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The Jungle Upton Sinclair

Chapter 24

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They went down the great hall, and then turned. Before them were two huge doors.

"Hamilton," said Master Freddie.

"Well, sir?" said the other.

"Whuzzamatter wizze dinin'-room doors?"

"Nothing is the matter, sir."

"Then why dontcha openum?"

The man rolled them back; another vista lost itself in the darkness. "Lights," commanded Master Freddie; and the butler pressed a button, and a flood of brilliant incandescence streamed from above, half-blinding Jurgis. He stared; and little by little he made out the great apartment, with a domed ceiling from which the light poured, and walls that were one enormous painting--nymphs and dryads dancing in a flower-strewn glade--Diana with her hounds and horses, dashing headlong through a mountain streamlet--a group of maidens bathing in a forest pool--all life-size, and so real that Jurgis thought that it was some work of enchantment, that he was in a dream palace. Then his eye passed to the long table in the center of the hall, a table black as ebony, and gleaming with wrought silver and gold. In the center of it was a huge carven bowl, with the glistening gleam of ferns and the red and purple of rare orchids, glowing from a light hidden somewhere in their midst.

"This's the dinin' room," observed Master Freddie. "How you like it, hey, ole sport?"

He always insisted on having an answer to his remarks, leaning over Jurgis and smiling into his face. Jurgis liked it.

"Rummy ole place to feed in all 'lone, though," was Freddie's comment--"rummy's hell! Whuzya think, hey?" Then another idea occurred to him and he went on, without waiting: "Maybe you never saw anythin--hic--like this 'fore? Hey, ole chappie?"

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"No," said Jurgis.

"Come from country, maybe--hey?"

"Yes," said Jurgis.

"Aha! I thosso! Lossa folks from country never saw such a place. Guv'ner brings 'em--free show--hic--reg'lar circus! Go home tell folks about it. Ole man lones's place--lones the packer--beef-trust man. Made it all out of hogs, too, damn ole scoundrel. Now we see where our pennies go--rebates, an' private car lines--hic--by Harry! Bully place, though--worth seein' ! Ever hear of lones the packer, hey, ole chappie?"

Jurgis had started involuntarily; the other, whose sharp eyes missed nothing, demanded: "Whuzzamatter, hey? Heard of him?"

And Jurgis managed to stammer out: "I have worked for him in the yards."

"What!" cried Master Freddie, with a yell. "You! In the yards? Ho, ho! Why, say, thass good! Shake hands on it, ole man--by Harry! Guv'ner ought to be here--glad to see you. Great fren's with the men, guv'ner--labor an' capital, commun'ty 'f int'rests, an' all that--hic! Funny things happen in this world, don't they, ole man? Hamilton, lemme interduce you--fren' the family--ole fren' the guv'ner's--works in the yards. Come to spend the night wiz me, Hamilton--have a hot time. Me fren', Mr.--whuzya name, ole chappie? Tell us your name."

"Rudkus--Jurgis Rudkus."

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The Jungle
Upton Sinclair

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