Part 1 out of 5
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The Face and the Mask
BY ROBERT BARR
[Illustration: "THE GIRL KISSED THE TIPS OF HER FINGERS."]
THE HON. WILLIAM E. QUINBY
(_United States Minister to the Netherlands_)
HAS HELPED SO MANY UNKNOWN LITERARY ASPIRANTS THAT HE CAN
HARDLY HAVE HOPED TO ESCAPE THE DEDICATION TO HIM OF A BOOK BY AT LEAST
ONE OF THEM
I. THE WOMAN OF STONE
II. THE CHEMISTRY OF ANARCHY
III. THE FEAR OF IT
IV. THE METAMORPHOSES OF JOHNSON
V. THE RECLAMATION OF JOE HOLLENDS
VI. THE TYPE-WRITTEN LETTER
VII. THE DOOM OF LONDON
VIII. THE PREDICAMENT OF DE PLONVILLE
IX. A NEW EXPLOSIVE
X. THE GREAT PEGRAM MYSTERY
XI. DEATH COMETH SOON OR LATE
XII. HIGH STAKES
XIII. "WHERE IGNORANCE IS BLISS"
XIV. THE DEPARTURE OF CUB MCLEAN
XV. OLD NUMBER EIGHTY-SIX
XVI. PLAYING WITH MARKED CARDS
XVII. THE BRUISER'S COURTSHIP
XVIII. THE RAID ON MELLISH
XIX. STRIKING BACK
XX. CRANDALL'S CHOICE
XXI. THE FAILURE OF BRADLEY
XXII. RINGAMY'S CONVERT
XXIII. A SLIPPERY CUSTOMER
XXIV. THE SIXTH BENCH
_The Personal Conductor:_ "It is a statue of no importance
_The Personally Conducted:_ "Yes, but what does it mean?"
_The Personal Conductor:_ "I don't suppose it means anything in
particular. It is not by any well-known artist and the guidebooks say
nothing about it."
_The Personally Conducted:_ "Perhaps the sculptor intended to
typify life; the tragic face representing one side of existence and the
comic mask another."
_The Personal Conductor:_ "Very likely. This way to the Louvre, if
THE WOMAN OF STONE.
Lurine, was pretty, _petite_, and eighteen. She had a nice
situation at the Pharmacie de Siam, in the Rue St. Honore. She had no
one dependent upon her, and all the money she earned was her own. Her
dress was of cheap material perhaps, but it was cut and fitted with
that daintiness of perfection which seems to be the natural gift of the
Parisienne, so that one never thought of the cheapness, but admired
only the effect, which was charming. She was book-keeper and general
assistant at the Pharmacie, and had a little room of her own across the
Seine, in the Rue de Lille. She crossed the river twice every day--once
in the morning when the sun was shining, and again at night when the
radiant lights along the river's bank glittered like jewels in a long
necklace. She had her little walk through the Gardens of the Tuileries
every morning after crossing the Pont Royal, but she did not return
through the gardens in the evening, for a park in the morning is a
different thing to a park at night. On her return she always walked
along the Rue de Tuileries until she came to the bridge. Her morning
ramble through the gardens was a daily delight to her, for the Rue de
Lille is narrow, and not particularly bright, so it was pleasant to
walk beneath the green trees, to feel the crisp gravel under her feet,
and to see the gleaming white statues in the sunlight, with the sparkle
on the round fountain pond, by the side of which she sometimes sat. Her
favorite statue was one of a woman that stood on a pedestal near the
Rue de Rivoli. The arm was thrown over her head, and there was a smile
on the marble face which was inscrutable. It fascinated the girl as she
looked up to it, and seemed to be the morning greeting to her busy
day's work in the city. If no one was in sight, which was often the
case at eight o'clock in the morning, the girl kissed the tips of her
fingers, and tossed the salute airily up to the statue, and the woman
of stone always smiled back at her the strange mystical smile which
seemed to indicate that it knew much more of this world and its ways
than did the little Parisienne who daily gazed up at her.
Lurine was happy, as a matter of course, for was not Paris always
beautiful? Did not the sun shine brightly? And was not the air always
clear? What more, then, could a young girl wish? There was one thing
which was perhaps lacking, but that at last was supplied; and then
there was not a happier girl in all Paris than Lurine. She almost cried
it aloud to her favorite statue the next morning, for it seemed to her
that the smile had broadened since she had passed it the morning
before, and she felt as if the woman of stone had guessed the secret of
the woman of flesh.
Lurine had noticed him for several days hovering about the Pharmacie,
and looking in at her now and then; she saw it all, but pretended not
to see. He was a handsome young fellow with curly hair, and hands long,
slender, and white as if he were not accustomed to doing hard, manual
labor. One night he followed her as far as the bridge, but she walked
rapidly on, and he did not overtake her. He never entered the
Pharmacie, but lingered about as if waiting for a chance to speak with
her. Lurine had no one to confide in but the woman of stone, and it
seemed by her smile that she understood already, and there was no need
to tell her, that the inevitable young man had come. The next night he
followed her quite across the bridge, and this time Lurine did not walk
so quickly. Girls in her position are not supposed to have normal
introductions to their lovers, and are generally dependent upon a
haphazard acquaintance, although that Lurine did not know. The young
man spoke to her on the bridge, raising his hat from his black head as
he did so.
"Good evening!" was all he said to her.
She glanced sideways shyly at him, but did not answer, and the young
man walked on beside her.
"You come this way every night," he said. "I have been watching you.
Are you offended?"
"No," she answered, almost in a whisper.
"Then may I walk with you to your home?" he asked.
"You may walk with me as far as the corner of the Rue de Lille," she
"Thank you!" said the young fellow, and together they walked the short
distance, and there he bade her good night, after asking permission to
meet her at the corner of the Rue St. Honore, and walk home with her,
the next night.
"You must not come to the shop," she said.
"I understand," he replied, nodding his head in assent to her wishes.
He told her his name was Jean Duret, and by-and-by she called him Jean,
and he called her Lurine. He never haunted the Pharmacie now, but
waited for her at the corner, and one Sunday he took her for a little
excursion on the river, which she enjoyed exceedingly. Thus time went
on, and Lurine was very happy. The statue smiled its enigmatical smile,
though, when the sky was overcast, there seemed to her a subtle warning
in the smile. Perhaps it was because they had quarrelled the night
before. Jean had seemed to her harsh and unforgiving. He had asked her
if she could not bring him some things from the Pharmacie, and gave her
a list of three chemicals, the names of which he had written on a
"You can easily get them," he had said; "they are in every Pharmacie,
and will never be missed."
"But," said the girl in horror, "that would be stealing."
The young man laughed.
"How much do they pay you there?" he asked. And when she told him, he
laughed again and said,
"Why, bless you, if I got so little as that I would take something from
the shelves every day and sell it."
The girl looked at him in amazement, and he, angry at her, turned upon
his heel and left her. She leaned her arms upon the parapet of the
bridge, and looked down into the dark water. The river always
fascinated her at night, and she often paused to look at it when
crossing the bridge, shuddering as she did so. She cried a little as
she thought of his abrupt departure, and wondered if she had been too
harsh with him. After all, it was not very much he had asked her to do,
and they did pay her so little at the Pharmacie. And then perhaps her
lover was poor, and needed the articles he had asked her to get.
Perhaps he was ill, and had said nothing. There was a touch on her
shoulder. She looked round. Jean was standing beside her, but the frown
had not yet disappeared from his brow.
"Give me that paper," he said, abruptly.
She unclosed her hand, and he picked the paper from it, and was turning
"Stop!" she said, "I will get you what you want, but I will myself put
the money in the till for what they cost."
He stood there, looking at her for a moment, and then said--"Lurine, I
think you are a little fool. They owe you ever so much more than that.
However, I must have the things," and he gave her back the paper with
the caution--"Be sure you let no one see that, and be very certain that
you get the right things." He walked with her as far as the corner of
the Rue de Lille. "You are not angry with me?" he asked her before they
"I would do anything for you," she whispered, and then he kissed her
She got the chemicals when the proprietor was out, and tied them up
neatly, as was her habit, afterwards concealing them in the little
basket in which she carried her lunch. The proprietor was a sharp-eyed
old lynx, who looked well after his shop and his pretty little
"Who has been getting so much chlorate of potash?" he asked, taking
down the jar, and looking sharply at her.
The girl trembled.
"It is all right," she said. "Here is the money in the till."
"Of course," he said. "I did not expect you to give it away for
nothing. Who bought it?"
"An old man," replied the girl, trembling still, but the proprietor did
not notice that--he was counting the money, and found it right.
"I was wondering what he wanted with so much of it. If he comes in
again look sharply at him, and be able to describe him to me. It seems
suspicious." Why it seemed suspicious Lurine did not know, but she
passed an anxious time until she took the basket in her hand and went
to meet her lover at the corner of the Rue des Pyramides. His first
"Have you brought me the things?"
"Yes," she answered. "Will you take them here, now?"
"Not here, not here," he replied hurriedly, and then asked anxiously,
"Did anyone see you take them?"
"No, but the proprietor knows of the large package, for he counted the
"What money?" asked Jean.
"Why, the money for the things. You didn't think I was going to steal
them, did you?"
The young man laughed, and drew her into a quiet corner of the Gardens
of the Tuileries.
"I will not have time to go with you to the Rue de Lille to-night," he
"But you will come as usual to-morrow night?" she asked, anxiously.
"Certainly, certainly." he replied, as he rapidly concealed the
packages in his pockets.
