Part 5 out of 7
"I just brought you a couple of extra towels. We were short
this morning," she said.
The room was warm, and quiet, and bright. In her bathroom,
that glistened with blue and white tiling, were those
redundant towels. Fanny stood in the doorway and counted
them, whimsically. Four great fuzzy bath towels. Eight
glistening hand towels. A blue and white bath rug hung at
the side of the tub. Her telephone rang. It was Ella.
"Where in the world have you been, child? I was worried
about you. I thought you were lost in the streets of New
"I took a 'bus ride," Fanny explained.
"See anything of New York?"
"I saw all of it," replied Fanny. Ella laughed at that, but
Fanny's face was serious.
"How did you make out at Horn & Udell's? Never mind, I'm
coming in for a minute; can I?"
"Please do. I need you."
A moment later Ella bounced in, fresh as to blouse, pink as
to cheeks, her whole appearance a testimony to the
revivifying effects of a warm bath, a brief nap, clean
"Dear child, you look tired. I'm not going to stay. You
get dressed and I'll meet you for dinner. Or do you want
yours up here?"
"'Phone me when you're dressed. But tell me, isn't it a
wonder, this town? I'll never forget my first trip here. I
spent one whole evening standing in front of the mirror
trying to make those little spit-curls the women were
wearing then. I'd seen 'em on Fifth avenue, and it seemed
I'd die if I couldn't have 'em, too. And I dabbed on rouge,
and touched up my eyebrows. I don't know. It's a kind of a
crazy feeling gets you. The minute I got on the train for
Chicago I washed my face and took my hair down and did it
"Why, that's the way I felt!" laughed Fanny. "I didn't care
anything about infants' wear, or Haynes-Cooper, or anything.
I just wanted to be beautiful, as they all were."
"Sure! It gets us all!"
Fanny twisted her hair into the relentless knob women assume
preparatory to bathing. "It seems to me you have to come
from Winnebago, or thereabouts, to get New York--really get
it, I mean."
"That's so," agreed Ella. "There's a man on the New York
Star who writes a column every day that everybody reads.
If he isn't a small-town man then we're both wrong."
Fanny, bathward bound, turned to stare at Ella. "A column
"Oh, everything. New York, mostly. Say, it's the humanest
stuff. He says the kind of thing we'd all say, if we knew
how. Reading him is like getting a letter from home. I'll
bet he went to a country school and wore his mittens sewed
to a piece of tape that ran through his coat sleeves."
"You're right," said Fanny; "he did. That man's from
"Do you mean you know him? Honestly? What's he like?"
But Fanny had vanished. "I'm a tired business woman," she
called, above the splashing that followed, "and I won't
converse until I'm fed."
"But how about Horn & Udell?" demanded Ella, her mouth
against the crack.
"Practically mine," boasted Fanny.
"Well, hooked, at any rate, and putting up a very poor
"Why, you clever little divil, you! You'll be making me
look like a stock girl next."
Fanny did not telephone Heyl until the day she left New
York. She had told herself she would not telephone him at
all. He had sent her his New York address and telephone
number months before, after that Sunday at the dunes. Ella
Monahan had finished her work and had gone back to Chicago
four days before Fanny was ready to leave. In those four
days Fanny had scoured the city from the Palisades to Pell
street. I don't know how she found her way about. It was a
sort of instinct with her. She seemed to scent the
picturesque. She never for a moment neglected her work.
But she had found it was often impossible to see these New
York business men until ten--sometimes eleven--o'clock. She
awoke at seven, a habit formed in her Winnebago days.
Eight-thirty one morning found her staring up at the dim
vastness of the dome of the cathedral of St. John the
Divine. The great gray pile, mountainous, almost ominous,
looms up in the midst of the dingy commonplaceness of
Amsterdam avenue and 110th street. New Yorkers do not know
this, or if they know it, the fact does not interest them.
New Yorkers do not go to stare up into the murky shadows
of this glorious edifice. They would if it were
situate in Rome. Bare, crude, unfinished, chaotic, it gives
rich promise of magnificent fulfillment. In an age when
great structures are thrown up to-day, to be torn down to-
morrow, this slow-moving giant is at once a reproach and an
example. Twenty-five years in building, twenty-five more
for completion, it has elbowed its way, stone by stone, into
such company as St. Peter's at Rome, and the marvel at
Milan. Fanny found her way down the crude cinder paths that
made an alley-like approach to the cathedral. She entered
at the side door that one found by following arrows posted
on the rough wooden fence. Once inside she stood a moment,
awed by the immensity of the half-finished nave. As she
stood there, hands clasped, her face turned raptly up to
where the massive granite columns reared their height to
frame the choir, she was, for the moment, as devout as any
Episcopalian whose money had helped make the great building.
Not only devout, but prayerful, ecstatic. That was partly
due to the effect of the pillars, the lights, the
tapestries, the great, unfinished chunks of stone that
loomed out from the side walls, and the purple shadow cast
by the window above the chapels at the far end; and partly
to the actress in her that responded magically to any mood,
and always to surroundings. Later she walked softly down
the deserted nave, past the choir, to the cluster of
chapels, set like gems at one end, and running from north to
south, in a semi-circle. A placard outside one said, "St.
Saviour's chapel. For those who wish to rest and pray."
All white marble, this little nook, gleaming softly in the
gray half-light. Fanny entered, and sat down. She was
quite alone. The roar and crash of the Eighth avenue L, the
Amsterdam cars, the motors drumming up Morningside hill,
were softened here to a soothing hum.
For those who wish to rest and pray.
Fanny Brandeis had neither rested nor prayed since that
hideous day when she had hurled her prayer of defiance at
Him. But something within her now began a groping for
words; for words that should follow an ancient plea
beginning, "O God of my Fathers----" But at that the
picture of the room came back to her mental vision--the room
so quiet except for the breathing of the woman on the bed;
the woman with the tolerant, humorous mouth, and the
straight, clever nose, and the softly bright brown eyes, all
so strangely pinched and shrunken-looking now----
Fanny got to her feet, with a noisy scraping of the chair on
the stone floor. The vague, half-formed prayer died at
birth. She found her way out of the dim, quiet little
chapel, up the long aisle and out the great door. She
shivered a little in the cold of the early January morning
as she hurried toward the Broadway subway.
At nine-thirty she was standing at a counter in the infants'
wear section at Best's, making mental notes while the
unsuspecting saleswoman showed her how the pink ribbon in
this year's models was brought under the beading, French
fashion, instead of weaving through it, as heretofore. At
ten-thirty she was saying to Sid Udell, "I think a written
contract is always best. Then we'll all know just where we
stand. Mr. Fenger will be on next week to arrange the
details, but just now a very brief written understanding to
show him on my return would do."
And she got it, and tucked it away in her bag, in triumph.
She tried to leave New York without talking to Heyl, but
some quiet, insistent force impelled her to act contrary to
her resolution. It was, after all, the urge of the stronger
wish against the weaker.
When he heard her voice over the telephone Heyl did not say,
"Who is this?" Neither did he put those inevitable
questions of the dweller to the transient, "Where are you?
How long have you been here?" What he said was, "How're you
going to avoid dining with me to-night?"
To which Fanny replied, promptly, "By taking the Twentieth
Century back to Chicago to-day."
A little silence. A hurt silence. Then, "When they get the
Twentieth Century habit they're as good as lost. How's the
infants' wear business, Fanny?"
"Booming, thank you. I want to tell you I've read the
column every day. It's wonderful stuff."
"It's a wonderful job. I'm a lucky boy. I'm doing the
thing I'd rather do than anything else in the world. There
are mighty few who can say that." There was another
silence, awkward, heavy. Then, "Fanny, you're not really
"I'll be in Chicago to-morrow, barring wrecks."
"You might have let me show you our more or less fair city."
"I've shown it to myself. I've seen Riverside Drive at
sunset, and at night. That alone would have been enough.
But I've seen Fulton market, too, and the Grand street
stalls, and Washington Square, and Central Park, and Lady
Duff-Gordon's inner showroom, and the Night Court, and the
Grand Central subway horror at six p. m., and the gambling
on the Curb, and the bench sleepers in Madison Square-- Oh,
Clancy, the misery----"
"Heh, wait a minute! All this, alone?"
"Yes. And one more thing. I've landed Horn & Udell, which
means nothing to you, but to me it means that by Spring my
department will be a credit to its stepmother; a real
"I knew it would be a success. So did you. Anything you
might attempt would be successful. You'd have made a
successful lawyer, or cook, or actress, or hydraulic
engineer, because you couldn't do a thing badly. It
isn't in you. You're a superlative sort of person. But
that's no reason for being any of those things. If you
won't admit a debt to humanity, surely you'll acknowledge
you've an obligation to yourself."
"Preaching again. Good-by."
"Fanny, you're afraid to see me."
"Don't be ridiculous. Why should I be?"
"Because I say aloud the things you daren't let yourself
think. If I were to promise not to talk about anything but
"Will you promise?"
"No. But I'm going to meet you at the clock at the Grand
Central Station fifteen minutes before train time. I don't
care if every infants' wear manufacturer in New York had a
prior claim on your time. You may as well be there, because
if you're not I'll get on the train and stay on as far as
Albany. Take your choice."
He was there before her. Fanny, following the wake of a
redcap, picked him at once from among the crowd of clock-
waiters. He saw her at the same time, and started forward
with that singularly lithe, springy step which was, after
all, just the result of perfectly trained muscles in
coordination. He was wearing New York clothes--the right
kind, Fanny noted.
Their hands met. "How well you look," said Fanny, rather
"It's the clothes," said Heyl, and began to revolve slowly,
coyly, hands out, palms down, eyelids drooping, in delicious
imitation of those ladies whose business it is to revolve
thus for fashion.
