**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!


A Guest At The Ludlow
by [?]

The time from 6:30 to breakfast is occupied by the average, or non-paying inmate, in doing the chamberwork and tidying up his state-room. I do not know how others feel about it, but I dislike chamberwork most heartily, especially when I am in jail. Nothing has done more to keep me out of jail, I guess, than the fact that while there I have to make up my bed and dust the piano.

Breakfast is generally table d’hote and consists of bread. A tin-cup of coffee takes the taste of the bread out of your mouth, and then if you have some Limburger cheese in your pocket you can with that remove the taste of the coffee.

Dinner is served at 12 o’clock, and consists of more bread with soup. This soup has everything in it except nourishment. The bead on this soup is noticeable for quite a distance. It is disagreeable. Several days ago I heard that the Mayor was in the soup, but I didn’t realize it before. I thought it was a newspaper yarn. There is everything in this soup, from shop-worn rice up to neat’s-foot oil. Once I thought I detected cuisine in it.

The dinner menu is changed on Fridays, Sundays and Thursdays, on which days you get the soup first and the bread afterwards. In this way the bread is saved.

Three days in a week each man gets at dinner a potato containing a thousand-legged worm. At 6 o’clock comes supper with toast and responses. Bread is served at supper time, together with a cup of tea. To those who dislike bread and never eat soup, or do not drink tea or coffee, life at Ludlow Street Jail is indeed irksome.

I asked for kumiss and a pony of Benedictine, as my stone boudoir made me feel rocky, but it has not yet been sent up.

Somehow, while here, I can not forget poor old man Dorrit, the Master of the Marshalsea, and how the Debtors’ Prison preyed upon his mind till he didn’t enjoy anything except to stand off and admire himself. Ludlow Street Jail is a good deal like it in many ways, and I can see how in time the canker of unrest and the bitter memories of those who did us wrong but who are basking in the bright and bracing air, while we, to meet their obligations, sacrifice our money, our health and at last our minds, would kill hope and ambition.

In a few weeks I believe I should also get a preying on my mind. That is about the last thing I would think of preying on, but a man must eat something.

Before closing this brief and incomplete account as a guest at Ludlow Street Jail I ought, in justice to my family, to say, perhaps, that I came down this morning to see a friend of mine who is here because he refuses to pay alimony to his recreant and morbidly sociable wife. He says he is quite content to stay here, so long as his wife is on the outside. He is writing a small ready-reference book on his side of the great problem, “Is Marriage a Failure?”

With this I shake him by the hand and in a moment the big iron storm-door clangs behind me, the big lock clicks in its hoarse, black throat and I welcome even the air of Ludlow street so long as the blue sky is above it.