With a screaming of brakes, the elevated train on which I happened
to be jerked to a stop, and passengers intending to disembark were
catapulted toward the doorways - a convenience supplied gratis by
all elevated roads, which, I have observed, is generally overlooked
by their patrons. I crammed the morning paper into my overcoat
pocket, fell in with the outrushing current of humanity, and was
straightway swept upon the platform, pinched through the revolving
gates, and hustled down the covered iron stairway to the street.
Here the current broke up and diffused, like the current of a river
where it empties into the sea. This was the first wave of the daily
townward tide - clerks, shop-girls, and stenographers, for the most
part intent upon bread and butter in futuro. The jostling and
crowding was like an old story to me; I went through the ordeal
each morning with an indifference and abstraction born of long
custom. The time of the year was January, the year itself 1892. A
clear, cold air with just enough frost in it to stir sluggish
blood, induced one to walk briskly. It was still too early in the
day for the usual down-town crowd, and I proceeded as fast as I
wanted to, allowing my thoughts to dwell undisturbed on the big
news topic of the day, which I had just been reading. And so I did,
as I strode along, with the concern of one whose interest is
remote, yet in a way affected. ...] Reprint of the detective novel,
originally published in 1910.
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