Part 1 out of 3
Transcribed by David Price, email email@example.com
The Strength of the Strong
The Strength of the Strong
South of the Slot
The Unparalleled Invasion
The Enemy of All the World
The Dream of Debs
THE STRENGTH OF THE STRONG
"Parables don't lie, but liars will parable."--Lip-King.
Old Long-Beard paused in his narrative, licked his greasy fingers,
and wiped them on his naked sides where his one piece of ragged
bearskin failed to cover him. Crouched around him, on their hams,
were three young men, his grandsons, Deer-Runner, Yellow-Head, and
Afraid-of-the-Dark. In appearance they were much the same. Skins
of wild animals partly covered them. They were lean and meagre of
build, narrow-hipped and crooked-legged, and at the same time deep-
chested, with heavy arms and enormous hands. There was much hair
on their chests and shoulders, and on the outsides of their arms
and legs. Their heads were matted with uncut hair, long locks of
which often strayed before their eyes, beady and black and
glittering like the eyes of birds. They were narrow between the
eyes and broad between the cheeks, while their lower jaws were
projecting and massive.
It was a night of clear starlight, and below them, stretching away
remotely, lay range on range of forest-covered hills. In the
distance the heavens were red from the glow of a volcano. At their
backs yawned the black mouth of a cave, out of which, from time to
time, blew draughty gusts of wind. Immediately in front of them
blazed a fire. At one side, partly devoured, lay the carcass of a
bear, with about it, at a respectable distance, several large dogs,
shaggy and wolf-like. Beside each man lay his bow and arrows and a
huge club. In the cave-mouth a number of rude spears leaned
against the rock.
"So that was how we moved from the cave to the tree," old Long-
Beard spoke up.
They laughed boisterously, like big children, at recollection of a
previous story his words called up. Long-Beard laughed, too, the
five-inch bodkin of bone, thrust midway through the cartilage of
his nose, leaping and dancing and adding to his ferocious
appearance. He did not exactly say the words recorded, but he made
animal-like sounds with his mouth that meant the same thing.
"And that is the first I remember of the Sea Valley," Long-Beard
went on. "We were a very foolish crowd. We did not know the
secret of strength. For, behold, each family lived by itself, and
took care of itself. There were thirty families, but we got no
strength from one another. We were in fear of each other all the
time. No one ever paid visits. In the top of our tree we built a
grass house, and on the platform outside was a pile of rocks, which
were for the heads of any that might chance to try to visit us.
Also, we had our spears and arrows. We never walked under the
trees of the other families, either. My brother did, once, under
old Boo-oogh's tree, and he got his head broken and that was the
end of him.
"Old Boo-oogh was very strong. It was said he could pull a grown
man's head right off. I never heard of him doing it, because no
man would give him a chance. Father wouldn't. One day, when
father was down on the beach, Boo-oogh took after mother. She
couldn't run fast, for the day before she had got her leg clawed by
a bear when she was up on the mountain gathering berries. So Boo-
oogh caught her and carried her up into his tree. Father never got
her back. He was afraid. Old Boo-oogh made faces at him.
"But father did not mind. Strong-Arm was another strong man. He
was one of the best fishermen. But one day, climbing after sea-
gull eggs, he had a fall from the cliff. He was never strong after
that. He coughed a great deal, and his shoulders drew near to each
other. So father took Strong-Arm's wife. When he came around and
coughed under our tree, father laughed at him and threw rocks at
him. It was our way in those days. We did not know how to add
strength together and become strong."
"Would a brother take a brother's wife?" Deer-Runner demanded.
"Yes, if he had gone to live in another tree by himself."
"But we do not do such things now," Afraid-of-the-Dark objected.
"It is because I have taught your fathers better." Long-Beard
thrust his hairy paw into the bear meat and drew out a handful of
suet, which he sucked with a meditative air. Again he wiped his
hands on his naked sides and went on. "What I am telling you
happened in the long ago, before we knew any better."
"You must have been fools not to know better," was Deer-Runner's
comment, Yellow-Head grunting approval.
"So we were, but we became bigger fools, as you shall see. Still,
we did learn better, and this was the way of it. We Fish-Eaters
had not learned to add our strength until our strength was the
strength of all of us. But the Meat-Eaters, who lived across the
divide in the Big Valley, stood together, hunted together, fished
together, and fought together. One day they came into our valley.
Each family of us got into its own cave and tree. There were only
ten Meat-Eaters, but they fought together, and we fought, each
family by itself."
Long-Beard counted long and perplexedly on his fingers.
"There were sixty men of us," was what he managed to say with
fingers and lips combined. "And we were very strong, only we did
not know it. So we watched the ten men attack Boo-oogh's tree. He
made a good fight, but he had no chance. We looked on. When some
of the Meat-Eaters tried to climb the tree, Boo-oogh had to show
himself in order to drop stones on their heads, whereupon the other
Meat-Eaters, who were waiting for that very thing, shot him full of
arrows. And that was the end of Boo-oogh.
"Next, the Meat-Eaters got One-Eye and his family in his cave.
They built a fire in the mouth and smoked him out, like we smoked
out the bear there to-day. Then they went after Six-Fingers, up
his tree, and, while they were killing him and his grown son, the
rest of us ran away. They caught some of our women, and killed two
old men who could not run fast and several children. The women
they carried away with them to the Big Valley.
"After that the rest of us crept back, and, somehow, perhaps
because we were in fear and felt the need for one another, we
talked the thing over. It was our first council--our first real
council. And in that council we formed our first tribe. For we
had learned the lesson. Of the ten Meat-Eaters, each man had had
the strength of ten, for the ten had fought as one man. They had
added their strength together. But of the thirty families and the
sixty men of us, we had had the strength of but one man, for each
had fought alone.
"It was a great talk we had, and it was hard talk, for we did not
have the words then as now with which to talk. The Bug made some
of the words long afterward, and so did others of us make words
from time to time. But in the end we agreed to add our strength
together and to be as one man when the Meat-Eaters came over the
divide to steal our women. And that was the tribe.
"We set two men on the divide, one for the day and one for the
night, to watch if the Meat-Eaters came. These were the eyes of
the tribe. Then, also, day and night, there were to be ten men
awake with their clubs and spears and arrows in their hands, ready
to fight. Before, when a man went after fish, or clams, or gull-
eggs, he carried his weapons with him, and half the time he was
getting food and half the time watching for fear some other man
would get him. Now that was all changed. The men went out without
their weapons and spent all their time getting food. Likewise,
when the women went into the mountains after roots and berries,
five of the ten men went with them to guard them. While all the
time, day and night, the eyes of the tribe watched from the top of
"But troubles came. As usual, it was about the women. Men without
wives wanted other men's wives, and there was much fighting between
men, and now and again one got his head smashed or a spear through
his body. While one of the watchers was on top of the divide,
another man stole his wife, and he came down to fight. Then the
other watcher was in fear that some one would take his wife, and he
came down likewise. Also, there was trouble among the ten men who
carried always their weapons, and they fought five against five,
till some ran away down the coast and the others ran after them.
"So it was that the tribe was left without eyes or guards. We had
not the strength of sixty. We had no strength at all. So we held
a council and made our first laws. I was but a cub at the time,
but I remember. We said that, in order to be strong, we must not
fight one another, and we made a law that when a man killed another
him would the tribe kill. We made another law that whoso stole
another man's wife him would the tribe kill. We said that whatever
man had too great strength, and by that strength hurt his brothers
in the tribe, him would we kill that his strength might hurt no
more. For, if we let his strength hurt, the brothers would become
afraid and the tribe would fall apart, and we would be as weak as
when the Meat-Eaters first came upon us and killed Boo-oogh.
"Knuckle-Bone was a strong man, a very strong man, and he knew not
law. He knew only his own strength, and in the fullness thereof he
went forth and took the wife of Three-Clams. Three-Clams tried to
fight, but Knuckle-Bone clubbed out his brains. Yet had Knuckle-
Bone forgotten that all the men of us had added our strength to
keep the law among us, and him we killed, at the foot of his tree,
and hung his body on a branch as a warning that the law was
stronger than any man. For we were the law, all of us, and no man
was greater than the law.
"Then there were other troubles, for know, O Deer-Runner, and
Yellow-Head, and Afraid-of-the-Dark, that it is not easy to make a
tribe. There were many things, little things, that it was a great
trouble to call all the men together to have a council about. We
were having councils morning, noon, and night, and in the middle of
the night. We could find little time to go out and get food,
because of the councils, for there was always some little thing to
be settled, such as naming two new watchers to take the place of
the old ones on the hill, or naming how much food should fall to
the share of the men who kept their weapons always in their hands
and got no food for themselves.
"We stood in need of a chief man to do these things, who would be
the voice of the council, and who would account to the council for
the things he did. So we named Fith-Fith the chief man. He was a
strong man, too, and very cunning, and when he was angry he made
noises just like that, fith-fith, like a wild-cat.
"The ten men who guarded the tribe were set to work making a wall
of stones across the narrow part of the valley. The women and
large children helped, as did other men, until the wall was strong.
After that, all the families came down out of their caves and trees
and built grass houses behind the shelter of the wall. These
houses were large and much better than the caves and trees, and
everybody had a better time of it because the men had added their
strength together and become a tribe. Because of the wall and the
guards and the watchers, there was more time to hunt and fish and
pick roots and berries; there was more food, and better food, and
no one went hungry. And Three-Legs, so named because his legs had
been smashed when a boy and who walked with a stick--Three-Legs got
the seed of the wild corn and planted it in the ground in the
valley near his house. Also, he tried planting fat roots and other
things he found in the mountain valleys.
"Because of the safety in the Sea Valley, which was because of the
wall and the watchers and the guards, and because there was food in
plenty for all without having to fight for it, many families came
in from the coast valleys on both sides and from the high back
mountains where they had lived more like wild animals than men.
And it was not long before the Sea Valley filled up, and in it were
countless families. But, before this happened, the land, which had
been free to all and belonged to all, was divided up. Three-Legs
began it when he planted corn. But most of us did not care about
the land. We thought the marking of the boundaries with fences of
stone was a foolishness. We had plenty to eat, and what more did
we want? I remember that my father and I built stone fences for
Three-Legs and were given corn in return.
"So only a few got all the land, and Three-Legs got most of it.
Also, others that had taken land gave it to the few that held on,
being paid in return with corn and fat roots, and bear-skins, and
fishes which the farmers got from the fishermen in exchange for
corn. And, the first thing we knew, all the land was gone.
"It was about this time that Fith-Fith died and Dog-Tooth, his son,
was made chief. He demanded to be made chief anyway, because his
father had been chief before him. Also, he looked upon himself as
a greater chief than his father. He was a good chief at first, and
worked hard, so that the council had less and less to do. Then
arose a new voice in the Sea Valley. It was Twisted-Lip. We had
never thought much of him, until he began to talk with the spirits
of the dead. Later we called him Big-Fat, because he ate over-
much, and did no work, and grew round and large. One day Big-Fat
told us that the secrets of the dead were his, and that he was the
voice of God. He became great friends with Dog-Tooth, who
commanded that we should build Big-Fat a grass house. And Big-Fat
put taboos all around this house and kept God inside.
