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Title: McClure's Magazine, Vol 31, No 2, June 1908
Author: Various
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 "McClure's Magazine, Vol 31, No 2, June 1908" ***

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


  _Copyright, 1908, by Ellen Emmet_]


  VOL. XXXI      JUNE, 1908       No. 2


       *       *       *       *       *

  Transcriber's Note: The Table of Contents was
                      added by the transcriber.

       *       *       *       *       *




The first time that there was any talk of my going to America was, I
think, in 1874, when I was playing in "The Wandering Heir." Dion
Boucicault wanted me to go, and dazzled me with figures, but I expect
the cautious Charles Reade influenced me against accepting the

When I did go, in 1883, I was thirty-five and had an assured position in
my profession. It was the first of eight tours, seven of which I went
with Henry Irving. The last was in 1907, after his death. I also went to
America one summer on a pleasure trip. The tours lasted three months at
least, seven months at most. After a rough calculation, I find that I
have spent not quite five years of my life in America. Five out of sixty
is not a large proportion, yet I often feel that I am half American.
This says a good deal for the hospitality of a people who can make a
stranger feel so completely at home in their midst. Perhaps it also says
something for my adaptableness!

"When we do not speak of things with a partiality full of love, what we
say is not worth being repeated." That was the answer of a courteous
Frenchman, who was asked for his impressions of a country. In any case
it is almost imprudent to give one's impressions of America. The country
is so vast and complex that even those who have amassed mountains of
impressions soon find that there still are mountains more. I have lived
in New York, Boston, and Chicago for a month at a time, and have felt
that to know any of these great towns even superficially would take a
year. I have become acquainted with this and that class of Americans,
but I realize that there are thousands of other classes that remain

[Illustration: _Copyrighted by Window & Grove From the collections of
Miss Frances Johnson and Mrs. Evelyn Smalley_


_The Unknown Dangers of America_

I set out in 1883 from Liverpool on board the "Britannic" with the fixed
conviction that I should never, never return. For six weeks before we
started the word America had only to be breathed to me, and I burst into
floods of tears! I was leaving my children, my bullfinch, my parrot, my
"aunt" Boo, whom I never expected to see again alive, just because she
said I never would, and I was going to face the unknown dangers of the
Atlantic and of a strange, barbarous land. Our farewell performances in
London had cheered me up a little--though I wept copiously at every
one--by showing us that we should be missed. Henry Irving's position
seemed to be confirmed and ratified by all that took place before his
departure. The dinners he had to eat, the speeches he had to make and to
listen to, were really terrific! One speech at the Rabelais Club had, it
was said, the longest peroration on record. It was this kind of thing:
"Where is our friend Irving going? He is not going like Nares to face
the perils of the far North. He is not going like A---- to face
something else. He is not going to China," etc.--and so on. After about
the hundredth "he is not going," Lord Houghton, who was one of the
guests, grew very impatient and interrupted the orator with: "Of course
he isn't! He's going to New York by the Cunard Line. It'll take him
about a week!"

_New York Before the "Sky-scrapers"_

My first voyage was a voyage of enchantment to me. The ship was laden
with pig-iron, but she rolled and rolled and rolled. She could never
roll too much for me. I have always been a splendid sailor, and I feel
jolly at sea. The sudden leap from home into the wilderness of waves
does not give me any sensation of melancholy.

What I thought I was going to see when I arrived in America, I hardly
remember. I had a vague idea that all American women wore red flannel
shirts and bowie knives and that I might be sandbagged in the street!
From somewhere or other I had derived an impression that New York was an
ugly, noisy place.

Ugly! When I first saw that marvellous harbour I nearly cried--it was so
beautiful. Whenever I come now to the unequalled approach to New York I
wonder what Americans must think of the approach from the sea to London.
How different are the mean, flat, marshy banks of the Thames, and the
wooden toy light-house at Dungeness, to the vast, spreading harbour,
with its busy multitude of steam boats and ferry boats, its wharf upon
wharf, and its tall statue of Liberty dominating all the racket and
bustle of the sea traffic of the world!

That was one of the few times in America when I did not miss the poetry
of the past. The poetry of the present, gigantic, colossal, and
enormous, made me forget it. The "sky-scrapers," so splendid in the
landscape now, did not exist in 1883; but I find it difficult to divide
my early impressions from my later ones. There was Brooklyn Bridge,
though, hung up high in the air like a vast spider's web. Between 1883
and 1893 I noticed a great change in New York and other cities. In ten
years they seemed to have grown with the energy of tropical plants. But
between 1893 and 1907 I saw no evidence of such feverish increase. It is
possible that the Americans are arriving at a stage when they can no
longer beat the record! There is a vast difference between one of the
old New York brownstone houses and one of the fourteen-storied buildings
near the river, but between this and the Times Square Building or the
still more amazing Flatiron Building, which is said to oscillate at the
top--it is so far from the ground--there is very little difference. I
hear that they are now beginning to build downwards into the earth, but
this will not change the appearance of New York for a long time.

[Illustration: _From the collection of Miss Evelyn Smalley_



I had not to endure the wooden shed in which most people landing in
America have to struggle with the custom-house officials--a struggle as
brutal as a "round in the ring" as Paul Bourget describes it. We were
taken off the "Britannic" in a tug, and Mr. Abbey, Lawrence Barrett, and
many other friends met us--including the much-dreaded reporters.

[Illustration: _Lent by The Century Co._


When we landed, I drove to the Hotel Dam, Henry to the Brevoort House.
There was no Diana on the top of the Madison Square Building then--the
building did not exist, to cheer the heart of a new arrival as the first
evidence of _beauty_ in the city. There were horse trams instead of
cable cars; but a quarter of a century has not altered the peculiarly
dilapidated carriages in which one drives from the dock, the muddy
sidewalks, and the cavernous holes in the cobble-paved streets. Had the
elevated railway, the first sign of _power_ that one notices after
leaving the boat, begun to thunder through the streets? I cannot
remember New York without it.

[Illustration: _Lent by The Century Co._


I missed then, as I miss now, the numberless _hansoms_ of London plying
in the streets for hire. People in New York get about in the cars,
unless they have their own carriages. The hired carriage has no reason
for existing, and when it does, it celebrates its unique position by
charging two dollars for a journey which in London would not cost fifty


_Irving Brings Shakespeare to America_

There were very few theatres in New York when we first went there. All
that part of the city which is now "up town" did not exist, and what was
then "up" is now more than "down" town. The American stage has changed
almost as much. Even then there was a liking for local plays which
showed the peculiarities of the different States, but they were more
violent and crude than now. The original American genius and the true
dramatic pleasure of the people is, I believe, in such plays, where very
complete observation of certain phases of American life and very real
pictures of manners are combined with comedy almost childlike in its
naïveté. The sovereignty of the young girl which is such a marked
feature in social life is reflected in American plays. This is by the
way. What I want to make clear is that in 1883 there was no living
American drama as there is now, that such productions of romantic plays
and Shakespeare as Henry Irving brought over from England, were unknown,
and that the extraordinary success of our first tours would be
impossible now. We were the first, and we were pioneers and we were
_new_. To be new is everything in America. Such palaces as the Hudson
Theatre, New York, were not dreamed of when we were at the Star, which
was, however, quite equal to any theatre in London, in front of the
footlights. The stage itself, the lighting appliances, and the
dressing-rooms were inferior.







_Our First Appearance Before an American Audience_

Henry made his first appearance in America in "The Bells." He was not at
his best on the first night, but he could be pretty good even when he
was not at his best. I watched him from a box. Nervousness made the
company very slow. The audience was a splendid one--discriminating and
appreciative. We felt that the Americans _wanted_ to like us. We felt in
a few days so extraordinarily at home. The first sensation of entering a
foreign city was quickly wiped out.

[Illustration: WILLIAM WINTER--


On the second night in New York it was my turn. "Command yourself--this
is the time to show you can act!" I said to myself as I went on the
stage of the Star Theatre, dressed as Henrietta Maria. But I could not
command myself. I played badly and cried too much in the last act. But
the people liked me, and they liked the play, perhaps because it was
historical, and of history the Americans are passionately fond. The
audience took many points which had been ignored in London. I had always
thought Henry as Charles I. most moving when he made that involuntary
effort to kneel to his subject, Moray, but the Lyceum audiences never
seemed to notice it. In New York the audience burst out into the most
sympathetic, spontaneous applause that I have ever heard in a theatre.

_American Clothes_

My impression of the way the American women dressed in 1883 was not
favourable. Some of them wore Indian shawls and diamond ear-rings. They
dressed too grandly in the street and too dowdily in the theatre. All
this has changed. The stores in New York are now the most beautiful in
the world, and the women are dressed to perfection. They are as clever
at the _demi-toilette_ as the Parisian, and the extreme neatness and
smartness of their walking gowns is very refreshing after the floppy,
blowsy, trailing dresses, accompanied by the inevitable feather boa, of
which English girls, who used to be so tidy and "tailor-made," now seem
so fond. The universal white "waist" is so pretty and trim on the
American girl. It is one of the distinguishing marks of a land of the
free, a land where "class" hardly exists. The girl in the store wears
the white waist; so does the rich girl on Fifth Avenue. It costs
anything from seventy-five cents to fifty dollars!

London, when I come back from America, always seems at first like an
ill-lighted village, strangely tame, peaceful, and backward. Above all,
I miss the sunlight of America, and the clear blue skies of an evening.

"Are you glad to get back?" said an English friend.


"It's a land of vulgarity, isn't it?"

"Oh, yes, if you mean by that a wonderful land--a land of sunshine and
light, of happiness, of faith in the future!" I answered. I saw no
misery or poverty there. Everyone looked happy. What hurts me on coming
back to England is the _hopeless_ look on so many faces; the dejection
and apathy of the people standing about in the streets. Of course there
is poverty in New York, but not among the Americans. The Italians, the
Russians, the Poles--all the host of immigrants washed in daily across
the harbour--these are poor, but you don't see them unless you go Bowery
ways and even then you can't help feeling that in their sufferings there
is always hope. Vulgarity? I saw little of it. I thought that the people
who had amassed large fortunes used their wealth beautifully. When a man
is rich enough to build himself a big, new house, he remembers some old
house which he once admired, and he has it imitated with all the
technical skill and care that can be had in America. This accounts for
the odd jumble of styles in Fifth Avenue, along the lake-side in
Chicago, in the new avenues in St. Louis and elsewhere. One
millionaire's house is modelled on a French château, another on an old
Colonial house in Virginia, another on a monastery in Mexico, another is
like an Italian _palazzo_. And their imitations are never weak or
pretentious. The architects in America seem to me to be far more able
than ours, or else they have a freer hand and more money.

_The Work of Augustus Saint-Gaudens_

It is sad to remember that Mr. Stanford White was one of the best of
these splendid architects. It was Stanford White with Saint-Gaudens,
that great sculptor, whose work dignifies nearly all the great cities in
America, who had most to do with the Exhibition buildings of the World's
Fair in Chicago in 1893. It was odd to see that fair dream city rising
out of the lake, so far more beautiful in its fleeting loveliness than
the Chicago of the stock-yards and the pit which had provided the money
for its beauty. The millionaires did not interfere with the artists at
all. They gave their thousands--and stood aside. The result was one of
the loveliest things conceivable. Saint-Gaudens and the rest did their
work as well as though the buildings were to endure for centuries
instead of being burned in a year to save the trouble of pulling down!
The World's Fair recalled to me the story of how Michelangelo carved a
figure in snow which, says the chronicler Vasari who saw it, "was

Saint-Gaudens gave me a cast of his medallion of Bastien-Lepage, and
wrote to a friend of mine: "Bastien had '_le coeur au métier_.' So has
Miss Terry, and I will place that saying in the frame that is to replace
the present unsatisfactory one." He was very fastidious about this frame
and took such a lot of trouble to get it right.

It must have been very irritating to Saint-Gaudens when he fell a victim
to that extraordinary official Puritanism which sometimes exercises a
petty censorship over works of art in America. The medal that he made
for the World's Fair was rejected at Washington because it had on it a
beautiful little nude figure of a boy--holding an olive
branch--emblematical of young America. I think a commonplace wreath and
some lettering were substituted.

Saint-Gaudens did the fine bas-relief of Robert Louis Stevenson which
was chosen for the monument in St. Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh. He gave
my daughter a medallion cast from this, because he knew that she was a
great lover of Stevenson. The bas-relief was dedicated to his friend,
Joe Evans. I knew Saint-Gaudens first through Joe Evans, an artist who,
while he lived, was to me and to my daughter the dearest of all in
America. His character was so fine and noble--his nature so perfect.
Many were the birthday cards he did for me, original in design,
beautiful in execution. Whatever he did, he put the best of himself
into it. I wrote this in my diary the year he died:

     "I heard on Saturday that our dear Joe Evans is dangerously ill.
     Yesterday came the worst news. Joe was not happy, but he was just
     heroic, and this world wasn't half good enough for him. I wonder if
     he has gone to a better. I keep on getting letters about him. He
     seems to have been so glad to die. It was like a child's funeral, I
     am told, and all his American friends seem to have been
     there--Saint-Gaudens, Taber, etc. A poem about the dear fellow by
     Mr. Gilder has one very good line in which he says the grave 'might
     snatch a brightness from his presence there.' I thought that was
     very happy, the love of light and gladness being the most
     remarkable thing about him, the dear sad Joe."

_Robert Taber_

Robert Taber, dear, and rather sad too, was a great friend of Joe's.
They both came to me first in the shape of a little book in which was
inscribed: "Never anything can be amiss when simpleness and duty tender
it." "Upon this hint I spake," the book began. It was all the work of a
few boys and girls who from the gallery of the Star Theatre, New York,
had watched Irving's productions and learned to love him and me. Joe
Evans had done a lovely picture by way of frontispiece of a group of
eager heads hanging over the gallery's edge, his own and Taber's among
them. Eventually Taber came to England and acted with Henry Irving in
"Peter the Great" and other plays.

Like his friend Joe, he too was heroic. His health was bad and his life
none too happy--but he struggled on. His career was cut short by
consumption and he died in the Adirondacks in 1904.

I cannot speak of all my friends in America, or anywhere, for the matter
of that, _individually_. My personal friends are so many, and they are
_all_ wonderful--wonderfully staunch to me! I have "tried" them so, and
they have never given me up as a bad job.

_Dramatic Criticism in America_

William Winter, poet, critic, and exquisite man, was one of the first to
write of Henry with whole-hearted appreciation. But all the criticism in
America, favourable and unfavourable, surprised us by the scholarly
knowledge it displayed. In Chicago the notices were worthy of the
_Temps_ or the _Journal des Débats_. There was no attempt to force the
personality of the writer into the foreground nor to write a style that
would attract attention to the critic and leave the thing criticised to
take care of itself. William Winter and, of late years, Alan Dale have
had their personalities associated with their criticisms, but they are
exceptions. Curiously enough, the art of acting appears to bore most
dramatic critics, the very people who might be expected to be interested
in it. The American critics, however, at the time of our early visits,
were keenly interested, and showed it by their observation of many
points which our English critics had passed over. For instance, writing
of "Much Ado about Nothing," one of the Americans said of Henry in the
Church Scene that "something of him as a subtle interpreter of doubtful
situations was exquisitely shown in the early part of this fine scene by
his suspicion of Don John--felt by him alone, and expressed only by a
quick covert look, but a look so full of intelligence as to proclaim him
a sharer in the secret with his audience."

"Wherein does the superiority lie?" wrote another critic in comparing
our productions with those which had been seen in America up to 1884.
"Not in the amount of money expended, but in the amount of brains; in
the artistic intelligence and careful and earnest pains with which every
detail is studied and worked out. Nor is there any reason why Mr. Irving
or any other foreigner should have a monopoly of either intelligence or
pains. They are common property and one man's money can buy them as well
as another's. The defect in the American manager's policy heretofore has
been that he has squandered his money upon high salaries for a few of
his actors; and in costly, because unintelligent, expenditure for mere
dazzle and show."

_William Winter and His Children_

William Winter soon became a great personal friend of ours, and visited
us in England. He was one of the few _sad_ people I met in America. He
could have sat upon the ground and "told sad stories of the deaths of
kings" with the best. In England he loved going to see graveyards, and
knew where every poet was buried. He was very familiar with the poetry
of the _immediate_ past--Cowper, Coleridge, Gray, Wordsworth, Shelley,
Keats, and the rest. He _liked_ us, so everything we did was right to
him. He could not help being guided entirely by his feelings. If he
disliked a thing, he had no use for it. Some men can say, "I hate this
play, but of its kind it is admirable." Willie Winter could never take
that unemotional point of view.

His children came to stay with me in London. When we were all coming
home from the theatre one night after Faust (the year must have been
1886), I said to little Willie:

"Well, what do you think of the play?"

"Oh my!" said he, "it takes the cake."

"Takes the _cake_," said his little sister scornfully. "It takes the

"Won't you give me a kiss?" said Henry to the same little girl one

"No, I _won't_, with all that blue stuff on your face." (He was made up
for Mephistopheles.) Then, after a pause, "But why--why don't you _take_
it!" She was only five years old at the time!

_Discovering the Southern Darkey_

For quite a while during the first tour I stayed in Washington with my
friend, Miss Olive Seward, and all the servants of that delightful
household were coloured. This was my first introduction to the negroes,
whose presence in the country makes America seem more foreign than
anything to European eyes. They are more sharply divided into high and
low types than white people, and are not in the least alike in their
types. It is safe to call any coloured man "George." They all love it,
perhaps because of George Washington; and most of them are really named
George. I never met with such perfect service as they can give. _Some_
of them are delightful. The beautiful, full voice of the "darkey" is so
attractive--so soothing, and they are so deft and gentle. Some of the
women are beautiful, and all the young appeared to me to be well-formed.
As for the babies! I washed two or three little piccaninnies when I was
in the South, and the way they rolled their gorgeous eyes at me was "too
cute," which means, in British-English, "fascinating."

At the Washington house, the servants danced a cake-walk for me--the
coloured cook, a magnificent type, who "took the cake," saying, "That
was because I chose a good handsome boy to dance with, Missie." They
sang, too. Their voices were beautiful--with such illimitable power, yet
as sweet as treacle.

The little page boy had a pet of a woolly head--Henry once gave him a
tip, a "fee," in American-English, and said: "There, that's for a new
wig when this one is worn out," gently pulling the astrakhan-like hair.
The tip would have bought him many wigs, I think!

"Why, Uncle Tom, how your face shines to-night!" said my hostess to one
of the very old servants.

"Yes, Missie, glycerine and rose-water, Missie!"

He had taken some from her dressing-table to shine up his face in honour
of me! A shiny complexion is considered to be a great beauty among the
blacks. The dear old man! He was very bent and very old; and looked like
one of the logs that he used to bring in for the fire--a log from some
hoary, lichened tree whose life was long since past. He would produce
pins from his head when you wanted one; he had them stuck in his pad of
white woolly hair. "Always handy then, Missie," he would say.

"Ask them to sing 'Sweet Violets,' Uncle Tom."

He was acting as a sort of master of the ceremonies at the entertainment
the servants were giving me.

"Don't think they know dat, Miss Olly."

"Why I heard them singing it the other night!" And she hummed the tune.

"Oh, dat was 'Sweet Vio-_letts_,' Miss Olly!"

_American Women_

Washington was the first city I had seen in America where the people did
not hurry, and where the social life did not seem entirely the work of
women. The men asserted themselves here as something more than machines
in the background, untiringly turning out the dollars while their wives
and daughters give luncheons and teas at which only women are present.

Beautifully as the women dress, they talk very little about clothes. I
was much struck by their culture--by the evidence that they had read far
more and developed a more fastidious taste than most young Englishwomen.
Yet it is all mixed up with extraordinary naïveté. Their vivacity, the
appearance, at least, of _reality_, the animation, the energy of
American women, delighted me. They are very sympathetic, too, in spite
of a certain callousness which comes of regarding everything in life,
even love, as "lots of fun." I did not think that they, or the men
either, had much natural sense of beauty. They admire beauty in a
curious way through their intellect. Nearly every American girl has a
cast of the winged Victory of the Louvre in her room. She makes it a
point of her _education_ to admire it.

There! I am beginning to generalize--the very thing I was resolute to
avoid. How silly to generalize about a country which embraces such
extremes of climate as the sharp winters of Boston and New York, and the
warm winds of Florida which blow through palms and orange groves!




James Tapster was eating his solitary, well-cooked dinner in his
comfortable and handsome house, a house situated in one of the half-moon
terraces which line and frame the more aristocratic side of Regent's
Park, and which may, indeed, be said to have private grounds of their
own, for each resident enjoys the use of a key to a portion of the Park
entitled locally the "Inclosure."

Very early in his life Mr. Tapster had made up his mind that he would
like to live in Cumberland Crescent, and now he was living there; very
early in his life he had decided that no one could order a plain yet
palatable meal as well as he could himself, and now for some months past
Mr. Tapster had given his own orders, each morning, to the cook.

To-night Mr. Tapster had already eaten his fried sole, and was about to
cut himself off a generous portion of the grilled undercut before him,
when he heard the postman's steps hurrying around the Crescent. He rose
with a certain quick deliberateness, and, going out into the hall,
opened the front door just in time to avoid the rat-tat-tat. Then, the
one letter he had expected duly in his hand, he waited till he had sat
down again in front of his still empty plate before he broke the seal
and glanced over the type-written sheet of note-paper:

    November 4, 190-.


    In reply to your letter of yesterday's date, I have been to Bedford
    Row and seen Greenfield, and he thinks it probable that the Decree
    will be made Absolute to-day; in that case you will have received a
    wire before this letter reaches you.

    Your affect' brother,

In the same handwriting as the signature were added two holograph lines:
"Glad you have the children home again. Maud will be round to see them

Mr. Tapster read over once again the body of the letter, and there came
upon him an instinctive feeling of intense relief; then, with a not less
instinctive feeling of impatience, his eyes traveled down again to the
postscript: "Maud will be round to see them soon." Well, he would see
about that! But he did not exclaim, even mentally, as most men feeling
as he then felt would have done, "I'll be damned if she will!" knowing
the while that Maud certainly would.

His brother's letter, though most satisfactory as regarded its main
point, put Mr. Tapster out of conceit with the rest of his dinner; so he
rang twice and had the table cleared, frowning at the parlor-maid as she
hurried through her duties, and yet not daring to rebuke her for having
neglected to answer the bell the first time he rang. After a pause, he
rose and turned toward the door--but no, he could not face the large,
cheerless drawing-room up-stairs; instead, he sat down by the fire, and
set himself to consider his future and, in a more hazy sense, that of
his now motherless children.

But very soon, as generally happens to those who devote any time to that
least profitable of occupations, Mr. Tapster found that his thoughts
drifted aimlessly, not to the future where he would have them be, but to
the past--that past which he desired to forget, to obliterate from his

Till rather more than a year ago few men of his age--he had then been
sixty, he was now sixty-one--enjoyed a pleasanter and, from his own
point of view, a better filled life than James Tapster. How he had
scorned the gambler, the spendthrift, the adulterer--in a word, all
those whose actions bring about their own inevitable punishment! He had
always been self-respecting and conscientious--not a prig, mind you, but
inclined rather to the serious than to the flippant side of life; and,
so inclining, he had found contentment and great material prosperity.

Not even in those days to which he was now looking back so regretfully
had Mr. Tapster always been perfectly content; but now the poor man,
sitting alone by his dining-room fire, remembered only what had been
good and pleasant in his former state. He was aware that his brother
William and William's wife, Maud, both thought that even now he had much
to be thankful for. His line of business was brisk, scarcely touched by
foreign competition, his income increasing at a steady rate of
progression, and his children were exceptionally healthy. But, alas! now
that, in place of there being a pretty little Mrs. Tapster on whom to
spend easily earned money, his substance was being squandered by a crowd
of unmanageable and yet indispensable thieves,--for so Mr. Tapster
voicelessly described the five servants whose loud talk and laughter
were even now floating up from the basement below,--he did not feel his
financial stability so comfortable a thing as he had once done. His very
children, who should now be, as he told himself complainingly, his
greatest comfort, had degenerated from two sturdy, well-behaved little
boys and a charming baby girl into three unruly, fretful imps, setting
him at defiance, and terrorizing their two attendants, who, though
carefully chosen by their Aunt Maud, did not seem to manage them as well
as the old nurse who had been an ally of the ex-Mrs. Tapster.

Looking back at the whole horrible affair--for so, in his own mind, Mr.
Tapster justly designated the divorce case in which he had figured as
the successful petitioner--he wondered uneasily if he had done quite
wisely--wisely, that is, for his own repute and comfort.

He knew very well that had it not been for William, or rather, for Maud,
he would never have found out the dreadful truth. Nay, more, he was
dimly aware that but for them, and for their insistence on it as the
only proper course open to him, he would never have taken action. All
would have been forgiven and forgotten, had not William, and more
especially Maud, said he must divorce Flossy, if not for his own
sake,--ah, what irony!--then for that of his children.

Of course, he felt grateful to his brother William and to his brother's
wife for all they had done for him since that sad time. Still, in the
depths of his heart, Mr. Tapster felt entitled to blame and sometimes
almost to hate his kind brother and sister. To them both, or rather, to
Maud, he really owed the break-up of his life; for, when all was said
and done, it had to be admitted (though Maud did not like him to remind
her of it), that Flossy had met the villain while staying with the
William Tapsters at Boulogne. Respectable London people should have
known better than to take a furnished house at a disreputable French
watering-place, a place full of low English!

Sometimes it was only by a great exercise of self-control that he, James
Tapster, could refrain from telling Maud what he thought of her conduct
in this matter, the more so that she never seemed to understand how
greatly she--and William--had been to blame. On one occasion Maud had
even said how surprised she had been that James had cared to go away to
America, leaving his pretty young wife alone for as long as three
months. Why hadn't she said so at the time, then? Of course, he had
thought that he could leave Flossy to be looked after and kept out of
mischief by Maud and William. But he had been, in more than one sense,
alas! bitterly deceived.

Still, it's never any use crying over spilt milk, so Mr. Tapster got up
from his chair and walked around the room, looking absently, as he did
so, at the large Landseer engravings, of which he was naturally proud.
If only he could forget, put out of his mind forever, the whole affair!
Well, perhaps with the Decree being made Absolute would come oblivion.

He sat down again before the fire. Staring at the hot embers, he
reminded himself that Flossy, wicked, ungrateful Flossy, had disappeared
out of his life. This being so, why think of her? The very children had
at last left off asking inconvenient questions about their mama.

By the way, would Flossy still be their mama after the Decree had been
made Absolute? So Mr. Tapster now suddenly asked himself. He hesitated,
perplexed. But, yes, the Decree being made Absolute would not undo, or
even efface, that fact. The more so--though surely here James Tapster
showed himself less logical than usual--the more so that Flossy, in
spite of what Maud had always said about her, had been a loving and, in
her own light-hearted way, a careful mother. But, though Flossy would
remain the mother of his children,--odd that the Law hadn't provided for
that contingency--she would soon be absolutely nothing, and less than
nothing, to him, the father of those children. Mr. Tapster was a great
believer in the infallibility of the Law, and he subscribed
whole-heartedly to the new reading, "What Law has put asunder, let no
man join together."

To-night Mr. Tapster could not help looking back with a certain
complacency to his one legal adventure. Nothing could have been better
done or more admirably conducted than the way the whole matter had been
carried through. His brother William, and William's solicitor, Mr.
Greenfield, had managed it all so very nicely. True, there had been a
few uncomfortable moments in the witness-box, but every one, including
the judge, had been most kind. As for his counsel, the leading man who
makes a specialty of these sad affairs, not even James Tapster himself
could have put his own case in a more delicate and moving fashion. "A
gentleman possessed of considerable fortune--" so had he justly been
described; and counsel, without undue insistence on irrelevant detail,
had drawn a touching and a true picture of Mr. Tapster's one romance,
his marriage eight years before to the twenty-year-old daughter of an
undischarged bankrupt. Even the Petitioner had scarcely seen Flossy's
dreadful ingratitude in its true colors till he had heard his counsel's
moderate comments on the case.


This evening Mr. Tapster saw Flossy's dreadful ingratitude terribly
clearly, and he wondered, not for the first time, how his wife could
have had the heart to break up his happy home. Why, but for him and his
offer of marriage, Flossy Ball--that had been his wife's maiden
name--would have had to earn her own living! And as she had been very
pretty, very "fetching," she would probably have married some
good-for-nothing young fellow of her own age, lacking the means to
support a wife in decent comfort,--such a fellow, for instance, as the
wretched "co" in the case; while with Mr. Tapster--why, she had had
everything the heart of woman could wish for--a good home, beautiful
clothes, and the being waited on hand and foot. A strange choking
feeling came into his throat as he thought of how good he had been to
Flossy, and how very bad had been her return for that kindness.

But this--this was dreadful! He was actually thinking of her again, and
not, as he had meant to do, of himself and his poor motherless children!
Time enough to think of Flossy when he had news of her again. If her
lover did not marry her--and, from what Mr. Greenfield had discovered
about him, it was most improbable that he would ever be in a position to
do so--she would certainly reappear on the Tapster horizon: Mr.
Greenfield said "they" always did. In that case, it was arranged that
William should pay her a weekly allowance. Mr. Tapster, always, as he
now reminded himself sadly, ready to do the generous thing, had fixed
that allowance at three pounds a week, a sum which had astonished, in
fact quite staggered, Mr. Greenfield's head clerk, a very decent fellow,
by the way.

"Of course, it shall be as you wish, Mr. Tapster, but you should think
of the future and of your children. A hundred and fifty pounds a year is
a large sum; you may feel it a tax, sir, as years go on----"

"That is enough," Mr. Tapster had answered, kindly but firmly; "you have
done your duty in laying that side of the case before me. I have,
however, decided on the amount named; should I see reason to alter my
mind, our arrangement leaves it open to me at any time to lower the

But, though this conversation had taken place some months ago, and
though Mr. Tapster still held true to his generous resolve, as yet
Flossy had not reappeared. Mr. Tapster sometimes told himself that if he
only knew where she was, what she was doing,--whether she was still with
that young fellow, for instance,--he would think much less about her
than he did now. Only last night, going for a moment into the night
nursery,--poor Mr. Tapster now enjoyed his children's company only when
he was quite sure that they were asleep,--he had had an extraordinary,
almost a physical impression of Flossy's presence; he certainly had felt
a faint whiff of her favorite perfume. Flossy had been fond of scent,
and, though Maud always said that the use of scent was most unladylike,
he, James, did not dislike it.

With sudden soreness, Mr. Tapster now recalled the one letter Flossy had
written to him just before the actual hearing of the divorce suit. It
had been a wild, oddly worded appeal to him to take her back, not--as
Maud had at once perceived on reading the letter--because she was sorry
for the terrible thing she had done, but simply because she was
beginning to hanker after her children. Maud had described the letter as
shameless and unwomanly in the extreme, and even William, who had never
judged his pretty young sister-in-law as severely as his wife had always
done, had observed sadly that Flossy seemed quite unaware of the
magnitude of her offense against God and man.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. Tapster, who prided himself on his sharp ears, suddenly heard a
curious little sound. He knew it for that of the front door being first
opened, and then shut again, extremely quietly. He half rose from his
chair by the fire, then sat down again heavily.

By Maud's advice, he always locked the area gate himself when he came
home each evening. But how foolish of Maud--such a sensible woman,
too--to think that servants and their evil ways could be circumvented so
easily. Of course, the maids went in and out by the front door in the
evening, and the policeman--a most respectable officer standing at point
duty a few yards lower down the road--must be well aware of these
disgraceful "goings on".

For the first two or three months of his widowerhood (how else could he
term his present peculiar wifeless condition?) there had been a constant
coming and going of servants, first chosen, and then dismissed, by Maud.
At last she suggested that her brother-in-law should engage a lady
housekeeper, and the luckless James Tapster had even interviewed several
applicants for the post after they had been chosen--sifted out, as it
were--by Maud. Unfortunately, they had all been more or less of his own
age, and plain, very plain; while he, naturally enough, would have
preferred to see something young and pretty about him again.

It was over this housekeeper question that he had at last escaped from
Maud's domestic thraldom; for his sister-in-law, offended by his
rejection of each of her candidates, had declared that she would take no
more trouble about his household affairs! Nay, more, she had reminded
him with a smile that she had honestly tried to make pleasant, that
there is, after all, no fool like an old fool--about women. This
insinuation had made Mr. Tapster very angry, and straightway he had
engaged a respectable cook-housekeeper, and, although he had soon become
aware that the woman was feathering her own nest,--James Tapster, as you
will have divined ere now, was fond of good workaday phrases,--yet she
had a pleasant, respectful manner, and kept rough order among the
younger servants.

Mr. Tapster's sister-in-law now interfered only where his children were
concerned. Never having been herself a mother, she had, of course, been
able to form a clear and unprejudiced judgment as to how children, and
especially as to how little boys, should be physically and mentally
trained. As yet, however, Maud had not been very successful with her two
nephews and infant niece, but this was doubtless owing to the fact that
there had been something gravely amiss with each of the five nurses who
had been successively engaged by her during the last year.

The elder of Mr. Tapster's sons was six, and the second four; the
youngest child, a little girl named, unfortunately, Flora, after her
mother, was three years old. There had been a fourth, Flossy's second
baby, also a girl, who had only lived one day. All this being so, was it
not strange that a young matron who had led, for some four years out of
the eight years her married life had lasted, so wholly womanly and
domestic an existence as had fallen to the lot of Flossy, should have
been led astray by the meretricious allurements of unlawful
love?--Maud's striking thought and phrase, this.


And yet, Flossy, in spite of her frivolity, had somehow managed the
children far better than Maud was now able to do. At the present time,
so Mr. Tapster admitted to himself with something very like an inward
groan, his two sons possessed every vice of which masculine infancy is
capable. They had become, so he was told by their indignant nurses, the
terror of the well-behaved children who shared with them the pleasures
of the Park Inclosure, where they took their daily exercise; and Baby,
once so sweet and good, was now very fretful and peevish.

       *       *       *       *       *

Again the train of Mr. Tapster's mournful thoughts was disturbed by a
curious little sound--that of some one creeping softly down the
staircase leading from the upper floors. Once more he half rose from his
chair, only to fall heavily back again, with a look of impotent
annoyance on his round, whiskered face. Where was the use of his going
out into the hall and catching Nurse on her way to the kitchen? Maud had
declared, very early in the day, that there should be as little
communication as possible between the kitchen and the nursery, but Mr.
Tapster sometimes found himself in secret sympathy with the two women
whose disagreeable duty it was to be always with his three turbulent

Mr. Tapster frowned and stared gloomily into the fire; then he suddenly
pulled himself together rather sharply, for the door behind him had
slowly swung open. This was intolerable! The parlor-maid had again and
again been told that, whatever might have been the case in her former
places, no door in Mr. Tapster's house was to be opened without the
preliminary of a respectful knock.

Fortified by the memory of what had been a positive order, he turned
round, nerving himself to deliver the necessary rebuke. But instead of
the shifty-eyed, impudent-looking woman he had thought to see, there
stood close to him, so close that he could almost have touched her,
Flossy, his wife, or rather the woman who, though no longer his wife,
had still, as he had been informed to his discomfiture, the right to
bear his name.

A very strange feeling, and one so complicated that it sat uneasily upon
him, took instant possession of Mr. Tapster: anger, surprise, and relief
warred with one another in his heart.

Then he began to think that his eyes must be playing him some curious
trick, for the figure at which he was staring remained strangely still
and motionless. Was it possible that his mind, dwelling constantly on
Flossy, had evoked her wraith? But, no, looking up in startled silence
at the still figure standing before him, he realized that not so would
memory have conjured up the pretty, bright little woman of whom he had
once been proud. Flossy still looked pretty, but she was thin and pale,
and there were dark rings round her eyes; also, her dress was worn, her
hat curiously shabby.

As Mr. Tapster stared up at her, noting these things, one of her hands
began playing nervously with the fringe of the dining-table cover, and
the other sought the back of what had once been one of her dining-room
chairs. As he watched her making these slight movements, nature so far
reasserted itself that a feeling of poignant regret, of pity for her, as
well as, of course, a much larger share of pity for himself, came over
James Tapster.

Had Flossy spoken then,--had she possessed the intuitive knowledge of
men which is the gift of so many otherwise unintelligent women,--the
whole of Mr. Tapster's future, to say nothing of her own, might have
been different and, it may be suggested, happier.

But the moment of softening and mansuetude slipped quickly by, and was
succeeded by a burst of anger; for Mr. Tapster suddenly became aware
that Flossy's left hand, the little thin hand resting on the back of the
chair, was holding two keys which he recognized at once as his property.
The one was a replica of the latch-key which always hung on his
watch-chain, while the other and larger key, to which was attached a
brass tag bearing the name of Tapster and the address of the house, gave
access to the Inclosure Garden opposite Cumberland Crescent!

Avoiding her eager, pitiful look, Mr. Tapster set himself to realize,
with a shrewdness for which William and Maud would never have given him
credit, what Flossy's possession of those two keys had meant during the
last few months.

This woman, who both was and was not Mrs. Tapster, had retained the
power to come freely in and out of _his_ house! She had been able to
make her way, with or without the connivance of the servants, into _his_
children's nursery at any hour of the day or night convenient to
herself! With the aid of that Inclosure key, she had no doubt often seen
the children during their daily walk! In a word, Flossy had been able to
enjoy all the privileges of motherhood while having forfeited all those
of happy wifehood!

His mind hastened heavily on. What a fool he must have looked before
his servants! How they must have laughed to think that he was being so
deceived and taken in! Why, even the policeman who stood at point duty
outside must have known all about it!

Small wonder that Mr. Tapster felt extremely incensed; small wonder that
his heart, hardening, solidifying, expelled any feeling of pity provoked
by Flossy's sad and downcast appearance.

"I must request you," he said, in a voice which even to himself sounded
harsh and needlessly loud, "to give me up those keys which you hold in
your hand. You have no right to their possession, and I grieve to think
that you took advantage of my great distress of mind not to return them
with the things of which I sent you a list by my brother William. I
cannot believe"--and now Mr. Tapster lied as only the very truthful can
lie on occasion--"I cannot believe, I say, that you have taken advantage
of my having overlooked them, and that you have ever before to-night
forced yourself into this house! Still less can I believe that you have
taught our--_my_--children to deceive their father!"

Even when uttering his first sentence, he had noticed that there had
come over Flossy's face--which was thinner, if quite as pretty and
youthful-looking, as when he had last seen it--an expression of
obstinacy which he had once well known and always dreaded. It had been
Flossy's one poor weapon against her husband's superior sense and power
of getting his own way, and sometimes it had vanquished him in that fair
fight which is always being waged between the average husband and wife.

"You are right," she cried passionately. "I have not taught the children
to deceive you! I have never come into this house until I felt sure that
they were asleep and alone, though I've often wondered that they never
woke up and knew that their own mother was there! But more than once,
James, I've felt like going after that society which looks after badly
treated children--for the last nurse you had for them was so cruel! If
she hadn't left you soon I should have _had_ to do something! I used to
feel desperate when I saw her shake Baby in her pram; why, one day, in
the Inclosure, a lady spoke to her about it, and threatened to tell
her--her mistress----"

Flossy's voice sank to a shamed whisper. The tears were rolling down her
cheeks; she was speaking in angry gasps, and what she said actually made
James Tapster feel, what he knew full well he had no reason to feel,
ashamed of himself. "That is why," she went on, "that is why I have, as
you say, forced myself into your house, and why, too, I have now come
here to ask you to forgive me--to take me back--just for the sake of the

Mr. Tapster's mind was one that traveled surely, if slowly. He saw his
chance, and seized it. "And why," he said impressively, "had that
woman--the nurse, I mean--no mistress? Tell me that, Flossy. You should
have thought of all that before you behaved as you did!"

"I didn't know--I didn't think----"

Mr. Tapster finished the sentence for her: "You didn't think," he
observed impressively, "that I should ever find you out."

Then there came over him a morbid wish to discover--to learn from her
own lips--why Flossy had done such a shameful and extraordinary thing as
to be unfaithful to her marriage vow.

"Whatever made you behave so?" he asked in a low voice. "I wasn't unkind
to you, was I? You had a nice, comfortable home, hadn't you?"

"I was mad," she answered, with a touch of sharp weariness. "I don't
suppose I could ever make you understand; and yet,"--she looked at him
deprecatingly,--"I suppose, James, that you too were young once,

Mr. Tapster stared at Flossy. What extraordinary things she said! Of
course he had been young once; for the matter of that, he didn't feel
old--not to say _old_--even now. But he had always been perfectly
sane--she knew that well enough! As for her calling herself mad, that
was a mere figure of speech. Of course, in a sense, she had been mad to
do what she had done, and he was glad that she now understood this; but
her saying so simply begged the whole question, and left him no wiser
than he was before.

There was a long, tense silence between them. Then Mr. Tapster slowly
rose from his arm-chair and faced his wife.

"I see," he said, "that William was right. I mean, I suppose I may take
it that that young fellow has gone and left you?"

"Yes," she said, with a curious indifference, "he has gone and left me.
His father made him take a job out in Brazil just after the case was

"And what have you been doing since then?" asked Mr. Tapster
suspiciously. "How have you been living?"

"His father gives me a pound a week." Flossy still spoke with that
curious indifference. "I tried to get something to do"--she hesitated,
then offered the lame explanation--"just to have something to do, for
I've been awfully lonely and miserable, James; but I don't seem to be
able to get anything."

"If you had written to Mr. Greenfield or to William, they would have
told you that I had arranged for you to have an allowance," he said, and
then again he fell into silence....

Mr. Tapster was seeing a vision of himself, magnanimous,
forgiving--taking the peccant Flossy back to his heart and becoming once
more, in a material sense, comfortable! If he acceded to her wish, if he
made up his mind to forgive her, he would have to begin life all over
again, move away from Cumberland Crescent to some distant place where
the story was not known--perhaps to Clapham, where he had spent his

But how about Maud? How about William? How about the very considerable
expense to which he had been put in connection with the divorce
proceedings? Was all that money to be wasted? Mr. Tapster suddenly saw
the whole of his little world rising up in judgment, smiling pityingly
at his folly and weakness. During the whole of a long and of what had
been, till this last year, a very prosperous life, Mr. Tapster had
always steered his safe course by what may be called the compass of
public opinion, and now, when navigating an unknown sea, he could not
afford to throw that compass overboard, so----

"No," he said; "no, Flossy. It would not be right for me to take you
back. _It wouldn't do._"

"Wouldn't it?" she asked piteously. "Oh, James, don't say no like that,
all at once! People do forgive each other--sometimes. I don't ask you to
be as kind to me as you were before--only to let me come home and see
after the children!"

But Mr. Tapster shook his head. The children! Always the children! He
noticed, even now, that she didn't say a word of wanting to come back to
_him_; and yet, he had been such a kind, nay, if Maud were to be
believed, such a foolishly indulgent husband.

And then, Flossy looked so different. Mr. Tapster felt as if a stranger
were standing there before him. Her appearance of poverty shocked him.
Had she looked well and prosperous, he would have felt injured, and yet
her pinched face and shabby clothes certainly repelled him. So again he
shook his head, and there came into his face a look which Flossy had
always known in old days to spell finality, and when he again spoke she
saw that her knowledge had not misled her.

"I don't want to be unkind," he said ponderously. "If you will only go
to William, or write to him if you would rather not go to the
office,"--Mr. Tapster did not like to think that any one once closely
connected with him should "look like that" in his brother's office,--"he
will tell you what you had better do. I'm quite ready to make you a
handsome allowance--in fact, it is all arranged. You need not have
anything more to do with that fellow's father--an army colonel, isn't
he?--and his pound a week; but William thinks, and I must say I agree,
that you ought to go back to your maiden name, Flossy, as being more
fair to me."

"And am I never to see the children again?" she asked.

"No; it wouldn't be right for me to let you do so." He hesitated, then
added, "They don't miss you any more now"; with no unkindly intent he
concluded, "soon they'll have forgotten you altogether."

And then, just as Mr. Tapster was hesitating, seeking for a suitable and
not unkindly sentence of farewell, he saw a very strange, almost a
desperate look come over Flossy's face, and, to his surprise, she
suddenly turned and left the room, closing the door very carefully
behind her.

He stared after her. How very odd of her to say nothing! And what a
strange look had come over her face! He could not help feeling hurt that
she had not thanked him for what he knew to be a very generous and
unusual provision on the part of an injured husband.... Mr. Tapster took
a silk handkerchief out of his pocket and passed it twice over his face,
then once more he sought and sank into the arm-chair by the fire.

Even now he still felt keenly conscious of Flossy's nearness. What could
she be doing? Then he straightened himself and listened; yes, it was as
he feared; she had gone up-stairs--up-stairs to look at the children,
for now he could hear her coming down again. How obstinate she was, how
obstinate and ungrateful! Mr. Tapster wished he had the courage to go
out into the hall and face her, in order to tell her how wrong her
conduct was. Why, she had actually kept the keys--those keys that were
his property!

Suddenly he heard her light footsteps hurrying down the hall; now she
was opening the front door--it slammed, and again Mr. Tapster felt
pained to think how strangely indifferent Flossie was to his interests.
Why, what would the servants think, hearing the front door slam like

But still, now that it was over, he was glad the interview had taken
place, for henceforth--or so, at least, Mr. Tapster believed--the Flossy
of the past, the bright, pretty, prosperous Flossy of whom he had been
so proud, would cease to haunt him. He remembered, with a feeling of
relief, that she was going to his brother William; of course, she would
then, among greater renunciations, be compelled to return the two
keys--for they, that is, his brother and himself, would have her in
their power. They would not behave unkindly to her--far from it; in
fact, they would arrange for her to live with some quiet, religious lady
in a country town a few hours from London.


