Part 2 out of 6
if all is well, at most in two, I shall return. You know I cannot
stay with you, and you know why." He took the miniature from his
pocket and opening it, held it before her face. "Your mother gave
her life for her country." For some moments he gazed upon the
beautiful face in the miniature. "She was a lady, and feared not
death. Ah! ah! such a death!" He struggled fiercely with his
emotions. "She was willing to die. Should not I? You do not
grudge that I should leave you, that I should die, if need be?" An
anxious, almost wistful tone crept into his voice.
Bravely the little girl looked up into the dark face.
"I remember my mother," she said; "I would be like her."
"Aha!" cried her father, catching her to his breast, "I judged you
rightly. You are her daughter, and you will live worthy of her.
Kalman, come hither. Irma, you will care for your brother. He is
young. He is a boy. He will need care. Kalman, heart of my
"He does not understand Russian," said Paulina. "Speak in
"Ha," cried the man, turning sharply upon her as if he had
forgotten her existence. "Kalman, my son," he proceeded in
Russian, "did you not understand what I said to your sister?"
"Not well, father," said the boy; "a little."
"Alas, that you should have forgotten your mother's speech!"
"I shall learn it again from Irma," said the boy.
"Good," replied the father in Galician. "Listen then. Never
forget you are a Russian. This," putting the miniature before him,
"was your mother. She was a lady. For her country she gave up
rank, wealth, home and at last life. For her country, too, I go
back again. When my work is done I shall return."
Through the window came sounds of revelry from the house near by.
"You are not of these cattle," he said, pointing through the
window. "Your mother was a lady. Be worthy of her, boy. Now
The boy stood without word, without motion, without tear, his light
blue eyes fixed upon his father's face, his fair skin white but for
a faint spot of red on his cheek.
"Obey your sister, Kalman, and defend her. And listen, boy." His
voice deepened into a harsh snarl, his fingers sank into the boy's
shoulder, but the boy winced not. "If any man does her wrong, you
will kill him. Say it, boy? What will you do?"
"Kill him," said the boy with fierce promptitude, speaking in the
"Ha! yes," replied his father in English, "you bear your mother's
face, her golden hair, her eyes of blue--they are not so beautiful--
but you have your father's spirit. You would soon learn to kill
in Russia, but in this land you will not kill unless to defend your
sister from wrong."
His mood swiftly changed. He paused, looking sadly at his
children; then turning to Mrs. Fitzpatrick he said, "They should go
to the public school like Simon Ketzel's little girl. They speak
not such good English as she. She is very clever."
"Sure, they must go to school," said she. "An' go they will."
"My gratitude will be with you forever. Good-by."
He shook hands with Timothy, then with Mrs. Fitzpatrick, kissing
her hand as well. He motioned his children toward him.
"Heart of my heart," he murmured in a broken voice, straining his
daughter to his breast. "God, if God there be, and all the saints,
if saints there be, have you in their keeping. Kalman, my son,"
throwing one arm about him, "Farewell! farewell!" He was fast
losing control of himself. The stormy Slavic passions were
threatening to burst all restraint. "I give you to each other.
But you will remember that it was not for my sake, but for Russia's
sake, I leave you. My heart, my heart belongs to you, but my
heart's heart is not for me, nor for you, but for Russia, for your
mother's land and ours."
By this time tears were streaming down his cheek. Sobs shook his
powerful frame. Irma was clinging to him in an abandonment of
weeping. Kalman stood holding tight to his father, rigid,
tearless, white. At length the father tore away their hands and
once more crying "Farewell!" made toward the door.
At this the boy broke forth in a loud cry, "Father! My father!
Take me with you! I would not fear! I would not fear to die.
Take me to Russia!" The boy ran after his father and clutched him
"Ah, my lad, you are your mother's son and mine. Some day you may
go back. Who knows? But--no, no. Canada is your country. Go
back." The lad still clutched him. "Boy," said his father,
steadying his voice with great effort and speaking quietly, "with
us, in our country, we learn first obedience."
The lad dropped his hold.
"Good!" said the father. "You are my own son. You will yet be a
man. And now farewell."
He kissed them again. The boy broke into passionate sobbing.
Paulina came forward and, kneeling at the father's feet, put her
face to the floor.
"I will care for the son of my lord," she murmured.
But with never a look at her, the father strode to the door and
passed out into the night.
"Be the howly prophet!" cried Tim, wiping his eyes, "it's harrd,
it's harrd! An' it's the heart av a paythriot the lad carries
inside av him! An' may Hivin be about him!"
THE GRIP OF BRITISH LAW
It was night in Winnipeg, a night of such radiant moonlight as is
seen only in northern climates and in winter time. During the
early evening a light snow had fallen, not driving fiercely after
the Manitoba manner, but gently, and so lay like a fleecy,
shimmering mantle over all things.
Under this fleecy mantle, shimmering with myriad gems, lay Winnipeg
asleep. Up from five thousand chimneys rose straight into the
still frosty air five thousand columns of smoke, in token that,
though frost was king outside, the good folk of Winnipeg lay snug
and warm in their virtuous beds. Everywhere the white streets lay
in silence except for the passing of a belated cab with creaking
runners and jingling bells, and of a sleighing party returning from
Silver Heights, their four-horse team smoking, their sleigh bells
ringing out, carrying with them hoarse laughter and hoarser songs,
for the frosty air works mischief with the vocal chords, and
leaving behind them silence again.
All through Fort Rouge, lying among its snow-laden trees, across
the frost-bound Assiniboine, all through the Hudson's Bay Reserve,
there was no sign of life, for it was long past midnight. Even
Main Street, that most splendid of all Canadian thoroughfares, lay
white and spotless and, for the most part, in silence. Here and
there men in furs or in frieze coats with collars turned up high,
their eyes peering through frost-rimmed eyelashes and over frost
rimmed coat collars, paced comfortably along if in furs, or walked
hurriedly if only in frieze, whither their business or their
Near the northern limits of the city the signs of life were more in
evidence. At the Canadian Pacific Railway station an engine, hoary
with frozen steam, puffed contentedly as if conscious of sufficient
strength for the duty that lay before it, waiting to hook on to
Number Two, nine hours late, and whirl it eastward in full contempt
of frost and snow bank and blizzard.
Inside the station a railway porter or two drowsed on the benches.
Behind the wicket where the telegraph instruments kept up an
incessant clicking, the agent and his assistant sat alert, coming
forward now and then to answer, with the unwearying courtesy which
is part of their equipment and of their training, the oft repeated
question from impatient and sleepy travellers, "How is she now?"
"An hour," "half an hour," finally "fifteen minutes," then "any
time now." At which cheering report the uninitiated brightened up
and passed out to listen for the rumble of the approaching train.
The more experienced, however, settled down for another half hour's
It was a wearisome business, and to none more wearisome than to
Interpreter Elex Murchuk, part of whose duty it is to be in
attendance on the arrival of all incoming trains in case that some
pilgrim from Central and Southern Europe might be in need of
direction. For Murchuk, a little borderland Russian, boasts the
gift of tongues to an extraordinary degree. Russian, in which he
was born, and French, and German, and Italian, of course, he knows,
but Polish, Ruthenian, and all varieties of Ukranian speech are
alike known to him.
"I spik all European language good, jus' same Angleesh," was his
testimony in regard to himself.
As the whistle of the approaching train was heard, Sergeant Cameron
strolled into the station house, carrying his six feet two and his
two hundred pounds of bone and muscle with the light and easy
movements of the winner of many a Caledonian Society medal.
Cameron, at one time a full private in the 78th Highlanders, is now
Sergeant in the Winnipeg City Police, and not ashamed of his job.
Big, calm, good-tempered, devoted to his duty, keen for the honour
of the force as he had been for the honour of his regiment in other
days, Sergeant Cameron was known to all good citizens as an officer
to be trusted and to all others as a man to be feared.
Just at present he was finishing up his round of inspection. After
the train had pulled in he would go on duty as patrolman, in the
place of Officer Donnelly, who was down with pneumonia. The
Winnipeg Police Force was woefully inadequate in point of strength,
there being no spare men for emergencies, and hence Sergeant
Cameron found it necessary to do double duty that night, and he was
prepared to do it without grumbling, too. Long watches and weary
marches were nothing new to him, and furthermore, to-night there
was especial reason why he was not unwilling to take a walk through
the north end. Headquarters had been kept fully informed of the
progress of a wedding feast of more than ordinary hilarity in the
foreign colony. This was the second night, and on second nights
the general joyousness of the festivities was more than likely to
become unduly exuberant. Indeed, the reports of the early evening
had been somewhat disquieting, and hence, Sergeant Cameron was
rather pleased than not that Officer Donnelly's beat lay in the
direction of the foreign colony.
At length Number Two rolled in, a double header, one engine alive
and one dead, but both swathed in snow and frozen steam from
cowcatcher to tender, the first puffing its proud triumph over the
opposing elements, the second silent, cold and lifeless like a
warrior borne from the field of battle.
Thc passengers, weary and full of the mild excitement of their long
struggle with storm and drift across half a continent, emerged from
their snow-clad but very comfortable coaches and were eagerly taken
in charge by waiting friends and watchful hotel runners.
