Project Gutenberg's McClure's Magazine, Vol. 31, No. 1, May 1908, by Various

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Title: McClure's Magazine, Vol. 31, No. 1, May 1908

Author: Various

Release Date: February 2, 2006 [EBook #17663]

Language: English

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Transcriber's Note: The Table of Contents and the list of illustrations were added by the transcriber.

McClure's Magazine

May, 1908.

Vol. XXXI. No. 1




MARY BAKER G. EDDY. By Georgine Milmine. 16

IN CHARGE OF TRUSTY. By Lucy Pratt. 32


The First Crop Without Slaves. 39

Restless Foot-loose Negroes. 40

The Freedmen's Bureau. 41

Pickles and Patriotism. 42

The South's Hopeless Poverty. 42

Johnson's Haste for Reconstruction. 44

Arming the Young Men of the South. 46

The President Defends Southern Militia. 48

Criticism and Personal Discomfort. 48

The End of an Aristocracy. 49

An Ungracious Reception. 50

Why the President Reversed his Policy. 50

Congress and General Grant's Report. 51

THE FLOWER FACTORY. By Florence Wilkinson. 52

THE SILLY ASS. By James Barnes. 53

WAR ON THE TIGER. By W. G. Fitz-gerald. 58

THE RADICAL JUDGE. By Anita Fitch. 65


"THE HEART KNOWETH." By Charlotte Wilson. 81

IN THE DARK HOUR. By Perceval Gibbon. 82

"OLIVIA" and "FAUST" AT THE LYCEUM. By Ellen Terry. 88

THE LIE DIRECT. By Caroline Duer. 99

THE WAYFARERS. By Mary Stewart Cutting. 102




















































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Cassidy gazed long and blankly across the desert. "Wot a life!" he muttered grimly. "Say, wot a life this is!" Cassidy made the words by putting his tongue against his set teeth and forcibly wrenching the sounds out by the roots. The words had been a long time in the making, but now, because of the infinite sourness of their birth and because of the acrid grinding and gritting that had been going on in the dark recesses of his soul, Cassidy was forced at last to listen. Rudely and forever they dispelled Cassidy's dull impression that things were well with Cassidy, and in so doing tore away the veil and revealed Truth standing before him, naked, yet gloriously unashamed. But the general outlines of the goddess had not been entirely unfamiliar to him. Although his previous skull-gropings had brought forth neither a cause nor a remedy, he had so long felt that things were far from satisfactory that when at last she fronted him brazenly, eye to eye, he only sighed heavily, spat twice in sad reflection, and —— nodded for her to pass on; she had been accepted.

"Gosh, wot a thirst I got!" he pondered, and kicked the empty canteen at his feet. "Wot a simply horrible thirst! Say, pardner, I wonder did a feller ever have a thirst like this?" Luckily for Cassidy, his throat was not yet so dry but that he could amuse himself by fancifully measuring his thirst, first by pints, then by quarts.

"A quart would never do it, though," he meditated whimsically. "It would be a mean, low trick to make it think so. This yere job rightly belongs to a water-tank. Oh, gosh! And ten miles yet, across that darned dry lake, tuh Ochre. Gid-ap, Tawmm!"

In slow response, the four blacks settled into their sweaty collars, and the big Bain freighter, with its tugging trailer, heaved up the swale and lurched drunkenly down the other side to the glittering mesa.

For four long summer months of dust and heat Cassidy had been a freighter. From sun-up to sun-down he had dragged with snail-like progress up and down the cañons, through the rocky washes and crooked draws; and now that the road had dropped into the Southwestern Basin it was sickening mesa work, with the fine dust running like water ahead of his wheels or whirling up in fantastic, dancing pillars of grit that drove spitefully into his slack, parched mouth and sleepy eyes.

"It's the goll-dinged monotonosity of it I cain't stand!" he whined, as he drove his boot-heel down on the rasping brake-lever and waited sullenly for the inevitable bump from the trailer. "Gawd never meant fer a feller tuh do this work. I don't know Him very good," wailed Cassidy, "but I bet He wouldn't deal no such a raw hand. It ain't human!"

He frowned heavily at the sky-line of jagged mountains blued with haze. "They look like a lot of big old alligators—just as if they was asleep and lyin' with their shoulders half out of water," he murmured in gentle, subdued reminiscence. "The darned old no-good things!"

Then, as the bitterness of his lonely life rose up and dulled his mind and soured his tongue, "Why don't yuh get some mineral into yuh?" he yelled with abrupt ferocity. "Why ain't yuh some good tuh a feller? Zing, zing, zing—I hate your old heat a-singin' in my ears all the gosh-blamed time! Why don't yuh do something? Huh? Yuh don't make it so's anything kin live. Yuh don't give no water, yuh don't give no grass, yuh don't do nothin'! Yuh jest lay there and make heat!"

[pg 4]



[pg 5]



[pg 6]

Across the mesa the shimmering white surface of a dry lake caught his angry eye. As he looked, it began to rock gently from side to side. Presently, in a freakish spirit of its own, it curled up at the edges. Later, it seemed to turn into a dimpling sheet of water, cool, sweet, and alluring.

Cassidy burst into a howl of derision that startled his blacks into a jogging trot: "Oh, yuh cain't fool me, yuh darned old fake!" He shook a huge red fist in defiance of his ancient foe. "I'll beat yuh yet—darn yuh!"

Late that night, a large man with a red face and a sunburned neck on which the skin lay in little cobwebs, stumbled in under the lights of Number One Commissary Tent.

"I want my time and I want my money. I ain't a-goin' tuh work no more! he announced with a displeased frown.

"Going back home tuh Coloraydo?" asked the youthful clerk.

"Back home?" repeated Cassidy mechanically. "How—how's that, young feller?"

"I asked yuh if yuh were going tuh hit the grit fer home?" the boy repeated.

"Aoh!" said Cassidy, and a blank look spread across his countenance. He spoke as if he did not understand. For a while he stood quite still, unknowingly twiddling the time-check in his thick, fat-cushioned fingers into a moist pink ball. His face grew heavy and dull. It seemed to have been robbed, with a surprising suddenness, of all the good spirits, all the abounding, virile life, of the moment before. It grew to look old and lined under the flickering lamplight, and this was odd, because Cassidy was not by any means an old man.

For a time the only sound he made was a queer little ejaculation of surprise, the only movement a bewildered stare at the boy. Together they were the actions of a child who, in the first numbing moments of a gashed finger, only gazes at the wound in round-eyed wonder. Cassidy had begun to remember.

He remembered that "back home" a man didn't have to live all the time on sour bread and canned tomatoes; "back home" you didn't have to die of thirst, coming in with day-empty water-barrels to find the spring dried up; "back home" the mountains didn't jiggle up and down in front of you, through glassy waves of heat that rightfully belonged in a blast-furnace. Things were different—and better—"back home."

Cassidy lifted his head and listened. He had heard the sound of water. Half hidden in the brush, a little brook was running by him down a dark ravine. Joyously, tumultuously, it churked and gurgled over the smooth green stones and moss down to the level, and then slipped away, with low, contented murmurings, among the cottonwoods and willows. Cassidy found himself following that brook. It took him down through fields of dark lucerne. It led him through yellow pasturage, deep with stubble and wild oats. It showed him long-aisled orchards glinting with fruit in the sunlight. It ushered him into a wide and pleasant valley. In the distance Cassidy saw a ranch. Near by, with blowsy forelock and careless mane, a shaggy pony stood knee-deep in the river-sedge.

"Why, hello, hossy!" whispered Cassidy, with soft surprise. "Why, say! I know yuh!"

A full, warm wind began to sough through the pines on the hillside. He could hear it blowing, blowing unendingly, from across the hills. His ears rang with the whirring sound, as it came singing along with the vox humana chords of a great 'cello, streaming down from the heights, gentle-fingered, but wondrously vast-bodied—booming along with half a world behind it. Fair in the face it smote him with its resinous breath, and he felt his lips parting to inhale its fiery tonic—felt, as he used to feel, the magic glow tingling in his veins again and brightening his eyes with the pure pagan glory of his living.

And then, very sadly indeed for Cassidy, and in much the same way that whisky and he had let it all slip through their fingers long ago, the sound of the brook stilled. The valley, the meadows, the ranch, and the kind, warm wind faded, one by one. In their stead came the creak and shock of a belated wagon-train pulling into camp. He heard the panting of laboring horses. He caught the salt reek of sweaty harness. He heard the drivers curse querulously as they jammed down the brake-levers, tossed the reins away, and clambered stiffly down.

Cassidy turned a strained, hard face on the boy. "I reckon not," he said sadly, grimly. "I ain't a-goin' home. Nope; I ain't a-goin' no place that's good. Yuh kin always be sure of that, kid."

"Oh, now, that's all right. Don't get sore," soothed the boy. "That's all right, Cassidy."

"No, it ain't!" roared Cassidy, angry with the long, hot days and stifling nights, angry with the work and the scanty pay, angry[pg 8][pg 7] most of all with himself. "No, it ain't all right!"



As a previously concealed resolve crystallized at last somewhere in his brain, his voice rasped up a whole octave.

"Nothin's all right, pardner!" he yelled. "Yuh hear me? Yuh know what I'm goin' tuh do?" He waved the time-check defiantly above his head and let go one last howl of sardonic self-derision:

"I'm goin' down tuh the Bucket of Blood tuh get drunk!"

The desert town of Ochre, in its more salient points, was not unlike a desert flower, although its makers were far from desiring it to blush unseen. Yesterday it had slept unborn in a nook of the sand-hills, the abiding-place of cat's-claw, mesquit, and flickering lizards.

To-day it burst, with an almost tropic vigor, into riotous growth. Flamboyant youth, calculating middle age, doddering senility, all these were there, all treading on one another's heels, to reap and be reaped. To-day a scene of marvelous activity, a maelstrom of bustling commissariat and fretting supply-trains, cut by never-ending counter-currents of hoboes to and from the front, to-morrow it would simmer down into the desuetude of a siding. Thus is vanity repaid.

Although Cassidy had begun at the "Bucket," he soon discovered that it possessed no phonograph, and, possessing a craving for music, he had removed himself and the remains of the pink check to where an aged instrument in "Red Eye Mike's" guttered forth a doubtful plea for one "Bill Bailey" to come home.

Here he had remained for five fateful, forgetting days. What Mike and Mike's friends did to him in that space of time cannot be dwelt upon. Suffice it to say that on the morning of the sixth day the bleary semblance of a man who had slept all night in the sand, alongside of a saloon, awoke to the daylight and a hell of pain.

By dint of soul-racking exertions it managed to roll to its hands and knees. Then, by slow stages, it pulled itself together, and after several unsuccessful attempts, tottering, stood on its feet. Tents, horses, sky, desert, and sun revolved in a bewildering kaleidoscope before his eyes. In the vastness of his skull a point of pain darted agonizingly back and forth. In his mouth was a taste like unto nothing known on this earth or in either bourn.

"I got money yet," he mumbled dazedly to himself, as was his conversational wont. "Say! I'm tellin' yuh, I got money yet!" Fumbling, he searched his pockets, but quite to no avail. Sadder yet, a repetition of the search, even to turning his clothes inside out and then looking anxiously on the sand, produced nothing. With a puzzled look on his haggard face, he stumbled into Mike's saloon.

Not at all disconcerted by the bedraggled form that leaned on his bar and mouthed disconnectedly, the worthy keeper of the hostel proceeded to produce a sheet of paper from the till.

"I don't savvy what you're talking about at all," he remarked ingenuously; "but seein' as you've been spendin' a few bucks amongst your friends here, I'll tell you how you stand."

"How do I stand?" asked Cassidy thickly.

Mike laughed in his face. "You don't stand, pardner. You're all in."

A moment necessarily had to be allowed Cassidy to fathom this catastrophe. When the agony had come and passed, he was heard to sigh heavily and remark: "Well, I reckon it'll be the old job again. I got the outfit yet."

"Have you, indeed?" mocked Mike, well up to his lay. "I'm glad to have you mention it. See here, pardner." He slapped the sheet of paper flat on the bar, under Cassidy's astonished eyes. "Do you figure this is your name at the bottom, or don't you?" he demanded in peremptory tones.

Cassidy frowned and regarded the paper. Then, as the words swam and blurred together in one long, discouraging line, he weakly gave it up.

"Wot's it say, Mike?" he asked feebly.

"This here paper says," responded the other, with the cold, forceful air of one well within his rights, "that last night you sold me your teams and your outfit—fer a consideration. Of course, now, I ain't sayin' just what you done with the consideration I give you. Mebbe you spent it like a gent fer booze, mebbe you was foolish and went to some strong-arm shack and got rolled. I dunno; I can't say. All I know is that you got your money and I got the outfit. Savvy?"

Cassidy's face took on a queer, pasty white. His hands clawed ineffectively at the bar.

"Sold you my outfit?" he quavered, with an awful break in his voice. "Sold it, Mike? Why, how do you figure that?"

"Is that your name?" barked Mike in answer. He thrust the paper out at arm's length and shook it under Cassidy's nose with astonishing ferocity. "Just you say one little short word, friend. Is that your name, or isn't it?"

Cassidy wavered. It was unquestionably his name; whether he had written it there or not was yet to be decided.

If psychological moments come to the Cassidys,[pg 9] this one felt such a thing near him. Now was the time for him to leap in the air and pound wrathfully upon the bar. Now was the instant for him to rush into the open and call vociferously on his friends. Now was the fraction of a second left for him to reach out his hard knuckles and pin Mike to the wall and tear the paper from his hands. But instead, and with a queer feeling of aloofness from it all, much as if he were the helpless spectator of activities proceeding in some fantastic dream, he felt the moment thrilling up to him; felt it stand obediently waiting; felt himself slowly gathering in response to its mute query; then felt himself drop helplessly back into a stupid coma of whisky fumes and sodden inertia.

When he came to, Mike had put the paper back in his till and was assiduously cleaning up his bar. It was all over.

Cassidy shifted irresolutely from one foot to the other. A sickening feeling of hollowness within him was crying aloud to be appeased by either food or drink, and his shaking body begged for a place to rest itself into tranquillity; but still for a while he stood there, fighting off these yearnings while he gathered his far-strayed wits. Now and then he weakly attempted to catch the other's eye, but as Mike studiously refused to be caught, Cassidy could only blink owlishly and fumble again with the tangled ends of the skein. Finally, abandoning it all as useless, he turned toward the door, yet arrested his dazed shambling to ask one last question.

"How's that?" Mike responded vaguely over his shoulder. "Still harping on that, are you?"

"Did I really sell you them blacks?" ventured Cassidy quaveringly, controlling his voice only with a tremendous effort. "Reelly, truly—did I sell 'em?"

Mike rolled a cigar over in his mouth, with a complacent lick of his tongue. "That's what," he replied laconically.

Cassidy gulped down something in his throat. He leaned for a moment against the door-jamb; his gaunt, hollow-cheeked face quivered with misery.

"I mean them black wheelers, Mike. Just them two—them wheelers," he pleaded. Hesitating a little, as the other deigned no response, he ventured weakly on:

"I was figurin', now—of course, I don't mean nothin' by it, Mike, only yuh see how a feller c'u'd figger it—that mebbe—mebbe you made some mistake in readin' that paper. Yuh see how it could happen. A feller c'u'd make a mistake in readin', now, c'u'dn't he?" With this flimsy appeal Cassidy played his last and poorest card.

In answer the other snapped some ashes from his sleeve, turned his back, slapped the cash-register shut, and strode masterfully down the room. "Not this time, pardner."

Cassidy stumbled out.

"I've sold them wheelers!" he sobbed under his breath. "Why, it seems like I was just this minute thinkin' I'd get tuh go and water 'em, and rub 'em down a bit. Now it ain't no use thinkin' about it—not any more. It ain't me that's goin' tuh do that. I cain't water 'em. I ain't got rights to even lay my hands on 'em! O-h-h!" he shuddered, and agonizedly pulled taut on every tired, aching muscle. "Yuh oughter be beat up with a club. Yuh oughter get pounded with a rawk. You're a rotten, whisky-soaked bum, that's all yuh are now, and yuh oughter be killed and kicked out in the street!"

Half whining, half crying miserably, he drove himself out of the town, for a mile or more, on the desert, then plodded painfully back again, mauling and beating himself with the bludgeon of his awful self-pity.

At the foot of a fast-rising "grade" he halted wearily and watched the work. It was well on toward noon by this time, and the sun was blazing down through a choking pall of dust that hung in the lifeless air. Men were driving horses to and fro. They were men with weak, deeply lined faces and shambling gaits. They broke into querulous curses and beat their animals savagely on ridiculously small pretexts. They handled their reins with a uniformly betraying awkwardness.

Cassidy sized them up and sniffed contemptuously to himself. He knew. "That's wot you'll be doing to-morrow," he muttered. "Durn your hide, that's all you're good for. That's yuh to-morrow, yuh and the rest of the 'boes."

Not knowing what to do with himself now, he drifted back to the town and sat in the scanty shade of a joshua, prepared to commune further with himself. Looking up after a time, his eyes descried in the distance the figures of two men who were walking toward him.

"I bet that's Con Maguire," he murmured. "Yep—him and that old 'Arkinsaw.' They've got their time-checks, tuh; I kin tell the way they walk. I bet I know wot they're sayin'. Con, he's got a little ranch up tuh Provo, and he's fer makin' right up the line and gettin' that old no-good Arkinsaw to go along and pass up the booze.

"Poor old Arkinsaw!" mused Cassidy shrewdly. "He's worked three months steady for Donovans', drivin' scraper, the poor old[pg 10] slob, and their chuck is rotten. I'll bet he's terrible glad to get back tuh Number One. He's got forty dollars now. I bet he's near crazy. He allers looks that way when he's got forty dollars," said Cassidy.

"Sure I'll go with you, Con," Arkinsaw was saying. "I always meant to go, reelly, truly I did. You ask any of the fellers back to Donovans'. I was allers savin', 'I'm goin' out home when Con Maguire goes'—and, sure enough, here I am. I'll be to the train the same time as you. We'll go home on the same train, Con; sure we will." The old man laughed nervously. His eyes were bright with some strange excitement—but half of it was fear.

"Say, Con," he whispered hoarsely, "I'll be all right. You jest ketch holt of my arm when we go by; I'll be all right then. Say, Con," he guttered, in an agony of fear and desperation, "you hear me? Only git me by that first saloon."

But the approaching twain had been seen by other eyes than Cassidy's. By some odd fortuity, a phonograph broke into wheezy song as the wayfarers swung down the street. Dice began to roll invitingly across the bars, and from a distant spot came the hollow sound of the roulette-ball. Quite by chance, a man appeared in a doorway, holding a glass of beer. He was seen to drain it, just as they passed. Then he noticed them for the first time.

"Come in and cool off, boys," he suggested cordially. "It's all on ice. Good, cold lager, boys!"

Under its mask of dust, Arkinsaw's face worked horribly. He stumbled, loitered along the way to fix his shoe, zigzagged from one side to the other, fumbled at his pack, and finally stopped.

"Say, Con," he rasped feebly. "Oh, Con! Say, I gotter see a feller here. Say!" as his friend looked back at him with disconcerting doubt written on every feature. "Say, Con!—reelly, truly I have!"

"Well, hurry up, then," replied the other, and went on his dogged way.

The instant his back was turned, the old man obliqued crabwise to the side of the road. Fumbling nervously at his roll of bedding, he threw it off and darted for the saloon, running and stumbling in his haste. But at this point a large, gaunt, red-faced man, bearing a club in one hand, appeared from nowhere in particular and fronted him.

"G'wan down the road!" said the red-faced man harshly.

"Why—why, Cass!" Arkinsaw bleated surprisedly. "How you did startle me! Why, where did you come from? Yessir!" and he deftly manoeuvered so as to catch a glimpse of the bar over Cassidy's shoulder. "You surely startled me bad. Excuse me," he murmured absently; "I gotter see a feller——"

"G'wan down the road!"

"No, no, Cass!" the old man begged, hopping frantically on one foot. "Just a minute. It'll only take me a minute, I tell you. I gotter see a feller."

"G'wan down the road!"

"Say, Cass! don't treat a feller that way——"

Arkinsaw retreated. Cassidy and the club advanced. Arkinsaw craftily side-stepped. So did Cassidy. They paused.

Cassidy leaned on his stick and centered the old man's wavering gaze. "Don't lie," he said softly. "If yuh lie tuh me, yuh feather-brained old cockroach, I'll just natch'lly beat your face off! I want yuh tuh go home; just clamp your mind on that, Sam Meeker! If yuh think you're goin' tuh throw your money away over that bar, yuh want tuh separate yourself from the idea mighty quick. I won't stand fer foolishness. Go over there and git your bed!"

By this time the old man had calmed down. He looked the other over with a benevolently crafty eye.

"Why, what you been doing lately, Cass?" he inquired, with an adroit turn of the conversation. "You don't look as if you were real happy."

Cassidy winced. Then he hefted the club suggestively. "I've been doin' things yuh won't do!" he said savagely. "There's your bed over there. Pick it up! Hit the breeze! Hike!"

"This yere's a friend of mine, Con," chortled Arkinsaw delightedly, as he scrambled up the steps of the swing train a little later. "He knowed my folks, back home. He's a real kind feller."

Con nodded and surveyed Cassidy's club with vast appreciation. The train underwent a preliminary convulsion and began to pull out.

"Good-by!" yelled Cassidy. "Keep sober, yuh brindle-whiskered old billy-goat!"

Arkinsaw's straggly beard waved in the air as he stuck his head out of a window. His worn, furtive old face was riotous with joy. He was going home—home! Safe and sober, with forty dollars and a clean conscience, more than had been his in many a day.

"You bet I kin!" he bellowed back. "You're all right, Cass!"

Cassidy sniffed and turned again toward the town. "I don't reckon I c'u'd stand these yere chuck-ranches off fer a meal," he soliloquized, "not lookin' the way I am. To-morrow's all[pg 11] right; I'll be workin' then. To-day—" He paused and ran his hand over his forehead. "Well, to-day I reckon it'll be Mike's again—if he'll stand fer it."

And Mike fed him. Cassidy was harmless now. The fact that he asked for food proved it. Mike knew it; Cassidy knew it.

The rear of the saloon was partitioned off into a "Ladies' Room," whose door opened on the alkali flat behind. From thence came the monotonous drone of a murmured conversation. Cassidy tried ineffectually to follow it, but the droning of the voices and the steady hum of the flies around the beer lees on the bar made him sleepy. Outside it was stiflingly hot. Over on the grade the horses were choking and snorting in the dust, while the shambling-gaited men cursed steadily and heaved at the heavy scrapers. The little patch of blue in the doorway was twinkling with heat. Far out on the yellow plain, a grotesque-armed joshua lurched from side to side.

Cassidy felt a hand on his shoulder. "Do you want a drink?" asked Mike. "If you do, go in there and earn it. Talk to her. She's in hard luck."

Cassidy arose obediently, and with not a little timidity ventured to open the door and peer within.

"Come in," said a woman's voice, and Cassidy, not knowing why or why not, went in.

"Put your hat on the coffin and have a chair," said the woman. "I've looked and looked, and I can't see any table in this room."

Cassidy shuffled to a seat in a moment of surprise, and looked guardedly about him. There was, in fact, no table. Indubitably there was a coffin.

"That's my husband," said the woman. "Want to see him?"

"N-n-no, ma'am," Cassidy stammered hastily.

The woman nodded appreciatively. "Few does," she said, "and I guess it wouldn't do yuh much good. What's the matter with yuh? Yuh don't seem right well."

"No, ma'am," Cassidy confessed; "I ain't very well to-day."

The woman smiled a little. There was a pause. "How long have yuh been drinkin'?" she asked in a gentle voice.

"'Bout five days now," said Cassidy, reddening to the tips of his ears and bashfully looking up for the first time.

She was a short, well-made woman, dressed in black from the hem of her shiny skirt to the long plush bonnet-strings dangling loosely in her lap. Her face was a firm, pleasant oval, quite unlined except near the eyes, where there was a multitude of fine wrinkles such as come from squinting across a desert under a desert sun. There was nothing particularly worth noting about her face, except that it had an exceptionally healthy appearance. But her eyes fascinated Cassidy. They were an uncompromising, snapping black. They seemed brimming over with vitality. They were eyes that showed a strength of will behind them only woefully expressible in her woman's voice. They had a compelling quality in their straightforward honesty that forced Cassidy at once to forego the rest of her features. If he ventured to admire the firm white chin and well-kept teeth, the eyes flashed a stern rebuke. If his gaze slipped down to the sleazy, badly fashioned dress, the eyes brought him up with a round turn, slapped him, and reduced him to obedience. If his own flitted curiously to the smooth brown hair, drawn simply, plainly away from her forehead, hers towed him mercilessly back.

"We never drank much down tuh the ranch," she remarked, with the easy deviance of one who understands another's failings and does not wish to pain him by intruding their own immunity; "and now I s'pose there won't be hardly any. I'm Sarah Gentry. Yuh know me? We live down tuh Willow Springs."

Cassidy nodded. He knew Willow Springs and its well-kept ranch. It was the only fertile neck of land that ran down to Ochre Desert, an oasis, a veritable paradise of cottonwoods, willows, dark fields of alfalfa, a capably fenced corral, long lines of beehives, and apple-and olive-trees.

Cassidy grinned feebly. "I know. I stoled a mushmelon there last week."

"I saw yuh," said Sarah Gentry quickly, but without a shadow of malice. "Your head is tuh red. Yuh better stick tuh grapes at night."

Cassidy collapsed.

"My husband died yesterday, from consumption," she went on, with an even, steady flow of talk. "And I came in here tuh get a preacher tuh bury him. I heard the railroad was comin' this way, and I figured Christianity would come clippin' right along behind. But I guess it won't pull in for quite a spell. It just beats me how the devil always gets the head start. He kin always get in somehow, ridin' the rods, or comin' blind baggage; religion sorter tags behind and waits for the chair-car. I don't think much of this town, either. It seems like it was full of nothin' but sand, saloons, beer-bottles, and bums. Are yuh one of 'em?" she inquired, with a sudden thrust that startled Cassidy beyond bounds.

"A bum, ma'am?" gasped Cassidy.

"No; a preacher."[pg 12]

"I reckon not," said Cassidy definitely.

"I didn't know," said the woman vaguely. "I never saw one. Edgard an' me was married by the county clerk down tuh Hackberry, and he tried tuh kiss me, and Edgard shot him. Those would be mighty unfortunate manners for a preacher, I reckon. And now I'm all tired out and don't know what tuh do. That man outside let me sit down in here, and made me bring the coffin right inside,—he carried it in himself,—but he didn't seem tuh know much about preachers, either. If I was a Mormon I s'pose I could divide up the buryin' some, but I'm all alone now."

In a moment of unreflecting insanity Cassidy opened his mouth. "I'll help yuh, ma'am!" he said gallantly.

"All right," responded the widowed woman instantly. "Yuh kin lead."

Cassidy paled perceptibly under his tan.

"Now don't back out," she said, "even if yuh do feel sick. Mebbe some whisky would hearten yuh up." And she went quickly to the door.

Cassidy sat still in his chair, making up his mind—about the whisky.

"There!" said Sarah Gentry, suddenly appearing with a glass which she set on the coffin. "Looks real good, don't it?"

Cassidy's forehead was damp with perspiration. Inside of him something was clamoring frightfully for the stuff in the glass. Something seemed gnawing at his very heart and soul, threatening and pleading, begging and insisting, fashioning devilish excuses, promising great things. Cassidy's hand stretched slowly out for the drink—and came back. There was a silence. The woman fixed her large, strong eyes on his. Again he reached out his hand, and his face was strained and unpleasant to look upon. But again he stopped before he took the glass. A horse had whinnied outside. Cassidy shook his head grimly. Putting his toe against the glass, he deftly kicked it into the corner. "I reckon not," he said.

The woman jumped to her feet.

"Git up!" she said impulsively. "Git up and shake hands. You're a man! And now we'll go out and git tuh buryin'."

A little party of six was assembled in a gulch in the sand-hills. The coffin, marked only with a card, lay in a slight depression scooped out by the wind.

Nearest to the rough pine box stood the widow, with lowered eyes, but without the trace of an expression on her face. Heavy-handed, red-faced, gaunt and grim, Cassidy loomed up beside her. Behind them, in attitudes of more or less perfunctory interest, stood a white-capped cook from the commissary-tent, who had come out to get away from the flies, two vague-visaged unknowns from the vast under-world of hobodom, and a greasy, loose-lipped fireman with a dirty red sweater and a contemptuous eye.

"Go on!" whispered the woman. She threw one of her swift, compelling glances at Cassidy. "Say something!" And Cassidy obeyed; he could not have refused if he had tried.

It became at once apparent that he must make no rambling talk. The history of the past five days, while illuminating and diverting, could not be calculated to inspire the casual onlooker with religious awe. If aught was to be said, it must, perforce, be meaty and direct.

Cassidy grasped the irritating fireman firmly by the arm. Fixing him with a baleful eye, he spoke:

"This yere lady has wanted me to say something tuh yuh about her husband dyin'. As far as I kin understand, that part is all right. That's what he done. He's dead, all right; there ain't no mistake about that. Wot I'm askin' yuh is: Was he a man? Was he good for anything? Wot did he do when he wasn't workin'? Was he a low, mean cuss, always goin' round with bums?"

"How do I know?" asked the fireman, in an aggrieved tone. "Ouch! Say, leggo my arm!"

Cassidy's grip tightened. The fireman groaned dismally and subsided.

"Judgin' from wot I kin see, I should say he was! I mean he was good fer something. I should say he was surely a terrible weaver if he couldn't keep straight, hitched up alongside of the—the lamented widow. I don't think any feller could be much if he wasn't. Yuh see, pardner, he had all the chance in the world. He didn't need to be jay-hawkin' round, makin' eyes at every red-cheeked biscuit-shooter that fed him hot cakes. He had a nice ranch and a good wife. A feller that couldn't be grateful tuh a woman that's treated him as good as she has to-day, and hauled him clear from Willow Springs tuh git a Christian burial, and stood around fer him in a hot sun—well, he couldn't be no account at all!"

Cassidy paused and spat. "That's the way I look at it. And," thwarting the restive fireman by a startlingly painful grip on the fleshy part of his arm, "any feller that ain't got as good a wife—any feller that ain't got any, and lays round drinkin', and foolin' his money away on the 'double O,' and sittin' in tuh stud games with permiskus strangers, and gettin' ready tuh be a hobo—all I kin say is, he'd better brace up and try tuh deserve one. A feller that ain't[pg 13] got a wife is a no-account loafer and bum, and he ought tuh git kicked! This man had one, but he went and left her. Even then he done better than yuh done! That's all."

"Kin I go now?" queried the fireman smartly.

"Yuh kin!" responded Cassidy, malevolently, "but I'll see yuh later, young feller. I ain't overfond of yuh." And he turned away to cover the coffin with sand, digging it up laboriously and scattering it here and there with a piece of board.

"That was a mighty nice talk yuh gave the fireman," remarked the woman, during an interval in their labors. "I feel a lot better now. Mebbe the fireman will get married now and brace up. Was he really doing all those things yuh said?"

"Some feller was," answered Cassidy. "I heard about it."

"And now," announced the widow, "we'll just make him a good head-board and stop there. Edgard might have been a good husband, but he didn't try overhard. Have yuh got anything written?"

"I ain't got anything but this yere old location notice," ventured Cassidy doubtfully. "I guess, though, I'll just stake out Edgard, the same as a claim. Then it'll be regular, and there won't nobody touch him. Of course we won't put up any side centers or corner posts; jest a sort of discovery monument. He'll be safe for three months, all right."

And so Cassidy, with the nub of a pencil, and using his knee as a writing-desk, duly, and in the manner set forth in the laws of the United States, discovered and located Edgard Gentry, age thirty-five, died of consumption, extending fifteen hundred feet in a northerly and southerly direction and three hundred feet on either side, together with all his dips, spurs, and angles.

"Yuh write a nice hand," murmured the widow pensively, sitting down in the sand beside him and unwittingly breathing on his neck as he wrote. "Did yuh go tuh school, Mister Cassidy?"

"Yessum," was the confused answer. "Leastways, part of the time."

The widow surveyed him with a dreamy look in her fine eyes and pulled thoughtfully at her full lower lip.

"You're a big man," she remarked. "How much do you weigh?"

"Over two hundred," answered Cassidy consciously.

"And yuh haven't got any home?"—innocently.

"No, ma'am."

"What were yuh doing tuh that poor old man to-day?"

The sudden irrelevance of the question startled Cassidy immeasurably.

"Wot? That little old Arkinsaw man? Oh—nothin'. Did yuh see me talkin' tuh him?"

"I did," said the woman; "and I also saw yuh poking him up the street with a big stick. Do yuh think that was a nice thing for a strong young man like yuh?"

"I was—I was just advisin' him," explained Cassidy thickly. "I——"

"What were yuh hurtin' that old man for?" was the forceful interruption. "Did he ever hurt yuh any?"

"Hurt me? Old Arkinsaw? No, ma'am; not tuh my knowledge. But——"

"Never mind that," said the woman stonily though the big, strong eyes had a favorable light in their depths. "Yuh tell me why yuh were sticking him in the back."

"Well—he wanted a drink—that's why," Cassidy mumbled.

"Oh!" remarked the woman, with withering comprehension. "And so, because he was tired and thirsty and wanted a drink, yuh poked him. I see."

Cassidy grew desperate. "I'm afraid, ma'am, yuh don't rightly understand," he undertook to explain.

"Yes, I do," replied the woman hotly, and burned him with her eyes. Then she turned her back on him, which hurt him a great deal more.

Cassidy groaned aloud.

"I believe you're a bully," goaded the little woman, and showed an attractive, mutinous profile over her shoulder. "Do yuh bully women, too?"

Cassidy did not answer at once. When he did, it was in a low, rather lifeless voice: "No'm; I don't bother the women-folks much."

"There, there, now," soothed the woman, quickly turning to him and putting her hand on his shoulder with a motherly gesture. "Don't go tuh feelin' bad. Don't yuh s'pose I knew all the time why yuh did it? I was glad, too. Just yuh lay down there in the sand and get rested, and tell me all about it."

And so Cassidy, stretched full length, with his face half hidden in his arm, mumbled fragmentarily—and told. After it was finished, after all his misdeeds had been related, and counted over, one by one, he ventured to look up.

The woman's face was grave, but she was smiling. She laid her hand gently on his cheek and turned his eyes to hers.[pg 14]

"But you've quit now?" she stated.

"I've quit," answered Cassidy honestly.

"Well, then, it'll be all right. I reckon it's time for me to be going now. Yuh better drive me home."

The road to Willow Springs lay straight across the mesa. Here and there, in the yellow expanse of sand, were patches of green mesquit, where some underground flow came near enough to the surface to slake their thirsty roots. Elsewhere the sand shifted noiselessly across the plain, under the touch of the wind, which fashioned innumerable oddly shaped hummocks, and then gently purred them away again, to heap on others.

After they had driven silently for some time, the woman spoke: "There's a man standing in that clump of cat's-claw ahead. Did yuh see him?"

Cassidy thoughtfully eased up the perspiring team. "I know him," he answered, although apparently he had not raised his eyes above the dash-board for a long time. "Name is Tommy."

"Well, what's Tommy hidin' in those bushes for?" demanded the woman.

"A feller broke into Number One Commissary last night."

"Did Tommy do it?"

"No, ma'am—not this time. His partner done it and skipped out."

"Does Jake think Tommy did it?"

"Yes, ma'am. I see Jake hitchin' up tuh go after him when we started out."

There was little said after that until they came abreast of the cat's-claw near the road. Cassidy pulled up.

"Say, Tommy! Oh, yuh Tommy!" he called persuasively at the silent bushes. "Come, git in here. This lady wants yuh."

"I guess Jake's a-comin'," replied Tommy, poking his head into view from his thorny retreat.

"I guess he is," said Cassidy, and looked over his shoulder at a rapidly approaching pillar of dust. "It's a good thing the county pays for his horse-flesh." There was a pause. "I reckon you'd better hurry some, Tommy," drawled Cassidy.

"Don't stand there imperiling your life, tryin' tuh guess who I am," said the widow abruptly. "Get right in here and cover up with alfalfa and them horse-blankets, and lie quiet. I want yuh."

"What for?" queried Tommy, as he clambered in, being a young man of devious thought.

"For a witness!" said Sarah Gentry unfathomably—for Tommy.

Cassidy looked puzzled for a moment. Then a slow wave of red crept over his face and crimsoned his ears. He started his horses again to cover his confusion.

The woman let him think for a moment; then her eyes drew his own startled orbs around and enveloped them in a soft light.

"Yuh know what I mean, Mister Cassidy?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"Well—shall we?" shyly.

"Yes, ma'am," answered Cassidy, and blushed incontinently.

Behind them a light buggy was being driven over the desert at a furious pace. As it came nearer, the two in the ranch-wagon, with its confused huddle of horse-blankets and hay, beneath which lay the trustful Tommy, could hear the shock of the springs as it bumped from one chuck-hole to another; but they did not turn their heads.

"Hello, there, Cass!" shouted the sheriff genially, as he pulled down alongside of them. "How'do, Mis' Gentry! Pretty hot travelin', ain't it?"

"I s'pose it is—being July," the little woman replied, with the first trace of confusion that Cassidy had seen. "I—I hadn't been noticing lately."

"I'm in a terrible hurry," the sheriff continued rapidly. "Some are sayin' young Tommy Ivison come this way, and I want him. I hate tuh give yuh my dust. Whoa, Dick! Whoa, Pet!" He pulled in his fretting team with a heavy hand. "I've got tuh get him before he crosses the California line, so I got tuh fan right along. Gid-ap, there!"

"Wait a minute, Jake."

"Can't do it, Mis' Gentry. If he's more than a couple of miles ahead, I can't ketch him. What is it I can do for you?"

"Yuh kin marry us two!" said the little woman, with a gulp.

"Marry yuh?" roared the sheriff. "Can't do it, ma'am—not even for a friend. Awful sorry, Mis' Gentry, but I've just got tuh go." He jerked the whip from its socket for a merciless slash.

"Jake!" said the little woman commandingly.

"Ma'am?" said the sheriff in an uncertain tone.

"Yuh heard what I said?"

"Yes, ma'am; but it ain't regular at all. I ain't no justice of the peace; I ain't got power enough; I ain't got anything—Bible, nor statutes, nor nothing. I couldn't take no fee, either; it wouldn't be right. By Golly!" he exclaimed excitedly, "I bet that's him, up ahead, right now!" and he struck his horses.[pg 15]

"Whip up!" said the woman to Cassidy, and she stood up in the wagon and held on by the rocking top.

"Jake Bowerman!" she called across the erratic width that separated the rapidly moving vehicles, "if you've got power enough tuh 'rest people and keep 'em in jail for the rest of their lives, marryin' ain't much worse, and yuh kin do it if yuh try!"

"Yuh ain't got any witness, Mis' Gentry!" bellowed the confused Jake, as a last resort, and touched his horses again. Cassidy let out another notch, and kept even. The wagons were swaying jerkily from side to side.

"Yes, I have!" snapped the woman. "Now, yuh hurry up!"

"Better stand up, Mister Cassidy," she whispered; "we've got tuh be real quick!"

"It don't seem hardly regular!" yelled the discomfited sheriff, skilfully avoiding a dangerous hummock and crashing through a mesquit-bush which whipped away his hat. "I'll—I'll do it for yuh, Mis' Gentry. I'll marry yuh as tight as I kin; but I can't stop drivin' for that, and I've forgot a whole lot how it goes. Are yuh all ready?"

The desert had changed from its soft, yielding sand to a brown, flat floor of small stones and volcanic dust, fairly hard and unrutted. Pulling in dangerously close, the sheriff shifted his reins to one hand and faced them. The two wagons were racing neck and neck in a cloud of dust, Cassidy handling his lines with skill and growing satisfaction. From the body of the wagon under him, and quite distinguishable from the clatter of the horses' feet, came a series of sharp bumps as the unfortunate Tommy ricochetted from side to side.

"Do yuh believe in the Constitution of the United States?" bellowed Jake.

"We do!" pealed the woman.

"Do yuh—whoa, there, Pet! Goll darn your hide!—do yuh solemnly swear never tuh fight no duels?"

"What's that?" screamed the woman.

"He said a 'duel'!" shouted Cassidy in her ear, above the uproar of the wheels. "Tell him no! We won't fight many duels!"

"No! No duels!" sang the woman.

"And no aidin' or abettin'?"

"No! No bettin' at all!"

"Nor have any connection with any duels whatsoever?"

The widow looked puzzled. She didn't understand. What had duels to do with solemn marriage?

"It's all in the statutes, all right!" roared the sheriff angrily, as vast portions of the laws of Nevada fled from his agitated mind.

"Mebbe you're both grand jurors now; I dunno. I think that's the oath. I reckon it's good and bindin', anyhow." He stood up in his buggy and shook the reins furiously over his horses' backs to escape from further legal entanglements. Leaning back over the folded top, he pointed at them magisterially with his whip.

"And now, by the grace of God and me, Jake Bowerman, I hereby pronounce yuh man and wife!"

With a roar of wheels, bad language, and a cloud of dust, the sheriff vanished in pursuit of the California line and the fleet-footed Tommy.

Cassidy pulled his horses into a much-needed walk. The little woman sat down and felt for her bonnet.

"My!" gasped Mrs. Cassidy, "that was going some! Do yuh reckon we're really married?"

The team, unheeded, had swung off from the desert into a road made in damper, richer soil. Not far ahead, now, the dark foliage of the Willow Spring ranch rose in cool relief against the grim, sun-reddened buttes beyond. Their passenger had some time since dropped quietly off and was walking ahead of the plodding horses.

As Cassidy looked forward at the quiet fields, and the ranch, and the spring, in the half-circle of willows where the cattle drank, now gradually dimming in the soft twilight, and then, with an involuntary turn, at the God-forgotten waste behind him, something melted in his breast; something cleared up his mind, and wiped it free of his thoughtless appetites and sins, and made him a strong, clean-hearted man again. He turned to the now quiet, pensive little woman at his side. He found her looking up at him with trustful, softly shining, all-enveloping eyes.

"I hope we're married!" said Cassidy gravely. "I reckon we are. Jake was always a mighty brave man, and what he does, he does so it sticks. But even if we ain't married good enough fer some folks, it's good enough fer me, for all time. I won't run away, ma'am. No, ma'am—not ever!"

"I know!" said the little woman happily. "I know!"

