I figure if I’m going to be broke, I’m going to be broke in some place I like. So I came to Tacoma.
Henry laughed in appreciation, but Joe’s face was solemn. “I’ve tried hard, I just can’t get away from it. I stepped off the train in Seattle, first thing I see there was a big sign just like that one out there. ‘You’ll like Tacoma.’
“I went up to Bellingham and didn’t get along very well. I saw a sign up there, but I closed my heart to it. ‘You’ll like Tacoma,’ it said. I went to Everett and worked in a real estate office. Every day I looked out my window and saw a sign on the boardwalk telling me I’d like Tacoma.”
“But you lost that job?” Henry asked.
“I lost that job, lived on the street. I did a lot of thinking about what makes one guy rich and another guy poor. I figure if I’m going to be broke, I’m going to be broke in a nice place, some place I like. So I came to Tacoma, and I didn’t make out here, neither. And now I live for just one thing. I’m going to hold on right here. I’ll sleep in the street, I’ll sweep out a saloon, I’ll do anything. I’ve just got to make good right here in order to gratify my one ambition.”
“And what’s that?” Henry said...