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miraculously revealed to me as though I find it, that of itself being romance of no had been Haroun-el-Raschid? Had I mean order. By the merest chance I not merely entered an unpromising tele had been present, yet invisible, at an phone booth in the neighborhood and intimate loveliness between two hearts found myself straightway where I had calling to each other perfectly across wished to be? Have you need of a wand, space. of a wishing ring? Who would demand And the ham and the chicken! Were a flying sofa, or exact a cap of Fortu- they not a ham and a chicken of very natus?

romance? And she timid and able to Then the voice again:

cook only the simpler of these two (Ah, “Well, dearest, let's decide about the you see he was no utilitarian! He had dinner now. Shall we? ... Yes, I really married her for love, not for practicaldo. . . . No—I don't think a ham would ity!), and he willing, valiantly, to atbe suitable. I'll tell you, my darling. tempt cooking the bird himself! ChristI'll stop at the butcher's and I'll bring mas cheer! bread stuffing, and all! And home a chicken!" (A chicken, oh, a the troubled anticipation of the arid old chicken!) “Yes, I know. They aunt, sitting like a spiteful fairy at their cost a good deal-but of course we can Christmas dinner board. But supper for Christmas! ... Oh, well, I'm sure alone! Mark you that! And their love, I'd know how to cook it. ... No, it all the while, soaring, like a soaring, wouldn't do to boil it. The thing you singing lark! do is just to make some bread stuffing Then I heard his voice again: with a little onion!” (Oh! oh, bread “Yes, I will.” (Some commission, no stuffing with a little onion! The blessed doubt; or was it renewed warning that souls!). “Oh yes!... Precious!" he he must bring home a dressed chicken, laughed. “Dressed, of course! Without undressed of its feathers!)... "No the feathers! . . Nonsense, precious; of course! Not for a minute!. Yes. don't worry! ... Well, never mind. .. No, my soul! ... Yes. No, She'd be critical anyway! She's like I won't be long!... No, dear!... Yes. that. She can't help it. ... Yes. . . Good-by. . . . A little chicken! Well, No–I don't think so. But promise me, not too little. Maybe three pounds. my darling, that you won't worry! It . . Yes, my precious, I will. ... Yes will be all right! Besides-my beloved soon! Good-by, dearest!" (The voice do you love me?"

lingered; impossible to give an idea of It was as though, suddenly, Aunt its quality or its devotion.) . . . “Yes, Arabel, chicken, bread stuffing, hams, dearest!" nothing in the world mattered but this. Not Venice, not Maggiore, not Lu

I raised a reluctant hand to move the gano, nor dawn upon the Matterhorn! receiver hook. It began to seem to me I should have sought, you see, in humthat my legitimate rights ended here.

bler places. Then I heard his voice, a little pleading, I turned to watch him go, with that further:

fine, free, swinging step of his. I saw “Oh yes, I do! . . . All the time! his shoulder as he began to come out of I'd give the world! . . . Oh, you know the booth. He was not wearing his I do! ... You know I do! ... No! tweeds to-day. Then, miraculously, he No!... Never! ... No.... Most changed, under my very eye, and there precious!”

emerged under my expectant gazehis I stood as one hypnotized. I knew face shining beautifully with an afterneither their names nor where they lived. glow of inexpressible happiness—not the I only knew that I, who bad been so long tall, beautiful young man, but the Penseeking romance, had come upon it guin-the little tailor! And I knew sudmiraculously where I least looked to denly that I really had found romance!





THAT goes on behind the scenes “Can you fix salads?”

“Sure!” poked around till I discovered the em “You think you could do the job?” ployment-office entrance of one of New

Sure!" York's biggest and newest hotels. There “Well, you look as if you could. had been no “ad.” in the Sunday paper Never mind the letter, but get one to which would give a hint that any hotel have by you-comes in handy any job needed additional help. We took our you want. Now about pay—I can't pay chances. Some twenty men waited in a you what you been used to getting, at little hallway, two women inside the lit least not the first month." (I'd mentle office. Both wanted chamber work. tioned nothing as to wages.) “Second The employment man spied me. month maybe more. First month all I “What do you want?"

can pay you is fifty and your meals. “A job.”

