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A Poor Wise Man by Mary Roberts Rinehart

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A POOR WISE MAN

by Mary Roberts Rinehart

CHAPTER I

The city turned its dreariest aspect toward the railway on blackened
walls, irregular and ill-paved streets, gloomy warehouses, and over
all a gray, smoke-laden atmosphere which gave it mystery and often
beauty. Sometimes the softened towers of the great steel bridges
rose above the river mist like fairy towers suspended between Heaven
and earth. And again the sun tipped the surrounding hills with gold,
while the city lay buried in its smoke shroud, and white ghosts of
river boats moved spectrally along.

Sometimes it was ugly, sometimes beautiful, but always the city was
powerful, significant, important. It was a vast melting pot. Through
its gates came alike the hopeful and the hopeless, the dreamers and
those who would destroy those dreams. From all over the world there
came men who sought a chance to labor. They came in groups, anxious
and dumb, carrying with them their pathetic bundles, and shepherded
by men with cunning eyes.

Raw material, for the crucible of the city, as potentially powerful
as the iron ore which entered the city by the same gate.

The city took them in, gave them sanctuary, and forgot them. But
the shepherds with the cunning eyes remembered.

Lily Cardew, standing in the train shed one morning early in March,
watched such a line go by. She watched it with interest. She had
developed a new interest in people during the year she had been
away. She had seen, in the army camp, similar shuffling lines of
men, transformed in a few hours into ranks of uniformed soldiers,
beginning already to be actuated by the same motive. These aliens,
going by, would become citizens. Very soon now they would appear
on the streets in new American clothes of extraordinary cut and
color, their hair cut with clippers almost to the crown, and
surmounted by derby hats always a size too small.

Lily smiled, and looked out for her mother. She was suddenly
unaccountably glad to be back again. She liked the smoke and the
noise, the movement, the sense of things doing. And the sight of
her mother, small, faultlessly tailored, wearing a great bunch of
violets, and incongruous in that work-a-day atmosphere, set her
smiling again.

How familiar it all was! And heavens, how young she looked! The
limousine was at the curb, and a footman as immaculately turned
out as her mother stood with a folded rug over his arm. On the
seat inside lay a purple box. Lily had known it would be there.
They would be ostensibly from her father, because he had not been
able to meet her, but she knew quite well that Grace Cardew had
stopped at the florist's on her way downtown and bought them.

A little surge of affection for her mother warmed the girl's eyes.
The small attentions which in the Cardew household took the place
of loving demonstrations had always touched her. As a family the
Cardews were rather loosely knitted together, but there was
something very lovable about her mother.

Grace Cardew kissed her, and then held her off and looked at her.

"Mercy, Lily!" she said, "you look as old as I do."

"Older, I hope," Lily retorted. "What a marvel you are, Grace dear."
Now and then she called her mother "Grace." It was by way of being
a small joke between them, but limited to their moments alone. Once
old Anthony, her grandfather, had overheard her, and there had been
rather a row about it.

"I feel horribly old, but I didn't think I looked it."

They got into the car and Grace held out the box to her. "From your
father, dear. He wanted so to come, but things are dreadful at the
mill. I suppose you've seen the papers." Lily opened the box, and
smiled at her mother.

"Yes, I know. But why the subterfuge about the flowers, mother dear?
Honestly, did he send them, or did you get them? But never mind
about that; I know he's worried, and you're sweet to do it. Have
you broken the news to grandfather that the last of the Cardews is
coming home?"

"He sent you, all sorts of messages, and he'll see you at dinner."

Lily laughed out at that.

"You darling!" she said. "You know perfectly well that I am nothing
in grandfather's young life, but the Cardew women all have what he
likes to call savoir faire. What would they do, father and
grandfather, if you didn't go through life smoothing things for them?"

Grace looked rather stiffly ahead. This young daughter of hers,
with her directness and her smiling ignoring of the small subterfuges
of life, rather frightened her. The terrible honesty of youth! All
these years of ironing the wrinkles out of life, of smoothing the
difficulties between old Anthony and Howard, and now a third
generation to contend with. A pitilessly frank and unconsciously
cruel generation. She turned and eyed Lily uneasily.

"You look tired," she said, "and you need attention. I wish you had
let me send Castle to you."

But she thought that lily was even lovelier than she had remembered
her. Lovely rather than beautiful, perhaps. Her face was less
childish than when she had gone away; there was, in certain of her
expressions, an almost alarming maturity. But perhaps that was
fatigue.

"I couldn't have had Castle, mother. I didn't need anything. I've
been very happy, really, and very busy."

"You have been very vague lately about your work."

Lily faced her mother squarely.

"I didn't think you'd much like having me do it, and I thought it
would drive grandfather crazy."

"I thought you were in a canteen."

"Not lately. I've been looking after girls who had followed soldiers
to camps. Some of them were going to have babies, too. It was
rather awful. We married quite a lot of them, however."

The curious reserve that so often exists between mother and daughter
held Grace Cardew dumb. She nodded, but her eyes had slightly
hardened. So this was what war had done to her. She had had no son,
and had thanked God for it during the war, although old Anthony had
hated her all her married life for it. But she had given her
daughter, her clear-eyed daughter, and they had shown her the dregs
of life.

Her thoughts went back over the years. To Lily as a child, with
Mademoiselle always at her elbow, and life painted as a thing of
beauty. Love, marriage and birth were divine accidents. Death was
a quiet sleep, with heaven just beyond, a sleep which came only to
age, which had wearied and would rest. Then she remembered the day
when Elinor Cardew, poor unhappy Elinor, had fled back to Anthony's
roof to have a baby, and after a few rapturous weeks for Lily the
baby had died.

"But the baby isn't old," Lily had persisted, standing in front of
her mother with angry, accusing eyes.

Grace was not an imaginative woman, but she turned it rather neatly,
as she told Howard later.

"It was such a nice baby," she said, feeling for an idea. "I think
probably God was lonely without it, and sent an angel for it again."

"But it is still upstairs," Lily had insisted. She had had a
curious instinct for truth, even then. But there Grace's
imagination had failed her, and she sent for Mademoiselle.
Mademoiselle was a good Catholic, and very clear in her own mind,
but what she left in Lily's brain was a confused conviction that
every person was two persons, a body and a soul. Death was simply
a split-up, then. One part of you, the part that bathed every
morning and had its toe-nails cut, and went to dancing school in
a white frock and thin black silk stockings and carriage boots over
pumps, that part was buried and would only came up again at the
Resurrection. But the other part was all the time very happy, and
mostly singing.

Lily did not like to sing.

Then there was the matter of tears. People only cried when they
hurt themselves. She had been told that again and again when she
threatened tears over her music lesson. But when Aunt Elinor had
gone away she had found Mademoiselle, the deadly antagonist of
tears, weeping. And here again Grace remembered the child's wide,
insistent eyes.

"Why?"

"She is sorry for Aunt Elinor."

"Because her baby's gone to God? She ought to be glad, oughtn't
she?"

"Not that;" said Grace, and had brought a box of chocolates and
given her one, although they were not permitted save one after each
meal.

Then Lily had gone away to school. How carefully the school had
been selected! When she came back, however, there had been no more
questions, and Grace had sighed with relief. That bad time was over,
anyhow. But Lily was rather difficult those days. She seemed, in
some vague way, resentful. Her mother found her, now and then, in
a frowning, half-defiant mood. And once, when Mademoiselle had
ventured some jesting remark about young Alston Denslow, she was
stupefied to see the girl march out of the room, her chin high, not
to be seen again for hours.

Grace's mind was sub-consciously remembering those things even when
she spoke.

"I didn't know you were having to learn about that side of life,"
she said, after a brief silence.

"That side of life is life, mother," Lily said gravely. But Grace
did not reply to that. It was characteristic of her to follow her
own line of thought.

"I wish you wouldn't tell your grandfather. You know he feels
strongly about some things. And he hasn't forgiven me yet for
letting you go."

Rather diffidently Lily put her hand on her mother's. She gave her
rare caresses shyly, with averted eyes, and she was always more
diffident with her mother than with her father. Such spontaneous
bursts of affection as she sometimes showed had been lavished on
Mademoiselle. It was Mademoiselle she had hugged rapturously on
her small feast days, Mademoiselle who never demanded affection,
and so received it.

"Poor mother!" she said, "I have made it hard for you, haven't I?
Is he as bad as ever?"

She had not pinned on the violets, but sat holding them in her
hands, now and then taking a luxurious sniff. She did not seem to
expect a reply. Between Grace and herself it was quite understood
that old Anthony Cardew was always as bad as could be.

"There is some sort of trouble at the mill. Your father is worried."

And this time it was Lily who did not reply. She said,
inconsequentially:

"We're saved, and it's all over. But sometimes I wonder if we were
worth saving. It all seems such a mess, doesn't it?" She glanced
out. They were drawing up before the house, and she looked at her
mother whimsically.

"The last of the Cardews returning from the wars!" she said. "Only
she is unfortunately a she, and she hasn't been any nearer the war
than the State of Ohio."

Her voice was gay enough, but she had a quick vision of the grim old
house had she been the son they had wanted to carry on the name,
returning from France.

The Cardews had fighting traditions. They had fought in every war
from the Revolution on. There had been a Cardew in Mexico in '48,
and in that upper suite of rooms to which her grandfather had
retired in wrath on his son's marriage, she remembered her sense of
awe as a child on seeing on the wall the sword he had worn in the
Civil War. He was a small man, and the scabbard was badly worn at
the end, mute testimony to the long forced marches of his youth.
Her father had gone to Cuba in '98, and had almost died of typhoid
fever there, contracted in the marshes of Florida.

