With the wandering father of the Recollets, they were already but memories of a mighty past. Behind the city the sun had set in a strong, clear, yellow light. Up in the mill-windows, electric lights were twinkling. The night run had begun. Ceaselessly, day and night, forever, to grind corn for a nation's bread.
by ALBERT HALPER, 1904-- . Halper is one of the younger school of proletarian novelists. Born in Chicago, he attended Northwestern University and since 1929 has devoted himself to creative writing. In 1934 he was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship. His novels include Union Square ( 1933), The Foundry ( 1934), The Chute ( 1937), and Sons of the Fathers ( 1940). He has also contributed stories and sketches to various periodicals.
CROWDS of boys and girls were coming from the Elevated at Laflin Street, choking the stairs. The air was cold and they shivered as they ran. All were hurrying toward the entrance of a huge white building, where a clock, to everybody's dismay, pointed to eight twenty-five. Crossing the street, Paul joined the crowd, holding his sandwiches tight. At the entrance he came upon a great crush of young workers pushing and milling to get inside before the eight-thirty bell rang, because if they punched their cards late, even by a minute, a black mark would be placed against their names, also a half-hour's time would be docked from their pay. Pushing and milling desperately to gain entrance, everybody attempted to thrust his fellow aside. Each morning this last-minute stampede was repeated, and in the course of the struggle lunches were crushed and more than one coat button popped to the sky. As the black hands of the clock clicked to eight twenty-eight, the girl employees in the rear held their lunches aloft for safety, begging: "Please--please!"Big Tom Reilly, the house detective, whose post was in the lobby, forced his way to the door. As he came from the inside, however, his big bulk was immediately shoved back by the tide. He struggled forth again, his face purplish, glaring at the mob. "What are you, cattle?" he shouted--and was pushed back again. With a loud wush, like the suction of dampish air, the last of the employees flew by him, to scurry to their floors.
Paul stood near the entrance, holding his breath at the scene. The
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Publication information: Book title: America Is West:An Anthology of Middlewestern Life and Literature. Contributors: John T. Flanagan - Editor. Publisher: University of Minnesota Press. Place of publication: Minneapolis. Publication year: 1945. Page number: 502.
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