Part 11 out of 12
"Then why should we struggle? It is our fate and we can not conquer it.
You can't give up your life, John, and I can't give up mine; but our
hearts are one."
Her voice sang like music in his ears, and something in his aching heart
was saying: "What are the laws we make for ourselves compared to the laws
God makes for us?" Suddenly he felt something warm. It was Glory's breath
on his hand. A fragrance like incense seemed to envelop him. He gasped as
if suffocating, and sat down on the sofa.
"You are wrong, dear, if you think I care for the man you speak of. He
has been very good to me and helped me in my career, but he is nothing to
me--nothing whatever--But we are such old friends, John? It seems
impossible to remember a time when we were not old chums, you and I!
Sometimes I dream of those dear old days in the 'lil oilan'! Aw, they
were ter'ble--just ter'ble! Do you remember the boat--the _Gloria_--do
you remember her?" (He clinched his hands as though to hold on to his
purpose, but it was slipping through his fingers like sand.) "What times
they were! Coming round the castle of a summer evening when the bay and
the sky were like two sheets of silvered glass looking into each other,
and you and I singing 'John Peel'" (in a quavering voice she sang a bar
or two): "'D'ye ken John Peel with his coat so gay? D'ye ken John
Peel'---Do you remember it, John?"
She was sobbing and laughing by turns. It was her old self, and the cruel
years seemed to roll back. But still he struggled. "What is the love of
the body to the love of the soul?" he told himself.
"You wore flannels then, and I was in a white jersey--like this, see,"
and she snatched up from the mantelpiece the photograph he had been
looking at. "I got up my first act in imitation of it, and sometimes in
the middle of a scene--such a jolly scene, too--my mind goes back to
that sweet old time and I burst out crying."
He pushed the photograph away. "Why do you remind me of those days?" he
said. "Is it only to make me realize the change in you?" But even at that
moment the wonderful eyes pierced him through and through.
"Am I so much changed, John? Am I? No, no, dear! It is only my hair done
differently. See, see!" and with trembling fingers she tore her hair from
its knot. It fell in clusters over her shoulders and about her face. He
wanted to lay his hand on it, and he turned to her and then turned away,
fighting with himself as with an enemy.
"Or is it this old rag of lace that is so unlike my jersey?
There--there!" she cried, tearing the lace from her neck, and throwing it
on the floor and trampling upon it. "Look at me now, John--look at me? Am
I not the same as ever? Why don't you look?"
She was fighting for her life. He started to his feet and came to her
with his teeth set and his pupils fixed. "This is only the devil tempting
me. Say your prayers, child!"
He grasped her left hand with his right. His grip almost overtaxed her
strength and she felt faint. In an explosion of emotion the insane frenzy
for destroying had come upon him again. He longed to give his feelings
"Say them, say them!" he cried, "God sent me to kill you, Glory!"
A sensation of terror and of triumph came over her at once. She half
closed her eyes and threw her other arm around his neck. "No, but to love
me!--Kiss me, John!"
Then a cry came from him like that of a man flinging himself over a
precipice. He threw his arms about her, and her disordered hair fell over
"I thought it was God's voice--it was the devil's!"
John Storm was creeping like a thief through the streets of London in the
dark hours before the dawn. It was a peaceful night after the
thunderstorm of the evening before. A few large stars had come out, a
clear moon, was shining, and the air was quiet after the cries, the
crackling tumult, and all the fury of human throats. There was only the
swift rattling of mail cars running to the Post Office, the heavy clank
of country carts crawling to Covent Garden, the measured tread of
policemen, and the muddled laughter of drunken men and women by the
coffee stands at the street corners. "'Ow's the deluge, myte? Not come
off yet? Well, give us a cup of cawfee on the strength of it."
It seemed as if eyes looked down on him from the dark sky and pierced him
through and through. His whole life had been an imposture from the
first--his quarrel with his father, his taking Orders, his entering the
monastery and his leaving it, his crusade in Soho, his intention of
following Father Damien, his predictions at Westminster--all, all had
been false, and the expression of a lie! He was a sham, a mockery, a
whited sepulchre, and had grossly sinned against the light and against
But the spiritual disillusion had come at last, and it had revealed him
to himself at an awful depth of self-deception. Thinking in his pride and
arrogance he was the divine messenger, the avenger, the man of God, he
had set out to shed blood like any wretched criminal, any jealous
murderer who was driven along by devilish passion. How the devil had
played with him too!--with him, who was dedicated by the most solemn and
sacred vows! And he had been as stubble before the wind--as chaff that
the storm carrieth away!
With such feelings of poignant anguish he plodded through the echoing
streets. Mechanically he made his way back to Westminster. By the time he
got there the moon and stars had gone and the chill of daybreak was in
the air. He saw and heard nothing, but as he crossed Broad Sanctuary a
line of mounted police trotted past him with their swords clanking.
It was not yet daylight when he knocked at the door of his chambers under
"Who's there?" came in a fierce whisper.
"Open the door," he said in a spiritless voice.
The door was opened, and Brother Andrew, with the affectionate whine of a
dog who has been snarling at his master in the dark, said: "Oh, is it
you, Father? I thought you were gone. Did you meet them? They've been
searching for you everywhere all night long."
He still spoke in whispers, as if some one had been ill. "I can't light
up. They'd be sure to see and perhaps come back. They'll come in the
morning in any case. Oh, it's terrible! Worse than ever now! Haven't you
heard what has happened? Somebody has been killed!"
John was struggling to listen, but everything seemed to be happening a
long way off.
"Well, not killed exactly, but badly hurt, and taken to the hospital."
It was Charlie Wilkes. He had insulted the name of the Father, and
Pincher, the pawnbroker, had knocked him down. His head had struck
against the curb, and he had been picked up insensible. Then the police
had come and Pincher had been taken off to the police station.
"But it's my mother I'm thinking of," said Brother Andrew, and he brushed
his sleeve across his eyes. "You must get away at once, Father. They'll
lay everything on you. What's to be done? Let me think! Let me think! How
my head is going round and round! There's a train from Euston to the
north at five in the morning, isn't there? You must catch that. Don't
speak, Father! Don't say you won't."
"I will go," said John with a look of utter dejection.
The change that had come over him since the night before startled the lay
brother. "But I suppose you've been out all night. How tired you look!
Can I get you anything?"
John did not answer, and the lay brother brought some brown bread and
coaxed him to eat a little of it. The day was beginning to dawn.
"Now you must go, Father."
"And you, my lad?"
"Oh, I can take care of myself."
"Go back to the Brotherhood; take the dog with you----"
"The dog!" Brother Andrew seemed to be about to say something; but he
checked himself, and with a wild look he muttered: "Oh, I know what
_I'll_ do. Good-bye!"
"Good-bye!" said John, and then the broken man was back in the streets.
His nervous system had been exhausted by the events of the night, and
when he entered the railway station he could scarcely put one foot before
another. "Looks as if _he'd_ had enough," said somebody behind him. He
found an empty carriage and took his seat in the corner. A kind of stupor
had come over his faculties and he could neither think nor feel.
Three or four young men and boys were sorting and folding newspapers at a
counter that stood on trestles before the closed-up bookstall. A placard
slipped from the fingers of one of them and fell on to the floor. John
saw his own name in monster letters, and he began to ask himself what he
was doing. Was he running away? It was cowardly, it was contemptible! And
then it was so useless! He might go to the ends of the earth, yet he
could not escape the only enemy it was worth while to fly from. That
enemy was himself.
Suddenly he remembered that he had not taken his ticket, and he got out
of the train. But instead of going to the ticket office he stood aside
and tried to think what he ought to do. Then there was confusion and
noise, people were hurrying past him, somebody was calling to him, and
finally the engine whistled and the smoke rose to the roof. When he came
to himself the train was gone and he was standing on the platform alone.
"But what am I to do?" he asked himself.
It was a lovely summer morning and the streets were empty and quiet.
Little by little they became populous and noisy, and at length he was
walking in a crowd. It was nine o'clock by this time, and he was in the
Whitechapel road, going along with a motley troop of Jews, Polish Jews,
Germans, German Jews, and all the many tribes of Cockneydom. Two costers
behind him were talking and laughing.
"Lor' blesh you, it's jest abart enneff to myke a corpse laugh."
"Ain't it? An acquyntince uv mine--d'ye know Jow 'Awkins? Him as kep' the
frahd fish shop off of Flower and Dean. Yus? Well, he sold his bit uv
biziness lahst week for a song, thinkin' the world was acomin' to a end,
and this mornin' I meets 'im on the 'Owben Viadeck lookin' as if 'e'd 'ad
the smallpox or semthink!"
John Storm had scarcely heard them. He had a strange feeling that
everything was happening hundreds of miles away.
"What am I to do?" he asked himself again. Between twelve and one o'clock
he was back in the city, walking aimlessly on and on. He did not choose
the unfrequented thoroughfares, and when people looked into his face he
thought, "If anybody asks me who I am I'll tell him." It was eight hours
since he had eaten anything, and he felt weak and faint. Coming upon a
coffee-house, he went in and ordered food. The place was full of young
clerks at their midday meal. Most of them were reading newspapers which
they had folded and propped up on the tables before them, but two who sat
near were talking.
"These predictions of the end of the world are a mania, a monomania,
which recurs at regular intervals of the world's history," said one. He
was a little man with a turned-up nose.