Yes, they had been a fighting family. And now -

Her mother was determinedly gay. There were flowers in the dark old
hall, and Grayson, the butler, evidently waiting inside the door,
greeted her with the familiarity of the old servant who had slipped
her sweets from the pantry after dinner parties in her little-girl
years.

"Welcome home, Miss Lily," he said.

Mademoiselle was lurking on the stairway, in a new lace collar over
her old black dress. Lily recognized in the collar a great occasion,
for Mademoiselle was French and thrifty. Suddenly a wave of warmth
and gladness flooded her. This was home. Dear, familiar home. She
had come back. She was the only young thing in the house. She would
bring them gladness and youth. She would try to make them happy.
Always before she had taken, but now she meant to give.

Not that she formulated such a thought. It was an emotion, rather.
She ran up the stairs and hugged Mademoiselle wildly.

"You darling old thing!" she cried. She lapsed into French. "I saw
the collar at once. And think, it is over! It is finished. And
all your nice French relatives are sitting on the boulevards in the
sun, and sipping their little glasses of wine, and rising and bowing
when a pretty girl passes. Is it not so?"

"It is so, God and the saints be praised!" said Mademoiselle, huskily.

Grace Cardew followed them up the staircase. Her French was
negligible, and she felt again, as in days gone by, shut from the
little world of two which held her daughter and governess. Old
Anthony's doing, that. He had never forgiven his son his plebeian
marriage, and an early conversation returned to her. It was on Lily's
first birthday and he had made one of his rare visits to the nursery.
He had brought with him a pearl in a velvet case.

"All our women have their own pearls," he had said. "She will have
her grandmother's also when she marries. I shall give her one the
first year, two the second, and so on." He had stood looking down at
the child critically. "She's a Cardew," he said at last. "Which
means that she will be obstinate and self-willed." He had paused
there, but Grace had not refuted the statement. He had grinned.
"As you know," he added. "Is she talking yet?"

"A word or two," Grace had said, with no more warmth in her tone
than was in his.

"Very well. Get her a French governess. She ought to speak French
before she does English. It is one of the accomplishments of a lady.
Get a good woman, and for heaven's sake arrange to serve her
breakfast in her room. I don't want to have to be pleasant to any
chattering French woman at eight in the morning."

"No, you wouldn't," Grace had said.

Anthony had stamped out, but in the hall he smiled grimly. He did
not like Howard's wife, but she was not afraid of him. He respected
her for that. He took good care to see that the Frenchwoman was
found, and at dinner, the only meal he took with the family, he
would now and then send for the governess and Lily to come in for
dessert. That, of course, was later on, when the child was nearly
ten. Then would follow a three-cornered conversation in rapid French,
Howard and Anthony and Lily, with Mademoiselle joining in timidly,
and with Grace, at the side of the table, pretending to eat and
feeling cut off, in a middle-class world of her own, at the side of
the table. Anthony Cardew had retained the head of his table, and
he had never asked her to take his dead wife's place.

After a time Grace realized the consummate cruelty of those hours,
the fact that Lily was sent for, not only because the old man cared
to see her, but to make Grace feel the outsider that she was. She
made desperate efforts to conquer the hated language, but her
accent was atrocious. Anthony would correct her suavely, and Lily
would laugh in childish, unthinking mirth. She gave it up at last.

She never told Howard about it. He had his own difficulties with
his father, and she would not add to them. She managed the house,
checked over the bills and sent them to the office, put up a
cheerful and courageous front, and after a time sheathed herself
in an armor of smiling indifference. But she thanked heaven when
the time came to send Lily away to school. The effort of
concealing the armed neutrality between Anthony and herself was
growing more wearing. The girl was observant. And Anthony had
been right, she was a Cardew. She would have fought her grandfather
out on it, defied him, accused him, hated him. And Grace wanted
peace.

Once again as she followed Lily and Mademoiselle up the stairs she
felt the barrier of language, and back of it the Cardew pride and
traditions that somehow cut her off.

But in Lily's rooms she was her sane and cheerful self again.
Inside the doorway the girl was standing, her eyes traveling over
her little domain ecstatically.

"How lovely of you not to change a thing, mother!" she said. "I was
so afraid - I know how you hate my stuff. But I might have known
you wouldn't. All the time I've been away, sleeping in a dormitory,
and taking turns at the bath, I have thought of my own little place."
She wandered around, touching her familiar possessions with caressing
hands. "I've a good notion," she declared, "to go to bed immediately,
just for the pleasure of lying in linen sheets again." Suddenly she
turned to her mother. "I'm afraid you'll find I've made some queer
friends, mother."

"What do you mean by 'queer'?"

"People no proper Cardew would care to know." She smiled. "Where's
Ellen? I want to tell her I met somebody she knows out there, the
nicest sort of a boy." She went to the doorway and called lustily:
"Ellen! Ellen!" The rustling of starched skirts answered her from
down the corridor.

"I wish you wouldn't call, dear." Grace looked anxious. "You know
how your grandfather - there's a bell for Ellen."

"What we need around here," said Lily, cheerfully, "is a little more
calling. And if grandfather thinks it is unbefitting the family
dignity he can put cotton in his ears. Come in, Ellen. Ellen, do
you know that I met Willy Cameron in the camp?"

"Willy!" squealed Ellen. "You met Willy? Isn't he a fine boy, Miss
Lily?"

"He's wonderful," said Lily. "I went to the movies with him every
Friday night." She turned to her mother. "You would like him,
mother. He couldn't get into the army. He is a little bit lame.
And - " she surveyed Grace with amused eyes, "you needn't think what
you are thinking. He is tall and thin and not at all good-looking.
Is he, Ellen?"

"He is a very fine young man," Ellen said rather stiffly. "He's
very highly thought of in the town I come from. His father was a
doctor, and his buggy used to go around day, and night. When he
found they wouldn't take him as a soldier he was like to break his
heart."

"Lame?" Grace repeated, ignoring Ellen.

"Just a little. You forget all about it when you know him. Don't
you, Ellen?"

But at Grace's tone Ellen had remembered. She stiffened, and became
again a housemaid in the Anthony Cardew house, a self-effacing,
rubber-heeled, pink-uniformed lower servant. She glanced at Mrs.
Cardew, whose eyebrows were slightly raised.

"Thank you, miss," she said. And went out, leaving Lily rather
chilled and openly perplexed.

"Well!" she said. Then she glanced at her mother. "I do believe
you are a little shocked, mother, because Ellen and I have a mutual
friend in Mr. William Wallace Cameron! Well, if you want the exact
truth, he hadn't an atom of use for me until he heard about Ellen."
She put an arm around Grace's shoulders. "Brace up, dear," she
said, smilingly. "Don't you cry. I'll be a Cardew bye-and-bye."

"Did you really go to the moving pictures with him?" Grace asked,
rather unhappily. She had never been inside a moving picture
theater. To her they meant something a step above the corner saloon,
and a degree below the burlesque houses. They were constituted of
bad air and unchaperoned young women accompanied by youths who
dangled cigarettes from a lower lip, all obviously of the lower
class, including the cigarette; and of other women, sometimes drab,
dragged of breast and carrying children who should have been in bed
hours before; or still others, wandering in pairs, young, painted
and predatory. She was not imaginative, or she could not have
lived so long in Anthony Cardew's house. She never saw, in the long
line waiting outside even the meanest of the little theaters that
had invaded the once sacred vicinity of the Cardew house, the cry of
every human heart for escape from the sordid, the lure of romance,
the call of adventure and the open road.

"I can't believe it," she added.

Lily made a little gesture of half-amused despair.

"Dearest," she said, "I did. And I liked it. Mother, things have
changed a lot in twenty years. Sometimes I think that here, in this
house, you don't realize that - " she struggled for a phrase - "that
things have changed," she ended, lamely. "The social order, and
that sort of thing. You know. Caste." She hesitated. She was
young and inarticulate, and when she saw Grace's face, somewhat
frightened. But she was not old Anthony's granddaughter for nothing.
"This idea of being a Cardew," she went on, "that's ridiculous, you
know. I'm only half Cardew, anyhow. The rest is you, dear, and
it's got being a Cardew beaten by quite a lot."

Mademoiselle was deftly opening the girl's dressing case, but she
paused now and turned. It was to Grace that she spoke, however.

"They come home like that, all of them," she said. "In France also.
But in time they see the wisdom of the old order, and return. It
is one of the fruits of war."

Grace hardly heard her.

"Lily," she asked, "you are not in love with this Cameron person,
are you?"

But Lily's easy laugh reassured her.

"No, indeed," she said. "I am not. I shall probably marry beneath
me, as you would call it, but not William Wallace Cameron. For one
thing, he wouldn't have grandfather in his family."

Some time later Mademoiselle tapped at Grace's door, and entered.
Grace was reclining on a chaise longue, towels tucked about her neck
and over her pillows, while Castle, her elderly English maid, was
applying ice in a soft cloth to her face. Grace sat up. The towel,
pinned around her hair like a coif, gave a placid, almost nun-like
appearance to her still lovely face.

"Well?" she demanded. "Go out for a minute, Castle."

Mademoiselle waited until the maid had gone.

"I have spoken to Ellen," she said, her voice cautious. "A young
man who does not care for women, a clerk in a country pharmacy.
What is that, Mrs. Cardew?"

"It would be so dreadful, Mademoiselle. Her grandfather - "

"But not handsome," insisted Mademoiselle, "and lame! Also, I know
the child. She is not in love. When that comes to her we shall
know it."

Grace lay back, relieved, but not entirely comforted.

"She is changed, isn't she, Mademoiselle?"

Mademoiselle shrugged her shoulders.