That all right?” “What kind of a job?"

As usual, my joy at landing a job "Anything but bein' chambermaid." was such that any recompense was

“What experience have you had in acceptable. hotel work?"

“Be back in two hours." “None, but lots in private homes. I'd I was back before my two hours were like a job around the kitchen some up, anxious to begin. In a corner of place.”

the main kitchen the steward turned “Ever try pantry work?”

me over to Bridget, who was to take “Not in a hotel, but lots in private me here, there, and the other place. By families. I can do that swell!" (What 11.30 A.M., I was back where I started pantry work meant I hadn't the least from, only, thanks to aged Bridget and idea — perhaps washing glasses and her none too sure leadings, I was clad silverware.)

in a white cap

and white all-over apronHe put on his coat and hat and dashed dress, and had had my lunch. Thereupstairs. He always put on his coat upon the steward escorted me to my own and hat to go upstairs. In a few mo special corner of the world, where, inments he dashed hurriedly back, fol- deed, I was to be monarch of all I surlowed by another man who, I learned veyed-provided my gaze fell not too afterward, was an important steward. far afield.

He asked me all over again all the That particular corner was down one questions the first man had asked, and short flight of stairs from the main many more. He was in despair and im- kitchen into a hustling, bustling, small patient when he found I had not a single and compact, often crowded, place where letter of recommendation from a single were prepared the breakfasts, lunches, private family I had worked for. I could and dinners of those who placed more have written myself an excellent one in importance on hurry and less on style a few moments. ald I bring a letter than the patrons of the main dining back later in the day?

rooms. Our café fed more persons in a

day than the other dining rooms com In the front corner just next the bined. Outside we could seat 'five hun toaster stood the tray of bread sliced dred at a time, sixty-five at marble ready to toast, crusts off for dry or butcounters, the rest at small tables. But tered toast, crusts on for “club,” very our kitchen quarters could have been thin slices for “toast Melba.” Directly put in one corner of the spacious, airy in front, and next the bread tray, came upstairs main kitchen.

the tray filled with little piles of graham Through the bustle of scurrying and and milk crackers, seven in a pile. What ordering waiters I was led to a small, an amazing number of folk order graham shelved-off compartment. Here I was or milk crackers in a café! It seems unto earn my fifty dollars a month from believable to one who has always looked 1.30 P.m. to 9 F.M. daily except Sunday, upon a place furnishing eatables outside with one-half hour off for supper. I was a home as a chance to order somewhat entitled to eat my breakfast and lunch indigestible food prepared entirely difat the hotel as well.

ferently from what any home could acThis first day I was to watch for complish. Yet I know it to be a fact some two hours the girl I was to relieve that people seat themselves at a table or at 1.30. Her hours were from 6 in the a counter in a more or less stylish café morning to 1.30, which meant she got and order things like prunes or rhubarb the brunt of the hard work—all of the and graham or milk crackers, and perbreakfast and most of the lunch rush. haps top off, if they forget themselves so To me fell the tail end of the lunch rush far, with a shredded-wheat biscuit. —up to about 2.15, and dinner, which Just above the counter holding the only occasionally could be spoken of as bread and crackers was the counter on “rush” at all.

which were placed the filled orders for By the time 11.30 came around, I the waiters to whisk away. It was but knew what I had to do and could be left a step from there to my ice box. The to my own devices. To the pantry girl orders it was my business to fill were of our café fell various and sundry small for blackberries, blueberries, prunes, jobs. But the end and aim of her life sliced oranges, rhubarb, grapefruit, had to be speed.