Sergeant Cameron waited till the crowd had gone, and then turning
to Murchuk, he said, "You will be coming along with me, Murchuk. I
am going to look after some of your friends."
"My frients?" enquired Murchuk.
"Yes, over at the colony yonder."
"My frients!" repeated Murchuk with some indignation. "Not motch!"
Murchuk was proud of his official position as Dominion Government
Interpreter. "But I will go wit' you. It is my way."
Away from the noise of the puffing engines and the creaking car
wheels, the ears of Sergeant Cameron and his friend were assailed
by other and less cheerful sounds.
"Will you listen to that now?" said the Sergeant to his polyglot
companion. "What do you think of that for a civilised city? The
Indians are not in it with that bunch," continued the Sergeant, who
was diligently endeavouring to shed his Highland accent and to take
on the colloquialisms of the country.
From a house a block and a half away, a confused clamour rose up
into the still night air.
"Oh, dat noting," cheerfully said the little Russian, shrugging his
shoulders, "dey mak like dat when dey having a good time."
"They do, eh? And how do you think their neighbours will be liking
that sort of thing?"
The Sergeant stood still to analyse this confused clamour. Above
the thumping and the singing of the dancers could be heard the
sound of breaking boards, mingled with yells and curses.
"Murchuk, there is fighting going on."
"Suppose," agreed the Interpreter, "when Galician man get married,
he want much joy. He get much beer, much fight."
"I will just be taking a walk round there," said the Sergeant.
"These people have got to learn to get married with less fuss about
it. I am not going to stand this much longer. What do they want
to fight for anyway?"
"Oh," replied Murchuk lightly, "Polak not like Slovak, Slovak not
like Galician. Dey drink plenty beer, tink of someting in Old
Country, get mad, make noise, fight some."
"Come along with me," replied the Sergeant, and he squared his big
shoulders and set off down the street with the quick, light stride
that suggested the springing step of his Highland ancestors on the
heather hills of Scotland.
Just as they arrived at the house of feasting, a cry, wild, weird
and horrible, pierced through the uproar. The Interpreter stopped
as if struck with a bullet.
"My God!" he cried in an undertone, clutching the Sergeant by the
arm, "My God! Dat terrible!"
"What is it? What is the matter with you, Murchuk?"
"You know not dat cry? No?" He was all trembling. "Dat cry I
hear long ago in Russland. Russian man mak dat cry when he kill.
Dat Nihilist cry."
"Go back and get Dr. Wright. He will be needed, sure. You know
where he lives, second corner down on Main Street. Get a move on!
Meantime, while respectable Winnipeg lay snugly asleep under snow-
covered roofs and smoking chimneys, while belated revellers and
travellers were making their way through white, silent streets and
under avenues of snow-laden trees to homes where reigned love and
peace and virtue, in the north end and in the foreign colony the
festivities in connection with Anka's wedding were drawing to a
close in sordid drunken dance and song and in sanguinary fighting.
In the main room dance and song reeled on in uproarious hilarity.
In the basement below, foul and fetid, men stood packed close,
drinking while they could. It was for the foreigner an hour of
rare opportunity. The beer kegs stood open and there were plenty
of tin mugs about. In the dim light of a smoky lantern, the
swaying crowd, here singing in maudlin chorus, there fighting
savagely to pay off old scores or to avenge new insults, presented
a nauseating spectacle.
In the farthest corner of the room, unmoved by all this din, about
a table consisting of a plank laid across two beer kegs, one empty,
the other for the convenience of the players half full, sat four
men deep in a game of cards. Rosenblatt with a big Dalmatian
sailor as partner, against a little Polak and a dark-bearded man.
This man was apparently very drunk, as was evident by his reckless
playing and his jibing, jeering manner. He was losing money, but
with perfect good cheer. Not so his partner, the Polak. Every
loss made him more savage and quarrelsome. With great difficulty
Rosenblatt was able to keep the game going and preserve peace. The
singing, swaying, yelling, cursing crowd beside them also gave him
concern, and over and again he would shout, "Keep quiet, you fools.
The police will be on us, and that will be the end of your beer,
for they will put you in prison!"
"Yes," jeered the black-bearded man, who seemed to be set on making
a row, "all fools, Russian fools, Polak fools, Galician fools,
Slovak fools, all fools together."
Angry voices replied from all sides, and the noise rose higher.
"Keep quiet!" cried Rosenblatt, rising to his feet, "the police
will surely be here!"
"That is true," cried the black-bearded man, "keep them quiet or
the police will herd them in like sheep, like little sheep, baa,
baa, baa, baa!"
"The police!" shouted a voice in reply, "who cares for the police?"
A yell of derisive assent rose in response.
"Be quiet!" besought Rosenblatt again. He was at his wits' end.
the police might at any time appear and that would end what was for
him a very profitable game, and besides might involve him in
serious trouble. "Here you, Joseph!" he cried, addressing a man
near him, "another keg of beer!"
Between them they hoisted up a keg of beer on an empty cask,
knocked in the head, and set them drinking with renewed eagerness.
"Swine!" he said, seating himself again at the table. "Come, let
But the very devil of strife seemed to be in the black-bearded man.
He gibed at the good-natured Dalmatian, setting the Polak at him,
suggested crooked dealing, playing recklessly and losing his own
and his partner's money. At length the inevitable clash came. As
the Dalmatian reached for a trick, the Polak cried out, "Hold! It
"Yes, certainly it is his!" shouted the black-bearded man.
"Liar! It is mine," said the Dalmatian, with perfect good temper,
and held on to his cards.
"Liar yourself!" hissed the little Polak, thrusting his face toward
"Go away," said the Dalmatian. His huge open hand appeared to rest
a moment on the Polak's grinning face, and somehow the little man
was swept from his seat to the floor.
"Ho, ho," laughed the Dalmatian, "so I brush away a fly."
With a face like a demon's, the Polak sprang at his big antagonist,
an open knife in his hand, and jabbed him in the arm. For a moment
the big man sat looking at his assailant as if amazed at his
audacity. Then as he saw the blood running down his fingers he
went mad, seized the Polak by the hair, lifted him clear out of his
seat, carrying the plank table with him, and thereupon taking him
by the back of the neck, proceeded to shake him till his teeth
rattled in his head.
At almost the same instant the black-bearded man leaped across the
fallen table like a tiger, at Rosenblatt's throat, and bore him
down to the earthen floor in the dark corner. Sitting astride his
chest, his knees on Rosenblatt's arms, and gripping him by the
throat, he held him voiceless and helpless. Soon his victim lay
still, looking up into his assailant's face in surprise, fear and
"Rosenblatt," said the bearded man in a soft voice, "you know me--
"No," gasped Rosenblatt in terrible fury, "what do you--"
"Look," said the man. With his free hand he swept off the black
beard which he stuffed into his pocket.
Rosenblatt looked. "Kalmar!" he gasped, terror in his eyes.
"Yes, Kalmar," replied the man.
"Help!--" The cry died at his teeth.
"No, no," said Kalmar, shutting his fingers upon his windpipe. "No
noise. We are to have a quiet moment here. They are all too busy
to notice us. Listen." He leaned far down over the ghastly face
of the wretched man beneath him. "Shall I tell you why I am here?
Shall I remind you of your crimes? No, I need not. You remember
them well, and in a few minutes you will be in hell for them. Five
years I froze and burned in Siberia, through you." As he said the
word "you" he leaned a little closer. His voice remained low and
soft, but his eyes were blazing with a light as of madness. "For
this moment," he continued gently, "I have hungered, thirsted,
panted. Now it has come. I regret I must hurry a little. I
should like to drink this sweet cup slowly, oh so slowly, drop by
drop. But--ah, do not struggle, nor cry. It will only add to your
pain. Do you see this?" He drew from his pocket what seemed a
knife handle, pressed a spring, and from this handle there shot out
a blade, long, thin, murderous looking. "It has a sharp point, oh,
a very sharp point." He pricked Rosenblatt in the cheek, and as
Rosenblatt squirmed, laughed a laugh of singular sweetness. "With
this beautiful instrument I mean to pick out your eyes, and then I
shall drive it down through your heart, and you will be dead. It
will not hurt so very much," he continued in a tone of regret. "No
no, not so very much; not so much as when you put out the light of
my life, when you murdered my wife; not so much as when you pierced
my heart in betraying my cause. See, it will not hurt so very
much." He put the sharp blade against Rosenblatt's breast high up
above the heart, and drove it slowly down through the soft flesh
till he came to bone. Like a mad thing, his unhappy victim threw
himself wildly about in a furious struggle. But he was like a babe
in the hands that gripped him. Kalmar laughed gleefully. "Aha!
Aha! Good! Good! You give me much joy. Alas! it is so short-
lived, and I must hurry. Now for your right eye. Or would you
prefer the left first?"
As he released the pressure upon Rosenblatt's throat, the wretched
man gurgled forth, "Mercy! Mercy! God's name, mercy!"
Piteous abject terror showed in his staring eyes. His voice was to
Kalmar like blood to a tiger.
