The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Conflict, by David Graham Phillips

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Title: The Conflict

Author: David Graham Phillips

Posting Date: September 27, 2008 [EBook #433]
Release Date: February, 1996

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Charles Keller.  HTML version by Al Haines.



David Graham Phillips

    I     II     III     IV     V     VI     VII     VIII     IX     X


Four years at Wellesley; two years about equally divided among Paris, Dresden and Florence. And now Jane Hastings was at home again. At home in the unchanged house—spacious, old-fashioned—looking down from its steeply sloping lawns and terraced gardens upon the sooty, smoky activities of Remsen City, looking out upon a charming panorama of hills and valleys in the heart of South Central Indiana. Six years of striving in the East and abroad to satisfy the restless energy she inherited from her father; and here she was, as restless as ever—yet with everything done that a woman could do in the way of an active career. She looked back upon her years of elaborate preparation; she looked forward upon—nothing. That is, nothing but marriage—dropping her name, dropping her personality, disappearing in the personality of another. She had never seen a man for whom she would make such a sacrifice; she did not believe that such a man existed.

She meditated bitterly upon that cruel arrangement of Nature's whereby the father transmits his vigorous qualities in twofold measure to the daughter, not in order that she may be a somebody, but solely in order that she may transmit them to sons. "I don't believe it," she decided. "There's something for ME to do." But what? She gazed down at Remsen City, connected by factories and pierced from east, west and south by railways. She gazed out over the fields and woods. Yes, there must be something for her besides merely marrying and breeding—just as much for her as for a man. But what? If she should marry a man who would let her rule him, she would despise him. If she should marry a man she could respect—a man who was of the master class like her father—how she would hate him for ignoring her and putting her in her ordained inferior feminine place. She glanced down at her skirts with an angry sense of enforced masquerade. And then she laughed—for she had a keen sense of humor that always came to her rescue when she was in danger of taking herself too seriously.

Through the foliage between her and the last of the stretches of highroad winding up from Remsen City she spied a man climbing in her direction—a long, slim figure in cap, Norfolk jacket and knickerbockers. Instantly—and long before he saw her—there was a grotesque whisking out of sight of the serious personality upon which we have been intruding. In its stead there stood ready to receive the young man a woman of the type that possesses physical charm and knows how to use it—and does not scruple to use it. For a woman to conquer man by physical charm is far and away the easiest, the most fleeting and the emptiest of victories. But for woman thus to conquer without herself yielding anything whatsoever, even so little as an alluring glance of the eye—that is quite another matter. It was this sort of conquest that Jane Hastings delighted in—and sought to gain with any man who came within range. If the men had known what she was about, they would have denounced her conduct as contemptible and herself as immoral, even brazen. But in their innocence they accused only their sophisticated and superbly masculine selves and regarded her as the soul of innocence. This was the more absurd in them because she obviously excelled in the feminine art of inviting display of charm. To glance at her was to realize at once the beauty of her figure, the exceeding grace of her long back and waist. A keen observer would have seen the mockery lurking in her light-brown eyes, and about the corners of her full red lips.

She arranged her thick dark hair to make a secret, half-revealed charm of her fascinating pink ears and to reveal in dazzling unexpectedness the soft, round whiteness of the nape of her neck.

Because you are thus let into Miss Hastings' naughty secret, so well veiled behind an air of earnest and almost cold dignity, you must not do her the injustice of thinking her unusually artful. Such artfulness is common enough; it secures husbands by the thousand and by the tens of thousands. No, only in the skill of artfulness was Miss Hastings unusual.

As the long strides of the tall, slender man brought him rapidly nearer, his face came into plain view. A refined, handsome face, dark and serious. He had dark-brown eyes—and Miss Hastings did not like brown eyes in a man. She thought that men should have gray or blue or greenish eyes, and if they were cruel in their love of power she liked it the better.

"Hello, Dave," she cried in a pleasant, friendly voice. She was posed—in the most unconscious of attitudes—upon a rustic bench so that her extraordinary figure was revealed at its most attractive.

The young man halted before her, his breath coming quickly—not altogether from the exertion of his steep and rapid climb. "Jen, I'm mad about you," he said, his brown eyes soft and luminous with passion. "I've done nothing but think about you in the week you've been back. I didn't sleep last night, and I've come up here as early as I dared to tell you—to ask you to marry me."

He did not see the triumph she felt, the joy in having subdued another of these insolently superior males. Her eyes were discreetly veiled; her delightful mouth was arranged to express sadness.

"I thought I was an ambition incarnate," continued the young man, unwittingly adding to her delight by detailing how brilliant her conquest was. "I've never cared a rap about women—until I saw you. I was all for politics—for trying to do something to make my fellow men the better for my having lived. Now—it's all gone. I want you, Jen. Nothing else matters."

As he paused, gazing at her in speechless longing, she lifted her eyes—simply a glance. With a stifled cry he darted forward, dropped beside her on the bench and tried to enfold her in his arms. The veins stood out in his forehead; the expression of his eyes was terrifying.

She shrank, sprang up. His baffled hands had not even touched her. "David Hull!" she cried, and the indignation and the repulsion in her tone and in her manner were not simulated, though her artfulness hastened to make real use of them. She loved to rouse men to frenzy. She knew that the sight of their frenzy would chill her—would fill her with an emotion that would enable her to remain mistress of the situation.

At sight of her aversion his eyes sank. "Forgive me," he muttered. "You make me—CRAZY."

"I!" she cried, laughing in angry derision. "What have I ever done to encourage you to be—impertinent?"

"Nothing," he admitted. "That is, nothing but just being yourself."

"I can't help that, can I?"

"No," said he, adding doggedly: "But neither can men help going crazy about you."

She looked at him sitting there at once penitent and impenitent; and her mind went back to the thoughts that had engaged it before he came into view. Marriage—to marry one of these men, with their coarse physical ideas of women, with their pitiful weakness before an emotion that seemed to her to have no charm whatever. And these were the creatures who ruled the world and compelled women to be their playthings and mere appendages! Well—no doubt it was the women's own fault, for were they not a poor, spiritless lot, trembling with fright lest they should not find a man to lean on and then, having found the man, settling down into fat and stupid vacuity or playing the cat at the silly game of social position? But not Jane Hastings! Her bosom heaved and her eyes blazed scorn as she looked at this person who had dared think the touch of his coarse hands would be welcome. Welcome!

"And I have been thinking what a delightful friendship ours was," said she, disgustedly. "And all the time, your talk about your ambition—the speeches you were going to make—the offices you were going to hold—the good you were going to do in purifying politics—it was all a blind!"

"All a blind," admitted he. "From the first night that you came to our house to dinner—Jen, I'll never forget that dress you wore—or the way you looked in it."

Miss Jane had thought extremely well of that toilet herself. She had heard how impervious this David Hull, the best catch in the town, was to feminine charm; and she had gone prepared to give battle. But she said dejectedly, "You don't know what a shock you've given me."

"Yes, I do," cried he. "I'm ashamed of myself. But—I love you, Jen! Can't you learn to love me?"

"I hadn't even thought of you in that way," said she. "I haven't bothered my head about marriage. Of course, most girls have to think about it, because they must get some one to support them——"

"I wish to God you were one of that sort," interrupted he. "Then I could have some hope."

"Hope of what," said she disdainfully. "You don't mean that you'd marry a girl who was marrying you because she had to have food, clothing and shelter?"

"I'd marry the woman I loved. Then—I'd MAKE her love me. She simply couldn't help it."

Jane Hastings shuddered. "Thank heaven, I don't have to marry!" Her eyes flashed. "But I wouldn't, even if I were poor. I'd rather go to work. Why shouldn't a woman work, anyhow?"

"At what?" inquired Hull. "Except the men who do manual labor, there are precious few men who can make a living honestly and self-respectingly. It's fortunate the women can hold aloof and remain pure."

Jane laughed unpleasantly. "I'm not so sure that the women who live with men just for shelter are pure," said she.

"Jen," the young man burst out, "you're ambitious—aren't you?"

"Rather," replied she.

"And you like the sort of thing I'm trying to do—like it and approve of it?"

"I believe a man ought to succeed—get to the top."

"So do I—if he can do it honorably."

Jane hesitated—dared. "To be quite frank," said she, "I worship success and I despise failure. Success means strength. Failure means weakness—and I abominate weakness."

He looked quietly disapproving. "You don't mean that. You don't understand what you're saying."

"Perfectly," she assured him. "I'm not a bit good. Education has taken all the namby-pamby nonsense out of me."

But he was not really hearing; besides, what had women to do with the realities of life? They were made to be the property of men—that was the truth, though he would never have confessed it to any woman. They were made to be possessed. "And I must possess this woman," he thought, his blood running hot. He said:

"Why not help me to make a career? I can do it, Jen, with you to help."

She had thought of this before—of making a career for herself, of doing the "something" her intense energy craved, through a man. The "something" must be big if it were to satisfy her; and what that was big could a woman do except through a man? But—this man. Her eyes turned thoughtfully upon him—a look that encouraged him to go on:

"Politics interest you, Jen. I've seen that in the way you listen and in the questions you ask."

She smiled—but not at the surface. In fact, his political talk had bored her. She knew nothing about the subject, and, so, had been as one listening to an unknown language. But, like all women, having only the narrowest range of interests herself and the things that would enable her to show off to advantage, she was used to being bored by the conversational efforts of men and to concealing her boredom. She had listened patiently and had led the conversation by slow, imperceptible stages round to the interesting personal—to the struggle for dominion over this difficult male.

"Anyhow," he went on, "no intelligent person could fail to be interested in politics, once he or she appreciated what it meant. And people of our class owe it to society to take part in politics. Victor Dorn is a crank, but he's right about some things—and he's right in saying that we of the upper class are parasites upon the masses. They earn all the wealth, and we take a large part of it away from them. And it's plain stealing unless we give some service in return. For instance, you and I—what have we done, what are we doing that entitles us to draw so much? Somebody must earn by hard labor all that is produced. We are not earning. So"—he was looking handsome now in his manly earnestness—"Jen, it's up to us to do our share—to stop stealing—isn't it?"

She was genuinely interested. "I hadn't thought of these things," said she.

"Victor Dorn says we ought to go to work like laborers," pursued David. "But that's where he's a crank. The truth is, we ought to give the service of leadership—especially in politics. And I'm going to do it, Jane Hastings!"

For the first time she had an interest in him other than that of conquest. "Just what are you going to do?" she asked.

"Not upset everything and tear everything to pieces, as Victor Dorn wants to do," replied he. "But reform the abuses and wrongs—make it so that every one shall have a fair chance—make politics straight and honest."

This sounded hazy to her. "And what will you get out of it?" asked she.

He colored and was a little uneasy as he thus faced a direct demand for his innermost secret—the secret of selfishness he tried to hide even from himself. But there was no evading; if he would interest her he must show her the practical advantages of his proposal. "If I'm to do any good," said he, putting the best face, and really not a bad face, upon a difficult and delicate matter—"if I'm to do any good I must win a commanding position—must get to be a popular leader—must hold high offices—and—and—all that."

"I understand," said she. "That sounds attractive. Yes, David, you ought to make a career. If I were a man that's the career I'd choose."

"You can choose it, though you're a woman," rejoined he. "Marry me, and we'll go up together. You've no idea how exciting campaigns and elections are. A little while, and you'll be crazy about it all. The women are taking part, more and more."

"Who's Victor Dorn?" she suddenly asked.

"You must remember him. It was his father that was killed by the railway the day we all went on that excursion to Indianapolis."

"Dorn the carpenter," said Jane. "Yes—I remember." Her face grew dreamy with the effort of memory. "I see it all again. And there was a boy with a very white face who knelt and held his head."

"That was Victor," said Hull.

"Yes—I remember him. He was a bad boy—always fighting and robbing orchards and getting kept after school."

"And he's still a bad boy—but in a different way. He's out against everything civilized and everybody that's got money."

"What does he do? Keep a saloon?"

"No, but he spends a lot of time at them. I must say for him that he doesn't drink—and professes not to believe in drink. When I pointed out to him what a bad example he set, loafing round saloons, he laughed at me and said he was spending his spare time exactly as Jesus Christ did. 'You'll find, Davy, old man,' he said, 'if you'll take the trouble to read your Bible, that Jesus traveled with publicans and sinners—and a publican is in plain English a saloonkeeper.'"

"That was very original—wasn't it?" said Jane. "I'm interested in this man. He's—different. I like people who are different."

"I don't think you'd like him, Victor Dorn," said David.

"Don't you?"

"Oh, yes—in a way. I admire him," graciously. "He's really a remarkable fellow, considering his opportunities."

"He calls you 'Davy, old man,'" suggested Jane.

Hull flushed. "That's his way. He's free and easy with every one. He thinks conventionality is a joke."

"And it is," cried Miss Hastings.

"You'd not think so," laughed Hull, "if he called you Jane or Jenny or my dear Jenny half an hour after he met you."

"He wouldn't," said Miss Hastings in a peculiar tone.

"He would if he felt like it," replied Hull. "And if you resented it, he'd laugh at you and walk away. I suspect him of being a good deal of a poseur and a fakir. All those revolutionary chaps are. But I honestly think that he really doesn't care a rap for classes—or for money—or for any of the substantial things."

"He sounds common," said Miss Hastings. "I've lost interest in him." Then in the same breath: "How does he live? Is he a carpenter?"

"He was—for several years. You see, he and his mother together brought up the Dorn family after the father was killed. They didn't get a cent of damages from the railroad. It was an outrage——"

"But my father was the largest owner of the railroad."

Hull colored violently. "You don't understand about business, Jen. The railroad is a corporation. It fought the case—and the Dorns had no money—and the railway owned the judge and bribed several jurors at each trial. Dorn says that was what started him to thinking—to being a revolutionist—though he doesn't call himself that."

"I should think it would!" cried Miss Hastings. "If my father had known——" She caught her breath. "But he MUST have known! He was on the train that day."

"You don't understand business, Jen. Your father wouldn't interfere with the management of the corporation ."

"He makes money out of it—doesn't he?"

"So do we all get money out of corporations that are compelled to do all sorts of queer things. But we can't abolish the system—we've got to reform it. That's why I'm in politics—and want you——"

"Something must be done about that," interrupted Jane. "I shall talk to father——"

"For heaven's sake, Jen," cried David in alarm, "don't tell your father I'VE been stirring you up. He's one of the powers in politics in this State, and——"

"I'll not give you away, Davy," said Miss Hastings a little contemptuously. "I want to hear more about this Victor Dorn. I'll get that money for him and his mother. Is he very poor?"

"Well—you'd call him poor. But he says he has plenty. He runs a small paper. I think he makes about twenty-five dollars a week out of it—and a little more out of lecturing. Then—every once in a while he goes back to his trade—to keep his hand in and enjoy the luxury of earning honest money, as he puts it."

"How queer!" exclaimed Miss Hastings. "I would like to meet him. Is he—very ignorant?"

"Oh, no—no, indeed. He's worked his way through college—and law school afterward. Supported the family all the time."

"He must be tremendously clever."

"I've given you an exaggerated idea of him," Davy hastened to say. "He's really an ordinary sort of chap."

"I should think he'd get rich," said Miss Hastings. "Most of the men that do—so far as I've met them—seem ordinary enough."

"He says he could get rich, but that he wouldn't waste time that way. But he's fond of boasting."

"You don't think he could make money—after all he did—going to college and everything?"

"Yes—I guess he could," reluctantly admitted Davy. Then in a burst of candor: "Perhaps I'm a little jealous of him. If I were thrown on my own resources, I'm afraid I'd make a pretty wretched showing. But—don't get an exaggerated idea of him. The things I've told you sound romantic and unusual. If you met him—saw him every day—you'd realize he's not at all—at least, not much—out of the ordinary."

"Perhaps," said Miss Hastings shrewdly, "perhaps I'm getting a better idea of him than you who see him so often."

"Oh, you'll run across him sometime," said Davy, who was bearing up no better than would the next man under the strain of a woman's interest in and excitement about another man. "When you do, you'll get enough in about five minutes. You see, he's not a gentleman ."

"I'm not sure that I'm wildly crazy about gentlemen—AS gentlemen," replied the girl. "Very few of the interesting people I've read about in history and biography have been gentlemen."

"And very few of them would have been pleasant to associate with," rejoined Hull. "You'll admire Victor as I do. But you'll feel—as I do—that there's small excuse for a man who has been educated, who has associated with upper class people, turning round and inciting the lower classes against everything that's fine and improving."

It was now apparent to the girl that David Hull was irritatedly jealous of this queer Victor Dorn—was jealous of her interest in him. Her obvious cue was to fan this flame. In no other way could she get any amusement out of Davy's society; for his tendency was to be heavily serious—and she wanted no more of the too strenuous love making, yet wanted to keep him "on the string." This jealousy was just the means for her end. Said she innocently: "If it irritates you, Davy, we won't talk about him."

"Not at all—not at all," cried Hull. "I simply thought you'd be getting tired of hearing so much about a man you'd never known."

"But I feel as if I did know him," replied she. "Your account of him was so vivid. I thought of asking you to bring him to call."

Hull laughed heartily. "Victor Dorn—calling!"

"Why not?"

"He doesn't do that sort of thing. And if he did, how could I bring him here?"

"Why not?"

"Well—in the first place, you are a lady—and he is not in your class. Of course, men can associate with each other in politics and business. But the social side of life—that's different."

"But a while ago you were talking about my going in for politics," said Miss Hastings demurely.

"Still, you'd not have to meet SOCIALLY queer and rough characters——"

"Is Victor Dorn very rough?"

The interrupting question was like the bite of a big fly to a sweating horse. "I'm getting sick of hearing about him from you," cried Hull with the pettishness of the spoiled children of the upper class.

"In what way is he rough?" persisted Miss Hastings. "If you didn't wish to talk about Victor Dorn, why did you bring the subject up?"

"Oh—all right," cried Hull, restraining himself. "Victor isn't exactly rough. He can act like a gentleman—when he happens to want to. But you never can tell what he'll do next."

"You MUST bring him to call!" exclaimed Miss Hastings.

"Impossible," said Hull angrily.

"But he's the only man I've heard about since I've been home that I've taken the least interest in."

"If he did come, your father would have the servants throw him off the place."

"Oh, no," said Hiss Hastings haughtily. "My father wouldn't insult a guest of mine."

"But you don't know, Jen," cried David. "Why, Victor Dorn attacks your father in the most outrageous way in his miserable little anarchist paper—calls him a thief, a briber, a blood-sucker—a—I'd not venture to repeat to you the things he says."

"No doubt he got a false impression of father because of that damage suit," said Miss Hastings mildly. "That was a frightful thing. I can't be so unjust as to blame him, Davy—can you?"

Hull was silent.

"And I guess father does have to do a lot of things in the course of business—— Don't all the big men—the leaders?"

"Yes—unfortunately they do," said Hull. "That's what gives plausibility to the shrieks of demagogues like Victor Dorn—though Victor is too well educated not to know better than to stir up the ignorant classes."

"I wonder why he does it," said Miss Hastings, reflectively. "I must ask him. I want to hear what he says to excuse himself." In fact, she had not the faintest interest in the views of this queer unknown; her chief reason for saying she had was to enjoy David Hull's jealousy.

"Before you try to meet Victor," said Hull, in a constrained, desperate way, "please speak to your father about it."

"I certainly shall," replied the girl. "As soon as he comes home this afternoon, I'm going to talk to him about that damage suit. That has got to be straightened out." An expression of resolution, of gentleness and justice abruptly transformed her face. "You may not believe it, but I have a conscience." Absently, "A curious sort of a conscience—one that might become very troublesome, I'm afraid—in some circumstances."

Instantly the fine side of David Hull's nature was to the fore—the dominant side, for at the first appeal it always responded. "So have I, Jen," said he. "I think our similarity in that respect is what draws me so strongly to you. And it's that that makes me hope I can win you. Oh, Jen—there's so much to be done in the world—and you and I could have such a splendid happy life doing our share of it."

She was once more looking at him with an encouraging interest. But she said, gently: "Let's not talk about that any more to-day, Davy."

"But you'll think about it?" urged he.

"Yes," said she. "Let's be friends—and—and see what happens."

Hull strolled up to the house with her, but refused to stop for lunch. He pleaded an engagement; but it was one that could—and in other circumstances would—have been broken by telephone. His real reason for hurrying away was fear lest Jane should open out on the subject of Victor Dorn with her father, and, in her ignorance of the truth as to the situation, should implicate him.

She found her father already at home and having a bowl of crackers and milk in a shady corner of the west veranda. He was chewing in the manner of those whose teeth are few and not too secure. His brows were knitted and he looked as if not merely joy but everything except disagreeable sensation had long since fled his life beyond hope of return—an air not uncommon among the world's successful men. However, at sight of his lovely young daughter his face cleared somewhat and he shot at her from under his wildly and savagely narrowed eyebrows a glance of admiration and tenderness—a quaint expression for those cold, hard features.

Everyone spoke of him behind his back as "Old Morton Hastings."

In fact, he was barely past sixty, was at an age at which city men of the modern style count themselves young and even entertain—not without reason—hope of being desired of women for other than purely practical reasons. He was born on a farm—was born with an aversion to physical exertion as profound as was his passion for mental exertion. We never shall know how much of its progress the world owes to the physically lazy, mentally tireless men. Those are they who, to save themselves physical exertion, have devised all manner of schemes and machines to save labor. And, at bottom, what is progress but man's success in his effort to free himself from manual labor—to get everything for himself by the labor of other men and animals and of machines? Naturally his boyhood of toil on the farm did not lessen Martin Hastings' innate horror of "real work." He was not twenty when he dropped tools never to take them up again. He was shoeing a horse in the heat of the cool side of the barn on a frightful August day. Suddenly he threw down the hammer and said loudly: "A man that works is a damn fool. I'll never work again." And he never did.

As soon as he could get together the money—and it was not long after he set about making others work for him—he bought a buggy, a kind of phaeton, and a safe horse. Thenceforth he never walked a step that could be driven. The result of thirty-five years of this life, so unnatural to an animal that is designed by Nature for walking and is punished for not doing so—the result of a lifetime of this folly was a body shrivelled to a lean brown husk, legs incredibly meagre and so tottery that they scarcely could bear him about. His head—large and finely shaped—seemed so out of proportion that he looked at a glance senile. But no one who had business dealings with him suspected him of senility or any degree of weakness. He spoke in a thin dry voice, shrouded in sardonic humor.

"I don't care for lunch," said Jane, dropping to a chair near the side of the table opposite her father. "I had breakfast too late. Besides, I've got to look out for my figure. There's a tendency to fat in our family."

The old man chuckled. "Me, for instance," said he.

"Martha, for instance," replied Jane. Martha was her one sister—married and ten years older than she and spaciously matronly.

"Wasn't that Davy Hull you were talking to, down in the woods?" inquired her father.

Jane laughed. "You see everything," said she.

"I didn't see much when I saw him," said her father.

Jane was hugely amused. Her father watched her laughter—the dazzling display of fine teeth—with delighted eyes. "You've got mighty good teeth, Jenny," observed he. "Take care of 'em. You'll never know what misery is till you've got no teeth—or next to none." He looked disgustedly into his bowl. "Crackers and milk!" grunted he. "No teeth and no digestion. The only pleasure a man of my age can have left is eating, and I'm cheated out of that."

"So, you wouldn't approve of my marrying Davy?" said the girl.

Her father grunted—chuckled. "I didn't say that. Does he want to marry you?"

"I didn't say that," retorted Jane. "He's an unattached young man—and I, being merely a woman, have got to look out for a husband."

Martin looked gloomy. "There's no hurry," said he. "You've been away six years. Seems to me you might stay at home a while."

"Oh, I'd bring him here, popsy I've no intention of leaving you. You were in an awful state, when I came home. That mustn't ever happen again. And as you won't live with Martha and Hugo—why, I've got to be the victim."

"Yes—it's up to you, Miss, to take care of me in my declining years.... You can marry Davy—if you want to. Davy—or anybody. I trust to your good sense."

"If I don't like him, I can get rid of him," said the girl.

Her father smiled indulgently. "That's A LEETLE too up-to-date for an old man like me," observed he. "The world's moving fast nowadays. It's got a long ways from where it was when your ma and I were young."

"Do you think Davy Hull will make a career?" asked Jane. She had heard from time to time as much as she cared to hear about the world of a generation before—of its bareness and discomfort, its primness, its repulsive piety, its ignorance of all that made life bright and attractive—how it quite overlooked this life in its agitation about the extremely problematic life to come. "I mean a career in politics," she explained.

The old man munched and smacked for full a minute before he said, "Well, he can make a pretty good speech. Yes—I reckon he could be taken in hand and pushed. He's got a lot of fool college-bred ideas about reforming things. But he'd soon drop them, if he got into the practical swing. As soon as he had a taste of success, he'd stop being finicky. Just now, he's one of those nice, pure chaps who stand off and tell how things ought to be done. But he'd get over that."

Jane smiled peculiarly—half to herself. "Yes—I think he would. In fact, I'm sure he would." She looked at her father. "Do you think he amounts to as much as Victor Dorn?" she asked, innocently.

The old man dropped a half raised spoonful of milk and crackers into the bowl with a splash. "Dorn—he's a scoundrel!" he exclaimed, shaking with passion. "I'm going to have that dirty little paper of his stopped and him put out of town. Impudent puppy!—foul-mouthed demagogue! I'll SHOW him!"

"Why, he doesn't amount to anything, father," remonstrated the girl. "He's nothing but a common working man—isn't he?"

"That's all he is—the hound!" replied Martin Hastings. A look of cruelty, of tenacious cruelty, had come into his face. It would have startled a stranger. But his daughter had often seen it; and it did not disturb her, as it had never appeared for anything that in any way touched her life. "I've let him hang on here too long," went on the old man, to himself rather than to her. "First thing I know he'll be dangerous."

"If he's worth while I should think you'd hire him," remarked Jane shrewdly.

"I wouldn't have such a scoundrel in my employ," cried her father.

"Oh, maybe," pursued the daughter, "maybe you couldn't hire him."

"Of course I could," scoffed Hastings. "Anybody can be hired."

"I don't believe it," said the girl bluntly.

"One way or another," declared the old man. "That Dorn boy isn't worth the price he'd want."

"What price would he want?" asked Jane.

"How should I know?" retorted her father angrily.

"You've tried to hire him—haven't you?" persisted she.

The father concentrated on his crackers and milk. Presently he said: "What did that fool Hull boy say about Dorn to you?"

"He doesn't like him," replied Jane. "He seems to be jealous of him—and opposed to his political views."

"Dorn's views ain't politics. They're—theft and murder and highfalutin nonsense," said Hastings, not unconscious of his feeble anti-climax.

"All the same, he—or rather, his mother—ought to have got damages from the railway," said the girl. And there was a sudden and startling shift in her expression—to a tenacity as formidable as her father's own, but a quiet and secret tenacity.

Old Hastings wiped his mouth and began fussing uncomfortably with a cigar.

"I don't blame him for getting bitter and turning against society," continued she. "I'd have done the same thing—and so would you."

Hastings lit the cigar. "They wanted ten thousand dollars," he said, almost apologetically. "Why, they never saw ten thousand cents they could call their own."

"But they lost their bread-winner, father," pleaded the girl. "And there were young children to bring up and educate. Oh, I hate to think that—that we had anything to do with such a wrong."

"It wasn't a wrong, Jen—as I used to tell your ma," said the old man, much agitated and shrill of voice. "It was just the course of business. The law was with our company."

Jane said nothing. She simply gazed steadily at her father. He avoided her glance.

"I don't want to hear no more about it," he burst out with abrupt violence. "Not another word!"

"Father, I want it settled—and settled right," said the girl. "I ask it as a favor. Don't do it as a matter of business, but as a matter of sentiment."

He shifted uneasily, debating. When he spoke he was even more explosive than before. "Not a cent! Not a red! Give that whelp money to run his crazy paper on? Not your father, while he keeps his mind."

"But—mightn't that quiet him?" pleaded she. "What's the use of having war when you can have peace? You've always laughed at people who let their prejudices stand in the way of their interests. You've always laughed at how silly and stupid and costly enmities and revenges are. Now's your chance to illustrate, popsy." And she smiled charmingly at him.

He was greatly softened by her manner—and by the wisdom of what she said—a wisdom in which, as in a mirror, he recognized with pleasure her strong resemblance to himself. "That wouldn't be a bad idea, Jen," said he after reflection, "IF I could get a guarantee."

"But why not do it generously?" urged the girl. "Generosity inspires generosity. You'll make him ashamed of himself."

With a cynical smile on his shrivelled face the old man slowly shook his big head that made him look as top-heavy as a newborn baby. "That isn't as smart, child, as what you said before. It's in them things that the difference between theory and practice shows. He'd take the money and laugh at me. No, I'll try to get a guarantee." He nodded and chuckled. "Yes, that was a good idea of yours, Jen."

"But—isn't it just possible that he is a man with—with principles of a certain kind?" suggested she.

"Of course, he THINKS so," said Hastings. "They all do. But you don't suppose a man of any sense at all could really care about and respect working class people?—ignorant, ungrateful fools. I know 'em. Didn't I come from among 'em? Ain't I dealt with 'em all my life? No, that there guy Dorn's simply trying to get up, and is using them to step up on. I did the same thing, only I did it in a decent, law-abiding way. I didn't want to tear down those that was up. I wanted to go up and join 'em. And I did."

And his eyes glistened fondly and proudly as he gazed at his daughter. She represented the climax of his rising—she, the lady born and bred, in her beautiful clothes, with her lovely, delicate charms. Yes, he had indeed "come up," and there before him was the superb tangible evidence of it.

Jane had the strongest belief in her father's worldly wisdom. At the same time, from what David Hull said she had got an impression of a something different from the ordinary human being in this queer Victor Dorn. "You'd better move slowly," she said to her father. "There's no hurry, and you might be mistaken in him."

"Plenty of time," asserted her father. "There's never any need to hurry about giving up money." Then, with one of those uncanny flashes of intuition for which he, who was never caught napping, was famous, he said to her sharply: "You keep your hands off, miss."

She was thrown into confusion—and her embarrassment enraged her against herself. "What could I do?" she retorted with a brave attempt at indifference.

"Well—keep your hands off, miss," said the old man. "No female meddling in business. I'll stand for most anything, but not for that."

Jane was now all eagerness for dropping the subject. She wished no further prying of that shrewd mind into her secret thoughts. "It's hardly likely I'd meddle where I know nothing about the circumstances," said she. "Will you drive me down to Martha's?"

This request was made solely to change the subject, to shift her father to his favorite topic for family conversation—his daughter Martha, Mrs. Hugo Galland, her weakness for fashionable pastimes, her incessant hints and naggings at her father about his dowdy dress, his vulgar mannerisms of speech and of conduct, especially at table. Jane had not the remotest intention of letting her father drive her to Mrs. Galland's, or anywhere, in the melancholy old phaeton-buggy, behind the fat old nag whose coat was as shabby as the coat of the master or as the top and the side curtains of the sorrowful vehicle it drew along at caterpillar pace.

When her father was ready to depart for his office in the Hastings Block—the most imposing office building in Remsen City, Jane announced a change of mind.

"I'll ride, instead," said she. "I need the exercise, and the day isn't too warm."

"All right," said Martin Hastings grumpily. He soon got enough of anyone's company, even of his favorite daughter's. Through years of habit he liked to jog about alone, revolving in his mind his business affairs—counting in fancy his big bundles of securities, one by one, calculating their returns past, present and prospective—reviewing the various enterprises in which he was dominant factor, working out schemes for getting more profit here, for paying less wages there, for tightening his grip upon this enterprise, for dumping his associates in that, for escaping with all the valuable assets from another. His appearance, as he and his nag dozed along the highroad, was as deceptive as that of a hive of bees on a hot day—no signs of life except a few sleepy workers crawling languidly in and out at the low, broad crack-door, yet within myriads toiling like mad.

Jane went up to dress. She had brought an Italian maid with her from Florence, and a mass of baggage that had given the station loungers at Remsen City something to talk about, when there was a dearth of new subjects, for the rest of their lives. She had transformed her own suite in the second story of the big old house into an appearance of the quarters of a twentieth century woman of wealth and leisure. In the sitting room were books in four languages; on the walls were tasteful reproductions of her favorite old masters. The excellence of her education was attested not by the books and pictures but by the absence of those fussy, commonplace draperies and bits of bric-a-brac where—with people of no taste and no imagination furnish their houses because they can think of nothing else to fill in the gaps.

Many of Jane's ways made Sister Martha uneasy. For Martha, while admitting that Jane through superior opportunity ought to know, could not believe that the "right sort" of people on the other side had thrown over all her beloved formalities and were conducting themselves distressingly like tenement-house people. For instance, Martha could not approve Jane's habit of smoking cigarettes—a habit which, by one of those curious freaks of character, enormously pleased her father. But—except in one matter—Martha entirely approved Jane's style of dress. She hastened to pronounce it "just too elegant" and repeated that phrase until Jane, tried beyond endurance, warned her that the word elegant was not used seriously by people of the "right sort" and that its use was regarded as one of those small but subtle signs of the loathsome "middle class."

The one thing in Jane's dress that Martha disapproved—or, rather, shied at—was her riding suit. This was an extremely noisy plaid man's suit—for Jane rode astride. Martha could not deny that Jane looked "simply stunning" when seated on her horse and dressed in that garb with her long slim feet and graceful calves encased in a pair of riding boots that looked as if they must have cost "something fierce." But was it really "ladylike"? Hadn't Jane made a mistake and adopted a costume worn only by the fashionables among the demi-mondaines of whom Martha had read and had heard such dreadful, delightful stories?

It was the lively plaid that Miss Hastings now clad herself in. She loved that suit. Not only did it give her figure a superb opportunity but also it brought out new beauties in her contour and coloring. And her head was so well shaped and her hair grew so thickly about brow and ears and nape of neck that it looked full as well plaited and done close as when it was framing her face and half concealing, half revealing her charming ears in waves of changeable auburn. After a lingering—and pardonably pleased—look at herself in a long mirror, she descended, mounted and rode slowly down toward town.

The old Galland homestead was at the western end of town—in a quarter that had become almost poor. But it was so dignified and its grounds were so extensive that it suggested a manor house with the humble homes of the lord's dependents clustering about it for shelter. To reach it Jane had to ride through two filthy streets lined with factories. As she rode she glanced at the windows, where could be seen in dusty air girls and boys busy at furiously driven machines—machines that compelled their human slaves to strain every nerve in the monotonous task of keeping them occupied. Many of the girls and boys paused long enough for a glance at the figure of the man-clad girl on the big horse.

Jane, happy in the pleasant sunshine, in her beauty and health and fine raiment and secure and luxurious position in the world, gave a thought of pity to these imprisoned young people. "How lucky I am," she thought, "not to have been born like that. Of course, we all have our falls now and then. But while they always strike on the hard ground, I've got a feather bed to fall on."

When she reached Martha's and was ushered into the cool upstairs sitting room, in somehow ghastly contrast to the hot rooms where the young working people sweated and strained, the subject persisted in its hold on her thoughts. There was Martha, in comfortable, corsetless expansiveness—an ideal illustration of the worthless idler fattening in purposelessness. She was engaged with all her energies in preparing for the ball Hugo Galland's sister, Mrs. Bertrand, was giving at the assembly rooms that night.

"I've been hard at it for several days now," said she. "I think at last I see daylight. But I want your opinion."

Jane gazed absently at the dress and accompanying articles that had been assembled with so much labor. "All right," said she. "You'll look fine and dandy."

Martha twitched. "Jane, dear—don't say that—don't use such an expression. I know it's your way of joking. But lots of people would think you didn't know any better."

"Let 'em think," said Jane. "I say and do as I please."

Martha sighed. Here was one member of her family who could be a credit, who could make people forget the unquestionably common origin of the Hastingses and of the Morleys. Yet this member was always breaking out into something mortifying, something reminiscent of the farm and of the livery stable—for the deceased Mrs. Hastings had been daughter of a livery stable keeper—in fact, had caught Martin Hastings by the way she rode her father's horses at a sale at a county fair. Said Martha:

"You haven't really looked at my clothes, Jane. Why DID you go back to calling yourself Jane?"

"Because it's my name," replied her sister.

"I know that. But you hated it and changed it to Jeanne, which is so much prettier."

"I don't think so any more," replied Miss Hastings. "My taste has improved. Don't be so horribly middle class, Martha—ashamed of everything simple and natural."

"You think you know it all—don't you?—just because you've lived abroad," said Martha peevishly.

"On the contrary, I don't know one-tenth as much as I thought I did, when I came back from Wellesley with a diploma."

"Do you like my costume?" inquired Martha, eying her finery with the fond yet dubious expression of the woman who likes her own taste but is not sure about its being good taste.

"What a lazy, worthless pair we are!" exclaimed Jane, hitting her boot leg a tremendous rap with her little cane.

Martha startled. "Good God—Jane—what is it?" she cried.

"On the way here I passed a lot of factories," pursued Jane. "Why should those people have to work like—like the devil, while we sit about planning ball dresses?"

Martha settled back comfortably. "I feel so sorry for those poor people," said she, absently sympathetic.

"But why?" demanded Jane. "WHY? Why should we be allowed to idle while they have to slave? What have we done—what are we doing—to entitle us to ease? What have they done to condemn them to pain and toil?"

"You know very well, Jane, that we represent the finer side of life."

"Slop!" ejaculated Jane.

"For pity's sake, don't let's talk politics," wailed Martha. "I know nothing about politics. I haven't any brains for that sort of thing."

"Is that politics?" inquired Jane. "I thought politics meant whether the Democrats or the Republicans or the reformers were to get the offices and the chance to steal."

"Everything's politics, nowadays," said Martha, comparing the color of the material of her dress with the color of her fat white arm. "As Hugo says, that Victor Dorn is dragging everything into politics—even our private business of how we make and spend our own money."

Jane sat down abruptly. "Victor Dorn," she said in a strange voice. "WHO is Victor Dorn? WHAT is Victor Dorn? It seems that I can hear of nothing but Victor Dorn to-day."

"He's too low to talk about," said Martha, amiable and absent.


"Politics," replied Martha. "Really, he is horrid, Jane."

"To look at?"

"No—not to look at. He's handsome in a way. Not at all common looking. You might take him for a gentleman, if you didn't know. Still—he always dresses peculiarly—always wears soft hats. I think soft hats are SO vulgar—don't you?"

"How hopelessly middle-class you are, Martha," mocked Jane.

"Hugo would as soon think of going in the street in a—in a—I don't know what."

"Hugo is the finest flower of American gentleman. That is, he's the quintessence of everything that's nice—and 'nasty.' I wish I were married to him for a week. I love Hugo, but he gives me the creeps." She rose and tramped restlessly about the room. "You both give me the creeps. Everything conventional gives me the creeps. If I'm not careful I'll dress myself in a long shirt, let down my hair and run wild."

"What nonsense you do talk," said Martha composedly.

Jane sat down abruptly. "So I do!" she said. "I'm as poor a creature as you at bottom. I simply like to beat against the bars of my cage to make myself think I'm a wild, free bird by nature. If you opened the door, I'd not fly out, but would hop meekly back to my perch and fall to smoothing my feathers.... Tell me some more about Victor Dorn."

"I told you he isn't fit to talk about," said Martha. "Do you know, they say now that he is carrying on with that shameless, brazen thing who writes for his paper, that Selma Gordon?"

"Selma Gordon," echoed Jane. Her brows came down in a gesture reminiscent of her father, and there was a disagreeable expression about her mouth and in her light brown eyes. "Who's Selma Gordon?"

"She makes speeches—and writes articles against rich people—and—oh, she's horrid."


"No—a scrawny, black thing. The men—some of them—say she's got a kind of uncanny fascination. Some even insist that she's beautiful." Martha laughed. "Beautiful! How could a woman with black hair and a dark skin and no flesh on her bones be beautiful?"

"It has been known to happen," said Jane curtly. "Is she one of THE Gordons?"

"Mercy, no!" cried Martha Galland. "She simply took the name of Gordon—that is, her father did. He was a Russian peasant—a Jew. And he fell in love with a girl who was of noble family—a princess, I think."

"Princess doesn't mean much in Russia," said Jane sourly.

"Anyhow, they ran away to this country. And he worked in the rolling mill here—and they both died—and Selma became a factory girl—and then took to writing for the New Day—that's Victor Dorn's paper, you know."

"How romantic," said Jane sarcastically. "And now Victor Dorn's in love with her?"

"I didn't say that," replied Martha, with a scandal-smile.

Jane Hastings went to the window and gazed out into the garden. Martha resumed her habitual warm day existence—sat rocking gently and fanning herself and looking leisurely about the room. Presently she said:

"Jane, why don't you marry Davy Hull?"

No answer.

"He's got an independent income—so there's no question of his marrying for money. And there isn't any family anywhere that's better than his—mighty few as good. And he's DEAD in love with you, Jen."

With her back still turned Jane snapped, "I'd rather marry Victor Dorn."

"What OUTRAGEOUS things you do say!" cried Martha.

"I envy that black Jewess—that—what's her name?—that Selma Gordon."

"You don't even know them," said Martha.

Jane wheeled round with a strange laugh. "Don't I?" cried she.

"I don't know anyone else."

She strode to her sister and tapped her lightly on the shoulder with the riding stick.

"Be careful," cautioned Martha. "You know how easily my flesh mars—and I'm going to wear my low neck to-night."

Jane did not heed. "David Hull is a bore—and a fraud," she said. "I tell you I'd rather marry Victor Dorn."

"Do be careful about my skin, dear," pleaded Martha. "Hugo'll be SO put out if there's a mark on it. He's very proud of my skin."

Jane looked at her quizzically. "What a dear, fat old rotter of a respectability it is, to be sure," said she—and strode from the room, and from the house.

Her mood of perversity and defiance did not yield to a ten mile gallop over the gentle hills of that lovely part of Indiana, but held on through the afternoon and controlled her toilet for the ball. She knew that every girl in town would appear at that most fashionable party of the summer season in the best clothing she could get together. As she had several dresses from Paris which she not without reason regarded as notable works of art, the opportunity to outshine was hers—the sort of opportunity she took pleasure in using to the uttermost, as a rule. But to be the best dressed woman at Mrs. Bertram's party was too easy and too commonplace. To be the worst dressed would call for courage—of just the sort she prided herself on having. Also, it would look original, would cause talk—would give her the coveted sense of achievement.

When she descended to show herself to her father and say good night to him, she was certainly dressed by the same pattern that caused him to be talked about throughout that region. Her gown was mussed, had been mended obviously in several places, had not been in its best day becoming. But this was not all. Her hair looked stringy and dishevelled. She was delighted with herself. Except during an illness two years before never had she come so near to being downright homely. "Martha will die of shame," said she to herself. "And Mrs. Bertram will spend the evening explaining me to everybody." She did not definitely formulate the thought, "And I shall be the most talked about person of the evening"; but it was in her mind none the less.

Her father always smoked his after-dinner cigar in a little room just off the library. It was filled up with the plain cheap furniture and the chromos and mottoes which he and his wife had bought when they first went to housekeeping—in their early days of poverty and struggle. On the south wall was a crude and cheap, but startlingly large enlargement of an old daguerreotype of Letitia Hastings at twenty-four—the year after her marriage and the year before the birth of the oldest child, Robert, called Dock, now piling up a fortune as an insider in the Chicago "brave" game of wheat and pork, which it is absurd to call gambling because gambling involves chance. To smoke the one cigar the doctor allowed him, old Martin Hastings always seated himself before this picture. He found it and his thoughts the best company in the world, just as he had found her silent self and her thoughts the best company in their twenty-one years of married life. As he sat there, sometimes he thought of her—of what they had been through together, of the various advances in his fortune—how this one had been made near such and such anniversary, and that one between two other anniversaries—and what he had said to her and what she had said to him. Again—perhaps oftener—he did not think of her directly, any more than he had thought of her when they sat together evening after evening, year in and year out, through those twenty-one years of contented and prosperous life.

As Jane entered he, seated back to the door, said:

"About that there Dorn damage suit——"

Jane started, caught her breath. Really, it was uncanny, this continual thrusting of Victor Dorn at her.

"It wasn't so bad as it looked," continued her father. He was speaking in the quiet voice—quiet and old and sad—he always used when seated before the picture.

"You see, Jenny, in them days"—also, in presence of the picture he lapsed completely into the dialect of his youth—"in them days the railroad was teetering and I couldn't tell which way things'd jump. Every cent counted."

"I understand perfectly, father," said Jane, her hands on his shoulders from behind. She felt immensely relieved. She did not realize that every doer of a mean act always has an excellent excuse for it.

"Then afterwards," the old man went on, "the family was getting along so well—the boy was working steady and making good money and pushing ahead—and I was afeared I'd do harm instead of good. It's mighty dangerous, Jen, to give money sudden to folks that ain't used to it. I've seen many a smash-up come that way. And your ma—she thought so, too—kind of."

The "kind of" was advanced hesitatingly, with an apologetic side glance at the big crayon portrait. But Jane was entirely convinced. She was average human; therefore, she believed what she wished to believe.

"You were quite right, father," said she. "I knew you couldn't do a bad thing—wouldn't deliberately strike at weak, helpless people. And now, it can be straightened out and the Dorns will be all the better for not having been tempted in the days when it might have ruined them."

She had walked round where her father could see her, as she delivered herself of this speech so redolent of the fumes of collegiate smugness. He proceeded to examine her—with an expression of growing dissatisfaction. Said he fretfully:

"You don't calculate to go out, looking like that?"

"Out to the swellest blow-out of the year, popsy," said she.

The big heavy looking head wobbled about uneasily. "You look too much like your old pappy's daughter," said he.

"I can afford to," replied she.

The head shook positively. "You ma wouldn't 'a liked it. She was mighty partic'lar how she dressed."

Jane laughed gayly. "Why, when did you become a critic of women's dress?" cried she.

"I always used to buy yer ma dresses and hats when I went to the city," said he. "And she looked as good as the best—not for these days, but for them times." He looked critically at the portrait. "I bought them clothes and awful dear they seemed to me." His glance returned to his daughter. "Go get yourself up proper," said he, between request and command. "SHE wouldn't 'a liked it."

Jane gazed at the common old crayon, suddenly flung her arms round the old man's neck. "Yes—father," she murmured. "To please HER."

She fled; the old man wiped his eyes, blew his nose and resumed the careful smoking of the cheap, smelly cigar. He said he preferred that brand of his days of poverty; and it was probably true, as he would refuse better cigars offered him by fastidious men who hoped to save themselves from the horrors of his. He waited restlessly, though it was long past his bedtime; he yawned and pretended to listen while Davy Hull, who had called for Jane in the Hull brougham, tried to make a favorable impression upon him. At last Jane reappeared—and certainly Letitia Hastings would have been more than satisfied.

"Sorry to keep you waiting," said she to Hull, who was speechless and tremulous before her voluptuous radiance. "But father didn't like the way I was rigged out. Maybe I'll have to change again."

"Take her along, Davy," said Hastings, his big head wagging with delight. "She's a caution—SHE is!"

Hull could not control himself to speak. As they sat in the carriage, she finishing the pulling on of her gloves, he stared out into the heavy rain that was deluging the earth and bending low the boughs. Said she, half way down the hill:

"Well—can't you talk about anything but Victor Dorn?"

"I saw him this afternoon," said Hull, glad that the tension of the silence was broken.

"Then you've got something to talk about."

"The big street car strike is on."

"So father said at dinner. I suppose Victor Dorn caused it."

"No—he's opposed to it. He's queer. I don't exactly understand his ideas. He says strikes are ridiculous—that it's like trying to cure smallpox by healing up one single sore."

Jane gave a shiver of lady-like disgust. "How—nasty," said she.

"I'm telling you what he said. But he says that the only way human beings learn how to do things right is by doing them wrong—so while he's opposed to strikes he's also in favor of them."

"Even I understand that," said Jane. "I don't think it's difficult."

"Doesn't it strike you as—as inconsistent?"

"Oh—bother consistency!" scoffed the girl. "That's another middle class virtue that sensible people loathe as a vice. Anyhow, he's helping the strikers all he can—and fighting US. You know, your father and my father's estate are the two biggest owners of the street railways."

"I must get his paper," said Jane. "I'll have a lot of fun reading the truth about us."

But David wasn't listening. He was deep in thought. After a while he said: "It's amazing—and splendid—and terrible, what power he's getting in our town. Victor Dorn, I mean."

"Always Victor Dorn," mocked Jane.

"When he started—twelve years ago as a boy of twenty, just out of college and working as a carpenter—when he started, he was alone and poor, and without friends or anything. He built up little by little, winning one man at a time—the fellow working next him on his right, then the chap working on his left—in the shop—and so on, one man after another. And whenever he got a man he held him—made him as devoted—as—as fanatical as he is himself. Now he's got a band of nearly a thousand. There are ten thousand voters in this town. So, he's got only one in ten. But what a thousand!"

Jane was gazing out into the rain, her eyes bright, her lips parted.

"Are you listening?" asked Hull. "Or, am I boring you?"

"Go on," said she.

"They're a thousand missionaries—apostles—yes, apostle is the name for them. They live and breathe and think and talk only the ideas Victor Dorn believes and fights for. And whenever he wants anything done—anything for the cause—why, there are a thousand men ready to do it."

"Why?" said Jane.

"Victor Dorn," said Hull. "Do you wonder that he interests me? For instance, to-night: you see how it's raining. Well, Victor Dorn had them print to-day fifty thousand leaflets about this strike—what it means to his cause. And he has asked five hundred of his men to stand on the corners and patrol the streets and distribute those dodgers. I'll bet not a man will be missing."

"But why?" repeated Jane. "What for?"

"He wants to conquer this town. He says the world has to be conquered—and that the way to begin is to begin—and that he has begun."

"Conquer it for what?"

"For himself, I guess," said Hull. "Of course, he professes that it's for the public good. They all do. But what's the truth?"

"If I saw him I could tell you," said Jane in the full pride of her belief in her woman's power of divination in character.

"However, he can't succeed," observed Hull.

"Oh, yes, he can," replied Jane. "And will. Even if every idea he had were foolish and wrong. And it isn't—is it?"

David laughed peculiarly. "He's infernally uncomfortably right in most of the things he charges and proposes. I don't like to think about it." He shut his teeth together. "I WON'T think about it," he muttered.

"No—you'd better stick to your own road, Davy," said Jane with irritating mockery. "You were born to be thoroughly conventional and respectable. As a reformer you're ideal. As a—an imitator of Victor Dorn, you'd be a joke."

"There's one of his men now," exclaimed Hull, leaning forward excitedly.

Jane looked. A working man, a commonplace enough object, was standing under the corner street lamp, the water running off his hat, his shoulders, his coat tail. His package of dodgers was carefully shielded by an oilcloth from the wet which had full swing at the man. To every passer-by he presented a dodger, accompanying the polite gesture with some phrase which seemed to move the man or woman to take what was offered and to put it away instead of dropping it.

Jane sank back in the carriage, disappointed. "Is that all?" said she disdainfully.

"ALL?" cried Hull. "Use your imagination, Jen. But I forgot—you're a woman. They see only surfaces."

"And are snared into marrying by complexions and pretty features and dresses and silly flirting tricks," retorted the girl sarcastically.

Hull laughed. "I spoke too quick that time," said he. "I suppose you expected to see something out of a fifteenth century Italian old master! Well—it was there, all right."

Jane shrugged her shoulders. "And your Victor Dorn," said she, "no doubt he's seated in some dry, comfortable place enjoying the thought of his men making fools of themselves for him."

They were drawing up to the curb before the Opera House where were the assembly rooms. "There he is now," cried Hull.

Jane, startled, leaned eagerly forward. In the rain beyond the edge of the awning stood a dripping figure not unlike that other which had so disappointed her. Underneath the brim of the hat she could see a smooth-shaven youngish face—almost boyish. But the rain streaming from the brim made satisfactory scrutiny impossible.

Jane again sank back. "How many carriages before us?" she said.

"You're disappointed in him, too, I suppose," said Hull. "I knew you would be."

"I thought he was tall," said Jane.

"Only middling," replied Hull, curiously delighted.

"I thought he was serious," said Jane.

"On the contrary, he's always laughing. He's the best natured man I know."

As they descended and started along the carpet under the middle of the awning, Jane halted. She glanced toward the dripping figure whom the police would not permit under the shelter. Said she: "I want one of those papers."

Davy moved toward the drenched distributor of strike literature. "Give me one, Dorn," he said in his most elegant manner.

"Sure, Davy," said Dorn in a tone that was a subtle commentary on Hull's aristocratic tone and manner. As he spoke he glanced at Jane; she was looking at him. Both smiled—at Davy's expense.

Davy and Jane passed on in, Jane folding the dodger to tuck it away for future reading. She said to him: "But you didn't tell me about his eyes."

"What's the matter with them?"

"Everything," replied she—and said no more.