"Clancy, you idiot! All these people! Stop it!"
"But get the grace! Get the easy English hang, at once so
loose and so clinging."
Fanny grinned, appreciatively, and led the way through the
gate to the train. She was surprisingly glad to be
with him again. On discovering that, she began to talk
rapidly, and about him.
"Tell me, how do you manage to keep that fresh viewpoint?
Everybody else who comes to New York to write loses his
identity. The city swallows him up. I mean by that, that
things seem to strike you as freshly as they did when you
first came. I remember you wrote me an amazing letter."
"For one thing, I'll never be anything but a foreigner in
New York. I'll never quite believe Broadway. I'll never
cease to marvel at Fifth avenue, and Cooper Union, and the
Bronx. The time may come when I can take the subway for
granted, but don't ask it of me just yet."
"But the other writers--and all those people who live down
in Washington Square?"
"I never see them. It's sure death. Those Greenwichers are
always taking out their own feelings and analyzing them, and
pawing them over, and passing them around. When they get
through with them they're so thumb-marked and greasy that no
one else wants them. They don't get enough golf, those
Greenwichers. They don't get enough tennis. They don't get
enough walking in the open places. Gosh, no! I know better
than to fall for that kind of thing. They spend hours
talking to each other, in dim-lighted attics, about Souls,
and Society, and the Joy of Life, and the Greater Good. And
they know all about each other's insides. They talk
themselves out, and there's nothing left to write about. A
little of that kind of thing purges and cleanses. Too much
of it poisons, and clogs. No, ma'am! When I want to talk I
go down and chin with the foreman of our composing room.
There's a chap that has what I call conversation. A
philosopher, and knows everything in the world. Composing
room foremen always are and do. Now, that's all of that.
How about Fanny Brandeis? Any sketches? Come on.
Confess. Grand street, anyway."
"I haven't touched a pencil, except to add up a column of
figures or copy an order, since last September, when you
were so sure I couldn't stop."
"You've done a thousand in your head. And if you haven't
done one on paper so much the better. You'll jam them back,
and stifle them, and screw the cover down tight on every
natural impulse, and then, some day, the cover will blow off
with a loud report. You can't kill that kind of thing,
Fanny. It would have to be a wholesale massacre of all the
centuries behind you. I don't so much mind your being
disloyal to your tribe, or race, or whatever you want to
call it. But you've turned your back on yourself; you've
got an obligation to humanity, and I'll nag you till you pay
it. I don't care if I lose you, so long as you find
yourself. The thing you've got isn't merely racial. God,
no! It's universal. And you owe it to the world. Pay up,
Fanny! Pay up!"
"Look here!" began Fanny, her voice low with anger; "the
last time I saw you I said I'd never again put myself in a
position to be lectured by you, like a schoolgirl. I mean
it, this time. If you have anything else to say to me, say
it now. The train leaves"--she glanced at her wrist--"in
two minutes, thank Heaven, and this will be your last
"All right," said Heyl. "I have got something to say. Do
you wear hatpins?"
"Hatpins!" blankly. "Not with this small hat, but what----"
"That means you're defenseless. If you're going to prowl
the streets of Chicago alone get this: If you double your
fist this way, and tuck your thumb alongside, like that, and
aim for this spot right here, about two inches this side of
the chin, bringing your arm back, and up, quickly, like a
piston, the person you hit will go down, limp. There's a
nerve right here that communicates with the brain.
That blow makes you see stars, bright lights, and fancy
colors. They use it in the comic papers."
"You ARE crazy," said Fanny, as though at last assured of
a long-suspected truth. The train began to move, almost
imperceptibly. "Run!" she cried.
Heyl sped up the aisle. At the door he turned. "It's
called an uppercut," he shouted to the amazement of the
other passengers. And leaped from the train.
Fanny sank into her seat, weakly. Then she began to laugh,
and there was a dash of hysteria in it. He had left a paper
on the car seat. It was the Star. Fanny crumpled it,
childishly, and kicked it under the seat. She took off her
hat, arranged her belongings, and sat back with eyes closed.
After a few moments she opened them, fished about under the
seat for the crumpled copy of the Star, and read it,
turning at once to his column. She thought it was a very
unpretentious thing, that column, and yet so full of
insight, and sagacity, and whimsical humor. Not a guffaw in
it, but a smile in every fifth line. She wondered if those
years of illness, and loneliness, with weeks of reading, and
tramping, and climbing in the Colorado mountains had kept
him strangely young, or made him strangely old.
She welcomed the hours that lay between New York and
Chicago. They would give her an opportunity to digest the
events of the past ten days. In her systematic mind she
began to range them in the order of their importance. Horn
& Udell came first, of course, and then the line of
maternity dresses she had selected to take the place of the
hideous models carried under Slosson's regime. And then the
slip-over pinafores. But somehow her thoughts became
jumbled here, so that faces instead of garments filled her
mind's eye. Again and again there swam into her ken the
face of that woman of fifty, in decent widow's weeds, who
had stood there in the Night Court, charged with
drunkenness on the streets. And the man with the frost-
bitten fingers in Madison Square. And the dog in the
sweater. And the feverish concentration of the piece-work
sewers in the window of the loft building.
She gave it up, selected a magazine, and decided to go in to
There was nothing spectacular about the welcome she got on
her return to the office after this first trip. A firm that
counts its employees by the thousands, and its profits in
tens of millions, cannot be expected to draw up formal
resolutions of thanks when a heretofore flabby department
begins to show signs of red blood.
Ella Monahan said, "They'll make light of it--all but
Fenger. That's their way."
Slosson drummed with his fingers all the time she was giving
him the result of her work in terms of style, material,
quantity, time, and price. When she had finished he said,
"Well, all I can say is we seem to be going out of the mail
order business and into the imported novelty line, de luxe.
I suppose by next Christmas the grocery department will be
putting in artichoke hearts, and truffles and French
champagne by the keg for community orders."
To which Fanny had returned, sweetly, "If Oregon and Wyoming
show any desire for artichokes and champagne I don't see why
Fenger, strangely enough, said little. He was apt to be
rather curt these days, and almost irritable. Fanny
attributed it to the reaction following the strain of the
One did not approach Fenger's office except by appointment.
Fanny sent word to him of her return. For two days she
heard nothing from him. Then the voice of the snuff-brown
secretary summoned her. She did not have to wait this time,
but passed directly through the big bright outer room
into the smaller room. The Power House, Fanny called it.
Fenger was facing the door. "Missed you," he said.
"You must have," Fanny laughed, "with only nine thousand
nine hundred and ninety-nine to look after."
"You look as if you'd been on a vacation, instead of a test
"So I have. Why didn't you warn me that business, as
transacted in New York, is a series of social rites? I
didn't have enough white kid gloves to go round. No one
will talk business in an office. I don't see what they use
offices for, except as places in which to receive their
mail. You utter the word `Business,' and the other person
immediately says, `Lunch.' No wholesaler seems able to
quote you his prices until he has been sustained by half a
dozen Cape Cods. I don't want to see a restaurant or a rose
silk shade for weeks."
Fenger tapped the little pile of papers on his desk. "I've
read your reports. If you can do that on lunches, I'd like
to see what you could put over in a series of dinners."
"Heaven forbid," said Fanny, fervently. Then, for a very
concentrated fifteen minutes they went over the reports
together. Fanny's voice grew dry and lifeless as she went
"You don't sound particularly enthusiastic," Fenger said,
when they had finished, "considering that you've
accomplished what you set out to do."
"That's just it," quickly. "I like the uncertainty. It was
interesting to deal directly with those people, to stack
one's arguments, and personality, and mentality and power
over theirs, until they had to give way. But after that!
Well, you can't expect me to be vitally interested in gross
lots, and carloads and dating."
"It's part of business."
"It's the part I hate."
Fenger stacked the papers neatly. "You came in June, didn't
"It has been a remarkable eight-months' record, even at
Haynes-Cooper's, where records are the rule. Have you been
through the plant since the time you first went through?"
"Through it! Goodness, no! It would take a day."
"Then I wish you'd take it. I like to have the heads of
departments go through the plant at least twice a year.
You'll find the fourteenth floor has been cleared and is
being used entirely by the selectors. The manufacturers'
samples are spread on the tables in the various sections.
You'll find your place ready for you. You'll be amused at
Daly's section. He took your suggestion about trying the
blouses on live models instead of selecting them as he used
to. You remember you said that one could tell about the
lines and style of a dress merely by looking at it, but that
a blouse is just a limp rag until it's on."
"It's true of the flimsy Georgette things women want now.
They may be lovely in the box and hideously unbecoming when
worn. If Daly's going in for the higher grade stuff he
can't risk choosing unbecoming models."
"Wait till you see him!" smiled Fenger, "sitting there like
a sultan while the pinks and blues, and whites and plaids
parade before him." He turned to his desk again. "That's
all, Miss Brandeis. Thank you." Then, at a sudden thought.
"Do you know that all your suggestions have been human
suggestions? I mean they all have had to do with people.
Tell me, how do you happen to have learned so much about
what people feel and think, in such a short time?"
The thing that Clarence Heyl had said flashed through her
mind, and she was startled to find herself quoting it. "It
hasn't been a short time," she said.
"It took a thousand years." And left Fenger staring,
She took next morning for her tour of the plant as Fenger
had suggested. She went through it, not as the startled,
wide-eyed girl of eight months before had gone, but
critically, and with a little unconscious air of authority.
For, this organization, vast though it was, actually showed
her imprint. She could have put her finger on this spot,
and that, saying, "Here is the mark of my personality." And
she thought, as she passed from department to department,
"Ten thousand a year, if you keep on as you've started." Up
one aisle and down the next. Bundles, bundles, bundles.