[pg 16]






A Lady with a Lamp shall stand
In the great history of the land
Motto upon the cover of the "Christian Science Sentinel"

At the June communion of the Mother Church, 1895, a telegram from Mrs. Eddy was read aloud to the congregation, in which she invited all members who desired to do so to call upon her at Pleasant View on the following day.[1] Accordingly, one hundred and eighty Christian Scientists boarded the train at Boston and went up to Concord. Mrs. Eddy threw her house open to them, received them in person, shook hands with each delegate, and conversed with many. This was the beginning of the Concord "pilgrimages" which later became so conspicuous.

After the communion in 1897, twenty-five hundred enthusiastic pilgrims crowded into the little New Hampshire capital. Although the Scientists hired every available conveyance in Concord, there were not nearly enough carriages to accommodate their numbers, so hundreds of the pilgrims made their joyful progress on foot out Pleasant Street to Mrs. Eddy's home.

Mrs. Eddy again received her votaries, greeted them cordially, and made a rather lengthy address. The Journal says that her manner upon this occasion was peculiar for its "utter freedom from sensationalism or the Mesmeric effect that so many speakers seem to exert," and adds that she was "calm and unimpassioned, but strong and convincing." The Journal also states that upon this occasion Mrs. Eddy wore "a royal purple silk dress covered with black lace" and a "dainty bonnet." She wore her diamond cross and the badge of the Daughters of the Revolution in diamonds and rubies.

In 1901[2] three thousand of the June communicants went from Boston to Concord on three special trains. They were not admitted to the house, but Mrs. Eddy appeared upon her balcony for a moment and spoke to them, saying that they had already heard from her in her message to the Mother Church, and that she would pause but a moment to look into their dear faces and then return to her "studio." The Journal comments upon her "erect form and sprightly step," and says that she wore "what might have been silk or satin, figured, and cut en traine. Upon her white hair rested a bonnet with fluttering blue and old gold trimmings."[pg 17]

The last of these pilgrimages occurred in 1904, when Mrs. Eddy did not invite the pilgrims to come to Pleasant View but asked them to assemble at the new Christian Science church in Concord. Fifteen hundred of them gathered in front of the church and stood in reverent silence as Mrs. Eddy's carriage approached. The horses were stopped in front of the assemblage, and Mrs. Eddy signaled the President of the Mother Church to approach her carriage. To him, as representing the church body, she spoke her greeting.

The yearning which these people felt toward Mrs. Eddy, and their rapture at beholding her, can only be described by one of the pilgrims. In the Journal, June, 1899, Miss Martha Sutton Thompson writes to describe a visit which she made in January of that year to the meeting of the Christian Science Board of Education in Boston. She says:

"When I decided to attend I also hoped to see our Mother.... I saw that if I allowed the thought that I must see her personally to transcend the desire to obey and grow into the likeness of her teachings, this mistake would obscure my understanding of both the Revelator and the Revelation. After the members of the Board had retired they reappeared upon the rostrum and my heart beat quickly with the thought 'Perhaps she has come.' But no, it was to read her message.... She said God was with us and to give her love to all the class. It was so precious to get it directly from her.

"The following day five of us made the journey to Concord, drove out to Pleasant View, and met her face to face on her daily drive. She seemed watching to greet us, for when she caught sight of our faces she instantly half rose with expectant face, bowing, smiling, and waving her hand to each of us. Then as she went out of our sight, kissed her hand to all.

"I will not attempt to describe the Leader, nor can I say what this brief glimpse was and is to me. I can only say I wept and the tears start every time I think of it. Why do I weep? I think it is because I want to be like her and they are tears of repentance. I realize better now what it was that made Mary Magdalen weep when she came into the presence of the Nazarene."

Mrs. Eddy's Last Class

After the pilgrimages were discouraged, there was no possible way in which these devoted disciples could ever see Mrs. Eddy. They used, indeed, like Miss Thompson, to go to Concord and linger about the highways to catch a glimpse of her as she drove by, until she rebuked them in a new by-law in the Church Manual: "Thou Shalt not Steal. Sect. 15. Neither a Christian Scientist, his student or his patient, nor a member of the Mother Church shall daily and continuously haunt Mrs. Eddy's drive by meeting her once or more every day when she goes out—on penalty of being disciplined and dealt with justly by her church," etc.

Mrs. Eddy did her last public teaching in the Christian Science Hall in Concord, November 21 and 22, 1898. There were sixty-one persons in this class,—several from Canada, one from England, and one from Scotland,—and Mrs. Eddy refused to accept any remuneration for her instruction. The first lesson lasted about two hours, the second nearly four. "Only two lessons," says the Journal, "but such lessons! Only those who have sat under this wondrous teaching can form a conjecture of what these classes were." "We mention," the Journal continues, "a sweet incident and one which deeply touched the Mother's heart. Upon her return from class she found beside her plate at dinner table a lovely white rose with the card of a young lady student accompanying on which she chastely referred to the last couplet of the fourth stanza of that sweet poem from the Mother's pen, 'Love.'

"Thou to whose power our hope we give
Free us from human strife.
Fed by Thy love divine we live
For Love alone is Life," etc.

Mrs. Eddy and the Press

Mrs. Eddy now achieved publicity in a good many ways, and to such publications as afforded her space and appreciation she was able to grant reciprocal favors. The Granite Monthly, a little magazine published at Concord, New Hampshire, printed Mrs. Eddy's poem "Easter Morn" and a highly laudatory article upon her. Mrs. Eddy then came out in the Christian Science Journal with a request that all Christian Scientists subscribe to the Granite Monthly, which they promptly did. Colonel Oliver C. Sabin, an astute politician in Washington, D.C., was editor of a purely political publication, the Washington News Letter. A Congressman one day attacked Christian Science in a speech. Colonel Sabin, whose paper was just then making things unpleasant for that particular Congressman, wrote an editorial in defense of Christian Science. Mrs. Eddy inserted a card in the Journal requesting all Christian Scientists to subscribe to the News Letter. This brought Colonel Sabin such a revenue that he dropped[pg 18] politics altogether and his political sheet became a religious periodical. Mr. James T. White, publisher of the National Encyclopaedia of American Biography, gave Mrs. Eddy a generous place in his encyclopedia and wrote a poem to her. Mrs. Eddy requested, through the Journal, that all Christian Scientists buy Mr. White's volume of verse for Christmas presents, and the Christian Science Publication Society marketed Mr. White's verses. Mrs. Eddy made a point of being on good terms with the Concord papers; she furnished them with many columns of copy, and the editors realized that her presence in Concord brought a great deal of money into the town. From 1898 to 1901 the files of the Journal echo increasing material prosperity, and show that both Mrs. Eddy and her church were much more taken account of than formerly. Articles by Mrs. Eddy are quoted from various newspapers whose editors had requested her to express her views upon the war with Spain, the Puritan Thanksgiving, etc.

In the autumn of 1901 Mrs. Eddy wrote an article on the death of President McKinley. Commenting upon this article, Harper's Weekly said: "Among others who have spoken [on President McKinley's death] was Mrs. Eddy, the Mother of Christian Science. She issued two utterances which were read in her churches.... Both of these discourses are seemly and kind, but they are materially different from the writings of any one else. Reciting the praises of the dead President, Mrs. Eddy says: 'May his history waken a tone of truth that shall reverberate, renew euphony, emphasize human power and bear its banner into the vast forever.' No one else said anything like that. Mother Eddy's style is a personal asset. Her sentences usually have the considerable literary merit of being unexpected."

Of this editorial the Journal says, with a candor almost incredible: "We take pleasure in republishing from that old-established and valuable publication Harper's Weekly, the following merited tribute to Mrs. Eddy's utterances," etc. Then follows the editorial quoted above.

Copyrighted, 1903, by R. W. Sears



In the winter of 1898 Christian Science was given great publicity through the death, under Christian Science treatment, of the American journalist and novelist, Harold Frederic, in England. Mr. Frederic's readers were not, as a rule, people who knew much about Christian Science, and his taking off brought the new cult to the attention of thousands of people for the first time.[pg 19]

Mrs. Eddy and the Peerage

In December, 1898, the Earl of Dunmore, a peer of the Scottish Realm, and his Countess, came to Boston to study Christian Science. They were received by Mrs. Eddy at Pleasant View, and Lady Dunmore was present at the June communion, 1899. According to the Journal, Lady Dunmore's son, Lord Fincastle, left his regiment in India and came to Boston to join his mother in this service, and then returned immediately to his military duties. Lady Mildred Murray, daughter of the Countess, also came to America to attend the annual communion. A pew was reserved upon the first floor of the church for this titled family, although the Journal explains that "the reservation of a pew for the Countess of Dunmore and her family was wholly a matter of international courtesy, and not in any sense a tribute to their rank."

Lord Dunmore, at one of the Wednesday evening meetings, discussed the possibilities of a "Christianly-Scientific Alliance of the two Anglo-Saxon peoples." Even after his departure to England, Lord Dunmore continued to contribute very characteristic Christian Science poetry to the Journal. He paid a visit to Mrs. Eddy only a few months before his death in the summer of 1907.

In 1904 the Earl was present at the convention of the Christian Science Teachers' Association in London, and sent Mrs. Eddy the following cablegram:

"London, Nov. 28, 1904.

"Rev. Mary Baker Eddy,
"Pleasant View, Concord, N. H.

"Members of Teachers' Association, London, send much love, and are striving, by doing better, to help you.


To this Mrs. Eddy gallantly replied:

"Concord, N. H., November 29, 1904.

"Earl of Dunmore, and Teachers' Association, London, G. B.

"Increasing gratitude and love for your lordly help and that of your Association.

"Mary Baker Eddy."

In these prosperous years the Reverend Irving C. Tomlinson, in commenting in the Journal upon Brander Matthews' statement that English seemed destined to become the world-language, says: "It may be that Prof. Matthews has written better than he knew. Science and Health is fast reaching all parts of the world; and as our text book may never be translated into a foreign tongue, may it not be expected to fulfill the prophet's hope, 'Then will I turn to the people a pure language,'" etc.

In January, 1901, Mrs. Eddy called her directors together in solemn conclave, and charged them to send expressions of sympathy to the British government and to King Edward upon the death of the Queen.

Truly the days of the Lynn shoemakers and the little Broad Street tenement were far gone by, and it must have seemed to Mrs. Eddy that she was living in one of those New York Ledger romances which had so delighted her in those humbler times. Even a less spirited woman than she would have expanded under all this notoriety, and Mrs. Eddy, as always, caught the spirit of the play. A letter written to her son, George Glover, April 27, 1898, conveys some idea of how Mrs. Eddy appeared to herself at this time:

Pleasant View,
Concord, N. H., April 27, 1898.

Dear Son: Yours of latest date came duly. That which you cannot write I understand, and will say, I am reported as dying, wholly decriped and useless, etc. Now one of these reports is just as true as the others are. My life is as pure as that of the angels. God has lifted me up to my work, and if it was not pure it would not bring forth good fruits. The Bible says the tree is known by its fruit.

But I need not say this to a Christian Scientist, who knows it. I thank you for any interest you may feel in your mother. I am alone in the world, more lone than a solitary star. Although it is duly estimated by business characters and learned scholars that I lead and am obeyed by 300,000 people at this date. The most distinguished newspapers ask me to write on the most important subjects. Lords and ladies, earles, princes and marquises and marchionesses from abroad write to me in the most complimentary manner. Hoke Smith declares I am the most illustrious woman on the continent—those are his exact words. Our senators and members of Congress call on me for counsel. But what of all this? I am not made the least proud by it or a particle happier for it. I am working for a higher purpose.

Now what of my circumstances? I name first my home, which of all places on earth is the one in which to find peace and enjoyment. But my home is simply a house and a beautiful landscape. There is not one in it that I love only as I love everybody. I have no congeniality with my help inside of my house; they are no companions and scarcely fit to be my help.

I adopted a son hoping he would take Mr. Frye's place as my book-keeper and man of all work that belongs to man. But my trial of him has proved another disappointment. His books could not be audited they were so incorrect, etc., etc. Mr. Frye is the most disagreeable man that can be found, but this he is, namely, (if there is one on earth) an honest man, as all will tell you who deal with him. At first mesmerism swayed him, but he learned through my forbearance to govern himself. He is a man that would not steal, commit adultery, or fornication, or break one of the Ten Commandments. I have now done, but I could write a volume on what I have touched upon.

One thing is the severest wound of all, namely,[pg 20] the want of education among those nearest to me in kin. I would gladly give every dollar I possess to have one or two and three that are nearest to me on earth possess a thorough education. If you had been educated as I intend to have you, today you could, would, be made President of the United States. Mary's letters to me are so misspelled that I blush to read them.

You pronounce your words so wrongly and then she spells them accordingly. I am even yet too proud to have you come among my society and alas! mispronounce your words as you do; but for this thing I should be honored by your good manners and I love you. With love to all

Mary Baker Eddy.

P.S.—My letter is so short I add a postscript. I have tried about one dozen bookkeepers and had to give them all up, either for dishonesty or incapacity. I have not had my books audited for five years, and Mr. Ladd, who is famous for this, audited them last week, and gives me his certificate that they are all right except in some places not quite plain, and he showed Frye how to correct that. Then he, Frye gave me a check for that amount before I knew about it.

The slight mistake occurred four years ago and he could not remember about the things. But Mr. Ladd told me that he knew it was only not set down in a coherent way for in other parts of the book he could trace where it was put down in all probability, but not orderly. When I can get a Christian, as I know he is, and a woman that can fill his place I shall do it. But I have no time to receive company, to call on others, or to go out of my house only to drive. Am always driven with work for others, but nobody to help me even to get help such as I would choose.

Again,     Mother.




While Mrs. Eddy was working out her larger policy she never forgot the little things. The manufacture of Christian Science jewelry was at one time a thriving business, conducted by the J. C. Derby Company, of Concord. Christian Science emblems and Mrs. Eddy's "favorite flower" were made up into cuff-buttons, rings, brooches, watches, and pendants, varying in price from $325 to $2.50. The sale of the Christian Science teaspoons was especially profitable. The "Mother spoon," an ordinary silver spoon, sold for $5.00. Mrs. Eddy's portrait was embossed upon it, a picture of Pleasant View, Mrs. Eddy's signature, and the motto, "Not Matter but Mind Satisfieth." Mrs. Eddy stimulated the sale of this spoon by inserting the following request in the Journal:[3]

"On each of these most beautiful spoons is a motto in bas relief that every person on earth needs to hold in thought. Mother requests that Christian Scientists shall not ask to be informed what this motto is, but each Scientist shall purchase at least one spoon, and those who can afford it, one dozen spoons, that their families may read this motto at every meal, and their guests be made partakers of its simple truth."

"Mary Baker G. Eddy.

[pg 21]

"The above-named spoons are sold by the Christian Science Souvenir Company, Concord, N. H., and will soon be on sale at the Christian Science reading rooms throughout the country."

Mrs. Eddy's picture was another fruitful source of revenue. The copyright for this is still owned by the Derby Company. This portrait is known as the "authorized" photograph of Mrs. Eddy. It was sold for years as a genuine photograph of Mrs. Eddy, but it is admitted now at Christian Science sales-rooms that this picture is a "composite." The cheapest sells for one dollar. When they were ready for sale, in May, 1899, Mrs. Eddy, in the Journal of that date, announced:

"It is with pleasure I certify that after months of incessant toil and at great expense Mr. Henry P. Moore, and Mr. J. C. Derby of Concord, N. H., have brought out a likeness of me far superior to the one they offered for sale last November. The portrait they have now perfected I cordially endorse. Also I declare their sole right to the making and exclusive sale of the duplicates of said portrait.

"I simply ask that those who love me purchase this portrait.

"Mary Baker Eddy."

The material prosperity of the Mother Church continued and the congregation soon outgrew the original building. At the June communion in 1902 ten thousand Christian Scientists were present. In the business meeting which followed they pledged themselves, "with startling grace," as Mrs. Eddy put it, to raise two million dollars, or any part of that sum which should be needed, to build an annex.

In the late spring of 1906 the enormous addition to the Mother Church—the "excelsior extension," as Mrs. Eddy calls it—was completed, and it was dedicated at the annual communion, June 10, of that year. The original building was in the form of a cross, so Mrs. Eddy had the new addition built with a dome to represent a crown—a combination which is happier in its symbolism than in its architectural results. The auditorium is capable of holding five thousand people; the walls are decorated with texts signed "Jesus, the Christ" and "Mary Baker G. Eddy"—these names standing side by side.

According to the belief of Mrs. Eddy's followers, every signal victory of Christian Science is apt to beget "chemicalization"; that is, it stirs up "error" and "mortal mind"—which terms include everything that is hostile to Christian Science—and makes them ugly and revengeful. The forces of evil—that curious, non-existent evil which, in spite of its nihility, makes Mrs. Eddy so much trouble—were naturally aroused by the dedication of the great church building in 1906, and within a year Mrs. Eddy's son brought a suit in equity which caused her annoyance and anxiety.

Suit Brought by Mrs. Eddy's Son

Among the mistakes of Mrs. Eddy's early life must certainly be accounted her indifference to her only child, George Washington Glover. Mrs. Eddy's first husband died six months after their marriage, and the son was not born until three months after his father's death—a circumstance which, it would seem, might have peculiarly endeared him to his mother. When he was a baby, living with Mrs. Glover in his aunt's house, his mother's indifference to him was such as to cause comment in her family and indignation on the part of her father, Mark Baker. The symptoms of serious nervous disorder so conspicuous in Mrs. Eddy's young womanhood—the exaggerated hysteria, the anaesthesia, the mania for being rocked and swung—are sometimes accompanied by a lack of maternal feeling, and the absence of it in Mrs. Eddy must be considered, like her lack of the sense of smell, a defect of constitution rather than a vice of character.

Mrs. Eddy has stated that she sent her child away because her second husband, Dr. Patterson, would not permit her to keep George with her. But although Mrs. Eddy was not married to Dr. Patterson until 1853, in 1851 she sent the child to live with Mrs. Russell Cheney, a woman who had attended Mrs. Eddy at the boy's birth. George lived with the Cheneys at North Groton, New Hampshire, from the time he was seven years old until he was thirteen. During the greater part of this time his mother, then Mrs. Patterson, was living in the same town. When George was thirteen the Cheneys moved to Enterprise, Minnesota, and took him with them. Mrs. Eddy did not see her son again for twenty-three years. She wrote some verses about him, but certainly made no effort to go to him, or to have him come to her. On the whole, her separation from him seems to have caused her no real distress. The boy received absolutely no education, and he was kept hard at work in the fields until he ran away and joined the army, in which he served with an excellent record.

After he went West with the Cheneys in 1857, George Glover did not see his mother again until 1879. He was then living in Minnesota, a man of thirty-five, when he received a telegram from Mrs. Eddy, dated from Lynn, and asking him to meet her immediately in Cincinnati. This[pg 22] was the time when Mrs. Eddy believed that mesmerism was overwhelming her in Lynn; that every stranger she met in the streets, and even inanimate objects, were hostile to her, and that she must "flee" from the hypnotists (Kennedy and Spofford) to save her cause and her life. Unable to find any trace of his mother in Cincinnati, George Glover telegraphed to the Chief of Police in Lynn. Some days later he received another telegram from his mother, directing him to meet her in Boston. He went to Boston, and found that Mrs. Eddy and her husband, Asa G. Eddy, had left Lynn for a time and were staying in Boston at the house of Mrs. Clara Choate. Glover remained in Boston for some time and then returned to his home in the West.




George Glover's longest stay in Boston was in 1888, when he brought his family and spent the winter in Chelsea. His relations with his mother were then of a friendly but very formal nature. In the autumn, when he first proposed going to Boston, his plan was to spend a few months with his mother. Mrs. Eddy, however, wrote him that she had no room for him in her house and positively forbade him to come. Mrs. Eddy's letter reads as follows:

Massachusetts Metaphysical College.
Rev. Mary B. G. Eddy, President.
No. 571 Columbus ave.
Boston, Oct. 31, 1887

Dear George: Yours received. I am surprised that you think of coming to visit me when I live in a schoolhouse and have no room that I can let even a boarder into.

I use the whole of my rooms and am at work in them more or less all the time.

Besides this I have all I can meet without receiving company. I must have quiet in my house, and it will not be pleasant for you in Boston the Choates are doing all they can by falsehood, and public shames, such as advertising a college of her own within a few doors of mine when she is a disgraceful woman and known to be. I am going to give up my lease when this class is over, and cannot pay your board nor give you a single dollar now. I am alone, and you never[pg 23] would come to me when I called for you, and now I cannot have you come.

I want quiet and Christian life alone with God, when I can find intervals for a little rest. You are not what I had hoped to find you, and I am changed. The world, the flesh and evil I am at war with, and if any one comes to me it must be to help me and not to hinder me in this warfare. If you will stay away from me until I get through with my public labor then I will send for you and hope to then have a home to take you to.

As it now is, I have none, and you will injure me by coming to Boston at this time more than I have room to state in a letter. I asked you to come to me when my husband died and I so much needed some one to help me. You refused to come then in my great need, and I then gave up ever thinking of you in that line. Now I have a clerk[4] who is a pure-minded Christian, and two girls to assist me in the college. These are all that I can have under this roof.

If you come after getting this letter I shall feel you have no regard for my interest or feelings, which I hope not to be obliged to feel.

Boston is the last place in the world for you or your family. When I retire from business and into private life, then I can receive you if you are reformed, but not otherwise. I say this to you, not to any one else. I would not injure you any more than myself. As ever sincerely,

M. B. G. Eddy.

After Mrs. Eddy retired to Pleasant View, neither her son nor his family were permitted to visit her, and, when they came East, they experienced a good deal of difficulty in seeing her at all. Mr. Glover believed that his letters to his mother were sometimes answered by Mr. Frye, and that some of his letters never reached his mother at all. Mr. Glover states that he finally sent his mother a letter by express, with instructions to the Concord agent that it was to be delivered to her in person, and to no one else. He was notified that Mrs. Eddy could not receive the letter except through her secretary, Calvin Frye.




January 2, 1907, Mr. Glover and his daughter, Mary Baker Glover, were permitted a brief interview with Mrs. Eddy at Pleasant View. Mr. Glover states that he was shocked at his mother's[pg 24] physical condition and alarmed by the rambling, incoherent nature of her conversation. In talking to him she made the old charges and the old complaints: "people" had been stealing her "things" (as she used to say they did in Lynn); people wanted to kill her; two carriage horses had been presented to her which, had she driven behind them, would have run away and injured her—they had been sent, she thought, for that especial purpose.

After this interview Mr. Glover and his daughter went to Washington, D. C., to ask legal advice from Ex-Senator William E. Chandler. While there Mr. Glover received the following letter from his mother:

Pleasant View,
Concord, N. H., Jan. 11, 1907.

My Dear Son: The enemy to Christian Science is by the wickedest powers of hypnotism trying to do me all the harm possible by acting on the minds of people to make them lie about me and my family. In view of all this I herein and hereby ask this favor of you. I have done for you what I could, and never to my recollection have I asked but once before this a favor of my only child. Will you send to me by express all the letters of mine that I have written to you? This will be a great comfort to your mother if you do it. Send all—ALL of them. Be sure of that. If you will do this for me I will make you and Mary some presents of value, I assure you. Let no one but Mary and your lawyer, Mr. Wilson, know what I herein write to Mary and you. With love.

Mother, M. B. G. Eddy.

Mr. Glover refused to give up his letters, and on March 1, 1907, he began, by himself and others as next friends, an action in Mrs. Eddy's behalf against some ten prominent Christian Scientists, among whom were Calvin Frye, Alfred Farlow, and the officers of the Mother Church in Boston. This action was brought in the Superior Court of New Hampshire. Mr. Glover asked for an adjudication that Mrs. Eddy was incompetent, through age and failing faculties, to manage her estate; that a receiver of her property be appointed; and that the various defendants named be required to account for alleged misuse of her property. Six days later Mrs. Eddy met this action by declaring a trusteeship for the control of her estate. The trustees named were responsible men, gave bond for $500,000, and their trusteeship was to last during Mrs. Eddy's lifetime. In August Mr. Glover withdrew his suit.

This action brought by her son, which undoubtedly caused Mrs. Eddy a great deal of annoyance, was but another result of those indirect methods to which she has always clung so stubbornly. When her son appealed to her for financial aid, she chose, instead of meeting him with a candid refusal, to tell him that she was not allowed to use her own money as she wished, that Mr. Frye made her account for every penny, etc., etc. Mr. Glover made the mistake of taking his mother at her word. He brought his suit upon the supposition that his mother was the victim of designing persons who controlled her affairs—without consulting her, against her wish, and to their own advantage—a hypothesis which his attorneys entirely failed to establish.

This lawsuit disclosed one interesting fact, namely, that while in 1893 securities of Mrs. Eddy amounting to $100,000 were brought to Concord, and in January, 1899, she had $236,200, and while in 1907 she had about a million dollars' worth of taxable property, Mrs. Eddy in 1901 returned a signed statement to the assessors at Concord that the value of her taxable property amounted to about nineteen thousand dollars. This statement was sworn to year after year by Mr. Frye.

Mrs. Eddy's Removal to Newton

About a month after Mr. Glover's suit was withdrawn, Mrs. Eddy purchased, through Robert Walker, a Christian Scientist real-estate agent in Chicago, the old Lawrence mansion in Newton, a suburb of Boston. The house was remodeled and enlarged in great haste and at a cost which must almost have equaled the original purchase price, $100,000. All the arrangements were conducted with the greatest secrecy and very few Christian Scientists knew that it was Mrs. Eddy's intention to occupy this house until she was actually there in person.

On Sunday, January 26, 1908, at two o'clock in the afternoon, Mrs. Eddy, attended by nearly a score of her followers, boarded a special train at Concord. Extraordinary precautions were taken to prevent accidents. A pilot-engine preceded the locomotive which drew Mrs. Eddy's special train, and the train was followed by a third engine to prevent the possibility of a rear-end collision—a precaution never before adopted, even by the royal trains abroad. Dr. Alpheus B. Morrill, a second cousin of Mrs. Eddy and a practising physician of Concord, was of her party. Mrs. Eddy's face was heavily veiled when she took the train at Concord and when she alighted at Chestnut Hill station. Her carriage arrived at the Lawrence house late in the afternoon, and she was lifted out and carried into the house by one of her male attendants.

Mrs. Eddy's new residence is a fine old stone mansion which has been enlarged without injury to its original dignity. The grounds cover an area of about twelve acres and are well wooded. The house itself now contains about twenty-five rooms. There is an electric elevator[pg 25] adjoining Mrs. Eddy's private apartments. Two large vaults have been built into the house—doubtless designed as repositories for Mrs. Eddy's manuscripts. Since her arrival at Chestnut Hill, Mrs. Eddy, upon one of her daily drives, saw for the first time the new building which completes the Mother Church and which, like the original modest structure, is a memorial to her.

There are many reasons why Mrs. Eddy may have decided to leave Concord. But the extravagant haste with which her new residence was got ready for her—a body of several hundred laborers was kept busy upon it all day, and another shift, equally large, worked all night by the aid of arc-lights—would seem to suggest that even if practical considerations brought about Mrs. Eddy's change of residence, her extreme impatience may have resulted from a more personal motive. It is, indeed, very probable that Mrs. Eddy left Concord for the same reason that she left Boston years ago: because she felt that malicious animal magnetism was becoming too strong for her there. The action brought by her son in Concord last summer she attributed entirely to the work of mesmerists who were supposed to be in control of her son's mind. Mrs. Eddy always believed that this strange miasma of evil had a curious tendency to become localized: that certain streets, mail-boxes, telegraph-offices, vehicles, could be totally suborned by these invisible currents of hatred and ill-will that had their source in the minds of her enemies and continually encircled her. She believed that in this way an entire neighborhood could be made inimical to her, and it is quite possible that, after the recent litigation in Concord, she felt that the place had become saturated with mesmerism and that she would never again find peace there.

Mrs. Eddy at Eighty

The years since 1890 Mrs. Eddy has spent in training her church in the way she desires it to go, in making it more and more her own, and in issuing by-law after by-law to restrict her followers in their church privileges and to guide them in their daily walk. Mrs. Eddy, one must remember, was fifty years of age before she knew what she wanted to do; sixty when she bethought herself of the most effective way to do it,—by founding a church,—and seventy when she achieved her greatest triumph—the reorganization and personal control of the Mother Church. But she did not stop there. Between her seventieth and eightieth year, and even up to the present time, she has displayed remarkable ingenuity in disciplining her church and its leaders, and adroit resourcefulness and unflagging energy in the prosecution of her plans.

Mrs. Eddy's system of church government was not devised in a month or a year, but grew, by-law on by-law, to meet new emergencies and situations. To attain the end she desired it was necessary to keep fifty or sixty thousand people working as if the church were the first object in their lives; to encourage hundreds of these to adopt church-work as their profession and make it their only chance of worldly success; and yet to hold all this devotion and energy in absolute subservience to Mrs. Eddy herself and to prevent any one of these healers, or preachers, or teachers from attaining any marked personal prominence and from acquiring a personal following. In other words, the church was to have all the vigor of spontaneous growth, but was to grow only as Mrs. Eddy permitted and to confine itself to the trellis she had built for it.

Preaching Prohibited

Naturally, the first danger lay in the pastors of her branch churches. Mrs. Stetson and Laura Lathrop had built up strong churches in New York; Mrs. Ewing was pastor of a flourishing church in Chicago, Mrs. Leonard of another in Brooklyn, Mrs. Williams in Buffalo, Mrs. Steward in Toronto, Mr. Norcross in Denver. These pastors naturally became leaders among the Christian Scientists in their respective communities, and came to be regarded as persons authorized to expound "Science and Health" and the doctrines of Christian Science. Such a state of things Mrs. Eddy considered dangerous, not only because of the personal influence the pastor might acquire over his flock, but because a pastor might, even without intending to do so, give a personal color to his interpretation of her words. In his sermon he might expand her texts and infinitely improvise upon her themes until gradually his hearers accepted his own opinions for Mrs. Eddy's. The church in Toronto might come to emphasize doctrines which the church in Denver did not; here was a possible beginning of differing denominations.

So, as Mrs. Eddy splendidly puts it, "In 1895 I ordained the Bible and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, as the Pastor, on this planet, of all the churches of the Christian Science Denomination." That is what Mrs. Eddy actually did. In the Journal of April, 1895, she announced, without any previous warning to them, that her preachers should never preach again; that there were to be no more preachers; that each church should have instead a First and a Second Reader, and that the Sunday sermon was to consist of extracts[pg 26] from the Bible and from "Science and Health," read aloud to the congregation. In the beginning the First Reader read from the Bible and the Second Reader from Mrs. Eddy's book. But this she soon changed. The First Reader now reads from "Science and Health" and the Second reads those passages of the Bible which Mrs. Eddy says are correlative. This service, Mrs. Eddy declares, was "authorized by Christ."[5]

When Mrs. Eddy issued this injunction, every Christian Science preacher stepped down from his pulpit and closed his lips. There was not an island of the sea in which he could lift up his voice and sermonize; Mrs. Eddy's command covered "this" planet. Not one voice was raised in protest. Whatever the pastors felt, they obeyed. Many of them kissed the rod. L. P. Norcross, one of the deposed pastors, wrote humbly in the August Journal:

"Did any one expect such a revelation, such a new departure would be given? No, not in the way it came.... A former pastor of the Mother Church once remarked that the day would dawn when the current methods of preaching and worship would disappear, but he could not discern how.... Such disclosures are too high for us to perceive. To One alone did the message come."

The "Reader" Restricted

Mrs. Eddy had no grudge against her pastors; she did not intend that they should starve, and many of them were made Readers and were permitted to read "Science and Health" aloud in the churches which they had built and in which they had formerly preached.

The "Reader," it would seem, was a safe experiment, and he was so well hedged in with by-laws that he could not well go astray. His duties and limitations are clearly defined:

He is to read parts of "Science and Health" aloud at every service.

He cannot read from a manuscript or from a transcribed copy, but must read from the book itself.

He is, Mrs. Eddy says, to be "well read and well educated," but he shall at no time make any remarks explanatory of the passages which he reads.

Before commencing to read from Mrs. Eddy's book "he shall distinctly announce its full title and give the author's name."

A Reader must not be a leader in the church.

Lest, under all these restrictions, his incorrigible ambition might still put forth its buds, there is a saving by-law which provides that Mrs. Eddy can without explanation remove any reader at any time that she sees fit to do so.[6]

Mrs. Eddy herself seems to have considered this a safe arrangement. In the same number of the Journal in which she dismissed her pastors and substituted Readers, she stated, in an open letter, that her students would find in that issue "the completion, as I now think, of the Divine directions sent out to the churches." But it was by no means the completion. By the summer of 1902 Septimus J. Hanna, First Reader of the Mother Church in Boston, had become, without the liberty to preach or to "make remarks," by the mere sound of his voice, it would seem, so influential that Mrs. Eddy felt the necessity to limit still further the Reader's power. Of course she could have dismissed Mr. Hanna, but he was far too useful to be dispensed with. So Mrs. Eddy made a new ruling that the Reader's term of office should be limited to three years,[7] and, Mr. Hanna's term then being up, he was put into the lecture field. Now the highest dignity that any Christian Scientist could hope for was to be chosen to read "Science and Health" aloud for three years at a comfortable salary.

Why the Readers Obeyed

Why, it has often been asked, did the more influential pastors—people with a large personal following, like Mrs. Stetson—consent to resign their pulpits in the first place and afterward to be stripped of privilege after privilege? Some of them, of course, submitted because they believed that Mrs. Eddy possessed "Divine Wisdom"; others because they remembered what had happened to dissenters aforetime. Of all those who had broken away from Mrs. Eddy's authority, not one had attained to anything like her obvious success or material prosperity, while many had followed wandering fires and had come to nothing. Christian Science leaders had staked their fortunes upon the hypothesis that Mrs. Eddy possessed "divine wisdom"; it was as expounders of this wisdom that they had obtained their influence and built up their churches. To rebel against the authority of Mrs. Eddy's wisdom would be to discredit themselves; to discredit Mrs. Eddy's wisdom would have been to destroy their whole foundation.[pg 27] To claim an understanding and an inspiration equal to Mrs. Eddy's, would have been to cheapen and invalidate everything that gave Christian Science an advantage over other religions. Had they once denied the Revelation and the Revelator upon which their church was founded, the whole structure would have fallen in upon them. If Mrs. Eddy's intelligence were not divine in one case, who would be able to say that it was in another? If they could not accept Mrs. Eddy's wisdom when she said "there shall be no pastors," how could they persuade other people to accept it when she said "there is no matter"? It was clear, even to those who writhed under the restrictions imposed upon them, that they must stand or fall with Mrs. Eddy's Wisdom, and that to disobey it was to compromise their own career. Even in the matter of getting on in the world, it was better to be a doorkeeper in the Mother Church than to dwell in the tents of the "mental healers."

Mrs. Stetson and Mrs. Eddy

Probably it was harder for Mrs. Stetson to retire from the pastorship than for any one else; indeed, it was often whispered that the pastors were dismissed largely because Mrs. Stetson's growing influence suggested to Mrs. Eddy the danger of permitting such powers to her vice-regents. Mrs. Stetson had gone to New York when Christian Science was practically unknown there, and from poor and small beginnings had built up a rich and powerful church. But, when the command came, she stepped out of the pulpit she had built. She is to-day probably the most influential person, after Mrs. Eddy, in the Christian Science body. Rumors are ever and again started that Mrs. Stetson is not at all times loyal to her Leader, and that she controls her faction for her own ends rather than for Mrs. Eddy's. Whatever Mrs. Stetson's private conversation may be, her public utterances have always been humble enough, and she annually declares her loyalty. In 1907 the New York World published several interviews with persons who asserted that they believed Mrs. Eddy to be controlled by a clique of Christian Scientists who were acting for Mrs. Stetson's interests. In June Mrs. Stetson wrote Mrs. Eddy a letter which was printed in the Christian Science Sentinel and which read in part:

"Boston, Mass., June 9, 1907.

"My Precious Leader:—I am glad I know that I am in the hands of God, not of men. These reports are only the revival of a lie which I have not heard for a long time. It is a renewed attack upon me and my loyal students, to turn me from following in the footsteps of Christ by making another attempt to dishearten me and make me weary of the struggle to demonstrate my trust in God to deliver me from the 'accuser of our brethren.' It is a diabolical attempt to separate me from you, as my Leader and Teacher....

"Oh, Dearest, it is such a lie! No one who knows us can believe this. It is vicarious atonement. Has the enemy no more argument to use, that it has to go back to this? It is exhausting its resources and I hope the end is near. You know my love for you, beloved; and my students love you as their Leader and Teacher; they follow your teachings and lean on the 'sustaining infinite.' They who refuse to accept you as God's messenger, or ignore the message which you bring, will not get up by some other way, but will come short of salvation....

"Dearly beloved, we are not ascending out of sense as fast as we desire, but we are trusting in God to put off the false and put on the Christ. This lie cannot disturb you nor me. I love you and my students love you, and we never touch you with such a thought as is mentioned.

"Lovingly your child,

"Augusta E. Stetson."

The Teachers Disciplined

Her pastors having been satisfactorily dealt with, the next danger Mrs. Eddy saw lay in her teachers and "academies." Mrs. Eddy soon found, of course, that a great many Christian Scientists wished to make their living out of their new religion; that possibility, indeed, was one of the most effective advantages which Christian Science had to offer over other religions. In the early days of the church, while Mrs. Eddy herself was still instructing classes in Christian Science at her "college," teaching was a much more remunerative business than healing. Mrs. Eddy charged each student $300 for a primary course of seven lessons, and the various Christian Science "institutes" and "academies" about the country charged from $100 to $200 per student. So long as Mrs. Eddy was herself teaching and never took patients, she could not well forbid other teachers to do likewise. But after she retired to Concord, she took the teachers in hand. Mrs. Eddy knew well enough that Christian Science was propagated and that converts were made, not through doctrine, but through cures. She had found that out in the very beginning, when Richard Kennedy's cures brought her her first success. She knew, too, that teaching Christian Science was a much easier profession than healing[pg 28] by it, and that the teacher risked no encounter with the law. Since teaching was both easier and more remunerative, the first thing to be done in discouraging it was to cut down the teacher's fee, and to limit the number of pupils which one teacher might instruct in a year. By 1904 Mrs. Eddy had got the teacher's fee down to fifty dollars per student, and a teacher was not permitted to teach more than thirty students a year. Mrs. Eddy's purpose is as clear as it was wise: she desired that no one should be able to make a living by teaching alone. It was healing that carried the movement forward, and whoever made a living by Christian Science must heal. From 1903 to 1906 all teaching was suspended under the by-law "Healing better than teaching."

In the fall of 1895 Mrs. Eddy issued her instructions to the churches in the form of a volume entitled the "Church Manual of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, in Boston, Mass." The by-laws herein contained, she says, "were impelled by a power not one's own, were written at different dates, as occasion required." This book is among Mrs. Eddy's copyrighted works,—a source of revenue, like the rest,—and has now been through more than forty editions. Some of the by-laws in the earlier editions are perplexing.

We find that "Careless comparison or irreverent reference to Christ Jesus, is abnormal in a Christian Scientist and prohibited."[8] It is probable that no Christian church had ever before found it necessary to make such a prohibition.

Again, the by-laws state that "Any member of this church who is found living with a child improperly, or claiming a child not legally adopted, or claiming or living with a husband or a wife to whom they have not been legally married, shall immediately be excommunicated," etc.[9] This seems a strange subject for especial legislation.

The Manual, however, is chiefly interesting as an exposition of Mrs. Eddy's method of church government and as an inventory of her personal prerogatives. Never was a title more misleadingly modest than Mrs. Eddy's title of "Pastor Emeritus" of the Mother Church.

How the Mother Church is Organized

Next to Mrs. Eddy in authority is the Board of Directors, who were chosen by Mrs. Eddy and who are subject to her in all their official acts. Any one of these directors can at any time be dismissed upon Mrs. Eddy's request, and the vacancy can be filled only by a candidate whom she has approved. All the church business is transacted by these directors,—no other members of the church may be present at the business meetings,—and if at any time one of them should refuse to carry out Mrs. Eddy's instructions, or should grumble about carrying them out, her request would remove him. The members of this board, in addition to their precarious tenure, are pledged to secrecy; they "shall neither report the discussions of this Board, nor those with Mrs. Eddy."[10]

These directors are Mrs. Eddy's machine; they are her executive self, created by her breath, dissolved at a breath, and committed to silence. Their chief duties are two—to elect to office whomsoever Mrs. Eddy appoints, and to hold their peace.

The President of the church is annually elected by the directors, the election being subject to Mrs. Eddy's approval.[11]

The First and Second Readers are elected every third year by the directors, subject to Mrs. Eddy's approval, but she can remove a Reader either from the Mother Church or from any of the branch churches whenever she sees fit and without explanation.[12]

The Clerk and Treasurer of the church are elected once a year by the directors, subject to Mrs. Eddy's approval.[13]

Executive Members: Prior to 1903 these were known as First Members. They shall not be less than fifty in number, nor more than one hundred. They must have certain qualifications (such as residing within five hundred miles of Boston), and they must hold a meeting once a year and special meetings at Mrs. Eddy's call, but they have no powers and no duties.[14] The manner of their election is especially unusual. The by-laws state that a member can be made an Executive Member only after a letter is received by the directors from Mrs. Eddy requesting them to make said persons Executive Members; and then, Mrs. Eddy adds, "they shall be elected by the unanimous vote of the Board of Directors."[15]

What, one might ask, is the purpose in having an "executive" body which can do nothing—they are not even allowed to be present at the business meetings of the church—elected by a Board of Directors who have to elect "unanimously" whomsoever Mrs. Eddy names? Why go through the form of "electing" them, when they are simply appointed? Why, indeed,[pg 29] elect the church officers, since, behind this brave showing of boards and bodies, Mrs. Eddy, in reality, simply appoints?

One reason is that Mrs. Eddy likes the play of making boards and committees; she loves titles and loves to distribute them. Another reason is that her followers are proud to be placed upon these boards, however limited their sphere of action may be.

How Mrs. Eddy Controls the Branch Churches

With the branch churches the case is much the same. Mrs. Eddy starts out bravely by saying that they are to have "local self-government." But on reading the Manual we find that they are pretty well provided for.

A branch church can be organized only by a member of the Mother Church.[16]

The services of the branch churches are definitely prescribed; they are to consist of music, Mrs. Eddy's prayer, and oral readings from "Science and Health" and the Bible.

Mrs. Eddy may appoint or remove—without explanation—the Readers of the branch churches at any time.[17]

The branch churches may never have comments or remarks made by their Readers, either upon passages from "Science and Health" or from the Bible.[18]

The branch churches may have lectures only by lecturers whom Mrs. Eddy has appointed in the usual way—through the "vote" of her Board of Directors.[19] And the lecture must have passed censorship.[20]

After listening to such a lecture, the members of the branch churches are not permitted to give a reception or to meet for social intercourse. Mrs. Eddy tells them that it will be much better for them to "depart in quiet thought."[21] (It seems more than probable that this by-law was devised for the spiritual good of the lecturer. Mrs. Eddy had no idea that these gentlemen should be fêted or made much of after their discourse and thus become puffed up with pride of place.)

