from:The Big Money by John DosPassos
Converted to HTML markup by Emily Zimmerman 3/4/98
Charley Anderson lay in his bunk in a glary red buzz. Oh, Titine, damn that tune last night. He lay flat with his eyes hot; the tongue in his mouth was thick warm sour felt. He dragged his feet out from under the blanket and hung them over the edge of the bunk, big white feet with pink knobs on the toes; he let them drop to the red carpet and hauled himself shakily to the porthole. He stuck his head out.
Instead of the dock, fog, little graygreen waves slapping against the steamer's scaling side. At anchor. A gull screamed above him hidden in the fog. He shivered and pulled his head in.
At the basin he splashed cold water on his face and neck. Where the cold water hit him his skin flushed pink.
He began to feel cold and sick and got back into his bunk and pulled the stillwarm covers up to his chin. Home. Damn that tune.
He jumped up. His head and stomach throbbed in time now. He pulled out the chamberpot and leaned over it. He gagged; a little green bile came. No, I don't want to puke. He got into his underclothes and the whipcord pants of his uniform and lathered his face to shave. Shaving made him feel blue. What I need's a . . . He rang for the steward. "Bonjour, m'sieur." "Say, Billy, let's have a double cognac tootsuite."
He buttoned his shirt carefully and put on his tunic; looking at himself in the glass, his eyes had red rims and his face looked green under the sunburn. Suddenly he began to feel sick again; a sour gagging was welling up from his stomach to his throat. God, these French boats stink. A knock, the steward's frog smile and "Voila m'sieur," the white plate slopped with a thin amber spilling out of the glass. "When do we dock?" The steward shrugged and growled, "La brume."
Green spots were still dancing in front of his eyes as he went up the linoleumsmelling companionway. Up on deck the wet fog squeezed wet against his face. He stuck his hands in his pockets and leaned into it. Nobody on deck, a few trunks, steamerchairs folded and stacked. To windward everything was wet. Drops trickled down the brassrimmed windows of the smokingroom Nothing in any direction but fog.
Next time around he met Joe Askew. Joe looked fine. His little mustache spread neat under his thin nose. His eyes were clear.
"Isn't this the damnedest note, Charley? Fog."
"Got a head?"
"You look topnotch, Joe."
"Sure, why not? I got the fidgets, been up since six o'clock. Damn this fog, we may be here all day."
"It's fog all right."
They took a couple of turns round the deck.
"Notice how the boat stinks, Joe?"
"It's been at anchor, and the fog stimulates your smellers, I guess. How about breakfast?"
Charley didn't say anything for a moment, then he took a deep breath and said, "All right, let's try it."
The diningsaloon smelt of onions and brasspolish. The Johnsons were already at the table. Mrs. Johnson looked pale and cool. She had on a little gray hat Charley hadn't seen before, all ready to land. Paul gave Charley a sickly kind of smile when he said hello. Charley noticed how Paul's hand was shaking when he lifted the glass of orangejuice. His lips were white.
"Anybody seen Ollie Taylor?" asked Charley.
"The Major's feelin' pretty bad, I bet," said Paul, giggling.
"And how are you, Charley?" Mrs. Johnson intoned sweetly.
"Oh, I'm . . . I'm in the pink."
"Liar," said Joe Askew.
"Oh, I can't imagine," Mrs. Johnson was saying, "what kept you boys up so late last night."
"We did some singing," said Joe Askew.
"Somebody I know," said Mrs. Johnson, "went to bed in his clothes," Her eye caught Charley's.
Paul was changing the subject: "Well, we're back in God's country."
"Oh, I can't imagine," cried Mrs. Johnson, "what America's going to be like."
Charley was bolting his wuffs avec du bakin and the coffee that tasted of bilge.
"What I'm looking forward to," Joe Askew was saying, "is a real American breakfast."
"Grapefruit," said Mrs. Johnson.
"Cornflakes and cream," said Joe.
"Hot cornmuffins," said Mrs. Johnson.
"Fresh eggs and real Virginia ham," said Joe.
Wheatcakes and country sausage," said Mrs. Johnson.
"Scrapple," said Joe.
"Good coffee with real cream," said Mrs. Johnson, laughing.
"You win," said Paul with a sickly grin as he left the table.
Charley took a last gulp of his coffee. Then he said he thought he'd go on deck to see if the immigration officers had come. "Why, what's the matter with Charley?" He could hear Joe and Mrs. Johnson laughing together as he ran up the companionway.
Once on deck he decided. he wasn't going to be sick. The fog had lifted a little. Astern of the Niagara he could see the shadows of other steamers at anchor, and beyond, a rounded shadow that might be land. Gulls wheeled and screamed overhead. Somewhere across the water a foghorn groaned at intervals. Charley walked up forward and leaned into the wet fog.
