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Title: McClure's Magazine, Vol. XXXI, September 1908, No. 5
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "McClure's Magazine, Vol. XXXI, September 1908, No. 5" ***

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Transcriber's Note: Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.

       *       *       *       *       *







[TRANSLATOR'S NOTE.] The suppressed memoirs of General Kuropatkin are
in four bulky volumes and contain, in the aggregate, about 600,000
words. The first three volumes are devoted, mainly, to a detailed
review of the three great battles of the Russo-Japanese war--Liao-yang,
the Sha-ho, and Mukden--from the standpoint of modern military science.
The fourth volume, which is entitled "Summing up of the War," covers a
very wide field, dealing partly with Russia's national problems, her
military history, and her policy in Asia, and partly with the causes of
the late war, the rise of Japan as a military power, and the reasons
for the overwhelming defeat of Russia's armies in the Far East.

_Copyright, 1908, by The S. S. McClure Co. All rights reserved_


I have chosen, as the subject for this article, General Kuropatkin's
narrative of the events which preceded the rupture with Japan, in
February, 1904, and which may be regarded, historically, as the causes
of the war that ensued. It contains many new facts, and throws a flood
of light upon Russian governmental methods, upon Russia's Asiatic
policy, and upon the character of the monarch who now sits on the
Russian throne.

Kuropatkin begins this part of his work with a review of Russia's
policy and territorial acquisitions in the Far East, which may be
briefly summarized as follows: The question of obtaining an outlet on
the Pacific Ocean was theoretically considered in Russia long ago;
and the conclusion reached was that, in view of the sparseness of
Russia's population east of Lake Baikal, and the insignificance of her
commerce, foreign and domestic, in that part of the world, the task of
getting access to the Pacific, which might involve a serious struggle,
ought not to be imposed upon the existing generation. An outlet was
not needed at that time, and it is not needed yet. The Russian War
Department, moreover, has always regarded with apprehension, and as far
as possible combatted, the opinion that "Russia is the most western of
Asiatic states, not the most eastern of European," and that all her
future lies beyond the Urals.



Prior to the Japanese-Chinese war, nobody questioned that the
trans-Siberian railway should follow a route inside of Russian
territory; but the weakness shown by China in 1894-5 suggested a new
project, namely, to carry the road through Manchuria and thus shorten
it by five hundred versts. General Dukhovski, governor-general of
the Pri-Amur and commander of the forces in that territory, opposed
this project, and pointed out that a line crossing the boundaries of
China would not connect the Pri-Amur with European Russia securely,
and would benefit the Chinese rather than the Russian population. His
opinion was not approved, and this railroad, which had for Russia
such immense importance, was carried through a foreign country. This
change of route, which proved to be so unfortunate, was the first
striking proof of the fact that Russia, in the Far East, had begun
a policy of energetic action. The occupation of Port Arthur, the
foundation of Dalny, the construction of the southern branch of the
railway, the formation of a commercial fleet on the Pacific, and the
timber enterprise of State Councillor Bezobrazoff on the Yalu River in
northern Korea, were all links of one and the same chain, which was to
unite permanently the destinies of Russia and the destinies of the Far
East--and thus bring gain to Russia.

"There is a prevalent opinion," says Kuropatkin, "that if we had
confined ourselves to the construction of the main trans-Siberian road,
even though we built a part of it through northern Manchuria, there
would have been no war; that the war was caused by our occupation of
Port Arthur and Mukden, and, more particularly, by the Bezobrazoff
timber enterprise in Korea. There is also an opinion, held by others,
that the building of the main line through northern Manchuria should be
regarded not merely as the first of our active enterprises in the Far
East, but as the basis and foundation of them all, because if we had
carried the road along the Amur, through our own territory, we should
never have thought of occupying the southern part of Manchuria and the
province of Kwang-tung."

After reviewing the Boxer uprising, the occupation of Manchuria by
Russian troops for the protection of the railway, and the treaty
agreement with China to evacuate southern Manchuria by April 8,
1903, and northern Manchuria within six months thereafter, General
Kuropatkin, who was at that time Minister of War, begins his narrative
of later events as follows:




Prior to the conclusion of the treaty with China, in April, 1902,
there was a difference of opinion between the commander of Kwang-tung
(Admiral Alexeieff) and myself, as to the expediency of evacuating
Manchuria, and the importance to us of the southern part of that
country. I believed that occupation of southern Manchuria would bring
us no profit, but, on the contrary, would involve us in trouble with
Japan on one side, through our nearness to Korea, and with China on
the other, through our possession of Mukden. I therefore regarded
the speedy evacuation of southern Manchuria and Mukden as a matter
of extreme necessity. Admiral Alexeieff, on the other hand, as the
commander of Kwang-tung, had reason to contend that occupation of
southern Manchuria was important because it insured the safety of
railroad communication between Kwang-tung and Russia.

This difference of opinion, however, ended with the ratification of the
Russo-Chinese treaty of March 26, 1902 (April 8, N. S.). By the terms
of that convention, our troops--with the exception of those guarding
the railway--were to be removed, within specified periods, from all
parts of Manchuria, southern as well as northern. This settlement of
the question, was a great relief to the War Department, because it held
out the hope of a "return to the West" in our military affairs. In the
first period of six months, we were to evacuate the western part of
southern Manchuria, from Shan-hai-kuan to the river Liao; and this we
punctually did. In the second period of six months, we were to remove
our troops from the rest of the province of Mukden, including the
cities of Mukden and Yinkow (New Chwang).

[Illustration: SERGIUS DE WITTE


The War Department regarded the agreement to evacuate the province of
Mukden with approval, and made energetic preparations to carry it into
effect. Barracks for the soldiers to be withdrawn were hastily erected
between Blagovestchensk and Vladivostok, in the Pri-Amur country; plans
of transportation were drawn up and approved; the movement of troops
had begun; and Mukden had actually been evacuated; when, suddenly,
everything was stopped by order of Admiral Alexeieff, the commander
of Kwang-tung, whose reasons for taking such action have not, to this
day, been sufficiently cleared up.[1] It is definitely known, however,
that the change in policy which stopped the withdrawal of troops from
southern Manchuria corresponded in time with the first visit to the
Far East of State Councillor Bezobrazoff, retired. Mukden, which we
had already evacuated, was reoccupied, as was also the city of Yinkow
(New Chwang). The Yalu timber enterprise assumed more importance than
ever, and in order to give support to it, and to our other undertakings
in northern Korea, Admiral Alexeieff, commander of Kwang-tung, sent a
force of cavalry with field guns to Feng-wang-cheng.[2] Thus, instead
of completing the evacuation of southern Manchuria, we moved into parts
of it that we had never before occupied. At the same time, we allowed
operations in connection with the Korean timber enterprise to go on,
despite the fact that the promoters of this enterprise, contrary to
instructions from St. Petersburg, were striving to give it a political
and military character.

There is good reason to affirm that the unexpected change of policy
that put a stop to the evacuation of the province of Mukden was an
event of immense importance. So long as we held to our intention of
withdrawing all our troops from Manchuria (except the railway guard and
a small force at Kharbin), and so long as we refrained from invading
Korea with our enterprises, there was little danger of a break with
Japan; but we were brought alarmingly nearer to a rupture with that
Power when, contrary to our agreement with China, we left our troops
in southern Manchuria, and when, in the promotion of our timber
enterprise, we entered northern Korea. The uncertainty, moreover, with
regard to our intentions, alarmed not only China and Japan, but even
England, America, and other Powers.

[Illustration: COUNT LAMSDORFF


_Witte Creates the Port of Dalny_

In the early part of 1903, our situation in the Far East became
very much involved. The interests of the Pri-Amur were thrown
completely into the background, and General Dukhovski, the military
commander and governor-general of that territory, was wholly
ignored in the consideration and decision of the most important
questions of Far Eastern policy. Meanwhile, in Manchuria--on
Chinese territory--enterprises involving many millions of rubles
were undertaken and carried on by virtue of authority that was
wholly special. The Minister of Finance (M. Witte) was building
and managing there a railroad about two thousand versts in length;
he had the direction of a whole army corps of railway guards; he
was trying to increase the economic importance of the railway by
running in connection with it a fleet of sea-going steamers; he had
on the Manchurian rivers a flotilla of smaller vessels, some of
which carried guns and gunners; and in military matters he was so
independent of the War Department that, without consulting the latter,
he even selected and purchased abroad the artillery for the railway
guard. Vladivostok, as a terminus, no longer seemed to satisfy the
requirements of an international transit line, so, regardless of the
fact that the province of Kwang-tung was subject to the authority of
the provincial commander, M. Witte, without consulting either the
latter or the Minister of War, located and created therein the spacious
port of Dalny. The enormous sums of money spent there only lessened
the importance and weakened the strength of Port Arthur, because it
was necessary either to fortify Dalny, or prepare to have it seized
by an enemy and used as a base of operations against us--a thing that
afterward happened. Finally, the Minister of Finance managed the
affairs of the Russo-Chinese Bank, and had at Peking, Seoul, and other
points, his own agents (in Peking, Pokotiloff).

_Incredible Schemes of Promoter Bezobrazoff_

It thus appears that in 1903 M. Witte controlled or directed in the Far
East not only railroads, but corps of troops, a fleet of commercial
steamers, armed river boats, the port of Dalny, and the Russo-Chinese
Bank. At the same time, Bezobrazoff and his company were developing
their enterprises in Manchuria and Korea, and promoting, by every
possible means, their timber speculation on the Yalu. One incredible
scheme of Bezobrazoff followed another; and in the summer of 1903 there
was submitted to me for examination a project of his which provided
for the immediate concentration in southern Manchuria of an army of
70,000 men. His aim was to utilize the timber company as a means of
creating a sort of "screen," or barrier against a possible attack
upon us by the Japanese, and in 1902-1903 his activity, and that of
his adherents, assumed a very alarming form. Among the requests that
he made of Admiral Alexeieff were, to send into Korean territory six
hundred soldiers in civilian dress; to organize for service in the
same locality a force of three thousand Khunkhuzes[3]; to give the
agents of the timber company the support of four companies of chasseurs
(six hundred mounted riflemen) to be stationed at Shakhedze, on the
Yalu; and to occupy Feng-wang-cheng with a body of troops capable of
acting independently. Admiral Alexeieff denied some of these requests,
but, unfortunately, he consented to station one company of chasseurs
(one hundred and fifty mounted riflemen) at Shakhedze, and to send a
regiment of Cossack cavalry, with field guns, to Feng-wang-cheng. These
measures were particularly serious and injurious to us, for the reason
that they were taken at the very time when we were under obligations to
evacuate the province of Mukden altogether.

The Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs, and War (Witte, Lamsdorff
and Kuropatkin) all recognized the danger that would threaten us if we
continued to defer fulfilment of our promise to evacuate Manchuria,
and, more especially, if we failed to put an end to Bezobrazoff's
activity in Korea. These three Ministers, therefore, procured the
appointment of a special council, which assembled in St. Petersburg on
the 5th of April, 1903 (April 18, N. S.), and took into consideration
certain propositions which Bezobrazoff had made to its members
separately in writing. These propositions had for their object the
strengthening of Russia's strategic position in the basin of the Yalu.
All three of the Ministers above designated expressed themselves
firmly and definitely in opposition to Bezobrazoff's proposals, and
all agreed that if his enterprise on the Yalu were to be sustained,
it must be upon a strictly commercial basis. The Minister of Finance
showed conclusively that, for the next five or ten years, Russia's
task in the Far East must be to tranquilize the country and bring to
completion the work already undertaken there. He said, furthermore,
that although the views of the different departments of the Government
were not always precisely the same, there had never been--so far as
the Ministers of War, Foreign Affairs, and Finance were concerned--any
conflict of action. The Minister of Foreign Affairs pointed out,
particularly, the danger involved in Bezobrazoff's proposal to stop the
withdrawal of troops from Manchuria.

[Illustration: _Copyright, 1905, by Underwood & Underwood_



[Illustration: _Copyright, 1904, by Underwood & Underwood_



_The Tsar Takes Action_

It pleased His Imperial Majesty to say, after he had listened to
these expressions of opinion, that war with Japan was extremely
undesirable, and that we must endeavor to restore in Manchuria a state
of tranquillity. The company formed for the purpose of exploiting the
timber on the river Yalu must be a strictly commercial organization,
must admit foreigners who desired to participate, and must exclude
all ranks of the army. I was then ordered to proceed to the Far East,
for the purpose of acquainting myself, on the ground, with our needs,
and ascertaining what the state of mind was in Japan. In the latter
country, where I met with the most cordial and kind-hearted reception,
I became convinced that the Government desired to avoid a rupture with
Russia, but that it would be necessary for us to act in a perfectly
definite way in Manchuria, and to refrain from interference in the
affairs of Korea. If we should go on with the adventure of Bezobrazoff
& Co., we should be threatened with conflict. These conclusions I
telegraphed to St. Petersburg. After my departure from that city,
however, the danger of a rupture with Japan, on account of Korea, had
increased considerably--especially when, on the 7th of May, 1903 (May
20, N. S.), the Minister of Finance announced that "after having had
an explanation from State Councillor Bezobrazoff, he (the Minister) was
not in disagreement with him, so far as the essence of the matter was

In the council that was held at Port Arthur, when I arrived there,
Admiral Alexeieff, Lessar,[4] Pavloff,[5] and I cordially agreed that
the Yalu enterprise should have a purely commercial character, and
I said, furthermore, that, in my opinion, it ought to be abandoned
altogether. I brought about the recall of several army officers who
were taking part in it, and suggested to Lieutenant Colonel Madritoff,
who was managing the military and political side of it, that he either
resign his commission or give up employment which, in my judgment, was
not suitable for an officer wearing the uniform of the General Staff.
He chose the former alternative.

In view of the repeated assurances given me by Admiral Alexeieff that
he was wholly opposed to Bezobrazoff's schemes; that he was holding
them back with all his strength; and that he was a convinced advocate
of a peaceful Russo-Japanese agreement, I left Port Arthur for St.
Petersburg, in July, 1903 (O. S.), fully believing that the avoidance
of a rupture with Japan was a matter entirely within our control. The
results of my visit to the Far East were embodied in a special report
to the Emperor, submitted July 24th, 1903 (August 6, N. S.), in which,
with absolute frankness, I expressed the opinion that if we did not
put an end to the uncertain state of affairs in Manchuria, and to the
adventurous activity of Bezobrazoff in Korea, we must expect a rupture
with Japan. Copies of this report were sent to the Minister of Foreign
Affairs and the Minister of Finance, and met with their approval.

_Kuropatkin's Protest Criticised_

By some means unknown to me, this report was given publicity; and on
the 11th of June, 1905 (June 24, N. S.), the newspaper _Razsvet_
printed an article, by one Roslavleff, entitled "Which is the Greater?"
the object of which was to prove that I must be included among the
persons responsible for the rupture with Japan, because, through fear
of Bezobrazoff, I signed the minutes of the Port Arthur council which
put the Yalu enterprise under the protection of Russian troops and thus
stopped the evacuation of Manchuria.[6] This article has been reprinted
by many Russian and foreign journals, and there has never been any
refutation of the misstatements that it contains with regard to my
alleged action in signing certain fantastic minutes. M. Roslavleff
quotes from my report to the Emperor the following sentences and

"Our actions in the basin of the Yalu and our behavior in Manchuria
have excited in Japan a feeling of hostility to us, which, upon our
taking any incautious step, may lead to war.... State Secretary
Bezobrazoff's plan of operations, if carried out, will inevitably lead
to a violation of the agreement that we made with China on the 26th
of March, 1902 (April 8, N. S.), and will also cause, inevitably,
complications with Japan.... The activity of State Secretary
Bezobrazoff, toward the end of last year and at the beginning of
this, has practically brought about already a violation of the treaty
with China and a breach with Japan.... At the request of Bezobrazoff,
Admiral Alexeieff sent a force of chasseurs to Shakhedze (on the Yalu)
and kept a body of troops in Feng-wang-cheng. These measures put a
stop to the evacuation of the province of Mukden.... Among other
participants in the Yalu enterprise who have given trouble to Admiral
Alexeieff is Actual State Councillor Balasheff, who has a disposition
quite as warlike as that of Bezobrazoff. If Admiral Alexeieff had not
succeeded in intercepting a dispatch from Balasheff to Captain Bodisco,
with regard to 'catching all the Japanese,' 'punishing them publicly,'
and 'taking action with volleys,' there would have been a bloody
episode on the Yalu before this time.[7] Unfortunately, it is liable
to happen any day, even now.... During my stay in Japan, I had an
opportunity to see with what nervous apprehension the people regarded
our activity on the Yalu, how they exaggerated our intentions, and how
they were preparing to defend, with arms, their Korean interests. Our
active operations there have convinced them that Russia is now about
to proceed to the second part of her Far Eastern program--that, having
swallowed Manchuria, she is getting ready to gulp down Korea. The
excitement in Japan is such that if Admiral Alexeieff had not shown
wise caution--if he had allowed all the proposals of Bezobrazoff to
go through--we should probably be at war with Japan now. There is no
reason whatever to suppose that a few officers and soldiers, cutting
timber on the Yalu, will be of any use in a war with Japan. Their value
is trifling in comparison with the danger that the timber enterprise
creates by keeping up the excitement among the Japanese people....
Suffice it to say that, in the opinion of Admiral Alexeieff, and of our
ministers in Peking, Seoul, and Tokio, the timber enterprise may be the
cause of war; and in this opinion I fully concur."

After quoting the above sentences and paragraphs from my report, M.
Roslavleff says: "Thus warmly, eloquently, and shrewdly did Kuropatkin
condemn the Yalu adventure, and thus clearly did he see, on the
political horizon, the ruinous consequences that it would have for
Russia. But why did not this bold and clear-sighted accuser protest
against the decision of the Port Arthur council? Why, after making a
few caustic remarks about Bezobrazoff, did he sign the minutes of the
council which put the Yalu adventure under the protection of Russian
troops, and thus stopped the evacuation of Manchuria? Why? Simply
because, at that time, everybody was afraid of Bezobrazoff."

Such accusations, which have had wide publicity, require an explanation.

The council held at Port Arthur, in June, 1903, was called for the
purpose of finding, if possible, some means of settling the Manchurian
question without lowering the dignity of Russia. There were present at
this council, in addition to Admiral Alexeieff and myself, Actual State
Councillor Lessar, Russian minister in China; Chamberlain Pavloff,
Russian minister in Seoul; Major General Vogak; State Councillor
Bezobrazoff; and M. Plançon, an officer of the diplomatic service. We
were all acquainted with the will of the Emperor that our enterprises
in the Far East should not lead to war, and we had to devise means of
carrying the Imperial will into effect. With regard to such means there
were differences of opinion; but upon fundamental questions there was
complete agreement. Among such fundamental questions were:

1. The Manchurian question.

On the 20th of June (July 3, N. S.) the council expressed its judgment
with regard to this question as follows: "In view of the extraordinary
difficulties and enormous administrative expenses that the annexation
of Manchuria would involve, all the members of the council agree that
it is, in principle, undesirable; and this conclusion applies not only
to Manchuria as a whole, but also to its northern part."

2. The Korean question.

On the 19th of June (July 2, N. S.) the council decided that the
occupation of the whole of Korea, or even of the northern part, would
be unprofitable to Russia, and therefore undesirable. Our activity
in the basin of the Yalu, moreover, might give Japan reason to fear
a seizure by us of the northern part of the peninsula. On the 24th
of June (July 7, N. S.) the council invited Actual State Councillor
Balasheff and Lieutenant Colonel Madritoff, of the General Staff, to
appear before it, and explain the status of the Yalu enterprise. From
their testimony it appeared that the business was legally organized,
the company holding permits from the Chinese authorities to cut timber
on the northern side of the Yalu, and a concession from the Korean
Government covering the southern side. Although the enterprise lost,
to some extent, its provocative character, after the conclusions of
the St. Petersburg council of April 5, 1903 (April 18, N. S.) became
known in the province of Kwang-tung, its operations could not yet be
regarded as purely commercial. Its affairs were managed by Lieutenant
Colonel Madritoff, of the General Staff, although that officer was not
officially in service.

After consideration of all the facts presented, the members of the
council came to the conclusion that "although the Russian Timber
Company really appears to be a commercial organization, its employment
of officers of the active military service to do work that has military
importance undoubtedly gives to it a politico-military aspect." The
council, therefore, acknowledged the necessity of "taking measures,
at once, to give the enterprise an exclusively commercial character,
to exclude from it officers of the regular army, and to commit the
management of the timber business to persons not employed in the
service of the Empire." On the 24th of June (July 7, N. S.) these
conclusions were signed by all the members of the council, including
State Councillor Bezobrazoff.

It is evident, from the facts above set forth, that the statement in
which M. Roslavleff charges the members of the council with signing
minutes of proceedings that gave the Bezobrazoff adventure a place
among useful imperial enterprises is fiction. Upon what it was based
we do not know. The duty of immediately carrying into effect the
conclusions of the council rested upon Admiral Alexeieff, by virtue
of the authority given to him. The thing that he had to do, first of
all, and that he was fully empowered to do, was to recall our force
from Feng-wang-cheng and the company of chasseurs from the Yalu. Why
this was not done I do not know. Personally, I did not allow Lieutenant
Colonel Madritoff to continue his connection with the timber company
as an officer of the General Staff, and I may add that he and other
officers who associated themselves with the enterprise did so without
consulting me.

But no matter how effective might be the measures taken by Admiral
Alexeieff to give the Yalu enterprise a purely commercial character,
I still feared that this undertaking, which had obtained world-wide
notoriety, would continue to have important political significance.
In my report of July 24, 1903 (August 6, N. S.), which was presented
to the Emperor upon my return from Japan, I therefore expressed the
opinion that an end should be put to the operations of the timber
company, and that the whole enterprise should be sold to foreigners.

_"Must We Break the Russian Empire?"_

The thought that our interests in Korea, which were of trifling
importance, might bring us into conflict with Japan, caused me
incessant anxiety during my stay in the latter country. On the 13th of
June, 1903 (June 26, N. S.), when I was passing through the Inland
Sea, on my way to Nagasaki, I wrote in my diary:

"If I were asked to express an opinion, from a military point of view,
with regard to the comparative importance of Russian interests in
different parts of the Empire, and upon different frontiers, I should
put my judgment into the form of a pyramidal diagram, placing the least
important of our interests at the top and the most important at the
bottom, as follows


Our interests in Korea

Our interests in Manchuria

Military district of the Pri-Amur. Safe-guarding of this territory for
Russia. Defence against China and Japan

Securing the safety of Russia against Turkey, Persia, Afghanistan,
Great Britain, and China. Military districts of the Caucasus,
Turkestan, and Siberia

Maintenance of domestic peace and order, by the forces of all military

Maintenance of the territorial integrity of Russia against the Powers
of the Triple Alliance. The foundation of Russia's safety is her
western boundary]

"This diagram shows clearly where the principal energies of the
Ministry of War should hereafter be concentrated, and what direction,
in future, should be given to Russia's main powers and resources. The
interests that lie at the foundation of our position as a nation are:
(1) the defence of the territorial integrity of the Empire against the
Powers of the Triple Alliance; and (2) employment of the forces of
all our military districts for the preservation of internal peace and
order. These are our principal tasks, and in comparison with them all
the others have secondary importance. The diagram shows, furthermore,
that our interests in the Pri-Amur region must be regarded as more
important than our interests in Manchuria, and that the latter must
take precedence of our interests in Korea. I am afraid, however, that,
for a time at least, our national activity will be based on affairs
in the Far East, and, if so, the pyramid will have to be turned
bottom side up and made to stand on its narrow Korean top. But such a
structure on such a foundation will fall. Columbus solved the problem
of making an egg stand on its end by breaking the egg. Must we, in
order to make our pyramid stand on its narrow Korean end, break the
Russian Empire?"

Upon my return from Japan, I showed the above diagram to M. Witte, who
agreed that it was correct.

_Kuropatkin Asks to be Relieved_

The establishment of the Viceroyalty in the Far East was for me a
complete surprise. On the 2nd of August, 1903 (August 15, N. S.) I
asked the Emperor to relieve me from duty as Minister of War, and after
the great manoeuvers I was granted an indefinite leave of absence,
of which I availed myself with the expectation that my place would be
filled by the appointment of some other person.

In September, 1903 (O. S.) the state of affairs in the Far East began
to be alarming, and Admiral Alexeieff was definitely ordered to take
all necessary measures to avoid war. The Emperor expressed his will
to this effect with firmness, and did not limit or restrict in any
way the concessions that should be made in order to avert a rupture
with Japan. All that had to be done was to find a method of making
such concessions that should be as little injurious as possible to
Russian interests. During my stay in Japan, I became satisfied that
the Japanese Government was disposed to consider Japanese and Korean
affairs calmly, with a view to arriving at an agreement upon the basis
of mutual concessions.

In view of the alarming situation in the Far East, I cut short my leave
of absence, and, in reporting to the Emperor for duty, I gave this
threatening state of affairs as my reason for returning. The Emperor,
on the 10th of October, 1903 (October 23, N. S.), made the following
marginal note upon my letter: "The alarm in the Far East is apparently
beginning to subside." In October I recommended that the garrison of
Vladivostok be strengthened, but permission to reinforce it was not
given. Meanwhile, there was really no reëstablishment of tranquillity
in the Far East, and our relations with Japan and China were becoming
more and more involved.


On the 15th of October, 1903 (October 28, N. S.) I presented to
the Emperor a special report on the Manchurian question, in which I
showed that, in order to avoid complications with China and a rupture
with Japan, we must put an end to our military occupation of southern
Manchuria, and confine our activity and our administrative supervision
to the northern part of that territory. My report was, in part, as

_The Great Advisability of Evacuation_

"If we do not touch the boundary of Korea, and do not place garrisons
between that boundary and the railway, we shall really convince the
Japanese that we have no intention of first taking Manchuria and then
seizing Korea. In all probability, they will then confine themselves to
the peaceful promotion of their interests in the peninsula, and will
neither take possession of it with troops, nor greatly increase the
strength of their army at home. This will relieve us of the necessity
of strengthening our forces in the Far East, and of supporting the
heavy burden of an armed peace--even should there be no war. If, on
the other hand, we annex southern Manchuria, all the questions that
now trouble two nations and threaten to bring about an armed conflict
will assume a still more critical aspect. Our temporary occupation of
certain points between the railway and Korea will become permanent; our
attention will be more and more attracted to the Korean frontier; and
our attitude will confirm the suspicion of the Japanese that Russia
intends to seize the peninsula.

"That our occupation of southern Manchuria will lead to Japanese
occupation of southern Korea there can be no doubt. Beyond that, all
is dark. One thing, however, is certain, and that is that if Japan
takes this step, she will be compelled to increase rapidly her military
strength, and we, in turn, shall respond by enlarging our Far Eastern
force. Thus two nations whose interests are so different that they
would seem destined to live in peace will begin a contest in which each
will try to surpass the other in military resources and power. And we
Russians shall do this at the expense of our fighting readiness in the
West; at the sacrifice of the interest of our native population; and
for the sake of portions of Korea which, so far as Russia is concerned,
have no serious importance. If, moreover, other Powers take part in
this rivalry, the struggle for military supremacy is liable to change,
at any moment, into a deadly conflict, which may not only retard, for a
long time, the peaceful development of our Far Eastern possessions, but
check the growth and progress of the whole Empire.

_Japan a Dangerous and Warlike Enemy_

"Even if we should defeat Japan on the mainland (in Korea and
Manchuria) we could not destroy her, nor obtain decisive results,
without carrying the war into her territory. That, of course,
would not be impossible, but to invade a country where there is
a warlike population of forty-seven millions, and where even the
women participate in wars of national defence, would be a serious
undertaking, even for a Power as mighty as Russia. And if we do not
destroy Japan utterly--if we do not deprive her of the right and the
power to maintain a navy--she will wait until we are engaged in war in
the West, and will then avail herself of the opportunity to attack us,
either alone, or in coöperation with our Western enemies.

"It must not be forgotten that Japan can not only put quickly into
the field, in Korea or Manchuria, a well organized and well trained
army of from 150,000 to 180,000 men, but can do this without drawing
at all heavily upon her population. If we take the German ratio of
regular troops to population, namely, one per cent, we shall see that
Japan, with her forty-seven millions of people, can maintain a force of
400,000 soldiers in time of peace, and 1,000,000 in time of war. And we
must bear in mind the fact that, even if we reduce this estimate by two
thirds, Japan, in a comparatively short time, will be able to oppose us
in Korea, and march into Manchuria, with a regular army of from 300,000
to 350,000 men. If we make it our aim to annex Manchuria, we shall be
compelled to increase our military strength to such an extent that,
with our Far Eastern force alone, we can withstand the Japanese attack
in the annexed territory."

From the above lines it will be seen how seriously the War Department
regarded such an antagonist as Japan, and how much anxiety it felt
concerning possible complications with that Power on account of Korea.
At the time when this report was presented, and later, in November,
the negotiations that Admiral Alexeieff was carrying on with Japan not
only made no progress, but became more critical, the Admiral still
believing that to show a yielding disposition would only make matters

_Insignificance of Russia's Eastern Interests_

Bearing in mind the clearly expressed will of the Emperor that all
necessary measures should be taken to avoid war, and not expecting
favorable results from Alexeieff's negotiations, I presented to His
Majesty, on the 26th of November, 1903 (December 9, N. S.) a second
report on the Manchurian question, in which I proposed that we return
Port Arthur and the province of Kwang-tung to China, securing, in lieu
thereof, certain special rights in the northern part of Manchuria. In
substance, this proposition was that we admit the untimeliness of our
attempt to get an outlet on the Pacific and abandon it altogether.
The sacrifice might seem a grievous one to make, but I showed the
necessity for it by presenting two important considerations. In the
first place, by surrendering Port Arthur (which had been taken away
from the Japanese) and by giving up southern Manchuria (with the Yalu
enterprise), we should escape the danger of a rupture with Japan and
China. In the second place, we should avoid the possibility of internal
disturbances in European Russia. A war with Japan would be extremely
unpopular, and would increase the feeling of dissatisfaction with the
ruling authorities. My report was, in part, as follows:

"The economic interests of Russia in the Far East are extremely
insignificant. We have as yet, thank God, no over-production in
manufactures, because even our domestic markets are not yet glutted.
There may be some export of articles from our factories and foundries,
but it is largely due to artificial encouragement and will cease--or
nearly cease--when such encouragement is withheld. Russia, therefore,
has not yet grown up to the melancholy necessity of waging war in order
to get markets for her products. As for our other interests in the Far
East, the success or failure of a few coal or timber enterprises in
Manchuria and Korea is not a matter of sufficient importance to make it
worth while for Russia to run the risk of war on their account.

"The railway lines that we have built through Manchuria do not change
the situation, and the hope that these lines will have world-wide
importance, as avenues of international commerce, is not likely,
in the near future, to be realized. Travelers, the mails, tea, and
possibly some other merchandise, will go over them, but the great
masses of heavy international freight which, alone, can give world-wide
importance to a railway, will go by sea, simply because they cannot
bear railway charges. Such is not the case, however, with local freight
to supply local needs. This the roads--and especially the southern
branch--will carry more and more, deriving from it most of their
revenue, and, at the same time, stimulating the growth of the country,
and, in southern Manchuria particularly, benefiting the Chinese
population. But if we do not take special measures to direct even local
freight to Dalny, that port is likely to suffer from the competition
of Yinkow (New Chwang). Port Arthur has no value for Russia as the
defence and terminus of a railway, unless that railway is part of an
international transit route. The southern branch of the Eastern Chinese
road has only--or chiefly--local importance, and, from an economic
point of view, Russia does not need to protect it by means so costly as
the fortifications of Port Arthur, a fleet of warships, and a garrison
of 30,000 soldiers.

"It thus appears that the retention of a position of an aggressive
character in Kwang-tung is no more supported by economic than it is by
political and military considerations. What, then, are the aims that
may involve us in war with Japan and China? Are such aims important
enough to justify the great sacrifices that war will demand? The
Russian people are powerful, and their faith in Divine Providence, as
well as their devotion to their Tsar and their country, is unshaken.
We may trust, therefore, that if Russia is destined to undergo the
trial of war at the beginning of the twentieth century, she will come
out of it with victory and glory. But she will have to make terrible
sacrifices--sacrifices that may long retard the natural growth of the

"In the wars that we waged in the early years of the seventeenth,
eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, the enemy invaded our territory,
and we fought for the existence of Russia--marched forth in defence
of our country and died for faith, Tsar, and Fatherland. If, in the
early years of the twentieth century, war breaks out as the result of
controverted questions arising in the Far East, the Russian people
and the Russian army will execute the will of their Monarch with as
much devotion and self-sacrifice as ever, and will give up their lives
and their property for the sake of attaining complete victory; but
they will have no intelligent comprehension of the objects for which
the war is waged. For that reason there will be no such exaltation of
spirit--no such outburst of patriotism--as that which accompanied the
wars that we fought either in self-defence or for objects dear to the
hearts of the people.

"We are now living through a critical period. Internal enemies,
aiming at the destruction of the dearest and most sacred foundations
of our life, are invading even the ranks of our army. Large groups
of the population have become dissatisfied, or mentally unsettled,
and disorders of various sorts--mostly created by a revolutionary
propaganda--are increasing in frequency. Cases in which troops have to
be called out to deal with such disorders are much more common than
they were even a short time ago. We must hope, however, that this evil
has not yet taken deep root in Russian soil, and that by strict and
wise measures it may be eradicated.

"If Russia were attacked from without, the people, with patriotic
fervor, would undoubtedly repudiate the false teaching of the
revolutionary propaganda, and show themselves as ready to answer the
call of their revered Monarch, and to defend their Tsar and country,
as they were in the early years of the eighteenth and particularly
in the nineteenth century. If, however, they are asked to make great
sacrifices in order to carry on a war whose objects are not clearly
understood by them, the leaders of the anti-Government party will take
advantage of the opportunity to spread sedition. Thus there will be
introduced a new factor which, if we decide on war in the Far East, we
must take into account.

"The sacrifices and dangers that we have experienced, or that we
anticipate, as results of the position we have taken in the Far East,
ought to be a warning to us when we dream of getting an outlet on
the unfreezing waters of the Indian Ocean at Chahbar. It is already
evident that the English are preparing to meet us there. The building
of a railroad across the whole of Persia, and the establishment of a
port at Chahbar, with fortifications, a fleet, etc., will simply be a
repetition of our experience with the Eastern Chinese Railway and Port
Arthur. In the place of Port Arthur, we shall have Chahbar, and instead
of war with Japan, we shall have a still more unnecessary and still
more terrible war with Great Britain.

"In view of the considerations above set forth, the questions arise:
Ought we not to avoid the present danger at Port Arthur, as well
as the future danger in Persia? Ought we not to return Kwang-tung,
Port Arthur, and Dalny to China, give up the southern branch of the
Eastern Chinese Railway, and get from China, in place of it, certain
rights in northern Manchuria and a sum of, say, 250,000,000 rubles
as reimbursement for expenses incurred by us in connection with the
railway and Port Arthur?"

Further on in my report I considered fully the advantages and
disadvantages of such a decision, and set forth the principal
advantages as follows: "(1) We shall escape the necessity of fighting
Japan on account of Korea, and China on account of Mukden. (2) We shall
be able to reëstablish friendly relations with both Japan and China.
(3) We shall give peace and tranquillity, not only to Russia, but to
the whole world."

_Russia's Fatal Unpreparedness_

Copies of this report were sent to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the
Minister of Finance, and Admiral Alexeieff. Unfortunately, my views
were not approved, and meanwhile the negotiations with Japan dragged
along and became more and more involved. The future historian, who will
have access to all the documents, may be able, from study of them, to
determine why the will of the Russian Monarch to avoid war with Japan
was not carried into effect by his principal co-workers. At present,
it is only possible to say, unconditionally, that although neither the
Emperor nor Russia desired war, we did not succeed in escaping it. The
reason for the failure of the negotiations is evidently to be found
in our ignorance of Japan's readiness for war, and her determination
to support her contentions with armed force. We ourselves were not
ready to fight, and resolved that it should not come to fighting. We
made demands, but we had no intention of using weapons to enforce
them--and, it may be added, they were not worth going to war about.
We always thought, moreover, that the question whether there should
be war or peace depended upon us, and we wholly overlooked Japan's
stubborn determination to enforce demands that had for her such vital
importance, and also her reliance upon our military unreadiness. Thus
the negotiations were carried on by the respective parties under
unequal conditions.

Then, too, our position was made worse by the form that Admiral
Alexeieff gave to the negotiations intrusted to him. References were
made that offended Japanese pride, and the whole correspondence became
strained and difficult as a result of the Admiral's unfamiliarity
with diplomatic procedure and his lack of competent staff assistance.
He proceeded, moreover, upon the mistaken assumption that, in such a
negotiation, it was necessary to display inflexibility and tenacity.
His idea was that one concession, if made, would inevitably lead to
another, and that a yielding policy would be more likely, in the end,
to bring about a rupture with Japan than a policy of firmness. On the
25th of January, 1904 (February 6, N. S.) diplomatic relations were
broken off by the Japanese, and a few days later war began.

My opinions with regard to the relative importance of the tasks set
before the War Department of Russia made me a convinced opponent of an
active Asiatic policy.

1. Recognizing our military unreadiness on our western frontier, and
taking into account also the urgent need of devoting our resources
to the work of internal reorganization and reform, I thought that a
rupture with Japan would be a national calamity, and I did everything
in my power to prevent it. Throughout my long service in Asia, I was an
advocate of an agreement with Great Britain there, and I was satisfied
that there might also be a peaceable delimitation of spheres of
influence in the Far East between Russia and Japan.

2. I regarded the building of the main line of the trans-Siberian
railway through Manchuria as a mistake. The decision to adopt that
route was made without my participation (I was then commander of the
trans-Caspian territory); but it was contrary to the judgment of the
War Department's representative in the Far East--General Dukhovski.

3. The occupation of Port Arthur took place before I became Minister
of War, and I had nothing to do with it. I regard it as not only a
mistake, but a fatal mistake. By thus acquiring, prematurely, an
extremely inconvenient outlet on the Pacific, we broke up our good
understanding with China and made an enemy of Japan.

4. I was always opposed to the timber enterprise on the Yalu, because
I foresaw that it might bring about a rupture with Japan. I therefore
took all possible measures to have it made an exclusively commercial
affair, or to have it suppressed altogether.

5. So far as the Manchurian question is concerned, I made a sharp
distinction between the comparative importance to us of northern
Manchuria and southern Manchuria. At first, I was in favor of removing
our troops as quickly as possible from both; but after the Boxer
uprising, in 1900, I recognized the necessity of keeping on the railway
at Kharbin three or four battalions of infantry, a battery, and a
hundred Cossacks, as a reserve for the boundary guard.

6. When our position in the Far East became difficult, and there seemed
to be danger of a rupture with Japan, I was in favor of decisive
measures, and proposed that we avert war by admitting the untimeliness
of our attempt to get an outlet on the Pacific; by restoring Port
Arthur and Kwang-tung to China; and by selling the southern branch of
the Chinese Eastern Railway.

When Adjutant General Daniloff returned from Japan, he told me
that, at the farewell dinner given him there, General Terauchi, the
Japanese Minister of War, said that General Kuropatkin and he had
done everything in their power to avert war. And yet, even now, I
sometimes ask myself doubtfully, "Did I do everything that was within
the bounds of possibility to prevent it?" The strong desire of the
Emperor to avoid war with Japan was well known to me, as it was to his
other co-workers, and yet we, who stood nearest to him, were unable to
execute his will.


[EDITOR'S NOTE.]--Among the first questions suggested by General
Kuropatkin's narrative and the editorials, reports, and official
proceedings that he quotes, are: Who was State Councillor Bezobrazoff?
How did he acquire the extraordinary power that he evidently exercised
in the Far East? Why was "everybody"--including the Minister of
War--"afraid of him"? Why did even the Viceroy respond to his calls
for troops, and why was his Korean timber company allowed to drag
Russia into a war with Japan, against the opposition and resistance,
apparently, of the Tsar, the Viceroy, the Minister of War, the Minister
of Finance, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Port Arthur council,
and the diplomatic representatives of Russia in Peking, Tokio, and

No replies to these questions can be found in General Kuropatkin's
record of the events that preceded the rupture with Japan, but
convincing answers are furnished by certain confidential documents
found in the archives of Port Arthur and published, just after the
close of the war, in the liberal Russian review _Osvobozhdenie_ at
Stuttgart.[8] Whether General Kuropatkin was aware of the existence
of these documents or not, I am unable to say; but as they throw a
strong side-light on his narrative, I shall append them thereto, and
tell briefly, in connection with them, the story of the Yalu timber
enterprise, as it is related in St. Petersburg.

In the year 1898, a Vladivostok merchant named Briner obtained from
the Korean Government, upon extremely favorable terms, a concession
for a timber company that should have authority to exploit the great
forest wealth of the upper Yalu River.[9] As Briner was a promoter and
speculator, who had little means and less influence, he was unable to
organize his company, and in 1902 he sold his concession to Alexander
Mikhailovich Bezobrazoff, another Russian promoter and speculator, who
had held the rank of State Councillor in the Tsar's civil service, and
who was high in the favor of some of the Grand Dukes in St. Petersburg.

Bezobrazoff, who seems to have been a most fluent and persuasive
talker, as well as a man of fine personal presence and bearing, soon
interested his Grand Ducal friends in the fabulous wealth of the Far
East generally, and in the extraordinary value of the Korean timber
concession especially. They all took stock in his enterprise, and
one of them, with a view to getting the strongest possible support
for it, presented him to the Tsar. Bezobrazoff made upon Nicholas
II. an extraordinarily favorable impression and, in the course of a
few months, acquired an influence over him that nothing afterward
seemed able to shake. That the Tsar became financially interested in
Bezobrazoff's timber company is certain; and it is currently reported
in St. Petersburg that the Emperor and the Empress Dowager, together,
put into the enterprise several million rubles. This report may, or may
not, be trustworthy; but the appended telegram (No. 5) sent by Rear
Admiral Abaza, of the Tsar's suite, to Bezobrazoff, in November, 1903,
indicates that the Emperor was interested in the Yalu enterprise to the
extent, at least, of the two million rubles mentioned. Bezobrazoff's
"Company," in fact, seems to have consisted of the Tsar, the Grand
Dukes, certain favored noblemen of the Court, Viceroy Alexeieff,
probably, and the Empress Dowager possibly. Bezobrazoff had made
them all see golden visions of wealth to be amassed, power to be
attained, and glory to be won, in the Far East, for themselves and the
Fatherland. It was this known influence of Bezobrazoff with the Tsar
that made "everybody" in the Far East "afraid of him"; that enabled him
to enlist in the service of the timber company even officers of the
Russian General Staff; that caused Alexeieff to respond to his call
for troops to garrison Feng-wang-cheng and Shakhedze; and that finally
changed Russia's policy in the Far East and stopped the withdrawal of
troops from southern Manchuria.

General Kuropatkin says that the Russian evacuation of the province of
Mukden "was suddenly stopped by an order of Admiral Alexeieff, whose
reasons for taking such action have not, to this day, been sufficiently
cleared up." The following telegram from Lieutenant Colonel Madritoff
of the Russian General Staff to Rear Admiral Abaza, the Tsar's personal
representative in St. Petersburg, may throw some light on the subject.

  (No. 1.)

     Our enterprises in East meet constantly with opposition from
     Dzan-Dzun of Mukden and Taotai of Feng-wang-cheng. Russian
     officer-merchants have been sent East to make reconnaissance
     and examine places on Yalu. They are accompanied by Khunkhuzes
     whom I have hired. The Dzan-Dzun, feeling that he is soon to be
     freed from guardianship of Russians, has become awfully impudent,
     and has even gone so far as to order Yuan to begin hostile
     operations against Russian merchants and Chinese accompanying
     them, and to put latter under arrest. Thanks to timely measures
     taken by Admiral, this order has not been carried out; but very
     fact shows that Chinese rulers of Manchuria are giving themselves
     free rein, and, of course, after we evacuate Manchuria, their
     impudence, and their opposition to Russian interests, will have
     no limit. _Admiral_ (_Alexeieff_) _took it upon himself to order
     that Mukden and Yinkow_ (_New Chwang_) _be not evacuated_.[10]
     To-day it has been decided to hold Yinkow, but, unfortunately, to
     move the troops out of Mukden. _After evacuation of Mukden, state
     of affairs, so far as our enterprises are concerned, will be very,
     very much worse which, of course, is not desirable._[10] To-morrow
     I go to the Yalu myself.

                                        (Signed)         MADRITOFF.

Shortly before Lieutenant Colonel Madritoff sent this telegram to
Admiral Abaza, Bezobrazoff, who had been several months in the Far
East, started for St. Petersburg, with the intention, evidently, of
seeing the Tsar and persuading him to order, definitely, a suspension
of the evacuation of the province of Mukden, for the reason that "it
would inevitably result in the liquidation of the affairs of the timber
company." From a point on the road he sent back to Madritoff the
following telegram, which bears date of March 26, 1903 (April 8, N. S.
)--the very day when the evacuation of the province of Mukden should
have been completed, in accordance with the Russo-Chinese agreement of
March 26 (April 8, N. S.), 1902:

  (No. 2.)


     There will be an understanding attitude toward the affair after
     I make my first report. I am only afraid of being too late, as
     I shall not get there until the 3rd (April 16, N. S.) and the
     Master (Khozain) leaves for Moscow on the 4th (April 17, N. S.).
     I will do all that is possible and shall insist on manifestation of
     energy in one form or another. Keep me advised and don't get
     discouraged. There will soon be an end of the misunderstanding.

                                        (Signed)          BEZOBRAZOFF.

On April 11, 1903 (April 24, N. S.), Bezobrazoff sent Madritoff from
St. Petersburg a telegram written, evidently, after he had made his
first "report" to "the Master." It was as follows:

  (No. 3.)


