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Title: Prairie Gold
Author: Various
Language: English
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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.

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produced from images generously made available by The
Internet Archive/American Libraries.)



Prairie Gold

[Illustration: Rotating the Crops--Corn Isn't Iowa's Only Product]



  Prairie Gold


  By Iowa Authors and Artists


  _Jacket and Frontispiece by_ J. N. Darling

  _Decorations by_ Harriet Macy and Louise Orwig


  The Reilly & Britton Co.
  Chicago

  Copyright, 1917
  By
  The Reilly & Britton Co.



To those whose tender, cooling fingers bind up the bleeding wounds of
men who go forth to war:

To those who comfort and sustain the widows and the orphans:

To all those swiftly flying carriers of warmth and love and cheer who
constitute the workers in that greatest of all humanitarian
organizations:

The American Red Cross



Preface


This volume, from the land of the singing corn, is offered to the
public by the Iowa Press and Authors' Club as the first bit of
co-operative work done by Iowa writers. The anticipated needs of the
brave men who have given themselves as a human sacrifice to the
establishment of a world-wide democracy, make a strong heart appeal,
and the members have come together in spirit to do their bit toward the
relief of suffering.

Many members of the club could not be reached during the short time the
book was in the making; others doing work every day on schedule time
had no opportunity to prepare manuscript for this publication, while
still others preferred helping in ways other than with their pens.

The whole is a work of love and representative of the comradeship, the
spirit of human sympathy, and the pride of state, existent in the
hearts of Iowa authors, artists, playwrights, poets, editors and
journalists.


_Officers of the club for 1917-18:_

  Hamlin Garland, Honorary President.
  Alice C. Weitz, President.
  J. Edward Kirbye, First Vice President.
  Nellie Gregg Tomlinson, Second Vice President.
  Esse V. Hathaway, Secretary.
  Reuben F. Place, Treasurer.
  _Editorial Board:_
  Johnson Brigham.
  Lewis Worthington Smith.
  Helen Cowles LeCron.



Index


American Wake, An                                            217
    _Rose A. Crow_

At Kamakura: 1917                                             44
    _Arthur Davison Ficke_

Ballad of the Corn, A                                        234
    _S. H. M. Byers_

Box From Home, A                                             138
    _Helen Cowles LeCron_

Bread                                                         37
    _Ellis Parker Butler_

But Once a Year                                               51
    _R. O'Grady_

Call of the Race, The                                        260
    _Elizabeth Cooper_

Captured Dream, The                                           84
    _Octave Thanet_

Children's Blessing, The                                     236
    _Virginia Roderick_

Dog                                                          116
    _Edwin L. Sabin_

Field, A                                                     285
    _Minnie Stichter_

First Laugh, The                                             131
    _Reuben F. Place_

Freighter's Dream, The                                       133
    _Ida M. Huntington_

God's Back Yard                                              223
    _Jessie Welborn Smith_

Graven Image, The                                             19
    _Hamlin Garland_

Happiest Man in I-O-Way, The                                  83
    _Rupert Hughes_

Iowa as a Literary Field                                     316
    _Johnson Brigham_

Kings of Saranazett, The                                     177
    _Lewis Worthington Smith_

Kitchener's Mob                                              241
    _James Norman Hall_

Load of Hay, A                                               314
    _James B. Weaver_

Masterpieces                                                  36
    _Ethel Hueston_

My Baby's Horse                                              259
    _Emilie Blackmore Stapp_

"Old Bill"                                                    67
    _Henry C. Wallace_

Old Cane Mill, The                                           195
    _Nellie Gregg Tomlinson_

One Wreath of Rue                                            278
    _Cynthia Westover Alden_

Our Bird Friends                                             302
    _Margaret Coulson Walker_

Peace and Then--?                                            292
    _Detlev Fredrik Tillisch_

Poet of the Future, The                                      169
    _Tacitus Hussey_

Professor, The                                               248
    _Calista Halsey Patchin_

Putting the Stars with the Bars                              173
    _Verne Marshall_

Queer Little Thing, The                                      199
    _Eleanor Hoyt Brainerd_

Recruit's Story, The                                          77
    _Frank Luther Mott_

Reminder, The                                                 63
    _Allan Updegraff_

Rochester, Minn.                                             221
    _Marie G. Stapp_

Semper Fidelis                                               300
    _Addie B. Billington_

September                                                    166
    _Esse V. Hathaway_

Some Magic and a Moral                                       101
    _Virginia H. Reichard_

Sonny's Wish                                                 114
    _Bertha M. Shambaugh_

Spirit of Spring, The                                        140
    _Laura L. Hinkley_

That Iowa Town                                                45
    _Oney Fred Sweet_

Tinkling Cymbals                                             126
    _Helen Sherman Griffith_

Truth                                                         97
    _Carrie Moss Hawley_

Unredeemed, The                                              121
    _Emerson Hough_

Wild Crab Apple, The                                         231
    _Julia Ellen Rogers_

Wind in the Corn, The                                         17
    _Alice C. Weitz_

Woodrow Wilson and Wells, War's Great Authors                280
    _Honoré Willsie_

Work                                                         100
    _Irving N. Brant_

Work Is a Blessing                                           161
    _Lafayette Young_

Your Lad, and My Lad                                         290
    _Randall Parrish_



List of Authors


Alden, Cynthia Westover                                      278

Billington, Addie B.                                         300

Brainerd, Eleanor Hoyt                                       199

Brant, Irving N.                                             100

Brigham, Johnson                                             316

Butler, Ellis Parker                                          37

Byers, S. H. M.                                              234

Cooper, Elizabeth                                            260

Crow, Rose A.                                                217

Ficke, Arthur Davison                                         44

Garland, Hamlin                                               19

Griffith, Helen Sherman                                      126

Hall, James Norman                                           241

Hathaway, Esse V.                                            166

Hawley, Carrie Moss                                           97

Hinkley, Laura L.                                            140

Hough, Emerson                                               121

Hueston, Ethel                                                36

Hughes, Rupert                                                83

Huntington, Ida M.                                           133

Hussey, Tacitus                                              169

LeCron, Helen Cowles                                         138

Marshall, Verne                                              173

Mott, Frank Luther                                            77

O'Grady, R.                                                   51

Parrish, Randall                                             290

Patchin, Calista Halsey                                      248

Place, Reuben F.                                             131

Reichard, Virginia H.                                        101

Roderick, Virginia                                           236

Rogers, Julia Ellen                                          231

Sabin, Edwin L.                                              116

Shambaugh, Bertha M. H.                                      114

Smith, Jessie Wellborn                                       223

Smith, Lewis Worthington                                     177

Stapp, Emilie Blackmore                                      259

Stapp, Marie G.                                              221

Stichter, Minnie                                             285

Sweet, Oney Fred                                              45

Thanet, Octave                                                84

Tillisch, Detlev Fredrik                                     292

Tomlinson, Nellie Gregg                                      195

Updegraff, Allan                                              63

Walker, Margaret Coulson                                     302

Wallace, Henry C.                                             67

Weaver, James B.                                             314

Weitz, Alice C.                                               17

Willsie, Honoré                                              280

Young, Lafayette                                             161



List of Illustrations


Rotating the Crops                             _Frontispiece_
    _J. N. Darling_

"Ding"                                            _Page_  97
    _Frank Wing_

Host and Houseguest                               _Page_ 169
    _Orson Lowell_

The Wind in the Corn                              _Page_ 259
    _C. L. Bartholomew_



The Creed of Iowa--


I believe in Iowa, land of limitless prairies, with rolling hills and
fertile valleys, with winding and widening streams, with bounteous
crops and fruit-laden trees, yielding to man their wealth and health.

I believe in Iowa, land of golden grains, whose harvests fill the
granaries of the nation, making it opulent with the power of earth's
fruitfulness.

I believe in Iowa, rich in her men and women of power and might. I
believe in her authors and educators, her statesmen and ministers,
whose intellectual and moral contribution is one of the mainstays of
the republic--true in the hour of danger and steadfast in the hour of
triumph.

I believe in Iowa, magnet and meeting place of all nations, fused into
a noble unity, Americans all, blended into a free people. I believe in
her stalwart sons, her winsome women, in her colleges and churches, in
her institutions of philanthropy and mercy, in her press, the voice and
instructor of her common mind and will, in her leadership and destiny,
in the magnificence of her opportunity and in the fine responsiveness
of her citizens to the call of every higher obligation.

I believe in our commonwealth, yet young, and in the process of making,
palpitant with energy and faring forth with high hope and swift step;
and I covenant with the God of my fathers to give myself in service,
mind and money, hand and heart, to explore and develop her physical,
intellectual and moral resources, to sing her praises truthfully, to
keep her politics pure, her ideals high, and to make better and better
her schools and churches, her lands and homes, and to make her in fact
what she is by divine right, the queen of all the commonwealths.

--_J. Edward Kirbye._



The Wind in the Corn

_By Alice C. Weitz_


There stands recorded in the Book of Time a fascinating legend of the
Sun, whose golden throne allured but for the day; and when the day was
ended in great glee he hurried forth beyond the broad horizon toward a
secret trysting place. All his impassioned love, it is said, he poured
upon the idol of his heart, the boundless plains. Long years were they
alone, the Rolling Prairie and the Golden Sun, until at last they found
themselves spied upon by curious Man, who, captivated by the beauty of
the two, remained and blessed the tryst thereby.

Here Sun and Soil and Man wrought out a work of art; and here Dame
Nature smiled as was her wont, and brought rich gifts and blessings
manifold. In sweet content Man's children toiled and wrought until upon
the bosom of the sunlit plains there nestled close great fields and
prosperous abodes.

And since that time a ceaseless music steals throughout the land in
wooing cadences, now crying out in weird and wandering tones, now
softly soothing in sweet rhythmic chant.

'Tis the music of the wind within the corn--Iowa's Prairie Gold.

It sang itself into the lonely heart of the pioneer with its promise of
golden harvest; it became the cradle song of restless souls that even
in their youth longed but to free themselves in verse and song; and
down through all the prosperous years it steals like a sweet sustaining
accompaniment to the countless activities which have builded a great
commonwealth.

He who has stood upon the hilltops in his youthful days and listened to
the soft, alluring rustle of the wind-swayed leaves retains the music
ever in his soul. It draws upon the heart-strings of the absent one,
and like the constant singing of the sea insistent calls upon him to
return.

Today in spirit come we all to Time's sweet trysting place with story
song and jest, to add sweet comfort to the braver ones whose paths lie
wide before them, and whose return lies not within our willing. God
grant that even in their pains their troubled souls may yet to music be
attuned, may know again the solace of that sweetly floating song, the
rustle of the wind within the corn.



The Graven Image

_By Hamlin Garland_


Roger Barnes, son of an elder in the little Iowa Society of Friends and
himself "a man of weight," found his faith sorely tried by the death of
his young wife, and as the weeks passed without a perceptible
lightening of his face, the Meeting came at last to consider his deep
grief unseemly and rebellious. He remained deaf to all words of comfort
and occupied his Sabbath seat in moody silence, his heart closed to the
Spirit, his thought bitter toward life and forgetful of God's grace.

The admonition of the elders at last roused him to defense. "Why should
I not ache?" he demanded. "I have been smitten of the rod." And when
old Nicholas Asche again reproved him before the assembly, he arose,
went out, refusing to return, and several of his friends were greatly
troubled, for it was known that for a long time he had been
increasingly impatient of the "Discipline" and on terms of undue
intimacy with Orrin Bailey, one of "the world's people."

As the spring came on his passionate grief calmed, but a new
consideration came, one which troubled him more and more, until at last
he opened his heart to his friend.

"Thee knew my wife, friend Bailey. Thee knew her loveliness? Well, now
she is gone, and does thee know I am utterly disconsolate, for I have
no portrait of her. No image, no shadow of her, exists and I fear I
shall lose the memory of her sweet face. Already it is growing dim in
my mind. What can I do?"

This was in the days when even daguerreotypes were rare, and Bailey,
who had never seen a painted portrait and could not conceive of an
artist skillful enough to depict an object he had never known, was not
able to advise, and the grieving man's fear remained unassuaged till,
some months later, on a trip to Decorah, he came by accident past the
gate of a newly established stone-cutter's yard, and there, for the
first time in his life, he saw human figures cut enduringly in marble.
Cunning cherubs and angels with calm faces and graceful, half-furled
wings surrounded granite soldiers standing stiff and straight.

Roger was amazed. The sculptor's magic was an astonishment to him. He
had never seen the like, and as he looked upon these figures there came
into his sad eyes the light of a startling purpose.

"I will have this workman cut for me an image of my dear Rachel," he
resolved and, following this impulse, approached the stone-cutter.
"Friend," he said abruptly, "I would have thee chisel for me the form
of my dead wife."

Although an aspiring and self-confident artist, Conrad Heffnew was,
nevertheless, a little shaken as he drew from his visitor the
conditions of this commission. "The lack of even a small drawing or
portrait of the subject is discouraging," he said. "If she had a
sister, now," he added slowly, "someone about her build, to wear her
clothes, I might be able to do the figure."

"She has a sister, Ruth," Roger eagerly answered. "She is slimmer than
Rachel was, but her cast of features is much the same. I am sure she
will help thee, for she loved Rachel. I will bring her down to see
thee."

"Very well," replied Conrad. "If she will sit for me I will see what I
can do for you."

Resting upon this arrangement Roger drove away to his prairie home
lighter of heart than he had been for many weeks. "Truly an artist is
of use in the world after all--one to be honored," he thought.

To Ruth he told the story and expressed his wish, but enjoined secrecy.
"Thee knows how some of our elders would pother about this," he added.
"Let us conspire together, therefore, so that thee may make the trip to
the city without exciting undue comment."

Ruth was quite willing to adventure, for the town far down on the
shining river was a lure to her; but the road was long and after a
great deal of thought Roger decided to ask the young stone-cutter to
come first to Hesper, which he could do without arousing suspicion. "We
will contrive to see him afterward in his shop if necessary," he ended
decisively, for he could not bring himself to lead Ruth into the
society of the world's people to serve as a model, an act which might
be mistaken as a wrong-doing.

The sculptor, anticipating a goodly fee (as well as an increase in
orders for grave-stones), readily enough consented to visit Hesper, but
only to study his problem. He immediately insisted on Ruth's coming to
his studio. "I can't do all the work here--I want to make this my best
piece," he remarked in explanation. "It is hard to remember the details
of face and form. It may require several sittings."

Thereafter, as often as he dared, Roger called at his father-in-law's
house for Ruth and drove her down to the sculptor's shop, and although
there were many smiling comments on these trips, no one knew their real
purpose.

Slowly the figure grew from a harsh marble block into an ever more
appealing female figure, and Roger loved to stand beside the artist
while he chipped the stone, for Conrad was in very truth a sculptor, a
stalwart fist at the chisel, not a weak modeller in clay. He often
hummed a tune as he swung his mall; and so, to the lively beat of
worldly melodies, the fair form of the Quaker maid emerged from its
flinty covering.

One day in early autumn, conditions favoring, Ruth went to town with
Roger for the fifth time and ventured timidly into the stone-cutter's
yard to gaze with awe upon the nearly-finished snow-white image, and to
the artist's skill gave breathless words of praise. "Truly thee is a
magician," she said. "Thee has made a beautiful bonnet out of marble
and likewise slippers," she added, looking down to where one small foot
in its square-toed shoe peeped from the plain skirt. "Thee does right
to make it lovely, for my sister was most comely," she ended with a
touch of pride.

"My model was also comely," replied Conrad with a glance which made her
flush with pleasure.

During all these months Roger had maintained such careful logic in his
comings and goings that only Bailey and one or two of his most intimate
friends had even a suspicion of what was happening, though many
predicted that he and Ruth would wed; for it was known that she had
taken his little son to her father's house and was caring for him.
Nevertheless Roger well knew that a struggle was preparing for him, and
that some of the elders would be shocked by the audacity of his plan,
but no fear of man or church could avail against the force of his
resolution.

On this final visit, even as they both stood beside him, Conrad threw
down his mallet saying: "I can do no more. It is finished," and turning
to Ruth, "What do you think of it?" he demanded.

She, gazing upon the finished statue and seeing only her sister in it,
said: "I think it beautiful."

And Roger, deeply wrapt in worship of the sculptured face, said: "Thee
has done wonders. The sweet smile of my beloved is fixed in marble
forever, and my heart is filled with gratitude to thee." All his
training was against the graven art, but he gave his hand to the
sculptor. "Friend Conrad, I thank thee; thee has made me very happy.
Truly thee has caused this cold marble to assume the very image of my
Rachel."

As Roger turned again to gaze upon the statue Conrad touched Ruth upon
the arm and drew her aside, leaving the bereaved man alone with his
memories.

It was all so wonderful, so moving to Roger that he remained before it
a long time, absorbed, marveling, exultant. Safe against the years he
seemed now, and yet, as he gazed, his pleasure grew into a pain, so
vividly did the chiseled stone bring back the grace he had known. Close
upon the exultant thought: "Now she can never fade from my memory,"
came the reflection that his little son would never know how like to
his mother this image was. "He will know only the cold marble--his
mother will not even be a memory."

One sixth day morning in the eighth month word was brought to Nicholas
Asche, leader of the Meeting, that Roger Barnes was about to erect a
graven image among the low headstones of the burial grounds, and in
amazement and indignation the old man hastened that way.

He found his two sons and several others of the congregation already
gathered, gazing with surprise and a touch of awe upon the statue which
Conrad and young Bailey had already securely based beneath a graceful
young oak in the very centre of his family plot. Gleaming, life-size,
it rose above the modest records of the other graves.

As the stern old elder rode up, the throng of onlookers meekly gave way
for him. He halted only when he had come so near the offending monument
that he could touch it. For a full minute he regarded it with eyes
whose anger lit the shadow of his broad-brim, glaring with
ever-increasing resentment as he came fully to realize what it meant to
have a tall statue thus set up to dwarf the lowly records of its
neighbors. It seemed at once impious and rebellious.

Harshly he broke forth: "What has come to thee, Roger Barnes, that thee
has broken all the rules of the Discipline relative to burial? Thee
well knows our laws. No one could convey a greater insult to the
elders, to the dead beneath these other stones, than thee has done by
this act. Lay that impious object low or I will fetch thee before the
Meeting."

"I will not," replied the young man. "I was even thinking of exalting
it still more by putting beneath it another foot of granite block."

"Thee knows full well that by regulation no gravestone can be more than
three hands high," Nicholas stormed.

"I know that well, but this is not a gravestone," Roger retorted. "It
is a work of art. It is at once a portrait and a thing of beauty."

"That is but paltering. Thee knows well it is at once a forbidden thing
and a monument beyond the regulation in height, and therefore doubly
offensive to the Meeting. We will not tolerate such folly. I say to
thee again, take the unholy thing down. Will thee urge disrespect to
the whole Society? Thee knows it is in opposition to all our teaching.
What devil's spirit has seized upon thee?"

"Thee may storm," stoutly answered Roger, "but I am not to be
frightened. This plot of ground is mine. This figure is also mine. It
is a blessed comfort, a sign of love and not a thing of evil--and I
will not take it away from here for thee nor for all the elders."

Nicholas, perceiving that Roger was not to be coerced at the moment,
ceased argument, but his wrath did not cool.

"Thee shall come before the Meeting forthwith."

The following day a summons was issued calling a council, and a
messenger came to Roger calling him before his elders in judgment.

Thereupon a sharp division was set up among the neighbors and the
discussion spread among the Friends. The question of "Free Will in
Burial Stones" was hotly debated wherever two or three of the members
met, so that the mind of each was firmly made up by the time the
Meeting came together to try the question publicly. "I see no wrong in
it," said some. "It is disgraceful," others heatedly charged.

Roger's act was denounced by his own family as treason to the Meeting,
as well as heretical to the faith, and his father, old Nathan Barnes,
rising with solemn and mournful dignity, admitted this.

"I know not what I have done that a son of mine should bring such shame
and sorrow to my old age. It is the influence of the world's people
whose licentious teachings corrupt even the most steadfast of our
youth. We came here--to this lonely place--to get away from the world's
people. They thicken about us now, these worldlings; hence I favor
another journey into a far wilderness where we can live at peace, shut
away from the contamination of these greedy and blasphemous idolators."

All realized that he spoke in anger as well as in sorrow, and the more
candid and cool-headed of the Friends deplored his words, for they had
long since determined that the world's forces must be met and endured;
but Jacob Farnum was quick to declare himself.

"The welfare of our Society demands the punishment of Roger Barnes. I
move that a committee be appointed to proceed to the burial ground and
throw down and break in pieces this graven image."

Here something unexpectedly hot and fierce filled Roger's heart to the
exclusion of his peaceful teaching and his lifelong awe of his elders.
Rising to his feet he violently exclaimed: "By what right will thee so
act? Is it more wicked to have a marble portrait than an ambrotype? It
is true that I learned the secrets of sculpture from one of the world's
people; it is true that an outsider has cut the stone, but I believe
his trade to be worthy and his work justifiable. I believe in such
portraits." He addressed himself to Nicholas Asche: "Had thee permitted
Rachel to have had a daguerreotype, it would not have been necessary
for me to treat with this carver of stone, who is, notwithstanding, a
man of probity. I will not have him traduced by anyone present," he
ended with a threat in his eyes; "he is my friend."

Thereupon Nicholas Asche curtly answered: "There also thee is gravely
at fault. Thee has brought my daughter Ruth under the baleful influence
of this worldling; and she is even now filled with admiration for him.
She too needs be admonished of the elders for too much thinking upon
light affairs. Thee is a traitor to thy sister-in-law, Roger Barnes, as
thee is a traitor to the Meeting. To permit thee to go thy present ways
would be to open our gates to vanity and envy and all imaginable folly.
If thee does not at once remove this graven image from our burial
grounds, we will ourselves proceed against it and break it and throw it
into the highway."

Then again young Roger rose in his seat and with his strong hands
doubled into weapons cried out: "Thee will do well to take this matter
guardedly and my words to heart, for I tell thee that whosoever goes
near to lay rude hands on that fair form will himself be thrown down. I
will break him like a staff across my knee."

He stood thus for a moment like a proud young athlete, meeting the eye
of his opponent, then, as no one spoke, turned and strode out, resolute
to be first on the ground, ready to defend with his whole strength the
marble embodiment of his vanished wife.

And yet, even as he walked away from the church, hot and blinded with
anger, he began to ache with an indefinable, increasing sorrow. He had
expected opposition, but not such fury as this. He had noted the
downcast eyes of his friends. It seemed as if something very precious
had gone out of his life--as though the whole world had suddenly become
inimical.

"They were ashamed of me," he said and his heart sank, for
notwithstanding his resentment he loved the Meeting and its ways. For
the most part the faces of the congregation were dear to him and the
pain that sprang from a knowledge that he had cut himself off from
those he respected soon softened his indignation. Nevertheless he
hurried on to the burying ground.

It was a glorious September day and all through the fields the crickets
were softly singing as if in celebration of the gathered ample harvest.
They spoke from the green grass above the graves with the same
insistent cheer as from the sere stubble, but Roger heard them not, for
his ears still rang with the elder's stern voice and his eyes were
darkened by the lowering brows of his father's moody face. Only when
the statue rose before him white and still and fair in the misty
sunlight did his mood lighten.

"How beautiful it is," he exclaimed. "How can they desire to destroy
it?"

Nevertheless he was smitten with a kind of dismay as he looked around
upon the low, drab headstones and perceived with what singular
significance the marble rose above them. "In truth I have dared much in
doing this thing." It was as if he had been led by some inner spirit
braver than himself.

And then--even as he raised a first glance to the statue--a pang of
keen surprise shot through his heart. The face was changed. Something
new had come into it. It was not his Rachel! With hand pressed upon his
chilling heart he studied it with new understanding. He had known that
it somewhat resembled Ruth, for Ruth indeed resembled Rachel--but that
it was verily in every line and shadow a portrait of the living and not
of the dead he now realized for the first time.

"The sculptor has deceived me!" he cried. "He loves Ruth and with the
craft of a lover has wrought out his design deliberately and with
cunning. He has carved the cold stone to the form of his own desire.
How blind I have been."

In complete comprehension he addressed the statue: "Thee is but a
symbol of this artist's love for another after all. Nicholas Asche was
right. This sculptor under cover of my love--in pretending to work out
my ideal--has betrayed me and bewitched Ruth."

Ruth, his constant sunny companion, the keeper, the almost second
mother of his child, had been snared by the fowler! He no longer
doubted it. He recalled the gladness with which she always accompanied
him to the sculptor's studio and her silence and preoccupation on the
homeward drive. She loved the artist. She was about to be taken away.

Something fierce and wild clutched at his throat and with a groan he
fell upon the ground beneath the figure: "Oh, Ruth, Ruth! Am I to lose
thee too?"

At this moment he forgot all else but the sweet girl who had become so
necessary to his life. Truly, to lose all hope of her was to be doubly
bereaved. "I am now most surely solitary," he mourned. "What will
become of me hereafter? Who will care for my little son?"

While still he lay there, dark with despair and lax with weakness, Ruth
and the sculptor came up the walk to the gate and saw his prostrate
form. Ruth checked the sculptor's advance. "Let me go up to him alone,"
she said, and approached where Roger lay. She did not know the true
cause of his grief, but she pitied him: "Do not grieve, Roger; they
will not dare to touch the figure."

He looked up at her with a glance which was at once old and strange,
but uttered no word of reply, only steadfastly regarded her; then his
head dropped upon his arm and his body shook only with sobbing.

She spoke again: "Thee must not despair. There are quite as many for
thee as there are against thee. All the young people are on thy side.
No one will dare to harm the statue."

As they stood thus Conrad approached and said: "What does it matter?
Come out from among these narrow folk. Ruth is to come out and be my
wife. Why do you stay to be worried by the elders who----"

He spoke no further, for Roger waved his hand in dismissal of them and
cried out in most lamentable voice: "Leave me. Leave me," and again hid
his face in his hands.

In troubled wonder the young people moved away slowly, Ruth with
tear-filled eyes, Conrad very grave. Together they took their stand at
the gate to guard against the approach of others less sympathetic. "His
grief is profound," said Ruth, "but the statue will comfort him."

Roger, overwhelmed now by another emotion--a sense of shame, of deep
contrition--was face to face with a clear conception of his disloyalty
to the dead. Aye, the statue was Ruth. Its youth, its tender, timid
smile, its arch brow, all were hers, and as he remembered how Conrad
had taken the small unresisting hand in his, he knew himself to be
baser than Nicholas Asche had dared imagine. "I loved thee," he
confessed; "not as I loved Rachel--but in a most human way. My life has
closed round thee. I have unconsciously thought of thee as the guardian
of my child. Thy shining figure I have placed in the glow of my fire."

This was true. Ruth had not displaced the love he still bore for his
sweet wife--but she had made it an echo of passion, a dim song, a
tender and haunting memory of his youth.

The sun sank and dusk came on while still he lay at the statue's feet
in remorseful agony of soul, and those who came near enough to speak
with him respected his wish and left him undisturbed.

Softly the darkness rose and a warm and mellow night covered the
mourner, clothing the marble maid with mystery.

The crickets singing innumerably all about him came at last to express
in some subtle way the futility of his own purpose, the smallness of
his own affairs, and as he listened he lost the sharpness of his grief.
His despair lightened. He ceased to accuse; his desire of battle died.
"How could Conrad know that I had grown disloyal? And how was Ruth to
perceive my change of heart? The treachery is mine, all mine, dear
angel, but I will atone. I will atone. Forgive me. Come to me and
forgive me! Comfort me."

Within his heart the spirit of resentment gave way to one of
humbleness, of submission. The contest for a place among these gray old
monuments no longer seemed worthy--or rather he felt himself no longer
worthy to wage it. His disloyalty to his dead disqualified him as a
base act disqualified the knights of old. "My cause is lost because my
heart was false!" he said.

So during the long hours of the night he kept remorseful vigil. The
moon set, the darkness deepened, cool, odorous, musical with lulling
songs of insects; and still he lingered, imploring solace, seeking
relief from self-reproach. At last, just before dawn, the spirit of his
dead Rachel stepped from the shadow. She approached him and bending
above him softly said:

"Dear heart, it is true I am not within the graven image. You have no
need of it. Go home. There I am, always near thee and the child. I am
not for others; I am thine. Return. Make thy peace with the elders.
Thee must not live solitary and sad. Our son waits for thee, and when
thee sits beside his bed, I will be there."

He woke chilled and wet with the midnight damp, but in his heart a
new-found sense of peace had come. His interest in the statue was at an
end. He now knew that it was neither the monument he had desired nor
the image of his love. "How gross I have been," he said, addressing
himself to the unseen presence, "to think that the beauty of my dead
could be embodied in stone! Ruth shall go her ways to happiness with my
blessing."

In this mood he rose and went to his home, deeply resolved to put aside
his idolatry of Ruth even as he had put behind him the gleaming,
beautiful figure beneath the shadow of the oak.



Masterpieces

_By Ethel Hueston_


      Give me my pen,
    For I would write fine thoughts, pure thoughts,
    To touch men's hearts with tenderness,
    To fire with zeal for service grim,
    To cheer with mirth when skies are dull;
      Give me my pen,
    For I would write a masterpiece.

      Yet stay a while,
    For I must put away these toys,
    And wash this chubby, grimy face,
    And kiss this little hurting bruise,
    And hum a bedtime lullaby--
      Take back the pen:
    This is a woman's masterpiece.



Bread

_By Ellis Parker Butler_


They came to Iowa in a prairie schooner with a rounded canvas top and
where the canvas was brought together at the rear of the wagon it left
a little window above the tailboard. On the floor of the wagon was a
heap of hay and an old quilt out of which the matted cotton protruded,
and on this Martha and Eben used to sit, looking out of the window.
Martha was a little over two years old and Eben was four.

They crossed the Mississippi at Muscatine on the ferry. It was about
noon and old Hodges, the crew of the ferry, who was as crooked as the
branches of an English oak because the huge branch of an English oak
had fallen on him when he was young, took his dinner from his tin pail.
He looked up and saw the two eager little faces.

"Want a bite to eat?" he asked, and he peeled apart two thick slices of
bread, thickly buttered, and handed them up to the two youngsters.
This, a slice of Mrs. Hodges' good wheat bread, was Martha's welcome to
Iowa. The butter was as fragrant as a flower and the bread was moist
and succulent, delicious to the touch and the taste. Martha ate it all,
even to the last crumb of crust, and, although she did not know it, the
gift, the acceptance and the eating was a sacrament--the welcome of
bountiful Iowa.

As the prairie schooner rolled its slow way inward into the state there
were more slices of bread. The father stopped the weary horses at many
houses, shacks and dugouts; and always there was a woman to come to the
wagon with a slice of bread for Martha, and one for Eben, for that was
the Iowa way. Sometimes the bread was buttered, sometimes it was spread
with jelly, sometimes it was bread alone. It was all good bread.

There were days at a time, after they reached the new home, when there
was nothing to eat but bread, but there was always that. The neighbors
did not wait to be asked to lend; they brought flour unasked and
Martha's mother kneaded it and set it to rise and baked it. Then the
harvests began to come in uninterrupted succession of wealth, and the
dugout became a house, and barns arose, and a school was built, and
Martha and Eben went along the dusty, unfenced road, barefooted, happy,
well fed, or in winter leaped through the snowdrifts. In their
well-filled lunch pail there was always plenty and always bread.

In time Martha taught school, now in one district and now in another;
and everywhere, wherever she boarded, there was good wheat bread and
plenty of it. She remembered the boarding places by their bread. Some
had bread as good as her mother's; some had bread not as good. During
her first vacation her mother taught her to make bread. Her very first
baking was a success. John Cartwright, coming to the kitchen door just
as she was drawing the black bread-pan from the oven on that hot July
day, saw her eyes sparkle with triumph as she saw the rich brown
loaves.

"Isn't it beautiful? It is my first bread, John," she said, as she
stood, flushed and triumphant.

"It smells like mother's," he said, "but she don't seem to get her'n so
nice and brown."

"I guess Martha is a natural bread-maker," said her mother proudly.
"Some is and some ain't."

Always good bread and plenty of it! That was Iowa. And it was of
Martha's bread they partook around the kitchen table the next
year--Eben and John, Martha and her father and mother--just before the
two young men drove to the county seat to enlist.

"I guess we won't get bread like this in the army," John said, and he
was right.

"When I'm chawing this sow-belly and hard tack," Eben wrote, "I wish I
had some of that bread of yours, Marth. I guess this war won't last
long and the minute it is over you'll see me skedaddling home for some
of your bread. Tell ma I'm well and----"

They brought his body home because he was not killed outright but lived
almost two weeks in the hospital at St. Louis after he was wounded.
Martha scraped the dough from her fingers to go to the door when her
father drove up with the precious, lifeless form. That day her bread
was not as good as usual.

Martha and John were married the month he came back from the war, and
the bread that was eaten at the wedding dinner was Martha's own baking.
The bread that was eaten by those who came to prepare her mother for
the grave and by those who came, a year later, to lay away her father,
was Martha's. Once, twice, three times, four times Martha did a double
baking, to "last over," so that there might be bread in the house while
the babies were being born. Every week, except those four weeks, she
baked bread.

In succession the small boys and girls of her own began coming to the
kitchen door pleading, "Ma, may I have a piece of bread an' butter?"
Always they might. There was always plenty of bread; it was Iowa.

In time Martha became something of a fanatic about flour. One kind was
the best flour in the world; she would have no other. Once, when John
brought back another brand, she sent him back to town with it. Her
bread was so well known that the flour dealer in town was wont to say,
"This is the kind Mis' Cartwright uses; I guess I can't say no more'n
that." Eight times in twenty years she won the blue ribbon at the
county fair for her loaves; the twelve other times John swore the
judges were prejudiced. "It ain't the flour; that I do know!" Martha
would answer.

Presently there were children of her children coming on Sunday to spend
the day with the "old folks," and there was always enough bread for
all. Sometime in the afternoon the big loaf would be taken out of the
discarded tin boiler that served as a bread-box and the children would
have a "piece"--huge slices of bread, limber in the hand, spread with
brown sugar, or jelly, or honey, or dripping with jam. Then, one
Sunday, young John's wife brought a loaf of her own bread to show
Martha. They battled pleasantly for two hours over the merits of two
brands of flour, comparing the bread, but Martha would no more have
given up her own brand than she would have deserted the Methodist
Church to become a Mahometan!

Then came a time when John had difficulty in holding his pipe in his
mouth because his "pipe tooth" was gone. He no longer ate the crusts of
Martha's bread except when he dipped them in his coffee. There was a
strong, young girl to do the housework but Martha still made the bread,
just such beautiful, richly browned, fragrant bread as she had made in
her younger days. There had never been a week without the good bread,
for this was Iowa.

One day, as she was kneading the dough, she stopped suddenly and put
her hand to her side, under her heart. She had to wait several minutes
before she could go on with the kneading. Then she shaped the bread
into loaves and put it in the pan and put the pan in the oven. She went
out on the porch, where John was sitting, and talked about the weather,
and then of a grandson, Horace, who was the first to enlist for the
great war that was wracking the world. She mentioned the poor Belgians.

"And us so comfortable here, and all!" she said. "When I think of them
not having bread enough to eat----"

"I warrant they never did have bread like yours to eat, ma," said John.

She rocked slowly, happy and proud that her man thought that, and then
she went in to take the fresh loaves from the oven. They were crisp and
golden brown as always, great, plump, nourishing loaves of good wheat
bread. She carried the pan to the table.

"Bertha," she said, "I'll let you put the bread away. I guess I'll go
up and lie down awhile; I don't feel right well."

She stopped at the foot of the stairs to tell John she was going up;
that she did not feel very well.

"If I don't come down to supper," she said, "you can have Bertha cut a
loaf of the fresh bread, but you'd better not eat too much of it, John;
it don't always agree with you. There's plenty of the other loaf left."

She did not come down again, not Martha herself. She did not mourn
because she could not come down again. She had lived her life and it
had been a good life, happy, well-nourished, satisfying as her own
bread had been. And so, when they came back from leaving Martha beside
the brother who had died so many years before, the last loaf of her
last baking was cut and eaten around the kitchen table--the youngsters
biting eagerly into the thick slices, the elders tasting with thoughts
not on the bread at all, and old John crumbling the bread in his
fingers and thinking of long past years.



At Kamakura: 1917

_By Arthur Davison Ficke_


    The world shakes with the terrible tramp of war
    And the foe's menace swirls through every sea.
    But here the Buddha still broods ceaselessly
    In hush more real than our strange tumults are.

    Here where the fighting hosts of long ago
    Once clashed and fell, here where the armored hordes
    Razed the great city with their flashing swords,
    Now only waves flash, only breezes blow.



That Iowa Town

_By Oney Fred Sweet_


According to the popular songs, we are apt to get the impression that
the only section of the country where there is moonlight and a waiting
sweetheart and a home worth longing for is down in Dixie. Judging from
the movies, a plot to appeal must have a mountain or a desert setting
of the West. Fictionists, so many of them, seem to think they must
locate their heroines on Fifth Avenue and their heroes at sea. But
could I write songs or direct cinema dramas or pen novels I'd get my
inspiration from that Iowa town.

Did you ever drive in from an Iowa farm to a Fourth of July
celebration? A few years back the land wasn't worth quite so much an
acre; the sloughs hadn't been tiled yet and the country hadn't
discovered what a limited section of real good corn land there was
after all. But she was Iowa then! Remember how the hot sun dawned early
to shimmer across the knee-high fields and blaze against the side of
the big red barn, how the shadows of the willow windbreak shortened and
the fan on top of the tall windmill faintly creaked? The hired man had
decorated his buggy-whip with a tiny ribbon of red, white and blue.
Buggy-whip--sound queer now? Well, there were only three automobiles in
the county then and they were the feature of the morning parade.
Remember how the two blocks of Main Street were draped with bunting and
flags, and the courthouse lawn was dotted with white dresses? Well,
anyhow you remember the girls with parasols who represented the states,
and the float bearing the Goddess of Liberty. And then the storm came
in the middle of the afternoon. The lightning and the thunder, and the
bunting with the red, white and blue somewhat streaked together but
still fluttering. And just before sunset, you remember, it brightened
up again, and out past the low-roofed depot and the tall grain elevator
you could see the streak of blue and the play of the departing sun
against the spent clouds. Nowhere else, above no other town, could
clouds pile just like that.

You remember that morning, once a year, when the lilacs had just turned
purple out by the front gate, and the dew was still wet on the green
grass, the faint strains of band-music drifting out above the maples of
the town, and flags hanging out on the porches--Decoration Day! How we
used to hunt through the freshly awakened woods north of town for the
rarest wildflowers! Tender petaled bloodroots there were in plenty, and
cowslips down by the spring, and honeysuckles on the creek bank those
late May days, but the lady's slippers and the jack in the pulpits--one
had to know the hidden recesses where they grew. Withered they became
before the hot sun sank, sending rays from the west that made the
tombstones gleam like gold. Somehow, on those days, the sky seemed a
bluer blue when the words of the speaker at the "Monument of the
Unknown Dead" were carried off by the faint breeze that muffled, too,
the song of the quartet and the music of the band. But close in your
ears were the chirps of the insects in the bluegrass and the robins
that hopped about in the branches of the evergreens.

We had our quota of civil war veterans in that Iowa town. We had our
company that went down to Chickamauga in '98. And now--well, you know
what to expect from the youth of that sort of a community. Prosperity
can't rob a place like that of its pioneer virtues. That Iowa town is
an American town and it simply wouldn't fit into the German system at
all. There's nothing old world about it. The present generation may
have it easier than their fathers did; they may ride in automobiles
instead of lumber wagons; they may wear pinch back coats and long beak
caps instead of overalls and straw hats, but they've inherited
something beside material wealth. We who owned none of its surrounding
acres when they were cheap and find them now so out of reach, are yet
rich, fabulously rich in inheritance. The last I heard from that Iowa
town its youth was donning khaki for the purpose of helping to keep the
Kaiser on the other side of the sea.

But it was of the town we used to know that I was speaking. Changed? We
must realize that. It was the sort that improves rather than grows. But
we remember the place as it was before the blacksmith shop was turned
into a garage and before the harness shop was given an electric lighted
front and transformed into a movie. I guess the new generation has long
since passed up the old opera house above the drug store for the
rejuvenated harness shop and the actors that come by express in canned
celluloid. But at county fair time, you remember, the Cora Warner
Comedy Company used to come for a week's engagement, Cora Warner,
noticeably wrinkled as she walked through the park from the hotel,
donning a blonde wig that enabled her to play soubrette parts of the
old school. And then there were the Beach and Bowers minstrels with
their band that swung breezily up Main Street to form a circle on the
bank corner and lift the whole center of the town out of the
commonplace by the blare of trombones and the tenderness of clarinets.
You remember how we Boy Scouts, who didn't know we were Boy Scouts,
used to clamor for the front row of kitchen chairs after peddling bills
for "The Octoroon" or "Nevada, and the Lost Mine"?

Oh, well, we're uninteresting old-timers now. And it used to be that I
knew everyone in town--even the transient baker whose family had no
garden and chickens but lived up over the furniture store, and the
temporary telephone man who sat out in front of the hotel evenings with
the pale-faced traveling man. That hotel--haunted with an atmosphere
that was brought in from the outside world! Remember how you used to
walk past it with awe, the hot sun on the plank sidewalk burning your
bare feet, and your eyes wistful as you heard the bus man on the steps
call a train? And the time came when we took the train ourselves. And
when we came back--

When we came back, the town was still there, but the wondrous age when
all life is roseate belonged to us no longer.

