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an episode 
Doings of the Dualized. 

"The truth is, a great mind must be androgynous," 

— Coleridge. 

Kv EvBLEBN Laura Mason, 


THIS was the way it happened. Like all beginnings of things, 
the roots were in the dark. Ethelbert Daksha came of a 
family in which girls counted for a big half of all that was bright 
and interesting. 

The Dakshas were a delightful family every way, except, perhaps, 
in the matter of money-wealth. That seemed constitutionally lacking, 
because you will see yourself that people who take great interest in 
devising ways of spending money, and very little in devising ways of 
getting it to spend, in the constitution of things are lacking in money- 
wealth. But they had everything else except money, and their chief 
thought in regard to that lack was an amiable perplexity that it seemed 
to be such a desideratum in affairs of society. There was a big but 
exhausted English property on the mother's side; and this strain of 
high English blood was mixed with a dash of hard-headed German 
culture and a few drops from the veins of a Spanish dame, lady-mother 
of the Hidalgos. So, you see, when, ninety years before, a discontent 
with something in the Old World society had set the elder Daksha 
down on American soil, various European nationalities were trans- 
planted to root as best might be in American civilization. In addition 
to all this, as faith in all things high, bounded brightly in tl^e Daniel 
O'Connell blood which coursed through Daniel Daksha's veins, it was 
very natural that his daughter Ethelbert, considering as she did that 
all nationalities were equally admirable for different virtues, should 
be greatly astonished that there should be quarrels between those of 
different countries, when the blood of four nations coursed so amicably 
in her own veins. If ever there were a girl who, in the nature of 
things was a typical American, it was Ethelbert Daksha, with the race- 


drift of Europe, Asia and Africa in her individual veins, as our nation 
carries it in its aggregated citizenship. 

Mr. Daksha recognized all this. He was one of the dreamers who 
work, at whose feet life lays its crown of success ; although so far his 
many admirable schemes for regenerating society had made him at once 
the most serviceable and the most impecunious of mortals. He had 
abundant means, but little money; and while it might be stretching 
a point to say the Dakshas cultivated a life of beauty on a little oatmeal, 
yet it would give a hint at the way in which beauty was cultivated in 
that simple home, where oatmeal was the chief of their diet ; that is, if 
you leave out of the reckoning the best periodicals and old writings 
of all climes and ages. These things were really the chief of their diet, 
and had much to do with the fact that they, like the old lady who lived 
on the hill, were scarce ever quiet concerning the topic of the ideal 
order of society which is soon coming to our nation, and through us to 
the world. 

Life among the Dakshas was like a bit of Greek art transplanted to 
the robust civilization of this country, which is trying so hard to assimi- 
late its many diverse elements. The theory of the elegant Greeks was : 
"What the spirit wills, the body must." This theory had been practical- 
ized more or less fully by O'Connell, who knew no law stronger than 
that of itut^Sircessi/ieSf which he deemed were laid on him as liberator of 
his people. The same theory had been the impelling power of the 
Spanish proverb which, translated, reads: "In his own soul, and not in 
that of another, must the principle of one's actions be established." 
While the German element, which fills the veins of England's crowned 
family, in quick response to the same idea, cried out: "Let every man 
hear for himself, and hearing, then speak." 

So as you may well suppose, the theory that spirit is master and body 
is only the good servant to do the spirit's bidding, met some rebuffs as 
the Dakshas lived it out midst that portion of the newly rich who devote 
their energies to saving — not man, but money. And so much were the 


Dakshas in love with their beautiful ideals that but for their good 
common sense they would have become domineering dogmatists ; and 
thus, properly, would have made themselves greatly disliked, and there- 
fore, incapacitated for service. 

About forty odd years before this episode the heads of the Daksha 
family had settled themselves to the recognition that the inordinate 
frenzy for money-making which was deluging its possessors, would 
insure many low tragedies in high (?) life; and to the recognition that 
society was becoming but like a witch's caldron with its seethe and 
bubble of toil and trouble, and with its inodorous stench of poison 
things, flung into it by the witches and wizards, as they carry out their 
passion-dance on the old Harry's pavilion. 

Of course the Dakshas had their opinion of this besotted high (?) life, 
with its stimulation of that excitement which wrecks nerve and brain. 
But they did not presume to force the virtues of self-culture on persons 
whose highest dream of success was to increase their chances for 
THIS indulgence IN HIGH OLD TIMES, and who wcre more than willing 
to pay for them, with the after years of that disease, remorse and reek 
of ill-fame in which "the name of the wicked rots." 

Whatever they might choose to do with their knowledge, the fact 
remained that the younger Dakshas knew that they, by inheritance, were 
rooted in different purposes and back-history than such as this, which 
reveals itself in these forms of faith-breaking, love-outraging, humanity- 
destroying bewilderments. So when this other kind of girls and boys, 
with their mothers and fathers flying around in society's whirligig, 
flitted about them, the Dakshas thought steadily on the truth as they 
knew it; and "hearing for themselves, then spoke," thus giving their 
companions a chance to catch on at any point of spiritual contact 
which they found available. 

So the roots of Ethelbert Daksha's life had gathered force and fibre 
in wisdom religions known in ancient America, Europe, Asia and 
Africa; and the might of this force was now annealed in her nature. 


and was forming into a unified strength of character, which to the 
ignorant seemed like a thing of very different quaUty. 

Reginald Grove altogether misunderstood Ethel when first they met ; 
for he did not so much as know that there were girls in the world with 
character-roots so deep and far-reaching. There were two things he 
recognized at sight, but character was not one. He knew money when 
he saw it, and he thought he knew poverty, too. His father belonged 
to the class of people who laugh at "blood," and worship money. His 
blood was made up of such things as a man who lays the reins on the 
neck of his impulses can get into his veins, if in his early days his father 
strikes a "money lead" and he "a society life"; but then he had a 
mother, too, and there came in the difference. 

Since he was seventeen years old Reginald had bought all the high- 
priced things that our fast civilization has to offer in exchange for 
"soul," and now the ashes of that past were beginning to grit between 
his teeth; for he had a sweet memory of peace, purity and of an 
harmonious-purpose which glinted across his mind angelically as the 
remains of what had been his baby guesses at real manhood. But this 
dream, and the sainted mother who had inspired it, had both been 
devastated by the ignorant animalism of the elder Grove. So when the 
mother-spirit was released from earth's control, little Regie's waiting 
eyes turned to his father; and watching, he perceived that his father's 
shrewd bargaining instincts resulted in increased wealth, which made it 
possible for him to sow a big crop of gilded misery, and still to pay his 
son's bills, while he did likewise ; and that doing all this he was yet 
flattered as a millionaire. So you see, beloved as was his mother's 
memory and distinct as had been her teachings to his baby mind, they 
became but "woman's notions" when contradicted by his father's prac- 
tices, and by the licensing laws of paternal government which assure 
young men they may sin freely, and yet be wealthy and wise ; and 
healthy, too, if nostrums will make them so. 

For a time Reginald believed this, seeing the nation's fathers had by 


license laws practically declared it. And as the wisdom of the nation's 
mothers had been placed under silence as deep as the grave, **no cause 
or impediment being shown to forbid the banns " between his soul and 
corruption, he rushed on in the paths prepared for feet like his. But 
lately he did not feel very healthy; and as for his wealth, he feared that 
was getting a bit rickety, and his wisdom was hardly at par. 

So these were Reginald's character "roots." But it was the one little 
radical, or true-life fibre, which vibrated with a thrill when he first met 
Ethelbert Daksha. At the instant, it seemed to him as though the 
mirage which ever floated up from the fens of his unrecorded life, was 
swept away by a breath from over the jasper walls of the eternal city. 
That curious look out of Ethelbert's eyes, so all-comprehending, pitiful 
and yet unmoved, held him, as his mother's eyes had always done in the 
past ; and he had not a word to say. He felt as such men feel when 
conscious of the moral distance between their private lives and the lives 
of sweet girl acquaintances. 

As usual he waited for Ethelbert to speak; but -as is not usual she, 
recognizing his moral state, did not come down and hunt round for 
something to say on its level. " The great gulf fixed," was fixed. She 
did not try to cross it ; so she escaped falling and floundering therein, 
for her pains. Ethelbert believed not in self-abnegation, but in self- 
expression. She believed it right to stand squarely on her own fair 
heights ; that from there, with the hand next her heart placed in 
Jehovah's, she could give her ^rd^/w-in spired right hand to brother 
man and then lift 1 

" An Englishman dares be silent," they say, and Ethelbert's English 
quality was in the ascendant, when Reginald looked at her, wishing 
to know if those mother-eyes were backed by a brain filled with mother 
wit and wisdom. He met silence, and went away from that party with 
an unsatisfied hunger in his soul, which proved that that abused thing 
was not dead yet. 

After that they met casually often ; and Ethelbert, who " pondered 


all these things in her heart," which are brought by " ministering spirits 
to those who are heirs of salvation," knew Reginald better than as if 
they for years had talked much self-disguising trash together. 

One summer afternoon when she was sitting on the balcony of the 
Daksha home he passed and raised his hat, and she bowed in return, 
with the thought in mind and eyes, "that man is inherently a good 
man." And he saw it, and halted, and then with direct purpose, 
crossed the street and seated himself on the step, asking no permission. 

" Miss Ethelbert, you always make me wish I were a boy five years 
old," he said. 

"I wish you were," said Ethelbert. 

This was sudden for Reginald ; for though he was willing to recognize 
the failure he had made of manhood, Ethelbert's businesslike way of 
accepting the idea was not flattering, and he ivas used to flattery. 

"Why do you wish it?" he said after knocking his teeth, not agree- 
ably, with the head of his cane and gazing at her combatively. 

"So that you could cleave to the right. You are so old in your 
habits now, so undeveloped in the practice of judgment, and — oh, 
there is Bertha 1 Come right up here, Bertha. I was sitting here 
looking for you. Yes, you can have the newly cut lawn grass for your 
rabbits ; but I want to see you first. I have saved the papers for you. 
Now, Mr. Grove, this is one of my friends. Bertha Gemacht; and Bertha, 
this is one of my friends, Reginald Grove." 

Reginald had risen to his feet under this speech, the words of which 
are only recorded. The cool, helpful look which she turned on him in 
view of his moral mismanagement, and which was not in the least 
altered as she looked from him to Bertha, and from Bertha to him 
again, was as new to him as it was irritating and fascinating. For 
Bertha was to him a hard-looking woman as she laid her sack for hold- 
ing the grass, down, and turned on him a look cowed, yet angry, and 
with another mixed expression indescribable. 