     Everything with me is all right. I hope to get my views adopted
     in full as conditions imposed by existing situation and force of
     circumstances. I hope that if they ask the opinion of the Admiral
     (Alexeieff), he, I am convinced (sic), will give me his support.
     That will enable me to put many things into his hands.

                                        (Signed)          BEZOBRAZOFF.

General Kuropatkin says that Admiral Alexeieff gave him "repeated
assurances that he was wholly opposed to Bezobrazoff's schemes,
and that he was holding them back with all his strength"; but the
Admiral was evidently playing a double part. While pretending to be
in full sympathy with Kuropatkin's hostility to the Yalu enterprise,
he was supporting Bezobrazoff's efforts to promote that enterprise,
Bezobrazoff rewarded him, and fulfilled his promise to "put many things
into his hands" by getting him appointed Viceroy. Kuropatkin says that
this appointment was a "complete surprise to him," and it naturally
would be, because the Tsar acted on the advice of Bezobrazoff, von
Plehve, Alexeieff, and Abaza, and not on the advice of Kuropatkin,
Witte, and Lamsdorff. It will be noticed that von Plehve--the
powerful Minister of the Interior--is never once mentioned by name in
Kuropatkin's narrative. Everything seems to indicate that von Plehve
formed an alliance with Bezobrazoff, and that, together, they brought
about the dismissal of Witte, who ceased to be Minister of Finance on
the 16th of August, 1903 (August 29, N. S.). Anticipating this result
of his efforts, and filled with triumph at the prospect opening before
him, Bezobrazoff wrote Lieutenant Colonel Madritoff, on the 12th of
August, 1903 (August 25, N. S.), as follows:

  (No. 4.)

     The great saw-mill and the principal trade in timber will be
     transferred to Dalny, and this in copartnership with the Ministry
     of Finance. The Manchurian Steamship Line will have all our ocean
     freight, amounting to twenty-five million feet of timber, and the
     business will become international (mirovava). From this you will
     understand how I selected my base and my operating lines.

In view of the complete defeat of such clear-sighted statesmen and sane
counsellors as Kuropatkin, Witte, and Lamsdorff, there can be no doubt
that Bezobrazoff's "base and operating lines" were well "selected."

The document that shows most clearly the interest of the Tsar in the
Yalu timber enterprise is a telegram sent to Bezobrazoff at Port
Arthur, in November, 1903, by Rear Admiral Abaza, who was then Director
of the Special Committee on Far Eastern Affairs, over which the Tsar
presided, and who acted as the latter's personal representative in
all dealings with Bezobrazoff and the timber company. In the original
of this telegram, significant words, such as "Witte," "Emperor,"
"millions," "garrison," "reinforcement," etc., were in cipher; but when
Bezobrazoff read it, he (or possibly his private secretary) interlined
the equivalents of the cipher words, and also, in one place, a query as
to the significance of "artels"--did it mean chasseurs, or artillery?
The following copy was made from the interlined original:

  (No. 5.)

  From Petersburg, Nov. 14-27, 1903.


     Witte has told the Emperor that you have already spent the whole
     of the two millions. Your telegram with regard to expenditures
     has made it possible for me to report on this disgusting slander
     and, at the same time, contradict it. Remember that the Master
     counts on your not touching a ruble more than the three hundred
     without permission in every case. Yesterday I reported again
     your ideas with regard to the reinforcement of the garrison and
     also with regard to the artels (chasseurs or artillery?) in the
     basin. The Emperor directed me to reply that he takes all that
     you say into consideration and that, in principle, he approves.
     In connection with this, the Emperor again confirmed his order
     that the Admiral telegraph directly to him. He expects a telegram
     soon, and immediately upon the receipt of the Admiral's statement,
     arrangements will be made with regard to the reinforcement of the
     garrison, and, at the same time, with regard to the chasseurs
     in the basin. In the course of the conversation, the Emperor
     expressed the fullest confidence in you.

                                        (Signed)         ABAZA.

General Kuropatkin refers, again and again, to the Tsar's "clearly
expressed desire that war should be avoided," and he regrets that His
Imperial Majesty's "co-workers" "were unable to execute his will."
It is more than likely that Nicholas II. did wish to avoid war--if
he could do so without impairing the value of the family investment
in the Korean timber company--but from the above telegram it appears
that, as late as November 27, 1903--only seventy days before the
rupture with Japan--he was still disregarding the sane and judicious
advice of Kuropatkin, was still expressing "the fullest confidence" in
Bezobrazoff, and was still ordering troops to the valley of the Yalu.





"I Wonder," said Andrew F. Biron, manager of the White Star Mine, to
his sister, as he watched, with drawn brows, André François, immaculate
in a white flannel suit, bare-kneed and sailor-hatted, go down the
street attended by the ministering Angélique, "what Providence had
against me when it picked me for the father of Andrew François?"

"He is certainly the strangest child I have ever known," answered his
sister irrelevantly, "and I have had experience with a good many--an
old maid always does, you know."

"What he needs is to mix up with the other boys--to become
Americanized. There is too much European varnish on him. It needs to be
rubbed off so that the real boy underneath will show through."

"He needs something," assented his sister shortly, for she had looked
with none too gracious an eye upon the advent of André François and
his _bonne_, the volatile Angélique. "He thinks of nothing except how
he is dressed--a miniature fop! He is now ten years old and he is
absolutely helpless. He seems never to have learned to do anything for
himself. There is no manliness nor independence in him--nothing but a
head full of foolish, old-world notions about what is due a gentleman
of his standing. As for Angélique, one moment she runs his errands
and the next bullies him. Who ever heard of a big boy of ten with a
nurse, anyway?" Miss Biron stopped a moment to catch her breath, then

"To be frank with you, Andrew, I think you have been little less than
criminal to take so little interest in him as to leave him for eight
years in an environment of which you knew nothing. You should have had
him home immediately after your wife's death, and not have waited until
his grandmother died and the responsibility of your son was literally
forced upon you."

"The responsibility of his son." All through a busy morning at the
office the phrase remained subconsciously in Mr. Biron's mind. At noon
hour, when the work slackened up, he set himself to face and thresh
it out, for it was his policy to face and thresh out at the first
opportunity any difficulty which confronted him.

For half an hour he paced his office, his hands thrust hard down into
his pockets, in his mouth a black, unlighted cigar of the stogie
species, upon which he chewed with all the concentrated violence which
he would have liked to expend upon the problem in hand. His son--how
well he remembered the little two-year-old codger, with his serious
blue eyes and his fleece of yellow hair, whom he had taken tight in his
arms and told not to forget his daddy, as he bid goodby on the steamer
to his pretty, pale French wife going back on a visit to her native

After her death, little André François had at once found snug quarters
in the home of his aristocratic Parisian grandmother, Madame Fouchette,
a grand dame of the old régime. She wrote and begged to keep him.
She said he would be placed in a good school--the best, indeed, in
France--where, as a rule, none except the sons of noblemen were
admitted. Year after year had drifted by, and the busy mine-manager
in Colorado, occupied with a thousand and one matters of daily
importance, had sent a monthly check of generous figure, together with
a quarter-page of hurriedly type-written, kindly words, accompanied at
Christmas, and at what he approximately made out to be André François'
birthday, by a great miscellaneous box of toys. He religiously
selected these as his wife had advised him to select them on that
first Christmas--for he instinctively mistrusted his own judgment in
such matters--and varied them only in the matter of quantity, which he
increased each year in allowance for the boy's growth.

Perhaps it was because he always pictured him as a tyro of two,
unsteady on his legs, principally experimental in his speech, that he
was so unprepared for the real André François, the above, plus eight
formative years of growth in the French capital, an aristocratic
grandmother's idolatry, and the training of a school where, "as a rule,
only the sons of noblemen were received."

Mr. Biron recalled with a rueful smile that first meeting with his
son and heir. André François, self-possessed, slim, and aristocratic,
cultivating already the airs and graces of the young boulevardier,
greeted the manager of the White Star with a careful--for he was none
too sure of where the accent fell in his mother-tongue----

"I am delighted, my father," and kissed him ceremoniously, first on one
cheek, then on the other. After which he devoted himself to directing
Angélique--who had been his _bonne_ ever since his mother's death and
in whose care he had come across the ocean--in the disposal of his four
trunks. Madame Fouchette, during her life, had spared neither time nor
attention in providing André François with as many new suits and caps
as his blue-blooded playmates.

The little raw town of fifteen hundred inhabitants, still half
mining-camp, was not prepared for the youthful scion of the Old World,
and regarded him as a huge joke. As for Angélique, in her high heels
and infinitesimal aprons, with her coquettish airs and her showers
of exclamations, nothing like her had ever been seen, except in an
overnight show, where the traditional French maid, between a song and
dance, whisked imaginary dust off parlor chairs.

At school André François was under a double disadvantage. In the
class-room, he not only knew more than any other boy, but frequently
and authoritatively corrected the teacher. In the yard his white
flannel sailor suit, with its embroidered anchor and immense soft, red
silk bow in front, his jaunty round sailor hat and dainty shoes--it
had become the mode in Paris at that time to follow the English style
in children's dress--were regarded with derisive and hostile looks by
the sturdy blue- and brown-overalled town boys. Indeed, the little
transplanted Parisian, as he stood in line with his fellows, looked
very much like a lonely orchid in a bunch of dusty field-flowers.

In the yard André François did not shine. His attitude was marked in
the eyes of the indigenous youth by a supercilious stupidity. He
neither knew nor cared for baseball, football, or any of the lesser
sports which excite young America at playtime. He had, indeed, at first
extended tentative invitations to a chosen few of his class-mates to
engage in a fencing bout, but, finding that art entirely unknown, he
contented himself, during recess, with sitting on the bench and reading
from a French book, over the top of which he sometimes stared at his
hot, excited school-mates with insolent superiority.

They returned his contempt with full measure. One and all looked upon
André François as a special brand of "Dago"--under which general head
they classified all things Latin--protected from their scorn and
patriotism by an arbitrary higher power in the form of a father who was
a mine manager.

André François, in turn, confided to his father that nobody but
ignorant peasants, with whom no gentleman could associate, attended the

So matters stood without a change in either direction two weeks after
André François' arrival in town. No change of environment seemed
strong enough to move him from his accustomed ways of thought. Every
morning he started out for school at a quarter of nine followed by the
omnipresent Angélique. Every afternoon he returned at three o'clock,
still followed by Angélique.

"Angélique! A nurse! A _bonne_!" As the manager of the White Star
thought of her, he nearly bit the cigar, upon which he was chewing, in
half. All the militant Americanism in him rose in revolt. He remembered
his own bare-footed, swaggering youth, independent as the wind,
insolent as a king. And now his son----. He stopped short in his pacing
and stared wrathfully out into the street, which, like all the streets
of the town, ended abruptly, without any preliminary slopes, in a sheer
wall of rock which went up and up and up into a rugged mountain peak.

It chanced that school had just let out for the noon hour, and down the
middle of the street, whistling to the full of his lungs, swinging in a
circle around his head a long leather strap with a blue calico-covered
book at the end for a weight, swaggered a sturdy specimen of young
America. Mr. Biron gazed at him with an envious eye and sighed. Then
a thought, sudden and sharp, popped into his head. He hesitated for a
moment. But why not? Anything was worth trying.

The manager of the White Star was a man of action, so, without
wasting further time in debate with himself, he beat a loud tattoo
with his knuckles on the window glass. The whistling stopped. He
crooked his finger and motioned, and the deed was done. A moment later
the ground-glass door opened, and a chunky, red-haired boy, with a
belligerent eye, stood expectantly before him. The newcomer placed
himself so that the big iron office safe furnished a background for
him, and as he stood there with his feet wide apart, his hands in
his pockets, he seemed as solidly planted as it. A shaft of noonday
sunlight, coming through a side window, struck his hair and made a
rubescent halo around his freckled face. The manager of the White Star
looked him up and down, and the boy eyed him back look for look. At
length Mr. Biron cleared his throat.

[Illustration: "'I'D BE GLAD TO DO IT AS A FAVOR,' HE SAID"]

"What is your name, my lad?" he asked.

"James Joseph McCarthy," answered the boy, in the same quick,
phonographic monotone that he had used on his first day at school, when
the teacher had asked him the same question.

"Ah, yes--do you know my son, Andrew Francis Biron?"

"Sure. Most everybody knows Andray Franswa."

"And what do you think of--er--André François?"

The boy looked at him searchingly. "You oughter know--he's your kid,"
he said tersely.

"I know what _I_ think," said Mr. Biron, "but I want to know what you
think. That's what I brought you in for. I want to get some data on the

The boy ran his hand through his hair, and his brow puckered, as he
struggled to find a phrase by which to sum up his impression of André
François. Then he said:

"Ah, gee----" he made an abortive effort, out of regard for parental
feelings, to mitigate the vast contempt in his voice, "he's just a darn

"Um--I see. Are there any more sissies in town?"

"Nope. Not now. There uster be one onest, about a year ago, but he's
all right now. We licked him till he got all right."

"And do you intend to lick André François until he gets all right?"

The scion of the McCarthys looked at him suspiciously for a moment,
but seeing in his face rather a desire for honest information than the
guile of a parent, he answered:

"Nope. Nobody dast to touch him."

"Why?" asked Mr. Biron with a gleam of hope, "would he fight?"

"Who? Him? Him _fight_? I guess _not_. It's cause you're his dad. My
dad, he said that if I dast to lay a finger on Andray Franswa, he'd
skin me alive--an' the rest o' the kids, their dads told 'em the same

"I see," said the manager of the White Star, and he saw also that a
certain disadvantage went with being the employer of nearly every man
in the town.

He took a thoughtful turn around the office, for his conscience gave
him a twinge at the critical moment, then stopped abruptly in front of
James Joseph and took from his pocket a bright, new silver dollar.

"See this, Jimmie?" he asked, balancing it seductively on the tip of
his index finger, "I will give you this, and further, I will see that
no complaint is made to your father--if you lick André François."

Each of Jimmie's eyes grew as big and as round as the dollar.

"Sure? D' yer mean it? Gee, that'd be fine. There's goin' to be a
circus next week in Briggs' lot, and us fellows is savin' up. Say--is
that what you just said on the dead square?"

"On the dead square," said André François' father solemnly.

Jimmie held out his hand for the dollar. "Sure," he said, "I'll lick
Andray Franswa. I'll lay low till that crazy Angélique is out of the
way. Burbank, the assayer's assistant, is soft on her, and she stops to
talk to him every afternoon, an' Andray Franswa walks as far as from
school to the assayer's office alone. I'll get him then. I'm boss o'
the gang, an' I kin lick fine. Onest I licked a kid an' he wasn't able
to be out fer a week."

"Wait," said Mr. Biron, a little alarmed at the enthusiasm he had
invoked. "Remember--you are acting under orders, and your orders are
not to hurt him. Just roll him around in the mud good and plenty--and,
Jimmie, spoil that white sailor suit."

Jimmie's eyes filled with fellow feeling. For the first time during the
interview he and the White Star manager were equals.

"I guess you was a pretty nice kid yourself onest," he said, "an' I
know how you must feel 'bout Andray Franswa."

He hesitated a moment, his face twitched with a fierce internal
struggle, then he thrust out his arm straight from the shoulder and
handed back to Mr. Biron the price of his service.

"I--I'd be glad to do it as a favor," he said.

"Thank you," said André François' father gravely, and he took and
pocketed the dollar.

As Jimmie was about to leave the office he put out a detaining hand.

"Oh, by the way," he remarked, with elaborate casuality, "you said
something of a circus in Briggs' lot--I can't get away myself, at
present, but if you'd take this and go, and let me know if there is
anything good, you'd oblige me greatly."

Jimmie McCarthy left the office of the White Star with his ethics
and his honor satisfied, and with a dollar in the pocket of his blue

Thus was enacted the preliminary part of the plot to Americanize André
François, _fils_.

The following afternoon the manager of the White Star sat at his office
desk, a file of papers before him. But his attention wavered, and the
nearer the clock hands drew to three, the less grew his concentration
upon the file. At last the expected happened. The ground-glass door
burst open, and in rushed the immaculate Angélique, her entire person
in such dishevelment as the Rue St. Honoré had never seen. Her cap hung
by one pin from her black hair, her ruffled swiss apron was under one
arm. By the hand she dragged after her the panting André François. His
hat was gone, his hair wet, his white sailor suit streaked terra cotta
from the clayey mud of the street. His red tie, however, still made a
brave flare of color under one ear.

"Father," he said in a high, excited voice, "I have been attacked!"

Angélique motioned him to be quiet.

"Oh, Monsieur Bir-on, oh, sair," she burst out, her round eyes becoming
perfect spheres in her excitement, "Monsieur André François have been
attack'. I have jus' stop to spik to a gentleman for a so leetle
moment--when I look a-r-r-ound and zee thees so ter-r-ible boy make
the tackle at Monsieur André François' legs. And nex'--O, _ciel_!
I zee Monsieur André François high in the air, and then--splash!
_Quelle horreur!_ down in the depths of the mud pud-dle, and thees boy
r-r-ool heem r-round an' r-round an' r-r-round. _Barbare!_ _Sauvage!_"
Angélique's voice broke, and she buried her face in her abbreviated
apron to shut out the memory of a sight so uncivilized.

"Father," said André François, trembling with passion, "you will have
him punished at once--publicly, so that every one may know that the
indignity has been wiped out?"

"My boy," said Mr. Biron quietly, placing his hand on his son's
shoulder, "I am not lord of a feudal principality. I cannot interfere.
You will have to fight your own fights."

"But," said André François, angry tears rushing to his eyes, "I cannot
fight this peasant--I am a gentleman." And he drew himself up with a
jerk, in his drabbled sailor suit, to his full three feet eight. This
assumption of dignity was not without discomfort, for the muddy water
from his over-long hair dripped down his neck in the back and into his
eyes in the front.

"Of a certainty," affirmed Angélique with finality, "he is a gentleman.
Madame Fouchette so raised heem."

"You will have to settle it your own way, Andrew. If you are too good
to fight him, and he is not too good to fight you, I do not see what
you can do--except run."

"I will _not_ run," cried André François, his voice becoming shrill and
childish with impotent rage. "I want him punished."

"I can do nothing for you," said his father shortly. "You had better go
home now to your aunt and have your suit changed."

"_Allons_," said Angélique indignantly, and, catching André François by
the hand, she started out. At the door she paused long enough to say
devoutly, fixing the so unnatural father with a basilisk glance.

"_Dieu vous garde, mon pauvre enfant._"

The manager of the White Star even thought he heard a "_Bête!_" as
the door was closed so decisively that one would almost say it was
slammed. All of which the so unnatural parent endured with equanimity,
and turned to his delayed files with a patient if dubious smile, for he
had begun to do his parental duty as he saw it, and anything he began,
whether it was a lockout, a new policy, or the training of his son, he
saw through to the bitter end.

The next morning, when the White Star manager reached his office--and
he got there early, for he began his day's work when his office boy
was still comfortably snoring---he found a small boy leaning against
the door in the stiff and resigned position of a guard waiting to be
relieved from duty. The only parts of him which moved were the toes of
his bare legs, and these nimble members dibbled the clayey earth in
front of the door-step.

As soon as this apparition caught sight of Mr. Biron, it straightened
up into life.

"Kin I see you, Mr. Biron?" asked the boy eagerly, "on a matter o'


"Certainly," said the manager of the White Star, "just step into the

The boy followed him in through the ground-glass door, shifted from
one bare foot to the other, cleared his throat, then without further
preliminary said:

"Say--d' you want Andray Franswa licked to-day?" Then, fixing him with
a bargaining eye, "I'll do it dandy fer seventy-five cents. I kin fight
'most as good as Jimmie--I uster be the biggest kid here before he come
an' licked me," he added, with reminiscent pride in a past glory.

Mr. Biron looked at him thoughtfully a moment, then said:

"I engaged Jimmie for the first job, and he did it satisfactorily. I
think there may be a tacit contract existing between us that I give
him, at least, the refusal of the rest."

"Nope," said the boy. "Jimmie, he ain't no pig. He told the bunch, 'You
fellers go 'round an' see if yer kin git nuf for the circus what's
comin'.' I bin waitin' a long time so's to be early nuf."

"I see," said Mr. Biron, "Jimmie does not believe in monopolies. He is
a despot, but an enlightened one."

"Kin I have the job, then?"

"Very well," said Mr. Biron, "I engage you to lick André François--but
with this reservation--mind you do not hurt him, and I will pay you the
standard rate of one dollar for a first-class job."

This was the first but not the last of the manager's visitors. It was
Saturday, and that whole morning the office of the White Star was
besieged by applicants for a "job." Mr. Biron had his pick of the
entire bellicose population of the town between the ages of nine and
thirteen, and several more nefarious bargains were secretively struck
in the shadow of the big iron safe, behind the discreet ground-glass
door of the White Star office.

That afternoon Mr. Biron found it difficult to concentrate on the work
before him, for, reasoning from cause to effect, and having produced
the cause, he was subconsciously expectant of another visit from André
and Angélique. Nothing, however, occurred to disturb him and, as he
closed up his desk and safe, preparatory to leaving, he smiled grimly
to himself.

"I never was stumped by a proposition yet," he muttered half aloud, as
he walked home in the sunset, "and André François isn't going to be
the first. He _must_ have some red blood in his veins--his grandfather
fought at Gettysburg, and I could fight my weight in wildcats at his

As he ate his dinner, half an hour later, his sister recounted to him
the events of the day.


"Andrew Francis was attacked again," she said, casually nodding toward
André François, who ate in silence--for she was a woman of sense. "He
came home again covered with mud from head to foot. Angélique says he
refused to run and she could do nothing----"

"But no," interrupted the _bonne_ eagerly, and her words came like a
string of firecrackers exploded by a small boy on the Fourth of July,
"he came with a quickness--like _zat_!" and she clapped her hands.
"Before I know, he have come behin' and trip Monsieur André François
up from his legs. Zen I try to grab thees boy, but he is of a so great
slipperiness as an eel! He have hit Monsieur André François--_whack_!
He have poke heem an' make heem to fall into the mud. Zen he is away
with a quickness--_zipp_! No person is of a similar quickness to catch

During this display of wordy pyrotechnics, the son and heir of the
house sat in sullen silence and broke his bread into small pieces. When
it ended, he suddenly looked up.

"Father," he said, "I do not want Angélique to take me to school any
longer. She is a fool."

"Sank you, sair," said the lady referred to sarcastically, "you have
a great gratitude when I protec' your life." Then she turned to the
manager of the White Star:

"Sair, I have the pleasure to inform you of somesing. In one month I am
about to marry myself to the Mr. Burbank--he who makes known what is in
the rocks."

"Kind of sudden, wasn't it, Angélique?" asked Mr. Biron.

"It was of a suddenness," said Angélique blushing. "I was greatly of
a desire to go back to France, but I could not, an' the nex' bes'
zing--zat is to marry myself. I mus' have a protector in thees so
savage land where even the children are bloodthirsty. I am not of a
nervousness to stan' everysing. _Voilà!_"


The next morning Andrè François went to school minus his familiar.
During the week and a half that followed he was "attacked" with
startling frequency and regularity. Almost every afternoon he came home
with his clothes muddy and torn.

He was grimly silent about the details of these mishaps.

Angélique was in despair.

"Ah, Madame," she said to Miss Biron, "in one short month he will not
have a stitch to wear--out of the largesse of four trunks full. And
the las' command of Madame Fouchette, it was 'Angélique, always make
Monsieur André François to look like the little prince.' _Ciel!_ how
can one make heem to look like the little prince when thees so savage
boys tear off his clothes? But I do my ver' bes'--I darn and darn and
darn heem."

André François made no one his confidant, but day by day he grew more
somber and silent. His early garrulity was quite gone. Instead of the
air of hauteur which characterized him on his entrance to the town, he
now had a pathetic droop. He even became careless about his clothes.

"He used to be so proud, so debonair," said Angélique sadly, "when he
have the clean, white suit on, he is like the peacock, he know he is
beautiful--but now--he does not care what he have on. No!"

"What can be the matter?" asked Miss Biron anxiously, for she was
really worried by André François' looks; "he has never been seriously
hurt in these little school-boy fights."

"_Eh, bien!_ Madame! Is it not of a seriousness to be wound' in the
pride? To be insult'? Monsieur André François has been made the gross
insult many times. Those insult, they knaw heem in his heart. He zink.
He zink all the time now. He zink of those many insult'! Some day he
will have his revengement--you see."

About this time the manager of the White Star noticed a falling off
in the number of applicants for his peculiar variety of "job." There
was a slump in the André François market. One morning he called in a
youngster whom he saw going early to school, stated his terms, and
made his usual proposal. The boy hesitated a few moments, then said:

"It'll cost yer a dollar an' a quarter now, Mr. Biron. Yer see, 'taint
so easy as 'twas at first. 'Course Andray Franswa never runs, an' it's
easy t' git him, but he's growin' awful savage. He kicks an' bites
somethin' fierce, sir. He nearly chewed Harry Peters' finger offer him
day 'fore yesterday."

The manager paid the extra quarter without any demur.

It was about this time also that Mr. Biron made a discovery which
gratified him. He found, secreted under a pillow in the window-seat
where André François usually sat, a dusty, copiously diagrammed book
entitled, "The Manly Art of Self-Defense." It was an edition of twenty
years ago, and had been used by Mr. Biron himself during his college

He put it back carefully and held his silence.

The following evening he proceeded in an experimental, roundabout way
to get into a conversation with his son.

"Andrew," he said, with sociable casualness, to his heir, who now
always ensconced himself in the window-seat directly after dinner, and
kept a moody silence until Angélique took him off to bed, "you have
never told me about your school days in France."

Accepting this remark as the statement of an irrefutable fact, André
François merely remained politely silent.

"What do you do for recreation? What sport do you have now, for

"We fence, father," said André François, listlessly.

"Ah, yes," said the White Star manager, introducing his subject in as
elaborately casual a way as a politician about to ask for a favor,
"just so. Well, you see we don't do much fencing in America, not very
much. Boxing, now, is more in our line."

A gleam of interest, which was not lost upon his father, shot into
André François' weary eyes.

"Father," he asked timidly, "are you familiar with the manly art of

"I am, my son," answered the manager of the White Star gravely.

André François gazed at him questioningly a moment, then drew the
manual from under the sofa cushion.

"I have been practising some of the things described in this book,"
he said, slowly opening it and disclosing diagrams of a heavy-muscled
individual executing a wonderful curve along a dotted line marked
"a----a----a," "but I am unable to make out the explanations attached
to most of these figures. If you could show me the rudiments----" he
finished tentatively.

It was at this point that the manager of the White Star joyously threw
diplomacy to the winds.

"You bet I will," he cried enthusiastically, "we will have our first
lesson to-night in the attic," and grasping his son's arm he started

Miss Biron and Angélique, sedately sewing by the fire in the next room,
were electrified to see, a moment later, the manager of the White Star
and André François rush madly through, banging a door at either end in
their flight, and laughing at the top of their voices. They also stayed
awake that night beyond their usual retiring time, for strange noises
emanated from the attic long after the hour when a well-conducted
father and son should have been in bed.

The next morning the manager of the White Star let the applicant in
waiting know that no further business would be transacted, and the word
went forth among the members of the gang that he would pay for no more
André François lickings, and would tolerate no unpaid-for ones.

So, by the ultimatum of his father, André François went whither he
would, unmolested except by word of mouth. But he underwent such
martyrdom as only a small boy can receive at the hands of others of his

Not only did the gang remember and resent his former attitude of
superiority, but they looked on him as a source of revenue taken from
them. His presence irritated them as the presence of a government-owned
railroad might irritate a company of magnates shorn of their profits.
His first position had been marked at least by a certain uniqueness and
dignity. He _had_ never been licked, even if he could have been.

Now, however, he was the lowest of the low. In the democracy of the
gang, where might was right, he was a pariah, a proven coward, licked
by each and every member, and ought, by the law of the survival of the
fittest, to be kicked out. He was only allowed to intrude his presence
on suffrance, because a higher power artificially protected him.

At recess, in school, he sat on the well-worn bench that ran around the
yard and watched the others play or fight. No one ever spoke to him,
except now and then to throw a taunt his way.

"Where's nursie, Annie?"

"Hello, sissy--are yer lost?"

"Where'd yer git that suit?" and similar personalities greeted him
when one of the boys chanced to notice his presence. Sometimes, as he
walked home, pebbles and bits of hardened mud were sent richochetting
after him, but this was the extent of any assault, for the manager of
the White Star, sitting behind his ground-glass door, had it within his
power to speak a potent word to the father of any boy who disobeyed him.

André François seldom spoke back, but his silence had something grim in
it, and there was a portentous light in his eye.

At home he never complained, and Angélique, rejoiced that the régime
of physical violence was over, snatched the time between stitches on
a wonderful, beruffled trousseau, to make him "look like the little
prince." Only his father knew how he spent his time every evening in
the attic, and what passionate energy he put into his work. Neither
alluded to it, but both knew that the lessons had an ultimate object.

And, one day, three weeks from the time he took his first boxing
lesson, this object was unexpectedly accomplished.

It was a Saturday afternoon, and the gang, freed from the tyranny of
school and the irritation of Saturday morning chores, were joyously
disporting themselves in a vacant lot at the corner of the street.
The first inning of a baseball game was just over, and the overalled
players were lying on the ground disputing certain fine points of the
play with the audience.

André François stopped, leaned on the top rail of the fence, and gazed
at them a trifle wistfully. Jimmie McCarthy's roving eye discovered
him, and he yelled out:

"You'd better run along, Annie--nursie will be out lookin' fer yer in a

The gang laughed flatteringly at the subtle wit of their leader. André
François' face flushed a vivid crimson and his eyes darkened. Then he
electrified the gang by leaping over the fence and rushing straight up
to the redoubtable Jimmie.

He thrust out his chin and yelled up into the face of the surprised

"I'll show you if I'm an Annie or not. D'you want to fight?"

Jimmie stood dumb with amazement a moment, then he laughed long and
loud, for his sense of humor was Irish; and the whole gang joined in.

"S-a-a-y," he said, "yer wanter git licked again, d'yer? You must'er
got inter the habit. I tell yer what--I got a baby brother two years
old ter home. I'll go fetch him, and the two o' yez kin have it out."

It was here that André François' early training enabled him to make an
impression. He stood up on his toes, as he had once seen the Marquis
de Boissé stand up on his toes, and slapped Jimmie McCarthy across the
mouth with his open palm, as he had seen that noble marquis slap a
count of France.

But what followed was not an exchange of ultra courteous priorities
to a duel. It was a good American fight in the middle of a ring of
small boys, and what happened is what always happens when natural and
scientific force stand up before each other. That fight will be long
remembered in the annals of the gang, which, like the records of the
great Homeric fights or the sagas of the primitive Northmen, are first
handed down by word of mouth.

"I wished yer'd seen it, kid," said Charlie Brown, to his wide-eyed,
freckled-faced junior, whom he was trying to bring up in the right way.
"It'd bin an eddycation fer yer. Andray Franswa jumped round jest like
he was made o' rubber. Every time that Jim grabbed fer him, he was on
the other side an' had landed him one on the nose. Gee, yer oughter
seen it bleed--it was worse'n the time Jim beat Buck Paxell. Now,
Teddy, yer want ter keep yer eye on Andray Franswa, an' do same as yer
see him doin'--'cause he's goin' ter be a great man some day like Jim

That afternoon the manager of the White Star chanced to look out of his
window, and he saw André François, with his white sailor hat, fashioned
after that of Prince Edward, set rakishly over one ear, his hands in
his pockets, whistling at the top of his lungs, come down the street.
His face was muddy and bleeding, a great scratch cut across it from ear
to ear, his hair was wild and tangled, but his swagger was that of a
conqueror, and he took the middle of the road. An admiring concourse of
small boys followed along at a respectful distance.


Mr. Biron smiled to himself. Then he took down his ledger, for he was
a careful man of business, and read over a certain page. On it was
written fourteen times:

"To Andrew Francis, licking... $1.00"

"Um," said the manager of the White Star softly at the end of the
addition, "fourteen dollars." Then he took another look out of the

"I never made a better bargain in my life."




    De debbil done ast me to be his chile;
      De debbil he's allus a follerin';
    I run de debbil foh mos' a mile;
      Don' you hear de debbil a-hollerin'?
    I'se gwine to jine de fambly of de Lohd;
      I'se gwine to glory in de mawnin';
    I'se gwine to be bohn in de grace of Gohd;
      Ain't you gwine to come to my bohnin'?

      _Come along-a sisteh, come along-a bruddeh,
      Come along-a one an' a come along de uddeh,
  Bring along a frien' an' a-bring along anuddeh;
  Ain't you gwine to come to my bohnin'?_

    De debbil done temp' me to visit his roof;
      De debbil he's allus a follerin';
    I stomp my foot on de debbil's hoof;
      Don' you hear de debbil a-hollerin'?
    I'se gwine to jine de fambly of de Lohd;
      De debbil's done quit his harryin';
    I'se gwine to be married to de son of Gohd;
      Ain't you gwine to come to my marryin'?

      _Come along-a sisteh, come along-a bruddeh,
      Come along-a one an' a come along de uddeh,
  Bring along a frien' an a-bring along anuddeh;
  Ain't you gwine to come to my marryin'?_

    De debbil done beg me to sail his ship;
      De debbil he's allus a follerin';
    I smack my han' on de debbil's lip;
      Don' you hear de debbil a hollerin'?
    I'se   gwine to sail in de ship of de Lohd
      Dat's a runnin' to glory at de ferryin';
    I'se gwine to be buried in de grace of Gohd;
      Ain't you gwine to come to my buryin'?

      _Come along-a sisteh an' a come along-a bruddeh,
      Come along-a one an' a come along de uddeh,
  Bring along a frien' an' a bring along anuddeh;
  Ain't you gwine to come to my buryin'?_





He was a coal-black, box-headed negro, of a bulk and stature never
before admitted to the dining-room of the Bluegrass Hotel. The blacks
preferred by the management of that fastidious hostelry were agile,
under-sized fellows with round heads and small hands; and Moss Harper
would assuredly never have effected an entrance to the dining-room, had
it not been for a waiters' strike, which made almost any kind of help

The lynx-eyed head waiter, prejudiced from the start against his
gigantic underling, quickly discovered that salt-cellars and other
small objects eluded Moss' clumsy fingers like drops of quicksilver;
also, that the channels between the tables were wholly inadequate for
the safe navigation of a vessel of this draft. Hence Moss' term of
service would doubtless have been a very brief one, had it not been for
an unforeseen event. On his way home the very first night, he broke
the heads of half a dozen union pickets who had waylaid him in a dark
alley, and this feat gave the strike a shock from which it died the
next day.

Out of gratitude, and possibly also a desire to give the recalcitrant
negroes an object-lesson, the management decided to tolerate Moss for a
month. It was clearly a case of toleration. He broke more dishes than
any four of the other waiters; he forgot orders; he trod on toes; and,
although he was of a singularly peaceful disposition, never taking part
in the multitudinous squabbles of the dining-room, the incessant gibes,
sneers, and threats of his unionized associates would occasionally
prove too much for even his equanimity. Then, like an infuriated
gorilla, he would spring upon his tormentors, regardless of their
number, and dearly indeed would they pay for their sport.

He was, moreover, a silent fellow; and his silence was not that of the
well-bred waiter, but a solemn, profound, brooding, depressing thing,
acquired, one could almost believe, in the African jungles where his
forefathers had crept like wild beasts or squatted in superstitious
terror. People, consequently, were a little afraid of him. It was told
that he had once carried a piano up three flights of stairs on his
back; and when he would pass down the dining-room with a seventy-pound
tray balanced on the tips of three fingers as lightly as if it were
a pie-pan, a certain bald-headed, white-waist-coated, pink-faced old
bachelor, who made his home at the hotel, never tired of observing to
strangers, with his dry little chuckle: "How'd you like to meet that
boy on a lonely road, suh, afteh dark, with your gun at home?" And, in
truth, Moss' huge black paw, suddenly appearing over their shoulders
from behind, as he served a meal, was a trifle disconcerting to ladies
with delicate nerves.

There was, however, a force of some kind, a sort of dumb nobility about
the fellow, which made itself felt; and, in spite of his manifold
shortcomings, he had, when his month was up, made a fairly favorable
impression. Still, his fate was hanging in the balance when Fortune
once more intervened in his behalf. An imaginative reporter on one of
the Louisville papers, being hard pressed for a Sunday story, concocted
an article entitled "A Congo King," in which he solemnly averred that
the herculean waiter at the Bluegrass was the grandson of an African
prince who had been captured by slavers on the upper Congo, after a
desperate fight, and landed in Charleston in 1832.

From that hour Moss became a show-piece which the proprietors of
the Bluegrass would not willingly have parted with. Guests almost
daily asked to be shown the "Congo King." A German ethnologist who
was touring the country ran down from Chicago to get some exact
measurements of the royal descendant's head. An artist of State
reputation painted him in what was alleged to be his grandfather's
court costume--a strip of leopard-skin around his loins; and a
photograph from this painting made the most popular souvenir post-card
which the hotel's news-stand had ever handled.

Curiously enough, his fame did not spoil him. Indeed, for any change in
him, he might have been unaware of his fame, and possibly was unaware
of it. At all events, he continued to pursue the simple routine of his
life. He worked seven days in the week, from six in the morning until
nine at night, with a respite from two till six. Most of the hotel
negroes spent this recess in shooting craps and guzzling beer in an
adjacent dive, but Moss devoted it to the prosecution of an enterprise
very near to his heart. He was learning to read! He could already read
a bill-of-fare, of course, to any near-sighted guest who had chanced to
forget his glasses; but this was merely a mnemonic trick, assisted by
the position of the words on the card. He yearned to be able to read
"really and truly," out of a newspaper or a book.

One afternoon, after laying off his dining-room livery and getting
into his own shabby clothes,--in which few of the Bluegrass guests
would have recognized their Congo King!--he set off with unusual
alacrity. At the street door he paused to turn up his collar and
draw down his hat-brim, and then indifferently stepped out into a
pelting shower. A block away he entered a second-hand book-store and
bought a greasy, dog-eared Second Reader which he had priced the day
before. Stowing his purchase in an inside pocket to keep it dry, he
longingly eyed a passing street-car, for he was tired; but he put the
temptation aside--five cents would buy a loaf of bread or two quarts of
buttermilk--and stepped out into the rain again.

A walk of ten blocks brought him to the head of an ill-smelling, narrow
alley, dotted with foul pools of water and bordered with tumble-down
shanties. The rain had now ceased, and the sun, beating down more
fiercely than ever, was raising a pestilential reek which had brought
the black denizens of the alley to their tiny stoops for a breath
of comparatively fresh air. Children, the smaller ones quite naked,
pattered about like ducks in the black mud.

The number of men present, considering it was midday, would have
surprised any one not familiar with the fact that the residents of
Goosefoot Lane plied their varied trades mostly by night. Oily-skinned
and blear-eyed from heat, drink, and loss of sleep, these gentlemen of
color somewhat resembled the animals of an over-traveled menagerie,
blinking stupidly, staring morosely into vacancy, slapping viciously
at flies, and occasionally exposing their red mouths and gleaming teeth
in a wide, fierce, carnivorous yawn. Some few, in a better humor, were
drinking pailed beer and shooting craps. The women held their babies
and chatted with their neighbors, while now and then some fat old mammy
would waddle out into the lane to settle a row among the youngsters.

It was into this atmosphere that the student took his way, nodding at
an acquaintance here and there, until he reached the shanty which the
payment of four dollars a month in advance entitled him to call home.
An old darky sat drowsing on the stoop. There was something ape-like
about his long arms, his flat, wide-nostriled nose, and the mat of
gray wool which crept down his forehead to within two inches of his
eyebrows. Yet, on a closer inspection, his face was human, kindly, and
benevolent, and even lit with a shrewd humor.

"This you' Secum Reader, sonny?" asked old Benjy, starting from
his doze as Moss thrust the book into his hand. He fumbled in his
pocket for his silver-rimmed spectacles,--cherished memento of better
days,--pinched the book between his thick, knotted fingers, and opened
it about as gracefully as a bear would open an oyster. Then he squinted
at the page with an owl-like expression, moving the book now nearer,
now farther, and turning it this way and that for a better light. For
he was Moss' teacher, and it would be highly injurious to his prestige
for him to show any flustration over this new volume. Nevertheless, he
was not quite at ease.

"Yass--book-store man di'n' cheat you. He Secum Reader," he observed
astutely, after moving his lips inaudibly for a moment. "Says so--right
theh--top o' the page--in plain print. An' print don' lie! 'Member
that, sonny,--print don' lie. Men lies, women lies, clouds lies--say
it's gwine rain when it don' do nothin' but blow up a li'l' dust--but
print neveh lies. 'Cause why? 'Cause the Good Book is print. But,
sonny, if you gwine git an educashum, you gotter strike out for
it--strike out--strike out."

"Ain't I strikin' out?" asked Moss in an aggrieved tone.

"Shuh, sonny, shuh. But this yere vollum make you scratch you' haid.
Yass, indeed, sonny,--make you scratch you' haid. Purt' near makes me
scratch mine!" The last, however, was accompanied by a low chuckle to
indicate that it was only a joke; after which he adjusted his glasses
afresh and again fixed his gaze on the book. "Wuds in heah, sonny, you
neveh seen befo'. I done seen 'em, of co'se, 'cause ole Mis' tuk me
mos' through the Thud Reader befo' the Wah broke out. But, of co'se, my
eyesight ain't what it was--no, sonny, 'tain't what it was." He stared
harder than ever, shutting first one eye, as though squinting along his
old coon-gun, then the other, blinking, and moving his lips. Finally
his black face lighted.

"Heah's an ole devil I used to wrastle with!" he exclaimed shrilly.
"Lawd, Lawd, how I used to wrastle with that ole devil! _Succumstance!
Succumstance!_ That's the ole devil!"

"Lemme see 'im," said Moss curiously, bending nearer.

"Right theh," answered Benjy proudly, pointing with his stub
forefinger. "That long, crinkly, twis'ed feller. Looks a good 'eal like
a dried fish-wum. Sonny, when you kin read a wud like him, easy-like,
same as I do--_succumstance_--see!--_suc-cum-stance_--you' educashum
mighty neah complete."

Satisfied with this feat, however, the old man turned from the text to
the pictures, which were less trying, he declared, to his eyesight.
His attention was at once caught by a little girl, in an old-fashioned
pinafore, driving a hoop amid a fairly Edenic profusion of butterflies,
flowers, and birds, with a squirrel eating a nut overhead. For a moment
he stared fixedly through his grimy lenses, and then his hands trembled
with excitement.

"Sonny," he almost shouted, "dis the same Secum Reader ole Mis' done
learn _me_ out of! Dar's li'l' gull with her hoop, and squ'ull up
above. An' dar"--turning a page--"is li'l' boy with pony--spotted
pony with a collah 'stid of breas'-strap. An' dar anudder li'l' boy
with white rabbits. I 'members 'em all. I 'members what ole Mis' said
about 'em all," he ran on eagerly, while Moss' own eyes grew large
with wonder at the strange coincidence. "I 'members de day ole Mis'
guve me de book. I done driv' her back that day fum the Law'ences',
where she spend the day with ole Mis' Lutie. She spend lots of days
with ole Mis' Lutie, 'cause ole Mis' Lutie's husband killed in Mexican
Wah, same as ole Mistis'. An' as we driv' up the ca'igeway, Miss Pen
and Marse Willie Hahpeh, her cousin, come kitin' by us on theh hosses,
makin' sich a clatter, my hosses shied in the blackberry-bushes. But
Miss Pen juss larf, like she always do when Marse Willie with her, and
neveh slowed up a bit. Ole Mis' kind of sighed and sayed: 'Benjy, that
gull gwine breck her neck some day on that hoss.' An' I say, 'Mis'
Judie, neveh while Marse Willie aroun'. He got better use for her neck
than breckin' it.' An' she say, 'Shut up, Benjy; you fohget they fust
cousins.' So we kim on up to the po'ch. Then she han' me a book an'
say, 'Benjy, that's Secum Reader. You done learn all they is in the
Fust.' An', sonny, it's the same book, the same book."

For a moment he was lost in reverie. His faded, age-filmed eyes, lifted
to an archipelago of fleecy cloudlets, grew dreamy as his mind wandered
back to the shady driveways of the old Harper mansion; the spacious,
rose-curtained veranda; the cool, high-ceiled rooms within; Old Marse
and Old Mis', Miss Pen and Miss Patty, and the troops of guests who
kept the great house ringing with merriment, with few intermissions,
from January till December.

"Times is change, sonny," he murmured plaintively. "Ole Mistis been
grave-dust fo' thutty yeahs, eenamost, I reckon. Miss Pen done
mah'd Marse Willie, spite of bein' fust cousins; de Wah kem on, an'
Benjy--fool Benjy--run away with the Linkum sojers. Yass, ole fool
Benjy run away with the Linkum sojers, an' been livin' on 'taters and
sow-belly eveh since."

The new Second Reader was forgotten, and he rambled on with the tale
of the old days--a tale which had neither beginning nor end, whose
characters and events grew sharper with each repetition, and of which
the old man never grew weary.

It was a tale of which Moss never grew weary, either. In his childhood
it had served him in lieu of the fairy-tales which a white child hears
at its mother's knees, and throughout his later years it had served him
in lieu of books, pictures, music--in short, had been the sole food
of his esthetic nature. At Harper Hall, before the War, according to
Benjy, it was never too hot or too cold; birds and flowers were present
throughout the year; the grass was always green, the streams were
always full of water; nobody ever worked very hard; there was always
time to fish and hunt, to dance and play the banjo; there was always
plenty to eat. Best of all, there was always love. In that Garden of
Eden, a broken head or a broken heart was equally sure of healing balm.
Old Mis', Miss Pen, and Miss Patty were little lower than the angels.