The next night the girl waited patiently for her lover at the corner
where they were in the habit of meeting, but he did not come. She stood
under the glaring light of a lamp-post so that he would recognize her
at once. Many people accosted her as she stood there, but she answered
none, looking straight before her with clear honest eyes, and they
passed on after a moment's hesitation. At last she saw a man running
rapidly down the street, and as he passed a brilliantly-lighted window
she recognized Jean. He came quickly towards her.
"Here I am," she cried, running forward. She caught him by the arm,
saying, "Oh, Jean, what is the matter?"
He shook her rudely, and shouted at her--"Let me go, you fool!" But she
clung to him, until he raised his fist and struck her squarely in the
face. Lurine staggered against the wall, and Jean ran on. A stalwart
man who had spoken to Lurine a few moments before, and, not
understanding her silence, stood in a doorway near watching her, sprang
out when he saw the assault, and thrust his stick between the feet of
the flying man, flinging him face forward on the pavement. The next
instant he placed his foot upon Jean's neck holding him down as if he
were a snake.
"You villain!" he cried. "Strike a woman, would you?"
Jean lay there as if stunned, and two gens d'armes came pantingly upon
"This scoundrel," said the man, "has just assaulted a woman. I saw
"He has done more than that," said one of the officers, grimly, as if,
after all, the striking of a woman was but a trivial affair.
They secured the young man, and dragged him with them. The girl came up
to them and said, falteringly--
"It is all a mistake, it was an accident. He didn't mean to do it."
"Oh, he didn't, and pray how do you know?" asked one of the officers.
"You little devil," said Jean to the girl, through his clinched teeth,
"it's all your fault."
The officers hurried him off.
"I think," said one, "that we should have arrested the girl; you heard
what she said."
"Yes," said the other, "but we have enough on our hands now, if the
crowd find out who he is."
Lurine thought of following them, but she was so stunned by the words
that her lover had said to her, rather than by the blow he had given
her that she turned her steps sadly towards the Pont Royal and went to
The next morning she did not go through the gardens, as usual, to her
work, and when she entered the Pharmacie de Siam, the proprietor cried
out, "Here she is, the vixen! Who would have thought it of her? You
wretch, you stole my drugs to give to that villain!"
"I did not," said Lurine, stoutly. "I put the money in the till for
"Hear her! She confesses!" said the proprietor.
The two concealed officers stepped forward and arrested her where she
stood as the accomplice of Jean Duret, who, the night before, had flung
a bomb in the crowded Avenue de l'Opera.
Even the prejudiced French judges soon saw that the girl was innocent
of all evil intent, and was but the victim of the scoundrel who passed
by the name of Jean Duret. He was sentenced for life; she was set free.
He had tried to place the blame on her, like the craven he was, to
shield another woman. This was what cut Lurine to the heart. She might
have tried to find an excuse for his crime, but she realized that he
had never cared for her, and had but used her as his tool to get
possession of the chemicals he dared not buy.
In the drizzling rain she walked away from her prison, penniless, and
broken in body and in spirit. She passed the little Pharmacie de Siam,
not daring to enter. She walked in the rain along the Rue des
Pyramides, and across the Rue de Rivoli, and into the Tuileries
Gardens. She had forgotten about her stone woman, but, unconsciously
her steps were directed to her. She looked up at her statue with
amazement, at first not recognizing it. It was no longer the statue of
a smiling woman. The head was thrown back, the eyes closed. The last
mortal agony was on the face. It was a ghastly monument to Death. The
girl was so perplexed by the change in her statue that for the moment
she forgot the ruin of her own life. She saw that the smiling face was
but a mask, held in place by the curving of the left arm over it. Life,
she realized now, was made up of tragedy and comedy, and he who sees
but the smiling face, sees but the half of life. The girl hurried on to
the bridge, sobbing quietly to herself, and looked down at the grey
river water. The passers-by paid no attention to her. Why, she
wondered, had she ever thought the river cold and cruel and merciless?
It is the only home of the homeless, the only lover that does not
change. She turned back to the top of the flight of steps which lead
down, to the water's brink. She looked toward the Tuileries Gardens,
But she could not see her statue for the trees which intervened. "I,
too, will be a woman of stone," she said, as she swiftly descended the
THE CHEMISTRY OF ANARCHY.
It has been said in the London papers that the dissolution of the Soho
Anarchist League was caused by want of funds. This is very far from
being the case. An Anarchist League has no need for funds and so long
as there is money enough to buy beer the League is sure of continued
existence. The truth about the scattering of the Soho organization was
told me by a young newspaper-man who was chairman at the last meeting.
The young man was not an anarchist, though he had to pretend to be one
in the interests of his paper, and so joined the Soho League, where he
made some fiery speeches that were much applauded. At last Anarchist
news became a drug in the market, and the editor of the paper young
Marshall Simkins belonged to, told him that he would now have to turn
his attention to Parliamentary work, as he would print no more
Anarchist news in the sheet.
One might think that young Simkins would have been glad to get rid of
his anarchist work, as he had no love for the cause. He was glad to get
rid of it, but he found some difficulty in sending in his resignation.
The moment he spoke of resigning, the members became suspicious of him.
He had always been rather better dressed than the others, and, besides,
he drank less beer. If a man wishes to be in good standing in the
League he must not be fastidious as to dress, and he must be
constructed to hold at least a gallon of beer at a sitting. Simkins was
merely a "quart" man, and this would have told against him all along if
it had not been for the extra gunpowder he put in his speeches. On
several occasions seasoned Anarchists had gathered about him and begged
him to give up his designs on the Parliament buildings.
The older heads claimed that, desirable as was the obliteration of the
Houses of Parliament, the time was not yet ripe for it. England, they
pointed out, was the only place where Anarchists could live and talk
unmolested, so, while they were quite anxious that Simkins should go
and blow up Vienna, Berlin, or Paris, they were not willing for him to
begin on London. Simkins was usually calmed down with much difficulty,
and finally, after hissing "Cowards!" two or three times under his
breath, he concluded with, "Oh, very well, then, you know better than I
do--I am only a young recruit; but allow me at least to blow up
Waterloo Bridge, or spring a bomb in Fleet Street just to show that we
are up and doing."
But this the Anarchists would not sanction. If he wanted to blow up
bridges, he could try his hand on those across the Seine. They had
given their word that there would be no explosions in London so long as
England afforded them an asylum.
"But look at Trafalgar Square," cried Simkins angrily; "we are not
allowed to meet there."
"Who wants to meet there?" said the chairman. "It is ever so much more
comfortable in these rooms, and there is no beer in Trafalgar Square."
"Yes, yes," put in several others; "the time is not yet ripe for it."
Thus was Simkins calmed down, and beer allowed to flow again in
tranquillity, while some foreign Anarchist, who was not allowed to set
foot in his native country, would get up and harangue the crowd in
broken English and tell them what great things would yet be done by
But when Simkins sent in his resignation a change came over their
feelings towards him, and he saw at once that he was a marked man. The
chairman, in a whisper, advised him to withdraw his resignation. So
Simkins, who was a shrewd young fellow, understanding the temper of the
assembly, arose and said:--
"I have no desire to resign, but you do nothing except talk, and I want
to belong to an Anarchist Society that acts." He stayed away from the
next meeting, and tried to drop them in that way, but a committee from
the League called upon him at his lodgings, and his landlady thought
that young Simkins had got into bad ways when he had such evil-looking
men visiting him.
Simkins was in a dilemma, and could not make up his mind what to do.
The Anarchists apparently were not to be shaken off. He applied to his
editor for advice on the situation, but that good man could think of no
way out of the trouble.
"You ought to have known better," he said, "than to mix up with such
"But how was I to get the news?" asked Simkins, with some indignation.
The editor shrugged his shoulders. That was not his part of the
business; and if the Anarchists chose to make things uncomfortable for
the young man, he could not help it.
Simkins' fellow-lodger, a student who was studying chemistry in London,
noticed that the reporter was becoming gaunt with anxiety.
"Simkins," said Sedlitz to him one morning, "you are haggard and
careworn: what is the matter with you? Are you in love, or is it merely
debt that is bothering you?"
"Neither," replied Simkins.
"Then cheer up," said Sedlitz. "If one or the other is not interfering
with you, anything else is easily remedied."
"I am not so sure of that," rejoined Simkins; and then he sat down and
told his friend just what was troubling him.
"Ah," said Sedlitz, "that accounts for it. There has been an unkempt
ruffian marching up and down watching this house. They are on your
track, Simkins, my boy, and when they discover that you are a reporter,
and therefore necessarily a traitor, you will be nabbed some dark
"Well, that's encouraging," said Simkins, with his head in his hands.
"Are these Anarchists brave men, and would they risk their lives in any
undertaking?" asked Sedlitz.
"Oh, I don't know. They talk enough, but I don't know what they would
do. They are quite capable, though, of tripping me up in a dark lane."
"Look here," said Sedlitz, "suppose you let me try a plan. Let me give
them a lecture on, the Chemistry of Anarchy. It's a fascinating
"What good would that do?"
"Oh, wait till you have heard the lecture. If I don't make the hair of
some of them stand on end, they are braver men than I take them to be.
We have a large room in Clement's Inn, where we students meet to try
experiments and smoke tobacco. It is half club, and half a lecture-
room. Now, I propose to get those Anarchists in there, lock the doors,
and tell them something about dynamite and other explosives. You give
out that I am an Anarchist from America. Tell them that the doors will
be locked to prevent police interference, and that there will be a
barrel of beer. You can introduce me as a man from America, where they
know as much about Anarchism in ten minutes as they do here in ten
years. Tell them that I have spent my life in the study of explosives.
I will have to make-up a little, but you know that I am a very good
amateur actor, and I don't think there will be any trouble about that.
At the last you must tell them that you have an appointment and will
leave me to amuse them for a couple of hours."