Since the branch churches, then, have nothing to say about their services, Readers, or lecturers, there seems to be very little left for them to do with their powers of local self-government.

Services in the branch churches, as in the Mother Church, are limited to the Sunday morning and evening readings from the Bible and "Science and Health," the Wednesday evening experience meetings, and to the communion service. (In the Mother Church this occurs but once a year, in the branch churches twice.) There is no baptismal service, no marriage or burial service, and weddings and funerals are never conducted in any of the Christian Science churches.

The Publication Committee

Included in the Mother Church organization are the Publication Committee, the Christian Science Publishing Society, the Board of Lectureship, the Board of Missionaries, and the Board of Education, all absolutely under Mrs. Eddy's control.

The manager of the Publication Committee, at present Mr. Alfred Farlow, is "elected" annually by the Board of Directors under Mrs. Eddy's instructions. His salary is to be not less than $5,000. This Publication Committee is simply a press bureau, consisting of a manager with headquarters in Boston and of various branch committees throughout the field. It is the duty of a member of this committee, wherever he resides, to reply promptly through the press to any criticism of Christian Science or of Mrs. Eddy which may be made in his part of the country, and to insert in the newspapers of his territory as much matter favorable to Christian Science as they will print. In replying to criticism this bureau will, if necessary, pay the regular advertising rate for the publication of their statements. The members of this committee, after having written and published their articles in defense of Christian Science, are also responsible, says the Manual, "for having the papers containing these articles circulated in large quantities." This press agency has been extremely effective in pushing the interests of Christian Science, in keeping it before the public, and in building up a desirable legendry around Mrs. Eddy.

The Publishing Society

The Christian Science Publishing Society is conducted for the purpose of publishing and marketing Mrs. Eddy's works and the three Christian Science periodicals, the Christian Science Journal, the Christian Science Sentinel, and Der Christian Science Herold. It is managed and controlled by a Board of Trustees, appointed by Mrs. Eddy, and the net profits of the business are turned over semi-annually to the treasurer of the Mother Church. The manager and editors are appointed for but one year, and must be elected or reëlected by a vote of the directors and "the consent of the Pastor Emeritus, given in her own handwriting." The Manual also states that a person who is not accepted by[pg 30] Mrs. Eddy as suitable shall in no manner be connected with publishing her books or editing her periodicals—not a compositor, not the copy-boy, not the scrubwoman.

Christian Science Lectures

Until 1898 any Christian Scientist could give public talks or lectures upon the doctrines of his faith, but in January of that year Mrs. Eddy prudently withdrew this privilege. She appointed a Board of Lectureship, carefully selecting each member and assigning each to a certain district. In this work she placed several of her most influential men, among whom was Septimus J. Hanna. Her idea seems to have been that as itinerant lecturers these men could not build up a dangerously strong personal following. These lecturers are elected annually, subject to Mrs. Eddy's approval. Their representative lecture must be censored by the clerk of the Mother Church. The Manual stipulates that these lectures must "bear testimony to the facts pertaining to the life of the Pastor Emeritus."


Seven missionaries are elected annually by the Board of Directors—Mrs. Eddy's usual way of appointing. Indeed, one finds that the elections of these various boards are simply confirmations of appointments made by Mrs. Eddy; not, certainly, because her appointments need confirmation, but rather because it seems to give these boards pleasure to vote "unanimously" when they are bidden. To all intents and purposes the Manual might just as well state that every committee and officer is appointed by the Pastor Emeritus, and the phrase "elected by the Board of Directors" seems used merely for variety of expression.

Board of Education

The Board of Education consists of three members, the President, Vice-President, and a teacher. Mrs. Eddy is the permanent President—unless, says the Manual, she sees fit to "resign over her own signature." The Vice-President and teacher are elected from time to time, "subject to the approval of the Pastor Emeritus."

Obligations of the Individual Christian Scientist

It is not easy to become a member of the Mother Church. In the first place, the applicant for admission must read nothing upon metaphysics or religion except Mrs. Eddy's books and the Bible. In the second place, his application must be countersigned by one of Mrs. Eddy's loyal students, who is made responsible for the candidate's sincerity. There are so many things for which the new member may be expelled after he is once admitted into the church, that it would seem as if he can remain there only by very special grace. He is hedged about by a number of by-laws which seem to relate chiefly to his personal attitude toward Mrs. Eddy. He may not haunt the roads upon which Mrs. Eddy drives. He may not discuss, lecture upon, or debate upon Christian Science in public without especial permission from one of her representatives. He must not be a "leader" in the church and must never be called one. He may read only the Bible and Mrs. Eddy for religious instruction. He shall not "vilify" the Pastor Emeritus. He is in duty bound to go to Mrs. Eddy's home and serve her in person for one year if she requires it of him. He may not permit his children to believe in Santa Claus—Mrs. Eddy abolished Santa Claus by proclamation in 1904. She brooks no petty rivals. He may not read or quote from Mrs. Eddy's books or from her "poems" without first naming the author. She says, in explanation of this by-law: "To pour into the ears of listeners the sacred revelations of Christian Science indiscriminately, or without characterizing their origin and thus distinguishing them from the writings of authors who think at random on this subject, is to lose some weight in the scale of right thinking."[22]

A Christian Scientist "shall neither buy, sell nor circulate Christian Science literature which is not correct in its statement," etc., Mrs. Eddy, of course, determining whether or not the statement is correct. He "shall not patronize a publishing house or bookstore that has for sale obnoxious books."

A Christian Scientist may not belong to any club or society, Free Masons excepted, outside the Mother Church. His connection with the Mother Church must be sufficient for all his social and intellectual needs, and his interest is not to be diverted from its one proper channel. Mrs. Eddy says that church organizations are ample for him.[23]

It is indicative of Mrs. Eddy's influence over her followers that when this by-law was issued, less than twenty inquiries (so her secretary announced) were received at Pleasant View. Men resigned from their political, business, and social clubs, women from their literary and patriotic organizations, without a murmur and without a question.

No hymns may be sung in the Mother Church unless they have been approved by Mrs. Eddy,[pg 31] and Mrs. Eddy's own hymns must be sung at stated intervals. "If a solo singer in the Mother Church shall either neglect or refuse to sing alone a hymn written by our Leader and Pastor Emeritus, as often as once each month, and oftener if the Directors so direct, a meeting shall be called and the salary of this singer shall be stopped."

Supreme Authority

But far above all these lesser by-laws Mrs. Eddy holds one in which her supreme authority rests. A mesmerist or "mental malpractitioner" is, of course, to be excommunicated, and "if the author of Science and Health shall bear witness to the offense of mental malpractice, it shall be considered sufficient evidence thereof."[24] The accused can make no defense, has no appeal. If any Christian Scientist offends Mrs. Eddy, if he writes a letter to the Journal and uses a phrase which does not please her, if he is too popular in his own community, if it is rumored that he reads upon philosophy or metaphysics, or medicine, if he in any way wounds her vanity, Mrs. Eddy can expel him from the church by a word, without explanation, and he can make no effort to vindicate himself. In the matter of hypnotism Mrs. Eddy's mere word is enough. She has, she says, an unerring instinct by which she can detect hypnotism in any creature:

"I possess a spiritual sense of what the malicious mental practitioner is mentally arguing which cannot be deceived; I can discern in the human mind thoughts, motives, and purposes; and neither mental arguments nor psychic power can affect this spiritual insight."[25]

Actual Size of Mrs. Eddy's Following

The result of Mrs. Eddy's planning and training and pruning is that she has built up the largest and most powerful organization ever founded by any woman in America. Probably no other woman so handicapped—so limited in intellect, so uncertain in conduct, so tortured by hatred and hampered by petty animosities—has ever risen from a state of helplessness and dependence to a position of such power and authority. All that Christian Science comprises to-day—the Mother Church, branch churches, healers, teachers, Readers, boards, committees, societies—are as completely under Mrs. Eddy's control as if she were their temporal as well as their spiritual ruler. The growth of her power has been extensive as well as intensive.

In June, 1907, the membership of the Mother Church, according to the Secretary's report, was 43,876. The membership of the branch churches amounted to 42,846. As members of the branch churches are almost invariably members of the Mother Church as well, there cannot be more than 60,000 Christian Scientists in the world to-day, and the number is probably nearer 50,000.

In June, 1907, there were in all 710 branch churches. Fifty-eight of these are in foreign countries: 25 in the Dominion of Canada, 14 in Great Britain, 2 in Ireland, 4 in Australia, 1 in South Africa, 8 in Mexico, 2 in Germany, 1 in Holland, and 1 in France. There are also 295 Christian Science societies not yet incorporated into churches, 30 of which are in foreign countries.[26]

In reading these figures one must bear in mind the fact that twenty-nine years ago the only Christian Science church in the world was struggling to pay its rent in Boston.

One very effective element in the growth of the church has been the fact that a considerable proportion of Christian Scientists—probably about one tenth—make their living by their faith, and their worldly fortunes as well as their spiritual comfort are in their church; they must prosper or decline, rise or fall, with Christian Science, and they prosecute the cause of their church with all their energies and with entire singleness of purpose. Again, any religion must experience a great impetus and stimulus from the living presence of its founder or prophet, and when that presence is as effective as Mrs. Eddy's, it is a force to be reckoned with. Furthermore, Christian Science is a novel and sensational presentation of one of the oldest accepted truths in human thinking, and converts a few time-worn metaphysical platitudes into mysterious incantations which are quite as effective by reason of their incoherence and misapplication as because of the relative truths which they originally conveyed. Optimism is the cry of the times, and of all the voices which declare it, this is the most strident and insistent, proclaiming the shortest of all the short roads to happiness, declaring the secret of a contentment as impervious of total anaesthesia.

[Note: The next article will deal with Mrs. Eddy's book, "Science and Health," and will complete this history.]


[1] This communion was originally observed once each quarter and then twice a year. Since 1899 it has been observed but once a year, on the second Sunday in June. No "material" emblems, such as bread and wine, are offered, and the communion is one of silent thought. On Monday the directors meet and transact the business of the year, and on Tuesday the officers' reports are read. As most members of the branch churches are also members of the Mother Church, thousands of Christian Scientists from all over the United States visit Boston at this time.

[2] At the 1898 communion there was no invitation from Mrs. Eddy, but a number of communicants went up to Concord to see her house and to see her start out upon her daily drive. In June, 1899, Mrs. Eddy came to Boston and briefly addressed the annual business meeting of the church. In 1902 and 1903 there were no formal pilgrimages, although hundreds of Christian Scientists went to Concord to catch a glimpse of Mrs. Eddy upon her drive.

[3] February, 1899.

[4] Calvin Frye.

[5] In a notice to the churches, 1897, Mrs. Eddy says:

"The Bible and the Christian Science text-book are our only preachers. We shall now read scriptural texts and their co-relative passages from our text-book—these comprise our sermon. The canonical writings, together with the word of our text-book, corroborating and explaining the Bible texts in their denominational, spiritual import and application to all ages, past, present and future, constitute a sermon undivorced from truth, uncontaminated or fettered by human hypotheses and authorized by Christ."

[6] For the text of these by-laws see Christian Science Manual (1904), Articles IV and XXIII.

[7] Mrs. Eddy stated in regard to this ruling that it was to have immediate effect only in the Mother Church, adding: "Doubtless the churches adopting this by-law will discriminate its adaptability to their conditions. But if now is not the time the branch churches can wait for the favored moment to act on this subject."

[8] Church Manual (11th ed.), Article XXXII.

[9] Ibid. (3d ed.), Article VIII, Sec. 5.

[10] Church Manual (43d ed.), Article I, Sec. 5.

[11] Ibid. (43d ed.), Article I, Sec. 2.

[12] Ibid. (43d ed.), Article I, Sec. 4. Ibid. (11th ed.), Article XXIII, Sec. 2.

[13] Ibid. (43d ed.), Article I, Sec. 3.

[14] Formerly the Executive Members were permitted to fix the salaries of the Readers, but in the last edition of the Manual this privilege seems to have been withdrawn.

[15] Church Manual (43d ed.), Article VI.

[16] Church Manual (43d ed.), Article XXVIII.

[17] Ibid. (11th ed.), Article XXIII.

[18] Ibid. (43d ed.), Article IV.

[19] Ibid. (43d ed.), Article XXXIV, Sec. 1.

[20] Ibid. (43d ed.), Article XXXIV, Sec. 2.

[21] Ibid. (43d ed.), Article XXXIV, Sec. 4.

[22] Church Manual (11th ed.). Article XV.

[23] Ibid. (43d ed.), Article XXVI.

[24] Church Manual (43d ed.), Article XXII, Sec. 4.

[25] "Christian Science History," by Mary B. G. Eddy (1st ed.), page 16.

[26] In June, 1907, there were 3,515 authorized Christian Science "healers" in the world; 3,268 of these are practising in the United States, 1 in Alaska, 63 in the Dominion of Canada, 5 in Mexico, 1 in Cuba, 1 in South Africa, 18 in Australia, 1 in China, 105 in England, 5 in Ireland, 9 in Scotland, 7 in France, 15 in Germany, 4 in Holland, 1 in India, 1 in Italy, 1 in the Philippine Islands, 1 in Russia, 1 in South America, 7 in Switzerland.

[pg 32]




There was a dramatic arrival at the Whittier School one Monday morning.

The children were gathered in their class-rooms, looking particularly good and hopeful just after their morning exercises, and Miss Doane was on the platform in the Assembly Room, when she became aware of a slight confusion in the outside hall. But, since visitors of distinction always came in from that particular hall, Miss Doane merely waited for whatever special form of distinction this might be. There was a thump on the door, and then, after some slight parleying and continued confusion on the other side, it opened and two visitors made their entrance. One was a very large and rather ancient-looking colored man, the other was a very small colored boy. They both looked somewhat spent and breathless, and when the man had deposited the boy before him, with a threatening wave of the stick, he took out a large bandana and wiped the sweat of honest toil from his brow. Miss Doane, somewhat uneasy, approached her visitor.

"Yer see, Miss," he explained, with a gesture of triumph toward the small heap on the floor, "he's ser bad, I'se jes 'blige whup 'im all de way ter school ter git 'im yere fer sho!"

Miss Doane made some response to the effect that it certainly was an unusual way of making sure that a child came to school, to which he joined in:

"Ya-as, Miss, ya-as, Miss! Cert'nly is so! Jes 'blige drap all my wuk 'n' run 'im clean yere. Now, ain't yer 'shame, boy, fer de lady ter see yer ser bad 'n' hard-haided?"

He was not too ashamed to grumble out an unintelligible answer; but he looked quite disgusted with life in general, and twisted his head around in all sorts of directions, and sniffed, and rubbed his coat-sleeve across his face, and appeared generally ill at ease.

"What is his name?" questioned Miss Doane.

"Trusty—Trusty 'is name," explained the parent. "Trusty Miles. W'y doan't yer speak up, boy, an' tell de lady yer name?"

Trusty grunted.

"He doesn't seem very glad to be here," suggested Miss Doane mildly.

"No, Miss, dat's de trufe," agreed the parent cordially, "dat's de trufe! Yer see, he ain't r'ally used ter w'ite folks' school, 'counten allays gwine ter Miss Pauline Smiff's. Yas'm. He ain't r'ally used ter w'ite folks, an' he jes seem ter natchelly balk at de idea fum de fus."

"I see," returned Miss Doane modestly, producing a reader by way of tactful diversion.

Miss Pauline Smith's ex-pupil looked at it a bit askance, and Miss Doane proceeded in a somewhat harrowing attempt to discover and lay bare anything in the least suggestive of knowledge—as such.

"I see," she concluded finally, when there[pg 33] was positively nothing more left to discover; "I see. Will you follow me, please?"

With unexpected docility, Trusty turned and, with his eyes fixed on a closed door toward which Miss Doane led the way, followed, he knew not where.

"Miss North," began Miss Doane, when the door had opened and closed again, "Miss North, I have a new pupil for you."

Miss North tried to look as if this were the most unexpected bit of good fortune which could possibly come to her, and glanced around for an appropriate seat. The children looked pleased at the slight diversion, and Ezekiel, sitting in a corner seat of the front row, looked both pleased and intelligent.

"Dat's Trusty," he began smilingly in a low voice to Miss North, "dat's Trusty Miles, Miss No'th"; and, feeling the cheerful superiority of former acquaintance, he beamed delightedly on Trusty.

"Yes; and I think you may sit right here," explained Miss North, after brief consideration.

In lack of anything else to do, Trusty accepted the offered seat.

"And now," continued Miss North, when the children had once more settled themselves and Miss Doane had gone back to her waiting visitor, "we will go on with the lesson. Yes, we had just decided that we all had bodies."

Ezekiel glanced at the new pupil, who seemed to be somewhat taken by surprise at this unexpected development, and was looking curiously around the room with evident hope of disputing the statement.

"Yes, that is true, is it not, that we all have bodies?"

They all looked around rather doubtfully, as if they did not feel quite so sure on this point; but, as no disembodied spirit spoke up in denial of the assertion, it was gradually accepted.

"Yes; and these bodies have a great many different parts, haven't they?"

"Yas'm," came, rather faintly.

"Why, yes, indeed," went on Miss North, quite gaily, "a great many different parts. Now, what are some of these parts, children? Who can think?"

There was a moment of tremendous concentration, and then a dozen hands went up.

"Well, Alphonso Jones—and make a nice sentence, Alphonso."

"Yer haid is part uv yer body," stated Alphonso, as though he were not in the habit of being contradicted.

"Yes, very true. Your head is part of your body. And now, as different parts of the head, we have—" putting her fingers suggestively to her ears——

"Ears!" shouted a tremendous chorus.



[pg 34]

"Yes; and—" closing her eyes, and just touching the lids lightly, as the most delicate hint possible——

"Eyes!" shouted a yet more tremendous chorus.

"Yes; and now, since the eyes are such a very important part of the head, let us think how we can take very good care of the eyes."

This sounded rather complicated, and there was another moment of awful concentration. Even Trusty appeared to be thinking warmly on the subject.

"Well, Ezekiel, what do you say?"

"Not pick no holes in 'em wid no pin," suggested Ezekiel pleasantly.

"Why, Ezekiel, certainly not! Of course we shouldn't want to pick holes in them with a pin; but—well, what do you say, Tommy?"

"Not pick no holes in 'em wid no needle!" explained Tommy, his face all aglow with enthusiasm.

"Why, no, indeed! Of course not—why, of course not. But that isn't just what I mean, because of course you would never think of doing that anyway, would you, Tommy?"

Hands were waving madly in all directions now; but when young Charles Sumner Scott raised his with its usual effect of poise and precision, Miss North considered the situation saved. Charles usually saved the situation.

"How must we treat the eyes if we want to keep them nice and strong, Charles?"

"Not pick no holes in 'em wid no hat-pin!" announced Charles.

"Hands down!" ordered Miss North.

Hands down, indeed!

"Hezzy Cones, did you hear what I said?"

"Yath'm! Not pick no holthe in 'em wid no hair-pin!" shouted Hezzy, not to be walked over so easily, and jubilant at this slight variation.

The new pupil had waked up, too.

"Not pick no holes in 'em wid no knittin'-needle!" he sang loudly, in a perfect burst of inspiration.

This was a stroke of genius, and they all looked around on the new-comer admiringly, and looked a little doubtful, for a moment, as to whether anything more could be said on the subject.

Ezekiel fairly radiated at his friend's success.



"Now, wait, children!" said Miss North, with emphasis amounting almost to severity. "Our answers are getting wild—very wild. And I do not wish to hear anything more about pins or needles or hat-pins or knitting-needles. I should like to see you all very straight in your seats."

There was a tremendous effort at straightening up, whereupon Miss North proceeded to make a few valuable suggestions in regard to the treatment of the eyes.

"Now," said Miss North, as if she were propounding a theory of rare and striking originality, "who can tell me another part of the body?"

The pause was long; they were evidently feeling somewhat sore over their last setback.

"Well?" encouraged Miss North.

"Yer laigs," mumbled a stuffy voice from the back of the room.

"Yes, your legs, Samuel; that is quite right. And perhaps you can tell me what your legs are for, Samuel. But wait; we will think before answering."

"Ter se' down with," answered Samuel comfortably.

"No, Samuel; you evidently did not think; they are for nothing of the kind," returned Miss North shortly.

Trusty's hand was waving with unmistakable interest. Miss North was painfully aware that he must be encouraged.

"Well, Trusty," she ventured, "what are your legs for?"

"Ter hole yer feet on!" shouted Trusty, in a perfect spasm of joyous interest.

Miss North essayed to collect her thoughts.

"Well, hardly, hardly for—that alone, are they, Trusty? Tell me what else they are for."

But Trusty failed to find any other use to[pg 35] which he could put the legs, and Miss North again took the floor; whereupon Trusty's interest immediately subsided.

Later on, she attempted, somewhat cautiously, to draw him out once more; but the day went on, and not once again did Trusty deign to come to the front.

The next morning Miss Doane was at school early. She had been working for some moments at her desk in the Assembly Room, when she became aware that again an unusual sort of demonstration was taking place in the outside hall. To the hall Miss Doane went; and there, once more, she was met by the large colored man and the small colored boy.

"Jes 'blige ter 'ply de same kine o' coaxin', Miss! Whup 'im all de way yere! Ain't I, Trusty?"

Poor Trusty appeared almost too spent even to reply; and Miss Doane looked at him and suggested that he go to his seat and rest.

"M-m-m—ain' gwine no seat 'n' res'!" he growled.

His father intervened: "Yer see, Miss? Yer see? He's de hard-haidedes' chile I'se got, an' dat's de trufe. Come 'long, now, boy; jes come 'long, now!" And, without ceremony, Trusty was lifted with a firm hand and transported through the Assembly Room to his seat, where he was deposited with a thump.

Miss North looked up in mild surprise.

"Why, Trusty! Good morning!"

Trusty's response was a thing of conjecture.

"And so you are back at school again; and aren't you glad, after all, to come back to this nice school?"

"M-m-m—school nuthin'!" was the unexpectedly prompt response.

"Yer'll fine 'im mighty wearisome, I 'spec', Miss," put in the parent. "But whup 'im! Dat's all I kin say. Whup 'im all de time; an' me 'n' 'Mandy'll wuk on 'im nights 'n' mawnin's."

Miss North looked at the diminutive object but half filling his seat, and caught her breath.

Another day of alternate gloom and occasional spasmodic interest on Trusty's part, another day of doubts and fears in his behalf on the part of Miss North.

That night, just as he was about to scuffle disconsolately behind the others from the room, picturing, no doubt, some of the joys which were awaiting him at home, she called him back. Ezekiel stood by her desk, wondering why she had called him, too.

"Trusty," she began, "wouldn't you like to come to school to-morrow morning with Ezekiel?"

Trusty looked up doubtfully, and Ezekiel looked up, not just comprehending.

"You live near each other, don't you?"

"No'm," Ezekiel's tone wavered anxiously. "No'm, we don't live nare each udder, Miss No'th; Trusty he live clare way down de road."

He stopped, meditating; then his face seemed to clear somewhat of its burden of thought. "But I reckon—I kin git 'im yere, ef yer wants, Miss No'th; yas'm, I—I kin git 'im yere, ef yer wants, 'cuz I kin go af' 'im an' git 'im. Yas'm, I kin ca'y 'im ter school, Miss No'th!"

Trusty looked a bit doubtful as to whether he should entirely fall in with the plan, and Miss North made haste to readjust herself.

"No'm, 'tain' no trouble, Miss No'th; no'm. I kin ca'y 'im ter school ter-morrer, cyan't I, Trusty?"

Trusty still appeared to be doubting heavily; but Ezekiel's assurances continued to ring warmly, as they moved on toward the door and disappeared into the hall.

It was still early the next morning when Miss North worked alone in the school-room. Slowly the door opened. Slowly two small figures pushed their way awkwardly into the room. Miss North looked up.

"Why, Ezekiel! And Trusty!"

They came in softly, hand in hand, and stood before her desk, Trusty passive, Ezekiel glowing shyly with pride and pleasure.

"Hyeah's Trusty, Miss No'th," he explained briefly.

"I see. Why, how—how very nice! And so nice and early! Why, Trusty, aren't you glad you could get here so early?"

Trusty seemed hardly ready to commit himself just yet, but began to look shyly pleased, too. Ezekiel, still holding him by the hand, looked down protectingly.



[pg 36]

"Yas'm, he—he likes ter git yere early; doan't yer, Trusty?"

"Yes, I'm sure he does," put in Miss North tactfully. "And now, perhaps he would like to help by getting some of the dust out of these erasers; they aren't very clean this morning."

His eyes brightened. "Yas'm!"

The two came back looking as if they had been temporarily detained in a flour-barrel.

"Why, yes, those are very clean; but you seem to be just a little dusty yourselves, aren't you?"

"Yas'm," agreed Trusty, while Ezekiel brushed him with doubtful success. "Kin ole Sam'el Smiff dus' 'em?"

"Samuel Smith? I don't think Samuel ever did dust them——"

"'Cuz me 'n' 'Zekiel kin dus' 'em good's dat 'mos' any time; cyan't we, 'Zekiel?"

By the time that school was ready to begin that morning, there stood a stately line of "visitors from the North" across Miss North's room, ready for enlightenment on the Negro Problem. And as Miss North began: "We are having a new month to-day, children; who can tell me what the name of the month is?" the line drew itself up, preparatory to getting right down to the heart of the matter.

"What month, class?"


"Yes; very good. Is February a short month or a long month?"

There was an unfortunate difference of opinion:

"Short!" "Long!" "Short!" "Long!" "Short!" "Long!"

"Very well," joined in Miss North, ready to agree to anything. "What do you say about it, Archelus?"

"Li'l' teeny bit uv a short month," explained Archelus. "Ain' no longer'n——"

As Archelus was about to illustrate the length of February with his two small hands, Miss North waived any further information on the subject, and went on:

"Yes, a short month. And who can tell me what holiday we have in this month?"

There were two or three who promptly arrived at conclusions. The visitors were smiling wide smiles of appreciation.



"Oh, no; we have just had Christmas. Samuel?"


"Why, no, indeed, Samuel; you are not thinking. William?"

"Washin'ton's Birthday!"

One of the visitors, a rosy-cheeked gentleman with white hair, gave such a loud grunt of appreciation at this that Miss North glanced his way.

"Can he tell us anything about George Washington?" he questioned smilingly, in response to Miss North's glance.

"Oh, I think so. Who can tell me some one thing about George Washington, children? Hands, please."

"That little boy," smiled the rosy-cheeked gentleman; "he seems to be getting so very much interested!"

Heavens! it was Trusty who was getting interested. Miss North glanced at his face, which radiated with delighted intelligence as he fixed his eyes on the closed coat-closet, and felt a chilling and definite foreboding.

"H-m—yes," she went on evasively, "yes. Ezekiel, can you tell us—something about—" What was the matter? Had Ezekiel forgotten how to talk? To be sure! His eyes, kindling with interest and pride, were fixed on his friend.

"No, no! This one," explained the rosy-cheeked gentleman, his eyes still resting smilingly on Trusty. "Well, what do you know about George Washington, little fellow?"

"Miss No'th got 'im shet up in de coat-closet!"

The rosy-cheeked gentleman stepped back a bit, and there was suddenly a rather startled expression on the part of the visitors from the North. Somewhat furtively they glanced at the coat-closet, apparently expecting to see the immortal George emerge in person at any moment. Miss North coughed slightly, and looked as if she had known happier times.

"You may be seated, Trusty."

"She shet 'im in dere fer imperdence!" explained Trusty.

But just then the door creaked softly, and from the unknown depths of the coat-closet a little figure peered anxiously.

"Mith No'th! Kin I come out now?"

Miss North looked at the small figure, and then at the visitors from the North, whereupon they all looked at her; and then suddenly the rosy-cheeked gentleman burst out into such unchecked, joyous laughter that the others all joined in, and the visitors from the North moved on.

At the same time, there was a thump on the door which opened from the back hall, and a large and ancient colored man advanced into the room.

[pg 37]



"Mawnin', Miss, mawnin'!" he began in loud, cheerful tones. "'Scusin' de privilege o' de interruption, I'se 'blige ax yer kin I borry Trusty fer a li'l' w'ile, 'spesh'ly fer de 'casion?"

Just what the occasion was he did not explain; but Trusty, possibly receiving suggestive glimmers of inward light on the subject, and being at this particular moment otherwise interested, began to show evidence of unexpected combativeness.

"M-m-m—I ain' gwine be 'scuse fer no 'casion," he mumbled cantankerously.

"Come, now, boy, ya-as, yer is, too!" disagreed the parent, advancing toward the subject of complication. "Yer see, Miss! Ain't I tole yer he's de hard-haidedes' chile? Fus I'se 'blige whup 'im school, 'n' nex' I cyan' git 'im 'way ter bless me! Ain't I jes tole yer!" And again, with a firm hand, Trusty was lifted and transported across the room to the open door. Miss North hastily suggested the final formalities requisite for an excuse, but her voice was quite lost among the reverberations of a more powerful organ:

"Ain't I jes tole yer so! Ya-as, yer is, too! Ain't I jes tole yer! Come 'long, now; jes come 'long, now!"

They disappeared through the doorway, and then only the final reverberations came back to them as Trusty was triumphantly exhorted on his way.

But the worst of vicissitudes, and the best of them, only wait to give place to new ones, and the old days change to new ones and the weeks and the months go on; and, as the oft-repeated act becomes a habit, so it had finally become an unvarying habit for Ezekiel to arrive at school with Trusty's hand held loosely in his own, while Trusty himself plodded unresistingly at his side.

But occasionally there comes a time, too, when the habitual thing fails to happen.

It was one morning toward the end of May. Miss North had glanced at the clock, which hovered close to nine, and then she had glanced around the room at several waiting children, and into the yard, which was filling rapidly, and wondered, half passively, why Ezekiel and Trusty had not come. In a quickly changing, drifting undercurrent of thought, she remembered their first arrival together—just how they had looked as they stood, hand in hand, before her desk. Again, she remembered Trusty as he had looked that first day, just after his arrival, first sullenly rebelling, and then vibrating, as it were, between a state of absolute indifference and one of suddenly aroused interest. Strange, how it had grown to be a regular thing for Trusty to be "interested"! She glanced around the room and out to the yard again, and wondered why they didn't come; and when one of the children came in from outside with an excited story of "ole Trusty racin' down de road, an' 'is father after 'im," she listened.

"Ole man Miles say Trusty he cyan' come school dis yere day, an' Trusty say he is, an' 'Zekiel say he is, too, an' ole man say he ain't, an' Trusty 'n' 'Zekiel say he is, an' start off down de road jes a-runnin'! An' ole man af' 'em clean all de way yere!"[pg 38]

A moment after this enthusiastic announcement, the school-room door burst open, and Ezekiel came lurching into the room, half carrying, half dragging Trusty, who was spattered with mud and dirt from head to foot.

"Miss No'th! He say he cyan' come!" cried Ezekiel. "He—he say—he cyan' come—no mo'!" He stumbled against her desk, and Trusty dropped limply down before him, feebly snatching at Miss North's skirts.

"He—he—say—I cyan'—come—no mo'!" he whispered in a faint, panting echo.

Ezekiel dropped heavily against the desk, his breath catching convulsively in his throat. "He—he lock 'im up so he cyan' come ter—ter school!" he choked. "But—T-Trusty he say he—he is, an' he keep on tellin' 'im he—is—an' he is! An'—an' he jes say—he cyan' come—no—mo'!" His head bumped down between his arms, and he waited, his breath still catching in his throat. "An' I—I tells 'im he—he's 'blige ter come! But—'tain'—no—use; he—he—jes lock de do'! An'—an' we jumps outen de winder, an'—an' he cotch T-Trusty 'n' lock 'im up 'gin—an'—an' he jumps outen 'gin—'cuz he keeps on tellin' 'im he—he's—'b-blige ter come ter—ter school! He—he tells 'im he's—jes—'b-blige ter come!"

With hushed faces, the children gazed first at Ezekiel and then at Miss North. With an involuntary movement of the arms, she made a movement toward him. But a small heap of a boy stirred at her feet, and she looked down. A possibility, suddenly realized, seemed to seize him, and he looked up, clinging to her in helpless terror.

"Doan't yer let 'im tek me back!" he whispered hoarsely, "so I cyan' git 'way! Doan't yer, Miss No'th! Please doan't yer! 'Cuz—ain't I 'blige—ain't I 'blige—s-seem like—some'ow"—Miss North bent down to hear it—"s-seem like—some'ow—t-ter-day—I'se jes—'blige ter be yere!"

She heard the faint, choked whisper, and she saw the trembling little figure. She saw the other little figure, and then again the faint, choked whisper came sounding up to her ears. But dimly, dimly—just for the moment—she seemed to hear something else—to see another little boy, whipped to school by a coarse, brutish man, yet all the while helplessly struggling against it. That other little boy—again the small hands caught at her skirts.

"Doan't yer let 'im! Will yer, Miss No'th?"

She lifted him from the floor.

"No—I won't let him," and she put him gently into his seat.

Still, with hushed faces, the children gazed wonderingly.... She held out her arms.

"Come, Ezekiel!" Was Miss North going to cry?

"Sit down—right here, Ezekiel; you are very—tired!"

He still hung over the desk, and she went up to him between the seats.

"Eze-kiel! Come! Come—my dear little boy!"

But there was the sound of an opening door, and she turned.

In the doorway stood a large and ancient-looking colored man, and for a moment he only stood there, breathing laboriously and murmuring in strange, half-audible tones. Then, with sudden unexpected perception, he took in the scene before him. Half mortified, half conciliatory, he turned to Miss North.

"Jes all completely wrop in dey edjercation!" he explained ingratiatingly, with resigned indulgence. His eyes rested on Trusty.

"Cert'nly did use ter be de boss o' dat boy! Cert'nly did!" He looked at Ezekiel and chuckled indulgently. "But look like times is change! Cert'nly is change! Ya-as, suh, I jes natchelly pass de case over ter you!"

He turned around and went out again—and Ezekiel looked up at Miss North through his tears.

[pg 39]





My travels in the interior of the South in the summer and fall of 1865 took me over the track of Sherman's march, which, in South Carolina at least, looked for many miles like a broad black streak of ruin and desolation—fences gone, lonesome smoke-stacks, surrounded by dark heaps of ashes and cinders, marking the spots where human habitations had stood, the fields along the road wildly overgrown by weeds, with here and there a sickly-looking patch of cotton or corn cultivated by negro squatters. In the city of Columbia, the political capital of the State, I found a thin fringe of houses encircling a confused mass of charred ruins of dwellings and business buildings which had been destroyed by a sweeping conflagration.

No part of the South I then visited had, indeed, suffered as much from the ravages of the war as South Carolina—the State which was looked upon by the Northern soldier as the principal instigator of the whole mischief and therefore deserving of special punishment. But even those regions which had been touched but little or not at all by military operations were laboring under dire distress. The Confederate money in the hands of the Southern people, paper money signed by the Confederate government without any security behind it, had by the collapse of the Confederacy become entirely worthless. Only a few individuals of more or less wealth had been fortunate enough to save, and to keep throughout the war, small hoards of gold and silver, which in the aggregate amounted to little. Immediately after the close of the war the people may be said to have been substantially without a "circulating medium" to serve in the transaction of ordinary business. United States money came in to fill the vacuum, but it could not be had for nothing; it could be obtained only by selling something for it, in the shape of goods or of labor. The Southern people, having during four years of war devoted their productive activity, aside from the satisfaction of their current home wants, almost entirely to the sustenance of their army and of the machinery of their government, and having suffered great losses by the destruction of property, had, of course, very little to sell. In fact, they were dreadfully impoverished and needed all their laboring capacity to provide for the wants of the next day; and as agriculture was their main resource, upon which everything else depended, the next day was to them of supreme importance.

The First Crop Without Slaves

But now the men come home from the war found their whole agricultural labor system[pg 40] turned upside down. Slave labor had been their absolute reliance. They had been accustomed to it, they had believed in it, they had religiously regarded it as a necessity in the order of the universe. During the war a large majority of the negroes had stayed upon the plantations and attended to the crops in the wonted way in those regions which were not touched by the Union armies. They had heard of "Mas'r Lincoln's" Emancipation Proclamation in a more or less vague way, but did not know exactly what it meant, and preferred to remain quietly at work and wait for further developments. But when the war was over, general emancipation became a well-understood reality. The negro knew that he was a free man, and the Southern white man found himself face to face with the problem of dealing with the negro as a free laborer. To most of the Southern whites this problem was utterly bewildering. Many of them, honest and well-meaning people, admitted to me, with a sort of helpless stupefaction, that their imagination was wholly incapable of grasping the fact that their former slaves were now free. And yet they had to deal with this perplexing fact, and practically to accommodate themselves to it, at once and without delay, if they were to have any crops that year.

Many of them would frankly recognize this necessity and begin in good faith to consider how they might meet it. But then they stumbled forthwith over a set of old prejudices which in their minds had acquired the stubborn force of convictions. They were sure the negro would not work without physical compulsion; they were sure the negro did not, and never would, understand the nature of a contract; and so on. Yes, they "accepted the situation." Yes, they recognized that the negro was henceforth to be a free man. But could not some method of force be discovered and introduced to compel the negro to work? It goes without saying that persons of such a way of thinking labored under a heavy handicap in going at a difficult task with a settled conviction that it was really "useless to try." But even if they did try, and found that the negro might, after all, be induced to work without physical compulsion, they were apt to be seriously troubled by things which would not at all trouble an employer accustomed to free labor. I once had an argument with a Georgia planter who vociferously insisted that one of his negro laborers who had objected to a whipping had thereby furnished the most conclusive proof of his unfitness for freedom. And such statements were constantly reinforced by further assertion that they, the Southern whites, understood the negro and knew how to treat him, and that we of the North did not and never would.

This might have been true in one sense, but not true in another. The Southerner knew better than the Northerner how to treat the negro as a slave, but it did not follow that he knew best how to treat the negro as a freeman; and just there was the rub. It was perhaps too much to expect of the Southern slaveholders, or of Southern society generally, that a clear judgment of the new order of things should have come to them at once. The total overturning of the whole labor system of a country, accomplished suddenly, without preparation or general transition, is a tremendous revolution, a terrible wrench, well apt to confuse men's minds. It should not have surprised any fair-minded person that many Southern people for a time clung to the accustomed idea that the landowner must also own the black man tilling his land, and that any assertion of freedom of action on the part of that black man was insubordination equivalent to criminal revolt, and any dissent by the black man from the employer's opinion or taste intolerable insolence. Nor should it be forgotten that the urgent necessity of negro labor for that summer's crop could hardly fail to sharpen the nervous tension then disquieting Southern society.

Restless Foot-loose Negroes

It is equally natural that the negro population of the South should at that time have been unusually restless. I have already mentioned the fact that during the Civil War the bulk of the slave population remained quietly at work on the plantations, except in districts touched by the operations of the armies. Had negro slaves not done so, the Rebellion would not have survived its first year. They presented the remarkable spectacle of an enslaved race doing slaves' work to sustain a government and an army fighting for the perpetuation of its enslavement. Some colored people did, indeed, escape from the plantations and run into the Union lines where our troops were within reach, and some of their young men enlisted in the Union army as soldiers. But there was nowhere any commotion among them that had in the slightest degree the character of an uprising in force of slaves against their masters. Nor was there, when, after the downfall of the Confederacy, general emancipation had become an established fact, a single instance of an act of vengeance committed by a negro upon a white man for inhumanity suffered by him or his while in the condition of bondage. No race or class of men ever passed from slavery to freedom with a record equally pure of revenge. But many of[pg 41] them, especially in the neighborhood of towns or of Federal encampments, very naturally yielded to the temptation of testing and enjoying their freedom by walking away from the plantations to have a frolic. Many others left their work because their employers ill-treated them or in other ways incurred their distrust. Thus it happened that in various parts of the South the highroads and byways were alive with foot-loose colored people.

I did not find, so far as I was informed by personal observation or report, that their conduct could, on the whole, be called lawless. There was some stealing of pigs and chickens and other petty pilfering, but rather less than might have been expected. More serious depredations rarely, if ever, occurred. The vagrants were throughout very good-natured. They had their carousals with singing and dancing, and their camp-meetings with their peculiar religious programs. But, while these things might in themselves have been harmless enough under different circumstances, they produced deplorable effects in the situation then existing. Those negroes stayed away from the plantations just when their labor was most needed to secure the crops of the season, and those crops were more than ordinarily needed to save the population from continued want and misery. Violent efforts were made by white men to drive the straggling negroes back to the plantations by force, and reports of bloody outrages inflicted upon colored people came from all quarters. I had occasion to examine personally into several of those cases, and I saw in odious hospitals negroes, women as well as men, whose ears had been cut off, or whose bodies were slashed with knives, or bruised with whips or bludgeons, or punctured with shot-wounds. Dead negroes were found in considerable numbers in the country roads or on the fields, shot to death, or strung on the limbs of trees. In many districts the colored people were in a panic of fright, and the whites in a state of almost insane irritation against them. These conditions in their worst form were only local, but they were liable to spread, for there was plenty of inflammable spirit of the same kind all over the South. It looked sometimes as if wholesale massacres were prevented only by the presence of the Federal garrisons which were dispersed all over the country.




The Freedmen's Bureau

Indeed, nothing could have been more necessary at that time than the active interposition of the Federal power between the whites and the blacks of the South, not only to prevent or repress violent collisions, but to start the former masters and the former slaves on the path of peaceful and profitable coöperation as employers and free laborers. This was a difficult task. Northern men who had come to the South to purchase or lease plantations enjoyed the great advantage of having money, so that they could pay the wages of their negro laborers in cash, which the negroes preferred. The Southern men, having been stripped almost naked by the war, had, aside from current sustenance, only prospective payment to offer, consisting mostly of a part of the crop. While many planters were just and even liberal in the making of cash contracts, others would take advantage of the ignorance of the negroes and try to tie them down to stipulations which left to the laborer almost nothing, or even obliged him to run in debt to his employer, and thus drop into the condition of a mere peon, a debt-slave. It is a very curious fact that some of the forms of contract drawn up by former slaveholders contained provisions looking to the probability of[pg 42] a future restoration of slavery. There was, not unnaturally, much distrust of the planters among the negroes, who, in concluding contracts, feared to compromise their rights as freemen or to be otherwise overreached. To allay that distrust and, in many cases, to secure their just dues, they stood much in need of an adviser in whom they had confidence and to whom they could look for protection, while, on the other hand, the employers of negro labor stood in equal need of some helpful authority to give the colored people sound instruction as to their duties as freemen and to lead them back to the path of industry and good order when, with their loose notions of the binding force of agreements, they broke their contracts, or indulged themselves otherwise in unruly pranks.

