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Page 63 text:
downtrodden working girls of whom so much has been written. When they came to work in the morning, they romped up the stairs with all the freshness and vivacity of school girls, and if one or two appeared tired on going home at night, it was probabh because of too much talking rather than too much work. Their attitude toward the forelady was. indeed, of much the same hostile respect and secret defiance that school girls show their teachers. And to get a "bawling out from the old man" was quite equivalent to “being sent to the office" at school. These girls were superstitious and rather ignorant in many things, hut they had the ability of knowing how to speak confidently and fluently on any subject which might arise. In other respects they were merely school girls at work.
It might be well to say at this time that we occupied two floors of a factory building and that we were engaged in making overalls. s there were so few of us we all knew each other, and could argue and quarrel and otherwise enjoy ourselves, and still turn put overalls without much loss of am thing except breath. The blame was easy to shift and it was passed along from one to another as gingerly as a hot coal. If the President swooped in upon me to And why a certain order had not been shipped I would toss the hot coal in the direction of the stock girls who hadn’t put up the order in time. They, of course, could claim that they had had to wait for the Stitching Department to finish enough overalls: and that department had not received the cloth from the Cutting Department; and the Cutting Department had hail to wait for the cloth to come from the manufacturers. In this way the coal was constantly being passed around and it seldom stopped in one place, though all of us had our lingers scorched.
The Vice-President and his girl assistant, who constituted the Cutting Department, started the overalls on their way to completion by spreading about twelve dozen double layers of overall cloth, one upon the other, for the entire length of a long table. The top layer was marked with chalk traced over patterns, and the different divisions of the overalls were carved out over these lines by an electric machine which cut the entire lot at one time. Tin different parts were removed to the Stitching Department, where they were sevVcd together b different machines. The buttons and suspenders were then attached, and the finished product inspected, folded, and placed in stock on the racks. The stock girls, when not too occupied in nlaving hide and seek or discussing last night’s dance, filled out order slios from the office and prepared the overalls for shipment bv tying them in bundles of a dozen. The completed order was packed, by pounding, jumping, or pleading, in a wooden case
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to niter into a discussion of it. Let it suffice to say that in this, the fourth year of the war. it is more clearly than ever recognized that the real issue at stake is the ideal of democracy.
In short, the giant task of tomorrow, which will fall to all of us who survive the enormous tasks of today is the move forward from secret diplomacy to democratic control over foreign affairs; from disregard for the rights of small nations to a full recognition and protection of their rights: and what is most important, from autocracy to democracy.
These must he the results of the war in order that it may not have been fought in vain. To establish these results firmly and permanently w ill call for all the capacities and activities of which we are capable. Rut there is great hope, for may not the world, fighting itself free from the shackles of the past, he compared with Milton’s vision of a great commonwealth?
—"Methinks I see in my mind a noble and puissant nation, rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invisible locks. Methinks I see her as an eagle mewing her mighty youth and kindling her undaz .led eye at the full midday beam, purging and unsealing her long-abused eyesight at the fountain itself of heavenly radiance." C. 14. P.
Ibis is to he a rewritten theme because the original bad too much of facts and too little of fancy. In this effort the facts and fancies will be left to race it out between themselves, and mat tin-devil take the hindmost.
In giving the facts about a factory it would probably be best to start at the top of the ladder and work down. At the top of this particular ladder were perched a short, thin, nervous Jew who smoked cigarettes, and a shorter, fat. contented Jew who smoked a pipe. The first was the President; he worked in the factory. The President had freer use »»i bis hands and so did most of the talking. The third high man was a short, erect, little worker who had been everything from lumberjack to photographer, and w ho. through his widespread knowledge, was the handiest man about the place. His title would probably be Expert Repairer. The fourth and last high man in the factory enjoyed the title of Shipping Clerk but be did, or was supposed to do everything that any of the other three could think up. Needless to say, I was the Shipping Clerk. There were also two office girls who were engaged mostly in trying to appear hard at work. The rest of our force consisted of about sixty girls under the guidance of a foreladv. They were far from being the
Page 64 text:
lined with paper. The dray men were then called to haul it to the railroad. I hese men usually arrived at the last minute before train time, and with the self confidence inspired on!) by the ability to back up their statements with a wide splotch of tobacco juice, succeeded in placing the blame on either the office, the factory, the elevator. «»r the overalls as they saw tit.
With departure of the drav men comes the end of the Theme, had and Fancy have run their race and stand, panting aim steaming, ready to hear the result. Hut in the stand sits a solitary figure who also pants and steams. He is the Promoter of the race. Hut one question worries him as he watches for the decision of the judge. He is not concerned with the outcome of the race. Me bothers not at all with the condition of the runners. He merely asks in a voice hoarse with emotion. "Will the race have to he run again ?”
The judge smiles grindv and prepares to give the verdict.
THE CRUSADERS OF PEACE.
The Honorable Solomon Distiller: Apostle «»f Bagiev and Chair-
man of Peace Campaign Committee.
Mr. Rufus Yarnspin: Professor of Literature and fiood Cheer.
Prof. D'Angcll: Professor of Psychology and Pedology.
Mr. Mutch Nccduv Reformer Student of European History ami Chronicler of the Expedition.
Mr. Pcrcival Birdlore: Professor of Biology and Animal Surgery.
Miss Emtee Grateful: Professor of Expression and Impression.
Miss Trcbelle Cleffe: Professor of Music and Mesmerism.
Plot: Representatives of Eau Claire Normal School Faculty on peace expedition to Berlin.
fhe upper deck of the good ship Normalian nearing the submarine zone.
I he Hon. Solomon Distiller. Rufus Yarnspin. Pcrcival Hirdlprc. and Miss Trcbelle Cleffe all occupying steamer chairs lined up beside the railing. Distiller always seen with a eop of Bagley’s Classroom Management under his arm, Rufus Yarnspin carrying a sack of lemons. Pcrcival Birdlore a camera.
Distiller (decidedly): Now folks, we’ve got to get down to
work—Come, come now, get busy------.
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