And they were a perfect fit – Miriam's showed off her figure while Jakob's, being fleece-lined, bulked him up a bit and, best of all, had an inside pocket which was just the right size; the woman, having agreed the price with Miriam, accepted the 10 and Jakob slipped her a few extra small coins in thanks for her keeping the jackets for them: "let's go to the Central," he suggested, "see who's in, maybe get into an argument!" so she gave him a punch: "pah! you and your arguments, what is it with men, you're all just boys strutting around, showing off, why can't you grow up and realise life is to be lived, not thrown into the winds like your words, why?" and Jakob laughed: "doesn't your friend The Doctor say we are just like young stags fighting with words instead of antlers in an attempt to woo the females and take leadership of the herd?" and Miriam slipped her arm through his as they pushed through the crowds on their way to the Coffee House; they were all there, all the usual suspects, sitting in different groups and raising their voices to be heard above the noise, the shouts, the laughter, and in one corner was the rather wan-looking young artist with his sketch pad and pen: for a coffee he would give a fair sketch or even a caricature, for a pastry he would add some colour and for a meal he would draw in the background to a portrait which could be framed and hung on a wall; he waved to Miriam and she pulled Jakob across to meet him; the boy had talent, Jakob was ready to admit, even if it was still facile, untutored, but once he had gained admission to the Art School – if he ever did – he would be able to bring more substance to his work, would learn the craft of painting and develop his art into something more than just a meal-ticket; but Jakob knew that the body must first meet it's basic needs: food, water, warmth and rest, before it could move on to find security and safety and only then would a person be able to begin to realise his or her own potential; he liked the boy – he was not much younger than Jakob, but Jakob felt an urge to take the lad under his wing, to encourage him, give him advice, steer him in the right direction, but before he could do that he would need to win his trust and that would require subtlety and confidence and he wasn't sure that he had time: "what you need, lad, is a girl," and turning to Miriam: "surely one of your friends would like to have her portrait painted by an artist at the beginning of his career? he might be the next Amerling or Czachorski, and she his first model!" at which the boy blushed, whether at being mentioned along with artists whose work had elevated them to the heights of fame, or at the thought of a young girl posing for him, but Miriam know how to handle the gauche young men who hung around the fringes: "take no notice of Jakob, he can barely write his name, never mind be able to use a pencil for anything more elevated that scratching his ear," and the boy's grin and laugh eased him into the conversation: "even if one of your friends was willing to model for me, I could never pay her, which is why I mostly paint the city – architecture, street scenes, I do still lifes and such, the only portraits I do are these quick sketches to feed my body, employing a model would be beyond my means," but Miriam was ready for that: "no, no, a girl will happily sit while her portrait is painted, for being the object of a young man's attention will flatter her, unless you choose to do one of those 'warts and all' paintings which rather than praise, insult and ridicule her – but I don't see you as being like that, not yet, though once you are famous there are people who would even pay for such a painting because it carries your signature, they will show it to their friends and laugh because it demonstrates that they are above vanity; and I do have a couple of friends, ages with ourselves, comely of face and figure, not encumbered with attachments and whom I am sure would be happy to sit for a good-natured, well-proportioned and talented artist at the beginning of his career; and I assure you I am not a matchmaker, I have had my fingers burned a few times and learned my lessons the hard way; I merely wish to assist a soul like myself and Jakob, we are all of us incomers to a city where our past lives are unknown, we have no relations who can extend a hand to help us make our way in life, we must compete for work and a way to advance ourselves: you have been in the bookshop I manage, bought a number of art books, that is where I work for now but my ambition is to write my own novels, to see them published, bought and read, I have all the ideas in my head, characters running about, bumping into and tumbling over one another, until I can commit them to paper, and every night I write until my eyes grow so tired I can barely see, and in the morning I write for an hour before I go to the shop; I have had short stories bought by magazines and newspapers and once I earn enough so that I won't have to work in the shop I will be able to develop the longer stories that are being lived in my mind; it is the same for all of us who have raw talent and ambition – we need to take small steps as a child does