Part 4 out of 6
Square. And at eight o'clock, headed by a large and vigorous
drum corps, the Victor Dorn cohorts at their full strength
marched into the centre of the Square, where one of the stands
had been transformed with flags, bunting and torches into a
speaker's platform. A crowd of many thousands accompanied and
followed the procession. Workingmen's League meetings were
popular, even among those who believed their interests lay
elsewhere. At League meetings one heard the plain truth,
sometimes extremely startling plain truth. The League had no
favors to ask of anybody, had nothing to conceal, was strongly
opposed to any and all political concealments. Thus, its
speakers enjoyed a freedom not usual in political speaking--and
Dorn and his fellow-leaders were careful that no router, no
exaggerator or well intentioned wild man of any kind should open
his mouth under a league banner. THAT was what made the League
so dangerous--and so steadily prosperous.
The chairman, Thomas Colman, the cooper, was opening the meeting
in a speech which was an instance of how well a man of no
platform talent can acquit himself when he believes something and
believes it is his duty to convey it to his fellow-men. Victor
Dorn, to be the fourth speaker and the orator of the evening, was
standing at the rear of the platform partially concealed by the
crowd of men and women leaders of the party grouped behind
Colman. As always at the big formal demonstrations of the
League, Victor was watching every move. This evening his anxiety
was deeper than ever before. His trained political sagacity
warned him that, as he had suggested to Selma, the time of his
party's first great crisis was at hand. No movement could become
formidable with out a life and death struggle, when its aim
frankly was to snatch power from the dominant class and to place
it where that class could not hope to prevail either by direct
means of force or by its favorite indirect means of bribery.
What would Kelly do? What would be his stroke at the very life
of the League?-- for Victor had measured Kelly and knew he was
not one to strike until he could destroy.
Like every competent man of action, Victor had measured his own
abilities, and had found that they were to be relied upon. But
the contest between him and Kelly-- the contest in the last
ditch--was so appallingly unequal. Kelly had the courts and the
police, the moneyed class, the employers of labor, had the clergy
and well-dressed respectability, the newspapers, all the
customary arbiters of public sentiment. Also, he had the
criminal and the semi-criminal classes. And what had the League?
The letter of the law, guaranteeing freedom of innocent speech
and action, guaranteeing the purity of the ballot--no, not
guaranteeing, but simply asserting those rights, and leaving the
upholding of them to--Kelly's allies and henchmen! Also, the
League had the power of between a thousand and fifteen hundred
intelligent and devoted men and about the same number of women--a
solid phalanx of great might, of might far beyond its numbers.
Finally, it had Victor Dorn. He had no mean opinion of his value
to the movement; but he far and most modestly underestimated it.
The human way of rallying to an abstract principle is by way of a
standard bearer--a man-- personality--a real or fancied
incarnation of the ideal to be struggled for. And to the
Workingmen's League, to the movement for conquering Remsen City
for the mass of its citizens, Victor Dorn was that incarnation.
Kelly could use violence--violence disguised as law, violence
candidly and brutally lawless. Victor Dorn could only use lawful
means--clearly and cautiously lawful means. He must at all costs
prevent the use of force against him and his party--must give
Kelly no pretext for using the law lawlessly. If Kelly used
force against him, whether the perverted law of the courts or
open lawlessness, he must meet it with peace. If Kelly smote him
on the right cheek he must give him the left to be smitten.
When the League could outvote Kelly, then--another policy, still
of calmness and peace and civilization, but not so meek. But
until the League could outvote Kelly, nothing but patient
Every man in the League had been drilled in this strategy. Every
man understood--and to be a member of the League meant that one
was politically educated. Victor believed in his associates as
he believed in himself. Still, human nature was human nature.
If Kelly should suddenly offer some adroit outrageous
provocation-- would the League be able to resist?
Victor, on guard, studied the crowd spreading out from the
platform in a gigantic fan. Nothing there to arouse suspicion;
ten or twelve thousand of working class men and women. His
glance pushed on out toward the edges of the crowd--toward the
saloons and alleys of the disreputable south side of Market
Square. His glance traveled slowly along, pausing upon each
place where these loungers, too far away to hear, were gathered
into larger groups. Why he did not know, but suddenly his glance
wheeled to the right, and then as suddenly to the left--the west
and the east ends of the square. There, on either side he
recognized, in the farthest rim of the crowd, several of the men
who did Kelly's lowest kinds of dirty work--the brawlers, the
repeaters, the leaders of gangs, the false witnesses for petty
corporation damage cases. A second glance, and he saw or,
perhaps, divined--purpose in those sinister presences. He looked
for the police--the detail of a dozen bluecoats always assigned
to large open-air meetings. Not a policeman was to be seen.
Victor pushed through the crowd on the platform, advanced to the
side of Colman. ``Just a minute, Tom,'' he said. ``I've got to
say a word--at once.''
Colman had fallen back; Victor Dorn was facing the crowd--HIS
crowd--the men and women who loved him. In the clear, friendly,
natural voice that marked him for the leader born, the honest
leader of an honest cause, he said:
``My friends, if there is an attempt to disturb this meeting,
remember what we of the League stand for. No violence. Draw
away from every disturber, and wait for the police to act. If
the police stop our meeting, let them--and be ready to go to
court and testify to the exact words of the speaker on which the
meeting was stopped. Remember, we must be more lawful than the
He was turning away. A cheer was rising--a belated cheer,
because his words had set them all to thinking and to observing.
From the left of the crowd, a dozen yards away from the platform,
came a stone heavily rather than swiftly flung, as from an
impeded hand. In full view of all it curved across the front of
the platform and struck Victor Dorn full in the side of the head.
He threw up his hands.
``Boys--remember!'' he shouted with a terrible energy-- then, he
staggered forward and fell from the platform into the crowd.
The stone was a signal. As it flew, into the crowd from every
direction the Beech Hollow gangs tore their way, yelling and
cursing and striking out right and left --trampling children,
knocking down women, pouring out the foulest insults. The street
lamps all round Market Square went out, the torches on the
platform were torn down and extinguished. And in a dimness
almost pitch dark a riot that involved that whole mass of people
raged hideously. Yells and screams and groans, the shrieks of
women, the piteous appeals of children--benches torn up for
weapons--mad slashing about--snarls and singings of pain-stricken
groups-- then police whistles, revolvers fired in the air, and
the quick, regular tramp of disciplined forces. The police
--strangely ready, strangely inactive until the mischief had all
been done entered the square from the north and, forming a double
line across it from east to west, swept it slowly clean. The
fighting ended as abruptly as it had begun. Twenty minutes after
the flight of that stone, the square was empty save a group of
perhaps fifty men and women formed about Victor Dorn's body in
the shelter of the platform.
Selma Gordon was holding his head. Jane Hastings and Ellen
Clearwater were kneeling beside him, and Jane was wiping his face
with a handkerchief wet with whisky from the flask of the man who
had escorted them there.
``He is only stunned,'' said Selma. ``I can feel the beat of his
blood. He is only stunned.''
A doctor came, got down on his knees, made a rapid examination
with expert hands. As he felt, one of the relighted torches
suddenly lit up Victor's face and the faces of those bending over
``He is only stunned, Doctor,'' said Selma.
``I think so,'' replied the doctor.
``We left our carriage in the side street just over there,'' said
Jane Hastings. ``It will take him to the hospital.''
``No--home,'' said Selma, who was calm. ``He must be taken
``The hospital is the place for him,'' said the doctor.
``No--home,'' repeated Selma. She glanced at the men standing
round. ``Tom--Henry--and you, Ed-- help me lift him.''
``Please, Selma,'' whispered Jane. ``Let him be taken to the
``Among our enemies?'' said Selma with a strange and terrible
little laugh. ``Oh, no. After this, we trust no one. They may
have arranged to finish this night's work there. He goes
home--doesn't he, boys?''
``That's right, Miss Gordon,'' replied one of them.
The doctor shrugged his shoulders. ``Here's where I drop the
case,'' said he.
``Nothing of the kind,'' cried Jane imperiously. ``I am Jane
Hastings--Martin Hastings' daughter. You will come with us,
please--or I shall see to it that you are not let off easily for
such a shameful neglect of duty.''
``Let him go, Jane,'' said Selma. ``There will be a doctor
waiting. And he is only stunned. Come, boys-- lift him up.''
They laid him on a bench top, softened with the coats of his
followers. At the carriage, standing in Farwell Street, they
laid him across the two seats. Selma got in with him. Tom
Colman climbed to the box beside the coachman. Jane and Miss
Clearwater, their escorts and about a score of the Leaguers
followed on foot. As the little procession turned into Warner
Street it was stopped by a policeman.
``Can't go down this way,'' he said.
``It's Mr. Dorn. We're taking him home. He was hurt,''
``Fire lines. Street's closed,'' said the policeman gruffly.
Selma thrust her head out. ``We must get him home----''
``House across the street burning--and probably his house, too,''
cut in the policeman. ``He's been raising hell--he has. But
it's coming home to him at last. Take him to the hospital.''
``Jane,'' cried Selma, ``make this man pass us!''
Jane faced the policeman, explained who she was. He became
humbly civil at once. ``I've just told her, ma'am,'' said he,
``that his house is burning. The mob's gutting the New Day
office and setting fire to everything.''
``My house is in the next street,'' said Colman. ``Drive there.
Some of you people get Dr. Charlton-- and everything. Get busy.
Whip up, driver. Here, give me the lines!''