"Mercy!" he hissed, thrusting his face still nearer, his smile now
all gone. "Mercy? God's name! Hear him! I, too, cried for mercy
for father, brother, wife, but found none. Now though God Himself
should plead, you will have only such mercy from me." He seemed to
lose hold of himself. His breath came in thick sharp sobs, foam
fell from his lips. "Ha," he gasped. "I cannot wait even to pick
your eyes. There is some one at the door. I must drink your
heart's blood now! Now! A-h-h-h!" His voice rose in a wild cry,
weird and terrible. He raised his knife high, but as it fell the
Dalmatian, who had been amusing himself battering the Polak about
during these moments, suddenly heaved the little man at Kalmar, and
knocked him into the corner. The knife fell, buried not in the
heart of Rosenblatt, but in the Polak's neck.
There was no time to strike again. There was a loud battering,
then a crash as the door was kicked open.
"Hello! What is all this row here?"
It was Sergeant Cameron, pushing his big body through the crowd as
a man bursts through a thicket. An awed silence had fallen upon
all, arrested, sobered by that weird cry. Some of them knew that
cry of old. They had heard it in the Old Land in circumstances of
heart-chilling terror, but never in this land till this moment.
"What is all this?" cried the Sergeant again. His glance swept the
room and rested upon the huddled heap of men in the furthest
corner. He seized the topmost and hauled him roughly from the
"Hello! What's this? Why, God bless my soul! The man is dying!"
From a wound in the neck the blood was still spouting. Quickly the
Sergeant was on his knees beside the wounded man, his thumb pressed
hard upon the gaping wound. But still the blood continued to
bubble up and squirt from under his thumb. All around, the earthen
floor was muddy with blood.
"Run, some of you," commanded the Sergeant, "and hurry up that Dr.
Wright, Main Street, two corners down!"
Jacob Wassyl, who had come in from the room above, understood, and
sent a man off with all speed.
"Good Lord! What a pig sticking!" said the Sergeant. "There is a
barrel of blood around here. And here is another man! Here you!"
addressing Jacob, "put your thumb here and press so. It is not
much good, but we cannot do anything else just now." The Sergeant
straightened himself up. Evidently this was no ordinary "scrap."
"Let no man leave this room," he cried aloud. "Tell them," he
said, addressing Jacob, "you speak English; and two of you, you and
you, stand by the door and let no man out except as I give the
The two men took their places.
"Now then, let us see what else there is here. Do you know these
men?" he enquired of Jacob.
"Dis man," replied Jacob, "I not know. Him Polak man."
The men standing about began to jabber.
"What do they say?"
"Him Polak. Kravicz his name. He no bad man. He fight quick, but
not a bad man."
"Well, he won't fight much more, I am thinking," replied the
A second man lay on his back in a pool of blood, insensible. His
face showed ghastly beneath its horrible smear of blood and filth.
"Bring me that lantern," commanded the Sergeant.
"My God!" cried Jacob, "it is Rosenblatt!"
"Rosenblatt? Who is he?"
"De man dat live here, dis house. He run store. Lots mon'. My
God! He dead!"
"Looks like it," said the Sergeant, opening his coat. "He's got a
bad hole in him here," he continued, pointing to a wound in the
chest. "Looks deep, and he is bleeding, too."
There was a knocking at the door.
"Let him in," cried the Sergeant, "it is the doctor. Hello,
Doctor! Here is something for you all right."
The doctor, a tall, athletic young fellow with a keen, intellectual
face, pushed his way through the crowd to the corner and dropped on
his knees beside the Polak.
"Why, the man is dead!" said the doctor, putting his hand over the
Even as he spoke, a shudder passed through the man's frame, and he
lay still. The doctor examined the hole in his neck.
"Yes, he's dead, sure enough. The jugular vein is severed."
"Well, here is another, Doctor, who will be dead in a few minutes,
if I am not mistaken," said the Sergeant.
"Let me see," said the doctor, turning to Rosenblatt. "Heavens
above!" he cried, as his knees sank in the bloody mud, "it's
He passed round the other side of the unconscious man, got out his
syringe and gave him a hypodermic. In a few minutes Rosenblatt
showed signs of life. He began to breathe heavily, then to cough
and spit mouthfuls of blood.
"Ha, lung, I guess," said the doctor, examining a small clean wound
high up in the left breast. "Better send for an ambulance,
Sergeant, and hurry them up. The sooner we get him to the
hospital, the better. And here is another man. What's wrong with
Beyond Rosenblatt lay a black-bearded man upon his face, breathing
heavily. The doctor turned him over.
"He's alive anyway, and," after examination, "I can't find any
wound. Heart all right, nothing wrong with him, I guess, except
that he's got a bad jag on."
A cursory examination of the crowd revealed wounds in plenty, but
nothing serious enough to demand the doctor's attention.
"Now then," said the Sergeant briskly, "I want to get your names
and addresses. You can let me have them?" he continued, turning to
"Me not know all mens."
"Go on," said the Sergeant curtly.
"Dis man Rosenblatt. Dis man Polak, Kravicz. Not know where he
"It would be difficult, I am thinking, for any one to tell where he
lives now," said the Sergeant grimly, "and it does not much matter
for my purpose."
"Poor chap," said the doctor, "it's too bad."
"What?" said the Sergeant, glancing at him, "well, it is too bad,
that is true. But they are a bad lot, these Galicians."
"Poor chap," continued the doctor, looking down upon him, "perhaps
he has got a wife and children."
A murmur rose among the men.
"No, he got no wife," said Jacob.
"Thank goodness for that!" said the doctor. "These fellows are a
bit rough," he continued, "but they have never had a chance, nor
even half a chance. A beastly tyrannical government at home has
put the fear of death on them for this world, and an ignorant and
superstitious Church has kept them in fear of purgatory and hell
fire for the next. They have never had a chance in their own land,
and so far, they have got no better chance here, except that they
do not live in the fear of Siberia." The doctor had his own views
upon the foreign peoples in the West.
"That is all right, Doctor," said the Sergeant, despite the
Calvinism of generations beating in his heart, "it is hard on them,
but there is nobody compelling them here to drink and fight like a
lot of brutes."
"But who is to teach them any better?" said the doctor.
"Come on," said the Sergeant, "who is this?" pointing to the dark-
bearded man lying in the corner.
"Dis man," said Jacob, "strange man."
"Any of you know him here?" asked the Sergeant.
There was a murmur of voices.
"What do they say?"
"No one know him. He drink much beer. He very drunk. He play
cards wit' Rosenblatt," said Jacob.
"Playing cards, eh? I think we will be finding something now. Who
else was in the card game?"
Again a murmur of voices arose.
"Dis Polak man," said Jacob, "and Rosenblatt, and dat man dere,
Half a dozen voices rose in explanation, and half a dozen hands
eagerly pointed out the big Dalmatian, who stood back among the
crowd pale with terror.
"Come up here, you," said the Sergeant to him.
Instead of responding, with one bound the Dalmatian was at the
door, and hurled the two men aside as if they were wooden pegs.
But before he could tear open the door, the Sergeant was on him.
At once the Dalmatian grappled with him in a fierce struggle.
There was a quick angry growl from the crowd. They all felt
themselves to be in an awkward position. Once out of the room, it
would be difficult for any police officer to associate them in any
way with the crime. The odds were forty to one. Why not make a
break for liberty? A rush was made for the struggling pair at the
"Get back there!" roared the Sergeant, swinging his baton and
holding off his man with the other hand.
At the same instant the doctor, springing up from his patient, and
taking in the situation, put down his head and bored through the
crowd in the manner which at one time had been the admiration and
envy of his fellow-students in Manitoba College, till he found
himself side by side with the Sergeant.
"Well done!" cried the Sergeant, in cheerful approval, "you are the
lad! We will just be teaching these chaps a fery good lesson,
whateffer," continued the Sergeant, lapsing in his excitement into
his native dialect. "Here you," he cried to the big Dalmatian who
was struggling and kicking in a frenzy of fear and rage, "will you
not keep quiet? Take that then." And he laid no gentle tap with
his baton across the head of his captive.
The Dalmatian staggered to the wall and collapsed. There was a
flash of steel and a click, and he lay handcuffed and senseless at
the Sergeant's side.
"I hate to do that," said the Sergeant apologetically, "but on this
occasion it cannot be helped. That was a good one, Doctor," he
continued, as the doctor planted his left upon an opposing Galician
chin, thereby causing a sudden subsidence of its owner. "These men
have not got used to us yet, and we will just have to be patient
with them," said the Sergeant, laying about with his baton as
opportunity offered, not in any slashing wholesale manner, but
making selection, and delivering his blows with the eye and hand
of an artist. He was handling the situation gently and with
discretion. Still the crowd kept pressing hard upon the two men
at the door.
"We must put a stop to this," said the Sergeant seriously. "Here
you!" he called to Jacob above the uproar.
Jacob pushed nearer to him.
"Tell these fellows that I am not wanting to hurt any of them, but
if they do not get quiet soon, I will attack them and will not
spare them, and that if they quit their fighting, none of them will
be hurt except the guilty party."
At once Jacob sprang upon a beer keg and waving his arms wildly, he
secured a partial silence, and translated for them the Sergeant's
"And tell them, too," said the doctor in a high, clear voice,
"there is a man dying over there that I have got to attend to right
now, and I haven't time for this foolishness."
