book, one more glass or one more what-not. Nothing ever falls off his bedside table upon the floor. His bedside table is never left standing apart from his bed. It is always there with an unlimited service, close at hand, never fearing any final backbreaking straw.
From our Who's Who, our Here from There, though often Where? (our Webster's Unabridged) we can trace the Table family, if we but follow the proper path, back through the Latins and the Greeks to the Phoenicians, to whom it is claimed the Tables came up from Egypt in the days long before Joseph was.
But there are some who controvert this. Before the days when words were even in the making, in those days when ideas were recorded by a sign of crudest form, a symbol represented an object, an idea. It had a meaning single and distinct. There were few synonyms in those days. If by mental effort one succeeded in recording an idea by some symbol he let it go at that, little dreaming in his wildest fancy that among these formations would be found in our present age some of those twenty-six undecomposable elements that we daily employ in our alphabet-elements whose modern nomenclature betokens in its very self our antidiluvian brother's mental relief in those solving his problem, the letter.
They are not a few who, tracing the ancestry of our familiar associates through their physiognomies, claim that those Phoenicians—those first recorded sea-rovers—must have reached the shores of far Japan and there discovered not only tea, but also its helpmate by whom this tea is customarily served. Then wishing to include this object among their recorded
thought, they cast about for a symbol that would convey this idea in a vigorous and virile manner.
What for this purpose could be more effective than a picture of the servitor herselfa T- our capital T, in fact the picture of a Table, with a foot a single leg, yes even with a table-cloth so carefully draped on either side. A picture embodying thus in unified form the physical and spiritual values of both tea and tea servitor. There, you have the foundation for this other line of thought-and to-day man with all his knowledge, his science and his culture, can only intensify this thought by compounding two of modern wordsymbols—T-ea T-able.
There is much to be said in support of this hypothesis. For did they not find, too, in this little helpmate the spirit of effective service, the ableness with which our Japanese brothers enter into their every undertaking. “Able" plus “T” equals "Table.” But there is a still deeper meaning in this word, a meaning that is quite in keeping with thoughts of cherry blossoms and flowers and gardens—the spirit of Japan. “Bells"—the symbol of joy and merrymaking is there in its “a-ble," "ab'l." It personifies that highest efficiency only possible through a spirit of cheerful willingness. And it forms, as is proper, an integral and living part of its organic whole-TABLE.
It is no wonder then that our tables are real festal boards around which we merrily gather for nutriment both for body and for soul. As we develop our taste and appetite in nourishment for the latter, so much the more will the food for the body reach its greatest effectiveness. Cheerful thought and merry conversation as dining guests are helpful factors in the solution of our digestion problems, more so than many of us would realize.
Whether the Table or the Chair family is the older, is another and much mooted question. Did man, Occidental or Oriental, first create the Tables, elevating a section of the earth, his floor (the first recorded “uplift"), and regulating their height to suit his reach, and then follow this up with creating the Chairs ? Or, had he first discovered the Chairs and, idly luxuriating in their wonderful service, did he next demand a domestic table to sustain objects at a then suitable and convenient height? Is it a coincidence that the average height of the members of the Table family meets the requirement of man's reach be he sitting or standing?
Perhaps, too, we will never solve these questions, notwithstanding all facilities now available or that may become so through branches etymological, archeological or anthropological, or any other Greek-bespangled division of scientific knowledge. These questions will take their places beside those other deeply pondered conundrums of our modern life and that have from time to time racked the brains of our nation: "How old was Ann?" "Who hit Billy Patterson?” “Why is a post?" etc.
So much at the present time for the roots of the Table's ancestral tree. Whether you accept the Egyptian or the Japanese origin or any other is, after all, of small note. The Table family had a start somewhere, somehow, sometime. On that we can all agree.
They are here, part and parcel of our civilization—in the home of every prince or poor man. They are to be found in every size, in every form, in every mood and for every purpose. A world without them would be unthinkable. From their single unit-leg they have developed three, four, six, eight and more legs. Through what ages of harrowing environment and consequent adjustment they have passed I leave to your imagination.
The Table family has two great branchesproducers and nonproducers. It seems almost human in this respect. The more active, the more they accomplish, the more they produce, the simpler, the plainer, the quieter they are. The less they do to earn their salt—the more care they produce. As nonproducers they are adepts in producing work-for some one else.
It is not intended by this to limit as producers only those Tables doing manual labor and producing material results. There is mental and spiritual work for these Tables to perform in their world, even as for man in his. Our dining table, kitchen table, work table, bedside table, all have their parts to fill. And as fully as important in an evenly developed world, our library tables, study tables and even our old-fashioned tables have their allotted rôles.
The Table family enters into every activity of our boasted civilization, our modern "culture.” Its employment is an indication of an advance from a primeval state. Man has given up some of his natural freedom, some of his original sovereignty in order to live among others of his own species. No longer does his hand merely relax when he desires to lay down any object. No, he must first discover some approved repository, as a-table. He has become "cultured." College students, and bachelors, male and female, and maybe others here and there, seem at times to belie this
statement from the appearance of their room floors the morning after.
