Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: David Lockwin—The People's Idol
Author: McGovern, John, 1850-1917
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "David Lockwin—The People's Idol" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



[Frontispiece:  He appears on the balcony.  There is a cheer that may
be heard all over the South Side.]



DAVID LOCKWIN

The People's Idol



BY

JOHN McGOVERN,



AUTHOR OF


"Daniel Trentworthy," "Burritt Durand," "Geoffrey," "Jason Hortner,"
"King Darwin," etc.



CHICAGO:

DONOHUE, HENNEBERRY & CO.



COPYRIGHT, 1889, BY JOHN M'GOVERN.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.



COPYRIGHT, 1891, BY JOHN M'GOVERN.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.



TABLE OF CONTENTS


Book I - Davy

Chapter

    I.  Harpwood and Lockwin
   II.  The People's Idol
  III.  Of Sneezes
   IV.  Bad News All Around
    V.  Dr. Floddin's Patient
   VI.  A Reign of Terror
  VII.  The Primaries
 VIII.  Fifty Kegs of Beer
   IX.  The Night Before Election
    X.  Elected
   XI.  Lynch-Law for Corkey
  XII.  In Georgian Bay
 XIII.  Off Cape Croker
  XIV.  In the Conventional Days


Book II - Esther Lockwin

    I.  Extra!  Extra!
   II.  Corkey's Fear of a Widow's Grief
  III.  The Cenotaph
   IV.  A Knolling Bell


Book III - Robert Chalmers

    I.  A Difficult Problem
   II.  A Complete Disguise
  III.  Before the Telegraph Office
   IV.  "A Sound of Revelry by Night"
    V.  Letters of Consolation
   VI.  The Yawl
  VII.  A Rash Act
 VIII.  A Good Scheme
   IX.  A Heroic Act
    X.  Esther as a Liberal Patron


Book IV - George Harpwood

    I.  Corkey's Good Scheme
   II.  Happiness and Peace
  III.  At 3 in the Morning
   IV.  The Bridegroom
    V.  At Six O'clock



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Frontispiece:  He appears on the balcony.  There is a cheer that may be
heard all over the South Side.

Three of the most bashful arise and come to be kissed.

The boat drags him.  He catches the boy's hand.

Her eye returns in satisfaction to the glittering black granite letters
over the portal.

"It's a good scheme, Corkey."

But the bride still stands under the lamp on the portico, statuesque as
Zenobia or Medea.



DAVID LOCKWIN

THE PEOPLE'S IDOL


BOOK I

DAVY


CHAPTER I

HARPWOOD AND LOCKWIN

Esther Wandrell, of Chicago, will be worth millions of dollars.

It is a thought that inspires the young men of all the city with
momentous ambitions.  Why does she wait so long?  Whom does she favor?

To-night the carriages are trolling and rumbling to the great mansion
of the Wandrells on Prairie Avenue.  The women are positive in their
exclamations of reunion, and this undoubted feminine joy exhilarates,
and entertains the men.  The lights are brilliant, the music is far
away and clever, the flowers and decorations are novel.

If you look in the faces of the guests you shall see that the affair
cannot fail.  Everybody has personally assured the success of the
evening.

Many times has this hospitable home opened to its companies of selected
men, and women.  Often has the beautiful Esther Wandrell smiled upon
the young men--upon rich and poor alike.  Why is she, at twenty-seven
years of age, rich, magnificent and unmarried?

Ask her mother, who married at fifteen.  Ask the father, who for ten
years worried to think his only child might go away from him at any day.

"I tell you," says Dr. Tarpion, "Harpwood will get her, and get her
to-night.  That is what this party is for.  I've seen them together,
and I know what's in the air."

"Is that so?" says David Lockwin.

"Yes, it is so, and you know you don't like Harpwood any too well since
he got your primary in the Eleventh."

"I should say I didn't!" says Lockwin, half to himself.

At a distance, Esther Wandrell passes on Harpwood's arm.

"Who is Harpwood?" asks Lockwin.

"I'm blessed if I know," answers Dr. Tarpion.

"How long has he been in town?"

"Not over two years."

"Do you know anybody who knows him?"

"He owes me a bill."

"What was he sick of?"

"Worry."

The man and woman repass.  The woman looks toward Lockwin and his dear
friend the renowned Dr. Irenaeus Tarpion.  Guests speak of Harpwood.
His suit is bold.  The lady is apparently interested.

"I should not think you would like that?" says the doctor.

"Why should I care, after all?" asks Lockwin.

"Well, if ever I have seen two men whose destinies are hostile, it
seems to me that you and Harpwood fill the condition.  If he gets into
Wandrell's family you might as well give up politics."

"Perhaps I might do that anyhow."

"Well, you are an odd man.  I'll not dispute that.  What you will do at
any given time I'll not try to prophesy."

The twain separate.  However, of any two men in Chicago, perhaps David
Lockwin and Dr. Tarpion are most agreeable to each other.  From boyhood
they have been familiar.  If one has said to the other, "Do that!" it
has been done.

"I fear you cannot be spared from your other guests, Esther," says
Lockwin.

"I fear you are trying to escape to that dear doctor of yours.  Now,
are you not?"

"No.  I have been with him for half an hour already.  Esther, you are a
fine-looking woman.  Upon my honor, now--"

She will not tolerate it, yet she never looked so pleased before.

"Tell me," she says, "of your little boy."

"Of my foundling?"

"Yes, I love to hear you speak of him."

"Well, Esther, the truest thing I have heard of my boy was said by old
Richard Tarbelle.  He stopped me the other day.  You know our houses
adjoin.  'Mr. Lockwin,' said he, as he came home with his basket--he
goes to his son's hotel each day for family stores--'I often say to
Mary that the happiest moment in my day is when I give an apple or an
orange to your boy, for the look on that child's face is the nearest we
ever get to heaven on this earth."

"O, beautiful! beautiful! Mr. Lockwin."

"Yes, indeed, Esther.  I took that little fellow three years ago.  I
had no idea he would grow so pretty.  Folks said it was the oddest of
pranks, but if I had bought fifteen more horses than I could use, or
dogs enough to craze the neighborhood, or even a parrot, like my good
neigbor Tarbelle, everybody would have been satisfied.  Of course, I
had to take a house and keep a number of people for whom a bachelor has
no great need.  But, Esther, when I go home there is framed in my
window the most welcome picture human eye has ever seen--that little
face, Esther!"

The man is enwrapped.  The woman joins in the man's exaltation.

"He is the most beautiful child I have ever seen anywhere.  It is the
talk of everybody.  You are so proud of him when you ride together!"

"Esther, I have seen him in the morning when he came to rouse me--his
face as white as his gown; his golden hair long, and so fleecy that it
would stand all about his head; his mouth arched like the Indian's bow;
his great blue eyes bordered with dark brows and lashed with jet-black
hairs a half-inch long.  That picture, Esther, I fear no painter can
get.  I marvel why I do not make the attempt."

"He is as bright as he is beautiful," she says.

"Yes, Esther, I have looked over this world.  Childhood is always
beautiful--always sweet to me--but my boy is without equal, and nearly
everybody admits it."

"He is not yours, David."

The man looks inquiringly.

"I have as good a right to love him as you have.  I do love him."

The man has been eloquent and self-forgetful.  The woman has lost her
command.  Tears are coming in her eyes.  Shame is mantling her cheeks.
David Lockwin is startled.

George Harpwood passes in the distance with Esther's mother on his arm.

"Esther, you know me, with all my faults.  I think we could be happy
together--we three--you and I and the boy.  Will you marry me?  Will
you be a mother to my little boy?  He is lonesome while I am gone!"

The matter is settled.  It has come by surprise.  If David Lockwin had
foreseen it, he would have left the field open to Harpwood.

If Esther Wandrell had foreseen it, she would have shunned David
Lockwin.  It is her dearest hope, and yet--



CHAPTER II

THE PEOPLE'S IDOL

If David Lockwin had planned to increase all his prospects, and if all
his plans had worked with precision, he could in nowise have pushed his
interests more powerfully than by marrying Esther Wandrell.

It might have been said of Lockwin that he was impractical; that he was
a dreamer.  He had done singular things.  He had not studied the ways
of public opinion.

But now, to solidify all his future--to take a secure place in society,
especially as his leanings toward politics are pronounced--to do these
things--this palliates and excuses the adoption of the golden-haired
boy.

Lockwin hears this from his friend, the doctor.  Lockwin hears it from
the world. The more he hears it the less he likes it.

But people, particularly the doctor, are happy in Lockwin.  His
popularity in the district is amazing.  He will soon be deep in
politics.  He has put Harpwood out of the combat--so the doctor says.

And David Lockwin, when he comes home at night, still sees his boy at
the window.  What a noble affection is that love for this waif!  Why
should such a thought seize the man as he sits in his library with wife
and son?  Why should not David be tender and good to the woman who
loves him so well, and is so proud of her husband?

Tender and good he is--as if he pitied her.  Tender and good is she.
So that if an orphan in the great city should be in the especial care
of the Lord, why should not that orphan drop into this house, exactly
as has happened, and no matter at all what society may have said?

"You must run for Congress!" the doctor commands.

It spurs Lockwin.  He thinks of the great white dome at Washington.  He
thinks of his marked ability as an orator, everywhere conceded.  He
says he does not care to enter upon a life so active, but he is not
truly in earnest.

"You must run for Congress!" the committee says the next week.

Feelings of friendliness for the incumbent of the office to give
Lockwin a sufficient excuse for inaction.

The incumbent dies suddenly a week later.

"You must run to save the party," the committeemen announce.

A day later the matter is settled.  The great editors are seen; the
boss of the machine is satisfied; the ward-workers and the
saloon-keepers are infused with party allegiance.

David Lockwin begins at one end of State street and drinks, or pretends
to drink, at every bar between Lake and Fortieth streets.  This
libation poured on the altar of liberty, he is popularly declared to be
in the race.  The newspapers announce that he is the people's idol, and
the boss of the machine sends word to the newspapers that it is all
well enough, but it must be kept up.

David Lockwin rents head-quarters in the district, and shakes hands
with all the touching committees.  Twelve members of the Sons of Labor
can carry their union over to him.  It will require $100, as the union
is mostly democratic.

They are told they must see Mr. Lockwin's central committee.  But Mr.
Lockwin must be prepared to deliver an address on the need of reform in
the government, looking to the civil service, to retrenchment and to
the complete allegiance of the officeholder to his employers, the
voters.

Mr. Lockwin must listen with attention to a plan by which the central
committee of the Sodalified Assembly can be packed with republicans at
the annual election, to take place the next Sunday.  This will enable
Lockwin to carry the district in case he should get the nomination.  To
show a deep interest in the party and none in himself must arouse
popular idolatry.

This popular idolatry must be kept awake, because Harpwood has opened
head-quarters and is visited by the same touching committees.  He has
been up and down State street, and has drunk more red liquor than was
seen to go down Lockwin's throat.  In more ways than one, Harpwood
shows the timber out of which popular idols are made.

The doctor is alarmed.  He makes a personal canvass of all his
patients.  They do not know when the primaries will be held.  They do
not know who ought to go to Washington.  All they know is that the
congressman is dead and there must be a special election, which is
going to cost them some extra money.  If the boss of the machine will
see to it, that will do!

But Lockwin is the man.  This the boss has been at pains to determine.
The marriage has made things clear.

One should study the boss.  Why is he king?  If we have a democracy how
is it that everybody in office or in hope of office obeys the pontiff?
It is the genius of the people for government.  The boss is at a summer
resort near the city.

To him comes Harpwood, and finds the great contractor, the promoter of
the outer docks, the park commissioners, and a half-dozen other great
men already on the ground.

"Harpwood," says the boss, "I am out of politics, particularly in your
district.  Yet, if you can carry the primaries, I could help you
considerably.  Carry the primaries, me boy, and I'll talk with you
further.  See you again.  Good-bye."

The next day comes Lockwin.

There are no "me-boys" now.  Here is the candidate.  He must be put in
irons.

"Lockwin, what makes you want to go to Congress?"

"I don't believe I do want to go, but I was told you wished to see me
up here, privately."

"Well, you ought to know whether or not you want to go.  Nobody wants
you there if it isn't yourself.  Harpwood will go if you don't."

"Yes, I suppose so."

"Well, if you want our support, we must have a pledge from you.  I
guess you want to go, and we are willing to put you there for the
unexpired term and the next one.  Then are you ready to climb down?
Say the word.  The mayor and the senator are out there waiting for me."

"All right.  It is a bargain."

"And you won't feel bad when we knock you out, in three years?"

"No.  I will probably be glad to come home."

"Very well; we will carry the primaries.  But that district needs
watching.  Spend lots of money."



CHAPTER III

OF SNEEZES

There is no chapter on sneezes in "Tristam Shandy."  The faithful
Boswell has recorded no sneeze of Dr. Johnson.  Spinoza does not reckon
it among the things the citizen may do without offense to a free state.
Montesquieu does not give the Spirit of Sneezing, nor tell how the
ancients sneezed.  Pascal, in all his vanities of man, has no thought
on sneezing.  Bacon has missed it.  Of all the glorious company of
Shakespeare's brain, a few snored, but not one sneezed or spoke of
sneezing.  Darwin avoids it.  Hegel and Schlegel haven't a word of it.
The encyclopedias leave it for the dictionaries.

We might suppose the gentle latitudes and halcyon seas of Asia and the
Mediterranean had failed to develop the sneeze, save that the immortal
Montaigue, a friend in need to every reader, will point you that
Aristotle told why the people bless a man who sneezes.  "The gods bless
you!" said the Athenian.  "God bless you!" says the Irishman or
Scotchman of to-day.

A sneeze is to enter the politics of the First District.  Could any
political boss, however prudent or scholarly, foresee it?  A sneeze is
to influence the life of David Lockwin.  Does not providence move in a
mysterious way?

A great newspaper has employed as its marine reporter a singular
character.  He once was rich--that is, he had $10,000 in currency.  How
had he made it?  Running a faro bank.  How did he lose it?  By taking a
partner, who "played it in"--that is, the partner conspired with an
outside player, or "patron" of the house.  Why did not our man begin
over again?  He was disheartened--tired of the business.  Besides, it
gives a gambler a bad name to be robbed--it is like a dishonored
husband.

The marine reporter's ancestors were knights.  The ancestral name was
Coeur de Cheval.  The attrition of centuries, and the hurry of the
industrial period, have diminished this name in sound and dignity to
Carkey, and finally to Corkey.

Naturally of a knightly fiber, this queer man has no sooner established
himself in command of the port of Chicago than he has found his dearest
dreams realized.  To become the ornament of the sailor's fraternity is
but to go up and down the docks, drinking the whisky which comes in
free from Canada and sneezing.

"We steer toward Corkey's sneeze," the sailors declare.

To produce the greatest sneeze that was ever heard in the valley of the
Mississippi, give us, then, a man who is called a "sawed-off" by those
who love him--a very thick, very short, very tobaccofied, strong man in
cavalry pants, with a jacket of the heaviest chinchilla--a restless,
oathful, laconic, thirsty, never-drunk "editor."  It is a man after the
sailor's own heart.  It is a man, too, well known to the gamblers, and
they all vote in Lockwin's district.

Parlor entertainers make a famous sneeze by delegating to each of a
group some vowel in the word "h--sh!"  It shall be "hash" for this one,
"hish" for that one, "hush" for still another, and so on.  Then the
professor counts three, at which all yell together, and the
consolidated sound is a sneeze.

In a chorus the leader may tell you one singer is worth all the rest.
So, if Corkey were in this parlor, and should render one unforeseen,
unpremeditated sneeze, you would not know the parlorful had sneezed
along with him.  Corkey's sneeze is unapproachable, unrivaled, hated,
feared, admired, reverenced.  The devout say "God bless you!" with deep
unction.  The adventurous declare that such a sneeze would buckle the
cabin-floor of a steamer like a wave in the trough of the sea.

When Corkey sneezes, sailors are moved to treat to the drinks.  They
mark it as an event.  A sailor will treat you because it is Christmas,
or because Corkey has sneezed.

Greatness consists in doing one thing better or worse than any one else
can do it.  Thus it is rare a man is so really great as Corkey.



CHAPTER IV

BAD NEWS ALL AROUND

With thousands of gamblers in good luck, and thousands of sailors in
port, why should not the saloons of the dock regions resound also with
politics--a politics of ultra-marine color--Corkey recooking and
warming the cold statesmanship of his newspaper, breaking the counter
with his fist, paying gorgeously for both drinks and glasses, smiling
when the sailors expel outside politicians and at last rocking the
building with his sneeze.

It is thus settled that Corkey shall go to Congress from Lockwin's
district.  Because this is a sailor's matter it is difficult to handle
it from the adversary's side.  The political boss first hears of it
through the information of a rival marine reporter on a democratic
sheet.

This is on Wednesday.  The primaries are to be held on Friday.  The
boss has never dealt with a similar mishap.  He learns that ten wagons
have been engaged by the president of the sailors' society.  He
observes that the season is favorable to Corkey's plans.

What, then, does Corkey want?

"Nothing!"

What is he after?  He surely doesn't expect to go to Washington!

"That's what I expect.  You just screw your nut straight that time,
sure."

What does he want to go to Congress for?

"Well, my father got there.  I guess my grandfather was in, too.  My
great-grandfather wasn't no bad player.  But I don't care nothing for
dead men.  I'm going to Congress to start the labor party.  I'm going
to have Eight Hours and more fog-horns on the Manitous and the Foxes.
I'm going to have a Syrena on the break-water."

The siren-horn is just now the wonder of the lake region.

"I tell you she'll be a bird."

The eyes grow brighter, the face grows dark, the mouth squares, the
head vibrates, the little tongue plays about a mass of jet-black
tobacco--the sneeze comes.

"That's a bird, too," says the political boss.

If Corkey is to start a labor party, why should he set out to carry a
republican primary election?

"Oh, well, you're asking too many questions.  Will you take a drink?
Come down and see the boys.  See how solid I've got 'em."

Lockwin's brow clouds as the boss tells of this new development.

"Those sailors will fight," he says.

"But Corkey reckons on the gamblers," explains the boss, "and we can
fix the gamblers."

"What will you do?"

"Do?  I'll do as I did in 1868, when I was running the Third.  The
eight-hour men had the ward."

"What did you do?"

"I carted over the West Side car company's laborers--a thousand on 'em."

David Lockwin starts for home.  His heart is heavy.  To-day has been
hard.  The delegations of nominating committees have been eager and
greedy.  The disbursements have been large.  An anonymous circular has
appeared, which calls attention to the fact that David Lockwin is a
mere reader of books, an heir of some money who has married for more
money.  Good citizens are invited to cast aside social reasons and oust
the machine candidate, for the nomination of Lockwin will be a
surrender of the district into the clutches of the ring at the city
hall.

There is more than political rancor in this handbill.

There is more than a well defined, easily perceived personal malice in
this argument.

There is the poisoning sting of the truth--the truth said in a general
way, but striking in a special and a tender place.

The house is reached.  Lockwin has not enlarged his establishment.
Politics, at least, has spared him the humiliation of moving on Prairie
Avenue.  Politics has kept him "among the people."

It is the house which holds his boy.  Lockwin did not adopt the boy for
money!  The boy was not a step on the way to Congress!  Lockwin did not
become a popular idol because he became a father to the foundling!

It is a cooling and a comforting thought.  Yesterday, while Lockwin sat
in his study hurriedly preparing his statement to the party, on the
needs of the nation and a reformed civil service, the golden head was
as deep at a little desk beside.  Pencil in hand, the child had
addressed the voters of the First District, explaining to them the
reasons why his papa should be elected.  "Josephus," wrote curly-head;
"Groceries," he added; "Ice," he concluded; A, B, C, D and so on, with
a tail the wrong way on J.

It is a memory that robs politics of its bitterness.  Lockwin opens the
door and kisses his wife affectionately.  After all, he is a most
fortunate man.  If there were a decent way he would let Harpwood go to
Congress and be rid of him.

"Davy is very sick," she says, with a white face.

"What!  My boy!!  When was he taken?  Is it diphtheria?  What has the
doctor said?  Why wasn't I called?  Where is he?  Here, Davy, here's
papa.  Here's papa!  Old boy!  Old fel'!  Oh, God, I'm so scared!"

All this as Lockwin goes up the stairs.

It is a wheezing little voice that replies; "S-u-h-p-e-s-o-J!  What's
that, papa?"

"Does that hurt, Davy?  There? or there?"

"That's 'Josephus,' papa, on your big book, that I'll have some day--it
I live.  If I live I'll have all your books!"



CHAPTER V

DR. FLODDIN'S PATIENT

If there be one thing of which great Chicago stands in fear, it is that
King Herod of the latter day, diphtheria.

This terror of the people is absolute, ignorant, and therefore supine.
The cattle have a scourge, but the loss of money makes men active.
When the rinderpest appears, governors issue proclamations.  When
horses show the glanders, quarantine is established.  But when a
father's flock is cut off, it is done before he can move, and other
fathers will not or cannot interpose for their own protection.

All the other fathers do is to discount the worst--to dread the unseen
sword which is suspended over all heads.

When David Lockwin heard that one of his tenants had a child dead with
the contagion, the popular idol strove to recall his movements.  Had he
been in the sick-room?  Had Davy been in that region?  The thought
which had finally alarmed Lockwin was the recollection that he had
stopped with Davy in the grocery beneath the apartments of the dying
child.

That was nine days before.  Why is Dr. Tarpion absent?  What a good
fortune, however, that Dr. Floddin can be given charge.  And if the
disease be diphtheria, whisky will alleviate and possibly cure the
patient.  It is a hobby with Lockwin.

Dr. Floddin has come rather oddly by this practice.  Who he is, no
other regular doctor knows.  But Dr. Floddin has an honest face, and
keeps a little drug store on State street below Eighteenth.  He usually
charges fifty cents a visit, which is all he believes his services to
be worth.  This piece of quackery would ruin his name with Lockwin,
were it known to him, or had Dr. Tarpion been consulted.

The regular fee is two dollars.

The poor come daily to Dr. Floddin's, and his fame is often in their
mouths.

Why is Davy white and beautiful?  Why is he gentle and so marvelously
intelligent?

A year back, when his tonsils swelled, Dr. Tarpion said they must be
cut out.  The house-keeper said it was the worst possible thing to do.
The cook said it should never be done.  The peddling huckster's son
said Dr. Floddin didn't believe in it.

Then Davy would wake in the night.  "I tan't breathe," he would
complain.

"Yes, you can, Davy.  Papa's here.  Lie down, Davy.  Here's a drink."

And in the morning all would be well.  Davy would be in the library
preparing for a great article.

The tribe on the other street, back, played ball from morning until
night.  The toddler of the lot was no bigger than Davy.  Every face was
as round and red as a Spitzbergen apple.

Last summer Lockwin and Davy went for a ball and bat, the people along
the cross-street as usual admiring the boy.  A blacksmith shop was on
the way.  A white bulldog was at the forge.  He leaped away from his
master, and was on the walk in an instant.  With a dash he was on Davy,
his heavy paw in the neat little pocket, bursting it and strewing the
marbles and the written articles.  Snap! went the mouth on the child's
face, but it was merely a caprice.

"Bulldog never bite a child," observed the blacksmith.

But Lockwin had time only to take his baby between his legs.  "Please
call in your dog," he said to the blacksmith.  "Please call him in.
Please call him in."

The dog was recalled.  The child smiled, and yet he felt he had been
ill served.  The little hanging pocket testified that Lockwin must
tarry in that hateful locality and pick up the treasure and documents.

Trembling in every joint, he called at the house of an acquaintance.
"I dislike to keep you here," said the friend, "if you are afraid of
the whooping-cough.  We have it here in the house."

It seemed to David Lockwin that the city was an inhospitable place for
childhood.  The man and child traveled on and on.  They reached the toy
store.  They stood before the soda fountain.  They bought bat and ball.

It was too far.  They rode by street car three miles in order to return
the half mile.  The child was asleep when they reached home.

"I drank sewer water," he observed to the housekeeper, speaking of the
soda fountain, for sewer gas is a thing for Chicagoans to discuss with
much learning.

So Davy and David went on the rear lot to play ball.  The neighboring
tribe offered their services for two-old-cat.  The little white boy
with the golden curls made a great hit.

"Bully for the codger!" quoth all the red-cheeked.

"We will cut off his curls and make him as healthy as those young
ones," said Lockwin.

"You'll never do it!" said the housekeeper.

"Such as him do be too pretty for this life," said the cook, almost
with tears in her eyes.

And just at this epoch of new hygiene Davy's eyes grew sore.  "Take him
to a specialist," said Dr. Tarpion.

The specialist made the eyes a little worse.

"Them's just such eyes as Dr. Floddin cured on my sister," said the
peddling huckster's son at the kitchen door.

The housekeeper could say as much for a relative whom the cheap
druggist had served.

"Can you cure my boy?" was Lockwin's question to Dr. Floddin.

"I think so," said the good man.  He was gratified to be called to the
relief of a person of so much consequence.  Thereupon began a patient
treatment of Davy's tonsils, his nose, and his eyes.  As if Dr. Floddin
knew all things, he foretold the day when the boy would reappear in his
own countenance.

"Bless your little soul," the housekeeper would say, "I can't for the
life of me laugh at you.  But you do look so strange!"

"I thought," Lockwin would say, "I loved you for your beauty, Davy, but
I guess it was for yourself."

"I guess you will love me better when I can play ball with the swear
boys, won't you, papa?"

"Yes, you must get strong.  We will cut off your curls then."

"And may I sit in your library and write articles if I will be very
still and not get mud on me?  They throwed mud on me once, papa."

Poor little swollen-eyed Davy!  Yet richer than almost any other living
thing in Chicago.  None knew him but to love him.  "I didn't think it
would hit him," said even the barbarian who shied the clod at Davy.

When Esther Lockwin took charge of that home she found Davy all issued
from the chrysalis of sores and swellings.  If he had once been
beautiful, he was now more lovely.  The union of intelligence,
affection, and seemliness was startling to Esther's mind.

It was a dream.  It knit her close to her husband.  The child talked of
his papa all day.  Because his new mother listened so intently, he
found less time to write his articles, and no time at all out-doors.

"Don't let him study if you can help it," said Dr. Floddin.

The child stood at his favorite place in the window, waiting for old
Richard Tarbelle to come home.

"'Bon-Ton Grocery,' mamma; what is 'Bon-Ton?'"

"That is the name of the grocery."

"Yes, I see that.  It's on the wagon, of course, but does Mr. Bon-Ton
keep your grocery?"

How, therefore, shall the book of this world be shut from Davy?  But,
is it not a bad thing to see the child burst out crying in the midst of
an article?

"Don't write any more to-day, baby," the housekeeper would say.

"Come down and get the elephant I baked for yez, pet," the cook would
beg.

And then Richard Tarbelle would come around the corner with his basket,
his eye fastened on that window where the smiling child was pictured.

"Here, Davy.  There was a banquet at the hotel last night.  See that
bunch of grapes, now!"

"You are very kind, Mr. Tarbelle."

"Mrs. Lockwin, I have been a hard man all my life.  When I had my
argument with the bishop on baptism--"

"Yes, Mr. Tarbelle, you are very kind."

"Mrs. Lockwin, as I said, I have been a hard man all my life, but your
little boy has enslaved me.  Sixty-three years!  I don't believe I
looked twice at my own three boys.  But they are great men.  Big times
at the _ho_-tel, Mrs. Lockwin.  Four hundred people on cots.  Here,
Davy, you can carry an orange, too.  Well, Mary will be waiting for me.
Your servant, madam.  Good day.  I hear your husband is up for
Congress.  Tell him he has my vote.  Good day, madam.  Yes, Mary, yes,
yes.  Good-bye, Davy.  Good-bye, madam."



CHAPTER VI

A REIGN OF TERROR

When a man is in politics--when the party is intrusting its sacred
interests to his leadership--it is expected that he will stay at
head-quarters.  It is as good as understood that he will be where the
touching committees can touch him.  His clarion voice must be heard
denouncing the evil plans of the political enemy.

The absence of David Lockwin from his head-quarters is therefore
declared to be a "bomb-shell."  In the afternoon papers it is said that
he has undoubtedly withdrawn in favor of Harpwood.

The morning papers announce serious illness in Lockwin's family.

What they announce matters nothing to Lockwin.  He cannot be seen.

If it be diphtheria Lockwin will use whisky plentifully.  It is his
hobby that whisky is the only antidote.

Dr. Floddin has taken charge.  He believes that whisky would increase
Davy's fever.  "It is not diphtheria," he says.  "Be assured on that
point.  It is probably asthma."

Whatever it may be, it is terrible to David Lockwin, and to Esther, and
to all.

The child draws his breath with a force that sometimes makes itself
heard all over the house.  He must be treated with emetics.  He is in
the chamber this Wednesday night, on a couch beside the great bed.  The
room has been hot, but by what chance does the furnace fail at such a
moment?  It is David Lockwin up and down, all night--now going to bed
in hope the child will sleep--now rising in terror to hear that shrill
breathing--now rousing all hands to heat the house and start a fire at
the mantel.  Where is Dr. Cannoncart's book?  Read that.  Ah, here it
is.  "For asthma, I have found that stramonium leaves give relief.
Make a decoction and spray the patient."

Off the man goes to the drug store for the packet of stramonium.  It
must be had quickly.  It must be boiled, and that means an hour.  It is
incredible that the fire should go out!  The man sweats a cold liquor.
He feels like a murderer.  He feels bereft.  He is exhausted with a
week of political orgy.

And yet along toward morning, as the gray morn grows red in response to
the stained glasses and rich carpetings, the room is warm once more.
The whistling in the child's throat is less shrill.  The man and the
woman sit by the little couch and the man presses the rubber bulb and
sprays the air about the sick boy.

He will take no medicine.  Never before did he refuse to obey.  But now
he is in deeper matters.  It requires all his strength and all his
thoughts to get his breath.  As for medicine, he will not take it.  For
the spray he is grateful.  His beautiful eyes open gloriously when a
breath has come without that hard tugging for it.

At eight in the morning the man and the woman eat--a cup of coffee and
a nubbin of bread.  The mother of Esther arrives.  She too is terrified
by the ordeal through which the child is passing.

"Go to the head-quarters, David," she says.  "You are needed.  Pa says
so.  I will stay all day,"

"Oh, Mother Wandrell, what do you think?"

"Here is your Dr. Floddin, ask him."

The doctor speaks sadly.  "He is much worse.  What has happened?"

"The fires went out," answers Lockwin.

"Get some flaxseed at once.  Get a stove in here.  These fine houses
kill many people.  Keep the body enswathed in the double poultice, but
don't let the emulsion touch his skin directly.  What is the effect of
the medicine?  I see he has taken a little.  The bottleful is not going
fast enough."

"He has taken no medicine at all," says Esther.  "It was spilled."

David Lockwin, starting for head-quarters, must now attend the fixing
of a stove where there is little accommodation for a stove.

"Give me the child," says the cook, "and the fire will not go out."

"It would be murder for me to go to head-quarters, and I believe it
would be double murder," he whispers to himself.  He is in a lamentable
state.  At two o'clock, with the stove up, the flaxseed cooking, the
boy warmly bandaged, the asthmatic sounds diminished, and the women
certain they have administered some of the medicine to the stubborn
patient, Lockwin finds that he can lie down.  He sleeps till dark,
while Corkey organizes for the most tumultuous primaries that were ever
held in Chicago.

With the twilight settling in upon his bed Lockwin starts into
wakefulness.  He has dreamed of two-old-cat.  "Bully for the codger!"
the tribe of red-faces yell.  In the other room he now hears the dismal
gasps of his curly-head.

He rinses his mouth with water, not daring to ask if the worst is
coming.  He knows it is not coming, else he had been called.  Yet he is
not quick to enter the sick chamber.

"David, it is your duty to make him take it," the mother says, as she
goes.  "Esther, you look worse than David."

Thus the night begins.  The child has learned to dislike the
imprisonment of poultices.  The air is heavy with flaxseed.  The basin
of stramonium water adds its melancholy odor to the room.

It is the first trouble Lockwin has ever seen.  He is as unready and
unwilling as poor little Davy.  It is murder--that furnace going out.
This thought comes to Lockwin over and over; perhaps the feeling of
murder is because Davy is not an own son.

It is all wretched and hideous!  The slime of politics and the smell of
flaxseed unite to demoralize the man.  O if Dr. Tarpion were only here!
But Davy will take no medicine; how could Tarpion help Davy?

Yes, that medicine--ipecac!  The name has been hateful to Lockwin from
childhood.