As he spoke, he once more bored his way through the crowd to the
side of Rosenblatt, who was continuing to gasp painfully and spit
blood. The moment of danger was past. The excited crowd settled
down again into an appearance of stupid anxiety, awaiting they knew
"Now then," said the Sergeant, turning to the Dalmatian who had
recovered consciousness and was standing sullen and passive. He
had made his attempt for liberty, he had failed, and now he was
ready to accept his fate. "Ask him what is his name," said the
"He say his name John Jarema."
"And what has he got to say for himself?"
At this the Dalmatian began to speak with eager gesticulation.
"What is he saying?" enquired the Sergeant.
"Dis man say he no hurt no man. Dis man," pointing to the dead
Polak, "play cards, fight, stab knife into his arm," said Jacob,
pulling up the Dalmatian's coat sleeve to show an ugly gash in the
forearm. "Jarema bit him on head, shake him bad, and trow him in
corner on noder man."
Again the Dalmatian broke forth.
"He say he got no knife at all. He cannot make hole like dat wit'
"Well, we shall see about that," said the Sergeant. "Now where is
that other man?" He turned toward the corner. The corner was
empty. "Where has he gone?" said the Sergeant, peering through the
crowd for a black-whiskered face.
The man was nowhere to be seen. The Sergeant was puzzled and
angered. He lined the men up around the walls, but the man was not
to be found. As each man uttered his name, there were always some
to recognize and to corroborate the information. One man alone
seemed a stranger to all in the company. He was clean shaven, but
for a moustache with ends turned up in military manner, and with an
appearance of higher intelligence than the average Galician.
"Ask him his name," said the Sergeant.
The man replied volubly, and Jacob interpreted.
"His name, Rudolph Polkoff, Polak man. Stranger, come to dis town
soon. Know no man here. Some man bring him here to dance."
The Sergeant kept his keen eye fastened on the man while he talked.
"Well, he looks like a smart one. Come here," he said, beckoning
the stranger forward into the better light.
The man came and stood with his back to Rosenblatt.
"Hold up your hands."
The man stared blankly. Jacob interpreted. He hesitated a moment,
then held up his hands above his head. The Sergeant turned him
"You will not be having any weepons on you?" said the Sergeant,
searching his pockets. "Hello! What's this?" He pulled out the
The same instant there was a gasping cry from Rosenblatt. All
turned in his direction. Into his dim eyes and pallid face
suddenly sprang life; fear and hate struggling to find expression
in the look he fixed upon the stranger. With a tremendous effort
he raised his hand, and pointing to the stranger with a long, dirty
finger, he gasped, "Arrest--he murder--" and fell back again
Even as he spoke there was a quick movement. The lantern was
dashed to the ground, the room plunged into darkness and before the
Sergeant knew what had happened, the stranger had shaken himself
free from his grasp, torn open the door and fled.
With a mighty oath, the Sergeant was after him, but the darkness
and the crowd interfered with his progress, and by the time he had
reached the door, the man had completely vanished. At the door
stood Murchuk with the ambulance.
"See a man run out here?" demanded the Sergeant.
"You bet! He run like buck deer."
"Why didn't you stop him?" cried the Sergeant.
"Stop him!" replied the astonished Murchuk, "would you stop a mad
crazy bull? No, no, not me."
"Get that man inside to the hospital then. He won't hurt you,"
exclaimed the Sergeant in wrathful contempt. "I'll catch that man
if I have to arrest every Galician in this city!"
It was an unspeakable humiliation to the Sergeant, but with such
vigour did he act, that before the morning dawned, he had every
exit from the city by rail and by trail under surveillance, and
before a week was past, by adopting the very simple policy of
arresting every foreigner who attempted to leave the town, he had
secured his man.
It was a notable arrest. From all the evidence, it seemed that the
prisoner was a most dangerous criminal. The principal source of
evidence, however, was Rosenblatt, whose deposition was taken down
by the Sergeant and the doctor.
The man, it appeared, was known by many names, Koval, Kolowski,
Polkoff and others, but his real name was Michael Kalmar. He was
a determined and desperate Nihilist, was wanted for many crimes by
the Russian police, and had spent some years as a convict in
Siberia where, if justice had its due, he would be at the present
time. He had cast off his wife and children, whom he had shipped
to Canada. Incidentally it came out that it was only Rosenblatt's
generosity that had intervened between them and starvation. Balked
in one of his desperate Nihilist schemes by Rosenblatt, who held a
position of trust under the Russian Government, he had sworn
vengeance, and escaping from Siberia, he had come to Canada to make
good his oath. And but for the timely appearance of the police, he
would have succeeded.
Meantime, Sergeant Cameron was receiving congratulations on all
hands for his cleverness in making the arrest of a man who had
escaped the vigilance of the Russian Police and Secret Service,
said to be the finest in all Europe. In his cell, the man, as good
as condemned, waited his trial, a stranger far from help and
kindred, an object of terror and of horror to many, of compassion
to a few. But however men thought of him, he had sinned against
British civilisation, and would now have to taste of British
The two months preceding the trial were months of restless agony to
the prisoner, Kalmar. Day and night he paced his cell like a tiger
in a cage, taking little food and sleeping only when overcome with
exhaustion. It was not the confinement that fretted him. The
Winnipeg jail, with all its defects and limitations, was a palace
to some that he had known. It was not the fear of the issue to
his trial that drove sleep and hunger from him. Death, exile,
imprisonment, had been too long at his heels to be strangers to him
or to cause him fear. In his heart a fire burned. Rosenblatt
still lived, and vengeance had halted in its pursuit.
But deep as was the passion in his heart for vengeance, that for
his country and his cause burned deeper. He had been able to
establish lines of communication between his fatherland and the new
world by means of which the oppressed, the hunted, might reach
freedom and safety. The final touches to his plans were still to
be given. Furthermore, it was necessary that he should make his
report in person, else much of his labour would be fruitless. It
was this that brought him "white nights" and black days.
Every day Paulina called at the jail and waited long hours with
uncomplaining patience in the winter cold, till she could be
admitted. Her husband showed no sign of interest, much less of
gratitude. One question alone, he asked day by day.
"The children are well?"
"They are well," Paulina would answer. "They ask to see you every
"They may not see me here," he would reply, after which she would
turn away, her dull face full of patient suffering.
One item of news she brought him that gave him a moment's cheer.
"Kalman," she said, one day, "will speak nothing but Russian."
"Ha!" he exclaimed. "He is my son indeed. But," he added
gloomily," of what use now?"
Others sought admission,--visitors from the Jail Mission,
philanthropic ladies, a priest from St. Boniface, a Methodist
minister,--but all were alike denied. Simon Ketzel he sent for,
and with him held long converse, with the result that he was able
to secure for his defence the services of O'Hara, the leading
criminal lawyer of Western Canada. There appeared to be no lack
of money, and all that money could do was done.
The case began to excite considerable interest, not only in the
city, but throughout the whole country. Public opinion was strongly
against the prisoner. Never in the history of the new country had a
crime been committed of such horrible and bloodthirsty deliberation.
It is true that this opinion was based largely upon Rosenblatt's
deposition, taken by Sergeant Cameron and Dr. Wright when he was
supposed to be in extremis, and upon various newspaper interviews
with him that appeared from time to time. The Morning News in a
trenchant leader pointed out the danger to which Western Canada was
exposed from the presence of these semibarbarous peoples from
Central and Southern Europe, and expressed the hope that the
authorities would deal with the present case in such a manner as
would give a severe but necessary lesson to the lawless among our
There was, indeed, from the first, no hope of acquittal. Staunton,
who was acting for the Crown, was convinced that the prisoner would
receive the maximum sentence allowed by law. And even O'Hara
acknowledged privately to his solicitor that the best he could hope
for was a life sentence. "And, by gad! he ought to get it! It is
the most damnable case of bloody murder that I have come across in
all my practice!" But this was before Mr. O'Hara had interviewed
In his hunt for evidence Mr. O'Hara had come upon his fellow
countrywoman in the foreign colony. At first from sheer delight in
her rich brogue and her shrewd native wit, and afterward from the
conviction that her testimony might be turned to good account on
behalf of his client, Mr. O'Hara diligently cultivated Mrs.
Fitzpatrick's acquaintance. It helped their mutual admiration and
their friendship not a little to discover their common devotion to
"the cause o' the paythriot in dear owld Ireland," and their mutual
interest in the prisoner Kalmar, as a fellow "paythriot."
Immediately upon his discovery of the rich possibilities in Mrs.
Fitzpatrick Mr. O'Hara got himself invited to drink a "cup o' tay,"
which, being made in the little black teapot brought all the way
from Ireland, he pronounced to be the finest he had had since
coming to Canada fifteen years ago. Indeed, he declared that he
had serious doubts as to the possibilities of producing on this
side of the water and by people of this country just such tea as he
had been accustomed to drink in the dear old land. It was over
this cup of tea, and as he drew from Mrs. Fitzpatrick the
description of the scene between the Nihilist and his children,
that Mr. O'Hara came to realise the vast productivity of the mine
he had uncovered. He determined that Mrs. Fitzpatrick should tell
this tale in court.
"We'll bate that divil yet!" he exclaimed to his new-found friend,
his brogue taking a richer flavour from his environment. "They
would be having the life of the poor man for letting a little of
the black blood out of the black heart of that traitor and
blackguard, and may the divil fly away with him! But we'll bate
them yet, and it's yersilf is the one to do it!" he exclaimed in
growing excitement and admiration.