"But the strange thing is that people go on believing them," said his
"That's not strange at all. This big, idiotic, amphorous London has no
sense of humour. See how industriously it has been engaged for the last
month in the noble art of making a fool of itself!" And then he looked
around at John Storm, as if proud of his tall language.
John did not listen. He knew that everybody was talking about him, yet
the matter did not seem to concern him now, but to belong to some other
existence which his soul had had.
At length an idea came to him and he thought he knew what he ought to do.
He ought to go to the Brotherhood and ask to be taken back. But not as a
son this time, only as a servant, to scour and scrub to the end of his
life. There used to be a man to sweep out the church and ring the church
bell--he might be allowed to do menial work like that. He had proved
false to his ideal, he had not been able to resist the lures of earthly
love, but God was merciful. He would not utterly reject him.
His self-abasement was abject, yet several hours had passed before he
attempted to carry out this design. It was the time of Evensong when he
reached the church, and the brothers were singing their last hymn:
Jesus, lover of my soul,
Let me to thy bosom fly.
He stood by the porch and listened. The street was very quiet; hardly
anybody was passing.
Hide me, O my Saviour hide,
Till the storms of life be past.
His heart surged up to his throat, and he could scarcely bear the pain of
it. Yes, yes, yes! Other refuge had he none!
Suddenly a new thought smote him, and he felt like a man roused from a
deep sleep. Glory! He had been thinking only of his own soul and his
soul's salvation, and had forgotten his duty to others. He had his duty
to Glory above all others and lie could not and must not escape from it.
He must take his place by her side, and if that included the abandonment
of his ideals, so be it! He had been proved unworthy of a life of
holiness; he must lower his flag, he must be content to live the life of
But he could not think what he ought to do next, and when night fell he
was still wandering aimlessly through the streets. He had turned eastward
again, and even in the tumultuous thoroughfares of the Mile End he could
not help seeing that something unusual was going on. People in drink were
rolling about the streets, and shouting and singing as if it had been a
public holiday. "Glad you ain't in kingdom-come to-night, old gal!"
"Well, what do _you_ think?"
At twelve o'clock he went into a lodging-house and asked if he could have
a bed. The keeper was in the kitchen talking with two men who were
cooking a herring for their supper, and he looked up at his visitor in
"Can I sleep you, sir? We ain't got no accommodation for gentlemen----"
and then he stopped, looked more attentively, and said:
"Are you from the Settlement, sir?"
John Storm made some inarticulate reply.
"Thort ye might be, sir. We often 'as 'em 'ere sempling the cawfee, but
blessed if they ever wanted to semple a bed afore. Still, if _you_ down't
"It will be better than I deserve, my man. Can you give me a cup of
coffee before I turn in?"
"With pleasure, sir! Set down, sir! Myke yourself at 'ome. Me and my
friends were just talkin' of a gentleman of your cloth, sir--the pore
feller as 'as got into trouble acrost Westminster way."
"Oh, you were talking of him, were you?"
"Sem 'ere says the biziness pize."
"It _must_ py, or people wouldn't do it," said the man leaning over the
"Down't you believe it. That little gime down't py. Cause why? Look at
the bloomin' stoo the feller's in now. If they ketch 'im 'e'll get six
"Then what's 'e been doin' it for? I down't see nothink in it if it
"Cause he believes in it, thet's why!--What do you think, sir?"
"I think the man has come by a just fall," said John. "God will never use
him again, having brought him to shame."
"Must hev been a wrong un certingly," said the man over the fire.
When John Storm awoke in his cubicle next morning he saw his way clearer.
He would deliver himself up to the warrant that was issued for his
arrest, and go through with it to the end. Then he would return to Glory
a free man, and God would find work for him even yet, after this awful
lesson to his presumption and pride.
"That feller as was took ter the awspital is dead," said somebody in the
kitchen, and then there was the crinkling of a newspaper.
"Is 'e?" said another. "The best thing the Father can do is to 'ook it
then. Cause why? Whether 'e done it or not they'll fix it on ter 'im,
John's head spun round and round. He remembered what Brother Andrew had
said of Charlie Wilkes, and his heart, so warm a moment ago, felt
benumbed as by frost. Nevertheless, at nine o'clock he was going westward
in the Underground. People looked at him when he stepped into the
carriage. He thought everybody knew him, and that the world was only
playing with him as a cat plays with a mouse. The compartment was full of
young clerks smoking pipes and reading newspapers.
"Most extraordinary!" said one of them. "The fellow has disappeared as
absolutely as if he had been carried up into a cloud."
"Why extraordinary?" said another in a thin voice. This one was not
smoking, and he had the startled eyes of the enthusiast. "Elijah was
taken up to heaven in the body, wasn't he? And why not Father Storm?"
"What?" cried the first, taking his pipe out of his mouth.
"Some people believe that," said the thin voice timidly.
"Oh, you want a dose of medicine, you do," said the first speaker,
shaking out his ash and looking round with a knowing air. The young men
got out in the City; John went on to Westminster Bridge.
It was terrible. Why could he not take advantage of the popular
superstition and disappear indeed, taking Glory with him! But no, no, no!
Through all the torment of his soul his religion had remained the same,
and now it rose up before him like a pillar of cloud and fire. He would
do as he had intended, whatever the consequences, and if he was charged
with crimes he had not committed, if he was accused of the offences of
his followers, he would make no defence; if need be he would allow
himself to be convicted, and being innocent in this instance God would
accept his punishment as an atonement for his other sins! Glorious
sacrifice! He would make it! He would make it! And Glory herself would be
proud of it some day.
With the glow of this resolution upon him he turned into Scotland Yard
and stepped boldly up to the office. The officer in charge received him
with a deferential bow, but went on talking in a low voice to an
inspector of police who was also standing at the other side of a counter.
"Strange?" he was saying. "I thought he was seen getting into the train
"Don't know that he wasn't either, in spite of all he says."
"Thinking of the dog."
"Well, the dog, too," said the inspector, and then seeing John, "Hello!
The officer stepped up to the counter. "What can I do for you, sir?" he
John knew that the supreme moment had come, and he felt proud of himself
that his resolution did not waver. Lifting his head, he said in a low and
rapid voice, "I understand that you have a warrant for the arrest of
"We _had_, sir," the officer answered.
John looked embarrassed. "What do you mean by that?"
"I mean that Father Storm is now in custody."
John stared at the man with a feeling of stupefaction. "In custody! Did
you say in custody?"
"Precisely! He has just given himself up."
John answered impetuously, "But that is impossible."
"Why impossible, sir? Are you interested in this case?"
A certain quivering moved John's mouth. "I am Father Storm himself."
The officer was silent for a moment. Then he turned to the inspector with
a pitying smile. "Another of them," he said significantly. The psychology
of criminals had been an interesting study to this official.
"Wait a minute," said the inspector, and he went hurriedly through an
inner doorway. The officer asked John some questions about his movements
since yesterday. John answered vaguely in broken and rather bewildering
sentences. Then the inspector returned.
"You are Father Storm?"
"Do you know of anybody who might wish to personate you?"
"God forbid that any one should do that!"
"Still, there is some one here who says----"
"Let me see him."
"Come this way quietly," said the inspector, and John followed him to the
inner room. His pride was all gone, his head was hanging low, and he was
a prey to extraordinary agitation.
A man in a black cassock was sitting at a table making a statement to
another officer with an open book before him. His back was to the door,
but John knew him in a moment. It was Brother Andrew.
"Then why have you given yourself up?" the officer asked, and Brother
Andrew began a rambling and foolish explanation. He had seen it stated in
an evening paper that the Father had been traced to the train at Euston,
and he thought it a pity--a pity that the police--that the police should
waste their time----
"Take care!" said the officer. "You are in a position that should make
you careful of what you say."
And then the inspector stepped forward, leaving John by the door.
"You still say you are Father Storm?"
"Of course I do," said Brother Andrew indignantly. "If I was anybody
else, do you think I should come here and give myself up----"
"Then who is this standing behind you?"
Brother Andrew turned and saw John with a start of surprise and a cry of
terror. He seemed hardly able to believe in the reality of what was
before him, and his restless eyeballs rolled fearfully. John tried to
speak, but he could only utter a few inarticulate sounds.
"Well?" said the inspector. And while John stood with head down and
heaving breast, Brother Andrew began to laugh hysterically and to say:
"Don't you know who this is? This is my lay brother! I brought him out of
the Brotherhood six months ago, and he has been with me ever since."
The officers looked at each other. "Good heavens!" cried Brother Andrew
in an imperious voice, "don't you believe me? You mustn't touch this man.
He has done nothing--nothing at all. He is as tender as a woman and
wouldn't hurt a fly. What's he doing here?"
The officers also were dropping their heads, and the heartrending voice
went on: "Have you arrested him? You'll do very wrong if you
arrest----But perhaps he has given himself up! That would be just like
him. He is devoted to me and would tell you any falsehood if he thought
it would----But you must send him away. Tell him to go back to his old
mother--that's the proper place for him. Good God! do you think I'm
telling you lies?"
There was silence for a moment. "My poor lad, hush, hush!" said John in a
tone full of tenderness and authority. Then he turned to the inspector
with a pitiful smile of triumph. "Are you satisfied?" he asked.
"Quite satisfied, Father," the officer answered in a broken voice, and
then Brother Andrew began to cry.