Joe Askew came up behind him smoking a cigar and took him by the arm: "Better walk, Charley," he said. "Isn't this a hell of a note? Looks like little old New York had gotten torpedoed during the late unpleasantness. I can't see a damn thing, can you?"
"I thought I saw some land a minute ago, but it's gone now."
"Musta been Atlantic Highlands; we're anchored off the Hook. . . . Goddam it, I want to get ashore."
"Your wife'll be there, won't she, Joe?"
"She ought to be...Know anybody in New York, Charley?"
Charley shook his head. "I got a long ways to go yet before I go home...I don't know what I'll do when I get there."
"Damn it, we may be here all day," said Joe Askew.
"Joe," said Charley, "suppose we have a drink . . . one final drink." "They've closed up the damn bar."
They'd packed their bags the night before. There was nothing to do. They spent the morning playing rummy in the smokingroom. Nobody could keep his mind on the game. Paul kept dropping his cards. Nobody ever knew who had taken the last trick. Charley was trying to keep his eyes off Mrs. Johnson's eyes, off the little curve of her neck where it ducked under the gray fur trimming of her dress.
"I can't imagine," she said again, "what you boys found to talk about so late last night. . . . I thought we'd talked about everything under heaven before I went to bed."
"Oh, we found topics, but mostly it came out in the form of singing," said Joe Askew.
"I know I always miss things when I go to bed." Charley noticed Paul beside him staring at her with pale loving eyes. "But," she was saying with her teasing smile, "it's just too, boring to sit up."
Paul blushed, he looked as if he were going to cry; Charley wondered if Paul had thought of the same thing he'd thought of.
"Well, let's see; whose deal was it?" said Joe Askew briskly.
Round noon Major Taylor came into the smokingroom. "Good morning, everybody. . . . I know nobody feels worse than I do. Commandant says we may not dock till tomorrow morning."
They put up the cards without finishing the hand.
"That's nice," said Joe Askew.
"It's just as well," said Ollie Taylor. "I'm a wreck. The last of the harddrinking hardriding Taylors is a wreck. We could stand the war, but the peace has done us in."
Charley looked up in Ollie Taylor's gray face sagging in the pale glare of the fog through the smokingroom windows and noticed the white streaks in his hair and mustache. Gosh, he thought to himself, I'm going to quit this drinking.
They got through lunch somehow, then scattered to their cabins to sleep. In the corridor outside his cabin Charley met Mrs. Johnson. "Well, the first ten days'll be the hardest, Mrs. Johnson."
"Why don't you call me Eveline; everybody else does?"
Charley turned red. "What's the use? We won't ever see each other again."
"Why not?" she said.
He looked into her long hazel eyes; the pupils widened till the hazel was all black.
"Jesus, I'd like it if we could," he stammered. "Don't think for a minute I . . ."
She'd already brushed silkily past him and was gone down the corridor. He went into his cabin and slammed the door. His bags were packed. The steward had put away the bedclothes. Charley threw himself face down on the striped mustysmelling ticking of the mattress. "God damn that woman," he said aloud.
The rattle of a steamwinch woke him, then he heard the jingle of the engineroom bell. He looked out the porthole and saw a yellow and white revenuecutter and, beyond, vague pink sunlight on frame houses. The fog was lifting; they were in the Narrows.
By the time he'd splashed the aching sleep out of his eyes and run up on deck, the Niagara was nosing her way slowly across the greengray glinting bay. The ruddy fog was looped up like curtains overhead. A red ferryboat crossed their bow. To the right there was a line of four- and five-masted schooners at anchor, beyond them a squarerigger and a huddle of squatty Shipping Board steamers, some of them still striped and mottled with camouflage. Then dead ahead, the up-and-down gleam in the blur of the tall buildings of New York.
Joe Askew came up to him with his trenchcoat on and his German fieldglasses hung over his shoulder. Joe's blue eyes were shining. "Do you see the Statue of Liberty yet, Charley?"
"No . . . yes, there she is. I remembered her lookin' bigger.
"There's Black Tom where the explosion was."
"Things look pretty quiet, Joe."
"It's Sunday, that's why."
"It would be Sunday."
They were opposite the Battery now. The long spans of the bridges to Brooklyn went off into smoky shadow beyond the pate skyscrapers. "Well, Charley, that's where they keep all the money. We got to get some of it away from 'em," said Joe Askew, tugging at his mustache.
"Wish I knew how to start in, Joe."
They were skirting a long row of roofed slips. Joe held out his hand. "Well, Charley, write to me, kid, do you hear? It was a great war while it lasted."
"I sure will, Joe."
Two tugs were shoving the Niagara around into the slip against the strong ebbtide. American and French flags flew over the wharthuilding, in the dark doorways were groups of people waving.
"There's my wife," said Joe Askew suddenly. He squeezed Charley's hand. "Solong, kid. We're home."