At first Mrs. Fitzpatrick was most reluctant to appear in court.
"Sure, what would I do or say in the face av His 'Anner an' the
joorymin, with niver a word on the tongue av me?"
"And would you let the poor man go to his death?" cried O'Hara,
proceeding to draw a lurid picture of the deadly machinations of
the lawyer for the Crown, Rosenblatt and their associates against
this unfortunate patriot who, for love of his country and for the
honour of his name, had sought to wreak a well-merited vengeance
upon the abject traitor.
Under his vehement eloquence Mrs. Fitzpatrick's Celtic nature
kindled into flame. She would go to the court, and in the face of
Judge and jury and all the rest of them, she would tell them the
kind of man they were about to do to death. Over and over again
O'Hara had her repeat her story, emphasising with adjurations,
oaths and even tears, those passages that his experience told him
would be most effective for his purpose, till he felt sure she
would do full credit to her part.
During the trial the court room was crowded, not only with the
ordinary morbid sensation seekers, but with some of Winnipeg's most
respectable citizens. In one corner of the court room there was
grouped day after day a small company of foreigners. Every man of
Russian blood in the city who could attend, was there. It was
against the prisoner's will and desire, but in accordance with
O'Hara's plan of defence that Paulina and the children should be
present at every session of the court. The proceedings were
conducted through an interpreter where it was necessary, Kalmar
pleading ignorance of the niceties of the English language.
The prisoner was arraigned on the double charge of attempted murder
in the case of Rosenblatt, and of manslaughter in that of the dead
Polak. The evidence of Dr. Wright and of Sergeant Cameron,
corroborated by that of many eyewitnesses, established beyond a
doubt that the wound in Rosenblatt's breast and in the dead Polak's
neck was done by the same instrument, and that instrument the
spring knife discovered in the basement of Paulina's house.
Kalmar, arrayed in his false black beard, was identified by the
Dalmatian and by others as the Polak's partner in the fatal game of
cards. Staunton had little difficulty in establishing the identity
of the black-bearded man who had appeared here and there during the
wedding festivities with Kalmar himself. From the stupid Paulina
he skilfully drew evidence substantiating this fact, and though
this evidence was ruled out on the ground that she was the
prisoner's wife, the effect upon the jury was not lost.
The most damaging testimony was, of course, that offered by
Rosenblatt himself, and this evidence Staunton was clever enough to
use with dramatic effect. Pale, wasted, and still weak, Rosenblatt
told his story to the court in a manner that held the crowd
breathless with horror. Never had such a tale been told to
Canadian ears. The only man unmoved was the prisoner. Throughout
the narrative he maintained an attitude of bored indifference.
It was not in vain, however, that O'Hara sought to weaken the
effect of Rosenblatt's testimony by turning the light upon some
shady spots in his career. In his ruthless "sweating" of the
witness, the lawyer forced the admission that he had once been the
friend of the prisoner; that he had been the unsuccessful suitor of
the prisoner's first wife; that he had been a member of the same
Secret Society in Russia; that he had joined the Secret Service of
the Russian Government and had given evidence leading to the
breaking up of that Society; that he had furnished the information
that led to the prisoner's transportation to Siberia. At this
point O'Hara swiftly changed his ground.
"You have befriended this woman, Paulina Koval?"
"You have, in fact, acted as her financial agent?"
"I have assisted her in her financial arrangements. She cannot
"Whose house does she live in?"
Rosenblatt hesitated. "I am not sure."
"Whose house does she live in?" roared O'Hara, stepping toward him.
"Her own, I think."
"You think!" shouted the lawyer. "You know, don't you? You bought
it for her. You made the first payment upon it, did you not?"
"Yes, I did."
"And since that time you have cashed money orders for her that have
come month by month?"
Again Rosenblatt hesitated. "I have sometimes--"
"Tell the truth!" shouted O'Hara again; "a lie here can be easily
traced. I have the evidence. Did you not cash the money orders
that came month by month addressed to Paulina Koval?"
"I did, with her permission. She made her mark."
"Where did the money go?"
"I gave it to her."
"And what did she do with it?"
"I don't know."
"Did she not give you money from time to time to make payments upon
"Be careful. Let me remind you that there is a law against
perjury. I give you another chance. Did you not receive certain
money to make payments on this house?" O'Hara spoke with terrible
and deliberate emphasis.
"I did, some."
"And did you make these payments?"
"Would you be surprised to know, as I now tell the court, that
since the first payment, made soon after the arrival in the
country, not a dollar further had been paid?"
Rosenblatt was silent.
"Answer me!" roared the lawyer. "Would you be surprised to know
"This surprise is waiting you. Now then, who runs this house?"
"Tell me the truth. Who lets the rooms in this house, and who is
responsible for the domestic arrangements of the house? Tell me,"
said O'Hara, bearing down upon the wretched Rosenblatt.
"Then you are responsible for the conditions under which Paulina
Koval has been forced to live during these three years?"
Rosenblatt was silent.
"That will do," said O'Hara with contempt unspeakable.
He could easily have made more out of his sweating process had not
the prisoner resolutely forbidden any reference to Rosenblatt's
treatment of and relation to the unfortunate Paulina or the
domestic arrangements that he had introduced into that unfortunate
woman's household. Kalmar was rigid in his determination that no
stain should come to his honour in this regard.
With the testimony of each succeeding witness the cloud overhanging
the prisoner grew steadily blacker. The first ray of light came
from an unexpected quarter. It was during the examination of Mrs.
Fitzpatrick that O'Hara got his first opening. It was a master
stroke of strategy on his part that Mrs. Fitzpatrick was made to
appear as a witness for the Crown, for the purpose of establishing
the deplorable and culpable indifference to and neglect of his
family on the part of the prisoner.
Day after day Mrs. Fitzpatrick had appeared in the court, following
the evidence with rising wrath against the Crown, its witnesses,
and all the machinery of prosecution. All unwitting of this
surging tide of indignation in the heart of his witness the Crown
Counsel summoned her to the stand. Mr. Staunton's manner was
"Your name, Madam?" he enquired.
"Me name is it?" replied the witness. "An' don't ye know me name
as well as I do mesilf?"
Mr. Staunton smiled pleasantly. "But the court desires to share
that privilege with me, so perhaps you will be good enough to
inform the court of your name."
"If the court wants me name let the court ask it. An' if you want
to tell the court me name ye can plaze yersilf, fer it's little I
think av a man that'll sit in me house by the hour forninst mesilf
an' me husband there, and then let on before the court that he
doesn't know the name av me."
"Why, my dear Madam," said the lawyer soothingly, "it is a mere
matter of form that you should tell the court your name."
"A matter o' form, is it? Indade, an' it's mighty poor form it is,
if ye ask my opinion, which ye don't, an' it's mighty poor manners."
At this point the judge interposed.
"Come, come," he said, "what is your name? I suppose you are not
ashamed of it?"
"Ashamed av it, Yer 'Anner!" said Mrs. Fitzpatrick, with an
elaborate bow to the judge, "ashamed av it! There's niver a shame
goes with the name av Fitzpatrick!"
"Your name is Fitzpatrick?"
"It is, Yer 'Anner. Mistress Timothy Fitzpatrick, Monaghan that
was, the Monaghans o' Ballinghalereen, which I'm sure Yer 'Anner'll
have heard of, fer the intilligent man ye are."
"Mrs. Timothy Fitzpatrick," said the judge, with the suspicion of a
smile, writing the name down. "And your first name?"
"Me Christian name is it? Ah, thin, Judge dear, wud ye be wantin'
that too?" smiling at him in quite a coquettish manner. "Sure, if
ye had had the good taste an' good fortune to be born in the County
Mayo ye wudn't nade to be askin' the name av Nora Monaghan o'
The judge's face was now in a broad smile.
"Nora Fitzpatrick," he said, writing the name down. "Let us
"Well, Mrs. Fitzpatrick," said the counsel for the Crown, "will you
kindly look at the prisoner?"
Mrs. Fitzpatrick turned square about and let her eyes rest upon the
prisoner's pale face.
"I will that," said she, "an' there's many another I'd like to see
in his place."
"Do you know him?"
"I do that. An' a finer gintleman I niver saw, savin' Yer 'Anner's
prisence," bowing to the judge.
"Oh, indeed! A fine gentleman? And how do you know that, Mrs.
"How do I know a gintleman, is it? Sure, it's by the way he trates
"Ah," said the lawyer with a most courteous bow, "that is a most
excellent test. And what do you know of this--ah--this gentleman's
manners with ladies?"
"An' don't I know how he trates mesilf? He's not wan to fergit a
lady's name, you may lay to that."
"Oh, indeed, he has treated you in a gentlemanly manner?"
"And do you think this is his usual manner with ladies?"
"I do," said Mrs. Fitzpatrick with great emphasis. "A gintleman, a
rale gintleman, is the same to a lady wheriver he mates her, an'
the same to ladies whativer they be."
"Mrs. Fitzpatrick," said Mr. Staunton, "you have evidently a most
excellent taste in gentlemen."
"I have that same," she replied. "An' I know thim that are no
gintlemen," she continued with meaning emphasis, "whativer their
clothes may be."
