Here are the first 400 words of Chicago Jazz:
The limestone steps and porch supported the front door’s frame and by way of the door the whole faded street façade of the narrow wooden edifice of the near Westside Chicago speakeasy. Every window had its shades pulled. Grotesque shadows of men and women danced across the thin covering fabric, yet from the street their sex indistinguishable. Their ghostlike forms flickered and jerked, alit within from old cranberry glass oil lamps, on the thin translucent paper. A measured reedy tenor saxophone moaned through a second floor window cracked an inch to let in damp spring air, all that escaped was a jazz laden thick, sweet, cigarette and opiate fog.
The yellow taxi slid to a stop in the rain filled gutter at the foot of the steps to the grey tenement washed with the pale light from a cracked streetlight. The first to leave the cab was a tall angular man, formally dressed in a long black cashmere coat and black patent leather shoes; his black fedora, with a wide black satin band, was pulled low and hid his eyes in a shadow. His complexion had faded to a winter white and his dark hair was cut tight behind his ears. His crisp and pencil thin mustache was, like his nose, clipped sharp. His look favored a poor relation of the actor William Powell. He reached, with a black kid gloved hand, through the open car door and helped a lanky young woman exit who could have, under other circumstances such as a cotillion, been mistaken for his daughter. Her long silk stocking covered legs, the color of translucent alabaster, probed tentatively toward the wet sidewalk. Extracted, she pulled the borrowed mink fur close to her chin; her faux diamond earrings and fitted jeweled cap sparkled in the broken streetlight as the man helped her to the sidewalk. Only the briefest black wisps of her stylishly cut black hair escaped. He paid the driver through the window, took the girl firmly by the arm and escorted her up the limestone steps to the paneled oak front door framed by two gas fired red glass sconces. She nervously looked back at the street and the escaping taxi and then turned and watched as he pushed a black button. A series of buzzes could be heard through the open transom high over the door. More billows of the sweet smog spilled from the tilted window like fog escaping over a mountain.
“You will love it my dear,” the gentleman offered as he whispered in the girl's ear. “This is where the good times are, all the jazz folks and finer people come here. You’ll see.”
More later . . . . . . .