When Glory awoke on the morning after the Derby and thought of John she
felt no remorse. A sea of bewildering difficulty lay somewhere ahead, but
she would not look at it. He loved her, she loved him, and nothing else
mattered. If rules and vows stood between them, so much the worse for
such enemies of love.
She was conscious that a subtle change had come over her. She was not
herself any longer, but somebody else as well; not a woman merely, but in
some sort a man; not Glory only, but also John Storm. Oh, delicious
mystery! Oh, joy of joys! His arms seemed to be about her waist still,
and his breath to linger about her neck. With a certain tremor, a certain
thrill, she reached for a hand-glass and looked at herself to learn if
there was any difference in her face that the rest of the world would
see. Yes, her eyes had another lustre, a deeper light, but she lay back
in the cool bed with a smile and a long-drawn sigh. What matter whatever
happened! Gone were the six cruel months in which she had awakened every
morning with a pain at her breast. She was happy, happy, happy!
The morning sun was streaming across the room when Liza came in with the
"Did ye see the Farver last night, Miss Gloria?"
"Oh, yes; that was all right, Liza."
The day's newspaper was lying folded on the tray. She took it up and
opened it, remembering the Derby, and thinking for the first time of
Drake's triumph. But what caught her eye in glaring head-lines was a
different matter: "The Panic Terror--Collapse of the Farce."
It was a shriek of triumphant derision. The fateful day had come and
gone, yet London stood where it did before. Last night's tide had flowed
and ebbed, and the dwellings of men were not submerged. No earthquake had
swallowed up St. Paul's; no mighty bonfire of the greatest city of the
world had lit up the sky of Europe, and even the thunderstorm which had
broken over London had only laid the dust and left the air more clear.
"London is to be congratulated on the collapse of this panic, which, so
far as we can hear, has been attended by only one casualty--an assault in
Brown's Square, Westminster, on a young soldier, Charles Wilkes, of the
Wellington Barracks, by two of the frantic army of the terror-stricken.
The injured man was removed to St. Thomas's Hospital, while his
assailants were taken to Rochester Row police station, and we have only
to regret that the clerical panic-maker himself has not yet shared the
fate of his followers. Late last night the authorities, recovering from
their extraordinary supineness, issued a warrant for his arrest, but up
to the time of going to press he had escaped the vigilance of the
Glory was breathing audibly as she read, and Liza, who was drawing up the
blind, looked back at her with surprise.
"Liza, have you mentioned to anybody that Father Storm was here last
"Why, no, miss, there ain't nobody stirring yet, and besides----"
"Then don't mention it to a soul. Will you do me that great, great
"Down't ye know I will, mum?" said Liza, with a twinkle of the eye and a
wag of the head.
Glory dressed hurriedly, went down to the drawing-room, and wrote a
letter. It was to Sefton, the manager. "Do not expect me to play
to-night. I don't feel up to it. Sorry to be so troublesome."
Then Rosa came in with another newspaper in her hand, and, without saying
anything, Glory showed her the letter. Rosa read it and returned it in
silence. They understood each other.
During the next few hours Glory's impatience became feverish, and as soon
as the first of the evening papers appeared she sent out for it. The
panic was subsiding, and the people who had gone to the outskirts were
returning to the city in troops, looking downcast and ashamed. No news of
Father Storm. Inquiry that morning at Scotland Yard elicited the fact
that nothing had yet been heard of him. There was much perplexity as to
where he had spent the previous night.
Glory's face tingled and burned. From hour to hour she sent out for new
editions. The panic itself was now eclipsed by the interest of John
Storm's disappearance. His followers scouted the idea that he had fled
from London. Nevertheless, he had fallen. As a pretender to the gift of
prophecy his career was at an end, and his crazy system of mystical
divinity was the laughing-stock of London.
"It does not surprise us that this second Moses, this mock Messiah, has
broken down. Such men always do, and must collapse, but that the public
should ever have taken seriously a movement which----" and then a
grotesque list of John's followers--one pawnbroker, one waiter, one
"knocker-up," two or three apprentices, etc.
As she read all this, Glory was at the same time glowing with shame,
trembling with fear, and burning with indignation. She dined with Rosa
alone, and they tried to talk of other matters. The effort was useless.
At last Rosa said:
"I have to follow this thing up for the paper, dear, and I'm going
to-night to see if they hold the usual service in his church."
"May I go with you?"
"If you wish to, but it will be useless--he won't be there."
"The Prime Minister left London last night--I can't help thinking there
is something in that."
"He will be there, Rosa. He's not the man to run away. I know him," said
The church was crowded, and it was with difficulty they found seats.
John's enemies were present in force--all the owners of vested interests
who had seen their livelihood threatened by the man who declared war on
vice and its upholders. There was a dangerous atmosphere before the
service began, and, notwithstanding her brave faith in him, Glory found
herself praying that John Storm might not come. As the organ played and
the choir and clergy entered the excitement was intense, and some of the
congregation got on to their seats in their eagerness to see if the
Father was there. He was not there. The black cassock and biretta in
which he had lately preached were nowhere to be seen, and a murmur of
disappointment passed over friends and enemies alike.
Then came a disgraceful spectacle. A man with a bloated face and a
bandage about his forehead rose in his place and cried, "No popery,
boys!" Straightaway the service, which was being conducted by two of the
clerical brothers from the Brotherhood, was interrupted by hissing,
whistling, shouting, yelling, and whooping indescribable. Songs were
roared out during the lessons, and cushions, cassocks, and prayer-books
were flung at the altar and its furniture. The terrified choir boys fled
downstairs to their own quarters, and the clergy were driven out of the
John's own people stole away in terror and shame, but Glory leaped to her
feet as if to fling herself on the cowardly rabble. Her voice was lost in
the tumult, and Rosa drew her out into the street.
"Is there no law in the land to prevent brawling like this?" she cried,
but the police paid no heed to her.
Then the congregation, which had broken up, came rushing out of the
church and round to the door leading to the chambers beneath it.
"They've found him," thought Glory, pressing her hand over her heart. But
no, it was another matter. Immediately afterward there rose over the
babel of human voices the deep music of the bloodhound in full cry. The
crowd shrieked with fear and delight, then surged and parted, and the dog
came running through with its stern up, its head down, its forehead
wrinkled, and the long drapery of its ears and flews hanging in folds
about its face. In a moment it was gone, its mellow note was dying away
in the neighbouring streets, and a gang of ruffians were racing after it.
"That'll find the feller if he's in London!" somebody shouted; it was the
man with the bandaged forehead--and there were yells of fiendish
Glory's head was going round, and she was holding on to Rosa's arm with a
"The cowards!" she cried. "To use that poor creature's devotion to its
master for their own inhuman ends--it's cowardly, it's brutal,
it's----Oh, oh, oh!"
"Come, dear," said Rosa, and she dragged Glory away.
They went back through Broad Sanctuary. Neither spoke, but both were
thinking: "He has gone to the monastery. He intends to stay there until
the storm is over." At Westminster Bridge they parted. "I have somewhere
to go," said Rosa, turning down to the Underground. "She is going to
Bishopsgate Street," thought Glory, and they separated with constraint.
Returning to Clement's Inn, Glory found a letter from Drake:
"Dear Glory: How can I apologize to you for nay detestable behaviour of
last night? The memory of what passed has taken all the joy out of the
success upon which everybody is congratulating me. I have tried to
persuade myself that you would make allowances for the day and the
circumstances and my natural excitement. But your life has been so
blameless that it fills me with anguish and horror to think how I exposed
you to misrepresentation by allowing you to go to that place, and by
behaving to you as I did when you were there. Thank God, things went no
farther, and some blessed power prevented me from carrying out my threat
to follow you. Believe me, you shall see no more of men like Lord Robert
Ure and women like his associates. I despise them from my heart, and
wonder how I can have tolerated them so long. Do let me beg the favour of
a line consenting to allow me to call and ask your forgiveness. Yours
"F. H. N. Drake."
Glory slept badly that night, and as soon as Liza was stirring she rang
for the newspaper.
"Didn't ye 'ear the dorg, mum?" said Liza.
"The Farver's dorg. It was scratching at the front dawer afore I was up
this morning. 'It's the milk,' sez I. But the minute I opened the dawer
up it came ter the drawerin' room and went snuffling rahnd everywhere."
"Where is it now?"
"Did anybody else see it? No? You say no? You're sure? Then say nothing
about it, Liza--nothing whatever--that's a good girl."
The newspaper was full of the mysterious disappearance. Not a trace of
the Father had yet been found. The idea had been started that he had gone
into seclusion at the Anglican monastery with which he was associated,
but on inquiry at Bishopsgate Street it was found that nothing had been
seen of him there. Since yesterday the whole of London had been scoured
by the police, but not one fact had been brought to light to make clearer
the mystery of his going away. With the most noticeable face and habit in
London he had evaded scrutiny and gone into a retirement which baffled
discovery. No master of the stage art could have devised a more
sensational disappearance. He had vanished as though whirled to heaven in
a cloud, and that was literally what the more fanatical of his followers
believed to have been his fate. Among these persons there were wild-eyed
hangers-on telling of a flight upward on a fiery chariot, as well as a
predicted disappearance and reappearance after three days. Such were the
stories being gulped down by the thousands who still clung with an
indefinable fascination to the memory of the charlatan. Meantime the
soldier Wilkes had died of his injuries, and the coroner's inquiry was to
be opened that day.