"More and more Dog-Tooth became greater than the council, and when
the council grumbled and said it would name a new chief, Big-Fat
spoke with the voice of God and said no. Also, Three-Legs and the
others who held the land stood behind Dog-Tooth. Moreover, the
strongest man in the council was Sea-Lion, and him the land-owners
gave land to secretly, along with many bearskins and baskets of
corn. So Sea-Lion said that Big-Fat's voice was truly the voice of
God and must be obeyed. And soon afterward Sea-Lion was named the
voice of Dog-Tooth and did most of his talking for him.
"Then there was Little-Belly, a little man, so thin in the middle
that he looked as if he had never had enough to eat. Inside the
mouth of the river, after the sand-bar had combed the strength of
the breakers, he built a big fish-trap. No man had ever seen or
dreamed a fish-trap before. He worked weeks on it, with his son
and his wife, while the rest of us laughed at their labours. But,
when it was done, the first day he caught more fish in it than
could the whole tribe in a week, whereat there was great rejoicing.
There was only one other place in the river for a fish-trap, but,
when my father and I and a dozen other men started to make a very
large trap, the guards came from the big grass-house we had built
for Dog-Tooth. And the guards poked us with their spears and told
us begone, because Little-Belly was going to build a trap there
himself on the word of Sea-Lion, who was the voice of Dog-Tooth.
"There was much grumbling, and my father called a council. But,
when he rose to speak, him the Sea-Lion thrust through the throat
with a spear and he died. And Dog-Tooth and Little-Belly, and
Three-Legs and all that held land said it was good. And Big-Fat
said it was the will of God. And after that all men were afraid to
stand up in the council, and there was no more council.
"Another man, Pig-Jaw, began to keep goats. He had heard about it
as among the Meat-Eaters, and it was not long before he had many
flocks. Other men, who had no land and no fish-traps, and who else
would have gone hungry, were glad to work for Pig-Jaw, caring for
his goats, guarding them from wild dogs and tigers, and driving
them to the feeding pastures in the mountains. In return, Pig-Jaw
gave them goat-meat to eat and goat-skins to wear, and sometimes
they traded the goat-meat for fish and corn and fat roots.
"It was this time that money came to be. Sea-Lion was the man who
first thought of it, and he talked it over with Dog-Tooth and Big-
Fat. You see, these three were the ones that got a share of
everything in the Sea Valley. One basket out of every three of
corn was theirs, one fish out of every three, one goat out of every
three. In return, they fed the guards and the watchers, and kept
the rest for themselves. Sometimes, when a big haul of fish was
made they did not know what to do with all their share. So Sea-
Lion set the women to making money out of shell--little round
pieces, with a hole in each one, and all made smooth and fine.
These were strung on strings, and the strings were called money.
"Each string was of the value of thirty fish, or forty fish, but
the women, who made a string a day, were given two fish each. The
fish came out of the shares of Dog-Tooth, Big-Fat, and Sea-Lion,
which they three did not eat. So all the money belonged to them.
Then they told Three-Legs and the other land-owners that they would
take their share of corn and roots in money, Little-Belly that they
would take their share of fish in money, Pig-Jaw that they would
take their share of goats and cheese in money. Thus, a man who had
nothing, worked for one who had, and was paid in money. With this
money he bought corn, and fish, and meat, and cheese. And Three-
Legs and all owners of things paid Dog-Tooth and Sea-Lion and Big-
Fat their share in money. And they paid the guards and watchers in
money, and the guards and watchers bought their food with the
money. And, because money was cheap, Dog-Tooth made many more men
into guards. And, because money was cheap to make, a number of men
began to make money out of shell themselves. But the guards stuck
spears in them and shot them full of arrows, because they were
trying to break up the tribe. It was bad to break up the tribe,
for then the Meat-Eaters would come over the divide and kill them
"Big-Fat was the voice of God, but he took Broken-Rib and made him
into a priest, so that he became the voice of Big-Fat and did most
of his talking for him. And both had other men to be servants to
them. So, also, did Little-Belly and Three-Legs and Pig-Jaw have
other men to lie in the sun about their grass houses and carry
messages for them and give commands. And more and more were men
taken away from work, so that those that were left worked harder
than ever before. It seemed that men desired to do no work and
strove to seek out other ways whereby men should work for them.
Crooked-Eyes found such a way. He made the first fire-brew out of
corn. And thereafter he worked no more, for he talked secretly
with Dog-Tooth and Big-Fat and the other masters, and it was agreed
that he should be the only one to make fire-brew. But Crooked-Eyes
did no work himself. Men made the brew for him, and he paid them
in money. Then he sold the fire-brew for money, and all men
bought. And many strings of money did he give Dog-Tooth and Sea-
Lion and all of them.
"Big-Fat and Broken-Rib stood by Dog-Tooth when he took his second
wife, and his third wife. They said Dog-Tooth was different from
other men and second only to God that Big-Fat kept in his taboo
house, and Dog-Tooth said so, too, and wanted to know who were they
to grumble about how many wives he took. Dog-Tooth had a big canoe
made, and, many more men he took from work, who did nothing and lay
in the sun, save only when Dog-Tooth went in the canoe, when they
paddled for him. And he made Tiger-Face head man over all the
guards, so that Tiger-Face became his right arm, and when he did
not like a man Tiger-Face killed that man for him. And Tiger-Face,
also, made another man to be his right arm, and to give commands,
and to kill for him.
"But this was the strange thing: as the days went by we who were
left worked harder and harder, and yet did we get less and less to
"But what of the goats and the corn and the fat roots and the fish-
trap?" spoke up Afraid-of-the-Dark, "what of all this? Was there
not more food to be gained by man's work?"
"It is so," Long-Beard agreed. "Three men on the fish-trap got
more fish than the whole tribe before there was a fish-trap. But
have I not said we were fools? The more food we were able to get,
the less food did we have to eat."
"But was it not plain that the many men who did not work ate it all
up?" Yellow-Head demanded.
Long-Beard nodded his head sadly.
"Dog-Tooth's dogs were stuffed with meat, and the men who lay in
the sun and did no work were rolling in fat, and, at the same time,
there were little children crying themselves to sleep with hunger
biting them with every wail."
Deer-Runner was spurred by the recital of famine to tear out a
chunk of bear-meat and broil it on a stick over the coals. This he
devoured with smacking lips, while Long-Beard went on:
"When we grumbled Big-Fat arose, and with the voice of God said
that God had chosen the wise men to own the land and the goats and
the fish-trap, and the fire-brew, and that without these wise men
we would all be animals, as in the days when we lived in trees.
"And there arose one who became a singer of songs for the king.
Him they called the Bug, because he was small and ungainly of face
and limb and excelled not in work or deed. He loved the fattest
marrow bones, the choicest fish, the milk warm from the goats, the
first corn that was ripe, and the snug place by the fire. And
thus, becoming singer of songs to the king, he found a way to do
nothing and be fat. And when the people grumbled more and more,
and some threw stones at the king's grass house, the Bug sang a
song of how good it was to be a Fish-Eater. In his song he told
that the Fish-Eaters were the chosen of God and the finest men God
had made. He sang of the Meat-Eaters as pigs and crows, and sang
how fine and good it was for the Fish-Eaters to fight and die doing
God's work, which was the killing of Meat-Eaters. The words of his
song were like fire in us, and we clamoured to be led against the
Meat-Eaters. And we forgot that we were hungry, and why we had
grumbled, and were glad to be led by Tiger-Face over the divide,
where we killed many Meat-Eaters and were content.
"But things were no better in the Sea Valley. The only way to get
food was to work for Three-Legs or Little-Belly or Pig-Jaw; for
there was no land that a man might plant with corn for himself.
And often there were more men than Three-Legs and the others had
work for. So these men went hungry, and so did their wives and
children and their old mothers. Tiger-Face said they could become
guards if they wanted to, and many of them did, and thereafter they
did no work except to poke spears in the men who did work and who
grumbled at feeding so many idlers.
"And when we grumbled, ever the Bug sang new songs. He said that
Three-Legs and Pig-Jaw and the rest were strong men, and that that
was why they had so much. He said that we should be glad to have
strong men with us, else would we perish of our own worthlessness
and the Meat-Eaters. Therefore, we should be glad to let such
strong men have all they could lay hands on. And Big-Fat and Pig-
Jaw and Tiger-Face and all the rest said it was true.
"'All right,' said Long-Fang, 'then will I, too, be a strong man.'
And he got himself corn, and began to make fire-brew and sell it
for strings of money. And, when Crooked-Eyes complained, Long-Fang
said that he was himself a strong man, and that if Crooked-Eyes
made any more noise he would bash his brains out for him. Whereat
Crooked-Eyes was afraid and went and talked with Three-Legs and
Pig-Jaw. And all three went and talked to Dog-Tooth. And Dog-
Tooth spoke to Sea-Lion, and Sea-Lion sent a runner with a message
to Tiger-Face. And Tiger-Face sent his guards, who burned Long-
Fang's house along with the fire-brew he had made. Also, they
killed him and all his family. And Big-Fat said it was good, and
the Bug sang another song about how good it was to observe the law,
and what a fine land the Sea Valley was, and how every man who
loved the Sea Valley should go forth and kill the bad Meat-Eaters.
And again his song was as fire to us, and we forgot to grumble.
"It was very strange. When Little-Belly caught too many fish, so
that it took a great many to sell for a little money, he threw many
of the fish back into the sea, so that more money would be paid for
what was left. And Three-Legs often let many large fields lie idle
so as to get more money for his corn. And the women, making so
much money out of shell that much money was needed to buy with,
Dog-Tooth stopped the making of money. And the women had no work,
so they took the places of the men. I worked on the fish-trap,
getting a string of money every five days. But my sister now did
my work, getting a string of money for every ten days. The women
worked cheaper, and there was less food, and Tiger-Face said we
should become guards. Only I could not become a guard because I
was lame of one leg and Tiger-Face would not have me. And there
were many like me. We were broken men and only fit to beg for work
or to take care of the babies while the women worked."
Yellow-Head, too, was made hungry by the recital and broiled a
piece of bear-meat on the coals.
"But why didn't you rise up, all of you, and kill Three-Legs and
Pig-Jaw and Big-Fat and the rest and get enough to eat?" Afraid-in-
"Because we could not understand," Long-Beard answered. "There was
too much to think about, and, also, there were the guards sticking
spears into us, and Big-Fat talking about God, and the Bug singing
new songs. And when any man did think right, and said so, Tiger-
Face and the guards got him, and he was tied out to the rocks at
low tide so that the rising waters drowned him.
"It was a strange thing--the money. It was like the Bug's songs.
It seemed all right, but it wasn't, and we were slow to understand.
Dog-Tooth began to gather the money in. He put it in a big pile,
in a grass house, with guards to watch it day and night. And the
more money he piled in the house the dearer money became, so that a
man worked a longer time for a string of money than before. Then,
too, there was always talk of war with the Meat-Eaters, and Dog-
Tooth and Tiger-Face filled many houses with corn, and dried fish,
and smoked goat-meat, and cheese. And with the food, piled there
in mountains the people had not enough to eat. But what did it
matter? Whenever the people grumbled too loudly the Bug sang a new
song, and Big-Fat said it was God's word that we should kill Meat-
Eaters, and Tiger-Face led us over the divide to kill and be
killed. I was not good enough to be a guard and lie fat in the
sun, but, when we made war, Tiger-Face was glad to take me along.
And when we had eaten, all the food stored in the houses we stopped
fighting and went back to work to pile up more food."
"Then were you all crazy," commented Deer-Runner.