Moss had heard of slavery, of course. He even knew that his father
had been a slave. But the word conveyed little meaning to him. The
war of which his father so often spoke was equally vague. The only
clear thing about it was that it had ended the old times and begun the
new. How vastly superior those old times had been to the new! What
possible comparison could there be, for instance, between Harper Hall
and Goosefoot Lane? What a fallen creature was the landlord at the
Bluegrass, compared with Benjy's old master! How miserable a thing was
Moss' daily fare beside the feasts to which his father habitually used
to sit down!


The old man was still muttering reminiscently, and Moss was still
sitting with his chin buried in his hands, when an apparition appeared
at the head of the Lane. It was a lady, with a white parasol and
broad-brimmed white hat, daintily lifting a fluffy, many-ruffled white
skirt, and exposing a pair of white shoes and stockings. She nodded
amiably at the blacks on either side as she picked her way along, and
halted once for a bit of chat; but at last she bore airily down on Moss
Harper's stoop, where she folded her parasol as a dove might fold its
wings on reaching its ledge.

It was then, and not till then, that a stranger, unless a Southerner,
would have discovered that black blood flowed in her veins--that she
was, in the vernacular of the South, a "nigger"--no more so and no less
so than her thick-lipped, ebon-hued husband, Moss Harper.

She paused for a last covetous glimpse of the stream of life flowing
past the head of the Lane, out there in the white man's world, and
then, with a careless nod at her husband, she passed through the squat
doorway of the musty den--a butterfly entering a rat-hole.

Moss had not spoken,--with elemental human nature mere words count for
little,--but his mind glided from Benjy's broken recital to his wife.
He never thought of her as half white, for she had been suckled at
a black breast; she had played with black pickaninnies; her present
associates were black, like her husband; and she spoke the jargon of
the blacks. He preferred, in fact, to think of her as of his own race.
Yet her undeniable beauty, her fair skin and her wavy hair, were facts
to be reckoned with. And beneath that fair skin and wavy hair were
other things to be reckoned with--yearnings and ambitions unknown to
an Ethiopian, a taste for fine clothes, a discontent with her present
state and a blind groping for something better in the way of life, all
handed down in her white father's blood.

It is true that the ladies for whom Estelle formerly acted as maid had
pronounced her worthless--vain, frivolous, and dishonest. And they
were right. She was a thief. The beautiful skirt which she had this
day flaunted in the envious eyes of the wenches of Goosefoot Lane had
been stolen from the laundry at which she worked three days in a week,
and many a neat job of shoplifting had she done. Yet, after all, these
were only mistaken means to a great End--means which, if history speaks
true, were not unknown to a far-distant generation of our own race when
they were groping _their_ way out of the darkness of barbarism.

Of these means Moss, fortunately, knew nothing; for old Benjy, rigidly
drilled in honesty by his mistress, had done the same for his son. But
the End he saw, mistily and uncertainly, for Estelle had handed over
to him a great deal of that which her father had handed down to her;
and it was toward this end that he himself was now making his slow and
painful way, with a Second Reader in his hand.

Estelle laid off her scented finery lingeringly and lovingly, put on
a calico wrapper, and passed into the diminutive lean-to which they
called a kitchen. Five minutes later she appeared at the front door,
shot a searching glance up the Lane for anything of interest, and
coolly announced supper. Then the man who, for eleven hours of seven
days in the week, served other men with every luxury which the four
quarters of the globe could supply, sat down to a meal of buttermilk,
cold potatoes, and dry bread.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Moss got home again that night, Estelle was sitting on the stoop
alone, old Benjy having gone to bed with the chickens, as usual. His
eyes brightened, for very often she was summoned to the laundry at
night to take care of "immediate" work from the hotels, she being an
expert at ironing women's fine fabrics. He sat down beside her on one
of the benches which flanked the stoop, and she rested her head on his
arm, as if weary.

"You done paid Fitzpatrick the rent to-day?" he finally asked.


"You show him that hole in the flo'?"

"Yass." She dropped her long dark lashes for an instant, and then
added: "I _tole_ him about it. He di'n' come here. I took the money to
his saloom. You know, he sayed if he haved to come here again fo' that
money, he th'ow us out in the alley."

"He ain' neveh tried to th'ow _me_ yet," observed Moss quietly. "We'll
th'ow ourseffs out befo' long. We ain' gwine to live in this hawg-pen
all the time." He paused, and added more gently: "I don' want you to go
to his saloom no mo', 'Stelle."

"I went in the side do'," she explained. "Nobody di'n' see me. An' I
di'n' go no furder than the do'. But I won' go no mo' ef you don' want
me to."

"I don' want you to," he repeated definitely. "I don' want him to
insult you like he did me when I axed him to fix that hole what you
could th'ow a bull thoo."

"Why, Mossie, you neveh tole me about that! What he say?" There was an
indescribable undertone--possibly of amusement--in her velvety voice.

"He sayed he'd hoss-whip me ef I eveh come to his saloom again beggin'
for repai's."

Estelle's lashes again quivered slightly, and her lips parted in the
shadow of a smile--just enough to reveal the straight, faultless
joint between her two rows of glistening teeth. She reached for the
great black hand which rested on his knee and laid it in her lap,
covering it with her own. It was as if she recognized in that member
of sledge-hammer size and hardness a sure defense from all harm. Yet
the light which played in her eyes, as she lazily turned her face
toward his, was still half-ironical. Was it Caucasian fleering at
Ethiopian--white blood mocking black?

"Moss, I'd lak to see him try to hoss-whip you." She laughed at the

"You mus'n' want me to fight," he rebuked her quietly. "I don' lak
to fight. I want to git where I won' never have to fight. When I
gits awdained as preacher, we gwine live in the country, an' have a
li'l' house with a gyahden, where dad kin potter roun' and raise us
veg'tables. You won' have to wuk in no laundry then, or live in a
hawg-pen lak this."

Estelle was quiet for several minutes, with her large eyes fixed
reflectively on the stars.

"When you think you gwine be awdained?" she finally asked.

"Pretty soon, now; soon's I learns to read a li'l' better."

But in his heart he was not so sure. Old Benjy was of the opinion that
he would at least have to go through the Third Reader to qualify for
ordination, and he was only beginning the Second.

"You think you lak the country better as you do the city?" asked
Estelle hesitatingly.

"Don' you?" he demanded in astonishment.

"Oh, _I_ do," she hastened to assure him. "But I was juss wunnerin' ef
you wou'n' make mo money in a big chu'ch in the city as you would in a
li'l' chu'ch in the country."

"Got to take li'l' chu'ch fust," he observed astutely.

That he was still dissatisfied with her question, Estelle seemed to
detect by some sixth sense, for she ran on suavely: "You know, I neveh
lived in the country, lak you. Tha's why I axed you what I did. I
reckon I don' know how sweet the country is. Moss, I wish we gwine the
country to-mo'ow to live!" She flung her arms about his neck and let
herself settle down upon his broad chest.

Tears filled the giant's eyes. "I wish you was, honey. But I cyarn take
you--juss yit. Got to wait a li'l' while--juss a li'l' while."

In that moment Estelle probably meant what she said. In that moment
her love for the man whose name she bore was probably uppermost in her
foolish heart. In that moment her impulse toward a higher life may have
carried her beyond her love of finery, and she may have been willing to
give up the city and the very questionable means which it afforded for
securing that finery.



We drift along the placid stream of Time, complaining of the monotony
of the voyage, when already the murmur of rapids which are to try every
muscle and thrill every nerve might be heard if we but stilled our
peevish notes long enough to listen. A week after the above events a
party of four ladies from central Kentucky arrived one evening at the
Bluegrass. The register showed them to be mother and daughters; and
their gentle manners and soft voices, added to the beauty of the girls,
had put the clerk on his mettle, spurring him to an exhibition of his
choicest Kentucky gallantry. He had just promised them a large, cool
room on the second floor, containing two beds, and, in answer to their
laughing, half-ironical request that they might be shown the Congo
King, he had assured them that they should be seated at that royal
scion's table.

"You certainly are entitled to the privilege," he added blandly, "for
his real name is the same as yours."

"Harper?" queried the mother of the pretty trio, with some surprise.

"Yes; Moss Harper."

The four ladies exchanged quick glances.

"Why, our carriage-driver, long before the War, was an old negro
named Moss. He had a son named Benjy, who ran away during the War. I
don't want to impeach the genealogy of your King, but I wonder--" She
stopped, as if recalling that her auditor was a stranger, then added,
with a smile: "Anyhow, we _must_ be waited on by him, now."

       *       *       *       *       *

Moss was aware that the ladies at his table were scanning him with more
interest than even his size and legendary history usually evoked, and
he was not much surprised, therefore, when the eldest of them said:
"Excuse me, please, but is your real name Moss Harper?"

"Yassum," he answered, halting instantly in his employment, as old
Benjy had taught him to do, and dumbly waiting the lady's further

"Do you know your father's name?"

"Yassum. Ole Benjy."

"Is he still living?"

"Yassum; livin' with me."

The lady's small white hand closed rather quickly on the table-cloth.

"Do you know what county he came from?"

"Yassum. Ole Bubbon; he done live at Hahpeh Hall." Then the lady's
lighting eyes encouraged him to volunteer a word or two, contrary to
his habit. "The Hahpehs all daid and gone now, though. All killed in
the Wah."

One of the girls shot her sisters an amused glance, but Penelope
Harper's lips quivered. In a voice which struck Moss as the sweetest he
had ever heard, she continued: "I think I shall ask you to come to our
room--No. 120--as soon as you are through with your duties here. I have
something of interest to tell you."

To Moss, with the childish impatience of his race, it seemed as if he
would never escape from the dining-room that night; for when he was on
the point of leaving, at a little after nine, he was detailed to help
take care of a party of a dozen or more that had just come in. It was,
therefore, after ten when he gently tapped on the door of No. 120.

He had been too well bred by his father to sit down; and Mrs. Harper,
not wishing to disturb his conception of propriety, though some laxity
on the present occasion would have been permissible, let him stand just
inside the door, with his greasy old hat clutched awkwardly between his
hands and the shrunken sleeves of his butternut suit exposing four or
five inches of muscular black wrist.

"In the first place, Moss," she began, after ascertaining a little more
of his history, "I want to tell you that the Harpers are not all dead.
I am a Harper myself. I am the Miss Pen that old Benjy must have often
told you about."

"Not Miss Pen!" exclaimed Moss, with starting eyes, as if beholding an
apparition. "Not the one that mah'd Marse Willie Hahpeh?"

"The very same," she assured him, smiling. "And these are my daughters.
But Marse Willie is dead; he died a long time ago, during the War."

Verily, it was as if some magician had rung up the curtain on the
past--that beautiful past of which his father had told him so much. He
listened to Mrs. Harper's story in something like a trance, with his
blue-black eyes half lost in reverie. And, thus forgetting himself, his
awkwardness passed; his hands fell naturally by his side, his chest
came out, his head rose, and he stood before the ladies in all the
splendor of physique which Nature had invested him with.

"Now, Moss," Mrs. Harper concluded, "no Harper could ever neglect a
descendant of our faithful old Moss, even though his son did run away
during the War. We want to take care of you and Benjy. We'll give him
a cabin by himself, and we'll give you and your wife another cabin. As
fast as you learn the plantation work, you shall be advanced. With your
strength and intelligence, I am sure that you can soon be earning good
wages, and you will be much happier and better off than you are here.
To-morrow afternoon, when you are at home, we'll drive out to see old
Benjy, as he is probably too feeble to come here, and you can then tell
us what you have decided to do. Meanwhile, to relieve any immediate
needs, accept this." And she handed him a ten-dollar bill.

Just how he expressed his thanks, or how he got out of the room, Moss
never clearly recalled, for his brain was whirling. But when he found
himself in the street, with the cool evening air on his heated brow, he
started for home on a run. It was a rather dangerous thing for a black
man to do, too, at that hour of the night, in a Southern city, since a
policeman was likely to stop him with a tap on the head from a "billy."


But the first thing that stopped Moss was the glowing front of a
pawnshop, near the head of Goosefoot Lane. In the window was a brooch
which Estelle had paused to gaze at, with covetous eyes, every day for
weeks. Moss had looked at it himself a good many times, dreaming rather
than hoping to carry it home some day as a surprise for Estelle. Now he
had the money, and, without a thought of the prodigality of his course,
he entered the shop.

His heavy breathing did not escape the sharp eyes of the Hebrew
proprietor, who would not have been at all surprised to see a pursuing
policeman heave in sight. But when Moss showed his bill and asked for
the brooch, the pawnbroker quickly went forward for the article, and,
after taking into consideration his customer's evident hurry, he set a
price of five dollars on it. Estelle would have got it for half that
sum, but Moss paid the price without a murmur, and then sped on down
the Lane, leaving the Hebrew well pleased with the transaction and
fully convinced that his customer was a thief.

Estelle was not at home, to Moss' keen disappointment, and, though he
took it that she was at the laundry, he woke his father to make sure.
Old Benjy, as torpid as a woodchuck in January, was not easily roused;
but Moss' repeated shouts and by no means gentle thumps finally brought
him to his elbow, blinking dazedly.

"Daddy, Miss Pen's alive! She's at the hotel, and she's foun' us out,
and gwine to teck us all back to Hahpeh Hall!"

Old Benjy continued to blink silently, and was evidently of the opinion
that he had been dreaming. But when Moss had repeated the news twice or
thrice, and the facts had finally filtered through Benjy's thick skull,
he let out a yelp that would have shamed a coyote.

"Halleluyer! Halleluyer! Glory to Gawd! Bress de Lam'! Bress de Lam'!"

Moss, after confirming his supposition as to Estelle's whereabouts, did
not wait for the broadside of questions which his father was sure to
fire at him, but ran out to the stoop. Should he wait for her? Should
he pin the brooch on her night-dress, and then, when she discovered it,
overwhelm her with the good news? That would be fine, but it was far
too severe a tax upon his patience. The next moment he was on the wing

No negroes were allowed to enter the laundry by the front door, or,
indeed, by any door, unless employed about the place. But Moss stole
in through the engine-room at the rear, and managed to make his way as
far as the ironing-machines without challenge. Estelle was nowhere in
sight, however; and, raising his voice above the clatter, he inquired
as to where she was of a mulatto girl whom he had often seen with his

"She done gone to git some medicine fur a haidache," answered the girl.

"How long 'go?"

"Juss li'l' while--not ten minutes."

At this, a wrinkled old negress, who had bent her head forward to catch
the colloquy, showed her half-dozen yellow teeth in an evil grin.

"Sonny," she volunteered maliciously, "she been gone two hou's by the
clock. The medicine that gull gwine arfter don' come fum no drug-sto'."

Moss had no time for further parley, for the threatening voice of
the foreman warned him to depart without loss of time, and he glided
swiftly out again; but in the starlight outside he paused, with the
mist from the exhaust-pipe drifting into his upturned face.

Some of the joy had gone out of his eyes. Did the old woman mean that
Estelle drank? Once or twice, recently, he thought he had detected
liquor on her breath, but he had immediately dismissed the suspicion.
Drinking, of course, was no heinous offense in his eyes; he daily
saw too many white women drinking to hold such an opinion as that.
Nevertheless, he himself had forgone liquor for years--old Benjy had
preached him many a temperance sermon; and Estelle had allowed him to
believe that she, too, never drank.

But now that the accursed maggot of doubt was in his brain, he could
not cast it out, and its foul progeny multiplied thick and fast.
With feverish haste he made the round of all the drug-stores in the
vicinity; but Estelle was not to be seen. Twice he returned to the
cabin; but the measured snoring of old Benjy, who had swallowed the
good news as a child would a sugar-plum, and then calmly fallen asleep
again, was the only sound that greeted his ears.

How quiet the cabin was! A chill solitude already seemed brooding
over it, and the familiar objects of the room had taken on a strange
appearance. With an unnamed, unnamable fear compressing his heart and
making breathing difficult, he took his way back to the head of the
Lane. After standing there a moment, straining his eyes in either
direction, he began to wander slowly and a little wearily up and down
the avenue, scrutinizing every woman who came within his range of


He finally found himself, by mere chance, in front of his landlord's
saloon. A passing thought brought his leaden feet to a stand-still. If
Estelle _should_ have gone out for a drink, and had had no money,--as
he believed to be the case,--would she not have come to Fitzpatrick's?
It would have been the last place to which he would have gone to ask
credit for a drink, for, in the first place, no negroes were allowed
to drink at Fitzpatrick's bar; in the second place, Fitzpatrick was no
friend of his. Yet Estelle had gone there once with the rent! Maybe she
had gone more than once; maybe----

A sound in the gloomy hallway along one side of the saloon suddenly
made his steady-going heart give one great bound. It was Estelle's
voice in silly, tipsy laughter, followed by a profane admonition, in
a masculine voice, to keep still. Next came the cautious closing of
a door and guarded footsteps. As rigid as iron, with his great fists
clenched and his nostrils spread like an angry bull's, Moss waited for
the pair to appear. But, instead of coming nearer, their footsteps
receded until he heard them ascending the stairs at the other end of
the hall; then they ceased.

One--two--three--four--five minutes Moss stood there, seeing nothing,
hearing nothing, a film over his eyes, a noise like rushing waters in
his ears. His sensations were very similar to those he had felt when
a careless carpenter had once dropped an oak two-by-four on his head
from the second story of a building; and now, as then, he automatically
raised his hand to his scalp.

But at last he came out of the curious obsession; he saw the twinkling
arc-lights, heard the humming of the trolley-cars, and was conscious
of people passing to and fro. With a strange smile, he took the packet
containing the brooch from his pocket, slowly unwrapped it, and
dropped the trinket to the sidewalk, after which he ground it under
his heel. Then he crossed the street to a negro saloon--that is, a
saloon for negroes, run by a white man. He poured himself a big drink.
The villainous liquor trickled pleasantly through his interior, and he
immediately ordered a second drink--then a third--then a fourth. This
time the bartender, after an uneasy glance at the herculean shoulders
and muddy eyes of his patron, substituted a weaker mixture for the
fiery stuff he had been setting out. He also shifted a revolver beneath
the bar into a slightly handier position.

But Moss walked quietly out and recrossed the street, with no hint of
unsteadiness in his gait, in spite of his unusual potations. He softly
entered Fitzpatrick's hallway, and in the dark recess behind the stairs
he took his stand--a silent, grim, fearsome statue of obsidian hue and
almost heroic size.

He waited for what seemed hours; but, queerly enough, he was not
impatient, nor was he in the least excited. Occasionally a policeman
sauntered past the entrance; at intervals a trolley-car thundered by;
the bartender of the saloon slammed and locked the back door. Finally,
a tower clock began to boom out the hour, and Moss, in the absence of
anything else to do, counted the strokes.

Only twelve! He would have guessed that it was at least two o'clock.
Then, having counted to twelve without much effort, he began to count
his fingers over and over, to see how far he could go. At thirty-nine,
being a little uncertain of the next number, he paused. During the
pause he heard the swish of a skirt in the hall above. They were coming!

A woman's agonized shriek, a man's curse, a chance shot into the dark
from his ever-ready revolver, a scuffle,--a very brief scuffle,--and
then all was as still as before. Estelle had told her last lie;
Fitzpatrick had dispensed his last drink.

Moss walked forward to the doorway, waited quietly until an officer
who had heard the report of the revolver came running up, and then
surrendered himself.

"I done kill 'em," he explained laconically.

Ten minutes later, in heavy manacles, he stepped down from the police
ambulance at the entrance to the jail--a huge brick building, covering
an entire block, with its barred windows rising story on story, a
somber architectural jest at Civilization.

       *       *       *       *       *

Some two months later, the governor of Kentucky was standing with his
hands in his pockets at the window of his office, in the quaint capitol
building at Frankfort, and gazing idly at the tablet in the sidewalk
which marks the spot where William Goebel fell, the victim of an
assassin's ball. He turned, at the rustle of a lady's skirts.

"Why, Pen! What angel sent you?" he exclaimed, pushing forward his
easiest chair. "Pen, do you know you're just in time to save the
gov'neh of Kentucky from a spell of the blues? It's a fact. I read a
book last night, by a man named Buckle, about civilization and that
sawt of thing, and the pesky thoughts stick to me like a nightmare. I
was standin' by that window theh, just reviewin' the events which have
taken place in our deah old State in the past quarter of a century, and
I was askin' myself which way we were headed--up or down."

"Up, surely," answered Mrs. Harper. She looked at him with that candor
and seriousness which is permitted only between old friends, and then
continued: "Wilbur, I have a problem, too, and I want you to help me
solve it. I want you to pardon a negro who was convicted last June in
Louisville of a double murder, and who is now here in the penitentiary.
He is the son of that Benjy of ours that ran off during the War, and
the grandson of our old Moss. You remember them both. I never knew
either of them to be guilty of a vicious act, and this boy--he's only
twenty-five--killed his wife and the white man who had debauched her."

The governor sat playing with his pen-knife for some time after she had
finished her story.

"I wish this Moss of yours had killed only the man, Pen," he observed.
"That's what a white man would have done, and everybody would have
applauded. But, then, a niggeh ain't a white man--never will be a
white man. Pen, being gov'neh is a terribly responsible job. Now, you,
for instance, ask me, one man, to set aside the findings of twelve
men appointed by the people to determine this niggeh's guilt. Yet the
pahdoning power was certainly given me for a purpose, and I intend to
use it when I see fit. I'll take your word for it, Pen, that Moss is a
good niggeh; I'll look into his case, and if you are not mistaken as to
the facts, and will take him out to the Hall and keep him theh, I'll
pahdon him. But I can't do it right away. In the fust place, a little
punishment will do him good. In the second place, theh's politics.
Politics, Pen! To pahdon that niggeh now, my dear Pen, while the events
are still so fresh, would make an awful row. The press would froth at
the mouth. But in a year, mind you, or eighteen months at the most,
I'll turn him loose."

"Oh, Wilbur, a year is such a long time!" exclaimed Mrs. Harper

"Is it, Pen,--to you--at fifty-five?" he asked whimsically.

"Alas, no, not to _me_! I'm not in a cell. But I understand your
position, Wilbur, and I'll submit to the inevitable. It is so much
better than it might have been, and I am very, very grateful. But can I
not intimate the good news to him, just to keep up his courage?"

"If you do it very diplomatically, Pen, and do not mention me."

Then, after she had left, he sat chuckling in his chair at the idea of
asking a woman to be diplomatic under such circumstances.

The warden, after reading the Governor's note, turned to a guard. "Put
a coat on 1610 and bring him to the reception-room."

"If you please," interposed Mrs. Harper, "I should like to see him just
as he is, at his work."

She followed her conductor through the stifling prison-yard, cut off by
the encircling hills from every current of air. On the hill-side, where
the convicts were breaking stone, it seemed even hotter, the oven-like
breath of the dog-day sun rebounding into one's face in almost palpable
pulsations. Moss was one of a gang of fifty. He was naked to the waist,
and his broad, sweaty back glistened in the sunlight like the skin of a
porpoise; yet, in spite of the heat, his sledge rose and fell with the
regularity of machinery.

"Has he given you any trouble?" asked Mrs. Harper of the guard.

"No'm. He ain't that kind. He's the kind that gits gloomy and either
dies or goes nutty. But after a year or two we'll probably make a
trusty of him, and then he'll be happier. Murderers generally make the
best trusties."

When Mrs. Harper, after going forward a few steps alone, with a
quickened pulse, spoke his name, Moss' sledge hung in mid-air, and he
hearkened without looking up, as if doubting his ears. It was not until
she repeated his name that he turned toward her. His face was neither
bitter nor vindictive, but dull, oh, unutterably dull, as if he had
said farewell forever to hope. He did not speak--to speak was against
the rules. He did not even smile, but simply touched the brim of his
wool hat.

Mrs. Harper, with a catch in her breath, stepped still nearer.

"Moss, I remain your friend," she began tremulously. "Benjy is with us,
and we are taking the best care of him. And, listen, Moss! This is what
I came to tell you. I am authorized to say, positively, by a power that
is supreme, that, if your behavior is good, your detention here will
not be more than eighteen months, and I hope only twelve. You can stand
the work that long, can't you, knowing that we are waiting for you,
ready to give you a home?"

Still his expression did not change, and still he did not speak.

"Don't you--don't you understand, Moss?" she asked, with quivering
lips, fearful that his mind had already been shocked.

His slow words then came:

"Yassum, I kin stan' it. I could stan' it foreveh. But _she's_ daid,"
he cried hoarsely. "I kill her--I choke her--with that han'!" thrusting
out the member. "The same han' she used to put her li'l' han's roun'
and hole so tight--same han' I used to pat her cheek with--same han'--"
A shudder passed over his huge form until his teeth chattered.

"Oh, I know it's hard!" exclaimed the tender woman, suffering only
less than he. "You have sinned, and you must do penance. But we've all
sinned, and all done penance, and yet happiness comes again. Believe
me, Moss, some day you'll be happy again. Be brave, and one month from
to-day I'll be here to see you again. Meanwhile, can I do anything for
you--take any word to Benjy?"

His lusterless eyes seemed to brighten a little.

"Mis' Pen, will you sot up a li'l' tombstone on her grave? Juss a li'l'
one, so I kin fine it some day, when I gits out?"

And Penelope, with blinding eyes, promised.




A striking reversal of attitude may be noticed to-day toward
innovations in the field of art. Time was, we are told by the
biographers of the Old Masters, when the painter who dared to step
beyond the pale of conventions current in his day, suffered the
neglect and bitter scorn of his contemporaries. From the earliest
period of artistic endeavor, the innovator has been on the defensive;
whereas the cardinal sin in the modern artist is rather the _failure_
to innovate or to startle us by some new form of disregard for the
principles established by tradition. In the place of knowledge and
patient scholarship, we find sophistication and a restless, conscious
craving to produce an effect sufficiently startling to command the
instant attention of a busy world. In the art of landscape painting
particularly this desire to be effective at any cost has led many of
the younger generation of artists to adopt for themselves hastily
formed theories regarding the phenomena of light and air and to devote
their lives to these, forgetting all else.

The result of all this is a modern school of landscape, the aims of
which seem strangely more allied to scientific investigation than to
artistic study, and a class of pictures which expound, frequently with
great skill, the theories upon which they are accomplished; but which
are rarely intelligible to any one not directly concerned with the
study of art.

So it is with some sense of relief that we may turn our attention upon
the achievements of an artist like Thomas R. Manley, whose drawings
are reproduced here, not that they may be the subject of a written
discourse, but that of themselves they may give pleasure to a wider
public than it has hitherto been their fortune to command. They are
the product of a quiet and orderly development carried on outside the
clamor of the modern movement, simple masterpieces of landscape drawing
as it has been practised since the days of Claude Lorrain. They
present no "theory" upon which we may base a philosophical discussion,
and there is nothing "new" about them at all beyond a simple technical
invention of the artist's, whereby his line is rendered more soft and
pliable than by the ordinary mediums of crayon or pencil. What they do
possess, however, and to a high degree, is the evidence of a mastery
of the technique of design plus a finely trained intelligence and
feeling. This technical mastery of design is perhaps the rarest of
accomplishments at the present day, because it is the most difficult to
acquire and makes too great a demand upon patience. And yet it is this
which should and does satisfy most directly the unconscious esthetic
sense in us all; for who cannot experience some inward pleasure in
the form and movement of the hills and trees as they are expressed to
us in these drawings? It is not essential to our enjoyment of these
things that we should ourselves have knowledge of the technical means
whereby they are conveyed; but it is these studied accomplishments
which we are enjoying nevertheless; because through them our own sense
of harmony is aroused. Let us note, for instance, the character of the
lines used to represent the foliage in the first drawing reproduced,
and see with what beautiful, rythmic precision they produce at one
and the same time the required tone and the movement of the thing
represented. And again, in the trunks of the trees how fully the firm
lines record the upward growth and the vicissitudes of weather suffered
in their struggles to attain the majestic heights to which they rise.
This method of drawing, in which light and shade is produced by lines
which at the same time follow the form and movement of the objects
represented, is perhaps the oldest and most conventional; but in the
hands of a master like Mr. Manley it is more fully expressive and
beautiful in its results than any other.

[Illustration: FOUR DRAWINGS








If to dwell upon points as technical as this seems a contradiction to
the statement already made, to the effect that these reproductions
are presented for what pleasure they may give the layman, it should
be said that it is for the reason that such technicalities as are
pointed out may well be within the understanding of all intelligent
persons and that their elucidation may assist greatly toward a fuller
appreciation of the more intellectual merits. And if we fail to
consider sufficiently here those more poetic qualities and to attempt
some description of the meanings and sensations conveyed to us by the
pictures themselves, it will be because it seems that these are matters
best left to the individual observer. This is what might be called
the "literary" side of pictures, and one upon which art criticism has
come too largely to dwell. If, on the other hand, the discussion of
pictures were content to confine itself to the pointing out of what
constitutes the "art" of the work, might we not derive each for himself
a more intimate pleasure in undisturbed enjoyment of those intellectual
conceptions, which, though produced by the same picture, are, in no two
of us, precisely alike?

There are represented in the four drawings here selected (from a
collection so interesting that any selection at all was difficult)
several phases of the artist's ability, each so well demonstrated that
it is scarcely possible to choose between them. This versatility of
mood is a noteworthy evidence in itself of the well grounded mastery of
the artist and of his ability to deal with nature at all points. It is,
in other words, no mere trick or specialty which he has learned as one
might pick out note for note and learn by heart a tune upon the piano;
but the work of a hand and eye and mind turned in perfect accord, like
a single instrument capable of an infinite range of expression.

In the first of the drawings, that of the piece of woodland through
which a path winds off to where it is lost to view among the trees,
carrying our imagination with it to the contemplation of scenes still
farther on, we find virtues of a more uncommon type than in the others.
The large nobility--the _monumental_ quality--is an aspect of nature
wholly out of fashion in our day. The firm bed of earth we can feel
under our feet with a sense that it is good to stand upon, and the
fine pattern of trees and clouds swayed in common movement stirs one
with that martial sense of activity, that vitality of impulse which
recalls the memory of some high-winded, keen-aired autumn day. We have
considered already the spirited and skilful drawing of the trees in
this picture; but it is difficult to turn from it without again noting
some of those qualities of line which are particularly well displayed
in these parts of the composition. To render those long, bare, sinuous
stems, growing upward with their roots unmistakably planted in the
ground and not so that they have the appearance of hanging down from
the clouds, is a feat of no small difficulty, to judge from the
frequent instances one meets with of failure in this regard. This
well established feeling of the growth from the ground upward of the
trunks of the trees and the springing from the branches outward of
the foliage, this complete and harmonious development of the whole
structure from the seed, as it were, is the product of an exhaustive
study, in all of its stages, of the life and characteristics of the
tree itself.

We are confronted in the second drawing with a striking contrast
to the first, in that the merits of vigorous and harmoniously
balanced line and form are supplanted by the more tender effects of
atmosphere, and the vigorous stroke becomes gentle in its handling of
the delicate trees worn by the winds and but half seen through the
uncertain twilight. Here, perhaps, the man is more in evidence than the
draftsman, and the sensitive and sympathetic spirit of the artist seems
abstracted for a time from the more tangible qualities which are the
chief glory of the former work. But like the first drawing it possesses
a carefully built up unity of sentiment and notes no point in the scene
not concerned with the impression of loneliness and neglect it seems
intended to convey.

The third and fourth drawings are more remarkable for skilled and
accomplished draftsmanship than for the expression of any distinctive
feature in the varying moods of nature. Our delight in them comes more
from the beautiful precision of aim whereby a single stroke is made to
record a number of interesting facts at the same time. In the drawing
of the barn and shed over-topped by a rugged tree and with a middle
ground filled by lively detail, we are reminded of the great masters
of etching in the clever abbreviation of each of those details and
the manner in which they are grouped or merged one into the other.
And then, in the last one, note the contour of the earth, how well
it is rendered by that cleverly foreshortened winding line of half
obliterated roadway leading up the hill and into the fresh mass of
foliage which crowns it. This ability to draw the solid ground so that
it appears solid is a rare gift in any draftsman, and it may well be
taken as an evidence of the fullness of his talent and training.

Like Constable, Mr. Manley has been content to draw his inspiration
from the small section of the world in which circumstances have placed
him, the quiet New Jersey country where Inness worked out for himself
the distinguished place his name holds among American landscape
painters. These drawings by no means represent the full range of Mr.
Manley's activities, for he has won high esteem as a painter and an
etcher and holds a position of importance as a miniaturist; but they
are, perhaps, the things in which his rarest talents are displayed,
as they are also the closest to his own pleasure in his art. They are
the pastimes of an uncommonly sincere and scholarly master who shows
integrity in play as well as in work, and who has carried on his career
with an earnestness and a humility and modesty of character which all
but deprived us of any sight of his achievements at all.




One elating, blue and white April morning saw a cheerful company of
six assembling in a railroad-station waiting-room. There were the
manager of the tour, Duprez--gray-haired in comparative youth, at
once care-worn and accommodating looking--the foreign stamp on him
not entirely obliterated by the stamp of the country; and his wife,
the popular Pearl Wharton-Duprez, whose habit of facing the world
as an audience must have found its way into her features; she was
recognizable at sight for a singer. Her brilliant face, while not
precluding the possibility of a heart, suggested less remotely a temper.

There was one Milen Odiesky, gripping a black violin-box; who listened
to a hilarious conversation he but half understood, with a fixed
smile, revealing a marked division between his two broad, white front
teeth,--disagreeable, for some reason, though he might pass for
handsome in a dark, hairy, Oriental way.

Then there was one who at first glance looked in the group as if
he must be an acquaintance come to see them off. He was tall and
proportionately broad, with stalwart shoulders, a deep chest, and a big
neck; superlatively well groomed and dressed. The gloss of his silk
hat was not broken by the wilfulness of one hair. He carried himself
a trifle more than erect, and swept his limited horizon with a calm,
kingly eye. His face was close-shaven, a smooth coppery rose, shading
easily into the color of his close-cropped hair. His features were of
the rather thick, round, good-natured type, and time was beginning to
divide up his face into heavier masses than occur in the forties; but
these facts did not prevent his presence on the whole from impressing
an observer with the sense that he looked at something really very
fine. This was Bronson, whose name on the program would occupy the
most room: the great Bronson, Anthony, the tenor of long sustained
fame--sustained, indeed, so long that these appearances in parts that
knew him only by that fame had now been projected.

Then there was a little plump woman, the one who kept the others
laughing; and she carried, besides what one is accustomed to see on the
arms of travelers, all the things she had forgotten to put into her
trunk; among which were an alarm-clock, a sponge-bag, a pink flannel
dressing-sacque, and a little image of the Virgin. She bubbled on, in
a voice as impossible to forget or mistake for another's as her face;
which face, however, was not pretty, but so faithfully reflected a
nature as to be memorable for its want of all malice, concealment,
or suspicion. It was not that her features were child-like which
accounted for her face bringing to mind a child's, but that it shared
some quality inclining one on shortest acquaintance, without fear of
rebuff, to treat its winsome, unsevere, uncritical owner familiarly
and affectionately. She was not pretty, but certainly her dark-edged,
misty, pale blue eyes, with their capacity in the same measure for
humor and sentiment, under eyebrows sympathetically working with her
thoughts, and lids stained a tender bistre, had an attaching sweetness;
and the clear spaces of her face, the forehead and temples, something
cool and rare, like the stamp of talent; while just beside her ear,
where a faint lock of silken black hung an inch or so down a soft,
sallow cheek, was a spot creating an instant desire to kiss it. This
was Miss Nevers, the pianiste; Nevers, they briefly called her in
speaking of her, pronouncing the name like an English one; Marie-Aimée
they called her in speaking to her, all excepting Odiesky, who did
not yet know her well enough; except, too, the sixth member of the
party, who could never take it into his head to do so. The latter was a
homely, thin man, neither young nor old, of the name of Snell, who was
engaged to play common accompaniments, and tune the pianos. He stood
near the others, but only ventured a smile where they laughed.

Yet he with the rest, as they trooped to the train, was conscious of a
lift to his spirits. The tour was a turning the back upon the old and
known. It had the charm of beginnings; it opened to life, with this
new combination, new possibilities. Hard work and wearing travel were a
certainty in the prospect, but it showed nevertheless like a holiday,
enlivened by daily change of scene, faces, food.

Beside these general justifications of a reasonable elation on
starting, there was excuse for the festive jollity which made
people turn to look after our friends as they progressed down the
platform--the stately Bronson now carrying a bulging rubber sponge-bag,
impossible to conceal--in the brilliant artistic auspices under which
these musical peregrinations were undertaken, and the discovery, now
that the artists were come together _en troupe_, that they severally
brought elements promising uncommon liveliness and fun.

       *       *       *       *       *

About five years had passed since the laurel-laden return of the Duprez
Concert Company, when Marie-Aimée one morning, rather earlier than it
is customary to make a call, rang the door-bell of a certain large
impressive house.

Whether the explanations were hurry in dressing or absence of mind, she
looked, on this occasion, somewhat as if her clothes, as the saying
is, had been thrown at her. The velvet of her little bonnet needed
brushing; and her little gloves, alas, mending. She wore no veil, and
wisps of her hair had been blown on end. But this effect of disorder
culminated in her face itself, where the colors were out of their
places; her cheeks being pale, her poor small nose and her eyelids
red. She had grown stouter since our last sight of her, and on this
day was carrying herself so without pride or heed as to look fairly

As she stood waiting, she must have forgotten that she was in a public
street, or else felt bad beyond caring; two or three times she openly
mopped her eyes. When, however, she faced the tall butler who opened
the door, she appeared to have nothing worse the matter with her than a
bad head-cold. She asked if Miss Cheriton were in, gave her card, and
was shown into a vast hushed drawing-room. There, as soon as she had
been left alone, she looked at herself in the mirror; after which she
chose a seat with its back to the windows. She had occupied this but
a moment, when, lest the thoughts stealing back upon her should drive
her again to tears, she crossed over to the grand-piano glimmering in
the half-light with liquid reflections of gilt moldings, brocade, and
palms. She lifted the lid to peer at the name of the maker, and tried
its tone with a scarce audible chord. Then she took up piece after
piece of the music in the rack, questioning it as to Miss Cheriton's
title to her high reputation as an amateur pianist.

On hearing a rustle, she hurriedly laid down the music, and got up,
her heart rushing. Miss Cheriton had shaken hands, with expressions of
pleasure in making her acquaintance, had offered her a seat, and taken
one, before Marie-Aimée had been able to do more than clear her throat.

Miss Cheriton had allotted her a seat well in the lights; her curiosity
about this caller could do no less; wherefore Marie-Aimée's reddened
eyes at first refused a square encounter. But shortly, while Miss
Cheriton was forcing a dullish conversation, Marie-Aimée forgot
herself, and looked Miss Cheriton in the face; full as interested as
she in the looks of the other at close range.

Marie-Aimée saw a well-grown young woman of eight or nine and twenty;
faultlessly dressed in a fawn colored cloth matching her perfectly
arranged abundant hair. Her face was entirely fine, if a little cold.
She gave an impression of great self-poise; she could be imagined to
have always thought and decided for herself, and had the fortune to
see everything go as she wished, which no doubt she laid to the firm
and just management she looked so capable of exercising. She had a
beautiful calm complexion and calm dark-blue eyes, which weighed you
thoughtfully, and would with difficulty, you fancied, alter their
conclusions about you. But at least, Marie-Aimée felt with relief and
hope, they were windows into a mind where there was room to breathe.

She began abruptly, in a suggestive pause occurring in Miss Cheriton's
small talk, "You must be wondering what brought me."

The expression of Miss Cheriton's face, her only answer to this,
signified that though she hoped she had not seemed to be wondering
rudely, she would in effect be pleased to know.

Marie-Aimée picked at her glove. "It is this. I was told that I had
been making mischief. And I came, wishing if possible to remedy it."

Miss Cheriton's eyebrows moved upward just enough to start a ripple
in the beautiful smoothness of her forehead, and she waited, her eyes
inquiring of Miss Nevers' troubled face; in their depths had flashed a
prevision of what might be coming.

"I know I talk a dreadful lot," Marie-Aimée burst forth in disgust,
"I tell everything I know. I can't keep to myself even stories that
are against myself. Whatever is on my heart, I say it. I have been
making a dreadful fool of myself--which is bad enough, but I feel worse
about having given annoyance to others.... Mr. Bronson came to see me
yesterday evening."

She paused, as after a piece of news. Miss Cheriton waited in silence,
her face expressing nothing beyond polite attention.

"And he said that my doing as I have been doing made a lot of gossip,
which inevitably reached you, and was calculated to give you a mistaken
impression of our relations in the past----" Marie-Aimée's voice stuck.

After a moment, "Please, please, don't be distressed," murmured Miss
Cheriton; and as if her uneasiness at the sight of tears had made her
restless, left her seat, and went to stand beside the mantle-piece,
leaning on it with one elbow, ornaments at choice within reach, to pick
up and play with.

Marie-Aimée laughed through a sob. "You see? Was there ever such
a fool? And this is the way I have been ever since I heard of his
engagement. But I want you to understand, Miss Cheriton, that _that's
just me_. How can he help it, unhappy man, if I am made this way? I
have cried like a pump. I have cried upon the shoulder of every one
who would stand it. But I had no right, no possible right, to lament
in the highways like that. It was only--when my heart was full, I
let it run over. But I never in the least meant it as a reproach to
anyone,--any more, put it this way, than a sunflower going draggled and
crazy at sunset. But he told me last night I made him ridiculous. Oh,
he was gentle. For all that, the things he said troubled me horribly;
and I made up my mind, after he had left, to come directly to you and
explain, so that if reports have vexed you, you should not mind them
after this."

Miss Cheriton said quietly, not looking at Marie-Aimée, but at an ivory
Chinaman she held: "It is not necessary, Miss Nevers. I did indeed hear
something, but I did not give it much thought."

Upon which Marie-Aimée, as if these words had contained all the
encouragement necessary, proceeded eagerly, "We never, never were
engaged. You will believe me, whatever you may hear. We merely have
been friends for years. I had known him slightly a long time already,
when we went on a tour together, with Madame Wharton-Duprez. It
was then we became such chums.... Mercy on me, that tour! Shall I
ever forget it? Will any of us?" She smiled, with a sudden drenched
reflection of sunshine on her tear-bedabbled face.

"I know!" Miss Cheriton smiled too. "Mr. Bronson has spoken of it to

"Has he?" asked Marie-Aimée, brightening still further, rainbow-like,
and immediately at greater ease with Miss Cheriton, from a
responsiveness she felt in her smile when the ever fertile subject of
the tour was broached, dear in its time to Anthony Bronson's heart.
"That's good. For it will in part explain.... Don't you agree with me
that laughing together makes a stronger bond than even weeping? Well,
on that tour, what we did best and chiefly, was to laugh. Did he ever
tell you----" She dropped her voice like a person having something good
to relate, and fun played over her face in ripples, "the adventure of
the water-melon? Yes, of course! I suppose he has told you everything.
And the adventure of the face-wash and the curling-irons? And the
night of the great thunderstorm? Oh, make him tell you that one. It is
incredible, the number of things, and the description of things, that
happened to us in those six months. It was as if we had been a sort of
lightening-rod attracting all the incongruous, ludicrous, delicious
happenings that should have been distributed over the country. Or else,
it is that we were in a disposition of mind to find everything funny.
Of course, it may have been that. But still--imagine our arriving
once at a little place where we had never been heard of. There is a
mistake. And no one expects us. And there is no hotel. And it ends in
our being obliged to sleep in the empty jail, we women, a dovecote of
a jail, with just two wee cells; oh, slumbers of sweetness and safety,
after our many nights in strange hostelries. No need for once to look
under the bed for burglars; and the men in a barn. Odiesky didn't get
the hayseed out of his hair that season. And imagine--imagine having
along with you a man who has a nightmare every time he drops off to
sleep. A poor Mr. Snell who went with us was like that, and we used to
run into one another in the lobbies, in curl-papers, at dead of night,
flying to knock him up, he made such awful, such blood-curdling sounds,
which could be heard all over the hotel. It is unkind to laugh at an
infirmity, but the sounds he made, could you have heard them, would
excuse me to you. And imagine--but try to--imagine the six of us, six
people who feel themselves not a little famous, going fourteen miles in
a single-seated wagon, that, or miss our connection, and complications
without end. I don't believe I stopped laughing the whole way. You
see it? We two, the grace and beauty of the party, enthroned upon the
laps of _ces messieurs_--no other way, no other way possible, none.
Wharton-Duprez in the arms of her own husband; and Odiesky astride the
horse, postilion, having to drive; and poor little Snell on the floor
with his knees over the dash-board; and the danger at any moment of
the wagon breaking down----" She pieced out that fourteen-mile long
ecstasy of merriment with more of a singularly rich, unaffected laugh,
in the midst of which her face fell blankly serious, and she held up,
as if she had never seen it before, the hand which in the heat of her
description she had been waving.

"Will you look at my glove?" she said; promptly closing which
parenthesis she continued, "As I was saying, it may have been that
circumstances really justified us, or our mood, which was exceptional.
For myself, I never enjoyed myself so much. Oh, I was impressionable
then, and ready to be pleased. Every day a new place, every night a new
triumph. It was Mr. Bronson's triumph, but his glory fell upon us all.
We lived in an atmosphere of success; and people were so nice to us, we
were entertained everywhere like king and court. It was then, you see,
when we were together from morning until night, we grew to know each
other so well. And, you know him, you know how kind he would be to a
little person traveling as I was doing; kind does not express it, and
thoughtful and considerate. And you know the charming companion that he
is, even-tempered, easy-going, good fellow. And in traveling like that
you know the thousand little services a man can render you, and, among
artists, the good turns. He, you will have discovered, has not a touch
of that queer jealousy so common among artists.

"But there was even more than all that. Before the end of our
engagement, Wharton-Duprez had taken the most cattish dislike to me;
I have never known why. And everything that woman could do to make
things uncomfortable for me she took pains to do, even, will you
believe it, contriving that my luggage should be left behind, and I
forced to appear on the stage in the filthiest little coal-begrimed
traveling-suit--at the fag end of the season, you understand.
Ferdinand, her husband, did not dare to say a word. It would have
been past endurance for me then, had it not been for Mr. Bronson's
invariably showing himself my friend, and keeping her within limits. I
had reason to be grateful to him, you see. I should have had to be a
monster not to become devoted to him. You can put yourself in my place,
can't you? And then, add to everything else his singing. Never, never,
never, to me, has there been anything like it."

