Part 6 out of 7
"Sit down, Miss Brandeis. You think I'm gotten up like the
newspaper man in a Richard Harding Davis short story, don't
you? What can I do for you?"
Fanny wasted no words. "I saw the parade this afternoon. I
did a picture. I think it's good. If you think so too, I
wish you'd use it."
She laid it, face up, on Lasker's desk. Lasker picked it up
in his two hands, held it off, and scrutinized it. All the
drama in the world is concentrated in the confines of a
newspaper office every day in the year, and so you hear very
few dramatic exclamations in such a place. Men like Lasker
do not show emotion when impressed. It is too wearing on
the mechanism. Besides, they are trained to self-control.
So Lasker said, now:
"Yes, I think it's pretty good, too." Then, raising his
voice to a sudden bellow, "Boy!" He handed the drawing to a
boy, gave a few brief orders, and turned back to Fanny.
"To-morrow morning every other paper in New York will have
pictures showing Mildred Inness, the beauty, on her snow-
white charger, or Sophronisba A. Bannister, A.B., Ph.D., in
her cap and gown, or Mrs. William Van der Welt as
Liberty. We'll have that little rat with the banner, and
it'll get 'em. They'll talk about it." His eyes narrowed a
little. "Do you always get that angle?"
"There isn't a woman cartoonist in New York who does that
human stuff. Did you know that?"
"Want a job?"
His knowing eye missed no detail of the suit, the hat, the
gloves, the shoes.
"What's your salary now?"
"You've hit the heart of that parade. I don't know whether
you could do that every day, or not. But if you struck
twelve half the time, it would be enough. When you want a
job, come back."
"Thanks," said Fanny quietly. And held out her hand.
She returned in the subway. It was a Bronx train, full of
sagging faces, lusterless eyes, grizzled beards; of heavy,
black-eyed girls in soiled white shoes; of stoop-shouldered
men, poring over newspapers in Hebrew script; of smells and
sounds and glaring light.
And though to-morrow would bring its reaction, and common
sense would have her again in its cold grip, she was radiant
to-night and glowing with the exaltation that comes with
creation. And over and over a voice within her was saying:
These are my people! These are my people!
The ship that brought Theodore Brandeis to America was the
last of its kind to leave German ports for years. The day
after he sailed from Bremen came the war. Fanny Brandeis
was only one of the millions of Americans who refused to
accept the idea of war. She took it as a personal affront.
It was uncivilized, it was old fashioned, it was
inconvenient. Especially inconvenient. She had just come
from Europe, where she had negotiated a million-dollar deal.
War would mean that she could not get the goods ordered.
Consequently there could be no war.
Theodore landed the first week in August. Fanny stole two
days from the ravenous bins to meet him in New York. I
think she must have been a very love-hungry woman in the
years since her mother's death. She had never admitted it.
But only emotions denied to the point of starvation could
have been so shaken now at the thought of the feast before
them. She had trained herself to think of him as Theodore
the selfish, Theodore the callous, Theodore the voracious.
"An unsuccessful genius," she told herself. "He'll be
impossible. They're bad enough when they're successful."
But now her eyes, her thoughts, her longings, her long-pent
emotions were straining toward the boat whose great prow was
looming toward her, a terrifying bulk. The crowd awaiting
the ship was enormous. A dramatic enough scene at any time,
the great Hoboken pier this morning was filled with an
unrehearsed mob, anxious, thrilled, hysterical. The morning
papers had carried wireless news that the ship had been
chased by a French gunboat and had escaped only through
the timely warning of the Dresden, a German gunboat. That
had added the last fillip to an already tense situation.
Tears were streaming down half the faces upturned toward the
crowded decks. And from every side:
"Do you see her?"
"That's Jessie. There she is! Jessie!"
"Heh! Jim, old boy! Come on down!"
Fanny's eyes were searching the packed rails. "Ted!" she
called, and choked back a sob. "Teddy!" Still she did not
see him. She was searching, womanlike, for a tall, blondish
boy, with a sulky mouth, and humorous eyes, and an unruly
lock of hair that would insist on escaping from the rest and
straggling down over his forehead. I think she was even
looking for a boy with a violin in his arms. A boy in
knickers. Women lose all sense of time and proportion at
such times. Still she did not see him. The passengers were
filing down the gangplank now; rushing down as quickly as
the careful hands of the crew would allow them, and hurling
themselves into the arms of friends and family crowded
below. Fanny strained her eyes toward that narrow
passageway, anxious, hopeful, fearful, heartsick. For the
moment Olga and the baby did not exist for her. And then
she saw him.
She saw him through an unimaginable disguise. She saw him,
and knew him in spite of the fact that the fair-haired,
sulky, handsome boy had vanished, and in his place walked a
man. His hair was close-cropped, German-fashion; his face
careworn and older than she had ever thought possible; his
bearing, his features, his whole personality stamped with an
unmistakable distinction. And his clothes were appallingly,
inconceivably German. So she saw him, and he was her
brother, and she was his sister, and she stretched out her
arms to him.
"Teddy!" She hugged him close, her face buried in his
shoulder. "Teddy, you--you Spitzbube you!" She laughed
at that, a little hysterically. "Not that I know what a
Spitzbube is, but it's the Germanest word I can think of."
That shaven head. Those trousers. That linen. The awful
boots. The tie! "Oh, Teddy, and you're the Germanest thing
I ever saw." She kissed him again, rapturously.
He kissed her, too, wordlessly at first. They moved aside a
little, out of the crowd. Then he spoke for the first time.
"God! I'm glad to see you, Fanny." There was tragedy, not
profanation in his voice. His hand gripped hers. He
turned, and now, for the first time, Fanny saw that at his
elbow stood a buxom, peasant woman, evidently a nurse, and
in her arms a child. A child with Molly Brandeis' mouth,
and Ferdinand Brandeis' forehead, and Fanny Brandeis' eyes,
and Theodore Brandeis' roseleaf skin, and over, and above
all these, weaving in and out through the whole, an
expression or cast--a vague, undefinable thing which we call
a resemblance--that could only have come from the woman of
the picture, Theodore Brandeis' wife, Olga.
"Why--it's the baby!" cried Fanny, and swung her out of the
nurse's protesting arms. Such a German-looking baby. Such
an adorably German-looking baby. "Du kleine, du!" Fanny
kissed the roseleaf cheek. "Du suszes--" She turned
suddenly to Theodore. "Olga--where's Olga?"
"She did not come."
Fanny tightened her hold of the little squirming bundle in
her arms. "Didn't come?"
Theodore shook his head, dumbly. In his eyes was an agony
of pain. And suddenly all those inexplicable things in his
face were made clear to Fanny. She placed the little Mizzi
in the nurse's arms again. "Then we'll go, dear. They
won't be a minute over your trunks, I'm sure. Just follow
Her arm was linked through Theodore's. Her hand was on his.
Her head was up. Her chin was thrust out, and she never
knew how startlingly she resembled the Molly Brandeis who
used to march so bravely down Norris street on her way to
Brandeis' Bazaar. She was facing a situation, and she
recognized it. There was about her an assurance, a
composure, a blithe capability that imparted itself to the
three bewildered and helpless ones in her charge. Theodore
felt it, and the strained look in his face began to lift
just a little. The heavy-witted peasant woman felt it, and
trudged along, cheerfully. The baby in her arms seemed to
sense it, and began to converse volubly and unintelligibly
with the blue uniformed customs inspector.
They were out of the great shed in an incredibly short time.
Fanny seemed equal to every situation. She had taken the
tube to Hoboken, but now she found a commodious open car,
and drove a shrewd bargain with the chauffeur. She bundled
the three into it. Of the three, perhaps Theodore seemed
the most bewildered and helpless. He clung to his violin
"I feel like an immigrant," he said. "Fan, you're a wonder.
You don't know how much you look and act like mother. I've
been watching you. It's startling."
Fanny laughed and took his hand, and held his hand up to her
breast, and crushed it there. "And you look like an
illustration out of the Fliegende Blaetter. It isn't only
your clothes. Your face is German. As for Mizzi here--"
she gathered the child in her arms again--"you've never
explained that name to me. Why, by the way, Mizzi? Of all
the names in the world."
Theodore smiled a wry little smile. "Mizzi is named after
Olga's chum. You see, in Vienna every other--well, chorus
girl I suppose you'd call them--is named Mizzi. Like
all the Gladyses and Flossies here in America. Well, Olga's
special friend Mizzi--"
"I see," said Fanny quietly. "Well, anything's better than
Fanny. Always did make me think of an old white horse."
And at that the small German person in her arms screwed her
mouth into a fascinating bunch, and then unscrewed it and,
having made these preparations said, "Tante Fanny. Shecago.
"Why, Mizzi Brandeis, you darling! Teddy, did you hear
that! She said `Tante Fanny' and `Chicago' just as
"Did I hear it? Have I heard anything else for weeks?"
The plump person on the opposite seat, who had been shaking
her head violently all this time here threatened to burst if
not encouraged to speak. Fanny nodded to her. Whereupon
the flood broke.
"Wunderbar, nicht war! Ich kuss' die handt, gnadiges
Fraulein." She actually did it, to Fanny's consternation.
"Ich hab' ihr das gelernt, Gnadige. Selbst. Ist es nicht
ganz entzuckend! Tante Fanny. Auch Shecago."
Fanny nodded a number of times, first up and down,
signifying assent, then sideways, signifying unbounded
wonder and admiration. She made a gigantic effort to summon
her forgotten German.
"Was ist Ihre Name?" she managed to ask.
