Plum Pudding eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 211 pages of information about Plum Pudding.
and benevolent quietness of the man at the bulletin board.  Bombarded with questions by the impatient and anxious crowd, with what pacific good nature he answered our doubts and querulities.  And yet how irritating was his calmness, his deliberation, the very placidity of his mien as he surveyed his clacking telautograph and leisurely took out his schoolroom eraser, rubbed off an inscription, then polished the board with a cloth, then looked for a piece of chalk and wrote in a fine curly hand some notation about a train from Cincinnati in which we were not at all interested.  Ah, here we are at last!  Train from Philadelphia!  Arriving on track Number—­; no, wrong again!  He only change 5 minutes late to 10 minutes late.  The crowd mutters and fumes.  The telautograph begins to stutter and we gaze at it feverishly.  It stops again and our dominie looks at it calmly.  He taps it gently with his finger.  We wonder, is it out of order?  Perhaps that train is already coming in and he doesn’t know it, and Amanda may be wandering lost somewhere in the vast vistas of the station looking for us.  Shall we dash up to the waiting room and have another look?  But Amanda does not know the station, and there are so many places where benches are put, and she might think one of those was the waiting room that had been mentioned.  And then there is this Daylight Saving time mix-up.  In a sudden panic we cannot figure out whether Philadelphia time is an hour ahead of New York time or an hour behind.  We told Amanda to take the one o’clock from Philadelphia.  Well, should she arrive here at two o’clock or at four?  It being now 5:10 by our time, what are we to do?  The telautograph clicks.  The priestly person slowly and gravely writes down that the Philadelphia train is arriving on Track 6.  There is a mad rush:  everyone dashes to the gate.  And here, coming up the stairs, is a coloured lady whose anxiously speculating eye must be the one we seek.  In the mutuality of our worry we recognize each other at once.  We seize her in triumph; in fact, we could have embraced her.  All our anguish is past.  Amanda is ours!

      [Illustration]

THOUGHTS IN THE SUBWAY

I

We hear people complain about the subway:  its brutal competitive struggle, its roaring fury and madness.  We think they have not sufficiently considered it.

Any experience shared daily and for a long time by a great many people comes to have a communal and social importance; it is desirable to fill it with meaning and see whether there may not be some beauty in it.  The task of civilization is not to be always looking wistfully back at a Good Time long ago, or always panting for a doubtful millennium to come; but to see the significance and secret of that which is around us.  And so we say, in full seriousness, that for one observer at any rate the subway is a great school of human study.  We will not say that it is an easy school:  it is no kindergarten; the curriculum is strenuous and wearying, and not always conducive to blithe cheer.

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Plum Pudding from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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