"MADAME HAUPT, Hebamme," ran a sign, swinging from a second-story window over a saloon on the avenue; at a side door was another sign, with a hand pointing up a dingy flight of steps. Jurgis went up them, three at a time.
Madame Haupt was frying pork and onions, and had her door half open to let out the smoke. When he tried to knock upon it, it swung open the rest of the way, and he had a glimpse of her, with a black bottle turned up to her lips. Then he knocked louder, and she started and put it away. She was a Dutch woman, enormously fat -- when she walked she rolled like a small boat on the ocean, and the dishes in the cupboard jostled each other. She wore a filthy blue wrapper, and her teeth were black.
"Vot is it?" she said, when she saw Jurgis.
He had run like mad all the way and was so out of breath he could hardly speak. His hair was flying and his eyes wild -- he looked like a man that had risen from the tomb. "My wife!" he panted. "Come quickly!"
Madame Haupt set the frying pan to one side and wiped her hands on her wrapper. "You vant me to come for a case?" she inquired.
"Yes," gasped Jurgis.
"I haf yust come back from a case," she said. "I haf had no time to eat my dinner. Still -- if it is so bad --"
"Yes -- it is!" cried he.
"Vell, den, perhaps -- vot you pay?"
"I -- I -- how much do you want?" Jurgis stammered.
His face fell. "I can't pay that," he said.