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The New Fable Of The Wandering Boy And The Wayward Parent
by [?]

Once there was a story-book Stripling who uncoupled himself from a Yahoo Settlement and moseyed up to the Congested Crossings and the Electric Signs. In due time he returned, wearing Gloves and with his Teeth full of Gold.

Ever since that historic Example it has been the daily desire of the Yokel, staked down in a County Seat, to walk in on Judge Gary and form a Partnership.

It befell that after a High School Alumnus had gone to a Varsity and scaled the fearsome heights of Integral and Differential Calculus, he came home to get some more of Father’s Shirts and Handkerchiefs and take a new Slant at Life’s doubtful Vista, while getting his Board for nothing.

The Town of his Nativity did not occupy many Pages in the statistical Census Reports. In fact, all the travelling Troupers who had worked for K. and E. referred to it as a Lime, which is the same as a Lemon, only smaller.

The ambitious Bachelor of Arts had a lot of Geological Data and College Fraternity Lore stowed away under his Mortar-Board. His hopes were set on something more noble than a Chair and a Table and a Blotter in a dusty Office up the Stairway leading to Odd Fellows’ Hall.

So he resolved to hit the long Trail leading to a Modern Babylon where the Evening papers were on the Streets before Noon.

He figured that a Gazimbat with a John C. Calhoun Forehead and a lot of inside Dope on Hindoo Anthology could break into almost any Reservoir of Culture and bring home the Bacon.

Parents were dead willing to have him migrate and take his Tailor Bills with him, but they shivered with Dread when it came time to ship him to Gomorrah.

They knew all about the unbridled Deviltry of the City, having seen the large colored Illustrations in the Sunday Papers.

They had it on good Authority that the whole sub-stratum of Urban Existence was honeycombed with Rathskellers, while a Prominent Actress waited on almost every Corner, soliciting Travel on the Taxicab Route to the everlasting Coke Ovens.

While Elmer’s fragile Steamer Trunk was being hoisted into the Dray, all the Relations who had assisted in bringing him up by Hand clustered around the Melodeon and sang, “Oh, where is my Boy to-night?”

After the Day Coach had pulled away from the Depot, he opened the Shoe-Box to extract a Crull and found a Book written by T. DeWitt Talmage, in which many Passages were marked.

He arrived at Union Station with his Fingers crossed. He told himself that he would break into a Dog Trot every time Vice beckoned to him.

After he had hung up his Diploma and Razor Strop in the third-story Recess of a very naughty Beanery, he hunted up some of the dear old Pals with whom he had bunked in the Dorm.

They told him they would put him next to a lot of nice clean People.

He began to tremble, fearing that some one was about to offer him Champagne, but the Orgy to which they conducted him was merely a meeting of the Civic Purifiers in a basement underneath a Church.

He had not expected to find any Churches in the great wicked City. He thought each side of the Street would be built up solidly with Syndicate Theatres, Bacchanalian Bazaars, and Manicure Pitfalls.

Instead of finding Vice triumphant, he learned that it was being chased up an Alley by the entire Police Force and the Federation of Women’s Clubs.

He had the gift of Gab and a natural thirst for Tea, and the first thing he knew he had been drawn into so many Campaigns for Social Betterment that he had no time to hunt up conventional Temptations, such as the Welsh Rabbit or the Musical Comedy.

He found himself sitting next a new type of Lassie. She had no Heels on her Shoes, pronounced each Syllable distinctly, and believed that her Mission in Life was to carry Maeterlinck to the Masses.