And yet that town, to me, will always be as it was in those days when
the world was giving me its first pink-tinted impressions. And when my
tussle with the world as it really is comes to a close, I want to go
back there and take my last long sleep beneath one of those evergreens
on the hillside where I know the robins hop along the branches. I know
how each season's change comes there--the white drifts, the dew on the
bluegrass, the rustling of crimsoned leaves. I'll know that off on the
prairies beyond, the cornfields will still wave green in summer, and
that from back across the creek, over in the school yard, there will
float the old hushed echo of youth at play.



But Once a Year

_By R. O'Grady_


A shabby little woman detached herself from the steadily marching
throng on the avenue and paused before a shop window, from which solid
rows of electric bulbs flashed brilliantly into the December twilight.
The ever-increasing current of Christmas shoppers flowed on. Now and
then it rolled up, like the waters of the Jordan, while a lady with
rich warm furs about her shoulders made safe passage from her car to
the tropic atmosphere of the great department store.

Warmth, and the savory smells from a bakery kitchen wafted up through
the grating of a near-by pavement, modifying the nipping air. The
shabby little woman, only half conscious of such gratuitous comfort,
adjusted her blinking gaze to the brightness and looked hungrily at the
costumes shimmering under the lights. Wax figures draped with
rainbow-tinted, filmy evening gowns caught her passing admiration, but
she lingered over the street costumes, the silk-lined coats and soft,
warm furs. Elbowed by others who like herself were eager to look, even
though they could not buy, she held her ground until she had made her
choice.

With her wistful gaze still fixed upon her favorite, she had begun to
edge her way through the crowd at the window, when she felt, rather
than saw, someone different from the rest, close at her side. At the
same instant, she caught the scent of fresh-cut flowers and looked up
into the eyes of a tall young girl in a white-plumed velvet hat, with a
bunch of English violets in her brown mink fur.

As their glances met, the shabby little woman checked a start, and
half-defensively dropped her lids. The smile that shone evanescently
from the girl's cordial eyes had aroused in her a feeling of something
unwonted, and strangely intimate. There had flashed over the mobile
face beneath the velvet hat a look of personal interest--an
unmistakable impulse to speak.

The thrill of response that set the woman's pulses throbbing died
suddenly. The red that mottled her grayish cheeks was the red of shame.
Through the window, in a mirrored panel cruelly ablaze with light, she
saw herself: her made-over turban, her short, pigeon-tailed jacket of a
style long past, and her old otter cape with its queer caudal
decorations and its yellowed cracks grinning through the plucked and
ragged fur.

One glance at her own image was enough. The little woman pushed
determinedly into the slow-moving crush, and headed toward the nearest
elevated station, to be carried on irresistibly by the army of
pedestrians.

She caught a last glimpse of the tall young girl, coming in her
direction, still watching her with that same eager look. But what of
that? She knew why women stared curiously at her. By the time her
station was reached, the occurrence had assumed in her mind a painful
significance which emphasized the sordidness of her evening's routine.
She made her way along a narrow, dimly lighted street, walking with the
aimless gait of one who neither expects nor is expected.

But, loiter as she might, she soon reached a neighborhood where rows of
narrow brick tenements brooded over dingy, cluttered basement shops.
Here she found it necessary to accelerate her pace to make way for
romping children and bareheaded women hurrying from the shops with
their suppers in paper bags.

In spite of the wintry chill, the section had an air of activity all
its own. Neither did it lack occasional evidences of Christmas cheer.
In the window of a little news and fruit shop, against the smeared and
partly frosted glass, a holly wreath was hanging, and within stood a
rack of gaudy, tinseled Christmas cards. The woman hesitated, as if
about to enter the shop, then abruptly passed on. She ascended one of
the stoops that were all alike. Standing in a blur of reddish light
that filtered through the broken glass above the door, she looked back
the way she had come.

For an instant her pulses quickened again as they had done on the
avenue down-town. At the corner, a tall girl with a white-plumed velvet
hat was smilingly picking her way through the swarming element so
foreign, apparently, to one of her class. As the white plume came
nearer and nearer, the tremulous little woman regained her
self-control. It was but one of the coincidences of the city, she told
herself, turning resolutely away. The door slammed shut behind her.

Odd, she thought, as she groped her way through the dimly lighted lower
hall, and the complete darkness of the upper, that such a girl should
be living in such a neighborhood. Then, with an effort, she dismissed
the matter from her mind.

To find a match and light the sputtering gas required but very few
steps in her tiny box of a room. When that was accomplished, she could
think of nothing more to do. Her little taste of excitement had spoiled
her zest for any of the homy rites which at other times formed the
biggest events of her day. As she sank down upon the cot without
removing her wraps, she was greeted by the usual creaking of rusty
springs; her table with its meager array of dishes, its coffee pot and
little alcohol burner, sat as ever in its corner, inviting the
preparation of her evening meal. But to-night she did not want to eat.
She had not visited the bake-shop on her way home. She had not even
bought her daily paper at the corner stand where the postcards
were--those gay Christmas cards that bring you greetings from friends.

As she slowly removed her turban, her jacket and fur cape and, without
getting up, tossed them across a chair against the opposite wall, the
dull ache of dissatisfaction in her heart grew slowly to a sharp pain
of desire. She wanted to do something, to have something happen that
might break the sordid routine of her existence.

Still, habit and environment would continue to force at least a part of
this routine upon her. She glanced at her fingers, stained to an oily,
bluish grime by the cheap dye of the garments that furnished her daily
work. Mechanically she rose to wash.

While her hands were immersed in the lather of rankly perfumed toilet
soap, there came a gentle knock at the door.

"Come in," invited the woman, expecting some famine-pressed neighbor
for a spoonful of coffee or a drawing of tea.

The door opened slowly, a tentative aperture.

"May I come in?" asked a voice that was sweeter than the breath of
violets that preceded the caller into the room.

With the towel clutched in her dripping hands, the woman flung wide
open the door, then hastened to unload the chair which held her
wraps--her only chair.

"Thank you; don't bother," urged the visitor. "I shall like sitting on
the couch."

There was a melody of enthusiasm in this remark, which the complaining
of the cot, as the girl dropped easily upon it, could not wholly drown.

The woman, having absently hung her towel on the doorknob, stared
dazedly at the visitant. She could hardly credit her eyes. It was--it
was indeed the girl with the white ostrich plume and the bouquet of
violets in her brown mink fur.

"I feel like an intruder," began the girl, "and, do you know--" her
appraising glance directed to the old fur collar on the chair, was
guiltily withdrawn as she spoke--"do you know, I've such a silly excuse
for coming." She laughed, and the laugh brought added music to her
voice.

The woman, now at last recalled from her abstraction, smiled, and the
weariness passed from her face. She seated herself at the extreme end
of the humpy, complaining cot.

"I'm sure you'll understand," resumed the girl. "At least, I hope
you'll not be offended.... I heard ... that is, I noticed you had a
rare fur-piece--" her vivid glance returned to the pile of wraps on
the chair--"and I want to ask a very great favor of you. I--now
_please_ don't be shocked--I've been ransacking the city for something
like it, and--" with a determined air of taking the plunge--"I should
like to buy it of you!"

"Buy it!" scorned the woman, with a sudden dull red staining her sallow
cheeks. "I can't see why anyone would want to pay money for such a
thing as that."

"It--it's a rare pattern, you know," groped the girl, her sweet tones
assuming an eloquent, persuasive quiver, "and--and you don't know how
glad I'd be to have it."

The indignant color faded out of the woman's face. "If you really want
the thing--" abruptly she put her bizarre possession into her strange
visitor's lap--"If you really want it--but I don't see--" yearning
crept into her work-dimmed eyes, a yearning that seemed to struggle
with disillusionment. "Tell me," she broke off, "is that all you came
here for?"

Apparently oblivious to the question, the young woman rose to her feet.
"You'll sell it to me then!" she triumphed, opening her gold-bound
purse.

"But, see here," demurred the woman, "I can't--it ain't worth----"

The girl's gloved hands went fumbling into her purse, while the old fur
cape hung limply across one velvet arm.

"You leave it to me," she commanded, and smiled, a radiant, winning
smile.

Impulsively the woman drew close to her guest. "Excuse me," she
faltered, "but, do you know--you look ever-so-much like a little niece
of mine back--home?"

"Do I? That's nice." The visitor looked at her watch. A note of
abstraction had crept into her beautiful voice, but it still held the
caress that invited the woman's confidence.

"Yes, my little niece--excuse me--I haven't seen her for twelve
years--most fifteen years, I guess. She'd be growed up, but I
thought--when I saw you down-town----"

"Oh, you remember me, then! Forgive me for following--" The girl seized
the woman's soap-reddened hands in a sudden fervent clasp. "I
understand," she breathed. "You must be lonely.... I'll try to see you
again--I surely will.... Good-bye...."

The girl was gone and all at once the room seemed colder and dingier
than it ever had before. But the woman was not cold. As she sat huddled
on the cot, warmth and vitality glowed within her, kindled by the
memory of a recent kindly human touch.

The following evening, after working hours, the shabby woman, wearing a
faded scarf about her neck to replace the old fur collar, diffidently
accosted a saleslady at the Sixth Avenue department store. She wanted
to buy a brown mink collar, just like one worn by a figure in green in
the window.

It was unusual to sell expensive furs to such a customer. But people
might send what freaks of servants they pleased to do their Christmas
shopping, provided they sent the money, too. In this case, the shabby
little woman was prepared. She produced three crisp ten-dollar
bills--the fabulous sum which the girl had left in her hand at
parting--and two dollars more from the savings in her worn little
purse. Then, hugging the big flat box against the tight-fitting bosom
of her jacket, she triumphantly left the store.

In a sort of tender ecstasy she dallied along until she came to a
florist's window. As she paused to gaze at great bunches of carnations
and roses, tied with broad and streaming ribbons, the anxious look that
attends the doubtful shopper returned to her face. Would it be of any
use to go in? Since she must either keep moving or be carried along by
the crowd, she edged through the revolving door.

"English violets?--Fifty cents for the small bunches," clipped off the
red-cheeked salesgirl, in reply to the woman's groping inquiry.

The perturbed shopper turned reluctantly away, hesitated, and then
asked:

"But the roses? A single, half-blown rose--?"

"Twenty-five apiece," replied the girl in the same mechanical tones,
while she busied herself in rearranging a basket of flowers.

"I--I'll take the rose."

At the express office, where scores were waiting before her, the woman
had ample time to untie her box and slip the rosebud beneath the tissue
paper of the inner wrapping. Then, having retied it securely and stuck
a "Do-not-open-until-Christmas" tag in a conspicuous place, she took
her stand in line. When it finally came her turn at the desk, a stout
clerk, who worked like an automaton and breathed like an ox, tore the
package from her lingering grasp and dashed across the wrapper the
address she gave.

She paid the charges, wadded the receipt into her purse and turned
briskly away.

Fresh crullers she took to her room from the bake-shop, having bought
them from a dark, greasy woman, whom she wished a "Merry Christmas" in
a voice that almost sang. At dusk she had coffee in her room. It was
Christmas Eve and she must begin early to get her full share of the
season's peculiar indulgences. After she had read her paper for an hour
or so by the recklessly flaming gas jet, she bustled about to brew
another cup of coffee, and feasted upon crullers for the second time.
At last she filled a water-bottle with tepid water from a faucet in the
hall, and prepared for bed.

The chill of the bedclothes, upon which the tepid water-bottle had
little effect, could not touch the cozy warmth about the woman's heart.
Neither were the happy memories of her strange and lovely visitor
disturbed by knowledge of an incident that was taking place at that
very hour. As she bounced into her cot, humming a little tune, she did
not know that at a down-town theater a popular young actress was just
responding to an insistent curtain call. Nor could she have recognized
the graceful young girl, issuing from the wings in a new character
part--an extreme type of eccentric maidenhood--except for the plucked
and ragged fur-piece which formed the keynote of the performer's quaint
attire.

No knowledge of this episode disturbed the half-drowsy, half-blissful
state which supplanted the woman's sleep that night. The incident cast
no cloud upon her eager awakening, nor retarded her active leap from
bed when the voice of her landlady aroused her with a start on
Christmas morning.

"_Eggs_-press, _eggs_-press ... a package for Miss Law-lor-r-r!"

Full-chested and lingering, the call reverberated up three flights of
naked stairs, and by the time the woman had donned her skirt and
sweater and had emerged into the twilight of the upper hall, frowsy,
curious heads protruded from every door.

She carried the bulky Christmas package to her own room, moving
deliberately, in shy, half-guilty triumph, and placed it on the cot.
Behind her closed door she untied it, removed the cover and smilingly
bent down to draw an eager inhalation from the tissue paper folds.
Then, with careful fingers, she parted the crisp inner wrappings and
unearthed a wilting, half-blown rose from its nest in the brown mink
fur.



The Reminder

_By Allan Updegraff_


    A little Belgian and an old violin--
    A short, dumpy, melancholy little Belgian
    And a very fine old violin....

    An inconsequential small Belgian
    Wearing a discouraged bit of mustache,
    American "store" clothes that didn't fit,
    Cheap American shoes, shined but shapeless....
    (And yet he had often played in high honor
    Before great audiences in Belgium;
    But that was before Hell's lid was lifted
    Somewhere in the North of Germany--
    May it be clamped down, hard, before long!)

    So this shabby, fat, discouraged oldish Belgian
    (Too old and fat for military service),
    And his very old beautiful violin,
    (Borrowed--he'd lost his better one to his conquerors),
    Appeared before a dubious tag-end of an audience
    In a music hall built in the woods
    Near an American summer resort,
    And played a dozen selections for forty-five dollars.

    Then we learned why he had often played in high honor
    Before great audiences in Belgium;
    And why his king and his country
    Had given him the honors he still wore,
    The riches recently taken away
    By his conquerors.

    Then we saw what manner of man he was,
    How that his soul was finely clad, upright,
    Nobly statured, crowned with Apollo's bays.
    Then we knew, when he played Tartini's sonata for violin,
    That Belgium would own once more
    Its little place in the sun.

    For the old Italian master might have written that sonata
    With the devastated Belgium of these days in mind.
    First, streaming from beneath the Belgian's sentient bow,
    The music told of peace and common things,
    With some bickering, some trivialities,
    But much melody and deep harmony underneath.
    The third movement, _affetuoso_, awoke to ruin--
    To ruin too sudden and complete.

    Too bloody and bestial and cruel
    And thorough and filthy and Prussian
    To be more than wailed over softly.

    There was a stabbed child
    Lying in the mud beneath a half-burned house,
    Beside the naked corpse of its mother,
    The mutilated bodies of its old grandfather,
    And young sister;
    And the child cried faintly, and moaned,
    And cried again....
    And then was silent.

    A while after, from far away,
    Rose dull outcries, trampling feet,
    Voices indomitable--
    Retreating, returning, joined by others, dying, reviving,
    Always indomitable.
    And still others joined those beaten but unconquered ones,
    And the end came in one long, high,
    Indomitable cry.
    Then we knew, and bowed our heads,
    And were ashamed of our poor part,
    And prayed God we might bear a nobler part,
    In the reply to that most cold-planned,
    Murderously carried out,
    Unexpurgable horror over there.



"Old Bill"

_By Henry C. Wallace_


We buried Old Bill to-day. As we came back to the house it seemed
almost as if we had laid away a member of the family. All afternoon I
have been thinking of him, and this evening I want to tell you the
story.

Old Bill was a horse, and he was owned by four generations of our
family. He was forty-one years old when he died, so you will understand
that for many years he was what some might call a "dead-beat boarder."
But long ago he had paid in advance for his board as long as he might
stay with us. In winter a warm corner of the stable was his as a matter
of right, and not a day went by but a lump of sugar, an apple, or some
other tidbit found its way to him from the hands of those who loved
him. Old Bill was never in the slightest danger of meeting the sad fate
of many a faithful old horse in the hands of the huckster or trader.

My grandfather liked a good horse. He loved to draw the lines over a
team that trotted up into the bits as if they enjoyed it. He had such a
team in a span of eleven-hundred pound mares, full sisters, and well
matched both as to appearance and disposition. The old gentleman said
they were Morgan bred. Whether they were or not, they had a lot of warm
blood in them. He raised several colts from these mares by light
horses, but none of them had either the spirit or the quality of their
dams. One year a neighbor brought in a Percheron horse, a rangy fellow
weighing about seventeen hundred and fifty pounds, clean of limb, and
with plenty of life, as were most of the earlier horses of that breed,
and grandfather bred these mares to him. The colts foaled the next
spring, developed into a fine span, weighing about twelve hundred and
fifty each, sound as nuts, willing workers and free movers. Grandfather
gave this team to my father the spring he started to farm for himself.
They were then three years old, and one of them was Old Bill.

In those days the young farmer's capital was not very large: a team of
horses, a cow, two or three pigs, and a few farm implements, the horses
being by far the most important part of it. I shall not try to tell of
the part these horses played in helping father win out. They were never
sick; they were always ready for work. And well do I remember father's
grief when Bill's mate slipped on the ice in the barnyard one cold
winter day and had to be shot. It was that evening that my father
talked of the important part a good horse plays in the life of a
farmer, and gave us a little lecture on the treatment of horses and
other animals. I was but a lad of ten at that time, but something
father said, or the way he said it, made a deep impression on me, and
from that time forward I looked upon horses as my friends and treated
them as such. What a fine thing it would be if all parents would teach
the youngsters at an early age the right way to treat our dumb animals.

Bill was already "Old Bill" when he became mine. He was four years
older than I when we started courting together, and my success must
have been due in large part to his age and experience. We had but a
mile and a half to go, and of a summer evening Bill would trot this off
at a pace equal to a much younger horse. When the girl of my affection
was snugly seated in the buggy, he would move off briskly for half a
mile, after which he dropped to a dignified walk, understanding full
well the importance of the business in hand. He knew where it was safe
to leave the beaten track and walk quietly along the turf at the side,
and he had a positive genius for finding nice shady places where he
could browse the overhanging branches, looking back once in a while to
see that everything was going along as it should be. I suppose I am
old-fashioned, but I don't see how a really first-class job of courting
can be done without such a horse as Old Bill. He seemed to take just
about as much interest in the matter as I did. One night Jennie brought
out a couple of lumps of sugar for him (a hopeful sign to me, by the
way), and after that there was no time lost in getting to her house,
where Bill very promptly announced our arrival by two or three nickers.

One time I jokingly said to my wife that evidently she married Bill as
much as she did me. That remark was a mistake. She admitted it more
cheerfully than seemed necessary, and on sundry occasions afterward
made free to remind me of it. Sometimes she drew comparisons to my
discredit, and if Old Bill could have understood them, he would have
enjoyed a real horse laugh. Jennie always said Bill knew more than some
real folks.

After the wedding, Old Bill took us on our honeymoon trip--not a very
long one, you may be sure--and the three of us settled down to the
steady grind of farm life. We asked nothing hard of Old Bill, but he
helped chore around, and took Jennie safely where she wanted to go. I
felt perfectly at ease when she was driving him. I wish I had a picture
of the three of them when she brought out the boy to show to Old Bill.
I can close my eyes and see her standing in front of the old horse,
with the boy cuddled up in a blanket in her arms. I can see the proud
light in her eyes, and I can see Old Bill's sensitive upper lip
nuzzling at the blanket. He evidently understood Jennie perfectly, and
seemed just as proud as she was.

The youngster learned to ride Old Bill at the age most children are
riding broomsticks. Jennie used to put him on Old Bill's back and lead
him around, but Old Bill seemed so careful that before a great while
she would trust him alone with the boy in the front yard, she sitting
on the porch. I remember a scare I had one summer evening. Old Bill did
not have much hair left on his withers, but he had a long mane lock
just in front of the collar mark, and the youngster held onto this. I
was walking up toward the house, where Bill was marching the youngster
around in front, Jennie sitting on the porch. Evidently a botfly was
bothering Bill's front legs, for he threw his head down quickly,
whereupon the youngster, holding tightly to this mane lock, slid down
his neck and flopped to the ground. You may be sure I got there in a
hurry, almost as quickly as Jennie, who was but a few steps away,
calling as I ran: "Did he step on him?" You should have seen the look
of scorn Jennie gave me. Such an insult to Old Bill deserved no answer.
The old horse seemed as much concerned as we were and Jennie promptly
replaced the boy on his back and the ride was resumed, with me
relegated to the corner of the porch in disgrace. As if Old Bill would
hurt her boy!

Old Bill's later years were full of contentment and happiness, if I
know what constitutes horse happiness. In the winter he had the best
corner in the stable. In the summer he was the autocrat of the small
pasture where we kept the colts. He taught the boy to ride properly and
with due respect for his steed. He would give him a gallop now and
then, but as a rule he insisted upon a dignified walk, and if the
youngster armed himself with a switch and tried to have his way about
it, the old fellow would quickly show who was boss by nipping his
little legs just hard enough to serve as a warning of what he could do.

Bill had a lot of fun with the mares and colts. We never allowed the
colts to follow the mares in the fields, but kept them in the five-acre
pasture with Bill for company. At noon, we would lead the mares in
after they had cooled off, and let the colts suck, and at night we
turned the mares into the pasture with them. Bill had a keen sense of
humor. He would fool around until the colts had finished, and then
gallop off with all the colts in full tilt after him. Naturally the
mares resented this. They followed around in great indignation, but it
did them no good. We used to walk over to the pasture fence and watch
this little byplay, and I think Bill enjoyed having us there, for he
kept up the fun as long as we would watch. He surely was not popular
with the mares. They regarded him about as the proud mother regards
grandfather when he entices away her darling boy and teaches him tricks
of which she does not approve.

Although Bill took delight in teaching the colts mean little tricks
during their days of irresponsibility, when they reached the proper age
he enjoyed the part he had to play in their training with a grim
satisfaction. For more than twenty-five years he was our main reliance
in breaking the colts to work. It was amusing to watch a colt the first
time he was harnessed and hooked up to the wagon alongside Bill, his
halter strap being tied back to the hames on Bill's collar.

Our colts were always handled more or less from infancy, and we had
little trouble in harnessing them. When led out to the wagon with Bill,
the colt invariably assumed he was out for a good time. But the Bill he
found now was not the Bill he had known in the pasture, and he very
quickly learned that he was in for real business.

Bill was a very strict disciplinarian; he tolerated no familiarities;
with his teeth he promptly suppressed any undue exuberance of spirit;
he was kind but firm. As he grew older, he would lose patience now and
then with the colts that persisted in their unruly ways. When they
lunged forward, he settled back against their plunges with a bored air,
as much as to say: "Take it easy, my young friend; you surely don't
think you can run away with Old Bill!" When they sulked, he pulled them
along for a bit. But if they continued obstreperous he turned upon them
with his teeth in an almost savage manner, and the way he would bring
them out of the sulky spell was a joy to see.

Finally, when the tired and bewildered colt had settled down to an
orderly walk, and had learned to respond to the guiding reins, Bill
would reward him with a caress on the neck and other evidences of his
esteem.

Old Bill knew the game thoroughly, and was invaluable in this work of
training the young ones. But after the first round at the wagon with
him, the colts always seemed to feel as if they had lost a boon
companion; they kept their friendship for him, but they maintained a
very respectful attitude, and never after took liberties unless assured
by his manner that they would be tolerated.

I got a collie dog for the youngster when he was about three years old.
When he was riding Old Bill, Jack would rush back and forth, in front
and behind, barking joyously. Old Bill disliked such frivolity. To him
it was a serious occasion. I think he never forgot the time the boy
fell off, for nothing could tempt him out of a steady walk until the
youngster got to an age when his seat was reasonably secure. When the
ride was over, Old Bill would lay back his ears and go after Jack so
viciously that the collie would seek refuge under the porch. Except
when the boy was about, however, Old Bill and Jack were good friends,
and in very cold weather Jack would beg a place in Bill's stall,
curling up between his legs, to the apparent satisfaction of both.
There was a very real friendship between them, but just as real
jealousy for the favors of the little fellow. They were much like human
beings in this respect.

Until the last year of his life Bill was a most useful member of the
family. Jennie liked a good garden and used to say before we were
married that when we had our own home, she would have a garden that was
a garden, and that she did not propose to wear herself out with a hoe
as her mother had done. She laid out her garden in a long, narrow strip
of ground between the pasture and the windbreak, just back of the
house, and with Bill's help she had the garden she talked about. Bill
plowed the ground and cultivated it, and the care with which he walked
the long narrow rows was astonishing. This was another place where he
did not want to be bothered with Jack. He was willing Jack should sit
at one end and watch the proceedings, but he must keep out of the way.

During the school season Bill's regular job was to take the children to
school, a mile away. They rode him, turning him loose to come home
alone. He learned to go back for them in the afternoon, and he
delivered them at the porch with an air as much as to say: "There are
your little folks, safe and sound, thanks to Old Bill." Jennie always
met him with an apple or a lump of sugar. She and Old Bill seemed to be
in partnership in about everything he could have a part in. They
understood each other perfectly, and I don't mind confessing now that
once in a great while I felt rather jealous of Old Bill.

Well, as I said in the beginning, we buried Old Bill to-day. He died
peacefully, and, as we say of some esteemed citizen, "full of honors."
He was buried on the farm he helped pay for; and, foolish as it may
seem to some folks, before long a modest stone will mark his last
resting place. And sometimes, of a summer afternoon, if I find Jennie
sitting with her needlework in the shade of the big oak tree under
which Old Bill rests, I will know that tender memories of a faithful
servant are being woven into her neat stitches.



The Recruit's Story

_By Frank Luther Mott_


Last Sunday afternoon I wandered into Smith Park and sat down on a
bench near the fountain. It was a fine day. The sun shone warmly and I
was one of many men who lounged on those benches and luxuriated in the
grateful warmth of the early spring sunshine.

Men of many kinds were there. There were a few old men, but many were
young, or middle-aged. Unless I am a very poor observer, not a few of
them were drifters.

As I sat there I watched the play of the water falling in the fountain.
I observed the bronze figures of women sitting in the center, musing
over who knows what great world problem; and I saw, surmounting all,
the towering figure of a soldier of the Civil War. There he stood in
his quiet power--apotheosis of the common soldier in the war for the
Union. He wore the great-coat and military cape of the old uniform. He
stood at ease, his left foot advanced, and the butt of his gun resting
on the ground in front of him, while he held the gun-barrel with his
left hand and rested his forearm on the muzzle. He gazed a little past
me, steadfastly, toward a corner of the park. On his face was the look
of the man who is ready--the man undaunted by any emergency--the man
unafraid in the quiet strength of soul and body.

"He it was," I reflected, "who leaped to the colors when Father Abraham
called, and by the might of his loyalty and sacrifice saved his country
in the hour of her greatest need."

Glancing across the park, I saw a poster glaring from the great window
of a salesroom. I could make out three words, printed in giant type:

MEN WANTED NOW!

Again I looked about me at the men lounging, as I was lounging, there
on the benches in the sunlight, some of them asleep. I too felt the
soporific influence of the May sun, and might soon have lapsed into
unconsciousness myself had it not been for a strange thing that
happened just then.

I saw the Union soldier turn his head a little and look directly at me.

I am not given to illusions, being generally considered a
matter-of-fact young man. But, as I live, I saw that Union soldier turn
his head! And more than that, I knew just why he did it.

I had read the papers, and knew my country's need. I had read the
flaming posters calling for men to enlist in her armies. I had read
President Wilson's classic-to-be concerning America's purpose in our
greatest war for liberty. I had not meant to be a slacker; but, some
way, I had not been strongly moved. I was letting the other fellow fill
up the ranks, intending hazily to rally to the colors myself when the
need seemed greater. Even now, I was inclined to argue the matter.

I leaned back in my seat and said, in a conversational tone:

"Now look here, Mr. Union Soldier, the need was greater when you joined
the colors. The Union was threatened; the very existence of the nation
was at hazard. I too will answer the call if worse comes to worst in
this war."

"Young man," replied the soldier, his eyes fixed on mine and his voice
deep and calm, "young man, your country's call is your country's call.
This time it is no question of union; thank God, the states stand
indivisible forever. But this time the crisis is even greater, the need
of vision and sacrifice even more vital. This time the liberty, not of
the black man alone, but of the world, is in the balance. Are you deaf
to the call?"

"But listen," I answered. "This is not our war. Nobody has crossed the
sea to strike us."

"Have they not?" he countered. "By spies, by intrigue, by a treacherous
diplomacy, by an unscrupulous policy of world subjugation, the enemy
has invaded our shores. Yet it is not that alone. As I have stood here,
I have heard the cries of the people of ravished Belgium; I have heard
the despairing screams of men and women sinking in watery graves; the
wails of perishing Armenia assail my ears. Do you say it is not our
war? It is! Just as the fate of the black man touched the hearts of us
Northerners, just as the misfortune of the traveler to Jericho touched
the heart of the Samaritan, just as the suffering Christ on the cross
has touched the heart of the world--just so must the woeful cry of a
world perishing to-day touch the heart of America.... And yet I look
about me here! These men drowsing in the sunshine! Are these Americans?
From the field I rushed when Lincoln called, scarcely pausing to bid my
mother good-bye; and I braved cold, and heat, and sickness, and
privation, and terrors by day and night, and rain of shot and shell,
and wounds and suffering and death--all because my country called!"

As he spoke his voice rose to a commanding resonance. He raised his
right arm from the muzzle of the gun where it had rested--raised it
high in impassioned appeal. At last I was moved; tears ran down my
cheeks.

I started--awoke. I had been asleep, and the water from the fountain
was blowing in my face. But was it the spray from the fountain alone
that made my cheeks wet?

I looked up at the bronze figure surmounting the fountain. There the
soldier stood at rest, left foot advanced, arm resting on his gun. His
eyes looked steadfastly toward the corner of the park. But did I not
see a glow of passion on that bronze face--a passion for the Liberty of
the World?

I turned to my neighbor on the bench at my left. His eyes were half
shut, drowsily.

"Pardon me, brother," I said. "Can you tell me where the nearest
recruiting station is located?"



The Happiest Man in I-o-way

_By Rupert Hughes_


    Jes' down the road a piece, 'ith the dust so deep
      It teched the bay mare's fetlocks; an' the sun
    So b'ilin' hot, the pewees dassn't peep;
      Seemed like midsummer 'fore the spring's begun!
    An' me plumb beat an' good-fer-nothin'-like
      An' awful lonedsome fer a sight o' you ...
    I come to that big locus' by the pike,
      An' she was all in bloom, an' trembly, too,
    With breezes like drug-store perfumery.
      I stood up in my stirrups, with my head
    So deep in flowers they almost smothered me.
      I kind o' liked to think that I was dead ...
    An' if I hed 'a' died like that to-day,
      I'd 'a' be'n the happiest man in I-o-way.

    For whut's the us't o' goin' on like this?
      Your pa not 'lowin me around the place ...
    Well, fust I knowed, I'd give them blooms a kiss;
      They tasted like Good-Night on your white face.
    I reached my arms out wide, an' hugged 'em--say,
      I dreamp' your little heart was hammerin' me!

    I broke this branch off for a love-bo'quet;
      'F I'd be'n a giant, I'd 'a' plucked the tree!
    The blooms is kind o' dusty from the road,
      But you won't mind. And, as the feller said,
    "When this you see remember me"--I knowed
      Another poem; but I've lost my head
    From seein' you! 'Bout all that I kin say
      Is--"I'm the happiest man in I-o-way."

    Well, comin' 'long the road I seen your ma
      Drive by to town--she didn't speak to me!
    An' in the farthest field I seen your pa
      At his spring-plowin', like I'd ought to be.
    But, knowin' you'd be here all by yourself,
        I hed to come--for now's our livin' chance.
    Take off yer apern, leave things on the shelf--
      Our preacher needs what th' feller calls "romance."
    Ain't got no red-wheeled buggy; but the mare
      Will carry double, like we've trained her to.
    Jes' put a locus'-blossom in your hair
      An' let's ride straight to heaven--me an' you!
    I'll build y' a little house, an' folks'll say:
      "There lives the happiest pair in I-o-way."



The Captured Dream

_By Octave Thanet_


Somers rode slowly over the low Iowa hills, fitting an air in his mind
to Andrew Lang's dainty verses. Presently, being quite alone on the
country road, he began to sing:

    "In dreams doth he behold her,
        Still fair and kind and young."

The gentle strain of melancholy and baffled desire faded into silence,
but the young man's thoughts pursued it. A memory of his own that
sometimes stung him, sometimes plaintively caressed him, stirred in his
heart. "I am afraid you hit it, Andy," he muttered, "and I should have
found it only a dream had I won."

At thirty Somers imagined himself mighty cynical. He consorted with
daring critics, and believed the worst both of art and letters. He was
making campaign cartoons for a daily journal instead of painting the
picture of the future; the panic of '93 had stripped him of his little
fortune, and his sweetheart had refused to marry him. Therefore he said
incessantly in the language of Job, "I do well to be angry."

The rubber tires revolved more slowly as his eyes turned from the
wayside to the smiling hills. The corn ears were sheathed in silvery
yellow, but the afternoon sun jewelled the green pastures, fresh as in
May, for rain had fallen in the morning, and maples, oaks and elms
blended exquisite gradations of color and shade here and there among
the open fields. Long rows of poplars recalled France to Somers and he
sighed. "These houses are all comfortable and all ugly," thought the
artist. "I never saw anything less picturesque. The life hasn't even
the dismal interest of poverty and revolt, for they are all beastly
prosperous; and one of the farmers has offered me a hundred dollars and
my expenses to come here and make a pastel of his wife. And I have
taken the offer because I want to pay my board bill and buy a
second-hand bicycle. The chances are he is after something like a
colored photograph, something slick and smooth, and every hair
painted--Oh, Lord! But I have to have the money; and I won't sign the
cursed thing. What does he want it for though? I wonder, did he ever
know love's dream? Dream? It's all a dream--a mirage of the senses or
the fancy. Confound it, why need I be harking back to it? I must be
near his house. House near the corner, they said, where the roads
cross. Ugh! How it jumps at the eyes."

The house before him was yellow with pea-green blinds; the great barns
were Indian red; the yard a riot of color from blooming flowers.

Somers wheeled up to the gate and asked of the old man who was leaning
upon the fence where Mr. Gates lived.

"Here," said the old man, not removing his elbows from the fence bar.

"And, may I ask, are you Mr. Gates?" said Somers.

"Yes, sir. But if you're the young man was round selling 'Mother, Home
and Heaven,' and going to call again to see if we liked it, we don't
want it. My wife can't read and we're taking a Chicago paper now, and
ain't got any time."

Somers smiled. "I'm not selling anything but pictures," said he, "and I
believe you want me to make one for you."

"Are you Mr. Somers, F. J. S.?" cried the farmer, his face lighting in
a surprising manner. "Well, I'm glad to see you, sir. My wife said
you'd come this afternoon and I wouldn't believe her. I'm always caught
when I don't believe my wife. Come right in. Oh, did you bring your
tools with you?"

He guided Somers into the house and into a room so dark that he
stumbled.

"There's the sofy; set down," said Gates, who seemed full of hospitable
cheer. "I'll get a blind open. Girl's gone to the fair and Mother's
setting out on the back piazza, listening to the noises on the road.
She's all ready. Make yourself to home. Pastel like them pictures on
the wall's what I want. My daughter done them." His tone changed on the
last sentence, but Somers did not notice it; he was drinking in the
details of the room to describe them afterwards to his sympathizing
friends in Chicago.

"What a chamber of horrors," he thought, "and one can see he is proud
of it." The carpet was soft to the foot, covered with a jungle of
flowers and green leaves--the pattern of carpet which fashion leaves
behind for disappointed salesmen to mark lower and lower until it shall
be pushed into the ranks of shopworn bargains. The cheap paper on the
wall was delicately tinted, but this boon came plainly from the
designers, and not the taste of the buyer, since there was a simply
terrible chair that swung by machinery, and had four brilliant hues of
plush to vex the eye, besides a paroxysm of embroidery and lace to
which was still attached the red ticket of the county fair. More
embroidery figured on the cabinet organ and two tables, and another red
ticket peeped coyly from under the ornate frame of a pastel landscape
displaying every natural beauty--forest, mountain, sunlit lake, and
meadow--at their bluest and greenest. There were three other pictures
in the room, two very large colored photographs of a lad of twelve and
of a pretty girl who might be sixteen, in a white gown with a roll of
parchment in her hand tied with a blue ribbon; and the photograph of a
cross of flowers.

The girl's dark, wistful, timid eyes seemed to follow the young artist
as he walked about the room. They appealed to him. "Poor little girl,"
he thought, "to have to live here." Then he heard a dragging footfall,
and there entered the mistress of the house. She was a tall woman who
stooped. Her hair was gray and scanty, and so ill-arranged on the top
of her head that the mournful tonsure of age showed under the false
gray braid. She was thin with the gaunt thinness of years and toil, not
the poetic, appealing slenderness of youth. She had attired herself for
the picture in a black silken gown, sparkling with jet that tinkled as
she moved; the harsh, black, bristling line at the neck defined her
withered throat brutally. Yet Somer's sneer was transient. He was
struck by two things--the woman was blind, and she had once worn a face
like that of the pretty girl. With a sensation of pity he recalled
Andrew Lang's verses; inaudibly, while she greeted him he was repeating:

    "Who watches day by day
      The dust of time that stains her,
    The griefs that leave her gray,
      The flesh that still enchains her,
    Whose grace has passed away."

Her eyes were closed but she came straight toward him, holding out her
hand. It was her left hand that was extended; her right closed over the
top of a cane, and this added to the impression of decrepitude conveyed
by her whole presence. She spoke in a gentle, monotonous, pleasant
voice. "I guess this is Mr. Somers, the artist. I feel--we feel very
glad to have the honor of meeting you, sir."

No one had ever felt honored to meet Somers before. He thought how much
refinement and sadness were in a blind woman's face. In his most
deferential manner he proffered her a chair. "I presume I am to paint
you, madam?" he said.

She blushed faintly. "Ain't it rediculous?" she apologized. "But Mr.
Gates will have it. He has been at me to have somebody paint a picture
of me ever since I had my photograph taken. It was a big picture and
most folks said it was real good, though not flattering; but he
wouldn't hang it. He took it off and I don't know what he did do to it.
'I want a real artist to paint you, Mother,' he said. I guess if Kitty
had lived she'd have suited him, though she was all for landscape;
never did much figures. You noticed her work in this room, ain't
you--on the table and chair and organ--art needlework? Kitty could do
anything. She took six prizes at the county fair; two of 'em come in
after she was in her last sickness. She was so pleased that she had the
picture--that's the picture right above the sofy; it's a pastel--and
the tidy, I mean the art needle work--put on her bed, and she looked at
them the longest while. Her paw would never let the tickets be took
off." She reached forth her hand to the chair near her and felt the
ticket, stroking it absently, her chin quivering a little, while her
lips smiled. "Mr. Gates was thinking," she said, "that maybe you'd
paint a head of me--pastel like that landscape--that's why he likes
pastel so. And he was thinking if--if maybe--my eyes was jest like
Kitty's when we were married--if you would put in eyes, he would be
awful much obliged and be willing to pay extra if necessary. Would it
be hard?"

Somers dissembled a great dismay. "Certainly not," said he, rather
dryly; and he was ashamed of himself at the sensitive flutter in the
old features.

"Of course I know," she said, in a different tone than she had used
before, "I understand how comical it must seem to a young man to have
to draw an old woman's picture; but it ain't comical to my husband. He
wants it very much. He's the kindest man that ever lived, to me, caring
for me all the time. He's got me that organ--me that can't play a note,
and never could--just because I love to hear music, and sometimes if we
have an instrument, the neighbors will come in, especially Hattie
Knight, who used to know Kittie, and is a splendid performer; she comes
and plays and sings. It is a comfort to me. And though I guess you
young folks can't understand it, it will be a comfort to him to have a
picture of me. I mistrusted you'd be thinking it comical, and I hurried
to come in and speak to you, lest, not meaning anything, you might,
just by chance, let fall something might hurt his feelings--like you
thought it queer or some sech thing. And he thinks so much of you, and
having you here, that I couldn't bear there'd be any mistake."

"Surely it is the most natural thing in the world that he should want a
portrait of you," Somers hastily interrupted.

"Yes, it is," she answered in her mild, even tones, "but it mightn't
seem so to young folks. Young folks think they know all there is about
loving. And it is very sweet and nice to enjoy things together; and you
don't hardly seem to be in the world at all when you're courting, your
feet and your head and your heart feel so light. But they don't know
what it is to need each other? It's when folks suffer together that
they find out what loving is. I never knew what I felt towards my
husband till I lost my first baby; and I'd wake up in the night and
there'd be no cradle there--and he'd comfort me. Do you see that
picture under the photograph of the cross?"

"He's a pretty boy," said Somers.

"Yes, sir. He was drownded in the river. A lot of boys in playing, and
one got too far, and Eddy, he swum out to help him. And he clumb up on
Eddy and the man on shore didn't get there in time. He was a real good
boy and liked to play home with me 'most as well as with the boys.
Father was proud as he could be of him, though he wouldn't let on. That
cross was what his schoolmates sent; and teacher she cried when she
told me how hard Eddy was trying to win the prize to please his pa.
Father and I went through that together. And we had to change all the
things we used to talk of together, because Eddy was always in them;
and we had to try not to let each other see how our hearts were
breaking, and not shadder Kitty's life by letting her see how we missed
him. Only once father broke down; it was when he give Kitty Eddy's
colt." She stopped, for she could not go on.

