40 A Fakir. By McGovern, John

Three keen ‘thin ones of the wolf tribe,’ ready for the day’s work.

Spectacles over that sharpest pair of eyes; a hat carefully battered. Blacking to sell.

The capper on the left; the back-capper on the right. Boys to make the beginnings of a crowd.

If I be greedy, seeking for whom I may devour, let me pass quickly by this innocent three, this artful trio. They are not there to get rich buying blacking from one another.

But if I love my neighbor as myself I may approach. I may purchase a box of this wonderful product. I may speak without danger. They will show me their shell-game; they may set to work like beavers with their cap and their backcap, exciting my supposed desire to rob them. But I have no such desire.

How sharp, how keen, how thin! Ages of piracy behind them! Hereditary genius of robbery! The lean one at the left, how clumsily he gives, but you should see how deftly he would take!

Into this world is born every minute a greedy fellow who believes he could outwit these sinuous, clean-cut neat fakirs at their own games. Here comes one even now! Make way, boys; let the gentleman see this blacking! Ah, yes, five cents out of five dollars! Are they not generous to give him a genuine nickel with his four dollars and ninety cents of queer money!

Do I dislike these birds of prev? Ah, you ask a hard question! See yon eagle hovering between the crest of the mountain and the crag of cloud! There is a goosy-gander in the valley, planning the fall of Aquila, and Aquila, the eagle, has his unflinching eye fixed on something white and long-throated down below!

Dieses Kapitel ist Teil des Buches STREET TYPES GREAT AMERICAN CITIES