There was a little odor of whiskey about Bertha, and so there was 


about Reginald; and Ethelbert's senses were as keen in one case as 
they were in the other; but she noticed that while Bertha seemed not 
in the least surprised that such a man as Reginald was found in a nice 
lady's company, he was plainly indignant at seeing Bertha there; and 
that he watched them with disapprobation while they leaned over an 
illustrated paper together. 

" Now I would like you to read an account of the two women who 
took a homestead of one hundred and sixty acres ; and for seven years 
worked it so well and wisely that they now have a delightful, valuable 
home, and have since added three other women to the household: 
women who had lost hope of happiness and honor, but are now becom- 
ing healthy and self-sustained by work, — honest, skillful work. Of 
course one has to have health in order to have nice clear brains." 

"O Bertha, did you read and understand the health journal I loaned 
you? And did you think, after all the facts I told you, that you would 
better still sometimes use whiskey and — " 

"Indeed, Miss Daksha, I have not taken more than — " 

"Bertha," Ethelbert interrupted. "Of course you will drink whiskey 
all you choose. I was only wishing you would choose not to drink it 
at all. Do you think rum drinking makes people healthy, wealthy and 
wise ? " 

Bertha's face had lighted up under the idea which had lately been 
brought to her by this friend, whose unvarying recognition of Bertha's 
individuality, and of the fact that she could make of herself just such a 
woman as she chose to make, had opened a world of dignified possibili- 
ties before her. Her large eyes, which often had the look of an angry 
animal brought to bay, had now in them a puzzled, wondering look, full 
of startled expectancy. 

" Do you think I am healthier than you are ? " said Ethelbert. Bertha 
nodded eagerly. "Would you wish to be like me? " 

" O Gott in Himmel ! Would I not ! " said Bertha, and she threw 
her old apron over her head ; and the wild conflict within broke forth 
in a tempest of sobs. 


Reginald sat down on the steps with his back to them both, and 
looked out on the evening clouds ; and Ethelbert, in that sharp fellow- 
ship with suffering which is part of the price paid by those whose 
soul-sight gives them redemptive power with the tempted and fallen, 
steadied herself under the pangs of the sudden remorse that had struck 
the heart of the man and of the woman an ear. 

** There Bertha, now listen," said she presently. " Let us, you and I, 
not do anything which will in the least harm the pure river of life, 
which, flowing through our veins, comes first from Jehovah, the fount 
of all life. See, Bertha I " 

The girl uncovered her eyes, and awe-struck, looked at Ethelbert as 
she bared her arm and showed the blue tracery there, and on her hand, 
adding: "See, the beautiful stream in the little river-beds here, flows 
on, and up through this big artery in my throat, over my brain. And 
Bertha," she paused, and with a dramatic but perfectly unaffected ges- 
ture full of regnant poise, and with a light in her eyes never seen on 
sea or land, she said again, slowly: "And, Bertha, brain rules here! 
What the spirit wills, this body must. So my brain has commanded 
that nothing shall be put into my blood which shall send poisonous 
elements maddeningly up to the throne of reason. But Bertha, if you 
think it is wise to do as you do, you may have some good cause for it, 
that I know nothing about. Tell me, am I mistaken in my ideas? 
Shall I go with you where you went this afternoon, and put into my 
veins all that you did into yours?" 

"Gott bewahr! Oh, don't say, don't think of such things of your 
veins ! " cried Bertha, almost throwing her arms round Ethelbert. 

Reginald sprang to his feet and looked at poor Bertha with a loathful 
vindictiveness hard to describe. 

" Is it too bad for me ? Oh, then, it must be too bad for you," said 
Ethelbert, with a pain intense in her tone. " You cut me to the heart 
just so when you violate your blood with things of horror. It is good 
German blood, and part of it flows in my veins, and all of it came from 


the great Fountain of Life who * made of one blood all nations of the 
earth/ and who, in this, our beloved country, is gathering up all ^he 
nations of the earth into the life of this Republic's inheritance. It 
is for women to secure to our nation a heritage better than golden 

Ethelbert's grey eyes were fixed on a floating cloud, and, absorbing 
into herself the doings of the beautiful world above, she broke up her 
reverie ; and turning, looked at Bertha, saying explainingly : " You see 
yourself, Bertha, I mean that my parents and grandparents might have 
forgotten that I was coming to inherit their blood and their brains, and 
might have carelessly filled the fountain of their life with poison-loving 
elements. Now, if they had done so, what do you suppose I would 
now do about it myself?" 

"I'll tell you what you would do about it," interrupted Reginald. 
" You would have thought it the best blood in the land, madame, and 
would have scorned that girl as much as you scorn me, to whom you 
are reading this lesson over her shoulders. She don't understand a 
word you've said ; but do you think I am a fool ? " 

" No," said Ethelbert simply. 

Bertha looked after him as he walked off a few steps. 

" Is that man your friend ?" she said sharply. " I understand not all 
your speaking words, but full well I know your wisdom in the thought 
of it, and well I know that the body is as a beast if the spirit shall not 
command what it will do. He thinks me a fool — too much fool to 
talk your wisdom-words. I are not fool. I choose this day. This 
head 'shall say, * No more of beer and oder tings to my body. It has 
said so before this time, many days, but now, the body must !^ Now 
then, I, Bertha, ask you : Do you think I am a fool ? " 

"No," said Ethelbert. 

"Well, I shall be a fool if I steals away my brains some more." 

" I think you will never do that any more. Brain force can be lost 
and wasted ; or it can be treasured up, englobed delightsomely. Now, 


Bertha^ take this rosebud and try to live as healthfully and sweet as 
roses do. Bertha, gather up your grass for the rabbits, and make the 
little things clean and happy, and then you can read your papers 
tonight, and come and get some more. Here is a pencil, so you can 
mark any little place you don't quite understand, and I will tell you 
about it. Good-night." 

^ Good-night, Miss Daksha,*' said Bertha, looking back enviously at 
Reginald, who stood striking the rosebush with his cane, and not yet 

" You can't put that rose together again," said Ethelbert. 

"Who cares?" said he roughly. For, as Ethelbert would not flatter 
him, he unconsciously proposed not to flatter her. You see he had felt 
full of the ashes of the past; and those ashes, like a volatile alkali, 
needed only an acid admLxture to ensure a sudden fermentation of soul. 
The truths which had seemed so sweet to Bertha had been acid to him, 
and a foam of wrath was choking him as he sputtered : '• Who cares ? " 

" That is the question," said Ethelbert, gathering up the shattered 
rose : ** Who cares ? " 

He gave the bush another cut with his cane ; for the fermentation of 
ideas within was quite unendurable. He had always supposed that 
women were made on purpose to flatter men, and he had always had 
so much of it that he was sick of it ; but now when he cared a good 
deal to be thought well of, he felt it was a bit hard to be made to think 
of himself as he had been made to think all that morning. He had 
until now thought Ethelbert particularly attractive, because she was so 
bright ; but now he thought her brightness was so overmuch of a good 
thing as to be perfectly detestable. The same hand that in ^vanton 
cruelty was whacking to pieces those exquisite moss rosebuds, would 
willingly have whacked out of existence all the high human tests of 
character which had stripped his soul bare before his gaze. Something 
of this, but not very clearly defined, made him hit the bush again as he 
looked at Ethelbert, who, free from a suggestion of reproof or sentiment 
of any kind, repeated : " Who cares ? " 


"I don't," said Reginald ; and after a pause : " Do you ? " 

" Do I care that I can't put the rose together again ? I don't aspire 
to do that ; yet I do very much care to have all the power I can possibly 
obtain with which to arrest the destruction of beautiful life and orderly 

" Oh, yes, much you care to make a fellow happy," said Reginald 
sullenly. " Look at the cold-blooded way you sat there and talked to 
that miserable thing about me." And after waiting again, he said with 
the combativeness of a man opposed by silence, when instead he longed 
for a quarrel : " Now this is all very well. Miss Daksha, but you know 
that if you noticed — noticed — well, as you might say — if you smelt 
whiskey on her (now you've got it), if you smelt whiskey on her, you 
could — you are sharp Enough to notice — anything, in fact," said he, 
stumbling on under her steady uplifted eyes, "Aren't you ? " 

"I notice many things," said Ethelbert, like a little truthful child. 

He hit the rosebush again. " You are a queer girl," he said. "You 
have no respect for a man's feelings." 

" What are those things ? " 

" Wtat things ? " 

" A man's feelingis, I believe you called them," said Ethelbert. 

He came near her, with red passion-flushes patching his face like 
Satan's finger-prints ; and stood angrily looking at her. And then he 
slashed the air close to her with his cane ; but he might as well have 
shot glances of rage at a lily-cup, in the hope of arresting the sweet aura 
it exhaled. He turned angrily away " Well, I can just believe you," 
he said. "You neither know nor care what feelings are. You care 
more about that old rose." 

" That depends," said Ethelbert " I care for the rose because it is 
sweet, orderly life. If a man's feelings are the same, I care just as 
much for them. But character is not a question of feeling. It is a 
question of wise action." 

He muttered a passionate oath, and hit the bush again. For the 


devils were "rending him," and "that kind goeth not out, except by 
prayer and fasting." He was not much of a praying man ; and as for 
fasting, his habitual diet and incessant brandy quaffing did not come 
under that head, nor produce those calming results. Added to this, 
three months had passed since Ethelbert Daksha had seemed to him as 
no woman had ever seemed to him before ; and in those three months 
he had been afraid to approach acquaintanceship, because of the infinite 
distance between them. This distance he, with all his unpublished 
record of demoralization, had decency enough to recognize. And now 
he had a feeling akin to hatred toward Ethelbert, that she should have 
the impudence to know anything of him except what his "good clothes," 
not bad-featured face, and his hitherto very silent tongue might have 

He forgot that he was living in this new age in which something like 
occult powers are given to the "pure in heart," who, seeing God, who is 
All, and in all, necessarily must see the truth as to the conditions which 
fill society. His spiritual and intuitional faculties were not dead, but 
sealed up, and enswathed in cerements of flesh. And so, as he now 
himself realized, he had nothing but a man's feelings, hot, blind and 
passionate, to oppose to the percipient intelligence, that, cool and pure, 
looked steadily into the seething caldron of his heart. 

" If a man's feelings are orderly, beautiful life, I care jusl as much for 
them," she said again slowly. And as he stood before the Virgin 
Mother grace in her, an ineffable longing for purity and new creation 
took possession of him. He covered his eyes and sat down on the 

" Mine were beautiful when I was three years old," he said, "orderly, 
beautiful Ufe. O good God, yes, they werel" It was a cry of remorse 
to his Creator, and Ethelbert understood it so. 

