Mulany, John V. (ed.) / The Wisconsin literary magazine
Vol. V, No. 8 (May 1908)
Berkeley, F. C.
"Mr. W. H.", pp. 334-344
"MR. W. H." F. C. Serkeley The rain was pouring in runnels from the points of my um- brella as I splashed along East Fourteenth Street and aicross Stuyvesant Square. Now and then a puff of wind would wrench the umbrella almost out of my hand, spattering me with rain drops and sending a tiny chill stream down my collar. Such weather was an appropriate setting for a day of drudg- ery just over, and a lonely evening yet to come. This was Sat- urday night, at the end of my first week in a big New York "down-town" office, where I was attempting with frantic cheer- fulness to learn new ways and to keep down inconvenient mem- ories of home and the past summer. As for college and all its associations-these were receding into the past with such veloc- ity that I sometimes wondered whether I could ever have been, for four years, a participant in that happy life of "systematic leisure." With these and other cheerful reflections I climbed the stoop of my boarding house, No. 29, Stuyvesant Square. The two squares of blurred light that marked the drawing room windows seemed to promise some faint cheer. But the promise was not substantiated as, a moment later, I hung up my coat in the vestibule, and inhaled the stale odor of cooked food that per- meated the hall. Then I stumbled down stairs to my solitary meal at a small table in one end of the basement dining room. Steering past two stout old ladies, and successfully avoiding a negro with a full tray in high and precarious poise on his hand, I got into my seat before perceiving that this dinner was not to be a solitary one. I had a vis-a-vis, a little old gentleman who, with napkin tucked in the front of his coat, was with great nicety sipping his bouillon. I was instantly charmed with his face,-the most benevolent that I had ever seen. He was clean-shaven, except for that mild form of whisker known as 
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