"A phase," she said. She had got the word from old Anthony, who
regarded any mental attitude that did not conform with his own as
a condition that would pass. "A phase, only. Now that she is back
among familiar things, she will become again a daughter of the house."

"Then you think this talk about marrying beneath her - "

"She 'as had liberty," said Mademoiselle, who sometimes lost an
aspirate. "It is like wine to the young. It intoxicates. But it,
too, passes. In my country.

But Grace had, for a number of years, heard a great deal of
Mademoiselle's country. She settled herself on her pillows.

"Call Castle, please," she said. "And - do warn her not to voice
those ideas of hers to her grandfather. In a country pharmacy, you
say?"

"And lame, and not fond of women," corroborated Mademoiselle. "Ca
ne pourrait pas etre mieux, n'est-ce pas?"

CHAPTER II

Shortly after the Civil War Anthony Cardew had left Pittsburgh and
spent a year in finding a location for the investment of his small
capital. That was in the very beginning of the epoch of steel.
The iron business had already laid the foundations of its future
greatness, but steel was still in its infancy.

Anthony's father had been an iron-master in a small way, with a
monthly pay-roll of a few hundred dollars, and an abiding faith in
the future of iron. But he had never dreamed of steel. But
"sixty-five" saw the first steel rail rolled in America, and Anthony
Cardew began to dream. He went to Chicago first, and from there to
Michigan, to see the first successful Bessemer converter. When he
started east again he knew what he was to make his life work.

He was very young and his capital was small. But he had an abiding
faith in the new industry. Not that he dreamed then of floating
steel battleships. But he did foresee steel in new and various uses.
Later on he was experimenting with steel cable at the very time
Roebling made it a commercial possibility, and with it the modern
suspension bridge and the elevator. He never quite forgave Roebling.
That failure of his, the difference only of a month or so, was one
of the few disappointments of his prosperous, self-centered, orderly
life. That, and Howard's marriage. And, at the height of his
prosperity, the realization that Howard's middle-class wife would
never bear a son.

The city he chose was a small city then, yet it already showed signs
of approaching greatness. On the east side, across the river, he
built his first plant, a small one, with the blast heated by passing
through cast iron pipes, with the furnaceman testing the temperature
with strips of lead and zinc, and the skip hoist a patient mule.

He had ore within easy hauling distance, and he had fuel, and he had,
as time went on, a rapidly increasing market. Labor was cheap and
plentiful, too, and being American-born, was willing and intelligent.
Perhaps Anthony Cardew's sins of later years were due to a vast
impatience that the labor of the early seventies was no longer to be
had.

The Cardew fortune began in the seventies. Up to that time there
was a struggle, but in the seventies Anthony did two things. He
went to England to see the furnaces there, and brought home a wife,
a timid, tall Englishwoman of irreproachable birth, who remained
always an alien in the crude, busy new city. And he built himself
a house, a brick house in lower East Avenue, a house rather like
his tall, quiet wife, and run on English lines. He soon became
the leading citizen. He was one of the committee to welcome the
Prince of Wales to the city, and from the very beginning he took
his place in the social life.

He found it very raw at times, crude and new. He himself lived
with dignity and elegant simplicity. He gave now and then lengthy,
ponderous dinners, making out the lists himself, and handing them
over to his timid English wife in much the manner in which he gave
the wine list and the key to the wine cellar to the butler. And, at
the head of his table, he let other men talk and listened. They
talked, those industrial pioneers, especially after the women had
gone. They saw the city the center of great business and great
railroads. They talked of its coal, its river, and the great oil
fields not far away which were then in their infancy. All of them
dreamed a dream, saw a vision. But not all of them lived to see
their dream come true.

Old Anthony lived to see it.

In the late eighties, his wife having been by that time decorously
interred in one of the first great mausoleums west of the mountains,
Anthony Cardew found himself already wealthy. He owned oil wells
and coal mines. His mines supplied his coke ovens with coal, and
his own river boats, as well as railroads in which he was a director,
carried his steel.

He labored ably and well, and not for wealth alone. He was one of
a group of big-visioned men who saw that a nation was only as great
as its industries. It was only in his later years that he loved
power for the sake of power, and when, having outlived his
generation, he had developed a rigidity of mind that made him view
the forced compromises of the new regime as pusillanimous.

He considered his son Howard's quiet strength weakness. "You have
no stamina," he would say. "You have no moral fiber. For God's
sake, make a stand, you fellows, and stick to it."

He had not mellowed with age. He viewed with endless bitterness
the passing of his own day and generation, and the rise to power of
younger men; with their "shilly-shallying," he would say. He was
an aristocrat, an autocrat, and a survival. He tied Howard's hands
in the management of the now vast mills, and then blamed him for
the results.

But he had been a great man.

He had had two children, a boy and a girl. The girl had been the
tragedy of his middle years, and Howard had been his hope.

On the heights outside the city and overlooking the river he owned
a farm, and now and then, on Sunday afternoons in the eighties, he
drove out there, with Howard sitting beside him, a rangy boy in
his teens, in the victoria which Anthony considered the proper
vehicle for Sunday afternoons. The farmhouse was in a hollow, but
always on those excursions Anthony, fastidiously dressed, picking
his way half-irritably through briars and cornfields, would go to
the edge of the cliffs and stand there, looking down. Below was
the muddy river, sluggish always, but a thing of terror in spring
freshets. And across was the east side, already a sordid place,
its steel mills belching black smoke that killed the green of the
hillsides, its furnaces dwarfed by distance and height, its rows of
unpainted wooden structures which housed the mill laborers.

Howard would go with him, but Howard dreamed no dreams. He was a
sturdy, dependable, unimaginative boy, watching the squirrels or
flinging stones over the palisades. Life for Howard was already
a thing determined. He would go to college, and then he would
come back and go into the mill offices. In time, he would take
his father's place. He meant to do it well and honestly. He had
but to follow. Anthony had broken the trail, only by that time
it was no longer a trail, but a broad and easy way.

Only once or twice did Anthony Cardew give voice to his dreams.
Once he said: "I'll build a house out here some of these days. Good
location. Growth of the city is bound to be in this direction."

What he did not say was that to be there, on that hill, overlooking
his activities, his very own, the things he had builded with such
labor, gave him a sense of power. "This below," he felt, with more
of pride than arrogance, "this is mine. I have done it. I, Anthony
Cardew."

He felt, looking down, the pride of an artist in his picture, of a
sculptor who, secure from curious eyes, draws the sheet from the
still moist clay of his modeling, and now from this angle, now from
that, studies, criticizes, and exults.

But Anthony Cardew never built his house on the cliff. Time was to
come when great houses stood there, like vast forts, overlooking,
almost menacing, the valley beneath. For, until the nineties,
although the city distended in all directions, huge, ugly, powerful,
infinitely rich, and while in the direction of Anthony's farm the
growth was real and rapid, it was the plain people who lined its
rapidly extending avenues with their two-story brick houses; little
homes of infinite tenderness and quiet, along tree-lined streets,
where the children played on the cobble-stones, and at night the
horse cars, and later the cable system, brought home tired clerks
and storekeepers to small havens, already growing dingy from the
smoke of the distant mills.

Anthony Cardew did not like the plain people. Yet in the end, it
was the plain people, those who neither labored with their hands
nor lived by the labor of others - it was the plain people who
vanquished him. Vanquished him and tried to protect him. But
could not. A smallish man, hard and wiry, he neither saved himself
nor saved others. He had one fetish, power. And one pride, his
line. The Cardews were iron masters. Howard would be an iron
master, and Howard's son.

But Howard never had a son.

CHAPTER III

All through her teens Lily had wondered about the mystery concerning
her Aunt Elinor. There was an oil portrait of her in the library,
and one of the first things she had been taught was not to speak
of it.

Now and then, at intervals of years, Aunt Elinor came back. Her
mother and father would look worried, and Aunt Elinor herself would
stay in her rooms, and seldom appeared at meals. Never at dinner.
As a child Lily used to think she had two Aunt Elinors, one the
young girl in the gilt frame, and the other the quiet, soft-voiced
person who slipped around the upper corridors like a ghost.

But she was not to speak of either of them to her grandfather.

Lily was not born in the house on lower East Avenue.

In the late eighties Anthony built himself a home, not on the farm,
but in a new residence portion of the city. The old common, grazing
ground of family cows, dump and general eye-sore, had become a park
by that time, still only a potentially beautiful thing, with the
trees that were to be its later glory only thin young shoots, and on
the streets that faced it the wealthy of the city built their homes,
brick houses of square solidity, flush with brick pavements, which
were carefully reddened on Saturday mornings. Beyond the pavements
were cobble-stoned streets. Anthony Cardew was the first man in the
city to have a rubber-tired carriage. The story of Anthony Cardew's
new home is the story of Elinor's tragedy. Nor did it stop there.
It carried on to the third generation, to Lily Cardew, and in the
end it involved the city itself. Because of the ruin of one small
home all homes were threatened. One small house, and one undying
hatred.

Yet the matter was small in itself. An Irishman named Doyle owned
the site Anthony coveted. After years of struggle his small grocery
had begun to put him on his feet, and now the new development of the
neighborhood added to his prosperity. He was a dried-up, sentimental
little man, with two loves, his wife's memory and his wife's garden,
which he still tended religiously between customers; and one
ambition, his son. With the change from common to park, and the
improvement in the neighborhood, he began to flourish, and he, too,
like Anthony, dreamed a dream. He would make his son a gentleman,
and he would get a shop assistant and a horse and wagon. Poverty
was still his lot, but there were good times coming. He saved
carefully, and sent Jim Doyle away to college.

