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Title: An American Suffragette
Author: Stevens, Isaac N.
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 "An American Suffragette" ***

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AN AMERICAN SUFFRAGETTE

A NOVEL
By
ISAAC N. STEVENS

Author of "The Liberators," "Popular Government
Essays," etc.

New York
William Rickey & Company
1911

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Copyright, 1911, by
William Rickey & Company

Registered at Stationers' Hall, London
(All Rights Reserved)

Printed in the United States of America

PRESS OF WILLIAM G. HEWITT, 61-67 NAVY ST., BROOKLYN, N. Y.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEDICATION

To those noble and courageous women of England and America who are
trying to demonstrate to the world that Civilization cannot reach the
supreme heights of progress without giving freedom to the mental,
spiritual and physical energies of women, and that government will
always lack a vital element in its functions, so long as women are
deprived of equal participation in its operations--THIS BOOK IS
RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED BY THE AUTHOR.

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    "But life shall on and upward go;
      Th' eternal step of Progress beats
    To that great anthem, calm and slow,
      Which God repeats."

                                --Whittier.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

CONTENTS

CHAPTER                                                          PAGE

    I. A DOCTOR RETURNS FROM INDIA                                  1
   II. A MYSTICAL PARADE                                           15
  III. THE MYSTERIOUS YOUNG WOMAN                                  22
   IV. A SUFFRAGE BAZAAR AND BALL                                  33
    V. HYPNOTISM USED FOR AN ANÆSTHETIC                            46
   VI. SOME STRENUOUS ANTI-SUFFRAGISTS                             56
  VII. CHRISTIAN SCIENCE AND SURGERY                               61
 VIII. THE OMNIPRESENT EYES OF FIFTH AVENUE                        74
   IX. LOVE, JEALOUSY AND MUSIC                                    82
    X. A DISCUSSION OF PROGRESSIVE WOMEN                           91
   XI. THE ADVANCING COLUMN OF DEMOCRACY                           99
  XII. A TUBERCULAR KNEE AND A WORRIED SURGEON                    117
 XIII. AN ANTI-SUFFRAGE MEETING                                   125
  XIV. FAITH IS THE BASIS OF ALL PROGRESS                         140
   XV. AN EVIL PROPHECY BEGINS TO BEAR FRUIT                      154
  XVI. THE MYSTERIOUS MURDER OF EMMA BELL                         164
 XVII. THE ARREST OF DR. JOHN EARL                                180
XVIII. DR. EARL IS INDICTED FOR MURDER                            194
  XIX. A GREAT MURDER TRIAL BEGINS                                199
   XX. A WOMAN AND SPOOKS FIND A LETTER                           211
  XXI. SILVIA HOLLAND'S GREAT PLEA TO THE JURY                    225

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AN AMERICAN SUFFRAGETTE

CHAPTER I

A DOCTOR RETURNS FROM INDIA


Among the hundreds of people who were awaiting the arrival of the big
Cunarder there were two groups, the second of which seemed determined
that the first should not get far away. The young men of which this
second group was composed represented the various newspapers of New York
City, and while a "beat" was evidently impossible, each of them was
determined to get a line for his own journal from the returning hero,
Dr. John Earl, which he would not share with the others of the
fraternity, and several of them held anxious consultations with their
photographers who, by special permit, had been allowed upon the pier.

The other group had moved a number of times to escape the cameras, and a
red-haired youth was expatiating upon the glories of American scientific
achievement, concluding with a peroration that called forth an
exclamation from one of the older men:

"Oh, shut up, Bedford; you sound like a Fourth of July oration. Who are
the people you are trying to snapshot for your lurid sheet?" he said
wearily, as becomes a Chicago newspaper man when in New York.

The red-headed one looked at him with cheerful surprise. "Don't you know
anybody?" he asked. "The tall, handsome blonde is Mrs. Ramsey, wife of
George Ramsey, at whose frown the great gods sit tight and the little
ones scuttle to cover. Luckily, he is a kindly disposed arbiter and the
Street basks under his smile."

The Chicagoan turned and looked at the lady curiously, and the reporter
went on: "The fair-haired lady with the wild-rose face is old Gordon
Kimball's daughter; born with a diamond teething ring in her mouth, but
has never succeeded in getting anything else of value inside her pretty
head."

"Well, she doesn't have to," said the Westerner.

Young Bedford grinned. "That's what Dr. Earl thinks; he can furnish
brains for the family. Their engagement was reported two months ago. The
man with them is Earl's brother, Frank Earl, corporation lawyer, amateur
actor, one of those guys that does everything well, and never gives away
his own hand. Go after him for a story about some combination his road
has gone into and you come away with a great spiel about bumper crops;
always gives you the glad hand, but nothing in it. You'd never take him
for Mrs. Ramsey's brother, would you? She's a looker, all right. So is
Dr. Earl, one of these big, handsome, powerful-looking men that makes
folks ask who he is."

"What's all the hullabaloo about, anyhow?" asked the Chicago man.

"Where have you been that you don't know about Earl?" answered Bedford.
"Why, I thought everybody in the country had heard of him. He's the chap
that raises the dead, you know; just takes 'em by the hand, makes a few
passes, and says, 'Say, it's time to wake up, old fellow,' and the dead
one sits up and asks for beefsteak. He's the man that saved Hall, the
copper mines king, over in Paris. Hall was finished, all done but
putting him in a box, when in comes Dr. Earl. 'Let him alone,' he says.
'He's tired out. When he finishes this nap he'll be just as good as
new.' But you know how impetuous the French are, and they were going to
have poor old Hall done for, sure enough, when this Earl man stands them
off, and promises to bring Hall 'round in six hours. And he does it
after the whole bunch of them have parleyed over him and waved
looking-glasses across his mouth, and found him as dead as Rameses."

There was a general buzz among the newspaper men, and one of them, older
and more dignified in manner than the others, said quietly, "Bedford,
you ought not to hand out that kind of fiction, even in your unreliable
journal."

Bedford winked slyly at the Chicagoan. "It was my only hope," he said in
a rapid aside. "That's Tourney. He was over there at the time, and he'll
tell us all about it trying to put me right."

"If you don't like my story you can give us the straight steer yourself,
Tourney," he said, and, nothing loath, the older man told how Hall had
been suddenly stricken with appendicitis in such severe form that an
operation was necessary at once. Upon this the French surgeons agreed,
but his heart action was so bad that they dared not administer an
anæsthetic, and one of them, who was a noted hypnotist, expressed a
doubt whether he would be able to rouse the patient from a hypnosis
sufficiently profound to enable them to perform the operation.

"This Frenchman," Tourney went on, warming to his subject, "had seen
Earl do some wonderful things and he knew he was in Paris and where he
was stopping. He put the case to Hall, and seeing that it was all day
with him unless something was done, he told them to send for Earl and
they got him there on the double-quick. I was waiting in the hall when
he went into the operating room and I stayed there until he came out,
and as I had done him one or two good turns he told me about it before
he realized that I was a newspaper man. When he saw me last I was
coaching Harvard students with more money than brains. That has nothing
to do with it, except to show that he isn't one of these 'for
publication only' wonder workers."

"Hurry up," said the Chicagoan, "he'll be here in a few minutes, and if
he's one of these human clams you are the hope of the press. What did he
tell you?"

"He agreed with the others in the main points, but he said if Hall was
willing to take the chance, he believed he could pull him through by a
system he had seen used in India. Then he cleared them all out, and when
they came back Hall was comatose. The appendix was removed in record
time, and the wound cleansed. Just before Earl finished, one of the
Frenchmen noticed that the patient was not breathing, apparently, and
exclaimed that he was dead. Dr. Earl pointed out the fact that the blood
showed no signs of other than a normal condition, such as would be found
in a patient under hypnosis. His idea, as I got it, was that the patient
must be kept unconscious long enough for the body to regain its
functions and get over the strain of the operation. He told them if he
were more familiar with Hall's constitution, he would be inclined to
prolong his condition of suspended animation, but under the
circumstances he would restore him to consciousness in three hours.

"One or two of them got excited and swore the man was dead, and
according to a lot of tests he was, but the rest, knowing he would have
died anyhow, were willing to wait, and at the end of the time Earl
brought him back to consciousness in such good condition that the other
doctors were wild over it. In their enthusiastic French way they
heralded the story everywhere. I thought he'd never be allowed to leave
Paris. They wanted to keep him right there and string medals around his
neck and pin ribbons all over his coat, but he wouldn't stand for it.
He's an awfully modest fellow, and he went over to London with Hall, who
swears by him; says he believes he put a new heart in him, and all that
sort of thing. There comes the boat now. Better have your photographers
ready, for all you'll get will be a picture of him keeping his mouth
shut."

As the big English boat swung slowly into its dock, with the help of
half a dozen tugs that puffed and pounded at its side, the newspaper men
and Dr. Earl's family caught sight of him simultaneously, as he waved
his hand and called across the intervening space with all the abandon
of a returning traveler.

He could make them hear now. "Leonora, dear, how are you!" as a
remarkably sweet-faced girl threw a shower of kisses in his direction,
which passed on their way an equal number of his own. "And Hilda! And
for the life of me, there's Frank! Love to all of you!" A few minutes
more and he was with them. He caught the girl in his arms and gave her a
long and tender embrace. Then he turned to the others and greeted them
with all the fraternal warmth natural after eighteen months' separation.

"How splendid it is to see you all again! What brought you to New York,
Frank?"

"Oh, just to see if I could cross Broadway without being bumped into by
a trolley car or a taxi-cab or an airship. Incidentally, to keep you
from losing your breath and hearing in the new tunnels through which you
will be shot under these New York rivers."

"Tubes, you mean, brother dear, tubes. I've been doing nothing else but
shoot the London tubes for the last fortnight."

"Where I live, in the wild and woolly Rockies, we call them tunnels,"
answered his brother. "Wouldn't the railroad builder howl at the idea
of 'tubing the mountains,' and the miner would have a war-dance of
delight at the suggestion that he must 'tube his claim.' These English
airs are all right, Dr. John Earl, but you may as well learn to talk
real American if you expect to chop bones and exploit microbes in this
country," and the young man glowed his admiration while plying him with
badinage.

The first greetings were scarcely over when the newspaper men made known
their mission, Tourney acting as spokesman for them all. Earl shook his
hand warmly.

"I'm awfully glad to see you," he said, "but you know I never give
interviews. I don't know how, to begin with, and I couldn't say anything
that would interest your readers. I have come back to practice my
profession in New York City; that is all I can tell you."

"But that Paris case," pleaded Bedford. "Do tell us about that."

"Did you use the Hindoo method of respiration that the Swami
Bramachunenda gave an exposition of here two or three years ago?" asked
another of the fraternity, and the others followed with different
interrogatives, but Earl laughed and waved them all away.

"I don't know what the Swami did," he said, "but if he is like some of
his brothers I'm ready to believe anything. All that I did, and a great
deal that I never thought of doing myself, or heard of anybody else
doing on this planet, was told in your papers at the time. Really, if I
had anything worth your while as a news story I would be glad to give it
to you--one of these days I may have, but you must excuse me now."

His manner was courteous but unmistakable, and turning away from them he
was soon absorbed in conversation with the pretty girl and his brother
and sister. He hardly took his eyes off the former as he recounted his
adventures abroad.

Three months previously he and Leonora Kimball had been betrothed in
Vienna, and it was agreed that they were to be married soon after his
arrival home. In a social way, the match met the approval of New York's
select set, for they belonged to equally wealthy and prominent families.
The Earls had come to New York from New England, two generations ago,
and the foundation of the family fortune had been laid in a small block
of New York, New Haven and Hartford stock, which had grown into a huge
block of both stocks and bonds from the various expansions of stock and
consolidations of property that had meanwhile taken place. The Kimballs
had come from the Pacific coast, where the same alchemist's result had
been wrought with a block of Southern Pacific Railway stock. The family
tree of the Earls had rooted itself into the subsoil of real culture,
while that of the Kimballs was mostly displayed above ground with only
here and there a stray fibre that had sunk to any depth.

Leonora Kimball, who at this time was slightly over twenty-three years
of age, possessed a most winning and gracious manner--a face that might
have served as a better model for a madonna than many of those
apparently used by the old masters; a lithe and graceful figure and an
abundance of vivacity when doing the things that pleased her. She had so
captivated John Earl from their first meeting that he had never tried
nor cared to analyze her. Indeed, had he so wished, he would have found
it a difficult undertaking, for he was too content with the pleasure he
felt in her presence to care to question it.

Dr. Earl had taken infinite pains to search the world for the sources of
disease and its prevention and cure. He had delved deeply into the
mysteries of mental and spiritual therapeutics, and had closely studied
the influences surrounding the origin of individual human beings. But
while he had harnessed many more or less occult forces into scientific
service in treating invalids, strangely enough, it never occurred to him
that similar elements might have an important mission in determining the
natural affinity of those attracted by the tenderest passion in the
world, and might do much, if properly regarded, to render stable that
one-time sacred bond of the sexes known as the marriage relation, which
at this time, everywhere, was resting upon such shifting quicksands of
mismating as to menace its existence.

"Love is of man's life a thing apart," applied with full force to Dr.
Earl, and he accepted his relations with Leonora Kimball with the same
confidence and light heart that might characterize the least thoughtful
man on Manhattan Island. While he had traveled many thousands of miles
and burned many a midnight lamp to ascertain if improvement could not be
made in the prevailing orthodox method of treating disease, he blindly
accepted, as millions of strong men before him had done, the prevailing
orthodox method of selecting a wife.

In any event, after the brother and sister had been left at the Ramsey
mansion on upper Fifth Avenue, he and Leonora proceeded to spend the
time from eleven to three o'clock very much as other lovers similarly
situated would have consumed those four hours. They motored until one
o'clock, when they went to her house, not far from his sister's
residence, where he had luncheon with her and her widowed mother, and at
three o'clock he arrived at the Hotel Gotham, where he had engaged
apartments.

When he stepped into his new sitting-room a large photograph of Leonora
confronted him on the dressing-case, his valet being a man of rare sense
and tact.

As he looked into the counterfeit impression of the large blue eyes and
reflected back her smile he declared to himself for the twentieth time
that day that she was the most fascinating creature in the world.



CHAPTER II

A MYSTICAL PARADE


When Dr. Earl arrived at his hotel he noticed crowds of people gathering
on the sidewalk, and lining up along the curbstone further down the
avenue, evidently expecting a parade of some sort. He had dismissed the
matter from his mind and was startled about an hour later to hear the
tap of a drum on the street, then a martial air by a band, followed by
the clatter of horses' hoofs and the shouts of policemen clearing the
way. Throwing open a window, he witnessed a sight that dazed him for a
moment, and he wondered whether or not he really was in an American
city.

As if by magic, the street was now filled with women, arranging
themselves in marching order, with the shout of command ringing clear
upon the air, and down Fifth Avenue as far as he could see, other
columns of women were forming to the strains of military music and to
the stirring echoes of fife and drum.

He grabbed his hat and stick, and joined the throng that packed the
sidewalk. His six feet of height and his athletic training rendered him
good service in ascertaining where to go and making it possible to get
there. He hurried along several blocks until he reached what he thought
must be the leading column of the march. Then he elbowed his way to the
curbstone and took up a position to witness this, as yet, mysterious
demonstration.

The air was sharp for a day late in April, but the sky was clear and the
sun shed occasional rays of splendor over some of the lower buildings
upon the waiting multitude.

The crowd was remarkably quiet. There seemed to be a spell over the
whole performance that savored of some of the wonders he had so recently
witnessed in India. There was something electric in the air that brought
with it an echo from some distant past or a promise for the future which
he tried in vain to catch and recognize.

Finally the order, "Forward, march!" was given, and to the air of
"Marching Through Georgia" the first column swung down the Avenue with
easy grace and in perfect step.

Long before the first standard came near he knew it was a Woman
Suffrage parade, and before he could get a view of the women carrying
it, he read the inscription on the banner:

    Forward out of Error,
      Leave behind the night;
    Forward through the darkness,
      Forward into Light.

Then the standard bearers were opposite him. The one nearest to him was
an exceedingly pretty young woman, as was also the second one, but as
his eyes rested upon the one farthest away he gave a startled
exclamation that attracted the attention of those around him.

"My mystery! Again she has dropped from the clouds!" The object of his
interest was a tall young woman, scarcely more than twenty-five years of
age, gowned in white cloth with black trimmings, with a white hat turned
straight up on the left side and lined in black. She showed grace and
energy in every movement and intellect and force in every glance.

Her large, sapphire-blue eyes gleamed with the intensity of her
feelings, and the touches of bronze hair that could be seen beneath her
hat gave evidence of the vivacious character of her life.

As she marched with queenly grace at the head of this mighty host of six
thousand American women, Dr. Earl had visions of the reality of the myth
or history, whichever it may be, of Semiramis invading Assyria and the
Amazons conquering Asia.

The entire line of march was no doubt interesting, but the head of the
column was absorbing to our hero, so block after block he marched as
nearly abreast of the banner on the sidewalk as a dense crowd would
permit him, and when the column broke ranks at Union Square he was there
to witness it.

No sooner did the mysterious banner bearer quit the march than she
rushed to the custodian of the posters, and, gathering an armful, she
coaxed, or with mock heroics terrorized, every person she approached
into buying one for "the good of the Cause!"

Earl was certain his heart would never beat again when she asked him in
deep, musical tones to "Please buy one for the Cause." He did so, and
loitered around watching her a few moments longer, then started up
Broadway.

When he swung into Fifth Avenue he was impressed again, as he had been
when he came from the boat, with the changed atmosphere of the street.
He had always read the mood of New York in its silent reflection in this
expressive part of the city's physiognomy. Long ago, he had discovered
that Fifth Avenue smiles or weeps, applauds or hisses, effervesces with
enthusiasm or gazes somberly like the image of despair, revels in
fervent expressions of patriotism or looks with gloomy distrust upon
public affairs--all according to the mood of the dominant portion of New
York's population--those who control the destinies of the huge private
enterprises that are the marvel of the age, and the management of which
means so much in the way of industrial slavery or economic freedom to
the American people.

This evening there was a note of more seriousness in the air than he had
ever before witnessed on this gay thoroughfare. The rush of automobiles
and taxicabs and carriages with beautifully gowned women and
fine-looking men as occupants was as great as ever; the perfectly
groomed New York woman on the sidewalk, with figure and carriage such as
outclasses the women of every other large city in the world, was there
in numbers quite as great as formerly; the Western woman, who had come
on to take New York by storm, or who imagined the acme of human
existence was in New York café life, with all of its vulgar display and
raucous manners, was abundantly in evidence.

But over the entire concourse there appeared to drift an atmosphere of
the spiritual, which lifted them from the plane of the Fifth Avenue
crowd of a year and a half before, and impressed him in the same manner
that he had been impressed in the far East by adepts when they gave
public demonstrations of their powers, or conversed with their Chelæ
without the medium of written or spoken language.

When he left America the woman suffrage movement in New York was a
subject of more or less ridicule; a few wealthy women had begun to
identify themselves with it, but they were called "faddists" and their
efforts were not taken seriously. It was apparent now that the suffrage
cause had been given the impetus of the world-wide movement that was
reaching the women of all countries, and had changed from a gospel of
tracts to a militant crusade for their share of the duties and
responsibilities of life and the power properly to discharge them. Never
had he seen so many of the real leaders of New York society engaged in
any work, charitable or otherwise, as had taken part in this parade,
marching on foot the full two miles, and often side by side with the
working-women of the city.

He had once seen a painting of the Maid of Orleans in a foreign gallery
that carried so much of spiritual earnestness that he felt that he could
appreciate how easy it was for the French army instinctively to follow
her lead, and how much easier it was for the poor dupes of ignorance and
superstition to believe that this overmastering spiritual nature was the
product of witchcraft.

Absorbing though these thoughts were, they did not exclude another train
which had to do with the mysterious banner bearer, and as he entered his
hotel he clenched his right hand suddenly and muttered to himself, "I
must dismiss her from my thoughts."



CHAPTER III

THE MYSTERIOUS YOUNG WOMAN


Dr. Earl took a late dinner at his sister's house, after having spent an
hour with his fiancée on the way. There were just the four of them at
table, his sister and her husband, his brother and himself.

His sister was the oldest member of his family, which comprised but the
three of them, his father and mother having died some years before.

During the college days of both himself and his brother, who was two
years his junior, his sister had assumed the rôle of a mother to them,
and right devotedly had she filled the part. She had been more of a
"pal" to them than anything else, and some years' residence in England
during her schooldays had broadened her vision of the true meaning and
value of this relation between those of opposite sex and particularly
between brother and sister.

She possessed now, as always, the unbounded respect and confidence of
these two young men of thoroughly dissimilar character and temperament,
and she was the repository of the sacred secrets of each of them, which
she was warned she must never betray to the other. And she never did.

Eight years previous to these occurrences, she had married George
Ramsey, President of the Gotham Trust Company, which institution had
recently absorbed half a dozen weaker concerns doing a similar business,
and more recently had taken over from the New York bankers, who were
stockholders in the trust company, the handling of most of the public
utility securities that were floated in this country. But George Ramsey
was not the pretentious pawnbroker in spirit and manner that so often
presides over the destinies of American banks, but he was a
philosophical financier who understood perfectly the strength and
weakness of the system under which he worked, and who, while he wondered
at the supine idiocy of the people that would permit of the prevailing
Dick Turpin methods of high finance, never took his eye from the horizon
of public action, where daily he expected to see "the cloud no bigger
than a man's hand" that was to expand into the storm that would engulf
these and other long permitted public ills.

Many times recently he had sounded the alarm of the dangers attending
recapitalization of properties that already bore a heavy weight of
watered securities, but his colleagues had laughed at what they termed
his fears, and had attempted to reassure him of their complete
possession of the departments of government that controlled such
matters. Bred to the banking business, he had no thought of transferring
his abilities and energies to the realm of statesmanship, but in the
sanctum of his own home he would often pour forth his disgust with, and
his fear of, such methods, to the tall, clear-eyed, clear-brained and
beautiful woman from whom John and Frank Earl were wont to seek advice
in their perplexities. And from her he always received valuable
suggestions, a keener insight into the motives of men, a broader, more
humane view-point, and withal a firmness to set himself, in part, where
the law of the land should have been set wholly, as a barrier against
the worst of these public depredations.

Mr. and Mrs. George Ramsey were the same lovers now that they were
during their honeymoon. In the crowded ballroom, at the opera, in the
automobile after the harassing cares of the day, on land or sea, he was
always the admiring and devoted attendant, and gave expression to his
feelings in a variety of new and interesting ways. It was evident that
they had not run counter to the influence of the stars in waiting for a
natural affinity. In their home they entered into the spirit of whatever
was borne to them by their guests. With scholars and philosophers they
held their own in abstruse and abstract discussions. With musicians and
music lovers they were at ease, for both played and sang with more than
amateur skill. With young people bent on a frolic, they could be the
gayest of the party. Their outlook upon life was always across green
meadows or perfectly kept beds of beautiful flowers.

Every guest found ready sympathy for whatever was nearest and dearest to
him, and went away convinced that he had never rightly understood his
own hobby before.

In this atmosphere, and at table with this couple, John and Frank Earl
seated themselves at eight o'clock for dinner.

It would be difficult to imagine two brothers more widely separated in
physical and mental characteristics. John was tall, athletic, with dark
hair, large, dreamy brown eyes, perfect poise, a silent and dignified
bearing that easily commanded attention when he spoke, a low, musical
voice and an exceedingly strong and graceful hand.

Frank was of medium height, spare of figure, with light hair,
penetrating blue eyes, resilient voice, quick and nervous of speech,
with large hands and feet, and not a shadow of dignity in his bearing.

The one personified reflection; the other action. In the eyes of one
appeared the dreams of centuries; beaming from the eyes of the other was
the fun of the ages.

"Did any of you people, aside from Jack, see the suffragette parade
to-day?" asked Frank, with laughing eyes fixed upon his brother.

"I--how do you know I saw it?" asked John, and his confused manner
brought "Eh, Jack?" from the other two.

"It's all right, Jack; I won't tell Leonora, but how jealous she would
be if she could have seen you following the banner carried by those
three pretty girls," answered Frank. "Why, I followed you a dozen blocks
myself, almost touching you the whole time, just to see which one of the
three girls was making you join the parade. The next time get right out
into the street, old man, and don't block the view of us spectators, for
you know you were a part of that parade to-day, in mind at least."

The absurdity of the scene as depicted by Frank made even John throw
back his head and join in the unrestrained laughter of the others.

"I was in the Waldorf-Astoria at a tea-table near the window when the
head of the column came in view. I, too, liked the looks of those pretty
girls carrying the banner, but before I could decide which one I liked
best, my dearly beloved brother hove in sight, with eyes glued on the
third one, wandering down the Avenue like either a slow-hatching lunatic
or a good subject for a hypnotist. I knew Jack would need me in New York
to steer him right until all that Indian mysticism gets out of his
system, and that is the reason I left the delights of the wilds for the
barbarism of the city. Well, I excused myself and hurried out to take
possession of Jack, but when I got close to him and was just about to
slap him on the shoulder, I followed his eyes--and for the life of me, I
couldn't touch him!"

Here Frank's tone became half serious and his changed manner hushed the
laughter of the others. "I have always ridiculed the idea of hypnotism
and in every experiment where I have been present I have set myself to
disprove its effects. But candidly, folks, I was hypnotized.
Unconsciously I followed that parade a whole dozen blocks myself, and
when I finally came out of the trance, or whatever it was, and started
back to the hotel, the entire atmosphere seemed filled with some kind of
uncanny dope. I never witnessed such contagious energy and earnestness,
and every step emanated spiritual sparks that blinded my eyes and took
possession of my faculties. Who is she, Jack?"

"That is what I want to know. I call her my 'Mystery.' One day while I
was in London and near Trafalgar Square I saw a demonstration of women
down toward the parliament buildings. I went that way to see what was up
and soon discovered that it was a body of English suffragettes making an
attempt to exercise their claimed right to petition parliament. As
usual, the demonstration was more or less strenuous and the police
interfered. When I got close enough to identify them, I saw my 'Mystery'
in the front ranks, exhorting the women, protesting and pleading with
the policemen, and gradually getting nearer and nearer the parliament
buildings until they had almost reached one of the entrances. It looked
very much as if they might get entirely in and vindicate their claim,
but just at that moment a fresh squad of police arrived under an officer
superior to any present, and ordered the arrest of the leaders. My
'Mystery' was the first arrested. It was then that I discovered that she
was an American girl. The speech she delivered to those police officers
on human rights and human liberties and women's rights and women's
liberties is worthy a place among the world's great orations. They took
her and the rest of them away, but I noticed that they treated her with
marked respect. I don't think any of them were jailed on that occasion,
but she defied them to jail her. The next time I saw her was at the
Grand Opera House in Paris, two months later. She was with some friends
in an adjoining stall. It was a gala performance for the benefit of the
flood sufferers and the most noted singers in the world had volunteered
their services, and single acts from a number of operas were given. It
was difficult to believe that this beautiful, stylish, richly-gowned
girl was the one I saw arrested in a suffrage disturbance on the streets
of London. Throughout the performance I watched her closely, and her
expressive face reflected the emotion of every leading role. She partook
of the abandon of the gayer airs in 'Carmen,' and her cheeks were
flooded with tears at the misfortunes of Marguerite in 'Faust.' I was
dying to know who she was, but I was with foreign surgeons, and saw no
Americans that I knew. To-day is the first time I have seen her since.
Who is she, Hilda?" eagerly he asked of his sister.

