Not a member?     Existing members login below:

The Melting Pot


o'clock of a February afternoon. At centre back is a double street-
door giving on a columned veranda in the Colonial style. Nailed
on the right-hand door-post gleams a Mezuzah, a tiny metal case,
containing a Biblical passage. On the right of the door is a small
hat-stand holding Mendel's overcoat, umbrella, etc. There are two
windows, one on either side of the door, and three exits, one down-
stage on the left leading to the stairs and family bedrooms, and two
on the right, the upper leading to Kathleen's bedroom and the
lower to the kitchen. Over the street door is pinned the Stars-and-
Stripes. On the left wall, in the upper corner of which is a music-
stand, are bookshelves of large mouldering Hebrew books, and
over them is hung a Mizrach, or Hebrew picture, to show it is the
East Wall. Other pictures round the room include Wagner,
Columbus, Lincoln, and "Jews at the Wailing place." Down-stage,
about a yard from the left wall, stands David's roll-desk, open and
displaying a medley of music, a quill pen, etc. On the wall behind
the desk hangs a book-rack with brightly bound English books. A
grand piano stands at left centre back, holding a pile of music and
one huge Hebrew tome. There is a table in the middle of the room
covered with a red cloth and a litter of objects, music, and
newspapers.
[Pg 2]
The fireplace, in which a fire is burning, occupies the centre of the right
wall, and by it stands an armchair on which lies another heavy
mouldy Hebrew tome. The mantel holds a clock, two silver
candlesticks, etc. A chiffonier stands against the back wall on the
right. There are a few cheap chairs. The whole effect is a curious
blend of shabbiness, Americanism, Jewishness, and music, all four
being combined in the figure of Mendel Quixano, who, in a black
skull-cap, a seedy velvet jacket, and red carpet-slippers, is
discovered standing at the open street-door. He is an elderly music
master with a fine Jewish face, pathetically furrowed by
misfortunes, and a short grizzled beard.
Remove