George Washington, with his right arm up-
raised, sits his iron horse at the lower corner of
Union Square, forever signaling the Broadway cars
to stop as they round the curve into Fourteenth
Street. But the cars buzz on, heedless, as they do at
the beck of a private citizen, and the great General
must feel, unless his nerves are iron, that rapid tran-
sit gloria mundi.
Should the General raise his left hand as he has
raised his right it would point to a quarter of the
city that forms a haven for the oppressed and sup-
pressed of foreign lands. In the cause of national
or personal freedom they have found a refuge here,
and the patriot who made it for them sits his steed,
overlooking their district, while he listens through his
left car to vaudeville that caricatures the posterity
of his proteges. Italy, Poland, the former Spanish
possessions and the polyglot tribes of Austria-Hun-
gary have spilled here a thick lather of their effer-
vescent sons. In the eccentric cafes and lodging-
houses of the vicinity they hover over their native
wines and political secrets. The colony changes
with much frequency. Faces disappear from the
haunts to be replaced by others. Whither do these
uneasy birds flit? For half of the answer observe
carefully the suave foreign air and foreign courtesy
of the next waiter who serves your table d'hote.
For the other half, perhaps if the barber shops had
tongues (and who will dispute it?) they could tell
Titles are as plentiful as finger rings among these
transitory exiles. For lack of proper exploitation a
stock of titled goods large enough to supply the trade
of upper Fifth Avenue is here condemned to a mere
pushcart traffic. The new-world landlords who en-
tertain these offshoots of nobility are not dazzled
by coronets and crests. They have doughnuts to
sell instead of daughters. With them it is a serious
matter of trading in flour and sugar instead of pearl
powder and bonbons.
These assertions are deemed fitting as an intro-
duction to the tale, which is of plebeians and contains
no one with even the ghost of a title.
Katy Dempsey's mother kept a furnished-room
house in this oasis of the aliens. The business was
not profitable. If the two scraped together enough
to meet the landlord's agent on rent day and nego-
tiate for the ingredients of a daily Irish stew they
called it success. Often the stew lacked both meat
and potatoes. Sometimes it became as bad as con-
somme' with music.
In this mouldy old house Katy waxed plump and
pert and wholesome and as beautiful and freckled as
a tiger lily. She was the good fairy who was guilty
of placing the damp clean towels and cracked pitchers
of freshly laundered Croton in the lodgers' rooms.
You are informed (by virtue of the privileges of
astronomical discovery) that the star lodger's name
was Mr. Brunelli. His wearing a yellow tie and pay-
ing his rent promptly distinguished him from the
other lodgers. His raiment was splendid, his com-
plexion olive, his, mustache fierce, his manners a
prince's, his rings and pins as magnificent as those
of a traveling dentist.
He had breakfast served in his room, and he ate it
in a red dressing gown with green tassels. He left
the house at noon and returned at midnight. Those
were mysterious hours, but there was nothing my-
terious about Mrs. Dempsey's lodgers except the
things that were not mysterious. One of Mr. Kip-
ling's poems is addressed to "Ye who hold the un-
written clue to all save all unwritten thing." The
same "readers" are invited to tackle the foregoing
Mr. Brunelli, being impressionable and a Latin,
fell to conjugating the verb "amare," with Katy in
the objective case, though not because of antipathy.
She talked it over with her mother.
"Sure, I like him," said Katy. "He's more po-
liteness than twinty candidates for Alderman, and lie
makes me feel like a queen whin he walks at me side.
But what is he, I dinno? I've me suspicions. The
marnin'll coom whin he'll throt out the picture av his
baronial halls and ax to have the week's rint hung
up in the ice chist along wid all the rist of 'em."
"'Tis true," admitted Mrs. Dempsey, "that he
seems to be a sort iv a Dago, and too coolchured in
his spache for a rale gentleman. But ye may be mis-
judgin' him. Ye should niver suspect any wan of
bein' of noble descint that pays cash and pathronizes
the laundry rig'lar."
"He's the same tbricks of spakin' and blarneyin'
wid his hands," sighed Katy, "as the Frinch noble-
man at Mrs. Toole's that ran away wid Mr. Toole's
Sunday pants and left the photograph of the Bastile,
his grandfather's chat-taw, as security for tin weeks'
Mr. Brunelli continued his calorific wooing. Katy
continued to hesitate. One day he asked her out to
dine and she felt that a denouement was in the air.
While they are on their way, with Katy in her best
muslin, you must take as an entr'acte a brief peep at
New York's Bohemia.
'Tonio's restaurant is in Bohemia. The very lo-
cation of it is secret. If you wish to know where it is
ask the first person you meet. He will tell you in a
whisper. 'Tonio discountenances custom; he keeps
his house-front black and forbidding; he gives you a
pretty bad dinner; he locks his door at the dining
hour; but he knows spaghetti as the boarding-house
knows cold veal; and -- he has deposited many dol-
lars in a certain Banco di -- something with many
gold vowels in the name on its windows.
To this restaurant Mr. Brunelli conducted Katy.
