light breakfasts; the interchange of ambitions--ambitions interwoven
each with the other's or else inconsiderable--the mutual help and
inspiration; and--overlook my artlessness--stuffed olives and cheese
sandwiches at 11 p.m.
But after a while Art flagged. It sometimes does, even if some switchman
doesn't flag it. Everything going out and nothing coming in, as
the vulgarians say. Money was lacking to pay Mr. Magister and Herr
Rosenstock their prices. When one loves one's Art no service seems too
hard. So, Delia said she must give music lessons to keep the chafing
For two or three days she went out canvassing for pupils. One evening
she came home elated.
"Joe, dear," she said, gleefully, "I've a pupil. And, oh, the loveliest
people! General--General A. B. Pinkney's daughter--on Seventy-first
street. Such a splendid house, Joe--you ought to see the front door!
Byzantine I think you would call it. And inside! Oh, Joe, I never saw
anything like it before.
"My pupil is his daughter Clementina. I dearly love her already. She's
a delicate thing--dresses always in white; and the sweetest, simplest
manners! Only eighteen years old. I'm to give three lessons a week; and,
just think, Joe! $5 a lesson. I don't mind it a bit; for when I get two
or three more pupils I can resume my lessons with Herr Rosenstock. Now,
smooth out that wrinkle between your brows, dear, and let's have a nice
"That's all right for you, Dele," said Joe, attacking a can of peas with
a carving knife and a hatchet, "but how about me? Do you think I'm going
to let you hustle for wages while I philander in the regions of high
art? Not by the bones of Benvenuto Cellini! I guess I can sell papers or
lay cobblestones, and bring in a dollar or two."
Delia came and hung about his neck.
"Joe, dear, you are silly. You must keep on at your studies. It is not
as if I had quit my music and gone to work at something else. While I
teach I learn. I am always with my music. And we can live as happily as
millionaires on $15 a week. You mustn't think of leaving Mr. Magister."
"All right," said Joe, reaching for the blue scalloped vegetable dish.
"But I hate for you to be giving lessons. It isn't Art. But you're a
trump and a dear to do it."
"When one loves one's Art no service seems too hard," said Delia.
"Magister praised the sky in that sketch I made in the park," said Joe.
"And Tinkle gave me permission to hang two of them in his window. I may
sell one if the right kind of a moneyed idiot sees them."
"I'm sure you will," said Delia, sweetly. "And now let's be thankful for
Gen. Pinkney and this veal roast."
During all of the next week the Larrabees had an early breakfast. Joe
was enthusiastic about some morning-effect sketches he was doing in
Central Park, and Delia packed him off breakfasted, coddled, praised
and kissed at 7 o'clock. Art is an engaging mistress. It was most times
7 o'clock when he returned in the evening.
At the end of the week Delia, sweetly proud but languid, triumphantly
tossed three five-dollar bills on the 8x10 (inches) centre table of the
8x10 (feet) flat parlour.
"Sometimes," she said, a little wearily, "Clementina tries me. I'm
afraid she doesn't practise enough, and I have to tell her the same
things so often. And then she always dresses entirely in white, and that
does get monotonous. But Gen. Pinkney is the dearest old man! I wish you
could know him, Joe. He comes in sometimes when I am with Clementina at
the piano--he is a widower, you know--and stands there pulling his white
goatee. 'And how are the semiquavers and the demisemiquavers
progressing?' he always asks.
"I wish you could see the wainscoting in that drawing-room, Joe! And
those Astrakhan rug portieres. And Clementina has such a funny little
cough. I hope she is stronger than she looks. Oh, I really am getting
attached to her, she is so gentle and high bred. Gen. Pinkney's brother
was once Minister to Bolivia."
And then Joe, with the air of a Monte Cristo, drew forth a ten, a five,
a two and a one--all legal tender notes--and laid them beside Delia's
"Sold that watercolour of the obelisk to a man from Peoria," he
"Don't joke with me," said Delia, "not from Peoria!"