"Don't--don't distress yourself," Somers begged lamely. His cheeks were
very hot.

"It don't distress me," she answered, "only for the minnit; I'm always
thinking of Eddy and Kitty too. Sometimes I think it was harder for
father when his girl went than anything else. And then my blindness and
my rheumatism come; and it seemed he was trying to make up to me for
the daughter and the son I'd lost, and be all to once to me. He has
been, too. And do you think that two old people that have grown old
together, like us, and have been through losses like that--do you think
they ain't drawed closer and kinder and tenderer to each other, like
the Lord to his church? Why, I'm plain, and old and blind and
crooked--but he don't know it. Now, do you understand?"

"Yes," said Somers, "I understand."

"And you'll please excuse me for speaking so free; it was only so
father's feelings shouldn't get hurt by noticing maybe a look like you
wanted to laugh."

"God knows I don't want to laugh," Somers burst in. "But I'm glad you
spoke. It--it will be a better picture. Now may I ask you something? I
want you to let me dress you--I mean put something about your neck,
soft and white; and then I want to make two sketches of you--one, as
Mr. Gates wishes, the head alone; the other of you sitting in the
rustic chair outside."

"But--" she looked troubled--"it will be so expensive; and I know it
will be foolish. If you'd just the same----"

"But I shouldn't; I want to do it. And it will not cost you anything. A
hundred dollars will repay me well enough. I wish--I truly wish I could
afford to do it all for nothing."

She gasped. "A hundred dollars! Oh, it ain't right. That was why he
wouldn't buy the new buggy. And jest for a picture of me." But suddenly
she flushed like a girl and smiled.

At this instant the old man, immaculate in his heavy black suit and
glossy white shirt, appeared in the doorway bearing a tray.

"Father," said the old wife, "do you mean to tell me you are going to
pay a hundred dollars jest for a picture of me?"

"Well, Mother, you know there's no fool like an old fool," he replied,
jocosely; but when the old wife turned her sightless face toward the
old husband's voice and he looked at her, Somers bowed his head.

He spent the afternoon over his sketches. Riding away in the twilight,
he knew he had done better work than he had ever done before in his
life, slight as its form might be; nevertheless he was not thinking of
himself at all. He was trying to shape his own vague perception that
the show of dainty thinking and the pomp of refinement are in truth
amiable and lovely things, yet are they no more than the husks of life;
not only under them, but under ungracious and sordid conditions, may be
the human semblance of that "beauty most ancient, beauty most new,"
that the old saint found too late. He felt the elusive presence of
something in love higher than his youthful dream; stronger than
passion, fairer than delight. To this commonplace man and woman had
come the deepest gift of life.

"A dream?" he murmured. "Yes, perhaps he has captured it."

[Illustration: "DING" BY WING]



Truth

_By Carrie Moss Hawley_


The archives of history contain wonderful revelations of the growth and
physical development of man. Going back to the beginning of time, when
creation donned its immortal robe of life and nature gave utterance to
the thought that nothing perishes, we follow down the aisle of
centuries until we find ourselves to-day where we realize that thought
has become the most powerful factor in advancement. Gradations are
everywhere, yet mental processes and volitions take control of the
wheel of progress and guide everything with majestic power.

The mind, as we commonly think of it, is not a safe guide unless
directed by wisdom. So we appeal for light to give direction to the
ideas or conceptions that filter through the brain from the all-holding
universal thought. How to distinguish true from false conceptions is
the labor of philosophy.

Truth may be tested by one infallible rule: its power to construct. You
may see it forming what may terminate in evil, and doing unmistakable
harm. Then you say: How can this be truth if it creates disaster? But
all that is created does not act one way. There is the gross and the
refined, the blemished and the perfect. All is good in the sense that
it comes from a perfect law. It is the direction creation takes that
determines the outcome.

The next step is how to direct truth that it may produce only the end
desired. There are millions of beings on this sphere, each of whom has
the same access to truth. Many of these do not even know of their power
in production, and, with sensualized vision which has not been
renovated, they keep on bringing forth that which another class,
further advanced, is endeavoring to exterminate. This will continue
indefinitely, for there will always be growing souls that have to
learn. Since what appears as evil must exist, when it has become
abhorrent to you in all its forms, your privilege and power is to
convert all that comes within your radius into what you desire it to
be. Minimize your fear of all effects in the negative, and take firm
hold of the actual forces and mold them into whatever _you desire_.

Were you a sculptor and had a piece of marble before you, you would not
feel obliged to chisel out of it a cat, because a cat chanced to be
rubbing her head against your leg in a friendly way. While you would be
conscious of the cat she would be something outside the realm of your
perceptions when you struck your first blow upon the marble. You would
build from your perceptions that have been brought to the foreground by
your conceptions of the valuable.

Man must reach a certain plane in his development before he realizes
there are things worthless and things of worth, and that he may possess
which he will. But when the moral milestone is passed he sees the dawn
of a new day that will bring him his hopes realized.

Thus, the way to attain truth is first to see it from the vantage-point
that comes through illumination; then realize that the cosmic world
possesses all the material you need for its development. What surrounds
you that does not appeal to you, merely touches and draws attention to
its existence, need come into your creation no more than the cat came
into the artist's production.



Work

_By Irving N. Brant_


    Let me once more in Druid forest wander,
    To gain its legacy of ancient lore;
    Make me its prophet, as I dreamed of yore,
    A priest, on holy mysteries to ponder.
    Lead me to realms of quiet, or the fonder
    Scenes of the rising sea's unruly roar.
    Or turn my gaze upon the vistaed floor
    Of quiet valleys, and the blue haze yonder
    On the opposing hills. Let me traverse
    The shadows of man's immemorial mind,
    The haunt of fear, joy, sorrow and despair,
    God-given wonder and the primal curse.
    Within the throbbing heart of humankind
    Give me my work, or let me perish there.



Some Magic and a Moral

_By Virginia H. Reichard_


Along in the early nineties as I was traveling in the West, selling
shoes, I left the train at the little junction of Skywaw and surveyed
the town. I found that the proverbial hotel, blacksmith shop, general
store and a handful of houses, beside the depot, comprised the town.

After supper at the hotel, where I was waited upon by the landlord's
pretty daughter, I asked about the storekeeper across the way and found
to my surprise that he carried about a ten or twelve thousand dollar
general stock which included everything from a sheepskin to a paper of
needles. The farming country being so good, it was no wonder that this
man did almost as big a business as many others in much larger towns,
so the daughter told me, while the landlord himself chipped in with a
question: "Why, don't you know this is just the richest spot in Wahoo
County? In fact the ground is too rich. Just think of it--too rich to
grow pumpkins."

"Why," I asked, "can't you grow pumpkins?"

With a smile of confidence that his joke was entirely new he replied:
"The vines grow so fast it drags them over the ground and wears them
out. Go up and see the storekeeper and if you sell him you get your
money for the goods sure thing, for he sells for cash only."

I picked up my grips and started to see my man at once; found him
standing in the door chewing a quid and spitting out into the street at
any stray chicken or dog that chanced to wander by. As he stood there
indifferent, expressionless, he looked the typical Westerner, with an
air of "do as you darn please" about him; pants tucked into a pair of
boots that were run over and worn off at the toe in a peculiar way that
would indicate to a shoeologist that he was a sharp, keen trader, very
suspicious of strangers, hard to strike a trade with unless he could
see a hundred per cent in it for himself. In early days he had been a
horse trader and a dealer in buffalo hides, and had never seen the time
when he couldn't tell what o'clock it was better by the sun than by a
watch; a hard man to approach on the shoe subject as his mind didn't
seem to hover around shoes.

There must have been a depression in his skull where his bump of order
was supposed to be, as from the general appearance it looked as if the
devil had held an auction there the day before. I began my little
"spiel" by telling my business--who I was, where I was from--and asked
if my conversation would interest him at all if I talked about shoes
for awhile, remarking incidentally: "You'll have some business now
sure. Trade will get good right away, as I never opened up my samples
in a man's store in my life but what customers came dropping in."

"Well, then, for God's sake open them up. I need the business all right
enough," quoth he.

Then strange to say, as if to cinch what I had said, up rode six
country boys on horseback, and in a minute the big strapping fellows
came tramping in. You know the kind that work on a farm all day, ride
to town to buy one pound of sugar for family use and ten pounds of
chewing tobacco for their own use, and other articles in like
proportion while they are having a good time.

Taking seats on the counter opposite, they began a lot of loud talking.

One picked up a turnip and began peeling it, poising it on the tip of
his knife-blade, taking large bites, and never for a minute losing
sight of what we were doing in the shoe line.

It took a lot of persuading to get the proprietor to look at my
samples, but I soon noticed the shrewd gleam of his eyes that told that
he had had hold of good leather before and was a much better judge of
my line than I expected to find in such a place. But talk about
exhorting! How I worked with that fellow. And after keeping it up for
two whole hours--from seven until nine, I finally landed him, selling
him a little over five hundred dollars' worth of shoes. As I was
getting a straight eight per cent commission at that time, the sale
made me a little over forty dollars for two hours' work, and I was
feeling mighty good. Even my cold-blooded customer had warmed up some
from the effects of the deal on which he saw he was bound to make a
good thing.

While I was packing up my samples he said, sort of edging around: "Say,
can't you sing us a song or dance us a jig or do something to entertain
us all? You travelin' fellers allus know somethin' new, and are up to
whatever is goin' on over the country, ain't ye?"

I replied: "I can't sing; I am out of voice; but if you can furnish the
music I can dance a jig or clog. Oh, by the way, did you ever see any
sleight of hand or legerdemain tricks?"

None of them ever had; didn't even know what they were, and solemnly
assured me they were something new in that burg.

As I had been practicing coin tricks and other feats of sleight of hand
for the last ten years and could do many of the former, making the
coins appear and disappear at will in a mysterious manner, I decided to
try this form of amusement, thinking I had an easy bunch to work on. So
I showed them a silver dollar, giving it to one of them to examine,
passing it on to each one of them in succession, just to show them that
it was a genuine, everyday piece. Then taking it in my hand, I
proceeded to manipulate the coin by picking it out from underneath one
fellow's foot as he sat on the counter dangling his long legs; taking
it from another fellow's chin; picking it out from the pocket of the
jumper one of them had on; finding it in the next man's ear; and
finally, coming to the proprietor, I told him to hold his thumb and
finger together, pointing up; then took the coin from between his own
thumb and finger without his realizing how it got there or how it got
away. I caught his startled look--the fellows jumped down off the
counter and crowded close together--wonder and amazement written all
over them. This was the first time in their lives they had ever seen a
sleight of hand trick, where the motion of the hand is so quick the
sight cannot follow it.

But presto, chango, begono, magico, came near being too much for them.
They were absolutely horror stricken. Some of them were unable to
speak; some were afraid to; others couldn't speak above a whisper; and
one of these desired to know when I would be back in that country
again. He wanted Brother Bill to see it; in fact he would like to bring
the whole family in.

The proprietor's face was a study. Doubt, surprise and suspicion passed
over his face in succession, but gave way to fresh curiosity when I
asked him to bring me two hats and I would do Hermann's parlor trick
with two hats and four balls. The method of doing this is to place the
four balls in a square about three feet apart on a counter or a table,
then place the hats over two of the balls; the object being to find all
four balls under one hat, without, of course, anybody seeing how they
got there. This I accomplished successfully, and this performance
seemed to bring them close to the limit. They had been craning their
necks to see, but when it was over they all straightened up, took a
step backward in line and looked at one another. Then one of them said
solemnly:

"Folks is gettin' geniuser and geniuser every day, boys. Ain't it so?"
And Pete nudged Jim to make sure it was no dream, then spat excitedly
on the rusty stove.

The proprietor had been eyeing me with suspicion for a good while. I
noticed whenever I would pass in front of him he would step back and
plant his hands tight on his pockets where he kept his money, as if he
thought I might somehow coax it to jump out unless he held it in by
main force. Legerdemain had scared him some and made him both
suspicious and wary.

Pretty soon I began to realize I had done a little too much; in fact, I
had given them a little more than they had been able to digest. But
like many another fool who has overstepped, I tried to make up by
giving them something in another line.

The proprietor looked up with a distrustful glance. "Is that all you
can do?"

"That's all in the trick line, gentlemen. But I have something that I
can do that is out of the line of tricks. It's a gift--mind-reading.
Only about one in six millions has it. I do the same as Brown, Johnson
or Bishop--those big guns you have heard about--in finding any given
object. And if you, sir (to the proprietor), will place your mind on
any one of the ten thousand articles in this store, concentrating your
mind on it, I will get the object you are thinking about and hand it to
you."

"You can't do that; it ain't possible," he said.

One of the boys spoke up: "Aw, let him try, Dan. Gosh! Let him try."

After looking around the store and meditating a little he said: "Durn
it all, then, go ahead. I've picked out the thing I want you to get and
by jigger I'll keep my mind on it all right."

Taking his hand, placing it upon my forehead, and holding it there with
one of mine, I started down the store, the other six rubbering after us
with all their might. After going about thirty feet with an occasional
kick or bump at a basket or barrel that happened to be in the way, I
turned to the left; stopping at the show-case, and sliding back the
doors, I reached in, picked up a razor--his own razor--that lay in the
case and handed it to him.

"Great Scott," he yelled. "The very razor I shave myself with--when I
shave; and that's the very thing I had my mind on too, by thunder." The
sweat stood out in great drops on his forehead and for a few minutes
his emotion seemed to be too much for him. So I said:

"Well, boys, this concludes the evening's performance; meeting's out,
boys."

Dazed with wonder, the six riders looked blankly at each other, turned
to me grinning foolishly, then filed out, jumped on their horses and
galloped away, whooping like Comanche Indians.

Bidding the proprietor good night I started for the door.

"Hold on a minute!" he cried. "I want to see you, young feller." He
strode up to within about two feet of me, hands thrust deep in his
pockets, looking as if he would like to fight. Then he burst out with:

"Say, you're about the slickest thing I ever saw in my life, ain't you?
You're durned slick. You're smooth--a little too smooth; and you hear
me, you needn't send them goods I bought to-night. I won't take 'em."

"What!" I cried.

"You hear me; you needn't send 'em. I won't take the goods," he said in
a tone there was no mistaking.

I commenced to argue. But no. "You've done killed yourself with me,"
was all I could get out of him, and nothing I could say or do would
make any difference. But I was bound not to lose the forty dollars
without a struggle and brought all the arts, arguments and persuasions
to bear that I could think of; but without avail. He seemed to be
convinced that if I wasn't the devil himself, at least I was a near
relation, and he would have none of me.

Then I did what I never had done before: took the dollar and carefully
showed him just how I had done the trick, explaining that sight was
really slower than motion sometimes and that the whole thing was
intended to be harmless and amusing.

"If that's the way you did with the money, how about the four-ball
trick?" he asked gruffly.

Still bent upon making the proposition stick, I explained the ball
trick too, by going over it and explaining how the eye could be
deceived. You see, I was growing more and more anxious all the time to
cinch my commission, and felt that my efforts were worth while. When
suddenly, dubious and still unconvinced, he turned to me and asked:

"Well, how in time did you find the razor?"

"I was very particular to tell you," I said, "before I went after that
razor that it wasn't a trick. It's a gift I can't explain; nobody can;
nobody ever did. I can't do it; I don't know how or why. Some call it
mind-reading and some people have been kept guessing to give it a name.
I am one of the few who can do it, that's all. When I went after the
article you had in mind, I didn't know it was a razor; I didn't know
what it was; but when I came in contact with what you had in mind I
picked it up and handed it to you. This is my explanation--the only one
I can give. I call it 'mind-reading,' that's all."

After some more talk I left him mystified and distrustful, in spite of
all I had said and done, still refusing to reinstate the order. I left
my grips in the store as it was near the station, and went to the hotel
to spend a restless night, kicking myself for a fool meanwhile, since
my attempts to amuse had lost me the neat little sum of forty dollars.

I slept a couple of hours when I was awakened by the most horrible
noise it was ever my fortune to hear: Two car-loads of calves, just a
day away from their mothers, were being shipped and their bawling was
intolerable. Talk about your quiet country towns for rest and sleep! No
more for me that night, I thought. So I dressed, took a smoke, and
decided to tackle my man again in the morning and to try to change his
mind.

A little after daylight I saw him sweeping the sidewalk in front of the
door, handling the broom as a man does a flail on the barn floor. I
went over and said: "Good morning." As he looked up I saw that his
glance was as surly and suspicious as it had been the night before, but
thought I would make a good start by approaching him upon some of his
hobbies the landlord had told me about. In his capacity as horse trader
he prided himself on his ability to judge a good horse. So I opened up
by telling him about a horse I owned, and asked if he had anything to
trade for him. This seemed to bring the right twinkle into his eye, and
he began to brace up and take notice a little. So I talked on until I
saw the smoke of the approaching train away down the valley seven or
eight miles along the old Kantopey trail. Then I made a last attempt.

"Now see here, Mister," I said, "I came into your store last night and
showed you my samples, showed you the names of some of the best
merchants who have bought big bills of me and I sold you a bill of
goods in good faith. Then you proposed that I entertain you as you had
very little amusement in a place like this. I told you I couldn't sing
but would do what I could with such sleight of hand tricks as I knew,
and I did exactly what I said I would. It seemed to meet with plenty of
approval all around until the mind-reading came up, when you turned me
down for no reason whatever. Now, I ask you a question: Is that a
square deal to a man on a business proposition?"

He looked at the floor and was silent, though apparently a little
uneasy. He shook his head doubtfully, which made me feel that he was
perhaps not so unfriendly after all, and might possibly do the right
thing yet. Hearing the distant whistle, I said:

"Train's coming; have to go. Wish you good luck, just the same as if
you'd treated me square. Wish you good crops and plenty of water for
your stock. As long as you live don't turn another fellow down like you
have me, just because he's done his best to give you a good time." And
I made a rush for the depot to check my baggage.

The train came in; there was the usual hurry and noise. The old fellow
stood there, leaning against the weather-boarding of the depot like a
picture of Uncle Sam--a queer, awkward figure with his hay-colored
whiskers, pipe in the corner of his mouth, and hands still planted
firmly in his pockets, his eyes riveted on every move I made.

I boarded the train, said "Howdy" to a friend, and looking back saw old
Dan standing where I had left him as if glued to the spot. The engine
puffed and snorted; the wheels began to go around. "Good-bye," I
shouted from the platform as if answering his steady gaze.

All of a sudden the long, gaunt figure limbered up, like a corpse that
had been touched by a galvanic battery. He came chasing down the track
after the train, waving his arms like a windmill and yelling like
Bedlam let loose: "Hey! Say there, you young feller; hey there! I'll
take them goods; send 'em along. I'll take them goods. D'ye hear?"

And I called back to him with great gusto: "All right," as the train
rounded a curve.

_Moral_: When you have sold your goods make your get-away.



Sonny's Wish

_By Bertha M. H. Shambaugh_


    Sometimes before I go to bed
      I 'member things that Grandpa said
    When I sat close beside his knee
      And Grandpa laid his hand on me.

    I 'member how he'd smile and say,
      "Well, what did Sonny do to-day?"
    'Cause Grandpa always liked to know
      (I s'pose that's why I miss him so).

    I never had to coax and plead
      For things I really didn't need:
    I'd 'splain it in an off-hand way
      And Grandpa brought it home next day.

    When I grow up I'd like to be
      A grandpa with a boy like me
    To live with and to bring things to:
      That's what I'd like the _most_ to do.

    I'd rummage 'round and hunt about
      For things the boy could do without,
    Because you see of course I'd know
      That's why the boy would like them so.

    And when I'd bring some brand new toy
      And someone said, "You'll spoil that boy!"
    I'd only shake my head and say,
      "A _good boy_ isn't spoiled that way."

    When Sonny said he'd like to get
      A nice wee doggie for a pet,
    And when the grown-ups one and all
      Said, "Oh, no, Son! You're much too small,"

    I'd whisper, "Come, don't look so blue
      'Cause Grandpa bought a dog for you,
    A birthday present! Schh! Don't cry!
      He's black and just about _so_ high."

    Oh, yes! I'm sure I'd like to be
      A grandpa with a boy like me
    To live with and to bring things to:
      That's what I'd like the _most_ to do.



Dog

_By Edwin L. Sabin_


The dog we have always with us; if not active in the garden or passive
on the best bed, then gracing or disgracing himself in other domestic
capacities. For the dog is a curious combination, wherein heredity
constantly opposes culture; and therefore though your dog be a woolly
dog or a smooth dog, a large dog or a small dog, a house-dog, yard-dog,
hunting-dog or farm-dog, he will be ever a delight and a scandal
according as he reveals the complexities of his character. Just as soon
as you have decided that he is almost human, he will straightway
unmistakably indicate that he is still very much dog.

As example, select, if you please, the most pampered and carefully
nurtured dog in dog tribe: some lady's dog--beribboned King Charles,
bejeweled poodle, befatted pug--and give him the luxury of a half-hour
in the nearest genuine alley. Do you think that he turns up his
delicate nose at the luscious smells there encountered? Do you think
that because of his repeated scented baths he sedulously keeps to the
middle of the narrow way? Do you venture to assert that he whose jaded
palate has recently declined the breast of chicken is now nauseated by
the prodigal waste encountered amidst the garbage cans?

Fie on him, the ingrate! Why, the little rascal fairly revels in the
riot of débris, and ten to one he will even proudly return lugging the
most unsavoury of bones filched from a particularly odorous repository!
His lapse into atavism has been prompt and certain. I agree with Robert
Louis Stevenson that every dog is a vagabond at heart; in adapting
himself to the companionship of man and woman, and the comforts of
board and lodging, he leads a double life.

In this respect the dog is far more servile than the cat, his
contemporary. Generations of attempted coercion have little influenced
the cat. She (it seems a proper distinction to speak of the cat as
"she") steadfastly maintains the distance that shall divide cat life
from man life. Without duress, and in spite of duress, she accepts the
material favors of civilization and domesticity only to an extent that
will not inconvenience her; she has no notion of responsibilities or
indebtedness. Having achieved her demands for a warm nap or a full
stomach, she then makes no false motions in following her own
inclinations entirely. But the dog, occupying a limbo between his
natural instincts and his acquired conscience, must always be a master
of duplicity.

The dog (as again points out the admirable Stevenson) has become an
accomplished actor. Observe his ceremonious approach to other dogs.
Mark the mutual dignity, the stiff-leggedness, the self-conscious
strut, the rivalrous emulation, all of which plainly says: "I am
_Mister_ So-and-So; who in the deuce are you?" No dog so small,
and only a few faint-hearts so squalid, that they do not carry a chip
on their shoulder. Compare with their progenitors, the wolves in a city
park. Here encounters are quick and decisive. The one wolf stands, the
other cringes. Rank and character are recognized at once. The pretences
of human society have not perverted wolf ethics.

Take a dog at his tricks: not the game of seeking and fetching, which
he enjoys when in good humor, but parlor tricks. He has learned through
fear of punishment and hope of reward. Having performed, either
sheepishly or promptly, with what wrigglings and prancings and
waggings, or else with what proud self-appreciation does he court
approval. He knows very well that he is assuming not to be a dog, and
trusts that you will admit he is smarter than mere dog. On the
contrary, the cat tribe, jumping through a hoop, does it with a
negligent, spontaneous grace that makes the act a condescension. The
cat does not aspire to be human; she is fully content with being cat.

Elevate a dog to a seat in an automobile (any automobile), or even to
the box of a rattle-trap farm-wagon. How it affects him, this promotion
from walking to riding! It metamorphoses the meekest, humblest of
so-called curs into a grandee aristocrat, who by supercilious look and
offensive words insults every other dog that he passes. He calls upon
the world about to witness that he is of man-kind, not of dog-kind. A
dog riding abroad is to me the epitome of satisfied assumption.

It would be interesting to know how much, if any, the dog's brain has
been increased by constant efforts to be humanized. The Boston bull is,
I should judge, (and of course!) faster in his intellectual activities
than is the ordinary English bull. And then I might refer to the truly
marvelous feats of the sheep-dog, who will, when told, cut out any one
sheep in a thousand; and I might refer to the finely bred setter, or
pointer, and his almost human field work; and I can refer to my own
dog, whose smartness, both natural and acquired, generally is
extraordinary--although at times woefully askew, as when he buries
pancakes in the fall expecting, if we may believe that he expects, to
dig them up during the winter.

And there are dogs with great souls and dogs with small souls. We are
told of dogs noble enough to sit by and let a needy dog gobble the meal
from the platter--but I suspect that such dogs are complacent because
comfortably fixed. We hear of dogs making valiant defenses of life and
property--which perhaps is the development of the animal instinct to
guard anything which the animal considers its own. And dogs sometimes
effect heroic rescues, by orders or voluntarily--although one may query
whether they consider all the consequences.

The dog's brain must be an oddly struggling mass of fact and fancy. We
have done our best for him, and as a rule he creditably responds. I
love my dog; he appears to love me; and by efforts of me and mine he
has been humanized into a very adaptable personage. But I am certain
that first principles remain the same with him as when he was a
wolf-dog of cave age. He might grab me by the collar and swim ashore
with me, but if on the desert island there was only one piece of meat
between us and starvation, and he had it, I'd hate to have to risk
getting my share without fighting for it.



The Unredeemed

THE BALLAD OF THE LUSITANIA BABES

_By Emerson Hough_


    THE HOLY THREE BEHOLD

    God the Father leaned out from Heaven,
    His white beard swept His knee;
    His eye was sad as He looked far out,
    Full on the face of the sea.
    Saith God the Father, "In My Kingdom
    Never was thing like this;
    For yonder are sinless unredeemed,
    And they may not enter Our bliss."

    And Mary the Mother, She stood near by,
    Her eyes full sad and grieved.
    Saith Mary the Mother, "Alas! Alas!
    That they may not be received.
    Now never since Heaven began," saith She,
    "Hath sight like this meseemed,
    That there be sinless dead below
    Who may not be redeemed!"

    And Jesu, the Saviour, He stood also,
    And aye! His eyes were wet.
    Saith Jesu the Saviour, "Since Time began,
    Never was this thing yet!
    For these be the Children, the Little Ones,
    Afloat on the icy sea.
    They are doomed, they are dead, they are perished,
    And they may not come unto Me!"


    THE CHILDREN CRY OUT

    They float, forever unburied,
    Their faces turned to the sky;
    With their little hands uplifted,
    And their lips forever cry:

    "Oh, we are the helpless murdered ones,
    Blown far on the icy tide!
    No sin was ours, but through all the days,
    On the northern seas we ride.
    No cerements ever enshroud us,
    We know no roof of the sod;
    We float forever unburied,
    With our faces turned to God.

    "So foul the deed that undid us,
    So damned in its dull disgrace,
    That even the sea refused us,
    And would not give us place.
    Nor ever a place in the sky--
    We are lost, we are dead, we are perished,
    Ah, Jesu, tell us why!"

                 *       *       *       *       *

    Now the Three who heard They wept as one,
    But Their tears they might not cease.
    Saith God the Father, "While unavenged
    These may not know Our peace!
    When the sons of men are men again,
    And have smitten full with the sword,
    At last these sinless but unredeemed
    Shall enter unto their Lord.

    "But deed like this is a common debt;
    It lies on the earth-race whole.
    Till these be avenged they be unredeemed--
    Each piteous infant soul.
    We must weep, We must weep, till the debt be paid,
    Te debt of the sons of men--
    But well avenged, they are aye redeemed;
    Ah, how shall We welcome them then!"


    THE SONS OF MEN HEARKEN

    Are ye worth the kiss of a woman?
    Were ye worth the roof of a womb?
    Are ye worth the price of your grave-clothes?
    Are ye worth the name on a tomb?

    Nay! None of these is your earning,
    And none of these be your meed,
    If the deathless wail of their yearning
    Shall add to your pulse no speed.

    Never by hand of a warrior,
    Never by act of a man,
    Have the Little Ones thus perished,
    Since ever that Heaven began.
    Such deed and the beings who wrought it--
    Ah! deep must the cutting go
    To cure the world of the memory
    Of the Little Ones in woe.

    The Three watch high in Their Heaven,
    And aye! the Three be grieved;
    The sword is the key of Their Heaven,
    If the babes shall be received.

    Rise then, men of our banner--
    Speak in our ancient tone--
    Each of you for his mother,
    Each of you for his own!
    Smite full and fell and fearless,
    Till that these be set free--
    These, slain of the foulest slaying
    That ever made red the sea.

    The sword of the Great Avenger
    Is now for the sons of men;
    It must redden in errand holy
    Till the babes be cradled again.

  _Copyrighted, 1917, by Emerson Hough_



Tinkling Cymbals

_By Helen Sherman Griffith_


It was in the spring of 1915 that Margaret Durant came back to her home
in Greenfield, Iowa, from a visit to friends in the East, and brought
with her a clear, shining flame of patriotism, with which she proceeded
to fire the town. Margaret had always been a leader, the foremost in
civic betterment, in government reform, and in the activities of her
church and woman's club. She was a born orator, and loved nothing
better than haranguing--and swaying--a crowd.

A fund was started for the purchase of an ambulance, which, Margaret
insisted, must be driven by a Greenfield man. And she expressed sorrow
on every occasion--particularly in the hearing of the mothers of young
men--that she had no son to offer. The Red Cross rooms became the
centre of Greenfield social activity, and the young people never
dreamed of giving an entertainment for any purpose save to benefit the
Red Cross, the British Relief or the Lafayette Fund. This last became
presently the object of Margaret's special activities, since her
husband, Paul, some four generations previously, had come of French
blood. "So that it is almost like working for my own country," Margaret
said proudly. And she glowed with gratification whenever the French
were praised.

So complete and self-sacrificing was her enthusiasm that she announced,
as the spring advanced, her intention of taking no summer vacation, but
to dedicate the money thus saved to the Lafayette Fund, and to work for
that organization during the entire summer.

Her friends were thrilled with admiration at Margaret's attitude, and
some of them emulated her heroic example. To be sure, staying at home
that summer was a popular form of self-denial, since a good many
families, even in Greenfield, Iowa, were beginning to feel the pinch
of war.

One summer afternoon, Margaret strolled home from an animated meeting
of the Lafayette Fund, exalted and tingling with emotion. She had
addressed the meeting, and her speech had been declared the epitome of
all that was splendid and noble. She had moved even herself to tears
by her appeal for patriotism. She entered the house, still mentally
enshrouded by intoxicating murmurs of "Isn't she wonderful!" "Doesn't
she make you wish you were a man, to go yourself!" and so forth.

Softly humming the Marseillaise, she mounted the steps to her own room,
to remove her hat. She stopped short on the threshhold with a sudden
startled cry. Her husband was there, walking up and down the room, and
also humming the Marseillaise. It was half an hour before his usual
home-coming time, but that was not why Margaret cried out.

Paul was dressed in khaki! He was walking up and down in front of the
cheval glass, taking in the effect from different angles. He looked
around foolishly when he heard his wife.

"Just trying it on," he said lightly. "How do you like me?"

"But Paul--what--what does it _mean?_"

"Just what you have guessed. I've signed up. I'm to drive the
Greenfield ambulance," he added with justifiable pride.

Margaret stared, gasped, tottered. She would have fallen if she had not
sat down suddenly. Paul stared, too, astonished.

"Why, old girl, I thought it was what you wanted! I--you said----"

"Paul, Paul! You! It can't be! Why--why, you are all I have!"

"That is one reason the more for my going--we have no son to send."

"But Paul--it--I--the war is so far away! It isn't as if--as if we were
at war."

"Almost--'France is the land of my ancestors'--your very words,
Margaret."

"I know, but----"

"'And the cause is so just.'"

"But, Paul, I did not mean----"

"Did not mean what!" Paul turned and faced her sternly. "Margaret, your
eloquence has sent a good many young men to the front. I wonder--" He
paused, and a new expression dawned in his eyes; an expression that
Margaret could not bear: an accusation, a suspicion.

Margaret cowered in her chair and hid her face.

"Oh, Paul, not that, not that! Leave me a moment, please. I--I want
time to--to grasp it."

When she was alone she sat upright and faced the look she had seen in
Paul's eyes.

"I am a canting hypocrite. I see it now, plainly. I read it in Paul's
eyes. But I will show him he's mistaken. God! is hypocrisy always so
cruelly punished? Merciful God, have pity upon me!"

Rising to her feet, Margaret staggered to the door and called. The
enthusiasm, the exaltation, had faded from her face, leaving it pinched
and gray. But in her eyes a new expression had been born, which lent a
soft radiance to her features, the light of complete self-denial. Paul
entered, gave one look, then knelt at his wife's feet.

"Forgive me, my love, for misunderstanding you. The fault was mine.
You've been afraid I would not make good, and were testing me. Ah, my
love."

For one terrible moment Margaret hesitated. Then she whispered:

"No, Paul, you were right at first; but love has conquered. Not _our_
love, but a greater, nobler sentiment: love of Right and Justice. Do
you remember the verse: 'Though I speak with the tongues of men and of
angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling
cymbal.' I--I am _not_ a tinkling cymbal, Paul. I--Oh, Paul, take
me with you! I can be of some use over there. We will go together."

Paul rose and embraced her.

"My precious one! How Greenfield will honor you!"

Margaret winced and hid her face in his breast.

"No, Paul, no, no. Don't let them know! Let us go away quietly, in the
night. Please, please, Paul. I--I could not bear any other way!"

Durant kissed her and said no more. And if he understood, he never let
her know that he did.



The First Laugh

_By Reuben F. Place_


In the life of every baby there is a continuous succession of first
impressions and adventures. The first tooth, the first crawl, the first
step, the first word, each mark a milestone in the child's career. But
more interesting than any of these is the first laugh--the first
genuine, sustained, prolonged, whole-hearted laugh. If it is a
tinkling, bubbling, echoing laugh, it sends its merry waves in all
directions--the kind that brings smiles to sober faces.

What hope springs up in the parents' breasts at the sound of that first
laugh! How thoroughly it denotes the future!

A hearty laugh or no laugh in later years may mean the difference
between fame and obscurity, fortune and poverty, friends and enemies.

"How much lies in laughter: the cipher key, wherewith we decipher the
whole man!" wrote Carlyle.

A good laugh is a charming, invaluable attribute. It saves the day,
maintains the health, makes friends, soothes injured feelings, and
saves big situations.

Laughter is a distinguishing mark between man and beast. It is the sign
of character and the mirror in which is reflected disposition.

To laugh is to live.

The babe's first laugh is a precious family memory. A load of
responsibility goes with it. It should be guarded and guided and
cultivated until it becomes "Laughter that opens the lips and heart,
that shows at the same time pearls and the soul."



The Freighter's Dream

_By Ida M. Huntington_


"Squeak! Squ-e-a-k! Scr-e-e-ch!" The shrill, monotonous sound rent the
hot noontide air like a wail of complaint.

"Thar she goes ag'in, a-cussin' of her driver!" grumbled old Hi, as he
walked at the head of his lead oxen, Poly and Bony, with Buck and Berry
panting behind them. "Jest listen at her! An' 'twas only day afore
yistiddy that I put in a hull half hour a-greasin of her. Wal, she'll
hev to fuss till mornin'. We ain't got no time to stop a minute in this
hot place. If we make the springs afore the beasteses gin out 'twill be
more'n I look fer!"

Old Hi anxiously gazed ahead, trying to see through the shimmering haze
of the desert the far-distant little spot of ground where bubbled up
the precious spring by which they might halt for rest and refreshment.
"G'lang, Poly! That's right, Bony! Keep it up, ol' fellers!" Hi strove
to encourage the patient oxen as they plodded wearily along through the
fearful heat and the suffocating clouds of fine alkali dust.

For weeks the long train of covered wagons had moved steadily westward
over the dim trails. Starting away back in Ohio, loaded with
necessities for the prospectors in the far West, they had crossed the
fertile prairies, stuck in the muddy sloughs, forded the swollen
rivers, rumbled over the plains and wound in and out the mountain
passes. Now they were crawling over the desert, man and beast almost
exhausted, even the seasoned wagons seeming to protest against the
strain put upon them.

All that afternoon Hi walked with his oxen, talking and whistling, as
much to keep up his own courage as to quicken their pace. For a few
moments at a time they would rest, and then onward again towards the
springs indicated on the map by which they traveled.

Half blind and dizzy from the dust and heat, sometimes Hi stumbled and
staggered and nearly fell. He dared not turn to see how it fared with
the men and teams behind him. Wrecks of wagons and bones of oxen by the
side of the trail told an all-too-plain story. Some there were in every
train who dropped by the way; men who raved in fever and died calling
for water; faithful oxen who were shot to put them out of misery.
Wagons were abandoned with their valuable freight when the teams could
no longer pull them.

All afternoon they crept forward; the reiterating "Squeak! Squ-e-a-k!
Scr-e-e-ch!" of the wagon sounded like a maddened human voice to poor
Hi, fevered and half delirious.

At last the sun sank like a ball of fire in the haze. A cool breath of
air sighed across the plain. The prairie dogs barked from their
burrows. The coyotes yapped in the distance. But not yet could the long
train stop, for rest without water meant death.

Far into the night the white-topped wagons crept on like specters. No
sound was heard except that of the plodding feet of the oxen, the
rumble of the heavy wagons and the "Squeak! Squ-e-a-k! Scr-e-e-ch!"
that had troubled Hi since noon. Suddenly the oxen lifted their heads,
sniffed the air eagerly, and without urging quickened their pace.

"What is it, ol' fellers?" asked Hi, as hope revived. "Is it the water
ye are smellin'? Stiddy, thar! Stiddy!"

A few moments more, and Hi gave a shout of joy that was taken up and
sounded down the line. "The spring! The spring!"

A halt was made. Every drop of the precious water was carefully
portioned out so that each might have his share. Preparations were made
for the night. The wagons were pulled up in a circle. The oxen were
carefully secured that they might not wander away. Here and there a
flickering little fire was seen as the scanty "grub" was cooked. After
Hi had bolted his share he wrapped himself in his blanket and lay down
near his wagon. The large white top loomed dimly before him in the
darkness.

A little while he stretched and twisted and turned uneasily until his
tired muscles relaxed. In his ears yet seemed to sound the "Squeak!
Squ-e-a-k! Scr-e-e-ch!" of the complaining wagon as it had bothered him
all afternoon. "Darn ye! Won't ye ever shet up?" he muttered as he
drifted off to sleep.

"Won't I ever shet up? I won't till I git good and ready!" The sharp,
shrill voice made Hi open his eyes with a start. Above him leaned the
huge form of an old woman in a white cap drawn close about her
wrinkled, seamed face, only partly distinguishable in the darkness. As
he lay blinking, trying to see her more plainly, the high falsetto
voice continued its plaint.

"Won't I ever shet up? A nice way thet is to talk to me, Hi Smith! Do I
iver grumble and snarl when ye treat me right? Hain't I been faithful
to ye through thick an' thin? Hain't I made a home fer ye all this hull
endurin' trip? Hain't I looked after yer grub and yer blankets and done
ever'thin' I could to make ye comfortable? Hain't I kep' the rain offen
ye at night? An' thet time the Injuns was after ye, didn't I stand
atween ye an' the redskins and pertect ye? Didn't I keep ye from
gittin' drownded when ye crossed thet river whar the current swep' the
beasteses offen their feet? Didn't I watch over ye and shield ye from
the sun when ye lay sick of the fever and hadn't nary wife to look
after ye? Hain't I follered after them dumb beasteses through mud and
water and over gravel and through clouds of alkali dust thick enough to
choke a person, and niver said a word? An' now, jest bekase I'm fair
swizzled up with the heat and ye fergit to give me some grease to rub
on my achin' j'ints, ye cuss me! Yis, I heerd ye! Ye needn't deny it!
A-cussin' of me who has taken the place of home an' mother to ye fer
years! I heerd ye! I he-e-rd ye! What d'ye mean, I say!" And the tirade
ended in a perfect screech of anger.

Thoroughly aroused, Hi rolled over and jumped hastily to his feet. He
looked all around. The old woman had mysteriously vanished. A coyotte
sneaked past him. Day was breaking in the east. The first gleam of
light fell on the white-topped wagon drawn up beside him.

He rubbed his eyes. "Wal, I swan!" he muttered, as he gazed
bewilderedly at the close-drawn white top looming above him. "Glad I
woke up airly! I'll hev time ter grease that thar wagon afore we
start!"



A Box From Home

_By Helen Cowles LeCron_


    I'll send to you in France, my dear,
      A box with treasures in it:
    The patch of sky that meets our hill
      And changes every minute,
    The grape-vine that you taught to grow--
      My pansies young with dew,
    The plum-tree by the kitchen door--
      These things I'll send to you.

    I'll pack with care our fragile dawn--
      The dawn we laughed to greet;
    I'll send the comfort of the grass
      That once caressed your feet.
    No yearning love of mine I'll send
      To tear your heart in two--
    Just earth-peace--home-peace--still and strong--
      These things I'll send to you.

    For you must tire of flags, and guns,
      And courage high, and pain,
    And long to rest your heart upon
      The common things again,
    And so I'll send no prayers, no tears,
      No longings--only dew
    And garden-rows, and goldenrod
      And country roads to you!

    Since life has given you to know
      The gentle tenderness
    Of growing things, I cannot think
      That death would give you less!
    Hold fast, hold fast within your heart
      The earth-sweet hours we knew,
    And keep, my dear, where'er you are
      These things I send to you.



The Spirit of Spring

_By Laura L. Hinkley_


Margaret Hazeltine sat on her porch with the spring wind blowing over
her elusive wafts of fragrance--plum-blossom, apple-blossom, young
grass, budding wood scents, pure, growing earth-smells.