"But I don't see what good it is all going to do, though I am
desperate," said Simkins, "and willing to try anything. I have thought
some of firing a bomb off myself at an Anarchist meeting."
When the Friday night of meeting arrived the large hall in Clement's
Inn was filled to the doors. Those assembled there saw a platform at
one end of the apartment, and a door that led from it to a room at the
back of the hall. A table was on the platform, and boxes, chemical
apparatus, and other scientific-looking paraphernalia were on it. At
the hour of eight young Simkins appeared before the table alone.
"Fellow Anarchists," he said, "you are well aware that I am tired of
the great amount of talk we indulge in, and the little action which
follows it. I have been fortunate enough to secure the co-operation of
an Anarchist from America, who will tell you something of the cause
there. We have had the doors locked, and those who keep the keys are
now down at the entrance of the Inn, so that if a fire should occur,
they can quickly come and let us out. There is no great danger of fire,
however, but the interruption of the police must be guarded against
very carefully. The windows, as you see, are shuttered and barred, and
no ray of light can penetrate from this room outside. Until the lecture
is over no one can leave the room, and by the same token no one can
enter it, which is more to the purpose.
"My friend, Professor Josiah P. Slivers, has devoted his life to the
Chemistry of Anarchy, which is the title of this lecture. He will tell
you of some important discoveries, which are now to be made known for
the first time. I regret to say that the Professor is not in a very
good state of health, because the line of life which he has adopted has
its drawbacks. His left eye has been blown away by a premature
explosion during his experiments. His right leg is also permanently
disabled. His left arm, as you will notice, is in a sling, having been
injured by a little disaster in his workshop since he came to London.
He is a man, as you will see, devoted body and soul to the cause, so I
hope you will listen to him attentively. I regret that I am unable to
remain with you to-night, having other duties to perform which are
imperative. I will therefore, if you will permit me, leave by the back
entrance after I have introduced the Professor to you."
At this moment the stumping of a wooden leg was heard, and those in the
audience saw appear a man on crutches, with one arm in a sling and a
bandage over an eye, although he beamed upon them benevolently with the
"Fellow Anarchists," said Simkins, "allow me to introduce to you
Professor Josiah P. Slivers, of the United States."
The Professor bowed and the audience applauded. As soon as the applause
began the Professor held up his unmaimed arm and said, "Gentlemen, I
beg that you will not applaud."
It seems the fashion in America to address a11 sorts and conditions of
men as "Gentlemen."
The Professor continued, "I have here some explosives so sensitive that
the slightest vibration will cause them to go off, and I therefore ask
you to listen in silence to what I have to say. I must particularly ask
you also not to stamp on the floor."
Before these remarks were concluded Simkins had slipped out by the back
entrance, and somehow his desertion seemed to have a depressing effect
upon the company, who looked upon the broken-up Professor with eyes of
wonder and apprehension.
The Professor drew towards him one of the boxes and opened the lid. He
dipped his one useful hand into the box and, holding it aloft, allowed
something which looked like wet sawdust to drip through his fingers.
"That, gentlemen," he said, with an air of the utmost contempt, "is
what is known to the world as dynamite. I have nothing at all to say
against dynamite. It has, in its day, been a very powerful medium
through which our opinions have been imparted to a listening world, but
its day is past. It is what the lumbering stage-coach is to the
locomotive, what the letter is to the telegram, what the sailing-vessel
is to the steamship. It will be my pleasant duty to-night to exhibit to
you an explosive so powerful and deadly that hereafter, having seen
what it can accomplish, you will have nothing but derision for such
simple and harmless compounds as dynamite and nitro-glycerine."
The Professor looked with kindly sympathy over his audience as he
allowed the yellow mixture to percolate slowly through his fingers back
into the box again. Ever and anon he took up a fresh handful and
repeated the action.
The Anarchists in the audience exchanged uneasy glances one with the
"Yet," continued the Professor, "it will be useful for us to consider
this substance for a few moments, if but for the purpose of comparison.
Here," he said, diving his hand into another box and bringing up before
their gaze a yellow brick, "is dynamite in a compressed form. There is
enough here to wreck all this part of London, were it exploded. This
simple brick would lay St. Paul's Cathedral in ruins, so, however
antiquated dynamite may become, we must always look upon it with
respect, just as we look upon reformers of centuries ago who perished
for their opinions, even though their opinions were far behind what
ours are now. I shall take the liberty of performing some experiments
with this block of dynamite." Saying which the Professor, with his free
arm, flung the block of dynamite far down the aisle, where it fell on
the floor with a sickening thud. The audience sprang from their seats
and tumbled back one over the other. A wild shriek went up into the
air, but the Professor gazed placidly on the troubled mob below him
with a superior smile on his face. "I beg you to seat yourselves," he
said, "and for reasons which I have already explained, I trust that you
will not applaud any of my remarks. You have just now portrayed one of
the popular superstitions about dynamite, and you show by your actions
how necessary a lecture of this sort is in order that you may
comprehend thoroughly the substance with which you have to deal. That
brick is perfectly harmless, because it is frozen. Dynamite in its
frozen state will not explode--a fact well understood by miners and all
those who have to work with it, and who, as a rule, generally prefer to
blow themselves to pieces trying to thaw the substance before a fire.
Will you kindly bring that brick back to me, before it thaws out in the
heated atmosphere of this room?"
One of the men stepped gingerly forward and picked up the brick,
holding it far from his body, as he tip-toed up to the platform, where
he laid it down carefully on the desk before the Professor.
"Thank you," said the Professor, blandly.
The man drew a long breath of relief as he went back to his seat.
"That is frozen dynamite," continued the Professor, "and is, as I have
said, practically harmless. Now, it will be my pleasure to perform two
startling experiments with the unfrozen substance," and with that he
picked up a handful of the wet sawdust and flung it on a small iron
anvil that stood on the table. "You will enjoy these experiments," he
said, "because it will show you with what ease dynamite may be handled.
It is a popular error that concussion will cause dynamite to explode.
There is enough dynamite here to blow up this hall and to send into
oblivion every person in it, yet you will see whether or not concussion
will explode it." The Professor seized a hammer and struck the
substance on the anvil two or three sharp blows, while those in front
of him scrambled wildly back over their comrades, with hair standing on
end. The Professor ceased his pounding and gazed reproachfully at them;
then something on the anvil appeared to catch his eye. He bent over it
and looked critically on the surface of the iron. Drawing himself up to
his full height again, he said,
"I was about to reproach you for what might have appeared to any other
man as evidence of fear, but I see my mistake. I came very near making
a disastrous error. I have myself suffered from time to time from
similar errors. I notice upon the anvil a small spot of grease; if my
hammer had happened to strike that spot you would all now be writhing
in your death-agonies under the ruins of this building. Nevertheless,
the lesson is not without its value. That spot of grease is free nitro-
glycerine that has oozed out from the dynamite. Therein rests, perhaps,
the only danger in handling dynamite. As I have shown you, you can
smash up dynamite on an anvil without danger, but if a hammer happened
to strike a spot of free nitroglycerine it would explode in a moment. I
beg to apologize to you for my momentary neglect."
A man rose up in the middle of the hall, and it was some little time
before he could command voice enough to speak, for he was shaking as if
from palsy. At last he said, after he had moistened his lips several
"Professor, we are quite willing to take your word about the explosive.
I think I speak for all my comrades here. We have no doubt at all about
your learning, and would much prefer to hear from your own lips what
you have to say on the subject, and not have you waste any more
valuable time with experiments. I have not consulted with my comrades
before speaking, but I think I voice the sense of the meeting." Cries
of "You do, you do," came from all parts of the hall. The Professor
once more beamed upon them benevolently.
"Your confidence in me is indeed touching," he said, "but a chemical
lecture without experiments is like a body without a soul. Experiment
is the soul of research. In chemistry we must take nothing for granted.
I have shown you how many popular errors have arisen regarding the
substance with which we are dealing. It would have been impossible for
these errors to have arisen if every man had experimented for himself;
and although I thank you for the mark of confidence you have bestowed
upon me, I cannot bring myself to deprive you of the pleasure which my
experiments will afford you. There is another very common error to the
effect that fire will explode dynamite. Such, gentlemen, is not the
The Professor struck a match on his trousers-leg and lighted the
substance on the anvil. It burnt with a pale bluish flame, and the
Professor gazed around triumphantly at his fellow Anarchists.
While the shuddering audience watched with intense fascination the pale
blue flame the Professor suddenly stooped over and blew it out.
Straightening himself once more he said, "Again I must apologize to
you, for again I have forgotten the small spot of grease. If the flame
had reached the spot of nitro-glycerine it would have exploded, as you
all know. When a man has his thoughts concentrated on one subject he is
apt to forget something else. I shall make no more experiments with
dynamite. Here, John," he said to the trembling attendant, "take this
box away, and move it carefully, for I see that the nitro-glycerine is
oozing out. Put it as tenderly down in the next room as if it were a
box of eggs."
As the box disappeared there was a simultaneous long-drawn sigh of
relief from the audience.
"Now, gentlemen," said the Professor, "we come to the subject that
ought to occupy the minds of all thoughtful men." He smoothed his hair
complacently with the palm of his practicable hand, and smiled genially
"The substance that I am about to tell you of is my own invention, and
compares with dynamite as prussic acid does with new milk as a
beverage." The Professor dipped his fingers in his vest pocket and drew
out what looked like a box of pills. Taking one pill out he placed it
upon the anvil and as he tip-toed back he smiled on it with a smile of
infinite tenderness. "Before I begin on this subject I want to warn you
once more that if any man as much as stamps upon the floor, or moves
about except on tip-toe this substance will explode and will lay London
from here to Charing Cross in one mass of indistinguishable ruins. I
have spent ten years of my life in completing this invention. And these
pills, worth a million a box, will cure all ills to which the flesh is
"John," he said, turning to his attendant, "bring me a basin of water!"