To this end the "Freedmen's Bureau" was instituted, an organization of civil officials who were, with the necessary staffs, dispersed all over the South to see that the freedmen had their rights and to act as intermediaries between them and the whites. The conception was a good one, and the institution, at the head of which General O. O. Howard was put, did useful service in many instances.

Thus the strain of the situation was somewhat relieved by the interposition of the Federal authority between clashing elements, but by no means as much as was required to produce a feeling of security. The labor puzzle, aggravated by race antagonism, was indeed the main distressing influence, but not the only one. To the younger Southerners who had grown up in the heated atmosphere of the political feud about slavery, to whom the threat of disunion as a means to save slavery had been like a household word, and who had always regarded the bond of Union as a shackle to be cast off, the thought of being "reunited" to "the enemy," the hated Yankee, was distasteful in the extreme. Such sentiments of the "unconquered" found excited and exciting expression in the Southern press, and were largely entertained by many Southern clergymen of different denominations and still more ardently by Southern women. General Thomas Kilby Smith, commanding the southern districts of Alabama, reported to me that when he suggested to Bishop Wilmer, of the Episcopal diocese of Alabama, the propriety of restoring to the Litany that prayer which includes the President of the United States, the whole of which he had ordered his rectors to expurge, the bishop refused, first, upon the ground that he could not pray for a continuance of martial law, and, secondly, because he would, by ordering the restoration of the prayer, stultify himself in the event of Alabama and the Southern Confederacy regaining independence.

Pickles and Patriotism

The influence exercised by the feelings of the women of the South upon the condition of mind and the conduct of the men was, of course, very great. Of those feelings I witnessed a significant manifestation in a hotel at Savannah. At the public dinner-table I sat opposite a lady in black, probably mourning. She was middle-aged, but still handsome, and of an agreeable expression of countenance. She seemed to be a lady of the higher order of society. A young lieutenant in Federal uniform took a seat by my side, a youth of fine features and gentlemanly appearance. The lady, as I happened to notice, darted a glance at him which, as it impressed me, indicated that the presence of the person in Federal uniform was highly obnoxious to her. She seemed to grow restless, as if struggling with an excitement hard to restrain. To judge from the tone of her orders to the waiter, she was evidently impatient to finish her dinner. When she reached for a dish of pickles standing on the table at a little distance from her, the lieutenant got up and, with a polite bow, took it and offered it to her. She withdrew her hand as if it had touched something loathsome, her eyes flashed fire, and in a tone of wrathful scorn and indignation she said: "So you think a Southern woman will take a dish of pickles from a hand that is dripping with the blood of her countrymen?" Then she abruptly left the table, while the poor lieutenant, deeply blushing, apparently stunned by the unexpected rebuff, stammered some words of apology, assuring the lady that he had meant no offense.

The mixing of a dish of pickles with so hot an outburst of Southern patriotism could hardly fail to evoke a smile; but the whole scene struck me as gravely pathetic, and as auguring ill for the speedy revival of a common national spirit.




The South's Hopeless Poverty

Southern women had suffered much by the Civil War, on the whole far more than their Northern sisters. There was but little exaggeration in the phrase which was current at the time, that the Confederacy, in order to fill its armies, had to "draw upon the cradle and the grave." Almost every white male capable of bearing arms enlisted or was pressed into service. The loss of men, not in proportion to the number on the rolls, but in proportion to the whole white population, was far heavier in the South than in the North. There were not many families unbereft, not many women who had not the loss of a father, or a husband, or a[pg 43] brother, or a friend to deplore. In the regions in which military operations had taken place the destruction of property had been great, and while most of that destruction seemed necessary in the opinion of military men, in the eyes of the sufferers it appeared wanton, cruel, malignant, devilish. The interruption of the industries of the country, the exclusion by the blockade of the posts of all importations from abroad, and the necessity of providing for the sustenance of the armies in the field, subjected all classes to various distressing privations and self-denials. There were bread riots in Richmond. Salt became so scarce that the earthen floors of the smoke-houses were scraped to secure the remnants of the brine-drippings of former periods. Flour was at all times painfully scarce. Coffee and tea were almost unattainable. Of the various little comforts and luxuries which by long common use had almost become necessaries, many were no longer to be had. Mothers had to ransack old rag-bags to find material with which to clothe their children. Ladies accustomed to a life of abundance and fashion had not only to work their old gowns over and to wear their bonnets of long ago, but also to flit with their children from one plantation to another in order to find something palatable to eat in the houses of more fortunate friends who had in time provided for themselves. And when at[pg 44] last the war was over, the blockade was raised, and the necessaries and comforts so long and so painfully missed came within sight again, the South was made only more sensible of her poverty. It was indeed an appalling situation, looking in many respects almost hopeless. And for all this the Southern woman, her heart full of the mournful memories of the sere past and heavy with the anxieties of the present, held the "cruel Yankee" responsible.

From time to time, traveling from State to State, I reported to President Johnson my observations and the conclusions I drew from them. Not only was I most careful to tell him the exact truth as I saw it; I also elicited from our military officers and from agents of the Freedmen's Bureau stationed in the South, as well as from prominent Southern men, statements of their views and experiences, which formed a mighty body of authoritative testimony, coming as it did from men of high character and important public position, some of whom were Republicans, some Democrats, some old anti-slavery men, some old pro-slavery men. All these papers, too, I submitted to the President. The historian of that time will hardly find more trustworthy material. They all substantially agreed upon certain points of fact. They all found that the South was at peace in so far as there was no open armed conflict between the government troops and organized bodies of insurgents. The South was not at peace inasmuch as the different social forces did not peaceably coöperate, and violent collisions on a great scale were prevented or repressed only by the presence of the Federal authority supported by the government troops on the ground for immediate action. The "results of the war," recognized in the South in so far as the restoration of the Union and the Federal Government, were submitted to by virtue of necessity, and the emancipation of the slaves and the introduction of free labor were accepted in name; but the Union was still hateful to a large majority of the white population of the South, the Southern Unionists were still social outcasts, the officers of the Union were still regarded as foreign tyrants ruling by force. And as to the abolition of slavery, emancipation, although "accepted" in name, was still denounced by a large majority of the former master class as an "unconstitutional" stretch of power, to be reversed if possible; and that class, the ruling class among the whites, was still desiring, hoping, and striving to reduce the free negro laborer as much as possible to the condition of a slave. And this tendency was seriously aggravated by the fact that the South, exhausted and impoverished, stood in the most pressing need of productive agricultural labor, while the landowners generally did not yet know how to manage the former slave as a free laborer, and the emancipated negro was still unused to the rights and duties of a freeman. In short, Southern society was still in that most confused, perplexing, and perilous of conditions—the condition of a defeated insurrection leaving irritated feelings behind it, and of a great social revolution only half accomplished, leaving antagonistic forces face to face. The necessity of the presence of a restraining and guiding higher authority could hardly have been more obvious.




Johnson's Haste for Reconstruction

During the first six weeks of my travels in the South I did not receive a single word from the President or any member of the administration; but through the newspapers and the talk going on around me I learned that the President had taken active measures to put the "States lately in rebellion" into a self-governing condition—that[pg 45] is to say, he had appointed "provisional governors"; he had directed those provisional governors to call conventions, to be elected, according to the plan laid down in the North Carolina proclamation, by the "loyal" white citizens, an overwhelming majority of whom were persons who had adhered to the Rebellion and had then taken the prescribed oath of allegiance. On the same basis, the provisional governors were to set in motion again the whole machinery of civil government as rapidly as possible. When, early in July, I had taken leave of the President to set out on my tour of investigation, he, as I have already mentioned, had assured me that the North Carolina proclamation was not to be regarded as a plan definitely resolved upon; that it was merely tentative and experimental; that before proceeding further he would "wait and see"; and that to aid him by furnishing him information and advice while he was "waiting and seeing" was the object of my mission. Had not this been the understanding, I should not have undertaken the wearisome and ungrateful journey. But now he did not wait and see; on the contrary, he rushed forward the political reconstruction of the Southern States in hot haste—apparently without regard to consequences.




Every good citizen most cordially desired the earliest practicable reëstablishment of the constitutional relations of the late "rebel States" to the national government; but, before restoring those States to all the functions of self-government within the Union, the national government was in conscience bound to keep in mind certain debts of honor. One was due to the Union men of the South who had stood true to the republic in the days of trial and danger; and the other was due to the colored people who had furnished 200,000 soldiers to our army at the time when enlistments were running slack, and to whom we had given the solemn promise of freedom at a time when that promise gave a distinct moral character to our war for the Union, fatally discouraging the inclination of foreign governments to interfere in our civil conflict. Not only imperative reasons of statesmanship, but the very honor of the republic seemed to forbid that the fate of the emancipated slaves be turned over to State governments ruled by the former master class without the simplest possible guaranty of the genuineness of their freedom. But, as every fair-minded observer would admit, nothing could have been more certain than that the political restoration of the "late rebel States" as self-governing bodies on the North Carolina plan would, at that time, have put the whole legislative and executive power of those States into the hands of men ignorant of the ways of free labor society, who sincerely believed that the negro would not work without physical compulsion and was generally unfit for freedom, and who were then pressed by the dire necessities of their impoverished condition to force out of the negroes all the agricultural labor they could with the least possible regard for their new rights. The consequences of all this[pg 46] were witnessed in the actual experiences of every day.




Arming the Young Men of the South

At last I came again into contact with the President. Late in August I arrived in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and visited the headquarters of Major-General Slocum, who commanded the Department of the Mississippi. I found the General in a puzzled state of mind about a proclamation recently issued by Mr. W. L. Sharkey, whom President Johnson had appointed provisional governor of that State, calling "upon the people, and especially upon such as are liable to perform military duty and are familiar with military discipline," and more especially "the young men of the State who have so distinguished themselves for gallantry," to organize as speedily as possible volunteer companies in every county of the State, at least one company of cavalry and one of infantry, for the protection of life, property, and good order in the State. This meant no more nor less than the organization under the authority of one of the "States lately in rebellion" of a large armed military force consisting of men who had but recently surrendered their arms as Confederate soldiers.

Two days before my arrival at Vicksburg, General Slocum had issued a "general order" in which he directed the district commanders under him not to permit within their districts the organization of such military forces as were contemplated by Governor Sharkey's proclamation. The reasons for such action, given by General Slocum in the order itself,[pg 47] were conclusive. While the military forces of the United States sent to the State of Mississippi for the purpose of maintaining order and of executing the laws of Congress and the orders of the War Department had performed their duties in a spirit of conciliation and forbearance and with remarkable success, the provisional governor, on the alleged ground that this had not been done to his satisfaction, and without consulting the department commander, had called upon the late Confederate soldiers, fresh from the war against the national government, to organize a military force intended to be "independent of the military authority now present, and superior in strength to the United States powers on duty in the States." The execution of this scheme would bring on collisions at once, especially when the United States forces consisted of colored troops. The crimes and disorder the occurrence of which the provisional governor adduced as his reason for organizing his State volunteers had been committed or connived at, as the record showed, by people of the same class as that to which the governor's volunteers would belong. The commanding general, as well as every good citizen, earnestly desired to hasten the day when the troops of the United States could with safety be withdrawn, but that day would "not be hastened by arming at this time the young men of the South."




General Slocum—by the way, be it said, not at all an old anti-slavery man, but a Democrat in politics—was manifestly right. He showed me reports from his district commanders which substantially anticipated his order. But the[pg 48] General was anxious to know whether the President had authorized or approved Governor Sharkey's action. This he asked me to ascertain, and I telegraphed to President Johnson the following despatch:

"General Slocum has issued an order prohibiting the organization of the militia in this State. The organization of the militia would have been a false step. All I can see and learn in the State convinces me that the course followed by General Slocum is the only one by which public order and security can be maintained. To-day I shall forward by mail General Slocum's order with a full statement of the case."

The President Defends Southern Militia

It is hard to imagine my amazement when, at two o'clock on the morning of September 1, I was called up from my berth on a Mississippi steamboat carrying me from Vicksburg to New Orleans, off Baton Rouge, to receive a telegraphic despatch from President Johnson, to which I cannot do justice without quoting it in full:

Washington, D. C.,
August 30, 1865.

To Major-General Carl Schurz,
Vicksburg, Mississippi.

I presume General Slocum will issue no order interfering with Governor Sharkey in restoring functions of the State Government without first consulting the Government, giving the reasons for such proposed interference. It is believed there can be organized in each county a force of citizens or militia to suppress crime, preserve order, and enforce the civil authority of the State and of the United States which would enable the Federal Government to reduce the Army and withdraw to a great extent the forces from the state, thereby reducing the enormous expense of the Government. If there was any danger from an organization of the Citizens for the purpose indicated, the military are there to detect and suppress on the first appearance any move insurrectionary in its character. One great object is to induce the people to come forward in the defense of the State and Federal Government. General Washington declared that the people or the militia was the Army of the Constitution or the Army of the United States, and as soon as it is practicable the original design of the Government must be resumed and the Government administrated upon the principles of the great chart of freedom handed down to the people by the founders of the Republic. The people must be trusted with their Government, and, if trusted, my opinion is they will act in good faith and restore their former Constitutional relations with all the States composing the Union. The main object of Major-General Carl Schurz's mission to the South was to aid as far as practicable in carrying out the policy adopted by the Government for restoring the States to their former relations with the Federal Government. It is hoped such aid has been given. The proclamation authorizing restoration of State Governments requires the military to aid the Provisional Governor in the performance of his duties as prescribed in the proclamation, and in no manner to interfere or throw impediments in the way of consummating the object of his appointment, at least without advising the Government of the intended interference.

Andrew Johnson, Prest. U. S.

As soon as I reached New Orleans, I telegraphed my reply. The President having apparently supposed that I had ordered General Slocum to issue his order, I thought it due to myself to inform the President that the order had been out before I saw the General, but that I decidedly approved of it.

According to the President's own words, I had understood the President's policy to be merely experimental and my mission to be merely one of observation and report. I had governed myself strictly by this understanding, seeking to aid the President by reliable information, believing that it could not be the President's intention to withdraw his protecting hand from the Union people and freedom before their rights and safety were secured. I entreated him not to disapprove General Slocum's conduct and to give me an indication of his purposes concerning the Mississippi militia case.

The next day, September 2, after having seen Major-General Canby, the commander of the Department of Louisiana, an uncommonly cool-headed and cautious man, I telegraphed again as follows:

"To the President: General Canby authorizes me to state that the organization of local militia companies was tried in his department, but that he found himself obliged to disband them again because they indulged in the gratification of private vengeance and worked generally against the policy of the Government. Sheridan has issued an order in Texas embracing the identical points contained in General Slocum's order."

Criticism and Personal Discomfort

Thereupon I received on September 6 a telegram simply announcing the receipt of my "despatch of the 30th ultimo," probably meaning my letter from Vicksburg; and then nothing more—not a word indicating the President's policy, or his wishes, or his approval or disapproval of my conduct. But meanwhile I had found a short paragraph in a New Orleans paper telegraphed from Washington, only a few lines, stating that the President was dissatisfied with me, and that I was especially blamed for having written to the newspapers instead of informing him. I believed I saw in this news paragraph an inspiration from the White House. Acting upon that supposition, I at once wrote to the President, reminding him that I had not sought this mission to the South, but had accepted it thinking that I might do[pg 49] the country some service. I pointed out to him that the charge that I had reported to the newspapers instead of to the President was simply absurd; that I had written to the President a series of elaborate reports; and, though I had, indeed, written a few letters to a newspaper, that it was well understood by the Secretary of War that I would do this when he made the arrangements for my journey. The compensation set out for me, I reminded the President, was a mere War Department clerk's salary, utterly insufficient to cover the expenses incidental to my travels, aside from transportation and subsistence, among which incidentals was a considerable extra premium on my life-insurance on account of my travels so far South during the summer, and consequently, as the Secretary of War understood and appreciated, I had to earn something in some way to make my journey financially possible. My newspaper letters contained nothing that should have been treated as official secrets, but incidents of travel, anecdotes, picturesque views of Southern conditions with some reflections thereon, mostly things which would not find proper elaboration in official reports—and all this quite anonymous, so as not to have the slightest official character; and, finally, I wrote, I had a right to feel myself entitled to protection against such imputations as the newspaper paragraph in question contained.

My first impulse was to resign my mission at once and return home. But then I considered that the duty to the public which I had assumed obliged me to finish my work as well as I could, unless I were expressly recalled by the President. I would, therefore, at any rate, go on with my inquiries, in expectation of an answer from him to my letter. I was outraged at the treatment I was receiving. I had undertaken the journey in obedience to an urgent request of the President and at serious sacrifice, for I was on the point of returning to my Western home when the President called me. My journey in the South during the hottest part of the year was in the highest degree laborious and fatiguing, but it was hardly worse than the sweltering nights in the wretched country taverns of those days—nights spent in desperate fights with ravenous swarms of mosquitos. The upshot of it was that, when I arrived at New Orleans, the limits of my endurance were well-nigh reached, and a few days later I had a severe attack of the "break-bone fever," an illness which by the sensations it caused me did full justice to its ill-boding name. I thought I might fight the distemper by leaving New Orleans and visiting other parts in pursuit of my inquiries. I went to Mobile for the purpose of looking into the conditions of southern Alabama, returned to New Orleans, and then ran up Bayou Teche in a government tug-boat as far as New Iberia, where I was literally driven back by clouds of mosquitos of unusual ferocity. At New Orleans I despatched an additional report to the President, and then, relentlessly harassed by the break-bone fever, which a physician advised me I should not get rid of as long as I remained in that climate, I set my face northward, stopping at Natchez and Vicksburg to gather some important information.

The End of an Aristocracy

At Natchez I witnessed a significant spectacle. I was shown some large dwelling-houses which before the Civil War had at certain seasons been occupied by families of the planting aristocracy of that region. Most of those houses now looked deserted and uncared for, shutters unhinged, window-panes broken, yards and gardens covered with a rank growth of grass and weeds. In the front yard of one of the houses I observed some fresh stumps and stacks of cordwood and an old man busy cutting down with an ax a magnificent shade-tree. There was something distinguished in his appearance that arrested my attention—fine features topped with long white locks; slender, delicate hands; clothes shabby, but of a cut denoting that they had originally been made for a person above the ordinary wood-chopper. My companion, a Federal captain, did not know him. I accosted him with the question to whom that house belonged. "It belongs to me," he said. I begged his pardon for asking the further question why he was cutting down that splendid shade-tree. "I must live," he replied, with a sad smile. "My sons fell in the war; all my servants have left me. I sell fire-wood to the steamboats passing by." He swung his ax again to end the conversation. A warm word of sympathy was on my tongue, but I repressed it, a look at his dignified mien making me apprehend that he might resent being pitied, especially by one of the victorious enemy.

At Vicksburg I learned from General Slocum that Governor Sharkey himself had, upon more mature reflection, given up the organization of his State militia as too dangerous an experiment.

I left the South troubled by great anxiety. Four millions of negroes, of a race held in servitude for two centuries, had suddenly been made free men. That an overwhelming majority of them, grown up in the traditional darkness of slavery, should at first not have been able to grasp the duties of their new condition, together with its rights, was but natural. It was equally[pg 50] natural that the Southern whites, who had known the negro laborer only as a slave, and who had been trained only in the habits and ways of thinking of the master class, should have stubbornly clung to their traditional prejudice that the negro would not work without physical compulsion. They might have concluded that their prejudice was unreasonable; but, such is human nature, a prejudice is often the more tenaciously clung to the more unreasonable it is. There was, therefore, a strong tendency among the whites to continue the old practices of the slavery system to force the negro freedmen to labor for them. Thus the two races, whose well-being depended upon their peaceable and harmonious coöperation, confronted each other in a state of fearful irritation, aggravated by the pressing necessity of producing a crop that season, and embittered by race antagonism. The Southern whites wished and hoped to be speedily restored to the control of their States by the reëstablishment of their State governments. To this end they were willing to recognize "the results of the war," among them the abolition of slavery, in point of form. The true purpose was to use the power of the State governments, legislative and executive, to reduce the freedom of the negroes to a minimum and to revive as much of the old slave code as they thought necessary to make the blacks work for the whites.

Now President Johnson stepped in and, by directly encouraging the expectation that the States would without delay be restored to full self-control even under present circumstances, distinctly stimulated the most dangerous reactionary tendencies to more reckless and baneful activity.

An Ungracious Reception

This was my view of Southern conditions when I returned from my mission of inquiry. Arrived at Washington, I reported myself at once at the White House. The President's private secretary, who seemed surprised to see me, announced me to the President, who sent out word that he was busy. When would it please the President to receive me? The private secretary could not tell, as the President's time was much occupied by urgent business. I left the anteroom, but called again the next morning. The President was still busy. I asked the private secretary to submit to the President that I had returned from a three months' journey made at the President's personal request; that I thought it my duty respectfully to report myself back; and that I should be obliged to the President if he would let me know whether, and if so when, he would receive me to that end. The private secretary went in again, and brought out the answer that the President would see me in an hour or so. At the appointed time I was admitted. The President received me without a smile of welcome. His mien was sullen. I said that I had returned from the journey which I had made in obedience to his demand, and was ready to give him, in addition to the communications I had already sent him, such further information as was in my possession. A moment's silence followed. Then he inquired about my health. I thanked him for the inquiry and hoped the President's health was good. He said it was. Another pause, which I brought to an end by saying that I wished to supplement the letters I had written to him from the South with an elaborate report giving my experiences and conclusions in a connected shape. The President looked up and said that I need not go to the trouble of writing out such a general report on his account. I replied that it would be no trouble at all, but that I should consider it a duty. The President did not answer. The silence became awkward, and I bowed myself out.

President Johnson evidently wished to suppress my testimony as to the condition of things in the South. I resolved not to let him do so. I had conscientiously endeavored to see Southern conditions as they were. I had not permitted any political considerations or any preconceived opinions on my part to obscure my perception and discernment in the slightest degree. I had told the truth, as I learned it and understood it, with the severest accuracy, and I thought it due to the country that the truth should be known.

Why the President Reversed his Policy

Among my friends in Washington there were different opinions as to how the striking change in President Johnson's attitude had been brought about. Some told me that during the summer the White House had been fairly besieged by Southern men and women of high social standing, who had told the President that the only element of trouble in the South consisted of a lot of fanatical abolitionists who excited the negroes with all sorts of dangerous notions, and that all would be well if he would only restore the Southern State government as quickly as possible according to his own plan as laid down in the North Carolina proclamation, and that he was a great man to whom they looked up as their savior. It was now thought that Mr. Johnson, the plebeian who before the war had been treated with undisguised contempt by the slaveholding aristocracy, could not withstand the subtle flattery of the same[pg 51] aristocracy when they flocked around him as humble suppliants cajoling his vanity.

I went to work at my general report with the utmost care. My statements of fact were invariably accompanied by the sources of my information, my testimony being produced in the language of my informants. I scrupulously avoided exaggeration and cultivated sober and moderate forms of expression. It gives me some satisfaction now to say that none of those statements of fact has ever been effectually controverted. I cannot speak with the same assurance of my conclusions and recommendations, for they were matters, not of knowledge, but of judgment.

In the concluding paragraph of my report I respectfully suggested to the President that he advise Congress to send one or more investigating committees into the Southern States to inquire for themselves into the actual condition of things before taking final and irreversible action, I sent the completed document to the President on November 22, asking him at the same time to permit me to publish it, on my sole responsibility and in such a manner as would preclude the imputation that the President approved the whole or any part of it. To this request I never received a reply.

Congress and General Grant's Report

Congress met early in December. At once the Republican majority in both houses rose in opposition to President Johnson's plan of reconstruction. Even before the President's message was read, the House of Representatives, upon the motion of Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania, passed a resolution providing for a joint committee of both houses to inquire into the condition of the "States lately in rebellion," which committee should thereupon report, "by bill or otherwise," whether, in its judgment, those States, or any of them, were entitled to be represented in either House of Congress. To this resolution the Senate subsequently assented. Thus Congress took the matter of the reconstruction of the late rebel States as to its final consummation into its own hands.

On December 12, upon the motion of Mr. Sumner, the Senate resolved that the President be directed to furnish to the Senate, among other things, a copy of my report. A week later the President did so, but he coupled it with a report from General Grant on the same subject. The two reports were transmitted with a short message from the President in which he affirmed that the Rebellion had been suppressed; that, peace reigned throughout the land; that, "so far as could be done," the courts of the United States had been restored, post-offices reëstablished, and revenues collected; that several of those States had reorganized their State governments, and that good progress had been made in doing so; that the constitutional amendment abolishing slavery had been ratified by nearly all of them; that legislation to protect the rights of the freedmen was in course of preparation in most of them; and that, on the whole, the condition of things was promising and far better than might have been expected. He transmitted my report without a word of comment, but called special attention to that of General Grant.

The appearance of General Grant's report was a surprise, which, however, easily explained itself. On November 22 the President had received my report. On the 27th General Grant, with the approval of the President, started on a "tour of inspection through some of the Southern States" to look after the "disposition of the troops," and also "to learn, as far as possible, the feelings and intentions of the citizens of those States toward the general government." On December 12 the Senate asked for the transmission of my report. General Grant's report was dated the 10th, and on the 17th it was sent to the Senate together with mine. The inference was easily drawn, and it was generally believed that this arrangement was devised by President Johnson to the end of neutralizing the possible effect of my account of Southern conditions. If so, it was cleverly planned. General Grant was at that time at the height of his popularity. He was since Lincoln's death by far the most imposing figure in the popular eye. Having forced the surrender of the formidable Lee, he was by countless tongues called "the savior of the Union." His word would go very far toward carrying conviction. But in this case the discredit which President Johnson had already incurred proved too heavy for even the military hero to carry. As to the practical things to be done General Grant's views were not so very far distinct from mine; but President Johnson's friends insisted upon representing him as favoring the immediate restoration of all "the States lately in rebellion" to all their self-governing functions, and this became the general impression, probably much against Grant's wish. My report after its publication as an "executive document" became widely known in the country. A flood of letters of approval and congratulation poured in upon me from all parts of the United States.

[pg 52]



Lisabetta, Marianina, Fiametta, Teresina,
They are winding stems of roses, one by one, one by one—
Little children who have never learned to play:
Teresina softly crying that her fingers ache to-day,
Tiny Fiametta nodding when the twilight slips in, gray.
High above the clattering street, ambulance and fire-gong beat,
They sit, curling crimson petals, one by one, one by one.
Lisabetta, Marianina, Fiametta, Teresina,
They have never seen a rose-bush nor a dew-drop in the sun.
They will dream of the vendetta, Teresina, Fiametta,
Of a Black Hand and a Face behind a grating;
They will dream of cotton petals, endless, crimson, suffocating,
Never of a wild-rose thicket nor the singing of a cricket,
But the ambulance will bellow through the wanness of their dreams,
And their tired lids will flutter with the street's hysteric screams.
Lisabetta, Marianina, Fiametta, Teresina,
They are winding stems of roses, one by one, one by one.
Let them have a long, long play-time, Lord of Toil, when toil is done!
Fill their baby hands with roses, joyous roses of the sun.
[pg 53]




Marcia," called the admiral, tapping lightly on the state-room door with the back of his fingernails, "Marcia, my dear, I hope you're better. Come out with me; it's—oh, ah—where's Miss Marcia?"

The door had been opened by the courier maid, whose wilted and forlorn appearance was eloquent of her failure to live up to at least one item in her letter of recommendation.

"Miss Dorn has gone up to—ze deck, Monsieur."

"Humph! I didn't see her. When did she go?"

"Since early zis morning, Monsieur," rejoined the well-recommended one rather despondently.

Perhaps she might have gone on to say something more, but the admiral stamped down the passageway. The maid looked on her features in the glass much as one might inspect a barometer, drew a weak, despairing breath, and laid herself down on the sofa again, her relaxed person responding inertly to the steamer's vibrations.

Now, Admiral Page Paulding was as sweet-tempered an old sea-dog as ever retired from the employ of an ungrateful country; but foggy weather always worked a bit on his nerves—and what hands he had held that morning in the smoke-room! As he thumped up the rubber-carpeted staircase he knew that he was in a thoroughly bad humor, but made up his mind to conceal it. And there were reasons. When a man has reached the age when by all rights he should be a grandfather, and finds himself only a foolish old-bachelor uncle personally conducting a young niece of marriageable age and attractive exterior on her first trip to Europe, it may well be said: "Of each day learneth he experience." Aside from the avuncular privilege of paying bills, he had known the jealous promptings of a father, indulged in the self-communing suspicions of a mother, and supported smilingly the irritations of a chaperon. The enforced companionship of a courier maid does not lessen the perplexities of certain situations nor lighten the burden of responsibility.

If the truth be told, the admiral's retirement, this time, from what might quite properly be termed active service would be accompanied by no bitter heartburnings and regrets. Rather—yes, many times rather—would he con a fleet of battle-ships through the tortuous turnings of Smith Island Sound than again personally conduct one attractive and impulsive young female through the hotel-strewn shoals of Europe. There was that German baron in Switzerland, that dashing young lieutenant of cavalry in Vienna, and that persistent Englishman—oh, that persistent Englishman!—who turned up everywhere, and would not be turned down! There was a good deal back of the cablegram the old gentleman had sent Mrs. Dorn, his sister, from Southampton, which had read:

Sailing Caronia, unentangled, on Wednesday.

"That means only three days more now," mused the admiral, recalling these words to himself as he came out on the promenade-deck. He stood there a moment, looking about him, hoping for a glimpse of a slim young figure. But no sign! His conscience smote him a little. Maybe he had been somewhat neglectful for the past two days; but then—All at once he noticed the remarkable change in the weather.

From a foggy, dreary morning it had grown into a crisp, sparkling afternoon. The long, sweeping seas, the aftermath of some heavy blow to the northward, had subsided. Passengers who had kept to their cabins, or who had huddled in the corners of saloon or library, were emerging on the decks. Those who had braved the weather rather than face the close air below looked up, mummy-wise, from their swathings with hopes of returning appetites.

It had needed but a short perusal of the passenger-list to show him that his niece and he had several acquaintances as fellow-travelers on this homeward and thrice welcome voyage.[pg 54] One of the swaddled objects suddenly turned and addressed him:

"Looking for Miss Dorn, Admiral?"

"Oh, how d'ye do—Mrs. ——" For the life of him, he couldn't remember the lady's name. "Lovely day—er, yes; have you seen Marcia anywhere?"

"Yes; she's been walking up and down here for an hour with Victor Masterson and my——"

"With—what did you say his name was?"

"Victor Masterson."

"Is he an Englishman?"

"Oh, no; very much of an American, I should say—oh, most amusing and entertaining. My daughter has met him somewhere. I think you will find the young people up in that direction, playing some game or other."

The admiral thanked the swaddled lady and strode forward impatiently. All at once he stopped.

"I wonder," said he to himself, "if that's the silly ass I squelched t'other day in the smoke-room; just like Marcia to have picked him out!"

In the sunniest corner of the promenade-deck a quartermaster had laid the numbered squares of a shuffleboard. The game was over, but two young people still lingered, leaning against the rail. One was a tall, slender girl with red lips, red cheeks, tan-colored hair, and tan shoes, and the other was a very slight, extremely round-faced young man whose attire and manners could best be described as "insistent." He was one of the kind that appears in all weathers without a hat and that persists in attracting attention to large feet and bony ankles by wearing turned-up trousers, low shoes, and vivid half-hose. At this moment he was enjoying himself, and so was the girl.

"Was he large and rather red-faced?" she asked, following up something her companion was saying.

"Yes, with two bunches of iron-gray spinach growing down like this; and he beckoned me over to him and said, 'Young man, you're playing the clown'; and I said, 'You play you're the elephant, and we'll be a circus.'"

The round-faced one te-heed in a way that was contagious; Miss Dorn quite loved him for it.

"Do that again," she said.

"Do what?"

"Make that little squeak."

He looked at her with mock seriousness. "Oh, please don't! Please don't!" He spoke imploringly. "I am very touchy about my laugh—it's the only one I've got, you know. It's quite childish, isn't it? Never grew up, you know." He made the funny little sound again. It was like the bleating of a toy lamb when its head is twisted. "You know, they ask me how I do it. I don't know; I try to teach other people—they never seem to get it right. Do you like it?"

Miss Dorn laughed again and looked gratefully at him.

"Oh, I'm so glad I met you!" she said quite frankly—and then, mischievously: "I'll ask my uncle to forgive you, if you like."

"Your uncle!"

"Yes, the old gentleman with the—er—spinach."

If Mr. Masterson was simulating embarrassment, he did it very cleverly: he started to say something once or twice, changed his mind confusedly, and suddenly, putting the shuffleboard stick under his arm, began to imitate a guitar.

Miss Dorn applauded. "Splendid! You should play in the orchestra."

"Thank you." He smiled gratefully. "Listen; this is a bassoon. I have to make a funny face when I do it."

Miss Dorn clapped her hands. "Great!" she cried. "Oh, simply great!"

"A flute," introduced Mr. Masterson.

Miss Marcia chortled. "That's a funnier face than the last," she said.

"A cello."


"A violin," he announced.

"Not so good"; she smiled in appreciative criticism.

"I'll have to practise up on it. But listen to this. I'm all right on the cornet."

It did sound like a cornet, even to the tremolo and the tonguing. People were looking up from their steamer-chairs now, and one or two pedestrians had gathered about; Mr. Masterson had an appreciative audience. Encouraged, he essayed another effort. He wrinkled his comical face and pursed up his lips, starting three or four times, and shaking his head at his failures. The others were watching him much as they would a catherine-wheel that refused to ignite. At last he brought forth a puny little sound.

"I really don't know," observed the amateur entertainer blandly, "what that is."

Every one burst into roars, and it was at this moment that the Admiral hove in sight round the corner of the deck-house. When Miss Dorn looked up, Mr. Masterson was gone; the crowd, still laughing, was dwindling; and there stood her uncle. He had on what she termed his "quarter-deck expression." Before he could speak she had taken him by the arm.

[pg 55]



[pg 56]

"Where have you been, Nuncky dear?" she inquired most sweetly.

"Looking for you, my dear Marcia."

"For two whole days?"

"Well—er—yesterday I—er—thought you'd better be left alone, and—er—where did you meet that young man?"

"Oh, Bertha Sands introduced him—he's a dear! You came just a minute too late." Miss Dorn laughed and squeezed her uncle's arm. "He's so amusing. You'd love to meet him!"

"That silly ass!" grunted Admiral Paulding. "Not much. He makes my toe itch! I've got a good name for him—'the smoke-room pest.' He's always doing card tricks under your unwilling nose, pretending to sit on somebody's hat, upsetting the dominos! If he can get a laugh out of a waiter, he's perfectly satisfied. I squelched him the other day, I can tell you!"

"What did you do?" Miss Marcia asked the question with mock seriousness.

"Never mind; but I taught him a lesson. Marcia, my dear, you do pick up the most peculiar acquaintances."

"But, really, my dear Nuncky, he's so clever, so quick at repartee—m—m—I'd be afraid! Tell me how you did it."

"Never mind how; but let me tell you this! That young man would never say anything sensible if he could help it, and never do anything useful, even by accident! And I think that you, my dear Marcia——"

"It's been a perfectly lovely day," remarked Miss Dorn abstractedly.


As if in sheer perversity, the weather changed early in the evening, and the night that followed was punctuated regularly by the blast of the fog-whistle. The next day broke thick and damp, with a wall of impenetrable mist shadowing the great vessel to half her length. Over the tall sides the greasy green of the water could just be seen moving by. The masts and funnels disappeared irregularly overhead. The fog clung to everything; it rimed the rugs and capes of the passengers who feared the close air of the 'tween-decks and lay recumbent in the steamer-chairs, and it clung in little pearls to Miss Marcia Dorn's curly front hair, that seemed to curl all the tighter for the wetting.

With Mr. Victor Masterson at her side, she was walking up and down the hurricane-deck. His appearance was not quite so spruce or so comical this morning; he looked as if he had been dipped overboard. He still disdained a hat, and his hair was plastered over his forehead in an uneven, scraggly bang. The weather seemed also to have dampened his spirits. Miss Dorn found it difficult to lead him away from serious subjects; his ideas on mental telepathy did not amuse her, nor the fact that he was a fatalist.

"Oh, I wish you'd do something to make me laugh," she broke in suddenly.

"Are you ticklish?" inquired the Silly Ass quite soberly.

Miss Dorn could not help but titter; she was not at all put out.

"There!" said Mr. Masterson. "Now, you see, I have done it! Please thank me. Now let me go on. You know, there is no doubt that the mind of one person when thinking of——"

"Oh, don't let's think!" Miss Dorn leaned back against the rail, half hidden from the gangway. "Isn't it dreary," she said, "this weather? And look at those people all stretched out. I wish we could do something to wake them up! The whole ship seems to have the glooms—even the captain; he wouldn't speak a word to me at breakfast."

"I could wake 'em up," said Mr. Masterson emphatically. "I could wake the whole ship up, and the captain too, and the lootenant, and the quartermaster, and the squingerneer, and the crew of the Nancy Brig, if I wanted to—and your Uncle Admiral Elephant here, asleep in the steamer-chair."

"Why, sure enough, there he is!" cried Miss Dorn. "He's got the glooms, too; he says he always gets 'em in foggy weather at sea." She turned and touched Mr. Masterson lightly on the arm. "Wake him up!" she said, her eyes twinkling.

"I hardly dare."

"Oh, go on! I don't believe you can. How would you do it?"

"How would I do it? Why, just this way." He crumpled his hands together and blew between the knuckles of his thumbs a low, resonant, gruffly humming note.

They were hidden now by the bow of the life-boat and were standing quite close together. They noticed that the figure in the steamer-chair nearest them had suddenly raised itself a little and then had sat bolt upright. The old admiral, the mist in his gray whiskers, turned one ear forward and listened attentively.

The gray wall had grown a little whiter, less opaque; they could see now the whole length of the ship, out to the lifting stern.

"Oh, go on," tempted the girl; "do it again—louder!"

Mr. Masterson looked at her.[pg 57]

"Oh, please do," she pleaded; "real loud. I dare you to!"

He slowly raised his hands, the thumb-knuckles to his lips again. There sounded two deep, long-drawn, half-roaring, thrilling notes, for all the world like steam in the cup of a great metal whistle.

Footsteps, hurried and quick, rushed overhead on the bridge. A hoarse voice shouted orders. The quartermaster spun the wheel. Now:

"Full speed ahead, the starboard engine! Full speed astern, port!"

"Ay, ay, sir!"

There was the clank-clank of the semaphores, and suddenly two bursting, answering blasts that hid the huge funnels in a cloud of feathery white.

The admiral in the steamer-chair threw off his wrappings and leaped to the rail.

A loud, anxious hail from above: "Lookout, there forward! Can you make out anything?"

"Oh, see what I've done!" faltered the Silly Ass in a frightened whisper.

Miss Dorn grasped his shoulder.

There had followed a sudden cry that rose in a diapason of mad fear:

"Vessel ahead! Starboard your helm, sir! Starboard your h-e-l-m!"

The helm was already over; the ship was swinging wide. Another quick order. The second officer leaped again to the semaphores. The huge fabric trembled, racking in every plate, as both engines reversed at full speed, the screws churning and thundering astern. And now a rift came in the encircling fog, as if it had been cut by a mighty sword.

Clear and distinct, not half a cable's length away, wallowed a great black shape. The mighty bow swept veering past her quarter, then her stern, and clear of it by no more than thirty yards!

Only those few on deck outside of the weather-cloth saw the sight, and then for but an instant. Never would they forget it!

Lying low in the water, all awash from the break of her topgallant-forecastle to the lift of her high poop-deck, the green seas running under her bridge and about her superstructure, swayed a great mass of iron and steel of full five thousand tons! Ship without a soul! A wisp of a flag, upside down, still floated in her slackened rigging; swinging falls dangled from her empty davits. Then the fog closed in, and, as a picture on a lantern-slide fades and disappears, she vanished and was gone!

A white-faced boy looked up into Miss Dorn's frightened eyes. His lips moved, but made no sound.

On the bridge, the captain had grasped the second officer by the arm. "My God! Fitzgerald, did you see that? It was the Drachenburg."

"Derelict and abandoned! But, by heaven, sir, she signaled us!"

The captain turned quickly. "Stop those engines!" he ordered hoarsely.

The tearing pulses down below ceased their beating; it was as if a great heart had stopped! The ship, breathless at her own escape, lay calm and quiet in the fog. The only sound was of the greasy waves lapping her high steel flanks. Yet——

Admiral Dorn, still standing beneath the bridge, with both hands grasping the rail, shivered and drew breath. What might have happened if—— He looked forward. He imagined he could hear the crash, see the great bow sinking; he could hear the splintering of the bulk-heads, the screams of the people tumbling up the companionways, the panic and pandemonium, the mad rush for the boats, the horrid, slow subsidence. But it was not to be; the danger had gone by!

Now he remembered having heard that first low whistle before the two that had signaled so plainly: "I have my helm to starboard—passing to starboard of you!" And yet, well did he know that no fires blazed in those dead furnaces, no steam was coming from that rusty, salt-incrusted funnel. It was as if the dead had spoken to warn the living! He shivered once more, and staggered to the bridge-ladder, holding on and listening.

Three, four, five times did the Caronia's siren wail out into the stillness. No reply. And then the throbbing pulses took up their beat again.

Down in the corner of the main saloon, filled with chattering people, romping children, and game-playing young folk, who knew not what had passed on deck, sat the Silly Ass, the girl close to him.

"I'll never tell," she whispered. "What is it you're thinking of?"

The round eyes gazed into hers. "It's a long time since I did," he said.

"Did what?"

"Prayed! God made me a fool just to do this some day, I guess." His face showed the expression of a grown-up, sobered man.

On the bridge, the captain and the other officers were talking in low, awe-struck tones.

[pg 58]




The patwari salaamed and laid a report on my desk—a thing of maps and figures that brought the sweat to my face. Fifty-seven killed, six hundred square miles of rich rice and sugar country demoralized, communications stopped, crops rotting on the ground, nine villages abandoned, and the shyest of jungle creatures grazing in the market-place! Tiger and tigress—a bad case.

When I told a man once that tigers and cobras, between them, made away with 25,000 human beings in India every year, he thought I was joking. "Why," said he, "surely one fifth of the human race—325,000,000, at any rate—is packed into that triangle! Where can the tigers live?" But I underestimated it; there were just 24,938 killed in 1906 by tigers alone. You can see it yourself in the government records.

