While they were going and as they sat in the clean little back room of Kelly's well ordered and select corner saloon, Clara gave her all the news she had gathered in an afternoon of visits among their acquaintances how, because of a neighborhood complaint, there was to be a fake raid on Gussie's opium joint at midnight; that Mazie had caught a frightful fever; and that Nettie was dying in Governeur of the stab in the stomach her lover had given her at a ball three nights before; that the police had raised the tariff for sporting houses, and would collect seventy-five and a hundred a month protection money where the charge had been twenty-five and fifty the plea was that the reformers, just elected and hoping for one term only, were compelling a larger fund from vice than the old steady year-in-and-year-out ruling crowd.

Please tell me, will you, if a really victorious life is possible to me; I mean a day-by-day, year-in-and-year-out experience? I have so much of struggle and battle in my life that a life of constant victory seems a vague, faraway dream.

"We was going to do entirely without a Christmas this year. Entirely without," Mis' Bates rehearsed. "Was we going to do entirely without everyday, week-day, year-in-and-year-out milk of human kindness?" Mis' Winslow demanded. "Well, then, let's us use a little of it, same as we would on a Monday wash day." No voice was raised in real protest.