Now and then a play, straight from "a triumphant year on Broadway" came to town for one night; then Martin took his wife, and they bowed to half the men and women in the house, lamenting as they streamed out into the sharp night air that Red Creek did not see more such productions.
That night Ralph boarded the steamer for Hull, and three weeks later landed in New York. The first three months of Ralph's sojourn in America were spent in vain attempts to obtain a situation. Day after day he walked down Broadway, calling at various places of business and night after night he returned to his cheerless room with a faint heart and declining spirits.
In the mean time he plunged again into the thick of the anti-slavery agitation. We find him lecturing in May in the Broadway Tabernacle, New York, and writing letters to the anti-slavery papers. In June he was elected president of the New England Anti-slavery Convention. In August and September he went on a lecturing tour with Garrison and others through Pennsylvania and Ohio.
So, having bestowed his mischievous advice, Berkley strolled on down Broadway, his destination being the offices of Craig and Son, City and Country Real Estate, where he had a desk to himself, a client or two in prospect, and considerable leisure to study the street, gas, and sewer maps of New York City.
The main business street was called Broadway, and the curb on either side was hidden by lines of cars drawn up slantwise at an angle of ninety. No farmer wagons.
It was a maelstrom that caught her up, and buffeted her about, and tossed her helplessly this way and that. The corner of Broadway and Forty-second streets has been exploited in song and story as the world's most hazardous human whirlpool. I've negotiated that corner. I've braved the square in front of the American Express Company's office in Paris, June, before the War.
"What car?" the woman trumpeted, gazing down serenely into Claire's little wet, anxious, upturned face at her elbow. "Columbus Avenue." The stranger nodded, peering down the glistening, wet way, as if she were a skipper sighting a ship. "My car, too! First's Lexin'ton next Broadway then here's ours!"
Astor lost in consequence the entire profits of the voyage, not less than the sum previously named. Meeting the captain some time after in Broadway, he said: "'I had better have paid for that chronometer of yours," Yet he could do a kind act when he was in the humor. When he was poor and struggling for fortune, he had a friend in the city named Pell, a coachmaker.
And indeed the traveling man might well wonder at the change a few years had brought to this city in the great coal fields of the middle west. In place of the saloons that once lined the east side of Broadway and the principal streets leading to it, there were substantial buildings and respectable business firms.
Two Irishmen, Pat and Mike, were walking along Broadway, and one said to the other, 'Begorrah, the race is not always to the swift, and the other replied, 'Faith and begob, education is a drawing out, not a putting in." I must say it seemed to me the rottenest story I had ever heard, and I was surprised that Jeeves should have considered it worth while shoving into a speech.