Thus, within five minutes, Victor was lying upon a couch in the
parlor of Colman's cottage, and within ten minutes Dr. Charlton
was beside him and was at work. Selma and Jane and Mrs. Colman
were in the room. The others--a steadily increasing crowd--were
on the steps outside, in the front yard, were filling the narrow
street. Colman had organized fifty Leaguers into a guard, to be
ready for any emergencies. Over the tops of the low houses could
be seen the vast cloud of smoke from the fire; the air was heavy
with the odors of burning wood; faintly came sounds of engines,
of jubilant drunken shouts.
``A fracture of the skull and of the jaw-bone. Not necessarily
serious,'' was Dr. Charlton's verdict.
The young man, unconscious, ghastly pale, with his thick hair
mussed about his brow and on the right side clotted with blood,
lay breathing heavily. Ellen Clearwater came in and Mrs. Colman
whispered to her the doctor's cheering statement. She went to
Jane and said in an undertone:
``We can go now, Jane. Come on.''
Jane seemed not to hear. She was regarding the face of the young
man on the couch.
Ellen touched her arm. ``We're intruding on these people,'' she
whispered. ``Let's go. We've done all we can.''
Selma did not hear, but she saw and understood.
``Yes--you'd better go, Jane,'' she said. ``Mrs. Colman and I
will do everything that's necessary.''
Jane did not heed. She advanced a step nearer the couch. ``You
are sure, doctor?'' she said, and her voice sounded unnatural.
``Yes, miss----'' He glanced at her face. ``Yes, Miss Hastings.
He'll be out in less than ten days, as good as ever. It's a very
Jane glanced round. ``Is there a telephone? I wish to send for
``I'd be glad to see him,'' said Dr. Charlton. ``But I assure
you it's unnecessary.''
``We don't want Dr. Alban,'' said Selma curtly. ``Go home, Jane,
and let us alone.''
``I shall go bring Dr. Alban,'' said Jane.
Selma took her by the arm and compelled her into the hall, and
closed the door into the room where Victor lay. ``You must go
home, Jane,'' she said quietly. ``We know what to do with our
leader. And we could not allow Dr. Alban here.''
``Victor must have the best,'' said Jane.
She and Selma looked at each other, and Selma understood.
``He HAS the best,'' said she, gentle with an effort.
``Dr. Alban is the best,'' said Jane.
``The most fashionable,'' said Selma. ``Not the best.'' With
restraint, ``Go home. Let us alone. This is no place for
you--for Martin Hastings' daughter.''
Jane, looking and acting like one in a trance, tried to push
past her and reenter the room. Selma stood firm. She said:
``If you do not go I shall have these men take you to your
carriage. You do not know what you are doing.''
Jane looked at her. ``I love him,'' she said.
``So do we,'' said Selma. ``And he belongs to US. You must go.
Come!'' She seized her by the arm, and beckoning one of the
waiting Leaguers to her assistance she pushed her quietly but
relentlessly along the hall, out of the house, out of the yard
and into the carriage. Then she closed the door, while Jane sank
back against the cushions.
``Yes, he belongs to you,'' said Jane; ``but I love him. Oh,
Selma suddenly burst into tears. ``Go, Jane, dear. You MUST
go,'' she cried.
``At least I'll wait here until--until they are sure,'' said
Jane. ``You can't refuse me that, Selma.''
``But they are sure,'' said Selma. ``You must go with your
friends. Here they come.''
When Ellen Clearwater and Joe Wetherbe--the second son of the
chief owner of the First National-- reached the curb, Selma said
``Please stand aside. I've something to say to this lady.''
When Wetherbe had withdrawn, she said: ``Miss Hastings is--not
quite herself. You had better take her home alone.''
Jane leaned from the open carriage window. ``Ellen,'' said she,
``I am going to stay here until Victor recovers consciousness,
and I am SURE.''
``He has just come around,'' said Ellen. ``He is certain to get
well. His mind is clear.''
``I must see for myself,'' cried Jane.
Selma was preventing her leaving the carriage when Ellen quietly
interfered with a significant look for Selma. ``Jane,'' she
said, ``you can't go in. The doctor has just put every one out
but his assistant and a nurse that has come.''
Jane hesitated, drew back into the corner of the carriage.
``Tell Mr. Wetherbe to go his own way,'' said Ellen aside to
Selma, and she got in beside Jane.
``To Mr. Hastings','' said Selma to the driver. The carriage
She gave Ellen's message to Wetherbe and returned to the house.
Victor was still unconscious; he did not come to himself until
toward daylight. And then it was clear to them all that Dr.
Charlton's encouraging diagnosis was correct.
Public opinion in Remsen City was publicly articulate by means of
three daily newspapers--the Pioneer, the Star, and the Free
Press. The Star and the Free Press were owned by the same group
of capitalists who controlled the gas company and the water
works. The Pioneer was owned by the traction interests. Both
groups of capitalists were jointly interested in the railways,
the banks and in the principal factories. The Pioneer was
Republican, was regarded as the organ of Dick Kelly. The Star
was Democratic, spoke less cordially of Kelly and always called
for House, Mr. House, or Joseph House, Esquire. The Free Press
posed as independent with Democratic leanings. It indulged in
admirable essays against corruption, gang rule and bossism. But
it was never specific and during campaigns was meek and mild.
For nearly a dozen years there had not been a word of truth upon
any subject important to the people of Remsen City in the columns
of any of the three. During wars between rival groups of
capitalists a half-truth was now and then timidly uttered, but
never a word of ``loose talk,'' of ``anarchy,'' of anything but
the entirely ``safe, sane and conservative.''
Thus, any one who might have witnessed the scenes in Market
Square on Thursday evening would have been not a little
astonished to read the accounts presented the next day by the
three newspapers. According to all three the Workingmen's
League, long a menace to the public peace, had at last brought
upon Remsen City the shame of a riot in which two men, a woman
and four children had lost their lives and more than a hundred,
``including the notorious Victor Dorn,'' had been injured. And
after the riot the part of the mob that was hostile to ``the Dorn
gang'' had swept down upon the office of the New Day, had wrecked
it, and had set fire to the building, with the result that five
houses were burned before the flames could be put out. The Free
Press published, as a mere rumor, that the immediate cause of
the outbreak had been an impending ``scurrilous attack'' in the
New Day upon one of the political gangs of the slums and its
leader. The Associated Press, sending forth an account of the
riot to the entire country, represented it as a fight between
rival gangs of workmen precipitated by the insults and menaces of
a ``socialistic party led by a young operator named Dorn.''
Dorn's faction had aroused in the mass of the workingmen a fear
that this spread of ``socialistic and anarchistic ideas'' would
cause a general shut down of factories and a flight of the
capital that was ``giving employment to labor.''
A version of the causes and the events, somewhat nearer the
truth, was talked about Remsen City. But all the respectable
classes were well content with what their newspapers printed.
And, while some broad- minded respectabilities spoke of the
affair as an outrage, none of them was disposed to think that any
real wrong had been done. Victor Dorn and his crowd of
revolutionists had got, after all, only their deserts.
After forty-eight hours of careful study of public opinion, Dick
Kelly decided that Remsen City was taking the dose as he had
anticipated. He felt emboldened to proceed to his final move in
the campaign against ``anarchy'' in his beloved city. On the
second morning after the riot, all three newspapers published
double- headed editorials calling upon the authorities to
safeguard the community against another such degrading and
dangerous upheaval. ``It is time that the distinction between
liberty and license be sharply drawn.'' After editorials in this
vein had been repeated for several days, after sundry bodies of
eminently respectable citizens--the Merchants' Association, the
Taxpayers' League, the Chamber of Commerce--had passed indignant
and appealing resolutions, after two priests, a clergyman and
four preachers had sermonized against ``the leniency of
constituted authority with criminal anarchy,'' Mr. Kelly had the
City Attorney go before Judge Lansing and ask for an injunction.
Judge Lansing promptly granted the injunction. The New Day was
enjoined from appearing. The Workingmen's League was enjoined
from holding meetings.
Then the County Prosecutor, also a henchman of Kelly's, secured
from the Grand Jury--composed of farmers, merchants and owners of
factories--indictments against Thomas Colman and Victor Dorn for
inciting a riot.
Meanwhile Victor Dorn was rapidly recovering. With rare
restraint young Dr. Charlton did not fuss and fret and meddle,
did not hamper nature with his blundering efforts to assist, did
not stuff ``nourishment'' into his patient to decay and to
produce poisonous blood. He let the young man's superb vitality
work the inevitable and speedy cure. Thus, wounds and shocks,
that have often been mistreated by doctors into mortal, passed so
quickly that only Selma Gordon and the doctor himself realized
how grave Victor's case had been. The day he was indicted--just
a week from the riot--he was sitting up and was talking freely.
``Won't it set him back if I tell him all that has occurred?''
``Talk to him as you would to me,'' replied Charlton. ``He is a
sensible man. I've already told him pretty much everything. It
has kept him from fretting, to be able to lie there quietly and
make his plans.''
Had you looked in upon Victor and Selma, in Colman's little
transformed parlor, you would rather have thought Selma the
invalid. The man in the bed was pale and thin of face, but his
eyes had the expression of health and of hope. Selma had great
circles under her eyes and her expression was despair struggling
to conceal itself. Those indictments, those injunctions-- how
powerful the enemy were! How could such an enemy, aroused new
and inflexibly resolved, be combatted?--especially when one had
no money, no way of reaching the people, no chance to organize.
``Dr. Charlton has told you?'' said Selma.
``Day before yesterday,'' replied Victor. ``Why do you look so
``It isn't easy to be cheerful, with you ill and the paper
destroyed,'' replied she.