The basin of water was placed gingerly upon the table, and the
Professor emptied all the pills into it, picking up also the one that
was on the anvil and putting it with the others.
"Now," he said, with a deep sigh, "we can breathe easier. A man can put
one of these pills in a little vial of water, place the vial in his
vest-pocket, go to Trafalgar Square, take the pill from the vial, throw
it in the middle of the Square, and it will shatter everything within
the four-mile radius, he himself having the glorious privilege of
suffering instant martyrdom for the cause. People have told me that
this is a drawback to my invention, but I am inclined to differ with
them. The one who uses this must make up his mind to share the fate of
those around him. I claim that this is the crowning glory of my
invention. It puts to instant test our interest in the great cause.
John, bring in very carefully that machine with the electric-wire
attachment from the next room."
The machine was placed upon the table. "This," said the Professor,
holding up some invisible object between his thumb and forefinger, "is
the finest cambric needle. I will take upon the point of it an
invisible portion of the substance I speak of." Here he carefully
picked out a pill from the basin, and as carefully placed it upon the
table, where he detached an infinitesimal atom of it and held it up on
the point of the needle. "This particle," he said, "is so small that it
cannot be seen except with the aid of a microscope. I will now place
needle and all on the machine and touch it off with electric current;"
and as his hand hovered over the push-button there were cries of
"Stop! stop!" but the finger descended, and instantly there was a
terrific explosion. The very foundation seemed shaken, and a dense
cloud of smoke rolled over the heads of the audience. As the Professor
became visible through the thinning smoke, he looked around for his
audience. Every man was under the benches, and groans came from all
parts of the hall. "I hope," said the Professor, in anxious tones,
"that no one has been hurt. I am afraid that I took up too much of the
substance on the point of the needle, but it will enable you to imagine
the effect of a larger quantity. Pray seat yourselves again. This is my
As the audience again seated itself, another mutual sigh ascended to
the roof. The Professor drew the chairman's chair towards him and sat
down, wiping his grimy brow.
A man instantly arose and said, "I move a vote of thanks to Professor
Slivers for the interesting--"
The Professor raised his hand. "One moment," he said, "I have not quite
finished. I have a proposal to make to you. You see that cloud of smoke
hovering over our heads? In twenty minutes that smoke will percolate
down through the atmosphere. I have told you but half of the benefits
of this terrific explosive. When that smoke mixes with the atmosphere
of the room it becomes a deadly poison. We all can live here for the
next nineteen minutes in perfect safety, then at the first breath we
draw we expire instantly. It is a lovely death. There is no pain, no
contortion of the countenance, but we will be found here in the morning
stark and stiff in our seats. I propose, gentlemen, that we teach
London the great lesson it so much needs. No cause is without its
martyrs. Let us be the martyrs of the great religion of Anarchy. I have
left in my room papers telling just how and why we died. At midnight
these sheets will be distributed to all the newspapers of London, and
to-morrow the world will ring with our heroic names. I will now put the
motion. All in favor of this signify it by the usual upraising of the
The Professor's own right hand was the only one that was raised.
"Now all of a contrary opinion," said the Professor, and at once every
hand in the audience went up.
"The noes have it," said the Professor, but he did not seem to feel
badly about it. "Gentlemen," he continued, "I see that you have guessed
my second proposal, as I imagined you would, and though there will be
no newspapers in London to-morrow to chronicle the fact, yet the
newspapers of the rest of the world will tell of the destruction of
this wicked city. I see by your looks that you are with me in this, my
second proposal, which is the most striking thing ever planned, and is
that we explode the whole of these pills in the basin. To make sure of
this, I have sent to an agent in Manchester the full account of how it
was done, and the resolutions brought forward at this meeting, and
which doubtless you will accept.
"Gentlemen, all in favor of the instant destruction of London signify
it in the usual manner."
"Mr. Professor," said the man who had spoken previously, "before you
put that resolution I would like to move an amendment. This is a very
serious proposal, and should not be lightly undertaken. I move as an
amendment, therefore, that we adjourn this meeting to our rooms at
Soho, and do the exploding there. I have some little business that must
be settled before this grand project is put in motion."
The Professor then said, "Gentlemen, the amendment takes precedence. It
is moved that this meeting be adjourned, so that you may consider the
project at your club-rooms in Soho."
"I second that amendment," said fifteen of the audience rising together
to their feet.
"In the absence of the regular chairman," said the Professor, "it is my
duty to put the amendment. All in favor of the amendment signify it by
raising the right hand."
Every hand was raised. "The amendment, gentlemen, is carried. I shall
be only too pleased to meet you to-morrow night at your club, and I
will bring with me a larger quantity of my explosive. John, kindly go
round and tell the man to unlock the doors."
When Simkins and Slivers called round the next night at the regular
meeting-place of the Anarchists, they found no signs of a gathering,
and never since the lecture has the Soho Anarchist League been known to
hold a meeting. The Club has mysteriously dissolved.
THE FEAR OF IT.
The sea was done with him. He had struggled manfully for his life, but
exhaustion came at last, and, realizing the futility of further
fighting, he gave up the battle. The tallest wave, the king of that
roaring tumultuous procession racing from the wreck to the shore, took
him in its relentless grasp, held him towering for a moment against the
sky, whirled his heels in the air, dashed him senseless on the sand,
and, finally, rolled him over and over, a helpless bundle, high up upon
the sandy beach.
Human life seems of little account when we think of the trifles that
make toward the extinction or the extension of it. If the wave that
bore Stanford had been a little less tall, he would have been drawn
back into the sea by one that followed. If, as a helpless bundle, he
had been turned over one time more or one less, his mouth would have
pressed into the sand, and he would have died. As it was, he lay on his
back with arms outstretched on either side, and a handful of dissolving
sand in one clinched fist. Succeeding waves sometimes touched him, but
he lay there unmolested by the sea with his white face turned to the
Oblivion has no calendar. A moment or an eternity are the same to it.
When consciousness slowly returned, he neither knew nor cared how time
had fled. He was not quite sure that he was alive, but weakness rather
than fear kept him from opening his eyes to find out whether the world
they would look upon was the world they had last gazed at. His
interest, however, was speedily stimulated by the sound of the English
tongue. He was still too much dazed to wonder at it, and to remember
that he was cast away on some unknown island in the Southern Seas. But
the purport of the words startled him.
"Let us be thankful. He is undoubtedly dead." This was said in a tone
of infinite satisfaction.
There seemed to be a murmur of pleasure at the announcement from those
who were with the speaker. Stanford slowly opened his eyes, wondering
what these savages were who rejoiced in the death of an inoffensive
stranger cast upon their shores. He saw a group standing around him,
but his attention speedily became concentrated on one face. The owner
of it, he judged, was not more than nineteen years of age, and the
face--at least so it seemed to Stanford at the time--was the most
beautiful he had ever beheld. There was an expression of sweet gladness
upon it until her eyes met his, then the joy faded from the face, and a
look of dismay took its place. The girl seemed to catch her breath in
fear, and tears filled her eyes.
"Oh," she cried, "he is going to live."
She covered her face with her hands, and sobbed.
Stanford closed his eyes wearily. "I am evidently insane," he said to
himself. Then, losing faith in the reality of things, he lost
consciousness as well, and when his senses came to him again he found
himself lying on a bed in a clean but scantily furnished room. Through
an open window came the roar of the sea, and the thunderous boom of the
falling waves brought to his mind the experiences through which he had
passed. The wreck and the struggle with the waves he knew to be real,
but the episode on the beach he now believed to have been but a vision
resulting from his condition.
A door opened noiselessly, and, before he knew of anyone's entrance, a
placid-faced nurse stood by his bed and asked him how he was.
"I don't know. I am at least alive."
The nurse sighed, and cast down her eyes. Her lips moved, but she said
nothing. Stanford looked at her curiously. A fear crept over him that
he was hopelessly crippled for life, and that death was considered
preferable to a maimed existence. He felt wearied, though not in pain,
but he knew that sometimes the more desperate the hurt, the less the
victim feels it at first.
"Are--are any of my--my bones broken, do you know?" he asked.
"No. You are bruised, but not badly hurt. You will soon recover."
"Ah!" said Stanford, with a sigh of relief. "By the way," he added,
with sudden interest, "who was that girl who stood near me as I lay on
"There were several."
"No, there was but one. I mean the girl with the beautiful eyes and a
halo of hair like a glorified golden crown on her head."
"We speak not of our women in words like those," said the nurse,
severely; "you mean Ruth, perhaps, whose hair is plentiful and yellow."
Stanford smiled. "Words matter little," he said.
"We must be temperate in speech," replied the nurse.
"We may be temperate without, being teetotal. Plentiful and yellow,
indeed! I have had a bad dream concerning those who found me. I thought
that they--but it does not matter. She at least is not a myth. Do you
happen to know if any others were saved?"
"I am thankful to be able to say that every one was drowned."
Stanford started up with horror in his eyes. The demure nurse, with
sympathetic tones, bade him not excite himself. He sank back on his
"Leave the room," he cried, feebly, "Leave me--leave me." He turned his
face toward the wall, while the woman left as silently as she had
When she was gone Stanford slid from the bed, intending to make his way
to the door and fasten it. He feared that these savages, who wished him
dead, would take measures to kill him when they saw he was going to
recover. As he leaned against the bed, he noticed that the door had no
fastening. There was a rude latch, but neither lock nor bolt. The
furniture of the room was of the most meagre description, clumsily
made. He staggered to the open window, and looked out. The remnants of
the disastrous gale blew in upon him and gave him new life, as it had
formerly threatened him with death. He saw that he was in a village of
small houses, each cottage standing in its own plot of ground. It was
apparently a village of one street, and over the roofs of the houses
opposite he saw in the distance the white waves of the sea. What
astonished him most was a church with its tapering spire at the end of
the street--a wooden church such as he had seen in remote American
settlements. The street was deserted, and there were no signs of life
in the houses.
