Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 316
Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 316
  She regarded him maliciously, with head tilted on one side, as a bird eyes a caterpillar it has speared.
  “Hein!” she scoffed. “Du den, vat?”
  He scowled. She was right; without her he was helpless. The judgment of the alley was unimpeachable. They were and remained “the French couple.”
  Cat Alley’s reception of Madame Klotz at first was not cordial. It was disposed to regard as a hostile act the circumstance that she kept a special holiday, of which nothing was known except from her statement that it referred to the fall of somebody or other whom she called the Bastille, in suspicious proximity to the detested battle of the Boyne; but when it was observed that she did nothing worse than dance upon the flags “avec ze leetle bébé” of the tenant in the basement, and torture her “Dootch” husband with extra monkeys and gibes in honor of the day, unfavorable judgment was suspended, and it was agreed that without a doubt the “bastard” fell for cause; wherein the alley showed its sound historical judgment. By such moral pressure when it could, by force when it must, the original Irish stock preserved the alley for its own quarrels, free from “foreign” embroilments. These quarrels were many and involved. When Mrs. M’Carthy was to be dispossessed, and insisted, in her cups, on killing the housekeeper as a necessary preliminary, a



Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.