First thing Charley knew, too soon, he was walking down the gangplank. The transportofficer barely looked at his papers; the customsman said, "Well, I guess if s good to be home, Lieutenant," as he put the stamps on his grip. He got past the Y man and the two reporters and the member of the mayor's committee; the few people and the scattered trunks looked lost and lonely in the huge yellow gloom of the wharfbuilding. Major Taylor and the Johnsons shook hands like strangers.
Then he was following his small khaki trunk to a taxicab. The Johnsons already had a cab and were waiting for a stray grip. Charley went over to them. He couldn't think of anything to say. Paul said he must be sure to come to see them if he stayed in New York, but he kept standing in the door of the cab, so that it was hard for Charley to talk to Eveline. He could see the muscles relax on Paul's jaw when the porter brought the lost grip. "Be sure and look us up," Paul said and jumped in and slammed the door.
Charley went back to his cab, carrying with him a last glimpse of long hazel eyes and her teasing smile. "Do you know if they still give officers special rates at the McAlpin?" he asked the taximan.
"Sure, they treat you all right if you're an officer. if you're an enlisted man you get your ass kicked," answered the taximan out of the corner of his mouth and slammed the gears.
The taxi turned into a wide empty cobbled street. The cab rode easier than the Paris cabs. The big warehouses and marketbuildings were all closed up.
"Gee, things look pretty quiet here," Charley said, leaning forward to talk to the taximan through the window.
"Quiet as hell. . . . You wait till you start to look for a job," said the taximan.
"But, Jesus, I don't ever remember things bein' as quiet as this."
"Well, why shouldn't they be quiet? . . . It's Sunday, ain't it?"
"Oh, sure, I'd forgotten it was Sunday."
"Sure it's Sunday."
"I remember now it's Sunday."
Yankee Doodle that melodee
COLONEL HOUSE ARRIVES FROM EUROPE
APPARENTLY A VERY SICK MAN
Yankee Doodle that melodee
TO CONQUER SPACE AND SEE DISTANCES
but has not the time come for newspaper proprietors to join in a wholesome movement for the purpose of calming troubled minds, giving all the news but 'laying less stress on prospective calamities
DEADLOCK UNBROKEN AS FIGHT SPREADS
They permitted the Steel Trust Government to trample underfoot the democratic rights which they had so often been assured were the heritage of the people of this country
SHIPOWNERS DEMAND PROTECTION
Yankee doodle that melodee
Yankee doodle that melodee
Makes me stand right up and cheer
only survivors of crew of schooner Onato are put in jail on arrival in Philadelphia
PRESIDENT STRONGER WORKS IN SICKROOM
I'm coming U.S.A.
MAY GAG PRESS
There's no land ... so grand
... as my land
The ratfaced bellboy put down the bags, tried the faucets of the washbowl, opened the window a little, put the key on the inside of the door and then stood at something like attention and said, "Anything else, Lootenant?"
This is the life, thought Charley, and fished a quarter out of his pocket.
"Thank you, sir, Lootenant." The bellboy shuffled his feet and cleared his throat. "It must have been terrible overseas, Lootenant."
Charley laughed. "Oh, it was all right."
I wish I coulda gone, Lootenant." The boy showed a couple of ratteeth in a grin. "It must be wonderful to be a hero," he said and backed out the door.
Charley stood looking out the window as he unbuttoned his tunic. He was high up. Through a street of grimy square buildings he could see some columns and the roofs of the new Penn Station and beyond, across the trainyards, a blurred sun setting behind high ground the other side of the Hudson. Overhead was purple and pink. An El train clattered raspingly through the empty Sunday evening streets. The wind that streamed through the bottom of the window had a gritty smell of coalashes. Charley put the window down and went to wash his face and hands. 'The hotel towel felt soft and thick with a little whiff of chloride. He went to the lookingglass and combed his hair. Now what?
He was walking up and down the room fidgeting with a cigarette, watching the sky go dark outside the window, when the jangle of the phone startled him.
It was Ollie Taylor's polite fuddled voice. "I thought maybe you wouldn't know where to get a drink. Do you want to come around to the club?"
"Gee, that's nice of you, Ollie. I was jus' wonderin' what a feller could do with himself in this man's town."
"You know it's quite dreadful here," Ollie's voice went on. "Prohibition and all that, it's worse than the wildest imagination could conceive. I'll come and pick you up with a cab."
"All right, Ollie, III be in the lobby."
Charley put on his tunic, remembered to leave off his Sam Browne belt, straightened his scrubby sandy hair again, and went down into the lobby. He sat down in a deep chair facing the revolving doors.