A titter ran through the court room.
"Silence in the court!" shouted the crier.
"Now, Mrs. Fitzpatrick," proceeded Mr. Staunton, taking a firmer
tone, "you say the prisoner is a gentleman."
"I do. An' I can tell ye--"
"Wait, Mrs. Fitzpatrick. Wait a moment. Do you happen to know his
"I don't know."
"You don't know his wife?"
"Perhaps I do if you say so."
"But, my good woman, I don't say so. Do you know his wife, or do
you not know his wife?"
"I don't know."
"What do you mean?" said Mr. Staunton impatiently. "Do you mean
that you have no acquaintance with the wife of the prisoner?"
"What do you mean by might?"
"Aw now," remonstrated Mrs. Fitzpatrick, "sure, ye wouldn't be
askin' a poor woman like me the manin' av a word like that."
"Now, Mrs. Fitzpatrick, let us get done with this fooling. Tell me
whether you know the prisoner's wife or not."
"Indade, an' the sooner yer done the better I'd like it."
"Well, then, tell me. You either know the prisoner's wife or you
don't know her?"
"That's as may be," said Mrs. Fitzpatrick.
"Then tell me," thundered Staunton, losing all patience, "do you
know this woman or not?" pointing to Paulina.
"That woman is it?" said Mrs. Fitzpatrick. "An' why didn't ye save
yer breath an' His 'Anner's time, not to shpake av me own that has
to work fer me daily bread, by askin' me long ago if I know this
"Well, do you know her?"
"Then why did you not say so before when I asked you?" said the
"I did," said Mrs. Fitzpatrick calmly.
"Did you not say that you did not know the wife of the prisoner?"
"I did not," said Mrs. Fitzpatrick.
By this time the whole audience, including the judge, were
indulging themselves in a wide open smile.
"Well, Mrs. Fitzpatrick," at length said the lawyer, "I must be
decidedly stupid, for I fail to understand you."
"Indade, I'll not be contradictin' ye, fer it's yersilf ought to
know best about that," replied Mrs. Fitzpatrick pleasantly.
A roar of laughter filled the court room.
"Silence in the court! We must have order," said the judge,
recovering his gravity with such celerity as he could. "Go on, Mr.
"Well, Mrs. Fitzpatrick, I understand that you know this woman,
"It's mesilf that's plazed to hear it."
"And I suppose you know that she is the prisoner's wife?"
"An' why wud ye be afther supposin' such a thing?"
"Well! well! Do you know it?"
"Do I know what?"
"Do you know that this woman, Paulina Koval, is the wife of the
"She might be."
"Oh, come now, Mrs. Fitzpatrick, we are not splitting hairs. You
know perfectly well that this woman is the prisoner's wife."
"Indade, an' it's the cliver man ye are to know what I know better
than I know mesilf."
"Well, well," said Mr. Staunton impatiently, "will you say that you
do not consider this woman the prisoner's wife?"
"I will not," replied Mrs. Fitzpatrick emphatically, "any more than
I won't say she's yer own."
"Well, well, let us get on. Let us suppose that this woman is his
wife. How did the prisoner treat this woman?"
"An' how should he trate her?"
"Did he support her?"
"An' why should he, with her havin' two hands av her own?"
"Well now, Mrs. Fitzpatrick, surely you will say that it was a case
of cruel neglect on the part of the prisoner that he should leave
her to care for herself and her children, a stranger in a strange
"Indade, it's not fer me to be runnin' down the counthry,"
exclaimed Mrs. Fitzpatrick. "Sure, it's a good land, an' a foine
counthry it is to make a livin' in," she continued with a glow of
enthusiasm, "an' it's mesilf that knows it."
"Oh, the country is all right," said Mr. Staunton impatiently; "but
did not this man abandon his wife?"
"An' if he's the man ye think he is wudn't she be the better quit
The lawyer had reached the limit of his patience.
"Well, well, Mrs. Fitzpatrick, we will leave the wife alone. But
what of his treatment of the children?"
"The childer?" exclaimed Mrs. Fitzpatrick, "the childer, is it?
Man dear, but he's the thrue gintleman an' the tinder-hearted
father fer his childer, an' so he is."
"Oh, indeed, Mrs. Fitzpatrick. I am sure we shall all be delighted
to hear this. But you certainly have strange views of a father's
duty toward his children. Now will you tell the court upon what
ground you would extol his parental virtues?"
"Faix, it's niver a word I've said about his parental virtues, or
any other kind o' virtues. I was talkin' about his childer."
"Well, then, perhaps you would be kind enough to tell the court
what reason you have for approving his treatment of his children?"
Mrs. Fitzpatrick's opportunity had arrived. She heaved a great
sigh, and with some deliberation began.
"Och! thin, an' it's just terrible heart-rendin' an' so it is. An'
it's mesilf that can shpake, havin' tin av me own, forby three
that's dead an' gone, God rest their sowls! an' four that's
married, an' the rest all doin' well fer thimsilves. Indade, it's
mesilf that has the harrt fer the childer. You will be havin'
childer av yer own," she added confidentially to the lawyer.
A shout of laughter filled the court room, for Staunton was a
confirmed and notorious old bachelor.
"I have the bad fortune, Mrs. Fitzpatrick, to be a bachelor," he
replied, red to the ears.
"Man dear, but it's hard upon yez, but it's Hivin's mercy fer yer
The laughter that followed could with difficulty be suppressed by
the court crier.
"Go on, Mrs. Fitzpatrick, go on with your tale," said Staunton, who
had frankly joined in the laugh against himself.
"I will that," said Mrs. Fitzpatrick with emphasis. "Where was I?
The man an' his childer. Sure, I'll tell Yer 'Anner." Here she
turned to the judge. "Fer he," with a jerk of her thumb towards
the lawyer, "knows nothin' about the business at all, at all. It
was wan night he came to me house askin' to see his childer. The
night o' the dance, Yer 'Anner. As I was sayin', he came to me
house where the childer was, askin' to see thim, an' him without a
look o' thim fer years. An' did they know him?" Mrs. Fitzpatrick's
voice took a tragic tone. "Not a hair av thim. Not at the first.
Ah, but it was the harrt-rendin' scene, with not a house nor a home
fer him to come till, an' him sendin' the money ivery month to pay
fer it. But where it's gone, it's not fer me to say. There's some
in this room" (here she regarded Rosenblatt with a steady eye),
"might know more about that money an' what happened till it, than
they know about Hivin. Ah, but as I was sayin', it wud melt the
harrt av a Kerry steer, that's first cousin to the goats on the
hills fer wildness, to see the way he tuk thim an' held thim, an'
wailed over thim, the tinder harrt av him! Fer only wan small hour
or two could he shtay wid thim, an' then aff to that haythen
counthry agin that gave him birth. An' the way he suffered fer that
same, poor dear! An' the beautiful wife he lost! Hivin be kind to
her! Not her," following the judge's glance toward Paulina, "but an
angel that need niver feel shame to shtand befure the blissid
Payther himsilf, wid the blue eyes an' the golden hair in the picter
he carries nixt his harrt, the saints have pity on him! An' how he
suffered fer the good cause! Och hone! it breaks me harrt!" Here
Mrs. Fitzpatrick paused to wipe away her tears.
"But, Mrs. Fitzpatrick," interrupted Mr. Staunton, "this is all
very fine, but what has this to do--"
"Tut! man, isn't it that same I'm tellin' ye?" And on she went,
going back to the scene she had witnessed in her own room between
Kalmar and his children, and describing the various dramatis
personae and the torrential emotions that had swept their hearts
in that scene of final parting between father and children.
Again and again Staunton sought to stay her eloquence, but with a
majestic wave of her hand she swept him aside, and with a wealth of
metaphor and an unbroken flow of passionate, tear-bedewed rhetoric
that Staunton himself might well envy, she held the court under her
sway. Many of the women present were overcome with emotion.
O'Hara openly wiped away his tears, keeping an anxious eye the
while upon the witness and waiting the psychological moment for the
arresting of her tale.
The moment came when Mrs. Fitzpatrick's emotions rendered her
speechless. With a great show of sympathy, Mr. O'Hara approached
the witness, and offering her a glass of water, found opportunity
to whisper, "Not another word, on your soul."
"Surely," he said, appealing to the judge in a voice trembling with
indignant feeling, "my learned friend will not further harass this
"Let her go, in Heaven's name," said Staunton testily; "we want no
more of her."
"So I should suppose," replied O'Hara drily.
With Mrs. Fitzpatrick, the case for the Crown was closed. To the
surprise of all, and especially of the Counsel for the Crown,
O'Hara called no witnesses and offered no evidence in rebuttal of
that before the court. This made it necessary for Staunton to go
on at once with his final address to the jury.
Seldom in all his experience had he appeared to such poor advantage
as on that day. The court was still breathing the atmosphere of
Mrs. Fitzpatrick's rude and impassioned appeal. The lawyer was
still feeling the sting of his humiliating failure with his star
witness, and O'Hara's unexpected move surprised and flustered him,
old hand as he was. With halting words and without his usual
assurance, he reviewed the evidence and asked for a conviction on
With O'Hara it was quite otherwise. It was in just such a
desperate situation that he was at his best. The plight of the
prisoner, lonely, beaten and defenceless, appealed to his chivalry.