"Oh, my!" exclaimed Fanny, weakly. "Mizzi and Otti. It
sounds like the first act of the `Merry Widow.'" She turned
to Theodore. "I wish you'd sit back, and relax, and if you
must clutch that violin case, do it more comfortably. I
don't want you to tell me a thing, now. New York is ghastly
in August. We'll get a train out of here to-morrow. My
apartment in Chicago is cool, and high, and quiet, and the
lake is in the front yard, practically. To-night, perhaps,
we'll talk about--things. And, oh, Teddy, how glad I
am to see you--to have you--to--" she put out a hand and
patted his thin cheek--"to touch you."
And at that the man became a boy again. His face worked a
moment, painfully and then his head came down in her lap
that held the baby, and so she had them both for a moment,
one arm about the child, one hand smoothing the boy's close-
cropped hair. And in that moment she was more splendidly
maternal than either of the women who had borne these whom
she now comforted.
It was Fanny who attended to the hotel rooms, to the baby's
comfort, to the railroad tickets, to the ordering of the
meals. Theodore was like a stranger in a strange land. Not
only that, he seemed dazed.
"We'll have it out to-night," Fanny said to herself. "He'll
never get that look off his face until he has told it all.
I knew she was a beast."
She made him lie down while she attended to schedules,
tickets, berths. She was gone for two hours. When she
returned she found him looking amused, terrified and
helpless, all at once, while three men reporters and one
woman special writer bombarded him with questions. The
woman had brought a staff artist with her, and he was now
engaged in making a bungling sketch of Theodore's face, with
its ludicrous expression.
Fanny sensed the situation and saved it. She hadn't sold
goods all these years without learning the value of
advertising. She came forward now, graciously (but not too
graciously). Theodore looked relieved. Already he had
learned that one might lean on this sister who was so
capable, so bountifully alive.
"Teddy, you're much too tired to talk. Let me talk for
"My sister, Miss Brandeis," said Teddy, and waved a rather
feeble hand in an inclusive gesture at the interrogatory
Fanny smiled. "Do sit down," she said, "all of you. Tell
me, how did you happen to get on my brother's trail?"
One of the men explained. "We had a list of ship's
passengers, of course. And we knew that Mr. Brandeis was a
German violinist. And then the story of the ship being
chased by a French boat. We just missed him down at the
"But he isn't a German violinist," interrupted Fanny.
"Please get that straight. He's American. He is THE
American violinist--or will be, as soon as his concert tour
here is well started. It was Schabelitz himself who
discovered my brother, and predicted his brilliant career.
Here"--she had been glancing over the artist's shoulder--
"will you let me make a sketch for you--just for the fun of
the thing? I do that kind of thing rather decently. Did
you see my picture called `The Marcher,' in the Star, at
the time of the suffrage parade in May? Yes, that was mine.
Just because he has what we call a butcher haircut, don't
think he's German, because he isn't. You wouldn't call
Winnebago, Wisconsin, Germany, would you?"
She was sketching him swiftly, daringly, masterfully. She
was bringing out the distinction, the suffering, the
boyishness in his face, and toning down the queer little
foreign air he had. Toning it, but not omitting it
altogether. She was too good a showman for that. As she
sketched she talked, and as she talked she drew Theodore
into the conversation, deftly, and just when he was needed.
She gave them what they had come for--a story. And a good
one. She brought in Mizzi and Otti, for color, and she saw
to it that they spelled those names as they should be
spelled. She managed to gloss over the question of Olga.
Ill. Detained. Last minute. Too brave to sacrifice her
husband's American tour. She finished her sketch and gave
it to the woman reporter. It was an amazingly compelling
little piece of work--and yet, not so amazing, perhaps,
when you consider the thing that Fanny Brandeis had put into
it. Then she sent them away, tactfully. They left, knowing
all that Fanny Brandeis had wanted them to know; guessing
little that she had not wanted them to guess. More than
that no human being can accomplish, without the advice of
"Whew!" from Fanny, when the door had closed.
"Gott im Himmel!" from Theodore. "I had forgotten that
America was like that."
"But America IS like that. And Teddy, we're going to
make it sit up and take notice."
At that Theodore drooped again. Fanny thought that he
looked startlingly as she remembered her father had looked
in those days of her childhood, when Brandeis' Bazaar was
slithering downhill. The sight of him moved her to a sudden
resolve. She crossed swiftly to him, and put one heartening
hand on his shoulder.
"Come on, brother. Out with it. Let's have it all now."
He reached up for her hand and held it, desperately. "Oh,
Fan!" began Theodore, "Fan, I've been through hell."
Fanny said nothing. She only waited, quietly,
encouragingly. She had learned when not to talk. Presently
he took up his story, plunging directly into it, as though
sensing that she had already divined much.
"She married me for a living. You'll think that's a joke,
knowing what I was earning there, in Vienna, and how you and
mother were denying yourselves everything to keep me. But
in a city that circulates a coin valued at a twentieth of a
cent, an American dollar looms up big. Besides, two of the
other girls had got married. Good for nothing officers.
She was jealous, I suppose. I didn't know any of that. I
was flattered to think she'd notice me. She was awfully
popular. She has a kind of wit. I suppose you'd call it
that. The other girls were just coarse, and heavy,
and--well--animal. You can't know the rottenness of life
there in Vienna. Olga could keep a whole supper table
laughing all evening. I can see, now, that that isn't
difficult when your audience is made up of music hall girls,
and stupid, bullet-headed officers, with their damned high
collars, and their gold braid, and their silly swords, and
their corsets, and their glittering shoes and their
miserable petty poverty beneath all the show. I thought I
was a lucky boy. I'd have pitied everybody in Winnebago, if
I'd ever thought of anybody in Winnebago. I never did,
except once in a while of you and mother when I needed
money. I kept on with my music. I had sense enough left,
for that. Besides, it was a habit, by that time. Well, we
He laughed, an ugly, abrupt little laugh that ended in a
moan, and turned his head and buried his face in Fanny's
breast. And Fanny's arm was there, about his shoulder.
"Fanny, you don't--I can't--" He stopped. Another silence.
Fanny's arm tightened its hold. She bent and kissed the top
of the stubbly head, bowed so low now. "Fan, do you
remember that woman in `The Three Musketeers'? The hellish
woman, that all men loved and loathed? Well, Olga's like
that. I'm not whining. I'm not exaggerating. I'm just
trying to make you understand. And yet I don't want you to
understand. Only you don't know what it means to have you
to talk to. To have some one who"--he clutched her hand,
fearfully--"You do love me, don't you, Fanny? You do, don't
"More than any one in the world," Fanny reassured him,
quietly. "The way mother would have, if she had lived."
A sigh escaped him, at that, as though a load had lifted
from him. He went on, presently. "It would have been all
right if I could have earned just a little more money."
Fanny shrank at that, and shut her eyes for a sick
moment. "But I couldn't. I asked her to be patient. But
you don't know the life there. There is no real home life.
They live in the cafes. They go there to keep warm, in the
winter, and to meet their friends, and gossip, and drink
that eternal coffee, and every coffee house--there are
thousands--is a rendezvous. We had two rooms, comfortable
ones, for Vienna, and I tried to explain to her that if I
could work hard, and get into concert, and keep at the
composing, we'd be rich some day, and famous, and happy, and
she'd have clothes, and jewels. But she was too stupid, or
too bored. Olga is the kind of woman who only believes what
she sees. Things got worse all the time. She had a temper.
So have I--or I used to have. But when hers was aroused it
was--horrible. Words that--that--unspeakable words. And
one day she taunted me with being a ---- with my race. The
first time she called me that I felt that I must kill her.
That was my mistake. I should have killed her. And I
"Teddy boy! Don't, brother! You're tired. You're excited
and worn out."
"No, I'm not. Just let me talk. I know what I'm saying.
There's something clean about killing." He brooded a moment
over that thought. Then he went on, doggedly, not raising
his voice. His hands were clasped loosely. "You don't know
about the intolerance and the anti-Semitism in Prussia, I
suppose. All through Germany, for that matter. In Bavaria
it's bitter. That's one reason why Olga loathed Munich so.
The queer part of it is that all that opposition seemed to
fan something in me; something that had been smoldering for
a long time." His voice had lost its dull tone now. It had
in it a new timbre. And as he talked he began to interlard
his English with bits of German, the language to which his
tongue had accustomed itself in the past ten years. His
sentences, too, took on a German construction, from time to
time. He was plainly excited now. "My playing began
to improve. There would be a ghastly scene with Olga--
sickening--degrading. Then I would go to my work, and I
would play, but magnificently! I tell you, it would be
playing. I know. To fool myself I know better. One
morning, after a dreadful quarrel I got the idea for the
concerto, and the psalms. Jewish music. As Jewish as the
Kol Nidre. I wanted to express the passion, and fire, and
history of a people. My people. Why was that? Tell me.
Selbst, weiss ich nicht. I felt that if I could put into
it just a millionth part of their humiliation, and their
glory; their tragedy and their triumph; their sorrow, and
their grandeur; their persecution, their weldtschmerz.
Volkschmerz. That was it. And through it all, weaving in
and out, one great underlying motif. Indestructibility.
The great cry which says, `We cannot be destroyed!'"
He stood up, uncertainly. His eyes were blazing. He began
to walk up and down the luxurious little room. Fanny's eyes
matched his. She was staring at him, fascinated, trembling.
She moistened her lips a little with her tongue. "And
you've done it? Teddy! You've done--that!"
Theodore Brandeis stood up, very straight and tall. "Yes,"
he said, simply. "Yes, I've done that."
