HOTEL BELVEDERE 319 WEST 48th STREET, NEW YORK 19, N.Y. Telephone CIrcle 6-9100

HOTEL BELVEDERE
319 WEST 48th STREET, NEW YORK 19, N.Y.
Telephone CIrcle 6-9100

     26 November 1946

     ...I came a bit too soon but week-ended with Matty then moved into a nice room – at this hotel – Sunday night. But Monday spent with John Campbell – stayed there all night. Still having this room....

     Then this evening with Matty. Matty wants me to write a column he will illustrate. One of these maybe schemes...

     Then there is a new magazine somebody wants and Matty and I have a conference on that tomorrow at 4 with some people. I have been asked to lay out their format and editorial policy...

     Then Matty has a school for arts in project but I am not much interested though the people want me to teach the writing. Too indefinite an idea – too mundane....

     Had an adventure tonight. Mat went next door and here lay a man nearly dead of an infected foot. The foot was swollen double size and black, a fireball in the groin, red streaks and high fever. I started out to get him sulfa but bought penicillin instead. 33,000 unit shots. This was about six, first shot at seven. I taught his wife to shoot him, and then went back to supervise the 10:00 PM and 1:00 AM shots. His fever broke before 1:00 but I am still wondering if he will save that foot. The whole place smells sweet with gangrene. He was both poor and foolish. Squalor such as his surrounding are tenement usuals in the East. Five children, a wife harassed by filth and malnutrition. Children eating filth from gutters. Uneducated, unventilated quarters.

     Illness interrupting jobs. And they had planned a lovely Christmas for he was working for a change. And then Saturday a clinic which called blood poisoning “Athlete’s Foot” and there amid tangled, filthy quilts in a dingy, dirty room where hungry and half sick kids cry, a man lies dying, an ugly little man, beaten by Catholicism, Capitalism, ignorance. And he cried as he told me how he’d bought a little farm for 800 dollars and how he wanted his wife, who disliked town, to be happy there. A man who had starved and slaved to forty-three and now had nothing.

     At 1:00 his foot looked even blacker but the fever had broken. I did not trust any doctor or hospital: I know New York. Tomorrow, I pray, he may be well. A miracle will have happened....