Miss Cheriton bowed her head, slowly, in agreement.

"_If with all your heart ye truly seek me_," murmured Marie-Aimée,
looking as if she listened to a voice singing in her memory.

"_In manly worth and honor clad_," murmured the other, likewise.

"It opens a door, doesn't it," Marie-Aimée spoke low, as if they
had entered a church, "into a world where it is all beautiful,
calm, eternal--the only world--where whoever breathes its air must
worship and must love; just his mere voice, when it is what I call
his ballad-voice, doesn't it contain all romance? Moonlight, boats on
lonely seas, lattices with roses; and when it is his anthem-voice,
it contains, doesn't it, all aspiration, cathedrals, matin-bells,
archangel's choirs----"

Again Miss Cheriton nodded dreamily; then, raising her eyes, which in
listening she had dropped, forgot the one of whom they were speaking
for interest in the face of the speaker, who looked ahead with eyes
which clearly did not see what was before them, but the cloudy white
pillars, one might have surmised, and dim glimmering splendors of some
temple of Music and Love.

Marie-Aimée swept her hand across her forehead. "And I," she continued,
raising her voice in a tone of plaintive exculpation, "I was born mad
for music! A voice has power over me like a spell. And I am flesh and
blood! And so----" she ended feebly, "do you wonder?"

Silence, while Marie-Aimée turned her face wholly from the light. But
even while she made application of her little damp pocket-handkerchief,
a stealing sense warmed her in all her woe that she had somehow made a
friend of Miss Cheriton. The exemplary piece of tranquility there felt
drawn to her; something communicated this unimaginable fact directly
to her heart; and it melted her, as the hint of kindness always did,
and inclined her now verily to make no more circumstances about it, but
show her whole heart in abandoned frankness, repeating just once more
the fault she was here to confess. But simultaneously with gratitude
for that liking, rose in Marie-Aimée the need to repay it greatly;
whence a caution to herself to proceed more than ever guardedly with
the truth.

"And after we were come back," she took up again, "we naturally
continued seeing a great deal of each other. I won't say we would not
have done so from choice, but it was inevitable, too. Our profession
threw us together, concerts, rehearsals; he used, besides, to bring
every bit of new music to learn at my house, with me to play it over
for him. And so on, for years; and to me, I tell it frankly, that
light-hearted, unconventional comradeship of ours gave its principal
charm to life. In the last year I have seen less of him, and latterly
very much less. He was not singing much, he was under treatment for
his throat, and often out of town by his doctor's directions. I missed
him, but I am busy from morning until night, the week round, work and a
thousand things. I thought nothing of it. Do old friends need to see
each other constantly to be assured nothing is changed? Then I hear of
his engagement to you. I am thunderstruck! For never, never, never, had
I dreamed of such a possibility. You see my folly? He was not bound to
me by any promise, or by what you would call a moral obligation. There
never had been any question of our marrying, not even at the beginning
when we first got home, not even in my own mind--" Native honesty and
poor human nature would not permit but that she should add, though in
a tone that made little of it--"any definite, immediate, formulated
idea of it. My poor sweet mother was living then, a sufficient reason
against it. And when she was no longer there, all had got into a
groove, and remained as it had been. And it seemed natural. I have
nothing but what I earn. He was having bothers about money. He put all
his in a mine, you know. We called ourselves poor working-people. But
still! There it is! That's where you discover my bird's brain. That's
me! The way I am! I flatly refused to believe it, and when I saw him
again, I did not even ask. But I daresay I looked as he had never seen
me look. Then he himself told me of it, as one tells such a thing to
an old friend. And the past stood suddenly in a new light; and I saw
clearly, in a flash, that just this and nothing else was to have been
expected. And I knew that it was altogether the most fortunate thing
that could happen to him; and, after the first, I acquiesced.

"Only, I followed my nature in making the outcry of one who has
received a wound and is bleeding dreadfully. I have no dignity, Miss
Cheriton. Discretion and I have never so much as been acquainted. I go
around with my heart in my face, I forget my face, you see, in thinking
of what has befallen me. And I run into some sympathetic woman who is
fond of me, and she cries out 'Marie-Aimée, my poor child, what is
the matter with you?' and I bend feebly upon her shoulder, and tell.
And then I suppose she goes off and tells too. Hence, you see, the
ground of Mr. Bronson's remonstrances with me yesterday evening. And
in consequence of them I am here. I didn't know what else to do, Miss
Cheriton. I hope it was best. And you do see, don't you? I have made
the whole thing plain? I have made it all right? You know how he is,
and now you have seen how I am, the inference will be simple! And I
beg both your pardons. Oh, he is right, he is quite right, to feel
put out with me, but not--" she forced a little watery smile, as she
rose to take her leave--"not because it has ever seemed so terribly
to a great singer's discredit that, when the whole world goes after
him, among them should be a silly woman who does not manage to conceal
her _grande passion_. It only makes him like Mario and others; you
must not let it trouble you, Miss Cheriton. You must think of me in a
thought of the same strain you bestow upon the thousands of photographs
of him that have been sold in the course of his career, and are
cherished and given places of honor in young ladies' rooms; and the
sentimental follies school girls have committed in the way of sending
him flowers and notes. Let these tributes to him merely increase your
pride of possession. He is free from all blame, all, that is what I
have wished you to feel assured of, or all--" she put out her hand in
farewell--"except just a little, little bit. You don't mind? A little
bit he certainly was to blame, though I suppose it can be laid to
the account of his modesty, in not taking it home to himself that he
could not be so nice, so consistently, persistently dear and nice to a
person, without her falling to stupidly adoring him."

She stopped, and stood, vaguely shaking her head, prolonging her faint,
watery, bitter-sweet smile; and would have withdrawn her hand, but Miss
Cheriton retained it, by a firmer pressure, in the warm, kind clasp of
hers. Marie-Aimée lifted her eyes, touched and full of thanks, to the
fine calm eyes above her; and in their unclouded light read Anthony
Bronson's unqualified exoneration, and that she herself had been
impartially examined, and now stood classed, past appeal, among those
soft, sweet, idiotic women who will fall into unwarranted love with any
man of whom they see much, and are by their own passion made incapable
of discerning the fact that he is not in love with them. The glance was
full of honest sympathy for a sorrow so real; but it was not untinged
with as much contempt as would be implied in the prayer, "I thank thee,
my God, I am not as these women are!" Under which Marie-Aimée humbly
bowed her head and waited but for the release of her hand to go. But
Miss Cheriton, whom stiffness or delicacy kept from saying a word in
reference to what she had heard, yet found herself utterly unwilling
that her visitor should leave so uncheered. Still holding her hand,
she told her, in a voice full of the suggestion of sincerity, the deep
pleasure she had always had in hearing her; she amplified, tactfully,
understandingly, upon all she had discovered of exquisite in her

Marie-Aimée's face lightened a little; she had never become callous to
praise. Miss Cheriton spoke of friends they had in common, from whom
she had heard so much of her, of a sort that had long made it one of
her most eager wishes to know her. Whereupon Marie-Aimée, as ever
responsive, gave herself into Miss Cheriton's hands, to be known. And
the two were shortly making acquaintance as they might have done had
they been presented to each other at the house of those mutual friends.
One could not have dreamed, to hear them, what had gone before. They
talked of music mostly, and musicians, wholly forgetful of time.
To illustrate some point, Marie-Aimée went to the piano and played
a bar or two; after which, as she would have risen, Miss Cheriton
entreated against it; and when Marie-Aimée, who never resisted,
asked what she should play, suggested a composition of Miss Nevers'
own, which the latter had imagined so obscure, she said, as to be
almost her only secret. And she found, to her astonishment, that Miss
Cheriton, whether moved by genuine musical congeniality, or a vulgarer
curiosity, had procured everything ever published of Marie-Aimée's.
Afterwards, Miss Cheriton took the place at the piano of Marie-Aimée
urgent. Then Marie-Aimée begged leave, and supplanted her, to show
how a different sequence of chords would be better; and the woman of
talent and the woman of cultivation spent a long hour, delightful to
both; in the course of which Miss Cheriton found the quaint enthusiasm
for Marie-Aimée felt by her innumerable friends accounted for; and
Marie-Aimée came to disdain, as paltry praise, the definition "very
fine girl" which one was accustomed to hear joined to the name of Kate

Smiting her brow, aghast, at the recollection of an appointment missed,
Marie-Aimée jumped to her feet. By running she might still be in time
to apologize. They shook hands again, warmly; and Marie-Aimée said, all
her heart in her voice, "I hope you will be very happy."

In the street, Marie-Aimée, as she hurried along, could think of
nothing but Miss Cheriton. She would send her as a wedding-gift the
French great-grandmother's rococo cross, the choicest bit of jewelry
she owned.

Her heart might have been so much dusty, worm-eaten wood; remarking
its astonishing lightness and insensibility, she reverted in thought,
almost flippantly, to the horrors besetting her when she left home that
morning. Surely, if it were possible that with Tony's marriage brought
as close as a visit to his intended brought it, she should feel as she
felt, she might still hope to put on a good face about it to the world.

In this mood she went about a good part of that day; and talked to some
with so much of a return to her old spirit that they disguised their
surprise by a greater cheerfulness than really their mystification
allowed them to feel. Meeting an old acquaintance who put on the face
of a sympathizer to say, "My dear, I _did_ feel for you when I heard
of his engagement, you know whose I mean," she looked as if not sure
she understood; and the old aquaintance, after a searching look at
her, dropped her mournfulness, to proceed, "It seems to be a fine
thing for Bronson, this marriage. I hear that Miss Cheriton will be
a millionaire. People exaggerate, you think? But she _has_ bought a
superb place out of town?"

By the late afternoon, that curious, unseasonable, baseless good cheer
was wearing off, like the effects of wine, and the world, through
its fading fumes, was returning to look like the world of yesterday.
Weariness was overtaking her; but her heart had not recommenced its
clamorous aching; it was only a little sick, when she went into a
music-store for a score she needed. She was looking this over, with her
eyes rather than her mind, when her attention became fixed in memory
upon that expression of Miss Cheriton's face from which she had judged
her mission successful--Tony cleared. Suddenly, as in the middle of the
night she had sometimes known that in a letter sent off there was a
word misspelled, she felt that triumph of confidence in Miss Cheriton's
eyes not to have been the work of her own explanations. She herself had
been fully explained to Miss Cheriton before ever she set foot in her
house. How could it have been otherwise?

Marie-Aimée's ghost-seeing eyes became fixed upon nothingness. She sat
so a long time, her chin dropped in dolorous absorption; a figure which
struck discomfort in the beholder. Another woman buying music bent over
the counter and whispered to the clerk, who whispered back, and both
stole glances at the unconscious, rigid, dumpy profile, stamped with
tragedy, of the well-known pianiste, whose most intimate sorrow had
become town-talk.

She went out at last into the hubbub of the streets, which seemed a
cruelty of men, under the gorgeous sunset sky, which seemed a cruelty
of Heaven's, and, as much as a great heaviness would allow, hurried
home and to bed and the dark. It was no use! no use! Though Tony's
conduct to her admitted of the face she had put on it to Miss Cheriton,
and though the world's jury, upon full evidence, might have acquitted
him, he not being the last shade of black, she herself knew, and
something of incorruptible justice in the bottom of her heart would
not let her blink it, that she had been badly, badly treated. But that
was not the most woeful, that she should have been badly treated, or
that she must live her days hereafter without him; but that he, Tony,
should have been capable of doing this thing to her, to her, who would
have shed her blood for him, and he knew it.

In the days following, as she went about her crowded occupations,
she did not, as she had allowed herself to do before, seek relief in
speaking of what weighed upon her heart. But human strength did not
suffice to keep the matter out of her face; her cheek was leaden, her
eyes were in a fog.

But it was useless now, her avoiding Anthony Bronson's name. She had
spoken too much before. Besides, too many remembered the soft, radiant,
enamored face with which she had been used to beam up at him in those
earliest days after their return from touring, and down upon which he
had benignantly beamed, like a big, gratified idol. Furthermore, this
gossip concerning persons so well known had too many of the elements
which ensure a thing being repeated till everyone knows. Reports
of "scenes" made by Marie-Aimée were still spreading after she had
placed the seal upon her lips; and those who got them last did not
know that they were old news; and as it was the least interested in
her personally who last became _au fait_ of her affairs, some among
them took the view that little Nevers was disgracing herself; which
sentiment once in the air, certain of Marie-Aimée's closer friends
saw the matter more nearly in that light, experienced a reaction from
too complete sympathy with her. One heard it said with a touch of
impatience, "Some one ought to talk to Marie-Aimée!" Even those who
loved her most, this, as it seemed, insistent and protracted harping
upon an unfortunate attachment at last came near disgusting. And she
did receive scoldings and lectures, of which she abjectly owned the
justice; and she tried to keep herself more out of sight. Only so far
as the necessity to earn a living made it imperative did she go about.
Wherefore some whose invitations she refused said, "Nevers is moping.
It is a pity she can't behave like the rest who have to suffer from the
fickleness of man!"

A critical, less friendly attitude of the world toward her was
beginning at last, through her dismal preoccupation, to penetrate her
heart with its novel chill, and make the city where she had always
lived seem not like home any more. She looked about, bewildered,
for escape. The day of the Bronson-Cheriton wedding, too, was close
at hand; but before it had arrived, there descended upon her from a
distance a stern older married sister, whom rumors at last had aroused.

No one saw Marie-Aimée after the coming of this sister. To everyone's
astonishment, in the busiest time of the season, Marie-Aimée's rooms
were empty of her. It was thought that the sister had carried her off
to keep her under surveillance: till it became known from Marie-Aimée
herself, writing to her old friends, that she was in a convent of the
Sacred Heart, hundreds of miles removed, and there proposed to remain
until she had become free from the faintest taint of the folly that had
made her a scandal and a laughing-stock,--yes, if she remained there
until she died. Her time was profitably spent in study, and the giving
of piano-lessons to the young girls receiving their education in the
holy house. And she enjoyed the inestimable privilege, accorded to her
by the Mother Superior, of weeping as much as she pleased.


To that little portion of the busy world-in-general which concerned
itself with her, one may be sure it seemed very soon after her
disappearance that it began to be said Nevers might be looked for
again. Already? Yet, when one had grumbled that love, after all, does
not last very long, he made calculations, and these told him that three
years and more had slipped past since the tragico-comic retreat of the
poor crossed-in-love. Certainly, something may be expected of three

She was really coming back? There was excitement. She was coming, no
longer any doubt of it; there was glee, there was expanding of the
heart. She was come; there was a rush to see her. Affection accounted
for much of this; for the rest, curiosity to see the result of her
three years. But when she had been seen, delight knew no reserve; each
felt as if he had won a bet.

A movement arose, as a breeze comes up, and gradually gained force,
till it resulted in a concert given for Marie-Aimée, a testimony of
the regard felt for her, and the joy at her return. The occasion was
made a magnificent one; the house was crowded, and contained such a
proportion of personal friends of Marie-Aimée that the affair took the
character of a huge family festivity. But the applause resounding when
Marie-Aimée herself appeared to perform her little task at the piano
was in excess of all the rest. In the sound, in the faces, in the air,
one felt "How she is beloved!"

She came forward in the child-like manner one remembered of her, with
that adorable absence of self-consciousness which touches more than
grace, bowing from side to side with the moved air which infallibly
moves, half in tears, yet smiling. To gratify her faithful, she had
gone into hearty extravagance, and appeared wonderfully encased in a
warm delicious pink, worthy of the event, much of it rustling off far
from her heels, not much of it at all troubling her dimpled arms and
shoulders. She held her sweet little black head on one side, like a
tender bird; it looked as if dragged over by the weight of a big rose
in her hair. And the people could not be satisfied with clapping their
hands. The public was for the occasion become romantic, and, as much as
the artist, was applauding the woman who had loved and, by this token,
triumphed over a villainous deserter. They kept it up _ad absurdum_,
intoxicated by the noise they made, more and more touched by their own
loyalty to the old favorite, wishing to proclaim it still more loudly;
and so expressing at last, it is sad to say, far more than any one
felt. But it had been a goodly demonstration, and all thought better of
themselves when finally those who were eager to hear the playing began
hushing, and silence gradually came about.

Then she played, and it was to many what they were pleased to call
a revelation. It was at all events a fresh, delicate, inspirating,
moving music. There were those who listened with eyes upturned, and
thought of sunrise upon Eden; there were those who nodded surprise and
commendation, and spoke of technique.

Marie-Aimée was one of those persons about whom all who know them talk.
She offered opportunity for it, certainly, by herself talking; her
manner of being and her ways were fertile in food for comment; but her
modest ray of fame was also accountable, being felt to brighten all who
could claim sufficient nearness to her to know her affairs.

Had she changed? was the capital question in the discussions of her
following upon her return. Most said not in the least, except, the
presumption was, toward Bronson. She was open-hearted as ever, merry
once more as she had used to be when her star first rose among them.
She was still the one that so lent herself to be loved and gently,
almost enviously, laughed at. But if she were changed, as some
maintained, it was for the better. She looked younger, rested; her face
was clear and untroubled now. If, after the first, one missed something
in her, she explained that it was her old faults.

"When I began to see glimmering ahead of me in the distance a triumphal
re-entrance among you," she held forth to a little group, "I began
to prepare for it. I tried to fit myself better to please you. For
the _bon Dieu's_ sake, I had tried to obtain a clean soul; but for
the world's sake--your sake, my dears--I tried to become thin! I did
gymnastics, I walked, I dosed myself, I gave up eating everything I
liked, and you see the result? Honor my beautiful shape, will you? and
do not press upon me sponge-cake and plum-cake, as you used to do. Then
I became orderly. Haven't you noticed? All my buttons there, all my
hooks and eyes. And every little spot at once rubbed out with cologne.
When did you know such things of me before? But look at my head! I tell
you I hunt up mirrors expressly to see myself in them; and I set my
bonnet straight, and tuck in my loose ends. Then I became prudent. I
always think before I act, now, and before I speak, and before I spend
my money. And punctual! I catch trains, and I keep appointments. I look
at my watch, like the rest of you, and see that it is time to go, and I
_go_. I no longer, like some one I remember, sit down and play and play
and play, or talk and talk and talk, till it is dinner time, and I have
to be invited. And then I am not a chatter-box now, no, not what you
could call a chatter-box."

Her joy at being again among her old friends softened and won them; and
no less did the humility of her attitude toward the past. In regard to
that she was shame-faced, apologetic, reformed.

So much of the story of her exile filtered through those who received
it at first hand, that a legend of it was before long public property;
and such a character was given the event, Marie-Aimée's own view
perhaps initially tinging it for all, that, without fear of being
thereby unacceptable, the multitude of those who stood with Marie-Aimée
on a footing of good-humored comradeship neglected, even in speaking
to her, to disguise their familiarity with what concerned her. It
was common, on the ground of a perfect understanding with her, and
a supposition of at least some small degree of that enmity which
often succeeds love and takes satisfaction in hearing of Fortune's
disparaging turns on the ex-beloved, to entertain her with late
accounts of Bronson. And though she merely listened, as she would
have done to anything well-intentioned, her unoffended air left a
feeling that encouragement had not been wanting. One irresponsible,
feather-brained youth, of the baritone variety, reached such
recklessness, while regaling her with good stories as they stood
waiting for her cab, as to inquire, "Have you heard the latest joke
about old Bronson?" He brought his lips near her ear, and breathed
through a chuckle: "They say it takes two years and seven months to get
over being in love with Bronson, but if you marry him it doesn't take
so long!" And as he laughed heartily, she let her bright laugh ring out
companionably alongside of his. Having got into her cab, she repeated
the joke carefully over to herself, to apprehend the point of it.

It was not to have been expected that the peculiar extreme enthusiasm
for Marie-Aimée, with the exaggerated form of tribute to her, should
continue long unabated. Still, with discretion on her part, it might
have had the ordinary length of such things. As it was, alas, there
soon seemed occasion to believe that the public mind is ruled by the
law of reaction: By so much as the public had gone beyond rational
appreciation, it seemed now threatening to fall below it.

Those who watched Marie-Aimée's fortunes with most interest, with
a sinking of the spirit began to note a decrease in her social
popularity. As they witnessed this trifling evidence of it and that,
these lifted their eyebrows and pushed out their chins, with the
expression which one interprets, "But what can be done about it?"
Whenever there was reference to her now, it seemed to bring about in
the atmosphere a vague fall of temperature. A just appreciable effect
of disappointment, disapproval, regret, followed the long-loved name.

Those fondest of her could scarcely be brought to speak of it; when
they did speak, it was not frankly and openly, as everyone had used to
discuss her affairs once, shaking the head amusedly. They talked in
dreary undertones, and ended asking each other "Now, can you understand

Presently, she was by certain ones avoided, because of an awkwardness
they felt in meeting her, with a consciousness of what were best not
mentioned--disagreeable to those accustomed to dealings with her of a
perfect candor. When met, she was at best in these days indifferent
fun, preoccupied, unlike herself, with little to say.

At last, as an increasing coldness takes a definite pattern of frost,
certain persons refrained from calling upon her, explaining privately
that they had heard it said that it was possible to come upon Anthony
Bronson in her little drawing-room. This refraining did not signify by
any means in all a wish to express condemnation; on the part of most it
really expressed a good-humored wish not to be in the way.

It was as winter was waning, that, reversing somewhat the order of
the day, one who had never called on her resolved to do so. With her
clothes and her hair and her eyes full of March, she ascended to Miss
Nevers' little flat. The door was opened by Marie-Aimée herself, who
stood looking up, uncertain, inquiring.

"I fear you do not remember me," the visitor said. "May I come in?"

"Your voice," Marie-Aimée faltered, "is familiar--but the light--the
light is behind you. Do, I pray, come in."

She hurried ahead into the drawing-room, which was unexpectedly light,
from the reflection upon its ceiling of the snow on lower neighboring
roofs. She turned and looked at the visitor who was entering; she
uttered an exclamation, unfollowed by any word.

"I see you have recalled me," said the visitor. "Mrs. Bronson? Kate
Cheriton that was?"

"Take a seat, I pray!" said Marie-Aimée faintly.

Mrs. Bronson looked around her for once. Though her eye confessed no
more scrutiny than accords with good breeding, it missed little in the
tiny room, warm-colored, crowded, a bit untidy, but genially so, as
where a pair of evening gloves and a crumpled play-bill lay on a chair,
and a lace bonnet saddled a green bronze lion. The walls were covered
with gimcracks and pictures, among which in profusion photographs of
the celebrated, overscrawled with their various calligraphies. The
piano stood open, littered with music; a tea-table, ready for service,
the kettle steaming, was drawn close to the fire; a faint smell of
macaroons mingled in the air with the smell of violets, whereof a
big double handful was fading in a bowl. A well-worn leather chair,
deep and wide, patriarchal, was on one side of the fire-place; and,
suggestively at its elbow, matches and an ash-tray.

In this seat, after her casual circular glance, Mrs. Bronson quietly
arranged herself; and Marie-Aimée took the rocker on the opposite side
of the fire. She dropped back in it, leaning, and loosely folded her
hands; which no sooner had she done, than she sat upright, and moved
forward to the edge of her chair.

There was a longer silence than is often suffered by persons of the
world. To attempt "carrying off" anything whatsoever was not in
Marie-Aimée's _moyens_.

"Do you know why I have come, Miss Nevers?" Mrs. Bronson asked.

Marie-Aimée regarded her with eyes as steady as they were inwardly
frightened. Her whole face expressed what one had never expected to see
in it, something very near hostility; its like could be imagined in the
look of a tame animal uncertain whether harm is meant to its young.

"I judge you have come here to find Mr. Bronson," she answered, "I
expect him at any moment."

It was plain there would be no delicate fencing this afternoon.

Mrs. Bronson shook her head, and laughed in spite of herself at this
unheard-of directness. "Oh, no! I scarcely think he will come to-day, I
mentioned at lunch that I should call on you."

This was spoken without the hint of a sneer, yet Marie-Aimée flushed.

"You are quite mistaken if you think he makes love to me," she blurted
out, her breath coming quick.

Mrs. Bronson lifted her hand in deprecation. "And you are mistaken, my
dear Miss Nevers, if you think I have come to make a vulgar scene about
him. I am here, and solely, because I like you!"

Marie-Aimée stared, doubt in her eyes; then, expressing wonder by the
faintest possible effect of a shrug, looked down in her lap, all her
face slowly relaxing to a plaintive look of trouble. Her lips composed
themselves to lines of such stiff stillness, it might be guessed that
if she tried to speak they would tremble; she picked at the folds of
her tea-gown, readjusting them, smoothing the fabric across her knees.

"I don't believe you have any idea how much I felt myself attracted
to you that single time we met, Miss Nevers. You made my conquest
completely, and I am not one who takes fancies. Though you are so
contrary to all I am, it seemed to me I understood you better than all
the others did, just as I had always felt that I appreciated your work
more truly at its worth. I don't know what I would not have given to
have you for a friend."

Marie-Aimée put out her hands, to stop her, her kindness at that moment
hurt so much. But Mrs. Bronson went on eagerly. "You are not made
right for this low world. Your very virtues have the effect of faults,
and bring calamity upon you. There you are, one piece of honesty,
lovingness, unselfishness; and the consequence,--you have no chance
among us who are nothing of the sort. Being as you are would be all
right in a world peopled with angels, but here----!"

Marie-Aimée, with a deepening look of dejection and a vast returning
softness, slowly shook her head; rather as if she were trying to make
these notions of herself fit into place, than in denial of what she

"And now I find you doing something dreadfully foolish," Mrs. Bronson
continued, with a remonstrative mother's persuasive inflections,
"something, I am afraid, which will prove the deadliest mistake.
I cannot resist the impulse to come and warn you of it, to try to
drag you back into the safe path--all, I do assure you, because I
so sincerely like and respect and admire you. Of those in question,
believe me, it is you, you, who are the one I care about."

There was a pause. Marie-Aimée sat as if considering a proposition; but
in reality she was only groping after thoughts among emotions. She made
a gesture of resignation, casting up her hands and letting them drop
again. "Well? I am listening, but is it not likely that I know already
all you are intending to say?"

"No, no, it is not possible!" Mrs. Bronson said emphatically. "You
cannot see clearly for yourself, else you would have turned back long
ago. Mind you, I know how easy it will be for you to misunderstand
me in this. Almost necessarily, you will imagine that it is myself I
have principally in view, that I am jealous, perhaps, or anxious about
appearances, concerned in the figure I myself cut in all this. But
you would be wrong. To all that I am highly indifferent. Jealous! For
jealousy there must be some remnant of the folly of fondness. And, for
the rest, I refuse to grant that anything Mr. Bronson does can either
lift or lower me. No, what he chooses to do affects me not at all. But
for you, I tell you, I am sorry."

"If it is as you say," said Marie-Aimée, regaining a little life, "you
need be troubled about nothing. It is all so much simpler than one
thinks, than, I find, one is willing to think. Because once or twice
a caller has found him here, a caller likewise, it has been taken for
granted that he spends I don't know how much of his time with me, which
is particularly false and unfair. He comes from time to time; I will
be quite honest, perhaps once or twice in the week, when he happens to
be in town. Then we try over music, and I tell him the gossip of the
world which used to be his as well as mine, and we laugh together as we
used to do. You know that I always had a knack of cheering him. And I
give him tea, and let him smoke, and that is all. And is it not truly
innocent enough?"

"I believe you perfectly, Miss Nevers. And for that you are willing to
give up all that I know you are losing?"

Marie-Aimée repeated her little French gesture of resignation. "When it
comes to contending with the evil mind of the world, how can one hope
to do it? I used to believe in the world, I loved it. I have lately
discovered it to be such that I care very little what I lose with it.
Its good opinion? I don't want it any more!"

"Quite right, Miss Nevers. You are as right as possible in valuing the
opinion of the world lightly. Still, the loss of all that comes to make
life pleasant, from being on good terms with it, is serious. There
should be something to counterbalance it, in that for the sake of which
one renounces it. And you, will you tell me what you are getting? You
are ruining your life, Miss Nevers, no other word serves, for a man who
is perfectly willing to let you do it, for the satisfaction he derives
from his occasional afternoons here of gossip and tea, music and smoke."

Marie-Aimée kept her eyes unflinchingly upon Mrs. Bronson's, eyes full
of resentment and denial, but she was too moved now to speak.

"He spoiled the best years of your life," Mrs. Bronson went on, her
nostrils sharpening till their edges were white, a cold fire in her
eyes. "Oh, how well I see now, now that I know him better, what his
conduct would be with you. But when the moment came in which it was
convenient, he set you aside without one second's hesitation. You
patiently take the broken pieces of your life out of sight, you manage
to put them together again, you reappear bravely patched up, poor
child; oh, I saw you. To me, you were pathetic--and again, because it
is convenient, just a little bit convenient, he takes you up, calmly,
to break you into pieces a second time."

"You don't understand him!" burst forth Marie-Aimée, in her tone the
deepest hopelessness that the other ever could understand.

"I don't understand him? I don't?"

"No, no, no!"

"Then you think three years of marriage not instructive?" Mrs. Bronson
asked rapidly. "Or do you think him complicated? The truth is, he is
as simple as simplicity. Suppose a man with one instinct, one motive,
heretofore and forever: to do that which is at the moment easiest and
pleasantest and most profitable for himself, and you have him. But you
must, to have him exact, accommodate this tendency with a brain the
most elementary; and must suppose his objects always of the lowest and
most ordinary: little common satisfactions, material or mental, good
wine and cigars, or the flattery of some woman's silly admiration. And,
for I will do him justice, you must accommodate it with a constitution
completely healthy, like a prize animal's, without any more viciousness
than he has imagination. For the rest, ideas?" continued the coldly
indignant woman, reaching a fearful fluency, "he has none. All the
fine things which his singing brings to our minds have no existence
in himself. Talent? I do you the credit, Miss Nevers, to suppose you
with me in the secret of his musical talent. Talent he has none, nor
ever had any, nor the least real love or appreciation of music. But
a God-given voice he had, and an instinct for using it to perfection
which he shares with nightingales and mocking-birds; and, besides
these, what you call _a presence_, combined with an enormous vanity and
an equal hatred of hard work!"

"Why do you say all this to me?" gasped Marie-Aimée, choking.

"Because I cannot conceive but that you misrepresent him to yourself,
but that you still have illusions about him. If I were removed
to-morrow, do you imagine he would by any chance marry you? If my
removal left him wealthy, he would not marry at all; if it left him
poor, you can be sure he would not marry you."

After another gesture of warding off, Marie-Aimée, shuddering, buried
her face in her hands, as if blinding herself might deaden hearing too.

Mrs. Bronson at once accorded the respite for which this action seemed
to entreat. She sat in silence, critically regarding the top of
Marie-Aimée's bent head, as if one could hope to see through it into
her brain.

"Can you tell me that all this is not so?" she asked at last, heat and
anger conspicuously absent from her voice, speaking in that reasonable
tone of debate which seems to lay a compulsion of reasonableness
upon others. The question sounded genuine, as if, for plain human
curiosity's sake, she would like to know if there could be two points
of view about Anthony.

Marie-Aimée raised her face, all sickened protest and repudiation.
"Everything you have said, and have made to sound so heinous, might,
differently worded, fit perfectly into one's description of a nice
normal boy. And is a boy unworthy of one's love? Say that Anthony
Bronson remained all his life a boy, and who will contradict you? It is
the same nature, that reaches out so simply toward what pleases him,
that wants what it wants without thought of afterwards. But you must
add to this, in his case, that sort of native kingliness of the great,
who have never a doubt but theirs is the first right, and that others
will be glad to yield for them. He has never meant to hurt anyone, one
could not be further from cruel. He merely, in order to go where he
would be, must drive steadily onward. He would be sorry if his wheels
crushed anything, but that it should stop him could never enter his
brain. Call it an incapacity, it is that of most strong, healthy big

"It must have likewise characterized arboreal man."

"Don't, Mrs. Bronson!" Marie-Aimée cried, and rose whole-heartedly
at last to the encounter, bringing to bear the most piercing of her
arguments, "He is not happy now! He wants things as much as ever, but
he no longer can get what he wants. He can't sing any more. His voice
is gone. You think he doesn't care, but he does, indeed, he does! He
feels so dreadfully out of it. The public is ungrateful. His friends
are not yours, they scarcely any longer seem his own; your friends are
not his; Everything has turned out wrong. Don't sneer at him. Nothing
can brighten his life to what it was before. And he feels helpless
against it, just as the boy we were speaking of would feel. Oh, he is
blue--blue! You have not made him happy!"

"Has he made me happy?"

"He has meant to!" Marie-Aimée said earnestly. "Your quarrel is with
his whole manner of being. One must take him as he is."

"Yes! And whatever he is is to be enough, so he thinks in his calm
Jovian babyhood. How could he but satisfy any woman? How should any
but feel honored to be his servant and worshipper? the great, heavy,
self-pleased, all-sufficient Male!"

"You married him!"

"You are right. My stupidity deserves exactly what I have got. But I
didn't come here to speak of myself, or to complain of him. It has been
vulgar enough, as it is. I beg your pardon and I beg you to believe,
Miss Nevers, that I speak to no one--no one, I assure you--as I have
spoken to you. I go my way, with my chin high, my eyes well above the
heads of the scandal-mongering crowd. It was by accident I discovered
his renewed visits to you; and the brazenness, the heartlessness of
it, revolted even me, prepared for anything, God knows, in the way
of calm, colossal selfishness. My first thought was the most common
one--that he acted from pique, that his vanity could not quite stand
having it blazed abroad that you had recovered. But I know him better
than that, after all. I am just. It was simpler. It was nothing more
than a big dog wanting to be petted. He felt in need of consolation,
sympathy, condolence, some one to talk to about me--oh, I know it--and
never stopping a moment to think of you, poor woman, he turned to
the quarter where he felt surest of getting it. But what puzzles me
beyond everything is that he should have guessed right. Pardon me,
Marie-Aimée, but in those three years at the convent, what were you
doing? You seem to have wasted your time. What was that far-spread
anecdote that you had come out because it was all over, lived down, you
were cured, immune? Did others make up this fable, or did you?"

"Ah, don't speak of it! I was in good faith."

"You really thought it was all done with? You honestly felt sure of

"But certainly! More than sure! How otherwise would I have come back?"

"And then?"

"Then at the rehearsal for Mrs. MacDougal's charity concert I met him
again. He had consented to sing, you remember, but afterwards withdrew.
And I had scarcely more than seen him, when the three years might as
well not have been. But to whom--dear me, to whom am I saying this?"

Mrs. Bronson leaned forward till she could touch Marie-Aimée's knee.
"It's all right," she said gently. "Don't mind because it's I. I can
understand," and as she saw tears springing into Marie-Aimée's eyes,
she patted the knee, and murmured in her most soothing note, "You poor

"Oh, you needn't pity me at all!" Marie-Aimée laughed harshly through
her tears. "When I think that I might--that there could have been the
possibility--that those three years should so have changed me, that I
should have grown so cold and dry-hearted, and proud of my dry-hearted
coldness, and supposed it a virtue, and called it morality, that when
he turned to his old comrade for a little cheer against the thickening
shadows, the fast-coming gray hairs, the lost voice, the domestic
_misères_, I might have refused, I am glad and grateful for the
ill-name and the snubs that may follow me the rest of my life because I
didn't." Whereupon her voice came utterly to wreck; she subsided into
soft unrestrained weeping.

Mrs. Bronson with a distressed frown left her seat for the
corner of a divan which was nearer Marie-Aimée. After listening
helplessly a moment, fidgeting, embarrassed by her life-habit of
undemonstrativeness, she put out her hands, quick as darting swallows,
and enclosed one of Marie-Aimée's, pressing it, stroking it, murmuring,
"Don't! Don't! You are a dear!"

Without a word Marie-Aimée turned her wet face to kiss the cheek of the
consoler. Mrs. Bronson pressed closer to her; and the two sat crushed
against each other with interlocked, hands--and so, silently drifted
into a different relation. It was as if the thoughts of their blood had
communed through their hands, and there were no need more to conceal

"Imagine," Marie-Aimée said, in a voice cracked with rueful laughter,
"that when I was in the convent I had reached the point of believing
that it was one of the laws of nature which was being accomplished in
me! I said that love was like a plant, and if it got neither sunshine
nor rain, it perished. I was not in the least happy over it, you know.
But I became philosophical about it, and was glad, as one might be over
something one owned which was not beautiful, but had a practical use.
When I went into that place, you know, I honestly believed I should
never come out of it again; and I used to read his old letters, and
pore upon photographs of him, and play over and over all the music
associated with him.

"But one day I found them flatly wearying me. I shall never understand
it! I could picture seeing him again, meeting him in company with you
at his side, and not minding. I could picture meeting him again, free,
and anxious that all should be as before, and I could be calm over it,
inclined, if anything, to refuse. I was worn out, I suppose. I imagined
it was my illusion about him which had worn out. I judged him! But
in the same breath I judged myself, as likewise incapable of any but
shallow feelings; and I despised us both equally, and forgave him, as
one forgives offences one no longer suffers from. And so, foolhardily,
I come forth again. And when I see him, all I know is that it is he,
the same one, who was all the romance of life to me once; that the
same door is still open between our eyes through which we come and go
familiarly into each other. All that I had thought dead and buried
comes to life again. And I know that I may go into a convent for twenty
years, that I might be buried and dust as many more, but when Anthony
Bronson comes by, and we are face to face again, it will be all as
nothing. And the marvel is that though it can only mean a return to
suffering, I can only be glad. Isn't it strange?"

"Oh, yes!" Mrs. Bronson pressed one of her hands across her tearless
eyes; her cheek was pale. "Strange, and beautiful. But terrible too!"

She got up abruptly, as if to escape an oppression from the atmosphere
down on Marie-Aimée's level; she made a motion with her head as if
to disengage it; and walking to the window, stood looking out across
the snowy roofs and the steeples, to the dull distance, the bank of
purplish dun hanging at the horizon over the enormous city, her eyes
full of gloomy distances too.

In the long silence ensuing there developed small homely noises of
tea-making, over yonder, near the fire.

"But it's all really wasted!" Mrs. Bronson exclaimed unexpectedly, as
if in expostulation with herself as much as with Marie-Aimée, "I know
it! You saw him again, he had grown older, it shocked you. His hair
had turned--it is his time of life--it saddened you. You say he has
lost his voice. That is a manner of speaking; nothing is wrong with his
throat. But he has never cared to sing since he was married. A little
careful practice, and he could sing very acceptably still--I won't say
in public, but for his own pleasure--if he cared anything for music,
and for that of others who have had a cult for his singing. You have
thought him blue, and it has moved you. I understand it. But do believe
me that he is a little bit of a humbug. Why should he be so blue?
Everything is his own fault. Do you really believe that I have never
tried? He is blue when he is with you, just because it will move you.
He is not so very blue when among others. I can imagine circumstances,
with which you would have nothing to do, you, nor music, nor the past,
but simple, sordid, material circumstances, in which he would be
perfectly happy, perfectly content--"

She had said this staring out of the window. She turned, feeling
Marie-Aimée at her elbow. Marie-Aimée held toward her a cup of tea and
a piece of thin bread-and-butter. Mrs. Bronson let her stand there,
apparently not seeing these things, while she searched her little shut
over-clouded face, which showed plainly enough a resolve to say no more
about it. "But to you, I do believe, all this makes no difference!"
Mrs. Bronson pursued. "Let him be, let him do, what he pleases, you
will care just the same, just as much. Are you completely a fool, my
dear, and blind as a mole, or--do you see more than we do? That's what
I can't make out. I beg your pardon!"

She accepted the cup from her, and helped herself to the bread, and
took a seat on the music-stool. She drew the gloves off her beautiful
milk-white hands liberally begemmed with diamonds and sapphires, and
mechanically folded her bread. She tasted the tea, and continued
looking off out of the window. Marie-Aimée brought a cup of tea for
herself, and stood in the window-place too, looking off, drinking.

What Mrs. Bronson thought in her long stare at the grave distance from
which the light was beginning to depart, she may, as her eye caught
the silhouette against it of the other woman's meek, set profile, have
perceived the futility of saying. "You have a beautiful view," was her
next remark.

Marie-Aimée deplored its not being to-day at its best; she described it
by touches, when finest. And they talked a while like parties to the
most ordinary call, of views, flats, and so forth, but in intonations
so curiously detached and melancholy that they might have been ghosts
talking over a tragedy that had its end three centuries ago.

Suddenly, over the roofs, flashed an arc of light, splendid; strings
of lamp-like jewels, red and green and golden, publishing to earth and
sky the name of an actor and of a melodrama. Mrs. Bronson looked at her
watch, set down her cup, and rose.

"So I shall go as I came," she said; "I had thought I had such things
to say to you, Miss Nevers, so to the point, so irrefutable, that you
could not but listen to me. I thought that the fact that it was I who
came to you and said them would have its weight. I meant, at a pinch,
Miss Nevers, to demand of you to leave, at all events to break off
relations with Anthony. But now, see, I am going, and I have demanded
nothing. I am all adrift. You have taken me out beyond my depth. You
shall do as you feel right. As for me, I don't know. I have not a heart
to lead me, as you have. I have only my common share of hard worldly
sense, and you have made me feel that it might be unsafe sometimes to
trust it. Do as you please. I don't know! I don't know! Perhaps it is
you who are right, you who love him, and all we who are fools."

In Marie-Aimée's face, which her eyes were intently interrogating as
she spoke this, Mrs. Bronson could not fail to read a perplexity equal
to her own, but coupled with a forlornness such as her own nature could
never match, no, not if Fate should place her alone on a storm-beaten
rock in mid-ocean--as Marie-Aimée might have been imagined standing,
with that face. Marie-Aimée drew in the air through her lips, till her
shoulders were lifted, and let it out in a great sigh.

"Ah, we are poor things all!" Mrs. Bronson agreed, with an echo of the
sigh; and repeated that gesture of pressing her hand to her eyes, not
to hide tears, but as part of an attempt to concentrate the mental
vision upon those mysteries in life which offer the effect of blank
impenetrable walls. She tore away her hand almost at once, her brief
pantomime declaring the uselessness of trying to understand anything,
verily, of all that happens in this sorrowful world; and whether in
mockery of it, or of herself, or in the wish merely to effect a change
in the current of their thoughts, struck a startling, brilliant chord
on the piano under her hand; and while it still vibrated, another, and
another, and executed a cadenza that seemed to laugh aloud and shake

"Do you remember," she sat fairly down before the keyboard, and
preluded while she talked, "the last time? After that scene of blood
and tears, you poor sweet thing, how you played for me, so dearly
obliging as you were? And polonaises and waltzes you played; as well
as elegies and nocturnes. And then I played and then you played. You
played and played, my dear, till you had missed an engagement. I shall
miss one now if I don't hurry off instantly, but let it be missed. I
shall count it well done, if you will sit down here a moment and play
for me."

"Oh," moaned Marie-Aimée, putting up the ever-willing hands, like a
martyr in prayer, "don't ask me. And don't take it ill if I can't. It's
not the same thing any longer." She let her head hang; "I haven't the
heart for it to-night."

"I am a beast!" said Mrs. Bronson heartily, and without adding a note
further to the musical phrase she was in the middle of, jumped up, sick
at herself. And feeling of so little importance before depths of woe
such as she suspected near her that it mattered nothing whether she
apologized, she pressed Marie-Aimée's hand with all her strength, and
murmuring, "I will take myself away," made haste to be gone.

Mrs. Bronson was conscious of a vast relief, by which she first learned
in what suspense she had been living, when a few days later she
recognized Marie-Aimée's hand-writing on a letter to her. She read:

"I went, you see, after all. I am at my sister's, to remain with her
and the dear children until I have thought further what I had better
do. You were right in wishing me to go, though not perhaps for the
reasons you gave. My thoughts are not at all clear upon the subject of
the rightness or wrongness of what I was doing then, or what I have
done since. I felt sure I was justified against the whole world, and
even now I find no good argument against it. Only, it came home to me
that I who used to love everyone and have only feelings of kindness
towards others, was fast coming to hate everybody, myself most, and it
seemed a sufficient sign. But you won't think that was quite all. I did
also think of you, who perhaps--which of us knows her own heart?--care
more than you believe. Very likely not. But on the barest possibility
of the sort, how could I continue obstinately fixed in my position?

"And now, lest the sympathy you showed me be troubled on my account, I
want you to be sure that I shall not be unhappy. For one thing, because
there is something strangely compensating in the assurance a person may
gain that the one she loves is never, to the edge of doom, to lack the
whole love of at least one heart; and then, because I believe you will
grant a request I am about to make, oh, more humbly and supplicatingly
than pen and ink can show: which is that you will try to see him more
truly, to discern what is good and lovable in him; and that--I find it
difficult. Yet why? Let me seem brazen and indelicate, I will finish. I
have thought I divined that he is a pensioner of yours, and sometimes a
straightened one. It cannot be but that you are by nature as generous
as you are kind, nothing else would accord with your forehead and
eyes. I can only think that you have imagined things about him, that
his marriage perhaps was mercenary, and this has been your revenge.
Do differently hereafter. Show him and yourself this respect. Grudge
him not the independence and the honors that beseem the state of the
lion growing old. For, do not deceive yourself, he has been great.
Those upon whom God bestows such a gift are marked for the reverence of

"You will forgive my meddling and will do what I ask? You asked me to
go, and I went. You could not demand it, nor can I demand this. Yet let
it be as a bargain between us, will you?

"For your infinite kindness and gentleness and generosity to myself,
receive the assurance of my utmost gratitude; and for the affection you
were so good as to say you feel for me, a return of affection which is
of sufficient strength, I believe, to outlast all that divides us.