The lobby was crowded. There was music coming from somewhere in back. He sat there listening to the dancetunes, looking at the silk stockings and the high heels and the furcoats and the pretty girls' faces pinched a little by the wind as they came in off the street. There was an expensive jingle and crinkle to everything. Gosh, it was great. The girls left little trails of perfume and a warm smell of furs as they passed him. He started counting up how much jack he had. He had a draft for three hundred bucks he'd saved out of his pay, four yellowbacked twenties in the wallet in his inside pocket he'd won at poker on the boat, a couple of tens, and let's see how much change. The coins made a little jingle in his pants as he fingered them over.
Ollie Taylor's red face was nodding at Charley above a big camel'shair coat. "My dear boy, New York's a wreck. . . . They are pouring icecream sodas in the Knickerbocker bar . . . ... When they got into the cab together he blew a reek of highgrade rye whiskey in Charley's face. "Charley, I've promised to take you along to dinner with me. . . . Just up to ole Nat Benton's. You won't mind . . . he's a good scout. The ladies want to see a real flying aviator with palms."
"You're sure I won't be buttin' in, Ollie?"
"My dear boy, say no more about it."
At the club everybody seemed to know Ollie Taylor. He and Charley stood a long time drinking Manhattans at a darkpaneled bar in a group of whitehaired old gents with a barroom tan on their faces. It was Major this and Major that and Lieutenant every time anybody spoke to Charley. Charley was getting to be afraid Ollie would get too much of a load on to go to dinner at anybody's house.
At last it turned out to be seventhirty, and leaving the finalround of cocktails, they got into a cab again, each of them munching a clove, and started uptown. "I don't know what to say to 'em," Ollie said. "I tell them I've just spent the most delightful two years of my life, and they make funny mouths at me, but I can't help it."
There was a terrible lot of marble, and doormen in green, at the apartmenthouse where they went out to dinner, and the elevator was inlaid in different kinds of wood. Nat Benton, Ollie whispered while they were waiting for the door to open, was a Wall Street broker.
They were all in eveningdress waiting for them for dinner in a pinkishcolored drawingroom. They were evidently old friends of Ollie's because they made a great fuss over him and they were very cordial to Charley and brought out cocktails right away, and Charley felt like the cock of the walk.
There was a girl named Miss Humphries who was as pretty as a picture. The minute Charley set eyes on her Charley decided that was who he was going to talk to. Her eyes and her fluffy palegreen dress and the powder in the little hollow between her shoulderblades made him feel a little dizzy so that he didn't dare stand too close to her.
Ollie saw the two of them together and came up and pinched her ear. "Doris, you've grown up to be a raving beauty." He stood beaming, teetering a little on his short legs. "Hum . . . only the brave deserve the fair. . . . It's not every day we come home from the wars, is it, Charley me boy?"
"Isn't he a darling?" she said when Ollie turned away. "We used to be great sweethearts when I was about six and he was a collegeboy."
When they were all ready to go into dinner Ollie, who'd had a couple more cocktails, spread out his arms and made a speech. "Look at them, lovely, intelligent, lively American women. . . . There was nothing like that on the other side, was there, Charley? Three things you can't get anywhere else in the world, a good cocktail, a decent breakfast, and an American girl, God bless 'em.""Oh, he's such a darling," whispered Miss Humphries in Charley's ear.
There was silverware in rows and rows on the table and a Chinese bowl with roses in the middle of it, and a group of giltstemmed wineglasses at each plate. Charley was relieved when he found he was sitting next to Miss Humphries. She was smiling up at him.
"Gosh," he said, grinning into her face, "I hardly know how to act."
"It must be a change . . . from over there. But just act natural. That's what I do."
Oh no, a feller always gets into trouble when he acts natural."
She laughed. "Maybe you're right. Oh, do tell me what it was really like over there. . . . Nobody'll ever tell me everything." She pointed to the palms on his Croix de Guerre. "Oh, lieutenant Anderson, you must tell, me about those."
They had white wine with the fish and red wine with the roastbeef and a dessert all full of whippedcream. Charley kept telling himself he mustn't drink too much so that held be sure to behave right.
Miss Humphries' first name was Doris. Mrs. Benton called her that. She'd spent a year in a convent in Paris before the war and asked him about places she'd known, the Church of the Madeleine and Rumpelmayer's and the pastryshop opposite the Com6die Frangaise. After dinner she and Charley took their coffeecups into a windowbay behind a big pink begonia in a brass pot and she asked him if he didn't think New York was awful. She sat on the windowseat and he stood over her looking past her white shoulder through the window down at the traffic in the street below. It had come on to rain and the lights of the cars made long rippling streaks on the black pavement of Park Avenue. He said something about how he thought home would look pretty good to him all the same. He was wondering if it would be all right if he told her she had beautiful shoulders. He'd just about gotten round to it when he heard Ollie Taylor getting everybody together to go out to a cabaret. "I know it's a chore," Ollie was saying, "but you children must remember it's my first night in New York and humor my weakness."