Nevertheless it is generally considered proof of culture acquired, when man develops a preference to lay an object upon a table, in place of the floor, its ancient ancestor. In our Bedroom World, this statement holds equally true. To many a physician, one glimpse of a patient's bedside table in conjunction with the floor about it, affords a better index of the patient's character, than an entire mailbagful of testimonial letters.
Some of our Tables are high ones-oftentimes masquerading under some local nameas lunch-room counter at railroad stations, that he who runs may eat. Others are low and squatty like tabourets and the finding of them in all sorts of unexpected nooks by him who walks in the dark, is proverbial. Some Tables are square and some are oblong, some even so many-sided that they are called round tables. This explains perhaps why our friends of substantial corpulency usually convey the idea of immensity. The number of their many sides seem to approach infinity.
What more charming picture of real home life is there than the plain old kitchen table, the family served, her work well done, all tidied up, for an afternoon nap or an evening chat. She fairly radiates domestic felicity. Anything from that table must equal “mother's best.” Even “stern men with empires in their brains" are to be managed through their stomachs. The presiding priestess of its festivities earns a permanent place in man's affections. Her appeals to him have weight, for her garland of service is worth far more in his judgment than many a crown of intellectual gold.
The old-fashioned parlor table had her work and place in every family. The loving care our mothers and grandmothers bestowed upon these dear old friends was repaid in full by the dignified and honest and quiet charm they brought into our “parlor" days. In these days the term “parlor" is an object to be shunned. We are too practical-living rooms have superseded parlors—but not entirely. There are yet a faithful few in this land of ours. And while I grant you that we should plan our homes to be usable rather than ornamental, yet the old-fashioned parlor served well its allotted function in preserving in every home the spirit of reserve, of rest, of honor, a something sacred perhaps inexpressible—a something not at all practical, and hence tabooed in these materialistic days.
Now we have living rooms with their large center tables, great bulky things—holding up bravely to all kinds of tasks. Noble fellows they are, and much to be admired. But, ohhow many of them are placed directly across the natural pathways of these rooms. How many needless steps and how much costly shoe leather are annually consumed in passing round about them.
Then we have the modern hoity-toities of this-so-called or that-so-called family of the upper ten of the Table world. We can not go
near them without a warning not to mar. We Those of the active outside world do not, nay can not lay anything upon them for they are can not, appreciate her as she deserves. Man, not for that purpose, they might collapse. as is his wont, consumes some three hours or They may do to hold an ornament or two, a less each day about his dining table and gives decoration perhaps in harmony with some color willingly to obtain one harmonious with his scheme, or psychical affinity or some other life. He devotes more than twice that time passing claptrap of apish and unreflective to his bed, but to provide more than the_simadaptation. But as for real service, manual, plest, plainest garb for this little bedside Table mental or spiritual it is to them a thing un- that guards him the long night through, would known. We find them in all sorts of places in be an unpractical expenditure, a mere sentithe show parts of the house, holding out their mentality. scrolls and carvings and highly finished sur- We bedroom folks know her worth. She faces to catch every last dust fleck and calling may be attired as our nurses are, in plainest for work and work and still more work to white. She may have cost a fraction of our keep them at their showiest.
Dressers or our Chiffoniers, at times she may But among them there are to be found here be shoved aside or subjected to tasks of a most and there some whose service is evident to all, menial nature, but through it all she is ever whose form is of the beautiful itself and a there, in the day or in the night, patiently, yes glimpse of whom is an inspiration. Their every tenderly, waiting our every call. Tirelessly turn and counter outlines but more strongly holding for us what we may need at any moreflects the sympathetic soul of their creator- ment, and through her own quiet, even-going a soul who could see and feel and interpret manner, through her life itself revealing to us nature in some one phase of her many charms. a magic that is ours for the taking, that leads These Tables, too, are producers-producers of to health—or to what is best of all—a healthy the most important fruit—the fruit of the enjoyment of every peaceful blessing. The nobler, higher and more beautiful thought. magic she possesses forms our most effective They have their proper place in every home, a aid, brings the brightest sunshine into our most important duty to perform.
darkest valleys, the magic of a cheerful heart, We of the Bedroom World should render merrily voicing in her every act the spirit of honor in full to our little Sister, this bedside those joyous bells of her very family nameTable, she of this ancient family lineage. TABLE.
COMPLAINT OF JOHNNY, THE T.B. BOY
My, ain't I tired lying flat on this cot,
My, ain't I tired; they won't let me wiggle With my pulse just a humpin' and fever so Or laugh or whistle or just even giggle ! hot!
I'd rather go hunting a meadow-lark nest I wish we could have a bit of recess
Than have old Doc Jones a-rappin' my breast. So I could go chasin' old Brindle and Bess.
My, ain't I tired of this horrid old bed! My, ain't I tired lying flat on my back,
Wish it were painted a nice rosy red. Coughin' and stuffing things into the sack!
Last night it went squeakin' just like a mouse Wish I could play baseball in the sun;
Till it frightened the nurse clear out of the If I could get innin's 'twould be lots of fun.
house. My, ain't I tired lyin' here all the day And listenin' to all that the doctor men say!