Mrs. Bronson kissed the name, like a school-girl; but glancing back
over the letter could not repress a laugh tinged with disdain as the
thought presented itself: "She wishes to provide against his missing
her. Oh, the poor child, how well she knows him, after all!" Rising
to the noblest height of her nature, she determined to set the figure
of Anthony Bronson's income, as near as her fortune permitted, at
what should represent her own estimate of his loss in Marie-Aimée;
at the same time reflecting that very much less--but very much less,
indeed--would quite as effectually have kept him from missing her




  There pass the careless people
    That call their souls their own:
  Here by the road I loiter,
    How idle and alone.

  Ah, past the plunge of plummet,
    In seas I cannot sound,
  My heart and soul and senses,
    World without end, are drowned.

  His folly has not fellow
    Beneath the blue of day
  That gives to man or woman
    His heart and soul away.

  There flowers no balm to sain him
    From east of earth to west
  That's lost for everlasting
    The heart out of his breast.

  Here by the laboring highway
    With empty hands I stroll:
  Sea-deep, till doomsday morning
    Lie lost my heart and soul.

_From "A Shropshire Lad."_





When I arrived in the United States again, the impeachment trial was
over and President Johnson had been acquitted. There had indeed not
been any revolutionary disturbance, but the public mind was much
agitated by what had happened.

I had, since I left Washington, been quietly engaged in editing the
Detroit _Post_, when one day in the spring of 1867 I received, quite
unexpectedly, a proposition from the proprietors of the _Westliche
Post_, a daily journal published in the German language in St. Louis,
Missouri, inviting me to join them, and offering me, on reasonable
terms, a property interest in their prosperous concern. On further
inquiry I found the proposition advantageous, and accepted it. My
connection with the Detroit _Post_, which, owing to the excellent
character of the persons with whom it brought me into contact, had been
most pleasant, was amicably dissolved, and I went to St. Louis to take
charge of the new duties.

A particular attraction to me in this new arrangement was the
association with Dr. Emil Preetorius, one of the proprietors of the
_Westliche Post_. He was a native of the Bavarian Palatinate, the same
province in which in 1849 the great popular uprising in favor of the
National Constitution of Germany had taken place, and of the town of
Alzei, which, according to ancient legend, had been the home of the
great fiddler among the heroes of the Nibelungenlied--"Volker von
Alzeien," grim Hagen's valiant brother in arms. The town of Alzei still
carries a fiddle in its coat of arms. Mr. Preetorius was a few years
older than I. He had already won the diploma of Doctor of Laws when
the revolution of 1848 broke out. With all the ardor of his soul he
threw himself into the movement for free government and had to leave
the Fatherland in consequence. But all the idealism of 1848 he brought
with him to his new home in America. As a matter of course, he at once
embraced the anti-slavery cause with the warmest devotion and became
one of the leaders of the German-born citizens of St. Louis, who, in
the spring of 1861, by their courageous patriotism, saved their city
and their State to the Union. He then remained in public life as a
journalist and as a speaker of sonorous eloquence.

_The Convention of 1868_

In the winter of 1867-8, as I have said, I made a visit to Germany.
Not long after my return to St. Louis, the Republican State Convention
was held for the purpose of selecting delegates for the Republican
National Convention which was to meet at Chicago on the 20th of May. I
was appointed one of the delegates at large, and at its first meeting
the Missouri delegation elected me its chairman. At Chicago a surprise
awaited me which is usually reckoned by men engaged in politics as an
agreeable one. The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Mr.
Marcus L. Ward, informed me that his committee had chosen me to serve
as the temporary chairman of the Republican National Convention. It was
an entirely unexpected honor, which I accepted with due appreciation.
I made as short a speech as is permissible on such occasions, and,
after the customary routine proceedings, surrendered the gavel to the
permanent president, General Joseph R. Hawley of Connecticut.

[Illustration: DR. EMIL PREETORIUS


That General Grant would be nominated as the Republican candidate for
the presidency was a foregone conclusion. As to the nomination for the
vice-presidency, there was a rather tame contest, which resulted in
the choice of Schuyler Colfax, the Speaker of the National House of
Representatives, who at that time enjoyed much popularity and seemed to
have a brilliant future before him, but was fated to be wrecked on the
rocks of finance.

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



When the Committee on Resolutions made its report, I observed with
surprise that the proposed platform contained nothing on the subject
of an amnesty to be granted to any of the participants in the late
rebellion. This omission struck me as a grave blunder. Should the
great Republican party go into the next contest for the presidency
without, in its profession of faith and its program of policy, holding
out a friendly hand to the erring brethren who were to return to
their old allegiance, and without marking out for itself a policy
of generosity and conciliation? I resolved at once upon an effort
to prevent so grievous a mistake by offering an amendment to the
platform. Not knowing whether the subject had not been thought of in
the committee, or whether a resolution touching it had been debated and
voted down there, and deeming it important that my amendment should
be adopted by the Convention without a discussion that might have
let loose the lingering war passions of some hot-heads, I drew up a
resolution which did not go as far as I should have liked it to go,
but which would substantially accomplish the double object I had in
view--the encouragement of well-disposed Southerners and the commitment
of the Republican party--without arousing any opposition. It was as

"That we highly commend the spirit of magnanimity and forbearance
with which men who have served in the rebellion, but who now frankly
and honestly coöperate with us in restoring the peace of the
country and reconstructing the Southern State governments upon the
basis of impartial justice and equal rights, are received back into
the communion of the loyal people; and we favor the removal of the
disqualifications and restrictions imposed upon the late rebels in the
same measure as the spirit of disloyalty will die out, and as may be
consistent with the safety of the loyal people."

[Illustration: ULYSSES S. GRANT


The resolution received general applause when it was read to the
Convention, and, as I had hoped, it was adopted and made a part of the
platform without a word of adverse debate.

_Grant, the Candidate of the Whole Republic_

The presidential campaign of 1868 was not one of uncommon excitement or



The Republican candidate, General Grant, was then at the height of his
prestige. He had never been active in politics and never identified
himself with any political party. Whether he held any settled opinions
on political questions, and, if so, what they were, nobody could
tell with any assurance. But people were willing to take him for the
presidency, just as he was. It is quite probable, and it has frequently
been said, that, had the Democrats succeeded in "capturing" him as
their candidate, he would have been accepted with equal readiness on
that side. He was one of the most striking examples in history of the
military hero who is endowed by the popular imagination with every
conceivable capacity and virtue. People believed in perfectly good
faith that the man who had commanded such mighty armies, and conducted
such brilliant campaigns, and won such great battles, must necessarily
be able and wise and energetic enough to lead in the solution of any
problem of civil government; that he who had performed great tasks
of strategy in the field must be fitted to accomplish great tasks of
statesmanship in the forum or in the closet. General Grant had the
advantage of such presumptions in the highest degree, especially as
he had, in addition to his luster as a warrior, won a reputation for
wise generosity and a fine tact in fixing the terms of Lee's surrender
and in quietly composing the disagreements which had sprung from the
precipitate action of General Sherman in treating with the Confederate
General Johnston. On the whole, the country received the candidacy of
General Grant as that of a deserving and a safe man.

[Illustration: HORATIO SEYMOUR


On the other hand, the Democratic party had not only to bear the
traditional odium of the sympathy of some of its prominent members
with the rebellion, which at that time still counted for much, but it
managed to produce an especially unfavorable impression by the action
of its convention. Its platform stopped but little short of advocating
violence to accomplish the annulment of the reconstruction laws adopted
by Congress, and it demanded the payment of a large part of the
national debt in depreciated greenbacks. The floundering search for a
candidate and the final forcing of the nomination upon the unwilling,
weak, and amiable Horatio Seymour presented an almost ludicrous
spectacle of helplessness, while the furious utterances of the fiery
Frank Blair, the candidate for the vice-presidency, sounded like the
wild cries of a madman bent upon stirring up another revolution when
the people wanted peace. The Democrats were evidently riding for a fall.

[Illustration: JOHN B. HENDERSON


I was called upon for a good many speeches in the campaign, and had
large and enthusiastic audiences. One of the experiences I had in this
campaign I remember with especial pleasure. The movement in favor
of paying off national bonds, not in coin, but in depreciated paper
money, which found advocacy in the Democratic platform, was in fact not
confined to the ranks of the Democratic party. Although the Republican
Convention had in its platform sternly declared against any form of
repudiation, yet that movement found supporters among the Republicans,
too, especially among people of confused moral notions, small
politicians eager to win a cheap popularity by catering to questionable
impulses, and politicians of higher rank nervously anxious to catch
every popular breeze and inclined to bend to it whenever it seemed to
blow with some force.

_An Appeal to the Plain People_

In the early part of the campaign I was asked to make a series of
speeches in Indiana, and to begin with an outdoor mass-meeting at a
little place--if I remember rightly its name was Corydon--near the
Illinois line, at which a large number of farmers were expected. While
a great crowd was gathering, I dined at the village hotel with the
members of the local committee. They seemed to have something on their
minds, which finally came forth, apparently with some hesitation. One
of them, after a few minutes of general silence, turned to me with a
very serious mien, as if he had to deliver an important message, saying
that they thought it their duty to inform me of a peculiar condition of
the public mind in that region: that the people around there were all,
Republicans as well as Democrats, of the opinion that all the United
States bonds should be paid off in greenbacks and that an additional
quantity of greenbacks should be issued for that purpose; that there
was much feeling on that question, and that they, the committee, would
earnestly ask me, if I could not conscientiously advocate the same
policy, at least not to mention the subject in my speech.



Having been informed that there had been a good deal of greenback talk
in that neighborhood, I was not surprised. But I thought it a good
opportunity to administer a drastic lesson to my chicken-hearted party
friends. "Gentlemen," I said, "I have been invited here to preach
Republican doctrines to your people. The Democratic platform advocates
the very policy which you say is favored by your people. The Republican
platform emphatically condemns that policy. I think it is barefaced,
dishonest, rascally repudiation. If your people favor this, they
stand in eminent need of a good, vigorous talking to. But if you, the
committee managing this meeting, do not want me to speak my mind on
this subject, I shall not speak at all. I shall leave instantly, and
you may do with the meeting as you like."

It was as if a bombshell had dropped among my committee-men. They were
in great consternation and cried out accordingly. I had been announced
as the principal speaker. A large number of people had come to hear me.
If I left, there would be a great disappointment which would hurt the
party. But I did not mean it--did I?

I assured them that I was in dead earnest. I would stay and speak
only on condition that I should feel at perfect liberty to express my
convictions straightforwardly and impressively. They looked at one
another as if in great doubt what to do, and then, after a whispered
consultation, told me that, of course, if I insisted, they must let
me have my way; but they begged me to "draw it mild." I replied that
I could not promise to "draw it mild," but that I believed they were
mistaken in thinking that their people, if properly told the truth,
would favor the rascally policy of repudiation. They shook their heads
and sighed, and "hoped there would be no row."

The meeting was very large, mostly plain country people, men and
women. The committee-men sat on the platform on both sides of me, with
anxious faces, evidently doubtful of what would happen. I had put the
audience in sympathetic temper when in the due order of my speech I
reached the bond question. Then I did not "draw it mild." I described
the circumstances under which the bonds were sold by our government and
bought by our creditors: the rebellion at the height of its strength;
our armies in the field suffering defeat after defeat; our regular
revenues sadly insufficient to cover the expenses of the war; our
credit at a low ebb; a gloomy cloud of uncertainty hanging over our
future. These were the circumstances under which our government called
upon our own citizens and upon the world abroad for loans of money.
The people whom we then called bond-holders lent their money upon our
promise that the money should be paid back in coin. They did so at a
great risk, for if we had failed in the war, they might have lost all
or much of what they had lent us. Largely owing to the help they gave
us in our extremity, we succeeded. And now are we to turn round and
denounce them as speculators and bloodsuckers, and say that we will not
give them in the day of success and prosperity what we promised them in
the day of our need and distress? Would not that be downright knavery
and a crime before God and men?

When I had advanced thus far, cries of "shame! shame!" came from the
audience. Then I began to denounce the vile politicians who advocated
such a disgraceful course, first the Democrats who had made such
an ignominious proposition a part of their platform, and then the
Republicans who, believing that such a movement might develop some
popular strength, had cowardly bent their knees to it. By this time
my hearers were thoroughly warmed up, and when I opened my whole
vocabulary of strong language, in all parts of the crowd arose such
cries as "You are right!" "Bully for you!" "Give it to them!" "Hit them
again!" and other ebullitions of the unsophisticated mind; and when I
added that I had been told the whole population of this region were in
favor of that crime of repudiating the honest debts of the republic,
and that I had in their name repelled the charge as a dastardly
slander, my hearers broke out in a storm of applause and cheers lasting
long enough to give me time to look round at my committee-men, who
returned my gaze with a smile of pitiable embarrassment on their faces.

_The Moral Cowardice of Politicians a National Danger_

When my speech was over, I asked them what they now thought of the
repudiation sentiment in their neighborhood. Ah, they had "never been
so astonished in their lives." One of them attempted to compliment me
upon my "success in so quickly turning the minds of those people."
But I would not let them have that consoling conception of the facts,
and answered that I had not turned the minds of those people at all;
that their feelings and impulses were originally honest; that I had
only called forth a manifestation of that original honesty; and that
if the local political leaders had believed in the original honesty
of the people and courageously stood up for truth and right instead
of permitting themselves to be frightened by a rascally agitation
and of pusillanimously pandering to it, they would have had the same

In fact, the same experience has repeated itself in the course of my
political activity again and again until a late period. I have had an
active part in a great many political campaigns and probably addressed
as many popular meetings as any man now living; and I have always found
that whenever any public question under public discussion had in it
any moral element, an appeal to the moral sense of the people proved
uniformly the most powerful argument. I do not, of course, mean to say
that there were not at all times many persons accessible to selfish
motives and liable to yield to the seduction of the opportunity for
unrighteous gain, and that such evil influences were not at times hard
to overcome. But with the majority of the people, notably the "plain
people"--using the term in the sense in which Abraham Lincoln was wont
to use it--I found the question "is this morally right?" to have
ultimately more weight than the question "will this be profitable?"



We have, indeed, sometimes witnessed so-called "crazes" in favor
of financial policies that were essentially immoral, such as the
"inflation craze" and the "silver craze," gaining an apparently almost
irresistible momentum among the people. But that was not owing to a
real and wide-spread demoralization of the popular conscience, but
rather to an artful presentation of the question which covered up and
disguised the moral element in it, and so deceived the unsophisticated
understanding, and also to the cowardice of politicians of high as
well as low rank, who, instead of courageously calling things by their
right names, would, against their better convictions, yield to what
they considered a strong current of opinion, for fear of jeopardizing
their personal popularity. I have seen men of great ability and high
standing in the official world do the most astonishing things in this
respect when they might, as far as their voices could be heard, have
easily arrested the vicious heresies by a bold utterance of their true
opinions. The moral cowardice of the politicians is one of the most
dangerous ailments of democracies.

_Missouri Retires Senator Henderson_

To me the Republican victory brought a promotion which I had not
anticipated while I was active in the campaign. One of the United
States Senators from Missouri, Mr. John B. Henderson, had voted in
the impeachment trial for the acquittal of President Johnson. He was
a gentleman of superior ability and of high character, but he had
voted for the acquittal of Andrew Johnson. He had done so for reasons
entirely honorable and entirely consistent with his principles and
convictions of right, but in disregard of the feelings prevalent among
his constituents and in spite of a strong pressure brought upon him by
hosts of Republicans in his own State; and as his term as a Senator
was just then expiring, this clash was fatal to his prospects of a
reëlection. The warmest of his friends frankly recognized the absolute
impossibility of keeping him in his place.

Indeed, all the Republican Senators who had voted for Johnson's
acquittal found themselves more or less at variance with their party
in their respective States; but Republicanism in Missouri was in one
respect somewhat different from Republicanism elsewhere. In Missouri a
large part of the population had joined the rebellion. The two parties
in the Civil War had not been geographically divided. The Civil War had
therefore had the character of a neighborhood war--in Missouri it was
not only State against State, or district against district, but house
against house. The bitter animosities of the civil conflict survived in
Missouri much longer than in the northern States, and any favor shown
to "the traitor" Andrew Johnson appeared to the great mass of Missouri
Republicans simply unpardonable.

The immediate consequence of Mr. Henderson's course was that his
colleague in the Senate, Mr. Charles D. Drake, obtained a directing
influence in the party which for the moment seemed to be undisputed.
Senator Drake was an able lawyer and an unquestionably honest man,
but narrow-minded, dogmatic, and intolerant to a degree. He aspired
to be the Republican "boss" of the State--not, indeed, as if he had
intended to organize a machine for the purpose of enriching himself or
his henchmen. Corrupt schemes were absolutely foreign to his mind. He
merely wished to be the recognized authority dictating the policies
of his party and controlling the federal offices in Missouri. This
ambition overruled with him all others.

Senator Drake was of small stature, but he planted his feet upon the
ground with demonstrative firmness. His face, framed with grey hair and
a short, stubby white beard and marked with heavy eyebrows, usually
wore a stern and often even a surly expression. His voice had a rasping
sound, and his speech, slow and peremptory, was constantly accompanied
with a vigorous shake of the forefinger which meant laying down the
law. I do not know to what religious denomination he belonged; but
he gave the impression that no religion would be satisfactory to him
that did not provide for a well-kept hell-fire to roast sinners and
heretics. Still, he was said to be very kind and genial in his family
and in the circle of his intimate friends. But in politics he was
inexorable. I doubt whether, as a leader, he was ever really popular
with the Republican rank and file in Missouri. But certain it is that
most of the members of his party, especially in the country districts,
stood much in awe of him.

_How Schurz Became a Candidate_

Mr. Drake, very naturally, wished to have at his side, in the place of
Mr. Henderson, a colleague sympathizing with him and likely to shape
his conduct according to Senator Drake's wishes. He chose General
Ben Loan of the western part of the State, a gentleman of excellent
character, and respectable but not uncommon abilities. Senator Drake
permitted it to go forth as a sort of decree of his that Mr. Loan
should be elected to the Senate, and, although the proposition did not
seem to meet with any hearty response in the State, he would have been
so elected, had not another candidacy intervened.

It happened in this wise: I was a member of a little club consisting
of a few gentlemen of the same way of thinking in politics, who
dined together and discussed current events once or twice a month.
At one of those dinners, soon after the presidential election of
1868, the conversation turned upon the impending election of Senator
Henderson's successor and the candidacy of Mr. Drake's favorite,
General Loan. We were all agreed in heartily disliking Mr. Drake's
kind of statesmanship. We likewise agreed in disliking the prospect of
seeing Mr. Drake duplicated in the Senate--indeed fully duplicated--by
the election of Mr. Loan. But how prevent it? We all recognized,
regretfully, the absolute impossibility of getting the Legislature to
reëlect Mr. Henderson. But what other candidate was there to oppose
to Mr. Loan? One of our table turned round to me and said: "You!" The
others instantly and warmly applauded.

The thought that I, a comparative newcomer in Missouri, should be
elected senator in preference to others, who had been among the
leaders in the great crisis of the State only a few years ago,
seemed to me extravagant, and I was by no means eager to expose
myself to what I considered almost certain defeat. But my companions
insisted, and I finally agreed that a "feeler" might be put out in the
_Globe-Democrat_, the leading Republican journal in St. Louis, of which
Colonel William M. Grosvenor, a member of our little table-company, was
the editor in chief. The number of Republican papers in the State which
responded approvingly was surprisingly large, and I soon found myself
in the situation of an acknowledged candidate for the senatorship "in
the hands of his friends." It seemed that when "stumping" the State in
the last campaign, I had won more favor with the country people than I
myself was aware of. Still, my chances of success would have been slim,
had not my principal adversary, Senator Drake, appeared in person upon
the scene.

When he learned that my candidacy was developing strength, he
hurried from Washington to Jefferson City, the capital of Missouri,
to throw the weight of his personal influence with the Legislature
into the scale against me. By his side appeared General Loan. There
was then perfect justification for me to be on the ground with some
of my friends. My manager was Colonel Grosvenor, the editor of the
_Globe-Democrat_, an uncommonly bright, genial, active, and energetic
young man. I could not have had a more efficient and more faithful
champion, or a more skilful tactician. In their talks with members
of the Legislature my opponents were reckless in the extreme. They
denounced me as a foreign intruder, as a professional revolutionist, as
a "German infidel," as a habitual drunkard, and what not.

Our plan of campaign was very simple: Not a word against my competitor,
General Loan; no champagne or whisky, nor even cigars; no noisy
demonstrations; no promises of offices or other pledges in case of my
election; but a challenge to General Loan and also to Senator Drake, if
he would accept it, to meet me in public debate before the day when the
caucus of the Republican majority for the nomination of a senatorial
candidate was to be held. The campaign attracted much attention
throughout the North and was commented upon in the newspapers, mostly
in my favor. There were some symptoms of friendly zeal in my behalf.
My friend Sigismund Kaufmann in New York telegraphed to me that if I
needed any money for my campaign he would put $10,000 at my disposal. I
telegraphed back my thanks, but declined the money, since I had no use
for it. My reliance was upon the public debate.

_A Joint Debate for a Senatorship_

Senator Drake accepted the challenge for himself and General Loan.
Arrangements were made for two meetings on two consecutive evenings. On
the first evening I was to open with a speech of a certain length, and
on the second evening Loan and Drake were to answer me, and I was to
close. The announcement, as it went over the State, attracted from the
country districts--as well as the cities--so many of the friends of
the two candidates who wished to witness what they considered a great
event, that the hotels of the State capital were crowded to the utmost.

Remembering the debate between Lincoln and Douglas at Quincy, Illinois,
to which I had listened ten years before, I kept my opening speech in
a calm, somewhat tame defensive tone, reserving my best ammunition
for my closing argument and putting forth in a somewhat challenging
manner only a few sharp points which I wished Drake to take up the next
evening. The effect of my speech was satisfactory in a double sense.
My supporters were well pleased with the courtesy and moderation with
which I had stated my position and repelled certain attacks, and Mr.
Drake was jubilant. He could not conceal his anticipation of triumph.
Before a large crowd he said in a loud voice: "That man was described
to me as a remarkable orator, something like Cicero and Demosthenes
combined. But what did we hear? A very ordinary talk. Gentlemen,
to-morrow night about this hour General Carl Schurz will be as dead as
Julius Cæsar!" When I heard this, I was sure that his speech would be
as bitter, overbearing, and dictatorial as I could wish, and that thus
he would deliver himself into my hands.

The next evening the great hall of the assembly was crowded to
suffocation. General Loan spoke first. His speech was entirely decent
in tone but quite insignificant in matter. Its only virtue was its
brevity. It received only that sort of applause which any audience will
grant to any respectable man's utterance which is not too long and not
offensive, even if uttered in a voice too low to be heard.

Senator Drake then mounted the rostrum with a defiant air, as of one
who would make short work of his antagonists. After a few remarks
concerning his attitude on the negro question, he took me in hand. Who
was I, to presume to be a candidate for the Senate? He would, indeed,
like to inquire a little into my past career, were it not that he
would have to travel too far--to Germany, and to various places in
this country, to find out whether there was not much to my discredit.
But he had no time for so long a journey, however instructive such a
search might be. This insinuation was received by the audience with
strong signs of displeasure, which, however, stirred up Mr. Drake to
greater energy. Then he launched into a violent attack on the Germans
of Missouri, for whose political character and conduct he made me
responsible. He denounced them as an ignorant crowd, who did not
understand English, read only their German newspapers, and were led
by corrupt and designing rings; as marplots and mischief-makers who
could never be counted upon, and whose presence in the Republican
party hurt that party more than it helped it. Finally, after having
expressed his contempt for the newspapers and the politicians who
supported my candidacy, he closed with an elaborate eulogy of General
Loan and of himself, the length of which seemed to tire the audience,
for it was interrupted by vociferous calls for me coming from all
parts of the house. The immediate effect of Mr. Drake's speech was
perceptibly unfavorable to him and his candidate--especially his bitter
denunciation of the Germans and of a large part of the Republican
party which advocated my election, for many members of the Legislature
remembered how important an element of their constituency those same
Germans formed, and how much their political standing depended on those
same newspapers.

When I rose, the audience received me with a round of uproarious
cheers. I succeeded in putting myself into relations of good humor
even with my opponents by introducing myself as "a young David who,
single-handed and without any weapon except his sling and a few pebbles
in his pouch, had to meet in combat two heavily armed Goliaths at
once." The audience laughed and cheered again. I next brushed away Mr.
Loan's "harmless" speech with a few polite phrases and "passed from the
second to the principal."

I then proceeded to take the offensive against Mr. Drake in good
earnest. To the great amusement of my hearers I punctured with irony
and ridicule the pompous pretence that he was the father of the new
constitution with which Missouri was blessed. I took up his assault
upon the Germans. I asked the question, "Who was it that at the
beginning of the war took prisoners the rebel force assembled in camp
Jackson and thus saved St. Louis and the State to the Union, and who
was foremost on all the bloody fields in Missouri?" The whole audience
shouted "The Germans! The Germans!" I asked where Mr. Drake was in
those critical days, and answered that having been a Democrat before
the war, pleading the cause of slavery, he sat quietly in his law
office, coolly calculating when it would be safe for him to pronounce
himself openly for the Union, while the Germans were shedding their
blood for that Union. This was a terrible thrust.

My unfortunate victim nervously jumped to his feet and called my
friend, General McNeil, who was present, to witness that the General
himself advised him to stay quietly at home, because he could do
better service there than twenty men in the field. Whereupon General
McNeil promptly answered: "Yes, but that was long after the beginning
of the war"--an answer which made Mr. Drake sink back into his chair,
while the meeting burst out in a peal of laughter. Soon he rose again
to say that I was wrong in imputing to him any hostility to the
Germans, for he was their friend. My reply instantly followed that
then we had to take what he had said of them to-night as a specimen of
Mr. Drake's characteristic friendship. The audience again roared with

But the sharpest arrow was still to be shot. I reviewed the Senator's
career as a party leader--how he had hurled his anathema against every
Republican who would not take his word as law, thus disgusting and
alienating one man after another, and was now seeking to read out of
the party every man and every newspaper, among them the strongest
journal in the State, that supported me. Almost every sentence drew
applause. But when I reached my climax, picturing Mr. Drake as a party
leader so thinning out his following that he would finally stand
"lonesome and forlorn, surrounded by an immensity of solitude, in
desolate self-appreciation," the general hilarity became so boisterous
and the cheering so persistent, that I had to wait minutes for a chance
to proceed. I closed my speech in a pacific strain. There had been talk
that, if I were elected, the unseemly spectacle would be presented
of two Senators from the same State constantly quarrelling with one
another. I did not apprehend anything of the kind. I was sure that if
we ever differed, Senator Drake would respect my freedom of opinion,
and I certainly would respectfully recognize his. Our watchword would
be: "Let us have peace."

When I had finished there was another outbreak of tumultuous applause
and a rush for a handshake, the severest I have ever had to go through.
With great difficulty I had to work my way to my tavern and to bed,
where I lay long awake hearing the jubilant shouts of my friends on the
streets. The first report I received in the morning was that Mr. Drake
had quickly withdrawn from last night's meeting before its adjournment,
had hurried to his hotel, had asked for his bill and the washing he
had given out, and when told that his shirts and collars were not yet
dry, had insisted upon having them instantly whether wet or dry, and
then had hurried to the railroad station for the night train East. The
party-dictatorship was over, and its annihilation was proclaimed by the
flight of the dictator.

_The Republic's Crowning Honor to an Adopted Son_

That same day the caucus of the Republican members of the Legislature
took place. I was nominated for the senatorship on the first ballot,
and on motion the nomination was made unanimous. My election by the
Legislature followed in due course. No political victory was ever more
cleanly won. My whole election expenses amounted only to my board bill
at the hotel, and absolutely unencumbered by any promise of patronage
or other favor I took my seat in the Senate of the United States on the
4th of March, 1869. My colleague, Mr. Drake, courteously escorted me
to the chair of the president of the Senate where I took the oath of

I remember vividly the feelings which almost oppressed me as I first
sat down in my chair in the Senate chamber. Now I had actually reached
the exalted public position to which my boldest dreams of ambition had
hardly dared to aspire. I was still a young man, just forty. Little
more than sixteen years had elapsed since I had landed on these shores,
a homeless waif saved from the wreck of a revolutionary movement in
Europe. Then I was enfolded in the generous hospitality of the American
people, opening to me, as freely as to its own children, the great
opportunities of the new world. And here I was now, a member of the
highest law-making body of the greatest of republics. Should I ever
be able fully to pay my debt of gratitude to this country, and to
justify the honors that had been heaped upon me? To accomplish this,
my conception of duty could not be pitched too high. I recorded a vow
in my own heart that I would at least honestly endeavor to fulfil that
duty; that I would conscientiously adhere to the principle "_Salus
populi, suprema lex_"; that I would never be a sycophant of power
nor a flatterer of the multitude; that, if need be, I would stand up
alone for my conviction of truth and right; and that there would be no
personal sacrifice too great for my devotion to the republic.

My first official duty was to witness, with the Senate, the
inauguration of General Grant as President of the United States.
I stood near the same spot from which, eight years before, I had
witnessed the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln. It was a remarkable
contrast--then the anxious patriot, in the hour of stress, with
pathetic tenderness appealing to the wayward children of the nation;
now the victorious soldier speaking in the name of the restored
national authority. General Grant's inaugural address, evidently his
own work, was somewhat crude in style, but breathed a rugged honesty
of purpose. With particular rigor it emphasized our obligations to
the national creditor--in striking contrast to Mr. Johnson's last
annual message, which had stopped little short of advising downright

On the whole, General Grant's accession to the presidency was welcomed
by almost everybody with a sense of relief. It put an end to the
unseemly, not to say scandalous brawl between the executive and the
legislative branches of the national government, which at times came
near threatening the peace of the country. It was justly expected
to restore the government to its proper dignity and to furnish, if
not a brilliant, at least a highly decent and efficient business
administration. As General Grant had really not owed his nomination
to any set of politicians, nor even, strictly speaking, to his
identification with a political party, he enjoyed an independence
of position which offered him peculiarly favorable possibilities
for emancipating the public service from the grasp of the spoils
politician, and the friends of civil service reform looked up to him
with great hope.

It was not unnatural that in the absolute absence of political
experience he should not only have had much to learn concerning the
nature and conduct of civil government, but that he should also have
had much to unlearn of the mental habits and the ways of thinking he
had acquired in the exercise of almost unlimited military command. This
was strikingly illustrated by some remarkable incidents.

_A. T. Stewart and the Law of the Treasury_

As usual, the nominations made by the President for Cabinet offices
were promptly ratified by the Senate without being referred to any
committee. But after this had been done, it was remembered and reported
to President Grant that one of the nominees so confirmed, Mr. A.
T. Stewart of New York, whom President Grant had selected for the
secretaryship of the treasury, as a person engaged in commerce, was
disqualified by one of the oldest laws on the statute-book--in fact,
the act of September 2, 1789, establishing the Treasury Department.
That this law, which provided that the Treasury Department, having the
administration of the custom houses under its control, should not have
at its head a merchant or importer in active business, was an entirely
proper, indeed, a necessary one, had never been questioned. The next
morning, March 6th, I had occasion to call upon President Grant for
the purpose of presenting to him a congratulatory message from certain
citizens of St. Louis. I found him alone, engaged in writing something
on a half-sheet of note-paper. "Mr. President," I said, "I see you are
busy, and I do not wish to interrupt you. My business can wait." "Never
mind," he answered, "I am only writing a message to the Senate." My
business was quickly disposed of, and I withdrew.

In the course of that day's session of the Senate a message from the
President was brought in, in which, after quoting the statute of
September 2, 1789, the President asked that Mr. Stewart be exempted
by joint resolution of the two Houses of Congress from the operation
of the law which stood in Mr. Stewart's way. There were some signs of
surprise among Senators when the message was read, but Mr. Sherman
at once asked unanimous consent to introduce a bill in accordance
with the President's wish. But Mr. Sumner objected to the immediate
consideration thereof because of its great importance. This stopped
further proceedings, and the bill was laid on the table never to be
heard of again. However, the President's message had evidently made
an impression, and there was forthwith a little council held in the
cloakroom, which agreed that some Senator should without delay go
to see Mr. Elihu B. Washburn, the new Secretary of State, who was
General Grant's intimate friend, and urgently ask him to suggest to the
President that, while there was now perfect good feeling all round,
it would be prudent for him to drop Mr. Stewart and to abstain from
demanding the suspension or the repeal of good laws which he found in
his way. Whether Mr. Washburn did carry this admonition to President
Grant, I do not know. Probably he did, for Mr. Stewart was promptly
dropped. Mr. Boutwell of Massachusetts was made Secretary of the
Treasury in Mr. Stewart's place, and the repeal or suspension of the
old law was never again heard of.

_A Governor's Right to His Staff_

So this incident passed, harmless. But the cloakroom of the Senate,
where Senators amused one another with the gossip of the day, continued
to buzz with anecdotes about President Grant's curious notions of the
nature and functions of civil government. One of these anecdotes,
told by a Senator who was considered one of the best lawyers in that
body and one of the most jealous of the character of his profession,
was particularly significant. He heard a rumor that President Grant
was about to remove a Federal judge in one of the territories of the
United States. The Senator happened to know that judge as a lawyer
of excellent ability and uncommon fitness for the bench, and he went
to the President to remonstrate against so extreme a measure as the
removal of a judge unless there were cogent reasons for it connected
with the administration of the office. President Grant admitted that,
as far as he knew, there was no allegation of the unfitness of the
judge, as a judge, "but," he added, "the governor of the territory
writes me that he cannot get along with that judge at all, and is
very anxious to be rid of him; and I think the governor is entitled
to have control of his staff." The Senator closed his story by saying
that he found it to be a delicate as well as a difficult job to make
the great general in the chair of the President of the United States
understand how different the relations between a territorial governor
and a Federal judge were from those between a military commander and
his staff officers. The anecdote was received by the listeners with
a laugh, but the mirth was not far from apprehension. However, there
being sincere and perfect goodwill on both sides, things went on
pleasantly in the expectation that the military hero at the head of
the government would learn what he needed to know and that the men in
places of political power would treat him with due consideration and

_Grant Presses for San Domingo Annexation_

It was a few days later when I met President Grant at an evening
reception given by Colonel Forney, the Secretary of the Senate. I was
somewhat surprised when I saw the President coming toward me from the
opposite side of the room, saying: "Senator, you have not called to
see me at the White House for some time, and I have been wanting to
speak to you." All I could say in response was that I was very sorry to
have missed a conversation I might have had with him, but that I knew
him to be a busy man who should not be robbed of his time by merely
conventional visits. He repeated that he wished very much to see me.
Would I not call upon him at my earliest convenience some evening? I
put myself at once at his service, and went to the White House the
next night. He received me in the library room and invited me to sit
with him on a sofa. He plunged forthwith into the subject he had at
heart. "I hear you are a member of the Senate committee that has the
San Domingo treaty under consideration," he said, "and I wish you
would support the treaty. Won't you do that?" I thought it would be
best not to resort to any circumlocution in answering so pointblank a
summons, but to be entirely frank. I said I should be sincerely happy
to act with his administration whenever and wherever I conscientiously
could, but in this case, I was sorry to confess, I was not able to
do as he wished, because I was profoundly convinced it would be
against the best interests of the republic. Then I gave him some of my
dominant reasons; in short, acquisition and possession of such tropical
countries with indigestible, unassimilable populations would be highly
obnoxious to the nature of our republican system of government; it
would greatly aggravate the racial problems we had already to contend
with; those tropical islands would, owing to their climatic conditions,
never be predominantly settled by people of Germanic blood; this
federative republic could not, without dangerously vitiating its vital
principles, undertake to govern them by force, while the populations
inhabitating them could not be trusted with a share in governing our
country; to the difficulties we had under existing circumstances to
struggle with in our Southern States, much greater and more enduring
difficulties would be added; and for all this the plan offered
absolutely no compensating advantages. Moreover, the conversations I
had had with Senators convinced me that the treaty had no chance of
receiving the two-thirds vote necessary for its confirmation, and I
sincerely regretted to see his administration expose itself to a defeat
which, as I thought, was inevitable.

_The Liveryman and the Foreign Mission_

I spoke with the verve of sincere conviction, and at first the
President listened to me with evident interest, looking at me as if
the objections to the treaty which I expressed were quite new to him
and made an impression on his mind. But after a little while I noticed
that his eyes wandered about the room, and I became doubtful whether he
listened to me at all. When I had stopped, he sat silent for a minute
or two. I, of course, sat silent too, waiting for him to speak. At last
he said in a perfectly calm tone, as if nothing had happened: "Well, I
hope you will at least vote for the confirmation of Mr. Jones, whom I
have selected for a foreign mission."

I was very much taken aback by this turn of the conversation. Who was
Mr. Jones? If the President had sent his nomination to the Senate,
it had escaped me. I had not heard of a Mr. Jones as a nominee for
a foreign mission. What could I say? The President's request that I
should vote for Mr. Jones sounded so child-like and guileless, at
the same time implying an apprehension that I might not vote for the
confirmation of Mr. Jones, which he had evidently much at heart, that
I was sincerely sorry that I could not promptly answer "Yes." I should
have been happy to please the President. But I had to tell him the
truth. So I gathered myself together and replied that I knew nothing
of Mr. Jones, either by personal acquaintance or by report; that it
was the duty of the Committee on Foreign Relations to inquire into the
qualifications for diplomatic service of the persons nominated for
foreign missions and to report accordingly to the Senate, and that if
Mr. Jones was found to possess those qualifications, it would give me
the most genuine pleasure to vote for him. This closed the conference.

A few days later there was a meeting of the Committee on Foreign
Relations. After having disposed of some other business, Charles
Sumner, its chairman, said in his usual grave tone: "Here is the
President's nomination of Mr. Jones for the mission to Brussels. Can
any member of the committee give us any information concerning Mr.
Jones?" There was a moment's silence. Then Senator Morton of Indiana,
a sarcastic smile flickering over his face--I see him now before
me--replied: "Well, Mr. Jones is about the most elegant gentleman that
ever presided over a livery stable." The whole committee, except Mr.
Sumner, broke out in a laugh. Sumner, with unbroken gravity, asked
whether any other member of the committee could give any further
information. There was none. Whereupon Mr. Sumner suggested that the
nomination be laid over for further inquiry, which was done.

At a subsequent meeting the committee took up the case of Mr. Jones
again. It was a matter of real embarrassment to every one of us. We
all wished to avoid hurting the feelings of President Grant. There had
been no malice in Senator Morton's remark about the elegant gentleman
presiding over a livery stable. Morton was one of the staunchest
administration men, but he simply could not resist the humor of the
occasion. I do not recollect what the result of the "further inquiry"
was. I have a vague impression that Mr. Jones turned out to be in some
way connected with the street-car lines in Chicago, and to have had
much to do with horses, which was supposed to be the link of sympathy
between him and President Grant. However reluctant the committee was
to wound the President's feelings in so personal a matter, yet it did
not think it consistent with its sense of duty and dignity positively
to recommend to the Senate to confirm the nomination of Mr. Jones.
It therefore, if I remember rightly, reported it back to the Senate
without any recommendation, whereupon the Senate indulgently ratified






The orderly-room was quiet; only the clicking of the Troop Clerk's
type-writer broke the stillness in sharp taps. Captain Campbell and
Sergeant Stone were at their desks, absorbed in papers. Presently Stone
pushed his work aside, and, hunting in a pigeonhole, brought forth a
grimy bundle.

"Are you interested in poetry, sir?" he said. Captain Campbell, _alias_
Shorty, sat up, with a snort, and peered over the piled-up findings of
a court-martial case. "Am I a love-sick puppy? Do I _look_ as if I were
interested in poetry?" Shorty's hair was mussed and matted, his flannel
shirt (he never wore a coat, if he could help it) was open at the
throat, and the dust of the early-morning drill still adhered to his
countenance, giving it a curiously gray-veiled appearance--he said he
hadn't had time to wash. Stone was forced to admit that his appearance
was not poetic.

"Well," he said, "I guess this isn't really poetry--just a stab at it.
Shall I read----"

"Sergeant Stone," interrupted his captain vehemently, "if you've been
such an ass as to try to write poetry, I'll be condemned if I keep you
as Top of _my_ troop. No, don't attempt to explain; I know it all!
There's a girl at the bottom of it: there always is. Poetry leads to
everything and anything. Soon you'll be neglecting your duties, and
then, I warn you,--_I warn you_,--you're busted! 'Member Sergeant
Johnson? Good soldier, but very foolish man. Went and got married--what
a fool! No good any more. Poetry will do the same for you."

Stone had been trying to stem the torrent. "For the Lord's sake,
Captain, what do you take me for? I haven't been writin' any poetry."

"What do you mean, then, insinuating that you have? There's only one
man living now who _can_ write poetry, but be hanged if I'd want him in
my troop."

"Still," said Stone, with his boyish, dimpling grin, "you've a poet in
the troop, in spite of you. It's Teddy Ryan."

"Ryan! That freckled kid? Why, he's a pretty fair soldier. Reckon his
poetry must be right rotten. Don't believe he knows enough to spell
'cat,' even. What you got there? Hand 'em over, only hurry up. I got to
go to headquarters soon. Oh, this is goin' to be a picnic!" Shorty was
chuckling over the soiled scraps.

The first one was ominously entitled "Destinny, by Prvt. T. Ryan 5th
Mont. Inf. U. S. V. 1898," and set forth:

  I do not like my tacks and bacon,
  They allus sets my belly aken.
  I do not like to tote a gun,
  It seems like I was son of one.
  And lots of other things they done
    to me I do not like at all.

  I wish I never had inlisted
  My feet is allus gettin' blistered
  It's allus drillin drillin drillin
  And eating grub that isent fillin.
  And that is why I do not wanter stay.
  And O By jimminy dont i wish my time
    was up and i could get away.

"You bet he did," laughed Shorty. "You read these?" turning to Stone.

"Sure. Aren't they rich? Read 'Soljer and Moskeeter' an' 'To My Hoss.'
There's a horse on you in that last."

"Soldier and Mosquito" proved to be a dialogue.


  Soljer says:
          "When we do go to bed
          We do try to sleep instead
          Of lyeing awake.
          But we cannot for you kno
          The pesky moskeeto
          Our blood does take."

  Moskeeter says:
          "When that feller goes to bed
          he covers up his head
          In the dark,
          i cannot cannot eat her
          so I starve says poor moskeeter,
          Grim and stark."

"Soldier seems to be a he an' a she too. An' he is sure impartial,"
remarked Captain Campbell. "Even a mosquito must have a point of
view--darn little nuisances!"


"'Life is one long gorgeous sunset if your head-net works as planned,'"
agreed Stone, quoting from the American Mandalay. "Go on an' read 'To
My Hoss,' You'll appreciate that."


  My hoss is gentle has no fears,
  And is slow if you dont ticcle his years.
  He has fore long legs and a drawn out hed,
  And so is cald a quadruped.

  Saturday morning enspection time
  i groom my hoss up clene and fine,
  But if his saddel aint packed wel,
  You bet Shorty gives me hel.

  My hoss must be fed before the men,
  Wen i dont do it I get hel agen,
  My hosses tale is very long
  the end of him and the end of my song.

"I know," chuckled Shorty, "what was the inspiration for that second
verse. I jumped all over him one Saturday for havin' his canteen on the
near side an' his picket-pin upside-down where it would blame well spit
him if he should fall on it. He's right he got all that was coming to
him. I only got time for one more now--a short one. What shall it be?"

"Try 'Fiting Joe And Dewey'; that's a bit different--might be classed
under 'Poems of Ambition'."

Shorty shuffled the papers and read:


  Theres heaps of places in the world men wud lik to been and see
  But i tell you
  And I tell you true,
  That theres only 2 for me.
  Ide like to have worn my Countrys blu
  In the calvery riding or holding the tiller
  With Fiting joe at San Wan Hill or with Dewey at Manilla.

  And the old man says:
  "Ive been in slews of battels and ime toting in my shin
  A bullit from a johnny-rebils killer,
  But I am hail and harty and i wish that I had been
  With Fiting joe at San Wan Hill or Dewey at manilla."

"How in Tophet did you come by this stuff, Sergeant?" asked the
Captain, as he got up to put on his small coat, and, on tiptoe before
a little hanging mirror, tried, ineffectually, to calm his upstanding
hair with the ten-toothed comb of nature.

"Why, sir, Ryan gave 'em to me to read. He came into my room two or
three nights ago an' asked me if I wouldn't like to see them. Said
he'd written that 'Destinny' quite a time ago, but that all the others
were just recently finished; that he'd been writing a lot lately,
an' felt as if he just _had_ to show 'em to somebody, an' he thought
the other fellows would laugh at him. He said I might keep an' read
them to anybody I thought would appreciate them. _He_ thinks they're

"Well," said Shorty, grabbing his hat and preparing to bolt, "I have
sure appreciated 'em. But, you mark my words, there's a girl behind
this. A fellow like Ryan doesn't go squanderin' rhymes for nothin',
hombre. Adios." And off shot Shorty, with hands jammed deep in his

"He's smart, all right," said Stone to himself; "the girl's there.
Where the deuce is that bloomin' ode, 'To my Lady-Frend'?" Finding it,
he read:

  Heaven meant things to go in 2s Cora,
  Thats why i am alone unhappy single.
  There won't be a bird or animal refuse Cora
  Each with other folks to mingle.

  So why do you give me the cold sholder Cora
  Is it becaws youre shi or love another?
  If youd only speak to your deer soljer Cora,
  Ide fite a feller if he was my brother.

  The moone is shining britely in the ski my Cora deer
  The nite is late the village clock strikes 2.
  Yes everything says 2 my years can hear Cora,
  And that is why i think of you.

"Poor kid, he seems to be up against it! Wonder where he got that about
the village clock? Must have been doin' some promiscious readin'.
He said that was the best 'piece' he'd written. I wonder if he--I
wonder if she----" Still wondering, Stone carefully put the precious
manuscript away and turned back to work, resolving to corral Private
T. Ryan at the first opportunity.