They stood in a group under the marquee while the doorman called taxicabs. Doris Humphries in her long eveningwrap With fur at the bottom of it stood so close to Charley her shoulder touched his arm. in the lashing rainy wind off the street he could smell the warm perfume she wore and her furs and her hair. They stood back while the older people got into the cabs. For a second her hand was in his, very little and cool as he helped her into the cab. He handed out half a dollar to the doorman who had whispered "Shanley's" to the taxidriver in a serious careful flunkey's voice. The taxi was purring smoothly downtown between the tall square buildings. Charley was a little dizzy. He didn't dare look at her for a moment, but looked out at faces, cars, trafficcops, people in raincoats and umbrellas passing against drugstore windows.
"Now tell me how you got the palms."
"Oh, the frogs just threw those in now and then to keep the boys cheerful."
"How many Huns did you bring down?"
"Why bring that up?"
She stamped her foot on the floor of the taxi. "Oh, nobody'll ever tell me anything! . . . I don't believe you were ever at the front, any of you."
Charley laughed. His throat was a little dry. "Well, I was over it a couple of times."
Suddenly she turned to him. There were flecks of light in her eyes in the dark of the cab. "Oh, I understand. . . . lieutenant Anderson, I think you flyers are the finest people there are."
"Miss Humphries, I think you're a . . . humdinger. . I hope this taxi never gets to this dump . . . wherever it is we're goin'."
She leaned her shoulder against his for a second. He found he was holding her hand. "After all, my name is Doris," she said in a tiny babytalk voice.
"Doris," he said. "Mine's Charley."
"Charley, do you like to dance?" she asked in the same tiny voice.
"Sure," Charley said, giving her hand a quick squeeze.
Her voice melted like a little tiny piece of candy. "Me too. . Oh, so much."
When they went in, the orchestra was playing Dardanella. Charley left his trenchcoat and his hat in the checkroom. The headwaiter's heavy grizzled eyebrows bowed over a white shirtfront. Charley was following Doris's slender back, the hollow between the shoulderblades where his hand would like to be, across the red carpet, between the white tables, the men's starched shirts, the women's shoulders, through the sizzly smell of champagne and welshrabbit and hot chafingdishes, across a comer of the dancefloor among the swaying couples to the round white table where the rest of them were already settled. The knives and forks shone among the stiff creases of the fresh tablecloth.
Mrs. Benton was pulling off her white kid gloves looking at Ollie Taylor's purple face as he told a funny story. "Let's dance," Charley whispered to Doris. "Let's dance all the time."
Charley was scared of dancing too tough so he held her a little away from him. She had a way of dancing with her eyes closed. "Gee, Doris, you are a wonderful dancer." When the music stopped, the tables and the cigarsmoke and the people went on reeling a little round their heads. Doris was looking up at him out of the corners of her eyes. "I bet you miss the French girls, Charley. How did you like the way the French girls danced, Charley?"
At the table they were drinking champagne out of breakfast coffeecups. Ollie had had two bottles sent up from the club by a messenger. When the music started again, Charley had to dance with Mrs. Benton, and then with the other lady, the one with the diamonds and the spare tire around her waist. He and Doris only had two more dances together. Charley could see the others wanted to go home because Ollie was getting too tight. He had a flask of rye on his hip and a couple of times had beckoned Charley out to have a swig in the cloakroom with him. Chaley tongued the bottle each time because he was hoping he'd get a chance to take Doris home.
When they got outside, it turned out she lived in the same block as the Bentons did; Charley cruised around on the outside of the group while the ladies were getting their wraps on before going out to the taxicab, but he couldet get a look from her. It was just, "Goodnight, Ollie dear, goodnight, Lieutenant Anderson," and the doorman slamming the taxi door. He hardly knew which of the hand's he had shaken had been hers.
'Twarn't for powder and for storebought hair De man I love would not gone nowhere
if one should seek a simple explanation of his career, it would doubtless be found in that extraordinary decision to forsake the ease of a clerkship for the wearying labor of a section hand. The youth who so early in life had so much of judgment and willpower could not fail to rise above the general run of men. He became the intimate of bankers
St. Louis woman wid her diamon' rings Pulls dat man aroun' by her apron strings
Tired of walking, riding a bicycle or riding in streetcars, he is likely to buy a Ford.
DAYLIGHT HOLDUP SCATTERS CROWD
Just as soon as his wife discovers that every Ford is like every other Ford and that nearly everyone has one, she is likely to influence him to step into the next social group, of which the Dodge is the most conspicuous example.
DESPERATE REVOLVER BATTLE FOLLOWS
The next step comes when daughter comes back from college and the family moves into a new home. Father wants economy. Mother craves opportunity for her children, daughter desires social prestige and son wants travel, speed, get-up-and-go.
