The Second-Story Man

The Second-Story Man

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The Second-Story Man by Upton Sinclair

Published:

1912

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The Second-Story Man

By

1
(1 Review)

Book Excerpt

t believe in sending men to jail.

JIM. Humph!

[Another pause.]

MRS. AUSTIN. Why do you do this?

JIM. It's the way I live.

MRS. AUSTIN. Isn't it a rather trying kind of work?

JIM. It ain't all play, ma'am.

MRS. AUSTIN. [Smiling.] I should think it would be hard on the nerves. [After another pause.] Is there no honest way you can earn a living?

JIM. I don't know. Maybe so. I got tired of looking for it.

MRS. AUSTIN. I might help you if you would let me.

JIM. I ain't asking any help.

MRS. AUSTIN. No, but I'm offering it. [After a pause.] Have you been doing this sort of thing very long?

JIM. No.

MRS. AUSTIN. How long?

JIM. [After hesitation.] This is my first job.

MRS. AUSTIN. What! You don't mean that?

JIM. It happens to be true, ma'am.

MRS. AUSTIN. What made you do it?

JIM. It's a long story.

MRS. AUSTIN. Tell it to me.

JIM. It ain't just a good time for story telling.

MRS. AUSTIN. You are afraid of me? I have no quarrel with you. I don't care anyt

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A one-act play, 10 or 15 minutes long. An injured factory worker, turned to crime, breaks into an upper-class house. Coincidentally, the house belongs to his ex-employer's lawyer.
The unfortunate thief ends up spilling his whole story, leading to much hand-wringing.
Drama is not Sinclair's medium; there are way too many orations. To be charitable, it's a dud. One and a half stars.