Excerpt from Book:
It was dusk of an April day, and Fifth Avenue was crowded. A young man, who had emerged from a large hotel, stood in the stream of traffic and gazed irresolutely up and down the thoroughfare. He wore a long, cheap rain-coat, and his head was covered by a steamer-cap of an old design, with two flaps tied in a knot across the top, behind which an overabundant crop of dull black hair pushed forth.
His thin, sallow face was unshaven, and his eyes were rimmed by round steel spectacles that gave him an almost owlish expression. An air of dejection hung about him, as he loitered by the curb—not the imaginative depression of youth, soon to float off like a cloud before the sun of life, but rather the settled gloom of repeated failure, as if the conviction of final doom had already begun to penetrate deeply into his manhood.
He looked first up the avenue, then down, vacant of purpose, seeing nothing in the moving pageant. Finally, as if aroused by certain curious glances that the less hurried passers-by cast on him, he bestirred himself and moved on down the avenue, his shoulders stooped, his legs trailing wearily.