He would not sell to Anthony. When he said he could not sell his
wife's garden, Anthony's agents reported him either mad or deeply
scheming. They kept after him, offering much more than the land was
worth. Doyle began by being pugnacious, but in the end he took to
brooding.

"He'll get me yet," he would mutter, standing among the white phlox
of his little back garden. "He'll get me. He never quits."

Anthony Cardew waited a year. Then he had the frame building
condemned as unsafe, and Doyle gave in. Anthony built his house.
He put a brick stable where the garden had been, and the night
watchman for the property complained that a little man, with wild
eyes, often spent half the night standing across the street, quite
still, staring over. If Anthony gave Doyle a thought, it was that
progress and growth had their inevitable victims. But on the first
night of Anthony's occupancy of his new house Doyle shot himself
beside the stable, where a few stalks of white phlox had survived
the building operations.

It never reached the newspapers, nor did a stable-boy's story of
hearing the dying man curse Anthony and all his works. But
nevertheless the story of the Doyle curse on Anthony Cardew spread.
Anthony heard it, and forgot it. But two days later he was dragged
from his carriage by young Jim Doyle, returned for the older Doyle's
funeral, and beaten insensible with the stick of his own carriage
whip.

Young Doyle did not run away. He stood by, a defiant figure full
of hatred, watching Anthony on the cobbles, as though he wanted to
see him revive and suffer.

"I didn't do it to revenge my father," he said at the trial. "He
was nothing to me - I did it to show old Cardew that he couldn't
get away with it. I'd do it again, too."

Any sentiment in his favor died at that, and he was given five years
in the penitentiary. He was a demoralizing influence there, already
a socialist with anarchical tendencies, and with the gift of
influencing men. A fluent, sneering youth, who lashed the guards to
fury with his unctuous, diabolical tongue.

The penitentiary had not been moved then. It stood in the park, a
grim gray thing of stone. Elinor Cardew, a lonely girl always, used
to stand in a window of the new house and watch the walls. Inside
there were men who were shut away from all that greenery around them.
Men who could look up at the sky, or down at the ground, but never
out and across, as she could.

She was always hoping some of them would get away. She hated the
sentries, rifle on shoulder, who walked their monotonous beats, back
and forward, along the top of the wall.

Anthony's house was square and substantial, with high ceilings. It
was paneled with walnut and furnished in walnut, in those days. Its
tables and bureaus were of walnut, with cold white marble tops. And
in the parlor was a square walnut piano, which Elinor hated because
she had to sit there three hours each day, slipping on the top of
the horsehair-covered stool, to practice. In cold weather her German
governess sat in the frigid room, with a shawl and mittens, waiting
until the onyx clock on the mantel-piece showed that the three hours
were over.

Elinor had never heard the story of old Michael Doyle, or of his
son Jim. But one night - she was seventeen then, and Jim Doyle had
served three years of his sentence - sitting at dinner with her
father, she said:

"Some convicts escaped from the penitentiary today, father."

"Don't believe it," said Anthony Cardew. "Nothing about it in the
newspapers."

"Fraulein saw the hole."

Elinor had had an Alsatian governess. That was one reason why
Elinor's niece had a French one.

"Hole? What do you mean by hole?"

Elinor shrank back a little. She had not minded dining with her
father when Howard was at home, but Howard was at college. Howard
had a way of good-naturedly ignoring his father's asperities, but
Elinor was a suppressed, shy little thing, romantic, aloof, and
filled with undesired affections. "She said a hole," she affirmed,
diffidently. "She says they dug a tunnel and got out. Last night."

"Very probably," said Anthony Cardew. And he repeated, thoughtfully,
"Very probably."

He did not hear Elinor when she quietly pushed back her chair and
said "good-night." He was sitting at the table, tapping on the
cloth with finger-tips that were slightly cold. That evening
Anthony Cardew had a visit from the police, and considerable fiery
talk took place in his library. As a result there was a shake-up
in city politics, and a change in the penitentiary management, for
Anthony Cardew had a heavy hand and a bitter memory. And a little
cloud on his horizon grew and finally settled down over his life,
turning it gray. Jim Doyle was among those who had escaped. For
three months Anthony was followed wherever he went by detectives,
and his house was watched at night. But he was a brave man, and
the espionage grew hateful. Besides, each day added to his sense
of security. There came a time when he impatiently dismissed the
police, and took up life again as before.

Then one day he received a note, in a plain white envelope. It
said: "There are worse things than death." And it was signed:
"J. Doyle."

Doyle was not recaptured. Anthony had iron gratings put on the
lower windows of his house after that, and he hired a special
watchman. But nothing happened, and at last he began to forget.
He was building the new furnaces up the river by that time. The
era of structural steel for tall buildings was beginning, and he
bought the rights of a process for making cement out of his furnace
slag. He was achieving great wealth, although he did not change
his scale of living.

Now and then Fraulein braved the terrors of the library, small
neatly-written lists in her hands. Miss Elinor needed this or that.
He would check up the lists, sign his name to them, and Elinor and
Fraulein would have a shopping excursion. He never gave Elinor
money.

On one of the lists one day he found the word, added in Elinor's
hand: "Horse."

"Horse?" he said, scowling up at Fraulein. "There are six horses
in the stable now."

"Miss Elinor thought - a riding horse - "

"Nonsense!" Then he thought a moment. There came back to him a
picture of those English gentlewomen from among whom he had
selected his wife, quiet-voiced, hard-riding, high-colored girls,
who could hunt all day and dance all night. Elinor was a pale
little thing. Besides, every gentlewoman should ride.

"She can't ride around here."

"Miss Elinor thought - there are bridle paths near the riding
academy."

It was odd, but at that moment Anthony Cardew had an odd sort of
vision. He saw the little grocer lying stark and huddled among
the phlox by the stable, and the group of men that stooped over him.

"I'll think about it," was his answer.

But within a few days Elinor was the owner of a quiet mare, stabled
at the academy, and was riding each day in the tan bark ring between
its white-washed fences, while a mechanical piano gave an air of
festivity to what was otherwise rather a solemn business.

Within a week of that time the riding academy had a new instructor,
a tall, thin young man, looking older than he was, with heavy dark
hair and a manner of repressed insolence. A man, the grooms said
among themselves, of furious temper and cold eyes.

And in less than four months Elinor Cardew ran away from home and
was married to Jim Doyle. Anthony received two letters from a
distant city, a long, ecstatic but terrified one from his daughter,
and one line on a slip of paper from her husband. The one line
read: "I always pay my debts."

Anthony made a new will, leaving Howard everything, and had Elinor's
rooms closed. Frau1ein went away, weeping bitterly, and time went
on. Now and then Anthony heard indirectly from Doyle. He taught
in a boys' school for a time, and was dismissed for his radical views.
He did brilliant editorial work on a Chicago newspaper, but now and
then he intruded his slant-eyed personal views, and in the end he
lost his position. Then he joined the Socialist party, and was
making speeches containing radical statements that made the police
of various cities watchful. But he managed to keep within the
letter of the law.

Howard Cardew married when Elinor had been gone less than a year.
Married the daughter of a small hotel-keeper in his college town, a
pretty, soft-voiced girl, intelligent and gentle, and because
Howard was all old Anthony had left, he took her into his home.
But for many years he did not forgive her. He had one hope, that
she would give Howard a son to carry on the line. Perhaps the
happiest months of Grace Cardew's married life were those before
Lily was born, when her delicate health was safeguarded in every
way by her grim father-in-law. But Grace bore a girl child, and
very nearly died in the bearing. Anthony Cardew would never have
a grandson.

He was deeply resentful. The proud fabric of his own weaving would
descend in the fullness of time to a woman. And Howard himself
- old Anthony was pitilessly hard in his judgments - Howard was not
a strong man. A good man. A good son, better than he deserved.
But amiable, kindly, without force.

Once the cloud had lifted, and only once. Elinor had come home to
have a child. She came at night, a shabby, worn young woman, with
great eyes in a chalk-white face, and Grayson had not recognized
her at first. He got her some port from the dining-room before he
let her go into the library, and stood outside the door, his usually
impassive face working, during the interview which followed.
Probably that was Grayson's big hour, for if Anthony turned her out
he intended to go in himself, and fight for the woman he had petted
as a child.

But Anthony had not turned her out. He took one comprehensive
glance at her thin face and distorted figure. Then he said:

"So this is the way you come back."

"He drove me out," she said dully. "He sent me here. He knew I
had no place else to go. He knew you wouldn't want me. It's
revenge, I suppose. I'm so tired, father."

Yes, it was revenge, surely. To send back to him this soiled and
broken woman, bearing the mark he had put upon her - that was
deviltry, thought out and shrewdly executed. During the next hour
Anthony Cardew suffered, and made Elinor suffer, too. But at the
end of that time he found himself confronting a curious situation.
Elinor, ashamed, humbled, was not contrite. It began to dawn on
Anthony that Jim Doyle's revenge was not finished. For - Elinor
loved the man.

She both hated him and loved him. And that leering Irish devil
knew it.

He sent for Grace, finally, and Elinor was established in the house.
Grace and little Lily's governess had themselves bathed her and put
her to bed, and Mademoiselle had smuggled out of the house the
garments Elinor had worn into it. Grace had gone in the motor - one
of the first in the city - and had sent back all sorts of lovely
garments for Elinor to wear, and quantities of fine materials to be
made into tiny garments. Grace was a practical woman, and she
disliked the brooding look in Elinor's eyes.

"Do you know," she said to Howard that night, "I believe she is
quite mad about him still."

"He ought to be drawn and quartered," said Howard, savagely.

Anthony Cardew gave Elinor sanctuary, but he refused to see her
again. Except once.

"Then, if it is a boy, you want me to leave him with you?" she asked,
bending over her sewing.

