ONE of the first things that Jurgis had done after he got a job was to go and see Marija. She came down into the basement of the house to meet him, and he stood by the door with his hat in his hand, saying, "I've got work now, and so you can leave here."
But Marija only shook her head. There was nothing else for her to do, she said, and nobody to employ her. She could not keep her past a secret -- girls had tried it, and they were always found out. There were thousands of men who came to this place, and sooner or later she would meet one of them. "And besides," Marija added, "I can't do anything, I'm no good -- I take dope. What could you do with me?"
"Can't you stop?" Jurgis cried.
"No," she answered, "I'll never stop. What's the use of talking about it -- I'll stay here till I die, I guess. It's all I'm fit for." And that was all that he could get her to say -- there was no use trying. When he told her he would not let Elzbieta take her money, she answered indifferently: "Then it'll be wasted here -- that's all." Her eyelids looked heavy and her face was red and swollen; he saw that he was annoying her, that she only wanted him to go away. So he went, disappointed and sad.
Poor Jurgis was not very happy in his home-life. Elzbieta was sick a good deal now, and the boys were wild and unruly, and very much the worse for their life upon the streets. But he stuck by the family nevertheless, for they reminded him of his old happiness; and when things went wrong he could solace himself with a plunge into the Socialist movement. Since his life had been caught