She came over to him then, and put her two hands on his
shoulders. "Ted--dear--will you ever forgive me? I'll try
to make up for it now. I didn't know. I've been blind.
Worse than blind. Criminal." She was weeping now, broken-
heartedly, and he was patting her with little comforting
love pats, and whispering words of tenderness.
"Forgive you? Forgive you what?"
"The years of suffering. The years you've had to spend with
her. With that horrible woman--"
"Don't--" He sucked his breath between his teeth. His face
had gone haggard again. Fanny, direct as always, made
up her mind that she would have it all. And now.
"There's something you haven't told me. Tell me all of it.
You're my brother and I'm your sister. We're all we have in
the world." And at that, as though timed by some miraculous
and supernatural stage manager, there came a cry from the
next room; a sleepy, comfortable, imperious little cry.
Mizzi had awakened. Fanny made a step in the direction of
the door. Then she turned back. "Tell me why Olga didn't
come. Why isn't she here with her husband and baby?"
"Because she's with another man."
"It had been going on for a long time. I was the last to
know about it. It's that way, always, isn't it? He's an
officer. A fool. He'll have to take off his silly corsets
now, and his velvet collar, and his shiny boots, and go to
war. Damn him! I hope they'll kill him with a hundred
bayonets, one by one, and leave him to rot on the field.
She had been fooling me all the time, and they had been
laughing at me, the two of them. I didn't find it out until
just before this American trip. And when I confronted her
with it she laughed in my face. She said she hated me. She
said she'd rather starve than leave him to come to America
with me. She said I was a fiddling fool. She--" he was
trembling and sick with the shame of it--"God! I can't tell
you the things she said. She wanted to keep Mizzi. Isn't
that strange? She loves the baby. She neglects her, and
spoils her, and once I saw her beat her, in a rage. But she
says she loves my Mizzi, and I believe she does, in her own
dreadful way. I promised her, and lied to her, and then I
ran away with Mizzi and her nurse."
"Oh, I thank God for that!" Fanny cried. "I thank God for
that! And now, Teddy boy, we'll forget all about those
miserable years. We'll forget all about her, and the
life she led you. You're going to have your chance here.
You're going to be repaid for every minute of suffering
you've endured. I'll make it up to you. And when you see
them applauding you, calling for you, adoring you, all those
hideous years will fade from your mind, and you'll be
Theodore Brandeis, the successful, Theodore Brandeis, the
gifted, Theodore Brandeis, the great! You need never think
of her again. You'll never see her again. That beast!
And at that Theodore's face became distorted and dreadful
with pain. He raised two impotent, shaking arms high above
his head. "That's just it! That's just it! You don't know
what love is. You don't know what hate is. You don't know
how I hate myself. Loathe myself. She's all that's
miserable, all that's unspeakable, all that's vile. And if
she called me to-day I'd come. That's it." He covered his
shamed face with his two hands, so that the words came from
him slobberingly, sickeningly. "I hate her! I hate her!
And I want her. I want her. I want her!"
If Fanny Brandeis, the deliberately selfish, the
calculatingly ambitious, was aghast at the trick fate had
played her, she kept her thoughts to herself. Knowing her,
I think she must have been grimly amused at finding herself
saddled with a helpless baby, a bewildered peasant woman,
and an artist brother both helpless and bewildered.
It was out of the question to house them in her small
apartment. She found a furnished apartment near her own,
and installed them there, with a working housekeeper in
charge. She had a gift for management, and she arranged all
these details with a brisk capability that swept everything
before it. A sunny bedroom for Mizzi. But then, a bright
living room, too, for Theodore's hours of practice. No
noise. Chicago's roar maddened him. Otti shied at every
new contrivance that met her eye. She had to be broken in
to elevators, electric switches, hot and cold faucets,
"No apartment ever built could cover all the requirements,"
Fanny confided to Fenger, after the first harrowing week.
"What they really need is a combination palace, houseboat,
sanatorium, and creche."
"Look here," said Fenger. "If I can help, why--" a sudden
thought struck him. "Why don't you bring 'em all down to my
place in the country? We're not there half the time. It's
too cool for my wife in September. Just the thing for the
child, and your brother could fiddle his head off."
The Fengers had a roomy, wide-verandaed house near
Lake Forest; one of the many places of its kind that dot the
section known as the north shore. Its lawn sloped gently
down to the water's edge. The house was gay with striped
awnings, and scarlet geraniums, and chintz-covered chairs.
The bright, sparkling, luxurious little place seemed to
satisfy a certain beauty-sense in Fenger, as did the
etchings on the walls in his office. Fanny had spent a
week-end there in July, with three or four other guests,
including Fascinating Facts. She had been charmed with it,
and had announced that her energies thereafter would be
directed solely toward the possession of just such a house
as this, with a lawn that was lipped by the lake, awnings
and geraniums to give it a French cafe air; books and
magazines enough to belie that.
"And I'll always wear white," she promised, gayly, "and
there'll be pitchers on every table, frosty on the outside,
and minty on the inside, and you're all invited."
They had laughed at that, and so had she, but she had been
grimly in earnest just the same.
She shook her head now at Fenger's suggestion. "Imagine
Mrs. Fenger's face at sight of Mizzi, and Theodore with his
violin, and Otti with her shawls and paraphernalia.
Though," she added, seriously, "it's mighty kind of you, and
generous--and just like a man."
"It isn't kindness nor generosity that makes me want to do
things for you."
"Modest," murmured Fanny, wickedly, "as always."
Fenger bent his look upon her. "Don't try the ingenue on
Theodore's manager, Kurt Stein, was to have followed him in
ten days. The war changed that. The war was to change many
things. Fanny seemed to sense the influx of musicians that
was to burst upon the United States following the first few
weeks of the catastrophe, and she set about forestalling it.
Advertising. That was what Theodore needed. She had
faith enough in his genius. But her business sense told her
that this genius must be enhanced by the proper setting.
She set about creating this setting. She overlooked no
chance to fix his personality in the kaleidoscopic mind of
the American public--or as much of it as she could reach.
His publicity man was a dignified German-American whose
methods were legitimate and uninspired. Fanny's enthusiasm
and superb confidence in Theodore's genius infected Fenger,
Fascinating Facts, even Nathan Haynes himself. Nathan
Haynes had never posed as a patron of the arts, in spite of
his fantastic millions. But by the middle of September
there were few of his friends, or his wife's friends, who
had not heard of this Theodore Brandeis. In Chicago,
Illinois, no one lives in houses, it is said, except the
city's old families, and new millionaires. The rest of the
vast population is flat-dwelling. To say that Nathan
Haynes' spoken praise reached the city's house-dwellers
would carry with it a significance plain to any Chicagoan.
As for Fanny's method; here is a typical example of her
somewhat crude effectiveness in showmanship. Otti had
brought with her from Vienna her native peasant costume. It
is a costume seen daily in the Austrian capital, on the
Ring, in the Stadt Park, wherever Viennese nurses convene
with their small charges. To the American eye it is a
musical comedy costume, picturesque, bouffant, amazing.
Your Austrian takes it quite for granted. Regardless of the
age of the nurse, the skirt is short, coming a few inches
below the knees, and built like a lamp shade, in color
usually a bright scarlet, with rows of black velvet ribbon
at the bottom. Beneath it are worn skirts and skirts, and
skirts, so that the opera-bouffe effect is complete. The
bodice is black velvet, laced over a chemise of white. The
head-gear a soaring winged affair of stiffly starched
white, that is a pass between the Breton peasant
woman's cap and an aeroplane. Black stockings and slippers
finish the costume.
Otti and Mizzi spent the glorious September days in Lincoln
park, Otti garbed in staid American stripes and apron, Mizzi
resplendent in smartest of children's dresses provided for
her lavishly by her aunt. Her fat and dimpled hands
smoothed the blue, or pink or white folds with a complacency
astonishing in one of her years. "That's her mother in
her," Fanny thought.
One rainy autumn day Fanny entered her brother's apartment
to find Otti resplendent in her Viennese nurse's costume.
Mizzi had been cross and fretful, and the sight of the
familiar scarlet and black and white, and the great winged
cap seemed to soothe her.
"Otti!" Fanny exclaimed. "You gorgeous creature! What is
it? A dress rehearsal?" Otti got the import, if not the
"So gehen wir im Wien," she explained, and struck a killing
"Everybody? All the nurses? Alle?"
"Aber sure," Otti displayed her half dozen English words
Fanny stared a moment. Her eyes narrowed thoughtfully.
"To-morrow's Saturday," she said, in German. "If it's fair
and warm you put on that costume and take Mizzi to the
park. . . . Certainly the animal cages, if you want to. If
any one annoys you, come home. If a policeman asks you why
you are dressed that way tell him it is the costume worn by
nurses in Vienna. Give him your name. Tell him who your
master is. If he doesn't speak German--and he won't, in
Chicago--some one will translate for you."
Not a Sunday paper in Chicago that did not carry a startling
picture of the resplendent Otti and the dimpled and smiling
Mizzi. The omnipresent staff photographer seemed to sniff
his victim from afar. He pounced on Theodore Brandeis'
baby daughter, accompanied by her Viennese nurse (in
costume) and he played her up in a Sunday special that was
worth thousands of dollars, Fanny assured the bewildered and
resentful Theodore, as he floundered wildly through the
billowing waves of the Sunday newspaper flood.