"I believe that readily, Reginald," she said, simply; **and I have 
limitless reverence for them; they were as sweet as this bud." He took 
from her hand the exquisite moss-covered wonder, and sat looking at it, 


while Ethelbert laid the mutilated rose, with its upgathered petals, on a 
book in her lap. 

"You mean that is about what my life is worth now," said he, 
pointing at the leaves and torn blossom. 

" You choose to do it yourself," said Ethelbert. 

" Who cares ? " was the angry response, for he had often sentimental- 
ized with girls over his ruined hopes, and had so led up to sweet 
flirtations ; but Ethelbert 's remark and the level look of her eyes, nipped 
that sort of a thing in the bud; and his "ugly" was rising at about the 
rate of ten degrees a second, when she said : ** I do." 

" On your honor, do you ? " he asked huskily. 

" On honor, yes, I care," she said. He looked white and kept the 
bud in his hand. She wished to help him, but she did not wish to 
preach nor sentimentalize. 

"You have abused this rosebud fearfully," rising and examining one 
on the bush. " You have shattered the rose and the leaves. Here is 
a bud which you have marred, but — " she stooped to examine it more 
closely ; " but I see it is not beyond the power of performing good uses 
still and of opening to mature life." 

These kind of analogies were not exactly in his line of thought, but 
somehow as with her he looked at this bud, with one side of the moss 
stripped off and the wound on the outer leaf, he became very sorry for 
the little Reginald Grove who buried his mother, and afterwards so badly 
mismanaged himself. For the moment he felt that all he had ever pos- 
sessed which was worth caring about, was what he had had when, envi- 
roned by mother-love, he grew up in her smiles. It was a presence about 
Ethelbert which made that time seem so valuable. He looked up at 
the simple house, and then at Ethelbert's dainty but inexpensive dress. 
The fragrance of the rose seemed intoxicating with its story of possible 
redemption. Yet every instinct of his better nature told him it was 
impossible that his life could ever blend with Ethelbert's, while also his 
best instincts, with an exigency of strong desire, demanded just that 


union. He was in a torture of soul, comparable with nothing he had 
ever before experienced. Suddenly he remembered his wealth, but it 
seemed only an abject thing. Yet presently, for some reason, he said: 
" Do you care for wealth ? '' 

" Immensely,*' said Ethelbert. 

He looked up at her as though he could not believe his ears ; but in 
his heart there was a hope, broken by doubt and darkened by disappoint- 
ment ; a hope that all-conquering wealth could win even her, but a dis- 
appointment in her if this could so be. After a moment he stumbled on, 
saying : ** I — I somehow don't see much good in it. After you have 
eaten all you can, and have drunken more than — than you ought, and 
made a fashion-block of yourself, and so on ; in fact, you know money 
can't give you back whatever there was in those old days," said Regi- 
nald, motioning toward the rose ; " it can't make the now impossible 

" That depends," said Ethelbert. " Money could make the now im- 
possible possible to many people." 

He looked at her with that same compound expression on his coun- 
tenance ; for you know this man, who had never grown to real manhood, 
being much bigger outside than he was in, — this man had for years 
stood • on guard against the many girls whom he fancied wished to 
marry his money. So he said, with a dash of the Grove suspicious 
shrewdness : "Is there anything now impossible to you that it could 
make possible ? " 

" Yes." 

He looked at her with lowering lights in his eyes. 

" Do you want that thing very much ? " 

" I have set myself to obtain it." 

''How much would you give?" said he, his heart beating thickly, 
and yet he could not look at her because of the mingled sense of 
victory and disappointment. 

" I shall give my life for it," she said quietly. **I have settled that." 


And while he was looking at her, utterly dazed as to her meaning, 
Judge Elkhorn threw himself from his horse and eagerly came up to 
Ethelbert, who received him with more alacrity than her still manner 
usually exhibited. 

Now Judge Elkhorn was a man head and shoulders above his fellows 
in much that makes average manhood. He was very wealthy, too ; and 
Reginald thought of both these facts as he watched Ethelbert and the 
judge ; and forty thousand fiends took hold of him within. 

The judge, intent on the object of his visit, had at first given that 
casual bow and glance with which one habitually recognizes the pres- 
ence of a fellow-being ; but the look on Reginald's countenance arrested 
his notice, so that the two men for a moment faced each other with a 
well-defined stare ; and during this moment Reginald's countenance 
perceptibly grew more red, lowering, and akin to the bulldog character 
of expression, and Judge Elkhorn's more self-poised. 

The next moment Reginald arose with an impulse to get away ; but 
as Ethelbert had ^t the very same moment set forward two cane chairs, 
he seated himself composedly with a set to his jaw that was not lost to 
the notice of his hostess. 

The judge preserved silence with the air of a man who recognizes the 
fact that it was perfectly in order that the first visitor should take his 
departure ; and an air that reminded one that he was suppressing all 
knowledge of the fact that this man's presence was a very questionable 
advantage to the lady favored with it. 

Ethelbert, instead of running to the rescue and disguising these men's 
characters from one another and herself by a flood of small talk, sat 
thinking faithfully on Reginald's very best qualities, and looking at the 
moss rosebud which he held by the stem in such a way as to conceal 
from the eye the flower which was under his half-closed hand. And 
when she seated herself a trifle nearer him than to the judge, Reginald 
recognized the gentle influence, and with an impulse of some kind, 
pinned the bud on his coat lapel. 


The judge seemed absolutely entranced with the sunset clouds oppo- 
site him. His gaze was extremely abstracted, and when he turned it 
toward Ethelbert, Reginald really felt that his presence was honestly 
forgotten, as the judge, evidently taking up his last conversation with 
Ethelbert, said : " Miss Daksha, you are supported in your ingenious 
theory by Augustin, as well as others. Augustin says : * A knowledge 
of the truth is equal to the task both of discerning and confuting all 
false assertions and erroneous arguments, though never before met 
with, if only they may be freely brought forward.' I have reconsidered 
my attempt to dissuade you from the (as I thought) quixotic undertaking 
on which you have set your heart, i was astonished at the self-confi- 
dence with which you virtually promise to give help to the struggling, ' 
counsel to the doubtful, light to the blind, hope to the despondent, and 
refreshment to the weary. But I perceive you propose to do this, not 
by dictating to others, but by simply setting forth the law of your 
own mind, and leaving it to the reasonableness or lack of reasonable- 
ness of those about you to act upon it for themselves.. There! Have 
I stated this as you explained your plan to me in our delightful con- 
versation?" said the judge, turning his eyes, with their hard will-power, 
upon Ethelbert. 

" Admirably," said Ethelbert. 

" Do you read Petrarch ? " 

" Why, really, no, I do not," said Ethelbert in surprise at herself. "I 
suppose I have not yet gotten to it." 

** I wondered whether it was your memory of that great author, or 
whether it were the wonderful reception of profoundest truth which 
blesses pure souls in all ages, bringing ever to the intelligent worker 
those i^^ fundamentals which relate to our moral natures. See, I copied 
this for you, that you might perceive not only that I was wrong in being 
against you, but that you have Petrarch on your sifie." 

And he passed her a bit copied from ** De Vita Solitaria," which is 
substantially as quoted from Ethelbert's own expression. 


"You remember," said the judge, •*you had said it was your own 
purpose to accumulate wisdom and employ all your acquirements and 
understanding in just the manner which would beist ensure benefit to 
the people of this now nearly twenty-first century, and would help 
to solve the especial problems of our conglomerate American society. 
Petrarch substantially says the same of his efforts for his people in 
his epoch." 

Reginald was turning over in his mind something which echoed down 
from babydom. He remembered a little book among his mother's 
choice few, with letters on the back. Did he not in childhood spell out 
the letters there P-E-T-R-A-R-C-H ? And what else was it he 
" knew about the old fellow " ? Oh, he had an idea now. He dimly 
remembered many talks with his mother ; but he thought he wpuld let 
these people talk on with their high themes, while he sat pulling out his 
mustache and getting a word or two together in such good form as 
would show this snob whom he was. 

" All I have to say then, is," commenced the little Captain Grove 
coolly, " Petrarch is rather coming up in reputation when he finds him- 
self able to keep up with the thoughts of Miss Daksha. I knew old 
Pete ; he was one of my mother's favorites. You know he was mashed 
on a girl called * Laura.' " 

A merry peal from Ethelbert quite cleared the atmosphere ; but, in 
the sharp, bright handling of the subject that followed, Reginald felt 
himself completely stranded again. So he had shrewdness enough to 
retire on his laurels, and to take his departure at a moment when a 
pretty little sentiment as to his arrested development along very nice 
lines of life, had quite taken possession of Mrs. Daksha, as well as of 
the rest. 

He walked direct from this visit to a bookstore and inquired for 
Petrarch's works, much to the amazement of the man who had hitherto 
supplied him with another style of literature. And then in his room in 
his hotel he recommenced an acquaintance with that author, or his 



mother, or with the moss rosebud which he had placed at his elbow, 
in a vase, or with Miss Ethelbert, or with himself. With which, or 
with how many of these he recommenced an acquaintance that even- 
ing, it would have been hard for him to say. But when he arose 
from the long half -reverie he was in a new frame of mind; and, too, 
he fancied he had stolen a march on Miss Daksha in regard to at 
least one book. 



AFTER dinner Reginald seated himself in the office of his hotel. 
There were the usual number of men about the place, talking and 
smoking, and watching the women who passed through the office now 
and then. Hotel life, with its ordinary distractions of seeing and being 
seen, and newsmongering and time-killing, was rather a bore to Regi- 
nald. But he had had little idea of anything else, unless it were a big 
house on something of the same plan of social divertisement and high 
hilarity. He had had spells of the blues, of course, in which he longed 
for something indefinable ; and now that his nerves and health were 
breaking down pretty fast, he had these blues more often than ever. 
His regular cure for these attacks was a visit to the bar, and then a 
couple of cigars after it, then more blues, and then more cigars ; so, of 
course, a permanent removal of the cause and the effect did not seem 
very likely to be secured. 

There were one or two women at his hotel, acquaintances of his, who 
had led the Hfe of dressing, dining, party-going and evening dancing or 
riding, for an indefinite number of years ; women who had tried every 
popular watering-place in the summer and many southern resorts in the 
winter, and who were getting stout and flashy, both as to diamonds and 
general effect : women who had money enough not to need to marry, 
and knowledge enough of the general quality of some of the men about 
them, not to care to marry ; and such a general sense of loneliness and 
dissatisfaction with the dullness, staleness, flatness and unprofitableness 
of life, as made them not to care to live, and quite too keen a cer- 
tainty of a life to come, to at all desire to risk embarking on that 
unknown sea on which diamonds and dinners, whist and mature old 
flirtations, could not be taken as cargo. 