Let Corkey win the primaries!  What odds?  Will not that release
Lockwin from the touching committees?  Does he wish to owe his election
to a street car-company in another quarter of the city?

Perhaps Harpwood will win!  How would that aid Davy?  Ah, Davy!  Davy!
all comes back to him!  It is a strange influence this little boy has
thrown upon David Lockwin, child of fortune and people's idol.

It is a decent and wholesome thing---the only good and noble deed which
David Lockwin can just now credit to himself.  He bathes his hot
forehead again.

Yes, Davy!  Davy!  Davy--the very thought of Davy restores the fallen
spirit.  That water, too, seems to purify.  Water and Davy!  But it is
the well Davy--the little face framed at the window, waiting for papa,
waiting to know about Josephus--it is that Davy which stimulates the
soul.

Is it not a trial, then, to hear this boy--this rock of Lockwin's
better nature--in the grapple with Death himself?

If Davy were the flesh and blood of Lockwin, perhaps Lockwin might
determine that the child should follow its own wishes as to the taking
of ipecac.  But this question of murder--this general feeling of
Chicago that its babes are slaughtered willfully--takes hold of the man
powerfully as he gathers his own scattered forces of life.

"Esther, will you not go to the rear chamber and sleep?"

The child appeals to her that her presence aids him.

"May I sit down here, Davy?"

There is a nod.

"Will you take some medicine now, Davy?"

"No, ma'am!" comes the gasping voice.

The man sprays with the stramonium.  The doctor returns.

"Your boy is very ill with the asthma, Mr. Lockwin.  He ought to be
relieved.  But I think he will pull through.  Do not allow your nerves
to be over-strained by the asthmatic respiration.  It gives you more
pain than it gives to Davy."

"Do you suffer, Davy?"

"Yes, sir."

"Ah, well, he does not know what we mean.  Get him to take the
medicine, Mr. Lockwin.  It is your duty."

Duty!  Alas!  Is not David Lockwin responding to both love and duty
already?  Is it not a response such as he did not believe he could make?

The doctor goes.  The man works the rubber bulb until his fingers grow
paralytic.  Esther sleeps from exhaustion.  The child gets oversprayed.
The man stirs the flaxseed--how soon the stuff dries out!  He adds
water.  He rinses his mouth.  He arranges the mash on the cloths.  It
is cold already, and he puts it on the sheet-iron of the stove.

But Davy is still.  How to get the poultices changed?  The man feels
about the blessed little body.  A tide of tenderness sweeps through his
frame.  Alas! the poultices are cold again, and hard.

They are doing no good.

"Esther, I beg pardon, but will you assist me with the flaxseed?"

"Certainly, David.  Have I slept?  Why did you not call me sooner?
Here, lamby!  Here, lamby!  Let mamma help you."

The poultices are to be heated again.  The woman concludes the affair.
The man sits stretched in a chair, hands deep in pockets, one ankle
over the other, chin deep on his breast.

"Esther," he says at last, "it must be done!  It must be done!  Give
him to me!"

"Oh, David, don't hurt him!"

The man has turned to brute.  He seizes the child as the spoiler of a
city might begin his rapine.

"Pour the medicine--quick!"

It is ready.

"Now, Davy, you must take this, or I don't know but papa will--I don't
know but papa will kill you."

Up and down the little form is hurled.  Stubbornly the little will
contends for its own liberty.  Rougher and rougher become the motions,
darker and darker becomes the man's face--Satanic now--a murderer, bent
on having his own will.

"Oh, David, David!"

"Keep still, Esther!  I'll tolerate nothing from you!"

Has there been a surrender of the gasping child?  The man is too
murderous to hear it.

"I'll take it, papa!  I'll take it, papa!"

It is a poor, wheezing little cry, barely distinguishable.  How long it
has been coming to the understanding of those terrible captors cannot
be known.

How eagerly does the shapely little hand clutch the spoon.  "Another,"
he nods.  It is swallowed.  The golden head is hidden in the couch.

And David Lockwin sits trembling on the bed, gazing in hatred on the
medicine that has entered between him and his foundling.

"Papa had to do it!  Papa had to do it!  You will forgive him, pet?"
So the woman whispers.

There is no answer.

The man sprays the air.  "You won't blame papa, will you, Davy?"

The answer is eager.  "No, please!  Please, papa!"

It is a reign of terror erected on the government of love.  It is chaos
and asthma together.

"It is a horrible deed!" David Lockwin comments inwardly.

"Mother will be so glad," says Esther.  She pities the man.  She would
not have been so cruel.  She would have used gentler means, as she had
been doing for twenty-eight hours!  And Davy would have taken no
medicine.

The room is at eighty degrees.  The spray goes incessantly.  The
medicine is taken every half hour.

At three o'clock the emetic acts, giving immediate relief.

"I have heard my mother say," says Esther, "that a child is eased by a
change of flannels.  He is better now.  I think I will put on a clean
undershirt."

The woman takes the sick child in her lap and sits near the stove.  The
difficulties of the night return.

Why should the man's eyes be riveted on that captive's form!  Ah!  What
a pitiful look is that on golden-head's face!  The respiration is once
more impeded.  The little ribs start into sight.  The little bellows of
the body sucks with all its force.  The breath comes at last.  There is
no complaint.  There is the mute grandeur of Socrates.

"It is in us all!" the man cries.

"What is it in us all, David?" asks the woman.

"Cover him quickly, Esther, my dear," the man gasps, and buries his
face in the pillow.  "God of mercy, wipe that picture out of my
memory!" he prays.



CHAPTER VII

THE PRIMARIES

The sun of Friday morning shines brightly.  The sparrows chirp, the
wagons rattle, the boys cry the papers, and the household smiles.

The peddling huckster's son is not surprised.  He knew Dr. Floddin
would cure Davy.

The cook buys heavily.  They'll eat now.  "Mind what I'll fix for that
darlint to-day!" she threatens.

The housekeeper has taken Esther's place at Davy's couch.

"You have undoubtedly saved the life of your boy by making him take the
emetic.  He will love you just as much.  I know--Mrs. Lockwin was
telling me how much it disturbed you.  Don't lose your empire over him,
and he will be all right in a week.  He must not have a relapse--that
might kill him."

"Doctor, I am risen out of hell, the third day.  I cannot tell you what
I have felt, especially since midnight.  But I can tell you now what I
want.  I desire that you shall take my place on this case.  My personal
affairs are extremely pressing.  What yesterday was impossible is now
easy.  In fact, it seems to me that only impossibilities are probable.
Remember that money is of no account.  Throw aside your other practice.
See that the women keep my boy from catching that cold again and I will
pay you any sum you may name."

In Lockwin's school money will purchase all things.  Money will now
keep Davy from a relapse.  Money will carry the primaries.  Money will
win the election.

After all, Lockwin is inclined to smile at the terrors of the evening
before.  "I was in need of sleep," he says.

He has not slept since.  Why is he so brave now?  But brave he is.  He
carries an air of happiness all about him.  He has left his Davy
talking in his own voice, breathing with perfect freedom and ready to
go to sleep.

The people's idol appears at head-quarters.  He tells all the boys of
his good fortune.  They open his barrel and become more in hope of the
country than ever before.

The great Corkey appears also at Lockwin's head-quarters.  "Hear you've
had sickness." he says.  "Sorry, because I guess I've knocked you out
while you was at home.  I never like to take an unfair advantage of
nobody."

"Glad to see you, Mr. Corkey.  Go ahead!  Nobody happier than me
to-day."

"He beats me," said Corkey; "but he isn't goin' to be so sweet
to-night."

"Oh, I'm elected, sure!" Corkey announces on the docks.  "Harpwood he
offer me the collectorship of the port if I git down.  But I go round
to Lockwin's, and he seem to hope I'd win.  He beats _me_."

"Why, he's the machine man, Corkey.  You don't expect to beat the
machine?"

"Cert.  All machines is knocked out, some time, ain't they?"

"Not by the marines, Corkey."

"I can lick the man who comes down on these docks to say I'm going to
get the worst of it."

Corkey is accordingly elected, and all hands take a drink at the other
fellow's invitation, for which the great Corkey demands the privilege
of paying.  With this prologue the crowds start for the primaries.

"Lockwin, I expect you to stand straight up to the work to-day.  You
went back on us a little through the week.  I know how sickness is, but
my wife died while I was in charge of one campaign.  Politics is
politics.  Stand to the work to-day.  Nothing's the matter.  You've
created a good feeling among the boys.  I've got to give the car
company some more streets anyhow.  The residents are hot for
facilities.  So don't bother about their coming over.  They will be
over about three o'clock.  Let Corkey have the precincts of the Second
and Third.  If he comes further, a-repeating, you folks must fight.  He
will vote the gamblers but they will put in vest-pocket tickets for
you.  Understand?  Got all I said?  Give Corkey two wards---if he can
get the sailors up."

Such are the day's injunctions of the political boss.  It is only a
special election in one district.  It is practically settled already.
The boss has a thousand other matters of equal moment.

This is a day on which the prominent citizen stays out of politics.
The polling booths are built of stout timber in front of some saloon.
The line which is in possession votes all day.  Every vote counts one.

The sailors arrive and form in line before the various polls of the
Second and Third wards.

A stranger--a tenderfoot--that is, a resident party man, entitled to
vote--takes his place in the line.

"What did you tell me I lied for?" asks a very tough politician.

"I didn't tell you you lied."

"I lie, do I?"

Several toughs seize the infuriated politician and hold him while the
resident escapes.

These wards will be carried for Corkey.  In twice as many other
precincts the situation is precisely the same, except that Harpwood and
Lockwin, the recognized rivals, have the polls.

At three o'clock the wagons begin to unload, vote and reload.  A place
is made at the head of the line for these "passengers."

The "passenger" sailors vote at all of Corkey's precincts.  They start
for the other wards.

Now we may see the man Lockwin as commandant.  He has the police and
the touching committees.  He is voting his own "passengers" by the
thousands.

The sailors arrive in wagons.

"You can't unload here!" says Lockwin.

The sailors unload.

Eight men seize a sailor and land him back in the wagon.

Corkey sits on the wagon in front.  He draws his revolver.

"Put up that gun!" cries Lockwin.

"Put up your pop, Corkey," cry a half-dozen friendly toughs.

"I hate to do it," says Corkey, "but I guess them fellers has got the
drop on me."

The battle is over.  The sailors are all in the wagon.  They drive off
toward another precinct.

Corkey is pronounced a white-flag man.  It is recalled that he let a
partner play in his faro bank and did not kill the traitor.

"Oh, Corkey ain't no good at all," say the bad men from Bitter Creek.

It heats their blood.  They shake hands with Lockwin and deploy on the
threatened precincts.

When the sailors unload at the next precinct of the Fourth ward the
emissaries who have arrived with notice of Corkey's surrender--these
great hearts lead the fight.  A saloon-keeper rushes out with a
bung-starter and hits a sailor on the head.  An alderman bites off a
sailor's ear.  An athletic sailor fells the first six foes who advance
upon him.  A shot is fired.  The long line at the polls dissolves as if
by magic.  The judges of election disappear out the back door.

There is nothing for the unoccupied alderman to do but to place 400
Lockwin ballots in the box.

The Lockwin ballot contains the name of delegates who are sworn for all
time to the alderman.

The police finally arrest all the fighting sailors and hurry them to
the station.

The attempt of Corkey to carry any wards or precincts outside of the
First and Second is futile.  It passes the practicable.  In theory it
was good.

Twelve wagon-loads of fighting sailors ought to be able to vote
anywhere.

A Napoleon would have massed his forces and conquered precincts.

But Napoleon himself sometimes displayed the white feather.

And that is the only way in which Corkey resembles Napoleon.



CHAPTER VIII

FIFTY KEGS OF BEER

"It is estimated," says the opposition press, "that Lockwin, the rich
man's candidate, backed by the machine, the organized toughs of the
'Levee,' and the gamblers, has spent over $25,000 of corruption money.
The primaries, which were held yesterday, were the most disgraceful
political exhibitions which have ever been offered in our civic
history.  Harpwood was counted out in every ward but one.  Corkey, the
sailors' candidate, carried two wards by the same tactics which the
police made use of elsewhere.  In the First and Second, the officers
arrested all 'disturbers' on complaint of Corkeyites.  Everywhere else
Corkeyites were either forced off the field or are now in the bull-pens
at the stations.

"As our interview with the mayor shows, he is unacquainted with facts
which everybody else possesses.  It is well enough to repeat that we
shall never have a real mayor until the present rule-or-ruin machine
shall be destroyed.

"It is to be hoped that the split which threatens the convention of
to-day will herald the dawn of law-and-order rule, when bossism, clamor
for office, and saloon primaries will happily be things of the past."

The primaries which were held on Friday elected delegates to the
convention of Saturday.  If we scan the large body which is now
gathering, it may be seen that the business of to-day is to be done by
men who either hold or control office.  The sidewalk inspectors, the
health inspectors, the city and county building men, the men of the
"institutions;" and the men of the postoffice are delegates.  It may be
safely guessed that they have no desire other than to hold their places
until better places can be commanded.  The party can trust its
delegates.  In this hall is gathered the effective governing force of
the whole city.  To these men a majority of the citizens have
relinquished the business of public service.  All those citizens who
object are in the minority, and a majority of the minority object, only
because it is desired that a different set of men should perform the
same labors in the same way.

The political boss is not in sight.  Eight delegations of Harpwood men
are admitted because they cannot be kept out.  The convention is called
to order by a motion that a Lockwin man shall be chairman.

Four saloon-keepers stand upon chairs and shout.

Four bouncers of four rival saloons pull the orators down to the floor.
The saloon-keepers are unarmed--their bung-starters are at home.  The
Lockwin man is in the chair.  He has not been elected.  Election in
such a hubbub is impossible, and is not expected.

But the assumption of the chair by anybody is a good thing.  The
convention is thus enabled to learn that Corkey is making a speech.  A
chair is held on top of another chair.  On this conspicuous perch the
hero of the docks holds forth.

Corkey is an oddity.  He is a new factor in politics.  The rounders are
curious to hear what he is saying.

"Your honor!" cries Corkey in a loud voice.

There is a sensation of merriment, which angers the orator.

"Oh, I know you're all no-gooders," he says.  "I know that as well as
any of ye."

There is a hurricane of cat-calls from the galleries.

There are cries of "Come down!"  "Pull down his vest!"  "See the
sawed-off!"

"Yes, 'come down'!" yells the speaker in a white heat.  "That's what
you bloodsuckers make Lockwin do.  He come down!  I should say he did!
But I'm no soft mark--you hear me?  You bet your sweet life!"

The merriment is over.  This is outrageous.  The dignity of this
convention has been compromised.  There is a furious movement in the
rear.  The tumult is again unrestrained.  Corkey has blundered.

The chairman pounds for order.  The police begin to "suppress the
excitement."

"Mr. Corkey, I understand, has an important announcement to make,"
cries the chair.

"You bet I _have_!" corroborates the navigator.

"Spit it out!"

"Make the turn, Corkey!"

"Everything goes as it lays!"

Such are the preparatory comments of the audience.

"Your honor--"

Corkey has been "pulled" for gambling.  His public addresses heretofore
have been made before the police justice.

"YOUR HONOR, MR. CHAIRMAN, AND MR. DELEGATES:--We're goin' to quit you.
We're goin' to walk, to sherry, to bolt.  We didn't have no fair chance
to vote our men yesterday.  We carried our wards just as you carried
your'n.  We've just as good a right to the candidate as you have.  We
therefore with-with-with-go out--and you can bet your sweet life we
stay out! and you hear me--"

"Goon!"  "Goon!"  "Ki-yi!"  "Yip-yip!"

Such are the flattering outbursts.  Why does the orator pause?

His head quakes and vibrates, his face grows black, the mouth opens
into a parallelogram, the sharp little tongue plays about the mass of
black tobacco.

The convention leaps to its feet.  The Sneeze has come.

"That settles it!" cry the delegates.  "Bounce any man that'll do such
a thing as that!  Fire him out!"

The irresistible movement has reached Corkey's eyrie.  Four faithful
Corkeyites are holding Corkey's platform.  The assault on these
supports, these Atlases, brings the collapse of Corkey.  He goes down
fighting, and he fights like a hero.  One of the toughs who saw Corkey
put away his revolver at the primary is badly battered before he can
retreat.

The melee is a good-sized one.  "It is to be observed," writes the
keen-eyed reporters, "that the consumption of peanuts rises to its
maximum during the purgation of a convention."

The convention is purged.  The fumes of whisky and tobacco increase.
The crash of peanuts ceases.  The committee on credentials reports.
Harmony is to be the watchword.  In this interest it has been agreed to
seat four Harpwood delegates and eight Lockwin delegates in each of the
contests.

Although the Harpwood delegates howl with indignation, it is only a
howl.  None of them go out.  They will all vote.  But their votes will
not affect the nomination.  If otherwise, the convention can be again
purged and the correct result established.  That would be bloody and
difficult.  Wait until it shall be necessary.

"It is one of the workings of the status quo," writes the reporter of
the single-tax weekly, "that friction is everywhere reduced to the
minimum of the system.  There is little waste of bloody noses in
politics."

"It is getting past dinner time.  Why not be through with this?  What
is the matter?"

These are the questions of the sidewalk inspectors, who perhaps ache to
return to their other public duties.

"It is Corkey's fault--Corkey's fault!  But here's the platform, now!"

"We point with the finger of scorn--" reads the clerk in a great voice.

"That's the stuff!" respond the faithful, shaking hands one with
another.

"Order!" scream the bouncers and police.  They desire to hear the
platform.  It is the hinge on which liberty hangs.  It is the brass
idol of politics.

"And the peace, prosperity and general happiness of the American people
will ever remain dear to the party which saved the union and now
reaches a fraternal hand across the bloody chasm!"  So reads the clerk.

"That's what!  We win on that!  They can't answer to that!"

"We demand a free ballot and a fair count!"

"No more bulldozing!" exclaims the bouncer who has heard the plank.

"We guarantee to the sovereign electors of the First district, and to
the whole population of the nation a reform of the civil service and an
entire abolition of the spoils system."

"I suppose," says the bouncer, "that things is going on too open in
Washington."

The reading ceases.

"Ki-yi!"  "Hooray!"  "He-e-e-e-e-e!"  "Zip-zip-zippee!"

There is a crash of peanuts, a tornado of bad air, a tempest of wild
and joyous noise.

"The platform was received with genuine enthusiasm.  It was adopted
without a dissenting voice."  Thus the reporters write hurriedly.

There has been an uproar ever since the question was put.  Now, if the
delegate quicken his ear, he may hear the chairman commanding:

"All those in favor will vote 'aye!'"

Again there is the tempest.  The Harpwood delegates have voted aye!

"What is it?" ask most of the delegates.

"Lockwin is nominated by acclamation," comes the answer from the front.

"Oh, is he?" say the delegates, Harpwood men and all.

There is a numerous outgo for liquor.  A man is escorted to the stage.
He is cheered by those who see him.  Most of the leading delegates are
bargaining for places on the central committee.  The Harpwood men are
to be taken care of.

The speech goes on.  "It is," says the orator, "the proudest day of my
life, I assure you."

"Do you suppose he's gone broke?" inquire the committee men.

"It is the matchless character of our institutions--" continues the
candidate.

"We'd be done up if the other fellows should indorse Corkey," says a
hungry saloon-keeper.

"--The matchless character of our institutions that the people hold the
reins of government."

The orator is gathering an audience.  "The people" are hungry, but love
of oratory is a still weaker place in their armor.  The voice rises.
The eye flashes.  The cheeks turn crimson.  The form straightens.

The orator weeps and he thunders.

"Hi--_hi_!" says the hungry saloon-keeper, in sudden admiration.

"America!  My fellow-countrymen, it is the palm of the desert--the rock
of liberty.

  "We have a weapon firmer set,
  And better than the bayonet;
    A weapon that comes down as still
  As snowflakes fall upon the sod;
    But executes a freeman's will
  As lightning does the will of God."

The effect is electric.

"Jiminy!" whistles the hungry saloonkeeper, "ain't we lucky we put him
up?  I could sell fifty kag if he spoke anywhere in the same block."



CHAPTER IX

THE NIGHT BEFORE ELECTION

"The art of declamation," says Colton, "has been sinking in value from
the moment that speakers were foolish enough to publish and readers
wise enough to read."

All speakers are not foolish enough to publish; all readers are not
wise enough to read.  Besides, there is still a distinct art of oratory
which has not lost its hold on the ears of men.

The orator weeps and he thunders.  His audience by turns laments and
clamors.  But the orator, on the inner side of his spirit, is more
calm.  The practice of his wiles has dulled the edge of his feelings.

It may be, therefore, that the orator's art is not honest.  Yet who
knows that the painter himself really admires the landscape which, in
his picture, gathers so much fame for him?   The interests of the
nation are now to be husbanded in this First Congressional district.
The silvery voice of the gifted orator is to reclaim the wandering or
lagging voter.

The man who has lost faith in the power of the ballot is to be revived
with the stimulus of human speech.  It can be done.  It is done in
every campaign.

Lockwin is doing it each afternoon and night.  Bravely he meets the cry
of "Money and machine."  One would think he needed no better text.

But his secret text is Davy.  Davy, whose life has been intrusted to
Dr. Floddin, the friend of the poor, the healer who healed the eyes of
the peddling huckster's son's sister, the eyes of the housekeeper's
relatives, and the eyes of Davy himself.

The orator's speech may be impassioned, but he is thinking of Davy.

The orator may be infusing the noblest of patriotism in his hearers'
hearts, but often he hardly knows what he is saying.

At a telling point he stops to think of Davy.

The hearer confesses that the question is unanswered.

Is Davy safe?  Of course.  "Then, my fellow-citizens, behold the superb
rank of America among nations!"  [Cheers.]

Is Dr. Tarpion to be gone another week, and is the cook right when she
says Davy must eat?  "Can we not, my friends and neighbors, lend our
humble aid in restoring these magnificent institutions of liberty to
their former splendor?"  [Cries of "Hear!" "Hear!" "Down in front!"]

"The winning candidate," says the majority press, "is making a
prodigious effort.  It is confidentially explained that he was wounded
by the charges of desertion or lukewarmness, which were circulated
during the week of the primaries."

Dr. Floddin is therefore to take care of Davy.  Dr. Floddin's horse is
sick.  It is a poor nag at best--a fifty-cents-a-call steed.  The
doctor meantime has a horse from the livery.

Davy is to continue the emetic treatment.  He sits on the floor in the
parlor and turns his orguinette.  "Back to Our Mountains" is his
favorite air.  He has twenty-eight tunes, and he plays Verdi's piece
twenty-eight times as often as any of the others.

"Oh, Davy, you'll kill us!" laments the housekeeper, for the little
orguinette is stridulent and loud.

"He'll kill himself," says the cook.  "He's not strong enough to grind
that hand-organ.  He eats nothing at all, at all."

"Papa isn't here any more, but I take my medicine," the child says.
The drug is weakening his stomach.

"It is the only way," says Dr. Floddin, "to relieve his lungs."

"Are you sure he is safe?" asks Esther.  "Are you sure it was asthma?"

"Oh, yes.  Did you not see the white foam?  That is asthma."

"You do not come often enough, doctor.  I know Mr. Lockwin would be
angry if he knew."

"My horse will be well to-morrow and I can call twice.  But the child
has passed the crisis.  You must soon give him air.  Let him play a
while in the back yard.  His lungs must be accustomed to the cold of
winter."

"I presume Mr. Lockwin will take us south in December."

"Yes, I guess he'd better."

But Esther does not let Davy go out.  The rattle is still in the little
chest.

Lockwin is home at one o'clock in the morning.  He visits Davy's bed.
How beautiful is the sleeping child!  "My God! if he had died!"

Lockwin is up and away at seven o'clock in the morning.  "Be careful of
the boy, Esther," he says.  "What does the doctor seem to think?"

"He gives the same medicine," says Esther, "but Davy played his
orguinette for over an hour yesterday."

"He did!  Good!  Esther, that lifts me up.  I wish I could have heard
him!"

"David, I fear that you are overtasking yourself.  Do be careful!
please be careful!"

Tears come in the fine eyes of the wife.  Lockwin's back is turned.

"Good!  Good!" he is saying.  "So Davy played!  I'll warrant it was
'Back to Our Mountains!'"

"Yes," says the wife.

"Good!  Good!  That's right.  By-bye, Esther."

And the man goes out to victory whistling the lament of the crooning
witch, "Back to Our Mountains!  Back to Our Mountains!"

"Why should Davy be so fond of that?" thinks the whistler.

But this week of campaign cannot stretch out forever.  It must end,
just as Lockwin feels that another speech had killed him.  It must end
with Lockwin's nerves agog, so that when a book falls over on the
shelves he starts like a deer at a shot.

It is Monday night, and there will be no speeches by the candidates.
Esther has prepared to celebrate the evening by a gathering of a
half-dozen intimate friends to hear an eminent violinist, whose
performances are the delight of Chicago.  The violinist is doubly
eminent because he has a wife who is devoted to her husband's renown.

Lockwin sits on a sofa with his pet nestled at the side.  What a sense
of rest is this!  How near heaven is this!  He looks down on his little
boy and has but one wish--that he might be across the room to behold
the picture.  Perhaps the man is extravagantly fond of that view of
curly head, white face, dark brow and large, clear eyes!

Would the violinist make such an effect if his wife were not there to
strike those heavy opening chords of that "Faust" fantasie?

"Will they play 'Back to Our Mountains?'" whispers the child.

"Keep still, Davy," the man says, himself silenced by a great rendition.

"The doctor's horse is sick," whispers Davy, hoarsely.

"Yes, I know," says the man.  "Bravo, professor, bravo!  You are a
great artist."

"But the doctor's both horses is sick," insists Davy.

"Bravo! professor, bravo!"

Now comes the sweetest of cradle-songs, the professor with damper on
his strings, the professor's wife scarcely touching the piano.

The strain ends.  The man is in tears--not the tears of an orator.  He
glances at the child and the great eyes are likewise dim.  "Kiss me,
Davy!"

But it is as if Davy were too hard at work with an article.  He must
break from the room, the man suddenly wishing that the child could find
its chief relief in him.

"Yet I made him take the medicine," thinks the man, in terror of that
night.

The professor will take some little thing to eat--a glass of beer,
perhaps--but he must not stay.

They go below, where Davy has told the cook of the extraordinary
professor who can scarcely speak English.  Davy has asked him if he
could spell Josephus.  "After all," says Davy, "I'd be ashamed to play
so loud if I couldn't spell Josephus.  It hurt my head."

"Yes, you darlint," says the cook; "here's some ice cream.  I don't
want you to wait.  Eat it now."

"I can't eat anything but medicine," says Davy, "and I have to eat that
or papa wouldn't love me.  Do you think he loves me?"

"Ah, yes, darlint.  Don't ye's be afraid of that.  Thim as don't love
the likes of ye's is scarcer than hen's teeth."

"T-double-e-t-h," observes the scholarly Davy.

"My! my!" cries the cook.

At the table, the professor will not care for any beer.  Well, let it
be a little.  Well, another glass.  Yes, the glasses are not large.
Another?  Yes.

"Ah!  Meester Lockwin," he says at last, "I like to play for you.  You
look very tired, I hear you will go to the--to the--"

The professor must be aided by his good wife.

"To the Congress--ah, yes, to the Congress."

"If I shall be elected to-morrow," smiles the candidate.

The friends go to their homes.  It is not late.  Esther has explained
the need her husband has of both diversion and rest.  "He is naturally
an unhappy man," she says, "but Davy and I are making him happier."

"Of all the men I have ever known," says one of the guests to his wife,
as they walk the few steps they must take, "I think David Lockwin is
the most blessed.  All that money could do was dedicated to his
education.  He is a brilliant man naturally.  He has married Esther
Wandrell.  He is sure to be elected to-morrow, and I heard a very
prominent man say the other day that he wouldn't be surprised if
Lockwin should some day be President of the United States.  They call
him the people's idol.  I don't know but he is."

"I don't believe he appreciates his good fortune," says the wife.
"Perhaps he has had too much."



CHAPTER X

ELECTED

Yes, this is distinctly happy--this night at home, in the chamber after
the music, with Davy to sleep over here, too.

"There, Davy," urges Esther, "you have romped and romped.  You have not
slept a wink to-day.  It is far too late for children to be up, David.
I only took down the stove to-day, for fear we might need it."

But it is difficult to moderate the spirits of the boy.  He is playing
all sorts of pranks with his father.  The little lungs come near the
man's ear.  There is a whistling sound.

The north wind has blown for two weeks.  It is howling now outside the
windows.

"Pshaw!" the man laughs, "it is that cut-throat wind!"

For orators dislike the north wind.

"Pshaw!  Esther!" he repeats, "I mistook the moaning of the wind in the
chimney."  But he is pale at the thought.

"I hardly think you did, David.  I can hear him wheeze over here."

"You can!  Come here, Davy."  But the child must be caught.  His eyes
flash.  He is all spirit.  His laugh grows hoarse.

"How stupid I am," thinks the man.  He seizes the arch boy and clasps
him in his arms.

Then Lockwin takes that white and tiny wrist.  He pulls his watch.  In
five seconds he has fifteen beats.  Impossible!  Wait a few minutes.

"Sit still for papa.  Please, Davy."

The indefinable message is transmitted from the man's heart to the
child's.  The child is still.  The animation is gone.

Now, again.  The watch goes so slowly.  Is it going at all?  Let us see
about that.

The watch is put to ear.  Yes, it is going fast enough now.  Of course
it is going.  Is it not a Jurgensen of the costliest brand?  Well,
then, we will count a full minute.

"Hold still, Davy, pet."

What is Congress and President now, as the wheeze settles on this
child, and the north wind batters at the windows?

The man looks for help to Esther.  "Esther," he says, "I have counted
140 pulsations."

"Is that bad for a child, David?  I guess not."

"I am probably mistaken.  I will try again."

The child lays the curly head against Lockwin's breast.  The full
vibration of the struggling lungs resounds through the man's frame.

"The pulse is even above 140.  Oh!  Esther, will he have to go through
that again?"

"No, David, no.  See, he's asleep.  Put him here.  You look like a
ghost.  Go right to bed.  To-morrow will be a trying day.  Davy is
tired out.  To be sure, he must be worse when he is tired."

"Does the doctor come at all in the night?"

"Why, no, of course not.  It is a chronic case now, he says.  It
requires the same treatment."

The voice is soft consoling and sympathetic.  The man is as tired as
Davy.

"We ought not to have had the folks here," he says.

"No," says Esther.

"I wish the stove were up," he thinks.

"I wish David were not in politics," the woman thinks.

There is in and about that chamber, then, the sleep of a tired man, the
whistling of a cold and hostile wind, such as few cities know, the
half-sleeping vigil of a troubled woman, and the increasing shrillness
of Davy's breathing.

"It sounds like croup to me," she whispers to herself.  "It has always
sounded like croup to me.  I wonder if it could be diphtheria?  I
wonder what I ought to do?  But David needs sleep so badly!  I'm sorry
I had the company.  I told David I was afraid of the child's health.
But David needed the music.  Music rested him, he said."

The milk-wagons are rattling along the street once more.  Will they
never cease?  The man awakes with a start.

"What is that?" he demands.  He has just dreamed how he treated 150
people to cigars and drinks on the day Dr. Floddin brought Davy
through.  He has been walking with Davy among the animals in Lincoln
Park.  "There's Santa Claus' horses," said Davy, of the elks.

There is a loud noise in the room.

"What on earth is it?" he asks.  He is only partly awake.

"It is poor little Davy," Esther answers.  "Oh, David!"  The woman is
sobbing.  She herself has awakened her husband.

The man is out of bed in an instant.  The room is cold.  There is no
stove.  There is no stramonium.  There is no flaxseed.  There is no hot
water.

It is not the lack of these appliances that drives Lockwin into his
panic.  He may keep his courage by storming about these misadventures.

But in his heart--in his logic--there is NO HOPE.

He hastens to the drug store.  He has alarmed the household.

"Davy is dying!" he has said, brutally.

The drug clerk is a sound sleeper.  "Let them rattle a little while,"
he soliloquizes with professional tranquillity.

"Child down again?" he inquires later on, in a conciliatory voice.
"Wouldn't give him any more of that emetic if it was my child.  I've
re-filled that bottle three times now."

The stove must be gotten up.  The pipe enters the mantel.  There, that
will insure a hot poultice.  But why does the thing throw out gas?  Why
didn't it do that before?

"It is astonishing how much time can be lost in a crisis," the man
observes.  He must carry his Davy into another room, couch and all, for
he will not suffer the little body to be chilled any further.  "If this
cup may be kept from my lips," he prays, "I will be a better man."

