Nonfiction > Jacob A. Riis > The Battle with the Slum > Page 393
Jacob A. Riis (1849–1914).  The Battle with the Slum.  1902.

Page 393
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 haven’t 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. 177—I shall flatly refuse to call it a yard—said that he didn’t 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.
  On that very corner, just across the way, a dozen



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