And everywhere you saw the yellow order-slips. In the hands
of the stock boys whizzing by on roller skates; in the
filing department; in the traffic department. The very air
seemed jaundiced with those clouds of yellow order-slips.
She stopped a moment, fascinated as always before the main
spiral gravity chute down which the bundles--hundreds of
them, thousands of them daily--chased each other to--to
what? Fanny asked herself. She knew, vaguely, that hands
caught these bundles halfway, and redirected them toward the
proper channel, where they were assembled and made ready for
shipping or mailing. She turned to a stock boy.
"Where does this empty?" she asked.
"Floor below," said the boy, "on the platform."
Fanny walked down a flight of iron stairs, and around to
face the spiral chute again. In front of the chute, and
connected with it by a great metal lip, was a platform
perhaps twelve feet above the floor and looking very much
like the pilot's deck of a ship. A little flight of steps
led up to it--very steep steps, that trembled a little under
a repetition of shocks that came from above. Fanny climbed
them warily, gained the top, and found herself standing next
to the girl whose face had gleamed out at her from among
those thousands in the crowd pouring out of the plant.
The girl glanced up at Fanny for a second--no, for the
fraction of a second. Her job was the kind that permitted
no more than that. Fanny watched her for one breathless
moment. In that moment she understood the look that had
been stamped on the girl's face that night; the look that
had cried: "Release!" For this platform, shaking under the
thud of bundles, bundles, bundles, was the stomach of the
Haynes-Cooper plant. Sixty per cent of the forty-five
thousand daily orders passed through the hands of this girl
and her assistants. Down the chutes swished the bundles,
stamped with their section mark, and here they were caught
deftly and hurled into one of the dozen conveyers that
flowed out from this main stream. The wrong bundle into the
wrong conveyer? Confusion in the shipping room. It only
took a glance of the eye and a motion of the arms. But that
glance and that motion had been boiled down to the very
concentrated essence of economy. They seemed to be working
with fury, but then, so does a pile-driver until you get the
simplicity of it.
Fanny bent over the girl (it was a noisy corner) and put a
question. The girl did not pause in her work as she
answered it. She caught a bundle with one hand, hurled one
into a conveyer with the other.
"Seven a week," she said. And deftly caught the next
Fanny watched her for another moment. Then she turned and
went down the steep stairs.
"None of your business," she said to herself, and continued
her tour. "None of your business." She went up to the new
selectors' floor, and found the plan running as smoothly as
if it had been part of the plant's system for years.
The elevator whisked her up to the top floor, where she met
the plant's latest practical fad, the new textile chemist--a
charming youth, disguised in bone-rimmed glasses, who did
the honors of his little labratory with all the manner
of a Harvard host. This was the fusing oven for silks.
Here was the drying oven. This delicate scale weighed every
ounce of the cloth swatches that came in for inspection, to
get the percentage of wool and cotton. Not a chance for the
manufacturer to slip shoddy into his goods, now.
"Mm," said Fanny, politely. She hated complicated processes
that had to do with scales, and weights, and pounds, and
acids. She crossed over to the Administration Building, and
stopped at the door marked, "Mrs. Knowles." If you had been
an employee of the Haynes-Cooper company, and had been asked
to define Mrs. Knowles's position the chances are that you
would have found yourself floundering, wordless. Haynes-
Cooper was reluctant to acknowledge the need of Mrs.
Knowles. Still, when you employ ten thousand people, and
more than half of these are girls, and fifty per cent of
these girls are unskilled, ignorant, and terribly human you
find that a Mrs. Knowles saves the equivalent of ten times
her salary in wear and tear and general prevention. She
could have told you tragic stories, could Mrs. Knowles, and
sordid stories, and comic too; she knew how to deal with
terror, and shame, and stubborn silence, and hopeless
misery. Gray-haired and motherly? Not at all. An
astonishingly young, pleasingly plumpish woman, with nothing
remarkable about her except a certain splendid calm. Four
years out of Vassar, and already she had learned that if you
fold your hands in your lap and wait, quietly, asking no
questions, almost any one will tell you almost anything.
"Hello!" called Fanny. "How are our morals this morning?"
"Going up!" answered Esther Knowles, "considering that it's
Tuesday. Come in. How's the infant prodigy, I lunched with
Ella Monahan, and she told me your first New York trip
was a whirlwind. Congratulations!"
"Thanks. I can't stop. I haven't touched my desk to-day.
I just want to ask you if you know the name of that girl who
has charge of the main chute in the merchandise building."
"Good Lord, child! There are thousands of girls."
"But this one's rather special. She is awfully pretty, and
rather different looking. Exquisite coloring, a
discontented expression, and a blouse that's too low in the
"Which might be a description of Fanny Brandeis herself,
barring the blouse," laughed Mrs. Knowles. Then, at the
startled look in Fanny's face, "Do forgive me. And don't
look so horrified. I think I know which one you mean. Her
name is Sarah Sapinsky--yes, isn't it a pity!--and it's
queer that you should ask me about her because I've been
having trouble with that particular girl."
"She knows she's pretty, and she knows she's different, and
she knows she's handicapped, and that accounts for the
discontented expression. That, and some other things. She
gets seven a week here, and they take just about all of it
at home. She says she's sick of it. She has left home
twice. I don't blame the child, but I've always managed to
bring her back. Some day there'll be a third time--and I'm
afraid of it. She's not bad. She's really rather splendid,
and she has a certain dreadful philosophy of her own. Her
theory is that there are only two kinds of people in the
world. Those that give, and those that take. And she's
tired of giving. Sarah didn't put it just that way; but you
know what she means, don't you?"
"I know what she means," said Fanny, grimly.
So it was Sarah she saw above all else in her trip through
the gigantic plant; Sarah's face shone out from among
the thousands; the thud-thud of Sarah's bundle-chute beat a
dull accompaniment to the hum of the big hive; above the
rustle of those myriad yellow order-slips, through the buzz
of the busy mail room; beneath the roar of the presses in
the printing building, the crash of the dishes in the
cafeteria, ran the leid-motif of Sarah-at-seven-a-week.
Back in her office once more Fanny dictated a brief
observation-report for Fenger's perusal.
"It seems to me there's room for improvement in our, card
index file system. It's thorough, but unwieldy. It isn't a
system any more. It's a ceremony. Can't you get a corps of
system sharks to simplify things there?"
She went into detail and passed on to the next suggestion.
"If the North American Cloak & Suit Company can sell mail
order dresses that are actually smart and in good taste, I
don't see why we have to go on carrying only the most
hideous crudities in our women's dress department. I know
that the majority of our women customers wouldn't wear a
plain, good looking little blue serge dress with a white
collar, and some tailored buttons. They want cerise satin
revers on a plum-colored foulard, and that's what we've been
giving them. But there are plenty of other women living
miles from anywhere who know what's being worn on Fifth
avenue. I don't know how they know it, but they do. And
they want it. Why can't we reach those women, as well as
their shoddier sisters? The North American people do it.
I'd wear one of their dresses myself. I wouldn't be found
dead in one of ours. Here's a suggestion:
"Why can't we get Camille to design half a dozen models a
season for us? Now don't roar at that. And don't think
that the women on western ranches haven't heard of Camille.
They have. They may know nothing of Mrs. Pankhurst,
and Lillian Russell may be a myth to them, but I'll swear
that every one of them knows that Camille is a dressmaker
who makes super-dresses. She is as much a household word
among them as Roosevelt used to be to their men folks. And
if we can promise them a Camille-designed dress for $7.85
(which we could) then why don't we?"
At the very end, to her stenographer's mystification, she
added this irrevelant line.
"Seven dollars a week is not a living wage."
The report went to Fenger. He hurdled lightly over the
first suggestion, knowing that the file system was as simple
as a monster of its bulk could be. He ignored the third
hint. The second suggestion amused, then interested, then
convinced him. Within six months Camille's name actually
appeared in the Haynes-Cooper catalogue. Not that alone,
the Haynes-Cooper company broke its rule as to outside
advertising, and announced in full-page magazine ads the
news of the $7.85 gowns designed by Camille especially for
the Haynes-Cooper company. There went up a nationwide shout
of amusement and unbelief, but the announcement continued.
Camille (herself a frump with a fringe) whose frocks were
worn by queens, and dancers and matrons with millions, and
debutantes; Camille, who had introduced the slouch, revived
the hoop, discovered the sunset chiffon, had actually
consented to design six models every season for the mail
order millions of the Haynes-Cooper women's dress
department--at a price that made even Michael Fenger wince.
Fanny Brandeis' blouses showed real Cluny now, and her hats
were nothing but line. A scant two years before she had
wondered if she would ever reach a pinnacle of success lofty
enough to enable her to wear blue tailor suits as smart as
the well-cut garments worn by her mother's friend, Mrs. Emma
McChesney. Mrs. McChesney's trig little suits had cost
fifty dollars, and had looked sixty. Fanny's now cost one
hundred and twenty-five, and looked one hundred and twenty-
five. Her sleeves alone gave it away. If you would test
the soul of a tailor you have only to glance at shoulder-
seam, elbow and wrist. Therein lies the wizardry. Fanny's
sleeve flowed from arm-pit to thumb-bone without a ripple.
Also she moved from the South side to the North side, always
a sign of prosperity or social ambition, in Chicago. Her
new apartment was near the lake, exhilaratingly high,
correspondingly expensive. And she was hideously lonely.