"You and Frank give me a lot of exclamation points, with a vivid
description of how the atmosphere affected you, and then want me to name
a vision for you. Please describe the physical girl, leaving out all
adjectives, mystical pieces of air, _et cetera_, and perhaps I can tell
who she is."

Jack described the girl in the parade, somewhat repressing his
enthusiasm under Frank's amused scrutiny.

"I don't wonder at your captivation. That is Silvia Holland, one rich
American girl who is determined to justify her existence, live a life
that is worth while, and demonstrate the ability of women to be
economically independent, for although her father has a half-dozen city,
country and resort residences, she insists in maintaining at her own
expense a modest apartment in the Whittier Studios, and keeps up her own
country home on the Hudson at Nutwood. Just now her parents are on a
trip around the world. You know she is a graduate of the law school at
Columbia and was admitted to practice a few months ago. You should thank
your stars, Jack, that it is not the medical profession she is seeking
to enter, or the dry bones there would be worse shaken up than they will
be by your new theories, and you would have a formidable rival."

"She is not the daughter of John J. Holland, the steel magnate?" he
inquired.

"Yes, his daughter and only child."

"Whew! There is hope of the American woman after all. There certainly is
a big social revolution on in America," and Jack arose with the others
to go into the library for coffee.

"It might interest you young men to know that these suffragists are to
finish their day's work with a ball and a bazaar to-night, and I have
tickets for a box," suggested Hilda.

"Of course Jack can't go, but I shall be delighted to bask in the smiles
of this modern Semiramis a while," answered Frank. "Then, too," he
added, "she may convert me to suffrage, which living in Colorado among
suffragists for two years has failed to do."

"Oh, that is because you are looking at the matter through a railroad
attorney's eyes; long ago it was truly written that 'no man can serve
two masters,' and your railroad employment is your master just now,"
answered his sister.

"I have heard reports that indicate that woman's suffrage in Colorado is
apt quite soon to cause not only you railroad lawyers but our holders of
railroad securities some concern about the quantity of water we inject
into any one issue of stocks and bonds," laughingly suggested Mr.
Ramsey.

"Come, gentlemen, your charming Amazon will not stay up all night, and
it is ten-thirty now," called Hilda, who had already garbed herself for
the automobile.



CHAPTER IV

A SUFFRAGE BAZAAR AND BALL


A suffrage bazaar does not differ essentially from the same iniquity
under other auspices. There are the same useless articles for sale and
the same aggressive methods of disposing of them; the same varieties of
fancy work, knit, embroidered, drawn, quartered and crocheted; the same
display of canned goods and home-made jellies and feminine apparel; the
same raffles and "drawings" and "chances" by which churches have long
conducted their clerical lotteries; the same side-shows and the same
appeal to the social world to come and mingle with the "high-brows" and
be fashionably robbed.

Only in this instance far more ingenuity had been displayed in the
number and nature of the side attractions. There were guessing machines
where the cocksure were reduced to humbleness of mind by their failures
to state accurately the number of women voting in the world or some
section thereof; the number of countries that have recently swung into
line in the woman movement; the number of subjects reigned over by
women, and similar questions, all of which proved "extra hazardous" to
most of the guessers. Many of them did not even know what the five stars
on the suffrage flag indicated.

They had a row of Chinese examination booths, in which persons wishing a
certificate of "Efficient Citizenship" were given blanks to fill out, in
which they revealed their knowledge, or their crass ignorance, of
conditions in various parts of their own country. Mrs. Jarley conducted
a wax-works performance, and there was a moving-picture show in which
Mrs. Cornelia Gracchus, the favorite example of the "Antis," was shown
lecturing in the Forum on medicine to grave and reverend seigneurs, Joan
of Arc leading her troops, and Florence Nightingale bending over the
sick and wounded.

An educated pig told the uneducated person in how many States women have
full suffrage, and which they are; where suffrage campaigns are pending,
and the names of the distinguished Americans who have gone on record in
favor of this reform. A Street of All Nations showed the onward march,
all the way from the women of Washington casting their "recall" ballots
to the women of China unbinding their feet, and Turkish ladies tearing
their veils into tatters.

Dancing was going on in an adjoining room, but the crowd was so great
that it was impossible to even locate Jack's "Mystery," so Frank turned
his attention to a row of booths, draped in black, with silver
astrological symbols, palmist signs and two flaming aces of hearts and
diamonds, where past, present and future were revealed at very
reasonable prices--considering. "Me for the astrologist," he said.
"Jack, go in at the sign of the glowing heart and find out whether Venus
is going to be good to you, and then we can swap experiences."

"I think I'll try the palmist," Jack replied. "If it's even moderately
well done it is interesting," and the two brothers disappeared into the
cavelike apertures before them. Frank's experience seemed to be highly
satisfactory, for he reappeared grinning cheerfully. Perhaps he had
cause, but he did not reveal it, and when his brother came forth from
the clutches of the sorceress, he insisted that he should have his
horoscope cast.

As there seemed no hope of finding the lady they sought until the crowd
should have thinned a little, Jack laughed and entered the
silver-spangled tent. The seeress was gowned in white, with silver
chains and bracelets and girdle, and a long white veil completely
enveloped her except the face, and this was concealed by her yashmak up
to her mocking gray eyes, with their dark, level brows. There was
something in her eyes that attracted Jack, and made him believe in her
uncanny powers quite against his will, and even while he told himself
that this was but the foolishness of the hour. He gave her the necessary
data, and she consulted her charts, and gave him a rapid and wonderfully
correct delineation of his character, "a nature which combines the
characteristics of Scorpio with some of those of Sagitarrius, as is the
case," she explained gravely, "with persons born near the cusp," a term
which produced no impression upon his mind, though he said, "Oh,
indeed," politely. She made some cabalistic marks on a square of paper
and turned to him with a somewhat startled expression, which faded at
once, and the mocking eyes looked full into his as she went on.

"You do not believe in anything I am telling you, and therefore I shall
speak quite frankly, certain that you will be neither cast down nor
elated by anything I can say. I think you are a physician; if not you
ought to be; you seem to have come from afar, and to be about to begin a
new phase in your life. It is well that you have two of the greatest of
the planets, Mars and Jupiter, as controlling influences, for you will
need them, and that very soon. You are at this moment in greater danger
than ever before has been your lot."

Jack could not repress a laugh. With youth, health, ability and love he
felt that it would take more than a stray comet to turn the currents of
his life awry. But the woman did not smile; he could see that much
through the gauzy yashmak, and her eyes grew grave and her forehead
contracted.

"I am glad you don't believe it," she said, "because I should not like
to tell you what I see if you did; before morning you will know whether
it is all the foolishness you think it."

He apologized. "I'm immensely interested," he said, "but I didn't know
any one regarded this sort of thing seriously. So far as you've gone
you've hit me off very well, and I don't mind telling you that I am a
physician, and I'm just back from the far East."

"Thank you," she said gravely. "Have you ever heard that if a man has
made love to a girl under the constellation of Cassiopeia he should not
marry until he has also made love under the Southern Cross? There is a
conjunction of malign planets at this time; they threaten your happiness
through love, through hate, through accident. If you have become
interested in any person born under Saturn, that is between the
twenty-first of December and the twentieth of January, particularly
about the seventh of January, you should certainly take time to consider
carefully, for there is nothing but wretchedness and misunderstanding in
such an alliance; there may be much that is attractive on the surface,
but you will find a complete lack of harmony, of similarity of tastes
and ambition that would leave you forever alone, and there is much
selfishness and stubborness of will. Saturn and Scorpio are not good
marital allies." He gave her a searching glance, for the seventh of
January was Leonora's birthday, but her face was quite inscrutable.

"There is something here I do not understand; this accident does not
happen to you, nor to any one near you, yet it has a lasting and a
terrible effect upon your life----" she shuddered and pushed the charts
away from her. "I will not tell you any more," she said, "but I wonder
whether you would do me the favor of giving me your name and address. I
want to cast your horoscope carefully, and I will send you the chart."

He thanked her and wrote down his name as requested, somewhat impressed
in spite of himself. As he rose to go she stood also and lifted her hand
as if she would have drawn him back, then let it drop heavily. If it was
a piece of acting, he told himself it was perfectly done. "Do be careful
for the next twenty-four hours," she said, "and beware of the evil that
may come out of good."

That last Delphic utterance stamped the whole affair as a clever piece
of mind-reading, guesswork and acting, and, somewhat annoyed that he
should have been hoaxed even for a moment, Jack withdrew.

The hour was growing late and the crowd dispersing when they turned
from the fortune-telling booths and entered the ballroom, and presently
Jack said to his sister, "There she is; the one in the green gown."

"Yes, that is Silvia Holland. What a superb dancer, and how democratic!
The man she is dancing with is at the head of one of the labor
organizations that is championing woman's suffrage. Come, Jack, let us
have a whirl, as of old, and I will then bring your 'Mystery' over to
the box."

In a moment they were in the midst of the waltz, and at its close Hilda
had so managed that they were near Miss Holland. Stepping up to her on
Jack's arm she presented her brother, and, accepting Hilda's invitation,
Miss Holland joined their party.

"Did I not see you a year ago on the streets in London, the time I was
arrested?" she naively asked Jack.

"Yes, but you were very busy. How in the world could you remember me?"

"Don't be flattered by the apparent compliment. While I was delivering
my little speech to the police I noted how closely you followed me and
that you were the only American around, and I had determined to appeal
to you for assistance if they undertook to jail the feeble old woman
who was with us. They didn't disturb her, and so you were not called
upon, but you see how near you came to being a militant English
suffragette and perhaps a prisoner for thirty days," she said, half
seriously and half smilingly.

"The word of command would have made me both," he answered, with so much
emphasis that Frank broke into the conversation with, "I wonder if the
open door of an English jail would convert me?"

"That would depend upon who was directing your footsteps toward the
jail," suggested his brother-in-law.

"Not at all; I think I am hopeless after having heard so much of the
theoretical benefits of suffrage and seen the utter lack of effect in
Colorado, where I live."

Silvia Holland turned her great, intense eyes upon him. They were
glowing, and he felt the same fascination he had experienced in the
afternoon.

"You from Colorado and talk this way!" she said in amazement. "Surely
you are jesting. Take the effect on the polling places alone. Compare
those of New York with those of Denver, and I have seen them in full
operation in both places. In the first is the atmosphere of barrooms; in
the second the manners and air of drawing-rooms. If I were a Colorado
man I should be proud of the result upon Colorado women of their
responsibility in citizenship. I know women of all nationalities, but I
know none where the average of intelligence or womanly grace and real
accomplishments are greater than with your Colorado women."

"I am a railroad attorney, sent out by the owners of some of the lines
traversing Colorado to look after their interests," he answered. "It is
possible that my conclusions have been influenced by my occupation. I am
prepared to admit that. But I have rather old-fashioned notions in
relation to the proper place for women being in the home and not in
politics."

"Oh, you American professional men, particularly you corporation
lawyers"--she was smiling now. "You might as well be living in the
middle ages, for you take no note of the tremendous revolution that is
going on all around you. What we call politics is in reality government,
and home is the basis of all good government, and government to serve
its legitimate aim in a democracy must reflect the sentiments of all
the members of the society that created it, women as well as men, and
the higher the aspirations of society the higher the purposes of
government."

The others were enjoying this little scene. "Bravo, bravo, Silvia!"
exclaimed Hilda. "Do make a convert of him!"

"You know," said Miss Holland, and she put as much sarcasm in her tone
as possible without leaving a sting, "that this thing called government
only needs a good house-cleaning and the application of a few vermin
extinguishers, such as every good housekeeper knows how to administer,
to make this country a congenial habitation for the gods of the
Twentieth Century--the enlightened, progressive, responsible citizens of
a democracy. Come to the Industrial League meeting next Thursday night
and you will learn more about this than I can possibly tell you. I will
send you a card," and she gaily floated away with Dr. Orrin Morris, her
escort of the evening, who had been impatiently waiting for her for
several minutes.

Dr. Orrin Morris and Dr. John Earl were graduated from the same class in
the Harvard medical school, but Dr. Morris had immediately after
graduation settled down to the exclusive practice of surgery according
to orthodox methods, and was already regarded as one of the rising young
surgeons of New York City.

His father had met with financial reverses in 1907 that had not only
wrecked the family fortune but had carried him to an untimely grave. His
mother had been dead for some years and he had no brother or sister. He
maintained a house on East 57th Street and had much practice in two of
the prominent hospitals.

Dr. Morris presented a rather angular appearance as he strode away with
Miss Holland. He was excessively lean, of swarthy complexion, dark eyes,
black hair and a domineering air. His mother had possessed a strain of
that Spanish blood that was freely mixed with the Moors during their
occupancy of Spain, and added to the natural tendencies of the Latin
were visible some of the ear-marks of Moorish intensity. For some months
he had been paying marked attention to Miss Holland, whom he had known
in a general way for a long time, and, while she did not encourage him,
she had not thought it necessary to dismiss him, for she found him most
entertaining, as he was regarded as one of the best non-professional
violinists in New York. They had spent many agreeable evenings together
over their music, she playing the accompaniments on the piano.

His views on public questions were as set and conservative as were his
views on medicine, and she never attempted to discuss those matters with
him; the fact that she could not do so was somewhat a relief to her when
she desired to get away from her public activities.

Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey, Dr. Morris and Miss Holland, and the two young men
with other ladies of their acquaintance, joined in the last dance and
then started for the cloakrooms together.



CHAPTER V

HYPNOTISM USED FOR AN ANÆSTHETIC


Mrs. Ramsey and Miss Holland emerged from the dressing-rooms after a
trifling delay, and found Hilda's party and Dr. Morris waiting in the
foyer. Just as they were about making their way to their respective
motors they heard a sudden commotion and wild cries from the street, and
a crowd of people surged in, crying that a child had been killed by an
automobile. Both Dr. Earl and Dr. Morris rushed toward the street as a
man came in carrying a little girl of perhaps ten years of age, bleeding
profusely from the mouth and the scalp, with one leg evidently broken.
The mother of the child, a comely woman of thirty, followed, wringing
her hands. Her excitement verged on hysteria, but at the sight of Dr.
Morris she controlled herself by a mighty effort.

"To the hospital, to the hospital, Dr. Earl," peremptorily exclaimed Dr.
Morris, as Dr. Earl threw aside his coat and, rolling back his sleeves
and directing the man to place the child on a table in one of the
ante-rooms, began to examine the character of the injuries.

"Oh, don't take my poor child to the hospital. I know she will die if
she goes there; bring her home; it is only a few blocks," the mother
pleaded with Dr. Morris, whom she seemed to know.

"Don't waste time here. Where is the telephone? I will call an ambulance
immediately."

"I don't want her taken to the hospital," said the woman sullenly.

"This is no place to operate on a hysterical child," Morris answered.
"She need not be kept in the hospital, but she should certainly be taken
there. I know Dr. Earl will agree with me."

In the meantime, Earl had completed his examination. Silvia Holland was
watching him anxiously. As Morris spoke he looked up and caught her eye.

"It is only a simple fracture, and the scalp wounds are slight. I
suppose we could get along, if we can get hot water and the necessary
appliances," he said dubiously, and then added, turning to the woman,
"Dr. Morris is quite right, madame, in advising the hospital, and I
assure you there is no danger."

The woman turned pleading eyes to Silvia. "She's all I have, and I can't
let her be taken away from me. Couldn't we go home? It is only a few
blocks away, and I know I can make her comfortable. Oh, please, please
don't let them take her away!"

Miss Holland looked at Dr. Earl and put her arm around the woman
protectingly. "If it isn't any worse than that," she said hesitatingly,
"don't you think you could do as she asks? Setting a simple fracture
isn't a very complicated operation, is it?"

Earl smiled. "Oh, no," he said, "it can be done in a comparatively few
minutes."

"Then why not do it," she said, "and spare the mother all this
protracted agony, and get the child home?"

"Because there are no appliances here to administer an anæsthetic or do
anything else properly," answered Morris impatiently, "and no one can
tell from a cursory examination whether or not there are other injuries,
to say nothing of the danger from septicæmia if the work is done in a
clumsy, slipshod manner."

Earl colored, and Miss Holland replied with some spirit that even the
absence of the usual accessories need not imply clumsiness of method,
and again asked Earl if he could not manage where they were. He turned
to the mother.

"If you insist upon it, I have no doubt that I can do all that is
necessary without bad results. As to the anæsthetic, we can dispense
with that."

"I will have nothing to do with the case under these circumstances,"
Morris said angrily.

The woman hesitated, and then said firmly, "I should prefer the other
gentleman to take charge. I won't have her taken to the hospital."

"Very well," said Earl, and taking a notebook from his pocket he wrote
out a list of necessary appliances, bandages, alcohol, antiseptic
solutions, surgeon's scissors, needles, silk and thread, and giving it
to Frank bade him hurry to the drug-store around the corner which
carried surgical supplies and procure them, and also to bring a box that
would do for splints.

"I must have an assistant," he said, and without a word, Miss Holland
improvised an apron from some of the bunting that was in evidence
everywhere, and put herself at his disposal. He sent all the others out
of the room, and bent over the child for a few minutes. What did he do?
Miss Holland watched, but could not tell. The moaning ceased, the little
limbs relaxed, and the child fell into a quiet sleep.

The mother stood just outside the door, listening with strained
attention, and after two or three impatient turns about the foyer,
Morris joined her.

"You can do as you please so far as I am concerned," he said in a low
tone, "but I warn you that you are taking big risks. Allie is nervous
and excitable at any time, and to-night she is close to hysterics, and
she won't get over the shock of even a simple operation in a hurry,
especially if he is fool enough to attempt it without an anæsthetic."

The woman wavered for a moment, and then turned away without a word, and
shrugging his shoulders Morris strode down toward the entrance. A moment
later Silvia Holland came out of the ante-room.

"You can go in now," she said, "only don't disturb your child; she is
sleeping and you must be very quiet. Did you see Dr. Morris? Oh, there
he is."

Mindful of the amenities of life, she hurried to his side. His face was
dark with something more than anger, and did not lighten as she laid the
tips of her fingers on his arm.

"I know you will excuse me, Orrin," she said gently. "You mustn't be
angry with me, but I really feel as if I ought to see this through; the
poor woman needs me. You will forgive me?"

He looked at her with sudden passion. "Oh, yes, I forgive _you_," he
said, with unmistakable emphasis on the pronoun, and was gone. Silvia
Holland looked after him for a moment, conscious that, accustomed as she
was to his moods, this was quite a new one, and then joined Dr. Earl,
who had come into the foyer to say goodnight to the Ramseys and Frank
Earl, who had returned with the surgical appliances and found nothing
more that he could do. "By the way, old man," Dr. Earl called to his
brother-in-law, "send the machine back if you don't mind," and with a
word of thanks he re-entered the ante-room, followed by Miss Holland,
and closed the door against further interruption.

There was a sink in the room, with hot and cold water, and he directed
Miss Holland to cleanse the basin and implements in the boiling water,
and follow this up by dipping them in an antiseptic solution; in the
meantime he ripped the box to pieces, and selected two strips, which he
whittled into splints, shaping them to the child's leg, and working with
great rapidity. The bandages, cotton and other things were laid out upon
the table, and then he took the basin and a cloth and washed the wounds
on the head, putting back the tousled locks as carefully and tenderly as
a woman.

"Ordinarily," he said to his assistant, "I should have done this first,
but my examination showed that this injury is very slight. Of course she
has bled profusely, but it has come from the nose, and it looks pretty
bad, but there is nothing serious. Half a dozen stitches will be ample
for the scalp. Thread that needle with the silk, please. Now let me have
it." He took it from her, and in a moment the cuts on the head were
sewed, and he was pulling the leg into place, applying the cotton, the
splints and bandages, working deftly and silently. "The other needle
with the thread, please," he said, not looking up, and Miss Holland
handed it to him. Presently he raised his head and threw back his
shoulders.

"It is all done," he said simply, and called the mother. "I shall return
in a quarter of an hour," he said, "and bring her out of this sleep. Do
not try to rouse her, for you cannot. Do you not think, Miss Holland,
that it would be well for me to get a nurse to assist in taking the
little one home? I can 'phone when I return these instruments."

"Your machine is coming back, isn't it?" Miss Holland answered. "It
seems to me that with what help her mother and I can render that we
shall manage."

"Excellently," he said. "Then you will be on guard until my return; see
that the child is not disturbed. I shall be gone but a few minutes."

He readjusted his attire, and taking up his hat strode out of the
building, unconscious until he reached the door that half a dozen
energetic reporters were eagerly asking particulars. Finding him
unwilling to tell them anything more than the vaguest generalities, the
more resourceful returned to the improvised operating-room, and before
Silvia Holland knew it they had the story from her enthusiastic lips,
supplemented by a few facts gathered from the woman. For thus are
first-page sensations secured and created.

Silvia noticed that the woman spoke with visible reluctance, and she
herself passed over the controversy between Dr. Morris and Dr. Earl,
anxious to spare her friend any unnecessary annoyance.

"I am sorry, Mrs. Bell," she said contritely. "I didn't realize at first
that we were being interviewed."

"Oh, there is no harm done," the woman said quietly. "I hope the doctor
will not mind; won't he be back pretty soon?"

Almost as she spoke, his tall form was seen making its way through the
besieging ranks of the Fourth Estate. He waved them aside good
humoredly, but refusing to be interviewed, he took the child in his
strong arms and, followed by her mother and Miss Holland, made his way
to the auto. While she was in a profound sleep when he returned, she
wakened instantly when he commanded her to do so, and the cool night air
evidently refreshed her greatly as they drove to Mrs. Bell's home. Dr.
Earl carried the little one upstairs, gave her mother explicit
directions, and promising to call early the following day to adjust a
cast, left the apartment with Miss Holland.



CHAPTER VI

SOME STRENUOUS ANTI-SUFFRAGISTS


Several of the New York papers carried lurid headlines and more or less
sensational accounts of the accident to the child and the treatment
administered by Dr. Earl, as well as a tribute to the heroism of the
volunteer nurse. All of them contained a report of some character of
these occurrences.

When Dr. Earl called at the home of his fiancée, according to
appointment, to take her and her mother to luncheon the next day, he
found Leonora in a sullen mood, and it did not take him long to discover
that he was not in high favor at this particular hour.

He greeted her with a kiss, but hers in return was perfunctory. He was
not compelled to wait long for an explanation, for she poured out her
feelings without any questioning.

"Oh, Jack, dear, how could you mix up with that suffrage crowd! Don't
you know that mamma is vice-president of the Anti-Woman Suffrage
League? She is so annoyed! And that horrid Silvia Holland--why, Jack,
she is a downright socialist. Don't you know she was arrested in England
for trying to break into parliament with a lot of other suffragettes,
and she was arrested here only last month for defying the police and
taking sides with a lot of girls who refused to work in the factories
where they were employed! Even when in school she was horrid. When they
wouldn't let her make a suffrage speech on the school grounds one night
she took the girls to a neighboring graveyard and spoke from a flat
monument! And to think the papers have you mixed up with her, and our
wedding soon to be announced! Oh, it's terrible!" and she buried her
face in the sofa pillows.

Had this scene occurred with any one else, Jack felt certain he could
not have restrained his laughter, for he could see Miss Holland
delivering an exhortation to the schoolgirls from a tombstone in a
cemetery by night. But he understood the prejudices of a certain element
of New York society, and while the past twenty-four hours had led him,
somewhat, to believe that this progressive democratic wave sweeping
over the world had engulfed all New Yorkers, he now realized how sadly
mistaken he had been.

With infinite tact he told her that his sister had taken their party to
the ball--pointed out his own duty when the injured child had been
brought in from the street, and how he had not even suggested that Miss
Holland should assist him. He saw that the present was no time for a
discussion of the merits of the case or a pronouncement of his own
views, but he distinctly realized, with something of a jolt, it is true,
that a wide gulf separated the Bourbon element of America's supposed
democracy from the advancing column of her real and inspired democracy,
and he wondered whether it were at all possible to tunnel under or
bridge over this gulf. He lightly changed the subject.

"I have just discovered that I can get my old offices on East 53rd
Street, as the year's lease expires the first of next month, and the
agents heeded my letter asking them to wait for me. So I shall feel
quite at home in the old quarters," he said.

She smiled at this, but was not quite ready to drop the former subject.
"Jack, dear, did you take Miss Holland home at one o'clock in the
morning?"

He laughed at her this time, as he bent to kiss her. "I really believe
you are jealous, you little nymph. Of course I took her home. She could
not stay there all night, and there was no one else to take her."

She looked very serious. "No, I don't know what jealousy is," she slowly
and emphatically said, "but I don't want to know people who do the
things that Miss Holland does, and I don't want you to know them."

"My dear child," he said, taking her hands in his and catching her eyes
with his own steady glance. "I must know whoever is thrown into my path
either in a professional or a social way. All people are intensely
interesting to me, for we are, after all, but one great family of human
beings, trying to carve out lives that are worth while, and this we can
do better by getting the best there is from each other." He hesitated a
moment, still looking steadily at her. She quivered slightly, but he was
dimly conscious of the colossal character of the will she was summoning
to her aid. Then very slowly, but with all the earnestness of his
nature, he added, "You must get away from these views, for they are
dwarfing and not becoming to you, and if you do not we shall be very
unhappy. Miss Holland is a remarkable young woman. She is destined to
fill a great place in our American social and political life. She is
well worthy of your friendship."

She withdrew her hands, but still kept her eyes fixed on his. Her brow
contracted and with emphasis she said: "Miss Holland has forfeited her
place in our set by her conduct; why, Jack, you don't know how she is
criticized by our friends or you would not suggest such a thing."

He arose with a shrug of his shoulders. Fortunately, Mrs. Kimball
appeared at this moment and they motored to the Plaza for luncheon,
which was a somewhat formal and unsatisfactory affair, in spite of all
his efforts to make it otherwise. The young man could not but feel that
Mrs. Kimball shared her daughter's views--was, in fact, their
author--and that in the eyes of his future mother-in-law he had been
guilty of a breach of etiquette far more serious than an infraction of
the moral law. He left them with the understanding that he would
accompany them to the theatre in the evening.



CHAPTER VII

CHRISTIAN SCIENCE AND SURGERY


The days of a militant suffragette are full to overflowing, and Silvia
Holland was not able to see Mrs. Bell and her little daughter early the
following morning as she had planned. It must have been well toward the
middle of the afternoon when she entered the modest apartment, and going
to the bed, visible in the alcove, kissed the child and put a great,
dewy bunch of violets in her hand. She took them, and hugged them tight
in her thin little arms, while her eyes looked into Silvia's
wonderingly, and her mother turned away to hide the sudden tears.