Private T. Ryan proved obliging, however, and came into Stone's room
after supper to get his verses and the first sergeant's opinion of them.


"What do I think about 'em, kid? Why, I think they're mighty
interestin'. Take a chair. I didn't know you had it in you. But that
one about your lady-friend, now; is that straight goods or is it a
poet's pipe-dream?"

"It's true, all right. You know who she is, too. Cora Sheean--father's
that retired chief trumpeter; lives over back o' the ridin'-hall."

"Cora Sheean! Why, yes, I know who _she_ is." Mrs. Sheean did Stone's
washing, and he had often seen red-haired Cora, and heard of her, too;
for she was the belle of the post in "enlisted" circles. "She's a
mighty pretty girl, Ted,--here's luck to you,--but she's so bloomin'
popular it's liable to be heavy goin'. You tell me all about it, an'
maybe I can help you some"; and Stone began a rapid-fire broadside of
questions, in the midst of which arrived John Whitney.

"Howdy," he remarked. "Say, yo' runnin' a pumpin'-station, Jerry?"


"No, I'm not. Now, either you clear out or come in an' help. I showed
you Ryan's poetry--an' you remember that one about his lady-friend?
Well, it's true, an' he's tellin' me about it. Do you mind his comin'
in, kid? He can probably help you better than I can, as he's had so
much more experience with Eliz----"

"Shut up! Yo'-all are mighty fond of refe'in' to that lady. I notice
yo' get a letter every day yo'self!"

"Set down," said Ryan. "No, I don't mind, but don't you ever let on.
There's Hansen, now. He'd devil me all over the place if he caught on."

And so he continued his recital. Yes, Cora had flirted outrageously
with him. "But she says she ain't ever goin' ter marry no private; I
got ter be a sergeant anyway, or she won't look at me." He was going
to hold her to that; he was going to work hard, and there was a good
chance, for there would be two non-coms to get their _dis_charge next
week. No, he hadn't always been fond of poetry; only this last winter.
Will Carleton was a fine poet. "'Member 'bout that feller who fell
through the ceilin' into the butter-tub?--or was it a churn he fell
in?" But Ella Wheeler Wilcox was the finest poet who ever wrote a line.
"So all-fired hot," she was. He had two books full of her things. He
always wrote verses when he felt sort of lonely or Cora had been making
him mad. "I write 'em about everything. To-day, at Retreat, now, I
thought they'd keep us standin' there till kingdom come; an' when them
bugles was blowin' the last part, that goes down an' up an' down again
twice, an' then has a little wiggle to it, yer know, why, the words to
it just popped into my head. Like this": And he sang:

  The gun goes boom,
  The flag goes flop
  Here we're standin' stiffened at the knees
  an' almost nigh ter drop

Rhymes came easy when he felt like it. Sometimes he could write 'em
when he felt extra _good_, too. It had to be one way or the other; he
couldn't write a bit when things were just common. And he was awfully
fond of Cora. He'd give up 'most anything he had if she'd only say
she'd marry him. But Hansen was a Q. M. sergeant an' put on dog, an'
had reenlisted pay an' all, an' it cut a big figger with her. He wasn't
worried about any of the other fellers; he could beat them out easy;
but Hansen had him buffaloed. "An' I say, Sergeant, don't you tell
Shorty I want ter get married or he won't do a blame thing for me."

"Sure thing," said Stone, "I won't tell him. But look here, kid; if I
can work a pull for you,--an' I'll do the best I can,--will the lady
have you, after all?"

"I think I can work it. I believe she's got a fondness for me, but
she's that proud she wouldn't never marry nothin' but a sergeant;
her father was chief trumpeter, yer know. Say, do please give me a
recommend ter Shorty, an' I'll try mer very best ter do the work well
an' be a good soldier."

"Glad to hear you say that; 'cause, I warn you, if you don't make a
good non-com, you get busted. We can't run this troop on sentiment.
Yes, I'll tell the captain I think you'll do for a corporal, if that'll
ease your mind any; as for your getting a sergeancy, that's your own
lookout later. It all depends on what sort you prove yourself to be. If
it isn't the right sort, back you go."

"'I was a corporal wanst; I was rejuiced aftherwards,'" murmured
Whitney. "Yes, Ted, I'll tell Shorty, too, that you'd make a good
non-com. Will yo' leave yo' vuhses? I want to read 'em again.
Goodnight. Next time I see Miss Cora, I'll make yo' ears bu'n." And, as
Ryan departed with abject thanks, visibly cheered, Whitney stretched
out his hand. "Speakin' of Kiplin', hand over that Lady-Friend
yonder--want to learn her; she's a gem. Say, do yo' think Hansen's in
earnest over that?"

"Ask me an' I say no. I know that Knudt down to the ground. He isn't
the marryin' kind."

"Soldier of fortune, pyo' an' simple, he is," said Whitney; "always on
the go; an' do yo' think he's goin' to pin himself down anywhere? Not
he. He's only in this for the fun of the thing, an' it's a heap better
fo' the little Cora girl if he stays out."

"I'm with you. He couldn't tie up to one girl, never in his bloomin'
life. Between you an' me an' the lamp-post, he's goin' to the bad in
more ways than one. 'Wine, women, an' song,' an' consequent mix-ups in
his accounts. He's gettin' too crooked to stay quartermaster. Shorty's
about decided to put him back in the line. Why, only yesterday he came
over to me an' said, 'Say, make me out a afferdavid, will you? I lost
my carbine.' I knew blame well he hadn't lost it, so I said right
quick, 'That so? How much you get for it?'

"'Why,' he says, 'the man only gave me three-fif--Say, Stone, you're
darn smart! But help a feller out a bit, won't you? I had to have the


"'No,' I said, 'I won't. You get out of here. I'm not goin' to perjure
my soul so's you can have any three-fifteen, or three-fifty, or
whatever it was.' The big yap! An', you can bet your life, if it had
come down to his carbine, he's been doin' some tall monkeyin' with the
accounts an' the troop fund. An' yet, with it all, I can't help liking
him; there's so many good things about him. If he's your friend once,
he's your friend for always--never knew such a man to stick. He's been
awfully good to me when there's no call to be, an' helped me in lots of
little ways."

"Yes," said Whitney; "an' the things he's seen, an' the places he's
been, an' the messes he's been mixed up in--an' he knows how to tell
it, too. That takes with the little Cora girl, of co'se. Better fo'
her, though, if he'd keep away. I like him all right fo' myself, but
he's liable to be crooked anywheres. Little Teddy Ryan's clean strain,
but he wouldn't show up to much advantage beside Knudt. Dixon goes out
to-mo'w; I s'pose that's what yo're thinkin' of fo' the kid. Who gets
the sergeancy? Decided?"

"Yep. Melody's jumped, an' Sullivan gets it, but I don't think Shorty's
thought of who'd be corporal. I'll try an' fix it in the mornin'."

Accordingly, next morning Stone nominated the poet to be Corporal Ryan.

"What the----!" said Shorty. "I've no use for a poet, I was thinkin' of

"Well, only that Terry drinks an' Ryan never does. I don't think his
verse-makin' will interfere with his duties; it hasn't hitherto, an' if
he doesn't make good, we can try some one else."

"Have it your own way, then. The way you run this troop is scandalous.
There's not another T. C. in the army who gets bossed by his Top the
way I do." And off went Shorty chuckling, having decided two days
before that Ryan was to be corporal, and well knowing that Stone would
defy even the colonel before he would run counter to an order given by
his adored captain.

       *       *       *       *       *

Two nights later Stone and Whitney were again together.

"Well," said Whitney, "I've just seen the new co'poral goin', in all
his glory, to the little Cora girl's. He didn't take long to get his
stripes an' chevrons."

"To _get_! What you talkin' about? He had 'em all ready. Stevens saw
him take 'em out of his locker already fixed on a new suit."

"That's what I call befo'handed. But the little cuss is so blame happy
over it all."

"Yes," said Stone; "happy, an' wooin' the Muse again, too. Hope he
don't mix her up with his Cora. Will you look at this? And the length
of it? It's an ode to the troop, an' he hasn't left out anybody. Wonder
where he got the time to do it all! Read the first three verses an'
then the last; they're all you need to waste your time on."

So Whitney read:


  Come comrads come your carbeans load
  While neer and far I sing my oad.
  There never was a troop like owers
  It does deserve all bueateous flowers.

  Ower Captain in the army is the best
  But he doesent give you any rest
  And sergeants Stone and Whitny is very fine to,
  The best sergeants who breth ever drew.

  And now I come with unwiling pennence,
  To tell you about ower 2 lootennence.
  Lootenent Burns a Prints could be,
  But Spurs isent neerly as educated as me.

       *       *       *       *       *

  So galopp on my gallent troop,
  Let no one to a bob-tale stoop,
  Its prayses sound from East to West
  For all agree J troop is best.

                  Corporal T. Ryan
                  Poet Lariat of J troop
                            18th U. S. Cav.

"Lariat! Gee! Wonder he didn't put 'an' picket-pin.' The second line of
that last verse is mighty ambiguous. Do you s'pose he means a hawse or
a dishono'able discharge?"

"Don't know," said Stone. "An' look at the last two lines:

  Its prayses sound from East to West
  For all agree J troop is best.

Sounds like a soap advertisement to me. An' up there about the
lieutenants. Wonder if an' 'unwiling pennence' meant a reluctant pen
'cause he didn't care to mention Spurs an' had to have a rhyme?"

"It's likely. But look yere, Jerry. Yo' an' I don't breathe. Our breath
draws _us_."

"Pretty strong breath it must be, then."

"Hush, man! Yo' goin' to show these to Shorty?"

"I was thinkin' maybe he wouldn't like to think Ryan was still writin',
now that he's a corporal."

"Ah, go on; show it. Shorty won't care."

And Shorty didn't. Only, after a delighted snort over the ode, he sent
forth the order: "You tell him I say this has got to be the last. If I
catch him writin' any more monkey-doodle verses, I'll bust him quick as
a minute. If he wants to be a non-com in my troop, he's got to put his
whole mind to it."

Ryan obeyed, and, unsaddling his Pegasus, set himself to work with such
a will that as time went on he came to be one of the best non-coms
in the troop, particularly where the instruction of recruits was
concerned; for he seemed to have a special sympathy with them, and a
knack of imparting the correct way to do things; His suit with Cora
prospered, too, for she paid more attention to the corporal than she
had to the private; but, being past grand mistress of the art of
flirtation, she always contrived some little act or remark to chasten
her lover's spirit and keep him sufficiently humble, as an offset to
any particular favoritism that might have uplifted his spirits; which
manoeuver always successfully puzzled Teddy. "First she's all sweet as
candy; next minute I get the throw-down." But he never despaired, and
came back strongly on the rebound, inquiring periodically, "Say, Cora,
you're goin' ter marry me when I get mer sergeancy, ain't yer?" And she
would reply, laughing: "Yes, when you get to be a sergeant I'll marry
yer; an' that'll be when the river catches fire."

Time wore on, and the summer drew to a close. Hansen was no longer the
quartermaster-sergeant, so he was not such an impressive figure as
he had been. One payday Captain Campbell instructed Stone to read
the men a lecture on the sin of drunkenness. "Not that I mind a man's
gettin' drunk so much, but when the whole troop goes on a booze, it's a
blame sight too much of a good thing. We're not to have any such time
in J barracks as we did last month. You tell 'em that, an' make it

So Stone, translating liberally, read them a severe lecture, ending up
with: "An' if any of you big yaps comes home drunk, don't care who he
is, he gets put under arrest. Savvy? That's straight."

The troop paid honors to an ultimatum when it was paraded before
them, and it was a straight-walking, sober crowd that rounded up at
J barracks that night. But, shortly before reveille, sounds of song
and hilarity disturbed the sleepers, and Stone was obliged to rise
and place Sergeant Knudt Hansen under arrest. He had returned from
town in an exceedingly talkative frame of mind, and was now tipsily
enlightening his squad-room on the disgracefully small quantity of
drinks that could be bought on a sergeant's pay.

"I hate to do it, old man," said Stone, "but I'll have to put you
under arrest. You know what I said, and now you've gone an' done this

"Aw right. 'Sh mer own fault--only 'sh bad exshample to 'resht
shergeant before shquad-room o' privatshes; mosht demoralizin'."

"I'm sorry, Hansen, but I must do it. You are confined to quarters for
two days." And Stone retired, grieved that Hansen, of all men, should
have been the one to suffer for the sake of an example.

"Gee!" said Brown, "I never thought Stone'd do that!"

"Wouldn't he, though?" rejoined Ryan. "You bet your boots, a sergeant
looks all-same buck to the Top."

"Hansen'll lay it up to him, you see," said Hickey, looking at the big
man now sprawled out on his bunk in noisy slumber.

"Not on yer life, Dope," said Brown. "Hansen's too much sense fer that.
He'll see the Top's side of it." And so it proved, for, after a few
half-laughs, half-apologetic words from his first sergeant, Hansen
agreed that there had been no other course to pursue.

"And, anyway," he said, with a grin, "I'll get a goot rest, yess. It
iss about time I loafed some. I shall sleep."

Now, sleep was all very well for that day and part of the next, but by
the afternoon of the second day Sergeant Knudt Hansen's active mind
and body became saturated with rest and extremely bored. He had read
everything he could lay his hands on, even including a vagrant copy of
"Edgeworth's Moral Tales" that had wandered, Heaven knows how, into
the troop library. While affording him food for sarcastically profane
comment in the slimy sediment of at least six different languages, this
estimable work had, if anything, increased his ennui. His body began
actually to ache for action of some sort; almost anything would do at a

Strolling disconsolately through the hall, whom should he chance to
see but Corporal Ryan, who was in charge of quarters for that day,
busily cleaning his saber (for the next day was Saturday), and singing
cheerfully, "'You're in the army now.'"

"Let up on that musical, you gamin; it iss not to the ear pleasant,"
growled Hansen. Besides his other grievance that Ryan's cheerfulness
flicked on the raw, the little corporal had cut out the big sergeant
several times lately with Cora.

"Ah, g'wan an' soak yer swelled head!" retorted Ryan respectfully, and,
bending to his work, began to carol forth the delectable ballad of the
"Rubber Dolly." Hansen advanced into the room.

"See here, Meester Freshie, that iss no way to speak to your sergeant!
Oh, yess; I am knowing what you mean. You t'ank, because Cora go with
you a leetle, you can come it ofer me here, too--not?"

"You leave her name out o' that," said Teddy, straightening up and
reddening. "She's got nothin' ter do with it, an' you leave her be."

"Oho! The leetle man tank she iss so sweet and innocent a leetle girl,
I am not fit to speak of her--yess? Why, she--" And Hansen started in
to enumerate in no very choice language certain fabricated insinuations
against the character of the popular Miss Cora Sheean. But they were
barely out of his mouth before Teddy Ryan's fist was in it. Blindly
the big Swede struck back, catching Ryan on the nose and drawing the
blood; and then they started in in earnest.

"Hello, hello! What's all this?" demanded Captain Campbell, popping in
on the scene like a vibrant little jack-in-the-box. Hansen drew off.
"He used language to me, sir, and I am hiss sergeant; it iss him that I
am teaching hiss place," he explained sullenly.

"But, Cap'en," cried Ryan, "he said--he said--I can't tell yer what he
said," he finished slowly.

"Well, I can tell what _I'll_ say, an' pretty blame quick! Hansen,
you're a bully, that's what. Next time tackle some one nearer your
size; an' you get three days' confinement. Ryan (for heaven's sake
get a handkerchief an' wipe your nose), I'll give you a day, too; for
fightin' your sergeant an' for gettin' into a fight when you're left in
charge of quarters." Thus it was that the Captain ended the fight, but
the consequences stretched far beyond him and were in the hands of Cora.

"You oughter been ter J Troop yesterday," quoth Corporal Brown the next
evening, while sitting on Miss Cora Sheean's front step. "Hansen an'
Ryan had a fight. Hansen said somepin', an' Ryan went fer him, an' they
had it hot. Nobody was by, an' Ryan won't tell, so we don't know what
Hansen said."

Cora was staring at him with eyes wide with concern. "My Lord!" she
gasped, "is he hurt?"

"Naw, Hansen ain't hurt none. He's a fighter, an' Ryan ain't big enough

"_Stupid!_ I mean Teddy Ryan. Is he hurt?"

"Naw; only a black eye an' a nose-bleed. Cap'en stopped 'em before
Hansen had a chance ter do much."

"Thank Gawd!" sighed Cora, sinking back in relief. "Look here, Mr.
Brown, will you do me a favor? Will you tell Mr. Ryan that if he can
run over here early to-morrow mornin', I got somethin' I want ter give

When the bearer of tidings had departed, Cora sat up very straight,
with tightly clasped hands, repeating vacantly, with an ambiguous
mixture of pronouns, "He might er killed him--he might er killed
him!" For to her the fight between these men had only one meaning;
intuitively she knew herself to be the cause. "He fought for me," she
said, "I know he did. An' I want Teddy Ryan. _I want him!_"

Next morning she peeped out of the window and watched the approach of
the sturdy, honest-faced little corporal before she went to open the
door for him herself.

"You wanted ter see me?" he said, fingering his hat shyly.

"Yes; I--I heard you'd been in a fight. I--I wanted to read you a
lecture. That's an awful eye you got, Mr. Ryan!"

"I'm sorry you don't like it, Miss Cora, but I had to; you'd have
wanted me to if you'd known."

"Oh!" cried Cora, and her heart whispered: "Then it _was_ about me,
just as I thought, and the dear won't tell me." But aloud she said, "It
ain't ever right to fight, an' I didn't think it of you, Mr. Ryan."

"I had to," he repeated awkwardly, and turned away. "Is that all you
had ter say ter me? I must go back; but I thought Brown said that you
had somethin' ter give me."

"Yes," said Cora in a very scared, small voice. "I have--_me_!"

"Cora! Do you mean it, girlie? Do you really mean it?" And two short
but strong arms went round her. "But I ain't a sergeant yet, nor won't
be for ever so long."

"Oh, Teddy!" said Cora, and hid her face right over his second button,
"I ain't lovin' yer chevrons; I'm lovin' _you_."

       *       *       *       *       *

Shorty received the joyous news in ominous silence. "When's the
weddin'?" he demanded abruptly.

"Oh, sometime next month, I guess," said the proud husband-to-be.

"Nothin' of the sort. You get married next week; do you hear? No mañana
about this business; get it over as quick as possible. You'll be
worthless to me for long enough, as it is. A great poet _you_ are! The
whole thing was nothin' but the girl, just as I told Sergeant Stone."

So J Troop had a wedding, and the whole troop turned out in force,
brave in full dress, from Shorty down to the latest junior rook--the
only member not present being Sergeant Hansen, who had no interest
in the proceedings. And the punch flowed so freely and so strongly
that every man who tried to enlighten the absent one told a totally
different story.

       *       *       *       *       *

Spring had come again at Fort Hotchkiss, and one soft evening, as
Stone and Whitney were sitting on the porch, Sergeant Theodore Ryan,
now proudly sporting his three chevrons, came up to them, smiling a
wide-mouthed, foolish smile.

"Well, what's up, hombre?"

"Recruits fer J Troop--over to my quarters."

"_Recruits!_ You don't mean to say there's _two_ of 'em?"

Ryan nodded. "Twins," he assented beamingly.

"'Heaven meant things to go in twos, Cora,'" quoted Whitney.





_Copyright, 1908, by Ellen Terry (Mrs. Carew)_

One of the best "audiences" that actor or actress could wish for was
Mr. Gladstone. He used often to come and see the play at the Lyceum
from a little seat in the O. P. entrance, and he nearly always arrived
five minutes before the curtain went up. One night I thought he would
catch cold--it was a bitter night--and I lent him my white scarf.

He could always give his whole great mind to the matter in hand. This
made him one of the most comfortable people to talk to that I have ever

I contrasted his punctuality, when he came to see "King Lear," with
the unpunctuality of Lord Randolph Churchill, who came to see the play
the very next night with a party of men friends and arrived when the
first act was over. Lord Randolph was, all the same, a great admirer of
Henry Irving. He confessed to him once that he had never read a play of
Shakespeare's in his life, but that after seeing Henry act he thought
it was time to begin. A very few days later he astonished us with his
complete and masterly knowledge of at least half a dozen of the plays.
He was a perfect person to meet at a dinner or supper--brilliantly
entertaining, and queerly simple. He struck one as being able to master
any subject that interested him, and, once a Shakespeare performance at
the Lyceum had fired his interest, there was nothing about that play,
or about past performances of it, which he did not know. His beautiful
wife, now Mrs. George Cornwallis West, wore a dress at supper one
evening which gave me the idea for the Lady Macbeth dress, afterwards
painted by Sargent. The bodice of Lady Randolph's gown was trimmed all
over with green beetles' wings. I told Mrs. Comyns Carr about it, and
she remembered it when she designed my Lady Macbeth dress.

The present Princess of Wales, when she was Princess May of Teck, used
often to come to the Lyceum with her mother, Princess Mary, and to
supper in the Beefsteak Room. In 1891 she chose to come as her birthday
treat, which was very flattering to us.

A record of those Beefsteak Room suppers would be a pleasant thing to
possess. I have such a bad memory. I see faces round the table--the
face of Liszt among them--but when I try to think when it was, or how
it was, the faces vanish. Singers were often among Henry Irving's
guests in the Beefsteak Room--Patti, Melba, Calvé, Albani, and many

I once watched Patti sing from behind the scenes at the Metropolitan
Opera House, New York. My impression from that point of view was that
she was actually a _bird_. She could not help singing. Her head,
flattened on top, her nose, tilted downwards like a lovely little beak,
her throat, swelling and swelling as it poured out that extraordinary
volume of sound, all made me think that she must have been a
nightingale before she was transmigrated into a human being. I imagine
that Tetrazzini, whom I have not yet heard, must have this bird-like

The dear, kind-hearted Melba has always been a good friend of mine. The
first time I met her was in New York at a supper party, and she had a
bad cold, and therefore a frightful speaking voice for the moment. I
shall never forget the shock it gave me. Thank goodness, I very soon
afterwards heard her again when she hadn't a cold, and she spoke as
exquisitely as she sang. She was one of the first to offer her services
for my Jubilee performance at Drury Lane, but unfortunately she was ill
when the day came and could not sing. She had her dresses in "Faust"
copied from mine by Mrs. Nettleship, and I came across a note from her
the other day, thanking me for having introduced her to "an angel."
Another note sent round to me during a performance of "King Arthur" in
Boston I shall always prize:

     "You are sublime, adorable, ce soir.... I wish I were a
     millionaire--I would throw _all_ my millions at your feet. If
     there is another procession, tell the stage-manager to see those
     imps of Satan _don't chew gum_. It looks awful.

     Love. Melba."

I think at that time it was the solemn procession of mourners following
the dead body of Elaine who were chewing gum, but we always had to be
prepared for it among our American "supers," whether they were angels
or devils or courtiers.

In "Faust" we "carried" about six leading devils for the Brocken scene
and recruited the forty others from local talent in the different towns
that we visited. Their general instructions were to throw up their arms
and look fierce at certain music cues. One night I noticed a girl going
through the most terrible contortions with her jaw, and thought I must
say something. "That's right, dear. Very good, but don't exaggerate."

"How?" was all the answer that I got; and the girl continued to make
faces as before. I was contemplating a second attempt, when Templeton,
the limelight man, who had heard me speak to her, touched me gently on
the shoulder. "Beg pardon, miss, she don't mean it. She's only _chewing

_An "Alice in Wonderland" Letter_

One of my earliest friends among literary folk was Mr. Charles
Dodgson--or Lewis Carroll--or "Alice in Wonderland." Ah, now you know
what I am talking about. I can't remember when I didn't know him. I
think he must have seen Kate act as a child, and having given her
"Alice"--he always gave his young friends "Alice" at once by way of
establishing pleasant relations--he made progress as the years went on
through the whole family. Finally he gave "Alice" to my children.

He was a splendid theatre-goer, and took the keenest interest in all
the Lyceum productions, frequently writing to me to point out slips in
the dramatist's logic which only he would ever have noticed. He did
not even spare Shakespeare. I think he wrote these letters for fun, as
some people make puzzles, anagrams, or limericks.

Mr. Dodgson's kindness to children was wonderful. He really loved them
and put himself out for them. The children he knew who wanted to go on
the stage were those who came under my observation, and nothing could
have been more touching than his ceaseless industry on their behalf.
This letter to my sister Floss is characteristic of his "Wonderland"
style when writing to children:

"My dear Florence:

"Ever since that heartless piece of conduct of yours (I allude to the
affair of the Moon and the blue silk gown), I have regarded you with
a gloomy interest, rather than with any of the affection of former
years--so that the above epithet 'dear' must be taken as conventional
only, or perhaps may be more fitly taken in the sense in which we talk
of a 'dear' bargain, meaning to imply how much it has cost us; and who
shall say how many sleepless nights it has cost me to endeavour to
unravel (a most appropriate verb) that 'blue silk gown'?

"Will you please explain to Tom about that photograph of the family
group which I promised him? Its history is an instructive one,
as illustrating my habits of care and deliberation. In 1867 the
picture was promised him, and an entry made in my book. In 1869, or
thereabouts, I mounted the picture on a large card, and packed it in
brown paper. In 1870, or 1871, or thereabouts, I took it with me to
Guildford, that it might be handy to take with me when I went up to
town. Since then I have taken it two or three times to London, and on
each occasion (having forgotten to deliver it to him) I brought it back

"This was because I had no convenient place in London to leave it in.
But now I have found such a place. Mr. Dubourg has kindly taken charge
of it--so that it is now much nearer to its future owner than it has
been for seven years. I quite hope, in the course of another year or
two, to be able to remember to bring it to your house; or perhaps Mr.
Dubourg may be calling even sooner than that and take it with him. You
will wonder why I ask you to tell him instead of writing myself. The
obvious reason is that you will be able, from sympathy, to put my delay
in the most favourable light; to make him see that, as hasty puddings
are not the best of puddings, so hasty judgments are not the best of
judgments, and that he ought to be content to wait even another seven
years for his picture, and to sit 'like patience on a monument, smiling
at grief.'



"This quotation, by the way, is altogether a misprint. Let me explain
it to you. The passage originally stood, '_They_ sit, like patients on
the Monument, smiling at Greenwich.' In the next edition 'Greenwich'
was printed short, 'Green_h_,' and so got gradually altered into
'Grief.' The allusion, of course, is to the celebrated Dr. Jenner, who
used to send all his patients to sit on the top of the Monument (near
London Bridge) to inhale fresh air, promising them that, when they
were well enough, they should go to 'Greenwich Fair.' So, of course,
they always looked out towards Greenwich, and sat smiling to think
of the treat in store for them. A play was written on the subject of
their inhaling the fresh air, and was for some time attributed to him
(Shakespeare), but it is certainly not in his style. It was called
'The Wandering Air,' and was lately revived at the Queen's Theatre.
The custom of sitting on the Monument was given up when Dr. Jenner
went mad, and insisted on it that the air was worse up there, and that
the _lower_ you went the _more airy_ it became. Hence he always called
those little yards, below the pavement, outside the kitchen windows,
'_the kitchen airier_,' a name that is still in use.

[Illustration: _Copyrighted by the London Stereoscopic Co._


[Illustration: _Copyrighted by W. & D. Downey_



"All this information you are most welcome to use, the next time you
are in want of something to talk about. You may say you learned it
from 'a distinguished etymologist,' which is perfectly true, since
anyone who knows me by sight can easily distinguish me from all other

"What parts are you and Polly now playing?

"Believe me to be (conventionally)

                                                "Yours affectionately,
                                                          C. DODGSON."

_"Sentimental Tommy" Writes Himself_

No two men could be more unlike than Mr. Dodgson and Mr. J. M. Barrie,
yet there are more points of resemblance than "because there's a 'b'
in both!" If "Alice in Wonderland" is the children's classic of the
library, and one perhaps even more loved by the grown-up children than
by the others, "Peter Pan" is the children's stage classic, and here
again elderly children are the most devoted admirers. I am a very old
child, nearly old enough to be a "beautiful great-grandmother" (a part
that I am sure Mr. Barrie could write for me), and I go and see "Peter"
year after year and love him more each time. There is one advantage
in being a grown-up child--you are not afraid of the pirates or the


I first became an ardent lover of Mr. Barrie through "Sentimental
Tommy" and I simply had to write and tell him how hugely I had enjoyed
it. In reply I received this letter from Tommy himself:

"Dear Miss Ellen Terry:

"I just wonder at you. I noticed that Mr. Barrie, the author
(so-called), and his masterful wife had a letter they wanted to conceal
from me, so I got hold of it, and it turned out to be from you, and
_not a line to me in it_! If you like the book, it is _me_ you like,
not him, and it is to me you should send your love, not to him. Corp
thinks, however, that you did not like to make the first overtures,
and if that is the explanation, I beg herewith to send you my warm
love (don't mention this to Elspeth), and to say that I wish you would
come and have a game with us in the Den (Don't let on to Grizel that I
invited you). The first moment I saw you, I said to myself 'This is the
kind I like,' and while the people round about me were only thinking of
your acting, I was wondering which would be the best way of making you
my willing slave, and I beg to say that I believe I have 'found a way,'
for most happily the very ones I want most to lord it over are the ones
who are least able to resist me.

"We should have ripping fun. You would be Jean MacGregor, captive in
the Queen's Bower, but I would climb up at the peril of my neck to
rescue you, and you would faint in my strong arms; and wouldn't Grizel
get a turn when she came upon you and me whispering sweet nothings in
the Lovers' Walk. I think it advisable to say in _writing_ that I would
only mean them as nothings (because Grizel is really my one), but so
long as they were sweet, what does that matter (at the time)? And,
besides, _you_ could love _me_ genuinely, and I would carelessly kiss
your burning tears away.

"Corp is a bit fidgetty about it, because he says I have two to love me
already, but I feel confident that I can manage more than two.

"Trusting to see you at the Cuttle Well on Saturday when the eight
o'clock bell is ringing,

"I am, Your Indulgent Commander,
                                                          "T. SANDYS.

"P. S.--Can you bring some of the Lyceum armour with you, and two
hard-boiled eggs?"

Henry Irving once thought of producing Mr. Barrie's play "The
Professor's Love Story." He was delighted with the first act, but when
he read the rest he did not think the play would do for the Lyceum.
It was the same with many plays which were proposed for us. The ideas
sounded all right, but as a rule the treatment was too thin, and the
play, even if good, on too small a scale for the theatre.

_Mrs. Craigie's Great Promise_

One of our playwrights from whom I always expected a great play was
Mrs. Craigie (John Oliver Hobbes). A little one-act play of hers,
"Journeys End in Lovers' Meeting," in which I first acted with Johnston
Forbes Robertson and Terriss at a special matinée in 1894, brought
about a friendship between us that lasted until her death. Of her
it could indeed be said with poignant truth, "She should have died
hereafter." Her powers had not nearly reached their limit.


_From the painting by Miss Maud Porter_]

[Illustration: _Lent by the Press Picture Agency._



Pearl Craigie had a man's intellect, a woman's wit and apprehension.
"Bright," as the Americans say, she always managed to be even in the
dullest company, and she knew how to be silent at times, to give the
"other fellow" a chance. Her executive ability was extraordinary.
Wonderfully tolerant, she could at the same time not easily forgive
any meanness or injustice that seemed to her deliberate. Hers was a
splendid spirit.

I shall always bless that little play of hers which first brought me
near to so fine a creature. I rather think that I never met any one who
_gave out_ so much as she did. To me, at least, she _gave_, _gave_ all
the time. I hope she was not exhausted after our long "confabs." I was
most certainly refreshed and replenished.

[Illustration: _Photograph by the London Autotype Co._


HER IN 1905]

The first performance of "Journeys End in Lovers' Meeting" she watched
from a private box with the Princess of Wales (our present Queen) and
Henry Irving. She came round afterwards just burning with enthusiasm
and praising me for work which was really not good. She spoiled me for
other women.

Her best play was, I think, "The Ambassador," in which Violet Vanbrugh,
who is now Mrs. Bouchier, played a pathetic part very beautifully, and
made a great advance in her profession. There was some idea of Pearl
Craigie writing a play for Henry Irving and me, but it never came to
anything. There was a play on the same subject as "The School for
Saints," and another about Guizot.

       *       *       *       *       *

Feb. 11, 1898.

"My very dear Nell:

"I have an idea for a real four-act comedy (in these matters nothing
daunts me!), founded on a charming little episode in the private
lives of Princess Lieven (the famous Russian ambassadress), and
the celebrated Guizot, the French Prime Minister and historian. I
should have to veil the identity _slightly_, and also make the story
a husband-and-wife story; it would be more amusing this way. It is
comedy from beginning to end. Sir Henry would make a splendid Guizot,
and you the ideal Madame de Lieven. Do let me talk it over with you.
'The School for Saints' was, as it were, a born biography. But the
Lieven-Guizot idea is a play.

"Yours ever affectionately,

                                       "PEARL MARY TERESA CRAIGIE."

In another letter she writes:

"I am changing all my views about so-called 'literary' dialogue. It
means pedantry. The great thing is to be lively."

_"Captain Brassbound's Conversion"_

It has always been a reproach against Henry Irving in some mouths that
he neglected the modern English playwright; and of course the reproach
included me to a certain extent. I was glad, then, to show that I could
act in the new plays when Mr. Barrie wrote "Alice-Sit-by-the-Fire"
for me, and after some years' delay I was able to play in Mr. Bernard
Shaw's "Captain Brassbound's Conversion." Of course I could not have
played in "little" plays of this school at the Lyceum with Henry
Irving, even if I had wanted to; they are essentially plays for small
theatres and a single "star."

[Illustration: _Copyrighted by Window & Grove_


In Mr. Shaw's "A Man of Destiny" there were two good parts, and Henry,
at my request, considered it, although it was always difficult to fit
a one-act play into the Lyceum bill. For reasons of his own Henry never
produced Mr. Shaw's play, and there was a good deal of fuss made about
it at the time, 1897. But ten years ago Mr. Shaw was not so well known
as he is now, and the so-called "rejection" was probably of use to him
as an advertisement. "A Man of Destiny" has been produced since, but
without any great success. I wonder if Henry and I could have done more
with it?

[Illustration: _Copyrighted by Window & Grove_


At this time Mr. Shaw and I frequently corresponded. It began by my
writing to ask him as musical critic of the Saturday Review, to tell
me frankly what he thought of the chances of a composer-singer friend
of mine. He answered "characteristically," and we developed a perfect
fury for writing to each other. Sometimes the letters were on business,
sometimes they were not, but always his were entertaining, and mine
were, I suppose, "good copy," as he drew the character of Lady Cecily
Waynflete in "Brassbound" entirely from my letters. He never met me
until after the play was written. In 1902 he sent me this ultimatum:--

"3rd April, 1902.

"Mr. Bernard Shaw's compliments to Miss Ellen Terry.

"Mr. Bernard Shaw has been approached by Mrs. Langtry with a view
to the immediate and splendid production of 'Captain Brassbound's

"Mr. Bernard Shaw, with the last flash of a trampled-out love, has
repulsed Mrs. Langtry with a petulance bordering on brutality.

"Mr. Bernard Shaw has been actuated in this ungentlemanly and
unbusinesslike course by an angry desire to seize Miss Ellen Terry by
the hair and make her play Lady Cecily.


"Mr. Bernard Shaw would be glad to know whether Miss Ellen Terry wishes
to play Martha at the Lyceum instead.

"Mr. Bernard Shaw will go to the length of keeping a minor part open
for Sir Henry Irving when 'Faust' fails, if Miss Ellen Terry desires it.

"Mr. Bernard Shaw lives in daily fear of Mrs. Langtry recovering
sufficiently from her natural resentment of his ill manners to re-open
the subject.

"Mr. Bernard Shaw begs Miss Ellen Terry to answer this letter.

"Mr. Bernard Shaw is looking for a new cottage or house in the country
and wants advice on the subject.

"Mr. Bernard Shaw craves for the sight of Miss Ellen Terry's once
familiar hand-writing."

Isn't it Horace who says that there is nothing to prevent the man who
laughs from speaking the truth? I think I have heard so, and I always
remember it coupled with the name of Bernard Shaw. He laughs, but he
speaks the truth.[11] The first time he came to my house I was not
present, but a young American lady, who had long adored him from the other
side of the Atlantic, took my place as hostess. I had to be at the
theatre, as usual, but I took great pains to have everything looking
nice; I spent a long time putting out my best blue china, and ordered a
splendid dinner, quite forgetting that the honoured guest usually dined
off a Plasmon biscuit and a bean.

_Mr. Shaw--a Gentle Creature with "Brainstorms"_

Mr. Shaw read "Arms and the Man" to my young American friend, Miss
Sally Fairchild, without even going into the dining-room where the blue
china was spread out to delight his eye. My daughter, Edy, was present
at the reading, and appeared so much absorbed in some embroidery and
paid the reader so few compliments about his play, that he expressed
the opinion that she behaved as if she had been married to him for
twenty years.

The first time I ever saw Mr. Shaw in the flesh--I hope he will pardon
me such an anti-vegetarian expression--was when he took his call after
the first production of "Captain Brassbound's Conversion" by the Stage
Society. He was quite unlike what I had imagined from his letters.

[Illustration: _By permission of Frederick H. Evans_



When at last I was able to play in "Captain Brassbound's Conversion" I
found Bernard Shaw wonderfully patient at rehearsal. I look upon him
as a good, kind, gentle creature whose "brainstorms" are due to the
Irishman's love of a fight; they never spring from malice or anger.
It doesn't answer to take Bernard Shaw seriously. He is not a man of
convictions; that is one of the charms of his plays, to me, at least.
One never knows how the cat is really jumping. But it _jumps_. Bernard
Shaw is alive, with nine lives, like the cat.

_Shakespeare's Rabelaisian Mood_

On Whit Monday, 1902, I received a telegram from Mr. Tree saying that
he was coming down to Winchelsea to see me on "an important matter of
business." I was at the time suffering from considerable depression
about the future.

The Stratford-on-Avon visit had inspired me with the feeling that there
was life in the old 'un yet, and had distracted my mind from the
strangeness of no longer being at the Lyceum permanently with Henry
Irving. But there seemed to be nothing ahead, except two matinées a
week with him at the Lyceum, to be followed by a provincial tour in
which I was only to play twice a week, as Henry's chief attraction
was to be "Faust." This sort of "dowager" engagement did not tempt
me. Besides, I hated the idea of drawing a large salary and doing
next to no work. So when Mr. Tree proposed that I should play Mrs.
Page (Mrs. Kendal being Mrs. Ford) in "Merry Wives of Windsor" at His
Majesty's, it was only natural that I should accept the offer joyfully.
I telegraphed to Henry Irving, asking him if he had any objection to
my playing at His Majesty's. He answered: "Quite willing if proposed
arrangements about matinées are adhered to."

I have thought it worth while to give the facts about this engagement,
because so many people seemed at the time and afterwards to think
that I had treated Henry Irving badly by going on playing in another
theatre, and that theatre one where a certain rivalry with the Lyceum
as regards Shakespearian productions had grown up. There was absolutely
no foundation for the rumors that my "desertion" caused further
estrangement between Henry Irving and me.

"Heaven give you many, many merry days and nights," he telegraphed
to me on the first night, and after that first night, the jolliest
that I ever saw, he wrote delighting in my success. It was a success,
there was no doubt about it. Some people accused the "Merry Wives" of
rollicking and "mafficking" overmuch, but these were the people who
forgot that we were acting in a farce, and that farce is farce, even
when Shakespeare is the author. The audience at first used to seem
rather amazed. This thwacking, rough-and-tumble, Rabelaisian horse-play
Shakespeare? Impossible! But as the evening went on we used to capture
even the most civilized, and force them to return to a simple Jacobian
frame of mind.

In my later career I think I have had no success like this. Letters
rained on me--yes, even love-letters, as if, to quote Mrs. Page, it
were still "the holiday-time of my beauty." As I would always rather
make an audience laugh than see them weep, it may be guessed how much
I enjoyed the hearty laughter at His Majesty's during the run of the
madcap absurdity of "Merry Wives of Windsor."


On the nineteenth of July, 1902, I acted at the Lyceum for the last
time, although I did not know it then. These last Lyceum days were
very sad. The reception given by Henry to the Indian princes who were
in England for the Coronation was the last flash of the splendid
hospitality which had for so many years been one of the glories of the

During my provincial tour with Henry Irving in the autumn of this year
I thought long and anxiously over the proposition that I should play
in "Dante." I heard the play read, and saw no possible part for me in
it. I refused a large sum of money to go to America with Henry Irving,
because I could not consent to play a part even worse than the one that
I had played in "Robespierre." As things turned out, although "Dante"
did fairly well at Drury Lane, the Americans would have none of it, and
Henry had to fall back upon his repertoire.

_Ibsen's_ "_Vikings_"

Having made the decision against "Dante," I began to wonder what I
should do. My partnership with Henry Irving was definitely broken; most
inevitably and naturally "dissolved." There were many roads open to me.
I chose the one which was, from a financial point of view, madness.
Instead of going to America, and earning £12,000, I decided to take a
theatre with my son, and produce plays in conjunction with him.

I hope it will be remembered, when I am spoken of by the youngest
critics after my death as a "Victorian" actress, lacking in enterprise,
an actress belonging to the "old school," that I produced a spectacular
play of Ibsen's in a manner which possibly outstripped the scenic
ideas of to-day by a century; of which at any rate the orthodox
theatre managers of the present age would not have dreamed. At the
Imperial Theatre, where I spent my financially unfortunate season in
April, 1903, I gave my son a free hand. Naturally I am not inclined
to criticise his methods. When I worked with him I found him far from
unpractical. It was the modern theatre which was unpractical when he
was in it. It was wrongly designed, wrongly built. We had to disembowel
the Imperial behind scenes before he could even start, and then the
great height of the proscenium made his lighting lose all its value.

When his idea of dramatic significance clashed with Ibsen's, strange
things would happen. Mr. Bernard Shaw, though impressed by Ted's work
and the beauty that he brought on to the stage of the Imperial, wrote
to me that the symbolism of the first act of "Vikings" was Dawn, youth
rising with the morning sun, reconciliation, rich gifts, brightness,
lightness, pleasant feelings, peace. On to this sunlit scene stalks
Hiördis, a figure of gloom, revenge, of feud eternal, of relentless
hatred and uncompromising unforgetfulness of wrong.

At the Imperial, said Mr. Shaw, the curtain rose on profound gloom.
When you _could_ see anything, you saw eld and severity--old men with
white hair personating the gallant young sons of Ormulf; everywhere
murky cliffs and shadowy spears, melancholy, darkness. Into this
symbolic night enter, in a blaze of limelight, a fair figure robed
in complete fluffy white fur, a gay and bright Hiördis, with a timid
manner and hesitating utterance! The last items in the topsy-turviness
of Ted's practical significance were entirely my fault.

I singed my wings a good deal in the Imperial limelight, which,
although our audiences complained of the darkness on the stage, was
the most serious strain on my purse. But a few provincial tours did
something towards restoring some of the money that I had lost in

On one of these tours I produced "The Good Hope," a play by the Dutch
dramatist, Heijermans, dealing with life in a fishing village. This
was almost as new a departure for me as my season at the Imperial.
The play was essentially modern in construction and development--full
of action, but the action of incident rather than the action of stage
situation. It had no "star" parts, but every part was good, and the
gloom of the story was made bearable by the beauty of the atmosphere,
of the _sea_, which played a bigger part in it than any of the visible
characters. For the first time I played an old woman, a very homely
old peasant woman, too. I flattered myself that I was able to assume a
certain roughness and solidity of the peasantry in "The Good Hope," but
although I stumped about heavily in large sabots, the critics said that
I walked like a fairy instead of like a fisherwoman.

My last Shakespearian part was Hermione in "A Winter's Tale." By some
strange coincidence it fell to me to play it exactly fifty years after
I had played the little boy Mamilius in the same play. I sometimes
think that Fate is the best of stage-managers. Hermione is a gravely
beautiful part, well-balanced, difficult to act, but certain in its
appeal. If only it were possible to put on the play in a simple way and
arrange the scenes to knit up the ravelled interest, I should hope to
play Hermione again.




"_C'est le crime qui fait la honte, et non pas l'échafaud._"

The clock in the public gardens outside the Conciergerie had just
struck the half hour. Richard, the prison warder, a rough old veteran
whose patient face wore that air of tolerant kindliness which stamps
the features of all whose duty it is to be the daily witness of human
suffering, stirred uneasily in his hard wooden chair. Somewhere in the
huge building a gate clanged noisily, and the old man opened his eyes
with the guilty start of the day-dreamer and looked expectantly round
towards the door.

The room in which he sat, with its simple wooden bed, its plain deal
table in the center, its squalid jug and basin in the corner, was but
one of a score or so of similar cells in the old Conciergerie prison.
To Richard it had always seemed a dingy apartment enough, but even to
his accustomed eye, as it fell upon the little white linen bonnet which
hung from a peg beside the bed and looked so singularly out of place
amid its surroundings, the gloom had never appeared so deep and joyless
as it did upon this warm evening of July, in that time of bloodshed,
of passion, and of terror, that sinister summer of 1793. The dazzling
light which flooded the stone courtyard outside seemed reluctant to
force its way through the high barred window of this dingy cage, as if
timid of intruding its brilliance upon a scene whose atmosphere was
already clouded by the shadow of death.

"Half-past five," said Richard to himself, with a yawn. "My little
captive will soon be back."

He glanced up at the few simple garments that lay neatly folded on
a low shelf beneath the window. "Poor little soul!" he murmured.
"She was surely created for sunnier scenes than this! But there," he
added, after a moment's reflection, "justice can't afford to make
distinctions! Young and old, rich and poor, men and women, we all
suffer alike--when we get found out!"