"All the way. I wish you could see him, Dele. Fat man with a woollen
muffler and a quill toothpick. He saw the sketch in Tinkle's window and
thought it was a windmill at first. He was game, though, and bought it
anyhow. He ordered another--an oil sketch of the Lackawanna freight
depot--to take back with him. Music lessons! Oh, I guess Art is still in
"I'm so glad you've kept on," said Delia, heartily. "You're bound to
win, dear. Thirty-three dollars! We never had so much to spend before.
We'll have oysters to-night."
"And filet mignon with champignons," said Joe. "Where is the olive
On the next Saturday evening Joe reached home first. He spread his $18
on the parlour table and washed what seemed to be a great deal of dark
paint from his hands.
Half an hour later Delia arrived, her right hand tied up in a shapeless
bundle of wraps and bandages.
"How is this?" asked Joe after the usual greetings. Delia laughed, but
not very joyously.
"Clementina," she explained, "insisted upon a Welsh rabbit after her
lesson. She is such a queer girl. Welsh rabbits at 5 in the afternoon.
The General was there. You should have seen him run for the chafing
dish, Joe, just as if there wasn't a servant in the house. I know
Clementina isn't in good health; she is so nervous. In serving the
rabbit she spilled a great lot of it, boiling hot, over my hand and
wrist. It hurt awfully, Joe. And the dear girl was so sorry! But Gen.
Pinkney!--Joe, that old man nearly went distracted. He rushed downstairs
and sent somebody--they said the furnace man or somebody in the
basement--out to a drug store for some oil and things to bind it up
with. It doesn't hurt so much now."
"What's this?" asked Joe, taking the hand tenderly and pulling at some
white strands beneath the bandages.
"It's something soft," said Delia, "that had oil on it. Oh, Joe, did you
sell another sketch?" She had seen the money on the table.
"Did I?" said Joe; "just ask the man from Peoria. He got his depot
to-day, and he isn't sure but he thinks he wants another parkscape and
a view on the Hudson. What time this afternoon did you burn your hand,
"Five o'clock, I think," said Dele, plaintively. "The iron--I mean the
rabbit came off the fire about that time. You ought to have seen Gen.
Pinkney, Joe, when--"
"Sit down here a moment, Dele," said Joe. He drew her to the couch, sat
beside her and put his arm across her shoulders.
"What have you been doing for the last two weeks, Dele?" he asked.
She braved it for a moment or two with an eye full of love and
stubbornness, and murmured a phrase or two vaguely of Gen. Pinkney;
but at length down went her head and out came the truth and tears.
"I couldn't get any pupils," she confessed. "And I couldn't bear to have
you give up your lessons; and I got a place ironing shirts in that big
Twenty-fourth street laundry. And I think I did very well to make up
both General Pinkney and Clementina, don't you, Joe? And when a girl in
the laundry set down a hot iron on my hand this afternoon I was all the
way home making up that story about the Welsh rabbit. You're not angry,
are you, Joe? And if I hadn't got the work you mightn't have sold your
sketches to that man from Peoria."
"He wasn't from Peoria," said Joe, slowly.
"Well, it doesn't matter where he was from. How clever you are,
Joe--and--kiss me, Joe--and what made you ever suspect that I wasn't
giving music lessons to Clementina?"
"I didn't," said Joe, "until to-night. And I wouldn't have then, only I
sent up this cotton waste and oil from the engine-room this afternoon
for a girl upstairs who had her hand burned with a smoothing-iron. I've
been firing the engine in that laundry for the last two weeks."
"And then you didn't--"
"My purchaser from Peoria," said Joe, "and Gen. Pinkney are both
creations of the same art--but you wouldn't call it either painting or
And then they both laughed, and Joe began:
"When one loves one's Art no service seems--"
But Delia stopped him with her hand on his lips. "No," she said--"just
'When one loves.'"
THE COMING-OUT OF MAGGIE
Every Saturday night the Clover Leaf Social Club gave a hop in the
hall of the Give and Take Athletic Association on the East Side. In
order to attend one of these dances you must be a member of the Give
and Take--or, if you belong to the division that starts off with the
right foot in waltzing, you must work in Rhinegold's paper-box
factory. Still, any Clover Leaf was privileged to escort or be
escorted by an outsider to a single dance. But mostly each Give and
Take brought the paper-box girl that he affected; and few strangers
could boast of having shaken a foot at the regular hops.