Then Mr. Tapster began going over each incident of the strange little
interview, for he wanted to tell his brother William exactly what had
taken place.

His conscience was quite clear, except with regard to one matter, and
that, after all, needn't be mentioned to William. He felt rather ashamed
of having asked the question which had provoked so strange and wild an
answer--so unexpected a retort. Mad? What had Flossy meant by asking him
if he had ever been mad? No one had ever used the word in connection
with James Tapster before--save once. Oddly enough, that occasion also
had been in a way connected with Flossy, for it had happened when he had
gone to tell William and Maud of his engagement.

It was on a fine day nine years ago come this May, and he had found
William and William's wife walking in their little garden on Havenstock
Hill. His kind brother, as always, had been most sympathetic, and had
even made a suitable joke--Mr. Tapster remembered it very sadly
to-night--concerning the spring and a young man's fancy; but Maud had
been really disagreeable. She had said, "It's no use talking to you,
James, for you're mad, quite mad!"

Strange that he should remember all this to-night, for, after all, it
had nothing to do with the present state of affairs.

Mr. Tapster felt rather shaken and nervous; he pulled out his repeater
watch, but, alas! it was still very early--only ten minutes to nine. He
couldn't go to bed yet. Perhaps he would do well to join a club. He had
always thought rather poorly of men who belonged to clubs--most of them
were idle, lazy fellows; but still, circumstances alter cases.

Suddenly he began to wish that Flossy had remained a little longer. He
thought of all sorts of things--improving, kindly remarks--he would have
liked to say to her. He blamed himself for not having offered her any
refreshment; she would probably have refused to take anything, but
still, it was wrong on his part not to have thought of it. A pound a
week for everything! No wonder she looked starved. Why, his own
household bills, exclusive of wine or beer, had worked out, since he had
had this new expensive housekeeper, at something like fifteen shillings
a head, a fact which he had managed to conceal from Maud, who "did" her
William so well on exactly ten shillings and ninepence all round!

       *       *       *       *       *

It struck nine from the neighboring church, where Mr. Tapster had
sittings,--but where he seldom was able to go on Sunday mornings, for he
was proud of being among those old-fashioned folk who still regard
Sunday as essentially a day of rest,--and there came a sudden sound of
hoarse shouting from the road outside. Though he was glad of anything
that broke the oppressive silence with which he felt encompassed, Mr.
Tapster found time to tell himself that it was disgraceful that vulgar
street brawlers should invade so quiet a residential thoroughfare as
Cumberland Crescent. But order would soon be restored, for the sound of
a policeman's whistle cut sharply through the air.

The noise, however, continued; he could hear the tramp of feet hurrying
past his house and then leaving the pavement for the other side of the
road. What could be the matter? Something very exciting must be going on
just opposite his front door, that is, close to the Inclosure railings.

Mr. Tapster got up from his chair, and walked in a leisurely way to the
wide window. He drew aside the thick red rep curtains, and lifted a
corner of the blind. Then, through the slightly foggy haze, he saw that
which rather surprised him and made him feel actively indignant; for a
string of people, men, women, and boys, were hurrying into the Inclosure
Garden--that sacred place set apart for the exclusive use of the
nobility and gentry who lived in Cumberland Crescent and the adjoining

What an abominable thing! Why, the grass would all be trampled down; and
these dirty people, these slum folk, who seem to spring out of the earth
when anything of a disagreeable or shameful nature is taking place,--a
fire, for instance, or a brawl,--might easily bring infectious diseases
on to those gravel paths where the little Tapsters and their like run
about, playing their innocent games. Some careless person had evidently
left the gate unlocked, and the fight, or whatever it was, must be
taking place inside the Inclosure!

Mr. Tapster tried in vain to see what was going on inside the railings,
but everything beyond the brightly lighted road was wrapped in gray
darkness. Some one suddenly held up high a flaming torch, and the
watcher at the window saw that the shadowy crowd which had managed to
force its way into the Park hung together, like bees swarming, on the
farther lawn through which flowed the Serpentine. With the gleaming of
the yellow, wavering light there had fallen a sudden hush and silence,
and Mr. Tapster wondered uneasily what those people were doing there,
and what it was they were pressing forward so eagerly to see.


Then he realized that it must have been a fight, after all, for now the
crowd was parting in two, and down the lane so formed Mr. Tapster saw
coming toward the gate, and so in a sense toward himself, a rather
pitiful little procession. Some one had evidently been injured, and that
seriously; for four men, bearing a sheep-hurdle on which lay a huddled
mass, were walking slowly toward the gate, and he heard distinctly the
gruffly uttered words: "Stand back, please--back, there! We're going
across the road." The now large crowd suddenly swayed forward; indeed,
to Mr. Tapster's astonished eyes, they seemed to be actually making a
rush for his house, and a moment later they were pressing around his

Looking down on the upturned faces below him, Mr. Tapster was very glad
that a stout pane of glass stood between himself and the
sinister-looking men and women who seemed to be staring up at him, or
rather at his windows, with faces full of cruel, wolfish curiosity. He
let the blind fall to gently. His interest in the vulgar, sordid scene
had suddenly died down; the drama was now over; in a moment the crowd
would disperse, the human vermin (but Mr. Tapster would never have used,
even to himself, so coarse an expression) would be on their way back to
their burrows. But before he had even time to rearrange the curtains in
their right folds, there came a sudden loud, persistent knocking at his
front door.

Mr. Tapster turned around sharply, feeling justly incensed. Of course,
he knew what it was--some good-for-nothing urchin finding a vent for his
excited feelings. His parlor-maid, who was never in any hurry to open
the door,--she had once kept him waiting ten minutes when he had
forgotten his latch-key,--would certainly take no notice of this
unseemly noise, but he, James Tapster, would himself hurry out and try
to catch the delinquent, take his name and address, and thoroughly
frighten him.

As he reached the door of the dining-room, Mr. Tapster heard the front
door open--open, too,--and this was certainly very surprising,--from the
outside! In the hall he saw that it was a policeman--in fact, the
officer on point duty close by--who had opened his front door, and
apparently with a latch-key.

The constable spoke, as constables always do to the Mr. Tapsters of this
world, in respectful and subdued tones:

"Can I just come in and speak to you, sir? There's been a sad
accident--your lady fallen in the water; we found these keys in her
pocket, and then some one said she was Mrs. Tapster"; and the policeman
held out the two keys which had played a not unimportant part in Mr.
Tapster's interview with Flossy. "A man on the bridge saw her go in,"
went on the policeman, "so she wasn't in the water long,--something like
a quarter of an hour,--for we soon found her. I suppose you would like
her taken up-stairs, sir?"

"No, no," stammered Mr. Tapster, "not up-stairs; the children are

Mr. Tapster's round, prominent eyes were shadowed with a great horror
and an even greater surprise. He stood staring at the man before him,
his hands clasped in a wholly unconscious gesture of supplication.

The constable gradually edged himself backward into the dining-room.
Realizing that he must take on himself the onus of decision, he gave a
quiet look round.

"If that's the case," he said firmly, "we had better bring her in here;
that sofa that you have there, sir, will do nicely for her to be laid
upon while they try to bring her round. We've got a doctor already."

Mr. Tapster bent his head; he was too much bewildered to propose any
other plan; and then he turned, turned to see his hall invaded by a
strange and sinister quartet. It was composed of two policemen and of
two of those loafers of whom he so greatly disapproved. They were
carrying a hurdle from which Mr. Tapster quickly averted his eyes. But,
though he was able to shut out the sight he feared to see, he could not
prevent himself from hearing certain sounds, those, for instance, made
by the two loafers, who breathed with ostentatious difficulty as if to
show they were unaccustomed to bearing even so comparatively light a
burden as Flossy drowned.

There came a sudden short whisper-filled delay. The doorway of the
dining-room was found to be too narrow, and the hurdle was perforce left
in the hall.

An urgent voice, full of wholly unconscious irony, muttered in Mr.
Tapster's ear: "Of course, you would like to see her, sir," and he felt
himself being propelled forward. Making an effort to bear himself so
that he should not feel afterward ashamed of his lack of nerve, he
forced himself to stare with dread-filled yet fascinated eyes at that
which had just been laid upon the leather sofa.

Flossy's hat, the shabby hat which had shocked Mr. Tapster's sense of
what was seemly, was gone; her fair hair had all come down, and hung in
pale-gold wisps about the face already fixed in the soft dignity which
seems so soon to drape the features of those who die by drowning. Her
widely opened eyes were now wholly emptied of the anguish with which
they had gazed on Mr. Tapster in this very room less than an hour ago.
Her mean brown serge gown, from which the water was still dripping,
clung closely to her limbs, revealing the slender body which had four
times endured, on behalf of Mr. Tapster, the greatest of woman's natural
ordeals. But that thought, it is scarcely necessary to say, did not come
to add an extra pang to those which that unfortunate man was now
suffering, for Mr. Tapster naturally thought maternity was in every
married woman's day's work--and pleasure.

       *       *       *       *       *

It might have been a moment, for all that he knew, or it might have been
an hour, when at last something came to relieve the unbearable tension
of Mr. Tapster's feelings. He had been standing aside, helpless, aware
of and yet not watching the efforts made to restore Flossy to

The doctor raised himself and straightened his cramped shoulders and
tired arms. With a look of great concern on his face, he approached the
bereaved husband.

"I'm afraid it's no good," he said; "the shock of the plunge in the cold
water probably killed her. She was evidently in poor health, and--and
ill-nourished; but, of course, we shall go on for some time longer,

But whatever he had meant to say remained unspoken, for a telegraph-boy,
with the impudence natural to his kind, was forcing his way into and
through the crowded room. "James Tapster, Esquire?" he cried in a high,
childish treble.

The master of the house held out his hand mechanically. He took the buff
envelop and stared down at it, sufficiently master of himself to
perceive that some fool had apparently imagined Cumberland Crescent to
be in South London; before his eyes swam the line, "Delayed in
transmission." Then, opening the envelop, he saw the message for which
he had now been waiting so eagerly for some days; but it was with
indifference that he read the words,

"_The Decree has been made Absolute._"





I was on the point of returning to the West when I received a message
from Horace Greeley, the famous editor of the New York _Tribune_, asking
me to take charge of the news bureau of that journal in Washington, as
its chief correspondent. Although the terms offered by Mr. Greeley were
tempting, I was disinclined to accept, because I doubted whether the
work would be congenial to me, and because it would keep me in the East.
But Mr. Greeley, as well as some of my friends in Congress, persuaded me
that, since I had studied the condition of things in the South and could
give reliable information concerning it, my presence in Washington might
be useful while the Southern question was under debate. This determined
me to assent, with the understanding, however, that I should not
consider myself bound beyond the pending session of Congress.

Thus I entered the journalistic fraternity. My most agreeable experience
consisted in my association with other members of the craft. I found
among the correspondents of the press a number of gentlemen of uncommon
ability and high principle--genuine gentlemen, who loved truth for its
own sake, who heartily detested sham and false pretense, and whose sense
of honor was of the finest. This was the rule, to which, as to all
rules, there were of course some exceptions; but they were rare. My more
or less intimate contact with public men high and low was not so
uniformly gratifying. I enjoyed, indeed, the privilege of meeting
statesmen of high purpose, of well-stored minds, of unselfish
patriotism, and of the courage of their convictions. But disgustingly
large was, on the other hand, the number of small, selfish politicians I
ran against--men who seemed to know no higher end than the advantage of
their party, which involved their own; who were always nervously
sniffing for the popular breeze; whose most demonstrative ebullitions of
virtue consisted in the most violent denunciations of the opposition;
whose moral courage quaked at the appearance of the slightest danger to
their own or their party's fortunes; and whose littlenesses exposed them
sometimes with involuntary frankness to the newspaper correspondent whom
they approached to beg for a "favorable notice" or for the suppression
of an unwelcome news item. They were by no means in all instances men of
small parts. On the contrary, there were men of marked ability and large
acquirements among them. But never until then had I known how great a
moral coward a member of Congress may be.

It is probably now as it was then. There were few places in the United
States where the public men appearing on the national stage were judged
as fairly and accurately as they were in Newspaper Row in Washington.

[Illustration: HORACE GREELEY


I remained at the head of the _Tribune_ office in Washington, according
to my promise to Mr. Greeley, to the end of the winter season, and then
accepted the chief-editorship of the Detroit _Post_, a new journal
established at Detroit, Michigan, which was offered to me--I might
almost say urged upon me--by Senator Zachariah Chandler. In the meantime
I had occasion to witness the beginning of the political war between the
executive and the legislative power concerning the reconstruction of the
"States lately in rebellion."

_The Beginnings of the Struggle_

I am sure I do not exaggerate when I say that this political war has
been one of the most unfortunate events in the history of this Republic,
for it made the most important problem of the time, a problem of
extraordinary complexity, which required the calmest and most delicate
and circumspect treatment, the foot-ball of a personal and party brawl
which was in the highest degree apt to inflame the passions and to
obscure the judgment of everybody concerned in it. Since my return from
the South, the evil effects of Mr. Johnson's conduct in encouraging the
reactionary spirit prevalent among the Southern whites had become more
and more evident and alarming from day to day. Charles Sumner told me
that his personal experience with the President had been very much like
mine. When Sumner left Washington in the spring, he had received from
Mr. Johnson at repeated intervals the most emphatic assurances that he
would do nothing to precipitate the restoration of the "States lately in
rebellion" to the full exercise of self-governing functions, and even
that he favored the extension of the suffrage to the freedmen. The two
men had parted with all the appearance of a perfect friendly
understanding. But when the Senator returned to Washington in the late
autumn that understanding seemed to have entirely vanished from the
President's mind and to have given place to an irritated temper and a
certain acerbity of tone in the assertion of the "President's policy."

From various other members of Congress I heard the same story. Mr.
Johnson, strikingly unlike Abraham Lincoln, evidently belonged to that
unfortunate class of men with whom a difference of opinion on any
important matter will at once cause personal ill feeling and a
disturbance of friendly intercourse. By many Congressmen Mr. Johnson was
regarded as one who had broken faith, and the memory of the disgraceful
exhibition of himself in a drunken state at the inauguration ceremonies,
which under ordinary circumstances everybody would have been glad to
forget, was revived, so as to make him appear as a person of
ungentlemanly character. All these things combined to impart to the
controversies which followed a flavor of reckless defiance and rancorous
bitterness, the outbursts of which were sometimes almost ferocious.


The first gun of the political war between the President and Congress,
which was to rage four years, was fired by Thaddeus Stevens in the House
of Representatives by the introduction, even before the hearing of the
President's Message, of the resolution already mentioned, which
substantially proclaimed that the reconstruction of the late rebel
States was the business, not of the President alone, but of Congress.
This theory, which was constitutionally correct, was readily supported
by the Republican majority, and thus the war was declared. Of
Republican dissenters who openly took the President's part, there were
but few--in the Senate, Doolittle of Wisconsin, Dixon of Connecticut,
Norton of Minnesota, Cowan of Pennsylvania, and, for a short period,
Morgan of New York, as the personal friend of Mr. Seward. In the House
of Representatives, Mr. Raymond of New York, the famous founder of the
New York _Times_, acted as the principal Republican champion of the
"President's policy."



_Stevens the Dominating Figure of the Struggle_

Thaddeus Stevens was the acknowledged leader of the Republicans in the
House. Few historic characters have ever been more differently judged
from different points of view. A Southern writer of fiction has painted
him as the fiend incarnate; others have spoken of him as a great leader
of his time, far-sighted, a man of uncompromising convictions,
intellectually honest, of unflinching courage and energy. I had come
into personal contact with him in the Presidential campaigns of 1860 and
1864, when he seemed to be pleased with my efforts. I had once heard him
make a stump speech which was evidently inspired by intense hatred of
slavery, and remarkable for argumentative pith and sarcastic wit. But
the impression his personality made upon me was not sympathetic: his
face, long and pallid, topped with an ample dark-brown wig which was at
the first glance recognized as such; beetling brows overhanging keen
eyes of uncertain color which sometimes seemed to scintillate with a
sudden gleam; the under lip defiantly protruding; the whole expression
usually stern. His figure would have looked stalwart but for a deformed
foot which made him bend and limp. His conversation, carried on in a
hollow voice devoid of music, easily disclosed a well-informed mind, but
also a certain absolutism of opinion, with contemptuous scorn for
adverse argument. He belonged to the fierce class of anti-slavery men
who were inspired by humane sympathy with the slave and righteous
abhorrence of slavery, but also by hatred of the slaveholder. What he
himself seemed to enjoy most in his talk was his sardonic humor, which
he made play upon men and things like lurid freaks of lightning. He shot
out such sallies with a fearfully serious mien, or at least he
accompanied them with a grim smile which was not at all like Abraham
Lincoln's hearty laugh at his own jests.

[Illustration: _From the collection of P. H. Meserve_





Thus Mr. Stevens' discourse was apt to make him appear a hardened cynic,
inaccessible to the finer feelings, and indifferent whether he gave pain
or pleasure. But now and then a remark escaped him--I say "escaped him,"
because he evidently preferred to wear the acrid tendencies of his
character on the outside--which indicated that there was behind his
cynicism a rich fund of human kindness and sympathy. And this was
strongly confirmed by his neighbors at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, his
home, where on one of my campaigning tours I once spent a day and a
night. With them, even with many of his political opponents, "old
Thad," as they called him, appeared to be eminently popular. They had no
end of stories to tell about the protection he had given to fugitive
slaves, sometimes at much risk and sacrifice to himself, and of the many
benefactions he had bestowed with a lavish hand upon the widows and
orphans and other persons in need, and of his generous fidelity to his
friends. They did not, indeed, revere him as a model of virtue, but of
the occasional lapses of his bachelor life from correct moral standards,
which seemed to be well known and freely talked about, they spoke with
affectionate lenity of judgment.

When I saw him again in Washington at the opening of the Thirty-ninth
Congress, in December, 1865, he looked very much aged since our last
meeting, and infirm in health. In repose his face was like a death-mask,
and he was carried in a chair to his seat in the House by two stalwart
young negroes. There is good authority for the story that once when they
had set him down, he said to them, with his grim humor: "Thank you, my
good fellows. What shall I do when you are dead and gone?" But his eyes
glowed from under his bushy brows with the old keen sparkle, and his
mind was as alert as ever. It may be that his age--he was then
seventy-four--and his physical infirmities, admonishing him that at best
he would have only a few years more to live, served to inspire him with
an impatient craving and a fierce determination to make the best of his
time, and thus to intensify the activity of his mental energies. To
compass the abolition of slavery had been the passion of his life. He
had hailed the Civil War as the great opportunity. He had never been
quite satisfied with Lincoln, whose policy seemed to him too dilatory.
He demanded quick, sharp, and decisive blows.



Now that the abolition of slavery was actually decreed, he saw President
Johnson follow a policy which, in his view, threatened to undo the great
work. His scornful anger at Andrew Johnson was equaled only by his
contempt for the Republicans who sided with the President. He was bound
to defeat this reactionary attempt and to see slavery thoroughly killed
beyond the possibility of resurrection, at any cost. As to the means to
be employed, he scrupled little. He wanted the largest possible
Republican majority in Congress, and to this end he would have expelled
any number of Democrats from their seats, by hook or crook. When my old
friend and quondam law partner, General Halbert E. Paine, who was
chairman of the Committee on Elections in the House, told him that, in a
certain contested election case to be voted upon, both contestants were
rascals, Stevens simply asked: "Well, which is _our_ rascal?" He said
this, not in jest, but with perfect seriousness. He would have seated
Beelzebub in preference to the angel Gabriel, had he believed Beelzebub
to be more certain than Gabriel to aid him in beating the President's
reconstruction policy. His speeches were short, peremptory, and
commanding. He bluntly avowed his purposes, however extreme they seemed
to be. He disdained to make them more palatable by any art of
persuasion, or to soften the asperity of his attacks by charitable
circumlocution. There was no hypocrisy, no cant in his utterances. With
inexorable intellectual honesty, he drew all the logical conclusions
from his premises. He was a terror in debate. Whenever provoked, he
brought his batteries of merciless sarcasm into play with deadly effect.
Not seldom, a single sentence sufficed to lay a daring antagonist
sprawling on the ground amid the roaring laughter of the House, the
luckless victim feeling as if he had heedlessly touched a heavily
charged electric wire. No wonder that even the readiest and boldest
debaters were cautious in approaching old Thaddeus Stevens too closely,
lest something stunning and sudden happen to them. Thus the fear he
inspired became a distinct element of power in his leadership--not a
wholesome element, indeed, at the time of a great problem which required
the most circumspect and dispassionate treatment.

_William Pitt Fessenden_

A statesman of a very different stamp was Senator Fessenden of Maine,
who, being at the head of the senatorial part of the joint Committee on
Reconstruction, presided over that important body. William Pitt
Fessenden was a man who might easily have been overlooked in a crowd.
There was nothing in his slight figure, his thin face framed in spare
gray hair and side whiskers, and his quiet demeanor, to attract
particular notice. Neither did his appearance in the Senate Chamber
impress one at first sight as that of a great power in that important
assembly. I saw him more than once there walk with slow steps up and
down in the open space behind the seats, with his hands in his trousers
pockets, with seeming listlessness, while another senator was speaking,
and then ask to be heard, and, without changing his attitude, make an
argument in a calm conversational tone, unmixed with the slightest
oratorical flourish, so solid and complete that little more remained to
be said on the subject in question. He gave the impression of having at
his disposal a rich and perfectly ordered store of thought and knowledge
upon which he could draw with perfect ease and assurance. When I was
first introduced to him, he appeared to be rather distant in manner than
inviting friendly approach. But I was told that ill health had made him
unsociable and somewhat morose and testy, and, indeed, there was often
the trace of suffering and weariness in his face. It was also remarked
in the Senate that at times he was ill-tempered and inclined to indulge
in biting sarcasms and to administer unkind lectures to other senators,
which in some instances disturbed his personal intercourse with his
colleagues. But there was not one of them who did not hold him in the
highest esteem as a statesman of commanding ability and of lofty ideals,
as a gentleman of truth and conscience, as a great jurist and an eminent
constitutional lawyer, as a party man of most honorable principles and
methods, and as a patriot of noblest ambition for his country.



Being a man also of conservative instincts, averse to unnecessary
conflicts, and always disinclined to go to extremes, in action as well
as in language, he was expected to exert a moderating influence in his
committee; and this expectation was not disappointed so far as his
efforts to prevent a final breach between the President and the
Republican majority in Congress were concerned. But regarding the main
question whether the "States lately in rebellion" should be fully
restored to their self-governing functions and to full participation in
the government of the Republic without having given reasonable
guaranties for the maintenance of the "legitimate results of the war,"
he was in point of principle not far apart from Mr. Stevens.

_The President's Logic_

It must be admitted that, if we accept his premises, Mr. Johnson made in
point of logic a pretty plausible case. His proposition was that a
State, in the view of the Federal Constitution, is indestructible; that
an ordinance of secession adopted by its inhabitants, or its political
organs, did not take it out of the Union; that by declaring and treating
those ordinances of secession as "null and void," of no force, virtually
non-existent, the Federal government itself had accepted and sanctioned
that theory; that during the rebellion the constitutional rights and
functions of those States were merely suspended, and that when the
rebellion ceased they were _ipso facto_ restored; that, therefore, the
rebellion having actually ceased, those States were at once entitled to
their former rights and privileges--that is, to the recognition of their
self-elected State governments and to their representation in Congress.
Admitting the premises, this was logically correct in the abstract.

But this was one of the cases to which a saying, many years later set
afloat by President Cleveland, might properly have been applied: we were
confronting a condition, not a theory. The condition was this: Certain
States had through their regular political organs declared themselves
independent of the Union. They had, for all practical purposes, actually
separated themselves from the Union. They had made war upon the Union.
That war put those States in a position not foreseen by the
Constitution. It imposed upon the government of the Union duties not
foreseen by the Constitution; by "military necessity," war necessity,
the Union was compelled to emancipate the negroes from slavery and to
accept their military services. The war had compelled the government of
the Union to levy large loans of money and thus to contract a huge
public debt. The government had also, in the course of the war, the aid
of the Union men of the South. It had thus assumed solemn obligations
for value received or services rendered. It had assumed the duty to
protect the emancipated negroes in their freedom, the Southern Union men
in their security, and the public creditor from loss. This duty was a
duty of honor as well as of policy. The Union could, therefore, not
consent, either in point of honor or of sound policy, to the restoration
of the late rebel States to the functions of self-government and to full
participation in the national government so long as that restoration was
reasonably certain to put the freedom of the emancipated slaves, or the
security of the Southern Union men, or the rights of the public
creditor, into serious jeopardy.



_Lincoln's Policy versus Johnson's_

It was pretended at the time, and it has since been asserted by
historians and publicists of high standing, that Mr. Johnson's
Reconstruction policy was only a continuation of that of Mr. Lincoln.
This was true only in a superficial sense, and not in reality. Mr.
Lincoln had, indeed, put forth reconstruction plans which contemplated
an early restoration of some of the rebel States; but he had done this
while the Civil War was still going on, and for the evident purpose of
encouraging loyal movements in those States and of weakening the
Confederate State governments there by opposing to them governments
organized in the interest of the Union, which could serve as
rallying-points to the Union men. So long as the rebellion continued in
any form and to any extent, the State governments he contemplated would
have been substantially in the control of really loyal men who had been
on the side of the Union during the war. Moreover, he always
emphatically affirmed, in public as well as private utterance, that no
plan of reconstruction he had ever put forth was meant to be "exclusive
and inflexible," but might be changed according to different

Now circumstances did change; they changed essentially with the collapse
of the Confederacy. There was no more organized armed resistance to the
national government, to distract which loyal State governments in the
South might have been efficacious. But there was an effort of persons
lately in rebellion to get possession of the reconstructed Southern
State governments for the purpose, in part, of using their power to save
or restore as much of the system of slavery as could be saved or
restored. The success of these efforts was to be accomplished by the
precipitate and unconditional readmission of the late rebel States to
all their constitutional functions. This situation had not yet developed
when Lincoln was assassinated. He had not contemplated it when he put
forth his plans of reconstructing Louisiana and the other States. Had he
lived, he would have as ardently wished to stop bloodshed and to reunite
all the States as he ever did. But is it to be supposed, for a moment,
that, seeing the late master class in the South still under the
influence of their old traditional notions and prejudices, and at the
same time sorely pressed by the distressing necessities of their
situation, intent upon subjecting the freedmen again to a system very
much akin to slavery, Lincoln would have consented to abandon those
freedmen to the mercies of that master class!

_The Personal Bitterness of the Struggle_

No less striking was the difference of the two policies in what may be
called the personal character of the controversies of the time. When the
Republican majority in Congress had already declared its unwillingness
to accept President Johnson's leadership in the matter of
reconstruction, a strong desire was still manifested by many Republican
senators and members of the House to prevent a decided and irremediable
breach with the President. Some of them were sanguine enough to hope
that more or less harmonious coöperation, or at least a peaceable
_modus vivendi_, might still be obtained. Others apprehended that the
President's policy, with its plausibilities, might after all find favor
with the popular mind, which was naturally tired of strife and
excitement, eager for peace and quiet, and that its opponents might
appear as reckless disturbers. Still others stood in fear of a rupture
in the Republican party, which, among other evil consequences, might
prove disastrous to their own political fortunes. Several men of
importance, such as Fessenden and Sherman in the Senate and some
prominent members of the House, seriously endeavored to pour oil upon
the agitated waters by making speeches of a conciliatory tenor. Indeed,
if Andrew Johnson had possessed only a little of Abraham Lincoln's sweet
temper, generous tolerance, and patient tact in the treatment of
opponents, he might at least have prevented the conflict of opinions
from degenerating into an angry and vicious personal brawl. But the
brawl was Johnson's congenial atmosphere.

The Judiciary Committee of the Senate, on January 12, 1866, reported a
bill to continue the existence, to increase the personnel, and to
enlarge the powers of the Freedmen's Bureau. It was discussed in both
Houses with great thoroughness and in a temperate spirit, and the
necessity of the measure for the protection of the freedmen and the
introduction of free labor in the South was so generally acknowledged
that the recognized Republican friends of the President in the Senate as
well as in the House supported it. It passed by overwhelming majorities
in both Houses, and everybody, even those most intimate with the
President, confidently expected that he would willingly accept and sign
it. But on the 19th of February he returned it with his veto, mainly on
the assumed ground that it was unnecessary and unconstitutional, and
also because it was passed by a Congress from which eleven States, those
lately in rebellion, were excluded--thus throwing out a dark hint that
before the admission of the late rebel States to representation this
Congress might be considered constitutionally unable to make any valid
laws at all. Senator Trumbull, in an uncommonly able, statesmanlike, and
calm speech, combated the President's arguments and moved that the bill
pass, the President's veto notwithstanding. But the "Administration
Republicans," although they had voted for the bill, now voted to sustain
the veto, and, there being no two-thirds majority to overcome it, the
veto prevailed. Thus President Johnson had won a victory over the
Republican majority in Congress. This victory may have made him believe
that he would be able to kill with his veto all legislation unpalatable
to him, and that, therefore, he was actually master of the situation. He
made the grave mistake of underestimating the opposition.

_A Humiliating Spectacle_

On February 22, 1866, a public meeting was held in Washington for the
purpose of expressing popular approval of the President's reconstruction
policy. The crowd marched from the meeting-place to the White House to
congratulate the President upon his successful veto of the Freedmen's
Bureau Bill. The President, called upon to make a speech in response,
could not resist the temptation. He then dealt a blow to himself from
which he never recovered. He spoke, in the egotistic strain usual with
him, of the righteousness of his own course, and then began to inveigh
in the most violent terms against those who opposed him. He denounced
the joint Committee on Reconstruction, the committee headed by
Fessenden, as "an irresponsible central directory" that had assumed the
powers of Congress, described how he had fought the leaders of the
rebellion, and added that there were men on the other side of the line
who also worked for the dissolution of the Union. By this time some of
the uproarious crowd felt that he had descended to their level, and
called for names. He mentioned Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner, and
Wendell Phillips as men who worked against the fundamental principles of
the government, and excited the boisterous merriment of the audience by
calling John W. Forney, the Secretary of the Senate and a prominent
journalist, "a dead duck" upon whom "he would not waste his ammunition."
Again he spoke of his rise from humble origin,--a tailor who "always
made a close fit,"--and broadly insinuated that there were men in high
places who were not satisfied with Lincoln's blood, but, wanting more,
thought of getting rid of him, too, in the same way.

I remember well the impression made by this speech as it came out in the
newspapers. Many if not most of the public men I saw in Washington,
remembering the disgraceful appearance of Andrew Johnson in a drunken
state at the inauguration, at once expressed a belief that he must have
been in the same condition when delivering that speech. Most of the
newspapers favoring the President's policy were struck dumb. Of those
opposing him, most of them spoke of it in grave but evidently restrained
language. The general feeling was one of profound shame and humiliation
in behalf of the country.

In Congress, where Mr. Stevens, with his characteristic sarcasm,
described the whole story of the President's speech as a malignant
invention of Mr. Johnson's enemies, the hope of preventing a permanent
breach between him and the Republican majority was even then not
entirely extinct. On the 26th of February, Sherman made a long and
carefully prepared speech in the Senate, advocating harmony. He
recounted all the virtues Andrew Johnson professed and all the services
he had rendered, and solemnly affirmed his belief that he had always
acted upon patriotic motives and in good faith. But he could not refrain
from "deeply regretting his speech of the 22d of February," He added
that it was "impossible to conceive a more humiliating spectacle than
the President of the United States invoking the wild passions of a mob
around him with the utterance of such sentiments as he uttered on that
day." Still, Mr. Sherman thought that "this was no time to quarrel with
the Chief Magistrate." Other prominent Republicans, such as General
J. D. Cox of Ohio--one of the noblest men I have ever known,--called
upon him to expostulate with him in a friendly spirit, and he gave them
amiable assurances, which, however, subsequently turned out to have been
without meaning. Then something happened which cut off the last chance
of mutual approach.

On March 13th the House passed the Civil Rights Bill, which the Senate
had already passed on the 2d of February. Its main provision was that
all persons born in the United States, excepting Indians, not taxed,
were declared to be citizens of the United States, and such citizens of
every race and color should have the same right in every State and
Territory of the United States to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be
parties, and give evidence, to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and
convey real and personal property, and to have the full and equal
benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and
property as was enjoyed by white citizens. The bill had nothing to do
with "social equity," and did not in any way interfere with Mr.
Johnson's scheme of reconstruction. In fact, it was asserted, no doubt
truthfully, that Mr. Johnson himself had at various times shown himself,
by word and act, favorable to its provisions. It appeared, indeed, in
every one of its features so reasonable and so necessary for the
enforcement of the Thirteenth Constitutional Amendment prohibiting
slavery, that disapproval of it by the President was regarded as almost
impossible. Aside from the merits of the bill, there was another
reason, a reason of policy, for the President to sign it. Had he done
so, he would have greatly encouraged the conciliatory spirit which, in
spite of all that had happened, was still flickering in many Republican
bosoms, and he might thus, even at this late hour, have secured an
effective following among the Republicans in Congress. But he did not.
He returned the bill to Congress with a veto message so weak in argument
that it appeared as if he had been laboriously groping for pretexts to
kill the bill. One of the principal reasons he gave was again the
sinister one that Congress had passed the bill while eleven States were
unrepresented, thus repeating the threatening hint that the validity of
the laws made by such a Congress might be questioned.

_False Encouragement to the South_

Congress promptly passed the bill over the President's veto by a
two-thirds majority in each House, and thus the Civil Rights Bill became
a law. President Johnson's defeat was more fatal than appeared on the
surface. The prestige he had won by the success of his veto of the
Freedmen's Bureau Bill was lost again. The Republicans, whom in some way
he had led to expect that he would sign the Civil Rights Bill, now
believed him to be an insincere man capable of any treachery. The last
chance of an accommodation with the Republican party was now utterly
gone. But, worse than all, the reactionists in the South, who were bent
upon curtailing the freedom of the emancipated negroes as much as
possible, received his veto of the Civil Rights Bill with shouts of
delight. Believing him now unalterably opposed to the bestowal, upon the
freedmen, of equal civil rights such as were specified in the bill, they
hailed President Johnson as their champion more loudly than ever.
Undisturbed by the defeat of the veto, which they looked upon as a mere
temporary accident, they easily persuaded themselves that the President,
aided by the Administration Republicans and the Democratic party at the
North, would at last surely prevail, and that now they might safely deal
with the negro and the labor question in the South as they pleased. The
reactionary element felt itself encouraged to the point of foolhardiness
by the President's attitude. Legislative enactments and municipal
ordinances and regulations tending to reduce the colored people to a
state of semi-slavery multiplied at a lively rate. Measures taken for
the protection of the emancipated slaves were indiscriminately denounced
in the name of the Constitution of the United States as acts of
insufferable tyranny. The instant admission to seats in the national
Congress of senators and representatives from the "States lately in
rebellion" was loudly demanded as a constitutional right, and for these
seats men were presented who but yesterday had stood in arms against the
national government, or who had held high place in the insurrectionary
Confederacy. And the highest authority cited for all these denunciations
and demands was Andrew Johnson, President of the United States.

The impression made by these things upon the minds of the Northern
people can easily be imagined. Men of sober ways of thinking, not
accessible to sensational appeals, asked themselves quite seriously
whether there was not real danger that the legitimate results of the
war, for the achievement of which they had sacrificed uncounted
thousands of lives and the fruits of many, many years of labor, were in
grave jeopardy again. Their alarm was not artificially produced by
political agitation; it was sincere and profound, and began to grow
angry. The gradual softening of the passions and resentments of the war
was checked. The feeling that the Union had to be saved once more from
the rule of the "rebels with the President at their head" spread with
fearful rapidity, and well-meaning people looking to Congress to come to
the rescue were becoming less and less squeamish as to the character of
the means to be used to that end.

This popular temper could not fail to exercise its influence upon
Congress and to stimulate the radical tendencies among its members. Even
men of a comparatively conservative and cautious disposition admitted
that strong remedies were necessary to avert the threatening danger, and
they soon turned to the most drastic as the best. Moreover, the partizan
motive pressed to the front to reinforce the patriotic purpose. It had
gradually become evident that President Johnson, whether such had been
his original design or not,--probably not,--would by his political
course be led into the Democratic party. The Democrats, delighted, of
course, with the prospect of capturing a President elected by the
Republicans, zealously supported his measures and flattered his vanity
without stint. The old alliance between the pro-slavery sentiment in the
South and the Democratic party in the North was thus revived--that
alliance which had already cost the South so dearly in the recent past
by making Southern people believe that if they revolted against the
Federal Government the Northern Democracy would stand by them and help
them to victory.







The carrier's cart--for my means afforded no more lordly style of
travel--set me down at an elbow of white highroad, whence, between the
sloping hills, I could see a V-shaped patch of blue, this half water and
that sky; here and there the gable of a farmhouse with a plume of smoke
streaming sidewise; and below me, in the exact point of the V, the masts
and naked yards of a ketch at her moorings. Even in that sheltered
harbor, to judge by the faint oscillations of her masts, she felt the
tug of the waters around her keel. There had been a storm the night
before; without, the sea ran strong about all these exposed coasts; and
I knew that, hidden from sight behind the upper headland, the surf must
be bursting in a cloud over the Brown Cow, and the perturbed tide
setting like a mill-race between that great dun rock and the shore
through the narrow gut we called the Cat's Mouth.

"You'll be noticing some changes, Mr. Nick?" the carrier hinted at last,
lingering to observe me. "Well, there's a deal may happen in two or
three years. You can't look to find things just the way you left 'em."

He used a certain respectful familiarity, having known me all my life,
and, as he spoke, eyed me with the kind and open curiosity of a dog. He
was a gentle little man, with a manner oddly compounded of the sailor's
simplicity and the rustic's bootless cunning,--for he had followed both
walks in his day,--and was popularly held to be somewhat weak-witted
since a fall from the masthead to the decks of the brig _Hyperion_ some
years before.

"I am not near enough to see any changes yet, Crump," I answered him.
"The changes, if any, show most, I dare say, in myself."

"So they do, sir; so they do," he assented heartily. "My wife used to
say you were a pretty boy, and had the makings of a fine, personable
man. First thing I thought, when I clapped eyes on you to-day, was:
'Well, this here's a lesson to Sarah not to be hasty in her judgments!'
'Tain't often I get the better o' Sarah, you know, sir. They tell me
you've been in Italy and learned to paint?"

"I'm afraid I haven't quite learned all the art yet, Crump. It takes
more than two or three years."

"Depends on the person, I shouldn't wonder," he said, wagging his head.
"Some people are slow by nature. Could a man make his living by it, d'ye
think, sir?"

I answered this devious inquiry as to my own financial standing by
assuring him that I had contrived so far to make mine. "I'm not riding
in my coach-and-four yet, as you see, Crump, but the time may come."

"I'm sure I hope it will, Mr. Nick," he said rather dubiously. "But it's
kind o' tempting Providence, seems to me. You might 'a' been walking
your own quarter-deck, captain o' some tall East Indiaman by this, like
your father and grandfather before you, making a safe, easy living, and
looked up to by everybody."

I interrupted his moralizing to ask, as, indeed, I had already done more
than once, without being able to get his attention: "How does my
grandfather seem?"

Momentary gravity fell upon him. "He--he don't always answer the helm,
Mr. Nicol," he said, and touched his forehead with a meaning look.
"Barring that, I'd rate him seaworthy, for all he's cruised so
long--nigh eighty year, ain't it?"

"I'm glad I came home," I said, concerned. "The old man should not be

"He ain't exactly alone," said Crump, with an uneasy glance into my
face. "He's signed on two new hands here lately--about a month ago, I
b'lieve. I dessay he was making pretty heavy weather of it by himself,
and so he--er--well----" He cleared his throat, hesitating in an odd
embarrassment; he plainly felt that here was information bound to be
distasteful, and set about imparting it with a painful diplomacy. "The
cap'n--Cap'n Pendarves, your grandfather, sir, was, as you might say,
short-handed, you being in foreign parts, and old John Behenna having
slipped his cable 'long about the last o' May, as I was telling you; and
so the cap'n he ups and ships these here--and--and, in fac', Mr. Nick,
one of 'em's a woman!" He drew a long breath and wiped his forehead.

"You don't mean he's married!" I shouted, and with, I am afraid, a
pretty strong term of disapproval.

"There, now, I _thought_ you'd take it that way!" Crump remarked, not
without gratification. "But it ain't so bad as that, Mr. Nicol." And he
went on to explain, with a variety of nautical metaphors, that the
couple, an elderly man and a young girl supposedly his grandchild, had
appeared in Chepstow some weeks ago during fair-time; that the young
woman "took observations," which I translated to mean that she told
fortunes, supporting them both, it would seem, by the pennies she gained
this way, for the man did no work, and was most often seen "hove to,
transhipping cargo," at the bar of the Three Old Cronies or elsewhere,
Crump said. He did not know how or when or where my grandfather had
first fallen in with these vagabonds. For several successive days he had
been noticed in their company, or laying a straight course for the
little booth wherein the girl plied her mean trade; and then, all at
once, to the stupefied astonishment of Chepstow,--where the captain was
reckoned, with reason, a particularly hard, sour, dour sort of body,
anything but friendly or hospitable,--the pair of them were discovered
comfortably installed beneath the Pendarves' roof, as snug as if they
had lived there all their lives and never meant to go away! The thing
was a mystery; it went near to being a scandal. For a final touch, Crump
assured me that these precious gentry were all but nameless; no one had
ever heard the woman called anything, and the man's name defied

Upon all this agreeable intelligence, we parted, as Crump's way was by
the round-about hill road, while I struck straight across by short cuts
to my grandfathers house. If I had been content to loiter on the path
heretofore, no amount of haste could satisfy me now. I doubt if any
honest artist lad returning to the place of his birth after three years'
absence ever met a grayer welcome. I had left my grandfather unimpaired,
and it was well-nigh impossible to figure that harsh and domineering
spirit in decay. Abram Pendarves belonged to the ancient hearty, savage
race of British sea-captains, now fast waning to extinction. After a
youth of wild and black adventure under the rule of just such salt-water
despots as he himself became, he had spent some two score years
practising the tyrannies and what one may call the brutal virtues he had
learned on every sea and beneath every sky this planet owns; then came
at last to settle down in the storm-beaten house on the cliffs by
Chepstow (the house his father's father had built), whence he could see
the surf whiten on the rocks and gulls forever circling about the Brown
Cow. His was a narrow and surly old age, not overwell provided, for he
had never been a thrifty man; and he found among the rattletrap
furnishings of his neglected home one living chattel quite as
worthless--a weird, lean goblin of a boy, his sole descendant,
fatherless and motherless, playing lonely little games in corners,
making crass drawings with a charred stick on the walls, and viewing the
blossoming orchards of spring with a crazy delight in color. I fear
there was not much affection between this ill-matched couple. For long
years I saw in my grandfather only a coarse, violent old man, niggardly
and censorious. And to him there was doubtless something unwholesome
and repellent in the most innocent of my tastes; I could not even sin
roundly, like other boys, by pilfering or truantry, but must display an
exotic passion for reading forbidden books, an abhorred dexterity at
caricature. I think we were equally headstrong and unreasonable, I in my
young way, he in his old one; and as I trudged along the quiet homeward
paths, it shamed me to remember with what hard words we had parted.


The sun was going down as I conquered the last steep rise toward my
grandfather's gate. Hereabouts a pair of steps had been cut into the
cliff and a hand-rail erected to help the visitor against the wind,
coming, as it so often did, in flaws of extraordinary force and fury
around the headland. From this high point a great expanse of ocean
filled the eye, and the ceaseless, uneasy rumor of water assailed one
even in the fairest weather. There was always a thin run of surf about
the base of the Brown Cow and among those narrow conical rocks which,
set in a rough crescent near the lower end of the Cat's Mouth, had not
inaptly been named the Cat's Teeth.

[Illustration: "'YOU DIDN'T SEE THE SIGN, I SUPPOSE?'"]

The path followed the edge of the cliff on the hither side of a stone
wall, behind which some few experienced old apple-trees bent and
flattened themselves into strange, tortuous shapes to escape the winds.
The inclosure went by the name of orchard, though it was in truth little
else than a wild jungle of weeds and rubbish; but one tree in the most
sheltered corner yearly made a conscientious effort to supply us with a
bushel or so of pippins, and adventurous Chepstow urchins as regularly
defeated the hope. I purposed to shorten my road by crossing here; and
so, finding a toe-rest in certain familiar crannies of the masonry,
clambered easily to the top of the wall, and paused there a moment,
astride of the coping, to put aside the branches and take a distant view
of the forlorn pile of ruins I called home. It was a dreary place; its
roofs sagged, its chimneys leaned at perilous slants. Yet my heart
warmed to the sight of it. I took hold of the stoutest bough to swing me
to the ground, when----

"Don't touch those apples, young man!" said somebody sharply.

I was so startled as nearly to lose my hold, and came down with a run
and hands well scored on the rough bark. There I stood, knee-high in
rank undergrowth, staring all about in a surprise that must have been
not a little ludicrous, for the voice uttered a short cicada-chirrup of
laughter, shrill and sweet.

"Here I am. What bats men are!" it said.