"Unfeeling brutes! The bloodhound is an angel of mercy compared to them,"
thought Glory, but the worst sting was in the thought that John had fled
out of fear and was now in hiding somewhere.
Toward noon the newsboys were rushing through the Inn, crying their
papers against all regulations, and at the same moment Rosa came in to
say that John Storm had surrendered.
"I knew it!" cried Glory; "I knew he would!"
Then Rosa told her of Brother Andrew's attempt to personate his master,
and with what pitiful circumstances it had ended.
"Only a lay brother, you say, Rosa?"
"Yes, a poor half-witted soul apparently--must have been, to imagine that
a subterfuge like that would succeed in London."
Glory's eyes were gleaming. "Rosa," she said, "I would rather have done
what he did than play the greatest part in the world."
She wished to be present at the trial, and proposed to Rosa that she
should go with her.
"But dare you, my child? Considering your old friendship, dare you see
"Dare I?" said Glory. "Dare I stand in the dock by his side!"
But when she got to Bow Street and saw the crowds in the court, the line
of distinguished persons of both sexes allowed to sit on the bench, the
army of reporters and newspaper artists, and all the mass of smiling and
eager faces, without ruth or pity, gathered together as for a show, her
heart sickened and she crept out of the place before the prisoner was
brought into the dock.
Walking to and fro in the corridor, she waited the result of the trial.
It was not a long one. The charge was that of causing people unlawfully
to assemble to the danger of the public peace. There was no defence. A
man with a bandaged forehead was the first of the witnesses. He was a
publican, who lived in Brown's Square and had been a friend of the
soldier Wilkes. The injury to his forehead was the result of a blow from
a stick given by the prisoner's lay brother on the night of the Derby,
when, with the help of the deceased, he had attempted to liberate the
bloodhound. He had much to say of the Father's sermons, his speeches, his
predictions, his slanders, and his disloyalty. Other witnesses were
Pincher and Hawkins. They were in a state of abject fear at the fate
hanging over their own heads, and tried to save their own skins by laying
the blame of their own conduct upon the Father. The last witness was
Brother Andrew, and he broke down utterly. Within an hour Rosa came out
to say that John Storm had been committed for trial. Bail was not asked
for, and the prisoner, who had not uttered a word from first to last, had
been taken back to the cells.
Glory hurried home and shut herself in her room. The newsboys in the
street were shouting, "Father Storm in the dock!" and filling the air
with their cries. She covered her ears with her hands, and made noises in
her throat that she might not hear.
John Storm's career was at an end. It was all her fault. If she had
yielded to his desire to leave London, or if she had joined him there,
how different everything must have been! But she had broken in upon his
life and wrecked it. She had sinned against him who had given her
everything that one human soul can give another.
Liza came up with, red eyes, bringing the evening papers and a letter.
The papers contained long reports of the trial and short editorials
reproving the public for its interest in such a poor impostor. Some of
them contained sketches of the prisoner and of the distinguished persons
recognised in court. "The stage was represented by----," and then a
caricature of herself.
The letter was from Aunt Rachel:
"My Dear, My Best-Beloved Glory: I know how much your kind _heart_ will
be lowered by the painful tidings I have to write to you. Lord Storm died
on Monday and was buried to-day. To the last he declared he would never
consent to make peace with John, and he has left nothing to him but his
title, so that our dear friend is now a nobleman without an estate.
Everybody about the old lord at the end was unanimous in favour of his
son, but he would not listen to them, and the scene at the deathbed was
shocking. It seems that with his dying breath and many bursts of laughter
he read aloud his will, which ordered that his effects should be sold and
the proceeds given to some society for the protection of the Established
Church. And then he told old Chaise that as soon as he was gone a coffin
was to be got and he was to be screwed down at once, 'for,' said he, 'my
son would not come to see me _living_, and he sha'n't stand grinning at
me _dead_.' The funeral was at Kirkpatrick this morning, and _few_ came
to see the last of one who had left none to mourn him; but just as the
remains were being deposited in the dark vault a carriage drove up and an
elderly gentleman got out. No one knew him, and he stood and looked down
with his impassive face while the service was being read, and then,
without speaking to any one, he got back into the carriage and drove
away. The _minute_ he was gone I told Anna he was somebody of
consequence; and then everybody said it must be Lord Storm's brother and
no less a person than the Prime Minister of England. It seems that the
sale is to come off immediately, so that Knockaloe will be a waste, as if
sown with salt; and, so far as this island is concerned, all trace of the
Storms, father and son, will be gone for good. I ever knew it must end
thus! But I will more particularly tell you everything when we meet
again, which I hope may be _soon_. Meantime I need not say how much I am,
my dear child, your ever fond--nay, more than fond--_devoted_ auntie.
"Yes," said Rosa, across the dinner table, "the sudden fall of a man who
has filled a large space in the public eye is always pitiful. It is like
the fall of a great tree in the forest. One never realized how big it was
until it was down."
"It's awful! awful!" said Glory.
"Whether one liked the man or not, such a, downfall seems hard to
reconcile with the idea of a beneficent Providence."
"Hard? Impossible, you mean!"
"Oh, I'm only a pagan, and always have been; but I can't believe in a God
that does nothing--I won't, I won't!"
"Still, we can't see the end yet. After the cross the resurrection, as
the Church folks say; and who knows but out of all this----"
"What's to become of his church?"
"Oh, there'll be people enough to see to that, and if the dear
Archdeacon--but he's busy with Mrs. Macrae, bless him! She has gone to
wreck at last, and is living hidden away in a farmhouse somewhere, that
she may drink herself to death without detection and interruption. But
the Archdeacon and Lord Robert have found her out, and there they are
hovering round like two vultures, waiting for the end."
"And his orphanage?"
"Ah, that's another pair of shoes altogether, dear. Being an institution
that asks for an income instead of giving one, there'll be nobody too
keen to take it over."
"O God! O God! What a world it is!" cried Glory.
After dinner she went off to Westminster in search of the orphanage. It
stood on a corner of the church square. The door was closed, and the
windows of the ground floor were shuttered. With difficulty she obtained
admission and access to the person in charge. This was an elderly lady in
a black silk dress and with snow-white hair.
"I'm no the matron, miss," she said. "The matron's gone--fled awa' like
a' the lave o' the grand Sisters, thinking sure the mob would mak' this
house their next point of attack."
"Then I know whom _you_ are--you're Mrs. Callender," said Glory.
"Jane Callender I am, young leddy. And who may ye be yersel'?"
"I'm a friend of John's, and I want to know if there's anything----"
"You're no the lassie hersel', are ye? You are, though; I see fine you
are! Come, kiss me--again, lassie! Oh, dear! oh, dear! And to think we
must be meeting same as this! For a' the world it's like clasping hands
ower the puir laddie's grave!"
They cried in each other's arms, and then both felt better.
"And the children," said Glory, "who's looking after them if the matron
and Sisters are gone?"
"Just me and the puir bairns theirsel's, and the wee maid of all wark
that opened the door til ye. But come your ways and look at them."
The dormitory was in an upper story. Mrs. Gallender had opened the door
softly, and Glory stepped into a large dark room in which fifty children
lay asleep. Their breathing was all that could be heard, and it seemed to
fill the air as with the rustle of a gentle breeze. But it was hard to
look upon them and to think of their only earthly father in his cell.
With full hearts and dry throats the two women returned to a room below.
By this time the square, which before had only shown people standing in
doorways and lounging at street corners, was crowded with a noisy rabble.
They were shouting out indecent jokes about "monks," "his reverend
lordship," and "doctors of diwinity"; and a small gang of them had got a
rope which they were trying to throw as a lasso round a figure of the
Virgin in a niche over the porch. The figure came down at length amid
shrieks of delight, and when the police charged the mob they flung stones
which broke the church windows.
Again Glory felt an impulse to throw herself on the cowardly rabble, but
she only crouched at the window by the side of Mrs. Callender, and looked
down at the sea of faces below with their evil eyes and cruel mouths.
"Oh, what a thing it is to be a woman!" she moaned.
"Aye, lassie, aye, there's mair than one of us has felt that," said Mrs.
Glory did not speak again as long as they knelt by the window, holding
each other's hands, but the tears that had sprung to her eyes at the
thought of her helplessness dried up of themselves, and in their place
came the light of a great resolution. She knew that her hour had struck
at last--that this was the beginning of the end.
The theatres were emptying and carriages were rolling away from them as
she drove home by way of the Strand. She saw her name on omnibuses and
her picture on boardings, and felt a sharp pang. But she was in a state
of feverish excitement and the pain was gone in a moment.
Another letter from Drake was waiting for her at the Inn:
"I feel, my dear Glory, that you are entirely justified in your silence,
but to show you how deep is my regret, I am about to put it in my power
to atone, as far as I can, for the conduct which has quite properly
troubled and hurt you. You will put me under an eternal obligation to you
if you will consent to become my wife. We should be friends as well as
lovers, Glory, and in an age distinguished for brilliant and beautiful
women, it would be the crown of my honour that my wife was above all a
woman of genius. Nothing should disturb the development of your gifts,
and if any social claims conflicted with them, they, and not you, would
suffer. For the rest I can bring you nothing, dear, but--thanks to the
good father who was born before me--such advantages as belong to wealth.