The dance was even more tiresome than Jane had anticipated. There had been little pleasure in outshining the easily outshone belles of Remsen City. She had felt humiliated by having to divide the honors with a brilliantly beautiful and scandalously audacious Chicago girl, a Yvonne Hereford—whose style, in looks, in dress and in wit, was more comfortable to the standard of the best young men of Remsen City—a standard which Miss Hastings, cultivated by foreign travel and social adventure, regarded as distinctly poor, not to say low. Miss Hereford's audacities were especially offensive to Jane. Jane was audacious herself, but she flattered herself that she had a delicate sense of that baffling distinction between the audacity that is the hall mark of the lady and the audacity that proclaims the not-lady. For example, in such apparently trifling matters as the way of smoking a cigarette, the way of crossing the legs or putting the elbows on the table or using slang, Jane found a difference, abysmal though narrow, between herself and Yvonne Hereford. "But then, her very name gives her away," reflected Jane. "There'd surely be a frightfully cheap streak in a mother who in this country would name her daughter Yvonne—or in a girl who would name herself that."

However, Jane Hastings was not deeply annoyed either by the shortcomings of Remsen City young men or by the rivalry of Miss Hereford. Her dissatisfaction was personal—the feeling of futility, of cheapness, in having dressed herself in her best and spent a whole evening at such unworthy business. "Whatever I am or am not fit for," said she to herself, "I'm not for society—any kind of society. At least I'm too much grown-up mentally for that." Her disdainful thoughts about others were, on this occasion as almost always, merely a mode of expressing her self-scorn.

As she was undressing she found in her party bag the dodger Hull had got for her from Victor Dorn. She, sitting at her dressing table, started to read it at once. But her attention soon wandered. "I'm not in the mood," she said. "To-morrow." And she tossed it into the top drawer. The fact was, the subject of politics interested her only when some man in whom she was interested was talking it to her. In a general way she understood things political, but like almost all women and all but a few men she could fasten her attention only on things directly and clearly and nearly related to her own interests. Politics seemed to her to be not at all related to her—or, indeed, to anybody but the men running for office. This dodger was politics, pure and simple. A plea to workingmen to awaken to the fact that their STRIKES were stupid and wasteful, that the way to get better pay and decent hours of labor was by uniting, taking possession of the power that was rightfully theirs and regulating their own affairs.

She resumed fixing her hair for the night. Her glance bent steadily downward at one stage of this performance, rested unseeingly upon the handbill folded printed side out and on top of the contents of the open drawer. She happened to see two capital letters—S.G.—in a line by themselves at the end of the print. She repeated them mechanically several times—"S.G.—S.G.—S.G."—then her hands fell from her hair upon the handbill. She settled herself to read in earnest.

"Selma Gordon," she said. "That's different."

She would have had some difficulty in explaining to herself why it was "different." She read closely, concentratedly now. She tried to read in an attitude of unfriendly criticism, but she could not. A dozen lines, and the clear, earnest, honest sentences had taken hold of her. How sensible the statements were, and how obviously true. Why, it wasn't the writing of an "anarchistic crank" at all—on the contrary, the writer was if anything more excusing toward the men who were giving the drivers and motormen a dollar and ten cents a day for fourteen hours' work—"fourteen hours!" cried Jane, her cheeks burning—yes, Selma Gordon was more tolerant of the owners of the street car line than Jane herself would have been.

When Jane had read, she gazed at the print with sad envy in her eyes. "Selma Gordon can think—and she can write, too," said she half aloud. "I want to know her—too."

That "too" was the first admission to herself of a curiously intense desire to meet Victor Dorn.

"Oh, to be in earnest about something! To have a real interest! To find something to do besides the nursery games disguised under new forms for the grown-up yet never to be grown-up infants of the world. And THAT kind of politics doesn't sound shallow and dull. There's heart in it—and brains—real brains—not merely nasty little self-seeking cunning." She took up the handbill again and read a paragraph set in bolder type:

"The reason we of the working class are slaves is because we haven't intelligence enough to be our own masters, let alone masters of anybody else. The talk of equality, workingmen, is nonsense to flatter your silly, ignorant vanity. We are not the equals of our masters. They know more than we do, and naturally they use that knowledge to make us work for them. So, even if you win in this strike or in all your strikes, you will not much better yourselves. Because you are ignorant and foolish, your masters will scheme around and take from you in some other way what you have wrenched from them in the strike.

"Organize! Think! Learn! Then you will rise out of the dirt where you wallow with your wives and your children. Don't blame your masters; they don't enslave you. They don't keep you in slavery. Your chains are of your own forging and only you can strike them off!"

Certainly no tenement house woman could be lazier, emptier of head, more inane of life than her sister Martha. "She wouldn't even keep clean if it wasn't the easiest thing in the world for her to do, and a help at filling in her long idle day." Yet—Martha Galland had every comfort and most of the luxuries, was as sheltered from all the hardships as a hot-house flower. Then there was Hugo—to go no further afield than the family. Had he ever done an honest hour's work in his life? Could anyone have less brains than he? Yet Hugo was rich and respected, was a director in big corporations, was a member of a first-class law firm. "It isn't fair," thought the girl. "I've always felt it. I see now why. It's a bad system of taking from the many for the benefit of us few. And it's kept going by a few clever, strong men like father. They work for themselves and their families and relatives and for their class—and the rest of the people have to suffer."

She did not fall asleep for several hours, such was the tumult in her aroused brain. The first thing the next morning she went down town, bought copies of the New Day—for that week and for a few preceding weeks—and retreated to her favorite nook in her father's grounds to read and to think—and to plan. She searched the New Day in vain for any of the wild, wandering things Davy and her father had told her Victor Dorn was putting forth. The four pages of each number were given over either to philosophical articles no more "anarchistic" than Emerson's essays, not so much so as Carlyle's, or to plain accounts of the current stealing by the politicians of Remsen City, of the squalor and disease—danger in the tenements, of the outrages by the gas and water and street car companies. There was much that was terrible, much that was sad, much that was calculated to make an honest heart burn with indignation against those who were cheerily sacrificing the whole community to their desire for profits and dividends and graft, public and private. But there was also a great deal of humor—of rather a sardonic kind, but still seeing the fantastic side of this grand game of swindle.

Two paragraphs made an especial impression on her:

"Remsen City is no worse—and no better—than other American cities. It's typical. But we who live here needn't worry about the rest of the country. The thing for us to do is to CLEAN UP AT HOME."

"We are more careful than any paper in this town about verifying every statement we make, before we make it. If we should publish a single statement about anyone that was false even in part we would be suppressed. The judges, the bosses, the owners of the big blood-sucking public service corporations, the whole ruling class, are eager to put us out of existence. Don't forget this fact when you hear the New Day called a lying, demagogical sheet."

With the paper beside her on the rustic bench, she fell to dreaming—not of a brighter and better world, of a wiser and freer race, but of Victor Dorn, the personality that had unaided become such a power in Remsen City, the personality that sparkled and glowed in the interesting pages of the New Day, that made its sentences read as if they were spoken into your very ears by an earnest, honest voice issuing from a fascinating, humor-loving, intensely human and natural person before your very eyes. But it was not round Victor Dorn's brain that her imagination played.

"After all," thought she, "Napoleon wasn't much over five feet. Most of the big men have been little men. Of course, there were Alexander—and Washington—and Lincoln, but—how silly to bother about a few inches of height, more or less! And he wasn't really SHORT. Let me see—how high did he come on Davy when Davy was standing near him? Above his shoulder—and Davy's six feet two or three. He's at least as tall as I am—anyhow, in my ordinary heels."

She was attracted by both the personalities she discovered in the little journal. She believed she could tell them apart. About some of the articles, the shorter ones, she was doubtful. But in those of any length she could feel that difference which enables one to distinguish the piano touch of a player in another room—whether it is male or female. Presently she was searching for an excuse for scraping acquaintance with this pair of pariahs—pariahs so far as her world was concerned. And soon she found it. The New Day was taking subscriptions for a fund to send sick children and their mothers to the country for a vacation from the dirt and heat of the tenements—for Remsen City, proud though it was and boastful of its prosperity, housed most of its inhabitants in slums—though of course that low sort of people oughtn't really to be counted—except for purposes of swelling census figures—and to do all the rough and dirty work necessary to keep civilization going.

She would subscribe to this worthy charity—and would take her subscription, herself. Settled—easily and well settled. She did not involve herself, or commit herself in any way. Besides, those who might find out and might think she had overstepped the bounds would excuse her on the ground that she had not been back at home long and did not realize what she was doing.

What should she wear?

Her instinct was for an elaborate toilet—a descent in state—or such state as the extremely limited resources of Martin Hastings' stables would permit. The traps he had ordered for her had not yet come; she had been glad to accept David Hull's offer of a lift the night before. Still, without a carriage or a motor she could make quite an impression with a Paris walking dress and hat, properly supported by fashionable accessories of the toilet.

Good sense and good taste forbade these promptings of nature. No, she would dress most simply—in her very plainest things—taking care to maintain all her advantages of face and figure. If she overwhelmed Dorn and Miss Gordon, she would defeat her own purpose—would not become acquainted with them.

In the end she rejected both courses and decided for the riding costume. The reason she gave for this decision—the reason she gave herself—was that the riding costume would invest the call with an air of accident, of impulse. The real reason.

It may be that some feminine reader can guess why she chose the most startling, the most gracefully becoming, the most artlessly physical apparel in her wardrobe.

She said nothing to her father at lunch about her plans. Why should she speak of them? He might oppose; also, she might change her mind. After lunch she set out on her usual ride, galloping away into the hills—but she had put twenty-five dollars in bills in her trousers pocket. She rode until she felt that her color was at its best, and then she made for town—a swift, direct ride, her heart beating high as if she were upon a most daring and fateful adventure. And, as a matter of fact, never in her life had she done anything that so intensely interested her. She felt that she was for the first time slackening rein upon those unconventional instincts, of unknown strength and purpose, which had been making her restless with their vague stirrings.

"How silly of me!" she thought. "I'm doing a commonplace, rather common thing—and I'm trying to make it seem a daring, romantic adventure. I MUST be hard up for excitement!"

Toward the middle of the afternoon she dropped from her horse before the office of the New Day and gave a boy the bridle. "I'll be back in a minute," she explained. It was a two-story frame building, dingy and in disrepair. On the street floor was a grocery. Access to the New Day was by a rickety stairway. As she ascended this, making a great noise on its unsteady boards with her boots, she began to feel cheap and foolish. She recalled what Hull had said in the carriage. "No doubt," replied she, "I'd feel much the same way if I were going to see Jesus Christ—a carpenter's son, sitting in some hovel, talking with his friends the fishermen and camel drivers—not to speak of the women."

The New Day occupied two small rooms—an editorial work room, and a printing work room behind it. Jane Hastings, in the doorway at the head of the stairs, was seeing all there was to see. In the editorial room were two tables—kitchen tables, littered with papers and journals, as was the floor, also. At the table directly opposite the door no one was sitting—"Victor Dorn's desk," Jane decided. At the table by the open window sat a girl, bent over her writing. Jane saw that the figure was below, probably much below, the medium height for woman, that it was slight and strong, that it was clad in a simple, clean gray linen dress. The girl's black hair, drawn into a plain but distinctly graceful knot, was of that dense and wavy thickness which is a characteristic and a beauty of the Hebrew race. The skin at the nape of her neck, on her hands, on her arms bare to the elbows was of a beautiful dead-white—the skin that so admirably compliments dead-black hair.

Before disturbing this busy writer Jane glanced round. There was nothing to detain her in the view of the busy printing plant in the room beyond. But on the walls of the room before her were four pictures—lithographs, cheap, not framed, held in place by a tack at each corner. There was Washington—then Lincoln—then a copy of Leonardo's Jesus in the Last Supper fresco—and a fourth face, bearded, powerful, imperious, yet wonderfully kind and good humored—a face she did not know. Pointing her riding stick at it she said:

"And who is that?"

With a quick but not in the least a startled movement the girl at the table straightened her form, turned in her chair, saying, as she did so, without having seen the pointing stick:

"That is Marx—Karl Marx."

Jane was so astonished by the face she was now seeing—the face of the girl—that she did not hear the reply. The girl's hair and skin had reminded her of what Martha had told her about the Jewish, or half-Jewish, origin of Selma Gordon. Thus, she assumed that she would see a frankly Jewish face. Instead, the face looking at her from beneath the wealth of thick black hair, carelessly parted near the centre, was Russian—was Cossack—strange and primeval, intense, dark, as superbly alive as one of those exuberant tropical flowers that seem to cry out the mad joy of life. Only, those flowers suggest the evanescent, the flame burning so fiercely that it must soon burn out, while this Russian girl declared that life was eternal. You could not think of her as sick, as old, as anything but young and vigorous and vivid, as full of energy as a healthy baby that kicks its dresses into rags and wears out the strength of its strapping nurse. Her nose was as straight as Jane's own particularly fine example of nose. Her dark gray eyes, beneath long, slender, coal black lines of brow, were brimming with life and with fun. She had a wide, frank, scarlet mouth; her teeth were small and sharp and regular, and of the strong and healthy shade of white. She had a very small, but a very resolute chin. With another quick, free movement she stood up. She was indeed small, but formed in proportion. She seemed out of harmony with her linen dress. She looked as if she ought to be careening on the steppes in some romantic, half-savage costume. Jane's first and instant thought was, "There's not another like her in the whole world. She's the only living specimen of her kind."

"Gracious!" exclaimed Jane. "But you ARE healthy."

The smile took full advantage of the opportunity to broaden into a laugh. A most flattering expression of frank, childlike admiration came into the dark gray eyes. "You're not sickly, yourself," replied Selma. Jane was disappointed that the voice was not untamed Cossack, but was musically civilized.

"Yes, but I don't flaunt it as you do," rejoined Jane. "You'd make anyone who was the least bit off, furious."

Selma, still with the child-like expression, but now one of curiosity, was examining Jane's masculine riding dress. "What a sensible suit!" she cried, delightedly. "I'd wear something like that all the time, if I dared."

"Dared?" said Jane. "You don't look like the frightened sort."

"Not on account of myself," explained Selma. "On account of the cause. You see, we are fighting for a new idea. So, we have to be careful not to offend people's prejudices about ideas not so important. If we went in for everything that's sensible, we'd be regarded as cranks. One thing at a time."

Jane's glance shifted to the fourth picture. "Didn't you say that was—Karl Marx?"


"He wrote a book on political economy. I tried to read it at college. But I couldn't. It was too heavy for me. He was a Socialist—wasn't he?—the founder of Socialism?"

"A great deal more than that," replied Selma. "He was the most important man for human liberty that ever lived—except perhaps one." And she looked at Leonardo's "man of sorrows and acquainted with grief."

"Marx was a—a Hebrew—wasn't he?"

Selma's eyes danced, and Jane felt that she was laughing at her hesitation and choice of the softer word. Selma said:

"Yes—he was a Jew. Both were Jews."

"Both?" inquired Jane, puzzled.

"Marx and Jesus," explained Selma.

Jane was startled. "So HE was a Jew—wasn't He?"

"And they were both labor leaders—labor agitators. The first one proclaimed the brotherhood of man. But he regarded this world as hopeless and called on the weary and heavy laden masses to look to the next world for the righting of their wrongs. Then—eighteen centuries after—came that second Jew"—Selma looked passionate, reverent admiration at the powerful, bearded face, so masterful, yet so kind—"and he said: 'No! not in the hereafter, but in the here. Here and now, my brothers. Let us make this world a heaven. Let us redeem ourselves and destroy the devil of ignorance who is holding us in this hell.' It was three hundred years before that first Jew began to triumph. It won't be so long before there are monuments to Marx in clean and beautiful and free cities all over the earth."

Jane listened intensely. There was admiring envy in her eyes as she cried: "How splendid!—to believe in something—and work for it and live for it—as you do!"

Selma laughed, with a charming little gesture of the shoulders and the hands that reminded Jane of her foreign parentage. "Nothing else seems worth while," said she. "Nothing else is worth while. There are only two entirely great careers—to be a teacher of the right kind and work to ease men's minds—as those four did—or to be a doctor of the right kind and work to make mankind healthy. All the suffering, all the crime, all the wickedness, comes from ignorance or bad health—or both. Usually it's simply bad health."

Jane felt as if she were devoured of thirst and drinking at a fresh, sparkling spring. "I never thought of that before," said she.

"If you find out all about any criminal, big or little, you'll discover that he had bad health—poisons in his blood that goaded him on."

Jane nodded. "Whenever I'm difficult to get on with, I'm always not quite well."

"I can see that your disposition is perfect, when you are well," said Selma.

"And yours," said Jane.

"Oh, I'm never out of humor," said Selma. "You see, I'm never sick—not the least bit."

"You are Miss Gordon, aren't you?"

"Yes—I'm Selma Gordon."

"My name is Jane Hastings." Then as this seemed to convey nothing to Selma, Jane added: "I'm not like you. I haven't an individuality of my own—that anybody knows about. So, I'll have to identify myself by saying that I'm Martin Hastings' daughter."

Jane confidently expected that this announcement would cause some sort of emotion—perhaps of awe, perhaps of horror, certainly of interest. She was disappointed. If Selma felt anything she did not show it—and Jane was of the opinion that it would be well nigh impossible for so direct and natural a person to conceal. Jane went on:

"I read in your paper about your fund for sick children. I was riding past your office—saw the sign—and I've come in to give what I happen to have about me." She drew out the small roll of bills and handed it to Selma.

The Russian girl—if it is fair thus to characterize one so intensely American in manner, in accent and in speech—took the money and said:

"We'll acknowledge it in the paper next week."

Jane flushed and a thrill of alarm ran through her. "Oh—please—no," she urged. "I'd not like to have my name mentioned. That would look as if I had done it to seem charitable. Besides, it's such a trifle."

Selma was calm and apparently unsuspicious. "Very well," said she. "We'll write, telling what we did with the money, so that you can investigate."

"But I trust you entirely," cried Jane.

Selma shook her head. "But we don't wish to be trusted," said she. "Only dishonest people wish to be trusted when it's possible to avoid trusting. And we all need watching. It helps us to keep straight."

"Oh, I don't agree with you," protested Miss Hastings. "Lots of the time I'd hate to be watched. I don't want everybody to know all I do."

Selma's eyes opened. "Why not?" she said.

Jane cast about for a way to explain what seemed to her a self-evident truth. "I mean—privacy," she said. "For instance, if you were in love, you'd not want everybody to know about it?"

"Yes, indeed," declared Selma. "I'd be tremendously proud of it. It must be wonderful to be in love."

In one of those curious twists of feminine nature, Miss Hastings suddenly felt the glow of a strong, unreserved liking for this strange, candid girl.

Selma went on: "But I'm afraid I never shall be. I get no time to think about myself. From rising till bed time my work pushes at me." She glanced uneasily at her desk, apologetically at Miss Hastings. "I ought to be writing this minute. The strike is occupying Victor, and I'm helping out with his work."

"I'm interrupting," said Jane. "I'll go." She put out her hand with her best, her sweetest smile. "We're going to be friends—aren't we?"

Selma clasped her hand heartily and said: "We ARE friends. I like everybody. There's always something to like in everyone—and the bad part isn't their fault. But it isn't often that I like anyone so much as I do you. You are so direct and honest—quite different from the other women of your class that I've met."

Jane felt unaccountably grateful and humble. "I'm afraid you're too generous. I guess you're not a very good judge of people," she said.

"So Victor—Victor Dorn—says," laughed Selma. "He says I'm too confiding. Well—why not? And really, he trusts everybody, too—except with the cause. Then he's—he's"—she glanced from face to face of the four pictures—"he's like those men."

Jane's glance followed Selma's. She said: "Yes—I should imagine so—from what I've heard." She startled, flushed, hid behind a somewhat constrained manner. "Will you come up to my house to lunch?"

"If I can find time," said Selma. "But I'd rather come and take you for a walk. I have to walk two hours every day. It's the only thing that'll keep my head clear."

"When will you come?—to-morrow?"

"Is nine o'clock too early?"

Jane reflected that her father left for business at half-past eight. "Nine to-morrow," she said. "Good-by again."

As she was mounting her horse, she saw "the Cossack girl," as she was calling her, writing away at the window hardly three feet above the level of Jane's head when she was mounted, so low was the first story of the battered old frame house. But Selma did not see her; she was all intent upon the writing. "She's forgotten me already," thought Jane with a pang of jealous vanity. She added: "But SHE has SOMETHING to think about—she and Victor Dorn."

She was so preoccupied that she rode away with only an absent thank you for the small boy, in an older and much larger and wider brother's cast-off shirt, suspenders and trousers. At the corner of the avenue she remembered and turned her horse. There stood the boy gazing after her with a hypnotic intensity that made her smile. She rode back fumbling in her pockets. "I beg your pardon," said she to the boy. Then she called up to Selma Gordon:

"Miss Gordon—please—will you lend me a quarter until to-morrow?"

Selma looked up, stared dazedly at her, smiled absently at Miss Hastings—and Miss Hastings had the strongest confirmation of her suspicion that Selma had forgotten her and her visit the instant she vanished from the threshold of the office. Said Selma: "A quarter?—oh, yes—certainly." She seemed to be searching a drawer or a purse out of sight. "I haven't anything but a five dollar bill. I'm so sorry"—this in an absent manner, with most of her thoughts evidently still upon her work. She rose, leaned from the window, glanced up the street, then down. She went on:

"There comes Victor Dorn. He'll lend it to you."

Along the ragged brick walk at a quick pace the man who had in such abrupt fashion stormed Jane Hasting's fancy and taken possession of her curiosity was advancing with a basket on his arm. He was indeed a man of small stature—about the medium height for a woman—about the height of Jane Hastings. But his figure was so well put together and his walk so easy and free from self-consciousness that the question of stature no sooner arose than it was dismissed. His head commanded all the attention—its poise and the remarkable face that fronted it. The features were bold, the skin was clear and healthy and rather fair. His eyes—gray or green blue and set neither prominently nor retreatedly—seemed to be seeing and understanding all that was going on about him. He had a strong, rather relentless mouth—the mouth of men who make and compel sacrifices for their ambitions.

"Victor," cried Selma as soon as he was within easy range of her voice, "please lend Miss Hastings a quarter." And she immediately sat down and went to work again, with the incident dismissed from mind.

The young man—for he was plainly not far beyond thirty—halted and regarded the young woman on the horse.

"I wish to give this young gentleman here a quarter," said Jane. "He was very good about holding my horse."

The words were not spoken before the young gentleman darted across the narrow street and into a yard hidden by masses of clematis, morning glory and sweet peas. And Jane realized that she had wholly mistaken the meaning of that hypnotic stare.

Victor laughed—the small figure, the vast clothes, the bare feet with voluminous trousers about them made a ludicrous sight. "He doesn't want it," said Victor. "Thank you just the same."

"But I want him to have it," said Jane.

With a significant unconscious glance at her costume Dorn said: "Those costumes haven't reached our town yet."

"He did some work for me. I owe it to him."

"He's my sister's little boy," said Dorn, with his amiable, friendly smile. "We mustn't start him in the bad way of expecting pay for politeness."

Jane colored as if she had been rebuked, when in fact his tone forbade the suggestion of rebuke. There was an unpleasant sparkle in her eyes as she regarded the young man in the baggy suit, with the basket on his arm. "I beg your pardon," said she coldly. "I naturally didn't know your peculiar point of view."

"That's all right," said Dorn carelessly. "Thank you, and good day." And with a polite raising of the hat and a manner of good humored friendliness that showed how utterly unconscious he was of her being offended at him, he hastened across the street and went in at the gate where the boy had vanished. And Jane had the sense that he had forgotten her. She glanced nervously up at the window to see whether Selma Gordon was witnessing her humiliation—for so she regarded it. But Selma was evidently lost in a world of her own. "She doesn't love him," Jane decided. "For, even though she is a strange kind of person, she's a woman—and if she had loved him she couldn't have helped watching while he talked with another woman—especially with one of my appearance and class."

Jane rode slowly away. At the corner—it was a long block—she glanced toward the scene she had just quitted. Involuntarily she drew rein. Victor and the boy had come out into the street and were playing catches. The game did not last long. Dorn let the boy corner him and seize him, then gave him a great toss into the air, catching him as he came down and giving him a hug and a kiss. The boy ran shouting merrily into the yard; Victor disappeared in the entrance to the offices of the New Day.

That evening, as she pretended to listen to Hull on national politics, and while dressing the following morning Jane reflected upon her adventure. She decided that Dorn and the "wild girl" were a low, ill-mannered pair with whom she had nothing in common, that her fantastic, impulsive interest in them had been killed, that for the future she would avoid "all that sort of cattle." She would receive Selma Gordon politely, of course—would plead headache as an excuse for not walking, would get rid of her as soon as possible. "No doubt," thought Jane, with the familiar, though indignantly denied, complacence of her class, "as soon as she gets in here she'll want to hang on. She played it very well, but she must have been crazy with delight at my noticing her and offering to take her up."

The postman came as Jane was finishing breakfast. He brought a note from Selma—a hasty pencil scrawl on a sheet of printer's copy paper:

"Dear Miss Hastings: For the present I'm too busy to take my walks. So, I'll not be there to-morrow. With best regards, S.G."

Such a fury rose up in Jane that the undigested breakfast went wrong and put her in condition to give such exhibition as chance might tempt of that ugliness of disposition which appears from time to time in all of us not of the meek and worm-like class, and which we usually attribute to any cause under the sun but the vulgar right one. "The impertinence!" muttered Jane, with a second glance at the note which conveyed; among other humiliating things, an impression of her own absolute lack of importance to Selma Gordon. "Serves me right for lowering myself to such people. If I wanted to try to do anything for the working class I'd have to keep away from them. They're so unattractive to look at and to associate with—not like those shrewd, respectful, interesting peasants one finds on the other side. They're better in the East. They know their place in a way. But out here they're insufferable."

And she spent the morning quarrelling with her maid and the other servants, issuing orders right and left, working herself into a horrible mood dominated by a headache that was anything but a pretense. As she wandered about the house and gardens, she trailed a beautiful negligee with that carelessness which in a woman of clean and orderly habits invariably indicates the possession of many clothes and of a maid who can be counted on to freshen things up before they shall be used again. Her father came home to lunch in high good humor.

"I'll not go down town again for a few days," said he. "I reckon I'd best keep out of the way. That scoundrelly Victor Dorn has done so much lying and inciting these last four or five years that it ain't safe for a man like me to go about when there's trouble with the hands."

"Isn't it outrageous!" exclaimed Jane. "He ought to be stopped."

Hastings chuckled and nodded. "And he will be," said he. "Wait till this strike's over."

"When will that be?" asked Jane.

"Mighty soon," replied her father. "I was ready for 'em this time—good and ready. I've sent word to the governor that I want the militia down here tomorrow——"

"Has there been a riot?" cried Jane anxiously.

"Not yet," said Hastings. He was laughing to himself. "But there will be to-night. Then the governor'll send the troops in to-morrow afternoon."

"But maybe the men'll be quiet, and then——" began Jane, sick inside and trembling.

"When I say a thing'll happen, it'll happen," interrupted her father. "We've made up our minds it's time to give these fellows a lesson. It's got to be done. A milder lesson'll serve now, where later on it'd have to be hard. I tell you these things because I want you to remember 'em. They'll come in handy—when you'll have to look after your own property."

She knew how her father hated the thought of his own death; this was the nearest he had ever come to speaking of it. "Of course, there's your brother William," he went on. "William's a good boy—and a mighty good business man—though he does take risks I'd never 'a took—not even when I was young and had nothing to lose. Yes—and Billy's honest. BUT"—the big head shook impressively—"William's human, Jenny—don't ever forget that. The love of money's an awful thing." A lustful glitter like the shine of an inextinguishable fire made his eyes fascinating and terrible. "It takes hold of a man and never lets go. To see the money pile up—and up—and up."

The girl turned away her gaze. She did not wish to see so far into her father's soul. It seemed a hideous indecency.

"So, Jenny—don't trust William, but look after your own property."

"Oh, I don't care anything about it, popsy," she cried, fighting to think of him and to speak to him as simply the living father she had always insisted on seeing.

"Yes—you do care," said Hastings sharply. "You've got to have your money, because that's your foundation—what you're built on. And I'm going to train you. This here strike's a good time to begin."

After a long silence she said: "Yes, money's what I'm built on. I might as well recognize the truth and act accordingly. I want you to teach me, father."

"I've got to educate you so as, when you get control, you won't go and do fool sentimental things like some women—and some men that warn't trained practically—men like that Davy Hull you think so well of. Things that'd do no good and 'd make you smaller and weaker."

"I understand," said the girl. "About this strike—WHY won't you give the men shorter hours and better pay?"

"Because the company can't afford it. As things are now, there's only enough left for a three per cent dividend after the interest on the bonds is paid."

She had read in the New Day that by a series of tricks the "traction ring" had quadrupled the bonded indebtedness of the roads and multiplied the stock by six, and had pocketed the proceeds of the steal; that three per cent on the enormously inflated capital was in fact eighteen per cent on the actual stock value; that seven per cent on the bonds was in fact twenty-eight per cent on the actual bonded indebtedness; that this traction steal was a fair illustration of how in a score of ways in Remsen City, in a thousand and one ways in all parts of the country, the upper class was draining away the substance of the masses, was swindling them out of their just wages, was forcing them to pay many times the just prices for every article of civilized use. She had read these things—she had thought about them—she had realized that they were true.

She did not put to her father the question that was on her lips—the next logical question after his answer that the company could not afford to cut the hours lower than fourteen or to raise wages to what was necessary for a man to have if he and his family were to live, not in decency and comfort, but in something less than squalor. She did not put the question because she wished to spare her father—to spare herself the shame of hearing his tricky answer—to spare herself the discomfort of squarely facing a nasty truth.

Instead she said: "I understand. And you have got to look out for the rights of the people who have invested their money."

"If I didn't I'd be cheating them," said Hastings. "And if the men don't like their jobs, why, they can quit and get jobs they do like." He added, in absolute unconsciousness of his inconsistency, in absolute belief in his own honesty and goodness, "The truth is our company pays as high wages as can be got anywhere. As for them hours—when I was working my way up, I used to put in sixteen and eighteen hours a day, and was mighty glad to do it. This lazy talk of cutting down hours makes me sick. And these fellows that're always kicking on their jobs, I'd like to know what'd become of them and their families if I and men like me didn't provide work for 'em."

"Yes, indeed!" cried Jane, eagerly seizing upon this attractive view of the situation—and resolutely accepting it without question.

In came one of the maids, saying: "There's a man wants to see you, Mr. Hastings."

"What's his name? What does he want?" inquired Hastings, while Jane made a mental note that she must try to inject at least a little order and form into the manners of announcing visitors.

"He didn't give a name. He just said, 'Tell the old man I want to see him.' I ain't sure, but I think it's Dick Kelly."

As Lizzie was an ardent Democrat, she spoke the name contemptuously—for Dick Kelly was the Republican boss. If it had been House, the Democratic boss and Kelly's secret dependent and henchman, she would have said "Mr. Joseph House" in a tone of deep respect.

"Kelly," said Hastings. "Must be something important or he'd 'a telephoned or asked me to see him at my office or at the Lincoln Club. He never came out here before. Bring him in, Lizzie."

A moment and there appeared in the doorway a man of perhaps forty years who looked like a prosperous contractor who had risen from the ranks. His figure was notable for its solidity and for the power of the shoulders; but already there were indications that the solidity, come of hard manual labor in early life, was soon to soften into fat under the melting influence of prosperity and the dissipation it put within too easy reach. The striking features of his face were a pair of keen, hard, greenish eyes and a jaw that protruded uglily—the jaw of aggressiveness, not the too prominent jaw of weakness. At sight of Jane he halted awkwardly.

"How're you, Mr. Hastings?" said he.

"Hello, Dick," said the old man. "This is my daughter Jane."

Jane smiled a pleasant recognition of the introduction. Kelly said stiffly, "How're you, ma'am?"

"Want to see me alone, I suppose?" Hastings went on. "You go out on the porch, Jenny."

As soon as Jane disappeared Kelly's stiffness and clumsiness vanished. To head off Hastings' coming offer of a cigar, he drew one from his pocket and lighted it. "There's hell to pay, Mr. Hastings," he began, seating himself near the old man, tilting back in his chair and crossing his legs.

"Well, I reckon you can take care of it," said Hastings calmly.

"Oh, yes, we kin take care of it, all right. Only, I don't want to do nothing without consulting you."

In these two statements Mr. Kelly summed up the whole of politics in Remsen City, in any city anywhere, in the country at large.

Kelly had started life as a blacksmith. But he soon tired of the dullness and toil and started forth to find some path up to where men live by making others work for them instead of plodding along at the hand-to-mouth existence that is the lot of those who live by their own labors alone. He was a safe blower for a while, but wisely soon abandoned that fascinating but precarious and unremunerative career. From card sharp following the circus and sheet-writer to a bookmaker he graduated into bartender, into proprietor of a doggery. As every saloon is a political club, every saloon-keeper is of necessity a politician. Kelly's woodbox happened to be a convenient place for directing the floaters and the repeaters. Kelly's political importance grew apace. His respectability grew more slowly. But it had grown and was growing.

If you had asked Lizzie, the maid, why she was a Democrat, she would have given no such foolish reason as the average man gives.

She would not have twaddled about principles—when everyone with eyeteeth cut ought to know that principles have departed from politics, now that both parties have been harmonized and organized into agencies of the plutocracy. She would not have said she was a Democrat because her father was, or because all her friends and associates were. She would have replied—in pleasantly Americanized Irish:

"I'm a Democrat because when my father got too old to work, Mr. House, the Democrat leader, gave him a job on the elevator at the Court House—though that dirty thief and scoundrel, Kelly, the Republican boss, owned all the judges and county officers. And when my brother lost his place as porter because he took a drink too many, Mr. House gave him a card to the foreman of the gas company, and he went to work at eight a week and is there yet."

Mr. Kelly and Mr. House belong to a maligned and much misunderstood class. Whenever you find anywhere in nature an activity of any kind, however pestiferous its activity may seem to you—or however good—you may be sure that if you look deep enough you will find that that activity has a use, arises from a need. The "robber trusts" and the political bosses are interesting examples of this basic truth. They have arisen because science, revolutionizing human society, has compelled it to organize. The organization is crude and clumsy and stupid, as yet, because men are ignorant, are experimenting, are working in the dark. So, the organizing forces are necessarily crude and clumsy and stupid.

Mr. Hastings was—all unconsciously—organizing society industrially. Mr. Kelly—equally unconscious of the true nature of his activities—was organizing society politically. And as industry and politics are—and ever have been—at bottom two names for identically the same thing, Mr. Hastings and Mr. Kelly were bound sooner or later to get together.

Remsen City was organized like every other large or largish community. There were two clubs—the Lincoln and the Jefferson—which well enough represented the "respectable elements"—that is, those citizens who were of the upper class. There were two other clubs—the Blaine and the Tilden—which were similarly representative of the "rank and file" and, rather, of the petty officers who managed the rank and file and voted it and told it what to think and what not to think, in exchange taking care of the needy sick, of the aged, of those out of work and so on. Martin Hastings—the leading Republican citizen of Remsen City, though for obvious reasons his political activities were wholly secret and stealthy—was the leading spirit in the Lincoln Club. Jared Olds—Remsen City's richest and most influential Democrat, the head of the gas company and the water company—was foremost in the Jefferson Club. At the Lincoln and the Jefferson you rarely saw any but "gentlemen"—men of established position and fortune, deacons and vestrymen, judges, corporation lawyers and the like. The Blaine and the Tilden housed a livelier and a far less select class—the "boys"—the active politicians, the big saloon keepers, the criminal lawyers, the gamblers, the chaps who knew how to round up floaters and to handle gangs of repeaters, the active young sports working for political position, by pitching and carrying for the political leaders, by doing their errands of charity or crookedness or what not. Joe House was the "big shout" at the Tilden; Dick Kelly could be found every evening on the third—or "wine," or plotting—floor of the Blaine—found holding court. And very respectful indeed were even the most eminent of Lincoln, or Jefferson, respectabilities who sought him out there to ask favors of him.

The bosses tend more and more to become mere flunkeys of the plutocrats. Kelly belonged to the old school of boss, dating from the days when social organization was in the early stages, when the political organizer was feared and even served by the industrial organizer, the embryo plutocrats. He realized how necessary he was to his plutocratic master, and he made that master treat him almost as an equal. He was exacting ever larger pay for taking care of the voters and keeping them fooled; he was getting rich, and had as yet vague aspirations to respectability and fashion. He had stopped drinking, had "cut out the women," had made a beginning toward a less inelegant way of speaking the language. His view of life was what is called cynical. That is, he regarded himself as morally the equal of the respectable rulers of society—or of the preachers who attended to the religious part of the grand industry of "keeping the cow quiet while it was being milked."

But Mr. Kelly was explaining to Martin Hastings what he meant when he said that there was "hell to pay":

"That infernal little cuss, Victor Dorn," said he "made a speech in the Court House Square to-day. Of course, none of the decent papers—and they're all decent except his'n—will publish any of it. Still, there was about a thousand people there before he got through—and the thing'll spread."

"Speech?—what about?" said Hastings. "He's always shooting off his mouth. He'd better stop talking and go to work at some honest business."

"He's got on to the fact that this strike is a put-up job—that the company hired labor detectives in Chicago last winter to come down here and get hold of the union. He gave names—amounts paid—the whole damn thing."

"Um," said Hastings, rubbing his skinny hands along the shiny pantaloons over his meagre legs. "Um."

"But that ain't all," pursued Kelly. "He read out a list of the men told off to pretend to set fire to the car barns and start the riot—those Chicago chaps, you know."

"I don't know anything about it," said Hastings sharply.

Kelly smiled slightly—amused scorn. It seemed absurd to him for the old man to keep up the pretense of ignorance. In fact, Hastings was ignorant—of the details. He was not quite the aloof plutocrat of the modern school, who permits himself to know nothing of details beyond the dividend rate and similar innocent looking results of causes at which sometimes hell itself would shudder. But, while he was more active than the conscience-easing devices now working smoothly made necessary, he never permitted himself to know any unnecessary criminal or wicked fact about his enterprises.

"I don't know," he repeated. "And I don't want to know."

"Anyhow, Dorn gave away the whole thing. He even read a copy of your letter of introduction to the governor—the one you—according to Dorn—gave Fillmore when you sent him up to the Capitol to arrange for the invitation to come after the riot."

Hastings knew that the boss was deliberately "rubbing it in" because Hastings—that is, Hastings' agents had not invited Kelly to assist in the project for "teaching the labor element a much needed lesson." But knowledge of Kelly's motive did not make the truth he was telling any less true—the absurd mismanagement of the whole affair, with the result that Dorn seemed in the way to change it from a lesson to labor on the folly of revolt against their kind and generous but firm employers into a provoker of fresh and fiercer revolt—effective revolt—political revolt. So, as Kelly "rubbed," Hastings visibly winced and writhed.

Kelly ended his recital with: "The speech created a hell of a sensation, Mr. Hastings. That young chap can talk."

"Yes," snapped Hastings. "But he can't do anything else."

"I'm not so sure of that," replied Kelly, who was wise enough to realize the value of a bogey like Dorn—its usefulness for purposes of "throwing a scare into the silk-stocking crowd." "Dorn's getting mighty strong with the people."

"Stuff and nonsense!" retorted Hastings. "They'll listen to any slick tongued rascal that roasts those that are more prosperous than they are. But when it comes to doing anything, they know better. They envy and hate those that give them jobs, but they need the jobs."

"There's a good deal of truth in that, Mr. Hastings," said Kelly, who was nothing if not judicial. "But Dorn's mighty plausible. I hear sensible men saying there's something more'n hot air in his facts and figgures." Kelly paused, and made the pause significant.

"About that last block of traction stock, Mr. Hastings. I thought you were going to let me in on the ground floor. But I ain't heard nothing."

"You ARE in," said Hastings, who knew when to yield. "Hasn't Barker been to see you? I'll attend to it, myself."

"Thank you, Mr. Hastings," said Kelly—dry and brief as always when receipting with a polite phrase for pay for services rendered. "I've been a good friend to your people."

"Yes, you have, Dick," said the old man heartily. "And I want you to jump in and take charge."

Hastings more than suspected that Kelly, to bring him to terms and to force him to employ directly the high-priced Kelly or Republico-Democratic machine as well as the State Republico-Democratic machine, which was cheaper, had got together the inside information and had ordered one of his henchmen to convey it to Dorn. But of what use to quarrel with Kelly? Of course, he could depose him; but that would simply mean putting another boss in his place—perhaps one more expensive and less efficient. The time had been when he—and the plutocracy generally—were compelled to come to the political bosses almost hat in hand. That time was past, never to return. But still a competent political agent was even harder to find than a competent business manager—and was far more necessary; for, while a big business might stagger along under poor financial or organizing management within, it could not live at all without political favors, immunities, and licenses. A band of pickpockets might as well try to work a town without having first "squared" the police. Not that Mr. Hastings and his friends THEMSELVES compared themselves to a band of pickpockets. No, indeed. It was simply legitimate business to blackjack your competitors, corner a supply, create a monopoly and fix prices and wages to suit your own notions of what was your due for taking the "hazardous risks of business enterprise."

"Leave everything to me," said Kelly briskly. "I can put the thing through. Just tell your lawyer to apply late this afternoon to Judge Lansing for an injunction forbidding the strikers to assemble anywhere within the county. We don't want no more of this speechifying. This is a peaceable community, and it won't stand for no agitators."

"Hadn't the lawyers better go to Judge Freilig?" said Hastings.

"He's shown himself to be a man of sound ideas."

"No—Lansing," said Kelly. "He don't come up for re-election for five years. Freilig comes up next fall, and we'll have hard work to pull him through, though House is going to put him on the ticket, too. Dorn's going to make a hot campaign—concentrate on judges."

"There's nothing in that Dorn talk," said Hastings. "You can't scare me again, Dick, as you did with that Populist mare's nest ten years ago."

That had been Kelly's first "big killing" by working on the fears of the plutocracy. Its success had put him in a position to buy a carriage and a diamond necklace for Mrs. Kelly and to make first payments on a large block of real estate. "It was no mare's nest, Mr. Hastings," gravely declared the boss. "If I hadn't 'a knowed just how to use the money we collected, there'd 'a been a crowd in office for four years that wouldn't 'a been easy to manage, I can tell you. But they was nothing to this here Dorn crowd. Dorn is——"

"We must get rid of him, Dick," interrupted Hastings.

The two men looked at each other—a curious glance—telegraphy. No method was suggested, no price was offered or accepted. But in the circumstances those matters became details that would settle themselves; the bargain was struck.

"He certainly ought to be stopped," said Kelly carelessly. "He's the worst enemy the labor element has had in my time." He rose. "Well, Mr. Hastings, I must be going." He extended his heavy, strong hand, which Hastings rose to grasp. "I'm glad we're working together again without any hitches. You won't forget about that there stock?"

"I'll telephone about it right away, Dick—and about Judge Lansing. You're sure Lansing's all right? I didn't like those decisions of his last year—the railway cases, I mean."

"That was all right, Mr. Hastings," said Kelly with a wave of the hand. "I had to have 'em in the interests of the party. I knowed the upper court'd reverse. No, Lansing's a good party man—a good, sound man in every way."

"I'm glad to hear it," said Hastings.

Before going into his private room to think and plan and telephone, he looked out on the west veranda. There sat his daughter; and a few feet away was David Hull, his long form stretched in a hammock while he discoursed of his projects for a career as a political reformer. The sight immensely pleased the old man. When he was a boy David Hull's grandfather, Brainerd Hull, had been the great man of that region; and Martin Hastings, a farm hand and the son of a farm hand, had looked up at him as the embodiment of all that was grand and aristocratic. As Hastings had never travelled, his notions of rank and position all centred about Remsen City. Had he realized the extent of the world, he would have regarded his ambition for a match between the daughter and granddaughter of a farm hand and the son and grandson of a Remsen City aristocrat as small and ridiculous. But he did not realize.

Davy saw him and sprang to his feet.

"No—no—don't disturb yourselves," cried the old man. "I've got some things to 'tend to. You and Jenny go right ahead."

And he was off to his own little room where he conducted his own business in his own primitive but highly efficacious way. A corps of expert accountants could not have disentangled those crabbed, criss-crossed figures; no solver of puzzles could have unravelled the mystery of those strange hieroglyphics. But to the old man there wasn't a difficult—or a dull—mark in that entire set of dirty, dog-eared little account books. He spent hours in poring over them. Just to turn the pages gave him keen pleasure; to read, and to reconstruct from those hints the whole story of some agitating and profitable operation, made in comparison the delight of an imaginative boy in Monte Cristo or Crusoe seem a cold and tame emotion.

David talked on and on, fancying that Jane was listening and admiring, when in fact she was busy with her own entirely different train of thought. She kept the young man going because she did not wish to be bored with her own solitude, because a man about always made life at least a little more interesting than if she were alone or with a woman, and because Davy was good to look at and had an agreeable voice.

"Why, who's that?" she suddenly exclaimed, gazing off to the right.

Davy turned and looked. "I don't know her," he said. "Isn't she queer looking—yet I don't know just why."

"It's Selma Gordon," said Jane, who had recognized Selma the instant her eyes caught a figure moving across the lawn.

"The girl that helps Victor Dorn?" said Davy, astonished. "What's SHE coming HERE for? You don't know her—do you?"

"Don't you?" evaded Jane. "I thought you and Mr. Dorn were such pals."

"Pals?" laughed Hull. "Hardly that. We meet now and then at a workingman's club I'm interested in—and at a cafe' where I go to get in touch with the people occasionally—and in the street. But I never go to his office. I couldn't afford to do that. And I've never seen Miss Gordon."

"Well, she's worth seeing," said Jane. "You'll never see another like her."

They rose and watched her advancing. To the usual person, acutely conscious of self, walking is not easy in such circumstances. But Selma, who never bothered about herself, came on with that matchless steady grace which peasant girls often get through carrying burdens on the head. Jane called out:

"So, you've come, after all."

Selma smiled gravely. Not until she was within a few feet of the steps did she answer: "Yes—but on business." She was wearing the same linen dress. On her head was a sailor hat, beneath the brim of which her amazingly thick hair stood out in a kind of defiance. This hat, this further article of Western civilization's dress, added to the suggestion of the absurdity of such a person in such clothing. But in her strange Cossack way she certainly was beautiful—and as healthy and hardy as if she had never before been away from the high, wind-swept plateaus where disease is unknown and where nothing is thought of living to be a hundred or a hundred and twenty-five. Both before and after the introduction Davy Hull gazed at her with fascinated curiosity too plainly written upon his long, sallow, serious face. She, intent upon her mission, ignored him as the arrow ignores the other birds of the flock in its flight to the one at which it is aimed.

"You'll give me a minute or two alone?" she said to Jane. "We can walk on the lawn here."

Hull caught up his hat. "I was just going," said he. Then he hesitated, looked at Selma, stammered: "I'll go to the edge of the lawn and inspect the view."

Neither girl noted this abrupt and absurd change of plan. He departed. As soon as he had gone half a dozen steps, Selma said in her quick, direct fashion:

"I've come to see you about the strike."

Jane tried to look cool and reserved. But that sort of expression seemed foolish in face of the simplicity and candor of Selma Gordon. Also, Jane was not now so well pleased with her father's ideas and those of her own interest as she had been while she was talking with him. The most exasperating thing about the truth is that, once one has begun to see it—has begun to see what is for him the truth—the honest truth—he can not hide from it ever again. So, instead of looking cold and repellant, Jane looked uneasy and guilty. "Oh, yes—the strike," she murmured.

"It is over," said Selma. "The union met a half hour ago and revoked its action—on Victor Dorn's advice. He showed the men that they had been trapped into striking by the company—that a riot was to be started and blamed upon them—that the militia was to be called in and they were to be shot down."

"Oh, no—not that!" cried Jane eagerly. "It wouldn't have gone as far as that."

"Yes—as far as that," said Selma calmly. "That sort of thing is an old story. It's been done so often—and worse. You see, the respectable gentlemen who run things hire disreputable creatures. They don't tell them what to do. They don't need to. The poor wretches understand what's expected of them—and they do it. So, the respectable gentlemen can hold up white hands and say quite truthfully, 'No blood-no filth on these—see!"' Selma was laughing drearily. Her superb, primitive eyes, set ever so little aslant, were flashing with an intensity of emotion that gave Jane Hastings a sensation of terror-much as if a man who has always lived where there were no storms, but such gentle little rains with restrained and refined thunder as usually visit the British Isles, were to find himself in the midst of one of those awful convulsions that come crashing down the gorges of the Rockies. She marveled that one so small of body could contain such big emotions.

"You mustn't be unjust," she pleaded. "WE aren't THAT wicked, my dear."

Selma looked at her. "No matter," she said. "I am not trying to convert you—or to denounce your friends to you. I'll explain what I've come for. In his speech to-day and in inducing the union to change, Victor has shown how much power he has. The men whose plans he has upset will be hating him as men hate only those whom they fear."

"Yes—I believe that," said Jane. "So, you see, I'm not blindly prejudiced."

"For a long time there have been rumors that they might kill him——"

"Absurd!" cried Jane angrily. "Miss Gordon, no matter how prejudiced you may be—and I'll admit there are many things to justify you in feeling strongly—but no matter how you may feel, your good sense must tell you that men like my father don't commit murder."

"I understand perfectly," replied Selma. "They don't commit murder, and they don't order murder. I'll even say that I don't think they would tolerate murder, even for their benefit. But you don't know how things are done in business nowadays. The men like your father have to use men of the Kelly and the House sort—you know who they are?"

"Yes," said Jane.

"The Kellys and the Houses give general orders to their lieutenants. The lieutenants pass the orders along—and down. And so on, until all sorts of men are engaged in doing all sorts of work. Dirty, clean, criminal—all sorts. Some of these men, baffled in what they are trying to do to earn their pay—baffled by Victor Dorn—plot against him." Again that sad, bitter laugh. "My dear Miss Hastings, to kill a cat there are a thousand ways besides skinning it alive."

"You are prejudiced," said Jane, in the manner of one who could not be convinced.

Selma made an impatient gesture. "Again I say, no matter. Victor laughs at our fears——"

"I knew it," said Jane triumphantly. "He is less foolish than his followers."

"He simply does not think about himself," replied Selma. "And he is right. But it is our business to think about him, because we need him. Where could we find another like him?"

"Yes, I suppose your movement WOULD die out, if he were not behind it."

Selma smiled peculiarly. "I think you don't quite understand what we are about," said she. "You've accepted the ignorant notion of your class that we are a lot of silly roosters trying to crow one sun out of the heavens and another into it. The facts are somewhat different. Your class is saying, 'To-day will last forever,' while we are saying, 'No, to-day will run its course—will be succeeded by to-morrow. Let us not live like the fool who thinks only of the day. Let us be sensible, intelligent, let us realize that there will be to-morrow and that it, too, must be lived. Let us get ready to live it sensibly. Let us build our social system so that it will stand the wear and tear of another day and will not fall in ruins about our heads.'"

"I am terribly ignorant about all these things," said Jane. "What a ridiculous thing my education has been!"

"But it hasn't spoiled your heart," cried Selma. And all at once her eyes were wonderfully soft and tender, and into her voice came a tone so sweet that Jane's eyes filled with tears. "It was to your heart that I came to appeal," she went on. "Oh, Miss Hastings—we will do all we can to protect Victor Dorn—and we guard him day and night without his knowing it. But I am afraid—afraid! And I want you to help. Will you?"

"I'll do anything I can," said Jane—a Jane very different from the various Janes Miss Hastings knew—a Jane who seemed to be conjuring of Selma Gordon's enchantments.

"I want you to ask your father to give him a fair show. We don't ask any favors—for ourselves—for him. But we don't want to see him—" Selma shuddered and covered her eyes with her hands "—lying dead in some alley, shot or stabbed by some unknown thug!"

Selma made it so vivid that Jane saw the whole tragedy before her very eyes.

"The real reason why they hate him," Selma went on, "is because he preaches up education and preaches down violence—and is building his party on intelligence instead of on force. The masters want the workingman who burns and kills and riots. They can shoot him down. They can make people accept any tyranny in preference to the danger of fire and murder let loose. But Victor is teaching the workingmen to stop playing the masters' game for them. No wonder they hate him! He makes them afraid of the day when the united workingmen will have their way by organizing and voting. And they know that if Victor Dorn lives, that day will come in this city very, very soon." Selma saw Davy Hull, impatient at his long wait, advancing toward them. She said: "You will talk to your father?"

"Yes," said Jane. "And I assure you he will do what he can. You don't know him, Miss Gordon."

"I know he loves you—I know he MUST love you," said Selma. "Now, I must go. Good-by. I knew you would be glad of the chance to do something worth while."