``But I'm not ill, and the paper isn't destroyed,'' said Victor.
``Never were either I or it doing such good work as now.'' His
eyes were dancing. ``What more could one ask than to have such
stupid enemies as we've got?''
Selma did not lift her eyes. To her those enemies seemed
anything but stupid. Had they not ruined the League?
``I see you don't understand,'' pursued Victor. ``No matter.
You'll wear a very different face two weeks from now.''
``But,'' said Selma, ``exactly what you said you were afraid of
has occurred. And now you say you're glad of it.''
``I told you I was afraid Dick Kelly would make the one move that
could destroy us.''
``But he has!'' cried Selma.
Victor smiled. ``No, indeed!'' replied he.
``What worse could he have done?''
``I'll not tell you,'' said Victor. ``I'd not venture to say
aloud such a dangerous thing as what I'd have done if I had been
in his place. Instead of doing that, he made us. We shall win
this fall's election.''
Selma lifted her head with a sudden gesture of hope. She had
unbounded confidence in Victor Dorn, and his tone was the tone of
``I had calculated on winning in five years. I had left the
brutal stupidity of our friend Kelly out of account.''
``Then you see how you can hold meetings and start up the
``I don't want to do either,'' said Victor. ``I want those
injunctions to stand. Those fools have done at a stroke what we
couldn't have done in years. They have united the working class.
They--the few--have forbidden us, the many, to unite or to speak.
If those injunctions hold for a month, nothing could stop our
winning this fall. . . . I can't understand how Dick Kelly could
be so stupid. Five years ago these moves of his would have been
bad for us--yes, even three years ago. But we've got too
strong--and he doesn't realize! Selma, when you want to win,
always pray that your opponent will underestimate you.''
``I still don't understand,'' said Selma. ``None of us does.
You must explain to me, so that I'll know what to do.''
``Do nothing,'' said Victor. ``I shall be out a week from
to-day. I shall not go into the streets until I not only am well
but look well.''
``They arrested Tom Colman to-day,'' said Selma. ``But they put
the case over until you'd be able to plead at the same time.''
``That's right,'' said Victor. ``They are playing into our
hands!'' And he laughed as heartily as his bandages would
``Oh, I don't understand--I don't understand at all!'' cried
Selma. ``Maybe you are all wrong about it.''
``I was never more certain in my life,'' replied Victor. ``Stop
worrying about it, my dear.'' And he patted her hands gently as
they lay folded in her lap. ``I want you--all our people--to go
round looking sad these next few days. I want Dick Kelly to feel
that he is on the right track.''
There came a knock at the door, and Mrs. Colman entered. She had
been a school teacher, and of all the occupations there is no
other that leaves such plain, such indelible traces upon manner,
mind and soul. Said she:
``Miss Jane Hastings is outside in her carriage--and wants to
know if she can see you.''
Selma frowned. Victor said with alacrity: ``Certainly. Bring
her in, Mrs. Colman.''
Selma rose. ``Wait until I can get out of the way,'' she cried.
``Sit down, and sit still,'' commanded Victor.
Selma continued to move toward the door. ``No--I don't wish to
see her,'' she said.
Victor chagrined her by acquiescing without another word.
``You'll look in after supper?'' he asked.
``If you want me,'' said the girl.
``Come back here,'' said Victor. ``Wait, Mrs. Colman.'' When
Selma was standing by the bed he took her hand. ``Selma,'' he
said, ``don't let these things upset you. Believe me, I'm right.
Can't you trust me?''
Selma had the look of a wild creature detained against its will.
``I'm not worried about the party--and the paper,'' she burst
out. ``I'm worried about you.''
``But I'm all right. Can't you see I'm almost well?''
Selma drew her hand away. ``I'll be back about half- past
seven,'' she said, and bolted from the room.
Victor's good-natured, merry smile followed her to the door.
When the sound of her retreat by way of the rear of the house was
dying away he said to Mrs. Colman:
``Now--bring in the young lady. And please warn her that she
must stay at most only half an hour by that clock over there on
Every day Jane had been coming to inquire, had been bringing or
sending flowers and fruit--which, by Dr. Charlton's orders, were
not supposed to enter the invalid's presence. Latterly she had
been asking to see Victor; she was surprised when Mrs. Colman
returned with leave for her to enter. Said Mrs. Colman:
``He's alone. Miss Gordon has just gone. You will see a clock
on the mantel in his room. You must not stay longer than half an
``I shall be very careful what I say,'' said Jane.
``Oh, you needn't bother,'' said the ex-school teacher. ``Dr.
Charlton doesn't believe in sick-room atmosphere. You must treat
Mr. Dorn exactly as you would a well person. If you're going to
take on, or put on, you'd better not go in at all.''
``I'll do my best,'' said Jane, rather haughtily, for she did not
like Mrs. Colman's simple and direct manner. She was used to
being treated with deference, especially by the women of Mrs.
Colman's class; and while she disapproved of deference in theory,
in practice she craved it, and expected it, and was irritated if
she did not get it. But, as she realized how unattractive this
weakness was, she usually took perhaps more pains than does the
average person to conceal it. That day her nerves were too tense
for petty precautions. However, Mrs. Colman was too busy
inspecting the details of Miss Hastings' toilet to note Miss
Jane's nervousness vanished the instant she was in the doorway of
the parlor with Victor Dorn looking at her in that splendidly
simple and natural way of his. ``So glad to see you,'' he said.
``What a delightful perfume you bring with you. I've noticed it
before. I know it isn't flowers, but it smells like flowers.
With most perfumes you can smell through the perfume to something
that's the very reverse of sweet.''
They were shaking hands. She said: ``That nice woman who let me
in cautioned me not to put on a sick- room manner or indulge in
sick-room talk. It was quite unnecessary. You're looking
``Ain't I, though?'' exclaimed Victor. ``I've never been so
comfortable. Just weak enough to like being waited on. You were
very good to me the night that stone knocked me over. I want to
thank you, but I don't know how. And the flowers, and the
fruit-- You have been so kind.''
``I could do very little,'' said Jane, blushing and faltering.
``And I wanted to do--everything.'' Suddenly all energy, ``Oh,
Mr. Dorn, I heard and saw it all. It was--INFAMOUS! And the
lying newspapers--and all the people I meet socially. They keep
me in a constant rage.''
Victor was smiling gayly. ``The fortunes of war,'' said he. ``I
expect nothing else. If they fought fair they couldn't fight at
all. We, on this side of the struggle, can afford to be generous
and tolerant. They are fighting the losing battle; they're
trying to hold on to the past, and of course it's slipping from
them inch by inch. But we--we are in step with the march of
When she was with him Jane felt that his cause was hers,
also--was the only cause. ``When do you begin publishing your
paper again?'' she asked. ``As soon as you are sitting up?''
``Not for a month or so,'' replied he. ``Not until after the
``Oh, I forgot about that injunction. You think that as soon as
Davy Hull's crowd is in they will let you begin again?''
He hesitated. ``Not exactly that,'' he said. ``But after the
election there will be a change.''
Her eyes flashed. ``And they have indicted you! I heard the
newsboys crying it and stopped and bought a paper. But I shall
do something about that. I am going straight from here to
father. Ellen Clearwater and I and Joe Wetherbe SAW. And Ellen
and I will testify if it's necessary--and will make Joe tell the
truth. Do you know, he actually had the impudence to try to
persuade Ellen and me the next day that we saw what the papers
``I believe it,'' said Victor. ``So I believe that Joe convinced
``You are too charitable,'' replied Jane. ``He's afraid of his
``Miss Hastings,'' said Victor, ``you suggested a moment ago that
you would influence your father to interfere in this matter of
``I'll promise you now that he will have it stopped,'' said Jane.
``You want to help the cause, don't you?''
Jane's eyes shifted, a little color came into her cheeks. ``The
cause--and you,'' she said.
``Very well,'' said Victor. ``Then you will not interfere. And
if your father talks of helping me you will discourage him all
``You are saying that out of consideration for me. You're afraid
I will quarrel with my father.''
``I hadn't thought of that,'' said Victor. ``I can't tell you
what I have in mind. But I'll have to say this much--that if you
did anything to hinder those fellows from carrying out their
plans against me and against the League to the uttermost you'd be
doing harm instead of good.''
``But they may send you to jail. . . . No, I forgot. You can
Victor's eyes had a quizzical expression. ``Yes, I could give
bail. But even if I don't give bail, Miss Hastings --even if I
am sent to jail--Colman and I--still you must not interfere. You
Jane hesitated. ``I can't promise,'' she finally said.
``You must,'' said Victor. ``You'll make a mess of my plans, if
``You mean that?''
``I mean that. Your intentions are good. But you would only do
They looked at each other. Said Jane: ``I promise-- on one
``That if you should change your mind and should want my help,
you'd promptly and freely ask for it.''
``I agree to that,'' said Victor. ``Now, let's get it clearly in
mind. No matter what is done about me or the League, you promise
not to interfere in any way, unless I ask you to.''
Again Jane hesitated. ``No matter what they do?'' she pleaded.
``No matter what they do,'' insisted he.
Something in his expression gave her a great thrill of confidence
in him, of enthusiasm. ``I promise,'' she said. ``You know
``Indeed I do,'' said he. ``Thank you.''
A moment's silence, then she exclaimed: ``That was why you let
me in to-day--because you wanted to get that promise from me.''
``That was one of the reasons,'' confessed he. ``In fact, it was
the chief reason.'' He smiled at her. ``There's nothing I'm so
afraid of as of enthusiasm. I'm going to be still more cautious
and exact another promise from you. You must not tell any one
that you have promised not to interfere.''