"Then were we indeed all crazy," Long-Beard agreed. "It was
strange, all of it. There was Split-Nose. He said everything was
wrong. He said it was true that we grew strong by adding our
strength together. And he said that, when we first formed the
tribe, it was right that the men whose strength hurt the tribe
should be shorn of their strength--men who bashed their brothers'
heads and stole their brothers' wives. And now, he said, the tribe
was not getting stronger, but was getting weaker, because there
were men with another kind of strength that were hurting the tribe-
-men who had the strength of the land, like Three-Legs; who had the
strength of the fish-trap, like Little-Belly; who had the strength
of all the goat-meat, like Pig-Jaw. The thing to do, Split-Nose
said, was to shear these men of their evil strength; to make them
go to work, all of them, and to let no man eat who did not work.
"And the Bug sang another song about men like Split-Nose, who
wanted to go back, and live in trees.
"Yet Split-Nose said no; that he did not want to go back, but
ahead; that they grew strong only as they added their strength
together; and that, if the Fish-Eaters would add their strength to
the Meat-Eaters, there would be no more fighting and no more
watchers and no more guards, and that, with all men working, there
would be so much food that each man would have to work not more
than two hours a day.
"Then the Bug sang again, and he sang that Split-Nose was lazy, and
he sang also the 'Song of the Bees.' It was a strange song, and
those who listened were made mad, as from the drinking of strong
fire-brew. The song was of a swarm of bees, and of a robber wasp
who had come in to live with the bees and who was stealing all
their honey. The wasp was lazy and told them there was no need to
work; also, he told them to make friends with the bears, who were
not honey-stealers but only very good friends. And the Bug sang in
crooked words, so that those who listened knew that the swarm was
the Sea Valley tribe, that the bears were the Meat-Eaters, and that
the lazy wasp was Split-Nose. And when the Bug sang that the bees
listened to the wasp till the swarm was near to perishing, the
people growled and snarled, and when the Bug sang that at last the
good bees arose and stung the wasp to death, the people picked up
stones from the ground and stoned Split-Nose to death till there
was naught to be seen of him but the heap of stones they had flung
on top of him. And there were many poor people who worked long and
hard and had not enough to eat that helped throw the stones on
"And, after the death of Split-Nose, there was but one other man
that dared rise up and speak his mind, and that man was Hair-Face.
'Where is the strength of the strong?' he asked. 'We are the
strong, all of us, and we are stronger than Dog-Tooth and Tiger-
Face and Three-Legs and Pig-Jaw and all the rest who do nothing and
eat much and weaken us by the hurt of their strength which is bad
strength. Men who are slaves are not strong. If the man who first
found the virtue and use of fire had used his strength we would
have been his slaves, as we are the slaves to-day of Little-Belly,
who found the virtue and use of the fish-trap; and of the men who
found the virtue and use of the land, and the goats, and the fire-
brew. Before, we lived in trees, my brothers, and no man was safe.
But we fight no more with one another. We have added our strength
together. Then let us fight no more with the Meat-Eaters. Let us
add our strength and their strength together. Then will we be
indeed strong. And then we will go out together, the Fish-Eaters
and the Meat-Eaters, and we will kill the tigers and the lions and
the wolves and the wild dogs, and we will pasture our goats on all
the hill-sides and plant our corn and fat roots in all the high
mountain valleys. In that day we will be so strong that all the
wild animals will flee before us and perish. And nothing will
withstand us, for the strength of each man will be the strength of
all men in the world.'
"So said Hair-Face, and they killed him, because, they said, he was
a wild man and wanted to go back and live in a tree. It was very
strange. Whenever a man arose and wanted to go forward all those
that stood still said he went backward and should be killed. And
the poor people helped stone him, and were fools. We were all
fools, except those who were fat and did no work. The fools were
called wise, and the wise were stoned. Men who worked did not get
enough to eat, and the men who did not work ate too much.
"And the tribe went on losing strength. The children were weak and
sickly. And, because we ate not enough, strange sicknesses came
among us and we died like flies. And then the Meat-Eaters came
upon us. We had followed Tiger-Face too often over the divide and
killed them. And now they came to repay in blood. We were too
weak and sick to man the big wall. And they killed us, all of us,
except some of the women, which they took away with them. The Bug
and I escaped, and I hid in the wildest places, and became a hunter
of meat and went hungry no more. I stole a wife from the Meat-
Eaters, and went to live in the caves of the high mountains where
they could not find me. And we had three sons, and each son stole
a wife from the Meat-Eaters. And the rest you know, for are you
not the sons of my sons?"
"But the Bug?" queried Deer-Runner. "What became of him?"
"He went to live with the Meat-Eaters and to be a singer of songs
to the king. He is an old man now, but he sings the same old
songs; and, when a man rises up to go forward, he sings that that
man is walking backward to live in a tree."
Long-Beard dipped into the bear-carcass and sucked with toothless
gums at a fist of suet.
"Some day," he said, wiping his hands on his sides, "all the fools
will be dead and then all live men will go forward. The strength
of the strong will be theirs, and they will add their strength
together, so that, of all the men in the world, not one will fight
with another. There will be no guards nor watchers on the walls.
And all the hunting animals will be killed, and, as Hair-Face said,
all the hill-sides will be pastured with goats and all the high
mountain valleys will be planted with corn and fat roots. And all
men will be brothers, and no man will lie idle in the sun and be
fed by his fellows. And all that will come to pass in the time
when the fools are dead, and when there will be no more singers to
stand still and sing the 'Song of the Bees.' Bees are not men."
SOUTH OF THE SLOT
Old San Francisco, which is the San Francisco of only the other
day, the day before the Earthquake, was divided midway by the Slot.
The Slot was an iron crack that ran along the centre of Market
Street, and from the Slot arose the burr of the ceaseless, endless
cable that was hitched at will to the cars it dragged up and down.
In truth, there were two slots, but in the quick grammar of the
West time was saved by calling them, and much more that they stood
for, "The Slot." North of the Slot were the theatres, hotels, and
shopping district, the banks and the staid, respectable business
houses. South of the Slot were the factories, slums, laundries,
machine-shops, boiler works, and the abodes of the working class.
The Slot was the metaphor that expressed the class cleavage of
Society, and no man crossed this metaphor, back and forth, more
successfully than Freddie Drummond. He made a practice of living
in both worlds, and in both worlds he lived signally well. Freddie
Drummond was a professor in the Sociology Department of the
University of California, and it was as a professor of sociology
that he first crossed over the Slot, lived for six mouths in the
great labour-ghetto, and wrote The Unskilled Labourer--a book that
was hailed everywhere as an able contribution to the literature of
progress, and as a splendid reply to the literature of discontent.
Politically and economically it was nothing if not orthodox.
Presidents of great railway systems bought whole editions of it to
give to their employees. The Manufacturers' Association alone
distributed fifty thousand copies of it. In a way, it was almost
as immoral as the far-famed and notorious Message to Garcia, while
in its pernicious preachment of thrift and content it ran Mr. Wiggs
of the Cabbage Patch a close second.
At first, Freddie Drummond found it monstrously difficult to get
along among the working people. He was not used to their ways, and
they certainly were not used to his. They were suspicious. He had
no antecedents. He could talk of no previous jobs. His hands were
soft. His extraordinary politeness was ominous. His first idea of
the role he would play was that of a free and independent American
who chose to work with his hands and no explanations given. But it
wouldn't do, as he quickly discovered. At the beginning they
accepted him, very provisionally, as a freak. A little later, as
he began to know his way about better, he insensibly drifted into
the role that would work--namely, he was a man who had seen better
days, very much better days, but who was down on his luck, though,
to be sure, only temporarily.
He learned many things, and generalized much and often erroneously,
all of which can be found in the pages of The Unskilled Labourer.
He saved himself, however, after the sane and conservative manner
of his kind, by labelling his generalizations as "tentative." One
of his first experiences was in the great Wilmax Cannery, where he
was put on piece-work making small packing cases. A box factory
supplied the parts, and all Freddie Drummond had to do was to fit
the parts into a form and drive in the wire nails with a light
It was not skilled labour, but it was piece-work. The ordinary
labourers in the cannery got a dollar and a half per day. Freddie
Drummond found the other men on the same job with him jogging along
and earning a dollar and seventy-five cents a day. By the third
day he was able to earn the same. But he was ambitious. He did
not care to jog along and, being unusually able and fit, on the
fourth day earned two dollars.
The next day, having keyed himself up to an exhausting high-
tension, he earned two dollars and a half. His fellow workers
favoured him with scowls and black looks, and made remarks,
slangily witty and which he did not understand, about sucking up to
the boss and pace-making and holding her down, when the rains set
in. He was astonished at their malingering on piece-work,
generalized about the inherent laziness of the unskilled labourer,
and proceeded next day to hammer out three dollars' worth of boxes.
And that night, coming out of the cannery, he was interviewed by
his fellow workmen, who were very angry and incoherently slangy.
He failed to comprehend the motive behind their action. The action
itself was strenuous. When he refused to ease down his pace and
bleated about freedom of contract, independent Americanism, and the
dignity of toil, they proceeded to spoil his pace-making ability.
It was a fierce battle, for Drummond was a large man and an
athlete, but the crowd finally jumped on his ribs, walked on his
face, and stamped on his fingers, so that it was only after lying
in bed for a week that he was able to get up and look for another
job. All of which is duly narrated in that first book of his, in
the chapter entitled "The Tyranny of Labour."
A little later, in another department of the Wilmax Cannery,
lumping as a fruit-distributor among the women, he essayed to carry
two boxes of fruit at a time, and was promptly reproached by the
other fruit-lumpers. It was palpable malingering; but he was
there, he decided, not to change conditions, but to observe. So he
lumped one box thereafter, and so well did he study the art of
shirking that he wrote a special chapter on it, with the last
several paragraphs devoted to tentative generalizations.
In those six months he worked at many jobs and developed into a
very good imitation of a genuine worker. He was a natural
linguist, and he kept notebooks, making a scientific study of the
workers' slang or argot, until he could talk quite intelligibly.
This language also enabled him more intimately to follow their
mental processes, and thereby to gather much data for a projected
chapter in some future book which he planned to entitle Synthesis
of Working-Class Psychology.
Before he arose to the surface from that first plunge into the
underworld he discovered that he was a good actor and demonstrated
the plasticity of his nature. He was himself astonished at his own
fluidity. Once having mastered the language and conquered numerous
fastidious qualms, he found that he could flow into any nook of
working-class life and fit it so snugly as to feel comfortably at
home. As he said, in the preface to his second book, The Toiler,
he endeavoured really to know the working people, and the only
possible way to achieve this was to work beside them, eat their
food, sleep in their beds, be amused with their amusements, think
their thoughts, and feel their feeling.
He was not a deep thinker. He had no faith in new theories. All
his norms and criteria were conventional. His Thesis on the French
Revolution was noteworthy in college annals, not merely for its
painstaking and voluminous accuracy, but for the fact that it was
the dryest, deadest, most formal, and most orthodox screed ever
written on the subject. He was a very reserved man, and his
natural inhibition was large in quantity and steel-like in quality.
He had but few friends. He was too undemonstrative, too frigid.
He had no vices, nor had any one ever discovered any temptations.
Tobacco he detested, beer he abhorred, and he was never known to
drink anything stronger than an occasional light wine at dinner.
