One of my highbrow reg’lars at the Physical Culture Studio, a gent that mixes up in charity works, like organizin’ debatin’ societies in the deaf and dumb asylums, was tellin’ me awhile back of a great scheme of his to help out the stranger in our fair village. He wants to open public information bureaus, where a jay might go and find out anything he wanted to know, from how to locate a New Thought church, to the nearest place where he could buy a fresh celluloid collar.
“Get the idea?” says he. “A public bureau where strangers in New York would be given courteous attention, friendly advice, and that sort of thing.”
“What’s the use?” says I. “Ain’t I here?”
Course, I was just gettin’ over a josh. But say, it ain’t all a funny dream, either. Don’t a lot of ‘em come my way? Maybe it’s because I’m so apt to lay myself open to the confidential tackle. But somehow, when I see one of these tourist freaks sizin’ me up, and lookin’ kind of dazed and lonesome, I can’t chuck him back the frosty stare. I’ve been a stray in a strange town myself. So I gen’rally tries to seem halfway human, and if he opens up with some shot on the weather, I let him get in the follow-up questions and take the chances.