And then outside the cafe the comparative stillness of the early morning was punctured by faint, uncertain cries that seemed mere fireflies of sound, some growing louder, some fainter, waxing and waning amid the rumble of milk wagons and infrequent cars. Shrill cries they were when near—well-known cries that conveyed many meanings to the ears of those of the slumbering millions of the great city who waked to hear them. Cries that bore upon their significant, small volume the weight of a world’s woe and laughter and delight and stress. To some, cowering beneath the protection of a night’s ephemeral cover, they brought news of the hideous, bright day; to others, wrapped in happy sleep, they announced a morning that would dawn blacker than sable night. To many of the rich they brought a besom to sweep away what had been theirs while the stars shone; to the poor they brought—another day.
All over the city the cries were starting up, keen and sonorous, heralding the chances that the slipping of one cogwheel in the machinery of time had made; apportioning to the sleepers while they lay at the mercy of fate, the vengeance, profit, grief, reward and doom that the new figure in the calendar had brought them. Shrill and yet plaintive were the cries, as if the young voices grieved that so much evil and so little good was in their irresponsible hands. Thus echoed in the streets of the helpless city the transmission of the latest decrees of the gods, the cries of the newsboys—the Clarion Call of the Press.
Woods flipped a dime to the waiter, and said: “Get me a Morning Mars.”
When the paper came he glanced at its first page, and then tore a leaf out of his memorandum book and began to write on it with the little gold pencil.
“What’s the news?” yawned Kernan.
Woods flipped over to him the piece of writing:
“The New York Morning Mars:
“Please pay to the order of
John Kernan the one thousand
dollars reward coming to me for his arrest and conviction.
“I kind of thought they would do that,” said Woods, “when you were jollying them so hard. Now, Johnny, you’ll come to the police station with me.”
EXTRADITED FROM BOHEMIA
From near the village of Harmony, at the foot of the Green Mountains, came Miss Medora Martin to New York with her color-box and easel.
Miss Medora resembled the rose which the autumnal frosts had spared the longest of all her sister blossoms. In Harmony, when she started alone to the wicked city to study art, they said she was a mad, reckless, headstrong girl. In New York, when she first took her seat at a West Side boardinghouse table, the boarders asked: “Who is the nice-looking old maid?”