The sun is high before the child is swathed with hot flaxseed.  The man
sprays the stramonium.  The child has periods of extreme difficulty.
He is nauseated in every fiber.

"God forgive me!" prays Lockwin.

"Mamma, will I have to play with the swear boys?"

"No, my darling."

"And will my curls be cut off before you get a picture?"

The man remembers that Davy has been sick much of late.  They have no
likeness of him since he grew beautiful.

"And may I go to Sunday-school if I don't play with the swear boys?
For the teacher said--"

The canal tightens in the throat.  The old battle begins.

The man sprays furiously.  The child lisps: "Please don't, papa."

The man is hurt to think he has mistaken the child's needs.

The air gets dry again.  The child signals with its hand.

"More spray, Davy?  Ah! that helps you!"

The man is eased.

"Esther, where is that doctor?"

They had forgotten him.  The case is chronic.  All the household are
doctors.  So now by his coming there is only to be one more to the lot
of vomiters and poulticers.

Yet it dismays all hands to think they have forgotten the famous savior
of Davy.  They telephoned for him hours ago.  "Ah me!" each says.

The child's feet grow cold.  "Hot bottles!  Hot bottles!" is the cry.
The first lot without corks.  And at last Lockwin goes to the closet
and gets the rubber bags made for such uses.

At one o'clock the doctor arrives.  Lockwin has gone to the drug store
to get more flaxseed  If he get it himself it will be done.  If he
order it some fatal hour might pass.  The cold air revives him.  He
sees a crowd of men down the street.  It is a polling-booth.

He strives to gather the fact that it is election day.  Corkey is
running as an independent democrat, because the democratic convention
did not indorse him after he bolted from the Lockwin convention.

But for that strange fillip of politics Lockwin must have been beaten
before he began the campaign.  Well, what is the election now?  Davy
dying all the week, and not a soul suspecting it!

"Girls wanted!"  The sign is on the basement windows.  Yes, that
accounts for the strange disorganization of the household.  That, in
some way, explains the cold furnaces and lack of the most needful
things.

Never mind the girls.  Plenty of them to be had.  That doctor--what can
he say for himself?

The man starts as he enters the house.  What was it Davy said last
night?  That "the doctor's both horses were sick!"  It is a
disagreeable recollection, therefore banish it, David Lockwin.  Go up
and see the doctor.

The door is reached.  Perhaps the child is already easier.  The door is
opened.  The smell of flaxseed reproduces every horror of Davy's first
attack.  After the man has grown used to the flaxseed he begins to
detect the odor of stramonium.  The pan is dry.  Carry it back to the
stove and put some hot water in it.  But look at Davy first.

"Esther, how is he?"

"I think he is growing better, David."

"The room here is not warm enough.  Let us carry him back where the
stove is."

The cook is on the stairs and beholds the little cortege.  "Lord!
Lord!" she wails, and the housekeeper silences the cry.  "They carry
them like that at the hospital," the frightened woman explains.  "But
they are always dead!"

In the kitchen sits a woman, visiting the cook.  Her face is the very
picture of trouble.  She rocks her body as she talks.

"I buried seven," she says.

"Seven children?"

"Yes, and every one with membrainyous croup.  They may call it what
they please.  Ah!  I know; I know!"

She rocks her body, and laughs almost a silly laugh.

"Every one of them had a terrible attack, and then was well for a week.
Two of 'em dropped dead at play.  They seems so full of life just
before they go.  When my husband broke his leg I lost one.  When I
caught the small-pox they let one die.  Oh, my!  Oh, my!"

The woman rocks her body and laughs.

Lockwin wants more boiling water.  It gives him something to do to get
it.  He enters the kitchen.

"Davy has the asthma," he says to the desolate mother as he passes.

"Davy has the membrainyous croup," she replies: "I saw that a week ago.
Makes no difference what the doctors say; they can't help no child."

"Where is that doctor, Esther?" the man says.

"He was here while you were gone.  He said he would return soon.  He
said it was a relapse, but he thought there was no danger."

"It is lucky," the man inwardly comments, "that we are all doctors."

"He should have stayed here and attended to his business," the man
observes audibly, as he makes a new poultice.

"Mamma!"  It is Davy.

"Yes, mamma is here."

"Why don't the doctor come?"

"Are you suffering, precious?"

"I don't know."

"There, let us warm your feet.  Don't take them away, pet.  See, you
breathe easily now."

"Thank God!" says the man "that we are all doctors."

The afternoon wanes.

"Georgie Day, mamma."

"Yes, lamby."

"I want him to have my sleeve-buttons.  He can play base-ball, not
two-old-cat.  He can play real base-ball."

"Yes, Georgie shall come to see you to-morrow."

Lockwin goes to the speaking tube.

"Go and get Dr. Floddin at once.  Tell him to come and stay with us.
Tell him we have difficulty in keeping the child warm."

The sun has poured into the window and gone on to other sick chambers.
The flaxseed and stramonium seem like reminders of the past stage of
the trouble.  Richard Tarbelle, never before in a room where the tide
of life was low, looks down on Davy.

"Mr. Lockwin, I'm not rich, but I'd give a thousand dollars--a thousand
dollars!"

"My God, doctor! why have you been so slow getting here?"

"My horses have been taken sick as fast as I got them."

The doctor advances to the child.  The child is smiling on Richard
Tarbelle.

"What ails you?"

It is Lockwin, looking in scorn on his doctor, who now, pale as a
ghost, throws his hands up and down silly as the crone downstairs by
the kitchen-range.

"Nothing can be done!  Nothing can be done!"

"They say it hasn't been asthma at all," sobs Esther.  "I suppose it's
diphtheria."

"The man who can't tell when a child is sick, can't tell when he's
dying," sneers Lockwin.  "Doctor, when were you here yesterday?"

"I haven't been here since to-morrow week.  My horses have been sick
and the child was well."

Davy is white as marble.  His breath comes hard.  But why he should be
dying, and why this fifty-cent doctor should know that much, puzzles
and dumfounds the father.  Davy may die next week, perhaps.  Not dying
now!

"It's a lie.  It's not so," the father says.

"Mr. Lockwin, I don't want to say it, but it is so."  It is the kind
voice of Richard Tarbelle.

"Very well, then.  It is diphtheria."  It is the one goblin that for
years has appalled Lockwin.  Well it might, when it steals on a man
like this.  "To think I never gave him a drop of whisky.  Oh! God!  Get
us a surgeon."

A medical college is not far away.  The surgeon comes quickly, although
Lockwin has gone half-way to meet him.  The two men arrive.  Dr.
Floddin continues to throw his hands up and down.  He loved Davy.
Perhaps Dr. Floddin is a brave man to stay now.  Perhaps he would be
brave to go.

"Well, Mr. Surgeon, look at that child."

"Your boy is dying," says the surgeon, as the men retire to a back room.

"What is to be done?" asks the father, resolutely.

"We can insert a tube in his throat."

"Will that save his life?"

"It will prolong his life if the shock do not result fatally."

"If it were your own child would you do this operation?"

"Yes, I think so."

"Would you do it, certainly?"

"Yes, sir."

"Let us go in."

"Esther, we shall have to give him air through his throat."

"No, no!" shrieks the woman.  "No, no!"

The child's eyes, almost filmy before, are lifted in beautiful appeal
to the mother.  "No, Davy.  It shall not be!"

"It must be," says Lockwin.

"I have not brought my instruments," says the surgeon.  "It is now very
late in the case, anyway."

"Thank God!" is the thought of the father.

The child smiles upon his mother.  He smiles upon Richard Tarbelle.

"How can he smile on papa, when papa was to cut that white and narrow
throat?"  It is David Lockwin putting his unhappy cheek beside the
little face.

Now, if all these flaxseed rags and this stramonium sprayer and pan
could be cleared out!  If it were only daylight, so we could see Davy
plainer!

Then comes a low cry from the kitchen.  It is the forlorn mother,
detailing the treacherous siege of membraneous croup.

David Lockwin can only think of the hours last night, while Davy was in
Gethsemane.  The cradle song was the death song.  The doctors sit in
the back room.  Esther holds the little hands and talks to the ears
that have gone past hearing.  "There is a sublime patience in women,"
thinks Lockwin, for he cannot wait.

"Inconceivable!  Inconceivable!  Davy never at the window again!  Take
away my miserable life, oh, just nature!  Just God!"

The white lips are moving:

"Books, papa!  J-o-s-e-p--"

"Yes, Davy.  Josephus.  Papa knows.  Thank you, Davy.  I can't say
good-bye, Davy, for I hope I can go with you!"

The man's head is in the pillow.  "Oh, to take a little child like
this, and send him out ahead of us--ahead of the strong man.  Is it not
hard, Richard Tarbelle?"

"Mr. Lockwin, as I said, I am not a rich man, but I would give a
thousand dollars--a thousand dollars--I guess you had better look at
him, Mr. Lockwin."

Davy is dead.

Never yet has that father showered on the child such a wealth of love
as lies in that father's heart.  It would spoil the boy, and Lockwin,
himself almost a spoiled son, has had an especial horror of parental
over-indulgence.

So, therefore, he is now free to take that little form in his arms.
The women will rid it of the nightgown and put on a cleaner garment.
And while they do this act, the man will kiss that form, beginning at
the soles of the feet.

                 --Those holy fields
  Over whose acres walked those blessed feet
  Which fourteen hundred years ago were nailed
  For our advantage on the bitter cross.--

Why do these lines course through the man's brain?  Curses on that
flaxseed and that vile drug which made these fields so hard for these
little feet.  Any way, the man may gather this clay in his arms.  No
one else shall touch it!  It is a long way down these stairs!  Never at
the window again, Davy.  "I would give a thousand dollars."  Well, God
bless Richard Tarbelle.  If it were a longer distance to carry this
load, it would be far better!  Light up the back parlor!  Let us have
that ironing-board!  Fix the chairs thus!  He must have a good book.
It shall be Josephus.  Oh, God!  "Josephus, papa."  Yes, yes, Davy.
Put curly-head on Josephus.

The man is crooning.  He is happy with his dead.

He talks to the nearest person and to Davy.

There is a great noise at the head of the street.  There is an inflow
of the people.  The shrill flageolet, the brass horns, the bass drums,
the crash of the general brass and the triangle--these sounds fill the
air.

Where is the people's idol, elected to Congress by to-night's count,
already conceded at Opposition head-quarters?

The orator stands over his dead.  What is that?  Elected to Congress?
A speech?

"It will be better," says Richard Tarbelle.  "Come up on the balcony,
Mr. Lockwin.  It will be better."

This noise relieves the father's brain.  How fortunate it has come.
The orator goes up by a rear stairway.  He appears on the balcony.
There is a cheer that may be heard all over the South Side.

"He looks haggard," says the first citizen.

"You'd look tired if you opened your barrel the way he did," vouchsafes
the second citizen.

The orator lifts his voice.  It is the proudest moment of his life, he
assures them.  In this eventful day's work the nation has been offered
a guarantee of its welfare.  The sanctity of our institutions has been
vindicated.

Here the tin-horns, the cat-calls, the drunken congratulations--the
whole Babel--rises above the charm of oratory.  But the people's idol
does not stop.  The words roll from his mouth.  The form sways, the
finger points.

"He's the boy!"  "Notice his giblets!"  "He will be President--if his
barrel lasts."  Thus the first, second and third saloon-keepers
determine.

There is a revulsion in the crowd.  What is the matter at the basement
gate?

It is the cook and the housekeeper in contention.

"I tell ye's I'm goin' to fasten it on the door!  Such doings as this I
never heard of.  Oh, Davy, my darlint!  Oh!  Davy, my darlint!"

The crowd is withdrawing to the opposite curb, But the crush is
tremendous.  There are ten thousand people in the street.  Only those
near by know what is happening.

The cook escapes from the housekeeper.  She climbs the steps of the
portico.  She flaunts the white crape.  "Begone, ye blasphemous
wretches!" she cries.

"What the devil is that?" asks the first citizen.

The cook is fastening the white gauze and the white satin ribbon on the
bell knob.

"Do ye see that, ye graveyard robbers?  Will ye blow yer brass bands
and yer tin pipes now, ye murtherin' wretches?"

The host has seen the signal of death, as it flaunts under the
flickering light of the gas lamp.  There is an insensible yet rapid
departure.  There were ten thousand hearers.  There are, perhaps, ten
hundred whose eyes are as yet fixed upward on the orator.

"Our republic will forever remain splendid among nations," comes the
rich voice from the balcony.  One may see a form swaying, an arm
reaching forth in the dim light.

The ten hundred are diminishing.  It is like the banners of the auroral
light.  The ten hundred were there a moment ago.  Now it is but a
memory.  No one is there.  The street is so empty that a belated
delivery wagon may rattle along, stopping at wrong houses to fix the
number.

The orator speaks on.  He weeps and he thunders.

Hasten out on that balcony, Richard Tarbelle, and stop this scandal!
Lead that demented orator in!  Pluck him by the sleeve!  Pluck harder!

"The voice of the people, my fellow-citizens," cries the people's idol,
"is the voice--is the voice of God."

"God, and Holy Mary, and the sweet angels!" comes a low, keening cry
from the kitchen.



CHAPTER XI

LYNCH-LAW FOR CORKEY

It is a month after the election.  Lockwin has been out of bed for a
week.

"You astound me!" cries Dr. Tarpion.

The doctor is just back from his mine in Mexico.  The doctor has
climbed the volcano of Popocatapetl.  His six-story hotel in Chicago is
leased on a bond for five years.  He has a nugget of gold from his
mine.  His health is capital.  He is at the mental and physical
antipodes of his friend.  Talk of Mexican summer resorts and Chicago
real estate is to the doctor's taste.  He is not prepared for Lockwin's
recital.

"Your Davy, my poor fellow, had no constitution.  Mind you, I do not
say he would have died had I remained at my office.  I do not say that.
Of course, it was highly important that his stomach should be
preserved.  You fell in the hands of a Dr. Flod--let me see our list.
Why, by heavens! his name is not down at all!"

Dr. Floddin's name is not in the medical peerage.  Dr. Floddin,
therefore, does not exist.

"Well, David, let us speak of it no more.  You were entrapped.  How
about this Congress?  I tell you that you must go.  You must do exactly
as our leader directs."

Lockwin is elected, and he is not.  He received the most votes, but
great frauds were openly perpetrated.  Without the false votes Corkey
would have been elected.  There is to be a contest in the lower House.
The majority of the party in the House is only three, with two
republicans on sick beds in close districts.

Interest in the Chicago affair is overshadowing.  The President's
private secretary has commissioned the Chicago political boss to fix it
up.

Corkey is an unknown factor.  The boss assures the administration that
the district would be lost if Corkey should win.

What does Corkey want?

"I was elected," says Corkey.

"You don't carry the papers," answers the boss.

"I just made you fellers screw your nut for 2,000 crooked votes," says
Corkey.

"None of your sailors had the right to vote," says the boss.  "Now,
here, Corkey, you are going to lose that certificate.  It doesn't
belong to you, and we've got the House.  Here's a telegram from a high
source: 'Lockwin must get the election at all hazards.  See Corkey.'
I'll tell you what you do.  You and Lockwin go on and see the
President."

"That will never do," says Corkey.  "But I'll tell you what I will do."

"Go on."

"Do you know I've a notion that Lockwin ain't goin' to serve.  If he
resigns, I want it.  If he catches on, all right.  I want him or you to
get me collector of the port.  You hear me?  Collector of the port.
His nobs, this collector we have now--he must get out, I don't care
how.  But he must sherry.  I can't fool with these sailors.  If they
see me trading with Lockwin they will swear I sell out.  See?  Well, I
want to see Lockwin, just the same.  Now, I'll tell you what I'll do:
You Send Lockwin to Washington to explain the situation.  Get in
writing what is to be done.  Don't let there be any foolin' on that
point.  Tell Lockwin to return by the way of Canada, and get to Owen
Sound.  I know a way home that will leave us alone for two days or
more.  In that time I can tell what I'll do."

"All right; Lockwin shall go."

"I'll give it out that I've gone to Duluth for the newspaper.  But I've
no use for newspapers no more.  It's collector or Congress, sure.
Don't attempt no smart plays.  Tell that to the jam-jorum at
Washington.  If they want me to take down my contest and cover up the
hole you ballot-box-stuffers is in here at home, let 'em fix _me_."

"All right."

"It's all right if Lockwin meets me at Owen Sound.  I've got the
_papes_ to send a lot of you duffers to the pen if you don't come to
time."

Corkey therefore sails for Duluth.  It increases his standing with the
sailors to make these trips late in the year.

Lockwin is to go to Washington.  It is evident, say his friends, that
he is greatly exhausted with the efforts of the campaign.  Dr. Tarpion
has hinted that Lockwin is not the ambitious man that he has seemed to
be.  Dr. Tarpion has hinted that it was only through strong personal
influence that Lockwin has been held faithful to the heavy party duty
that now lies upon him.

Dr. Tarpion has hinted that Lockwin did not want the office if it did
not belong to him.

But Lockwin has had brain fever for nearly a month.  What could you
expect of a man who made so many speeches at so many wigwams?

"Besides," says the political boss, "he had sickness in his family."

"Some one died, didn't they?" asks a rounder where these reports are
bandied.

"Yes, a little boy.  Good-looking little fellow, too.  I saw him with
Lockwin."

"When I was a young man," said the boss, "old Sol Wynkoop got in the
heat of the canvass, just like Lockwin.  Old Sol was just about as good
a speaker.  He would talk right on, making 'em howl every so often.
Well, his wife and his daughter they both died and was buried, and Old
Sol he didn't miss his three dates a day.  He didn't come home at all.
I had a notion to tell Lockwin that.  Oh, he ain't no timber for
President, or even for senator.  I did tell Lockwin how my wife died.
I got to the funeral, of course, for this is a city, and Old Sol was
forty miles away, with muddy roads.  But, boys, when I get tired I just
have to go up to the lake and catch bass.  I tell you, politics is
hard.  I must find Lockwin right away.  Good-bye, boys.  Charge those
drinks to me."

It is Sunday.  David Lockwin is walking toward the little church where
Davy went to Sunday-school.  He passes a group at a gate near the
church.  "Every week, just at this time, there goes by the most
beautiful child.  Stay and see him.  See how he smiles up at our
window."

"He is dead and buried," says Lockwin in their ear.  They are young
women.  They are startled, and run in the cottage.

Lockwin walks as in a dream.  To-morrow he goes to Washington.
"Politics is hard," he says, but he does not feel it.  He feels
nothing.  He feels at rest.  Nothing is hard.  He is weak from an
illness, of which he knows little.  He has never been in this
infant-room.  Many a time he has left Davy at the door.

The pastor's wife is the shepherdess.  She has a long, white crook.
Before her sit seven rows of wee faces and bodies.  It is sweeter than
a garden of flowers.  They are too small to read books, but they learn
at the fastest pace.  The shepherdess gets Lockwin a chair.  There are
tears in her eyes.  The audience is quick to feel.  Tears come in the
eyes of little faces nearly as beautiful as Davy's.  Roses are sweetest
when the dew sparkles on them.

"Oh, my dear sir, no.  None of them are as pretty as he was."  Such is
the opinion of the shepherdess.  "We see only one like him in a
lifetime," she testifies.  A wee, blue chair is vacant in the first row
at the end--clearly the place of honor.  A withered wreath lies on the
chair.  The man's eyes are fastened on that spot.  Here is a world of
which he knew nothing.  Here he follows in the very footsteps.

"Listen, listen," says the motherly teacher.  "This is Davy's father."

Three of the most bashful arise and come to be kissed.  Strange power
of human pity!

[Illustration: Three of the most bashful arise and come to be kissed.]

"Little Davy is with Jesus," says the shepherdess.  "Now all you who
want to be with Jesus, raise your hands."

Every right hand is up.  Their faith is implicit, but many a left hand
is pulling a neighboring curl.  Busy is that long shepherd crook, to
defeat those wicked left hands.

A head obtrudes in the door.  "Excuse me," says the political boss.
"Mr. Lockwin, can you spare a moment?  Hello, Jessie! no, papa will not
be home to-night.  Tell mamma, will you?"

A curly head is saddened.  Lockwin thanks the shepherdess, and follows
his boss.

"The train goes East at 4:45.  Don't lose a moment.  Lucky I found you."

The newspaper press is in possession of a sensation.  On Monday morning
we quote: "A plot has been revealed which might have resulted in the
loss of the First district, and possibly of Congress, just at the
moment the re-apportionment bill was to be passed.  Notice of contest
has been served on Congressman Lockwin as a blind for subsequent
operations, and yesterday the newly elected member left hurriedly for
Washington to consult with the attorney general.  It is evident that
the federal authorities will inquire into the high-handed outrages
which swelled the votes of Corkey and the other unsuccessful candidates
on election day.

"The time is coming," concludes the article, "when lynch law will be
dealt out to the repeaters who haunt the tough precincts at each
election day."

The prominent citizens say among themselves: "We ought to do something
pretty soon, or these ward politicians will be governing the nation!"



CHAPTER XII

IN GEORGIAN BAY

Corkey is at Owen Sound.  The political bee is buzzing in his bonnet.
Collector of the port--this office seems small to a man who really
polled more votes than Lockwin.  The notion has taken hold of Corkey
that, by some hook or crook, Lockwin will get out and Corkey will get
in.

When he thinks of this, Corkey rises and walks about his chair, sitting
down again.

This is a gambler's habit.

There follows this incantation an incident which flatters his ambition.
Having changed his tobacco from the right to the left side of his
mouth, he strangles badly.  It takes him just five minutes to get a
free breath.  This is always a good sign.  Thereupon the darkest of
negro lads, with six fingers, a lick, left-handed and cross-eyed,
enters the barroom of the hotel.

"Here!" cries Corkey.  "What's your name?"  The boy stammers in his
speech.

"N-n-n-noah!" he replies.

"Why not?" inquires Corkey.  "You bet your sweet life you tell me what
your name is!"

"N-n-n-noah!"

"Why not?  Tell me that!"

"M-m-my name is N-n-noah!" exclaims the boy.

"Ho!  ho!" laughs Corkey.  "Let's see them fingers!  Got any more in
your pockets?"

"N-n-n-noah," answers the boy.

"Got six toes, too?"

"Y-y-yes, sah!"

"A dead mascot!" says Corkey.  It is an auspice of the most eminent
fortune.  Corkey from this moment rejects the collectorship, and stakes
all on going to Congress.  Thoughts of murdering Lockwin out here in
this wilderness come into the man's mind.

"I wouldn't do that, nohow.  Oh, I'll never be worked off--none of that
for me!"

In Corkey's tongue, to be worked off is to be hanged.

"Nixy.  I'll never be worked off.  But it would be easy to throw him
from the deck to-night.  Some of the boys would do it, too, if they
knew him."

The man grows murderous.

"Easy enough.  Somebody slap his jaw and get him in a fight.  Oh, he'll
fight quick enough.  Then three or four of 'em tip him into the lake.
Why, it ain't even the lake out here.  It's Georgian Bay.  It's out of
the world, too.  My father was in Congress.  My grandfather was in.
Wonder how they got there?  Wonder if they did any dirt?"

Corkey's face is hard and black.  He rises.  He feels ill.  He swears
at the mascot.  "I _thought_ he had too many points when I see him."

The train is late.  The propeller, Africa, lies at the dock ready to
start.

"Well, if I come to such a place as this I must expect a jackleg
railroad.  They say they've got an old tub there at the dock.  Good
stiff fall breeze, too."

The thought of danger resuscitates Corkey.  He finds some sailors,
tells them how he was elected to Congress, slaps them on the back,
tries to split the bar with his fist, a feat which has often won votes,
and tightens his heart with raw Canadian whisky.

"Going to be rough, Corkey."

"'Spose so," nods Corkey.  "Is she pretty good?"

"The Africa?"

"Um-huh!"

"Oh, well, she's toted me often enough.  She's like the little nig they
carry."

"Does that mascot sail with her?"

"To be sure."

"That settles it.  Landlord, give us that sour mash."

"Train's coming!"

The drinks are hurriedly swallowed and paid for, and the men are off
for the depot near by.

"How are ye, Lockwin?"  "How-dy-do, Corkey.  Where have you got me?
Going to murder me and get to Congress in my place?"

"No, but I expect you're going to resign and let me in."

"Where's your boat?  I hear they're waiting.  I suppose we can get
supper on board.  Why did you choose such a place as this?"

"Well, cap, I had a long slate to fix up when I came here.  If I was to
be collector, of course I want to make my pile out of it, and I must
take care of the boys.  But I didn't start out to be collector, and
I've about failed to make any slate at all.  Yet, if I'm to sell out to
you folks, I reckon I couldn't do it on any boat in the open lakes.
I'm not sure but Georgian Bay is purty prominent.  Captain Grant, this
is Mr. Lockwin, of Chicago.  This is the captain of the Africa.  Mr.
Bodine, Mr. Lockwin, of Chicago.  Mr. Bodine is station-keeper here.
Mr. Troy, Mr. Lockwin.  Mr. Troy keeps the hotel.  Mr. Flood, Mr.
Lockwin.  Mr. Flood runs the bank and keeps the postoffice and general
store."

The group nears the hotel.

Corkey is seized with a paroxysm of tobacco strangling, ending with a
sneeze that is a public event.  He is again black in the face, but he
has been polite.

The uninitiated express their astonishment at a sneeze so mighty, and
enter the inn.  The women of the dining-room come peeping into the
bar-room, But the captain explains:

"That sneeze carried Corkey to Congress.  I've heern tell how he'd be
in the middle of a speech and some smart Aleck would do something to
raise the laugh on the gentleman.  Corkey would get to strangling and
then would end with a sneeze that would carry the house.  It's great!"

"That's what it is!" says Mr. Bodine.

"Gentlemen, my father had it.  It's no laughing matter.  God sakes, how
that does shake a man!"

But Corkey has not only done the polite act.  He has relieved his mind.
He is no longer in danger of being worked off.

"I wouldn't be likely to do up my man if I introduced him to everybody."

Yet the opportunity to murder Lockwin, as a theoretical proposition,
dwells with Corkey, now that he is clearly innocent.

"I might have given him a false name.  He'd a had to stand it, because
he don't like this business nohow.  Everything was favorable.  Have we
time for a drink, cap'n?"  The last sentence aloud.

The captain looks at the hotel-keeper.  The captain also sells the
stuff aboard.  But will the captain throw a stone into Mr. Troy's bar?

"I guess we have time," nods the captain.

The party drinks.  The gale rises.  One hundred wood-choppers, bound
for Thunder Bay, go aboard.  The craft rubs her fenders and strains the
wavering pier.  It is a dark night and cold.

"No sailor likes a north wind," says Corkey.

"I have no reason to like it," says Lockwin.

"I'll bet he couldn't be done up so very easy after all," thinks Corkey
with a quick, loud guttural bark, due to his tobacco.  "I wonder why he
looks so blue?  It can't be they won't trade at Washington."

The thought of no office at all frightens the marine reporter.  He asks
himself why he did not put the main question at the depot before the
other folks met Lockwin.  The paroxysm has made a coward of Corkey.  He
gets mental satisfaction by thoughts of the weather.  The mate of the
Africa is muttering that they ought to tie up for the night.

"What ye going to do?" asks Corkey of Captain Grant.

"The captain is well sprung with sour mash," says Corkey to himself.

"We're going to take these choppers to Thunder Bay to-night," says the
captain with an oath.

Supper is set in the after-cabin.  It is nine o'clock before the engine
moves.  There are few at table.  After supper Corkey and Lockwin enter
the forward cabin and take a sofa that sits across the little room.
The sea is rough, but the motion of the boat is least felt at this
place.

Lockwin has the appearance of a man who is utterly unwilling to be
happy.  Corkey has regarded this demeanor as a political wile.

"I'll fetch this feller!" Corkey has observed to himself.

But on broaching the question of politics, the commodore has found that
Lockwin is scarcely able to speak.  He sinks in profound meditation,
and is slowly recalled to the most obvious matters.

The genial Corkey is puzzled.  "He's going to resign, sure.  He beats
me--this feller does."

The boat lunges and groans.  It lurches sidewise three or four times,
and there are sudden moans of the sick on all sides beyond thin wooden
partitions.

"I bet he gits sick," says Corkey.  "Pard, are ye sick now?  Excuse me,
Mr. Lockwin, but are ye sick any?"

"No," says Lockwin, and he is not sick.  He wishes he were.

"Well, let's git to business, then.  You must excuse me, but--"

Corkey is seized with a paroxysm.  He gives a screeching sneeze, and
the cries of the sick grow furious.

"Who _is_ that?" asks the mate, peering out of his room and then going
on deck.

David Lockwin is at the end of his forces.  This is life.  This is
politics.  This is expediency.  This is the way men become illustrious.
He straightens his legs, sinks his chin and pushes his hands far in his
pockets.

"Before I begin," says Corkey, "let me tell ye, that if you're sick I'd
keep off the decks.  You have a gold watch.  Some one might nail ye."

"Is that so?" asks Lockwin, his thoughts far away.

"He beats _me_!" comments the contestant.  "Well, pard, if you're not
sick, I'd like to say a good many things.  I suppose them ducks at
Washington weakened.  If they give me collector, here's my slate."

Corkey produces a long list of names, written on copy-paper.

"I bet she don't budge an inch," he remarks, as he hears the north wind
and waves pounding at one end, and the engine pounding at the other.

"Needn't be afraid, pard.  Sometimes they go out in Georgian Bay and
burn some coal.  Then if they can't git anywhere, they come back."

Corkey is pleased with his own remark.  "Sometimes," he adds, "they
don't come back.  They are bluffed back by the wind."

Lockwin sits in the same uncommunicative attitude.

"Pardner, you didn't come out into Georgian Bay for nothing.  I know
that.  So I will tell you what I am going to do with the collectorship.
By the great jumping Jewhillikins, that's a wave in the stateroom
windows!  I never see anything like that."

The captain passes.

"High sea, cap'n!"  It is not in good form for Corkey to rise.  He is a
passenger, with a navigator's reputation to sustain.

"High hell!" says the captain.

"What a hullabaloo them choppers is a-making," says Corkey to Lockwin.
"I reckon they're about scared to death.  Well, as I was a-saying, I
want to know what the jam-jorum said."

Corkey is terrified.  He does not fear that he will go down in Georgian
Bay.  He dreads to hear the bursting of the bladders that are
supporting him in his sea of glory.

Lockwin starts as from a waking dream:

"I beg your pardon, Mr. Corkey, but I could have told you at the start
that the administration, when it was confronted by the question whether
or not it would give you anything, said; 'No!'  It will give you
nothing.  The administration said it would not appoint you lightkeeper
at Ozaukee."

"There hain't no light at Ozaukee," says Corkey.

"That's what the administration said, too," replies Lockwin.

"Did you tell 'em I got you fine?" asks Corkey.

"I told them I thought you had as good a case as I had."

"Did you tell 'em I'd knock seventeen kinds of stuffin' out of their
whole party?  That I'd--"

Corkey is at his wits ends.  His challenge has been accepted.  At the
outset he had saved fifty twenty-dollar gold pieces out of his wages.
He has spent fifteen already.  The thought of a contest against the
machine candidate carries with it the loss of the rest of the little
hoard.  He has boasted that he will retain Emery Storrs, the eminent
advocate.  Corkey grows black in the face.  He hiccoughs.  He strangles.

He unburdens himself with a supreme sneeze.  The mate enters the cabin.

"I _knew_ that sneeze would wreck us!" he cries savagely.

"Is your old tub sinking?" asks Corkey, in retort.

"That's what she is!" replies the mate.

Corkey looks like a man relieved.  Politics is off his mind.  He will
not be laughed at on the docks now.

"Pardner, I'm sorry we're in this hole," he says, as the twain rush
through the door to the deck.  It was dim under that swinging lamp.  It
is dark out here.  The wind is bitter.  The second mate stands hard by.

"How much water is in?" asks Corkey.

"Plenty," says the second mate.

"What have ye done?" asks Corkey.

"Captain's blind, stavin' drunk, and won't do nothin'."

"Nice picnic!" says Corkey.

"Nice picnic!" says the second mate, warming up.

It is midnight in the middle of Georgian Bay.  There is a fall gale
such as comes only once in four or five years.  In the morning there
will be three hundred wrecks on the great lakes--the most inhospitable
bodies of water in the world.

And of all stormy places let the sailor keep out of Georgian Bay.



CHAPTER XIII

OFF CAPE CROKER

Corkey has climbed to the upper deck and stands there alone in the
darkness and the gale.  The engine stops.  The steamer falls into the
trough of the sea.