Theodore's first appearance was to be in Chicago as soloist
with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, in the season's opening
program in October. Any music-wise Chicagoan will tell you
that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is not only a musical
organization functioning marvelously (when playing
Beethoven). It is an institution. Its patrons will admit
the existence, but not the superiority of similar
organizations in Boston, Philadelphia and New York. On
Friday afternoons, during the season, Orchestra Hall,
situate on Michigan Boulevard, holds more pretty girls and
fewer men than one might expect to see at any one gathering
other than, perhaps, a wholesale debutante tea crush. A
Friday afternoon ticket is as impossible of attainment for
one not a subscriber as a seat in heaven for a sinner.
Saturday night's audience is staider, more masculine, less
staccato. Gallery, balcony, parquet, it represents the
city's best. Its men prefer Beethoven to Berlin. Its women
could wear pearl necklaces, and don't. Between the audience
and the solemn black-and-white rows on the platform there
exists an entente cordiale. The Konzert-Meister bows to
his friend in the third row, as he tucks his violin under
his chin. The fifth row, aisle, smiles and nods to the
"Fritz is playing well to-night."
In a rarefied form, it is the atmosphere that existed
between audience and players in the days of the old and
famous Daly stock company.
Such was the character of the audience Theodore was to face
on his first appearance in America. Fanny explained
its nature to him. He shrugged his shoulders in a gesture
as German as it was expressive.
Theodore seemed to have become irrevocably German during the
years of his absence from America. He had a queer stock of
little foreign tricks. He lifted his hat to men
acquaintances on the street. He had learned to smack his
heels smartly together and to bow stiffly from the waist,
and to kiss the hand of the matrons--and they adored him for
it. He was quite innocent of pose in these things. He
seemed to have imbibed them, together with his queer German
haircut, and his incredibly German clothes.
Fanny allowed him to retain the bow, and the courtly hand-
kiss, but she insisted that he change the clothes and the
"You'll have to let it grow, Ted. I don't mean that I want
you to have a mane, like Ysaye. But I do think you ought to
discard that convict cut. Besides, it isn't becoming. And
if you're going to be an American violinist you'll have to
look it--with a foreign finish."
He let his hair grow. Fanny watched with interest for the
appearance of the unruly lock which had been wont to
straggle over his white forehead in his schoolboy days. The
new and well-cut American clothes effected surprisingly
little change. Fanny, surveying him, shook her head.
"When you stepped off the ship you looked like a German in
German clothes. Now you look like a German in American
clothes. I don't know--I do believe it's your face, Ted. I
wouldn't have thought that ten years or so in any country
could change the shape of one's nose, and mouth and
cheekbones. Do you suppose it's the umlauts?"
"Cut it out!" laughed Ted, that being his idea of modern
American slang. He was fascinated by these crisp phrases,
but he was ten years or so behind the times, and he
sometimes startled his hearers by an exhibition of slang so
old as to be almost new. It was all the more startling in
contrast with his conversational English, which was as
carefully correct as a born German's.
As for the rest, it was plain that he was interested, but
unhappy. He practiced for hours daily. He often took Mizzi
to the park and came back storming about the dirt, the
noise, the haste, the rudeness, the crowds, the
mismanagement of the entire city. Dummheit, he called it.
They profaned the lake. They allowed the people to trample
the grass. They threw papers and banana skins about. And
they wasted! His years in Germany had taught him to regard
all these things as sacrilege, and the last as downright
criminal. He was lonesome for his Germany. That was plain.
He hated it, and loved it, much as he hated and loved the
woman who had so nearly spoiled his life. The maelstrom
known as the southwest corner of State and Madison streets
"Gott!" he exclaimed. "Es ist unglaublich! Aber ganz
unglaublich! Ich werde bald veruckt." He somehow lapsed
into German when excited.
Fanny took him to the Haynes-Cooper plant one day, and it
left him dazed, and incredulous. She quoted millions at
him. He was not interested. He looked at the office
workers, the mail-room girls, and shook his head, dumbly.
They were using bicycles now, with a bundle rack in the
front, in the vast stock rooms, and the roller skates had
been discarded as too slow. The stock boys skimmed around
corners on these lightweight bicycles, up one aisle, and
down the next, snatching bundles out of bins, shooting
bundles into bins, as expertly as players in a gymkhana.
Theodore saw the uncanny rapidity with which the letter-
opening machines did their work. He watched the great
presses that turned out the catalogue--the catalogue
whose message meant millions; he sat in Fenger's office and
stared at the etchings, and said, "Certainly," with
politeness, when Fenger excused himself in the midst of a
conversation to pick up the telephone receiver and talk to
their shoe factory in Maine. He ended up finally in Fanny's
office, no longer a dingy and undesirable corner, but a
quietly brisk center that sent out vibrations over the
entire plant. Slosson, incidentally, was no longer of the
infants' wear. He had been transferred to a subordinate
position in the grocery section.
"Well," said Fanny, seating herself at her desk, and smiling
radiantly upon her brother. "Well, what do you think of
And then Theodore Brandeis, the careless, the selfish, the
blind, said a most amazing thing.
"Fanny, I'll work. I'll soon get some of these millions
that are lying about everywhere in this country. And then
I'll take you out of this. I promise you."
Fanny stared at him, a picture of ludicrous astonishment.
"Why, you talk as if you were--sorry for me!"
"I am, dear. God knows I am. I'll make it up to you,
It was the first time in all her dashing and successful
career that Fanny Brandeis had felt the sting of pity. She
resented it, hotly. And from Theodore, the groper, the--
"But at any rate," something within her said, "he has always
been true to himself."
Theodore's manager arrived in September, on a Holland boat,
on which he had been obliged to share a stuffy inside cabin
with three others. Kurt Stein was German born, but American
bred, and he had the American love of luxurious travel. He
was still testy when he reached Chicago and his charge.
"How goes the work?" he demanded at once, of Theodore. He
eyed him sharply. "That's better. You have lost some
of the look you had when you left Wien. The ladies would
have liked that look, here in America. But it is bad for
He took Fanny aside before he left. His face was serious.
It was plain that he was disturbed. "That woman," he began.
"Pardon me, Mrs. Brandeis. She came to me. She says she is
starving. She is alone there, in Vienna. Her--well, she is
alone. The war is everywhere. They say it will last for
years. She wept and pleaded with me to take her here."
"No!" cried Fanny. "Don't let him hear it. He mustn't
"Yes, I know. She is a paradox, that woman. I tell you,
she almost prevailed on me. There is something about her;
something that repels and compels." That struck him as
being a very fine phrase indeed, and he repeated it
"I'll send her money, somehow," said Fanny.
"Yes. But they say that money is not reaching them over
there. I don't know what becomes of it. It vanishes." He
turned to leave. "Oh, a message for you. On my boat was
Schabelitz. It looks very much as if his great fortune, the
accumulation of years, would be swept away by this war.
Already they are tramping up and down his lands in Poland.
His money--much of it--is invested in great hotels in Poland
and Russia, and they are using them for barracks and
"Schabelitz! You mean a message for Theodore? From him?
"For Theodore, and for you, too."
"For me! I made a picture of him once when I was a little
girl. I didn't see him again for years. Then I heard him
play. It was on his last tour here. I wanted to speak to
him. But I was afraid. And my face was red with weeping."
"He remembers you. And he means to see Theodore and you.
He can do much for Theodore in this country, and I
think he will. His message for you was this: `Tell her I
still have the picture that she made of me, with the jack-
in-the-box in my hand, and that look on my face. Tell her I
have often wondered about that little girl in the red cap
and the black curls. I've wondered if she went on, catching
that look back of people's faces. If she did, she should be
more famous than her brother."'
"He said that! About me!"
"I am telling you as nearly as I can. He said, `Tell her it
was a woman who ruined Bauer's career, and caused him to end
his days a music teacher in--in--Gott! I can't remember the
name of that town----"
"Winnebago. That was it. `Tell her not to let the brother
spoil his life that way.' So. That is the message. He
said you would understand."
Theodore's face was ominous when she returned to him, after
Stein had left.
"I wish you and Stein wouldn't stand out there in the hall
whispering about me as if I were an idiot patient. What
were you saying?"
"Nothing, Ted. Really."
He brooded a moment. Then his face lighted up with a flash
of intuition. He flung an accusing finger at Fanny.
"He has seen her."
"Ted! You promised."
"She's in trouble. This war. And she hasn't any money. I
know. Look here. We've got to send her money. Cable it."
"I will. Just leave it all to me."
"If she's here, in this country, and you're lying to me----"
"She isn't. My word of honor, Ted."
Life was a very complicated thing for Fanny these days.
Ted was leaning on her; Mizzi, Otti, and now Fenger. Nathan
Haynes was poking a disturbing finger into that delicate and
complicated mechanism of System which Fenger had built up in
the Haynes-Cooper plant. And Fenger, snarling, was trying
to guard his treasure. He came to Fanny with his grievance.
Fanny had always stimulated him, reassured him, given him
the mental readjustment that he needed.
He strode into her office one morning in late September.
Ordinarily he sent for her. He stood by her desk now, a
sheaf of papers in his hand, palpably stage props, and
lifted significant eyebrows in the direction of the
stenographer busy at her typewriter in the corner.
"You may leave that, Miss Mahin," Fanny said. Miss Mahin, a
comprehending young woman, left it, and the room as well.
Fenger sat down. He was under great excitement, though he
was quite controlled. Fanny, knowing him, waited quietly.
His eyes held hers.