She was earning a man-size salary now, and she was working
like a man. A less magnificently healthy woman could not
have stood the strain, for Fanny Brandeis was working with
her head, not her heart. When we say heart we have come to
mean something more than the hollow muscular structure that
propels the blood through the veins. That, in the
dictionary, is the primary definition. The secondary
definition has to do with such words as emotion, sympathy,
tenderness, courage, conviction. She was working, now, as
Michael Fenger worked, relentlessly, coldly, indomitably,
using all the material at hand as a means to an end, with
never a thought of the material itself, as a
builder reaches for a brick, or stone, and fits it into
place, smoothly, almost without actually seeing the brick
itself, except as something which will help to make a
finished wall. She rarely prowled the city now. She told
herself she was too tired at night, and on Sundays and
holidays, and I suppose she was. Indeed, she no longer saw
things with her former vision. It was as though her soul
had shriveled in direct proportion to her salary's
expansion. The streets seldom furnished her with a rich
mental meal now. When she met a woman with a child, in the
park, her keen eye noted the child's dress before it saw the
child itself, if, indeed, she noticed the child at all.
Fascinating Facts, the guileless, pink-cheeked youth who had
driven her home the night of her first visit to the Fengers,
shortly after her coming to Haynes-Cooper's, had proved her
faithful slave, and she had not abused his devotion.
Indeed, she hardly considered it that. The sex side of her
was being repressed with the artist side. Most men found
her curt, brisk, businesslike manner a little repellent,
though interesting. They never made love to her, in spite
of her undeniable attractiveness. Fascinating Facts drove
her about in his smart little roadster and one night he
established himself in her memory forever as the first man
who had ever asked her to marry him. He did it haltingly,
painfully, almost grudgingly. Fanny was frankly amazed.
She had enjoyed going about with him. He rested and soothed
her. He, in turn, had been stimulated by her energy, her
humor, her electric force. Nothing was said for a minute
after his awkward declaration.
"But," he persisted, "you like me, don't you?"
"Of course I do. Immensely."
"When a woman of my sort marries it's a miracle. I'm
twenty-six, and intelligent and very successful. A
frightful combination. Unmarried women of my type
aren't content just to feel. They must analyze their
feelings. And analysis is death to romance."
"Great Scott! You expect to marry somebody sometime, don't
"No one I know now. When I do marry, if I do, it will be
with the idea of making a definite gain. I don't mean
necessarily worldly gain, though that would be a factor,
Fascinating Facts had been staring straight ahead, his hands
gripping the wheel with unnecessary rigidity. He relaxed a
little now, and even laughed, though not very successfully.
Then he said something very wise, for him.
"Listen to me, girl. You'll never get away with that
vampire stuff. Talons are things you have to be born with.
You'll never learn to grab with these." He reached over,
and picked up her left hand lying inertly in her lap, and
brought it up to his lips, and kissed it, glove and all.
"They're built on the open-face pattern--for giving. You
can't fool me. I know."
A year and a half after her coming to Haynes-Cooper Fanny's
department was doing a business of a million a year. The
need had been there. She had merely given it the impetus.
She was working more or less directly with Fenger now, with
an eye on every one of the departments that had to do with
women's clothing, from shoes to hats. Not that she did any
actual buying, or selling in these departments. She still
confined her actual selecting of goods to the infants' wear
section, but she occupied, unofficially, the position of
assistant to the General Merchandise Manager. They worked
well together, she and Fenger, their minds often marching
along without the necessity of a single spoken word. There
was no doubt that Fenger's mind was a marvelous piece of
mechanism. Under it the Haynes-Cooper plant functioned with
the clockwork regularity of a gigantic automaton. System
and Results--these were his twin gods. With his mind
intent on them he failed to see that new gods, born of
spiritual unrest, were being set up in the temples of Big
Business. Their coming had been rumored for many years.
Words such as Brotherhood, Labor, Rights, Humanity, Hours,
once regarded as the special property of the street corner
ranter, were creeping into our everyday vocabulary. And
strangely enough, Nathan Haynes, the gentle, the bewildered,
the uninspired, heard them, and listened. Nathan Haynes had
begun to accustom himself to the roar of the flood that had
formerly deafened him. He was no longer stunned by the
inrush of his millions. The report sheet handed him daily
had never ceased to be a wildly unexpected thing, and he
still shrank from it, sometimes. It was so fantastic, so
out of all reason. But he even dared, now and then, to put
out a tentative hand to guide the flood. He began to
realize, vaguely, that Italian Gardens, and marble pools,
educational endowments and pet charities were but poor,
ineffectual barriers of mud and sticks, soon swept away by
the torrent. As he sat there in his great, luxurious
office, with the dim, rich old portraits gleaming down on
him from the walls, he began, gropingly, to evolve a new
plan; a plan by which the golden flood was to be curbed,
divided, and made to form a sub-stream, to be utilized for
the good of the many; for the good of the Ten Thousand, who
were almost Fifteen Thousand now, with another fifteen
thousand in mills and factories at distant points, whose
entire output was swallowed up by the Haynes-Cooper plant.
Michael Fenger, Super-Manager, listened to the plan, smiled
tolerantly, and went on perfecting an already miraculous
System. Sarah Sapinsky, at seven a week, was just so much
untrained labor material, easily replaced by material
exactly like it. No, Michael Fenger, with his head in the
sand, heard no talk of new gods. He only knew that the
monster plant under his management was yielding the
greatest possible profit under the least possible outlay.
In Fanny Brandeis he had found a stimulating, energizing
fellow worker. That had been from the beginning. In the
first month or two of her work, when her keen brain was
darting here and there, into forgotten and neglected
corners, ferreting out dusty scraps of business waste and
holding them up to the light, disdainfully, Fenger had
watched her with a mingling of amusement and a sort of fond
pride, as one would a precocious child. As the months went
on the pride and amusement welded into something more than
admiration, such as one expert feels for a fellow-craftsman.
Long before the end of the first year he knew that here was
a woman such as he had dreamed of all his life and never
hoped to find. He often found himself sitting at his office
desk, or in his library at home, staring straight ahead for
a longer time than he dared admit, his papers or book
forgotten in his hand. His thoughts applied to her
adjectives which proved her a paradox: Generous,
sympathetic, warm-hearted, impulsive, imaginative; cold,
indomitable, brilliant, daring, intuitive. He would rouse
himself almost angrily and force himself to concentrate
again upon the page before him. I don't know how he thought
it all would end--he whose life-habit it was to follow out
every process to its ultimate step, whether mental or
mechanical. As for Fanny, there was nothing of the
intriguant about her. She was used to admiration. She was
accustomed to deference from men. Brandeis' Bazaar had
insured that. All her life men had taken orders from her,
all the way from Aloysius and the blithe traveling men of
whom she bought goods, to the salesmen and importers in the
Chicago wholesale houses. If they had attempted,
occasionally, to mingle the social and personal with the
commercial Fanny had not resented their attitude. She had
accepted their admiration and refused their invitations
with equal good nature, and thus retained their friendship.
It is not exaggeration to say that she looked upon Michael
Fenger much as she had upon these genial fellow-workers. A
woman as straightforward and direct as she has what is known
as a single-track mind in such matters. It is your soft and
silken mollusc type of woman whose mind pursues a slimy and
labyrinthine trail. But it is useless to say that she did
not feel something of the intense personal attraction of the
man. Often it used to puzzle and annoy her to find that as
they sat arguing in the brisk, everyday atmosphere of office
or merchandise room the air between them would suddenly
become electric, vibrant. They met each other's eyes with
effort. When their hands touched, accidentally, over papers
or samples they snatched them back. Fanny found herself
laughing uncertainly, at nothing, and was furious. When a
silence fell between them they would pounce upon it,
breathlessly, and smother it with talk.
Do not think that any furtive love-making went on,
sandwiched between shop talk. Their conversation might have
taken place between two men. Indeed, they often were
brutally frank to each other. Fanny had the vision, Fenger
the science to apply it. Sometimes her intuition leaped
ahead of his reasoning. Then he would say, "I'm not sold on
that," which is modern business slang meaning, "You haven't
convinced me." She would go back and start afresh, covering
the ground more slowly.
Usually her suggestions were practical and what might be
termed human. They seemed to be founded on an uncanny
knowledge of people's frailties. It was only when she
touched upon his beloved System that he was adamant.
"None of that socialistic stuff," he would say. "This isn't
a Benevolent Association we're running. It's the biggest
mail order business in the world, and its back-bone is
System. I've been just fifteen years perfecting that
System. It's my job. Hands off."
"A fifteen year old system ought to be scrapped," Fanny
would retort, boldly. "Anyway, the Simon Legree thing has
No one in the plant had ever dared to talk to him like that.
He would glare down at Fanny for a moment, like a mastiff on
a terrier. Fanny, seeing his face rage-red, would flash him
a cheerful and impudent smile. The anger, fading slowly,
gave way to another look, so that admiration and resentment
mingled for a moment.
"Lucky for you you're not a man."
"I wish I were."
"I'm glad you're not."
Not a very thrilling conversation for those of you who are
In May Fanny made her first trip to Europe for the firm. It
was a sudden plan. Instantly Theodore leaped to her mind
and she was startled at the tumult she felt at the thought
of seeing him and his child. The baby, a girl, was more
than a year old. Her business, a matter of two weeks,
perhaps, was all in Berlin and Paris, but she cabled
Theodore that she would come to them in Munich, if only for
a day or two. She had very little curiosity about the woman
Theodore had married. The memory of that first photograph
of hers, befrizzed, bejeweled, and asmirk, had never effaced
itself. It had stamped her indelibly in Fanny's mind.
The day before she left for New York (she sailed from there)
she had a letter from Theodore. It was evident at once that
he had not received her cable. He was in Russia, giving a
series of concerts. Olga and the baby were with him. He
would be back in Munich in June. There was some talk of
America. When Fanny realized that she was not to see him
she experienced a strange feeling that was a mixture of
regret and relief. All the family love in her, a
racial trait, had been stirred at the thought of again
seeing that dear blond brother, the self-centered, willful,
gifted boy who had held the little congregation rapt, there
in the Jewish house of worship in Winnebago. But she had
recoiled a little from the meeting with this other unknown
person who gave concerts in Russia, who had adopted Munich
as his home, who was the husband of this Olga person, and
the father of a ridiculously German looking baby in a very
German looking dress, all lace and tucks, and wearing
bracelets on its chubby arms, and a locket round its neck.