Jane had been rather expecting to be thanked for her generosity and goodness. Selma's remark seemed at first blush an irritating attempt to shift a favor asked into a favor given. But it was impossible for her to fail to see Selma's sensible statement of the actual truth. So, she said honestly:

"Thank you for coming, Miss Gordon. I am glad of the chance."

They shook hands. Selma, holding her hand, looked up at her, suddenly kissed her. Jane returned the kiss. David Hull, advancing with his gaze upon them, stopped short. Selma, without a glance—because without a thought—in his direction, hastened away.

When David rejoined Jane, she was gazing tenderly after the small, graceful figure moving toward the distant entrance gates. Said David:

"I think that girl has got you hypnotized."

Jane laughed and sent him home. "I'm busy," she said. "I've got something to do, at last."


Jane knocked at the door of her father's little office. "Are you there, father?" said she.

"Yes—come in, Jinny." As she entered, he went on, "But you must go right away again. I've got to 'tend to this strike." He took on an injured, melancholy tone. "Those fool workingmen! They're certain to lose. And what'll come of it all? Why, they'll be out their wages and their jobs, and the company lose so much money that it can't put on the new cars the public's clamorin' for. The old cars'll have to do for another year, anyhow—maybe two."

Jane had heard that lugubrious tone from time to time, and she knew what it meant—an air of sorrow concealing secret joy. So, here was another benefit the company—she preferred to think of it as the company rather than as her father—expected to gain from the strike. It could put off replacing the miserable old cars in which it was compelling people to ride. Instead of losing money by the strike, it would make money by it. This was Jane's first glimpse of one of the most interesting and important truths of modern life—how it is often to the advantage of business men to have their own business crippled, hampered, stopped altogether.

"You needn't worry, father," said she cheerfully. "The strike's been declared off."

"What's that?" cried her father.

"A girl from down town just called. She says the union has called the strike off and the men have accepted the company's terms."

"But them terms is withdrawn!" cried Hastings, as if his daughter were the union. He seized the telephone. "I'll call up the office and order 'em withdrawn."

"It's too late," said she.

Just then the telephone bell rang, and Hastings was soon hearing confirmation of the news his daughter had brought him. She could not bear watching his face as he listened. She turned her back, stood gazing out at the window. Her father, beside himself, was shrieking into the telephone curses, denunciations, impossible orders. The one emergency against which he had not provided was the union's ending the strike. When you have struck the line of battle of a general, however able and self-controlled, in the one spot where he has not arranged a defense, you have thrown him—and his army—into a panic. Some of the greatest tactitians in history have given way in those circumstances; so, Martin Hastings' utter loss of self-control and of control of the situation only proves that he had his share of human nature. He had provided against the unexpected; he had not provided against the impossible.

Jane let her father rave on into the telephone until his voice grew hoarse and squeaky. Then she turned and said: "Now, father—what's the use of making yourself sick? You can't do any good—can you?" She laid one hand on his arm, with the other hand caressed his head. "Hang up the receiver and think of your health."

"I don't care to live, with such goings-on," declared he. But he hung up the receiver and sank back in his chair, exhausted.

"Come out on the porch," she went on, tugging gently at him. "The air's stuffy in here."

He rose obediently. She led him to the veranda and seated him comfortably, with a cushion in his back at the exact spot at which it was most comfortable. She patted his shrunken cheeks, stood off and looked at him.

"Where's your sense of humor?" she cried. "You used to be able to laugh when things went against you. You're getting to be as solemn and to take yourself as seriously as Davy Hull."

The old man made a not unsuccessful attempt to smile. "That there Victor Dorn!" said he. "He'll be the death of me, yet."

"What has he done now?" said Jane, innocently.

Hastings rubbed his big bald forehead with his scrawny hand. "He's tryin' to run this town—to run it to the devil," replied he, by way of evasion.

"Something's got to be done about him—eh?" observed she, in a fine imitation of a business-like voice.

"Something WILL be done," retorted he.

Jane winced—hid her distress—returned to the course she had mapped out for herself. "I hope it won't be something stupid," said she. Then she seated herself and went on. "Father—did you ever stop to wonder whether it is Victor Dorn or the changed times?"

The old man looked up abruptly and sharply—the expression of a shrewd man when he catches a hint of a new idea that sounds as if it might have something in it.

"You blame Victor Dorn," she went on to explain. "But if there were no Victor Dorn, wouldn't you be having just the same trouble? Aren't men of affairs having them everywhere—in Europe as well as on this side—nowadays?"

The old man rubbed his brow—his nose—his chin—pulled at the tufts of hair in his ears—fumbled with his cuffs. All of these gestures indicated interest and attention.

"Isn't the real truth not Victor Dorn or Victor Dorns but a changed and changing world?" pursued the girl. "And if that's so, haven't you either got to adopt new methods or fall back? That's the way it looks to me—and we women have got intuitions if we haven't got sense."

"I never said women hadn't got sense," replied the old man. "I've sometimes said MEN ain't got no sense, but not women. Not to go no further, the women make the men work for 'em—don't they? THAT'S a pretty good quality of sense, I guess."

But she knew he was busily thinking all the time about what she had said. So she did not hesitate to go on: "Instead of helping Victor Dorn by giving him things to talk about, it seems to me I'd USE him, father."

"Can't do anything with him. He's crazy," declared Hastings.

"I don't believe it," replied Jane. "I don't believe he's crazy. And I don't believe you can't manage him. A man like that—a man as clever as he is—doesn't belong with a lot of ignorant tenement-house people. He's out of place. And when anything or anybody is out of place, they can be put in their right place. Isn't that sense?"

The old man shook his head—not in negation, but in uncertainty.

"These men are always edging you on against Victor Dorn—what's the matter with them?" pursued Jane. "I saw, when Davy Hull talked about him. They're envious and jealous of him, father. They're afraid he'll distance them. And they don't want you to realize what a useful man he could be—how he could help you if you helped him—made friends with him—roused the right kind of ambition in him."

"When a man's ambitious," observed Hastings, out of the fullness of his own personal experience, "it means he's got something inside him, teasing and nagging at him—something that won't let him rest, but keeps pushing and pulling—and he's got to keep fighting, trying to satisfy it—and he can't wait to pick his ground or his weapons."

"And Victor Dorn," said Jane, to make it clearer to her father by putting his implied thought into words, "Victor Dorn is doing the best he can—fighting on the only ground that offers and with the only weapons he can lay hands on."

The old man nodded. "I never have blamed him—not really," declared he. "A practical man—a man that's been through things—he understands how these things are," in the tone of a philosopher. "Yes, I reckon Victor's doing the best he can—getting up by the only ladder he's got a chance at."

"The way to get him off that ladder is to give him another," said Jane.

A long silence, the girl letting her father thresh the matter out in his slow, thorough way. Finally her young impatience conquered her restraint. "Well—what do you think, popsy?" inquired she.

"That I've got about as smart a gel as there is in Remsen City," replied he.

"Don't lay it on too thick," laughed she.

He understood why she was laughing, though he did not show it. He knew what his much-traveled daughter thought of Remsen City, but he held to his own provincial opinion, nevertheless. Nor, perhaps, was he so far wrong as she believed. A cross section of human society, taken almost anywhere, will reveal about the same quantity of brain, and the quality of the mill is the thing, not of the material it may happen to be grinding.

She understood that his remark was his way of letting her know that he had taken her suggestion under advisement. This meant that she had said enough. And Jane Hastings had made herself an adept in the art of handling her father—an accomplishment she could by no means have achieved had she not loved him; it is only when a woman deeply and strongly loves a man that she can learn to influence him, for only love can put the necessary sensitiveness into the nerves with which moods and prejudices and whims and such subtle uncertainties can be felt out.

The next day but one, coming out on the front veranda a few minutes before lunch time she was startled rather than surprised to see Victor Dorn seated on a wicker sofa, hat off and gaze wandering delightedly over the extensive view of the beautiful farming country round Remsen City. She paused in the doorway to take advantage of the chance to look at him when he was off his guard. Certainly that profile view of the young man was impressive. It is only in the profile that we get a chance to measure the will or propelling force behind a character. In each of the two main curves of Dorn's head—that from the top of the brow downward over the nose, the lips, the chin and under, and that from the back of the head round under the ear and forward along the lower jaw—in each of these curves Dorn excelled.

She was about to draw back and make a formal entry, when he said, without looking toward her:

"Well—don't you think it would be safe to draw near?"

The tone was so easy and natural and so sympathetic—the tone of Selma Gordon—the tone of all natural persons not disturbed about themselves or about others—that Jane felt no embarrassment whatever. "I've heard you were very clever," said she, advancing. "So, I wanted to have the advantage of knowing you a little better at the outset than you would know me."

"But Selma Gordon has told me all about you," said he—he had risen as she advanced and was shaking hands with her as if they were old friends. "Besides, I saw you the other day—in spite of your effort to prevent yourself from being seen."

"What do you mean?" she asked, completely mystified.

"I mean your clothes," explained he. "They were unusual for this part of the world. And when anyone wears unusual clothes, they act as a disguise. Everyone neglects the person to center on the clothes."

"I wore them to be comfortable," protested Jane, wondering why she was not angry at this young man whose manner ought to be regarded as presuming and whose speech ought to be rebuked as impertinent.

"Altogether?" said Dorn, his intensely blue eyes dancing.

In spite of herself she smiled. "No—not altogether," she admitted.

"Well, it may please you to learn that you scored tremendously as far as one person is concerned. My small nephew talks of you all the time—the 'lady in the lovely pants.'"

Jane colored deeply and angrily. She bent upon Victor a glance that ought to have put him in his place—well down in his place.

But he continued to look at her with unchanged, laughing, friendly blue eyes, and went on: "By the way, his mother asked me to apologize for HIS extraordinary appearance. I suppose neither of you would recognize the other in any dress but the one each had on that day. He doesn't always dress that way. His mother has been ill. He wore out his play-clothes. If you've had experience of children you'll know how suddenly they demolish clothes. She wasn't well enough to do any tailoring, so there was nothing to do but send Leonard forth in his big brother's unchanged cast-offs."

Jane's anger had quite passed away before Dorn finished this simple, ingenuous recital of poverty unashamed, this somehow fine laying open of the inmost family secrets. "What a splendid person your sister must be!" exclaimed she.

She more than liked the look that now came into his face. He said: "Indeed she is!—more so than anyone except us of the family can realize. Mother's getting old and almost helpless. My brother-in-law was paralyzed by an accident at the rolling mill where he worked. My sister takes care of both of them—and her two boys—and of me—keeps the house in band-box order, manages a big garden that gives us most of what we eat—and has time to listen to the woes of all the neighbors and to give them the best advice I ever heard."

"How CAN she?" cried Jane. "Why, the day isn't long enough."

Dorn laughed. "You'll never realize how much time there is in a day, Miss Jane Hastings, until you try to make use of it all. It's very interesting—how much there is in a minute and in a dollar if you're intelligent about them."

Jane looked at him in undisguised wonder and admiration. "You don't know what a pleasure it is," she said, "to meet anyone whose sentences you couldn't finish for him before he's a quarter the way through them."

Victor threw back his head and laughed—a boyish outburst that would have seemed boorish in another, but came as naturally from him as song from a bird. "You mean Davy Hull," said he.

Jane felt herself coloring even more. "I didn't mean him especially," replied she. "But he's a good example."

"The best I know," declared Victor. "You see, the trouble with Davy is that he is one kind of a person, wants to be another kind, thinks he ought to be a third kind, and believes he fools people into thinking he is still a fourth kind."

Jane reflected on this, smiled understandingly. "That sounds like a description of ME," said she.

"Probably," said Victor. "It's a very usual type in the second generation in your class."

"My class?" said Jane, somewhat affectedly. "What do you mean?"

"The upper class," explained Victor.

Jane felt that this was an opportunity for a fine exhibition of her democracy. "I don't like that," said she. "I'm a good American, and I don't believe in classes. I don't feel—at least I try not to feel—any sense of inequality between myself and those—those less—less—fortunately off. I'm not expressing myself well, but you know what I mean."

"Yes, I know what you mean," rejoined Victor. "But that wasn't what I meant, at all. You are talking about social classes in the narrow sense. That sort of thing isn't important. One associates with the kind of people that pleases one—and one has a perfect right to do so. If I choose to have my leisure time with people who dress a certain way, or with those who have more than a certain amount of money, or more than a certain number of servants or what not—why, that's my own lookout."

"I'm SO glad to hear you say that," cried Jane. "That's SO sensible."

"Snobbishness may be amusing," continued Dorn, "or it may be repulsive—or pitiful. But it isn't either interesting or important. The classes I had in mind were the economic classes—upper, middle, lower. The upper class includes all those who live without work—aristocrats, gamblers, thieves, preachers, women living off men in or out of marriage, grown children living off their parents or off inheritances. All the idlers."

Jane looked almost as uncomfortable as she felt. She had long taken a secret delight in being regarded and spoken of as an "upper class" person. Henceforth this delight would be at least alloyed.

"The middle class," pursued Victor, "is those who are in part parasites and in part workers. The lower class is those who live by what they earn only. For example, you are upper class, your father is middle class and I am lower class."

"Thank you," said Jane demurely, "for an interesting lesson in political economy."

"You invited it," laughed Victor. "And I guess it wasn't much more tiresome to you than talk about the weather would have been. The weather's probably about the only other subject you and I have in common."

"That's rude," said Jane.

"Not as I meant it," said he. "I wasn't exalting my subjects or sneering at yours. It's obvious that you and I lead wholly different lives."

"I'd much rather lead your life than my own," said Jane. "But—you are impatient to see father. You came to see him?"

"He telephoned asking me to come to dinner—that is, lunch. I believe it's called lunch when it's second in this sort of house."

"Father calls it dinner, and I call it lunch, and the servants call it IT. They simply say, 'It's ready.'"

Jane went in search of her father, found him asleep in his chair in the little office, one of his dirty little account books clasped in his long, thin fingers with their rheumatic side curve. The maid had seen him there and had held back dinner until he should awaken. Perhaps Jane's entrance roused him; or, perhaps it was the odor of the sachet powder wherewith her garments were liberally scented, for he had a singularly delicate sense of smell. He lifted his head and, after the manner of aged and confirmed cat-nappers, was instantly wide awake.

"Why didn't you tell me Victor Dorn was coming for dinner?" said she.

"Oh—he's here, is he?" said Hastings, chuckling. "You see I took your advice. Tell Lizzie to lay an extra plate."

Hastings regarded this invitation as evidence of his breadth of mind, his freedom from prejudice, his disposition to do the generous and the helpful thing. In fact, it was evidence of little more than his dominant and most valuable trait—his shrewdness. After one careful glance over the ruins of his plan, he appreciated that Victor Dorn was at last a force to be reckoned with. He had been growing, growing—somewhat above the surface, a great deal more beneath the surface. His astonishing victory demonstrated his power over Remsen City labor—in a single afternoon he had persuaded the street car union to give up without hesitation a strike it had been planning—at least, it thought it had been doing the planning—for months. The Remsen City plutocracy was by no means dependent upon the city government of Remsen City. It had the county courts—the district courts—the State courts even, except where favoring the plutocracy would be too obviously outrageous for judges who still considered themselves men of honest and just mind to decide that way. The plutocracy, further, controlled all the legislative and executive machinery. To dislodge it from these fortresses would mean a campaign of years upon years, conducted by men of the highest ability, and enlisting a majority of the voters of the State. Still, possession of the Remsen City government was a most valuable asset. A hostile government could "upset business," could "hamper the profitable investment of capital," in other words could establish justice to a highly uncomfortable degree. This victory of Dorn's made it clear to Hastings that at last Dorn was about to unite the labor vote under his banner—which meant that he was about to conquer the city government. It was high time to stop him and, if possible, to give his talents better employment.

However, Hastings, after the familiar human fashion, honestly thought he was showing generosity, was going out of his way to "give a likely young fellow a chance." When he came out on the veranda he stretched forth a graciously friendly hand and, looking shrewdly into Victor's boyishly candid eyes, said:

"Glad to see you, young man. I want to thank you for ending that strike. I was born a working man, and I've been one all my life and, when I can't work any more, I want to quit the earth. So, being a working man, I hate to see working men make fools of themselves."

Jane was watching the young man anxiously. She instinctively knew that this speech must be rousing his passion for plain and direct speaking. Before he had time to answer she said: "Dinner's waiting. Let's go in."

And on the way she made an opportunity to say to him in an undertone: "I do hope you'll be careful not to say anything that'll upset father. I have to warn every one who comes here. His digestion's bad, and the least thing makes him ill, and—" she smiled charmingly at him—"I HATE nursing. It's too much like work to suit an upper-class person."

There was no resisting such an appeal as that. Victor sat silent and ate, and let the old man talk on and on. Jane saw that it was a severe trial to him to seem to be assenting to her father's views. Whenever he showed signs of casting off his restraint, she gave him a pleading glance. And the old man, so weazened, so bent and shaky, with his bowl of crackers and milk, was—or seemed to be—proof that the girl was asking of him only what was humane. Jane relieved the situation by talking volubly about herself—her college experiences, what she had seen and done in Europe.

After dinner Hastings said:

"I'll drive you back to town, young man. I'm going in to work, as usual. I never took a vacation in my life. Can you beat that record?"

"Oh, I knock off every once in a while for a month or so," said Dorn.

"The young fellows growing up nowadays ain't equal to us of the old stock," said Martin. "They can't stand the strain. Well, if you're ready, we'll pull out."

"Mr. Dorn's going to stop a while with me, father," interposed Jane with a significant glance at Victor. "I want to show him the grounds and the views."

"All right—all right," said her father. He never liked company in his drives; company interfered with his thinking out what he was going to do at the office. "I'm mighty glad to know you, young man. I hope we'll know each other better. I think you'll find out that for a devil I'm not half bad—eh?"

Victor bowed, murmured something inarticulate, shook his host's hand, and when the ceremony of parting was over drew a stealthy breath of relief—which Jane observed. She excused herself to accompany her father to his trap. As he was climbing in she said:

"Didn't you rather like him, father?"

Old Hastings gathered the reins in his lean, distorted hands. "So so," said he.

"He's got brains, hasn't he?"

"Yes; he's smart; mighty smart." The old man's face relaxed in a shrewd grin. "Too damn smart. Giddap, Bet."

And he was gone. Jane stood looking after the ancient phaeton with an expression half of amusement, half of discomfiture. "I might have known," reflected she, "that popsy would see through it all."

When she reappeared in the front doorway Victor Dorn was at the edge of the veranda, ready to depart. As soon as he saw her he said gravely: "I must be off, Miss Hastings. Thank you for the very interesting dinner." He extended his hand. "Good day."

She put her hands behind her back, and stood smiling gently at him. "You mustn't go—not just yet. I'm about to show you the trees and the grass, the bees, the chickens and the cows. Also, I've something important to say to you."

He shook his head. "I'm sorry, but I must go."

She stiffened slightly; her smile changed from friendly to cold. "Oh—pardon me," she said. "Good-by."

He bowed, and was on the walk, and running rapidly toward the entrance gates.

"Mr. Dorn!" she called.

He turned.

She was afraid to risk asking him to come back for a moment. He might refuse. Standing there, looking so resolute, so completely master of himself, so devoid of all suggestion of need for any one or anything, he seemed just the man to turn on his heel and depart. She descended to the walk and went to him. She said:

"Why are you acting so peculiarly? Why did you come?"

"Because I understood that your father wished to propose some changes in the way of better hours and better wages for the men," replied he. "I find that the purpose was—not that."

"What was it?"

"I do not care to go into that."

He was about to go on—on out of her life forever, she felt. "Wait," she cried. "The men will get better hours and wages. You don't understand father's ways. He was really discussing that very thing—in his own mind. You'll see. He has a great admiration for you. You can do a lot with him. You owe it to the men to make use of his liking."

He looked at her in silence for a moment. Then he said: "I'll have to be at least partly frank with you. In all his life no one has ever gotten anything out of your father. He uses men. They do not use him."

"Believe me, that is unjust," cried Jane. "I'll tell you another thing that was on his mind. He wants to—to make reparation for—that accident to your father. He wants to pay your mother and you the money the road didn't pay you when it ought."

Dorn's candid face showed how much he was impressed. This beautiful, earnest girl, sweet and frank, seemed herself to be another view of Martin Hastings' character—one more in accord with her strong belief in the essential goodness of human nature.

Said he: "Your father owes us nothing. As for the road—its debt never existed legally—only morally. And it has been outlawed long ago—for there's a moral statute of limitations, too. The best thing that ever happened to us was our not getting that money. It put us on our mettle. It might have crushed us. It happened to be just the thing that was needed to make us."

Jane marveled at this view of his family, at the verge of poverty, as successful. But she could not doubt his sincerity. Said she sadly, "But it's not to the credit of the road—or of father. He must pay—and he knows he must."

"We can't accept," said Dorn—a finality.

"But you could use it to build up the paper," urged Jane, to detain him.

"The paper was started without money. It lives without money—and it will go on living without money, or it ought to die."

"I don't understand," said Jane. "But I want to understand. I want to help. Won't you let me?"

He shook his head laughingly. "Help what?" inquired he. "Help raise the sun? It doesn't need help."

Jane began to see. "I mean, I want to be helped," she cried.

"Oh, that's another matter," said he. "And very simple."

"Will YOU help me?"

"I can't. No one can. You've got to help yourself. Each one of us is working for himself—working not to be rich or to be famous or to be envied, but to be free."

"Working for himself—that sounds selfish, doesn't it?"

"If you are wise, Jane Hastings," said Dorn, "you will distrust—disbelieve in—anything that is not selfish."

Jane reflected. "Yes—I see," she cried. "I never thought of that!"

"A friend of mine, Wentworth," Victor went on, "has put it wonderfully clearly. He said, 'Some day we shall realize that no man can be free until all men are free.'"

"You HAVE helped me—in spite of your fierce refusal," laughed Jane. "You are very impatient to go, aren't you? Well, since you won't stay I'll walk with you—as far as the end of the shade."

She was slightly uneasy lest her overtures should be misunderstood. By the time they reached the first long, sunny stretch of the road down to town she was so afraid that those overtures would not be "misunderstood" that she marched on beside him in the hot sun. She did not leave him until they reached the corner of Pike avenue—and then it was he that left her, for she could cudgel out no excuse for going further in his direction. The only hold she had got upon him for a future attempt was slight indeed—he had vaguely agreed to lend her some books.

People who have nothing to do get rid of a great deal of time in trying to make impressions and in speculating as to what impressions they have made. Jane—hastening toward Martha's to get out of the sun which could not but injure a complexion so delicately fine as hers—gave herself up to this form of occupation. What did he think of her? Did he really have as little sense of her physical charm as he seemed? No woman could hope to be attractive to every man. Still—this man surely must be at least not altogether insensible. "If he sends me those books to-day—or tomorrow—or even next day," thought Jane, "it will be a pretty sure sign that he was impressed—whether he knows it or not."

She had now definitely passed beyond the stage where she wondered at herself—and reproached herself—for wishing to win a man of such common origin and surroundings. She could not doubt Victor Dorn's superiority. Such a man as that didn't need birth or wealth or even fame. He simply WAS the man worth while—worth any woman's while. How could Selma be associated so intimately with him without trying to get him in love with her? Perhaps she had tried and had given up? No—Selma was as strange in her way as he was in his way. What a strange—original—INDIVIDUAL pair they were!

"But," concluded Jane, "he belongs with US. I must take him away from all that. It will be interesting to do it—so interesting that I'll be sorry when it's done, and I'll be looking about for something else to do."

She was not without hope that the books would come that same evening. But they did not. The next day passed, and the next, and still no books. Apparently he had meant nothing by his remark, "I've some books you'd be interested to read." Was his silence indifference, or was it shyness? Probably she could only faintly appreciate the effect her position, her surroundings produced in this man whose physical surroundings had always been as poor as her mental surroundings—those created by that marvelous mind of his—had been splendid.

She tried to draw out her father on the subject of the young man, with a view to getting a hint as to whether he purposed doing anything further. But old Hastings would not talk about it; he was still debating, was looking at the matter from a standpoint where his daughter's purely theoretical acumen could not help him to a decision. Jane rather feared that where her father was evidently so doubtful he would follow his invariable rule in doubtful cases.

On the fourth day, being still unable to think of anything but her project for showing her prowess by conquering this man with no time for women, she donned a severely plain walking costume and went to his office.

At the threshold of the "Sanctum" she stopped short. Selma, pencil poised over her block of copy paper and every indication of impatience, albeit polite impatience, in her fascinating Cossack face, was talking to—or, rather, listening to—David Hull. Like not a few young men—and young women—brought up in circumstances that surround them with people deferential for the sake of what there is, or may possibly be, in it—Davy Hull had the habit of assuming that all the world was as fond of listening to him as he was of listening to himself. So it did not often occur to him to observe his audience for signs of a willingness to end the conversation.

Selma, turning a little further in her nervousness, saw Jane and sprang up with a radiant smile of welcome.

"I'm SO glad!" she cried, rushing toward her and kissing her. "I've thought about you often, and wished I could find time to come to see you."

Jane was suddenly as delighted as Selma. For Selma's burst of friendliness, so genuine, so unaffected, in this life of blackness and cold always had the effect of sun suddenly making summer out of a chill autumnal day. Nor, curiously enough, was her delight lessened by Davy Hull's blundering betrayal of himself. His color, his eccentric twitchings of the lips and the hands would have let a far less astute young woman than Jane Hastings into the secret of the reason for his presence in that office when he had said he couldn't "afford" to go. So guilty did he feel that he stammered out:

"I dropped in to see Dorn."

"You wished to see Victor?" exclaimed the guileless Selma. "Why didn't you say so? I'd have told you at once that he was in Indianapolis and wouldn't be back for two or three days."

Jane straightway felt still better. The disgusting mystery of the books that did not come was now cleared up. Secure in the certainty of Selma's indifference to Davy she proceeded to punish him. "What a stupid you are, Davy!" she cried mockingly. "The instant I saw your face I knew you were here to flirt with Miss Gordon."

"Oh, no, Miss Hastings," protested Selma with quaint intensity of seriousness, "I assure you he was not flirting. He was telling me about the reform movement he and his friends are organizing."

"That is his way of flirting," said Jane. "Every animal has its own way—and an elephant's way is different from a mosquito's."

Selma was eyeing Hull dubiously. It was bad enough for him to have taken her time in a well-meaning attempt to enlighten her as to a new phase of local politics; to take her time, to waste it, in flirting—that was too exasperating!

"Miss Hastings has a sense of humor that runs riot at times," said Hull.

"You can't save yourself, Davy," mocked Jane. "Come along. Miss Gordon has no time for either of us."

"I do want YOU to stay," she said to Jane. "But, unfortunately, with Victor away——" She looked disconsolately at the half-finished page of copy.

"I came only to snatch Davy away," said Jane.

"Next thing we know, he'll be one of Mr. Dorn's lieutenants."

Thus Jane escaped without having to betray why she had come. In the street she kept up her raillery. "And a WORKING girl, Davy! What would our friends say! And you who are always boasting of your fastidiousness! Flirting with a girl who—I've seen her three times, and each time she has had on exactly the same plain, cheap little dress."

There was a nastiness, a vulgarity in this that was as unworthy of Jane as are all the unlovely emotions of us who are always sweet and refined when we are our true selves—but have a bad habit of only too often not being what we flatter ourselves is our true selves. Jane was growing angry as she, away from Selma, resumed her normal place in the world and her normal point of view. Davy Hull belonged to her; he had no right to be hanging about another, anyway—especially an attractive woman. Her anger was not lessened by Davy's retort. Said he:

"Her dress may have been the same. But her face wasn't—and her mind wasn't. Those things are more difficult to change than a dress."

She was so angry that she did not take warning from this reminder that Davy was by no means merely a tedious retailer of stale commonplaces. She said with fine irony—and with no show of anger: "It is always a shock to a lady to realize how coarse men are—how they don't discriminate."

Davy laughed. "Women get their rank from men," said he coolly.

"In themselves they have none. That's the philosophy of the peculiarity you've noted."

This truth, so galling to a lady, silenced Jane, made her bite her lips with rage. "I beg your pardon," she finally said. "I didn't realize that you were in love with Selma."

"Yes, I am in love with her," was Davy's astounding reply. "She's the noblest and simplest creature I've ever met."

"You don't mean you want to marry her!" exclaimed Jane, so amazed that she for the moment lost sight of her own personal interest in this affair.

Davy looked at her sadly, and a little contemptuously.

"What a poor opinion at bottom you women—your sort of women—have of woman," said he.

"What a poor opinion of men you mean," retorted she. "After a little experience of them a girl—even a girl—learns that they are incapable of any emotion that isn't gross."

"Don't be so ladylike, Jane," said Hull.

Miss Hastings was recovering control of herself. She took a new tack. "You haven't asked her yet?"

"Hardly. This is the second time I've seen her. I suspected that she was the woman for me the moment I saw her. To-day I confirmed my idea. She is all that I thought—and more. And, Jane, I know that you appreciate her, too."

Jane now saw that Davy was being thus abruptly and speedily confiding because he had decided it was the best way out of his entanglement with her. Behind his coolness she could see an uneasy watchfulness—the fear that she might try to hold him. Up boiled her rage—the higher because she knew that if there were any possible way of holding Davy, she would take it—not because she wished to, or would, marry him, but because she had put her mark upon him. But this new rage was of the kind a clever woman has small difficulty in dissembling.

"Indeed I do appreciate her, Davy," said she sweetly. "And I hope you will be happy with her."

"You think I can get her?" said he, fatuously eager. "You think she likes me? I've been rather hoping that because it seized me so suddenly and so powerfully it must have seized her, too. I think often things occur that way."

"In novels," said Jane, pleasantly judicial. "But in real life about the hardest thing to do is for a man to make a woman care for him—really care for him."

"Well, no matter how hard I have to try——"

"Of course," pursued Miss Hastings, ignoring his interruption, "when a man who has wealth and position asks a woman who hasn't to marry him, she usually accepts—unless he happens to be downright repulsive, or she happens to be deeply and hopefully in love with another man."

Davy winced satisfactorily. "Do you suspect," he presently asked, "that she's in love with Victor Dorn?"

"Perhaps," said Jane reflectively. "Probably. But I'd not feel discouraged by that if I were you."

"Dorn's a rather attractive chap in some ways."

Davy's manner was so superior that Jane almost laughed in his face. What fools men were. If Victor Dorn had position, weren't surrounded by his unquestionably, hopelessly common family, weren't deliberately keeping himself common—was there a woman in the world who wouldn't choose him without a second thought being necessary, in preference to a Davy Hull? How few men there were who could reasonably hope to hold their women against all comers.

Victor Dorn might possibly be of those few. But Davy Hull—the idea was ridiculous. All his advantages—height, looks, money, position—were excellent qualities in a show piece; but they weren't the qualities that make a woman want to live her life with a man, that make her hope he will be able to give her the emotions woman-nature craves beyond anything.

"He is very attractive," said Jane, "and I've small doubt that Selma Gordon is infatuated with him. But—I shouldn't let that worry me if I were you." She paused to enjoy his anxiety, then proceeded: "She is a level-headed girl. The girls of the working class—the intelligent ones—have had the silly sentimentalities knocked out of them by experience. So, when you ask her to marry you, she will accept."

"What a low opinion you have of her!" exclaimed Davy. "What a low view you take of life!"—most inconsistent of him, since he was himself more than half convinced that Jane's observations were not far from the truth.

"Women are sensible," said Jane tranquilly. "They appreciate that they've got to get a man to support them. Don't forget, my dear Davy, that marriage is a woman's career."

"You lived abroad too long," said Hull bitterly.

"I've lived at home and abroad long enough and intelligently enough not to think stupid hypocrisies, even if I do sometimes imitate other people and SAY them."

"I am sure that Selma Gordon would no more think of marrying me for any other reason but love—would no more think of it than—than YOU would!"

"No more," was Jane's unruffled reply. "But just as much. I didn't absolutely refuse you, when you asked me the other day, partly because I saw no other way of stopping your tiresome talk—and your unattractive way of trying to lay hands on me. I DETEST being handled."

Davy was looking so uncomfortable that he attracted the attention of the people they were passing in wide, shady Lincoln Avenue.

"But my principal reason," continued Jane, mercilessly amiable and candid, "was that I didn't know but that you might prove to be about the best I could get, as a means to realizing my ambition." She looked laughingly at the unhappy young man. "You didn't think I was in love with you, did you, Davy dear?" Then, while the confusion following this blow was at its height, she added: "You'll remember one of your chief arguments for my accepting you was ambition. You didn't think it low then—did you?"

Hull was one of the dry-skinned people. But if he had been sweating profusely he would have looked and would have been less wretched than burning up in the smothered heat of his misery.

They were nearing Martha's gates. Jane said: "Yes, Davy, you've got a good chance. And as soon as she gets used to our way of living, she'll make you a good wife." She laughed gayly.

"She'll not be quite so pretty when she settles down and takes on flesh. I wonder how she'll look in fine clothes and jewels."

She measured Hull's stature with a critical eye. "She's only about half as tall as you. How funny you'll look together!" With sudden soberness and sweetness, "But, seriously, David, I'm proud of your courage in taking a girl for herself regardless of her surroundings. So few men would be willing to face the ridicule and the criticism, and all the social difficulties." She nodded encouragingly. "Go in and win! You can count on my friendship—for I'm in love with her myself."

She left him standing dazedly, looking up and down the street as if it were some strange and pine-beset highway in a foreign land.

After taking a few steps she returned to the gates and called him: "I forgot to ask do you want me to regard what you've told me as confidential? I was thinking of telling Martha and Hugo, and it occurred to me that you might not like it."

"Please don't say anything about it," said he with panicky eagerness. "You see—nothing's settled yet."

"Oh, she'll accept you."

"But I haven't even asked her," pleaded Hull.

"Oh—all right—as you please."

When she was safely within doors she dropped to a chair and burst out laughing. It was part of Jane's passion for the sense of triumph over the male sex to felt that she had made a "perfect jumping jack of a fool" of David Hull. "And I rather think," said she to herself, "that he'll soon be back where he belongs." This with a glance at the tall heels of the slippers on the good-looking feet she was thrusting out for her own inspection. "How absurd for him to imagine he could do anything unconventional. Is there any coward anywhere so cowardly as an American conventional man? No wonder I hate to think of marrying one of them. But—I suppose I'll have to do it some day. What's a woman to do? She's GOT to marry."

So pleased with herself was she that she behaved with unusual forbearance toward Martha whose conduct of late had been most trying. Not Martha's sometimes peevish, sometimes plaintive criticisms of her; these she did not mind. But Martha's way of ordering her own life. Jane, moving about in the world with a good mind eager to improve, had got a horror of a woman's going to pieces—and that was what Martha was doing.

"I'm losing my looks rapidly," was her constant complaint. As she had just passed thirty there was, in Jane's opinion, not the smallest excuse for this. The remedy, the preventive, was obvious—diet and exercise. But Martha, being lazy and self-indulgent and not imaginative enough to foresee to what a pass a few years more of lounging and stuffing would bring her, regarded exercise as unladylike and dieting as unhealthful. She would not weaken her system by taking less than was demanded by "nature's infallible guide, the healthy appetite." She would not give up the venerable and aristocratic tradition that a lady should ever be reposeful.

"Another year or so," warned Jane, "and you'll be as steatopygous as the bride of a Hottentot chief."

"What does steat—that word mean?" said Martha suspiciously.

"Look in the dictionary," said Jane. "Its synonyms aren't used by refined people."

"I knew it was something insulting," said Martha with an injured sniff.

The only concessions Martha would make to the latter-day craze of women for youthfulness were buying a foolish chin-strap of a beauty quack and consulting him as to whether, if her hair continued to gray, she would better take to peroxide or to henna.

Jane had come down that day with a severe lecture on fat and wrinkles laid out in her mind for energetic delivery to the fast-seeding Martha. She put off the lecture and allowed the time to be used by Martha in telling Jane what were her (Jane's) strongest and less strong—not weaker but less strong, points of physical charm.

It was cool and beautiful in the shade of the big gardens behind the old Galland house. Jane, listening to Martha's honest and just compliments and to the faint murmurs of the city's dusty, sweaty toil, had a delicious sense of the superiority of her lot—a feeling that somehow there must be something in the theory of rightfully superior and inferior classes—that in taking what she had not earned she was not robbing those who had earned it, as her reason so often asserted, but was being supported by the toil of others for high purposes of aesthetic beauty. Anyhow, why heat one's self wrestling with these problems?

When she was sure that Victor Dorn must have returned she called him on the telephone. "Can't you come out to see me to-night?" said she. "I've something important—something YOU'LL think important—to consult you about." She felt a refusal forming at the other end of the wire and hastened to add: "You must know I'd not ask this if I weren't certain you would be glad you came."

"Why not drop in here when you're down town?" suggested Victor.

She wondered why she did not hang up the receiver and forget him.

But she did not. She murmured, "In due time I'll punish you for this, sir," and said to him: "There are reasons why it's impossible for me to go there just now. And you know I can't meet you in a saloon or on a street corner."

"I'm not so sure of that," laughed he. "Let me see. I'm very busy. But I could come for half an hour this afternoon."

She had planned an evening session, being well aware of the favorable qualities of air and light after the matter-of-fact sun has withdrawn his last rays. But she promptly decided to accept what offered. "At three?"

"At four," replied he.

"You haven't forgotten those books?"

"Books? Oh, yes—yes, I remember. I'll bring them."

"Thank you so much," said she sweetly. "Good-by."

And at four she was waiting for him on the front veranda in a house dress that was—well, it was not quite the proper costume for such an occasion, but no one else was to see, and he didn't know about that sort of thing—and the gown gave her charms their best possible exposure except evening dress, which was out of the question. She had not long to wait. One of the clocks within hearing had struck and another was just beginning to strike when she saw him coming toward the house. She furtively watched him, admiring his walk without quite knowing why. You may perhaps know the walk that was Victor's—a steady forward advance of the whole body held firmly, almost rigidly—the walk of a man leading another to the scaffold, or of a man being led there in conscious innocence, or of a man ready to go wherever his purposes may order—ready to go without any heroics or fuss of any kind, but simply in the course of the day's business. When a man walks like that, he is worth observing—and it is well to think twice before obstructing his way.

That steady, inevitable advance gave Jane Hastings an absurd feeling of nervousness. She had an impulse to fly, as from some oncoming danger. Yet what was coming, in fact? A clever young man of the working class, dressed in garments of the kind his class dressed in on Sunday, and plebeianly carrying a bundle under his arm.

"Our clock says you are three seconds late," cried she, laughing and extending her hand in a friendly, equal way that would have immensely flattered almost any man of her own class. "But another protests that you are one second early."

"I'm one of those fools who waste their time and their nerves by being punctual," said he.

He laid the books on the wicker sofa. But instead of sitting Jane said: "We might be interrupted here. Come to the west veranda."

There she had him in a leafy solitude—he facing her as she posed in fascinating grace in a big chair. He looked at her—not the look of a man at a woman, but the look of a busy person at one who is about to show cause for having asked for a portion of his valuable time. She laughed—and laughter was her best gesture. "I can never talk to you if you pose like that," said she. "Honestly now, is your time so pricelessly precious?"

He echoed her laugh and settled himself more at his ease. "What did you want of me?" he asked.

"I intend to try to get better hours and better wages for the street car men," said she. "To do it, I must know just what is right—what I can hope to get. General talk is foolish. If I go at father I must have definite proposals to make, with reasons for them. I don't want him to evade. I would have gotten my information elsewhere, but I could think of no one but you who might not mislead me."

She had confidently expected that this carefully thought out scheme would do the trick. He would admire her, would be interested, would be drawn into a position where she could enlist him as a constant adviser. He moved toward the edge of his chair as if about to rise. He said, pleasantly enough but without a spark of enthusiasm:

"That's very nice of you, Miss Hastings. But I can't advise you—beyond saying that if I were you, I shouldn't meddle."

She—that is, her vanity—was cut to the quick. "Oh!" said she with irony, "I fancied you wished the laboring men to have a better sort of life."

"Yes," said he. "But I'm not in favor of running hysterically about with a foolish little atomizer in the great stable. You are talking charity. I am working for justice. It will not really benefit the working man for the company, at the urging of a sweet and lovely young Lady Bountiful, to deign graciously to grant a little less slavery to them. In fact, a well fed, well cared for slave is worse off than one who's badly treated—worse off because farther from his freedom. The only things that do our class any good, Miss Hastings, are the things they COMPEL—compel by their increased intelligence and increased unity and power. They get what they deserve. They won't deserve more until they compel more. Gifts won't help—not even gifts from—" His intensely blue eyes danced—"from such charming white hands so beautifully manicured."

She rose with an angry toss of the head. "I didn't ask you here to annoy me with impertinences about my finger nails."

He rose, at his ease, good-humored, ready to go. "Then you should have worn gloves," said he carelessly, "for I've been able to think only of your finger nails—and to wonder WHAT can be done with hands like that. Thank you for a pleasant talk." He bowed and smiled. "Good-by. Oh—Miss Gordon sent you her love."

"What IS the matter, Mr. Dorn?" cried the girl desperately. "I want your friendship—your respect. CAN'T I get it? Am I utterly hopeless in your eyes?"

A curious kind of color rose in his cheeks. His eyes regarded her with a mysterious steadiness. "You want neither my respect nor my friendship," said he. "You want to amuse yourself." He pointed at her hands. "Those nails betray you." He shrugged his shoulders, laughed, said as if to a child: "You are a nice girl, Jane Hastings. It's a pity you weren't brought up to be of some use. But you weren't—and it's too late."

Her eyes flashed, her bosom heaved. "WHY do I take these things from you? WHY do I invite them?"

"Because you inherit your father's magnificent persistence—and you've set your heart on the whim of making a fool of me—and you hate to give up."

"You wrong me—indeed you do," cried she. "I want to learn—I want to be of use in the world. I want to have some kind of a real life."

"Really?" mocked he good-humoredly.

"Really," said she with all her power of sweet earnestness.

"Then—cut your nails and go to work. And when you have become a genuine laborer, you'll begin to try to improve not the condition of others, but your own. The way to help workers is to abolish the idlers who hang like a millstone about their necks. You can help only by abolishing the one idler under your control."

She stood nearer him, very near him. She threw out her lovely arms in a gesture of humility. "I will do whatever you say," she said.

They looked each into the other's eyes. The color fled from her face, the blood poured into his—wave upon wave, until he was like a man who has been set on fire by the furious heat of long years of equatorial sun. He muttered, wheeled about and strode away—in resolute and relentless flight. She dropped down where he had been sitting and hid her face in her perfumed hands.

"I care for him," she moaned, "and he saw and he despises me! How COULD I—how COULD I!"

Nevertheless, within a quarter of an hour she was in her dressing room, standing at the table, eyes carefully avoiding her mirrored eyes—as she cut her finger nails.


Jane was mistaken in her guess at the cause of Victor Dorn's agitation and abrupt flight. If he had any sense whatever of the secret she had betrayed to him and to herself at the same instant it was wholly unconscious. He had become panic-stricken and had fled because he, faced with her exuberance and tempting wealth of physical charm, had become suddenly conscious of her and of himself in a way as new to him as if he had been fresh from a monkery where no woman had ever been seen. Thus far the world had been peopled for him with human beings without any reference to sex. The phenomena of sex had not interested him because his mind had been entirely taken up with the other aspects of life; and he had not yet reached the stage of development where a thinker grasps the truth that all questions are at bottom questions of the sex relation, and that, therefore, no question can be settled right until the sex relations are settled right.

Jane Hastings was the first girl he had met in his whole life who was in a position to awaken that side of his nature. And when his brain suddenly filled with a torrent of mad longings and of sensuous appreciations of her laces and silk, of her perfume and smoothness and roundness, of the ecstasy that would come from contact with those warm, rosy lips—when Victor Dorn found himself all in a flash eager impetuosity to seize this woman whom he did not approve of, whom he did not even like, he felt bowed with shame. He would not have believed himself capable of such a thing. He fled.

He fled, but she pursued. And when he sat down in the garden behind his mother's cottage, to work at a table where bees and butterflies had been his only disturbers, there was this SHE before him—her soft, shining gaze fascinating his gaze, her useless but lovely white hands extended tantalizingly toward him.

As he continued to look at her, his disapproval and dislike melted. "I was brutally harsh to her," he thought repentantly.

"She was honestly trying to do the decent thing. How was she to know? And wasn't I as much wrong as right in advising her not to help the men?"

Beyond question, it was theoretically best for the two opposing forces, capital and labor, to fight their battle to its inevitable end without interference, without truce, with quarter neither given nor taken on either side. But practically—wasn't there something to be said for such humane proposals of that of Jane Hastings? They would put off the day of right conditions rightly and therefore permanently founded—conditions in which master and slave or serf or wage-taker would be no more; but, on the other hand, slaves with shorter hours of toil and better surroundings could be enlightened more easily. Perhaps. He was by no means sure; he could not but fear that anything that tended to make the slave comfortable in his degradation must of necessity weaken his aversion to degradation. Just as the worst kings were the best kings because they hastened the fall of monarchy, so the worst capitalists, the most rapacious, the most rigid enforcers of the economic laws of a capitalistic society were the best capitalists, were helping to hasten the day when men would work for what they earned and would earn what they worked for—when every man's pay envelope would contain his wages, his full wages, and nothing but his wages.

Still, where judgment was uncertain, he certainly had been unjust to that well meaning girl. And was she really so worthless as he had on first sight adjudged her? There might be exceptions to the rule that a parasite born and bred can have no other instructor or idea but those of parasitism. She was honest and earnest, was eager to learn the truth. She might be put to some use. At any rate he had been unworthy of his own ideals when he, assuming without question that she was the usual capitalistic snob with the itch for gratifying vanity by patronizing the "poor dear lower classes," had been almost insultingly curt and mocking.

"What was the matter with me?" he asked himself. "I never acted in that way before." And then he saw that his brusqueness had been the cover for fear of of her—fear of the allure of her luxury and her beauty. In love with her? He knew that he was not. No, his feeling toward her was merely the crudest form of the tribute of man to woman—though apparently woman as a rule preferred this form to any other.

"I owe her an apology," he said to himself. And so it came to pass that at three the following afternoon he was once more facing her in that creeper-walled seclusion whose soft lights were almost equal to light of gloaming or moon or stars in romantic charm.

Said he—always direct and simple, whether dealing with man or woman, with devious person or straight:

"I've come to beg your pardon for what I said yesterday."

"You certainly were wild and strange," laughed she.

"I was supercilious," said he. "And worse than that there is not. However, as I have apologized, and you have accepted my apology, we need waste no more time about that. You wished to persuade your father to——"

"Just a moment!" interrupted she. "I've a question to ask. WHY did you treat me—why have you been treating me so—so harshly?"

"Because I was afraid of you," replied he. "I did not realize it, but that was the reason."

"Afraid of ME," said she. "That's very flattering."

"No," said he, coloring. "In some mysterious way I had been betrayed into thinking of you as no man ought to think of a woman unless he is in love with her and she with him. I am ashamed of myself. But I shall conquer that feeling—or keep away from you.... Do you understand what the street car situation is?"

But she was not to be deflected from the main question, now that it had been brought to the front so unexpectedly and in exactly the way most favorable to her purposes. "You've made me uneasy," said she. "I don't in the least understand what you mean. I have wanted, and I still want, to be friends with you—good friends—just as you and Selma Gordon are—though of course I couldn't hope to be as close a friend as she is. I'm too ignorant—too useless."

He shook his head—with him, a gesture that conveyed the full strength of negation. "We are on opposite sides of a line across which friendship is impossible. I could not be your friend without being false to myself. You couldn't be mine unless you were by some accident flung into the working class and forced to adopt it as your own. Even then you'd probably remain what you are. Only a small part of the working class as yet is at heart of the working class. Most of us secretly—almost openly—despise the life of work, and dream and hope a time of fortune that will put us up among the masters and the idlers." His expressive eyes became eloquent. "The false and shallow ideas that have been educated into us for ages can't be uprooted in a few brief years."

She felt the admiration she did not try to conceal. She saw the proud and splendid conception of the dignity of labor—of labor as a blessing, not a curse, as a badge of aristocracy and not of slavery and shame. "You really believe that, don't you?" she said. "I know it's true. I say I believe it—who doesn't SAY so? But I don't FEEL it."

"That's honest," said he heartily. "That's some thing to build on."

"And I'm going to build!" cried she. "You'll help me—won't you? I know, it's a great deal to ask. Why should you take the time and the trouble to bother with one single unimportant person."

"That's the way I spend my life—in adding one man or one woman to our party—one at a time. It's slow building, but it's the only kind that endures. There are twelve hundred of us now—twelve hundred voters, I mean. Ten years ago there were only three hundred. We'd expand much more rapidly if it weren't for the constant shifts of population. Our men are forced to go elsewhere as the pressure of capitalism gets too strong. And in place of them come raw emigrants, ignorant, full of dreams of becoming capitalists and exploiters of their fellow men and idlers. Ambition they call it. Ambition!" He laughed. "What a vulgar, what a cruel notion of rising in the world! To cease to be useful, to become a burden to others! ... Did you ever think how many poor creatures have to toil longer hours, how many children have to go to the factory instead of to school, in order that there may be two hundred and seven automobiles privately kept in this town and seventy-four chauffeurs doing nothing but wait upon their masters? Money doesn't grow on bushes, you know. Every cent of it has to be earned by somebody—and earned by MANUAL labor."

"I must think about that," she said—for the first time as much interested in what he was saying as in the man himself. No small triumph for Victor over the mind of a woman dominated, as was Jane Hastings, by the sex instinct that determines the thoughts and actions of practically the entire female sex.

"Yes—think about it," he urged. "You will never see it—or anything—until you see it for yourself."

"That's the way your party is built—isn't it?" inquired she. "Of those who see it for themselves."

"Only those," replied he. "We want no others."

"Not even their votes?" said she shrewdly.

"Not even their votes," he answered. "We've no desire to get the offices until we get them to keep. And when we shall have conquered the city, we'll move on to the conquest of the county—then of the district—then of the state. Our kind of movement is building in every city now, and in most of the towns and many of the villages. The old parties are falling to pieces because they stand for the old politics of the two factions of the upper class quarreling over which of them should superintend the exploiting of the people. Very few of us realize what is going on before our very eyes—that we're seeing the death agonies of one form of civilization and the birth-throes of a newer form."

"And what will it be?" asked the girl.

She had been waiting for some sign of the "crank," the impractical dreamer. She was confident that this question would reveal the man she had been warned against—that in answering it he would betray his true self. But he disappointed and surprised her.

"How can I tell what it will be?" said he. "I'm not a prophet. All I can say is I am sure it will be human, full of imperfections, full of opportunities for improvements—and that I hope it will be better than what we have now. Probably not much better, but a little—and that little, however small it may be, will be a gain. Doesn't history show a slow but steady advance of the idea that the world is for the people who live in it, a slow retreat of the idea that the world and the people and all its and their resources are for a favored few of some kind of an upper class? Yes—I think it is reasonable to hope that out of the throes will come a freer and a happier and a more intelligent race."

Suddenly she burst out, apparently irrelevantly: "But I can't—I really can't agree with you that everyone ought to do physical labor. That would drag the world down—yes, I'm sure it would."

"I guess you haven't thought about that," said he. "Painters do physical labor—and sculptors—and writers—and all the scientific men—and the inventors—and—" He laughed at her—"Who doesn't do physical labor that does anything really useful? Why, you yourself—at tennis and riding and such things—do heavy physical labor. I've only to look at your body to see that. But it's of a foolish kind—foolish and narrowly selfish."

"I see I'd better not try to argue with you," said she.

"No—don't argue—with me or with anybody," rejoined he. "Sit down quietly and think about life—about your life. Think how it is best to live so that you may get the most out of life—the most substantial happiness. Don't go on doing the silly customary things simply because a silly customary world says they are amusing and worth while. Think—and do—for yourself, Jane Hastings."

She nodded slowly and thoughtfully. "I'll try to," she said. She looked at him with the expression of the mind aroused. It was an expression that often rewarded him after a long straight talk with a fellow being. She went on: "I probably shan't do what you'd approve. You see, I've got to be myself—got to live to a certain extent the kind of a life fate has made for me."

"You couldn't successfully live any other," said he.

"But, while it won't be at all what you'd regard as a model life—or even perhaps useful—it'll be very different—very much better—than it would have been, if I hadn't met you—Victor Dorn."

"Oh, I've done nothing," said he. "All I try to do is to encourage my fellow beings to be themselves. So—live your own life—the life you can live best—just as you wear the clothes that fit and become you.... And now—about the street car question. What do you want of me?"

"Tell me what to say to father."

He shook his head. "Can't do it," said he. "There's a good place for you to make a beginning. Put on an old dress and go down town and get acquainted with the family life of the street-car men. Talk to their wives and their children. Look into the whole business yourself."

"But I'm not—not competent to judge," objected she.