``I can easily promise that,'' said Jane.
``Be careful,'' warned Victor. ``A promise easily made is a
promise easily forgotten.''
``I begin to understand,'' said Jane. ``You want them to attack
you as savagely as possible. And you don't want them to get the
slightest hint of your plan.''
``A good guess,'' admitted Victor. He looked at her gravely.
``Circumstances have let you farther into my confidence than any
one else is. I hope you will not abuse it.''
``You can rely upon me,'' said Jane. ``I want your friendship
and your respect as I never wanted anything in my life before.
I'm not afraid to say these things to you, for I know I'll not be
Victor's smile thrilled her again. ``You were born one of us,''
he said. ``I felt it the first time we talked together.''
``Yes. I do want to be somebody,'' replied the girl. ``I can't
content myself in a life of silly routine . . . can't do things
that have no purpose, no result. And if it wasn't for my father
I'd come out openly for the things I believe in. But I've got to
think of him. It may be a weakness, but I couldn't overcome it.
As long as my father lives I'll do nothing that would grieve him.
Do you despise me for that?''
``I don't despise anybody for anything,'' said Victor. ``In your
place I should put my father first.'' He laughed. ``In your
place I'd probably be a Davy Hull or worse. I try never to
forget that I owe everything to the circumstances in which I was
born and brought up. I've simply got the ideas of my class, and
it's an accident that I am of the class to which the future
belongs--the working class that will possess the earth as soon as
it has intelligence enough to enter into its kingdom.''
``But,'' pursued Jane, returning to herself, ``I don't intend to
be altogether useless. I can do something and he--my father, I
mean--needn't know. Do you think that is dreadful?''
``I don't like it,'' said Victor. But he said it in such a way
that she did not feel rebuked or even judged.
``Nor do I,'' said she. ``I'd rather lead the life I wish to
lead--say the things I believe--do the things I believe in--all
openly. But I can't. And all I can do is to spend the income of
my money my mother left me-- spend it as I please.'' With a
quick embarrassed gesture she took an envelope from a small bag
in which she was carrying it. ``There's some of it,'' she said.
``I want to give that to your campaign fund. You are free to use
it in any way you please--any way, for everything you are and do
is your cause.''
Victor was lying motionless, his eyes closed.
``Don't refuse,'' she begged. ``You've no right to refuse.''
A long silence, she watching him uneasily. At last he said,
``No--I've no right to refuse. If I did, it would be from a
personal motive. You understand that when you give the League
this money you are doing what your father would regard as an act
of personal treachery to him?''
``You don't think so, do you?'' cried she.
``Yes, I do,'' said he deliberately.
Her face became deathly pale, then crimson. She thrust the
envelope into the bag, closed it hastily. ``Then I can't give
it,'' she murmured. ``Oh--but you are hard!''
``If you broke with your father and came with us-- and it killed
him, as it probably would,'' Victor Dorn went on, ``I should
respect you--should regard you as a wonderful, terrible woman. I
should envy you having a heart strong enough to do a thing so
supremely right and so supremely relentless. And I should be
glad you were not of my blood--should think you hardly human.
Yet that is what you ought to do.''
``I am not up to it,'' said Jane.
``Then you mustn't do the other,'' said Victor. ``We need the
money. I am false to the cause in urging you not to give it.
He was looking away, an expression in his eyes and about his
mouth that made him handsomer than she would have believed a man
could be. She was looking at him longingly, her beautiful eyes
swimming. Her lips were saying inaudibly, ``I love you--I love
``What did you say?'' he asked, his thoughts returning from their
``My time is up,'' she exclaimed, rising.
``There are better ways of helping than money,'' said he, taking
her hand. ``And already you've helped in those ways.''
``May I come again?''
``Whenever you like. But--what would your father say?''
``Then you don't want me to come again?''
``It's best not,'' said he. ``I wish fate had thrown us on the
same side. But it has put us in opposite camps-- and we owe it
to ourselves to submit.''
Their hands were still clasped. ``You are content to have it
so?'' she said sadly.
``No, I'm not,'' cried he, dropping her hand. ``But we are
``We can always hope,'' said she softly.
On impulse she laid her hand in light caress upon his brow, then
swiftly departed. As she stood in Mrs. Colman's flowery little
front yard and looked dazedly about, it seemed to her that she
had been away from the world--away from herself--and was
reluctantly but inevitably returning.
As Jane drove into the grounds of the house on the hilltop she
saw her father and David Hull in an obviously intimate and
agitated conversation on the front veranda. She made all haste
to join them; nor was she deterred by the reception she got--the
reception given to the unwelcome interrupter. Said she:
``You are talking about those indictments, aren't you? Everyone
else is. There's a group on every corner down town, and people
are calling their views to each other from windows across the
Davy glanced triumphantly at her father. ``I told you so,'' said
Old Hastings was rubbing his hand over his large, bony, wizened
face in the manner that indicates extreme perplexity.
Davy turned to Jane. ``I've been trying to show your father what
a stupid, dangerous thing Dick Kelly has done. I want him to
help me undo it. It MUST be undone or Victor Dorn will sweep the
town on election day.''
Jane's heart was beating wildly. She continued to say
carelessly, ``You think so?''
``Davy's got a bad attack of big red eye to-day,'' said her
father. ``It's a habit young men have.''
``I'm right, Mr. Hastings,'' cried Hull. ``And, furthermore, you
know I'm right, Jane; you saw that riot the other night. Joe
Wetherbe told me so. You said that it was an absolutely
unprovoked assault of the gangs of Kelly and House. Everyone in
town knows it was. The middle and the upper class people are
pretending to believe what the papers printed-- what they'd like
to believe. But they KNOW better. The working people are
apparently silent. They usually are apparently silent. But they
know the truth --they are talking it among themselves. And these
indictments will make Victor Dorn a hero.''
``What of it? What of it?'' said Hastings impatiently. ``The
working people don't count.''
``Not as long as we can keep them divided,'' retorted Davy.
``But if they unite----''
And he went on to explain what he had in mind. He gave them an
analysis of Remsen City. About fifty thousand inhabitants, of
whom about ten thousand were voters. These voters were divided
into three classes--upper class, with not more than three or four
hundred votes, and therefore politically of no importance AT THE
POLLS, though overwhelmingly the most influential in any other
way; the middle class, the big and little merchants, the lawyers
and doctors, the agents and firemen and so on, mustering in all
about two thousand votes; finally, the working class with no less
than eight thousand votes out of a total of ten thousand.
``By bribery and cajolery and browbeating and appeal to religious
prejudice and to fear of losing jobs--by all sorts of chicane,''
said Davy, ``about seven of these eight thousand votes are kept
divided between the Republican or Kelly party and the Democratic
or House party. The other ten or twelve hundred belong to Victor
Dorn's League. Now, the seven thousand workingmen voters who
follow Kelly and House like Victor Dorn, like his ideas, are with
him at heart. But they are afraid of him. They don't trust each
other. Workingmen despise the workingman as an ignorant fool.''
``So he is,'' said Hastings.
``So he is,'' agreed Davy. ``But Victor Dorn has about got the
workingmen in this town persuaded that they'd fare better with
Dorn and the League as their leaders than with Kelly and House as
their leaders. And if Kelly goes on to persecute Victor Dorn,
the workingmen will be frightened for their rights to free speech
and free assembly. And they'll unite. I appeal to you,
Jane--isn't that common sense?''
``I don't know anything about politics,'' said Jane, looking
bored. ``You must go in and lie down before dinner, father. You
Hastings got ready to rise.
``Just a minute, Mr. Hastings,'' pleaded Hull. ``This must be
settled now--at once. I must be in a position not only to
denounce this thing, but also to stop it. Not to-morrow, but
to-day . . . so that the morning papers will have the news.''
Jane's thoughts were flying--but in circles. Everybody
habitually judges everybody else as both more and less acute than
he really is. Jane had great respect for Davy as a man of
college education. But because he had no sense of humor and
because he abounded in lengthy platitudes she had thought poorly
indeed of his abilities. She had been realizing her mistake in
these last few minutes. The man who had made that analysis of
politics--an analysis which suddenly enlighted her as to what
political power meant and how it was wielded everywhere on earth
as well as in Remsen City--the man was no mere dreamer and
theorist. He had seen the point no less clearly than had Victor
Dorn. But what concerned her, what set her to fluttering, was
that he was about to checkmate Victor Dorn. What should she say
and do to help Victor?
She must get her father away. She took him gently by the arm,
kissed the top of his head. ``Come on, father,'' she cried.
``I'll let Davy work his excitement off on me. You must take
care of your health.''
But Hastings resisted. ``Wait a minute, Jenny,'' said he. ``I
``You can think lying down,'' insisted his daughter Davy was
about to interpose again, but she frowned him into silence.
``There's something in what Davy says,'' persisted her father.
``If that there Victor Dorn should carry the election, there'd be
no living in the same town with him. It'd put him away up out of
Jane abruptly released her father's arm. She had not thought of
that--of how much more difficult Victor would be if he won now.
She wanted him to win ultimately--yes, she was sure she did.
But--now? Wouldn't that put him beyond her reach--beyond need of
She said: ``Please come, father!'' But it was perfunctory
loyalty to Victor. Her father settled back; Davy Hull began
afresh, pressing home his point, making his contention so clear
that even Martin Hastings' prejudice could not blind him to the
truth. And Jane sat on the arm of a big veranda chair and
listened and made no further effort to interfere.
``I don't agree with you, Hull,'' said the old man at last.