Now, as District Officer, I'm the "father" of two million souls, and responsible for all things, from murder to measles. But this was beyond me. It was a Commissioner's job, backed by the Maharaja.

The man-eaters, now propitiated as gods, had taken toll of my villagers for two long years. The people were in abject terror, for none knew the day, hour, or place of the monsters' next leap. Many were already resigned to death. "It's written on our foreheads," they said, with gentle misery. Poor devils! Think of the two hundred millions of them in India oscillating between mere existence and positive starvation; not living, but just strong enough to crawl along on the edge of death!

I called the tahsildar: "Bring me the record of these tigers."

A bulky file of horrors, in truth! Here a goatherd was taken; there it was an old woman gathering sticks in the jungle, or children playing in the village street, or maybe girls going down to the river for water, laughing joyously, unaware of the great green eyes that watched them through the towering stalks of elephant-grass; and last among the victims came some desperate young men who had faced one of the creatures with fish-spears.[pg 59]



It was a difficult country of limitless forest,[pg 60] broken in places by low hills and by bare sites of the typical village of India. And apparently from all quarters came the same report, with little modification. Here is a specimen:




"As I rode into camp at Bussavanpur to-day, I was met by trackers who told me the death wail was 'up' in the village. They brought to me a woman with three small children. Her husband was the latest victim. With tearless Hindu apathy she told her story, and I gave her five rupees. She had to spend half this, according to caste usage, because it was said to be the devil in her that had led the yellow devil to him. The formalities over, she was admitted to the villages of her caste, and then took me to the tragic scene. A solitary tamarind-tree grew on some rocks near the village; no jungle within three hundred yards; a few bushes on the rock crevices. And close by ran the broad cattle-track into the village. The man had been following the cattle home in the evening, and must have stopped to knock down some tamarinds with his stick; for this last, with his black blanket and skin cap, still lay where he was seized. Evidently the tigress had hidden in the rocks, and was upon him in one bound. Dragging her victim to the edge of a rocky plateau, she leaped down into a field and there killed him. The spot was marked by a pool of dried blood. I walked for two hours with the trackers, hoping to come on some traces of the brute or her mate, but without success."

And so on. Some of the deaths were horrible by reason of the eery silence that marked them, others because of the mysterious movements or amazing cunning of the tigers. The comic episodes it were not seemly to dwell upon. But fifty-seven! Nothing for it now but a hurry call to the Commissioner and the Maharaja for elephants and an army of tiger-hunters, a mobilization of the best shikaris in all India, for a regular campaign against these beasts.

In fourteen days that army was on the spot, and I enlisted under the banner of Colonel Howe of the Tenth Hussars. The staff was made up of shikaris, and the beaters were of the rank[pg 61] and file. Maps were called for and studied, scouts sent far and wide into the theater of operations; native reports were sifted and their exaggerations discounted with the skill of long practice.




Tiger war is a science with axioms of its own. First of all come the weather and the water-supply. It's useless to look for tigers in a dry country, and it's useless to try and find them in the wet season, when there is plenty of water everywhere. "Stripes" must be hunted in hot weather, when great heat and the water distribution limit his wanderings, and when forest leaves have fallen and the dense jungle is thinned out.

And yet, there are all kinds of problems. For instance, Indian weather is so erratic that, while there may be water and cover and tigers one season, all three will be absent the next. Further, there is marked individuality among tigers. One will lie in water all day, and never venture forth till the sun has sunk behind the western hills; another prowls boldly by day. Some prey on forest beasts—chiefly the spotted cheetah and sambur-stag; others, again, mark out domestic animals. And last comes the tigress with clamorous cubs, who suddenly learns by accident or impulse that man, hitherto so feared, is in reality the easiest prey of all.

We had a front of eighty miles. Naturally we needed a big force; we probably mustered three hundred, all told. Our base of operations was a railroad-station twenty miles away, and we doubted at first whether we could live on the country, for the terrified people had abandoned all cultivation, and were living on bamboo-seeds and the fleshy blossoms of the mahwa-tree. This was a serious question—this and our transport. We had seventy-four elephants, and each ate seven hundred pounds of green stuff or sugar-cane every day; and of camels, bullocks, rude carts, and horses we had hundreds, to say nothing of the dozens of buffaloes we carried as live bait for tigers. We should need fodder by the ton, as well as sheep, fowl, goats, game, and milk; grain, too, for the[pg 62] crowds of camp-followers; and canned foods and medicines—including, not least, the store of carbolic acid for possible tiger-bites and maulings. The water was to be boiled and filtered, then treated with permanganate of potash. It was regular army equipment, you see.

I went out myself with the shikari scouts, inspecting jungle-paths, dry river-beds, and muddy margins of pools. They pointed out to me the first rudiments in nature's book of signs: first of all the tiger "pug," and the difference between the footprints of the tiger and the tigress—the male's square, the female's a clear-cut oval. Here the great tiger had drunk four days ago. The prints were not clear; in places they were obliterated by tracks of bear, deer, and porcupine.

But clearly we were in a favorite haunt of both man-eaters. The male must have passed after dawn, for his tracks overlay those of little quail, which do not emerge until after daybreak. Then yet more signs: muddy pools told mute tales of recent visits; high over the hill that fell sheer to the valley were specks of vultures, hovering over recent kills. Back to camp we went to report the enemy's presence.

The next move was the setting out of the live bait—the buffaloes. Twoscore of the slow, ponderous creatures were led out and staked in a great ring about the tigers, passive outposts about the enemy, inviting their attack—an attack sure to come during the night. Then we went back again to wait.




Meanwhile, during the time while scouts were reconnoitering the enemy, the rank and file had been offering sacrifices to their gods. The Moslems were less tiresome than the Hindus in this respect. They merely went in a body to the snow-white zariat (saint-house) on the hill, and offered up a goat. But the Brahman deity had to be propitiated, lest all our plans go down to defeat. This god dwelt in a jungle, attended by an old jogi smeared with wood-ashes and streaked with paint. Another goat was slain here. The beast was made to bow comically three times before the hideous image in the shrine, and then his throat was cut. Victory was now sure. The pious preliminaries were[pg 63] finished, and then arrived at last the day of battle—the scenes of which you never forget.

We are up and out at dawn, riding about the wide circle of the tethered buffaloes. A delicate business, this. As we draw near the first one, with infinite caution, we inspect the site through strong binoculars. A flick of the ear, a whisk of the tail because of flies, show that No. 1 is still alive. We water and feed the beast with fresh grass, and then leave him. But our next place of call looks suspicious, even from afar. A crow is cawing in a tree, and looks with beady eyes below. Dark vulture-specks are wheeling in the blue. And see! Tiger-marks in the dust, both square and oval! The dread couple have been here—early in the night, evidently, for over their "pug"-marks lies the trail of porcupines and other nocturnal beasts. Sure enough, the big buffalo is gone, leaving only a broken rope-end, a few splashes of blood, and the labored trail of a heavy body. Strategy is ended now, and tactics begin.

We gallop back to camp and give the alarm. The huge battle-line is ready. Long rows of giant tuskers stand with swaying heads, each with his howdah beside him—towering brutes such as the old kings of Asia rode into battle, to the terror of their enemies. The herds of disdainful camels are kneeling in roaring protest against the camp loads. From all quarters scouts have reported the enemy. Our army, horse and foot, elephants and camels, will march in an hour—as strange a sight and as strange a work as may be witnessed in the world to-day.

Watch each elephant kneel and come prone for his big hunting-tower. There are five men to each elephant, one at his head, four to haul the gear and make fast. The deft skill, the swiftness and silence, show the veteran in the enemy's country. Every man knows his work and knows the officer above him; and each officer, too, knows just what is expected of him—from the lowest up to the colonel himself, a fine figure, tall, erect, white-haired, an adept in tiger-lore, with a hundred and fifty skins in his bungalow.




Twelve mounted sahibs gallop this way and[pg 64] that, collecting shikaris and beaters. Native officers distribute fire-works and tom-toms, rattles and flint-locks and torches. The mot d'ordre is: "Kick up——at the right time."

There is a brief, businesslike interview in old Howe's tent. "The tigers," he says in a matter-of-fact way, as though dismissing school, "shall be inclosed in a triangle, of which the apex shall be ourselves and the elephants. You will draw lots for positions among yourselves. The bases of the triangle shall be the beaters, and the flanks the stops posted up trees, who shall see that the tigers do not turn and break out of the beat. You will please be alert, with rifles cocked and barrels and cartridges examined beforehand. There must be no undue noise or haste. Remember, the clink of a finger-ring on a barrel or the gleam of the sun on a bright muzzle may turn them. That's all, gentlemen."

We troop out to distribute rifles to the sepoys, who are supposed to protect the unarmed beaters. Some of us ride off for miles into the jungle to the base of the fateful triangle. Others visit the "stops"—keen-eyed shikaris, perched like crows in the big sal-trees.

Then hark—a shot! It travels like fire, and is answered by a faint uproar. The beat has begun. We dismount from our elephants for a steady shot, leaving them behind us in a huge semicircle. Some of them scent danger, and twirl delicate trunks high in the air. They have "been there" before! The mahouts sit motionless as bronze figures—superb fellows, deeply learned in jungle-lore. The triangle's apex and flanks are in absolute silence, but the base is fiendish with uproar. Two hundred men are yelling and cursing, roaring and singing, beating pots and pans, tom-toms and gongs.

Hearts beat a little faster. We look at one another anxiously and whisper, "Is the beat empty?" It would seem so, for the cunning brutes give no sign. Yet they must be driven forward if they are there. Ha! a slender sal-tree to the left shakes with excitement. A turbaned head shoots out of its branches, with a sudden sound of hand-clapping and shouting. One of the stops has seen a stirring in the high yellow grass. The tigers are in the living net!

I call to my side Hyder Ali, my gun-bearer, a lean Pathan from the Khyber Pass.

"You have my .303?"

He nods and smiles. At that moment I hear a heavy footfall, as of some great beast, on the thick dry leaves. The high grass parts. First a magnificent yellow head emerges, infinitely alert; then the long, lithe body, a picture of supple grace and immense strength. A superb spectacle the creature presents, with his lovely coat gleaming in the hot sun. But the din is drawing near. Down goes the massive head; wide, cruel lips draw back, and four long primary fangs are bared in a gruff roar. Then he dashes forward for cover. But too late; I have drawn a bead on his rippling shoulder and fired.

He is down, fighting and biting at he knows not what; and his roars rise high above the wild pandemonium of the beaters.

But my shot has not killed. I give the alarm, and we put scouts up trees to direct the ticklish pursuit along the bloody trail. We drive herds of buffaloes into the long grass and brush to drive out the wounded tiger. Our general himself takes charge, with few words and sure tactics.

"We've got his mate," he says grimly. "I put her on a pad-elephant and sent her back to camp."

It is growing dark. I hear the sambur-stag belling from the mountain-side, and the monotonous call of the coël, or Indian cuckoo. Afar a peacock calls from a ruined tomb, and through all the jungle concert runs the continuous screech of the cicada.

A loud signal from a treed scout suddenly tells us my tiger is located. Relentlessly, foot by foot, the man-eater is tracked. We are guided always by the scouts in the trees; for that terrible bamboo-like grass swallows even elephants, swaying noisily to their moving bulk. At length we emerge in a little clearing; and even as we glance around, the stalks part harshly, and the tiger leaps forth at an unarmed beater, burying fangs in a soundless throat. An awful sight!

A dozen rifles roar too late to save the poor wretch. We pick up victim and tiger and heave them on a pad-elephant. And then back to camp.

[pg 65]




Often when, arm in arm with black Double-headed Pete, the Radical Judge went by the paling fence, Hope Carolina said to herself:

"W'en he comes all lonely, jus' by his own self, I'll frow a rock at him. Yes, sholy!"

Unconscious of the danger that lurked in future ambush, the great politician would pass on, the rear view of his little stiff, quickly stepping figure showing a high silk hat and the parted tails of a broadcloth coat, which in front buttoned importantly at the waist. Dressed with exactly the same splendor, even to the waist-buttoning of the coat, the huge negro towered a full head taller than his hated, feared, and brilliant intimate.

In that secret, mysterious way which was a feature of the troublous times, both were recognized targets for other missiles than stones flung by dimpled baby hands.

It was an educating period for small maids of six, that long-ago time of bitter party hatred. Though only a short half-dozen years crowned her fair cropped head, and she lisped still in an adorable baby way, Hope Carolina was very wise—"monstrous wise," the black people said. She did not understand the meaning of "renegade" exactly,—the Radical Judge was a renegade too,—but she knew all about Reconstruction. It was what made them, the black people, so sassy, and your own darling family wretched.



She knew, too, that Radical judges always wore chain shirts under their white ones, because they were afraid; and that they carried knives, oh, mighty big ones, forever up their sleeves, to show in bar-rooms sometimes to Uncle John when anybody talked too loudly of renegades and turn-coats. Then, too, and worst of all, they got rich in a single night and took beautiful homes from dear Prestons and lived in them themselves. The beloved Prestons, so nobly proud in their fallen fortunes,—so right and proper in their politics,—had once owned all the lovely grounds alongside the bald yard that inclosed the child's own hired house; grounds where peacocks were as much at home as in story-books—peacocks with tails more ravishing than fly-brushes; where magnolia-trees flung down big scented petals as fascinating as sheets of letter-paper, and tall poplars stood like angels with half-closed wings against the sky. And with her own tear-filled eyes Hope Carolina had seen the exiled ones depart from this paradise crying, ah, so bitterly; turning back, as the breaking heart turns, for long, last, kissing looks. And now the Radical Judge lived there—the bad Radical Judge who went[pg 66] locked-arms with niggers; lived there with the wife who took things to forget, and the little crippled child who had never walked in her life because somebody had let her fall long ago.



Hope Carolina could never go over again and make brown writing marks on the sweet magnolia petals. She could never steal suddenly through the boxwood hedge which hid the paling fence at that side of the hired yard, and frighten the peacocks so that they would spread their tails proudly. Everything belonged to the Radical Judge, even the old yellow satin sofas in the parlor, on which negroes sat now. And besides, no matter how poor they were, Democrat families never had anything to do with Radical families. They only threw "rocks" at them—safely from behind fences.

One day the pile of stones near the broken paling fence seemed splendidly high. They were muddy too, splendidly muddy, for it had rained in the night, and Hope Carolina had gouged the last ones out of the wet dirt with a sharp stick. She had even intentionally kept nice pats of earth around some; and directly, with the enemy approaching in the lonely way desired, there she was "scrouged" behind the paling fence, as Robert Lee Preston scrouged when he threw stones at Radicals. The brisk heels clicked nearer—passed; and then, with a fine sweep of a fat arm, a loud "ooh, ooh, ooh," she let fly the deadly missile.

The effect of it was magical. The enemy leaped as if the long-expected bullet had indeed pierced his chain armor; for the stone, perhaps the tiniest in Democracy's fort, had neatly nipped his stiff back. But the dark frown he turned toward her changed instantly. A slow smile, and then laughter—the doting laughter of the child-lover, to whom even the naughtiest phases are dear—replaced it. And, indeed, Hope Carolina did seem a sweet and comical figure in her low-necked, short-sleeved calico,[pg 67] with her brass toes hitched in the paling fence somehow, and her cropped head rising barely above it. Excitement, too, had lent a warmer pink to her apple cheeks, and her blue eyes were like deep and hating stars.

"Oh, you bad baby!" he called in a moment, plainly ravished with the nature of his would-be assassin. He knew why the stone had come—only too well. "You hateful little Democrat!"

Hope Carolina fired up furiously at that. "Wadical!" she called back, her voice tremulous with rage. And then, deliberately, "Wenegade! Seef!" fell from her pouting baby lips.

A change came over the Radical Judge's face. It did not smile any longer; and yet, somehow—somehow—it did not seem exactly angry. He came a step nearer the paling fence.

"Little girl," he began softly, pleadingly, almost prayerfully. But the thrower of stones waited to hear no more. As he came nearer, almost near enough to touch, holding her with dumb eyes so different from those she had expected, she fired another shot—it seemed just to fly out of her hand—and ran.

As she scrambled up the high house steps, which went rented-fashion in Fairville, from the ground to the second story, she remembered the black splotch it had made on his white shirt; and then she remembered another thing—the chain one underneath, to keep away rocks and bullets and everything. Ah, if he hadn't worn that she might have killed him; and then all the trouble in dear South Carolina would be over forever and ever, amen.

As she sat in her high-chair at supper, eating hot raised corn-bread and sugar-sweet sorghum, it seemed a dreadful thing that she hadn't really done it; and directly, when a blue-eyed, full-breasted goddess, known in the hired house as Ma and Miss Kate, looked meaningly across the table, she sighed profoundly.

The fair lady, whose beauty was clouded by a deep sadness, turned soon to the third sitter at the table, a tall, lank gentleman of perhaps thirty-five, who, with dark, brooding eyes and a serious limp, had just entered. He was the redoubtable Uncle John, of loud and fearless opinion; and, if the bar-room bowie had missed him, a stray Radical bullet had been more successful. A political fight in the railroad turn-table, some months ago, had been the scene of this heartbreaking accident. "And all through the war without a scratch!" Ma had sobbed out to Mrs. Preston when speaking of that bullet, still in the long-booted leg now under the table.

Directly Hope Carolina forgot the reproof of mother eyes anent the table manners of well-brought-up children. She began listening attentively; for that was how, listening when Ma and Uncle John talked, she had acquired all her deep knowledge of men and things. For in this close domestic circle all the lurid happenings of the times were touched upon: more fights in the turn-table; barbecues, black enemy barbecues—at which the bad Radical Judge stood on stumps, with his blacked shoes Close together and his beaver hat off, as if he were talking, truly, to white people; where negroes, poor, pitiful, hungry, corn-field negroes, were bought with scorched beef and bad whisky to vote any which way. Even the price of bacon, the woeful rises in the corn-meal market, were discussed here—all the poignant things, indeed, which, as has been seen, had inspired Hope Carolina's own poignant and beautiful name.

Now they were speaking of Double-headed Pete, sweet, sorry Ma and good Uncle John, who must limp forever because he hadn't worn chain things underneath. Pete was feeling the oats of his new office, Uncle John said, and Ma said back, "To think!" and looked at Uncle John as if she were sorry for him.

Hope Carolina sat very quietly, but she was thinking hard. She knew Pete: he was a bad, bad nigger; and though he locked arms with white Radicals, and got a big, big salary, he could only put crosses instead of names at the bottom of the important papers. It seemed a strange thing that anybody who couldn't write names should get big salaries, when Uncle John, who did heavenly writing, couldn't get any at all. Then, along with everything else, there was Pete's maiden speech on the court-house steps—oh, a terrible maiden speech!

"De white man is had his day."

Whether there was any more of it Hope Carolina did not ask herself. That was enough, for folks looked tiptoe if you only spoke Pete's name.

Directly, thinking over it all, Hope Carolina said earnestly to herself, "Maybe I'd better put 'em back," meaning the two thrown stones. It looked, yes, truly, as if she would have to kill Pete, too; so her arsenal for destruction must not lack ammunition. It must rather flow over than fall short.

But a liberal allowance of hot corn-bread and sorghum are not conducive to murderous zeal. Slowly, almost painfully, the child got down from her high-chair. She went faster down the steep house steps; but as she neared the stone fort by the paling fence she halted, all but paralyzed by the audacity which was being committed under her very eyes.

Somebody was stooping down outside the fence, with a hand through the broken place, putting something—two round, pinky somethings!—on top of the stone fort, putting them exactly where the two spent shots had been.

[pg 68]



[pg 69]



[pg 70]

"Oh!" ejaculated Hope Carolina; and, reaching the fence with a rush, she stared down lovingly. For they were peaches, real, live, human peaches—the kind that you buy for five cents apiece, which was a great price in the hired house.

The form outside the fence straightened up then, and two oldish gray eyes looked over it into hers—the Radical Judge's eyes. "No more stones, please," they seemed to say, with a trace of embarrassment at being caught.

Hope Carolina nodded back with a lovely courtesy, as if to say in return: "Sholy not."

For this was no moment for politics. Besides, something in the watching eyes—a wistful something which spoke louder than words—had awakened all the lady in her; and there was more of it, I can tell you, than you may be inclined to believe.

Silently, with eyes still meeting eyes, they stood there for a moment; the great Radical almost shrinkingly, the fiery little Democrat with a new, sweet feeling which made her seem, for the instant, the bigger, stronger one of the two. Then, still silent, he was gone; and snatching the peaches with another ecstatic "Oh!" Hope Carolina did the thing she had dumbly promised. She kicked down the stone fort.

After she was in bed, she explained the deed to herself; for there, with reflection, had come some of the pangs that must pierce the breast of the traitor in any decent camp. You can't take peaches and throw stones too, no, not even if Democrats would almost want to hang you for not doing it!

She had come to the pits by now, and these, after more rapturous suckings, she put under her pillow for planting; for when you are six you plant everything. She did not know that another and more wonderful seed had already put forth a green shoot in her own so piteously hardened little heart.

Hope Carolina slept in a marvelous bed, almost the only thing of value, in fact, left in the hired house. Ma would not use it herself, she told dear friends, because of its memories; but as the child of the house had no recollections of other times, it seemed to her always a downy and restful nest. There were carved pineapples at the top of the high mahogany posts, and four more at the bottom of them; and when Hope Carolina lay in it in the morning, she could see everything that was going on in the Radical Judge's garden—that lovely paradise of peacocks and poplars and magnolias which had once been the dear Prestons'.

Sometimes, even before the truce of peaches, she had felt a little regret that the decencies barred out all acquaintance with Radical families. For always on the hot mornings—long, long before it was time for her to get up—there were the Radical Judge and the little crippled Grace going about among the shrubs and flowers as if they were the nicest people. And always the little pale, laughing child presented a very pretty picture in the wheeled chair, which her father pushed so patiently; forever turning back to kiss him, with her hands full of flowers, and with the peacocks trailing beside as if they had forgotten the dear Prestons entirely.

Then, the Radical Judge seemed to know bushels and bushels of fairy-stories; and when they came near the boxwood hedge, Hope Carolina would sometimes hear him begin a new one. They always began in the right way, "Once upon a time," and that seemed very remarkable, for how could a Radical Judge know the right sort of fairy-stories?

When they moved away again, the child in the enemy house would feel her throat gulp sometimes. She knew it was wrong, but oh, she would have loved to hear the end!

One morning, weeks and weeks after the peaches, when the peacocks had been gone for days,—they made too much noise, Hope Carolina knew,—when all the empty, sunburned garden seemed to say weepingly, "There will be no more fairy-tales," she woke with the morning star, and, sitting bolt up in bed, blinked wonderingly, a little painfully, in the direction of the Radical Judge's front door. It was too dark to see the knob yet, but she knew the thing must be there, the long, angelically sweet drop of white ribbon and flowers—the poetic and wistful mourning which is only hung for little dead children.

A great doctor had come down from Baltimore and gone again; and the Radical Judge's wife was still taking things to forget.

The heart of six is full of mystery. All that first morning, with a piteous earnestness, a piteous heartlessness, Hope Carolina played funeral in the front yard, in the place where the stone fort had once been and where the peach-pits were now planted. Every now and then she would stop patting the little mounds of earth—mounds of earth covered with sweet flowers, in a place as beautiful as any garden, were the chief thing in her idea of funerals—and, standing tiptoe, she would stare over the paling fence, hoping the Radical Judge would[pg 71] come by. At last, late in the forenoon, her dogged vigilance was rewarded; and in a moment, bonnetless, an untidy midget in low-necked pink calico which even had a hole behind—there she was out of the gate, following closely at his heels. She couldn't tell exactly why she followed him; she only knew she wanted to—perhaps to see if he thought, too, as everybody said, that the little crippled Grace was better off up in the sky. She fancied maybe he didn't, he was so different, somehow—not like the old, fierce Radical Judge at all. And when really nice white gentlemen—Democrats, who had never noticed him before—stood respectfully aside with their beaver hats off, he walked still down the middle of the dirt sidewalk, and did not seem to see them at all.



Once when her brass-toed shoe kicked his heel by the railroad,—along which, the littlest distance away, was the historic spot where Uncle John had got the bullet,—she said "Thank you" aloud.

She meant it for the peaches, for she had just remembered that it wasn't very polite not to thank people for things. But still he seemed not to see, not to hear; and directly, in this blind, groping way, as if he were falling to pieces somehow, there he was turning into Miss Sally and Miss Polly Graham's store, where they only sold lady things.

Hope Carolina waited outside, openly and shamelessly watching to see what he was going to do. She never peeped secretly; that wouldn't be respectable.

In a minute she said, "Oh!" her eyes stretched wide with delighted wonder; for he was buying lady things—fairy lace, shimmering satin, narrow doll-baby ribbon, as lovely as heaven! When he went out, quickly, as if he were almost running, Hope Carolina still waited, wondering what Miss Sally and Miss Polly, the two old-maid sisters, who were Democrats and very nice people themselves, were going to do with the splendor which still lay upon the counter.

But they did not tell. They told something else—a thing so full of wonder, so dreadful, that, with another exclamation, one which drew four astonished maiden eyes to her suddenly blanched cheeks, the child took to her heels and fled as if pursued by a thousand terrors.

She thought of it all the time she was eating more hot corn-bread and sorghum at dinner—the thing Miss Sally and Miss Polly Graham had said to each other; the thing which seemed so[pg 72] new, so strange, so loud and awful, like the hellfire things Baptist ministers talked about.

Then, after supper, she fell asleep in the pineapple bed, still thinking of it; and all the next day, still playing funeral by the paling fence, she thought of it again. And that night, when once more she lay in the pineapple bed, there it was again, the strange loud thing Miss Sally and Miss Polly Graham had said to each other—said in a soft, crying way.

All at once she had a waked-up feeling; she sat bolt upright in bed and thought, "Comp'ny." There were voices coming across the passageway from the parlor. A light streamed, too; and when she stood faintly bathed in its glow, she saw that Mrs. Preston was there—Mrs. Preston, in the deep mourning she had vowed never to put off as long as her beloved State lay with her head in the dust. But something in her lap brightened it now, this shabby, soldier-widow black: a slim cross, divine with green and white, as daintily delicate, with its tremulous myrtle stars, as had been the lady things in Miss Sally and Miss Polly Graham's store.

Mrs. Preston was saying that she was going to send it "anonymously." Then she asked Ma if she knew that he had had to attend to all the arrangements himself. "Even the dress," went on Mrs. Preston, crying a little; and Uncle John coughed in the deep, growly way gentlemen always cough when they are ashamed to cry themselves.

Then they all began talking about funerals, saying to each other they would like to go, but how could they? Uncle John saying at last, with more of the growly, coughy way, that no, no, they "couldn't flout him."

It would be more cruel, far, far more cruel, said Uncle John, than to stay away. Besides,—didn't the ladies know?—it was private. "Though," the speaker went on, his worn, somber face lighting up with something like a gleam of comfort, "I reckon that was to keep those other white hounds away as well as the rest of us."

Ma nodded. They weren't gentlemen-born, as he was, she sighed—"born to Southern best." And then, with a "Poor wretch—poor, proud, degraded wretch!" she handed out the thing she had been making—a white rosette as beautiful as any rose—and told Mrs. Preston to put it "there," touching the myrtle cross with fingers kissing-soft.

But Mrs. Preston only said back, "He's refused even the minister!" and seemed more unhappy, oh, mighty unhappy.

Hope Carolina gasped with the wonderment of it all. How funny it seemed, how dreadfully funny, that everybody had forgotten everything just because a child had gone up into the sky: Uncle John the bullet, and Mrs. Preston the lost paradise next door, and Ma the barbecue speeches that made niggers vote any which way—all, all that Radicals had ever done to them!

After a while one of the voices spoke again—whose, Hope Carolina could never tell:

"Think, there won't be a white face there!" And then, after a pause, another voice:

"No, not one!"

Hope Carolina jumped in bed, trembling.

Presently Mrs. Preston went, and then everybody else went to bed. But still Hope Carolina trembled. For that was exactly what Miss Polly and Miss Sally Graham had said—about the white face.

After a while she knew. It meant, oh, the mightiest, biggest disgrace on earth not to have white people at your funerals. They went to black funerals, even—good black funerals.

"Oh!" moaned Hope Carolina suddenly, loud enough for everybody to hear. But she cried silently. It was a way she had.

She cried again in the night, too—so loudly everybody did hear; but the dream mother who came and loved her, putting her head on the dear place, drove away all the lumps in her throat. After that the dark was still like the dear place, and like arms around her, too.

She had forgotten the dream mother when breakfast came; but she hadn't forgotten the other thing—the thing about the white face.

Ma said anxiously once to Uncle John, "Do you think she can be sick, brother?" and Uncle John shook his head, though he knew, too, of the tearful night.

Hope Carolina sat very still, not seeming to hear even when Ma announced that the funeral was at nine o'clock. She ate her breakfast like a ravenous cherub, smiling silently, mysteriously, whenever her mother looked at her with adoring eyes. Sometimes these dear, watching eyes, as blue as jewels, set wide apart under a low brow crowned with waved, satin-bright brown hair, filled slowly. But the darling child, who had certainly proved her excellent condition, only grinned back sweetly. All Hope Carolina was thinking of was that she had a hole—she was still wearing the soiled pink calico—and that her frilled white apron was mussed, and that shoe-strings wouldn't tie good. In the tarnished gilt-framed mirror behind Ma's lovely head she could see her own. That was all right; beautiful! She had doused it with water, the round baby poll, and plastered the short hair smooth, so that under this[pg 73] close, shining cap her apple cheeks seemed fresher than ever.

Ma kissed them in passing, going then swiftly, with her eyes closed tight lest she herself should see, to shut windows on that side of the house. Hope Carolina knew. Children mustn't look out of windows when funerals were going on. They mustn't play in the yard, either, till after they were over.

The big clock in the corner ticked, ticked, ticked, seeming to say always, "Hurry up, hurry up." And then—it was the longest, longest while afterward—Ma called from another room that Hopey (it was the foolish home name) could go and play in the yard now, for it was nine o'clock.

"Quite half-past, darling," went on the liquid Southern voice, still tremulous with emotion, still with the yearning anxiety for its own that the death of any child of kindred age brings to the mother breast. But there was no answer, and for a very good reason.

Down the long clay road which led from living and now pitying Fairville to the little cemetery where slept its quiet dead, Hope Carolina was running.

A mile and a half is a long way for a wee fat maiden to go when the August sun is beating down upon bare heads and necks, and red clay roads spread sun-baked ruts and furrows as sharp as knives. As many times as her years, Hope Carolina fell by the way; oftener, indeed. But the good folk in the scattered blind-closed houses along the way—who, too, a half-hour ago had whispered tremulously, "There won't be a white face"—saw no sign of tears.

"It's only Hope Carolina," called somebody, and other watchers laughed; for all knew the wandering ways of this wise and fearless child.

And so, stumbling, falling, struggling to her feet again,—wiping away blood once, even, with impatient hand,—on, on the little figure in pink and white had gone, a brave and storm-driven flower in the cruel road. And at last there were the shining crosses and columns of the dead. One inclosure, radiant with more magnolias and angel poplars, more stately and wonderful than all the rest, was the dear Preston plot.

The child, who had paused anxiously at the open gate, sighed, sighed with immense relief, to see it still without the sacrilege of Radical invasion. He hadn't taken that, too! Then, a step farther, she stopped again. The red clayey place he had taken had neither fence nor flowers. Only a tree grew near his place, a great solitary pine, with the low wailing of whose softly swaying needles singing was mingled.

A single person was singing—a single black person. She knew by the soft mellow roll of the voice, the sweet, oh, honey-sweet sound of the hymn words, which she herself had sung many times at the Baptist Sunday-school, where she had to go when there was no Episcopal minister. The great figure towering above the tiny, dusky group, with bare woolly head and working, apelike face uplifted to the sky, took on a new grandeur.

But only for a moment did she think of Pete, so marvelously changed. The hymn was ending—they were a long way past the dear line, Safe on his gentle breast.

Now they were moving, the little "crowd of mo'ners over yonder,"—all black it looked, house-servants mostly,—and quickly, with a breathless fear of being too late, she rushed forward and thrust her head between the singer and a sobbing petticoated figure beside him.

Then she drew back smiling, smiling divinely.

The grief-stricken eyes at the other side of the little grave—a grave heaped with Radical roses, sweet with one Democrat myrtle cross—had seen it, the white face.

"You go fust, honey, jus' behin' him," Pete whispered, as, trudging valiantly along with the rest, Hope Carolina passed out of the cemetery gate.

It was the quaint custom at funerals in Fairville, especially funerals with negroes, to follow mourners in line from the grave as well as to it. What had been begun through a lack of sidewalks had been continued as a ceremony of passionate respect.

Pete bent soft, wet, grateful eyes upon her, pushing her close behind the one carriage as he spoke—eyes as dear and tender as any old nigger eyes Hope Carolina had ever looked into. All at once she understood: Pete, bad Pete, loved the Radical judge.

She nodded comprehendingly, including all the other black faces—which seemed to look toward her, too, with a doglike gratitude—in her flashing smile.

"Of course!"

So it came to pass that Fairville's terrible prophecy was falsified. In his darkest hour the Radical Judge was not forsaken of all his race; still unconscious of fatigue and hurt in the cruel clay road, the little white Democrat, who had toiled this hard way before, led and redeemed the funeral procession of his child.

[pg 74]



In an address delivered in New York City on the 14th of January, 1908, Paul Milyukov, historian, statesman, and leader of the Constitutional Democratic party in the third Russian Duma, after reviewing dispassionately, from a liberal point of view, the unsuccessful attempt at revolution in the great empire of the north, summed up, in the following words, his conclusions with regard to the present Russian situation:

"The social composition of the future Russia is now at stake; the fate of future centuries is now being determined"; but, "wherever we turn or look, we meet only with new trouble to come, nowhere with any hope for conciliation or social peace. This, I am afraid, is not the message that you expected from me, and I should be much happier myself if I could answer your wish for information with words of hope, and with the glad tidings that quiet and security have returned to Russia; but I am here to tell you the truth."

Americans who have not followed closely the sequence of events in Russia since October, 1905, may feel inclined to ask, "Why should Mr. Milyukov take such a pessimistic view of the future, when his country has not only a representative assembly, but an imperial guaranty of political freedom and 'real inviolability of personal rights'?" The answer is not far to seek. A representative assembly that has no power, and an imperial guaranty that affords no security, do not encourage hopeful anticipations. Russia has never had a representative assembly, in the Anglo-Saxon meaning of the words; and as for the imperial guaranty of political freedom, it was written in water.

Twenty-seven months ago, when Count Witte reported to Nicholas II. that Russia had "outgrown its governmental framework," and when the Czar himself, recognizing the necessity of "establishing civil liberty on unshakable foundations," directed his ministers to give the country political freedom and allow the Duma to control legislation, there seemed to be every reason for believing that the crisis had passed and that the people's fight for self-government had been won; but, unfortunately, the unstable Czar, who would run into any mold, but would not keep shape, did not adhere to his avowed purpose for a single week. In the words of a Russian peasant song:

The Czar promised lightly to go,
And made all his plans for departing;
Then he called for a chair,
And sat down right there,
To rest for a while before starting.

Not even so much as an attempt was made to carry the "freedom manifesto" into effect, and before the ink with which it was written had fairly had time to dry, the rejoicing people, who assembled with flags and mottos in the streets of the principal cities to celebrate the dawn of civil liberty, were attacked and forcibly dispersed by the police, and were then cruelly beaten or mercilessly slaughtered by adherents of a national monarchistic association, hostile to the manifesto, which called itself the "Union of True Russians."[27] According to the conservative estimate of Mr. Milyukov, these "true Russians," with the sympathy and coöperation of the police, killed or wounded no less than thirteen thousand other Russians, whom they regarded as not "true," in the very first week after the freedom manifesto was promulgated. One not familiar with Russian conditions might have supposed that the Czar would use all the force at his command to stop these murderous "pogroms" and to punish the police and the "true Russians" who were responsible for them; but he seems to have regarded them as convincing proof that all true Russians would rather have autocracy than freedom, and, instead of insisting upon obedience to his manifesto and punishing those who resorted to wholesale[pg 75] murder as a means of protesting against it, he not only allowed the slaughter to go on, but, a few months later, showed his sympathy with the "true Russians" by telegraphing to their president as follows:

"Let the Union of the Russian People serve as a trustworthy support. I am sure that all true Russians who love their country will unite still more closely, and, while steadily increasing their number, will help me to bring about the peaceful regeneration of our great and holy Russia."[28]

Disappointed at the Czar's failure to stand by his own manifesto, and exasperated by the murderous attacks of the Black Hundreds upon defenseless people in the streets, the Social Democrats, the Social Revolutionists, and the extreme opponents of the government generally resorted to a series of armed revolts, which finally culminated in the bloody barricade-fighting in the streets of Moscow in December, 1905. Taking alarm at these revolutionary outbreaks, and yielding to the reactionary pressure that was brought to bear upon him by the ultra-conservative wing of the court party, the Czar abandoned the reforms which he had declared to be the expression of his "inflexible will,"[29] and permitted his governors and governors-general to "put down sedition" in the old arbitrary way, with imprisonment, exile, the Cossack's whip and the hangman's noose.

Long before the meeting of the first Duma the freedom manifesto had become a dead letter; and in July, 1906, when Mr. Makarof, the Associate Minister of the Interior, was called before the Duma to explain the inconsistency between the "inflexible will" of the Czar, as expressed in the freedom manifesto, and the policy of the administration, as shown in a long series of arbitrary and oppressive acts of violence, he coolly said that while the freedom manifesto "laid down the fundamental principles of civil liberty in a general way," it had no real force, because it did not specifically repeal the laws relating to the subject that were already on the statute-books. He admitted that governors-general were still arresting without warrant, exiling without trial, suppressing newspapers without a hearing, and dispersing public meetings by an arbitrary exercise of discretionary power; but he maintained that in so doing they were only obeying imperial ukases which antedated the freedom manifesto and which that document had not abrogated. In all provinces, he said, where martial law had been declared, or where it might in future be declared, governors and governors-general were not bound by the academic statement of general principles in the October manifesto, but were free to exercise discretionary power under the provisions of certain earlier decrees relating to "reinforced and extraordinary defense." These decrees, until repealed, were the law of the land, and they authorized and sanctioned every administrative measure to which the interpellations related, freedom manifestos to the contrary notwithstanding.[30]

The Czar's abandonment of the principles set forth in the freedom manifesto of October 30, 1905, put an end to what Mr. Milyukov has called "the ascending phase" of the Russian liberal movement. Count Witte, who had persuaded the Czar to sign the manifesto, was forced to retire from the Cabinet, and the new government, taking courage from the apparent loyalty of the army and the successful suppression of sporadic revolutionary outbreaks in various parts of the empire, returned gradually to the old policy of ruling by means of "administrative process," under the sanction of "exceptional" or "temporary" laws.

In July, 1906, when P. A. Stolypin was appointed Prime Minister, and when the first Duma was dissolved in order to prevent it from issuing an address to the people, the government abandoned even the pretense of acting in conformity with the principles laid down in the freedom manifesto, and boldly entered upon the policy of reaction and repression that it has ever since pursued. It now finds itself confronted by social and political problems of extraordinary difficulty and complexity, which are the natural and logical results of long-continued misgovernment or neglect. With the sympathetic coöperation of a loyal and united people, these problems might, perhaps be solved; but in the face of the almost universal discontent caused by the Czar's return to the old hateful policy of arbitrary coercion and restraint, it is almost impossible to solve them,[pg 76] or even to create the conditions upon which successful solution of them depends.

Among the most serious and threatening of these problems is that presented by the steady and progressive impoverishment of the people. Russian political economists are almost unanimously of opinion that the condition of the agricultural peasants has been growing steadily worse ever since the emancipation.[31] As early as 1871, the well-known political economist Prince Vassilchikof estimated that Russia had a proletariat which amounted to five per cent. of the whole peasant population. In 1881, ten years later, the researches of Orlof and other statisticians from the zemstvos showed that this proletariat had increased to fifteen per cent., and it is now asserted by competent authority that there are more than twenty million people in European Russia who are living from hand to mouth, that is, who possess no capital and have not land enough to afford them a proper allowance of daily bread.[32] Four years ago, the Zemstvo Committee on Agricultural Needs in the "black-soil" province of Voronezh reported that in that thickly populated and once fertile part of the empire the net profits of the peasants' lands barely sufficed to pay their direct taxes. Of the 28,295 families in the district, only 14,328 had land enough to supply them with the necessary amount of food, while 13,967 were chronically underfed. Seven thousand nine hundred and ninety-seven families were unable to pay their taxes out of the net proceeds of their lands, even when they half starved themselves on a daily allowance of one pound and a third of rye flour per capita.[33] One might have expected the government to do something for the relief of a population suffering from such poverty as this, but, instead of aiding the sufferers, it punished the persons who called attention to the distress. One member of the Voronezh District Committee, Dr. Martinof, was exiled to the subarctic province of Archangel; two, Messrs. Shcherbin and Bunakof, were arrested and put under police surveillance; and two more, Messrs. Bashkevich and Pereleshin, were removed from their positions in the zemstvo and forbidden thenceforth to hold any office of trust in connection with public affairs.[34]

If the janitor of a tenement-house should notify the owner of the existence of a smoldering fire in the basement, and if the owner, instead of taking measures to extinguish the fire, should have the janitor locked up for giving information that might alarm the tenants and "unsettle their minds," we should regard such owner as an extremely irrational person, if not an out-and-out lunatic; and yet, this is the course that the Russian government has been pursuing for the past quarter of a century. Again and again it has closed statistical bureaus of the zemstvos, and in some cases has burned their statistics, simply because the carefully collected material showed the existence of a smoldering fire of popular distress and discontent in the basement of the Russian state. Now that the long-hidden fire has burst into a blaze of agrarian disorder, the government is trying to smother it with bureaucratic measures of relief, or to stamp it out with troops, military courts, and punitive expeditions; but the action comes too late. The economic distress which a quarter of a century ago was mainly confined to a few districts or provinces has now become almost universal. Long before the beginning of the recent agrarian disorders in the central provinces, a prominent Russian senator, who made an official tour of inspection and investigation in that part of the empire, described the condition of the peasants as follows:

"Among the indisputable evidences of progressive impoverishment among the peasants are the decreasing stocks of grain in the village storehouses, the deterioration of buildings, the exhaustion of the soil, the destruction of forests, the arrears of taxes, and the struggle of the people to migrate. In almost every village the penniless class is constantly growing, and, at the same time, there is a frightfully rapid increase in the number of families that are passing from comparative prosperity to poverty, and from poverty to a condition in which they have no assured means of support."