That was what one might expect of Olga's baby. But not of
Theodore's. Besides, what business had that boy with a
baby, anyway? Himself a baby.
Fenger had arranged for her cabin, and she rather resented
its luxury until she learned later, that it is the buyers
who always occupy the staterooms de luxe on ocean liners.
She learned, too, that the men in yachting caps and white
flannels, and the women in the smartest and most subdued of
blue serge and furs were not millionaires temporarily
deprived of their own private seagoing craft, but buyers
like herself, shrewd, aggressive, wise and incredibly
endowed with savoir faire. Merely to watch one of them
dealing with a deck steward was to know for all time the
superiority of mind over matter.
Most incongruously, it was Ella Monahan and Clarence Heyl
who waved good-by to her as her ship swung clear of the
dock. Ella was in New York on her monthly trip. Heyl had
appeared at the hotel as Fanny was adjusting her veil and
casting a last rather wild look around the room. Molly
Brandeis had been the kind of woman who never misses a train
or overlooks a hairpin. Fanny's early training had proved
invaluable more than once in the last two years.
Nevertheless, she was rather flustered, for her, as the
elevator took her down to the main floor. She told
herself it was not the contemplation of the voyage itself
that thrilled her. It was the fact that here was another
step definitely marking her progress.
Heyl, looking incredibly limp, was leaning against a gaudy
marble pillar, his eyes on the downcoming elevators. Fanny
saw him just an instant before he saw her, and in that
moment she found herself wondering why this boy (she felt
years older than he) should look so fantastically out of
place in this great, glittering, feverish hotel lobby. Just
a shy, rather swarthy Jewish boy, who wore the right kind of
clothes in the wrong manner--then Heyl saw her and came
swiftly toward her.
"Hello, Clancy!" They had not seen each other in six
"Anybody else going down with you?"
"No. Ella Monahan had a last-minute business appointment,
but she promised to be at the dock, somehow, before the boat
leaves. I'm going to be grand, and taxi all the way."
"I've an open car, waiting."
"But I won't have it! I can't let you do that."
"Oh, yes you can. Don't take it so hard. That's the
trouble with you business women. You're killing the
gallantry of a nation. Some day one of you will get up and
give me a seat in a subway----"
"I'll punish you for that, Clancy. If you want the Jane
Austen thing I'll accommodate. I'll drop my handkerchief,
gloves, bag, flowers and fur scarf at intervals of five
minutes all the way downtown. Then you may scramble around
on the floor of the cab and feel like a knight."
Fanny had long ago ceased to try to define the charm of this
man. She always meant to be serenely dignified with him.
She always ended by feeling very young, and, somehow,
gloriously carefree and lighthearted. There was about him a
naturalness, a simplicity, to which one responded in kind.
Seated beside her he turned and regarded her with
"Like it?" demanded Fanny, pertly. And smoothed her veil,
"Well, for a man who looks negligee even in evening clothes
aren't you overcritical?"
"I'm not criticizing your clothes. Even I can see that that
hat and suit have the repressed note that means money. And
you're the kind of woman who looks her best in those plain
"You look like a buyer. In two more years your face will
have that hard finish that never comes off."
"I am a buyer."
"You're not. You're a creator. Remember, I'm not
belittling your job. It's a wonderful job--for Ella
Monahan. I wish I had the gift of eloquence. I wish I had
the right to spank you. I wish I could prove to you,
somehow, that with your gift, and heritage, and racial right
it's as criminal for you to be earning your thousands at
Haynes-Cooper's as it would have been for a vestal virgin to
desert her altar fire to stoke a furnace. Your eyes are
bright and hard, instead of tolerant. Your mouth is losing
its graciousness. Your whole face is beginning to be
stamped with a look that says shrewdness and experience, and
"I am successful. Why shouldn't I look it?"
"Because you're a failure. I'm sick, I tell you--sick with
disappointment in you. Jane Addams would have been a
success in business, too. She was born with a humanity
sense, and a value sense, and a something else that can't be
acquired. Ida Tarbell could have managed your whole Haynes-
Cooper plant, if she'd had to. So could a dozen other
women I could name. You don't see any sign of what you call
success on Jane Addams's face, do you? You wouldn't say, on
seeing her, that here was a woman who looked as if she might
afford hundred-dollar tailor suits and a town car. No. All
you see in her face is the reflection of the souls of all
the men and women she has worked to save. She has covered
her job--the job that the Lord intended her to cover. And
to me she is the most radiantly beautiful woman I have ever
Fanny sat silent. She was twisting the fingers of one hand
in the grip of the other, as she had since childhood, when
deeply disturbed. And suddenly she began to cry--silently,
harrowingly, as a man cries, her shoulders shaking, her face
buried in her furs.
"Fanny! Fanny girl!" He was horribly disturbed and
contrite. He patted her arm, awkwardly. She shook free of
his hand, childishly. "Don't cry, dear. I'm sorry. It's
just that I care so much. It's just----"
She raised an angry, tear-stained face. "It's just that you
have an exalted idea of your own perceptions. It's just
that you've grown up from what they used to call a bright
little boy to a bright young man, and you're just as
tiresome now as you were then. I'm happy enough, except
when I see you. I'm getting the things I starved for all
those years. Why, I'll never get over being thrilled at the
idea of being able to go to the theater, or to a concert,
whenever I like. Actually whenever I want to. And to be
able to buy a jabot, or a smart hat, or a book. You don't
know how I wanted things, and how tired I got of never
having them. I'm happy! I'm happy! Leave me alone!"
"It's an awful price to pay for a hat, and a jabot, and a
book and a theater ticket, Fan."
Ella Monahan had taken the tube, and was standing in the
great shed, watching arrivals with interest, long
before they bumped over the cobblestones of Hoboken.
The three descended to Fanny's cabin. Ella had sent
champagne--six cosy pints in a wicker basket.
"They say it's good for seasickness," she announced,
cheerfully, "but it's a lie. Nothing's good for
seasickness, except death, or dry land. But even if you do
feel miserable--and you probably will--there's something
about being able to lie in your berth and drink champagne
alone, by the spoonful, that's sort of soothing."
Heyl had fallen silent. Fanny was radiant again, and
exclamatory over her books and flowers.
"Of course it's my first trip," she explained, "and an event
in my life, but I didn't suppose that anybody else would
care. What's this? Candy? Glace fruit." She glanced
around the luxurious little cabin, then up at Heyl,
impudently. "I may be a coarse commercial person, Clancy,
but I must say I like this very, very much. Sorry."
They went up on deck. Ella, a seasoned traveler, was full
of parting instructions. "And be sure to eat at
Kempinski's, in Berlin. Twenty cents for lobster. And
caviar! Big as hen's eggs, and as cheap as codfish. And
don't forget to order mai-bowle. It tastes like
champagne, but isn't, and it has the most delicious dwarf
strawberries floating on top. This is just the season for
it. You're lucky. If you tip the waiter one mark he's
yours for life. Oh, and remember the plum compote.
You'll be disappointed in their Wertheim's that they're
always bragging about. After all, Field's makes 'em all
look like country stores."
"Wertheim's? Is that something to eat, too?"
"No, idiot. It's their big department store." Ella turned
to Heyl, for whom she felt mingled awe and liking. "If this
trip of hers is successful, the firm will probably send her
over three or four times a year. It's a wonderful chance
for a kid like her."
"Then I hope," said Heyl, quietly, "that this trip may be a
Ella smiled, uncertainly.
"Don't laugh," said Fanny, sharply. "He means it."
Ella, sensing an unpleasant something in which she had no
part, covered the situation with another rush of
"You'll get the jolt of your life when you come to Paris and
find that you're expected to pay for the lunches, and all
the cab fares, and everything, of those shrimpy little
commissionaires. Polite little fellows, they are, in
frock coats, and mustaches, and they just stand aside, as
courtly as you please, while you pay for everything. Their
house expects it. I almost passed away, the first time, but
you get used to it. Say, imagine one of our traveling men
letting you pay for his lunch and taxi."
She rattled on, genially. Heyl listened with unfeigned
delight. Ella found herself suddenly abashed before those
clear, far-seeing eyes. "You think I'm a gabby old girl,
"I think you're a wonderful woman," said Heyl. "Very wise,
and very kind."
"Why--thanks," faltered Ella. "Why--thanks."
They said their good-bys. Ella hugged Fanny warm-heartedly.
Then she turned away, awkwardly. Heyl put his two hands on
Fanny's shoulders and looked down at her. For a breathless
second she thought he was about to kiss her. She was amazed
to find herself hoping that he would. But he didn't.
"Good-by," he said, simply. And took her hand in his steel
grip a moment, and dropped it. And turned away. A
messenger boy, very much out of breath, came running up to
her, a telegram in his hand.
"For me?" Fanny opened it, frowned, smiled. "It's from Mr.
Fenger. Good wishes. As if all those flowers weren't
"Mm," said Ella. She and Heyl descended the gang-way, and
stood at the dock's edge, looking rather foolish and
uncertain, as people do at such times. There followed a few
moments of scramble, of absurdly shouted last messages, of
bells, and frantic waving of handkerchiefs. Fanny, at the
rail, found her two among the crowd, and smiled down upon
them, mistily. Ella was waving energetically. Heyl was
standing quite still, looking up. The ship swung clear,
crept away from the dock. The good-bys swelled to a roar.