The Africa carries two yawls attached to her davits.  Corkey is feeling
about one of these yawls.  He suspects that the lines are old.  He
steps to the other side.  He strains at a rope.  He strives to unloose
it from its cleat.  The line is stiff and almost frozen.

"I'd be afraid to lower myself, anyhow," he observes, for he has the
notion that everything about the Africa is insecure.

The ship gives another lurch.  Something must be done.  Almost before
he knows it, Corkey has cut loose the stern.  The rope seems strong.

Now he must unwind the bow line from its cleat, or he will lose his
boat.  He kicks at the cleat.  He loosens a loop.  He raises the boat
and then lowers it.  The tackle works.

The other yawl and its tackle roll and creak in the gale.  Nobody else
comes up the ladders.

The man aloft pulls his line out and fastens it to the cleat which he
tried to kick off.  He seizes the stern of the yawl and hoists it far
over the upper deck.  The yawl falls outside the gunwale below, with a
great crash and splintering of oars.

"She's there!" says Corkey, feeling the taut line.  "She's there, and
the rope is good.  The davit is good."

The people below seem to know that a boat is being put out.  But Corkey
is the only man on the ship who thinks the idea practicable.  "Of what
use to lower a small boat," say the sailors, "in Georgian Bay?"

The man above must descend on that little line.  He doesn't want to do
that.  He goes to the other boat, and makes a feeble experiment of
hoisting and lowering, by means of both davits, the man to sit in the
yawl.  "I couldn't do it!" he vows, and recrosses.

"What'll I do when I get down there?" he mutters.  "How'll I get loose?"

He must make his descent knife in hand.

"I can't do it!" he says, and gets out his knife.  It is a large
fur-handled hunting knife--like Corkey in its style.

Corkey peers down on deck.  The wood-choppers are fastening
life-preservers about their bodies.  Whether they be crying or
shouting, cannot be told.

He sees human forms hurrying past the cabin window, and there is
reflected the yellow, wooden, ribby thing which he knows to be a
life-preserver.

It is a cheering thing in such a moment.  "I wish I had one," he says,
but he holds to the rope of his boat.

There is no crew, in the proper sense of the word.  Not an officer or
man on board feels a responsibility for the lives of the passengers.
As at a country summer resort, each person must wait on himself.

"Nobody is better'n we are," says the captain.

The Africa is rapidly foundering.

"She must be as rotten as punk," sneers Corkey.  He thinks of his
cheerful desk at the newspaper office.  He thinks of his marine
register.  He tries to recall the rating of this hulk of an Africa.

"Anyhow, it is tough!" he laments.

The wind is perhaps less boisterous since the engine slacked.  The rays
of light from the cabin lamps pierce and split the waves.  Corkey never
saw so much foam before.

"It's an easy good-bye for all of us," he says, and falls ill.

But shall he wait for the Africa to settle?

"She'll pull me down, sure!" he comments.

Shall he wait much longer, then?

"All them roosters will be up here, and then we can't do nothing.  Yet
I wish I had somebody with me.  Oh, Lockwin!  I say, hello!  Old man!
Lockwin!  Come up this way!"

For a moment there is nothing to be heard but the furious whistling of
the gale about the mast in front.  There is nobody in the wheel-house
to the best of Corkey's eyesight.

There are three or four booming sounds.  Corkey is startled.  They are
repeated.

It is the yawl making its hollow sound.

But there are no noises of human beings.  "Oddest thing I ever see!"
says Corkey.  "I didn't know a shipwreck was like this.  Everything is
different from what is printed--Lord save me!"

The Africa is rolling.

"Here goes!"  It is now or never.

Corkey has short, tough fingers.  He grasps that rope like a vise.  He
wraps his left leg well in the coils.  He kicks the steamer with his
right.  The small boat does not touch the water when the steamer is
sitting straight in the sea.

It is a horrible turmoil in which to enter.  Perhaps he came down too
soon!

"I wish I had some one with me now.  Mebbe the two of us would get an
advantage."

The second mate looks over the gunwale from the prow of the steamer.
He knows a land-lubber is handling a yawl.

"D---- fool!" he mutters.

In the Georgian Bay, if the ship go down, all hands are to drown.  Only
sham sailors like Corkey are to make any effort, beyond fastening
pieces of wood about their waists.

"I wonder if I'd come out here for this if I'd got onto it?"  Then the
grim features relax.  "I wonder if his nobs would?"

Corkey's feet rest on the prow of the small boat.  He asks if he
fastened that rope securely at the cleat.  He has asked that all the
way down.  Perhaps the steamer is not going to sink.

"Whoopy!"

Corkey is under the steamer's side, deep in the waves.  He goes down
suddenly, cold, frightened, benumbed.  He feels that some one is trying
to pull the rope out of his hands.  It must be Lockwin.  The drowning
man clutches with a hundred forces.  The tug increases.  The struggling
man will lose the rope.  Lockwin is striking Corkey with a bludgeon.
That is unfair!  There is a last pull, and Corkey comes up out of the
waves.

What has happened?  The Africa has rolled nearly over, but is righting.

Corkey's wits return.  "I've lost my knife!" he cries, in bitter
disappointment.  But, lo! his knife is in his hands.  He can with
difficulty unloose his fingers from the rope.

The Africa is listing upon him again.  He dreads that abyss of waters.
He cuts the rope far above him and he falls in the sea, the entire
scope of his life passing in a red fire before his eyes.

Beside, there is a drowning thought that he has gone out to die before
the rest.  At the last, when he swung out as the Africa rolled toward
him he wanted to climb back.

Now the red fire is gone and Corkey can think.  He believes he is
drowning.  "It's because I wasn't a real sailor," he argues.  "The
sailors knew better."

Something pulls him.  It is the rope which he holds.  He knows now that
he has a yawl on the end of that line.  He pulls and pulls--and comes
up to the air, a choking, sneezing, exceedingly active human being.
The yawl is riding the water.  He rolls into the boat at the prow.  He
feels quickly for the oars and finds two that are in their locks.
Water is deep in the bottom.  There is nothing to bail with.

But the joy of the little man is keen.  "I'm saved!  That's what I am!
I'm saved!"

He thinks he hears a new noise--a great sough--the pouring of waters.
He is moved sidewise in his boat.  He wipes the mist from his eyes and
peers in all directions for the ship.

"Where in God's name is she?"  It is the most frightful thought Corkey
has ever entertained.

The Africa has gone down.  It is as sure as that Corkey sits in the
yawl, safe for the moment.  The spirit of the man sinks with the ship,
and then rides high again.

"They're nothing to me!" he says.  "I'm the only contestant, too!"

He is too brave.  The thought seems sacrilegious.  He grows faint with
fear!  All alone on Georgian Bay!

The boat leaps and settles, leaps and settles.  The oars fly in his
face, and are jerked away.  The boat falls on something solid.  What is
that?  It hits the boat again.  An oar flies out of Corkey's hand.  His
hand seizes the gunwale for security.  A warmer hand is felt.  Corkey
pulls on the hand--a head--a kinky head--comes next.  The thing is
alive, and is welcome.  Corkey pulls with both hands.  A small form
comes over the gunwale just as a wave strikes the side of the yawl with
the only noise that can be heard.  The yawl does not capsize.  The boy
begins bailing with his hands.

It is the mascot.  "Hooray!" cries the man.  His confidence returns.
He hears the boy paddling the water.  The rebellious oars are seized
with hope, but Corkey feels as if he were high on a fractious horse,

"Bail, you moke!" he commands in tones that are heard for a hundred
yards.

"Bail, you cross-eyed, left-handed, two-thumbed, six-toed, stuttering
moke!"

The boy paddles with his hands.  The man, by spasmodic efforts, holds
the boat against the wind for a minute, and then loses his control.

"Bail, you moke!" he screams, as the tide goes against him.

The hands fly faster.

The boat comes back against the wind and the great seas split on each
side of the prow.

The swimmers hear Corkey.

"Lordy!" he says.  "I know I hit a man then with that right oar.  I
felt it smash him.  There! we're on him now!  Bail, you moke!  No
stopping, or I throw you in!  Stop that bailing and catch that duck
there!  Got him?  Hang on!"

It is a wood-chopper.

This yawl is like a wild animal.  It springs upward, it rolls, it
flounders.  It is like a wild bronco newly haltered.  How can these
many heads hope to get upon so spirited a steed?  See it leap backward
and on end!  Now up, now sidewise, now vertically!

But the swimmers are also the sport of the waves.  They, too, are
thrown far aloft.  They, too, sink deeply.

"There, I hit that man again, I know I did!  Don't you feel him?  They
must be thick.  Come this way, all you fellers!  I can take ye!"

The boat is leaping high.  These survivors are brave and good.

The wood-chopper, with his wooden life-preserver, is clumsy getting in.
He angers Corkey.

"Bail, you moke!  Let the other fellows fish for the floaters!"

It inspires Corkey, this frequent admonition of the boy.  But the boat
cavorts dizzily.

"Bail, you moke!  You black devil!  Don't you forget it!"  The oars go
fast and furious, often in the air, and each time with a volley of
oaths.

The wood-chopper has seized a man.  It is another wood-chopper.  There
are now four souls in the boat.

It leaps less like an athlete.

It has been half an hour since the Africa went down.  There still are
cries.  To all these, Corkey replies: "Come on! all you fellers that
has life-preservers!"  But it is incredible that any more should get in
the yawl.

Nevertheless, one, two, three, four, five, six wood-choppers arrive in
the next half-hour, and all are saved.  Tugging for dear life, Corkey
holds his boat against the wind.

"There!" cries the commander.  "I strike him again!"

A wood-chopper this time grasps a floating man who can make little
effort for himself.  A half-dozen pair of hands bring him aboard.  He
sinks on a seat.  The boat is now full.  It leaps less lightly.  The
commander is jubilant.  He thinks himself safe.  He returns to his
favorite topic, the mascot.

"You're from the Africa, ain't you?  Bail, you moke!  He-oh-he!  Golly,
that was a big one!"

"Yessah!"

"You're Noah.  Good name!  Fine name!  Where's Ararat?  He-oh-he!"

"Never seed a-a-airy-rat."

"Bail, you moke!  Don't you give me more o' your lip!  Bail, you little
devil!  Don't you see--he-oh--Godsakes!  Lookout!  Bail, all you
fellers!  Other side!  Quick!  It's no good!  Hang on!  All you
fellers."

The boat is turning.  Hands grasp the gunwale.  The gunwale sinks.
Hands rise.  The back of the boat rolls toward them.  The hands
scramble and pat the back of the boat.  The gunwale comes over.  The
boat is right side up.  She still leaps.  She still struggles to be
free.  Hand after hand lets go.  Six hands remain.  The boat rises and
ends about.  Then the bow rises; next the stern.  The yawl strives
persistently to shake free from the daring creatures who have so far
escaped the Africa and the storm.  The boy turns on the gunwale, as it
were a trapeze.  He opens the locker.  He finds a tin pie-plate.  He
bails.

Corkey gets in.

"Lord of heavens!" he ejaculates, "that was a close call.  Them
wood-choppers!  They was no earthly use."

Two hands are yet on the gunwale.

"Suppose we can git him in?"

"Yessah!" stammers the boy.

The unknown man is evidently wounded, but is more active than when he
was first picked up.

Every wood-chopper is gone.  There are no sounds in Georgian Bay other
than the noises of the boat, the wind and the great waves.  There were
117 souls on the Africa.  Now 114 are drowned.  They perished like rats
in a trap.

What moment will the boat overturn again?

"Bail, my son!"

"Yessah!" stammers the boy.

The boat is riding southward and backward at a fast rate.  Three hours
have passed--three hours of increasing effort and nerve-straining
suspense.

The wounded survivor lies in the stern of the boat.  The boy bails
incessantly.  The water is thrown in at the stern in passing over the
boat from the prow.

"It's bad on that rooster!" says Corkey, as he hears the water dashing
on the prostrate form.  "Wonder if his head is out of the drink?"

"Yessah!" stammers the boy, feeling slowly in the stern.

The work and the fear settle into a sodden, unbroken period of three
hours more.  Growing familiarity with the seas aids Corkey in holding
the craft to the wind.  But how long can he last?  How long can he defy
the wind?

"Bail, my son!" he begs.

"Yessah," stammers the boy.

The gray light begins to touch the east.  Corkey has lived an age since
he saw that light.  He is afraid of it now.

A cloud moves by and the morning bursts on the group.

Busy as he is, Corkey is eager to see the man in the stern.

"Holy smoke!" says the oarsman.

"Yessah!" stammers the obedient lad.

The face on the stern seat startles Corkey.  The nose is broken, the
lips are cut, some of the front teeth are gone and the face has been
bloody.  It is like a wound poulticed white.  It has been wet and cold
all night.

"Lockwin, isn't it you?" asks Corkey, greatly moved at a sight so
affecting.

"It is," signals Lockwin.  The voice is inaudible to Corkey.

The head rises and Corkey strains his ear.

"I'm dying, Corkey.  God bless you.  I wanted to thank you."

"God bless you, Lockwin.  We're all in the same boat.  I'm glad we
caught you!"

The mascot moves toward the sinking man.

The head falls again on the stern seat.  The body is in ten inches of
water.

The boat is moving rapidly.

"Want to send any word home, Lockwin?"

There is a pause.  There is an effort to speak of money.  There is
another effort.

"He s-a-ays put a st-st-stone at Davy's-s-s-s-s grave," interprets the
stammerer.

"Who's Davy?" asks the oarsman.  "What else did he say?"

"H-h-h-he's dead!" says the lad.

"Bail! bail!" answers the man.  "Let's g-g-get 'im out!" suggests the
boy in a half-hour.  Corkey has been sobbing.

"I thought a heap of Lockwin," he answers.

"I d-d-don't like a d-d-dead man in the boat!"

"Bail, you moke!  I'll throw you in!"

But Corkey's voice is far from menacing.  Corkey is weak.  Now he sees
the boy's face in dreadful contortions.  The lad is trying to speak
quickly, and can make no noise at all.

He rises and points.  He is frantic.

"He's crazy!" thinks Corkey, in alarm.

"L-l-land!" screams the lad.

"That is what it is, unless it's sucking us in."  Corkey has heard of
mirages in shipwreck.

"It's land!" he says, a moment later, as he sees a tamarack scrub.

It is, in reality, a long, narrow spit of sand that pushes out above
Colpoy's Bay.  Beyond that point is the black and open Georgian Bay for
thirty miles.

The boat will ride by, and at least three hundred yards outside.
Unless Corkey can get inside, what will become of him?

If he turn away from the wind he will capsize.

On comes the point.  It is the abyss of death beyond.

"We never will get it!" cries the man.

The boy's face is all contortions.  He is trying to say something.

"Bail, you moke!" commands the man.  But his eyes look imploringly on
the peninsula of sand.

The black face grows hideous.  The eyes are white and protrude.  The
point is off the stern of the yawl.

"Not d-d-deep!" yells the mascot with an explosion.

"Sure enough!"

"S-s-s-s-see the sand in the wa-wa-ter!"

"Sure enough!"

The idea saves Corkey and the boy.  Over the side Corkey goes.  He
touches bottom and is swept off.

The boat drags him.  He catches the boy's hand.

"Let her go," is the command, and, boy in arms, Corkey stands on the
bottom.  The sea rages as if it were a thousand feet deep.

If Corkey wore a life-preserver he would be lost.

Now is he on a sand-bar?  This is his last and most prostrating fear.
Step by step he moves toward the point.  The waves dash over his head,
as they dash over the yawl.  Step by step he learns that he is safe.

The boat is gone forever.

The water grows shallower.  The great sea goes by.  The bay beyond may
look black now Corkey has escaped its jaws.

He puts down the lad.

"Walk, you moke!" he commands.

The twain labor hand in hand to the point.

The man sinks like a drunkard upon the sands wet with the tempest.

When Corkey regains his senses four men are lifting him in a wagon.
The mascot sits on the front seat.

Four newspaper reporters want his complete account.



CHAPTER XIV

IN THE CONVENTIONAL DAYS

One congressman, a hundred wood-choppers and fourteen miscellaneous
lives have been lost in Georgian Bay.

It is the epoch of sensational news.  A life is a life.  The valiant
night editor places before his readers the loss of 115 congressmen, for
a wood-chopper is as good as a congressman.

And while the theory that 115 congressmen have gone down astounds and
horrifies the subscriber, it might be different if that many
congressmen of the opposite party should really be sent to the bottom.

The conditions for conventional news are, therefore, perfect.  Upon the
length of the report depends the reputation of the newspaper.  The
newspaper with the widest circulation must have the longest string of
type and the blackest letters in its headings.

Corkey works for that paper.

"Give us your full story," demand his four saviors.

The mascot stammers so that communication with him is restricted to his
answers of yes and no.

It is therefore Corkey's duty to the nation to tell all he has
witnessed.  He conceals nothing.

"It ain't much I know about it," he says; "she was rotten and she go
down."

"Yes, but begin with the thrilling scenes."

"There wa'n't no scenes.  I never see anything like it."

"Of course you didn't."

"Well, dry up.  The cap'n he came in and went out.  The first mate--he
wa'n't no good on earth--well--he--"

The remembrance of the first mate's indignities throws Corkey into a
long fit of strangling, ending with a monstrous sneeze.

"That's what wrecked her," observes the witty reporter.

"Exactly.  I was trying to give you what this Aleck of a first mate was
a-saying.  After that we start out on deck, and I go up on the
hurricane, and stand there in the dark."

"What did you see up there?"

Corkey gazes scornfully at his inquisitors.

"As I was a-saying, I let down the yawl, and it was no good--it was
good enough--it saved us.  When I get in the wet, I screw my nut and
the blooming old tub was gone down, I reckon!"

When Corkey screws his nut he turns his head.  He can use no other
phrase.

The interviewers are busy catching his exact words.

"Then I pick up the mascot, and he bail.  Then we catch them
wood-choppers, and they are no earthly good.  But I'm mighty sorry for
'em.  Then I reckon we take up Lockwin, and he ain't no congressman,
neither.  I'm the congressman.  Don't you forget that.  He die off the
point in the boat.  We see the point, and we sherry out of that yawl.
Hey, there, you moke--ain't that about so?"

"Yessah!" stammers the mascot.

"He come from the Africa, and his name is Noah--good name for so much
drink, I reckon."

"Yes," say the eager interviewers, "go on."

"Go on!  Go on yourselves.  That's all."

There is no profit in catechising Corkey.  He has spoken.  There is
Indian blood in him.  He saw nothing.  It was dark.

"It wasn't no shipwreck, I tell you: not like a real shipwreck.  She
just drap.  She's where she belongs now.  But that first mate, he was a
bird, and I guess the second mate wasn't no better.  The cap'n--I don't
like to mention it of him, for I stood up to the bar with his crowd--he
was too full of budge to sail any ship at all.  But don't say that,
boys.  It'd only make his old woman feel bad."

The Africa is lost.  Ask Corkey over and over.  He will bring up out of
the sea of his memory that same short, matter-of-fact recital.

The rural interviewers, unused to the needs of the city
service--faithful to the sources of their news--finish the concise
tale.  It covers a quarter of a column.

That will never do for Corkey's paper.  He knows it well.

He reaches Wiarton.  He hurries to the telegraph office.  He buys a
half-dozen tales of the sea.  He finds a shipwreck to suit his needs.
He describes in a column the happy scenes in the cabin before the
calamity is feared.  He depicts the stern face of the commander as he
stands, pistols in hand, to keep the passengers from the boats.  The
full moon rises.  The wind abates.  A raft is constructed at a cost of
one column and a half of out and out plagiarism.  Corkey, Lockwin and
forty wood-choppers are saved on the raft.  The captain goes down on
his ship, refusing to live longer.

"You bet!" comments the laboring, perspiring Corkey.  Corkey is a short
man, short in speech.  This "full account" is a grievous
responsibility, for marine reporters are taught to "boil it down."

The raft goes to pieces in mid-sea, and the survivors take to the yawl.

Then Corkey returns and interpolates a column death scene on the raft.

"Too bad there wasn't no starving," he laments.  "I was hungry enough
to starve."

The boat comes ashore in the breakers, and as the result of an
all-night's struggle with the muse of conventionality Corkey has seven
columns of double-leaded copy.

Meantime the telegraph operator at Wiarton at Corkey's order has been
sending the Covode Investigation from an antique copy of the
"Congressional Globe."  There is an office rule that dispatches must
take their turn on the file.  The four interviewers have filed their
accounts and their accounts will be sent after the Covode
Investigation.  When Corkey's dispatch is ready he joins it to a sheet
of the Covode Investigation, and therefore the operator has been busy
on one dispatch all the time.

The night editor of Corkey's paper begins getting the Covode
Investigation from Wiarton.  He enjoins the foreman to start more
type-setters.  Reprint copy is freely set all night, and at dawn the
real stuff begins to arrive.

"Appalling Calamity.  Loss of 115 Lives on Georgian Bay.  Only Two
Saved.  Graphic and Exciting Account of Our Special Survivor.
Unparalleled Feat in Journalism."

Such are some of the many headings.  They fill a column.

The night editor, the telegraph editors, the proof-readers, the
type-setters, the ring-men, the make-ups, the press-men, are thrilled
to the marrow.  The printers can scarcely set their portions, they are
so desirous to read the other takes.

"I didn't know Corkey had it in him," says Slug 75.

"You'd have it in you," answers Slug 10, "if you went through the wet
like he did.  How do you end?  What's your last word?"

The victorious newspaper is out and on the streets--the greatest
chronicle of any age--the most devout function of the most conventional
epoch of civilization.

The night editors of all other city newspapers look with livid faces on
that front page.  They scan the true and succinct account of Corkey's
interview, which reaches them an hour later.  They indignantly throw it
in the waste-basket, cut off the correspondents by telegraph, and
proceed hurriedly to re-write the front page of their exemplar.

The able editor comes down the next day and writes a leader on the
great shipwrecks of past times, the raft scene and the heroism of
Corkey.

Corkey and his mascot are still at Wiarton.  Corkey is superintending
the search for the yawl and Lockwin's body.

Superintending the search is but a phrase.  Corkey is exhibiting his
mascot, pounding on the hotel bar and accepting the congratulations of
all who will take a drink.

The four correspondents fall back on the Special Survivor and hope for
sympathy.

"We have been discharged by our papers," they cry in bitter anger and
deep chagrin.

"Can't you get us re-instated?" they implore, in eager hope.

"The man," says Corkey, judicially, "who don't know no better than to
send that shipwreck as it was--well, excuse me, gentlemen, but he ought
to get fired, I suppose."  Corkey stands sidewise to the bar, his hand
on the glass.  He looks with affection on the mascot and ruminates.
Then he brings his adamantine fist down on the bar to the peril of all
glassware.

"Yes, sir!  Now I was out on that old tub.  I was right there when she
drapped in the drink.  If anybody might make it just as it was, I
might--mightn't I?"

"You might," they answer in admiration of a great man.

"Well, I didn't do no such foolish thing as you fellows, did I?"

"But why didn't you tell us, Mr. Corkey?"

"That isn't what my paper hired me to do.  Is it, you cow-licked,
cross-eyed, two-thumbed, six-toed stuttering moke?"

There is a terrifying report of knuckles on the counter.  There are
signs of strangling and a sneeze.

"N--n--n--noah," stammers the faithful son of swart Afric.



BOOK II

ESTHER LOCKWIN



CHAPTER I

EXTRA!  EXTRA!

Esther Lockwin, the bride of a few months, has been hungrily happy.

She has been the wife of David Lockwin, the people's idol.  She has
passed out of a single state which had become wearisome.  She has
removed from a vast mansion to a less conspicuous home.

Of all the women in Chicago she would consider herself most fortunate.

People call her cold.  It is certain that she is best pleased with a
husband like Lockwin.  It is his business to be famous.

"Go to Congress," she says.  "Outlive your enemies.  I think, David,
that men are not the equals of women in defending themselves against
the shafts of enmity.  Outlive your enemies, David."

That Lockwin has the nature she required was to be seen in the death of
Davy.  An event which would have beclouded the life of common brides
came to Esther as an important communication.  She saw Lockwin's heart.
She saw him kissing the soles of Davy's feet.  There is something
despotic in her nature which was satisfied in his act.  There is also a
devotion in her nature which might be as profound.

She would kiss the soles of David Lockwin's feet, were he dead.  She
could kiss his feet were he despised and rejected among men.

Yet she is counted the haughtiest woman that goes by.

"Mrs. Lockwin is a double-decker," the grocer declares to his head
clerk.  "She rides mighty high out of the water."

The grocer used to haul lumber from Muskegon.  His metaphors smell of
the deep.

For ten years young men of all temperaments had besieged this lady.
The fame of her money had entranced them.  Suitors who were afraid of
her distinguished person still paid court, smitten by the love of money.

She was so proud that she must marry a proud man.  She must marry a man
conspicuous, tall, large, slow.  She must banish from her mind that
hateful fear of the man who might want her for her financial
expectations.

Sometimes when she surveyed the matrimonial field she noted that the
eligible suitors were few.

Men with blonde mustaches of extreme length would recite lovers' poems.
Men with jet-black hair, eyes and beard would be equally foolish.  The
lady would listen politely to both.

"It is the Manitoba cold wave!" the lovers would lament as they left
her.

To see Esther Wandrell pass by--beautiful, heroic, composed--was to
feel she was the most magnetic of women.  To recite verses to her--to
lay siege to her heart--was to learn that her personal magnetism was
from a repellant pole.  The air grew heavy.  There was a lack of ozone.
The presumptuous beleaguerer withdrew and was glad to come off without
capture.

There had been one man, and toward the last, two men, who did not meet
these mystic difficulties.  Esther Wandrell was pleased to be in the
society of either David Lockwin or George Harpwood.

David Lockwin she knew.  He was socially her equal.  He had lived in
Chicago as long as she.  He was essentially the man she might love, for
there was an element of unrest in his nature that corresponded with the
turmoil underneath her calm exterior.

She knew nothing of George Harpwood other than that he was an
acquaintance with whom she liked to pass an hour.  He did not degrade
her pride.  He walked erectly, he scorned the common people, he
presented an appearance sufficiently striking to enable her to
accompany him without making a bad picture on the street or in the
parlor.

All other men bored her, and she could not conceal the fact.

To promenade with Harpwood and notice that Lockwin was interested--this
was indeed a tonic.  The world of tuberoses and _portes cocheres_--the
world of soft carpets and waltzes heard in the distance--this aromatic,
conventional and dreary world became a paradise.

When David Lockwin declared his love, life became dramatic.

When David Lockwin won the primaries and carried the election, life
became useful.

When David Lockwin held the little feet of the dead foundling life
became noble.  She, too, would bring from out the recesses of that
man's better nature the treasures of love which lay there.  She had not
before known that she hungered and thirsted for love.

It might be the affection of a lioness.  She might lick her cubs with
the tongue of a tiger, but her temperament, stirring beneath her, was
pleased.

She has a husband worthy of her worship.  She who had not known that
she wanted lover's verses, wants them from David Lockwin.

She who had never been jealous of Davy, grows jealous of politics.
Yet, fearing her husband may guess her secret and despise her, she
appears more Spartan.

She nursed the man sick of brain fever and buried little Davy.  She
brought her patient to his senses after nearly a month of alienation.

"Is Davy dead, Esther?" he had asked.

This was his first rational utterance.

"You are elected to Congress, David," she said.  "Are you not glad?"

"Yes," he answered, and looked like death itself.

She dared not to throw herself upon his pillow and tell him how happy
she was that he was restored.  Her heart beat rebelliously that she did
not declare to him the consuming passion of love which she felt.

Oh, let him resign his honors!  Let him travel with her alone!  Let her
love him--love him as he loved Davy--as he must love her!

But the caution of love and experience had warned her to be still.  Had
not David waited until the child was dead before she saw the man as he
really loved that child?

"I think I can do my duty," he said, wearily.

"I am so glad you were elected!" she said.

"Yes," he answered, and became whiter.

She had sat by the bed, growing uneasy.  Ought she to have told him
all?  Ought she to have acknowledged her deep devotion?  Why was he so
sad?  Surely they could mourn for Davy together!  Tears had come in her
eyes as she gazed on the couch where Davy's soul went away.

The man had been comforted.  "Were you remembering Davy?" he asked.

"Yes, dear," she said.

He had put his weak hand in hers.  She was the happiest she had ever
been.

She had debated if she might deplore politics.  She hated politics now.
But she had not dared to be frank.  In five minutes more the bridges
were burned.  The man and the woman were apart again, each in anguish,
and neither able to aid the other.

That Lockwin needed a trip to Washington could not be denied.  That
Esther feared to speak of Davy was becoming very noticeable.

Yet no sooner is the husband gone than the woman laments the folly of
letting him leave her.

"Go, David," she had commanded, when she was eager with a desire to
keep him or to go with him.

"Shall I accompany you?" she asked, smiling and trembling.

"I must return by a lake steamer, and must see Corkey alone," the
husband had replied.

"A lake steamer!"  In October!  The affair alarmed the wife.  She must
not let that fear be known.

"Live down your enemies, David!" she had said, as she kissed him.

The words were insincere.  They had a false sound, or an unconvincing
sound.  They had jarred on David Lockwin.

"I can outlive my friends easily enough, it seems," he thought, as he
recited the lines of holy fields over whose acres walked those blessed
feet.  "I can outlive poor Davy.  I ought to be happy in politics.  It
cost me enough!"

And the man had wept.

At home the wife had also wept.  She was afraid she had erred.  She had
not been frank.  She accused herself, she defended herself, she noted
that it was not yet too late to bid David good-bye, or beg him not to
go until he should be stronger.  She called a cab from the livery.  It
was Sunday.  There was a long delay.  She entered the vehicle and
directed that haste should be made to the Canal street depot.  She
approached the bridge.  She feared she had made a mistake.  David would
think she was silly.  It was entirely unlike the cold Esther Lockwin to
be acting in this manner.

The bridge bell had rung.  The bridge swung.  She had looked at her
watch.  The train would leave at five o'clock.  It was 4:50.  Could not
the driver go round by the Washington street tunnel?

"It is closed for repairs," the driver had said--a falsehood.

When Esther reached the station the train had left.  She had returned
to her home to wait in dire anxiety until her husband should reach
Washington.  She had written a long letter unfolding her heart to him.

"Come back to me, my darling," she said in that letter, "and see how
happy we shall be!  Let the politics go; that killed Davy and makes us
all so unhappy.  You were made for something nobler.  Let us go to
Europe once more.  Let us seek out the places where you and I have met
in the past."

It had seemed too cold.

"I love you, I love you.  I shall die without you!  Come home to me and
save me!  I love you, I love you!"

So she had written for a page, and was satisfied.

If she might telegraph it!  No! only advertisers and divorced people
did that.  She must wait.

He would not reply.  He would come.

The newspaper announces the arrival of the congressman-elect at the
White House.  He had left almost immediately for the West.

Then he will not get the letter!

He may arrive in Chicago this night, but how and where?  A gale is
rising.  The wife is terrified with waiting and with love.  If she had
some little clue of his route homeward.  She is a woman, and does not
know how to proceed.  She goes to her father.

"Oh, fudge, puss!  You mustn't let him go again.  Ha! ha! you're just
like your mother.  She pretty near had a fit when I went away the first
time.  He went a little soon for his health, but our leading men tell
us he was needed in Washington.  They wanted to see him and get some
pledges from him.  He'll be home by some lake boat in the morning.
They get in about daylight, but it's like a needle in a haystack.  Why,
the last time I came from Mackinaw they landed me on a pile of soft
coal--blest if they didn't!  Stay all night, puss.  Or go home, if you
want to be there."

"Wind blows like sixty!" says the old Chicagoan, after Esther has gone.

The mother harkens.  She goes to the window.

"Is that the lake?" she asks.

"Yes; it's too late in the year for David to be on any boat."

The wife of David Lockwin cannot sleep.  She cannot even write another
letter.  "How happy are lovers who may write to each other!" she says.
The gale rises and she waits.  It is midnight and David is not home.
Now, if he should arrive, he would probably keep his state-room until
morning.

She awakes at daylight.  She dons a wrapper and creeps to the front
door.  There are the morning papers.  She scans every paragraph.  Ah!
here is David!

"NIAGARA FALLS, Oct. 16.--Congressman Lockwin left here to-day for Owen
Sound, on Georgian Bay."

Georgian Bay!  Where is that?  She seeks the library.  She finds a map.
Georgian Bay!  Perhaps David has some lumber interest there.

The paper is scanned again.  Owen Sound, Owen Sound.  She is reading
the marine intelligence.  Yes, here is Owen Sound.

