Wobbly, the Rough-And-Tumble Story of an American Radical

By Ralph Chaplin | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 13. MONTREAL AND THE OUT-
BREAK OF WORLD WAR I

OF ALL the "Palette Studios" I had known, the one in Montreal was by far the finest. It was on Ste Catherine Est and Rue Plessis above the Bank of Horchelaga. There were expensive rugs on the floor, white shades in the windows, and our easels were separated by polished brass railing from which green velvet drapes were suspended. The Count, slightly bald, somewhat tubby, and dressed in the latest English tweeds, was in his glory. "Isn't this the real thing?" he asked proudly. Then he added with a deprecating gesture, "My credit is good around town. I'll be out of debt in a month or two and then—real money and lots of it for both of us." After admiring all this unexpected splendor, we adjourned to a Jewish restaurant on St. Lawrence Main, where plans for an assured future were discussed. "Just relax for awhile," said the Count, "there'll be no strikes in Canada." He was right, but. . .

Edith and I soon adapted ourselves to the ways of the Faubourg Quebec. We rented a flat on Rue St. Hubert, sent for our furniture, and were soon part of the Montreal scene. It was a delightful winter. Every morning the sidewalks would be asparkle with frost or white with newly fallen snow. Every evening along Rue Ste Catherine Est, restaurant windows tempted the passer‐ by with displays of red snappers, venison or game birds, and assorted French pastries.

Several times our French-Canadian friends threw parties for us at the "Vie Parisienne." Twice during snowstorms we rented a Sleigh Napoléon for long rides through the picturesque old section of Montreal. On Christmas Eve the lights of the Church of Notre Dame shone hazily through falling snow. Organ music sounded through the open doors, where crowds were waiting patiently for the Minuit Chrétienne. It was the first time I had

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