"Well, make yourself competent," advised he.

"I might get Miss Gordon to go with me," suggested she.

"You'll learn more thoroughly if you go alone," declared he.

She hesitated—ventured with a winning smile: "You won't go with me—just to get me started right?"

"No," said he. "You've got to learn for yourself—or not at all. If I go with you, you'll get my point of view, and it will take you so much the longer to get your own."

"Perhaps you'd prefer I didn't go."

"It's not a matter of much importance, one way or the other—except perhaps to yourself," replied he.

"Any one individual can do the human race little good by learning the truth about life. The only benefit is to himself. Don't forget that in your sweet enthusiasm for doing something noble and generous and helpful. Don't become a Davy Hull. You know, Davy is on earth for the benefit of the human race. Ever since he was born he has been taken care of—supplied with food, clothing, shelter, everything. Yet he imagines that he is somehow a God-appointed guardian of the people who have gathered and cooked his food, made his clothing, served him in every way. It's very funny, that attitude of your class toward mine."

"They look up to us," said Jane. "You can't blame us for allowing it—for becoming pleased with ourselves."

"That's the worst of it—we do look up to you," admitted he. "But—we're learning better."

"YOU'VE already learned better—you personally, I mean. I think that when you compare me, for instance, with a girl like Selma Gordon, you look down on me."

"Don't you, yourself, feel that any woman who is self-supporting and free is your superior?"

"In some moods, I do," replied Jane. "In other moods, I feel as I was brought up to feel."

They talked on and on, she detaining him without seeming to do so. She felt proud of her adroitness. But the truth was that his stopping on for nearly two hours was almost altogether a tribute to her physical charm—though Victor was unconscious of it. When the afternoon was drawing on toward the time for her father to come, she reluctantly let him go. She said:

"But you'll come again?"

"I can't do that," replied he regretfully. "I could not come to your father's house and continue free. I must be able to say what I honestly think, without any restraint."

"I understand," said she. "And I want you to say and to write what you believe to be true and right. But—we'll see each other again. I'm sure we are going to be friends."

His expression as he bade her good-by told her that she had won his respect and his liking. She had a suspicion that she did not deserve either; but she was full of good resolutions, and assured herself she soon would be what she had pretended—that her pretenses were not exactly false, only somewhat premature.

At dinner that evening she said to her father:

"I think I ought to do something beside enjoy myself. I've decided to go down among the poor people and see whether I can't help them in some way."

"You'd better keep away from that part of town," advised her father. "They live awful dirty, and you might catch some disease. If you want to do anything for the poor, send a check to our minister or to the charity society. There's two kinds of poor—those that are working hard and saving their money and getting up out of the dirt, and those that haven't got no spunk or get-up. The first kind don't need help, and the second don't deserve it."

"But there are the children, popsy," urged Jane. "The children of the no-account poor ought to have a chance."

"I don't reckon there ever was a more shiftless, do-easy pair than my father and mother," rejoined Martin Hastings. "They were what set me to jumping."

She saw that his view was hopelessly narrow—that, while he regarded himself justly as an extraordinary man, he also, for purposes of prejudice and selfishness, regarded his own achievements in overcoming what would have been hopeless handicaps to any but a giant in character and in physical endurance as an instance of what any one could do if he would but work. She never argued with him when she wished to carry her point. She now said:

"It seems to me that, in our own interest, we ought to do what we can to make the poor live better. As you say, it's positively dangerous to go about in the tenement part of town—and those people are always coming among us. For instance, our servants have relatives living in Cooper Street, where there's a pest of consumption."

Old Hastings nodded. "That's part of Davy Hull's reform programme," said he. "And I'm in favor of it. The city government ought to make them people clean up."

"Victor Dorn wants that done, too—doesn't he?" said Jane.

"No," replied the old man sourly. "He says it's no use to clean up the slums unless you raise wages—and that then the slum people'd clean themselves up. The idea of giving those worthless trash more money to spend for beer and whisky and finery for their fool daughters. Why, they don't earn what we give 'em now."

Jane couldn't resist the temptation to say, "I guess the laziest of them earn more than Davy Hull or I."

"Because some gets more than they earn ain't a reason why others should." He grinned. "Maybe you and Davy ought to have less, but Victor Dorn and his riff-raff oughtn't to be pampered.... Do you want me to cut your allowance down?"

She was ready for him. "If you can get as satisfactory a housekeeper for less, you're a fool to overpay the one you have."

The old man was delighted. "I've been cheating you," said he. "I'll double your pay."

"You're doing it just in time to stop a strike," laughed the girl.

After a not unknown fashion she was most obedient to her father when his commands happened to coincide with her own inclinations.

Her ardor for an excursion into the slums and the tenements died almost with Victor Dorn's departure. Her father's reasons for forbidding her to go did not impress her as convincing, but she felt that she owed it to him to respect his wishes. Anyhow, what could she find out that she did not know already? Yes, Dorn and her father were right in the conclusion each reached by a different road. She would do well not to meddle where she could not possibly accomplish any good. She could question the servants and could get from them all the facts she needed for urging her father at least to cut down the hours of labor.

The more she thought about Victor Dorn the more uneasy she became. She had made more progress with him than she had hoped to make in so short a time. But she had made it at an unexpected cost. If she had softened him, he had established a disquieting influence over her. She was not sure, but she was afraid, that he was stronger than she—that, if she persisted in her whim, she would soon be liking him entirely too well for her own comfort. Except as a pastime, Victor Dorn did not fit into her scheme of life. If she continued to see him, to yield to the delight of his magnetic voice, of his fresh and original mind, of his energetic and dominating personality, might he not become aroused—begin to assert power over her, compel her to—to—she could not imagine what; only, it was foolish to deny that he was a dangerous man. "If I've got good sense," decided she, "I'll let him alone. I've nothing to gain and everything to lose."

Her motor—the one her father had ordered as a birthday present—came the next day; and on the following day two girl friends from Cincinnati arrived for a long visit. So, Jane Hastings had the help she felt she perhaps needed in resisting the temptings of her whim.

To aid her in giving her friends a good time she impressed Davy Hull, in spite of his protests that his political work made social fooling about impossible. The truth was that the reform movement, of which he was one of the figureheads, was being organized by far more skillful and expert hands than his—and for purposes of which he had no notion. So, he really had all the time in the world to look after Ellen Clearwater and Josie Arthur, and to pose as a serious man bent upon doing his duty as an upper class person of leisure. All that the reform machine wished of him was to talk and to pose—and to ride on the show seat of the pretty, new political wagon.

The new movement had not yet been "sprung" upon the public. It was still an open secret among the young men of the "better element" in the Lincoln, the Jefferson and the University clubs.

Money was being subscribed liberally by persons of good family who hoped for political preferment and could not get it from the old parties, and by corporations tired of being "blackmailed" by Kelly and House, and desirous of getting into office men who would give them what they wanted because it was for the public good that they should not be hampered in any way. With plenty of money an excellent machine could be built and set to running. Also, there was talk of a fusion with the Democratic machine, House to order the wholesale indorsement of the reform ticket in exchange for a few minor places.

When the excitement among the young gentlemen over the approaching moral regeneration of Remsen City politics was at the boiling point Victor Dorn sent for David Hull—asked him to come to the Baker Avenue cafe', which was the social headquarters of Dorn's Workingmen's League. As Hull was rather counting on Dorn's support, or at least neutrality, in the approaching contest, he accepted promptly. As he entered the cafe' he saw Dorn seated at a table in a far corner listening calmly to a man who was obviously angrily in earnest. At second glance he recognized Tony Rivers, one of Dick Kelly's shrewdest lieutenants and a labor leader of great influence in the unions of factory workers. Among those in "the know" it was understood that Rivers could come nearer to delivering the labor vote than any man in Remsen City. He knew whom to corrupt with bribes and whom to entrap by subtle appeals to ignorant prejudice. As a large part of his herd was intensely Catholic, Rivers was a devout Catholic. To quote his own phrase, used in a company on whose discretion he could count, "Many's the pair of pants I've worn out doing the stations of the Cross." In fact, Rivers had been brought up a Presbyterian, and under the name of Blake—his correct name—had "done a stretch" in Joliet for picking pockets.

Dorn caught sight of Davy Hull, hanging uncertainly in the offing. He rose at once, said a few words in a quiet, emphatic way to Rivers—words of conclusion and dismissal—and advanced to meet Hull.

"I don't want to interrupt. I can wait," said Hull, who saw Rivers' angry scowl at him. He did not wish to offend the great labor leader.

"That fellow pushed himself on me," said Dorn. "I've nothing to say to him."

"Tony Rivers—wasn't it?" said Davy as they seated themselves at another table.

"I'm going to expose him in next week's New Day," replied Victor. "When I sent him a copy of the article for his corrections, if he could make any, he came threatening."

"I've heard he's a dangerous man," said Davy.

"He'll not be so dangerous after Saturday," replied Victor. "One by one I'm putting the labor agents of your friends out of business. The best ones—the chaps like Rivers—are hard to catch. And if I should attack one of them before I had him dead to rights, I'd only strengthen him."

"You think you can destroy Rivers' influence?" said Davy incredulously.

"If I were not sure of it I'd not publish a line," said Victor.

"But to get to the subject I wish to talk to you about. You are to be the reform candidate for Mayor in the fall?"

Davy looked important and self-conscious. "There has been some talk of——" he began.

"I've sent for you to ask you to withdraw from the movement, Hull," interrupted Victor.

Hull smiled. "And I've come to ask you to support it," said Hull. "We'll win, anyhow. But I'd like to see all the forces against corruption united in this campaign. I am even urging my people to put one or two of your men on the ticket."

"None of us would accept," said Victor. "That isn't our kind of politics. We'll take nothing until we get everything.... What do you know about this movement you're lending your name to?"

"I organized it," said Hull proudly.

"Pardon me—Dick Kelly organized it," replied Victor. "They're simply using you, Davy, to play their rotten game. Kelly knew he was certain to be beaten this fall. He doesn't care especially for that, because House and his gang are just as much Kelly as Kelly himself. But he's alarmed about the judgeship."

Davy Hull reddened, though he tried hard to look indifferent.

"He's given up hope of pulling through the scoundrel who's on the bench now. He knows that our man would be elected, though his tool had the support of the Republicans, the Democrats and the new reform crowd."

Dorn had been watching Hull's embarrassed face keenly. He now said: "You understand, I see, why Judge Freilig changed his mind and decided that he must stop devoting himself to the public and think of the welfare of his family and resume the practice of the law?"

"Judge Freilig is an honorable gentleman," said Davy with much dignity. "I'm sorry, Dorn, that you listen to the lies of demagogues."

"If Freilig had persisted in running," said Victor, "I should have published the list of stocks and bonds of corporations benefiting by his decisions that his brother and his father have come into possession of during his two terms on the bench. Many of our judges are simply mentally crooked. But Freilig is a bribe taker. He probably believes his decisions are just. All you fellows believe that upper-class rule is really best for the people——"

"And so it is," said Davy. "And you, an educated man, know it."

"I'll not argue that now," said Victor. "As I was saying, while Freilig decides for what he honestly thinks is right, he also feels he is entitled to a share of the substantial benefits. Most of the judges, after serving the upper class faithfully for years, retire to an old age of comparative poverty. Freilig thinks that is foolish."

"I suppose you agree with him," said Hull sarcastically.

"I sympathize with him," said Victor. "He retires with reputation unstained and with plenty of money. If I should publish the truth about him, would he lose a single one of his friends? You know he wouldn't. That isn't the way the world is run at present."

"No doubt it would be run much better if your crowd were in charge," sneered Hull.

"On the contrary, much worse," replied Victor unruffled. "But we're educating ourselves so that, when our time comes, we'll not do so badly."

"You'll have plenty of time for education," said Davy.

"Plenty," said Victor. "But why are you angry? Because you realize now that your reform candidate for judge is of Dick Kelly's selecting?"

"Kelly didn't propose Hugo Galland," cried Davy hotly. "I proposed him myself."

"Was his the first name you proposed?"

Something in Dorn's tone made Davy feel that it would be unwise to yield to the impulse to tell a lie—for the highly moral purpose of silencing this agitator and demagogue.

"You will remember," pursued Victor, "that Galland was the sixth or seventh name you proposed—and that Joe House rejected the others. He did it, after consulting with Kelly. You recall—don't you?—that every time you brought him a name he took time to consider?"

"How do you know so much about all this?" cried Davy, his tone suggesting that Victor was wholly mistaken, but his manner betraying that he knew Victor was right.

"Oh, politicians are human," replied Dorn. "And the human race is loose-mouthed. I saw years ago that if I was to build my party I must have full and accurate information as to all that was going on. I made my plans accordingly."

"Galland is an honest man—rich—above suspicion—above corruption—an ideal candidate," said Davy.

"He is a corporation owner, a corporation lawyer—and a fool," said Victor. "As I've told you, all Dick Kelly's interest in this fall's local election is that judgeship."

"Galland is my man. I want to see him elected. If Kelly's for Galland, so much the better. Then we're sure of electing him—of getting the right sort of a man on the bench."

"I'm not here to argue with you about politics, Davy," said Victor. "I brought you here because I like you—believe in your honesty—and don't want to see you humiliated. I'm giving you a chance to save yourself ."

"From what?" inquired Hull, not so valiant as he pretended to be.

"From the ridicule and disgrace that will cover this reform movement, if you persist in it."

Hull burst out laughing. "Of all the damned impudence!" he exclaimed. "Dorn, I think you've gone crazy ."

"You can't irritate me, Hull. I've been giving you the benefit of the doubt. I think you are falling into the commonest kind of error—doing evil and winking at evil in order that a good end may be gained. Now, listen. What are the things you reformers are counting on to get you votes this fall."

Davy maintained a haughty silence.

"The traction scandals, the gas scandals and the paving scandals—isn't that it?"

"Of course," said Davy.

"Then—why have the gas crowd, the traction crowd and the paving crowd each contributed twenty-five thousand dollars to your campaign fund?"

Hull stared at Victor Dorn in amazement. "Who told you that lie?" he blustered.

Dorn looked at him sadly. "Then you knew? I hoped you didn't, Hull. But—now that you're facing the situation squarely, don't you see that you're being made a fool of? Would those people put up for your election if they weren't SURE you and your crowd were THEIR crowd?"

"They'll find out!" cried Hull.

"You'll find out, you mean," replied Victor. "I see your whole programme, Davy. They'll put you in, and they'll say, 'Let us alone and we'll make you governor of the State. Annoy us, and you'll have no political future.' And you'll say to yourself, 'The wise thing for me to do is to wait until I'm governor before I begin to serve the people. THEN I can really do something.' And so, you'll be THEIR mayor—and afterward THEIR governor—because they'll hold out another inducement. Anyhow, by that time you'll be so completely theirs that you'll have no hope of a career except through them."

After reading how some famous oration wrought upon its audience we turn to it and wonder that such tempests of emotion could have been produced by such simple, perhaps almost commonplace words. The key to the mystery is usually a magic quality in the tone of the orator, evoking before its hypnotized hearers a series of vivid pictures, just as the notes of a violin, with no aid from words or even from musical form seem to materialize into visions.

This uncommon yet by no means rare power was in Victor Dorn's voice, and explained his extraordinary influence over people of all kinds and classes; it wove a spell that enmeshed even those who disliked him for his detestable views. Davy Hull, listening to Victor's simple recital of his prospective career, was so wrought upon that he sat staring before him in a kind of terror.

"Davy," said Victor gently, "you're at the parting of the ways. The time for honest halfway reformers—for political amateurs has passed. 'Under which king, Bezonian? Speak or die!'—that's the situation today."

And Hull knew that it was so. "What do you propose, Dorn?" he said. "I want to do what's right—what's best for the people."

"Don't worry about the people, Hull," said Victor.

"Upper classes come and pass, but the people remain—bigger and stronger and more aggressive with every century. And they dictate language and art, and politics and religion—what we shall all eat and wear and think and do. Only what they approve, only that yoke even which they themselves accept, has any chance of enduring. Don't worry about the people, Davy. Worry about yourself."

"I admit," said Hull, "that I don't like a lot of things about the—the forces I find I've got to use in order to carry through my plans. I admit that even the sincere young fellows I've grouped together to head this movement are narrow—supercilious—self-satisfied—that they irritate me and are not trustworthy. But I feel that, if I once get the office, I'll be strong enough to put my plans through." Nervously, "I'm giving you my full confidence—as I've given it to no one else."

"You've told me nothing I didn't know already," said Victor.

"I've got to choose between this reform party and your party," continued Hull. "That is, I've got no choice. For, candidly, I've no confidence in the working class. It's too ignorant to do the ruling. It's too credulous to build on—for its credulity makes it fickle. And I believe in the better class, too. It may be sordid and greedy and tyrannical, but by appealing to its good instincts—and to its fear of the money kings and the monopolists, something good can be got through it."

"If you want to get office," said Dorn, "you're right. But if you want to BE somebody, if you want to develop yourself, to have the joy of being utterly unafraid in speech and in action—why, come with us."

After a pause Hull said, "I'd like to do it. I'd like to help you."

Victor laid his hand on Davy's arm. "Get it straight, Davy," he said. "You can't help us. We don't need you. It's you that needs us. We'll make an honest man of you—instead of a trimming politician, trying to say or to do something more or less honest once in a while and winking at or abetting crookedness most of the time."

"I've done nothing, and I'll do nothing, to be ashamed of," protested Hull.

"You are not ashamed of the way your movement is financed?"

Davy moved uncomfortably. "The money's ours now," said he. "They gave it unconditionally."

But he could not meet Victor's eyes. Victor said: "They paid a hundred thousand dollars for a judgeship and for a blanket mortgage on your party. And if you should win, you'd find you could do little showy things that were of no value, but nothing that would seriously disturb a single leech sucking the blood of this community."

"I don't agree with you," said Davy. He roused himself into anger—his only remaining refuge. "Your prejudices blind you to all the means—the PRACTICAL means—of doing good, Dorn. I've listened patiently to you because I respect your sincerity. But I'm not going to waste my life in mere criticism. I'm going to DO something."

An expression of profound sadness came into Victor's face. "Don't decide now," he said. "Think it over. Remember what I've told you about what we'll be compelled to do if you launch this party."

Hull was tempted to burst out violently. Was not this swollen-headed upstart trying to intimidate him by threats? But his strong instinct for prudence persuaded him to conceal his resentment. "Why the devil should you attack US?" he demanded.

"Surely we're nearer your kind of thing than the old parties—and we, too, are against them—their rotten machines."

"We purpose to keep the issue clear in this town," replied Victor. "So, we can't allow a party to grow up that PRETENDS to be just as good as ours but is really a cover behind which the old parties we've been battering to pieces can reorganize."

"That is, you'll tolerate in this market no brand of honest politics but your own?"

"If you wish to put it that way," replied Victor coolly.

"I suppose you'd rather see Kelly or House win?"

"We'll see that House does win," replied Victor. "When we have shot your movement full of holes and sunk it, House will put up a straight Democratic ticket, and it will win."

"And House means Kelly—and Kelly means corruption rampant."

"And corruption rampant means further and much needed education in the school of hard experience for the voters," said Dorn. "And the more education, the larger our party and the quicker its triumph."

Hull laughed angrily. "Talk about low self-seeking! Talk about rotten practical politics!"

But Dorn held his good humor of the man who has the power and knows it. "Think it over, Davy," counseled he. "You'll see you've got to come with us or join Kelly. For your own sake I'd like to see you with us. For the party's sake you'd better be with Kelly, for you're not really a workingman, and our fellows would be uneasy about you for a long time. You see, we've had experience of rich young men whose hearts beat for the wrongs of the working class—and that experience has not been fortunate."

"Before you definitely decide to break with the decent element of the better class, Victor, I want YOU to think it over," said Davy. "We—I, myself—have befriended you more than once. But for a few of us who still have hope that demagoguery will die of itself, your paper would have been suppressed long ago."

Victor laughed. "I wish they would suppress it," said he. "The result would give the 'better element' in this town a very bad quarter of an hour, at least." He rose. "We've both said all we've got to say to each other. I see I've done no good. I feared it would be so." He was looking into Hull's eyes—into his very soul. "When we meet again, you will probably be my open and bitter enemy. It's a pity. It makes me sad. Good-by, and—do think it over, Davy."

Dorn moved rapidly away. Hull looked after him in surprise. At first blush he was astonished that Dorn should care so much about him as this curious interview and his emotion at its end indicated. But on reflecting his astonishment disappeared, and he took the view that Dorn was simply impressed by his personality and by his ability—was perhaps craftily trying to disarm him and to destroy his political movement which was threatening to destroy the Workingmen's League. "A very shrewd chap is Dorn," thought Davy—why do we always generously concede at least acumen to those we suspect of having a good opinion of us?—"A VERY shrewd chap. It's unfortunate he's cursed with that miserable envy of those better born and better off than he is."

Davy spent the early evening at the University Club, where he was an important figure. Later on he went to a dance at Mrs. Venable's—and there he was indeed a lion, as an unmarried man with money cannot but be in a company of ladies—for money to a lady is what soil and sun and rain are to a flower—is that without which she must cease to exist. But still later, when he was alone in bed—perhaps with the supper he ate at Mrs. Venable's not sitting as lightly as comfort required—the things Victor Dorn had said came trailing drearily through his mind. What kind of an article would Dorn print? Those facts about the campaign fund certainly would look badly in cold type—especially if Dorn had the proofs. And Hugo Galland— Beyond question the mere list of the corporations in which Hugo was director or large stockholder would make him absurd as a judge, sitting in that district. And Hugo the son-in-law of the most offensive capitalist in that section of the State! And the deal with House, endorsed by Kelly—how nasty that would look, IF Victor had the proofs. IF Victor had the proofs. But had he?

"I MUST have a talk with Kelly," said Davy, aloud.

The words startled him—not his voice suddenly sounding in the profound stillness of his bedroom, but the words themselves. It was his first admission to himself of the vicious truth he had known from the outset and had been pretending to himself that he did not know—the truth that his reform movement was a fraud contrived by Dick Kelly to further the interests of the company of financiers and the gang of politico-criminal thugs who owned the party machinery. It is a nice question whether a man is ever allowed to go in HONEST self-deception decisively far along a wrong road. However this may be, certain it is that David Hull, reformer, was not so allowed. And he was glad of the darkness that hid him at least physically from himself as he strove to convince himself that, if he was doing wrong, it was from the highest motives and for the noblest purposes and would result in the public good—and not merely in fame and office for David Hull.

The struggle ended as struggles usually end in the famous arena of moral sham battles called conscience; and toward the middle of the following morning Davy, at peace with himself and prepared to make any sacrifice of personal squeamishness or moral idealism for the sake of the public good, sought out Dick Kelly.

Kelly's original headquarters had, of course, been the doggery in and through which he had established himself as a political power. As his power grew and his relations with more respectable elements of society extended he shifted to a saloon and beer garden kept by a reputable German and frequented by all kinds of people—a place where his friends of the avowedly criminal class and his newer friends of the class that does nothing legally criminal, except in emergencies, would feel equally at ease. He retained ownership of the doggery, but took his name down and put up that of his barkeeper. When he won his first big political fight and took charge of the public affairs of Remsen City and made an arrangement with Joe House where—under Remsen City, whenever it wearied or sickened of Kelly, could take instead Kelly disguised as Joe House—when he thus became a full blown boss he established a secondary headquarters in addition to that at Herrmann's Garden. Every morning at ten o'clock he took his stand in the main corridor of the City Hall, really a thoroughfare and short cut for the busiest part of town. With a cigar in his mouth he stood there for an hour or so, holding court, making appointments, attending to all sorts of political business.

Presently his importance and his ideas of etiquette expanded to such an extent that he had to establish the Blaine Club. Joe House's Tilden Club was established two years later, in imitation of Kelly. If you had very private and important business with Kelly—business of the kind of which the public must get no inkling, you made—preferably by telephone—an appointment to meet him in his real estate offices in the Hastings Building—a suite with entrances and exits into three separated corridors. If you wished to see him about ordinary matters and were a person who could "confer" with Kelly without its causing talk you met him at the Blaine Club. If you wished to cultivate him, to pay court to him, you saw him at Herrmann's—or in the general rooms of the club. If you were a busy man and had time only to exchange greetings with him—to "keep in touch"—you passed through the City Hall now and then at his hour. Some bosses soon grow too proud for the vulgar democracy of such a public stand; but Kelly, partly through shrewdness, partly through inclination, clung to the City Hall stand and encouraged the humblest citizens to seek him there and tell him the news or ask his aid or his advice.

It was at the City Hall that Davy Hull sought him, and found him.

Twice he walked briskly to the boss; the third time he went by slowly. Kelly, who saw everything, had known from the first glance at Hull's grave, anxious face, that the young leader of the "holy boys" was there to see him. But he ignored Davy until Davy addressed him directly.

"Howdy, Mr. Hull!" said he, observing the young man with eyes that twinkled cynically. "What's the good word?"

"I want to have a little talk with you," Davy blurted out. "Where could I see you?"

"Here I am," said Kelly. "Talk away."

"Couldn't I see you at some—some place where we'd not be interrupted? I saw Victor Dorn yesterday, and he said some things that I think you ought to know about."

"I do know about 'em," replied Kelly.

"Are you sure? I mean his threats to—to——"

As Davy paused in an embarrassed search for a word that would not hurt his own but recently soothed conscience, Kelly laughed. "To expose you holy boys?" inquired he. "To upset the nice moral campaign you and Joe House have laid out? Yes, I know all about Mr. Victor Dorn. But—Joe House is the man you want to see. You boys are trying to do me up—trying to break up the party. You can't expect ME to help you. I've got great respect for you personally, Mr. Hull. Your father—he was a fine old Republican wheel-horse. He stood by the party through thick and thin—and the party stood by him. So, I respect his son—personally. But politically—that's another matter. Politically I respect straight organization men of either party, but I've got no use for amateurs and reformers. So—go to Joe House." All this in perfect good humor, and in a tone of banter that might have ruffled a man with a keener sense of humor than Davy's.

Davy was red to his eyes, not because Kelly was laughing at him, but because he stood convicted of such a stupid political blunder as coming direct to Kelly when obviously he should have gone to Kelly's secret partner. "Dorn means to attack us all—Republicans, Democrats and Citizens' Alliance," stammered Davy, trying to justify himself.

Kelly shifted his cigar and shrugged his shoulders.

"Don't worry about his attacks on me—on US," said he. "We're used to being attacked. We haven't got no reputation for superior virtue to lose."

"But he says he can prove that our whole campaign is simply a deal between you and House and me to fool the people and elect a bad judge."

"So I've heard," said Kelly. "But what of it? You know it ain't so."

"No, I don't, Mr. Kelly," replied Hull, desperately. "On the contrary, I think it is so. And I may add I think we are justified in making such a deal, when that's the only way to save the community from Victor Dorn and his crowd of—of anarchists."

Kelly looked at him silently with amused eyes.

"House can't do anything," pursued Davy. "Maybe YOU can. So I came straight to you."

"I'm glad you're getting a little political sense, my boy," said Kelly. "Perhaps you're beginning to see that a politician has got to be practical—that it's the organizations that keeps this city from being the prey to Victor Dorns."

"I see that," said Davy. "I'm willing to admit that I've misjudged you, Mr. Kelly—that the better classes owe you a heavy debt—and that you are one of the men we've got to rely on chiefly to stem the tide of anarchy that's rising—the attack on the propertied classes—the intelligent classes."

"I see your eyes are being opened, my boy," said Kelly in a kindly tone that showed how deeply he appreciated this unexpected recognition of his own notion of his mission. "You young silk stocking fellows up at the University Club, and the Lincoln and the Jefferson, have been indulging in a lot of loose talk against the fellows that do the hard work in politics—the fellows that helped your fathers to make fortunes and that are helping you boys to keep 'em. If I didn't have a pretty level head on me, I'd take my hands off and give Dorn and his gang a chance at you. I tell you, when you fool with that reform nonsense, you play with fire in a powder mill."

"But I—I had an idea that you wanted me to go ahead," said Davy.

"Not the way you started last spring," replied Kelly. "Not the way you'd 'a gone if I hadn't taken hold. I've been saving you in spite of yourselves. Thanks to me, your party's on a sound, conservative basis and won't do any harm and may do some good in teaching a lesson to those of our boys that've been going a little too far. It ain't good for an organization to win always."

"Victor Dorn seemed to be sure—absolutely sure," said Hull. "And he's pretty shrewd at politics—isn't he?"

"Don't worry about him, I tell you," replied Kelly.

The sudden hardening of his voice and of his never notably soft face was tribute stronger than any words to Dorn's ability as a politician, to his power as an antagonist. Davy felt a sinister intent—and he knew that Dick Kelly had risen because he would stop at nothing. He was as eager to get away from the boss as the boss was to be rid of him. The intrusion of a henchman, to whom Kelly had no doubt signaled, gave him the excuse. As soon as he had turned from the City Hall into Morton Street he slackened to as slow a walk as his length of leg would permit. Moving along, absorbed in uncomfortable thoughts, he startled violently when he heard Selma Gordon's voice:

"How d'you do, Mr. Hull? I was hoping I'd see you to-day."

She was standing before him—the same fascinating embodiment of life and health and untamed energy; the direct, honest glance.

"I want to talk to you," she went on, "and I can't, walking beside you. You're far too tall. Come into the park and we'll sit on that bench under the big maple."

He had mechanically lifted his hat, but he had not spoken. He did not find words until they were seated side by side, and then all he could say was:

"I'm very glad to see you again—very glad, indeed."

In fact, he was the reverse of glad, for he was afraid of her, afraid of himself when under the spell of her presence. He who prided himself on his self-control, he could not account for the effect this girl had upon him. As he sat there beside her the impulse Jane Hastings had so adroitly checked came surging back. He had believed, had hoped it was gone for good and all. He found that in its mysterious hiding place it had been gaining strength. Quite clearly he saw how absurd was the idea of making this girl his wife—he tall and she not much above the bend of his elbow; he conventional, and she the incarnation of passionate revolt against the restraints of class and form and custom which he not only conformed to but religiously believed in. And she set stirring in him all kinds of vague, wild longings to run amuck socially and politically—longings that, if indulged, would ruin him for any career worthy of the name.

He stood up. "I must go—I really must," he said, confusedly.

She laid her small, strong hand on his arm—a natural, friendly gesture with her, and giving no suggestion of familiarity. Even as she was saying, "Please—only a moment," he dropped back to the seat.

"Well—what is it?" he said abruptly, his gaze resolutely away from her face.

"Victor was telling me this morning about his talk with you," she said in her rapid, energetic way. "He was depressed because he had failed. But I felt sure—I feel sure—that he hasn't. In our talk the other day, Mr. Hull, I got a clear idea of your character. A woman understands better. And I know that, after Victor told you the plain truth about the situation, you couldn't go on."

David looked round rather wildly, swallowed hard several times, said hoarsely: "I won't, if you'll marry me."

But for a slight change of expression or of color Davy would have thought she had not heard—or perhaps that he had imagined he was uttering the words that forced themselves to his lips in spite of his efforts to suppress them. For she went on in the same impetuous, friendly way:

"It seemed to me that you have an instinct for the right that's unusual in men of your class. At least, I think it's unusual. I confess I've not known any man of your class except you—and I know you very slightly. It was I that persuaded Victor to go to you. He believes that a man's class feeling controls him—makes his moral sense—compels his actions. But I thought you were an exception—and he yielded after I urged him a while."

"I don't know WHAT I am," said Hull gloomily. "I think I want to do right. But—what is right? Not theoretical right, but the practical, workable thing?"

"That's true," conceded Selma. "We can't always be certain what's right. But can't we always know what's wrong? And, Mr. Hull, it is wrong—altogether wrong—and YOU know it's wrong—to lend your name and your influence and your reputation to that crowd. They'd let you do a little good—why? To make their professions of reform seem plausible. To fool the people into trusting them again. And under cover of the little good you were showily doing, how much mischief they'd do! If you'll go back over the history of this town—of any town—of any country—you'll find that most of the wicked things—the things that pile the burdens on the shoulders of the poor—the masses—most of the wicked things have been done under cover of just such men as you, used as figureheads."

"But I want to build up a new party—a party of honest men, honestly led," said Davy.

"Led by your sort of young men? I mean young men of your class. Led by young lawyers and merchants and young fellows living on inherited incomes? Don't you see that's impossible," cried Selma. "They are all living off the labor of others. Their whole idea of life is exploiting the masses—is reaping where they have not sown or reaping not only what they've sown but also what others have sown—for they couldn't buy luxury and all the so-called refinements of life for themselves and their idle families merely with what they themselves could earn. How can you build up a really HONEST party with such men? They may mean well. They no doubt are honest, up to a certain point. But they will side with their class, in every crisis. And their class is the exploiting class."

"I don't agree with you," said Davy. "You are not fair to us."

"How!" demanded Selma.

"I couldn't argue with you," replied Hull. "All I'll say is that you've seen only the one side—only the side of the working class."

"That toils without ceasing—its men, its women, its children—" said the girl with heaving bosom and flashing eyes—"only to have most of what it earns filched away from it by your class to waste in foolish luxury!"

"And whose fault is that?" pleaded Hull.

"The fault of my class," replied she. "Their ignorance, their stupidity—yes, and their foolish cunning that overreaches itself. For they tolerate the abuses of the present system because each man—at least, each man of the ones who think themselves 'smart'—imagines that the day is coming when he can escape from the working class and gain the ranks of the despoilers."

"And you ask ME to come into the party of those people!" scoffed Davy.

"Yes, Mr. Hull," said she—and until then he had not appreciated how lovely her voice was. "Yes—that is the party for you—for all honest, sincere men who want to have their own respect through and through. To teach those people—to lead them right—to be truthful and just with them—that is the life worth while."

"But they won't learn. They won't be led right. They are as ungrateful as they are foolish. If they weren't, men like me trying to make a decent career wouldn't have to compromise with the Kellys and the Houses and their masters. What are Kelly and House but leaders of your class? And they lead ten to Victor Dorn's one. Why, any day Dorn's followers may turn on him—and you know it."

"And what of that?" cried Selma. "He's not working to be their leader, but to do what he thinks is right, regardless of consequences. Why is he a happy man, as happiness goes? Why has he gone on his way steadily all these years, never minding setbacks and failures and defeats and dangers? I needn't tell you why."

"No," said Hull, powerfully moved by her earnestness. "I understand."

"The finest sentence that ever fell from human lips," Selma went on, "was 'Father, forgive them; they know not what they do.' Forgive them—forgive us all—for when we go astray it is because we are in the dark. And I want you to come with us, Mr. Hull, and help to make it a little less dark. At least, you will then be looking toward the light—and every one turned in that direction counts."

After a long pause, Hull said:

"Miss Gordon, may I ask you a very personal question?"

"Yes," said she.

"Are you in love with Victor Dorn?"

Selma laughed merrily. "Jane Hastings had that same curiosity," said she. "I'll answer you as I answered her—though she didn't ask me quite so directly. No, I am not in love with him. We are too busy to bother about those things. We have too much to do to think about ourselves."

"Then—there is no reason why I should not ask you to be my wife—why I should not hope—and try?"

She looked at him with a peculiar smile. "Yes, there is a very good reason. I do not love you, and I shall not love you. I shall not have time for that sort of thing."

"Don't you believe in love?"

"I don't believe in much else," said she. "But—not the kind of love you offer me."

"How do you know?" cried he. "I have not told you yet how I feel toward you. I have not——"

"Oh, yes, you have," interrupted she. "This is the second—no, the third time you have seen me. So, the love you offer me can only be of a kind it is not in the least flattering to a woman to inspire. You needn't apologize," she went on, laughingly. "I've no doubt you mean well. You simply don't understand me—my sort of woman."

"It's you that don't understand, Selma," cried he. "You don't realize how wonderful you are—how much you reveal of yourself at once. I was all but engaged to another woman when I saw you. I've been fighting against my love for you—fighting against the truth that suddenly came to me that you were the only woman I had ever seen who appealed to and aroused and made strong all that is brave and honest in me. Selma, I need you. I am not infatuated. I am clearer-headed than I ever was in my life. I need you. You can make a man of me."

She was regarding him with a friendly and even tender sympathy. "I understand now," she said. "I thought it was simply the ordinary outburst of passion. But I see that it was the result of your struggle with yourself about which road to take in making a career."

If she had not been absorbed in developing her theory she might have seen that Davy was not altogether satisfied with this analysis of his feelings. But he deemed it wise to hold his peace.

"You do need some one—some woman," she went on. "And I am anxious to help you all I can. I couldn't help you by marrying you. To me marriage means——" She checked herself abruptly. "No matter. I can help you, I think, as a friend. But if you wish to marry, you should take some one in your own class—some one who's in sympathy with you. Then you and she could work it out together—could help each other. You see, I don't need you—and there's nothing in one-sided marriages.... No, you couldn't give me anything I need, so far as I can see."

"I believe that's true," said Davy miserably.

She reflected, then continued: "But there's Jane Hastings. Why not marry her? She is having the same sort of struggle with herself. You and she could help each other. And you're, both of you, fine characters. I like each of you for exactly the same reasons.... Yes—Jane needs you, and you need her." She looked at him with her sweet, frank smile like a breeze straight from the sweep of a vast plateau. "Why, it's so obvious that I wonder you and she haven't become engaged long ago. You ARE fond of her, aren't you?"

"Oh, Selma," cried Davy, "I LOVE you. I want YOU."

She shook her head with a quaint, fascinating expression of positiveness. "Now, my friend," said she, "drop that fancy. It isn't sensible. And it threatens to become silly." Her smile suddenly expanded into a laugh. "The idea of you and me married—of ME married to YOU! I'd drive you crazy. No, I shouldn't stay long enough for that. I'd be of on the wings of the wind to the other end of the earth as soon as you tried to put a halter on me."

He did not join in her laugh. She rose. "You will think again before you go in with those people—won't you, David?" she said, sober and earnest.

"I don't care what becomes of me," he said boyishly.

"But I do," she said. "I want to see you the man you can be."

"Then—marry me," he cried.

Her eyes looked gentle friendship; her passionate lips curled in scorn. "I might marry the sort of man you could be," she said, "but I never could marry a man so weak that, without me to bolster him up, he'd become a stool-pigeon."

And she turned and walked away.


A few days later, after she had taken her daily two hours' walk, Selma went into the secluded part of Washington Park and spent the rest of the morning writing. Her walk was her habitual time for thinking out her plans for the day. And when it was writing that she had to do, and the weather was fine, that particular hillside with its splendid shade so restful for the eyes and so stimulating to the mind became her work-shop. She thought that she was helped as much by the colors of grass and foliage as by the softened light and the tranquil view out over hills and valleys.

When she had finished her article she consulted the little nickel watch she carried in her bag and discovered that it was only one o'clock. She had counted on getting through at three or half past. Two hours gained. How could she best use them. The part of the Park where she was sitting was separated from the Hastings grounds only by the winding highroad making its last reach for the top of the hill. She decided that she would go to see Jane Hastings—would try to make tactful progress in her project of helping Jane and David Hull by marrying them to each other. Once she had hit upon this project her interest in both of them had equally increased. Yes, these gained two hours was an opportunity not to be neglected.

She put her papers into her shopping bag and went straight up the steep hill. She arrived at the top, at the edge of the lawn before Jane's house, with somewhat heightened color and brightened eyes, but with no quickening of the breath. Her slim, solid little body had all the qualities of endurance of those wiry ponies that come from the regions her face and walk and the careless grace of her hair so delightfully suggested. As she advanced toward the house she saw a gay company assembled on the wide veranda. Jane was giving a farewell luncheon for her visitors, had asked almost a dozen of the most presentable girls in the town. It was a very fashionable affair, and everyone had dressed for it in the best she had to wear at that time of day.

Selma saw the company while there was still time for her to draw back and descend into the woods. But she knew little about conventionalities, and she cared not at all about them. She had come to see Jane; she conducted herself precisely as she would have expected any one to act who came to see her at any time. She marched straight across the lawn. The hostess, the fashionable visitors, the fashionable guests soon centered upon the extraordinary figure moving toward them under that blazing sun. The figure was extraordinary not for dress—the dress was plain and unconspicuous—but for that expression of the free and the untamed, the lack of self-consciousness so rarely seen except in children and animals. Jane rushed to the steps to welcome her, seized her extended hands and kissed her with as much enthusiasm as she kissed Jane. There was sincerity in this greeting of Jane's; but there was pose, also. Here was one of those chances to do the unconventional, the democratic thing.

"What a glorious surprise!" cried Jane. "You'll stop for lunch, of course?" Then to the girls nearest them: "This is Selma Gordon, who writes for the New Day."

Pronouncing of names—smiles—bows—veiled glances of curiosity—several young women exchanging whispered comments of amusement. And to be sure, Selma, in that simple costume, gloveless, with dusty shoes and blown hair, did look very much out of place. But then Selma would have looked, in a sense, out of place anywhere but in a wilderness with perhaps a few tents and a half-tamed herd as background. In another sense, she seemed in place anywhere as any natural object must.

"I don't eat lunch," said Selma. "But I'll stay if you'll put me next to you and let me talk to you."

She did not realize what an upsetting of order and precedence this request, which seemed so simple to her, involved. Jane hesitated, but only for a fraction of a second. "Why, certainly," said she. "Now that I've got you I'd not let you go in any circumstances."

Selma was gazing around at the other girls with the frank and pleased curiosity of a child. "Gracious, what pretty clothes!" she cried—she was addressing Miss Clearwater, of Cincinnati. "I've read about this sort of thing in novels and in society columns of newspapers. But I never saw it before. ISN'T it interesting!"

Miss Clearwater, whose father was a United States Senator—by purchase—had had experience of many oddities, male and female. She also was attracted by Selma's sparkling delight, and by the magnetic charm which she irradiated as a rose its perfume. "Pretty clothes are attractive, aren't they?" said she, to be saying something.

"I don't know a thing about clothes," confessed Selma. "I've never owned at the same time more than two dresses fit to wear—usually only one. And quite enough for me. I'd only be fretted by a lot of things of that kind. But I like to see them on other people. If I had my way the whole world would be well dressed."

"Except you?" said Ellen Clearwater with a smile.

"I couldn't be well dressed if I tried," replied Selma. "When I was a child I was the despair of my mother. Most of the people in the tenement where we lived were very dirty and disorderly—naturally enough, as they had no knowledge and no money and no time. But mother had ideas of neatness and cleanliness, and she used to try to keep me looking decent. But it was of no use. Ten minutes after she had smoothed me down I was flying every which way again."

"You were brought up in a tenement?" said Miss Clearwater. Several of the girls within hearing were blushing for Selma and were feeling how distressed Jane Hastings must be.

"I had a wonderfully happy childhood," replied Selma. "Until I was old enough to understand and to suffer. I've lived in tenements all my life—among very poor people. I'd not feel at home anywhere else."

"When I was born," said Miss Clearwater, "we lived in a log cabin up in the mining district of Michigan."

Selma showed the astonishment the other girls were feeling. But while their astonishment was in part at a girl of Ellen Clearwater's position making such a degrading confession, hers had none of that element in it. "You don't in the least suggest a log cabin or poverty of any kind," said she. "I supposed you had always been rich and beautifully dressed."

"No, indeed," replied Ellen. She gazed calmly round at the other girls who were listening. "I doubt if any of us here was born to what you see. Of course we—some of us—make pretenses—all sorts of silly pretenses. But as a matter of fact there isn't one of us who hasn't near relatives in the cabins or the tenements at this very moment."

There was a hasty turning away from this dangerous conversation. Jane came back from ordering the rearrangement of her luncheon table. Said Selma:

"I'd like to wash my hands, and smooth my hair a little."

"You take her up, Ellen," said Jane. "And hurry. We'll be in the dining-room when you come down."

Selma's eyes were wide and roving as she and Ellen went through the drawing-room, the hall, up stairs and into the very prettily furnished suite which Ellen was occupying. "I never saw anything like this before!" exclaimed Selma. "It's the first time I was ever in a grand house. This is a grand house, isn't it?"

"No—it's only comfortable," replied Ellen. "Mr. Hastings—and Jane, too, don't go in for grandeur."

"How beautiful everything is—and how convenient!" exclaimed Selma. "I haven't felt this way since the first time I went to the circus." She pointed to a rack from which were suspended thin silk dressing gowns of various rather gay patterns. "What are those?" she inquired.

"Dressing gowns," said Ellen. "Just to wear round while one is dressing or undressing."

Selma advanced and felt and examined them. "But why so many?" she inquired.

"Oh, foolishness," said Ellen. "Indulgence! To suit different moods."

"Lovely," murmured Selma. "Lovely!"

"I suspect you of a secret fondness for luxury," said Ellen slyly.

Selma laughed. "What would I do with such things?" she inquired. "Why, I'd have no time to wear them. I'd never dare put on anything so delicate."

She roamed through dressing-room, bedroom, bath-room, marveling, inquiring, admiring. "I'm so glad I came," said she. "This will give me a fresh point of view. I can understand the people of your class better, and be more tolerant about them. I understand now why they are so hard and so indifferent. They're quite removed from the common lot. They don't realize; they can't. How narrow it must make one to have one's life filled with these pretty little things for luxury and show. Why, if I lived this life, I'd cease to be human after a short time."

Ellen was silent.

"I didn't mean to say anything rude or offensive," said Selma, sensitive to the faintest impressions. "I was speaking my thoughts aloud.... Do you know David Hull?"

"The young reformer?" said Ellen with a queer little smile. "Yes—quite well."

"Does he live like this?"

"Rather more grandly," said Ellen.

Selma shook her head. A depressed expression settled upon her features. "It's useless," she said. "He couldn't possibly become a man."

Ellen laughed. "You must hurry," she said. "We're keeping everyone waiting."

As Selma was making a few passes at her rebellious thick hair—passes the like of which Miss Clearwater had never before seen—she explained:

"I've been somewhat interested in David Hull of late—have been hoping he could graduate from a fake reformer into a useful citizen. But—" She looked round expressively at the luxury surrounding them—"one might as well try to grow wheat in sand."

"Davy is a fine fraud," said Ellen. "Fine—because he doesn't in the least realize that he's a fraud."

"I'm afraid he is a fraud," said Selma setting on her hat again. "What a pity? He might have been a man, if he'd been brought up properly." She gazed at Ellen with sad, shining eyes. "How many men and women luxury blights!" she cried.

"It certainly has done for Davy," said Ellen lightly. "He'll never be anything but a respectable fraud."

"Why do YOU think so?" Selma inquired.

"My father is a public man," Miss Clearwater explained. "And I've seen a great deal of these reformers. They're the ordinary human variety of politician plus a more or less conscious hypocrisy. Usually they're men who fancy themselves superior to the common run in birth and breeding. My father has taught me to size them up."

They went down, and Selma, seated between Jane and Miss Clearwater, amused both with her frank comments on the scene so strange to her—the beautiful table, the costly service, the variety and profusion of elaborate food. In fact, Jane, reaching out after the effects got easily in Europe and almost as easily in the East, but overtaxed the resources of the household which she was only beginning to get into what she regarded as satisfactory order. The luncheon, therefore, was a creditable and promising attempt rather than a success, from the standpoint of fashion. Jane was a little ashamed, and at times extremely nervous—this when she saw signs of her staff falling into disorder that might end in rout. But Selma saw none of the defects. She was delighted with the dazzling spectacle—for two or three courses. Then she lapsed into quiet and could not be roused to speak.

Jane and Ellen thought she was overwhelmed and had been seized of shyness in this company so superior to any in which she had ever found herself. Ellen tried to induce her to eat, and, failing, decided that her refraining was not so much firmness in the two meals-a-day system as fear of making a "break." She felt genuinely sorry for the silent girl growing moment by moment more ill-at-ease. When the luncheon was about half over Selma said abruptly to Jane:

"I must go now. I've stayed longer than I should."

"Go?" cried Jane. "Why, we haven't begun to talk yet."

"Another time," said Selma, pushing back her chair. "No, don't rise." And up she darted, smiling gayly round at the company. "Don't anybody disturb herself," she pleaded. "It'll be useless, for I'll be gone."

And she was as good as her word. Before any one quite realized what she was about, she had escaped from the dining-room and from the house. She almost ran across the lawn and into the woods. There she drew a long breath noisily.

"Free!" she cried, flinging out her arms. "Oh—but it was DREADFUL!"

Miss Hastings and Miss Clearwater had not been so penetrating as they fancied. Embarrassment had nothing to do with the silence that had taken possession of the associate editor of the New Day.

She was never self-conscious enough to be really shy. She hastened to the office, meeting Victor Dorn in the street doorway. She cried:

"Such an experience!"

"What now?" said Victor. He was used to that phrase from the ardent and impressionable Selma. For her, with her wide-open eyes and ears, her vivid imagination and her thirsty mind, life was one closely packed series of adventures.

"I had an hour to spare," she proceeded to explain. "I thought it was a chance to further a little scheme I've got for marrying Jane Hastings and David Hull."

"Um!" said Victor with a quick change of expression—which, however, Selma happened not to observe.

"And," she went on, "I blundered into a luncheon party Jane was giving. You never saw—you never dreamed of such style—such dresses and dishes and flowers and hats! And I was sitting there with them, enjoying it all as if it were a circus or a ballet, when—Oh, Victor, what a silly, what a pitiful waste of time and money! So much to do in the world—so much that is thrillingly interesting and useful—and those intelligent young people dawdling there at nonsense a child would weary of! I had to run away. If I had stayed another minute I should have burst out crying—or denouncing them—or pleading with them to behave themselves."

"What else can they do?" said Victor. "They don't know any better. They've never been taught. How's the article?"

And he led the way up to the editorial room and held her to the subject of the article he had asked her to write. At the first opportunity she went back to the subject uppermost in her mind. Said she:

"I guess you're right—as usual. There's no hope for any people of that class. The busy ones are thinking only of making money for themselves, and the idle ones are too enfeebled by luxury to think at all. No, I'm afraid there's no hope for Hull—or for Jane either."

"I'm not sure about Miss Hastings," said Victor.

"You would have been if you'd seen her to-day," replied Selma. "Oh, she was lovely, Victor—really wonderful to look at. But so obviously the idler. And—body and soul she belongs to the upper class. She understands charity, but she doesn't understand justice, and never could understand it. I shall let her alone hereafter."

"How harsh you women are in your judgments of each other," laughed Dorn, busy at his desk.

"We are just," replied Selma. "We are not fooled by each other's pretenses."

Dorn apparently had not heard. Selma saw that to speak would be to interrupt. She sat at her own table and set to work on the editorial paragraphs. After perhaps an hour she happened to glance at Victor. He was leaning back in his chair, gazing past her out into the open; in his face was an expression she had never seen—a look in the eyes, a relaxing of the muscles round the mouth that made her think of him as a man instead of as a leader. She was saying to herself. "What a fascinating man he would have been, if he had not been an incarnate cause."

She felt that he was not thinking of his work. She longed to talk to him, but she did not venture to interrupt. Never in all the years she had known him had he spoken to her—or to any one—a severe or even an impatient word. His tolerance, his good humor were infinite. Yet—she, and all who came into contact with him, were afraid of him. There could come, and on occasion there did come—into those extraordinary blue eyes an expression beside which the fiercest flash of wrath would be easy to face.

When she glanced at him again, his normal expression had returned—the face of the leader who aroused in those he converted into fellow-workers a fanatical devotion that was the more formidable because it was not infatuated. He caught her eye and said:

"Things are in such good shape for us that it frightens me. I spend most of my time in studying the horizon in the hope that I can foresee which way the storm's coming from and what it will be."

"What a pessimist you are!" laughed Selma.

"That's why the Workingmen's League has a thick-and-thin membership of thirteen hundred and fifty," replied Victor. "That's why the New Day has twenty-two hundred paying subscribers. That's why we grow faster than the employers can weed our men out and replace them with immigrants and force them to go to other towns for work."

"Well, anyhow," said the girl, "no matter what happens we can't be weeded out."

Victor shook his head. "Our danger period has just begun," he replied. "The bosses realize our power. In the past we've been annoyed a little from time to time. But they thought us hardly worth bothering with. In the future we will have to fight."

"I hope they will prosecute us," said Selma. "Then, we'll grow the faster."

"Not if they do it intelligently," replied Victor. "An intelligent persecution—if it's relentless enough—always succeeds. You forget that this isn't a world of moral ideas but of force.... I am afraid of Dick Kelly. He is something more than a vulgar boss. He SEES. My hope is that he won't be able to make the others see. I saw him a while ago. He was extremely polite to me—more so than he ever has been before. He is up to something. I suspect——"

Victor paused, reflecting. "What?" asked Selma eagerly.

"I suspect that he thinks he has us." He rose, preparing to go out. "Well—if he has—why, he has. And we shall have to begin all over again."

"How stupid they are!" exclaimed the girl. "To fight us who are simply trying to bring about peaceably and sensibly what's bound to come about anyhow."