"It is like breathing poetry," Margaret thought.

She was sewing, but now and then her hands fell in her lap while she
lifted her head, catching in some wandering sweetness with a sharp
breath, like a sigh.

It was four o'clock in the afternoon. Sunshine mellowed the new
greenness of short, tender grass on the lawns. It shone upon all the
bare, budded branches up and down the street, seeking, caressing,
stimulating. It lay kindly, genially, on the mid-road dust.

Margaret's father was pottering about the garden. He was a very old
man, with stooping shoulders, but tall and slender like his daughter.
He came up to the porch and stood leaning on his hoe. The wind
fluttered his shabby garden-coat and thin, white beard. He rested his
wrinkled old hands on the top of his hoe handle, and cast up his faded,
sunken eyes to the intense young blue of the sky with its fleecy clouds
floating.

Mr. Hazeltine addressed his daughter in the strain of conversational
piety habitual with him, and in a voice which age and earnestness made
tremulous:

"Seems like every spring I get more certain of my eternal home up
yonder!"

Margaret smiled acquiescently. Long since she had silently drifted
outside the zone of her father's simple, rigid creed; but to-day its
bald egoism did not repel her. It seemed at one with the sweet will to
live all about them.

Mr. Hazeltine went back to the garden. A girl appeared on the porch of
the house opposite. The Hazeltine house was small and old and not
lately painted. The house opposite was large, fresh, trim, and
commodious in every visible detail. White cement walks enclosed and
divided its neatly kept lawns and parking. Its fruit-trees breathed out
of the unfolding whiteness of their bosoms the sweetest of those
perfumes that drifted across to Margaret. The girl on the porch pushed
the wicker chairs about for a moment, then, disdaining them all, sat
down on the cement steps and rested her chin in her palm.

After a quick look and smile Margaret sewed busily, affecting not to
see the other. She felt a little sympathetic flutter of pleasure and
suspense. "Jean is waiting for Frank," she said to herself.

A piano began to play in a house up the street. Through the open
windows rang joyous, vibrant music. White moths fluttered across the
street and the lawn and parking opposite, veering vaguely over
scattered yellow dandelion heads. Around the house opposite on the
cement walk strutted a very young kitten on soft paws, its short tail
sticking straight up, its gray coat still rough from its mother's
tongue.

"Me-ow!" said the kitten plaintively, appalled at its own daring.

Jean sprang up, laughing, snatched up the kitten and carried it back to
her seat, cuddling it under her chin.

Down the street came a young girl wheeling a baby's cab. The girl was
but just past childhood, and she had been a homely child. But of late
she had bloomed as mysteriously and almost as quickly as the
plum-trees. She wore a light summer dress with a leaf-brown design upon
it, in which her girlish form still half-confessed the child. Her
complexion was clear and bright, the cheeks flushed; and the
strongly-marked features seemed ready to melt and fuse to a softer
mould. Her brown eyes had grown wistful and winning.

As they advanced, Margaret ran down the rickety wooden walk.

"Oh, is that the new baby?" she cried delightedly. "May I look?"

The girl smiled assent.

Softly Margaret drew back the woolly carriage robe and gazed adoringly.
The baby was about six weeks old. Its tiny face was translucent, pinky
white, the closed eyelids with their fringe of fine lashes
inconceivably delicate. Its wee hands cuddled about its head; the
curled, pink fingers, each tipped with its infinitesimal, dainty nail,
were perfection in miniature. The formless mouth, pinker than the rest
of the face, moved in sleep, betraying the one dream the baby knew.

Margaret drew a long, still breath of rapture, hanging over the little
pink pearl of humanity.

"Will he wake if I kiss him?" she pleaded.

The girl smiled doubtfully. "Maybe," she said.

She was equally indifferent to the baby and to Margaret. Her wistful
eyes wandered eagerly down the street, watching each sidewalk, and the
glow in her cheeks and eyes seemed to kindle and waver momently.

Margaret did not kiss the baby. She only bent her head close over his,
close enough to feel his warm, quick breathing, to catch the rhythm of
his palpitating little life.

When she came back to her porch, after the girl had gone on, Margaret
saw that Jean's caller had come.

The young man sat beside Jean. His head was bare, his black hair
brushed stiffly up from his forehead pompadour-fashion, his new spring
suit palpably in its original creases. He and Jean talked eagerly,
sometimes with shouts of young laughter, at which Margaret smiled
sympathetically; sometimes with swift, earnest interchange; sometimes
with lazy, contented intervals of silence. Occasionally he put out his
hand to pat or tease the kitten which lay in Jean's lap. She defended
it. Whenever their fingers chanced to touch they started consciously
apart--covertly to tempt the chance again.

Two little girls came skipping down the street, their white dresses
tossed about their knees. Their loose hair, of the dusky fairness of
brunette children, tossed about their shoulders and an immense white
ribbon bow quivered on the top of each little bare head. Their dress
and their dancing run gave them the look and the wavering allure of
butterflies.

They were on Jean's side of the street. They fluttered past the house
unnoticed by the two on the porch, who were in the midst of an
especially interesting quarrel about the kitten. The little girls
passed over the crossing with traces of conscientious care for their
white slippers, and came up on Margaret's side. Opposite her they
paused in consultation.

"Won't you come in," she called to them, "and talk to me a minute?"

The two advanced hesitatingly and stood before her at a little distance
on the young grass in attitudes clearly tentative. They were shy little
misses, and had not lived long on that street.

"Someone told me," said Margaret, "that your names were Enid and
Elaine. Which is which?"

The taller one pointed first to her embroidered bosom, then to her
sister.

"I'm Enid; she's Elaine."

"I've read about you in a book of poetry," observed Margaret--"it must
have been you! I suppose if you had a little sister her name would be
Guinevere?"

The large dark eyes of the two exchanged glances of denial. The small
Elaine shook her head decidedly.

"We _got_ a little sister!" announced Enid, "but her name ain't that;
it's Katherine."

They were both pretty with the adorable prettiness of small girls, half
baby's beauty, and half woman's. But Enid's good looks would always
depend more or less upon happy accident--her time of life, her flow of
spirits, her fortune in costume. Her face was rather long, with chin
and forehead a trifle too pronounced. But the little Elaine was
nature's darling. Her softly rounded person and countenance were
instinct with charm. Even her little brown hands had delicacy and
character. Her white-stockinged legs, from the fine ankles to the
rounded knees at her skirt's edge, were turned to a sculptor's desire.
Beside them, Enid's merely serviceable legs looked like sticks. The
white bows in their hair shared the ensemble effect of each: Enid's
perched precisely in the middle, its loops and ends vibrantly and
decisively erect; Elaine's drooped a little at one side, its crispness
at once confessing and defying evanescence and fragility.

Margaret thrilled with the child's loveliness, but for some subtle
reason she smiled chiefly on Enid.

That little lady concluded she must be a person worthy of confidence.

"My doll's name is Clara," she imparted. "An' hers is Isabel, only she
calls it 'Ithabel'!"

The color deepened in Elaine's dainty cheek. She was stung to protest;
which she did with all the grace in the world, hanging her head at one
side and speaking low.

"I don't either!" she murmured. "I thay Ithabel!"

"Either way is very nice," Margaret hastened to say.

"We've been to Miss Eaton's Sunday school children's party," Enid
informed her. "These are our best dresses, and our white kid slippers.
Don't you think they're pretty? Mine tie with ribbons, but hers only
button like a baby's."

Elaine looked down grievingly at the offensively infantile slippers,
turning her exquisite little foot.

"I'm going to speak a piece for Easter," Enid pursued, "all alone by
myself; and she's going to speak one in concert with a class."

"Oh, I hope you will come and speak them for me some time," Margaret
invited; "and bring Clara and Isabel."

"Maybe we will," answered Enid. "We must go now. Come on, Elaine."

Margaret watched them until they stopped beside a flowerbed along the
sidewalk where the first tulips of the season were unfolding. Elaine
bent over to examine them. Margaret reproached herself that, though
Elaine had spoken but once, it was her image that lingered uppermost.
Why should she add even the weight of her preference to that child in
whose favor the dice were already so heavily loaded? For in Margaret's
eyes, beauty was always the chief gift of the gods.

As she resumed her sewing, a sudden, fantastic fear shot across her
thoughts--the fear that Elaine would die. She recognized it, in a
moment, for the heart's old, sad prevision of impermanence in beauty,
its rooted unbelief in fortune's constancy.

A quick glance up the street showed Elaine still stooping over the
tulip bed, her stiff little skirts sticking out straight behind her.
The grotesqueness was somehow reassuring. Margaret smiled, half at the
absurd little figure, half at her own absurdly tragic fancy.

On the other porch Frank was taking his leave--a process of some
duration. First he stood on the lower steps talking at length with Jean
who stood on the top step. Then he raised his cap and started away,
only to remember something before he reached the corner and to run back
across the lawn. There he stood talking while Jean sat on the porch
railing, suggesting a faint Romeo and Juliet effect. The next time,
Jean called him back. They met halfway down the cement walk and
conversed earnestly and lengthily.

With an exquisite sympathy Margaret watched these maneuvers from under
discreet eyelids. She was glad for them both, with a clear-souled,
generous joy. And yet she felt a sensitive pleasure that walked on the
edge of pain. In the young man especially she took a quick delight--in
his supple length of limb, the spread of his shoulders, his
close-cropped black hair, his new clothes, the way he thrust his hands
deep in his trousers' pockets while he swung on the balls of his feet,
the attentive bend of his head toward Jean; she reveled in all his
elastic, masculine youth which she knew for the garb of a straight,
strong, kindly, honorable soul. But out of the revel grew a trouble, as
if some strange spirit prisoned in her own struggled to tear itself
free, to fling itself, wailing, in the dust.

"Egotism!" said Margaret to herself, curling her lip, sewing very fast.
The fluttering spirit lay tombed and still.

When Frank was finally gone, Jean sauntered across the street to
Margaret's porch. She perched on the rail and pulled at the leafless
vine-stems beside her, talking idly and desultorily of things she was
not interested in.

She was an attractive girl, more wholesome than beautiful. Her
bronze-brown hair coiled stylishly about her head, gleamed in the late
sun. There were some tiny freckles across her nose. She wore a pale
blue summer-dress with short sleeves out of which her young arms
emerged, fresh and tender from their winter seclusion.

The two maidens circled warily about the topic they were both longing
to talk of. Margaret noted in Jean a new aloofness. Every time she
threw Frank's name temptingly into the open Jean purposely let it lie.

At last, with a little gasp of laughter, looking straight before her,
Jean exclaimed: "I guess I'm sort of scared!"

"What I like about Frank," said Margaret, "is that he's so true and
reliable. He's a fellow you can trust!"

"Yes," assented Jean. "Don't you think he looks--nice in that new
suit?"

"Splendid! Frank's a handsome boy."

"Isn't he?" sighed Jean.

"He'll always be constant to anyone he cares for. And, I think--he does
care for someone."

"What makes _you_ think so?" demanded Jean, her blue eyes suddenly
intent on Margaret.

"What makes you think so?" Margaret parried.

Jean sat up instantly very straight and stiff.

"Who said I thought anything?"

"Oh, no, no!" Margaret disclaimed hastily. "I didn't mean that. I meant
anyone would think so!"

Jean lapsed into a placated limpness, resting her lithe young figure in
its summer blue against the dingy house-wall.

"Isn't it funny," she mused, "how you can resolve you won't think, and
keep yourself from thinking, and really not think, because you've made
up your mind you wouldn't--and all the time you _know_!"

Margaret was searching in her mind for some tenderest phrase of warning
when Jean anticipated her.

"Well, it's a good thing I don't care!--I thought at first I didn't
like his hair that way, but I do now--better than the other way. He was
telling about college."

"He finishes this year, doesn't he?"

"Yes. He's going in with his father next year--unless he makes up his
mind to go to Yale. But he doesn't think he will. His father wants him
here; and he's about decided that's best."

"Marg'ret," called a thin, querulous, broken voice from within the
house; "ain't it time you was gettin' supper?"

Margaret opened the door to call back in a loud, clear voice: "Not yet,
Mother."

Jean slipped off the railing. "I must go."

"It really isn't time yet. Mother gets nervous, sitting all day. And
she doesn't care to read any more. Stay a little longer."

These snatches of Jean's confidence were delicious to her.

"Oh, I've got to go."

Jean suddenly put both arms around Margaret's waist and clasped her in
a swift embrace.

"I wish," she said, "some awfully nice old widower or bachelor would
come along and marry you!"

As Jean crossed the street with the lowering sun making a nimbus in her
chestnut-golden hair, she began to sing. The words sprang joyous and
clear as a bobolink's note--

    "What's this dull town to me?
        Robin's not here!"

But a sudden waft of consciousness smote them to a vague humming that
passed swiftly into--

    "My Mary's asleep by thy murmuring stream;
    Flow gently, sweet Afton, disturb not her dream."

In the scented dark of the spring evening, Margaret came to the porch
again. A little curved moon sailed the sky--less a light-giver than a
shining ornament on the breast of night. A while before children's
laughter and skurrying footfalls had echoed down the sidewalks. Boys
had played ball in the middle of the street, with running and violent
contortions, and shouts and calls rejoicing in the release of their
animal energies. But these sounds had ceded to silence as the soft
darkness fell. Then young strollers, two and two, had passed; but these
also were gone. A gentle wind rustled very softly in the dead
vine-stalks. The world was alone with the fragrant wind and the
dreaming dusk and the little silver scimitar of moon.

The house opposite was all dark, except for a line of lamplight beside
the drawn blind of a side window. Earlier, Jean had turned on the porch
lights and sat under them in the most graceful of the wicker chairs,
reading, or affecting to read, and Frank, coming down the street, had
seen her in all that glow. Then they had turned off the lights and gone
away together, and the house had sunk into shadowy repose. Vague lines
of wanness betrayed the place of the cement walks. The fruit-trees were
dim, withdrawn, half-hinted shapes of whiteness, but their perfume,
grown bolder in darkness, wandered the winds with poignant, sweet
desire.

Margaret leaned against the weather-worn corner-post of the porch; her
hand passed over its cracked, paint-blistered surface with, a soft,
absent touch. She felt to her finger-tips the wooing lure of the night.
In the spring of her pulses she was aware of Frank and Jean somewhere
together in the dusky, fragrant, crescent-clasped folds of it. She
seemed to draw in with her breath and gather subtly through the pores
of her flesh all the shy, sweet, youthful yearning of the world--and,
behind that, wordlessly she knew the driven sap, the life-call, the
procreant urge. She sighed and stirred restlessly. The strand of pain
that runs in the pleasure of such moods began to ache gently like an
old wound touched with foreknowledge of evil weather. She shared the
pang that lies at the heart of spring.

Words of poetry pressed into her mind, voices of the great
interpreters. She was not a cultivated woman, hardly to be called
educated; her horizon, even of books, was chance-formed and narrow; but
what circumstance had given her she remembered well. The groping, vain
longing that stirred in her fell on speech, and moved among the haunted
echoes of the world.

    "Bloomy the world, yet a blank all the same--
    Framework that waits for a picture to frame."

And then, sudden as a cry:

    "Never the time and the place,
    And the loved one all together!"

She drew a long, shivering sigh, and deliberately thrust the lines out
of her mind. Best not to remember them--on such a night! Their edges
cut like young grass drawn through careless fingers.

The little new moon was rising higher in the deep, soft blue-darkness
of the sky. Margaret looked up at its gleaming curve, and other words
of poetry came to her, words she had read once in an old
magazine--translated from the Persian:

    "Quaffing Hadji-Kivam's wine-cup, there I saw by grace of him,
    On the green sea of the night, the new moon's silver shallop
      swim!"

They swung on, like a familiar, wistful, passionate tune:

    "Oh, my heart is like a tulip, closing up in time of cold!
    When, at length, shy Bird of Fortune, shall my snare thy
      wings enfold?"

Footsteps sounded along the walk, the linked steps of two, lingering,
yet with the springing fall of youth; then a murmur of voices, girl's
and boy's interchanging, lingering, too, and low, weighted, like the
footsteps, with the burden of their hour. Margaret drew back a little
behind the sapless vine-stems. She knew that she could not be seen in
the shadow of the porch, even by a passer far less absorbed than the
two who drifted by. She had recognized Frank and Jean at once, and
thrilled intimately at the quality of their voices. Both were changed
from the careless tones of every day, Frank's husky and strained,
Jean's vibrant and tremulous. What they said was quite inaudible--only
that betraying _timbre_, conscious and unconscious, hung on the
scented air. A single word in the girl's thrilled voice--a sharpened,
quivering note of life at high tension--pierced the shadows of the
porch:

"---- you ----"

"'You!'" Margaret leaned forward among her shadows, thrusting her
clenched hands downward, then pressed them tight upon her heart. "You!"
That little key unlocked the flood-gates. The barriers went down, and
the tide of passionate loneliness swept her soul.

"You!" she whispered to the fragrant, shimmering, vitalizing night; and
the word mocked her, and returned unto her void. She leaned her bosom
against the angled surface of the porch-post; she pressed her face
among the dry, unbudded vines. The cry went out from her into the empty
spaces of the world--a voiceless, hopeless call: "You! you! you! Oh,
you who never came to me!"

Her soul was ravaged by that mocking bitterness of loss which comes
only to those who have not possessed. She, crying for a lover in the
night, she who had never been sought! If ever her shy and homely
girlhood might have attracted a youth, poor Margaret's love of poetry
would have frightened him away. If the burdened poverty of her maturity
might have admitted a suitor, her acquaintance numbered no man who
would not have shunned an earnest-minded old maid. And she knew this
utterly. A thousand old aches were in the sudden rush of anguish, and
shame fought among them. She was shocked and startled at the drip of
salt tears down her cheeks, at the heaving of her shaken breast.

She struggled to rebuild her old barriers against the woe--pride, and
dignity, and the decent acceptance of one's lot. But those were for the
eyes of men and women; and here were no eyes, only night, and the risen
sap and the wild heart in her breast. Duty? She had never swerved in
doing it, but she thrust the thought by with passionate rebellion at
the waste of her in dull service to the outworn lives which neither
asked nor could take from her anything but the daily drudgery. She
groped for the old humble consolations, tender appreciations, generous
friendships, the joy in others' joy. But there the wall had broken
through. "I am nothing to them!" thought Margaret bitterly. "Jean will
not care to talk to me after to-night. And I can't always kiss other
people's babies! I want one of my own!"

The gauzy veil of dream that wrapped her often had fallen from before
her eyes. Rent by the piercing beauty of the night, and soaked in her
tears, that fragile fabric of vision served no more. Imagined blisses
had betrayed her, naked and tender, to the unpitying lash of truth. The
remote, the universal, mocked her sore longing for something near and
real, of earth and flesh--oh, as welcome in sorrow as in joy!--to be
imperiously her own! The river of life dashed by and would not fill her
empty cup. The love she loved so had passed her by.

She faced the hollowest desolation known to humanity. She had committed
no sin; she had been true and tender and faithful; she had not failed
in the least and humblest dues of love: yet, now she stood wrapped in
torment, and saw, across a great gulf fixed, the joys of love's elect.
She stood utterly frustrate and alone--a shared frustration were
happiness! Her mental life had been so intensely uncompanioned that she
was tortured with doubts of her own reality. What warrant of Being had
that soul which could not touch in all the blank, black spaces of the
void another soul to give it assurance of itself? What if the aching
throat and riven breast were but the phantom anguish of a dream Thing,
unpurposed, unjustified, a Thing of ashes and emptiness!

There remained God--perhaps! Was God a dream too? Was there any _You_
in all the empty worlds?

She stood quite still, questing the universe for God. She thought of
her father's God--the savage Hebrew deity he thought he worshiped, the
harsh Puritan formalist who ruled his creed, the hysterical, illogical
sentimentalist who swayed his heart. She dropped them all out of her
mind. God was not, for her, in the ancient earthquake or fire or
whirlwind. But--perhaps--somewhere!

She sank to her knees in the darkness, and, laying her head upon her
arms on the railing, sought in her soul for God.

"You are Love," she said. "They say it, but they do not believe it;
but _I_ believe it. You are Love that creates, and makes glad--and
wounds. You are Love that rises in all creatures in spring, and would
make all things beautiful and kind. You are Love that gives--and gives
itself. You made me to love love and love's uses, and nothing else in
the world! You made my life loveless. Why?"

She waited a moment, then, with a sobbing breath of remembrance, "Oh,
one spring they nailed you on a cross because you loved too much!"

After that she was very still, her head bent upon her arms, her heart
quiet, waiting for the still, small voice, the answer of God.

It came presently, and she knew it was the answer. She accepted it with
comfort, and sad pride, and submission, and a slow, strange, white
happiness of consecration. The answer came without any words. If there
had been words, they might have been, perhaps, like these:

"Bear the pain patiently, my daughter, for life is wrought in pain, and
there is no child born without sharp pangs. I have not shut thee out
from my festival of spring. Thy part is thy pang. I have given thee a
coronal of pain and made thee rich with loss and desire. I have made
thee one of my vestals who guard perpetually the hearth-fire which
shall not be lit for them. I have denied thee love that love shall be
manifest in thee. Wherever love fails in my world, there shalt thou
re-create it in beauty and kindness. The vision thou hast, and the
passion, are of me, and I charge thee find some fair and sweet way that
they perish not in thee. All ways are mine. Be thou in peace."

Margaret rose at length. The moon was gone from the sky, but out of its
deep, tender darkness shone the far, dim light of stars. A cool wind
touched her cheek, bearing a faint, ethereal odor of blossoms as from a
great distance. And upon her face, if one might have seen for the
darkness, shone a fine, ethereal beauty far-brought from that great
distance which is nearer than hands and feet.

Against the shadowy front of the house opposite, two figures were
vaguely discernible, the taller a little darker than the encompassing
space, the other a little lighter. As Margaret looked, they melted
together, and were no longer two but one.

She smiled in the darkness, very sweetly, and, holding her head high,
turned and went quietly into the dark little house.



Work Is a Blessing

_By Lafayette Young_


Work is a blessing to the human race.

If this had remained a workless world, it would have been a homeless
world. The progress of the human race began when work began. When work
began, men began to wear clothes; thus progress commenced.

Industry and happiness go hand in hand.

Men who feel that they are doomed to daily toil, and that there is no
so-called emancipation from the daily routine, imagine that happiness
would be theirs if they did not have to work. The man whose employment
compels him to get up at six o'clock in the morning imagines if he
could just get out of that slavery he would ask for no greater
happiness. But if he ever does reach that condition he will find out
what true misery is.

Some years ago the warden of the Iowa penitentiary told me that he had
a prisoner serving a long term, who begged a day off. He wanted to stop
the regular routine. He wanted to be set free in the courtyard for one
day. He wanted to look straight up at the sky, and to breathe the air
of the outdoors. I was at the penitentiary the day the prisoner's
request was granted, and at ten o'clock the prisoner had grown tired of
idleness. The sky had lost its attraction. There was something missing.
And he got word to the warden that he wished to be returned to labor.

There are millions of men toiling in factories and in mines, laying
brick on tall buildings, swinging cranes in the great iron mills,
tending the machines in cotton or woolen mills, who think that they
would be perfectly happy if they were once perfectly idle. But their
experience would be like that of the prisoner's.

What a wretched world this would be without work! How many things we
have which are indispensable, that we would not have but for somebody's
work. Work has built every great bridge, every great cathedral, every
home, large or small. It has made every invention. Work found man in a
cave, and put him into a good home. Work has made man decent and
self-respecting.

The great nations are the working nations; the great peoples are the
working peoples. Nations, like individuals, date their prosperity and
happiness from the beginning of work. The start was made when man gave
attention to the primal curse of the race recorded in the book of
Genesis: "By the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, until thou
return to the ground." This mandate has never been repealed. Lazy men
in all parts of the world have undertaken to nullify it. The ambition
for idleness fills jails and penitentiaries. It causes man to commit
forgeries and murders. Every man slugged in a dark alley is put out of
the way by some other man desiring money without working for it.

There has been a foolish notion in many countries in regard to labor.
They do not consider it dignified. In some countries, missionary
families learn that they cannot cook their own victuals without losing
caste. In other countries a certain number of servants must be kept if
the family would be respected. In our own country there is a false
pride in regard to labor. Young men avoid the learning of trades
because they do not wish to soil their hands. Laboring men themselves
have been guilty of not sufficiently estimating their own callings.
They demand the rights of their class, but fail to respect it
themselves. This causes many young men to seek some employment which
will not soil their hands. Many thousands of young men make the mistake
of not having some regular calling, some work which they can do better
than anybody else. The man who has a regular trade is never found
walking the streets looking for a job. Even when he is called old, he
can secure employment.

Industry is indispensable to happiness. Idleness destroys the souls of
more young men, and leads to more forms of dissipation, than any other
influence.

The experienced mechanic knows how rapidly and joyfully time passes
when he is interested in his work. He never watches the clock; to him
quitting time comes all too soon.

Labor can be made a joy if man wills it so.

An appreciation of what a man earns and the thought that he can do
something with his money, ought to be a part of the happiness of labor.
Work develops the man. It develops his appreciation of others. He is
likely to be unhappy if he works solely for himself. The Indian hunter,
returning from the chase, lays the evidence of his prowess at the feet
of his squaw. He is glad that he has accomplished something, and in her
eyes he is a hero.

Once I was driving in the Allegheny Mountains in the early summer.
Unexpectedly I came to a little cottage almost covered with flowers and
vines. A brown-faced woman with pruning shears was at her work. Around
her bees were humming, and birds were twittering. I sought to buy some
flowers. She said she never had sold a flower in her life. I asked her
what induced her to work early and late, cultivating, planting and
pruning. She said, "I do this work because I enjoy it, and because my
husband and two sons will enjoy these flowers when they come home at
night." This woman had the whole philosophy of human happiness. If
there are women in heaven she will be there.

Work came as a blessing. It remains as a blessing. It makes us tired so
that we can enjoy sleep. We awaken in the morning refreshed for a new
day. When kings and queens shall be no more, when autocracy shall end,
when the voices of intelligent men and women shall govern, then if work
shall be universal, thus satisfying the energy, and giving direction to
the ambitions of men, there will be no more wars.

To make work enjoyable, men and women must be proud of it; must not
pretend that they are above it; must not apologize for it. Once I was
in Holland. I saw women with a peculiar headdress as if they belonged
to some lodge. They wore smiling faces. I inquired what their regalia
meant, and was told that they were working women of the peasant or some
other humble class. They were proud of their position. They were
content, with plenty to do. They enjoyed the society of their families
and friends. But their happiness consisted in being proud of, and
satisfied with, the things they were doing. Who can say that they have
not chosen the better part?



September

_By Esse V. Hathaway_


      Blaze on blaze of scarlet sumach,
    Roadsides lined with radiant gold,
      Purple ironweed, regal, slender,
    Rasping locust, shrill and bold.

      Dusty smell in field and upland,
    Sky of copper mixed with blue,
      Life intense as is the weather--
    Let's away, just me and you!

[Illustration: HOST AND HOUSEGUEST

               "I say, old top, I wish you wouldn't be continually
               kissing the wife. I think once when you come and once
               when you go quite sufficient."

               "But, my dear man, I can't wear myself out coming and
               going all the time just to please you."

               _--From "Judge." Copyright by Leslie-Judge Co._]



The Poet of the Future

_By Tacitus Hussey_


    Oh, the poet of the future. Will he come to us as comes
    The beauty of the bugle's voice above the roar of drums--
    The beauty of the bugle's voice above the roar and din
    Of battle drums that pulse the time the victor marches in?

    --_James Whitcomb Riley._

    "Oh, the poet of the future!" Can anybody guess
    Whether he'll sound his bugle, or she'll wear them on her
      dress;
    An' will they kinder get their themes from nature, second
      hand,
    An' dish 'em up in language that plain folks can't
      understand?

    There's a sight of this 'ere po'try stuff, each year, that
      goes to waste,
    Jest a-waitin' fer a poet who has the time and taste
    To tackle it just as it is, an' weave it into rhyme,
    With warp and woof of hope and love, in life's swift loom
      of time.

    An' mebbe the future poet, if he understands the thing,
    Won't start the summer katydids to singin' in the spring,
    Jest like the croakin' frog; but let the critter wait at
      most,
    To announce to timid farmers that "it's jest six weeks till
      frost."

    The katydid and goldenrod are partners in this way:
    They sing and bloom where'er there's room, along life's
      sunny way;
    So I warn you, future poet, jest let 'em bloom an' lilt
    Together--don't divorce 'em. That's jest the way they're
      built.

    In order to be perfect, the future poet should
    Know every sound of nature, of river, lake an' wood,
    Should know each whispered note and every answerin' call--
    He should never set cock-pheasants to drummin' in the fall.

    "Under the golden maples!" Not havin' voice to sing
    They flap their love out on a log quite early in the spring;
    For burnin' love will allus find expression in some way--
    That's the style that _they've_ adopted--don't change
      their natures, pray.

    I cannot guess just what the future poet's themes may be;
    Reckon they'll be pretty lofty, fer, as anyone can see,
    The world of poetry's lookin' up an' poets climbin' higher;
    With divine afflatus boostin' them, of course they must
      aspire.

    The poets of the good old times were cruder with the pen;
    Their idees weren't the same as ours--these good
      old-fashioned men--
    Bet old Homer never writ, even in his palmiest day,
    Such a soul-upliftin' poem as "Hosses Chawin' Hay."

    "Hosses" don't know any better out in the Hawkeye State--
    Down to Boston now, I reckon, they jest simply masticate.
    The poet of the future'll blow a bugle, like as not--
    Most all us modern poets had to blow fer what we've got.

    To keep the pot a-b'ilin' we all have to raise a din
    To make the public look our way--an' pass the shekels in.
    The scarcity of bugles seems now the greatest lack
    Though some of us keep blowin' 'thout a bugle to our back.

    The poet of the future! When once he takes his theme
    His pen will slip as smoothly as a canoe glides down stream.
    He'll sing from overflowin' heart--his music will be free--
    Would you take up a subscription fer a robin in a tree?

    He'll never try to drive the Muse, if he doesn't want to go,
    But will promptly take the harness off--er drive keerfully
      an' slow--
    When po'try's forced, like winter pinks, the people's apt to
      know it
    An' labor with it jest about as hard as did the poet.



Putting the Stars with the Bars

_By Verne Marshall_


Midnight beneath a low-hanging strip of amber-hued moon. Smoke in one's
eyes and sulphur in his nostrils; the pounding of cannon in his ears
and a hatred of war and its sponsors in his soul. A supply wagon piled
high with dead men on one side of the road and a little ambulance
waiting for its bruised load to emerge from the mouth of the
communicating trench near by. Sharp tongues of fire darting into the
night on every side as the guns of the French barked their challenge at
the Crown Prince on the other bank of the Meuse. A lurid glare over
there to the left where the smoke hung thickest under drifting yellow
illuminating bombs and red and blue signal bombs that added their touch
to the weird fantasy that wasn't a fantasy at all, but a hill in whose
spelling men had changed one letter and turned it into hell.

It was Dead Man's Hill at Verdun--Le Cote Mort Homme. And Dead Man's
Hill it truly was, for among the barbed wire entanglements and in some
of the shell craters in No Man's Land there still lay the skeletons of
Frenchmen and Germans who had been killed there months before and whose
bodies it had been impossible to recover because the trenches had not
changed positions and to venture out between them was to shake hands
with Death.

Dead Man's Hill at Verdun--where ten thousand men have fought for a few
feet of blood-soaked ground in vain effort to satiate the battle-thirst
of a monarch and his son! The countryside for miles around is laid
waste. Villages lie in tumbled masses, trees are uprooted or broken
off, demolished wagons and motors litter the roads and fields, and dead
horses, legs stiff in the air, dot the jagged landscape. Not a moving
object is seen there by day except the crows that flutter above the
uptorn ground and the aeroplanes that soar thousands of feet above.
But, with the coming of night, long columns of men wind along the
treacherous roads on their way to or from the trenches, hundreds of
supply wagons lumber across the shell holes to the stations near the
line, ammunition trains travel up to the lines and back and the
ambulances ply their routes to dressing stations. Everything must be
done under night's partially protecting cloak, for the German gunners
seldom miss when daylight aids their vision.

A tiny American ambulance--a jitney--threads its way down from the Dead
Man to ----, carrying a boy through whose breast a dum-dum bullet had
torn its beastly way. Three hours before, the driver of that ambulance
had talked with the boy who now lay behind him on a stretcher. Then the
young Frenchman had been looking forward to the wondrous day when the
war would end. He had planned to come to America to live, just as soon
as he could get back to Paris and say good-bye to the mother from whom
he had received a letter that very day.

"I will be lucky!" he had exclaimed to the American. "I will not be
killed. I will not even be wounded. Ah, but won't I be glad when the
war is over!"

But his life was slipping away, faster than the Red Cross car could
carry him to aid. The checking station reached, two orderlies pulled
the stretcher from the ambulance. There was a choking sound in the
wounded soldier's throat and the driver, thinking to ease his
breathing, lifted his head. The closed eyes fluttered open, the
indescribable smile of the dying lighted his face and with his last
faint breath he murmured those words that always still war
momentarily--

"Ah, _mere_! _Ma mere!_"

"Oh, mother! My mother!"--and he was dead.

Just one little incident of war, just a single glimpse at the
accomplishments of monarchial militarism.

That French boy has not come to America, but America has gone to him.
He died for a flag that is red, white and blue--for the tricolor of
France. And we have gone across the sea to place the stars of our flag
with the bars of his. His fight was our fight and our fight is his.
Together we fight against those who menace civilization in both old
world and new. We fight against the army that outraged Belgium and
devastated France, against the militaristic clique that sanctioned the
slaughtering and crippling of little children, the maiming of women,
against that order of militarists who decorated the commander of the
submarine that sank the Lusitania with her babies and their mothers.

We are at war and we are Americans.... Enough.

    Verne Marshall was the driver of that ambulance. Three months of
    his service were spent at Verdun.



The Kings of Saranazett

_By Lewis Worthington Smith_

A SCENE FROM THE FIRST ACT


      A drama of the awakening of the nearer Orient. In this scene
      Nasrulla appears as the royal lover of the fig merchant's
      daughter, Nourmahal. She has learned something of the ways of
      the West, where even kings have but one acknowledged consort,
      and she is not willing to be merely one of a number of queens.

    Before the wall and gate enclosing Nourmahal's Garden. It is early
    morning, just before dawn. Above the gleaming white of the wall's
    sun-baked clay there is the deep green of the trees--the plane,
    the poplar, the acacia, and, beyond the garden, mountains are
    visible through the purple mist of the hour that waits for dawn,
    slowly turning to rose as the rising sun warms their snowy
    heights. At the left the wall extends out of sight behind a clump
    of trees, but at the right it ends in a tower topped by a turret
    with a rounded dome passing into a point. The space under the dome
    is open, except for a railing, and is large enough for one or more
    persons. It may be entered from the broad top of the wall through
    a break in the railing. At the left, out from the trees and in
    front of the wall, there is a well marked out with roughly piled
    stones.

    At the right, out of sight behind the trees that come almost to
    the tower at the corner of the wall, a man's voice is heard
    singing Shelley's "Indian Serenade."

    "I arise from dreams of thee
      In the first sweet sleep of night,
    When the winds are breathing low,
      And the stars are shining bright;
    I arise from dreams of thee,
      And a something in my feet
    Hath led me--who knows how?
      To thy chamber window, Sweet!

    "The wandering airs they faint
      On the dark, the silent stream--
    The Champak odors fail
      Like sweet thoughts in a dream;
    The nightingale's complaint,
      It dies upon her heart;--
    As I must die on thine,
      O! beloved as thou art!

    "Oh lift me from the grass!
      I die! I faint! I fail!
    Let thy love in kisses rain
      On my lips and eyelids pale.
    My cheek is cold and white, alas!
      My heart beats loud and fast;--
    Oh! press it to thine own again,
      Where it will break at last."

    During the singing Nourmahal has come slowly out from the left,
    walking along the broad top of the wall until, coming to the tower,
    she drops down on the floor by the railing of the turret and
    listens, her veil falling from before her face. When the song has
    ended, Nasrulla comes forward and approaches the little tower. He
    leads a horse, a white horse with its tail dyed red in the Persian
    fashion.

_Nourmahal._ You turn the gray of the poplars in the darkness into the
silver of running water.

_King Nasrulla._ The dawn is waiting under your veil. I see now only
the morning star.

_Nourmahal._ I am but the moon, and I must not be seen when My Lord
the Sun comes.

_King Nasrulla._ The Lord of the Sky rises to look on the gardens
where the nightingales have been singing.

_Nourmahal._ But when he finds that the nightingales are silent, he
passes to other gardens.

_King Nasrulla._ Following the song, as I follow the lisp of spring in
your voice, the flutter of the wings of birds in the branches when
buds are swelling.

_Nourmahal._ It is the flutter of wings and the song that you care
for; it is not the bird.

_King Nasrulla._ It is the song of the bird that tells me where I
shall find the bird herself. It is the oasis lifted up into the sky
that guides the thirsty traveler across the desert.

_Nourmahal (rising in agitation)._ When I am your queen, will you
follow the voices of other nightingales?

_King Nasrulla._ You will be my first queen.

_Nourmahal._ I must be your only queen.

_King Nasrulla._ Always my first queen, and in your garden the
fountains shall murmur day and night with a fuller flow of water than
any others. The flowers there shall be more beautiful than anywhere
else in all the world, and a hundred maidens shall serve you.

_Nourmahal._ And I shall not be your only queen?

_King Nasrulla._ It is not the way of the world.

_Nourmahal._ I have heard stories of places where the king has only
one queen.

_King Nasrulla._ It has never been so in Saranazett.

_Nourmahal._ It has not been so in Saranazett, but does nothing
change?

_King Nasrulla._ I must be king in the way of my ancestors.

_Nourmahal (dropping down by the railing again)._ And we must live in
the way of our ancestors, over and over again, sunrise and noon-glare
and star-shine, as it was before our stars rose in the heavens, as it
always will be?

_King Nasrulla._ Our ancestors have taught us that a king should not
live too meanly.

_Nourmahal._ We cannot appeal to our ancestors. We cannot appeal to
anything, and nothing can be undone. As the Persian poet says, "The
moving finger writes," and what is written must be.

_King Nasrulla._ And if what is written is beautiful, and if you are
to be a king's throne-mate, if all the treasures of all the world are
to be sought out for you----

_Nourmahal._ It is nothing, nothing, if you must have another wife, if
you must have two other wives, three.

_King Nasrulla._ My prime minister will choose the others. I choose
you.

_Nourmahal (passionately)._ But what shall we ever choose again--and
get what we choose? Have not the hours been counted out for us from
the beginning of the world? Can we stop the grains of sand in the
hour-glass?

_King Nasrulla._ Each one will make a new pleasure as it falls.

_Nourmahal._ Yes, but it falls. We do not gather it up. It falls out
of the heavens as the rain comes. We cannot make it rain.

_King Nasrulla._ But the drops are always pleasant.

_Nourmahal._ Yes, like a cup of water to a prisoner who dies of thirst
and cannot know when his jailer comes. If we could bring the clouds up
over the sun when the hot dust is flying, it would be really pleasant,
but

      "That inverted Bowl we call the Sky,
    Whereunder crawling coop'd we live and die,
      Lift not your hands to _It_ for help--for It
    As impotently moves as you or I."

You are my sky, and the old poet is right, if you must have four wives
because your father had four wives, and his father.

_King Nasrulla._ They are but symbols of kingliness, and they
shall bow in the dust before you, whom my heart chooses, as weeds by
the roadside bow when you pass in your tahktiravan and the air follows
its flying curtains.

_Nourmahal._ Why should anyone bow to me? Why should I care for
bowing? It would make me a slave to the custom of bowing. Are you a
king and must you be a slave too? Impotence is the name of such
kingship, and why should I care to be a queen when my king cannot make
me queenly?

_King Nasrulla (advancing to the tower and leaving his horse
standing)._ Come! The stars are paling, and there is only the light
of your eyes to lift me out of the dust. Come!

    In the side of the wall by the tower a sloping series of stout pegs
    has been driven, descending to the ground at short intervals.
    Nourmahal comes out of the tower, puts her foot on the highest of
    these pegs, takes Nasrulla's hand, and, with his help, comes slowly
    down the pegs, as if they were a flight of stairs, to the ground.

_Nourmahal._ How I love a horse! It is Samarcand and Delhi and Bokhara
and Paris, even Paris.

_King Nasrulla._ Paris! What is Paris?

_Nourmahal (standing in front of the horse and caressing its head)._ I
don't know. I have never been there, but a horse makes me think of
Paris. I don't know London, but a horse makes me think of London too.
A horse could take me there. I could ride and ride, and every day
there would be something new and something wonderful. There are cities
beyond the water, too, marvelous cities, full of things more than we
dream of here. A horse is swift, and the tapping of his feet on the
stones is distance. When he lifts his head, when he curves his neck,
already in his heart he is going on and on.

_King Nasrulla._ And these are the stories that you have heard,
stories about Paris and London and the cities across the water?

_Nourmahal._ Stories? Perhaps not stories. Dreams, I think, imaginings
dropped from the wings of falcons flying out of the west.

_King Nasrulla._ You shall sit on the horse, and you can seem to be
riding. Then as your dreams come true, you can tell them to me. Let
the horse be Paris in my fancies too, and London and the cities across
the water.