Reginald had often wondered as he sat and talked nothing by the 
hour to these women, whether he or they were the most utter failures 
and bores. When this prbblem got too deep for him, he usually went to 
the bar ; in fact, the bar was his grand resort, most of the time. But 
when these same questions presented themselves to these women, very 
few of theni went to the bar or had the bar brought to them. They 
usually set to thinking, and then sometimes cried themselves so sick 
that their suppers were sent up to their rooms and eaten with the salt 
of tears. 

Now the difference in these cases of inanity was, that while the first 
useless mortal drowned himself in liquor and the second in tears, the 
result was the inebriation and steady animalization of the faculties of 
the one, while the other certainly escaped being classed with those who 
never ate bread in sorrow, and knows not the unseen powers. 

The boarders said that there had been what they called ** tender pas- 
sages" in history, between Mrs. Mancredo and Reginald. She had 
soft Italian eyes, which had cried many passionate hours, but they were 
always cooled off and black-leaded up ; and then with a little pink to 
make the tear-stain pinker still, Mrs. Mancredo never looked much the 
worse for the honest but baffled scrutiny which she had made of life in 
general and her own in particular. But on the reverse, she looked just 
so much the better, as she was for the time less hard and world en- 

At these times, if Reginald had not been too recently to his throne 
of consolation, the bar, he felt quite impressed by the element of 
womanliness which was visible in her tear-brightened eyes. 

On the evening after he had ventured on Ethelbert's fuller acquaint- 
ance, and had had that ethical and aesthetic conversation, and the inter- 
esting tHe-a-Ute with the rosebud, Petrarch and himself, Mrs. Mancredo 
had had a good long cry, so called. 

For a young bride had arrived at the hotel, wife of an invalid person ; 
and in the good gossip after dinner, Mrs. Mancredo had chatted about 


herself (apparently) to this young bride, until she knew all the past his- 
tory of the girl, and had a pretty clear forecast of her future history as 
well. Then she commenced with being very sorry for the pretty, in- 
genuous young thing, and more sorry for herself because of the years 
in which she was an unenviable wife, and still more sorry for herself in 
her present mature womanhood. So when she ca^ne down to supper 
she had her pretty round chin well up in the air, while her heavily 
leaded eyelashes drooped under the languor of her hard weeping. She 
had that strange sort of expectancy of something better, new, and more 
satisfactory at last, which sometimes follows on a new discovery of the 
great disproportion between human aspirations and the ordinary objects, 
which are palmed off upon them as satisfactory food. 

She glanced toward Reginald as she passed his table, and inwardly 
ejaculated " Horrid thing ! Eternally eating, whenever he stops wine- 
bibbing and smoking long enough." And then with a flutter and flow 
of drapery, she permitted the waiter to adjust the paraphernalia of the 
occasion, as with a flashing of finger-rings and twittering of the pen- 
dants in her ears, and heaving of the laces under the diamonds at her 
breast, she proceeded to practically assert the always conceded fact 
that she was a splendid-looking woman. Three or four newcomers rec- 
ognized the fact, and the old habitues were as loyal as ever. She saw 
all that, while she read and reread the bill of fare, and while the pa- 
tient John brushed off imaginary crumbs, and did many useless things 
to remind her he still lived, and lived but to serve. Then — " Oh, any- 
thing," was her order. He had expected that would be all, but he was 
obliged to wait just the same for its utterance. 

Mrs. Mancredo meanwhile had not for a moment lost sight of the 
fact that Reginald had not once glanced toward her; and also that, 
though he had not changed his dress otherwise, the moss rosebud which 
he had worn before was gone now. She began to get up ^ theory about 
that rosebud. She had before never seen him with a buttonhole bou. 
quet. Once when he had asked her for a flower he had only held it for 


a while ; he hadn't worn it. In a polite sort of a way, one time with 
another, she had snubbed Reginald often ; but all the same, if he was 
going to wear rosebuds, she was going to know why and whence. So 
she watched him. IJe was not even reading his paper ; he was eating, 
not without interest in the good things before him : he was not enough 
far gone in his new love for that. But he was so abstracted that he — 
oh, horrors 1 — he had deliberately, firmly, kept his clutch on his knife 
and fork, and, having struck- the butt of the handle of each squarely 
down on the table, he held them points upwards in the air, while he 
industriously masticated his food and glared, unconscious, into the 
abysmal beyond. 

*^ There's his lineage well defined,'' said she to herself, determinedly 
watching him ; till he with a start looked directly at her, and she hold- 
ing his eye, with a quick gesture imitated his attitude, stare and all; 
and then sinking back in her chair, fanned herself in a pantomimic 

He shook his head across the dining-hall, signifying that he had an 
account to settle, for that manoeuvre. And when he had picked at a 
grape or two for dessert, she significantly moved back the empty chair 
at her emptly table, and he came over and sat down with her. 

She sniffed the air as he approached. 

" I smell a moss rosebud," said she, raising her fibbingly black 
eyelashes and fibbing lips towards him. 

Reginald had been getting quite bright that afternoon, and he 
answered to her direct gaze : ** You have a perfect nose." And just as 
she took in the compliment he went on, explanatorily, " a double-bar- 
relled, back-action nose ; a burglarious, lock-picking nose, that can shoot 
round three spiral staircases, down a back hall and unlock a door, all 
for the purpose of getting at a moss rosebud that you saw pinned on 
my lapel two hours ago, and which you don't see there now 1 Do you 
know why you don't see it there now? I'll tell you. It is because it is 
in a little vase beside a copy of Petrarch's works up in my room." 


Now she dropped her eyes and pushed her chair back. 

" All right, my poetical friend. I believed all your parables till you 
came to a * copy of Petrarch ' ; but there are limits/' said she, and she 
looked at him in a way which, with the accompanying words and 
intonation, would have meant in a man's mouth, ** You are lying, and I 
kno\y it and you know it." 

Reginald had always taken a good deal of this sort of thing from the 
sort of women produced by society ( ? ), some of whom think it persi- 
flage, and some of whom habitually talk that way because of the 
habitual state of unfaith in men, which, with or without cause, fills their 
minds and hearts. 

Reginald had never at any time in his life liked this ; for with all his 
arrest of high manhood, no man could truly accuse him of lying, or of 
dishonor along that line toward males. And as a boy he never did lie 
to his mother, and as a son he had never lied to his father; and when 
these jocular accusations first began to meet him from pretty girls' lips, 
he disliked them much. But when he saw all the fellows had to take 
it, he began to think that was "high style," and that, after all, may be, 
if women took it for granted that the fellows lied and were bad, and yet 
still petted them and invited them to their homes, badness might, after 
all, not be badness, nor lying be lying ; and that, may be, one thing 
was as good as another, all through the catalogue. At any rate, that 
women seemed to think so and that no one fellow could stand against 
this tide, even if he wanted to do so. But he always disliked this thing 
just the same, and never saw the wit of it. 

The word "parables," somehow, too, this evening, struck him worse 
than it would if she had said "lies"; for ** parables," as they were 
taught him at his mother's knee, were "beautiful words of life " ; and 
besides, " whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap," was 
getting to be a fact which he was illustrating in himself. 

While he thought of these things he looked so glowering that Mrs. 
Mancredo said, lightly, " Now what ails you ? " 


" How many times in a week, on the average, do you suppose you 
tell us fellows that we lie ? '^ 

'* Well, the times I tell you so, compared with the times you do it, 
are so infinitesimally small that a body could not be to the trouble of 
reckoning them," said she lazily. 

He looked at her seriously. ** Do you think men lie ? " he said. 

She answered him in blank amazement : "Why, of course, child ' " 

" All men ? " 

" Might except a deaf mute or two, if you like.*' 

" Will you except me ? " 

" Did you say except or accept .'* " 

" I certainly said except. At this point in our conversation I could 
not ask you to accept me, for I can't imagine what a woman would ever 
want of a liar." 

She shrugged her shoulders and ejaculated : " Hobson's choice as 
for that!" 

She looked as pretty as though she were being real good; in fact, she 
looked a great deal prettier. There was an impishness about her with 
which Reginald was more fully en rapport than he was with high good- 
ness. True, she expressed disbelief in him, even on the one point on 
which he could somewhat justly value himself; but she looked "sort of 
loving " out of her eyes all the time ; and Reginald had never resisted 
that kind of flattery. 

And so they sat looking at one another ; he a silly slave to her wiles, 
and crushing back the honest longing he had had for her approbation 
of his best virtue ; and she, a slave to the conditions imposed on dis- 
franchised womanhood, and crushing back her longing for his recogni- 
tion of her individuality and her right to be of sound use to the world, 
— practical, sound use. She could not accuse him of deflection from 
that virtue which woman is taught to most strenuously hold herself, and 
man's breach of which most cruelly afflicts her. So she accused him of 
lying, — a slave's vice, — which he, not being a slave, need not lean 


toward. Thus they played at cross-purposes, neither helping the other 
out of the social tangle. 

When he rose from the table it was with an angry perplexity. 

" What in the mischief has set her to believe that I am such a liar ? " 
he said to himself. 

And as she went up toward her pretty private parlor she was thinking 
to herself : " He is as truthful a fellow, as far as his words and promises 
go, as I happen to know. But his fickle passions are what I despise 
him for. He really thinks I doubt that he has the rosebud and the 
poem on his table. I as good as saw them when he said it. But that 
means another love ; and that is what he was gazing at, with his knife 
and fork in the air like a farmer. I've got the idea now. They were 
farmer's people when he was twelve or so. He of course had that habit 
then, and he was thinking of his early boyhood and fell back into those 
rough ways. This new love, this rosebud flame, has something to do 
with old times. She can't be a very young girl, then." 

And so soUloquizing, each within self, they walked up the broad 
stairway together. 

" Your rosebud took you to boyhood, didn't it ? " she asked, turning 
square upon him at the landing, and facing him as he stood on the step 

" It is no use saying yes or no ; you don't believe me," said he, with 
a blunt boy-directness that seemed to touch her. 

" You great goose ! " she said. ** Of course I believe you." 

" You said you didn't." 

" Well, what of that ? " 

" A good deal of it," said he, indignantly. ** I believe you when you 
tell me a thing." 

" More goose you ! " 

He stood and looked at her like one dazed. He was trying so 
hard that day to bring his life to firmer foundations ; and she stood 
there laughing at him as though lies and truths were all jokes to- 


gether. " Good heavens, what do you mean ! Do you mean that 
you lie ? " 

** Yes, that*s what I mean ; always do," said she. 

** Then you are lying now ? '* 

♦' Of course." 