"I must have fallen in upon some colony of lunatics," he said to
himself. "I wonder to what country these people belong--either to
England or the United States, I imagine--yet in all my travels I never
heard of such a community."
There was no mirror in the room, and it was impossible for him to know
how he looked. His clothes were dry and powdered with salt. He arranged
them as well as he could, and slipped out of the house unnoticed. When
he reached the outskirts of the village he saw that the inhabitants,
both men and women, were working in the fields some distance away.
Coming towards the village was a girl with a water-can in either hand.
She was singing as blithely as a lark until she saw Stanford, whereupon
she paused both in her walk and in her song. Stanford, never a backward
man, advanced, and was about to greet her when she forestalled him by
"I am grieved, indeed, to see that you have recovered."
The young man's speech was frozen on his lip, and a frown settled off
his brow. Seeing that he was annoyed, though why she could not guess,
Ruth hastened to amend matters by adding:
"Believe me, what I say is true. I am indeed sorry."
"Sorry that I live?"
"Most heartily am I."
"It is hard to credit such a statement from one so--from you."
"Do not say so. Miriam has already charged me with being glad that you
were not drowned. It would pain me deeply if you also believed as she
The girl looked at him with swimming eyes, and the young man knew not
what to answer. Finally he said:
"There is some horrible mistake. I cannot make it out. Perhaps our
words, though apparently the same, have a different meaning. Sit down,
Ruth, I want to ask you some questions."
Ruth cast a timorous glance towards the workers, and murmured something
about not having much time to spare, but she placed the water-cans on
the ground and sank down on the grass. Stanford throwing himself on the
sward at her feet, but, seeing that she shrank back, he drew himself
further from her, resting where he might gaze upon her face.
Ruth's eyes were downcast, which was necessary, for she occupied
herself in pulling blade after blade of grass, sometimes weaving them
together. Stanford had said he wished to question her, but he
apparently forgot his intention, for he seemed wholly satisfied with
merely looking at her. After the silence had lasted for some time, she
lifted her eyes for one brief moment, and then asked the first question
"From what land do you come?"
"Ah! that also is an island, is it not?"
He laughed at the "also," and remembered that he had some questions to
"Yes, it is an island--also. The sea dashes wrecks on all four sides of
it, but there is no village on its shores so heathenish that if a man
is cast upon the beach the inhabitants do not rejoice because he has
Ruth looked at him with amazement in her eyes.
"Is there, then, no religion in England?"
"Religion? England is the most religious country on the face of the
earth. There are more cathedrals, more churches, more places of worship
in England than in any other State that I know of. We send missionaries
to all heathenish lands. The Government, itself, supports the Church."
"I imagine, then, I mistook your meaning. I thought from what you said
that the people of England feared death, and did not welcome it or
rejoice when one of their number died."
They do not fear death, and they do not rejoice when it comes. Far from
it. From the peer to the beggar, everyone fights death as long as he
can; the oldest cling to life as eagerly as the youngest. Not a man but
will spend his last gold piece to ward off the inevitable even for an
"Gold piece--what is that?"
Stanford plunged his hand into his pocket.
"Ah!" he said, "there are some coins left. Here is a gold piece."
The girl took it, and looked at it with keen interest.
"Isn't it pretty?" the said, holding the yellow coin on her pink palm,
and glancing up at him.
"That is the general opinion. To accumulate coins like that, men will
lie, and cheat, and steal--yes, and work. Although they will give their
last sovereign to prolong their lives, yet will they risk life itself
to accumulate gold. Every business in England is formed merely for the
gathering together of bits of metal like that in your hand; huge
companies of men are formed so that it may be piled, up in greater
quantities. The man who has most gold has most power, and is generally
the most respected; the company which makes most money is the one
people are most anxious to belong to."
Ruth listened to him with wonder and dismay in her eyes. As he talked
she shuddered, and allowed the yellow coin to slip from her hand to the
ground. "No wonder such a people fears death."
"Do you not fear death?"
"How can we, when we believe in heaven?"
"But would you not be sorry if someone died whom you loved?"
"How could we be so selfish? Would you be sorry if your brother, or
someone you loved, became possessed of whatever you value in England--a
large quantity of this gold, for instance?"
"Certainly not. But then you see--well, it isn't exactly the same
thing. If one you care for dies you are separated from him, and--"
"But only for a short time, and that gives but another reason for
welcoming death. It seems impossible that Christian people should fear
to enter Heaven. Now I begin to understand why our forefathers left
England, and why our teachers will never tell us anything about the
people there. I wonder why missionaries are not sent to England to
teach them the truth, and try to civilize the people?"
"That would, indeed, be coals to Newcastle. But there comes one of the
"It is my father," cried the girl, rising. "I fear I have been
loitering. I never did such a thing before."
The man who approached was stern of countenance.
"Ruth," he said, "the workers are athirst."
The girl, without reply, picked up her pails and departed.
"I have been receiving," said the young man, coloring slightly, "some
instruction regarding your belief. I had been puzzled by several
remarks I had heard, and wished to make inquiries concerning them."
"It is more fitting," said the man, coldly, "that you should receive
instruction from me or from some of the elders than from one of the
youngest in the community. When you are so far recovered as to be able
to listen to an exposition of our views, I hope to put forth such
arguments as will convince you that they are the true views. If it
should so happen that my arguments are not convincing, then I must
request that you will hold no communication with our younger members.
They must not be contaminated by the heresies of the outside world."
Stanford looked at Ruth standing beside the village well.
"Sir," he said, "you underrate the argumentative powers of the younger
members. There is a text bearing upon the subject which I need not
recall to you. I am already convinced."
THE METAMORPHOSES OF JOHNSON.
I was staying for some weeks at a lovely town in the Tyrol which I
shall take the liberty of naming Schwindleburg. I conceal its real
title because it charges what is termed a visitors' tax, and a heavy
visitors' tax, exacting the same from me through the medium of my hotel
bill. The town also made me pay for the excellent band that performs
morning and afternoon in the Kurpark. Many continental health resorts
support themselves by placing a tax upon visitors, a practice resorted
to by no English town, and so I regard the imposition as a swindle, and
I refuse to advertise any place that practises it. It is true that if
you stay in Schwindleburg less than a week they do not tax you, but I
didn't know that, and the hotel man, being wise in his own generation,
did not present his bill until a day after the week was out, so I found
myself in for the visitors' tax and the music money before I was aware
of it. Thus does a foolish person accumulate wisdom by foreign travel.
I stayed on at this picturesque place, listening to the band every day,
trying to get value for my money. I intended to keep much to myself,
having work to do, and make no acquaintances, but I fell under the
fascination of Johnson, thus breaking my rule. What is the use of
making a rule if you can't have the pleasure of breaking it? I think
the thing that first attracted me to Johnson was his utter negligence
in the matter of his personal appearance. When he stepped down from the
hotel 'bus he looked like a semi-respectable tramp. He wore a blue
woolen shirt, with no collar or necktie. He had a slouch hat, without
the usual affectation of a Tyrolese feather in it. His full beard had
evidently not been trimmed for weeks, and he had one trouser-leg turned
up. He had no alpenstock, and that also was a merit. So I said to
myself, "Here is a man free from the conventionalities of society. If I
become acquainted with anybody it will be with him."
I found Johnson was an American from a Western city named Chicago,
which I had heard of, and we "palled on." He was very fond of music,
and the band in the Kurpark was a good one, so we went there together
twice a day, and talked as we walked up and down the gravel paths. He
had been everywhere, and knew his way about; his conversation was
interesting. In about a week I had come to love Johnson, and I think he
rather liked me.
One day, as we returned together to the Hotel Post, he held out his
"I'm off to-morrow," he said; "off to Innsbruck. So I shall bid you
good-bye. I am very glad indeed to have met you."
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that." I replied. "But I won't say good-bye now,
I'll see you to the station to-morrow."
"No, don't do that. I shall be away before you are up. We'll say good-
We did, and when I had breakfast next morning I found Johnson had left
by the early train. I wandered around the park that forenoon mourning
for Johnson. The place seemed lonely without him. In the afternoon I
explored some of the by-paths of the park within hearing distance of
the band, when suddenly, to my intense surprise, I met my departed
"Hello! Johnson," I cried, "I thought you left this morning."
The man looked at me with no recognition in his face.
"I beg your pardon," he said, "my name is Baumgarten."
Looking more closely at him I at once saw I was mistaken. I had been
thinking of Johnson at the time, which probably accounted for the
error. Still, his likeness to Johnson was remarkable--to Johnson well
groomed. He had neatly-trimmed side-whiskers and moustache, while
Johnson had a full beard. His round hat was new, and he wore an
irreproachable collar, and even cuffs. Besides this he sported a cane,
and evidently possessed many weaknesses to which Johnson was superior.
I apologized for my mistake, and was about to walk on when Baumgarten
showed signs of wishing to become acquainted.
"I have just arrived," he said, "and know nothing of the place. Have
you been here long?"
"About two weeks," I answered.
"Ah! then, you are a resident as it were. Are there any good ascents to
be made around here?"
"I have not been informed that there are. I am not a climber myself,
except by funicular railway. I am always content to take other people's
figures for the heights. The only use I have for a mountain is to look
Then Baumgarten launched into a very interesting account of mountain
dangers he had passed through. I found him a most entertaining talker,
almost as fascinating as Johnson himself. He told me he was from
Hanover, but he had been educated in Great Britain, which accounted for
his perfect English.