    The horse is still standing where he stopped when Nasrulla led him
    out from behind the trees with him. He faces toward the left, and
    Nasrulla is back of him. Nourmahal puts her foot into Nasrulla's
    hand, and he lifts her into the saddle. When she is comfortably
    seated, he stands beside her and in front of her, back of the
    horse, leaning against the horse's neck and caressing his shoulder.

_King Nasrulla._ Now we are on the road, and all the world is moving
across the horizon. If it is all a dream, let me be in the dream.

_Nourmahal (looking out and away from him and pausing a moment)._
Stories! Dreams!--What I have heard is only a whisper, but it seems so
true and so beautiful. Somewhere a man loves one woman always and no
other. Somewhere a king is not a manikin stalking through ceremonies.
Somewhere he lives humanly as other men. Somewhere to-day is not like
yesterday, and man has learned to break the cycle of what has been
forever, of what seems dead and yet out of death comes back again and
again. I have not seen it, but I know it. Somewhere you and I could be
happy without being king or queen. Somewhere a woman thinks her own
thoughts, and not the thoughts of her lord only. Somewhere men are not
bound to a king, and somewhere kings are not bound to the words of
their fathers' fathers.

_King Nasrulla (slowly, after a pause)._ It is the way of the world,
Nourmahal. What the world is, it is, and that is forever and ever,
unless it should be the will of God to make a new world.

_Nourmahal._ A new world! (_She pauses dreamily._) Yes, that is what I
want, a new world. That is what men are making somewhere, I know it.
That is what is in my heart, and the same thing must be in the hearts
of other men and women. A new world! What would it be to wake up every
morning with a fresh wonder, not knowing what the day would bring?
What would it be every morning to take the saddle and follow a new
road ahead of the sun?

_King Nasrulla._ If I could go with you----

_Nourmahal._ You have horses.

_King Nasrulla._ It is not so decreed. My place is here.

_Nourmahal._ Your place is here, and it is your place to have three or
four queens as your ministers decide for you. One queen is to keep
peace with the King of the South, another is to keep peace with the
King of the West, and the third is to keep peace with the King of the
East. The fourth queen you may choose for yourself from your own
people--if you choose before some other king offers a daughter. You
may make slaves of your queens so that your neighbor kings may make a
slave of you.

_King Nasrulla._ Yes, if I would be king--and you would be queen.

_Nourmahal._ Queen!--in a world where the flowers that bloom to-day
died centuries ago! Queen--in a world where queens may look out of
grated windows and never walk the streets! Queen--in a world where My
Lord the King may not come to my door too often lest the daughter of
the King of the South put poison in the nectar that her slaves offer
him to-morrow!

_King Nasrulla._ The world is the world, and its enduring is forever
and ever. We are but shadows that change and break on the surface of
running water. We may stand for a moment in the sun, but we cannot
stop the rain that fills the stream. We cannot fix our images for a
moment on the drops that are rushing out to the sea.

_Nourmahal (looking away from him dreamily)._ "Ah Love! could you and
I with Him conspire To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things Entire, Would
we not shatter it to bits--and then Remould it nearer to the Heart's
desire?"

    He looks at her steadily, but she does not turn her head, and,
    while they are so silent a woman comes from the left with a water
    jar, fills it from the well, puts it on her head, and passes off
    again. The sun is now warming the tops of the mountains to a soft
    pink.

_King Nasrulla._ We must find the water where it flows--or go thirsty.

_Nourmahal (more passionately)._ But somewhere the women do not carry
water. The poet only thought of doing what somewhere men have done.
Here a thousand years are but as yesterday and ten thousand as a watch
in the night. I am not I, but an echo of the mad desires of dead men
whose dust has been blown across the desert for countless centuries.
Why should I not think of my own desires before my dust, too, flies
forgotten before the passing caravans?

_King Nasrulla._ But you are to be my queen. Nothing more can anyone
give you in Saranazett.

_Nourmahal._ And to-morrow or next week your ambassador to the King of
the East comes back with letters and pledges of friendship. Perhaps he
brings with him the King's daughter.

_King Nasrulla._ But she is only the official seal of a bond, only a
hostage. She is not the rose that I pin over my heart. She is not the
nightingale that I love to hear singing in my garden. She is not the
face behind the lattice that draws my eager feet. She is not the
fountain that will make me drink and drink again.

_Nourmahal._ But I shall not ride with you into the distance and leave
the kings' daughters behind?

_King Nasrulla._ The King of the East----

_Nourmahal._ I know. The King of the East has a great army. I must
stay in my garden, or I shall have to spend my life talking about the
things he likes or dislikes, his angers and his fondnesses, with the
women of his harem.

    She puts her foot out for his hand, ready to be taken down from
    the horse.

_King Nasrulla._ Nourmahal!

_Nourmahal._ Yes, I must keep my veil before my face and stay within
my garden.

    He helps her down, and she turns the horse's head back to the right
    in the direction from which they came.

_King Nasrulla._ I shall take you, Nourmahal, and make you queen.

_Nourmahal._ Take me! Take the others and let them be queens. They
will be happy enough, after the way of their mothers, but you cannot
take the wind.

_King Nasrulla._ Being your lover is not ceasing to be king. May
not the king ask of his subjects what he will? What is it to be king?

_Nourmahal (turning as she is passing toward the gate)._ Sometimes
it is making a fresher and happier world for those who come to kneel
before the throne. Kings are not often so wise.

_King Nasrulla._ And when they are not so wise they think of their
own happiness. They let love come into the palace, and the favorite
queen has the riches of the earth heaped in jewels before her. The
tenderness of the moon shines in the clasp of her girdle, and the
splendor of the sun glitters in a circlet for her forehead.

_Nourmahal._ And sometimes, seeking their own pleasure, kings make
the killing of those who are not kings their joy. They teach all men to
be soldiers and all soldiers to be ruthless. Their women learn to
delight in the echoes of battle, and the man who is not scarred by the
marks of many fights they pity and despise. So women forget to be
gentle, and the lords and masters of earth no longer watch over them
and care for them, no longer shelter the weak and the defenseless, no
longer think of right and justice, because they carry in their hands
the javelins of might and they have learned to fling them far.

_King Nasrulla._ But I shall watch over you as the cloud watches
over the garden where the roses are waiting for the rain.

_Nourmahal._ No, I shall not have a king to watch over me.
Somewhere they have no kings. A queen dies daily with loneliness, or
lives hourly in the burning hate of all her sister queens. To breathe
the air where there are no queens would be an ecstasy. I will not be a
king's first queen or his last queen or his concubine or any other
creature whom he may cast aside for a new fancy whenever the fancy
comes.

    A messenger enters from the right, preceded by two attendants
    carrying each one of the long, melon-shaped lanterns that accompany
    royalty. The messenger bows before Nasrulla, dropping on one knee.

_Messenger._ Your Royal Highness, I am sent to beg that you will hear
me.

_King Nasrulla._ It is my pleasure to listen to your message. Speak!

_Messenger._ It is not I speaking, Your Majesty, but your minister,
Huseyn.

_King Nasrulla._ I listen to the words of Huseyn.

_Messenger._ Know, O Mighty Lord of the Great Center of Earth--the
ambassador to the King of the East is reported returning by the long
highway.

    Nourmahal's father, Mehrab, comes out from the gate in the wall and
    stands listening.

_King Nasrulla._ Say to Huseyn that I will see him and make
arrangements for his reception before nightfall.

_Messenger._ He brings very important tidings, Your Majesty. Pardon
me, O Lord of the Lives of Your Servants. I speak but the words of
Huseyn.

_King Nasrulla._ I hear the words of Huseyn.

_Messenger._ The ambassador should be received a early as may be, is
the word of Huseyn. He knows the will of the King of the East, and the
King of the East would know your will, O Mightiest of the Mighty.

_Nourmahal (bowing to her knees before him)._ Let me beg of you also,
King Nasrulla, that you give audience at once to the ambassador who
comes with word from the King of the East.

_King Nasrulla._ I listen to the words of Nourmahal with the words of
Huseyn.

_Messenger._ And I shall say to the Prime Minister Huseyn that His
Majesty, the Lord of Everlasting Effulgence, will graciously consent
to speak with him before the sun looks in at his image in the water
jars.

_Nourmahal._ O King Nasrulla, for the sake of the rule that is thine
from thy fathers, for the maintaining of peace in all thy borders, for
the security of thy people, who harvest their hopes in fear, permit
the approach of the ambassador who returns from the King of the East.

_King Nasrulla._ The wish of Nourmahal is a command. I go to make
ready for the ambassador who comes with word from the King of the
East.

_Nourmahal._ And for the daughter of the King of the East, give
thanks, O King Nasrulla. It is said that she is very beautiful, and
many wooers have sought her vainly. She has been kept for the joy and
the splendor and the growing greatness of My Lord the King.

_King Nasrulla._ Announce my coming to my Prime Minister, Huseyn.

_Messenger (rising)._ Your Noble Majesty is most gracious. I fly with
your words to Huseyn.

_King Nasrulla._ As a king I go, but my thoughts are not a king's
thoughts, and they stay here. It may be I shall look for them again,
as one looks for love in his friend's heart at the home-returning.
Farewell!

_Nourmahal._ I shall keep your thoughts forever, My Lord Nasrulla, but
for the King and the ways of the King--farewell!

    The two lantern carriers who have come with the messenger turn to
    the right to light the way for the King, and, as they pass off, he
    follows them. Nourmahal watches them until they are gone, while
    Mehrab, Nourmahal's father, comes forward slowly.

_Mehrab._ He threatened you, did he?

_Nourmahal._ Threaten! No, father, he did not threaten me.

_Mehrab._ Does he not mean to make you queen whether you wish to be or
not?

_Nourmahal._ He will not dare.

_Mehrab._ I am only a merchant, only a dealer in figs and olives. I am
not to be feared or considered by him or by those that are about him.
It is the way of his kind to think that you are to be taken as he
would take a pomegranate from the garden of one of his satraps.

_Nourmahal._ He will not take me.

_Mehrab._ They despise me because I go with the caravans, but I have
learned something. I know the world. My camels have tracked the sands
hundreds of miles from Saranazett, and there are places where the
words of Nasrulla the King mean less than the words of Mehrab the
merchant.

_Nourmahal._ They will have horses to follow us. Horses are swifter
than camels.

_Mehrab._ We shall have horses too, and ours shall be the fleetest.
The riders of the King's horses will put out their palms for my
silver. They will know how to make their whips fall lightly.

_Nourmahal (eagerly)._ Let us go to-morrow. Let us go before the
daughter of the King of the East is carried in her palanquin to the
palace. I want to see all the places where you have been. I want to
know something of the strange things that you have seen.

_Mehrab._ The women of Saranazett have never traveled.

_Nourmahal._ But I will not be a woman of Saranazett. There are other
worlds and other ways for me than the ways of Saranazett.

_Mehrab._ You shall not be queen one day and someone else queen in
your place the next. I was not born to live in the world's high
places, but also I was not born to bend the knee. You shall not suffer
because you are not a king's daughter, and because those that are
kings' daughters smile at you behind their curtains.

_Nourmahal (more dreamily reluctant)._ If we could make Saranazett
over into a new world.

_Mehrab._ A new world somewhere else, Nourmahal. The packs are being
made ready for the camels. Have your women tie up your clothes as if
they were bundles of figs. Day after to-morrow or the next day or the
next, we shall take horse and follow. We shall go to a world that is
an old, old world, wiser than our world, a world where men's thoughts
are free and their women's eyes look wherever they will.

_Nourmahal (passing to the gate)._ The women shall make ready.

_Mehrab._ At once, and tell Zuleika she goes with you.

_Nourmahal._ Zuleika shall make ready.

    She passes out through the gate into the garden. Mehrab turns and
    sees the spikes driven into the wall by the tower. For a moment he
    looks at them in astonishment, observing that they pass down to the
    ground slopingly, and then, one by one, he pulls them out and
    flings them down on the ground violently.



The Old Cane Mill

_By Nellie Gregg Tomlinson_


    "What's sorghum?" Don't you know sorghum?
    My gran'son nigh sixteen,
    Don't boys know nothin' nowadays?
    Beats all I ever seen.
    Why sorghum's the bulliest stuff
    Wuz ever made ter eat.
    You spread it thick on homemade bread;
    It's most oncommon sweet.

    "Come from?" Wall yer jist better bet
    It don't come from no can.
    Jus' b'iled down juice from sorghum cane,
    Straight I'way 'lasses bran'.
    "What's cane?" It's some like corn, yer know,
    An' topped with plumes o' seed.
    Grows straight an' tall on yaller clay
    That wouldn't grow a weed.

    Long in September when 'twuz ripe,
    The cane-patch battle field
    Wuz charged by boys with wooden swords,
    Good temper wuz their shield.
    They stripped the stalks of all their leaves,
    Then men, with steel knives keen
    Slashed off the heads and cut the stalks
    An' piled them straight an' clean.

    The tops wuz saved ter feed the hens,
    Likewise fer nex' year's seed.
    The farmer allus has ter save
    Against the futur's need.
    The neighbors cum from miles erbout
    An' fetched the cane ter mill.
    They stacked it high betwixt two trees,
    At Gran'dads, on the hill.

    An' ol' hoss turned the cane mill sweep,
    He led hisself erroun.
    The stalks wuz fed inter the press,
    From them the sap wuz groun'.
    This juice run through a little trough
    Ter pans beneath a shed;
    There it wuz b'iled an' skimmed and b'iled,
    Till it wuz thick an' red.

    Then it wuz cooled an' put in bar'ls
    An' toted off to town
    While us kids got ter lick the pan,
    Which job wuz dun up brown.
    Gee whiz! but we did hev good times
    At taffy pullin' bees.
    We woun' the taffy roun' girls' necks--
    Bob wuz the biggest tease.

    Inside the furnace, on live coals,
    We het cane stalks red hot,
    Then hit 'em hard out on the groun'--
    Yer oughter hear 'em pop!
    Sometimes a barefoot boy would step
    Inter the skimmin's hole,
    Er pinch his fingers in the mill,
    Er fall off from the pole.

    When winter winds went whis'lin' through
    The door an' winder cracks,
    An' piled up snow wuz driftin'
    Till yer couldn't see yer tracks,
    Then we all drawed roun' the table
    An' passed the buckwheat cakes,
    Er mebbe it wuz good corn bread.
    "What's sorghum?" Good lan' sakes.

    Wall, son, yer hev my symperthy;
    Yer've missed a lot, I swan.
    Oh, sure yer dance an' joy-ride
    Frum ev'nin' untel dawn,
    Yer've football, skates an' golf ter he'p
    The passin' time ter kill,
    But give me mem'ry's boyhood days,
    Erroun' the ol' cane mill.



The Queer Little Thing

_By Eleanor Hoyt Brainerd_


Bonita Allen was a queer little thing. Everyone in the school, from
Miss Ryder down to the chambermaid, had made remarks to that effect
before the child had spent forty-eight hours in the house, yet no one
seemed able to give a convincing reason for the general impression.

The new pupil was quiet, docile, moderately well dressed, fairly good
looking. She did nothing extraordinary. In fact, she effaced herself
as far as possible; yet from the first she caused a ripple in the
placid current of the school, and her personality was distinctly felt.

"I think it's her eyes," hazarded Belinda, as she and Miss Barnes
discussed the new-comer in the Youngest Teacher's room. "They aren't
girl eyes at all."

"Fine eyes," asserted the teacher of mathematics with her usual
curtness.

Belinda nodded emphatic assent. "Yes, of course; beautiful, but so big
and pathetic and dumb. I feel ridiculously apologetic every time the
child looks at me, and as for punishing her--I'd as soon shoot a deer
at six paces. It's all wrong. A twelve-year-old girl hasn't any right
to eyes like those. If the youngster is unhappy she ought to cry
twenty-five handkerchiefs full of tears, as Evangeline Marie did when
she came, and then get over it. And if she's happy she ought to smile
with her eyes as well as with her lips. I can't stand self-repression
in children."

"She'll be all right when she has been here longer and begins to feel
at home," said Miss Barnes. But Belinda shook her head doubtfully as
she went down to superintend study hour.

Seated at her desk in the big schoolroom she looked idly along the
rows of girlish heads until she came to one bent stoically over a
book. The new pupil was not fidgeting like her comrades. Apparently
her every thought was concentrated upon the book before her. Her
elbows were on her desk, and one lean little brown hand supported the
head, whose masses of straight black hair were parted in an unerring
white line and fell in two heavy braids. The face framed in the smooth
shining hair was lean as the hand, yet held no suggestion of
ill-health. It was clean cut, almost to sharpness, brown with the
brownness that comes from wind and sun, oddly firm about chin and
lips, high of cheekbones, straight of nose.

As Belinda looked two dark eyes were raised from the book and met her
own--sombre eyes with a hurt in them--and an uncomfortable lump rose
in the Youngest Teacher's throat. She smiled at the sad little face,
but the smile was not a merry one. In some unaccountable way it spoke
of the sympathetic lump in her throat, and the Queer Little Thing
seemed to read the message, for the ghost of an answering smile
flickered in the brown depths before the lids dropped over them.

When study hour was over the Youngest Teacher moved hastily to the
door, with some vague idea of following up the successful smile, and
establishing diplomatic relations with the new girl; but she was not
quick enough. Bonita had slipped into the hall and hurried up the
stair toward the shelter of her own room.

Shrugging her shoulders, Belinda turned toward the door of Miss
Ryder's study and knocked.

"Come in."

The voice was not encouraging. Miss Lucilla objected to interruptions
in the late evening hours, when she relaxed from immaculately fitted
black silk to the undignified folds of a violet dressing gown.

When she recognized the intruder she thawed perceptibly.

"Oh, Miss Carewe! Come in. Nothing wrong, is there?"

Belinda dropped into a chair with a whimsical sigh.

"Nothing wrong except my curiosity. Miss Ryder, do tell me something
about that Allen child."

Miss Lucilla eyed her subordinate questioningly.

"What has she been doing?"

"Nothing at all. I wish she would do something. It's what she doesn't
do, and looks capable of doing, that bothers me. There's simply no
getting at her. She's from Texas, isn't she?"

The principal regarded attentively one of the grapes she was eating,
and there was an interval of silence.

"She is a queer little thing," Miss Lucilla admitted at last. "Yes,
she's from Texas, but that's no reason why she should be odd. We've
had a number of young ladies from Texas, and they were quite like
other school girls only more so. Just between you and me, Miss Carewe,
I think it must be the child's Indian blood that makes her seem
different."

"Indian?" Belinda sat up, sniffing romance in the air.

"Yes, her father mentioned the strain quite casually when he wrote.
It's rather far back in the family, but he seemed to think it might
account for the girl's intense love for nature and dislike of
conventions. Mrs. Allen died when the baby was born, and the father
has brought the child up on a ranch. He's completely wrapped up in
her, but he finally realized that she needed to be with women. He's
worth several millions and he wants to educate her so that she'll
enjoy the money--'be a fine lady,' as he puts it. I confess his
description of the girl disturbed me at first, but he was so liberal
in regard to terms that----"

Miss Lucilla left the sentence in the air and meditatively ate another
bunch of grapes.

"Did her father come up with her?" Belinda asked.

"No, he sent her with friends who happened to be coming--highly
respectable couple, but breezy, very breezy. They told me that Bonita
could ride any broncho on the ranch and could shoot a jack-rabbit on
the run. They seemed to think she would be a great addition to our
school circle on that account. Personally I'm much relieved to find
her so tractable and quiet, but I've noticed something--well--unusual
about her."

As Belinda went up to bed she met a slim little figure in a barbaric
red and yellow dressing gown crossing the hall. There was a shy
challenge in the serious child face, although the little feet, clad in
soft beaded moccasins, quickened their steps; and Belinda answered the
furtive friendliness by slipping an arm around the girl's waist and
drawing her into the tiny hall bedroom.

"You haven't been to see me. It's one of the rules that every girl
shall have a cup of cocoa with me before she has been here three
evenings," she said laughingly.

The Queer Little Thing accepted the overture soberly and, curled up in
the one big chair, watched the teacher in silence.

The cocoa was soon under way. Then the hostess turned and smiled
frankly at her guest. Belinda's smile is a reassuring thing.

"Homesick business, isn't it?" she said abruptly, with a warm note of
comradeship in her voice.

The tense little figure in the big chair leaned forward with sudden,
swift confidence.

"I'm going home," announced Bonita in a tone that made no
reservations.

Belinda received the news without the quiver of an eyelash or a sign
of incredulity.

"When?" she asked with interest warm enough to invite confession and
not emphatic enough to rouse distrust.

"I don't know just when, but I have to go. I can't stand it and I've
written to Daddy. He'll understand. Nobody here knows. They're all
used to it. They've always lived in houses like this, with little back
yards that have high walls around them, and sidewalks and streets
right outside the front windows, and crowds of strange people going by
all the time, and just rules, rules, rules, everywhere. Everybody has
so many manners, and they talk about things I don't know anything
about, and nobody would understand if I talked about the real things."

"Perhaps I'll understand a little bit," murmured Belinda. The Queer
Little Thing put out one hand and touched the Youngest Teacher's knee
gently in a shy, caressing fashion.

"No, you wouldn't understand, because you don't know; but you could
learn. The others couldn't. The prairie wouldn't talk to them and
they'd be lonesome--the way I am here. Dick says you have got to learn
the language when you are little, or else have a gift for such
languages, but that when you've once learned it you don't care to hear
any other."

"Who's Dick?" Belinda asked.

"Dick? Oh he's just Dick. He taught me to ride and to shoot, and he
used to read poetry to me, and he told me stories about everything. He
used to go to a big school called Harvard, but he was lonesome
there--the way I am here."

"The way I am here" dropped into the talk like a persistent refrain,
and there was heartache in it.

"I want to go home," the child went on. Now that the dam of silence
was down the pent-up feeling rushed out tumultuously. "I want to see
Daddy and the boys and the horses and the cattle, and I want to watch
the sun go down over the edge of the world, not just tumble down among
the dirty houses, and I want to gallop over the prairie where there
aren't any roads, and smell the grass and watch the birds and the sky.
You ought to see the sky down there at night, Miss Carewe. It's so big
and black and soft and full of bright stars, and you can see clear to
where it touches the ground all around you, and there's a night breeze
that's cool as cool, and the boys all play their banjos and guitars
and sing, and Daddy and I sit over on our veranda and listen. There's
only a little narrow strip of sky with two or three stars in it out of
my window here, and it's so noisy and cluttered out in the back
yards--and I hate walking in a procession on the ugly old streets, and
doing things when bells ring. I hate it. I hate it."

Her voice hadn't risen at all, had only grown more and more vibrant
with passionate rebellion. The sharp little face was drawn and pale,
but there were no tears in the big tragic eyes.

Belinda had consoled many homesick little girls, but this was a
different problem.

"I'm sorry," she said softly. "Don't you think It will be easier after
a while?"

The small girl with the old face shook her head.

"No, it won't. It isn't in me to like all this. I'm so sorry, because
Daddy wants me to be a lady. He said it was as hard for him to send me
as it was for me to come, but that I couldn't learn to be a lady with
lots of money to spend down there with only boys and him. There wasn't
any lady there on the ranch at all, except Mammy Lou, the cook, and
she didn't have lots of money to spend, so she wasn't the kind he
meant. I thought I'd come and try, but I didn't know it would be like
this. I don't want to be a lady, Miss Carewe. I don't believe they can
be very happy. I've seen them in carriages and they don't look very
happy. You're nice. I like you, and I'm most sure Daddy and Dick and
the boys would like you, but then you haven't got lots of money, have
you? And you were born up here and you don't know any better anyway.
I'm going home."

The burst of confidence ended where it had begun. She was going home,
and she was so firm in the faith that Belinda, listening, believed
her.

"But if your father says no?"

The dark little face was quiet again, all but the great eyes.

"I'll have to go," the Queer Little Thing slowly said.

Four days later Miss Lucilla Ryder called the Youngest Teacher into
the study.

"Miss Carewe, I'm puzzled about this little Miss Allen. I had a letter
from her father this morning. He says that she has written that she is
very homesick and unhappy and doesn't want to stay. He feels badly
about it, of course, but he very wisely leaves the matter in our
hands--says he realizes she'll have to be homesick and he'll have to
be lonesome if she's to be a lady. But he wants us to do all we can to
make her contented. He very generously sends a check for five hundred
dollars, which we are to use for any extra expense incurred in
entertaining her and making her happy. Now, I thought you might take
her to the theater and the art museum, and the--a--the aquarium, and
introduce her to the pleasures and advantages of city life. She'll
soon be all right."

With sinking heart Belinda went in search of the girl. She found her
practicing five-finger exercises drearily in one of the music-rooms.
As Belinda entered the child looked up and met the friendly,
sympathetic eyes. A mute appeal sprang into her own eyes, and Belinda
understood. The thing was too bad to be talked about, and the Youngest
Teacher said no word about the homesickness or the expected letter. In
this way she clinched her friendship with the Queer Little Thing.

But, following the principal's orders, she endeavored to demonstrate
to Bonita the joy and blessedness of life in New York. The child went,
quietly wherever she was taken--a mute, pathetic little figure to whom
the aquarium fish and the Old Masters and the latest matinee idol were
all one--and unimportant. The other girls envied her her privileges
and her pocket-money, but they did not understand. No one understood
save Belinda, and she did her cheerful best to blot out old loves with
new impressions; but from the first she felt in her heart that she was
elected to failure. The child was fond of her, always respectful,
always docile, always grave. Nothing brought a light into her eyes or
a spontaneous smile to her lips. Anyone save Belinda would have grown
impatient, angry. She only grew more tender--and more troubled. Day by
day she watched the sad little face grow thinner. It was pale now,
instead of brown, and the high cheek bones were strikingly prominent.
The lips pressed closely together drooped plaintively at the corners
and the big eyes were more full of shadow than ever; but the child
made no protest or plea, and by tacit consent she and Belinda ignored
their first conversation and never mentioned Texas.

Often Belinda made up her mind to put aside the restraint and talk
freely as she would to any other girl, but there was something about
the little Texan that forbade liberties, warned off intruders, and the
Youngest Teacher feared losing what little ground she had gained.

Finally she went in despair to Miss Ryder.

"The Indian character is too much for me," she confessed with a groan
half humorous, half earnest. "I give it up."

"What's the matter?" asked Miss Ryder.

"Well, I've dragged poor Bonita Allen all over the borough of
Manhattan and the Bronx and spent many ducats in the process. She has
been very polite about it, but just as sad over Sherry's tea hour as
over Grant's tomb, and just as cheerful over the Cesnola collection as
over the monkey cages at the Zoo. The poor little thing is so unhappy
and miserable that she looks like a wild animal in a trap, and I think
the best we can do with her is to send her home.

"Nonsense," said Miss Lucilla. "Her father is paying eighteen hundred
dollars a year."

Belinda was defiant.

"I don't care. He ought to take her home."

"Miss Carewe, you are sentimentalizing. One would think you had never
seen a homesick girl before."

"She's different from other girls."

"I'll talk with her myself," said Miss Lucilla sternly.

She did, but the situation remained unchanged, and when she next
mentioned the Texan problem to Belinda, Miss Lucilla was less positive
in her views.

"She's a very strange child, but we must do what we can to carry out
her father's wishes."

"I'd send her home," said Belinda.

It was shortly after this that Katherine Holland, who sat beside
Bonita at the table, confided to Belinda that that funny little Allen
girl didn't eat a thing. The waitress came to Belinda with the same
tale, and the Youngest Teacher sought out Bonita and reasoned with
her.

"You really must eat, my dear," she urged.

"Why?"

"You'll be ill if you don't."

"How soon?"

Belinda looked dazed.

"I'm afraid I don't understand."

"How soon will I be sick?"

"Very soon, I'm afraid," the puzzled teacher answered.

"That's good. I don't feel as if I could wait much longer."

Belinda gasped.

"Do you mean to say you want to be ill?"

"If I get very sick Daddy will come for me."

The teacher looked helplessly at the quiet, great-eyed child, then
launched into expostulation, argument, entreaty.

Bonita listened politely and was profoundly unimpressed.

"It's wicked, dear child. It would make your father wretchedly
unhappy."

"He'd be awfully unhappy if he understood, anyway. He thinks I'm not
really unhappy and that it's his duty to keep me here and make a lady
of me, no matter how lonely he is without me. He wrote me so--but I
know he'd be terribly glad if he had a real excuse for taking me
home."

Belinda exhausted her own resources and appealed to Miss Lucilla, who
stared incredulously over her nose-glasses and sent for Bonita.

After the interview she called for the Youngest Teacher, and the two
failures looked at each other helplessly.

"It's an extraordinary thing," said Miss Lucilla in her most
magisterial tone--"a most extraordinary thing. In all my experience
I've seen nothing like it. Nothing seems to make the slightest
impression upon the child. She's positively crazy."

"You will tell her father to send for her, won't you?"

Miss Lucilla shook her head stubbornly.

"Not at all. It would be the ruination of the child to give in to her
whims and bad temper now. If she won't listen to reason she must be
allowed to pay for her foolishness. When she gets hungry enough she
will eat. It's a shame to talk about a child of twelve having the
stoicism to starve herself into an illness just because she is
homesick at boarding-school."

Belinda came back to her thread-worn argument.

"But Bonita is different, Miss Ryder."

"She's a very stubborn, selfish child," said Miss Ryder resentfully,
and turning to her desk she changed the conversation.

Despite discipline, despite pleadings, despite cajolery, Bonita stood
firm. Eat she would not, and when, on her way to class one morning the
scrap of humanity with the set lips and the purple shadows round her
eyes fainted quietly, Belinda felt that a masterly inactivity had
ceased to be a virtue.

James, the house man, carried the girl upstairs, and the Youngest
Teacher put her to bed, where she opened her eyes to look unseeingly
at Belinda and then closed them wearily and lay quite still, a limp
little creature whose pale face looked pitifully thin and lifeless
against the white pillow. The Queer Little Thing's wish had been
fulfilled and illness had come without long delay.

For a moment Belinda looked down at the girl. Then she turned and went
swiftly to Miss Ryder's study, her eyes blazing, her mouth so stern
that Amelia Bowers, who met her on the stairs, hurried to spread the
news that Miss Carewe "was perfectly hopping mad about something."

Once in the presence of the August One the little teacher lost no time
in parley.

"Miss Ryder," she said crisply--and at the tone her employer looked up
in amazement--"I've told you about Bonita Allen. I've been to you
again and again about her. You knew that she was fretting her heart
out and half sick, and then you knew that for several days she hasn't
been eating a thing. I tried to make you understand that the matter
was serious and that something radical needed to be done, but you
insisted that the child would come around all right and that we
mustn't give in to her. I begged you to send for her father and you
said it wasn't necessary. I'm here to take your orders, Miss Ryder,
but I can't stand this sort of thing. I know the girl better than any
of the rest of you do, and I know it isn't badness that makes her act
so. Now she is ill--really ill. I've just put her to bed, and
honestly, Miss Ryder, if we don't send for her father we'll have a
tragedy on our hands. It sounds foolish, but it is true. If nobody
else telegraphs to Mr. Allen I am going to do it."

                 *       *       *       *       *

When the doctor came there were bright red spots on the Queer Little
Thing's cheeks, and she was babbling incoherently about prairie
flowers and horses and Dick and Daddy.

Meanwhile a telegram had gone to Daddy and the messenger who delivered
it heard a volume of picturesque comment that was startling even on a
Texas ranch.

"Am coming," ran the answering dispatch received by Miss Ryder that
night; but it was not until morning that Bonita was able to understand
the news.

"He's scared, but I know he's glad," she said and she swallowed
without a murmur the broth against which even in her delirium she had
fought.

One evening, three days later, a hansom dashed up to the school and
out jumped a tall, square-shouldered man in a wide-brimmed hat, and
clothes that bore only a family resemblance to the clothing of the New
York millionaires, though they were good clothes in their own
free-and-easy way.

A loud, hearty voice inquiring for "My baby" made itself heard even in
the sickroom, and a sudden light flashed into the little patient's
eyes--a light that was an illumination and a revelation.

"Daddy," she said wearily, and the word was a heart-throb.

Mr. Allen wasted no time in a polite interview with Miss Ryder.
Hypnotized by his masterfulness, the servant led him directly up to
the sick-room and opened the door.

The man filled the room; a high breeze seemed to come with him, and
vitality flowed from him in tangible waves. Belinda smiled, but there
were tears in her eyes, for the big man's heart was in his face.

"Baby!"

"Daddy!"

Belinda remembered an errand downstairs.

When she returned the big Texan was sitting on the side of the bed
with both the lean little hands in one of his big brawny ones, while
his other hand awkwardly smoothed the straight black hair.

"When will you take me home, Daddy?" said the child with the shining
eyes.

"As soon as you're strong enough, Honey. The boys wanted me to let
them charge New York in a bunch and get you. It's been mighty lonesome
on that ranch. I wish to heaven I'd never been fool enough to let you
come away."

He turned to Belinda with a quizzical smile sitting oddly on his
anxious face.

"I reckon she might as well go, miss. I sent her to a finishing
school, and by thunder, she's just about finished."

There was a certain hint of pride in his voice as he added
reflectively:

"I might have known if she said she'd have to come home she meant it.
Harder to change her mind than to bust any broncho I ever tackled.
Queer Little Thing, Baby is."

  Copyrighted by Doubleday, Page & Co.



An American Wake

_By Rose A. Crow_


This was the last night in the old home, which had sheltered the
family for five generations. The day had been full of excitement, as
by a merciful ordinance last days usually are. The final packing had
been done, the chests and boxes securely fastened and carefully
labeled. This was all looked after by Margaret, herself, amidst
interruptions by her brood of young children. Visits from friends and
relatives, living at a distance, occupied much of the day; attending
to countless minor things kept them all busy until nightfall. Even
then there was no time allowed to visit the shrine.

Margaret had a fairy shrine, to which she carried the cares of the day
and the hopes of the morrow. This charmed place was a stile over the
ivy-clad walls of the garden. There she brought her childish joys and
sorrows, and in the quiet received consolation. She had fought the
fiercest battles of her womanhood with her head resting against the
ivy-covered pillar. To-night, when she was parting from her country
and friends, there was no time to commune with her silent friend.

Shortly after dusk, in accordance with local etiquette, very stringent
on such momentous occasions, the relatives, friends and neighbors of a
lifetime began to drop in by twos and threes until every inch of wall
space was filled.

Who of all this gathering was more welcome than "John, the Fiddler"?
He was a great favorite with young and old. The sight of him carrying
his fiddle caused a feeling of emotion in the hearts of the older
people. It recalled the tragic story of John's father who years before
left for America intending to send for his wife and crippled son. A
fever contracted on shipboard deprived them of a husband and father.
It was then that John Doyle became "John, the Fiddler."

John was beckoned into the "room," where with Father O'Connell and a
few trusty friends, he was treated to a small measure of potheen. Dan
Monahan had donated a very small jug for this special occasion. To be
given the first shot from Dan's still was no small favor, as those
present knew. Before taking his seat at the end of the room, John
drank Margaret's health, wishing herself and family a safe voyage
across the water, and a happy home on the prairies of Iowa.

Each guest realized the strain of parting and generously made an
effort to conceal the gloom with a brave semblance of mirth. There was
dancing, singing of songs, and elaborate drinking of healths. With
persistent calls for Margaret's brother James, the dancing stopped.
The floor was cleared, and he was borne in on the shoulders of the
leaders, who had found him leaning against the ivy-covered wall,
gazing at the moon, floating over his old home which, alas! he would
never see again.

James MacNevin was a magnificent specimen of Irish manhood and a
charming singer. He was about twenty-three years old, tall and
broad-shouldered, with a fine head of curly auburn hair. His clear
blue eyes reflected the sadness of the group around him, while his
white teeth flashed a smile. In one hand he crushed his handkerchief,
while with the other he nervously twirled a sprig of ivy. A few
measures of "Good Night and Joy Be with You All" came from the violin.
For an instant he wavered, then throwing back his head he sang the
song, not with full volume, but with intense feeling, emphasis and a
clear ringing tone. The song seemed to voice his own feelings as his
chest rose and fell. He was no longer just James MacNevin, but a
pilgrim traveling to a strange country. His whole soul was filled with
the sentiment, and there was such pathos in its heart-throb that the
whole company was moved to tears. The last verse ended, he stood a
moment with gaze transfixed--then rousing himself, bowed, smiled and
with one hand in his sister Margaret's, the other clutching the sprig
of ivy, he passed out of the home forever.



Rochester, Minn.

(With apologies to the Mayos)

_By Marie G. Stapp_


    Mr. Smith had gallstones,
    Mr. Jones had gout,
    Bad appendices had the Browns
    But now they've been cut out.
    Rachel had a goitre,
    Susan a queer spleen,
    A tumor worried Mrs. Wright
    Though it could not be seen.
    Robert had large tonsils
    And Dick had adenoids, too,
    Bill Green had never had an ear,
    He did when _they_ got through.
    Peggy had a leaky heart,
    Her father had no hair,
    Both heart and head are now fixed up
    And what a happy pair!
    And I--well I have nothing wrong--
    That's why I don't feel right;
    I'll pay my bill at this hotel
    And go back home to-night.



God's Back Yard

_By Jessie Welborn Smith_

AN EPISODE FROM ACT THREE


    _Place, Tim Murphy's saloon.      Time, evening._

    Men are crowding about the bar, drinking and laughing coarsely.
    The wives are huddled together on a long bench at one side of the
    room. The children keep close to their mothers, but stretch their
    little necks to watch the dancing in the back of the room, where a
    group of painted women are tangoing to the wheezy accompaniment of
    an old accordion. Over in the corner a man sprawls drunkenly
    across a broken-down faro table.

_Dick Long (hammering the bar with his mug and singing)._ Oh, I'm
goin' to hell, and I don't give a damn. I'm goin' to hell. I'm goin'
to--hell.

_Murphy (knocking a board from the crate that holds the new
nickel-in-the-slot gramaphone)._ You're going a damn sight faster than
that, Dickie Bird, but you'll have to speed up a bit to get in on the
concert. The program begins at eight o'clock sharp, like it says on
the card in the window, and everybody gets an invite, but Caruso don't
sing this time.

_First Painted Lady (stopping the dance and coming down beside
Murphy)._ Let 'er go, Murph. Give us "Too Much Mustard." The piano
player down at the Gulch plays that just fine, and a piece about a
girl that didn't want to love him, but he made her do it. That machine
was long on personal history, Murph. I heard them all through three
times. Let 'er go. We're all here.

_First Wife (leaning over and speaking eagerly)._ Mrs. Long won't be
able to come, Murphy, and Old Moll is settin' up with her to-night. I
met Doc as I came across. The young-un died. I don't see no use in
waitin' when we're all here.

_Rosie Phelan (reaching over and pulling Long's sleeve)._ Did you hear
that, Dick? Your kid is dead. Your kid is--d-e-a-d. Do you get me?

_Man at the Bar._ Aw, break it to him gentle. He don't know he is a
father yet. Have a heart.

_Rosie Phelan (disgustedly)._ "Have a heart." Well, what do you think
of that? For a man who guzzles all day you are mighty strong on the
heart-throb slush. "Speak kindly to the erring." Didn't know you had
got religion. Was it you got the revivalist to come up from the Gulch?

_Nell (shifting her wad of gum)._ Well, he was sitting over at
Benton's rather lonesome-like as I came along. I allus follow the
crowd.

_Murphy (hotly)._ And that is what that preacher will have to do if he
makes any converts up here at the mine. I reckon that, with that music
machine, I'm equipped to compete with any preacher that comes larking
around here until kingdom come. He said he'd save me, if he had to
chase me to hell and back, did he? Well, that guy should worry. That
pale chicken-liver chase me to--Pour out the drinks, Bob. It's my
treat.

    Bob slops a little whiskey into every glass and mug on the bar and
    passes it round. As it comes to the wives they smile, but shake
    their heads. Murphy lifts his glass.

_Murphy._ Won't you women drink the minister's health. How about you
females, Bett? Nell? Rosie? Mollie? You girls never turn down free
liquor, do you? Ready? To hell with the minister.

_Barkeeper._ To hell with every denatured female that comes round here
praying for our souls' salvation. I reckon a feller can do what he
damn pleases with his own soul.

_First Lounger (lazily boastful)._ I told my old woman that if I
ketched her or the kids hanging round listening to that mollycoddle
letting off steam, I'd----

_First Wife (spitefully)._ Us women ain't got no call to get religion.
We're too meek already. My man knows that he'll have a wildcat at his
head when he comes in with that O'Grady woman, but it don't do no
good. He ain't afeared o' nothin' short o' the devil. You don't ketch
me joinin' while my old man is alive. You gotta have some protection.
Safety first, I say.

_Second Wife (meekly)._ They say the "Blue Ridge Mountains" is a
mighty tuneful piece. My sister heard it over at Smarty's las'
Thanksgiving. Can you tell whether your pianoler plays that, Murphy?

_Second Painted Lady (patronizingly)._ How would you expect Murphy to
know what is stored in that machine? You pays your money and your
choice is whatever it happens to grind out. If you place your money on
a "Harem" and draws an "Apple Blossom Time in Normandy," you got to
take your medicine. What you waiting for, Murph? My gentleman friend
is coming over from the Pass this evening, and I can't hang around
here all night.

_Rosie (excitedly, turning from the window that looks upon the
street)._ The light is out at Benton's. The minister is coming over
here. Remember and give him hell. Let him turn the other cheek.

_Murphy._ No prayer meeting virgin is going to interfere with my
business.

    The door opens and the minister steps inside. Murphy goes over and
    greets him with mock politeness.