The house was dark and the shades were lowered; but
Mr. Brunelli touched an electric button by the base-
ment door, and they were admitted.
Along a long, dark, narrow hallway they went and
then through a shining and spotless kitchen that
opened directly upon a back yard.
The walls of houses hemmed three sides of the
yard; a high, board fence, surrounded by cats, the
other. A wash of clothes was suspended high upon
a line stretched from diagonal corners. Those were
property clothes, and were never taken in by 'Tonio.
They were there that wits with defective pronuncia-
tion might make puns in connection with the ragout.
A dozen and a half little tables set upon the bare
ground were crowded with Bohemia-hunters, who
flocked there because 'Tonio pretended not to want
them and pretended to give them a good dinner.
There was a sprinkling of real Bohemians present
who came for a change because they were tired of
the real Bohemia, and a smart shower of the men
who originate the bright sayings of Congressmen and
the little nephew of the well-known general passen-
ger agent of the Evansville and Terre Haute Rail-
Here is a bon mot that was manufactured at
"A dinner at 'Tonio's," said a Bohemian, "always
amounts to twice the price that is asked for it."
Let us assume that an accommodating voice in-
"The dinner costs you 40 cents; you give 10 cents
to the waiter, and it makes you feel like 30 cents."
Most of the diners were confirmed table d'hoters --
gastronomic adventuress, forever seeking the El Do-
rado of a good claret, and consistently coming to
grief in California.
Mr. Brunelli escorted Katy to a little table em-
bowered with shrubbery in tubs, and asked her to
excuse him for a while.
Katy sat, enchanted by a scene so brilliant to her.
The grand ladies, in splendid dresses and plumes and
sparkling rings; the fine gentlemen who laughed so
loudly, the cries of "Garsong! " and "We, mon-
seer," and "Hello, Mame! " that distinguish Bo-
hemia; the lively chatter, the cigarette smoke, the
interchange of bright smiles and eye-glances -- all
this display and magnificence overpowered the daugh-
ter of Mrs. Dempsey and held her motionless.
Mr. Brunelli stepped into the yard and seemed to
spread his smile and bow over the entire company.
And everywhere there was a great clapping of bands
and a few cries of "Bravo! " and "'Tonio! 'Tonio!"
whatever those words might mean. Ladies waved
their napkins at him, gentlemen almost twisted their
necks off, trying to catch his nod.
When the ovation was concluded Mr. Brunelli,
with a final bow, stepped nimbly into the kitchen and
flung off his coat and waistcoat.
"Flaherty, the nimblest "garsong" among the
waiters, had been assigned to the special service of
Katy. She was a little faint from hunger, for the
Irish stew on the Dempsey table had been particu-
larly weak that day. Delicious odors from unknown
dishes tantalized her. And Flaherty began to bring
to her table course after course of ambrosial food
that the gods might have pronounced excellent.
But even in the midst of her Lucullian repast Katy
laid down her knife and fork. Her heart sank as
lead, and a tear fell upon her filet mignon. Her
haunting suspicions of the star lodger arose again,
fourfold. Thus courted and admired and smiled
upon by that fashionable and gracious assembly,
what else could Mr. Brunelli be but one of those
dazzling titled patricians, glorious of name but shy
of rent money, concerning whom experience had made
her wise? With a sense of his ineligibility growing
within her there was mingled a torturing conviction
that his personality was becoming more pleasing to
her day by day. And why had he left her to dine
But here he was coming again, now coatless, his
snowy shirt-sleeves rolled high above his Jeffries-
onian elbows, a white yachting cap perched upon his
"'Tonio! 'Tonio!" shouted many, and "The
spaghetti! The spaghetti!" shouted the rest.
Never at 'Tonio's did a waiter dare to serve a dish
of spaghetti until 'Tonio came to test it, to prove the
sauce and add the needful dash of seasoning that
gave it perfection.
From table to table moved 'Tonio, like a prince in
his palace, greeting his guests. White, jewelled
bands signalled him from every side.
A glass of wine with this one and that, smiles for
all, a jest and repartee for any that might challenge
-- truly few princes could be so agreeable a host!
And what artist could ask for further appreciation
of his handiwork? Katy did not know that the
proudest consummation of a New Yorker's ambition
is to shake bands with a spaghetti chef or to receive
a nod from a Broadway head-waiter.
At last the company thinned, leaving' but a few
couples and quartettes lingering over new wine and
old stories. And then came Mr. Brunelli to Katy's
secluded table, and drew a chair close to hers.
Katy smiled at him dreamily. She was eating the
last spoonful of a raspberry roll with Burgundy
"You have seen!" said Mr. Brunelli, laying one
hand upon his collar bone. "I am Antonio Brunelli!
Yes; I am the great 'Tonio! You have not suspect
that! I loave you, Katy, and you shall marry with
me. Is it not so? Call me 'Antonio,' and say that
you will be mine."
Katy's head drooped to the shoulder that was now
freed from all suspicion of having received the
"Oh, Andy," she sighed, "this is great! Sure,
I'll marry wid ye. But why didn't ye tell me ye was
the cook? I was near turnin' ye down for bein' one
of thim foreign counts!"