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While I was convalescing, he would sit at the piano and play for me. He had the peculiar gift of expressing in a melody the serious and romantic as well as the ludicrous incidents happening in a room where many people were congregated. While various individuals were talking and laughing he would quietly play a bit of music which accented their peculiarities and appealed to my sense of humor.

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Naturally, when I was quite well again, I fell in love. The Casino engagement was a happy one. Between working again and being in love, she found herself in a pleasant whirl. Furthermore, other managers were deluging her with contracts.

Lilli Marleen

Each carried the inducement of more money. Lillian blithely signed all of them. While Diamond Jim was delighted that Lillian was enjoying personal and professional happiness, he and everyone else in New York who admired her were soon shocked to learn that she and Solomon had secretly sailed to England. She did so to accept a lucrative engagement in London. The stage is burdened by far too many Lillian Russells, who usurp places of better artists and more estimable women. It is to be sincerely hoped that she will achieve so great a success [in London] that she may never deem it advisable to afflict us with her presence again.

A recognized pacesetter among the men who showed up for the openings was Freddie Gebhard. It was at one of them that Jim was introduced to Mrs.

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As with everyone who met Diamond Jim Brady, the Jersey Lily was immediately charmed by his counterpoint of amusing rough-hewn speech that attested to a lowly start in life and his polished manners, impeccable attire, and dazzling display of diamonds. Like Lillian Russell, Mrs. Langtry learned that in return for a breathtaking gift of a ring, a brooch, or a bracelet he wished nothing in return but the pleasure of her company at dinner or supper. The visiting beauty discovered another benefit of being considered a friend by Diamond Jim Brady.

When the time came for her to leave New York on a national tour, Freddie Gebhard asked Jim to make the travel arrangements. The result was a luxurious private train. Being a salesman whom the bosses at Manning, Maxwell and Moore wisely left to set his own travel schedule, Jim was able to arrange his trips to suit his purposes. This meant arranging to be in New York, or nearby, in order to attend each opening night of the theatrical season. He was not interested in seeing a show after its debut. A large part of the fun of going to the theater was being known as a first nighter. The impressive commissions that bankrolled his evening attire and the diamonds that adorned it also fueled a zest for wagering in the gambling palaces of the Tenderloin.

But even more attractive in the plush establishment was the bill of fare in the dining room. Like the casinos of Las Vegas, Atlantic c Lunch at eleven-thirty was more oysters, clams, deviled crab, a broiled lobster or two, a steak, salad, and two kinds of pie. This was generally followed by a box of chocolate.

Dessert c First Nighter 55 was likely to be vanilla mousse, fruits, nuts, bonbons, and chocolate mints. In the mids with money rolling in, counted among the first-nighter dudes, and a bachelor in a city alive with lovely women even without the presence of the American Beauty, Diamond Jim found life a banquet in every way. When President James Buchanan left office after one term, Jim had been seven years old.


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Now he was thirty and a loyalist in the ranks of Tammany. Yet Jim found much to like about the bachelor candidate who was even fatter than himself, who spoke his mind in blunt language, and who had a reputation for devouring enormous meals. As the campaign began against Republican candidate James G. The evidence of the latter came during the campaign with the revelation that Grover had fathered a boy whose mother he refused to marry.

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A great deal of opposition to Cleveland came from men with whom Diamond Jim Brady did business. Railroads had benefited from two decades of Republican governments that encouraged railway expansion through vast land grants for rights-of-way from which many of those in government profited.

Between and the federal government and the states had handed over to railroad promoters more than , square miles of public lands. In addition to this territory, larger than some European countries, the government had furnished loans and outright grants to back railway ventures. Much of this largesse was obtained by such tycoons as Leland Stanford, Collis P.

Huntington, Russell Sage, and Jay Gould through bribery of congressmen and state legislators. Blaine had been Speaker of the House of Representatives. The outcome of the action of Congress had been a windfall for the railroad. Blaine, The continental liar from the state of Maine.