``Victor Dorn's run up agin the law at last, and he ought to get
the consequences good and hard. But----''
``Mr. Hastings,'' interrupted Davy eagerly--too fond of talking
to realize that the old man was agreeing with him, ``Your
``Fiddle-fiddle,'' cried the old man. ``Don't bring sentimental
women into this, Davy. As I was saying, Victor ought to be
punished for the way he's been stirring up idle, lazy, ignorant
people against the men that runs the community and gives 'em jobs
and food for their children. But maybe it ain't wise to give him
his deserts--just now. Anyhow, while you've been talking away
like a sewing machine I've been thinking. I don't see as how it
can do any serious HARM to stop them there indictments.''
``That's it, Mr. Hastings,'' cried Hull. ``Even if I do
exaggerate, as you seem to think, still where's the harm in doing
``It looks as if the respectable people were afraid of the lower
classes,'' said Hastings doubtfully. ``And that's always bad.''
``But it won't look that way,'' replied Davy, ``if my plan is
``And what might be your plan?'' inquired Hastings.
``I'm to be the reform candidate for Mayor. Your son-in-law,
Hugo, is to be the reform candidate for judge. The way to handle
this is for me to come out in a strong statement denouncing the
indictments, and the injunction against the League and the New
Day, too. And I'll announce that Hugo Galland is trying to join
in the fight against them and that he is indignant and as
determined as I am. Then early to-morrow morning we can go
before Judge Lansing and can present arguments, and he will
denounce the other side for misleading him as to the facts, and
will quash the indictments and vacate the injunctions.''
Hastings nodded reflectively. ``Pretty good,'' said he with a
sly grin. ``And Davy Hull and my son-in- law will be popular
Davy reddened. ``Of course. I want to get all the advantage I
can for our party,'' said he. ``I don't represent myself. I
represent the party.''
Martin grinned more broadly. He who had been representing
``honest taxpayers'' and ``innocent owners'' of corrupt stock and
bonds all his life understood perfectly. ``It's hardly human to
be as unselfish as you and I are, Davy,'' said he. ``Well, I'll
go in and do a little telephoning. You go ahead and draw up your
statement and get it to the papers--and see Hugo.'' He rose,
stood leaning on his cane, all bent and shrivelled and dry. ``I
reckon Judge Lansing'll be expecting you to-morrow morning.'' He
turned to enter the house, halted, crooked his head round for a
piercing look at young Hull. ``Don't go talking round among your
friends about what you're going to do,'' said he sharply.
``Don't let NOBODY know until it's done.''
``Certainly, sir,'' said Davy.
``I could see you hurrying down to that there University Club to
sit there and tell it all to those smarties that are always
blowing about what they're going to do. You'll be right smart of
a man some day, Davy, if you'll learn to keep your mouth shut.''
Davy looked abashed. He did not know which of his many
indiscretions of self-glorifying talkativeness Mr. Hastings had
immediately in mind. But he could recall several, any one of
which was justification for the rather savage rebuke--the more
humiliating that Jane was listening. He glanced covertly at her.
Perhaps she had not heard; she was gazing into the distance with
a strange expression upon her beautiful face, an expression that
fastened his attention, absorbed though he was in his project for
his own ambitions. As her father disappeared, he said:
``What are you thinking about, Jane?''
Jane startled guiltily. ``I? Oh--I don't know--a lot of
``Your look suggested that you were having a--a severe attack of
conscience,'' said he, laughingly. He was in soaring good humor
now, for he saw his way clear to election.
``I was,'' said Jane, suddenly stern. A pause, then she
laughed--rather hollowly. ``Davy, I guess I'm almost as big a
fraud as you are. What fakirs we human beings are?--always
posing as doing for others and always doing for our selfish
Davy's face took on its finest expression. ``Do you think it's
altogether selfishness for me to fight for Victor Dorn and give
him a chance to get out his paper again--when he has warned me
that he is going to print things that may defeat me?''
``You know he'll not print them now,'' retorted Jane.
``Indeed I don't. He's not so forbearing.''
``You know he'll not print them now,'' repeated Jane. ``He'd not
be so foolish. Every one would forget to ask whether what he
said about you was true or false. They'd think only of how
ungenerous and ungrateful he was. He wouldn't be either. But
he'd seem to be--and that comes to the same thing.'' She glanced
mockingly at Hull. ``Isn't that your calculation?''
``You are too cynical for a woman, Jane,'' said Davy. ``It's not
``To your vanity?'' retorted Jane. ``I should think not.''
``Well--good-by,'' said Davy, taking his hat from the rail.
``I've got a hard evening's work before me. No time for
``Another terrible sacrifice for public duty,'' mocked Jane.
``You must be frightfully out of humor with yourself, to be
girding at me so savagely,'' said Davy.
``Good-by, Mr. Mayor.''
``I shall be--in six weeks.''
Jane's face grew sombre. ``Yes--I suppose so,'' said she. ``The
people would rather have one of us than one of their own kind.
They do look up to us, don't they? It's ridiculous of them, but
they do. The idea of choosing you, when they might have Victor
``He isn't running for Mayor,'' objected Hull. ``The League's
candidate is Harbinger, the builder.''
``No, it's Victor Dorn,'' said Jane. ``The best man in a
party--the strongest man--is always the candidate for all the
offices. I don't know much about politics, but I've learned that
much. . . . It's Victor Dorn against--Dick Kelly--or Kelly and
Hull reddened. She had cut into quick. ``You will see who is
Mayor when I'm elected,'' said he with all his dignity.
Jane laughed in the disagreeably mocking way that was the climax
of her ability to be nasty when she was thoroughly out of humor.
``That's right, Davy. Deceive yourself. It's far more
comfortable. So long!''
And she went into the house.
Davy's conduct of the affair was masterly. He showed those rare
qualities of judgment and diplomacy that all but insure a man a
distinguished career. His statement for the press was a model of
dignity, of restrained indignation, of good common sense. The
most difficult part of his task was getting Hugo Galland into
condition for a creditable appearance in court. In so far as
Hugo's meagre intellect, atrophied by education and by luxury,
permitted him to be a lawyer at all, he was of that now common
type called the corporation lawyer. That is, for him human
beings had ceased to exist, and of course human rights, also; the
world as viewed from the standpoint of law contained only
corporations, only interests. Thus, a man like Victor Dorn was
in his view the modern form of the devil--was a combination of
knave and lunatic who had no right to live except in the
restraint of an asylum or a jail.
Fortunately, while Hugo despised the ``hoi polloi'' as only a
stupid, miseducated snob can despise, he appreciated that they
had votes and so must be conciliated; and he yearned with the
snob's famished yearning for the title and dignity of judge.
Davy found it impossible to convince him that the injunctions and
indictments ought to be attacked until he had convinced him that
in no other way could he become Judge Galland. As Hugo was
fiercely prejudiced and densely stupid and reverent of the powers
of his own intellect, to convince him was not easy. In fact,
Davy did not begin to succeed until he began to suggest that
whoever appeared before Judge Lansing the next morning in defense
of free speech would be the Alliance and Democratic and
Republican candidate for judge, and that if Hugo couldn't see his
way clear to appearing he might as well give up for the present
his political ambitions.
Hugo came round. Davy left him at one o'clock in the morning and
went gloomily home. He had known what a prejudiced ass Galland
was, how unfit he was for the office of judge; but he had up to
that time hidden the full truth from himself. Now, to hide it
was impossible. Hugo had fully exposed himself in all his
unfitness of the man of narrow upper class prejudices, the man of
no instinct or enthusiasm for right, justice and liberty.
``Really, it's a crime to nominate such a chap as that,'' he
muttered. ``Yet we've got to do it. How Selma Gordon's eyes
would shame me, if she could see me now!''
Davy had the familiar fondness for laying on the secret
penitential scourge--wherewith we buy from our complacent
consciences license to indulge in the sins our appetites or
Judge Lansing--you have never seen a man who LOOKED the judge
more ideally than did gray haired, gray bearded, open browed
Robert Lansing--Judge Lansing was all ready for his part in the
farce. He knew Hugo and helped him over the difficult places and
cut him short as soon as he had made enough of his speech to give
an inkling of what he was demanding. The Judge was persuaded to
deliver himself of a high-minded and eloquent denunciation of
those who had misled the court and the county prosecutor. He
pointed out--in weighty judicial language--that Victor Dorn had
by his conduct during several years invited just such a series of
calamities as had beset him. But he went on to say that Dorn's
reputation and fondness for speech and action bordering on the
lawless did not withdraw from him the protection of the law. In
spite of himself the law would protect him. The injunctions were
dissolved and the indictments were quashed.
The news of the impending application, published in the morning
papers, had crowded the court room. When the Judge finished a
tremendous cheer went up. The cheer passed on to the throng
outside, and when Davy and Hugo appeared in the corridor they
were borne upon the shoulders of workingmen and were not released
until they had made speeches. Davy's manly simplicity and
clearness covered the stammering vagueness of hero Galland.
As Davy was gradually clearing himself of the eager handshakers
and back-slappers, Selma suddenly appeared before him. Her eyes
were shining and her whole body seemed to be irradiating emotion
of admiration and gratitude. ``Thank you--oh, thank you!'' she
said, pressing his hand. ``How I have misjudged you!''
Davy did not wince. He had now quite forgotten the part selfish
ambition had played in his gallant rush to the defense of
imperilled freedom--had forgotten it as completely as the now
ecstatic Hugo had forgotten his prejudices against the ``low,
smelly working people.'' He looked as exalted as he felt. ``I
only did my plain duty,'' replied he. ``How could any decent
American have done less?''
