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 My departure was accelerated by a conversation I had one day with the political reporter of whom I have spoken but whose name I have forgotten. By now I had come to be on agreeable social terms with all the men on our staff, and at midnight it was my custom to drift around to the Press Club, where might be found a goodly company of men who worked on the different papers. I found this political man here one night. He said: “I can’t understand why you stay here. Now I wouldn’t say that to any one else in the game for fear he’d think I was plotting to get him out of his job, but with you it’s different. There’s no great chance here, and you have too much ability to waste your time on this town. They won’t let you do anything. The steel people have this town sewed up tight. The papers are . All you can do is to write what the people at the top want you to write, and that’s very little. With your talent you could go down to New York and make a place for yourself. I’ve been there myself, but had to come back on account of my family. The conditions were too uncertain for me, and I have to have a regular income. But with you it’s different. You’re young, and you haven’t any one dependent on you. If you do strike it down there you’ll make a lot of money, and what’s more you might make a name for yourself. Don’t you think it’s foolish for you to stay here? Don’t think it’s anything to me whether you go or stay. I haven’t any ax to grind, but I really wonder why you stay.”  
I explained that I had been drifting, that I was really on my way to New York but taking my time about it. Only a few days before I had been reading of a certain Indo-English newspaper man, fresh out of India with his books and short stories, who was making a great stir. His name was Rudyard Kipling, and the enthusiasm with which he was being received made me not jealous but wishful for a career for myself. The tributes to his were so unanimous, and he was a youth as yet, not more than twenty-seven or -eight. He was coming to America, or was even then on his way, and the wonder of such a success filled my mind. I then and there that I would go, must go, and accordingly gave notice of my intention. My city editor merely looked at me as much as to say, “Well, I thought so,” then said: “Well, I think you’ll do better there myself, but I’m not glad to have you go. You can refer to us any time you want to.”
On Saturday I drew my pay at noon and by four o’clock had once more boarded the express which deposited me in New York the following morning at seven. My brother had long since left New York and would not be back until the following Spring. I had exchanged a word or two with my sister and found that she was not . Since Paul had left she had been forced to resort to letting rooms, H—— not having found anything to do. I wired her that I was coming, and walked in on her the next morning.
My sister, on seeing me again, was delighted. I did not know then, and perhaps if I had I should not have been so pleased, that I was looked upon by her as the possible way out of a very difficult and trying crisis which she and her two children were then facing. For H——, from being a one-time fairly resourceful and successful and aggressive man, had slipped into a most disconcerting attitude of weakness and all but before the onslaughts of the great city.
My brother Paul, being away, saw no reason why he should be called upon to help them, since H—— was as able as himself. Aside from renting their rooms there was apparently no other source of income here, at least none which H—— troubled to provide. He appeared to be done for, played out. Like so many who have fought a fair battle and then lost, he had wearied of the game and was drifting. And my sister, like so many of the children of ordinary families the world over, had received no practical education or training and knew nothing other than housework, that profitless trade. In consequence, within a very short time after my arrival, I found myself faced by one of two alternatives: that of retiring and leaving her to shift as best she might (a step which, in view of what followed, would have been wiser but which my unreasoning sympathy would not permit me to do), or of assisting her with what means I had. But this would be merely the day of reckoning for all of them and bringing a great deal of trouble upon myself. For, finding me willing to pay for my room and board here, and in addition to advance certain sums which had nothing to do with my obligations, H—— felt that he could now drift a little while longer and so did, accepting through his wife such as I was willing to make. My sister, , soul, flowing like water into any of opportunity, accepted this sacrifice on my part.
But despite these facts, which developed very slowly, I was very much alive to the possibilities which the city then held for me. At last I was here. I told myself I had a comfortable place to stay and would remain, and from this vantage point I could now sally
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