I looked. She was standing almost immediately beneath the place where I
had climbed over; my boot must have grazed her. She was what old women
call a slip of a girl, in a cotton gown, white, figured with fine sprigs
of green sadly faded, for it was not new. The wind whipped her red hair
into her eyes. Her face was very much freckled; properly speaking, it
was one freckle from brow to chin. She wore, besides, as I remember, a
little muslin tucker (I think the garment is so named) and a little
frilled muslin apron; and these articles, together with her old print
frock, were washed, starched, and ironed to a degree it hath not entered
into the mind of man to conceive. I took off my hat; and something about
this young woman moved me thereafter hastily to adjust my cravat and
shirt-ruffle. I believe these signs of perturbation (which were entirely
genuine) pleased her in some subtle way, like a tribute, for she stopped
to inquire: "You want to cut through here to the highroad? I'm very
sorry, but I really cannot allow it. I've had a great deal of trouble
keeping the village boys away from this tree. These are fine apples and
good winter keepers--that is, I think they are----" she added a little
tentatively, searching my face. "You didn't see the sign, I suppose?"

I followed her gesture and beheld, nailed aloft on the stub of a dead
tree, a square of white planking whereon was neatly lettered the legend:




"I did it myself with a red-hot poker," she said proudly.

I gazed from her to the sign-board, all but speechless. "It's very well
done," I managed to get out at last.

"Yes, isn't it? But, somehow, it doesn't keep the boys from coming.
They're not at all law-abiding. I don't think they've been very well
brought up. And then, of course, they're not accustomed to seeing any
one in charge here." She looked around, and smoothed her apron with the
most astonishing little air of resource and command. "I saw a bill with
the names at the bottom that way, and per So-and-So below, so I copied
it," she continued, surveying her handiwork fondly.

"Ah? You are Miss Mary Smith?"

"Yes." And now she looked at me, and away again, with a strange and
sudden flush. "Yes, _Smith_. That's--that's a very good name, _I_
think." There was a kind of tremulous defiance in her tone, as if she
half expected me to question it.

"I've heard it before, I believe," said I stupidly--for, in fact, I had
scarcely yet got myself together. "You live here?"

She nodded, with a perplexed and inquiring eye on me. "I'm Captain
Pendarves' housekeeper," she said, with a prim and bridling air, and
once more her expression challenged me. "Deny it if you can, sir!" was
evidently her unspoken thought.

"And how long has my--ahem!--has Captain Pendarves been employing you,
may I ask?" I said, wondering that Crump had not prepared me for this as
for the other changes.

"Young man," said Mary Smith severely, "I have no time to stand here
answering idle questions. If you want to see Captain Pendarves, I will
speak to him; but if not, I really think you had better be getting on,
for it's late."

"I was thinking of stopping awhile," said I humbly, "with my
grandfather. You see, I'm Nicol Pendarves."

Had I said, "I am the Prince of Darkness," the announcement could not
have wrought a more appalling change in her. She fell back a step,
putting out one faltering hand to the wall for support. Her small
bullying mien vanished like a garment twitched from her shoulders by
unseen magic. Her face blanched piteously; terror looked from her eyes.
"Oh, I was afraid of this!" she gasped, in a voice that went to the
heart. "Sir, I--I--meant no harm!"

"Harm!" said I, both touched and puzzled. "Why, you've done none. There
is no need for excuses. I never saw a better steward; you did not know
me, and you were within your rights to send me about my business."

"Sir," she said, still in a tremble, "I have done no wrong. You will
find everything just as you left it."

"I shall find everything in a good deal better case, judging by what
I've seen already, I think," said I heartily. "How long have you been

"Four weeks--next Wednesday," she answered nervously.

"Then," said I, "maybe you can tell me something about the drift of
things here. For--not to boggle about it--I am in some uneasiness, Miss
Smith. These people--this man and woman who I hear have settled
themselves upon Captain Pendarves of late--who are they? what are they?"

As I spoke we emerged upon the stone-paved walk leading to our kitchen
door; it had been picked free of weeds, and the currant-bushes on either
side trimly harnessed up to a set of stakes. A white curtain flounced
behind the old lattice; there was a row of flowering geraniums in pots
upon the sill. Through the open door you might see a clear fire and Mary
Smith's saucepans glowing on the wall. The place, I thought, wore, for a
kitchen, the best air conceivable of decent and humble dignity; nor
would one have supposed that mere thrift and cleanliness could be so
comely. I turned to her with some such words, and found her facing me,
so much of haggard trouble in her eyes that I stopped, aghast.

"Sir," she said, twisting her fingers, "I see you do not understand--I
thought you knew. I--I am the woman you speak of. Your grandfather is
within, and the other--the man--with him."


Our old house being designed and built with a shiplike compactness,
there was but one room on the ground floor besides the kitchen and its
offices. It was a plain, comfortable place, wainscoted about, with
shelves and lockers in the whimsical copy of a vessel's cabin. And it
contained the single work of art our establishment could show; that is,
a portrait of my grandfather's grandfather,--he who founded this
house,--in a finicking attitude, with a brocade coat and a pair of
compasses. In his rear were to be seen a pillar and a red velvet
curtain, and (distantly) a fine storm of clouds and lightning. Never was
a respectable old sailorman so misrepresented; but all his descendants
except one regarded this gaudy daub with almost religious veneration.
Every family has its one great man; the admiral was ours. His was the
distinction of being the only Pendarves who had ever managed to amass a
fortune. It had dribbled through the fingers of succeeding generations;
but there was a tradition that some part of it, buried or otherwise
secreted with an admirable forethought by the old gentleman, might yet
be discovered, to the further glorification of our house.

The picture hung directly opposite the door, favoring me, as I entered,
with a disconcerting smirk; it needed no great stretch of fancy to
credit him with cherishing some secret and villainous joke. Beneath it
sat my grandfather, with his pipe, in the same place and attitude as I
remembered him for upward of twenty years, but so spectral a likeness of
himself that the sight of him shocked me like a blow. He had wasted to a
mere parchment envelop of bones, and the eyes he turned to mine were
bright with inward fever. I had looked for I do not know what signs of
an unstable mind, but at first, save for the eyes, saw none. He showed
only a not too well pleased surprise.

"Nicol!" he said, and pushed back his chair, without rising. "Nicol!"
and then for a moment sat staring closely at me under his heavy brows.
With his next action something of the horror of his affliction came home
to me, for I saw that, but for some confused sense that I had been
absent against his will, he had utterly forgot everything concerning me,
the terms of our last meeting, and the events of many years besides.

"Hush, and sit down!" he said, in the habitually chiding tone he had
used to the boy of ten or twelve. "Take your books and get your lesson!"
He pointed with the stem of his pipe to a stool in the corner where, as
a lad, I had passed more than one grim hour, and turned to his
companion, as older people turn from the interruptions of children.

Mary Smith, following behind, touched me gently on the arm. "Go and sit
down," she formed the words with her lips rather than voiced them.

There sat beside my grandfather a vast, fat creature with a forest of
greasy black hair and beard about his pallid face; his heavy hands lay
motionless in his lap, forcibly reminding me of an image I had seen of
some Oriental god upon his throne. His eyes were scarcely opened, his
breathing was almost imperceptible; a gross animal content appeared in
him as of a full-fed, lethargic crocodile. Side by side, he and the
gaunt, fierce-eyed old man presented no mean allegory of spirit and
body. A table was before them, and in the middle of it a toy the like of
which I had never seen in this house or elsewhere--a globe of crystal,
perhaps the size of an orange, held up on a little bronze pedestal. The
fat man's eyes, or so much of them as one might see, were fixed upon
this thing with a kind of stupid intensity; one could have fancied him
paying tribute to some idolatrous shrine. The captain watched him with
an equal earnestness; so might the Roman mob have hung upon the reading
of the sacred entrails; and there was about it the air of a
well-practised, familiar rite. At last my grandfather asked:

"What do you see?"


The other's lips moved, and an unintelligible whisper reached me.

"Ay, that's it, that's it," said the captain, and sent a quick,
searching look about the room. "Doubloons--pieces-of-eight--Spanish
pillar-dollars--doubloons, doubloons! That is what it would likely be
made up of, eh? But where--try to see that--where?"

Another interval of silent gazing, and the oracle uttered some further
statement, which my grandfather received with an impatient groan.

"Doubloons--piles of gold--I know!" he said. "And a ship. But
whereabouts was it, eh? Surely you can see whereabouts it was?"

"It's all a mist; I can see nothing," the other answered, after a pause.

I could have found it in me to laugh at the whole miserable hocus-pocus,
had I been less indignant. The situation was, besides, sufficiently
grave; and as I listened to this silly and profane juggling, and
observed the wildness of my grandfather's bearing, it became plain to me
that he could not long endure such an influence. I guessed from his talk
that the old man's disorder was based upon the idea of treasure lost,
sunk, or hidden hereabout; for our coast was dangerous, a menace to
vessels, and not innocent, besides, of smugglers and worse. Perhaps the
poverty of his later years was at the root of his delusion; perhaps his
madness would have taken this form anyhow. However he had fallen into
the fat man's hands, this was the secret of the latter's power. While I
pondered gloomily, the sitting (so to call it) came to an end. Perhaps
my unwelcome appearance somewhat contracted it. My grandfather lapsed
into his chair, his chin on his chest, brooding. Excitement died in him
almost visibly, like the flickering down of a spent fire. Instead of
eighty, he looked a hundred and eighty, and his face was as lifeless as
a mummy's.

"Zaira!" said the fat man, raising his thick lids (but I fancied he had
already taken some shrewd peeps at me from under them), "I have slept,
and the spirit has spoken. Arise! take away the mirror of Time and

And hereupon the girl, advancing with a shamed glance at me, carried the
globe to one of the lockers, shoved it in, and slammed the door on it

"Have a care!" the seer warned her somberly; the mirror of Time and
Space, apparently, was not immune from the ordinary risks of mirrors, as
one might have expected so august an instrument to be. When speaking
aloud thus, he used a great rolling, sonorous voice; it filled the room
until the very window-panes vibrated.

She gave him a look of angry rebellion, opened her lips as if to retort
with some stinging word, stood irresolute a moment with eyes that
wavered between the three of us, then walked off, leaving us sitting
facing each other in silence.

The fat man and I exchanged a long stare, I choking down my temper, he
smooth and placid, to outward seeming, as the idol he resembled. The
resolution with which he stuck to his silly pose was, in its way, a
rogue's masterpiece; nothing more exasperating than this stolid
effrontery was ever devised. The scoundrel feared, and yet knew he had,
in a sense, the better of me; the helpless old man between us was his

"Young man," he said at last, in the same booming monotone, "have you
the gift of the seeing eye?"

"I have more the gift of the feeling fist, I think," said I, with what
calmness I could muster. "If you doubt it, sir, I shall be pleased to
show you. I am Nicol Pendarves, as a soothsayer like yourself will have
guessed already. Perhaps you will honor me with your name and business

"Many names are mine," he answered, and made a solemn gesture. "Many
names are mine----"

"Doubtless," I said; "but I meant your _last_ alias."

He went on, unruffled, in his great voice, as if I had not spoken: "Many
names have been mine through the uncounted eons--many names. In this
flesh men call me Constantine Paphluoides."

It was no wonder Chepstow could not turn its tongue about that name;
that and his manner together must have dumfounded our straight-thinking
townspeople. I do not remember--indeed, I took no pains to note--what
else he said; bits of mythology, history, poetry, rolled from him in a
cataract of meaningless noise. Had I been an ardent disciple sitting at
his feet, he could not have feigned a greater exaltation. The fellow was
at once dull and crafty; he loosed this gust of windy rhetoric at me as
if he thought to win upon me by mere sound and fury signifying nothing.

I got up at length, when I had had enough of him, and, walking across to
where he sat, "Mr. Constantine Paphluoides," said I, "this is my house;
I give you until to-morrow morning to leave it; you will go quietly and
without any formalities of farewell. You will find it expedient to obey
me: otherwise, although I have not consulted the mirror of Time and
Space, I should not be surprised if it revealed you, to the seeing eye,
in the town jail and later in the stocks."

He made no answer, but sat staring at me, blinking, and opening and
shutting his mouth in a gasping fashion like a fish. I had striven to
speak quietly, but (being in a breathing heat of anger) must
unconsciously have raised my voice, for unexpectedly, and, as it were,
for a warning, my grandfather came out of his semi-stupor and
straightened up, eying me over with a kind of wandering severity.

"Nicol, go to bed! You hear me? Go to bed!" He reached, cursing, for his
cane. There was a grotesque familiarity in the act. With that very cane
he had sought to coerce me into the straight and narrow road, as he
conceived it, how many times during all my childhood!

"Go to bed, I tell you!" he screamed, and half rose, brandishing his rod
of correction.

Somebody pulled at my sleeve; it was the girl. "Please come away, Mr.
Pendarves; please do come away, sir, just for a minute, and then he'll
forget it," she urged; and, with her earnest air of responsibility:
"It's so bad for him."



In the kitchen, Zaira Mary Smith was getting supper ready, as it
appeared. I followed her out passively, and sat down in a sort of maze.
It seemed incredible that, amid the shabby tragedy of this household,
there should be time or thought for the kindly business of spreading a
meal. The girl marched briskly to and fro, stooping to the oven door,
tinkling softly among her spoons and bowls, evidently taking a timid
zest in her labors. It made her seem the most sane, assured, and stable
person among us, spite of her position. I could have imagined her
singing as she went, had it not been for my presence. She was
desperately conscious of me, watching me askant with the curiously
commingled fear and trustfulness of a child. Nor, notwithstanding the
untruths or half-truths she had told me, could her connection with the
abominable rogue-fool in the next room appear other than an enormity--as
if she might be the enchanted heroine of some fairy-tale, condemned to
the service of a monster. At last, when she came and laid a board and
pan on the table beside me, and, rolling up the sleeves about her
capable, round little arms, began a severe maltreatment of a batch of
dough, I could keep silence no longer; curiosity crowded every other
feeling out of me.

"Mary Smith!" I burst out, "for God's sake, tell me all about it!"

She rested her hands on the edge of the bowl an instant. "About us?" she
said, with a quick glance at me. She gave the dough one or two
perfunctory pats and punches, biting her lips; and then suddenly, with a
rush of color, her face puckered together, she clapped her befloured
hands over it, and fell on the nearest bench in a perfect whirlwind of

"I--I--I w-w-wanted to be respectable!" was all I could make out between
gasps--but that was staggering enough news, I thought. She wanted to be

She went on: "I didn't come here of my own free will, Mr. Pendarves,
truly I didn't; but when we came, and I saw how nice I could make
it,--and I never had a home before,--I knew, if you ever came back, that
would end it all, and I did so hope you wouldn't!"

"It seemed a pity not to make hay while the sun shone?" I suggested.

She nodded, a little doubtfully. "I didn't think of it just that way,"
she said. "But--yes, I suppose any one would put it so. Only--I haven't
hurt anything, Mr. Pendarves; I--I only scrubbed--and cooked--and
cleaned a little. I was so happy: there was no harm, it seemed to me.
And when I pretended to be the housekeeper, that--that was just a little
game I played with myself; it was silly, I dare say, but, after all, it
did no harm, either. It was like another game I play by myself
sometimes--of having a birthday, you know? I put little things I've made
beside the bed, and when I wake up in the morning, I make believe it's
my birthday, and I'm so surprised at all the presents I've got! It's
silly, isn't it?' I knew you'd laugh."

"I never felt less like it," I said. "Don't you know your real

She shook her head. No, she did not know that. She had never known
anything about her father and mother. She was not even certain of her
own name. "He calls me Zaira," she said, with a scornful jerk of her
auburn head toward the other room; "but that's a stupid name, and I hate
it. I tell every one my name's Mary Smith. Why not? I might as well call
myself what I like--nobody cares. I think Mary Smith's beautiful, don't
you? It's so respectable, isn't it?" she added wistfully.

Of her childhood she could remember nothing but being in some sort of
school or institution (a home for foundlings, most likely) governed by
nuns, or at least by women who went about in black stuff dresses and
white caps, and whom one called _ma soeur_--for this was in southern
France, she thought. The life was clean, decorous, and peaceful, and she
might have grown up to wear a white cap herself, and herd little waifs
into chapel; but when she was probably ten or eleven years old, the fat
man came and took her away, and they had been wandering up and down the
world ever since. He said he was her uncle, but she was no more sure of
that than of anything else concerning herself.

When they had been in Chepstow a time, she said, her uncle came into
their fortune-telling booth one day with Captain Pendarves, whose name
she did not then know. He talked a great deal in an excited way about
finding some treasure----"money I think he said his father or
grandfather had hidden a long while ago. He kept saying it would all be
in 'doubloons, doubloons,' because it was got in the Spanish Main and
brought here in a ship. And he said there was treasure, heaps of it, in
the bottom of the Cat's Mouth, where ships had sunk, gold pieces all in
amongst the ribs of dead men. Mr. Pendarves,"--she looked at me with a
shy, awed sympathy,--"I saw your grandfather was--was----"

"He is crazy, or nearly so," said I. "Plain talk is best."

"I'm afraid so. I thought shame to beguile a poor old man that way, but,
sir, I could not stop it. He came every day, and they looked in the
crystal--just as they were doing this afternoon, you know. He's worse
now; I think he forgets betweenwhiles what was said the last time they
looked. Then, one day, _he_ told me we were to come here to live. It was
wrong--I knew it; but when I saw it, and thought what I could do--and I
did so want to have a home and--and be respectable--and I thought, too,
if I worked hard and made it nice, it would be a--a kind of payment,
wouldn't it? I couldn't help longing to----"

"Don't cry that way," I said. "I can't bear to see you cry."

"I can't help it," she sobbed. "It's so hard to leave it all."

"Well, then, why leave it?" said I. "_He_ has to, surely; but that need
make no difference to you. We must have a housekeeper, you know."

She gave me a woeful glance; and I understood that, according to her
poor little code, it would be more "respectable" to resume her
journeyings with the fat crystal-gazer than to stay in the house with
Nick Pendarves as his grandfather's housekeeper. Here was a ticklish
point to argue with her; and, for all her tears, there was a firmness in
the set of her chin (it was dented with a dimple) that warned me such
argument would be a waste of time. She had made up her mind, and would
stand to it at all costs. It was martyrdom in an eminently feminine
style; women deliver themselves up to it day by day, and contrive to be
perfectly unreasonable, yet somehow in the right. She wiped her eyes
presently, shut her mouth on a sob, and went resolutely about her work.
We had, after all, a tolerably cheerful evening in the kitchen. It
seemed wisest for me not to show myself again before Captain Pendarves,
but I am afraid I did not repine greatly at the banishment. As the door
swung to and fro behind Mary carrying their dishes, I caught glimpses of
the gloomy parlor, my grandfather huddled in his chair by the table,
with bright, roving eyes; the sorcerer surprisingly busy about the food
for a person of his ethereal habits; and, on the wall beyond, old
Admiral Pendarves simpering eternally over his private fun.


The wind came up strong again after sunset, and all night long went
noisily about the gables, and piped down our trembling old chimneys. It
did not lessen with the approach of morning, and when I thrust open the
window, an hour or so after dawn, there was a low-hanging gray sky and a
great, driving stir in the air. I had hardly pushed the casement out,
had one brief vision of bare tormented trees, felt a slap of rain, and
heard, not far away, the measured beating of breakers as they charged at
the foot of our cliff, when the wind, plucking the latch from my grasp,
slammed the lattice and went yelling around the corner of the house like
a jocular demon. I began to dress, thinking, as I had often thought
before, that the place had a kind of fantastic kinship with the sea;
every timber in it seemed to strain and creak to the repeated onsets of
the storm, like those of any ship. The house stood steady enough, yet
our position, open to all the winds of heaven, and within a few hundred
paces of the furious water, was surely such as none but a sailor would
have chosen. We rode out the weather in the open, so to speak, with
abundant sea-room. And, for the better carrying out of the simile, there
presently arose, somewhere outside, a long, drawling hail, calculated,
with a mariner's nicety, to overcome the wind. "Ah-o-oy! The house,

It came from the landward-looking or highroad side of the house--about
two points on the starboard bow, as old Crump would have said. And, in
fact, when I reached the door, there was Crump himself huddled in a
pea-jacket on the seat of his cart, with his gray pony drooping
dolefully between the shafts. I could just see them above the ragged
hedge that divided our little front yard from the public way. Towering
columns of rain swept across the landscape; Crump and the pony looked
soaked to the core; and I was admiring the Spartan devotion to duty that
brought him out at this hour, in such weather, when he began another
wailing like a castaway banshee: "Ah-o-oy, the house! Pendarves,

I set a hand to either side of my mouth and roared an answering hail to
him up the wind. We were a bare twenty yards apart, but if he had not
chanced at that moment to look in my direction, I doubt if he would have
been aware of me, for all my efforts. The wind, in a fresh swoop,
snatched the sound from my lips and ranged through the house with a
turmoil of banging doors, falling crockery, and wildly fluttering
draperies. As it was, he caught sight of me, shouted something
unintelligible, and gesticulated toward a formless heap tucked up in
oilskins behind him in the cart. Then he descended laboriously and
signaled for help to remove it.

"What is it? What has he got?" screamed Mary Smith in my ear. She must
have come running from the back of the house at the recent outburst of
racket. Her petticoats swirled; her red curls streamed (they were
shining with wet). She had certainly been outdoors already, as early as
it was, in the teeth of all this blow, and I was startled by the pale
anxiety of her look. "What is it? Who is there?" she cried again

"Nobody but Crump with my baggage," I cried back. "What's the matter?"

"Oh, Mr. Pendarves, haven't you seen them? They are both gone! I've
looked everywhere about the house. They were gone when I got up, and I
can't find them high or low!"

"You mean Captain Pendarves--and the other?"

She nodded, with terror-struck eyes on me; then, raising on tiptoe,
screamed painfully, with her mouth close to my ear (it was almost
impossible to hear otherwise): "He--your grandfather--has done it
before. He's always restless in a storm. He goes down to the shore
sometimes. I'm so afraid----" her look said the rest.

"Ask him--ask Crump; maybe he's seen them," she added in a shriek, as I
started to the carrier's help. It was but a few steps to the gate, yet I
reached it wet through, half blinded by sheets of water driven slantwise
in my face, and with the breath nearly beaten out of me. In the open,
thus, the storm seemed to increase tenfold in violence; it filled the
vast cloudy hollow of the sky with reverberating din; and I felt, or
fancied I felt, the solid ground shiver with the pounding of the waves
on the ledges along the Cat's Mouth.

Crump greeted me with a cheerful grin; he had all the seaman's tolerance
for the vagaries of the weather.

"Coming on to blow some, ain't it?" he remarked at the top of his lungs.
"Your old apple-tree's carried away--that one in the corner of the
orchard, I mean. I could see it as I came along by the upper road."

"Have you seen my grandfather anywhere about?" I shouted.

He could not have understood the question, for he answered, squinting up
at me knowingly as he stooped over his end of my chest: "I see you got
rid of _him_, Mr. Nick, and in short order, too. I spoke him a little
way back, bound for Sidmouth with all sails set--at least, he was laying
a course that way. Come on board, ma'am!" He pulled his forelock and
made a leg respectfully before Mary (albeit eying her with no small
interest) as we shoved our burden through the door. The girl clapped it
shut, with a sharp struggle against the draught, and in the momentary
silence that followed we stood awkwardly and apprehensively surveying
one another, while the hurricane rumbled outside.

"I asked you if you had seen my grandfather," I said to Crump, at last.

"Seen the cap'n? Why, no, sir," he said, surprised. "I was telling you
I saw----" He stopped, with a glance at Mary.

"Yes, go on. You saw _him_? Where? What was he doing?" she said sharply.

"I was saying he crossed my bows laying his course for Sidmouth, or that
way," said Crump, evidently striving for a witness-box exactness. "He
didn't answer my hail. Looked like he was in too much of a hurry."

Mary cast a troubled look about. "Did he have anything with him? A
portmanteau, or carpet-bag, or anything to carry clothes?"

"Not that I noticed," said Crump carefully. "Looked as if he was going
out in ballast--except his pockets; there was something in his pockets,
I should say."

I stared at Mary in some perplexity. What the fat man did, or what
should become of him, were, indeed, matters of indifference to me,
except so far as they concerned her. I was well enough pleased that he
should go, but there was something unusual in the manner of his going;
it was a headlong flight. To tell the truth, I had looked for further
trouble with him. What would the girl do now? And where was Captain
Pendarves? She met me with eyes at once frightened and resolute.

"First of all we must find Captain Pendarves--we must go look for him,"
she said, answering my thought and making up my mind for me in a trice.
(She has a way of doing this, displaying the most unerring accuracy at
it any time these twenty years!) And, in the turn of a hand, she had
kilted up her skirts, tied a shawl, over her head, and was making for
the kitchen door.

"Lord love you, miss, you can't go out in this!" said Crump, aghast.

"Why not? I've been out in it once already."

"But, Mary!" I cried, and tried to withhold her. "What good can you do?
Here is Crump, and here am I. We'll find them both. This is no work for
a woman. You are wet, you may get hurt----"

"And you?" she retorted. Then, in a lower voice, "Don't stop me, Mr.
Pendarves; don't try to keep me from going. I can't stay quietly here,
and wait, and wait, and not know what's happened. I think I should go
mad. I _must_ go. You are wasting time; your grandfather--oh, can't you

I understood only that she was frantic with anxiety, and might have
offered further remonstrance had it not been for the sudden defection of
Crump. He edged a little nearer, and gently jogged my elbow.

"I'm with ye, miss," he announced, with startling alacrity; and, as we
followed her out, he explained to me in a hoarse and perfectly audible
whisper behind one hand: "I'm always with 'em when they get that look
on, Mr. Nicol. Catch me adrift on a lee shore! I've learned a lot since
I signed with Sarah."

The breakfast-table had been laid, and the empty chairs stood around it
in their places, under the smiling supervision of the admiral's
portrait. In the kitchen, Mary had a bright fire going, her neat towels
hanging to dry. She opened the door, and the next instant this pretty
and comforting picture was shut behind us, and there we were crouching
in the rain under the eaves, with the wind bellowing overhead.


Mary stood on tiptoe again to scream: "I've been all over except in the
orchard--you can see the shore from there."

I took her hand within my arm, and we struggled forward. As we drew
nearer the cliff, the loud and awful noise of breakers in the Cat's
Mouth silenced the storm; yet the wind was no whit diminished. A man
could hardly have kept his feet, I think, along the cliff path. Before
we reached the corner where the ancient tree that had weathered so many
gales lay prostrate, uprooted at last, although we had as yet no view of
the immediate shore, we could see a white aureole of spray hang, vanish,
and return in a breath, yards in air above the Brown Cow. We fetched a
compass around the orchard, stumbling and staggering among stumps and
matted weeds and half-hidden logs without finding my grandfather, or any
trace of him; and Crump having dropped behind, we had lost sight of him
when that eery screech he adopted to make himself heard traveled to us
down the wind. He was kneeling by the dislodged roots of our old tree,
and, as he caught my eye, began an uncouth pantomime of surprise and
wonder; then stooped, grasped a handful of something, and held it aloft
with extravagant gestures. He bawled again, and, having got closer by
this time, I heard the words:

"Doubloons, Mr. Nick! Pieces-of-eight! Spanish dollars! Doubloons!"

"Heaven help us all!" went through me, "Here's another gone mad."

The spectacle put our search momentarily from my mind. I knew Crump's
head to be none of the strongest, and I should never have guessed what
had actually happened--for surely this was a strange place and way in
which to stumble upon old Admiral Pendarves' treasure!

Yet that was what the carrier had done; he was never saner in his life.
It lay before us, a considerable heap of gold and silver coins,
tarnished but recognizable, in a rotting wooden keg sunk into the ground
at the foot of the tree and partly meshed in its roots. Crump plowed
among the coins with his hand.

"There's a mort of money here, Mr. Nicol," he said, "and there's been
more. Look, here's some of it scattered out in the grass; it couldn't
have got away out there of itself. And here's a footprint in the mud."
He looked up thoughtfully. "Likely some of it's on its way to Sidmouth
now," said he. "I thought his pockets bulged."

"Well, I wish him joy of it!" said I.

"Lord, you could have the law on him for that, Mr. Nicol. Ain't you
going to?"

"Not I!" said I, holding Mary's hand.

Something in this attitude must have moved Crump to his next remark. He
looked us both over with an impartial and dispassionate air, cast a
calculating eye on the treasure; then, "Enough left to get married and
set up on, anyway," he said weightily. "There's worse things in the
world than being married--though you'd hardly believe it. That's what I
often says to Sarah!"

At that Mary Smith snatched her hand suddenly from mine and moved toward
the edge of the cliff, crying out that we must continue our search. I
climbed the orchard wall and looked along the shore. Here the cliff
dropped away almost sheer, and the narrow strip of shingle at its base
was lost in the surf. Farther to the north it widened a little with the
curve of the shore, and through a swaying curtain of rain I could follow
it to a point we called the Notch, near the entrance of the Cat's Mouth;
of late years they have dredged the channel and moored a bell-buoy off
this headland. There was nothing alive in sight; some prone black
objects I saw, with a start, were only a few fisher-boats drawn up on
the sand, and none too safe. I looked out to sea; the tide was making,
and, where the strait drew in toward the Cat's Teeth, the waves fought
and clamored with a horrid vigor, like living monsters. Their huge
voices outdid the winds, and, as one after another made forward,
towered, and broke upon the reefs, the Teeth disappeared in a welter of
foam. Hereabout we found the old man at last.

Where he had got a boat, or with what madman's strength he had launched
it, we could not guess. It was midway of the Cat's Mouth that I first
caught sight of him, at no great distance measured by feet and inches,
but as far beyond human aid as if the wide Atlantic had separated us. He
was standing up in the stern, with folded arms, in something the posture
he may have maintained on the poop of his ship in old days--where,
perhaps, he fancied himself at this moment. I trust that reason was
withheld from him in the utter hour; and certainly, although I could not
discern his features, I saw him make no gesture either to invite help or
to indicate that he had any understanding of his position. If mad, I
thought (right or wrong) his death thus less ignoble than his life had
become; if sane, he held a strong and steadfast heart, and bore himself
well on his last voyage. By some strange chance, the boat spun and
tossed among the breakers, yet kept an even keel, and boat and man
together made a viking end. For, so standing, unconscious or unmoved, he
went down, before our eyes, between the white and pointed reefs of the
Cat's Teeth.






Of course, Bob knew that, as an abstract ethical principle, it is wrong
to fight. His mother had been endeavoring to impress that idea upon him,
from the moment it was first decided that he should go to public school
till his books and his lunch-box were packed and he was on his way
thither; and she had succeeded fairly well, for she had exacted a
promise from him faithfully to avoid personal encounters as wholly
sinful and unbecoming.

As a matter of fact, Bob knew only so much about fighting as he had
learned through round-eyed, somewhat frightened observation of a very
few entirely bloodless encounters among older boys; and, inasmuch as he
had found himself consistently excluded from nearly all other, more
peaceful pursuits and interests of these older ones, it was not
unnatural that he should feel merely a spectator's interest in their
fistic battles also, and that he should look upon them as he would have
looked upon any other natural phenomenon--with some excitement, perhaps,
but with no personal concern.

Bob admired his mother. To him, she was the most beautiful and the most
resourceful woman in the world. He had found her judgment upon many
subjects so wise that he was quite prepared to believe her position in
this matter (which did not appear to be vital) completely and
unquestionably correct, and to promise accordingly.

But conditions which exist on the big, bare public-school playgrounds,
away alike from parental restraint and parental protection, are quite
different from those in the home door-yard, and the code which obtains
in the ward-school world is not an open book to all mothers of
chubby-fisted sons who are called upon to observe it. It seems difficult
for mothers to comprehend that a normal boy's standing on the
school-ground is, like that of a young cock in a barn-yard, simply a
matter of mettle and muscle.

So it was as early as Bob's second day at school--on the first Papa Jack
had gone with him--that a revelation came both to him and to his mother.
To him it was a painful revelation, first because he had this new code
to learn, and afterward because of his promise; and it was the latter
thing that made the real difficulty. When you are a small boy you can
easily adapt yourself and your habits of mind to new conditions and
environment; but when you have some one else to think of, and when you
are bound by a promise, that complicates matters.


Now, one "Curly" Davis--who was said to have been christened Charles,
but whose astonishingly spiral locks surely constituted better authority
for a name than any possible application of baptismal water--was, by
right of reputed might, dictator of the Vine Street Primary. Curly was
alleged to be of pugnacious disposition, and had not been bred to
appreciation of the Golden Rule. He had the outward bearing of one who
has reason for confidence in his personal prowess. He was popularly
believed to have fought many fights and fierce,--just when and where his
admirers seemed not to consider important,--and he had a reputation for
ferocity rather disproportionate to his stature. He had a way of glaring
at you, too, if you happened to be a new boy at school, which was
sufficiently suggestive of a sanguinary temperament to overawe the
average youngster and to render quite unnecessary any more active

Like all despots who rule through fear, Curly had a following. It was
made up of lesser lights of like tastes and ambitions, who toadied to
and imitated the tyrant simply to avoid the unpleasant necessities which
the alternative involved. These followers, numbering some six or eight,
through their unity of aim and Curly's leadership, had gained a certain
ascendency over the far greater, but unorganized, body of would-be
independents who, chafe as they might under the yoke, dared not attempt
to throw it off; and these loyal retainers were zealous in service of
their lord's interests and pleasure.

On that beautiful fall morning when Bob first went alone to school, he
had not been ten minutes on the playground, standing upon its outer
edge, school-bag and lunch-box in hand, to gaze upon its novelties,
before a satellite of Curly's, one Percy Emery, espied him. Instantly it
was as though Percy had discovered some new quarry, unearthed a fresh
specimen of some genus, edible and choice.

"Hi, Curly," he yelled, with the eager loyalty of his kind, "come 'ere.
'Ere's a new one. Look at the school-bag to 'im."

Curly, who was at the moment engaged in the pleasing pastime of
hectoring a scared little five-year-old who ought still to have been in
the kindergarten, pricked up his ears at the cry and, like a hungry
bird of prey leaving a mouse for a lamb, promptly swooped down upon the
new game. His movement was the signal for the gathering of a crowd, and,
before Bob was fairly aware that he was the object of attention, he had
become the center of a curious group whose interest, if not wholly
hostile, was in the main certainly not friendly. The dictator himself
confronted him with unmistakably bellicose intentions.

"New shoes!" said Curly contemptuously, selecting the first obviously
vulnerable point open to a shaft of insult. "New shoes! Spit on 'em!" He
suited the action to the word, and immediately word and act alike were
imitated by two or three of his more ardent admirers.

"Stop!" said Bob. He did not know what it meant. He backed away from his

"Aw, stop, eh?" mocked Curly. "Who are _you_? What's yer name?"

"Bob McAllister."

"Bob! Bob-tail! Bob-cat!" chanted Curly, in gratuitous insult of which
only bantam shamelessness is capable. "Stop, will I? Who'll make me?
You? You want to fight?"

He danced about Bob's quiet little figure, snapping his fingers in the
new boy's eyes. Then, suddenly, he swung his wiry body and swept a
stinging blow in Bob's face.

A yell of delight from the despot's own drowned a weaker chorus of
protest. Curly backed and squared, ready for some show of retaliation or
resistance, a scornful little grin on his face.

"Come on, now. Fight! Stop me!" he cried.

But Bob did not move. Curly's blow had landed fair on the tender little
red lip, and it had cut against the teeth behind; a tiny scarlet stream
flowed down Bob's smooth little chin. In his eyes the dizziness of the
first jar gradually gave way to slow amazement. Then the tears welled
up, hot tears which overflowed the lids and ran scalding down the
cheeks, but they did not conceal or quench a glitter which grew to a
bright flame behind them.

Bob's school-bag and lunch-box dropped from his hands. The pudgy fists
which had never before been clinched with belligerent purpose, but which
were, nevertheless, a boy's fists, doubled themselves into hard little
knots; but still he stood quiet.


So far as his whirling little mind could think, he thought thus: So this
was fighting; this was what he had promised mother not to do; what he
had promised--had promised--promised. He was not so big, this boy who
had struck him, not so big. Bob was not afraid. But that a promise is
a thing to be kept inviolate he had learned, oh, years ago, from Papa
Jack, along with all the other _of-course-ities_ of life, like telling
the truth, keeping your troubles to yourself, and not being a cry-baby
or a telltale. And a promise to mother--well, nothing could be more
sacred. Yet here was a new condition which he had never met before, a
new situation which suddenly made him see in an altogether different
aspect a question supposedly settled--this question of to fight or not
to fight. It made his sweeping promise to mother suddenly seem to have
been very ill-advised indeed. He wondered if his mother could have known
that he would meet this kind of thing at school. In that first instant
after Curly's blow was struck, instinct told him that fists were made to
be used, and reason added that self-defense is right; and now something
else was stirring in his heart--something which might not, perhaps, be
wholly unexpected, under such circumstances, to stir in the heart of a
boy whose grandfather had carried a musket at Gettysburg and whose
father had worn khaki at San Juan. He wondered if his mother could have


But Bob's fists only clinched; they did not strike. All the sturdy
little muscles in his small body stiffened, and he stood with head up
and eyes blazing, but he did not strike. And then the school-bell
suddenly began to ring, and the group about him broke away; and Curly
Davis started off, shouting back something about fixing _him_ after
school, and--he was alone.

Bob stood still. He realized that the last bell for school had rung. He
knew that he should have gone in with the others. That was what he had
been sent to school for, certainly. But he stood still.

The tears had dried upon his face, and so had the thin little line of
red on his chin. His lip was swelling, and felt as if a hazelnut or a
big bean had been pushed up under it and were sticking to and stinging
the skin. He stooped and picked up his school-bag and lunch-box, stood
still again for a moment, and then walked away. He was not going to
school, and, naturally, as there was nowhere else to go, he was going

But a great, heavy weight seemed to have settled down upon his breast
and pressed in upon it, and it was hard to breathe. His thoughts were
still confused, but he was wondering--wondering. Why was it? Why had
they treated him so? Why had they singled him out to attack him? Why had
that boy with the curly hair struck him? Why had the others laughed?
Didn't they like him? Didn't any one like him? Why, what had he done?
His heart swelled with sudden misery and wretchedness. Why was such an
unkind thing permitted in the world? And then again returned that
something which stirred inside him, something hot and hard, which made
his cheeks and eyes burn and his fingers clinch once more. And then
again the question, "Could mother have known?"

Mrs. McAllister saw him coming a block away, and she ran down to the
gate to meet him as he trudged in. Bob looked up into his mother's face.
The quick concern in her eyes, as she saw the battered little lip and
the stained chin, came nearer to making him sob than Curly's blow had
done; but, though the tears would well up and his throat felt very
tight, he only swallowed and carefully wet the puffed lip with his

"Why, Bobbie, Bobbie, what is the matter?" cried his mother, dropping
down on her knees on the walk beside him. She put both her hands on his
shoulders and turned his face toward her; and Bob looked straight into
her troubled blue eyes, and suddenly began to feel better--began to
feel, indeed, that he did not have to care so much, after all.

"Oh, Bobbie, _have_ you been fighting?"

Bob shook his head.

"How did you get your lip hurt so? Did you fall down?"

Again he shook his head. He didn't know just how to tell her. It wasn't
fighting. At least, _he_ didn't fight; it had been that other boy. But,
somehow, he did not want to say that; he did not want to tell; he wanted
something, but he did not know just what it was. He found himself
forgetting how he had felt a moment before, and then he discovered that
he was not thinking about what he wanted at all. He was thinking what a
very _blue_ blue his mother's eyes were when she looked at him so, and,
all at once, he felt more sorry for her than for himself, because she
looked so troubled; and he kissed her quickly, and hurt his lip.

Mrs. McAllister led him into the house. "Won't you tell mother, Bob?"
she asked.

But he couldn't. He was feeling better--much better--but he couldn't
tell. There was another reason now, that he hadn't thought of before: it
would make her feel more sorry. And after all, it didn't matter so
much; that is, it didn't if-- He looked up at her with a new thought.

"But, Bob, you must tell mother all about it," she was saying, as she
carefully bathed his chin and lip, and so he had to shake his head

"Then you must tell papa this noon, Bob."

Bob considered. No, he couldn't tell Papa Jack, either. He felt pretty
sure father himself wouldn't tell about such a thing if he were a boy.
He was silent.

Mrs. McAllister began to move about her work, though she still looked at
him frequently and anxiously. Bob went away to the window, and stood
looking out. He remembered how he had started out that morning, with
school-bag and lunch; he remembered how he had approached the
school-grounds, and how big and strange and attractive a place it had
seemed to him at first, and what a good time all those boys had been
having; and then he remembered how, suddenly, he had found them all
around him, summoned by the call of that boy with the hateful grin, and
how Curly Davis had sneered and spat and struck. Suddenly he found
himself tingling all over, and pressing a burning forehead against the
cool glass, and digging his knuckles into the corner of the sash till
they ached. Then he went into the library, and lay down on father's big
leather couch, and thought and thought.

Papa Jack came home for lunch at noon, and mother told him. Bob heard
them in the hall.

"He says he didn't fight," said his mother, "and he says he didn't fall
down. He won't tell me, and I told him he must tell you. I don't know
why he doesn't want to tell; he isn't ashamed or very much frightened,
and he didn't cry after he came home."

Bob heard Papa Jack's footsteps cross the hall and come in upon the
hard-wood library floor, and then on the big rug by the library couch.
Papa Jack sat down beside him and put his big fingers around Bob's
little ones.

"Well, what about it, Son?"

Bob looked up and smiled. Always such a pleasant, warm feeling came over
him when Papa Jack came near him and talked to him.

"What about it, Son?"

But Bob could not reply. His eyes grew serious as they looked back into
his father's.

"What did this, Bob?" asked Papa Jack, gently touching the hazelnut
bruise with a finger.

"A boy," said Bob.

"What boy?" asked Papa Jack. "A big boy?"

Silence, and then a shake of the head.

"Did you strike him first?"

Again Bob shook his head.

"What did you do to him?"

Still another shake of the head.

"Do you mean he just came up and struck you without any provocation?"

"He laughed," said Bob.

"What else?"

"Spit on my new shoes," reddening.

Papa Jack drew his mustache down between his lip and teeth. "Hm! He did,
eh? What else?"

"Said 'Bob-tail, bob-cat,'"

Papa Jack looked puzzled.

"Said I was--Bob, bob-tail, bob-cat," explained Bob.

"Oh!" Papa Jack seemed to see light. "And then he struck you?"

A nod once more.

Mr. McAllister looked out the window and his fingers closed tightly
around Bob's. "When was this, Bob--before school?"


"And you came right home?"

A nod.

"Did you strike him back?"

Bob's eyes widened. "No."

Papa Jack's eyes widened also. "Why?"


"Because what, Bob?"

"Because mama said not to fight."

"And you promised?"

Bob nodded again.

"I see." Papa Jack's eyes suddenly lighted with something Bob did not
understand, and he sat looking down at Bob for a long minute. "I see,"
he said again, and then he turned and called to mother. "Helen!" And
mother came in, with a piece of white sewing in her hands.

"Helen," said Papa Jack, "it's a case of bullying. The boy promised you
not to fight, and he didn't. It's a mistake, mother. He's been set upon
by some young bully, and couldn't defend himself because of his

Mother looked at Bob; there was distress in her eyes, but something else
came into them, too.

"It's only the beginning, dear--the beginning of battles," said Papa
Jack, and he put his other hand on mother's.

"Bob," he said, "mother doesn't mean you're not to defend yourself.
Understand? By fighting, mother only means beginning fights, picking
fights, provoking other boys to fight. We _have_ to defend ourselves. It
isn't right to pick a fight; that's what mother means."

Bob saw tears come into his mother's eyes. Papa Jack saw them, too.

"There's only one way among boys, Helen dear. The bullies must be
fought, you know. Our boy's got to be a boy's boy if he's to be a man's
man by-and-by."

Suddenly mother bent over and kissed Bob, and held him, with her arms
thrust under and about him--held him hard.

"The only thing, Bob, is to be a man always. Be square and white. Do the
right thing. I can't tell you what it will be every time; neither can
anybody else: but you your own self will know. It may be right even to
fight sometimes, for yourself and for others who are bullied; but every
boy knows for himself when it's right and when it's wrong. If he does as
he _knows_, he'll do right."

It was a quiet lunch that day. Father and mother talked little and the
meal was quickly over. Bob hardly knew what he himself ate or did or
thought. There was a strange excitement in his heart and in his head, a
feeling that he could not define. It was not that he was going back to
school after dinner. It was not that he would probably meet those boys
again, nor that he would sooner or later have to face again that Curly
Davis. Neither was it that, when he did face Curly Davis, he meant
to--yes, to fight him. No, it was none of these things, though his heart
did beat the faster as he thought of them. It was something else; it was
something about what his father had said, not so much his words, but the
way he had said "a man's man" and "we must defend ourselves"--something
that thrilled him, made him proud and humble, all at once. Someway,
father seemed to have taken a new attitude toward him, and in that
change even Bob seemed to see father's recognition that babyhood was
over for his small son.

Mother stood in the door and watched him go. She had been crying again,
a little; she had even wanted to keep him at home. But father had said,
"No, let him go; as well now as to-morrow," and so she had kissed him
and cried again, a little. And then she had begged him to "try to keep
away from those bad little boys," and to "play only with good boys who
did not want to fight"; and Bob had said yes--doubtfully. He waved his
hand to her from the gate, and again from the corner of the block, and
then he set his face once more toward school, and walked very fast.

