LIFE, LIBERTY. . .
INSTEAD of driving to his home from the jail, Mr. Keen took me directly to his doctor. He was a kindly, gray-haired man. Mr. Keen told him all about me. The doctor laughed while he was dressing my wound. "So you had to come all the way from Russia to get an acute case of Capitalism," he said. "Well, I guess you are lucky at that. At least I can fix you up. I had another, a more serious case, a few minutes before you came, a girl. She complained about violent fits of indigestion. Damned if there was anything wrong with her stomach.
"You interested, Keen? I'll tell you about her.
"She is about 25 years old and a stenographer. She worked in a law office for eight years. It was her first job. Six years ago she met John, a bookkeeper. They decided to get married but had to wait till they could afford it. He lost his job five years ago and hasn't worked since. Then she too lost her lob and later got another as a houseworker and does the washing and cooking. Her pay is thirty dollars a month and she feels lucky to get that. She meets John once a week on her day off.
"That's not all. She has a sister, a school teacher. Her beau, too, is out of work. She can't get married either. It is written in her school contract that marriage forfeits her job.
"The neighbors talk about them. They say they're already married. But the girl denies it.
"Down in Union Square, comrade Gulliver, they tell me they have a name for this ailment. They call it 'Chronic Capitalism.'" And he winked at me mischieveously. "Poor girl." he added, "there is nothing I can do for her."