When a freshman he had been baptized "Ice-Box" by his warmer-
blooded fellows. As a member of the faculty he was known as "Cold-
Storage." He had but one grief, and that was "Freddie." He had
earned it when he played full-back in the 'Varsity eleven, and his
formal soul had never succeeded in living it down. "Freddie" he
would ever be, except officially, and through nightmare vistas he
looked into a future when his world would speak of him as "Old
For he was very young to be a doctor of sociology, only twenty-
seven, and he looked younger. In appearance and atmosphere he was
a strapping big college man, smooth-faced and easy-mannered, clean
and simple and wholesome, with a known record of being a splendid
athlete and an implied vast possession of cold culture of the
inhibited sort. He never talked shop out of class and committee
rooms, except later on, when his books showered him with
distasteful public notice and he yielded to the extent of reading
occasional papers before certain literary and economic societies.
He did everything right--too right; and in dress and comportment
was inevitably correct. Not that he was a dandy. Far from it. He
was a college man, in dress and carriage as like as a pea to the
type that of late years is being so generously turned out of our
institutions of higher learning. His handshake was satisfyingly
strong and stiff. His blue eyes were coldly blue and convincingly
sincere. His voice, firm and masculine, clean and crisp of
enunciation, was pleasant to the ear. The one drawback to Freddie
Drummond was his inhibition. He never unbent. In his football
days, the higher the tension of the game, the cooler he grew. He
was noted as a boxer, but he was regarded as an automaton, with the
inhuman precision of a machine judging distance and timing blows,
guarding, blocking, and stalling. He was rarely punished himself,
while he rarely punished an opponent. He was too clever and too
controlled to permit himself to put a pound more weight into a
punch than he intended. With him it was a matter of exercise. It
kept him fit.
As time went by, Freddie Drummond found himself more frequently
crossing the Slot and losing himself in South of Market. His
summer and winter holidays were spent there, and, whether it was a
week or a week-end, he found the time spent there to be valuable
and enjoyable. And there was so much material to be gathered. His
third book, Mass and Master, became a text-book in the American
universities; and almost before he knew it, he was at work on a
fourth one, The Fallacy of the Inefficient.
Somewhere in his make-up there was a strange twist or quirk.
Perhaps it was a recoil from his environment and training, or from
the tempered seed of his ancestors, who had been book-men
generation preceding generation; but at any rate, he found
enjoyment in being down in the working-class world. In his own
world he was "Cold-Storage," but down below he was "Big" Bill
Totts, who could drink and smoke, and slang and fight, and be an
all-round favourite. Everybody liked Bill, and more than one
working girl made love to him. At first he had been merely a good
actor, but as time went on, simulation became second nature. He no
longer played a part, and he loved sausages, sausages and bacon,
than which, in his own proper sphere, there was nothing more
loathsome in the way of food.
From doing the thing for the need's sake, he came to doing the
thing for the thing's sake. He found himself regretting as the
time drew near for him to go back to his lecture-room and his
inhibition. And he often found himself waiting with anticipation
for the dreamy time to pass when he could cross the Slot and cut
loose and play the devil. He was not wicked, but as "Big" Bill
Totts he did a myriad things that Freddie Drummond would never have
been permitted to do. Moreover, Freddie Drummond never would have
wanted to do them. That was the strangest part of his discovery.
Freddie Drummond and Bill Totts were two totally different
creatures. The desires and tastes and impulses of each ran counter
to the other's. Bill Totts could shirk at a job with clear
conscience, while Freddie Drummond condemned shirking as vicious,
criminal, and un-American, and devoted whole chapters to
condemnation of the vice. Freddie Drummond did not care for
dancing, but Bill Totts never missed the nights at the various
dancing clubs, such as The Magnolia, The Western Star, and The
Elite; while he won a massive silver cup, standing thirty inches
high, for being the best-sustained character at the Butchers and
Meat Workers' annual grand masked ball. And Bill Totts liked the
girls and the girls liked him, while Freddie Drummond enjoyed
playing the ascetic in this particular, was open in his opposition
to equal suffrage, and cynically bitter in his secret condemnation
Freddie Drummond changed his manners with his dress, and without
effort. When he entered the obscure little room used for his
transformation scenes, he carried himself just a bit too stiffly.
He was too erect, his shoulders were an inch too far back, while
his face was grave, almost harsh, and practically expressionless.
But when he emerged in Bill Totts' clothes he was another creature.
Bill Totts did not slouch, but somehow his whole form limbered up
and became graceful. The very sound of the voice was changed, and
the laugh was loud and hearty, while loose speech and an occasional
oath were as a matter of course on his lips. Also, Bill Totts was
a trifle inclined to late hours, and at times, in saloons, to be
good-naturedly bellicose with other workmen. Then, too, at Sunday
picnics or when coming home from the show, either arm betrayed a
practised familiarity in stealing around girls' waists, while he
displayed a wit keen and delightful in the flirtatious badinage
that was expected of a good fellow in his class.
So thoroughly was Bill Totts himself, so thoroughly a workman, a
genuine denizen of South of the Slot, that he was as class-
conscious as the average of his kind, and his hatred for a scab
even exceeded that of the average loyal union man. During the
Water Front Strike, Freddie Drummond was somehow able to stand
apart from the unique combination, and, coldly critical, watch Bill
Totts hilariously slug scab longshoremen. For Bill Totts was a
dues-paying member of the Longshoremen Union and had a right to be
indignant with the usurpers of his job. "Big" Bill Totts was so
very big, and so very able, that it was "Big" Bill to the front
when trouble was brewing. From acting outraged feelings, Freddie
Drummond, in the role of his other self, came to experience genuine
outrage, and it was only when he returned to the classic atmosphere
of the university that he was able, sanely and conservatively, to
generalize upon his underworld experiences and put them down on
paper as a trained sociologist should. That Bill Totts lacked the
perspective to raise him above class-consciousness Freddie Drummond
clearly saw. But Bill Totts could not see it. When he saw a scab
taking his job away, he saw red at the same time, and little else
did he see. It was Freddie Drummond, irreproachably clothed and
comported, seated at his study desk or facing his class in
Sociology 17, who saw Bill Totts, and all around Bill Totts, and
all around the whole scab and union-labour problem and its relation
to the economic welfare of the United States in the struggle for
the world market. Bill Totts really wasn't able to see beyond the
next meal and the prize-fight the following night at the Gaiety
It was while gathering material for Women and Work that Freddie
received his first warning of the danger he was in. He was too
successful at living in both worlds. This strange dualism he had
developed was after all very unstable, and, as he sat in his study
and meditated, he saw that it could not endure. It was really a
transition stage, and if he persisted he saw that he would
inevitably have to drop one world or the other. He could not
continue in both. And as he looked at the row of volumes that
graced the upper shelf of his revolving book-case, his volumes,
beginning with his Thesis and ending with Women and Work, he
decided that that was the world he would hold to and stick by.
Bill Totts had served his purpose, but he had become a too
dangerous accomplice. Bill Totts would have to cease.
Freddie Drummond's fright was due to Mary Condon, President of the
International Glove Workers' Union No. 974. He had seen her,
first, from the spectators' gallery, at the annual convention of
the Northwest Federation of Labour, and he had seen her through
Bill Totts' eyes, and that individual had been most favourably
impressed by her. She was not Freddie Drummond's sort at all.
What if she were a royal-bodied woman, graceful and sinewy as a
panther, with amazing black eyes that could fill with fire or
laughter-love, as the mood might dictate? He detested women with a
too exuberant vitality and a lack of . . . well, of inhibition.
Freddie Drummond accepted the doctrine of evolution because it was
quite universally accepted by college men, and he flatly believed
that man had climbed up the ladder of life out of the weltering
muck and mess of lower and monstrous organic things. But he was a
trifle ashamed of this genealogy, and preferred not to think of it.
Wherefore, probably, he practised his iron inhibition and preached
it to others, and preferred women of his own type, who could shake
free of this bestial and regrettable ancestral line and by
discipline and control emphasize the wideness of the gulf that
separated them from what their dim forbears had been.
Bill Totts had none of these considerations. He had liked Mary
Condon from the moment his eyes first rested on her in the
convention hall, and he had made it a point, then and there, to
find out who she was. The next time he met her, and quite by
accident, was when he was driving an express waggon for Pat
Morrissey. It was in a lodging-house in Mission Street, where he
had been called to take a trunk into storage. The landlady's
daughter had called him and led him to the little bedroom, the
occupant of which, a glove-maker, had just been removed to
hospital. But Bill did not know this. He stooped, up-ended the
trunk, which was a large one, got it on his shoulder, and struggled
to his feet with his back toward the open door. At that moment he
heard a woman's voice.
"Belong to the union?" was the question asked.
"Aw, what's it to you?" he retorted. "Run along now, an' git outa
my way. I wanta turn round."
The next he know, big as he was, he was whirled half around and
sent reeling backward, the trunk overbalancing him, till he fetched
up with a crash against the wall. He started to swear, but at the
same instant found himself looking into Mary Condon's flashing,
"Of course I b'long to the union," he said. "I was only kiddin'
"Where's your card?" she demanded in businesslike tones.
"In my pocket. But I can't git it out now. This trunk's too damn
heavy. Come on down to the waggon an' I'll show it to you."
"Put that trunk down," was the command.
"What for? I got a card, I'm tellin' you."
"Put it down, that's all. No scab's going to handle that trunk.
You ought to be ashamed of yourself, you big coward, scabbing on
honest men. Why don't you join the union and be a man?"
Mary Condon's colour had left her face, and it was apparent that
she was in a rage.
"To think of a big man like you turning traitor to his class. I
suppose you're aching to join the militia for a chance to shoot
down union drivers the next strike. You may belong to the militia
already, for that matter. You're the sort--"
"Hold on, now, that's too much!" Bill dropped the trunk to the
floor with a bang, straightened up, and thrust his hand into his
inside coat pocket. "I told you I was only kiddin'. There, look
It was a union card properly enough.
"All right, take it along," Mary Condon said. "And the next time
Her face relaxed as she noticed the ease with which he got the big
trunk to his shoulder, and her eyes glowed as they glanced over the
graceful massiveness of the man. But Bill did not see that. He
was too busy with the trunk.
The next time he saw Mary Condon was during the Laundry Strike.
The Laundry Workers, but recently organized, were green at the
business, and had petitioned Mary Condon to engineer the strike.
Freddie Drummond had had an inkling of what was coming, and had
sent Bill Totts to join the union and investigate. Bill's job was
in the wash-room, and the men had been called out first, that
morning, in order to stiffen the courage of the girls; and Bill
chanced to be near the door to the mangle-room when Mary Condon
started to enter. The superintendent, who was both large and
stout, barred her way. He wasn't going to have his girls called
out, and he'd teach her a lesson to mind her own business. And as
Mary tried to squeeze past him he thrust her back with a fat hand
on her shoulder. She glanced around and saw Bill.
"Here you, Mr. Totts," she called. "Lend a hand. I want to get
Bill experienced a startle of warm surprise. She had remembered
his name from his union card. The next moment the superintendent
had been plucked from the doorway raving about rights under the
law, and the girls were deserting their machines. During the rest
of that short and successful strike, Bill constituted himself Mary
Condon's henchman and messenger, and when it was over returned to
the University to be Freddie Drummond and to wonder what Bill Totts
could see in such a woman.
Freddie Drummond was entirely safe, but Bill had fallen in love.