But so far as these go there is no pleasure you need deny yourself, and
if your sympathies are set on any good work for humanity there is no
opportunity you may not command. With this I can only offer you the love
and devotion of my whole heart and soul, which now wait in fear and pain
for your reply."
Glory read this letter with a certain quivering of the eyelids, but she
put it away without a qualm. Nevertheless, the letter was hard to reply
to, and she made many attempts without satisfying herself in the end.
There was a note of falsehood in all of them, and she felt troubled and
"When I remember how good you have been to me from the first, I could cry
to think of the answer I must give you. But I can't help it--oh, I can't,
I can't! Don't think me ungrateful, and don't suppose I am angry or in
any way hurt or offended, but to do what you desire is impossible--quite,
quite impossible. Oh, if you only knew what it is to deny myself the
future you offer me, to turn my back on the gladness with which life has
come to me, to strip all these roses from my hair, you would believe it
must be a far, far higher call than to worldly rank and greatness that I
am listening to at last. And it is. A woman may trifle with her heart,
while the one she loves is well and happy or great and prosperous, but
when he is down and the cruel world is trampling on him, there can be no
paltering with it any longer---Yes, I must go to _him_ if I go to
anybody. Besides, you can do without me and he can not. You have all the
world, and he has nothing but me. If you were a woman you would
understand all this, but you are loyal and brave and true, and when I
look at your letter and remember how often you have spoken up for a
fallen man my heart quivers and my eyes grow dim, and I know what it
means to be an English gentleman."
After writing this letter she went up to her bedroom and busied herself
about for an hour, making up parcels of her clothing and jewellery, and
labelling them with envelopes bearing names. The plainer costumes she
addressed to Aunt Anna, a fur-lined coat to Aunt Rachel, an opera cloak
to Rosa, and a quantity of underclothing to Liza. All her jewels, and
nearly all the silver trinkets from the dressing-table, were made up in a
parcel by themselves and addressed back to the giver--Sir Francis Drake.
The clock of St. Clement's Danes was chiming midnight when this was done,
and she stood a moment and asked herself, "Is there anything else?" Then
there was a slippered foot on the stair, and somebody knocked.
"It's only me, miss, and can I do anythink for ye?"
Glory opened the door and found Liza there, half dressed and looking as
if she had been crying.
"Nothing, Liza, nothing, thank you! But why aren't you in bed?"
"I can't sleep a blessed wink to-night somehow, miss," said Liza. And
then, looking into the room, "But are ye goin' away somewhere. Miss
"Thort ye was--I could hear ye downstairs."
"Not far, though--just a little journey--go back to bed now. Good-night."
"Good-night, miss," and Liza went down with lingering footsteps.
Half an hour or so afterward Glory heard Rosa come in from the office and
pass up to her bedroom on the floor above. "Dear, unselfish soul!" she
thought, and then she sat down to write another letter:
"Darling Rosa: I am going to leave you, but there is no help for it--I
must. Don't you remember I used to say if I should ever find a man who
was willing to sacrifice all the world for me I would leave everything
and follow him? I have found him, dear, and he has not only sacrificed
all the world for my sake, but trampled on Heaven itself. I can't go to
him now--would to Heaven I could!--but neither can I go on living this
present life any longer. So I am turning my back on it all, exactly as I
said I would--the world, so sweet and so cruel; art, so beautiful and so
difficult, and even 'the clapping of hands in a theatre.' You will say I
am a donkey, and so I may be, but it must be a descendant of Balaam's old
friend, who knew the way she ought to go.
"Forgive me that I am going without saying good-bye. It is enough to have
to resist the battering of one's own doubts without encountering your
dear solicitations. And forgive me that I am not telling you where I am
going and what is to become of me. You will be questioned and examined,
and I feel as much frightened of being overtaken by my old existence as
the poor simpleton who took it into his head that he was a grain of
barley, and as often as he saw a cock or a hen he ran for his life. Thank
you, dearest, for allowing me to share your sweet rooms with you, for the
bright hours we have spent in them, and all the merry jaunts we have had
together. There will be fewer creature comforts where I am going to, and
my feet will not be so quick to do evil, which will at least be a saving
"Good-bye, old girl--loyal, unselfish, devoted friend! God will reward
you yet, and a good man who has been chasing a Will-o'-the-wisp will open
his eyes to see that all the time the star of the morning has been by his
side. Tomorrow, when I leave the house, I know I shall want to run up and
kiss you as you lie asleep, but I mustn't do that--the little druggeted
stairs to your room would be like the road to another but not a better
place, which is also paved with good intentions. What a scatter-brain I
am! My heart is breaking, too, with all this severing of my poor little
riven cords. Your foolish old chummie (the last of her),
Next morning, almost as soon as it was light, she rose and drew a little
tin box from under the bed. It was the box that had brought all her
belongings to London when she first came from her island home. Out of
this box she took a simple gray costume--the costume she had bought for
outdoor wear when a nurse at the hospital. Putting it on, she looked at
herself in the glass. The plain gray figure, so unlike what she had been
the night before, sent a little stab to her heart, and she sighed.
"But this is Glory, after all," she thought. "This is the granddaughter
of my grandfather, the daughter of my father, and not the visionary woman
who has been masquerading in London so long." But the conceit did not
comfort her very much, and scalding tear-drops began to fall.
Tying up some other clothing into a little bundle, she opened the door
and listened. There was no noise in the house, and she crept downstairs
with a light tread. At the drawing-room she paused and took one last look
round at the place where she had spent so many exciting hours, and lived
through such various phases of life. While she stood on the threshold
there was a sound of heavy breathing. It came from the pug, which lay
coiled up on the sofa, asleep. Reproaching herself with having forgotten
the little thing, she took it up in her arms and hushed it when it awoke
and began to whine. Then she crept down to the front door, opened it
softly, passed out, and closed it after her. There was a click of the
lock in the silent gardens, and then no sound anywhere but the chirrup of
the sparrows in the eaves.
The sun was beginning to climb over the cool and quiet streets as she
went along, and some cabmen at the stand looked over at the woman in
nurse's dress, with a little bundle in one hand and the dog under the
other arm. "Been to a death, p'r'aps. Some uv these nurses, they've
tender 'earts, bless 'em, and when I was in the 'awspital----" But she
turned her head and hurried on, and the voice was lost in the empty air.
As she dipped into the slums of Westminster the sun gleamed on her wet
face, and a group of noisy, happy girls, going to their work in the jam
factories of Soho, came toward her laughing.
The girls looked at the Sister as she passed; their tongues stopped, and
there was a hush.
John Storm's enemies had succeeded. He was committed for sedition, and
there was the probability that when brought up again he would be charged
with complicity in manslaughter. Throughout the proceedings at the police
court he maintained a calm and dignified silence. Supported by an exalted
faith, he regarded even death with composure. When the trial was over and
the policeman who stood at the back of the dock tapped him on the arm, he
started like a man whose mind had been occupied by other issues.
"Come," said the policeman, and he was taken back to the cells.
Next day he was removed to Holloway, and there he observed the same calm
and silent attitude. His bearing touched and impressed the authorities,
and they tried by various small kindnesses to make his imprisonment easy.
He encouraged them but little.
On the second morning an officer came to his cell and said, "Perhaps you
would care to look at the newspaper, Father?"
"Thank you, no," he answered. "The newspapers were never much to me even
when I was living in the world--they can not he necessary now that I am
going out of it."
"Oh, come, you exaggerate your danger. Besides, now that the papers
contain so much about yourself----"
"That is a reason why I should not see them."
"Well, to tell you the truth, Father, this morning's paper has something
about somebody else, and that was why I brought it."
"Somebody near to you--very near and---- But I'll leave it with you----
Nothing to complain of this morning--no?"
But John Storm was already deep in the columns of the newspaper. He found
the news intended for him. It was the death of his father. The paragraph
was cruel and merciless. "Thus the unhappy man who was brought up at Bow
Street two days ago is now a peer in his own right and the immediate heir
to an earldom."
The moment was a bitter and terrible one. Memories of past years swept
over him--half-forgotten incidents of his boyhood when his father was his
only friend and he walked with his hand in his--memories of his father's
love for him, his hopes, his aims, his ambitions, and all the vast ado of
his poor delusive dreams. And then came thoughts of the broken old man
dying alone, and of himself in his prison cell. It had been a strangely
familiar thought to him of late that if he left London at seven in the
morning he could speak to his father at seven the same night. And now his
father was gone, the last opportunity was lost, and he could speak to him
But he tried to conquer the call of blood which he had put aside so long,
and to set over against it the claims of his exalted mission and the
spirit of the teaching of Christ. What had Christ said? "Call no man your
father upon the earth; for one is your Father which is in heaven!"
"Yes," he thought, "that's it--'for one is your Father which is in
Then he took up the newspaper again, thinking to read with a calmer mind
the report of his father's death and burial, but his eye fell on a
"ANOTHER MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE.--Hardly has the public mind recovered
from the perplexity attending the disappearance of a well-known clergyman
from Westminster, when the news comes of a no less mysterious
disappearance of a popular actress from a West-End theatre."
It was Glory!
"Although a recent acquisition to the stage and the latest English
actress to come into her heritage of fame, she was already a universal
favourite, and her sudden and unaccountable disappearance is a shock as
well as a surprise. To the disappointment of the public she had not
played her part for nearly a week, having excused herself on the ground
of indisposition, but there was apparently nothing in the state of her
health to give cause for anxiety or to prepare her friends for the step
she has taken. What has become of her appears to be entirely beyond
conjecture, but her colleagues and associates are still hoping for the
hest, though the tone of a letter left behind gives only too much reason
to fear a sad and perhaps fatal sequel."