It was five o'clock when Bob came home again. School closed at four, but
the clock on the library mantel was tinkling five when he opened the
door and closed it very softly. He didn't want mother to see him just

He was trembling and very white--his little mirror by the window showed
him that. There was a brown-and-blue bruise just in the corner of his
little brown eyebrow, of which he had felt carefully a dozen times on
the way home, but which did not look so big in the glass as it had felt.
There was a rubbed place on his chin, and the soft knuckles of his hands
were grimy and stained. He laid his school-bag and box carefully on a
chair, and went to look out the window for a moment. And then a strange
feeling came over him.

--This was his little room; yes, it was his--the same little room; the
same white curtains, the same little window, the same view of the little
green door-yard and the apple-tree and the cedar-hedge; the same soft
sunset light coming in upon him where it had come so many, many other
evenings, ever since he could remember. But the boy--that little boy who
had looked upon it all, who had lived there and loved the white curtains
and the sun and the apple-tree--where was he? he wondered.

When he closed his eyes he could see just one thing--one whirling,
seething vision: a ring of boys, excited, eager, yelling, laughing,
cheering, with only here and there a frightened face; and there in the
midst himself and another--some one who was striking and kicking and
scratching at him, but whose blows he did not seem to feel, so hard and
fierce and fast he himself was striking, and so hotly ran his blood. And
in his ears were ringing the cries which had gone up at the end, when
that other boy--he of the curly hair--had suddenly, at last, turned from
him and run away through the crowd, beaten and sniveling and--alone. And
he remembered that he had felt sorry then--oh, so sorry--sorry for that
other boy!

He washed his face and hands carefully, and looked again in the little
mirror. Perhaps mother wouldn't notice--much. He opened his door and
crept softly down the stairs and into the library, and there was mother,
looking anxiously from the window, and father, who had just come in,
putting on his hat as if he were going out again. And they both turned
and looked at him; and mother ran and caught him up in her arms, just as
if he were that baby-boy again--that baby he had been yesterday. He

Father looked at the brown bruise and the scuffed knuckles critically,
while mother held him with her face against his hair.

"Do you think he'll bother you any more, Bob?" father asked, just as if
the whole story had been told.

Bob shook his head, and mother suddenly clasped him closer, while father
turned away with a grim smile. And Bob himself just wondered--wondered
about that baby-boy he had been yesterday.




The name of Don Josef de Jaudenes y Nebot has not impressed itself
deeply on the memory of the world. It does not appear in the great,
many-volumed biographical dictionaries nor in the indexes of the
standard histories of the United States. Even in the library of the
Hispanic Society of America there is no record of him. He was, however,
a man of some importance in the early diplomacy of the nation. The
beginning of his official career may be definitely determined by a
letter of Washington's of July 20, 1791, in which he says: "I yesterday
had Mr. Jaudenes, who was in this country with Mr. Gardoqui and is now
come over in a public character, presented to me for the first time by
Mr. Jefferson."

Gardoqui came to America in 1786 as _chargé d'affaires_ for the
negotiation of a treaty with Spain. The "public character" in which
Jaudenes was presented in 1791 was that of commissioner of Spain, and he
had united with him on the commission Josef de Viar, all their official
documents being signed with both names. Their main business, like
Gardoqui's, was the negotiation of a treaty between Spain and the United
States; a treaty which was to settle boundaries, rights of trade between
the two nations, and also the question of the "occlusion" of the
Mississippi River; but there was much outside diplomatic sparring over
the disputes between the Governor of Louisiana and the Georgians about
trespasses and conflicting rights. The last communication of the
commissioners was dated in 1794. The next year the negotiations were
transferred to Madrid and the treaty was signed there and Jaudenes
probably then returned to Spain. There seems to be no trace of him after

The only other facts in regard to him are to be gathered from the two
pictures recently acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which are
the subject of this article. They are signed G. Stuart, R. A., New York,
September 8, 1794, and bear inscriptions in Spanish which, to complete
the record, are here given in full:

     ESPAÑA EL 25 DE MARZO DE 1764.

     11 DE ENERO DE 1778.

We learn from these that Don Josef was thirty and his bride in her
seventeenth year, and that she was born in New York. Unfortunately this
is all that we know about her. Stoughton is a sufficiently familiar name
in the colonial records of the New England and Middle States, but the
lady of the portrait has not yet been identified nor has a search of the
newspapers of the day revealed any mention of her marriage. It may very
probably have taken place on September 8th, 1794, the date placed after
Stuart's name on both canvases; but the journalists of that time took
less note of such international alliances than those of the present.
Something more about the lady is, however, certain to be found by the
genealogists and delvers in old diaries and correspondence, for the
wedding of the young Spanish diplomat with the pretty American girl just
midway in her teens must have set tongues wagging and pens inditing. How
the match turned out we do not know, but some argument as to their
happiness may be based on the fact that Jaudenes' successor, the Marquis
d'Yrujo, followed his example and took an American bride in the person
of Miss Sally McKean, who was also painted by Stuart.

  _Two Portraits by_ GILBERT STUART

  _reproduced by permission of_


  _Printed from plates made by the Colorplate Engraving Company, New York_

[Illustration: _Doña_ MATILDE STOUGHTON DE JAUDENES _Wife of the First
Minister from_ SPAIN _to the_ UNITED STATES]

[Illustration: _Don_ JOSEF DE JAUDENES Y NEBOT _First Minister from_

Having thus disposed (somewhat unsatisfactorily, it is true) of the
personality of the sitters, we can turn to the portraits themselves. The
accompanying reproductions make extended description unnecessary. They
are characteristic Stuarts, more elaborate, more complete, than most of
his subsequent work, but showing clearly his personal point of view
and the difference between his portraits and those of his
contemporaries. He is less poetic, more literal than the rivals with
whom he had contended, not unsuccessfully, for the patronage of London
society. For him a pretty girl is a pretty girl, and it is enough. He
seats her comfortably in a chair and paints her as she is. One cannot
imagine him turning her into a nymph, a shepherdess, or a priestess of
Hymen, or painting her with a very modish coiffure on her head and a
pair of blue-ribboned sandals on her bare feet. These things Reynolds
did habitually and moreover put his figures in attitudes with up-rolled
eyes and extended arms and filled out his larger canvases with altars
and tombs and allegorical attributes. This he did to bring his pictures
in accord with those of the old masters whom he laboriously studied and
deeply admired. His achievement fully justified him. His sumptuous
canvases, rich in color, elaborate in composition, perfected with every
technical resource, have ever since remained unequalled of their kind.

In spite of his stay in West's studio, Stuart had none of this respect
for tradition nor any wish to attempt the grand style. In this he was
more like Gainsborough, but Gainsborough invested his portraits, even of
prosaic sitters, with a strange, penetrating, poetic charm such as no
other painter has been able to convey. Ranking artists in the order of
their merit is an unprofitable business, but it may gratify some
methodical minds to have it stated that these canvases by Stuart are not
in the same class as good Gainsboroughs or Reynolds. With the best of
other contemporary portraits they stand approximately on a footing of
equality. In spite of the quiet pose, the lack of strongly contrasted
light and shade and all of the clever tricks and forced accents of
Lawrence and his followers, they are alive and alert. The
characterization is excellent. The young people were not of so profound
or complicated a nature as the Father of his Country, and the faces are
not wrought out with the delicate subtlety of the Gibbs-Channing
Washington which hangs between them, but they are clear-cut, compelling
belief in their truth. The execution, too, has all of Stuart's skill.
Others may have attempted higher things, but none did what he attempted
with such perfect ease and sureness. In neither of the canvases is there
a sign of uncertainty, hesitation, or alteration. Each touch is put
exactly where it should be and left. There is none of the scumbling and
glazing and re-working so common in the English portraits of the time.
It is to this that the canvases owe their admirable freshness which
makes them look as if painted yesterday. The heads have all of Stuart's
pearly gray and rose tones unimpaired by ill-usage or restoration. The
clothes and accessories are more swiftly and summarily done, the silver
lace and the high lights being touched in with amazing sureness and
cleverness. The composition and arrangement is pleasing, and Stuart's
besetting fault of putting his heads too low on the canvas is excused
and justified in the case of Don Josef by the necessity of having his
portrait correspond with that of his wife, whose elaborate and stylish
head-dress fills the top of her picture. In short, New York is to be
congratulated on the winning back after a sojourn abroad of more than a
century of these two most important and charming paintings executed here
in the early days of the Republic.

At this point this article might well end, but there may be some who
recall that last summer for a week or so there appeared in the papers
articles headed "Fakes at the Museum" or "The Metropolitan Gets Lemons,"
which assailed the genuineness of these portraits. The discussion did
not get far beyond the daily press, which, after its habit, registered
the charges as picturesquely and vehemently as it could, but attempted
no serious investigation of them. They were brought by a critic whose
position as a special student of Stuart entitled them to respectful
consideration, but after giving them that they do not seem conclusive or
even important. They were based on the fact that the pictures were
signed G. Stuart, R. A., and bore coats of arms and long Spanish
inscriptions. It was claimed that this made the genuineness of the
canvases doubtful, for Stuart signed few of his paintings--possibly none
except the standing Washington in the Philadelphia Academy; he was not
an R. A. (Royal Academician); nor was he a heraldic illuminator.
Furthermore, the painting of the male portrait and the dress and
accessories in the companion piece did not seem to the critic to agree
with Stuart's handling. To make his impressions fit with the pictures,
the critic supposed that Stuart painted a smaller portrait of Jaudenes
and started one of his wife, which through some freak of temper he left
(as he frequently did) with only the head and part of the background
finished. These being brought to Spain, some artist there finished the
lady's portrait, painted from Stuart's original a companion piece of her
husband, and added to both the coats of arms, the inscriptions, and
Stuart's name.

Now, frankly, this is not possible. As for the portrait of Doña Matilde
being left unfinished, there exists in Stuart's handwriting a list of
gentlemen who are to have copies of his portrait of Washington,
consisting of thirty-two names. A few take two copies, no one takes more
save Jaudenes, who subscribes for five. The list is dated April 20th,
1795, which is seven months after the date on the pictures, and is the
strongest possible evidence that Jaudenes was greatly pleased with
Stuart--presumably on account of these portraits--and is entirely
irreconcilable with the idea that the painter had quarreled with the
diplomat's wife or left her portrait unfinished.

As to the coats of arms, the most casual examination makes it clear that
they were painted by another hand than executed any part of the
portraits. In all probability they were done after the canvases reached
Spain, and the inscriptions and signatures would naturally have been
added at the same time. Stuart would never have engrossed a long Spanish
inscription, and that he should have signed his name (contrary to his
habit) and have added the "R. A." to which he had no right is most
unlikely. What is most unlikely of all, however, is that there should
have been found in Spain an artist capable of painting a portrait like
the Don Josef. Both heads are absolutely alike in handling, in texture,
in mixing of the pigments, and in all of those things are absolutely
characteristic of Stuart, whose methods were peculiarly his own and
could not be caught even by men like Sully, who not only intently
studied his processes but sat and watched him when he was at work. That
a Spaniard with entirely different training and ideals could have
reproduced them is impossible.

As for the costumes, it may be admitted that they differ from most of
Stuart's American work; but the difference is more in subject than in
method and is chiefly noticeable because he never again painted a
gentleman in silver-sprigged scarlet waistcoat and small clothes. He
hated such work, and his position in America enabled him to do as he
chose, and he could tell sitters that if they wanted clothes they could
go to a mantua-maker or a tailor, he painted the works of God. So
distasteful was such labor to him that we know that he employed
assistants in the details of some of his Washington portraits. In the
present canvases the heads are painted with an interest and a
thoroughness very different from that displayed in the costumes. These
latter are skilfully done. The dexterity displayed is amazing and such
as no copyist is at all likely to have had, but it is dexterity applied
to getting a striking result as quickly as possible and with the least
possible effort of hand or brain.

Now, to explain this, we should remember that Stuart only returned to
America in 1793, and the pictures are both dated September 8, 1794.
Whatever that date may mean, both pictures were presumably finished
before then and were thus among the first, perhaps the very first,
important works that Stuart did in New York. He would consequently have
every motive, both from the desire to establish his reputation and from
the position and charm of his sitters, to do his very best. The
workmanship should be compared, not with what he did afterwards in
America but rather with what he had done before in England and Ireland,
when he was compelled by the exigencies of his sitters and the rivalry
of his fellow artists to give some importance to costume and
composition. Unfortunately, Stuart's foreign work is practically unknown
to Americans (and to foreigners also, for that matter). There is little
of it in the public galleries, and a large proportion of it has probably
been rechristened with other and more attractive names. As far as we may
judge from a few examples and from the many engravings after it (some of
them large enough and good enough to give an idea of the handling), the
costumes were done much in the style of those we are considering.

After all, the strongest argument for the authenticity of the portraits
is the portraits themselves. They are beautiful, they are skilful, done
in Stuart's style and entirely worthy of him. To suppose them done by
any one else involves the doubter at once in a maze of improbabilities
and impossibilities. The present writer is willing to put himself on
record as quite convinced that they were painted by Stuart and are
wholly by his own hand and are unusually important specimens of his







     "_No human tongue or pen taught me the Science contained in this
     book, 'Science and Health'; and neither tongue nor pen can
     overthrow it._"--MARY BAKER G. EDDY.

Although Mrs. Eddy's book, "Science and Health," was not published until
1875, from the time Mrs. Eddy left P. P. Quimby in 1864 she had been
struggling to get his theories before the public. Dr. Patterson, her
second husband, left her in 1866, and for the next four years Mrs. Eddy
was able to make a bare living by her "Science," wandering about among
the little shoe towns near Boston and teaching Quimby's theories here
and there for her board and lodging. She went from house to house with
her precious copy of Quimby's "Questions and Answers"[2] and the pile of
letter-paper, covered with her own notes, which she was forever
rewriting and revising. The one thing that everybody knew about Mrs.
Glover (Eddy) was that she "was writing a book." While she was staying
with the Wentworths, in Stoughton, she carried her pile of manuscript to
Boston, and when the printer to whom she showed it demanded to be paid
in advance, she tried to persuade Mrs. Wentworth to lend her the money.
Had the printer who looked over that confused mass of notes known that
they were the nucleus of a book of which over five hundred thousand
copies would be sold by 1907, and had he printed the manuscript then and
there, Christian Science in its present form would never have existed.
For at that time Mrs. Eddy had not dreamed of calling her system of mind
cure anything but Dr. Quimby's "Science." She talked of Quimby to every
one she met; could talk, indeed, of little else. When she introduced the
subject of mental healing to a stranger--and she never lost an
opportunity--it was always with that conscious smile and the set phrases
which the village girls used to imitate: "I _learned_ this from Dr.
Quimby, and he made me _promise_ to teach at least _two_ persons before
I _die_."

The story of the Quimby manuscript from 1867 to 1875 and of the gradual
growth of Mrs. Eddy's feeling of possession, has already been recounted
in an earlier chapter of this history.[3] By the time the first edition
of "Science and Health" appeared, Mrs. Eddy said no more about Quimby or
her promise to him. Mrs. Eddy has always been able to believe anything
she wishes to believe, especially about her own conduct and about that
of persons who have displeased her, and it is very probable that by this
time she had persuaded herself that she really owed very little to the
old Maine philosopher.

_How "Science and Health" was Published_

Although Mrs. Eddy had been working upon her book for about eight years,
writing and rewriting with almost incredible patience, she was unwilling
to assume any financial risk in getting it printed. George Barry and
Elizabeth Newhall, two of her students, agreed to furnish the sum of one
thousand dollars, which the Boston printer asked for issuing an edition
of one thousand copies. Mrs. Eddy made so many changes in the proofs,
continuing her revisions even after the plates had been cast, that she
ran the cost of the edition up to about twenty-two hundred dollars, and
Miss Newhall and Mr. Barry lost about fifteen hundred dollars on the
book. They would, indeed, have lost more, had not Daniel Spofford, much
against Mrs. Eddy's will, paid over to them six hundred dollars which he
had received for the copies of the book he had sold. Although Mrs. Eddy
at that time owned the house in which she lived and had some money in
bank, she did not, either then or later, suggest reimbursing Barry or
Miss Newhall for their loss.

Aside from the fact that she was unwilling to risk money upon it, Mrs.
Eddy believed intensely in her book. One of her devoted students sent
copies of "Science and Health" to the University of Heidelberg, to
Thomas Carlyle, and to several noted theologians. But the book made no
stir outside of Lynn, where it caused some perplexity. There was little
about it, indeed, to suggest that it would be an historic volume. It was
a book of 564 pages, badly printed and poorly bound; a mass of
inconsequential statements and ill-constructed, ambiguous sentences
which wander about the page with their arms full, so to speak,
heedlessly dropping unrelated clauses about as they go.

Although the basic ideas of the book are Quimby's, and even much of the
terminology, the first edition of "Science and Health" was certainly
written by Mrs. Eddy. Not only is there every internal evidence of her
hand in the style of the book, but a number of her students are still
alive who went over portions of the manuscript with her and worked with
her upon the proofs. The same George Barry who helped to pay for the
publication of the book copied out in longhand twenty-five hundred pages
of the manuscript. He brought suit against Mrs. Eddy for payment for
"copying the manuscript of the book 'Science and Health,' and aiding in
the arrangement of capital letters and some of the grammatical
constructions." He produced some of Mrs. Eddy's manuscript in court, and
the judge allowed him more than the usual copyist's rate "on account of
the difficulty which a portion of the pages presented to the copyist by
reason of erasures and interlineations," as it is put in the judge's

Although Mrs. Eddy's book has been enlarged and greatly improved as to
its order and grammar, the first edition contains all the essential
elements of her philosophy, if such it may be called. Mr. Wiggin did
good work in translating the book into comparatively conventional
English, and gave a kind of unity to paragraphs and sentences, and later
revisers have greatly improved upon his work; but the first edition
gave a fairly complete and, on the whole, a comprehensible statement of
Mrs. Eddy's platform.

Mrs. Eddy's religion claims to be a system of metaphysics, a system of
therapeutics, and an improved form of Christianity. As the founder of a
system of idealistic philosophy, Mrs. Eddy does indeed, as Mr. Alfred
Farlow says, "begin where the sages of the world left off." Other
philosophers have reached the conclusion that we can have no absolute
knowledge of matter, since our evidence regarding it consists of sense
impressions, and that we can absolutely assert of matter only that it
exists in human consciousness; but Mrs. Eddy begins boldly with, "There
is no such thing as matter." She reaches her conclusion by steps which
she deems complete and logical:

     1. God is All in all.
     2. God is good. Good is Mind.
     3. God, Spirit, being all, nothing is matter.

Mrs. Eddy calls attention to the fact that even if read backward, these
propositions mean identically the same as when read in the usual order,
and she seems to regard this as conclusive proof of their logical truth.
She says, "The metaphysics of Christian Science, like the rules of
mathematics, prove the rule by inversion. For example: there is no pain
in Truth, and no truth in pain; no nerve in Mind, and no mind in nerve;
no matter in Mind, and no mind in matter," etc.

In his article upon Christian Science, published in _The Atlantic
Monthly_, April, 1904, Dr. John Churchman says:

     The uncompromising idealism, however, which Mrs. Eddy offers us not
     only has these defects, but is guilty of a far more serious charge.
     It poses as an explanation, and is in reality a total evasion. To
     deny that matter exists, and assert that it is an illusion, is only
     another way of asserting its existence; you are freed by your
     suggestion from explaining the fact, but forced by it to explain
     the illusion. It is the old mistake of imagining that an escape
     from a problem is a solution. You are out of the frying-pan, it is
     true, but you are in the fire instead.[4]

Having thus disposed of matter, Mrs. Eddy seems to think that her
definition has actually changed the nature of the case, and that though
we live in houses, eat food, and endure the changes of the seasons, our
relation to the material universe is changed because she has defined
matter as an illusion.

It is not, however, Mrs. Eddy's definition which is so remarkable, but
her application of it. Having stated that matter is an illusion, she
asserts that "matter cannot take cold";[5] that matter cannot "ache,
swell and be inflamed";[6] that a boil cannot ache;[7] that "every law
of matter or the body, supposed to govern man, is rendered null and void
by the law of God".[8]

_There is No Material Universe_

Quimby acknowledged the actual existence of the universe, of the
physical body, and of disease; Mrs. Eddy teaches that they are all
illusory. The earth, the sun, the millions of stars, says Mrs. Eddy,
exist only in erring "mortal mind"; and mortal mind itself does not
exist. All phenomena of nature are merely illusory expressions of this
fundamental error. "The compound minerals or aggregate substances
composing the earth, the relations which constituent masses hold to each
other, the magnitudes, distances, and revolution of the celestial
bodies, are of no real importance.... Material substances, astronomical
calculations, and all the paraphernalia of speculative theories ... will
ultimately vanish, swallowed up in the infinite calculus of spirit."
"Earthquake, wind, wave, lightning, fire, bestial ferocity" are merely
the "vapid fury of mortal mind." "Heat and cold are products of
mind"--even a "mill at work, or the action of a water wheel," is only a
manifestation of "mortal mind force." Apart from mortal belief, there is
no such thing as climate.

"Repulsion, attraction, cohesion, and powers supposed to belong to
matter are constituents of mind," Mrs. Eddy says. By this she does not
mean that these forces exist, for us, in our minds, but that at some
time in the dim past "mortal mind" imagined matter and imagined these
properties in it. Christ, she says, was able to walk upon the water and
to roll away the stone of the sepulcher because he had overcome the
human _belief_ in the laws of gravity. (Yet, Mrs. Eddy is continually
reminding us that the fall of an apple led Newton to discover a great
law, etc.) "Geology," Mrs. Eddy says, "has never explained the earth's
formations. It cannot explain them." "Natural Science is not really
natural or scientific, because it is deduced from the evidences of the
senses." "Vertebra, articulata, mollusca, and radiata are evolved by
mortal and material thought." "Theorizing about man's development from
mushrooms to monkeys, and from monkeys into men, amounts to nothing in
the right direction, and very much in the wrong." But it is not only
with the natural sciences that Mrs. Eddy is displeased. "Human history,"
she says, "needs to be revised, and the _material record expunged_."

Having dismissed the history of the race as trivial, the natural
sciences as unscientific, the evidence of the senses as a cheat, and
matter as non-existent, Mrs. Eddy proceeds to propound her own curious
theory of the Universe and man. She has a theory; incomplete, but

_Mrs. Eddy's Exegesis_

Mrs. Eddy says that her theory of the universe is founded, not upon
human wisdom, but upon the Bible; and so it is, but she uses both
addition and subtraction very liberally to get her Biblical
corroboration. The Bible may be interpreted in two ways, Mrs. Eddy says,
literally and spiritually, and what she sets out to do is to give us the
spiritual interpretation. Her method is simple. She starts with the
propositions that all is God and that there is no matter, and then
reconstructs the Bible to accommodate these statements. Such portions of
the Bible as can be made, by judicious treatment, to corroborate her
theory, she takes and "spiritually interprets,"[9] that is, tells us
once and for all what the passages really mean; and such portions as
cannot possibly be converted into affirmative evidence she rejects as
errors of the early copyists. Mrs. Eddy insists that the Bible is the
record of truth, but a study of her exegesis shows that only such
portions of it as meet with Mrs. Eddy's approval and lend
themselves--under very rough handling--to the support of her theory, are
accepted as the record of truth; the rest is thrown out as a mass of
erroneous transcription. Mrs. Eddy's keen eye at once detects those
meaningless passages which have for so long beguiled the world, just as
it readily sees in familiar texts an entirely new meaning. She explains
the creation of the world from the account in the first chapter of
Genesis, but the unknown author of this disputed book would never
recognize his narrative when Mrs. Eddy gets through with it.

_Mrs. Eddy's Account of the Creation_[10]

To begin with, Mrs. Eddy says, there was God, "All and in all, the
eternal Principle." This Principle is both masculine and feminine;
"Gender is embraced in Spirit, else God could never have shadowed forth
from out Himself, the idea of male and female." But, Mrs. Eddy adds, "We
have not as much authority for calling God masculine as feminine, the
latter being the last, therefore highest idea given of Him."

Mrs. Eddy next sets about the creation. The "waters" out of which God
brought the dry land, she says, were "Love"; the dry land itself was
"the condensed idea of creation." When God divided the light from the
darkness, it means, says Mrs. Eddy, that "Truth and error were distinct
from the beginning, and never mingled." But Mrs. Eddy has always
insisted on the idea that "error" is a delusion which arose first in the
mind of mortal man; what is error doing away back here before man was
created, and why was God himself compelled to take measures against it?
Certainly the account of the Creation which came from Lynn is even more
perplexing than that which is related in the Pentateuch.

With regard to the creation of grass and herbs, Mrs. Eddy eagerly points
out that "God made every plant of the field before it was in the earth,
and every herb of the field before it grew." And that, she says, proves
that "creations of Wisdom are not dependent on laws of matter, but on
Intelligence alone." She admits here that the Universe is the "idea of
Creative Wisdom," which is getting dangerously near the very old idea
that matter is but a manifestation of spirit. Call the universe
"matter," and Mrs. Eddy flies into a rage; call it "an idea of God," and
she is serenely complaisant. There was certainly never any one so put
about and tricked by mere words; on the whole, it may be said that the
English language has avenged itself on Mrs. Eddy.

Arriving at the creation of the beasts of the field, Mrs. Eddy says that
"The beast and reptile made by Love and Wisdom were neither carnivorous
nor poisonous." Ferocious tendencies in animals are entirely the product
of man's imagination. Daniel understood this, we are told, and that is
why the lions did not hurt him.

When she comes to the creation of man, Mrs. Eddy accepts the first
account given in Genesis, but the second, which states that God formed
man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath
of life, she rejects as untrustworthy. The first account, she says, "was
science; the second was metaphorical and mythical, even the supposed
utterances of matter; the scripture not being understood by its
translators, was misinterpreted."

_The Story of Adam_

"The history of Adam is allegorical throughout, a description of error
and its results," etc. Man was created in God's likeness, free from sin,
sickness, and death; but this Adam, who crept in, Mrs. Eddy does not
explain how, was the origin of our belief that there is life in matter
and was to obstruct our growth in spirituality. Mrs. Eddy says, "Divide
the name Adam into two syllables, and it reads, _a dam_, or
obstruction." This original method of word-analysis she seems to regard
as final evidence concerning Adam. About the creation of Eve, Mrs. Eddy
changes her mind. In the later editions of her book she says it is
absurd to believe that God ever put Adam into a hypnotic sleep and
performed "a surgical operation" upon him. In the first edition she says
it is a mere chance that the human race is not still propagated by the
removal of man's ribs. "The belief regarding the origin of mortal man
has changed since Adam produced Eve, and the only reason a rib is not
the present mode of evolution is because of this change," etc.

Not to be warned by the footprints of time, Mrs. Eddy pauses in her
revision of Genesis to wonder "whence came the wife of Cain?" But on the
whole she profits by the story of Cain, for here she finds one of those
little etymological clews which never escape her penetration. The fact
that Adam and all his race were but a dream of mortal mind is proved,
she says, by the fact that Cain went "to dwell _in the land of Nod, the
land of dreams and illusions_." Mrs. Eddy offers this seriously, as
"scientific" exegesis.

Mrs. Eddy's conclusion about the Creation seems to be that we are all in
reality the offspring of the first creation recounted in Genesis, in
which man is not named but is simply said to be in the image of God; but
we _think_ we are the children of the creation described in the second
chapter; of the race that imagined sickness, sin, and death for itself.
The tree of knowledge which caused Adam's fall, Mrs. Eddy says, was the
belief of life in matter, and she suggests that the forbidden fruit
which Eve gave to Adam may have been "a medical work, perhaps."

_Mrs. Eddy Denies the Atonement_

When she comes to the Atonement, Mrs. Eddy says that Christ did not come
to save mankind from sin, but to show us that sin is a thing imagined
by mortal mind, that it is an illusion which can be overcome, like
sickness and death. It was by his understanding of the truths of
Christian Science that Christ remained sinless, healed the sick, and
that he "demonstrated" over death in the sepulcher and rose on the third
day. His sacrifice had no more efficacy than that of any other man who
dies as a result of his labors to bring a new truth into the world, and
we profit by his death only as we realize the nothingness of sickness,
sin, and death. "God's wrath, vented on his only son, is without logic
or humanity, and but a man-made belief."

The Trinity, as commonly accepted, Mrs. Eddy denies, though she seems to
admit a kind of triune nature in God by saying over and over again that
he is "Love, Truth, and Life."

The Holy Ghost she defines as Christian Science; "This Comforter I
understand to be Divine Science."

_Mrs. Eddy's Revision of the Lord's Prayer_

In the course of Mrs. Eddy's revision of the Bible, she paused to
"spiritually interpret" the Lord's prayer. She has revised the prayer a
great many times, and different renderings of it are given in different
editions of "Science and Health." The following is taken from the
edition of 1902:

     "Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious, adorable One. Thy kingdom
     is within us, Thou art ever-present. Enable us to know--as in
     heaven, so on earth--God is supreme. Give us grace for to-day; feed
     the famished affections. And infinite Love is reflected in love.
     And Love leadeth us not into temptation, but delivereth from sin,
     disease, and death. For God is now and forever all Life, Truth, and

In this interpretation the petitions have been converted into
affirmations, and Mrs. Eddy's prayer seems a somewhat dry enumeration of
the properties of the Deity rather than a supplication.

This method of "spiritual interpretation" has given Mrs. Eddy the habit
of a highly empirical use of English. At the back of her book, "Science
and Health," there is a glossary in which a long list of serviceable old
English words are said to mean very especial things. The word
"bridegroom" means "spiritual understanding"; "death" means "an
illusion"; "evening" means "mistiness of mortal thought"; "mother" means
God, etc., etc. The seventh commandment, Mrs. Eddy insists, is an
injunction against adulterating Christian Science, although she also
admits the meaning ordinarily attached to it. In the _Journal_ of
November, 1889, there is a long discussion of the ten commandments by
the editor, in which he takes up both personal chastity and the Pure
Food laws under the command, "Thou shalt not commit adultery."

Mrs. Eddy insists, and doubtless believes, that her "Science" is simply
an elaboration, a more advanced explanation, of the teachings of the New
Testament. Yet on the subject of repentance, which occupies so important
a place in the teachings of Christ, we hear never a word, and upon that
consciousness of sin, which is the burden of the Epistles, she is
consistently silent. Paul's reiterated explanation of original sin, of
the Atonement and Redemption, are ignored. "As in Adam all die, so in
Christ shall all be made alive" is made to read: "As in error all die,
so in Truth shall all," etc. Even Paul's "Who shall deliver me from the
body of this death?" is made substantially to mean, Who shall deliver me
from the belief that there is sensation in matter? Whatever cannot be
"spiritually interpreted" into a confirmation of Mrs. Eddy's theory that
sin, sickness, and death are non-existent, she refuses to consider.

_Mrs. Eddy's Therapeutics_

Mrs. Eddy's theology is, of course, a mere derivative of her system of
therapeutics, an attempt to base her peculiar variety of mind-cure upon
Biblical authority. In her therapeutics there is nothing new except its
extremeness. That the mind is able, in a large degree, to prevent or to
cause sickness and even death, all thinking people admit. Mrs. Eddy's
fundamental propositions are that death is wholly unnecessary and that
the body and the organs of the body have nothing to do with life. A man
could live just as well after his lungs had been removed as before, if
he but thought he could. "Cold, heat, exercise, study, food, infection,
etc., never caused a sick or healthy condition in man." "Scrofula,
fever, consumption, rheumatism or small-pox never produced pain or
inharmony." "A dislocation of the tarsal joint (ankle-joint) would
produce insanity as perceptible as that produced by congestion of the
brain, were it not that mortal mind thinks this joint less intimately
connected with mind than is the brain."

Sight and hearing do not depend upon the eyes and ears. The nervous
system can really cause no suffering. "Nerves are not the source of pain
or pleasure." "Nerves have no more sensation, apart from what belief
bestows upon them, than the fibre of a plant." What really suffers is
mind, or belief; and, if we change that belief, the pain will disappear.
"You say a boil is painful," says Mrs. Eddy, "but that is impossible,
for matter without mind is not painful. The boil simply manifests your
belief in pain, through inflammation and swelling; and you call this
belief a boil."

Mrs. Eddy even argues against spanking children because "the use of the
rod is virtually a declaration to the child's mind that sensation
belongs to matter."[11]

Mrs. Eddy's idea is that our lungs are necessary to us because we think
they are, just as we think heavy underwear is necessary in winter.
Horses and cows, certainly, do not think much about their lungs, but
Mrs. Eddy says that domestic animals are controlled by the beliefs of
their human masters, and that we have corrupted the horse and have
taught him to have epizoötic and colic. "What," says Mrs. Eddy, "if the
lungs are ulcerated? God is more to a man than his lungs." "Have no
fears that matter can ache, swell, and be inflamed.... Your body would
suffer no more from tension or wounds than would the trunk of a tree
which you gash, were it not for mortal mind."

All functional and organic diseases are produced by a popular belief in
their reality. "No gastric juice accumulates ... apart from the action
of mortal thought."

"Inflammation, hemorrhages, tubercles, decompositions are all dream
shadows," "Man is the same after, as before, a bone is broken or a head
chopped off."

But as to who invented the idea of pain and whence came the superstition
that we must have lungs to breathe and that the heart is necessary to
life, Mrs. Eddy maintains a discreet silence. Sin, sickness, and death,
she says, are beliefs which originated in mortal mind. And how and when
did mortal mind originate? Mortal mind does not exist, she answers,
therefore it had no origin. This reasoning satisfies her; she believes
it perfectly adequate.

It is not only the diseased body which is to be disregarded and put out
of mind, but all hygienic precautions. Mrs. Eddy particularly objects to
diets, and she says that one food is as good as another. God gave man
"dominion not only over the fish in the sea, but over the fish in the
stomach also," she once said.

There is no such thing as fatigue: "You would not say that a wheel is
fatigued; and yet the body is just as material as the wheel. If it were
not for what the human mind says of the body, the body would never be
weary, any more than the inanimate wheel."

Mrs. Eddy denies that physical exercise strengthens the muscles.
"Because the muscles of the blacksmith's arm are strongly developed, it
does not follow that exercise has produced this result, or that a
less-used arm must be weak.... _The trip-hammer is not increased in size
by exercise._ Why not, since muscles are as material as wood and iron?"

Constant bathing, Mrs. Eddy says, received a "useful rebuke from Jesus'
precept, 'Take no thought ... for the body,' We must beware of making
clean merely the outside of the platter."

_A Sensationless Body the Goal of Existence_

"A sensationless body," Mrs. Eddy says, is the ultimate hope of
Christian Science. Since insensibility to pain is the ultimate good
which her system of philosophy offers, it is natural that she should
often point us to the lower forms of animal life for our exemplars. "The
conditions of life become less imperative in lower organisms, or where
there is less mind and belief on this subject." She points out hopefully
that certain marine animals multiply their species by self-division.
"The less mind there is manifested in matter, the better. When the
unthinking lobster loses his claw, it grows again." If we but believed
that matter has no sensation, "then the human limb would be replaced as
readily as the lobster's claw." She points out the fact that flowers
produce their seed without pain. "The snowbird sings and soars amid the
blasts; he has no catarrh from wet feet."

"Obesity," Mrs. Eddy says, "is _an adipose belief of yourself as a

_Mrs. Eddy's Physiology_

The most discouraging thing about Mrs. Eddy's dissertations upon anatomy
and physiology is that she seems to know so little about the physical
facts and laws which she despises. She says, for instance, that a father
"plunged his infant babe, only a few hours old, into water for several
minutes and repeated this operation daily until the child could remain
under water for twenty minutes, moving and playing without harm, like a
fish." Does Mrs. Eddy actually believe that a child could live under
water for twenty minutes? Again: "The supposition that we can correct
insanity by the use of purgatives and narcotics is in itself a species
of insanity." Where did Mrs. Eddy get the idea that such treatment was
ever supposed to cure "insanity"? Mrs. Eddy says the fact that a finger
which has been amputated continues to hurt is proof that nerves have
nothing to do with pain, because, she states, "_the nerve is gone_"!

Mrs. Eddy says that when we burn a finger, not fire but mortal mind
causes the injury. To this statement she adds: "Holy inspiration has
created states of mind which are able to nullify the action of the
flames, as in the Bible case of the three young Hebrew captives, cast
into the Babylonian furnace; while an opposite mental state might
produce spontaneous combustion." That is, if mortal mind worked hard
enough, we could burn our fingers without any fire, or we could produce
the fire by willing it.

The action of drugs depends entirely upon the belief of mortal mind.
Stimulants, narcotics, poisons, affect the system solely because they
are reputed to do so. And yet, with all her ingenuity, Mrs. Eddy has to
admit that if a man took arsenic unknowingly it would probably kill him.
This, she says, is because of the consensus of opinion that arsenic is
deadly. Such would probably be her explanation of the destructive
processes which go on in the world without the knowledge of man; fire
consumes the forest, the tiger kills the antelope, and the bite of the
cobra kills the tiger because the human mind has attributed such
tendencies to fire, to the tiger, and to the cobra.

_Mrs. Eddy's View of History_

All the emanations of mortal mind are evil. Our redemption, Mrs. Eddy
says, lies in Divine Mind, of which we are a part. "Spirit imparts the
understanding which leads into all Truth.... This understanding is not
intellectual, is not aided by scholarly attainments." There is no
mistaking Mrs. Eddy's meaning; the thing in us which is capable of
cultivation and expansion, that which inquires and investigates and
reasons, is mortal mind, and is therefore evil. All the physical
sciences are the harmful inventions of mortal mind, and the slow and
painful accumulation of exact knowledge has been but the harmful
activity of the baser element in human nature. There was never such a
discouraging view of human history.

It is scarcely necessary to remark that everything which civilization
most cherishes has been the direct result of that spirit of inquiry and
of those inductive processes of reasoning which Mrs. Eddy despises. If
the morality of the civilized world is higher to-day than it was in the
fifth century, it is not because men know any more about moral laws than
they did two thousand years ago, but because this same spirit of inquiry
has made cleaner living possible and imperative. Mrs. Eddy says that
Christian Science would abolish war; but the diminution of war has come
about, not through any growth of "Divine Mind" but, as Buckle pointed
out, through three triumphs of the experimental tendency of the
intellect;--the discovery of gunpowder, the discovery that war was
detrimental to trade and to the best economic conditions, and the
improvement in methods of transportation. Contemplating the history of
civilization from Mrs. Eddy's point of view, we have simply gone on
developing this injurious thing, "mortal mind"--applying our
intelligence to the study of the physical universe--and have gone on
piling up false belief on false belief. It is "matter" that is our great
delusion and that stands between us and a full understanding of God; and
matter exists, or seems to exist, only because we have invented it and
invented laws to govern it and have given properties to its various
manifestations. The more we know about the physical universe, the
heavier do we make our chains; our progress in the physical sciences
does but increase the dose of the drug which enslaves us. And there have
been but two breaks in this jumbled dream of "error": the first when
Jesus Christ "demonstrated the nothingness of matter," the second when
Mrs. Eddy proclaimed its nothingness from Lynn.

With a "sensationless body" for the goal of existence, the savage was
certainly much higher in "the scale of being" than the nations of modern
Europe, and Mrs. Eddy is perfectly right when she refers us to the
amoeba and crustacea. Happy, indeed, the lobster who thinks so little
about his anatomy that his lost claw is replaced by another!

From all her flights Mrs. Eddy comes back to her starting-point:
physical well-being. Not for a single page are we permitted to forget
that her religion is primarily a kind of "doctoring"; therapeutics made
religion, or religion made therapeutics. She makes the fact that Christ
healed the sick the principal feature of his mission, and makes it
authority for her assumption that religion and therapeutics are
essentially one. Certainly the burden of the New Testament is not that
man may avoid suffering, but that he may suffer with noble fortitude.

_Lack of Religious Feeling in Mrs. Eddy's Book_

But it is before such a word as fortitude that Mrs. Eddy's book takes on
its most discouraging aspect. Her foolish logic, her ignorance of the
human body, the liberties which she takes with the Bible, and her
burlesque exegesis, could easily be overlooked if there were any
nobility of feeling to be found in "Science and Health"; any
great-hearted pity for suffering, any humility or self-forgetfulness
before the mysteries of life. Mrs. Eddy professes to believe that she
has found the Truth, and that all the long centuries behind her have
gone out in darkness and wasted effort, yet not one page of her book is
tinged with compassion. "Oh that mine head were waters, and mine eyes a
fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the
daughter of my people!" If there were one sentence like that in "Science
and Health" no one would stop to quarrel with Mrs. Eddy's metaphysics.

But if there is little intelligence displayed in Mrs. Eddy's book, there
is even less emotion. It is not exaggeration to say that "Science and
Health" is absolutely devoid of religious feeling. God remains for Mrs.
Eddy a "principle" indeed, toward which she has no attitude but that of
a somewhat patronizing and platitudinous expositor. She discusses sin
and death and human suffering as if they were curves or equations.

_Malicious Animal Magnetism_

In all the editions of Mrs. Eddy's book there is the same shiftiness,
the same hardness, and the same astonishing complacency, and the text of
the first three editions is disfigured by innumerable ebullitions of
spite and hatred. In the first edition the first fifteen pages of the
chapter on "Healing the Sick" are given up to an attack upon Richard
Kennedy, the young man who was her first practitioner, and of whose
personal popularity she was so bitterly jealous. The second edition, a
small volume, is largely made up of denunciations of Daniel Spofford.
The third edition opens with a preface (signed Asa G. Eddy) attacking
Edward Arens, and contains the famous chapter on "Demonology" in which
Mrs. Eddy devotes forty-six pages to settling scores with half a dozen
of her early students, charging one and another with theft, adultery,
murder, blackmail, etc. The Reverend Mr. Wiggin, when he revised Mrs.
Eddy's book in 1885, persuaded her to omit these vituperative passages
on the ground that they were libelous.

Mrs. Eddy's one original elemental contribution to Quimbyism, was her
doctrine of Malicious Animal Magnetism; a grewsome superstition born of
her own vindictiveness and distrust. Mrs. Eddy's more enlightened
followers have for years tried to divert attention from this one of her
doctrines, and there are hundreds of Christian Scientists in the field
who know and think very little about it. But it has been a very
important consideration in the lives of those who have come into
personal contact with Mrs. Eddy. Between 1875 and 1888 many of Mrs.
Eddy's students left her because in her lectures and conversation she
dwelt more upon the malign power of mesmerism than upon the salutary
power of truth. In her contributions to the _Journal_ during those years
she frequently took up Animal Magnetism; she tells her followers over
and over again that she will denounce it, and that she will not be
silenced. For several years there was a regular department in the
_Journal_ with the caption "Animal Magnetism," but the crimes which were
charged to mesmerists were by no means confined to this department.
"_Also they have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle, at their
pleasure, and we are in great distress_," the _Journal_ again and again

_Poverty a False Belief_

Mrs. Eddy surmounts economics as easily as she does physics and
chemistry and physiology. Poverty is only a form of "error," a false
belief. It can be abolished as readily as sin or disease or old age. She
advertised the first edition of "Science and Health" as a book that
"affords an opportunity to acquire a profession by which you can
accumulate a fortune." "In the early history of Christian Science," Mrs.
Eddy says, "among my thousands of students few were wealthy. Now,
Christian Scientists are not indigent; and their comfortable fortunes
are acquired by healing mankind morally, physically, and spiritually."
Her healers should be well paid, she says. "Christian Science
demonstrates that the patient who pays what he is able to pay, is more
apt to recover than he who withholds a slight equivalent for health." In
Mrs. Eddy's book[12] she publishes a long testimonial from a man who
relates how Christian Science has helped him in his business.

This view of poverty has been generally accepted among Mrs. Eddy's
followers. One contributor to the _Journal_ writes: "We were
demonstrating over a lack of means, which we had learned was just as
much a claim of error to be overcome with truth as ever sickness or sin

Another contributor writes: "The lack of means is a lupine ghost sired
by the same spectre as the lack of health, and both must be met and put
to flight by the same mighty weapons of our spiritual warfare."[14]

In the files of the _Journal_ there are many reports of the material
prosperity of individual Christian Scientists. It is an evidence of
"at-oneness" with God to prosper in business just as it is to overcome

In the _Journal_ of September, 1904, a contributor says:

     "Is it reasonable to believe, as we have believed, that popular
     fancy, whims, climate, the state of politics, any or all of a
     hundred lawless elements, are able to ruin a man's business while
     he stands by and doesn't know enough even to make an intelligent

Government, civilization, and even "climate" are demonstrated to be
unreal, but the reality and importance of "business" is never
questioned, and that each and every Christian Scientist should get on in
the world remains a matter of indubitable moment, even to Mrs. Eddy

_Mrs. Eddy's Views on Marriage_

Among the many incidental ideas which Mrs. Eddy has added to Quimbyism
are her theory that the Godhead is more feminine than masculine, and her
qualified disapproval of matrimony. Quimby himself had a large family
and saw nothing unspiritual in marriage. In defining the real purpose of
marriage Mrs. Eddy says nothing about children; "to happify existence by
constant intercourse with those adapted to elevate it, is the true
purpose of marriage." In her chapter on marriage she says: "The
scientific _morale_ of marriage is spiritual unity.... Proportionately
as human generation ceases, the unbroken links of eternal harmonious
being will be spiritually discerned."