"Yes—the rain is bound to come," said Victor. "And we say, 'Here's an umbrella and there's the way to shelter.' And they laugh at OUR umbrella and, with the first drops plashing on their foolish faces, deny that it's going to rain."

The Workingmen's League, always first in the field with its ticket, had been unusually early that year. Although it was only the first week in August and the election would not be until the third of October, the League had nominated. It was a ticket made up entirely of skilled workers who had lived all their lives in Remsen City and who had acquired an independence—Victor Dorn was careful not to expose to the falling fire of the opposition any of his men who could be ruined by the loss of a job or could be compelled to leave town in search of work. The League always went early into campaign because it pursued a much slower and less expensive method of electioneering than either of the old parties—or than any of the "upper class" reform parties that sprang up from time to time and died away as they accomplished or failed of their purpose—securing recognition for certain personal ambitions not agreeable to the old established bosses. Besides, the League was, like the bosses and their henchmen, in politics every day in every year. The League theory was that politics was as much a part of a citizen's daily routine as his other work or his meals.

It was the night of the League's great ratification meeting. The next day the first campaign number—containing the biographical sketch of Tony Rivers, Kelly's right-hand man ... would go upon the press, and on the following day it would reach the public.

Market Square in Remsen City was on the edge of the power quarter, was surrounded by cheap hotels, boarding houses and saloons. A few years before, the most notable citizens, market basket on arm, could have been seen three mornings in the week, making the rounds of the stalls and stands, both those in the open and those within the Market House. But customs had rapidly changed in Remsen City, and with the exception of a few old fogies only the poorer classes went to market. The masters of houses were becoming gentlemen, and the housewives were elevating into ladies—and it goes without saying that no gentleman and no lady would descend to a menial task even in private, much less in public.

Market Square had even become too common for any but the inferior meetings of the two leading political parties. Only the Workingmen's League held to the old tradition that a political meeting of the first rank could be properly held nowhere but in the natural assembling place of the people—their market. So, their first great rally of the campaign was billed for Market Square. And at eight o'clock, headed by a large and vigorous drum corps, the Victor Dorn cohorts at their full strength marched into the centre of the Square, where one of the stands had been transformed with flags, bunting and torches into a speaker's platform. A crowd of many thousands accompanied and followed the procession. Workingmen's League meetings were popular, even among those who believed their interests lay elsewhere. At League meetings one heard the plain truth, sometimes extremely startling plain truth. The League had no favors to ask of anybody, had nothing to conceal, was strongly opposed to any and all political concealments. Thus, its speakers enjoyed a freedom not usual in political speaking—and Dorn and his fellow-leaders were careful that no router, no exaggerator or well intentioned wild man of any kind should open his mouth under a league banner. THAT was what made the League so dangerous—and so steadily prosperous.

The chairman, Thomas Colman, the cooper, was opening the meeting in a speech which was an instance of how well a man of no platform talent can acquit himself when he believes something and believes it is his duty to convey it to his fellow-men. Victor Dorn, to be the fourth speaker and the orator of the evening, was standing at the rear of the platform partially concealed by the crowd of men and women leaders of the party grouped behind Colman. As always at the big formal demonstrations of the League, Victor was watching every move. This evening his anxiety was deeper than ever before. His trained political sagacity warned him that, as he had suggested to Selma, the time of his party's first great crisis was at hand. No movement could become formidable with out a life and death struggle, when its aim frankly was to snatch power from the dominant class and to place it where that class could not hope to prevail either by direct means of force or by its favorite indirect means of bribery. What would Kelly do? What would be his stroke at the very life of the League?—for Victor had measured Kelly and knew he was not one to strike until he could destroy.

Like every competent man of action, Victor had measured his own abilities, and had found that they were to be relied upon. But the contest between him and Kelly—the contest in the last ditch—was so appallingly unequal. Kelly had the courts and the police, the moneyed class, the employers of labor, had the clergy and well-dressed respectability, the newspapers, all the customary arbiters of public sentiment. Also, he had the criminal and the semi-criminal classes. And what had the League?

The letter of the law, guaranteeing freedom of innocent speech and action, guaranteeing the purity of the ballot—no, not guaranteeing, but simply asserting those rights, and leaving the upholding of them to—Kelly's allies and henchmen! Also, the League had the power of between a thousand and fifteen hundred intelligent and devoted men and about the same number of women—a solid phalanx of great might, of might far beyond its numbers. Finally, it had Victor Dorn. He had no mean opinion of his value to the movement; but he far and most modestly underestimated it. The human way of rallying to an abstract principle is by way of a standard bearer—a man—personality—a real or fancied incarnation of the ideal to be struggled for. And to the Workingmen's League, to the movement for conquering Remsen City for the mass of its citizens, Victor Dorn was that incarnation.

Kelly could use violence—violence disguised as law, violence candidly and brutally lawless. Victor Dorn could only use lawful means—clearly and cautiously lawful means. He must at all costs prevent the use of force against him and his party—must give Kelly no pretext for using the law lawlessly. If Kelly used force against him, whether the perverted law of the courts or open lawlessness, he must meet it with peace. If Kelly smote him on the right cheek he must give him the left to be smitten.

When the League could outvote Kelly, then—another policy, still of calmness and peace and civilization, but not so meek. But until the League could outvote Kelly, nothing but patient endurance.

Every man in the League had been drilled in this strategy. Every man understood—and to be a member of the League meant that one was politically educated. Victor believed in his associates as he believed in himself. Still, human nature was human nature. If Kelly should suddenly offer some adroit outrageous provocation—would the League be able to resist?

Victor, on guard, studied the crowd spreading out from the platform in a gigantic fan. Nothing there to arouse suspicion; ten or twelve thousand of working class men and women. His glance pushed on out toward the edges of the crowd—toward the saloons and alleys of the disreputable south side of Market Square. His glance traveled slowly along, pausing upon each place where these loungers, too far away to hear, were gathered into larger groups. Why he did not know, but suddenly his glance wheeled to the right, and then as suddenly to the left—the west and the east ends of the square. There, on either side he recognized, in the farthest rim of the crowd, several of the men who did Kelly's lowest kinds of dirty work—the brawlers, the repeaters, the leaders of gangs, the false witnesses for petty corporation damage cases. A second glance, and he saw or, perhaps, divined—purpose in those sinister presences. He looked for the police—the detail of a dozen bluecoats always assigned to large open-air meetings. Not a policeman was to be seen.

Victor pushed through the crowd on the platform, advanced to the side of Colman. "Just a minute, Tom," he said. "I've got to say a word—at once."

Colman had fallen back; Victor Dorn was facing the crowd—HIS crowd—the men and women who loved him. In the clear, friendly, natural voice that marked him for the leader born, the honest leader of an honest cause, he said:

"My friends, if there is an attempt to disturb this meeting, remember what we of the League stand for. No violence. Draw away from every disturber, and wait for the police to act. If the police stop our meeting, let them—and be ready to go to court and testify to the exact words of the speaker on which the meeting was stopped. Remember, we must be more lawful than the law itself!"

He was turning away. A cheer was rising—a belated cheer, because his words had set them all to thinking and to observing. From the left of the crowd, a dozen yards away from the platform, came a stone heavily rather than swiftly flung, as from an impeded hand. In full view of all it curved across the front of the platform and struck Victor Dorn full in the side of the head.

He threw up his hands.

"Boys—remember!" he shouted with a terrible energy—then, he staggered forward and fell from the platform into the crowd.

The stone was a signal. As it flew, into the crowd from every direction the Beech Hollow gangs tore their way, yelling and cursing and striking out right and left—trampling children, knocking down women, pouring out the foulest insults. The street lamps all round Market Square went out, the torches on the platform were torn down and extinguished. And in a dimness almost pitch dark a riot that involved that whole mass of people raged hideously. Yells and screams and groans, the shrieks of women, the piteous appeals of children—benches torn up for weapons—mad slashing about—snarls and singings of pain-stricken groups—then police whistles, revolvers fired in the air, and the quick, regular tramp of disciplined forces. The police—strangely ready, strangely inactive until the mischief had all been done entered the square from the north and, forming a double line across it from east to west, swept it slowly clean. The fighting ended as abruptly as it had begun. Twenty minutes after the flight of that stone, the square was empty save a group of perhaps fifty men and women formed about Victor Dorn's body in the shelter of the platform.

Selma Gordon was holding his head. Jane Hastings and Ellen Clearwater were kneeling beside him, and Jane was wiping his face with a handkerchief wet with whisky from the flask of the man who had escorted them there.

"He is only stunned," said Selma. "I can feel the beat of his blood. He is only stunned."

A doctor came, got down on his knees, made a rapid examination with expert hands. As he felt, one of the relighted torches suddenly lit up Victor's face and the faces of those bending over him.

"He is only stunned, Doctor," said Selma.

"I think so," replied the doctor.

"We left our carriage in the side street just over there," said Jane Hastings. "It will take him to the hospital."

"No—home," said Selma, who was calm. "He must be taken home."

"The hospital is the place for him," said the doctor.

"No—home," repeated Selma. She glanced at the men standing round. "Tom—Henry—and you, Ed—help me lift him."

"Please, Selma," whispered Jane. "Let him be taken to the hospital."

"Among our enemies?" said Selma with a strange and terrible little laugh. "Oh, no. After this, we trust no one. They may have arranged to finish this night's work there. He goes home—doesn't he, boys?"

"That's right, Miss Gordon," replied one of them.

The doctor shrugged his shoulders. "Here's where I drop the case," said he.

"Nothing of the kind," cried Jane imperiously. "I am Jane Hastings—Martin Hastings' daughter. You will come with us, please—or I shall see to it that you are not let off easily for such a shameful neglect of duty."

"Let him go, Jane," said Selma. "There will be a doctor waiting. And he is only stunned. Come, boys—lift him up."

They laid him on a bench top, softened with the coats of his followers. At the carriage, standing in Farwell Street, they laid him across the two seats. Selma got in with him. Tom Colman climbed to the box beside the coachman. Jane and Miss Clearwater, their escorts and about a score of the Leaguers followed on foot. As the little procession turned into Warner Street it was stopped by a policeman.

"Can't go down this way," he said.

"It's Mr. Dorn. We're taking him home. He was hurt," explained Colman.

"Fire lines. Street's closed," said the policeman gruffly.

Selma thrust her head out. "We must get him home——"

"House across the street burning—and probably his house, too," cut in the policeman. "He's been raising hell—he has. But it's coming home to him at last. Take him to the hospital."

"Jane," cried Selma, "make this man pass us!"

Jane faced the policeman, explained who she was. He became humbly civil at once. "I've just told her, ma'am," said he, "that his house is burning. The mob's gutting the New Day office and setting fire to everything."

"My house is in the next street," said Colman. "Drive there. Some of you people get Dr. Charlton—and everything. Get busy. Whip up, driver. Here, give me the lines!"

Thus, within five minutes, Victor was lying upon a couch in the parlor of Colman's cottage, and within ten minutes Dr. Charlton was beside him and was at work. Selma and Jane and Mrs. Colman were in the room. The others—a steadily increasing crowd—were on the steps outside, in the front yard, were filling the narrow street. Colman had organized fifty Leaguers into a guard, to be ready for any emergencies. Over the tops of the low houses could be seen the vast cloud of smoke from the fire; the air was heavy with the odors of burning wood; faintly came sounds of engines, of jubilant drunken shouts.

"A fracture of the skull and of the jaw-bone. Not necessarily serious," was Dr. Charlton's verdict.

The young man, unconscious, ghastly pale, with his thick hair mussed about his brow and on the right side clotted with blood, lay breathing heavily. Ellen Clearwater came in and Mrs. Colman whispered to her the doctor's cheering statement. She went to Jane and said in an undertone:

"We can go now, Jane. Come on."

Jane seemed not to hear. She was regarding the face of the young man on the couch.

Ellen touched her arm. "We're intruding on these people," she whispered. "Let's go. We've done all we can."

Selma did not hear, but she saw and understood.

"Yes—you'd better go, Jane," she said. "Mrs. Colman and I will do everything that's necessary."

Jane did not heed. She advanced a step nearer the couch. "You are sure, doctor?" she said, and her voice sounded unnatural.

"Yes, miss——" He glanced at her face. "Yes, Miss Hastings. He'll be out in less than ten days, as good as ever. It's a very simple affair."

Jane glanced round. "Is there a telephone? I wish to send for Dr. Alban."

"I'd be glad to see him," said Dr. Charlton. "But I assure you it's unnecessary."

"We don't want Dr. Alban," said Selma curtly. "Go home, Jane, and let us alone."

"I shall go bring Dr. Alban," said Jane.

Selma took her by the arm and compelled her into the hall, and closed the door into the room where Victor lay. "You must go home, Jane," she said quietly. "We know what to do with our leader. And we could not allow Dr. Alban here."

"Victor must have the best," said Jane.

She and Selma looked at each other, and Selma understood.

"He HAS the best," said she, gentle with an effort.

"Dr. Alban is the best," said Jane.

"The most fashionable," said Selma. "Not the best." With restraint, "Go home. Let us alone. This is no place for you—for Martin Hastings' daughter."

Jane, looking and acting like one in a trance, tried to push past her and reenter the room. Selma stood firm. She said: "If you do not go I shall have these men take you to your carriage. You do not know what you are doing."

Jane looked at her. "I love him," she said.

"So do we," said Selma. "And he belongs to US. You must go. Come!" She seized her by the arm, and beckoning one of the waiting Leaguers to her assistance she pushed her quietly but relentlessly along the hall, out of the house, out of the yard and into the carriage. Then she closed the door, while Jane sank back against the cushions.

"Yes, he belongs to you," said Jane; "but I love him. Oh, Selma!"

Selma suddenly burst into tears. "Go, Jane, dear. You MUST go," she cried.

"At least I'll wait here until—until they are sure," said Jane. "You can't refuse me that, Selma."

"But they are sure," said Selma. "You must go with your friends. Here they come."

When Ellen Clearwater and Joe Wetherbe—the second son of the chief owner of the First National—reached the curb, Selma said to Wetherbe:

"Please stand aside. I've something to say to this lady."

When Wetherbe had withdrawn, she said: "Miss Hastings is—not quite herself. You had better take her home alone."

Jane leaned from the open carriage window. "Ellen," said she, "I am going to stay here until Victor recovers consciousness, and I am SURE."

"He has just come around," said Ellen. "He is certain to get well. His mind is clear."

"I must see for myself," cried Jane.

Selma was preventing her leaving the carriage when Ellen quietly interfered with a significant look for Selma. "Jane," she said, "you can't go in. The doctor has just put every one out but his assistant and a nurse that has come."

Jane hesitated, drew back into the corner of the carriage. "Tell Mr. Wetherbe to go his own way," said Ellen aside to Selma, and she got in beside Jane.

"To Mr. Hastings'," said Selma to the driver. The carriage drove away.

She gave Ellen's message to Wetherbe and returned to the house. Victor was still unconscious; he did not come to himself until toward daylight. And then it was clear to them all that Dr. Charlton's encouraging diagnosis was correct.

Public opinion in Remsen City was publicly articulate by means of three daily newspapers—the Pioneer, the Star, and the Free Press. The Star and the Free Press were owned by the same group of capitalists who controlled the gas company and the water works. The Pioneer was owned by the traction interests. Both groups of capitalists were jointly interested in the railways, the banks and in the principal factories. The Pioneer was Republican, was regarded as the organ of Dick Kelly. The Star was Democratic, spoke less cordially of Kelly and always called for House, Mr. House, or Joseph House, Esquire. The Free Press posed as independent with Democratic leanings. It indulged in admirable essays against corruption, gang rule and bossism. But it was never specific and during campaigns was meek and mild. For nearly a dozen years there had not been a word of truth upon any subject important to the people of Remsen City in the columns of any of the three. During wars between rival groups of capitalists a half-truth was now and then timidly uttered, but never a word of "loose talk," of "anarchy," of anything but the entirely "safe, sane and conservative."

Thus, any one who might have witnessed the scenes in Market Square on Thursday evening would have been not a little astonished to read the accounts presented the next day by the three newspapers. According to all three the Workingmen's League, long a menace to the public peace, had at last brought upon Remsen City the shame of a riot in which two men, a woman and four children had lost their lives and more than a hundred, "including the notorious Victor Dorn," had been injured. And after the riot the part of the mob that was hostile to "the Dorn gang" had swept down upon the office of the New Day, had wrecked it, and had set fire to the building, with the result that five houses were burned before the flames could be put out. The Free Press published, as a mere rumor, that the immediate cause of the outbreak had been an impending "scurrilous attack" in the New Day upon one of the political gangs of the slums and its leader. The Associated Press, sending forth an account of the riot to the entire country, represented it as a fight between rival gangs of workmen precipitated by the insults and menaces of a "socialistic party led by a young operator named Dorn." Dorn's faction had aroused in the mass of the workingmen a fear that this spread of "socialistic and anarchistic ideas" would cause a general shut down of factories and a flight of the capital that was "giving employment to labor."

A version of the causes and the events, somewhat nearer the truth, was talked about Remsen City. But all the respectable classes were well content with what their newspapers printed. And, while some broad-minded respectabilities spoke of the affair as an outrage, none of them was disposed to think that any real wrong had been done. Victor Dorn and his crowd of revolutionists had got, after all, only their deserts.

After forty-eight hours of careful study of public opinion, Dick Kelly decided that Remsen City was taking the dose as he had anticipated. He felt emboldened to proceed to his final move in the campaign against "anarchy" in his beloved city. On the second morning after the riot, all three newspapers published double-headed editorials calling upon the authorities to safeguard the community against another such degrading and dangerous upheaval. "It is time that the distinction between liberty and license be sharply drawn." After editorials in this vein had been repeated for several days, after sundry bodies of eminently respectable citizens—the Merchants' Association, the Taxpayers' League, the Chamber of Commerce—had passed indignant and appealing resolutions, after two priests, a clergyman and four preachers had sermonized against "the leniency of constituted authority with criminal anarchy," Mr. Kelly had the City Attorney go before Judge Lansing and ask for an injunction.

Judge Lansing promptly granted the injunction. The New Day was enjoined from appearing. The Workingmen's League was enjoined from holding meetings.

Then the County Prosecutor, also a henchman of Kelly's, secured from the Grand Jury—composed of farmers, merchants and owners of factories—indictments against Thomas Colman and Victor Dorn for inciting a riot.

Meanwhile Victor Dorn was rapidly recovering. With rare restraint young Dr. Charlton did not fuss and fret and meddle, did not hamper nature with his blundering efforts to assist, did not stuff "nourishment" into his patient to decay and to produce poisonous blood. He let the young man's superb vitality work the inevitable and speedy cure. Thus, wounds and shocks, that have often been mistreated by doctors into mortal, passed so quickly that only Selma Gordon and the doctor himself realized how grave Victor's case had been. The day he was indicted—just a week from the riot—he was sitting up and was talking freely.

"Won't it set him back if I tell him all that has occurred?" said Selma.

"Talk to him as you would to me," replied Charlton. "He is a sensible man. I've already told him pretty much everything. It has kept him from fretting, to be able to lie there quietly and make his plans."

Had you looked in upon Victor and Selma, in Colman's little transformed parlor, you would rather have thought Selma the invalid. The man in the bed was pale and thin of face, but his eyes had the expression of health and of hope. Selma had great circles under her eyes and her expression was despair struggling to conceal itself. Those indictments, those injunctions—how powerful the enemy were! How could such an enemy, aroused new and inflexibly resolved, be combatted?—especially when one had no money, no way of reaching the people, no chance to organize.

"Dr. Charlton has told you?" said Selma.

"Day before yesterday," replied Victor. "Why do you look so down-in-the-mouth, Selma?"

"It isn't easy to be cheerful, with you ill and the paper destroyed," replied she.

"But I'm not ill, and the paper isn't destroyed," said Victor. "Never were either I or it doing such good work as now." His eyes were dancing. "What more could one ask than to have such stupid enemies as we've got?"

Selma did not lift her eyes. To her those enemies seemed anything but stupid. Had they not ruined the League?

"I see you don't understand," pursued Victor. "No matter. You'll wear a very different face two weeks from now."

"But," said Selma, "exactly what you said you were afraid of has occurred. And now you say you're glad of it."

"I told you I was afraid Dick Kelly would make the one move that could destroy us."

"But he has!" cried Selma.

Victor smiled. "No, indeed!" replied he.

"What worse could he have done?"

"I'll not tell you," said Victor. "I'd not venture to say aloud such a dangerous thing as what I'd have done if I had been in his place. Instead of doing that, he made us. We shall win this fall's election."

Selma lifted her head with a sudden gesture of hope. She had unbounded confidence in Victor Dorn, and his tone was the tone of absolute confidence.

"I had calculated on winning in five years. I had left the brutal stupidity of our friend Kelly out of account."

"Then you see how you can hold meetings and start up the paper?"

"I don't want to do either," said Victor. "I want those injunctions to stand. Those fools have done at a stroke what we couldn't have done in years. They have united the working class. They—the few—have forbidden us, the many, to unite or to speak. If those injunctions hold for a month, nothing could stop our winning this fall.... I can't understand how Dick Kelly could be so stupid. Five years ago these moves of his would have been bad for us—yes, even three years ago. But we've got too strong—and he doesn't realize! Selma, when you want to win, always pray that your opponent will underestimate you."

"I still don't understand," said Selma. "None of us does. You must explain to me, so that I'll know what to do."

"Do nothing," said Victor. "I shall be out a week from to-day. I shall not go into the streets until I not only am well but look well."

"They arrested Tom Colman to-day," said Selma. "But they put the case over until you'd be able to plead at the same time."

"That's right," said Victor. "They are playing into our hands!" And he laughed as heartily as his bandages would permit.

"Oh, I don't understand—I don't understand at all!" cried Selma. "Maybe you are all wrong about it."

"I was never more certain in my life," replied Victor. "Stop worrying about it, my dear." And he patted her hands gently as they lay folded in her lap. "I want you—all our people—to go round looking sad these next few days. I want Dick Kelly to feel that he is on the right track."

There came a knock at the door, and Mrs. Colman entered. She had been a school teacher, and of all the occupations there is no other that leaves such plain, such indelible traces upon manner, mind and soul. Said she:

"Miss Jane Hastings is outside in her carriage—and wants to know if she can see you."

Selma frowned. Victor said with alacrity: "Certainly. Bring her in, Mrs. Colman."

Selma rose. "Wait until I can get out of the way," she cried.

"Sit down, and sit still," commanded Victor.

Selma continued to move toward the door. "No—I don't wish to see her," she said.

Victor chagrined her by acquiescing without another word. "You'll look in after supper?" he asked.

"If you want me," said the girl.

"Come back here," said Victor. "Wait, Mrs. Colman." When Selma was standing by the bed he took her hand. "Selma," he said, "don't let these things upset you. Believe me, I'm right. Can't you trust me?"

Selma had the look of a wild creature detained against its will. "I'm not worried about the party—and the paper," she burst out. "I'm worried about you."

"But I'm all right. Can't you see I'm almost well?"

Selma drew her hand away. "I'll be back about half-past seven," she said, and bolted from the room.

Victor's good-natured, merry smile followed her to the door. When the sound of her retreat by way of the rear of the house was dying away he said to Mrs. Colman:

"Now—bring in the young lady. And please warn her that she must stay at most only half an hour by that clock over there on the mantel."

Every day Jane had been coming to inquire, had been bringing or sending flowers and fruit—which, by Dr. Charlton's orders, were not supposed to enter the invalid's presence. Latterly she had been asking to see Victor; she was surprised when Mrs. Colman returned with leave for her to enter. Said Mrs. Colman:

"He's alone. Miss Gordon has just gone. You will see a clock on the mantel in his room. You must not stay longer than half an hour."

"I shall be very careful what I say," said Jane.

"Oh, you needn't bother," said the ex-school teacher. "Dr. Charlton doesn't believe in sick-room atmosphere. You must treat Mr. Dorn exactly as you would a well person. If you're going to take on, or put on, you'd better not go in at all."

"I'll do my best," said Jane, rather haughtily, for she did not like Mrs. Colman's simple and direct manner. She was used to being treated with deference, especially by the women of Mrs. Colman's class; and while she disapproved of deference in theory, in practice she craved it, and expected it, and was irritated if she did not get it. But, as she realized how unattractive this weakness was, she usually took perhaps more pains than does the average person to conceal it. That day her nerves were too tense for petty precautions. However, Mrs. Colman was too busy inspecting the details of Miss Hastings' toilet to note Miss Hastings' manners.

Jane's nervousness vanished the instant she was in the doorway of the parlor with Victor Dorn looking at her in that splendidly simple and natural way of his. "So glad to see you," he said. "What a delightful perfume you bring with you. I've noticed it before. I know it isn't flowers, but it smells like flowers. With most perfumes you can smell through the perfume to something that's the very reverse of sweet."

They were shaking hands. She said: "That nice woman who let me in cautioned me not to put on a sick-room manner or indulge in sick-room talk. It was quite unnecessary. You're looking fine."

"Ain't I, though?" exclaimed Victor. "I've never been so comfortable. Just weak enough to like being waited on. You were very good to me the night that stone knocked me over. I want to thank you, but I don't know how. And the flowers, and the fruit—You have been so kind."

"I could do very little," said Jane, blushing and faltering. "And I wanted to do—everything." Suddenly all energy, "Oh, Mr. Dorn, I heard and saw it all. It was—INFAMOUS! And the lying newspapers—and all the people I meet socially. They keep me in a constant rage."

Victor was smiling gayly. "The fortunes of war," said he. "I expect nothing else. If they fought fair they couldn't fight at all. We, on this side of the struggle, can afford to be generous and tolerant. They are fighting the losing battle; they're trying to hold on to the past, and of course it's slipping from them inch by inch. But we—we are in step with the march of events."

When she was with him Jane felt that his cause was hers, also—was the only cause. "When do you begin publishing your paper again?" she asked. "As soon as you are sitting up?"

"Not for a month or so," replied he. "Not until after the election."

"Oh, I forgot about that injunction. You think that as soon as Davy Hull's crowd is in they will let you begin again?"

He hesitated. "Not exactly that," he said. "But after the election there will be a change."

Her eyes flashed. "And they have indicted you! I heard the newsboys crying it and stopped and bought a paper. But I shall do something about that. I am going straight from here to father. Ellen Clearwater and I and Joe Wetherbe SAW. And Ellen and I will testify if it's necessary—and will make Joe tell the truth. Do you know, he actually had the impudence to try to persuade Ellen and me the next day that we saw what the papers reported?"

"I believe it," said Victor. "So I believe that Joe convinced himself."

"You are too charitable," replied Jane. "He's afraid of his father."

"Miss Hastings," said Victor, "you suggested a moment ago that you would influence your father to interfere in this matter of the indictment."

"I'll promise you now that he will have it stopped," said Jane.

"You want to help the cause, don't you?"

Jane's eyes shifted, a little color came into her cheeks. "The cause—and you," she said.

"Very well," said Victor. "Then you will not interfere. And if your father talks of helping me you will discourage him all you can."

"You are saying that out of consideration for me. You're afraid I will quarrel with my father."

"I hadn't thought of that," said Victor. "I can't tell you what I have in mind. But I'll have to say this much—that if you did anything to hinder those fellows from carrying out their plans against me and against the League to the uttermost you'd be doing harm instead of good."

"But they may send you to jail.... No, I forgot. You can give bail."

Victor's eyes had a quizzical expression. "Yes, I could give bail. But even if I don't give bail, Miss Hastings—even if I am sent to jail—Colman and I—still you must not interfere. You promise me?"

Jane hesitated. "I can't promise," she finally said.

"You must," said Victor. "You'll make a mess of my plans, if you don't."

"You mean that?"

"I mean that. Your intentions are good. But you would only do mischief—serious mischief."

They looked at each other. Said Jane: "I promise—on one condition."


"That if you should change your mind and should want my help, you'd promptly and freely ask for it."

"I agree to that," said Victor. "Now, let's get it clearly in mind. No matter what is done about me or the League, you promise not to interfere in any way, unless I ask you to."

Again Jane hesitated. "No matter what they do?" she pleaded.

"No matter what they do," insisted he.

Something in his expression gave her a great thrill of confidence in him, of enthusiasm. "I promise," she said. "You know best."

"Indeed I do," said he. "Thank you."

A moment's silence, then she exclaimed: "That was why you let me in to-day—because you wanted to get that promise from me."

"That was one of the reasons," confessed he. "In fact, it was the chief reason." He smiled at her. "There's nothing I'm so afraid of as of enthusiasm. I'm going to be still more cautious and exact another promise from you. You must not tell any one that you have promised not to interfere."

"I can easily promise that," said Jane.

"Be careful," warned Victor. "A promise easily made is a promise easily forgotten."

"I begin to understand," said Jane. "You want them to attack you as savagely as possible. And you don't want them to get the slightest hint of your plan."

"A good guess," admitted Victor. He looked at her gravely. "Circumstances have let you farther into my confidence than any one else is. I hope you will not abuse it."

"You can rely upon me," said Jane. "I want your friendship and your respect as I never wanted anything in my life before. I'm not afraid to say these things to you, for I know I'll not be misunderstood."

Victor's smile thrilled her again. "You were born one of us," he said. "I felt it the first time we talked together."

"Yes. I do want to be somebody," replied the girl. "I can't content myself in a life of silly routine ... can't do things that have no purpose, no result. And if it wasn't for my father I'd come out openly for the things I believe in. But I've got to think of him. It may be a weakness, but I couldn't overcome it. As long as my father lives I'll do nothing that would grieve him. Do you despise me for that?"

"I don't despise anybody for anything," said Victor. "In your place I should put my father first." He laughed. "In your place I'd probably be a Davy Hull or worse. I try never to forget that I owe everything to the circumstances in which I was born and brought up. I've simply got the ideas of my class, and it's an accident that I am of the class to which the future belongs—the working class that will possess the earth as soon as it has intelligence enough to enter into its kingdom."

"But," pursued Jane, returning to herself, "I don't intend to be altogether useless. I can do something and he—my father, I mean—needn't know. Do you think that is dreadful?"

"I don't like it," said Victor. But he said it in such a way that she did not feel rebuked or even judged.

"Nor do I," said she. "I'd rather lead the life I wish to lead—say the things I believe—do the things I believe in—all openly. But I can't. And all I can do is to spend the income of my money my mother left me—spend it as I please." With a quick embarrassed gesture she took an envelope from a small bag in which she was carrying it. "There's some of it," she said. "I want to give that to your campaign fund. You are free to use it in any way you please—any way, for everything you are and do is your cause."

Victor was lying motionless, his eyes closed.

"Don't refuse," she begged. "You've no right to refuse."

A long silence, she watching him uneasily. At last he said, "No—I've no right to refuse. If I did, it would be from a personal motive. You understand that when you give the League this money you are doing what your father would regard as an act of personal treachery to him?"

"You don't think so, do you?" cried she.

"Yes, I do," said he deliberately.

Her face became deathly pale, then crimson. She thrust the envelope into the bag, closed it hastily. "Then I can't give it," she murmured. "Oh—but you are hard!"

"If you broke with your father and came with us—and it killed him, as it probably would," Victor Dorn went on, "I should respect you—should regard you as a wonderful, terrible woman. I should envy you having a heart strong enough to do a thing so supremely right and so supremely relentless. And I should be glad you were not of my blood—should think you hardly human. Yet that is what you ought to do."

"I am not up to it," said Jane.

"Then you mustn't do the other," said Victor. "We need the money. I am false to the cause in urging you not to give it. But—I'm human."

He was looking away, an expression in his eyes and about his mouth that made him handsomer than she would have believed a man could be. She was looking at him longingly, her beautiful eyes swimming. Her lips were saying inaudibly, "I love you—I love you."

"What did you say?" he asked, his thoughts returning from their far journey.

"My time is up," she exclaimed, rising.

"There are better ways of helping than money," said he, taking her hand. "And already you've helped in those ways."

"May I come again?"

"Whenever you like. But—what would your father say?"

"Then you don't want me to come again?"

"It's best not," said he. "I wish fate had thrown us on the same side. But it has put us in opposite camps—and we owe it to ourselves to submit."

Their hands were still clasped. "You are content to have it so?" she said sadly.

"No, I'm not," cried he, dropping her hand. "But we are helpless."

"We can always hope," said she softly.

On impulse she laid her hand in light caress upon his brow, then swiftly departed. As she stood in Mrs. Colman's flowery little front yard and looked dazedly about, it seemed to her that she had been away from the world—away from herself—and was reluctantly but inevitably returning.


As Jane drove into the grounds of the house on the hilltop she saw her father and David Hull in an obviously intimate and agitated conversation on the front veranda. She made all haste to join them; nor was she deterred by the reception she got—the reception given to the unwelcome interrupter. Said she:

"You are talking about those indictments, aren't you? Everyone else is. There's a group on every corner down town, and people are calling their views to each other from windows across the streets."

Davy glanced triumphantly at her father. "I told you so," said he.

Old Hastings was rubbing his hand over his large, bony, wizened face in the manner that indicates extreme perplexity.

Davy turned to Jane. "I've been trying to show your father what a stupid, dangerous thing Dick Kelly has done. I want him to help me undo it. It MUST be undone or Victor Dorn will sweep the town on election day."

Jane's heart was beating wildly. She continued to say carelessly, "You think so?"

"Davy's got a bad attack of big red eye to-day," said her father. "It's a habit young men have."

"I'm right, Mr. Hastings," cried Hull. "And, furthermore, you know I'm right, Jane; you saw that riot the other night. Joe Wetherbe told me so. You said that it was an absolutely unprovoked assault of the gangs of Kelly and House. Everyone in town knows it was. The middle and the upper class people are pretending to believe what the papers printed—what they'd like to believe. But they KNOW better. The working people are apparently silent. They usually are apparently silent. But they know the truth—they are talking it among themselves. And these indictments will make Victor Dorn a hero."

"What of it? What of it?" said Hastings impatiently. "The working people don't count."

"Not as long as we can keep them divided," retorted Davy. "But if they unite——"

And he went on to explain what he had in mind. He gave them an analysis of Remsen City. About fifty thousand inhabitants, of whom about ten thousand were voters. These voters were divided into three classes—upper class, with not more than three or four hundred votes, and therefore politically of no importance AT THE POLLS, though overwhelmingly the most influential in any other way; the middle class, the big and little merchants, the lawyers and doctors, the agents and firemen and so on, mustering in all about two thousand votes; finally, the working class with no less than eight thousand votes out of a total of ten thousand.

"By bribery and cajolery and browbeating and appeal to religious prejudice and to fear of losing jobs—by all sorts of chicane," said Davy, "about seven of these eight thousand votes are kept divided between the Republican or Kelly party and the Democratic or House party. The other ten or twelve hundred belong to Victor Dorn's League. Now, the seven thousand workingmen voters who follow Kelly and House like Victor Dorn, like his ideas, are with him at heart. But they are afraid of him. They don't trust each other. Workingmen despise the workingman as an ignorant fool."

"So he is," said Hastings.

"So he is," agreed Davy. "But Victor Dorn has about got the workingmen in this town persuaded that they'd fare better with Dorn and the League as their leaders than with Kelly and House as their leaders. And if Kelly goes on to persecute Victor Dorn, the workingmen will be frightened for their rights to free speech and free assembly. And they'll unite. I appeal to you, Jane—isn't that common sense?"

"I don't know anything about politics," said Jane, looking bored. "You must go in and lie down before dinner, father. You look tired."

Hastings got ready to rise.

"Just a minute, Mr. Hastings," pleaded Hull. "This must be settled now—at once. I must be in a position not only to denounce this thing, but also to stop it. Not to-morrow, but to-day ... so that the morning papers will have the news."

Jane's thoughts were flying—but in circles. Everybody habitually judges everybody else as both more and less acute than he really is. Jane had great respect for Davy as a man of college education. But because he had no sense of humor and because he abounded in lengthy platitudes she had thought poorly indeed of his abilities. She had been realizing her mistake in these last few minutes. The man who had made that analysis of politics—an analysis which suddenly enlighted her as to what political power meant and how it was wielded everywhere on earth as well as in Remsen City—the man was no mere dreamer and theorist. He had seen the point no less clearly than had Victor Dorn. But what concerned her, what set her to fluttering, was that he was about to checkmate Victor Dorn. What should she say and do to help Victor?

She must get her father away. She took him gently by the arm, kissed the top of his head. "Come on, father," she cried. "I'll let Davy work his excitement off on me. You must take care of your health."

But Hastings resisted. "Wait a minute, Jenny," said he. "I must think."

"You can think lying down," insisted his daughter Davy was about to interpose again, but she frowned him into silence.

"There's something in what Davy says," persisted her father. "If that there Victor Dorn should carry the election, there'd be no living in the same town with him. It'd put him away up out of reach."

Jane abruptly released her father's arm. She had not thought of that—of how much more difficult Victor would be if he won now. She wanted him to win ultimately—yes, she was sure she did. But—now? Wouldn't that put him beyond her reach—beyond need of her?

She said: "Please come, father!" But it was perfunctory loyalty to Victor. Her father settled back; Davy Hull began afresh, pressing home his point, making his contention so clear that even Martin Hastings' prejudice could not blind him to the truth. And Jane sat on the arm of a big veranda chair and listened and made no further effort to interfere.

"I don't agree with you, Hull," said the old man at last. "Victor Dorn's run up agin the law at last, and he ought to get the consequences good and hard. But——"

"Mr. Hastings," interrupted Davy eagerly—too fond of talking to realize that the old man was agreeing with him, "Your daughter saw——"

"Fiddle-fiddle," cried the old man. "Don't bring sentimental women into this, Davy. As I was saying, Victor ought to be punished for the way he's been stirring up idle, lazy, ignorant people against the men that runs the community and gives 'em jobs and food for their children. But maybe it ain't wise to give him his deserts—just now. Anyhow, while you've been talking away like a sewing machine I've been thinking. I don't see as how it can do any serious HARM to stop them there indictments."

"That's it, Mr. Hastings," cried Hull. "Even if I do exaggerate, as you seem to think, still where's the harm in doing it?"

"It looks as if the respectable people were afraid of the lower classes," said Hastings doubtfully. "And that's always bad."

"But it won't look that way," replied Davy, "if my plan is followed."

"And what might be your plan?" inquired Hastings.

"I'm to be the reform candidate for Mayor. Your son-in-law, Hugo, is to be the reform candidate for judge. The way to handle this is for me to come out in a strong statement denouncing the indictments, and the injunction against the League and the New Day, too. And I'll announce that Hugo Galland is trying to join in the fight against them and that he is indignant and as determined as I am. Then early to-morrow morning we can go before Judge Lansing and can present arguments, and he will denounce the other side for misleading him as to the facts, and will quash the indictments and vacate the injunctions."

Hastings nodded reflectively. "Pretty good," said he with a sly grin. "And Davy Hull and my son-in-law will be popular heroes."

Davy reddened. "Of course. I want to get all the advantage I can for our party," said he. "I don't represent myself. I represent the party."

Martin grinned more broadly. He who had been representing "honest taxpayers" and "innocent owners" of corrupt stock and bonds all his life understood perfectly. "It's hardly human to be as unselfish as you and I are, Davy," said he. "Well, I'll go in and do a little telephoning. You go ahead and draw up your statement and get it to the papers—and see Hugo." He rose, stood leaning on his cane, all bent and shrivelled and dry. "I reckon Judge Lansing'll be expecting you to-morrow morning." He turned to enter the house, halted, crooked his head round for a piercing look at young Hull. "Don't go talking round among your friends about what you're going to do," said he sharply. "Don't let NOBODY know until it's done."

"Certainly, sir," said Davy.

"I could see you hurrying down to that there University Club to sit there and tell it all to those smarties that are always blowing about what they're going to do. You'll be right smart of a man some day, Davy, if you'll learn to keep your mouth shut."

Davy looked abashed. He did not know which of his many indiscretions of self-glorifying talkativeness Mr. Hastings had immediately in mind. But he could recall several, any one of which was justification for the rather savage rebuke—the more humiliating that Jane was listening. He glanced covertly at her.

Perhaps she had not heard; she was gazing into the distance with a strange expression upon her beautiful face, an expression that fastened his attention, absorbed though he was in his project for his own ambitions. As her father disappeared, he said:

"What are you thinking about, Jane?"

Jane startled guiltily. "I? Oh—I don't know—a lot of things."

"Your look suggested that you were having a—a severe attack of conscience," said he, laughingly. He was in soaring good humor now, for he saw his way clear to election.

"I was," said Jane, suddenly stern. A pause, then she laughed—rather hollowly. "Davy, I guess I'm almost as big a fraud as you are. What fakirs we human beings are?—always posing as doing for others and always doing for our selfish selves."

Davy's face took on its finest expression. "Do you think it's altogether selfishness for me to fight for Victor Dorn and give him a chance to get out his paper again—when he has warned me that he is going to print things that may defeat me?"

"You know he'll not print them now," retorted Jane.

"Indeed I don't. He's not so forbearing."

"You know he'll not print them now," repeated Jane. "He'd not be so foolish. Every one would forget to ask whether what he said about you was true or false. They'd think only of how ungenerous and ungrateful he was. He wouldn't be either. But he'd seem to be—and that comes to the same thing." She glanced mockingly at Hull. "Isn't that your calculation?"

"You are too cynical for a woman, Jane," said Davy. "It's not attractive."

"To your vanity?" retorted Jane. "I should think not."

"Well—good-by," said Davy, taking his hat from the rail. "I've got a hard evening's work before me. No time for dinner."

"Another terrible sacrifice for public duty," mocked Jane.

"You must be frightfully out of humor with yourself, to be girding at me so savagely," said Davy.

"Good-by, Mr. Mayor."

"I shall be—in six weeks."

Jane's face grew sombre. "Yes—I suppose so," said she. "The people would rather have one of us than one of their own kind. They do look up to us, don't they? It's ridiculous of them, but they do. The idea of choosing you, when they might have Victor Dorn."

"He isn't running for Mayor," objected Hull. "The League's candidate is Harbinger, the builder."

"No, it's Victor Dorn," said Jane. "The best man in a party—the strongest man—is always the candidate for all the offices. I don't know much about politics, but I've learned that much.... It's Victor Dorn against—Dick Kelly—or Kelly and father."

Hull reddened. She had cut into quick. "You will see who is Mayor when I'm elected," said he with all his dignity.

Jane laughed in the disagreeably mocking way that was the climax of her ability to be nasty when she was thoroughly out of humor. "That's right, Davy. Deceive yourself. It's far more comfortable. So long!"

And she went into the house.

Davy's conduct of the affair was masterly. He showed those rare qualities of judgment and diplomacy that all but insure a man a distinguished career. His statement for the press was a model of dignity, of restrained indignation, of good common sense. The most difficult part of his task was getting Hugo Galland into condition for a creditable appearance in court. In so far as Hugo's meagre intellect, atrophied by education and by luxury, permitted him to be a lawyer at all, he was of that now common type called the corporation lawyer. That is, for him human beings had ceased to exist, and of course human rights, also; the world as viewed from the standpoint of law contained only corporations, only interests. Thus, a man like Victor Dorn was in his view the modern form of the devil—was a combination of knave and lunatic who had no right to live except in the restraint of an asylum or a jail.

Fortunately, while Hugo despised the "hoi polloi" as only a stupid, miseducated snob can despise, he appreciated that they had votes and so must be conciliated; and he yearned with the snob's famished yearning for the title and dignity of judge. Davy found it impossible to convince him that the injunctions and indictments ought to be attacked until he had convinced him that in no other way could he become Judge Galland. As Hugo was fiercely prejudiced and densely stupid and reverent of the powers of his own intellect, to convince him was not easy. In fact, Davy did not begin to succeed until he began to suggest that whoever appeared before Judge Lansing the next morning in defense of free speech would be the Alliance and Democratic and Republican candidate for judge, and that if Hugo couldn't see his way clear to appearing he might as well give up for the present his political ambitions.

Hugo came round. Davy left him at one o'clock in the morning and went gloomily home. He had known what a prejudiced ass Galland was, how unfit he was for the office of judge; but he had up to that time hidden the full truth from himself. Now, to hide it was impossible. Hugo had fully exposed himself in all his unfitness of the man of narrow upper class prejudices, the man of no instinct or enthusiasm for right, justice and liberty. "Really, it's a crime to nominate such a chap as that," he muttered. "Yet we've got to do it. How Selma Gordon's eyes would shame me, if she could see me now!"

Davy had the familiar fondness for laying on the secret penitential scourge—wherewith we buy from our complacent consciences license to indulge in the sins our appetites or ambitions crave.

Judge Lansing—you have never seen a man who LOOKED the judge more ideally than did gray haired, gray bearded, open browed Robert Lansing—Judge Lansing was all ready for his part in the farce. He knew Hugo and helped him over the difficult places and cut him short as soon as he had made enough of his speech to give an inkling of what he was demanding. The Judge was persuaded to deliver himself of a high-minded and eloquent denunciation of those who had misled the court and the county prosecutor. He pointed out—in weighty judicial language—that Victor Dorn had by his conduct during several years invited just such a series of calamities as had beset him. But he went on to say that Dorn's reputation and fondness for speech and action bordering on the lawless did not withdraw from him the protection of the law. In spite of himself the law would protect him. The injunctions were dissolved and the indictments were quashed.

The news of the impending application, published in the morning papers, had crowded the court room. When the Judge finished a tremendous cheer went up. The cheer passed on to the throng outside, and when Davy and Hugo appeared in the corridor they were borne upon the shoulders of workingmen and were not released until they had made speeches. Davy's manly simplicity and clearness covered the stammering vagueness of hero Galland.

As Davy was gradually clearing himself of the eager handshakers and back-slappers, Selma suddenly appeared before him. Her eyes were shining and her whole body seemed to be irradiating emotion of admiration and gratitude. "Thank you—oh, thank you!" she said, pressing his hand. "How I have misjudged you!"

Davy did not wince. He had now quite forgotten the part selfish ambition had played in his gallant rush to the defense of imperilled freedom—had forgotten it as completely as the now ecstatic Hugo had forgotten his prejudices against the "low, smelly working people." He looked as exalted as he felt. "I only did my plain duty," replied he. "How could any decent American have done less?"

"I haven't seen Victor since yesterday afternoon," pursued Selma. "But I know how grateful he'll be—not so much for what you did as that YOU did it."

The instinct of the crowd—the universal human instinct—against intruding upon a young man and young woman talking together soon cleared them of neighbors. An awkward silence fell. Said he hesitatingly:

"Are you ready to give your answer?—to that question I asked you the other day."

"I gave you my answer then," replied she, her glance seeking a way of escape.

"No," said he. "For you said then that you would not marry me. And I shall never take no for an answer until you have married some one else."

She looked up at him with eyes large and grave and puzzled. "I'm sure you don't want to marry me," she said. "I wonder why you keep asking me."

"I have to be honest with you," said Davy. "Somehow you bring out all the good there is in me. So, I can't conceal anything from you. In a way I don't want to marry you. You're not at all the woman I have always pictured as the sort I ought to marry and would marry. But—Selma, I love you. I'd give up anything—even my career—to get you. When I'm away from you I seem to regain control of myself. But just as soon as I see you, I'm as bad as ever again."

"Then we mustn't see each other," said she.

Suddenly she nodded, laughed up at him and darted away—and Hugo Galland, long since abandoned by the crowd, had seized him by the arm.

Selma debated whether to take Victor the news or to continue her walk. She decided for the walk. She had been feeling peculiarly toward Victor since the previous afternoon. She had not gone back in the evening, but had sent an excuse by one of the Leaguers. It was plain to her that Jane Hastings was up to mischief, and she had begun to fear—sacrilegious though she felt it to be to harbor such a suspicion—that there was man enough, weak, vain, susceptible man enough, in Victor Dorn to make Jane a danger. The more she had thought about Jane and her environment, the clearer it had become that there could be no permanent and deep sincerity in Jane's aspirations after emancipation from her class. It was simply the old, old story of a woman of the upper class becoming infatuated with a man of a genuine kind of manhood rarely found in the languor-producing surroundings of her own class. Would Victor yield? No! her loyalty indignantly answered. But he might allow this useless idler to hamper him, to weaken his energies for the time—and during a critical period.

She did not wish to see Victor again until she should have decided what course to take. To think at her ease she walked out Monroe Avenue on her way to the country. It was a hot day, but walking along in the beautiful shade Selma felt no discomfort, except a slight burning of the eyes from the fierce glare of the white highway. In the distance she heard the sound of an engine.

A few seconds, and past her at high speed swept an automobile. Its heavy flying wheels tore up the roadway, raised an enormous cloud of dust. The charm of the walk was gone; the usefulness of roadway and footpaths was destroyed for everybody for the fifteen or twenty minutes that it would take for the mass of dust to settle—on the foliage, in the grass, on the bodies and clothing of passers-by and in their lungs. Selma halted and gazed after the auto. Who was tearing along at this mad speed? Who was destroying the comfort of all using that road, and annoying them and making the air unfit to breathe! Why, an idle, luxuriously dressed woman, not on an errand of life or death, but going down town to amuse herself shopping or calling.

The dust had not settled before a second auto, having a young man and young woman apparently on the way to play tennis, rushed by, swirling up even vaster clouds of dust and all but colliding with a baby carriage a woman was trying to push across the street. Selma's blood was boiling! The infamy of it! These worthless idlers! What utter lack of manners, of consideration for their fellow beings. A GENTLEMAN and a LADY insulting and bullying everyone who happened not to have an automobile. Then—she laughed. The ignorant, stupid masses! They deserved to be treated thus contemptuously, for they could stop it if they would. "Some day we shall learn," philosophized she. "Then these brutalities of men toward each other, these brutalities big and little, will cease." This matter of the insulting automobiles, with insolent horns and criminal folly of speed and hurling dust at passers-by, worse than if the occupants had spat upon them in passing—this matter was a trifle beside the hideous brutalities of men compelling masses of their fellow beings, children no less than grown people, to toil at things killing soul, mind and body simply in order that fortunes might be made! THERE was lack of consideration worth thinking about.

Three more autos passed—three more clouds of dust, reducing Selma to extreme physical discomfort. Her philosophy was severely strained. She was in the country now; but even there she was pursued by these insolent and insulting hunters of pleasure utterly indifferent to the comfort of their fellows. And when a fourth auto passed, bearing Jane Hastings in a charming new dress and big, becoming hat—Selma, eyes and throat full of dust and face and neck and hands streaked and dirty, quite lost her temper. Jane spoke; she turned her head away, pretending not to see!

Presently she heard an auto coming at a less menacing pace from the opposite direction. It drew up to the edge of the road abreast of her. "Selma," called Jane.

Selma paused, bent a frowning and angry countenance upon Jane.

Jane opened the door of the limousine, descended, said to her chauffeur: "Follow us, please." She advanced to Selma with a timid and deprecating smile. "You'll let me walk with you?" she said.

"I am thinking out a very important matter," replied Selma, with frank hostility. "I prefer not to be interrupted."

"Selma!" pleaded Jane. "What have I done to turn you against me?"

Selma stood, silent, incarnation of freedom and will. She looked steadily at Jane. "You haven't done anything," she replied. "On impulse I liked you. On sober second thought I don't. That's all."

"You gave me your friendship," said Jane. "You've no right to withdraw it without telling me why."

"You are not of my class. You are of the class that is at war with mine—at war upon it. When you talk of friendship to me, you are either false to your own people or false in your professions to me."

Selma's manner was rudely offensive—as rude as Jane's dust, to which it was perhaps a retort. Jane showed marvelous restraint. She told herself that she felt compassionate toward this attractive, honest, really nice girl. It is possible, however, that an instinct of prudence may have had something to do with her ultra-conciliatory attitude toward the dusty little woman in the cheap linen dress. The enmity of one so near to Victor Dorn was certainly not an advantage. Instead of flaring up, Jane said:

"Now, Selma—do be human—do be your sweet, natural self. It isn't my fault that I am what I am. And you know that I really belong heart and soul with you."

"Then come with us," said Selma. "If you think the life you lead is foolish—why, stop leading it."

"You know I can't," said Jane mournfully.

"I know you could," retorted Selma. "Don't be a hypocrite, Jane."

"Selma—how harsh you are!" cried Jane.

"Either come with us or keep away from us," said the girl inflexibly. "You may deceive yourself—and men—with that talk of broad views and high aspirations. But you can't deceive another woman."

"I'm not trying to deceive anybody," exclaimed Jane angrily. "Permit me to say, Selma, that your methods won't make many converts to your cause."

"Who ever gave you the idea that we were seeking converts in your class?" inquired Selma. "Our whole object is to abolish your class—and end its drain upon us—and its bad example—and make its members useful members of our class, and more contented and happier than they are now." She laughed—a free and merry laugh, but not pleasant in Jane's ears. "The idea of US trying to induce young ladies and young gentlemen with polished finger nails to sit round in drawing-rooms talking patronizingly of doing something for the masses! You've got a very queer notion of us, my dear Miss Hastings."

