Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 332
Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 332
with the Mott Street gang in hot pursuit. In her extremity she saw the mouth of the alley, dodged in, and was safe. The Mott Streeters would as soon have thought of following her into police headquarters as there. Ever after she stayed. She took possession of the alley and of headquarters, where the reporters had their daily walk, as if they were hers by right of conquest, which in fact they were. With her whimsically grave countenance, in which all the cares of the vast domain she made it her daily duty to oversee were visibly reflected, she made herself a favorite with every one except the “beaneryman” on the corner, who denounced her angrily, when none of her friends were near, for coming in with his customers at lunchtime on purpose to have them feed her with his sugar, which was true. At regular hours, beginning with the opening of the department offices, she would make the round of the police building and call on all the officials, forgetting none. She rode up in the elevator and left it at the proper floors, waited in the anterooms with the rest when there was a crowd, and paid stated visits to the chief and the commissioners, who never omitted to receive her with a nod and a “Hello, Trilby!” no matter how pressing the business in hand. The gravity with which she listened to what went on, and wrinkled up her brow in an evident effort to understand, was comical



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