Scores if not hundreds of statements like this were made by the liberal provincial press, or by the district and provincial committees on agricultural needs; but, when the government paid any attention to them at all, it merely suspended or suppressed the newspapers for "manifesting a prejudicial tendency," or punished the committees for "presenting the condition of the people in too unfavorable a light."[pg 77]




[pg 78]

A fair measure, perhaps, of the economic condition of a country is the earning capacity of its inhabitants, and, tried by this test, Russia stands far below the other civilized states of the world. According to a report made by S. N. Prokopovich to the Free Economic Society of St. Petersburg on May 2, 1907, the average annual income of the population per capita, in the United States and in various parts of Europe, is as follows:[35]

  Country               Average income
                         per capita

  United States          $173.00
  England                 136.50
  France                  116.50
  Germany                  92.00
  Servia and Bulgaria      50.50
  Russia                   31.50

It thus appears that the average American family earns nearly six times as much as the average Russian family, and that even in such comparatively backward and undeveloped parts of Europe as Servia and Bulgaria the average income of the population per capita is nearly twice that of Russia.

Another test of the economic condition of a country is its rate of mortality, taken in connection with the provision that it makes for the medical care and relief of its people. The death-rate of Russia—37.3 per thousand—is higher than that of any other civilized state, and, according to a report made by Dr. A. Shingaref to the Piragof Medical Congress in Moscow in May, 1907, the health of the population is more neglected than in any other country in Europe. The figures by which he proved this are as follows:[36]

  Great Britain has one doctor to every 1,100 persons
  France         "   "    "     "   "   1,800    "
  Belgium        "   "    "     "   "   1,850    "
  Norway         "   "    "     "   "   1,900    "
  Prussia        "   "    "     "   "   2,000    "
  Austria        "   "    "     "   "   2,400    "
  Italy          "   "    "     "   "   2,500    "
  Hungary        "   "    "     "   "   3,400    "
  Russia         "   "    "     "   "   7,930    "

In connection with this report it may be noted that while Russia has only one physician to eight thousand people, there is one policeman to every nine hundred and one soldier to every one hundred and twelve.

This lack of physicians in Russia is mainly due to the extreme poverty of the mass of the people and their absolute inability to pay for medical attendance and care. With an earning capacity of only $31.50 per capita, or $189.00 per annum for a family of six, and with taxes that cut deeply into even this small revenue, the Russians cannot afford doctors. Shelter, food, and clothing they must have; but medical attendance is a luxury that may be dispensed with.

One of the principal causes of the impoverishment of the agricultural peasants in Russia is the insufficiency of their farm allotments. When the serfs were emancipated about forty-five years ago, they were not given land enough to make them completely independent of the landed proprietors, for the reason that the latter had to have laborers to cultivate their estates, and it was only in the emancipated class that such laborers could be found. Since that time the peasant population has nearly doubled, and an allotment that was originally too small adequately to support one family now has to support two. This increasing pressure of the growing population upon the land might have been met, perhaps, as it has been met in Japan, by intensive cultivation; but such cultivation presupposes education, intelligence, and adoption of improved agricultural methods; and the Russian government never has been willing to give its peasant class even the elementary instruction that would enable it to read and thus to acquire modern agricultural knowledge. In 1897, more than thirty years after the emancipation, the Russian percentage of illiteracy was still seventy-nine, and on January 1, 1905, only forty-two per cent. of the children of school age were attending school, as compared with ninety-five per cent, in Japan.[37] Intensive cultivation, moreover, involves high fertilization and the use of modern agricultural implements. The Russian peasants do not own live stock enough to supply them with the quantity of manure that intensive cultivation would require,—millions of them have no farm-animals at all,—and, with their earning capacity of only $31.50 a year per capita, they cannot afford to buy modern plows and improved agricultural machinery. If there were diversified industries in Russia, the agricultural peasants who are unable to maintain themselves on their insufficient allotments might find work to do in mills or factories; but Russia is not a manufacturing country, and her industrial establishments furnish only two per cent. of her population with employment.

[pg 79]




Unable to get a living from their small and comparatively unproductive farms, and equally unable to find work elsewhere, the peasants clamor loudly for more land; and when, as the [pg 80]result of a bad harvest, their situation becomes intolerable, they are seized with a sort of berserker madness and break out into fierce bread riots, which frequently end in regular campaigns of pillage and arson. In 1905 they attacked and plundered the estates of more than two thousand landed proprietors and inflicted upon the latter a loss of more than $15,000,000. The disorder extended to one hundred and sixty-one districts and covered thirty-seven per cent. of the area of European Russia.

Such alarming evidences of wide-spread distress and discontent naturally forced the agrarian question upon the attention not only of the government but of the people's representatives in parliament. The Constitutional Democrats in the first Duma proposed to obtain more land for the common people by following the example set by Alexander II. when he emancipated the serfs, namely, by expropriating in part, and at a fixed price, the estates of the nobility, and selling the land thus acquired to the peasants upon terms of deferred payment extending over a long time. The government of Nicholas II., however, would not listen to this proposition, and the Stolypin ministry is now trying to satisfy the urgent need of the peasants by selling to them land that belongs to the state or the crown; by making it easier for them to buy land through the Peasants' Bank; and by facilitating emigration to Siberia, where there is supposed to be land enough for all. None of these measures, however, seems likely to afford more than partial and temporary relief. Most of the state and crown land in European Russia is not suitable for cultivation, or it is situated in northern provinces where agriculture is unprofitable on account of extremely unfavorable climatic conditions. According to Professor Maxim Kovalefski, the crown lands of European Russia comprise about 22,000,000 acres. Of the 4,933,000 acres that are arable and well located, 4,420,000 acres are already leased to the peasants upon terms that are quite as favorable as they could hope to obtain by purchase, and the remaining 513,000 acres would afford them no appreciable relief. In order to give them the same per capita allowance of land that they had at the time of the emancipation, it would be necessary to add about 121,000,000 acres to their present holdings, and no such amount of arable state or crown land is available.[38]

From the operations of the Peasants' Bank little more is to be expected. In the twenty years of its history it has bought about 17,000,000 acres from landed proprietors, but has disposed of only 3,600,000 acres to peasant communes. The rest it has sold to associations or land-speculating companies. The extreme need of the people, moreover, has so forced up the price of land in the black-soil belt as to make acquisition of it by the poorer class of peasants almost impossible. Between November 16, 1905, and August 31, 1906, the bank bought about 5,000,000 acres from landed proprietors, at an average price of $23.30 per acre, and resold it on bond and mortgage to individuals, companies, or peasant communes at an average rate of $24.44 per acre. Comparatively little of this land, however, went into the possession of the class that needed it most. The 4,997 peasant families in the district of Voronezh, who can make both ends meet only by limiting themselves to a per capita allowance of a pound and a third of rye flour a day, are not financially able to buy land at $24.44 per acre, and this is the economic condition of hundreds of thousands of families in the central provinces.[39]

Emigration to Siberia might have lessened the pressure of the growing population upon the land if it had been resorted to in time; but the government repeatedly put restrictions upon it, through fear that, if unchecked, it might result in depriving the landed proprietors of cheap labor. Count Dmitri Tolstoi, while Minister of the Interior, openly opposed it, and at one time the Russian periodical press was not allowed even to discuss it. When at last it was permitted, the bureaucracy managed it so badly, and paid so little attention to the distribution and proper settlement of the emigrants in Siberia, that nearly nineteen per cent. of them returned, practically ruined, to their old homes in European Russia. In the ten years from 1894 to 1903, 52,000 out of 304,000 emigrants came back from the crown lands in the Altai, one of the best parts of Siberia; and in the years 1901 and 1902 the percentages of returning emigrants were 53.9 and 68.1. In other words, more than half of the peasants who made a journey of fifteen hundred miles to the Altai came back simply because they could not satisfactorily establish themselves in the country where they had hoped to find more land and better conditions of life.[40]

If the government fails to relieve the land famine by selling its own land reserves, by making loans to the people through the Peasants' Bank, or by promoting emigration to Siberia, it will find itself threatened by two very serious dangers. On the one hand, the diminishing power of the peasants to pay taxes will ultimately affect the national revenue and[pg 81] impair the revenue of the state; and, on the other hand, the discontent and exasperation of the great class from which soldiers are drawn will sooner or later infect the army and lessen the power of the autocracy to enforce its authority. The government is now drafting about 460,000 recruits a year, and these conscripts not only share the feelings of the peasantry as a whole, but belong largely to the very class that has recently been in revolt. Tens of thousands of them either participated in or sympathized with the agrarian riots of 1905-6; and not a few of them, remembering how the troops were then sent against them, solemnly promised their fellow-villagers, when they joined the colors, that they would never fire upon their brothers, even if ordered to do so by the Czar himself. An army of this temper is a weapon that may become very dangerous to its wielders; and if the discontent and hostility of the peasants continue to increase with increasing impoverishment, and if the hundreds of thousands of fresh recruits carry their discontent and hostility into their barracks, the government may have to deal with mutinies and revolts much more serious than those of Cronstadt, Sveaborg, and the Crimea. Certain it is that an army is not likely to remain loyal when there is wide-spread disaffection in the population from which it is drawn; and in the present condition, temper, and attitude of the peasants we may find reasons enough for the "trouble to come" that Mr. Milyukov predicts.


[27] Otherwise known as the "Black Hundreds." This reactionary and terroristic organization impudently pretended to represent the "true Russian people"; but in the election for the third Duma, when it had all the encouragement and help that the bureaucracy could give, it was able to send to the electoral colleges only 72 electors out of a total number of 5,160. It was composed mainly of the worst elements of the population, and derived all the power that it had from the support given to it by the bureaucracy and the police. Without such support it would have been stamped out of existence in a week by the liberals, revolutionists, and Jews, who were the chief objects of its attacks.

[28] This was the reply of the Czar to a telegram from the Union of True Russians thanking him for dissolving the second Duma and arresting fifty-five of its members on a charge of treason. Eight of these representatives of the people were afterward sentenced to five years of penal servitude, nine to four years of penal servitude, and ten to exile in Siberia as forced colonists. (Russian Thought, St. Petersburg, December, 1907, p. 216.)

When Mr. Milyukov returned to St. Petersburg after the delivery of his temperate and dispassionate address in New York, the handful of "true Russians" in the third Duma attacked him with violent and insulting abuse, and Mr. Vladimir Purishkevich, one of their most influential leaders, said to him in open session: "You are a poltroon and traitor, in whose face I would willingly spit!" Such is the spirit of the "true Russians" whom the Czar has asked to help him in bringing about "the peaceful regeneration of our great and holy Russia."

[29] The freedom manifesto of October 30, 1905, begins with the words: "We lay upon Our Government the duty of executing Our inflexible will by giving to the people the foundations of civil liberty in the form of real inviolability of personal rights, freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, freedom of public assembly, and freedom of organized association."

[30] Stenographic report of the proceedings of the first Russian Duma, St. Petersburg, July 17, 1906. A large part of the Russian Empire has been under martial law ever since the assassination of Alexander II. In 1906 it was in force in sixty-four of the eighty-seven Russian provinces.

[31] Upon the shoulders of the peasants the whole framework of the Russian state rests. When the latest census was taken, in 1897, the peasants numbered 97,000,000 in a total population of 126,000,000. Since that time the population has increased to 141,000,000, and the relative proportion of peasants to other classes has grown larger rather than smaller. (Report of the Russian Statistical Department. St. Petersburg, August, 1905.)

[32] It is this part of the population that begins to suffer from lack of food when, for any reason, there is complete or partial failure of the crops. Twenty million people, in twenty-two provinces, were reduced to absolute starvation by the famine of 1906, and were kept alive only by governmental relief on a colossal scale. Famine is predicted again this year in the provinces of Kaluga, Tula, Tambof, Samara, Saratof, Viatka, Poltava, and Chernigof. In the province last named the peasants were already mixing weeds with their rye flour in November, 1907. (Nasha Zhizn, St. Petersburg, May 23. 1906; Russian Thought, St. Petersburg, December, 1907, p. 217.)

[33] Report of the Zemstvo Committee on Agricultural Needs in the District of Voronezh, Stuttgart, 1903. This report was published in pamphlet form abroad, because the censor would not allow it to be printed in Russia.

[34] Report of the Zemstvo Committee on Agricultural Needs in the District of Voronezh, pp. 33, 34, Stuttgart, 1903.

[35] Russian Thought, St. Petersburg. June, 1907, p. 169.

[36] Russian Thought, St. Petersburg, June, 1907, p. 124.

[37] Report of the Russian Statistical Department, 1905; and Report to the Council of Ministers on the state of schools, Strana, St. Petersburg, August 23, 1906.

[38] Strana, edited by Professor Maxim Kovalefski, St. Petersburg, October 7 and 10, 1906.

[39] Tovarishch, St. Petersburg, August 26, 1906.

[40] V. Polozof, in Strana, St. Petersburg, October 18, 1906.



Sometimes my little woe is lulled to rest,
Its clamor shamed by some old poet's page—
Tumult of hurrying hoof, and battle-rage,
And dying knight, and trampled warrior-crest.
Stern faces, old heroic souls unblest,
Eye me with scorn, as they my grief would gage,
A mere child, schooled to weep upon the stage,
Tricked for a part of woe and somber-drest.
"Lo, who art thou," they ask, "that thou shouldst fret
To find, forsooth, one single heart undone?
The page thou turnest there is purple-wet
With blood that gushed from Caesar overthrown!
Lo, who art thou to prate of sorrow?" Yet,
This little woe, it is my own, my own!

[pg 82]



The house overlooked the starlit bay, nearly ringed with a sparse fence of palms, and on its roof, a little scarlet figure on the white rugs, Incarnacion sat waiting till Scott should come. Below her, the reeking city was hushed to a murmur, through which there sounded from the Praca a far throb of drums and pipe-music; and overhead the sky was a dome of velvet, spangled with a glory of bold stars. Save to the east, where the blank white walls of the house overlooked the water, there was on all sides a shadowy prospect of parapets, for in Superban the houses are close together and folk live intimately upon their roofs. As she sat, Incarnacion could hear a voice that quavered and choked as some stricken man labored with his prayers against the plague that was laying the city waste. Through all Superban such petitions went up, while daily and nightly the tale of deaths mounted and the corpses multiplied faster than the graves.

Incarnacion lit herself a cigarette, tucked her feet under her, and wondered why Scott did not come. But her chief quality was serenity; she did not give herself over to worry, content to let all problems solve themselves, as most problems will. She was a wee girl, preserving on the threshold of sun-ripened womanhood the soft and pathetic graces of a docile child. Her scarlet dress left her warm arms bare and did not trespass on the slender throat; she had all the charm of intrinsic femininity which comes to fruit so early in the climate of Mozambique and fades so soon. It was this, no doubt, that had taken Scott and held him; gaunt, harsh, direct in his purposes as he was quick in his strength, with Incarnacion he found scope for the tenderness that lurked beneath his rude forcefulness.

He came at last. She heard his step on the stair, cast her cigarette from her, and sprang to meet him with a little laugh of delight. He took her in his arms, lifting her from her little bare feet to kiss her.

"O-oh, Jock, you break me," she gasped, as he set her down. "You are strong like a bull. What you bin away so long?"

He smiled at her gravely as he let himself down on her rugs and put a long arm round her. "Did you want me, 'Carnacion?" he asked.

"Me? No," she answered, laughing; "I don' want you, Jock. You go away twenty—thirty—days; I don' care. Ah, Jock!"

He pressed her close and kissed the crown of her dark head gently. His strong, keen-featured face was very tender, for this small woman of the old tropics was all but all the world to him. "You're a little rip," he said, as he released her. "Make me a cigarette, 'Carnacion. I've found the boat."

She looked up quickly, while her deft fingers fluttered about the dry tobacco and the paper. "You find him, Jock?" she asked.

He nodded. "Yes, I've found it," he answered. "She's in a creek, about six miles down the bay. A big boat, too, with a pretty little cabin for you to twiddle your thumbs in, 'Carnacion. She's pretty clean, too; I reckon the old chap must have been getting ready to clear out in her when he dropped. It's a wonder nobody found her before."

Incarnacion sealed the cigarette carefully, pinched the loose ends away, kissed it, and put it in his mouth. "Then," she said thoughtfully, "you take me away to-morrow, Jock?"

He frowned; he was shielding the lighted match in both hands, and it showed up his drawn brows as he bent to light the cigarette. "I don't know," he said. "You see, 'Carnacion, there's a good many things I can't do, and sail a boat is one of 'em. I haven't got a notion how to set about it, even. I don't know the top end of a sail from the bottom."

"You make a Kafir do it?" suggested Incarnacion.

He smiled, a brief smile of friendship. "That would do first-rate," he explained; "only, you see, there's no Kafirs, kiddy. Every nigger that had ever seen a boat was snapped up a week ago, when the big flit was happening. That dead-scared crowd that cleared out then took every single sailorman to ferry 'em down the coast—white, black, and piebald. And the plain truth of it is, 'Carnacion, I've been up and down this old rabbit-warren of a city since sun-down,[pg 83] looking for a sailor, an' the only one I could hear of I found—in the dead-house."

He spat at the parapet upon the memory of that face, where the plague had done its worst.

"So," remarked Incarnacion gaily. "Then we stop, Jock; we stop here, eh?"

"There'll be something broken first," retorted Scott. "It's all bloomin' rot, Incarnacion; you can't have a town this size without a man in it that can handle a boat—a seaport, too. It isn't sense. It don't stand to reason."

"There was the Capitan Smeeth," suggested Incarnacion helpfully.

"Just so," said Scott; "there was. He's dead."

Incarnacion crossed herself in silence, and they sat for a while without speaking. From the Praca the music was still to be heard; some procession to the great church was in progress, to pray for a remission of the scourge. Over the line of roofs there was a dull glow of the watch-fires in the streets; where they sat, Scott and the girl could smell the pitch that fed them. And, over all, an unseen sick man gabbled his prayers in a halting monotone. A quick heat of wrath lit in Scott as his thoughts traveled around the situation; for Incarnacion sat with her head bowed, playing with her toes, and the ever-ready terror lest the plague should reach her moved in his heart. He had been away from Superban when the plague arrived, and though he had come in on the first word of the news, he had been too late to find a place for her on the ships that fled down the coast from the pest. And now that he had found a boat, there was no one to sail her; in all that terror-ridden city, he could find no man to hold the tiller and tend the sheet.

"You're feeling all right, eh, 'Carnacion?" he asked sharply.

She turned to him, smiling at once. "All right," she assured him. "An' you, Jock—you all right, too?"

"Fit as can be," he answered, fingering her hair where it was smooth and short behind her ear.

"You see," she said. "It is the plague, but the plague don't come for us, Jock."

"That's right," he said. "You keep your courage up, little girl, an' we'll be married in Delagoa Bay."

He rose to his feet. "Kiss me good night, 'Carnacion," he said. "I'm busy these days, an' I can't stop any longer."

She kissed him obediently, giving her fresh lips frankly and eagerly; and Scott came out to the narrow lane below with the flavor of them yet on his mouth and new resolution to pursue his quest for a sailor.

He moved on to the Praca, where the stridency of the music still persisted. Great fires burned at every entrance to the square, so that between them a man walked in the midst of leaping shadows, as though his feet were dogged by ghosts. The tall houses around the place were blind with shuttered windows; from their balconies none watched the crowd before the great doors of the church. Here a priest stood in a cart, with a great cross in his hand. His high voice, toneless and flat, echoed vainly over the heads of the throng, where some knelt in a passion of prayer, but most stood talking aloud. Through the doors the lights on the altar were to be seen in the inner gloom, sparkling from the brass and golden accouterments of the church. Scott shouldered a road through the crowd, scanning faces expertly. To a big brown man with empty blue eyes he put the question:

"Can you sail a boat?"

The man stared at him. "Have you got one?" he asked.

"Can you?" repeated Scott. "Do you know anything about sailing a boat?"

"No," said the other; "but——"

Scott pushed on and left him. In the church, his heart leaped at sight of a man in the clothes of a Portuguese man-o'-war's-man, asleep by a pillar—a little swarthy weed of a man. He woke him with a kick, only to learn, after further kicks, that the man was a stoker and knew as little about boats as himself. At the door of a confessional lay another man in the same uniform. A kick failed to wake him, and Scott bent to shake him. But the hand he stretched out recoiled; the plague had been before him.

In that time men knew no difference between day and night, for death knew none, and the traffic of the close, twisted streets never lulled. The blatant cafés were ablaze with lamps, and in them the tables were crowded and the fiddles raved and jeered. In one Scott found a chair to rest in, and sat awhile with liquor before him. He had carried his search from the shore to the bush, through all the town, and to no end. Now, mingled with his resolution there was something of desperation. He sat heavily in thought, his glass in his hand; and while he brooded, unheeding, the café roared and clattered about him. To his right, a group of white-clad officers chatted over a languid game of cards; at his left, a forlorn man sang dolorously to himself. Others were behind. From these last, as he sat, a word reached him which woke him from his preoccupation like a thrust of a knife. He sat without moving, straining his ears.

"De ole captain, he die," said some one; "but hees boat, she lie on de mud now."[pg 84]

"An' ye know where she is?" demanded another voice, a deeper one.

"Yais," the first speaker replied. He had a voice that purred in undertones, the true voice of a conspirator.

There was a sound of a fist on the table. "Good for you," said the deeper voice. "We'll get away by noon, then."

Scott carried his glass to his lips and drained it; then he rose deliberately in his place and commenced to thread his way out between the tables. He had to pause to pay the waiter for his drink when he was a yard or two away; he gave the man an English sovereign, and thus, while change was procured, he could stand and look at the owners of the voices. They paid him no attention; he was unsuspected. One of the men he knew, a tall Italian with a heavy, brutal face, a knife-fighter of notoriety and a bully. The other was a square, humpy man, half of whose face was jaw. Not men to put in the company of little Incarnacion, either of them; Scott's experience of the Coast spared him any doubts about that. It would be easy, of course, to settle the matter at once—simply to step up and let his knife into the Italian, under the neck, where he sat. At that season and in that place it was an almost obvious remedy; but it would not be less than a week before he could get clear of the jail, and in that time any one might find the boat.

He grasped his change and went out. There was only one thing to do: he must go to the creek where the boat was, and lie in wait for them there. "Nobody'll miss 'em," he said to himself; "and there's crocodiles in that creek, all handy."

He struck across the Praca again, between the fires, and down an alley that would lead him to the beach. The voice of the priest in the cart seemed to pursue him till he outdistanced it, and he pressed on briskly. His way was between tall, dark houses; the path lay at their feet, narrow and tortuous, like some remote cañon. Here was no light, save when, at the turn of the way, a star swam into view overhead, pale and cold, and bright as a lantern. Indistinct figures passed him sometimes; when one came into sight, he would move close to the wall with a hand on his knife, and the two would edge by one another watchfully and in silence.

He was almost clear and could smell the sea, when he came round a corner and met some four or five white figures in the middle of the way, sheeted like ghosts and walking in silence. There was not a space to avoid them, and he stopped dead for them to approach and speak—or, if that was the way of it, to attack. Some of the others stopped too, but one came on. Scott marked that he walked with a shuffle of his feet, and made out, by the starlight, that his sheet clung about him as though it were wet. And, at the same time, he noticed some faint odor, too vague to put a name to, but sickly and suggestive of hospitals.

"Go with God," said the figure, when it was close to him. The words were Portuguese, but the inflection was foreign.

"Are you English?" demanded Scott sharply.

The other had halted a man's length from him. "Ay," he said, "I'm English."

"Well," said Scott, making to move on, but pointing to where the other white figures were waiting in a group near by, "what are those chaps waiting for?"

"They'll not hurt you," answered the other. He mumbled a little when he spoke, like a man with a full mouth.

"Anyhow," said Scott, "they'd better pass on; I prefer it that way. Superban's not London, you know."

There came a laugh from the sheet that covered the man's head, short and harsh. "If it was," he said, "you'd not be meeting us, me lad."

"Who are you?" demanded Scott. Some quality in the man—his manner of speech, the tone of his laugh, or that faint, unidentifiable taint—made him uneasy.

"Me?" said the man. "Well, I'll tell you. I'm Captain John Crowder, I am—what's left of me, and that's a sick soul inside a dead body. And them"—he made a motion toward the waiting ghosts—"them's my crew these days. We're the chaps that fetches the dead, we are."

Scott peered at him eagerly, and stepped forward.

The other avoided him by stepping back. "Not too near," he said. "It ain't sense."

"Captain, you said?" asked Scott. "Er—not a ship-captain, you mean?"

"Ay, I'm a ship-captain right enough," was the answer; "and in my day——"

Scott interrupted excitedly. "See here," he said. "I've got a boat, and I want a man to sail her to Delagoa Bay. I'll pay; I'll pay you a level hundred to start by nine in the morning, cash down on the deck the minute you're outside the bar. What d'you say to it?"

The sheeted man seemed to stare at him before he answered. "You're on the run, then?" he mumbled at last. "You're dodging the plague, eh?"

"Yes," said Scott. "A level hundred, an' you can have the boat as well."

"Man, you must be badly scared," said the[pg 85] other. "What's frightened you? Are you feared you'll die?"

"Go to blazes," retorted Scott. "Will you come or won't you?"

The man laughed again, the same short cackle of mirth.

"Listen," urged Scott, wiping his forehead. "I've got a—er—I've got a girl. You say I'm scared. Well, I am scared; every time I think of her in this plague-rotten place, I go cold to the bone. Is it more money you want? You can have it. But there's no time to lose; I'm not the only one that knows about the boat."

"A girl." The other repeated the word, and then stood silent.

"Curse it!" cried Scott, "can't you say the word? Will you come, man?"

"It wouldn't do," said the sheeted man slowly. "You're fond of her, eh? Ay, but it wouldn't do. Any other man 'u'd suit ye better, me lad."

"There's no other man," said Scott angrily. "In all this blasted town there's no man but you. I've been through it like a terrier under a rick. And I'll tell you what." He took a step nearer; in his pocket his hand was on his knife. "You can have a hundred and fifty," he said, "and the boat, if you'll come. An' if you won't, by the Holy Iron, I'll cut your bloomin' throat here where you stand."

The other did not flinch from him. "Ay, an' you'll do that?" he said. "I like to hear you talk. Lad, do you know what fashion o' men it is that serve the dead-carts? Do ye know?" he demanded, seeming to clear his voice with an effort of the obstacle that hampered his speech.

"What d'you mean?" cried Scott.

"Look at me," bade the man, and drew back the sheet from his face. The starlight showed him clear.

Scott looked, while his heart slowed down within him, and bowed his head.

"And shall I steer your girl to Delagoa Bay?" the other asked.

"Yes," said Scott, after a pause. "There's nobody else, leper or not."

"Ah, well," said the leper, with a sigh, "so be it."

Scott fought with himself for mastery of the horror that rose in him like a tide of fever, and when the leper had put back the sheet and stood again a figure of the grave, he told him of the boat and how others knew of it besides himself. In quick, panting sentences he bade him get forthwith to the creek where the boat lay, directing him to it through the paths of the night with the sure precision of a man trained to the trek. He himself would go and fetch Incarnacion and beat up some provisions, and thus they might get afloat before the Italian and his mate came on the scene.

"It's every step of six miles," Scott explained. "Are you sure you can walk it?"

The leper nodded under his hood. "I'll do it," he said. "And if there's to be a fight, I'm not so far gone but what—" He broke off with a short spurt of laughter. "It'll be something to feel deck-planks under me again," he said.

"Then let's be gone," cried Scott.

"Wait." The captain that had been stayed him. "There's just this, matey. Have a shawl or the like on your girl's shoulders. They wear 'em, you know. An' then, when you come in sight o' me, you can rig it over her head an' all. For it's—it's truth, no woman should set eyes on the like o' me."

"I'll do it," said Scott. "You're a man, Captain, anyhow."

"I was," said the other, and turned away.

Scott had a dozen things to do in no more than a pair of hours. They were not to be done, but he did them. A couple of donkeys were procured without difficulty; he knew of a stable with a flimsy door. A revolver, his own small odds and ends, all his money, and such food as he could lay hands on—by rousing reluctant storekeepers with outcries and expediting commerce with violence—were got together. Then Incarnacion must be fetched. She came at once, smiling drowsily, with a flush of sleep on her little ardent face and all her belongings in a bundle no bigger than a hat-box. But, with all his urgency, the eastern sky was stained with dawn before he was clear of the town, bludgeoning the donkeys before him, with the gear on one and Incarnacion laughing and crooning on the other.

The beach stretched in a yellow bow on either hand, fringed with bush and palms, receding to where the ultimate jaws of the bay stood black and thin against the sunrise. Once upon it, they could be seen by whoever should look from the town, and there was peremptory occasion for haste. Scott had counted on forcing the journey into a little over an hour, but he was not prepared for the eccentricities of a pack adjusted on a donkey's back by an amateur. There is no art in the world more arbitrary than that of tying a package on a beast. It must be done just so, with just such a hitch and such an adjustment of the burden, or one's rope might as well be of sand. These refinements were outside Scott's knowledge, and he had not gone far before he saw his bags and bundles clear themselves and tumble apart. There was a[pg 86] halt while he picked them up and lashed them on the ass anew. Again and again it happened, till his patience was raw; and all the time the steady sun swarmed up the sky and day grew into full being.

Incarnacion sat serenely in her place while these troubles occupied him, smoking her cigarette and looking about her. He was involved in an effort to jam the pack and the donkey securely in one overwhelming intricacy of knots when she called to him.

"Jock," she said.

"Yes, what's up?" he grunted, hauling remorselessly on a line with a knee against the ass's circumference.

"A man," she said placidly. "He come along, too, behin' us."

"Eh? Where?" he demanded, putting a last knot to the tedious structure.

Incarnacion pointed to the bush. "I see him poke out hees head two times," she explained.

Scott passed his hand behind him to his revolver, and stared with narrow eyes along the green frontier at the bush. He could see nothing.

"A big man, 'Carnacion?" he asked. "Mustaches? Black hair?"

She nodded and lit another cigarette. "You know him, Jock?"

"I know him," he answered, and drove the donkeys on, thwacking the pack-ass cautiously for the sake of the load.

It was an anxious passage then, on the open beach. The men who followed had the cover of the shrubs; theirs was the advantage to choose the moment of collision. They could shoot at him from their concealment and flick his brains out comfortably before he could set eyes on them; or they could shoot the donkeys down, or put a bullet into Incarnacion where she rode, quiet and regardless of all. He flogged the beasts on to a trot with a hail of blows, and ran up into the bush to take an observation.

His foot was barely off the sand of the beach when a shot sounded, and the wind of the bullet made his eyes smart. Invention was automatic in his mind. At the noise, he fell forthwith on his face, crashing across a bush, so that his head was up and his pistol in reach of his hand. Thus he lay, not moving, but searching through half-closed eyes the maze of green before him. He heard the rustle of grass, and prepared for action, every nerve taut; and there came into sight the big Italian, smiling broadly, a Winchester in his hand.

In Scott's brain some nucleus of motion gave the signal. With a single movement, his knee crooked under him and he swung the heavy revolver forward. A howl answered the shot, and he saw the Italian blunder against a palm, drop his rifle, and scamper out of sight. Firing again, Scott dashed forward and picked up the Winchester, while from in front of him the Italian or his companion sent bullet after bullet about his ears. It was enough of a victory to carry on with, for Incarnacion would have heard the shots and might come back to him; so he turned and ran again, and caught her just as she was dismounting.

It was a race now. He silenced the girl's questions sharply, and thumped the donkeys to a canter, running doggedly behind them with his stick busy. In the bush, too, there was the noise of hurry; he heard the crash of feet running, and twice they shot at him. Then Incarnacion gasped, and held up her cloak to show him a hole through it; but she was not touched. He swore, but did not cease to flog and run. The strain told on him; his legs were water, and the sweat stood on his face in great gouts; and, to embitter the labor, suddenly there was a shout from ahead. The men had passed him, and he saw the Italian show himself with a gesture of derision, and disappear again before he could aim.

"They'll kill the leper," he thought, "and they'll get the boat. But they'll not get out. I'll be on my belly in the bush then, with this." And he patted the stock of the Winchester.

"You bin shoot a man, Jock?" asked Incarnacion, as the desperate pace flagged.

"Not yet," he answered grimly; "but there's time yet, 'Carnacion."

Already he could see, through the slim palms, the straight mast of the boat against the sky, with its gear about it, not a mile away. He cocked his ear for the shot that should announce its capture and the end of the leper.

"Ai, hear that!" exclaimed Incarnacion.

It was a sound of screams—cries of men in stress, traveling thinly over the distance. Scott checked at it as a horse checks at a snake in the road, for the cries had a note of wild terror that daunted him.

"You frightened, Jockie?" crooned Incarnacion. "See," she said, lifting her hand over him, "I make the cross on you."

"It's the confounded mysteriousness that gets me," said Scott, wiping his forehead. "Here, get on, you beasts. We'll have to take a look at 'em, anyhow."

He strode on between the animals, the rifle in the crook of his arm, ready for use, and all his senses alert and vivacious. Day was broad above them now and bitter with the forenoon heat. At their side the bay was rippled with a capricious breeze, and in all the far prospect of earth and sea none moved save[pg 87] themselves, detached in a haunting significance of solitude.

"Ah!" He stopped short and jerked the rifle forward. In the bush ahead there was a movement; for an instant he saw something white flash among the palms, and then the Italian burst forth and came toward them, running all at large, with head down and jolting elbows. He ran like a man hunted by crazy fears, and did not see Scott till he was within twenty yards.

"Halt, there, Dago," ordered Scott, and brought the butt to his shoulder.

The Italian gasped and blundered to his knees, turning on Scott a glazed and twitching face.

"For peety, for peety!" he quavered.

"Draw that shawl over your face, 'Carnacion," said Scott, without turning his head. "Can you see now?"

"No," she answered.

He fired, and the Italian sprawled forward on his face, plowing up the sand with clutching hands.

"Keep the shawl over your eyes, 'Carnacion," directed Scott, and soon they came round a palm-bunch and were on the bank of the creek, where a fifteen-ton cutter lay on the mud. A plank lay between her deck and the shore, and, as they came to it, the captain hailed them from the cockpit.

"Come aboard," he said. "All's ready."

Scott picked Incarnacion up in his arms, wound another fold of the shawl about her face, and carried her aboard. He set her down on the settee in the cabin, released her head, and kissed her fervently. "Now make yourself comfy here, little 'un," he said; "for here you stay till we make Delagoa."

He helped her to dispose herself in the cabin, showed her its arrangements, and saw her curious delight in the little space-saving contrivances. Then he went out, closing the door behind him. It did not occur to him to render her any explanations; what Scott did was always sufficient for Incarnacion.

Again on deck, he found the swathed leper busy, and started when he saw, along the banks of the creek, a gang of shrouded figures at work with a hawser.

"My crew," said the captain. "They're to haul us off the mud."

"Then," said Scott, "it was them——"

The leper laughed. "Ay, they ran from us," he said. "They ran from the lazaretto-hands. The one we caught, we put him overside for the crocodiles; an' you got the other."

"They chased him?" asked Scott, trembling with the thought.

"Ay," said the leper; "they uncovered their faces and they chased. Ye heard the squealing?"

He broke off to oversee his gang. "Make fast on that stump!" he called. In spite of the disease that blurred his speech, there was the authority of the quarter-deck in his voice. "Now, all hands tally on and walk her down." And the silent lepers in their grave-clothes ranged themselves on the rope like the ghosts of drowned seamen.

When the mainsail filled and the cutter heeled to the breeze, pointing fair for the bar, the leper looked back. Scott followed his glance. On the spit by the mouth of the creek stood the white figures in a little group, lonely and voiceless, and over them the palms floated against the sky like tethered birds.

"There was some that was almost Christians," said the captain; "they'll miss me, they will." And after a pause he added: "And I'll be missing them, too; for they was my mates."

There were six days of sailing ere the captain made his landfall, and they stood off till evening. Then he put in to where the sea shelved easily on a beach four or five miles south of the town, and it was time to part.

"You can wade ashore," said the leper.

Scott opened the doors of the little cabin. On the settee Incarnacion lay asleep, her dark hair tumbled about her warm face. He was about to wake her, but stayed his hand and drew back. "You can look," he said to the leper in a whisper.

The shrouded man bent and looked in; Scott marked that he held his breath. For a full minute he stared in silence, his shoulders blocking the little door; then he drew back.

"Ay," he murmured, "it's like that they are, lad; and it's grand to be a man—it's grand to be a man!"

Scott closed the doors gently. "If ever there was a man," he began, but choked and stopped. "What will you do now?" he asked.

"Oh, I'll just be gettin' back," said the leper. "You see, there's them lads—my crew. It was me made a crew of 'em in that lazaretto. They was just stinking heathen till I come. An' I sort of miss 'em, I do."

"Will you shake hands?" said Scott, torn by a storm of emotions.

The leper shook his head. "You've the girl to think of," he said. "But good luck to the pair of ye. Ye'll make a fine team."

Half an hour later Scott and Incarnacion stood together on the beach and watched the cutter's lights as she stood on a bowline to seaward.

"Kiss your hand to it, darling," said Scott.

"I bin done it," answered Incarnacion.

[pg 88]

The Audrey Arms Oxbridge Middlesex
Miss Terry's country cottage from 1887 to 1890




The first night of "Olivia" at the Lyceum was about the only comfortable first night that I have ever had! I was familiar with the part, and two of the cast, Terriss and Norman Forbes, were the same as at the Court, which made me feel all the more at home. Henry left a great deal of the stage-management to us, for he knew that he could not improve on Mr. Hare's production. Only he insisted on altering the last act, and made a bad matter worse. The division into two scenes wasted time, and nothing was gained by it. Never obstinate, Henry saw his mistake and restored the original end after a time. It was weak and unsatisfactory, but not pretentious and bad, like the last act he presented at the first performance.

We took the play too slowly at the Lyceum. That was often a fault there. Because Henry was slow, the others took their time from him, and the result was bad.

The lovely scene of the vicarage parlour, in which we used a harpsichord, and were accused of pedantry for our pains, did not look so well at the Lyceum as at the Court. The stage was too big for it.

The critics said that I played Olivia better at the Lyceum, but I did not feel this myself.

At first Henry did not rehearse the Vicar at all well. One day, when he was stamping his foot very much as if he were Mathias in "The Bells," my little Edy, who was a terrible child and a wonderful critic, said:

"Don't go on like that, Henry. Why don't you talk as you do to me and Teddy? At home you are the Vicar."

The child's frankness did not offend Henry, because it was illuminating. A blind man had changed his Shylock; a little child changed his Vicar. When the first night came, he gave a simple, lovable performance. Many people now understood and liked him as they had never done before. One of the things I most admired in it was his sense of the period.




[pg 89]

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In this, as in other plays, he used to make his entrance in the skin of the part. No need for him to rattle a ladder at the side to get up excitement and illusion, as another actor is said to have done. He walked on and was the simple-minded old clergyman, just as he had walked on a prince in "Hamlet" and a king in "Charles I."

A very handsome woman, descended from Mrs. Siddons and looking exactly like her, played the Gipsy in "Olivia." The likeness was of no use, because the possessor of it had no talent. What a pity!

"Olivia" a Family Play

"Olivia" has always been a family play. Edy and Ted walked on the stage for the first time in the Court "Olivia." In later years Ted played Moses, and Edy made her first appearance in a speaking part as Polly Flamborough, and has since played both Sophia and the Gipsy. My brother Charlie's little girl, Beatrice, made her first appearance as Bill, a part which her sister Minnie had already played; my sister Floss played Olivia on a provincial tour, and my sister Marion played it at the Lyceum when I was ill.

I saw Floss in the part, and took from her a lovely and sincere bit of "business." In the third act, where the Vicar has found his erring daughter and has come to take her away from the inn, I always hesitated at my entrance, as if I were not quite sure what reception my father would give me after what had happened. Floss, in the same situation, came running in and went straight to her father, quite sure of his love, if not of his forgiveness.

I did not take some business which Marion did on Terriss' suggestion. Where Thornhill tells Olivia that she is not his wife, I used to thrust him away with both hands as I said "Devil!"

"It's very good, Nell, very fine," said Terriss to me, "but, believe me, you miss a great effect there. You play it grandly, of course, but at that moment you miss it. As you say 'Devil!' you ought to strike me full in the face."

"Oh, don't be silly, Terriss," I said. "Olivia is not a pugilist."

Of course I saw, apart from what was dramatically fit, what would happen!

However, Marion, very young, very earnest, very dutiful, anxious to please Terriss, listened eagerly to the suggestion during an understudy rehearsal.

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"No one could play this part better than your sister Nell," said Terriss to the attentive Marion, "but, as I always tell her, she does miss one[pg 90] great effect. When you say 'Devil! hit me bang in the face."

"Thank you for telling me," said Marion gratefully.

"It will be much more effective," said Terriss.

It was. When the night came for Marion to play the part, she struck out, and Terriss had to play the rest of the scene with a handkerchief held to his bleeding nose!

Ellen Terry and Eleanora Duse

I think it was as Olivia that Eleanora Duse first saw me act. She had thought of playing the part herself sometime, but she said: "Never now!" No letter about my acting ever gave me the same pleasure as this from her:

"Madame: With Olivia you have given me pleasure and pain. Pleasure by your noble and sincere art—pain because I feel sad at heart when I see a beautiful and generous woman give her soul to art—as you do—when it is life itself, your heart itself, that speaks tenderly, sorrowfully, nobly beneath your acting. I cannot rid myself of a certain melancholy when I see artists as noble and distinguished as you and Mr. Irving. Although you are strong enough (with continual labor) to make life subservient to art, I, from my standpoint, regard you as forces of nature itself, which should have the right to exist for themselves instead of for the crowd. I would not venture to disturb you, Madame, and moreover I have so much to do that it is impossible for me to tell you personally all the great pleasure you have given me, because I have felt your heart. Will you believe, dear Madame, in mine, which asks no more at this moment than to admire you and to tell you so in any manner whatsoever.

"Always yours,
"E. Duse."[42]

It was worth having lived to get that letter!

From a drawing by the Marchioness of Granby



A claptrappy play "Faust" was, no doubt, but Margaret was the part I liked better than any other—outside Shakespeare. I played it beautifully sometimes. The language was often very commonplace, not nearly as poetic or dramatic as that of "Charles I.," but the character was all right—simple, touching, sublime. The Garden Scene I know was a bourgeois[pg 91] affair. It was a bad, weak love-scene, but George Alexander as Faust played it admirably. Indeed, he always acted like an angel with me; he was so malleable, ready to do anything. He was launched into the part at very short notice, after H. B. Conway's failure on the first night. Poor Conway! It was Coghlan as Shylock all over again.



from the painting by franz von lenbach

Conway was a descendant of Lord Byron, and he had a look of the handsomest portraits of the poet. With his bright hair curling tightly all over his well-shaped head, his beautiful figure, and charming presence, he created a sensation in the eighties almost equal to that made by the more famous beauty, Lily Langtry. As an actor he belonged to the Terriss type, but he was not nearly as good as Terriss.

