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Advice To A Son
by [?]

But two pretty young men, with real good clothes, and white, soft hands, had a great deal of fun over it, and every time the train would lurch and throw the poor girl’s jersey a little more out of plumb, they would jab each other in the ribs, and laugh very hearty. I felt sorry that I wasn’t young again, so that I could go over there and kick both of them. Henry, if I thought you would do a thing like that, or allow it done on the same block where you happened to be, I would give my estate to a charitable object, and refuse to recognize you in Paradise.

Just then an oldish man of a chunky build, and with an eye as black as the driven tomcat, reached through the crowded aisle with his umbrella and touched the girl. She looked around, and he told her to come and take his seat. As she squeezed through, and he rose to seat her, a large man with black whiskers gently dropped into the vacant seat with a sigh of relief, and began to read a two-year-old paper with much earnestness, just as if he hadn’t noticed the whole performance. The stout man was thunderstruck. He said:

“Excuse me, sir; I didn’t leave my seat.”

“Yes, you did,” says the black-whiskered pachyderm. “You can’t expect to keep a seat here and leave it too.”

“Well, but I rose to put this young lady in it, and I must ask you to be kind enough to let her have it.”

“Excuse me,” said the microbe, with a little chuckle of cussedness, “you will have to take your chances, and wait for a vacant seat, same as I did.”

That was all the conversation there was, but just then the short fat man ran his thumb down inside the shirt collar of the yellow fever germ, and jerked him so high that I could see the nails on the bottoms of his boots. Then, with the other hand, he socked the young lady into his seat, and took hold of a strap, where he hung on white and mad, but victorious.

After that there was a loud hurrah, and general enthusiasm and hand clapping, and cries of “Good!” “Good!” and in the midst of it the sporadic hog and the two refined young men got off the train.

As the black and white Poland swine went out the door I noticed that there was blood on the back of his neck, and later on I saw the short, stout old gentleman remove a large mole or birthmark, which he really had no use for, from under his thumb nail.

On a Harlem train, as they call it, I saw a drunken young man in one of the seats yesterday. He wasn’t noisy, but he felt pretty fair. Next to him was a real good young man, who seemed to feel his superiority a great deal. Very soon the car got jammed full, and an old lady, poorly dressed, but a mighty good, motherly old woman, I’ll bet a hundred dollars, got in. Her husband asked the good young man if he would kindly give his wife a seat. He did not apparently hear at all, but got all wrapped up in his paper, just as every man in a car does when he is ashamed of himself. But the inebriated young man heard, and so he said:

“Here, mister, take my seat for the old lady; any seat is good enough for me.” Whereupon he sat down in the lap of the good young man, and so remained till he got to his station.

This is a good town to study human nature in, Henry, and you would do well to come here before your vacation is over, just to see what kind of people the Lord allows to encumber the earth. It will show you how many human brutes there are loose in the world who don’t try any longer to appear decent when they think their identity is swallowed up in the multitude of a great city. There are just as selfish folks in the smaller towns, but they are afraid to give themselves up to it, because somebody in the crowd would be sure to recognize them. Here a man has the advantage of a perpetual nom de plume, and he is tempted to see how pusillanimous he can be even when he is just here on a visit. I’m going home next week, before I completely wreck my immortal soul.

I left your mother pretty comfortable at home, but I haven’t heard from her since I left.

Your father,