♦* Oh, then, if you are lying when you say that you lie, you would be 
tellinjj the truth then ; only if you are telling the truth when you say 
you lie, then you are lying." 

** You need to go to sleep and clear your head," said she coolly. 

** Look here now, tell me once, are you truthful ? " 

" Yes, I am full of truths of one kind and another: oppressively full. 
1 should like to unload.". 

'* And yet you say you are a liar? " 

**Oh, yes. Now let us go right over and over it again and again; 
it in only quarter past eleven," said she, laughing at his eagerness. 

** You call this a great joke, don't you? " with passionate intensity. 

*• I'erfectly convulsing," she answered, with a look as if her patience 
was about gone, and as if, should he dare to browbeat her any longer 
with that look in his eyes, she would establish her claim to a new line 
ot ability. This possibility was so evident on her countenance that he 
said ; 

" I believe if you can lie like this, you can do anything." 

♦• I seem to feel some undeveloped ability stirring within me myself," 
saivl Jihe ; *Mu)thing of course in the chewing, drinking, sweltering ani- 
uhUi'iU^ line. Hut let us say some skillful, intellectual achievement, which 
\\\\^\\ lid the world of a few thousands like yourself, and make room 
toi a new race," said she with a deliberate consideration that had in it 
the \ai'i>t^'/ah^ i>f a society woman, wrought up beyond much more 
eavKaam.T of the life she had been forced to lead,' — a life now coming 
iu ^ij^iu ot the convincing truths of this liberalizing age. 

l*ooi Ke^iuald stood actually aghast. His lower jaw had fallen and 
hi> e\v;s ^lotrudcd, as, with his third finger pointed to his breast, he 


Stammered : " Me 1 Rid the world of such as me ? What have you 
against me?" 

She looked at him with fury suppressed ; and at last, when she had 
controlled herself enough to speak, said, in a low tone, full of the sense 
of insult and degradation which our false social conditions have forced 
on thinking womanhood : ** I have just that against you, which you 
would have against me, if my character, through and through, was a 
facsimile of yours. Sir, that is what I have against you ! " 

He looked at her dumb. " I don't understand, I — *' 

" Oh, well, take the night to it ! Think your life over, every step of 
the way Up, since you have entered young hoodlumism ; and just fancy 
that a twin sister of yours had kept with you all the way, step by step, 
in all your paths — where would she — '* 

Reginald had leaned against the balustrade perfectly white. ** You 
are a very fiend,'' he said ; and then he pulled up stairs as a man gropes 
who has been struck by blindness. 

Mrs. Mancredo was frightened. She wanted to help him up. " You 
— you've done enough," he said thickly, without looking at her. And 
she went into her parlor and he went up to the next flight. 

When Reginald had closed and locked his door and mechanically 
thrown himself on a sofa, he lay there for some time — not thinking, 
yet not unconscious. The room had been quite shut up, and the bud, 
now half opened, had filled the air wilh its exquisite fragrance. He 
sensed this fragrance, and, in the half stupor which had come to him, 
he felt the presence of tender, soothing hands passing, not over his 
head, but near the very brain substance within his head. His mind 
seemed reechoing the speech he had made about Petrarch's Laura, on 
which he had prided himself. And as it repeated itself, there were 
withdrawn all gross elements, until the spiritualized worship which 
Petrarch had for his paragon of true virtue, seemed to en swathe his 
being with a heavenly marvel of pure love. A mellifluous rapture of 
mind, all separate from the senses, overflowed his highest being; and 


then, as clearly as ever he felt the sun's rays, he felt his own mother's 
presence, and knew, or thought he knew, that he was falling down 
and down serenely into her care, with an ecstacy of the annihilation of 
self, and all self-burdens. 

The next morning Mrs. Mancredo took an early breakfast, and then 
staid in the parlor a while, looking about. She breakfasted three times 
that morning, and then asked if any one had seen Mr. Grove. It was 
discovered that no one had. Then Mrs. Mancredo, remembering how 
he had groped up stairs, followed the matter through. The result was, 
they found him insensible in his room, and one glance at him told it 
was no inebriate's sleep. 



A PARTIAL paralysis had befallen Reginald Grove. At his first 
stage of consciousness, Mrs. Mancredo noticed that when a ser- 
vant in clearing the room took up the withered rosebud, his heavy gaze 
followed it. She replaced it, and then bending over him said : " Do 
you want to see her ? " 

The eagerness of his attempt to respond showed his wish. Mrs. 
Mancredo ordered her carriage for a drive past the gardens of the 
town, on the lookout for moss roses. 

** She must be a widow," she was saying to herself, when her 
thoughts were interrupted by the sight of a rosebush, much beaten 
down on the side next the house-steps ; and on the other, in the full 
glory of its mossy beauty. 

" Turn round, John, and go slowly back, and then come to this spot 
and on, till I tell you to stop." 

As they passed the house the second time, Mrs. Mancredo had a 
good view of the roses, and of a young woman whose every nervous 
motion meant purpose, watering the bush. Mrs. Mancredo stopped 
the carriage and descended. On approaching Miss Daksha she looked 
at her steadily a moment, and then presented her card. 

" I came — I came to look at your moss roses, and to talk about 
them. What has happened to this bush ? " she said abruptly. 

" It has been abused." 

" Did you ever live on a farm ? " said Mrs. Mancredo then, after a 
long pause. 

Ethelbert turned and looked at her, and then drawing chairs into 
the shade, said with a strange, sweet smile : " No, I never did. Now 
please sit here and I'll sit with you, and you shall tell me what you 
really want to know." 


Mrs. Mancredo was a bit overwhelmed ; but she sat, and wheeling 
her guns, said as suddenly as possible : " Reginald Grove wants to see 

** Is he ill 1 " 

" You know him, then ? '* 

" Why don't you say whatever you have to say ? " said Ethelbert 

" If I did, I should say that you gave him a rosebud and loaned him 
a volume of Petrarch's * De Vita Solitaria,' and that he loves you, and 
is sick, paralyzed, dying! — and wants to see you,'' she said with 
Italian impetuosity, leaning more and more toward Ethelbert, trying to 
shock the secret out of her, with each added word. " You know him, 
you gave him the rosebud — the book ? " 

" I spoke to him for the first time yester-morn. I have seen him 
several times. I gave him the rosebud ; I did not loan him the book." 
She laid her cool hand on this woman's burning hot hand, saying : 
" He is nothing to me more than any and every human being is. Any 
child five years old, with beautiful possibilities, is more interesting." 

" Then why pin a rosebud on his coat ">. " 

" He pinned it there as a sort of symbol of his lost sweet childhood, 
which he wishes he could regain, and which I think he could." 

" O, this is stupidity ! " said Mrs. Mancredo in quick Italian. " We 
all know that can never be done I What is he, that he should have his 
childhood back again, more than I should — more than thousands .^ 
No ! he has made his bed, and there he shall lie upon it, a paralyzed 
idiot, for what I know. He is a bad man 1 Do you understand what 
that means ? And he is a rich bad man, and his visits to this simple 
house and to you mean no good ! Do you understand that ? " 

" I understand you," said Ethelbert, rising and looking down upon 
her visitor, " but you don't understand me, and cannot. Till you 
have known me a long while, you will misinterpret everything I say 
or do." 


" How old are you ? " was the next angry question. 

" Ages old. I am able to help you and this sick friend of yours. I 
am sorry for your trouble," said Ethelbert, with a divine pity in her 
voice and look, and an uplifting power going forth like a cooling 
shadow displacing the glare and scorch of passion ; until, in the cool 
of it, the tears which, unshed, had burned Mrs. Mancredo's eyes ever 
since she had seen Reginald groping upstairs the night before his 
shock, came forth, relieving her spirit. 

Then altogether perplexed, but believing Ethel's every word, she said : 
** Can you come down to the hotel and see if you can ease him ? The 
doctor says that his paralysis comes from the * functional disorder of 
the nervous centers,' whatever all that is." 

" That is hemiplegia," said Ethelbert, " and means * I strike one- 
half,' — so he is paralyzed on one side. If that is it, one comer of his 
mouth will be drawn a little, and one cheek will look in a sort, withered 
and drooping. If it is that, his mind will be curious." 

" You are a cold-blooded thing, any way," said Mrs. Mancredo, fright- 
ened and angry. 

Ethelbert opened her eyes reflectively. 

'* Forgive me," said the excitable woman, " and get into my carriage 
and come now." 

** In a minute," said Ethelbert ; and in about that time she came back 
with her hat and her mother, whom she introduced, saying : 

" My mother will go, too." And cutting some fresh roses she fol- 
lowed the two elder ladies into the carriage, and they drove away to 
the hotel. 

Reginald was awake when they entered ; and Ethelbert had given the 
flowers, to Mrs. Mancredo, who walked with them to the sick man. He 
smiled that strange half smile, which was contradicted by the paralyzed 
muscles on the other side of his mouth. "He will get on in a way, you 
know, — in a way," said the physician. " He will perhaps be talking 
and about again, in a way, you know, — in a way." 


" I found her, Reginald, she is here,'' said Mrs. Mancredo, and she 
motioned to Miss Daksha to approach. A look of heavenly rapture 
overspread his countenance. In a strange, full voice he cried out : 
" My mother ! " 

With an exclamation the physician started forward, but fell back, as 
Ethelbert said all motherly : " Yes, Reginald." 

He looked at her with consuming eagerness. " You have been gone 
so long," he said, a little thickly. " Where is Cousin Alitza ? *' 

A muffled shriek from Mrs. Mancredo thrilled through the room. 

" You know what he means ! " asserted Ethelbert, looking at Mrs. 
Mancredo, who, with a perfectly bloodless face and a shrinking, 
stealthy step, approached. Reginald Grove looked at her puzzled, 
and then said fretfully, lifting his eyes to Ethelbert : " You have all 
been gone so long ; see how she has grown." 

There was an oppressive hush of bewilderment. The doctor was 
held back by the unmoved air with which Ethelbert kept her post, 
giving way to her as if she were the physician of the occasion in 
whom he trusted. She stood, gently stroking Reginald's head. He 
raised his other hand and patted hers languidly, as a pleased child 
would do, and so presently fell asleep. Then the other physicians 
came in, and a little apart discussed the case, perplexed. 

" He called you Alitza. Your card was marked Corrinne," said 
Ethelbert ; and after scarce a moment's halt Mrs. Mancredo said with 
truthful rapidity : " I am — I was — Alitza Corrinne Roccoca, his 
cousin. I have seen him but twice since I was seventeen, until I 
met him in this city. He loved me when we were children ; he hated 
me when I was older. He never dreamed that Mrs. Mancredo was — 
is — Alitza." 