MAN SLAIN NEAR HOTEL MAJESTIC BY THREE FOOTPADS
I hate to see de evenin sun go down
Hate to see de evenin sun go down
'Cause my baby he done lef dis town
such exploits may indicate a dangerous degree of bravado but they display the qualities that made a boy of highschool age the acknowledged leader of a gang that has been a thorn in the side of the State of
Frederick Winslow Taylor (they called him Speedy Taylor in the shop) was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, the year of Buchanan's election. His father was a lawyer, his mother came from a family of New Bedford whalers; she was a great reader of Emerson, belonged to the Unitarian Church and the Browning Society. She was a fervent abolitionist and believed in democratic manners; she was a housekeeper of the old school, kept everybody busy from dawn till dark. She laid down the rules of conduct:
selfrespect, selfreliance, selfcontrol
and a cold long head for figures.
But she wanted her children to appreciate the finer things, so she took them abroad for three years on the Continent, showed them cathedrals, grand opera, Roman pediments, the old masters under their brown varnish in their great frames of tarnished gilt.
Later Fred Taylor was impatient of these wasted years, stamped out of the room when people talked about the finer things; he was a testy youngster, fond of practical jokes, and a great hand at rigging up contraptions and devices.
At Exeter he was head of his class and captain of the ballteam, the first man to pitch overhand. (When umpires complained that overhand pitching wasn't in the rules of the game, he answered that it got results.)
As a boy he had nightmares; going to bed was horrible for him; he thought they came from sleeping on his back. He made himself a leather harness with wooden pegs that stuck into his flesh when he turned over. When he was grown he slept in a chair or in bed in a sitting position propped up with pillows. All his life he suffered from sleeplessness.
He was a crackerjack tennisplayer. In 1881, with his friend Clark, he won the National Doubles Championship. (He used a spoonshaped racket of his own design.)
At school he broke down from overwork, his eyes went back on him. The doctor suggested manual labor. So instead of going to Harvard he went into the machineshop of a small pumpmanufacturing concern, owned by a friend of the family's, to learn the trade of patternmaker and machinist. He learned to handle a lathe and to dress and cuss like a workingman.I
Fred Taylor never smoked tobacco or drank liquor or used tea or coffee; he couldn't understand why his fellowmechanics wanted to go on sprees and get drunk and raise cain Saturday nights. He lived at home; when he wasn't reading technical books he'd play parts in amateur theatricals or step up to the piano in the evening and sing a good tenor in A Warrior Bold or A Spanish Cavalier.
He served his first year's apprenticeship in the machineshop without pay; the next two years he made a dollar and a half a week, the last year two dollars.
Pennsylvania was getting rich off iron and coal. When he was twentytwo, Fred Taylor went to work at the Midvale Iron Works. At first he had to take a clerical job, but he hated that and went to work with a shovel. At last he got them to put him on a lathe. He was a good machinist, he worked ten hours a day and in the evenings followed an engineering course at Stevens. In six years be rose from machinist's helper to keeper of toolcribs to gangboss to foreman to mastermechanic in charge of repairs to chief draftsman and director of research to chief engineer of the Midvale Plant.
The early years he was a machinist with the other machinists in the shop, cussed and joked and worked with the rest of them, soldiered on the job when they did. Mustn't give the boss. more than his money's worth. But when he got to be foreman, he was on the management's side of the fence, gathering in on the part of those on the management's side all the great mass of traditional knowledge which in the past has been in the heads of the workmen and in the physical skill and knack of the workman. He couldn't stand to see an idle lathe or an idle man. Production went to his head and tbrilled his sleepless nerves like liquor or women on a Saturday night. He never loafed and he'd be damned if anybody else would. Troduction was an itch under his skin.
He lost his friends in the shop; they called him nigger driver. He was a stockily built man with a temper and a short tongue.
I was a young man in years, but I give you my word I was a great deal older than I am now, what with the worry, meanness, and contemptibleness of the whole damn thing. It's a horrid life for any man to live, not being able to took any workman in the face without seeing hostility there, and a feeling that every man around you is your virtual enemy.
That was the beginning of the Taylor System of Scientific Management.
He was impatient of explanations, he didn't care whose hide he took off in enforcing the laws he believed inherent in the industrial process.
When starting an experiment in any field, question everything, question the very foundations upon which the art rests, question the simplest, the most selfevident, the most universally accepted facts; prove everything,
except the dominant Quaker Yankee (the New Bedford skippers were the greatest niggerdrivers on the whaling seas) rules of conduct. He boasted he'd never ask a workman to do anything he couldn't do.
He devised an improved steamhammer; he standardized tools and equipment, he filled the shop with college students with stopwatches and diagrams, tabulating, standardizing. There's the right way of doing a thing and the wrong way of doing it; the right way means increased production, lower costs, higher wages, bigger profits: the American plan.
