Frank's friend Gejza gets a job in the Chicago factory that had been mentioned in the letter from the Jewish plumber. Frank gets a job as a bricklayer (his trade) the next day, although the Jewish plumber explains to the employer that Frank doesn't know much English. Frank talks about how buildings are built differently here than at home: the walls are much thinner and there's no stucco (? "vapno") on the outside. The buildings look good when done, but when they catch fire, they burn all the way to the foundation and the walls sometimes fall on the firemen who are trying to put out the fire. Most people have homes like this and few have good ones. He says that Portland, OR, (where he lives later) was a city of 40 sq miles and 90,000 residents, but he only ever saw four houses there that were built like at home.
Working as a bricklayer here was different from at home, so he had to get used to it. Also, he hadn't had a trowel or hammer in his hands for more than a year. "If I'd known English, I could have learned how to be a bricklayer all over again" because they were well paid: $4-5 per day. When his job was just carrying stucco to the bricklayers, he only earned $1.76 per day. He still wanted to get a factory job though, so that he could work inside, even though the pay would be less. He finally got such a job in a factory that made all kinds of soap and employed more than 1,000 men and boys, and about 200 girls. He was paid $6 the first week, but the second month he got $7 per week, paid monthly.
He and Gejza rented a room from a Polish man. The housewife ("gazdinka"--why the diminutive? Could this have been the daughter?) washed their clothes and cooked whatever food they had bought themselves or what they told her to buy. They bought on credit at the store and paid up at the end of the month. They paid the housewife $1.50 each per month. They went to a Polish church and on Sundays afternoons, accordions (? "harmonija") were played and the boys and girls would dance and have a good time. They were all Poles except for Frank and Gejza.
Frank's other buddy from Slovakia, Imro, wrote that he wanted to come work in Chicago and Frank encouraged him. Imro showed up right before Christmas, but got a job that didn't pay much at all. Imro was quite depressed because he missed his sweetie, who sent him many letters, sometimes four in one week. He answered them and asked her to send him money so that he could go back to her to Passaic. She sent him $20. (At that time, Frank had $85 in his trunk and had sent moeny home to his parents, to pay them back his fare to America.) Imro went back, and 5 or 6 months later Frank got a letter from him saying that he now had a son. Frank's sidebar comment was "The child was somehow born early."