_Murphy._ Rosie, you are chief usher to-night. Will you find the
minister a seat? Sit over, Nell. There's room enough between you and
Bett for any sky pilot that ever hit the trail. Bob, give the preacher
a drink. He looks sort of fagged. It's hard work saving sinners in
God's Back Yard. I hope this little concert ain't going to interfere
with your meeting, parson.

_Minister (standing at the bar, whiskey glass in hand)._ Not at all,
friend. What is the bill of fare?

_Rosie (coming forward in her low-cut red gown and swinging her full
skirts from side to side)._ For Gawd's sake, why didn't you tell me it
was going to be religious? I'd forgot it was prayer-meetin' night,
Murph. (_She carefully tucks her handkerchief over her bosom in
pretense of modesty._) I'd dressed up more, if I'd remembered.

_Nell (holding out a string of glittering beads)._ Here, take these,
Rosie. These'll cover up some. I ain't takin' an active part, so I
don't mind.

_Rosie (lifting her arms to fasten the beads)._ Not takin' an active
part? You don't know what you're sayin'. I heard of a minister once
who could make hell look so darned nice you wanted to fall for it
right away. Couldn't such a fellah give the heavenly gates a jar?
(_She turns to the minister._) Where d'you want to sit? Up there by
Mollie? Take your choice.

_Old Moll's Daughter (jumping down from her perch at one end of the
bar and walking over brazenly to drop the first nickel in the slot)._
Clear the way, can't you? I'm praying for the "Bunny Hug" and the
minister is backing me. For Gawd's sake, can't you clear the floor? Do
you want the music to be half done before you find your partners? I'll
be obliged to you, parson, if you'll save this dance for me. (_She
pauses a moment, nickel in hand._)

_First Card Player._ I'll stake you ten to one it'll be "The Pullman
Porters on Parade."

_Second Player (doggedly)._ They always play "A Great Big Blue-Eyed
Baby."

_Rosie (shaking her head and singing, hands on hips)._ "My harem, my
harem, my roly, poly harem."

_Nell (with mock sentiment)._ "For it's Apple Blossom Time in
Normandy, in Normandy, in Normandy."

    The nickel jangles in the slot. The disk begins to revolve. It
    grates and begins its introductory mechanical clinkety-clinkety
    clink. A small child wails dismally as the music shivers through
    the room.

      "Jesus, lover of my soul,
        Let me to Thy bosom fly.
      While the nearer waters roll,
        While the tempest still is high.
      Hide me, O, my Saviour, hide
        Till the storm of life is past.
      Safe into the haven guide,
        O, receive my soul at last."

    Rosie's hands drop from her hips as the song begins. The dancing
    impulse passes from her limbs. Even the muscles of her face harden
    convulsively.

_Rosie (hysterically)._ Oh, I can't stand that, Murphy. For Gawd's
sake, can't you stop it?

    She starts over toward the machine impulsively. Then something
    catches her, she pauses and is held a moment while a superstitious
    awe makes her eyes again the big roundness of childhood's wonder.
    She draws the back of her hand across her forehead in an endeavor
    to bring herself out of the daze.

_Rosie (falling sobbing beside the bench)_. "O, receive my soul at
last." Why did you leave your little Rosie? Mother, Oh, mother. I
ain't fit to come to you no more, mother--I ain't fit, I ain't fit.

    One of the mothers reaches over and strokes her hair.

_Old Moll's Daughter (opening the door and stepping out into the
lonely street as she laughs madly)._ Old Murphy in cahoots with the
minister. Oh, hell!

    The door slams shut. The glasses on the bar jangle harshly. A
    snatch of song boldly defiant rings in from the street: "Don't
    tell me that you've lost your dog." Murphy walks over and stands
    looking at the music box. It is still grinding out the music.

      "Other refuge have I none.
        Hangs my helpless soul on Thee.
      Leave, ah, leave me not alone.
        Still support and comfort me.
      All my trust on Thee is staid.
        All my help from Thee I bring.
      Cover my defenseless head
        With the shadow of Thy wing."

    The wives are all crying quietly. Rosie and Bett are sobbing with
    the wild abandon that such natures know. Tears are falling upon
    the idle hands at the card table. The men at the bar are strangely
    quiet.

_Man at the Faro Table (lifting himself up on his elbow)._ I ushe
shing--I ushe shing zhat--I ushe shing Jeshus--Jeshus--I ushe
shing--(_He drops his head over on the table and weeps drunkenly._)

_Little Child (pulling at her mother's shoulders and whining
peevishly)._ Who is Jesus, mamma? Do we know Jesus? (_Happily._) Will
he cover my head with a pretty birdie's wing? (_The mother shakes with
sobs and the child speaks more caressingly._) Don't cry, mother. I
like my hat with the posies on it. You can have the feathers, nice,
good mamma. Don't cry.

_Murphy (absently, looking at the minister)._ They sang that at the
funeral. Sally didn't have no call to hide anything. She was that
white and pure. I always felt her slippin'--slippin' away. She worried
so them last days because of the little kid. "Take him back home,
Murph," she kept sayin'. "A little child has got to have some raisin'.
A kid has got to go to Sunday school, Tim, dear, and there ain't never
no meetin's in God's Back Yard."

_Man at the Bar (dejectedly, going over to the door)._ It's all right
for the young-uns, but when a man has got a thirst and is down on his
luck, I don't allow that God is going to help much. You got to get 'em
young, parson, and keep 'em headed straight. It's hell turning back. I
tried it, and I couldn't make it go.

_Minister (gently, as if speaking to someone very near)._ Oh, Jesus,
lover of all these misguided souls, come down to this little room
to-night, for it is dark here, and, Oh, so cold and dreary. Speak to
them, Jesus, as you did to me. Let them see the glory of Thy face.
Will someone pray?

_Murphy (looking across at the loafers and speaking half as an
invitation, half as a command)._ Are you staying, boys?

_One of the Men (doggedly, as they look at one another sheepishly and
no one moves to go)._ Ain't we always stayin' till closin' time?

_Murphy (warmly)._ You sure do, boys. (_He buries his head in his
crossed arms over the music-box._) It's your lead, parson.



The Wild Crab Apple

_By Julia Ellen Rogers_


The wild, sweet-scented crab apple! The bare mention of its name is
enough to make the heart leap up, though spring be months away, and
barriers of brick hem us in. In the corner of the back pasture stands
a clump of these trees, huddled together like cattle. Their flat,
matted tops reach out sidewise until the stubby limbs of neighboring
trees meet. It would not occur to anyone to call them handsome trees.
But wait! The twigs silver over with young foliage, then coral buds
appear, thickly sprinkling the green leaves. Now all their asperity is
softened, and a great burst of rose-colored bloom overspreads the
treetops and fills the air with perfume. It is not mere sweetness, but
an exquisite, spicy, stimulating fragrance that belongs only to wild
crab-apple flowers. Linnæus probably never saw more than a dried
specimen, but he named this tree most worthily, _coronaria_, "fit
for crowns and garlands."

Break off an armful of these blossoming twigs and take them home. They
will never be missed. Be thankful that your friends in distant parts
of the country may share your pleasure, for though this particular
species does not cover the whole United States, yet there is a wild
crab apple for each region.

In the fall the tree is covered with hard little yellow apples. They
have a delightful fragrance, but they are neither sweet nor mellow.
Take a few home and make them into jelly. Then you will understand why
the early settlers gathered them for winter use. The jelly has a wild
tang in it, an indescribable piquancy of flavor as different from
common apple jelly as the flowers are in their way more charming than
ordinary appleblossoms. It is the rare gamy taste of a primitive
apple.

Well-meaning horticulturists have tried what they could do toward
domesticating this _Malus coronaria_. The effort has not been a
success. The fruit remains acerb and hard; the tree declines to be
"ameliorated" for the good of mankind. Isn't it, after all, a
gratuitous office? Do we not need our wild crab apple just as it is,
as much as we need more kinds of orchard trees? How spirited and fine
is its resistance! It seems as if this wayward beauty of our woodside
thickets considered that the best way to serve mankind was to keep
inviolate those charms that set it apart from other trees and make its
remotest haunt the Mecca of eager pilgrims every spring.

The wild crab apple is not a tree to plant by itself in park or
garden. Plant it in companies on the edge of woods, or in obscure and
ugly fence corners, where there is a background, or where, at least,
each tree can lose its individuality in the mass. Now, go away and let
them alone. They do not need mulching nor pruning. Let them gang their
ain gait, and in a few years you will have a crab-apple thicket. You
will also have succeeded in bringing home with these trees something
of the spirit of the wild woods where you found them.

  --From _The Tree Book_.



A Ballad of the Corn

_By S. H. M. Byers_


    Oh, the undulating prairies,
      And the fields of yellow corn,
    Like a million soldiers waiting for the fray.
      Oh, the rustling of the corn leaves
      Like a distant fairy's horn
    And the notes the fairy bugles seem to play.

    "We have risen from the bosom
      Of the beauteous mother earth,
    Where the farmer plowed his furrow straight and long.
      There was gladness and rejoicing
      When the summer gave us birth,
    In the tumult and the dancing and the song.

    "When the sumach turns to scarlet,
      And the vines along the lane
    Are garmented in autumn's golden wine--
      Then the land shall smile for plenty,
      And the toiler for his pain,
    When the soldiers of our army stand in line.

    "With our shining blades before us,
      And our banners flaming far,
    Want and hunger shall be slain forevermore.
      And the cornfield's lord of plenty
      In his golden-covered car
    Then shall stop at every happy toiler's door."

    Oh, the sunshine and the beauty
      On the fields of ripened corn,
    And the wigwams and the corn-rows where they stand.
      In the lanes I hear the music
      Of the faintly blowing horn
    And the blessed Indian summer's on the land.



The Children's Blessing

_By Virginia Roderick_


On the slope of a hill, beneath silvery olives, a group was gathered
about the young stranger. He had entered the village only that
morning, seeking the companionship of such Nazarenes as might be
there. And they had brought him out here in the open to receive his
message. But though he carried them greetings, and news from the
distant groups of the Christ's followers, it was plain that he had not
been sent to them on a mission.

They waited until he should be ready to explain his quest.

"You did not see Him, then?"

Into the young man's eyes there came a great, yearning sadness. "No,"
he answered. "But you," he asked eagerly, "did none of you see Him?"

They shook their heads, all of them.

"We were too far away," one murmured.

"But I had for spiritual father one who had seen Him," the traveler
offered, his face lighting. "You know how He blessed a company of
little children? How He put His hands upon them?" He paused and they
nodded silently. "My teacher was one of those children," he said, his
dark eyes aglow with reverent pride.

A quick glance flashed about the group; but no one spoke and the
traveler went on, the radiance of his face blotted out again in
sadness. "It is because he is gone that I am a wanderer now. I was
always with him, and we went about together, preaching the Kingdom. It
was all so clear to my teacher because he had seen Him. He told me of
His wonderful look."

They fell silent, brooding and thoughtful.

Then one asked: "What was it like--the blessing He gave your teacher?
Did he gain goods and store?"

The young traveler's eyes opened in amazement. "Why no! How could that
be? My teacher was like Him," he explained simply.

Again the quick look passed about the circle. At last one spoke,
slowly: "There is a man here in the village who was also blessed with
the children."

The young traveler started up joyously. "Take me to him," he
entreated. "Let me talk with him; that is what I have come here
seeking--another teacher."

"Nay, friend--" began one; but another hurriedly whispered: "Let us
not tell him. Perhaps he can help." And so the first speaker finished:
"I fear you will not find him like your teacher, but you shall go; it
is only a step."

And they guided him, all but impatient, to a mean hovel just within
the town. There they left him.

It was a man with a dark, bitter face that answered his knock. "May I
speak with Nemuel?" the stranger asked courteously.

"I am Nemuel," growled the man curtly.

"But I mean Nemuel who was one of the children that Jesus blessed,"
persisted the young traveler, his face softly alight as the name
passed his lips.

"Come in; I am the man." He straightened proudly. "I was a child seven
years old when I saw Him----"

He stopped, for the young stranger, pale and gasping, broke in: "You
saw Him! He touched you! You have seen His face, and yet your
own--forgive me, friend. But my master was also one of the children
blessed by the Christ, and he was ... different." He hesitated, still
looking at the somber face in puzzled distress.

The man caught the young stranger's arm. "You knew another of those He
blessed? Tell me, did he have great wealth, palaces, honors? Did he
wait long? Did the blessing tarry so long in the fulfilment as with
me?"

The young stranger shook his head in deep bewilderment. "I do not
understand. No, he had no wealth, no palaces, no honors. He followed
the Christ. He was blessed by His spirit. Why, how could one want
goods and honors when one had seen His wonderful smile, when His
arms--" He broke off, gazing at his host in appalled incomprehension.

Nemuel's dark face grew darker, more bitter. "Then there _is_ no
blessing, after all," he said slowly. "I have waited, believing,
trusting. I have kept my life clean. I have kept myself holy--away
from those He had not touched--" The stranger drew a quick breath and
his eyes softened with pity. "I have never forgotten that I was
blessed above others. And now there _is_ no blessing." And he covered
his face with his hands.

There was a silence and then the young stranger spoke very gently:
"The blessing my master taught me, was for all children--for all
childlike faith and trust and purity. It was a sanctification of the
child spirit."

Nemuel had lifted his head and was listening, his eyes fastened
wonderingly on the stranger's face.

"And it was not a blessing to be wrapped up in a napkin. It was not
one to bring you good fortune, as if it had been a sorcerer's charm.
It was a blessing for you to take and to make--to use it--to give it
to others. Through you He blessed _all_ children.... And yet--" the
stranger's voice deepened--"yet there _was_ something special too."

"What was it?" Nemuel breathed.

The stranger bent on him a gaze full of yearning. "Have you not
remembered His face?" he asked. "His wonderful look--just for you?"
There was a pleading note of reproach in his voice as he leaned toward
Nemuel, but his face was all love and tenderness.

Nemuel began to shake his head slowly, still fixing the stranger with
his gaze.

"No," he confessed. "I haven't been able to remember--not for years.
At first I did. Afterward I _knew_ His face was wonderful, but I
could not _see_ it. But now--now I begin to remember----"

The young stranger waited for the halting words, his face lighting
softly with a holy hope and joy.

"Why, your face--" Nemuel still hesitated, groping, and then suddenly
his voice rang out in triumph, and memory dawned clearly in his
eyes--"why, _your face_--is--like--_His_! Oh, I do remember!--and--I
begin to understand."



Kitchener's Mob

From The Atlantic Monthly

_By James Norman Hall_


Trench-mortaring was more to our liking. That is an infantryman's
game, and while extremely hazardous, the men in the trenches have a
sporting chance. Everyone forgot breakfast when word was passed down
the line that we were going to "mortarfy" Fritzie. Our projectiles
were immense balls of hollow steel, filled with high explosive.
Eagerly, expectantly, the boys gathered in the first-line trenches to
watch the fun. First a dull boom from the reserve trench in rear where
the mortar was operated.

"There she is!" "See 'er?" "Goin' true as a die!" All the boys would
be shouting at once.

Up it goes, turning over and over, rising to a height of several
hundred feet. Then, if well aimed, it reaches the end of its upward
journey directly over the enemy's line, and falls straight into his
trench. There is a moment of silence, followed by a terrific explosion
which throws dirt and débris high in the air. By this time, the
Tommies all along the line are standing on the firing benches, head
and shoulders above the parapet, forgetting their danger in their
excitement, and shouting at the top of their voices:

"'Ow's that one, Fritzie boy?"

"Guten morgen, you Proosian sausage wallopers!"

"Tyke a bit o' that there 'ome to yer missus!"

But Fritzie kept up his end of the game, always. He gave us just as
good as we sent, and often he added something for good measure. His
surprise packages were sausage-shaped missiles which came wobbling
toward us, slowly, almost awkwardly; but they dropped with lightning
speed. The explosion was terrible, and alas for any Tommy who
misjudged the place of its fall! However, everyone had a chance.
Trench-mortar projectiles are so large, and they describe so leisurely
an arc before they fall, that men have time to run.

I've always admired Tommy Atkins for his sense of fair play. He loved
giving Fritz "a little bit of all right," but he never resented it
when Fritz had his own fun at our expense. I used to believe, in the
far-off days of peace, that men had lost their old primal love for
dangerous sport, their native ignorance of fear. But on those
trench-mortaring days, when I watched boys playing with death with
right good zest, heard them shouting and laughing as they tumbled over
one another in their eagerness to escape being killed, I was convinced
that I was wrong. Daily I saw men going through the test of fire
triumphantly, and at the last, what a fearful test it was, and how
splendidly they met it! During six months, continuously in the firing
line, I met less than a dozen natural-born cowards; and my experience
was largely among clerks, barbers, plumbers, shopkeepers, men who had
no fighting tradition to back them up, to make them heroic in spite of
themselves.

The better I knew Tommy, the better I liked him. He hasn't a shred of
sentimentality in his make-up. There is plenty of sentiment, sincere
feeling, but it is very well concealed. I had been a soldier of the
King for many months before I realized that the men with whom I was
living, sharing rations and hardships, were anything other than the
healthy animals they looked. They seemed to live for their food. They
talked of it, anticipated it with the zest of men who were
experiencing for the first time the joy of being genuinely hungry.
They watched their muscles harden with the satisfaction known to every
normal man when he is becoming physically fit for the first time. But
they said nothing about patriotism, or the duty of Englishmen in
wartime. And if I tried to start a conversation on that line, they
walked right over me with their boots on.

This was a great disappointment at first. I would never have known,
from anything that was said, that a man of them was stirred at the
thought of fighting for old England. England was all right, but, "I
ain't a-goin' balmy about the old flag and all that stuff." Many of
them insisted that they were in the army for personal and selfish
reasons alone. They went out of their way to ridicule any and every
indication of sentiment.

There was the matter of talk about mothers, for example. I can't
imagine this being the case in a volunteer army of American boys; but
never, during sixteen months of British army life, did I hear a
discussion of mothers. When the weekly parcels post from England
arrived, and the boys were sharing their cake and chocolate and
tobacco, one of them would say, "Good old mum. She ain't a bad sort,"
to be answered with reluctant, mouth-filled grunts, or grudging nods
of approval. As for fathers, I often thought to myself, "This is
certainly a tremendous army of posthumous sons!" Months before I
should have been astonished at this reticence. But I had learned to
understand Tommy. His silences were as eloquent as any splendid
outbursts or glowing tributes could have been. It was a matter of
constant wonder to me that men living in the daily and hourly presence
of death could so control and conceal their feelings. Their talk was
of anything but home; and yet I knew that they thought of little else.

One of our boys was killed, and there was a letter to be written to
his parents. Three Tommies who knew him best were to attempt this.
They made innumerable beginnings. Each of them was afraid of
blundering, of causing unnecessary pain by an indelicate revelation of
the facts. There was a feminine fineness about their concern which was
beautiful to see. The final draft of the letter was a masterpiece, not
of English, but of insight; such a letter as any one of us would have
liked his own parents to receive under similar circumstances. Nothing
was forgotten which could make the news in the slightest degree more
endurable. Every trifling personal belonging was carefully saved up
and packed in a little box to follow the letter. All this was done
amid much boisterous jesting; and there was hilarious singing to the
wheezing accompaniment of an old mouth-organ. But of reference to
home, or mothers, or comradeship, not a word.

Rarely a night passed without its burial parties. "Digging in the
garden," Tommy calls the grave-making. The bodies, wrapped in blankets
or water-proof ground-sheets, are lifted over the parados and carried
back a convenient twenty yards or more. The desolation of that garden
was indescribable. It was strewn with wreckage, gaping with
shell-holes, billowing with numberless nameless graves, a waste land
speechlessly pathetic. The poplars and willow hedges had been blasted
and splintered by shell-fire. Tommy calls these "Kaiser Bill's
flowers." Coming from England, he feels more deeply than he would care
to admit the crimes done to trees in the name of war.

Our chaplain was a devout man, but prudent to a fault. He never
visited us in the trenches; therefore our burial parties proceeded
without the rites of the church. This arrangement was highly
satisfactory to Tommy. He liked to "get the planting done" with the
least possible delay or fuss. His whispered conversations, while the
graves were being scooped, were, to say the least, quite out of the
spirit of the occasion. Once we were burying two boys with whom we had
been having a supper a few hours before. There was an artillery duel
in progress, the shells whistling high over our heads and bursting in
great splotches of white fire, far in rear of the opposing lines of
trenches. The grave-making went speedily on while the diggers argued
in whispers as to the calibre of the guns. Some said they were
six-inch, while others thought nine-inch. Discussion was momentarily
suspended when trench-rockets went soaring up from the enemy's line.
We crouched motionless until the welcome darkness spread again. And
then, in loud whispers--

"'Ere! If they was nine-inch they would 'ave more screech."

And one of different opinion would reply:

"Don't talk so bloomin' silly! Ain't I a-tellin' you you can't always
size 'em by the screech?"

Not a prayer. Not a word either of censure or praise for the boys who
had gone. Not an expression of opinion as to the meaning of the great
change which had come to them and which might come as suddenly to any
or all of us. And yet I knew that every man was thinking of these
things.

There were days when the front was really quiet. The thin trickle of
rifle-fire only accentuated the stillness of an early summer morning.
Far down the line many a Tommy could be heard singing to himself as he
sat in the door of his dug-out, cleaning his rifle. There would be the
pleasant crackle of burning pine sticks, the sizzle of frying bacon,
the lazy buzzing of swarms of bluebottle flies. Occasionally, across a
pool of noonday silence, we heard the birds singing; for they didn't
desert us. When we gave them a hearing, they did their cheery little
best to assure us that everything would come right in the end. Once we
heard a skylark, an English skylark, and for a while it made the world
beautiful again. It was a fine thing to watch the faces of those
English lads as they listened. I was deeply touched when one of them
said, "Ain't 'e a plucky little chap, singin' right in front of
Fritzie's trenches fer us English blokes?"

It was a sincere and beautiful tribute.



The Professor

_By Calista Halsey Patchin_


The professor had been dead two months. He had left the world very
quietly, at that precise hour of the early evening when he was
accustomed to say that his "spirit friends" came to him. The hospital
nurse had noticed that there was always a time at twilight when the
patient had a good hour; when pain and restlessness seemed to be
charmed away, and he did not mind being left alone, and did not care
whether or not there was a light in the room. Then it was that those
who had gone came back to him with quiet, friendly ways and loving
touch. He said nothing of this to the nurse. It was an old friend who
told me that this had been his belief and solace for years.

When the professor had first come to town he had spoken of the wife
who would follow him shortly, from the East. He did not display her
picture, he did not talk about her enough so that the town, though it
made an honest effort, ever really visualized her. She would
come--without a doubt she would come--but not just yet. It was only
that the East still held her. Gradually, he spoke of her less and less
often, with a dignified reserve that brooked no inquiry, and finally
not at all.

The town forgot. It was only when his illness became so serious that
all felt someone should be written to, that it was discovered there
was no one. The professor, when he was appealed to, said so. Then
also, the hospital nurse noticed that at the twilight hour, when he
talked quietly to his unseen friends, there was always One who stayed
longer than the rest.

But he had been dead two months now, and the undertaker was pressing
his bill, and there were other expenses which had been cheerfully
borne by friends at the time, and indeed if there had been no other
reason, it remains that something must become of the personal
possessions of a man who leaves neither will nor known heirs. So the
professor's effects were appraised, and a brief local appeared in the
daily paper until it had made a dent in the memory of the public,
apprising them that his personal property would be offered at public
auction at two p.m. of a Thursday, in his rooms on the third floor of
the Eureka Block.

It was the merest thread of curiosity that drew me to this sale. I did
not want to buy anything. It was a sort of posthumous curiosity, and
it concerned itself solely with the individuality of the dead man. Not
having had the opportunity of knowing him well in life, and never
having known until I read his obituary what I had missed, I took this
last chance of trying to evolve the man from his belongings. All I did
know was that he was a teacher of music of the past generation in a
Western town which grew so fast that it made a man seem older than he
was. More than this, he was a composer, a music master, who took crude
young voices, shrill with the tension of the Western winds and the
electric air, and tamed and trained them till they fell in love with
harmony. When he heard a voice he knew it. One of his contraltos is
singing now in grand opera across the sea. A tenor that he discovered
has charmed the world with an "upper note."

All the same, the professor had grown old--a new generation had arisen
which knew not Joseph; he failed to advertise, and every young girl
who "gave lessons" crowded him closer to the wall. Now and then there
would appear in the daily paper--not the next morning, but a few days
after the presentation of some opera--a column of musical criticism,
keen, delicate, reminiscent--fragrant with the rosemary that is for
remembrance. When "Elijah" was given by home talent with soloists
imported from Chicago, it was the professor who kindly wrote,
beforehand this time, luminous articles full of sympathetic
interpretation of the great masters. And at rare intervals there would
appear a communication from him on the beauty of the woods and the
fields, the suburbs of the town and the country, as though he were
some simple prophet of nature who stood by the wayside. And this was
no affectation. Long, solitary walks were his recreation.

It was a good deal of a rookery, up the flights of narrow, dirty
stairs to the third floor of the Eureka Block. And here the professor
had lived and taught. Two rooms were made from one by the sort of
partition which does not reach to the ceiling--a ceiling which for
some inexplicable reason was higher in some places than in others.

The voice of the auctioneer came down that winding way in professional
cadences. There were in the room about as many people as might come to
a funeral where only friends of the family are invited. It was very
still. The auctioneer took an easy conversational tone. There was a
silent, forlorn sort of dignity about the five pianos standing in a
row that put professional banter and cheap little jokes out of the
question. The pianos went without much trouble--a big one of the best
make, an old-fashioned cottage piano, a piano with an iron frame. One
of the appraisers, himself a musician, became an assistant auctioneer,
and kindly played a little--judiciously very little--on each
instrument in turn.

Then came the bric-a-brac of personal effects--all the flotsam and
jetsam that had floated into these rooms for years. The walls were
pockmarked with pictures, big and little. There was no attempt at high
art; the professor had bought a picture as a child might buy
one--because he thought it was pretty. It was a curious showing of how
one artistic faculty may be dormant while another is cultivated to its
highest point. But no matter how cheap the picture, it was always
conscientiously framed. And this was a great help to the auctioneer.
Indeed, it was difficult to see how he could have cried the pictures
at all without the frames.

By this time the rooms were fuller of people. There were ladies who
had come in quietly, just to get some little thing for a remembrance
of their old friend and teacher. These mostly went directly over to
the corner where the music lay and began looking for something of
"his." If it were manuscript music so much the better. But there was
little of this. It appeared that with the professor, as with most of
us, early and middle manhood had been his most productive time, and
that was long enough ago for everything to have been duly published in
sheet and book form--long enough, indeed, for the books themselves to
have gone out of date.

There they were--long, green notebooks, bearing the familiar names of
well known publishers, and with such a hydra-head of title as "The
Celestina, or New Sacred Minstrel; a Repository of Music adapted to
every variety of taste and grade of capacity, from the million to the
amateur or professor."

There were four or five of these. There was sheet music by the pile.
There was an opera, "Joseph," the production of which had been a
musical event.

Presently the auctioneer came that way. He had just sold a large
oleograph, framed, one of those gorgeous historical pictures which are
an apotheosis of good clothes. He approached an engraving of an
old-fashioned lady in voluminous muslin draperies, with her hair
looped away from her face in a "Book of Beauty" style.

"_He_ liked that," murmured a lady.

"What do I hear!" cries the auctioneer, softly. "Oh, such a little bid
as that--I can't see it at all in this dark corner. Suppose we throw
these peaches in--awfully pretty thing for dining room--and this
flower piece--shall we group these three?--now, how much for all? Ah,
there they go!"

"Here, ladies and gentlemen, is a gold-headed cane which was presented
to the deceased by his admiring friends. It is pure gold--you _know_
they would not give him anything else. How much for this? How much?
No--his name is _not_ engraved on it--so much the better--what do
I hear?"

"Look at this telescope, gentlemen--a good one--you know the professor
was quite an astronomer in his way--and this telescope is all
right--sound and in good condition"--the auctioneer had officiated at
a stock sale the day before. "You can look right into futurity through
this tube. Five dollars' worth of futurity? Five--five and a half?
Case and all complete."

There was a pocketful of odds and ends; gold pens, lead pencils, some
odd pocket knives; these inconsiderable trifles brought more in
proportion than articles of greater intrinsic value. Evidently this
was an auction of memories, of emotion, of sentiment.

There was a bit of the beam of the barn that was burned down when the
cow kicked over the historic lamp that inaugurated the Chicago
fire--no less than three persons were ready to testify to their belief
in the genuineness of the relic, had anyone been disposed to question
it. But no one was. Nearly all the people in the room were the dead
music teacher's personal friends; they had heard the story of all
these things; they knew who had sent him the stuffed brown prairie
chicken that perched like a raven above the door--the little
old-fashioned decanter and wine glasses of gilded glass--the
artificial begonias--that clever imitation that goes far toward making
one forswear begonias forevermore. There were lamps of various shapes
and sizes, there was a kit of burglarious looking tools for piano
tuning, there was a little globe--"Who wants the earth?" said the
auctioneer. "You all want it."

There was a metronome, which, set to go, began to count time in a
metallic whisper for some invisible pupil. Over in the corner just
beyond the music were the professor's books. Now we shall find him
out, for what a man reads he is, or wishes to be. There was a good
deal of spiritualistic literature of the better sort. There was a
"History of Christianity and Paganism by the Roman Emperor Julian," a
copy of "She," a long shelf full of _North American Reviews_, a
dozen or so of almanacs, a copy of Bluebeard. There were none of the
"popular" magazines, and if there had been newspapers--those vagrants
of literature--they had gone their way. There was a manuscript play
for parlor presentation, with each part written out in legible script,
entitled, "The Winning Card."

All these and many more things which only the patient appraisers can
fully know were sold or set aside as unsalable, until all was done.
And then those who had known and loved him and those who had not known
or cared for him came down the stairs together.

Fate stood on the landing. As always, Fate ran true to form. She was a
woman; a little tired, as a woman might well be who had come a
thousand miles; a little out of breath from the two flights of stairs.
Her old-fashioned draperies clung about her; her hair was looped away
from her face in a "Book of Beauty" style. The man who stood aside to
let her pass was talking. "Of course," he was saying, "he was a
side-tracked man. But I believe he stands the biggest chance of being
remembered of any man in Iowa."

Swift protest at his first words clouded her face; sheer gratitude for
his last words illumined it. She bent forward a little and went on up
the stairs alone.

She faltered in the doorway, her hand fumbling at her throat. One of
the men who had been talking below hastened to her side.

"It's all over," he said, then added, at the dumb misery that grayed
her face: "--the auction."

"I--I--didn't come for that," the apathy in her voice holding it
steady. "I--I am his wife. His last letter--he sent for me." A sob
broke her speech. "It came last week--two months too late."

[Illustration: What the Iowa Boy Hears in the Wind in the Corn]



My Baby's Horse

_By Emilie Blackmore Stapp_


    My baby's horse is Daddy's knee;
    When nighttime comes he rides away
    To Sleepytown by Dreamland Sea;
    I love to hear their laughter gay.

    Ride, baby, ride, the Sandman bold
    Is following close behind you, dear,
    But Daddy's arms will you enfold
    And so for you I have no fear.

    Your prancing steed is slowing down;
    The Sandman's riding very fast.
    Oh, here you are at Sleepytown;
    The Sandman's caught you, dear, at last.

    He'll tie your steed by Dreamland Sea,
    And on its shores all night you'll play,
    Then you'll come riding home to me
    To make life sweet another day.



The Call of the Race

_By Elizabeth Cooper_


It was the last day of September, the maple trees were turning to red
and gold, the mist of purple haze was in the air, and all Japan was
going to the parks and woods to revel in the colors they loved so
well.

Three men came out of the American Embassy, and looked for a moment
over the roofs below them, half conscious of the beauty of this autumn
time. They chatted for a few moments, then one of them motioned to a
servant to put his mail bag in the jinrickshaw and slowly stepping
into the tiny carriage he was whirled away.

The other men watched him for a few moments in silence, then as they
turned to go to the English club, the elder shook his head slowly as
he rather viciously bit the end from his cigar.

"Freeman's made a big fool of himself," he said. "Nice man, too."

The younger man looked after the fast disappearing jinrickshaw and
asked after a moment's hesitation:

"He's married a Jap, hasn't he? I'm new here but I have heard
something about him that's queer."

"Yes," the Ambassador replied. "Married her, preacher, ring, the whole
thing."

"How did it happen? Why did he _marry_ her?" the younger man asked
with a laugh.

"We all talked to him. I talked to him like a father, but he wouldn't
listen to reason. Saw her at the mission school, fell head and heels
in love with her and wouldn't take anyone's advice. Even the
missionary was against it. Told him that mixed marriages never came
out right; that the girl always reverted to type," said the Ambassador
a little bitterly.

"Well, has it turned out as they predicted?" inquired the secretary
interestedly.

"Well, no," admitted the Ambassador. "It's been two years, and
everything seems to be all right so far. No one ever sees much of
either of them. You meet her with him once in a while in some garden
admiring the wistaria, or the lotus. She's a beauty--a real
beauty--and belongs to one of the old Samurai families up north
somewhere."

"How did the mission get her? I thought they went in more for the
lower classes," asked the secretary.

"Well, it seems that some missionary up north saw her and was
attracted by her cleverness and her pretty face, and she persuaded the
girl's parents to send her to school here. They're as poor as Job's
turkey; but they live in a great old palace and observe all the old
time Jap customs. Haven't changed a bit for centuries. The real thing
in old-time aristocracy. But the missionary got past them some way and
the girl came down--when was it?--six years ago, I think. Missionary
says she's clever, has become a Christian, and evidently forgotten
that she's a Jap."

"It'll perhaps be the exception that proves that all mixed marriages
are not failures," said the optimistic secretary.

"No," said the older man, "I know Japan and the Japanese. There's
something in them that never changes--the call of the blood or
whatever it is. No matter how much education they have, change of
religion, life in foreign countries--anything--they're Japanese, and
in a crisis they go back to their gods and the instincts of their
race. We all told Freeman this--the missionary, myself, everybody took
a hit at him when we found he really meant business, but he only
laughed. He said Yuki was as European as he was. Never thought of the
gods, hardly remembered her people, and all that rot. He ought to know
better: this is his second post in Japan. Was out here twelve years
ago and got in some kind of trouble. I was surprised when the
government sent him back; but I suppose they thought it had all blown
over, and I presume it has, although the Japs don't forget."

The Ambassador was quiet for a few moments, then he said:

"No, I don't believe at all in intermarriage between the Oriental and
the Occidental. Their traditions, customs, everything is different.
They have no common meeting ground, and that racial instinct, that
inherent something is stronger in the Oriental than in the Westerner.
A woman here in this country, for example, is taught from babyhood
that she must obey her parents, her clan, _absolutely_. Her family is
first, and she must sacrifice her life if necessary for them, and they
will go to any lengths in this obedience. I told this to Freeman,
everyone did, but he just gave his happy laugh, and said that his
wife-to-be was no more Japanese in feeling and sentiment than he
was--that she had outgrown the old religion, the old beliefs. He
laughed at the idea that her family would have any influence over her
after she was his wife. Yet--I know these people--and have always been
a little worried----"

The two men chatted until they entered the doors of the English club.

Morris Freeman with his fast runner was drawn swiftly through the
modern streets of new Japan, then more slowly through the little
alleys, where the shops were purely native. Finally he drew up at an
entrance and stopped under the tiny roof of a gateway. He had been
expected, evidently, because no sooner had he stopped than the great
gate was swung open and a smiling servant stood in the entrance.
Freeman handed him the mail bag and said:

"Tell the Ok San that I will be back in about an hour," and was taken
swiftly up the street. The coolie at the gate was still watching the
disappearing jinrickshaw when a Japanese approached, and bowing to the
servant asked: "Is your mistress within?" The servant answered in the
affirmative, looking at him interestedly, as he was different from the
average man one sees in Tokio. He was dressed in an old-time costume
that immediately told the city-bred servant that the man was from some
distant province.

The visitor went to the veranda, dropped his clogs, and entered the
doorway. A young girl was kneeling before a koto lightly strumming its
strings and did not hear the entrance of the man. He stood for a
moment looking around the room; then he saw Yuki and walking over to
her sat down facing her. Yuki stared at him first in astonishment;
then a look of fear came into her black eyes. He was silent for many
minutes, then he coolly remarked:

"You do not speak to your uncle. You do not care to make me welcome in
this your home." He looked down at her contemptuously.

She saluted him, touching her head to her folded hands upon the floor.
After a few polite phrases she rose, went to the hibachi, fanned the
flame a moment, poured water from the kettle into the teapot, and
brought a tiny tray on which was a cup and the pot of tea. She poured
out the tea, and, taking the cup in both hands, slid it across the
floor to him; when he took it, she again touched her head to the
floor, and inquired:

"I trust my honorable Uncle is in the enjoyment of good health?"

The man sipped the tea slowly, gazing around the room, taking in all
its details. His eyes especially rested upon the shrine in the corner.
Then he regarded her long and intently.

"I see you have brought your family shrine to the house of the
foreigner with whom you live--the man who has made you forget your
people. Have you opened it; do you offer the daily incense; or is it
simply an article of furniture for your foreign husband to admire?"

Yuki said nothing; she could not explain to this old man that the
shrine had meant nothing to her, but having come from her old home she
had kept it simply as a remembrance of the past.

Not receiving an answer the man continued:

"The foreigner is kind to you?"

Yuki smiled and said softly to herself: "Kind--kind--my Dana San."
Then seeing her uncle expected an answer, she said in a quiet tone:

"Most kind, my honorable Uncle."

"You wonder why I come to you to-night?" he inquired.

Yuki took the tea-things and put them behind her, then remarked:

"My humble house is honored by your presence."

"Honored, yes," sneered the uncle. "But still you wonder. I will tell
you why I came to you to-night. Once upon a time there was a family in
Japan--happy, honored--proud of their title, of their history--and,
more than all, proud of their overlord. He was impetuous, and like
many of the older Japanese, resentful of the foreigner's intrusion.
Here, one day on a visit to his capital, he met a stranger, one of
that hated race who spoke slightingly of his country, of his gods.
There was the quick retort, the blow, and he our lord went to the Land
of Shadows. The evil gods of the foreigner protected the man who gave
the blow. His name was never discovered--it was claimed he did the
cowardly act in self-defense and he got safely away."

Yuki leaned forward eagerly.

"Oh, it is of my honorable father you speak?"

"Yes, it is of your father I speak," said the man in a low, bitter
voice. "Since his death the gods have not favored our house; we have
lost position, money, everything. But at last--at last our prayers to
the gods have been answered. The enemy of our house is delivered into
our hands--into _your_ hands."

Yuki looked bewildered.

"_My_ hands? What do you mean, my honorable Uncle?"

"Yuki San, we have learned the name of the man who struck your
father!" he exclaimed in a low, tense voice.

Yuki looked at the tragic face before her a moment, then she said: "At
last, at last you know?"

"Yes," replied her uncle. "At last, after all these years of patience,
revenge is in our hands. Oh, Yuki San, the foreigner, your husband, is
the man who killed your father."

Yuki drew back, her face pallid, her body trembling.

"Morris, my Dana San?"

"Yes, your Dana San."

Yuki sat for a moment in bewilderment, then the color came back to her
face and she leaned forward eagerly.

"But, my lord, my lord, he could not have done it! He is so kind, so
good, he never hurt a thing in all his life."

The man leaned forward, gazing intently into her eyes.

"Has this stranger made you forget your father? Have you forgotten
your oath, _your_ oath? Have you forgotten why your father is now
in the Land of Shadows?" He pointed to the shrine.

"Look, there is his tablet within that shrine. But the doors are
closed. In our home, in our family temple are tablets. The doors of
the shrines have never been opened. His spirit has not had the incense
to help him on the way. The morning offering has not been his. He has
been compelled to travel alone on the way to the gods, because we, his
family--you and I--have not avenged his death.

"No, do not speak," he continued, as Yuki was about to interrupt. "He
was murdered, and until the man who sent him on his way joins him in
his journey, his spirit can have no peace. And you, his daughter, dare
not, for fear of the gods, open the shrine to make the offering that
the poorest peasant makes to his dead! But to-night I bring you the
final word of the clan. To give you the honor of doing the deed that
will wash the stain from our name. You know that a servant must avenge
the death of his master, a son that of his father, a Samurai the death
of his overlord, and I come to give you--a girl, an inheritance that
will make you envied of men."

"I do not understand--my lord, you mean----"

"Yuki San, he killed your father, the head of our house, and he must
die to-night."

Yuki rose and went to the man. Taking him by the arms she looked up
into his face piteously, with wide, frightened eyes.

"My lord, my lord, you can not mean it--that he shall die--Morris
die!"

The old man looked down into the pale face, the searching, pitiful
eyes; but there shone no mercy in the hard eyes that met the ones
raised pleadingly to his.

"Yes, and you, the only child of the man he killed, shall fulfill the
sacred oath, and bring peace to your father's honorable soul."

Yuki was utterly bewildered and said falteringly: "I do not
understand--I do not understand."

With the monotonous voice of the fatalist the uncle continued:

"It would have been better if a man-child had been born to our lord,
as his arm would not falter; but you will take as sure a way, if not
as honorable as the sword. Here is the means." He drew a little bottle
from the sleeve of his kimono. "A little of this and he sleeps
instantly and well."

Yuki held out her hands to the man sitting like fate before her.