Henry called a rehearsal the next day—on Sunday, I think. The company stood about in groups on the stage, while Henry walked up and down, speechless, but humming a tune occasionally, always a portentous sign with[pg 92] him. The scene set was the Brocken scene, and Conway stood at the top of the slope, as far away from Henry as he could get! He looked abject. His handsome face was very red, his eyes full of tears. He was terrified at the thought of what was going to happen. As for Henry, he was white as death, but he never let pain to himself (or others) stand in the path of duty to his public, and his public had shown that they wanted another Faust. The actor was summoned to the office, and presently Loveday came out and said that Mr. George Alexander would play Faust the following night.

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from the collection of miss frances johnston

George Alexander and the Barmaids

Alec had been wonderful as Valentine the night before, and as Faust he more than justified Henry's belief in him. After that he never looked back. He had come to the Lyceum for the first time in 1882, an unknown quantity from a stock company in Glasgow, to play Caleb Decie in "The Two Roses." He then left us for a time, returned for "Faust," and remained in the Lyceum Company for some years, playing all Terriss' parts.

Alexander had the romantic quality which was lacking in Terriss, but there was a kind of shy modesty about him which handicapped him when he played Squire Thornhill in "Olivia." "Be more dashing, Alec!" I used to say to him. "Well, I do my best," he said. "At the hotels I chuck all the barmaids under the chin, and pretend I'm a dog of a fellow, for the sake of this part!" Conscientious, dear, delightful Alec! No one ever deserved success more than he did, and used it better when it came, as the history of St. James' Theatre under his management proves. He had the good luck to marry a wife who was clever as well as charming, and could help him.

The original cast of "Faust" was never improved upon. What Martha was ever so good as Mrs. Stirling? The dear old lady's sight had failed since "Romeo and Juliet," but she was very clever at concealing it. When she let Mephistopheles in at the door, she used to drop her work on the floor, so that she could find her way back to her chair. I never knew why she dropped it—she used to do it so naturally, with a start, when Mephistopheles knocked at the door—until one night when it was in my way and I picked it up, to the confusion of poor Mrs. Stirling, who nearly walked into the orchestra.

"Faust" a Paradoxical Success

"Faust" was abused a good deal—as a pantomime, a distorted caricature of Goethe, and[pg 93] a thoroughly inartistic production. But it proved the greatest of all Henry's financial successes. The Germans who came to see it, oddly enough, did not scorn it nearly as much as the English who were sensitive on behalf of the Germans, and the Goethe Society wrote a tribute to Henry Irving after his death, acknowledging his services to Goethe!

It is a curious paradox in the theatre that the play for which every one has a good word is often the play which no one is going to see, while the play which is apparently disliked and run down has crowded houses every night.

Our preparations for the production of "Faust" included a delightful "grand tour" of Germany. Henry, with his accustomed royal way of doing things, took a party which included my daughter Edy, Mr. and Mrs. Comyns Carr, and Mr. Hawes Craven, who was to paint the scenery. We bought nearly all the properties used in "Faust" in Nuremberg, and many other things which we did not use, that took Henry's fancy. One beautifully carved escutcheon, the finest armorial device I ever saw, he bought at this time, and presented it in after years to the famous American connoisseur, Mrs. Jack Gardner. It hangs now in one of the rooms of her palace at Boston.

It was when we were going in the train along one of the most beautiful stretches of the Rhine that Sally Holland, who accompanied us as my maid, said: "Uncommon pretty scenery, dear, I must say!"

When we laughed uncontrollably, she added: "Well, dear, I think so!"

Copyrighted by the London Stereoscopic Co.


from the drawing by bernard partridge

Irving on Long Runs

During the run of "Faust" Henry visited Oxford, and gave his address on "Four Actors" (Burbage, Betterton, Garrick, Kean). He met there one of the many people who had recently been attacking him on the ground of too long runs and too much spectacle. He wrote me an amusing account of the duel between them:[pg 94]

"I had supper last night at New College after the affair. A. was there, and I had it out with him—to the delight of all.

"'Too much decoration' etc., etc.

"I asked him what there was in Faust in the matter of appointments, etc., that he would like left out.


"'Too long runs.'

"'You, sir, are a poet,' I said. 'Perhaps it may be my privilege some day to produce a play of yours. Would you like it to have a long run or a short one?' (Roars of laughter.)

"Answer: 'Well, er, well, of course, Mr. Irving, you—well—well, a short run, of course, for art, but——'

"'Now, sir, you're on oath,' said I. 'Suppose that the fees were rolling in £10 and more a night—would you rather the play were a failure or a success?'

"'Well, well, as you put it, I must say—er—I would rather my play had a long run!'

"A. floored!

"He has all his life been writing articles running down good work and crying up the impossible, and I was glad to show him up a bit!

"The Vice-Chancellor made a most lovely speech after the address—an eloquent and splendid tribute to the stage.

"Bourchier presented the address of the 'Undergrads.' I never saw a young man in a greater funk—because, I suppose, he had imitated me so often!

"From the address: 'We have watched with keen and enthusiastic interest the fine intellectual quality of all these representations, from Hamlet to Mephistopheles, with which you have enriched the contemporary stage. To your influence we owe deeper knowledge and more reverent study of the master mind of Shakespeare.' All very nice indeed!"

Irving's Mephistopheles

I never cared much for Henry's Mephistopheles—a twopence coloured part, anyway. Of course he had his moments,—he had them in every part,—but they were few. One of them was in the Prologue, when he wrote in the student's book, "Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." He never looked at the book, and the nature of the spirit appeared suddenly in a most uncanny fashion.

Another was in the Spinning-wheel Scene, when Faust defies Mephistopheles, and he silences him with "I am a spirit." Henry looked to grow a gigantic height—to hover over the ground instead of walking on it. It was terrifying.

From the collection of Robert Coster


from a photograph taken about 1885, the year in which "olivia" and "faust" were produced at the lyceum

I made valiant efforts to learn to spin before I played Margaret. My instructor was Mr. Albert Fleming, who, at the suggestion of Ruskin, had recently revived hand-spinning and hand-weaving in the north of England. I had always hated that obviously "property" spinning-wheel in the opera and Margaret's unmarketable thread. My thread always broke, and at last I had to "fake" my spinning to a certain extent, but at least I worked my wheel[pg 95] right and gave an impression that I could spin my pound of thread a day with the best!

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Two operatic stars did me the honour to copy my Margaret dress—Madame Albani and Madame Melba. It was rather odd, by the way, that many mothers who would take their daughters to see the opera of "Faust" would not bring them to see the Lyceum play. One of these mothers was Princess Mary of Teck, a constant patron of most of our plays.

Other people "missed the music." The popularity of an opera will often kill a play, although the play may have existed before the music was ever thought of. The Lyceum "Faust" held its own against Gounod. I liked our incidental music to the action much better. It was taken from Berlioz and Lassen, except for the Brocken music, which was the original composition of Hamilton Clarke.

"Faust's" Four Hundred Ropes

In many ways "Faust" was our heaviest production. About four hundred ropes were used, each rope with a name. The list of properties and instructions to the carpenters became a joke among the theatre staff. When[pg 96] Henry first took "Faust" into the provinces, the head carpenter at Liverpool, Myers by name, being something of a humorist, copied out the list on a long, thin sheet of paper which rolled up like a royal proclamation. Instead of "God save the Queen," he wrote at the foot, with many flourishes:

"God help Bill Myers!"


from a drawing by eric pape

The crowded houses at "Faust" were largely composed of "repeaters," as Americans call those charming playgoers who come to see a play again and again. We found favour with the artists and musicians, too, even in "Faust"! Here is a nice letter I got during the run (it was a long one) from that gifted singer and good woman, Madame Antoinette Sterling:[pg 97]

"My dear Miss Terry,

"I was quite as disappointed as yourself that you were not at St. James' Hall last Monday for my concert.... Jean Ingelow said she enjoyed the afternoon very much....

"I wonder if you would like to come to luncheon some day and have a little chat with her, but perhaps you already know her. I love her dearly. She has one fault—she never goes to the theatre. Oh, my! What she misses, poor thing, poor thing! We have already seen Faust twice, and are going again soon, and shall take the George Macdonalds this time. The Holman Hunts were delighted. He is one of the most interesting and clever men I have ever met, and she is very charming and clever, too. How beautifully plain you write! Give me the recipe. With many kind greetings,

"Believe me, sincerely yours,

Antoinette Sterling MacKinlay.

In "Faust" Violet Vanbrugh "walked on" for the first time.

My girl Edy was an "angel" in the last act. This reminds me that Henry one Valentine's Day sent me some beautiful flowers with this little rhyme:

White and red roses,
Sweet and fresh posies:
One bunch, for Edy, Angel of mine—
Big bunch for Nell, my dear Valentine.


from a drawing by eric pape

[pg 98]

Henry Irving has often been attacked for not preferring Robert Louis Stevenson's "Macaire" to the version which he actually produced in 1883. It would have been hardly more unreasonable to complain of his producing "Hamlet" in preference to Mr. Gilbert's "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern." Stevenson's "Macaire" may have all the literary quality that is claimed for it, although I personally think Stevenson was only making a delightful idiot of himself in it! Anyhow, it is frankly a burlesque, a skit, a satire on the real "Macaire." The Lyceum was not a burlesque house! Why should Henry have done it?

It was funny to see Toole and Henry rehearsing together for "Macaire." Henry was always plotting to be funny. When Toole, as Jacques Strop, hid the dinner in his pocket, Henry, after much labour, thought of his hiding the plate inside his waistcoat. There was much laughter later on when Macaire, playfully tapping Strop with his stick, cracked the plate, and the pieces fell out! Toole hadn't to bother about such subtleties, and Henry's deep-laid plans for getting a laugh must have seemed funny to dear Toole, who had only to come on and say "Whoop!" and the audience roared.

Henry's death as Macaire was one of a long list of splendid deaths. Macaire knows the game is up and makes a rush for the French windows at the back of the stage. The soldiers on the stage shoot him before he gets away. Henry did not drop, but turned round, swaggered impudently down to the table, leaned on it, then suddenly rolled over, dead.

Henry's production of "Werner" for one matinée was to do some one a good turn, and when Henry did a good turn he did it magnificently. We rehearsed the play as carefully as if we were in for a long run. Beautiful dresses were made for me by my friend Alice Carr, but when we had given that one matinée they were put away for ever. The play may be described as gloom, gloom, gloom. It was worse than "The Iron Chest."

While Henry was occupying himself with "Werner" I was pleasing myself with "The Amber Heart," a play by Alfred Calmour, a young man who was at this time Wills' secretary. I wanted to do it, not only to help Calmour, but because I believed in the play and liked the part of Ellaline. I had thought of giving a matinée of it at some other theatre, but Henry, who at first didn't like my doing it at all, said: "You must do it at the Lyceum. I can't let you, or it, go out of the theatre."

So we had the matinée at the Lyceum. Mr. Willard and Mr. Beerbohm Tree were in the cast, and it was a great success. For the first time Henry saw me act—a whole part and from the "front," at least, for he had seen and liked scraps of my Juliet from the "side." Although he had known me such a long time, my Ellaline seemed to come quite as a surprise. "I wish I could tell you of the dream of beauty that you realised," he wrote after the performance. He bought the play for me, and I continued to do it "on and off," in England and in America, until 1902.

Many people said that I was good, but that the play was bad. This was hard on Alfred Calmour. He had created the opportunity for me, and few plays with the beauty of "The Amber Heart" have come my way since. "He thinks it's all his doing!" said Henry. "If he only knew!" "Well, that's the way of authors!" I answered. "They imagine so much more about their work than we put into it that although we may seem to the outsider to be creating, to the author we are, at our best, only doing our duty by him!"

Our next production was "Macbeth"; but meanwhile we had visited America three times. In the next chapter I shall give an account of my tours in America, of my friends there; and of some of the impressions that the vast, wonderful country made on me.


[41] Copyright, 1908, by Ellen Terry (Mrs. Carew)

[42] Madame: Avec Olivia vous m'avez donné bonheur et peine. Bonheur par votre art qui est noble et sincère—peine car je sens tristesse au coeur de voir une belle et généreuse nature de femme, donner son âme à l'art—comme vous le faites—quand c'est la vie même, votre coeur même, qui parle tendrement, douleureusement, noblement sous votre jeu. Je ne puis pas me débarrasser d'une certaine tristesse quand je vois des artistes si nobles et hauts tels que vous et Monsieur Irving. Si vous deux vous êtes si fortes de soumettre (avec un travail continuel) la vie à l'art, moí de mon coin, je vous regarde comme des forces de la nature même qui auraient droit de vivre pour eux-mêmes et pas pour la foule. Je n'ose pas vous déranger, Madame, et d'ailleurs j'ai tant à faire aussi, qu'il m'est impossible de vous dire de vive voix tout le grand plaisir que vous m'avez donnée, mais parce que j'ai senti votre coeur. Veuillez, chère madame, croire au mien qui ne demande pas mieux dans cet instant que vous admirer et vous le dire tant bien que mal d'une manière quelconque.

Bien à vous,

E. Duse.

[pg 99]




Two men went up into the sanctum sanctorum of the Quill Drivers' Club to lunch. The younger was a writer of fiction and the elder a clergyman, his friend and guest, by chance encountered on a rare visit to town.

They were evidently absorbed in discussion when they sat down, for the host hardly interrupted himself long enough to give the briefest of orders to the attendant waiter before he leaned forward across the table and resumed eagerly: "Let the critics rage furiously together if they will"—referring to a controversy excited by one of his late stories. "The thing is going to stand! I believe, and I'll go bail there's no reasonable person who doesn't believe, that falsehood is justifiable, and more than justifiable, on many occasions."

"Only everybody will differ as to the occasions," put in the clergyman, the humor in the corners of his eyes counterbalanced by the graveness of the lines about his mouth.

"I'll go further than that," continued the writer, striking his hand on the table impressively. "In the circumstances as I described them I won't call it falsehood! I agree with whoever it was who said that one lied only when one intentionally deceived a person who had a right to know the truth."

"And suppose," said the clergyman, with sudden earnestness, "the knowledge of the truth would be cruel, painful, harmful even, to the person who had the right to it. What then? Would you still owe it to him, or not?"

"Why, then, of course, I wouldn't tell it," answered the other. "You might call it what you liked. I suppose it would be a passive lie, if you're particular about its front name; but there have been lots of fine ones, actively and passively told, since the world began."

"Fine?" echoed the clergyman thoughtfully. "I wonder!"

"Fitting, proper, expedient," amended the writer impatiently.

"Fitting, proper, expedient," repeated the clergyman—"even when the result appeared to justify it. I—wonder!"

He sank into a reverie so profound that the younger man had to call his attention to the fact that food was being offered to him; and then he helped himself mechanically, as if his mind had drifted too far to be immediately recalled to material things.

"I wonder!" he said again vaguely, his eyes, sad and thoughtful, fixed upon distance.

"I was once, you see," he went on, making a sudden effort and looking his companion in the face with a directness that was almost disconcerting. "I was once involved in a case where such a lie had been told, and I—well, I am inclined, if you have no objections, to tell you the whole story and let you judge.

"Some years ago I broke down from over-work and worry, and was ordered away for my health. I chose to travel about my own country, and at a hotel in a certain place where many people go to recover from imaginary ailments I met a man who was being slowly crippled forever by a real and incurable one. His place at the table was next to mine, and every day he was brought in, in his wheeled chair, from the sunniest corner of the piazza, fed neatly and expeditiously by his manservant (his own hands were almost useless), and fetched away again. During the meal when I first sat beside him we entered into conversation, and I found him so cultivated, charming, and humorous a companion that for the rest of my stay I neglected no opportunity of indulging myself in his society."

"Of course it was no indulgence at all to him," said the writer, whose affectionate regard for his friend was one of long standing.

"I hope so," answered the other, "and, indeed, I had every reason to suppose that the liking which sprang up between us was no less on his side than on my own. We were mutually attracted in spite of, or perhaps because of, our fundamental differences in disposition, opinions,[pg 100] beliefs; though no Christian could have borne affliction with a braver patience than he—the braver in that he did not look to a hereafter for comfort."

"A continuous powder and no jam to come," threw in the writer, with the glare of battle in his eye, for he also had opinions and beliefs at variance with those of his companion. "There are a good many of us who have to face that."

"Not many in worse case than he," returned the clergyman gently, declining to be drawn into discussion. "But although the use of his limbs was denied him, he took a keener delight than any man I have ever known in the compensations that his mind, through books, and his senses, through contact with the outer world, brought him. Beauty of color and form, beauty in nature, beauty in people, was an exquisite pleasure to him, and music an intense—I had almost said a sacred passion. He drank in lovely sights and sweet sounds with an almost painful appreciation, and I remember well his telling me in his whimsical way—it was during one of the last conversations I had with him before my departure—that, travel about as I would with my mere automatic arms and legs, I could never overtake such happiness as he did on the wings of harmony.

"We corresponded, from time to time, for a year or two, I in the usual manner and he by means of dictation to his servant, who was an earnest if somewhat poor performer on the type-writer. But gradually the thread of our intercourse was broken in some way and our letters ceased."

"I've always said that nothing but community of interests preserved friendship," declared the writer sententiously, "with the exception, of course, of our own."

"I was surprised, therefore," went on the clergyman, "to receive about eighteen months ago a brief note telling me that a great sorrow and a great joy had come into his life almost simultaneously, and begging me to go to him, if he might so far trespass upon our acquaintance, as he had 'matters about which it behooved a man'—I am repeating his words—'to consult another wiser than himself.' I started at once. It took me all day to accomplish the journey, and it was early evening when I arrived at the little station he had mentioned as the place where he would send somebody to meet me. I found the carriage without difficulty, and was driven for some five miles through the beautiful autumn woods.

"It was a low, square, comfortable-looking paper-weight of a house," he went on after a moment, "beaming welcome from an open front door, where my friend's confidential servant stood waiting for me. He conducted me at once to my room, saying that dinner would be served as soon as I could make myself ready and join his master in the library. This I made haste to do. I found my friend in his wheeled chair, near a cheerfully crackling fire in a delightful room lined with books from its scarlet-carpeted floor to its oak-beamed ceiling. He welcomed me warmly and yet with a certain constraint, and I felt—it might have been some subtle thought-transference—that the thing he had it in his mind to discuss with me was one which only an extremity of trouble would have induced him to discuss with any man.

"Dinner was announced almost before our first greetings were over, and an excellent dinner it was—cooked by an old woman who, he declared, had virtually ruled him and the house ever since he could remember, and waited upon by the man, who also attended to his master's peculiar needs with the utmost swiftness and dexterity. The household, I subsequently learned, consisted of only these two, an elderly housemaid, and the white-haired coachman who had driven me from the station.

"'Why they stay with me in this out-of-the-way place, without a grumble, all the year round, I can't see,' said my host, after our meal was over and we were once more alone in the library. 'And, by the way,' he added, turning his face toward me suddenly,—I don't know whether I have mentioned that he had a particularly handsome face,—'apropos of seeing, what I have not seen before I shall have no further chance of informing myself about now, for I have become, in these last six months, completely blind.'

"The unexpected horror of the announcement, the shock of it, left me for the moment speechless. But I looked at him and saw, what I suppose I might in a more direct light have noticed before, that his eyes had the dull, dumb stare of blindness. Before the inarticulate sound of pity I made could have reached him, he continued:

"'I used to tell myself, quite sincerely, I think, that as long as I had an eye or an ear left I'd not waste my time envying any other man. Nature seems to have been afraid I'd see too much, so she has cut off my powers of vision. That is the great sorrow that has come to me. The great joy, if I may accept it (and it is about that that I have been driven by my conscience to consult you), is that I have found—or perhaps, as that suggests a certain amount of[pg 101] activity on my part, I'd better say Fate has found for me—here, living at my very gates, a woman who loves me!'

"He appeared to dread interruption, for he went on hurriedly: 'Extraordinary, isn't it? But let me tell you how it happened. I've a garden out there to the south, and last summer, soon after this thing first came upon me, I used to have myself wheeled there and left in the shade for hours to think things out where I could feel light and color and fresh air about me. On the other side of my wall is her cottage, and one day she began to play, play like an angel. You know how that would move me. I sent a note to her telling her that a blind beggar had been lifted into heaven for a little while by her music, and would be glad if, of her clemency, he might sometimes be so lifted again. After that she played to me every day, and so, she being alone—for her mother, it seems, had died early in the spring, soon after they came—and I being lonely, we gradually drifted into—Oh, I know it's monstrous!' he exclaimed, breaking off in his recital, and evidently afraid of the mental recoil he suspected in me, 'monstrous to consider that a beautiful young woman should bear the name, even, of wife to me; but she is very poor, and now entirely desolate. I am, comparatively speaking, well off, and I cannot live long! I shall at least leave her better able to fight the world. You'll think I could do that, I suppose, in any event, for a man such as I am—a sightless head in command of a body that cannot move hand or foot—might will what he pleased to any woman without exciting adverse comment; but I ask you, haven't I the right to allow myself the happiness of her near companionship for whatever time it may be before I die? It seems to me that I have, since, instead of shrinking from me, she loves me, and is willing, indeed,—bless her wonderful heart for it,—wilful to marry me. What time is it?' he cried abruptly, turning his blank eyes toward the clock on the mantelpiece.

"'Five minutes before nine,' I answered.

"'She will be here directly,' he said. 'I had a piano of my mother's put in order and moved in here as soon as the garden grew too cold for me. She comes every evening to play to me. You will see her with me, and alone if you like, and to-morrow you must tell me, man to man, what you think I ought or ought not to do. She knows that I was to write and put the case before you, but she will be surprised to find you here.'

"'I will do my best,' said I, infinitely moved, 'to make friends with her.'

"'I wish I could tell what you are thinking now!' he cried out with sudden passion, and then, before I could reply, he said, 'Hush! I hear her in the hall.'

"All the excitement died out of his face, leaving it white and drawn, but peaceful. I had heard nothing.

"'She's coming,' he whispered, 'and she'll be so embarrassed, poor, pretty soul. She thinks it's of no account, her being pretty, but I tell her that, blind as I am, I think I feel the atmosphere of her beauty, and if she were plain she would not please me so.'

"As he spoke the curtains in front of the doorway parted. My eyes, lifted to the height of fair tallness they expected to encounter, looked for an instant upon vacancy. Then they dropped to meet those of a grotesque and piteous little hunchback, whose agonized gaze cried to me, as did the hitching of her poor shoulders and the sudden trembling flutter of her hands to her mouth: 'For God's sake, don't betray me!'

"He leaned his head a little on one side, listening to the silence. Then he said to me, laughing: 'Is she as charming as all that? Or do you refrain from speech for fear of alarming her?'

"She stood quite still, her sharp-featured, tragic face, with its halo of reddish hair, raised toward mine, and her expression imploring, pleading, mutely compelling me.

"I had to answer his question.

"'Both,' I said.

"As I finished he called to her: 'I always knew you were lovely, Rica, but this is a real tribute—the dumbness of admiration!'

"She told me later that he had fantastically described her to herself after hearing her play, at the same time dwelling upon the happiness it was to him to think of her so. She had longed to make her affliction known to him, but for his own sake had not dared.

"'No one here will undeceive him unless you bid them,' she said, 'and you will not be so cruel! What has he left in life but this illusion? What have I but my love for him?'

"And she did love him! I had seen tenderness and pity leap from her eyes whenever they turned in his direction, and he—What should a man have done?" ended the clergyman.

The writer shook his head. "What did you do?" he asked rather hoarsely.

"I married them," answered the other simply.

[pg 102]






Lois, would you mind very much if we didn't move into the new house, after all?"

"Not move into the new house! What do you mean? I thought it would be finished next week."

"It means that I shall not be able to increase my living expenses this year," said Justin.

Husband and wife were sitting on the piazza, in the shade of the purple wistaria-vines, on a warm Sunday afternoon, a month after Dosia's return. From within, the voices of the children sounded peacefully over their early supper.

The afternoon, so far, had savored only of domestic monotony, with no foreshadowing of events to come. Dosia was out walking with George Sutton, and the people who might "drop in," as they often did on Sundays, had other engagements to-day. Lois, gowned in lavender muslin, had been sitting on the piazza for an hour, trying to read while waiting for Justin to join her. She had counted each minute, but now that he was there, she put down her book with a show of reluctance as she said:

"Why didn't you tell me before? I gave the order for the window-shades yesterday when I was in town—that was what I wanted to talk to you about this afternoon. You have to leave your order at least two weeks beforehand at this season of the year."

"You can countermand it, can't you?"

"I suppose I'll have to—if we're not to move into the house," said Lois in a high-keyed voice, with those tiresome tears coming, as usual, to her eyes. She felt inexpressibly hurt, disappointed, fooled. "I thought you said you were having so many orders lately. Does the money all have to 'go back into the business,'" she quoted sardonically, "as usual? I think there might be some left for your own family sometimes. I'm tired of always going without for the business." It was a complaint she had made many times before, but in each fresh pang of her resentment she felt as if she were saying it for the first time.

"We have orders, I'm glad to say, but we've had one big setback lately," he answered.

He knew, with a twinge, that she had some reason on her side. The very effort for success was meat and drink to him; he cared not what else he went without, so the business grew. But she might have had a little more out of it as they went along, instead of waiting for the grand climax of undoubted prosperity. A little means so much to a wife sometimes, because it means the recognition of her right.

"I've been in a lot of trouble lately, Lois, though I haven't talked about it," he continued, with an unusual appeal in his voice. The blasting fact of those returned machines had been all he could cope with; he had been tongue-tied when it came to speaking about it—the whirl and counter-whirl in his brain demanded concentration, not diffusion and easy words to interpret. But now that he had begun to see his way clear again, he had a sudden deep craving for the unreasoning sympathy of love.

"I waited until the last possible moment to tell you, in hopes that I shouldn't have to, Lois. Anyway, Saunders is going to put up a couple of houses for next year that you'll like much better, he says."

"Oh, it will be just the same next year; there'll always be something," said Lois indifferently, getting up and going into the house.

He was bitterly hurt, and far too proud to show it. He could have counted on quickest sympathy from her once; he knew in his[pg 103] heart that he could call it out even now if he chose, but he did not choose. If his own wife could be like that, she might be.

"Papa dear, I love you so much!"

He looked down to see his little fair-haired girl, white-ruffled and blue-ribboned, standing beside him a-tiptoe in her little white shoes, her arms reached up to tighten instantly around his neck as he bent over.

"Zaidee, my little Zaidee," he said, and, lifting her on his knee, strained her tightly to him with a rush of such passionate affection that it almost unmanned him for the moment. She lay against his heart perfectly still. After a few moments she put her small hand to his lips, and he kissed it, and she smiled up at him, warm and secure—his little darling girl, his little princess. Yet, even in that joy of his child, he felt a new heart-hunger which no child love, beautiful as it was, could ever satisfy, any more than it could satisfy the heart-hunger of his wife.

She had begun, since the ball, to go around again as usual, and the house looked as if it had a mistress in it once more, though the atmosphere of a home was lacking. She was languid, irritable, and unsmiling, accepting his occasional caresses as if they made little difference to her, though sometimes she showed a sort of fierce, passionate remorse and longing. Either mood was unpleasing to him: it contained tacit reproach for his separateness. Then, there were still occasionally evenings when he came home to find her windows darkened and everything in the household upset and forlorn; when every footfall must be adjusted to her ear—that ear that had strained and ached for his coming. Her whole day culminated in that poor, meager half-hour in which he sat by her, and in which her personality hardly reached him until he kissed her, on leaving, with a quick, remorseful affection at being so glad to go.

The typometer disaster had proved as bad as, and worse than, he had feared, but he was working retrieval with splendid effort, calling all his personal magnetism into play where it was possible. He had borrowed a large sum from Lanston's,—a young private banking firm, glad at the moment to lend at a fairly large interest for a term of months,—holding on to the dissatisfied customers and creating new demand for the machine, so that the sales forged ahead of Cater's, with whom there was still a good-natured we-rise-together sort of rivalry, though it seemed at times as if it might take a sharper edge. Leverich's dictum regarding Cater embodied an extension of the policy to be pursued with minor, outlying competitors: "You'll have to force that fellow out of business or get him to come into the combine."

Leverich again smiled on Justin. Immediate success was the price demanded for the continuance of a backing. There was just a little of the high-handed quality in his manner which says, "No more nonsense, if you please." That morning after the ball had shown Justin the fangs that were ready, if he showed symptoms of "falling down," to shake him ratlike by the neck and cast him out.

"Papa dear, papa dear! There's a man coming up the walk, my papa dear."

"Why, so there is," said Justin, rising and setting the child down gently as he went forward with outstretched hand, while Lois simultaneously appeared once more on the piazza. "Why, how are you, Larue? I'm mighty glad to see you back again. When did you get home?"

"The steamer got in day before yesterday," said the newcomer, shaking hands heartily with host and hostess. He was a man with a dark, pointed beard and mustache, deep-set eyes, and an unusually pleasant deep voice that seemed to imply a grave kindliness. His glance lingered over Lois. "How are you, Mrs. Alexander? Better, I hope? Which chair shall I push out of the sun for you—this one?"

"Yes, thank you," responded Lois, sinking into it, with her billows of lilac muslin and her rich brown hair against the background of green vines. "Aren't you going to sit down yourself?"

"Thank you, I've only a minute," said the visitor, leaning against one of the piazza-posts, his wide hat in his hand. "I'm out at my place at Collingwood for the summer, and the trains don't connect very well on Sunday. I had to run down here to see some people, but I thought I wouldn't pass you by."

"Did you have a pleasant trip?" asked Lois.

"Very pleasant," rejoined Mr. Larue, without enthusiasm. "Oh, by the way, Alexander, I heard that you were inquiring for me at the office last week. Anything I can do for you?"

"Have you any money lying around just now that you don't know what to do with?" asked Justin significantly.

Mr. Larue's dark, deep-set eyes took on the guarded change which the mention of money brings into social relations.

"Perhaps," he admitted.

"May I come around to-morrow at three o'clock and talk to you?"

"Yes, do," said the other, preparing to move on. "Please don't get up, Mrs. Alexander; you don't look as well as I'd like to see you."[pg 104]

"Oh, I'm all right," said Lois.

"You must try and get strong this summer," said Mr. Larue, his eyes dwelling on her with an intimate, penetrating thoughtfulness before he turned away and went, Justin accompanying him down the walk, Zaidee dancing on behind. Lois looked after them. At the gate, Mr. Larue turned once more and lifted his hat to her.

A faint, lovely color had come into Lois' cheek, brought there by the powerful tonic which she always felt in Eugene Larue's presence. She felt cheered, invigorated, comforted, by a man with whom she had hardly talked alone for an hour altogether in their whole five years' acquaintance. He had a way of taking thought for her on the slightest occasion, as he had to-day: he knew when she entered a room or left it, and she knew that he knew.

It was one of those peculiar, unspoken sympathetic intimacies which exist between certain men and women, without the conscious volition of either. His glance or the tone of his voice was a response to her mood; he saw instinctively when she was too warm or too cold, or needed a rest. Her husband, who loved her, had no such intuitions; he had to be told clumsily, and even then might not understand. Yet she had not loved him the less because she must beat down such little barriers herself; perhaps she had loved him the more for it—he was the man to whom she belonged heart and soul: but the barriers were a fact. She had an absolute conviction that she could do nothing that Eugene Larue would misunderstand, any more than she misunderstood her involuntary attraction for him. Above all things, he reverenced her as his ideal of what a wife and mother should be. He would have given all he possessed to have the kind of love which Justin took as a matter of course.

Eugene Larue had been married himself for ten years, for more than half of which time his wife, whom Lois had never seen, had lived abroad for the further study of music, an art to which she was passionately devoted. If there had been any effort to bring a hint of scandal into the semi-separation, it had been instantly frowned away; there was nothing for it to feed on. Mrs. Larue lived in Dresden, under the undoubted chaperonage of an elderly aunt and in the constant publicity of large musical entertainments and gatherings. She sometimes played the accompaniments of great singers. Her husband went over every spring, presumably to be with her, living alone for the greater part of the year at his large place at Collingwood. Neither was ever known to speak of the other without the greatest respect, and questions as to when either had been "heard from" were usual and in order; it was always tacitly taken for granted that Mrs. Larue's expatriation was but temporary.

But Lois knew, without needing to be told, that he was a man who had suffered, and still suffered at times profoundly, from having all the tenderness of his nature thrown back upon itself, without reference to that sting of the known comment of other men: "It must be pretty tough to have your wife go back on you like that." In some mysterious way, his wife had not needed the richness of the affection that he lavished on her. If her heart had been warmed by it a little when she married him, it had soon cooled off; she was glad to get away, and he had proudly let her go.

Lois smiled up at Justin with sudden coquetry as he mounted the porch steps, but he only looked at her absently as he said:

"There seems to be a shower coming up. Dosia's hurrying down the road. I think I'd better take the chairs in now."


Dosia had come back from the Leverichs' to a household in which her presence no longer made any difference for either pleasure or annoyance. She came and went unquestioned, practised interminably, and spent her evenings usually in her own room, developing a hungry capacity for sleep, of which she could not seem to have enough—sleep, where all one's sensibilities were dulled and shame and tragedy forgotten. She had, however, rather more of the society of the children than before, owing to their mother's preoccupation. Nothing could have been more of a drop from her position as princess and lady-of-love in the Leverich domicile, where she had been the center of attraction and interest. Everything seemed terribly unnatural here, and she the most unnatural of all—as if she were clinging temporarily to a ledge in mid-air, waiting for the next thing to happen.

Lois had really tried to show some sympathy for the girl, but was held back by her repugnance to Lawson, which inevitably made itself felt. She couldn't understand how Dosia could possibly have allowed herself to get into an equivocal position with such a man—"really not a gentleman," as she complained to Justin, and he had answered with the vague remark that you could never tell about a girl; even in its vagueness the reply was condemning.

The people whom Dosia met in the street looked at her with curiously questioning eyes[pg 105] as they talked about casual matters. Mrs. Leverich bowed incidentally as she passed in her carriage, where another visitor was ensconced, a blonde lady from Montreal, in whom her hostess was absorbed.

Dosia had been twice to see Miss Bertha, with a blind, desultory counting on the sympathy that had helped her before; but she had been unfortunate in the times for her visits. On the first occasion Mrs. Snow, with majestic demeanor and pursed lips, had kept guard; and on the second the whole feminine part of the family were engaged, in weird pinned-up garments, in the sacred rite of setting out the innumerable house-plants, with the help of a man hired semiannually, for the day, to set out the plants or to take them in. Callers are a very serious thing when you have a man hired by the day, who must be looked after every minute, so that he may be worth his wage. As Mrs. Snow remarked, "People ought to know when to come and when not to." Dosia got no farther than the porch, and though Miss Bertha asked her to come again, and gave her a sprig of sweet geranium, with a kind little pressure of the hand, she was not asked to sit down.

Your trouble wasn't anybody else's trouble, no matter how kind people were; it was only your own. Billy Snow, who had always been her devoted cavalier, patently avoided her, turning red in the face and giving her a curt, shamefaced bow as he went by, having his own reasons therefor. It would have hurt her, if anything of that kind could have hurt her very much. But Dosia was in the half-numb condition which may result from some great blow or the fall from a great height, save for those moments when she was anguished suddenly by poignant memories of sharpest dagger-thrusts, at which her heart still bled unbearably afresh, as when one remembers the sufferings of the long-peaceful dead which one must, for all time, be terribly powerless to alleviate.

Mr. Sutton alone kept his attitude toward her unchanged. He sent her great bunches of roses, that seemed somehow alive and comfortingly akin when she buried her face in them. He had come to see her every week, though twice she had gone to bed before his arrival. If his attitude was changed at all, it was to a heightened respect and interest and solicitude. It might be that in the subsidence of other claims Mr. Sutton, who had a good business head, saw an occasion of profit for himself which he might well be pardoned for seizing. He required little entertaining when he called, developing an unsuspected faculty for narrative conversation.

Foolish and inane in amatory "attentions" to young ladies, George was no fool. He had a fund of knowledge gained from the observation of current facts, and could talk about the newsboys' clubs, or the condition of the docks, or the latest motor-cars and ballooning, or the practical reasons why motives for reform didn't reform; and the talk was usually semi-interesting, and sometimes more—he had the personal intimacy with his topics which gives them life. Dosia began to find him, if not exciting, at least not tiring; restful, indeed. She began genuinely to like him. He took her thoughts away from herself, while obviously always thinking of her.

This Sunday afternoon Dosia—modish and natty in her short walking-skirt and little jacket of shepherd's check, and a clumpy, black-velveted, pink-rosed straw hat—walked companionably beside the square-set figure of George up the long slope of the semi-suburban road. Dosia had preferred to walk instead of driving. There was a strong breeze, although the sun was warm; and the summerish wayside trees and grasses had inspired him with the recollection of a country boy's calendar—a pleasing, homely monologue. He was, however, never too occupied with his theme to stoop over and throw a stone out of her path, or to hold her little checked umbrella so that the sun should not shine in her eyes, or to offer her his hand with old-fashioned gallantry if there was any hint of an obstacle to surmount. The way was long, yet not too long. They stopped, however, when they reached the summit, to rest for a while.

As they stood there, looking into the distance for some minutes, Dosia with thoughts far, far from the scene, George Sutton's voice suddenly broke the silence:

"I had a letter from Lawson Barr yesterday."

Dosia's heart gave a leap that choked her. It was the first time that anybody had spoken his name since he left. She had prayed for him every night—how she had prayed! as for one gone forever from any other reach than that of the spirit. At this heart-leap ... fear was in it—fear of any news she might hear of him; fear of the slighting tone of the person who told it, which she would be powerless to resent; fear of awakening in herself the echo of that struggle of the past.

"He's at the mines, isn't he?" she questioned, in that tone which she had always striven to make coolly natural when she spoke of him.

"Yes; but I don't believe he's working there yet. He seems to be mostly engaged in playing at the dance-hall for the miners. Sounds like him, doesn't it?"[pg 106]

"Yes," assented Dosia, looking straight off into the distance.

"I call it hard luck for Barr to be sent out there," pursued Mr. Sutton. "It's the worst kind of a life for him. He's an awfully clever fellow; he could do anything, if he wanted to. I don't know any man I admire more, in certain ways, than I do Barr."

Sutton spoke with evident sincerity. Lawson's clever brilliancy, his social ease and versatility and musical talent, were all what he himself had longed unspeakably to possess. Besides, there was a deeper bond. "I've known him ever since he was a curly-headed boy, long before he came to this place," he continued.

"Oh, did you?" cried Dosia, suddenly heart-warm. With a flash, some words of Mrs. Leverich's returned to her—"Mr. Sutton brought Lawson home last night." So that was why! Her voice was tremulous as she went on: "It is very unusual to hear any one speak as you do of Mr. Barr. Everybody here seems to look down on—to despise him."

"Oh, that sort of talk makes me sick," said George, with an unexpected crude energy. His good-natured face took on a sneering, contemptuous expression. "Men talking about him who——" He looked down sidewise at Dosia and closed his lips tightly. No man was more respectable than he,—respectability might be said to be his cult,—yet he lived in daily, matter-of-fact touch with a world of men wherein "ladies" were a thing apart. No man was ever kept from any sort of confidence by the fact of George Sutton's presence. His feeling for Barr and toleration of his shortcomings were partly due to the fact that George himself had also been brought up in one of those small, dull country towns in which all too many of the cleanly, white, God-fearing houses have no home in them for a boy and his friends.

"If Lawson had had money, everybody would have thought he was all right," he asserted shortly. "Perhaps we'd better be going home; it looks as if there was a shower coming up. Money makes a lot of difference in this world, Miss Dosia."

"I suppose it does; I've never had it," said Dosia simply.

"Maybe you'll have it some day," returned Mr. Sutton significantly. His pale eyes glowed down at her as they walked back along the road together, but the fact was not unpleasant to her; Lawson's name had created a new bond between them. Poor, storm-beaten Dosia felt a warm throb of friendship for George. He sympathized with Lawson; he prized her highly, if nobody else did, and he was not ashamed to show it. He went on now with genuine emotion: "I know one thing; if—if I had a wife, she'd never have to wish twice for anything I could give her, Miss Dosia."

"She ought to care a good deal for you, then," suggested Dosia, picking her way daintily along the steeply sloping path, her little black ties finding a foothold between the stones, with Mr. Sutton's hand ever on the watch to interpose supportingly at her elbow.

"No, I wouldn't ask that; I'd only ask her to let me care for her. I think most men expect too much from their wives," said George. "I don't think they've got the right to ask it. And I don't think a man has any right to marry until he can give the lady all she ought to have—that's my idea! If any beautiful young lady, as sweet as she was beautiful, did me the honor of accepting my hand,"—Mr. Sutton's voice faltered with honest emotion,—"I'd spend my life trying to make her happy; I would indeed, Miss Dosia. I'd take her wherever she wanted to go, as far as my means would afford; she should have anything I could get for her."

"I think you are the very kindest man I have ever known," said Dosia, with sincerity, touched by his earnestness, though with a far-off, outside sort of feeling that the whole thing was happening in a book. Her vivid imagination was alluringly at work. In many novels which she had read the real hero was the other man, whom no one noticed at first, and who seemed to be prosaic, even uncouth and stupid, when confronted with his fascinating rival, yet who turned out to be permanently true and unselfish and omnisciently kind—the possessor, in spite of his uninspiring exterior, of all the sterling qualities of love; in short, "John," the honest, patient, constant "John" of fiction. His affection for the maiden might be of so high a nature that he would not even claim her as a wife after marriage until she had learned truly to love him, which of course she always did. If Mr. Sutton were really "John"—Dosia half-freakishly cast a swift inventorial side-glance at the gentleman.

The next moment they turned into the highroad, and a rippling smile overspread her face.

"Here's the very lady for you now," she remarked flippantly, as Ada Snow, prayer-book in hand, came into view at the crossing against a dust-cloud in the background, on her way to a friend's house from service at the little mission chapel on the hill. Ada's cheeks took on a not unbecoming flush, her eyes drooped modestly beneath Mr. Sutton's glance,—a maidenly tribute to masculine superiority,—before she went down the side-road.

Mr. Sutton's face reddened also. "Now,[pg 107] Miss Dosia! Miss Ada may be very charming, but I wouldn't marry Miss Ada if she were the only girl left in the world. I give you my word I wouldn't. You ought to know——"

"We'll have to hurry, or we'll be caught in the rain," interrupted Dosia, rushing ahead with a rapidity that made further conversation an affair of ineffective jerks, though she dreaded to get back to the house and be left alone to the numb dreariness of her thoughts. Justin and Lois were gathering up the rugs and sofa-pillows, as they reached the piazza, to take them in from the blackly advancing storm. Lois greeted Mr. Sutton with unusual cordiality; perhaps she also dreaded the accustomed dead level.

