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5. CHAPTER FIVE (continued)
I wish we could stop a while with Aloysius. He is well worth it. Aloysius, who looked a pass between Ichabod Crane and Smike; Aloysius, with his bit of scandal burnished with wit; who, after a long, hard Saturday, would go home to scrub the floor of the dingy lodgings where he lived with his invalid mother, and who rose in the cold dawn of Sunday morning to go to early mass, so that he might return to cook the dinner and wait upon the sick woman. Aloysius, whose trousers flapped grotesquely about his bony legs, and whose thin red wrists hung awkwardly from his too-short sleeves, had in him that tender, faithful and courageous stuff of which unsung heroes are made. And he adored his clever, resourceful boss to the point of imitation. You should have seen him trying to sell a sled or a doll's go-cart in her best style. But we cannot stop for Aloysius. He is irrelevant, and irrelevant matter halts the progress of a story. Any one, from Barrie to Harold Bell Wright, will tell you that a story, to be successful, must march.
We'll keep step, then, with Molly Brandeis until she drops out of the ranks. There is no detouring with Mrs. Brandeis for a leader. She is the sort that, once her face is set toward her goal, looks neither to right nor left until she has reached it.
When Fanny Brandeis was fourteen, and Theodore was not quite sixteen, a tremendous thing happened. Schabelitz, the famous violinist, came to Winnebago to give a concert under the auspices of the Young Men's Sunday Evening Club.
The Young Men's Sunday Evening Club of the Congregational Church prided itself (and justifiably) on what the papers called its "auspices." It scorned to present to Winnebago the usual lyceum attractions--Swiss bell ringers, negro glee clubs, and Family Fours. Instead, Schumann-Heink sang her lieder for them; McCutcheon talked and cartooned for them; Madame Bloomfield-Zeisler played. Winnebago was one of those wealthy little Mid-Western towns whose people appreciate the best and set out to acquire it for themselves.
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