In her chapter called "Wedlock" in Miscellaneous Writings (1897) Mrs.
Eddy, after a vague and evasive discussion of the subject, squarely puts
the question: "Is marriage nearer right than celibacy? Human knowledge
inculcates that it is, while Science indicates that it is _not_." In the
same chapter she further says: "Human nature has bestowed on a wife the
right to become a mother; but if the wife esteems not this privilege, by
mutual consent, exalted and increased affections, she may win a higher."

Mrs. Eddy apparently believes that Jesus Christ taught us to ignore
family relations: "Jesus acknowledged no ties of the flesh. He said:
'Call no man your father upon the earth; for one is your father which is
in heaven.' Again he asked: 'Who is my mother, and who are my brethren
but they who will do the will of my father?' We have no record of his
calling any man by the name of father."

_Future of Christian Science_

Whoever has watched the amazing growth of the Christian Science sect
must feel some curiosity as to its future. Mrs. Eddy's followers are by
no means the only people who are trying to meet, by suggestive
treatment, nervous diseases and the many functional disorders which
result from overwork, worry, and discouragement. The foremost
neurologists of all countries are employing more and more this
suggestive method which is the essential reality in Christian Science
healing. The followers of the "New Thought" school apply this principle
in their own way, and the hundreds of unaffiliated "mind curists" and
"mental healers" are each applying it in ways more or less honest and

In October, 1906, Dr. Elwood Worcester and Dr. Samuel McComb, the rector
and the associate rector of the Emmanuel (Episcopal) Church of Boston,
organized the Emmanuel Church Health Class, for the treatment of nervous
disorders. Believing that, as Professor William James has said, "the
sovereign cure for worry is religious faith," the workers at Emmanuel
Church have been endeavoring to cure nervous disorders by putting the
patient at peace with himself. Every patient is examined by a physician,
and if the root of his disorder proves to be nervous (hysteria, alcoholism,
a drug habit, insomnia, or any one of the many forms of neurasthenia)
he is admitted into the Health Class for psycho-therapeutical treatment.
Here he is encouraged to unburden himself of the distress or perplexity
which haunts him, and is given the kind of suggestive treatment which
seems best adapted to his disorder. Dr. Worcester studied psychology
under Wundt, in Germany, and taught it for six years at Lehigh
University. Dr. McComb studied psychology at Oxford. The records of the
Emmanuel Health Class show that of the 178 cases treated between March,
1907, and November, 1907, the condition of seventy-five patients has
been improved, forty-eight have not been helped at all, while in
fifty-five cases the result is unknown.[15]

_Mrs. Eddy's Opposition to the Mind Cure Movement_

Mrs. Eddy and her followers have given a demonstration too great to be
overlooked, of the fact that many ills which the sufferer believes
entirely physical can be reached and eradicated by "ministering to a
mind diseased," by persuading the sick man continually to suggest to
himself ideas of health and hope and happiness and usefulness, instead
of brooding upon the emptiness and unanswered needs of his life or upon
his failing physical powers. Mrs. Eddy's sect, more than any other one
of the cults which believe in and practise this method of bettering the
patient's physical condition through his mind, has forced the most
hide-bound medical practitioners to take account of this old but newly
applied force in therapeutics.

But what is Mrs. Eddy's own attitude toward the general awakening to the
value of psycho-therapeutics in the treatment of human diseases? She
declares that every kind of mind cure and suggestive treatment except
her own is dangerous and harmful. As one of Mrs. Eddy's students wrote
in the _Christian Science Journal_, September, 1901, "The loyal
Christian Scientist knows that neither he nor his patient should read or
study the books of any other author than those of our beloved Leader in
order to learn the Science of the Christ truth, which she is teaching
and demonstrating to this age."

Mrs. Eddy's own editorials in the _Journal_ are never so bitter as when
she is attacking the mental healers who do not practise her own
copyrighted variety of mind cure. Recently the _Christian Science
Sentinel_ of January 18, 1908, stated that Mrs. Eddy cannot countenance
the work done at the Emmanuel Church. Mr. Archibald McClellan, the
editor of that publication, published an article entitled "No Christian
Psychology." He says: "Christian Psychology is equivalent to Christian
phrenology, physiology and mythology, whereas Jesus predicted and
demonstrated Christian healing on the basis of Spirit, God. He never
complicated Spirit with matter, etc.... Her teachings (Mrs. Eddy's) show
further that she cannot consistently endorse as Christianity the two
distinctly contradictory statements and points of view contained in the
term 'Christian psychology'--otherwise Christian materialism."

Mrs. Eddy holds that any system of healing which at all takes account
of, or admits physical structure, is not Christian.

Mrs. Eddy's endeavor has been to convert a universal principle into a
personal property. And she has gone a wonderfully long way toward doing
it. Thousands of people believe that they owe their health and happiness
to a healing principle which was revealed by God to Mrs. Eddy and by
Mrs. Eddy to mankind; that since the ministry of Jesus Christ upon earth
no one of the human race has understood this principle except Mrs. Eddy,
and that she is the only human being now alive who fully understands it;
that when she dies her works alone will stand between the world and

But all the while that Mrs. Eddy was energetically copyrighting, and
pruning, and expelling, and disciplining, that other stream which came
from Quimby, through Dr. Evans and through Julius Dresser and his wife,
was slowly and quietly doing its work.[16] Mind Cure and New Thought
grew up side by side with Christian Science. As organizations they were
not nearly so effective, and their ranks, like Mrs. Eddy's, were often
darkened by the adventuress and the battered soldier of fortune. But the
Mental healers and the New Thought healers treated the sick on exactly
the same principle which Mrs. Eddy's successful healers employed.

As to the future of Mrs. Eddy's church, her own attitude toward every
attempt to investigate and to apply liberally the principle of mental
healing, seems to determine that. It has been possible for her, during
her own lifetime, absolutely to prohibit preaching, thinking,
independent writing,--investigation or inquiry of any sort--in her
churches. But after her death, when that compelling hand is withdrawn,
either the church must renew itself from among the ignorant and
superstitious, as Mormonism has done, or it must permit its members to
use their minds. Those who use their minds will discover that Christian
Science is only one method of applying a general truth, and that it is a
method which is hampered by a great deal that is illogical and absurd;
that if Christian Science, as Mrs. Eddy has promulgated it, were
universally believed and practised, it would be the revolt of a species
against its own physical structure; against its relation to its natural
physical environment, against the needs of its own physical organism,
against the perpetuation of its kind. The moment a Christian Scientist
realizes that the helpful and hopeful principle of his religion can
operate quite independently of all the inconsequential theories which
Mrs. Eddy has attached to it, that moment he is, of course, lost to Mrs.
Eddy. Mrs. Eddy's church organization stands as a sort of dyke between
the general principle of mind cure and Mrs. Eddy's very empirical,
violent, and temperamental interpretation of that principle. It is the
future of psycho-therapeutics that will determine the future of
Christian Science. If "Mind Cure," "Christian Psychology," and regular
physicians offer the benefits of suggestive treatment in a more rational
and direct way than does Christian Science, Mrs. Eddy's church will find
in them very formidable competition. On the other hand, if Christian
Scientists throw down their barriers and join the general mind-cure
movement, and the two branches of Quimbyism meet, then half of Mrs.
Eddy's life-work is lost. The labor of her days has been to keep these
two streams apart; to prove one the true and the other the false. Her
efforts to stem the progress of all other schools of mental healing have
been secondary only to her efforts to advance her own. Yet,
unconsciously and against her own wish, she has been the most effective
instrument in promoting the interest of the whole movement.

On the theoretical side, Mrs. Eddy's contribution to mental healing has
been, in the main, fallacious, pseudodoxal, and absurd, but upon the
practical side she has been wonderfully efficient. New movements are
usually launched and old ideas are revivified, not through the efforts
of a group of people, but through one person. These dynamic
personalities have not always conformed to our highest ideals; their
effectiveness has not always been associated with a large intelligence
or with nobility of character. Not infrequently it has been true of
them--as it seems to be true of Mrs. Eddy--that their power was
generated in the ferment of an inharmonious and violent nature. But, for
practical purposes, it is only fair to measure them by their actual
accomplishment and by the machinery they have set in motion.





  These are her fruits, kindness and gentleness,
    And gratefully we take them at her hands;
  Patience she has, and pity for distress,
          And love that understands.

  Ah, ask not how such rich reward was won,
  How sharp the harrow in the former years,
  Or mellowed in what agony of sun,
          Or watered with what tears.




  "_There was the Door to which I found no Key;
  There was the Veil through which I might not see.
  Some little talk awhile of Me and Thee
  There was--and then no more of Thee and Me._"

The postmaster was lounging in an open window, cleaning his fingernails
with his pocket-knife, as Allison went into the post-office. He rose
with some show of animation at sight of the tall, boyish figure in the

"I got a hired girl for you all right, Mr. Allison," he said, advancing
to meet him. "Used to work down to Webb City, in a restaurant, but got
tired of it--hours too hard. She's a good cook, and she knows how to get
things on the table so they look real nice--I knew that would mean
considerable to you folks."

He went on to dwell at length upon the girl's good points, becoming more
nervously demonstrative in his praise as he found that Allison's face
reflected none of his enthusiasm, but remained unexpectedly impassive
and non-committal.

Allison interrupted at the first opportunity.

"You have been very kind, Mr. Barbour," he said, with impersonal
civility. "Would you be so good as to get me my mail?"

He took the letters which the man handed him and walked out without
giving him another glance.

Just outside of the door he met Jim Brown, man-of-all-work at the
station. Allison himself was station agent. Allison looked at Jim as he
passed with such a cold, unswerving gaze that in spite of himself the
other dropped his eyes. Jim had been present at the interview between
Billings and Allison that morning; Allison knew that he was coming now
to tell the postmaster about it. The young man set his lips hard at the
thought of some of the things he had done during the last two weeks,
when he had been full of glad confidence in himself and in this
invention of his--this brake which Billings had told him an hour ago was
not worth the stuff of which it was made. The recountal of his
performance would doubtless afford much entertainment to the pair in the
post-office. Just yesterday he had asked the postmaster to find for him,
if possible, a capable maid-servant, and had said, without thinking
anything in particular about it, that he would pay a satisfactory girl
five dollars a week. Five dollars a week--it had not seemed much to him;
he had been amused by Barbour's evident astonishment. To-day he saw more
reason in it.... Then there was that perfume for Gertrude--he should
have to countermand his order for that. He had no choice in the matter,
he told himself, with bitter resentment that a paltry nine dollars
should mean so much to him. In spite of the fact that he had come to
this decision before he reached the drug store, he did not go in, but
walked past with his head in the air, looking neither to right nor to
left. He felt as though every one must already know of the morning's
experience; and he was fearful of meeting eyes alight with cynical

The postmaster and Jim watched the young man from the post-office door
as he made his way up the one hilly street of the little town. The
soldierly precision of his carriage and gait, together with a certain
air of distinction about his clothes, made him seem singularly out of
keeping with all about him--the narrow, stony road, the straggling white
houses on each side of it, the unkempt yards, the neglected trees, the
dilapidated sidewalks half hidden by an amazing growth of dog-fennel.

"You'd know somep'n had gone wrong by the way he had his head reared
back, wouldn't you?" Jim asked with a smile on his dark face.

He had just finished telling Barbour of what had happened that morning.
Several days before, Allison had got word from the railroad company
that some time this week they would send a man to tell him what offer
they were prepared to make for the brake on which he had been working
for so many weeks, and had finally finished; and this morning Billings
had put in his appearance. The brake was practically good for nothing,
he assured Allison--certainly not worth a cent to the company; and he
told him the reasons why this was so.

He went on to say, however, that he felt sorry for Allison,--sorry for
that nice little wife of his,--Jim smiled grimly as he repeated the
condescending phrase,--that he knew they were having a mighty hard time
of it. Sixty dollars a month was not enough for a single man to live on
decently, much less a married one; and the way in which Allison had been
brought up made it harder. He didn't mean to criticize Allison's
father--he didn't believe in criticizing the dead--but he certainly
should not bring up _his_ son in such a way that he couldn't make a
living for himself if necessary. You never could tell what was going to
happen in this world; Allison wasn't the first gay young fellow who had
grown up not expecting ever to have to do a day's work, and then all of
a sudden had found himself glad to get almost any sort of a job. Well,
as he said, he was sorry for Allison, and ready to help him out a
little. He meant to see to it that Allison got something out of this
brake of his--a couple of hundred dollars, perhaps; of course, two
hundred dollars wasn't a great deal; it wouldn't mean much to
him--Billings--but it would probably mean considerable to Allison.

"What did Mr. Allison say?" the postmaster asked.

"Never changed face. Set there starin' at Billings with those darned
cool eyes o' his that look's if they'd never blink 'f a cannon went off
under his very nose--waited till Billings got good and done, 'n' then
said with that high 'n' mighty air of his, f'r all the world's if he was
speakin' to some poor, half-witted Swede: 'Two hundred dollars doesn't
mean as much to me as you think, Mr. Billings.' Then he stopped a
minute, 'n' went on in a little diff'rent tone, 'You needn't concern
yourself any further about me and my troubles'--'n' that had very much
the sound of 'I'll make kindling-wood of you if you do!' Then he looks
at his watch. 'I've given you all the time I can spare,' says he; and
with that he swings around 'n' begins looking over some papers on his
desk. Billings reddened up a little--coughed 'n' wriggled around in his
chair, 'n' tried to get up courage to say somethin' more--but he simply
didn't _darst_. He went off finally lookin' sort o' cheap. Mist'
Allison never give him another glance, no more'n 's if he was that dog
o' yours."

The postmaster was silent for a minute or two. Then he turned to Jim.
"I'm not particularly sorry to see Billings get left," he said. "Still,
it might be just as well for Mr. Allison if he'd have kept on the right
side of Billings from the start. There's no use talking, he's got an
awfully uppish way with him, that boy."

Jim nodded an emphatic assent. Along with other smaller grievances there
still rankled in his mind the memory of how, when Allison had first come
as station agent to the little town, a year ago now, he had one day
asked Jim if he did not suppose that the nice-looking girl who had
passed their house with Jim the Sunday before could be induced to come
and work for them. Allison had asked the question in all innocence, not
dreaming that this unshaven young man in blue seersucker shirt and
greasy trousers considered himself in every way Allison's equal, and was
as much affronted by this suggestion as Allison would have been by one
of the same sort. Jim could not forgive him for it--any admiration he
felt for Allison was invariably tempered by resentful remembrance.

"It's about time he woke up to the fact that he doesn't have a father
worth two millions behind him these days," Barbour went on.
"Extravagant! Lord, he never stops to ask what a thing costs before
getting it, as long as he has money in his pockets. Went into the
book-store the other afternoon to get some magazines--carried off about
everything Henry had in the place. Three dollars and fifteen cents his
bill was. Never thinks, when he's buying anything in the way of shirts
or ties, of getting less than half a dozen at a time--s'pose he hasn't
found out you can buy them any other way. And his laundry bills--guess
he about runs the laundry. And just yesterday he was telling me in the
most off-hand way that he would pay five dollars a week to a hired girl.
Five dollars a week! I could hardly believe my ears. But I guess he's
gone back on that." The postmaster smiled sourly.

The young man of whom they were talking was almost at the top of the
hill by this time. So far he had met few people; and those whom he had
met had not forced any formal recognition from him. But as he passed
Mrs. Jennings, she called out a greeting that could not be ignored.
Gertrude had stopped once to talk to her and to admire her collection of
shells; and since then every noon and night he found her waiting here by
her gate to speak to him; and she invariably asked the same question
about his wife, always in the same tone, always with the same
inflection. The meeting with her had become one of the frightfully
unvarying things of his day. As he walked on now, he saw stretching
before him an interminable vista of days, weeks, years--one deadly
sameness of hard work, long hours, scanty pay, poor living, growing
debts--and inextricably mixed up with it all, this dreary, gaunt black
figure, waiting always for him at the top of the hill.... He had not
realized what it meant to him, the success of his invention--how much he
was depending on it. He felt now as he might if, moving blindly through
a dark passage, hoping any minute to see a glimmer of light ahead, an
outlet into the open air, he had run full into a locked door--a door to
which he had no key.

The thought of going home to his wife brought no comfort with it. They
had long ago ceased to be honest with each other, Gertrude and he; their
attempts to make the best of a sorry situation had in the end become a
barrier which held them apart. Gertrude would not admit that she was
ever tired, or lonesome, or discouraged; would find no fault with their
poor little house, their scanty means, her unaccustomed duties. She
never spoke of the past any more, nor of the future, lest in that there
might be an implied criticism of the present; she was resolutely,
unvaryingly, aggressively contented. But this contentment was too
constant, too uniform, like false color on a woman's cheek. He sometimes
wished she would throw pretense to the winds--would put her head on his
shoulder, and sob and cry, and confess that she wished she were dead--or
that she would upbraid him, reproach him, call him some of the hard
names he called himself. But she was insistently cheerful; and there was
nothing for him to do, in the face of this, but play an awkward second
to her, ignore his aching back, his sore hands, his throbbing head, and
keep a resolute silence as to all that happened to vex and humiliate and
perplex and hurt him. It was not always easy; to-day he was conscious
that he was walking more and more slowly as he drew near the house.

How poor and forlorn it looked in this glare of light! During these last
weeks his thoughts had turned often to that stately house where he had
lived for nineteen years--its green, close-clipped lawn glistening under
a perpetual play of water, its great beds of white and green and
cardinal foliage plants, its shut-in porches, its awnings, its flowering
shrubs, its vines, its heavy iron fence. He looked with bitter
attentiveness at the dingy frame cottage he was approaching, noticing
each homely detail--the dish-towels spread on the bushes in the back
yard, the mop hanging by the door, the kerosene can under the step, the
lean hen scuttling away under the currant bushes, the vegetable garden
lying parched and dry along the fence. There was a small artificial
mound of stones at one side of the house, with a somewhat scanty growth
of portulaca springing from its top. The last occupant of the house was
responsible for that adornment. Allison wondered how they had happened
to leave it there so long. That mound of stones--all his hopes might
have been buried under it and he could not have hated it more. It stood,
somehow, for all that chafed and irritated him here--the moral, mental,
and physical stuntedness of the people--their petty ambitions, petty
jealousies, petty quarrels, petty virtues.

Allison was seized with a sudden vague fear as he saw on the kitchen
window-sill, just where he had left it at seven this morning, the
package which Gertrude had promised to take to Mr. Fulton as soon as she
had finished the breakfast dishes. He noticed almost at the same instant
that the kitchen door was open; countless flies were sailing in and out;
and there on the cellar door, in the blazing sunlight, was the morning's
milk, thick and sour by this time. He quickened his steps--made his way
hurriedly through the kitchen and dining-room, noticing, as he went,
various signs of disorder. The kitchen fire was out--the floor unswept;
the coffee he had knocked over when he had built the fire this morning
lay where it had fallen: the room was full of its pungent odor. On the
dining-room table were the remnants of breakfast, the oatmeal dry and
stiff, the butter melted down to a thin oil. In the front room he found
Gertrude, bending a flushed face over something she was writing. She
gave a start of fright as he came in--then got very red.

"I sat down to write a little of that play I was telling you about last
night"--she was picking up her papers with frantic haste as she
spoke--"and I had no idea it was getting so late." She cast an appalled
glance around the room, and hurried out to begin clearing off the table,
making a great clatter with the dishes in her excitement and haste.


Allison stood for a minute looking after her wearily. Her manner hurt
him. More than once, in days gone by, he had told her fondly that when
she married him she should do nothing but what she liked to do--if she
chose, she might work on her little dialogues and fairy stories from
morning till night. The air of frightened apology which she wore--this
servile haste--pained and irritated him. He threw himself into a chair
and began mechanically to look over the mail which the postmaster had
handed him. A week ago he had written to an Eastern firm asking for a
catalogue of the refrigerators they made. Here it was--bulky,
imposing, abounding in alluring pictures of tile-lined refrigerators
filled with game, fish, fruit, wine. He found he could buy their
smallest and most inexpensive refrigerator, "built especially to supply
a demand for low-priced goods,"--so the advertisement ran--for
forty-five dollars. He dropped the book, and turned to his other letter.
It was from a great retail dry-goods house, and was in answer to a
request he had made for samples of dotted swiss--he had thought he would
like to get Gertrude a dress such as she had worn when he first knew
her. The samples were sent, and along with them a letter expressing
pleasure at being able to serve him, and a desire further to accommodate
him whenever possible; its extreme deference and respect was like a
calculated sarcasm. He pushed it away from him and leaned back in his
chair, looking about the room with a curious stare, as a convict, who
has just heard that his sentence is for life, might gaze at the walls of
his cell. It was a low-ceiled room, with an uneven floor, cheap
woodwork, painted in an unsuccessful imitation of natural wood, and
walls hung with faded paper of an indeterminate pattern and even more
indeterminate color. To-day it was in greater confusion than usual, with
white dust thick on table and chair, a window-shade askew, the
music-rack disarranged, and a plate of grape-skins which Allison had
left last night on the piano still standing there. But it was not the
disorder which irritated Allison most, nor the signs of poverty, but the
fact that the poverty was so _genteel_, so self-respecting, so
determined to make the best of things and present a brave front to the
world. The kerosene lamp had a shade of red, crinkled tissue-paper--the
cheap net curtains were arranged with the utmost elaboration--a rug was
artfully laid down in such a way as almost to cover the square of zinc
on which the stove stood in the winter time, and all of Gertrude's
photographs were placed with a view to concealing various defects and
deficiencies. His loathing for all this was intensified by a memory of
vast rooms stretching out one after the other, hushed and cool, with
gracious shadows lending their mystery and romance to everything. With
sudden restlessness he rose, and walked over to the window; but the
smell of dust and dry, dead vegetation smothered him. Gertrude had raked
the long, sparse brown grass all in one direction; it had a grotesque
look of having been combed.

He seized his hat, and went to get Mr. Fulton's package from the
window-sill. He had barely turned toward the gate, however, when his
wife hurried out, remonstrating, apologizing, with an urgent hand on
his arm. "It is important that Mr. Fulton should get these papers
to-day," he said stiffly. It did not really matter whether Mr. Fulton
got the roll of agricultural papers to-day, to-morrow, or next week; but
Allison felt the necessity for doing something, it did not much matter
what, to crush down his growing despair; and this was the only thing
which suggested itself. Gertrude was persistent, however, in her
entreaties that he come back; it was frightfully hot, and he already
looked tired; she would take the papers to Mr. Fulton right after
luncheon. He yielded at last, from sheer languidness, and came silently
into the house. Gertrude's moist face, her loud, anxious voice, her
warm, clinging hand, were exceedingly disagreeable to him--so much so
that finally the desire to escape them became more importunate than any

He was again standing by the window, gazing out, when his wife came into
the dining-room to set the table. He did not turn--gave no sign of
seeing her.

"What are you thinking about, Philip?" she asked presently, with an
effort to make her question sound casual.

"I am not thinking--at least I am trying not to," Allison answered, in a
somewhat strained, unnatural voice. Why would she not leave him alone?
Could she not see that he did not wish to talk?

"What was the last thing that you were thinking about before you
stopped?" Gertrude spoke with painstaking gaiety.

Would she always keep up this dissimulation? Allison asked himself. For
his part, he was done with it!

"I was thinking that this place was fit for a dog-kennel--and for
nothing else!" he said. All the bitterness that was eating out his heart
was in the low words.

"It does look pretty bad to-day," Gertrude acquiesced, after an
appreciable interval of time.

"_To-day!_" Allison gave a hard, contemptuous little laugh. "As though
it ever looked any other way!"

Gertrude did not reply.... When Allison noticed her silence, and turned
to look at her, he saw that there was a peculiar light in her eyes, a
red flush over all her face; after a moment's dazed wonder, he realized
that she had misunderstood him--had misunderstood him utterly. His
thoughts had been on the sagging floors, the cheap furniture, the marred
wall-paper, the miserable ugliness and poverty of the house, and
everything in it; but she had seen in his remark only scorn for her
housekeeping, irritation at the room's untidiness. She was very angry.
As Allison realized this, a sudden fierce satisfaction possessed him.
Now at last she would speak out, without pretence, without reserve! He
should hear the truth at last.


But the wrathful look died out of her eyes. She began arranging the
knives and forks, looking suddenly old, and steady, and sober.

"I'm not much of a housekeeper," she said, quietly.

"No, you're not." Allison made his tone as ugly as possible--and waited.
Surely she would turn upon him now, overwhelm him with bitter words!

She made no answer of any kind, however, but turned and hurried into the
kitchen, striking her arm clumsily against one side of the door as she
passed through, as though she had not seen very well. He heard her
moving rapidly about, getting his luncheon. She brought it in with her
head in the air and her lips compressed. The coffee was muddy, the steak
burned, the creamed potatoes scorched--she had been having bad luck.
Allison ate every scrap of what she brought him. He did not dare look at
her--did not dare ask her to forgive him. What right had he to do that?
He lingered on the steps some time before starting for the station,
fussing with his cuff, pulling his hat into shape, breaking off from the
tree at the corner of the house the branch Gertrude had complained was
in her way. His wife usually followed him to the door to tell him
good-by; but to-day she was sweeping the dining-room vigorously, singing
the while a very gay and cheerful tune. It was one to which they had
often danced together in the old days; at the same moment at which he
realized it, the song stopped, as though Gertrude had been silenced by
the same memory that had come to him. He whistled tentatively; but she
did not answer, though she was near enough to hear, as he knew from the
sound of her broom.

Allison went about his work that afternoon with a droop to his head, and
a dullness about his dark eyes, which Jim noticed with vague discomfort,
and which made him wish heartily that he had not confided to the
postmaster the story of Billings and the brake. He had quarreled with
Gertrude--everything else seemed insignificant to Allison beside that.
He had quarreled with Gertrude--Gertrude, who had been so brave, so
uncomplaining, so patient, so forbearing--had gone away from her with
the shadow of a misunderstanding between them. He kept repeating to
himself everything he had said and everything she had said, recalling
every tone and gesture. He wondered how he could have felt such a
shrinking dislike as she stood with her hand--her poor little scarred
hand!--on his arm, begging him to come back, to let her take the papers
to Mr. Fulton. How sweet she had been--how sweet! And he!

He started for home a little earlier than usual--Jim urged him to go,
with a certain rough friendliness, saying that he could look out for
things at the station. On his way home Allison went to the post-office,
hoping to get a letter for Gertrude from her mother or sister, and he
told the postmaster very humbly and simply why he had not felt like
talking this noon, and of the fact that he could not really afford to
pay five dollars a week for a maid. It was very strange, but after he
had begun, it was not at all hard to go on. He wondered vaguely how he
could have thought the postmaster a meddlesome, malicious, vulgar young
man; he seemed very sensible and friendly and respectful to-night.

Mrs. Jennings stood at the top of the hill, gaunt and black as usual;
somehow Allison did not feel the usual resentment. He stopped to speak
to her with unwonted warmth; and when, encouraged by his manner, she
began to talk about Gertrude, and what a pretty girl, and what a smart
girl, and what a sweet girl she was, he felt a sudden kindness for the
old lady, and accepted almost demonstratively the bunch of magenta and
orange vinnias she gave him to take to his wife.

As Allison went into the house, he noticed signs of a vigorous cleaning.
The back steps had been scrubbed--were still wet; the kitchen floor was
as white as the rough, dark boards could be made; the dining-room table
was set with their finest table-cloth and prettiest dishes, and was gay
with yellow flowers; fresh white curtains, breathing out sweetness, hung
at the windows. A note was pinned to the corner of the table.

"If you should get home before I do," it ran, "this is to tell you that
I have gone to Mr. Fulton's with those papers I promised to take right
after luncheon--I forgot all about them till just now. I'll be back in
three-quarters of an hour sure; it's half-past five now. Supper's all
ready now but making the coffee. Be sure and wait."

He smoothed the hurried scrawl out tenderly, feeling as if something
hard and cold in his left side had melted with a sudden gush of warmth.
Back in three-quarters of an hour! He laughed aloud at the sanguineness
of it. Why, it took _him_ forty minutes to go to Mr. Fulton's and back!
And the idea of telling him to be sure and wait! The little goose! Did
she think he would take himself off in a temper at not finding her, as
he had once months ago? He went out to the kitchen to put his flowers
in water, and to finish slicing an egg over the top of the bowl of salad
there--Gertrude had evidently just begun to do it when the package
outside the window caught her eye. He put on some water for the coffee,
and brought in an armful of wood; then he strolled to the gate to wait
for his wife. The neighbor's two-year-old baby came staggering down the
walk in front of the house. Allison caught up the child in his arms, and
lifted it to the top of the gate-post, beside him. This was the little
girl for whom Gertrude had been making a dress the other day; she had
looked very shocked--Gertrude--when he had asked her if she proposed to
make clothes for all the dirty little brats in the neighborhood, and had
told him with some dignity that Dolly was a very pretty baby, and was
kept as clean as could be expected. Dolly _was_ a pretty baby. He
tightened the arm that was about her a little, and began to talk clumsy
baby-talk to her; her mother looked on with a pleased smile from her
front door. The sun was setting, and a strange bright peace was on

Suddenly Allison's eyes were caught by an unaccustomed sight--a crowd of
people, men, women, and children, advancing down the road, slowly,
steadily, and silently--very silently. He surveyed them curiously,
ignorantly. Suddenly a man spoke to the one next him--Allison saw the
dip of his head--and almost at the same instant a child--a
twelve-year-old girl--put up her hands to shade her eyes, staring
intently at Allison, and then with a loud shriek ran wildly, blindly, in
the other direction. And then Allison knew that this silent company
meant disaster to him.

They dragged him away before he caught more than a glimpse of what they
had in their midst--the limp, white-faced thing in the silly pink dress
he had liked. She had started home by the short way, they told him--the
short way over the old bridge--the bridge that every one knew was not
safe. And how it happened no one could say--perhaps she had stumbled and
caught hold of the rotten railing, and it had given under her hand; at
any rate they had found her in the dry river-bottom, thirty feet below.
He looked at them very calmly as they finished. "She is dead," he said
quietly, "there is no need to tell me that." And then, suddenly, without
a cry or any warning, he toppled over against the man nearest him.

But she was not dead. He came out of his delirium and fever three weeks
later to find her limping around the room, looking a little pale and
tired, but very pretty in some sort of ruffled white dress, with her
hair done up in the puffs and rolls he had always liked. People had been
very good, she told him when he was strong enough to listen and
understand. The doctor had said that he could eat eggs before he could
eat anything else--so everybody had been sending fresh eggs. Mary said
she was going to buy an incubator and start to raising chickens--they
couldn't eat half the eggs that were sent in, even if they ate nothing
but custard. Mary was the pretty girl that they had seen walking with
Mr. Brown one Sunday, and had thought would be a nice person to have
around. She was going to stay with them all winter; Gertrude was going
to teach her German and music, and she was going to teach Gertrude how
to cook. She was doing all the work just now, she and the neighbors.
Mrs. Ferry came in every morning to scrub the kitchen and black the
stove. They said Gertrude must keep her hands nice--Philip had seemed
more worried about her hands than about anything else, all the time he
was sick. Did he see how soft and white they were? She had been washing
them in buttermilk--the doctor's wife had suggested that--and putting
some sort of cream on them that Mr. Gilson, the young man who clerked in
the drug store, had sent up by Mr. Brown. Mr. Brown had been so kind--it
had been he who had sat up with Philip when his fever was at its
worst--he had chopped all the ice that they had used from first to last.
He was out in the back yard now, fixing--but there, that was to be a

Allison lay very still, smoothing his wife's hand, and looking out
through the open door at the dry grass of the yard, browner, dustier
than ever, and at the portulaca waving on top of the pyramid of stones.
He could hear Jim's whistle as he moved about the yard; some one at the
back door was talking to Mary in a hushed, eager undertone; over on her
porch Dolly was singing happily, sinking her voice to a mere murmur now
and then at a low remonstrance from within the house. It all made a sort
of accompaniment to Gertrude's happy talk.

Suddenly she stopped, and leaned her cheek against his, with a little
sigh. "Isn't it a nice world, dear?" she whispered.

He turned so that he could look into her eyes, and said, with a little
tremble in his voice:

"It's a beautiful world!"








"Slipped through your fingers like that! Like a--" Leverich's words were
not fit for print. He had been away for a couple of days, and now sat
tilted back in his office chair, a heavy, leather-covered thing not
meant for tilting, his face puffed with anger, his mouth snarling--a
wild beast balked of his prey. His eyes, ferociously insolent, dwelt on
Justin, who, fine and keen and smiling a little, sat opposite him. Brute
anger never had any effect on Justin but to give him a contemptuous,
chill self-possession.

"You're sure the agreement's made?"

"Cater's been sending new consignments as fast as they could go for the
past three days; he's loaded up with machines."

Leverich swore again. "Confounded fools, not to have made terms with
Hardanger first! If we'd only known! If there was only some way to put a
spoke in the wheel, even yet!"

"Oh, I've got the spoke, easily enough," said Justin indifferently. "The
only trouble is, I can't use it."

"Got a spoke! Why in heaven didn't you say that before?" Leverich came
down on the front legs of his chair with a force that sent it rolling
ahead on its casters. "What are you sitting here for? What do you mean
by telling me that you can't use it?"

"Just what I say. But it's not worth talking about."

"See here, Alexander, could you get our machine in now instead of his?"

"I suppose I might."

"And you're not going to do it?"

"I can't, I tell you, Leverich. The information came to me in such a way
that I can't touch it."

"'The information--' It's something damaging to do with the machine?"

Justin drummed with his fingers on the desk without answering.

"You have proof?"

"What's the sense of talking, Leverich? Proof or no, I tell you, I can't
use it. This isn't any funny business; you can see that. Don't you
suppose, if I could use it, that I would? But there are some things a
man can't do. At any rate, _I_ can't. And that settles it."

Heaven knows he had gone over the matter insistently enough in the last
few days, since the combination had been unwillingly given into his
hands, but always with the foregone conclusion. The devil, as a rule,
doesn't actively try to tempt us to evil: he simply confuses us, so that
we are kept from using our reason. But this time he had no field for
action. To use secret information against Cater, that could never have
been had but for Cater's kindness to him in helping him to those bars in
time of need, was first, last, and every time impossible to Justin
Alexander. It was vain for argument to suggest that this very deed of
kindness had worked his disaster--the fact remained the same. He might
do other things; he might do worse things: this thing he could not
do--not though the refusal worked his own ruin, not though Cater's ruin
with Hardanger was insured anyway, but too late for the typometer to
profit by it. Even if the typometer could by some means keep afloat
until that day arrived, it would take a couple of years for such a
timing-machine to regain its prestige in a foreign country.

Justin had no excess of sentiment; no quixotic impulse urged him to go
and tell Cater what he had learned. It was Cater's business to look
after his end of the game. If the price of material or labor was too
cheap, he must know that there was something wrong with it. The stream
of Justin's mind ran clear in spite of that feeling of sharp practice
toward himself--nay, because of it; it was impossible to use the weapon
that a former kindness had placed in his hand. He looked at Leverich now
with an expression which the latter quieted himself to meet. This was a
situation, not for bluster and rage, but to be competently grappled

"How about your obligations? Do you call this fair dealing to us,
Alexander? There's Lewiston's note; once this deal was settled, we would
have paid that, as you know. But it's out of the question as things
stand. We'll have to get our money out the best way we can. If this is
your sense of honor--to sacrifice your friends! See here, Alexander,
let's talk this out. When it comes to talking of ruin, no man can afford
to stand on terms. We didn't put you into the typometer business on any
kindergarten principles--it isn't to form your character. What we did,
we did for profit; and if the profit isn't there, we get out. We've no
objection to doing a kindness for any one, if we can do it and make a
profit; but it stands to reason that we're not in the business for
philanthropy any more than for kindergartening. We liked you, and we
were willing to give you a place in the game if you could run it to suit
us. But we don't consider any scheme that doesn't make money. What
doesn't make money has to go. Profit, profit, profit--that's what every
sane man puts first, and there's no justice in losing a chance to make
it. What you lose, another man takes. If you make another man's wife and
children better off, you stint your own. You've got to consider a
question on all sides. No woman respects a man who can't make money;
it's his everlasting business to make money, and she knows it. Your wife
won't think much of your fine scruples if she's to go without for 'em.
And, by the Lord, she's right! When you go into business, you've got to
make up your mind to one of two things: you've either got to step hard
on the necks of those below you, or you've got to lie down and let them
wipe their feet on you."


Leverich had stopped at intervals for comment from Justin. Since none
was offered, he went on, with the large and easy manner of one who feels
the justice of his convictions: "No man ever accused me of being close.
I'm free-handed, if I say it that shouldn't. I like to give, and I _do_
give. If there's money wanted for charity, the committees know very well
where to come. And my wife likes to give, too; her name's on the books
of twenty charitable organizations. But we give out of money I've made
by _not_ being free-handed--by getting every last cent that belonged to
me. You see, I don't leave my wife out of my calculations--any man's a
fool that does. She's got the right to have as good as I can give her. I
wouldn't talk like this to most men, Alexander, but between you and me
it's different. It pays to keep your wife in a good humor, when you've
got to go home after a hard day's work; you take a dissatisfied woman,
and she'll make your home a hell. I know men--Great Scott! I don't know
how they live!" He paused again. Justin did not answer. He sat with his
head on his hand, looking, not at Leverich, but to one side of him.


"When I say I've made the money," continued Leverich, "I mean that I
actually _have_ made most of it--made it out of nothing! like the first
chapter of Genesis. If a man has money to start with, he can add to it
as easily as you can roll up a snowball. It's no credit to him. But I've
had only my brains. I've seen money where other men couldn't, and
nothing has stood in my way of getting to it. That's the whole secret of
success. And my attitude's fair--you couldn't find a fairer. When one of
your clerks falls sick, you pay him his full salary for three or four
months till he's around again. _I_ know! Well, I don't do any such
stunts. When I was a clerk myself, I was on the sick-list once for three
months, and nobody paid me. After the first month I was bounced, and I
didn't expect anything else. I didn't expect any philanthropical
business, and I don't give it. That's fair, isn't it? I don't give
quarter, and I don't expect any. If I'm squeezed, I pay. I don't stand
still in the middle of a deal and snivel about what I can do and what I
can't do. I don't snivel about what you call moral obligations. I only
recognize money obligations. Why, see here, Alexander," he broke off,
"if you use the influence you spoke of, you don't have to tell me what
it is--you don't have to tell anybody but Hardanger. Cater himself
needn't know that you had anything to do with it."

"But I'd know," said Justin quietly.

Leverich lost his easy manner; his jaw protruded.

"Very well, then; it comes down to this: If you fail us now, out of any
of your fool scruples toward that poor devil across the street,--who's
bound to get the blood sucked out of him anyway,--you ruin your own
prospects, and you try and cheat us out of the money we put up on you.
By ----, if you see any honor in that, I don't."

"Mr. Leverich," said Justin, raising his head simply, with a steely
gleam in his eyes that matched the other's, "when I try to cheat you or
Lewiston or any man out of what has been put up on me, I'll give you
leave to say what you please. At present I'll say good morning."


Leverich shrugged his shoulders and turned his back as he bent over his
desk. Justin picked up his hat and went out, brushing, as he did so,
against a dark, pleasant-faced man who had been sitting in the next
room. Something in his face instantly conveyed to Justin the knowledge
that the conversation he had just been engaged in had grown louder than
the partition warranted. The next instant he recognized the man as a Mr.
Warren, of Rondell & Co. Both men turned to look back at each other, and
both bowed. The action had a certain definiteness in it, unwarranted by
the slightness of the meeting. The next moment Justin was in the


The active clash of steel always roused the blood in him; he felt
actively stronger for combat. He was competently apportioning toward
Lewiston's note the different sums coming in this month. There were
large bills to be paid to the typometer's credit by several firms, one
of them Coneways'. Coneways represented the largest counted-in asset for
the entire year--it was the backbone of the establishment. If it went to
Lewiston, what would be left for the business? That could come next.
Lewiston was first. Leverich and Martin would exact every penny of their
principal after these intervening six months of the year were over.
Well, let them! Lewiston's note was what he had to think of now.

All business undertakings, no matter how wild, how precarious, to the
sense of the beholder, are started with confidence in their ultimate
success; it is the one trite, universal reason for starting--that faith
is the capital that all possess in common. Some of these doubtful
ventures, while never really succeeding, do not really fail at once.
They are always hard up, but they keep on, though gradually sinking
lower all the time. Others seem to exist by the continuance of that
first faith alone--a sheer optimism that keeps the courage alive and
keen enough to seize hold of the slightest driftwood of opportunity,
binding this flotsam into a raft that takes them triumphantly out on the
high tide. For all the long drag, the anxiety, the physical strain, the
harassment, failure in itself seemed as inherently impossible to Justin
as that he should be stricken blind or lose the use of his limbs. He
must think harder to find a way of accomplishment; that was all.

His step had its own peculiar ring in it as he left Leverich's, but it
lost somewhat of its alertness as he turned down the street that led to
the factory, unaltered, since his first coming to it, save for the
transformation of the neglected house he had noticed then, with its
gruesome interior, which had been turned into a freshly painted shop
long ago. The effect of association is inexorable. There was not a
corner, not a building, along that too familiar way, that was not hung
with some thought of care. There were moments of such strong repulsion
that he felt as if he couldn't turn down that street again--moments
lately when to enter the factory with its red-brick-arched yawning mouth
of a doorway occasioned a physical nausea--a foolish, womanish state
which irritated him.

The mail brought him the usual miscellaneous assortment of orders and
bills, and letters on minor points, and questions as to the typometer.
The mail was rather apt to be encouraging in its suggestions of a large
trade. Two letters this morning were full of enthusiastic encomium on
the use of the machine. In spite of an enormous and long-outstanding
bill for office stationery, insistently clamorous for payment--one of
those bills looked upon as trifles until they suddenly become
staggering--there was, after the mail, a general feeling of wielding the
destiny of a large part of the world, where the typometer was a power.


A little woman whose husband, now dead, had been in his employ came in
to get help in collecting his insurance; she was timid before Justin,
deeply grateful for his kind and effective assistance. Two men came in,
at different times, for advice and introductions to important people. A
friend brought in a possible customer from the Sandwich Islands. There
was all that aura of prosperity that has nothing to do with the payment
of one's bills.

Justin took both the friend and the customer out to lunch, his agreeable
sense of hospitality only dimmed by the disagreeable fact of its taking
every cent of the five dollars he had expected to last for the week. He
was "strapped." The luncheon took longer, also, than he had counted on
its doing. The morning, begun well, seemed to lead up only to sordid and
anxious details--a sense of non-accomplishment, induced also by small
requisitions from different people, requiring cash from a cash-drawer
that was usually empty.

It was a welcome relief to figure, with Harker's assistance, on the
large sums coming in at the end of the month from Coneways. There were a
hundred ways for them to go, but they were to go to Lewiston. Perhaps,
after all, as Harker astutely suggested, Lewiston would be satisfied
with a partial payment and extend the rest of the note. While they were
still consulting, word was brought in that Mr. Lewiston was there.

Mr. Lewiston was a young man, small-featured, black-haired,
smooth-shaven, and with an air of nattiness and fashion, set at odds at
present by a very pale and anxious face and eager, dilated black eyes.
He cut short Justin's greeting with the words:

"I've just come over to speak about that note, Alexander."

"Well, I was just wanting to speak to you about it myself," said Justin
easily. "Have a cigar?"

"Thank you," said Lewiston mechanically, and as mechanically holding out
his hand for the cigar, evidently forgetting it the next moment. "The
fact is, I don't want to seem importunate, but if you could pay off that
note fifteen days before date,--a week from to-day, that is,--we'd
discount it to satisfy you, if you can collect now. I didn't want to
bother you about it, and I tried outside first, but nobody will take up
the paper just now, except at a ruinous rate. If you could make it
convenient, Alexander." Young Lewiston sat with his small, eager face
bent forward over his knees, his lips twitching slightly. "You know,
that money wasn't loaned on strictly business principles, Alexander, but
for friendship; I got father to consent to it. And if you could let us
have it now, it would save us a world of trouble. It's really not
much--only ten thousand."

Justin shook his head, his keen blue eyes fixed on the other. "I can't
let you have it, Lewiston; I wish I could! But I'm waiting payments
myself. Can't you pull out without it?"

Lewiston drew in his breath. "Oh, yes, of course we'll have to; but it
means-- Well, I know you would if you could, Alexander; I told father
so--father in a way holds me responsible. He was in London when I
renewed the note the last time. There isn't anything to interfere with
the payment when it's due?"

"On my honor, no," said Justin. "You shall have it then without fail."

"For if that should slip up--" continued young Lewiston, wrapped in
somber contemplation of his own affairs alone; he threw his arms outward
with a gesture suddenly tragic in its intensity, paused an instant, then
wrung Justin's hand silently and departed.

"Are you busy, Alexander? They said I could come in."

"Why, Girard!"

Justin wheeled a chair around with an instantly brightened face. "Sit
down. I'm mighty glad to see you." He looked smilingly at his visitor,
whose presence, long-limbed, straight, clean, and clear-eyed, always
elicited a peculiar admiration from other men. "I heard that you had a
room at the Snows' now, while Billy is away, but I haven't laid eyes on
you for a month."

"I've been coming in on a later train every morning and going out again
on a very much later one at night. I'm back in town on the paper for a

"Why don't you settle down to something worth while?" asked Justin, with
the reserved disapproval of the business man for any mode of life but
his own.