There was no getting away from the fact of it, and it was this fact
that had given Freddie Drummond his warning. Well, he had done his
work, and his adventures could cease. There was no need for him to
cross the Slot again. All but the last three chapters of his
latest, Labour Tactics and Strategy, was finished, and he had
sufficient material on hand adequately to supply those chapters.
Another conclusion he arrived at, was that in order to sheet-anchor
himself as Freddie Drummond, closer ties and relations in his own
social nook were necessary. It was time that he was married,
anyway, and he was fully aware that if Freddie Drummond didn't get
married, Bill Totts assuredly would, and the complications were too
awful to contemplate. And so, enters Catherine Van Vorst. She was
a college woman herself, and her father, the one wealthy member of
the faculty, was the head of the Philosophy Department as well. It
would be a wise marriage from every standpoint, Freddie Drummond
concluded when the engagement was consummated and announced. In
appearance cold and reserved, aristocratic and wholesomely
conservative, Catherine Van Vorst, though warm in her way,
possessed an inhibition equal to Drummond's.
All seemed well with him, but Freddie Drummond could not quite
shake off the call of the underworld, the lure of the free and
open, of the unhampered, irresponsible life South of the Slot. As
the time of his marriage approached, he felt that he had indeed
sowed wild oats, and he felt, moreover, what a good thing it would
be if he could have but one wild fling more, play the good fellow
and the wastrel one last time, ere he settled down to grey lecture-
rooms and sober matrimony. And, further to tempt him, the very
last chapter of Labour Tactics and Strategy remained unwritten for
lack of a trifle more of essential data which he had neglected to
So Freddie Drummond went down for the last time as Bill Totts, got
his data, and, unfortunately, encountered Mary Condon. Once more
installed in his study, it was not a pleasant thing to look back
upon. It made his warning doubly imperative. Bill Totts had
behaved abominably. Not only had he met Mary Condon at the Central
Labour Council, but he had stopped at a chop-house with her, on the
way home, and treated her to oysters. And before they parted at
her door, his arms had been about her, and he had kissed her on the
lips and kissed her repeatedly. And her last words in his ear,
words uttered softly with a catchy sob in the throat that was
nothing more nor less than a love cry, were "Bill . . . dear, dear
Freddie Drummond shuddered at the recollection. He saw the pit
yawning for him. He was not by nature a polygamist, and he was
appalled at the possibilities of the situation. It would have to
be put an end to, and it would end in one only of two ways: either
he must become wholly Bill Totts and be married to Mary Condon, or
he must remain wholly Freddie Drummond and be married to Catherine
Van Vorst. Otherwise, his conduct would be beneath contempt and
In the several months that followed, San Francisco was torn with
labour strife. The unions and the employers' associations had
locked horns with a determination that looked as if they intended
to settle the matter, one way or the other, for all time. But
Freddie Drummond corrected proofs, lectured classes, and did not
budge. He devoted himself to Catherine Van Vorst, and day by day
found more to respect and admire in her--nay, even to love in her.
The Street Car Strike tempted him, but not so severely as he would
have expected; and the great Meat Strike came on and left him cold.
The ghost of Bill Totts had been successfully laid, and Freddie
Drummond with rejuvenescent zeal tackled a brochure, long-planned,
on the topic of "diminishing returns."
The wedding was two weeks off, when, one afternoon, in San
Francisco, Catherine Van Vorst picked him up and whisked him away
to see a Boys' Club, recently instituted by the settlement workers
in whom she was interested. It was her brother's machine, but they
were alone with the exception of the chauffeur. At the junction
with Kearny Street, Market and Geary Streets intersect like the
sides of a sharp-angled letter "V." They, in the auto, were coming
down Market with the intention of negotiating the sharp apex and
going up Geary. But they did not know what was coming down Geary,
timed by fate to meet them at the apex. While aware from the
papers that the Meat Strike was on and that it was an exceedingly
bitter one, all thought of it at that moment was farthest from
Freddie Drummond's mind. Was he not seated beside Catherine? And
besides, he was carefully expositing to her his views on settlement
work--views that Bill Totts' adventures had played a part in
Coming down Geary Street were six meat waggons. Beside each scab
driver sat a policeman. Front and rear, and along each side of
this procession, marched a protecting escort of one hundred police.
Behind the police rearguard, at a respectful distance, was an
orderly but vociferous mob, several blocks in length, that
congested the street from sidewalk to sidewalk. The Beef Trust was
making an effort to supply the hotels, and, incidentally, to begin
the breaking of the strike. The St. Francis had already been
supplied, at a cost of many broken windows and broken heads, and
the expedition was marching to the relief of the Palace Hotel.
All unwitting, Drummond sat beside Catherine, talking settlement
work, as the auto, honking methodically and dodging traffic, swung
in a wide curve to get around the apex. A big coal waggon, loaded
with lump coal and drawn by four huge horses, just debouching from
Kearny Street as though to turn down Market, blocked their way.
The driver of the waggon seemed undecided, and the chauffeur,
running slow but disregarding some shouted warning from the
crossing policemen, swerved the auto to the left, violating the
traffic rules, in order to pass in front of the waggon.
At that moment Freddie Drummond discontinued his conversation. Nor
did he resume it again, for the situation was developing with the
rapidity of a transformation scene. He heard the roar of the mob
at the rear, and caught a glimpse of the helmeted police and the
lurching meat waggons. At the same moment, laying on his whip, and
standing up to his task, the coal driver rushed horses and waggon
squarely in front of the advancing procession, pulled the horses up
sharply, and put on the big brake. Then he made his lines fast to
the brake-handle and sat down with the air of one who had stopped
to stay. The auto had been brought to a stop, too, by his big
panting leaders which had jammed against it.
Before the chauffeur could back clear, an old Irishman, driving a
rickety express waggon and lashing his one horse to a gallop, had
locked wheels with the auto. Drummond recognized both horse and
waggon, for he had driven them often himself. The Irishman was Pat
Morrissey. On the other side a brewery waggon was locking with the
coal waggon, and an east-bound Kearny Street car, wildly clanging
its gong, the motorman shouting defiance at the crossing policeman,
was dashing forward to complete the blockade. And waggon after
waggon was locking and blocking and adding to the confusion. The
meat waggons halted. The police were trapped. The roar at the
rear increased as the mob came on to the attack, while the vanguard
of the police charged the obstructing waggons.
"We're in for it," Drummond remarked coolly to Catherine.
"Yes," she nodded, with equal coolness. "What savages they are."
His admiration for her doubled on itself. She was indeed his sort.
He would have been satisfied with her even if she had screamed, and
clung to him, but this--this was magnificent. She sat in that
storm centre as calmly as if it had been no more than a block of
carriages at the opera.
The police were struggling to clear a passage. The driver of the
coal waggon, a big man in shirt sleeves, lighted a pipe and sat
smoking. He glanced down complacently at a captain of police who
was raving and cursing at him, and his only acknowledgment was a
shrug of the shoulders. From the rear arose the rat-rat-tat of
clubs on heads and a pandemonium of cursing, yelling, and shouting.
A violent accession of noise proclaimed that the mob had broken
through and was dragging a scab from a waggon. The police captain
reinforced from his vanguard, and the mob at the rear was repelled.
Meanwhile, window after window in the high office building on the
right had been opened, and the class-conscious clerks were raining
a shower of office furniture down on the heads of police and scabs.
Waste-baskets, ink-bottles, paper-weights, type-writers--anything
and everything that came to hand was filling the air.
A policeman, under orders from his captain, clambered to the lofty
seat of the coal waggon to arrest the driver. And the driver,
rising leisurely and peacefully to meet him, suddenly crumpled him
in his arms and threw him down on top of the captain. The driver
was a young giant, and when he climbed on his load and poised a
lump of coal in both hands, a policeman, who was just scaling the
waggon from the side, let go and dropped back to earth. The
captain ordered half-a-dozen of his men to take the waggon. The
teamster, scrambling over the load from side to side, beat them
down with huge lumps of coal.
The crowd on the sidewalks and the teamsters on the locked waggons
roared encouragement and their own delight. The motorman, smashing
helmets with his controller bar, was beaten into insensibility and
dragged from his platform. The captain of police, beside himself
at the repulse of his men, led the next assault on the coal waggon.
A score of police were swarming up the tall-sided fortress. But
the teamster multiplied himself. At times there were six or eight
policemen rolling on the pavement and under the waggon. Engaged in
repulsing an attack on the rear end of his fortress, the teamster
turned about to see the captain just in the act of stepping on to
the seat from the front end. He was still in the air and in most
unstable equilibrium, when the teamster hurled a thirty-pound lump
of coal. It caught the captain fairly on the chest, and he went
over backward, striking on a wheeler's back, tumbling on to the
ground, and jamming against the rear wheel of the auto.
Catherine thought he was dead, but he picked himself up and charged
back. She reached out her gloved hand and patted the flank of the
snorting, quivering horse. But Drummond did not notice the action.
He had eyes for nothing save the battle of the coal waggon, while
somewhere in his complicated psychology, one Bill Totts was heaving
and straining in an effort to come to life. Drummond believed in
law and order and the maintenance of the established, but this
riotous savage within him would have none of it. Then, if ever,
did Freddie Drummond call upon his iron inhibition to save him.
But it is written that the house divided against itself must fall.
And Freddie Drummond found that he had divided all the will and
force of him with Bill Totts, and between them the entity that
constituted the pair of them was being wrenched in twain.
Freddie Drummond sat in the auto, quite composed, alongside
Catherine Van Vorst; but looking out of Freddie Drummond's eyes was
Bill Totts, and somewhere behind those eyes, battling for the
control of their mutual body, were Freddie Drummond the sane and
conservative sociologist, and Bill Totts, the class-conscious and
bellicose union working man. It was Bill Totts, looking out of
those eyes, who saw the inevitable end of the battle on the coal
waggon. He saw a policeman gain the top of the load, a second, and
a third. They lurched clumsily on the loose footing, but their
long riot-clubs were out and swinging. One blow caught the
teamster on the head. A second he dodged, receiving it on the
shoulder. For him the game was plainly up. He dashed in suddenly,
clutched two policemen in his arms, and hurled himself a prisoner
to the pavement, his hold never relaxing on his two captors.
Catherine Van Vorst was sick and faint at sight of the blood and
brutal fighting. But her qualms were vanquished by the sensational
and most unexpected happening that followed. The man beside her
emitted an unearthly and uncultured yell and rose to his feet. She
saw him spring over the front seat, leap to the broad rump of the
wheeler, and from there gain the waggon. His onslaught was like a
whirlwind. Before the bewildered officer on the load could guess
the errand of this conventionally clad but excited-seeming
gentleman, he was the recipient of a punch that arched him back
through the air to the pavement. A kick in the face led an
ascending policeman to follow his example. A rush of three more
gained the top and locked with Bill Totts in a gigantic clinch,
during which his scalp was opened up by a club, and coat, vest, and
half his starched shirt were torn from him. But the three
policemen were flung far and wide, and Bill Totts, raining down
lumps of coal, held the fort.
The captain led gallantly to the attack, but was bowled over by a
chunk of coal that burst on his head in black baptism. The need of
the police was to break the blockade in front before the mob could
break in at the rear, and Bill Totts' need was to hold the waggon
till the mob did break through. So the battle of the coal went on.