before it can manage to walk across a room for the first time, and we learn from every mistake, we change and adapt as we grow in confidence; the two friends I am thinking of are named Sophie and Magda, would you mind if I bring one of them with us tomorrow, just for coffee and maybe you will do a quick sketch for her, that will let both of you assess each other and see if there is any prospect and I assure you, they are not professional models, they will not be expecting any payment, but once you are a famous Court Artist they will be able to show their children and grand children something of yours which captured them in their youth! hah! my misfortune is that when I open my mouth words pour out of me – I should be putting them on paper as the speeches of my protagonists; see Jakob, this is what happens to real people while you and your friends argue, we make real plans in the here-and-now not building castles in the air out of theories and philosophies!" and Jakob winked at the boy and made his contrition: "and I have barely said a word since we got here!" so while Miriam ordered meat pies and potatoes for the three of them, Jakob answered the boy's questions e.g.: who are your friends? what do you do for work? where are you from? when did you arrive in the city? why are you bothering with an untutored sketcher like me?" and it was the last one that took up the most time, for the others were easy: "anyone who has that Spark of Life in him – or her; I write comic songs and monologues, dash off love poems for soft hearted swains to send to soft headed girls; Zurich, although I was born in Prague when my parents' Circus was performing there, they toured all across the Empire, even to Prussia, France, Belgium and Holland, my father was the Ringmaster and my mother rode palomino horses with the trainig of lipizaners, she could stand on her hands on the back of one as it trotted around the ring, but that's an old story, I'm thinking of starting up a small theatre, a kind of Cabaret, here, though I didn't actually choose Vienna, I gave that responsibility to the Laws of Chance and I let the roll of the dice decide for me – Zurich, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Prague or Budapest and this was number 4 and so here I am – which is where you might be able to help me; I arrived here several months ago; and I am talking with you because first, I prefer the company of painters and poets to that of politicians and pederasts and second, because I will need someone to design and paint scenery, find or make furniture to fill the sets, design with the performers the costumes they will need and oversee their manufacture and, generally, to create the visual scene in which the performers will capture the audience's imagination, an established artist will be too busy for that and too tied into his own style and imagination to spare the time to listen to what the performers want and weave that into the artistic presentation that best suits them; your interest in architecture and your quick penmanship can, I believe, now that i see for myself what Miriam was talking about so adulatorally when she pulled me here to meet you. that we can work together to make the Vienna Cabaret Voltaire the new Centre of European Anti-Art, Anti-Culture, Anti-Clockwise, Anti-Dote to the stultification of the Artistic World which is now run by and for the self-conceit of the wealthy who patronise painters and sculptors who once came under the patronage of the Church and whose work in praise of God and his Creation was painted on the plaster of Churches and Cathedrals and directed to the sensibilities of the ordinary worshippers, but now is guarded jealously within the private houses of the only people who can afford to pay for it! my productions will be open to all, workers, soldiers, butchers, bakers, candlestick-makers, good-wives can sit beside prostitutes and bourgeois shopkeepers beside lepers, Jew cheek-by-jowel with Christian, Protestant with Catholic, Priest squeezed in beside Atheist, all may shed their preconceptions and prejudices in the dark; we will only charge those who can afford to pay, the poor will be admitted free; our words may be revolutionary, but not in the way of those guys over there," and he pointed to one noisy group of Austro-German agitators, "nor those," this time the equally noisy Russian Bolshevist émigrés, "you may think my plans grandiose, but I'm not talking about anything like the Opera House, more an intimate and experimental kind of theatre-club, I know it's early doors but are you interested?" and he was, his eyes shining at the prospect of getting in at the ground floor of a new movement in which he would be able to paint and carve and argue for more than the sake of arguing and so they shook hands, and Jakob said: "oh Miriam never introduced us, I'm Jakob," and the painter gave a comical formal bow while still sitting: "she mentioned your name several times. I'm Adolphus, but my little sister called me Dada and that has followed me around like a puppy dog!" so Jakob said: "Dada is just the name for our Artistic Director, welcome to the Club!" just as the steaming pies arrived and all three of them tucked in ravenously!