The apartment was well though not expensively furnished, and both mother
and child had the unmistakable air of good birth and refinement. As
Silvia glanced at Mrs. Bell she was conscious of something in her face
at once baffling and appealing. She had the indefinable look of one who
dwells with a sorrow for which there is no cure.

"Are you quite sure there is nothing I can do for either of you to-day?"
Silvia asked, a trifle diffidently, for she did not want to offend by
overzeal.

"You and Dr. Earl have placed us under so many obligations that we can
never hope to repay them," Mrs. Bell said quietly. "If I do not speak
more freely of what I feel, it is because I have no words for its
expression."

"Don't speak or think of obligations," Silvia said lightly, "and here is
my card, so that if at any time I might be of service to you I hope you
will not hesitate to call on me. I live at the Whittier Studios." The
card which she gave Mrs. Bell read:

                            SILVIA HOLLAND,
                    Attorney and Counsellor-at-Law,
                        City Investment Building,
                            New York City.

Mrs. Bell looked at it curiously. "Oh, it isn't possible that you are
_that_ Miss Holland, _the_ Miss Holland!" she said incredulously.

Silvia laughed. "Don't I look as if I could say 'Gentlemen of the jury'
with sufficient gravity?" she said. "Probably I shall do better when we
say 'Ladies of the jury,' too."

"You look like what you are, a beautiful and fashionable lady," Mrs.
Bell answered. "Surely no one would ever take you for a professional
woman."

"Must a fashionable lady be a listless parasite? Even if she wishes
merely to be a queen of society, would she not be more queenly if she
knew the trials and afflictions of others, and, better still, knew how
to help them? Would she be less a queen if she were not dependent upon
some man for her daily bread----"

A sudden flash of something, she could not tell whether it was pain or
rebellion or despair, crossed Mrs. Bell's face, and Silvia hesitated and
then went on rather hurriedly, as if, knowing she had struck a false
note, she sought to distract the other woman's thought from it. "I am
trying to demonstrate the glorious mission that belongs to woman when
she fills her predestined sphere of economic independence and political
freedom."

"Political freedom will come first and easiest," said the woman slowly.
She raised her eyes, filled with trouble, and looked full into Silvia's.
"The other is the greater boon, and will be harder to win. Some day I
may need to consult a lawyer; there is no one I would so gladly trust;
it is a personal matter and may adjust itself, if not----"

"If not, telephone to make sure that I am in, and I shall be glad to see
you at any time," answered Silvia.

There was the sound of a quick, firm step in the hall, and the bell
rang. Mrs. Bell opened the door and admitted Dr. Earl. After a few
questions and the exchange of greetings, he went over to the bedside of
his small patient. He found the child doing admirably, and glanced
hastily about the room, trying to make up his mind whether he might
offer any other assistance than that of a professional character. He
decided that he could not, and realized with a sense of pleasure and
relief that Miss Holland would be able to attend to such details with
more tact and skill than he could. Nor could he help the glow of
gratification that they should be associated in so vital a matter, one
that he felt swept away the petty conventionalities of society, and
placed them on a footing of understanding and common sympathy not to
have been acquired by months, or even years, of the ordinary social
amenities. After a few directions for the care of the small patient,
and a promise to look in the following day, he told Mrs. Bell how to
find him in case of any sudden need and took up his hat and stick.

"Were you going, Dr. Earl? Can I set you down anywhere? My car is at the
door."

He bowed, and followed her out. "We have an embarrassment of riches," he
said, "for my car is also here." Then, rather boyishly, moved by an
impulse he would have found it hard to explain, he said, "Suppose we
dismiss them both, and walk up through the Park?"

She acquiesced, and a few moments later they were strolling up the
Avenue, rather silently, considering that each had many things to say.
As usual, it was the woman who broke the silence.

"Tell me about all this. I never was more interested in anything in my
life," she said, looking up at him with a glance that carried the
subtlest flattery, and, while her query was vague, he understood and
made no attempt to evade it.

"It is a long story," he said; "have you time for it to-day? And it is
really no more remarkable than the effect you produced in your parade
yesterday, and I think the causes are the same. The world is full of
mystery, but before honest, earnest purpose of any kind the storehouses
of mystery will eventually open. The fact is, that the present
tremendous progressive movement in the world is spiritual and every
phase of it is interdependent upon every other element. The thoughtless
call these things 'fads.' In reality, each one of them marks a
crystallization of centuries of thought and hope and dream for the
advancement and elevation of the human race. The world, as usually
happens in spiritual matters, awakened to the importance of all of them
at the same time." He paused, as if realizing for the first time how
personal was the story for which she had asked. "You will think me an
egregious egotist, Miss Holland, I fear."

"No, whatever you may be, or I may think you, you need have no fears on
that score." She answered simply, directly. "Please tell me--if you
think I deserve so great a confidence."

He bowed gravely; there was no hint of coquetry in her manner.

"Directly after my graduation at Harvard, three years ago, I opened
offices in New York, intending to specialize in surgery, for I had
prepared for that, though I desired to obtain a general practice for a
while to put into effect and improve my theoretical knowledge. In a
misty way I soon realized that neither my own efforts nor those of my
colleagues were crowned with the success that should attend a profession
founded upon strictly scientific principles, as modern surgery is. The
chief cause of disturbance with me was that so many operations were
performed which subsequent developments showed might have been avoided,
but which at the time seemed imperative. I redoubled my studies of
_materia medica_, hoping to find a way by which this difficulty might be
obviated or overcome, and while my constant researches helped, I still
found much difficulty in arriving at accurate conclusions before
attempting an operation. I found nothing that satisfied me. I was also
greatly bothered and baffled by the large number of cases which the
surgeon encounters, controlled or dependent upon nervous conditions and
the futility of the drugs ordinarily given.

"While in this mood a friend of mine called at my office one Wednesday
evening by appointment. He was the general manager of a large utility
company that has to do with the people of every section of the
civilized world, and a man of rare judgment, knowledge of the world, and
poise. We were on most intimate terms, and I had already told him
something of these perplexities. This evening, I had supposed that he
was coming to see me professionally, and I had made other engagements.
As soon as he stepped into my private office, he said: 'Doctor, cancel
every engagement you have for this evening. I need you very badly in
affairs of my own. You are to ask no questions, but do as I request and
send me your bill to-morrow.'

"Of course I could not refuse him, so I arranged to go with him, and
then asked whether I should require surgical instruments or only a
medicine case. He replied that I would need neither, and I could gain
nothing from his manner, for he was very grave. At his suggestion we
walked, going up Fifth Avenue to the Park, and then across the Park to
the corner of 96th Street and Central Park West, where there stands a
great church. The rolling notes of the organ filled the quiet with an
impressiveness I had never felt before, and the congregation was singing
an old hymn with an earnestness and depth of feeling quite different
from most congregational singing. We entered and were shown to seats in
the balcony, in the front row, where we had an excellent view of most of
those below. 'You will find many of your acquaintances here,' he said,
and on looking around I was surprised at the great number of prominent
New York men and women in the audience.

"After the preliminary proceedings those that desired to do so were
invited to tell their experiences in combating disease, or other adverse
conditions. What I heard was a revelation. This experience,
corroborating, as it did, my own observations, emphasized how little of
the field of suggestive and mental therapeutics the ordinary medical
practitioner really filled, and I determined to explore that field
before going any further with my practice. I thanked my friend for
taking me to this place, and within a month I decided to go abroad. I
visited the institutions of note in Europe, where suggestive
therapeutics are practiced, and then went to India, where I spent many
months. There I found the original source of suggestive, mental and
spiritual treatment.

"If the Yogi of India could supplement his method of training the
subconscious mind with the knowledge which our regular physicians
possess, and could apply both with discriminating skill, we would have
the greatest human healing power ever known. The best I could hope for
was to apply as much of the wisdom of the Yogi and other cults in India
and Europe as I could master in the brief time at my disposal, and that
I am attempting to do. With all the perfection of system in training the
subconscious mind that characterizes a comparatively few of the
inhabitants of India, the millions are left without any appreciable
benefits therefrom, just as the millions here are left without the full
benefits of the special training of the few.

"We are but touching the borderland of this mysterious realm of the
occult, the subconscious and the spiritual forces that have such an
important bearing upon all phases of human life, and which, when
intelligently applied to the child in school and the direction of the
individual in his career, promise so much for the elevation, longevity
and achievements of the human race.

"The world is just waking up to the vast significance of the spiritual
teachings of Jesus Christ, and their bearing upon all phases and
activities of human life. When Christ told the Pharisees that 'the
kingdom of God is within you,' he carried the lesson, though little
understood then, and so fully comprehended now, that Christianity,
citizenship, government, health, happiness and progress are all
dependent upon the character of the ideals and purposes and daily life
of the individual.

"When Christ told the lawyer that to 'love thy neighbor as thyself' was
one of the essentials of salvation, he laid the corner-stone for a pure
and honest democracy, without which underlying principle there can be no
lasting democratic government. We now know, in medicine, that much of
longevity and good health and power of recuperation depend upon the
ideals of the individual, and their inspiring influence.

"It is too bad that with all our tremendous progress we allow bigotry
and prejudice to hamper us in getting the most out of the wisdom around
us as well as that of the ages, all of which is correlated. Yet very
often the orthodox Christian, who believes that Christ not only healed
the sick but also raised the dead, decries the Christian Scientist who
only professes to restore the sick on the theory that disease cannot
exist in an individual properly imbued with Christ's teachings. Too
often the orthodox doctor of medicine denounces the healer who overcomes
apparent disease through mental suggestion or arrests a nervous
breakdown in a patient by teaching that patient how to relax, when the
doctor himself does not hesitate to give bread pills in the first
instance and to recommend a sanitarium where relaxation is the only
thing attempted in the second. And I presume this quotation from the
Dhamma-pada, which is many centuries older than the Christian religion,
would be denounced as heresy by some of the Christian Scientists,
although it embodies the spirit and almost the words of their own
teachings: 'All that we are is the result of what we have thought. It is
founded on our thoughts; it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speak
or act with an evil thought, pain follows him as the wheel follows the
foot of the ox that draws the carriage.'"

Presently Dr. Earl hailed a passing taxi-cab, and gave the order to be
taken to the Whittier Studios. The drive home was silent. Once or twice
Silvia looked at her tall companion. She was frankly curious about the
Paris case, but something in the quiet, self-contained face of the man
beside her did not invite questions. On his part, John Earl was asking
himself why he should have given his confidence to this comparative
stranger, and the longer he thought about it the less able was he to
answer his question.



CHAPTER VIII

THE OMNIPRESENT EYES OF FIFTH AVENUE


The source of gossip in a village is the corner grocery store; in a
small city, what goes on about the public square; in the medium-sized
city, what transpires in the leading café; in New York, Fifth Avenue and
Central Park are the all-abounding sources of gossip. The Avenue has a
thousand curious eyes; those on the sidewalk peering into automobiles
and carriages for sensations; those being whirled along in vehicles,
straining their power in the quest of salacious information among the
throng beyond the curbstone. All New York passes along Fifth Avenue at
some time or another. All of one's friends are always passing along that
way when one does not particularly wish to be seen by them. If one is
walking, the friends are invariably driving; if one is driving, of
course the ubiquitous acquaintances are out for a stroll. Sometimes
people have been known to escape two-thirds of the omnipresent eyes that
line the sidewalks, pack the Avenue and infest the highways of Central
Park, but no person has ever been heard of who escaped all of them.

So the lot of our strollers was but the common lot of all, visitors as
well as resident New Yorkers.

While mutually absorbed, the one in reciting the tale, the other in
listening to it; while diverted and interested by the thousand sparks
that radiate from the batteries of youthful energy and enthusiasm and
tingle the sensibilities of a congenial comrade; while speculating on
the unknown vista from peep-holes that show only fragments, but
realizing all the vastness and richness of the world force and universal
sympathy possessed by each of them--it is not strange that in four
blocks on the Avenue they were passed by two ladies in an automobile,
who took more than an ordinary interest in their movements, and by a
dark-eyed, dark-haired man in another car, whose eyes gleamed and whose
cheeks blanched at the sight of their absorption in each other.

But the things garnered on the Avenue are never placed in cold storage,
and soon enough both of them were to hear about this stroll.

When Dr. Earl called that evening to take Mrs. and Miss Kimball to the
theatre he discovered that his reception in the morning had been
tropical compared to this one. He was compelled to wait fully fifteen
minutes before Miss Kimball appeared in house gown and slippers,
indicating her purpose to remain at home, and the bearer of a message
that her mother begged to be excused, as she had retired with a sick
headache.

In vain he sought for a reason for his frigid reception, and feeling
that his presence was an affliction he arose to go.

"I hope you had a pleasant stroll this afternoon," came in icicle tones.

This shed all the light necessary upon the character of his greeting.

The eyes of Fifth Avenue had not grown dim.

"Yes," he replied, looking at her steadily, "it was a most delightful
stroll."

She could stand the strain no longer; she came close to him and he
stooped and tenderly kissed her.

"Oh, Jack, why do you persist in having anything to do with her when
you know how unhappy it makes me!" she said in her gentlest tone.

They sat down and he related the entire story of the occurrences of the
afternoon to her. It pacified her to a degree.

"But Jack, dear, you will promise me never to see her again, will you
not?" and her tone was pleading now.

"I promised to go with my brother to a suffrage meeting she is holding
Thursday night. Of course _you_ would not wish to go, and I am certain
you do not want me to break my promise."

"I am certain," she said, emphasizing each word, "that I do not want you
to see her again."

"Let me understand you, Leonora, dear. There are many prominent New York
women in this suffrage movement. Some of my very best old-time friends,
I am informed, are participating in it. Is it your desire that I shall
cut their acquaintance also, or is it just Miss Holland you want me
never to see again?"

"Now, don't think I am jealous of her, for I am not. She is the most
conspicuous one in this suffrage movement on account of the awful
things she does, but I don't care to associate with any person who is
identified with this crusade. Neither does my mother, nor any of our
social set, and of course I would like you to feel the same way."

"But suppose I do not feel that way. Suppose my sympathies are with them
and my profession as well as my political predilections should carry me
among them?" he asked earnestly.

"Oh, Jack, what has come over you that you are so plebeian! Can't you
see how these women are cheapening New York society, associating with
workingmen and shop girls!"

"But that is what they should do in a democracy, and I am sure I never
saw better-looking women in my life than these same busy suffragists.
They have something to do, and are not dying of _ennui_ or
listlessness," he answered.

"Their stock argument," she answered, "but whoever heard of an
aristocracy based on such things as these women engage in. Promise me,
Jack, that you will have nothing to do with any of them."

"You are unduly wrought up to-night," he answered, "but I will promise
you that I shall do nothing to cause you unnecessary annoyance. You
must not be too captious, dear, and remember that I go Thursday night."

She started to protest, but he drowned the effort in a shower of
caresses and bade her goodnight. Each of them, in the silence of their
own apartments, thought long and earnestly of this interview. Leonora
Kimball had been taught to believe that the chief badges of an
aristocracy were complete idleness of the women, and the possession of
enough wealth to support such idleness. It mattered not how mentally
insipid or morally opaque or physically inane such women might be, the
true test of being fitted for the purple was whether or not they had
ever done any useful work, and whether or not they had money enough so
that the other members of their set might feel assured that they never
would do any useful work. An aristocracy of trained brains or unselfish
culture were meaningless terms to her.

But this night she was greatly disturbed over the attitude of the man
she was to marry. She had been quite honest with him when she asserted
that jealousy was foreign to her nature; affection did not run deep
enough with her to strike its eternal renewing fountain--jealousy. The
practical character with which she had been endowed easily enough
conducted affairs of the heart along paths directed by the head, and
while her professions of love were quite sincere and her loyalty beyond
question, yet she had not the remotest idea of the grand passion. She
knew that she was very fond of John Earl; that he was worthy of her;
that he could sustain her manner of life and that his social standing
was all that either she or her mother could desire. She also knew that
she did not wish to lose him, and much as she abhorred the suffragists,
she determined to be lenient with his present mood, certain she could
change it ere long, else of what avail was the all-powerful "silent
influence" upon which the Anti-Suffragists laid so much stress?

Earl was more than disturbed by her attitude, for he discovered traits
of character and a shallowness of sympathy that shocked him. His dream
of married bliss was the absolute _camaraderie_ he expected it to bring.
He feared now that she would not enter into his life or ambitions, and,
like too many of his married acquaintances, they would be seeking
happiness along diverse paths.

"However, it's all very new to her," he said to himself after an hour's
reverie, "and she is quite young. A few weeks will properly adjust our
relations."

The dominant characteristic of this young man was a deep sense of
justice, and while other feelings were all too manifest in his
subconscious being, he permitted himself only to try to solve the
problem of what was the right thing along the lines where he had cast
his future.



CHAPTER IX

LOVE, JEALOUSY AND MUSIC


The telephone bell in her apartment was ringing as Miss Holland entered
from her stroll, radiantly happy and at peace with all the world. She
took the receiver from the maid.

"Dr. Morris? Yes, I shall be home this evening, and glad to see you, of
course. Bring your violin and come by eight-thirty. Yes--yes. I meant to
have called you and apologized for my somewhat cavalier desertion of you
last night. I am sorry I was rude, I didn't mean to be, but come and let
me ask you to forgive me." Her tone was adorable and melted the sullen
mood of the man at the other end of the wire.

Having sworn that he would not see her again, having 'phoned to make an
appointment at which he meant to utter as bitter reproaches as he dared,
he appeared promptly at the hour set, ready to implore her grace and
accept with gratitude any smallest favor, any ray of hope she might see
fit to bestow upon him.

Like many another professional man in New York, in order to cater to the
class in society in which he hoped to establish his reputation and
clientele, Morris had found it necessary to live in a style which far
exceeded his income, although that was a good one for a man still young
in his profession. He was not popular with men, who regarded him as
rather theatrical and a _poseur_, but his music, a certain deference of
manner, a more romantic quality than is to be generally found among
American business men, gave him a great vogue with women, and he
cultivated them, especially the older ones, and they made life very
pleasant for him, introduced him to the right people, and gave him much
good advice now and then.

One of the smartest of these social leaders said practically one day:
"My dear boy, why do you let all these rich girls marry those silly
foreigners, without an idea to bless themselves with--dukes, debts and
diseases seem synonymous; you are not only clever, but you have the one
gift, saving the title, that commends these creatures to our girls."

He smiled his inscrutable smile and bowed. "And that is?"

"You seem to have found the lost art of making pretty speeches, and
paying a woman the small attentions that we all like so well. If I were
a man," went on this dreadful dame, "I should never forget to kiss my
wife and send her flowers and remember all the family anniversaries. It
is by attention to such small details as this that a man may purchase
immunity in larger and more important matters. I know this is most
immoral, but it makes the wife happy, the husband comfortable, and would
go far to decimate the divorce rate, so what more could you ask?"

"Perhaps I owe this to the fact that my father was a Hungarian
nobleman--oh, just a trumpery little title, with nothing to pay for the
necessary gold lace, so when he came to America he decided, like so many
of the revolutionists of that period, to be ultra-American, and dropped
even the foreign spelling of the name, changing the 'itz' to plain
'r-i-s,'" he answered. "I'm sure my music belongs to the other side of
the Atlantic."

"That accounts for it all," she said. "There is absolutely no reason why
you shouldn't marry almost any woman you want to. Why not find one who
can give you millions in money and the social position you need without
taking a generation to create one? I hope you haven't any foolish
entanglements," she added.

He flushed, but did not answer, and when a few weeks later he and Silvia
Holland had played together for some charitable entertainment, his
venerable mentor had sought him out, ready to bestow her blessing at the
earliest possible moment, approving his practical judgment and his good
taste. That was a long time ago.

He had resented the implication at the time; to do him justice, had
Silvia been penniless she would still have attracted him as no other
woman ever had. It was partly her personal charm, partly her music. It
may be true that the world of art is still the world, but it is a very
different world from that in which most of us live and move and have our
being, and Morris was conscious when her fingers touched the keys, and
he took up his bow and drew it across the strings of his violin, that
they entered upon a new and boundless universe in which sound superseded
all other mediums of communication, and seemed to take the place of
mere mundane sensation. Whether his passion for Silvia grew out of their
music, or the wonder of the music was a result of the perfect accord of
their natures, he could not tell. They had become one in his mind.

He fervently hated her various public activities. Here again the
ancestral traits dominated. He thought of her as a great lady, and being
that, she should have been content without anything more. Rushing madly
about doing things for other people implied a certain loss of caste. But
until the previous evening his discontent had been free from the bitter
draught of jealousy. There had been safety in the number of Miss
Holland's admirers, and when he was surest that she did not in any way
return his feeling for her, there had been balm in the thought that she
was too busy elevating the condition of her own sex to have much time to
waste upon any member of his. Instinctively he knew, when he intercepted
the first look between the lady of his dreams and his erstwhile college
associate, that the hour had come that he had dreaded. Silvia Holland
had at last met a man whom, consciously or unconsciously, she
acknowledged king. His rival was there, upon the threshold of her life,
and he was a rival to be feared. That he might also be a rival in his
profession, that he was so rich that he was far above the straits in
which Morris found himself more and more frequently involved, only added
to the flame that consumed him; life without Silvia herself would be
dull, colorless, objectless; life without her music would be but "wind
along the waste."

He had no patience with the theories of the newer medical practitioners
who refuse to be frightened by the cry of "professional ethics" or by
the demand that practice shall be "regular" whether the patient survives
or not; and yet while he denounced all forms of mental therapeutics, he
was conscious of a strain of superstition which he could in no wise
overcome. Weird folk-lore and uncanny rites kept up by some of the
primitive people of Hungary had had a strange fascination for him when
he was abroad. In himself, he found a singular mixture of the primeval
savage, and the ultra refined that approaches decadence. Of one thing
alone he was certain. To lose Silvia was to lose his soul; without her
there was neither here nor hereafter. Ruthlessly as he had brushed aside
the one woman in his life who came between them, he was prepared to
thrust out of his way any man who sought to become a part of her life.

It was in this mood that he entered her presence, and in this mood he
accepted her _amende honorable_, which she made with charming humility,
but when she would have led him to the music-room, for once he
hesitated.

"In a few minutes," he said, "but just now there is something I must say
to you. It is true that I was deeply hurt last night, but your regret,
so graciously expressed, emboldens me to think that you would not
willingly hurt me." He stopped, and she looked at him with a rather
puzzled air. "We have been friends for a great while," he said
irrelevantly.

"Yes," she said cordially, and somewhat relieved. "Haven't we? And what
a friendship it has been! A triangular affair, like a loving cup--you
and I and some one of the great masters of melody. Shall it be Chopin
to-night, or shall we begin with something lighter and finish with the
Twelfth Nocturne, as usual?"

She led the way, and stood by the piano, rippling her fingers over the
keys, and he stood before her, his face white and intense with feeling.
He laid his strong, brown fingers over the white ones, and raised them
to his lips, and Silvia laughed a trifle nervously. It was one of his
old-world ways that she liked, but disapproved with all proper
democratic fervor.

"Has it indeed been a loving cup from which we have drunk?" he said,
with passionate sadness. "I dare not think so, I dare not even hope so
much grace! And yet how is it possible that a man should feel what I
feel for you unless there is a response, little as he may deserve
it----"

He paused, and she took away her hand, and laid it lightly on his
shoulder as he sank down on the seat before the piano.

"Please don't," she said gently. "Don't you see that you are quite
right? If it were really, truly love that had come to you, I should feel
it also, there could be no question of doubting or daring; no thought of
hopelessness. Some time you will know that this is true, when some other
heart speaks to yours in the unmistakable tone of the one only love of
your heart. Each of us has his place in life, and in the lives of those
with whom we come in contact. No one can ever have your place; I can't
tell you how much rest and happiness you have brought me when I have
been a-weary of this world. Come, Orrin, don't rob me of my friend that
I may lose a lover."

By a herculean effort he restrained his feelings, and answered lightly,
"You shall keep your friend, my sorceress of song," but he added under
his breath, "Look to it, when the lover comes, for you may still lose
_him_." Then he took up his violin, and the night became a splendid
harmony, despite the discord that raged in his soul.



CHAPTER X

A DISCUSSION OF PROGRESSIVE WOMEN


The group that had foregathered about Mrs. Ramsey's tea-table that
Thursday afternoon had scattered and gone its several ways. The last of
them was bidding her adieu as her husband entered and joined her
brothers, who were lingering for a farewell word with her, each occupied
in characteristic fashion, John gazing into the fire that smouldered on
the grate, for it was a raw and chilly afternoon, and Frank endeavoring
to coax a last cup of tea from the silver tea-ball and the still
steaming kettle.

"If you really want another cup, Frank, let me have the tea-ball
refilled," Mrs. Ramsey said, and then laying her hand on her elder
brother's shoulder, "A new Lincoln penny for your thoughts, Jack. You
look as if they might be romantic, but I suppose you are really off on
the quest of the blooming bacillus or the meandering microbe, or hanging
over--what is it you call your garden beds of disease--a culture?"

He looked up and patted her hand. "It is too bad not to be able to be a
hero to one's own sister, but the truth is, I wasn't thinking at all,
just wool-gathering. By the way, Frank, are you going to motor down to
that meeting of Miss Holland's to-night?"

"Wool-gathering, he calls it!" said the younger man, letting his lump of
sugar clatter on his saucer. "I'd say it was all cry and no wool; at
least you are pulling none over my eyes. Am I going to motor down to
hear the protests of the proletariat to-night? No, dear brother, I am
not. When I go out to mingle with the down-trodden and oppressed I take
the 'L'; a surface car would be even more appropriate, but they take
forever, and I compromise on the 'L,' but you never did have any sense
of dramatic fitness."

"Might I ask why this sudden interest in the militant laboring ladies?"
said Ramsey, drawing up his chair before the fire, and lighting a
cigarette. "Are you going to obtrude your somewhat massive personality
upon the scene?"

"Yes, that's what I'd like to know," added Frank.

The doctor laughed rather diffidently. "Why not?" he said. "Why
shouldn't I go, if I wish to?"

Frank flung out his hands with a gesture of mock despair. "Now, wouldn't
that come and get you!" he said. "I appeal to you, Hilda. You were
present; you heard Miss Holland invite me to this Manifesto Makers'
meeting. You know she never said a word to Jack; she didn't even look at
him. He was foolish enough to let her see that he was already a convert
to her little gospel, and therefore no longer in need of her
ministrations. But as for me, 'I was a wandering sheep; I did not love
the fold,' and hence, as a good missionary, she feels a deep interest in
me. Off and on, I should say at least fifty Colorado women have tried to
make a suffragist of me. Some of them were very pretty," he added
reminiscently, "and I've noticed that the prettier they are the longer
it takes 'em to make me see the error of my ways. Now with Miss Holland,
I wouldn't mind letting her tinker with my political views so long as we
both shall live."