The crowd had recognized its champion. "Big" Bill, as usual, had
come to the front, and Catherine Van Vorst was bewildered by the
cries of "Bill! O you Bill!" that arose on every hand. Pat
Morrissey, on his waggon seat, was jumping and screaming in an
ecstasy, "Eat 'em, Bill! Eat 'em! Eat 'em alive!" From the
sidewalk she heard a woman's voice cry out, "Look out, Bill--front
end!" Bill took the warning and with well-directed coal cleared
the front end of the waggon of assailants. Catherine Van Vorst
turned her head and saw on the curb of the sidewalk a woman with
vivid colouring and flashing black eyes who was staring with all
her soul at the man who had been Freddie Drummond a few minutes
The windows of the office building became vociferous with applause.
A fresh shower of office chairs and filing cabinets descended. The
mob had broken through on one side the line of waggons, and was
advancing, each segregated policeman the centre of a fighting
group. The scabs were torn from their seats, the traces of the
horses cut, and the frightened animals put in flight. Many
policemen crawled under the coal waggon for safety, while the loose
horses, with here and there a policeman on their backs or
struggling at their heads to hold them, surged across the sidewalk
opposite the jam and broke into Market Street.
Catherine Van Vorst heard the woman's voice calling in warning.
She was back on the curb again, and crying out--
"Beat it, Bill! Now's your time! Beat it!"
The police for the moment had been swept away. Bill Totts leaped
to the pavement and made his way to the woman on the sidewalk.
Catherine Van Vorst saw her throw her arms around him and kiss him
on the lips; and Catherine Van Vorst watched him curiously as he
went on down the sidewalk, one arm around the woman, both talking
and laughing, and he with a volubility and abandon she could never
have dreamed possible.
The police were back again and clearing the jam while waiting for
reinforcements and new drivers and horses. The mob had done its
work and was scattering, and Catherine Van Vorst, still watching,
could see the man she had known as Freddie Drummond. He towered a
head above the crowd. His arm was still about the woman. And she
in the motor-car, watching, saw the pair cross Market Street, cross
the Slot, and disappear down Third Street into the labour ghetto.
In the years that followed no more lectures were given in the
University of California by one Freddie Drummond, and no more books
on economics and the labour question appeared over the name of
Frederick A. Drummond. On the other hand there arose a new labour
leader, William Totts by name. He it was who married Mary Condon,
President of the International Glove Workers' Union No. 974; and he
it was who called the notorious Cooks and Waiters' Strike, which,
before its successful termination, brought out with it scores of
other unions, among which, of the more remotely allied, were the
Chicken Pickers and the Undertakers.
THE UNPARALLELED INVASION
It was in the year 1976 that the trouble between the world and
China reached its culmination. It was because of this that the
celebration of the Second Centennial of American Liberty was
deferred. Many other plans of the nations of the earth were
twisted and tangled and postponed for the same reason. The world
awoke rather abruptly to its danger; but for over seventy years,
unperceived, affairs had been shaping toward this very end.
The year 1904 logically marks the beginning of the development
that, seventy years later, was to bring consternation to the whole
world. The Japanese-Russian War took place in 1904, and the
historians of the time gravely noted it down that that event marked
the entrance of Japan into the comity of nations. What it really
did mark was the awakening of China. This awakening, long
expected, had finally been given up. The Western nations had tried
to arouse China, and they had failed. Out of their native optimism
and race-egotism they had therefore concluded that the task was
impossible, that China would never awaken.
What they had failed to take into account was this: that between
them and China was no common psychological speech. Their thought-
processes were radically dissimilar. There was no intimate
vocabulary. The Western mind penetrated the Chinese mind but a
short distance when it found itself in a fathomless maze. The
Chinese mind penetrated the Western mind an equally short distance
when it fetched up against a blank, incomprehensible wall. It was
all a matter of language. There was no way to communicate Western
ideas to the Chinese mind. China remained asleep. The material
achievement and progress of the West was a closed book to her; nor
could the West open the book. Back and deep down on the tie-ribs
of consciousness, in the mind, say, of the English-speaking race,
was a capacity to thrill to short, Saxon words; back and deep down
on the tie-ribs of consciousness of the Chinese mind was a capacity
to thrill to its own hieroglyphics; but the Chinese mind could not
thrill to short, Saxon words; nor could the English-speaking mind
thrill to hieroglyphics. The fabrics of their minds were woven
from totally different stuffs. They were mental aliens. And so it
was that Western material achievement and progress made no dent on
the rounded sleep of China.
Came Japan and her victory over Russia in 1904. Now the Japanese
race was the freak and paradox among Eastern peoples. In some
strange way Japan was receptive to all the West had to offer.
Japan swiftly assimilated the Western ideas, and digested them, and
so capably applied them that she suddenly burst forth, full-
panoplied, a world-power. There is no explaining this peculiar
openness of Japan to the alien culture of the West. As well might
be explained any biological sport in the animal kingdom.
Having decisively thrashed the great Russian Empire, Japan promptly
set about dreaming a colossal dream of empire for herself. Korea
she had made into a granary and a colony; treaty privileges and
vulpine diplomacy gave her the monopoly of Manchuria. But Japan
was not satisfied. She turned her eyes upon China. There lay a
vast territory, and in that territory were the hugest deposits in
the world of iron and coal--the backbone of industrial
civilization. Given natural resources, the other great factor in
industry is labour. In that territory was a population of
400,000,000 souls--one quarter of the then total population of the
earth. Furthermore, the Chinese were excellent workers, while
their fatalistic philosophy (or religion) and their stolid nervous
organization constituted them splendid soldiers--if they were
properly managed. Needless to say, Japan was prepared to furnish
But best of all, from the standpoint of Japan, the Chinese was a
kindred race. The baffling enigma of the Chinese character to the
West was no baffling enigma to the Japanese. The Japanese
understood as we could never school ourselves or hope to
understand. Their mental processes were the same. The Japanese
thought with the same thought-symbols as did the Chinese, and they
thought in the same peculiar grooves. Into the Chinese mind the
Japanese went on where we were balked by the obstacle of
incomprehension. They took the turning which we could not
perceive, twisted around the obstacle, and were out of sight in the
ramifications of the Chinese mind where we could not follow. They
were brothers. Long ago one had borrowed the other's written
language, and, untold generations before that, they had diverged
from the common Mongol stock. There had been changes,
differentiations brought about by diverse conditions and infusions
of other blood; but down at the bottom of their beings, twisted
into the fibres of them, was a heritage in common, a sameness in
kind that time had not obliterated.
And so Japan took upon herself the management of China. In the
years immediately following the war with Russia, her agents swarmed
over the Chinese Empire. A thousand miles beyond the last mission
station toiled her engineers and spies, clad as coolies, under the
guise of itinerant merchants or proselytizing Buddhist priests,
noting down the horse-power of every waterfall, the likely sites
for factories, the heights of mountains and passes, the strategic
advantages and weaknesses, the wealth of the farming valleys, the
number of bullocks in a district or the number of labourers that
could be collected by forced levies. Never was there such a
census, and it could have been taken by no other people than the
dogged, patient, patriotic Japanese.
But in a short time secrecy was thrown to the winds. Japan's
officers reorganized the Chinese army; her drill sergeants made the
mediaeval warriors over into twentieth century soldiers, accustomed
to all the modern machinery of war and with a higher average of
marksmanship than the soldiers of any Western nation. The
engineers of Japan deepened and widened the intricate system of
canals, built factories and foundries, netted the empire with
telegraphs and telephones, and inaugurated the era of railroad-
building. It was these same protagonists of machine-civilization
that discovered the great oil deposits of Chunsan, the iron
mountains of Whang-Sing, the copper ranges of Chinchi, and they
sank the gas wells of Wow-Wee, that most marvellous reservoir of
natural gas in all the world.
In China's councils of empire were the Japanese emissaries. In the
ears of the statesmen whispered the Japanese statesmen. The
political reconstruction of the Empire was due to them. They
evicted the scholar class, which was violently reactionary, and put
into office progressive officials. And in every town and city of
the Empire newspapers were started. Of course, Japanese editors
ran the policy of these papers, which policy they got direct from
Tokio. It was these papers that educated and made progressive the
great mass of the population.
China was at last awake. Where the West had failed, Japan
succeeded. She had transmuted Western culture and achievement into
terms that were intelligible to the Chinese understanding. Japan
herself, when she so suddenly awakened, had astounded the world.
But at the time she was only forty millions strong. China's
awakening, with her four hundred millions and the scientific
advance of the world, was frightfully astounding. She was the
colossus of the nations, and swiftly her voice was heard in no
uncertain tones in the affairs and councils of the nations. Japan
egged her on, and the proud Western peoples listened with
China's swift and remarkable rise was due, perhaps more than to
anything else, to the superlative quality of her labour. The
Chinese was the perfect type of industry. He had always been that.
For sheer ability to work no worker in the world could compare with
him. Work was the breath of his nostrils. It was to him what
wandering and fighting in far lands and spiritual adventure had
been to other peoples. Liberty, to him, epitomized itself in
access to the means of toil. To till the soil and labour
interminably was all he asked of life and the powers that be. And
the awakening of China had given its vast population not merely
free and unlimited access to the means of toil, but access to the
highest and most scientific machine-means of toil.
China rejuvenescent! It was but a step to China rampant. She
discovered a new pride in herself and a will of her own. She began
to chafe under the guidance of Japan, but she did not chafe long.
On Japan's advice, in the beginning, she had expelled from the
Empire all Western missionaries, engineers, drill sergeants,
merchants, and teachers. She now began to expel the similar
representatives of Japan. The latter's advisory statesmen were
showered with honours and decorations, and sent home. The West had
awakened Japan, and, as Japan had then requited the West, Japan was
not requited by China. Japan was thanked for her kindly aid and
flung out bag and baggage by her gigantic protege. The Western
nations chuckled. Japan's rainbow dream had gone glimmering. She
grew angry. China laughed at her. The blood and the swords of the
Samurai would out, and Japan rashly went to war. This occurred in
1922, and in seven bloody months Manchuria, Korea, and Formosa were
taken away from her and she was hurled back, bankrupt, to stifle in
her tiny, crowded islands. Exit Japan from the world drama.
Thereafter she devoted herself to art, and her task became to
please the world greatly with her creations of wonder and beauty.
Contrary to expectation, China did not prove warlike. She had no
Napoleonic dream, and was content to devote herself to the arts of
peace. After a time of disquiet, the idea was accepted that China
was to be feared, not in war, but in commerce. It will be seen
that the real danger was not apprehended. China went on
consummating her machine-civilization. Instead of a large standing
army, she developed an immensely larger and splendidly efficient
militia. Her navy was so small that it was the laughing stock of
the world; nor did she attempt to strengthen her navy. The treaty
ports of the world were never entered by her visiting battleships.
The real danger lay in the fecundity of her loins, and it was in
1970 that the first cry of alarm was raised. For some time all
territories adjacent to China had been grumbling at Chinese
immigration; but now it suddenly came home to the world that
China's population was 500,000,000. She had increased by a hundred
millions since her awakening. Burchaldter called attention to the
fact that there were more Chinese in existence than white-skinned
people. He performed a simple sum in arithmetic. He added
together the populations of the United States, Canada, New Zealand,
Australia, South Africa, England, France, Germany, Italy, Austria,
European Russia, and all Scandinavia. The result was 495,000,000.
