FRANK: The in-laws (the end of the regular text)
- "Now I'll tell you about my father-in-law, so that you'll know." Frank's FIL lived at the edge of town, about 3 English miles from the center of town. He had a very small garden with no fruit trees, and had a small house. His house and lot might have cost only about $500. His name was Zloc~ewski, but "he had his name changed to an English name and now he was called Goldman".
For over 8 years, Frank's FIL worked at a station where they fix railroad cars. In good times, he earned $100-$110 per month. Times had been bad for the last 3 years, so his pay had been lowered, but he still made no less than $75, although he'd make less if he were sick. He got paid by the hour, making $0.30/hr, and worked 10-hr days. Frank had known him for 6 years and the FIL had been only sick once, for 3 weeks.
It was now 3 years since the in-laws' home burned down to the ground (it was made of wood). They had gotten $400 from the insurance company <od sekuracii> and had bought clothes for themselves and the children, drank wine, and didn't save any of the money. They were renting a house and had to pay rent each month, but the FIL didn't like it, so he bought wood and boards on credit and built a small house, paying off the debt each month.
But the in-laws were such poor managers that they bought food at the store on credit from month to month, meat from "the Jew" on credit, and clothes for themselves and the children on credit. At the tavern, they bought liquor, wine, and cigars on credit: in a word, everything was bought on credit. They lived from monthly paycheck to monthly paycheck, and often everything was drunk, eaten, or consumed, and the money not yet earned. They'd been like this ever since Frank had known them. They still did this and were very stupid, to boot.
This is how they'd raised their children, too, because they were negligent and irresponsible, and the old lady was happy to have good food to eat and liquor to drink, "and the old lame devil wanted to wear expensive clothes like she saw young women wearing." So these were the kind of in-laws Frank had.