"My lord, how can I? We have been so happy! My Dana San has never
given me an unkind look, never caused me a moment's sorrow. I love
him, Uncle, not as a Japanese woman loves her lord, but as a foreign
woman from over the seas loves the man whom she has chosen from all
the world. For two years we have been in this little house, for two
years he has been my every breath. My first thought in the morning was
for Morris, my Dana San, my last thought at night was joy in the
thought that I was his and that he loved me. Sometimes I waken and
look at him, and wonder how such a great man can care for such a
simple Japanese girl as I am. And now you ask me to hurt him?" She
drew her head up proudly. "I can not and I will not. He is my husband,
and no matter what he has done I will protect him--even from you."

The man rose, and striding to her, grasped her roughly by the arm.

"Woman, you will do as we say. You are a Japanese and you know even
unto death you must obey. I have no fear. It will be done--and by
you--to-night."

He released her arm, and she, looking down upon the tatami, moved her
foot silently to and fro, absorbed with this tragedy that had come
into her happy life. Then she had a thought that brought hope to her,
and she looked up eagerly. "Perhaps it is not true--perhaps it was not
really Morris----"

"Listen," said the man roughly. "It was he. We _know_. But you--if you
do not believe--make him confess to-night. If it was not he, then you
are free. If it is, you will know what to do--and it will be done
to-night--remember."

Yuki looked into the hard black eyes staring at her, fascinating her,
taking all the life from her, and she said slowly as if under a spell:

"Yes--if he confesses--if it was he--I know it will be done. But--if
the gods take him, they will also take me."

The uncle shook her roughly by the arm.

"_No!_ Listen to me. Your work is not yet done. You must live. It
would be too much happiness to have your spirit travel with him the
lonely road. He must walk the path alone, without love to guide him.
You will return to me to-night, return to your home and family who
await you. Our vengeance would be only half complete if we allowed you
to journey to the Land of Shadows with him. Come to me--" and he drew
her to him. "Look at me. I will await you at the Willow Tea House."

He took her face in his hands and gazed steadily into her eyes, saying
in a low, tense voice:

"I do not fear--you will obey. Are you not a Japanese? I
expect--you--to--come--to--me--after your work is done--and the gods
will be with you. Sayonara."

He put on his clogs at the entrance and went away, his form scarcely
distinguishable in the gloom as he went down the pathway. Yuki looked
after him, then threw herself on her face on the floor with a little
moan, beating her hands in the manner of an Eastern woman.

It was absolutely quiet in the room, no noise coming from the street
outside, except from a far distance a woman's voice chanting in a tone
of singular sweetness words that sounded in their minor key like the
soft tones of a flute: "_Amma Konitchi Wahyak Mo_," then between
these sweet calls a plaintive whistle--one long-drawn note, then two
shorter ones--the cry of the blind massage woman, making her rounds
for her evening's toil.

The cry died away, and only the low moan was heard within the little
room. Morris opened the gate and came lightly up the pathway,
whistling a few bars of the latest popular song. He came inside the
room, and, hardly able to distinguish the objects, looked about
wonderingly, then seeing Yuki lying where she had thrown herself, he
went over to her and picked her up.

"My sweetheart, what is it? What has happened?" He sat down upon the
long chair and held her against him. "Tell me, dear one, tell me."

Morris went over to the lamp after a few moments and lighted it, then
came back and showed Yuki a little gift he had brought her. She took
it and looked at it with eyes filled with tragic grief; then, pressing
it against her face, put her head on his shoulder and began sobbing in
a heart-broken way that amazed Morris.

She lay with her face hidden, he softly caressing her hair. Finally
she said:

"Morris, we have been here two years. Tell me--have I made you happy?"

Morris threw back his head and laughed happily.

"Happy, Yuki, happy? Dear heart, I had a long time ago put aside the
thought that love meant happiness and happiness meant love. Now you
have taught me that one cannot exist without the other. I love you, I
live with you, you are mine. That tells everything. When you came into
my life, into my heart, I was soured and embittered. Life meant only
work and duties done; after that, comfort and a cigar--that was all.
But now, I love my work as well, I do it as thoroughly, but there is
something more. I know when I shut the office-door, I can come here
where no one can enter. I can be alone with the woman I love and who
loves me. There is no question of society or dinners, but just us two
alone, you and me--and," turning up her face, "you are happy with me,
my Yuki San? You love me?"

Yuki did not reply at once. Then in a low, sweet voice she replied:

"Morris, we Japanese women never speak of love. It is to us a subject
left to singing girls and geishas. Without it we marry, and without it
we live, and it is, unless by chance, a closed book to us. I do not
know if I love you as the women of your race love their Dana Sans--I
know I think of you by day, and I dream of you by night. I live only
for you--to be what you wish me to be--and when you take me in your
arms and say, 'My Yuki San, my sweetheart,' it seems to me that my
heart with its happiness will break! I do not know if that is
love--but if it be--I love you, my Dana San, I love you."

She lay quietly, and he rested his face against her hair, caressing it
from time to time. After a silence, he inquired lightly:

"What about supper, Yuki?"

Yuki drew him to her again, for he moved as if he would rise.

"Wait, dear, let us talk a little. Tell me, when you to Tokio
came--the first time----"

"Twelve years ago, when O Yuki San was a little girl."

"Twelve years ago--there was much trouble then between foreigners and
Japanese. You and your friends--had--had trouble."

Morris looked at her quickly and his eyes darkened.

"Where did you hear that?" he asked.

Yuki, carelessly: "Oh, they gossip in the market-place."

Morris rose and walked up and down the room.

"I don't know what you have heard, but I might as well tell you the
whole story. I did have trouble here in Japan. One night some of us
got in a mix-up--a sort of quarrel with a Japanese, and I don't know
how it happened--I never have known--but I struck and killed him. It
was in the dark, and I could hardly see him."

After a silence Yuki stammered: "You--killed him?"

"In self-defense, O Yuki San," Morris defended eagerly; "it was in
self-defense. But afterwards, what a time it was! Shall I ever forget
that night getting back to my ship?" He passed his hand over his face,
and then came back to his place beside her on the couch. "Don't speak
of it any more; I don't want to think of it."

Yuki slipped down to the floor and sat there with her head against his
knee. She sat very quietly, then finally put her hand up to the flower
in her dress and slowly took it out and let it fall to the floor,
petal by petal, watching the leaves as they fell. Then, after a long
silence, she rose and started towards the tea table, hesitated, went a
little way, and then came back to him. She knelt by the couch and
said, in a low voice:

"Morris, no matter what happens, what you learn, what the gods may
teach you soon--remember, I love you with all the love of my life.
That I would give that life for you--oh, so willingly, if I only
could! That through whatever you pass, I would gladly be with you; but
I will come to you soon. I will not send you where I may not follow. I
will come. I am yours, and the gods cannot let you go alone. You need
me, and I would not be afraid. I love you--I want to go with you--but
I am a Japanese--and I understand."

She let her face fall upon her hands and knelt there quietly. Morris
looked at her blankly, thinking she was worried about something.
Finally he lifted her face and kissed her.

"Never mind, dear one. I don't know what is troubling you, but of
course you shall go with me wherever I go. I need you, and could not
be without my Yuki San."

He started to read the papers; she rose and stood by the couch a
moment, then taking a step toward the tea-things:

"Would my Dana San--like--a cup of tea?"

Morris, absorbed in his papers, assented. "Why, yes, I don't mind if I
do."

She turned and walked slowly to the hibachi, knelt beside it, fanned
the fire a moment, then poured the water from the iron kettle into the
tiny teapot, let it stand a moment, looking over towards Morris. Then
she took the bottle from her sleeve and poured a few drops into the
cup, filling it with tea. She rose slowly and walked over to the long
chair. She looked down at him as he lay half-reclining, hesitated,
then handed him the cup. He took it, and looking up at her half
laughing, exclaimed:

"To you, sweetheart!" and drank.

He fell back on the chair; the cup dropped from his hands. Yuki looked
down at him in silence; then she bent over him, and lovingly crossed
his hands upon his breast, touched his face caressingly with her
fingers; then bent down and kissed him.

She turned slowly, and, in turning, her eyes fell upon the shrine. She
looked at it intently, slowly crossed the room and knelt in front of
it, bowed her head to the floor; then opened the doors, and bowed her
head again.

She took out two candlesticks, two little jars of incense, a small
bowl for rice, and another for water. She lighted the candles, lighted
the incense, poured water in one bowl and rice in the other. Then she
again touched her head to the floor, once--twice--thrice--rose, and
walked backward to the open shojii.

She stood a moment looking around the room that she had loved so well;
then turned her face to her lover lying so quietly in the chair. She
knelt down facing him, touched her head to the floor and rising in the
kneeling position, said, stretching out her arms towards Morris:

"Sayonara, my Dana San, good-bye, good-bye."



One Wreath of Rue

_By Cynthia Westover Alden_


    The brawny lad in khaki clad,
      We rightly cheer. Alas,
    My eyes grow dim! I weigh with him,
      The boy
          Who failed
              To pass.

    A heart more brave no man could have,
      His soul as clear as glass.
    He faced with zest the doctor-test--
      The boy
          Who failed
              To pass.

    And now the blow is hurting so,
      He sees the legions mass.
    They go to war. Be sorry for
      The boy
          Who failed
              To pass.

    The future grim is flouting him
      As in the weakling class.
    Though fine and true, his years are few--
      The boy
          Who failed
              To pass.

    For warriors proud blow bugles loud,
      Of silver or of brass;
    One wreath of rue is due unto
      The boy
          Who failed
              To pass.



Woodrow Wilson and Wells, War's Great Authors

_An Interview with Honoré Willsie_


"The war has thus far produced two great pieces of literature. One of
these is H. G. Wells' 'Mr. Britling Sees It Through.' The other is
President Wilson's War Message. I was curiously moved by 'Mr. Britling
Sees It Through.' The effect of that novel on me was to move me away
from the war, to let me get a picture of the war as a great procession
against the horizon.

"Every code that I had--in government, in religion, in ethics--had
been obliterated by the events of the last three years. But this novel
showed me that there could be a code--that something coherent and true
must come out of the chaos. Reading as many manuscripts as I do, I
grow stale on ideas. I want to read out-and-out trash or else
something that will give me a new philosophy of life. And Wells, at
any rate, showed me that there could be a new philosophy.

"The great task before our writers to-day is to do for the individual
what President Wilson's Declaration of War did for the nations of the
world. This is the most important thing a writer can do--to make a new
code for mankind. I can't think of any American writer able to do it.
But did any of us expect Wells to write such a book as 'Mr. Britling
Sees It Through'?

"One significant thing about President Wilson's message is that its
author is absolutely sure of the hereafter. He is convinced that God
is Eternal Goodness. All his utterances are the utterances of a man
with a deep faith that never has been disturbed. And that sort of man
is essentially the man for statesmanship.

"Religious fervor was the driving force of the fathers of our country.
For an agnostic like myself to witness an exhibition of this force is
to look wistfully at a power that cannot be understood. It is the
spirit of the little red schoolhouse, of the meeting-house, of the
town meeting--the spirit of American statesmanship and of American
democracy.

"Human beings aren't big enough to get along without religion. Somehow
or other we moderns have got to have some faith--as Lincoln had it,
and Adams, and Washington--as Wilson has it. We need a new religion.
For Wilson won't happen again very often.

"President Wilson's message formulates a new philosophy of government.
His message came on Europe like a flash of light in the darkness of
battle.

"President Wilson seems to have started his message with a definite
conviction as to the existence of God. Mr. Wells must have started his
novel with the hope of finding God through it. I size Wells up as a
modern with the modern craving for God. Wells does not lead you to
God, but he gives you the idea that God exists, and is just over
beyond.

"But then religion is a favorite theme of the novelist. Winston
Churchill's 'The Inside of the Cup' indicated that social service
would take the place of religion. Well, maybe it would for some
people. But nowadays most people need a religion that says that there
is a hereafter.

"I think that I am the only human being in captivity who has read all
of Holt's book on the cosmic relations. And what I got out of it was
not a belief in spiritualism, but a realization of the fact that every
one, high and low, rich and poor, educated and illiterate, has a
craving for knowledge of life after death, has a craving for belief in
life after death. And the war has raised this feeling to the nth
power. We feel that we shall go mad if there is no hereafter. Mr.
Wells leads us to believe that he will find that there is a hereafter.
President Wilson shows us that he is sure there is one.

"This craving for conviction of the hereafter, increased by the war,
inevitably makes our literature more spiritual. So we are seeing the
last for awhile of the sex novel and of sordid realism. We no longer
find people who believe that since you are an artist you should
describe the contents of a garbage can. The soul of man as well as the
body of man is coming into its own as the theme of the novelist.

"And the war is responsible. You can't stick out your tongue and make
a face at God when a shell may momentarily hurl you from the earth.
And who cares to read a sex novel now? What do the little bedroom
scandals of the flimsy novels matter when the womanhood of Belgium has
been despoiled?

"I am asked if our writers have deteriorated of late years. I think
that the rank and file of our serial writers are way below those of
forty or fifty years ago. Then our novelists were fewer and better.
Look at the files of the old magazines and you will find that the
novels that appeared serially in those days were much better than
those that are appearing to-day. But one or two of our best novelists
are just as fine as any of our writers of a bygone generation--Margaret
Deland and Gertrude Atherton, for instance.

"And in other branches of literature I think we have improved on our
forefathers. American poets have never before done such exquisite
things as they are doing to-day, and one or two short story writers
are doing better things than were ever done before in this country. If
you compare the short stories in old issues of the magazines with
those in the current issues you will find that the old short stories
are as much inferior to the new short stories as the old novels--the
serialized novels--are superior to the new ones."



A Field

_By Minnie Stichter_


Sometime I expect to turn a sharp corner and come face to face with
myself, according to the ancient maxim, "extremes meet." For, did I
not vow to the Four Great Walls that had imprisoned me for nine
months, that I would fly to the uttermost parts of the earth so soon
as vacation should open the doors? And did I not spend almost my
entire summer within sight of my home, and in a field of a few acres
dimension?

I caught sight of some flowers, just inside the barbed wire fencing
the track, that were fairer than any I had yet gathered for my vases.
As the old song has it, "O, brighter the flowers on the other side
seem!" No one saw me get under that six-stranded barbed-wire fence,
and I am not going to tell how I did it. But when I got through I felt
as well guarded as though attended by a retinue of soldiers. And I
found myself in another world--a dream-world!

It was a large field rosy with red clover and waving with tall
timothy. A single tree glistened and rustled invitingly. In its shade
I rested, refreshing myself with the field sights and sounds and
fragrances. It was delightful to be the center of so much beauty as
circled round about me. Then I had only to rest on the rosy
clover-carpet at the foot of the tree, and the tall grass eclipsed all
things earthly save the tree, and the sky overhead, and the round mat
of clover under the tree which the grass ringed about. I had often
wished for Siegfried's magic cloak. Well, here was something quite as
good, which, if it did not render me invisible to the world, made the
world invisible to me. Who of you would not be glad to have the old
world with its "everyday endeavors and desires," its folly, its pride
and its tears, drop out of sight for a while, leaving you in a flowery
zone of perfect quiet and beauty, hedged in by a wall of grass!

There were many "afterwards." And the marvel of it all was that, for
all I could do, the field retained its virgin splendor and kept the
secret of my goings-in and comings-out most completely.

After the daisies, there came a season of black-eyed Susans. That was
when the grasses were tallest and the feeling of mystery did most
abound. I know I had been there many days before I discovered the
myriads of wild roses near the crabtree thicket--those fairies'
flowers so exquisite in their pink frailty that mortal breath is rude.
Only when I reached the hedge, bounding the remote side of the field,
did I enter into my full inheritance. Along a barbed-wire fence had
grown up sumac, elderberry, crabtrees and nameless brambles, while
over all trailed the wild grapevine, bearing the most perfect
miniature clusters, fit to be sculptured by Trentanove into immortal
beauty. And this hedge was the source of ever increasing wonder the
whole summer long. I depended on it alone for sensational denouements
after the grass was cut for hay. When the field lay shorn, like other
fields about it far and wide, I could not have been lured hitherward
but for the hedge. There the hard green berries of a peculiar bramble
ripened into wax-white pellet-sized drops clustered together on a
woody stem by the most coral-pink pedicles ever designed by
sea-sprites.

In its time came the elderberry bloom, and its purple fruit; the
garnet fruit of the sumach and its flaming foliage; the lengths of
vines and their purple clusters--all these and more also ministered to
my delight.

About goldenrod time, the school-bell rang me in from the field, but I
managed to take recesses long enough to behold the kaleidoscopic views
brought before me by the turning of nature's hand. The smooth velvety
green of the field with its border of gold and lavender--great widths
of thistle and goldenrod following the line of fence--was like the
broidered mantle of some celestial Sir Walter Raleigh, spread for the
queens of earth. I was no queen; but I did not envy royalty, since I
doubted if it had any such cherished possessions as my field in its
various phases.

In the November days, the brightness of the fields seemed to be
inverted and to be seen in the opalescent tints of the sky. Then, the
clearness of the atmosphere, the wider horizon, the less hidden homes
and doings of men, had this message for the children of men: "If there
is any secret in your life, leave it out."

When it is December and the fields are too snowy and wind-swept for
pleasure-grounds, where the only bits of brightness are the
embroideries of the scarlet pips of the wild-rose, it is good to
nestle by the cozy fireside and conjure it all up again, and nourish a
feeling of expectancy for the spring and summer that shall come.
Again, the flowers and waving grass and drowsy warmth of the summer
day; again, the songs of flitting birds, the scented sweets of the
new-mown hay. Again the work of the fields goes on before me like a
play in pantomime! Again, with my eyes, I follow home the boys with
their cows, to the purple rim of the hill beyond which only my fancy
has ever gone. Again I quit work with the tired laborer. Again I dream
of the open, free, unfettered song that life might be if it were lived
more simply, with less of artificiality. And again, for the sake of
one patient toiler in the town, whose life-task admits of no holiday,
I have the grace to return thither and begin where I left off--the
life common to you and to me, the life ordained for us from the
beginning.



Your Lad, and My Lad

_By Randall Parrish_


    Down toward the deep blue water, marching to the throb of drum,
    From city street and country lane the lines of khaki come;
    The rumbling guns, the sturdy tread, are full of grim appeal,
    While rays of western sunshine flash back from burnished steel.
    With eager eyes and cheeks aflame the serried ranks advance;
    And your dear lad, and my dear lad, are on their way to France.

    A sob clings choking in the throat, as file on file sweep by,
    Between those cheering multitudes, to where the great ships lie;
    The batteries halt, the columns wheel, to clear-toned bugle call,
    With shoulders squared and faces front they stand a khaki wall.
    Tears shine on every watcher's cheek, love speaks in every glance;
    For your dear lad, and my dear lad, are on their way to France.

    Before them, through a mist of years, in soldier buff or blue,
    Brave comrades from a thousand fields watch now in proud review;
    The same old Flag, the same old Faith--the Freedom of the World--
    Spells Duty in those flapping folds above long ranks unfurled.
    Strong are the hearts which bear along Democracy's advance,
    As your dear lad, and my dear lad, go on their way to France.



Peace and Then--?

_By Detlev Fredrik Tillisch_


    _Suburb of London. Three months after declaration of peace.
    Time: Noon._

    CAST

    Mrs. Claire Hamilton--about 35 years of age--portly--simply
    dressed.

    Master Hal Hamilton--her son--about 10 years of age--full of
    life--dressed in Boy Scout uniform.

    Mr. John Hamilton--soldier--botanist--about 39 years of
    age--tall--well built.

    Sergeant, soldiers and pedestrians.

    Claire Hamilton is seen fixing her corner flower stand and
    endeavoring to sell her plants to passers-by, but after three
    futile attempts she becomes tired of standing and takes seat on
    wooden bench in front of her stand. Takes letter from
    pocket--sighs and begins to read letter aloud.

_Mrs. Hamilton (reading)._ "Dearest Love and Hal Boy--We are still in
the bowels of hell--but even this would be nothing if I but knew my
loved ones were well and happy. (_She wipes away a tear and continues
reading._) Nothing but a miracle can end this terrible war. Give my
own dear Hallie boy a kiss from his longing papa." (_She lays letter
on her lap and meditates._) Peace (_shakes her head--looks at date of
letter._) February 16th--six months past and now it's all over--three
months ago--Oh, God, bring him back to me and my boy. (_She goes back
of flower stand and brings out box of mignonettes. Hal comes running
in with bundle of newspapers and very much excited--his sleeve is
torn. He stands still and looks at mother rather proudly and
defiantly._)

_Mrs. Hamilton._ Hal Boy--what's the trouble?

_Hal._ I licked Fritz.

_Mrs. Hamilton._ What for?

_Hal._ He said it took the whole world to lick the Germans.

_Mrs. Hamilton._ But, Hal, my boy--the war is over--you mustn't be
hateful--be kind and forgiving.

_Hal._ Make them bring back my daddy then.

_Mrs. Hamilton._ You still have your mother--(_Hal runs to mother and
embraces her tenderly._)

_Mrs. Hamilton._ Whose birthday is it to-day? (_He thinks--pause._)
This is the 20th of August--now think hard. (_She awaits
answer--silence--then takes box of mignonettes._) Whose favorite
flower is the mignonette?

_Hal._ Papa's! Papa's! (_Claps his hands boyishly._)

_Mrs. Hamilton._ Yes, Hal--it's papa's birthday and mother is
remembering the day by decorating our little stand with the flowers
your papa has grown. (_He caresses the mignonettes tenderly._)

_Hal._ Dear daddy--dear flowers--aren't they lovely, mother?

_Mrs. Hamilton._ Yes, Hal. (_She wipes away a tear, trying to conceal
her emotions from her son._)

_Hal._ Maybe some day I'll be a famous botanist like papa and then
you'll have two boxes. (_Mother is silent trying to keep back the
tears and Hal notices it._) Papa is coming home soon, isn't he,
mother? (_She just shakes her head._)

_Mrs. Hamilton._ We must be brave.

_Hal._ When I get big I'm going to be a soldier and be brave like
daddy.

_Mrs. Hamilton._ That won't be necessary any more--it isn't the people
who want to fight.

_Hal._ But daddy did and you bet if anybody makes me sore I'll fight
too.

_Mrs. Hamilton._ No, my boy--daddy didn't want to fight----

_Hal._ Then why did he go?

_Mrs. Hamilton._ Hal, you're a little boy and wouldn't understand--but
just remember what your mother tells you: Don't be selfish--be
tolerant, honest and charitable to all the peoples of the world, the
big and the small alike. (_Enter passer-by who stops to look over
plants. After Mrs. Hamilton has shown several and given him prices, he
picks up the box of mignonettes._)

_Man._ I'll take this box.

_Mrs. Hamilton (confused, not knowing whether to tell stranger about
that particular box of flowers or sell it, as she sorely needs money.
Then she picks up another plant to show it.)_ Here's a very sturdy
plant, sir.

_Man._ But I want this one. (_Pointing to box of mignonettes._) How
much is it? I'm in a hurry.

_Hal (goes to stranger and takes box from his hands)._ You can't have
them--they're daddy's.

_Man (pushing him to one side)._ Get away from here, you little
ruffian.

_Mrs. Hamilton._ That's my son, sir--he's not a ruffian. His father
has not returned from the front and that----

_Man (interrupting)._ Oh, yes--yes--we hear those stories every day
now on every corner--it's the beggar's capital. (_He walks away
hurriedly, but Hal starts after with clenched fist._)

_Mrs. Hamilton._ Hal! Hal! What did mother tell you a few moments ago?

_Hal (coming back)._ But he made me sore.

_Mrs. Hamilton._ What's the news--(_Hal hands her a paper, kisses her
and starts up street._)

_Hal._ Paper--extra--paper! (_He disappears._)

_Mrs. Hamilton (is attracted by headlines in paper and begins to read
aloud)._ "Fifty men return to-day from the front to be placed in the
asylum." (_She buries her face in her hands._) Better that he were
dead. (_Sound of footsteps is heard. Enter detachment of ten men in
uniform in charge of a sergeant. They swing corner of flower stand and
Mrs. Hamilton watches every man and there is a tense silence. Suddenly
Mrs. Hamilton rushes toward them._)

_Mrs. Hamilton._ John! John! My boy! (_They halt. Mrs. Hamilton
swoons. Sergeant goes to her and assists her to bench in front of
stand. She becomes calm and goes toward husband with out-stretched
arms._) Don't you know me? Claire, your wife! (_He stares at her, but
shows no signs of recognition._) You remember Hal--Hal, your own
boy--our little boy--John! (_He just looks at her and smiles
foolishly. Sergeant takes her gently by the arm to lead her away,
thinking her hysterically mistaken as many others have been._)

_Sergeant._ Are you quite sure, madam, that he is your husband?

_Mrs. Hamilton._ Yes--John Hamilton--have you no record----

_Sergeant._ Not yet. But time will clear away any doubts----

_Mrs. Hamilton._ Time--time! I've waited long enough on time. He's
mine and I want him. (_Turns toward husband._) You want to stay here
with me and our boy--don't you, John? (_Pause._) Sergeant, let me have
him.

_Sergeant (trying to hide his emotion)._ You're quite sure,
madam--(_Mrs. Hamilton nods and sergeant takes John from ranks. John
just stares. Mrs. Hamilton leads him tenderly to seat. Sergeant starts
others to march._)

_Sergeant._ I'll return for him after delivering these men. (_Mrs.
Hamilton takes no notice of his remarks and they march off._)

_Mrs. Hamilton (kissing his hands tenderly and giving him all signs of
love and affection)._ Doesn't it seem good to be with us again? (_He
smiles foolishly._) And our boy Hal--He is so large now--You'll see
him soon. Think of it--he's ten years old. (_Hal enters and without
noticing father rushes toward his mother, holding a package in his
hand. His father sees him and notices his uniform--rises quickly and
rushes toward him but mother grabs his arm and holds him back. Hal
remains standing._)

_Mrs. Hamilton._ That's Hal--your own boy. Hal--your son.

_Mr. Hamilton (looks at Hal fiercely)._ Attention! (_Hal looks
perplexed._)

_Mrs. Hamilton._ This is your own papa--my boy. (_Hal runs toward him
but stops._)

_Mr. Hamilton._ Attention! (_His hands grab his pocket for revolver
but finds none._) You scullion--this is my girl! (_Turns and puts arms
around Mrs. Hamilton._) Aren't you, Sissy? (_Mrs. Hamilton realizes
situation and plays her part--leads him to seat--strokes his hair and
caresses him._)

_Mrs. Hamilton._ What have you, Hal?

_Hal._ I sold all my papers and brought you a little cake for daddy's
birthday.

_Mrs. Hamilton (smiles and shakes her head. She takes box of
mignonettes and shows them to Mr. Hamilton.)._ You surely remember
these--your own mignonettes--your prize? (_She is silent. He smells
flowers--she anxiously awaits any signs of recognition--long pause--a
slight spark of intelligence comes over him as he fondles the
flowers--Mrs. Hamilton very tense but says nothing. Hal remains
standing as if rooted to the spot. Enter sergeant._)

_Sergeant._ I must deliver him with the others, madam. (_No reply._)
It's my duty. (_He goes to take Mr. Hamilton by the arm, but Mrs.
Hamilton interferes._)

_Mrs. Hamilton._ Duty! Duty! It has been my duty to slave and
starve--my husband has done his duty--he volunteered his services--I
willingly let him go--for what? For whom? (_Pause._) Now it's all
over. This is the result to me--to thousands, but now--(_stands
between Mr. Hamilton and sergeant_)--God has brought him back to me
and God will keep him with me!

_Mr. Hamilton (in a whisper)._ God--(_rubs hands over eyes_)--God----
(_Smells fragrance of the mignonettes. He takes Mrs. Hamilton's hand
and Hal runs to him and kneels beside him._) My mignonette. (_Smiles
to Mrs. Hamilton and Hal._) My mignonettes.



Semper Fidelis

_By Addie B. Billington_


    When free from earthly toil and thrall of pain,
          Time's transient guest,
    One large of heart and finely quick of brain
          Found early rest.
    Kind friends ordained that on his coffin lid,
          Bedecked with flowers,
    His last Romance should lie, forever hid
          From sight of ours.
    Th' unfinished page no other hand might press,
          Where his had wrought,
    Nor Fancy weave strange threads--to match by guess
          The strands he sought.
    The motives worthy and the action grand,
          In faithful trust,
    To bury what they could not understand,
          With fleeting dust.
    And if within the years there treasured lies,
          'Neath Memory's trance,
    Wreathed in forget-me-nots, my sacred prize--
          A life's Romance--
    Heav'n grant no ruthless hand the pages turn,
          When I am gone,
    Striving its inmost meaning to discern;
          'Tis mine alone.



Our Bird Friends

_By Margaret Coulson Walker_


Lovers of birds will doubtless be pleased to know that some of the
most agreeable and interesting legends of the past were centered about
these guests of our groves, whose actions formed the basis of
innumerable fancies and superstitions. An acquaintance with the
literature as well as with the life history of our feathered friends
will not only increase our interest in the bird life about us but it
will broaden our sympathies as well.

Birds exercised a strong influence on prehistoric religion, having
been worshipped as gods in the earlier days and later looked upon as
representatives of the higher powers. The Greeks went so far as to
attribute the origin of the world itself to the egg of some mysterious
bird. To others, these small creatures flitting about among our trees,
represented the visible spirits of departed friends. The Aztecs
believed that the good, as a reward of merit, were metamorphosed at
the close of life into feathered songsters, and as such were permitted
to pass a certain term in the beautiful groves of Paradise. To them,
as to all North American Indians, thunder was the cloud bird flapping
his mighty wings, while the lightning was the flash of his eye. The
people of other countries believed that higher powers showed their
displeasure by transforming wrong-doers into birds and animals as a
punishment for their crimes.

In all lands birds were invested with the power of prophecy. They were
believed to possess superior intelligence through being twice-born,
once as an egg, and again as an animal. Because of their wisdom, not
only they, but their graven images also, were consulted on all
important affairs of life. Many nations, notably the Japanese, are
still believers in the direct communication between man and unseen
beings, through birds and other agents. In their country, birds are
regarded as sacred, and for this reason the agriculturist gladly
shares with them the fruit of his toil.

While we of to-day attach no supernatural significance to the presence
of these feathered songsters, and even though to us they possess no
powers of prophecy, we can find a great deal of pleasure in observing
these beings whose boding cries were regarded as omens by the greatest
of earth--beings whose actions in Vespasian's time were considered of
vital national importance.

Aside from their historic and literary interest, these multitudinous,
and often contradictory, legends and superstitions are of interest to
us as a part of the faith of our fathers, much of which, combined with
other and higher things, is in us yet. These beliefs of theirs, like
many of what we are pleased to think are original ideas and opinions
to-day, were hereditary and largely a matter of geography.

In ancient times the chief birds of portent were the raven or crow,
the owl and the woodpecker, though there were a number of others on
the prophetic list.

As an example of interest let us consider our friend the raven and his
congener the crow, who are so confused in literature, as well as in
the minds of those not familiar with ornithological classification,
that it is almost impossible to treat them separately. The raven is a
larger bird and not quite so widely distributed as the crow, but in
general appearance and habits they are practically the same.

If tradition is to be credited, we are more indebted to this bird of
ancient family than to any other feathered creature, for he has played
an important part in history, sacred and profane, in literature, and
in art.

On the authority of the Koran we know that it was he who first taught
man to bury his dead. When Cain did not know what disposition to make
of the body of his slain brother, "God sent a raven, who killed
another raven in his presence and then dug a pit with his beak and
claws and buried him therein." It was the raven whom Noah sent forth
to learn whether the waters had abated--one of the rare instances
wherein he ever proved faithless to his trust--and it was he who gave
sustenance to the prophet Elijah.

In Norse mythology, Odin, the greatest of all the gods, the raven's
God, had for his chief advisers two ravens, Hugin and Munin (Mind and
Memory), who were sent out by him each morning on newsgathering
journeys, and who returned to him at nightfall to perch on his
shoulders and whisper into his ears intelligence of the day. When news
of unusual importance was desired, Odin himself in raven guise went
forth to seek it, and when the Norse armies went into battle they
followed the raven standard, a banner under which William the
Conqueror fought. When bellied by the breezes it betokened success,
but when it hung limp, only defeat was expected.

Norse navigators took with them a pair of ravens to be liberated and
followed as guides; if the bird returned it was known that land did
not lie in that direction; if they did not, they were followed. The
discoveries of both Iceland and Greenland are attributed to their
leadership.

To the Romans and Greeks the raven was the chief bird of omen, whose
effigy was borne on their banners, and whose auguries were followed
with greatest confidence, while to the German mind he was his satanic
majesty made manifest in feathers. In some parts of Germany these
birds are believed to hold the souls of the damned, while in other
European sections priests only are believed to be so reincarnated.

In Sweden the ravens croaking at night in the swamps are said to be
the ghosts of murdered persons who have been denied Christian burial,
and whom on this account Charon has refused ferriage across the River
Styx.

As a companion of saints this bird has had too many experiences to
mention.

By some nations he was regarded as the bearer of propitious news from
the gods--and sacrosanct, to others he was the precursor of evil and
an object of dread. With divining power, which enabled him for ages to
tell the farmer of coming rain, the maiden of the coming of her lover
and the invalid of the coming of death, he was received with joy or
sadness, according to the messages he bore.

In England he was looked upon with greater favor; there the mere
presence of the home of a raven in a tree-top was enough to insure the
continuance in power of the family owning the estate.

The wealth of raven literature bears indubitable testimony to the
interest people of all times and all localities have felt in this
remarkable bird--an interest certain to increase with acquaintance.

To one with mind open to rural charm, this picturesque bird, solemnly
stalking about the fields, or majestically flapping his way to the
treetops, is as much a part of the landscape as the fields themselves,
or the trees upon their borders; it possesses an interest different
from that of any other creature of the feathered race. Though he no
longer pursues the craft of the augur, his superior intelligence,
great dignity and general air of mystery inspire confidence in his
abilities in that line.

What powers were his in the old days! Foolish maidens and ignorant
sailors might put their faith in the divining powers of the flighty
wren; others might consult the swallow and the kingfisher; but it was
to the "many-wintered crow" that kings and the great ones of earth
applied for advice, and it was he who never failed them. According to
Pliny, he was the only bird capable of realizing the meaning of his
portents.

In the early morning light the worthy successors of the ancient Hugin
and Munin go forth to-day in quest of news of interest to their clan,
just as those historic messengers did in the days when the mighty
Norse gods awaited their return, that they might act on the
intelligence gathered by them during the daylight hours; and when
slanting beams call forth the vesper songs of more tuneful birds, they
return, followed by long lines of other crows, to their usual haunts
on the borders of the marshes. Singly or in long lines, never in loose
flocks like blackbirds, they arrive from all directions, till what
must be the whole tribe is gathered together--a united family--for the
night's repose.

As there in the treetops in the early evening, in convention
assembled, they discuss important affairs, who can doubt that certain
ones of their number are recognized as leaders, and that they have
some form of government among themselves? One after another delivers
himself of a harangue, then the whole assemblage joins in noisy
applause--or is it disapproval? At other times sociability seems to be
the sole object of the gathering.

As one old crow, more meditative than the rest, at the close of the
conclave always betakes himself to the same perch, the lonely,
up-thrust shaft of a lightning-shattered tree on the hillside, we
decide that here is old Munin, who has selected this perch as one
favorable to meditation--a place where he may ponder undisturbed over
the occurrences of the day.

Others among the group have habits as fixed and noticeable. Even
though approaching his perch from the opposite direction, one will be
seen to circle and draw near it from the accustomed side; some of the
more decided ones will invariably remain just where they alight;
others will turn around and arrange themselves on their perches
indefinitely. In the fields it will be noticed that some are socially
inclined and forage in groups, while others, either from personal
choice or that of their neighbors, are more solitary. Like members of
the human family, each has his own individual characteristic.

While the chief charm of the crow is his intelligence, his dignity
also claims our attention. Who ever saw one of his tribe do anything
foolish or unbecoming to the funeral director he has been ever since
the birth of time, and that he must ever be while time endures? The
ancients believed him to be able to scent a funeral several days
before death occurred, so sensitive was he to mortuary influences, and
there is little doubt he still possesses the power to discern
approaching death in many creatures smaller than himself--and to whom
he expects to extend the rite of sepulchre. Inside and out he is
clothed in deepest black; even his tongue and the inside of his mouth
are in mourning. Seeming to think it incumbent on him to live up to
his funeral garb and occupation, faithful to his trust, with clerical
solemnity he goes about his everyday duties.

Gazing on them from his watchtower in the tree tops, what does this
grave creature think of the gayer birds that dwell in the meadows and
groves round about? What thinks he of the clownish bobolink, in motley
nuptial livery, pouring out his silly soul in gurgling, rollicking
song, in his efforts to please a possible mate, then quarreling with
both her and his rivals, who also have donned cap and bell to win her
favor? What of the unpretentious home--a mere hollow in the
ground--where the care-free pair go to housekeeping? What of the
redwings building their nests among the reeds in the midst of the
marsh--so low as almost to touch the water? Of the fitful wren,
incessantly singing of love to his mate, yet who fails to assist her
in nest-building, and who proves but an indifferent provider for his
young family? Of the lonely phoebe, calling in plaintive, mysterious
tones to a mate unresponsive to his sorrowful beseechings? Of the
robin, who makes of the grove a sanctuary? He doubtless has his
opinions concerning every one of them, for he views them all with
interest. Hearing all the other birds singing their love and seeing
them winning favor with their brilliant colors, does he envy them?

On the theory of compensation, his sterling qualities render
accomplishments and decorative raiment unnecessary. With no song in
which to tell his story, and no garments gay to captivate the eye, the
crow must needs live his love--and he does--to the end. Seriously he
wins the mate to whom he remains true forever. To him the marital bond
is not the mere tie of a season, but one that holds through life. He
assists the dusky bride of his choice in establishing a commodious
home in the most commanding situation available--the top of the
tallest tree in the edge of the wood, and which may have been planted
by one of his ancestors. He assists her in giving warmth to their eggs
in the nest. He carries food to her while she broods over them. He
braves every danger in protecting both her and them against predatory
hawks and owls and frolicking squirrels, to whom he is known as the
"warrior crow." With tenderest solicitude he relieves his mate as far
as he can in ministering to their nestlings.

And what of the young crows in the nest? When their elders are away on
commissary tours, the young ones, bewailing the absence of parents
almost constantly, are always found, on the return, in attitudes of
expectancy. To them the approach of older crows, even though it be
from the left, is never ominous of anything but good. And when after
many excursions baby appetites have been satisfied, in their lofty
cradles in the tree tops, the infant crows are rocked by the breezes,
and though the tuneless throats of the parents yield no songs they are
not without music, for soft æolian lullabies soothe them to sleep.

On hearing farmers talk, one would think that the diet of the crow is
entirely granivorous, while no bird has a more adaptable appetite;
everything eatable is perfectly acceptable--harmful grubs, beetles,
worms, young rats, mice, snakes and moles, as well as mollusks,
acorns, nuts, wild fruit and berries are among his staple articles of
diet. And, though it is no longer believed that "he shakes contagion
from his ominous wing," he occasions a lamentable amount of infant
mortality among rabbits, and squirrels, and even among weak-limbed
lambs, depriving them of health, strength and happiness--but not
through magic. These last he attacks in the eye, as the most
vulnerable point. In the old days he is reputed to have met with great
success as an oculist; in these his patients never recover.

In winter, when cereal stores and acorns which supply the season's
want lie buried in the snow, and when such animals as in youth were
ready prey have grown to a more formidable majority, crows frequently
suffer and perish from hunger, and when snows lie long on the ground
many of them are found dead beneath their roosting places.

The voice of the crow when heard distinctly has in it something of the
winter's harshness and seems to harmonize best with winter
sounds--creaking boughs and shrieking winds--but when modulated by
distance it is not unmusical. In the twilight, when calling to his
belated brethren across the marshes, his uncanny call might well be
taken for the cry of a lost soul craving Christian burial. Yet this
might depend on one's mood. To each he seems to speak a different
language. To St. Athanasius he said: "Cras, cras!" (To-morrow,
to-morrow). To the sympathetic Tennyson he always called, in tenderest
accents, the name "Maud."

Though this bird is said to have no tongue for expressing the happier
emotions, the voice of the mother crow when soothing her nestlings,
with gurgling notes of endearment, is tender as the robin's; and the
head of the family, though croaking savagely when his mate is
molested, and though able to send an exultant "caw" after a retreating
enemy, never lowers himself by scolding as the jay does.

Whatever his faults may be--and they are many--to anyone taking the
trouble to study the crow, either in captivity or in his native
environment, he will prove the most interesting example of his race,
an agreeable companion, an ideal home-maker, a thrifty being, a
liberal provider, an able defender of his family, a destroyer of
harmful insect and animal life, a burier of the dead, a creature of
dignity, a keen observer, and the intellectual marvel of the bird
world.



A Load of Hay

_By James B. Weaver_


    Hard paved streets and hurrying feet,
    Where it's oft but a nod when old friends meet,
    Rattle of cart and shriek of horn,
    Laughing Youth and Age forlorn,
    Bound for the office I speed away,
    When my auto brushes--a load of hay!

    Chauffeur curses, I scarcely hear,
    For things I loved as a boy seem near:
    Scent of meadows at early morn,
    Miles of waving fields of corn,
    Lowing cattle and colts at play--
    Far have I drifted another way!

    Hark, the bell as it calls the noon!
    Boys at their chores, hear them whistle a tune!
    Barn doors creaking on rusty locks,
    Rattle of corn in the old feed-box,
    Answering nicker at toss of hay--
    Old sweet sounds of a far-off day.