He broke up the foreman's job into separate functions, speedbosses, gangbosses, timestudy men, order-of-work men.
The skilled mechanics were too stubborn for him; what he wanted was a plain handyman who'd do what he was told . If he was a firstclass man and did firstclass work, Taylor was willing to let him have firstclass pay; that's where he began to get into trouble with the owners.
At thirtyfour he married and left Midvale and took a flyer for the big money in connection with a pulpmill started in Maine by some admirals and political friends of Grover Cleveland's:
the panic of '93 made hash of that enterprise,
so Taylor invented for himself the job of Consulting Engineer in Management and began to build up a fortune by careful investments.
The first paper be read before the American Society of Mechanical Engineers was anything but a success; they said he was crazy. I have found, he wrote in 1909, that any improvement is not only opposed but aggressively and bitterly opposed by the majority of men.
He was called in by Bethlehem Steel. It was in Bethlehem he made his famous experiments with handling pigiron; he taught a Dutchman named Schmidt to handle fortyseven tons instead of twelve and a half tons of pigiron a day and got Schmidt to admit he was as good as ever at the end of the day.
He was a crank about shovels, every job had to have a shovel of the right weight and size for that job alone; every job had to have a man of the right weight and size for that job alone; but when he began to pay his men in proportion to the increased efficiency of their work,
the owners, who were a lot of greedy smalleyed Dutchmen, began to raise Hail Columbia; when Schwab bought Bethlehem Steel in 1901
Inventor of efficiency
who had doubled the production of the stampingmill by speeding up the main lines of shafting from ninetysix to two hundred and twentyfive revolutions a minute
was unceremoniously fired.
After that Fred Taylor always said he couldn't afford to work for money.
He took to playing golf (using golfclubs of his own design), doping out methods for transplanting huge boxtrees into the garden of his home.
At Boxly in Germantown he kept open house for engineers, factorymanagers, industrialists;
he wrote papers,
lectured in colleges,
appeared before a congressional committee,
everywhere preached the virtues of scientific management and the Barth slide rule, the cutting-down of waste and idleness, the substitution for skilled mechanics of the plain ban dyman (like Schmidt the pigiron handler) who'd move as he was told
and work by the piece:
more steel rails more bicycles more spools of thread more armorplate for battleships more bedpans more barbedwire more needles more lightningrods more ballbearings more dollarbills;
(the old Quaker families of Germantown were growing rich, the Pennsylvania millionaires were breeding billionaires out of iron and coal)
production would make every firstclass American rich who was willing to work at piecework and not drink or raise Cain or think or stand mooning at his lathe.
Thrifty Schmidt the pigiron handler can invest his money and get to be an owner like Schwab and the rest of the greedy smalleyed Dutchmen and cultivate a taste for Bach and have hundredyearold boxtrees in his garden at Bethlehem or Germantown or Chestnut Hill,
and lay down the rules of conduct;
the American plan.
But Fred Taylor never saw the working of the American plan;
in 1915 he went to the hospital in Philadelphia suffering from a breakdown.
Pneumonia developed; the nightnurse heard him winding his watch;
on the morning of his fiftyninth birthday, when the nurse went into his room to look at him at fourthirty,
he was dead with his watch in his hand.
these are the men for whom the rabid lawless, anarchistic element of society in this country has been laboring ever since sentence was imposed, and of late they have been augmented by many good lawabiding citizens who have been misled by the subtle arguments of those propagandists
The times are hard and the wages low
Leave her Johnny leave her
The bread is hard and the beef is salt
It's lime for us to leave her
BANKERS HAIL ERA OF EXPANSION
PROSPERITY FOR ALL SEEN ASSURED
Find German Love of Caviar a Danger to Stable Money
EX-SERVICE MEN DEMAND JOBS
No one knows
No one cares if I'm weary
Oh how soon they forget Chdteau-Thierry
JOBLESS RIOT AT AGENCY
Ships in de oceans
Rocks in de sea
Made a fool outa me
The Camera Eye (43)
throat tightens when the redstacked steamer churning the faintly heaving slate colored swell swerves slicking in a long greenmarbled curve past the red lightship
spine stiffens with the remembered chill of the offshore Atlantic
and the jag of frame houses in the west above the invis ible land and spiderweb rollercoasters and the chew mggurn towers of Coney and the freighters with their stacks way aft and the blur beyond Sandy Hook
and the smell of saltmarshes warmclammysweet
remembered bays silvery inlets barred with trestles
the put-put before day of a gasolineboat way up the creek
raked masts of bug6yes against straight tall pines on the shellwhite beach
the limeycold reek of an oysterboat in winter
and creak of rockers on the porch of the scrollsaw cot tage and uncles' voices pokerface stories told sideways out of the big mouth (from Missouri who took no rubber nickels) the redskin in the buffalorobe selling snakeroot In the flare of oratorical redfire the sulphury choke and the hookandladder clanging down the redbrick street while the clinging firemen with uncles! faces pull on their rubbercoats