Then, too, O'Hara, by blood and tradition, was a revolutionist.
In every "rising" during the last two hundred years of Ireland's
struggles, some of his ancestors had carried a pike or trailed a
musket, and the rebel blood in him cried sympathy with the Nihilist
in his devotion to a hopeless cause. And hence the passion and the
almost tearful vehemence that he threw into his final address were
something more than professional.
With great skill he took his cue from the evidence of the last
witness. He drew a picture of the Russian Nihilist hunted like
"a partridge on the mountains," seeking for himself and his
compatriots a home and safety in this land of liberty. With
vehement scorn he told the story of the base treachery of
Rosenblatt, "a Government spy, a thief, a debaucher of women, and
were I permitted, gentlemen, I could unfold a tale in this
connection such as would wring your hearts with grief and
indignation. But my client will not permit that the veil be drawn
from scenes that would bring shame to the honoured name he wears."
With consummate art the lawyer turned the minds of the jury from
the element of personal vengeance in the crime committed to that of
retribution for political infidelity, till under his manipulation
the prisoner was made to appear in the role of patriot and martyr
doomed to suffer for his devotion to his cause.
"But, gentlemen, though I might appeal to your passions, I scorn to
do so. I urge you to weigh calmly, deliberately, as cool, level-
headed Canadians, the evidence produced by the prosecution. A
crime has been committed, a most revolting crime,--one man killed,
another seriously wounded. But what is the nature of this crime?
Has it been shown either to be murder or attempted murder? You
must have noticed, gentlemen, how utterly the prosecution has
failed to establish any such charge. The suggestion of murder
comes solely from the man who has so deeply wronged and has pursued
with such deadly venom the unfortunate prisoner at the bar. This
man, after betraying the cause of freedom, after wrecking the
prisoner's home and family, after proving traitor to every trust
imposed in him, now seeks to fasten upon his victim this horrid
crime of murder. His is the sole evidence. What sort of man is
this upon whose unsupported testimony you are asked to send a
fellow human being to the scaffold? Think calmly, gentlemen, is he
such a man as you can readily believe? Is his highly coloured
story credible? Are you so gullible as to be taken in with this
melodrama? Gentlemen, I know you, I know my fellow citizens too
well to think that you will be so deceived.
"Now what are the facts, the bare facts, the cold facts, gentlemen?
And we are here to deal with facts. Here they are. There is a
wedding. My learned friend is not interested in weddings, not
perhaps as much interested as he should be, and as such apparently,
he excites the pity of his friends."
This sally turned all eyes towards Mrs. Fitzpatrick, and a broad
smile spread over the court.
"There is a wedding, as I was saying. Unhappily the wedding feast,
as is too often the case with our foreign citizens, degenerates
into a drunken brawl. It is a convenient occasion for paying off
old scores. There is general melee, a scrap, in short. Suddenly
these two men come face to face, their passions inflamed. On the
one hand there is a burning sense of wrong, on the other an
unquenchable hate. For, gentlemen, remember, the man that hates
you most venomously is the man who has wronged you most deeply.
These two meet. There is a fight. When all is over, one man is
found dead, another with a wound in his breast. But who struck the
first blow? None can tell. We are absolutely without evidence
upon this point. In regard to the Polak, all that can be said is
this, that it was a most unfortunate occurrence. The attempt to
connect the prisoner with this man's death has utterly failed. In
regard to the man Rosenblatt, dismissing his absurdly tragic story,
what evidence has been brought before this court that there was any
deliberate attempt at murder? A blow was struck, but by whom? No
one knows. What was the motive? Was it in self-defence warding
off some murderous attack? No one can say. I have as much right
to believe that this was the case, as any man to believe the
contrary. Indeed, from what we know of the character of this
wretched traitor and thief, it is not hard to believe that the
attack upon this stranger would come from him."
And so O'Hara proceeded with his most extraordinary defence.
Theory after theory he advanced, quoting instance after instance of
extraordinary killings that were discovered to be accidental or in
self-defense, till with the bewildered jury no theory explanatory
of the crime committed in the basement of Paulina's house was too
fantastic to be considered possible.
In his closing appeal O'Hara carried the jury back to the point
from which he had set out. With tears in his voice he recounted
the scene of the parting between the prisoner and his children. He
drew a harrowing picture of the unhappy fate of wife and children
left defenceless and in poverty to become the prey of such men as
Rosenblatt. He drew a vivid picture of that age-long struggle for
freedom carried on by the down-trodden peasantry of Russia, and
closed with a tremendous appeal to them as fathers, as lovers of
liberty, as fair-minded, reasonable men to allow the prisoner the
full benefit of the many doubts gathering round the case for the
prosecution, and set him free.
It was a magnificent effort. Never in all his career as a criminal
lawyer had O'Hara made so brilliant an attempt to lift a desperate
case from the region of despair into that of hope. The effect of
his address was plainly visible upon the jury and, indeed, upon the
whole audience in the court room.
The judge's charge did much to clear the atmosphere, and to bring
the jury back to the cold, calm air of Canadian life and feeling;
but in the jury room the emotions and passions aroused by O'Hara's
address were kindled again, and the result reflected in no small
degree their influence.
The verdict acquitted the prisoner of the charge of manslaughter,
but found him guilty on the count of attempted murder. The
verdict, however, was tempered with a strong recommendation to
"Have you anything to say?" asked the judge before pronouncing
Kalmar, who had been deeply impressed by the judge's manner during
his charge to the jury, searched his face a moment and then, as if
abandoning all hope of mercy, drew himself erect and in his stilted
English said: "Your Excellency, I make no petition for mercy. Let
the criminal make such a plea. I stand convicted of crime, but I
am no criminal. The traitor, the thief, the liar, the murderer,
the criminal, sits there." As he spoke the word, he swung sharply
about and stood with outstretched arm and finger pointing to
Rosenblatt. "I stand here the officer of vengeance. I have
failed. Vengeance will not fail. The day is coming when it will
strike." Then turning his face toward the group of foreigners at
the back of the room he raised his voice and in a high monotone
chanted a few sentences in the Russian tongue.
The effect was tremendous. Every Russian could be picked out by
his staring eyes and pallid face. There was a moment's silence,
then a hissing sound as of the breath drawn sharply inward,
followed by a murmur hoarse and inhuman, not good to hear.
Rosenblatt trembled, started to his feet, vainly tried to speak.
His lips refused to frame words, and he sank back speechless.
"What the deuce was he saying?" enquired O'Hara of the Interpreter
after the judge had pronounced his solemn sentence.
"He was putting to them," said the Interpreter in an awed whisper,
"the Nihilist oath of death."
"By Jove! Good thing the judge didn't understand. The bloody fool
would have spoiled all my fine work. He would have got a life term
instead of fourteen years. He's got enough, though, poor chap. I
wish to Heaven the other fellow had got it."
As the prisoner turned with the officer to leave the dock, a wild
sobbing fell upon his ear. It was Paulina. Kalmar turned to the
"Is it permitted that I see my children before--before I depart?"
"Certainly," said the judge quickly. "Your wife and children and
your friends may visit you at a convenient hour to-morrow."
Kalmar bowed with grave courtesy and walked away.
Beside the sobbing Paulina sat the children, pale and bewildered.
"Where is my father going?" asked the boy in Russian.
"Alas! alas! We shall see him no more!" sobbed Paulina.
Quickly the boy's voice rang out, shrill with grief and terror,
"Father! father! Come back!"
The prisoner, who was just disappearing through the door, stopped,
turned about, his pale face convulsed with a sudden agony. He took
a step toward his son, who had run toward the bar after him.
"My son, be brave," he said in a voice audible throughout the room.
"Be brave. I shall see you to-morrow."
He waved his hand toward his son, turned again and passed out with
Through the staring crowd came a little lady with white hair and a
face pale and chastened into sweetness.
"Let me come with you," she said to Paulina, while the tears
coursed down her cheeks.
The Galician woman understood not a word, but the touch upon her
arm, the tone in the voice, the flowing tears were a language she
could understand. Paulina raised her dull, tear-dimmed eyes, and
for a brief moment gazed into the pale face above her, then without
further word rose and, followed by her children, accompanied the
little lady from the room, the crowd making respectful way before
the pathetic group.
"Say, O'Hara, there are still angels going about," said young Dr.
Wright, following the group with his eyes.
"Be Hivin!" replied the tender-hearted Irishman, his eyes suddenly
dim, "there's wan annyway, and Margaret French is the first two
letters of her name."
THE PRICE OF VENGEANCE
Dr. Wright's telephone rang early next morning. The doctor was
prompt to respond. His practice had not yet reached the stage that
rendered the telephone a burden. His young wife stood beside him,
listening with eager hope in her wide-open brown eyes.
"Yes," said the doctor. "Oh, it's you. Delighted to hear your
ring." "No, not so terribly. The rush doesn't begin till later in
the day." "Not at all. What can I do for you?" "Certainly,
delighted." "What? Right away?" "Well, say within an hour."
"Who is it?" asked his wife, as the doctor hung up the phone. "A
"No such luck," replied the doctor. "This has been a frightfully
healthy season. But the spring promises a very satisfactory
"Who is it?" said his wife again, impatiently.