"OWEN SOUND, Oct. 16.--Cleared--Propeller Africa, merchandise, for
Thunder Bay.  Gale blowing, with snow."

Thunder Bay!  It is still more incomprehensible.

There is a cry in the streets, hoarse and loud--a triumphant
proclamation:

"Extra!  Full account o' de shipwreck o' de Africa!  Full account o' de
big shipwreck!"

A white arm reaches from a front door.  A dime is paid for two papers.
The door must be held open for light to read.

"Appalling calamity!  Unparalleled feat of journalism!"

Hideous it seems to Esther Lockwin.  She clings to the newell-post.

"Death, off Cape Croker, of Congressman Lockwin!"

There may be two congressmen of that name.

There may be two!  It is a dying hope.  Can the eyes cling to the
column long enough to read that paragraph?

"Congressman David Lockwin, of the First Illinois, died of his wounds
about daylight in a yawl off Cape Croker.  His body is lost with the
yawl!"

There is a shriek that awakens the household.  There is a white form
lying in the hall near an open front door.

The servants rush up-stairs.  There is a hubbub and a giving of orders.

The voices of the street come into the hall-way as winds into a cave:

"Extra!  Extra!  'Palling calamity!  Hundred and fifteen congressmen
drowned!  Extra!  Extra!"



CHAPTER II

CORKEY'S FEAR OF A WIDOW'S GRIEF

Corkey and Noah are nearing the residence of Esther Lockwin.

"You bet your sweet life I don't want to see her nibs.  It just breaks
me all up to hear 'em take on, rip and snort and beller.  Now, see
here, you moke, when we git in you stand behind where I stand, and
don't you begin to beller, too.  If you do I'll shake you--I'll give
you the clean lake breeze.  If you walk up to the mark I'll get you
into the league nine.  You'll be their man to hoodoo the other ball
clubs."

"Yessah!"

"You can't say nothing nohow, so all you've got to do is to see me face
the music."

"Yessah!"

"There's the house now.  They say he thought a powerful lot of her.  Is
there a saloon anywhere near?"

The twain look in vain for a beer sign, and resume their journey.  They
ascend the steps.

"There ain't no yawl up here!  This is worse than the Africa.  I
believe I ain't so solid with myself as I was before she founder.  Open
that valve!"

Noah pulls the bell.  There is no retreat now.  Faces are peering from
every window.  Museum managers are on guard at the ends of the street.
The story of Corkey and his mascot is on every tongue in Chicago.

Esther Lockwin opens the door.  Corkey had hoped he might have a moment
of grace.  At best there is a hindrance in his voice.  Now he is
speechless.

"Step in," she says.

He rolls a huge quid of tobacco to the other side of his face, and then
falls in a second panic.  He introduces his first finger in his mouth
as if it were a grappling iron and extracts the black tobacco.  He
trots down a step or two and heaves the tobacco into the street,
resisting, at the last moment, a temptation to hit a mark.  He returns
up the steps, a bunchy figure, in an enormously heavy, chinchilla,
short coat, with blue pantaloons,

"Step in," says the voice pleasantly.

The action has begun as Corkey has not wished.  He is both angry and
contused.  A spasm seizes his throat.  He strangles.  He coughs.  He
sneezes.

There is an opening of street doors on this alarming report, and Corkey
pushes Noah before him into Esther Lockwin's parlors.  The man's
jet-black hair is wet with perspiration.  The boy strives to stand
behind, but Corkey feels more secure if the companion be held in front.

"Let me take your hats," she says calmly.  She goes to the hall-tree
with the hats.  She shuts the door as she re-enters.

"Take those seats," she says.

But Corkey must pull himself together.  This affair is compromising the
great Corkey himself.  He does not sit.  He must begin.

"Me and this coon, madam, we suppose you want to hear how Mr. Lockwin
cashed in--how he--"

"You, of course, are Mr. Corkey, my husband's political opponent?"

"That's what I am, or was, madam; and you ain't no sorrier for that
than me."

"The boy and you escaped?"

"I guess so."

"Now, Mr. Corkey, tell me why Mr. Lockwin went to Owen Sound?"

"I can't do that, nohow; and the less said about it the better.  It
would let a big political cat out of the bag."

"Politics!  Was that the reason?"

"That's what it _was_, your honor, madam."

"Can you tell me something about my poor husband?"

It is a figure that by its mere presence over-awes Corkey.  Of all
women, he admires the heroic mold.  The garb is black beyond the man's
conception of mourning.  The face is chastened with days of mental
torture.  There is an intoxication of grief in the aspect of the woman
that hangs the house in woe.

The mascot slips away from Corkey.  The Special Survivor is drifting
into an open sea of sentiment.  He feels he shall drown.

Yet the beautiful face seems to take pity on him--seems to read the
heart which beats under that burry, bristly form--seems to reach forth
a hand.

"Exactly as we catched onto Lockwin," thinks the grateful Corkey.

"It comes mighty hard for me, Mrs. Lockwin, for I never expected to be
his friend, nohow.  He was an aristocratic duck, and I will say that I
thought it was his bar'l that beat me."

The widow is striving so hard to understand that the man speaks more
slowly.

"But I meet him at Owen Sound.  Between you and me he was to fix
me--see?"

The woman does not see.

"You mustn't say it to nobody, but I went to Georgian Bay to show him
my slate."

"Is it politics?"

"That's what it is, and it's mighty dirty work.  But I don't think your
husband was no politician."

It is a compliment, and the woman so receives it.

"He was late, and the old tub was rubbing the pier away when the
jackleg train arrive."

"The st-st-steamer was wa-wa-waiting," explained the boy.

"Ah! yes," nods the listener.

"You see, the coon can't talk," says Corkey, "but he's got any number
of points.  Well, we wet our whistles, and it's raw stuff they sell
over there--but you don't know nothing about that.  I introduce him to
the outfit, and we go aboard.  We eat, but he don't eat nothing.  I
notice that.  We take the lounge in the fore-cabin.  You know where
that would be?"

A nod, and Corkey is well pleased.

"We sit there all the time.  I want to tell you just how he did.  He
sit back, out straight, like this, his hands deep in his pockets, his
legs crossed onto each other, his hat down, and his chin way down--see?"

Corkey is regaining his presence of mind.

The widow attests the correctness of Corkey's illustration.

"You bet your sweet life, nobody could get nothing out of him, then.
What ailded him I don't know, and I ain't calling the turn, but nobody
could get nothing out of him, I know that.  I talk and talk.  I slap
him on the shoulder, and pull his leg and sing to him--"

"S-s-say it over," suggests the mascot.

The widow cannot understand.

"Why, don't you know, I was expecting him to fix me?"

"Is it politics?"

"That's what it _is_.  So I guess I sing to him an hour--two hours--I
can't tell--when he comes to.  'Mr. Corkey,' says that feller--says Mr.
Lockwin--'you don't get nothing; You don't get the light at Ozaukee.'

"'There ain't no lamp at Ozaukee,' says I.

"'That's what the First High said,' says he.  So you see I was
whipsawed.  I get nothing."

"P-p-politics!" interprets the mascot."

"Perhaps I understand," says the widow.  Withal, she can see David
Lockwin sitting his last hours on that lounge.  How unhappy he was!
Ah! could he only have read her letter!

"I don't just remember what I did after I found I wasn't fixed.  It
flabbergasted me, don't you forget it!  I know I sneezed--and you must
excuse me out there a while ago--and a big first mate he tried to put
the hoodoo on me.  No, that's not politics, but life is too short.  We
go out on deck."

"To make the raft?"

"Oh, that's all poppycock!  Don't you believe no newspaper yarn.  You
just listen to me.  I'm giving it to you straight.  We go out on deck,
and then I don't see Lockwin till we git the wood-choppers.  How many
of them wood-choppers, Noey?"

"Ei-ei-eight!"

"Mrs. Lockwin, them wood-choppers was no earthly use.  It didn't pay to
pull 'em in.  I know it was me who hurt Lockwin with the oars.  I
didn't know for hours that he was aboard.  He showed up at daybreak,
you see.  I tell you he was awfully hurt."

The face of Esther is again miserably expectant.  There will be no
mystery of politics in it now.  "I wouldn't know him, either by face or
voice, Mrs. Lockwin.  He lie in the stern and Noey try to help him, but
the sea was fearful.  I couldn't hear him speak.  Noey--the coon
here--hear him speak.

"'Are you a-dying, old man?' I asks.

"Noey says he answer that he was."

"Yessah, h-h-he done spoke that he w-w-was."

"'Want to send some word home, old man?' says I, to cheer him up; for
don't you see, I allowed we was all in the drink--just tumble to what
an old tub she was--117 of us at the start, and we all croak but me and
the moke--the coon, I should say."

The woman is afraid to interrupt.

Suddenly the eye of Corkey moistens.  He has escaped a great error.  "I
didn't hear his last words, nohow."

"He said to p-p-put a st-st-stone over D-Davy's grave," says the lad

The man turns on the boy.  The brows beetle.  The mouth gives a
squaring movement, significant beyond words.

The listener still waits.

"And then," says Corkey, "he whisper his good-bye to you.  'Tell her
good-bye for me.'  _That's_ what he said, you moke!"

"Yessah."

Esther Lockwin grasps those short hands.  She thanks the commodore for
saving her husband, for living to tell her his last words.  She can
herself live to find her husband's body.

But it is far too much for the navigator.

His sobs resound through the room.  The woman cannot weep.  Her eyes
are dry,

"I had such feelings as no decent man ever gits," he explains, "but
I'll never forgive myself that it was me who steered him agin it."

"You have a better heart than most men, Mr. Corkey."

"I'd give seven hundred cases in bar gelt if he was in Congress to-day,
Mrs. Lockwin."

"I know you would, you poor man.  God bless you for it!"

Corkey is feeling in all his pockets.

"Take this handkerchief, Mr. Corkey, if it will help you.  God bless
you always!  God bless you always!  Come and see me often.  I shall
never get tired of hearing how my husband died.  He must have been
brave to cling to the boat."

"You bet he _was_, and if ever you need money, you come to me, for I'm
the boy that's got it in the yellow!"

Corkey bows himself down the steps.  There two managers of museums
implore a few moments' conversation.  They tender their cards.

"Naw!" says Corkey, "we don't want no museum."

The managers persist.

"No use o' your chinning us!  Go on, now!"

The heroes escape from their persecutors.  The mind of Corkey reverts
to the parlors of Esther Lockwin.

"Great Caesar!" he exclaims.

"Yessah!"

"Steer me to a bar!"

A few moments later Corkey leans sidewise against a whisky counter, his
left  foot on the iron rail, his hand on the glass.  A mouthful of
tobacco is gnawed from the biggest and blackest of plugs.  The mascot
stands by the stove.

The bartender is proud to serve the only Corkey, the most famous man on
the whole "Levee."  While the bartender burns incense, the square mouth
grows scornful, laconic, boastful.  Corkey is himself again.  The
barkeeper goes to the oil-room for a small bottle.

The handsome eyes of the navigator rest on his protege.  The head sets
up a vibration something like the movement of a rattlesnake before it
strikes.  The little tongue plays about the black tobacco.  The speech
comes forth.

"It's a great act I play on the widow about the 'last words'.  He
didn't say nothing of the kind.  I come near putting my foot right into
it."

"Yessah!"

Corkey's right hand is in his side pocket.  He ruminates.  He feels an
unfamiliar thing in his pocket.  He draws out a dainty white-and-black
handkerchief.  There is a painful reaction in his mind.

"I'll burn that female wipe right now!" he says.

"Yessah."

The stove is for soft coal and stands open.  Corkey advances to toss
the handkerchief in the fire.

His eyes meet the crooked and quizzical orbs of the mascot.

"You mourning-colored moke!"

There is a huge threat in the deliverance.

The hook-like finger tears the black tobacco out of the choking mouth.
The great quid is thrown in the fire.  The proposed motion is made, and
the handkerchief is not burned.  Down it goes in the hip pocket beside
Corkey's revolver, out of harm's way.

Corkey started to throw something in the fire, and has kept to his
purpose.

"Yessah!" says the mascot, sagaciously.

"Bet your black life!" vows Corkey, as if great things hung by it.

He looks with renewed affection on his protege.  "I git you into the
league nine, sure, Noey!"

"Yessah!"

It is plain that the mascot will preserve an admirable reticence.



CHAPTER III

THE CENOTAPH

"TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS REWARD.--This sum of money will be paid for the
recovery of the body of the Hon. David Lockwin, lost in Georgian Bay
the morning of Oct. 17.  When last seen the body was afloat in the yawl
of the propeller Africa, off Cape Croker.  For full particulars and
suggestions, address H. M. H. Wandrell, Chicago, Ill."

This advertisement may be seen everywhere.  It increases the public
excitement attending the death of the people's idol.  There is a
ferment of the whole body politic.

Of all the popular pastors who turn the catastrophe to their account
the famous preacher at Esther Lockwin's church makes the most of it.
To a vast gathering of the devout and the curious he dwells upon the
uncertainties of life.  Here, indeed, was a Chicagoan who but yesterday
was almost certain to be President of the United States.

"Now his beloved body, my dear brethren and fellow-citizens, lies
buried in the sands of an unfrequented sea."

There is suppressed emotion.

"And as for man," chants the harmonious choir, "his days are as grass."

"As a flower of the field," sounds the bass.

"So he flourisheth," answers the soft alto.

"For the wind passeth over it," sings the tenor.

"And it is gone," proclaims the treble.

"And the place thereof shall know it no more," breathes the full choir,
preparing to shout that the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to
everlasting upon them that fear Him.

It is found that Lockwin had hosts of friends.  There is so much
inquiry on account of that strange journey to Owen Sound that the
political boss is grievously disturbed.

Corkey is not blind to this general uneasiness.  He reads the posters
and the advertisements.  He whistles.  It is a sum of money worthy of
deep consideration.

"You offered to l-le-end to her," observes the mascot.

"Well, if she had needed the stuff she'd a been after it soon enough,
wouldn't she?  I don't offer it to everybody.  But that ain't the
point.  I'm going after that roll--ten thousand dollars!  You want to
come?  If I win, you git $500.  I reckon that's enough for a kid."

It is a project which is well conceived, for Corkey may easily arrange
for a salary from his great newspaper.  To find Lockwin's body would be
a clever feat of journalism, inasmuch as the search has been abandoned
by the other papers.

A delegation of dock-frequenters waits on Corkey to demand that he
shall stand for Congress in the second special election, made necessary
by the death of Lockwin.

"Gentlemen, I'm off on business.  I beg to de--de--re--re--drop out!
Please excuse me, and take something."

The touching committees cannot touch Corkey.

"The plant has been sprung," they comment, "His barrel is empty."

Corkey had once been rich when he did not know the value of wealth.  He
had been reduced to poverty.  On becoming a reporter, he had
laboriously saved $1,000 in gold coins.  In a few weeks $300 of this
store had been dissipated.

"And all the good work didn't cost nothing, either," thinks Corkey.

Would it not be wise now to keep the $700 that remain?  When the vision
of a contest, with Emery Storrs as advocate, had crossed poor Corkey's
mind on the Africa, the Contestant could see that his gold was to be
lost.  He could not retreat without disgrace.  Now he need not advance.

"You bet I _won't_!" thinks Corkey, as he expresses his regrets that
enforced absence from Chicago will prevent his candidacy.

"You'd be elected!" chime the touching committees.

"You bet I _would_," says Corkey.

"Corkey is too smart," say the touching committees.  "Wait till he gets
into politics from the inside.  Won't he wolf the candidates!"

Corkey is at last on the shores of Georgian Bay.  The weather soon
interferes with the search.  But there are no signs of either body or
yawl.

The wreck of the Africa, followed by daily conventional catastrophes,
soon fades from public recollection.  The will of David Lockwin is
brought into court.  The estate is surprisingly small.

It had been supposed that Lockwin was worth half a million.  Wise men
said Lockwin was probably good for $200,000.  The probate shows that
barely $75,000 have been left to the wife, and the estate thus
bequeathed is in equities on mortgaged property.  Mills that had always
been clear of incumbrances are found to have been used for purposes of
money-raising at the time of the election, or shortly thereafter.

The public conclusion is quick and unfavorable.

Lockwin ruined himself in carrying the primaries!  The opposition
papers, while professing the deepest pity for the dead, dip deep into
the scandals of the election.  "It is well the briber is out of the
reach of further temptation," say they.

This tide of opprobrium would go higher but for the brave efforts of a
single woman.  She visits the political boss.

"You killed my husband!" she says deliberately.

The leader protests.

"Now you let these hyenas bark every day at his grave.  And he has no
grave!"

The woman grows white.  The leader expostulates, The woman regains her
anger.

"He has no grave, and yet your hyenas are barking, and barking.  Do you
think I do not read it?  Do you think I intend to endure it?"

The leader makes his peace.

As a result there is a return to the question in the party press.  Long
eulogies of Lockwin appear.  There is a movement for a monument.  The
memory of the dead man's oratory stirs the community.  Several
prominent citizens subscribe--when they learn that their subscriptions,
however meager, will be made noteworthy from a source where money is
not highly valued.  The poor on every side touch the widow's heart with
their sincere and generous offerings.

The philosophic discuss the character of Esther Lockwin.

"Her troubles have brought her out.  These cold women are slow to
strike fire, but I admire them," says the first philosopher.

"Don't you think our American widows make too much ado?" asks the
second philosopher.

"They at least do not ascend the burning pyre of their dead husbands."

"To be sure.  That's so.  I don't know but I like Esther Lockwin the
better.  I never knew a man to lose so much as Lockwin did by dying."

"She declares his death was due to the little boy's death."

"Odd thing, wasn't it?"

"Yes, but he was a beautiful child.  What was his name, now?"

"It was Lockwin's name--let me see--David."

"Oh, yes, Davy, they called him."

"Well, she has erected the prettiest sarcophagus in the whole cemetery
for Davy.  I tell you Esther Lockwin is a magnificent woman."

"She would have more critics, though, if she were not Wandrell's only
daughter."

"Wandrell's only daughter!  You don't tell me so!  Ah, yes, yes!  That
accounts for it."

So, while the philosophers account for it, Esther Lockwin goes on with
the black business of life.  Every week she waits impatiently for news
from Corkey.  Every week he gives notice that he has found nothing.

"When spring comes, I'll find that yawl," he promises.  He knows he can
do that much with time.

How often has Esther Lockwin thrown herself on a couch, weeping and
moaning as if her body would not hold her rebellious heart--as when
Corkey left her in those black and earliest days of the great tempest
of woe!

"It is marvelous that it is held to be dishonorable to die, and
honorable to live," she cries.

"Oh, David, David, come back! come back!  so noble, so good, so great!
You who loved little Davy so!  You who kissed his blessed little feet!
Oh, my own! my husband!"

A fond old mother, knocking on the door, comes always in time to stop
these brain-destroying paroxysms.

"And to think, mother, that they shall asperse his name!  The people's
idol!  Faugh!  The people!  Oh, mother, mother!"

The mother deplores these months of persistent brooding.  It is wrong.

"So they always say, who have not suffered, mother.  How fortunate you
are."

But the daughter must recollect that to-day is the dedication.  A band
has marched past.  Kind friends have carried the subscription to
undoubted success.  Emery Storrs will deliver the oration.  The papers
are full of the programme, the line of march, the panegyric.  There are
many delicate references to the faithful widow, who has devoted her
husband's estate and as much more to the erection of a vast fire-proof
annex at a leading hospital.

The public ear is well pleased.  The names of the men who have led in
the memorial of to-day are rolled on everybody's tongue.

There appears at the scene of dedication a handsome woman.  Her smile,
though wofully sad, is sweet and sympathetic.  She humbly and
graciously thanks all the prominent citizens, who receive her
assurances as so much accustomed tribute.  The trowel rings.  The
soprano sings.  The orator is at his best.  Band after band takes up
its air.  The march begins again.  Chicago is gratified.  The great day
ends with a banquet to the prominent citizens by the political leader.

The slander that republics and communities are ungrateful is hurled in
the faces of the base caitiffs who have given it currency.

Behind all the gratulations of conventionality--in the unprinted,
unreported, unconventional world--the devotion of Esther Lockwin is
universally remarked upon.

Learned editors, noting this phase of the matter, discuss the
mausoleums of Asia erected by loving relicts and score a point in
journalism.

"The widow of the late Hon. David Lockwin, M. C., will soon sail for
Europe," says the society paper.

But she will do no such thing.  She will spend her nights and mornings
lamenting her widowhood.  She will be present every day to see that the
work goes forward on the monument.

"I might die," she says, moodily.

There will be no cessation of labor at the ascending column.  It is not
in the order of things here that a committee should go to Springfield
to urge an unwilling public conclusion of a grateful private beginning.
Money pours like water.  The memorial rises.  It becomes a city lion.
It is worth going to see.

Society waits with becoming patience.  "Inasmuch as the prominent
citizens saw fit to render Esther's sorrow conspicuous," says Mrs.
Grundy, "it is perfectly decent that she should remain in complete
retirement."

Nevertheless notice is secretly served on the entire matrimonial world.

Esther Lockwin will soon be worth not a penny less than five million
dollars!



CHAPTER IV

A KNOLLING BELL

It seems to Esther Lockwin that her night of sorrow grows heavier.  The
books open to her a new world of emotions.  Ere her bridal veil was
dyed black she had read of life and creation as inexpressibly joyous.
The lesson was always that she should look upon the glories of nature
and give thanks.

Now the title of each chapter is "Sorrow."  The omniscient Shakespeare
preaches of sorrow.  The tender and beautiful Richter teaches of the
nightingale.  Tennyson, Longfellow, Carlyle, Beecher, Bovee, the great
ancient stoics, the Bible itself, becomes a discourse on that tragic
phenomenon of the soul, where peace goes out, where longing takes the
place of action, where the will sets itself against the universe.

"Sorrow," she reads, "like a heavy hanging bell, once set on ringing,
with his own weight goes."

"How true!  How true!" she weeps.  She turns to "Hamlet."  She reads
that drama of sorrow.  She accepts that eulogium of the dead as
something worthy of her lost husband.

She gloomily reviews the mistakes of her earlier life.  She had been
restricted in nature to the attentions of a few men.  She had found her
lord and master.  The sublime selfishness of human pride had driven her
on the rocks of destruction.  This she can now charge to herself.  Had
she sufficiently valued David Lockwin; had she counseled him to live
for himself, to study those inclinations which she secretly understood
and never encouraged--had she begged him to turn student rather than to
court politics and popularity--then she might yet have had him with her.

The heavy bell of sorrow clangs loudly upon this article of her pride,
ambition and lack of address to the true interests of her dead lord.

"Davy would not have died if politics had not been in the way.  And
then that dreadful fever!  That month of vigil!  How strangely he spoke
in his delirium!  How lonesome he was!  How he begged for a companion
to share his grief!  Oh, David!  David!  David!  Come back!  Come back!
Let me lay my head on your true heart and tell you how I love you.  Let
me tell you how I honor you above all men!  You who had so much love
for a foundling--oh, God bless you!  Keep you in heaven for me!
Forgive the hard heart of a foolish woman whose love was so slow!
Come, holy spirit, heavenly dove, with all thy quickening power!  Our
Father, which art in heaven, which art in heaven!"

The knolling of the heavy bell grows softer.  The paroxysm passes.
Religion, the early refuge of the sex--the early refuge, too, of the
higher types of the masculine sex--this solace has lit the taper of
hope, the taper of hope that emits the brighter ray.

Esther Lockwin will meet her lord again.  She will dwell with him where
the clouds of pride and ambition do not obscure the path of duty.

She who a half hour ago could not live on must now live at all cost.
She has other labors.  She must visit the portrait painter's to-day.
She would that the gifted orator might be portrayed as standing before
the immense audiences which used to greet his voice, but it cannot be
done.  She must be contented with the posthumous portraits which
forever gratify and disturb the lovers of the dead.

It is a day's labor done.  The portrait will be praised on all hands,
but it has not come without previous failures and despairs.

To return to the house out of which the light has gone--how Esther
Lockwin dreads that nightly torment!  Shall she linger at the parental
home?  Is it not the bitterer to feel that here the selfish life grew
to the full?  Is it not worse than sorrow to discover in this abode the
same influences of estrangement?  What is David Lockwin in the old home?

A dead man, to be forgotten as soon as possible!

No! no!  Better to enter the door where the white arm reached out for
the message of blackness.  Better to go up and down the stairs
searching for David, listening for Davy's organ--better to fling one's
self on the couch, abandoning all to the tempest of regret and
disappointment; to cry out to David; to apostrophize the unseen; to
fall into the hideous abyss of hopelessness; to see once again the
north star of religion; to call upon God for help; to doze; to awaken
to the abominations of the reality; to remember the escape from
perdition; to hasten to the duties of the day!

So goes the night.  So comes the morning.  She who would not live the
evening before is terrified now for fear of death ere her last great
labor shall be done.

She calls her carriage.  She rides but a few squares.  Every block in
that noble structure represents a pang in her heart.  Some of those
great stones below must have been heavier than these sobs she now
feels.  "Oh, David!  David!  Every iron beam; every copestone, every
coigne of vantage, every oriel window in this honorable edifice is for
you!  Every element has cost an agony in her who weeps for you."

The widow gazes far aloft.  It has been promised for this date, and it
is done.  Something of the old look of pride comes to the calm and
beautiful face which the architect and the workmen have always seen.

The vari-colored slate shingles are going on the roof.

Her eye returns in satisfaction to the glittering black granite letters
over the portal.  She reads:

    THE DAVID LOCKWIN ANNEX

[Illustration: Her eye returns in satisfaction to the glittering black
granite letters over the portal.]

"A magnificent hospital," says an approving press, "the very dream of
an intelligent philanthropy."



BOOK III

ROBERT CHALMERS


CHAPTER I

A DIFFICULT PROBLEM

David Lockwin is not dead.

Look into his heart and see what was there while he sat beside Corkey
on the lounge in the forecabin of the Africa.

The time has come for momentous action.  It is settled that at the
other end of this journey David Lockwin shall cease to exist.  Now, how
to do it.

He may commit suicide.

He may disappear.

In furtherance of the latter plan there awaits the draft of Robert
Chalmers, who bears letters from David Lockwin, the sum of $75,000.
This deposit is in the Coal and Oil Trust Company's institution at New
York.  The amount is half of Lockwin's estate.  Esther shall have the
rest.

Serious matters are these, for a man to consider, who sits stretched
out on a seat, one ankle over the other, his hands deep in pocket, his
chin far down on his chest; and Corkey appealing in his dumb, yet
eloquent way, for a share of the spoils of office.

This life of David Lockwin, the people's idol, is an unendurable fiasco.

David Lockwin is disconsolate.  Davy is no more.

David Lockwin is sick and weak.  Whether he be sane or daft, he
scarcely knows, and he cares not at all.

He recoils from politics.

He loathes the reputation of a rich man with ambition--a rich man with
a barrel.

He does not believe himself to be a true orator.

He is urged forward by unknown interests over which he has no control.
He is morally and publicly responsible for the turpitude of the party
leaders and the party hacks.

He is married to a cold and unsympathetic woman.  Did he not wed her as
a part of the political bargain?

Is life sweet?  No.  Then let Davy's path be followed.  Now, therefore,
let this affair of suicide be discussed.

Can David Lockwin, the people's idol, commit suicide?  Does he desire
to pay the full earthly penalty of that act?  He is of first-class
family.  There has never been a suicide in the records.

His self-slaughter will be the first scandal in his strain.

He is happily married, so far as this world knows.  If he be bored with
the presence of Esther he alone possesses that secret.  She does not.
He is the husband of a lady to whom there will some day come an added
fortune which will make her the richest woman in the West.

He is the reliance of the party.  He is the one orator who remains
unanswered in joint debate.  Quackery as it is, no opponent dares to
cross the path of David Lockwin.  It is a common saying that to give an
opponent a date with Lockwin is to foretell the serious illness of the
opponent.  It is a sham--this oratory--but it befools the city.

Can the fashionable church to which Esther belongs sustain the shock of
Lockwin's suicide?  Behold the funeral of such a wight, once the
particular credit of the congregation, now the particular disgrace!

That forthcoming contest with Corkey!

Is it not uncomfortable?  What is it Corkey is saying?  Oh! yes,
Corkey, to be sure!  "Mr. Corkey, I should have told you they will do
nothing.  You must contest."

Here, therefore, are two men who are plunged into the deepest seethings
of mental action.  The one has missed greatness by the distance of a
mere hand's grasp; the other is half crazed to find himself so fatally
conspicuous in society.

Let the rich, respectable, beloved, ambitious and eloquent Lockwin
hurry back to that problem: What to do when he shall arrive in Chicago?

Can the community be deceived?  Let us see how it fared with Lockwin's
friend Orthwaite, who found life to be insupportable.  The
respectability which so beclogs Lockwin had been secretly lost by
Orthwaite.

His shame would soon be exposed.  Orthwaite returned to his home on the
last suburban train.  He purposely appeared gay before his
train-acquaintances.  He left the train in high spirits.  He pursued a
lonely path toward home.  He reached a stream.  He set to work making
many marks of a desperate struggle.  He placed a revolver at his heart
and fired.  Then with unusual fortitude he threw the weapon in the
stream.

But the ruse was ineffectual.  The keen eyes of the detectives and the
keener ear of scandal had the whole truth in a week's time.  It was
suicide, said the press--bald, cowardly, pitiful.

How difficult!  How difficult!  Now let us set at that device of
mysterious disappearance.  How far is that fair to a young wife?  Why
should she wait and search and hope, although Esther would not disturb
herself much!  She is too cold for that.

How difficult!  How difficult!  But why do the eyes of Corkey bulge
with excitement?  Oh, yes, the ship is foundering because Corkey is in
the way of this great business.  Corkey should be flung in the sea and
well rid of him.  As the ship is foundering we will go on deck, but
when a man is so conspicuous as David Lockwin, how can he commit
suicide--how can he disappear?

There are words, indistinctly heard.  It is Corkey crying to Lockwin to
climb up the steps to the hurricane deck.  Indeed it is a clever
riddance of that uncomfortable man.  Ouf! that brutal sneeze, that
jargon, that tobacco, that quaking of head and hesitancy of expression!
It distracts one's thoughts from an insoluble problem; How to shuffle
off this coil--not of life, but of respectability, conspicuity,
environment!

But what is this?  This is not a wave.  If David Lockwin hold longer to
this stanchion, he will go to the bottom of the sea.  This must be what
excited Corkey.  Something has happened.

The red fire of drowning sets up its conflagration.

Lockwin has time for one regret.  His estate has lost $75,000.  He
enters the holocaust and passes into nothingness, feeling heavy blows.

He awakes to find himself still with Corkey.  His brain is dizzy and he
relapses into lethargy.  In the faint light of the dawn, totally
benumbed by the night's exposure, he is again passing into nothingness.

Corkey questions the sinking man, and Lockwin tries to tell of the
money--the deposit of $75,000 to the order of a fictitious person.  He
cannot do it.

"Put a stone over Davy's grave," he says, and goes into a region which
seems still more cold, more desolate, more terrible.

There is a knocking, knocking, knocking.  He hears it long before he
replies to it.  Let them knock!  Let a man sleep a little longer!  It
is probably the chambermaid at the hotel in Washington.

But it is a persistent chambermaid.  Ah, now the bed is lifted up and
down.  This must be seen to.  We will open our eyes.

What a world of light and shimmer!  The couch is the yawl of the
Africa.  The persistent chambermaid is the Georgian Bay.

The gale has subsided.  The sun shines.  Blackbirds are singing.  The
yawl is dancing on the waves near the shore.

David Lockwin sits up.  How warm and pleasant to be alive!

Alive!  Oh, yes!  Chicago!  The Africa!  Is it not better?

Has he any face left?  His nose seems flat.  He must be desperately
wounded.  His eyes grow dim.  He must be dying again.

He sleeps and is once more gently awakened by the sea--so fond now, so
terrible last night.

He sits upright in the yawl, wet, sore, and yet whole in limb.  He
gathers his scattered faculties.  He finds a handkerchief and ties up
his face.  He muses.

"I am the sole survivor!  I, Robert Chalmers, of New York City, am the
sole survivor, and nobody shall know even that.  Corkey--let me
see--Corkey and a boy--they must be at the bottom of Georgian Bay!"

He muses again.  His face hurts him once more.  He sees a cabin at a
distance.  He finds he has money in plenty.  To heal his wounds will be
easy.  He must be greatly changed if his feelings may be credited.  Two
of his teeth are broken, and harass his curious tongue.

What plotter, cunning in exploits, could so well plan an honorable
discharge from the bitterness of life in Chicago?