"Frank, you are incorrigible," said his sister. "If Miss Holland knew
what a flighty, inconsequent infant you are, she wouldn't waste a
thought on you, let alone a whole evening. What makes you want to go,
anyhow?"

"What's the use of her wasting thoughts on a solemn dub like our
brother?" he demanded aggrievedly. "What business has he trailing the
soap-boxing suffragers around when he is about to take upon himself vows
to cleave only to the daughter of a militant 'Anti' leader, some time
when he can jar himself loose from his professional cares long enough
for a honeymoon?"

"I'm afraid, Jack, you will find your prospective mother-in-law quite as
strenuous as the most ardent of the suffragists," said his sister. "I
haven't gone into this thing at all, I haven't time, but it is certainly
amusing to watch the 'Antis' outdo even the most ardent suffragettes by
way of proving their contention that woman's sphere is home. If they
were consistent, they would never appear in public----"

"Except by 'Now comes the counsel for the defendant,'" interrupted
Frank, "but they never are. There is a little bunch of them in Colorado
who have failed to command the same attention in politics that their
money imposes upon the social world, so they rush into type and get
themselves interviewed and asked to speak when they come East, all by
way of proving their sensitive and shrinking nature. I don't agree with
the suffragists, not a little bit, but I can fraternize with them; they
are sincere, but none of the 'Antis' for me; never saw one yet who
wasn't either a snob or so narrow-minded that a toothpick would look
like the Brooklyn Bridge by comparison."

"Hear, hear!" cried Jack. "Miss Holland has certainly made an impression
upon you; not that I see what difference it makes, since women already
vote where you hail from."

"That just goes to show how foolish a smart man can be," replied his
brother cheerfully. "You think because you may have a vote on the
enfranchisement of women that it is very important what you think, but
is it? Not at all. But with me it is different. I've paid office rent in
Denver for two years, and spent a third of the time here or in
Washington. I've looked in on two State conventions, and forgot to
register at the last election, but because I come from Colorado I am
considered an authority on woman suffrage, and when I say it's no good,
and swell out my chest and look gloomy, it has great weight, great
weight!" He leaned back in his chair and gave way to unseemly mirth as
he recalled some occasion on which he had evidently hoaxed some trusting
reporter.

"Nonsense, Frank," his brother-in-law answered. "I don't believe you
know the first thing about politics or suffrage, or what the women have
done or haven't done."

"There you wrong me," the young man answered gravely. "The first thing
to know in politics is when to come into the game and when to keep out.
Personally, I can't make my firm believe that it is cheaper to buy the
other fellows' men after they are elected than it is to try to elect our
own, and have them raise the ante on us, but they'll come to it after a
while. As to the women, bless you, voting doesn't change their nature,
and so long as women are willing to believe what men tell them, it's
mighty unsafe to trust them with the ballot. Before you know it, they'll
find us out, and then you'll see the first result of the suffragist
dream of heaven on earth--there'll be no more marrying or giving in
marriage. Oh, I'm dead against it!"

They all joined in the laughter that followed this sally, and Hilda
said thoughtfully, "If you boys are intent on this meeting, I'll hurry
dinner, for they probably begin early." As she rose to go, Frank caught
her hand with the piteous entreaty, "Oh, please make my big brother take
his marbles and go home. He wasn't asked to this party. Miss Holland
didn't say a thing to him. I don't see why he has to have first show
with all the pretty girls in New York!"

"When Miss Holland knows you, and all your native charm, she will never
smile again upon your older brother," laughed his sister, "but in the
meantime I suppose it's an open meeting, and we can't prevent his going.
But don't worry; his fatal beauty will but serve as a foil to your more
sparkling type. Besides, with your vivid imagination, unhampered by a
slavish subserviency to facts, you should be able to furnish canards
that will occupy all Miss Holland's time for a month."

As she left the room her husband opened the door, and her brothers rose
and remained standing until it was closed after her.

"If all women were like her----" Frank said impulsively, but Ramsey
stopped him.

"If half of them were like her," he said reverently, "I would be in
favor of turning the government over to them, certain that the hand that
rocks the cradle would never give this storm-tossed old world more
shaking up than is good for it."



CHAPTER XI

THE ADVANCING COLUMN OF DEMOCRACY


As the two brothers turned into the cross street that led to the hall
where the Industrial League had its headquarters and held its weekly
meetings, Dr. Earl laid his hand on Frank's shoulder.

"Dear old fellow," he said affectionately, "would you mind telling me
what on earth possesses you to come down here to-night? I'm not asking
out of mere curiosity, nor do I believe that is the motive that brings
you."

"Then if I say the pursuit of the good, the true and the beautiful, you
will not believe me?" his brother answered lightly.

"I shall know you do not wish to tell me the real reason, and will drop
it, but I shall not be deceived. I haven't studied my kind for this long
without knowing at least the a-b-c of human nature. You use your cap and
bells and an air of frivolity to conceal your true character from the
world, as other men cloak themselves in an atmosphere of austerity and
reserve."

"Discovered!" cried Frank, with a laugh, "after all these years in which
I flattered myself I had made such a good job of it, too. Truth to tell,
no mask and domino ever afforded such perfect protection as the jingle
of my jester's bells. I am apparently so given up to pomps and vanities
that nobody gives me credit for a serious thought, and so takes no pains
to conceal his own from me. It has long been one of the wonders of my
world how I hold my job."

"Well, since you put it that way, I have asked myself at times how you
have achieved the standing you have in your profession, a standing of
which we are all immensely proud, by the way. But if you are a profound
student, it is something recent; I used to think you learned too easily
ever to know how to study, and law is a vocation."

"Law is one thing and success in the legal profession is another," said
the young man oracularly. "Between our omnipresent legislatures which
spend our time and money repealing what we lawyers already know, and
enacting laws for the courts to set aside, these are what might be
called parlous times for the profession, but my long suit is not in
understanding statutes, but people."

Insensibly he had dropped his flippant tone, and was speaking,
seriously, with conviction. There was a moment's pause and then Jack
said, "And you go to this meeting because----?"

"Because, little as I like it, I am not such a fool that I do not know
that the enfranchisement of women is certain, and it may help me to
understand the new and troublesome element which is to be injected into
public life if I watch the workings from the beginning. Anyhow, it is
part of my business to understand these things, and hence my acceptance
of Miss Holland's invitation. This is the place, isn't it?"

The house differed in no wise from the rest of the block, save in its
air of thrift and cleanliness, and the brass plate on the door bore the
name, "Industrial League House." It was evidently a settlement with
resident workers, for a troop of boys was straggling down into the
basement, where a gymnasium had been established, and several young
women were standing in the hall discussing some matter connected with
sterilized milk. At the right of the wide hall there was a large,
old-fashioned double parlor, with plenty of chairs for a meeting of
sixty or seventy people, and perhaps half that many were already in the
room. They were singing as the two men entered, and Dr. Earl and Frank
stood in the hallway listening to the words sung to the soul-stirring
old tune of "John Brown's Body."

    "These are they who build thy houses, weave thy raiment, win thy wheat,
    Smooth the rugged, fill the barren, turn the bitter into sweet;
    All for thee this day--and ever. What reward for them is meet?
              Till the host comes marching on."

As they struck into the chorus, the boys downstairs took up the swelling
chords, and it was echoed from the street beyond.

    "Hark, the rolling of the thunder;
    Lo, the sun! and lo! thereunder
    Riseth wrath, and hope, and wonder,
          And the host comes marching on."

"I wonder whether they sing the sixth stanza," said Frank curiously.
Jack looked at him in amazement. "What is the song?" he asked,
conscious that he was getting new sidelights upon his younger brother's
character this evening.

"It's William Morris' 'March of the Workers,' and the verse I'm talking
about begins, 'O, ye rich men, hear and tremble.' Come on in, Jack," and
a moment later John Earl heard his brother's beautiful voice take up the
words:

    "Many a hundred years, passed over, have they labored deaf and blind;
    Never tidings reached their sorrow, never hope their toil might find.
    Now at last they've heard and hear it, and the cry comes down the wind
              And their feet are marching on.

    "On we march, then, we, the workers, and the rumor that ye hear
    Is the blended sound of battle and deliv'rance drawing near;
    For the hope of every creature is the banner that we bear,
              And the world is marching on."

Silvia Holland turned quickly when she heard the strong, unknown voice
join in the ringing words, and fairly gasped when she saw that it was
Frank Earl who was singing, while his brother looked at her with an air
as bewildered as her own. The moment that the song was concluded she
greeted them, and found them comfortable seats where they could see and
hear without being too conspicuous.

"We like to have men come to our meetings, and a few generally drop in.
I expect several to-night, for we have a speaker from Colorado, but we
don't often have the luxury of a baritone note for our music, so we owe
you a special vote of thanks, Mr. Earl," she said to Frank.

He bowed. "Oh, no; it's the other way about," he said lightly. "You
don't know how grateful I am to you for not singing the 'Day of Wrath'
verse, in which all of us who haven't succeeded in swearing off our
taxes hear what is coming to us. How well that girl presides," he added,
as a businesslike young woman dispatched the reading and adoption of
minutes and the reports of committees without a hitch or a moment's
useless delay.

"That is Florence Dresser," explained Miss Holland. "She is one of the
leaders in the Laundry Girls' Association. The secretary," indicating a
young woman who might have been a twelve-year-old child, save for her
sad, careworn face, "has nearly killed herself sewing for sweaters to
take care of her family; we've found homes for the children and she
lives here now; we are trying to make up to her for the lost years, but
it is hard work," and she sighed.

"We have one meeting a month when we have a program," Miss Holland
explained. "At the other three we consider various phases of industrial
life as it affects our own membership or women in general. I am rather
sorry that this happens to be a program night, for you would have had a
better idea of the scope we try to cover at the other kind, but perhaps
this will be more entertaining." She turned more directly to Frank. "A
business meeting here always makes me think of the 'Antis,' and their
twaddle about woman's sphere, which they would like to reduce to a
demi-hemisphere."

Frank nodded. "Of course there's nothing to that with intelligent people
now; woman's sphere is wherever she can make good, but I think it is a
pity that she has to take so large a place in the industrial world, and
I don't believe that voting will help her."

"But it has helped men," Miss Holland replied quickly.

"Not half so much as their unions," he answered. "The thing that helps
is getting together and standing together."

"Now you've lost your whole case," laughed Dr. Earl. "There has never
been anything that brought all sorts and conditions of women together
like the suffrage cause. You see that in England. In fact, you see it
everywhere. Women are waking up, and getting to their feet and
stretching out their hands--to us? Not at all, to each other."

"Oh, I wish you'd say that to my comrades here," said Miss Holland. "We
should all be so glad to hear you. Will you not let me present you for a
few minutes during the informal discussion?"

For an instant he wavered, then the face of Leonora flashed before him,
and he shook his head decisively. "I'm too new at this sort of thing,"
he answered. "Get my brother here to talk to you about Colorado, and let
the audience heckle him."

"We'd be delighted," laughed Miss Holland. "The lady who is to conduct
the question box, which is the main thing to-night, comes from Denver.
Her name is Carroll Renner; do you happen to know her? Will she be able
to hold her own? Sometimes they ask pretty sharp questions."

"Don't give yourself a moment's uneasiness," Frank answered. "There'll
be no twelve baskets needed to remove the fragments of the contumacious
when she gets through. A small blotter will answer."

"You know her very well, then?" Miss Holland said, openly surprised.

"Rather," he answered laconically. "She is the most persistent lobbyist
in the State, and she infallibly discovers the one deadly section in a
bill that you thought so well hidden that no one would ever notice it.
She's the most troublesome woman I know and the best fellow."

Miss Holland and Dr. Earl both turned and looked at the little woman,
who had come in a few minutes before with a party of people, with added
interest. She was very simply gowned in black, and but for a certain
twinkle of the dark gray eyes, and a rather mocking smile, there was
nothing particularly distinctive about her.

"Tell me some more," said Miss Holland curiously. "Sometimes the voting
woman helps and sometimes she hurts; if they're freaky, and of course
some of them are, they hurt dreadfully."

"I've seen her a good deal while I've been watching the Senate," he
said. "I'd been out there for several sessions of the General Assembly
before I located there. She came in one day with a letter from some
national woman's organization--wanted the Beveridge Child Labor Law
endorsed, I think. Anyhow, time was of the essence of the contract, so
we drew up a concurrent resolution, and she got a Republican and a
Democrat to introduce it together, and it slid along on its way to
Washington within forty-eight hours; she and a Mrs. Platt worked it
together. All they said was that the women wanted it."

Miss Holland gasped. "Go on," she said.

He lowered his voice, for the president was introducing a handsome girl
who was to give a reading.

"Another time there was a bill--I don't recollect it, but something
about committing girl prisoners, or something of the sort; I saw her get
pretty white, and shut her lips hard, and then she got up and started to
walk out, and one of the Senators saw her, too. 'Say, you don't like
that bill?' he said, and she answered, as if she could hardly control
her anger, 'It's infamous!' 'Oh, it is, is it?' he said. 'Well, then,
we'll make them adjourn over until we can get a conference and amend the
thing.' No fuss, no talk; just straight goods. That's Carroll Renner."

"And that's what it means to be an enfranchised woman!" said Miss
Holland, with a long breath. "None of us could do that here!"

"Well, that's part of it," acquiesced Frank, and then they listened
silently. The girl who was reading was not particularly well-trained,
but there were passion and pathos in her voice as she told the story of
the eaglet, chained to a log for fear it might fall if permitted to
attempt to fly.

"We also have our dream of a Garden," the strong young voice went on.
"But it lies in a distant future. We dream that woman shall eat of the
tree of knowledge together with man, and that side by side and hand
close to hand, through ages of much toil and labor, they shall together
raise about them an Eden nobler than any the Chaldean dreamed of; an
Eden created by their own labor and made beautiful by their own
fellowship.

"In his Apocalypse there was one who saw a new heaven and a new earth;
we see a new earth; but therein dwells love--the love of comrades and
co-workers.

"It is because so wide and gracious to us are the possibilities of the
future, so impossible is a return to the past, so deadly is a passive
acquiescence in the present, that to-day we are found everywhere raising
our strange new cry, 'Labor, and the training that fits us for labor!'"

"You recognize it, of course?" Silvia said to Dr. Earl, but he shook his
head, and Frank answered, "It's Olive Schreiner, isn't it? She does good
work, but I've never read anything that compared with that book on
'Woman and Economics,' and when an American writer has the whole world
sitting up and taking notice, I don't see why we don't boost her game."

There was a little buzz and stir while slips of paper and pencils were
distributed to the audience, and the questions collected for the next
speaker.

The presiding officer made the usual preliminary remarks, and introduced
Miss Renner, who gathered up the goodly sheaf of white slips in her
hands and ran over them as if looking for some query that would make a
specially apt beginning. Her face lit up as she came across one with
which she was evidently familiar.

"This is a favorite question of mine," she said cheerfully. "I should
miss it dreadfully if it failed to turn up, but it is such a troublesome
and comprehensive question to answer that I have set the reply to music,
and will have it sung for you, in order that you may all remember it.
The question is, 'What have Colorado women done with the ballot?' I
don't, myself, consider that a fair question, since none of us come down
to Philadelphia or New York or Pittsburg or any of the other cities of
sweetness and light and ask what you men have done with your
all-powerful vote, but this seems to be the main one, especially to the
masculine mind."

Dr. Earl laughed, for he had written the question, and seating herself
at the piano, Miss Renner looked up at a merry-faced girl, who began
singing to her rippling accompaniment a song of miraculous changes which
should have ensued upon woman's enfranchisement, and concluded with a
long chant, recounting some of the more notable achievements of the
voting woman, ranging all the way from joint ownership of children and
property, minimum salary laws, juvenile courts, medical inspection of
school children, State institutions built and endowed, equality in
inheritance and a host of other things, up to the adoption by her State
of the initiative and referendum.

After that, Miss Renner had her audience with her until she dropped the
last twist of paper on the table beside her. "You ask me why it took us
so many years to pass a good law regulating child labor, and why we have
failed in limiting the hours of woman's labor. As to the first, it is
true that our law was by no means equal to yours, but we had the means
to enforce it, and as a consequence we have little or no child labor.
You have a good statute, one of the best in the Union"--there was a
ripple of applause--"but in addition to this excellent law prohibiting
child labor," she went on evenly, "you have in this city alone over
twenty thousand child wage-earners.

"When we have gone to our legislatures asking for laws for the
protection of the weak, we have generally obtained them easily, when
they did not interfere with 'big business.' It took Illinois women nine
years to get a State Home for children. We passed such a law without
any effort whatever. In two-thirds of the States of the Union women are
trying to make mothers co-equal guardians of their children, and trying
in vain. That was the first law our enfranchised women wrote upon our
statute books. One only learns to understand these things by experience.
You may find it hard to see why railroads should go into a deal to
defeat an eight-hour law for women, but that statute was flagged by a
Pullman palace car towel and fell asleep at the switch, because that
company complained that it couldn't get a change of sheets unless
laundry girls could be compelled to work overtime. You don't dream when
you talk of 'big business' to what little business it will descend."

There was a sudden hush, and she flung out her hands with an impulsive
gesture, and there was a passionate earnestness in her voice that
gripped her hearers. "Let me tell you something you do not know when you
hold the women in the suffrage States responsible for conditions they
are the first to deplore. A handful of men in this city have more to do
with Western industries and their regulation than have both the men and
women. We have steel works; their policy is dictated from lower
Broadway. We have smelters; they are closed at the order of a syndicate
in this city. We have railroads, all of them controlled by your fellow
citizens, and it was the deals entered into between the representatives
of these interests and our local corporations that defeated the
eight-hour law for women, and every bit of reform legislation pledged to
the people. It was this condition, this failure of alleged democracy,
that made us go on record for real democracy, for the initiative that
makes it possible for us to enact the laws our representatives are
cajoled into pigeon-holing, for the referendum that enables us to scotch
the snake so that the people may have a chance to kill it. This was the
first great fundamental reform which the women demanded, and it was
owing to the work of education they began twenty years ago, and kept up
untiringly, that Colorado has won this great victory. Woman suffrage is
not alone for women, or to enable us to secure certain readjustments of
law. It is for our country, which cannot exist half enfranchised and
half irresponsible, half democracy and half a feudalism; half of it
privileged to shirk or exercise its civic rights, and half denied aught
but the burden of those rights. Women need the franchise if only to make
their influence, of which we hear so much, effective, but more than they
need the ballot, this nation needs the active devotion of its women to
transmute to golden fulfillment its leaden life; it needs, it must have
all that we can give it, your life and mine; if it is to go forward, its
sons and daughters must go forward--together!"

There was generous applause, and the two young men followed Miss
Holland, and she presented Dr. Earl and was about to introduce his
brother, when Miss Renner held out both hands to him.

"Hast thou found me, O mine enemy," she cried. "I'm awfully glad to see
you, Frank. I was much minded to tell how you helped me get my dove bill
through, but I feared they might hold you responsible for the defeat of
the eight-hour law and turn and rend you."

"You promised never to reveal any of my good deeds," he answered. "Keep
it out of the papers, Miss Holland. I can't afford to lose prestige as
the exponent of the Mammon of Unrighteousness."

"Unfortunately, he is a great god with legislatures, East as well as
West," answered Miss Holland, and then they all went out together.



CHAPTER XII

A TUBERCULAR KNEE AND A WORRIED SURGEON


Dr. Earl found his hands uncommonly full for the next few weeks. What
with the endless detail attendant upon the arrangements for his new
offices, and the perfection of his equipment, it seemed as if there were
not enough hours in the day to meet all the calls upon him. Leonora
looked aggrieved, and Hilda complained loudly that he had deserted them.

The spectacular manner in which the yellower part of the New York press
had handled his first case after his return, brought him telephone calls
and personal visits from many old patients, and a goodly number from new
ones, not to mention freaky interviews with persons representing all
sorts of cults. He was asked to address half a dozen different branches
of the New Thought movement. The Society for the Propagation of Esoteric
Buddhism asked him to tell them of his experiences in Hindoostan;
"Purple Mother" and "Besant" Theosophists sent committees to wait on
him, and various believers in Spiritist exploitations, astrologists,
psychometrists and all sorts and conditions of dabblers in occultism
pestered him with letters, circulars and requests of every conceivable
nature.

It had been no part of his plan to return to his native land and set up
a practice by which he should exploit to the world the results of his
study. A real student, he knew very well that a lifetime would be all
too short to devote to the as yet but little known field of mental
therapeutics, and nothing could have been more foreign to his character,
individually or professionally, than the fanfare of trumpets with which
his return had been heralded. The principles which he wished to prove
must be brought home to his profession if they were to be of great and
lasting benefit, and the publicity and advertising which a man of a
different calibre might have enjoyed, were annoying in the extreme to
Earl. He was still a young man, and modest withal, and he felt that
nothing could be more detrimental with the men whose regard he wished to
secure and hold, so he declined all invitations to speak, all requests
for articles or interviews, and gave himself up to getting back into
the harness. His patients, both old and new, took up more time than he
could have hoped for, and before the middle of summer he found himself
not only well launched in his profession, but with all that he could
possibly find time to do, and work piling up ahead of him, so that he
could only promise indefinitely when the Ramseys urged him to come down
to their Newport place, and Leonora had to put up with fractions of
Sundays until she and her mother left for Bar Harbor.

There were times when that young lady was by no means certain that she
wished to marry a successful physician. "You wouldn't like me any better
if I were unsuccessful?" he asked teasingly, but she came back to her
point, and he had to explain gravely that the theories of the laboratory
must be worked out in actual practice before they can be transmuted into
accepted facts.

"But you don't need the money," she argued, trying dimly to apply some
of the principles which he was fond of expounding. It seemed rather
hopeless, but with infinite patience he sought to make clear to her that
any human being whose life is not to be useless and profitless must
have some object to attain, some work to do which will develop his
character. When she replied that he had character enough, and her only
object in life was to be his wife, what more was there to say? Flattery
at once so charming and so complete left him defenseless, and he kissed
her and went away, trying not to ask himself whether a legal ceremony
could ever make wedded souls of two mortals of such diverse views of
life. And yet, she was so sweet, so sweet!

In spite of the many other demands upon his time, Dr. Earl saw his first
patient very frequently. Mrs. Bell did not appear cramped for means, and
provided everything that could add to her little daughter's comfort,
including not a few luxuries, which Dr. Earl felt convinced were the
gift of Miss Holland. If he had vaguely hoped that he might meet her at
his patient's he was destined to disappointment. Once her car arrived
just as he was leaving, and another time they passed on the stairs. He
told himself that it was better so, and yet when he took her hand, and
felt the firm, strong fingers, well-knit and efficient, for no soft,
yielding little five-and-a-half glove-wearer ever compassed Beethoven,
he knew that hers was a nature that could answer to his own, and his
hand tightened involuntarily. There was something in his look as he met
the blue eyes on the step above that brought the warm blood to her face,
and she swayed toward him almost imperceptibly, and then with a word of
courteous greeting went on her way, for she knew that according to
common report he was to marry Miss Kimball that fall. Her lip curled a
little, for she remembered Leonora of old; she knew her pink-and-white
prettiness and the few and simple enfoldments of her elementary little
brain, just large enough to hold a few attractive near-ideas, a thorough
comprehension of all the social conventionalities, and a fixed and
stubborn conviction as to what was or was not "smart." "If she has a
soul," Silvia said to herself with rather unusual heat, "no one could
tell whether it is in a condition of arrested development, hopeless
atrophy or complete ossification. As well seek diamonds in a common
sandbank as inspiration or aspiration in its sawdusty recesses." Then
she laughed, and said, "Cat!" softly, which was really most irrelevant.

The day that the cast was to be removed, Silvia appeared laden with good
things that they might celebrate the occasion with due ceremony.

With infinite care and gentleness, Dr. Earl cut down through the cast,
and took it off. The fracture was perfectly knit, but there was a slight
swelling about the knee, and as Earl examined it Silvia saw him compress
his lips in a hard, straight line. Without looking up, or changing his
tone, he asked the child if she had had a fall since the cast had been
changed. She answered readily that about a week before her crutch had
slipped as she was coming indoors, and she had fallen, striking the
injured leg against the stone step, and she winced as he touched the
thin knee.

"It's too bad," he said, "but there will have to be another cast about
this knee, and you must be more careful, little girl."

The tears came to her eyes, and her mother turned to him with an
expression of anxiety. His cheerful face reassured her. "We'll hope it
won't be for long," he said, "but there's no use taking chances. Has her
health generally been good?" he asked Mrs. Bell.

"The diseases common to childhood went rather hard with her and she had
considerable trouble with her neck and throat a few years ago," Mrs.
Bell replied.

He made an examination of the glands of her neck, but said no more.

In spite of many insistent calls elsewhere, Dr. Earl remained long
enough to help lend an air of festivity to the small party, which Silvia
presided over with infinite tact, and with a last admonition to Mrs.
Bell to keep the little girl in bed until he came again, and as quiet as
possible, he took his departure, and Silvia went with him.

"Tell me what is the matter?" she said, with her usual directness, when
they were out on the street.

"What makes you think anything is?" he parried.

"I beg your pardon," she said, a trifle coldly. "I should not have
asked."

He turned to her and stopped, mute reproach in his eyes. "There isn't a
shadow of doubt that tuberculosis has developed in that knee, and while
I hope to arrest it, and perfect a cure in time, I am very anxious,
nevertheless."

"But the break has united?" she asked.

"Oh, yes, and that goes to show that this condition is very recent, and
mild, but with her antecedent history no one can tell what may happen,"
he said.

"Antecedent history?" Silvia said, rather puzzled. "I thought you did
not know the family?"

"I didn't," he answered, "but you may remember that I looked very
carefully at the bruises about the knee when I set the leg, and I asked
Mrs. Bell some general questions but received no very definite replies
until to-day, and what you heard indicates that the child has already
had a slight attack of tuberculosis. I had counted on my treatment to
overcome the weakening influences of confinement to bed and crutch for
so long a time."

Silvia was silent, as if thinking out some plan, and said suddenly,
"Then it will all resolve itself into a contest between health and
disease, with a considerable handicap against the patient?"

"Yes," he said. "With plenty of good food and good air and the right
kind of care, there is no reason why she should not win. And I intend
that she shall," he concluded energetically.



CHAPTER XIII

AN ANTI-SUFFRAGE MEETING


Dr. Earl redoubled his attentions to Leonora, determined to give her no
just cause for complaint. The doubts that had beset him disappeared, for
no one could be more charming than Leonora, when she was permitted to
follow her own bent. Her mother also showed her gratification at his
devotion, and tried, with consummate tact, to wean him away from his
evident partiality for the suffrage cause. She gave him the best of the
tracts issued by the Anti-Suffrage Society; while he was waiting for his
offices to be fitted up, she took him to lectures and teas and
receptions where anti-suffrage sentiment abounded, and tried in various
ways to convince him of the superior social status of the "Anti" women.