Ethelbert was silent ; she was thinking of his perplexed words : 
*^ You have all been away so long ; see how she has grown," and 
of the childlike manner in which he had clung to her and called her 
** mother." She remembered a curious case of mental-aberration of 


which she had read. " Doctors," she said, *' your patient's mind has 
become blank, back to the time before his mother's death. " Don't 
you see ? He thinks I am his mother ; and his mother passed away 
when he was five years old. He is a child again ; that is all." 
" Yes, but a paralyzed one," said the physicians. 



THE doctor motioped them all to come with him to an adjoining 
room. And then Mrs. Mancredo told all she knew about the 
rosebud which had become associated in Reginald's mind with his early 
life, and of the conversation which had taken place between them the 
night of his attack, adding: 

" I was in the family when he was a little fellow, before auntie died. 
We parted after that, and only met a few times when I was a tall, thin, 
sallow girl ; and — - and he did not know me when we met again here at 
this hotel this summer, in my robust maturity. He isn't quick, Regi- 
nald isn't, and I've puzzled him my share, one way and another. He 
has been getting in a bad way, poor Regie, and here's the end of it." 

And to this the doctors agreed. This was the end of poor Reginald 
Grove ; and as his fate seemed settled, the older Mr. Grove, when he 
arrived, accepted the statement that Reginald was a wrecked man, body 
and mind. And when Mrs. Mancredo had made herself known to Mr. 
Grove on his arrival, in a softened state of feeling toward both the 
father and son she found herself promising more in the way of help and 
responsibility than she at first realized, or afterwards wanted to perform. 
And the elder Grove (deeply interested in speculations in Mexico, and 
interested in his own approaching third marriage) was well content to 
turn this responsibility over to Mrs. Mancredo, with (it was popularly 
said) the promise of all the money necessary for Reginald's needs or 
fancies. It was not until Mr. Grove had steamed away to Mexico that 
Mrs. Mancredo really began to look about her ; and then she did it 
with some disgust at her own stupidity, as she was pleased to name the 
sympathy that had overwhelmed her and swept her on to undertake, in 
an indefinite way, all that the care of Reginald involved. 


One warm day in the late fall she brought Reginald in her carriage 
down to the Dakshas. He was urgent to go there every day, and was 
often brought down and placed in a long-chair out on their piazza, 
where, with his volume of Petrarch (from which he was inseparable) he 
passed many pleasant hours. His facial disfigurement was not as 
marked as at first. But he was paralyzed through one arm and leg, and 
the sense of taste, touch and smell seemed deadened. His hearing and 
his sight were not perceptibly injured, and the childlike alertness of his 
questions seemed to show that the gray matter of the brain, like a gal- 
vanic battery, still generated the electric current sufficiently to produce 
and accumulate nervous force for the few demands which the partially 
deadened coarser part of the brain row made upon it. There was 
evinced by Reginald an utter deadness to the passions of fear, desire, 
etc. The central ganglia, which serves to do the drudgery of the brain, 
leaving the gray matter free for higher, more difficult kinds of work, was 
injured; thus overthrowing the balance of power between the highest 
meditative, spiritual faculties, and the seat of those practical faculties 
which insure energetic daily activities. 

It was as if the partial paralysis which had befallen Reginald Grove 
had sent a partial sleep to the abused and overtaxed faculties of his ani- 
mal being ; while the higher hemisphere of his brain, so long crippled 
by inaction, now arousing from that lethargy of disuse, put forth dor- 
mant strength. Whether true or not, this was Ethelbert's theory of the 
case, and her study of developments confirmed her in it. He was, in a 
sense, helpless and forceless ; yet the childlike, placid clearness of his 
ideals, and the exhalation of sentiment in view of nature's beauties, were 
so inherently clear-cut and rare, that, broken and disorganized though 
he was, Reginald Grove was now a less disagreeable person to Ethelbert 
than he had been on his first tumultuous visit. He was seldom pettish 
or unmanageable when with Ethelbert ; but to Mrs. Mancredo his talk 
was unendurable. She called him a miserable fellow, blaming him pas- 
sionately to Ethelbert. 


" But I don't think he is miserable," said Ethelbert, in her quiet way. 
" He was miserable, when in other moments he loathed himself for 
his self-mismanagement. He acted like a soul in torment the first time 
he was here; and I fancy he was not then at his worst." 

** I am sure I can't understand your notions. Do you mean, you 
think he is less miserable than before ? '' said Mrs. Mancredo, looking 
toward Reginald, who sat reading the book from which he was insep- 
arable, as a very little child reads. The sight of that book made her 
wild with nervousness. There seemed something uncanny in the way 
he had identified himself with the personages and ideas there. And his 
numerous polyglot questions asked in regard to things she could not 
explain, and his weird, childlike shrewdness of imagination as to some 
unseen world of mind and spirit, were getting to be the horrible thing to 
Mrs. Mancredo. 

From what in the apparently stolid, noncommittal old Reginald, this 
spirit of occult divination of the purposes, powers and results of Pe- 
trarch's struggles, had evolved itself, she could not fancy. And she was 
getting so nervous at the steady illumination of his eyes that she would 
have given half she was worth to have removed from her memory all 
knowledge of his existence. Whether he had become absolutely fool- 
ish, or uncannily wise and weird, she did not know. But her refuge 
was Ethelbert; and Reginald's unaltered fancy for calling Ethelbert 
" mother," seemed to favor Mrs. Mancredo's dawning hope of a way to 
get rid of him helpfully. And as she so thinking stood there, down in 
the garden, looking back at him up on the piazza, he called out : 
" Mother ! mother'! " and they both walked quickly to him. 

" Let's have a nice read about * of such is the kingdom of heaven,' 
and about the poor boy out of whom the devils were cast. I want to 
know about those mighty works, and how power did them." 

Mrs. Mancredo, with an ignorant person's horror of what may result 
from irregularity of mental action, felt it was awful that a man who had 
lost the gustatory appetites which render nice food a pleasure to the 


palate, should yet, as Ethelbert said, feast on the high thoughts and 
things of the unseen realms. For Ethelbert believed he did not think 
in the sense of concentrating attention ; but, instead, she believed his 
mind simply reflected back to his attention what passed in the realms 
of life above and anear him, as a lake reflects all that shadows itself 
upon its surface ; and this she explained to Mrs. Man'credo, adding : 

" It is for this reason that I wish he could be always cared for by 
some discerning person, who, dwelling unmoved in that beautiful realm 
which now has hold on his mind, and who, reading his very thought, 
would thus sustain him at peace there, as a student under these angelic 
teachers, and so educate him for a real manhood which he would thus 
yet attain. Do you understand ? " 

" No, I don't understand," was the blunt response. " All I know 
is, he has played out his little play on the stage of life, and has made a 
tragedy or farce of it, common enough in this age. He makes me wild 
with nervousness sometimes. What do you want me to do with him, 
for heaven's sake ? " 

" You are right. It is for heaven's sake that I want you to do it ; 
for there is a heaven, and it belongs on earth," said Ethel, slowly. 
" I believe it is only the organs at the base of his brain which are 
exhausted ; and as they are nearly deadened, he seems like a fool to 
people who can only use their lower brain, which is the seat of the 
senses and passions — but — " 

" Do you mean that as I am not alert on those spiritual planes which 
arouse themselves in this ghostly way with him, and as he cannot use 
his common-sense faculties, which are alert enough in me, I probably 
seem to him to be as much of an idiot as he to me seems to be ? " 

" I mean you have no common ground to meet upon just now. Not, 
however, that you are unspiritual, but because your nature is so closely 
knitted up, that you act and think as a well-constructed entity, dealing 
with entities, not with fragments." 

" Well, we never did have any common ground," said Mrs. Man- 


credo, just as Judge Elkhorn came on the scene. And then her mind 
took hold of the fact that if she could not get along with Reginald as 
a whole, she certainly did not want to deal with the ghastly fragments 
of him which seemed left. And this she told Ethel. 

" He never has been mentally whole," said Ethel. ** He is gathering 
up his fragments;" said Ethel. " Don't you want to help him ? " 

Then Mrs. Mancredo gave Judge Elkhorn a crude version of the 
story, appealing from Ethel to him, concerning the whole business, in a 
way which some women have ; not because they are going to act on the 
advice they may receive, but because they understand themselves better 
after hearing themselves *' talk out the whole problem." 

Judge Elkhorn was a bright man in many regards, and had had an 
ambition to electrify the world with a theory which would give a new 
basis for action in reforms ; but in dealing with such a case as this, he 
had certain serious limitations. For he prided himself on never going 
beyond the common-sense recognition of objects which he could taste, 
touch, feel, smell and see. But here was Reginald with the common- 
sense plane of mind (that is, the plane of mind on which practical 
people live externally and meet each other) terribly damaged, and with 
three out of five sense-avenues to knowledge, shut up. And yet Miss 
Ethelbert claimed he was living in a rather select sort of world of his 
own, after a tranquil fashion; not devoid of certain startling gleams 
of intelligence, nay, wisdom. J^ut as for an unseen world, and " an 
education beyond the grave," Judge Elkhorn was pleased to say, ** he 
hoped he had left all faith in that sort of thing along with fear of spooks 
and the dark." He was willing to call Reginald's state '* a curious 
phenomenon.^' For the rest, he would have liked to have relegated this 
man to the obscurity of some asylum. For if he disliked Reginald 
when he was well (?) and obtrusively at home on Ethelbert's balcony 
the day they first met, he disliked him vastly more now that he, as a 
child, was ensconced on Ethelbert's attention. 

Judge Elkhorn thought the whole thing preposterous ; and notwith- 


Standing his fine humanitarian theories for helping misery in the mass, 
he would have liked to take prompt steps to hinder its being served up 
in individual cases, in polite society. He quite laid, down the law on 
this subject to Miss Daksha, and interposed his particular likes and 
dislikes as if they were the code of the Medes and Persians. Ethel 
let him proceed. But she held to her faith in the final rehabilitation 
of Reginald, and expressed it. 

So, in language of his own, Judge Elkhorn at last reassured her that 
her concern for this case was really unfitting. 

" Who being judge ? " said she. 

" I shall have to be judge of your conduct, if you desire to retain my 
friendship and respect." 

*' But that is not my desire. My desire is to get Reginald Grove 
well," she said quietly, holding Judge Elkhorn steady in the light of 
her self-directing intelligence, until, without more words, he himself 
saw that he had supposed her general friendliness for him was iden- 
tified with an enfeebling dependence on his approbation. 