"Sing on, you birds!  Fly off to Cuba!  I am as free!"

The man is startled by his own voice.  It sounds as if some one else
were talking.  Yet this surprise only increases his joy.

"Free!  Free!  Free!"  The word has a complete charm.  It is like the
shimmer of the waters.  All this expanse of hammered silver is free!

"I am as free!" exclaims Robert Chalmers, of New York City.

And again starting at the sound of his own voice, he seeks the cabin of
a hospitable trapper, where his wounds healing without surgical
attention, may disguise him all the better.



CHAPTER II

A COMPLETE DISGUISE

David Lockwin has undertaken that Robert Chalmers shall have no
trouble.  It was David Lockwin, in theory, who suffered all the ills of
life.  In this theory David Lockwin has seriously erred.  Robert
Chalmers must bear burdens.

The first burden is a broken nose and a facial appearance strangely
inferior to the look of David Lockwin, the orator.  Robert Chalmers
need not disguise himself.  He will never be identified.  That broken
nose is a distortion that no detective could fathom.  Those scarlet
fimbrications under the skin proclaim the toper.  Those missing teeth
complete a picture which men do not admire.

David Lockwin was courted.  Robert Chalmers is shunned.  It wounds a
personal vanity that in David Lockwin's philosophy had not existed.  It
is the ideal of disguises, but it does not make Robert Chambers happy.

Why, too, should Robert Chalmers desire so many appurtenances of life
that were in David Lockwin's quarters?  If we find Chalmers housed in
comfortable apartments at Gramercy Square, is it not inconsistent that
he should gradually supply himself with cough medicine, turpentine,
alcohol, ammonia, niter, mentholine, camphor spirits, cholagogue,
cholera mixture, whisky, oil, acid, salves and all the aids to health
and cleanliness by which David Lockwin flourished?  How slight an
annoyance is the lack of that old-time prescription of Dr. Tarpion,
which alone will relieve the melancholia!

For Robert Chalmers finds that the weather still gives him a turn.  If
the lost prescription will alone lift the oppression, is not the
annoyance considerable, providing Dr. Tarpion cannot be seen?

Robert Chalmers had planned a life at Florence.  But now he is a man
without a body.  It is enough.  He will not also be a man without a
country.  He will stay in New York.

In fact, a fortune of $75,000 is not so much!  It will be well to
husband it.  The books must be bought.  Day after day the search must
go forward for copies like those in Chicago.  Josephus!  What other
copy will satisfy Robert Chalmers?  Here is a handsome Josephus--as
fine as the one in Chicago.  But did Davy's head ever lie on it?

Well, bear up then, Robert Chalmers.  You are free at least.  You need
not lie and cheat at elections.  You need not live with a woman whose
heart is as cold as ice and whose pride is like the pride of an
Egyptian Pharaoh.  You sunk that yawl well in the sands of Georgian
Bay!  You filled it with stones!

You thought you were the sole survivor, yet how admirably the rescue of
Corkey and the boy abetted your escape, Robert Chalmers.  They saw
David Lockwin die.  They took his dying wishes.  Fortunate that he
could not mention the deposit at New York!

But why is David Lockwin so dear?  Why not forget him?

Did he play a part that credits him?  Why stop at Washington and take
the mail that awaited in that long-advertised list?  Truly, Robert
Chalmers was strong enough to lay those letters aside without reading.
That, at least, was prudent.

Let us read these newspaper accounts.  There is intense excitement at
Chicago.  Lockwin is libeled.  The election briberies are exposed.
David Lockwin had spent nearly $200,000 to go to Congress, it is stated.

"Infamous!" cries Robert Chalmers, and vows he is glad he is out of a
world so base.  He puts forth for books.

Search as he may, he cannot find the editions that have grown dear to
David Lockwin.  He cannot abstain from more purchases of Chicago
papers.  They are familiar--like the books in David Lockwin's library
at Chicago.

This is a dreary life, without a friend.  He dares not to seek
acquaintances.  Not a soul, not even a restaurant keeper, has ventured
to be familiar.  The man with a broken nose and missing teeth--the man
with a grotesque voice--is scarcely desired as a customer at select
places on the avenues and Broadway.  Let him find better accommodations
among the Frenchmen and Italians on Sixth avenue.

"Probably," they say, "he has fallen in a duel."

But there are fits of melancholia.  Return, Robert Chalmers, to your
handsome apartments.  Draw down your folding-bed, turn on the heat,
study those Chicago papers.  Live once again!  What is this?  A
reaction at Chicago.  Why, here is a page of panegyric.  Here is a
large portrait of the late Hon. David Lockwin, lost in Georgian Bay!

The man whisks off his bed, and runs it up to the wall, whereupon he
may confront a handsome mirror.  He compares the two faces.

"A change.  A change, indeed!" he exclaims sadly.  It is not alone in
the features.  The new man is growing meager.  He is an inconsequential
person.  He is a character to be kept waiting in an ante-room while
strutting personages walk into the desired presence.

He pulls the bed down.  He cannot lie on it now.  He takes a chair and
greedily reads the apotheosis of David Lockwin.

As he reads he is seized with a surprising feeling.  In all this
eulogium he sees the hand of Esther Lockwin.  Without her aid this
great biography could not have been collated.

The sweat stands on his brow.  He studies the type, to learn those
confessions that the publishers make, one to another, but not to the
world.

"It is paid for," he groans.  He is wounded and unhappy.

"It is her cursed pride," he says.  "I'm glad I'm out of it all."

He sits, week after week, hands deep in pockets, his legs stretched
out, one ankle over the other, his chin far down on his chest.

"Funny man in the east parlor!" says the chambermaid.

"Isn't he ugly!" says her fellow-chambermaid.

But after this long discontent, Robert Chalmers finds that Chicago
mourns for him.  He is flattered.  "I earned it!" he cries, and goes in
search of the books that once eased him--the identical copies.

The movement for a cenotaph makes him smile.  On the whole, he is glad
men are so sentimental about monuments.  He is glad, however, that no
monument will be erected.

It is undoubtedly embarrassing.

He is thinking too much of Chicago.  He must begin this second life on
a new principle.  He must forget David Lockwin.  It grows apparent to
the man that his brain will not bear the load which now rests upon it.
He must rather dwell upon the miseries that he has escaped  He must
canvass the good fortune of a single and irresponsible citizen, Robert
Chalmers, who has no less than $74,500 in bank.  He must put his mind
on business.

No!

One reason for quitting the old life was the desire to pass a studious
life.

Well, then, he must wait patiently for that period when his mind will
be quiet.  A certain thought at last reanimates him.

Would it not be well to act as a clerk until the weariness of servitude
should make freedom pleasing?  This is both philosophical and thrifty.

Robert Chalmers therefore advertises for a situation as book-keeper.
This occupation will support him in his determination to neglect the
Chicago newspapers.

"Greatest man I ever saw to sit stretched out, his hands deep in his
pockets, his feet crossed, his head far down on his shirt bosom," says
the chambermaid at Gramercy Square.  "He must be an inventor.  He
thinks, and thinks, and thinks.  Dear sakes, but he is homely."

An advertisement secures to Robert Chalmers a book-keeper's place in a
dry-goods agency on Walker street.  The move is a wise one.  The labor
occupies his time, improves his spirits and emancipates him from the
unpleasant conclusions that were forcing themselves on him.  He is not
liked by the other clerks because he is not social, but he is able to
consider, once more, the humiliations which he escaped by avoiding a
contested election, and by a successful evasion of a wedding compact
which was a part of his foolish political ambition.

Several months pass away.  If Chalmers is to be anything better than a
book-keeper at nine hours' work each day he must move, but he who so
willingly took the great step is now afraid to resign his
book-keepership.  He dreads life away from his tall desk.  This problem
is engaging his daily attention.  This afternoon the clerks are arguing
about Chicago.  He cannot avoid hearing.  He is the only party not
engaged in the debate.  They desire his arbitration.  Does Clark street
run both north and south of the river in Chicago?  Here, for instance,
is the route of a procession.  Is it not clear that Clark street must
run north if the procession shall follow this route?

They lay a Chicago Sunday paper on his desk.  The portrait of David
Lockwin confronts Robert Chalmers.  There is a page of matter
concerning the dedication of a monument on the following Saturday.

The arbiter stammers so wretchedly that the losing side withdraw their
offer of arbitration.

"Chalmers doesn't know," they declare, and take away the paper while
Chalmers strives to read to the last syllable.

He is sick.  He cannot conclude his day's work.  His evident distress
secures a leave for the day.

"Get somebody in my place if I am not here tomorrow," he says,
thoughtfully, for they have been his only friends, little as they
suspect it.  "Chicago in mourning for David Lockwin!" he cries in
astonishment, as he purchases great files of old Chicago papers.
"Chicago dedicating a monument to David Lockwin!  It is beyond
conception!  And so soon!  The monument of Douglas waited for twenty
years."

The air and the ride revive the man.  He even enters a restaurant and
tries to eat a _table d'hote_ dinner with a bottle of Jersey wine, all
for 50 cents, To do a perfunctory act seems to resuscitate him.  He
takes up his heavy load of newspapers and finds a boy to carry them.
He remembers that he is a book-keeper on a small salary, and discharges
the boy at half-way.

He reaches his apartments and prepares for the long perusal of his
files of Chicago news.  Each item seems to feed his self-love.  He is
not Robert Chalmers.  He is David Lockwin.

Hour by hour the reader goes on.  Paper after paper falls aside, to be
followed by the succeeding issue.  At last the tale is complete.  David
Lockwin, dead, is the idol of the day at Chicago.

The man stretches his legs, puts one ankle over the other, sinks his
hands deep in his pockets, a newspaper entering with the left arm, and
lowers his head far down on his chest.  The clock strikes and recalls
him to action.

"I can reach Chicago in time for that dedication," he says.  "I guess,
after all, that I am David Lockwin's chief mourner."

Ah, yes!  Why has not this second life brought more joy?  The man
ponders and questions himself.

"I am Davy's chief mourner, too!" he says, and sobs.  "By heaven, it is
Davy that has made me unhappy!  I thought it was Chicago.  I thought it
was politics.  I thought it was Esther.  It must have been Davy!"

"If it were Davy," he says, an hour later, "I have made a mistake."

Down he looks into his heart, whither he has not dared to search
before.  He is homesick.  Nobody loves Robert Chalmers.  Nobody
respects Robert Chalmers.  David Lockwin dead is great and good.  How
about David Lockwin living?

His hands go deeper in his pockets at this.  The motion rustles the
newspaper.  He strives to shake free of the sheet.  His eye rests on
the railway timetables.

He falls into profound meditation again.  He considers himself
miserable.  He is, in fact, happy, if absence of dreadful pain and
turmoil be a human blessing.  At last his eye lights up, and the heavy
face grows cheerful.

"I will go to Chicago!" he says.



CHAPTER III

BEFORE THE TELEGRAPH OFFICE

Robert Chalmers is in Chicago this morning of the dedication, and has
slept well.  He tossed in his bed at New York.  He snores at the
Western inn.

He asks himself why this is so, and his logic tells him that nature
hopes to re-establish him as David Lockwin.  There is a programme in
such a course.  At New York there was neither chart nor compass.  It
was like the Africa in mid-sea, foundering.

Now Robert Chalmers is nearing land.  And the land is David Lockwin.
The welcoming shore is the old life of respectability.  Banish the
difficulties!  They will evaporate.  Listen to the bands, and the
marching of troops!

He goes to the window.  The intent of these ceremonies smites him and
he falls on the bed.  But nature restores him.  Bad as it is, here is
Chicago.  David Lockwin is not dead.  That is certain.  He is not
pursued by the law, for another congressman has been chosen.  David
Lockwin has tried to kill himself, but he has not committed murder.

Is it not bravado to return and court discovery?  But is not Robert
Chalmers in the mood to be discovered?  "What disguise is so real as
mine?" he asks, as friend after friend passes him by.

True, he wears a heavy watch-chain and a fashionable collar.  His garb
was once that of a professional man.  Now his face is entirely altered.
Gouts of carmine are spotted over his cheeks; wounds are visible on his
forehead.  His nose is crooked and his teeth are misshapen.  His voice
is husky.

He enters a street-car for the north.  It startles him somewhat to have
Corkey take a seat beside him.

"Will this car take me to the dedication?"  Chalmers makes bold to ask
the conductor.

"That's what it will!" answered Corkey.  "Going there?  I'm going up
myself.  I reckon it will be a big thing.  Takes a big thing to git me
out of bed this time of day.  I'm a great friend of Mrs. Lockwin's!"

"You are?"

"That's what I am.  I was on the old tub when she go down.  May be
you've heard of me.  My name is Corkey."

"Clad to meet you.  My name is Chalmers.  I have read the account."

"Yes, I've got tired of telling it.  But it's a singular thing, about
Lockwin's yawl.  Next week I go out again.  I'll find that boat, you
hear me?  I'll find it.  I tell the dame that, the other day."

"Mrs. Lockwin?"

"I tell her the other day that I find the yawl.  I'll never forget that
boat.  Lord! how unsteady she was!  I'm sorry for the dame.  Women
don't generally feel so bad as she does.  It's a great act, this
monument--all her--every bit!  These prominent citizens--say, they make
me weary!  You've heard about the hospital--the memorial hospital.  She
blow hundred and fifty thousand straight cases against that
hospital--the David Lockwin Annex.  Oh, it's a cooler.  It's all iron
and stone and terra cotta.  She's spent a fortune already.  She doesn't
cry much--none, I reckon.  But no one can bluff her out."

Robert Chalmers is pleased in a thousand ways.  He is so glad that he
scarcely notes the facts about the annex.  Since he was cast away no
other person has talked freely with him.  The open Western manner
rejoices his very blood.

"Lockwin was a pretty fair-sized man, like you.  I guess you remind me
of him a trifle.  They was a fine pair.  I never was stuck on him, for
I was in politics against him; but somehow or other I've hearn the dame
praise him so much, and he die in the yawl, and so on, until I feel
like a brother to him.  Just cut across with me," as they leave the
car.  "Want a seat with the reporters?  Oh, that will be all right out
here.  Say you're from the outside--where is it?  Eau Claire?  Say Eau
Claire.  Here is some copy paper.  Sit side of me.  Screw your nut out
of my place, young feller," to a mere sight-seer.  "Bet your life.
Don't take that seat neither!  Go on, now!"

David Lockwin is to report the dedication of his own monument.  He
trembles and grows thankful that Corkey has ceased to talk.  The
audience gathers slowly.  David Lockwin wonders it he be a madman thus
to expose himself.  A memorial hospital!  Did not Corkey speak of that?
The David Lockwin Annex!

This is awful!  Lockwin has not read a word of it.  Ay, but the
apartments are still at Gramercy Square.  Why did he come?  What fate
led him away?  What devil has lured him back?  Hold!  Hold!  There is
Esther!  Lift her veil!  Give her air!  Esther, the beautiful!

The reporter for the Eau Claire paper groans with the people.  His
heart falls to the bottom of the sea.  She loves him!  God bless her!
She loves him!  Why did he not believe it at home?  God bless her!  Is
she not noble?

"She's a great dame," Corkey whispers loudly.  "Special friend of mine.
You bet your sweet life I'd do anything for her.  I'll find that yawl,
too!"

"The late honorable David Lockwin," begins the pastor of the
fashionable church.

"The late honorable David Lockwin," write the reporters.

"The late honorable David Lockwin," writes David Lockwin.

He grows ill and dizzy once more.  The exercises proceed.  He will fall
if he do not look at Esther's face.

"I know," cries the shrill soprano, "that my--Redeemer liveth."

There comes upon the widow's face an ecstatic look of hope.  She will
meet her husband in heaven, and he will praise her love and fidelity.

"God bless her!" writes the Eau Claire reporter, and hastily scratches
the sentence as he reads it.

A messenger approaches the reporters.  A note is passed along.

"I got to go!" whispers Corkey, "you can stay.  They sent for me at the
office.  I guess something's up."

David Lockwin is only too glad to escape.  He dreads to leave Esther,
yet what is Esther to him?  He will hurry away to New York before he
falls into the abyss that opens before him.

"Do you suppose she loved her husband as much as it seems?" he asks.

"I wish she'd love me a quarter as much, though I'm a married man.
Love him!  Well, I should say!"

Corkey tries to be loquacious.  But his dark face grows darker.

"Oh! it's bad business.  I'm sorry for her, and it knocks me out, I
ain't my old self.  I got up feeling beautiful, and it just knocks me.
I don't think she ought to build no monument, nor no hospital, for it
keeps her hoping.  What's the use of hoping?  I'll find that yawl.
Curious about that yawl.  Wouldn't it be great stuff if he should show
up?  Wonder what he'd think of his monument and his hospital?  A
hospital, now, ain't so bad.  You could take his name off it.  They'll
do that some day, anyhow, I reckon.  I've seen the name changed on a
good many signs in Chicago.  But what's a monument good for after the
duck has showed up?  Old man, wouldn't it be a sensation?  Seven
columns!"

Corkey slaps his leg.  He quakes his head.  The little tongue plays
about the black tobacco.  He sneezes.  The passengers are generally
upset.

A substantial woman of fifty, out collecting her rents, expostulates in
a sharp voice.

A girl of seventeen laughs in a manner foreboding hysteria.

The conductor flies to the scene.

"None o' that in here!" he cries, frowning majestically on Corkey.

"Don't you be so gay, or I'll get you fired off the road," answers the
cause of all the commotion.

"Randolph street!" yells the conductor in a great voice.

The irate and insulted Corkey debarks with Lockwin.

"Pardner, I wouldn't like to see him come back, though.  I'd be sorry
for him.  Think of the racket he'd have to take!"

"What time does the train start for New York?" asks Lockwin.

"Panic!  Panic!  Panic!" is the deafening cry of the newsboys.

The two men join a crowd in front of a telegraph office.  Bulletins are
on a board and in the windows.  Men are rushing about.  The scene is in
strange contrast with the sylvan drama which is closing far to the
north, where the choir is singing "Asleep in Jesus."

There is a financial crash on the New York Stock Exchange.  Bank after
bank is failing.  "The New State's Fund Closes," is the latest bulletin.

"I got pretty near a thousand cases," says Corkey, "but you bet your
sweet life she ain't in no bank.  I put my money in the vaults."

"Banks are better," says Lockwin.  He has a bank-book somewhere in his
pockets.  He pulls forth a mass of letters gray with wear.  The visible
letter reads:

    "HON. DAVID LOCKWIN,
        Washington,
            D. C."

His thought is that he should destroy these telltale documents.  Then
he wonders what may be in these envelopes.  There flashes over him a
new feeling--a sharp, lightning-like stroke passes across his
shoulder-blade and down his arm.

It is Esther's handwriting, faded but familiar.  The envelope is still
sealed.  It is a letter he got at Washington.

The man trembles violently.

"'Fraid you're stuck?" asks Corkey.

The man hurriedly separates his bank-book from the letters.  He
displays the fresh and legible name of Robert Chalmers on the bank-book.

"I have a little in a New York bank," he says.

Corkey looks on the book.  "The Coal and Oil Trust Company's
Institution," he reads, "in account with Robert Chalmers.  Well, money
is a good thing.  Glad you're fixed.  Glad to know you.  I'm fixed
myself."

Corkey examines the list of failures.  "I'm glad you're heeled," he
says.

A boy is fastening a new bulletin on the window.

"_There_ you be, now!" says Corkey.

"The Coal and Oil Trust Company's Institution Goes Down," is on the
bulletin.

"I'll lend you money enough to git home," says Corkey.

"Panic!  Panic!  Panic!!" bawls a large boy, who beats his small rivals
ruthlessly aside and makes his way to Lockwin.

The man is still trembling.  He is trying to put away his worthless
bank-book and cannot gain the entrance of the pocket.

"'Ere's your panic!  Buy of me, mister.  Say, mister, won't you buy of
me?  Ah! git out, you great big coward!"

It is the sympathetic Corkey, smartly cuffing the invader.

"Strike somebody of your size, you great big coward!  Ah! git out, you
great big coward!"



CHAPTER IV

"A SOUND OF REVELRY BY NIGHT"

"Poverty," says Ben Franklin, "often deprives a man of all spirit and
virtue.  It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright."

David Lockwin has but one familiar acquaintance in the world and that
is Corkey.  Corkey will now start in search of the body of David
Lockwin!

David Lockwin has but a few hundred dollars in cash.  His fortune is in
a ruined bank.  He hopes to get something out of it.  His experience
tells him he may expect several thousand dollars.

Is it wise to return to New York?  Yes.  A situation awaits him there.
He can protect his rights as a depositor.  He can enjoy the pleasant
apartments at Gramercy Park.

But the expense!  Ah! yes, he must take cheaper quarters.  It is the
first act of despotism which poverty has ever ventured to impose on
David Lockwin.

It makes New York seem inhospitable.  It makes Chicago seem like home.
Still, as David Lockwin seeks his hotel, noting always the complete
solitude in which he dwells among the vast crowds that once knew him
familiarly or by sight, it chills him to the marrow.

He enters the hotel dining-room.  The head waiter seats his guest at a
table where three men are eating.  Every one of them is a business
acquaintance of Lockwin.

The excitement of the moment drives away the brain terrors which were
entering the man's head.  The men regard the newcomer with that look
which is given to an uninvited banqueter whose appearance is not
imposing.  The best-natured of the group, however, breaks the silence.
He speaks to the diner on his left.

"Where did you get the stone for that sarcophagus you put up yesterday?"

"In Vermont."

"Who ordered the job--Lockwin or the widow?"

"She did."

"Well, it's a pretty thing.  I wish I were rich.  I lost a little boy
too."

The monument-maker at this begins a discourse on the economies of his
business and shows that he can meet the requirements of any income or
purse.

"Did you see Lockwin's portrait at the institute?" asks the third party,

"No.  Is it good?"

"I hardly think so.  I don't remember that he ever looked just like it.
Everybody knew Lockwin, yet I doubt if he had more than one close
acquaintance and that was Tarpion--Doc. Tarpion."

"Does the doctor act as her adviser in all these affairs?  Did you read
about the dedication?  Did you know about the hospital?  She had better
keep her money.  She'll need it."

"She?  Not much.  She had a big estate from Judge Wandell's sister who
died.  The judge himself has no other heir.  I shouldn't wonder if he
advised the erection of the hospital to give her the credit of what he
intended to do for himself."

"Well, I never knew a town to be so full of one man as this town is of
Lockwin.  You'd think he was Douglas or Lincoln."

"Worse than that!  Douglas and Lincoln are way behind.  Take this city
to-day and it's all Lockwin.  Going to the banquet to-night?"

David Lockwin has finished his meal.  He rises.

"Coming back," says the monument-maker confidentially to his inquirer,
"I can fix you a beautiful memorial for much less money and it will
answer every purpose."

"I'll see you again," says the customer, cooling rapidly away from the
business.  "I must go to the North Side and get back here by 9 o'clock."

Why shall not David Lockwin take the night train and leave this living
tomb in which the world has put him?

"In which I put myself!" he corrects.

It all hurts him yet it delights him.  "She loved me after I was dead,"
he vows and forgets the sting of poverty.

Now about this going to New York to-night.  He would like to be
prevented from that journey.  What shall do that for David Lockwin?

"Davy's sarcophagus!"

The thought seizes him with violence.  Of course he cannot go.  He
seeks his room.  He throws himself on his bed and gives way to all his
grief.  It takes the form of love for Davy.  David Lockwin weeps for
golden-head.  He weeps for the past.  He is living.  He ought to be
dead.  He is poor.  He is misshapen in feature.  He is hungry for human
sympathy.  The world is giving him a stone.  Oh, Davy!  Davy!

The outside electric lights make a thousand monuments, hospitals,
sarcophagi, portraits and panics on the chamber walls.  The hours go
past.  There is a bustle in the hotel.  There is a sound of merriment
in the banqueting hall, directly below.  The satisfaction of having
dealt tenderly by the beloved dead is expressing itself in choice
libations and eloquent addresses.

The man listens for these noises.  There is a loud clapping of hands.
An address has concluded.

The glasses tinkle.  Doors open and shut.  Waiters and servants run
through the hall giving orders and carrying on those quarrels which
pertain to the unseen parts of public festivities.

"Why did I not go?" David Lockwin asks.  "Ah! yes.  Davy!  Davy's tomb.
I will see it, if it shall kill me to live until then.  But how shall I
pass this night?  What shall I do?  What shall I do?"

The glasses tinkle.  The laughter bursts forth unrestrainedly.  The
banquet is moving to the inn-keeper's taste.

The electric lights swing on long wires.  The glass in the windows is
full of imperfections and sooty.  The phantasmagoria on the wall
distracts the suffering man.  Why not have a light?  He rises and turns
on the gas.  Perhaps there will be a paper or a book in the room.  That
will help.

Poverty of hotel life!  There is only the card of rules hung on the
door.  Lockwin reads the rules and is thankful.  He studies the lock
history of the door, as represented in the marks of old locks and
staples.  Here a burglar has bored.  Here a chisel has penetrated to
push back the bolt.  Yes, it was a burglar, for there is now a brass
sheath to prevent another entry.  Most of these breakages, however,
have been made by the hotel people, as can be seen by the transom locks.

That brings up suicides.  David Lockwin has committed suicide once.
The subject is odious.

The laughter below resounds.  The man above will read from the lining
of some bureau drawer.

He goes to that piece of furniture.  The dressing-case is completely
empty excepting a laundry bill on pink paper.

He clutches that.  He examines the printer's mark.  He strives to
recall the particular printing-office.

He has not the courage to go forth into the street.  He does not want
to read, except as it shall ease him from the cruel torment which he
feels.

The glasses jingle and chime.  The stores across the street close their
doors and darken their show windows.  Why not go below and buy the
latest novel?

The suggestion fairly sickens the man.  He did not know he was so
nervous.  To read ror pastime while a great city is filled with his
obsequies--he cannot do it!

There is but one course--to read the rules, to study the history of the
door until it reaches the stage of suicide--ah! to feel in one's
pockets!  That is it!  That is it!

David Lockwin cons his bank-book.  He opens his worn letters---letters
to the Hon. David Lockwin.  He grows timid as he descends into the vale
of despair.

Why did he do it?  These details of the electoral campaign seem trivial
now.  Easy difficulties!

He reaches the last letter of the packet.  Marvelous that he should
wait to unseal it until an hour so fraught with need!

It is Esther's letter--probably some cold missive such as she wrote
during their courtship and engagement.

David Lockwin is beginning to love his wife as a dog worships its
master.  He looks to her for safety.  He wants to think of her as she
is now--a sincere mourner for a dead friend, husband and protector; a
superior being, capable of pity for David Lockwin.

"Is it wise to read it?" he asks in a dread.  "But why should I not be
generous?  Why should I not love her--as I do love her?  God forgive
me!  I do love her!  I love her though she smite me now--cold, cold
Esther!"

The man is crying.  He cannot hear the banqueters.  He has at last
escaped from their world.  His hands shake and he unseals the letter,
careful to the last that no part of the envelope be torn.

He will read the cold letter.  Cold, cold Esther!  He kisses the
envelope again and again.  The sheets are drawn from the inclosure.
She never wrote at such length before.  He scans the first page.  His
face grows cold with the old look of disappointment.  He wishes he had
not read.  He turns to the next page.  The text changes in tone.  There
succeeds a warmth that heats the heart aglow.

David Lockwin passes his hands across his eyes.  He is dazed.  He reads
on:

"Come back to me, my darling, and see how happy we shall be!  Let the
politics go--that killed Davy and makes us all so unhappy.  You were
created for something nobler.  Let us go to Europe once more.  Let's
seek the places where we have met in the past."

How much more of this can David Lockwin endure?

His temples rise and grow blood-red.  The gas seems to give no light.
He reads like a man of short sight.  His eyes kiss the sacred sheet.

"I love you!  I love you!  I shall die without you!  Come home to me,
and save me!  I love you!  I love you!  I love you!  I love--!"

David Lockwin has fainted.

The glasses chink, and heavy feet tramp on soft carpets, making a
muffled sound.

"'Scuse me!" says a thick-voiced banqueter in the hall.  "I thought it
was my hat!  Hooray!  'Scuse me!  I know it's pretty late.  Whoop!
'Scuse me!"

The waiters bicker hotly; the counting-room bell rings afar off.  There
is a smothered cry of "Front!"

"All trains for the East--" comes a monotonous announcement in the
corridors.

"Sixty-six!  Number sixty-six!" screeches the carriage-crier.

A drunken refrain floats on the air from Wabash avenue:

  "We won't go home till morn-i-n-g,
     T-i-l-l daylight doth appear."



CHAPTER V

LETTERS OF CONSOLATION

On the Africa David Lockwin loved but one person, and that was David
Lockwin.

On this morning after the banquet David Lockwin hates but one person, and
that is David Lockwin.

He had lately hungered for somebody more charitable to himself than he
himself could be.  He had experienced a mean, spiritless happiness in
noting the honors which the widow was heaping on his memory.  Now he is
furiously in love with that widow.  He sallies from the hotel in haste to
her residence.

Three blocks away from his goal, with the old home in sight, he awakens
to his danger.  A moment more and the whole shameful truth had been known!

"No, base as I am, I cannot do that," he shudders.

Besides, he is a true lover, and what one ever dared to take the great
risk?

Here she lives!  And between her and her lover, her husband, yawns the
chasm of death!  Was it not a black act that could so enrobe a woman?  He
recalls her garb as she appeared at the dedication yesterday--solemn,
solemn!

It is unsafe to stay in this neighborhood, yet let this man creep nearer
and gaze on the house where Davy died.

The balcony--it seems to him, dimly, that he made a speech from that
balcony.  But Davy's death is not now the calamity it was yesterday.  It
seems more like a pleasant memory--a small memory.  The gigantic thought
is Esther, Esther--Esther the beautiful, the noble, the generous, the
faithful.  She shall be the wife of Ulysses, waiting for his return, and
he shall return!

The husband again starts for Esther's door.  There are two men within
him--one is David Lockwin dead, the other is David Lockwin living.  Once
more the eminent man who is dead seizes the maddened lover who is living
and prevents a disaster.

Love this house as he may, therefore, David Lockwin must avoid it until
he can control himself.  It is true his books are in there, his
manuscripts, his chronicles, "Josephus," and a thousand things without
which he cannot lay hold on the true dignity of life.  It is true he is
slipping down the declivity that invites the easy descent of the obscure
and powerless citizen.  If he have true hope--and what lover has it
not--he must hurry away.  He is not safe in Chicago just at present,
because the abstraction of a lover, joined with the self-forgetfulness of
a man in the second life, will assuredly lead him to ruin.

His eyes leave that house with utter regret.  He makes the long ride to
Davy's tomb and finds it covered with fresh flowers.  The tenderest of
care is visible.  The lawn is perfect--not a leaf of plantain, not a
spear of dandelion.  Money will not produce such stewardship of the
sepulcher.  It is Esther's own devotion.

He goes to the site of the cenotaph.  Is it not a difficulty for a lover?
Yet love sustains him.  His invention suggests method after method by
which he may undo the past.

He visits the foundations of the David Lockwin Annex.  He notes the
character of the materials that are strewn over three streets.  His love
for Esther only increases.

Thence to the Art Institute he hastens.  They said it was a poor likeness
of Lockwin.  He vows it is good.  It is good because Esther has done it!

He has seen all--all but Esther.  He starts blindly for Esther's house
once more.  As he walks rapidly southward, his own team comes up the
avenue.  It is Esther within the carriage.  She looks at a man in gray
business dress, with colored nose and a drunkard's complexion.  She notes
the large watch-chain.  She finds him no different from all other living
men.  She is looking for David.  "Come back, my noble husband," she sobs,
"come back from the grave, or let me join you."

A moment afterward she fears she may die before her work shall be done.
That was a sharp sting at her heart just then.

David Lockwin is frozen with that cold look.  The carriage is past.  He
was on his way to Esther's to tell her all.  If he had not risen out of
his abstraction ere it should be too late, he would have confronted this
cold lady--this mature builder of cenotaph and hospital.

He is terrified--a lover's panic.  She does not love him, or she would
have called to him as they passed.

So thinks David Lockwin, for he cannot see himself except as he once was.
People call him Chalmers when they address him, which is not more than
once a day, but it is like the salutation to Judge Wandrell.  He does not
call himself "Judge" nor sign himself "Judge."  "My dear judge," writes a
friend.  "Your friend, H. M. H. Wandrell," answers the same man.

It is easy for David Lockwin to answer to the name of Robert Chalmers.
He has found it totally impossible to become Robert Chalmers in fact.  He
is David Lockwin, disinherited--a picture of the prodigal son---but David
Lockwin in every bone and muscle--no one else.