The culmination was reached, however, when he escorted her and Leonora
to a meeting in a large theatre one afternoon. They were prominent
figures in one of the boxes nearest the stage, and Silvia Holland and
Carroll Renner, who were sitting well toward the rear of the parquet,
had ample opportunity to watch the effect of the meeting upon him.

Frank Earl, who had come in directly afterward and taken a seat just
back of them, leaned forward and talked while the crowd gathered. "Oh,
don't mind him," he said, when Miss Renner asked if that were not his
brother with the anti-suffrage leaders. "He can't help himself, but if
he doesn't go away from here ready to enlist under Miss Holland's banner
I miss my count. Even I should, were it not that I have seen the folly
of it all on its native heath. Don't make faces at me, Carroll, or
people will know you are a suffragette."

The theatre had been profusely decorated with flags, flowers and
bunting, and mottoes were festooned along the walls, one of which was
"God Bless Our Homes," and another, "Imbecile Children Will Be the
Product of Imbecile Voting Women."

Dr. Earl was much impressed with the audience, which, nevertheless,
seemed rather chilly and unresponsive. A dignity prevailed which either
could not or dared not give way to any decided demonstration, in marked
contradistinction to the enthusiasm which characterized the suffrage
meetings he had witnessed.

In addition to the bunting and the mottoes, there were a number of large
pictures, done in the style of the cartoonist. One of these showed a
colonial dame at her spinning-wheel, with the words "An American Lady of
Four Generations Ago" beneath it; beside it was the picture of a
masculine-looking woman, in a harem skirt, standing on a box at a street
corner, addressing other women similarly attired; this was called "The
American Suffragette." Another picture showed a nurse caring for the
sick and dying soldiers on one side, and on the other a suffragette
charging the police; this picture was labeled "Before and After Taking."

The meeting opened with a spirited address by the president of the
association, Mrs. Briglow-Jorliss, who was welcomed with a brief rustle
of well-bred applause, led by Frank Earl.

"Got to do it," he said, in answer to Carroll's reproachful look.
"You'll see; even Jack will catch on before the end of the meeting.
Always applaud these folks when they begin; maybe you can't when they
quit."

Mrs. Briglow-Jorliss told of the enormous gains recently made by the
"Antis" among the select people of the city, and passed off the suffrage
parade as merely a tatterdemalion host of the riff-raff of the city led
by a few notoriety seekers.

"You see, Miss Holland," Frank whispered, "what a good thing it is that
I came here; I never should have known that that parade wasn't one of
the finest assemblages of women in the world if I hadn't."

Silvia laughed in spite of herself, and the stout lady on the platform
went on piling up the indictment against her sex, and showing how
demoralizing the vote had proved to women; how the suffrage sentiment
was dying out in the West; how the "Antis" were organizing even in the
suffrage States to lift the curse from their kind; how much purer and
nobler politics would be without the influence of woman, and wound up
with a glowing peroration on behalf of the women who were fighting to
maintain the sanctity of the home and the elevation of the children.

Silvia gave an impatient ejaculation. "How can you take it so quietly,
Miss Renner?" she asked. "I confess it always stirs me up."

"It wouldn't if you had the ballot," said the smaller woman. "It's just
amusing, or tiresome, according to how well it is done. You women are
the worried and worrying Marthas; we are the Marys, who have chosen the
better part that shall not be taken away; we know it can't be, and this
is something like hearing people laboriously argue that the world is
flat with the sun revolving around it."

After the opening speech there were brief addresses by Dr. David Dearson
on the disastrous results to motherhood should women participate in the
active life of the nation; by the Reverend Jayson Yerkes on the Pauline
doctrine of the subserviency of the truly feminine woman; by Mrs.
Workman Werther on the decadence of feminine charm among women aping
men's interests in life, and Crawford Dorer, a labor leader, opposed the
movement because the natural timidity of woman would, he predicted, set
back all hope of militant progress for the workers of the world. The
"Antis" listened with a somewhat strained and puzzled attention, and a
group of working-women, out on strike, and sitting in the balcony, gave
an angry hiss, which was instantly suppressed. The last speaker, Mr.
Reuben Rice, was one of those wandering scribes who travel through the
West and write up suffrage from a Pullman-car window, and as he exposed
the weaknesses, the failures and the pitiful spectacle that voting women
make of themselves, he galvanized the audience into a semblance of real
life and interest.

Dr. Earl found the speeches entertaining if not enlightening, and after
the second, gave himself up to the silent enjoyment of collating the
arguments presented in juxtaposition. No sooner had one speaker
convinced his hearers that women would precipitate anarchy by their
radicalism than the next proved equally conclusively that an era of
dilettantism and millinery shop legislation would be the inevitable
result of woman suffrage; no sooner were they filled with the horror of
the degradation of politics by the class of women certain to participate
in it, than another speaker assured them that politics was already so
vile that any woman would be hopelessly contaminated who had anything to
do with the gangrenous growth, and yet another showed that women
wouldn't vote anyhow. It was all he could do to control the muscles of
his face when the Reverend Mr. Yerkes told them in one sentence of the
dissension that would rend families and in the next that married women
simply voted as their husbands dictated, and he could not repress a
smile when the doctor and the professor made it clear that if woman is
to reproduce the race she must not be expected to do anything else, only
to have Mrs. Werther show how woman must be free to take part in the
ennobling activities of the world, philanthropy, charity, etc., if she
is to "bring to motherhood that crown which is the glory of the race,"
and much more of the same sort. He heard the ancient argument about
bullets and ballots, and in the same breath his attention was called to
Semiramis conquering Assyria, the Amazons invading Asia, the triumph of
Sappho in song, Aspasia in the salon, Deborah among the Judges of
Israel, George Eliot in literature, and a host of others who had won
distinction.

The audience was told that it was entirely proper to agitate, cajole,
coax, beseech, threaten, bully and browbeat men into voting for
candidates and measures desired by the women; anything that stopped
short of blackmail and personal intimidation bore the hallmark of
refined femininity, but to take two minutes to accomplish results for
themselves by depositing a ballot on election day meant everlasting
damnation to all feminine traits! And Leonora patted her pretty little
hands, and looked up to Earl for approval, feeling that at last he must
see that Silvia and her cohorts were routed horse and foot.

When the attack upon Western women was well under way, and Mr. Rice, a
dapper little chap, looking like a freshman from high school, was
rolling out his arraignment of Denver women in particular as typical of
the nethermost depths to which the voting female may descend, Carroll
Renner wrote a few lines on a bit of paper, and gave it to one of the
ushers, and a few minutes later she had the satisfaction of watching the
portly Mrs. Briglow-Jorliss read it. When Mr. Rice had concluded his
diatribe, the lady stated in dulcet tones that Mr. Frank Earl was said
to be in the audience, and as he lived in Denver, and was known to have
strong views on this question, there was an urgent request that he
should come to the platform, that they might know from one who had long
witnessed with regret the deteriorating effects of woman suffrage that
nothing that they had heard was in any way exaggerated. She vouched for
Earl as one whom she had known since his boyhood, a member of one of the
most highly respected families in New York, and who had never failed to
reply when she had needed statistics from the field of woman's
dethronement.

There was a bustle and stir over the audience, and John Earl looked a
good deal startled, while Leonora was openly delighted. An excellent
speaker, and a trained debater, the occasion had no terrors for Frank
Earl. In fact, he confessed to himself as he made his way to the
platform, he had not had so much fun as he expected to enjoy in the next
fifteen minutes for many a long day. He was introduced with many rather
florid expressions, and began by stating his position calmly,
unmistakably, as opposed to the extension of the franchise to women. He
then made a few complimentary references to those ladies who nobly put
aside their own devotion to the home, the sphere they adorned so
admirably, in order to save their misguided suffrage sisters from the
evil effects of their mistaken zeal.

There were a good many suffragists and some suffragettes in that
anti-suffrage meeting, and Frank saw that the chilly audience had at
last thawed, melted, warmed up and was rapidly approaching the point
where it might reasonably be expected to boil over.

"I am unalterably against the extension of the franchise to women," he
repeated, and went on, "but my reasons for this opposition are concrete
and practical rather than abstract and theoretical, and are based upon
the experience I have gained from my residence in Colorado. I am also
opposed to it because it is all too evident that the suffrage should be
restricted rather than extended. The ballot should be the reward of
intelligence, education, and a comprehension of the great political
problems of the nation."

"Give us the truth," some one at the left of the parquet cried.

"I shall," he said, "and that necessitates correcting a few impressions
which seem to me at variance with the facts. If it were true that women
would not vote, or would vote as directed by the male members of their
families, I should not so much deprecate giving them the ballot; but
neither contention is true. Women do vote, and what is worse, they vote
in steadily increasing numbers. Out of seventy thousand votes cast at
the last election in my city a little less than half of them were cast
by women, and judging from the results, I must say that the men of their
families had very little influence with them. The possession of the
franchise has developed the secretive instinct among women; they no
longer confide their intentions to their doting husbands; they listen to
their words of wisdom and then--they vote the secret ballot as they
please."

There was a wave of laughter that swelled into a gleeful sort of shout
of mirth, but with an air of the most grieved surprise the speaker
turned wonderingly to Mrs. Briglow-Jorliss, who still beamed upon him,
though she was looking worried.

"But surely, Mr. Earl," she said, "when the disagreeable duty is thrust
upon them, the conservative women do what they can to protect the
interests of the State?"

He shook his head sadly.

"This is one of the most frightful discoveries we have made since women
began to vote. When Mr. Dorer speaks of the innate conservatism of women
he shows that he is not conversant with the woman movement. It is true
that there are a few intensely partisan women, who can be held by party
ties, but the rank and file observe no such allegiance. They read and
study, but in addition they go to the legislative halls, and there they
see that both parties make and break promises with equal facility, and
what is the result?"

"Well, what is it?" cried an impatient feminine voice.

"I hardly know how to break it to you," he said, "but the result is
revolt, revolt all along the line. Yes, ladies; women, lovely, refined,
gentle, educated women utterly refuse to be dictated to by political
leaders, and openly sneer at ward bosses. They can't be kept in line.
They no longer sing the sweet strains of 'The land of the free and the
home of the brave.' On the contrary, they raise the battle cry, 'Let
independence be our boast,' and in spite of the passionate pleas of
their natural leaders, they go on record for the most radical
legislation. Why, I'm told that nearly every so-called progressive law
enacted in my State has been passed by their continued efforts.

"They have no conception of the ideal of government laid down by
Hamilton; they will submit to neither checks nor balances, and would
subvert the whole scheme of representative government and replace it
with an out-and-out democracy. In accord with this mistaken view they
have adopted the initiative and referendum, carried it overwhelmingly,
three to one, in every county in the State, and I need not tell an
audience of intelligence that this is the most insidious form of attack
now being made upon the fundamental principles of our government."

By this time Silvia and all the suffragists in the audience were
applauding wildly, while Carroll Renner laughed till the tears ran down
her cheeks, and once more Frank turned a patient and puzzled countenance
to the presiding officer.

"I do not understand the applause, ladies," he said mildly, with a gleam
in his eyes that none but Carroll understood. "The thing I am telling
you is frightful. The enfranchisement of women means the end of the
Republic as it now is; it means the rejection of all theories that are
found wanting, and the putting out on the vast uncharted sea of
experiment; it means interference with those great business enterprises
that have built up, I had nearly said that 'make and preserve us a
nation'! It means a reckless disregard for property rights in the
sentimental desire to protect the individual, as if a nation could
become great and strong by individual effort alone, and without the
guiding and sustaining hands of statecraft and financial genius gripping
the rudder of the ship of state. They will not listen to the voice of
experience; they cannot be intimidated; they cannot be deceived for an
indefinite number of years; if the established order seems to them
unfair, unjust or illiberal, they have little respect for tradition when
it's results they're after."

"But if the anti-suffrage movement is growing as we have been told,
can't the anti-suffragists overcome those tendencies?" asked an old lady
on the platform.

Frank restated the question for the benefit of the audience, and then
answered with indescribable pathos, "I cannot conceal the truth from
you; improbable as it seems, when once this poison becomes virulent in
the body politic it spares none, and the very women who have battled
most nobly against this corroding innovation are apt to succumb to its
insidious influence; even the anti-suffragist, home-loving, God-fearing,
modest and retiring as is her nature, has developed a talent for
political intrigue that has led to the downfall of more than one of the
best laid plans of mice and men."

He tried to go on, but the audience was convulsed, not so much by what
he said as by his manner, and by the sudden turning of the tables after
the long tension had reached the snapping point. Still uncertain whether
to regard his as friend or foe, Mrs. Briglow-Jorliss, after rapping
vainly for order, was obliged to dismiss the meeting, and by some irony
of fate the orchestra played "Hail Columbia," and the suffragettes took
up the words and sung them with much unction, especially the lines--

    "Let independence be our boast,
    Ever mindful what it cost."



CHAPTER XIV

FAITH IS THE BASIS OF ALL PROGRESS


Early in June, Dr. Earl received a letter which puzzled him not a
little. It was complimentary in the extreme, and yet something back of
it made him say, "'For it is not an open enemy that hath done this.'"
The letter asked him to speak on "Mental Therapeutics" before a meeting
of one of the great medical societies of the city of New York; stated
that there would be no other speaker, but there would be an open
discussion after his address, and hoped he would find time to comply
with the request. Once he started to write his acceptance; twice he
actually wrote, declining, and then tore up both letters. It was true
that he was crowded for time, but he could make time, and in his heart
he knew perfectly well that he would have done so without a thought, but
for the unexpected complications which had occurred with Alice Bell.
Already he had heard one or two thinly veiled sneers at the result of
this much-lauded case. He had met Towers and Hershell, both of them
eminent in the profession, but the day before, and their greetings had
been singularly cool; once or twice at the club they both frequented
Morris had been little short of insulting, but his well-known
infatuation for Silvia Holland would account for that. A reporter from
one of the less reputable dailies had asked for an interview, and had
written an article which barely escaped being libelous. There were not
wanting those in the profession who openly denounced him as a "fakir."

The longer he thought about it, the more unwilling he was to act upon
his own judgment alone, and so he turned to the one unfailing counsellor
of his life, his sister Hilda. With him, to will was to do, so within an
hour he was in his sister's drawing-room, and not five minutes later
Silvia Holland entered and was warmly greeted by Mrs. Ramsey. The day
was dismal and the rain was descending in a steady downpour that gave no
promise of ever ceasing; it was late afternoon, and Mrs. Ramsey said
cordially, "Let us have tea in my sitting-room; nobody else will come
such a day as this, and it will be so much more cosy. I distrust from
his air of supernatural gravity that my brother has something on his
mind----"

"Then I will be _de trop_" said Miss Holland. "I will amuse myself in
the library until you are at liberty. I was awfully glad to get your
'phone message to come over, for it's a wretched day, and I was
wondering where I should go for tea as I came up town from my office.
Have your conference and never mind about me."

"Indeed," said Jack eagerly, "if you would be so kind as to give me your
opinion also on the matter I have called to consult my sister about, you
would confer a great favor," and even as he spoke he knew it was for her
quick comprehension he had been unconsciously wishing all the time.

She laughed and assented graciously, and they followed Mrs. Ramsey to
her own charming little room, as dainty and distinctive as its owner.
Upon the tea-tray there were cigarettes, and Dr. Earl rather wondered
whether Silvia would accept, but she shook her head. "No," she said
lightly, "I emulate men's virtues, not their vices; maybe my nerves may
need alternate sedatives and stimulants some day, but as yet I hardly
know that I have any."

Hilda lit one rather languidly. "My doctor says it isn't so much nerves
as lack of nerve with me; I don't know what you call it, but I confess I
find the smoke-wreaths pleasant; you won't join me either, Jack? Well,
let us have the story in all its native simplicity and be sure you
nothing extenuate nor set down aught in malice."

"I am told," he said, "that no well-bred New Yorker makes literary
allusions, and that to quote Shakespeare is to relegate oneself to his
century; however, this is the problem," and then he read them the
letter.

Hilda was openly pleased. "Why not?" she said. "It seems to me a very
courteous and appreciative note, and I should think you would enjoy
speaking before that kind of an audience, all of them picked men,
trained and scientific and able to take in shades of meaning and
distinctions that are wasted on the laity. Unless you are keeping
something back, I should say, accept by all means. But are you?"

He paused. "In just a moment, Hilda. How does it strike you, Miss
Holland?"

She held out her hand for the note, and read and then reread it, and her
forehead contracted. "I wonder," she said to herself, "whether this is
what Orrin meant when he said the profession would furnish Dr. Earl
enough rope--I meant to ask him what he did mean, but I forgot it."
Aloud she said, "Isn't Dr. Morris one of the directors of this society?
He's a fellow alumnus of yours; it doesn't seem as if he would be likely
to show you an affront, does it?"

"That's just the point," answered Dr. Earl. "Is it a case of 'mine own
familiar friend'?"

His sister looked at him quizzically. "When it comes to literary
allusion, Jack," she said, "New York might permit Shakespeare, but I
assure you it wouldn't stand for the psalmist. Do you really think it is
a plan to get you into some false position or to embarrass you with
criticisms or queries not made in good faith?"

"That is exactly what I want to know," he said.

"And what if it is?" asked Silvia.

He colored. "You mean I ought to be willing to bear testimony to my
beliefs whether they meet with acceptance or not?"

Hilda blew a ring of smoke ceilingwards. "That's the trouble with these
suffragettes," she said reminiscently. "They never question the
advisability of 'casting pearls before swine.'"

Jack laughed and Silvia turned on her reproachfully. "Hilda! That isn't
fair; haven't you just said yourself that this would be a picked
audience? Suppose a little clique of them have arranged the meeting with
the intention of heckling the speaker? The bulk of them will be there in
good faith, anxious to learn, willing to listen to your brother's
account of his experiences, and profit by them. If he can't gain a
respectful hearing there, where will he gain it?"

"Forgive me for being biblical to-night," Hilda answered. "I can't seem
to get away from the suggestion; you know it was the high priests and
the rulers of the synagogue that stirred up their followers to cry,
'Crucify Him, crucify Him!' And times have changed more than people. The
poor will hear gladly enough of healing that is to be had without money
and without price, and operations that may be avoided by simply keeping
well, but my experience is that the fetish of the professional man is a
jealous god, given to heresy hunting, and bowing down and worshiping at
the shrine of 'regularity.' They want to preserve the _status quo_ at
any cost."

"Yes," said Silvia bluntly, "even after it has long been lost. They are
like people who might discover an ostrich egg-shell after the bird was
half grown, and go chasing after it, trying to put it back inside the
shell. I think it is Emerson who says that there are quantities of
people who are always trying to become settled, whereas our only
salvation consists in being constantly unsettled. I think the English
women are infinitely braver and finer in their attitude on the suffrage
question than we are. What I feel, Dr. Earl, is this: we have come to a
time when nothing is really worth while unless it is worth fighting for.
There are other worth while things, of course, for the laboratory man or
woman, but for those of us who are in the thick of the fight, who want
to do things _now_, it is necessary that we should be willing to do
battle for our beliefs."

"But is that the way to win?" asked the doctor. "We've all heard about
catching flies with molasses, to use a homely simile."

"Yes," responded Silvia; "the more molasses the more flies. No, the old
methods are gone or are going. Do you suppose anything would do the
suffrage cause as much good in this country as clubbing a few old women
who want respectfully to present a petition to the other old women in
Congress? A few years ago a petition was presented, signed by a million
women, and a jocose member rolled it down the aisle with his foot,
saying it might as well be signed by mice! But just let them try the
English methods and every State in the Union would enfranchise its women
just as soon as they could get a popular vote on it." She stopped short.
"Oh, I beg your pardon, doctor, I didn't mean to give you a suffrage
lecture."

"You are not," he said. "At least, what I understand is that you are
trying to make me see that, the spirit of the age is the militant
spirit, that does not wait to have its own presented to it, but takes it
wherever it finds it." She nodded and he went on: "I think that is true,
but with this difference between the illustration you cite and the case
in point. You women must be passionate enthusiasts to win, because the
thing you want is concrete and imminent and personal. I have no
intention of setting up as a _vade mecum_, founding a new cult,
proselyting or even preaching my own doctrines; in the first place I
shall change them as I discover better ones, or when they fail to bring
results, and in the second I shall be too busy practicing my theories to
find time to exploit them."

"There you are wrong," said his sister. "When a man like Jenner comes
along that is the time for practicing, but when smallpox has been rooted
out and tuberculosis forgotten, men will still read what Socrates had to
say of immortality and the sermon on the mount. When you hear people
belittle the written and the spoken Word, it becomes us to remember that
'In the beginning the Word was God,' and all that we know of past
civilizations is the word they have left behind, painted on their stony
walls or burned in a brick to say, 'After me cometh a builder. Tell him
I too have known.'"

"But, my dear sister," Jack answered, "don't you think assuming the rôle
of the teacher may be just a trifle, only a trifle, presumptuous on my
part?"

"I don't quite know what your new views are," she answered.

"They are not new," he said. "In fact they are most of them of such
hoary antiquity that they are lost in the mists that brooded over the
face of the deep. It is only the application that is new. Even that has
always been understood by certain great souls. Pythagoras is said to
have taught the Greeks to believe in metempsychosis for the purpose of
making them kinder to lesser forms of life; like many beauty worshipers
they were frankly inhuman, and it took heroic measures to create even a
glimmering perception of the unity of life which is the basis of all the
great world religions, whether it be Buddha's 'Who hurteth another
hurteth himself,' or Christ's commandment, 'Love one another'; the Yogi
looking first at the prince and then at the pauper and saying, 'I am
that,' or Father Damien going into voluntary exile for the sake of the
souls of the wretched lepers. The Prince of Peace preached the doctrine
of spiritual inspiration, and the King of Conquerors said 'Imagination
rules the world.' Jesus or Napoleon--both knew that back of the visible
man himself is the thought of the man, which controls him, and other men
through him, if it possesses power and vitality and truth."

"Then it is a kind of new thought?" asked Hilda.

"Rather a renaissance of old thought. The modern quest of the Grail is
not for the crystal cup that held the holy elements, but for the divine
life itself, the principle that inspires men to action. The philosopher
of our day is not a hermit, theorizing about vague abstractions, but
vitally alive to the problems that confront this day and generation, and
modern psychology is changing all the methods of the great processes of
existence. Education, medicine, law, are all in process of
transformation. Grandsons of the men who denounced Mesmer as a charlatan
thronged the clinics of Charcot."

"Yes," said Silvia, "and within the next decade Münsterberg will have
compelled a complete remodeling of our forms of legal procedure. No
attorney worth his salt would undertake to ignore the apparatus devised
by the psychologist, and the time is nearly gone by when, as he says,
courts will prefer to listen to the 'science' of the handwriting
experts, rather than permit the examination of a witness by methods in
accord with the exact work of the psychologist."

"That is true," assented Jack, "and not the least gratifying part of the
whole matter is that it isn't the unimportant who are the ones to speak
respectfully of the changing ideal; in fact, the smaller a man's
calibre the more sure you can be that he will cling to the established
order. It is only very great men who have the courage of their
intuitions long enough to prove them. Münsterberg can afford to say what
he thinks. Now if I go to this meeting and tell these men that 'there
are cases where a fact cannot come at all unless a preliminary faith
exists in its coming,' what do you think they will say?"

Hilda smiled. "Most of them will suspect you of quoting 'Science and
Health.' If they accuse you of it, read them the rest of the paragraph."

"What is it?" asked Silvia eagerly.

"I can find it in a moment," said Hilda, going to the bookshelves, and
taking down a modest olive-colored volume. "Here it is. 'And where faith
in a fact can help create the fact, that would be an insane logic which
should say that faith running ahead of scientific evidence is the lowest
kind of immorality into which a thinking being can fall. Yet such is the
logic by which our scientific absolutists pretend to regulate our
lives.' That is from the late Professor James, who is said to have been
the profoundest thinker this country has ever produced, and he has said
much more equally startling to those little minds that, like full
bottles, have no room for more."

Dr. Earl threw back his head and laughed; his quandary was over, his
course settled. He turned to Silvia with a genial smile. "Score one more
victory for the Feminists," he said. "I wonder if there ever has been a
time, anywhere on earth, where women were actually and aggressively
noncombatants. The Spartan woman handing over her husband's shield is
typical. Whenever and wherever there has been a cause worth fighting
for, worth dying for--always and forever we can see the figure of the
woman, shield on arm and javelin in hand, standing at the door of the
slothful warrior's tent, calling him to action. Sometimes the eternal
feminine leads on, but very frequently, I regret to say, it has to get
back and drive, and sometimes if it did not kneel and push I fear the
wheels of progress would not revolve at all; that we do go on, slowly
and uncertainly, it is true, but that we go on at all, is due to the
woman soul that will not let us waste our years in the wilderness when
the land of promise is so near at hand. Ladies, I go!"

He rose as if to make good his words, but Hilda entered a peremptory
negative, and it ended by his staying to dinner and spending a long and
utterly delightful evening, which became in a sense the beginning of
what he felt was a new epoch in his life. This was the understanding,
the fellowship, the _bon camaraderie_ that gives existence its zest and
permits one to dream of life eternal without a horror of impending
weariness and boredom.



CHAPTER XV

AN EVIL PROPHECY BEGINS TO BEAR FRUIT


Leonora and Mrs. Kimball accompanied Dr. Earl to the meeting of the
medical society, and if he had some doubts whether or not she would be
able to follow his discourse perfectly, he had none whatever as to his
own pride and pleasure in her dainty loveliness. She was gowned in
white, and the season's styles were particularly becoming to her
graceful and well-rounded figure. Her radiant face with its sensitive
coloring resembled the delicate glow of one of those rare Sevres vases
of the Empire Period.

She appreciated the compliment of the invitation, as people always
appreciate the compliment of being invited to distinguished gatherings
where the subjects of discussion are likely to be much beyond their
range of knowledge or understanding.

There was a large attendance, for while many members of the profession
had come from idle curiosity, most of those present were interested in
the views of any man of standing who might throw new light upon the
successful application of either medical or surgical remedies.

Whatever criticisms may be passed upon individual practitioners, or
however many Bourbons may exist in the fraternity, yet it must be
apparent to the student of such matters that nowhere in the world does
as large a percentage of the medical or surgical profession adopt new
and improved methods of treatment of the maimed and the ill as in the
United States. And nowhere in the world are such new and improved
methods applied with anything like the aptness or skill as by American
doctors of medicine or surgery.

The old school, the newer school, the newest school of legally
recognized practitioners were there in force, as well as numbers of
those who were effecting remarkable cures without any special sanction
of law for their methods.

Modestly and earnestly, Dr. Earl discussed the subject that had been
assigned him, amplifying as much as his time would permit, and
occasionally citing authorities bound to command respectful attention
from scientific minds.

He was aware that he had the sympathy of most of his audience, and he
was just as fully conscious of the hostility of Drs. Morris, Tower,
Hershell, Bainbridge and two or three more of those who believed with
something approaching fanaticism that all physicians and surgeons must
adhere strictly to what they denominated "standard methods."