"What hotel are you at?" he asked, as the band ceased playing.
"I am staying at the Post," I answered. "And you?"
"I am at the Adler. You must come to dine with me some evening, and I
will make it even by dining with you. We can thus compare _table
Baumgarten improved on acquaintance in spite of his foppishness in
dress. I almost forgot Johnson until one day I was reminded of him one
day by Baumgarten saying, "I leave to-night for Innsbruck."
"Innsbruck? Why, that's where Johnson is. You ought to meet him. He's
an awfully good fellow. A little careless about his clothes, that's
"I should like to meet him. I know no one in Innsbruck. Do you happen
to know the name of his hotel?"
"I do not. I don't even know Johnson's first name. But I'll write you a
note of introduction on my card, and if you should come across him,
give him my regards."
Baumgarten accepted the card with thanks, and we parted.
Next day, being warm, I sat on a bench in the shade listening to the
music. Now that Baumgarten had gone, I was meditating on his strange
resemblance to Johnson, and remembering things. Someone sat down beside
me, but I paid no attention to him. Finally he said: "This seems to be
a very good band."
I started at the sound of his voice, and looked at him too much
astonished to reply.
He wore a moustache, but no whiskers, and a green Tyrolese felt hat
with a feather in it. An alpenstock leaned against the bench beside
him, its iron point in the gravel. He wore knickerbockers; in fact, his
whole appearance was that of the conventional mountaineer-tourist. But
the voice! And the expression of the eyes!
"What did you say?"
"I said the band is very good."
"Oh, yes. Quite so. It's expensive, and it ought to be good. I'm
helping to pay for it. By the way, you arrived this morning, I take
"I came last night."
"Oh, indeed. And you depart in a few days for Innsbruck?"
"No, I go to Salzburg when I leave here."
"And your name isn't Johnson--or--or Baumgarten, by any chance?"
"It is not."
"You come neither from Chicago nor Hanover?"
"I have never been in America, nor do I know Hanover. Anything else?"
"Nothing else. It's all right. It's none of my business, of course."
"What is none of your business?"
"Who are you."
"Oh, there's no secret about that. I am a Russian. My name is Katzoff.
At least, these are the first and last syllables of my name. I never
use my full name when I travel; it is too complicated."
"Thanks. And how do you account for your perfect English? Educated in
England, I presume? Baumgarten was."
"No, I was not. You know we Russians are reputed to be good linguists."
"Yes, I had forgotten that. We will now return to the point from which
we started. The band is excellent, and it is about to play one of four
favorite selections, Mr. Katzburg."
"Katzoff is the name. As to the selection, I don't know much about
music, although I am fond of popular pieces."
Katzoff and I got along very nicely, although I did not seem to like
him as well as either Johnson or Baumgarten. He left for Salzburg
without bidding me good-bye. Missing him one day, I called at the
Angleterre, and the porter told me he had gone.
Next day I searched for him, wondering in what garb I should find him.
I passed him twice as he sat on the bench, before I was sure enough to
accost him. The sacrifice of his moustache had made a remarkable
difference. His clean-shaven face caused him to look at least ten years
younger. He wore a tall silk hat, and a long black morning coat. I
found myself hardly able to withdraw my eyes from the white spats that
partially covered his polished boots. He was reading an English paper,
and did not observe my scrutiny. I approached him.
"Well, Johnson," I said, "this _is_ a lay out. You're English this
time, I suppose?"
The man looked up in evident surprise. Fumbling around the front of his
waistcoat for a moment, he found a black silk string, which he pulled,
bringing to his hand a little round disc of glass. This he stuck in one
eye, grimacing slightly to keep it in place, and so regarded me
apparently with some curiosity. My certainty that it was Johnson
wavered for a moment, but I braved it out.
"That monocle is a triumph, Johnson. In combination with the spats it
absolutely staggers me. If you had tried that on as Baumgarten I don't
know that I should have recognized you. Johnson, what's your game?"
"You seem to be laboring under some delusion," he said at last. "My
name is not Johnson. I am Lord Somerset Campbell, if you care to know."
"Really? Oh, well, that's all right. I'm the Duke of Argyll, so we must
be relatives. Blood is thicker than water, Campbell. Confess. Whom have
"I knew," said his lordship, slowly, "that the largest lunatic asylum
in the Tyrol is near here, but I was not aware that the patients were
allowed to stroll in the Kurpark."
"That's all very well, Johnson, but--"
"Campbell, if you please."
"I don't please, as it happens. This masquerade has gone on long
enough. What's your crime? Or are you on the other side of the fence?
Are you practising the detective business?"
"My dear fellow, I don't know you, and I resent your impertinent
curiosity. Allow me to wish you good-day."
"It won't do, Johnson, it has gone too far. You have played on my
feelings, and I won't stand it. I'll go to the authorities and relate
the circumstances. They are just suspicious enough to--"
"Which? The authorities or the circumstances?" asked Johnson, sitting
"Both, my dear boy, both, and you know it. Now, Johnson, make a clean
breast of it, I won't give you away."
Johnson sighed, and his glass dropped from his eye. He looked around
cautiously. "Sit down," he said.
"Then you _are_ Johnson!" I cried, with some exultation.
"I thought you weren't very sure," began Johnson. "However, it doesn't
matter, but you should be above threatening a man. That was playing it
"I see you're from Chicago. Go on."
"It's all on account of this accursed visitors' tax. That I decline to
pay. I stay just under the week at a hotel, and then take a 'bus to the
station, and another 'bus to another hotel. Of course my mistake was
getting acquainted with you. I never suspected you were going to stay
here a month."
"But why didn't you let me know? Your misdemeanor is one I thoroughly
sympathize with. I wouldn't have said anything."
Johnson shook his head.
"I took a fellow into my confidence once before. He told it as a dead
secret to a friend, and the friend thought it a good joke, and related
it, always under oath that it should go no further. The authorities had
me arrested before the week was out, and fined me heavily besides
exacting the tax."
"But doesn't the 'bus fares, the changing, and all that amount to as
much as the tax?"
"I suppose it does. It isn't the money I object to, it's the principle
of the thing."
This interview was the last I ever had with Johnson. About a week later
I read in the Visitors' List that Lord Somerset Campbell, who had been
a guest of the Victoria (the swell hotel of the place), had left
Schwindleburg for Innsbruck.
THE RECLAMATION OF JOE HOLLENDS.
The public-houses of Burwell Road--and there were many of them for the
length of the street--were rather proud of Joe Hollends. He was a
perfected specimen of the work a pub produces. He was probably the most
persistent drunkard the Road possessed, and the periodical gathering in
of Joe by the police was one of the stock sights of the street. Many of
the inhabitants could be taken to the station by one policeman; some
required two; but Joe's average was four. He had been heard to boast
that on one occasion he had been accompanied to the station by seven
bobbies, but that was before the force had studied Joe and got him down
to his correct mathematical equivalent. Now they tripped him up, a
policeman taking one kicking leg and another the other, while the
remaining two attended to the upper part of his body. Thus they carried
him, followed by an admiring crowd, and watched by other envious
drunkards who had to content themselves with a single officer when they
went on a similar spree. Sometimes Joe managed to place a kick where it
would do the most good against the stomach of a policeman, and when the
officer rolled over there was for a few moments a renewal of the fight,
silent on the part of the men and vociferous on the part of the
drunkard, who had a fine flow of abusive language. Then the procession
went on again. It was perfectly useless to put Joe on the police
ambulance, for it required two men to sit on him while in transit, and
the barrow is not made to stand such a load.
Of course, when Joe staggered out of the pub and fell in the gutter,
the ambulance did its duty, and trundled Joe to his abiding place, but
the real fun occurred when Joe was gathered in during the third stage
of his debauch. He passed through the oratorical stage, then the
maudlin or sentimental stage, from which he emerged into the fighting
stage, when he was usually ejected into the street, where he forthwith
began to make Rome howl, and paint the town red. At this point the
policeman's whistle sounded, and the force knew Joe was on the warpath,
and that duty called them to the fray.
It was believed in the neighborhood that Joe had been a college man,
and this gave him additional standing with his admirers. His eloquence
was undoubted, after several glasses varying in number according to the
strength of their contents, and a man who had heard the great political
speakers of the day admitted that none of them could hold a candle to
Joe when he got on the subject of the wrongs of the working man and the
tyranny of the capitalist. It was generally understood that Joe might
have been anything he liked, and that he was no man's enemy but his
own. It was also hinted that he could tell the bigwigs a thing or two
if he had been consulted in affairs of State.
One evening, when Joe was slowly progressing as usual, with his feet in
the air, towards the station, supported by the requisite number of
policemen, and declaiming to the delight of the accompanying crowd, a
woman stood with her back to the brick wall, horror-stricken at the
sight. She had a pale, refined face, and was dressed in black. Her
self-imposed mission was among these people, but she had never seen Joe
taken to the station before, and the sight, which was so amusing to the
neighborhood, was shocking to her. She enquired about Joe, and heard
the usual story that he was no man's enemy but his own, although they
might in justice have added the police. Still, a policeman was hardly
looked upon as a human being in that neighborhood. Miss Johnson
reported the case to the committee of the Social League, and took
counsel. Then it was that the reclamation of Joe Hollends was
Joe received Miss Johnson with subdued dignity, and a demeanor that
delicately indicated a knowledge on his part of her superiority and his
own degradation. He knew how a lady should be treated even if he was a
drunkard, as he told his cronies afterwards. Joe was perfectly willing
to be reclaimed. Heretofore in his life, no one had ever extended the
hand of fellowship to him. Human sympathy was what Joe needed, and
precious little he had had of it. There were more kicks than halfpence
in this world for a poor man. The rich did not care what became of the
poor; not they--a proposition which Miss Johnson earnestly denied.