"Settle down to this kind of thing?" said Girard thoughtfully. "Well, I
did think of it last year, when I undertook those commissions for you.
But what's the use--yet awhile, at any rate? You see, I can always make
enough money for what I want and to spare, and there's nobody else to
care. I like my liberty! The love of trade doesn't take hold of me,
somehow--and you have to have such a tremendous amount of capital to
keep your place. By the way, have you sold the island yet?" The island
was a small one up near Nova Scotia, taken once for a debt.

"Not yet."

Girard gave him a quick glance. "How are things going with you?"

"Fine," said Justin in a conventionally prosperous tone, with a sudden
sight of a bottomless pit yawning below him. "I've a few things on my
mind lately--but they're all right now. By the way, how do you like it
at the Snows'?"

"Oh, all right." Girard's gray eyes smiled in an irrepressible smile. "I
score high at present. They all approve of me, and I am told that I am
the only man who has never run into the Boston fern or got tangled in
the Wandering Jew. Miss Bertha and I have long talks together--she's
great. As for Mrs. Snow--she heard Sutton speak of her the other night
to Ada as 'the old lady,' I assure you that since--" He shook his head,
and both men laughed.

"Come to see us. Miss Linden is back with us again," said Justin

"Thank you," said Girard, an indefinable stiffening change instantly
coming over him. "By the way, I mustn't forget what I came for, before I
hurry off."

He took some bills out of his long, flat leather wallet as he rose. "Do
you remember lending that sixty dollars to my friend Keston last year?
He turned up yesterday, and asked me to see that you got this."

"I'd forgotten all about it," averred Justin. He had not realized until
he took the bills that he had been keeping up all day by main strength,
with that caved-in sensation of there being nothing back of it--nothing
back of it. There are times when the touch of money is as the elixir of
life. Justin, holding on by the skin of his teeth for ten thousand
dollars, and needing imperatively at least as much more, felt that with
this paltry sixty dollars it was suddenly possible to draw a free
breath, felt a sheer lightness of spirit that showed how terrible was
the persistent weight under which he was living. The very feeling of
those separate bills in his pocket made him calmly sanguine.

He got ready to go home a little earlier than usual, saying lightly to
Harker, who had come in for his signature to some papers:

"Those payments will begin to straggle in next week. Coneways' isn't due
until the 31st--the very last minute! But he's always prompt, thank
Heaven--what are you doing?"

"Knocking on wood," said Harker, with a grim smile.

"Oh, knock on wood all you want to," returned Justin.

He even thought of Lois on his way, and stopped to buy her some flowers.
It was the first time he had thought of her unconsciously for a week.
While he was waiting for a car to pass before he crossed the street, his
eye caught the headline on a paper a newsboy was holding out to him:





"I don't think Justin looks very well," said Dosia that afternoon. She
was sitting on the edge of the bed, with her arms spread out
half-protectingly over Lois. The latter was only resting; she had been
up and around the house now for three or four weeks, and, although she
looked unusually fragile, seemed well, if not very strong.

The baby, wrapped in a blue embroidered blanket, with only a round
forehead and a small pink nose visible, was of that satisfactory variety
entirely given to sleep. Zaidee and even Redge, adoring little sister
and brother, had been allowed to hold him in their arms, so securely
unstirring was their little burden. Lois, who had passionately rebelled
against the prospect of additional motherhood, exhibited a not unusual
phase of it now in as passionately adoring this second boy. He seemed
peculiarly, intensely her own, not only a baby, but a spiritual
possession that communicated a new strength to her. Lois was changed.
She had always been beautiful, as a matter of fact, but there was
something withheld, mysterious, in her expression, as if she were taking
counsel of some half-slumberous force within, as of one listening at a
shell for the murmur of the ocean.

Not only Lois, but everything else, seemed changed to Dosia, at the same
time being also flatly, unchangeably natural. She had longed--oh, how
she had longed!--to be back here. Even while loving and working in her
so-called home, she had felt that this was her real home, although here
her cruelest blows had fallen on her; even while bleeding with the
wrench of parting from her own flesh and blood, she had felt that this
was the real home, for here she had really lived; and it was the home of
the nicer, more delicate instincts. After the crude housekeeping, the
lack of comforts that made the simplest nursing a grinding struggle with
circumstance, it was a blessed relief to get back to a sphere where
minor details were all in order as a matter of course. The Alexanders,
with their three children, kept only one maid now; but even that
restriction did not prevent the unlimited flow of hot and cold water!

Yet she had also dreaded this returning,--how she had dreaded it!--with
that old sickening shame which came over her inevitably as she thought
of certain people and places and days. The mere thought of seeing Mrs.
Leverich or George Sutton and that chorus of onlookers was like passing
through fire. One braces one's self to withstand the pain of scenes of
joy or sorrow revisited, to find that, after all, when the moment comes,
there is little of that dreaded pain. It has been lived through and the
climax passed in that previsioning which imagination made more intense,
more harrowingly real, than the reality.

Mrs. Leverich stopped her carriage one day to greet Dosia, and to ask
her, with a tentative semblance of her old effusion, to come and make
her a visit--an effusion which immediately died down into complete
non-interest, on Dosia's polite refusal; and the incident was not
especially heart-racking at the time, though afterward it set her
unaccountably trembling. Mrs. Leverich had in the carriage with her a
small, thin, long-nosed man with a pale-reddish mustache and hair, who,
gossip said, passed most of his time at the Leverichs'--he was seen out
driving alone with Myra nearly every day. He was "an old friend from
home." It had been gossip at first, but it was growing to be scandal
now, with audible wonder as to how much Mr. Leverich knew about it.

Her avoidance of George Sutton was as nothing to his desire of avoiding
her. He dived with surreptitious haste down side streets when he saw her
coming, or disappeared within shop doorways. Once, when Dosia confronted
him inadvertently on the platform of a car, and he had perforce to take
off his hat and murmur, "Good morning," he turned pale and was evidently
scared to death. After this he only appeared in the village street
guarded on either side by a female Snow--usually Ada and her mother,
though occasionally Bertha served as escort instead of the latter. The
elder Snows, in spite of this apparent security, were in a state of
constant nervous tension over Mr. Sutton's attention to Ada. He had not
"spoken" yet, but it had begun to be felt severely of late that he
ought to speak. Whenever Ada came into the house, her face was eagerly
scanned by both mother and sister to see from its look if it bore any
trace of the fateful words having been uttered. Every one knew, though
how no one could tell, that that bold thing, Dosia Linden, had tried to
get him once, and failed.

The thing that had unaccountably stirred her most since her arrival was
an unexpected meeting with Bailey Girard. Dosia, with Zaidee and Redge
held by either hand and pressing close to her as they walked merrily
along, suddenly came upon a gray-clad figure emerging from the
post-office. He seemed to make an instinctive movement as if to draw
back, that sent the swift color to her cheeks and then turned them
white. Were all the men in the place trying to avoid her? Dosia thought,
with bitter humor; but, if it were so, he instantly recovered himself,
and came forward, hat in hand, with a quick access of bright courtesy, a
punctilious warmth of manner. He walked along with her a few paces as he
talked, lifting Zaidee over a flooded crossing, before going once more
on his way. He was nothing to her, the stranger who had killed her
ideal; yet all day it was as if his image were photographed in the
colors of life upon the retina of her eye. She could not push it away,
try as she might.

Of Lawson Dosia had heard only such vague rumors as had sifted through
the letters written by Lois. He had been reported as going on in his old
way in the mining-camps, drifting from one to another. She heard nothing
more now. He was the only one who had really loved her up here, except
Lois, who loved her now. Dosia had slipped into her new position of
sister and helper as if she had always filled it. She was not an
outsider any more; she _belonged_.

As she sat bending over Lois now, her attitude was instinct with
something high-mindedly lovely. The Dosia who had only wanted to be
loved now felt--after a year of trial and conflict with death--that she
only wanted, and with the same youthful intensity, to be very good, even
though it seemed sometimes to that same youthfulness a strange and
tragic thing that it should be all she wanted. The mysterious,
fathomless depression of youth, as of something akin to unknown primal
depths of loneliness, sometimes laid its chill hand on her heart; but
when Dosia "said her prayers," she got, child-fashion, very near to a
Some One who brought her an intimate tender comfort of resurrection and
of life.

"I don't think Justin seems well," she repeated, Lois, looking up at her
with calmly expressionless eyes from her pillow, having taken no notice
of the remark. "He has changed, I think, even in the ten days since I

"He has something on his mind," assented Lois, with a note of languor in
her voice. "I suppose it's the business. I made up my mind to ask him
about it to-night. He has been out every evening lately, and I hardly
see him at all before he goes off in the morning, now that I don't get
down to breakfast."

"Oh, he gave me a message for you this morning," cried Dosia, with
compunction at having so far forgotten it. "He said that Mr. Larue had
come in to inquire about you yesterday. He is going to send you a basket
of strawberries and roses from his place at Collingswood to-morrow."

"Eugene Larue!" Lois' lips relaxed into a pleased curve; a slight color
touched her cheek. "That was very nice of him. He knew I'd like to look
forward to getting them. Strawberries and roses!"

"I met Mr. Girard in the street to-day; he asked after you," continued
Dosia, with the feeling that if she spoke of him she might get that
tiresome, insistent image of him from before her eyes.

"Bailey Girard? Yes; he has a room at the Snows'. Billy's out West."

"So I've heard," said Dosia.

It was one of the strange and melancholy ironies of life that the man of
all others whom she had desired to meet should be thrown daily in her
pathway now, after that desire was gone!

"You'd better not talk any more now, Lois; you look tired. It's time for
you to take a little rest. I'll see to the children. I hope baby will
stay asleep. Let me pull this coverlet over you. Shall I pull down the

"No, I'd rather have the light. Please hand me that book over there on
the stand," said Lois, holding out her hand for the big, old-fashioned
brown volume that Dosia brought to her.

"You oughtn't to read; you ought to go to sleep," said Dosia, with
tender severity.

"I'm not going to read," returned Lois pacifically. Her hand closed over
the book, she smiled, and Dosia closed the door. Lois turned to the
sleeping child with a peculiar delight in being quite alone with
him--alone with him, to think.

The book was a novel of some forty years ago, called, as the title-page
proclaimed, "A Woman's Kingdom," and written by Dinah Maria Mulock. A
neighbor had brought it in to Lois during the first month of her
convalescence. In all the time she had had it, she had never read any
further than that title-page.

There is often more in the birth of a child than the coming of another
son or daughter into the world. Between those forces of life and death a
woman may also get her chance to be born anew, made over again,
spiritually as well as physically. In those long, restful hours
afterward, when suspense is over and pain is over, and there is a
freedom from household cares, and one is looked upon with renewed
tenderness, the thoughts may flow over long, long ways. To face danger
bravely in itself gives strength for the clearer vision; and a
peculiarly loved child unlocks with its tiny hands springs unknown

Lois, though she had been a mother twice before, had never felt toward
either of the other children at all as she did now toward this little
boy. She could not bear to be parted from him. Somehow that terrible
corrosive selfishness had been blessedly taken away from her--for a
little while only? She only felt at first that she must not think of
those horrible depths, for fear of slipping back into the pit again;
even to think of the slimy powers of darkness gave them a fresh hold on
one. She put off her return to that soul-embracing egotism. It was sweet
to lie there and meet the tender gentleness of her husband's gaze when
he came home, and to talk to him about the baby as a child might talk
about a new toy, though she could not but begin to perceive that she was
as far, far out of his real life as if she had indeed been a child.

One evening he came in to sit by her,--her convalescence had been a long
and dragging one,--and she had paused in the midst of telling him
something to await an answer. None came. She spoke again, and raised
herself to look. Then she saw that even within that brief space he had
fallen asleep, as a man may who is thoroughly exhausted. Thoroughly
exhausted! Everything proclaimed it--his attitude, grimly grotesque in
the dim light, one leg stretched out half in front of the other, as he
had dropped into the seat, his relaxed arms hanging down, his head
resting sidewise against the back of the chair, with the face sharply
upturned. The shadows lay in the hollows under his cheek-bones and in
those lines that marked his temples. Divested of color and the
transforming play of expression, he looked strangely old, terribly
lifeless. He slept without moving,--almost, it seemed, without
breathing,--while Lois, with a new dread, watched him with frightened,
dilated, fascinated eyes. How had he grown like this? What unnoticed
change had been at work? She called him again, but he did not hear; she
stretched out her arm, but he was just beyond reach. Suddenly it seemed
to her that he was dead, and that she could never reach him again; an
icy hand seemed to have been laid on her heart. What if never, never,

Just then he opened his eyes and sat up, saying naturally, "Did you

"Oh, you frightened me so! Don't go to sleep like that again," said
Lois, with a shaking voice. "Come here."

He came and knelt down by her, and she pressed his cheek close to hers
with a rush of painful emotion. "Why, you mustn't get worked up over a
little thing like that," he objected lightly, going out of the room
afterward with a reassuring smile at her, while she gazed after him with
strangely awakened eyes. For the first time in months, she thought of
him without any thought of benefit to herself.

The next day the neighbor sent her over the book; the title arrested her
attention oddly--"The Woman's Kingdom." Another phrase correlated with
it in her memory--"Queen of the Home." That was supposed to be woman's
domain, where she was the sovereign power; there she was helper,
sustainer, director, the dear dispenser of favors. The woman's kingdom,
queen of the home. Gradually the words led her down long lanes of
retrospect, led by the rose-leaf touch of the baby's fingers; _they_
kept her strong. What kingdom had she ever made her own? She, poor,
bedraggled, complaining suppliant, a beggar where she should have been a
queen! Home and the heart of her husband--there lay her woman's kingdom,
her realm, her God-given province. She had had the ordering of it, none
other: she had married a good man. Glad or sorry, that kingdom was as
her rule made it; she must be judged by her government--as she was queen
enough to hold it. She fell asleep that day thinking of the words.

Day by day, other thoughts came to her more or less disconnectedly,--set
in motion by those magic words,--when she lay at rest in the afternoons,
with the book in her fingers and the dear little baby form close beside
her. Lois was one of those women of intense feeling who can never
perceive from imagination, but only from experience--who cannot even
adequately sympathize with sorrows and conditions which they have not
personally experienced. No advice touches them, for the words that
embody it are in a language not yet understood. The mistakes of the past
seem to have been necessary, when they look back. Given the same
circumstances, they could not have acted differently; but they seldom
look back--the present, that is always climbing on into the future,
occupies them exclusively.

Lois with "The Woman's Kingdom" in her hand, felt that some source of
power and happiness which she had not realized had slipped from her
grasp, yet might still be hers. So many disconnected, half-childish
thoughts came with the words--historic names of women whom men had loved
devotedly, who had kept them as their friends and lovers even when they
themselves had grown old, women who had never lost their charm. There
were those women of the French salons, who could interest even other
generations; queens indeed! She couldn't really interest _one_ man! She
thought over the married couples of her acquaintance, in search of those
who should reveal some secret, some guiding light. One woman across the
street had no other object in life than purveying to the household
comfort of her husband, and seemed, good soul, to expect nothing from
him in return; if William liked his fish, she was repaid. A couple
farther down appeared to be held together by the fact of marriage,
nothing more; they were bored to death by each other's society. Another
couple were happily absorbed in their children, to whom they were both
sacrificially subordinate. With none of these conditions could Lois be
satisfied. Then, there were the women who always spoke as if a man were
an animal and a woman were not a woman, but a spirit; but Lois was very
much a woman! She settled at last, after penetrative thought, on one
husband and wife, the latter a plain little person no longer young.
Every man liked to go to her charming, comfortable house; every man
admired her; and that her husband, a very handsome man himself, admired
her most of all was unobtrusively evident. Every look, every gesture,
betrayed the charming, vivifying unity between those two. How was it

How could one interest a man like that? There was Eugene Larue--she
could interest him! The thought of him always gave her a sense of
conscious power; he paid her homage. She did not know what his relations
were with other women, but of his with her she was sure: she felt her
woman's kingdom. If you could talk to the soul of a man like that as if
he had the soul of an angel, and learn from him what you wanted to
know--get his guidance-- But Lois was before all things inviolably a
wife, with the instinctive dignity of one. The sympathy between her and
Eugene Larue was so deep that she feared sometimes that in some brief
moment she might reveal in words, to be forever regretted afterward,
conditions which he knew without her telling. To be loved as Eugene
Larue would love a woman! But his wife had not cared to be loved that
way. She took deep, thoughtful counsel of her heart. If they two, she
and Eugene, had met while both were free? The answer was what she had
known it would be, else she had not dared to make the test. The man who
was her husband was the only man who could ever have been her husband.

With "The Woman's Kingdom" in her hand now, her lips touching the cheek
of the soft little darling thing beside her, she felt that some new
knowledge had been gradually revealed to her, of which she was now
really aware only for the first time. Justin was not looking well--that
was what Dosia had said. Oh, he was _not_ looking well! But she would
make him forget his cares, his anxieties, with this new-found power of
hers; she would bewitch him, take him off his feet, so that he would be
able to think of nothing, of no one, but her--he had not always thought
of her. _She would not pity herself._ She would learn to laugh, even if
it took heroic effort; men liked you to laugh. She had always taken
everything too seriously. The vision of his sleeping, _dead_ face of a
month ago frightened her for a moment, painfully; but he had seemed
better since, though, as Dosia said, he didn't look well. Oh, when he
came home to-night----!

She dressed herself with a new care, putting on a soft yellowish gown
with a yoke of creamy lace, unworn for months. The color was more
brilliant than ever in her cheeks, her lips redder, her eyes more deeply
blue. The children exclaimed over their "pretty mama." She looked
younger, more beautiful, than Dosia had ever seen her. She could not
help saying:

"How lovely you are, Lois! And you're all dressed up, too; do you expect
any one?"

"Only Justin," said Lois.

"Only Justin"! The words brought an exquisite joy with them--only
Justin, the one man in all the world for her. There was but a half-hour
now until dinner-time. It had passed, and he had not come; but he was
often late-- Still he did not come; that happened too, sometimes. The
two women sat down to dinner alone, at last. The baby woke up afterward,
an unusual thing, and wailed, and would not stop. Lois, divested of her
rich apparel and once more swathed in a loose, shabby gown, rocked and
soothed the infant interminably, while Dosia, her efforts to help
unavailing, crouched over a book down-stairs, trying to read. After an
interval of quiet she went up-stairs, to find Lois at last lying down.

"It's eleven o'clock, Lois; I think I'll go to bed. Shall I leave the
gas burning down-stairs?"

"Yes, please do; he can't get anything now but the last train out."

"And you don't want me to stay here with you?"

"No--oh, no."

As once before, Lois waited for that train--yet how differently! If that
injured feeling rose, for an instant, at his not having sent her word,
she crushed it back as one would crush the head of a viper that showed
itself between the crevices of the hearthstone. She would not pity
herself--she would not pity herself! She knew now that madness lay that

The night was clear and warm, the stars were shining, as she got up and
sat by the window, looking out from behind the curtain, her beautiful
braided hair over one shoulder. The last train came in; the people from
it, in twos and threes, straggled down the street, but not Justin. He
must have missed that last train out. Of course he must have missed it!

We are apt to fancy causeless disaster to those we love; the amount of
"worry" more or less willingly indulged in by uncontrolled minds seems
at times enough to swamp the understanding: yet there is a foreboding,
unsought, unwelcomed, combated, which, once felt, can never be
counterfeited; it carries with it some chill, unfathomed quality of

Lois knew now that she had had this foreboding all day.


"And you haven't heard _anything_ of him yet?"

"Not yet, Mrs. Alexander. I'm sorry--oh, so sorry--to have nothing more
to tell you. But I'm sure we'll hear something before morning."

Bailey Girard spoke with confidence, his eyes bent controllingly on
Lois, who trembled as she stood in the little hallway, looking up at
him, with Dosia behind her. This was the third night since that one when
Justin had failed to appear, and there had been no word from him in the
interim. Owing to that curious way that women have of waiting for events
to happen that will end suspense, rather than seeking to end it by any
unaccustomed action of their own, no inquiry had been made at the
Typometer Company until late in the afternoon of the next day, which had
been passed in the hourly expectation of hearing from Justin or seeing
him walk in. However, nobody at the company knew anything of Justin's
movements, except that he had left the office rather early the afternoon
before, and had been seen to take a car going up-town. It was presumable
that he had been called suddenly out of town, and had sent some word to
Mrs. Alexander that had miscarried.

That evening, however, Lois sent for Leverich, who was evidently
bothered; though bluffly and rather irritatingly making light of her
fears, he seemed to be both a little reluctant and a little

"My dear Mrs. Alexander, you can't expect a fellow to be always tied to
his wife's apron-strings! He doesn't tell you everything. We like to
have a free foot once in a while. Why, my wife's glad when I get off for
a day or two--coaxes me to go away herself! And as for anything
happening to Alexander--well, an able-bodied man can look out for
himself every time; there's nothing in the world to be anxious about.
He's meant to wire to you and forgotten to do it, that's all. I did that
myself last year, when I was called away suddenly; but Myra didn't turn
a hair. She knew I was all right. And if I were you, Mrs.
Alexander,--this is just a tip,--I wouldn't go around telling _every_
one that he's gone off and you don't know where he is. It's the kind of
thing folks get talking about in all kinds of ways; his affairs aren't
in any too good shape, as he may have told you."

"Isn't the business all right?" queried Lois, with a puzzled fear.

"Oh, yes, of course--all right; but--I wouldn't go around wondering
about his being away; he's got his own reasons. You haven't a telephone,
have you? I'll send around word to have one put in to-day. I'll tell you
what: I'll ask Bailey Girard to come around and see you on the
quiet--he's got lots of wires he can pull. You won't need me any more."

Leverich's meeting with Dosia had been characterized by a sort of
brusque uninterest. He seemed to her indefinably lowered and coarsened
in some way; his cheeks sagged; in his eyes was an unpleasant admission
that he must bluster to avoid the detection of some weakness. And Dosia
had lived in his house, eaten at his table, received benefits from him,
caressed him prettily! He had been really kind to her. She ought not to
let that fact be defaced. But everything connected with that time seemed
now to lower her in retrospect, to fill her with a sort of horror. All
his loud rebuttal of anxiety now could not cover an undercurrent of
uneasiness that made the anxiety of the two women tenfold greater when
he was gone.

Mr. Girard had come twice the next morning. Dosia, as well as Lois, had
seen him both times. He had greeted her with matter-of-fact courtesy,
and appealed to her with earnest painstaking, whenever necessary, for
details or confirmation, in their mutual office of helpers to Mrs.
Alexander; but the retrieving warmth and intimacy of his manner the day
he had avoided her in the street was lacking. There was certainly
nothing in Dosia's quietly impersonal attitude to call it forth. Her
face no longer swiftly mirrored each fleeting emotion at all times, for
any one to see. Poor Dosia had learned in a bitter school her woman's
lesson of concealment.

But, if Girard were only sensibly consulting with her, toward Lois his
sympathy was instinct with strength and helpfulness. He seemed to have
affiliations with reporters, with telegraph operators, with a hundred
lower runways of life unknown to other people. He gave the tortured wife
the feeling so dear, so sustaining to one in sorrow, of his being
entirely one with her in its absorption--of there being no other
interest, no other issue in life, but this one of Justin's return. When
Girard came, bright and alert and confident, all fears seemed to be set
at rest; during the few minutes that he stayed all difficulties were
swept away, everything was on the right train, word would arrive from
Justin at once; and when he left, all was black and terrible again.

The children had clung to Dosia in the hours of these strange days when
mama never seemed to hear their questions. Dosia read to them, made
merry for them, and saw to her household, which was dependent on the
services of a new and untrained maid, going back in the interval to put
her young arms around Lois and hold her close with aching pity.

The suspense of these days had changed Lois terribly. Her cheeks were
hollow, her mouth was drawn, her eyes looked twice their natural size,
with the black circles below them. Only the knowledge that her baby's
welfare--perhaps his life--depended on her, kept her from giving way
entirely. Redge, always a complicating child, had an attack of croup,
which necessitated a visit from the doctor and further anxiety. Toward
afternoon of this third day a man came to put in the telephone, which
set them in touch with the unseen world. Girard's voice over it later
had been mistakenly understood to promise an immediate ending of the

Everything was excitement: delicacies were bought, in case Justin might
like them; Redge and Zaidee were hurriedly dressed in their best "to see
dear papa," and, even though they had to go to bed without the desired
result, Redge in a fresh spasm of coughing, it was with the repeated
promise that the father should come up-stairs to kiss them as soon as he
got in.

Expectation had been unwarrantedly raised so high in the suddenly
sanguine heart of Lois that now, to-night, at Girard's word that nothing
more had been heard, as she was still looking up at him everything
turned black before her. She found herself half lying on the little
spindle-legged sofa, without knowing how she got there, her head
pillowed on a green silken cushion, with Dosia fanning her, while Girard
leaned against the little mirrored mantelpiece with set face and
contracted brows. Presently Lois pushed away the fan, made a motion as
if to rise, only to relapse again on the cushion, looked up at Girard,
and tried to smile with piteous, brimming eyes.

"Ah, don't!" he said, with a quick gesture. His voice had an odd sound,
as if drawing breath hurt him, yet with it mingled also a compassionate
tenderness so great that it seemed to inform not only his face but his
whole attitude as he bent over her.

"You're very good to be so sorry for me," she whispered.

He made a swift gesture of protest. "There's one thing I _can't_
stand--to see a woman suffer."

She waited a moment, as if to take in his words, and then motioned him
to the seat beside her. When she spoke again, it was slowly, as if she
were trying to concentrate her mind:

"You have known sorrow?"


"Tell me."

He saw that she wished to forget her own trouble for a moment in that of
another, yet the effort to obey evidently cost him much. They had both
spoken as if they two were alone in the room. Dosia, who had withdrawn
to the ottoman some paces away, out of the radius of the lamp, sat there
in her white cotton frock, leaning a little forward, her hands clasped
loosely in her lap, her face upraised and her eyes looking somewhere
beyond. So still was she, so gentle, so fair, that she might have been a
spirit outside the stormy circle in which these two communed. (In such
moments as these she prayed for Lawson.)

"I"--it was Girard who spoke at last--"my mother--Cater said once that
he'd told you something about me."

"Yes, I remember."

"I was so little when we drifted off. I didn't know how to help, how to
save anything. Yet it has always seemed to me since that I ought to have
known--I ought to have known!" His hands clenched; his voice had
subsided to a groan.

"You were her comfort when you least thought it," said Lois.

"Perhaps. I've always hoped so, in my saner moments. We stumbled along
from day to day, and slept out at night, always trying to keep away from
people, when--she thought we were going home, and that they would
prevent me." He stopped for a moment, and then went on, driven by that
Ancient Mariner spirit which makes people, once they have touched on a
forbidden subject, probe it to its haunting depths. "Did Cater tell you
how she died? She died in a barn. My _mother_! She used to hold me in
her arms at night, and make me rest my head against her bosom when I was
tired; and I didn't even have a pillow for her when she was dying! It's
one of those things you can never make up for--that you can never
change, no matter how you live, no matter what you do. It comes back to
you when you least expect it."

Both were silent for a while before Lois murmured: "But the pain ended
in happiness and peace for her. It would hurt her more than anything to
know that you grieved."

"Yes, I believe that," he acquiesced simply. "I'm glad you said it now.
I couldn't rest until I got money enough to take her out of her pauper
grave and lay her by the side of her own people at home."

"And you have had a pretty hard time."

"Oh, that's nothing!" He squared his shoulders with unconscious rebuttal
of sympathy. "When I was a kid, perhaps--but I get a lot of pleasure out
of life."

"But you must be lonely without any one belonging to you," said Lois,
trying to grope her way into the labyrinth. "Wouldn't you be happier if
you were married?"

He laughed involuntarily and shook his head, with a slight flush that
seemed to come from the embarrassment of some secret thought. The
action, and the change of expression, made him singularly charming.
"Possibly; but the chance of that is small. Women--that is, unmarried
women--don't care for my society."

"Oh, oh!" protested Lois, with quick knowledge, as she looked at him, of
how much the reverse the truth must be. "But if you found the right
woman you might make her care for you."

He shook his head, with a sudden gleam in his gray eyes. "No; there
you're wrong. I'd never make any woman care for me, because I'd never
want to. If she couldn't care for me without my _making_ her--! I'd have
to know, when I first looked at her, that she was _mine_. And if she
were not, if she did not care for me herself, I'd never want to make

"Oh, oh!" protested Lois again, with interested amusement, shattered the
next instant as a fragile glass may be shattered by the blow of a

The telephone-bell had rung, and Girard ran to it, closing the
intervening door behind him. The curtain of anxiety, lifted for
breathing-space for a moment, hung over them again somberly, like a
pall. Where was Justin?

The two women clinging together hung breathlessly on Girard's movements;
his low, murmuring voice told nothing. When he returned to where they
stood, his face was impassive.

"Nothing new; I'm just going to town for a couple of hours, that's all."

"Oh, must you leave us?"

"I'm coming back, if you'll let me." He bent over Lois with that earnest
look which seemed somehow to insure protection. "I want you to let me
stay down-stairs here all night, if you will. I'm going to make
arrangements to get a special message through, no matter what time it
comes, and I'll sit here in the parlor and wait for it, so that you two
ladies can sleep."

"Oh, I'd be so glad to have you here! Redge has that croupy cough again.
But you can't sit up," said Lois.

"Why not? It's luxury to stay awake in a comfortable chair with a lot of
books around. I'll be back in a couple of hours without fail."

A couple of hours! If he had said a couple of years, the words could
have brought, it seemed, no deeper sense of desolation. Hardly had he
gone, however, when the door-bell rang, and word was brought to Lois,
who with Dosia had gone up-stairs, that it was Mr. Harker from the
typometer office. The visitor, a tall, colorless, darkly sack-coated
man, with a jaded necktie, had entered the little drawing-room with a
decorously self-effacing step, and sat now on the edge of his chair, his
body bent forward and his hat still held in one hand, with an effect of
being entirely isolated from social relations and existing here solely
at the behest of business. He rose as Lois came into the room, and
handed her a small packet, in response to her greeting, before reseating

"Thank you very much," said Lois. "This is the money, I suppose. I'm
sorry you went to the trouble of bringing it out yourself. I thought you
might send me out a check."

Mr. Harker shook his head with a grim semblance of a smile. "That's the
trouble, Mrs. Alexander. We can't send any checks. Mr. Alexander is the
one who does that. Everything is in Mr. Alexander's name. I went to Mr.
Leverich to-day to see how we were going to straighten out things; but
he doesn't seem inclined to take hold at all, though he could help us
out easily enough if he wanted to. I--there's no use keeping it back,
Mrs. Alexander. This is a pretty bad time for Mr. Alexander to stay
away. He ought to be home."

"Why, yes," said Lois.

"Exactly. His absence places us all in a very strange, very unpleasant
position." Mr. Harker spoke with a sort of somber monotony, with his
gaze on the ground. "The business requires the most particular
management at the moment--the most particular. I--" He raised his eyes
with such tragic earnestness that Lois realized for the first time that
this manner of his might not be his usual manner, but was called forth
by the stress of anxiety. For the first time also, the force of the
daily tie of business companionship was borne in upon her. She looked at
Mr. Harker. This man spent more waking hours with Justin than she
did--knew him, perhaps, in a sense, better.

He went on now, with a tremor in his voice: "Mrs. Alexander, your
husband and I have worked together for a year and a half now, with never
a word between us. I'm ready to swear by him any moment, if I've got him
to swear by. I'll back him up in anything, no matter what, if it's his
say-so. We've pulled through a good many tight places. But I can't do it
alone; it's madness to try. If he doesn't show up, I'd better close the
place down at once."

"Why do you say this to me?" asked Lois, shrinking a little.

"Why? Because, Mrs. Alexander, this is no time to mince words. If you
know where your husband is, for God's sake, get word to him to come
back--every minute is precious. He may be ill,--Heaven knows he had
enough to make him so; my wife knows the strain I've been through; she
says she wonders I'm alive,--but he can't look after his health now. If
he's on top of ground, he's got to _come_. I've put every cent I own
into this business. I haven't drawn my whole salary, even, for months. I
don't know what reasons he has for staying away, but his nerve mustn't
give out now."

"Mr. Harker!" cried Lois. She turned blankly to Dosia, who had come
forward. "What does he mean?"

"She doesn't know where her husband is," said the girl convincingly. Her
eyes and Mr. Harker's met. The somber eagerness faded out of his; he
sighed and rose.

"Anything I can do for you, Mrs. Alexander? I think I'll hurry to catch
the next train; I haven't been home to my dinner yet."

"Won't you have something here before you go?" asked Lois. "It's so

"Oh, that's nothing. I'm used to it," returned Mr. Harker, with a pale
smile and the passive, self-effacing business manner as he departed,
while Lois went up-stairs once more. The baby cried, and she soothed
him, holding the warm little form close, closer to her--some thing
tangible before she put him down again to step back into this strange
void where Justin was not.

For the first time, in this meeting with Mr. Harker, Lois realized the
existence of a world beyond her ken--a world that had been Justin's. New
as the visitor's words had been, they seemed to open to her a vision of
herculean struggle: the way this man had looked--_his_ wife had
"wondered that he was still alive." And Justin--where was he now? _She_
had not noticed, she had not wondered--until lately.

Slight as seemed her recognition, her sympathy, her help, it was the one
thing now that kept her reason firm. She knew that she had not been all
unfaithful; sometimes he had been rested, sometimes cheered, when she
was near. She had suffered, too; _she_ had longed for _his_ help and
sympathy. No, she would not think of that; she would not. When two are
separated, one must love enough to bridge the gulf--what matter which
one? It seemed now as if there were so much that she might have given,
if all this torrent of love that nearly broke her heart might have been
poured out and poured out at his feet--lavished on him, without regard
to need or fitness or expense, as Mary lavished her precious box of
spikenard on One she loved. Now that he was gone, there could be nothing
too hard to have done for him, no words too sweet for her to have said
to him.

Redge woke up and cried for her, and she told him hoarsely to be still;
and then, suddenly conscience-stricken and fearful at the slighting of
this other demand of love,--what awful reprisal might it not exact from
her?--she went to kiss the child, to infold him in her arms, the boy
that Justin loved, before she bade him go to sleep, for mother would
stay by her darling. And, left to herself again, the grinding and
destroying wheel of thought had her bound to it once more.

He could not have left her of his own will! If he did not come, it would
be because he was dead--and then he could never know, never, never know.
There would be nothing left to her but the place where he had been. She
looked at the walls and the homely furnishings as one seeing them for
the first time bare forever of the beloved presence, and fell on her
knees, and went on them around the room, dragging herself from chair to
sofa, from sofa to bed,--these were the Stations of the Cross that she
was making,--with sobs and cries, low and inarticulate, yet carrying
with them the awful anguish of a heart laid bare before the Almighty.
Here his dear hand had rested, while he thought of her; on this
table--here--and here; and here his head had lain. Her tears ceased; she
buried her face in the pillow. She must go after him, wherever he was,
in this world or another. For he was her husband. Where he was she must
be, either in body or in spirit.

The telephone-bell rang, and Dosia answered it, the voice at the other
end inquiring for Mr. Girard, cautiously, it seemed, withholding
information from any other. The doctor rang up, in response to an
earlier call, with directions for Redge. Hardly had the receiver been
laid down when the door-bell clanged. This was to be a night of the
ringing of bells!


This time, of course, the visitor was Mrs. Snow. In any exigency, any
mind-and body-absorbing event of life, the inopportune presence of Mrs.
Snow was inexorably to be counted on, though it came always as one of
those exasperating recurrences which bring with them a ridiculously
fresh irritation each time. It seemed to be the one extra thing you
couldn't stand. In either trouble or joy, she affected one like a
clinging, ankle-flapping mackintosh on a rainy day. She bowed now to
Dosia with a patronizing dignity, pointed by the plaintive warmth of the
greeting to Lois, who had come hurrying down-stairs out of those
passion-depths of darkness, so that Mrs. Snow wouldn't suspect anything.
She had an uncanny faculty of divining just what you didn't want her to.

Once before Lois had suspended tragedy for Mrs. Snow. The same things
happen to us over and over again daily in our crowded yet restricted
lives--it is we who change in our meeting with them. We have our great
passions, our great joys, our heartbreaks, no matter how small our

"How do you do, my dear? Mr. Girard has just told me that he was going
to stay here to-night, in Mr. Alexander's absence. He said little Redge
was threatened with the croup. Now, if I had only known that Mr.
Alexander was away, _I_ could have come and stayed with you!"

"Oh, that wasn't at all necessary," said Lois hastily. "Thank you very
much. Do sit down, won't you, Mrs. Snow?"

"Only for a minute, then; I must go back to Bertha," said Mrs. Snow,
seating herself and fumbling for something under her cloak. "I just came
over to read you a letter. It's in my bag--I can't seem to find it.
Well, perhaps I'd better rest for a minute." Mrs. Snow's face looked
unusually lined and set; in spite of her plaintiveness, her eyes had a
harassed glitter.

"Isn't it rather late for you to be out alone?" asked Lois.

"Yes; Ada would have come around here with me, but she was expecting Mr.
Sutton. She was expecting him last night, but he didn't come. If _I_
were a young lady, I'd let a gentleman wait for _me_ the next time; it
used to be thought more attractive, in my day: but Ada's so afraid of
not seeming cordial; gentlemen seem to be so sensitive nowadays! I said
to her, 'Ada, when a man is enough at home in a house to kick the cat,
and ask for cake whenever he feels like it, I do _not_ see that it is
necessary to stand on ceremony with him.' But Ada thinks differently."

"It is difficult to make rules," said Lois vaguely.

"Yes," sighed Mrs. Snow. "As I was saying to Bertha, you don't find a
young man like Mr. Girard, so considerate of every one--not that he's so
_very_ young, either; I'm sure he often appears much older than he is.
It's his manner--he has a manner like my dear father. He and Bertha have
long chats together; really, he is what _I_ would call quite attentive,
though she won't hear of such a thing--but sometimes young men _do_ take
a great fancy for older girls. I had a friend who married a gentleman
twenty-seven years younger--he died soon afterward. But many people
think nothing of a little difference of twelve or fifteen years. I said
to Bertha this morning, 'Bertha, if you'd dress yourself a little
younger--if you'd only wear a blue bow in your hair.' But no; I can't
say anything nowadays to my own children without being flown at!" Mrs.
Snow's voice trembled. "If my darling William were here!"

"Have you heard from William lately?" asked Lois, with supreme effort.

"My dear, he's in Chicago. I came over to read you a letter from him
that I got to-night. That new postman left it at the Scovels', by
mistake, and they never sent it over until a little while ago. There was
a sentence in it," Mrs. Snow was fumbling with a paper, "that I thought
you'd like to hear. Where is it? Let me see. 'Next month I hope to be
able to send you more'--no, no, that's not it. 'When my socks get holes
in them I throw them'--that's not it, either. Oh! he says, 'I caught a
glimpse of Mr. Alexander last night, getting on a West Side car'--this
was written yesterday morning. 'I called to him, but too late. I'm
sorry, for I'd like to have seen him,' That's all; but Mr. Girard seemed
so pleased with the letter, I promised that I would bring it around to
you that very minute,--he had to run for the train,--but I was detained.
He thought you'd like to hear that William had seen Mr. Alexander."

Like to hear! The relief for the moment turned Lois faint. Yet, after
Mrs. Snow went, the torturing questions began to repeat themselves
again. Justin was alive--Justin was alive on Tuesday night. Was he alive
now? And why had he gone to Chicago at all? Why had he sent her no word?
The wall between them seemed only the more opaque. Every fear that
imagination could devise seemed to center around this new fact.

She and Dosia went around, straightening up the little drawing-room,
making it ready for Girard's occupancy--pulling out a big chair for his
use, and putting fresh books on the table. The maid had long ago gone to
bed, and there was coffee to be made for him--he might get hungry in the
night. When he came in at last, he brought all the brightness and
courage of hope with him. He had wired to William; he had phoned to a
dozen different places in Chicago.

"Oh, what should we do without you?" breathed Lois, her foot on the

"It doesn't seem to me I've helped you very much so far. Our one clue
has been from Mrs. Snow. I want you to go to bed now, and to sleep, Mrs.
Alexander; take all the rest you can. I'm here to do the watching. If
there's anything really to tell, I'll call you. I promise faithfully.
What is it, Miss Linden? Did you want to speak to me?"

"There was a message for you while you were gone," said Dosia in a low

His eyes assented. "Yes, I know. I went there--to the place that
they--but it wasn't Alexander, I'm glad to say, though I was afraid when
I went in----"

"I know," said Dosia.

Another strange night had begun, with the master of the house away. Lois
went to her room to lie down clothed, jumping up to come to the head of
the stairs whenever the telephone-bell rang, and then going back again
when she found that those who were consulting were asking for
information instead of giving it; but by and by the messages ceased.

Suppose Justin never came back! She began to feel that he had been gone
for years, and tried confusedly to plan out the future. There were the
children--how should she support them? She must support them. It was
hard to get work when you had a baby. If she hadn't the baby--no one
should take the baby from her! She clasped him to her for a moment in
terror, as if she were being hunted, before she grew calm and began
planning again. There was only a little money left. To-morrow they must
still eat. She must make the money last.

Dosia, on the bed by Redge's crib, went softly after a while into the
other room, and saw that Lois at last slept, though she herself could
not. Each time that she saw Girard he seemed more and more a stranger,
so far removed was he from her dream of him. Through all his softness,
his gentleness, she felt the streak of hardness, if nobody else did
(though Mr. Cater, she remembered now, had spoken of it too), that the
fires of adversity had molded. Perhaps no man could have worked up from
the cruel circumstances of his early days without that hardening streak
to uphold him. She divined, with some surprising new power of
divination, that, for all his strong, capable dealing with actualities,
his magnetic drawing of men, for the inner conduct of his own life he
was shyly dependent on odd, deeply held theory--theory that he had
solitarily woven for himself. She felt impersonally sorry for him, as
for a boy who must be disappointed, though he was nothing to her.

Yet, as Dosia lay there in the dumb stretches of the night, her tired
eyes wide open, close to Redge's crib, with his little hot hand clinging
to hers, the mere fact of Girard's bodily presence in the house,
down-stairs, seemed something overpoweringly insistent; she couldn't get
away from it. It gave her, apparently, neither pleasure nor pain; it
called forth no conscious excitement as had been the case with
Lawson--unless this strange, rarefied sense was a higher excitement.
This consciousness of his presence was, tiresomely enough, something not
to be escaped from; it pulsed in every vein, keeping her awake. She
tried to lose it in the thought of Lois' great trouble, of this
weighting, pitiful mystery of Justin's absence--of what it meant to him
and to the household. She tried to lose it in the thought of Lawson,
with the prayer that always instinctively came at his name. Nothing
availed; through everything was that wearing, persistent consciousness
of Girard's bodily presence down-stairs. If it would only fade out, so
that she might sleep, she was so tired! The clock struck two. A voice
spoke from the other room, sending her to her feet instantly:


"Yes, Lois, dearest, I'm here."

"Has any word come from Justin?"


Lois shivered. "I think, when Redge wakes up next, you'd better give him
a drink of water; he sounds so hoarse. I've used all I brought up. Do
you mind going down to get some more? I would go myself, but I can't
slip my arm from under baby; he wakes when I move. Here is the pitcher."

"Yes," said Dosia, stopping for a moment to pull the coverlet tenderly
over Lois, before stepping out into the lighted hall.

It seemed very silent; there was no sound from below. Dosia went down
the low, wide stairs with that indescribable air of the watcher in the
night. Her white cotton gown, the same that she had worn throughout the
afternoon, had lost its freshness, and clung to her figure in twisted
folds; the waist was slightly open at the throat, and the long white
necktie hung half untied. One cheek was warm where it had pressed the
pillow; the other was pale, and her hair, half loosened, hung against
it. Her eyes, very blue, showed a rayed starriness, the pupils
contracted from the sudden light--her expression, tired and half
bewildered, had in it somewhat of the little lost look of a child, up in
the unwonted middle of the night, who might go naturally and comfortably
into any kind arms held out to her. The turn of the stairs brought her
fronting the little drawing-room and the figure of Girard, who sat
leaning forward, smoking, in the Morris chair, with his elbow resting on
the arm of it and his head on his hand. The books and bric-à-brac on the
table beside him had been pushed back to make room for the tray
containing the coffee-pot, a cup and saucer, and a plate with some
biscuits. A newspaper lay on the floor at his feet. Notwithstanding the
light in the hallway and the room, there was that odd atmospheric effect
which belongs only to the late and solitary hours of the night, when the
very furniture itself seems to share in a chill detachment from the life
of the day. Yet, in the midst of this night silence, this withdrawing of
the ordinary vital forces, the figure of Bailey Girard seemed to be
extraordinarily instinct with vitality, even in that second before he
moved; his attitude, his eyes, his expression, were informed with such
intense and eager thoughts that it was as startling, as instantly
arresting, as the blast of a trumpet.

At the sound of Dosia's light oncoming step opposite the door, he rose
at once--however, laying the cigar on the table--and with a quick stride
stood beside her. He seemed tall and unexpectedly dazzling as he
confronted her; his deep-set gray eyes were very brilliant.

"What is the matter? Is Mrs. Alexander ill?"

"No--oh, no; the children have been restless, that is all," said Dosia,
recovering, with annoyed self-possession, from a momentary shock, and
feeling disagreeably conscious of looking tumbled and forlorn. "I came
down to get a pitcher of water."