And the population of China overtopped this tremendous total by
5,000,000. Burchaldter's figures went round the world, and the
For many centuries China's population had been constant. Her
territory had been saturated with population; that is to say, her
territory, with the primitive method of production, had supported
the maximum limit of population. But when she awoke and
inaugurated the machine-civilization, her productive power had been
enormously increased. Thus, on the same territory, she was able to
support a far larger population. At once the birth rate began to
rise and the death rate to fall. Before, when population pressed
against the means of subsistence, the excess population had been
swept away by famine. But now, thanks to the machine-civilization,
China's means of subsistence had been enormously extended, and
there were no famines; her population followed on the heels of the
increase in the means of subsistence.
During this time of transition and development of power, China had
entertained no dreams of conquest. The Chinese was not an imperial
race. It was industrious, thrifty, and peace-loving. War was
looked upon as an unpleasant but necessary task that at times must
be performed. And so, while the Western races had squabbled and
fought, and world-adventured against one another, China had calmly
gone on working at her machines and growing. Now she was spilling
over the boundaries of her Empire--that was all, just spilling over
into the adjacent territories with all the certainty and terrifying
slow momentum of a glacier.
Following upon the alarm raised by Burchaldter's figures, in 1970
France made a long-threatened stand. French Indo-China had been
overrun, filled up, by Chinese immigrants. France called a halt.
The Chinese wave flowed on. France assembled a force of a hundred
thousand on the boundary between her unfortunate colony and China,
and China sent down an army of militia-soldiers a million strong.
Behind came the wives and sons and daughters and relatives, with
their personal household luggage, in a second army. The French
force was brushed aside like a fly. The Chinese militia-soldiers,
along with their families, over five millions all told, coolly took
possession of French Indo-China and settled down to stay for a few
Outraged France was in arms. She hurled fleet after fleet against
the coast of China, and nearly bankrupted herself by the effort.
China had no navy. She withdrew like a turtle into her shell. For
a year the French fleets blockaded the coast and bombarded exposed
towns and villages. China did not mind. She did not depend upon
the rest of the world for anything. She calmly kept out of range
of the French guns and went on working. France wept and wailed,
wrung her impotent hands and appealed to the dumfounded nations.
Then she landed a punitive expedition to march to Peking. It was
two hundred and fifty thousand strong, and it was the flower of
France. It landed without opposition and marched into the
interior. And that was the last ever seen of it. The line of
communication was snapped on the second day. Not a survivor came
back to tell what had happened. It had been swallowed up in
China's cavernous maw, that was all.
In the five years that followed, China's expansion, in all land
directions, went on apace. Siam was made part of the Empire, and,
in spite of all that England could do, Burma and the Malay
Peninsula were overrun; while all along the long south boundary of
Siberia, Russia was pressed severely by China's advancing hordes.
The process was simple. First came the Chinese immigration (or,
rather, it was already there, having come there slowly and
insidiously during the previous years). Next came the clash of
arms and the brushing away of all opposition by a monster army of
militia-soldiers, followed by their families and household baggage.
And finally came their settling down as colonists in the conquered
territory. Never was there so strange and effective a method of
Napal and Bhutan were overrun, and the whole northern boundary of
India pressed against by this fearful tide of life. To the west,
Bokhara, and, even to the south and west, Afghanistan, were
swallowed up. Persia, Turkestan, and all Central Asia felt the
pressure of the flood. It was at this time that Burchaldter
revised his figures. He had been mistaken. China's population
must be seven hundred millions, eight hundred millions, nobody knew
how many millions, but at any rate it would soon be a billion.
There were two Chinese for every white-skinned human in the world,
Burchaldter announced, and the world trembled. China's increase
must have begun immediately, in 1904. It was remembered that since
that date there had not been a single famine. At 5,000,000 a year
increase, her total increase in the intervening seventy years must
be 350,000,000. But who was to know? It might be more. Who was
to know anything of this strange new menace of the twentieth
century--China, old China, rejuvenescent, fruitful, and militant!
The Convention of 1975 was called at Philadelphia. All the Western
nations, and some few of the Eastern, were represented. Nothing
was accomplished. There was talk of all countries putting bounties
on children to increase the birth rate, but it was laughed to scorn
by the arithmeticians, who pointed out that China was too far in
the lead in that direction. No feasible way of coping with China
was suggested. China was appealed to and threatened by the United
Powers, and that was all the Convention of Philadelphia came to;
and the Convention and the Powers were laughed at by China. Li
Tang Fwung, the power behind the Dragon Throne, deigned to reply.
"What does China care for the comity of nations?" said Li Tang
Fwung. "We are the most ancient, honourable, and royal of races.
We have our own destiny to accomplish. It is unpleasant that our
destiny does not tally with the destiny of the rest of the world,
but what would you? You have talked windily about the royal races
and the heritage of the earth, and we can only reply that that
remains to be seen. You cannot invade us. Never mind about your
navies. Don't shout. We know our navy is small. You see we use
it for police purposes. We do not care for the sea. Our strength
is in our population, which will soon be a billion. Thanks to you,
we are equipped with all modern war-machinery. Send your navies.
We will not notice them. Send your punitive expeditions, but first
remember France. To land half a million soldiers on our shores
would strain the resources of any of you. And our thousand
millions would swallow them down in a mouthful. Send a million;
send five millions, and we will swallow them down just as readily.
Pouf! A mere nothing, a meagre morsel. Destroy, as you have
threatened, you United States, the ten million coolies we have
forced upon your shores--why, the amount scarcely equals half of
our excess birth rate for a year."
So spoke Li Tang Fwung. The world was nonplussed, helpless,
terrified. Truly had he spoken. There was no combating China's
amazing birth rate. If her population was a billion, and was
increasing twenty millions a year, in twenty-five years it would be
a billion and a half--equal to the total population of the world in
1904. And nothing could be done. There was no way to dam up the
over-spilling monstrous flood of life. War was futile. China
laughed at a blockade of her coasts. She welcomed invasion. In
her capacious maw was room for all the hosts of earth that could be
hurled at her. And in the meantime her flood of yellow life poured
out and on over Asia. China laughed and read in their magazines
the learned lucubrations of the distracted Western scholars.
But there was one scholar China failed to reckon on--Jacobus
Laningdale. Not that he was a scholar, except in the widest sense.
Primarily, Jacobus Laningdale was a scientist, and, up to that
time, a very obscure scientist, a professor employed in the
laboratories of the Health Office of New York City. Jacobus
Laningdale's head was very like any other head, but in that head
was evolved an idea. Also, in that head was the wisdom to keep
that idea secret. He did not write an article for the magazines.
Instead, he asked for a vacation. On September 19, 1975, he
arrived in Washington. It was evening, but he proceeded straight
to the White House, for he had already arranged an audience with
the President. He was closeted with President Moyer for three
hours. What passed between them was not learned by the rest of the
world until long after; in fact, at that time the world was not
interested in Jacobus Laningdale. Next day the President called in
his Cabinet. Jacobus Laningdale was present. The proceedings were
kept secret. But that very afternoon Rufus Cowdery, Secretary of
State, left Washington, and early the following morning sailed for
England. The secret that he carried began to spread, but it spread
only among the heads of Governments. Possibly half-a-dozen men in
a nation were entrusted with the idea that had formed in Jacobus
Laningdale's head. Following the spread of the secret, sprang up
great activity in all the dockyards, arsenals, and navy-yards. The
people of France and Austria became suspicious, but so sincere were
their Governments' calls for confidence that they acquiesced in the
unknown project that was afoot.
This was the time of the Great Truce. All countries pledged
themselves solemnly not to go to war with any other country. The
first definite action was the gradual mobilization of the armies of
Russia, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, and Turkey. Then began
the eastward movement. All railroads into Asia were glutted with
troop trains. China was the objective, that was all that was
known. A little later began the great sea movement. Expeditions
of warships were launched from all countries. Fleet followed
fleet, and all proceeded to the coast of China. The nations
cleaned out their navy-yards. They sent their revenue cutters and
dispatch boots and lighthouse tenders, and they sent their last
antiquated cruisers and battleships. Not content with this, they
impressed the merchant marine. The statistics show that 58,640
merchant steamers, equipped with searchlights and rapid-fire guns,
were despatched by the various nations to China.
And China smiled and waited. On her land side, along her
boundaries, were millions of the warriors of Europe. She mobilized
five times as many millions of her militia and awaited the
invasion. On her sea coasts she did the same. But China was
puzzled. After all this enormous preparation, there was no
invasion. She could not understand. Along the great Siberian
frontier all was quiet. Along her coasts the towns and villages
were not even shelled. Never, in the history of the world, had
there been so mighty a gathering of war fleets. The fleets of all
the world were there, and day and night millions of tons of
battleships ploughed the brine of her coasts, and nothing happened.
Nothing was attempted. Did they think to make her emerge from her
shell? China smiled. Did they think to tire her out, or starve
her out? China smiled again.
But on May 1, 1976, had the reader been in the imperial city of
Peking, with its then population of eleven millions, he would have
witnessed a curious sight. He would have seen the streets filled
with the chattering yellow populace, every queued head tilted back,
every slant eye turned skyward. And high up in the blue he would
have beheld a tiny dot of black, which, because of its orderly
evolutions, he would have identified as an airship. From this
airship, as it curved its flight back and forth over the city, fell
missiles--strange, harmless missiles, tubes of fragile glass that
shattered into thousands of fragments on the streets and house-
tops. But there was nothing deadly about these tubes of glass.
Nothing happened. There were no explosions. It is true, three
Chinese were killed by the tubes dropping on their heads from so
enormous a height; but what were three Chinese against an excess
birth rate of twenty millions? One tube struck perpendicularly in
a fish-pond in a garden and was not broken. It was dragged ashore
by the master of the house. He did not dare to open it, but,
accompanied by his friends, and surrounded by an ever-increasing
crowd, he carried the mysterious tube to the magistrate of the
district. The latter was a brave man. With all eyes upon him, he
shattered the tube with a blow from his brass-bowled pipe. Nothing
happened. Of those who were very near, one or two thought they saw
some mosquitoes fly out. That was all. The crowd set up a great
laugh and dispersed.
As Peking was bombarded by glass tubes, so was all China. The tiny
airships, dispatched from the warships, contained but two men each,
and over all cities, towns, and villages they wheeled and curved,
one man directing the ship, the other man throwing over the glass
Had the reader again been in Peking, six weeks later, he would have
looked in vain for the eleven million inhabitants. Some few of
them he would have found, a few hundred thousand, perhaps, their
carcasses festering in the houses and in the deserted streets, and
piled high on the abandoned death-waggons. But for the rest he
would have had to seek along the highways and byways of the Empire.
And not all would he have found fleeing from plague-stricken
Peking, for behind them, by hundreds of thousands of unburied
corpses by the wayside, he could have marked their flight. And as
it was with Peking, so it was with all the cities, towns, and
villages of the Empire. The plague smote them all. Nor was it one
plague, nor two plagues; it was a score of plagues. Every virulent
form of infectious death stalked through the land. Too late the
Chinese government apprehended the meaning of the colossal
preparations, the marshalling of the world-hosts, the flights of
the tin airships, and the rain of the tubes of glass. The
proclamations of the government were vain. They could not stop the
eleven million plague-stricken wretches, fleeing from the one city
of Peking to spread disease through all the land. The physicians
and health officers died at their posts; and death, the all-
conqueror, rode over the decrees of the Emperor and Li Tang Fwung.
It rode over them as well, for Li Tang Fwung died in the second
week, and the Emperor, hidden away in the Summer Palace, died in
the fourth week.