Maggie Toole, on account of her dull eyes, broad mouth and left-handed
style of footwork in the two-step, went to the dances with Anna McCarty
and her "fellow." Anna and Maggie worked side by side in the factory,
and were the greatest chums ever. So Anna always made Jimmy Burns take
her by Maggie's house every Saturday night so that her friend could go
to the dance with them.
The Give and Take Athletic Association lived up to its name. The hall
of the association in Orchard street was fitted out with muscle-making
inventions. With the fibres thus builded up the members were wont to
engage the police and rival social and athletic organisations in joyous
combat. Between these more serious occupations the Saturday night hop
with the paper-box factory girls came as a refining influence and as an
efficient screen. For sometimes the tip went 'round, and if you were
among the elect that tiptoed up the dark back stairway you might see as
neat and satisfying a little welter-weight affair to a finish as ever
happened inside the ropes.
On Saturdays Rhinegold's paper-box factory closed at 3 P. M. On one such
afternoon Anna and Maggie walked homeward together. At Maggie's door
Anna said, as usual: "Be ready at seven, sharp, Mag; and Jimmy and me'll
come by for you."
But what was this? Instead of the customary humble and grateful thanks
from the non-escorted one there was to be perceived a high-poised head,
a prideful dimpling at the corners of a broad mouth, and almost a
sparkle in a dull brown eye.
"Thanks, Anna," said Maggie; "but you and Jimmy needn't bother to-night.
I've a gentleman friend that's coming 'round to escort me to the hop."
The comely Anna pounced upon her friend, shook her, chided and beseeched
her. Maggie Toole catch a fellow! Plain, dear, loyal, unattractive
Maggie, so sweet as a chum, so unsought for a two-step or a moonlit
bench in the little park. How was it? When did it happen? Who was it?
"You'll see to-night," said Maggie, flushed with the wine of the first
grapes she had gathered in Cupid's vineyard. "He's swell all right. He's
two inches taller than Jimmy, and an up-to-date dresser. I'll introduce
him, Anna, just as soon as we get to the hall."
Anna and Jimmy were among the first Clover Leafs to arrive that evening.
Anna's eyes were brightly fixed upon the door of the hall to catch the
first glimpse of her friend's "catch."
At 8:30 Miss Toole swept into the hall with her escort. Quickly her
triumphant eye discovered her chum under the wing of her faithful Jimmy.
"Oh, gee!" cried Anna, "Mag ain't made a hit--oh, no! Swell fellow?
well, I guess! Style? Look at 'um."
"Go as far as you like," said Jimmy, with sandpaper in his voice. "Cop
him out if you want him. These new guys always win out with the push.
Don't mind me. He don't squeeze all the limes, I guess. Huh!"
"Shut up, Jimmy. You know what I mean. I'm glad for Mag. First fellow
she ever had. Oh, here they come."
Across the floor Maggie sailed like a coquettish yacht convoyed by a
stately cruiser. And truly, her companion justified the encomiums of the
faithful chum. He stood two inches taller than the average Give and Take
athlete; his dark hair curled; his eyes and his teeth flashed whenever
he bestowed his frequent smiles. The young men of the Clover Leaf Club
pinned not their faith to the graces of person as much as they did
to its prowess, its achievements in hand-to-hand conflicts, and its
preservation from the legal duress that constantly menaced it. The
member of the association who would bind a paper-box maiden to his
conquering chariot scorned to employ Beau Brummel airs. They were not
considered honourable methods of warfare. The swelling biceps, the coat
straining at its buttons over the chest, the air of conscious conviction
of the supereminence of the male in the cosmogony of creation, even a
calm display of bow legs as subduing and enchanting agents in the gentle
tourneys of Cupid--these were the approved arms and ammunition of the
Clover Leaf gallants. They viewed, then, genuflexions and alluring poses
of this visitor with their chins at a new angle.