whole oranges, apples, sliced peaches To the left of my little doorway was a and bananas, muskmelons, four kinds of small, deep sink. Directly next to the cheese. All of these pretty well filled the sink was a very large ice chest. On the upper half of the ice chest, if you counted side of the ice chest next the sink hung the finished salads I kept just ahead on, the four soft-boiled egg machines—those say three of each-lettuce and tomato, fascinating contrivances in which one hearts of lettuce, plain lettuce, and sliced deposited the eggs, set the notch at two, tomatoes. In the lower half stood the three, four minutes, according to the pitchers of orange and grape juice, jams desires of the hurried guest without, and jellies for omelettes to be made down sank the cup-shaped container in the the line, olives, celery, lettuce, cucumboiling water, and never gave the matter bers, a small tub of oranges, and a large another thought. At the allotted mo bowl of sliced lemons. The lemons, ment the eggs were hoisted as if by lemons, lemons, I had daily to slice to magic from out their boilings. The sink complete the ice-tea orders! I had also and the protruding ice chest filled the to keep on hand a bowl of American entire left side of my small inclosure. cheese cut the proper size to accompany Along the entire right and front was a pie, toast, and soft - boiled eggs and wide work-shelf. On this shelf at the crackers, and a crock of French dressing right stood the electric toasting machine set in ice. Such was my kingdom, and I which during busy hours had to be kept ruled alone. going full blast.

During slack hours it was easy, too

easy. In rush hours you had to keep ish, South American, French, Austrian, your head. Six waiters might breeze by who filled hot orders; fryers they were, in a line not one second apart, each call and broilers, and roasters, and such like. ing an order, “Half a cantaloupe!" Turn the corner and there opposite the “Two orders of buttered toast!” “Com Bon Chef and me were first the two bination salad!” (that meant romaine cashiers, then my special friends, the and lettuce leaves, shredded celery, Spanish dessert man and the Greek sliced cucumbers, quartered tomatoes, coffee and tea man. That is, they were green pepper, watercress, which always the main occupants of their long comhad to be made up fresh-none waiting partment, but during the lunch rush at in the ice chest); “Sliced peaches!” least six men worked there. Counting (they could never be sliced in advance); the chore persons of various sorts and “One order orange juice!” “Toast for not counting waiters, we had some club!" Then how one's fingers sped! thirty-eight working in or for our café

Between 2 and 2.30 the rush sub all men but the two fat Porto-Rican sided, and that first day I caught my glass washers and me. breath and took time to note the lay of Bridget, the dear old soul, came down the land.

that first afternoon to see how I was getMy compartment came first, directly ting along. I had cleaned up spick and next the dishes. Next me was a won span after the Spanish woman-and a derful chef with his white cap set on at mess she always managed to leave. The just the chef angle. He was an artist, water was out of the egg-boiling machine with a youngster about fifteen as his and that all polished up; the heat turned assistant. Some day that youngster will off in the toasting machine and that be a more wonderful chef than his mas wiped off; lemons sliced; celery “Juliter and more of an artist. His master, etted”; and I was peeling a tubful of I found out in my slack hours that first oranges in the way the steward showed afternoon, was French, with little Eng me, to be sliced by Spanish Mary for lish at his command, though six years in breakfast next morning. this country. I know less French than It was plain to see that down our way he does English, but we got to be good everybody's work eased up between 3.30 friends over the low partition which and 5. Then everyone visited one anseparated us. There was nothing im- other, exchanged newspapers, gossiped pertinent about him.

over counters. We changed stewards at gratitude for that by coming over in the 3. Kelly, the easy-going, jovial (except afternoon and helping him slice hot pota at times) Irishman, took himself off, and toes for potato salad while my floor got Schmitz, a narrow-shouldered, small, perwashed. Every day I made him a bow nickety German-Jew came on for the rest and said, “Bon jour, Monsieur le Bon of my time. Chef," which may be no French at all. At five minutes to five Schmitz graAnd every day he made me a bow back ciously told me I might go up to my and said, “Bon jour" something or supper, though the law in the statute other, which I could tell was nice and books stood five. Everybody upstairs respectful, but I can't write it down. in the main kitchen, as I made my way Monsieur le Bon Chef made splendid to the service elevator, spoke kindly and cold works of art in jellies, and-salads asked, in the accents of at least ten difwhich belonged to another realm than ferent nationalities, how I liked my job. my poor tomatoes and lettuce. Also he Hotel folk, male and female, are indeed and his assistant–the assistant was a friendly lot. Spanish-made wonder-sandwiches. There are, it seems, class distinctions