``I haven't seen Victor since yesterday afternoon,'' pursued
Selma. ``But I know how grateful he'll be-- not so much for what
you did as that YOU did it.''
The instinct of the crowd--the universal human instinct--against
intruding upon a young man and young woman talking together soon
cleared them of neighbors. An awkward silence fell. Said he
``Are you ready to give your answer?--to that question I asked
you the other day.''
``I gave you my answer then,'' replied she, her glance seeking a
way of escape.
``No,'' said he. ``For you said then that you would not marry
me. And I shall never take no for an answer until you have
married some one else.''
She looked up at him with eyes large and grave and puzzled.
``I'm sure you don't want to marry me,'' she said. ``I wonder
why you keep asking me.''
``I have to be honest with you,'' said Davy. ``Somehow you bring
out all the good there is in me. So, I can't conceal anything
from you. In a way I don't want to marry you. You're not at all
the woman I have always pictured as the sort I ought to marry and
would marry. But--Selma, I love you. I'd give up anything--even
my career--to get you. When I'm away from you I seem to regain
control of myself. But just as soon as I see you, I'm as bad as
``Then we mustn't see each other,'' said she.
Suddenly she nodded, laughed up at him and darted away --and Hugo
Galland, long since abandoned by the crowd, had seized him by the
Selma debated whether to take Victor the news or to continue her
walk. She decided for the walk. She had been feeling peculiarly
toward Victor since the previous afternoon. She had not gone
back in the evening, but had sent an excuse by one of the
Leaguers. It was plain to her that Jane Hastings was up to
mischief, and she had begun to fear--sacrilegious though she felt
it to be to harbor such a suspicion-- that there was man enough,
weak, vain, susceptible man enough, in Victor Dorn to make Jane a
danger. The more she had thought about Jane and her environment,
the clearer it had become that there could be no permanent and
deep sincerity in Jane's aspirations after emancipation from her
class. It was simply the old, old story of a woman of the upper
class becoming infatuated with a man of a genuine kind of manhood
rarely found in the languor-producing surroundings of her own
class. Would Victor yield? No! her loyalty indignantly
answered. But he might allow this useless idler to hamper him,
to weaken his energies for the time--and during a critical
She did not wish to see Victor again until she should have
decided what course to take. To think at her ease she walked out
Monroe Avenue on her way to the country. It was a hot day, but
walking along in the beautiful shade Selma felt no discomfort,
except a slight burning of the eyes from the fierce glare of the
white highway. In the distance she heard the sound of an engine.
A few seconds, and past her at high speed swept an automobile.
Its heavy flying wheels tore up the roadway, raised an enormous
cloud of dust. The charm of the walk was gone; the usefulness of
roadway and footpaths was destroyed for everybody for the fifteen
or twenty minutes that it would take for the mass of dust to
settle--on the foliage, in the grass, on the bodies and clothing
of passers-by and in their lungs. Selma halted and gazed after
the auto. Who was tearing along at this mad speed? Who was
destroying the comfort of all using that road, and annoying them
and making the air unfit to breathe! Why, an idle, luxuriously
dressed woman, not on an errand of life or death, but going down
town to amuse herself shopping or calling.
The dust had not settled before a second auto, having a young man
and young woman apparently on the way to play tennis, rushed by,
swirling up even vaster clouds of dust and all but colliding with
a baby carriage a woman was trying to push across the street.
Selma's blood was boiling! The infamy of it! These worthless
idlers! What utter lack of manners, of consideration for their
fellow beings. A GENTLEMAN and a LADY insulting and bullying
everyone who happened not to have an automobile. Then--she
laughed. The ignorant, stupid masses! They deserved to be
treated thus contemptuously, for they could stop it if they
would. ``Some day we shall learn,'' philosophized she. ``Then
these brutalities of men toward each other, these brutalities big
and little, will cease.'' This matter of the insulting
automobiles, with insolent horns and criminal folly of speed and
hurling dust at passers-by, worse than if the occupants had spat
upon them in passing--this matter was a trifle beside the hideous
brutalities of men compelling masses of their fellow beings,
children no less than grown people, to toil at things killing
soul, mind and body simply in order that fortunes might be made!
THERE was lack of consideration worth thinking about.
Three more autos passed--three more clouds of dust, reducing
Selma to extreme physical discomfort. Her philosophy was
severely strained. She was in the country now; but even there
she was pursued by these insolent and insulting hunters of
pleasure utterly indifferent to the comfort of their fellows.
And when a fourth auto passed, bearing Jane Hastings in a
charming new dress and big, becoming hat--Selma, eyes and throat
full of dust and face and neck and hands streaked and dirty,
quite lost her temper. Jane spoke; she turned her head away,
pretending not to see!
Presently she heard an auto coming at a less menacing pace from
the opposite direction. It drew up to the edge of the road
abreast of her. ``Selma,'' called Jane.
Selma paused, bent a frowning and angry countenance upon Jane.
Jane opened the door of the limousine, descended, said to her
chauffeur: ``Follow us, please.'' She advanced to Selma with a
timid and deprecating smile. ``You'll let me walk with you?''
``I am thinking out a very important matter,'' replied Selma,
with frank hostility. ``I prefer not to be interrupted.''
``Selma!'' pleaded Jane. ``What have I done to turn you against
Selma stood, silent, incarnation of freedom and will. She looked
steadily at Jane. ``You haven't done anything,'' she replied.
``On impulse I liked you. On sober second thought I don't.
``You gave me your friendship,'' said Jane. ``You've no right to
withdraw it without telling me why.''
``You are not of my class. You are of the class that is at war
with mine--at war upon it. When you talk of friendship to me,
you are either false to your own people or false in your
professions to me.''
Selma's manner was rudely offensive--as rude as Jane's dust, to
which it was perhaps a retort. Jane showed marvelous restraint.
She told herself that she felt compassionate toward this
attractive, honest, really nice girl. It is possible, however,
that an instinct of prudence may have had something to do with
her ultra- conciliatory attitude toward the dusty little woman in
the cheap linen dress. The enmity of one so near to Victor Dorn
was certainly not an advantage. Instead of flaring up, Jane
``Now, Selma--do be human--do be your sweet, natural self. It
isn't my fault that I am what I am. And you know that I really
belong heart and soul with you.''
``Then come with us,'' said Selma. ``If you think the life you
lead is foolish--why, stop leading it.''
``You know I can't,'' said Jane mournfully.
``I know you could,'' retorted Selma. ``Don't be a hypocrite,
``Selma--how harsh you are!'' cried Jane.
``Either come with us or keep away from us,'' said the girl
inflexibly. ``You may deceive yourself--and men--with that talk
of broad views and high aspirations. But you can't deceive
``I'm not trying to deceive anybody,'' exclaimed Jane angrily.
``Permit me to say, Selma, that your methods won't make many
converts to your cause.''
``Who ever gave you the idea that we were seeking converts in
your class?'' inquired Selma. ``Our whole object is to abolish
your class--and end its drain upon us--and its bad example--and
make its members useful members of our class, and more contented
and happier than they are now.'' She laughed--a free and merry
laugh, but not pleasant in Jane's ears. ``The idea of US trying
to induce young ladies and young gentlemen with polished finger
nails to sit round in drawing-rooms talking patronizingly of
doing something for the masses! You've got a very queer notion
of us, my dear Miss Hastings.''
Jane's eyes were flashing. ``Selma, there's a devil in you
to-day. What is it?'' she demanded.
``There's a great deal of dust from your automobile in me and on
me,'' said Selma. ``I congratulate you on your good manners in
rushing about spattering and befouling your fellow beings and
threatening their lives.''
Jane colored and lowered her head. ``I--I never thought of that
before,'' she said humbly.
Selma's anger suddenly dissolved. ``I'm ashamed of myself,'' she
cried. ``Forgive me.''
What she had said about the automobile had made an instant deep
impression upon Jane, who was honestly trying to live up to her
aspirations--when she wasn't giving up the effort as hopelessly
beyond her powers and trying to content herself with just
aspiring. She was not hypocritical in her contrition. The dust
disfiguring the foliage, streaking Selma's face and hair, was
forcing the lesson in manners vigorously home. ``I'm much
obliged to you for teaching me what I ought to have learned for
myself,'' she said. ``I don't blame you for scorning me. I am a
pretty poor excuse. But''--with her most charming smile-- ``I'll
do better--all the faster if you'll help me.''
Selma looked at her with a frank, dismayed contrition, like a
child that realizes it has done something very foolish. ``Oh,
I'm so horribly impulsive!'' she cried. ``It's always getting me
into trouble. You don't know how I try Victor Dorn's
patience--though he never makes the least sign.'' She laughed up
at Jane. ``I wish you'd give me a whipping. I'd feel lots
``It'd take some of my dust off you,'' said Jane. ``Let me take
you to the house in the auto--you'll never see it going at that
speed again, I promise. Come to the house and I'll dust you
off--and we'll go for a walk in the woods.''
Selma felt that she owed it to Jane to accept. As they were
climbing the hill in the auto, Selma said:
``My, how comfortable this is! No wonder the people that have
autos stop exercising and get fat and sick and die. I couldn't
trust myself with one.''
``It's a daily fight,'' confessed Jane. ``If I were married and
didn't have to think about my looks and my figure I'm afraid I'd
``Victor says the only time one ought ever to ride in a carriage
is to his own funeral.''