Then — 

" Mrs. Mancredo, what will you do for this man ? " Ethel cheerily 

"What can I do?" 

" You could take Reginald away from the hotel-life which you dis- 
like, and which you find so injurious to both of you ; and you could 
get a nice, rightly adjusted home. And then, from the pure potencies 
of your splendid being, you could second nature's recuperative forces 
in him ; and they, un thwarted and assisted thus by you, will build him 
up again into health of body, by giving him a new affluence of mind. 
Then mind will recreate the body. To accomplish this would perhaps 
take years of real mothering-wit and wisdom. But — " 

" Years, Ethelbert ? I should be an old woman by that time, near 
my fifties. What is a woman worth then ? And what would this 
rejuvenated young scholar care for*me ? I mean — this is nonsense; 
and yes, what 7vould I be by that time / " 


" You would be a woman who at least would have achieved one 
defined object in life. You are now sick of existence. Money spend- 
ing, dressing, dining, and days spent in wishing that things and men 
were different, have given your active imagination and non-concen- 
trated powers no comfort for years past. Neither could you get much 
good by running up and down the world, trying to get an audience to 
listen to your theories. Absolute, concentrated personal work, done 
well, on the spot you stand on, will not fatigue you any more than does 
the toil of mere self-exhibit and self-protection from .the inroads of 
others on your property and yourself. You say twelve years hence you 
will be a woman in the fifties, if you give these years to work. How 
old will you be twelve years hence if you don't ? " 

" There are always asylums and skilled people," she suggested, 
trembling with alarm, not so much at the work, as at undertaking to 
settle herself to a twelve-years' job for him. She was very pale, and 
looked toward the man with a shrinking, like that in the eyes of a dumb 
creature being led at last to the altar of final sacrifice. 

" Yes," said Ethelbert, ** there are always asylums ; and they are get- 
ting fuller and fuller of people who know so ill how to deal with time, 
that fearing, faltering and fightings have landed them there to die, 
while their friends outside, fearing, faltering and fighting against their 
fears, soon need asylums, too. This man's trembling intellect would 
be ruined by a few months in the average insane asylum. You say you 
would be an old woman at fifty if you tried to save that man ; tell me, 
then, what will you be if you don't ? " 

" Mother 1 mother ! please call little Alitza ; she can read me the 
story of the little leaden soldier; he didn't fight well; he fell in the 

Of course that was Reginald's voice speaking out in good Elnglish 
this time, which was enfibred by the childish ring of a perfectly care- 
free mind, when it is filled with blithe imaginings. 

Judge Elkhorn looked at him with startled attention, and Mrs. Man- 


credo shuddered, half whispering : " We used to read * Comte d'Ander- 
sen' in the French, with his mother. He was such a pretty Httle 
fellow, and took up French so easily. I learned it, too, though Italian 
was my baby tongue. My father was French. O dear, my life has 
amounted to nothing after all my efforts 1 " 

" How would it do, then, to cease efforts, and in a home be easily 
useful ? " 

'* It would make a scandal." 

Ethelbert unconsciously drew herself up, till it seemed as if the 
universe did not contain air enough to £11 her expanding lungs as 
she said : 

" * Don't talk of scandal. Needs break through stone walls. Take 
counsel of your own soul, though all the world should be scandalized 
thereby.' " And then, turning at the repeated call for " mother," she 
went to Reginald, who could not be satisfied without a caressing touch 
of her health-giving hand. But then, contented, he went on with his 
reading, caring for the attention only as a petted child cares for an 
accustomed endearment which is hourly, perhaps, received. 

Yet Judge Elkhorn looked not incapable of striking the paralyzed 
creature. But the Italian, with an instant^s sharp scrutiny, saw only 
in the act that Diana-like integrity of purpose, which like a light 
reflected, beautified her own face, too, with the mother-tenderness that 
filled Ethelbert's being, as she said : 

" Will you go to Alitza's house, or stay with mother ? " 

" Of course I shall stay with my mother. Alitza may come when she 
chooses," said the invalid again in English. And Elkhorn, with arms 
high folded, looked on, forgetful of all else but the simple intelligent 
purpose which made radiant these workers. Was it that passion by 
them had been triturated into the high potency of a god-like vigor, 
which was sent now through the earth to bring redemption to universal 
man, and (at their hands) to this individual, by the way ? 

" Yes, yes, take him, keep him here," said Mrs. Mancredo. ** Do as 


he says, Miss Daksha. He is coming to seem such a dreadful respon- 
sibility — guarded by angels, that — " 

" Oh, if this is the style of doing things which women are going to 
put on the world I '* the judge exclaimed, " asylums and criminal courts 
will get to seem more devoted to miracle-working than the churches 
now are ; and every idiot will become a center for spiritually scien- 
tific endeavor." 

" They never should have been anything less. In fact, idiots don't 
belong. They are transgressions of law, as much as criminals. They, 
with hundreds of other things, are but the results of women's unnatural 
relation to the university-education, which must be by her bestowed on 
man," said Ethelbert, leading them away from proximity to Reginald. 
Because even though he seemed unobservant of what was going on 
about him, she thought that when he was not directly addressed he (as 
if in echo) heard what was said to or about him. This manner 
of dealing with him rendered his visible presence in this world of 
effects a means by which those who were about him in this world were 
partially introduced to the other. 

The judge and Mrs. Mancredo stood drawn together, looking back 
at this alienated mentality. Then she half whispered : 

" They say at the hotel that he ought to — well — not be at the 
hotel, no matter what big bills I am willing to pay, and all that. So 
many people are in a rickety mental condition themselves, that — 
instead of studying a case like this. Miss Ethel, as you do, it alarms 
them, and — and — well, I don't know myself what it does to them — yes, 
and to me, too. I will confess I dislike sick men. And it sometimes 
seems to be not Reginald at all, but a ghost which has arisen out of his 
childhood — sort of waiting to have another try at what he can make of 

" Yet there are hundreds of such men everywhere, and we can't 
afford to use our brains over them. Why should women spend their 
lives doing such jobs ? Men choose to go the pace that kills, one way 


and another, and will not hear one word from women till they drop 
down dead weights on the shoulders of — " 

Mrs. Mancredo broke forth into convulsive weeping. 'This was too 
much for Judge Elkhorn. He took sudden leave, assured of one thing : 
that was, that Mrs. Mancredo saw the cleansing work which would 
have to be done in society's augean stables if women took up the busi- 
ness of turning these stables into ' the home of the brave and the free.' 
And he saw that the idea that she ought to save this man, now had a 
hold on Mrs. Mancredo, and he knew that when a strong woman thinks 
she ought to do a thing, the ship of state may as well clear its decks for 
an encounter from all the guns hitherto known or unknown in moral 
combat. For he had learned that women are constitutionally brave as 
well as educationally timid, and that they set no limits to their daring 
when once they enter the lists to do the thing that must be done. 

After he was gone, Mrs. Mancredo stood watching Reginald's happy, 
superintelligent look. Then — 

" What have you done to him and to us all ? " she said. ^* It is as 
if — as if we were watching by the hallowed dead." 

'• I think it is wonderful myself," said Ethelbert. " I have concluded 
that the core of Reginald's nature is the love of truth ; and that this 
core of his being has not yet been ruined by social abuses; and that 
this love of truth is a radical root, from which a resurrected life will 
arise. There is hope of a tree, though it be cut down, that it shall live 
again if the roots are healthy. The roots of his life are better than the 
visible growths that have appeared," said Ethelbert. 

*'0h, let me come here, too! Let us both comel" cried Mrs. Man- 
credo, after the strange, tremblant silence; " I can't keep away from here. ' 
I am so much happier here than I have ever been in my life ; I feel so 
broken up and stripped of everything, somehow. Let me fetch down a 
few things. You can crowd together a little and give me two rooms ; 
or better still, throw out an addition across the house. You can make 
new parlors — so — with a veranda round them, and give Regie the 


sunny half, and — and take me in and educate me, too. YouVe tossed 
me all up, somehow. At the rate I am going on I shall be a selfish old 
woman at fifty, and have done neither Regie nor myself nor anyone any 
good. But really, you know, he don't deserve a bit of this at my 
hands. Do you know the night he had the shock, I felt as though — as 
though — " 

She stopped and looked at Ethelbert's impassive face. " You have 
never asked me what there was between Regie and me," she said. 
** Sharp as you are, you must have known I hated him. Well, yes," 
hesitated Mrs. Mancredo, "in a sort, I hated him. Have you never 
wondered what there is between us ? You don't look as if you cared 

" I should be sorry to have anything between him and his best de- 
velopment, or you and yours. All the rest does not amount to much 
either way at this terrible social crisis," said Ethelbert, as she gazed 
adown the long ages which had been leading on to this stage of general 
social, chaotic development, which is but an outward sign of the par- 
ticular state of the aggregated individual. "And instead of feeling 
frightened at wickedness, and planning a punitive reform, the simple 
thing to do is to recognize these conditions as stages at which the fo- 
mentation takes place, which always precedes clarification. A thorough 
clarification of society is at hand, the outcome of which will be, 'the 
new order of the new age.' " 

" I begin to think so myself," said Mrs. Mancredo, after a long pause, 
in which she had watched the thought-gleams in Ethel's eyes. Then, 
vexed at her own perplexity, she said uneasily : 

" I wonder if anything would interest you that was not purely meta- 
physical or psychological ? I mean — in fact — I want — that is — I 
wonder — " 

" Oh come, tell me. How far would your ideas of old-fashioned duty 
carry you ? Would they make you interfere with another person's busi- 
ness ? Would they make you make a body tell you all she knew about 


herself, and make you bring a body right down to the grindstone of 
confession, and bind her to your dictatorial law of ways and means 
of repentance ? " 

Ethel laughed amiably, saying : " If you want to know my character, 
you would better glance at my life." 

But still, with an alarmed, distrustful, quizzical look, the outgrowth of 
her experiences, Mrs. Mancredo said at last : 

" Do you think you can take better care of Reginald than I can ? " 

" I can do my duty better than you can do my duty, but I cannot do 
yours ; but on my way to do mine, if you are with me you ought to get 
some view of what your duty is, as I shall get new views from you 
regarding my work. That seems to be the whole of the affair," said 
Ethel, taking Mrs. Mancredo's hand cordially. 

" Is that so? Would you not dictate to me, nor talk to others about 
me, nor flinch from your duty if I neglected mine ? " 

" I only know," said Ethelbert after a pause, " whatever comes to me 
to be done, I shall do, but I shall accommodate my actions to new 
circumstances which may arise, for I should be sorry to have anything 
come between Reginald and his best development, or between you and 
yours. The development of the individual is the point ; all else is incon- 

" Now look at me," said Mrs. Mancredo, taking her hand tightly, and 
looking her straight in the eyes. " Remember what you have said, for 
I shall not forget it. Listen : I am Reginald Grove's wife." 