When the officer entered the cell again an hour after his first visit,
John Storm was pallid and thin and gray. The sublime faith he had built
up for himself had fallen to ruins, a cloud had hidden the face of the
Father which was in heaven, and the death he had waited for as the crown
of his life seemed to be no better than an abject end to a career that
"Cheer up," said the officer; "I've some good news for you, at all
The prisoner smiled sadly and shook his head.
"Bail was offered and accepted at Bow Street this morning, and you will
be at liberty to leave us to-day."
"When?" said John, and his manner changed immediately.
"Well, not just yet, you know."
"For the love of God, sir, let me go at once! I have something to
do-somebody to look for and find."
"Still, for your own security, Father----"
"Then you don't know that the mob sent a dog out in search of you 2"
"No, I didn't know that; but if all the dogs of Christendom----"
"There are worse dogs waiting for you than any that go on four legs, you
"That's nothing, sir, nothing at all; and if bail has been accepted,
surely it is your duty to liberate me at once. I claim--I demand that you
should do so!"
The officer raised his eyes in astonishment. "You surprise me, Father.
After your calmness and patience and submission to authority too!"
John Storm remained silent for a moment, and then he said, with a
touching solemnity: "You must forgive me, sir. You are very
good--everybody is good to me here. Still, I am not afraid, and if you
can let me go----"
The officer left him. It was several hours before he returned. By this
time the long summer day had closed in, and it was quite dark.
"They think you've gone. You can leave now. Come this way."
At the door of the office some minutes afterward John Storm paused with
the officer's hand in his, and said:
"Perhaps it is needless to ask who is my bail" (he was thinking of Mrs.
Callender), "but if you can tell me----"
"Certainly. It was Sir Francis Drake."
John Storm bowed gravely and turned away. As he passed out of the yard
his eyes were bent on the ground and his step was slow and feeble.
* * * * *
At that moment Drake was on his way to the Corinthian Club. Early in the
afternoon he had seen this letter in the columns of an evening paper:
"The Mysterious Disappearances.--Is it not extraordinary that in
discussing 'the epidemic of mystery' which now fills the air of London it
has apparently never occurred to any one that the two mysterious
disappearances which are the text of so many sermons may be really one
disappearance only, that the 'man of God' and the 'woman of the theatre'
may have acted in collusion, from the same impulse and with the same
expectation, and that the rich and beneficent person who (according to
the latest report) has come to the rescue of the one, and is an active
agent in looking for the other, is in reality the foolish though
well-meaning victim of both?--R. U."
For three hours Drake had searched for Lord Robert with flame in his eyes
and fury in his looks. Going first to Belgrave Square, he had found the
blinds down and the house shut up. Mrs. Macrae was dead. She had died at
a lodging in the country, alone and unattended. Her wealth had not been
able to buy the devotion of one faithful servant at the end. She had left
nothing to her daughter except a remonstrance against her behaviour, but
she had made Lord Robert her chief heir and sole executor.
That amiable mourner had returned to London with all possible despatch as
soon as the breath was out of his mother-in-law's body and arrangements
were made for its transit. He was now engaged in relieving the tension of
so much unusual emotion by a round of his nightly pleasures. Drake had
come up with him at last.
The Corinthian Club was unusually gay that night, "Hello there!" came
from every side. The music in the ballroom was louder than ever, and,
judging by the numbers of the dancers, the attraction of "Tra-la-la" was
even greater than before. There was the note of yet more reckless license
everywhere, as if that little world whose life was pleasure had been
under the cloud of a temporary terror and was determined to make up for
it by the wildest folly. The men chaffed and laughed and shouted comic
songs and kicked their legs about; the women drank and giggled.
Lord Robert was in the supper-room with three guests--the "three graces."
The women were in full evening dress. Betty was wearing the ring she had
taken from Polly "just to remember her by, pore thing," and the others
were blazing in similar brilliants. The wretched man himself was half
drunk. He had been talking of Father Storm and of his own wife in a
jaunty tone, behind which there was an intensity of hatred.
"But this panic of his, don't you know, was the funniest thing ever heard
of. Going home that night I counted seventeen people on their knees in
the streets--'pon my soul I did! Eleven old women of eighty, two or three
of seventy, and one or two that might be as young as sixty-nine. Then the
epidemic of piety in high life too! Several of our millionaires gave
sixpence apiece to beggars--were seen to do it, don't you know. One old
girl gave up playing baccarat and subscribed to 'Darkest England.' No end
of sweet little women confessed their pretty weaknesses to their
husbands, and now that the world is wagging along as merrily as before,
they don't know what the devil they are to do---- But look here!"
Out of his trousers pockets at either side he tugged a torn and crumpled
assortment of letters and proceeded to tumble them on to the table.
"These are a few of the applications I had from curates-in-charge and
such beauties for the care of the living in Westminster while the other
gentleman lay in jail. It's the Bishop's right to appoint the creature,
don't you know, but they think a patron's recommendation---- Oh, they're a
sweet team! Listen to this: 'May it please your lordship----'"
And then in mock tones, flourishing one hand, the man read aloud amid the
various noises of the place--the pop of champagne bottles and the rumble
of the dancing in the room below--the fulsome letters he had received
from clergymen. The wretched women in their paint and patches shrieked
It was at that moment Drake came up, looking pale and fierce.
"Hello there! Is it you? Sit down and take a glass of fizz."
"Not at this table," said Drake. "I prefer to drink with friends."
Lord Robert's eyes glistened, and he tried to smile.
"Really? Thought I was counted in that distinguished company, don't you
"So you were, but I've come to see that a friend who is not a friend is
always the worst enemy."
"What do you mean?"
"What does that mean?" said Drake, throwing the paper on to the table.
"Well, what of it?"
"The initials to that letter are yours, and all the men I meet tell me
that you have written it."
"They do, do they? Well?"
"I won't ask you if you did or if you didn't."
"Don't, dear boy."
"But I'll require you to disown it, publicly and at once."
"And if I won't--what then?"
"Then I'll tell the public for myself that it's a lie, a cowardly and
contemptible lie, and that the man who wrote it is a cur!"
"Oho! So it's like that, is it?" said Lord Robert, rising to his feet as
if putting himself on guard.
"Yes, it _is_ like that, Lord Robert Ure, because the woman who is
slandered in that letter is as innocent as your own wife, and ten
thousand times as pure as those who are your constant company."
Lord Robert's angular and ugly face glistened with a hateful smile.
"Innocent!" he cried hoarsely, and then he laughed out aloud. "Go on!
It's rippin' to hear you, dear boy! Innocent, by God! Just as innocent as
any other ballet girl who is dragged through the stews of London, and
then picked up at last by the born fool who keeps her for another man."
"You liar!" cried Drake, and like a flash of light he had shot his fist
across the table and struck the man full in the face. Then laying hold of
the table itself, he swept it away with all that was on it, and sprang at
Lord Robert and took him by the throat.
"Take that back, will you? Take it back!"
"I won't!" cried Lord Robert, writhing and struggling in his grip.
"Then take that--and that--and that--damn you!" cried Drake, showering
blow after blow, and finally flinging the man into the _debris_ of what
had fallen from the table with a crash.
The women were screaming by this time and all the house was in alarm. But
Drake went out with long strides and a ferocious face, and no one
attempted to stop him.
Returning to St. James's Street, Drake found John Storm waiting in his
rooms. The men had changed a good deal since they last met, and the faces
of both showed suffering.
"Forgive me for this visit," said Storm. "It was my first duty to call
and thank you for what you've done."
"That's nothing--nothing at all," said Drake.
"I had also another object. You'll know what that is."
Drake bowed his head.
"She is gone, it seems, and there is no trace left of her."
"Then _you_ know nothing?"
"Nothing! And you?"
Drake bowed his head again. "I knew it was a lie--that she had gone after
you--I never believed that story."
"Would to God she had!" said Storm fervently, and Drake flinched, but
bore himself bravely. "When did she go?"
"Two days ago, apparently."
"Has anybody looked for her?"
"_I_ have--everywhere--everywhere I can think of. But this London----"
"Yes, yes; I know--I know!"
"For two days I have never rested, and all last night."
Storm's eyes were watching the twitchings of Drake's face. He had been
sitting uneasily on his chair, and now he rose from it.
"Are you going already?" said Drake.
"Yes," said Storm. Then in a husky voice he added: "I don't know if we
shall ever meet again, you and I. When death breaks the link that binds
"For God's sake don't say that!"
"But it _is_ so, isn't it?"
"Heaven knows! Certainly the letter she left behind--the letter to
Rosa---- Poor child, she was such a creature of joy--so bright, so
brilliant! And then to think of her---- I was much to blame--I came
between you. But if I had once realized----"
Drake stopped, and the men fixed their eyes on each other for a moment,
and then turned their heads away.
"I'm afraid I've done you a great injustice, sir," said Storm.
"I thought she was only your toy, your plaything. But perhaps" (his voice
was breaking)--"perhaps you loved her too."
Drake answered, almost inaudibly, "With all my heart and soul!"
"Then--then we have _both_ lost her!"