While Leonora could not comprehend the larger significance of his
discourse, it gratified her pride and pleased her vanity that her
fiancée was a man who could obtain such a hearing from the medical
profession. The discussion that followed the address was animated and
intelligent, and if the malcontents had intended any discourtesy to Dr.
Earl their plans went awry.

Dr. Earl found himself plunged deeper and deeper every day in the
seemingly innumerable duties that crowded upon him. Summer came with
tropical heat, but feeling that he had already enjoyed a long vacation,
he made no plans, save to take his week-ends out of town, and prepared
to keep office hours all summer.

Early in July, Leonora and her mother went to Bar Harbor and the
Ramseys to Newport. Frank had gone West in May. He would have missed
them had he possessed a free moment, but the first of August found him
as busy as ever, in spite of the fact that the city was deserted by the
fashionable world. Sickness has fashions of its own, and the fame he had
achieved as "the surgeon who cures without operating," brought him not a
few calls from those who had nothing to commend them save their
suffering and their faith. Every doctor worthy the name has a set of
books kept only by his recording angel, and Earl's invisible guardian
made many entries that summer, and there were times when even the
insistence of Leonora could not make him feel willing to leave those who
seemed so wholly dependent upon his presence for their physical welfare.

Now and then, in spite of his all-absorbing work, there came to his
sensitive consciousness a feeling of foreboding and dread that he could
not explain, save by some subtle law of suggestion, as he recalled half
in mirth and half in seriousness the dark prophecies of the astrologist
at the suffrage ball. He had suspected his brother Frank, and when he
learned that the seeress was Miss Renner, that suspicion had been
confirmed; Frank might have given her the date of Leonora's birthday,
but he had nothing to do with the warning she had given him that
something would happen within the next twenty-four hours which would
have a bearing on his whole career. Within two hours he had treated
little Alice Bell, and out of that event had grown his more intimate
acquaintance with Silvia, and the marked hostility of Dr. Morris. The
child was doing as well as could be expected, but he was greatly
disturbed over her condition, and was building up her general health in
the hope of overcoming the disease.

He had asked Miss Renner one or two questions, but she had evaded him,
and while he had thought of calling on her and asking for the promised
horoscope, which she did not send, the idea seemed absurd, and he had no
time to carry it out.

On the fourth of August he received a summons to come to Magnolia,
Massachusetts, to attend a former patient who was spending the summer
there, and he left New York, intending to remain a week.

His movements had become a matter of interest to the ubiquitous
newspaper reporter, and as the dog-days in New York were not prolific
in startling items, the fact of his being sent for to attend a prominent
New York man at Magnolia was seized upon and made into a fairly readable
first page news story.

He arranged for the care of his patients, saw the Bells and told them of
his intended absence, and spent some time talking with the frail little
child who had become greatly attached to him. As he rose to go, he
turned to the couch once more. "What shall I send you from Boston,
little Miss Alice?" he said kindly, and the girl replied in true child
fashion, "Candy." He shook his head. "You know I don't approve of much
candy for small girls; but you shall have something better," he said,
"you may be sure I won't forget," and with another good-by he was gone.
He took the midnight train for Boston, and his patient's motor car was
waiting for him when he arrived there.

Perhaps it was the excitement of thinking what the "something better"
could be that kept Alice Bell awake that night; whatever it was, when
Silvia Holland saw her the next morning her heart sank. She had a
feeling that she was in some way responsible for the child also, and
that she was still Dr. Earl's assistant. She watched her while she
talked to Mrs. Bell, and suggested, in a tentative way, that Mrs. Bell
should go to some quiet country place for a month, but the woman shook
her head.

"I cannot leave the city, now," she said. "I have a great quantity of
sewing that must be done for Miss Lanier's wedding in September."

"Couldn't you take it along?" asked Silvia.

"No," she said quietly, but decidedly. "Some of the things she wants
fitted, and I have said I would be here any time she wanted to run into
town. Besides, there are other reasons why I cannot go away now." She
controlled herself with an effort. "I can never tell you, Miss Holland,
how thankful I am for the work you have brought my way. You can't
understand, no woman who has never been anxious to know how she was
going to get the rent can understand what a blessing it is to be
independent! You are doing great things for all women, Miss Holland, and
not forgetting individual women as some people would, but _do_ try to
make girls understand that they can never be free so long as they are
dependent on somebody else for their bread and butter."

Silvia flushed. "You're not fretting because of the paltry little sum I
advanced for your rent, are you?" she said. "I thought we were friends,
and such things should not be spoken of between friends."

The woman turned to her with a face in which gratitude and some great
sorrow were contending emotions, and caught her hands and held them
tight.

"No," she said, "I don't mind being under obligations to you; I'm almost
glad to be, for the sake of knowing such a woman. You can do a kindness
without making it a burden; there are people who pay a debt as if they
were doing you a favor. The only thing I mind is that I am not more
worthy of all you have done for me."

Silvia put her hands on the other woman's shoulders. "Don't talk to me
of unworthiness," she said. "You are a brave woman and a devoted mother;
it is one of the crimes of civilization that you should lack for any
creature comforts, and you shall not any more. You shall earn what you
need yourself, and this fall I intend to start a class of girls in
domestic economy, and you shall teach them how to make these pretty
things you fashion so exquisitely."

An indescribable look of pain and rebellion passed over Mrs. Bell's
face, and she turned away from Silvia, with a quick gesture of
renunciation.

"In the meantime," Silvia went on, feeling that the time had not come to
seek any further confidence, "I am going to borrow Alice. I want to take
her up to Nutwood for a week or two, and as I'm going this noon, suppose
you gather her things together, and I'll take her right along."

The little girl gave a cry of joy, and then her face dropped. "But,
mamma," she said, "will I miss my present from Dr. Earl?"

Her mother smiled and explained that the doctor had promised to send
Allie "something better than candy" from Boston, where he had gone the
night before. "I will forward it," she said; "you can trust mother for
that."

"He has been very good to you, hasn't he?" said Silvia absently,
thinking of him once more as she had seen him first, as he bent over the
child, the sleeves rolled back from his powerful white arms while he
bathed the matted locks and set the broken leg.

"He has that," said the woman laconically. "I'm glad to have Allie go
with you, for she would miss him; he said he wouldn't be back for a
week. Now be a good girl, Allie, and do just as Miss Holland tells you,
and you will write mother a little letter every day, and mother will
write to you." She flung her arms about the child in a sudden passion of
emotion, but the eyes that looked into Silvia's as she took her hand
were dry and wretched.

"I wish you could tell me all about it," Silvia said impulsively.

"I shall, soon," she answered; "unless Fate turns kind for once, I shall
tell you all, soon, very soon."



CHAPTER XVI

THE MYSTERIOUS MURDER OF EMMA BELL


The crowd going home from the resorts and roof gardens August 9th was
startled by the wild cries of the newsboys: "Extra! Extra! All about the
mysterious murder!"

Murders are not so rare in New York as to cause any genuine sensation
among its people when one is announced in the public press, but mystery
has ever been attractive to the human race, and the details of the
present case as contained in the columns of the papers were so involved
in conjecture as to arouse the interest of every reader. The only facts
that were clear were that Mrs. Emma Bell had been found dead in the
sitting-room of her apartment on East 56th Street with a box of candied
fruit on the table near her, which had just been opened, and which,
according to the postmark stamped on the paper enclosing the box, had
been mailed to her from Boston. Written on thin paper that was so
pasted as to cover the entire top of the box was the inscription, "With
best wishes to you and Alice. J. E."

A weird description of the lifelike appearance of the woman when found,
seated in her chair, with eyes staring and pupils dilated, was given in
the best reportorial style. The coroner had taken possession of
everything and had ordered the apartment sealed until an inquest could
be held. Whether or not the candied fruit had anything to do with the
death, and if so who could have sent it, were all matters of speculation
which the various writers had covered in from one to four columns,
according to their respective imaginative qualities and newspaper
instinct, but none of them gave the slightest intimation as to the
suspected person, if murder really had been committed.

More or less accurate likenesses of Mrs. Bell were given with all the
events of her life that seemed spectacular, the most prominent of which
was that her neighbors had long speculated as to her source of
livelihood, since her husband's death some four years previously, and
with characteristic charity such speculation led to hints along
salacious trails and the dark recesses of public suspicion. The events
of the injury to her little girl, and her treatment by Dr. Earl, and
the devotion of the volunteer nurse, lacked nothing in their interesting
narration in connection with the supposed murder mystery, and assisted
very materially in enhancing that mystery through the glamour of
prominent personages who were so well in the foreground of the story.

The coroner's jury sat upon the case as coroners' juries have been
sitting upon similar cases ever since English jurisprudence advanced to
the stage of not executing people on suspicion. There was the same dank,
solemn atmosphere of the morgue, the same density of intellect and
understanding, the same owl-like gaze of stupidity that passed muster
for wisdom, the same perfervid desire to get a certificate on the public
treasury without undue mental or physical effort, the same ambition to
give a duly impressive but harmless verdict, that must have
characterized the first empaneled jury of this nature. Never by any
possibility could these original qualities have deteriorated, and it
would require a wild stretch of the imagination to note any traces of
improvement.

The reading of the verdict of a coroner's jury has never been known to
disqualify any person from serving on a trial jury in a murder case by
unduly influencing the opinion, or arousing the passions of such
involuntary candidate for the jury box. No jails have been stormed or
revolutions started by the verdict of an American coroner's jury, and
New York was not destined to have its sensibilities too harshly jarred
by a sensational verdict in this case.

After solemnly sitting for hours, the jury found that "Said Emma Bell
came to her death from the effects of hydrocyanic acid administered by
some person to the said jurors unknown, and whether said hydrocyanic
acid was administered with felonious intent the said jurors cannot at
this time ascertain."

The facts established by the jury were, that the woman was dead; that
hydrocyanic acid had killed her; that the cause of death was so evident
that it was only necessary to examine the contents of the stomach; that
apparently none of the candied fruit had been disturbed, as the box was
even full and the top layer as smooth as when first packed; that a
chemical analysis proved that no poison of any kind was in any of the
candied fruit in the box; that no vial could be found on or near the
woman after death, and that a thorough search of the apartment failed
to disclose any of this or any other kind of poison; that the woman was
quite alone in the apartment when death took place and was only
discovered by the janitress at ten o'clock at night, at which time she
entered the apartment, having been invited to sleep there during the
absence of the child in the country, whither she had gone a few days
previous to this for a week's stay; that Mrs. Bell had been doing her
own work for several months and taking in fine sewing.

But ambitious newspaper reporters bent themselves to this new task, as
is their custom in all matters of public concern, _i. e._, to outrival
the most noted expert in the line of that particular phase of public
endeavor uppermost at the time. Theories were advanced in the daily
papers that made Sherlock Holmes seem like a novice in detective work
and Lucretia Borgia a mere infant in the skillful administration of
poisons. The regular detectives, both public and private, were aroused
by the mystery that shrouded the case. It remained, however, for the
ubiquitous reporter, to whom society really owes a debt along every line
of worthy public endeavor impossible either to estimate or discharge,
to discover that the handwriting on the box was that of Dr. John Earl,
and that he had been in the habit, for months, of paying almost daily
visits to the Bell home; that he was at Magnolia Beach, but a short ride
from Boston, at the time the package was mailed there; that ostensibly
he had visited the Bell home to attend the little girl who was injured
by the automobile, but that the mother was undoubtedly much interested
in him; that there were many rumors among surgeons that his operation on
the leg of the child had produced tuberculosis; that the district
attorney had received anonymous letters to the effect that Earl had
deliberately attempted to poison both mother and daughter, to be rid of
an unpleasant _liaison_ on the one hand and the evidence of his lack of
skill on the other; that the child had gone to the country after he left
the city and he still supposed her with her mother, hence the saving of
the child's life; that the box of candied fruit was only a blind, and
that some other package must have arrived containing the poison in
another form, possibly in the same wrapping paper with the fruit; that
no possible motive could be discovered for the poisoning by any other
person and no clue could be found leading to a suspicion of any one
else.

With five hundred thousand visitors constantly within the gates of their
city; with a shifting population of nearly a million more; with
permanent residents absorbed in the most strenuous existence known on
the American Continent; with sensation in high life of such frequent
occurrence as to benumb any effort to form a discriminating opinion--the
people of New York (visitors, temporary denizens, those of fixed
habitation) welcomed these ready-made conclusions of the daily press and
blindly adopted them as their own.

Individual character counts for less in the metropolis of the United
States than it does anywhere else in the nation. There are several
reasons for this, but the principal ones are a lack of time on the part
of the permanent residents to inform themselves on such matters and a
lack of interest in the subject on the part of the remainder of the
population. The result is, that when charges are made, with any degree
of sanction from the constituted authorities, against ordinary citizens
of hitherto blameless lives, the great majority of the people accept
such charges as well founded until they are effectively disproved.

So it was in this case. Just as soon as the incriminating facts
seriously involved Dr. John Earl it was taken for granted that he was
guilty, and such presumption was certain to grip the public mind until
his innocence could be duly established, if such result were at all
possible.

This was also the golden opportunity for the Bourbon members of his own
profession to assail his theories and, secretly and openly, certain of
them charged that the result in Dr. Earl's case was but the natural one
where "standard methods" of practice were set aside for the, as yet,
"unscientific paths of suggestive therapeutics," as these reactionary
medical men denominated Earl's system, for he had cured through
suggestive methods a score of patients who had been condemned to the
operating table by other surgeons, and as a result he had aroused the
resentment of such surgeons in particular and the condemnation in
general of all those who believed in the supreme curative power of the
knife.

Those in other walks of life, who, from conviction or selfishness, were
opposed to disturbing present conditions, and who appreciated and
feared the interdependence of the whole progressive movement, were also
easily convinced that, properly enough, he was in the toils of the law.

It was not long until his friends and defenders began to realize that a
secret sentiment was being created against him which had for its purpose
the discrediting of his mental stability, as well as his medical
methods, and that they would be compelled to combat not only menacing
facts and conditions, but also the still more powerful influences of
centuries of prejudice against men of his type, who had dared to get too
far ahead of the general parade.

Psychologically, some interesting impressions were made upon observant
minds. Many of our national hypocrisies were emphasized, and these
occurrences revealed certain inconsistencies of public pretension and
action in other fields closely correlated to this one, and it became
evident that improvement in theory and practice, in matters of this
sort, was impossible so long as more fundamental abuses were not only
permitted but sanctioned in a most aggressively affirmative manner.

These observing people were reminded that in this Christian nation a
cross of considerable dimensions is generally ready for instant use in
immolating the person who is rash enough to interfere too strenuously or
persistently with the operations of our morally depraved and generally
rum-soaked political bosses, who have boldly usurped the functions of
government and whose aims and purposes are widely at variance with all
of the teachings of the lowly Nazarene; that, much as we pride ourselves
upon our philosophical advancement, there is usually a cup of hemlock in
reserve for a master spirit that attempts too far to outdistance the
crowd; that, fond as we are of orating and writing about the dark days
of barbarism, we continually applaud the barbarian methods of those who
appropriate the property and liberties of their fellow men to increase
their own wealth and power; that, while there is no longer much of a
disposition to consider the earth flat, there is a marked tendency to
regard most every other mysterious thing as of that character.

Dr. John Earl had friends who understood the complex and extensive
nature of these sentiments, and, whatever might be their opinion
concerning his guilt or innocence of the specific charge under
discussion, they greatly feared the graver charge which emanated from
the chaotic darkness of superstition, ignorance, prejudice and jealousy
and the location of which could be determined only by occasional and
angry flashes of venom.

While these things were occurring, Dr. Earl had come to New York and had
gone directly to the district attorney and notified him that, if needed,
he could be found at his house on East 53rd Street, but he assured that
official that he knew nothing of the affair whatever.

This was treated as bravado by those who believed in his guilt and as
vindication by those who asserted his innocence.

His brother Frank hastened from a summer resort in the fastnesses of the
Rockies and his sister and brother-in-law returned to town from Newport.

One day, Silvia Holland appeared at the coroner's office and asked to
see the box in which the candied fruit had arrived. She examined it
critically for several minutes, and then asked for the wrapper
containing the address and postage stamps. There were three ten-cent and
two fifteen-cent stamps on the paper, although it was apparent that half
that amount in postage would have carried the package. She compared the
handwriting with samples of Dr. Earl's, and it was only too evident that
both address and message were written by him.

When she returned to her office she found Miss Renner waiting for her in
response to a telephone message. The two women had seen much of each
other after their meeting at the League House and a deep regard had
sprung up between them. For the time being, Miss Renner was doing
special work on one of the New York papers, and lending her voice to the
suffrage cause between assignments. They exchanged greetings, and then
the little Westerner said quietly, "You wanted me?"

Miss Holland looked at her long and searchingly. "Yes, I both want and
need you, my dear. Your paper has been rather vindictive in its pursuit
of evidence against Dr. Earl. I want you to go to the district attorney
and ask him personally to examine the inside of the lid of the box which
contained the fruit, also the scalloped paper that covered the fruit. If
he does so, he will find that a green gage, an apricot or a plum, which
was seedless, of course, rested on top of the paper, and was crushed
against the lid of the box. The stain is quite distinct on both paper
and cover, and shows that there was only one such piece of fruit placed
there. Of course, it contained the poison, and was placed on top,
because it would naturally be eaten first."

Carroll Renner looked at her in amazement.

"If I do that he will order the immediate arrest of Dr. Earl; it will
put him in jail and possibly lead to his conviction. Is that what you
desire?" She looked up at the taller woman searchingly.

"Surely I do--if he is guilty," Miss Holland replied, without changing
her expression. "There is no doubt that it will cause his immediate
arrest," she added, "but even that is preferable to this suspense with
everybody suspecting him and no opportunity to defend himself."

She turned away, and Carroll slipped her arm about her waist. "Dear
Silvia, I'll go--on one condition."

"And that is?" came in a rather muffled voice.

"That you will defend him yourself!" said Miss Renner. Miss Holland
turned and caught her in her arms. "I can't do that," she said. "I
couldn't, anyhow, without being asked, and besides, he will need the
most skillful criminal lawyer in New York to defend him. I should make a
sorry mess of it."

Carroll drew her down on a settee and held her hands firmly. "You might
just as well be a man, if you are going to talk like that--always ready
to let women go ahead until something really worth while comes along,
and then saying 'only a man can do big, difficult things.' After all
you've said, are you going to hesitate when it comes to crossing
professional swords with a man? Come now, promise me; if I go to the
district attorney, you will defend him."

"But I have not been employed, or even asked to defend him," she
insisted. "You must see how unprofessional it would be, Carroll."

"Professional! that's what the doctors say when they refuse to save your
life because they don't want to be discourteous to a fellow
practitioner," answered Carroll. "Well, if the life of the man I loved
was at stake I wouldn't wait for somebody to come and hire me to defend
him!"

"Carroll!" cried Silvia.

"Silvia!" she retorted. "Will your highness deign to accept employment
if it is offered you by his family?"

"Oh, Carroll, I can't let you drum up business----"

"You should be shaken, Silvia," her friend answered. "Of course
everybody in the country knows that you live in daily fear of the
poorhouse, and keep an advertising bureau busy trying to find you
employment! However, I suspected you would make these silly objections,
so I told Frank Earl yesterday that he ought to move heaven and earth to
get you to defend his brother. He nearly fell on my neck, and he is now
giving me absent treatment or holding a thought that I may succeed in
making you see that you could do more for the doctor than any other New
York lawyer."

"That isn't true, Carroll," she said. "I wish it were, but it isn't, and
I haven't been able to think of any one that I want to see take up his
defense."

"Naturally, because you know you ought to do it yourself. Now listen to
me." Miss Renner put her hands on Silvia's shoulders. "We haven't known
each other long, but it doesn't follow that we don't know each other
well. If John Earl were my brother I should give you no peace until you
promised to defend him, not alone because you have the requisite skill
as an attorney, but because you would give this case the devotion, the
insight, that are not to be bought with money. Now you know my terms;
shall I go to the district attorney?"

Silvia kissed her impulsively. "Yes, dear; go--go at once!" Her eyes
filled and her exquisite voice quivered with the strain of the emotion
she could no longer conceal. "Oh, Carroll, I'm glad to have you now;
come back to me afterward and tell me all about it!"



CHAPTER XVII

THE ARREST OF DR. JOHN EARL


Early the next morning Dr. John Earl was arrested for the murder of Emma
Bell and was remanded by the magistrate to The Tombs without bail to
await the action of the grand jury, which was soon to convene. Both he
and his family had foreseen the event, and he had made the necessary
arrangements for the conduct of his business. Humiliating as his arrest
was, they all bore it with Spartan courage, and prepared to ransack the
earth, if need be, to establish his innocence.

Leonora Kimball and her mother returned from Bar Harbor to find their
city friends almost unanimously arrayed against Dr. Earl, and they were
not themselves in the best humor with the tide of ill fortune that had
swept them into these muddy currents. They went immediately to The
Tombs, and in the interview that followed Dr. Earl insisted that Leonora
should consider herself released from her engagement so long as the
least taint was attached to his name in connection with this charge. She
protested that this was the hour of his need, and she could not think of
such a thing, but he caught the tone of doubt in her voice, and the lack
of genuine sympathy in her manner. There passed rapidly through his mind
the thought that the electric chair might be just ahead of him; a long
imprisonment might be his fate; he might lose the affection of friends
and the respect of strangers, but if in this hour of bitter ordeal,
guilty or innocent, whichever she might believe, his affianced wife did
not show supreme faith and devotion, he was indeed a beggar in the realm
of love. Carroll's ominous words about the malign stars that governed
her fate recurred to his mind, and he thought of his contest with
himself, and his decision when, defying the possibility of separation,
inharmony or divorce, he elected to keep his plighted troth whatever his
post-nuptial fate might be.

But in the recesses of his prison he had yearned for love, for the
divine, illuminating rays that had lighted the path of many a martyr to
the stake; of many a hero to the cannon's mouth; of not a few convicts
to the gallows; of many a sublime philosopher to the dungeon or the
ax--and all his misfortunes seemed but fleecy down compared to the
weight which this sense of isolation and aloofness from the tenderness
of the world brought to him. He looked at her fair young face, clouded
and troubled now with doubts and annoyance, and with a sinking heart he
realized that her personal vexation loomed as large upon the horizon of
her mind as the shame and danger that had overtaken him.

"For the present, dear, you are absolved from any obligation to me," he
said very gravely. "When I am released I shall, of course, give you the
opportunity to reconsider if you choose to do so, but in the meantime
you are entirely free; it must be so, dearest."

She made no reply, but lifted her face to his for their farewell kiss,
and her mother was not able to stifle her sigh of relief until they had
passed beyond the prison walls. As they left, Frank entered the room,
and the glance he cast after the departing form of the elder lady was
not exactly amiable, but he kept his peace.

"It is time, Jack, that you were thinking of somebody to take charge of
your case. You know I'm not familiar with criminal law, or the New York
practice; I'll do my best, but you must have a skilled lawyer in
command."

"I have already given the matter deep thought, but I have not made up my
mind. There's Littlefield, but hiring him or any other noted criminal
lawyer is equivalent to pleading guilty," answered Jack. "What do you
suggest?"

"I'm not in a position to make suggestions myself that are really
valuable," Frank replied, "and of the hundreds that have been made there
has been but one that really appealed to me. That came from my Colorado
friend--Miss Renner; but this is a matter where you must be the sole
judge, and I want you to make your own selection, regardless of any
other person's ideas."

"Miss Renner is a very keen woman," Jack said, a gleam of curiosity in
his manner. "I should like to hear her proposition; it is sure to be
original, anyhow."

Frank answered rather hesitatingly. "At first, I was enthusiastic about
it, but I fear you will not approve of trusting your life to a woman,
and I don't urge it in any way; Miss Renner wants us to employ Silvia
Holland."

"Miss Holland defend me? Will she--would she be willing to do it?" Jack
asked, in startled tones.

"Carroll Renner says she will," Frank answered, "and she is curiously
correct in her judgments of people, and they have been pretty close this
last summer."

Earl gave a sigh of relief. "Then by all means employ her at once," he
said. "I not trust my life to a woman? Dear Frank, when is there ever a
time when man does not trust his fate to woman? The infant owes his
existence to a woman; the boy would make sad progress in the world were
it not for the woman. The young man would drop back to barbarism but for
her, and where would you and I be but for that dear, sweet sister of
ours? Simply because the Twentieth Century woman is breaking away from
the old, destructive life of the parasite and endeavoring to fulfill her
destiny on earth, is no reason for believing that she does not still
possess all the noble qualities that have characterized her since the
world began. Not only have I no prejudices against, but a decided
partiality for a woman defender," and so the matter was settled.

Silvia went to consult with Earl every day that she was in the city,
and strongly advised against any attempt to secure bail, as sure to open
anew the charges and innuendoes which were already but dimly remembered
by the New York public. She took personal charge of every phase of the
case, and although Frank was associated with her he asked few questions
and she volunteered but little information. A week later she spent
several days in Boston and stopped at Providence on her way back, but
aside from telling his family where she had been she gave no intimation
either of her purposes or the results of her trip, and cautioned every
one to give nothing to the press.

"What did you do with the box of candied fruit you bought at Thompson's
candy store when you were in Boston?" she demanded of Dr. Earl at her
first interview after her return.

For a moment he looked dazed. "Box of candied fruit--I didn't buy
any--oh, yes; wait a minute. While at Magnolia, I wished to pay a visit
to some old friends who live in East Boston; they have a youngster in
the family, and I bought the candied fruit for her at the same time I
bought the pecans which I sent to Alice; but do you know, a curious
thing happened to that package of candied fruit. I put it on the seat
beside me while crossing the ferry, and then took up a magazine article
I was much interested in, and when I rose to leave the boat the package
was gone. I hadn't been conscious that any one was near enough to take
it, but there was a crowd on the boat, and my package disappeared;
naturally, I didn't mention it to my friends."

The look she bent upon him was full of perplexity. "Of course it can't
be traced," she said to herself. "Did the box have the name of the
store, or any name of a manufacturer or dealer upon it? Try and
remember," she said.

"Really, I cannot say; I didn't notice, except that the clerk wrapped it
in plain white paper," he replied.

"Were you in Providence on this trip, or have you been there recently?"
she continued.

"Not in four years," he answered and she gave an involuntary sigh of
relief.

"Have you expressed any annoyance to your medical friends over the
development of tuberculosis in the knee of little Alice Bell, or have
you stated that the case baffled you?" she asked with considerable
concern.

"Yes, I have said to at least two surgeons that I was annoyed at what I
believe to be the recurrence of an old condition, but never that I was
baffled. It is perfectly simple."

"How I wish I could find that letter," she said, more to herself than to
him. "The post-office department has ransacked the country for it, but it
seems to have disappeared as completely as did your package on the boat.
I do wish I could clear up two or three things to my own satisfaction,
but you can't help me, and there is no need of annoying you with them."
She looked about the small room set aside for the consultation of
prisoners with their counsel, but gained no inspiration from the bare
walls, and rose to go, extending her hand as she did so.

"You do believe in my innocence?" he asked.