"It's come," Fenger began. "You know that for the last year
Haynes has been milling around with a herd of sociologists,
philanthropists, and students of economics. He had some
scheme in the back of his head, but I thought it was just
another of his impractical ideas. It appears that it
wasn't. Between the lot of them they've evolved a savings
and profit-sharing plan that's founded on a kind of
practical universal brotherhood dream. Haynes's millions
are bothering him. If they actually put this thing through
I'll get out. It'll mean that everything I've built up will
be torn down. It will mean that any six-dollar-a-week
"As I understand it," interrupted Fanny, "it will mean that
there will be no more six-dollar-a-week girls."
"That's it. And let me tell you, once you get the ignorant,
unskilled type to believing they're actually capable of
earning decent money, actually worth something, they're
worse than useless. They're dangerous."
"You don't believe that."
"But it's a theory that belongs to the Dark Ages. We've
disproved it. We've got beyond that."
"Yes. So was war. We'd got beyond it. But it's here. I
tell you, there are only two classes: the governing and the
governed. That has always been true. It always will be.
Let the Socialists rave. It has never got them anywhere. I
know. I come from the mucker class myself. I know what
they stand for. Boost them, and they'll turn on you. If
there's anything in any of them, he'll pull himself up by
his own bootstraps."
"They're not all potential Fengers."
"Then let 'em stay what they are."
Fanny's pencil was tracing and retracing a tortured and
meaningless figure on the paper before her. "Tell me, do
you remember a girl named Sarah Sapinsky?"
"Never heard of her."
"That's fitting. Sarah Sapinsky was a very pretty, very
dissatisfied girl who was a slave to the bundle chute. One
day there was a period of two seconds when a bundle didn't
pop out at her, and she had time to think. Anyway, she
left. I asked about her. She's on the streets."
"Thanks to you and your system."
"Look here, Fanny. I didn't come to you for that kind of
talk. Don't, for heaven's sake, give me any sociological
drivel to-day. I'm not here just to tell you my troubles.
You know what my contract is here with Haynes-Cooper. And
you know the amount of stock I hold. If this scheme of
Haynes's goes in, I go out. Voluntarily. But at my own
price. The Haynes-Cooper plant is at the height of its
efficiency now." He dropped his voice. "But the mail order
business is in its infancy. There's no limit to what can be
done with it in the next few years. Understand? Do you get
what I'm trying to tell you?" He leaned forward, tense and
terribly in earnest.
Fanny stared at him. Then her hand went to her head in a
gesture of weariness. "Not to-day. Please. And not here.
Don't think I'm ungrateful for your confidence. But--this
month has been a terrific strain. Just let me pass the
fifteenth of October. Let me see Theodore on the way----"
Fenger's fingers closed about her wrist. Fanny got to her
feet angrily. They glared at each other a moment. Then the
humor of the picture they must be making struck Fanny. She
began to laugh. Fenger's glare became a frown. He turned
abruptly and left the office. Fanny looked down at her
wrist ruefully. Four circlets of red marked its smooth
whiteness. She laughed again, a little uncertainly this
When she got home that night she found, in her mail, a
letter for Theodore, postmarked Vienna, and stamped with the
mark of the censor. Theodore had given her his word of
honor that he would not write Olga, or give her his address.
Olga was risking Fanny's address. She stood looking at the
letter now. Theodore was coming in for dinner, as he did
five nights out of the week. As she stood in the hallway,
she heard the rattle of his key in the lock. She flew down
the hall and into her bedroom, her letters in her hand. She
opened her dressing table drawer and threw them into it,
switched on the light and turned to face Theodore in the
"Hello, Teddy. Kiss me. Phew! That pipe again. How'd the
work go to-day?"
"So--so. Any mail for me?"
That night, when he had gone, she took out the letter and
stood turning it over and over in her hands. She had no
thought of reading it. It was its destruction she was
contemplating. Finally she tucked it away in her
handkerchief box. Perhaps, after the fifteenth of October.
Everything depended on that.
And the fifteenth of October came. It had dragged for
weeks, and then, at the end, it galloped. By that time
Fanny had got used to seeing Theodore's picture and name
outside Orchestra Hall, and in the musical columns of the
papers. Brandeis. Theodore Brandeis, the violinist. The
name sang in her ears. When she walked on Michigan Avenue
during that last week she would force herself to march
straight on past Orchestra Hall, contenting herself with a
furtive and oblique glance at the announcement board. The
advance programs hung, a little bundle of them, suspended by
a string from a nail on the wall near the box office, so
that ticket purchasers might rip one off and peruse the
week's musical menu. Fanny longed to hear the comment of
the little groups that were constantly forming and
dispersing about the box office window. She never dreamed
of allowing herself to hover near it. She thought sometimes
of the woman in the businesslike gray skirt and the black
sateen apron who had drudged so cheerfully in the little
shop so that Theodore Brandeis' name might shine now from
the very top of the program, in heavy black letters:
Soloist: MR. THEODORE BRANDEIS, Violin
The injustice of it. Fanny had never ceased to rage at
In the years to come Theodore Brandeis was to have that
adulation which the American public, temperamentally so
cold, gives its favorite, once the ice of its reserve is
thawed. He was to look down on that surging, tempestuous
crowd which sometimes packs itself about the foot of
the platform in Carnegie Hall, demanding more, more, more,
after a generous concert is concluded. He had to learn to
protect himself from those hysterical, enraptured, wholly
feminine adorers who swarmed about him, scaling the platform
itself. But of all this there was nothing on that Friday
and Saturday in October. Orchestra Hall audiences are not,
as a rule, wildly demonstrative. They were no exception.
They listened attentively, appreciatively. They talked,
critically and favorably, on the way home. They applauded
generously. They behaved as an Orchestra Hall audience
always behaves, and would behave, even if it were confronted
with a composite Elman-Kreisler-Ysaye soloist. Theodore's
playing was, as a whole, perhaps the worst of his career.
Not that he did not rise to magnificent heights at times.
But it was what is known as uneven playing. He was torn
emotionally, nervously, mentally. His playing showed it.
Fanny, seated in the auditorium, her hands clasped tight,
her heart hammering, had a sense of unreality as she waited
for Theodore to appear from the little door at the left. He
was to play after the intermission. Fanny had arrived late,
with Theodore, that Friday afternoon. She felt she could
not sit through the first part of the program. They waited
together in the anteroom. Theodore, looking very slim and
boyish in his frock coat, walked up and down, up and down.
Fanny wanted to straighten his tie. She wanted to pick an
imaginary thread off his lapel. She wanted to adjust the
white flower in his buttonhole (he jerked it out presently,
because it interfered with his violin, he said). She wanted
to do any one of the foolish, futile things that would have
served to relieve her own surcharged feelings. But she had
learned control in these years. And she yielded to none of
The things they said and did were, perhaps, almost
"How do I look?" Theodore demanded, and stood up before her.
"Beautiful!" said Fanny, and meant it.
Theodore passed a hand over his cheek. "Cut myself shaving,
"It doesn't show."
He resumed his pacing. Now and then he stopped, and rubbed
his hands together with a motion we use in washing.
"I wish you'd go out front," he said, almost pettishly.
Fanny rose, without a word. She looked very handsome.
Excitement had given her color. The pupils of her eyes were
dilated and they shone brilliantly. She looked at her
brother. He stared at her. They swayed together. They
kissed, and clung together for a long moment. Then Fanny
turned and walked swiftly away, and stumbled a little as she
groped for the stairway.
The bell in the foyer rang. The audience strolled to the
auditorium. They lagged, Fanny thought. They crawled. She
told herself that she must not allow her nerves to tease her
like that. She looked about her, with outward calm. Her
eyes met Fenger's. He was seated, alone. It was he who had
got a subscription seat for her from a friend. She had said
she preferred to be alone. She looked at him now and he at
her, and they did not nod nor smile. The house settled
A man behind Fanny spoke. "Who's this Brandeis?"
"I don't know. A new one. German, I guess. They say he's
good. Kreisler's the boy who can play for me, though."
The orchestra was seated now. Stock, the conductor, came
out from the little side door. Behind him walked Theodore.
There was a little, impersonal burst of applause. Stock
mounted his conductor's platform and glanced paternally
down at Theodore, who stood at the left, violin and bow in
hand, bowing. The audience seemed to warm to his
boyishness. They applauded again, and he bowed in a little
series of jerky bobs that waggled his coat-tails. Heels
close together, knees close together. A German bow. And
then a polite series of bobs addressed to Stock and his
orchestra. Stock's long, slim hands poised in air. His
fingertips seemed to draw from the men before him the first
poignant strains of Theodore's concerto. Theodore stood,
slim and straight. Fanny's face, lifted toward him, was a
prayerful thing. Theodore suddenly jerked back the left
lapel of his coat in a little movement Fanny remembered as
typical in his boyish days, nuzzled his violin tenderly, and
began to play.
It is the most excruciating of instruments, the violin, or
the most exquisite. I think Fanny actually heard very
little of his playing. Her hands were icy. Her cheeks were
hot. The man before her was not Theodore Brandeis, the
violinist, but Teddy, the bright-haired, knickered schoolboy
who played to those people seated in the yellow wooden pews
of the temple in Winnebago. The years seemed to fade away.
He crouched over his violin to get the 'cello tones for
which he was to become famous, and it was the same hunched,
almost awkward pose that the boy had used. Fanny found
herself watching his feet as his shifted his position. He
was nervous. And he was not taken out of himself. She knew
that because she saw the play of his muscles about the jaw-
bone. It followed that he was not playing his best. She
could not tell that from listening to him. Her music sense
was dulled. She got it from these outward signs. The woman
next to her was reading a program absorbedly, turning the
pages regularly, and with care. Fanny could have killed her
with her two hands. She tried to listen detachedly. The
music was familiar to her. Theodore had played it for
her, again and again. The last movement had never
failed to shake her emotionally. It was the glorious and
triumphant cry of a people tried and unafraid. She heard it
And then Theodore was bowing his little jerky bows, and he
was shaking hands with Stock, and with the First Violin. He
was gone. Fanny sat with her hands in her lap. The
applause continued. Theodore appeared again. Bowed. He
bent very low now, with his arms hanging straight. There
was something gracious and courtly about him. And foreign.
