Jacob A. Riis (18491914). The Battle with the Slum. 1902.
and mamma, for a real dance that shall take the wind out of the sails of the dance-halls? Nothing in all the world. Nor even will there be anything to stop Superintendent Maxwell from taking a turn himself, as he said he would, or me either, if I havent danced in thirty years. I just dare him to try.
The Fellows and Papa and Mamma shall be invited in yet.
The man in charge of the ball-room at No. 177I shall flatly refuse to call it a yardsaid that he didnt believe in any other rule than order, and nearly took my breath away, for just then I had a vision of the club in the doorway; but it was only a vision. The club was not there. As he said it, he mounted the band-stand and waved the crowd to order with his speaking-trumpet.
A young lady has just lost her gold watch on the floor, he said. It is here under your feet. Bring it to me, the one who finds it. There was a curious movement of the crowd, as if every unit in it turned once about itself and bowed, and presently a shout of discovery went up. A little girl with a poor shawl pinned about her throat came forward with the watch. The manager waved his trumpet at me with a bright smile.
You see it works.
The entire crowd fell in behind him in an ecstatic cake-walk, expressive of its joy and satisfaction, and so they went, around and around.