...while they walked down the city's thoroughfares, they were attracted by
the splendor and the brilliant illumination of a restaurant. They
stopped and with famished countenances looked through the French plate
glass windows and watched the diners enjoy toothsome tidbits, and then
wearily moved on--their pride would not permit them to wait for a
departing diner to accost him for the price of a loaf of bread wherewith
to still their gnawing hunger...
...every tramp gives his kid a nickname, a name that will distinguish him from all other members of the craft. You have been a good lad while you have been with me, in fact been always 'A-No. 1' in everything you had to do, and, Kid, take my advice, if you have to be anything in life, even if a tramp, try to be 'A-No. 1' all the time and in everything you undertake...
HOBO CAMP FIRE TALES \ NINETEEN ELEVEN \ LEON RAY LIVINGSTON
BY FAR a majority of the present day tramp army were boys or young men when they commenced their roving. The aim of this book is to warn others (showing what a miserable life even the best of tramps have to lead), by relating how an innocent boy, who had left his good home, urged on by a longing to see the world, while listening to stories of actual tramp life told by "Old-Timers" around a campfire, gradually realized the truth of a tramp's existence, and repenting, escaped the clutches of his older companion and returned home.
This booklet will be especially entertaining to the adult reader because it gives a vivid insight into the daily life and character of the average tramp, of whom an army of more than one hundred thousand is aimlessly wandering about the United States.
The tramp, tramping and everything pertaining to tramp life in the United States at the present time, is not what it used to be in the past.
Vividly do I recall the days before 1900, when it was more often the rule than the exception, to see from ten to fifty tramps riding upon a single freight train. Hordes of tramps could be met with migrating to and from all points of the compass, while after nightfall their campfires lit the woodlands from Maine to California.
The general prosperity; the strict enforcement of the vagrancy statutes; the encroachments of "Prohibition;" but chief of all the detective bureaus, maintained by every railroad, whose officers harass him every moment of the twenty-four hours, are the principal causes for the gradual disappearance of the tramp.
Of the "Old-Timers", those who have been victims of the "Wanderlust" for more than twenty years, few are left, and while these are few in number, fewer are those who have recorded their singular adventures as they occurred.
I believe by relating a few actual tramp experiences in the shape of this story, the reading public will find something novel and interesting concerning the bright, as well as the dark ways of the "Underworld"—the more, as no stale jokes or love affairs are repeated.
I sincerely hope that these "Hobo-Camp-Fire-Tales ' will meet with as good a reception as my first literary effort —"The Life and Adventures of A-No. 1."
I beg the reader to remember that, while these tales are strictly moral ones, no person can be a tramp and a saint at the same time.