He must keep that, Fanny thought. They like it. She saw
him off again. More applause. Encores were against the
house rules. She knew that. Then it meant they were
pleased. He was to play again. A group of Hungarian dances
this time. They were wild, gypsy things, rising to frenzy
at times. He played them with spirit and poetry. To listen
sent the blood singing through the veins. Fanny found
herself thinking clearly and exaltedly.
"This is what my mother drudged for, and died for, and it
was worth it. And you must do the same, if necessary.
Nothing else matters. What he needs now is luxury. He's
worn out with fighting. Ease. Peace. Leisure. You've got
to give them to him. It's no use, Fanny. You lose."
In that moment she reached a mark in her spiritual career
that she was to outdistance but once.
Theodore was bowing again. Fanny had scarcely realized that
he had finished. The concert was over.
". . . the group of dances," the man behind her was saying
as he helped the girl next him with her coat, "but I didn't
like that first thing. Church music, not concert."
Fanny found her way back to the ante-room. Theodore was
talking to the conductor, and one or two others. He looked
tired, and his eyes found Fanny's with appeal and
relief in them. She came over to him. There were
introductions, congratulations. Fanny slipped her hand over
his with a firm pressure.
"Come, dear. You must be tired."
At the door they found Fenger waiting. Theodore received
his well-worded congratulations with an ill-concealed scowl.
"My car's waiting," said Fenger. "Won't you let me take you
A warning pressure from Theodore. "Thanks, no. We have a
car. Theodore's very tired."
"I can quite believe that."
"Not tired," growled Theodore, like a great boy. "I'm
hungry. Starved. I never eat before playing."
Kurt Stein, Theodore's manager, had been hovering over him
solicitously. "You must remember to-morrow night. I should
advise you to rest now, as quickly as possible." He, too,
glared at Fenger.
Fenger fell back, almost humbly. "I've great news for you.
I must see you Sunday. After this is over. I'll telephone
you. Don't try to come to work to-morrow." All this is a
hurried aside to Fanny.
Fanny nodded and moved away with Theodore.
Theodore leaned back in the car, but there was no hint of
relaxation. He was as tense and vibrant as one of his own
"It went, didn't it? They're like clods, these American
audiences." It was on the tip of Fanny's tongue to say that
he had professed indifference to audiences, but she wisely
refrained. "Gad! I'm hungry. What makes this Fenger hang
around so? I'm going to tell him to keep away, some day.
The way he stares at you. Let's go somewhere to-night, Fan.
Or have some people in. I can't sit about after I've
played. Olga always used to have a supper party, or
"All right, Ted. Would you like the theater?"
For the first time in her life she felt a little whisper of
sympathy for the despised Olga. Perhaps, after all, she had
not been wholly to blame.
He was to leave Sunday morning for Cleveland, where he would
play Monday. He had insisted on taking Mizzi with him,
though Fanny had railed and stormed. Theodore had had his
"She's used to it. She likes to travel, don't you, Mizzi?
You should have seen her in Russia, and all over Germany,
and in Sweden. She's a better traveler than her dad."
Saturday morning's papers were kind, but cool. They used
words such as promising, uneven, overambitious, gifted.
Theodore crumpled the lot into a ball and hurled them across
the room, swearing horribly. Then he smoothed them out,
clipped them, and saved them carefully. His playing that
night was tinged with bravado, and the Saturday evening
audience rose to it. There was about his performance a
glow, a spirit that had been lacking on the previous day.
Inconsistently enough, he missed the antagonism of the
European critics. He was puzzled and resentful.
"They hardly say a word about the meaning of the concerto.
They accept it as a piece of music, Jewish in theme. It
might as well be entitled Springtime."
"This isn't France or Russia," said Fanny. "Antagonism here
isn't religious. It's personal, almost. You've been away
so many years you've forgotten. They don't object to us as
a sect, or a race, but as a type. That's the trouble,
Clarence Heyl says. We're free to build as many synagogues
as we like, and worship in them all day, if we want to. But
we don't want to. The struggle isn't racial any more, but
individual. For some reason or other one flashy, loud-
talking Hebrew in a restaurant can cause more ill feeling
than ten thousand of them holding a religious mass meeting
in Union Square."
Theodore pondered a moment. "Then here each one of us is
responsible. Is that it?"
"I suppose so."
"But look here. I've been here ten weeks, and I've met your
friends, and not one of them is a Jew. How's that?"
Fanny flushed a little. "Oh, it just worked out that way."
Theodore looked at her hard. "You mean you worked it out
"Fan, we're a couple of weaklings, both of us, to have
sprung from a mother like ours. I don't know which is
worse; my selfishness, or yours." Then, at the hurt that
showed in her face, he was all contrition. "Forgive me,
Sis. You've been so wonderful to me, and to Mizzi, and to
all of us. I'm a good-for-nothing fiddler, that's all.
You're the strong one."
Fenger had telephoned her on Saturday. He and his wife were
at their place in the country. Fanny was to take the train
out there Sunday morning. She looked forward to it with a
certain relief. The weather had turned unseasonably warm,
as Chicago Octobers sometimes do. Up to the last moment she
had tried to shake Theodore's determination to take Mizzi
and Otti with him. But he was stubborn.
"I've got to have her," he said.
Michael Fenger's voice over the telephone had been as
vibrant with suppressed excitement as Michael Fenger's dry,
hard tones could be.
"Fanny, it's done--finished," he said. "We had a meeting
to-day. This is my last month with Haynes-Cooper."
"But you can't mean it. Why, you ARE Haynes-Cooper. How
can they let you go?"
"I can't tell you now. We'll go over it all to-morrow.
I've new plans. They've bought me out. D'you see? At
a price that--well, I thought I'd got used to juggling
millions at Haynes-Cooper. But this surprised even me.
Will you come? Early? Take the eight-ten."
"That's too early. I'll get the ten."
The mid-October country was a lovely thing. Fanny, with the
strain of Theodore's debut and leave-taking behind her, and
the prospect of a high-tension business talk with Fenger
ahead, drank in the beauty of the wayside woods gratefully.
Fenger met her at the station. She had never seen him so
boyish, so exuberant. He almost pranced.
"Hop in," he said. He had driven down in a runabout.
"Brother get off all right? Gad! He CAN play. And
you've made the whole thing possible." He turned to look at
her. "You're a wonder."
"In your present frame of mind and state of being," laughed
Fanny, "you'd consider any one a wonder. You're so pleased
with yourself you're fairly gummy."
Fenger laughed softly and sped the car on. They turned in
at the gate. There was scarlet salvia, now, to take the
place of the red geraniums. The gay awnings, too, were
"This is our last week," Fenger explained. "It's too cold
out here for Katherine. We're moving into town to-morrow.
We're more or less camping out here, with only the Jap to
take care of us."
"Don't apologize, please. I'm grateful just to be here,
after the week I've had. Let's have the news now."
"We'll have lunch first. I'm afraid you'll have to excuse
Katherine. She probably won't be down for lunch." The Jap
had spread the luncheon table on the veranda, but a brisk
lake breeze had sprung up, and he was busy now transferring
his table from the porch to the dining room. "Would you
have believed it," said Fenger, "when you left town?
Good old lake. Mrs. Fenger coming down?" to the man.
The Jap shook his head. "Nossa."
Their talk at luncheon was all about Theodore and his
future. Fenger said that what Theodore needed was a firm
and guiding hand. "A sort of combination manager and slave-
driver. An ambitious and intelligent wife would do it.
That's what we all need. A woman to work for, and to make
Fanny smiled. "Mizzi will have to be woman enough, I'm
afraid. Poor Ted."
They rose. "Now for the talk," said Fenger. But the
telephone had sounded shrilly a moment before, and the
omnipresent little Jap summoned Fenger. He was back in a
minute, frowning. "It's Haynes. I'm sorry. I'm afraid
it'll take a half hour of telephoning. Don't you want to
take a cat-nap? Or a stroll down to the lake?"
"Don't bother about me. I'll probably take a run outdoors."
"Be back in half an hour."
But when she returned he was still at the telephone. She
got a book and stretched luxuriously among the cushions of
one of the great lounging chairs, and fell asleep. When she
awoke Fenger was seated opposite her. He was not reading.
He was not smoking. He evidently had been sitting there,
looking at her.
"Oh, gracious! Mouth open?"
Fanny fought down an impulse to look as cross as she felt.
"What time? Why didn't you wake me?" The house was very
quiet. She patted her hair deftly, straightened her collar.
"Where's everybody? Isn't Mrs. Fenger down yet?"
"No. Don't you want to hear about my plans now?"
"Of course I do. That's what I came for. I don't see
why you didn't tell me hours ago. You're as slow in action
as a Chinese play. Out with it."
Fenger got up and began to pace the floor, not excitedly,
but with an air of repression. He looked very powerful and
compelling, there in the low-ceilinged, luxurious room.
"I'll make it brief. We met yesterday in Haynes's office.
Of course we had discussed the thing before. You know that.
