Louis the Swan Was Raking it In

The Trumpet of the SwanRemember in The Trumpet of The Swan, when slippery Abe “Lucky” Lucas hires Louis to perform in a Philadelphia nightclub? (This comes after Louis’s success with the swan boats at the Boston Public Garden.) Louis takes the new gig because he needs the cash to pay his debts, but…

“The place was big and crowded and noisy. Everyone seemed to be talking too loudly, eating too much, and drinking too much. Most birds like to go to sleep at sundown. They do not want to stay up half the night entertaining people. But Louis was a musician, and musicians can’t choose their working hours… Every Saturday night Louis collected his pay — five hundred dollars.”

Five hundred dollars a week for ten weeks? As my brother points out, Louis was making some serious money.  If you adjust this for inflation — E.B. White published the novel in 1970 — it’s equivalent to almost $3,000 a week today.

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