She gave no direct answer in words, but as her eyes met his he knew that
he was no longer alone in his struggles, and whatever her belief in the
merits of his case, her faith in him was supreme.

"It is not a question of what I believe," she said at last, "but of what
the State can prove on the one hand, and what we shall be able to show
on the other."

"You are worried," he said quickly.

"Yes," she said, "I am; your life may be at stake, and if I fail to
clear you every one in the country will say that I should never have
taken this case, and they will be right. Even now, Dr. Earl, are you
certain it would not be better to employ counsel eminent in this branch
of the profession? I shall be very glad to serve in second place."

"This is no time for flattery or false sentiment, and I shall attempt
neither," he said, "as you know, I prefer thorough methods in all
professions, and those methods require rather more of the psychological
than the usual practitioner employs. I think we are quite agreed in
that. For that and other ample reasons I prefer to leave my case just
where it is."

The look that the blue eyes flashed up to the brown ones was pleased and
proud, and something that she saw there sent a quick flush to her cheek,
and though her heart was heavy her step was light as she left the gloomy
building.

Her car was waiting at the door, and calmly seated therein was Carroll
Renner. Silvia greeted her eagerly. "Of all persons on earth you are the
one I was most wishing to see," she said. "How did you happen to come
here?"

"I got your telepathy, Silvia, dear," she answered, with a squeeze of
the hand, "when on mischief bent about three blocks from here, and
decided to come by this cheerful edifice on the chance that you might be
here. I saw the car, introduced myself to your chauffeur and climbed in.
I must say," she added, "that you were an unconscionable time. Now, what
can I do for you?"

"Let's go and have luncheon somewhere," answered Silvia, "and I'll tell
you all about it."

"No," said the newspaper woman, "I have to interview a Mrs. Somebody or
other who has just come to town to teach us how to connect our trolleys
with psychic wires, or our subliminal minds with ethereal vibrations.
She's stopping at the Buckingham, and if you want to take me out there
I'll be glad of the lift, for I'm short on time, and we can talk on the
way."

"Surely, I'll take you gladly," Silvia answered, giving the directions
to the chauffeur, "and since I've wasted so much of your afternoon, I'll
send back for you, and have you taken to the office if you're going
there, or to your own hotel, unless you'll come and dine with me; I'm
alone to-night."

"Thank you," Miss Renner answered; "I would be glad to get back home,
for I've a wretched headache; not that I'm particularly comfortable
there, for it's been abominably warm the last few days."

Silvia gave a sigh of relief. "Has it? Well, that makes it easier for me
to ask a favor of you. But first tell me, Carroll, are you
timid--nervous?"

"Do you mean am I given to 'seein' things at night'?" Carroll asked. "I
don't know how it will be after I have my seance with Mrs. Whoever-it-is
I'm going to see, but when I'm reasonably abstemious I'm not given to
ingrowing nerves. What do you want me to do?"

"I want you to go and live in what was Mrs. Bell's home. I had paid the
rent for her up to the end of October, and after her death I took charge
of the place. Of course, I couldn't send Alice back there, but I went
and got her clothes and toys and I've been there a number of times. I
had a new lock put on, and have taken a maid there and kept it in order,
so all you'll have to do will be to send up your trunk."

"Certainly I'll go," Carroll answered soberly, "but what do you expect
to gain by it? Of course you have a motive."

"Yes," answered the other woman, "I have, but it isn't the sort of thing
one can speak of, except in the closest confidence. I haven't mentioned
it even to Frank Earl, whose interest in this case is at least as great
as mine, and you mustn't. I haven't been practicing law so very long,
but I've heard that all lawyers, who are really worth while, are
superstitious about talking over a case before it goes to trial. They
don't tell their clients more than a bare outline, and I believe it is
true, for surely I've found myself more fanciful than I ever was before.
The day before Mrs. Bell was found dead in her room she wrote to Alice;
it was a very short letter, and she excused herself by saying that she
was very tired, having written me a long letter. Naturally, Alice showed
me the letter, and I remarked at the time that it was strange mine
hadn't come by the same mail. Then after the tragedy it slipped my mind
for a day or so, and when I made inquiries it had not been received, or
if it had, the servants said it was forwarded to me here. I made more
inquiries, but nothing could be found in my office, though there was a
bunch of mail from Nutwood. The longer I thought of it the more anxious
I became to find that letter, and when I was employed in this case it
seemed to me absolutely imperative that I should do so. I have seen all
the postal authorities here who could have any knowledge of the letter,
or its possible disposition, and have written to Washington, but all in
vain. I am sure it would clear up several matters that are troubling me
greatly."

"Couldn't the letter have been returned to Mrs. Bell's apartment,
through some error in the address? She would not have mailed an
important letter without the return address," said Carroll practically.

"That was my idea exactly, so when it didn't come I looked for it there;
several letters addressed to her had been delivered, but there was no
sign of this one. Now, I can't tell why, but I feel as if I want
somebody in that house. Was there ever anything more utterly
unreasonable than that? I wouldn't dare tell any one but you; I can't
explain it, but neither can I rid myself of the feeling, and I was going
to seek you, to ask if you will undertake this for me. All I want is
that you shall put in whatever time you spend in your own apartment
there. Nothing may come of it, but you have no idea what a relief it
will be to me if you will not be too much inconvenienced, and you have
no dread of the rather morbid associations."

"I'll do it," Carroll answered. "There are too many other people in the
building for me to be afraid of anything alive, and as for the
dead--well, I shouldn't be afraid of her either. I can't tell you why,
but I believe this is a good move." She gave a little shiver. "I hope
the new lock is a strong one, Silvia; I should hate to have the murderer
come back to the scene of his crime."



CHAPTER XVIII

DR. EARL IS INDICTED FOR MURDER


The grand jury returned an indictment against Dr. John Earl for the
murder of Mrs. Emma Bell. There could be but one grade of homicide in
this kind of a case, and he was accordingly charged with murder in the
first degree and his trial was set for Tuesday of the following week.

Frank came to see him early Saturday morning. "The neighbors of Mrs.
Bell will be at the trial in full force to tell of your daily visits
there at all sorts of ungodly hours. Their gossip indicates that they
believe you had a very serious affair on with her, and this, together
with the claim of the surgeons that you botched the operation on the
child's leg, furnishes a fairly powerful motive for the crime, at least
in the public mind. Jack," he asked, with a mixture of doubt and
anxiety, "did you really have an affair with her?"

"Nonsense, Frank, nonsense," answered his brother. "It is true that I
went there at rather unusual hours; I was pretty busy, and when I found
she was in the habit of sitting up until after midnight I used to drop
in there when I was through for the day. I don't think I ever went there
later than nine-thirty or ten, and I seldom stayed more than fifteen or
twenty minutes. Later on I was, and I still am, greatly worried about
the child. Of course my operation didn't produce tuberculosis; that is
silly, but it serves the purposes of jealous rivals. When I found this
tubercular condition developing I asked her mother a great many
questions; it seemed to me so improbable that it should have occurred
when the child was really having better care than usual, judging from
their surroundings, that I sought to learn whether it was not a
recurrence of some trouble she had apparently outgrown, and from her
mother's answers I think there is absolutely no doubt that this is true.
You will readily see, under the circumstances, that I did not time my
visits watch in hand, but the charge of a _liaison_ there would be
ridiculous were it not so vulgar and malicious. There was some sort of
a tragedy in the woman's life, but I have no idea whatever as to its
nature."

"With your handwriting on both the outside and inside of the package,
your intimate relations with the family, the complications of this
surgical case, the fact that you were practically in Boston at the time
the package was mailed, and the total lack of suspicion of any one
else," said Frank, checking the indictments off on his fingers, "they
have a fairly convincing case against you, old man, and if you know
anything that can break these theories down now is the time to divulge
it."

"Naturally, if there were anything of the kind you imply, it would be
easier for me to discuss it with you than with my leading counsel," his
brother replied, "but equally, of course, in such a case, I should not
have employed a woman to defend me; certainly not such a rabid feminist
as Miss Holland. I have told her all I know, all I can conjecture, but
candidly, Frank, I fear she is greatly worried over the outcome. I know
the difficulty in overcoming gossip and prejudice and jealousy, and if
that cannot be done I fear I must pay the penalty of being the target of
their shafts. Crushing as that is, there is one haunting thought that
is even more intolerable," he concluded.

"And that is?"

"That the last thought of that unhappy woman was that I sent the candied
fruit. She may have realized in that brief second of time that it caused
her death. I hope to prove my innocence to the world, but she has passed
beyond the reach of proof."

"She has also passed beyond the need of it," answered his brother
quickly. "Why don't you comfort yourself with the thought that, no
matter who else may be deceived, wherever she is, she knows the truth?"

There had been something akin to despair in his voice, and Frank noticed
how trouble had deepened the lines in his face. "Brace up, old fellow,"
he said huskily. "We'll get a line on something before we go to trial."

Dr. Earl did not see Leonora or hear from her directly again after their
interview, but the Sunday following the announcement that Miss Holland
had been employed to defend him, an item appeared in the society columns
of the New York papers stating that their engagement had been
terminated. He sighed when he read it, whether from sorrow or relief he
could scarcely have told himself. But he fully realized at this time
that the vital heart-beats of genuine love are not always inspired by
plighted troth, neither is the latter always a product of the former,
and he marveled at his own lack of understanding in so readily accepting
a superficial substitute for the real article. The Ramseys gave every
evidence of their devotion, seeing him daily, and there were not wanting
a few staunch friends, and numerous former patients showed their
loyalty, but as the day of his trial approached he found himself
thinking more and more of the four devoted souls who had done and would
do all for him that was humanly possible.



CHAPTER XIX

A GREAT MURDER TRIAL BEGINS


Although the court officials had taken the precaution to admit
spectators only by cards issued from the sheriff's office, the famous
old room in the Criminal Courts Building was jammed to its very doors at
the opening of the trial of Dr. John Earl for the murder of Mrs. Emma
Bell, for it must be remembered sheriffs are elected by popular vote and
have friends in all walks of life. So there were business men and street
urchins, ladies of fashion and washerwomen, members of the learned
professions and hoboes, scholars and draymen, students of psychology and
the merely curious, advocates in frock-coats and counsellors in jackets,
attracted by the ever-living fascination of seeing a human being
fighting for his life, with the added interest in this case of the
novelty of seeing that fight made by a woman attorney.

Many tragic memories cling to this old room. Here other doctors had
been convicted and sentenced to the electric chair for sending poison
through the mails. Here more ordinary individuals had been acquitted by
displaying more skill in the transaction than had been shown by the
doctors. Here had been tried all sorts of murder cases, with all sorts
of defenses, from self-preservation with an ax to the irresponsibility
of a brain-storm. From that old-fashioned witness chair, on its high
platform, enough tales of tragedy had been told, if bound in books, to
fill a good-sized library; enough tears had been shed to atone for a
thousand crimes; enough pathos shown to have broken a million hearts;
enough perjury committed to substantiate David's somewhat sweeping
assertion.

From that high perch against the wall had emanated the technical
rulings, or the broad principles of justice that had made society
tremble for its safety, or caused it to repose in security.

From that old counsel's table some of the greatest lawyers of the world
had measured steel in weird combats over sending human souls into the
mysterious Beyond.

On this day, the district attorney sat at one side of the table, with
his assistants, grave, severe, determined-looking officers of the law.
On the other side sat a beautiful young woman, with luminous eyes, a
spirituelle countenance, but a firm and earnest manner and perfect
poise. Behind her sat the younger brother of the prisoner. At her side
was the prisoner himself, grave in mien, courageous in bearing,
collected in deportment. Back of them were Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey. Among
the witnesses for the defense was Dr. Morris, saturnine, mocking,
indifferent.

Thus organized society arrayed itself against a portion of its own
elements. Thus organized society spoke through the cold impassiveness of
its own laws, while its elements spoke through personal emotions and
human passions. Thus organized society appealed to itself to protect
itself, while its elements appealed for human kindness and universal
charity.

Such is the situation in every criminal trial.

It took three days to obtain a jury of proper qualification and
sufficient disinterestedness to satisfy both sides. All the other
lawyers watched with interest the methods employed by the "woman lawyer"
in asking her _voir dire_ questions and in exercising her right to
challenge, and most of them agreed that she asked no useless questions
and showed rare judgment in her peremptory challenges.

The next day on the convening of court the district attorney outlined
his case with circumstantial detail. He related in spectacular fashion
the first meeting of Dr. Earl and the Bells at the suffrage ball, and
dwelt insinuatingly upon the interest manifested by Dr. Earl in the
child at the time of the accident. Either inadvertently, or by design,
he referred in slighting tones to the part played at this meeting by the
"volunteer nurse," but his sentence was never completed, for Silvia
addressed the Court.

"May it please the Court," she said--and her manner was unmistakable--"I
have no right, and neither do I intend, to complain of any respectful
reference made to me during the course of this trial, either as an
individual, or as an attorney for this defendant, but I shall insist now
and hereafter that I must be referred to with the respect and
consideration due my, as yet, unsullied membership in the legal
profession and my reputation as a private citizen."

There was no opportunity for a ruling by the Court, for the district
attorney promptly disclaimed any intention of disrespect, and begged
her pardon for any words susceptible of such construction. It was
evident that her interruption produced a most favorable impression upon
Court, jury and spectators, and if any came to scoff at the weakness of
the "woman attorney" they remained to admire the strength of the female
advocate. The district attorney continued, warmed into greater
determination to make a lasting impression upon the jury as to the guilt
of the defendant.

He followed Dr. Earl on his numerous visits to the Bell home; dwelt upon
the unusual hour of many of them; agreed to prove more than ordinary
intimacy between Mrs. Bell and the defendant; showed the defects in his
surgery and the terrible results, which promised permanently to cripple
the child; exhibited the handwriting upon the box and placed beside it
the handwriting of Dr. Earl to undisputed legal documents; stated that
the defense would scarcely claim that the handwriting was not his;
asserted that they had positive proof that Dr. Earl had purchased a box
of candied fruit of the exact size and character of this box just prior
to the time it was mailed, and that Dr. Earl was in Boston at the time
of the mailing of the package.

From his recital it was clear that much thorough detective work had been
done in the case for the State.

"Now, gentlemen of the jury, as to the motive," he went on. "A powerful
incentive existed for the commission of this crime. Dr. Earl had been
engaged for some time to marry into one of the most prominent and
wealthy families in this city and the wedding was to have taken place
this month. The advertisement that followed his spectacular professional
performance at the suffrage ball brought him an enormous practice. To
have the public learn that this piece of surgery upon which his
reputation was based was in reality a case of malpractice meant ruin. To
have his married life disturbed by the appearance of a wronged woman
meant destruction to his domestic happiness, so he planned that the
poison should be sent to wipe out this family on the eve of his wedding
and before any damage had been done him in either of these directions.
You must confess it was a skillful job. Only one piece of poisoned fruit
in the box, and that so arranged as not to disturb its contents. Whether
mother or daughter got this piece of candied fruit first, the other was
doomed, for a kiss from those dying lips would have conveyed a like
fate, so powerful was this solution. The only thing that thwarted his
nefarious purpose to kill them both was the absence of the child, who
was in the country, a fact entirely unknown to Dr. Earl."

This and much more of like import furnished the closing portion of his
statement to the jury, and when he finished it was apparent that his
recital had made a deep impression upon every person in the courtroom.
The atmosphere was charged with serious import to Dr. Earl.

His sister had moved closer to him and was holding his hand. Her husband
came nearer, and Frank turned and gave him a reassuring glance. His
expressive face showed deep concern rather than worry.

As soon as the district attorney resumed his seat Silvia arose and
deathlike stillness fell upon the courtroom. "With your permission, your
honor, I will reserve my statement of defense until the State has closed
its case."

"Certainly, that is your privilege," replied the Judge.

Then there was a buzz of excited whispering. "What does it mean?" "Is
she afraid to state her defense after that terrific arraignment of the
defendant?" "Oh, there comes in the timidity of woman!" said an old and
skilled criminal lawyer. "Does she not realize that it is a fatal
evidence of weakness not to state a defense at the opening of the
trial?"

But the district attorney had called his first witness and the bailiff
rapped loudly for order. For three days the State put witness after
witness on the stand and by expert medical testimony, by toxicologists,
by direct and inferential testimony, the district attorney more than
proved the case which he had outlined to the jury.

That the child was probably permanently crippled from tuberculosis of
the knee and that the tuberculosis resulted from faulty surgery was the
opinion of the three surgical experts called upon that point, but upon
cross-examination Silvia forced each of them to admit that it was
possible that a former tubercular condition had recurred. She also
forced the unwilling admission that so far as the fracture of the leg
was concerned the bones had knit perfectly. The most damaging testimony
was that of a neighbor woman, who had overheard Mrs. Bell exclaim to
herself on the very day of the poisoning, "I will force him to marry me
or I will kill him!"

Pressed on cross-examination as to what she saw as well as heard, she
related how she had passed Mrs. Bell's door, which was open, and had
seen Mrs. Bell with a document of some kind in one hand and a pen in the
other, and had heard her utter this exclamation. When asked why she
assumed that the statement must refer to Dr. Earl, she replied with some
feeling that no other man had been seen around the apartment since Mrs.
Bell moved in, the first of April.

A young woman, a clerk in Thompson's candy store in Boston, identified
Dr. Earl as the purchaser of a box of candied fruit a few days before
the poisoning. On cross-examination she said it was a box of identical
proportions with the one marked "Exhibit A." Silvia asked her if the
boxes from their store did not always bear the firm name on the lid and
she admitted that they did, and swore that the one purchased by Dr. Earl
had the firm name on the outside of the lid in gilt letters. Then Silvia
showed her the box which had contained the poisoned fruit and asked her
to state on oath whether or not that was the box in which she had sold
Dr. Earl the fruit and she declared that it was not. Then she asked her
if Dr. Earl had purchased any loose pieces of fruit, and she testified
that he had not.

Silvia produced a box and asked the witness if it were not from the
Thompson store. She answered that it was.

"Did not Dr. Earl also purchase a box of pecans at the time that he
bought the fruit and is not this the box in which the pecans were
packed?" Silvia continued.

The girl seemed to study for a few moments. "Yes, I do remember," she
said, "he did buy a box of pecans the same day he bought the candied
fruit and this box may have contained them, for it is from our store. I
want to add, though, that I had forgotten about the nuts when the
district attorney asked his questions here and when I was examined in
Boston."

"How did you happen to forget about the nuts and remember about the
candied fruit?" asked Silvia.

"There was nothing to recall the pecans to my mind until you mentioned
them just now, but I remember that Dr. Earl bought them first and
returned afterward and bought the fruit."

On redirect examination the district attorney got an admission from the
clerk that at several places in Boston, which she mentioned, boxes could
be obtained without any name on the lid, but that the Thompson store
never carried them.

The testimony of this clerk that the box presented by the district
attorney had not come from their store, was the only rift in the
otherwise dense cloud of incriminating evidence for the State, and the
prosecution closed its case with perceptible gloom hanging over every
person connected with the defense, and the jury was grave of face, as
men well may be who have the life of a fellow being in their hands.

The prosecution closed at four-thirty and Silvia asked for an
adjournment until morning to open her case. The request was granted, and
New York spent the night wondering what the "woman lawyer" would do the
next day. In the cafés, clubs, hotels, between acts in the theatres,
little else was discussed, and the consensus of opinion was that she was
doomed to defeat in this her first big trial.

Progressive women grieved over the outlook, for it spelled much of
disaster to the woman movement if she should be humiliatingly
vanquished. Her friends championed her cause as best they could,
vigorously, but not with the genuine enthusiasm they would like to have
felt.

New York had never before been so interested in a criminal trial.



CHAPTER XX

A WOMAN AND SPOOKS FIND A LETTER


The trial had been in progress some six days when the State rested its
case. None of the family or friends of the defendant underestimated the
impression created by the array of facts marshalled by the district
attorney. The evidence, though wholly circumstantial, was nevertheless
sinister and deadly.

Hilda Ramsey, white and worn, kissed her brother with quivering lips and
went out of the court leaning on her husband's arm, and making no
pretense of concealing her suffering. Neither her belief in her
brother's innocence, nor her confidence in Silvia's ability to prove it,
could counteract the pain and humiliation of the past weeks. Ramsey
wrung his brother-in-law's hand, and gave him a look more eloquent than
words, and Frank bade him brace up. "'Thrice is he armed that hath his
quarrel just,' you know, old fellow," he said, with a slap on the
shoulder.

There was a grayish pallor on Silvia's face as she gave her client her
hand, but he was as composed and almost as cheerful as if he were but "a
looker-on in Vienna" as he once more assured her and Frank of his entire
confidence in a verdict of acquittal.

"If you will pardon me," he said, looking at Silvia kindly, "I will
change places with you and be the counsellor for a moment, and advise
you to eat a good dinner of very simple things, then disconnect your
telephone and go to bed and read Omar till you fall asleep; there are
times when it is an immense comfort to remember that--

    "'He that tossed you down into the Field,
    _He_ knows about it all--He knows! He knows!'"

His quiet voice acted like a tonic, and her face was full of gratitude
as she bade him goodnight, and turned to confer with Frank. Carroll
stood by the reporters' tables, irresolutely, until presently Silvia
beckoned her. The two women exchanged looks which were enigmatical to
Frank, but evidently perfectly intelligible to them, for Carroll turned
away with a sound like a strangled sob, and the pall of weariness and
depression which had lifted for a moment again settled over Silvia, now
that there were no longer any prying or unfriendly eyes upon them.
Without another word she turned and went down to her car. Frank waited
until Carroll gathered up her "copy," and then they went out into the
street together.

"Why didn't you go home with Miss Holland?" he asked. "She looked as if
she wanted you; I supposed she was going to ask you when she called you
over."

"Not she," answered the girl. "She knows better than to prepare for the
great day of her life by gabbling half the night. Besides, I'm too blue
to be of any use to her."

"Anything happened?" he asked, too absorbed in his own affairs to give
other matters more than perfunctory attention.

"Yes," she said, vexation in her voice. "I've fallen down on an
assignment, the biggest I've had since I came to New York, and I'm all
broken up over it."

He turned and looked at her, conscious of a sense of disappointment all
out of proportion to the occasion. It was the first time he had ever
known her to fail in comprehension or sympathy; that she could even
remember, let alone obtrude, a small personal grievance of her own in
the face of the tragedy that surrounded them, was so utterly out of
keeping with her character that he looked at her in amazement, and it
took him several minutes to control his voice so as to make the proper
politely concerned query as to the demands of the city editor which had
proved too much for her well-known ability.

"It wasn't the city editor," she said, too unhappy to notice the icy
timbre of his voice. "It's a good thing to disappoint them once in a
while; keeps 'em from expecting you to outdo the labors of Hercules in
time to beat the morning papers. No, it was something I was to do for
Silvia, and I can't make good; at least I haven't, and I'm at the end of
my resources."

In spite of the fact that it was still broad daylight, and a crowded
thoroughfare, Frank Earl stopped and gave her hand a cordial grip that
made her wince. "You're all right," he said. "You're all right. Now
let's go and have dinner."

"Are you not going to the Ramseys'?" she asked, evidently taking it for
granted that the family would wish to be together at such a time.

"Oh, no," he answered. "Hilda will go straight to bed, poor girl; and
Ramsey will sit beside her and dab cologne on her forehead, and after a
while he'll coax her to eat a cracker and drink some tea, and he'll have
his dinner right there beside her. You don't know the turtle-doves. I
don't hanker for my own society to-night, but I shall have to put up
with it unless you take pity on me."

"I can't, Frank," she answered. "I simply can't eat when my mind is so
upset; I'm going straight home."

"And make _your_ supper on crackers and tea, I suppose," he said
disgustedly. "Well, in that case, I'll go for a tramp and try to get rid
of the cobwebs in my brain, and the stuffy air of that courtroom. I
always feel as if twenty centuries of alleged justice, injustice and
malpractice looked down upon me when I get into court; that's one reason
why I'm no good as a trial lawyer. Here, isn't this your street?"

"Yes, no--I don't live where I did any more just now," she answered
lucidly. He stopped and looked at her and smiled in spite of every
everything. "I've sent in my copy, and you can walk up with me, if you
want to."

They walked on in silence; Frank was evidently thinking deeply, and
Carroll was following some weary round of conjecture for the thousandth
time when she stopped at her number. Frank looked at it and then at her,
startled out of his usual debonair manner for once.

"Why--it is----"

"Yes," she answered. "I've been living here for some time, but that
wasn't for publication, so I kept my other room, and had my mail go
there as usual. Silvia desired it."

"She hasn't left any stone unturned," he said musingly. "I wonder what
was in that letter!"

"Oh, she has told you, then?" Carroll asked.

"About Mrs. Bell's letter to her? Oh, yes, she told me to-night, just
before you joined us; I thought you knew about it. Anyhow, it seems to
be gone beyond recall. Don't you intend to invite me in? Well, of all
the inhospitable persons! I'll see you in the morning," and lifting his
hat he went on up the Avenue.

Carroll climbed the two flights slowly and unlocked her door. The suite
across the hall had been vacated by a superstitious tenant the week
after the murder, and the family immediately below had moved away that
morning. As Carroll closed the door behind her she was conscious of a
sense of oppression. It was not fear, which is a simple, concrete
emotion, easily understood; it was not even so subtle as dread of any
abstract thing, ghost or goblin damned. She gave her shoulders a little
shake, as if the sensation were some tangible thing to be thrown off,
and laying aside her hat and gloves she went through to the buffet
kitchen and put the kettle on. She returned to the sitting-room and
looked about her uneasily, and then put on a house gown and slippers,
and arranged her tea-tray. There were but four rooms in the apartment,
in addition to the kitchenette, and but one of them offered much in the
way of light or ventilation, so Carroll lived in the front room, as Emma
Bell had lived there; she worked there, as Emma Bell had worked; she
looked upon the same nondescript blue wall paper, and the few pictures
that relieved its monotony. With some misty idea, similar to that of the
French "_confrontation_," she had brought none of her own books or
belongings to disturb the suggestion of the room as it had been. There
were three large windows, through which the city lights were beginning
to shine; under one of these and across that end of the room was a
divan, covered with a bright rug; opposite and against the other wall
was a desk, with a chair before it, and bookshelves, and a corner
cupboard which held a plentiful supply of tea-things. Between the two
windows nearest it was a tea-table, which evidently served a double
purpose, for underneath was a basketful of neatly folded sewing. By the
table was the high-armed mission rocking-chair in which the dead woman
had been found. Opposite was the little sewing-chair, usually occupied
by Alice when she and her mother had supper together at the table, which
had been a gift of Silvia's. Evidently it had been a fancy of Mrs.
Bell's to set the chair for the child before she opened the fatal box,
and Carroll had kept both chairs in their relative positions. The
doorway into the alcove bedroom was concealed by a portière.

