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Page:Earth-Hunger and Other Essays.djvu/397

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A character very common in these stories is the city youth, son of a rich father who does not give his son as much pocket-money as the latter considers suitable. This constitutes stinginess on the father's part, although it might be considered pardonable, seeing that these young men drink champagne every day, treat the crowd generally when they drink, and play billiards for one hundred dollars a game. The father, in this class of stories, is represented as secretly vicious and hypocritically pious. In the specimen of this class before us the young man is "discovered" in the police court as a prisoner, whence he is remanded to the Tombs. He has been arrested for collaring a big policeman, to prevent him from overtaking a girl charged with pocket-picking. He interfered because he judged from the girl's face that she was innocent, and it is suggested, for future development in the story, that she was running away from insult and that the cry of "stop thief" was to get help from the police and others to seize her. The hero, who is in prison under an assumed name, now sends for his father's clerk and demands one thousand dollars, saying that otherwise he will declare his real name and disgrace his family. He gets the money. He then sends for a notorious Tombs lawyer, to whom he gives five hundred dollars, and with this sum his release is easily procured. He then starts with his cousin to initiate the latter into life in New York. They go to a thieves' college, where they see a young fellow graduated—his part consists in taking things from the pockets of a hanging figure, to the garments of which bells are attached, without causing the bells to ring. Of this a full-page illustration is given. The two young men then go up the Bowery to a beer saloon, where the hero sustains his character by his vulgar familiarity with the girl waiters. Next they hear a row in a side street; they