Gretchen is one of my must reads. She wrote a regular newspaper column back around the twenties. This one in particular is applicable today in a lesson or two. Her interest ‘was intensely human’ and I can’t help but think a little more ‘human interest’ would be a good thing.
I walked almost the whole length of a long train before I came to a third-class compartment that was not marked “Smoking.” There was a woman already seated in it, and she remarked as I sat down, “Although it isn’t a ‘smoking,’ this smells vilely of tobacco smoke, and look at the floor!” I then related to her an incident of my journey up that morning.
At one station there entered a little company of passengers, obviously of what are termed working-class. There were two men of middle-age, a youth and a girl in their mid teens, and a small boy of five or six. They were all dressed in black, from which I inferred that they were on their way to a funeral.
The men wore black bowler hats stuck on the back of their heads, leaving visible a well-oiled fringe of hair adorning their foreheads. The youth’s cloth…
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