Esther Lockwin has refused to know David Lockwin.

Sharp as may be his hurt at this event, he is, nevertheless, once more
recalled to the expediencies.  If he shall be in hope of Esther, it would
be well to escape from a situation so dangerous.

"And I am poor!  Why did I not think of that?  It was easy to marry her,
because I was wealthy.  I am a poor man now."  He repeats it over and
over.

It would be well to hurry to New York and attend to that matter of the
Coal and Oil Trust Company institution.  He could not go but for the
lover's hope of preparing something for the reunion.

Between Chicago and New York one may fall into a wide abyss of despair.
The late Honorable David Lockwin has tarried in Chicago, has assisted at
the public dedication of his own cenotaph, has visited the David Lockwin
Annex, has looked his own widow in the face.  His pride is torn out by
the roots.  A man once exalted is now humbled.  And, added to the horrors
of his situation, every fiber of his body, every aspiration of his
spirit, proclaims his love of the woman who once wearied him.

His dilemma is dreadful without this catastrophe of love.  He thanks the
fates that he is in love.  It gives him business.  He will not sell his
claim against the ruined bank.  He will work as book-keeper.  He will
wait and collect all.  Patience shall be his motto.  He will communicate
with Esther through a spiritual medium.  He will--better yet--write to
her anonymously.  Every day a type-written missive shall be sent to her.
He will have her!  It is all possible!

"It is all easy!" David Lockwin says, and goes resolutely at work to save
the remnants of his fortune.

For a year he turns the inertia of his love into his daily business.
Esther is building at Chicago, David will build at New York--a fabric of
love, airy, it may be, but graceful and beautiful.

Each night he indites in type-writer and addresses to Esther Lockwin an
essay on the value of hope in great afflictions.  The tone grows
familiar, as the weeks pass by.  "My dear madam" becomes "my dear Mrs.
Lockwin," and at last "my dear friend."  To-night, far into the small
hours, he pours out his advice and comfort:

"Be brave, my dear friend," he proceeds.  "Undreamed-of happiness may
still be yours, if you can but come to place confidence in your faithful
correspondent.  There are things more strange than anything which the
books give us.  As a matter of fact, dear friend, the writers do not dare
to make life as it is, for fear of outrunning the bounds of fiction.  Let
me give you comfort, and at the proper time I shall be able, not to
reveal myself, perhaps, but  to offer you opportunity to give me a signal
that my services are valuable to you.

"Preserve your health.  This admonition has been iterated in the hundreds
of different treatises I have placed before you.  My diligence and
patience must recommend themselves.  My hope must reinspire your drooping
energies.  Until to-morrow at eventide, adieu!"

The time is ripe to learn the effect of these courteous ministrations.
David Lockwin dares not intrust his secret to a chance acquaintance like
Corkey, who is completely devoted to Mrs. Lockwin.  What man can now be
found who will support a possible relation of mutual friend in this
singular case?

The thought of Dr. Tarpion comes again and again.

Clearly a lover cannot wait forever.  And he must know whether or not
Esther reads the letters.  But, of course, she reads them!

"And they comfort her, God bless her!" cries the happy lover.  But he
must not wait too long.  She needs him.  She must be rescued from Chicago.

Why not write to Dr. Tarpion?  He is a dear old friend.

He seems very dear, now that Lockwin needs him.  The doctor is the
administrator of the estate, if we come to recollect.  Certainly!

Now, therefore, let David undertake an interrogatory, and tremblingly
mail it to Dr. Tarpion.  To be sure, this is better.  Suppose David
Lockwin the unknown monitor, had invited Esther to advertise in a
newspaper, and the advertisement had been left out!  Or, suppose he had
suggested a certain signal at her house, or in New York--anywhere!  It
would be a chance too great to take.  No lover should leave anything to
fortune.  Dr. Tarpion will give the information.  He shall be the mutual
friend--the go-between to unravel this tangled web of deception.

If David Lockwin shall in future discover himself to Esther, he must have
the aid of a discreet and loving friend.  Dr. Tarpion is the man.  This
letter will open the way for further disclosures.  It is as follows:


PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL.

DEAR SIR:--For about a year I have seen fit to offer to Mrs. Lockwin such
consolation as I thought might lessen her grief.  Will you kindly inform
me if my suggestions have at any time mitigated her sorrow?  I shall be
happy to know that an earnest and faithful labor has done some little
good.  You may inclose a letter to the care of Robert Chalmers, New York
City, who will deliver it to me.


The reply is prompt:

CHICAGO, May 1.--I am in receipt of a type-written communication from an
unknown party, and am not unwilling to inform the writer that Mrs.
Lockwin's mail all comes to me.  I have for a year burned every one of
the consolatory letters alluded to, in common with thousands of other
screeds, which I have considered as so many assaults on the charity of an
unhappy lady.

The series of letters from New York have, however, been the most
persistent of these demonstrations.  I have expected that at the proper
time we should have a claimant, like the Tichborne estate.  Some
experience in administrative affairs, together with the timely
suggestions of a friend, lead me to note the opportunity for a claimant
in our case.  David Lockwin's body was not found.  I have, therefore,
kept a sharp eye out for claimants, and will say to the writer of the
"consolatory letters" that our proofs of Lockwin's death are ample.  Two
persons saw him die.  Mrs. Lockwin is a sagacious woman, keenly aware of
the covetousness aroused by the public mention of her great wealth.

The writer will therefore, if wise, abandon his attentions and
intentions.  If I receive any more of his "consolatory letters" I shall
look up Robert Chalmers with detectives.  Respectfully,

    IRENAEUS TARPION, M. D.



CHAPTER VI

THE YAWL

It is about 10 o'clock at night in the office of the great newspaper.
The night editor sits at his desk reading the latest exchanges.  The
telegraph editor labors under a bright yellow light, secured by the use
of a vast expanse of yellow paper.

The assistant telegraph editor is groaning over a fraudulent dispatch
from a correspondent whose repute is the worst.

A place is still vacant at the tables.  The marine dispatches are
piling high.

"Where is the sea-dog?" asks the night editor, who is in command of the
paper.

"Good evening, Corkey," says the telegraph editor.  "I trust we are
spared for another day of usefulness," says the night editor, with an
unction which is famous in the office.

"How is the ooze of the salt deep, commodore?" asks the night editor.

"How is the coral and green amber?" asks the telegraph editor.

"Green nothing!" mutters Corkey.  He feels weary.

"How did you leave great Neptune?" asks the assistant telegraph editor.

These questions are wholly perfunctory.  The telegraph editor has
dedicated five minutes to the history and diary of the triple alliance.

When Corkey is happy this inquisition flatters him.  When he is black
in the face there is an inclination to deal harshly with these wits.  A
thousand clever things flash into his black eyes but escape his tongue.

He struggles to say something that will put the laugh on the telegraph
editor, and begins choking.  The head vibrates, the little tongue plays
about the black tobacco, the mouth grows square.

"Run for your lives, gentlemen," cries the assistant telegraph editor,
making believe to hold down his shears.  There is an explosion.  It is
accompanied with many distinguishable noises--the hissing of steam, the
routing of hogs from their wallow, the screech of tug whistles and the
yell of Indians.

The door stands open to the great composing-room, where eighty
typesetters--eighty cynics--eighty nervous, high-strung, well-paid
workmen--stand at their intellectual toil.  They are all in a hurry,
but each rasps his iron type-stick across a thin partition of his type
case.  It is a small horse-fiddle.  The combined effect is impressive,
chaotic.

The night foreman rages internally.  He stalks about with baleful eye.
"Buck in, you fellows," he says.  "The paper is behind."

"I wish it would kill him," the night foreman says of Corkey.

There is silence in the telegraph-room.  The tinkle of the horse-cars
comes up audibly from the street.  The night editor knows what has
happened, to the slightest detail.  He mentally sees the night foreman
standing in the shadows of the parlor (wash-place) laughing to kill.
The night editor grows still more unctuous.

"From earthquakes, hailstorms and early frosts," he prays, "good Lord,
deliver us."

"Good Lord, deliver us!" comes the solemn antiphone of the telegraph
editor, the assistant telegraph editor, Corkey and the copy boy.

The chinchilla coat is off.  This is manifestly a hard way to earn a
living for a candidate for Congress, a dark horse for the legislature
and a marine editor who has run his legs off all day.

"He's been moving," the boy whispers to the night editor.

The night editor scans the dark face.  It is serious enough.  It is the
night editor's method to rule his people by the moderation of his
speech.  In this way they do all the work and thank him for keeping his
nose out of affairs.

"We hear, commodore, that you have moved your household gods."

"Yes," grunts Corkey.  To the jam-jorum Corkey must be civil, as he
will tell you.

"Where to?"

"Top flat, across the alley from the Grand Pacific."

"That's a five-story building, isn't it?"

"That's what it is."

Corkey is busy fixing his telegrams for the printer.  He is trying to
learn what the current date is, and is unwilling to ask.

The night editor is thinking of Mrs. Corkey, a handsome little woman,
for whom the "boys in the office" have a pleasant regard.

"Is there an elevator?"

"I didn't see no elevator when I was carrying the kitchen stove in."

"How will Mrs. Corkey get up?"

This is too much.  Corkey has made a hundred trips to the new abode,
each time laden with some heavy piece of furniture or package of goods.
How will Mrs. Corkey get there, when Corkey has been up and down the
docks from the north pier to the lumber district on Ashland avenue, and
all since supper?

The marine editor sits back rigidly in his chair.  The head quakes, the
tongue plays, he looks defiantly at the night editor.

"She's coming," says the assistant telegraph editor, holding down his
shears and paste-pot.

The head quakes, but it is not a sneeze.  It is a deliverance, _ex
cathedra_.  The night editor wants to hear it.

"You bet your sweet life, Mrs. Corkey," says the commodore, "screw her
nut up four flight of stairs.  That's what Mrs. Corkey do!"

The compliments of the evening are over.  It is a straining of every
nerve now to get a good first edition for the fast train.

"Gale to-night, Corkey," says the telegraph editor.  "We've taken most
of your stuff for the front page.  The display head isn't long enough.
Write me another line for it."

"Hain't got nothing to write," Corkey doesn't like to have his report
taken out of its customary place.  When there are blood-curdling wrecks
he wants the news in small type along with his port list.

"Hain't got nothing to write," he repeats sullenly.  He gapes and
stretches.  He knows he must obey the telegraph editor.

"Hurry!  Give it to me.  Give me the idea."  Corkey's eye brightens.
He is a man of ideas, not of words.  He has an idea.  His head quakes.
The tongue begins its whirring like the fan-wheel before the clock
strikes.

"You can say that the life-saving service display a great act," says
the marine editor, relieved of a grievous duty.

His pile of telegrams grows smaller.  The dreaded work will soon be
over.

"How's your rich widow?"

Corkey has not failed to plume himself on his aristocratic and familiar
acquaintance.  His associates are themselves flattered.  Corkey is to
take the telegraph editor to call on Mrs. Lockwin.  The night editor is
jealously regarded as too smooth with the ladies.  He will be left to
his own devices.

"How's your rich widow?" is repeated.  But Corkey cannot hear.  He is
reading a telegram that astonishes, electrifies and confuses him.

"COLLINGWOOD, 14.--After wading ten miles along shore found yawl Africa
sunk in three feet water, filled with sand and hundreds stone.  Can
take you to spot.  What reward?  What shall we do?"

Corkey seizes the dispatch, puts on his coat, and rides downstairs.  On
the street he finds it is midnight.  He looks for a carriage.  He sets
his watch by a jeweler's chronometer, over which a feeble gas flame
burns all night.

He changes his mind and rides back upstairs.  He enters the telegraph
operators' room, where five men are at work receiving special
intelligence.

"Get Collingwood, boys."

"That drops off at Detroit.  Collingwood's a day job."

The instrument is clicking.  The operator takes each word as the
laborious Corkey, with short pencil, presses it into the buff-colored
paper.

CHICAGO, 14.--Let it be!  Will be at Collingwood to-morrow.
CORKEY.



CHAPTER VII

A RASH ACT

David Lockwin reads the letter of Dr. Tarpion with horror.

"Heavens and earth!" he cries, and pulls at his hair, rubs his eyes and
stamps on the floor.  "Heavens and earth!"  This, an edifice built with
the patience and cunning of a lover, must fall to nothing.

He is as dead to Esther as on the day the yawl danced on the shining
sands of Georgian Bay.

He is terrified to know his loss.  To believe that he was in daily
communication with Esther, and that she must ache to know him, has
sustained David Lockwin in his penance.

The crime he committed, he feels, has been atoned in this year of
lover's agony.  That agony was necessary--in order that Esther might be
gradually prepared for the revelation.

She has not been prepared.  The labor must begin again, and on new
lines.

The receiver of the Coal and Oil Trust Company's Institution this day
declares a dividend of 10 per cent.  The lover may draw over $7,000--a
magnificent estate.  It seems greater to him than the wealth of the
Indies or the Peruvians seemed to the early navigators.

He sells his belongings to a second-hand dealer.  He hastens his
departure.  The folks at Walker street can get another book-keeper.
Robert Chalmers is going to San Francisco.  Easy to lie now after the
practice of nearly two years.

But to think that Esther has not read a word of all he has written!
David Lockwin hisses the name of Dr. Tarpion.  Many is the time they
have tented together.  But how did the doctor know?  He had only a
type-written anonymous communication.

Nevertheless this lover curses the administrator as the cause of the
fiasco.

"But for him my path would be easy."

David Lockwin thinks of Tarpion's threat about a claimant.  It grows
clear to him that there is a Chicagoan alive who can view his own
cenotaph, his own memorial hospital, his own home--who can proclaim
himself to be the husband, and yet there will be men like Tarpion who
will deny all.

Lockwin's face annoys him.  "Why was I such a fool to go without the
proper treatment in that outlandish region!  Why was I so anxious to be
disguised?"

Oh, it is all on account of the letters.  That busybody of an
administrator and censor has undone all!  Better he had never been
born.  Why should a doctor neglect his patients to separate husband and
wife?  The wise way will be to march to the house at Chicago and take
possession.

"That I will do!" the man at last declares.  He is maddened.  He cares
nothing for reputation.  He cannot bear the thought that Dr. Tarpion,
an old friend, should day by day burn the epistles that evinced so much
scholarship, charity and sympathy.  The lover is not poor.  No man with
$7,000 in his pocket is poor.  He is not driven back to Esther by want,
as it was before.  That stings the man to recall it.  No, he has means.
But if he were poor, he would work for the dear lady who loved him so
secretly.  He gloats over the letter of Esther.  It is worn in pieces
now, like so many cards.  The train from New York enters the city of
Chicago.

"That is the new David Lockwin Hospital," says a passenger.

"Why did I blunder in on this road?" the lover asks.  He had not
thought his situation so terrible as it seemed just now.

"I am doubtless the sorriest knave that ever lived here," he mourns,
but it only increases his determination to go directly to Esther.

"I guess Dr. Tarpion will not throw _me_ in the waste-basket!  Seven
thousand dollars!"

David Lockwin feels as rich as Corkey.

It is a mad thing he is doing, this pulling of the door-bell at the old
home.  The balcony is overhead.  Never mind little Davy!  We can live
without him, but we cannot live without Esther.  Ah that Tarpion! that
base Tarpion!  Probably he intends to marry her!  It is none too soon
to pull this bell.  Now David Lockwin will enter, never to be driven
forth.  He will enter among his books.  Never mind his books.  It is
she, SHE, SHE!  Till death part them SHE is his.  It is the seven
thousand dollars that gives him this lion-like courage.  Esther needs
him.  He has come.

The door opens.  A pleasant-faced lady appears.

"Call Mrs. Lockwin, please."

"Mrs. Lockwin?  Oh, yes.  I believe she did live here.  I do not know
where she lives now, but it is on Prairie avenue.  After her father
died she went home to live."

Is Judge Wandrell dead?  The caller is adding together the mills,
pineries, elevators, hotels, steamers, steel mills, quarries and
railroads that Judge Wandrell owned on the great lakes.

The pleasant-faced lady thinks her caller ought to go.

He is angry at her.  He shows it.  He blames her as much as he does
Tarpion.  He retreats reluctantly.  A stranger is in possession of the
home of David Lockwin.

He was foolhardy a moment before.  He is timid now.

He was rich.  He has seven thousand.  Esther is rich.  She has five
millions.



CHAPTER VIII

A GOOD SCHEME

The absence of love ruined David Lockwin.  Love built Chicago.  Love
erected the David Lockwin Hospital.  Love supports David Lockwin.  He
is a man to be pitied from the depths of the heart.  Love makes him
happy.

He reads the revised scriptures.  To love's empire has been added the
whole realm of charity.  "Love," says the sacred word, "covereth a
multitude of sins."

"Love beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things,
endureth all things."

Love has become prudent.  Love has whispered in David Lockwin's ear
that while it might be brave to knock at the door of one's own home, it
would be rash to present one's self to Esther Lockwin, on Prairie
avenue--Esther Lockwin, worth five millions!

Yet this lover, in order to bear, to believe, to hope and to endure,
must enter the charmed circle of her daily life.  He haunts the
vicinity, he grows fertile in his plans.  He discovers an admirable
method of coming in correspondence with the Prairie avenue mansion.

Dr. Floddin has recently died, and a new proprietor is in possession of
the drug store.  It is a matter of a week's time to install David
Lockwin.  It could have been done in a minute, but a week's time seemed
more in order and pleased the seller.  You look in and you see a square
stove.  Rising behind it you see a white prescription counter, with
bottles of blue copper water at each corner.  Rising still higher
behind is a partition.  Peer to the right and you may see a curtain,
drawn aside.  A little room contains a bed, an Argand lamp, a table
with a small clock, druggist's books and the revised New Testament.

You may see David Lockwin, almost any day, sitting near and under that
curtain; his clothes are strangely of the color of the drapery; his
legs are stretched out one ankle over the other; his hands are deep in
pockets; his head is far down on his breast.  Or you may see him
washing his windows.  He keeps the cleanest windows on lower State
street.

In this coigne of vantage it turns out that David Lockwin eventually
comes to know the family life at the mansion.  The servants at the
Wandrell home have long stood behind the prescription counter while
their orders were in course of serving.

The confinement of the business--the eternal hours of vigil--these
matters feed the hungry love of the husband.

"Without this I should have died," he vows.  The months go by without
event.

Corkey has been the earliest caller.  "Saw your sign," he says;
"recollected the name.  Been in New York all the time?  I say, old man,
want a pardner?  I got a clean thousand cases in gold to put in."

The druggist has difficulty in withstanding Corkey's offers of capital.
Corkey is struck with the idea of business.  He has taken a strong
fancy to Chalmers.  Day by day the two men grow more intimate.

"Thought I'd never see you again, old man.   I suppose I ought to start
a saloon, but somehow I hate to do it, now I know some good people.
Bet your life I'm solid over there!"

He points with his thumb toward Prairie avenue.

"I'm a good friend of the richest woman, I guess, there is in the
world!"  His tongue pops like a champagne cork.  "I don't like to keep
no saloon."

"I shall sell as little liquor as possible," the druggist says,
conceiving the drift of Corkey's ideas.

"Pardner, you must have been a hard drinker yourself.  How did your
voice get so husky?"

"It was so always."

"It was so the first day I met you.  Remember the dedication?"

"Yes; do you remember the bank?"

"Yep.  Don't you know I tell you I was going to find that yawl?"

"I do."

"Well, I find it."

Does David Lockwin color?  Or are those features forever crimson?

"You do look like a man as has been a red-hot sport in his day.  Ever
do anything in the ring?  Let me try that red liquor of yours.  Let's
see if it tears.  Oh, yes, about the yawl.  I just go to the widow the
other day and ask her for three hundred cases on the search.  Well, she
give me the three hundred and want me to take more, and I go right to
Collingwood.  The duck he show me the boat, and you bet your sweet life
I hid her where she never will be seen.  What's the use of tearing up
the widow's feelings again?"

"You did right!" says the husky voice, the lover all the time wishing
the discovery had been published.  He feels like a claimant.  He is not
sure the world would believe David Lockwin to be alive if he could
prove it.

"Chalmers, I'm going to tell you something that I haven't said to
nobody.  I hid that boat, and I threw away big money--I know I did.
But I could get all the money I wanted of her--a free graft.  Give me
another slug of that budge."

The druggist is filling a small graduate with whisky for Corkey.  What
is Corkey about to say?

"They're having high old times in Russia.  That was a great bomb they
git in on his nobs last winter."

"The czar?  Yes."

"I reckon they're going to git the feller they've got on top there now,
too, don't you?  They say he put on ten crowns yesterday.  What do they
call it?  The coronation, yes.  What's the name of the place?  Moscow,
yes."

The druggist is less confused.

"Wouldn't it be funny if the czar wasn't dead.  But say, pardner, what
would you say if I went over there and told my widow I didn't believe
her old man was dead at all?  Would she give me the gaff?  Would she
git mad?"

The druggist is busy finding a cork for a bottle.  At last he comes to
the light to try the cork.  He is behind a show-case.  Corkey is in
front of the, case holding a newspaper in hand, out of which he has
been reading of the coronation.  His black eyes seem to pierce David
Lockwin's face.  David Lockwin looks back--in hope, if any feeling can
show itself in that veiled countenance.

"He ain't dead!  Not much!  Can't tell me!  I don't bury boats for
nothing.  I tell you I think a heap of her, and she slung herself so on
that hospital and on that other thing there, out north, that I'd hate
to give her away.  What was that yawl buried for?  Nobody see it and it
was worth money, too.  What was it buried for?  Now I never tell you
the story of the night on the old tub.  He sit just so."

Corkey takes a seat behind the stove and imitates David Lockwin.

The druggist gazes as in a stupor.  He steps to his little room and
removes the chair.  He must not sit and cogitate.

"Something ail him.  I guess he was crazy."

"He must have been," says the druggist, "if he wasn't killed."

"Oh, he wasn't killed.  Can't tell me.  Now, suppose he want to come
back to Chicago--ain't he in a sweet box?  And his wife over there
crying her eyes out--with more money--with more money--well--"

Corkey's head vibrates, his tongue whirs, he sneezes.  Children,
romping on the sidewalk, troop to the door of the druggist to learn
what has happened.

Corkey looks at the prescription booth.  He notes the blue copper water
at each corner.  His eyes rise to the white partition which separates
the rear room from the store.

"Sleep in there?"

"Yes," says the druggist, huskily.

"Get out of here!" cries Corkey to the last of the merry throng.  "I
used to play just that same way right here in this street.  Cozy place
in there.  Well, I ain't so smart, but I've had a scheme on ever since
I found that yawl.  She's crying her eyes out over there--you can't
tell me, for I know.  Mebbe his nobs would like to come back.  I'm
going to sound her, and if she's favorable I'm going to advertise--see?"

"Do you see her often?"

"Yes, oftener than I want to.  You see she makes me go over that last
night on the old tub and on the yawl.  Now I'm getting tired of telling
how he died.  He ain't dead.  But she seems to harp on that.  You just
ought to hear her cap him up.  He's the greatest and goodest man you
ever see.  Well, now.  I'm going to change the play a little.  Oh,
she's no use.  She even wants me to bring the coon, and I let the
ball-players take him.  He can't be going down there.  I don't want him
along nohow.  I tell you I'm going to change the box.  I'm going to
bring her round to the idea that he's alive."

Corkey is earnest.  His eyes are sparkling.  He is chewing hard on his
tobacco.  His head is quaking.

"He's alive, and so he's a--well, he's a no-gooder."

"Yes," says the druggist huskily.

"But I hate to see her pining away, and I'm going to steer her against
the idea that she can get him if she wants him.  She's so rich she can
do anything she wants to.  I guess if she wants him she can clear out
with him and live in--where is it?--in Moscow.  That's about the place
for ducks like him."

"Yes," says the druggist.

Corkey takes the glass graduate in hand.  He turns sideways and puts
his arm heavily on the frail show-case.  He lifts his foot to place it
on the customary iron railing of a whisky shop.  He ruminates.

"The David Lockwin Annex--that means a wing, doesn't it?  Yes, I
thought so.  Well, the wing is bigger than the--than the--than the--the
wing is bigger than the bird."

It is an observation that Corkey believes would be applauded among the
sharp blades of the telegraph room.  He drinks in a well-pleased mood.

"The David Lockwin Annex!  The monument!  They've given that a stiff
name, too.  I've seen some gay things in this town, but that beats me.
It takes a woman to make a fool of herself.  And there she is over
there crying for her great hero.  Fill this jim-crack with the budge
again.  Let her draw as much water as she will--put it to the top
notch!"

The druggist trembles as he fills the graduate.

"Won't you have a bigger one?" he suggests.

"No, I ain't drinking much between campaigns.  Did you know I was going
to run for the Illinois house?  Yes, that's nearer to my size than a
whole congressional district.  I'm in for it.  But that's not now.  My
mind is over there, on the avenue.  Say, old man, is the scheme any
good?  He dassen't come back.  Do you think she'd pull out and go to
him, wherever he is?"

The druggist carries the empty graduate to the water sink.  He rinses
it.  His heart beats with the greatest joy it has ever known.  He
returns the graduate to the prescription counter.

"It is a good scheme, Corkey."

[Illustration: "It is a good scheme, Corkey."]

"You bet it _is_.  Chalmers, just fill that thimble-rig once more.  It
don't hold three fingers, nohow.  Hurry, for I got to go to the north
pier right off.  That's your little clock striking 6 in there now,
ain't it?"



CHAPTER IX

A HEROIC ACT

David Lockwin is losing ground.  He daily grows less likely to attract
the favorable notice of Esther Lockwin, or any other woman of
consequence.  His face has not only lost comeliness, but character.  It
would seem that the carmen fimbrications just under the skin of his
cheeks flame forth with renewed anger.  The difficulty in his throat
increases.  He relies nowadays entirely on Corkey.

"And Corkey does not know how rapidly this anxiety is killing me!"

The druggist plans every day to confess all to Corkey.  Every day, too,
there is a plan to meet Esther.  But as David Lockwin grows small,
Esther grows grand.  Talking with the servants of her mother's home has
degraded, declassed, the husband.  He has hungered to meet her, yet
months intervene without that bitter joy.

It is a bitter joy.  Yesterday, when Lockwin carried a prescription to
the house of a very sick widow, he suddenly came face to face with
Esther.  It had been long apparent to the man that the woman was
repelled by his face.  This, yesterday, she did not conceal.

The husband trembled with a thousand pleasures as the sacred form
passed by.  He struggled with ten thousand despairs as he was robbed of
her company and left to bemoan her disdain.

He worshiped her the more.  He read last night, more eagerly, how love
endureth all things.  It must fast come to this, that David Lockwin
shall love her at a distance, and that she shall be true to the memory
of the great and good David Lockwin.

Or, he must approach Corkey on the subject of his scheme of reunion.

This morning, washing the windows of the drug-store, the proprietor
revolves the problems of his existence.

"Time is passing," he groans; "too much time."

The gossip of the store deals often with Dr. Tarpion.  Dr. Tarpion is
gradually arousing the jealousy of the husband.  The burning of the
consolatory letters was a dreadful repulse of the lover's siege.

The druggist has scrubbed the windows with the brush.  He is drying
them with the rubber wiper.  He stamps the pole on the sidewalk.  He
does not want to be jealous, but time is going by--time is going by.
That Tarpion!  It would be hard!  It would be hard!

A new thought comes.  The disfigured face grows malicious.

"It would be bigamy!  Ha!"

David Lockwin has fallen upon a low place.  But he would perish if
jealousy must be added.

"Corkey's plan is a good one, but why does he not push it faster?  And
Corkey has not spoken of the matter for three weeks.  One night he said
he would soon be 'where he could talk.'"

The prescription clerk is very busy.  A customer wants a cigar.  The
druggist goes in to make a profit of three and a half cents.  He
returns to his window, wets it once more, begins the wiping, and is
frightened by the thought of five millions of money.

"Davy's tonsils swelled, and Tarpion was to cut them off.  I wonder if
it is my tonsils.  I wonder if my nose could be straightened.  I have
no doubt my skin could be cleared."

Once more the supporting forces of nature have come to the rescue of
David Lockwin.  It is clear that he must be rejuvenated.  He must
exercise and regain an appetite.  He must recover twenty-five pounds of
flesh that have left him since that cursed night of the Africa.

"Strange fate!" he ejaculates, remembering the almost comatose
condition in which he walked on deck, and was saved.

His eyes grow sightless.  The dull, little, trivial street has palled
upon his view.  He sees a crowd gathering at a corner and making
demonstrations in a cross street.

The next moment his own horses dash around the corner into State
street, driverless and running away.

A lady's head protrudes from the window.  Yes, it is Esther!

The druggist grasps his long pole lightly.  He takes the middle of the
street.  He holds his pole like a fence before the team.

"Whoa, Pete!  Whoa, Coley!" he cries.

The horses believe they must turn.  They lose momentum.  They shy.  The
man is at their bits.

They drag him along the curb.  One horse slips down.  The pole cracks
in two.  A hundred men are on hand now.

David Lockwin flies to the carriage.  He unlocks the door.  He gathers
his wife in his arms.  Oh!  happy day!  He carries her into his drug
store.  He applies restoratives to the fainting woman.  She slowly
revives.

"Please take me home and send for Dr. Tarpion," she says, relapsing
into lethargy.

Men seize David Lockwin, for he is bleeding profusely.

"He terrifies her!" they exclaim.  They wash his forehead.  He has a
long cut over the brow.

Work fast as he may with court-plaster Esther is carried forth before
the druggist can be in front to aid.  People are full of praise for the
heroic man.

"But he won't be no prettier for it," say the gossips of the
neighborhood.



CHAPTER X

ESTHER AS A LIBERAL PATRON

Esther Lockwin has been confined to her room for a month by Dr.
Tarpion's orders.  The servants say she will not enter a carriage again.

David Lockwin has hired an extra clerk, and is daily under a surgeon's
hands.  After six months of suffering he is promised a removal of the
red fimbrications; his nose shall be re-erected; his throat shall be
reasonably cleared.

He lies on his cot, and Corkey is a frequent visitor.

"You wa'n't no prize beauty, that's a fact," says the candid Corkey.
"I think you're wise, but I'd never a did it.  You've got as much grit
as a tattooed man.  Them fellers, the doctors, picks you with electric
needles, don't they?  Yes, I thought so.  Well, I suppose that's
nothing side of setting up your nose.  But she sets up there like a
hired man--you've got a good nob now!  Yes, I'm deep in politics again.
I'm a fool--I know it, but I don't spend more'n five hundred cases, and
I go to the legislature sure.  If I get there some of these
corporations that knocked me out afore will squeal--you hear me!  No,
you don't spend no money on me.  I wish you could git out and hustle,
though.  But you ain't no hustler, nohow.  Want any drug laws passed?"

Corkey must do the greater part of the talking.  He sits beside the bed
carrying an atmosphere of sympathy that the feverish lover needs.
Gradually the thoughts of the sympathizer fix on the glass graduate.
It tickles his membranes.  His head quakes, his tongue whirs, he jars
the great bottles outside with his sneeze.

The tears start from his eyes, his throat rebels at its misusage, his
big red handkerchief comes out.  It makes a sharp contrast with his jet
black hair and mustache.

"Old man," he said, "do you suppose your bone-sawers could cut that out
of me?  It makes me forgit things sometimes.  Oh, yes, yes!  That puts
me in mind!  I came to tell you this morning that Mrs. Lockwin was
coming over to thank you!"

"It's time," whispers the lover, bravely.

"I told her to come on.  She needn't be afraid of you.  I tell you she
was mighty glad when I tell her you was a friend of mine."

There is a click at the door-latch.  The patient starts.  Corkey looks
out into the store.

"Here she is!" whispers Corkey, smoothing the coverlet.  "How d'ye do,
Mrs. Lockwin?  Just step in here.  Mr. Chalmers is not able to sit up."

"I heard he was hurt," says Esther.  "Poor man!  I owe him so much!"

It is perhaps well that David Lockwin has had no warning of this
supreme event.  It seems to him like the last day.  It is the Second
Coming.  A hundred little wounds set up their stings, for which the
husband is ever thankful.  He can hear her out there in the store.  He
can feel her presence.  She appears at his door!  She stands at the
foot of his couch!  She, the ineffable!

"Oh!" she exclaims, not expecting to see a man so badly wounded, so
highly bandaged.

"Nothing at all serious, Mrs. Lockwin," explains Corkey.