There was nothing in the desk now but some of Carroll's writing
materials; everything in the room had been ransacked at the time of its
mistress' death, and Silvia had herself searched carefully for anything
that might afford a possible clue. Sometimes she even thought that some
one, possessing a key, had entered the place and removed all evidence
while that ghastly witness still sat in the chair, for there were no
letters, no papers, nothing. Immediately after going there to stay,
Carroll had gone over the tiny place with systematic care. There was no
upholstered furniture in which anything could have been concealed; even
the divan was a rattan affair; there were only rugs upon the floors. The
mattress revealed nothing, and though she laboriously examined every
picture, there was nothing concealed back of them or within the frames.

"Don't you think the letter was mailed?" Silvia asked her, and she had
replied that while it probably had been, the chances were that a rough
draft of it had been written, and preserved somewhere, and it was for
this that she searched until it became evident that the slight resources
of the flat were exhausted.

It was rather a poor little place, woefully lacking in the closets and
cubby-holes so dear to women, and yet, as Carroll sat there in the
child's place, with her second cup of strong tea getting cold beside
her, she found herself looking at the other chair expectantly, and the
empty desk seemed watching her; she was resentfully conscious that
everything in that room knew the truth, everything save its human
occupant with her keen mind, her active brain. The hours passed and
still she sat there, waiting, waiting. There were the usual noises,
commonplace and mysterious, to be found in vacant houses, but about nine
o'clock she became conscious that there were sounds in the recently
vacated flat below. Evidently the family had come back for some last
articles which they had left behind. They were a quiet old couple with
whom Carroll had exchanged greetings now and then on the stairs; the old
lady had told her they were going to live with their daughter. Carroll
roused herself and lit the gas, and a little while later there came a
tap at the door. She was frightened for a second, the sound was so
unexpected, and then with a laugh at her foolishness she went to the
door and opened it, revealing an old man, her neighbor from the floor
below. He held a rather heavy package in his arms, and explained, rather
shamefacedly, that they had no high-chair, and when their little
grandchild was brought to visit them Mrs. Bell had been accustomed to
lend them her big dictionary. "Not bein' literary she didn't need it,
and the very afternoon of the day she died I came up to borrow it, same
as usual; she had stepped out, but the door was ajar, and the
dictionary lying right on the end of the divan, so I took it, and when I
brought it back after supper I couldn't get in, and after the trouble my
wife wrapped it up and put it away for safe-keeping, Miss, and forgot it
till we come to move," he finished breathlessly.

He put the package on the divan, and Carroll talked with him a few
moments longer, and then locked the door upon his retreating form and
went to the window, and stood there, looking out, yet seeing nothing. It
was beginning to rain, and the cool, damp air was pleasant, but she
shivered and turned back to the room that still kept its silent
mistress' secret, as she had kept it, even in death. The little clock on
the mantel struck ten, and there was a quick, light step on the stair,
and a brisk knock at her door. As she opened it, Frank stood there,
shaking the drops of water from his hat.

"I've had my walk," he said, "I've got over my gloom; I've lost my
grouch, but I still have my appetite with me. Now come on, like a good
fellow, and let's have supper."

"Oh, go away, Frank," she said, almost crying with vexation. "I was
almost on the verge of something when you came."

"That's what I thought," he said cheerfully. "I said, 'She'll drink a
pint of strong tea and sit there in the dark until the rugs begin to
wiggle and the wall paper glowers at her.' You're on the verge of
nervous prostration; that's what you're on the verge of, and nothing
else. Now come along, or have I got to come over there and make you?" He
noticed her negligee. "Put on your frock, and I'll wait, but hurry."

"It's raining," she demurred, "and I haven't my raincoat here."

"I brushed by one in the hall," he said, and stepping back he lifted
down a somewhat shabby gray raincoat and flung it toward her. She picked
it up, and slipped it on. It was large, but still she could wear it, and
while she stood in the middle of the room hesitating, she slipped her
hands into the capacious pockets.

"Well?" demanded Frank impatiently.

The girl did not answer, but stood staring ahead of her. Slowly she
raised her left hand, pressing the thumb between her eyebrows, and
taking the right hand from the raincoat pocket, she stretched it out,
the fingers groping uncertainly. She turned so white that the young man
in the doorway stared, frightened, yet under a spell that forbade his
moving. Suddenly the trembling, questioning hand grew rigid, and
without an instant's hesitation she turned and walked to the divan, and
laid her hand upon the bundle.

"It is here, Frank," she said quietly. "Turn up the light, and cut this
cord."

He did so, and as the paper fell away from the dictionary, she opened
the heavy volume and their eyes fell upon a large manila envelope
plainly addressed to "Miss Silvia Holland, City Investment Building, New
York." The girl laid her hand upon it.

"Wait a minute; let me tell you what happened," she said. "When the
postman came she gave him the letter for Alice, and he gave her the box.
She didn't give him this letter because she hadn't stamps enough--see,
it has but one--or perhaps she meant to use it as a threat; there was
somebody who had a motive for killing her. The woman across the hall
called her and she slipped this envelope into the dictionary and went
out, leaving her door open; old Mr. Dillon came up and got the book;
he's just been telling me about it. They never opened it, and after her
body was found--Mrs. Bell's, I mean--his wife was so upset that she went
to her daughter, and they forgot it entirely until to-night. When Mrs.
Bell came back, she opened the package the postman had given her, and
she never had a chance to miss anything after that."

She lifted her hand, and Frank picked up the envelope and looked at it
and then at her.

"I believe you have solved the mystery," he said, "and that all you have
not learned will be revealed when Silvia opens this envelope. Oh, this
is wonderful, Carroll! I'll get a taxi, and we'll go to her at once."

"I wouldn't," said the girl. "It'll be nearly midnight by the time we
can get there, and if it is bad news--which it isn't--there's nothing
she can do to-night, and if it is good--and I am sure it is, for us at
least--it can wait until morning. Whichever it is, she needs a night's
sleep before she faces any new complication."

She took the envelope and looked at it again, and then at Frank Earl.
With a little laugh she clutched it to her bosom, and holding out the
other hand to him, she said, "Now, I'm ready to go to the kitchen and
cook anything there is to be found in this section of New York!"

"Carroll," he said, humbly, "would you mind if I proposed to you once
more? We seem to need you in our family."



CHAPTER XXI

SILVIA HOLLAND'S GREAT PLEA TO THE JURY


Hours before court time the next morning an immense crowd packed the
streets around the building, and when the doors were opened it was
useless to attempt the enforcement of the ticket rule. When the court
convened the space outside the rail was jammed with a crowd that
threatened to overflow the space inside which was reserved for members
of the legal profession, witnesses, and the family of the defendant. It
was an orderly crowd, however, and the tension of silence was so
complete that it held them in a kind of paralysis of attention when the
gavel fell and the stentorian voice of the bailiff called his "Hear ye."
As soon as he sat down the Court recognized Silvia. She took her place
at the end of the counsel table with a few papers within reach. The
district attorney noticed with satisfaction that they were very few. She
was gowned in pure white, and her hair rippled back from her broad
forehead, and with head proudly erect and with easy, natural pose, she
faced the jury, which gave her instant and absorbed attention. She spoke
slowly, deliberately, and her soft, musical voice was heard distinctly
in every corner of the courtroom.

"Gentlemen of the Jury: Human life is the greatest mystery in a universe
of mystery. It springs into existence with the knowledge of the ages
coursing through its sensibilities and inherently possessing all of the
passion and prejudice of countless centuries. Where it started none of
us knows. Where the æons ahead of us destine it to end none of us can
tell. Deliberately to blot from this earth and its service that which
comes into the world so divinely equipped with knowledge and inspiration
requires both sublime courage and indescribable depravity; sublime
courage to invite the hostility of the vast, complicated, mysterious
forces that are embodied in a human life, however humble it may be;
indescribable depravity to destroy the most useful and the most
beautiful product of this earth.

"Yet the statute in this and other American States for the punishment of
those who take human life is made to apply but to a fraction of those
guilty of such offense. The individual who shoots or otherwise takes the
life of another is always prosecuted and generally punished. The
association, whose culpable neglect of the ordinary dictates of humanity
in making its employees safe, is not even prosecuted for factory girls
destroyed in a fire, for miners entombed in the earth, for passengers
and trainmen hurled to their death that dividends may be wrung from soft
roadbeds and rotten rails, for excursion boats so built as to prevent
the saving of passengers in case of accident; and what must be said of
those economic and social conditions that drive thousands to
self-destruction every year and that destroy all Christian and political
ideals, the proper development of which would preclude the possibility
of crime!

"You, gentlemen, represent the collected society of which I am a part,
and the fact is worth your consideration at least, that under the system
of woman parasitism, dependence, and, in a way, slavery, the rugged
qualities of strength of purpose, of womanly self-reliance, of
constantly expanding mental and moral natures that so distinguished our
foremothers, and which mean so much to the character of children, which
in turn mean so much to the character of the citizen and the nation,
have largely disappeared.

"In every consideration of crime, its cause should be of interest to
those who represent the State. I am not seeking to minimize or palliate
or excuse whatever crime may have been committed in this case, but
_that_ society which is seeking its own safety and perpetuity cannot too
strongly be urged to beware of the universal menace to its existence, as
well as to guard against those individuals that war only against
individuals. So I appeal to you in this case, if crime there be, to deal
with the perpetrator of such crime with all due justice, but with that
mercy and consideration which these thoughts may suggest, and which we
owe to the weaker members of society.

"Whatever crime was committed in this case sprang from the old order of
our existence, which is rapidly passing away; it was nurtured in that
soil which most of us cultivate too much, and which produces envy,
malice, hatred, uncharitableness and other destructive and despoiling
human traits. I have no quarrel with the character of the testimony with
which it is sought to convict the defendant, for circumstantial
evidence is the most reliable, the most convincing, the least subject to
perjury of any evidence recognized by the law, and, as I shall undertake
to demonstrate to you, it is absolutely unassailable when each link of
the chain fits perfectly in every other one. I am not unmindful of the
very strong case which the district attorney has made against the
defendant, and it may be that his contention is the correct one. That is
a matter for you to determine."

There was a little stir in the courtroom at this extraordinary
statement, and Hilda looked at her husband and then at her brother and
the hot flush of resentment dyed her white face to the hair.

"The motive of malpractice on the child," Silvia went on evenly, "and a
troublesome _liaison_ with the mother do, indeed, seem to be powerful,
but what can be said for those motives when I prove to your entire
satisfaction that the setting of this fracture and the subsequent
treatment and final results are among some of the best ever attending
such cases in this large city; that the tuberculosis of the knee is the
recurrence of a disease which had attacked the child five years before
in the glands of the neck and which broke forth afresh in the knee
because of her low physical condition and the immediate injury to the
knee; that what I shall present will so conclusively prove the
impossibility of a _liaison_ between Dr. Earl and Mrs. Bell that there
cannot even remain the suspicion of such a thing?

"The mystery of her support since last April I alone can clear up with
checks and other evidence so convincing in character as to leave no
doubt. It is embarrassing but necessary to bring myself as a witness
into this trial. I found this poor woman with a great and secret sorrow,
not knowing how to earn a living and by industrial independence develop
the best qualities of her nature, and I undertook to teach her
self-reliance and to lead her into the new life of social and economic
freedom. Had she been thus trained from girlhood this tragedy would have
been impossible, and her life would have been full of beauty, for I have
never known a sweeter character. In the meantime I loaned--not gave, but
loaned her the money to live upon. She would have resented a gift. She
was making splendid progress with her fine sewing, and would soon have
been independent of any financial aid. But the sorrow which hung over
her, and which all this time was and still is a mystery to me, seemed
to dominate her life, as I will presently show you.

"It was the ghost of the old environment, of the old parasitical age,
when women were so easily enslaved with the promise of idle luxury and
transient caresses, stalking into the midst of a nobler effort and
beckoning her backward while yet the understanding and courage were not
sufficiently seasoned. Later I shall go into these things more fully.

"I will prove to you by the proper Federal officials that, owing to a
change of design by the government, the ten-cent stamps on this package,
bearing this particular vignette, could only be purchased in three or
four post-offices in the United States for several months before and at
the time the package was mailed, and the only place east of the
post-office at St. Louis was in Providence, Rhode Island, and I shall
also prove that the defendant has not been in Providence in four years.
You will notice that stamps to the value of sixty cents were placed on
the parcel, when half that amount would have been sufficient, showing
that whoever mailed it did not care to have it officially weighed.

"Another circumstance worthy your attention is that poisoning by
hydrocyanic acid is so easily recognized that it has seldom been used
for purposes of murder, except in cases where the person committing the
crime felt safe as to his own identity, and desired to make it appear
that some one else had done the deed."

She paused in her recital and cast a glance at a large, muscular man,
seated among a group of witnesses for the defense. He gave her an almost
imperceptible nod in the affirmative, and she went on slowly and
impressively:

"What is more, gentlemen of the jury, this candied fruit was not
purchased in Boston, but in Providence, and the person buying it
insisted on a perfectly plain box, without any name upon it; he also
bought several separate pieces of similar fruit."

There was a buzz of excitement in the human hive, which the bailiff
suppressed by a sharp rap of his gavel. Those who had caught the signal
turned their eyes from Silvia to the large man, but there was nothing in
his impassive demeanor to attract attention.

The defendant and his family were evidently as much at sea as were the
others in the courtroom as to the significance of these assertions, but
the look of worry had entirely disappeared from the face of Dr. Earl.

"It is true," she went on, "that I had taken the little girl to the
country for a week when this awful crime was committed, but Dr. Earl
knew nothing of this, and the evidence is already so clear as to need no
further illumination that the person who sent the poisoned candy was
aware of the fact that the child was not at home, and would not be for
several days at least. So clear is it that Dr. Earl did not know the
child was in the country that I will prove to you that he sent to her
city address a box of pecans which were forwarded by her mother to the
country, and I will offer in evidence the box in which they were sent.
The person who mailed this box had designs on one victim only, and had
the child been at home she would undoubtedly have been the one killed,
for she would have been certain to receive the first piece. With all due
deference to the learned district attorney, and while his theory is
possible that a kiss given and received might have caused the death of
the other, the probability is so remote that a person skilled in the
knowledge of poisons and their effects, as Dr. Earl is, would scarcely
have undertaken to poison two people in this clumsy and uncertain
fashion, when the placing of two pieces of candied fruit instead of one
on the top of the box was all that was necessary to insure the end
desired."

She paused again, and gave the large man another look, and then
exhibited a card to the jury, which she had been holding in her hand
from the beginning of her address.

"No, gentlemen, the poison was intended for but one person, and that
person partook of it," she said sadly and earnestly. She held a picture
postal so the jury could see it. "This postcard, as you see, was sent to
Mrs. Bell from Magnolia a few days before the crime occurred. It is
dated August 5th; her death took place August 9th. Look at the address
on this card, and at the message on the other side. Now let me show you
a strange thing, which cannot be merely a coincidence."

She took the outer layer of thin white paper that had wrapped the box,
on which were the stamps and the address, and laid it over the same
address on the card, and the length and formation of each letter were
identical, the punctuation marks and the lines of shading were the same,
on paper and card.

"You see how this has been done," she said. "The address on the paper is
written with an indelible pencil. Ink would have spread and blotted. We
shall prove to you that the address on the box was copied by tracing
from this identical card, as also were the closing words on the card
with the initials which were traced on the paper that is pasted on the
top of the box--'With best wishes to you and Alice. J. E.'"

The district attorney protested to the Court against so much detail and
proof going into an opening statement, and the Judge looked inquiringly
at Silvia.

"I know I am pursuing an unusual course," she replied, "but I promise
your honor, and also the honorable district attorney, that I will not
abuse my privilege, and if you gentlemen will bear with me I am certain
that I shall be able to render a distinct service to the State."

The Judge had followed her carefully, and being one of those wearers of
the ermine who believe that substantial justice rather than technical
results should be the aim of courts in criminal trials, said to the
district attorney, "I am certain that Miss Holland fully understands the
rules of procedure in this court and will adhere to them as strictly as
the nature of her defense will permit. If I think she is overstepping
them, I will stop her."

Silvia gave another glance at the large man. His eyes were on the little
group by his side at the time, but the silence caused him to turn to her
again, and after another affirmative nod she resumed.

"It is difficult for me to cause pain to anything that lives. I feel
that the ant, with its wonderful little organism, is as much entitled to
the uses and joys of this dear old world as I am. When I enlisted in
this case it was to defend a man whom I felt certain was innocent, not
to bring any other person to the bar of justice, and even now, if I
could clear the fair name of my client from the remotest suspicion of
ever having thought of this crime, without injury to another, I should
much prefer to do so. Not that I am unmindful of my duty as a citizen,
but I am more conscious of the tenderer feelings that are of necessity
appealed to in such a case.

"When in the discharge of my duty I found suspicious footprints leading
elsewhere I spent hours determining what course I should pursue in this
complicated situation. The sequel will give all of you, in the jury box
and in this courtroom, an opportunity to decide whether my course has
been the right one. God knows I have prayed to be shown another way, but
I could discover none."

She paused, and the tears were glistening in her eyes and her voice
trembled, but she regained her self-control at once.

"Before I did aught else, I had two skilled detectives watch the
suspected person; their observations were all too convincing. It was
Eugene Aram again telling his dream to the child, but this time the
guilt was acted.

    "Then down I cast me on my face,
      And first began to weep,
    For I knew my secret then was one
      That earth refused to keep:
    Or land or sea, though he should be
      Ten thousand fathoms deep.

    "So wills the fierce, avenging sprite,
      Till blood for blood atones!
    Ay, though he's buried in a cave,
      And trodden down with stones,
    And years have rotted off his flesh--
      The world shall see his bones!"

Once more the tears shone in her eyes, tears that were the only
consolation one wretched soul in that courtroom was ever to know, but
she dashed them away impatiently.

"To prevent injustice, and possible injury, the suspected man has been
kept under surveillance ever since."

Again there was a murmur of voices over the courtroom, and Frank, who
had entered hastily, just after she began her address, called her
attention to a large envelope which he laid on the table before her. She
looked at him, and then at the envelope, and gave an involuntary start
of surprise and a hastily stifled exclamation. "The missing letter!" she
said, under her breath, and hastily tore it open, and glanced at the
first and last pages, while the bailiff restored order.

"I must beg your honor's indulgence," she said, "for a few moments. This
letter contains information of vital importance, and as your honor sees,
it has just come into my hands."

The Judge granted her request, and while she hastily read the document,
the excited murmur swelled again in spite of the glaring bailiff. In a
few minutes she turned to the Judge.

"Your honor," she said, "this is a letter to me written by Mrs. Bell
only a few hours before her death; I can easily prove her handwriting,
and in any event, it is sworn to before a notary. The matter contained
therein will end this trial. That I can use it as part of the _res
gesta_, I have no doubt. I will submit it to the district attorney and
ask him to examine it, and then give it to your honor. In the interest
of justice and my client I would like to read it to the jury at this
time."

She handed the letter to the district attorney, and while he read it she
seated herself and conferred with Frank. "Where in the world did you get
it?" she asked.

"Carroll and spooks," he began, and then went on more seriously, "but
where on earth did you hide yourself? We have been madly tearing around
New York, and telephoning all over the adjacent territory in a wild
endeavor to find you and get this into your hands. I'm not going to tell
you about the letter itself; that's Carroll's story. We've been to the
Studios, and everywhere else we thought there was a possibility of
finding you, and waited at your office until the last minute in the hope
that you'd come there."

"I spent the night at Nutwood, making a last search for the letter," she
said. "It was only a chance, but I felt that I couldn't give it up.
This morning I motored down, and we had some delay, so that I had to
come directly here. But it's all right."

The Judge finished reading the letter, and called Silvia to the bench,
where they held a whispered conversation with the district attorney,
glancing once or twice toward the little group of witnesses where the
large man sat. Then Silvia returned to her seat, and the district
attorney gave some hurried directions to a deputy, who immediately left
the room, while the Judge gave whispered instructions to a bailiff, who
stationed himself at the general entrance.

"You may read the letter, Miss Holland," said the Judge, and the tension
in the courtroom grew almost intolerable as she rose, holding the letter
in shaking hands, and began reading:

"'NEW YORK, August 9.

"'MY DEAR MISS HOLLAND:

"'The secret I have longed and yet hesitated to tell you must now be
disclosed. Of course my trouble has been caused by a man, a man whom I
have known a long time and loved too well. He was here day before
yesterday and we had a stormy interview--which he says shall be the
last. For a long time his manner has been changed toward me, and for the
last few months he has neglected me. He didn't seem to like it when I
got acquainted with you, or when you paid so much attention to Allie; he
said he didn't see what you wanted of her, and asked me how you came to
take her to the country and when she would be back, and wanted to know
if I had told you or Dr. Earl of my relations with him. I said certainly
not, and when I reproached him for not coming to see me he said he
couldn't come here. Since Allie was hurt, I have only met him a few
times. Sometimes I have been happy when I was with him, for I loved, and
I love him, better than my life, but I have not wanted to deceive you,
and every day the old life has grown harder to bear. I think I have
always believed that he would marry me, as he promised in the beginning,
until this summer. Now I see that, more than he has deceived me, I have
deceived myself, as every woman deceives herself when she forgets the
honor of the present for promises that are to be redeemed in the future.

"'I had made up my mind to break away from this life and try to begin
over again; you had shown me the way, and I saw the means by which I
could support myself and Allie, and not be beholden to him. God knows I
never wanted to take his money, and when it was grudgingly given it was
worse than gall and wormwood to have to ask him for it. I did not mean
to see him any more, for when I look into his face I forget everything
except the days when he did love me. I meant to tear him out of my
heart, and devote my life to Allie.

"'And then, Miss Holland, I made the discovery that has made me
desperate, the one discovery that tells a woman she is helpless, and
that not only her whole future, but that of another, depend upon the
whim of a man. I demanded that he should keep his promise; I will not
permit a child of mine to go through the world bearing the brand of
illegitimacy, and I told him so plainly. Perhaps I was wrong to lose my
temper and threaten him, but I am half mad. I told him I might bear the
blame, and the pain, but that if he allowed me to go through this
dreadful time alone that he should share the shame, if I dragged him
through the courts to fasten it on him.

"'I don't wonder much that he was infuriated with me, or that he
threatened to kill me if I didn't let him alone. He said he hadn't the
money to give me all I needed, but if I would be sensible and not make a
fuss and a scandal, when he married the rich woman he expected to win
that he would give me a fortune ample for myself and my children for the
balance of my life. I think it was the thought of his marrying another
woman when my child was coming into the world fatherless that made me
beside myself, but I could not bear it and I said some dreadful things.

"'Now, I want to know what I can do, or if there is any law to defend a
woman who makes a mistake; if there is, I know you will find it. I am
going to swear to this, so you will know that I am in earnest, and will
not back out like so many women do.

"'One other thing I think I ought to tell you. While we were talking he
picked up the postal Dr. Earl sent me, from Magnolia, and then he began
all over again and talked awfully about him. I don't know why, but he
hates him and will injure him if he can.

"'You will find this at your office when you get back from the country;
even now I can't bear to tell the whole truth, and yet I suppose you
must know it if you are to help me. What fools women are, Miss Holland;
I ought to hate him, and yet if it were to be the last word I should
ever write--now, as I always have, I love Orrin Morris.

                                            "'Your unhappy friend,
                                                           'EMMA BELL.'"

Silvia had scarcely finished the letter, pausing instinctively before
she read the name of the guilty man, when the large man, who had been
furtively keeping guard of the little group of witnesses where Dr.
Morris was seated, sprang toward Morris in a vain attempt to knock from
his hand a vial which he but that instant had touched to his lips. At
the same moment a smaller man on the other side of the group made a
similar effort, but they were both too late. Almost instantly the doomed
man became rigid, a slight froth appeared on his lips, the pupils of his
eyes dilated and the lids opened in a wide and horrible stare. There was
a general rush in his direction on the part of the medical men gathered
for the trial, but the first of the physicians to gain his side saw the
hopelessness of any effort to save him and waved the crowd back. In less
than five minutes he was dead, and in the sudden appalled silence the
bailiffs cleared a way and removed the body, a considerable portion of
the curious crowd following.

Every day during the trial Dr. Morris had occupied practically the same
seat in the courtroom. His naturally colorless face gave no indication
of the emotions within, and when Silvia's address told him all too
plainly that his deeds were to be publicly uncovered, he turned a trifle
more livid, but otherwise gave no evidence of his feelings. He had known
for several days that he was under surveillance and he understood, at
last, that the reason for his subpoena as an expert for the defense was
to keep him constantly in attendance on the court, but he faced his
ordeal with resolute will, if not with supreme courage. As often before
during his career he had carefully scanned the path he was to tread and
was prepared for every emergency. When the fatal exposure came, which he
had hoped until the last might be withheld, he was determined that none
should know aught from his lips concerning its truth or falsity. They
might speculate as to the significance of his death by his own hand,
but he would neither say nor do anything that would throw additional
light upon the subject.

Poor Morris! Other learned professional men before him had sought to
mystify the world as to their misdeeds by blotting out their own lives,
not realizing that every accusing finger of the seen and the unseen
world would be instinctively and unerringly pointed toward their mortal
remains with the final and irrevocable verdict--"Suicide is confession."

When quiet was restored the Court ordered the defendant to come forward,
and Silvia, trembling with emotion, stepped to the front of the Judge's
bench with him.

"It is quite evident, sir," began the Judge, clearing his throat, "that
a mistake has been made in your case. Not an intentional one, or one
that could have been avoided, apparently. The manner in which you have
been defended leaves not a vestige of suspicion attaching to you either
in connection with this matter, your professional qualifications or your
standing as a citizen. Let me assure you that such a result, under the
circumstances, is most gratifying to all of the officers of the law, for
our purpose is to guard society by punishing the guilty and protecting
the innocent. Sir, you are discharged as a defendant in this case."

Great applause greeted this speech from the Court, and the district
attorney added his own tribute, while Silvia was given an impromptu
reception by jurors, court officers and spectators. When this was over,
and the throng that had surrounded her and her client went their way on
the quest of new sensations, she found herself standing alone with him
before the bench, in almost the identical spot where he had entered his
plea of "Not guilty" a few weeks before. The Ramseys and Frank and
Carroll were eagerly waiting their turn to shower congratulations upon
them, but as John Earl took both her hands in his, Silvia was
unconscious of all else. The eyes she lifted to his were swimming in
happy tears that could not drown the love they revealed. He dared not
trust his voice for more. Besides, what more was there to say? For all
the world lay in the single word--"Silvia!"

       *       *       *       *       *

In a short time, Jack and Silvia were absorbed in their respective
professions, but never failing in their duty to the great world
movement that was making real the prophecy of England's poetic seer:

    "We two will serve them both in aiding her--
    Will clear away the parasitic forms
    That seem to keep her up but drag her down--
    Will leave her space to burgeon out of all
    Within her--let her make herself her own
    To give or keep, to live and learn and be
    All that not harms distinctive womanhood."

There was no "task" to their duties, for the all-powerful though subtle
inspiration of genuine love made each day only a part of a splendid
dream which they felt could never end.

And the love that leads to high endeavor and unlocks the storehouses of
human progress crowned their efforts with success, and humanity was
better and nobler for their deeds and example.

THE END.





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