"A friend of mine, Mr. Terry O'Sullivan," was Maggie's formula of
introduction. She led him around the room, presenting him to each
new-arriving Clover Leaf. Almost was she pretty now, with the unique
luminosity in her eyes that comes to a girl with her first suitor and
a kitten with its first mouse.
"Maggie Toole's got a fellow at last," was the word that went round
among the paper-box girls. "Pipe Mag's floor-walker"--thus the Give and
Takes expressed their indifferent contempt.
Usually at the weekly hops Maggie kept a spot on the wall warm with her
back. She felt and showed so much gratitude whenever a self-sacrificing
partner invited her to dance that his pleasure was cheapened and
diminished. She had even grown used to noticing Anna joggle the
reluctant Jimmy with her elbow as a signal for him to invite her chum
to walk over his feet through a two-step.
But to-night the pumpkin had turned to a coach and six. Terry O'Sullivan
was a victorious Prince Charming, and Maggie Toole winged her first
butterfly flight. And though our tropes of fairyland be mixed with
those of entomology they shall not spill one drop of ambrosia from the
rose-crowned melody of Maggie's one perfect night.
The girls besieged her for introductions to her "fellow." The Clover
Leaf young men, after two years of blindness, suddenly perceived charms
in Miss Toole. They flexed their compelling muscles before her and
bespoke her for the dance.
Thus she scored; but to Terry O'Sullivan the honours of the evening fell
thick and fast. He shook his curls; he smiled and went easily through
the seven motions for acquiring grace in your own room before an open
window ten minutes each day. He danced like a faun; he introduced manner
and style and atmosphere; his words came trippingly upon his tongue,
and--he waltzed twice in succession with the paper-box girl that Dempsey
Dempsey was the leader of the association. He wore a dress suit, and
could chin the bar twice with one hand. He was one of "Big Mike"
O'Sullivan's lieutenants, and was never troubled by trouble. No cop
dared to arrest him. Whenever be broke a pushcart man's head or shot a
member of the Heinrick B. Sweeney Outing and Literary Association in
the kneecap, an officer would drop around and say:
"The Cap'n 'd like to see ye a few minutes round to the office whin ye
have time, Dempsey, me boy."
But there would be sundry gentlemen there with large gold fob chains and
black cigars; and somebody would tell a funny story, and then Dempsey
would go back and work half an hour with the six-pound dumbbells. So,
doing a tight-rope act on a wire stretched across Niagara was a safe
terpsichorean performance compared with waltzing twice with Dempsey
Donovan's paper-box girl. At 10 o'clock the jolly round face of "Big
Mike" O'Sullivan shone at the door for five minutes upon the scene. He
always looked in for five minutes, smiled at the girls and handed out
real perfectos to the delighted boys.
Dempsey Donovan was at his elbow instantly, talking rapidly. "Big Mike"
looked carefully at the dancers, smiled, shook his head and departed.
The music stopped. The dancers scattered to the chairs along the walls.
Terry O'Sullivan, with his entrancing bow, relinquished a pretty girl in
blue to her partner and started back to find Maggie. Dempsey intercepted
him in the middle of the floor.
Some fine instinct that Rome must have bequeathed to us caused nearly
every one to turn and look at them--there was a subtle feeling that two
gladiators had met in the arena. Two or three Give and Takes with tight
coat sleeves drew nearer.
"One moment, Mr. O'Sullivan," said Dempsey. "I hope you're enjoying
yourself. Where did you say you live?"
The two gladiators were well matched. Dempsey had, perhaps, ten
pounds of weight to give away. The O'Sullivan had breadth with
quickness. Dempsey had a glacial eye, a dominating slit of a mouth, an
indestructible jaw, a complexion like a belle's and the coolness of a
champion. The visitor showed more fire in his contempt and less control
over his conspicuous sneer. They were enemies by the law written when
the rocks were molten. They were each too splendid, too mighty, too
incomparable to divide pre-eminence. One only must survive.
"I live on Grand," said O'Sullivan, insolently; "and no trouble to find
me at home. Where do you live?"
Dempsey ignored the question.
"You say your name's O'Sullivan," he went on. "Well, 'Big Mike' says he
never saw you before."
"Lots of things he never saw," said the favourite of the hop.