    There, my driver stops with a jerk;
    Then far aloft to the scene of my work;
    But all day long midst the city's roar
    My heart is the heart of a boy once more,
    My feet in old-time fields astray,
    Lured--by the scent from a load of hay!



Iowa As a Literary Field

_By Johnson Brigham_[1]


LITERARY IOWA IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

Late in the last century readers of books awoke to the fact that the
world-including, world-inviting prairies of the Mississippi Valley
were no longer inarticulate; that in this great "Heart of the World's
Heart," among the millions who have been drawn to these prairie
states, there are lives as rich--in all that really enriches--as those
immortalized in the literature of New England, or of the Pacific
slope. It was not to be expected that the westward-moving impulse to
create would cease on reaching the Mississippi River.

          [1] Editor of the "Midland Monthly" and author of "Life of
          James Harlan," "Iowa--Its History and Its Foremost
          Citizens," "An Old Man's Idyl," etc.

In Iowa's pioneer days but little original matter found its way into
print except contributions to the rough and ready journalism of the
period. A few pioneer writers, possessed of the historiographer's
instinct, performed a rare service to the young commonwealth by
passing on to future generations their first-hand knowledge of the
prominent men and events of the first half of the century. Chief among
these are Theodore S. Parvin, William Salter, Alexander R. Fulton,
Samuel S. Howe and Charles Aldrich. The two last named published
several series of "The Annals of Iowa" which remain unfailing
reservoirs of information to later historians and students of Iowa
history. Iowa Masonry is specially indebted to Professor Parvin for
his invaluable contributions to the history of the order in Iowa. Dr.
Salter wrote the first notable Iowa biography, that of James W.
Grimes, published in 1876. Fulton's "Red Men of Iowa" is as valuable
as it is rare, for, though written as late as 1882, it is the first
exhaustive attempt to describe the tribes originally inhabiting Iowa.

The war period--1861-5--developed "Iowa in War Times," by S. H. M.
Byers, and "Iowa Colonels and Regiments," by A. A. Stuart, also many
valuable personal sketches and regimental histories.

Long before the close of the century, the name of Samuel Hawkins
Marshall Byers had grown familiar to the people of Iowa, because of
the popularity of his song entitled "Sherman's March to the Sea," and
because contemporary historians, attracted by its suggestive title,
adapted it as especially appropriate for the most dramatic event in
the history of the war for the Union.

Major Byers' most lasting contribution to literature is his poem "The
March to the Sea," epic in character and interspersed with lyrics of
the war. Reading this, one can hear the thrilling bugle call, and "see
once again the bivouacs in the wood."

Looking again, one can see the army in motion--

      "A sight it was! that sea of army blue,
    The sloping guns of the swift tramping host,
      Winding its way the fields and forests through,
    As winds some river slowly to the coast.
      The snow-white trains, the batteries grim, and then
      The steady tramp of sixty thousand men."

Passing over pages filled with stories of the camp and march, and with
moving pictures of the dusky throng of camp-followers who saw in the
coming of Sherman's men "God's new exodus," we come to the dramatic
climax:

      "But on a day, while tired and sore they went,
    Across some hills wherefrom the view was free,
      A sudden shouting down the lines was sent;
    They looked and cried, 'This is the sea! the sea!'
      And all at once a thousand cheers were heard
      And all the army shout the glorious word.

      "Bronzed soldiers stood and shook each other's hands;
    Some wept for joy, as for a brother found;
      And down the slopes, and from the far-off sands,
    They thought they heard already the glad sound
      Of the old ocean welcoming them on
      To that great goal they had so fairly won."

I would not be unmindful of our Iowa poet's other contributions.
Before the century's close, Mr. Byers had written "Switzerland and the
Swiss," and "What I saw in Dixie," also a book of verse entitled
"Happy Isles and Other Poems," besides much occasional verse in
celebration of events in Iowa history. So many and excellent are Major
Byers' contributions to such occasions that their author has fitly
been styled the "uncrowned poet laureate of Iowa." The title is
strengthened by two distinctively Iowa songs, one, "The Wild Rose of
Iowa," a tribute to our State Flower; the other entitled "Iowa," sung
to the air of "My Maryland."

One of Iowa's pioneer poets was signally honored by public insistence
that his "swan song" was the song of another and greater. In July,
1863, John L. McCreery, of Delhi, Iowa, published in _Arthur's Home
Magazine_ a poem entitled "There Is No Death." The poem went the
round of the press attributed to Bulwer Lytton. A newspaper
controversy followed, the result of which was that the Iowa poet was
generally awarded the palm of authorship. But error sometimes seems to
possess more vitality than truth! Every few years thereafter, the
McCreery poem would make another round of the press with Bulwer
Lytton's name attached! Finally, in response to urgent request, the
modest author published his story of the poem.

It is interesting to note the circumstances under which the first and
best stanza was conceived. The author was riding over the prairie on
horseback when night overtook him. Orion was "riding in triumph down
the western sky." The "subdued and tranquil radiance of the heavenly
host" imparted a hopeful tinge to his somber meditations on life and
death, and under the inspiration of the scene he composed the lines:

      "There is no death; the stars go down
      To rise upon some other shore;
    And bright in heaven's jeweled crown
      They shine forever more."

The next morning he wrote other stanzas, the last of which reads:

      "And ever near us, though unseen,
      The dear, immortal spirits tread;
    For all the boundless universe
      Is life--there are no dead."

One of the curiosities of literature is the fact that the substitution
of Bulwer's name for that of the author arose from the inclusion of
McCreery's poem (without credit) in an article on "Immortality" signed
by one "E. Bulmer." An exchange copied the poem with the name Bulmer
"corrected" to Bulwer--and thus it started on its rounds. As late as
1870, Harper's "Fifth Reader" credited the poem to Lord Lytton! The
Granger "Index to Poetry" (1904) duly credits it to the Iowa author.

It is interesting to recall, in passing, the fact that nowhere in or
out of the state is there to be found a copy of McCreery's little
volume of "Songs of Toil and Triumph," published by Putnam's Sons in
1883, the unsold copies of which the author says he bought, "thus
acquiring a library of several hundred volumes."

It seems to have been the fate of Iowa's pioneer poets to find their
verse attributed to others. So it was with Belle E. Smith's well-known
poem, "If I Should Die To-night." Under the reflex action of Ben
King's clever parody, it has been the habit of newspaper critics to
smile at Miss Smith's poem. But when we recall the fact that several
poets thought well enough of it to stake their reputation on it; and
that, in the course of its odyssey to all parts of the English-reading
world, it was variously attributed to Henry Ward Beecher, F. K.
Crosby, Robert C. V. Myers, Lucy Hooper, Letitia E. Landon, and
others, and that Rider Haggard used it, in a mutilated form, in
"Jess," leaving the reader to infer that it was part of his own
literary creation, may we not conclude that the verse is a real poem
worthy of its place in the anthologies? In the Granger Index (1904) it
is credited to Robert C. V. Myers,--the credit followed by the words:
"Attributed to Arabella E. Smith"!

If support of Miss Smith's unasserted but now indisputable claim to
the poem be desired, it can be found in Professor W. W. Gist's
contribution on the subject entitled "Is It Unconscious
Assimilation?"[2] Miss Smith--long a resident of Newton, Iowa, and
later a sojourner in California until her recent death--was of a
singularly retiring nature. She lived much within herself and thought
profoundly, as her poetical contributions to the _Midland Monthly_
reveal. In none of her other poems did she reveal herself quite as
clearly as in the poem under consideration. It is in four stanzas. In
the first is this fine line referring to her own face, calm in death:
"And deem that death had left it almost fair."

          [2] Midland Monthly, March, 1894.

The poem concludes with the pathetic word to the living:

      "Oh! friends, I pray to-night,
    Keep not your kisses for my dead, cold brow--
    The way is lonely, let me feel them now.
    Think gently of me; I am travel-worn;
    My faltering feet are pierced with many a thorn.
    Forgive, O hearts estranged; forgive, I plead!
    When dreamless rest is mine I shall not need
    The tenderness for which I long to-night!"

I like to think of the veteran Tacitus Hussey, of Des Moines, as that
octogenarian with the heart of youth. This genial poet and quaint
philosopher made a substantial contribution to the century's output of
literature, a collection of poems of humor and sentiment entitled "The
River Bend and Other Poems." This author has contributed the words of
a song which is reasonably sure of immortality. I refer to "Iowa,
Beautiful Land," set to music by Congressman H. M. Towner. It fairly
sings itself into the melody.

    "The corn-fields of billowy gold,
      In Iowa, 'Beautiful Land,'
    Are smiling with treasure untold,
      In Iowa,'Beautiful Land.'"

The next stanza, though including one prosaic line, has taken on a new
poetic significance since the war-stricken nations of the old world
are turning to America for food. The stanza concludes:

    "The food hope of nations is she--
    With love overflowing and free
    And her rivers which run to the sea,
        In Iowa, 'Beautiful Land.'"

Among Iowans in middle-life and older, the name of Robert J. Burdette,
or "Bob" Burdette as he was familiarly called, brings vividly to mind
a genial, sunny little man from Burlington, who went about doing good,
making people forget their woes by accepting his philosophy--a simple
philosophy, that of looking upon the sunny side of life. The "Chimes
from a Jester's Bells" still ring in our ears, though the jester has
passed on.

Reference has been made to the pioneer magazine of Iowa, the
_Midland Monthly_, of Des Moines. As its eleven volumes include
the first contributions of a considerable number of Iowa authors who
have since become famous, this publication may be said to have
inaugurated an era of intellectual activity in Iowa. Its first number
contained an original story, "The Canada Thistle," by "Octave Thanet"
(Miss French), a group of poems by Hamlin Garland from advance proofs
of his "Prairie Songs," an original story by S. H. M. Byers, and other
inviting contributions.

Looking back over the Iowa field from the viewpoint of 1894, when the
_Iowa Magazine_ entered upon its short-lived career (1894-99), I
find, in addition to the authors and works already mentioned, a
nationally interesting episode of the John Brown raid, by Governor B.
F. Gue. Maud Meredith (Mrs. Dwight Smith), Calista Halsey Patchin and
Alice Ilgenfritz Jones, the three pioneer novelists of Iowa, were
among the magazine's contributors. In 1879, the Lippincotts published
"High-water Mark" by Mrs. Jones. In 1881 appeared Maud Meredith's
"Rivulet and Clover Blossoms," and two years later her "St. Julien's
Daughter." Mrs. Patchin's "Two of Us" appeared at about the same time.

Miss Alice French, "Octave Thanet" to the literary world, has been a
known quantity since 1887, when her fine group of short stories,
"Knitters in the Sun," put Iowa on the literary map. "Expiation," "We
All," a book for boys, "Stories of a Western Town" and "An Adventure
in Photography" followed. Miss French has continued to write novels
and short stories well on into the new century. In fact some of her
strongest creations bear the twentieth century stamp.

Hamlin Garland was also known and read by many as early as the
eighties. His, too, was the short-story route to fame, and Iowa was
his field. From his literary vantage ground in Boston, the young
author wrote in the guise of fiction his vivid memories of boy life
and the life of youth in northeastern Iowa and southwestern Wisconsin.
His "Main Traveled Roads," the first of many editions appearing in
1891, made him famous. Though the stories contained flashes of humor,
the dominant note was serious, as befitted the West in the Seventies
in which the author as boy and man struggled with adverse conditions.
But the joy of youth would rise superior to circumstance, as is
evidenced in the charming sketch of "Boy Life in the West."[3] I like
to recall the prose-poem with which it concludes:

          [3] Midland Monthly, February, 1894.

"I wonder if, far out in Iowa, the boys are still playing 'Hi Spy'
around the straw-piles.... That runic chant, with its endless
repetitions, doubtless is heard on any moonlight night in far-off
Iowa. I wish I might join once more in the game--I fear I could not
enjoy 'Hi Spy' even were I invited to join. But I sigh with a curious
longing for something that was mine in those days on the snowy Iowa
plains. What was it? Was it sparkle of winter days? Was it stately
march of moon? Was it the presence of dear friends? Yes; all these and
more--it was Youth!"

Before the century closed, this transplanted Iowan had also written
"Jason Edwards," a story of Iowa politics, "Wayside Courtships,"
"Prairie Folks," "Spirit of Sweetwater," "Trail of the Gold-seekers,"
and scores of short stories first published in the magazines.

Mr. Garland's twentieth century output has been prolific of popular
novels and short stories. His latest book, "A Son of the Middle
Border," is pronounced by William Dean Howells a unique achievement
and ranking well up with the world's best autobiographies.

A new name associated with Iowa at the close of the last century was
that of Emerson Hough. "The Story of the Cowboy" (1897) can hardly be
classed as fiction, and yet it "reads like a romance." Mr. Hough, long
a roving correspondent of _Forest and Stream_, first tried "his
'prentice han'" as a story-writer in "Belle's Roses," a tense story of
army life on the plains.[4] This was followed by several promising
short stories and, in 1902, by "The Mississippi Bubble," a historical
romance of quality founded upon the adventurous career of John Law,
pioneer in the fields of frenzied finance. Three years later came his
"Heart's Desire," a beautiful love story of the Southwest. In 1907
appeared his "Way of a Man" and "Story of the Outlaw." Several other
novels have come from his facile pen. The most severely criticized and
best seller of the series is his "54-40 or Fight," a historical novel
based on the diplomatic controversy over Oregon in 1845-6. Mr. Hough
is the most successful alumnus of Iowa State University in the
difficult field of fiction.

          [4] Midland Monthly, June-July, 1895.

Lingering over the index to the eleven volumes of Iowa's pioneer
magazine, I am tempted to mention in passing several other names that
stand out prominently in the memory of _Midland_ readers.

Mrs. Virginia H. Reichard contributed an interesting paper, "A Glimpse
of Arcadia." Mrs. Caroline M. Hawley gave a valuable illustrated paper
on "American Pottery." Mrs. Addie B. Billington, Mrs. Virginia K.
Berryhill, Mrs. Clara Adele Neidig, and other Iowans contributed to
the poetry in the magazine's columns. Hon. Jonathan P. Dolliver, Hon.
William B. Allison, Gen. James B. Weaver, and many other men prominent
in the public life of Iowa contributed articles of permanent value.
Mrs. Cora Bussey Hillis was the author of "Madame Deserée's Spirit
Rival." Editor Ingham, of the _Register_, then of Algona, Editor
Moorhead, then of Keokuk, now a Des Moines journalist, Minnie Stichter
(Mrs. C. J. Fulton of Fairfield), Mrs. Harriet C. Towner, of Corning,
Charles Eugene Banks, born in Clinton County, now a prominent
journalist and _litterateur_ in Seattle, Dr. J. Foster Bain, then
assistant state geologist, now a resident of London, and one of the
world's most famous consulting geologists, Barthinius L. Wick, of
Cedar Rapids, a voluminous historiographer, are among the many who,
during the last five years of the old century, did their bit toward
putting Iowa on the literary map.

Irving Berdine Richman, of Muscatine, had already written "Appenzell,"
a study of the Swiss, with whom, as consul-general, he had lived for
several years. His _Midland_ sketch, "The Battle of the Stoss," was
followed by a little volume, "John Brown Among the Quakers, and Other
Sketches." But the two great historical works to which he gave years
of enthusiastic research were not published until well on in the
twentieth century. The first of these, "Rhode Island; a Study of
Separation," was honored with an introduction by John Bryce. It was so
well received that the "study" was amplified into a two-volume work,
"Rhode Island; Its Making and Meaning." The second, a work compelling
years of research in old Mexico and Spain, is entitled "California
Under Spain and Mexico." These alone give the Iowa historian an
enviable world-reputation.


LITERARY IOWA IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

Our study of the high places in Iowa literature has already been
somewhat extended into the new century. The transfer of the Iowa
magazine to St. Louis, in 1898, and its speedy suspension thereafter
did not deter many Iowans from continuing to write. Difficult as it
was for our unknowns to find a market for their wares in Eastern
magazines and publishing houses, the persistent few, who knew they had
what the public should want, "knocked" again and again "at the golden
gates of the morning," and in due time the gates were opened unto
them.

Edwin Legrange Sabin's first essay in _Midland_ fiction was "A
Ghostly Carouse,"--full of promise. His first book, "The Magic Mashie
and other Golfish Stories," in common with all his other works, throbs
with the heart of youth. His magazine verse, mainly humorous, has the
same quality. Latterly he has been illuminating history, and
especially the fast-dissolving wild life of the West, with stories
closely adhering to fact and yet rampant with adventure--the kind of
books our outdoor boys take to bed with them! To his readers Kit
Carson, Fremont, Buffalo Bill, are as much alive as are the heroes of
the stadium, the tennis court and the links. But underneath this
delightfully light literature there is well-nigh concealed a poet of
the Swinburne type, as witness this bit of verse:

    "Upon the purple hillside, vintage-stained,
      In drowsy langour brown October lies,
    Like one who has the banquet goblet drained,
      And looks abroad with dream enchanted eyes."[5]

          [5] Country Life in America, October, 1902.

Mrs. Bertha M. Shambaugh's _Midland_ sketch of "Amana Colony; a
Glimpse of the Community of True Inspiration,"[6] suggested something
more than "a glimpse," and in 1908 appeared an exhaustive study of
that "peculiar people," entitled "Amana, the Community of True
Inspiration," a valuable contribution to Iowa history.

          [6] In the Midland Monthly, v. 6, p. 27.

Professor Selden L. Whitcomb, of Grinnell, had previously published
several outlines for the study of literature, but his first volume of
"Lyrical Verse" appeared in 1898. Two other books of poems followed,
one in 1912, the other in 1914. His verse is marked by delicacy of
poetical suggestion and perfection of rhyme and rhythm.

George Meason Whicher, of New York, whose name is now often seen in
_The Continent_ of Chicago, is the author of "From Muscatine and Other
Poems" and of recent prose with Italian and Latin background. Mr.
Whicher is the author of four poems in the _Midland_, all harking back
to the poet's boyhood days in Muscatine, Iowa.

Dr. Frank Irving Herriott, dean of sociology at Drake University, a
voluminous writer on historical and sociological themes, has a long
list of works to his credit, all bearing twentieth century dates
except one published by the American Academy which appeared in 1892.
He wrote for the _Midland_ a strong plea for public libraries, a
plea which, doubtless, had its influence in inaugurating the library
movement in Iowa beginning with the new century.

Another scholar in the sociological field who has made his impression
upon thousands of students and adult readers is Dr. Frank L. McVey,
president of the University of North Dakota. His historical sketch in
the _Midland_, "The Contest in the Maumee Valley," was followed
by other published papers and these by several books on sociological
themes, among them "Modern Industrialism" and "The Making of a Town."

There are few more scholarly literary critics than Welker Given, of
Clinton, Iowa. His Shakespearean and classical studies have won for
him an enviable place among students of the classics.

Mrs. Anna Howell Clarkson, of New York, wife of Hon. J. S. Clarkson,
long prominent in Iowa journalism and in national politics, followed
up her _Midland_ article on "The Evolution of Iowa Politics" with
a book entitled "A Beautiful Life and Its Associations," a tribute of
loving regard to a former teacher and friend, Mrs. Drusilla Alden
Stoddard.

A _critique_ on "Our Later Literature and Robert Browning" in the Iowa
magazine in April, 1897, may, or may not, have turned the current of
Lewis Worthington Smith's whole life; but its critical power made
friends for the Nebraska professor and warmed the welcome given him
when, in 1902, he took up his work in the English department of Drake
University of Des Moines. While Professor Smith has published several
works on language and literature and an acting drama entitled "The Art
of Life," his literary reputation rests mainly upon his poetry. Since
the opening of the new century, volume has followed volume; first
"God's Sunlight," then "In the Furrow," and, in 1916, "The English
Tongue," and "Ships in Port." Many of the poems in the two last
named evince the impact of the World War upon a soul of strong
sensibilities. Tempted to quote whole poems, as showing the wide range
of this poet's vision, I will limit myself to the first stanza of "The
English Tongue":

    "Words that have tumbled and tossed from the Avon and Clyde
    On to where Indus and Ganges pour down to the tide.
    Words that have lived, that have felt, that have gathered and
      grown.
    Words! Is it nothing that no other people have known
    Speech of such myriad voices, so full and so free,
    Song by the fireside and crash of the thunders at sea?"

Jessie Welborn Smith, wife of Professor Smith, is a frequent
contributor of short stories and sketches to popular magazines.

The late Henry Wallace, though for many years an agricultural editor
in Iowa, modestly began his contribution to general literature in
the _Midland_ with a pen-picture of the Scotch-Irish in America.
Subsequently he wrote his "Uncle Henry's Letters to a Farm Boy," which
has run through many editions; also "Trusts and How to Deal With Them"
and "Letters to the Farm-Folk."

Eugene Secor, of Forest City, published poems in the _Midland_ which
were followed by "Verses for Little Folk and Others," "A Glimpse of
Elysium" and "Voices of the Trees."

Helen Hoyt Sherman's modest "Village Romance" led to a long list of
popular books, published since her marriage and under her married
name, Helen Sherman Griffiths. Born in Des Moines, her present home is
in Cincinnati.

Herbert Bashford, born in Sioux City, now living in Washington and
California, contributed to the _Midland_ a half-dozen poems of
much promise. Mr. Bashford is now literary editor of the _San
Francisco Bulletin_ and has several books of poems and several
popular dramas to his credit.

Mrs. Ella Hamilton Durley, of Los Angeles, formerly of Des Moines, a
pioneer president of our Press and Authors' Club, and a prolific
writer for the press, followed her journal and magazine successes with
two novels, "My Soldier Lady" and "Standpatter," a novel of Southern
California love and politics.

Caroline M. Sheldon, Professor of Romance Languages in Grinnell
College, has followed up her _Midland_ study of American poetry with
"Princess and Pilgrim in England," and a translation and study of
Echegary's play, "The Great Galeoto."

Many still recall with interest the realistic serial which ran in the
_Midland_, entitled "The Young Homesteaders," also a number of short
sketches and stories of pioneer life in the West, by Frank Welles
Calkins, then of Spencer, Iowa, now a Minnesotan. Mr. Calkins has
since become a frequent contributor to magazines, and a writer of
books of outdoor life and adventure. His latest novel, "The Wooing of
Takala," appeared in 1907.

One of the marked successes in the world of books and periodicals is
Julia Ellen Rogers, long a teacher of science in Iowa high schools.
While a resident of Des Moines she contributed to the _Midland_ a
descriptive article, "Camping and Climbing in the Big Horn," which
evinced her love of "all outdoors" and her ability to describe what
she saw. Her editorial connection with _Country Life in America_ and
her popular series of nature studies, "Among Green Trees," "Trees
Every Child Should Know," "Earth and Sky," "Wild Animals Every Child
Should Know," have given their author and her books a warm welcome
from Maine to California.

One of the bright particular stars in our firmament, remaining almost
undiscovered until near the close of the century's first decade, is
Arthur Davison Ficke, of Davenport. Circumstances--his father's
eminence at the bar--conspired to make the young poet a lawyer; but he
could not--long at a time--close his ears to the wooing of the muse,
and off he went, at frequent intervals, in hot pursuit of the elusive
Euterpe. Though still a lawyer of record, the inward call of the soul
must soon become too strong to be resisted. _Poeta nascitur._ I can
see the young lawyer-poet in his own "Dream Harbor," and can feel his
glad response to the call from the dream-world:

    "Winds of the South from the sunny beaches
      Under the headland call to me;
    And I am sick for the purple reaches,
      Olive-fringed, by an idle sea.

    "Where low waves of the South are calling
      Out of the silent sapphire bay,
    And slow tides are rising, falling,
      Under the cliffs where the ripples play."

It was natural that the sons of the late Henry Sabin should write
acceptably. Though slightly older in years, Elbridge H. Sabin is
younger in literature than his brother "Ed." The first decade of the
new century was well advanced before Elbridge turned his attention
from law to literature. The brief touch of life in the open given him
while soldiering during the Spanish-American war may have suggested
the change in his career. His first essay in authorship was "Early
American History for Young Americans" (1904). He then turned his gaze
skyward and in 1907 appeared "Stella's Adventures in Starland."
Fairyland next invited him and in 1910 appeared "The Magical Man of
Mirth," soon followed by "The Queen of the City of Mirth." In 1913
appeared his "Prince Trixie."

James B. Weaver, son of General Weaver, another lawyer with the poet
soul, but with a somewhat firmer hold on "the things that are," has
written much prose which only requires the touch of the _vers
libre_ editor to turn it into poetry. His appreciation of Kipling
and other poets and his fine character-sketches, as for example that
of Martin Burke, pioneer stage-driver and farmer, are remembered with
delight. Just once, many years ago, when, a happy father, he looked
for the first time upon his "Baby Boy," the poet in his nature
obtained the upper hand of the lawyer and he wrote:

    "O golden head! O sunny heart!
    Forever joyous be thy part
    In this fair world; and may no care
    Cut short thy youth, and may no snare
    Entrap thy feet! I pray thee, God,
    For smoother paths than I have trod."[7]

          [7] Midland Monthly, March, 1897.

Mr. Weaver was president of the Iowa Press and Authors Club in 1914-15
and the success of the famous Iowa Authors' Homecoming in October,
1914, was in large measure due to his untiring efforts.

In that Great American Desert of "free verse," the Chicago magazine,
_Poetry_, the persistent seeker can find here and there an oasis
that will well repay his search. One of these surprises is a poem
entitled "The Wife,"[8] by Mrs. Helen Cowles LeCron, of Des Moines. It
is the plea of a longing soul for relief from the "sullen silence,"
and the "great gaunt shadows" of the "shaggy mountains," and for a
return to "the gentle land," and to "the careless hours when life was
very sweet." Mrs. LeCron is a prolific writer of clever and timely
verse for the press, and is a poet of many possibilities.

          [8] Poetry, Chicago, June, 1913.

Honoré Willsie (whose maiden name is Dunbar) was born in Ottumwa,
Iowa, is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, and is a resident
of New York City. To her able editorship may be attributed the new
literary quality of _The Delineator_. It was Mrs. Willsie's
varied successes as a writer of papers on social problems, sketches,
short stories and serials which won for her the literary editorship of
that popular periodical. Her success as a novelist mainly rests upon
"Heart of the Desert," "Still Jim," and "Lydia of the Pines," all
published within the last four years, and each stronger than its
predecessor.

A successful art publisher and an enthusiastic traveler, Thomas D.
Murphy, a native Iowan, long a resident of Red Oak, is the author of a
group of well-written and profusely illustrated books of travel, all
written within the last decade, as follows: "British Highways and
Byways"; "In Unfamiliar England"; "Three Wonderlands of the American
West"; "On Old-World Highways"; and "On Sunset Highways."

Allan Updegraff is a born Iowan whose fame has come early in life. His
"Second Youth" (1917) is winning praise from the critics as "an
agreeable contrast with the stuffy bedroom atmosphere" of many books
of the period, as refreshingly "modest humor," and as having "touches
of characterization and serious feeling" which keep up the interest to
the close.

Among the native Iowans who have distinguished themselves in
literature is Willis George Emerson, of Denver, born near Blakesburg,
Iowa. Mr. Emerson is author of "Buell Hampton," and a half-dozen other
novels, the latest, "The Treasure of Hidden Mountain," also a hundred
or more sketches and stories of travel.

Of the well-known authors who, during the impressionable years of
their youth resided for a time in Iowa, the most famous is "Mark
Twain" (Samuel L. Clemens) who, after his _wanderjahr_, in the late
summer of 1854, took the "Keokuk Packet" and landed in Muscatine,
Iowa, and there became the guest of his brother, Orrin, and his
sister, Jane. Early in the spring of '55, his brother meantime having
married and removed to Keokuk, Iowa, he paid his brother another
visit. Orrin offered him five dollars a week and board to remain and
help him in his printing office. The offer was promptly accepted. The
Keokuk episode extended over a period of nearly two years, "two vital
years, no doubt, if all the bearings could be known." Here he made his
first after-dinner speech, which delighted his audience. Here he made
a record in a debating society. Unable to pay his brother his wages,
Orrin took him in as a partner! A lucky find of a fifty-dollar bill
enabled Twain to start on his travels. Meanwhile he contracted to
write travel sketches for the Keokuk _Saturday Post_. His first letter
was dated "Cincinnati, November 14, 1856." "It was written in the
exaggerated dialect then considered humorous. The genius that a little
more than ten years later would delight the world flickered feebly
enough at twenty-one."[9] A second letter concluded the series! Years
later, just before he joined the Holy Land excursion out of which grew
his "Innocents Abroad," he visited Keokuk and delivered a lecture. He
came again after his return from the trip, on his triumphal lecture
tour across the continent. Years later he and Cable gave readings in
Keokuk, and while there he arranged a permanent residence for his
mother. In 1886, with his wife and daughter, he paid his mother a
visit, renewing old acquaintances and making new friends. In August,
1890, he was called to Keokuk by the last illness of his mother. It
will thus be seen that, next to his home in Elmira, New York, his
"heart's home" was Keokuk.

          [9] Paine--Life of "Mark Twain."

Nixon Waterman, author, journalist and lecturer, born in Newark,
Illinois, and long a resident of Boston, was for several years an
attaché of a small daily paper in Creston, Iowa. Among his published
works is a comedy entitled "Io, from Iowa." In his several books of
verse are many poems evidently inspired by memories of old times on
the prairies of southwestern Iowa. Here is an echo from the poet's
lost youth:

      "Strange how Memory will fling her
      Arms about some scenes we bring her,
    And the fleeting years but make them fonder grow;
      Though I wander far and sadly
      From that dear old home, how gladly
    I recall the cherished scenes of long ago!"[10]

          [10] "Memories" from "A Book of Verses," by Nixon Waterman,
          1900.

William Otis Lillibridge, of Sioux Falls, whose brilliant career as a
novelist was closed by death in 1909, was graduated from the College
of Dentistry, State University of Iowa, in 1898. His "Ben Blair" and
"Where the Trail Divides," gave abundant promise.

Randall Parish, though born in Illinois, was admitted to the bar in
Iowa, and for a time was engaged in newspaper work in Sioux City.
Since 1904, when he leaped into fame by his historical novel, "When
Wilderness Was King," volume after volume has come from the press and
every one has met with quick response from the public.

It is hard to account for Herbert Quick. Born on a farm in Grundy
County, Iowa, a teacher in Mason City and elsewhere in Iowa, a lawyer
in Sioux City, mayor of Sioux City for three terms, a telephone
manager, editor of _La Follette's Weekly_, editor of _Farm and
Fireside_, democratic politician, at present an active member of
the Federal Farm Loan Board--with all this record of service, Mr.
Quick has somehow found time, since 1904, to make for himself a name
and fame as a magazine contributor, and, too, as a novelist who writes
novels so novel that they find thousands of readers! Among his best
known books are "Aladdin & Co," "Virginia of the Air Lanes," and "On
Board the Good Ship Earth." Mr. Quick is preeminently a twentieth
century man of affairs. Immersed as he now is in farm loans, it would
not surprise his friends at any time if he were to issue another
compelling novel!

Rupert Hughes, eminently successful as a novelist and dramatist,
though Missouri-born, was for years a resident of Keokuk, Iowa, and
his Iowa associations were so strong that he dropped everything to
come halfway across the continent that he might participate in the
reunion of Iowa authors in 1914. Mr. Hughes' books are among the
best-selling and his plays among the best-drawing. This popular author
has turned soldier. He was an officer of the New York National Guards
in Mexico and again when war against Germany was declared he was among
the first to respond to the call for troops.

Dr. Edward A. Steiner, of Grinnell, Iowa, a sociologist with a vision,
has done more than any other man to bring together in friendly working
relationship our native-born and foreign-born Americans. He has not
only gone up and down the earth preaching an applied Christianity, but
he has also written into nearly a dozen books, all of which have had
many readers, his own experiences in the old world and the new, and
his valuable observations--those of a trained sociologist bent upon
righting the wrongs of ignorance and selfishness as he has found them
embedded in customs and laws. The World War has opened a large field
of usefulness for the Grinnell preacher of national and international
righteousness.

Newell Dwight Hillis, the popular Brooklyn preacher, lecturer and
author, was born in Maquoketa, Iowa, but has spent most of his life
outside the state.

A new name in fictional literature is that of Ethel Powelson Hueston.
Mrs. Hueston was reared in a family of eleven children, and her
popular first book, "Prudence of the Parsonage," written on a claim in
Idaho while caring for her invalid husband--who died in 1915--is the
story of her own experience in a parsonage in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.
"Prudence Says So" is a continuation of the story. Mrs. Hueston was
recently married to Lieutenant Edward J. Best, at Golden, Colorado.

Margaret Coulson Walker and Ida M. Huntington, both of Des Moines,
have added to the information and delight of children by a number of
illustrated books. Miss Walker's "Bird Legends and Life," and "Lady
Hollyhock and Her Friends," and Miss Huntington's "Garden of Heart's
Delight," and "Peter Pumpkin in Wonderland" are favorites with many.

Miss Emilie Blackmore Stapp, literary editor of the _Des Moines
Capital_, has written a number of popular stories for children. Her
"Squaw Lady," "Uncle Peter Heathen," and "The Trail of the Go-Hawks"
have found many readers. She has done more than write stories. She has
organized a national club called the "Go-Hawks Happy Tribe," and the
Tribe has undertaken to raise a million pennies to help buy food for
starving children in France and Belgium. The grand total of pennies
reported September, 1917, was 255,000!

Edna Ferber, of "Emma McChesney" fame, and the author of a half-dozen
clever novels, the latest of which is "Fanny Herself," was born in
Wisconsin, but spent much of her youth in Ottumwa, Iowa, where her
father was a successful merchant.

Oney Fred Sweet, born in Hampton, Iowa, and sometime a journalist in
Des Moines, has made a national reputation as a feature writer on the
_Chicago Tribune_ and as a contributor of verse and sketches to the
magazines.

Laura L. Hinckley, of Mount Vernon, Iowa, is a frequent contributor to
the leading magazines. Recent stories in the _Saturday Evening Post_
and in the _Woman's Home Companion_ attest her ability in a difficult
field.

A promising young claimant for literary honors is (Lotta) Allen
Meachem, of New York, born in Washington County, Iowa. Following
several good stories in the magazines, comes her "Belle Jones--A Story
of Fulfilment," published by Dutton.

Eleanor Hoyt Brainerd, born in Iowa City, now a resident of New York,
was in early life a teacher, but since 1898 has been on the staff of
the _New York Sun_. Her "Misdemeanors of Nancy," in 1892, was the
beginning of a successful career in authorship. Her "Nancy," "Bettina"
and "Belinda" are better known to many than are their own next door
neighbors.

Men who have not learned to deny the eternal boy in their nature find
as much enjoyment as boys themselves in reading "Widow O'Callahan's
Boys," and everybody enjoys "Maggie McLanehan," both creations of
Gulielma Zollinger, of Newton, Iowa. Three other books, not so well
known, are added to the list of Miss Zollinger's achievements in
literature.

Mrs. Elizabeth (Eslick) Cooper, born in Homer, Iowa, has spent most of
her adult life in the Orient and is an authority on the status of
women in Oriental lands. She is the author of "Sayonara," a play
produced by Maxine Elliot, of many magazine articles, and of a half
dozen books, all published since 1910. Her books are vivid pictures of
life in China, Egypt, Turkey and Japan.

Among the most prominent magazine writers and journalists of the
period is Judson Welliver. He several years ago graduated from Iowa
journalism to the larger field, the national capital, and has latterly
become one of the regular contributors to _Munsey's_, and a frequent
contributor to other periodicals.

Another prominent magazine writer is Joe Mitchell Chapple, early in
life editor of a La Porte, Iowa, weekly. Mr. Chapple is the founder,
publisher and editor of the _National Magazine_, Boston, and the
author of "Boss Bart," a novel, and editor of a popular collection of
verse.

One of the youngest magazine writers forging to the front is Horace M.
Towner, Jr., of Corning, Iowa, son of Congressman Towner. A long list
might be made of his recent contributions to the leading magazines.

A group of new writers, some of them Iowans, have happily been given a
medium for reaching the public through the new _Midland_, of Iowa
City. Mr. Frederick, the editor, has in the main evinced excellent
judgment in the selection of stories, sketches and verse, and has won
commendation from our severest Eastern critics. The new _Midland_ has,
doubtless, started not a few middle-western authors on their way to
the front in the field of literature.

The World War has already added the names of several Iowans to the
literature of the great struggle. The best known is James Norman Hall,
of Colfax, Iowa, whose "Kitchener's Mob" and articles in the
_Atlantic_ have added greatly to popular knowledge of conditions
at the front. Already twice wounded, the first time in the trenches;
the latest--may it be the last!--in the air, this brave young American
can well say with Virgil, "all of which I saw and part of which I
was." After his discharge from the English army, Mr. Hall went abroad
commissioned to do literary work for Houghton, Mifflin & Company; but
his zeal for the cause of the Allies, combined possibly with a young
man's love of adventure, led him to re-enter the service, this time in
the Aviation Corps. He is now (in September, 1917) slowly recovering
from a shot which penetrated his left lung.

The Gleasons, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Gleason, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and
of New York City, have both won honors in the Red Cross work in
Belgium and incidentally have made valuable contributions to the
"human interest" story of the World War. Mrs. Helen Hayes Gleason was
the first American woman knighted by King Albert for meritorious
service at the front. Mr. Gleason in his "Young Hilda at the Wars"
begins his charming story of Hilda with this tribute to the state in
which his wife first saw the light:

"She was an American girl from the very prosperous State of Iowa,
which if not as yet the mother of presidents, is at least the parent
of many exuberant and useful persons. Will power is grown out yonder
as one of the crops."

"Golden Lads," by Mr. and Mrs. Gleason, is a vivid recital of
experiences with the Hector Munro Ambulance Corps at the front in
Belgium.

Though the evaluations in this review are confined chiefly to _belles
lettres_, it would not be fair to the reader to omit the state's large
indebtedness to Dr. B. F. Shambaugh and his scholarly associates of
the State Historical Society, of Iowa City, for their many valuable
contributions to the general, social and economic history of Iowa; to
Dr. Jesse Macy, of Grinnell, for his valuable studies in the science
of government; to the late Samuel Calvin, also to Dr. Thomas H.
McBride, of the State University, Dr. Louis H. Pammel, of the State
College, and Dr. Charles Keyes, of Des Moines, for their contributions
to science; to Dr. Charles H. Weller, of the State University, for his
"Athens and Its Monuments," and other works throwing light upon an
ancient civilization; to George E. Roberts, of New York, a native
Iowan, for his clear elucidation of national and world problems; to
the late Judges Kinne, Deemer and MacLean, and other jurists for
standard works on jurisprudence; to Carl Snyder, Woods Hutchinson and
a host of other Iowans who are contributing to the current literature
of our time.

This review, incomplete at best, would be unfair to the president of
the Iowa Press and Authors Club were it to conclude without mention of
the inspiration of her leadership. Mrs. Alice Wilson Weitz began life
as a journalist at the Iowa State Capital. In the course of her busy
and successful later career as wife, mother and public-spirited
citizen, she has somehow found time to write on literary and timely
themes. Her latest contribution to the state of her birth is a
scenario entitled "The Wild Rose of Iowa" which was to have been
produced on the screen in all the cities of the state; but,
unfortunately, the film, prepared with great labor and expense, and
with the aid of some of the best dramatic talent in Iowa, was
destroyed or lost on the way from Chicago to Des Moines. It is to be
hoped that this may soon be reproduced, for Mrs. Weitz' scenario
admirably presented in symbol the whole story of Iowa's wonderful
development from savagery to twentieth-century civilization.

A list of Iowa State University publications--a pamphlet of forty-one
pages--includes hundreds of monographs, dissertations, etc., covering
a wide range of original research.

It must have become evident from this incomplete review that Iowa is
literarily, to say the least, no longer inarticulate. It is equally
apparent, to those who really know their Iowa, that, far from being a
dead level of uninteresting prosperity, our state is rich in
suggestive literary material, ready and waiting for the authors of the
future. Topographically, Iowa abounds in surprises. In the midst of
her empire of rich rolling prairie are lakes and rivers, rugged cliffs
and wooded hills, villages and cities set upon hills overlooking
beautiful valleys through which streams wind their way seaward, her
east and west borders defended by castellated rocks overlooking our
two great rivers. Ethnologically, within these borders are communities
of blanket Indians still living in wigwams, surrounded by communities
in which are practiced all the arts of an advanced civilization.
Sociologically, side by side with her native-born and native-bred
citizens, are communities of Christian Socialists, also remnants of a
French experiment in Communism, Quakers, Mennonites, anti-polygamous
Mormons, and whole regions in which emigrants from Holland, Germany
and Scandinavia are slowly and surely acquiring American habits of
thought and life. Historically speaking, we have the early and late
pioneer period with its rapid adjustment to new conditions, with its
multiform perils developing latent heroism, its opportunities for
character-building and for public service. Later the heroic period,
during which a peace-loving people quit the plow, the workshop, the
country store, the office and even the pulpit, to rally to the defence
of the Union. Then, the reconstruction and the new-construction
period, in which Iowa prospered under the leadership of _men_--men who
knew their duties as well as their rights, men who recognized, and
insisted upon recognition of, that "sovereign law, the state's
collected will." And now, an epoch of reviving patriotism coupled with
a world-embracing passion for democracy, in which the youths and young
men of the state are consecrating their strength, their talents and
their lives to a great cause.





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