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HOME > Biographical > A Book About Myself > CHAPTER XXIV
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 From now on, because of this companionship, my life in St. Louis took on a much more cheerful aspect. Hitherto, in spite of my work and my natural interest in a strange city, I had had intensely gloomy moments. My favorite pastime, when I was not out on an assignment or otherwise busy, was to walk the streets and view the lives and activities of others, not thinking so much how I might advantage myself and my affairs as how, for some, the lightning of chance was always striking in somewhere and disrupting plans, leaving destruction and death in its wake, for others luck or fortune. I never was blinded to the gross favoritism practiced by nature, and this I resented largely, it may be, because it was not, or I thought it was not, practiced in my behalf. Later in life I began to suspect that a gross favoritism, in regard to certain things at least, was being practiced in my behalf. I was never without friends, never without some one to do me a good turn at a critical moment, never without love and the sacrifice of beauty on the part of some one in my behalf, never without a certain amount of applause or repute. Was I of it? I knew I was not and I felt that the powers that make and control life did not care two whether I was or not.  
Life, as I had seen and felt from my earliest thinking period, used people, sometimes to their advantage, sometimes not. Occasionally, as I could see, I was used to my advantage as well as to that of some one or something else. Occasionally I was used, as I thought, to my disadvantage. Now and then when I imagined I was being used most disadvantageously it was not so at all, as when for a period I found myself unable to write and so compelled to turn to other things—a turning which resulted in better material later on. At this time, however, I felt that whatever the quality of the gifts handed me or the favors done me, they were as nothing compared to some; and, again, I was honestly and sympathetically interested in the horrible upon others, their weaknesses of mind and body, afflictions of all sizes and sorts, the way so often they helplessly blundered or were driven by internal chemic fires, as in the case of the fascinating and beautiful-minded John T. McEnnis, to their own . That great idealistic soul, that warm, heart!
The opportunity for indulging in these moods was due to the fact that I had plenty of time on my hands, that just at this time I was more interested in seeing than in reading, and that the three principal hotels here, Southern-fashion, were most , equipping their lobbies and even their flanking sidewalks with comfortable rocking-chairs where one might sit and dream or read or view the passing scene with idle or eye. My favorite hotel was the Lindell, rather large and not impressive but still successful and popular, which stood at the northwest corner of Sixth and Washington Avenue. Here I would repair whenever I had a little time and rock in peace and watch the crowd of strangers to and fro. The manager of this hotel, a brisk, rather interesting and yet job-centered American, seeing me sit about every afternoon between four-thirty and six and knowing that I was from the Globe, finally began to greet me and ask occasionally if I did not want to go up to dinner. (How lonely and forlorn I must have looked!) On Thanksgiving and Christmas afternoons of this my first season there, seeing me idle and alone, he asked me to be his guest. I accepted, not knowing what else to do. To make it seem like a real invitation he came in after I was seated at the table and sat down with me for a few minutes. He was so charming and the hotel so brisk and crowded that I soon felt at home.
The daily routine of my work seemed to provide ample proof of my suspicions that life was grim and sad. Regularly it would be a murder, a suicide, a failure, a which I would be assigned to cover, and on the same day there would be an important wedding, a business or political banquet, a ball or a club entertainment of some kind, which would provide just the necessary contrast to prove that life is and casual and cruel; to some , to others .
money, often unworthily inherited or made by shabby methods, seemed to throw commonplace and even wretched souls into such glittering and , in this world at least. Many of the business men with whom I came in contact were vulgarians, their wives and daughters vain and coarse and inconsiderate. I was constantly impressed by the airs of the locally prominent, their for show and pleasure, their insane greed for personal mention, their to anything except money plus a keen wish to seem to despise it. I remember going one afternoon to an residence where some function was in progress. I was met by an ostentatious butler who exclaimed most nobly: “My dear sir, who sent you here? The Globe knows we never give lists to newspaper men. We never admit reporters,” and then stiffly closed the door on me. I reported as much to the city editor, who remarked , “Well, that’s all right,” and gave me something else to do. But the next day a list of the guests at this function was published, and in this paper. I made of Hartung, who said: “Oh, the society editor must have turned that in. These society women send in their lists beforehand and then say they don’t receive reporters.”
Another time it was the residence of the Catholic archbishop of St. Louis, a very old but shrewd man whom, so it was in newspaper circles, the local priests were plotting to make appear infirm and weakminded in order that a favorite of theirs might be made coadjutor. I was sent to inquire about his health, to see him if possible. At the door I was met by a dark priest who inquired what I wished, whereupon he assured me that the archbishop was too feeble to be seen.
“That is exactly why I am here,” I insisted. “The Globe wishes to inform the public of his exact condition. There seems to be a belief on the part of some that he is not as ill as is given out.”
“What! You accuse us of something in connection with the archbishop! This is !” and he firmly shut me out.
It seemed to me that the thing would have been to let me meet the archbishop. He was a public official, the state of whose health was of interest to thousands. But no; official control regulated that. Shortly he was declared too feeble to perform his duties and a coadjutor was appointed.
Again I was sent to a fashionable west end hotel to interview a visiting governor who was attending a reception of some kind and who, as we understood, was leaving the next day.
“My dear young fellow,” said a connected with the entertainment committee, “you cannot do anything of the sort. This is no time to be coming around for anything of this kind.”
“But he is leaving tomorrow....”
“I cannot help that. You cannot see him now.”
“How about taking him my card and asking him about tomorrow?”
“No, no, no! I cannot do anything of the sort. You cannot see him,” and once again I was shunted briskly .
I recall being sent one evening to attend a great public ball of some kind—The Veiled Prophets—which was held in the general selling-room of the stock exchange at Third and , and which followed as a rule some huge aut............
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