if the truth must be told, I had n't half a dollar in my pocket.
Hungrier than ever, I wandered down Salem street, when Withington
's bakery caught my eye. ‘They make things to eat, here,’ I said to myself, ‘and of course they sell them.’
A course of reasoning I subsequently found correct.
I shall never forget that dinner, which I ate off the counter, while the girl in attendance watched me as if she expected I was going through the whole stock.
Three doughnuts, half a dozen cookies, quarter of an apple pie, with a glass of milk.
I have eaten dinners at Parker
's, the Touraine, and the Waldorf-Astoria
since then, but never one with a better appetite, or which went so directly to the spot.
I remember it, too, for another reason.
There was a third person present, who watched my gastronomic performances with evident astonishment and admiration.
His floury appearance and white jacket showed him to be a baker, probably one of Mr. Withington
's employees, and as soon as he opened his mouth I knew that he was an Irishman.
As I wiped my mouth with my handkerchief after finishing my meal, he opened upon me. Our conversation ran something like this:—
‘Ye come out here from Boston
‘Wid a team?’
‘By the cars?’
‘No, on foot.’
‘Are ye lookina fur a job?’
‘Are ye a baker?’
‘No, I was never inside a bakeshop before.’
‘Well, then, if ye footed it out from Boston
this hot day, and ye are n't a baker, and ye don't want a job, what the divil are ye here for, anyway?’
Whereupon I explained with considerable particularity my errand.
He looked disgusted.