There was silence for a moment. The hands of the two men met and clasped
"I must go," said Storm, and he moved across the room with a look of
"But where are you going to?"
"I don't know--anywhere--nowhere--it doesn't matter now."
Drake stood at the door below until the slow, uncertain footsteps had
turned the corner of the street and died away.
John Storm was sure now. Overwhelmed by his own disgrace, ashamed of his
downfall, and perhaps with a sense of her own share in it, Glory had
Strange contradiction! Much as he had hated Glory's way of life, there
came to him at the moment a deep remorse at the thought that he had been
the means of putting an end to it. And then her gay and happy spirit
clouded by his own disasters! Her good name stained by association with
his evil one! Her pure soul imperilled by his sin and fall!
But it was now very late and he began to ask himself where he was to
sleep. At first he thought of his old quarters under the church, and then
he told himself that Brother Andrew would be gone by this time, and that
everything connected with the parish must be transferred to other
keeping. Going by a hotel in Trafalgar Square he stepped in and asked for
"Certainly, sir," said the clerk, who was polite and deferential.
"Can I have something to eat, too?"
"Coffee-room to the left, sir. Luggage coming, sir?"
"I have no luggage to-night," he answered, and then he saw that the clerk
looked at him doubtfully.
The coffee-room was empty and only half lit up, for dinner was long over
and the business of the day was done. John was sitting at his meal,
eating his food with his eyes down and hardly conscious of what was going
on around, when he became aware that from time to time people opened the
room door and looked across at him, then whispered together and passed
out. At length the clerk came up to him with awkward manners and a look
"I beg your pardon, sir, but--are you Father Storm?"
John bent his head.
"Then I'm sorry to say we can not accommodate you--we dare not--we must
request you to leave."
John rose without a word, paid his bill, and left the place.
But where was he to go to? What house would receive him? If one hotel
refused him, all other hotels in London would do the same. Then he
remembered the shelter which he had himself established for the
undeserving poor. The humiliation of that moment was terrible. But no
matter! He would drink the cup of God's anger to the dregs.
The lamp was burning in the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament, and
as John passed by the corner of Palace Yard two Bishops came out in
earnest conversation, and walked on in front of him.
"The State and the Church are as the body and soul," said one, "and to
separate them would be death to both."
"Just that," said the other, "and therefore we must fight for the
Church's temporal possessions as we should contend for her spiritual
rights; and so these Benefice Bills----"
The shelter was at the point of closing, and Jupe was putting out the
lamp over the door as John stepped up to him.
"Who is it?" said Jupe in the dark.
"Don't you know me, Jupe?" said John.
"Father Jawn Storm!" cried the man in a whisper of fear.
"I want shelter for the night, Jupe. Can you put me up anywhere?"
The man was staggered and the long rod in his hand shook like a reed.
Then he began to stammer something about the Bishop and the Archdeacon
and his new orders and instructions--how the shelter had been taken over
by other authorities, and he was now----
"But d--- it all!" he said, stopping suddenly, putting his foot down
firmly, and wagging his head to right and left like a man making a brave
resolution, "I'll tyke ye in, sir, and heng it!"
It was the bitterest pill of all, but John swallowed it, and stepped into
the house. As he did so he was partly aware of some tumult in a
neighbouring street, with the screaming of men and women and the barking
The blankets had been served out for the night and the men in the shelter
were clambering up to their bunks. In addition to the main apartment
there was a little room with a glass front which hung like a cage near to
the ceiling at one end and was entered by a circular iron stair. This was
the keeper's own sleeping place, and Jupe was making it ready for John,
while John himself sat waiting with the look of a crushed and humiliated
man, when the tumult in the street came nearer and at last drew up in
front of the house.
"Wot's thet?" the men asked each other, lifting their heads, and Jupe
came down and went to the door. When he returned his face was white, the
sweat hung on his forehead, and a trembling shook his whole body.
"For Gawd's sake, Father, leave the house at onct!" he whispered in great
agitation. "There's a gang outside as'll pull the place dahn if I keep
There was silence for a moment, save for the shouting outside, and then
John said, with a sigh and a look of resignation, "Very well, let me out,
then," and he turned to the door.
"Not that wy, sir--this wy," said Jupe, and at the next moment they were
stepping into a dark and narrow lane at the back. "Turn to the left when
ye get ter the bottom, Father--mind ye turn ter the left."
But John Storm had scarcely heard him. His heart had failed him at last.
He saw the baseness and ingratitude of the people whom he had spent
himself to relieve and uplift and succour and comfort, and he repented
himself of the hopes and aims and efforts which had come to this
bankruptcy in the end.
"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
Yes, yes, that was it! It was not this poor vile race merely, this stupid
and ungrateful humanity--it was God! God used one man's ignorance, and
another man's anger, and another man's hatred, and another man's spite,
and worked out his own ends through it all. And God had rejected him,
refused him, turned a deaf ear to his prayer and his repentance, robbed
him of friends, of affection, of love, and cast him out of the family of
Very well! So be it! What should he do? He would go back to prison and
say: "Take me in again--there is no room left for me in the world. I am
alone, and my heart is dead within me!"
He was at the end of the dark lane by this time, and forgetting Jupe's
warning, and seeing a brightly lighted street running off to his right,
he swung round to it and walked boldly along. This was Old Pye Street,
and he had come to the corner at which it opens into Brown's Square when
his absent mind became conscious of the loud baying of a dog. At the next
moment the dog was at his feet, bounding about him with frantic delight,
leaping up to him as if trying to kiss him, and uttering meanwhile the
most tender, the most true, the most pitiful cries of love.
It was his own dog, the bloodhound Don!
His unworthy thoughts were, chased away at the sight of this one faithful
friend remaining, and he was stooping to fondle the great creature, to
pull at the long drapery of its ears and the pendulous folds of its
glorious forehead, when a short, sharp cry caused him to lift his head.
"Thet's 'im!" said somebody, and then he was aware that a group of men
with evil faces had gathered round. He knew them in a moment: the
publican with his bandaged head, Sharkey, who had served his time and
been released from prison, and Pincher and Hawkins, who were out on bail.
They had all been drinking. The publican, who carried a stick, was drunk,
and the "knocker-up" was staggering on a crutch.
Then came a hideous scene. The four men began to taunt John Storm, to
take off their hats and bow to him in mock honour. "His Lordship, I
believe '" said one. "His Reverend Lordship, if you please!" said
"Leave me; for God's sake, leave me!" said John.
But their taunts became more and more menacing. "Wot abart the end uv the
world, Father?" "Didn't ye tell me to sell my bit uv biziness?" "And
didn't ye say you'd cured me? and look at me now!"
"Don't, I tell you, don't!" cried John, and he moved away.
They followed and began to push him. Then he stopped and cried in a loud
voice of struggle and agony: "Do you want to raise the devil in me? Go
home! Go home!"
But they only laughed and renewed their torment. His hat fell off and he
snatched at it to recover it. In doing so his hand struck somebody in the
face. "Strike a cripple, will ye?" said the publican, and he raised his
stick and struck a heavy blow on John's shoulder. At the next moment the
dog had leaped upon the man, and he was shrieking on the ground. The
"knocker-up" lifted his crutch and with the upper end of it he battered
at the dog's brains.
"Stop, man! stop, stop!--Don! Don!"
But the dog held on, and the man with the crutch continued to strike at
it, until Pincher, who had run to the other side of the street, came back
with a clasp knife and plunged it into the dog's neck. Then with a growl
and a whine and a pitiful cry the creature let go its hold and rolled
over, and the publican got on to his feet.
It was the beginning of the end. John Storm looked down at the dog in its
death-throes, and all the devil in his heart came up and mastered him.
There was a shop at the corner of the square, and some heavy chairs were
standing on the pavement. He took up one of these and swung it round him
like a toy, and the men fell on every side.
By this time the street was in commotion, and people were coming from
every court and yard and alley crying:
"A madman!" "Police!" "Lay hold of him!" "He'll kill somebody!" "Down
John Storm was also shouting at the top of his voice, when suddenly he
felt a dull, stunning pain, without exactly knowing where. Then he felt
himself moving up, up, up--he was in a train, the train was going through
a tunnel, and the guards were screaming; then it was hot and at the next
moment it was cold, and still he was floating, floating; and then he saw
Glory--he heard her say something--and then he opened his eyes, and lo!
the dark sky was above him, and some women were speaking in agitated
voices over his face.
"Who is it?"
"It's Father Storm. The brutes! The beasts! And the pore dog, too!"
"Oh, dear! Where's the p'lice? What are we goin' to do with 'im, Aggie?"
"Tyke 'im to my room, thet's what."
Then he heard Big Ben strike twelve, and then---- It was a long, long
journey, and the tunnel seemed to go on and on.
Half an hour afterward there came to the door of the Orphanage the single
loud thud that is the knock of the poor. An upper window was opened, and
a tremulous voice from the street below cried, "Glory! Miss Gloria!"
It was Agatha Jones. Glory hastened downstairs and found the girl in
great agitation. One glance at her face in the candlelight seemed to tell
"You've found him?"
"Yes; he's hurt. He's----"
"Be calm, child; tell me everything," said Glory, and Aggie delivered her
Since leaving Holloway, Father Storm had been followed and found by means
of the dog. The crowd had set on him and knocked him down and injured
him. He was now lying in Aggie's room. There had been nowhere else to
take him to, for the men had disappeared the moment he was down, and the
women were afraid to take him in. The police had come at last and they
were now gone for the parish doctor. Mrs. Pincher was with the Father,
and the poor dog was dead.