and the crunch of whitecorn muffins and coffee with cream gulped in a hurry before traintime and apartment house mornings stifling with newspapers and the smooth powdery feel of new greenbacks and the whack of a cop's billy cracking a citizen's skull and the faces blurred with newsprint of men in jail
the whine and shriek of the buzzsaw and the tipsy smell of raw lumber and straggling through slagheaps, through fireweed through wasted woodlands the shanty towns the shantytowns
what good burying those years in the old graveyard by the brokendown brick church that morning in the spring when the sandy lanes were treated with blue puddles and the air was violets and pineneedles
what good burying those hated years in the latrinestench at Brocourt under the starshells if today the crookedfaced custominspector with the soft tough talk the burring speech the funnypaper antics of thick hands jerking thumb (So you brought home French books didjer?) is my uncle
boy seeking future offered opportunity - good positions for bright . . . CHANCE FOR ADVANCEMENT...boy to learn . . . errand boy . . . office boy
Oh tell me how long
I'll have to wait
in bank that chooses its officers from the ranks, for wideawake ambitious bookkeeper . . . architectural draftsman with experience on factory and industrial buildings in brick, timber, and reinforced concrete . . . bronzefitter . . . letterer . . . pattern-maker . . . carriage painter . . . firstclass striper and finisher . . . young man for hosiery, underwear, and notion house ... assistant in order department . . . firstclass penman accurate at figures . . . energetic hardworker for setting dies in powerpresses for metal parts canvasser . . . flavor chemist . . . freightelevator man . . . housesalesman . . . insuranceman . . . insuranceman . . . invoice clerk . . . jeweler . . . laborer . . . machinist . . . millingmachine man . . . shipping clerk . . shipping clerk . . . shipping clerk . . . shoe salesman . . . signwriter . . . solicitor for retail fishmarket . . . teacher . . . timekeeper . . . tool and diemaker, tracer, toolroorn foreman, translator, typist . . . windowtrimmer . . . wrapper
Do I get it now
Or must I hesitate
young man not afraid of hard work
young man for office
young man for stockroom
young man as stenographer
young man to travel
young man to learn
Oh tell me how long
to superintend municipal light, water, and ice plant in beautiful growing, healthful town in Florida's highlands . . . to take charge of underwear department in large wholesale mailhouse . . . to assist in railroad investigation . . . to take charge of about twenty men on tools, dies, gigs, and gauges . . . as bookkeeper in stockroom . . . for light porter work . . . civil engineer . . . machinery and die appraiser . . . building estimator . . . electrical and powerplant engineer
the unnamed arrival
(who had hung from the pommel of the unshod white stallion's saddle
a full knapsack
and leaving the embers dying in the hollow of the bar ren Syrian hills where the Agail. had camped when dawn sharpshining cracked night off the ridged desert had rid den towards the dungy villages and the patches of sesame and the apricotgardens)
shaved off his beard in Damascus
and sat drinking hot milk and coffee in front of the hotel in Beirut staring at the white hulk of Ubanon. fum bling with letters piled on the table and clipped streamers of newsprint
addressed not to the unspeaker of arabic or the clumsy scramblerup on camelback so sore in the rump from riding
but to someone
(but this evening in the soft nightclimate of the Levantine coast the kind officials are contemplating further improvements
scarcelybathed he finds himself cast for a role provided with a white tie carefully tied by the viceconsul stuffed into a boiled shirt a tailcoat too small a pair of dresstrousers too large which the kind wife of the kind official gigglingly fastens in the back with safetypins which immediately burst open when he bows to the High Commissioner's lady faulty costuming makes the role of eminent explorer impossible to play and the patent leather pumps painfully squeezing the toes got lost under the table during the champagne and speeches)
who arriving in Manhattan finds waiting again the forsomebodyelsetailored dress suit
the position offered the opportunity presented the collarbutton digging into the adarnsapple while a wooden image croaks down a table at two rows of freshlypressed gentlemen who wear fashionably their tailored names
stuffed into shirts to caption miles lightyears of clipped streamers of newsprint
Gentlemen I apologize it was the wrong bell it was due to a misapprehension that I found myself on the stage when the curtain rose the poem I recited in a foreign language was not mine in fact it was somebody else who was speaking it's not me in uniform in the snapshot it's a lamentable error mistaken identity the servicerecord was lost the gentleman occupying the swivelchair wearing the red carnation is somebody else than
whoever it was who equipped with false whiskers was standing outside in the rainy street and has managed undetected to make himself scarce down a manhole
the pastyfaced young man wearing somebody else's readymade business opportunity is most assuredly not
the holder of any of the positions for which he made application at the unemployment agency