Had there been one plague, China might have coped with it. But
from a score of plagues no creature was immune. The man who
escaped smallpox went down before scarlet fever. The man who was
immune to yellow fever was carried away by cholera; and if he were
immune to that, too, the Black Death, which was the bubonic plague,
swept him away. For it was these bacteria, and germs, and
microbes, and bacilli, cultured in the laboratories of the West,
that had come down upon China in the rain of glass.
All organization vanished. The government crumbled away. Decrees
and proclamations were useless when the men who made them and
signed them one moment were dead the next. Nor could the maddened
millions, spurred on to flight by death, pause to heed anything.
They fled from the cities to infect the country, and wherever they
fled they carried the plagues with them. The hot summer was on--
Jacobus Laningdale had selected the time shrewdly--and the plague
festered everywhere. Much is conjectured of what occurred, and
much has been learned from the stories of the few survivors. The
wretched creatures stormed across the Empire in many-millioned
flight. The vast armies China had collected on her frontiers
melted away. The farms were ravaged for food, and no more crops
were planted, while the crops already in were left unattended and
never came to harvest. The most remarkable thing, perhaps, was the
flights. Many millions engaged in them, charging to the bounds of
the Empire to be met and turned back by the gigantic armies of the
West. The slaughter of the mad hosts on the boundaries was
stupendous. Time and again the guarding line was drawn back twenty
or thirty miles to escape the contagion of the multitudinous dead.
Once the plague broke through and seized upon the German and
Austrian soldiers who were guarding the borders of Turkestan.
Preparations had been made for such a happening, and though sixty
thousand soldiers of Europe were carried off, the international
corps of physicians isolated the contagion and dammed it back. It
was during this struggle that it was suggested that a new plague-
germ had originated, that in some way or other a sort of
hybridization between plague-germs had taken place, producing a new
and frightfully virulent germ. First suspected by Vomberg, who
became infected with it and died, it was later isolated and studied
by Stevens, Hazenfelt, Norman, and Landers.
Such was the unparalleled invasion of China. For that billion of
people there was no hope. Pent in their vast and festering
charnel-house, all organization and cohesion lost, they could do
naught but die. They could not escape. As they were flung back
from their land frontiers, so were they flung back from the sea.
Seventy-five thousand vessels patrolled the coasts. By day their
smoking funnels dimmed the sea-rim, and by night their flashing
searchlights ploughed the dark and harrowed it for the tiniest
escaping junk. The attempts of the immense fleets of junks were
pitiful. Not one ever got by the guarding sea-hounds. Modern war-
machinery held back the disorganized mass of China, while the
plagues did the work.
But old War was made a thing of laughter. Naught remained to him
but patrol duty. China had laughed at war, and war she was
getting, but it was ultra-modern war, twentieth century war, the
war of the scientist and the laboratory, the war of Jacobus
Laningdale. Hundred-ton guns were toys compared with the micro-
organic projectiles hurled from the laboratories, the messengers of
death, the destroying angels that stalked through the empire of a
During all the summer and fall of 1976 China was an inferno. There
was no eluding the microscopic projectiles that sought out the
remotest hiding-places. The hundreds of millions of dead remained
unburied and the germs multiplied themselves, and, toward the last,
millions died daily of starvation. Besides, starvation weakened
the victims and destroyed their natural defences against the
plagues. Cannibalism, murder, and madness reigned. And so
Not until the following February, in the coldest weather, were the
first expeditions made. These expeditions were small, composed of
scientists and bodies of troops; but they entered China from every
side. In spite of the most elaborate precautions against
infection, numbers of soldiers and a few of the physicians were
stricken. But the exploration went bravely on. They found China
devastated, a howling wilderness through which wandered bands of
wild dogs and desperate bandits who had survived. All survivors
were put to death wherever found. And then began the great task,
the sanitation of China. Five years and hundreds of millions of
treasure were consumed, and then the world moved in--not in zones,
as was the idea of Baron Albrecht, but heterogeneously, according
to the democratic American programme. It was a vast and happy
intermingling of nationalities that settled down in China in 1982
and the years that followed--a tremendous and successful experiment
in cross-fertilization. We know to-day the splendid mechanical,
intellectual, and art output that followed.
It was in 1987, the Great Truce having been dissolved, that the
ancient quarrel between France and Germany over Alsace-Lorraine
recrudesced. The war-cloud grew dark and threatening in April, and
on April 17 the Convention of Copenhagen was called. The
representatives of the nations of the world, being present, all
nations solemnly pledged themselves never to use against one
another the laboratory methods of warfare they had employed in the
invasion of China.
--Excerpt from Walt Mervin's "Certain Essays in History."
THE ENEMY OF ALL THE WORLD
It was Silas Bannerman who finally ran down that scientific wizard
and arch-enemy of mankind, Emil Gluck. Gluck's confession, before
he went to the electric chair, threw much light upon the series of
mysterious events, many apparently unrelated, that so perturbed the
world between the years 1933 and 1941. It was not until that
remarkable document was made public that the world dreamed of there
being any connection between the assassination of the King and
Queen of Portugal and the murders of the New York City police
officers. While the deeds of Emil Gluck were all that was
abominable, we cannot but feel, to a certain extent, pity for the
unfortunate, malformed, and maltreated genius. This side of his
story has never been told before, and from his confession and from
the great mass of evidence and the documents and records of the
time we are able to construct a fairly accurate portrait of him,
and to discern the factors and pressures that moulded him into the
human monster he became and that drove him onward and downward
along the fearful path he trod.
Emil Gluck was born in Syracuse, New York, in 1895. His father,
Josephus Gluck, was a special policeman and night watchman, who, in
the year 1900, died suddenly of pneumonia. The mother, a pretty,
fragile creature, who, before her marriage, had been a milliner,
grieved herself to death over the loss of her husband. This
sensitiveness of the mother was the heritage that in the boy became
morbid and horrible.
In 1901, the boy, Emil, then six years of age, went to live with
his aunt, Mrs. Ann Bartell. She was his mother's sister, but in
her breast was no kindly feeling for the sensitive, shrinking boy.
Ann Bartell was a vain, shallow, and heartless woman. Also, she
was cursed with poverty and burdened with a husband who was a lazy,
erratic ne'er-do-well. Young Emil Gluck was not wanted, and Ann
Bartell could be trusted to impress this fact sufficiently upon
him. As an illustration of the treatment he received in that
early, formative period, the following instance is given.
When he had been living in the Bartell home a little more than a
year, he broke his leg. He sustained the injury through playing on
the forbidden roof--as all boys have done and will continue to do
to the end of time. The leg was broken in two places between the
knee and thigh. Emil, helped by his frightened playmates, managed
to drag himself to the front sidewalk, where he fainted. The
children of the neighbourhood were afraid of the hard-featured
shrew who presided over the Bartell house; but, summoning their
resolution, they rang the bell and told Ann Bartell of the
accident. She did not even look at the little lad who lay stricken
on the sidewalk, but slammed the door and went back to her wash-
tub. The time passed. A drizzle came on, and Emil Gluck, out of
his faint, lay sobbing in the rain. The leg should have been set
immediately. As it was, the inflammation rose rapidly and made a
nasty case of it. At the end of two hours, the indignant women of
the neighbourhood protested to Ann Bartell. This time she came out
and looked at the lad. Also she kicked him in the side as he lay
helpless at her feet, and she hysterically disowned him. He was
not her child, she said, and recommended that the ambulance be
called to take him to the city receiving hospital. Then she went
back into the house.
It was a woman, Elizabeth Shepstone, who came along, learned the
situation, and had the boy placed on a shutter. It was she who
called the doctor, and who, brushing aside Ann Bartell, had the boy
carried into the house. When the doctor arrived, Ann Bartell
promptly warned him that she would not pay him for his services.
For two months the little Emil lay in bed, the first month on his
back without once being turned over; and he lay neglected and
alone, save for the occasional visits of the unremunerated and
over-worked physician. He had no toys, nothing with which to
beguile the long and tedious hours. No kind word was spoken to
him, no soothing hand laid upon his brow, no single touch or act of
loving tenderness--naught but the reproaches and harshness of Ann
Bartell, and the continually reiterated information that he was not
wanted. And it can well be understood, in such environment, how
there was generated in the lonely, neglected boy much of the
bitterness and hostility for his kind that later was to express
itself in deeds so frightful as to terrify the world.
It would seem strange that, from the hands of Ann Bartell, Emil
Gluck should have received a college education; but the explanation
is simple. Her ne'er-do-well husband, deserting her, made a strike
in the Nevada goldfields, and returned to her a many-times
millionaire. Ann Bartell hated the boy, and immediately she sent
him to the Farristown Academy, a hundred miles away. Shy and
sensitive, a lonely and misunderstood little soul, he was more
lonely than ever at Farristown. He never came home, at vacation,
and holidays, as the other boys did. Instead, he wandered about
the deserted buildings and grounds, befriended and misunderstood by
the servants and gardeners, reading much, it is remembered,
spending his days in the fields or before the fire-place with his
nose poked always in the pages of some book. It was at this time
that he over-used his eyes and was compelled to take up the wearing
of glasses, which same were so prominent in the photographs of him
published in the newspapers in 1941.
He was a remarkable student. Application such as his would have
taken him far; but he did not need application. A glance at a text
meant mastery for him. The result was that he did an immense
amount of collateral reading and acquired more in half a year than
did the average student in half-a-dozen years. In 1909, barely
fourteen years of age, he was ready--"more than ready" the
headmaster of the academy said--to enter Yale or Harvard. His
juvenility prevented him from entering those universities, and so,
in 1909, we find him a freshman at historic Bowdoin College. In
1913 he graduated with highest honours, and immediately afterward
followed Professor Bradlough to Berkeley, California. The one
friend that Emil Gluck discovered in all his life was Professor
Bradlough. The latter's weak lungs had led him to exchange Maine
for California, the removal being facilitated by the offer of a
professorship in the State University. Throughout the year 1914,
Emil Gluck resided in Berkeley and took special scientific courses.
Toward the end of that year two deaths changed his prospects and
his relations with life. The death of Professor Bradlough took
from him the one friend he was ever to know, and the death of Ann
Bartell left him penniless. Hating the unfortunate lad to the
last, she cut him off with one hundred dollars.
The following year, at twenty years of age, Emil Gluck was enrolled
as an instructor of chemistry in the University of California.
Here the years passed quietly; he faithfully performed the drudgery
that brought him his salary, and, a student always, he took half-a-
dozen degrees. He was, among other things, a Doctor of Sociology,
of Philosophy, and of Science, though he was known to the world, in
later days, only as Professor Gluck.
He was twenty-seven years old when he first sprang into prominence
in the newspapers through the publication of his book, Sex and
Progress. The book remains to-day a milestone in the history and
philosophy of marriage. It is a heavy tome of over seven hundred
pages, painfully careful and accurate, and startlingly original.
It was a book for scientists, and not one calculated to make a
stir. But Gluck, in the last chapter, using barely three lines for
it, mentioned the hypothetical desirability of trial marriages. At
once the newspapers seized these three lines, "played them up
yellow," as the slang was in those days, and set the whole world
laughing at Emil Gluck, the bespectacled young professor of twenty-
seven. Photographers snapped him, he was besieged by reporters,
women's clubs throughout the land passed resolutions condemning him
and his immoral theories; and on the floor of the California
Assembly, while discussing the state appropriation to the
University, a motion demanding the expulsion of Gluck was made
under threat of withholding the appropriation--of course, none of