"Can't I get it in the dining-room for you?" he asked, with formal

"Thank you. The water isn't running in the butler's pantry; I have to go
in the kitchen for it. If you would light the gas there for me----"

"Yes, certainly," he responded promptly, pushing the portières aside to
make a passage for her, as he went ahead to scratch a match and light
the long, one-armed flickering kitchen burner. The bare, deeply shadowed
floor, the kitchen table, the blank windows, and the blackened range, in
which the fire was out, came desolately into view. There was a sense as
of deep darkness of the night outside around everything.

A large white cat lying on a red-striped cushion on a chair by the
chilly hearth stretched itself and blinked its yellow eyes toward the
two intruders.

"Let me fill this," said Girard, taking the pitcher from her--a rather
large, clumsy majolica article with a twisted vine for a handle--and
carrying it over to the faucet. The intimacy of the hour and the scene
emphasized the more the punctilious aloofness of this enforced

Dosia leaned back against the table, while he let the water run, that it
might grow cold. It sounded in the silence as if it were falling on a
drumhead. The moment--it was hardly more--seemed interminable to Dosia.
The white cat, jumping up on the table, put its paws on her shoulders,
and she leaned back very absently, and curved her throat sideways, that
her cheek might touch him in recognition. Some inner thought claimed
her, to the exclusion of the present; her eyes, looking dreamily before
her, took on that expression that was indescribably gentle, intolerably

Dosia has been ill described if it has not been made evident that to
caress, to _touch_ her, seemed the involuntarily natural expression of
any feeling toward her. Something in the bright, tendril-curling hair,
the curve of her young cheek, the curve of her red lips, her light, yet
round form, with its confiding, unconscious movements, made as
inevitable an allure as the soft rosiness of a darling child, with
always the suggestion of that illusive spirit that dared, and retreated,
ever giving, ere it veiled itself, the promise of some lovelier glimpse
to come.

The water had stopped running, and Dosia straightened herself. She
raised her head, to meet his eyes upon her. What was in them? The color
flamed in her face and left her white, although in a second there was
nothing more to see in his but a deep and guarded gentleness as he came
toward her with the pitcher.

"I'll take it now, please," she said hurriedly.

"Won't you let me carry it up for you?"

"Thank you, it isn't necessary. I'll go along, if you'll wait and turn
out the light."

"Very well. You're sure it's not too heavy for you?" he asked anxiously,
as her wrists bent a little with the weight.

"Oh, no, indeed," said Dosia quickly, turning to go. At that moment the
white cat, jumping down from the table in front of her, rubbed itself
against her skirts, and she stumbled slightly.

"Take care!" cried Girard, grasping the shaking pitcher over her slight
hold of it.

Their hands touched--for the first time since the night of disaster, the
night of her trust and his protection. The next instant there was a
crash; the fragments of the jug lay upon the kitchen floor, the water
streaming over it in rivulets.

"Dosia!" called the frightened voice of Lois from above.

"Yes, I'm coming," Dosia called back. "There's nothing the matter!" She
had run from the room without looking up at that figure beside her,
snatching a glass of water automatically from the dining-table as she
passed by it. Fast as her feet might carry her, they could not keep pace
with her beating heart.

When the telephone-bell rang a moment after, it was to confirm the
tidings given before. Justin was in Chicago.





Few branches of sociological investigation have more practical
importance, or present a greater number of problems, difficulties, and
interesting speculative questions, than the branch that deals with the
complex, varied, and often inexplicable phenomena of suicide. When we
consider the fact that more than ten thousand persons take their own
lives in the United States every year, that more than seventy thousand
die annually by their own hands in Europe, and that the suicide rate is
constantly and rapidly increasing throughout the greater part of the
civilized world, we are forced to admit that, from the view-point of
vital economy at least, the subject is one of the utmost gravity. In
1881 the annual suicide rate of the United States was only 12 per
million of the population, and our total number of suicides was only
605; last year our suicide rate had risen to 126 per million, and our
suicides numbered 10,782. If the present rate of increase be maintained,
we shall lose by suicide, in the next five years, nearly as many lives
as were lost by the Union armies in battle in the five years of the
Civil War. We are already losing annually from this cause more men than
were killed on the Union side in the three great battles of Gettysburg,
Spottsylvania, and the Wilderness taken together.

Statisticians have estimated that, in the world as a whole, there is a
suicide every three minutes, and we know, with an approximation to
certainty, that there is a suicide every six minutes and a half in
Europe and the United States alone. Suicide has cost France 274,000
lives since 1871, Germany 158,000 since 1893, and the United States
120,000 since 1890. I need hardly point out the practical importance of
the questions that present themselves in connection with this abnormal
and apparently unnecessary waste of human life. Among such questions
are: Upon what general and world-wide conditions does suicide depend?
Are any of its causes removable? What are the reasons for the steady and
progressive increase of self-destruction in civilized countries? Is
suicide controlled or affected by any natural laws, and, if so, by what
laws? These are all questions of practical importance, because upon the
answers to them depends the possibility of economizing human life and
increasing the sum total of human happiness. But the subject is one of
deep interest, entirely apart from its practical importance.

_Psychological Problems of Suicide_

In some of its aspects, suicide raises psychological questions which
bristle with difficulties, but which, nevertheless, pique the curiosity
and demand explanatory answers. Why, for example, is the rate of suicide
strictly dependent everywhere upon season and weather? Why is the
tendency to self-destruction lessened by war? What is the explanation of
suicide in the face of impending death, when there is still a fair
chance of escape, or when the natural death that is threatened would
involve less suffering than the act of self-destruction? What is the
mental state of the hundreds of persons who kill themselves every year
upon what would seem to be absurdly inadequate provocation--of the man,
for example, who commits suicide because his wife declines to get out
his clean underclothes, or the woman who takes poison because she has
received a comic valentine? In its religious aspect, why is the tendency
to suicide greatest among Protestant Christians and least among
Mohammedans and Jews? In its racial aspect, why is the suicide rate of
Japan eight times that of Portugal, and the rate of American whites
eight or ten times that of full-blooded American blacks? Why do the
Slavs of Bohemia kill themselves at the rate of 158 per million, while
the Slavs of Russia commit suicide at the rate of only 31 per million?
Why do emigrants, going to a new country, carry their national suicide
rates with them, and maintain such rates, with little or no alteration,
long after their environment has completely changed? These questions may
not have great practical importance, but, from the view-point of the
psychologist and the sociologist, they are full of speculative interest.

When we study the phenomena of suicide as they appear in the light of
statistics, we are struck by the fact that among the general and
world-wide conditions that limit or control the suicidal impulse are
weather and war. Other factors, such as education, religion, or economic
status, may seem to be more influential, if observation be limited to a
single nation or a single continent; but if a comprehensive survey be
made of the whole world, weather and war will be seen to take a
prominent place among the few agencies that affect uniformly the
suicidal tendency.

As soon as accurate and trustworthy statistics of self-destruction
became available in Europe, sociologists began to study the question
whether suicide is controlled or regulated in any way by natural laws,
and, if so, whether cosmical causes, such as climate, temperature,
season, and weather, have any perceptible influence upon the suicide
rate. It was soon discovered that the tendency to self-destruction is
greatest in the zone lying between the fiftieth and fifty-fifth
parallels of north latitude. South of forty-three degrees the annual
suicide rate is only 21 per million, and north of fifty-five degrees it
is only 88 per million; but between the parallels of forty-three and
fifty it rises to 93 per million, and between fifty and fifty-five it
reaches its maximum of 172 per million. The suicide belt, therefore,
lies in the north temperate zone, where the climate is most favorable to
human development and happiness. This fact, however, does not prove that
a moderate and equable climate predisposes to suicide. Things may
coexist without being in any way related to each other, and the
frequency of suicide in the north temperate zone may be due wholly to
the fact that the zone in question is the home of the most cultivated
races and the seat of the highest and most complicated civilization. In
this zone the struggle for life is fiercest, the interference with
natural laws is most extensive, and the physical and emotional wear and
tear of the economic contest is most acutely felt. It is more than
probable, therefore, that the high rate of suicide in the north
temperate zone is due to the civilization, rather than to the climate,
of that region. This phase of the subject need not be discussed at
length, because all competent authorities agree that climate, in its
relation to suicide, is not a controlling or determining factor.

A very different state of affairs appears, however, when we bring the
suicide rate into correlation with season and weather. Long ago, before
accurate statistics made a scientific investigation of the subject
possible, there was a widely prevalent popular belief that dark and
dismal months of the year, and gloomy, rainy, or uncomfortable weather,
predisposed mankind to self-destruction, and that the suicide rate was
highest in November or December, and lowest in spring or early summer.

_Spring and Summer the Suicide Seasons_

The French philosopher Montesquieu went so far as to explain the
supposed frequency of suicide in London by connecting it with English
rains and fogs. It was only natural, he argued, that unhappy people
should kill themselves in a country where the autumnal and winter months
were so dark, and where there was so much gloomy, depressing weather.
When, however, investigators began to study the subject in the light of
accurate statistics, when they grouped suicides by months and compared
one month with another, they were surprised to find that the tendency to
suicide was greatest, not in the gloomy and depressing months of
November and December, but in the bright and cheerful month of June. In
1898 Dr. Oscar Geck, of Strasburg, published statistics of about 100,000
suicides that took place in Prussia in the twenty-year period between
1876 and 1896. They showed that, so far at least as Prussia was
concerned, suicides invariably attained their maximum in June and their
minimum in December. There was a constant rise in the suicide curve from
January to the end of June, and a constant decline from June to the end
of the first winter month.

Durkheim, of Paris, and Dr. Gubski, of St. Petersburg, who are among the
most recent investigators of the subject, assert that, so far as the
seasonal distribution of suicides is concerned, the figures for Prussia
hold good throughout Europe. June is everywhere the suicide month, and
December is everywhere the month in which self-destruction is least
frequent. Durkheim gives tabulated statistics for seven of the principal
countries of Europe, which show conclusively that, in point of
predisposing tendency to suicide, the four seasons stand in the
following order: summer first, spring second, autumn third, and winter
last.[17] Even in Russia, which differs most from the rest of Europe in
ethnology and economic status, the seasonal distribution of suicides is
the same. Dr. Gubski's statistics show that of every thousand Russian
suicides, 328 take place in summer, 272 in spring, 215 in autumn, and
185 in winter. If we divide the year into halves, and group the suicides
in semi-annual periods, we find that 600 occur in the pleasant spring
and summer months and only 400 in the gloomy months of winter and fall.

A study of American statistics brings us to almost exactly the same
result. In September, 1895, Dr. Forbes Winslow, of New York, read a
paper before the medico-legal congress which was then in session in that
city upon the subject of "Suicide as a Mental Epidemic." The statistics
which he submitted showed that in the United States, as in Europe,
suicide reaches its maximum in June and falls to its minimum in
December. The average annual number of American suicides in June is 336
and in December 217. If we divide the year into halves and compare the
figures of the semi-annual periods with those of Russia, the
correspondence is almost startling.

Notwithstanding the immense difference between the population of Russia
and that of the United States, in environment, in education, in
religion, in inherited character, in temperament, and in civilization
generally, the mysterious law that controls the seasonal distribution of
suicides operates in America exactly as it operates in the great empire
of the Slavs. In Russia, out of every thousand suicides, the number who
kill themselves in the fall-and-winter half of the year is precisely
400; in America it is 386. In Russia, the proportion per thousand in the
spring-and-summer half of the year is 600; in America it is 614. There
is a slightly greater tendency to spring-and-summer suicide in the
United States than in Russia, but the variation is only a little more
than one per cent., and taking into consideration the great difference
between the oppressed and ignorant peasants of Russia, and the free,
well-educated citizens of our own country, the practical identity of
their seasonal suicide rates seems to me a most extraordinary social and
psychological fact.

This, however, is by no means a complete statement of the problem
involved in the seasonal distribution of suicides. Spring and summer are
the suicide seasons, not only among the closely related nationalities of
Europe and the United States, but among the ethnologically alien peoples
of the Far East. The reports of the Statistical Bureau of Japan show
that between 1899 and 1903 the average annual number of suicides was
8,840. They were distributed through the year as follows: winter 1,711,
spring 2,475, summer 2,703, fall 1,951. If we divide the year into
halves, we find that 59 per cent. of the Japanese suicides occur in the
spring and summer months and only 41 per cent. in the months of fall and
winter. This corresponds almost exactly with the annual distribution of
suicides in the United States, in Russia, and in Europe as a whole. The
seasonal percentages may be shown in tabular form as follows:[18]

                      States      Russia      Europe      Japan
                     per cent.   per cent.   per cent.   per cent.
  Spring and summer    61          60           59         59
  Fall and winter      39          40           41         41

It thus appears that the tendency of mankind to commit suicide in spring
and summer, rather than in fall and winter, is quite as strongly marked
in Japan as it is in Europe and America. Despite all differences of
character and environment, the suicidal impulses of Yankee, muzhik, and
coolie are governed by the same law.

_Suicide Weather_

The evidence above set forth, and much more for which I cannot here find
space, seems conclusively to establish the fact that, throughout the
civilized world, the pleasantest seasons of the year are most conducive
to suicide. The question then arises, Does this rule hold good if
applied to the pleasantest days of the pleasantest seasons? In other
words, is the tendency to suicide greater on clear, dry, and sunny days
in June than on dark, cloudy, and rainy days in June? Professor Edwin G.
Dexter, of the University of Illinois, published in the _Popular Science
Monthly_, in April, 1901, a long and interesting paper entitled "Suicide
and the Weather," in which he gave the result of a comparison between
the police records of 1,962 cases of suicide in the city of New York and
the records of the New York Weather Bureau for all the days on which
these suicides occurred. His comparisons and computations, which seem to
have been made with great thoroughness and care, show not only that the
tendency to suicide is greatest in the spring and summer months, but
that it is most marked on the clearest, sunniest, and pleasantest days
of those months. To state his conclusions in his own words: "The clear,
dry days show the greatest number of suicides, and the wet, partly
cloudy days the least; and with differences too great to be attributed
to accident or chance. In fact, there are thirty-one per cent. more
suicides on dry than on wet days, and twenty-one per cent. more on clear
days than on days that are partly cloudy."

It thus appears that, as a rule, the tendency to suicide, throughout the
civilized world, is greatest in the pleasantest seasons of the year;
that it is everywhere greatest in the pleasantest month of the
pleasantest season; and that in New York City it is greatest on the
clearest and sunniest days of the pleasantest month. From the point of
view of science, therefore, it is perfectly reasonable and absolutely
accurate to say on a beautiful, sunny day in early June, "This is
regular suicide weather."

Now, what is the explanation of this world-wide tendency to
self-destruction in the seasons, months, and days when life would seem
to be best worth living? The cause, whatever it be, can have no
connection with race, religion, history, political status, or
geographical location, because it acts uniformly among peoples as widely
different, in all these respects, as the Russians, the Italians, the
Americans, and the Japanese. It is evidently a cosmic cause, but what is
its nature?

Some investigators have suggested that the suicidal tendency is
dependent on heat; but June is not the hottest month, nor is December
the coldest. Durkheim has tested this conjecture by comparing
temperatures with suicides in France, Italy, and Prussia. He finds that,
in all three of these countries, suicides reach their maximum in June
and their minimum in December, while the temperature does not rise to
its maximum until July and does not fall to its minimum until
January.[19] Moreover, if heat were a predisposing cause of suicide, we
should find the suicide rate of Europeans much higher in the tropics
than it is in the north temperate zone; but such is not the case. Heat,
therefore, as a possible cause, must be eliminated. Other writers,
including Dr. Gubski, have called attention to the very close relation
between suicide and light. It is true that daylight, if measured by
hours, has its minimum in December and its maximum in June, in precise
correspondence with the seasonal rates of suicide; but what about the
equinoctial periods of March and September?

If light be the efficient cause, the tendency to suicide should be as
great at the time of the fall equinox as it is at the time of the spring
equinox; but this is not the case. Two hundred and seventy-two suicides
out of every thousand occur in the vernal equinoctial period and only
two hundred and fifteen in the autumnal equinoctial period, and this
proportion holds good throughout the whole northern hemisphere. Light,
therefore, must also be eliminated.

Morselli suggests that suicide is influenced by the first heat of early
spring and summer, which "seizes upon the organism not yet acclimated
and still under the influence of the cold season." But is there any such
thing as winter debility, and, if so, why should it last until June?
Many physicians, on the other hand, assert that during the period of
early summer the organism, instead of being debilitated, is working at a
high tension, that every function of mind and body is then more active
than at any other period of the year, and, that, consequently, there is
then greater liability to sudden mental and physical collapse. But there
is no evidence to show that suicides, generally, are caused by seasonal
overtension and subsequent collapse.

Goldwin Smith thinks that with the revival of vitality in the spring and
early summer "all feelings and impressions become more lively," those
that impel to suicide among the rest. But if all the feelings "become
more lively," why do not the stimulated sensations of joy and pleasure
on a beautiful day in June overcome, or at least evenly balance, the
stimulated sensations of suffering and unhappiness?

_Influence of Environment on Self-Destruction_

None of these explanations is at all satisfactory, and it seems to me
that the solution of the problem is to be found, not in the mere
physical action of light, heat, or weather on the human body, but in the
influence of the whole environment on the human mind. Sir Arthur Helps
was the first, so far as I know, to suggest that the increased tendency
to suicide in spring and summer is due to a psychological rather than a
physical cause. Speaking, in "Realmah," of the fact that suicides are
more frequent on pleasant days than on unpleasant ones, he says:
"Perhaps it is because, on these beautiful days, the higher powers seem
to be more beneficent; and the wretch overladen with misery thinks that
he can trust more to their mercy."

This explanation is little more satisfactory than the others; but it
does, nevertheless, recognize and take into account the influence of the
environment on a preëxisting emotional state. It errs only in
interpretation. The smiling, happy, joyous aspect of Nature in June does
not inspire the unhappy man with confidence in the beneficence and mercy
of the higher powers. On the contrary, it shows him that the higher
powers pay no attention at all to his feelings and have no sympathy
whatever with his grief. The blue skies, sunshine, leafy trees, and
singing birds, which make up the environment of June, add to the
happiness of the man who is happy already, but they intensify, by
contrast, the misery of the man who is already miserable. In November
and December, when all is dark, bare, and cheerless, Nature seems to be
in sympathy with the unhappy man's mood, and from that voiceless,
pitying sympathy of the great World-Mother he derives a certain
sustaining comfort and consolation. In June his mood is the same, but
the mood of Nature has changed. The great World-Mother no longer
sympathizes with his grief, but laughs him to scorn with her sunshine,
her blossoming flowers, her leafy trees, and her jubilation of mating
birds. He looks about him and thinks: "Everybody is happy, everything is
rejoicing. I am the solitary exception; I am the only living thing that
is out of place." And then there comes upon him a heartbreaking sense of
loneliness, a feeling of complete isolation, as if the great, happy
world had cast him off and gone on its way singing. He has thought of
suicide before--he has thought of it often; and now, when the world, in
its triumphant gladness, ignores his very existence, when there is no
longer sympathy, nor pity, nor any further hope of a share in the
happiness that he sees about him, it seems to him that the time for
self-destruction has come. Whether he be a Russian, an American, or a
Japanese, he can observe and he can feel: and when he sees that the
whole world is jubilant, while he himself is wretched, he becomes more
acutely conscious than ever before of his loneliness and misery, and
resolves to give up the struggle and get out of the way of the world's
laughing, singing, summer-carnival procession. He ends his life; and in
some Russian, American, or Japanese table of statistics his death adds
one more to the suicides in June.[20]

The close relation that exists between suicide and war was first brought
to my attention by the sudden and remarkable decrease of suicide in the
United States in 1898, the year of the war with Spain. Instead of
increasing that year, as it had every previous year for more than a
decade, the number of suicides decreased suddenly from 6,600 to 5,920, a
falling off of 680 cases. Then, when the war in the Philippines followed
the war in Cuba, the number was again reduced by 580 cases. When,
however, in 1900, we began to lose interest in the Philippines and to
think of our own home troubles and trials, the number of suicides rose
suddenly from 5,340 to 7,245, an increase of 1,905 cases in two years.
The decrease in the suicide rate during the war was nearly 16 per cent.,
and the increase after the war about 23 per cent.

_War As a Deterrent to Suicide_

This struck me as a phenomenon interesting enough to warrant
investigation, and I began study of it by looking up the statistics of
suicide in the national capital. It seemed to me that if the decrease in
1898 was due to a general economic cause, it would not be particularly
noticeable in the city of Washington, for the reason that Washington is
not a manufacturing or business center. If, on the other hand, the fall
in the suicide rate was really due to the war as a specific cause, it
would be most marked at the nation's capital, where the war attracted
most attention and created most excitement. I went to the District
Health Office and made an examination of the suicide records for a term
of six years, beginning with 1895 and ending with 1900. I found not only
that the depression in the Washington suicide curve was precisely
synchronous with that of the national suicide curve, but that it was
much deeper, amounting, in fact, to a sudden decrease of fifty per cent.

As suicides are tabulated in the Health Office of the District of
Columbia by months, I was able to ascertain, furthermore, that the
decrease began, not in the first month of the year, but in the spring
months, when the war excitement became epidemic. Normally, the suicide
rate should have risen, from January to June, in accordance with the
seasonal law; but, instead of so doing, it fell rapidly at the very time
when it should have been approaching its maximum. The colored population
of the city, taken separately, was affected in the same way and to an
even greater degree, the number of suicides among the blacks falling off
fifty-six per cent., as compared with fifty per cent. among the whites.
The number of suicides in both races remained low throughout the year
1899, and then rose suddenly in 1900, an almost precise correspondence
with the suicide curve of the nation as a whole.

During our Civil War the suicidal tendency was affected in the same way,
but to a much greater extent. I have not been able to find mortality
statistics of the whole country for the period in question, but in New
York City the average rate of suicide in the five years of the Civil War
was forty-two per cent. lower than the average for the five preceding
years, and forty-three per cent. lower than the average for the five
subsequent years. In the State of Massachusetts, where accurate
statistics were kept, the number of suicides decreased seventeen per
cent. in the five-year period from 1861 to 1865, as compared with the
five-year period from 1856 to 1860.

In Europe the restraining influence of war upon the suicidal impulse is
equally marked. The war between Austria and Italy in 1866 decreased the
suicide rate of each country about fourteen per cent. The Franco-German
war of 1870-71 lowered the suicide rate of Saxony 8.0 per cent., that of
Prussia 11.4 per cent., and that of France 18.7 per cent. The reduction
was greatest in France, because the German invasion of that country made
the war excitement there much more general and intense than it was in
Saxony or Prussia.

An explanation of the decrease of suicide in time of war may be found,
perhaps, in the power that any strong excitement has to change the
current of thought and substitute one emotion for another. Suicide,
among civilized peoples, is largely due to morbid introspection and long
brooding over real or imaginary trouble; and anything that takes a man's
mind away from his own unhappiness, and gives him a keen interest in
things or events about him, weakens his suicidal impulse. An unhappy man
might resolve to end his life, and might load a revolver with the
intention of shooting himself; but if he should happen to see a couple
of his neighbors fighting in his front door-yard, he would probably lay
the revolver aside, for a time, and watch the combat. The cause of his
unhappiness would still remain, but the current of his thought would
suddenly be diverted into a new channel and his despondency would give
way to the excitement of a fresh and vivid interest. War acts upon men
in the same way, but with greater force.

Then, too, war restrains suicide by strengthening the bonds of social
sympathy and drawing large masses of people more closely together. The
unhappy man always thinks of himself as lonely, isolated, and out of
harmony with his environment; but when, as a result of the victories or
defeats of war, he finds himself participating in the triumph or sharing
the grief of thousands of other persons, the mere consciousness of
sympathetic association with his fellow-men becomes a source of comfort
and consolation to him and makes his life more endurable. But war is not
the only agency that exerts a restraining influence upon
self-destruction. Any great calamity which causes intense public
excitement, and which at the same time draws people together in friendly
sympathy and coöperation, lowers the suicide rate. The calamity may
greatly intensify suffering, and may make life, for a time, almost
intolerable; but it does not increase the number of persons who try to
escape from life; on the contrary, it reduces it.

_San Francisco Earthquake Decreased Suicides_

A striking illustration of this fact was furnished by San Francisco in
1906. Before the earthquake and fire of April 18 the suicides in that
city averaged twelve a week. After the earthquake, when the whole
population was homeless, destitute, and exposed to hardships and
privations of every kind, there were only three suicides in two months.
The decrease, therefore, in the suicide rate was more than 97 per cent.
This surprising result of a disheartening and depressing calamity was
due partly to the excitement of life under new and extraordinary
conditions, and partly to the feeling, which every man had, that he was
enduring and working with a host of sympathetic comrades, and not
suffering and striving alone. If life were always vividly interesting,
as it was in San Francisco after the earthquake, and if all men worked
and suffered together as the San Franciscans did for a few weeks,
suicide would not end ten thousand American lives every year, as it does

The dependence of suicide upon such conditions as age, sex, occupation,
and religion does not offer any problem as difficult and baffling as
that involved in the relation of suicide to weather, nor any as curious
and suggestive as that which connects suicide with war; but there is
hardly a phase of the subject that does not present some more or less
interesting question. The researches of Durkheim and Gubski show that,
after the period of childhood, the tendency to suicide increases
steadily with advancing age. In France, for example, if the population
be segregated in groups comprising all persons ten to twenty years of
age, all persons twenty to thirty years of age, all persons thirty to
forty years of age, and so on, by decades, the annual number of suicides
per million rises as follows: first group 56, second group 130, third
155, fourth 204, fifth 217, sixth 274, seventh 317, and the rate finally
reaches its maximum in the group that comprises persons more than eighty
years of age.

In the United States, the rate increases from 128 per million, in the
age group comprising persons under forty-five, to 300 per million in the
age group comprising persons over sixty-five. The figures vary in
different countries, according to the hereditary national suicide
tendencies; but the steady increase with advancing age is common to all.
These statistics would seem to support the pessimistic philosophy of
Schopenhauer, and to prove that the longer one lives the less one wants
to live; but it must not be forgotten that the suicide rate is a measure
of exceptional unhappiness, not of the general welfare.

In the suicidal tendencies of the sexes there is, as might be expected,
a very great difference. In all countries and in all parts of the world,
suicides among women are far less frequent than among men. The ratio
varies from one to two to two to five. This difference is generally
attributed to the supposed fact that women are sheltered and protected
by men, as well as by their domestic environment, and that,
consequently, they suffer less from the wear and tear of life; but I
doubt very much the adequacy of this explanation. The life of women, in
the world at large, is quite as hard as that of men, and often harder.
In the higher and wealthier classes of society women may be, and
doubtless are, sheltered and protected; but in the poorer classes they
take their full share of the suffering, even if they do not bear the
brunt of the struggle.

The hundreds of Russian women who between 1877 and 1885 were exiled to
eastern Siberia for political offenses had no shelter or protection
whatever, and must necessarily have suffered more than the exiled men
from the hardships and privations of banishment; and yet, I am quite
sure that I understate the fact when I say that the number of suicides
among the men was at least five times greater than it was among the
women. The exiled men themselves admitted to me that when it came to the
endurance of suffering against which no fight could be made and from
which there was no escape, the women were greatly their superiors. The
infrequency of self-destruction among women, as compared with that among
men, seems to me to be due, not to their comparative immunity from
suffering, but to three other causes, namely, first, a greater power of
patient, passive endurance, when there is no fight to be made; second, a
mind and heart that are more influenced by feelings and beliefs that may
be called religious; and, third, a peculiar capacity for self-restraint
and self-preservation, based on the maternal instinct, that is, on
closer and more intimate relations with, stronger love for, and greater
devotion to young children.

A study of the relation that suicide bears to occupation discloses some
interesting and noteworthy facts. The first is that soldiers, both in
Europe and in the United States, must be put in a class by themselves,
for the reason that the suicide rate of army officers and men is so much
higher than that of the populations to which they belong that they can
hardly be included in the same category. In Prussia, for example, the
proportion of military suicides to civilian suicides is 1-1/2 to 1; in
England 2-1/2 to 1; in Italy 5 to 1; in Austria 10 to 1; and in Russia
nearly 11 to 1. Even in the United States, the tendency of soldiers to
kill themselves is 8-1/2 times that of adult men in civil life.

This disproportionately high suicide rate in armies is not easy of
explanation. In countries where military service is compulsory, and
where inexperienced young men, torn suddenly from their families, are
subjected to rigorous discipline in a strange and uncongenial
environment, the suicidal impulse may be intensified by homesickness,
loneliness, humiliation, and the monotony of camp or barrack life; but
in our own country, where the army is filled by voluntary enlistment,
and where the relations between officers and men are fairly sympathetic
and cordial, there would seem to be fewer reasons for unhappiness and
suffering than in the military service of Italy, Austria, or Russia. The
American soldier is generally well taken care of and well treated; and
while his life, in time of peace, is not exciting, it is easier and less
monotonous than that of a factory operative, and it is hard to
understand why he should be abnormally disposed to self-destruction. His
suicidal tendency, however, is reduced by war, just as that of the civil
population is, and for the same reasons.

_Professional Classes Furnish Most Suicides_

Statistics of self-destruction are not yet accurate and detailed enough
to enable us to determine the relation that suicide bears to business
employment; but it may be said, in a general way, that the occupations
in which the suicide rate is lowest are those that involve rough manual
labor out of doors and employ men of comparatively little educational
culture, such as miners, quarrymen, shipwrights, fishermen, gardeners,
bricklayers, and masons. Next come farmers, shopkeepers, and town
artisans. And at the head of the list, with the highest suicide rate of
all, are physicians, journalists, teachers, and lawyers. The tendency
of these professional classes to commit suicide is from one and a half
to three times as great as that of the population generally.

Clergymen, however, who also constitute an educated professional class,
have a suicide rate which is only half that of the population as a
whole, and this is undoubtedly due to the restraining influence of
religion, which is much stronger in clergymen than in laymen. The
relation of suicide to religion raises a number of curious and
interesting questions, but, unfortunately, the religious factor is so
involved with other factors in the complicated problem of
self-destruction that it is almost impossible to isolate it so as to
study it alone. For example, the suicide rate of Protestant Christians
in the northern part of Ireland is twice that of Roman Catholics in the
southern part; but here education comes in as a complication: the
Protestants are generally better educated than the Catholics, and their
higher suicide rate may be due to their education and not to the form of
their religion. In Europe generally, the tendency to suicide is much
greater among both Protestants and Catholics than among Jews; but here
education, race, and economic condition all come in as complicating
factors, so that it is impossible to credit the Jewish faith alone with
the lower rate. In view, however, of the fact that the suicide rate of
the Protestant cantons in Switzerland is nearly four times that of the
Catholic cantons, it seems probable that Catholicism, as a form of
religious belief, does restrain the suicidal impulse. The efficient
cause may be the Catholic practice of confessing to priests, which
probably gives much encouragement and consolation to unhappy but devout
believers, and thus induces many of them to struggle on in spite of
misfortune and depression.

The Salvation Army, in attempting to lessen self-destruction by opening
"anti-suicide bureaus" in large cities, and by inviting persons who are
contemplating suicide to visit these bureaus and talk over their
troubles, is virtually introducing a system of confession which, so far
as this particular evil is concerned, resembles that of the Catholic

In view, however, of the conflicting nature of the evidence, and the
extreme difficulty of disentangling religious factors from other
important factors, I doubt the possibility of drawing any trustworthy
conclusions with regard to the dependence of suicide upon religious
belief. It may be said, as a matter of record, that the tendency to
self-destruction is greatest among Protestant Christians, next largest
among Roman Catholics and Orthodox Greeks, and lowest among Mohammedans
and Jews; but the differences are not certainly due to religion.

The dependence of suicide upon nationality and race presents a number of
problems of great interest, but of extraordinary difficulty and
complexity. I can state a few of these problems, but I cannot solve any
of them.

Among the highest suicide rates in Europe are those of Saxony and
Denmark, and among the lowest those of Italy, Portugal, and Spain. You
may perhaps conclude, from this, that the tendency to self-destruction
is much greater among the Slavs and Scandinavians of the north than it
is among the Latin peoples of the south, and that the differences are
due to latitude or race; but your specious generalization is shattered
when you discover that the suicide rates of Norway and Russia, both
northern countries inhabited by Scandinavians and Slavs, are almost as
low as those of Italy, Portugal, and Spain, all southern countries
inhabited by Latins.

From an ethnological point of view, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway are
nearly homogeneous Scandinavian states, and we should therefore expect
their suicide rates to be nearly if not quite identical; but the rate of
Denmark is twice that of Sweden and three times that of Norway.

The Slavs of Bohemia do not differ ethnologically from the Slavs of
Dalmatia, but the suicide rate of the one group is 158 per million,
while that of the other is only 14 per million. Saxony is not far away,
geographically, from Belgium; but the suicide rate of the former is 324
per million, while that of the latter is only 128 per million.

I am unable to offer even a conjectural solution of the problems
involved in the differences thus shown to exist between populations that
are ethnologically identical, or that stand at nearly the same level of
educational culture and economic well being.

_Germany's High Suicide Rates_

The extremely high suicide rate of the Germanic peoples long ago
attracted the attention of European sociologists, but, so far as I know,
it has never been satisfactorily explained. If it were limited to adults
it might possibly be attributed to economic causes, particularly to the
rapid development of manufacturing industry, which seems everywhere to
increase the suicidal tendency; but self-destruction in Germany is
almost as common among children as among grown people. Between 1883 and
1903 there were 1,125 suicides among the pupils of the public schools
in Prussia alone, and most of them were of boys and girls under fifteen
years of age. An investigation made by the ministry of public
instruction showed that this prevalence of suicide among children was
not due to the conditions of modern life in cities, inasmuch as the
proportion of cases was fully as large in places of the smallest size as
in crowded centers of population. It seemed to be due, rather, to an
inherent suicidal tendency in the race.

Racial characteristics, however, do not by any means account for the
extraordinary differences in suicide rates that we find among the
European peoples, as shown in the following table:[21]




  In Dalmatia (about 1896)       14
     European Russia (1900)      31
     Bulgaria (about 1900)      118


  In Norway (1901-'05)           65
     Sweden (1900-'04)          142
     Denmark (1901-'05)         227


  In Spain (1893)                21
     Portugal (1906)             23
     Italy (1901-'05)            64
     France (1900-'04)          227


  In Austria (1902)             173
     Prussia (1902-'06)         201
     Saxony (1902-06)           324
     Bavaria (1902-'06)         141


  In Ireland (1906)              34
     Scotland (1905)             65
     England and Wales (1906)   100
     Australasia (1903)         121
     United States (1907)       126


  In Japan (1905)               209

It is difficult to assign definite or satisfactory reasons for the wide
differences shown in the above table. Skelton has suggested that the low
suicide rates of certain countries are due to emigration, "which
provides an outlet for a great deal of misery and constitutes a hopeful
alternative to suicide"; but this conjecture, although ingenious, is
hardly supported by the facts. It might perhaps explain the low suicide
rates of Italy and Ireland, but it does not account for the equally low
suicide rate of the Russian peasants, who emigrate hardly at all, nor
for the extremely high suicide rate of the Germans, who emigrate in
large numbers. Neither does it throw any light upon the persistence of
national suicide rates long after emigration. The generalization that
seems to harmonize and explain the greatest number of facts is that
suicide is most prevalent in countries where education goes hand in hand
with highly developed manufacturing industry. In Spain, Portugal, Italy,
and Russia the people have little education, manufacturing industries
are feebly developed, and the suicide rate is low. In Saxony the
percentage of illiteracy is very small, more than half of the population
work in factories, and the suicide rate is the highest in Europe. I do
not dare to assert that even this rude generalization is warranted by
the facts; but, if it were sustained, it would seem to show that suicide
is a by-product of the great, complicated machine that we call modern

Whatever may be the reasons for differences in national suicide rates,
and whatever may be the causes that have produced them, there is little
doubt, I think, that the rates themselves are true manifestations of
national character, and that they are as permanent as the character of
which they are an outcome. When, therefore, a people migrates from one
place to another, it takes both its character and its suicide rate to
the new location. This is clearly apparent in the vital statistics of
immigrants who come from various parts of Europe to the United States.
Such immigrants, as a rule, prosper here and become happier here, but
the increased prosperity and happiness do not greatly affect the
suicidal tendencies that they had when they were poor and wretched in
their original homes. Even their descendants, born in America, keep
substantially unchanged the suicide rates that they have inherited, with
their character, from their European ancestors. The Germans who came
here forty or fifty years ago brought a high suicide rate with them, and
their descendants maintain it. The Irish, on the contrary, brought a low
suicide rate to this country, and their children have it still. In the
following table will be found the suicide rates of a few nationalities
in Europe and of their descendants in the United States.[22]



  Native Americans                  68
  Hungarians            114        118
  Germans               213        193
  French                228        220
  English               100        104

In an address delivered before the Anthropological Society of
Washington, D. C., on October 19, 1880, Mr. M. B. W. Hough said: "As
long as the features of the ancestor are repeated in his descendants, so
long will the traits of his character reappear. Language may change,
customs be left behind, races may migrate from place to place and
subsist on whatever the country they occupy affords; but their
fundamental characteristics will survive, because they are comparatively
uninfluenced by the mere accidents of nutrition." This statement is as
true of suicide as it is of other manifestations of national character.

_Odd Methods Employed by Suicides_

Nothing is more surprising in the records of suicide than the
extraordinary variety and novelty of the methods to which man has
resorted in his efforts to escape from the sufferings and misfortunes of
life. One would naturally suppose that a person who had made up his mind
to commit suicide would do so in the easiest, most convenient, and least
painful way; but the literature of the subject proves conclusively that
hundreds of suicides, every year, take their lives in the most
difficult, agonizing, and extraordinary ways; and that there is hardly a
possible or conceivable method of self-destruction that has not been
tried. When I clipped from a newspaper my first case of self-cremation
with kerosene and a match, I regarded it as rather a remarkable and
unusual method of taking life; but I soon discovered that self-cremation
is comparatively common. When I learned that Mary Reinhardt, of New
York, had sung "Rock of Ages" and had then killed herself by inhaling
gas in a barrel stuffed with pillows, I thought it a curious and
noteworthy case; but when I compared it with suicides that came to my
knowledge later, it seemed quite simple and natural. I have
well-authenticated cases in which men or women have committed suicide by
hanging themselves, or taking poison, in the tops of high trees; by
throwing themselves upon swiftly revolving circular saws; by exploding
dynamite in their mouths; by thrusting red-hot pokers down their
throats; by hugging red-hot stoves; by stripping themselves naked and
allowing themselves to freeze to death on winter snow-drifts out of
doors, or on piles of ice in refrigerator-cars; by lacerating their
throats on barbed-wire fences; by drowning themselves head downward in
barrels; by suffocating themselves head downward in chimneys; by diving
into white-hot coke-ovens; by throwing themselves into craters of
volcanoes; by shooting themselves with ingenious combinations of a rifle
with a sewing-machine; by strangling themselves with their hair; by
swallowing poisonous spiders; by piercing their hearts with corkscrews
and darning-needles; by cutting their throats with hand-saws and
sheep-shears; by hanging themselves with grape vines; by swallowing
strips of under-clothing and buckles of suspenders; by forcing teams of
horses to tear their heads off; by drowning themselves in vats of soft
soap; by plunging into retorts of molten glass; by jumping into
slaughter-house tanks of blood; by decapitation with home-made
guillotines; and by self-crucifixion.

Of course, persons who resort to such methods as these are, in most
cases, mentally unsound. A man who shoots, hangs, poisons, or drowns
himself may be sane; but the man who crucifies himself, buries himself
alive, cuts his throat on a barbed-wire fence, or climbs into the top of
a tree to take poison, is evidently on the border-line of insanity, even
if he be not a recognized lunatic.

The most prevalent methods of suicide in Europe are, first, hanging,
second, drowning. In the United States they are, first, poisoning,
second, shooting. About three fourths of all the persons who commit
suicide in the United States use pistol or poison. The difference
between European and American methods is probably due to the fact that
on the other side of the Atlantic drugs and fire-arms are not so easily
obtainable as they are here, and Europeans therefore resort to water and
the rope as the best and surest means accessible. Police restrictions
and regulations make it almost impossible for a Russian peasant to get
either poison or a pistol; but all the police in the empire cannot
prevent him from drowning himself in a pond, or hanging himself in his
own barn.

A careful comparison of all the facts accessible seems to show that in
Europe, at least, suicide bears a certain definite relation to education
and manufactures; and that, as I have already said, it is a by-product
of the great, complicated world-machine that we call modern
civilization. Its specific causes, so far as they can be ascertained,
are, on the educational side, the development of increased nervous and
psychic sensibility, which makes men feel more acutely all wants,
deprivations, misfortunes, and sufferings; and, on the manufacturing
side, a monotony of employment which wearies and exhausts the body while
it gives little exercise to the educated mind and leaves the latter free
to brood over its unsatisfied longings and desires, as well as its many
trials and disappointments. There are other causes, such as the growing
disproportion between wants generally and the means of gratification
generally; alcoholism; unhealthful work, especially in manufacturing
districts; barrack and tenement-house life; and all the evils incident
to poverty, overcrowding, and bad sanitary conditions in cities. So far
as I can see, these causes, at present, are not removable. Education
must continue to intensify sensibility and increase the number of men's
wants, and the great economic machine must grind on, even though it
crush thousands of human beings, every year, in the cogs of its
innumerable wheels. A high suicide rate is part of the price that we pay
for the educational and material achievements upon which we pride
ourselves. We have greatly multiplied the means of human happiness, but
whether, on the whole, we have increased the sum total of human
happiness is perhaps an open question. In any event, the high and
rapidly increasing suicide rate shows that we are pushing the weaklings
to the wall.

The question of what can be done to lessen the suicide tendency and
check this great waste of human power and energy brings me to the only
important cause of self-destruction which seems to me removable, and
that is newspaper publicity. No argument is needed to prove that man is
essentially an imitative animal. In dress, in behavior, in speech, in
modes of thought, and in social conventions, we are all prone to do what
we see others do; and when unhappy men and women learn, from the
newspapers, that scores of other unhappy people are daily escaping from
their troubles through the always open door of suicide, when familiarity
with the idea of self-destruction deprives the act of all its natural
terror, it is not at all surprising that they yield to what seems to be
the general current of their social environment. I have, in my own
collection of material, a surprisingly large number of cases in which
the suicidal act may be traced directly to newspaper publicity and
imitation; but I must limit myself to a single striking
illustration--the suicidal epidemic in Emporia, Kansas, in the summer of
1901. As a result, apparently, of the publication of the details of two
or three suicides of people prominent in that little Kansas town, there
broke out an epidemic of self-destruction which culminated in the
sunny, flowery month of June, and which carried the annual suicide rate
from about 90 per million to 1,665 per million--a rate five times
greater than that of Saxony. Mr. Morse, the mayor of the city, consulted
the Board of Health, and decided to stop the publication of the details
of suicides in the local papers, even if it should require the
employment of force. He issued a proclamation, on the 16th of June, in
which he said: "I have consulted the Board of Health, and if the Emporia
papers do not comply with my request, I shall have a right to stop, and
I will stop summarily, the publication of these suicide details, under
the law providing for the suppression of epidemics. There is clearly an
epidemic in this city, and although it is mental, it is none the less
deadly. Its contagion may be clearly shown to come from what is known in
medicine as the psychic suggestion, found in the publication of the
details of suicides. If the paper on which the local journals are
printed had been kept in a place infected with small-pox, I could demand
that the journals stop using that paper, or stop publication. If they
spread another contagion--the contagious suggestion of suicide--I
believe the liberty of the press is not to be considered before the
public welfare, and that the courts would sustain me in using force to
prevent the publication of newspapers containing matter clearly
deleterious to the public health."

I believe that the reasoning of Mayor Morse is perfectly sound, and that
the position taken by him is absolutely impregnable. The prevention of
the publication of suicides in the newspapers of a State would require a
special legislative act, but it would probably do more to lessen the
suicidal tendency than any other single measure that could be taken. In
the winter of 1902, Representative Jenkins introduced in the National
House of Representatives a bill making periodicals containing details of
suicides unmailable; but I think it was never reported from committee.

_The Emotional Temperament as a Cause_

There is one other way in which the suicide rate may possibly be
lowered, or at least held in check, and that is through the cultivation
of what may be called the heroic spirit. We are becoming too emotional
and sentimental, and too much inclined to regard weakness with sympathy,
instead of with the contempt that it generally deserves. In the language
of the prize ring, the pugilist who lies down while he can yet stand and
see is called a "quitter." It would be harsh and unjust to apply to all
suicides this opprobrious name; but there can be little doubt, I think,
that the majority of them are weaklings who give up and lie down while
they still have a fighting chance.