"Oh, I am so very sorry," says the lady.  "Mr. Chalmers, you find me
unable to express my feelings.  I cannot tell you how many things I
should like to explain, and how seriously I am embarrassed by the evils
I have brought on you.  I dare say only that I am a person of large
means, and am sensible that I cannot repay you.  I owe my life to your
noble act.  If I can ever be of service to you, please to command me.
I shall certainly testify my regard for you in some proper way, but it
afflicts me to feel that you are so much worse hurt than I was by the
runaway.  I lost a noble husband.  If he had been alive you would not
have been left unthanked and unserved for so long a time."

It distresses Corkey.

"That's what he was--a white man!"

David Lockwin is dumb.  But he thinks he is saying: "I am David
Lockwin!  I am David Lockwin!"

"It is a sweet remembrance, now."  Her voice grows clearer.  "They tell
me I did wrong to mourn so bitterly.  I suppose I did.  Mr. Chalmers, I
should like to entertain you on your recovery.  How singular!  This is
our old family drug store!  Didn't Dr. Floddin keep here?  Poor Dr.
Floddin!  Oh!  David!  David!  Good-bye, Mr. Chalmers."

"He's not badly hurt at all," says Corkey, "you mustn't worry over
that."

"I'm so glad, Mr. Corkey."

It is the autumn of a great misery.  The woman is righting herself.
She is trying to listen to the advice of society.  Lockwin, by dying,
committed a crime against the first circles.  "A failure to live is a
gigantic failure," says Mrs. Grundy.

David Lockwin listens to every movement.  The widow tarries.

"Send me a dozen large bottles of that extract," she says, choosing a
variety of odors.  She orders a munificent bill of fancy goods.  The
clerk moves with astonishing celerity.

The patient suppresses his groans.

"Oh!  Chalmers is well off," says Corkey.

"I'm glad," says Esther, "poor man!  Good-bye, Mr. Corkey.  You are
neglecting me lately.  I hope you will be elected.  I wish I could
vote.  Oh, yes, I guess the clerk may give me a stock of white
notepaper.  Do you believe it, Mr. Corkey, I haven't a scrap about the
house that isn't mourning paper!  Yes, that will do.  Send plenty.
Good-bye.  Come over and tell me about politics.  Tell me something
that will make life seem pleasant.  I'm tired of my troubles.  I think
I'm forgetting David.  Good-bye."



BOOK IV

GEORGE HARPWOOD


CHAPTER I

CORKEY'S GOOD SCHEME

The courtly and affable George Harpwood has fought the good fight and
is finishing the course.  It is he who has labored with the prominent
citizens.  It is he who has moved the great editors to place David
Lockwin in the western pantheon--to pay him the honors due to Lincoln
and Douglas.  It is Harpwood who has carried the banquet to success.
It is he who, in the midnight of Esther Lockwin's grief, prepared for
her confidential reading those long and scholarly essays of consolation
which she studied so gratefully.  Mr. Harpwood did not put his
lucubrations in the care of Dr. Tarpion.  Each and every one was
written for no other eye but Esther's.

While Dr. Tarpion was holding the husband at bay, Dr. Tarpion was
rapidly overcoming a prejudice against Harpwood.

"Really, the man has been invaluable to me," the administrator now
vows.  "No one could deliberately and selfishly enter the grief-life of
such a widow."

For Harpwood, smarting with a double defeat, in the loss of Esther and
the election of Lockwin, has at once devoted himself to the saddest
offices.  He has been diligent in all kinds of weather.  He has
discreetly avoided the outer appearance of personal service.  But he
has filled the place of spiritual comforter to Esther Lockwin, and has
filled it well.

If you ask what friends Mrs. Lockwin has, the servants will speak of
Dr. Tarpion first, of the architects, and of Corkey.  Harpwood they do
not mention.  He may have called--so have a thousand other gentlemen.
They have rarely seen Mrs. Lockwin, for she has been at the cenotaph,
the hospital, and the grave of little Davy.

So long as Harpwood's suit has flourished by letter, why should the
less cautious method of speech be interposed?  To-day, Esther could not
sustain the intermission of the usual consolatory epistle.

George Harpwood is one of those characters who have many friends and
are friends to few.  Others need him--not he them.  He can please if he
attempt the task, and if the task be exceedingly difficult, he will
become infatuated with it.  He will then grow sincere.  At least he
believes he is sincere.  Thus his patience is superb.

His manners are widely praised.  If he have served Esther Lockwin with
rare personal devotion, it cannot be denied that it has piqued many
other beautiful, eligible and desirable women.

He can well support the air of a disinterested friend.  The ladies
generally bewail his absence from their society.  Esther Lockwin must
soon be warm in the praise of a gentleman who, divining the needs of a
widow, has so chivalrously taken up her woes as his own.
Tenderly--like a mother--he has touched upon her projects.  Gladly he
has accepted the mission she has given to him.  At last when he brings
Dr. Tarpion to the special censorship of Esther's mail, and to the fear
of claimants, George Harpwood is in command of the situation.

When a man cultured in all the arts that please, gives himself to the
fascinating of a particular person, male or female, that man does not
often fail.  Where the prize is five millions he ought to play his
highest trumps.

This is what George Harpwood has done.  Sometimes he has paused to
admire his own unselfishness.  Sometimes, after a drenching on account
of the David Lockwin Annex--a costly fabric--Mr. Harpwood marvels that
men should be created so for the solace of widows!  The other ladies
show their discontent.  Fortunes are on every hand, and Esther is like
Niobe, all tears.  Why does Harpwood turn all tears, weeping for
Lockwin?  This causes Harpwood to be himself astonished.

It is only genius that can adapt itself to an environment so
lugubrious.  It is only genius that can unhorse suspicion itself,
leaving even the would-be detractor to admit that Mr. Harpwood is a
kind man--as he certainly is.

"Who would not be kind for five millions?" he asks, yet he the next
moment may deny that he wants the five millions.

It is a fine fortitude that George Harpwood can show upon occasion.  It
was he who, lost in the opium habit, went to his room for two weeks,
and kept the pieces of opium and bottles of morphine within sight on
his mantel, touching none of the drug--curing himself.

He could serve Esther as long as Jacob served Laban.  He could end by
the conquest of himself.  While he shall be doubtful of his own
selfishness, all others must be glad that Esther is given into hands so
gentle and intelligent.

Mrs. Grundy knows little about this.  Esther Lockwin has offended Mrs.
Grundy by a long absence from the world.

If Esther now feel a warm glow in her heart; if she pass a dreary day
while Mr. Harpwood is necessarily absent, nobody suspects it--except
Mr. Harpwood.

It has not displeased the disinterested friend of Esther Lockwin to
note the upward drift of his political opportunities.  It is silently
taken for granted that he is a coming man.  Whenever he shall cease his
disinterested attentions to the widow it is clear he will be a paragon.
And the critics who might aver as much, did they know the case, would
be scandalized if he so mistreated the lady who has come to lean on him.

"In doing good to others," says George Harpwood, "we do the greatest
good to ourselves."

Yet one must not devote himself to a rich lady beyond a period of
reasonable length.  One's own business must be rescued from neglect.
If this doctrine be taught skillfully Esther Lockwin will learn that
she must show her gratitude in a substantial manner.

Five millions, for instance.

After that crisis secrecy may be, less sternly imposed.  If the lady,
in her illness--ah! that was a shock to Harpwood, that runaway--if the
lady, in her illness, demand personal calls, which must certainly let
loose the gossips--after all, it is her matter.  If Esther Lockwin
desire to see George Harpwood in the day-time, in the evening--all the
time--so be it.

Is it the bright face of Esther Lockwin that spurs Corkey to his grand
enterprise?  What has kept the short man so many months in silence?
Why is it he has never gotten beyond the matter of the lounge in the
fore-cabin of the Africa?  This afternoon he will speak.  It is a good
scheme.  It can be fixed--especially by a woman.

"She can stand it if he can," says Corkey, who reckons on the
resurrection of David Lockwin.

So the face that was dark at State street becomes self-satisfied at
Prairie avenue.  Corkey is picturesque as he raps his cane on the
marble stairs.

"Bet your sweet life none of this don't scare me!" he soliloquizes,
touching the stateliness of the premises.

He enters.  He comes forth later, meeting another caller in the
vestibule.  It is a dark face that the Commodore carries to the bedside
of David Lockwin, around on State street.

Corkey sits down.  Then he stands up.  He concludes he will not talk,
but it is a false conclusion.  He will talk on the patient's case.

"How slow you git on, old man."

"Not at all.  I am getting well," is the cheerful reply.  Corkey is in
trouble.  It is, therefore, time for Lockwin to give him sympathy.
"Corkey is a good fellow," thinks Lockwin, gazing contentedly on his
caller.

"I'm afraid it ain't no use," says Corkey, half to himself.  "I ain't
had no luck since I let the mascot go to the league nine," he says,
more audibly.

"I am quite happy," Lockwin says.  "It will be a sufficient reward to
look like other folks.  Only a few weeks of this.  But it is a trial."

"It's more of a trial, old man, than I like to see you undertake."

"Yet I am happy.  It will be a success.  Wonderful, isn't it?"

"Pretty wonderful!"  Yet Corkey does not look it.

The man in the bandages thinks upon what he has suffered with his face.
He blesses the day he was permitted by Providence to stop that runaway.
All is coming about in good order.  It needed the patience of love--of
love, the impatient.  He is so sanguine to-day that he must push Corkey
a little regarding that scheme.

"Yes, it is wonderful!" says Corkey with affected animation, recovering
his presence of mind.

"Have you been over at our friend's lately?"  The question comes with
the deepest excitement.  The countenance of Corkey falls instantly.

"Yes, just come from there."

"Are things all smiling over there?"

"Yes.  They're too smiling."

"Did you see Dr. Tarpion?"

"Oh, I never see him!  Things are too smiling!  You'll never catch me
there again."

Lockwin starts.

"She can't play none of her high games onto me.  Bet your sweet life!
If she don't want to listen to reason, it's none of my funeral.  I say
to her--and I ought to say it afore--I say to her how would she like to
see her old man."

The patient turns away from Corkey.  The oldest wounds sting like a
hive of hornets.

"Well, you ought to see the office she give me!  She rip and stave and
tear!  She talk of political slander, and libel, and disgrace, and all
that.  She rise up big right afore me, and come nigh swearing she would
kill such a David Lockwin on sight.  There wasn't no such a David
Lockwin at all.  Her husband was a nobleman.  She wished I was fit to
black his boots--do you mind?--and you bet your sweet life I was
gitting pretty hot myself!"

The thought of it sets Corkey coughing.  A thousand wounds are piercing
David Lockwin, yet he does not lose a word.

"Then she cool off a considerable, and ask me for to excuse her.  'Oh,
it is all right,' says I, a little tart.  'That will be all right.'

"Then she fall right on her knees, and pray to David Lockwin to forgive
her for even thinking he isn't dead.

"Now it was only Wednesday that a duck in this town knocked me out at
the primaries--played the identical West Side car-barn game on me!
Yes, sir, fetched over 500 street-sweepers to my primaries--machine
candidate and all that--oh! he's a jim-dandy!"

"I'm sorry for you, Corkey," the wretched husband says, and thus
escapes for a moment from his own terror.

"Yes, it was bad medicine.  So I wasn't taking much off anybody.  I
gets up pretty stiff--this way, and says: 'Good day, Mrs. Lockwin.  I
guess I can't be no more use to you, nohow.'  And just as I was pulling
my hat off the peg there comes the very duck that knocked me out--right
there!  And she chipper to him as sweet as if David Lockwin had been
dead twenty years.  And he as sweet on her, and right before me!  Ugh!"

"Weren't you mistaken, Corkey!" feebly asks the man in the bandages.

"Wasn't I mistaken?  Oh, yes!  I suppose I can't tell a pair that wants
to bite each other!  She that was a giving me the limit a minute before
was as cunning as a kitten to that rooster.  Ugh! it makes me ill!"

"Who is he?" asks David Lockwin.

"He's Mister George Harpwood," cries Corkey bitterly, "and if he aint
no snooker, then you needn't tell me I ever see one!"



CHAPTER II

HAPPINESS AND PEACE

Esther Lockwin looks upon George Harpwood as her savior.

"I wanted to be happy," she smiles.  "I did not believe I could exist
in that desolate state.  You came to me!  You came to me!"

"Emerson declares that all men honor love because it looks up, not
down; aspires, not despairs," says Harpwood.  The friend of Esther's
widowhood has quoted to her nearly every consolatory remark of the
philosophers.

"Shall we live here?" she asks, willing to go to Sahara.

"Certainly.  Here I have the best future.  You are a helpful soul,
Esther.  I shall rely upon you."

"We are too sad to be true lovers," she sighs.  "Yet I could wish to
have you all to myself."

The man is flattered.  He, too, is in love.  "I will go with you if you
would be happier amid other scenes," he suggests.

"I have nothing to be ashamed of, have I?" she asks proudly, thinking
of her noble David and his fragrant memory.

"If I am to have a widow I should like such a widow," the man replies.

"I pray God you shall never have one," she vows.

Both are exquisitely happy.  Neither can say aught that displeases or
hurts the other.  For Esther it is the dawn--the glorious sun rising
out of a winter night.  She never had a lover before.

With George Harpwood it is the crowning of an edifice built with
infinitely more pains than the David Lockwin Annex.

The noise of all this is abroad.  "The wedding will be private," says
Mrs. Grundy with sorrow.  "But the Mrs. Harpwood that is to be will
this winter entertain on a lavish scale.  She is devoted to Harpwood's
political aspirations."

"That man Harpwood, if he gets to Congress this winter, will begin a
great career.  I wouldn't be surprised to see him President," says one
bank cashier to another.

"Well, he's marrying the woman who can help him most.  The labor people
are all on her side."

"When shall the day be, Esther?" the friend of her sorrows asks.

"Let it be the last Thursday of next month at 6 o'clock," she replies,
and is far more peaceful than when David Lockwin asked her to marry him
far on in the long ago, for on that night she cried.

"I suppose the number of guests should be small," he notes.

"Only our nearest friends.  A Thursday, dear, at 6 o'clock."

The neighborhood is agog.  The servants outdo each other in gossip.
There are household arrangements which are to turn a gloomy abode into
a merry dwelling-place.

The decorators must work night and day.  The mansion is as brilliant
with gas as on the evening Esther Wandrell put her hands in David
Lockwin's and listened rapturously to his praise of the beautiful child.

Is that a shadow skulking about this corner!  Probably it is some night
policeman employed by the widow.

Certainly it is a faithful watch the figure keeps on the great house
where the decorators toil.

"I'm glad I'm not rich," says one pedestrian to his companion.

"They're awfully afraid of burglary," says the companion.



CHAPTER III

AT 3 IN THE MORNING

"Where is Chalmers?" asks Corkey.

"Mr. Chalmers is not in," answers the clerk.

"I want to see him," says Corkey, authoritatively.

"He is not in," retorts the clerk with spirit.

"Has he sold out?"

"No."

"When will he be in?"

"I can't tell you.  Excuse me."  A customer waits.

"Yes, yes, yes!" growls Corkey.  But he never was busier.  He is trying
to do his work at the office and to get through election week.

"Where is Chalmers?"  Again Corkey is at the drug store.  "See here, my
friend, I don't take no street-car way down here to have you do no
cunning act.  Is Chalmers in town?"

"I do not know."

The clerk is telling the truth, and is in turn offended.  "I do not
know," he says, resolutely.

Corkey is convinced.  "I'll bet it's true," he says, suddenly summing
up the situation.

He hurries away.  The weather is wet and cold.

Corkey is drenched, and of all things he dreads a drenching.  For that
he wears the thickest of clothes.

Three hours later he is known to be badly beaten at the polls.  He is
denounced as a sore-head, a bolter, and a fool.

Corkey goes to his home.  On the night of the fourth day he appears in
the yellow light of the telegraph-room.

"Commodore, we're sorry for you.  Take it easy, and get back to work.
No man can live, doing as you've done.  You were up all the time,
weren't you?"

Corkey's light is burning because the other editors need it.  He sits
with his coat on, his face on his hands, his elbows on the table.

"I was up the last six days," he explains.  "I just got out of bed now."

"Do you good to sleep," says the night editor.

"What day is it?"

"Saturday."

"Well, I go to sleep some time Wednesday.  I sleep ever since."

There is a chorus of astonishment.  "It will save your life, Corkey.
We thought the election would kill you."

"I'm sleepy yet."

"Go back and sleep more."

"Good-bye, boys.  I'm much obliged to you all.  I'm out of politics.
They got all my stuff.  I'm worried over a friend, too."

"Too bad, Corkey, too bad."

These editors, whose very food is the human drama, have not lost sight
of the terrible chapter of Corkey's activity, anxiety and inevitable
disappointment.

"Too bad, isn't it!" the telegraph editor says.  "Had any fires?"

"It makes me almost cry," answers the assistant telegraph editor.
"Fires?  Yes, I've enough for a display head."

"We must go and look after Corkey if he isn't here to-morrow night,"
observes the night editor.  "He's bad off."

A little after midnight there is a loud rattle at the door of the drug
store.

The prescription clerk at last opens the door.

"Is Chalmers home yet?"

The clerk is angry.  "You have no right to call me up for that!" he
avers.  "I need my sleep."

"You don't need sleep no worse than I do, young feller."

The door is shut, and Corkey must go home.

When the comrades next see Corkey he is down with pneumonia.  His fever
rages.  Sores break out about his mouth.  "I have a friend I want to
find awful bad," he says, fretting and rolling.  "Chalmers!  He runs a
drug store at 803 State street, down beyond Eighteenth.  But I'm afraid
he ain't to be found.  I'm afraid he's disappeared.  I couldn't find
him last week, nor last night, but it was pretty late when I git down
there."

The doctor is grave.  "He must not worry.  Find this Chalmers.  Tell
him he must come at once if he wishes to make his friend easier."

"I must see Chalmers.  I'm sicker than they think.  I'm tired out.  I
can't stand such a fever.  That pillow's wet.  That's better.  It's
cold, though.  I guess my fever's going.  Now I'm getting hot again.  I
do want to see Chalmers."

The patient tosses and fumes.  The comrades hurry to Chalmers' drug
store, as others have done.

"The proprietor is out of the city," the clerk answers to all
inquirers.  "He left no address."

"If he arrives, tell him to hasten to Mr. Corkey's.  Mr. Corkey is
fatally ill with pneumonia.  He must see Mr. Chalmers."

Twenty-four hours pass, with Corkey no better--moaning and asking for
Chalmers.  All other affairs are as nothing.

Chalmers does not come.

Twenty-four hours more go by.  The doctor now allows none of the
comrades to see the sick man.

He does not roll and toss so much.  But he inquires feebly and
constantly for Chalmers.

At midnight he calls his wife.  "You've heard me speak of Chalmers,
sissy," he says.

There is a ring on the door of the flat.

"That's him now."

But it is a neighbor, come to stay the night out.

"Lock the door.  Open that drawer, sissy.  Get out that big letter."

The trembling little woman obeys.

"Sissy, did you know we was broke?"

"Our gold?"

"Yes, it's all gone; every nickel.  But I wouldn't bother you with that
if Chalmers would come.  Now, don't cry, and listen, for I'm awful
sick.  This letter here is to Mrs. Lockwin, and it will fix _you_.
And I want to see Chalmers, to see that he stands by her.  See?"

The wife listens.  She knows there is a letter to Mrs. Lockwin.

"Now I'm going to give something away.  When I see Chalmers in his drug
store, he sits on his chair so I know it's a dead ringer on Lockwin.
Chalmers is Lockwin, sissy.  Don't you blow it.  I've never told a soul
till you.  I've schemed and schemed to fix it up, but I never see a man
in such a hole.  He don't know I'm onto him.  But I've no use for this
Harpwood, that did me up when he had no need to.  I wasn't in his way.
A week from Thursday night Harpwood is to marry Mrs. Lockwin.  It isn't
no good.  I want you to see Lockwin, and tell him for me that if his
story gets out it wasn't me, and I want you to tell him for me that he
mustn't let that poor widow commit no bigamy.  It's an awful hole,
that's what it is!  It is tough on him!"

He has worked on the problem for years.

The man groans.  There is a rap on the door.  "Hold up a minute.  I
wouldn't mix in it, but I've done a good deal for the two of 'em, and
I've lost a good deal by Harpwood's play on me.  I expect Harpwood will
set her against you, and I want her to do for you, pretty.  So you tell
Lockwin he must act quick, and mustn't let her commit no bigamy.  She's
too good a woman, and you need money bad, sissy.  All my twenty-pieces!
All my twenty-pieces!  My yellow stuff!  Will you see Chalmers, sissy?
Call him Chalmers.  He's Lockwin, just the same, but call him Chalmers."

The wife kisses her husband, and puts the letter back in the drawer.

"Sissy."

"Yes."

"I forgot one thing.  Git a little mourning handkerchief out of my
hip-pocket.  There ain't no gun there.  You needn't be afraid."

The woman at last secures a handkerchief which looks the worse for
Corkey's long, though reverent, custody.

"Wash it, sissy, and show it up to Mrs. Lockwin.  I reckon it will
steer her back to the day when she felt pretty good toward me.  Be
careful of that Harpwood.  He ain't no use.  I know it.  She give me
that wipe her own self--yes, she did!  God bless her."

The woman once more kisses the sick man.

"The gold, sissy!"

"Never mind it," she says.

"You think it's some good--this letter--don't you, sissy?"

"Of course I do."

"I'm much obliged to you, sissy.  Let in those people, now."

The doctor enters.  Corkey is at ease.  He sinks into the wet pillow.
He closes his eyes.

"Did Chalmers come?" asks the physician.

"Never mind him," says Corkey faintly.

The night goes on.  The yellow lights still color the telegraph-room.
At 3 o'clock the copy boy enters hurriedly.

"Corkey just died," he says, electrifying the comrades.  "He just gave
one of his most awful sneezes, and it killed him right off.  The doctor
says he burst a vein."

Eighty lights are burning in the composing-room.  Eighty
compositors--cross old dogs, most of them--are ending a long and weary
day's toil.  There are bunches of heads rising over the cases in eager
inquiry.

"Corkey's sneeze killed him!" says Slug I.

"Glad of it," growls one cross dog.

"Glad of it," growls another cross dog

"Glad of it," goes from alley to alley about the broad floor.

"Who's got 48 X?" inquires the man with the last piece of copy.  It is
the end of Corkey's obituary.

"This will be a scoop," says the copy-cutter.

The father of the chapel has written some handsome resolutions to make
the article longer.

"Come up here, all you fellows!  Chapel meeting!"

The resolutions are passed with a mighty "Aye!"  They are already in
type.  A long subscription paper for the widow finds ready signers.  No
one stands back.

The men wash their hands, standing like cattle at a manger.

"It's tough!" says Slug 1.

"You bet it's tough!" says Slug 10, the crossest old dog of the pack.

"They say he went broke at election," says Slug 50.

"If his widow could learn to distribute type she could do mighty well
over here.  I'd give her 4,000 to throw in every day," says Slug 10.
"Oh, let go of that towel!"

The men return to their cases, put on their coats and wrap their white
throats.  This pneumonia is a bad thing, anyhow.

Tramp, tramp, the small army goes down the long, iron stairways.

"Did you hear about Corkey?" they ask as they go.  "Corkey had a heart
in him like an ox."

"Bet he had," echoes up from the nethermost iron stairway.



CHAPTER IV

THE BRIDEGROOM

Esther Lockwin's wedding day is at hand.  Her mansion is this afternoon
a suite of odorous bowers.  Happy the man who may be secure in her
affection!

Such a man is George Harpwood.  Let the November mists roll in from
Lake Michigan.  "It is no bed out there for me," thinks the bridegroom,
whose other days have often been gloomy enough in November.

Let the smoke of the tall chimneys tumble into the streets and
pirouette backward and forward in black eddies, giving to the city an
aspect forbidding to even the manner-born.  George Harpwood feels no
mist.  He sees no smoke.  It is the tide of industry.  It is the
earnest of Esther's five millions.

"My God, what a prize!" he exclaims.  The marriage license is procured.
The minister is well and cannot fail.  There is a bank-bill in the vest
pocket, convenient for the wedding fee.

It is wise to visit the hotel once more and inspect one's attire.  This
city is undeniably sooty.  A groom with a sooty shirt bosom would not
reflect credit on Esther Lockwin.

"Magnificent woman!" he cries, as he changes his linen once more.  He
thinks he would marry her if she were poor.

It is getting well toward the event.  Would it be correct to go early?
Where would he stay?  Would he annoy the bride?  What time is it?  Let
us see.  Four-thirty!  Yes, now to keep this linen white.  How would it
do to put a silk handkerchief over it--this way?  Where are those silk
handkerchiefs?  Must have one!  Must have one!  Not a one!  Where is
that bell?

He touches the bell.  He awaits the boy, who comes, and goes for a
handkerchief.

He sits upon the side of the bed and listens to the bickerings of the
waiters in the hall of the dining-room below.  Dinner is now to be
served.

He studies the lock-history of the door.

"Lots of people have broken in here," he muses.

He passes over the rules--well he knows them!

The electric lights on the street throw dim shadows on the gas-lit
wall--factories, depots, vessels, docks, saw-mills.  The phantasmagoria
pleases Mr. Harpwood.

"At 6 o'clock," he smiles, "I shall be the most powerful man in these
parts.  I shall have the employment of nearly 15,000 men.  I shall be
the husband of the woman who built the David Lockwin Annex--"

The man pauses.

"The David Lockwin Annex," he sneers, "No!  No!  No!  It was a splendid
pile.  It was a splendid pile."

The man grows sordid.

"But it cost a splendid pile.  Pshaw, George Harpwood, will anything
ever satisfy you?  How about that hospital?  Didn't it give you your
opportunity?"

The boy returns.  The man sits on his bed and muses:

"How differently things go in this world!  See how easily Lockwin fell
into all this luck!  See how I have hewn the wood and drawn the water!"

Something of disquiet takes possession of the bride-groom.

"I'm awfully tired of consolatory epistles.  I must keep Esther from
being a hen.  She's dreadfully in earnest."

As the goal is neared, this swift runner grows weary.  The David
Lockwin Annex never seemed so unpleasant before.

It has taken longer to rearrange his linen and secure a faultless
appearance than he would have believed.  He hastens to don his
overcoat.  He smiles as he closes the door of his little bedroom at the
hotel.  He goes to take the vast Wandrell mansion.

Why is his coachman so careless?  After 5 o'clock already.  The
bridegroom is late!  He must bargain with a street jehu.  But, pshaw!
where can he find a clean vehicle?  He hurries along the pavement.

His own driver, approaches.  "I went to the stables to put the last
touches on her.  Come around to Wabash avenue and see how she shines."

It is not too late after all, and the groom will turn out of a
faultless equipage at the very moment.  Ladies of experience, like Mrs.
Lockwin, notice all such things.

"In fact," says George Harpwood, "there is no other man in town whom
she could marry, even if she loved him.  Might as well expect her to
marry Corkey.  Poor dead Corkey!"

It is pleasant, this riding down Prairie avenue to one's wedding.

"Splendid!  Splendid!" cries the ardent soldier of fortune, as the
blaze of the Wandrell mansion flashes through the plate-glass windows,
of his carriage.  It is the largest private residence in the city.
"Splendid!" he repeats, and leaps out on the curb.  A messenger is
hurrying away.

"Is that Esther on the portico?  What an impulsive woman."

His back is towards the carriage to close the silver-mounted door.  He
turns.

It must be a mistake!  Is he blind?  The mansion, which was a moment
before ablaze, is now all dark!  But the bride still stands under the
lamp on the portico, statuesque as Zenobia or Medea.  The statue grasps
a paper.  Like Galatea, she speaks:

"Is that you, George?"

[Illustration: But the bride still stands under the lamp on the
portico, statuesque as Zenobia or Medea.]

"I have come, my love.  What has happened?"

"Listen!" she commands, and reads by the portico light:


                  Thursday Afternoon, Nov. 30.

ESTHER, MY WIFE AND WIDOW:

It is absolutely necessary that you should come at once to the drug
store formerly kept by Dr. Floddin, at 803 State street.

Bring an escort.

This step must be taken in your own interest--certainly not in the
interest of your husband.

                  DAVID LOCKWIN.


"Come!" she says, taking her lover by the hand as a teacher might take
a child.

But George Harpwood is not at his wits' end.

"Get into my carriage, Esther," he suggests softly.

"No," she says sternly.  "We will walk thither."

The pair go round the corner into a mist made azure by a vast building
which is lighted at every window to the seventh story.  It rises three
blocks away like a storm-cloud over the lake.

It is the David Lockwin Annex.  The bride hurries faster than the
bridegroom would have her walk.  He seizes her arm.

"My dear," he whispers in those accents which seem to have lost their
magic power, "it is merely a claimant.  I was expecting it, and I'll
put him in the penitentiary for it.  Do not be alarmed by forgers.  It
is only a forgery."



CHAPTER V

AT SIX O'CLOCK

Through the mist and the smoke a red and a green light shine out on
State street.

The door of the little store is locked.  The bride's hand has rattled
the latch.

A silver star can be seen in the store.  It is an officer in charge of
the premises.  He hurries to the door.

"Are you Mrs. Lockwin?"

"I am.  Let him in, too."  The officer has willed to exclude the
bridegroom.

"Hadn't he better wait outside?"

"Let him in!"

"Here is a packet addressed to you."  The officer hands to the bride a
thick letter.  "Take this chair, madam."

The bride sits down, her back toward the lights in the window.  The
bridegroom stands close behind her.

"Be firm, Esther.  I'll put him in the penitentiary.  I'll put him in
the penitentiary!"

The bride opens the packet.  Many folded documents fall to her lap.
She is quick to spread out the chief letter.

The bridegroom pulls the silk handkerchief off his white shirt-front
and wipes his perspiring forehead again and again.  He leans over her
shoulder to read.  The writing is large and distinct:


                  Thursday Afternoon, Nov. 30.

MY DEARLY BELOVED WIFE AND WIDOW:

It may be barely possible that I have lived these years of shame and
degradation to some good purpose, and for the following reasons: The
man whom you now love so well--the man whom you are about to
marry--George Harpwood--is an adventurer and a criminal.

I inclose documents which show that on Monday, the 4th of August, 1873,
this George Harpwood, described and photographed, married Mary Berners,
who now lives at Crescentville, a suburb of Philadelphia.  She bears
the name of Mrs. Mary Harpwood, and has not been divorced to her
knowledge.  Beside deserting her, Harpwood robbed her and reduced her
to penury.

I inclose documents showing that five years earlier, or on Wednesday,
the 8th of January, 1868, George Harpwood eloped with a child wife,
Eleanor Hastings, and basely deserted her within four weeks.  She now
resides with her sister-in-law, Mrs. Moses Hastings, on Ox-Bow Prairie,
a few miles south of Sturgis, Michigan.

It is my request that the little store and its belongings, including
the bank account of Robert Chalmers, so-called, be given to the widow
of the late Walter B. Corkey.

The bitterness of life is yours.  But the bitterness of death is mine.

Your husband, who loves you,

                  DAVID LOCKWIN.


There is a click at the door.  The bride hears it not.  The documents
fall to the floor.  There are photographs of George Harpwood; there are
green seals; there are many attestations.

The bride must raise her eyes now.  She sees the star of the officer.
She reads the number--803.  Is that from David, too?

Ah, yes, she must turn her head.  The bridegroom is gone!

A man enters, in hot haste and intense excitement.  Is it the
bridegroom returning?

It is Dr. Tarpion.  He seizes her by the hand.

"My dear friend!" he cries.  "My dear friend!" he repeats, "I have just
now learned that your husband is still living."

But she does not hear it.  She can only look gratefully toward the
administrator, clinging to his hand.

She gazes in a dazed way on the white prescription-booth beyond the
square stove; on the bottles of blue copper-water on each corner.
Higher, the partition rises into view.

She meets the eyes of the officer.

A patrol wagon clangs and clamors down State street.  It will stop
before the door.

Officers enter from the patrol wagon.  "Where is that suicide?" they
ask in a low voice, seeing a bride.

The officer in charge steps to the side of the bride.  He speaks
tenderly--the tenderness of a rough man with a kind heart.  "Madam," he
says, "you can go behind the partition and see the body.  No one will
come in for a few moments."

The bride rises.  She hurries toward the little room where Robert
Chalmers suffered and died.

"Oh, David!" she cries.  "Oh, David!  Oh, God!"

"I guess we will not need the wagon," the officers say among
themselves, and step out on the sidewalk.

The little clock behind the partition strikes 6.

A dozen factory whistles set up their dismal concert out in the blue
mist.


THE END.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "David Lockwin—The People's Idol" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home