My, ain't I tired just breathin' and lyin' I want to play marbles and race with old Fat,
And watching the crows a-flappin' and flyin'! I want to play pirates or just skin the cat.
The Doctor's a crank when he talks of T.B.
He growls “You lie still!” and looks daggers My, ain't I tired lyin' all in a bunch An' just gettin' up when the bell rings for lunch!
My, ain't I tired of this old sputum cup! I want to go running quickety-quick
Wish 'twas a nice little bull-terrier pup, To see if there's froggies on Prairie Dog So it could bristle up, get mad and growl, Creek.
Jump at old Doc till he just had to howl.
FIGHTING THE BUGS
BY A GRADUATE
chief aim in writing this article is that I may, perchance, cheer at least one person who has been battling with as great a foe as the Germans, a foe which fights in an insidious way, just as they do, and very often gives no warning—the Great White Plague. This battle goes on in the quiet of the mountains, and every day a soldier, yes, some days many soldiers-are overcome, and every day someone wins the battle, finds that the foe is conquered for a while at least, and the T. B. soldier goes out into the world again, the germs conquered, out into a new and strange world of hurry and bustle.
Just about a year ago I, too, came back into the great world out of the quiet of the mountains, (the Adirondacks) with their wonderful bracing air, back into the great city of New York. It had all happened in this way. One day, after I had not been feeling very well for some time, out of a clear sky, one of the doctors in the firm for which I worked said to me, “You must go away, your lungs need rest." Even then I never suspected. I thought I was tired out. But the doctor knew better and I was sent to the sanatorium which this corporation maintains for its workers.
I remember, it was the last day of August when, after my long journey by train and trolley, I reached the foot of the great mountain on which I was to be interned for seven months. A vehicle which looked very much like an undertaker's wagon was waiting for
I hesitated about getting in, but the driver assured me it was the bus for the sanatorium, and I took a chance and entered, just in time to overhear the other occupant of the bus (a patient returning from a trip to the village) say audibly, “Another victim. This was my greeting; but I smiled (I am afraid it was rather a pathetic smile after my long journey), and entered the “undertaker's wagon" as I always called it afterwards. Up and up we rode, until there, perched on the top of the mountain, was the sanatorium, a wonderful place, but oh, so lonely. My heart sank.
I was taken to my room which I was to share with a little girl, 18 years old, who was almost in the last stages of consumption. She greeted me like a long-lost friend. Poor little girl, her room had been vacant a week, because they could not get anyone to go in it, I do believe. When I saw this little one I felt that I was the picture of health compared to her, and some of my own troubles vanished. We soon became great friends.
After about two days' rest, I was told that I was to be examined by the great physician in charge. How can I describe this man? He was fascinating, with eyes that seemed to bore through one. And how matter of fact he was. After thumping my lungs for about ten minutes, sounding them with the stethescope
(little instrument which puts more fear into some hearts than a machine gun), he finally said: “A little T. B., Miss So-and-So, but we can fix you up all right.” A little T. B.! If any of my readers have ever heard those words, they know what it means; seems like a case of "Sunset and evening star, and one clear call for me." You see your finish right away, and it is not a quick one either. I smiled again at the great doctor, and even when I returned to my room I had to smile for the little martyr in the bed was watching me, but finally I found my way, unseen, to the bathroom down the hall, and there I cried tears which mark the heart. How to tell my mother, that was the question. She thought I was just run down. Well, let me say here that I did not tell her for a long while. I wrote the story to an aunt of mine, one of those aunts, not like the kind in the story books, but one of those who would give her life to save a friend. She afterwards “broke the news to mother."
I wanted to die at first, then that spirit which God seems to give to all “lungers," that fighting spirit of the doughboy came to the surface. I started to fight. The first two weeks I gained six pounds, and I had a tremendous appetite. Ate everything. In that air on the top of the mountain, charged with the electrical ozone of God's forests, I could feel my lungs raising, my chest went up and I felt much better. My little room-mate went down and down, her train had switched now; she was on the downward grade, I ascending. I had been taken in time. It broke my heart to see her, poor little girl, away from home and mother, and I tried to make her remaining days as pleasant as I could.
After a few weeks I was promoted into a ward, where I was allowed more freedom, walks, entertainments once a week, (I was an inveterate theatre-goer in the city), and nearly every day I went to see my little room-mate. At the end of six months I had gained 25 pounds and was the picture of health, and at this time my x-ray, which before had shown areas of tuberculosis, came out negative. As far as science could tell, the "bugs” were dead, or at least quiescent for a while.
Shall I ever forget the day of my final examination when the wonderful physician, who did not frighten me so much now that I was well, said: “Well, you may go now, Miss So-and-So, but you must be careful for at least a year." There was a Te Deum in my heart, and nothing would quite express my joy like the Sanctus from Mozart's Twelfth Mass. I was going back to my folks, I was free to go among civilized beings again, -I had conquered the “bugs!" All my readers who have been through this experience will understand my feelings. Let me say that several times I was going to give up, had