Haynes knew that I'd never run the plant under the new
conditions. Why, it would kill every efficiency rule I've
ever made. Here I had trimmed that enormous plant down to
fighting weight. There wasn't a useless inch or ounce about
the whole enormous billionaire bulk of it. And then to have
Haynes come along, with his burdensome notions, and his
socialistic slop. They'd cripple any business, no matter
how great a start it had. I told him all that. We didn't
waste much time on argument, though. We knew we'd never get
together. In half an hour we were talking terms. You know
my contract and the amount of stock I hold. Well, we
threshed that out, and Haynes is settling for two million
and a half."
He came to a stop before Fanny's chair.
"Two million and a half what?" asked Fanny, feebly.
"Dollars." He smiled rather grimly. "In a check."
Fanny digested that in her orderly mind. "I thought I was
used to thinking in millions. But this--I'd like to touch
the check, just once."
"You shall." He drew up a chair near her. "Now get this,
Fanny. There's nothing that you and I can't do with two
millions and a half. Nothing. We know this mail order game
as no two people in the world know it. And it's in its
infancy. I know the technical side of it. You know the
human side of it. I tell you that in five years' time you
and I can be a national power. Not merely the heads of
a prosperous mail order business, but figures in finance.
See what's happened to Haynes-Cooper in the last five years!
Why, it's incredible. It's grotesque. And it's nothing to
what you and I can do, working together. You know people,
somehow. You've a genius for sensing their wants, or
feelings, or emotions--I don't know just what it is. And I
know facts. And we have two million and a half--I can make
it nearly three millions--to start with. Haynes, fifteen
years ago, had a couple of hundred thousand. In five years
we can make the Haynes-Cooper organization look as modern
and competent as a cross-roads store. This isn't a dream.
These are facts. You know how my mind works. Like a cold
chisel. I can see this whole country--and Europe, too,
after the war--God, yes!--stretched out before us like a
patient before expert surgeons. You to attend to its heart,
and I to its bones and ligaments. I can put you where no
other woman has ever been. I've a hundred new plans this
minute, and a hundred more waiting to be born. So have you.
I tell you it's just a matter of buildings. Of bricks and
stone, and machinery and people to make the machinery go.
Once we get those--and it's only a matter of months--we can
accomplish things I daren't even dream of. What was Haynes-
Cooper fifteen years ago? What was the North American Cloak
and Suit Company? The Peter Johnston Stores, of New York?
Wells-Kayser? Nothing. They didn't exist. And this year
Haynes-Cooper is declaring a twenty-five per cent dividend.
Do you get what that means? But of course you do. That's
the wonder of it. I never need explain things to you.
You've a genius for understanding."
Fanny had been sitting back in her chair, crouching almost,
her eyes fixed upon the man's face, so terrible in its
earnestness and indomitable strength. When he stopped
talking now, and stood looking down at her, she rose,
too, her eyes still on his face. She was twisting the
fingers of one hand in the fingers of the other, in a
frightened sort of way.
"I'm not really a business woman. I--wait a minute,
please--I have a knack of knowing what people are thinking
and wanting. But that isn't business."
"It isn't, eh? It's the finest kind of business sense.
It's the thing the bugs call psychology, and it's as
necessary to-day as capital was yesterday. You can get
along without the last. You can't without the first. One
can be acquired. The other you've got to be born with."
"But I--you know, of late, it's only the human side of it
that has appealed to me. I don't know why. I seem to have
lost interest in the actual mechanics of it."
Fenger stood looking at her, his head lowered. A scarlet
stripe, that she had never noticed before, seemed to stand
out suddenly, like a welt, on his forehead. Then he came
toward her. She raised her hand in a little futile gesture.
She took an involuntary step backward, encountered the chair
she had just left, and sank into it coweringly. She sat
there, looking up at him, fascinated. His hand, on the wing
of the great chair, was shaking. So, too, was his voice.
"Fanny, Katherine's not here."
Fanny still looked up at him, wordlessly.
"Katherine left here yesterday. She's in town." Then, at
the look in her face, "She was here when I telephoned you
yesterday. Late yesterday afternoon she had one of her
fantastic notions. She insisted that she must go into town.
It was too cold for her here. Too damp. Too--well, she
went. And I let her go. And I didn't telephone you again.
I wanted you to come."
Fanny Brandeis, knowing him, must have felt a great qualm of
terror and helplessness. But she was angry, too, a
wholesome ingredient in a situation such as this. The thing
she said and did now was inspired. She laughed--a little
uncertainly, it is true--but still she laughed. And she
said, in a matter-of-fact tone:
"Well, I must say that's a rather shabby trick. Still, I
suppose the tired business man has got to have his little
melodrama. What do I do? H'm? Beat my breast and howl?
Or pound on the door panel?"
Fenger stood looking at her. "Don't laugh at me, Fanny."
She stood up, still smiling. It was rather a brilliant
piece of work. Fenger, taken out of himself though he was,
still was artist enough to appreciate it.
"Why not laugh," she said, "if I'm amused? And I am. Come
now, Mr. Fenger. Be serious. And let's get back to the
billions. I want to catch the five-fifteen."
"I AM serious."
"Well, if you expect me to play the hunted heroine, I'm
sorry." She pointed an accusing finger at him. "I know
now. You're quitting Haynes-Cooper for the movies. And
this is a rehearsal for a vampire film."
"You nervy little devil, you!" He reached out with one
great, irresistible hand and gripped her shoulder. "You
wonderful, glorious girl!" The hand that gripped her
shoulder swung her to him. She saw his face with veins she
had never noticed before standing out, in knots, on his
temples, and his eyes were fixed and queer. And he was
talking, rather incoherently, and rapidly. He was saying
the same thing over and over again: "I'm crazy about you.
I've been looking for a woman like you--all my life. I'm
crazy about you. I'm crazy----"
And then Fanny's fine composure and self control fled, and
she thought of her mother. She began to struggle, too, and
to say, like any other girl, "Let me go! Let me go!
You're hurting me. Let me go! You! You!"
And then, quite clearly, from that part of her brain where
it had been tucked away until she should need it, came
Clarence Heyl's whimsical bit of advice. Her mind released
it now, complete.
"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. The blow makes you see stars, and bright
She went limp in his arms. She shut her eyes, flutteringly.
"All men--like you--have a yellow streak," she whispered,
and opened her eyes, and looked up at him, smiling a little.
He relaxed his hold, in surprise and relief. And with her
eyes on that spot barely two inches to the side of the chin
she brought her right arm down, slowly, slowly, fist
doubled, and then up like a piston--snap! His teeth came
together with a sharp little crack. His face, in that
second, was a comic mask, surprised, stunned, almost
idiotic. Then he went down, as Clarence Heyl had predicted,
limp. Not with a crash, but slowly, crumpingly, so that he
almost dragged her with him.
Fanny stood looking down at him a moment. Then she wiped
her mouth with the back of her hand. She walked out of the
room, and down the hall. She saw the little Jap dart
suddenly back from a doorway, and she stamped her foot and
said, "S-s-cat!" as if he had been a rat. She gathered up
her hat and bag from the hall table, and so, out of the
door, and down the walk, to the road. And then she began to
run. She ran, and ran, and ran. It was a longish stretch
to the pretty, vine-covered station. She seemed unconscious
of fatigue, or distance. She must have been at least a
half hour on the way. When she reached the station the
ticket agent told her there was no train until six. So she
waited, quietly. She put on her hat (she had carried it in
her hand all the way) and patted her hair into place. When
the train came she found a seat quite alone, and sank into
its corner, and rested her head against her open palm. It
was not until then that she felt a stab of pain. She looked
at her hand, and saw that the skin of her knuckles was
bruised and bleeding.
"Well, if this," she said to herself, "isn't the most
idiotic thing that ever happened to a woman outside a near-
She looked at her knuckles, critically, as though the hand
belonged to some one else. Then she smiled. And even as
she smiled a great lump came into her throat, and the bruise
blurred before her eyes, and she was crying rackingly,
relievedly, huddled there in her red plush corner.
It was eight o'clock when she let herself into her
apartment. She had given the maid a whole holiday. When
Fanny had turned on the light in her little hallway she
stood there a moment, against the door, her hand spread flat
against the panel. It was almost as though she patted it,
lovingly, gratefully. Then she went on into the living
room, and stood looking at its rosy lamplight. Then, still
as though seeing it all for the first time, into her own
quiet, cleanly bedroom, with its cream enamel, and the
chaise longue that she had had cushioned in rose because it
contrasted so becomingly with her black hair. And there, on
her dressing table, propped up against the brushes and
bottles, was the yellow oblong of a telegram. From Theodore
of course. She opened it with a rush of happiness. It was
like a loving hand held out to her in need. It was a day
"We sail Monday on the St. Paul. Mizzi is with
me. I broke my word to you. But you lied to me about
the letters. I found them the week before the concert.
I shall bring her back with me or stay to fight for
Germany. Forgive me, dear sister."
Just fifty words. His thrifty German training.
"No!" cried Fanny, aloud. "No! No!" And the cry quavered
and died away, and another took its place. and it, too,
gave way to another, so that she was moaning as she stood
there with the telegram in her shaking hand. She read it
again, her lips moving, as old people sometimes
read. Then she began to whimper, with her closed fist over
her mouth, her whole body shaking. All her fine courage
gone now; all her rigid self-discipline; all her iron
determination. She was not a tearful woman. And she had
wept much on the train. So the thing that wrenched and
shook her now was all the more horrible because of its
soundlessness. She walked up and down the room, pushing her
hair back from her forehead with the flat of her hand. From
time to time she smoothed out the crumpled yellow slip of
paper and read it again. Her mind, if you could have seen
into it, would have presented a confused and motley picture.
