Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 82.djvu/10

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6
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

is system, silent, watchful, swift, efficient. Five thousand immigrants in a day is no uncommon figure. Five thousand six hundred passed through last Easter Sunday. Five hundred and twenty-five persons are employed on the island exclusive of the score of medical officers and the hundred or more attendants of the Public Health Service.

It is an island crowded full of pathos and tragedy, of startling contrasts and unexpected humor. A burly, laughing giant of a man came

PSM V82 D010 The immigrant hospital at ellis island.png

The Immigrant Hospital at Ellis Island.

down the line one afternoon, elated to have reached the land of his lifelong hope. The next morning he lay stricken with meningitis and that evening was dead. A young mother was separated from her two-year old baby because the baby had diphtheria. In a few days the baby died, and the mother went on alone to the father waiting in the west. The reunion of broken families, and the old folks coming to live in the home prepared by the pioneer children, constantly afford views of human nature unmasked and unrestrained.

All races and conditions of men come together here and adjust themselves more or less amicably to each other. Children with no common bond of race, language or religion, play together perhaps more happily for that very reason. Some have been here for months. In the New York room, a Flemish couple have waited seven long months for a little girl who is still sick in the hospital. Every morning on his rounds they ask the doctor how soon she can come to them, and thrice a week they visit her bedside. Perhaps by now their long waiting is