It was one of the tenets of the committee that where possible the poor
should help the poor. It was resolved to get Joe a decent suit of
clothes and endeavor to find him a place where work would enable him to
help himself. Miss Johnson went around the neighborhood and collected
pence for the reclamation. Most people were willing to help Joe,
although it was generally felt that the Road would be less gay when he
took on sober habits. In one room, however, Miss Johnson was refused
the penny she pleaded for.
"We cannot spare even a penny," said the woman, whose sickly little boy
clung to her skirts. "My husband is just out of work again. He has had
only four weeks' work this time."
Miss Johnson looked around the room and saw why there was no money. It
was quite evident where the earnings of the husband had gone.
The room was much better furnished than the average apartment of the
neighborhood. There were two sets of dishes where one would have been
quite sufficient. On the mantelshelf and around the walls were various
unnecessary articles which cost money.
Miss Johnson noted all this but said nothing, although she resolved to
report it to the committee. In union is strength and in multitude of
counsel there is wisdom. Miss Johnson had great faith in the wisdom of
"How long has your husband been out of work?" she asked.
"Only a few days, but times are very bad and he is afraid he will not
get another situation soon."
"What is his trade?"
"He is a carpenter and a good workman--sober and steady."
"If you give me his name I will put it down in our books. Perhaps we
may be able to help him."
"John Morris is his name."
Miss Johnson wrote it down on her tablets, and when she left, the wife
felt vaguely grateful for benefits to come.
The facts of the case were reported to the committee, and Miss Johnson
was deputed to expostulate with Mrs. Morris upon her extravagance. John
Morris's name was put upon the books among the names of many other
unemployed persons. The case of Joe Hollends then came up, and elicited
much enthusiasm. A decent suit of clothing had been purchased with part
of the money collected for him, and it was determined to keep the rest
in trust, to be doled out to him as occasion warranted.
Two persuasive ladies undertook to find a place for him in one of the
factories, if such a thing were possible.
Joe felt rather uncomfortable in his new suit of clothes, and seemed to
regard the expenditure as, all in all, a waste of good money. He was
also disappointed to find that the funds collected were not to be
handed over to him in a lump. It was not the money he cared about, he
said, but the evident lack of trust. If people had trusted him more, he
might have been a better man. Trust and human sympathy were what Joe
The two persuasive ladies appealed to Mr. Stillwell, the proprietor of
a small factory for the making of boxes. They said that if Hollends got
a chance they were sure he would reform. Stillwell replied that he had
no place for anyone. He had enough to do to keep the men already in his
employ. Times were dull in the box business, and he was turning away
applicants every day who were good workmen and who didn't need to be
reformed. However, the ladies were very persuasive, and it is not given
to every man to be able to refuse the appeal of a pretty woman, not to
mention two of them. Stillwell promised to give Hollends a chance, said
he would consult with his foreman, and let the ladies know what could
Joe Hollends did not receive the news of his luck with the enthusiasm
that might have been expected. Many a man was tramping London in search
of employment and finding none, therefore even the ladies who were so
solicitous about Joe's welfare thought he should be thankful that work
came unsought. He said he would do his best, which is, when you come to
think of it, all that we have a right to expect from any man.
Some days afterwards Jack Morris applied to Mr. Stillwell for a job,
but he had no sub-committee of persuasive ladies to plead for him. He
would be willing to work half-time or quarter-time for that matter. He
had a wife and boy dependent on him. He could show that he was a good
workman and he did not drink. Thus did Morris recite his qualifications
to the unwilling ears of Stillwell the box maker. As he left the place
disheartened with another refusal, he was overtaken by Joe Hollends.
Joe was a lover of his fellow-man, and disliked seeing anyone
downhearted. He had one infallible cure for dejection. Having just been
discharged, he was in high spirits, because his prediction of his own
failure as a reformed character, if work were a condition of the
reclamation, had just been fulfilled.
"Cheer up, old man," he cried, slapping Morris on the shoulder, "what's
the matter? Come and have a drink with me. I've got the money."
"No," said Morris, who knew the professional drunkard but slightly, and
did not care for further acquaintance with him, "I want work, not
"Every man to his taste. Why don't you ask at the box factory? You can
have my job and welcome. The foreman's just discharged me. Said I
wouldn't work myself, and kept the men off theirs. Thought I talked too
much about capital and labor."
"Do you think I could get your job?"
"Very likely. No harm in trying. If they don't take you on, come into
the Red Lion--I'll be there--and have a drop. It'll cheer you up a
Morris appealed in vain to the foreman. They had more men now in the
factory than they needed, he said. So Morris went to the Red Lion,
where he found Hollends ready to welcome him. They had several glasses
together, and Hollends told him of the efforts of the Social League in
the reclamation line, and his doubts of their ultimate success.
Hollends seemed to think the ladies of the League were deeply indebted
to him for furnishing them with such a good subject for reformation.
That night Joe's career reached a triumphant climax, for the four
policeman had to appeal to the bystanders for help in the name of the
Jack Morris went home unaided. He had not taken many glasses, but he
knew he should have avoided drink altogether, for he had some
experience of its power in his younger days. He was, therefore, in a
quarrelsome mood, ready to blame everyone but himself.
He found his wife in tears, and saw Miss Johnson sitting there,
evidently very miserable.
"What's all this?" asked Morris.
His wife dried her eyes, and said it was nothing. Miss Johnson had been
giving her some advice, which she was thankful for. Morris glared at
"What have you got to do with us?" he demanded rudely. His wife caught
him by the arm, but he angrily tossed aside her hand. Miss Johnson
"You've no business here. We want none of your advice. You get out of
this." Then, impatiently to his wife, who strove to calm him, "Shut up,
Miss Johnson was afraid he would strike her as she passed him going to
the door, but he merely stood there, following her exit with lowering
The terrified lady told her experience to the sympathizing members of
the committee. She had spoken to Mrs. Morris of her extravagance in
buying so many things that were not necessary when her husband had
work. She advised the saving of the money. Mrs. Morris had defended her
apparent lavish expenditure by saying that there was no possibility of
saving money. She bought useful things, and when her husband was out of
work she could always get a large percentage of their cost from the
pawnbroker. The pawnshop, she had tearfully explained to Miss Johnson,
was the only bank of the poor. The idea of the pawnshop as a bank, and
not as a place of disgrace, was new to Miss Johnson, but before
anything further could be said the husband had come in. One of the
committee, who knew more about the district than Miss Johnson, affirmed
that there was something to say for the pawnbroker as the banker of the
poor. The committee were unanimous in condemning the conduct of Morris,
and it says much for the members that, in spite of the provocation one
of them had received, they did not take the name of so undeserving a
man from their list of the unemployed.
The sad relapse of Joe Hollends next occupied the attention of the
League. His fine had been paid, and he had expressed himself as deeply
grieved at his own frailty. If the foreman had been less harsh with him
and had given him a chance, things might have been different. It was
resolved to send Joe to the seaside so that he might have an
opportunity of toning up his system to resist temptation. Joe enjoyed
his trip to the sea. He always liked to encounter a new body of police
unaccustomed to his methods. He toned up his system so successfully the
first day on the sands that he spent the night in the cells.
Little by little, the portable property in the rooms of the Morrises
disappeared into the pawnshop. Misfortune, as usual, did not come
singly. The small boy was ill, and Morris himself seemed to be unable
to resist the temptation of the Red Lion. The unhappy woman took her
boy to the parish doctor, who was very busy, but he gave what attention
he could to the case. He said all the boy needed was nourishing food
and country air. Mrs. Morris sighed, and decided to take the little boy
oftener to the park, but the way was long, and he grew weaker day by
At last, she succeeded in interesting her husband in the little
fellow's condition. He consented to take the boy to the doctor with
"The doctor doesn't seem to mind what I say," she complained. "Perhaps
he will pay attention to a man."
Morris was not naturally a morose person, but continued disappointment
was rapidly making him so. He said nothing, but took the boy in his
arms, and, followed by his wife, went to the doctor.
"This boy was here before," said the physician, which tended to show
that he had paid more attention to the case than Mrs. Morris thought.
"He is very much worse. You will have to take him to the country or he
"How can I send him to the country?" asked Morris, sullenly. "I've been
out of work for months."
"Have you friends in the country?"
"Hasn't your wife any friends in the country who would take her and the
lad for a month or so?"
"Have you anything to pawn?"
"Then I would advise you to pawn everything you own, or sell it if you
can, and take the boy on your back and tramp to the country. You will
get work there probably more easily than in the city. Here are ten
shillings to help you."
"I don't want your money," Said Morris, in a surly tone. "I want work."
"I have no work to give you, so I offer you what I have. I haven't as
much of that as I could wish. You are a fool not to take what the gods
Morris, without replying, gathered up his son in his arms and departed.
"Here is a bottle of tonic for him." said the doctor to Mrs. Morris.
He placed the half-sovereign on the bottle as he passed it to her. She
silently thanked him with her wet eyes, hoping that a time would come
when she could repay the money. The doctor had experience enough to
know that they were not to be classed among his usual visitors. He was
not in the habit of indiscriminately bestowing gold coins.
It was a dreary journey, and they were a long time shaking off the
octopus-like tentacles of the great city, that reached further and
further into he country each year, as if it lived on consuming the
green fields. Morris walked ahead with the boy on his back, and his
wife followed. Neither spoke, and the sick lad did not complain. As
they were nearing a village, the boy's head sunk on his father's
shoulder. The mother quickened her pace, and came up to them stroking
the head of her sleeping son. Suddenly, she uttered a smothered cry and
took the boy in her arms.