"As a rule," went on Dempsey, huskily sweet, "O'Sullivans in this
district know one another. You escorted one of our lady members here,
and we want a chance to make good. If you've got a family tree let's
see a few historical O'Sullivan buds come out on it. Or do you want
us to dig it out of you by the roots?"
"Suppose you mind your own business," suggested O'Sullivan, blandly.
Dempsey's eye brightened. He held up an inspired forefinger as though a
brilliant idea had struck him.
"I've got it now," he said cordially. "It was just a little mistake. You
ain't no O'Sullivan. You are a ring-tailed monkey. Excuse us for not
recognising you at first."
O'Sullivan's eye flashed. He made a quick movement, but Andy Geoghan was
ready and caught his arm.
Dempsey nodded at Andy and William McMahan, the secretary of the club,
and walked rapidly toward a door at the rear of the hall. Two other
members of the Give and Take Association swiftly joined the little
group. Terry O'Sullivan was now in the hands of the Board of Rules and
Social Referees. They spoke to him briefly and softly, and conducted
him out through the same door at the rear.
This movement on the part of the Clover Leaf members requires a word of
elucidation. Back of the association hall was a smaller room rented by
the club. In this room personal difficulties that arose on the ballroom
floor were settled, man to man, with the weapons of nature, under the
supervision of the board. No lady could say that she had witnessed a
fight at a Clover Leaf hop in several years. Its gentlemen members
So easily and smoothly had Dempsey and the board done their preliminary
work that many in the hall had not noticed the checking of the
fascinating O'Sullivan's social triumph. Among these was Maggie. She
looked about for her escort.
"Smoke up!" said Rose Cassidy. "Wasn't you on? Demps Donovan picked a
scrap with your Lizzie-boy, and they've waltzed out to the slaughter
room with him. How's my hair look done up this way, Mag?"
Maggie laid a hand on the bosom of her cheesecloth waist.
"Gone to fight with Dempsey!" she said, breathlessly. "They've got to be
stopped. Dempsey Donovan can't fight him. Why, he'll--he'll kill him!"
"Ah, what do you care?" said Rosa. "Don't some of 'em fight every hop?"
But Maggie was off, darting her zig-zag way through the maze of dancers.
She burst through the rear door into the dark hall and then threw her
solid shoulder against the door of the room of single combat. It gave
way, and in the instant that she entered her eye caught the scene--the
Board standing about with open watches; Dempsey Donovan in his shirt
sleeves dancing, light-footed, with the wary grace of the modern
pugilist, within easy reach of his adversary; Terry O'Sullivan
standing with arms folded and a murderous look in his dark eyes. And
without slacking the speed of her entrance she leaped forward with a
scream--leaped in time to catch and hang upon the arm of O'Sullivan that
was suddenly uplifted, and to whisk from it the long, bright stiletto
that he had drawn from his bosom.
The knife fell and rang upon the floor. Cold steel drawn in the rooms of
the Give and Take Association! Such a thing had never happened before.
Every one stood motionless for a minute. Andy Geoghan kicked the
stiletto with the toe of his shoe curiously, like an antiquarian who has
come upon some ancient weapon unknown to his learning.
And then O'Sullivan hissed something unintelligible between his teeth.
Dempsey and the board exchanged looks. And then Dempsey looked at
O'Sullivan without anger, as one looks at a stray dog, and nodded his
head in the direction of the door.
"The back stairs, Giuseppi," he said, briefly. "Somebody'll pitch your
hat down after you."
Maggie walked up to Dempsey Donovan. There was a brilliant spot of red
in her cheeks, down which slow tears were running. But she looked him
bravely in the eye.
"I knew it, Dempsey," she said, as her eyes grew dull even in their
tears. "I knew he was a Guinea. His name's Tony Spinelli. I hurried in
when they told me you and him was scrappin'. Them Guineas always carries
knives. But you don't understand, Dempsey. I never had a fellow in my
life. I got tired of comin' with Anna and Jimmy every night, so I fixed
it with him to call himself O'Sullivan, and brought him along. I knew
there'd be nothin' doin' for him if he came as a Dago. I guess I'll