Jane's eyes were flashing. "Selma, there's a devil in you to-day. What is it?" she demanded.

"There's a great deal of dust from your automobile in me and on me," said Selma. "I congratulate you on your good manners in rushing about spattering and befouling your fellow beings and threatening their lives."

Jane colored and lowered her head. "I—I never thought of that before," she said humbly.

Selma's anger suddenly dissolved. "I'm ashamed of myself," she cried. "Forgive me."

What she had said about the automobile had made an instant deep impression upon Jane, who was honestly trying to live up to her aspirations—when she wasn't giving up the effort as hopelessly beyond her powers and trying to content herself with just aspiring. She was not hypocritical in her contrition. The dust disfiguring the foliage, streaking Selma's face and hair, was forcing the lesson in manners vigorously home. "I'm much obliged to you for teaching me what I ought to have learned for myself," she said. "I don't blame you for scorning me. I am a pretty poor excuse. But"—with her most charming smile—"I'll do better—all the faster if you'll help me."

Selma looked at her with a frank, dismayed contrition, like a child that realizes it has done something very foolish. "Oh, I'm so horribly impulsive!" she cried. "It's always getting me into trouble. You don't know how I try Victor Dorn's patience—though he never makes the least sign." She laughed up at Jane. "I wish you'd give me a whipping. I'd feel lots better."

"It'd take some of my dust off you," said Jane. "Let me take you to the house in the auto—you'll never see it going at that speed again, I promise. Come to the house and I'll dust you off—and we'll go for a walk in the woods."

Selma felt that she owed it to Jane to accept. As they were climbing the hill in the auto, Selma said:

"My, how comfortable this is! No wonder the people that have autos stop exercising and get fat and sick and die. I couldn't trust myself with one."

"It's a daily fight," confessed Jane. "If I were married and didn't have to think about my looks and my figure I'm afraid I'd give up."

"Victor says the only time one ought ever to ride in a carriage is to his own funeral."

"He's down on show and luxury of every kind—isn't he?" said Jane.

"No, indeed," replied Selma. "Victor isn't 'down on' anything. He thinks show and luxury are silly. He could be rich if he wished, for he has wonderful talent for managing things and for making money. He has refused some of the most wonderful offers—wonderful in that way. But he thinks money-making a waste of time. He has all he wants, and he says he'd as soon think of eating a second dinner when he'd just had one as of exchanging time that could be LIVED for a lot of foolish dollars."

"And he meant it, too," said Jane. "In some men that would sound like pretense. But not in him. What a mind he has—and what a character!"

Selma was abruptly overcast and ominously silent. She wished she had not been turned so far by her impulse of penitence—wished she had held to the calm and deliberate part of her resolve about Jane—the part that involved keeping aloof from her. However, Jane, the tactful—hastened to shift the conversation to generalities of the softest kinds—talked about her college life—about the inane and useless education they had given her—drew Selma out to talk about her own education—in the tenement—in the public school, at night school, in factory and shop. Not until they had been walking in the woods nearly two hours and Selma was about to go home, did Victor, about whom both were thinking all the time, come into the conversation again. It was Jane who could no longer keep away from the subject—the one subject that wholly interested her nowadays. Said she:

"Victor Dorn is REALLY almost well, you think?"

After a significant pause Selma said in a tone that was certainly not encouraging, "Obviously."

"I was altogether wrong about Doctor Charlton," said Jane. "I'm convinced now that he's the only really intelligent doctor in town. I'm trying to persuade father to change to him."

"Well, good-by," said Selma. She was eager to get away, for she suddenly felt that Jane was determined to talk about Victor before letting her go.

"You altered toward me when I made that confession—the night of the riot," said Jane abruptly. "Are you in love with him, too?"

"No," said Selma.

"I don't see how you could help being," cried Jane.

"That's because you don't know what it is to be busy," retorted Selma. "Love—what you call love—is one of the pastimes with your sort of people. It's a lazy, easy way of occupying the thoughts."

"You don't know me as well as you think you do," said Jane. Her expression fascinated Selma—and made her more afraid than ever.

Impulsively Selma took Jane by the arm. "Keep away from us," she said. "You will do no good. You can only cause unhappiness—perhaps most of all to yourself."

"Don't I know that!" exclaimed Jane. "I'm fighting it as hard as I can. But how little control one has over oneself when one has always been indulged and self-indulgent."

"The man for you is David Hull," said Selma.

"You could help him—could make a great deal of a person out of him."

"I know it," replied Jane. "But I don't want him, and he—perhaps you didn't know that he is in love with you?"

"No more than you are with Victor Dorn," said Selma. "I'm different from the women he has known, just as Victor is different from the men you meet in your class. But this is a waste of time."

"You don't believe in me at all," cried Jane. "In some ways you are very unjust and narrow, Selma."

Selma looked at her in that grave way which seemed to compel frankness. "Do YOU believe in yourself?" she asked.

Jane's glance shifted.

"You know you do not," proceeded Selma. "The women of your class rarely have sincere emotions because they do not lead sincere lives. Part of your imaginary love for Victor Dorn is desire to fill up idle hours. The rest of it is vanity—the desire to show your power over a man who seems to be woman-proof." She laughed a little, turned away, paused. "My mother used to quote a French proverb—'One cannot trifle with love.' Be careful, Jane—for your own sake. I don't know whether you could conquer Victor Dorn or not. But I do know IF you could conquer him it would be only at the usual price of those conquests to a woman."

"And what is that?" said Jane.

"Your own complete surrender," said Selma.

"How wise you are!" laughed Jane. "Who would have suspected you of knowing so much!"

"How could I—a woman—and not unattractive to men—grow up to be twenty-one years old, in the free life of a working woman, without learning all there is to know about sex relations?"

Jane looked at her with a new interest.

"And," she went on, "I've learned—not by experience, I'm glad to say, but by observation—that my mother's proverb is true. I shall not think about love until I am compelled to. That is a peril a sensible person does not seek."

"I did not seek it," cried Jane—and then she halted and flushed.

"Good-by, Jane," said Selma, waving her hand and moving away rapidly. She called back—"On ne badine pas avec l'amour!"

She went straight to Colman's cottage—to Victor, lying very pale with his eyes shut, and big Tom Colman sitting by his bed. There was a stillness in the room that Selma felt was ominous. Victor's hand—strong, well-shaped, useful-looking, used-looking—not ABUSED-looking, but USED-looking-was outside the covers upon the white counterpane. The fingers were drumming softly; Selma knew that gesture—a certain sign that Victor was troubled in mind.

"You've told him," said Selma to Colman as she paused in the doorway.

Victor turned his head quickly, opened his eyes, gave her a look of welcome that made her thrill with pride. "Oh—there you are!" he exclaimed. "I was hoping you'd come."

"I saw David Hull just after it was done," said Selma. "And I thanked him for you."

Victor's eyes had a look of amusement, of mockery. "Thank you," he said.

She, the sensitive, was on the alert at once. "Didn't you want me to thank him?"

Victor did not answer. In the same amused way he went on: "So they carried him on their shoulders—him and that other defender of the rights of the people, Hugo Galland? I should like to have seen. It was a memorable spectacle."

"You are laughing at it," exclaimed the girl. "Why?"

"You certainly are taking the news very queer, Victor," said Colman. Then to Selma, "When I told him he got white and I thought I'd have to send for Doctor Charlton."

"Well—joy never kills," said Victor mockingly. "I don't want to keep you, Tom—Selma'll sit with me."

When they were alone, Victor again closed his eyes and resumed that silent drumming upon the counterpane. Selma watched the restless fingers as if she hoped they would disclose to her the puzzling secret of Victor's thoughts. But she did not interrupt.

That was one lesson in restraint that Victor had succeeded in teaching her—never to interrupt. At last he heaved a great sigh and said:

"Well, Selma, old girl—we've probably lost again. I was glad you came because I wanted to talk—and I can't say what's in my mind before dear old Tom—or any of them but my sister and you."

"You didn't want those injunctions and indictments out of the way?" said Selma.

"If they had stood, we'd have won—in a walk," replied Victor. "As the cards lie now, David Hull will win. And he'll make a pretty good show mayor, probably—good enough to fool a large majority of our fellow citizens, who are politically as shallow and credulous as nursery children. And so—our work of educating them will be the harder and slower. Oh, these David Hulls!—these good men who keep their mantles spotless in order to make them the more useful as covers for the dirty work of others!" Suddenly his merry smile burst out. "And they carried Hugo Galland on their shoulders?"

"Then you don't think Hull's motives were honorable?" inquired Selma, perplexed and anxious.

"How could I know his motives?—any man's motives?" replied Victor. "No one can read men's hearts. All I ever consider is actions. And the result of his actions is probably the defeat of the League and the election of Dick Kelly."

"I begin to understand," said Selma thoughtfully. "But—I do believe his motive was altogether good."

"My dear girl," said Victor, "the primer lesson in the life of action is: 'Never—NEVER look at motives. Action—only actions—always actions.' The chief reason the human race is led patiently round by the nose is its fondness for fussing about motives. We are interested only in men's actions and the results to our cause. Davy Hull's motives concern only himself—and those who care for him." Victor's eyes, twinkling mischievously, shot a shrewd glance at Selma. "You're not by any chance in love with Davy?"

Selma colored high. "Certainly not!" she exclaimed indignantly.

"Why not? Why not?" teased Victor. "He's tall and handsome—and superbly solemn—and women always fancy a solemn man has intellect and character. Not that Davy is a fool—by no means. I'd be the last man to say that—I whom he has just cleverly checkmated in one move."

"You intended not to give bail! You intended to go to jail!" exclaimed Selma abruptly. "I see it all! How stupid I was! Oh, I could cry, Victor! What a chance."

"Spilt milk," said Victor. "We must forget it, and plan to meet the new conditions. We'll start the paper at once. We can't attack him. Very clever of him—very clever! If he were as brave as he is shrewd, I'd almost give up hope of winning this town while he was in politics here. But he lacks courage. And he daren't think and speak honestly. How that does cripple a man!"

"He'll be one of us before very long," said Selma. "You misjudge him, Victor."

Dorn smiled. "Not so long as his own class gratifies his ambitions," replied Victor. "If he came with us it'd be because his own class had failed him and he hoped to rise through and upon—ours."

Selma did not agree with him. But as she always felt presumptuous and even foolish in disagreeing with Victor, she kept silent. And presently Victor began to lay out her share in the task of starting up the New Day. "I shall be all right within a week," said he, "and we must get the first number out the week following." She was realizing now that Hull's move had completely upset an elaborate plan of campaign into which Victor had put all his intelligence and upon which he had staked all his hopes. She marvelled as he talked, unfolding rapidly an entirely new campaign, different in every respect from what the other would have been. How swiftly his mind had worked, and how well! How little time he had wasted in vain regrets! How quickly he had recovered from a reverse that would have halted many a strong man.

And then she remembered how they all, his associates, were like him, proof against the evil effects of set-back and defeat. And why were they so? Because Victor Dorn had trained them to fight for the cause, and not for victory. "Our cause is the right, and in the end right is bound to win because the right is only another name for the sensible"—that had been his teaching. And a hardy army he had trained. The armies trained by victory are strong; but the armies schooled by defeat—they are invincible.

When he had explained his new campaign—as much of it as he deemed it wise at that time to withdraw from the security of his own brain—she said:

"But it seems to me we've got a good chance to win, anyhow."

"A chance, perhaps," replied he. "But we'll not bother about that. All we've got to do is to keep on strengthening ourselves."

"Yes, that's it!" she cried. "One added here—five there—ten yonder. Every new stone fitted solidly against the ones already in place."

"We must never forget that we aren't merely building a new party," said Dorn. "We're building a new civilization—one to fit the new conditions of life. Let the Davy Hulls patch and tinker away at trying to keep the old structure from falling in. We know it's bound to fall and that it isn't fit for decent civilized human beings to live in. And we're getting the new house ready. So—to us, election day is no more important than any of the three hundred and sixty-five."

It was into the presence of a Victor Dorn restored in mind as well as in body that Jane Hastings was shown by his sister, Mrs. Sherrill, one afternoon a week or so later.

All that time Jane had been searching for an excuse for going to see him. She had haunted the roads and the woods where he and Selma habitually walked. She had seen neither of them. When the pretext for a call finally came to her, as usual, the most obvious thing in the world. He must be suspecting her of having betrayed his confidence and brought about the vacating of those injunctions and the quashing of the indictments. She must go to him and clear herself of suspicion.

She felt that the question of how she should dress for this crucial interview, this attempt to establish some sort of friendly relations with him, was of the very highest importance. Should she wear something plain, something that would make her look as nearly as might be like one of his own class? HIS class!

No—no, indeed. The class in which he was accidentally born and bred, but to which he did not belong. Or, should she go dressed frankly as of her own class—wearing the sort of things that made her look her finest and most superior and most beautiful? Having nothing else to do, she spent several hours in trying various toilets. She was not long in deciding against disguising herself as a working woman. That garb might win his mental and moral approval; but not by mental and moral ways did women and men prevail with each other. In plain garb—so Jane decided, as she inspected herself—she was no match for Selma Gordon; she looked awkward, out of her element. So much being settled, there remained to choose among her various toilets. She decided for an embroidered white summer dress, extremely simple, but in the way that costs beyond the power of any but the very rich to afford. When she was ready to set forth, she had never looked so well in her life. Her toilet SEEMED a mere detail. In fact, it was some such subtlety as those arrangements of lines and colors in great pictures, whereby the glance of the beholder is unconsciously compelled toward the central figure, just as water in a funnel must go toward the aperture at the bottom. Jane felt, not without reason, that she had executed a stroke of genius. She was wearing nothing that could awaken Victor Dorn's prejudices about fine clothes, for he must have those prejudices. Yet she was dressed in conformity with all that centuries, ages of experience, have taught the dressmaking art on the subject of feminine allure. And, when a woman feels that she is so dressed, her natural allure becomes greatly enhanced.

She drove down to a point in Monroe Avenue not far from the house where Victor and his family lived. The day was hot; boss-ridden Remsen City had dusty and ragged streets and sidewalks. It, therefore, would not do to endanger the freshness of the toilet. But she would arrive as if she had come all the way on foot. Arrival in a motor at so humble a house would look like ostentation; also, if she were seen going through that street afoot, people would think she was merely strolling a little out of her way to view the ruins of the buildings set on fire by the mob. She did pause to look at these ruins; the air of the neighborhood still had a taint of burnt wood and paper. Presently, when she was sure the street was clear of people of the sort who might talk—she hastily entered the tiny front yard of Victor's house, and was pleased to find herself immediately screened from the street by the luxuriant bushes and creepers.

There was nothing in the least pretentious about the appearance of the little house. It was simply a well built cottage—but of brick, instead of the usual wood, and the slate roof descended at attractive angles. The door she was facing was superior to the usual flimsy-looking door. Indeed, she at once became conscious of a highly attractive and most unexpected air of substantiality and good taste. The people who lived here seemed to be permanent people—long resident, and looking forward to long residence. She had never seen such beautiful or such tastefully grouped sun flowers, and the dahlias and marigolds were far above the familiar commonplace kitchen garden flowers.

The door opened, and a handsome, extremely intelligent looking woman, obviously Victor's sister, was looking pleasantly at her. Said she: "I'm sorry to have kept you waiting. But I was busy in the kitchen. This is Miss Hastings, isn't it?"

"Yes," said Jane, smiling friendlily.

"I've heard my brother and Selma talk of you." (Jane wondered WHAT they had said.) "You wish to see Victor?"

"If I'd not be interrupting," said Jane.

"Come right in. He's used to being interrupted. They don't give him five minutes to himself all day long—especially now that the campaign's on. He always does his serious work very early in the morning."

They went through a hall, pleasantly odorous of baking in which good flour and good butter and good eggs were being manufactured into something probably appetizing, certainly wholesome. Jane caught a glimpse through open doors on either side of a neat and reposeful little library-sitting room, a plain delightfully simple little bedroom, a kitchen where everything shone. She arrived at the rear door somehow depressed, bereft of the feeling of upper-class superiority which had, perhaps unconsciously, possessed her as she came toward the house. At the far end of an arbor on which the grape vines were so trellised that their broad leaves cast a perfect shade, sat Victor writing at a table under a tree. He was in his shirt sleeves, and his shirt was open at the throat. His skin was smooth and healthily white below the collar line. The forearms exposed by his rolled up sleeves were strong but slender, and the faint fair hair upon them suggested a man, but not an animal.

Never had she seen his face and head so fine. He was writing rapidly, his body easily erect, his head and neck in a poise of grace and strength. Jane grew pale and trembled—so much so that she was afraid the keen, friendly eyes of Alice Sherrill were seeing. Said Mrs. Sherrill, raising her voice:

"Victor—here's Miss Hastings come to see you." Then to Jane: "Excuse me, please. I don't dare leave that kitchen long."

She departed. Jane waited while Victor, his pencil reluctantly slackening and his glance lingeringly rising from the paper, came back to sense of his surroundings. He stared at her blankly, then colored a little. He rose—stiff, for him formal. Said he:

"How d'you do, Miss Hastings?"

She came down the arbor, recovering her assurance as she again became conscious of herself, so charmingly dressed and no doubt beautiful in his eyes. "I know you're not glad to see me," said she. "But I'm only stopping a very little minute."

His eyes had softened—softened under the influence of the emotion no man can ever fail to feel at least in some degree at sight of a lovely woman. "Won't you sit?" said he, with a glance at the wooden chair near the other side of the table.

She seated herself, resting one gloved hand on the prettily carved end of her white-sunshade. She was wearing a big hat of rough black straw, with a few very gorgeous white plumes. "What a delightful place to work," exclaimed she, looking round, admiring the flowers, the slow ripening grapes, the delicious shade. "And you—how WELL you look!"

"I've forgotten I was ever anything but well," said he.

"You're impatient for me to go," she cried laughing. "It's very rude to show it so plainly."

"No," replied he. "I am not impatient for you to go. But I ought to be, for I'm very busy."

"Well, I shall be gone in a moment. I came only to tell you that you are suspecting me wrongly."

"Suspecting you?—of what?"

"Of having broken my word. I know you must think I got father to set Davy Hull on to upsetting your plans."

"The idea never entered my head," said he. "You had promised—and I know you are honest."

Jane colored violently and lowered her eyes. "I'm not—not up to what you say," she protested. "But at least I didn't break my promise. Davy thought of that himself."

"I have been assuming so."

"And you didn't suspect me?"

"Not for an instant," Victor assured her. "Davy simply made the move that was obviously best for him."

"And now he will be elected," said Jane regretfully.

"It looks that way," replied Victor. And he had the air of one who has nothing more to say.

Suddenly Jane looked at him with eyes shining and full of appeal.

"Don't send me away so quickly," she pleaded. "I've not been telling the exact truth. I came only partly because I feared you were suspecting me. The real reason was that—that I couldn't stay away any longer. I know you're not in the least interested in me——"

She was watching him narrowly for signs of contradiction. She hoped she had not watched in vain.

"Why should you be?" she went on. "But ever since you opened my eyes and set me to thinking, I can do nothing but think about the things you have said to me, and long to come to you and ask you questions and hear more."

Victor was staring hard into the wall of foliage. His face was set. She thought she had never seen anything so resolute, so repelling as the curve of his long jaw bone.

"I'll go now," she said, making a pretended move toward rising.

"I've no right to annoy you."

He stood up abruptly, without looking at her. "Yes, you'd better go," he said curtly.

She quivered—and it was with a pang of genuine pain.

His gaze was not so far from her as it seemed. For he must have noted her expression, since he said hurriedly: "I beg your pardon. It isn't that I mean to be rude. I—I—it is best that I do not see you."

She sank back in the chair with a sigh. "And I—I know that I ought to keep away from you. But—I can't. It's too strong for me."

He looked at her slowly. "I have made up my mind to put you out of my head," he said. "And I shall."

"Don't!" she cried. "Victor—don't!"

He sat again, rested his forearms upon the table, leaned toward her. "Look at me," he said.

She slowly lifted her gaze to his, met it steadily. "I thought so, Victor," she said tenderly. "I knew I couldn't care so much unless you cared at least a little ."

"Do I?" said he. "I don't know. I doubt if either of us is in love with the other. Certainly, you are not the sort of woman I could love—deeply love. What I feel for you is the sort of thing that passes. It is violent while it lasts, but it passes."

"I don't care!" cried she recklessly. "Whatever it is I want it!"

He shook his head resolutely. "No," he said. "You don't want it, and I don't want it. I know the kind of life you've mapped out for yourself—as far as women of your class map out anything. It's the only kind of life possible to you. And it's of a kind with which I could, and would, have nothing to do."

"Why do you say that?" protested she. "You could make of me what you pleased."

"No," said he. "I couldn't make a suit of overalls out of a length of silk. Anyhow, I have made up my life with love and marriage left out. They are excellent things for some people, for most people. But not for me. I must be free, absolutely free. Free to think only of the cause I've enlisted in, free to do what it commands."

"And I?" she said with tremendous life. "What is to become of me, Victor?"

He laughed quietly. "You are going to keep away from me—find some one else to amuse your leisure. That's what's going to become of you, Jane Hastings."

She winced and quivered again. "That—hurts," she said.

"Your vanity? Yes. I suppose it does. But those wounds are healthful—when the person is as sensible as you are."

"You think I am not capable of caring! You think I am vain and shallow and idle. You refuse me all right to live, simply because I happen to live in surroundings you don't approve of."

"I'm not such an egotistical ass as to imagine a woman of your sort could be genuinely in love with a man of my sort," replied he. "So, I'll see to it that we keep away from each other. I don't wish to be tempted to do you mischief."

She looked at him inquiringly.

But he did not explain. He said: "And you are going now. And we shall not meet again except by accident."

She gave a sigh of hopelessness. "I suppose I have lowered myself in your eyes by being so frank—by showing and speaking what I felt," she said mournfully.

"Not in the least," rejoined he. "A man who is anybody or has anything soon gets used to frankness in women. I could hardly have gotten past thirty, in a more or less conspicuous position, without having had some experience.... and without learning not to attach too much importance to—to frankness in women."

She winced again. "You wouldn't say those things if you knew how they hurt," she said. "If I didn't care for you, could I sit here and let you laugh at me?"

"Yes, you could," answered he. "Hoping somehow or other to turn the laugh upon me later on. But really I was not laughing at you. And you can spare yourself the effort of convincing me that you're sincere." He was frankly laughing at her now. "You don't understand the situation—not at all. You fancy that I am hanging back because I am overwhelmed or shy or timid. I assure you I've never been shy or timid about anything I wanted. If I wanted you—I'd—TAKE you."

She caught her breath and shrank. Looking at him as he said that, calmly and confidently, she, for the first time, was in love—and was afraid. Back to her came Selma's warnings: "One may not trifle with love. A woman conquers only by surrender."

"But, as I said to you a while ago," he went on, "I don't want you—or any woman. I've no time for marriage—no time for a flirtation. And though you tempt me strongly, I like you too well to—to treat you as you invite."

Jane sat motionless, stunned by the sudden turning of the tables.

She who had come to conquer—to amuse herself, to evoke a strong, hopeless passion that would give her a delightful sense of warmth as she stood safely by its bright flames—she had been conquered.

She belonged to this man; all he had to do was to claim her.

In a low voice, sweet and sincere beyond any that had ever come from her lips before, she said:

"Anything, Victor—anything—but don't send me away."

And he, seeing and hearing, lost his boasted self-control. "Go—go," he cried harshly. "If you don't go——" He came round the table, seizing her as she rose, kissed her upon the lips, upon the eyes. "You are lovely—lovely!" he murmured. "And I who can't have flowers on my table or in sight when I've got anything serious to do—I love your perfume and your color and the wonderful softness of you——"

He pushed her away. "Now—will you go?" he cried.

His eyes were flashing. And she was trembling from head to foot.

She was gazing at him with a fascinated expression. "I understand what you meant when you warned me to go," she said. "I didn't believe it, but it was so."

"Go—I tell you!" he ordered.

"It's too late," said she. "You can't send me away now—for you have kissed me. If I'm in your power, you're in my power, too."

Moved by the same impulse both looked up the arbor toward the rear door of the house. There stood Selma Gordon, regarding them with an expression of anger as wild as the blood of the steppes that flowed in her veins. Victor, with what composure he could master, put out his hand in farewell to Jane. He had been too absorbed in the emotions raging between him and her to note Selma's expression. But Jane, the woman, had seen. As she shook hands with Victor, she said neither high nor low:

"Selma knows that I care. I told her the night of the riot."

"Good-by," said Victor in a tone she thought it wise not to dispute.

"I'll be in the woods above the park at ten tomorrow," she said in an undertone. Then to Selma, unsmilingly: "You're not interrupting. I'm going." Selma advanced. The two girls looked frank hostility into each other's eyes. Jane did not try to shake hands with her. With a nod and a forced smile of conventional friendliness upon her lips, she passed her and went through the house and into the street.

She lingered at the gate, opening and closing it in a most leisurely fashion—a significantly different exit from her furtive and ashamed entrance. Love and revolt were running high and hot in her veins. She longed openly to defy the world—her world.


Impulse was the dominant strain in Selma Gordon's character—impulse and frankness. But she was afraid of Victor Dorn as we all are afraid of those we deeply respect—those whose respect is the mainstay of our self-confidence. She was moving toward him to pour out the violence that was raging in her on the subject of this flirtation of Jane Hastings. The spectacle of a useless and insincere creature like that trifling with her deity, and being permitted to trifle, was more than she could endure. But Victor, dropping listlessly to his chair and reaching for his pencil, was somehow a check upon her impetuousness. She paused long enough to think the sobering second thought. To speak would be both an impertinence and a folly. She owed it to the cause and to her friend Victor to speak; but to speak at the wrong time and in the wrong way would be worse than silence.

Said he: "I was finishing this when she came. I'll be done in a minute. Please read what I've written and tell me what you think."

Selma took up the loose sheets of manuscript and stood reading his inaugural of the new New Day. As she read she forgot the petty matter that had so agitated her a moment before. This salutatory—this address to the working class—this plan of a campaign to take Remsen City out of the hands of its exploiters and despoilers and make it a city fit for civilized residence and worthy of its population of intelligent, progressive workingmen—this leading editorial for the first number was Victor Dorn at his greatest and best. The man of action with all the enthusiasm of a dreamer. The shrewd, practical politician with the outlook of a statesman. How honest and impassioned he was; yet how free from folly and cant. Several times as she read Selma lifted her eyes to look at him in generous, worshipful admiration. She would not have dared let him see; she would not have dared speak the phrases of adoration of his genius that crowded to her lips. How he would have laughed at her—he who thought about himself as a personality not at all, but only as an instrument.

"Here's the rest of it," said he, throwing himself back in his chair and relighting his pipe.

She finished a moment later, said as she laid the manuscript on the table: "That's the best you've ever done."

"I think so," agreed he. "It seems to me I've got a new grip on things. I needed a turn such as your friend Davy Hull gave me. Nothing like rivalry to spur a man on. The old crowd was so stupid—cunning, but stupid. But Hull injects a new element into the struggle. To beat him we've got to use our best brains."

"We've got to attack him," said Selma. "After all, he is the enemy. We can't let him disarm us by an act of justice."

"No, indeed," said Victor. "But we'll have to be careful. Here's what I'm going to carry on the first page."

He held up a sheet of paper on which he had written with a view to effective display the names of the four most offensive local corporations with their contribution—$25,000 each—to the campaign fund of the Citizens' Alliance. "Under it, in big type," proceeded he, "we'll carry a line asking, 'Is the Citizens' Alliance fooling these four corporations or is it fooling the people?' I think that will be more effective than columns of attack."

"We ought to get that out on wall-bills and dodgers," suggested Selma, "and deluge the town with it once or twice a week until election."

"Splendid!" exclaimed Victor. "I'll make a practical politician of you yet."

Colman and Harbinger and Jocelyn and several others of the League leaders came in one at a time, and the plan of campaign was developed in detail. But the force they chiefly relied upon was the influence of their twelve hundred men, their four or five thousand women and young men and girls, talking every day and evening, each man or woman or youth with those with whom he came into contact. This "army of education" was disciplined, was educated, knew just what arguments to use, had been cautioned against disputes, against arousing foolish antagonisms. The League had nothing to conceal, no object to gain but the government of Remsen City by and for its citizens—well paved, well lighted, clean streets, sanitary houses, good and clean street car service, honest gas, pure water, plenty of good schools—that first of all. The "reform crowd"—the Citizens' Alliance—like every reform party of the past, proposed to do practically the same things. But the League met this with: "Why should we elect an upper class government to do for us what we ought to do for ourselves? And how can they redeem their promises when they are tied up in a hundred ways to the very people who have been robbing and cheating us?"

There were to be issues of the New Day; there were to be posters and dodgers, public meetings in halls, in squares, on street corners. But the main reliance now as always was this educated "army of education"—these six thousand missionaries, each one of them in resolute earnest and bent upon converting his neighbors on either side, and across the street as well. A large part of the time the leaders could spare from making a living was spent in working at this army, in teaching it new arguments or better ways of presenting old arguments, in giving the enthusiasm, in talking with each individual soldier of it and raising his standard of efficiency. Nor could the employers of these soldiers of Victor Dorn's complain that they shirked their work for politics. It was a fact that could not be denied that the members of the Workingmen's League were far and away the best workers in Remsen City, got the best pay, and earned it, drank less, took fewer days off on account of sickness. One of the sneers of the Kelly-House gang was that "those Dorn cranks think they are aristocrats, a little better than us common, ordinary laboring men." And the sneer was not without effect. The truth was, Dorn and his associates had not picked out the best of the working class and drawn it into the League, but had made those who joined the League better workers, better family men, better citizens.

"We are saying that the working class ought to run things," Dorn said again and again in his talks, public and private. "Then, we've got to show the community that we're fit to run things. That is why the League expels any man who shirks or is a drunkard or a crook or a bad husband and father."

The great fight of the League—the fight that was keeping it from power—was with the trades unions, which were run by secret agents of the Kelly-House oligarchy. Kelly and the Republican party rather favored "open shop" or "scab" labor—the right of an American to let his labor to whom he pleased on what terms he pleased. The Kelly orators waxed almost tearful as they contemplated the outrage of any interference with the ancient liberty of the American citizen. Kelly disguised as House was a hot union man. He loathed the "scab." He jeered at the idea that a laborer ought to be at the mercy of the powerful employer who could dictate his own terms, which the laborers might not refuse under stress of hunger. Thus the larger part of the "free" labor in Remsen City voted with Kelly—was bought by him at so much a head. The only organization it had was under the Kelly district captains. Union labor was almost solidly Democratic—except in Presidential elections, when it usually divided on the tariff question.

Although almost all the Leaguers were members of the unions, Kelly and House saw to it that they had no influence in union councils. That is, until recently Kelly-House had been able to accomplish this. But they were seeing the approaching end of their domination. The "army of education" was proving too powerful for them. And they felt that at the coming election the decline of their power would be apparent—unless something drastic were done.

They had attempted it in the riot. The riot had been a fizzle—thanks to the interposition of the personal ambition of the until then despised "holy boy," David Hull. Kelly, the shrewd, at once saw the mark of the man of force. He resolved that Hull should be elected. He had intended simply to use him to elect Hugo Galland judge and to split up the rest of the tickets in such a way that some Leaguers and some reformers would get in, would be powerless, would bring discredit and ridicule upon their parties. But Hull was a man who could be useful; his cleverness in upsetting the plot against Dorn and turning all to his advantage demonstrated that. Therefore, Hull should be elected and passed up higher. It did not enter his calculations that Hull might prove refractory, might really be all that he professed; he had talked with Davy, and while he had underestimated his intelligence, he knew he had not misjudged his character. He knew that it was as easy to "deal" with the Hull stripe of honest, high minded men as it was difficult to "deal" with the Victor Dorn stripe. Hull he called a "sensible fellow"; Victor Dorn he called a crank. But—he respected Dorn, while Hull he held in much such esteem as he held his cigar-holder and pocket knife, or Tony Rivers and Joe House.

When Victor Dorn had first begun to educate and organize the people of Remsen City, the boss industry was in its early form. That is, Kelly and House were really rivals in the collecting of big campaign funds by various forms of blackmail, in struggling for offices for themselves and their followers, in levying upon vice and crime through the police. In these ways they made the money, the lion's share of which naturally fell to them as leaders, as organizers of plunder. But that stage had now passed in Remsen City as it had passed elsewhere, and the boss industry had taken a form far more difficult to combat. Kelly and House no longer especially cared whether Republican party or Democratic won. Their business—their source of revenue—had ceased to be through carrying elections, had become a matter of skill in keeping the people more or less evenly divided between the two "regular" parties, with an occasional fake third party to discourage and bring into contempt reform movers and to make the people say, "Well, bad as they are, at least the regulars aren't addle-headed, damn fools doing nothing except to make business bad." Both Kelly and House were supported and enriched by the corporations and by big public contracting companies and by real estate deals. Kelly still appropriated a large part of the "campaign fund." House, in addition, took a share of the money raised by the police from dives. But these sums were but a small part of their income, were merely pin money for their wives and children.

Yet—at heart and in all sincerity Kelly was an ardent Republican and House was a ferocious Democrat. If you had asked either what Republican and Democrat meant he would have been as vague and unsatisfactory in his reply as would have been any of his followers bearing torch and oilcloth cape in political processions, with no hope of gain—beyond the exquisite pleasure of making a shouting ass of himself in the most public manner. But for all that, Kelly was a Republican and House a Democrat. It is not a strange, though it is a profoundly mysterious, phenomenon, that of the priest who arranges the trick mechanism of the god, yet being a devout believer, ready to die for his "faith."

Difficult though the task was of showing the average Remsen City man that Republican and Democrat, Kelly and House, were one and the same thing, and that thing a blood-sucking, blood-heavy leech upon his veins—difficult though this task was, Victor Dorn knew that he had about accomplished it, when David Hull appeared. A new personality; a plausible personality, deceptive because self-deceiving—yet not so thoroughly self-deceived that it was in danger of hindering its own ambition. David Hull—just the kind of respectable, popular figurehead and cloak the desperate Kelly-House conspiracy needed.

How far had the "army of education" prepared the people for seeing through this clever new fraud upon them? Victor Dorn could not judge. He hoped for the best; he was prepared for the worst.

The better to think out the various problems of the new situation, complicated by his apparent debt of gratitude to Davy, Victor went forth into the woods very early the next morning. He wandered far, but ten o'clock found him walking in the path in the strip of woods near the high road along the upper side of the park. And when Jane Hastings appeared, he was standing looking in the direction from which she would have to come. It was significant of her state of mind that she had given small attention to her dress that morning. Nor was she looking her best in expression or in color. Her eyes and her skin suggested an almost sleepless night.

He did not advance. She came rapidly as if eager to get over that embarrassing space in which each could see the other, yet neither could speak without raising the voice. When she was near she said:

"You think you owe something to Davy Hull for what he did?"

"The people think so," said he. "And that's the important thing."

"Well—you owe him nothing," pursued she.

"Nothing that would interfere with the cause," replied he. "And that would be true, no matter what he had done."

"I mean he did nothing for you," she explained. "I forgot to tell you yesterday. The whole thing was simply a move to further his ambition. I happened to be there when he talked with father and enlisted him."

Victor laughed. "It was your father who put it through. I might have known!"

"At first I tried to interpose. Then—I stopped." She stood before him with eyes down. "It came to me that for my own sake it would be better that you should lose this fall. It seemed to me that if you won you would be farther out of my reach." She paused, went steadily on: "It was a bad feeling I had that you must not get anything except with my help. Do you understand?"

"Perfectly," said he cheerfully. "You are your father's own daughter."

"I love power," said she. "And so do you. Only, being a woman, I'd stoop to things to get it, that a man—at least your sort of man—would scorn. Do you despise me for that? You oughtn't to. And you will teach me better. You can make of me what you please, as I told you yesterday. I only half meant it then. Now—it's true, through and through."

Victor glanced round, saw near at hand the bench he was seeking. "Let's sit down here," said he. "I'm rather tired. I slept little and I've been walking all morning. And you look tired, also."

"After yesterday afternoon I couldn't sleep," said she.

When they were seated he looked at her with an expression that seemed to say: "I have thrown open the windows of my soul. Throw open yours; and let us look at each other as we are, and speak of things as they are." She suddenly flung herself against his breast and as he clasped her she said:

"No—no! Let's not reason coldly about things, Victor. Let's feel—let's LIVE!"

It was several minutes—and not until they had kissed many times—before he regained enough self-control to say: "This simply will not do, Jane. How can we discuss things calmly? You sit there"—he pushed her gently to one end of the bench—"and I'll sit at this end. Now!"

"I love you, Victor! With your arms round me I am happy—and SO strong!"

"With my arms round you I'm happy, I'll admit," said he. "But—oh, so weak! I have the sense that I am doing wrong—that we are both doing wrong."

"Why? Aren't you free?"

"No, I am not free. As I've told you, I belong to a cause—to a career."

"But I won't hinder you there. I'll help you."

"Why go over that again? You know better—I know better." Abruptly, "Your father—what time does he get home for dinner?"

"He didn't go down town to-day," replied Jane. "He's not well—not at all well."

Victor looked baffled. "I was about to propose that we go straight to him."

If he had been looking at Jane, he might have seen the fleeting flash of an expression that betrayed that she had suspected the object of his inquiry.

"You will not go with me to your father?"

"Not when he is ill," said she. "If we told him, it might kill him. He has ambitions—what he regards as ambitions—for me. He admires you, but—he doesn't admire your ideas."

"Then," said Victor, following his own train of thought, "we must fight this out between ourselves. I was hoping I'd have your father to help me. I'm sure, as soon as you faced him with me, you'd realize that your feeling about me is largely a delusion."

"And you?" said Jane softly. "Your feeling about me—the feeling that made you kiss me—was that delusion?"

"It was—just what you saw," replied he, "and nothing more. The idea of marrying you—of living my life with you doesn't attract me in the least. I can't see you as my wife." He looked at her impatiently. "Have you no imagination? Can't you see that you could not change, and become what you'd have to be if you lived with me?"

"You can make of me what you please," repeated she with loving obstinacy.

"That is not sincere!" cried he. "You may think it is, but it isn't. Look at me, Jane."

"I haven't been doing anything else since we met," laughed she.

"That's better," said he. "Let's not be solemn. Solemnity is pose, and when people are posing they get nowhere. You say I can make of you what I please. Do you mean that you are willing to become a woman of my class—to be that all your life—to bring up your children in that way—to give up your fashionable friends—and maid—and carriages—and Paris clothes—to be a woman who would not make my associates and their families uncomfortable and shy?"

She was silent. She tried to speak, but lifting her eyes before she began her glance encountered his and her words died upon her lips.

"You know you did not mean that," pursued he. "Now, I'll tell you what you did mean. You meant that after you and I were married—or engaged—perhaps you did not intend to go quite so far as marriage just yet."

The color crept into her averted face.

"Look at me!" he commanded laughingly.

With an effort she forced her eyes to meet his.

"Now—smile, Jane!"

His smile was contagious. The curve of her lips changed; her eyes gleamed.

"Am I not reading your thoughts?" said he.

"You are very clever, Victor," admitted she.

"Good. We are getting on. You believed that, once we were engaged, I would gradually begin to yield, to come round to your way of thinking. You had planned for me a career something like Davy Hull's—only freer and bolder. I would become a member of your class, but would pose as a representative of the class I had personally abandoned. Am I right?"

"Go on, Victor," she said.

"That's about all. Now, there are just two objections to your plan. The first is, it wouldn't work. My associates would be 'on to' me in a very short time. They are shrewd, practical, practically educated men—not at all the sort that follow Davy Hull or are wearing Kelly's and House's nose rings. In a few months I'd find myself a leader without a following—and what is more futile and ridiculous than that?"

"They worship you," said Jane. "They trust you implicitly. They know that whatever you did would be for their good."

He laughed heartily. "How little you know my friends," said he. "I am their leader only because I am working with them, doing what we all see must be done, doing it in the way in which we all see it must be done."

"But THAT is not power!" cried Jane.

"No," replied Victor. "But it is the career I wish—the only one I'd have. Power means that one's followers are weak or misled or ignorant. To be first among equals—that's worth while. The other thing is the poor tawdriness that kings and bosses crave and that shallow, snobbish people admire."

"I see that," said Jane. "At least, I begin to see it. How wonderful you are!"

Victor laughed. "Is it that I know so much, or is it that you know so little?"

"You don't like for me to tell you that I admire you?" said Jane, subtle and ostentatiously timid.

"I don't care much about it one way or the other," replied Victor, who had, when he chose, a rare ability to be blunt without being rude. "Years ago, for my own safety, I began to train myself to care little for any praise or blame but my own, and to make myself a very searching critic of myself. So, I am really flattered only when I win my own praise—and I don't often have that pleasure."

"Really, I don't see why you bother with me," said she with sly innocence—which was as far as she dared let her resentments go.

"For two reasons," replied he promptly. "It flatters me that you are interested in me. The second reason is that, when I lost control of myself yesterday, I involved myself in certain responsibilities to you. It has seemed to me that I owe it to myself and to you to make you see that there is neither present nor future in any relations between us."

She put out her hand, and before he knew what he was doing he had clasped it. With a gentle, triumphant smile she said: "THERE'S the answer to all your reasoning, Victor."

He released her hand. "AN answer," he said, "but not the correct answer." He eyed her thoughtfully. "You have done me a great service," he went on. "You have shown me an unsuspected, a dangerous weakness in myself. At another time—and coming in another way, I might have made a mess of my career—and of the things that have been entrusted to me." A long pause, then he added, to himself rather than to her, "I must look out for that. I must do something about it."

Jane turned toward him and settled herself in a resolute attitude and with a resolute expression. "Victor," she said, "I've listened to you very patiently. Now I want you to listen to me. What is the truth about us? Why, that we are as if we had been made for each other. I don't know as much as you do. I've led a much narrower life. I've been absurdly mis-educated. But as soon as I saw you I felt that I had found the man I was looking for. And I believe—I feel—I KNOW you were drawn to me in the same way. Isn't that so?"

"You—fascinated me," confessed he. "You—or your clothes—or your perfume."

"Explain it as you like," said she. "The fact remains that we were drawn together. Well—Victor, I am not afraid to face the future, as fate maps it out for us. Are you?"

He did not answer.

"You—AFRAID," she went on. "No—you couldn't be afraid."

A long silence. Then he said abruptly: "IF we loved each other. But I know that we don't. I know that you would hate me when you realized that you couldn't move me. And I know that I should soon get over the infatuation for you. As soon as it became a question of sympathies—common tastes—congeniality—I'd find you hopelessly lacking."

She felt that he was contrasting her with some one else—with a certain some one. And she veiled her eyes to hide their blazing jealousy. A movement on his part made her raise them in sudden alarm. He had risen. His expression told her that the battle was lost—for the day. Never had she loved him as at that moment, and never had longing to possess him so dominated her willful, self-indulgent, spoiled nature. Yet she hated him, too; she longed to crush him, to make him suffer—to repay him with interest for the suffering he was inflicting upon her—the humiliation. But she dared not show her feelings. It would be idle to try upon this man any of the coquetries indicated for such cases—to dismiss him coldly, or to make an appeal through an exhibition of weakness or reckless passion.

"You will see the truth, for yourself, as you think things over," said he.

She rose, stood before him with downcast eyes, with mouth sad and sweet. "No," she said, "It's you who are hiding the truth from yourself. I hope—for both our sakes—that you'll see it before long. Good-by—dear." She stretched out her hand.

Hesitatingly he took it. As their hands met, her pulse beating against his, she lifted her eyes. And once more he was holding her close, was kissing her. And she was lying in his arms unresisting, with two large tears shining in the long lashes of her closed eyes.

"Oh, Jane—forgive me!" he cried, releasing her. "I must keep away from you. I will—I WILL!" And he was rushing down the steep slope—direct, swift, relentless. But she, looking after him with a tender, dreamy smile, murmured: "He loves me. He will come again. If not—I'll go and get him!"

To Jane Victor Dorn's analysis of his feeling toward her and of the reasons against yielding to it seemed of no importance whatever. Side by side with Selma's "One may not trifle with love" she would have put "In matters of love one does not reason," as equally axiomatic. Victor was simply talking; love would conquer him as it had conquered every man and every woman it had ever entered. Love—blind, unreasoning, irresistible—would have its will and its way.

And about most men she would have been right—about any man practically, of the preceding generation. But Victor represented a new type of human being—the type into whose life reason enters not merely as a theoretical force, to be consulted and disregarded, but as an authority, a powerful influence, dominant in all crucial matters. Only in our own time has science begun to make a notable impression upon the fog which formerly lay over the whole human mind, thicker here, thinner there, a mere haze yonder, but present everywhere. This fog made clear vision impossible, usually made seeing of any kind difficult; there was no such thing as finding a distinct line between truth and error as to any subject. And reason seemed almost as faulty a guide as feeling—was by many regarded as more faulty, not without justification.

But nowadays for some of us there are clear or almost clear horizons, and such fog banks as there are conceal from them nothing that is of importance in shaping a rational course of life. Victor Dorn was one of these emancipated few. All successful men form their lives upon a system of some kind. Even those who seem to live at haphazard, like the multitude, prove to have chart and compass and definite port in objective when their conduct is more attentively examined. Victor Dorn's system was as perfect as it was simple, and he held himself to it as rigidly as the father superior of a Trappist monastery holds his monks to their routine. Also, Victor had learned to know and to be on guard against those two arch-enemies of the man who wishes to "get somewhere"—self-excuse and optimism. He had got a good strong leash upon his vanity—and a muzzle, too. When things went wrong he instantly blamed HIMSELF, and did not rest until he had ferreted out the stupidity or folly of which HE had been guilty. He did not grieve over his failures; he held severely scientific post mortems upon them to discover the reason why—in order that there should not again be that particular kind of failure at least. Then, as to the other arch-enemy, optimism, he simply cut himself off from indulgence in it. He worked for success; he assumed failure. He taught himself to care nothing about success, but only about doing as intelligently and as thoroughly as he could the thing next at hand.

What has all this to do with his infatuation for Jane? It serves to show not only why the Workingmen's League was growing like a plague of gypsy moth, but also why Victor Dorn was not the man to be conquered by passion. Naturally, Jane, who had only the vaguest conception of the size and power of Victor Dorn's mind, could not comprehend wherein lay the difference between him and the men she read about in novels or met in her wanderings among the people of her own class in various parts of the earth. It is possible for even the humblest of us to understand genius, just as it is possible to view a mountain from all sides and get a clear idea of it bulk and its dominion. But the hasty traveler contents himself with a glance, a "How superb," and a quick passing on; and most of us are hasty travelers in the scenic land of intellectuality. Jane saw that he was a great man. But she was deceived by his frankness and his simplicity. She evoked in him only the emotional side of his nature, only one part of that.

Because it—the only phase of him she attentively examined—was so impressive, she assumed that it was the chief feature of the man.

Also, young and inexperienced women—and women not so young, and with opportunity to become less inexperienced but without the ability to learn by experience—always exaggerate the importance of passion. Almost without exception, it is by way of passion that a man and a woman approach each other. It is, of necessity, the exterior that first comes into view. Thus, all that youth and inexperience can know about love is its aspect of passion. Because Jane had again and again in her five grown-up years experienced men falling passionately in love with her, she fancied she was an expert in matters of love. In fact, she had still everything to learn.

On the way home she, assuming that the affair was as good as settled, that she and Victor Dorn were lovers, was busy with plans for the future. Victor Dorn had made a shrewd guess at the state of her mind. She had no intention of allowing him to pursue his present career. That was merely foundation. With the aid of her love and council, and of her father's money and influence, he—he and she—would mount to something really worth while—something more than the petty politics of a third rate city in the West. Washington was the proper arena for his talents; they would take the shortest route to Washington. No trouble about bringing him around; a man so able and so sensible as he would not refuse the opportunity to do good on a grand scale. Besides—he must be got away from his family, from these doubtless good and kind but certainly not very high class associates of his, and from Selma Gordon. The idea of his comparing HER with Selma Gordon! He had not done so aloud, but she knew what was in his mind. Yes, he must be taken far away from all these provincial and narrowing associations.

But all this was mere detail. The big problem was how to bring her father round. He couldn't realize what Victor Dorn would be after she had taken him in hand. He would see only Victor Dorn, the labor agitator of Remsen City, the nuisance who put mischievous motives into the heads of "the hands"—the man who made them think they had heads when they were intended by the Almighty to be simply hands. How reconcile him to the idea of accepting this nuisance, this poor, common member of the working class as a son-in-law, as the husband of the daughter he wished to see married to some one of the "best" families?

On the face of it, the thing was impossible. Why, then, did not Jane despair? For two reasons. In the first place, she was in love, and that made her an optimist. Somehow love would find the way. But the second reason—the one she hid from herself deep in the darkest sub-cellar of her mind, was the real reason. It is one matter to wish for a person's death. Only a villainous nature can harbor such a wish, can admit it except as a hastily and slyly in-crawling impulse, to be flung out the instant it is discovered. It is another matter to calculate—very secretly, very unconsciously—upon a death that seems inevitable anyhow. Jane had only to look at her father to feel that he would not be spared to her long. The mystery was how he had kept alive so long, how he continued to live from day to day. His stomach was gone; his whole digestive apparatus was in utter disorder. His body had shriveled until he weighed no more than a baby. His pulse was so feeble that even in the hot weather he complained of the cold and had to be wrapped in the heaviest winter garments. Yet he lived on, and his mind worked with undiminished vigor.

When Jane reached home, the old man was sitting on the veranda in the full sun. On his huge head was a fur cap pulled well down over his ears and intensifying the mortuary, skull-like appearance of his face. Over his ulster was an old-fashioned Scotch shawl such as men used to wear in the days before overcoats came into fashion. About his wasted legs was wrapped a carriage robe, and she knew that there was a hot-water bag under his feet. Beside him sat young Doctor Charlton, whom Jane had at last succeeded in inducing her father to try. Charlton did not look or smell like a doctor. He rather suggested a professional athlete, perhaps a better class prize fighter. The weazened old financier was gazing at him with a fascinated expression—admiring, envious, amused.

Charlton was saying:

"Yes, you do look like a dead one. But that's only another of your tricks for fooling people. You'll live a dozen years unless you commit suicide. A dozen years? Probably twenty."

"You ought to be ashamed to make sport of a poor old invalid," said Hastings with a grin.

"Any man who could stand a lunch of crackers and milk for ten years could outlive anything," retorted Charlton. "No, you belong to the old stock. You used to see 'em around when you were a boy. They usually coughed and wheezed, and every time they did it, the family used to get ready to send for the undertaker. But they lived on and on. When did your mother die?"

"Couple of years ago," said Hastings.

"And your father?"

"He was killed by a colt he was breaking at sixty-seven."

Charlton laughed uproariously. "If you took walks and rides instead of always sitting round, you never would die," said he. "But you're like lots of women I know. You'd rather die than take exercise. Still, I've got you to stop that eating that was keeping you on the verge all the time."

"You're trying to starve me to death," grumbled Hastings.

"Don't you feel better, now that you've got used to it and don't feel hungry?"

"But I'm not getting any nourishment."

"How would eating help you? You can't digest any more than what I'm allowing you. Do you think you were better off when you were full of rotting food? I guess not."

"Well—I'm doing as you say," said the old man resignedly.

"And if you keep it up for a year, I'll put you on a horse. If you don't keep it up, you'll find yourself in a hearse."

Jane stood silently by, listening with a feeling of depression which she could not have accounted for, if she would—and would not if she could. Not that she wished her father to die; simply that Charlton's confidence in his long life forced her to face the only alternative—bringing him round to accept Victor Dorn.

At her father's next remark she began to listen with a high beating heart. He said to Charlton:

"How about that there friend of yours—that young Dorn? You ain't talked about him to-day as much as usual."

"The last time we talked about him we quarreled," said Charlton. "It's irritating to see a man of your intelligence a slave to silly prejudices."

"I like Victor Dorn," replied Hastings in a most conciliatory tone. "I think he's a fine young man. Didn't I have him up here at my house not long ago? Jane'll tell you that I like him. She likes him, too. But the trouble with him—and with you, too—is that you're dreaming all the time. You don't recognize facts. And, so, you make a lot of trouble for us conservative men."

"Please don't use that word conservative," said Charlton. "It gags me to hear it. YOU'RE not a conservative. If you had been you'd still be a farm hand. You've been a radical all your life—changing things round and round, always according to your idea of what was to your advantage. The only difference between radicals like you robber financiers and radicals like Victor and me is that our ideas of what's to our advantage differ. To you life means money; to us it means health and comfort and happiness. You want the world changed—laws upset, liberty destroyed, wages lowered, and so on—so that you can get all the money. We want the world changed so that we can be healthy and comfortable and happy—securely so—which we can't be unless everybody is, or is in the way to being."