"Leave him with me! Do you mean that you intend to go back to that
blackguard?"

"He is my husband. He isn't always cruel."

"Good God!" shouted Anthony. "How did I ever happen to have such
a craven creature for a daughter?"

"Anyhow," said Elinor, "it will be his child, father."

"When he turned you out, like any drab of the streets!" bellowed
old Anthony. "He never cared for you. He married you to revenge
himself on me. He sent you back here for the same reason. He'll
take your child, and break its spirit and ruin its body, for the
same reason. The man's a maniac.

But again, as on the night she came, he found himself helpless
against Elinor's quiet impassivity. He knew that, let Jim Doyle so
much as raise a beckoning finger, and she would go to him. He did
not realize that Elinor had inherited from her quiet mother the
dog-like quality of love in spite of cruelty. To Howard he stormed.
He considered Elinor's infatuation indecent. She was not a Cardew.
The Cardew women had some pride. And Howard, his handsome figure
draped negligently against the library mantel, would puzzle over
it, too.

"I'm blessed if I understand it," he would say.

Elinor's child had been a boy, and old Anthony found some balm in
Gilead. Jim Doyle had not raised a finger to beckon, and if he knew
of his son, he made no sign. Anthony still ignored Elinor, but he
saw in her child the third generation of Cardews. Lily he had never
counted. He took steps to give the child the Cardew name, and the
fact was announced in the newspapers. Then one day Elinor went out,
and did not come back. It was something Anthony Cardew had not
counted on, that a woman could love a man more than her child.

"I simply had to do it, father," she wrote. "You won't understand,
of course. I love him, father. Terribly. And he loves me in his
way, even when he is unfaithful to me. I know he has been that.
Perhaps if you had wanted me at home it would have been different.
But it kills me to leave the baby. The only reason I can bring
myself to do it is that, the way things are, I cannot give him the
things he ought to have. And Jim does not seem to want him. He
has never seen him, for one thing. Besides - I am being honest -
I don't think the atmosphere of the way we live would be good for
a boy."

There was a letter to Grace, too, a wild hysterical document,
filled with instructions for the baby's care. A wet nurse, for one
thing. Grace read it with tears in her eyes, but Anthony saw in it
only the ravings of a weak and unbalanced woman.

He never forgave Elinor, and once more the little grocer's curse
thwarted his ambitions. For, deprived of its mother's milk, the
baby died. Old Anthony sometimes wondered if that, too, had been
calculated, a part of the Doyle revenge.

CHAPTER IV

While Grace rested that afternoon of Lily's return, Lily ranged over
the house. In twenty odd years the neighborhood had changed, and
only a handful of the old families remained. Many of the other
large houses were prostituted to base uses. Dingy curtains hung at
their windows, dingy because of the smoke from the great furnaces
and railroads. The old Osgood residence, nearby, had been turned
into apartments, with bottles of milk and paper bags on its
fire-escapes, and a pharmacy on the street floor. The Methodist
Church, following its congregation to the vicinity of old Anthony's
farm, which was now cut up into city lots, had abandoned the
building, and it had become a garage. The penitentiary had been
moved outside the city limits, and near its old site was a small
cement-lined lake, the cheerful rendezvous in summer of bathing
children and thirsty dogs.

Lily was idle, for the first time in months. She wandered about,
even penetrating to those upper rooms sacred to her grandfather, to
which he had retired on Howard's marriage. How strangely
commonplace they were now, in the full light of day, and yet, when
he was in them, the doors closed and only Burton, his valet, in
attendance, how mysterious they became!

Increasingly, in later years, Lily had felt and resented the
domination of the old man. She resented her father's acquiescence
in that domination, her mother's good-humored tolerance of it. She
herself had accepted it, although unwillingly, but she knew, rather
vaguely, that the Lily Cardew who had gone away to the camp and the
Lily Cardew who stood that day before her grandfather's throne-like
chair under its lamp, were two entirely different people.

She was uneasy rather than defiant. She meant to keep the peace.
She had been brought up to the theory that no price was too great
to pay for peace. But she wondered, as she stood there, if that
were entirely true. She remembered something Willy Cameron had
said about that very thing.

"What's wrong with your grandfather," he had said, truculently, and
waving his pipe, "is that everybody gets down and lets him walk on
them. If everybody lets a man use them as doormats, you can't blame
him for wiping his feet on them. Tell him that sometime, and see
what happens."

"Tell him yourself!" said Lily.

He had smiled cheerfully. He had an engaging sort of smile.

"Maybe I will," he said. "I am a rising young man, and my voice
may some day be heard in the land. Sometimes I feel the elements
of greatness in me, sweet child. You haven't happened to notice
it yourself, have you?"

He had gazed at her with solemn anxiety through the smoke of his
pipe, and had grinned when she remained silent.

Lily drew a long breath. All that delightful fooling was over; the
hard work was over. The nights were gone when they would wander
like children across the parade grounds, or past the bayonet school,
with its rows of tripods upholding imitation enemies made of sacks
stuffed with hay, and showing signs of mortal injury with their
greasy entrails protruding. Gone, too, were the hours when Willy
sank into the lowest abyss of depression over his failure to be a
fighting man.

"But you are doing your best for your country," she would say.

"I'm not fighting for it, or getting smashed up for it. I don't
want to be a hero, but I'd like to have had one good bang at them
before I quit."

Once she had found him in the hut, with his head on a table. He
said he had a toothache.

Well, that was all over. She was back in her grandfather's house,
and -

"He'll get me too, probably," she reflected, as she went down the
stairs, "just as he's got all the others."

Mademoiselle was in Lily's small sitting room, while Castle was
unpacking under her supervision. The sight of her uniforms made
Lily suddenly restless.

"How you could wear these things!" cried Mademoiselle. "You, who
have always dressed like a princess!"

"I liked them," said Lily, briefly. "Mademoiselle, what am
I going to do with myself, now?"

"Do?" Mademoiselle smiled. "Play, as you deserve, Cherie. Dance,
and meet nice young men. You are to make your debut this fall.
Then a very charming young man, and marriage."

"Oh!" said Lily, rather blankly. "I've got to come out, have I?
I'd forgotten people did such things. Please run along and do
something else, Castle. I'll unpack."

"That is very bad for discipline," Mademoiselle objected when the
maid had gone. "And it is not necessary for Mr. Anthony Cardew's
granddaughter."

"It's awfully necessary for her," Lily observed, cheerfully. "I've
been buttoning my own shoes for some time, and I haven't developed
a spinal curvature yet." She kissed Mademoiselle's perplexed face
lightly. "Don't get to worrying about me," she added. "I'll shake
down in time, and be just as useless as ever. But I wish you'd
lend me your sewing basket."

"Why?" asked Mademoiselle, suspiciously.

"Because I am possessed with a mad desire to sew on some buttons."

A little later Lily looked up from her rather awkward but industrious
labors with a needle, and fixed her keen young eyes on Mademoiselle.

"Is there any news about Aunt Elinor?" she asked.

"She is with him," said Mademoiselle, shortly. "They are here now,
in the city. How he dared to come back!"

"Does mother see her?"

"No. Certainly not."

"Why 'certainly' not? He is Aunt Elinor's husband. She isn't
doing anything wicked."

"A woman who would leave a home like this," said Mademoiselle, "and
a distinguished family. Position. Wealth. For a brute who beats
her. And desert her child also!"

"Does he really beat her? I don't quite believe that, Mademoiselle."

"It is not a subject for a young girl."

"Because really," Lily went on, "there is something awfully big
about a woman who will stick to one man like that. I am quite sure
I would bite a man who struck me, but - suppose I loved him terribly
- " her voice trailed off. "You see, dear, I have seen a lot of
brutality lately. An army camp isn't a Sunday school picnic. And
I like strong men, even if they are brutal sometimes."

Mademoiselle carefully cut a thread.

"This - you were speaking to Ellen of a young man. Is he a - what
you term brutal?"

Suddenly Lily laughed.

"You poor dear!" she said. "And mother, too, of course! You're
afraid I'm in love with Willy Cameron. Don't you know that if I
were, I'd probably never even mention his name?"

"But is he brutal?" persisted Mademoiselle.

"I'll tell you about him. He is a thin, blond young man, tall and
a bit lame. He has curly hair, and he puts pomade on it to take the
curl out. He is frightfully sensitive about not getting in the army,
and he is perfectly sweet and kind, and as brutal as a June breeze.
You'd better tell mother. And you can tell her he isn't in love
with me, or I with him. You see, I represent what he would call
the monied aristocracy of America, and he has the most fearful ideas
about us."

"An anarchist, then?" asked. Mademoiselle, extremely comforted.

"Not at all. He says he belongs to the plain people. The people
in between. He is rather oratorical about them. He calls them the
backbone of the country."

Mademoiselle relaxed. She had been too long in old Anthony's house
to consider very seriously the plain people. Her world, like
Anthony Cardew's, consisted of the financial aristocracy, which
invested money in industries and drew out rich returns, while
providing employment for the many; and of the employees of the
magnates, who had recently shown strong tendencies toward upsetting
the peace of the land, and had given old Anthony one or two attacks
of irritability when it was better to go up a rear staircase if he
were coming down the main one.

"Wait a moment," said Lily, suddenly. "I have a picture of him
somewhere."

She disappeared, and Mademoiselle heard her rummaging through the
drawers of her dressing table. She came back with a small
photograph in her hand.

It showed a young man, in a large apron over a Red Cross uniform,
bending over a low field range with a long-handled fork in his hand.