Fanny leaned far over the rail and waved too, a sob in her
throat. Then she saw that she was waving with the hand that
held the yellow telegram. She crumpled it in the other
hand, and substituted her handkerchief. Heyl still stood,
hat in hand, motionless.
"Why don't you wave good-by?" she called, though he could
not possibly hear. "Wave good-by!" And then the hand with
the handkerchief went to her face, and she was weeping. I
think it was that old drama-thrill in her, dormant for so
long. But at that Heyl swung his hat above his head, three
times, like a schoolboy, and, grasping Ella's plump and
resisting arm, marched abruptly away.
The first week in June found her back in New York. That
month of absence had worked a subtle change. The two weeks
spent in crossing and recrossing had provided her with a
let-down that had been almost jarring in its completeness.
Everything competitive had seemed to fade away with the
receding shore, and to loom up again only when the skyline
became a thing of smoke-banks, spires, and shafts. She had
had only two weeks for the actual transaction of her
business. She must have been something of a revelation to
those Paris and Berlin manufacturers, accustomed though they
were to the brisk and irresistible methods of the American
business woman. She was, after all, absurdly young to be
talking in terms of millions, and she was amazingly well
dressed. This last passed unnoticed, or was taken for
granted in Paris, but in Berlin, home of the frump and the
flour-sack figure, she was stared at, appreciatively. Her
business, except for one or two unimportant side lines, had
to do with two factories on whose product the Haynes-Cooper
company had long had a covetous eye. Quantity, as usual,
was the keynote of their demand, and Fanny's task was that
of talking in six-figure terms to these conservative and
over-wary foreign manufacturers. That she had successfully
accomplished this, and that she had managed to impress them
also with the important part that time and promptness in
delivery played in a swift-moving machine like the Haynes-
Cooper concern, was due to many things beside her natural
business ability. Self-confidence was there, and
physical vigor, and diplomacy. But above all
there was that sheer love of the game; the dramatic sense
that enabled her to see herself in the part. That alone
precluded the possibility of failure. She knew how youthful
she looked, and how glowing. She anticipated the look that
came into their faces when she left polite small-talk behind
and soared up into the cold, rarefied atmosphere of
business. She delighted in seeing the admiring and tolerant
smirk vanish and give way to a startled and defensive
It might be mentioned that she managed, somehow, to spend
almost half a day in Petticoat Lane, and its squalid
surroundings, while in London. She actually prowled, alone,
at night, in the evil-smelling, narrow streets of the poorer
quarter of Paris, and how she escaped unharmed is a mystery
that never bothered her, because she had never known fear of
streets. She had always walked on the streets of Winnebago,
Wisconsin, alone. It never occurred to her not to do the
same in the streets of Chicago, or New York, or London, or
Paris. She found Berlin, with its Adlon, its appalling
cleanliness, its overfed populace, and its omnipresent
Kaiser forever scudding up and down Unter den Linden in his
chocolate-colored car, incredibly dull, and unpicturesque.
Something she had temporarily lost there in the busy
atmosphere of the Haynes-Cooper plant, seemed to have
New York, on her return, was something of a shock. She
remembered how vividly fresh it had looked to her on the day
of that first visit, months before. Now, to eyes fresh from
the crisp immaculateness of Paris and Berlin, Fifth avenue
looked almost grimy, and certainly shabby in spots.
Ella Monahan, cheerful, congratulatory, beaming, met her at
the pier, and Fanny was startled at her own sensation of
happiness as she saw that pink, good-natured face looking up
at her from the crowd below. The month that had gone
by since last she saw Ella standing just so, seemed to slip
away and fade into nothingness.
"I waited over a day," said Ella, "just to see you. My, you
look grand! I know where you got that hat. Galeries
Lafayette. How much?"
"I don't expect you to believe it. Thirty-five francs.
Seven dollars. I couldn't get it for twenty-five here."
They were soon clear of the customs. Ella had engaged a
room for her at the hotel they always used. As they rode
uptown together, happily, Ella opened her bag and laid a
little packet of telegrams and letters in Fanny's lap.
"I guess Fenger's pleased, all right, if telegrams mean
anything. Not that I know they're from him. But he said--"
But Fanny was looking up from one of them with a startled
"He's here. Fenger's here."
"In New York?" asked Ella, rather dully.
"Yes." She ripped open another letter. It was from
Theodore. He was coming to New York in August. The Russian
tour had been a brilliant success. They had arranged a
series of concerts for him in the United States. He could
give his concerto there. It was impossible in Russia,
Munich, even Berlin, because it was distinctly Jewish in
theme--as Jewish as the Kol Nidre, and as somber. They
would have none of it in Europe. Prejudice was too strong.
But in America! He was happier than he had been in years.
Olga objected to coming to America, but she would get over
that. The little one was well, and she was learning to
talk. Actually! They were teaching her to say Tante Fanny.
"Well!" exclaimed Fanny, her eyes shining. She read bits of
the letter aloud to Ella. Ella was such a satisfactory
sort of person to whom to read a letter aloud. She
exclaimed in all the right places. Her face was as radiant
as Fanny's. They both had forgotten all about Fenger, their
Chief. But they had been in their hotel scarcely a half
hour, and Ella had not done exclaiming over the bag that
Fanny had brought her from Paris, when his telephone call
He wasted very little time on preliminaries.
"I'll call for you at four. We'll drive through the park,
and out by the river, and have tea somewhere."
"That would be wonderful. That is, if Ella's free. I'll
"Yes. She's right here. Hold the wire, will you?" She
turned away from the telephone to face Ella. "It's Mr.
Fenger. He wants to take us both driving this afternoon.
You can go, can't you?"
"I certainly CAN," replied Miss Monahan, with what might
have appeared to be undue force.
Fanny turned back to the telephone. "Yes, thanks. We can
both go. We'll be ready at four."
Fanny decided that Fenger's muttered reply couldn't have
been what she thought it was.
Ella busied herself with the unpacking of a bag. She showed
a disposition to spoil Fanny. "You haven't asked after your
friend, Mr. Heyl. My land! If I had a friend like that--"
"Oh, yes," said Fanny, vaguely. "I suppose you and he are
great chums by this time. He's a nice boy."
"You don't suppose anything of the kind," Ella retorted,
crisply. "That boy, as you call him--and it isn't always
the man with the biggest fists that's got the most fight in
him--is about as far above me as--as--" she sat down on the
floor, ponderously, beside the open bag, and gesticulated
with a hairbrush, at loss for a simile "as an eagle is above
a waddling old duck. No, I don't mean that, either,
because I never did think much of the eagle, morally. But
you get me. Not that he knows it, or shows it. Heyl, I
mean. Lord, no! But he's got something--something kind of
spiritual in him that makes you that way, too. He doesn't
say much, either. That's the funny part of it. I do all
the talking, seems, when I'm with him. But I find myself
saying things I didn't know I knew. He makes you think
about things you're afraid to face by yourself. Big things.
Things inside of you." She fell silent a moment, sitting
cross-legged before the bag. Then she got up, snapped the
bag shut, and bore it across the room to a corner. "You
know he's gone, I s'pose."
"To those mountains, or wherever it is he gets that look in
his eyes from. That's my notion of a job. They let him go
for the whole summer, roaming around being a naturalist,
just so's he'll come back in the winter."
"And the column?" Fanny asked. "Do they let that go, too?"
"I guess he's going to do some writing for them up there.
After all, he's the column. It doesn't make much difference
where he writes from. Did you know it's being syndicated
now, all over the country? Well, it is. That's the secret
of its success, I suppose. It isn't only a column written
about New York for a New York paper. It's about everything,
for anybody. It's the humanest stuff. And he isn't afraid
of anything. New York's crazy about him. They say he's
getting a salary you wouldn't believe. I'm a tongue-tied
old fool when I'm with him, but then, he likes to talk about
you, mostly, so it doesn't matter."
Fanny turned swiftly from the dressing-table, where she was
taking the pins out of her vigorous, abundant hair.
"What kind of thing does he say about me, Ellen girl. H'm?
What kind of thing?"
"Abuse, mostly. I'll be running along to my own room now.
I'll be out for lunch, but back at four, for that airing
Fenger's so wild to have me take. If I were you I'd lie
down for an hour, till you get your land-legs." She poked
her head in at the door again. "Not that you look as if you
needed it. You've got a different look, somehow. Kind of
rested. After all, there's nothing like an ocean voyage."
She was gone. Fanny stood a moment, in the center of the
room. There was nothing relaxed or inert about her. Had
you seen her standing there, motionless, you would still
have got a sense of action from her. She looked so
splendidly alive. She walked to the window, now, and stood
looking down upon New York in early June. Summer had not
yet turned the city into a cauldron of stone and steel.
From her height she could glimpse the green of the park,
with a glint of silver in its heart, that was the lake. Her
mind was milling around, aimlessly, in a manner far removed
from its usual orderly functioning. Now she thought of
Theodore, her little brother--his promised return. It had
been a slow and painful thing, his climb. Perhaps if she
had been more ready to help, if she had not always waited
until he asked the aid that she might have volunteered--she
thrust that thought out of her mind, rudely, and slammed the
door on it. . . . Fenger. He had said, "Damn!" when she
had told him about Ella. And his voice had been--well--she
pushed that thought outside her mind, too. . . . Clarence
Heyl. . . . "He makes you think about things you're afraid
to face by yourself. Big things. Things inside of
you. . . ."
Fanny turned away from the window. She decided she must be
tired, after all. Because here she was, with everything to
make her happy: Theodore coming home; her foreign trip a
success; Ella and Fenger to praise her and make much of
her; a drive and tea this afternoon (she wasn't above these
creature comforts)--and still she felt unexhilarated, dull.