"Do come in; you'll be caught in the rain if you go on. Can't you stay to a Sunday night's tea with us?"

"Oh, do," urged Dosia, disregarding the delighted fervor of his gaze. Lois' hospitality, never her strong point, had been much in abeyance lately; to have a fourth at the table would be a blessed relief. She felt a new tie with Mr. Sutton: they both sympathized with Lawson, believed in him!

She ran up-stairs to change her walking-suit for a soft little round-necked summer gown of pinkish tint, made at Mrs. Leverich's, which somehow made her pale little face and fair, curling hair look like a cameo. When she came down again, she ensconced herself in one corner of the small spindle sofa, to which Zaidee instantly gravitated, her red lips parted over her little white teeth in a smile of comfort as she cuddled within Dosia's half-bare round white arm, while Mr. Sutton, drawing his chair up very close, leaned over Dosia with eyes for nobody else, his round face getting brick-red at times with suppressed emotion, though he tried to keep up his part in an amiable if desultory conversation. Lois reclined languidly in an easy-chair, and Justin alternately played with and scolded the irrepressible Redge, in the intervals of discourse.

Through the long open windows they watched the sky, which seemed to darken or grow light as fitfully, in the progress of the oncoming storm, the wind lifted the vines on the piazza and flapped them down again; the trees bent in straightly slanting lines, with foam-tossing of green and white from the maples; still it did not rain. Presently from where Dosia sat she caught sight of a passer-by on the other side of the street—a tall, straight, well-set-up figure with the easy, erect carriage of a soldier. He stopped suddenly when he was opposite the house, looked over at it, and seemed to hesitate; then he moved on hastily, only to stop the next instant and hesitate once more. This time he crossed over with a quick, decided step.

"Why, here's Girard!" cried Justin, rising with alacrity. His voice came back from the hall. "Awfully glad you took us on your way. Leverich told you where I lived? You'll have to stay now until the storm is over. Lois, this is Mr. Girard. You know Sutton, of course. Dosia——"

"I have already met Mr. Girard," said Dosia, turning very white, but speaking in a clear voice. This time it was she who did not see the half-extended hand, which immediately dropped to his side, though he bowed with politely murmured assent. Stepping back to a chair half across the room, he seated himself by Justin.

A wave of resentment, greater than anything that she had ever felt before, had surged over Dosia at the sight of him, as his eyes, with a sort of quick, veiled questioning in them, had for an instant met hers—resentment as for some deep, irremediable wrong. Her cheeks and lips grew scarlet with the proudly surging blood, she held her head high, while Mr. Sutton looked at her as if bewitched—though he turned from her a moment to say:

"Weren't you up on the Sunset Drive this afternoon, Girard?"

"Yes; I thought you didn't see me," said the other lightly, himself turning to respond to a question of Justin's, which left the other group out of the conversation, an exclusion of which George availed himself with ardor.

There is an atmosphere in the presence of those who have lived through large experiences which is hard to describe. As Girard sat there talking to Justin in courteous ease, his elbow on the arm of his chair, his chin leaning on the fingers of his hand, he had a distinction possessed by no one else in the room. Even Justin, with all his engaging personality, seemed somehow a little narrow, a little provincial, by the side of Girard.

Lois, who had been going backward and forward from the dining-room,—with black-eyed Redge, sturdy and turbulent, following after her astride a stick, until the nurse was called to take him away,—came and sat down quite naturally beside this new visitor as if he had been an old friend, and was evidently interested and pleased. As a matter of fact, though all women as a rule liked Girard at sight, he much preferred the society of those who were married, when he went in women's society at all. Girls gave him a strange inner feeling of shyness, of deficiency—perhaps partly caused by the conscious disadvantages of a youth other than that to which he had been born; but[pg 108] it was a feeling that he would have been the last to be credited with, and which he certainly need have been the last to possess. Like many very attractive people, he had no satisfying sense of attractiveness himself.

It was raining now, but very softly, after all the wild preparation, with a hint of sunshine through the rain that sent a pale-green light over the little drawing-room, with its spindle-legged furniture and the water-colors on its walls, though the gloom of the dining-room beyond was relieved only by the silver and the white napkins on the round mahogany table with a glass bowl of green-stemmed, white-belled lilies-of-the-valley in the center.

The people in the two separate groups in the drawing-room took on an odd, pearly distinctness, with the flesh-tints subdued. In this commonplace little gathering on a Sunday afternoon the material seemed to be only a veil for the things of the spirit—subtle cross-communications of thought-touch or repulsion, impressions tinglingly felt. Something seemed to be curiously happening, though one knew not what. To Dosia's swift observation, Girard had lost some of the brightness that had shone upon her vision the night of the ball; he looked as if he had been under some harassing strain. Her first impression that he had come into the house reluctantly was reinforced now by an equal impression that he stayed with reluctance. Why, then, had he come at all? Was it only to escape the rain? Her rescuer, the hero of her dreams, still held his statued place in the shrine of her memory, as proudly, defiantly opposed to this stranger. Had he known? He must have known, just as she had. It was not Lawson who had hurt her the most! She could not hear what he said, though the room was small; he and Justin and Lois were absorbed together. It was evident that he frankly admired Lois, who was smiling at him. Yet, as he talked, Dosia became curiously aware that from his position directly across the room he was covertly watching her as she sat consentingly listening to George Sutton, whose round face was bending over very near, his thick coat sleeve pinning down the filmy ruffles of hers as it rested on the carved arm of the little sofa.

She still held Zaidee cuddled close to her, the light head with its big blue bow lying against her breast, as the child played with the simple rings on the soft fingers of the hand she held.

Mr. Sutton got up, at Dosia's bidding, to alter the shade, and she moved a little, drawing Zaidee up to her to kiss her; Girard the next instant moved slightly also, so that her face was still within his range of vision, the intent gray eyes shaded by his hand. It was not her imagining—she felt the strong play of unknown forces: the gaze of those two men never left her, one covertly observant, the other most obviously so. George came back from his errand only to sit a little closer to Dosia, his eyes in their most suffused state. He was, indeed, in that stage of infatuation which can no longer brook any concealment, and for which other men feel a shamefaced contempt, though a woman even while she derides, holds it in a certain respect as a foolish manifestation of something inherently great, and a tribute to her power. To Dosia's indifference, in this strange dual sense of another and resented excitement,—an excitement like that produced on the brain by some intolerably high altitude,—Mr. Sutton's attentions seemed to breathe only of a grateful warmth; she felt that he was being very, very kind. She could ask him to do anything for her, and he would do it, no matter what it was, just because she asked him. He was planning now a day on somebody's yacht, with Lois, of course; and "What do you say, Miss Dosia—can't we make it a family party, and take the children too?" he asked, with eager divination of what would please this lovely thing.

"Yes, oh, why can't you take us?" cried Zaidee, trembling with delight.

The rain had ceased, but the sunlight had vanished, too; the whole place was growing dark. There was a sudden silence, in which Dosia's voice was heard saying:

"I'll get my photograph now, if you want it." She rose and left the room,—she could not have stayed in it a moment longer,—and Zaidee ran over to her father, her white frock crumpled and the cheek that had lain against Dosia rosy warm.

"You had better light the lamp, Justin," said Lois, and then, "Oh, you're not going?" as Girard stood up.

He turned his bright, gentle regard upon her. "I'm afraid I'll have to."

"I expected you to stay to tea; I've had a place set for you."

"I'd like to very much—it's kind of you to ask me—but I'm afraid not to-night. I'll see you to-morrow, Sutton, I suppose. Good evening, Mrs. Alexander." His hand-touch seemed to give an intimacy to the words.

"Your stick is out here in the hall somewhere," said Justin, investigating the corners for it, while Zaidee, who had followed the two, stood in the doorway.

"I wonder if this little girl will kiss me good-by?" asked Girard tentatively.[pg 109]

"Will you, Zaidee?" asked her father, in his turn.

For all answer, Zaidee raised her little face trustfully. Girard dropped on one knee, a very gallant figure of a gentleman, as he put both arms around the small, light form of the child and held her tightly to him for one brief instant while his lips pressed that warm cheek. When he strode lightly away, waving his hand behind him in farewell, it was with an odd, somber effect of having said good-by to a great deal.

For the second time that day, it seemed that Zaidee had been the recipient of an emotion called forth by some one else.




Dosia had come into the nursery, where Lois sat sewing, a canary overhead swinging with shrill velocity in a stream of sunshine. Her look gave no invitation to Dosia. She did not want to talk; she was busy, as ever, with—no matter what she was doing—the self-fulness of her thoughts, which chained her like a slave. She had been longing to move into the other house, where, amid new surroundings, she could escape from the familiar walls and outlook that each brought its suggestion of pain, with the wearying iterancy of habit, no matter how she wanted to be happy.

Dosia dropped half-unwillingly into a chair as she said:

"I've something to tell you, Lois."


"I'm engaged to George Sutton."


Lois' work fell from her hand as she stared at the girl.

"I'm sure I don't see that you need be surprised," said Dosia. She looked pale and expressionless, as one who did not expect either sympathy or interest.

"No, I suppose not," said Lois. "Of course, I know he has been paying you a great deal of attention, but then, he has paid other girls almost as much." She stopped, with her eyes fixed on Dosia. In a sense, she had rather hoped for this; the marriage would certainly solve many difficulties, and be a very fine thing for Dosia—if Dosia could——! Yet now the idea revolted Lois. To marry a man without loving him would have been to her, at any time or under any stress, a physical impossibility. Marriage for friendship or suitability or support were outside her scheme of comprehension. She spoke now with cold disapproval:

"Dosia, you don't know what you are doing. You don't love George Sutton."

Dosia's face took on the well-known obstinate expression.

"He loves me, anyhow, and he is satisfied with me as I am. If he is satisfied, I don't see why any one else need object! He likes me just as I am, whether I care for him or not."

She clasped both hands over her knee as she went on with that unexplainable freakishness to which girlhood is sometimes maddeningly subject, when all feeling as well as reason seems in abeyance, though her voice was tremulous. "And I do care for him. I like him better than any one I know. We are sympathetic on a great many points. No one—no one has been so kind to me as he! He doesn't want anything but to make me happy."

Lois made a gesture of despair. "Oh, kind! As if a man like George Sutton, who has done nothing but have his own way for forty years, is going to give up wanting it now! Marriage is very different from what girls imagine, Dosia."

"I suppose so," said Dosia indifferently. She rose and came over to Lois. "Would you like to see my ring?" She turned the circle around on her finger, displaying a diamond like a search-light. "He gave it to me last night."

"It is very handsome," said Lois. "I suppose you will have to be thinking of clothes soon," she added, with a glimmer of the natural feminine interest in all that pertains to a wedding, since further protest seemed futile. "I will write to Aunt Theodosia."

"Thank you," said Dosia dutifully.

A hamper of fruit came for her at luncheon, almost unimaginably beautiful in its arrangement of white hothouse grapes and peaches and strawberries as large as the peaches; and the contents of a box of flowers filled every available vase and jug and bowl in the house, as Dosia arranged them, with the help of Zaidee and Redge—the former winningly helpful, and the latter elfishly agile, his bare knees nut-brown from the sun of the springtime, jumping on her back whenever she stooped over, to be seized in her arms and hugged when she recovered herself. Flowers and children, children and flowers! Nothing could be sweeter than these.

In the afternoon, in a renewed capacity for social duties, she put on her hat with the roses and went to make a call, long deferred and hitherto impossible of accomplishment, on a certain Mrs. Wayne, a bride of a few months, who, as Alice Lee, had been one of the girls of her outer circle. Dosia did not mean to announce her engagement, but she felt that Alice Wayne's state of mind would be more sympathetic, even if unconsciously so, than Lois'.[pg 110]

As she walked along now, she thought of George with a deeply grateful affection. How good he was to her! He had been unexpectedly nice when he had asked her to marry him; the very force of his feeling had given him an unusual dignity. His voice had broken almost with a groan on the words:

"I have never known any one with such a beautiful nature as yours, Miss Dosia! I just worship you! I only want to live to make you happy."

He did not himself care for motoring—being, truth to tell, afraid of it; but she was to choose a car next week. She had told him about her father and her mother and the children. She was to have the latter come up to stay with her after she was married—do anything for them that she would. In imagination now she was taking them through all the shops in town, buying them toy horses and soldiers and balls, and dressing them in darling little light-blue sailor-suits. She could hardly wait for the time to come! She thought with a little awe that she hadn't known that Mr. Sutton was as well off as he seemed to be. And the way he had spoken of Lawson—Ah, Lawson! That name tugged at her heart. This suddenly became one of those anguished moments when she yearned over him as over a beloved lost child, to be wept over, succored only through her efforts. She must never forget! "Lawson, I believe in you." She stopped in the shaded, quiet street with its garden-surrounded houses, and said the words aloud with a solemn sense of immortal infinite power, before coming back to the eager surface planning of her own life, with an intermediate throb of a new and deeper loneliness. The Dosia who had so upliftingly faced truth had only strength enough left now to evade it. Perhaps some of that exquisite inner perception of her nature had been jarred confusingly out of touch.

Mrs. Wayne was in, although, the maid announced, she had but just returned from town. A moment later Dosia heard herself called from above:

"Dosia Linden! Won't you come up-stairs? You don't mind, do you?"

"No, indeed," answered Dosia, obeying the summons with alacrity, and pleased that she should be considered so intimate. This was more than she had expected—an informal reception and talk. With Dosia's own responsive warmth, she felt that she really must always have wanted to see more of Alice, who, in her lacy pink-and-white negligée, might be pardoned for wishing to show off this ornament of her trousseau.

"I hope you won't mind the appearance of this room," she announced, after a hospitable violet-perfumed embrace. "I went to town so early this morning that I didn't have time to really set things to rights, and I don't like the new maid to touch them."

"You have so many pretty things," said Dosia admiringly.

"Yes, haven't I? Take that seat by the window; it's cooler. Please don't look at that dressing-table; Harry leaves his neckties everywhere, though he has his own chiffonnier in the other room—he's such a bad boy! He seems to think I have nothing to do but put away his things for him."

Mrs. Wayne paused with a bridal air of important matronly responsibility. She was a tall, thin, black-haired, dashing girl, not at all pretty, who was always spoken of compensatingly as having a great deal of "style"; but she seemed to have gained some new and gentle charm of attraction because she was so happy.

"Have this fan, won't you?" she went on talking. "Harry and I saw you and George Sutton out walking yesterday. We were in the motor, and had stopped up on the Drive to speak to Mr. Girard. He is just the loveliest thing! What a pity he won't go where there are girls! Harry is quite jealous, though I tell him he needn't be." Mrs. Wayne paused with a lovely flush before going on. "You didn't see us, though we stopped quite near you. My dear, it's very evident that—" She paused once more, this time with arch significance. "Oh, you needn't be afraid. I never know anything until I'm told. But George is such a good fellow! I'm sure I ought to know—he was perfectly devoted to me. Not the kind girls are apt to take a fancy to, perhaps,—girls are so foolish and romantic,—but he'd be awfully nice to his wife. Harry says he's a lot richer than anybody knows. And people are so much happier married—the right people, of course."

"Did you have a pleasant time while you were away?" asked Dosia, as she lay back in her low, wide, prettily chintz-covered arm-chair. If she had had some half-defined impulse to confide in Alice Wayne, it was gone, melted away in this too fervid sunshine of approval. She had, instead, one of her accessions of dainty shyness; the ring on her finger, underneath her glove, seemed to burn into her flesh. Her eyes roved warily around the room as Mrs. Wayne talked about her wedding-trip and her husband, folding up her Harry's neckties as she chattered, her fingers lingering over them with little secret pats. She brought out some of her pretty dresses afterward for Dosia's inspection.[pg 111] From the open door of a closet beyond, a pair of shoes was distinctly visible—Harry's shoes, which the wife laughingly put back into place as she went and closed the door. It was impossible not to see that even those clumsy, monstrously thick-soled things were touched with sentiment for her because the feet of her dearest had worn them.

In Dosia's world so far it was a matter of course that some people were married—their household life went unnoticed; the fact had no relation to her own intangible dreams or hopes; it was a condition inherent to these elders, and not of any particular interest to her. But Alice Wayne had been a girl like herself until now. This matter-of-fact community of living forced itself upon her notice, as if for the first time, as an absolutely new thing. The blood surged up suddenly through the ice of her indifference; the room choked her. George Sutton's neckties, not to speak of his shoes——!

"I'll have to be going," she interrupted precipitately, rising as she spoke.

"Why,"—Alice Wayne stopped in the middle of a sentence, looking at her in surprise,—"what's the matter? Aren't you well?"

"Yes, yes, but I have an appointment," affirmed Dosia desperately. "I've been enjoying it all so much, but I'd forgotten I must go—at once! Good-by."

She almost ran on the way home. There was no appointment, but it was imperative that she should be alone, away from all suggestion of the newly married. She hoped that there would be no visitors. But as she neared the house she saw that there was some one on the piazza—George Sutton, frock-coated and high-hatted, with a rose above his white waistcoat and a beaming face that rivaled the rose in color as he came to meet her.

"Why, I thought you were not coming until this evening," said Dosia demandingly,—"not until you could see Justin."

"Did you think I could stay away as long as that?" asked George. His manner the night before had been almost reverential in the depth of his honest emotion; the kiss he had imprinted on her forehead had seemed of an impersonal nature, and she a princess who regally allowed it. She was conscious now of a change.

"Where is Lois?" she asked, as they went up the steps together.

"The maid said she had stepped out for a moment."

"Then we'll sit out here on the piazza and wait for her," said Dosia, without looking at her lover. Taking the hat-pins out of her hat, she deposited it on a chair with a quick decision of movement, and then seated herself by a wicker table, while Mr. Sutton, looking disappointed, was left perforce to the rocker on the other side.

The piazza was rather a long one, and, except for a rambling vine, open toward the street; but around the corner of the house Japanese screens walled it off from passers-by into a cozy arbored nook, sweet with big bowls of roses.

"Come around to the other end of the porch," said George appealingly.

"No," said Dosia, with her obstinate expression; "I like it here."

She stripped the long gloves from her arms, and spread out her hands, palms upward, in her lap. The diamond, which had been turned inward, caught the sunshine gloriously. His gaze fell upon it, and he smiled. Dosia saw the smile and reddened.

"I wish you wouldn't sit there looking at me," she said in a tone which she tried to make neutral.

"Come down to the other end of the piazza—just for a moment."

"No!" said Dosia again. She gave a sudden movement and changed her tone sharply: "Oh, there's a spider on the table there, crawling toward me! Please take it away." Her voice rose uncontrollably. "I hate spiders—oh, I hate spiders! I'm afraid of them. Make it go away! Please! There—now you've got it; throw it off the piazza, quick! Don't bring it near me!"

"The little spider won't hurt you," said George enjoyingly.

Dosia, flushing and paling alternately, carried entirely out of her deterring placidity, her blue eyes dilatingly raised to his, her red lips quivering, was distractingly lovely. Fear gave to her quick, uncalculated movements the grace of a wild thing. George, in spite of his solid good qualities, possessed the mistaken playfulness of the innately vulgar. He advanced, the spider now held between his thumb and forefinger, a little nearer to her—a little nearer yet. There is a type of bucolic mind to which the causeless, palpitating fear of a woman is an exquisitely funny joke.

"Don't," said Dosia again, in a strangled voice, ready to fly from the chair. The spider touched her sleeve, with George's fatuously smiling face behind it. The next instant she had fled wildly down to the screened corner of the veranda, with George after her, only to be stopped by the screens at the end. His following arms closed tightly around her as he kissed her in happy triumph.

After one wild, instinctive effort at struggle, Dosia stood perfectly still, with that peculiarly[pg 112] defensive self-possession that came into play at such times. She seemed to yield entirely now to the rightful caresses of an accepted lover as she said in a perfectly even and casual tone of voice:

"Let me go for a moment, George! I must get my handkerchief up-stairs. I'll be right back again."

"Don't be gone long," said George fondly, releasing her half-unconsciously at the accent of custom.

"No," said Dosia, very pale, and smiling back at him coquettishly as she went off with unhurried step—to dart up two pairs of stairs like a flying, hunted thing, and into her room, to lock the door fast and bolt it as if from the thoughts that pursued her.

Lois, coming up the stairs half an hour later, rattled the door-knob ineffectually before she knocked.

"Dosia, what's the matter? To whom are you talking? Let me in! Katy said, when she came up, you would not answer. She said Mr. Sutton had been walking up and down the piazza for a long time. Dosia, let me in; let me in this minute!"

The key clicked in the lock, the bolt slipped back, and the door flew open. Dosia, in her blue muslin frock, her hair in wild disorder, was standing in the center of the room, fiercely rubbing her already scarlet cheeks with a rough towel. Every trace of assumed listlessness had vanished; she was frantically alive, with blazing, defiant eyes, and talking half-disconnectedly.

"Never let him come here again—never, never!" she appealed to Lois.

"Whom do you mean?"

"George Sutton!"

A contraction passed over her face; she began rubbing again with renewed fury.

"Don't do that, Dosia! You'll take the skin off. Stop it!"

Lois, alarmed, put her arm around the girl, trying to push the towel away from her. "Dosia, sit down by me here on the bed—how you're trembling! What on earth is the matter? Dosia, you must not; you'll take the skin off your face."

"I want to take it off," whispered Dosia intensely. "I hate him, I hate him! I never want to see him again. I can't see him again. I threw the ring out in the hall somewhere; you'll have to find it. I couldn't have it in the room with me! Lois, you must tell him I can't see him again; promise me that I'll never see him again—promise, promise!" She clung to Lois as if her life depended on that protection.

"Yes, yes, dear, I promise," said Lois, with a sudden warmth of sympathy such as she had never before felt for the girl. This situation, this feeling, she could comprehend—it might have been her own in similar case. She had known girls before who had been engaged for but a day or a week, and then revolted—it was not so new a circumstance as the world fancies.

She drew the towel now from Dosia's relaxed fingers, and held her closer as she said:

"There, be quiet, Dosia, and don't make yourself ill. I don't see what that poor man is going to do—of course he'll feel dreadfully; but you can't help that now—it's a great deal better than finding out the mistake later. I'll tell him not to come again; I promise you. Of course, I'll have to speak to Justin—I don't know what he will say!" Lois broke into a rueful smile. "Dosia, Dosia! What scrape will you get into next?"

"Isn't it dreadful!" gasped poor Dosia. She sat up straight and looked at Lois with tragic eyes.

"Now two men have kissed me. I can never get over that in this world. I can never be nice again—no one can ever think I'm nice again! No one can ever—love me in this world!" She buried her hot face in Lois' bosom, sobbing tearlessly against that new shelter, in spite of the other's incoherent words of comfort, so unalterably, so inherently a woman made to be loved that the loss of the dream of it was like the loss of existence. After a moment Dosia went on brokenly:

"It seems so strange. Things begin, and you think they are going to turn out to be something you want very much, and then all of a sudden they end—and there is nothing more. Everything is all beginning—and then it ends—there is nothing more. And now I can never be really nice again!"

"Nonsense! You'll feel very differently about it all after a while," said Lois sensibly.

"I don't want to go down-stairs again." Dosia began to shake violently. "If he were to come back——"

"Well, stay up here. Zaidee shall bring you your dinner," said Lois humoringly. "I must go down now; I hear Justin. Only, you'll have to promise me to be quiet, Dosia, and not begin going wild again the moment I'm out of the room."

"No, I'll be good," murmured Dosia submissively. "Oh, Lois, you're so kind to me! I love you so much!"

Her head ached so hard that it was easy to be quiet now. She could not eat the meal which Zaidee, assisted to the door by the maid, brought in to her. It seemed, oddly enough, like a reversion back to that first night of her arrival—oh, so long ago!—after tempest and[pg 113] disaster. Yet then the white, enhancing light of the future had shone down through everything, and now there was no future, only a murky past, and she a poor girl who had dropped so far out of the way of happiness that she could never get back to it, never be nice again. That hand that had once held hers so firmly, so steadily, that she could sleep secure with just the comfort of its remembered touch, the thought of it had become only pain, like everything else. Oh, back of all this shaming hurt with Lawson and George Sutton was another shame, that went deeper and deeper still. Since that visit of Bailey Girard's, she had known that he had thought of her as she had thought of him, with a knowledge that could not be controverted. It is astonishing that we, who feel ourselves to be so dependent on speech as a means of communication, have our intensest, our most revealing moments without it. He had thought of her as she had of him, and, with the thought of her in his heart, had been content easily that it should be no more.

Oh, if this stranger had been indeed the hero of her dreams,—lover, protector, dearest friend,—to have sought her mightily with the privilege and the prerogative of a man, so that she might have had no experience to live through but that white experience with him!

"Dosia! Open the door quickly."

It was the voice of Lois once more, with a strange note in it. She stood, hurried and breathless, under the gas she turned on as she held out a telegram—for the second time the transmitter of bad news from the South. The message read: "Your father is ill. Come at once."


There are times and seasons which seem to be full of happenings, followed by long stretches that have only the character of transition from the former stage to something that is to come. Weeks and months fly by us; we do not realize that they are here before they are gone, there is so little to mark any day from its fellow. Yet we lay too much stress on the power of separate and peculiar events to shape the current of our lives, and do not take into account that drama which never ceases to be acted, which knows no pause nor interim, and which takes place within ourselves.

It was April once more before Dosia Linden came North again, after extending months, in no day of which had her stay seemed anything but temporary—a condition to be ended next week or the week after at farthest. Her father's illness turned out to be a lingering one, taking every last ounce of strength from his wife and his daughter; and after his death the little stepmother had collapsed for a while, with only Dosia to take the helm. Dosia had worked early and late, nursing, looking after the children, cooking, sewing, and later on, when sickness and death had taken nearly all the means of livelihood, trying to earn money for the immediate needs by teaching the scales to some of the temporary tribe at the hotel—an existence in which self was submerged in loving care for those who clung to her; and to cling to Dosia was always to receive from her. Sleep was the goal of the day, and too much of a luxury to have any of its precious moments wasted in wakeful dreaming; besides, there was nothing to dream about any more. As she crept into her low bed, she turned away from the moonlight, because there are times, when one is young, when moonlight is very hard to bear.

The little family, bewildered and exhausted, had come to the end of its resources, when Mrs. Linden's brother in San Francisco offered her and her children a home with him—an offer which, naturally, did not include Dosia. She was very glad for them, but, after all, though she had worked so hard for them, they were not to belong to her for her very own. The aunt whose generosity had given her the money for her musical education had also died, leaving a small sum in trust for the girl. It was that which furnished her with means when she went once more to stay at the Alexanders'. Justin himself had written to see if she could come.

There was another baby now, a couple of months old, and Lois needed her. No fairy-story maiden this, going out to seek her fortune, who took an uneventful train journey this time—only a very tired girl, worn with work and worn with the sorrow of parting, yet thankful to lean her head against the back of the car-seat and feel the burden of anxiety and care slip from her for a little while.

Hard work alone is not ennobling, but drudgery for those whom we love may have its uplifting trend. Dosia was pale and thin; the blue veins on her temples showed more plainly. Her face was no longer the typical white page, unwritten upon; that first freshness of youth and inexperience had gone. Dosia had lived. Young as she was, she had tasted of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; she had known suffering; she had faced shame and disappointment and—truth; yes, through everything she had faced that—taken herself to account, probed, condemned, renounced. What she had lost in youthfulness she had gained in[pg 114] character. She had an innocent nobility of expression that came from a light within, as of one ready to answer unwaveringly wherever she might be called. Yet something in her soft eyes at times trembled into being, indescribably gentle, intolerably sweet—the soul of that Dosia who was made to be loved.



If she had changed since that first journeying a year and a half ago, so had the conditions changed in the household to which she went. Justin had had the not unusual experience of the business man who has achieved what he has set out to achieve without the expected result; in the silting-pan which holds success some of the gold mysteriously drops through. The Typometer Company was doing a very large business, quadrupled since the day of its inception. The building was hardly big enough now to hold the offices and manufacturing plant; the force had been greatly increased, and an additional floor for storage had been hired next door. The typometer had absorbed the output of two small rival companies, one out West and one in a neighboring town—both glad, in view of a losing game, to make terms with the successful arbiter. Where one person used a typometer three years ago, it was in request by fifty people now, for many things—for many more, indeed, than had been thought of at first; every week plans in special adjustments were made to fit the machine for different purposes. It was undoubtedly not only a success in itself, but was destined to fit into more and more of the needs of the working world as a standard product.

Orders came in from all parts of the globe. Justin, as he hurried over to his office or held important consultations with the men who wanted to see him, was awarded the respect given to the head of a large and successful concern. He was marked as a rising man. Yet, in spite of all this real accomplishment of the Typometer Company, the net profits had always fallen short of the mark set for them; the company was in constant and growing need of money.

Prices of everything to do with manufacturing had increased—prices of copper and steel, of machinery, of wages, in addition to the larger number of hands employed, and the rent of the additional floor. It was always necessary for one's peace of mind to go back to the value of the material stock and the assets to be counted on in the future. The steady branching out of the business in every direction was proof of the fact that if it did not it must retrench; and to retrench meant fewer orders, fewer opportunities—financial suicide.

It was the powerful shibboleth of the world of trade that one must be seen to be doing business; only so could the doors of credit be opened. If Cater came in with him now, as seemed at last to be expected, the doors must open farther. No matter how one tries to see all around the consequences of any change, any undertaking, there always arise minor consequences which from their very nature[pg 115] must be unforeseen, and yet which may turn out to be the really powerful factors in the main issue; unimportant genii that, let out of their bottle, swell immeasurably. The consequences of the fire, small as it was, seemed never-ending. The defective bars had proved a disastrous supply for the machine, in more ways than one.

Left by the Leverich-Martin combination to work his own retrieval, he had borrowed the ten thousand from Lewiston, and had used part of the money to pay the interest to the others; and later, in the flush of reinstatement, he had borrowed another ten thousand from Leverich, a loan to be called by him at any time. Lewiston's loan had seemed easy of repayment at six months. Justin knew when the money was coming in, but he had been obliged, after all, to anticipate, and get his bills discounted before they came due for other purposes, often paying huge tribute for the service. Lewiston had renewed the note for sixty days, and then for sixty more, but with the proviso that this was the last extension.

In short, the whole process of competently keeping afloat had been gone through, with a definite aim of accomplishment. Cater's cooperation, about which he had been so slow, would infuse new blood into the business. It was maddening at times to have so many good uses for money, and to be unable to command it at the crucial moment. He had approached Eugene Larue on that past Sunday afternoon, only to find him cautiously negative where once he had seemed friendlily suggesting.

Such a process, to be successful, depends on the power of the man behind it, which must not only comprehend and direct the larger issues, but must be able to carry along smoothly all the easily entangling threads of detail; he must not only have a capable brain, but he must have the untiring nervous energy that can "hold out" through any crisis. Such men may go to pieces after incredible effort, but they are on the way to success first. Danger only quickens the sure leap to safety.



Justin, preëminently clear-headed, had been conscious lately of two phases—one an almost preternatural illumination of intellect, and the other a sort of brain-inertia, more soul-and body-fatiguing than any pain. There were[pg 116] seasons when he was obliged to think when he could instead of when he would. He looked grave, alert, competent, but underneath this demeanor there went an unceasing effort of computation and reckoning to which the computation and reckoning on the first night of his agreement with Leverich was as a child's play with toy bricks is to the building of an edifice of stone.



The large business responsibilities now incurred[pg 117] clashed grotesquely with the daily need of money at home for petty uses, a condition of affairs which often happens at the birth of a child, when the household is at loose ends, and the expenses are necessarily greater in every direction, at the time when it seems most imperative to limit them. He seemed never to have enough "change" in his pockets, no matter how much he brought home.



In some men the business faculties become more and more self-sufficing when there is no other passion to divide them—the nature grows all one way; and there are others who seem independent, yet who are always as dependent as children on the unnoticed, sustaining help of affectionate love that makes the home a refuge from the provoking of all men; that unreasonably, and at all times, hotly champions the cause of the beloved against the world. No help-giving virtue had gone out from this household in the last year; it had all been a dead lift.

Justin had never spoken of his affairs to Lois since that Sunday when she had said that she hated them. When she had asked for money, she had always added the proviso, "if he could afford it," and accepted the fact either way without comment. He was, as time went on, more and more affectionately solicitous for her welfare, even if he was, as she keenly felt, less personally loving.

If she went to bed early in the evening, he took that opportunity to go out; and if she stayed up, he remained at home and went to sleep on the lounge, and the little touch that binds divergence with the inner thread of sympathy was lacking.

Yet, strange as it might seem, while she consciously suffered far the most, his loss was mysteriously the greater; the fire of love of which she was by right high priestess still burned secretly for her tending as she covered over the embers on the hearthstone, though he was cold and chill for lack of that vital warmth.

There were moments when she felt that she could die gladly for him, but always for that glory of self-triumphing in the end. Then that which seemed as if it could never change began to change.

Before the child was born, and now since that, there was a difference. Men and women who[pg 118] suffer most from imaginary wrongs may become sane and heroic in times of real danger. Lois, noble, sweet, and brave, thoughtful for Zaidee and Redge and Justin even while she trembled, excited reverence and a deep and anxious tenderness in her husband.

Then, afterward, he was proud of his second son. When Justin came in at the end of each day and sat down by her bedside, holding her blue-veined hand while she smiled peacefully at him, there was a sweet, sufficing pleasure about those few minutes, singularly soothing, though the interim had no relation to actual living, except in the fact that one anxiety had been lifted. While the expectant birth of the child had been to her, as it is to almost every woman, a separate and distinct calamitous illness to which she looked forward as one might look forward to being taken with typhoid or diphtheria, he considered it as a manifestation of nature, not in itself dangerous, and her fear that of a child, to be soothed by reason.

Still, he had had his moments of a reluctant, twinging fear. One cause for disquieting thought was removed. Now the helplessness of this little family, for whom he was the provider, tugged at a swelling heart.

As he walked toward his office to-day somewhat later than was his wont, he diverged from his usual custom: instead of entering his own doorway, he went across the street to Cater's after a moment's hesitation. Now that Cater's coöperation was at the consummating point, it was wiser not to run the risk of its sagging back. Leverich and Martin were keenly for its success. Justin's credit would rise immeasurably with it. The Typometer Company had absorbed the minor machines with so little trouble that the unabsorbability of the timoscript had seemed an unnecessary stumbling-block. Time and time again Justin had sought Cater with tabulated figures and unanswerable arguments. The combination, he firmly believed, would be highly beneficial for both. The field was, in its way, too narrow to be divided with the highest profit; together they could command the trade.



Cater was opposed to all combinations as trusts,—a word against which he was principled,—with obstinate refusal to differentiate as to kind, quality, or intent. Like many men who are given to a far-seeing[pg 119] philosophy in words, he was narrow-mindedly cautious when it came to action, apt to be suspicious in the wrong place, and requiring to be continually reassured about conditions which seemed the very a-b-c of commerce. The rivalry between the two firms had been apparently good-natured, yet a little of the sharp edge of competition had shown signs of cutting through the bond.

The typometer had put its prices down, and the timoscript had cut under; then the typometer had gone as low as was wise, and the timoscript had begun to weaken in its defenses.

Cater was already at work at a big desk as Justin entered, but rose to shake hands. There was a look of melancholy in his eyes, in spite of his smile of greeting.

"Anything wrong with you?" asked Justin, instinctively noticing the look rather than the smile.

"No," said Cater. He hooked his legs under his chair, and leaned back, the light from the high unshaded window striking full on his lean yellow countenance. "No, there's nothing wrong. Got some things off my mind, things that have been bothering me for a long time, and I reckon I don't feel quite easy without 'em."

"I think you're very lucky," said Justin. The light from the high window fell on his face, too—on his brown hair, turning a little gray at the temples, on the set lines of his face, in which his eyes, keen and blue, looked intently at his friend. He was well dressed; the foot that was crossed over his knee was excellently shod.

Cater shifted a little in his seat. "Well, I don't know. My experience is some different from the usual run, I reckon. I never had any big streak of luck that it didn't get back at me afterwards. There was my marriage—I know it ain't the thing to talk about your marriage, but you do sometimes. My wife's a fine woman,—yes, sir, I was mighty lucky to get her,—but I didn't know how to live up to her family. It's been that-a-way all my life. Sure's I get to ringin' the bells, the floorin' caves in under me."

"We'll see that the flooring holds, now that you're coming in with us," said Justin good-naturedly. "I've got some propositions to put up to you to-day."

Cater shook his head. "There's no use of your putting up any propositions. I've been drawin' on my well of thought so hard lately that I reckon you could hear the pumps workin' plumb across the street. I've been cipherin' down to the fact that I can't go it alone, any more'n you,—there we agree; hold on, now!—but I can't combine."

"You can't!" cried Justin, with unusual violence. "Why not?"

"Well, you know my feelin's about trusts, and—I like you, Mr. Alexander, you know that, mighty well, but I balk at your backin'. I don't believe in it. It'll fail when you count on it most. It'll cramp on you merciless if you come short of its expectations. Leverich isn't so bad, but Martin cramps a hold of him, and I can't stand Martin havin' a finger in any concern I have a hold of."

"He's clever enough to make what he touches pay," said Justin.

Cater's eyebrows contracted. "You say he's clever; because he's tricky—because he's sharp. He isn't clever enough to make money honestly; he isn't big enough. You and me, we're honest, or try to be; but we haven't the brain to give every man his just due, and get ahead, too. It's the greatest game there is, but you got to be a genius to play it. You and me, we can't do it; we ain't got the brain and we ain't got the nerve. I haven't. You've just everlastingly got to do the best for yourself if you've got a family; the best as you see it."

"What's all this leading up to? What change have you been making, Cater?" asked Justin, with stern abruptness.

"I've given the agency of the machine to Hardanger."

"Hardanger!" Justin's face flushed momentarily, then became set and expressionless. To stand out on abstract questions of honor, and then tacitly break all faith by going in with Hardanger!

"I shut down on part of my plant when I began figuring on this change," continued Cater. "I've been getting the steel fittin's on contract from Beuschoten again, as I did at first; it'll come cheaper in the end. Gives us a pretty big stock to start off with. I was sorry—I was sorry to have to turn off a dozen men, but what you going to do? I've got to cut down on the manufacturing as close as I can now."

"I suppose so."

"I wanted to tell you the first one," said Cater.

"Well, I congratulate you," said Justin formally, rising.

"This isn't going to make any difference in the friendship between me and you, Mr. Alexander? I've thought a powerful lot of your friendship. If I'd 'a' seen any way to have come in with you, I'd 'a' done it. But business ain't going to interfere between two such good friends as we are!"[pg 120]

"Why, no," said Justin, with the conventional answer to an appeal which still pitifully claims for truth that which it has made false. The handshake that followed was one in which all their friendship seemed to dissolve and change its character, hardening into ice.


Hardanger & Company represented one of the greatest factors in the trade of two hemispheres. To say that a thing was taken up by Hardanger meant its success. They took nothing that was not likely to succeed; they made it succeed—for them. Their agents in all parts of the known world had easy access to firms and to opportunities hard to be reached by those of lesser credit. Their reputation was unassailed; they kept scrupulously to the terms agreed upon. The only bar to putting an article into their hands was the fact that their terms—except in the case of certain standard articles which they were obliged to have—embraced nearly all the profits, only the very narrowest margins coming to the original owners. Everything had to be figured down, and still further and further down, by those owners, to make that margin possible. It was cutthroat all the way through—a policy that made for the rottenness of trade.

Justin and Leverich had once made tentative investigations as to Hardanger, with the conclusion that there was far more money outside, even if one must go a little more slowly. It was better to go a little more slowly, for the sake of getting so much more out of it in the end. Hardanger was to be kept as a last resort, if everything else failed. Cater had expressed himself as feeling the same way; that was the understanding between them. But now? Backed by this powerful agency, the timoscript assumed disquieting proportions. In the distance, a time not so very far distant either, Justin could see himself squeezed to the wall, the output of his factory bought up by Hardanger for the price of old iron—forced into it, whether he would or no. Why had he been so short-sighted? Why hadn't he made terms himself sooner? But Cater had been a fool to give in to those terms when, by combining, they could have swung trade between them to their own measure. Then Hardanger might have been obliged to seek them, to take their price!—Hardanger, who could afford to laugh at his pretensions now!

He thought of Cater without malice—with, instead, a shrewd, kind philosophy, a sad, clear-visioned impulse of pity mixed with his wonder. So that was the way a man was caught stumbling between the meshes, blinded, dulled, unconsciously maimed of honor, while still feeling himself erect and honest-eyed! There had been no written agreement between them that either should consult the other before seeking Hardanger; but some promises should be all the stronger for not being written.

This thing couldn't happen; in some way, he must get his foot inside the door, so that it couldn't shut on him. There was that note of Lewiston's, due in thirty days—no, twenty-five now. What about that?

Later in the day, after he had been seeing drayful after drayful of boxes leave the factory opposite, Bullen, the foreman, came into the office with some estimates, pointing out the figures with a small strip of steel tubing held absently in his fingers.

While the clerks were all deferential, and those of foreign birth obsequious, Bullen had an air that was more than sturdily independent—the air and the eye of the skilled mechanic. On his own ground he was master, and Justin, with a smile, deferred to him. But Justin broke into Bullen's calculations abruptly, after a while, to ask:

"What's that you've got there? It looks like one of those bars that nearly smashed us."

"You've got a good eye, sir," said Bullen approvingly. "A year and a half ago you'd not have seen any difference between one bit of steel and another. But there's one thing I didn't see about it myself until Venly—he's a new man we've taken on—pointed it out to me. He came across a case of these to-day we'd thrown out in the waste-heap. We thought our machine had jarred them out of shape, because they were a fraction off size; well, so they were. But Venly he spotted them in a minute, when he was out there, and he asked me if they weren't from the Beuschoten factory—he was turned off from there last week; they're cutting down the force; they always do, come spring. He said they looked like part of a bum lot that had flaws in them. He got the magnifying-glass and showed me, and, sure enough, 'twas right he was! He says they've got piles of them they've been workin' off on the trade at a cut price. Venly he said he didn't have any stomach for a skin game like that."

"That's a pretty ruinous way to do business, isn't it?" asked Justin.

"Oh, they're going to sell out in July, so they don't care. I pity any one that's counting on any sort of machine that's got these in 'em. Would you take the glass and look for yourself, sir? Every one of 'em is flawed!"

to be continued

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of McClure's Magazine, Vol. 31, No. 1,
May 1908, by Various


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