"Frying doughnuts," Lily explained. "I was in this hut at first,
and I mixed them and cut them, and he fried them. We made thousands
of them. We used to talk about opening a shop somewhere, Cardew and
Cameron. He said my name would be fine for business. He'd fry them
in the window, and I'd sell them. And a coffee machine - coffee and
doughnuts, you know."

"Not - seriously?"

At the expression on Mademoiselle's face Lily laughed joyously.

"Why not?" she demanded. "And you could be the cashier, like the
ones in France, and sit behind a high desk and count money all day.
I'd rather do that than come out," she added.

"You are going to be a good girl, Lily, aren't you?"

"If that means letting grandfather use me for a doormat, I don't
know."

"Lily!"

"He's old, and I intend to be careful. But he doesn't own me, body
and soul. And it may be hard to make him understand that."

Many times in the next few months Mademoiselle was to remember that
conversation, and turn it aver in her shrewd, troubled mind. Was
there anything she could have done, outside of warning old Anthony
himself? Suppose she had gone to Mr. Howard Cardew?

"And how," said Mademoiselle, trying to smile, "do you propose to
assert this new independence of spirit?"

"I am going to see Aunt Elinor," observed Lily. "There, that's
eleven buttons on, and I feel I've earned my dinner. And I'm going
to ask Willy Cameron to come here to see me. To dinner. And as he
is sure not to have any evening clothes, for one night in their
lives the Cardew men are going to dine in mufti. Which is military,
you dear old thing, for the everyday clothing that the plain people
eat in, without apparent suffering!"

Mademoiselle got up. She felt that Grace should be warned at once.
And there was a look in Lily's face when she mentioned this Cameron
creature that made Mademoiselle nervous.

"I thought he lived in the country."

"Then prepare yourself for a blow," said Lily Cardew, cheerfully.
"He is here in the city, earning twenty-five dollars a week in the
Eagle Pharmacy, and serving the plain people perfectly preposterous
patent potions - which is his own alliteration, and pretty good,
I say."

Mademoiselle went out into the hall. Over the house, always silent,
there had come a death-like hush. In the lower hall the footman was
hanging up his master's hat and overcoat. Anthony Cardew had come
home for dinner.

CHAPTER V

Mr. William Wallace Cameron, that evening of Lily's return, took a
walk. From his boarding house near the Eagle Pharmacy to the Cardew
residence was a half-hour's walk. There were a number of things he
had meant to do that evening, with a view to improving his mind, but
instead he took a walk. He had made up a schedule for those
evenings when he was off duty, thinking it out very carefully on the
train to the city. And the schedule ran something like this:

Monday: 8-11. Read History.
Wednesday: 8-11. Read Politics and Economics.
Friday: 8-9:30. Travel. 9:30-11. French.
Sunday: Hear various prominent divines.

He had cut down on the travel rather severely, because travel was
with him an indulgence rather than a study. The longest journey he
had ever taken in his life was to Washington. That was early in
the war, when it did not seem possible that his country would not
use him, a boy who could tramp incredible miles in spite of his
lameness and who could shoot a frightened rabbit at almost any
distance, by allowing for a slight deflection to the right in the
barrel of his old rifle.

But they had refused him.

"They won't use me, mother," he had said when he got home, home
being a small neat house on a tidy street of a little country town.
"I tried every branch, but the only training I've had - well, some
smart kid said they weren't planning to serve soda water to the
army. They didn't want cripples, you see."

"I wish you wouldn't, Willy."

He had been frightfully sorry then and had comforted her at some
length, but the fact remained.

"And you the very best they've ever had for mixing prescriptions!"
she had said at last. "And a graduate in chemistry!"

"Well," he said, "that's that, and we won't worry about it. There's
more than one way of killing a cat."

"What do you mean, Willy? More than one way?"

There was no light of prophecy in William Wallace Cameron's gray
eyes, however, when he replied: "More than one way of serving my
country. Don't you worry. I'll find something."

So he had, and he had come out of his Red Cross work in the camp
with one or two things in his heart that had not been there before.
One was a knowledge of men. He could not have put into words what
he felt about men. It was something about the fundamental
simplicity of them, for one thing. You got pretty close to them at
night sometimes, especially when the homesick ones had gone to bed,
and the phonograph was playing in a corner of the long, dim room.
There were some shame-faced tears hidden under army blankets those
nights, and Willy Cameron did some blinking on his own account.

Then, under all the blasphemy, the talk about women, the surface
sordidness of their daily lives and thoughts, there was one instinct
common to all, one love, one hidden purity. And the keyword to
those depths was "home."

"Home," he said one day to Lily Cardew. "Mostly it's the home
they've left, and maybe they didn't think so much of it then. But
they do now. And if it isn't that, it's the home they want to have
some day." He looked at Lily. Sometimes she smiled at things he
said, and if she had not been grave he would not have gone on.
"You know," he continued, "there's mostly a girl some place. All
this talk about the nation, now - " He settled himself on the edge
of the pine table where old Anthony Cardew's granddaughter had
been figuring up her week's accounts, and lighted his pipe, "the
nation's too big for us to understand. But what is the nation,
but a bunch of homes?"

"Willy dear," said Lily Cardew, "did you take any money out of the
cigar box for anything this week?"

"Dollar sixty-five for lard," replied Willy dear. "As I was saying,
we've got to think of this country in terms of homes. Not palaces
like yours - "

"Good gracious!" said Lily, "I don't live in a palace. Get my
pocket-book, will you? I'm out three dollars somehow, and I'd rather
make it up myself than add these figures over again. Go on and talk,
Willy. I love hearing you."

"Not palaces like yours," repeated Mr. Cameron, "and not hovels.
But mostly self-respecting houses, the homes of the plain people.
The middle class, Miss Cardew. My class. The people who never say
anything, but are squeezed between capital, represented by your
grandfather, with its parasites, represented by you, and - "

"You represent the people who never say anything," observed the
slightly flushed parasite of capital, "about as adequately as I
represent the idle rich."

Yet not even old Anthony could have resented the actual relationship
between them. Lily Cardew, working alone in her hut among hundreds
of men, was as without sex consciousness as a child. Even then her
flaming interest was in the private soldiers. The officers were
able to amuse themselves; they had money and opportunity. It was
the doughboys she loved and mothered. For them she organized her
little entertainments. For them she played and sang in the evenings,
when the field range in the kitchen was cold, and her blistered
fingers stumbled sometimes over the keys of the jingling camp piano.

Gradually, out of the chaos of her early impressions, she began to
divide the men in the army into three parts. There were the
American born; they took the war and their part in it as a job to
be done, with as few words as possible. And there were the
foreigners to whom America was a religion, a dream come true, whose
flaming love for their new mother inspired them to stuttering
eloquence and awkward gestures. And then there was a third division,
small and mostly foreign born, but with a certain percentage of
native malcontents, who hated the war and sneered among themselves
at the other dupes who believed that it was a war for freedom. It
was a capitalists' war. They considered the state as an instrument
of oppression, as a bungling interference with liberty and labor;
they felt that wealth inevitably brought depravity. They committed
both open and overt acts against discipline, and found in their
arrest and imprisonment renewed grievances, additional oppression,
tyranny. And one day a handful of them, having learned Lily's
identity, came into her hut and attempted to bait her.

"Gentlemen," said one of them, "we have here an example of one of
the idle rich, sacrificing herself to make us happy. Now, boys, be
happy. Are we all happy?" He surveyed the group. "Here, you,"
he addressed a sullen-eyed squat Hungarian. "Smile when I tell you.
You're a slave in one of old Cardew's mills, aren't you? Well,
aren't you grateful to him? Here he goes and sends his
granddaughter - "

Willy Cameron had entered the room with a platter of doughnuts in
his hand, and stood watching, his face going pale. Quite suddenly
there was a crash, and the gang leader went down in a welter of
porcelain and fried pastry. Willy Cameron was badly beaten up, in
the end, and the beaters were court-martialed. But something of
Lily's fine faith in humanity was gone.

"But," she said to him, visiting him one day in the base hospital,
where he was still an aching, mass of bruises, "there must be
something behind it. They didn't hate me. They only hated my -
well, my family."

"My dear child," said Willy Cameron, feeling very old and
experienced, and, it must be confessed, extremely happy, "of course
there's something behind it. But the most that's behind it is a lot
of fellows who want without working what the other fellow's worked
to get."

It was about that time that Lily was exchanged into the town near
the camp, and Willy Cameron suddenly found life a stale thing, and
ashes in the mouth. He finally decided that he had not been such a
hopeless fool as to fall in love with her, but that it would be as
well not to see her too much.

"The thing to do," he reasoned to himself, "is, first of all, not
to see her. Or only on Friday nights, because she likes the movies,
and it would look queer to stop." Thus Willy Cameron speciously to
himself, and deliberately ignoring the fact that some twenty-odd
officers stood ready to seize those Friday nights. "And then to
work hard, so I'll sleep better, and not lie awake making a fool of
myself. And when I get a bit of idiocy in the daytime, I'd better
just walk it off. Because I've got to live with myself a long time,
probably, and I'm no love-sick Romeo."

Which excellent practical advice had cost him considerable
shoe-leather at first. In a month or two, however, he considered
himself quite cured, and pretended to himself that he was surprised
to find it Friday again. But when, after retreat, the band marched
back again to its quarters playing, for instance, "There's a Long,
Long Trail," there was something inside him that insisted on seeing
the years ahead as a long, long trail, and that the trail did not
lead to the lands of his dreams.

He got to know that very well indeed during the winter that followed
the armistice. Because there was work to do he stayed and finished
up, as did Lily Cardew. But the hut was closed and she was working
in the town, and although they kept up their Friday evenings, the
old intimacy was gone. And one night she said:

"Isn't it amazing, when you are busy, how soon Friday night comes
along?"

