48 Rushing the Growler. By Ritchie, John

Round-eyed and smiling expectancy never had a better illustration than that which is furnished by the accompanying picture of the toiler bearing a loaded “growler.” One can almost see his internal arrangements yearning in anticipation. As plainly as facial expression may be interpreted, he is remarking to himself: “This ‘ere richness is outside of me now, but you just wait! - Yum, yum!“ and his teeth close in a tighter grip on the briar-wood pipe, while his disengaged fist is doubled in sympathy with the hand that clutches the bail of the precious can.

The “growler” is a cosmopolitan vessel, and it is rushed in every language that finds a roostingplace in America. It is the poor man’s sideboard. Broad-clothed and silk-hatted sybarites may find pleasure in taking theirs over the polished mahogany, but the horny-fisted citizen will have none of that; he takes his “straight” out of the growler.

Every saloon is a center to which, through the day and evening, flow streams of empty pitchers and cans, and from which radiate the same, filled to the battered rim with cool amber liquid, surmounted by a white crown of yeasty foam, tempting one to bury his nose in the sea of bubbles and let the mellow j uice glide down his gullet in long gurgling draught, while the overflow runs down his beard, even as it ran down the beard of old Gambrinus.

In another view, the “growler” is a tiger with a maw ever open for the reception of nickels and dimes, and were he not fed so faithfully, it is barely possible the children of the poor might receive a trifle more of education, their red feet might not show quite so plainly through their ragged foot-gear, the inroads of diphtheria and fevers might be better guarded against, and there might not be so large a crop of earthen hillocks in the Paupers’ Corner of the cemetery. But one Malthus had a serious thought of weeding out the race, and perhaps we are reaching his conclusions by other methods.

Dieses Kapitel ist Teil des Buches STREET TYPES GREAT AMERICAN CITIES