CHAPTER II

JURGIS talked lightly about work, because he was young. They told him stories about the breaking down of men, there in the stockyards of Chicago, and of what had happened to them afterwards -- stories to make your flesh creep, but Jurgis would only laugh. He had only been there four months, and he was young, and a giant besides. There was too much health in him. He could not even imagine how it would feel to be beaten. "That is well enough for men like you," he would say, "silpnas, puny fellows -- but my back is broad."

Jurgis was like a boy, a boy from the country. He was the sort of man the bosses like to get hold of, the sort they make it a grievance they cannot get hold of. When he was told to go to a certain place, he would go there on the run. When he had nothing to do for the moment, he would stand round fidgeting, dancing, with the overflow of energy that was in him. If he were working in a line of men, the line always moved too slowly for him, and you could pick him out by his impatience and restlessness. That was why he had been picked out on one important occasion; for Jurgis had stood outside of Brown and Company's "Central Time Station" not more than half an hour, the second day of his arrival in Chicago, before he had been beckoned by one of the bosses. Of this he was very proud, and it made him more disposed than ever to laugh at the pessimists. In vain would they all tell him that there were men in that crowd from which he had been chosen who had stood there a month -- yes, many months -- and not been chosen yet. "Yes," he would say, "but what sort of men? Broken-down tramps and good-for-nothings, fellows who have spent all their money drinking, and want to get more for it. Do you

-23-

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The Jungle
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Chapter I 1
  • Chapter II 23
  • Chapter III 35
  • Chapter IV 49
  • Chapter V 63
  • Chapter VI 75
  • Chapter VII 86
  • Chapter VIII 99
  • Chapter IX 108
  • Chapter X 118
  • Chapter XI 130
  • Chapter XII 141
  • Chapter XIII 150
  • Chapter XIV 160
  • Chapter XV 168
  • Chapter XVI 183
  • Chapter XVII 193
  • Chapter XVIII 205
  • Chapter XIX 218
  • Chapter XX 229
  • Chapter XXI 241
  • Chapter XXII 252
  • Chapter XXIII 265
  • Chapter XXIV 277
  • Chapter XXV 292
  • Chapter XXVI 315
  • Chapter XXVII 335
  • Chapter XXVIII 351
  • Chapter XXIX 368
  • Chapter XXX 379
  • Chapter XXXI 394
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