And on each day of the preceding week he had wakened and said to
himself: "This is Monday - " - or whatever it might be - "and in
four more days it will be Friday."

In February he was sent home. Lily stayed on until the end of March.
He went back to his little village of plain people, and took up life
again as best he could. But sometimes it seemed to him that from
behind every fire-lit window in the evenings - he was still wearing
out shoe-leather, particularly at nights - somebody with a mandolin
was wailing about the long, long trail.

His mother watched him anxiously. He was thinner than ever, and
oddly older, and there was a hollow look about his eyes that hurt
her.

"Why don't you bring home a bottle of tonic from the store, Willy,"
she said, one evening when he had been feverishly running through
the city newspaper. He put the paper aside hastily.

"Tonic!" he said. "Why, I'm all right, mother. Anyhow, I wouldn't
take any of that stuff." He caught her eye and looked away. "It
takes a little time to get settled again, that's all, mother."

"The Young People's Society is having an entertainment at the church
to-night, Willy."

"Well, maybe I'll go," he agreed to her unspoken suggestion. "If
you insist on making me a society man - "

But some time later he came downstairs with a book.

"Thought I'd rather read," he explained. "Got a book here on the
history of steel. Talk about romances! Let me read some of it to
you. You sit there and close your eyes and just listen to this:
'The first Cardew furnace was built in 1868. At that time - '"

Some time later he glanced up. His mother was quietly sleeping, her
hands folded in her lap. He closed the book and sat there, fighting
again his patient battle with himself. The book on his knee seemed
to symbolize the gulf between Lily Cardew and himself. But the real
gulf, the unbridgeable chasm, between Lily and himself, was neither
social nor financial.

"As if that counted, in America," he reflected scornfully.

No. It was not that. The war had temporarily broken down the old
social barriers. Some of them would never be erected again,
although it was the tendency of civilization for men to divide
themselves, rather than to be divided, into the high, the middle
and the low. But in his generation young Cameron knew that there
would be no uncrossable bridge between old Anthony's granddaughter
and himself, were it not for one thing.

She did not love him. It hurt his pride to realize that she had
never thought of him in any terms but that of a pleasant comradeship.
Hardly even as a man. Men fought, in war time. They did not fry
doughnuts and write letters home for the illiterate. Any one of
those boys in the ranks was a better man than he was. All this
talk about a man's soul being greater than his body, that was rot.
A man was as good as the weakest part of him, and no more.

His sensitive face in the lamplight was etched with lines of tragedy.
He put the book on the table, and suddenly flinging his arms across
it, dropped his head on them. The slight movement wakened his
mother.

"Why, Willy!" she said.

After a moment he looked up. "I was almost asleep," he explained,
more to protect her than himself. "I - I wish that fool Nelson kid
would break his mandolin - or his neck," he said irritably. He
kissed her and went upstairs. From across the quiet street there
came thin, plaintive, occasionally inaccurate, the strains of the
long, long trail.

There was the blood of Covenanters in Willy Cameron's mother, a high
courage of sacrifice, and an exceedingly shrewd brain. She lay
awake that night, carefully planning, and when everything was
arranged in orderly fashion in her mind, she lighted her lamp and
carried it to the door of Willy's room. He lay diagonally across
his golden-oak bed, for he was very long, and sleep had rubbed away
the tragic lines about his mouth. She closed his door and went
back to her bed.

"I've seen too much of it," she reflected, without bitterness. She
stared around the room. "Too much of it," she repeated. And
crawled heavily back into bed, a determined little figure, rather
chilled.

The next morning she expressed a desire to spend a few months with
her brother in California.

"I coughed all last winter, after I had the flu," she explained,
"and James has been wanting me this long time. I don't want to
leave you, that's all, Willy. If you were in the city it would be
different."

He was frankly bewildered and a little hurt, to tell the truth. He
no more suspected her of design than of crime.

"Of course you are going," he said, heartily. "It's the very thing.
But I like the way you desert your little son!"

"I've been thinking about that, too," she said, pouring his coffee.
"I - if you were in the city, now, there would always be something
to do."

He shot her a suspicious glance, but her face was without evidence
of guile.

"What would I do in the city?"

"They use chemists in the mills, don't they?"

"A fat chance I'd have for that sort of job," he scoffed. "No city
for me, mother."

But she knew. She read his hesitation accurately, the incredulous
pause of the bird whose cage door is suddenly opened. He would go.

"I'd think about it, anyhow, Willy."

But for a long time after he had gone she sat quietly rocking in her
rocking chair in the bay window of the sitting room. It was a
familiar attitude of hers, homely, middle-class, and in a way
symbolic. Had old Anthony Cardew ever visualized so imaginative a
thing as a Nemesis, he would probably have summoned a vision of a
huddled figure in his stable-yard, dying, and cursing him as he
died. Had Jim Doyle, cunningly plotting the overthrow of law and
order, been able in his arrogance to conceive of such a thing, it
might have been Anthony Cardew he saw. Neither of them, for a
moment, dreamed of it as an elderly Scotch Covenanter, a plain little
womanly figure, rocking in a cane-seated rocking chair, and making
the great sacrifice of her life.

All of which simply explains how, on a March Wednesday evening of
the great year of peace after much tribulation, Mr. William Wallace
Cameron, now a clerk at the Eagle Pharmacy, after an hour of
Politics, and no Economics at all, happened to be taking a walk
toward the Cardew house. Such pilgrimages has love taken for many
years, small uncertain ramblings where the fancy leads the feet and
far outstrips them, and where heart-hunger hides under various flimsy
pretexts; a fine night, a paper to be bought, a dog to be exercised.

Not that Willy Cameron made any excuses to himself. He had a sort
of idea that if he saw the magnificence that housed her, it would
through her sheer remoteness kill the misery in him. But he
regarded himself with a sort of humorous pity, and having picked up
a stray dog, he addressed it now and then.

"Even a cat can look at a king," he said once. And again, following
some vague train of thought, on a crowded street: "The People's
voice is a queer thing. 'It is, and it is not, the voice of God.'
The people's voice, old man. Only the ones that count haven't got
a voice."

There were, he felt, two Lily Cardews. One lived in an army camp,
and wore plain clothes, and got a bath by means of calculation and
persistency, and went to the movies on Friday nights, and was quite
apt to eat peanuts at those times, carefully putting the shells in
her pocket.

And another one lived inside this great pile of brick, - he was
standing across from it, by the park railing, by that time - where
motor cars drew up, and a footman with an umbrella against a light
rain ushered to their limousines draped women and men in evening
clothes, their strong blacks and whites revealed in the light of
the street door. And this Lily Cardew lived in state, bowed to by
flunkeys in livery, dressed and undressed - his Scotch sense of
decorum resented this - by serving women. This Lily Cardew would
wear frivolous ball-gowns, such things as he saw in the shop
windows, considered money only as a thing of exchange, and had
traveled all over Europe a number of times.

He took his station against the park railings and reflected that it
was a good thing he had come, after all. Because it was the first
Lily whom he loved, and she was gone, with the camp and the rest,
including war. What had he in common with those lighted windows,
with their heavy laces and draperies?

"Nothing at all, old man," he said cheerfully to the dog, "nothing
at all."

But although the ache was gone when he turned homeward, the dog
still at his heels, he felt strangely lonely without it. He
considered that very definitely he had put love out of his life.
Hereafter he would travel the trail alone. Or accompanied only by
History, Politics, Economics, and various divines on Sunday evenings.

CHAPTER VI

"Well, grandfather," said Lily Cardew, "the last of the Cardews is
home from the wars."

"So I presume," observed old Anthony. "Owing, however, to your
mother's determination to shroud this room in impenetrable gloom,
I can only presume. I cannot see you."

His tone was less unpleasant than his words, however. He was in one
of the rare moods of what passed with him for geniality. For one
thing, he had won at the club that afternoon, where every day from
four to six he played bridge with his own little group, reactionaries
like himself, men who viewed the difficulties of the younger
employers of labor with amused contempt. For another, he and Howard
had had a difference of opinion, and he had, for a wonder, made
Howard angry.

"Well, Lily," he inquired, "how does it seem to be at home?"

Lily eyed him almost warily. He was sometimes most dangerous in
these moods.

"I'm not sure, grandfather."

"Not sure about what?"

"Well, I am glad to see everybody, of course. But what am I to do
with myself?"

"Tut." He had an air of benignantly forgiving her. "You'll find
plenty. What did you do before you went away?"

"That was different, grandfather."

"I'm blessed," said old Anthony, truculently, "if I understand what
has come over this country, anyhow. What is different? We've had
a war. We've had other wars, and we didn't think it necessary to
change the Constitution after them. But everything that was right
before this war is wrong after it. Lot of young idiots coming back
and refusing to settle down. Set of young Bolshevists!"

He had always managed to arouse a controversial spirit in the girl.

"Maybe, if it isn't right now, it wasn't right before." Having
said it, Lily immediately believed it. She felt suddenly fired with
an intense dislike of anything that her grandfather advocated.

"Meaning what?" He fixed her with cold but attentive eyes.

"Oh - conditions," she said vaguely. She was not at all sure what
she meant. And old Anthony realized it, and gave a sardonic chuckle.

"I advise you to get a few arguments from your father, Lily. He is
full of them. If he had his way I'd have a board of my workmen
running my mills, while I played golf in Florida."

Dinner was a relatively pleasant meal. In her gradual rehabilitation
of the house Grace had finally succeeded in doing over the dining
room. Over the old walnut paneling she had hung loose folds of faded
blue Italian velvet, with old silver candle sconces at irregular
intervals along the walls. The great table and high-backed chairs
were likewise Italian, and the old-fashioned white marble fireplace
had been given an over-mantel, also white, enclosing an old tapestry.
For warmth of color there were always flowers, and that night there
were red roses.