``He's down on show and luxury of every kind-- isn't he?'' said
``No, indeed,'' replied Selma. ``Victor isn't `down on'
anything. He thinks show and luxury are silly. He could be rich
if he wished, for he has wonderful talent for managing things and
for making money. He has refused some of the most wonderful
offers--wonderful in that way. But he thinks money-making a
waste of time. He has all he wants, and he says he'd as soon
think of eating a second dinner when he'd just had one as of
exchanging time that could be LIVED for a lot of foolish
``And he meant it, too,'' said Jane. ``In some men that would
sound like pretense. But not in him. What a mind he has--and
what a character!''
Selma was abruptly overcast and ominously silent. She wished she
had not been turned so far by her impulse of penitence--wished
she had held to the calm and deliberate part of her resolve about
Jane--the part that involved keeping aloof from her. However,
Jane, the tactful--hastened to shift the conversation to
generalities of the softest kinds--talked about her college
life--about the inane and useless education they had given
her--drew Selma out to talk about her own education--in the
tenement--in the public school, at night school, in factory and
shop. Not until they had been walking in the woods nearly two
hours and Selma was about to go home, did Victor, about whom both
were thinking all the time, come into the conversation again. It
was Jane who could no longer keep away from the subject--the one
subject that wholly interested her nowadays. Said she:
``Victor Dorn is REALLY almost well, you think?''
After a significant pause Selma said in a tone that was certainly
not encouraging, ``Obviously.''
``I was altogether wrong about Doctor Charlton,'' said Jane.
``I'm convinced now that he's the only really intelligent doctor
in town. I'm trying to persuade father to change to him.''
``Well, good-by,'' said Selma. She was eager to get away, for
she suddenly felt that Jane was determined to talk about Victor
before letting her go.
``You altered toward me when I made that confession--the night of
the riot,'' said Jane abruptly. ``Are you in love with him,
``No,'' said Selma.
``I don't see how you could help being,'' cried Jane.
``That's because you don't know what it is to be busy,'' retorted
Selma. ``Love--what you call love-- is one of the pastimes with
your sort of people. It's a lazy, easy way of occupying the
``You don't know me as well as you think you do,'' said Jane.
Her expression fascinated Selma--and made her more afraid than
Impulsively Selma took Jane by the arm. ``Keep away from us,''
she said. ``You will do no good. You can only cause
unhappiness--perhaps most of all to yourself.''
``Don't I know that!'' exclaimed Jane. ``I'm fighting it as hard
as I can. But how little control one has over oneself when one
has always been indulged and self-indulgent.''
``The man for you is David Hull,'' said Selma.
``You could help him--could make a great deal of a person out of
``I know it,'' replied Jane. ``But I don't want him, and
he--perhaps you didn't know that he is in love with you?''
``No more than you are with Victor Dorn,'' said Selma. ``I'm
different from the women he has known, just as Victor is
different from the men you meet in your class. But this is a
waste of time.''
``You don't believe in me at all,'' cried Jane. ``In some ways
you are very unjust and narrow, Selma.''
Selma looked at her in that grave way which seemed to compel
frankness. ``Do YOU believe in yourself?'' she asked.
Jane's glance shifted.
``You know you do not,'' proceeded Selma. ``The women of your
class rarely have sincere emotions because they do not lead
sincere lives. Part of your imaginary love for Victor Dorn is
desire to fill up idle hours. The rest of it is vanity--the
desire to show your power over a man who seems to be
woman-proof.'' She laughed a little, turned away, paused. ``My
mother used to quote a French proverb--`One cannot trifle with
love.' Be careful, Jane--for your own sake. I don't know
whether you could conquer Victor Dorn or not. But I do know IF
you could conquer him it would be only at the usual price of
those conquests to a woman.''
``And what is that?'' said Jane.
``Your own complete surrender,'' said Selma.
``How wise you are!'' laughed Jane. ``Who would have suspected
you of knowing so much!''
``How could I--a woman--and not unattractive to men--grow up to
be twenty-one years old, in the free life of a working woman,
without learning all there is to know about sex relations?''
Jane looked at her with a new interest.
``And,'' she went on, ``I've learned--not by experience, I'm glad
to say, but by observation--that my mother's proverb is true. I
shall not think about love until I am compelled to. That is a
peril a sensible person does not seek.''
``I did not seek it,'' cried Jane--and then she halted and
``Good-by, Jane,'' said Selma, waving her hand and moving away
rapidly. She called back--``On ne badine pas avec l'amour!''
She went straight to Colman's cottage--to Victor, lying very pale
with his eyes shut, and big Tom Colman sitting by his bed. There
was a stillness in the room that Selma felt was ominous.
Victor's hand--strong, well-shaped, useful-looking,
used-looking--not ABUSED- looking, but USED-looking-was outside
the covers upon the white counterpane. The fingers were drumming
softly; Selma knew that gesture--a certain sign that Victor was
troubled in mind.
``You've told him,'' said Selma to Colman as she paused in the
Victor turned his head quickly, opened his eyes, gave her a look
of welcome that made her thrill with pride. ``Oh--there you
are!'' he exclaimed. ``I was hoping you'd come.''
``I saw David Hull just after it was done,'' said Selma. ``And I
thanked him for you.''
Victor's eyes had a look of amusement, of mockery. ``Thank
you,'' he said.
She, the sensitive, was on the alert at once. ``Didn't you want
me to thank him?''
Victor did not answer. In the same amused way he went on: ``So
they carried him on their shoulders --him and that other defender
of the rights of the people, Hugo Galland? I should like to have
seen. It was a memorable spectacle.''
``You are laughing at it,'' exclaimed the girl. ``Why?''
``You certainly are taking the news very queer, Victor,'' said
Colman. Then to Selma, ``When I told him he got white and I
thought I'd have to send for Doctor Charlton.''
``Well--joy never kills,'' said Victor mockingly. ``I don't want
to keep you, Tom--Selma'll sit with me.''
When they were alone, Victor again closed his eyes and resumed
that silent drumming upon the counterpane. Selma watched the
restless fingers as if she hoped they would disclose to her the
puzzling secret of Victor's thoughts. But she did not interrupt.
That was one lesson in restraint that Victor had succeeded in
teaching her--never to interrupt. At last he heaved a great sigh
``Well, Selma, old girl--we've probably lost again. I was glad
you came because I wanted to talk--and I can't say what's in my
mind before dear old Tom--or any of them but my sister and you.''
``You didn't want those injunctions and indictments out of the
way?'' said Selma.
``If they had stood, we'd have won--in a walk,'' replied Victor.
``As the cards lie now, David Hull will win. And he'll make a
pretty good show mayor, probably-- good enough to fool a large
majority of our fellow citizens, who are politically as shallow
and credulous as nursery children. And so--our work of educating
them will be the harder and slower. Oh, these David
Hulls!--these good men who keep their mantles spotless in order
to make them the more useful as covers for the dirty work of
others!'' Suddenly his merry smile burst out. ``And they carried
Hugo Galland on their shoulders?''
``Then you don't think Hull's motives were honorable?'' inquired
Selma, perplexed and anxious.
``How could I know his motives?--any man's motives?'' replied
Victor. ``No one can read men's hearts. All I ever consider is
actions. And the result of his actions is probably the defeat of
the League and the election of Dick Kelly.''
``I begin to understand,'' said Selma thoughtfully. ``But--I do
believe his motive was altogether good.''
``My dear girl,'' said Victor, ``the primer lesson in the life of
action is: `Never--NEVER look at motives. Action--only
actions--always actions.' The chief reason the human race is led
patiently round by the nose is its fondness for fussing about
motives. We are interested only in men's actions and the results
to our cause. Davy Hull's motives concern only himself-- and
those who care for him.'' Victor's eyes, twinkling
mischievously, shot a shrewd glance at Selma. ``You're not by
any chance in love with Davy?''
Selma colored high. ``Certainly not!'' she exclaimed
``Why not? Why not?'' teased Victor. ``He's tall and
handsome--and superbly solemn--and women always fancy a solemn
man has intellect and character. Not that Davy is a fool--by no
means. I'd be the last man to say that--I whom he has just
cleverly checkmated in one move.''
``You intended not to give bail! You intended to go to jail!''
exclaimed Selma abruptly. ``I see it all! How stupid I was!
Oh, I could cry, Victor! What a chance.''
``Spilt milk,'' said Victor. ``We must forget it, and plan to
meet the new conditions. We'll start the paper at once. We
can't attack him. Very clever of him-- very clever! If he were
as brave as he is shrewd, I'd almost give up hope of winning this
town while he was in politics here. But he lacks courage. And
he daren't think and speak honestly. How that does cripple a
``He'll be one of us before very long,'' said Selma. ``You
misjudge him, Victor.''
Dorn smiled. ``Not so long as his own class gratifies his
ambitions,'' replied Victor. ``If he came with us it'd be
because his own class had failed him and he hoped to rise through
Selma did not agree with him. But as she always felt
presumptuous and even foolish in disagreeing with Victor, she
kept silent. And presently Victor began to lay out her share in
the task of starting up the New Day. ``I shall be all right
within a week,'' said he, ``and we must get the first number out
the week following.'' She was realizing now that Hull's move had
completely upset an elaborate plan of campaign into which Victor
had put all his intelligence and upon which he had staked all his
hopes. She marvelled as he talked, unfolding rapidly an entirely
new campaign, different in every respect from what the other
would have been. How swiftly his mind had worked, and how well!