Glory held her hand over her heart while Aggie told her story. "I follow
you," she said. "Did you tell him I was here? Did he send you to fetch
"He didn't speak," said Aggie.
"Is he unconscious?"
"I'll go with you at once."
Hurrying across the streets by Glory's side, Aggie apologized for her
room again. "I down't live thet wy now, you know," she said. "It may seem
strange to you, but while my little boy was alive I couldn't go into the
streets to save my life--I couldn't do it. And when 'is pore father died
The stone stairs to the tenement house were thronged with women. They
stood huddled together in groups like sheep in a storm. There was not a
man anywhere visible, except a drunken sailor, who was coming down from
an upper story whistling and singing. The women silenced him. Had he no
"The doctor's came, Sister," said a woman standing by Aggie's door. Then
Glory entered the room.
The poor disordered place was lit by a cheap lamp, which threw splashes
of light and left tracts of shadow. John lay on the bed, muttering words
that were inaudible. His coat and waistcoat had been removed, and his
shirt was open at the neck. The high wall of his forehead was marble
white, but his cheeks were red and feverish. One of his arms lay over the
side of the bed and Glory took it up and held it. Her great eyes were
moist, but she did not cry, neither did she speak or move. The doctor was
bathing a wound at the back of the head, and he looked up and nodded as
Glory entered. At the other side of the bed an elderly woman in a widow's
cap was wiping her eyes with her apron.
When the doctor was going away, Glory followed him to the door.
"Is he seriously injured, doctor?"
"Very." The doctor was a young man--quick, brusque, and emphatic.
"Yes. The brutes have done for him, nurse, though you needn't tell his
"Then--there is--no chance--whatever?"
"Not a ghost of a chance. By the way, you might try to find out where his
friends are, and send a line to them. I'll be here in the morning.
Glory staggered back to the room, with her hand pressed hard over her
heart, and the young doctor, going downstairs two steps at a stride, met
a police sergeant and a reporter coming up. "Cruel business, sir!" "Yes,
but just one of those things that can't easily be brought home to
anybody." "Sad, though!" "Very sad!"
The short night seemed as if it would never end. When daylight came the
cheerless place was cleared of its refuse--its withered roses, its
cigarette ends and its heaps of left-off clothing. Toward eight o'clock
Glory hurried back to the Orphanage, leaving Aggie and Mrs. Pincher in
charge. John had been muttering the whole night, through, but he had
never once moved and he was still unconscious.
The little faces, fresh and bright from sleep, were waiting for their
breakfast. When the meal was over Glory wrote by express to Mrs.
Callender and to the Father Superior of the Brotherhood, then put on her
bonnet and cloak and turned toward Downing Street.
* * * * *
The Prime Minister had held an early Cabinet Council that morning. It was
observed by his colleagues that he looked depressed and preoccupied. When
the business of the day was done he rose to his feet rather feebly and
"My lords and gentlemen, I have long had it in mind to say
something--something of importance--and I feel the impulse to say it now.
We have been doing our best with legislation affecting the Church, to
give due reality and true life to its relation with the State. But the
longer I live the more I feel that that relation is in itself a false
one, injurious and even dangerous to both alike. Never in history, so far
as I know, and certainly never within my own experience, has it been
possible to maintain the union of Church and State without frequent
adultery and corruption. The effort to do so has resulted in manifest
impostures in sacred things, in ceremonies without spiritual
significance, and in gross travesties of the solemn, worship of God.
Speaking of our own Church, I will not disguise my belief that, but for
the good and true men who are always to be found within its pale, it
could not survive the frequent disregard of principles which lie deep in
the theory of Christianity. Its epicureanism, its regard for the
interests of the purse, its tendency to rank the administrator above the
apostle, are weeds that spring up out of the soil of its marriage with
the State. And when I think of the anomalies and inequalities of its
internal government, of its countless poor clergy, and of its lords and
princes, above all when I remember its apostolic pretensions and the
certainty that he who attempts to live within the Church the real life of
the apostles will incur the risk of that martyrdom which it has always
pronounced against innovators, I can not but believe that the consciences
of many Churchmen would be glad to be relieved of a burden of State
temptation which they feel to be hurtful and intolerable--to render unto
Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are
God's. Be that as it may, I have now to tell you that feeling this
question to be paramount, yet despairing of dealing with it in the few
years that old age has left to me, I have concluded to resign my office.
It is for some younger statesman to fight this battle of the separation
between the spiritual and the temporal in the interests of true religion
and true civilization. God grant he may be a Christian man, and God speed
and bless him!"
The cabinet broke up with many unwonted expressions of affection for the
old leader, and many requests that he should "think again" over the step
he contemplated. But every one knew that he had set his heart on an
impossible enterprise, and every one felt that behind it lay the painful
impulse of an incident reported at length in the newspapers that morning.
Left alone in the cabinet room, the Prime Minister drew up his chair
before the empty grate and gave way to tender memories. He thought of
John Storm and the wreck his life had fallen to; of John's mother and her
brave renunciation of love; and finally of himself and his near
retirement. A spasm of the old lust of power came over him, and he saw
himself--to-morrow, next day, next week--delivering up his seals of
office to the Queen, and then--the next day after that--getting up from
this chair for the last time and going out of this room to return to it
no more--his work done, his life ended.
It was at that moment the footman came to say that a young lady in the
dress of a nurse was waiting in the hall. "A messenger from John," he
thought. And, as he rose to receive her, heavily, wearily, and with the
burden of his years upon him, Glory came into the room with her quivering
face and two great tear-drops standing in her eyes, but glowing with
youth and health and courage.
"Sit down, sit down. But----" looking at her again, "have you been here
"Never, my lord."
"I have seen you somewhere."
"I was an actress once. And I am a friend of John's."
"Of John's? Then you are----"
"I am Glory."
"Glory! And so we meet at last, dear lady! But I _have_ seen you before.
When he spoke of you, but did not bring you to see me, I took a stolen
glance at the theatre myself----"
"I have left it, my lord."
And then she told him what she had done. His old eyes glistened and his
head sank into his breast.
"It wasn't that I came to talk about, my lord, but another and more
"Can I relieve you of the burden of your message, my child? It has
reached me already. It is in all the morning newspapers."
"I didn't think of that. Still the doctor told me to----"
"What does the doctor say about him?"
"He says we are going to lose him."
"I have sent for a great surgeon--But no doubt it is past help. Poor boy!
It seems only yesterday he came up to London so full of hope and
expectation. I can see him now with his great eyes, sitting in that chair
you occupy, talking of his plans and purposes. Poor John! To think he
should come to this! But these tumultuous souls whose hearts are
battlefields, when the battle is over what can be left but a waste?"
Glory's eyes had dried of themselves and she was looking at the old man
with an expression of pain, but he went on without observing her:
"It is one of the dark riddles of the inscrutable Power which rules over
life that the good man can go under like that, while the evil one lives
He rose and walked to and fro before the fireplace. "Ah, well! The years
bring me an ever-deepening sadness, an ever-increasing sense of our
impotence to diminish, the infinite sorrow of the world."
Then he looked down at Glory and said: "But I can hardly forgive him that
he has thrown away so much for so little. And when I think of you, my
child, and of all that might have been, and then of the bad end he has
"But I don't call it coming to a bad end, sir," said Glory in a quivering
"No? To be torn and buffeted and trampled down in the streets?"
"What of it? He might have died of old age in his bed and yet come to a
worse end than that."
"True, but still----"
"If that is coming to a bad end I shall have to believe that my father,
who was a missionary, came to a bad end too when he was killed by the
fevers of Africa. Every martyr comes to a bad end if that is a bad
ending. And so does everybody who is brave and true and does good to
humanity and is willing to die for it. But it isn't bad. It's glorious! I
would rather be the daughter of a man who died like that than be the
daughter of an earl, and if I could have been the wife of one who was
torn and trampled down, in the streets by the very people----"
But her face, which had been aflame, broke into tears again and her voice
failed her. The old man could not speak, and there was silence for a
moment. Then she recovered herself and said quietly:
"I came to ask you if you could do something for me."
"What is it?"
"You may have heard that John wished me to marry him?"
"Would to God you had done so!"
"That was when everybody was praising him."
"Everybody is abusing him now, and railing at him and insulting him."
"I want to marry him at last if there is a way--if you think it is
possible and can be managed."
"But you say he is a dying man!"
"That's why! When he comes to himself he will be thinking as you think,
that his life has been a failure, and I want somebody to be there and
say: 'It isn't, it is only beginning, it is the grain of mustard seed
that _must_ die, but it will live in the heart of humanity for ages and
ages to come; and I would rather take up your name, injured and insulted
as it is, than win all the glory the world has in it.'"
The tears were coursing down the old man's face, and for some minutes he
did not attempt to speak. Then he said:
"What you propose is quite possible. It will be a canonical marriage, but
it will take some little time to arrange. I must send across to Lambeth
Palace. Toward evening I can go down to where he lies and take the
license with me. Meantime speak to a clergyman and have everything in
He walked with Glory down the long corridor to the door, and there he
kissed her on the forehead and said:
"I've long known that a woman can be brave, but meeting you this morning
has taught me something else, my child. Time and again I thought John's