Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 255
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Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 255
 
trousers glimmered in the twilight, as the hundred legs moved as one. Stoops and hydrant were deserted with a rush. The gang fell in with joyous shouts. The young fellow linked arms with his sweetheart and fell in too. The tired mother hurried with the baby carriage to catch up. The butcher came, hot and wiping his hands on his apron, to the door to see them pass.
  “Yes,” said my companion, guessing my thoughts,—we had been speaking of the boys,—“but look at the other side. There is the military spirit. Do you not fear danger from it in this country?”
  No, my anxious friend, I do not. Let them march; and if with a gun, better still. Often enough it is the choice of the gun on the shoulder, or, by and by, the stripes on the back in the lockstep gang.

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