Richard's reverie was interrupted by a loud knock at the door, which
was immediately flung open, and a short, middle-aged man, dressed
almost entirely in faded black, entered the room.

The newcomer closed the door behind him with a swift, sinuous movement
and, turning noiselessly, confronted the startled veteran with a
malevolent expression in his small, beady eyes.

Richard could not conceal his astonishment.

"The Deputy Chabot!" he exclaimed, with an air of surprise.

"It is indeed the Deputy Chabot," replied the other.

The warder rose awkwardly to his feet.

"I am very sorry," he said apologetically, "but the prison regulations
do not allow admittance to the public. It is against the rules." He
crossed to the door as though to open it. With a quick gesture the
Deputy stopped him.

"I am not of the public," he said in a pompous voice. "I am above
regulations." He took a paper from the pocket of his coat. "See here, I
have a pass signed by the Police Commissioner." And he handed the paper
to Richard.

With great difficulty the old man retrieved a large pair of horn
spectacles from his forehead and adjusted them on the very tip of his

"'Admit Citizen Chabot,'" he read, spelling out each word laboriously,
"'Deputy of the Department of Loir-et-Cher, member of the Legislative
Assembly ... um ... um ...; signed Guellard, Police Commissioner.'
That seems correct enough," he added, as he re-folded the document and
handed it back to its owner.

The Deputy laughed shortly. "As you see," he said, "your regulations
are of no great value where a man of my position is concerned."

Richard still hesitated. "Perhaps you are not aware that this is the
cell of the prisoner, Charlotte Corday."


"The criminal, Charlotte Corday?" corrected the other. "Yes, I am
perfectly aware. I have just come from her trial, where I spent a very
dull afternoon, and wasted much valuable time."

"You were at the trial?" exclaimed the warder, with a fresh note
of anxiety in his voice. "Then you can tell me, citizen. What has

"What has happened?" repeated the Deputy scornfully. "The only thing
that could possibly have happened, I am thankful to say. Justice has
been done. Marat's, the martyr Marat's death will be avenged. The woman
who struck so foul a blow at liberty and the Constitution has been
sentenced!" He walked up and down the narrow cell in his excitement.
Suddenly, stopping short in front of the old man, "She dies on the
scaffold this evening," he ended in a quiet voice of triumph.

Richard sank heavily into a chair. A troubled look came over his face.

"Ah, I am sorry," he said, after a pause. "The wife will be sorry,
too," he added thoughtfully, "and my little boy, my little Jean, he
will be sorry. The wife has taken a great fancy to this Charlotte
Corday," he explained; "and little Jean, he thinks the world of her.
But there, she spoils him," he continued apologetically. "Well, well,
citizen, I am indeed sorry."

Chabot had not moved during the old man's speech. "You are sorry for a
murderess who receives her just deserts?" he asked.

"I am sorry for a lovely woman," replied the warder. "I am an old
veteran of the Conciergerie," he went on. "I have had many prisoners
pass through my hands; and I judge them by what they are, not by what
they may have done; not by what they may be accused of doing.

"I know nothing of this Charlotte Corday," he continued, "nothing
beyond what I have seen of her during the last few days. I have never
questioned her as to her crime, nor as to her reasons for committing
it. That is none of my business," with a shrug of his shoulders. "My
duty is to keep her here, to take care that she does not escape, to see
that she has whatever is necessary--which is little enough," he added
with a smile. "I judge people as I find them; and I have found this
girl gentle and well-behaved. The wife likes her, and my little Jean
worships the ground she treads on. She gives me no trouble; she is more
than grateful for any small kindness; and Heaven knows there is not
much that I can do."

The old man was quite out of breath. He crossed over to the window,
mopping his brow as he went.

"I see," said the Deputy bitterly; "like the rest of them, you are won
over by her beauty!"

"I am too old for that," replied the warder. "I am won over by her
charm, if you will; by her sweet nature. And the wife, too, and little
Jean; and he is a good judge of character, I can tell you, is little

Chabot turned away with an expression of disgust.

"She is a devil," he exclaimed, with a tone of intense hatred in his
voice, "she is a fiend in human form!"

Richard thought for a moment before replying.

"You may be right, citizen," he said, "but to me, at any rate, she
seems a quiet, modest girl enough; and my little Jean, he----"

"Modest!" interrupted Chabot. "Bah! is it modest to force one's way
into a man's bed-room? Is murder, cold-blooded murder, a practice that
commends itself to modest persons?" He turned round with an angry
snarl. "I tell you," he said, "she is a devil!"

The old warder shrugged his shoulders, as he was wont to do when his
powers of argument failed him--and argument was not his strong point.

"Well," he stoutly reiterated. "I am sorry for her, nevertheless. She
is only a girl; so young, so frail, so delicate----"

"Delicate!" burst in the indignant Deputy. "Why, after she had murdered
Marat--and," he smiled sarcastically, "with what delicacy she performed
the deed, eh?--when the porter, Laurent Basse, rushed in to seize her,
it was only after twice striking her with a chair that he was able to
overpower her. Oh, she is a delicate creature, truly!"

For the moment Richard seemed nonplussed.

"Well," he replied with determination, "I would not strike any woman
with a chair myself. Ask the wife whether I would! Not--" he added, as
though to explain this apparent idiosyncrasy of his--"not while the
good God has given me two hands for the purpose."


There was a brief silence, during which Richard's glance fell upon the
few pathetic garments so carefully folded upon the narrow bed.

"So my poor little prisoner is to die to-day," he murmured sadly.

"Yes," answered the Deputy, "and I am glad of it. There is no room in
France for such vermin. They must be exterminated, and the sooner the
better. I know what I am saying, and I tell you that this woman Corday
is a dangerous character. She has others behind her. She is but an
accomplice. I am here this evening," he explained, "to try and find out
from her the names of her confederates. She would give no satisfactory
replies this afternoon, but perhaps, now that the fear of death is upon
her, we may be more successful."


"Well," affirmed the veteran, with the stubbornness of his class,
"whatever you may say, I cannot help pitying the girl. How I am to
break the news to little Jean, I don't know!" he added pathetically.
"Myself, I shall have no appetite for supper. Poor girl! My heart goes
out to her in her time of trouble."

"Yes," said Chabot, with a sardonic smile, "and yours is not the only
heart, my friend."

Richard looked puzzled.

"There is a young painter," continued the Deputy, "Hauer, by name. He
has been sketching her in the court-house; yes, and speaking to her as
well. He had better be careful," he added threateningly. "I have my eye
on him; and so has the Committee of Public Safety." Chabot was standing
by the window; he picked up one of the garments lying folded there on
the shelf, examined it for a moment, and threw it down again in disdain.

"Yes, this Citizen Hauer is a fool. Like you," he turned to Richard,
"and your little Jean, and the rest. His head has been turned by the
woman's looks. He will lose it altogether if he is not careful."

To so simple a mind as that of the old warder, the Deputy's fierce and
bitter hatred toward his prisoner seemed difficult to understand until
he remembered certain stories connected with her arrest, stories in
which his visitor had played an important, if not a very edifying part.

In early life Chabot had been a member of the priesthood, but renounced
his vows in order to enter the sphere of politics. After the murder of
Marat, when Charlotte Corday had been conveyed to the Abbaye prison,
Chabot was among those who had helped to search her, a task in which
his zeal had so far outrun his discretion as to induce him to retain
a watch which he found upon the prisoner's person, until she somewhat
sarcastically reminded him of his early and apparently forgotten vows
of priestly poverty.

It was Chabot, too, who, suspecting Charlotte of having important
papers concealed about her, had profited by the fact of her hands being
tied to search for them. The wretched girl, supposing him to be bent
upon some fresh outrage, sprang away with so violent a gesture, in her
efforts to elude his touch, that the front of her dress burst open.
With a natural and spontaneous movement of shame, she turned quickly
away and stood with her face to the wall, begging to be allowed to
rearrange her dress. So genuine was her emotion, and so strongly did
her innocent modesty appeal to her jailors, that the request was
immediately granted, and she was even permitted to draw down and
arrange her sleeves in such a manner as to interpose them between her
wrists and the cords that bound her none too tenderly.

Richard recalled those incidents, which had been related to him by
Lafondée, the dentist, who lived opposite Marat's house, and who had
been one of the first to rush to the scene of the murder; and he smiled
knowingly to himself as he looked across the narrow space at the
passionate, revengeful face of the ex-priest.

He was about to formulate some further arguments in defence of his
little protégée, when a movement at the threshold of the cell attracted
his attention, and in another moment the object of his thoughts stood
framed in the open doorway.

What a child she looked, standing there, with her hands behind her
back, wearing a simple country-made frock of some dark material,
a white fichu crossed over her breast and fastened behind at the
waist. Her auburn hair was tied back by a green ribbon, and a little
white cap, the "bonnet" of the period, similar to that worn by Marie
Antoinette in David's celebrated picture, rested lightly upon her
small, girlish head.

There was nothing of the convicted criminal about her appearance, save
the slight shade of pallor which these last few days of captivity had
left upon her cheek; there was nothing of the prisoner in her bearing,
save that her hands were bound behind her. Her wide gray eyes, fresh
from the dazzling sunshine of the street, seemed to open wider still
in an endeavor to pierce the prison gloom into which she
was returning. But, as she saw the old warder's homely figure, standing
there in a kindly attitude of welcome, an expression of relief, almost
of happiness, illumined her face.

Two soldiers, who had accompanied her as far as the entrance, withdrew
as soon as their prisoner had crossed the threshold, and the door
closed upon them.

The old warder advanced to meet his captive.

"So you are back again, citizeness?" he said, with an assumed
cheerfulness which he was far from feeling.

"Ah, my good friend," replied the girl, in a low voice, which bore
signs of the long and fatiguing cross-examination to which she had just
been subjected, "I shall not trouble you much longer."

Richard shrugged his shoulders, as though to deny that any trouble was
involved in the care of so well-behaved a prisoner.


"I will tell the wife of your return," he said. "You promised to take
your supper with us, you remember."

"I fear I must break my promise," said Charlotte, with a sad smile.
"There will be no time for supper to-night."

"But my little Jean is so looking forward----"

"Poor little Jean," she interrupted; "I am so sorry to disappoint him.
But he will forgive me, I know. And by the by," she continued, "I
am expecting a visitor this evening. Will you please see that he is
admitted the moment he arrives?"

Chabot, who up to this time had been sitting unperceived in the corner
of the cell, gave vent to a low chuckle.

Charlotte looked about at the sound, and as her eye fell upon the
sinister figure of the ex-priest, she could not repress a shudder.

"You!" she exclaimed, starting back suddenly.

Chabot advanced toward her, with mock politeness, which the expression
on his face belied. "At your service!" he said, with a low bow.

"But why are you here? What do you want with me?" asked the frightened

"I am here to see you, on a little matter of--er--business. I want a
few moments' conversation with you."

Charlotte turned an appealing glance upon the old warder. "Surely," she
exclaimed, with a tone of passionate entreaty in her voice, "surely
I have a right to ask that the short hour of life that is left to me
shall be undisturbed?"

Richard made a weak, deprecating movement with his hands. "I am not
to blame," he explained. "The Deputy has a pass, signed by the Police

He crossed over behind the prisoner, and was about to untie her hands.
Chabot, noticing his intention, stopped him with a peremptory gesture.

"Leave that to me," he said. "I will see to it myself."

"But--citizen--" the old man began.

Chabot pointed sternly toward the door.

"Go!" he said. "Go! For time is short, and I have things to say to the
prisoner in private."

Richard hesitated, as though about to refuse, but his natural weakness
was no match for the firm attitude of the Deputy, and, after an uneasy
glance at Charlotte Corday, he shambled clumsily to the threshold and
went out.

Chabot crossed to the door and made sure that it was properly closed.
Then he turned quickly and advanced to where Charlotte was still

"And now," he said, "now that we are alone, quite alone together,
you and I, let us for the moment forget our mutual--shall I say
dislike?--our distrust of one another, eh?"

He approached and laid his hands upon her wrists, stooping to undo the
cords with which the prisoner was bound.

At his touch Charlotte, who had been watching his movements with a look
of terror on her face, sprang sharply back, as though she had been
stung by some poisonous reptile.

"Don't come near me!" she exclaimed passionately. "I could not bear you
to touch me!"

She retreated to the farthest end of the cell and stood at bay there
with her back to the wall.

"As you will! as you will!" replied the other. "I merely thought that
perhaps you would chat more freely if--but no matter."

"Will you not sit down?" he added, motioning her to a chair.

"I will stand!" she answered coldly.

"By all means," said Chabot, in an amused voice, "by all means. But I
suppose you have no objection to my sitting?"

The girl made no reply.

Chabot ensconced himself as comfortably as possible in the hard wooden
chair which the warder had vacated.

"Let us be sensible," he said, after a pause. "Your little game is
over, you know. You have lost."

"I have won!" exclaimed Charlotte, with a touch of triumph in her voice.

"We will not discuss the point," said Chabot. "I do not argue with
women. I wish you to tell me what you were unwilling, and very
naturally unwilling, to admit at your trial--the true motive of your
crime. I want to know the source from which came the inspiration. You
have executed the deed alone, but you cannot have planned it alone.
Others have helped you. You are to die, remember, alone; to suffer
alone; and yet it is not you alone who are guilty. There are, there
must be, others who have urged you to commit this crime. The Girondist
Barbaroux, for instance," he suggested, "a friend of yours, who has
just been arrested----"

"Had nothing whatever to do with it," exclaimed the girl, breaking in
upon his unfinished sentence. "What I have done, I have done alone, and
I am proud of it! I confided in none; I asked advice of none. The idea
was my own; the conception was my own; and I carried it out by myself!"

There was in her voice a note of exultation, of glory, of triumph in
the success of her crime; she seemed almost to boast of the solitude of
her guilt, as though conscious of the fact that one executes but ill
that which another's brain has conceived.

"Oh, it is very loyal of you to try and conceal the identity of your
accomplices," said Chabot, with a sneer.

"My loyalty is for my country alone. It was my love of her that
inspired me to plan my project; my love of her that helped me to
undertake it; my desire for her welfare that gave me strength to carry
it out!"

"Indeed," said the Deputy sardonically. "And doubtless it required
unusual strength to deal so fatal a blow, straight to the heart!"

The girl looked at him in surprise.

"The indignation in my own heart showed me the way," she said quietly.

"One would think," continued Chabot, "that you had practised with the
knife before on some other----" He left the sentence unfinished.

The blood rushed to Charlotte's cheek. A fire of indignation and
resentment burned in her usually tender eyes, making them blaze and
flame until even the cold-blooded Deputy was moved to admire the beauty
of this emotional woman, so fierce in the defence of her honor.

"You know well that I am no ordinary assassin," she exclaimed. "My
hands are clean in the eyes of Heaven. My soul is guiltless before God."

The ex-priest took a step forward. "How dare you speak of God? You?"

"I dare speak of Him," replied the girl, in an impassioned voice,
"because I believe that it was He who inspired me, as He inspired
Judith of old, to make this sacrifice in the cause of liberty. I
believe that He chose me to bear this message of His righteous
vengeance to a people who have forgotten His name; that He nerved my
arm to strike the blow at which you wonder. I have completed my task,"
she went on, in a quieter tone, "I leave the rest to others. I have
avenged much innocent blood. I have prevented the shedding of much
more." She turned proudly round and faced the Deputy with flashing eyes.

"I have killed one man," she said, "to save a hundred thousand!"

Chabot smiled grimly.

"Do you then imagine," he asked, "that you have murdered all the

"I have destroyed one," she retorted. Her fearless gaze met the crafty
eyes of her examiner, and they quailed before it.

"Perhaps the others will be afraid," she added meaningly.

"I must admit," replied the Deputy with a nervous assumption of
jocularity, "I am relieved to think that for the moment I am beyond
the reach of those pretty hands of yours. For I have no desire, believe
me, to be added to the list of your victims!"

Charlotte smiled scornfully. "You need have no fears," she said. "Were
my hands as free as yours, or my heart as black, you would still be
safe. You surely cannot flatter yourself that the question of the life
or death of such as you could be of any importance to the State."

The natural egotism of the man was wounded; his vanity was touched.
Confident of Charlotte's helplessness, he approached to within a few
feet of her.

"Are you not afraid to speak in such a tone to me?" he asked. "We are
alone here--" he looked meaningly round at the empty cell. "The walls
are thick. No one can hear us."

Charlotte looked him up and down with a slow, scornful gaze. "Afraid?"
she asked. "Of you?" She smiled. "Do you think that one can look at
you; at your shifty eyes--at your restless mouth--" involuntarily the
Deputy's hand rose to his lips--"without discovering the secret which
you conceal so badly behind a mask of insult and of bluster? Do you
think I cannot see what a coward you are at heart?"

"Truly polite!" exclaimed the other nervously. "At any rate, I am no

"Because you have not the courage!" replied the girl. "But be sure that
however great the guilt of those who have shed all this innocent blood,
you who have allowed it to be spilt will also have to answer for it."

Her face was transfigured by emotion as she spoke. She seemed to be
gazing into the caverns of eternity with the eyes of some inspired
prophetess. "I look forward into the future," she continued, "and I
see you, and the other brigands who surrounded Marat, whom God only
allows to live so as to make their fall the more terrible,--so as to
frighten all who would attempt to establish their fortunes on the ruins
of a misguided people,--I see you dragged by force up the scaffold
steps--the ladder to Eternity which I scale so willingly--till your
coward's eyes gaze forth flinching from that blood-stained casement,
that is for me the window looking out on immortality!"

Chabot stared in amazement at this young girl, who seemed to speak with
the assurance of a seer. He could not subdue his admiration of a woman
who was so obviously fearless of death. "Come," he said, "I like your
pluck." He inspected her with a critical eye. "You're not a bad-looking
girl, either, for an aristocrat." He came very close to her, apparently
unconscious of the loathing with which she regarded his approach. "Turn
round and let me have a look at you," he ordered. Charlotte did not
seem to have heard him, but kept her head high in the air, and the same
lofty look of disdain in her eye.

"Proud, are you?" said the deputy, with a snarl. "I suppose I'm not
good enough to speak to you, eh?"

Charlotte still remained silent.

"Hoity toity!" continued Chabot, "with your fine airs and graces! You
won't be so damned haughty in an hour's time, _I_ know! You won't hold
your head so high then, I'll be bound!" He came quite close and leered
into her face. "Why do you treat me like this?" he asked. "Aren't
I good enough for you?" There was no tremor of fear in the girl's
attitude, but almost unconsciously she turned her head away. "Come
here!" he said sharply. "Come closer!" Charlotte Corday did not move.
Chabot stooped until his face was only a few inches from hers. "I've
a good mind to take a kiss from you," he said, with an ugly smile.
"What do you say to that, eh?" he asked. The girl moved her head still
further away so as to avoid looking upon the hideous features which
were now so close to her own pure lips.

"What's the use of making all this fuss?" said Chabot impatiently.
Still no reply from the woman, who, beneath her appearance of calm
and courage, could feel her heart beating wildly with terror and
apprehension. "What?" continued the Deputy, "Look at me!" he commanded.
Then, as Charlotte seemed to pay no attention to his orders, "Damn
you!" he said, "you _shall_ look at me!" And he placed his hands upon
her shoulders and turned her quickly round so as to face him.

Then, and not till then, did her self-reliance give way. With the
amorous touch of his hateful fingers upon her neck, she realized the
helplessness and horror of her position. With a convulsive movement
she tried to free her hands. The face of her enemy came closer and
closer to hers, and she read the coarse desires of his vicious soul in
the lustful brightness of his eyes. In a perfect agony of disgust and
terror she fought desperately to fling herself out of his reach.

"Let me go!" she appealed, "let me go! Ah, God!" she cried, in a
strangled voice, "Let me go!"

Her cry must have been loud enough to penetrate the thick prison door,
for in a moment it was flung open, and two men, Richard and another,
rushed into the room, and Charlotte was aware that the old warder had
interposed his burly person between her and the man she loathed.

"I should have known better than to leave you alone with a man of his
character," exclaimed the veteran, glowering at the ex-priest. "The
wife will never forgive me."

Chabot had recovered his self-possession, and was regarding the old
man's perturbation with evident amusement.

The stranger who had entered the cell with Richard was a young man
of about thirty, clean-shaven, with dark, almost black hair shading
a high, intellectual brow and eyes of unusual brilliance. He was
dressed in the uniform, such as it was, of the National Guard, but
his appearance was not that of a soldier, and the artist's block and
sketching materials which he carried in his hand proclaimed him to be,
what indeed he was, a portrait painter.

He had heard the woman's agonized cry. The scene that he had witnessed
on entering the room had shown him the cause of her distress, and, with
the blind, impetuous rage which the sight of any act of violence or
injustice towards the weak or helpless rouses in a young and chivalrous
soul, he rushed to where Chabot was standing and seized that worthy
violently by the shoulder.

"What the devil are you doing?" he demanded furiously.

"That is no business of yours," retorted Chabot, coolly disengaging
himself from the other's grasp. "You evidently do not know who I am,
young man."

"I have no wish to. It does not interest me. But I do know that you are
not wanted here!"

"I am the Deputy Chabot, of the Department of Loir-et-Cher!"

"Indeed," replied the young man, apparently unabashed by so much
distinction. "Well, I am Jean Jacques Hauer! And to the devil with your

"So you are the fortunate Citizen Hauer," said Chabot, with a dark
smile of comprehension. "I see, I see!"

"What do you mean?" asked the artist threateningly.

Chabot turned to Charlotte Corday with a bow.

"I congratulate you, mademoiselle," he said, with meaning in his voice,
"I congratulate you on the possession of so well-bred, so well-mannered
a lover!"

Hauer sprang forward with a cry of rage, and would have hurled himself
upon the Deputy, had not Charlotte's quiet voice stopped him.

"Leave him alone," she begged. "Let him be, I pray you. He is not
worthy of your anger."

Chabot moved toward the entrance slowly.

"Good-by, mademoiselle," he said, "and thank you"--ironically--"thank
you for a very pleasant chat, which I shall always remember, when you
are--what shall we say?--forgotten!"

Charlotte faced him with quiet dignity.

"I may be forgotten," she replied, "and that soon. But what I have done
shall not readily be forgotten."

With a sarcastic laugh the Deputy crossed the threshold and was gone.

Richard watched his departure with evident relief, and then turned to
address his prisoner.

"There is a priest without," he said, "who asks whether you desire his

Charlotte shook her head. "Will you thank him on my behalf for his
kindness. But I do not need the offices of the Church."

She crossed to the table and leaned one hand upon it.

"The blood that I have spilt, and my blood that I am about to shed, are
the only sacrifices that I can offer to God," she said. "I have no
fears. He knows all, and will forgive."

The warder bowed his head, took a last look round the cell to see that
all was well, and left the room.


As the door closed Charlotte sank into a chair and buried her face in
her hands. The long trial and the incidents that had followed it had
been very tiring. She was young and lonely, and her last hour had come.
Small wonder then that for a moment she should give way to emotion
or that her eyes should brim with the bitter tears of fatigue and

Hauer watched her in silence for a little while, and then crossed the
narrow room and stood beside her chair.

"Perhaps you would rather be alone?" he said, in a tender voice of pity.

Charlotte raised her shining eyes to his, and a grave smile stole like
a shadow to her lips.

"No, no," she exclaimed, holding out a detaining hand, "I have but few
moments left to me, and still fewer friends. Stay with me, Monsieur
Hauer, if you will, and," she added in a lighter tone, "you may finish
the portrait."

He took his painting materials from the table, set up the small
portable easel, arranged the palette and brushes in his hand, and
commenced his work upon the portrait of the prisoner, which he had
begun in the court-house, and which, at her request and by permission
of her judges, he was now to be allowed to complete.

And as he painted, they talked together, quietly, sympathetically, with
the understanding and the occasional silence of old friends, these two
who had but learned to know each other during the last few days, but
from whose short acquaintance were destined to spring, for the one, a
friendship which did much to lighten the burden of these last hours,
for the other, a love which he was to bear in his heart to the end of
an adventurous career.

This girl, who had lost her mother at an early age; who had ever since
lived a simple, secluded, somewhat lonely existence, first in the
convent of L'Abbaye-aux-Dames, and subsequently under the care of an
old aunt at Caen; who had never found a friend in whom to confide her
troubles; now for the first time discovered a sympathetic listener, who
gradually drew from her the sad story of her life and of the sinister
events that led up to the tragedy with which it was to close.

As a girl she had been much alone; had played alone, thought alone,
lived alone. And in her case, as in that of many others, solitude had
been the mother of great thoughts. Hers was not an unhappy childhood,
but her happiness had sprung from sources other than those usually open
to children. She drew most of her pleasure from books, from Plutarch,
from Corneille, the poet, her ancestor, of whom she was justly proud,
and who had declared that poetry and heroism were of the same race, the
one carrying out what the other conceived.

So had she grown up at Caen, dreaming much of her country's welfare,
filled with a romantic ambition to do something for France, something
grand, something noble.

And then came all the horrors of the Revolution. Terrible tales of
bloodshed and injustice reached the little sun-kissed village of Caen.
The name of Marat was on every tongue--Marat, who made the streets
run with blood; Marat, the murderer of thousands whose only crime was
loyalty; Marat, through whose wanton ferocity the blood-stained Loire
was discolored for miles, to whose rage for extermination the gloomy
solitude of the towns and the desolation of the country bore ghastly
testimony. The very crimson of the autumn woods seemed to reflect the
bloodshed of those cruel September massacres.

It was then, no doubt, that the thought first entered the mind of this
young girl; the idea that perhaps she, though only a woman, with no
knowledge of the world, without experience, might achieve what men
seemed frightened to attempt, something that should help to retrieve
the lost honor of France. It was ambitious, surely; but then, was not
Joan of Arc a girl?

Marat, the murderer of peace, if only he were dead, thought Charlotte
Corday, peace would be restored. "It is expedient for one man to die
for all."

The shadow of Marat darkened the whole picture, and in the background
stood the scaffold, which liberty was mounting in company with the
victims of this murderer, at whose name one shuddered, as at the
mention of death. Marat, without Danton's courage or the integrity of
Robespierre, seemed but a wild beast bent on devouring France.

Charlotte saw her beloved country in its death agony, she saw the
victims and the tyrant. She sought to avenge the one, to punish the
other, to save all.

Many a long summer night did she lie awake in her little attic room at
Caen, wondering what she should do. Suddenly all seemed to clear before
her. Her mind was made up.

After a sad parting with her family, who believed that she was going
to England with the many other refugees who found a haven there at
this time, she started for Paris, arriving there with no friend save a
battered copy of her beloved Plutarch. During the two days and nights
that she spent at the little Hotel de la Providence in the Rue des
Vieux Augustins, but one thought was uppermost in her mind; to seek out
Marat and do what she had to do.

The recital of these incidents had brought a tinge of color into the
girl's cheeks, and to Hauer, as he sat and gazed at her in admiration,
her beauty appealed irresistibly. He could picture the whole scene
as she described it. In imagination he accompanied heron that early
morning walk, on the fatal Saturday, the eve of the anniversary of
the taking of the Bastille, when she went to the Palais Royal to buy
the knife with which the murder was committed. He could fancy, as
she described it, the sun shining through the trees, the children
playing in the public gardens. She told him how she had helped one
little curly-headed lad to recover his top which had rolled through
the railings out of reach. The little fellow had kissed her, little
realizing what she carried so carefully hidden in her bosom. In his
heart Hauer blessed that little boy; he was grateful for that childish
kiss, the last that Charlotte was to know. He followed her to the house
in the Rue des Cordeliers, where Marat lived, and where for so long she
strove in vain to gain admission, until, at last, toward evening, she
forced her way in.

"You know the rest," continued Charlotte. "How I pretended to be a
traitor to my cause.--God will forgive me," she added, "for we owe no
truth to tyrants.--How I informed Marat of the names of the refugee
deputies at Caen who were organizing the Federalist movement. 'Ah!' he
exclaimed, his irresistible thirst for blood rekindled at the thought
of these new victims, 'they shall be guillotined within a week!'
Guillotined!" repeated Charlotte, rising to her feet. "My friends! The
patriots of Caen!"

She turned and saw Hauer's eye fixed upon her as though awaiting the
end of the story. "And then?" he asked.

There was silence for a short space, broken only by the quick breathing
of the girl.

"I stabbed him to the heart."

"Did you not realize----?"

"I realized nothing," she interrupted, "save that I was carrying
out my unalterable purpose. I felt no more remorse than if I were
treading on the head of some loathsome snake. The hideousness of
Marat's appearance, the squalor of his surroundings, the infamy of his
character, all these urged me on to accomplish the deed I had planned.
And in my heart a voice kept whispering that the end justified the

"Brave little Jesuit!"

"Oh, I am glad I killed him! I have no regrets, none. I was ready, I am
ready now, to pay the penalty." She paused, "Ah, I weary you with all
this," she said. "But I have had no one to speak to, all these days;
nobody seems to understand----"

"_I_ understand," said Hauer with feeling.

"Yes, I believe you do, and I thank you for it." She sat at the table
where the artist was putting the finishing touches to his picture.

"I had hoped that an old friend of mine," she added, "one on whose
loyalty I relied implicitly, would have appeared to defend me at the
trial. I wrote and asked him. But he never came. He did not even
trouble to reply. Well," she sighed, "I am no poorer for the loss of
such a friend."

Hauer laid down his brushes, rose, and stood before her. His voice was
unsteady, and his face had grown pale.

"Others may fail you," he exclaimed, "but you know that I will always
stand by you, though the whole world turn against you."

He took both her hands in one of his, and, looking into her eyes, saw
down to the very depths of her pure soul. A rush of memories flooded
his brain as he gazed at this woman whose life was to close so soon.

He recalled the very first time he had ever seen her--how long ago was
it?--in the gardens at Caen, opposite the little Church of St. Antoine.
Five years ago; and yet to him it seemed but yesterday. She had been
a girl then; a timid, neatly-dressed girl of nineteen she looked,
as she walked slowly along, deep in meditation, intent upon her own
thoughts. Hauer was sitting sketching beneath a tree as she passed.
She dropped one of the books she was carrying; he picked it up for her;
she thanked him. That was all--and yet at the sound of that one word
something had stirred in the young artist's heart, something that he
had not been able to understand at the time, but that he had understood
in the court-house to-day, when he heard once more the music of her
voice--something that he understood now, and knew to be love.

"Charlotte," he exclaimed, with a sudden passionate cry, as he flung
himself on his knees at her feet, "I love you, I love you!"

The girl gazed tenderly down at him, with a look of innocent affection
in those eyes which no hint of any deeper passion had ever illumined.
She laid her hand lightly upon his head for a moment and then drew him
to his feet.

"Please, monsieur," she said gently, "please; you will not say that.
You are my very good friend, and you must think of me as a friend, and
nothing more. You know well that I can never be grateful enough for the
blessing of your friendship, and for all you have done for me."

Hauer had recovered his self-possession. "Alas! I have done nothing for
you--I, who would gladly lay down my life for your happiness."

"You have done much," replied the girl. "You have spoken to me, when
all others were afraid and held aloof. You have given me the comfort of
your welcome society, while other friends stayed away. Are your words
of sympathy nothing?" she asked. "Ah, I could not bear to think that I
should cause you any unhappiness. I pray you, let us be friends, and
friends only. The parting will be the easier for that."

"Don't speak of parting," he cried, aghast at the picture conjured up
in his imagination by her ominous words.

"And yet it is to be so soon. In a little while I shall go out of your
life forever. I shall be nothing to you but a memory. It is hard enough
to have to die, do not make it harder for me."

"Charlotte!" cried the young man in an agonized voice, "you shall not
go out of my life like this! I will kill myself! I will share your
fate. I cannot live without you!"

The girl gazed up at him with a look of infinite tenderness and pity.
"Do you really love me?" she asked.


"Remember then that the price of love is sacrifice; and do as I ask."
She sat down on the edge of the hard bed and drew him down beside her.

"Is it so easy for me to be brave?" she asked, "to leave the sunshine,
to say goodby to all the bright and beautiful things of this world,
to life and love? Do not make it harder for me; then. Ah, I pray you,
forget me; or rather, rejoice at my fate, remembering that the cause
for which I lay down my life is indeed a glorious one. Help me to bear
the trials of this last scene bravely, with a courage you would wish to
see in one you loved."

Hauer seized her hands and kissed them feverishly.

Charlotte smiled sadly at him.

"I have had but little tenderness in my life," she said. "Your kisses
are dear to me, believe. I will bear them in my hands to the scaffold,
as I shall bear the comfort of your friendship in my heart.

"Do not weep for me," she added, as the tears, which he was unable to
control, fell and mingled with his kisses upon her pale hands. "I want
all your help, all your courage, if I am to face the end bravely, to
meet death with a smile."

There was a loud and peremptory knock at the entrance. With a swift
exclamation Hauer crossed the floor and threw open the door.

A tall man, dressed entirely in black, with a thick beard half covering
a sallow but not un-kindly face, entered the room. He carried a long
red smock over his shoulder, a short piece of thick cord in his hand,
and to his wide leather belt was suspended a pair of shears. It was
Charles Henry Sanson, the public executioner.

A momentary expression of terror flitted across Charlotte Corday's
eyes as they gazed upon this sinister figure, whose mission required
no explanation. After a brief inward struggle, she regained possession
of her wonted calm and faced the unwelcome visitor with an unflinching

The executioner advanced, holding out the red smock, a roughly made
cloak of common scarlet material, which condemned persons wore on their
way to the scaffold. Without a word spoken on either side, Charlotte
allowed him to throw this garment round her shoulders.

Sanson then drew the shears from his belt. But the prisoner,
anticipating his intention, stopped him with a quick gesture and took
the instruments from his hand.

"Give them to me," she said quietly, and the man obeyed. Then, throwing
off her cap, she unbound the ribbon with which her hair was confined
and with a quick, graceful movement of the head, shook down its burden
of auburn hair so that it covered her shoulders. With a few swift
strokes of the scissors she cut off the waving masses, which fell in a
heap in her lap and at her feet, and handed the shears back to Sanson.
With her bared head, its aureole of close-cropped hair crowning the
small oval face beneath it, Charlotte looked like some beautiful boy,
and it was evident that even the impassive executioner was moved by her
charm and by the tender grace of her every movement.

One of the many curls which she had severed so ruthlessly had fallen
into the bosom of her dress, and Charlotte now held it in her hand and
turned toward Hauer, who had been watching the sacrifice with much

"Will you accept this?" she asked timidly, "I--it is all I have to
give. If you would care to have it----"

The young man took it tenderly from her and raised it to his lips.

"I shall hold it dearer than all else in the world," he said; "this
lock of your beautiful hair."

"Is it beautiful? I used to be very vain of my hair once." She
smiled. "If you will keep it," she continued, "and perhaps look at it
sometimes, and, when you do, recall the memory of one to whom you were
kind--of one who will never forget--who will offer prayers for your
welfare and your happiness at the very throne of God----" She brushed
away a tear that had crept out unseen upon her cheek, and for the
moment her voice failed her.

Sanson moved forward silently and seized her wrist with one hand, while
with the other he shook out the short coil of cord which he held.

The blood flamed in Charlotte's cheek, and she shrank back suddenly,
dreading some fresh indignity.

"Ah, no!" she exclaimed passionately. "I beg of you! Not that again! I
promise you, I will be good!" she reiterated, standing with her hands
behind her, like some frightened child expecting punishment, "I will
keep still! I will do whatever you tell me. I will not move. Oh, let me
be free, for this last hour of my life!"

Hauer approached the executioner. "Surely she has suffered enough
already," he said. "Look at her wrists." For the severity of her former
bondage had left cruel marks upon the white skin of her delicate arms.

Sanson spoke for the first time. His voice was low and had a tone of
refinement which perhaps reassured his listeners.

"You need not be afraid," he said. "I am not rough. I will not hurt
you. It is for the best."

Charlotte looked up into his face and, reading there nothing but the
desire of a blunt but honest man to discharge an unpleasant duty with
as little pain as possible to all concerned, submitted without further

"As you will," she said, holding out her hands to him. He laid one
small wrist across the other and with a few quick turns of the rope
tied her hands behind her back, fastening them securely but without
unnecessary severity.

As he opened the cell-door, a loud tumult rose from the street below.
Charlotte drew back in terror.

"What sound is that?" she asked trembling.

"'Tis but the crowd growing impatient. Do not be frightened," said
Sanson in a reassuring voice. "You are safe enough with me."

Hauer stepped forward. "I will accompany you," he said, in a determined

"No, no!" entreated the girl. "Please not. 'Farewell' is always a hard
word to say. I shall want all my courage on the scaffold." She moved
towards the door, then turned again to the artist. "One last request
I have to make," she said. "That you will send the portrait to my old
father at Argentan. It will comfort his heart, perhaps," she added,
"and help him to forgive me for disposing of my life without his

"Now," she continued, "let us say goodby."

With an effort Hauer restrained his tears. He fell on one knee at her
feet, as though to kiss her hands once more. But she shook her head
sadly, unable to lift them, bound as they were, to his lips. "Ah, no,"
she said, "you see, it is no longer allowed!"

Hauer raised the edge of her red smock and kissed it passionately. "I
kiss the tips of your wings!" he said.

Charlotte turned to the executioner, who was waiting somewhat
impatiently at the door. "I am ready," she said. Then, as her eye fell
upon the lonely kneeling figure of her lover, "Farewell," she added.
"Farewell, for the last time. God bless you for all that you have been
to me. You will not forget me, I know. And I shall carry with me the
memory of your friendship to the end. Be happy in the knowledge that
I am glad to die for France; and remember that it is guilt alone that
brings disgrace, and not the scaffold!"

With a resolute step she walked through the open door and out into the
tumult of the street.

An hour later, when the warder, Richard, entered the cell, he found
the young artist still on his knees, convulsive sobs shaking his whole
body, while tears of anguish rained down his cheeks and fell unheeded
upon a long lock of hair which he was holding tenderly in his hands and
which he now and again raised to his lips.

With a grunt, half scorn, half sympathy, the old warder shook his head
and, closing the door quickly behind him, stole away in search of the
more cheerful society of his wife and little Jean.




There was a tale that Oom Piet used to tell, of the days when he showed
his back to the tax-gatherers, and trekked east to the very edge of
the world, where the veld broke into patches of sand and shelved down
into the sea. It was the only one of all his stories that did not
make him out a hero; the rest were all of war with the kafirs and
hunting in new-found lands, where the game was so thick that it jostled
for pasture. But this was a tale of wonder, and he wondered over it
contentedly till he went to that place where all riddles are answered.

It began always with the long Odyssey of the trek, while the slow
wagons drew indomitably to ever fresh horizons and each dawn showed a
new country and the fresh spoor of buck. Then there were the mountains,
seen afar for days, that stood across his track; he had searched them
north and south for more than a month ere he found the winding thread
of valley that let him through. Not once but a dozen times in that
year-long journey his ripe craft of war had served him well, and the
wagons had been laagered in time to stand off an attack of kafirs; each
lonely battle was fresh in his memory, and he never omitted to tell
how his wife crouched beside him as he fought, loading his spare rifle
and passing it into his hand. Sometimes, at this stage in the history,
some of his old force would return to him, and one could see all the
face harden and grow keen behind the big beard. Oom Piet was very old
and much under the dominion of his years; for him one thing in a story
was as much as another; and he always carried us through every stage
of that trek, from the Bushmen he shot in the mountains to the baby he
buried at Weenen Drift.[12]

And thus at last, when they had passed through an easy country, where
Zulu satraps from the north ruled the terror-stricken kraals, and
nothing any longer had the power to make him wonder, they came upon
the sea. It was a still evening when they drew down to its shore, and
before them the unimagined ocean filled the world and lay against the
sky, and its murmur hushed the long-familiar noises of the veld. A
broken reef of rock stood a hundred yards from the beach and the water
creamed about it; the crags were like gapped and broken teeth. Oom Piet
stood with his wife's hand on his arm and his three sons at his elbow,
and all five gazed awhile in silence. The spell of the stillness and
the great space worked within them all.

"It is a place of peace, at all events," said Oom Piet, at last.

The hand on his arm tightened. Susanna looked up at him with a smile.

"But I am glad I am not alone here," she answered.

As for the lads, theirs was a bewilderment that stilled their judgment.
Klein Piet, the eldest, leaned on his rifle and stared out at the sea
with empty eyes, for it spoke to unguessed depths in his soul; and Jan
and Andries were both a little afraid. They had nothing to say, and
when presently Piet led the way back to the wagons, they followed him
hesitating, casting nervous glances over their shoulders as they went.
Even by the fires, as they sat together over their evening meal, some
constraint remained with them, so that they talked with an effort of
trivial things while their thoughts abode elsewhere, and Susanna looked
from one to another with a little frown of perplexity. Not one of them
could have told what troubled him, or guessed that in his very name of
Van Praagh there closed a long tradition of the salt and sound of the

It was when a new dawn had shown them the place in clear light,
unwitched by evening shadows and calm, that Piet made his decision.
Landward of the sand the veld was rich, with patches of bush; a stream
ran through it handily, and to his eyes, wise in a hundred aspects
of game land, cattle land, and mealie land, it spoke of security and
comfort. He was not a man to be drawn from his sure judgment by trifles
of liking and curiosity; he had lived too close to the real things of
life to be deluded by semblances; but none the less, there was gladness
for him that all these good things, the materials of a home and a
livelihood, lay at the flank of that great tame sea, to whose noise his
ears were already become accustomed. There was a welcome in the sound
of it; under the morning sun it showed a face as bright as a host's;
and when the lads came back from the beach, with their hair blown about
their faces and their hands full of shells, they found him sitting
on an ant hill, in the middle of a square he had marked out with big
smooth stones.

"What is it?" asked Klein Piet.

"Our house," answered his father. "We will build it here, with the
stoop looking out to the water. That--" he pointed a line with his
finger--"that shall be the front of it, to face the sun each day when
he up-saddles. There, yonder, shall be the kraals; and we will live
between the sea and the veld and have the best of both. What do you
think of it?"

Andries laughed delightedly; a new thing was always a good thing for
him. Jan, too, was pleased and curious; only Klein Piet looked grave,
but not with any doubt or dissatisfaction.

"Well?" asked the father again. "What do you think of it, my son?"

Klein Piet answered slowly. "I think well of it," he said, meeting
his father's gaze with his steady blue eyes; "so well, father, that I
should have stayed in any case, even if you had turned back."

"Eh?" The elder man doubted if he heard aright.

Klein Piet seemed to be in a dream. "I only know," he said, in the
same slow manner of speech, "that this place I stand on is like a
birth-place to me. I must have dreamed of it when I was a child."

The younger boys were watching the pair of them in wonder. Piet put out
his hand to his son.

"Then we shall not quarrel," he said. "I cannot say what it is, the
finger of God stirring or the lusts of the flesh, but the same thing
has hold of me, Klein Piet. I am fallen at the same dyke; I could not
leave this place if I would."

Only Susanna was not completely at her ease. Piet found no matter for
surprise in this, but looked to see a change when the house should be
built and the offices of home-keeping should have set up landmarks in
her life. A Boer woman should live between her kitchen and her bed, he
was used to say, and he held to this unswervingly even when the kitchen
was but the cheek of a wood-fire in the veld and the bed the windy sail
of a wagon. So when her face showed that the strangeness of the place
did not abate for her, when she shrank from being alone and shivered
at the on-coming of the nights that strode in from the sea, he only
smiled on her and was careful to be close to her, and was glad, with a
mild satisfaction, that the long trek and the fights and the sorrows
had left her womanly and soft. She was a De Villiers from the western
edge of the Karoo, fair and still as all the women of that stock are;
but it never happened to him to think of the dead men and women who had
gone to the making of her family, soldiers and gospellers and martyrs,
but never a sailor among them. Neither did it happen that he took any
account of his kafirs, for Piet was sound Boer to the bone; or he might
have seen that they, too, had their fears and misgivings. The black
man's solitude is peopled with ghosts and devils; beyond the ring of
his firelight, the dark is uneasy with presences; and it was not fear
of the Zulus alone that kept these tremblers close about the camp,
and cowed them to an anxious obedience the sjambok could never have

Indeed, there was no time for Piet and his sons to become infected with
doubts, for they set to work at once on the building of their house.
The stone thereabouts lay over the face of the land in rounded boulders
and splintered cleanly under the sledge-hammer. The house they devised
to face the sea was to be of stone from eaves to the foot of the walls
and rooted well in the ground. Piet marked it all out with little
gutters, and, since he himself was the strongest of them, he set the
lads to dig a firm foundation with half the kafirs, while he took the
other half to split and carry stone. They had all a good will to work;
their task was to justify to themselves their choice of a home, and the
skinny kafirs had to bend their naked backs freely to keep pace with
the eager work of their masters. The thud of the picks and the ring
of Piet's great hammer made a loud answer to the ceaseless murmur and
rustle of the sea on the sand; even Susanna was stirred from her cares
by the briskness of the work.

The place where Piet labored at the stone was under the bank of the
stream, where it ran deep and slow, and curved curiously between little
hard headlands of rock and easy bosoms of sand; so that when he was
plying the great sledge and cutting out the stone in big, flat cakes,
he was hidden from the lads who dug on the foundations of the house, a
couple of hundred paces away. There was little enough to fear now, but
his old lore of war still governed him, and he carried his rifle to his
work with him, and had chosen to work in a spot where he could not be
suddenly approached by one coming secretly through the hummocks. Here,
at noon, on the fourth or fifth day of the building, he was laboring
happily. His was the part to swing the great sledge on the wedges;
three, four full-bodied blows, each ringing true as a bell on the iron
wedges, and a fat, flat slice of stone jarred loose from the body of
the rock, to be hauled apart by the kafirs; and then in with the wedges
again. He had joy in his strength, and in the pretty skill of never
missing the head of the wedge; so that he worked on without fatigue
and did not look about him. It was when another big flake of stone was
broken away, that an exclamation from one of the kafirs made him turn
sharply to look up-stream.

