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The Long Day The Story of a New York Working Girl As Told by Herself   By: (1882-)

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First Page:

THE LONG DAY

The Story of a New York Working Girl As Told by Herself

[Illustration: Logo]

New York The Century Co. 1905

[Illustration]

Copyright, 1905, by The Century Co.

Published October, 1905

The Devinne Press

TO MY THREE "LADY FRIENDS"

Happy, fortunate Minnie; Bessie, of gentle memory; and that other, silent figure in the tragedy of Failure, the long lost, erring Eunice, with the hope that, if she still lives, her eye may chance to fall upon this page, and reading the message of this book, she may heed.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I IN WHICH I ARRIVE IN NEW YORK 3

II IN WHICH I START OUT IN QUEST OF WORK 16

III I TRY "LIGHT" HOUSEKEEPING IN A FOURTEENTH STREET LODGING HOUSE 27

IV WHEREIN FATE BRINGS ME GOOD FORTUNE IN ONE HAND AND DISASTER IN THE OTHER 44

V IN WHICH I AM "LEARNED" BY PHOEBE IN THE ART OF BOX MAKING 58

VI IN WHICH PHOEBE AND MRS. SMITH HOLD FORTH UPON MUSIC AND LITERATURE 75

VII IN WHICH I ACQUIRE A STORY BOOK NAME AND MAKE THE ACQUAINTANCE OF MISS HENRIETTA MANNERS 92

VIII WHEREIN I WALK THROUGH DARK AND DEVIOUS WAYS WITH HENRIETTA MANNERS 108

IX INTRODUCING HENRIETTA'S "SPECIAL GENTLEMAN FRIEND" 123

X IN WHICH I FIND MYSELF A HOMELESS WANDERER IN THE NIGHT 142

XI I BECOME AN "INMATE" OF A HOME FOR WORKING GIRLS 151

XII IN WHICH I SPEND A HAPPY FOUR WEEKS MAKING ARTIFICIAL FLOWERS 180

XIII THREE "LADY FRIENDS," AND THE ADVENTURES THAT BEFALL THEM 197

XIV IN WHICH A TRAGIC FATE OVERTAKES MY "LADY FRIENDS" 215

XV I BECOME A "SHAKER" IN A STEAM LAUNDRY 229

XVI IN WHICH IT IS PROVED TO ME THAT THE DARKEST HOUR COMES JUST BEFORE THE DAWN 249

EPILOGUE 266

THE LONG DAY

I

IN WHICH I ARRIVE IN NEW YORK

The rain was falling in great gray blobs upon the skylight of the little room in which I opened my eyes on that February morning whence dates the chronological beginning of this autobiography. The jangle of a bell had awakened me, and its harsh, discordant echoes were still trembling upon the chill gloom of the daybreak. Lying there, I wondered whether I had really heard a bell ringing, or had only dreamed it. Everything about me was so strange, so painfully new. Never before had I waked to find myself in that dreary, windowless little room, and never before had I lain in that narrow, unfriendly bed.

Staring hard at the streaming skylight, I tried to think, to recall some one of the circumstances that might possibly account for my having entered that room and for my having laid me down on that cot. When? and how? and why? How inexplicable it all was in those first dazed moments after that rude awakening! And then, as the fantasies of a dream gradually assume a certain vague order in the waking recollection, there came to me a confused consciousness of the events of the preceding twenty four hours the long journey and the weariness of it; the interminable frieze of flying landscape, with its dreary, snow covered stretches blurred with black towns; the shriek of the locomotive as it plunged through the darkness; the tolling of ferry bells, and then, at last, the slow sailing over a black river toward and into a giant city that hung splendid upon the purple night, turret upon turret, and tower upon tower, their myriad lights burning side by side with the stars, a city such as the prophets saw in visions, a city such as dreamy childhood conjures up in the muster of summer clouds at sunset.

Suddenly out of this chaotic recollection of unearthly splendors came the memory, sharp and pinching, of a new made grave on a wind swept hill in western Pennsylvania... Continue reading book >>




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