With Cleveland elected, railroad tycoons dreaded an attack on their stubborn retention of lands that they had never earned. Most of the grants contained clauses providing for reversions of c When Cleveland came into office, the area subject to forfeiture equaled the combined territories of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. The tycoons also worried that the new president and his administration would take the side of farmers and others in the West who saw the railroads as greedy bullies in grabbing land and in the setting of rates for the shipment of goods.

Based on the 75th, 90th, th, and th meridians west of Greenwich, England, they were approximately on the longitudes of Philadelphia, Memphis, Denver, and Fresno. It is a revolt, a rebellion. The sun will be requested to rise and set by railroad time. The planets must, in the future, make their circuits by such timetables as railroad magnates arrange. People will have to marry by railroad time, and die by railroad time. We presume the sun, moon, and stars will make an attempt to ignore the orders of the Railroad Convention, but they, too, will have to give in at last.

The Standard Time Act, which essentially ratified railroad time, would not become law until March 19, He could now rely on the clocks at his destination being c Men he dealt with could count on seeing him on a reliable schedule. They also knew that when he arrived he would be well informed regarding their needs.

It marked the triumphal return to the American stage of Lillian Russell. In private life she was now Mrs. Polly was given fifty-five performances. She is the daughter of the eccentric Professor Pongo, a maker of automatons. When a mechanical prima donna breaks down before the start of an opera, Pepita takes its place. In one scene in the production Lillian astonished everyone in the audience by playing a violin. Pepita ran until May Soon after it closed, Teddy surprised Lillian by announcing that he had to go back to England on business.

Lillian learned the reason for the trip through the front pages of newspapers. They headlined that at the moment Teddy set foot on English soil he had been arrested on a charge of bigamy. Unknown to Lillian when she wed him, Solomon already had a wife. He and Jane Isaac had been married for several years. The sensation dominated the news for nine days. Shocked and humiliated, Lillian issued a statement in which she said she c Needing money and wanting to work again, Lillian resumed her career by appearing on the West Coast in the role of Phyliss in Iolanthe. In one scene she appeared in a costume with tights.

Infuriated, Duff took her to court, claiming breech of contract. The judge ruled for Lillian. The judge was a sort of Golightly, And treated the latter politely; Made a speech against tights And gave Russell her rights While Jimmy went home very quietly. Now she was working for Rudolph Aronson, the slim and dapper manager of the Casino Theater. Courtiers danced attendance on her, and the world of affairs and fashion sought her favor.


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New York took Lillian to its generous heart and she reveled in the adulation. Forgotten were the vicissitudes of London and the sad disenchantment following the discovery that she had been wedded but no wife. Now an all-pervading love for mankind in general and no man in particular became a delectable and welcome respite. As always, Jim Brady sought from her only unfettered companionship as they indulged in uncomplicated pleasures of being seen, admired, and envied in the lobster palaces.

Everyone recognized her and felt that they knew—and were entitled to know—everything about her. Money rolling in from commissions allowed him to provide financially for his mother and sister and to give himself a comfortable, well-ordered life. The namesake of a president and a loyal follower of Tammany Hall had proven himself to be a skillful salesman in a country with seemingly boundless space in which to build railroads to serve an expanding and prosperous economy.


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The government action dealt with discrepancies in the gauges of some of the railways with which he did business. Gauge is the distance between the rails. Since the invention of the railroad in England, the gauge had been the same as the space between the chariot wheels of the Roman Empire—four and one-half feet.

When iron rails were laid, the spacing was set to the same gauge. Because the first locomotives in the United States had been built in Britain, American rails had to be laid to fit their wheels. But as manufacture of trains became a domestic industry, other gauges were introduced. The recommendation was ignored. By the time the country was forced into setting its clocks according to the dictate of railroads, tracks on which the trains ran were a welter of odd gauges.

This decision did not require narrower tracks to be ripped up and replaced.