Page:Our Philadelphia (Pennell, 1914).djvu/131

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111
TRANSITIONAL

desire to bridge over the wide gulf of propriety that then yawned between the sex and business. Except for the character of the buildings and the signs at the doors, I might not have been conscious of the embarrassing difference between this and my more familiar haunts. Bankers' and stock-brokers' offices were on every side, but the Third Street car did not jingle any louder as it passed, my way was not more crowded, peace still enveloped me. I gathered from my Father, who was a broker, that the Stock Exchange, when buying and selling had to be done on the spot and not by telephone as in our degenerate days, was now and then a scene of animation, and it might be of noise and disorder, more especially at Christmas, when a brisker business was done in penny whistles and trumpets than in stocks and shares. But the animation overflowed into Third Street only at moments of panic, to us welcome as moments of prosperity for they kept my Father busy—we thrived on panics—and then, once or twice, I saw staid Philadelphians come as near running as I ever knew them to in the open street.

Now and then youth got the better of me and I sought adventure in the unadventurous monotony of Walnut Street where the lawyers had their offices, the courts not having as yet migrated up to Broad Street. It was usually lost in heavy legal slumber and if my intrusion was bold, at least nobody was about to resent it. Nor could there be a doubt of the eminent respectabihty into which I intruded. The recommendation to Philadelphia of its