At the left of the stairs were five chefs among hotel help. The chefs eat in a of as many nationalities-Italian, Span- dining room of their own. Then, ap

I showed my

parently next in line, came our dining ing I appeared, was that she was not room. I, as pantry girl, ranked a “sec clean enough. At first, a year and a half ond officer.” We had round tables seat ago, she was cleanly and upright--that ing from eight to ten at a table, table is, he spoke of such uprightness as incloths, and cafeteria-style of getting variably follows cleanliness. But as time one's food. The chefs were waited upon. wore on her habits of cleanliness wore In our dining room ate the bell boys, off, and there were undoubtedly corners parlor maids, laundry workers, seam in the ice box where her waning-instresses, housekeepers, hotel guards and enthusiasm fingers failed to reach. But police, the employment man, pantry on a night when the New York thermomgirls. To reach our dining room we had eter ranges up toward the nineties it is to pass the large room where the cham a pure and unadulterated joy to labor bermaids ate. They had long bare inside an ice box. I scrubbed and rinsed tables, no cloths, and sat at benches and wiped until Schmitz almost looked without backs.

approving. Only it was congenital with As to food, our dining room but re Schmitz that he never really showed apflected the state of mind


every proval of anything or anybody. Schmitz hotel dining room reflects, from the most was the kind who always had to change begilded and bemirrored down. Some everything just a little. There would thought the food good, some thought it echo down the line an order, “One Swiss awful, some thought nothing about it at cheese, little one" (that referred to me, all, but just sat and ate. One thing at not the cheese). Schmitz would stroll least was certain—there was enough. over from where he was trying to keep For dinner there was always soup, two busy watching everyone at once, enter kinds of meat, potatoes, vegetables, des the very confines of my compartment, sert, ice tea, milk, or coffee. For

supper and stand over me while I sliced that there was soup again, meat or fish, po Swiss cheese. It was always either too tatoes, a salad, and dessert, and the big, in which case he took the knife from same variety of drinkables to choose my hands and sliced off one-sixteenth of from.

an inch on one end; or too small, in From 6 to 7.30 was the height of the which case Schmitz would endeavor to supper rush. What a variable thing our slice a new piece altogether. The chances patrons made of it!

Some evenings were it would end in being even smaller there would be a regular run on celery than the slice I cut.

In that case, salads, then for four nights not a single Schmitz would say, “Let it go, anyway. order. Camembert cheese would reign But for all that Schmitz deigned not supreme three nights in succession-not to allow it to be known that


scrubanother order for the rest of the week. bings found favor in his sight, my own Sometimes it seemed as if the whole of soul approved of me. The shelves and creation sat without, panting for sliced the sink I scrubbed. Then every perishtomatoes. The next night stocked up in able article in my ice chest or elsewhere advance so as to keep no one waiting- got placed upon trays to go upstairs. By not a human being looked at a tomato. this time it was two minutes to nine.

At eight o'clock only stragglers re Schmitz, always with his hands clasped mained to be fed, and my job was to clear behind him, except when he was doing out the ice chest of all but two of each over everything I did, said, “You can go order, send the rest upstairs to the main kitchen, and then start scrubbing house. Upstairs among the lockers on the Schmitz let it be known that one of the third floor the temperature was like that failings of her whose place I was now of a live volcano, only nothing showed filling, who had been asked to leave the any signs of exploding. Fat women who Friday night before the Monday morn could speak little or no English were here

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