Jane was surprised to see that her father, instead of being offended, was amused and pleased. He liked his new doctor so well that he liked everything he said and did. Jane looked at Charlton in her friendliest way. Here might be an ally, and a valuable ally.

"Human nature doesn't change," said Hastings in the tone of a man who is stating that which cannot be disputed.

"The mischief it doesn't," said Charlton in prompt and vigorous dissent. "When conditions change, human nature has to change, has to adapt itself. What you mean is that human nature doesn't change itself. But conditions change it. They've been changing it very rapidly these last few years. Science—steam, electricity, a thousand inventions and discoveries, crowding one upon another—science has brought about entirely new and unprecedented conditions so rapidly that the changes in human nature now making and that must be made in the next few years are resulting in a series of convulsions. You old-fashioned fellows—and the political parties and the politicians—are in danger of being stranded. Leaders like Victor Dorn—movements like our Workingmen's League—they seem new and radical to-day. By to-morrow they'll be the commonplace thing, found everywhere—and administering the public affairs."

Jane was not surprised to see an expression of at least partial admission upon her father's face. Charlton's words were of the kind that set the imagination to work, that remind those who hear of a thousand and one familiar related facts bearing upon the same points. "Well," said Hastings, "I don't expect to see any radical changes in my time."

"Then you'll not live as long as I think," said Charlton. "We Americans advance very slowly because this is a big country and undeveloped, and because we shift about so much that no one stays in one place long enough to build up a citizenship and get an education in politics—which is nothing more or less than an education in the art of living. But slow though we are, we do advance. You'll soon see the last of Boss Kelly and Boss House—and of such gentle, amiable frauds as our friend Davy Hull."

Jane laughed merrily. "Why do you call him a fraud?" she asked.

"Because he is a fraud," said Charlton. "He is trying to confuse the issue. He says the whole trouble is petty dishonesty in public life. Bosh! The trouble is that the upper and middle classes are milking the lower class—both with and without the aid of the various governments, local, state and national. THAT'S the issue. And the reason it is being forced is because the lower class, the working class, is slowly awakening to the truth. When it completely awakens——" Charlton made a large gesture and laughed.

"What then?" said Hastings.

"The end of the upper and the middle classes. Everybody will have to work for a living."

"Who's going to be elected this fall?" asked Jane. "Your man?"

"Yes," said Doctor Charlton. "Victor Dorn thinks not. But he always takes the gloomy view. And he doesn't meet and talk with the fellows on the other side, as I do."

Hastings was looking out from under the vizor of his cap with a peculiar grin. It changed to a look of startled inquiry as Charlton went on to say:

"Yes, we'll win. But the Davy Hull gang will get the offices."

"Why do you think that?" asked old Hastings sharply.

Charlton eyed his patient with a mocking smile. "You didn't think any one knew but you and Kelly—did you?" laughed he.

"Knew what?" demanded Hastings, with a blank stare.

"No matter," said Charlton. "I know what you intend to do. Well, you'll get away with the goods. But you'll wish you hadn't. You old-fashioned fellows, as I've been telling you, don't realize that times have changed."

"Do you mean, Doctor, that the election is to be stolen away from you?" inquired Jane.

"Was that what I meant, Mr. Hastings?" said Charlton.

"The side that loses always shouts thief at the side that wins," said the old man indifferently. "I don't take any interest in politics."

"Why should you?" said the Doctor audaciously. "You own both sides. So, it's heads you win, tails I lose."

Hastings laughed heartily. "Them political fellows are a lot of blackmailers," said he.

"That's ungrateful," said Charlton. "Still, I don't blame you for liking the Davy Hull crowd better. From them you can get what you want just the same, only you don't have to pay for it."

He rose and stretched his big frame, with a disregard of conventional good manners so unconscious that it was inoffensive.

But Charlton had a code of manners of his own, and somehow it seemed to suit him where the conventional code would have made him seem cheap. "I didn't mean to look after your political welfare, too," said he. "But I'll make no charge for that."

"Oh, I like to hear you young fellows talk," said Martin. "You'll sing a different song when you're as old as I am and have found out what a lot of damn fools the human race is."

"As I told you before," said Charlton, "it's conditions that make the human animal whatever it is. It's in the harness of conditions—the treadmill of conditions—the straight jacket of conditions. Change the conditions and you change the animal."

When he was swinging his big powerful form across the lawns toward the fringe of woods, Jane and her father looking after him, Jane said:

"He's wonderfully clever, isn't he?"

"A dreamer—a crank," replied the old man.

"But what he says sounds reasonable," suggested the daughter.

"It SOUNDS sensible," admitted the old man peevishly. "But it ain't what I was brought up to call sensible. Don't you get none of those fool ideas into your head. They're all very well for men that haven't got any property or any responsibilities—for flighty fellows like Charlton and that there Victor Dorn. But as soon as anybody gets property and has interests to look after, he drops that kind of talk."

"Do you mean that property makes a man too blind or too cowardly to speak the truth?" asked Jane with an air of great innocence.

The old man either did not hear or had no answer ready. He said:

"You heard him say that Davy Hull was going to win?"

"Why, he said Victor Dorn was going to win," said Jane, still simple and guileless.

Hastings frowned impatiently. "That was just loose talk. He admitted Davy was to be the next mayor. If he is—and I expect Charlton was about right—if Davy is elected, I shouldn't be surprised to see him nominated for governor next year. He's a sensible, knowing fellow. He'll make a good mayor, and he'll be elected governor on his record."

"And on what you and the other men who run things will do for him," suggested Jane slyly.

Her father grinned expressively. "I like to see a sensible, ambitious young fellow from my town get on," said he. "And I'd like to see my girl married to a fellow of that sort, and settled."

"I think more could be done with a man like Victor Dorn," said Jane. "It seems to me the Davy Hull sort of politics is—is about played out. Don't you think so?"

Jane felt that her remark was a piece of wild audacity. But she was desperate. To her amazement her father did not flare up but kept silent, wearing the look she knew meant profound reflection.

After a moment he said:

"Davy's a knowing boy. He showed that the other day when he jumped in and made himself a popular hero. He'd never 'a' been able to come anywheres near election but for that. Dorn'd 'a' won by a vote so big that Dick Kelly wouldn't 'a' dared even try to count him out.... Dorn's a better man than Davy. But Dorn's got a foolish streak in him. He believes the foolishness he talks, instead of simply talking it to gain his end. I've been looking him over and thinking him over. He won't do, Jinny."

Was her father discussing the matter abstractly, impersonally, as he seemed? Or, had he with that uncanny shrewdness of his somehow penetrated to her secret—or to a suspicion of it? Jane was so agitated that she sat silent and rigid, trying to look unconcerned.

"I had a strong notion to try to do something for him," continued the old man. "But it'd be no use. He'd not rise to a chance that was offered him. He's set on going his own way."

Jane trembled—dared. "I believe I could do something with him," said she—and she was pleased with the coolness of her voice, the complete absence of agitation or of false note.

"Try if you like," said her father. "But I'm sure you'll find I'm right. Be careful not to commit yourself in any way. But I needn't warn you. You know how to take care of yourself. Still, maybe you don't realize how set up he'd be over being noticed by a girl in your position. And if you gave him the notion that there was a chance for him to marry you, he'd be after you hammer and tongs. The idea of getting hold of so much money'd set him crazy."

"I doubt if he cares very much—or at all—about money," said Jane, judicially.

Hastings grinned satirically. "There ain't nobody that don't care about money," said he, "any more than there's anybody that don't care about air to breathe. Put a pin right there, Jinny."

"I hate to think that," she said, reluctantly, "but I'm afraid—it's—so."

As she was taking her ride one morning she met David Hull also on horseback and out for his health. He turned and they rode together, for several miles, neither breaking the silence except with an occasional remark about weather or scenery. Finally Davy said:

"You seem to be down about something, too?"

"Not exactly down," replied Jane. "Simply—I've been doing a lot of thinking—and planning—or attempt at planning—lately."

"I, too," said Davy.

"Naturally. How's politics?"

"Of course I don't hear anything but that I'm going to be elected. If you want to become convinced that the whole world is on the graft, take part in a reform campaign. We've attracted every broken-down political crook in this region. It's hard to say which crowd is the more worthless, the college amateurs at politics or these rotten old in-goods who can't get employment with either Kelly or House and, so, have joined us. By Jove, I'd rather be in with the out and out grafters—the regulars that make no bones of being in politics for the spoils. There's slimy hypocrisy over our crowd that revolts me. Not a particle of sincerity or conviction. Nothing but high moral guff."

"Oh, but YOU'RE sincere, Davy," said Jane with twinkling eyes.

"Am I?" said Davy angrily. "I'm not so damn sure of it." Hastily, "I don't mean that. Of course, I'm sincere—as sincere as a man can be and get anywhere in this world. You've got to humbug the people, because they haven't sense enough to want the truth."

"I guess, Davy," said Jane shrewdly, "if you told them the whole truth about yourself and your party they'd have sense enough—to vote for Victor Dorn."

"He's a demagogue," said Davy with an angry jerk at his rein. "He knows the people aren't fit to rule."

"Who is?" said Jane. "I've yet to see any human creature who could run anything without making more or less of a mess of it. And—well, personally, I'd prefer incompetent honest servants to competent ones who were liars or thieves."

"Sometimes I think," said Davy, "that the only thing to do is to burn the world up and start another one."

"You don't talk like a man who expected to be elected," said Jane.

"Oh—I'm worrying about myself—not about the election," said Hull, lapsing into sullen silence. And certainly he had no reason to worry about the election. He had the Citizen's Alliance and the Democratic nominations. And, as a further aid to him, Dick Kelly had given the Republican nomination to Alfred Sawyer, about the most unpopular manufacturer in that region. Sawyer, a shrewd money maker, was an ass in other ways, was strongly seized of the itch for public office. Kelly, seeking the man who would be the weakest, combined business with good politics; he forced Sawyer to pay fifty thousand dollars into the "campaign fund" in a lump sum, and was counting confidently upon "milking" him for another fifty thousand in installments during the campaign. Thus, in the natural order of things, Davy could safely assume that he would be the next mayor of Remsen City by a gratifyingly large majority. The last vote of the Workingmen's League had been made fifteen hundred. Though it should quadruple its strength at the coming election—which was most improbable—it would still be a badly beaten second. Politically, Davy was at ease.

Jane waited ten minutes, then asked abruptly:

"What's become of Selma Gordon?"

"Did you see this week's New Day?"

"Is it out? I've seen no one, and haven't been down town."

"There was a lot of stuff in it against me. Most of it demagoguing, of course, but more or less hysterical campaigning. The only nasty article about me—a downright personal attack on my sincerity—was signed 'S.G.'"

"Oh—to be sure," said Jane, with smiling insincerity. "I had almost forgotten what you told me. Well, it's easy enough to bribe her to silence. Go offer yourself to her."

A long silence, then Davy said: "I don't believe she'd accept me."

"Try it," said Jane.

Again a long pause. David said sullenly: "I did."

Selma Gordon had refused David Hull! Half a dozen explanations of this astounding occurrence rapidly suggested themselves. Jane rejected each in turn at a glance. "You're sure she understood you?"

"I made myself as clear as I did when I proposed to you," replied Davy with a lack of tact which a woman of Jane's kind would never forget or forgive.

Jane winced, ignored. Said she: "You must have insisted on some conditions she hesitated to accept."

"On her own terms," said Davy.

Jane gave up trying to get the real reason from him, sought it in Selma's own words and actions. She inquired: "What did she say? What reason did she give?"

"That she owed it to the cause of her class not to marry a man of my class," answered Hull, believing that he was giving the exact and the only reason she assigned or had.

Jane gave a faint smile of disdain. "Women don't act from a sense of duty," she said.

"She's not the ordinary woman," said Hull. "You must remember she wasn't brought up as you and I were—hasn't our ideas of life. The things that appeal to us most strongly don't touch her. She knows nothing about them." He added, "And that's her great charm for me."

Jane nodded sympathetically. Her own case exactly. After a brief hesitation she suggested:

"Perhaps Selma's in love with—some one else." The pause before the vague "some one else" was almost unnoticeable.

"With Victor Dorn, you mean?" said Davy. "I asked her about that. No, she's not in love with him."

"As if she'd tell you!"

Davy looked at her a little scornfully. "Don't insinuate," he said. "You know she would. There's nothing of the ordinary tricky, evasive, faking woman about her. And although she's got plenty of excuse for being conceited, she isn't a bit so. She isn't always thinking about herself, like the girls of our class."

"I don't in the least wonder at your being in love with her, Davy," said Jane sweetly. "Didn't I tell you I admired your taste—and your courage?"

"You're sneering at me," said Davy. "All the same, it did take courage—for I'm a snob at bottom—like you—like all of us who've been brought up so foolishly—so rottenly. But I'm proud that I had the courage. I've had a better opinion of myself ever since. And if you have any unspoiled womanhood in you, you agree with me."

"I do agree with you," said Jane softly. She reached out and laid her hand on his arm for an instant. "That's honest, Davy."

He gave her a grateful look. "I know it," said he. "The reason I confide things to you is because I know you're a real woman at bottom, Jane—the only real person I've ever happened across in our class."

"It took more courage for you to do that sort of thing than it would for a woman," said Jane. "It's more natural, easier for a woman to stake everything in love. If she hasn't the man she wants she hasn't anything, while a man's wife can be a mere detail in his life. He can forget he's married, most of the time."

"That isn't the way I intend to be married," said Davy. "I want a wife who'll be half, full half, of the whole. And I'll get her."

"You mean you haven't given up?"

"Why should I? She doesn't love another man. So, there's hope. Don't you think so?"

Jane was silent. She hastily debated whether it would be wiser to say yes or to say no.

"Don't you think so?" repeated he.

"How can I tell?" replied Jane, diplomatically. "I'd have to see her with you—see how she feels toward you."

"I think she likes me," said Davy, "likes me a good deal."

Jane kept her smile from the surface. What a man always thought, no matter how plainly a woman showed that she detested him. "No doubt she does," said Jane. She had decided upon a course of action. "If I were you, Davy, I'd keep away from her for the present—give her time to think it over, to see all the advantages. If a man forces himself on a queer, wild sort of girl such as Selma is, he's likely to drive her further away."

Davy reflected. "Guess you're right," said he finally. "My instinct is always to act—to keep on acting until I get results. But it's dangerous to do that with Selma. At least, I think so. I don't know. I don't understand her. I've got nothing to offer her—nothing that she wants—as she frankly told me. Even if she loved me, I doubt if she'd marry me—on account of her sense of duty. What you said awhile ago—about women never doing things from a sense of duty—that shows how hard it is for a woman to understand what's perfectly simple to a man. Selma isn't the sheltered woman sort—the sort whose moral obligations are all looked after by the men of her family. The old-fashioned woman always belonged to some man—or else was an outcast. This new style of woman looks at life as a man does."

Jane listened with a somewhat cynical expression. No doubt, in theory, there was a new style of woman. But practically, the new style of woman merely TALKED differently; at least, she was still the old-fashioned woman, longing for dependence upon some man and indifferent to the obligations men made such a fuss about—probably not so sincerely as they fancied. But her expression changed when Davy went on to say:

"She'd look at a thing of that sort much as I—or Victor Dorn would."

Jane's heart suddenly sank. Because the unconscious blow had hurt she struck out, struck back with the first weapon she could lay hold of. "But you said a minute ago that Victor was a hypocritical demagogue."

Davy flushed with confusion. He was in a franker mood now, however. "I'd like to think that," he replied. "But I don't honestly believe it."

"You think that if Victor Dorn loved a woman of our class he'd put her out of his life?"

"That's hardly worth discussing," said Davy. "No woman of our class—no woman he'd be likely to look at—would encourage him to the point where he'd presume upon it."

"How narrow you are!" cried Jane, derisive but even more angry.

"It's different—entirely different—with a man, even in our class. But a woman of our class—she's a lady or she's nothing at all. And a lady couldn't be so lacking in refinement as to descend to a man socially beneath her."

"I can see how ANY woman might fall in love with Victor Dorn."

"You're just saying that to be argumentative," said Davy with conviction. "Take yourself, for example."

"I confess I don't see any such contrast between Victor and you—except where the comparison's altogether in his favor," said Jane pleasantly. "You don't know as much as he does. You haven't the independence of character—or the courage—or the sincerity. You couldn't be a real leader, as he is. You have to depend on influence, and on trickery."

A covert glance at the tall, solemn-looking young man riding silently beside her convinced her that he was as uncomfortable as she had hoped to make him.

"As for manners—and the things that go to make a gentleman," she went on, "I'm not sure but that there, too, the comparison is against you. You always suggest to me that if you hadn't the pattern set for men of our class and didn't follow it, you'd be absolutely lost, Davy, dear. While Victor—he's a fine, natural person, with the manners that grow as naturally out of his personality as oak leaves grow out of an oak."

Jane was astonished and delighted by this eloquence of hers about the man she loved—an eloquence far above her usual rather commonplace mode of speech and thought. Love was indeed an inspirer! What a person she would become when she had Victor always stimulating her. She went on:

"A woman would never grow tired of Victor. He doesn't talk stale stuff such as all of us get from the stale little professors and stale, dreary text-books at our colleges."

"Why don't you fall in love with him?" said Davy sourly.

"I do believe you're envious of Victor Dorn," retorted Jane.

"What a disagreeable mood you're in to-day," said Davy.

"So a man always thinks when a woman speaks well of another man in his presence."

"I didn't suspect you of being envious of Selma. Why should you suspect me of feeling ungenerously about Victor? Fall in love with him if you like. Heaven knows, I'd do nothing to stop it."

"Perhaps I shall," said Jane, with unruffled amiability. "You're setting a dangerous example of breaking down class lines."

"Now, Jane, you know perfectly well that while, if I married Selma she'd belong to my class, a woman of our class marrying Victor Dorn would sink to his class. Why quarrel about anything so obviously true?"

"Victor Dorn belongs to a class by himself," replied Jane. "You forget that men of genius are not regarded like you poor ordinary mortals."

Davy was relieved that they had reached the turning at which they had to separate. "I believe you are in love with him," said he as a parting shot.

Jane, riding into her lane, laughed gayly, mockingly. She arrived at home in fine humor. It pleased her that Davy, for all his love for Selma, could yet be jealous of Victor Dorn on her account. And more than ever, after this talk with him—the part of it that preceded the quarrel—she felt that she was doing a fine, brave, haughtily aristocratic thing in loving Victor Dorn. Only a woman with a royal soul would venture to be thus audacious.

Should she encourage or discourage the affair between Davy and Selma? There was much to be said for this way of removing Selma from her path; also, if a man of Davy Hull's position married beneath him, less would be thought of her doing the same thing. On the other hand, she felt that she had a certain property right in David Hull, and that Selma was taking what belonged to her. This, she admitted to herself, was mean and small, was unworthy of the woman who was trying to be worthy of Victor Dorn, of such love as she professed for him. Yes, mean and small. She must try to conquer it.

But—when she met Selma in the woods a few mornings later, her dominant emotions were anything but high-minded and generous. Selma was looking her most fascinating—wild and strange and unique. They caught sight of each other at the same instant. Jane came composedly on—Selma made a darting movement toward a by-path opening near her, hesitated, stood like some shy, lovely bird of the deep wilderness ready to fly away into hiding.

"Hello, Selma!" said Jane carelessly.

Selma looked at her with wide, serious eyes.

"Where have you been keeping yourself of late? Busy with the writing, I suppose?"

"I owe you an apology," said Selma, in a queer, suppressed voice. "I have been hating you, and trying to think of some way to keep you and Victor Dorn apart. I thought it was from my duty to the cause. I've found out that it was a low, mean personal reason."

Jane had stopped short, was regarding her with eyes that glowed in a pallid face. "Because you are in love with him?" she said.

Selma gave a quick, shamed nod. "Yes," she said—the sound was scarcely audible.

Selma's frank and generous—and confiding—self-sacrifice aroused no response in Jane Hastings. For the first time in her life she was knowing what it meant to hate.

"And I've got to warn you," Selma went on, "that I am going to do whatever I can to keep you from hindering him. Not because I love him, but because I owe it to the cause. He belongs to it, and I must help him be single-hearted for it. You could only be a bad influence in his life. I think you would like to be a sincere woman; but you can't. Your class is too strong for you. So—it would be wrong for Victor Dorn to love and to marry you. I think he realizes it and is struggling to be true to himself. I intend to help him, if I can."

Jane smiled cruelly. "What hypocrisy!" she said, and turned and walked away.


In America we have been bringing up our women like men, and treating them like children. They have active minds with nothing to act upon. Thus they are driven to think chiefly about themselves. With Jane Hastings, self-centering took the form of self-analysis most of the time. She was intensely interested in what she regarded as the new development of her character. This definite and apparently final decision for the narrow and the ungenerous. In fact, it was no new development, but simply a revelation to herself of her own real character. She was seeing at last the genuine Jane Hastings, inevitable product of a certain heredity in a certain environment. The high thinking and talking, the idealistic aspiration were pose and pretense. Jane Hastings was a selfish, self-absorbed person, ready to do almost any base thing to gain her ends, ready to hate to the uttermost any one who stood between her and her object.

"I'm certainly not a lovely person—not a lovable person," thought she, with that gentle tolerance wherewith we regard our ownselves, whether in the dress of pretense or in the undress of deformed humanness. "Still—I am what I am, and I've got to make the best of it."

As she thought of Selma's declaration of war she became less and less disturbed about it. Selma neither would nor could do anything sly. Whatever she attempted in the open would only turn Victor Dorn more strongly toward herself. However, she must continue to try to see him, must go to see him in a few days if she did not happen upon him in her rides or walks. How poorly he would think of her if he knew the truth about her! But then, how poor most women—and men, too—would look in a strong and just light. Few indeed could stand idealizing; except Victor, no one she knew. And he was human enough not to make her uncomfortable in his presence.

But it so happened that before she could see Victor Dorn her father disobeyed Dr. Charlton and gave way to the appetite that was the chief cause of his physical woes. He felt so well that he ate the family dinner, including a peach cobbler with whipped cream, which even the robust Jane adventured warily. Martha was dining with them. She abetted her father. "It's light," said she. "It couldn't harm anybody."

"You mustn't touch it, popsy," said Jane.

She unthinkingly spoke a little too commandingly. Her father, in a perverse and reckless mood, took Martha's advice. An hour later Dr. Charlton was summoned, and had he not arrived promptly——

"Another fifteen or twenty minutes," said he to the old man when he had him out of immediate danger, "and I'd have had nothing to do but sign a certificate of natural death."

"Murder would have been nearer the truth," said Martin feebly. "That there fool Martha!"

"Come out from behind that petticoat!" cried Charlton. "Didn't I spend the best part of three days in giving you the correct ideas as to health and disease—in showing you that ALL disease comes from indigestion—ALL disease, from falling hair and sore eyes to weak ankles and corns? And didn't I convince you that you could eat only the things I told you about?"

"Don't hit a man when he's down," groaned Hastings.

"If I don't, you'll do the same idiotic trick again when I get you up—if I get you up."

Hastings looked quickly at him. This was the first time Charlton had ever expressed a doubt about his living. "Do you mean that?" he said hoarsely. "Or are you just trying to scare me?"

"Both," said Charlton. "I'll do my best, but I can't promise. I've lost confidence in you. No wonder doctors, after they've been in practice a few years, stop talking food and digestion to their patients. I've never been able to convince a single human being that appetite is not the sign of health, and yielding to it the way to health. But I've made lots of people angry and have lost their trade. I had hopes of you. You were such a hopeless wreck. But no. And you call yourself an intelligent man!"

"I'll never do it again," said Hastings, pleading, but smiling, too—Charlton's way of talking delighted him.

"You think this is a joke," said Charlton, shaking his bullet head. "Have you any affairs to settle? If you have, send for your lawyer in the morning."

Fear—the Great Fear—suddenly laid its icy long fingers upon the throat of the old man. He gasped and his eyes rolled. "Don't trifle with me, Charlton," he muttered. "You know you will pull me through."

"I'll do my best," said Charlton. "I promise nothing. I'm serious about the lawyer."

"I don't want no lawyer hanging round my bed," growled the old man. "It'd kill me. I've got nothing to settle. I don't run things with loose ends. And there's Jinny and Marthy and the boy—share and share alike."

"Well—you're in no immediate danger. I'll come early to-morrow."

"Wait till I get to sleep."

"You'll be asleep as soon as the light's down. But I'll stop a few minutes and talk to your daughter."

Charlton found Jane at the window in the dressing room next her father's bedroom. He said loudly enough for the old man to overhear:

"Your father's all right for the present, so you needn't worry. Come downstairs with me. He's to go to sleep now."

Jane went in and kissed the bulging bony forehead. "Good night, popsy."

"Good night, Jinny dear," he said in a softer voice than she had ever heard from him. "I'm feeling very comfortable now, and sleepy. If anything should happen, don't forget what I said about not temptin' your brother by trustin' him too fur. Look after your own affairs. Take Mr. Haswell's advice. He's stupid, but he's honest and careful and safe. You might talk to Dr. Charlton about things, too. He's straight, and knows what's what. He's one of them people that gives everybody good advice but themselves. If anything should happen——"

"But nothing's going to happen, popsy."

"It might. I don't seem to care as much as I did. I'm so tarnation tired. I reckon the goin' ain't as bad as I always calculated. I didn't know how tired they felt and anxious to rest."

"I'll turn down the light. The nurse is right in there."

"Yes—turn the light. If anything should happen, there's an envelope in the top drawer in my desk for Dr. Charlton. But don't tell him till I'm gone. I don't trust nobody, and if he knowed there was something waiting, why, there's no telling——"

The old man had drowsed off. Jane lowered the light and went down to join Charlton on the front veranda, where he was smoking a cigarette. She said:

"He's asleep."

"He's all right for the next few days," said Charlton. "After that—I don't know. I'm very doubtful."

Jane was depressed, but not so depressed as she would have been had not her father so long looked like death and so often been near dying.

"Stay at home until I see how this is going to turn out. Telephone your sister to be within easy call. But don't let her come here. She's not fit to be about an ill person. The sight of her pulling a long, sad face might carry him off in a fit of rage."

Jane observed him with curiosity in the light streaming from the front hall. "You're a very practical person aren't you?" she said.

"No romance, no idealism, you mean?"


He laughed in his plain, healthy way. "Not a frill," said he. "I'm interested only in facts. They keep me busy enough."

"You're not married, are you?"

"Not yet. But I shall be as soon as I find a woman I want."

"IF you can get her."

"I'll get her, all right," replied he. "No trouble about that. The woman I want'll want me."

"I'm eager to see her," said Jane. "She'll be a queer one."

"Not necessarily," said he. "But I'll make her a queer one before I get through with her—queer, in my sense, meaning sensible and useful."

"You remind me so often of Victor Dorn, yet you're not at all like him."

"We're in the same business—trying to make the human race fit to associate with. He looks after the minds; I look after the bodies. Mine's the humbler branch of the business, perhaps—but it's equally necessary, and it comes first. The chief thing that's wrong with human nature is bad health. I'm getting the world ready for Victor."

"You like him?"

"I worship him," said Charlton in his most matter-of-fact way.

"Yet he's just the opposite of you. He's an idealist."

"Who told you that?" laughed Charlton. "He's the most practical, sensible man in this town. You people think he's a crank because he isn't crazy about money or about stepping round on the necks of his fellow beings. The truth is, he's got a sense of proportion—and a sense of humor—and an idea of a rational happy life. You're still barbarians, while he's a civilized man. Ever seen an ignorant yap jeer when a neat, clean, well-dressed person passed by? Well, you people jeering at Victor Dorn are like that yap."

"I agree with you," said Jane hastily and earnestly.

"No, you don't," replied Charlton, tossing away the end of his cigarette. "And so much the worse for you. Good-night, lady."

And away he strode into the darkness, leaving her amused, yet with a peculiar sense of her own insignificance.

Charlton was back again early the next morning and spent that day—and a large part of many days there-after—in working at the wreck, Martin Hastings, inspecting known weak spots, searching for unknown ones, patching here and there, trying all the schemes teeming in his ingenious and supremely sensible mind in the hope of setting the wreck afloat again. He could not comprehend why the old man remained alive. He had seen many a human being go who was in health, in comparison with this conglomerate of diseases and frailties; yet life there was, and a most tenacious life. He worked and watched, and from day to day put off suggesting that they telegraph for the son. The coming of his son might shake Martin's conviction that he would get well; it seemed to Charlton that that conviction was the one thread holding his patient from the abyss where darkness and silence reign supreme.

Jane could not leave the grounds. If she had she would have seen Victor Dorn either not at all or at a distance. For the campaign was now approaching its climax.

The public man is always two wholly different personalities. There is the man the public sees—and fancies it knows. There is the man known only to his intimates, known imperfectly to them, perhaps an unknown quantity even to himself until the necessity for decisive action reveals him to himself and to those in a position to see what he really did. Unfortunately, it is not the man the public sees but the hidden man who is elected to the office. Nothing could be falser than the old saw that sooner or later a man stands revealed. Sometimes, as we well know, history has not found out a man after a thousand years of studying him. And the most familiar, the most constantly observed men in public life often round out a long career without ever having aroused in the public more than a faint and formless suspicion as to the truth about them.

The chief reason for this is that, in studying a character, no one is content with the plain and easy way of reaching an understanding of it—the way of looking only at its ACTS. We all love to dabble in the metaphysical, to examine and weigh motives and intentions, to compare ourselves and make wildly erroneous judgment inevitable by listening to the man's WORDS—his professions, always more or less dishonest, though perhaps not always deliberately so.

In that Remsen City campaign the one party that could profit by the full and clear truth, and therefore was eager for the truth as to everything and everybody, was the Workingmen's League. The Kelly crowd, the House gang, the Citizens' Alliance, all had their ugly secrets, their secret intentions different from their public professions. All these were seeking office and power with a view to increasing or perpetuating or protecting various abuses, however ardently they might attack, might perhaps honestly intend to end, certain other and much smaller abuses. The Workingmen's League said that it would end every abuse existing law did not securely protect, and it meant what it said.

Its campaign fund was the dues paid in by its members and the profits from the New Day. Its financial books were open for free inspection. Not so the others—and that in itself was proof enough of sinister intentions.

Under Victor Dorn's shrewd direction, the League candidates published, each man in a sworn statement, a complete description of all the property owned by himself and by his wife. "The character of a man's property," said the New Day, "is an indication of how that man will act in public affairs. Therefore, every candidate for public trust owes it to the people to tell them just what his property interests are. The League candidates do this—and an effective answer the schedules make to the charge that the League's candidates are men who have 'no stake in the community.' Now, let Mr. Sawyer, Mr. Hull, Mr. Galland and the rest of the League's opponents do likewise. Let us read how many shares of water and ice stock Mr. Sawyer owns. Let us hear from Mr. Hull about his traction holdings—those of the Hull estate from which he draws his entire income. As for Mr. Galland, it would be easier for him to give the list of public and semi-public corporations in which he is not largely interested. But let him be specific, since he asks the people to trust him as judge between them and those corporations of which he is almost as large an owner as is his father-in-law."

This line of attack—and the publication of the largest contributors to the Republican and Democratic-Reform campaign fund—caused a great deal of public and private discussion. Large crowds cheered Hull when he, without doing the charges the honor of repeating them, denounced the "undignified and demagogic methods of our desperate opponents." The smaller Sawyer crowds applauded Sawyer when he waxed indignant over the attempts of those "socialists and anarchists, haters of this free country and spitters upon its glorious flag, to set poor against rich, to destroy our splendid American tradition of a free field and no favors, and let the best man win!"

Sawyer, and Davy, all the candidates of the machines and the reformers for that matter, made excellent public appearances. They discoursed eloquently about popular rights and wrongs. They denounced corruption; they stood strongly for the right and renounced and denounced the devil and all his works. They promised to do far more for the people than did the Leaguers; for Victor Dorn had trained his men to tell the exact truth—the difficulty of doing anything for the people at any near time or in any brief period because at a single election but a small part of the effective offices could be changed, and sweeping changes must be made before there could be sweeping benefits. "We'll do all we can," was their promise. "Their county government and their state government and their courts won't let us do much. But a beginning has to be made. Let's make it!"

David Hull's public appearance was especially good. Not so effective as it has now become, because he was only a novice at campaigning in that year. But he looked, well—handsome, yet not too handsome, upper class, but not arrogant, serious, frank and kindly. And he talked in a plain, honest way—you felt that no interest, however greedy, desperate and powerful, would dare approach that man with an improper proposal—and you quite forgot in real affairs the crude improper proposal is never the method of approach. When Davy, with grave emotion, referred to the "pitiful efforts to smirch the personal character of candidates," you could not but burn with scorn of the Victor Dorn tactics. What if Hull did own gas and water and ice and traction and railway stocks? Mustn't a rich man invest his money somehow? And how could he more creditably invest it than in local enterprises and in enterprises that opened up the country and gave employment to labor? What if the dividends were improperly, even criminally, earned? Must he therefore throw the dividends paid him into the street? As for a man of such associations and financial interests being unfit fairly to administer public affairs, what balderdash! Who could be more fit than this educated, high minded man, of large private means, willing to devote himself to the public service instead of drinking himself to death or doing nothing at all. You would have felt, as you looked at Davy and listened to him, that it was little short of marvelous that a man could be so self-sacrificing as to consent to run the gauntlet of low mudslingers for no reward but an office with a salary of three thousand a year. And you would have been afraid that, if something was not done to stop these mudslingers, such men as David Hull would abandon their patriotic efforts to save their country—and then WHAT would become of the country?

But Victor and his associates—on the platform, in the paper, in posters and dodgers and leaflets—continued to press home the ugly questions—and continued to call attention to the fact that, while there had been ample opportunity, none of the candidates had answered any of the questions. And presently—keeping up this line of attack—Victor opened out in another. He had Falconer, the League candidate for judge, draw up a careful statement of exactly what each public officer could do under existing law to end or to check the most flagrant of the abuses from which the people of Remsen City were suffering. With this statement as a basis, he formulated a series of questions—"Yes or no? If you are elected, will you or will you not?" The League candidates promptly gave the specific pledges. Sawyer dodged. David Hull was more adroit. He held up a copy of the list of questions at a big meeting in Odd Fellows' Hall.

"Our opponents have resorted to a familiar trick—the question and the pledge." (Applause. Sensation. Fear lest "our candidate" was about to "put his foot in it.") "We need resort to no tricks. I promptly and frankly, for our whole ticket, answer their questions. I say, 'We will lay hold of ANY and EVERY abuse, as soon as it presents itself, and WILL SMASH IT."

Applause, cheers, whistlings—a demonstration lasting nearly five minutes by a watch held by Gamaliel Tooker, who had a mania for gathering records of all kinds and who had voted for every Republican candidate for President since the party was founded. Davy did not again refer to Victor Dorn's questions. But Victor continued to press them and to ask whether a public officer ought not to go and present himself to abuses, instead of waiting for them to hunt him out and present themselves to him.

Such was the campaign as the public saw it. And such was in reality the campaign of the Leaguers. But the real campaign—the one conducted by Kelly and House—was entirely different. They were not talking; they were working.

They were working on a plan based somewhat after this fashion:

In former and happier days, when people left politics to politicians and minded their own business, about ninety-five per cent. of the voters voted their straight party tickets like good soldiers. Then politics was a high-class business, and politicians devoted themselves to getting out the full party vote and to buying or cajoling to one side or the other the doubtful ten per cent that held the balance of power. That golden age, however, had passed. People had gotten into the habit of fancying that, because certain men had grown very, very rich through their own genius for money-making, supplemented perhaps by accidental favors from law and public officials, therefore politics in some way might possibly concern the private citizen, might account for the curious discrepancy between his labor and its reward. The impression was growing that, while the energy of the citizen determined the PRODUCTION of wealth, it was politics that determined the distribution of wealth. And under the influence of this impression, the percentage of sober, steady, reliable voters who "stood by the grand old party" had shrunk to about seventy, while the percentage of voters who had to be worried about had grown to about thirty.

The Kelly-House problem was, what shall we do as to that annoying thirty per cent?

Kelly—for he was THE brain of the bi-partisan machine, proposed to throw the election to the House-Reform "combine." His henchmen and House's made a careful poll, and he sat up all night growing haggard and puffy-eyed over the result. According to this poll, not only was the League's entire ticket to be elected, but also Galland, despite his having the Republican, the Democratic and the Reform nominations, was to be beaten by the League's Falconer. He couldn't understand it. The Sawyer meetings were quite up to his expectations and indicated that the Republican rank and file was preparing to swallow the Sawyer dose without blinking. The Alliance and the Democratic meetings were equally satisfactory. Hull was "making a hit." Everywhere he had big crowds and enthusiasm. The League meetings were only slightly better attended than during the last campaign; no indication there of the League "landslide."

Yet Kelly could not, dared not, doubt that poll. It was his only safe guide. And it assured him that the long-dreaded disaster was at hand. In vain was the clever trick of nominating a popular, "clean" young reformer and opposing him with an unpopular regular of the most offensive type—more offensive even than a professional politician of unsavory record. At last victory was to reward the tactics of Victor Dorn, the slow, patient building which for several years now had been rasping the nerves of Boss Kelly.

What should he do?

It was clear to him that the doom of the old system was settled. The plutocrats, the upper-class crowd—the "silk stockings," as they had been called from the days when men wore knee-breeches—they fancied that this nation-wide movement was sporadic, would work out in a few years, and that the people would return to their allegiance. Kelly had no such delusions. Issuing from the depths of the people, he understood. They were learning a little something at last. They were discovering that the ever higher prices for everything and stationary or falling wages and salaries had some intimate relation with politics; that at the national capitol, at the state capitol, in the county courthouse, in the city hall their share of the nation's vast annual production of wealth was being determined—and that the persons doing the dividing, though elected by them, were in the employ of the plutocracy. Kelly, seeing and comprehending, felt that it behooved him to get for his masters—and for himself—all that could be got in the brief remaining time. Not that he was thinking of giving up the game; nothing so foolish as that. It would be many a year before the plutocracy could be routed out, before the people would have the intelligence and the persistence to claim and to hold their own. In the meantime, they could be fooled and robbed by a hundred tricks. He was not a constitutional lawyer, but he had practical good sense, and could enjoy the joke upon the people in their entanglement in the toils of their own making. Through fear of governmental tyranny they had divided authority among legislators, executives and judges, national, state, local. And, behold, outside of the government, out where they had never dreamed of looking, had grown up a tyranny that was perpetuating itself by dodging from one of these divided authorities to another, eluding capture, wearing out the not too strong perseverance of popular pursuit.

But, thanks to Victor Dorn, the local graft was about to be taken away from the politicians and the plutocracy. How put off that unpleasant event? Obviously, in the only way left unclosed. The election must be stolen.

It is a very human state of mind to feel that what one wants somehow has already become in a sense one's property. It is even more profoundly human to feel that what one has had, however wrongfully, cannot justly be taken away. So Mr. Kelly did not regard himself as a thief, taking what did not belong to him; no, he was holding on to and defending his own.

Victor Dorn had not been in politics since early boyhood without learning how the political game is conducted in all its branches.

Because there had never been the remotest chance of victory, Victor had never made preelection polls of his party. So the first hint that he got of there being a real foundation for the belief of some of his associates in an impending victory was when he found out that Kelly and House were "colonizing" voters, and were selecting election officers with an eye to "dirty work." These preparations, he knew, could not be making for the same reason as in the years before the "gentlemen's agreement" between the Republican and the Democratic machines. Kelly, he knew, wanted House and the Alliance to win. Therefore, the colonizations in the slums and the appointing of notorious buckos to positions where they would control the ballot boxes could be directed only against the Workingmen's League. Kelly must have accurate information that the League was likely, or at least not unlikely, to win.

Victor had thought he had so schooled himself that victory and defeat were mere words to him. He soon realized how he had overestimated the power of philosophy over human nature. During that campaign he had been imagining that he was putting all his ability, all his energy, all his resourcefulness into the fight. He now discovered his mistake. Hope—definite hope—of victory had hardly entered his mind before he was organizing and leading on such a campaign as Remsen City had never known in all its history—and Remsen City was in a state where politics is the chief distraction of the people. Sleep left him; he had no need of sleep. Day and night his brain worked, pouring out a steady stream of ideas. He became like a gigantic electric storage battery to which a hundred, a thousand small batteries come for renewal. He charged his associates afresh each day. And they in turn became amazingly more powerful forces for acting upon the minds of the people.

In the last week of the campaign it became common talk throughout the city that the "Dorn crowd" would probably carry the election. Kelly was the only one of the opposition leaders who could maintain a calm front. Kelly was too seasoned a gambler even to show his feelings in his countenance, but, had he been showing them, his following would not have been depressed, for he had made preparations to meet and overcome any majority short of unanimity which the people might roll up against him. The discouragement in the House-Alliance camps became so apparent that Kelly sent his chief lieutenant, Wellman, successor to the fugitive Rivers, to House and to David Hull with a message. It was delivered to Hull in this form:

"The old man says he wants you to stop going round with your chin knocking against your knees. He says everybody is saying you have given up the fight."

"Our meetings these last few days are very discouraging," said Davy gloomily.

"What's meetin's?" retorted Wellman. "You fellows that shoot off your mouths think you're doing the campaigning. But the real stuff is being doped up by us fellows who ain't seen or heard. The old man says you are going to win. That's straight. He knows. It's only a question of the size of your majority. So pull yourself together, Mr. Hull, and put the ginger back into your speeches, and stir up that there gang of dudes. What a gang of Johnnies and quitters they are!"

Hull was looking directly and keenly at the secret messenger. Upon his lips was a question he dared not ask. Seeing the impudent, disdainful smile in Wellman's eyes, he hastily shifted his glance. It was most uncomfortable, this suspicion of the hidden meaning of the Kelly message—a suspicion ALMOST confirmed by that mocking smile of the messenger. Hull said with embarrassment:

"Tell Mr. Kelly I'm much obliged."

"And you'll begin to make a fight again?"

"Certainly," said Davy impatiently.

When he was alone he became once more involved in one of those internal struggles to prevent himself from seeing—and smelling—a hideous and malodorous truth. These struggles were painfully frequent. The only consolation the young reformer found was that they were increasingly less difficult to end in the way such struggles must be ended if a high-minded young man is to make a career in "practical" life.

On election day after he had voted he went for a long walk in the woods to the south of the town, leaving word at his headquarters what direction he had taken. After walking two hours he sat down on a log in the shade near where the highroad crossed Foaming Creek. He became so absorbed in his thoughts that he sprang to his feet with a wild look when Selma's voice said, close by:

"May I interrupt a moment, Mr. Hull?"

He recovered slowly. His cheeks were pale and his voice uncertain as he replied:

"You? I beg your pardon. This campaign has played smash with my nerves."

He now noted that she was regarding him with a glance so intense that it seemed to concentrate all the passion and energy in that slim, nervous body of hers. He said uncomfortably:

"You wished to see me?"

"I wonder what you were thinking about," she said in her impetuous, direct way. "It makes me almost afraid to ask what I came to ask."

"Won't you sit?" said he.

"No, thanks," replied she.

"Then you'll compel me to stand. And I'm horribly tired."

She seated herself upon the log. He made himself comfortable at its other end.

"I've just come from Victor Dorn's house," said she. "There was a consultation among the leaders of our party. We have learned that your people—Kelly and House—are going to steal the election on the count this evening. They are committing wholesale frauds now—sending round gangs of repeaters, intimidating our voters, openly buying votes at the polling places—paying men as much not to vote as they usually pay for votes."

Davy, though latterly he had grown so much older and graver that no one now thought of him as Davy, contrived to muster a smile of amusement. "You oughtn't to let them deceive you with that silly talk, Miss Gordon. The losers always indulge in it. Your good sense must tell you how foolish it is. The police are on guard, and the courts of justice are open."

"Yes—the police are on guard—to protect fraud and to drive us away from the polls. And the courts are open—but not for us."

David was gentle with her. "I know how sincere you are, Selma," said he. "No doubt you believe those things. Perhaps Dorn believes them, also—from repeating them so often. But all the same I'm sorry to hear you say them."

He tried to look at her. He found that his eyes were more comfortable when his glance was elsewhere.

"This has been a sad campaign to me," he went on. "I did not appreciate before what demagogery meant—how dangerous it is—how wicked, how criminally wicked it is for men to stir up the lower classes against the educated leadership of the community."

Selma laughed contemptuously. "What nonsense, David Hull—and from YOU!" she cried. "By educated leadership do you mean the traction and gas and water and coal and iron and produce thieves? Or do you mean the officials and the judges who protect them and license them to rob?" Her eyes flashed. "At this very moment, in our town, those thieves and their agents, the police and the courts, are committing the most frightful crime known to a free people. Yet the masses are submitting peaceably. How long the upper class has to indulge in violence, and how savagely cruel it has to be, before the people even murmur. But I didn't come here to remind you of what you already know. I came to ask you, as a man whom I have respected, to assert his manhood—if there is any of it left after this campaign of falsehood and shifting."

"Selma!" he protested energetically, but still avoiding her eyes.

"Those wretches are stealing that election for you, David Hull. Are you going to stand for it? Or, will you go into town and force Kelly to stop?"

"If anything wrong is being done by Kelly," said David, "it must be for Sawyer."

Selma rose. "At our consultation," said she quietly and even with no suggestion of repressed emotion, "they debated coming to you and laying the facts before you. They decided against it. They were right; I was wrong. I pity you, David Hull. Good-by."

She walked away. He hesitated, observing her. His eyes lighted up with the passion he believed his good sense had conquered. "Selma, don't misjudge me!" he cried, following her. "I am not the scoundrel they're making you believe me. I love you!"

She wheeled upon him so fiercely that he started back. "How dare you!" she said, her voice choking with anger. "You miserable fraud! You bellwether for the plutocracy, to lead reform movements off on a false scent, off into the marshes where they'll be suffocated." She looked at him from head to foot with a withering glance. "No doubt, you'll have what's called a successful career. You'll be their traitor leader for the radicals they want to bring to confusion. When the people cry for a reform you'll shout louder than anybody else—and you'll be made leader—and you'll lead—into the marshes. Your followers will perish, but you'll come back, ready for the next treachery for which the plutocracy needs you. And you'll look honest and respectable—and you'll talk virtue and reform and justice. But you'll know what you are yourself. David Hull, I despise you as much as you despise yourself."

He did not follow as she walked away. He returned to the log, and slowly reseated himself. He was glad of the violent headache that made thought impossible.

Remsen City, boss-ridden since the Civil War, had experienced many a turbulent election day and night. The rivalries of the two bosses, contending for the spoils where the electorate was evenly divided, had made the polling places in the poorer quarters dangerous all day and scenes of rioting at night. But latterly there had been a notable improvement. People who entertained the pleasant and widespread delusion that statute laws offset the habits and customs of men, restrain the strong and protect the weak, attributed the improvement to sundry vigorously worded enactments of the legislature on the subject of election frauds. In fact, the real bottom cause of the change was the "gentlemen's agreement" between the two party machines whereunder both entered the service of the same master, the plutocracy.

Never in Remsen City history had there been grosser frauds than those of this famous election day, and never had the frauds been so open. A day of scandal was followed by an evening of shame; for to overcome the League the henchmen of Kelly and House had to do a great deal of counting out and counting in, of mutilating ballots, of destroying boxes with their contents. Yet never had Remsen City seen so peaceful an election. Representatives of the League were at every polling place. They protested; they took names of principals and witnesses in each case of real or suspected fraud. They appealed to the courts from time to time and got rulings—always against them, even where the letter of the decision was in their favor. They did all this in the quietest manner conceivable, without so much as an expression of indignation. And when the results were announced—a sweeping victory for Hull and the fusion ticket, Hugo Galland elected by five hundred over Falconer—the Leaguers made no counter demonstration as the drunken gangs of machine heelers paraded in the streets with bands and torches.

Kelly observed and was uneasy. What could be the meaning of this meek acceptance of a theft so flagrant that the whole town was talking about it? What was Victor Dorn's "game"?

He discovered the next day. The executive committee of the League worked all night; the League's printers and presses worked from six o'clock in the morning until ten. At half-past ten Remsen City was flooded with a special edition of the New Day, given away by Leaguers and their wives and sons and daughters—a monster special edition paid for with the last money in the League's small campaign chest. This special was a full account of the frauds that had been committed. No indictment could have been more complete, could have carried within itself more convincing proofs of the truth of its charges. The New Day declared that the frauds were far more extensive than it was able to prove; but it insisted upon, and took into account, only those frauds that could be proved in a "court of justice—if Remsen City had a court of justice, which the treatment of the League's protectors at the Courthouse yesterday shows that it has not." The results of the League's investigations were tabulated. The New Day showed:

First, that while Harbinger, the League candidate for Mayor, had actually polled 5,280 votes at least, and David Hull had polled less than 3,950, the election had been so manipulated that in the official count 4,827 votes were given to Hull and 3,980 votes to Harbinger.

Second, that in the actual vote Falconer had beaten Hugo Galland by 1,230 at least; that in the official count Galland was declared elected by a majority of 672.

Third, that these results were brought about by wholesale fraudulent voting, one gang of twenty-two repeaters casting upwards of a thousand votes at the various polling places; also by false counting, the number of votes reported exceeding the number cast by between two and three thousand.

As a piece of workmanship the document was an amazing illustration of the genius of Victor Dorn. Instead of violence against violence, instead of vague accusation, here was a calm, orderly proof of the League's case, of the outrage that had been done the city and its citizens. Before night fell the day after the election there was no one in Remsen City who did not know the truth.

The three daily newspapers ignored the special. They continued to congratulate Remsen City upon the "vindication of the city's fame for sound political sense," as if there had been no protest against the official version of the election returns. Nor did the press of the state or the country contain any reference to the happenings at Remsen City. But Remsen City knew, and that was the main point sought by Victor Dorn.

A committee of the League with copies of the special edition and transcripts of the proofs in the possession of the League went in search of David Hull and Hugo Galland. Both were out of town, "resting in retirement from the fatigue of the campaign." The prosecuting attorney of the county was seen, took the documents, said he would look into the matter, bowed the committee out—and did as Kelly counted on his doing. The grand jury heard, but could not see its way clear to returning indictments; no one was upon a grand jury in that county unless he had been passed by Kelly or House. Judge Freilig and Judge Lansing referred the committee to the grand jury and to the county prosecutor.

When the League had tried the last avenue to official justice and had found the way barred, House meeting Kelly in the Palace Hotel cafe', said:

"Well, Richard, I guess it's all over." Kelly nodded. "You've got away with the goods."

"I'm surprised at Dorn's taking it so quietly," said House. "I rather expected he'd make trouble."

Kelly vented a short, grunting laugh. "Trouble—hell!" ejaculated he. "If he'd 'a' kicked up a fight we'd 'a' had him. But he was too 'cute for that, damn him. So next time he wins."

"Oh, folks ain't got no memories—especially for politics," said House easily.

"You'll see," retorted Kelly. "The next mayor of this town'll be a Leaguer, and by a majority that can't be trifled with. So make hay while the sun shines, Joe. After this administration there'll be a long stretch of bad weather for haying."

"I'm trying to get hold of Hull," said House, and it was not difficult to read his train of thought. "I was a LEETLE afraid he was going to be scared by that document of Dorn's—and was going to do something crazy."

Again Kelly emitted his queer grunting laugh. "I guess he was a LEETLE afraid he would, too, and ran away and hid to get back his nerve."

"Oh, he's all right. He's a pushing, level-headed fellow, and won't make no trouble. Don't you think so?"

"Trouble? I should say not. How can he—if he takes the job?"

To which obvious logic no assent was necessary.

Davy's abrupt departure was for the exact reason Mr. Kelly ascribed. And he had taken Hugo with him because he feared that he would say or do something to keep the scandal from dying the quick death of all scandals. There was the less difficulty in dissuading him from staying to sun himself in the glories of his new rank and title because his wife had cast him adrift for the time and was stopping at the house of her father, whose death was hourly expected.

Old Hastings had been in a stupor for several weeks. He astonished everybody, except Dr. Charlton, by rousing on election night and asking how the battle had gone.

"And he seemed to understand what I told him," said Jane.

"Certainly he understood," replied Charlton. "The only part of him that's in any sort of condition is his mind, because it's the only part of him that's been properly exercised. Most people die at the top first because they've never in all their lives used their minds when they could possibly avoid it."

In the week following the election he came out of his stupor again. He said to the nurse:

"It's about supper time, ain't it?"

"Yes," answered she. "They're all down at din—supper. Shall I call them?"

"No," said he. "I want to go down to her room."

"To Miss Jane's room?" asked the puzzled nurse.

"To my wife's room," said Hastings crossly.

The nurse, a stranger, thought his mind was wandering. "Certainly," said she soothingly. "In a few minutes—as soon as you've rested a while."

"You're a fool!" mumbled Hastings. "Call Jinny."