"What's the matter?" asked Morris, turning round.
She did not answer, but sat by the roadside with the boy on her lap,
swaying her body to and fro over him, moaning as she did so. Morris
needed no answer. He stood on the road with hardening face, and looked
down on his wife and child without speaking.
The kindly villagers arranged the little funeral, and when it was over
Jack Morris and his wife stood again on the road.
"Jack, dear," she pleaded, "don't go back to that horrible place. We
belong to the country, and the city is so hard and cruel."
"I'm going back. You can do as you like." Then, relenting a little, he
added, "I haven't brought much luck to you, my girl."
She knew her husband was a stubborn man, and set in his way, so,
unprotesting, she followed him in, as she had followed out, stumbling
many times, for often her eyes did not see the road. And so they
returned to their empty rooms.
Jack Morris went to look for work at the Red Lion. There he met that
genial comrade, Joe Hollends, who had been reformed, and who had
backslid twice since Jack had foregathered with him before. It is but
fair to Joe to admit that he had never been optimistic about his own
reclamation, but being an obliging man, even when he was sober, he was
willing to give the Social League every chance. Jack was deeply grieved
at the death of his son, although he had said no word to his wife that
would show it. It therefore took more liquor than usual to bring him up
to the point of good comradeship that reigned at the Red Lion. When he
and Joe left the tavern that night it would have taken an expert to
tell which was the more inebriated. They were both in good fighting
trim, and were both in the humor for a row. The police, who had
reckoned on Joe alone, suddenly found a new element in the fight that
not only upset their calculations but themselves as well. It was a
glorious victory, and, as both fled down a side street, Morris urged
Hollends to come along, for the representatives of law and order have
the habit of getting reinforcements which often turn a victory into a
most ignominious defeat.
"I can't," panted Hollends. "The beggars have hurt me."
"Come along. I know a place where we are safe."
Drunk as he was, Jack succeeded in finding the hole in the wall that
allowed him to enter a vacant spot behind the box factory. There
Hollends lay down with a groan, and there Morris sank beside him in a
drunken sleep. The police were at last revenged, and finally.
When the grey daylight brought Morris to a dazed sense of where he was,
he found his companion dead beside him. He had a vague fear that he
would be tried for murder, but it was not so. From the moment that
Hollends, in his fall, struck his head on the curb, the Providence
which looks after the drunken deserted him.
But the inquest accomplished one good object. It attracted the
attention of the Social League to Jack Morris, and they are now
endeavoring to reclaim him.
Whether they succeed or not, he was a man that was certainly once worth
THE TYPE-WRITTEN LETTER.
When a man has battled with poverty all his life, fearing it as he
fought it, feeling for its skinny throat to throttle it, and yet
dreading all the while the coming of the time when it would gain the
mastery and throttle him--when such a man is told that he is rich, it
might be imagined he would receive the announcement with hilarity. When
Richard Denham realized that he was wealthy he became even more sobered
than usual, and drew a long breath as if he had been running a race and
had won it. The man who brought him the news had no idea he had told
Denham anything novel.
He merely happened to say, "You are a rich man, Mr. Denham, and will
never miss it."
Denham had never before been called a rich man, and up to that moment
he had not thought of himself as wealthy. He wrote out the check asked
of him, and his visitor departed gratefully, leaving the merchant with
something to ponder over. He was as surprised with the suddenness of
the thing as if someone had left him a legacy. Yet the money was all of
his own accumulating, but his struggle had been so severe, and he had
been so hopeless about it, that from mere habit he exerted all his
energies long after the enemy was overcome--just as the troops at New
Orleans fought a fierce battle not knowing that the war was over. He
had sprung from such a hopelessly poor family. Poverty had been their
inheritance from generation to generation. It was the invariable legacy
that father had left to son in the Denham family. All had accepted
their lot with uncomplaining resignation, until Richard resolved he
would at least have a fight for it. And now the fight had been won.
Denham sat in his office staring at the dingy wall-paper so long, that
Rogers, the chief clerk, put his head in and said in a deferential
"Anything more to-night, Mr. Denham?"
Denham started as if that question in that tone had not been asked him
every night for years.
"What's that, what's that?" he cried.
Rogers was astonished, but too well trained to show it.
"Anything more to-night, Mr. Denham?"
"Ah, quite so. No, Rogers, thank you, nothing more."
"Good-night, Mr. Denham."
"Eh? Oh, yes. Good-night, Rogers, good-night."
When Mr. Denham left his office and went out into the street everything
had an unusual appearance to him. He walked along, unheeding the
direction. He looked at the fine residences and realized that he might
have a fine residence if he wanted it. He saw handsome carriages; he
too might set up an equipage. The satisfaction these thoughts produced
was brief. Of what use would a fine house or an elegant carriage be to
him? He knew no one to invite to the house or to ride with him in the
carriage. He began to realize how utterly alone in the world he was. He
had no friends, no acquaintances even. The running dog, with its nose
to the ground, sees nothing of the surrounding scenery. He knew men in
a business way, of course, and doubtless each of them had a home in the
suburbs somewhere, but he could not take a business man by the
shoulders and say to him, "Invite me to your house; I am lonely; I want
to know people."
If he got such an invitation, he would not know what to do with
himself. He was familiar with the counting-room and its language, but
the drawing-room was an unexplored country to him, where an unknown
tongue was spoken. On the road to wealth he had missed something, and
it was now too late to go back for it. Only the day before, he had
heard one of the clerks, who did not know he was within earshot, allude
to him as "the old man." He felt as young as ever he did, but the
phrase, so lightly spoken, made him catch his breath.
As he was now walking through the park, and away from the busy streets,
he took off his hat and ran his fingers through his grizzled hair,
looking at his hand when he had done so, as if the grey, like wet
paint, might have come off. He thought of a girl he knew once, who
perhaps would have married him if he had asked her, as he was tempted
to do. But that had always been the mistake of the Denhams. They had
all married young except himself, and so sunk deeper into the mire of
poverty, pressed down by a rapidly-increasing progeny. The girl had
married a baker, he remembered. Yes, that was a long time ago. The
clerk was not far wrong when he called him an old man. Suddenly,
another girl arose before his mental vision--a modern girl--very
different indeed to the one who married the baker. She was the only
woman in the world with whom he was on speaking terms, and he knew her
merely because her light and nimble fingers played the business sonata
of one note on his office typewriter. Miss Gale was pretty, of course--
all typewriter girls are--and it was generally understood in the office
that she belonged to a good family who had come down in the world. Her
somewhat independent air deepened this conviction and kept the clerks
at a distance. She was a sensible girl who realized that the typewriter
paid better than the piano, and accordingly turned the expertness of
her white fingers to the former instrument. Richard Denham sat down
upon a park bench. "Why not?" he asked himself. There was no reason
against it except that he felt he had not the courage. Nevertheless, he
formed a desperate resolution.
Next day, business went on as usual. Letters were answered, and the
time arrived when Miss Gale came in to see if he had any further
commands that day. Denham hesitated. He felt vaguely that a business
office was not the proper place for a proposal; yet he knew he would be
at a disadvantage anywhere else. In the first place, he had no
plausible excuse for calling upon the young woman at home, and, in the
second place, he knew if he once got there he would be stricken dumb.
It must either be at his office or nowhere.
"Sit down a moment, Miss Gale," he said at last; "I wanted to consult
you about a matter--about a business matter."
Miss Gale seated herself, and automatically placed on her knee the
shorthand writing-pad ready to take down his instructions. She looked
up at him expectantly. Denham, in an embarrassed manner, ran his
fingers through his hair.
"I am thinking," he began, "of taking a partner. The business is very
prosperous now. In fact, it has been so for some time."
"Yes?" said Miss Gale interrogatively.
"Yes. I think I should have a partner. It is about that I wanted to
speak to you."
"Don't you think it would be better to consult with Mr. Rogers? He
knows more about business than I. But perhaps it is Mr. Rogers who is
to be the partner?"
"No, it is not Rogers. Rogers is a good man. But--it is not Rogers."
"Then I think in an important matter like this Mr. Rogers, or someone
who knows the business as thoroughly as he does, would be able to give
you advice that would be of some value."
"I don't want advice exactly. I have made up my mind to have a partner,
if the partner is willing."
Denham mopped his brow. It was going to be even more difficult than he
"Is it, then, a question of the capital the partner is to bring in?"
asked Miss Gale, anxious to help him.
"No, no. I don't wish any capital. I have enough for both. And the
business is very prosperous, Miss Gale--and--and has been."
The young woman raised her eyebrows in surprise.
"You surely don't intend to share the profits with a partner who brings
no capital into the business?"
"Yes--yes, I do. You see, as I said, I have no need for more capital."
"Oh, if that is the case, I think you should consult Mr. Rogers before
you commit yourself."
"But Rogers wouldn't understand."
"I'm afraid I don't understand either. It seems to me a foolish thing
to do--that is, if you want my advice."
"Oh, yes, I want it. But it isn't as foolish as you think. I should
have had a partner long ago. That is where I made the mistake. I've
made up my mind on that."
"Then I don't see that I can be of any use--if your mind is already
"Oh, yes, you can. I'm a little afraid that my offer may not be
"It is sure to be, if the man has any sense. No fear of such an offer
being refused! Offers like that are not to be had every day. It will be
"Do you really think so, Miss Gale? I am glad that is your opinion.
Now, what I wanted to consult you about, is the form of the offer. I
would like to put it--well--delicately, you know, so that it would not
be refused, nor give offence."
"I see. You want me to write a letter to him?"
"Exactly, exactly," cried Denham with some relief. He had not thought
of sending a letter before. Now, he wondered why he had not thought of
it. It was so evidently the best way out of a situation that was