How little time he had wasted in vain regrets! How quickly he
had recovered from a reverse that would have halted many a strong
And then she remembered how they all, his associates, were like
him, proof against the evil effects of set-back and defeat. And
why were they so? Because Victor Dorn had trained them to fight
for the cause, and not for victory. ``Our cause is the right,
and in the end right is bound to win because the right is only
another name for the sensible''--that had been his teaching. And
a hardy army he had trained. The armies trained by victory are
strong; but the armies schooled by defeat--they are invincible.
When he had explained his new campaign--as much of it as he
deemed it wise at that time to withdraw from the security of his
own brain--she said:
``But it seems to me we've got a good chance to win, anyhow.''
``A chance, perhaps,'' replied he. ``But we'll not bother about
that. All we've got to do is to keep on strengthening
``Yes, that's it!'' she cried. ``One added here--five there--ten
yonder. Every new stone fitted solidly against the ones already
``We must never forget that we aren't merely building a new
party,'' said Dorn. ``We're building a new civilization--one to
fit the new conditions of life. Let the Davy Hulls patch and
tinker away at trying to keep the old structure from falling in.
We know it's bound to fall and that it isn't fit for decent
civilized human beings to live in. And we're getting the new
house ready. So--to us, election day is no more important than
any of the three hundred and sixty-five.''
It was into the presence of a Victor Dorn restored in mind as
well as in body that Jane Hastings was shown by his sister, Mrs.
Sherrill, one afternoon a week or so later.
All that time Jane had been searching for an excuse for going to
see him. She had haunted the roads and the woods where he and
Selma habitually walked. She had seen neither of them. When the
pretext for a call finally came to her, as usual, the most
obvious thing in the world. He must be suspecting her of having
betrayed his confidence and brought about the vacating of those
injunctions and the quashing of the indictments. She must go to
him and clear herself of suspicion.
She felt that the question of how she should dress for this
crucial interview, this attempt to establish some sort of
friendly relations with him, was of the very highest importance.
Should she wear something plain, something that would make her
look as nearly as might be like one of his own class? HIS class!
No --no, indeed. The class in which he was accidentally born and
bred, but to which he did not belong. Or, should she go dressed
frankly as of her own class-- wearing the sort of things that
made her look her finest and most superior and most beautiful?
Having nothing else to do, she spent several hours in trying
various toilets. She was not long in deciding against disguising
herself as a working woman. That garb might win his mental and
moral approval; but not by mental and moral ways did women and
men prevail with each other. In plain garb--so Jane decided, as
she inspected herself--she was no match for Selma Gordon; she
looked awkward, out of her element. So much being settled, there
remained to choose among her various toilets. She decided for an
embroidered white summer dress, extremely simple, but in the way
that costs beyond the power of any but the very rich to afford.
When she was ready to set forth, she had never looked so well in
her life. Her toilet SEEMED a mere detail. In fact, it was some
such subtlety as those arrangements of lines and colors in great
pictures, whereby the glance of the beholder is unconsciously
compelled toward the central figure, just as water in a funnel
must go toward the aperture at the bottom. Jane felt, not
without reason, that she had executed a stroke of genius. She
was wearing nothing that could awaken Victor Dorn's prejudices
about fine clothes, for he must have those prejudices. Yet she
was dressed in conformity with all that centuries, ages of
experience, have taught the dressmaking art on the subject of
feminine allure. And, when a woman feels that she is so dressed,
her natural allure becomes greatly enhanced.
She drove down to a point in Monroe Avenue not far from the house
where Victor and his family lived. The day was hot; boss-ridden
Remsen City had dusty and ragged streets and sidewalks. It,
therefore, would not do to endanger the freshness of the toilet.
But she would arrive as if she had come all the way on foot.
Arrival in a motor at so humble a house would look like
ostentation; also, if she were seen going through that street
afoot, people would think she was merely strolling a little out
of her way to view the ruins of the buildings set on fire by the
mob. She did pause to look at these ruins; the air of the
neighborhood still had a taint of burnt wood and paper.
Presently, when she was sure the street was clear of people of
the sort who might talk--she hastily entered the tiny front yard
of Victor's house, and was pleased to find herself immediately
screened from the street by the luxuriant bushes and creepers.
There was nothing in the least pretentious about the appearance
of the little house. It was simply a well built cottage--but of
brick, instead of the usual wood, and the slate roof descended at
attractive angles. The door she was facing was superior to the
usual flimsy-looking door. Indeed, she at once became conscious
of a highly attractive and most unexpected air of substantiality
and good taste. The people who lived here seemed to be permanent
people--long resident, and looking forward to long residence.
She had never seen such beautiful or such tastefully grouped sun
flowers, and the dahlias and marigolds were far above the
familiar commonplace kitchen garden flowers.
The door opened, and a handsome, extremely intelligent looking
woman, obviously Victor's sister, was looking pleasantly at her.
Said she: ``I'm sorry to have kept you waiting. But I was busy
in the kitchen. This is Miss Hastings, isn't it?''
``Yes,'' said Jane, smiling friendlily.
``I've heard my brother and Selma talk of you.'' (Jane wondered
WHAT they had said.) ``You wish to see Victor?''
``If I'd not be interrupting,'' said Jane.
``Come right in. He's used to being interrupted. They don't
give him five minutes to himself all day long--especially now
that the campaign's on. He always does his serious work very
early in the morning.''
They went through a hall, pleasantly odorous of baking in which
good flour and good butter and good eggs were being manufactured
into something probably appetizing, certainly wholesome. Jane
caught a glimpse through open doors on either side of a neat and
reposeful little library-sitting room, a plain delightfully
simple little bedroom, a kitchen where everything shone. She
arrived at the rear door somehow depressed, bereft of the feeling
of upper-class superiority which had, perhaps unconsciously,
possessed her as she came toward the house. At the far end of an
arbor on which the grape vines were so trellised that their broad
leaves cast a perfect shade, sat Victor writing at a table under
a tree. He was in his shirt sleeves, and his shirt was open at
the throat. His skin was smooth and healthily white below the
collar line. The forearms exposed by his rolled up sleeves were
strong but slender, and the faint fair hair upon them suggested a
man, but not an animal.
Never had she seen his face and head so fine. He was writing
rapidly, his body easily erect, his head and neck in a poise of
grace and strength. Jane grew pale and trembled--so much so that
she was afraid the keen, friendly eyes of Alice Sherrill were
seeing. Said Mrs. Sherrill, raising her voice:
``Victor--here's Miss Hastings come to see you.'' Then to Jane:
``Excuse me, please. I don't dare leave that kitchen long.''
She departed. Jane waited while Victor, his pencil reluctantly
slackening and his glance lingeringly rising from the paper, came
back to sense of his surroundings. He stared at her blankly,
then colored a little. He rose--stiff, for him formal. Said he:
``How d'you do, Miss Hastings?''
She came down the arbor, recovering her assurance as she again
became conscious of herself, so charmingly dressed and no doubt
beautiful in his eyes. ``I know you're not glad to see me,''
said she. ``But I'm only stopping a very little minute.''
His eyes had softened--softened under the influence of the
emotion no man can ever fail to feel at least in some degree at
sight of a lovely woman. ``Won't you sit?'' said he, with a
glance at the wooden chair near the other side of the table.
She seated herself, resting one gloved hand on the prettily
carved end of her white-sunshade. She was wearing a big hat of
rough black straw, with a few very gorgeous white plumes. ``What
a delightful place to work,'' exclaimed she, looking round,
admiring the flowers, the slow ripening grapes, the delicious
shade. ``And you--how WELL you look!''
``I've forgotten I was ever anything but well,'' said he.
``You're impatient for me to go,'' she cried laughing. ``It's
very rude to show it so plainly.''
``No,'' replied he. ``I am not impatient for you to go. But I
ought to be, for I'm very busy.''
``Well, I shall be gone in a moment. I came only to tell you
that you are suspecting me wrongly.''
``Suspecting you?--of what?''
``Of having broken my word. I know you must think I got father
to set Davy Hull on to upsetting your plans.''
``The idea never entered my head,'' said he. ``You had
promised--and I know you are honest.''
Jane colored violently and lowered her eyes. ``I'm not--not up
to what you say,'' she protested. ``But at least I didn't break
my promise. Davy thought of that himself.''
``I have been assuming so.''
``And you didn't suspect me?''
``Not for an instant,'' Victor assured her. ``Davy simply made
the move that was obviously best for him.''
``And now he will be elected,'' said Jane regretfully.
``It looks that way,'' replied Victor. And he had the air of one
who has nothing more to say.
Suddenly Jane looked at him with eyes shining and full of appeal.
``Don't send me away so quickly,'' she pleaded. ``I've not been
telling the exact truth. I came only partly because I feared you
were suspecting me. The real reason was that--that I couldn't
stay away any longer. I know you're not in the least interested
She was watching him narrowly for signs of contradiction. She
hoped she had not watched in vain.
``Why should you be?'' she went on. ``But ever since you opened
my eyes and set me to thinking, I can do nothing but think about
the things you have said to me, and long to come to you and ask
you questions and hear more.''
Victor was staring hard into the wall of foliage. His face was
set. She thought she had never seen anything so resolute, so
repelling as the curve of his long jaw bone.
``I'll go now,'' she said, making a pretended move toward rising.
``I've no right to annoy you.''
He stood up abruptly, without looking at her. ``Yes, you'd
better go,'' he said curtly.
She quivered--and it was with a pang of genuine pain.
His gaze was not so far from her as it seemed. For he must have
noted her expression, since he said hurriedly: ``I beg your
pardon. It isn't that I mean to be rude. I--I--it is best that
I do not see you.''
She sank back in the chair with a sigh. ``And I--I know that I
ought to keep away from you. But--I can't. It's too strong for