She decided to go down for a bit of lunch, and perhaps a
stroll of ten or fifteen minutes, just to see what Fifth
avenue was showing. It was half-past one when she reached
that ordinarily well-regulated thoroughfare. She found its
sidewalks packed solid, up and down, as far as the eye could
see, with a quiet, orderly, expectant mass of people.
Squads of mounted police clattered up and down, keeping the
middle of the street cleared. Whatever it was that had
called forth that incredible mass, was scheduled to proceed
uptown from far downtown, and that very soon. Heads were
turned that way. Fanny, wedged in the crowd, stood a-
tiptoe, but she could see nothing. It brought to her mind
the Circus Day of her Winnebago childhood, with Elm street
packed with townspeople and farmers, all straining their
eyes up toward Cherry street, the first turn in the line of
march. Then, far away, the blare of a band. "Here they
come!" Just then, far down the canyon of Fifth avenue,
sounded the cry that had always swayed Elm street,
Winnebago. "Here they come!"
"What is it?" Fanny asked a woman against whom she found
herself close-packed. "What are they waiting for?"
"It's the suffrage parade," replied the woman. "The big
suffrage parade. Don't you know?"
"No. I haven't been here." Fanny was a little
disappointed. The crowd had surged forward, so that it was
impossible for her to extricate herself. She found herself
near the curb. She could see down the broad street now, and
below Twenty-third street it was a moving, glittering mass,
pennants, banners, streamers flying. The woman next her
volunteered additional information.
"The mayor refused permission to let them march. But
they fought it, and they say it's the greatest suffrage
parade ever held. I'd march myself, only--"
"I don't know. I'm scared to, I think. I'm not a New
"Neither am I," said Fanny. Fanny always became friendly
with the woman next her in a crowd. That was her mother in
her. One could hear the music of the band, now. Fanny
glanced at her watch. It was not quite two. Oh, well, she
would wait and see some of it. Her mind was still too
freshly packed with European impressions to receive any real
idea of the value of this pageant, she told herself. She
knew she did not feel particularly interested. But she
Another surging forward. It was no longer, "Here they
come!" but, "Here they are!"
And here they were.
A squad of mounted police, on very prancy horses. The men
looked very ruddy, and well set-up and imposing. Fanny had
always thrilled to anything in uniform, given sufficient
numbers of them. Another police squad. A brass band, on
foot. And then, in white, on a snow-white charger, holding
a white banner aloft, her eyes looking straight ahead, her
face very serious and youthful, the famous beauty and
suffrage leader, Mildred Inness. One of the few famous
beauties who actually was a beauty. And after that women,
women, women! Hundreds of them, thousands of them, a river
of them flowing up Fifth avenue to the park. More bands.
More horses. Women! Women! They bore banners. This
section, that section. Artists. School teachers. Lawyers.
Doctors. Writers. Women in college caps and gowns. Women
in white, from shoes to hats. Young women. Girls. Gray-
haired women. A woman in a wheel chair, smiling. A man
next to Fanny began to jeer. He was a red-faced young man,
with a coarse, blotchy skin, and thick lips. He smoked
a cigar, and called to the women in a falsetto voice,
"Hello, Sadie!" he called. "Hello, kid!" And the women
marched on, serious-faced, calm-eyed. There came floats;
elaborate affairs, with girls in Greek robes. Fanny did not
care for these. More solid ranks. And then a strange and
pitiful and tragic and eloquent group. Their banner said,
"Garment Workers. Infants' Wear Section." And at their
head marched a girl, carrying a banner. I don't know how
she attained that honor. I think she must have been one of
those fiery, eloquent leaders in her factory clique. The
banner she carried was a large one, and it flapped
prodigiously in the breeze, and its pole was thick and
heavy. She was a very small girl, even in that group of
pale-faced, under-sized, under-fed girls. A Russian Jewess,
evidently. Her shoes were ludicrous. They curled up at the
toes, and the heels were run down. Her dress was a sort of
parody on the prevailing fashion. But on her face, as she
trudged along, hugging the pole of the great pennant that
flapped in the breeze, was stamped a look.--well, you see
that same look in some pictures of Joan of Arc. It wasn't
merely a look. It was a story. It was tragedy. It was the
history of a people. You saw in it that which told of
centuries of oppression in Russia. You saw eager groups of
student Intellectuals, gathered in secret places for low-
voiced, fiery talk. There was in it the unspeakable misery
of Siberia. It spoke eloquently of pogroms, of massacres,
of Kiev and its sister-horror, Kishineff. You saw mean and
narrow streets, and carefully darkened windows, and, on the
other side of those windows the warm yellow glow of the
seven-branched Shabbos light. Above this there shone the
courage of a race serene in the knowledge that it cannot
die. And illuminating all, so that her pinched face,
beneath the flapping pennant, was the rapt, uplifted
countenance of the Crusader, there blazed the great glow of
hope. This woman movement, spoken of so glibly as
Suffrage, was, to the mind of this over-read, under-fed,
emotional, dreamy little Russian garment worker the glorious
means to a long hoped for end. She had idealized it, with
the imagery of her kind. She had endowed it with promise
that it would never actually hold for her, perhaps. And so
she marched on, down the great, glittering avenue, proudly
clutching her unwieldy banner, a stunted, grotesque,
magnificent figure. More than a figure. A symbol.
Fanny's eyes followed her until she passed out of sight.
She put up her hand to her cheek, and her face was wet. She
stood there, and the parade went on, endlessly, it seemed,
and she saw it through a haze. Bands. More bands.
Pennants. Floats. Women. Women. Women.
"I always cry at parades," said Fanny, to the woman who
stood next her--the woman who wanted to march, but was
"That's all right," said the woman. "That's all right."
And she laughed, because she was crying, too. And then she
did a surprising thing. She elbowed her way to the edge of
the crowd, past the red-faced man with the cigar, out to the
street, and fell into line, and marched on up the street,
shoulders squared, head high.
Fanny glanced down at her watch. It was quarter after four.
With a little gasp she turned to work her way through the
close-packed crowd. It was an actual physical struggle,
from which she emerged disheveled, breathless, uncomfortably
warm, and minus her handkerchief, but she had gained the
comparative quiet of the side street, and she made the short
distance that lay between the Avenue and her hotel a matter
of little more than a minute. In the hotel corridor stood
Ella and Fenger, the former looking worried, the latter
"Where in the world--" began Ella.
"Caught in the jam. And I didn't want to get out. It was--
it was--glorious!" She was shaking hands with Fenger, and
realizing for the first time that she must be looking
decidedly sketchy and that she had lost her handkerchief.
She fished for it in her bag, hopelessly, when Fenger
released her hand. He had not spoken. Now he said:
"What's the matter with your eyes?"
"I've been crying," Fanny confessed cheerfully.
"The parade. There was a little girl in it--" she stopped.
Fenger would not be interested in that little girl. Now
Clancy would have--but Ella broke in on that thought.
"I guess you don't realize that out in front of this hotel
there's a kind of a glorified taxi waiting, with the top
rolled back, and it's been there half an hour. I never
expect to see the time when I could enjoy keeping a taxi
waiting. It goes against me."
"I'm sorry. Really. Let's go. I'm ready."
"You are not. Your hair's a sight; and those eyes!"
Fenger put a hand on her arm. "Go on up and powder your
nose, Miss Brandeis. And don't hurry. I want you to enjoy
On her way up in the elevator Fanny thought, "He has lost
his waistline. Now, that couldn't have happened in a month.
Queer I didn't notice it before. And he looks soft. Not
When she rejoined them she was freshly bloused and gloved
and all traces of the tell-tale red had vanished from her
eyelids. Fifth avenue was impossible. Their car sped up
Madison avenue, and made for the Park. The Plaza was a jam
of tired marchers. They dispersed from there, but there
seemed no end to the line that still flowed up Fifth avenue.
Fenger seemed scarcely to see it. He had plunged at once
into talk of the European trip. Fanny gave him every
detail, omitting nothing. She repeated all that her
letters and cables had told. Fenger was more excited than
she had ever seen him. He questioned, cross-questioned,
criticized, probed, exacted an account of every
conversation. Usually it was not method that interested
him, but results. Fanny, having accomplished the thing she
had set out to do, had lost interest in it now. The actual
millions so glibly bandied in the Haynes-Cooper plant had
never thrilled her. The methods by which they were made
Ella had been listening with the shrewd comprehension of one
who admires the superior art of a fellow craftsman.
"I'll say this, Mr. Fenger. If I could make you look like
that, by going to Europe and putting it over those foreign
boys, I'd feel I'd earned a year's salary right there, and
quit. Not to speak of the cross-examination you're putting
Fenger laughed, a little self-consciously. "It's just that
I want to be sure it's real. I needn't tell you how
important this trick is that Miss Brandeis has just turned."
He turned to Fanny, with a boyish laugh. "Now don't pose.
You know you can't be as bored as you look."
"Anyway," put in Ella, briskly, "I move that the witness
step down. She may not be bored, but she certainly must be
tired, and she's beginning to look it. Just lean back,
Fanny, and let the green of this park soak in. At that, it
isn't so awfully green, when you get right close, except
that one stretch of meadow. Kind of ugly, Central Park,
isn't it? Bare."
Fanny sat forward. There was more sparkle in her face than
at any time during the drive. They were skimming along
those green-shaded drives that are so sophisticatedly
"I used to think it was bare, too, and bony as an old maid,
with no soft cuddly places like the parks at home; no
gracious green stretches, and no rose gardens. But somehow,
it grows on you. The reticence of it. And that stretch of
meadow near the Mall, in the late afternoon, with the mist
on it, and the sky faintly pink, and that electric sign--
Somebody's Tires or other--winking off and on--"
"You're a queer child," interrupted Fenger. "As wooden as
an Indian while talking about a million-a-year deal, and
lyrical over a combination of electric sign, sunset, and
moth-eaten park. Oh, well, perhaps that's what makes you as
Even Ella looked a little startled at that.
