The Jungle

  • Chapter 1

  • Narrator

    It was four o'clock when the ceremony was over and the carriages began to arrive.

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  • There had been a crowd following all the way, owing to the exuberance of Marija Berczynskas.

  • The occasion rested heavily upon Marija's broad shoulders--it was her task to see that all things went in due form, and after the best home traditions;

  • and, flying wildly hither and thither, bowling every one out of the way, and scolding and exhorting all day with her tremendous voice, Marija was too eager to see that others conformed to the proprieties to consider them herself.

  • She had left the church last of all, and, desiring to arrive first at the hall, had issued orders to the coachman to drive faster.

  • When that personage had developed a will of his own in the matter, Marija had flung up the window of the carriage, and, leaning out, proceeded to tell him her opinion of him, first in Lithuanian, which he did not understand, and then in Polish, which he did.

  • Having the advantage of her in altitude, the driver had stood his ground and even ventured to attempt to speak;

  • and the result had been a furious altercation, which, continuing all the way down Ashland Avenue, had added a new swarm of urchins to the cortege at each side street for half a mile.

  • Narrator

    This was unfortunate, for already there was a throng before the door.

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  • The music had started up, and half a block away you could hear the dull

  • “broom, broom”

  • Narrator

    of a cello, with the squeaking of two fiddles which vied with each other in intricate and altitudinous gymnastics.

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  • Seeing the throng, Marija abandoned precipitately the debate concerning the ancestors of her coachman, and, springing from the moving carriage, plunged in and proceeded to clear a way to the hall.

  • Once within, she turned and began to push the other way, roaring, meantime,

  • Profile Picture of Marija in The Jungle



  • Eik!

  • Uzdaryk-duris!”

  • Narrator

    in tones which made the orchestral uproar sound like fairy music.

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  • { “Z. Graiczunas, Pasilinksminimams darzas. Vynas. Sznapsas. Wines and Liquors. Union Headquarters” }