"Your friend Mrs. French, inviting me to an expedition into the
"Oh!" She could not keep the disappointment out of her tone. "I
think Mrs. French might call some of the other doctors."
"So she does, lots of them. And most of them stand ready to obey
"Well," said the little woman at his side, "I think you are going
too much among those awful people."
"Awful people?" exclaimed the doctor. "It's awfully good practice,
I know. That is, in certain lines. I can't say there is very much
variety. When a really good thing occurs, it is whisked off to the
hospital and the big guns get it."
"Well, I don't like your going so much," persisted his wife. "Some
day you will get hurt."
"Hurt?" exclaimed the doctor. "Me?"
"Oh, I know you think nothing can hurt you. But a bullet or a
knife can do for you as well as for any one else. Supposing that
terrible man--what's his name?--Kalmar--had struck you instead of
the Polak, where would you be?"
"The question is, where would he be?" said the doctor with a smile.
"As for Kalmar, he's not too bad a sort; at least there are others
a little worse. I shouldn't be surprised if that fellow Rosenblatt
got only a little less than he deserved. Certainly O'Hara let in
some light upon his moral ulcers."
"Well, I wish you would drop them, anyway," continued his wife.
"No, you don't," said the doctor. "You know quite well that you
would root me out of bed any hour of the night to see any of their
kiddies that happened to have a pain in their little tumtums.
Between you and Mrs. French I haven't a moment to devote to my
large and growing practice."
"What does she want now?" It must be confessed that her tone was
"Mrs. French has succeeded in getting the excellent Mrs. Blazowski
to promise for the tenth time, I believe, to allow some one,
preferably myself, to take her eczematic children to the hospital."
"Well, she won't."
"I think it is altogether likely. But why do you think so?"
"Because you have tried before."
"Well, Mrs. French has, and you were with her."
"That is correct. But to-day I shall adopt new tactics. Mrs.
French's flank movements have broken down. I shall carry the
position with a straight frontal attack. And I shall succeed.
If not, my dear, that little fur tippet thing which you have so
resolutely refused to let your eyes rest upon as we pass the
Hudson's Bay, is yours."
"I don't want it a bit," said his wife. "And you know we can't
"Don't you worry, little girl," said the doctor cheerfully,
"practice is looking up. My name is getting into the papers. A
few more foreign weddings with attendant killings and I shall be
At the Blazowski shack Mrs. French was waiting the doctor, and in
despair. A crowd of children appeared to fill the shack and
overflow through the door into the sunny space outside, on the
sheltered side of the house.
The doctor made his way through them and passed into the evil-
smelling, filthy room. For Mrs. Blazowski found it a task beyond
her ability to perform the domestic duties attaching to the care of
seven children and a like number of boarders in her single room.
Mrs. French was seated on a stool with a little child of three
years upon her knee.
"Doctor, don't you think that these children ought to go to the
hospital to-day?" she said, as the doctor entered.
"Why, sure thing; they must go. Let's look at them."
He tried to take the little child from Mrs. French's knee, but the
little one vehemently objected.
"Well, let's look at you, anyway," said the doctor, proceeding to
unwind some filthy rags from the little one's head. "Great Scott!"
he exclaimed in a low voice, "this is truly awful!"
The hair was matted with festering scabs. The ears, the eyes, the
fingers were full of running sores.
"I had no idea this thing had gone so far," he said in a horrified
"What is it?" said Mrs. French. "Is it--"
"No, not itch. It is the industrious and persevering eczema
pusculosum, known to the laity as salt rheum of the domestic
"It has certainly got worse this last week," said Mrs. French.
"Well, this can't go on another day, and I can't treat her here.
She must go. Tell your mother," said the doctor in a decided tone
to a little girl of thirteen who stood near.
Mrs. Blazowski threw up her hands with voluble protestation. "She
says they will not go. She put grease on and make them all right."
"Grease!" exclaimed the doctor. "I should say so, and a good many
other things too! Why, the girl's head is alive with them!
Heavens above!" said the doctor, turning to Mrs. French, "she's
running over with vermin! Let's see the other."
He turned to a girl of five, whose head and face were even more
seriously affected with the dread disease.
"Why, bless my soul! This girl will lose her eyesight! Now look
here, these children must go to the hospital, and must go now.
Tell your mother what I say."
Again the little girl translated, and again the mother made
"What does she say?"
"She say she not let them go. She fix them herself. Fix them all
"Perhaps we better wait, Doctor," interposed Mrs. French. "I'll
talk to her and we'll try another day."
"No," said the doctor, catching up a shawl and wrapping around the
little girl, "she's going with me now. There will be a scrap, and
you will have to get in. I'll back you up."
As the doctor caught up the little child, the mother shouted, "No,
no! Not go!"
"I say yes," said the doctor; "I'll get a policeman and put you all
in prison. Tell her."
The threat made no impression upon the mother. On the contrary, as
the doctor moved toward the door she seized a large carving-knife
and threw herself before him. For a moment or two they stood
facing each other, the doctor uncertain what his next move should
be, but determined that his plan should not fail this time. It was
Mrs. French who interposed. With a smile she laid her hand upon
the mother's arm.
"Tell her," she said to the little girl, "that I will go with the
children, and I promise that no hurt shall come to them. And I
will bring them back again safe. Your mother can come and see them
to-morrow--to-day. The hospital is a lovely place. They will have
nice toys, dolls, and nice things to eat, and we'll make them
Rapidly, almost breathlessly, and with an eager smile on her
sweet face, Mrs. French went on to describe the advantages and
attractions of the hospital, pausing only to allow the little girl
At length the mother relented, her face softened. She stepped from
the door, laying down her knife upon the table, moved not by the
glowing picture of Mrs. French's words, but by the touch upon her
arm and the face that smiled into hers. Once more the mother
"Will you go too?" interpreted the little girl.
"Yes, surely. I go too," she replied.
This brought the mother's final surrender. She seized Mrs.
French's hand, and bursting into loud weeping, kissed it again and
again. Mrs. French put her arms around the weeping woman, and
unshrinking, kissed the tear-stained, dirty face. Dr. Wright
looked on in admiring silence.
"You are a dead sport," he said. "I can't play up to that; but you
excite my ambition. Get a shawl around the other kiddie and come
along, or I'll find myself kissing the bunch."
Once more he started toward the door, but the mother was before
him, talking and gesticulating.
"What's the row now?" said the doctor, turning to the little
"She says she must dress them, make them clean."
"It's a big order," said the doctor, "but I submit."
With great energy Mrs. Blazowski proceeded to prepare her children
for their momentous venture into the world. The washing process
was simple enough. From the dish-pan which stood upon the hearth
half full of dirty water and some of the breakfast dishes, she took
a greasy dish-cloth, wrung it out carefully, and with it proceeded
to wash, not untenderly, the festering heads, faces and fingers of
her children, resorting from time to time to the dishpan for a
fresh supply of water. This done, she carefully dried the parts
thus diligently washed with the handkerchief which she usually wore
about her head. Then pinning shawls about their heads, she had
her children ready for their departure, and gave them into Mrs.
French's charge, sobbing aloud as if she might never see them more.
"Well," said the doctor, as he drove rapidly away, "we're well out
of that. I was just figuring what sort of hold would be most fatal
to the old lady when you interposed."
"Poor thing!" said Mrs. French. "They're very fond of their
children, these Galicians, and they're so suspicious of us. They
don't know any better."
As they passed Paulina's house, the little girl Irma ran out from
"My mother want you very bad," she said to Mrs. French.
"Tell her I'll come in this afternoon," said Mrs. French.
"She want you now," replied Irma, with such a look of anxiety upon
her face that Mrs. French was constrained to say, "Wait one moment,
Doctor. I'll see what it is. I shall not keep you."
She ran into the house, followed by the little girl. The room was
full of men who stood about in stolid but not unsympathetic
silence, gazing upon Paulina, who appeared to be prostrated with
grief. Beside her stood the lad Kalman, the picture of desolation.
"What is it?" cried Mrs. French, running to her. "Tell me what is
Irma told the story. Early that morning they had gone to the jail,
but after waiting for hours they were refused admission by the
"A very cross man send us away," said the girl. "He say he put us
in jail too. We can see our fadder no more."
Her words were followed by a new outburst of grief on the part of
Paulina and the two children.
"But the Judge said you were to see him," said Mrs. French in
surprise. "Wait for me," she added.
She ran out and told the doctor in indignant words what had taken
place, a red spot glowing in each white cheek.
"Isn't it a shame?" she cried when she had finished her story.
"Oh, it's something about prison rules and regulations, I guess,"
said the doctor.
"Prison rules!" exclaimed Mrs. French with wrath rare in her.
"I'll go straight to the Judge myself."
"Get in," said the doctor, taking up the lines.
"Where are you going? We can't leave these poor things in this
way," the tears gathering in her eyes and her voice beginning to
"Not much," said the doctor briskly; "we are evidently in for
another scrap. I don't know where you will land me finally, but
I'm game to follow your lead. We'll go to the jail."
Mrs. French considered a moment. "Let us first take these children
to the hospital and then we shall meet Paulina at the jail."
"All right," said the doctor, "tell them so. I am at your