chapter twenty one.
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Jurgis is terrified of the stew mills. There are loud noises and great cauldrons, “big enough for all the devils of hell to brew their broth in, full of something white and blinding, bubbling and splashing, roaring as if volcanoes were blowing through it.”One morning, as Jurgis passes by a furnace, the machine blows out spraying fire and melted steel over two men. Jurgis attempts to help them, but he only loses the skin on one of his hands by doing so. The doctor bandages him and he cannot work for eight days without pay. Nevertheless, in other ways, Jurgis’s life is improving. His family begins to be able to pay off debts and start to save money once again. Jurgis’s greatest joy is his son, Antanas, who is growing strong.