Lily liked the luxury of it. She liked the immaculate dinner dress
of the two men; she liked her mother's beautiful neck and arms; she
liked the quiet service once more; she even liked herself, moderately,
in a light frock and slippers. But she watched it all with a new
interest and a certain detachment. She felt strange and aloof, not
entirely one of them. She felt very keenly that no one of them was
vitally interested in this wonder-year of hers. They asked her
perfunctory questions, but Grace's watchful eyes were on the service,
Anthony was engrossed with his food, and her father -

Her father was changed. He looked older and care-worn. For the
first time she began to wonder about her father. What was he,
really, under that calm, fastidiously dressed, handsome exterior?
Did he mind the little man with the sardonic smile and the swift
unpleasant humor, whose glance reduced the men who served into
terrified menials? Her big, blond father, with his rather slow
speech, his honest eyes, his slight hesitation before he grasped
some of the finer nuances of his father's wit. No, he was not
brilliant, but he was real, real and kindly. Perhaps he was strong,
too. He looked strong.

With the same pitiless judgment she watched her mother. Either
Grace was very big, or very indifferent to the sting of old Anthony's
tongue. Sometimes women suffered much in silence, because they loved
greatly. Like Aunt Elinor. Aunt Elinor had loved her husband more
than she had loved her child. Quite calmly Lily decided that, as
between her husband and herself, her mother loved her husband.
Perhaps that was as it should be, but it added to her sense of
aloofness. And she wondered, too, about these great loves that
seemed to feed on sacrifice.

Anthony, who had a most unpleasant faculty of remembering things,
suddenly bent forward and observed to her, across the table:

"I should be interested to know, since you regard present conditions
as wrong, and, I inferred, wrong because of my mishandling of them,
just what you would propose to do to right them."

"But I didn't say they were wrong, did I?"

"Don't answer a question with a question. It's a feminine form of
evasion, because you have no answer and no remedy. Yet, heaven
save the country, women are going to vote!" He pushed his plate
away and glanced at Grace. "Is that the new chef's work?"

"Yes. Isn't it right?"

"Right? The food is impossible."

"He came from the club."

"Send him back," ordered Anthony. And when Grace observed that it
was difficult to get servants, he broke into a cold fury. What had
come over the world, anyhow? Time was when a gentleman's servants
stayed with the family until they became pensioners, and their
children took their places. Now - !

Grace said nothing. Her eyes sought Howard's, and seemed to find
some comfort there. And Lily, sorry for her mother, said the first
thing that came into her head.

"The old days of caste are gone, grandfather. And service, in your
sense of the word, went with them."

"Really?" he eyed her. "Who said that? Because I daresay it is not
original."

"A man I knew at camp."

"What man?"

"His name was Willy Cameron."

"Willy Cameron! Was this - er - person qualified to speak? Does
he know anything about what he chooses to call caste?"

"He thinks a lot about things."

"A little less thinking and more working wouldn't hurt the country
any," observed old Anthony. He bent forward. "As my granddaughter,
and the last of the Cardews," he said, "I have a certain interest in
the sources of your political opinions. They will probably, like
your father's, differ from mine. You may not know that your father
has not only opinions, but ambitions." She saw Grace stiffen, and
Howard's warning glance at her. But she saw, too, the look in her
mother's eyes, infinitely loving and compassionate. "Dear little
mother," she thought, "he is her baby, really. Not I."

She felt a vague stirring of what married love at its best must be
for a woman, its strange complex of passion and maternity. She
wondered if it would ever come to her. She rather thought not. But
she was also conscious of a new attitude among the three at the
table, her mother's tense watchfulness, her father's slightly squared
shoulders, and across from her her grandfather, fingering the stem
of his wineglass and faintly smiling.

"It's time somebody went into city politics for some purpose other
than graft," said Howard. "I am going to run for mayor, Lily. I
probably won't get it."

"You can see," said old Anthony, "why I am interested in your views,
or perhaps I should say, in Willy Cameron's. Does your father's
passion for uplift, for instance, extend to you?"

"Why won't you be elected, father?"

"Partly because my name is Cardew."

Old Anthony chuckled.

"What!" he exclaimed, "after the bath-house and gymnasium you have
built at the mill? And the laundries for the women - which I
believe they do not use. Surely, Howard, you would not accuse the
dear people of ingratitude?"

"They are beginning to use them, sir." Howard, in his forties, still
addressed his father as "Sir!"

"Then you admit your defeat beforehand."

"You are rather a formidable antagonist."

"Antagonist!" Anthony repeated in mock protest. "I am a quiet
onlooker at the game. I am amused, naturally. You must understand,"
he said to Lily, "that this is a matter of a principle with your
father. He believes that he should serve. My whole contention is
that the people don't want to be served. They want to be bossed.
They like it; it's all they know. And they're suspicious of a man
who puts his hand into his own pocket instead of into theirs."

He smiled and sipped his wine.

"Good wine, this," he observed. "I'm buying all I can lay my hands
on, against the approaching drought."

Lily's old distrust of her grandfather revived. Why did people
sharpen like that with age? Age should be mellow, like old wine.
And - what was she going to do with herself? Already the atmosphere
of the house began to depress and worry her; she felt a new, almost
violent impatience with it. It was so unnecessary.

She went to the pipe organ which filled the space behind the
staircase, and played a little, but she had never been very
proficient, and her own awkwardness annoyed her. In the dining room
she could hear the men talking, Howard quietly, his father in short
staccato barks. She left the organ and wandered into her mother's
morning room, behind the drawing room, where Grace sat with the
coffee tray before her.

"I'm afraid I'm going to be terribly on your hands, mother," she
said, "I don't know what to do with myself, so how can you know
what to do with me?"

"It is going to be rather stupid for you at first, of course," Grace
said. "Lent, and then so many of the men are not at home. Would
you like to go South?"

"Why, I've just come home!"

"We can have some luncheons, of course. Just informal ones. And
there will be small dinners. You'll have to get some clothes. I
saw Suzette yesterday. She has some adorable things."

"I'd love them. Mother, why doesn't he want father to go into
politics?"

Grace hesitated.

"He doesn't like change, for one thing. But I don't know anything
about politics. Suzette says - "

"Will he try to keep him from being elected?"

"He won't support him. Of course I hardly think he would oppose
him. I really don't understand about those things."

"You mean you don't understand him. Well, I do, mother. He has
run everything, including father, for so long - "

"Lily!"

"I must, mother. Why, out at the camp - " She checked herself.
"All the papers say the city is badly governed, and that he is
responsible. And now he is going to fight his own son! The more I
think about it, the more I understand about Aunt Elinor. Mother,
where do they live?"

Grace looked apprehensively toward the door. "You are not allowed
to visit her."

"You do."

"That's different. And I only go once or twice a year."

"Just because she married a poor man, a man whose father - "

"Not at all. That is all dead and buried. He is a very dangerous
man. He is running a Socialist newspaper, and now he is inciting
the mill men to strike. He is preaching terrible things. I haven't
been there for months."

"What do you mean by terrible things, mother?"

"Your father says it amounts to a revolution. I believe he calls
it a general strike. I don't really know much about it."

Lily pondered that.

"Socialism isn't revolution, mother, is it? But even then - is all
this because grandfather drove his father to - "

"I wish you wouldn't, Lily. Of course it is not that. I daresay
he believes what he preaches. He ought to be put into jail. Why
the country lets such men go around, preaching sedition, I don't
understand."

Lily remembered something else Willy Cameron had said, and promptly
repeated it.

"We had a muzzled press during the war," she said, "and now we've
got free speech. And one's as bad as the other. She must love him
terribly, mother," she added.

But Grace harked back to Suzette, and the last of the Cardews harked
with her. Later on people dropped in, and Lily made a real attempt
to get back into her old groove, but that night, when she went
upstairs to her bedroom, with its bright fire, its bed neatly turned
down, her dressing gown and slippers laid out, the shaded lamps
shining on the gold and ivory of her dressing table, she was
conscious of a sudden homesickness. Homesickness for her bare
little room in the camp barracks, for other young lives, noisy,
chattering, often rather silly, occasionally unpleasant, but young.
Radiantly, vitally young. The great house, with its stillness and
decorum, oppressed her. There was no youth in it, save hers.

She went to her window and looked out. Years ago, like Elinor, she
had watched the penitentiary walls from that window, with their
endlessly pacing sentries, and had grieved for those men who might
look up at the sky, or down at the earth, but never out and across,
to see the spring trees, for instance, or the children playing on
the grass. She remembered the story about Jim Doyle's escape, too.
He had dug a perilous way to freedom. Vaguely she wondered if he
were not again digging a perilous way to freedom.

Men seemed always to be wanting freedom, only they had so many
different ideas of what freedom was. At the camp it had meant
breaking bounds, balking the Military Police, doing forbidden things
generally. Was that, after all, what freedom meant, to do the
forbidden thing? Those people in Russia, for instance, who stole
and burned and appropriated women, in the name of freedom. Were
law and order, then, irreconcilable with freedom?

After she had undressed she rang her bell, and Castle answered it.

"Please find out if Ellen has gone to bed," she said. "If she has
not, I would like to talk to her."

The maid looked slightly surprised.

"If it's your hair, Miss Lily, Mrs. Cardew has asked me to look
after you until she has engaged a maid for you."

"Not my hair," said Lily, cheerfully. "I rather like doing it
myself. I just want to talk to Ellen."

It was a bewildered and rather scandalized Castle who conveyed the
message to Ellen.

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