Something like this: But his concert engagements? . . .
That was what had happened to Bauer. . . . How silly he had
looked when her fist met his jaw. . . . It had turned cold;
why didn't they have steam on? The middle of
October. . . . Teddy, how could you do it! How could you
do it! . . . Was he still lying in a heap on the floor?
But of course the sneaking little Jap had found him. . . .
Somebody to talk to. That was what she wanted. Some one to
talk to. . . .
Some one to talk to. She stood there, in the middle of her
lamp-lighted living room, and she held out her hands in
silent appeal. Some one to talk to. In her mind she went
over the list of those whose lives had touched hers in the
last few crowded years. Fenger, Fascinating Facts, Ella
Monahan, Nathan Haynes; all the gay, careless men and women
she had met from time to time through Fenger and Fascinating
Facts. Not one of them could she turn to now.
Clarence Heyl. She breathed a sigh of relief. Clarence
Heyl. He had helped her once, to-day. And now, for the
second time, something that he had said long before came
from its hiding place in her subconscious mind. She had
"Some days I feel I've got to walk out of the office,
and down the street, without a hat, and on and on,
walking and walking, and running and running till I come to
And Heyl had answered, in his quiet, reassuring way: "Some
day that feeling will get too strong for you. When that
time comes get on a train marked Denver. From there take
another to Estes Park. That's the Rocky Mountains, where
the horizon lives and has its being. Ask for Heyl's place.
They'll hand you from one to the other. I may be there, but
more likely I shan't. The key's in the mail box, tied to a
string. You'll find a fire laid with fat pine knots. My
books are there. The bedding's in the cedar chest. And the
mountains will make you clean and whole again; and the
pines . . ."
Fanny went to the telephone. Trains for Denver. She found
the road she wanted, and asked for information. She was on
her own ground here. All her life she had had to find her
own trains, check her own trunks, plan her journeys.
Sometimes she had envied the cotton-wool women who had had
all these things done for them, always.
One-half of her mind was working clearly and coolly. The
other half was numb. There were things to be done. They
would take a day. More than a day, but she would neglect
most of them. She must notify the office. There were
tickets to be got. Reservations. Money at the bank.
Packing. When the maid came in at eleven Fanny had
suitcases and bags out, and her bedroom was strewn with
shoes, skirts, coats.
Late Monday afternoon Fenger telephoned. She did not
answer. There came a note from him, then a telegram. She
did not read them. Tuesday found her on a train bound for
Colorado. She remembered little of the first half of her
journey. She had brought with her books and magazines, and
she must have read hem, but her mind had evidently retained
nothing of what she had read. She must have spent
hours looking out of the window, for she remembered, long
afterward, the endlessness and the monotony of the Kansas
prairies. They soothed her. She was glad there were no
bits of autumnal woodland, no tantalizing vistas, nothing to
break the flat and boundless immensity of it. Here was
something big, and bountiful, and real, and primal. Good
Kansas dirt. Miles of it. Miles of it. She felt she would
like to get out and tramp on it, hard.
"Pretty cold up there in Estes Park," the conductor had
said. "Been snowing up in the mountains."
She had arranged to stop in Denver only long enough to
change trains. A puffy little branch line was to take her
from Denver to Loveland, and there, she had been told, one
of the big mountain-road steam automobiles would take her up
the mountains to her destination. For one as mentally alert
as she normally was, the exact location of that destination
was very hazy in her mind. Heyl's place. That was all.
Ordinarily she would have found the thought ridiculous. But
she concentrated on it now; clung to it.
At the first glimpse of the foot-hills Fanny's listless gaze
became interested. If you have ever traveled on the jerky,
cleanly, meandering little road that runs between Denver
and the Park you know that it winds, and
curves, so that the mountains seem to leap about, friskily,
first confronting you on one side of the car window, then
disappearing and seeming to taunt you from the windows of
the opposite side. Fanny laughed aloud. The mountain
steam-car was waiting at Loveland. There were few
passengers at this time of year. The driver was a great
tanned giant, pongee colored from his hair to his puttees
and boots. Fanny was to learn, later, that in Estes Park
the male tourist was likely to be puny, pallid, and
unattractive when compared to the tall, slim, straight,
khaki-clad youth, browned by the sun, and the wind, and
the dust, who drives his steamer up and down the perilous
mountain roads with more dexterity than the charioteering
gods ever displayed on Olympus.
Fanny got the seat beside this glorious person. The steamer
was a huge vehicle, boasting five rows of seats, and looking
very much like a small edition of the sightseeing cars one
finds in tourist-infested cities.
"Heyl's place," said Fanny. Suppose it failed to work!
Said the blond god, "Stopping at the Inn overnight, I
"Why--I don't know," faltered Fanny. "Can't I go right on
"Can." Mountain steamer men are not loquacious. "Sure.
Better not. You won't get to the Inn till dark. Better
stay there over night, and go on up to Heyl's place in the
Then he leaned forward, clawed about expertly among what
appeared to Fanny's eyes to be a maze of handles, brakes,
valves; and the great car glided smoothly off, without a
bump, without a jar. Fanny took a long breath.
There is no describing a mountain. One uses words, and they
are futile. And the Colorado Rockies, in October, when the
aspens are turning! Well, aspens turn gold in October.
People who have seen an aspen grove in October believe in
fairies. And such people need no clumsy descriptive
passages to aid their fancies. You others who have not seen
it? There shall be no poor weaving together of words.
There shall be no description of orange and mauve and flame-
colored sunsets, no juggling with mists and clouds, and
sunrises and purple mountains. Mountain dwellers and
mountain lovers are a laconic tribe. They know the futility
But the effect of the mountains on Fanny Brandeis.
That is within our province. In the first place, they
made her hungry. That was the crisp, heady air. The
mountain road, to one who has never traveled it, is a thing
of delicious thrills and near-terror. A narrow, perilous
ribbon of road, cut in the side of the rock itself; a road
all horseshoe curves and hairpin twists. Fanny found
herself gasping. But that passed after a time. Big
Thompson canyon leaves no room for petty terror. And the
pongee person was so competent, so quietly sure, so
angularly graceful among his brakes and levers. Fanny stole
a side glance at him now and then. He looked straight
ahead. When you drive a mountain steamer you do look
straight ahead. A glance to the right or left is so likely
to mean death, or at best a sousing in the Thompson that
foams and rushes below.
Fanny ventured a question. "Do you know Mr. Heyl?"
"Heyl? Took him down day before yesterday."
"To the village. He's gone back east."
Fanny was not quite sure whether the pang she felt was
relief or consternation.
At Estes village the blond god handed her over to a twin
charioteer who would drive her up the mountain road to the
Inn that nestled in a valley nine thousand feet up the
mountain. It was a drive Fanny never forgot. Fenger, Ted,
Haynes-Cooper, her work, her plans, her ambitions, seemed to
dwindle to puny insignificance beside the vast grandeur that
unfolded before her at every fresh turn in the road. Up
they went, and up, and up, and the air was cold, but without
a sting in it. It was dark when the lights of the Inn
twinkled out at them. The door was thrown open as they
swung up the curve to the porch. A great log fire glowed in
the fireplace. The dining room held only a dozen people, or
thereabouts--a dozen weary, healthy people, in
corduroys and sweaters and boots, whose cleanly talk was all
about climbing and fishing, and horseback rides and trails.
And it was fried chicken night at the Inn. Fanny thought
she was too utterly tired to eat, until she began to eat,
and then she thought she was too hungry ever to stop. After
dinner she sat, for a moment, before the log fire in the
low-ceilinged room, with its log walls, its rustic benches,
and its soft-toned green and brown cushions. She forgot to
be unhappy. She forgot to be anything but deliciously
drowsy. And presently she climbed the winding stair whose
newel post was a fire-marked tree trunk, richly colored, and
curiously twisted. And so to her lamp-lighted room, very
small, very clean, very quiet. She opened her window and
looked out at the towering mass that was Long's Peak, and at
the stars, and she heard the busy little brook that scurries
through the Inn yard on its way from the mountain to the
valley. She undressed quickly, and crept into bed, meaning
to be very, very miserable indeed. And the next thing she
knew it was morning. A blue and gold October morning. And
the mountains!--but there is no describing a mountain. One
uses words, and they are futile. Fanny viewed them again,
from her window, between pauses in dressing. And she meant,
privately, to be miserable again. But she could only think,
somehow, of bacon and eggs, and coffee, and muffins.
Heyl's place. Fanny stood before it, key in hand (she had
found it in the mail box, tied to a string), and she had a
curious and restful feeling, as if she had come home, after
long wanderings. She smiled, whimsically, and repeated her
lesson to herself:
"The fire's laid in the fireplace with fat pine knots that
will blaze up at the touch of a match. My books are there,
along the wall. The bedding's in the cedar chest, and the
lamps are filled. There's tinned stuff in the pantry. And
the mountains are there, girl, to make you clean and whole
again. . . ."
She stepped up to the little log-pillared porch and turned
the key in the lock. She opened the door wide, and walked
in. And then she shut her eyes for a moment. Because, if
it shouldn't be true----
But there was a fire laid with fat pine knots. She walked
straight over to it, and took her box of matches from her
bag, struck one, and held it to the wood. They blazed like
a torch. Books! Along the four walls, books. Fat,
comfortable, used-looking books. Hundreds of them. A lamp
on the table, and beside it a pipe, blackened from much use.
Fanny picked it up, smiling. She held it a moment in her
hand, as though she expected to find it still warm.