He was never sure what manner of man he saw, watching him from the far
side of the spruit. For one thing, there was sweat in his eyes; for
another, he turned to grasp his rifle, and when he turned back, the
man was gone. But in the couple of moments that the man was in view,
Piet saw that he was white, a short, strongly-built white man, dark
against the pale sand. And though he could never find a phrase for
the impression in his mind, the thing that puzzled him was the utter
strangeness of the man's appearance. Whether it was the fashion of his
clothes, his attitude, his looks, or just the mere whole of him, he
could never explain. But, "it seemed to me as if he were none of God's
making," he always added.

It was a matter of no more than a couple of breaths; then his
bewilderment broke up, and caution took its place. He bustled his
kafirs together and shepherded them out of the streambed and back to
the camp, coming last with his rifle cocked in the crook of his arm to
guard against any possible danger. He saw that work had ceased in the
foundations of the house; the lads and the kafirs were gathered in a
knot in the pit, and their voices buzzed in talk. But he gave no notice
to that.

"We are being watched," he said to them. "Back to the laager and get
your guns."

And once again the square of wagons became a fort, and the little
family stood to its arms against all comers, for its right to live in
the place it had chosen.

Piet told them what he had seen; it was little enough, and he had no
key to its meaning. Susanna, having helped to lay the spare rifles
and the ammunition ready, had gone back to her fire, for pots must be
watched though the veld were alive with enemies. The men, each standing
on a wagon wheel, searching the country with keen eyes, turned the
thing over in their minds.

"You are sure he was white, father?" asked Jan.

Piet was quite sure.

"And he had no gun?"

"No," replied Piet. "He had nothing in his hands at all."

They spoke without turning their heads or ceasing for an instant in the
watch they kept.

"Then," said Klein Piet, with assurance, "it must be the English. Only
the English go about without guns in a wild country, and collect taxes."

The explanation seemed reasonable to them all; they would have been
less dismayed if a black foe had shown himself in force. The feeling
that dragged the Boer people up by the roots and set them trekking
into the unknown was no mere antipathy to taxation; it was founded on
an abiding mistrust and hatred of the English who were multiplying in
the land. Piet's strong face took on an added grimness as Klein Piet's
explanation forced itself on him.

"But perhaps," suggested Andries, the youngest, "it is just an
Englishman on trek. He would not trouble us."

That was a comfortable thought, too. Piet kept his boys on watch for
another hour, but nothing showed, and then they ate quickly, and he
disposed them for a search. It was all done in good order and after the
approved fashion; as each moved forward, his retreat was covered by
another's rifle; and between them they scoured all the broken ground
within a couple of miles.

"Well," said Piet at last, when the search was over and they had not
found so much as a spoor of a foot, "this is a wonderful thing."

"You are sure it was a man you saw?" asked Klein Piet, doubtfully. "The
sun plays tricks with a man's eyes, sometimes."

But Piet was not to be shaken. "As sure," he said, "as I am here. But
what kind of man--" he broke off, frowning. "There is nothing for it,"
he added, "but to go on with the work and be wary."

"Yes, the work." Klein Piet turned to him. "When you came back from the
spruit, we had just found a curious thing where we were digging."

"An iron cross," put in young Andries.

"A cross?" repeated the father.

"It is not a cross," said Klein Piet, quickly. "It is--something else.
Come and see it, father."

They had been talking together outside their laager, and now they went
across to the great pit that the lads and the kafirs had dug to plant
the house in. The digging was not yet all done, and where the morning's
labor had ended, Klein Piet pointed to the thing of which he had
spoken. Only a part of it was uncovered--two curving, spade-ended arms
of rust-red iron, and a shaft which stuck out of the earth.

"Is that not a cross, father?" cried Andries. "See, it has arms and----"

Piet shook his head. "No, it's no cross," he answered. "How can it have
come here? I remember once a man who rode on commando, an Englishman,
and he had pictures of such things as this on his arms, pricked into
the skin. This is an anchor, a piece of a ship."

Klein Piet, standing by his side, laughed suddenly, so short and harsh
a laugh that Piet turned to him in surprise.

"I might have known," said Klein Piet. "Of course it is part of a ship.
There have been ships here, once; can't you _feel_ that there have been
ships hereabouts?"

At another time Piet would have shown little patience with this manner
of talk; but now his mind was full of other concerns, and he let it

"We must dig the thing out," he said. "It will be heavy to lift,
though. Take a pair of spades and see how big it is."

Klein Piet and Jan jumped down into the pit and set to work, while
Andries and Piet watched. It was no hard matter to unbury the shank
of the anchor; the easy earth came away in heaping shovelfuls, and
presently the whole of it lay bare, with its great wooden stock rotted
to threads and its ring pitted and thin with rust. Jan leaned on his
shovel and stared at it; Klein Piet knelt by it and swept away earth
with his hands.

"Perhaps there was a wreck here," Piet was saying. "Some ship may have
been driven up by a storm and the sea have beaten it to pieces, so that
all the wooden parts floated away and this was left."

Klein Piet, on his knees, still grubbing away with his hands, laughed
at him.

"No," he said. "That is not so, father. For there is a chain fast to
this anchor."

He had worried a hole with his hands, and sure enough, when they came
to look, there was a link of a great chain running from the anchor ring
into the earth.

"Now," said Klein Piet, rising from his knees; "who will tell me what
the other end of that chain is fast to?"

It was a strange thing for a house-building Boer to find; their shovels
only showed them that there was a long chain there, running level
perhaps six feet below the surface of the ground. They bared a couple
of fathoms of it, red as gold with its long burial, and then Piet bade
them halt.

"We must cut it," he said. "It will be hard work, but plainer to do
than digging up the whole of it. And for to-day, let us go back to
camp and leave it."

Piet was a little resentful of these things that had arrived to disturb
the course of his work. First, the sudden stranger who left no spoor
where he walked, and now the anchor lying where the roots of his home
should be--they were beyond the calculations of an upright Boer. Like
many more sophisticated men, Piet relied on his environment possessing
a certain quality; when foreign elements colored it, when it was
flavored with unascertained ingredients, a sort of helplessness sapped
his powers; he was like a man walking blindfold. Only his bull-headed
pluck served him at such times; and now, when he doubted and was
uneasy, he held on without hesitation in the task he had undertaken.
A _brand-wacht_ was maintained that night, the four of them taking
turns to sit sentry by the great wood fire; and though, during his turn
of the watch, the night seemed alive with lurking men who stared and
slunk, he faced the new dawn with no leak in his courage.

That day, they set to work at cutting through the great chain that was
fast to the anchor ring. Their equipment for such a purpose was poor;
there was nothing for it but to flog a cold chisel through the wrought
iron; and though the rust flaked from it if one but scratched with a
fingernail, the metal below was sound and tough yet, a heartbreaking
thing to assault with mere strength of arm. Further, there is a science
of cutting with the cold edge which was outside all their knowledge.
The younger lads took turns to hold the chisel while Piet and Klein
Piet, swinging alternately, rung a strenuous bob-major on its head; but
the hot hours passed in sweat and labor, and afternoon was upon them,
while the chain seemed scarcely scratched. It was cruel work for all
of them, jarring to the arms and stunning to the ears. At last, Piet
dropped his sledge-hammer and wiped the wet from his face.

"Honest men made that chain," he said. "We shall be all to-morrow
cutting at it. Hullo! What kafir is this?"

None of them had seen the approach of the kafir who now stood on the
edge of the pit looking down at them; he carried his hand to his head
in a salute as they looked up at him. He was an old kafir, with tufts
of white on his chin and a skin hanging on his loins, gaunt and big
and upstanding, with a kind of dignity that was new to them in kafirs.
He supported their stare with no embarrassment, and gave them back an
unabashed regard of quiet curiosity.

"Who are you?" demanded Piet. "Where do you come from?"

But the kafir could speak no Dutch; he made a reply in some tongue
of his own, sonorous and full-throated, and raised his hand again in

"We must know where he comes from," said Piet to the lads. "Between
ourselves and our own kafirs, we must find some language he can

They came out of the pit and took the kafir back to the camp with them,
leaving their tools where they lay. The old man went in obedience to
their gestures without demur, and squatted himself on his hams to
be talked to. The average Boer knows no native tongues; he will not
condescend so far to the kafir; but Piet and his sons had yielded to
their vicissitudes, and between them could command quite a number of
dialects. Tembu, Fingo and the "kitchen kafir" of the Cape
failed to gain any response; Klein Piet's few words of Bechuana only
made the old man laugh; the Griqua "clicks" made him laugh more. Then,
by an inspiration, Piet put a question in Basuto, the harsh speech of
the mountaineers. Up went the black hand in a salute, and the old kafir
replied in the same tongue.

"I am a doctor," he told them. "I am of The Men (the Zulus). I am
walking north to my own people."

He spoke with a seriousness that was like courtesy, so attentive and
gracious. To each of Piet's questions he gave a considered answer,
ample and careful. There was no war in these parts, he told them; the
nearest kraal was four days away. In any case, his people would not
concern themselves with a single family of white people; they had
nothing to fear.

"But," said Piet, "since I have been here, I have seen another white
man. He watched me at work from a distance. Do you know who he was?"

The old kafir listened to him with a sedulous attention.

"It is said," he answered, "that white men have been seen hereabouts.
My grandfather saw them, and his father. But I have never seen them."

Piet stared at him. "Your grandfather?" he cried. "But I saw him

The old kafir nodded. "It is a tale that is told," he said. "A very
old tale. White men came from yonder--" his lean finger waved to the
darkling sea southwards,--"traveling on the water in a ----" he paused
for a word.

"A ship," said Piet. "I know."

The old man nodded. "This was in the old times, before we Men had come
to this country," he went on; "when white men were dreams. Here their
ship halted; and that same night, the great wind of the year drove
down on them. It was a wind that struck men as with a club and killed
them; it lifted the sea as mowers lift hay and stacked it high on the
veld, so that here where we sit was all water, and the shore was a mile
inland. And with the water, the wind carried their ship, plunging and
turning like a cow in a torrent; when the sea went back to its place,
it stood here on the land, great and wonderful, with its white men
swarming about it. That iron at which you were sweating was the hook
with which they held their ship in one place."

Evening had come upon them while they talked; its shadows were cast
over the sea and the shore, and the old kafir's strong face was lit
by the leaping fire at which they sat. Piet looked over his shoulder
at the darkling dome of the night, under which they sat in a hush of

"Yes," he said. "And what became of them?"

The old kafir spread his hands asunder before him.

"Who can tell?" he answered. "They were killed, of course; the kafirs
who had escaped to the hills came back and made war on them. It lasted
a while, for the white men fought cleverly; but in the end, there was a
creeping by night, a narrowing ring of assegais, the hush of stealth;
and last the roar of the warcry and a charge. The kafirs thronged on
that ship like ants on a carrion; in the middle of it, the white men
put fire to their powder, and all the ship and the fighters vanished in
a spring of fire. Yes, all the white men were killed; but still they
have been seen, slinking through the hills and returning by the stream.
They were killed, but who is to say what became of them?"

The four Boers looked at one another; their breath came short and
harsh. Piet recalled all that sense of strangeness with which the sight
of the man by the stream had filled him; the growing night was suddenly
dangerous and fearful.

Klein Piet turned to the old kafir. "All this was very long ago?" he

The kafir considered, with a forefinger that calculated on the fingers
of his other hand.

"My grandfather was old," he said. "So old that he was blind. And _his_
grandfather had heard it as a tale of olden times."

Piet was still in thrall to the awe of the thing.

"Then I saw a spirit?" he demanded.

The old kafir shrugged, and a silence fell between them all. Jan
and Andries had understood less than the half of what was said, but
the ill-ease reached them like a contagion and they sat very close
together, their eyes wide open and quick.

Piet was about to ask further questions, when Jan suddenly gripped his
brother and started.

"Hark!" he cried. "What is that?"

The quick alarm strung them all to tenseness; only the old kafir cocked
his eyebrow humorously and spat into the fire. The others rested where
they sat, straining their ears.

"There!" cried Jan again.

It was a dull noise of metal on metal that they heard, a muffled ring
and clink; it sounded again and again.

"Someone is cutting at the chains," said Piet hoarsely.

"It is they," said Klein Piet.

Susanna's hand stole into Piet's arm; he had almost forgotten that she
was sitting a little behind him, so still had she been. But the touch
of her hand made him the equal of his terrors; the man with a wife to
shield cannot afford fears. He pressed her hand and rose to his feet.

"We are shivering like old women round a death-bed," he said. "Klein
Piet, get your rifle; we will see who is mending our work for us."

Klein Piet obeyed, swallowing to ease his tight throat; the old
kafir rose too, and the three of them went forth from the light of
the fires and across the crisp grass to that dark pit where yet the
"clink, clink" of the unseen work was sounding. Piet and his son
walked abreast, the kafir a little behind them; his bare feet were
soundless as he strode. The Boer was conscious of no fear; only of a
strange lightening of his senses and a pricking in his skin such as he
had known when he had lain on his rifle at night waiting for a charge
of kafirs. As they went, the sound of the hammers grew clearer, till
they could pick out the heavy note of the great sledge and the lighter
cadence of the top-mall. They halted by an end of bush to mark the
steady ring of them and make sure of their breath; the old kafir went
on a few paces.

"So the tale was true," they heard him say; and then Piet sprang out,
with Klein Piet at his heels, flung up his gun, and fired at the pit.
The smoke of the shot blew back into their faces; its noise, peremptory
and sudden, thrust their alert faculties from their poise; an effort
was needed ere they saw clear again. The pit was empty.

"What did you see?" cried Klein Piet.

"I don't know," answered Piet. "I thought--but I don't know. Let us go
and see what _they_ have done to the chain."

Klein Piet had his tinderbox in his pocket; by the light he made, they
both bent to look at the link on the ground.

"It is deeper," said Klein Piet. "The cut is half through the iron."

They went back to the camp in a silence of utter bewilderment. To his
wife's look and the questions of the younger boys, Piet only answered
that he had found no one. The old kafir had gone off without a word
to his place among Piet's kafirs, and presently Susanna moved off to
her bed in the wagon. Piet packed Jan and Andries off after her, and
remained smoking by the fire with Klein Piet opposite him.

"Now," said Klein Piet, when they were alone; "what was it you saw?"

Piet took the pipe from his lips and gazed at him across the fire.

"As sure as death," he said, "I saw the pit swarming with men like
birds over a wheatfield. And you?"

"I saw it too," answered Klein Piet. "And the men with the
hammers--they were naked to the waist and hairy like baboons."

They stared at each other stupidly, half-aghast at the knowledge they
shared. Their faces, in the firelight, were white and hard.

"Have we trekked too far?" said Piet, almost in a whisper. "Can a man
trek to hell? God, there are those hammers again."

Clink, Clink! they sounded, pounding away in the night, clear and even
as the ticking of a clock.

"They will have it cut by morning," whispered Klein Piet. "What will
happen then?"

Piet was listening to the sounds, with his pipe poised in front of his
mouth. He shook his head.

"I don't know," he answered. "But we will see. Klein Piet, you and I
will keep the _brand-wacht_ to-night. If anything is to happen, we will
be awake for it."

"Yes, father," answered Klein Piet mechanically, and then the talk
between them dropped. On either side of the fire they sat in long
stages of silence, listening to the hammers plying in the night, their
noise making a rythm above the slow murmur of the water on the beach.
A little wind got up, blowing from the north; it carried the scent
of the seaweed and the damp sand to their nostrils and fanned their
smoldering fire to a clearer glow. Somewhere in the bush a jackal
sobbed like a lost child; the wood ask clicked and rustled as it
burned out and settled down. And through it all, like the dominant of
a harmony, the hammers spoke their unceasing clink and the darkness
stirred like a windy arras.

Perhaps the rythm lulled him somewhat;
perhaps he was but sunk in a deeper thought; but Piet did not notice
his son spring to his feet. Klein Piet shook him from his stupor; he
came back to himself and to the agitated face of the young man leaning
over him.

"The hammers have ceased," he shouted.

Klein Piet gabbled the words with lips that puckered and sagged in an
ague of excitement. The elder man rose forthwith.

"Now we shall see!" he said.

He went down to crawl under one of the wagons into the open, but
remained on his knees under it. Klein Piet, on all fours at his side,
shivered and gulped. Their eyes wrestled with the baffling dark, and
their pulses checked and raced; for something was moving out yonder.
They could see but the loom of a great bulk, a blackness blacker than
the night, something vast and tall--and it moved. As their eyes grew
familiar with the darkness, they could see plainly that it moved; it
seemed to slide slowly. Then, delicate but quite clear, some voice
called and others answered. The sliding bulk took on an outline; it
made a vague tracery against the faint sky as it neared them; each
instant it was plainer to see. Piet, intent, every faculty set like a
cocked pistol, noted a long flank, a tall, window-pierced structure
that sloped. Old pictures and forgotten names fermented in his memory.

"_Allemachtig!_ It's a ship," he cried.

Superbly she passed them, that lost galleon of the young world, slipped
from her age-long anchorage. Her high sides were a-bristle with her
guns; her sails were sheeted and her head was to the east. There was a
great company of men on board of her; on her high poop, rising like a
citadel, a little group of them was black and busy. As she passed down
the beach, she dipped and lifted like a burdened ship in a seaway. It
was then Klein Piet had his moment of madness. Suddenly he screamed
like a girl and began to scramble forward. "Wait for me!" he cried. "I
will go with you. I am a sailor too."

He would have run down towards her, but Piet grasped him and held on.
He struggled and they rolled together on the grass, fighting with one
another. Then Klein Piet ceased as suddenly as he had begun.

"I am better now," he gasped, and Piet let him rise. They stood up
together and gazed seaward. A squall was blowing in from the east,
thick and black, with a gleam of white water under it. Was it a sail
they saw, a ship that heeled to the brisk wind and was screened from
sight by the rain? They crawled back under the wagon as the first
wetness lit on their faces, and sat there together.

"If you tell me you saw a ship," said Piet suddenly, "I will call you a

"Yes," said Klein Piet. "I must be a liar, for I saw one."

When Oom Piet finished this tale, he was wont to knock out his pipe on
the heel of his boot.

"But in the morning, when we went back to our work," he always added,
"there was the chain--cut through!"



  Along the Hills, height after height
  Tosses the dappled light;
  Waters unhindered flow;
  The cuckoo calls beyond the third hedgerow;
  And young winds nothing can quell
  Scale the wild-chestnut citadel,
  Again to make
  Its thousand faery white pagodas shake.
  Up many a lane,
  The blue vervain
  A coverlid hath featly spread
  For the bees' bed,
  That those tired sylvan thieves
  May lie most soft on the sweet and scalloped leaves.
  To-morrow morn,
  Bright agrimony in the thickets born
  Will high uphold
  Each cinquefoil of plain gold;
  Dogwood in white will hood herself apace,
  And betony flaunt a varied gypsy mace,
  And copper pimpernel, true as a clock,
  On the waste common by some rock
  Her lone dark-centred wheel draw in
  Long, long ere dusk begin.

  This day
  Of infinite May
  Is far more fitly yours than ours,
  O spirit-bodied flowers!
  What heart disordered sore
  Comes through the greenwood door,
  Shall for your sake
  Find sap and soil and dew, and shall not break:
  And hearts beneath no ban
  Will in your sight some penance do for man,
  Poor lagging man, content to be
  Sick with the impact of eternity,
  Who might keep step with you in the low grass,
  Best part of one strange pageant made in joy to pass!
  Not ye, not ye, the privilege disown
  To flourish fair, and fall fair, and be strewn
  Deep in that Will of God, where blend
  The origin of beauty and the end.




A labor record considered solely in its utilitarian aspect as a
vote-getting device is not especially important to the general public.
The attitude of a presidential candidate, however, towards the
industrial and social problems of the working people is another matter.
Does he know what they are? Does he see the great economic questions
of labor and capital with eyes blinded by class prejudice or does he
see them with the clear vision of a statesman? Does he intend to play a
man's part in helping to solve them? The answer to these inquiries is
of interest not merely to the capitalists and the workers but to all of

In his judicial career Mr. Taft has rendered some decisions in matters
brought before him as a judge, which are bound to be a subject of
discussion in the coming campaign. One group of these decisions deals
with what may be described as rules of industrial warfare.

International agreement has done much toward civilizing international
war. Capital and labor have no Hague Court. The limitations upon
the scope and method of their warfare must come from the courts and
the legislatures. The Treaty of Paris provided for the rights of
neutrals, for the freedom of peaceful ships of commerce from plunder
and destruction in war. The rights of neutrals in industrial war are
less protected but are no less important. In that warfare the neutral
party--the public--stands much as Mr. Pickwick did between the rival
editors, receiving the fire-tongs on one side of the head and the
carpet-bag on the other. The labor question in its militant phase is a
public question largely because the public has no desire to occupy Mr.
Pickwick's unhappy position.

It happens that all the so-called labor decisions which Judge Taft
made when on the bench involve directly and primarily the rights of
the general public and of outsiders having no direct part in any
industrial quarrel, who against their will have been drawn into the
warfare between capital and labor. In deciding these cases it has
been necessary not only to consider the rights of labor in industrial
disputes, but to pass upon the right of the general public and of
disinterested outsiders to be let alone.

_A Veto to Economic Excommunication_

The first of these cases was one decided by Judge Taft in 1890 when
he was a judge of the Superior Court of Cincinnati. A Bricklayers'
Union in Cincinnati, having about four hundred members, had a dispute
with the firm of Parker Brothers, contracting bricklayers. The
Union wanted Parker Brothers to pay a fine it had imposed upon one
of their employees who was a member of the Union, to reinstate an
apprentice who had left them, and to discharge another apprentice.
Parker Brothers refused to do so. A strike was accordingly called.
The Union also declared a boycott against Parker Brothers, and its
business agent issued a circular to material men, contractors, and
owners, which concluded with this announcement: "Any firm dealing in
building materials who ignores this request, is hereby notified that
we will not work his material upon any building nor for any contractor
by whom we are employed. (Signed) Bricklayers' Union No. 1." One
of the contractors to whom this notice was sent was the Moore Lime
Company, engaged in selling lime in Cincinnati. Parker Brothers were
customers of the Moores, and the Moores continued selling lime to them,
notwithstanding the notice. Another circular was then sent out by
the Union to its members, which read as follows: "Bricklayers' Union
No. 1, Ohio. We, the members of the Bricklayers' Union, will not use
material supplied by the following dealers until further notice": and
in the list they put Moore & Company. The effect of the circular was to
interfere with Moore & Company's business and to cause loss to their
customers, who feared a similar fate. On these facts the Moores sued
the Union for damage which they claimed had been done to their business
by a wrongful and malicious conspiracy. The case was tried by a jury,
which gave the Moores $2,250 damages. An appeal was taken by the Union
to the Superior Court of Cincinnati, where Judge Taft presided.

The facts just related show the issue involved. The Moores' employees
had no grievance against them. The only grievance which the Bricklayers
had against them was that they refused to permit themselves to be
used as a battering-ram in an assault on Parker Brothers. The Union
insisted on the right to boycott Moore's Lime Company because Moore's
Lime Company would not assist them in injuring the Parkers. Judge
Taft decided, as other judges have decided in many cases, that such a
combination to injure the Moores was without just cause or legal excuse
and was illegal. This, so far as the Moores were concerned, was not a
strike case, but a boycott, and in his decision Taft was very careful
to draw the distinction and so express himself that the legal rights of
labor in a lawful strike should not be impaired. He says:

     If the workmen of an employer refuse to work for him except on
     better terms at a time when their withdrawal will cause great
     loss to him, and they intentionally inflict such loss to coerce
     him to come to their terms, they are bona fide exercising their
     lawful right to dispose of their labor for the purpose of lawful
     gain. But the dealings between Parker Brothers and their material
     men, or between such material men and their customers had not
     the remotest natural connection either with defendants' wages
     or their other terms of employment. There was no competition
     or possible contractual relation between the plaintiffs and
     defendants, where their interests were naturally opposed. The
     right of the plaintiffs (Moore & Company) to sell their material
     was not one which, in its exercise, brought them into legitimate
     conflict with the rights of defendants' Union and its members to
     dispose of their labor as they chose. The conflict was brought
     about by the efforts of defendants to use plaintiffs' right of
     trade to injure Parker Brothers, and, upon failure of this, to use
     plaintiffs' customers' right of trade to injure plaintiffs. Such
     effort cannot be in the bona fide exercise of trade, is without
     just cause, and is, therefore, malicious. The immediate motive of
     defendants here was to show to the building world what punishment
     and disaster necessarily followed a defiance of their demands. The
     remote motive of wishing to better their condition by the power
     so acquired, will not, as we think we have shown, make any legal
     justification for defendants' acts.

The doctrine of excommunication, the great engine of the Church in the
Middle Ages, has not been revived and transferred from the Pope to the
labor unions.

_End of the Engineers' Famous "Rule 12"_

The next decision of Taft's in a labor dispute came after his elevation
to the Federal Bench, and again involved the same principle--the extent
to which the rights of a third party, against whom neither labor nor
capital has any grievance, can be impaired by involving him against his
will in labor disputes. This case arose out of a strike of locomotive
engineers on the Toledo-Ann Arbor Railroad in 1893. The strike had
been called after numerous conferences between the railroad officials
and Mr. Arthur, the representative of the Brotherhood of Locomotive
Engineers. It was a legitimate strike, as against the Toledo-Ann
Arbor Railroad, for higher wages. The phase of the controversy which
came into court for Judge Taft's consideration, however, was not the
strike itself, but grew out of an attempt by the Union to compel other
railroads to refuse to receive freight from the Toledo Road and thereby
paralyze that road and coerce it into granting the demands of the

On March 7, 1893, Mr. Arthur sent to the chairman of the General
Adjustment Committees of the Brotherhood on eleven railroad systems in
Ohio and neighboring States the following telegram: "There is a legal
strike in force upon the Toledo-Ann Arbor & North Michigan Railroad.
See that the men on your road comply with the laws of the Brotherhood.
Notify your general manager." A "legal" strike, as the term was used,
meant one to which the Grand Chief of the Brotherhood of Locomotive
Engineers had consented, and meant the promulgation of Rule 12 of the
organization, which provided in substance that after a strike had been
declared against a railroad, it should, while the strike continued,
be "a violation of obligation for a member of the Brotherhood of
Locomotive Engineers who may be employed _on a railroad running in
connection with or adjacent to said road_, to handle the property
belonging to said road or system in any way that may benefit said
company with which the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers is at issue."

In obedience to Mr. Arthur's telegram, representatives of the
Brotherhood on various railroads notified the general managers of these
railroads that after a certain date the engineers would refuse to haul
cars or freight forwarded by the Toledo Road. Some of these railroads
thereafter notified the management of the Toledo Railroad that in
view of the threatened actions of their own engineers, they would be
obliged to discontinue receiving or forwarding freight for the road.
The Toledo thereupon obtained from Judge Taft in the United States
Circuit Court an injunction against the Pennsylvania Railroad and other
railroad companies, enjoining them from refusing to handle its freight
and commanding them to perform their railroad functions as required
by the Interstate Commerce Act, which made it a criminal offense for
connecting railroads to refuse to receive or transport freight from
one another's lines. Mr. Arthur was made a party, and the injunction,
issued, and sustained after hearing, directed him to rescind his order
putting into effect Rule 12 of his organization. The decree did not
require the employees of these other railroads to continue to work
for the railroads if they saw fit to strike, but it did require them,
as long as they were in the employ of those railroads, to handle the
freight of the Toledo Road as they would the freight of any other road.

The opinion which Judge Taft wrote in this case is a long one. He
quotes the provisions of the Interstate Commerce Act, which clearly
made it a criminal offense for the officers, agents, or employees
of any of these connecting roads wilfully to refuse to receive and
transmit the freight of the Toledo Road, and declares that the attempt
of the Locomotive Engineers to compel the railroads to commit this
criminal offense through this Rule 12 was unlawful. As to the rule
itself, he says, after an exhaustive examination of it in connection
with the provisions of the Interstate Commerce Law:

     We have thus considered with some care the criminal character of
     Rule 12 and its enforcement, not only, as will presently be seen,
     because it assists in determining the civil liabilities which
     grow out of them, but also because we wish to make it plain, if
     we can, to the intelligent and generally law-abiding men who
     compose the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, as well as to
     their usually conservative chief officer, what we cannot believe
     they appreciate, that notwithstanding their perfect organization
     and their charitable, temperance and other elevated and useful
     purposes, the existence of Rule 12 under their organic law makes
     the Brotherhood a criminal conspiracy against the laws of their

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers acquiesced in the criticism
of this section of their laws and removed it. The fact that this
organization is in existence to-day, unimpaired in power and authority
throughout the American railroad world, is an indication of its
willingness to recognize and obey the law of the land. Its conduct in
subsequently withdrawing the rule shows that Judge Taft was justified
in setting forth with such painstaking clearness the illegality of the
rule, with the expectation that its illegality would be recognized and
the rule abolished--a confidence which was justified by its results.

_Phelan Sentence in the Pullman Strike_

The next labor decision made by Judge Taft was in the well-known Phelan
case in the great Pullman strike of 1894. The organization with which
he was then called upon to deal was of a totally different character
from that of the Locomotive Engineers. It was one managed in entire
disregard of the law, the courts, and the public. Eugene V. Debs, the
chief agent of that organization, the American Railway Union, is to-day
the Socialist candidate for the presidency. In the Pullman strike of
1894 Judge Taft sent one of Debs' chief assistants--Phelan--to jail for
six months. If his judicial conduct in this matter merits criticism,
here are the facts on which that criticism must be based:

Some of us have fairly hazy notions to-day as to the Pullman strike
and what it was all about. It began in May, 1894. The employees of the
Pullman Company, engaged in making cars at Pullman, Illinois, went on a
strike because of the refusal of the Company to restore wages which had
been reduced in the preceding year. The American Railway Union, which
then comprised some two hundred and fifty thousand railway employees
which Debs had organized and over which he was master in control, later
endorsed this strike and started in actively to make it a success. The
principal means by which that success was sought was by declaring a
boycott on Pullman cars. In Judge Taft's opinion in the Phelan case
(Thomas _vs_. Cincinnati, N. O. & T. P. Rd. Co.), he gives the plan and
scope of this boycott as follows:

     Pullman cars are used on a large majority of the railways of the
     country. The members of the American Railway Union, whose duty
     it was to handle Pullman cars on such railways, were to refuse
     to do so, with the hope that the railway companies, fearing a
     strike, would decline further to haul them in their trains and
     inflict a great pecuniary injury upon the Pullman Company. In case
     these railroads failed to yield to the demand, every effort was
     to be made to tie them up and cripple the doing of any business
     whatever by them, and particular attention was to be directed to
     the freight traffic, which it was known was the chief source of
     revenue. As the lodges of the American Railway Union extended from
     the Alleghany Mountains to the Pacific Coast, it will be seen
     that it was contemplated by those engaged in carrying out their
     plans, that in case of a refusal of the railway companies to join
     the Union in its attack upon the Pullman Company, there would be
     a paralysis of all railroad traffic of every kind throughout the
     vast territory traversed by the lines using Pullman cars.

Phelan came to Cincinnati to carry on this warfare against the Pullman
Company by paralyzing, if he could, all the railroads centering there.
He did not stop even with the railroads using Pullman cars, but ordered
a strike against the Big Four, which used none of these cars. On the
day Phelan called the strike in Cincinnati, Debs telegraphed to him
to let the Big Four alone if it was not using Pullman cars, to which
Phelan answered: "I cannot keep others out if Big Four is excepted. The
rest are emphatic on all together or none. The tie-up is successful."
Debs replied "About twenty-five lines are paralyzed. More following.
Tremendous blockade." A few days later Debs telegraphed: "Advices
from all points show our position strengthened. Baltimore & Ohio, Pan
Handle, Big Four, Lake Shore, Erie, Grand Trunk, and Michigan Central
are now in the fight. _Take measures to paralyze all those which enter
Cincinnati._ Not a wheel turning between here and the Canadian line."

_"Starvation of a Nation" Illegal_

On the day that Debs telegraphed Phelan to take measures to paralyze
all those lines which entered Cincinnati--work which was already well
under way--at the very crisis of the strike, on the application of
the receiver of the Cincinnati, New Orleans & Texas Pacific Railway
Company, and on a petition which alleged a malicious conspiracy to
prevent the receiver from operating that road, Phelan was arrested by
an order of Judge Taft for inciting the employees of the receiver to
quit their employment and for urging them to prevent others from taking
their places, by persuasion if possible, by clubbing if necessary. The
receiver asked for the commitment of Phelan for contempt, alleging that
the whole boycott was an unlawful and criminal conspiracy, and that,
for his acts in maliciously inciting the employees of the receiver, who
was operating the railroad under order of the United States Court, to
leave his employ in pursuance of that unlawful combination, Phelan was
in contempt of court.

Was the combination of Debs and his associates illegal? Judge Taft
said that it was, not only because boycotts are illegal under the law
of every State in the Union where the question has arisen, with one
possible exception, but because this combination of men, in their
efforts to gain their own personal ends, had trampled upon the rights
of the public. He said:

     The railroads have become as necessary to the life and health and
     comfort of the people of the country as are the arteries in the
     human body, and yet Debs and Phelan and their associates propose,
     by inciting the employees of all the railways in the country to
     suddenly quit their service without any dissatisfaction with the
     terms of their employment, to paralyze utterly all the traffic
     by which the public live, and in this way to compel Pullman, for
     whose acts neither the public nor the railway companies are in the
     slightest degree responsible and over whose acts they can lawfully
     exercise no control, to pay more wages to his employees. Certainly
     _the starvation of a nation cannot be a lawful purpose of a
     combination_, and it is utterly immaterial whether the purpose is
     effected by means usually lawful or otherwise.

The "starvation of a nation," for such purposes, by such means,
stopped, so far as Phelan was concerned, on the day these words were
read by Judge Taft--the 13th day of July, 1894. It stopped because
after a protracted and exciting trial, in which many witnesses were
called and Phelan was fully heard in his own defense, Taft sent Phelan
to jail for six months. Those who believe that the starvation of a
nation is within the rights of labor engaged in a private quarrel, must
tell us wherein this Judge did wrong.

These three cases are legal landmarks showing the limitations of
industrial warfare. They are what the lawyers call "leading cases."
They lay down clearly and dispassionately the law which marks the
rights of the public to remain unmolested by the conflict of labor and
capital at war. Such decisions are in American law what the Treaty of
Paris is in the Law of Nations--a declaration of the rights of neutrals.

If, as a candidate for the presidency, Mr. Taft is to suffer from
unpopularity created in any quarter by these decisions which he made as
judge, he must endure it, for the search for popularity is not a part
of the functions of a judge.

_The Courage of Great Judges_

The picture of Taft in the Phelan case, reading in a court-room crowded
with angry and hostile men a decision which was to send their leader to
jail; a decision which was to play a large part in determining one of
the most distressing industrial wars of our day;--this picture recalls
another court, another great occasion long ago.

In 1768 John Wilkes, who had been prosecuted relentlessly by the
British Crown, and who had been outlawed and driven to France, returned
to England, appeared before Lord Mansfield in the Court of Kings Bench,
and demanded that the judgment of outlawry be reversed. The nation
was frenzied by faction. Abuse and threats of personal violence were
heaped upon the Chief Justice. In a court-room crowded with the enemies
of Wilkes, the greatest of English judges reversed and annulled the
decree of outlawry. In doing it, he gave what seemed a death blow to
his own favor with the King, who had placed the judicial ermine on
his shoulders. After he had rendered this judgment, facing the angry
sycophants of the Crown, he spoke these words:

     If during the King's reign I have ever supported his government
     and assisted his measures, I have done it without any other
     reward than the consciousness of doing what I thought right. If
     I have ever opposed, I have done it upon the points themselves,
     without mixing in party or faction, and without any collateral
     views. I honor the King and respect the people; but many things
     required by the favor of either are, in my account, objects not
     worth ambition. I wish popularity, but it is that popularity which
     follows, not that which is run after. It is that popularity
     which, sooner or later, never fails to do justice to the pursuit
     of noble ends by noble means. I will not do that which my
     conscience tells me is wrong, upon this occasion, to gain the
     huzzas of thousands, or the daily praise of all the papers which
     come from the press. I will not avoid doing what I think is right,
     though it should draw on me the whole artillery of libels; all
     that falsehood and malice can invent or that the credulity of a
     deluded populace can swallow.

The two qualities which make a great judge are wisdom and moral
courage. No great judge ever lived who did not possess them both.
When the Phelan case was on trial before Judge Taft, it was a time of
tremendous excitement. It was the very crisis of a great strike. The
friends of the Judge feared for his life and asked him not to read his
decision from the bench. He read it. The last sentence of that decision
directed the marshal safely to convey Phelan to the Warren County Jail.
When he read that final sentence he turned to the packed court-room and
looking squarely into the angry faces before him said: "If there is any
power in the army of the United States to run those trains, the trains
will be run." To those who honor judicial courage no less than judicial
wisdom, such occasions deserve to be recalled and remembered, for they
are part of the great traditions of the bench.

But these decisions are not solely declarations of public rights.
They contain statements of the legal rights of labor organizations in
strikes, stated so clearly that the decisions have been cited time and
again in subsequent litigation by labor organizations themselves as
precedents in their favor. They affirm unequivocally the right of labor
organizations to strike to better the condition of their members, and
the right to use peaceable persuasion to prevent other employees from
taking the place of strikers, a right which in some jurisdictions,
particularly Pennsylvania, has been denied.

_The Right to Strike_

Quite apart from his judicial decisions, Taft's position on the strike
question is clearly stated in public addresses. Last January, at Cooper
Institute, he said to an audience of workingmen: "Now what is the right
of the labor unions with respect to the strike? I know that there has
been at times a suggestion in the law that no strike can be legal. I
deny this. Men have the right to leave the employ of their employer in
a body in order to impose on him as great an inconvenience as possible
to induce him to come to their terms. They have the right in their
labor unions to delegate to a leader power to say when to strike.
They have the right in advance to accumulate by contributions of all
members of the labor union a fund which shall enable them to live
during the strike. They have the right to use persuasion with all other
employees who are invited to take their places in order to convince
them of the advantage to labor of united action. It is the business of
the courts and the police to respect these rights with the same degree
of care that they respect the owners of capital in the protection of
their property and business."

No public man has placed himself more clearly on record on the
so-called injunction question. The plank of the Republican platform
which advocates a modification of the present federal court practice,
under which injunctions are issued without notice to organizations
sought to be enjoined, is a plank adopted at Mr. Taft's request and
suggestion. The jurist who, in a decision in the coal mine cases of
1902 in West Virginia, described an organization which has done more
for the coal miners than any other social force, the United Mine
Workers, as a band of walking delegates fattening on the poor and
ignorant, declared in the same decision that no injunction had ever
been issued in strike cases which was not entirely justified by the
facts. Judge Taft says this is not true; that such injunctions have
been issued unjustly; and in his Cooper Union address he said:

     But it is said that the writ of injunction has been abused in
     this country in labor disputes and that a number of injunctions
     have been issued which ought never to have been issued. I agree
     that there has been abuse in this regard. President Roosevelt
     referred to it in his last message. I think it has grown largely
     from the practice of issuing injunctions _ex parte_, that is,
     without giving notice or hearing to the defendants.... Under the
     original Federal judiciary act it was not permissible for the
     Federal courts to issue an injunction without notice. There had to
     be notice, and, of course, a hearing. I think it would be entirely
     right in this class of cases to amend the law and provide that no
     temporary restraining order should issue until after notice and a

He at the same time expressed himself in favor of having contempt
proceedings for violations of injunctions heard by a judge other than
the one who issued the injunction. But to the proposal that in such
cases the ancient power of the courts to protect their own dignity
and authority be taken from them and turned over to juries of laymen
selected by interested parties and subject to all the passions and
prejudices inevitable in such trials--to this he is opposed.

_The Laborer's Right to Protection_

One decision of Judge Taft's on a highly important labor question has
been generally overlooked and deserves mention. The interests of
labor in the law are not confined to strike questions. Its rights
in peace are no less important than in war. The working people are
deeply interested in the enforcement of laws which protect them
against unnecessary dangers in employment. The position of Judge Taft
on this important question is best shown by the contrast made by
one of his decisions (Narramore vs. C., C., C. & St. Louis Railroad
Co.) with the leading case in New York on the same subject. Both of
these cases involve statutes directing employers to furnish certain
specific protection for the safety of employees. In both cases the
employer failed to obey the law which required the furnishing of that
protection. The New York Court of Appeals decided that notwithstanding
the statute, if the employee _stayed at work_ knowing that the
employer had not obeyed the law, and knowing the danger created by the
employer's failure to obey the law, by the mere fact of his remaining
at work, the employee assumed as a matter of law the risks of being
injured and could have no claims against the employer for injuries so
sustained. This construction obviously makes the protective statute a
dead letter and absolutely worthless.

Judge Taft, in a case in which this same reasoning was advanced, and in
which the decision of this New York Court of Appeals was cited as an
authority, refused to follow it and rendered a decision which leaves
full vitality to protective legislation. The case was one in which a
railroad company had failed to obey the law which required it to fill
or block frogs and furnish guard rails on their tracks. The plaintiff,
a railway employee, kept at work, knowing that the frogs were not
blocked, and was hurt through the absence of the protection which the
statute required the railroad to furnish him. He had a verdict from
the jury, the railroad appealed, and its lawyer, Judson Harmon, argued
that the verdict should be set aside because the man had kept at work
knowing the railroad's violation of the law, and had therefore by legal
implication contracted with the railroad to take all the chances of
being hurt. Judge Taft refused to follow the New York case, declaring:

     The only ground for passing such a statute is found in the
     inequality of terms upon which the railroad company and its
     servants deal in regard to the dangers of their employment.
     The manifest legislative purpose was to protect the servant by
     positive law, because he had not previously shown himself capable
     of protecting himself by contract, and it would entirely defeat
     its purpose thus to permit the servant to contract the master out
     of the statute.

This case has been cited all over the United States by counsel for
workmen injured through the failure of their employers to furnish the
protection required by statute for their safety. Perhaps a majority
of the State courts follow the New York case, and say that protective
legislation intended for the benefit of working men at work is of
no legal value to them if they stay at work. The legal theory on
which the workman assumes the risks of personal injury need not here
be discussed. Judge Taft, however, decided that when a law is made
applying to a dangerous business, in which four thousand men are killed
and sixty-five thousand are injured every year, the intention was that
the railroads should obey that law, and it should not be nullified "by
construction." In this conclusion he does not lack judicial support of
high character.

This, in substance, is Taft's labor record so far as his judicial
career is concerned. Its consideration by the general public can
be useful but for one purpose, which is this: A country like ours
cannot afford to elect a class president. It cannot afford to elect
a president in whose mind the distinction between lawlessness and
personal rights is not clear and distinct; who to please one class will
weaken the foundations of the liberty and peace of a whole nation. It
can still less afford to elect a president to whom the working people
are but pawns on the chess-board, and to whom prosperity means peace
at any price by the sacrifice of the rights of the working people, so
long as the mills are at work and property is secure in the possessions
which it has somehow acquired. The enemies of our democracy are at both

The Socialists attacked Roosevelt with greater bitterness than any
president who had preceded him, because he had not been a class
president, and because he had not ignored the interests and rights of
the working people and thereby helped still further to increase the
constantly growing "class-conscious" body of dissatisfied men marching
under the Socialists' banner. That section of the press which supports
lawless property has attacked him because he has disturbed "values"
and "vested interests." There is no sure protection for property but
justice. Suppression of the labor organizations will not insure it;
they should not and cannot be suppressed. Nor is there on the other
hand any protection for the public if at the demands of a class, no
matter how large its voting strength, the peace of the whole country
is to be jeopardized by weakening the foundations of law which impose
just limitations on industrial warfare. We need for president a man who
will recognize and protect the just rights of both rich and poor and
thereby protect American democracy against its class enemies. By these
standards Mr. Taft must be judged.


[1] Documents throwing light upon the action of Admiral
Alexeieff will be found at the end of General Kuropatkin's historical
narrative, although they are not a part thereof. These documents will
also explain the important part that State Councillor Bezobrazoff
played in the Far East, and indicate the source of his extraordinary

[2] A town on the road from Mukden and Liao-yang to the mouth
of the Yalu River in northern Korea.

[3] Mounted Manchurian bandits.

[4] The Russian minister in China.

[5] The Russian minister in Korea.

[6] The documents at the end of General Kuropatkin's narrative
will explain why an officer as powerful even as the Minister of War
might be supposed to fear Bezobrazoff--a retired official of the civil
service who, personally, had no importance whatever.

[7] In June, 1903, there was a good deal of friction
between the employees of the Bezobrazoff company and those of a
Japanese-Chinese syndicate which had obtained from the Korean
Government, in March, a timber concession in this same region. Two
Chinese were shot by the Russians, and the rafts of the syndicate were
seized. Balasheff's dispatch probably referred to this or some similar
incident, and the Captain Bodisco to whom it was addressed was probably
an officer in the service of the Bezobrazoff company on the Yalu.--G.

[8] "Osvobozhdenie," No. 75, Stuttgart, August 19, N. S.,
1905. No question has ever been raised, I think, with regard to the
authenticity of these letters and telegrams; but if there were any
doubt of it, such doubt would be removed by a comparison of them with
General Kuropatkin's history.--G. K.

[9] Asakawa, who seems to have investigated this matter
carefully, says that the original contract for this concession dated
as far back as August 26, 1896, when the Korean king was living in the
Russian legation at Seoul as a refugee.--"The Russo-Japanese Conflict,"
by K. Asakawa, London, 1905, p. 289.

[10] The italics are my own.--G. K.

[11] Since I wrote this, a friend has supplied the quotation,
but as I know no Latin, less Greek, and the least possible amount of
bad French, I cannot answer for its correctness! "Quamquam ridentem
dicere verum quid vetat?"

[12] The Ford of Weeping.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes.

1. Obvious punctuation errors corrected.

2. Multiple spellings of same word changed to majority spelling.
Consistent misspelling retained.

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