The nurse obeyed. When he repeated his request to Jane, she hesitated. The tears rolled down his cheeks. "I know what I'm about," he pleaded. "Send for Charlton. He'll tell you to let me have my way."

Jane decided that it was best to yield. The shrunken figure, weighing so little that it was terrifying to lift it, was wrapped warmly, and put in an invalid chair. With much difficulty the chair was got out into the hall and down the stairs. Then they wheeled it into the room where he was in the habit of sitting after supper. When he was opposite the atrocious crayon enlargement of his wife an expression of supreme content settled upon his features. Said he:

"Go back to your supper, Jinny. Take the nurse woman with you. I want to be by myself."

The nurse glanced stealthily in from time to time during the next hour. She saw that his eyes were open, were fixed upon the picture. When Jane came she ventured to enter. She said:

"Do you mind my sitting with you, father?"

He did not answer. She went to him, touched him. He was dead.

As a rule death is not without mitigations, consolations even. Where it is preceded by a long and troublesome illness, disrupting the routine of the family and keeping everybody from doing the things he or she wishes, it comes as a relief. In this particular case not only was the death a relief, but also the estate of the dead man provided all the chief mourners with instant and absorbing occupation. If he had left a will, the acrimony of the heirs would have been caused by dissatisfaction with his way of distributing the property. Leaving no will, he plunged the three heirs—or, rather, the five heirs, for the husband of Martha and the wife of the son were most important factors—he plunged the five heirs into a ferment of furious dispute as to who was to have what. Martha and her husband and the daughter-in-law were people of exceedingly small mind. Trifles, therefore, agitated them to the exclusion of larger matters. The three fell to quarreling violently over the division of silverware, jewelry and furniture. Jane was so enraged by the "disgusting spectacle" that she proceeded to take part in it and to demand everything which she thought it would irritate Martha Galland or Irene Hastings to have to give up.

The three women and Hugo—for Hugo loved petty wrangling—spent day after day in the bitterest quarrels. Each morning Jane, ashamed overnight, would issue from her room resolved to have no part in the vulgar rowdyism. Before an hour had passed she would be the angriest of the disputants. Except her own unquestioned belongings there wasn't a thing in the house or stables about which she cared in the least. But there was a principle at stake—and for principle she would fight in the last ditch.

None of them wished to call in arbitrators or executors; why go to that expense? So, the bickering and wrangling, the insults and tears and sneers went on from day to day. At last they settled the whole matter by lot—and by a series of easily arranged exchanges where the results of the drawings were unsatisfactory. Peace was restored, but not liking. Each of the three groups—Hugo and Martha, Will and Irene, Jane in a group by herself—detested the other two. They felt that they had found each other out. As Martha said to Hugo, "It takes a thing of this kind to show people up in their true colors." Or, as Jane said to Doctor Charlton, "What beasts human beings are!"

Said he: "What beasts circumstance makes of some of them sometimes."

"You are charitable," said Jane.

"I am scientific," replied he. "It's very intelligent to go about distributing praise and blame. To do that is to obey a slightly higher development of the instinct that leads one to scowl at and curse the stone he stumps his toe on. The sensible thing to do is to look at the causes of things—of brutishness in human beings, for example—and to remove those causes."

"It was wonderful, the way you dragged father back to life and almost saved him. That reminds me. Wait a second, please."

She went up to her room and got the envelope addressed to Charlton which she had found in the drawer, as her father directed. Charlton opened it, took out five bank notes each of a thousand dollars. She glanced at the money, then at his face. It did not express the emotion she was expecting. On the contrary, its look was of pleased curiosity.

"Five thousand dollars," he said, reflectively. "Your father certainly was a queer mixture of surprises and contradictions. Now, who would have suspected him of a piece of sentiment like this? Pure sentiment. He must have felt that I'd not be able to save him, and he knew my bill wouldn't be one-tenth this sum."

"He liked you, and admired you," said Jane.

"He was very generous where he liked and admired."

Charlton put the money back in the envelope, put the envelope in his pocket. "I'll give the money to the Children's Hospital," said he. "About six months ago I completed the sum I had fixed on as necessary to my independence; so, I've no further use for money—except to use it up as it comes in."

"You may marry some day," suggested Jane.

"Not a woman who wishes to be left richer than independent," replied he. "As for the children, they'll be brought up to earn their own independence. I'll leave only incubators and keepsakes when I die. But no estate. I'm not that foolish and inconsiderate."

"What a queer idea!" exclaimed Jane.

"On the contrary, it's simplest common sense. The idea of giving people something they haven't earned—that's the queer idea."

"You are SO like Victor Dorn!"

"That reminds me!" exclaimed Charlton. "It was very negligent of me to forget. The day your father died I dropped in on Victor and told him—him and Selma Gordon—about it. And both asked me to take you their sympathy. They said a great deal about your love for your father, and how sad it was to lose him. They were really distressed."

Jane's face almost brightened. "I've been rather hurt because I hadn't received a word of sympathy from—them," she said.

"They'd have come, themselves, except that politics has made a very ugly feeling against them—and Galland's your brother-in-law."

"I understand," said Jane. "But I'm not Galland—and not of that party."

"Oh, yes, you are of that party," replied Charlton. "You draw your income from it, and one belongs to whatever he draws his income from. Civilization means property—as yet. And it doesn't mean men and women—as yet. So, to know the man or the woman we look at the property."

"That's hideously unjust," cried Jane.

"Don't be utterly egotistical," said Charlton. "Don't attach so much importance to your little, mortal, WEAK personality. Try to realize that you're a mere chip in the great game of chance. You're a chip with the letter P on it—which stands for Plutocracy. And you'll be played as you're labeled."

"You make it very hard for any one to like you."

"Well—good-by, then."

And ignoring her hasty, half-laughing, half-serious protests he took himself away. She was intensely irritated. A rapid change in her outward character had been going forward since her father's death—a change in the direction of intensifying the traits that had always been really dominant, but had been less apparent because softened by other traits now rapidly whithering.

The cause of the change was her inheritance.

Martin Hastings, remaining all his life in utter ignorance of the showy uses of wealth and looking on it with the eyes of a farm hand, had remained the enriched man of the lower classes, at heart a member of his original class to the end. The effect of this upon Jane had been to keep in check all the showy and arrogant, all the upper class, tendencies which education and travel among the upper classes of the East and of Europe had implanted in her. So long as plain old Martin lived, she could not FEEL the position she had—or, rather, would some day have—in the modern social system. But just as soon as he passed away, just as soon as she became a great heiress, actually in possession of that which made the world adore, that which would buy servility, flattery, awe—just so soon did she begin to be an upper-class lady.

She had acquired a superficial knowledge of business—enough to enable her to understand what the various items in the long, long schedule of her holdings meant. Symbols of her importance, of her power. She had studied the "great ladies" she had met in her travels and visitings. She had been impressed by the charm of the artistic, carefully cultivated air of simplicity and equality affected by the greatest of these great ladies as those born to wealth and position. To be gentle and natural, to be gracious—that was the "proper thing." So, she now adopted a manner that was if anything too kindly. Her pose, her mask, behind which she was concealing her swollen and still swelling pride and sense of superiority, as yet fitted badly. She "overacted," as youth is apt to do. She would have given a shrewd observer—one not dazzled by her wealth beyond the power of clear sight—the impression that she was pitying the rest of mankind, much as we all pity and forbear with a hopeless cripple.

But the average observer would simply have said: "What a sweet, natural girl, so unspoiled by her wealth!"—just as the hopeless cripple says, "What a polite person," as he gets the benefit of effusive good manners that would, if he were shrewd, painfully remind him that he was an unfortunate creature.

Of all the weeds that infest the human garden snobbishness, the commonest, is the most prolific, and it is a mighty cross breeder, too—modifying every flower in the garden, changing colors from rich to glaring, changing odors from perfumes to sickening-sweet or to stenches. The dead hands of Martin Hastings scattered showers of shining gold upon his daughter's garden; and from these seeds was springing a heavy crop of that most prolific of weeds.

She was beginning to resent Charlton's manner—bluff, unceremonious, candid, at times rude. He treated women exactly as he treated men, and he treated all men as intimates, free and easy fellow travelers afoot upon a dusty, vulgar highway. She had found charm in that manner, so natural to the man of no pretense, of splendid physical proportions, of the health of a fine tree. She was beginning to get into the state of mind at which practically all very rich people in a civilized society sooner or later arrive—a state of mind that makes it impossible for any to live with or near them except hirelings and dependents. The habit of power of any kind breeds intolerance of equality of level intercourse. This is held in check, often held entirely in check, where the power is based upon mental superiority; for the very superiority of the mind keeps alive the sense of humor and the sense of proportion. Not so the habit of money power. For money power is brutal, mindless. And as it is the only real power in any and all aristocracies, aristocracies are inevitably brutal and brutalizing.

If Jane had been poor, or had remained a few years longer—until her character was better set—under the restraining influence of her unfrilled and unfrillable father, her passion for power, for superiority would probably have impelled her to develop her mind into a source of power and position. Fate abruptly gave her the speediest and easiest means to power known in our plutocratic civilization. She would have had to be superhuman in beauty of character or a genius in mind to have rejected the short and easy way to her goal and struggled on in the long and hard—and doubtful—way.

She did not herself appreciate the change within herself. She fancied she was still what she had been two weeks before. For as yet nothing had occurred to enable her to realize her changed direction, her changed view of life. Thus, she was still thinking of Victor Dorn as she had thought of him; and she was impatient to see him. She was now free FREE! She could, without consulting anybody, have what she wanted. And she wanted Victor Dorn.

She had dropped from her horse and with her arm through the bridle was strolling along one of the quieter roads which Victor often took in his rambles. It was a tonic October day, with floods of sunshine upon the gorgeous autumnal foliage, never more gorgeous than in that fall of the happiest alternations of frost and warmth. She heard the pleasant rustle of quick steps in the fallen leaves that carpeted the byroad. She knew it was he before she glanced; and his first view of her face was of its beauty enhanced by a color as delicate and charming as that in the leaves about them.

She looked at his hands in which he was holding something half concealed. "What is it?" she said, to cover her agitation.

He opened his hands a little wider. "A bird," said he. "Some hunter has broken its wing. I'm taking it to Charlton for repairs and a fair start for its winter down South."

His eyes noted for an instant significantly her sombre riding costume, then sought her eyes with an expression of simple and friendly sympathy. The tears came to her eyes, and she turned her face away. She for the first time had a sense of loss, a moving memory of her father's goodness to her, of an element of tenderness that had passed out of her life forever. And she felt abjectly ashamed—ashamed of her relief at the lifting of the burden of his long struggle against death, ashamed of her miserable wranglings with Martha and Billy's wife, ashamed of her forgetfulness of her father in the exultation over her wealth, ashamed of the elaborately fashionable mourning she was wearing—and of the black horse she had bought to match. She hoped he would not observe these last flauntings of the purely formal character of a grief that was being utilized to make a display of fashionableness.

"You always bring out the best there is in me," said she.

He stood silently before her—not in embarrassment, for he was rarely self-conscious enough to be embarrassed, but refraining from speech simply because there was nothing to say.

"I haven't heard any of the details of the election," she went on. "Did you come out as well as you hoped?"

"Better," said he. "As a result of the election the membership of the League has already a little more than doubled. We could have quadrupled it, but we are somewhat strict in our requirements. We want only those who will stay members as long as they stay citizens of Remsen City. But I must go on to Charlton or he'll be out on his rounds."

She caught his glance, which was inclined to avoid hers. She gave him a pleading look. "I'll walk with you part of the way," she said.

He seemed to be searching for an excuse to get away. Whether because he failed to find it or because he changed his mind, he said: "You'll not mind going at a good gait?"

"I'll ride," said she. "It's not comfortable, walking fast in these boots."

He stood by to help her, but let her get into the saddle alone. She smiled down at him with a little coquetry. "Are you afraid to touch me—to-day?" she asked.

He laughed: "The bird IS merely an excuse," he admitted. "I've got back my self-control, and I purpose to keep it."

She flushed angrily. His frankness now seemed to her to be flavored with impertinent assurance. "That's amusing," said she, with an unpleasant smile. "You have an extraordinary opinion of yourself, haven't you?"

He shrugged his shoulders as if the subject did not interest him and set off at a gait that compelled her horse to a rapid walk. She said presently:

"I'm going to live at the old place alone for the present. You'll come to see me?"

He looked at her. "No," he said. "As I told you a moment ago, that's over. You'll have to find some one else to amuse you—for, I understand perfectly, Jane, that you were only doing what's called flirting. That sort of thing is a waste of time—for me. I'm not competent to judge whether it's a waste for you."

She looked coldly down at him. "You have changed since I last saw you," she said. "I don't mean the change in your manner toward me. I mean something deeper. I've often heard that politics makes a man deteriorate. You must be careful, Victor."

"I must think about that," said he. "Thank you for warning me."

His prompt acceptance of her insincere criticism made her straightway repentant. "No, it's I that have changed," she said. "Oh, I'm horrid!—simply horrid. I'm in despair about myself."

"Any one who thinks about himself is bound to be," said he philosophically. "That's why one has to keep busy in order to keep contented." He halted. "I can save a mile and half an hour by crossing these fields." He held the wounded bird in one hand very carefully while he lifted his hat.

She colored deeply. "Victor," she said, "isn't there any way that you and I can be friends?"

"Yes," replied he. "As I told you before, by becoming one of us. Those are impossible terms, of course. But that's the only way by which we could be of use to each other. Jane, if I, professing what I do profess, offered to be friends with you on any other terms, you'd be very foolish not to reject my offer. For, it would mean that I was a fraud. Don't you see that?"

"Yes," she admitted. "But when I am with you I see everything exactly as you represent it."

"It's fortunate for you that I'm not disposed to take advantage of that—isn't it?" said he, with good-humored irony.

"You don't believe me!"

"Not altogether," he confessed. "To be quite candid, I think that for some reason or other I rouse in you an irresistible desire to pose. I doubt if you realize it—wholly. But you'd be hard pressed just where to draw the line between the sincere and the insincere, wouldn't you—honestly?"

She sat moodily combing at her horse's mane.

"I know it's cruel," he went on lightly, "to deny anything, however small, to a young lady who has always had her own way. But in self-defense I must do it."

"Why DO I take these things from you?" she cried, in sudden exasperation. And touching her horse with her stick, she was off at a gallop.


From anger against Victor Dorn, Jane passed to anger against herself. This was soon followed by a mood of self-denunciation, by astonishment at the follies of which she had been guilty, by shame for them. She could not scoff or scorn herself out of the infatuation. But at least she could control herself against yielding to it. Recalling and reviewing all he had said, she—that is, her vanity—decided that the most important remark, the only really important remark, was his declaration of disbelief in her sincerity. "The reason he has repulsed me—and a very good reason it is—is that he thinks I am simply amusing myself. If he thought I was in earnest, he would act very differently. Very shrewd of him!"

Did she believe this? Certainly not. But she convinced herself that she believed it, and so saved her pride. From this point she proceeded by easy stages to doubting whether, if Victor had taken her at her word, she would have married him. And soon she had convinced herself that she had gone so far only through her passion for conquest, that at the first sign of his yielding her good sense would have asserted itself and she could have retreated.

"He knew me better than I knew myself," said she—not so thoroughly convinced as her pride would have liked, but far better content with herself than in those unhappy hours of humiliation after her last talk with him.

From the beginning of her infatuation there had been only a few days, hardly more than a few hours, when the voice of prudence and good sense had been silenced. Yes, he was right; they were not suited to each other, and a marriage between them would have been absurd. He did belong to a different, to a lower class, and he could never have understood her. Refinement, taste, the things of the life of luxury and leisure were incomprehensible to him. It might be unjust that the many had to toil in squalor and sordidness while the few were privileged to cultivate and to enjoy the graces and the beauties; but, unjust or in some mysterious way just, there was the fact. Her life was marked out for her; she was of the elect. She would do well to accept her good fortune and live as the gods had ordained for her.

If Victor had been different in that one respect! ... The infatuation, too, was a fact. The wise course was flight—and she fled.

That winter, in Chicago and in New York, Jane amused herself—in the ways devised by latter day impatience with the folly of wasting a precious part of the one brief life in useless grief or pretense of grief. In Remsen City she would have had to be very quiet indeed, under penalty of horrifying public sentiment. But Chicago and New York knew nothing of her grief, cared nothing about grief of any kind. People in deep mourning were found in the theaters, in the gay restaurants, wherever any enjoyment was to be had; and very sensible it was of them, and proof of the sincerity of their sorrow—for sincere sorrow seeks consolation lest it go mad and commit suicide—does it not?

Jane, young, beautiful, rich, clever, had a very good time indeed—so good that in the spring, instead of going back to Remsen City to rest, she went abroad. More enjoyment—or, at least, more of the things that fill in the time and spare one the necessity of thinking.

In August she suddenly left her friends at St. Moritz and journeyed back to Remsen City as fast as train and boat and train could take her. And on the front veranda of the old house she sat herself down and looked out over the familiar landscape and listened to the katydids lulling the woods and the fields, and was bored and wondered why she had come.

In a reckless mood she went down to see Victor Dorn. "I am cured," she said to herself. "I must be cured. I simply can't be small and silly enough to care for a country town labor agitator after all I've been through—after the attentions I've had and the men of the world I've met. I'm cured, and I must prove it to myself ."

In the side yard Alice Sherrill and her children and several neighbor girls were putting up pears and peaches, blackberries and plums. The air was heavy with delicious odors of ripe and perfect fruit, and the laughter, the bright healthy faces, the strong graceful bodies in all manner of poses at the work required made a scene that brought tears to Jane's eyes. Why tears she could not have explained, but there they were. At far end of the arbor, looking exactly as he had in the same place the year before, sat Victor Dorn, writing. He glanced up, saw her! Into his face came a look of welcome that warmed her chilled heart.

"Hel-LO!" he cried, starting up. "I AM glad to see you."

"I'm mighty glad to be back," said she, lapsing with keen pleasure into her native dialect.

He took both her hands and shook them cordially, then looked at her from head to foot admiringly. "The latest from the Rue de la Paix, I suppose?" said he.

They seated themselves with the table between them. She, under cover of commonplaces about her travels, examined him with the utmost calmness. She saw every point wherein he fell short of the men of her class—the sort of men she ought to like and admire. But, oh, how dull and stale and narrow and petty they were, beside this man. She knew now why she had fled. She didn't want to love Victor Dorn, or to marry him—or his sort of man. But he, his intense aliveness, his keen, supple mind, had spoiled her for those others. One of them she could not marry. "I should go mad with boredom. One can no more live intimately with fashion than one can eat gold and drink diamonds. And, oh, but I am hungry and thirsty!"

"So you've had a good time?" he was saying.

"Superb," replied she. "Such scenery—such variety of people. I love Europe. But—I'm glad to be home again."

"I don't see how you can stand it," said Victor.

"Why?" inquired she in surprise.

"Unless I had an intense personal interest in the most active kind of life in a place like this, I should either fly or take to drink," replied he. "In this world you've either got to invent occupation for yourself or else keep where amusements and distractions are thrust at you from rising till bed-time. And no amusements are thrust at you in Remsen City."

"But I've been trying the life of being amused," said Jane, "and I've got enough."

"For the moment," said Victor, laughing. "You'll go back. You've got to. What else is there for you?"

Her eyes abruptly became serious. "That's what I've come home to find out," said she. Hesitatingly, "That's why I've come here to-day."

He became curiously quiet—stared at the writing before him on the table. After a while he said:

"Jane, I was entirely too glad to see you to-day. I had——"

"Don't say that," she pleaded. "Victor, it isn't a weakness——"

His hand resting upon the table clenched into a fist and his brows drew down. "There can be no question but that it is a weakness and a folly," he pushed on. "I will not spoil your life and mine. You are not for me, and I am not for you. The reason we hang on to this is because each of us has a streak of tenacity. We don't want each other, but we are so made that we can't let go of an idea once it has gotten into our heads."

"There is another reason," she said gently. "We are, both of us, alone—and lonesome, Victor."

"But I'm not alone. I'm not lonesome——" And there he abruptly halted, to gaze at her with the expression of awakening and astonishment. "I believe I'm wrong. I believe you're right," he exclaimed. "I had never thought of that before."

"You've been imagining your work, your cause was enough," she went on in a quiet rational way that was a revelation—and a self-revelation—of the real Jane Hastings. "But it isn't. There's a whole other side of your nature—the—the—the private side—that's the expression—the private side. And you've been denying to it its rights."

He reflected, nodded slowly. "I believe that's the truth," he said. "It explains a curious feeling I've had—a sort of shriveling sensation." He gazed thoughtfully at her, his face gradually relaxing into a merry smile.

"What is it?" asked she, smiling in turn.

"We've both got to fall in love and marry," said he. "Not with each other, of course—for we're not in any way mated. But love and marriage and the rest of it—that's the solution. I don't need it quite as much as you do, for I've got my work. But I need it. Now that I see things in the right light I wonder that I've been so stupidly blind. Why do we human beings always overlook the obvious?"

"It isn't easy to marry," said Jane, rather drearily. "It isn't easy to find some one with whom one would be willing to pass one's life. I've had several chances—one or two of them not entirely mercenary, I think. But not one that I could bring myself to accept."

"Vanity—vanity," said Victor. "Almost any human being is interesting and attractive if one will stop thinking about oneself and concentrate on him or her."

She smiled. "It's evident you've never tried to fall in love."

"The nearest I ever came to it was with you," replied he. "But that was, of course, out of the question."

"I don't admit that," said she, with an amusing kind of timid obstinacy.

"Let's be honest and natural with each other," urged he. "Now, Jane, admit that in your heart of hearts you feel you ought not to marry me."

Her glance avoided his.

"Come—own up!" cried he.

"I have thought of that side of it," she conceded.

"And if I hadn't piqued you by thinking of it, too, you'd never have lingered on any other side of it," said he. "Well! Now that we've cleared the ground—there's Davy. He's to be nominated by the Republicans for Governor next week."

"Davy? I had almost forgotten him. I'll think of Davy—and let you know ... And you? Who is there for you?"

"Oh—no one you know. My sister has recommended several girls from time to time. I'll see."

Jane gave the freest and heartiest laugh that had passed her lips in more than a year. It was thus free and unrestrained because he had not said what she was fearing he would say—had not suggested the woman nearest him, the obvious woman. So eager was she to discover what he thought of Selma, that she could hardly restrain herself from suggesting her. Before they could say anything more, two men came to talk with him. Jane could not but leave.

She dined that night at Mrs. Sherlock's—Mrs. Sherlock was Davy's oldest sister. Davy took her in, they talked—about his career—through dinner, and he walked home with her in the moonlight. He was full of his approaching nomination. He had been making what is known as a good record, as mayor. That is, he had struck out boldly at sundry petty abuses practised by a low and comparatively uninfluential class of exploiters of the people. He had been so busy with these showy trifles that there had been no time for the large abuses. True, he had publicly warned the gas company about its poor gas, and the water company about its unwholesome water for the low-lying tenement districts, and the traction company about the fewness and filthiness of its cars. The gas company had talked of putting in improved machinery; the water company had invited estimates on a filtration plant; the traction company had said a vague something about new cars as soon as car manufacturers could make definite promises as to delivery. But nothing had been done—as yet. Obviously a corporation, a large investment of capital, must be treated with consideration. It would not do for a conservative, fair minded mayor to rush into demagogery. So, Davy was content to point proudly to his record of having "made the big corporations awaken to a sense of their duty." An excellent record, as good as a reform politician, with a larger career in prospect, could be expected to make. People spoke well of Mayor Hull and the three daily papers eulogized him. Davy no longer had qualms of conscience. He read the eulogies, he listened to the flatteries of the conservative leading citizens he met at the Lincoln and at the University, and he felt that he was all that he in young enthusiasm had set out to be.

When he went to other cities and towns and to county fairs to make addresses he was introduced as the man who had redeemed Remsen City, as a shining example of the honest SANE man in politics, as a man the bosses were afraid of, yet dared not try to down. "You can't fool the people." And were not the people, notably those who didn't live in Remsen City and had only read in their newspapers about the reform Republican mayor—weren't they clamorous for Mayor Hull for governor! Thus, Davy was high in his own esteem, was in that mood of profound responsibility to righteousness and to the people wherein a man can get the enthusiastic endorsement of his conscience for any act he deems it expedient to commit in safeguarding and advancing his career. His person had become valuable to his country. His opponents were therefore anathema maranatha.

As he and Jane walked side by side in the tender moonlight, Jane said:

"What's become of Selma Gordon?"

A painful pause; then Davy, in a tone that secretly amused Jane: "Selma? I see her occasionally—at a distance. She still writes for Victor Dorn's sheet, I believe. I never see it."

Jane felt she could easily guess why. "Yes—it is irritating to read criticisms of oneself," said she sweetly. Davy's self-complacence had been most trying to her nerves.

Another long silence, then he said: "About—Miss Gordon. I suppose you were thinking of the things I confided to you last year?"

"Yes, I was," confessed Jane.

"That's all over," said Mayor and prospective Governor Hull. "I found I was mistaken in her."

"Didn't you tell me that she refused you?" pressed Jane, most unkindly.

"We met again after that," said Davy—by way of proving that even the most devoted apostle of civic righteousness is yet not without his share of the common humanity, "and from that time I felt differently toward her.... I've never been able to understand my folly.... I wonder if you could forgive me for it?"

Davy was a good deal of a bore, she felt. At least, he seemed so in this first renewing of old acquaintance. But he was a man of purpose, a man who was doing much and would do more. And she liked him, and had for him that feeling of sympathy and comprehension which exists among people of the same region, brought up in much the same way. Instead of cutting him off, she temporized. Said she with a serenely careless laugh that might have let a man more expert in the ways of women into the secret of how little she cared about him: "You mean forgive you for dropping me so abruptly and running after her?"

"That's not exactly the way to put it," objected he.

"Put it any way you like," said Jane. "I forgive you. I didn't care at the time, and I don't care now."

Jane was looking entrancing in that delicate light. Davy was noting—was feeling—this. Also, he was reflecting—in a high-minded way—upon the many material, mental and spiritual advantages of a marriage with her. Just the woman to be a governor's wife—a senator's wife—a president's wife. Said he:

"Jane, my feeling for you has never changed."

"Really?" said Jane. "Why, I thought you told me at one time that you were in love with me?"

"And I always have been, dear—and am," said Davy, in his deepest, tenderest tones. "And now that I am winning a position worthy of you——"

"I'll see," cut in Jane. "Let's not talk about it tonight." She felt that if he kept on she might yield to the temptation to say something mocking, something she would regret if it drove him away finally.

He was content. The ice had been broken. The Selma Gordon business had been disposed of. The way was clear for straight-away love-making the next time they met. Meanwhile he would think about her, would get steam up, would have his heart blazing and his words and phrases all in readiness.

Every human being has his or her fundamental vanity that must be kept alive, if life is to be or to seem to be worth living. In man this vanity is usually some form of belief in his mental ability, in woman some form of belief in her physical charm. Fortunately—or, rather, necessarily—not much is required to keep this vanity alive—or to restore it after a shock, however severe. Victor Dorn had been compelled to give Jane Hastings' vanity no slight shock. But it recovered at once. Jane saw that his failure to yield was due not to lack of potency in her charms, but to extraordinary strength of purpose in his character. Thus, not only was she able to save herself from any sense of humiliation, but also she was without any feeling of resentment against him. She liked him and admired him more than ever. She saw his point of view; she admitted that he was right—IF it were granted that a life such as he had mapped for himself was better for him than the career he could have made with her help.

Her heart, however, was hastily, even rudely thrust to the background when she discovered that her brother had been gambling in wheat with practically her entire fortune. With an adroitness that irritated her against herself, as she looked back, he had continued to induce her to disregard their father's cautionings and to ask him to take full charge of her affairs. He had not lost her fortune, but he had almost lost it. But for an accidental stroke, a week of weather destructive to crops all over the country, she would have been reduced to an income of not more than ten or fifteen thousand a year—twenty times the income of the average American family of five, but for Miss Hastings straitened subsistence and a miserable state of shornness of all the radiance of life. And, pushing her inquiries a little farther, she learned that her brother would still have been rich, because he had taken care to settle a large sum on his wife—in such a way that if she divorced him it would pass back to him.

In the course of her arrangings to meet this situation and to prevent its recurrence she saw much of Doctor Charlton. He gave her excellent advice and found for her a man to take charge of her affairs so far as it was wise for her to trust any one. The man was a bank cashier, Robert Headley by name—one of those rare beings who care nothing for riches for themselves and cannot invest their own money wisely, but have a genius for fidelity and wise counsel.

"It's a pity he's married," said Charlton. "If he weren't I'd urge you to take him as a husband."

Jane laughed. A plainer, duller man than Headley it would have been hard to find, even among the respectabilities of Remsen City.

"Why do you laugh?" said Charlton. "What is there absurd in a sensible marriage?"

"Would you marry a woman because she was a good housekeeper?"

"That would be one of the requirements," said Charlton. "I've sense enough to know that, no matter how much I liked a woman before marriage, it couldn't last long if she were incompetent. She'd irritate me every moment in the day. I'd lie awake of nights despising her. And how she would hate me!"

"I can't imagine you a husband," laughed Jane.

"That doesn't speak well for your imagination," rejoined Charlton. "I have perfect health—which means that I have a perfect disposition, for only people with deranged interiors are sour and snappy and moody. And I am sympathetic and understanding. I appreciate that women are rottenly brought up and have everything to learn—everything that's worth while if one is to live comfortably and growingly. So, I shouldn't expect much at the outset beyond a desire to improve and a capacity to improve. Yes, I've about all the virtues for a model husband—a companionable, helpful mate for a woman who wants to be more of a person every day she lives."

"No, thanks," said Jane, mockingly. "The advertisement reads well, but I don't care to invest."

"Oh, I looked you over long ago," said Charlton with a coolness that both amused and exasperated her. "You wouldn't do at all. You are very attractive to look at and to talk with. Your money would be useful to some plans I've got for some big sanatoriums along the line of Schulze's up at Saint Christopher. But—-" He shook his head, smiling at her through a cloud of cigarette smoke.

"Go on," urged Jane. "What's wrong with me?"

"You've been miseducated too far and too deeply. You KNOW too much that isn't so. You've got the upper class American woman habit of thinking about yourself all the time. You are an indifferent housekeeper, and you think you are good at it. You don't know the practical side of life—cooking, sewing, house furnishing, marketing. You're ambitious for a show career—the sort Davy Hull—excuse me, Governor David Hull—is making so noisily. There's just the man for you. You ought to marry. Marry Hull."

Jane was furiously angry. She did not dare show it; Charlton would merely laugh and walk away, and perhaps refuse to be friends with her. It exasperated her to the core, the narrow limitations of the power of money. She could, through the power of her money, do exactly as she pleased to and with everybody except the only kind of people she cared about dominating; these she was apparently the less potent with because of her money. It seemed to put them on their mettle and on their guard.

She swallowed her anger. "Yes, I've got to get married," said she. "And I don't know what to do about it."

"Hull," said Charlton.

"Is that the best advice you can give?" said she disdainfully.

"He needs you, and you need him. You like him—don't you?"

"Very much."

"Then—the thing's done. Davy isn't the man to fail to seize an opportunity so obviously to his advantage. Not that he hasn't a heart. He has a big one—does all sorts of gracious, patronizing, kind things—does no end of harm. But he'd no more let his emotions rule his life than—than—Victor Dorn—or I, for that matter."

Jane colored; a pathetic sadness tinged the far-away expression of her eyes.

"No doubt he's half in love with you already. Most men are who know you. A kindly smile and he'll be kneeling."

"I don't want David Hull," cried Jane. "Ever since I can remember they've been at me to marry him. He bores me. He doesn't make me respect him. He never could control me—or teach me—or make me look up to him in any way. I don't want him, and I won't have him."

"I'm afraid you've got to do it," said Charlton. "You act as if you realized it and were struggling and screaming against manifest destiny like a child against a determined mother."

Jane's eyes had a look of terror. "You are joking," said she. "But it frightens me, just the same."

"I am not joking," replied he. "I can hear the wedding bells—and so can you."

"Don't!" pleaded Jane. "I've so much confidence in your insight that I can't bear to hear you saying such things even to tease me.... Why haven't you told me about these sanatoriums you want?"

"Because I've been hoping I could devise some way of getting them without the use of money. Did it ever occur to you that almost nothing that's been of real and permanent value to the world was built with money? The things that money has done have always been badly done."

"Let me help you," said Jane earnestly. "Give me something to do. Teach me how to do something. I am SO bored!—and so eager to have an occupation. I simply can't lead the life of my class.

"You want to be a lady patroness—a lady philanthropist," said Charlton, not greatly impressed by her despair. "That's only another form of the life of your class—and a most offensive form."

"Your own terms—your own terms, absolutely," cried Jane in desperation.

"No—marry Hull and go into upper and middle class politics. You'll be a lady senator or a lady ambassador or cabinet officer, at least."

"I will not marry David Hull—or anybody, just yet," cried Jane. "Why should I? I've still got ten years where there's a chance of my being able to attract some man who—attracts me. And after that I can buy as good a husband as any that offers now. Doctor Charlton, I'm in desperate, deadly earnest. And I ask you to help me."

"My own terms?"

"I give you my word."

"You'll have to give your money outright. No strings attached. No chance to be a philanthropist. Also, you'll have to work—have to educate yourself as I instruct you."

"Yes—yes. Whatever you say."

Charlton looked at her dubiously. "I'm a fool to have anything to do with this," he said. "You aren't in any way a suitable person—any more than I'm the sort of man you want to assist you in your schemes. You don't realize what tests you're to be put through."

"I don't care," said Jane.

"It's a chance to try my theory," mused he. "You know, I insist we are all absolutely the creatures of circumstance—that character adapts itself to circumstance—that to change a man or a town or a nation—or a world—you have only to change their fundamental circumstances."

"You'll try me?"

"I'll think about it," said Charlton. "I'll talk with Victor Dorn about it."

"Whatever you do, don't talk to him," cried Jane, in terror. "He has no faith in me—" She checked herself, hastily added—"in anybody outside his own class."

"I never do anything serious without consulting Victor," said Charlton firmly. "He's got the best mind of any one I know, and it is foolish to act without taking counsel of the best."

"He'll advise against it," said Jane bitterly.

"But I may not take his advice literally," said Charlton. "I'm not in mental slavery to him. I often adapt his advice to my needs instead of adopting it outright."

And with that she had to be content.

She passed a day and night of restlessness, and called him on the telephone early the following morning. As she heard his voice she said:

"Did you see Victor Dorn last night?"

"Where are you?" asked Charlton.

"In my room," was her impatient answer.

"In bed?"

"I haven't gotten up yet," said she. "What IS the matter?"

"Had your breakfast?"

"No. I've rung for it. It'll be here in a few minutes."

"I thought so," said Charlton.

"This is very mysterious—or very absurd," said Jane.

"Please ring off and call your kitchen and tell them to put your breakfast on the dining-room table for you in three-quarters of an hour. Then get up, take your bath and your exercises—dress yourself for the day—and go down and eat your breakfast. How can you hope to amount to anything unless you live by a rational system? And how can you have a rational system unless you begin the day right?"

"DID you see Victor Dorn?" said Jane—furious at his impertinence but restraining herself.

"And after you have breakfasted," continued Charlton, "call me up again, and I'll answer your questions."

With that he hung up his receiver. Jane threw herself angrily back against her pillow. She would lie there for an hour, then call him again. But—if he should ask her whether she had obeyed his orders? True, she might lie to him; but wouldn't that be too petty? She debated with herself for a few minutes, then obeyed him to the letter. As she was coming through the front hall after breakfast, he appeared in the doorway.

"You didn't trust me!" she cried reproachfully.

"Oh, yes," replied he. "But I preferred to talk with you face to face."

"DID you see Mr. Dorn?"

Charlton nodded. "He refused to advise me. He said he had a personal prejudice in your favor that would make his advice worthless."

Jane glowed—but not quite so thrillingly as she would have glowed in the same circumstances a year before.

"Besides, he's in no state of mind to advise anybody about anything just now," said Charlton.

Jane glanced sharply at him. "What do you mean?" she said.

"It's not my secret," replied Charlton.

"You mean he has fallen in love?"

"That's shrewd," said Charlton. "But women always assume a love affair."

"With whom?" persisted Jane.

"Oh, a very nice girl. No matter. I'm not here to talk about anybody's affairs but yours—and mine."

"Answer just one question," said Jane, impulsively. "Did he tell you anything about—me?"

Charlton stared—then whistled. "Are YOU in love with him, too?" he cried.

Jane flushed—hesitated—then met his glance frankly. "I WAS," said she.


"I mean that I'm over it," said she. "What have you decided to do about me?"

Charlton did not answer immediately. He eyed her narrowly—an examination which she withstood well. Then he glanced away and seemed to be reflecting. Finally he came back to her question. Said he:

"To give you a trial. To find out whether you'll do."

She drew a long sigh of relief.

"Didn't you guess?" he went on, smilingly, nodding his round, prize-fighter head at her. "Those suggestions about bed and breakfast—they were by way of a beginning."

"You must give me a lot to do," urged she. "I mustn't have a minute of idle time."

He laughed. "Trust me," he said.

While Jane was rescuing her property from her brother and was safeguarding it against future attempts by him, or by any of that numerous company whose eyes are ever roving in search of the most inviting of prey, the lone women with baggage—while Jane was thus occupied, David Hull was, if possible, even busier and more absorbed. He was being elected governor. His State was being got ready to say to the mayor of Remsen City, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Thou hast been faithful over a few things; I will make thee ruler over many."

The nomination was not obtained for him without difficulty. The Republican party—like the Democratic—had just been brought back under "safe and sane and conservative" leadership after a prolonged debauch under the influence of that once famous and revered reformer, Aaron Whitman, who had not sobered up or released the party for its sobering until his wife's extravagant entertaining at Washington had forced him to accept large "retainers" from the plutocracy. The machine leaders had in the beginning forwarded the ambitions of Whitman under the impression that his talk of a "square deal" was "just the usual dope" and that Aaron was a "level-headed fellow at bottom." It had developed—after they had let Aaron become a popular idol, not to be trifled with—it had developed that he was almost sincere—as sincere as can be expected of an ambitious, pushing fellow. Now came David Hull, looking suspiciously like Whitman at his worst-and a more hopeless case, because he had money a plenty, while Whitman was luckily poor and blessed with an extravagant wife. True, Hull had the backing of Dick Kelly—and Kelly was not the man "to hand the boys a lemon." Still Hull looked like a "holy boy," talked like one, had the popular reputation of having acted like one as mayor—and the "reform game" was certainly one to attract a man who could afford it and was in politics for position only. Perhaps Dick wanted to be rid of Hull for the rest of his term, and was "kicking him upstairs." It would be a shabby trick upon his fellow leaders, but justifiable if there should be some big "job" at Remsen City that could be "pulled off" only if Hull were out of the way.

The leaders were cold until Dick got his masters in the Remsen City branch of the plutocracy to pass the word to the plutocracy's general agents at Indianapolis—a certain well-known firm of political bankers. Until that certification came the leaders, having no candidate who stood a chance of winning, were ready to make a losing campaign and throw the election to the Democrats—not a serious misfortune at a time when the machines of the two parties had become simply friendly rival agents for the same rich master.

There was a sharp fight in the convention. The anti-machine element, repudiating Whitman under the leadership of a shrewd and honest young man named Joe Bannister, had attacked Hull in the most shocking way. Bannister had been reading Victor Dorn's New Day and had got a notion of David Hull as man and mayor different from the one made current by the newspapers. He made a speech on the floor of the convention which almost caused a riot and nearly cost Davy the nomination. That catastrophe was averted by adjournment. Davy gave Dick Kelly's second lieutenant, Osterman, ten thousand in cash, of which Osterman said there was pressing need "for perfectly legitimate purposes, I assure you, Mr. Mayor." Next day the Bannister faction lost forty and odd sturdy yeomen from districts where the crops had been painfully short, and Davy was nominated.

In due time the election was held, and Mayor Hull became Governor Hull by a satisfactory majority for so evenly divided a State. He had spent—in contributions to the machine campaign fund—upwards of one hundred thousand dollars. But that seemed a trifling sacrifice to make for reform principles and for keeping the voice of the people the voice of God. He would have been elected if he had not spent a cent, for the Democratic machine, bent on reorganizing back to a sound basis with all real reformers or reformers tainted with sincerity eliminated, had nominated a straight machine man—and even the politicians know that the people who decide elections will not elect a machine man if they have a chance to vote for any one else. It saddened David Hull, in the midst of victory, that his own town and county went against him, preferring the Democrat, whom it did not know, as he lived at the other end of the State. Locally the offices at stake were all captured by the "Dorn crowd." At last the Workingmen's League had a judge; at last it could have a day in court. There would not be a repetition of the great frauds of the Hull-Harbinger campaign.

By the time David had sufficient leisure to reopen the heart department of his ambition, Jane was deep in the effort to show Doctor Charlton how much intelligence and character she had. She was serving an apprenticeship as trained nurse in the Children's Hospital, where he was chief of the staff, and was taking several extra courses with his young assistants. It was nearly two weeks after David's first attempt to see her when her engagements and his at last permitted this meeting. Said he:

"What's this new freak?"

"I can't tell you yet," replied she. "I'm not sure, myself."

"I don't see how you can endure that fellow Charlton. They say he's as big a crank in medicine as he is in politics."

"It's all of a piece," said Jane, tranquilly. "He says he gets his political views from his medicine and his medical ideas from his politics."

"Don't you think he's a frightful bounder?"

"Frightful," said Jane.

"Fresh, impudent—conceited. And he looks like a prize fighter."

"At some angles—yes," conceded Jane. "At others, he's almost handsome."

"The other day, when I called at the hospital and they wouldn't take my name in to you—" David broke off to vent his indignation—"Did you ever hear of such impertinence!"

"And you the governor-elect," laughed Jane. "Shall I tell you what Doctor Charlton said? He said that a governor was simply a public servant, and anything but a public representative—usually a public disgrace. He said that a servant's business was attending to his own job and not hanging round preventing his fellow servants from attending to their jobs."

"I knew he had low and vulgar views of public affairs," said David. "What I started to say was that I saw him talking to you that day, across the court, and you seemed to be enjoying his conversation."

"ENJOYING it? I love it," cried Jane. "He makes me laugh, he makes me cold with rage, he gives me a different sensation every time I see him."

"You LIKE—him?"

"Immensely. And I've never been so interested or so happy in my life." She looked steadily at him. "Nothing could induce me to give it up. I've put everything else out of my mind."

Since the dismal end of his adventure with Selma Gordon, David had become extremely wary in his dealings with the female sex. He never again would invite a refusal; he never again would put himself in a position where a woman might feel free to tell him her private opinion of him. He reflected upon Jane's words. They could have but the one meaning. Not so calmly as he would have liked, but without any embarrassing constraint, he said:

"I'm glad you've found what suits you, at last. It isn't exactly the line I'd have thought a girl such as you would choose. You're sure you are not making a mistake?"

"Quite," said Jane.

"I should think you'd prefer marriage—and a home—and a social circle—and all that," ventured David.

"I'll probably not marry."

"No. You'd hardly take a doctor."

"The only one I'd want I can't get," said Jane.

She wished to shock David, and she saw with pleasure that she had succeeded. Indeed so shocked was he that in a few minutes he took leave. And as he passed from her sight he passed from her mind.

Victor Dorn described Davy Hull's inaugural address as "an uninteresting sample of the standard reform brand of artificial milk for political infants." The press, however, was enthusiastic, and substantial people everywhere spoke of it as having the "right ring," as being the utterance of a "safe, clean man whom the politicians can't frighten or fool." In this famous speech David urged everybody who was doing right to keep on doing so, warned everybody who was doing wrong that they would better look out for themselves, praised those who were trying to better conditions in the right way, condemned those who were trying to do so in the wrong way. It was all most eloquent, most earnest. Some few people were disappointed that he had not explained exactly what and whom he meant by right and by wrong; but these carping murmurs were drowned in the general acclaim. A man whose fists clenched and whose eyes flashed as did David Hull's must "mean business"—and if no results came of these words, it wouldn't be his fault, but the machinations of wicked plutocrats and their political agents.

"Isn't it disgusting!" exclaimed Selma, reading an impassioned paragraph aloud to Victor Dorn. "It almost makes me despair when I see how people—our sort of people, too—are taken in by such guff. And they stand with their empty picked pockets and cheer this man, who's nothing but a stool pigeon for pickpockets."

"It's something gained," observed Victor tranquilly, "when politicians have to denounce the plutocracy in order to get audiences and offices. The people are beginning to know what's wrong. They read into our friend Hull's generalities what they think he ought to mean—what they believe he does mean. The next step is—he'll have to do something or they'll find him out."

"He do anything?" Selma laughed derisively. "He hasn't the courage—or the honesty."

"Well—'patience and shuffle the cards,' as Sancho Panza says. We're winning Remsen City. And our friends are winning a little ground here, and a little there and a little yonder—and soon—only too soon—this crumbling false politics will collapse and disappear. Too soon, I fear. Before the new politics of a work-compelling world for the working class only is ready to be installed."

Selma had been only half attending. She now said abruptly, with a fluttering movement that suggested wind blowing strongly across open prairies under a bright sky:

"I've decided to go away."

"Yes, you must take a vacation," said Victor. "I've been telling you that for several years. And you must go away to the sea or the mountains where you'll not be harassed by the fate of the human race that you so take to heart."

"I didn't mean a vacation," said Selma. "I meant to Chicago—to work there."

"You've had a good offer?" said Victor. "I knew it would come. You've got to take it. You need the wider experience—the chance to have a paper of your own—or a work of your own of some kind. It's been selfishness, my keeping you all this time."

Selma had turned away. With her face hidden from him she said, "Yes, I must go."

"When?" said Victor.

"As soon as you can arrange for some one else."

"All right. I'll look round. I've no hope of finding any one to take your place, but I can get some one who will do."

"You can train any one," said Selma. "Just as you trained me."

"I'll see what's to be done," was all he said.

A week passed—two weeks. She waited; he did not bring up the subject. But she knew he was thinking of it; for there had been a change in his manner toward her—a constraint, a self-consciousness theretofore utterly foreign to him in his relations with any one. Selma was wretched, and began to show it first in her appearance, then in her work. At last she burst out:

"Give that article back to me," she cried. "It's rotten. I can't write any more. Why don't you tell me so frankly? Why don't you send me away?"

"You're doing better work than I am," said he. "You're eager to be off—aren't you? Will you stay a few days longer? I must get away to the country—alone—to get a fresh grip on myself. I'll come back as soon as I can, and you'll be free. There'll be no chance for vacations after you're gone."

"Very well," said she. She felt that he would think this curtness ungracious, but more she could not say.

He was gone four days. When he reappeared at the office he was bronzed, but under the bronze showed fatigue—in a man of his youth and strength sure sign of much worry and loss of sleep. He greeted her almost awkwardly, his eyes avoiding hers, and sat down to opening his accumulated mail. Although she was furtively observing him she started when he abruptly said:

"You know you are free to go—at any time."

"I'll wait until you catch up with your work," she suggested.

"No—never mind. I'll get along. I've kept you out of all reason.... The sooner you go the better. I've got to get used to it, and—I hate suspense."

"Then I'll go in the morning," said Selma. "I've no arrangements to make—except a little packing that'll take less than an hour. Will you say good-by for me to any one who asks? I hate fusses, and I'll be back here from time to time."

He looked at her curiously, started to speak, changed his mind and resumed reading the letter in his hand. She turned to her work, sat pretending to write. In fact she was simply scribbling. Her eyes were burning and she was fighting against the sobs that came surging. He rose and began to walk up and down the room. She hastily crumpled and flung away the sheet on which she had be scrawling; he might happen to glance at her desk and see. She bent closer to the paper and began to write—anything that came into her head. Presently the sound of his step ceased. An uncontrollable impulse to fly seized her. She would get up—would not put on her hat—would act as if she were simply going to the street door for a moment. And she would not return—would escape the danger of a silly breakdown. She summoned all her courage, suddenly rose and moved swiftly toward the door. At the threshold she had to pause; she could not control her heart from a last look at him.

He was seated at his table, was staring at its litter of letters, papers and manuscripts with an expression so sad that it completely transformed him. She forgot herself. She said softly:


He did not hear.

"Victor," she repeated a little more loudly.

He roused himself, glanced at her with an attempt at his usual friendly smile of the eyes.

"Is there something wrong that you haven't told me about?" she asked.

"It'll pass," said he. "I'll get used to it." With an attempt at the manner of the humorous philosopher, "Man is the most adaptable of all the animals. That's why he has distanced all his relations. I didn't realize how much our association meant to me until you set me to thinking about it by telling me you were going. I had been taking you for granted—a habit we easily fall into with those who simply work with and for us and don't insist upon themselves."

She was leaning against the frame of the open door into the hall, her hands behind her back. She was gazing out of the window across the room.

"You," he went on, "are as I'd like to be—as I imagined I was. Your sense of duty to the cause orders you elsewhere, and you go—like a good soldier, with never a backward glance."

She shook her head, but did not speak.

"With never a backward glance," he repeated. "While I—" He shut his lips together firmly and settled himself with fierce resolution to his work. "I beg your pardon," he said. "This is—cowardly. As I said before, I shall get myself in hand again, and go on."

She did not move. The breeze of the unseasonably warm and brilliant day fluttered her thick, loosely gathered hair about her brow. Her strange, barbaric little face suggested that the wind was blowing across it a throng of emotions like the clouds of a driven storm.

A long silence. He suddenly flung out his arms in a despairing gesture and let them fall to the table. At the crash she startled, gazed wildly about.

"Selma!" he cried. "I must say it. I love you."

A profound silence fell. After a while she went softly across the room and sat down at her desk.

"I think I've loved you from the first months of your coming here to work—to the old office, I mean. But we were always together—every day—all day long—working together—I thinking and doing nothing without your sharing in it. So, I never realized. Don't misunderstand. I'm not trying to keep you here. It's simply that I've got the habit of telling you everything—of holding back nothing from you."

"I was going," she said, "because I loved you."

He looked at her in amazement.

"That day you told me you had decided to get married—and asked my advice about the girls among our friends—that was the day I began to feel I'd have to go. It's been getting worse ever since."

Once more silence, both looking uneasily about, their glances avoiding each other. The door of the printing room opened, and Holman, the printer, came in, his case in his grimy hand. Said he:

"Where's the rest of that street car article?"

"I beg your pardon," said Selma, starting up and taking some manuscript from her desk and handing it to him.

"Louis," said Victor, as Holmes was retreating, "Selma and I are going to be married."

Louis paused, but did not look round. "That ain't what'd be called news," said he. "I've known it for more than three years."

He moved on toward his room. "I'll be ready for that leading article in half an hour. So, you'd better get busy."

He went out, closing the door behind him. Selma and Victor looked at each other and burst out laughing. Then—still laughing—they took hold of hands like two children. And the next thing they knew they were tight in each other's arms, and Selma was sobbing wildly.


When Jane had finished her apprenticeship, Doctor Charlton asked her to marry him. Said Jane:

"I never knew you to be commonplace before. I've felt this coming for some time, but I expected it would be in the form of an offer to marry me."

She promptly accepted him—and she has not, and will not regret it. So far as a single case can prove a theory, Jane's case has proved Charlton's theory that environment determines character. His alternations of tenderness and brusqueness, of devotion to her and devotion to his work, his constant offering of something new and his unremitting insistence upon something new from her each day make it impossible for her to develop the slightest tendency toward that sleeping sickness wherewith the germ of conventionality inflicts any mind it seizes upon.

David Hull, now temporarily in eclipse through over caution in radical utterance, is gathering himself for a fresh spurt that will doubtless place him at the front in politics again. He has never married. The belief in Remsen City is that he is a victim of disappointed love for Jane Hastings. But the truth is that he is unable to take his mind off himself long enough to be come sufficiently interested in another human being. There is no especial reason why he has thus far escaped the many snares that have been set for him because of his wealth and position. Who can account for the vagaries of chance?

The Workingmen's League now controls the government of Remsen City. It gives an honest and efficient administration, and keeps the public service corporations as respectful of the people as the laws will permit. But, as Victor Dorn always warned the people, little can be done until the State government is conquered—and even then there will be the national government to see that all the wrongs of vested rights are respected and that the people shall have little to say, in the management of their own affairs. As all sensible people know, any corrupt politician, or any greedy plutocrat, or any agent of either is a safer and better administrator of the people's affairs than the people themselves.

The New Day is a daily with a circulation for its weekly edition that is national. And Victor and Selma are still its editors, though they have two little boys to bring up.

Jane and Selma see a great deal of each other, and are friendly, and try hard to like each other. But they are not friends.

Dick Kelly's oldest son, graduated from Harvard, is the leader of the Remsen City fashionable set. Joe House's only son is a professional gambler and sets the pace among the sports.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Conflict, by David Graham Phillips


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