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Underwood, Walter S. (ed.) / The Wisconsin literary magazine
Vol. IV, No. 1 (October 1906)

Smith, Pinkney
One of the unfit,   pp. 13-21


Page 13

ONE OF THE UNFIT.
               ONE OF THE UNFIT.
                     BY PINKNEY SMrrH.
    "When we reach the Arctic regions, or snow-capped sum-
 mits or absolute deserts, the struggle for life is almost exclu-
 sively with the elements. "-Darwin.
   The Wheelans called that window their " bay winder." It
 was just a common wall window, though, and had two of its
 panes pieced together with rags and paste. But from it a lit-
 tle patch of the bay could be seen through the drifting smoke
 from the shipping and the ferryboats that came and went ev-
 ery fifteen minutes between San Francisco and Oakland. The
 smoke could not hide glimpses of the vessels that passed there
 all day. There were numerous fishing boats and small non-
 descript craft, and occasionally there would pass a tall-masted
 ship or a big ocean steamer just come through the Golden
 Gate from a long voyage to Japan, the Philippines, or China
 perhaps. It was Mace's favorite window of the three that
 lighted the Wheelan sitting-room, dining-room and parlor-
 which, after all, were but one room.
 This evening the smoke was blowing seaward and left an
 open view. The white-crested waves were touched with the
 gold of the April sun as it sank behind the Golden Gate.
 The fishing boats were coming in from the upper bay with the
 pulsing folds of their white sails catching the slanting rays of
 sunlight and shaking them off again in sparkling brightness
 over the water. It was Mace's favorite hour to watch at the
 "bay winder," but this evening he went over to one of the
 south windows instead and watched the passers on the street
 below.  He had been acting clerk all afternoon in his father's
 little grocery, and he was tired. Not that there was so much
to do, only to wait on a workman's wife or to give a passer-
13


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