Readers of shipping news may still remember the wreck of a German
kerosene steamer on the wildest, most precipitous part of the coast of
Newfoundland, in February, 1901. The steamer took fire during a heavy
winter gale, and the captain ran her ashore, at the nearest point of
land, with the hope of saving the lives of the crew. She struck on a
submerged reef in a little cove, about an eighth of a mile from a coast
which was three or four hundred feet high and as precipitous as a wall.
When she was first seen by a few fishermen at daylight, her boats were
gone, and all of her crew had apparently perished except three men. Two
were standing on the bridge, and one was lashed aloft in the
fore-rigging. About ten o'clock in the forenoon a tremendous sea carried
away the bridge and the two men on it, and they were seen no more. At
three o'clock in the afternoon the solitary survivor,--the man in the
fore-rigging,--who was evidently suffering intensely from hunger and
cold, unlashed himself, threshed his arms against his body for five
minutes to restore the circulation in them, and then took off his coat,
waved his hand to the fishermen on top of the cliff, climbed down the
shrouds, and plunged into the sea--but not to commit suicide. He swam to
the shore, made three attempts in different places to get a footing
among the rocks at the base of the cliff, but was swept away every time
by the surf, and finally abandoned the attempt as hopeless. At that
crisis in the struggle ninety-nine men out of a hundred would have given
up and allowed themselves to drown; but this man was not a "quitter." He
turned his face again seaward, struck out for the half-submerged ship,
and after a long and desperate struggle succeeded in reaching her and
getting on board. He climbed the fore-shrouds, waved his hand to the
pitying but powerless fishermen on the edge of the cliff, and lashed
himself again in the rigging. At intervals, until dark, he made signals
to the fishermen to show that he was yet alive. At daybreak on the
following morning he could still be seen in the fore-rigging, but his
head had fallen on his breast and he was motionless. He had frozen to
death in the night. That man died, as a man in adverse circumstances
ought to die, fighting to the last. You may call it foolish, and say
that he might better have ended his sufferings by allowing himself to
drown when he found that he could not make a landing at the base of the
cliff; but deep down in your hearts you pay secret homage to his
courage, his endurance, and his indomitable will. He was defeated at
last, but, so long as he had consciousness, neither fire nor cold nor
tempest could break down his manhood.

The Caucasian mountaineers have a proverb which says: "Heroism is
endurance for one moment more." That proverb recognizes the fact that in
this world the human spirit, with its dominating force, the will, may be
and ought to be superior to all bodily sensations and all accidents of
environment. We should not only feel, but we should teach, by our
conversation and by our literature, that, in the struggle of life, it is
essentially a noble thing and a heroic thing to die fighting. In a
recent psychological story called "My Friend Will," Charles F. Lummis
pays a striking tribute to the power of the human mind over the
accidents of life and chance when he makes his "friend Will" say: "I am
bigger than anything that can happen to me. All these things--sorrow,
misfortune, and suffering--are outside my door. I'm in the house and
I've got the key!"



  A crimson fire that vanquishes the stars;
  A pungent odor from the dusty sage;
  A sudden stirring of the huddled herds;
  A breaking of the distant table-lands
  Through purple mists ascending, and the flare
  Of water ditches silver in the light;
  A swift, bright lance hurled low across the world;
  A sudden sickness for the hills of home.

  --_From April Twilights._




Mrs. Cregan wept, and her tears were ludicrous. She was as fat as a
Falstaff. Her features were as ill-suited for the expression of grief as
a circus clown's. She had not even a channel in her plump cheeks to
drain the tears from the corners of her eyes; and the slow drops, large
and unctuous, trickled down her round jowl and soaked into her
bonnet-strings, leaving her cheeks as fresh and as ruddy in the sunlight
as if they had been merely wet with perspiration. Her eyes stared,
unpuckered, apparently unconscious that they wept. Her mouth was tight
in an expression of resentful determination. Only her little round chin
trembled--like a child's.

And yet Mrs. Cregan was as nearly heart-broken as she had ever been in
her life. She was leaving her husband; what was more grievous to her,
she was leaving her home; she was on the streets of New York, with her
small savings in her greasy purse--clasped tightly in her two hands
under her "Sunday cape," that was trimmed with fringe and tassels in a
way to remind you of a lambrequin. She did not know where to go. There
was no one to whom she could turn for aid, and she would not go to any
one for pity. Behind her was the wreck of a breakfast table--the visible
symbol of her ruined home--with a cursing Irishman, whom nobody could
live with any longer, shouting, "_Your_ house, is it? I'll show yeh
whose house it is! I'll show yeh! I'll break ev'ry danged thing in the
place!" Before her were the crooked byways of what had once been
"Greenwich village," as quiet as a desert, and as indifferent, in the
early morning radiance, with shuttered windows and closed doors.

The domestic peace of those old streets made her own homelessness the
more pitiful to her. She felt as she had felt once before--years
before--in her childhood, when she had set sail with her parents for
America. It had been a cold day; and the mists had steamed up horridly
from the water, with a desolate, wet sea-odor; and the memory of the
sunlight on green fields and the warm perfume of the land had been like
a longing for health and daylight to the darkness of a death-bed. The
future had threatened her with the terrors of an unknown world. The
past--despite its poverty and starvation--had been as dear as life. She
had suffered all those pangs of dissolution that assail the home-loving
Irish when they have to leave what association has made dear to them;
for, with the Irish, familiarity does not breed contempt but affection.

She suffered these same miseries now. She saw her home through tears of
regret, though unhappiness had driven her from it. And her lips were set
in a determination never to return to Cregan, though her chin trembled
with pity of herself in the determination.

Some distance behind her came a smaller woman, as shrunken, as withered,
and as yellow as an old leaf. Even her shoes seemed to have dried and
shriveled, curling up at the toes. And she fluttered along in the light
morning breeze, holding back against it, on her heels, with an odd
effect of being carried forward faster than she wished to go.

She was Mrs. Byrne, from the floor below Mrs. Cregan's flat, and she had
been starting out on a secret errand of her own when she heard the
quarrel overhead and stopped to hear the end of it. There was something
guilty in her manner, and she was evidently struggling between her
desire to reach the next street unseen by Mrs. Cregan and her desire to
know what had happened in the Cregan flat. Her curiosity proved the

She let the wind blow her alongside her friend's portly despair. She
said, in the hoarse whisper that was all she had left of her voice: "Is
it yerself, Missus Cregan? Yuh're off to choorch early this mornin'."

Mrs. Cregan looked around, blinking to clear her eyes. "Choorch?" she
said, on the plaintiveness of a high note that broke in her throat.

"Yuh're cryin', woman!". Her look of craftiness had changed at once to
one of startled distress. "Come back out o' this with yuh." She caught
Mrs. Cregan's arm. "It's no thing to be doin' on the street! Come back,
now. Where're yuh goin'?"

Mrs. Cregan marched stolidly ahead and carried her neighbor with her.
"I've quit 'm."

"Quit who?"

"Himsilf.... Dinny."

Mrs. Byrne expressed her emotion and showed her tact by silently
compressing her lips.

"I've quit 'im, fer good an' all." She stroked a tear down her cheek
with a thick forefinger. "I'll niver go back. Niver!"

"Come away with yuh, Mary Cregan," Mrs. Byrne cried, in her breathy
huskiness. "At _your_ age! Faith, yuh're as flighty as one o' them girls
with the pink silk petticoats. He's yer husban', ain't he? D'yuh think
yuh were married over the broomstick? Come an' behave yerself like a
decent woman. What'd Father Dumphy say to _this_, think yuh?"

"He's a man. I know what he'd say. He'd tell me to go back to Cregan.
I'll niver go back. Niver!"

"Yuh won't! What'll yuh do, then? Where'll yuh go to?"

"I'll niver go back. Niver! He's broke me best chiny--an' kicked the leg
off the chair--an' overtoorned the table--an' ordered me out o' the
little bit o' home I been all these years puttin' together. The teapot
th' ol' man brought from Ireland--the very teapot--smashed to
smithereens! An' the little white dishes with the gilt trimmin's I had
to me weddin' day, Mrs. Byrne! There was the poor things all broke to
bits!" She stopped to point at the sidewalk, as if the wreckage lay
there before her. "All me little bit o' chiny. All of it. All of it,
Mrs. Byrne. Ev'ry bit! Boorsted!"

Her tears choked her. She could not express the piercing irreparability
of the injury. It would not have been so bad if he had beaten her; a
hurt will heal. But the innocent, wee cups--and the fat old brown
teapot--and the sweet little chair with its pretty legs, carved and
turned so daintily! She had washed them and wiped them, and dusted and
polished them, and been so careful of them and felt so proud of them,
for twenty years past. And, now, there they were lying, all in
bits--past mending--gone forever. And they so pretty and so harmless.

The crash as they fell on the floor had sounded in her ears like the
scream of a child murdered.

She started forward again, determinedly. "I'll niver go back to 'm. He
can have his house to himsilf.... What do I care for Father Dumphy? He
wants nothin' but the dime I leaves at the choorch doore, an' the dime I
drops on the plate! Whin me poorse's impty, he'll not bother his head
about me!"

"Shame _on_ yuh!" Mrs. Byrne wheezed, with her eye on the house she was
passing. "Yuh talk no better than a Prod'stunt."

"An' if I _was_ a Prod'stint," she cried, "I'd not have to pay money
iv'ry time I wanted to hear mass. I'd not be out on the street here, not
knowin' where I'm goin' to, ner how I'm to live. It's _thim_ that knows
how to take care o' their own--givin' the women worrk, an' takin' the
childer off to the farrms, an' all the like o' that. You Dogans----"

Mrs. Byrne glanced about her fearfully, "Stop yer talk, now. Stop yer
talk. Stop it before someone hears yuh makin' a big fool o' yerself."

"I'll not stop it. What do I care who hears me? I'm goin' off from here
fer good an' all. 'Twill know me no more. 'Twill not. I'm done with it
all. I'm done with it." She held out her purse. "I've got me bit o'
money. I'll hire me a little room up-town. I'm done with _him_ an'
Father Dumphy an' the whole dang lot o' yuz. Slavin' an' savin' fer
nothin' at all. I'll worrk fer mesilf now, an' none other. Neither
Cregan ner the choorch ner no one ilse 'll get a penny's good o' me no
more. I got no one in the wide worrld but mesilf to look to, an' I'll go
it alone."

Mrs. Byrne was a little woman of a somewhat sinister aspect, her dull
eyes very deep in their wrinkles, her nose pushed aside out of the
perpendicular, her long lips stretched tightly over protruding teeth.
She was as curious as an old monkey; but it was not only her curiosity
that made her the busiest gossip and the most charitable "good soul" in
the street; she had her share of human kindness, and if she was as
crafty as a hypocrite, it was because she enjoyed handling men and
women, like a politician.

Seeing that Mrs. Cregan was beyond the reach of shame or the appeal of
the priest, she said: "Well, I don't blame yuh, woman. Cregan's a
fool--like all the rest o' the men. An' yerself such a good manager.
Well, well! Yer rooms was that purty 't 'ud make yuh wistful. Where will
yuh be goin'?"

"I dunno."

"Have yuh had yer breakfast?"

Mrs. Cregan shook her head.

"Come back, then, an' have a bite with me."

"Niver! I'll niver go back."

Mrs. Byrne hitched up her shawl. "Come along then to the da-ary
restr'unt. There's no one home to miss me. Ill take a bit o' holiday,
this mornin', meself. I've been wantin' to taste one o' those batter
cakes they make in the restr'unt windahs, this long enough."

"Yuh've ate yer breakfast."

"I have not" Mrs. Byrne replied. "I was off to the grocer to buy some
sugar when yuh stopped me."

It was a lie. She had, in fact; started out, secretly, on a guilty
errand which she should not acknowledge.

"It's a lonely meal I'd 've been havin'," she said, "with Byrne down at
the boiler house an' the boy off on his run."

Mrs. Cregan did not reply, and they came to Sixth Avenue without more
words. They paused before a dairy restaurant that advertised its
"Surpassing Coffee" in white-enamel letters on its shop-front windows.
Mrs. Cregan's hunger drew her in, but slowly; and Mrs. Byrne followed,
coughing to conceal her embarrassment.



It was the first time that Mrs. Byrne had ever sat down in any public
restaurant, except the eating-halls at Coney Island (where she went with
"basket parties") or the ice-cream "parlors" at Fort George. And she
glanced about her at tiled walls and mosaic floors with a furtiveness
that was none the less critical for being so sly. "It's eatin' in a
bathroom we are," she whispered. "An' will yuh look at the cup yonder.
The sides of it are that thick there's scarce room fer the coffee in it!
Well, well! It do beat the Dutch! They're drawin' the drink out of a
boiler big enough fer wash day." The approach of a waitress silenced
her. When she saw that Mrs. Cregan was not going to speak, she looked up
at the girl with a bargain-counter keenness. "Have y' any pancakes fit
t' eat? How much are they? Ten cents! Fer how many? Fer three pancakes?
Fer three! D'yuh hear that?" she appealed to Mrs. Cregan. "Come home
with me, that's a good woman. It's a sin to pay it. Three cents fer a
pancake! Aw, come along out o' this. Ten cents! We c'u'd get two loaves
o' bread fer the money an' live on it fer a week!"

But Mrs. Cregan was beyond the reach of practicalities, and she ordered
her buckwheat cakes and coffee with an air that was mournfully distrait.
Mrs. Byrne made a vain attempt to get her own cakes from the waitress
for five cents, and then resigned herself to the senseless extravagance.
"Yuh'll not make yer own livin' an' eat the likes o' this," she
grumbled asthmatically. "Yuh'd better be savin' yer money."

Mrs. Cregan was looking at the thick china with a sort of aggrieved
despondence. (It was almost the expression of a bereaved mother looking
at one of her neighbor's children and thinking it a healthy, ugly brat
whom nobody would have missed!) She stared at the bare walls and the
bare tables of the restaurant, and found the place, by comparison with
her own cozy flat, as unhome-like as the waiting-room of a railroad
station--the waiting-room of a railroad station when you have said
good-bye to your past and the train has not yet arrived to carry you to
your future.

As her pancakes were served to her, she bent over the plate to hide a
tear that trickled down her nose. It splashed on the piece of food that
she raised to her mouth. She ate it--tear and all.

"An' them no bigger than the top of a tomato can!" Mrs. Byrne was

Mrs. Cregan ate, and the food helped, to stop her tears. It was the
strong coffee, at last, that brought her back her voice. "If it'd b'en
_him_, he'd 'a' gone an' got drunk," she said, wiping her cheeks with
her napkin. "The men have the best of it. Us women have to take it all
starin' sober."

"They're no more than children," Mrs. Byrne replied, "an' they're to be
treated as such. Sure, Cregan couldn't live without yuh. He'd have no
buttons to his pants in a week."

"An' him!" Mrs. Cregan cried. "Iver, since the Raypublicuns got licked,
there's be'n no gettin' on with him at all. Thim Sunday papers 've
toorned his head. He's all blather about his rights an' his wrongs. Th'
other moornin' didn't I try to get on his bus from the wrong side o' the
crossin', an' he bawls at me: 'Th' other side! Th' other side! Yuh're no
better than any one ilse!' An' I had to chase through the mud after him!
The little wizened runt! He's talkin' like an arnachist! An' that's why
he smashed me dish. He'll have no one say 'No' to 'im.... Ah, Mrs.
Byrne, niver marry a man older than yersilf."

"Thank yuh," Mrs. Byrne replied with hoarse sarcasm. "I'm not likely to,
at my age." She added, consolingly: "Cregan's young fer his years.
Drivin' a Fift' Avenah bus is fine, preservin', outdoor work."

"It is _that!_" And Mrs. Cregan's tone remarked that the fact was the
more to be deplored. "He'll be crankier an' crabbeder the older he
grows." She dipped to her coffee and swallowed hard.

Mrs. Byrne had screwed up her eyes to squint at an idea that could not
well be looked in the face. When she spoke it was to say slyly: "God
forbid! But they do go off sometimes in a puff. He looks as if he'd live
fer long enough, thank Heaven. But yuh never can tell."


Mrs. Cregan blinked, held her hand for a moment, and then began hastily
to fill her mouth with food. The silence that ensued was long enough to
take on an appearance of guilt.

It was long enough, too, for Mrs. Byrne to "contrive a procedure."

"Yuh never can tell," she began, "unless yuh have doin's with the
devil--like them gipsies that see what's comin' by lookin' in the flat
o' yer hand. There's one o' them aroun' the corner, an' they say she
told Minnie Doyle the name o' the man she was to marry. An' he married
her, at that!" Mrs. Cregan looked blank. Mrs. Byrne leaned forward to
her. "I never whispered it to a livin' soul but yerself--but it was her
told Mrs. Gunn that her last was to be a boy. A good month ahead! An'
when she saw it was true she had no peace o' mind till she heard the
priest say the words over the poor child an' saw that the sprinkle o'
holy water didn't bubble off him like yuh'd sprinkled it on a hot
stove." Mrs. Cregan's vacant regard had slowly gathered a gleam of
startled intelligence. "An' if I was yerself, Mrs. Cregan--not knowin'
where I was to go to, ner how I was to live--I'd go an' have a talk with
her before I went further, d'yuh see?"

"God forbid! 'Tis a mortal sin."

"'Tis not. When I told Father Dumphy what I'd done, he called me an ol'
fool an' gave me an extry litany fer penance. What's a litany!"

"I'd be scared o' me life!"

"Yuh w'd not. Come along with me. I was goin'. I got troubles o' me own.
Never mind that. There's nothin' to be scared of. Nothin' at all. No
one'll see us. I been there meself, many's the time, an' no one knows


Mrs. Byrne entered the "reception rooms" of Madame Wampa, "clairvoyant,
palmist, and card-reader," with the propitiatory smile of the woman who
knows she is doing wrong but is prepared to argue that there is "no
great harm into it." She was followed by Mrs. Cregan, as guiltily
reverential as if she were an altar boy who had been persuaded to join
in some mischievous trespass on the "sanctuary." Madame Wampa received
them, professionally insolent in her indifference. Mrs. Byrne explained
that she wanted only a "small card reading" for twenty-five cents.
Madame Wampa said curtly: "Sit down!"

They sat down.

She had been a music-hall singer when her husband was a sleight-of-hand
artist, "The Great Malino, the Wizard of Milan." Her voice had long
since left her; she had nothing of her beauty but its yellow ruins; and
her life was made up of the consideration of two great grievances:
first, that her husband was always idle, and second, that her landlord
overcharged her for her rooms on account of the nature of her

[Illustration: MADAME WAMPA]

She saw nothing in Mrs. Byrne and Mrs. Cregan but their inability to
help her pay her rent. She said: "I give a full trance readin' with
names, dates, and all questions answered, for a dollar, or a full card
readin' for fifty cents. It's impossible to tell much for a quarter."

Mrs. Byrne shook her head.

Madame Wampa said "Very well," in a tone of haughty resignation. She
turned to a booth that had been made of turkey-red chintz in one corner
of the room. She lit a small red lamp and sat down before a little
bamboo table. A toy angel from a Christmas tree hung above her. A
stuffed alligator sat up, on its hind legs, beside her--a porcelain bell
hung on a red ribbon about its neck--to grin with a cheerful uncanniness
on the rigmaroles of magic.

She said: "Come!"

Mrs. Byrne entered the gipsy tent, and Mrs. Cregan was left alone in the
atmosphere of a bespangled past reduced to its lowest terms of
imposture. There were strings of Indian corn hanging from the ceiling,
Chinese coins and rabbits' feet on the walls, a horseshoe wrapped in
tinfoil over the door, and a collection of absurdly grotesque
bric-à-brac on shelves and tables. There were necklaces of lucky beads
for sale, and love charms in the shape of small glass hearts enclosing
imitation shamrocks, and dream books and manuals of palmistry and gipsy
cards for fortune-telling, and photographs of Madame Wampa in a gorgeous
evening dress trimmed with feathers. Over all was a smoky odor of
kerosene from an oil heater.

Mrs. Cregan looked from side to side with a vaguely worried feeling that
it must take a power of dusting and wiping to keep such a clutter of
things clean; and this feeling gradually rose into her consciousness
above the dull stupefaction of her grief.

Madame Wampa, in the chintz tent, recited without expression: "Though
you travel east or west, may your luck be the best." She dropped her
voice to a toneless mutter about a "journey," and some papers that were
to be signed, and a "false" dark woman who pretended to be Mrs. Byrne's
friend, but would do her an injury.

Mrs. Cregan sat as if she were waiting for her turn to enter a
confessional, her hands folded, her head dropped. She heard Mrs. Byrne
whispering hoarsely, but she did not listen.

Madame Wampa said, at last, wearily: "Very well. Send her in."

She shuffled her cards and sighed. She was professionally acquainted
with many griefs, and she took her toll of them. They meant no more to
her than sickness does to a quack. She looked up at Mrs. Cregan's
entrance almost absent-mindedly.

But there was, at once, something so helplessly stricken about the
woman's plump despair, so infantile, so touchingly ridiculous, that
Madame Wampa even smiled faintly and moved the bamboo table to let Mrs.
Cregan squeeze into the chair that waited her. She sat down and held out
her money in her palm. Madame Wampa took her hand. "I will tell you,"
she said. "I will see it in your hand."

She crossed the palm three times with the coin, and began in the
monotonous voice and with the expressionless face of the fakir: "You are
married. Many years. I see many years. You have not been happy. Monday
is your unlucky day. Do not begin anything on Monday. You are thinkin'
of takin' a journey--somethin'--some change. It will not end well. You
had better remain without the change--whatever it is. There is a man--a
man who has horses--who drives horses, perhaps. I see horses. He will
meet with an accident--I think, a runaway--a collision, perhaps. He will
be hurt. He will be--hurt. Yes. He is an old man. It will be bad. He may
die. Perhaps. He is a relative--related to you. You must beware of
animals. One will do you an injury. You will never be rich--but
comfortable. The best of your life is comin'. You will have your wish."

She had finished, but Mrs. Cregan did not move. She had drawn back in
her chair. Her mouth had loosened; her hand lay limp on the table; all
her intelligence seemed to have concentrated in her eyes in an
expression of guilty and horrified surprise. She said faintly: "Is't

Madame Wampa shrugged one shoulder in her red kimono. "The lines do not
say." She blew out the lamp and rose from the table. "That is all. It is
impossible to tell much for a quarter. I give a full trance readin',
with names, dates, and all questions answered----"

Mrs. Cregan "blessed" herself,--with the sign of the cross,--gasped,
"God forgi' me!" and blundered out into the room. Mrs. Byrne cried:
"What's wrong?" Mrs. Cregan did not hear. She stampeded to the door in
the ponderous fright of a panic-stricken elephant. Her one thought was
to find a place where she might get on her knees.... Cregan! It was
himself! It was Dinny! Killed, maybe! She had blasphemed against the
Church and Father Dumphy, and she must pray. She must pray for herself
and for Cregan. She would "take back" everything she had said. She would
never leave him. She would be good.

Mrs. Byrne tugged at her cape. "Whist! Whist! What's come over yuh,
woman? What is it?"

"It's Dinny!"

That was all that could be had out of her. Even when she reached her
home again, and Mrs. Byrne followed her in, afraid of leaving the
frightened woman alone lest she should "blab" the whole secret to the
first person she met,--even then Mrs. Cregan could not speak until she
had gathered up the broken dishes and propped the broken chair against
the wall, as frantically as if she were trying to conceal the evidence
of a crime. Then she sank down on a sofa and burst into tears. "The poor
creature!" she wept. "The poor ol' man. Poor Dinny!"

Mrs. Byrne folded her arms. "Mary Cregan," she said, in hoarse disgust,
"when yuh've done makin' a fool o' yerself, I'll trouble yuh to listen
to _me_. _Now!_ If y' ever breathe a word o' this to Cregan, he'll laugh
himself blind! Mind yuh that! He'll not believe yuh. No one'll believe
yuh. No one! An' if yuh don't want somethin' turrible to happen, yuh'll
say nothin', but yuh'll behave yerself like a decent married woman an'
go to church an' say yer prayers against trouble. That woman with the
cards says whatever th' old Nick puts into her head to say."

Mrs. Cregan cried: "She saw it in me hand!"

Mrs. Byrne drew herself up like a prophetess. "Dip yer hand in holy
water, an' yuh'll hear no more of it. Now, then. Behave yerself."

"I was wishin' it!" she wailed. "I was wishin' somethin' 'd happen to
him to leave me free here in m' own home!"

"An' that," Mrs. Byrne said, "is the judgment o' heaven on yuh fer
carin' more fer yer dishes than yuh did fer yer husband. Yuh're a good
manager, Mrs. Cregan, but yuh've been a dang poor wife. Think of yer man
first an' yer house after, an' yuh'll be a happier woman, I tell yuh."

"I will that. I will," Mrs. Cregan wept, "if he's spared to me."

"Never fear," Mrs. Byrne said drily. "He'll be spared to yuh."

       *       *       *       *       *

And he _has_ been spared to her. At first he was suspicious of her
subdued manner and remorseful gentleness; and for a long time he
watched her, very warily, with an eye for treachery. Then he understood
that she had succumbed to his masterful handling of her, and he was
masculinely proud of his conquest.


Mrs. Cregan is beginning to hope that she has warded off the predicted
bad fortune by her devoutness, but she still has her fears. "Twas the
doin's o' the divil," she says to Mrs. Byrne.

"He had a hand in it, no doubt," Mrs. Byrne agrees. "An' how's Cregan?"
she says, "Well, I'm glad o' that.... An' the new dishes?... Good luck
to them. Yuh're off early to church again."



The ranchman and I were discussing courage. I had that day seen young
Henry Thomas mount and ride a horse which had bucked in a way to impress
the imagination. I spoke of it.

"Was it the gray?" queried Brunner, and when I said it was, he scoffed.
"That horse is trained to buck just the way young Henry wants him, and
he hobbles the stirrups."

Brunner's scepticism was disappointing. I ventured to speak of another
instance that seemed to illustrate the nerve of Henry Thomas:

"Didn't he help capture the 'Kep' Queen bunch of outlaws a few years
ago? I've heard he showed nerve then."

"I reckon you have." Brunner glanced across at me, then stooped to dig a
live coal out of the ashes. He held it for half a minute before packing
it into the bowl of his pipe, shifting it imperceptibly in his toughened
hand as he studied the backlog. When his tobacco was burning steadily,
he spoke:

"I can tell you the truth about young Henry--and the old man, too." I
thought his tone changed. "Twenty-four years ago I came to this Indian
country. For twelve years I rode with the posses as a deputy marshal and
for twelve years now I've been running cattle here on Cabin Creek. I've
been all over the Territory. I know every man in the Cherokee Nation
that ever handled a hot iron. And I know young Henry Thomas, too.

"It was in 1882 that Queen 'went bad,' and began to hold up trains on
the 'Katy' and 'Frisco roads. All of that fall and winter we were after
him and his gang, but we never got a sight of them. They were 'goers'
all right, and when we came up to a two-weeks-old camp-fire they'd
built, we thought we were lucky.

"For six months after the first of the year they did nothing. We heard
that Queen was in California. Then, in June, 1883, while I was at
Muscogee, I got a telegram from 'Cap' White asking me to report at once
to him at Red Oak. Paden Tolbert and I caught the eleven o'clock train
up, dropping off at Red Oak at one in the morning. 'Cap' met us, told us
he had two men ready, and that the five of us would start for Pryor
Creek at once.

"It was a fifteen-mile ride. We planned to pick up four men from the
ranches on the way down, and get to 'Kep' Queen's camp at daylight. We
had been told that there were five men in the camp, that they had been
in the Pryor Creek woods for two days, and that it was their plan to
hold up the flyer from the north next evening. 'Cap' White was sure of
his information, and he had decided upon the men he wanted from the
ranches. The two Thomases--old man Henry and young Henry--were picked
out, for there was no one else in the family except a younger brother of
eighteen, who has since died. 'Bud' Ryder and Jim Kelso were the other
two--both good on horses and handy with a gun.

"'Cap' was proud of his posse when he finally got us together. The
Thomases came out and joined us like bees a-swarming. The young fellow
was all up in the air with excitement, like a boy going to a circus. He
was so brash that at first we couldn't keep him from riding on ahead of
the rest of us; you'd think he wanted to bring in the bunch all by

"That was all right; brash, eager young fellows ain't always so brave
when trouble begins, but they steady into good fighters. It's hard
enough to get 'em that want to go after a man like 'Cap' Queen at all."

Brunner told me then of the fight in the woods at daybreak. It was his
summary of young Henry Thomas that interested me.

One of the men whom White took from Red Oak led the posse to the camp on
Pryor Creek. It was on a ledge on a hillside. The fires had been built
under a jutting rock. Only a bush wren could have hidden its nest more
completely--Bruce had been lucky in spying it out. He told White that
there was but one unprotected approach--a long unused trail that led
down from the cliff-top and ended in a briar tangle fifty feet above the
ledge. That trail, it was evident, 'Kep' Queen did not know existed.

Young Thomas had ridden with Brunner, seeking him out, as the novice
always seeks out the veteran, to practise his valorous speeches upon.
For four hours young Thomas talked about bravery, with illustrations.
From one incident to another he skipped, for the history of outlawry
west of St. Louis, in the last generation, was more familiar to him than
many another topic he had gathered from books. Brunner could have set
him right on the facts many times, but what was the use?

After a time the youngster's monologue became a sort of soothing hum,
for which the other was grateful. "I was cross and sleepy and chilly and
nervous," Brunner explained, "and the boy's gabble rested me."

I gathered that the young man was more excited than he cared to confess,
even to himself. He talked, as others whistle, to "keep up his courage."
Yet the implication that he needed distraction or stimulation would have
angered him. Youth and courage are twins, or should be, and a man of
twenty-two takes it for granted. At forty, a man may confess to turning
tail and yet save his self-respect. I had heard Brunner tell of "back
downs" that would have shamed a young village constable, and it had
never occurred to me to question his courage.

It was only in the last mile of their ride that the chatter of young
Thomas really became audible to Brunner.

"I woke up," he said, "and actually listened to him. I don't remember
exactly what he was saying, but this was the idea: 'All of you fellows
that chase outlaws make too much fuss about it.' Well, some of us do,
though the newspapers and the wind-bags that follow us around make ten
times the fuss we do. He went on to say that the only way to nab a
horse-thief or an express robber was to go right up to him, don't you
know, like the little boy went up to the sign-post that he thought was a

"It's a good theory and generally works. I told him so, and then
apologized for doing any other way. The way I thought about this
business of a deputy marshal's was the way an old soldier thinks about
war. I was hired to get the criminals, and not to be caught by the
criminals, to shoot the bad man, if I had to, but not to be shot by the
bad man if there was any way to help it. One way to help it is to run
and hide. It's a good way, too, for I've tried it."

The young man roused Brunner's curiosity. It was possible that he might
be of the exceptional breed that puts a fine theory to the test of

"I decided to watch him," the ranchman told me, "and see if he would
play up to his big talk. When we left our ponies, half a mile from the
camp, I pretended to argue with 'Cap' White, told him he ought to leave
young Thomas with the horses and not get such a boy as that all shot
up. 'Cap' caught my point and begged him to stay, but, of course, he
wouldn't hear of it. 'I'll stick to Brunner,' says he.

"'All right,' says I, 'come on.'

"When we started afoot, we trailed out single file, and I noticed that
old man Thomas waited for the boy and me to pass him, dropping in right
behind his son. 'Cap' was in front, then Bruce, then Paden Tolbert, then
Ryder and Kelso, and then I and the Thomases. The old man was at the
tail of the procession.

"Old man Thomas was the kind that you never think about one way or the
other. You said to yourself that he would do his share, whatever it
amounted to, and you wouldn't have to bother about him. That's your
notion of him, ain't it?"

It _was_ my notion of the older Thomas. I don't think a more commonplace
looking man ever lived. Brunner told me that he had not changed in
fourteen years.

"'Young Henry swells around and talks big; the old man he says nothing
and chaws tobacco,' That's the way people size 'em up around here."
Brunner thus confirmed my own impression of the pair.

"What a man can see out of the back of his head," Brunner went on, "is a
lot different from what comes in front of his eyes. He feels a lot that
don't make a sound and that ain't visible. I did see, out of the corner
of my eye, that young Henry Thomas was dropping behind me little by
little, but I didn't see why it was he moved up again. I know why,
though. The old man had ordered him up--not in words, you understand,
for I could have heard a whisper in the still dawn, the way we were
snaking it over the trail. From that time on, every foot of the way, the
old man drove the boy. You ask me how, and I can't tell you. There
wasn't a word, not a motion that I could see, but all the time it was
one man driving the other as plain as could be. And it wasn't easy. I
felt that young Henry was worse than balky, that he would have broke
through the bushes and run off screaming if that old man had taken his
eyes off of him for ten seconds.

"A quarter of a mile it was, and we went slow--twenty feet forward
picking our way, then the eight of us would stop to listen. If you ever
get a chance, ask young Henry how long that trail was. If he don't stop
to think, he'll tell you we crawled through the bushes for five miles,
but if he remembers his part as the hero of the fight, he'll say, 'Oh,
we sneaked a hundred yards or so before lighting into Queen's bunch.'"

The trail from above ended in a briar tangle fifty feet up the hill
from the ledge on which four of the five outlaws slept. The fifth man,
posted as a sentry, was on the lower trail, somewhere out of sight of
the party led by "Cap" White. When the deputies came up to the briars,
therefore, they could see no one. As soon as the four sleepers came out
of shelter, however, White's men could cover them with their guns.

What had to be done, obviously, was to rouse the four outlaws without
revealing the presence of the deputies above. It could be done by some
one in the woods below the ledge. But the outpost was down there to
reckon with. They could not all be trapped merely by waiting, for they
would come out, after waking, one by one; and White wanted the whole

It was decided that three men should be sent, by a round-about trail,
down to the creek; that they should follow it up until they got opposite
to the ledge; and that they should then rouse the sleeping men. They
were also to find the sentry and capture him. The risk was that the
sentry might discover the three first and spoil the chance to take him.
The detail might be dangerous, though with luck it should prove easy.

Brunner was assigned to lead the three. Young Thomas and Kelso were
named by White as the other two, but Brunner, who had been aware of that
duel on the trail, said he preferred the old man to Jim Kelso.

They beat back for a short distance, then, separating, dropped down the
steep hillside to the creek. In open order, they went forward quietly,
slowly; they might come upon 'Kep' Queen's outpost at any turn. Now and
then they came in sight of one another. Each time Brunner saw that the
old man was edging closer to his son. Still there was no word
spoken--only a grim old man's gray eyes were fixed upon a young man's
shifting, over-bright eyes, and the young man moved on, cautiously.

Brunner held close to the creek bank; the old man was twenty yards away
and moving farther out as he approached his son. So they advanced,
abreast, until they came out upon the trail leading up to the ledge.
Then Brunner saw old man Thomas run, with short, noiseless steps, to
young Henry's side and point up the trail. Hidden from both and out of
sight of what had attracted the old man's attention, Brunner yet knew
what was happening. Farther up the trail was the sentry, half asleep in
the chill dawn.

Brunner saw, as he himself came up cautiously, that the old man was
whispering to young Henry. He grasped the boy's arm, half-shoving him
forward and pointing with his rifle. The youngster moved a step, then
turned with a look of utter panic on his face. His father's eyes glared;
a sort of savage anger blazed on his face. From his grip on young
Henry's arm, the old man's hand sprang to the boy's throat. There was
one fierce, terrible shake, a sort of gurgling scream that expressed
terror, and protest, too, but which was scarcely audible to Brunner,
twenty feet away. In the tone of a man enraged to the point of madness,
old man Thomas snapped out:

"Go on, you confounded whelp!"

Young Henry shook himself free, his terror replaced by a sudden,
resentful anger. Fifty yards away the sentry nodded, his back against a
tree and his gun across his lap. Brunner saw the man now, and stepped
aside to cover him as young Henry approached. But there was no need of
that. The boy was swift and noiseless; before the outlaw could wake or
move, his gun was in Henry's hand, and he heard the command, "hands up!"

The sentry was quick-witted. He couldn't shoot, but he could yell.
Brunner, however was ready for that. He began to bawl a reveler's song,
popular with cowboys on a spree, and old man Thomas joined him. From
above, it sounded as if a drunken riot had broken out, in which the
outpost's warning shout became only a meaningless discord. The babel
brought the four sleeping men out of their blankets. They listened a
moment, then stepped out in view of the posse in the briars.

As Brunner came up, old man Thomas turned to face him. On his seamed
face the sweat had almost dried, but when he shoved his hat up with his
forearm, his sleeve came away from his forehead damp. The compelling
glitter in the gray eyes turned to a challenging stare. Brunner met it,
then glanced up the trail towards young Thomas and his captive.

"He got him all right," said Brunner.

"Yes," the old man triumphed, "my boy got him. He captured 'Kep' Queen

"I reckon you've heard young Henry's story of how he got 'Kep' Queen,"
Brunner finished. "If you've ever talked with him when he was out of
sight of the old man, I know you have. What I've told you to-night is
what old man Henry could tell if he wanted to. But he never will. As I
said awhile ago, 'young Henry swells around and talks big; the old man
he says nothing and chaws tobacco.'"



McClure's Magazine printed during last summer and fall the Autobiography
of Harry Orchard, with its confessions of wholesale assassinations
during the labor war in the mining districts of the West. There was, at
that time, repeated and angry denial of the truth of his story; and,
since the acquittal of W. D. Haywood, secretary and treasurer of the
Western Federation of Miners, and of George A. Pettibone, whom Orchard
charged with being the instigators of his crimes, their adherents have,
of course, maintained that Orchard's story has been entirely disproved.

Logically, this does not follow. The acquittal of these two men means
nothing more than that they were not proved guilty to the satisfaction
of the juries trying them. Before a final judgment as to the truth or
falsity of Orchard's statement is made, the last development in this
matter must be thoroughly considered. On March 18, Orchard, persisting
in his story to the last, pleaded guilty to the murder of Governor Frank
Steunenberg, at Caldwell, Idaho, and was sentenced to be hanged--with
the recommendation by the presiding judge that his sentence be commuted
to life imprisonment by the Prison Board of the State. In pronouncing
sentence upon Orchard, Judge Fremont Wood, who presided over the trials
of both Haywood and Pettibone, expressed his belief in Orchard's story
in a most convincing way. The parts of the Judge's statement dealing
with Orchard's testimony, which follow, are of peculiar value to those
desiring to arrive at a final conclusion regarding the responsibility
for the campaign of murders which took place during the labor wars of
the Western Federation of Miners; they are the summing up of the entire
matter by a mind whose judicial fairness has been recognized by both
parties in this great controversy.

     "I am more than satisfied," said Judge Wood, "that the defendant
     now at the bar of this court awaiting final sentence has not only
     acted in good faith in making the disclosures that he did, but that
     he also testified fully and fairly to the whole truth, withholding
     nothing that was material and declaring nothing that had not
     actually taken place.

     "During the two trials the testimony of the defendant covered a
     long series of transactions involving personal relations between
     himself and many others. In the first trial he was subjected to the
     most critical cross-examination by very able counsel for at least
     six days, and I do not now recall that at any point he contradicted
     himself in any material manner, but on the other hand disclosed his
     connection with many crimes that were probably not known to the
     attorneys for the State, at least not brought out by them on the
     direct examination of the witness.

     "Upon the second trial the same testimony underwent a most thorough
     and critical examination and in no particular was there any
     discrepancy in a material matter between the testimony given upon
     the latter trial as compared with the testimony given by the same
     witness at the former trial. I am of the opinion that no man living
     could conceive the stories of crime told by the witness and
     maintain himself under the merciless fire of the leading
     cross-examining attorneys of the country unless upon the theory
     that he was testifying to facts and to circumstances which had an
     actual existence within his own experience.

     "A child can testify truly and maintain itself on
     cross-examination. A man may be able to frame his testimony and
     testify falsely to a brief statement of facts involving a short and
     single transaction and maintain himself on cross-examination.

     "But I cannot conceive of a case where even the greatest intellect
     can conceive a story of crime covering years of duration, with
     constantly shifting scenes and changing characters, and maintain
     that story with circumstantial detail as to times, places, persons,
     and particular circumstances and under as merciless a
     cross-examination as was ever given a witness in an American court
     unless the witness thus testifying was speaking truthfully and
     without any attempt either to misrepresent or conceal.... It is my
     opinion, after a careful examination of this case in all its
     details, that this defendant and the crimes which he committed were
     only the natural product and outcome of the system which he
     represented and the doctrines taught by its leaders, some of which
     were boldly proclaimed and maintained, even upon the trial of the
     defendant Haywood.

     "This defendant had evidently become imbued with the idea
     inculcated by those around him that the organized miners were
     engaged in an industrial warfare upon one side of which his own
     organization was alone represented, while on the other hand they
     were confronted with the powers of organized capital, supported by
     executive authority, and which counter organization included, or at
     least controlled, the courts, which were the final arbiters upon
     all legal questions involved.

     "With the promulgation of such doctrines it is not a difficult
     matter for some people to justify murder, arson, and other
     outrages, and I am satisfied that it was that condition of mind
     that sustained, bore up and nerved on this defendant and his
     associates in the commission of the various crimes with which he
     was connected."


  _Copyright, 1908, by Ellen Terry (Mrs. Carew)_
  _Copyright, 1908, by The S. S. McClure Co. All rights reserved_

[2] Mrs. Eddy also had copies of other Quimby manuscripts in her

[3] See MCCLURE'S MAGAZINE, May, 1907.

[4] Many typical instances of Christian Science logic may be found in
Mr. Alfred Farlow's answer to Dr. Churchman's article (_Christian
Science Journal_, 1904). Mr. Farlow takes up Dr. Churchman's statement,
"To deny that matter exists and assert that it is an illusion, is only
another way of asserting its existence." Says Mr. Farlow: "According to
this logic, when a defendant denies a charge brought against him in
court, he is only choosing a method of asserting its truth."

Mr. Farlow seems to think that Mrs. Eddy arrived at her discovery of the
non-existence of matter, not by any process of reasoning, but by
_personal experience_. He says:

     "From doubting matter and learning by experience its utter
     emptiness Mrs. Eddy began to search for the universal spiritual
     cause, and having found it through actual demonstration in spirit,
     she was obliged in consistence therewith to deny the material sense
     of existence."

Mr. Farlow seems to consider the logic of this progression inevitable.

[5] Science and Health (1898), page 375.

[6] " " " " " 392.

[7] " " " " " 46.

[8] " " " " " 379.

[9] Mrs. Eddy and her followers believe that she possesses an
enlightened or spiritual understanding of the Bible and the universe,
not common to the rest of mankind.

[10] This account of the Creation is taken from the first edition of
"Science and Health." It remains practically the same in later editions
under the chapter called "Genesis."

[11] Miscellaneous Writings (1896), page 51.

[12] "Science and Health" (1906), pages 696, 697.

[13] _Christian Science Journal_, September. 1898.

[14] _Christian Science Journal_, October, 1904.

[15] For an exposition of the theory upon which this work at Emmanuel
Church is conducted, the reader is referred to a pamphlet, "The Healing
Ministry of the Church," by the Reverend Samuel McComb, issued by the
Emmanuel Church, Boston. For a detailed account of the method of healing
practised there and its results, see an article, "New Phases in the
Relation of the Church to Health," by Dr. Richard Cabot, in the
_Outlook_, February 29, 1908. The reader who is interested in the
principle and possibilities of psycho-therapeutics or "mental healing" is
again referred to Paul Dubois' remarkable book, "Psychical Treatment of
Nervous Disorders."

[16] The reader who is interested in Quimby's teaching and healing is
referred to "The True History of Mental Science," by Julius A. Dresser,
published by George H. Ellis, 272 Congress Street, Boston.

Dr. Warren F. Evans, in his book, "Mental Medicine," published three
years before the first edition of "Science and Health," said: "Disease
being in its root a _wrong belief_, change that belief and we cure the
disease. By faith we are thus made whole. There is a law here which the
world will sometime understand and use in the cure of the diseases that
afflict mankind. The late Dr. Quimby, of Portland, one of the most
successful healers of this or any age, embraced this view of the nature
of disease, and by a long succession of the most remarkable cures,
effected by psychopathic remedies, at the same time proved the truth of
the theory and the efficiency of that mode of treatment. Had he lived in
a remote age or country, the wonderful facts which occurred in his
practise would now have been deemed either mythical or miraculous. He
seemed to reproduce the wonders of Gospel history. But all this was only
an exhibition of the force of suggestion, or the action of the law of
faith, over a patient in the impressible condition."

[17] Distribution of every 1000 suicides by season:

  _Country  Summer  Spring   Fall   Winter    Total_

  Denmark    312      284     227     177     1,000
  Belgium    301      275     229     195     1,000
  France     306      283     210     201     1,000
  Saxony     307      281     217     195     1,000
  Bavaria    308      282     218     192     1,000
  Austria    315      281     219     185     1,000
  Prussia    290      284     227     199     1,000

Durkheim, "Le Suicide," (Paris, 1897), p. 88.

[18] The figures are those of Dr. Forbes Winslow for the United States,
those of Dr. M. Gubski for Russia, those of Dr. Rehfisch (in _Der
Selbsmord_) for Europe, and those of the Government Statistical Bureau
for Japan.

[19] Durkheim, "Le Suicide" (Paris, 1897), p. 93.

[20] Five or six years ago, in a paper that I read before the Literary
Society of Washington, D. C., I suggested this explanation of the high
suicide rate in June. At the conclusion of the reading, a young Italian
student, who happened to be present as a guest, came to me and said: "If
I did not know it to be impossible, I should think that your explanation
of June suicides had been suggested by, if not copied from, a letter
left by a dear friend of mine who killed himself in Genoa, two years
ago, on a beautiful evening in June. You have expressed his thoughts
almost in the words that he used."

[21] For the suicide statistics embodied in this table I am largely
indebted to the coöperation and assistance of Mr. M. L. Jacobson, of the
Bureau of Statistics in Washington. In the literature of the subject
there are no figures more recent than 1893 for most of the European
countries. In this table they are nearly all later than 1900.

[22] The figures for Europe are from the latest reports of government
statistical bureaus, and for America from the registration area covered
in the twelfth census.

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