They had tea at Claremont, at a table overlooking the river
and the Palisades. Fenger was the kind of man to whom
waiters always give a table overlooking anything that should
be overlooked. After tea they drove out along the river and
came back in the cool of the evening. Fanny was very quiet
now. Fenger followed her mood. Ella sustained the
conversation, somewhat doggedly. It was almost seven when
they reached the plaza exit. And there Fanny, sitting
forward suddenly, gave a little cry.
"Why--they're marching yet!" she said, and her voice was
high with wonder. "They're marching yet! All the time
we've been driving and teaing, they've been marching."
And so they had. Thousands upon thousands, they had flowed
along as relentlessly, and seemingly as endlessly as a
river. They were marching yet. For six hours the thousands
had poured up that street, making it a moving mass of white.
And the end was not yet. What pen, and tongue, and sense of
justice had failed to do, they were doing now by sheer,
crude force of numbers. The red-faced hooligan, who had
stood next to Fanny in the crowd hours before, had long ago
ceased his jibes and slunk away, bored, if not impressed.
After all, one might jeer at ten, or fifty, or a hundred
women, or even five hundred. But not at forty
Their car turned down Madison Avenue, and Fenger twisted
about for a last look at the throng in the plaza. He was
plainly impressed. The magnitude of the thing appealed to
him. To a Haynes-Cooper-trained mind, forty thousand women,
marching for whatever the cause, must be impressive. Forty
thousand of anything had the respect of Michael Fenger. His
eyes narrowed, thoughtfully.
"They seem to have put it over," he said. "And yet, what's
the idea? Oh, I'm for suffrage, of course. Naturally. And
all those thousands of women, in white--still, a thing as
huge as this parade has to be reduced to a common
denominator, to be really successful. If somebody could
take the whole thing, boil it down, and make the country see
what this huge demonstration stands for."
Fanny leaned forward suddenly. "Tell the man to stop. I
want to get out."
Fenger and Ella stared. "What for?" But Fenger obeyed.
"I want to get something at this stationer's shop." She had
jumped down almost before the motor had stopped at the curb.
"But let me get it."
"No. You can't. Wait here." She disappeared within the
shop. She was back in five minutes, a flat, loosely wrapped
square under her arm. "Cardboard," she explained briefly,
in answer to their questions.
Fenger, about to leave them at their hotel, presented his
plans for the evening. Fanny, looking up at him, her head
full of other plans, thought he looked and sounded very much
like Big Business. And, for the moment at least, Fanny
Brandeis loathed Big Business, and all that it stood for.
"It's almost seven," Fenger was saying. "We'll be
rubes in New York, this evening. You girls will just
have time to freshen up a bit--I suppose you want to--and
then we'll have dinner, and go to the theater, and to supper
afterward. What do you want to see?"
Ella looked at Fanny. And Fanny shook her head, "Thanks.
You're awfully kind. But--no."
"Why not?" demanded Fenger, gruffly.
"Perhaps because I'm tired. And there's something else I
Ella looked relieved. Fenger's eyes bored down upon Fanny,
but she seemed not to feel them. She held out her hand.
"You're going back to-morrow?" Fenger asked. "I'm not
leaving until Thursday."
"To-morrow, with Ella. Good-by. It's been a glorious
drive. I feel quite rested."
"You just said you were tired."
The elevator door clanged, shutting out the sight of
Fenger's resentful frown.
"He's as sensitive as a soubrette," said Ella. "I'm glad
you decided not to go out. I'm dead, myself. A kimono for
the rest of the evening."
Fanny seemed scarcely to hear her. With a nod she left
Ella, and entered her own room. There she wasted no time.
She threw her hat and coat on the bed. Her suitcase was on
the baggage stand. She turned on all the lights, swung the
closed suitcase up to the table, shoved the table against
the wall, up-ended the suitcase so that its leather side
presented a smooth surface, and propped a firm sheet of
white cardboard against the impromptu rack. She brought her
chair up close, fumbled in her bag for the pens she had just
purchased. Her eyes were on the blank white surface of the
paper. The table was the kind that has a sub-shelf. It
prevented Fanny from crossing her legs under it, and that
bothered her. While she fitted her pens, and blocked her
paper, she kept on barking her shins in unconscious
protest against the uncomfortable conditions under which she
She sat staring at the paper now, after having marked it off
into blocks, with a pencil. She got up, and walked across
the room, aimlessly, and stood there a moment, and came
back. She picked up a thread on the floor. Sat down again.
Picked up her pencil, rolled it a moment in her palms, then,
catching her toes behind either foreleg of her chair, in an
attitude that was as workmanlike as it was ungraceful, she
began to draw, nervously, tentatively at first, but gaining
in firmness and assurance as she went on.
If you had been standing behind her chair you would have
seen, emerging miraculously from the white surface under
Fanny's pencil, a thin, undersized little figure in sleazy
black and white, whose face, under the cheap hat, was
upturned and rapturous. Her skirts were wind-blown, and the
wind tugged, too, at the banner whose pole she hugged so
tightly in her arms. Dimly you could see the crowds that
lined the street on either side. Vaguely, too, you saw the
faces and stunted figures of the little group of girls she
led. But she, the central figure, stood out among all the
rest. Fanny Brandeis, the artist, and Fanny Brandeis, the
salesman, combined shrewdly to omit no telling detail. The
wrong kind of feet in the wrong kind of shoes; the absurd
hat; the shabby skirt--every bit of grotesquerie was there,
serving to emphasize the glory of the face. Fanny Brandeis'
face, as the figure grew, line by line, was a glorious
She was working rapidly. She laid down her pencil, now, and
leaned back, squinting her eyes critically. She looked
grimly pleased. Her hair was rather rumpled, and her cheeks
very pink. She took up her pen, now, and began to ink her
drawing with firm black strokes. As she worked a little
crow of delight escaped her--the same absurd crow of triumph
that had sounded that day in Winnebago, years and years
before, when she, a school girl in a red tam o' shanter, had
caught the likeness of Schabelitz, the peasant boy, under
the exterior of Schabelitz, the famous.
There sounded a smart little double knock at her door.
Fanny did not heed it. She did not hear it. Her toes were
caught behind the chair-legs again. She was slumped down on
the middle of her spine. She had brought the table, with
its ridiculously up-ended suitcase, very near, so that she
worked with a minimum of effort. The door opened. Fanny
did not turn her head. Ella Monahan came in, yawning. She
was wearing an expensive looking silk kimono that fell in
straight, simple folds, and gave a certain majesty to her
"Well, what in the world--" she began, and yawned again,
luxuriously. She stopped behind Fanny's chair and glanced
over her shoulder. The yawn died. She craned her neck a
little, and leaned forward. And the little girl went
marching by, in her cheap and crooked shoes, and her short
and sleazy skirt, with the banner tugging, tugging in the
breeze. Fanny Brandeis had done her with that economy of
line, and absence of sentimentality which is the test
separating the artist from the draughtsman.
Silence, except for the scratching of Fanny Brandeis's pen.
"Why--the poor little kike!" said Ella Monahan. Then, after
another moment of silence, "I didn't know you could draw
Fanny laid down her pen. "Like what?" She pushed back her
chair, and rose, stiffly. The drawing, still wet, was
propped up against the suitcase. Fanny walked across the
room. Ella dropped into her chair, so that when Fanny came
back to the table it was she who looked over Ella's
shoulder. Into Ella's shrewd and heavy face there had come
a certain look.
"They don't get a square deal, do they? They don't get a
The two looked at the girl a moment longer, in silence.
Then Fanny went over to the bed, and picked up her hat and
coat. She smoothed her hair, deftly, powdered her nose with
care, and adjusted her hat at the smart angle approved by
the Galeries Lafayette. She came back to the table, picked
up her pen, and beneath the drawing wrote, in large print:
She picked up the drawing, still wet, opened the door, and
with a smile at the bewildered Ella, was gone.
It was after eight o'clock when she reached the Star
building. She asked for Lasker's office, and sent in her
card. Heyl had told her that Lasker was always at his desk
at eight. Now, Fanny Brandeis knew that the average young
woman, standing outside the office of a man like Lasker,
unknown and at the mercy of office boy or secretary,
continues to stand outside until she leaves in
discouragement. But Fanny knew, too, that she was not an
average young woman. She had, on the surface, an air of
authority and distinction. She had that quiet assurance of
one accustomed to deference. She had youth, and beauty, and
charm. She had a hat and suit bought in Paris, France; and
a secretary is only human.
Carl Lasker's private office was the bare, bright,
newspaper-strewn room of a man who is not only a newspaper
proprietor, but a newspaper man. There's a difference.
Carl Lasker had sold papers on the street when he was ten.
He had slept on burlap sacks, paper stuffed, in the basement
of a newspaper office. Ink flowed with the blood in his
veins. He could operate a press. He could manipulate a
linotype machine (that almost humanly intelligent piece of
mechanism). He could make up a paper single handed,
and had done it. He knew the newspaper game, did Carl
Lasker, from the composing room to the street, and he was a
very great man in his line. And so he was easy to reach,
and simple to talk to, as are all great men.
A stocky man, decidedly handsome, surprisingly young, well
dressed, smooth shaven, direct.
Fanny entered. Lasker laid down her card. "Brandeis.
That's a good name." He extended his hand. He wore evening
clothes, with a white flower in his buttonhole. He must
have just come from a dinner, or he was to attend a late
affair, somewhere. Perhaps Fanny, taken aback,
unconsciously showed her surprise, because Lasker grinned,
as he waved her to a chair. His quick mind had interpreted