Ethel caught her breath, for this she had not foreseen. 

" Now, then, how far will you practice your personal liberty princi- 
ples ? How much will you leave me in perfect freedom to choose my 
own duty ? Remember, you have said you would be sorry to have any- 
thing come between Reginald and his best development, and me and 
mine, and that all the rest amounts to little either way. 

"Now, then," she continued, starting off again after a little pause, 
**if you don't want anything to come between me and my best develop- 


ment, you will let me give up my life there at the hotel, and you will 
make the changes in your house that I suggest, and let me pay you the 
hotel prices, and bring along my carriage and servant John, and take 
me into the family on the ^ personal liberty principle ' with which you 
four heavenly mortals control or don't control each other's lives. And 
you will angelically mind your heaven-appointed business of evoking 
Regie's lost angel, and leave me to evolve my own as best I can." 

By this time Ethelbert's beryl eyes were looking into Mrs. Mancredo's 
black ones, as if this arrangement were a simple plan for a lawn party. 

" Why don't you look disgusted at a woman who passes as rich Mr. 
Mancredo's widow, and who is really Reginald Grove's wife, and has 
never been any other man's wife, nor anything like it, in any way to 
anybody! " 

" Disgust must be too unpleasant a feeling to take on one's self pre- 
maturely," said Ethelbert, with her rare sweet smile, as she took Mrs.. 
Mancredo's hands in hers and sat looking way down through the turbu- 
lent surface of her eyes, into the sorrowful depths beneath ; then : "When 
I learn all, I am sure I shall have reason to congratulate you, that with 
all your temptations and perplexities you have done so well." 

" How well ? " 

" I only know that you want nothing between you and your upward 
path; and that is well, absolutely well." 

"That is true; and I have never wanted any evil thing, and I really 
doubt if anyone really wants evil things. Shall I tell you my history 
now ? " she continued. 

" I don't see why you should." 

" Have you no curiosity ? " 

" Not of that kind. I am curious to know just how Reginald's brain 
looks, and if his tranquil, happy life is accumulating force in the supe- 
rior brain faster than he is using it. I would like to see if recuperative 
energy can be stored up like money in a bank, ready for a heavy 
draft, and — " 


" If you weren't so interested in all that, you would be more interested 
in my affairs." 

" Yes, if I were not so much interested in life as a religious ly-scientific- 
problem, I would be more interested in gossip, -and would now bid you 
good-by, and immediately would set the town alive with a little romance ; 
which, instead, you will tell me much later, and will tell the rest of the 
world when you choose." And with a long grasp of the hand, Ethelbert 
moved away as she spoke. 

"Don't you care to know ? " said Mrs. Mancredo, following her up. 

" I don't care to know anything except the resurrection-truth that you 
can still make your life as beautiful as you choose. You are thirty-five 
years old ; you have forty-five years to live in this world," said Ethel- 
bert. " Think of that, and fashion circumstances accordantly with the 
result you would like to see." 

" Well, I declare, I never thought of that way of doing," said Mrs- 
Mancredo, after a pause. Then : ** Do you really mean to say that you 
take me on trust ? " 

"I do," said Ethelbert ; " and * equal exchange is no robbery.' You 
take me so, too, do you not? " And a hand-grasp, peculiar and vitaliz- 
ing, sealed the compact. And this was the last reference made to that 
matter till years afterward. 

The house had not only been promptly enlarged, and Mrs. Mancredo 
very promptly domiciled there as she desired, but also within two years 
other developments had taken place. Mrs. Mancredo was now *' one of 
them,'* and participated in their many other lines of work, an account 
of which in the limits of this little booklet will not appear. This is but 
an episode in the doings of the dualized, and it must suffice to say that, 
under the best health conditions, physical and psychical, Reginald so 
improved that strangers recognized him but as a lame man, who had 
been paralyzed, but who was a person of winsome, gentle manners. 


His Speech was inconsequent, and often polyglot and startling in its 
sudden outbreaks into good English concerning unknown themes re- 
lated to realms unknown, and intangible to those who could not com- 
prehend his mental movement. 

The home of the Dakshas was more than ever like themselves ; or it 
would be truer to say, was as much as ever like themselves, since the 
changes which had developed were but outward signs of the average 
spiritual state of the occupants of that home. 

The house eventually was greatly enlarged. For Mrs. Mancredo and 
her servant having come to stay, the sustained condition of spiritual 
attraction necessitated a steady extension of the outward buildings. 

As, for instance, when Bertha Gemacht (whose life was a romance) 
had first heard of Reginald's attack, and of Miss Daksha's intention of 
restoring his faculties, she had presented herself to Ethelbert, internally 
necessitated to explain her relation to the problem in hand. For the 
memorable scene and conversation on the balcony had left with her a 
fixed belief that the vital force of vein and brain is the vigor of Jehovah 
in us ; and that those who reverence it according to the law of right 
use, having englobed that vital force, are thereby enriched, and fitted 
for a great order of service. For that this wealth of vein and brain 
is wealth, indeed, of an absolutely empowering sort; and is, in itself, 
power. And she had fully learned that by its inherent empowerment it 
naturally introduces its possessor to services which can only be carried 
forward on the plane of superordinary intelligence. 

Bertha had taken to this philosophy as naturally as she had to breath- 
ing. But her heart had lately become very sore with the fear that, as 
the workers were to be " the pure in heart " who see good and God, she, 
for cause known to herself, might not be considered " pure in heart,*' 
and so might be rejected as not fitted to help even in the humblest way, 
in the splendid work here opening up. The bitterness of this dread had 
filled her mind for weeks, — yes, from the first. And the bitterness was 
none the less bitter from the fact that the very circumstance in her life 



which she felt would be taken as ground for her rejection from this 
work for the new age, was in her good judgment the circumstance 
which had educated her to well do one line of work, that ought to be a 
collateral to the rest of it, as carried on here. 

So one day she came suddenly to see Miss Daksha, appearing at the 
sunlighted stretch of rooms, the abutting tower-end of which was con- 
nected with Reginald's suite. She glanced furtively at. him, halting as 
she knocked, and Ethel, understanding all, said at once : 

" Bertha, I call him — not bad, but bewildered ; not sick, but being 
healed ; not lost, but in process of finding himself. His helplessness 
now exists because Mother Wisdom Divine has arrested him, by putting 
to sleep certain of his faculties, in order to the better releasement of his 
higher nature. As we understand this matter, he is mentally in com- 
munion now with saintly spirits. And if your angel and mine can but 
wisely conspire with angels higher yet, he will be safely carried through 
this crisis ; and in a few years he will have forgotten all of the evil 
things of the past, and will be ready for a new life. And then all will 
go well, if but only people will then not remember against him his follies 
and transgressions. 

" For Bertha," Ethel said, curiously looking into the steadfast Ger- 
man eyes, as if showing her a sight of "those invisible things of God, 
which are clearly seen, being understood by things which are made." 
" Bertha, Reginald ought not to die yet physically. Dying as he now 
is would but necessitate that at his next incarnation some other woman 
would be tortured to give birth to perhaps an unchanged distracted 
being, with the same self-destructive tenden'cies as those evinced the 
day when, years ago, he was beating the rosebush to pieces. 

" All that unfortunate waste of mother-pain can be prevented ; for 
we here will now take up for him, and others, the work of being spir- 
itual mothers, who will very simply, in this home, supplement the work 
of the other poor mothers who have had to give birth to ill-conditioned 
children, without being properly accoutred, with the time, money, and 


education requisite to enable them to teach these children the ways of 

'* That day on the balcony when he was destroying the rosebud, his 
mother's spirit touched mine (as mine now touches yours), and she 
urged me (as I am now urging you) to bring this child out of his state 
of arrested development into harmony with righteousness. She in- 
formed me that in the bonds of matrimony, as well as out, Bertha, 
mothers often endure abuse which no creature but man thrusts on his 
mate ; abuse which devitalizes and poisons the fountain at which, born 
and unborn, the babe is fed ; and which weakens the nerve substance 
of the child, by draining the vital forces of the mother, in a way more 
ruinous than would be a sword-thrust. 

'* This mother with spiritual insistence urged me to keep her son in 
the body, and to carry him through this valley of the shadow of death, 
so as to enable him to attain a resurrection to newness of life in this 

Bertha's eyes were raised in soul-flaming sympathy with the suffer- 
ings hinted at. Such violence had been done her. P'or years she had 
been hurled into wraths and torments, and into the dangers of that 
moral defeat from which she had been delivered by Ethel's comprehen- 
sion of her inward righteousness, as opposed to the outward conditions 
that had been thrust upon her, and as opposed to the reputation which 
she had unjustly been made to bear. 

And of all this she thought. But Kthel's stated recognition of the 
commonness of the outrages put on woman as maid and mother, now 
aroused her intelligence as to the general need for a general enlighten- 
ment. But her wrath was inexpressible, and she cried out suddenly: 
" O, but he is a fool, that Reginald I If he had treated me well I could 
have done him great good. I hate him ! I wish he would cease to live 
in any world,^ — could be blasted, blotted out of all worlds, and made 
into nothing at all, with a lasting ache of shame to it ! For he is a fool. 
Miss Ethelbert, it's — it's him 1 That's who it was ! " And she cov- 


ered her face, stretched and distorted with loathing, and whispered 
dreadfully : 

" Let him die as the fool dies ; withhold your breath of life from him. 
Dead he would be but for the vitality you exhale upon the upper realms 
of his being. Let him die ! Let him be damned, as he has damned my 
poor Waldemar into being ! I do hate, hate fools ! " 

Just so had Mrs. Mancredo said : '* I do — dislike sick men." 

And Ethelbert, well knowing that woman's dislike of folly and sick- 
ness would turn men away from both, if woman were free to rise to her 
own heights, said calmly : *^ It is precisely because you hate fools that 
you will conspire with me, his mother, and other angels of God, to 
annihilate the fool and evoke the man. Two children, Waldemar and 
Reginald, — is it not so ? Your Waldemar iJi your son, and better born 
than Reginald. For after that assault you were deserted by your as- 
sailant, and lived in virginal conditions through all the time of the 
coming of your son to this present incarnation. You have lived since, 
loathing evil, seeking the good and pursuing it, and — in an humble 
sense — pondering these things in your heart, as did the mother of our 
Lord ; and — " 

" Aye, I hate him ! I would gladly have been like the Virgin 
Mother, reverently treated, by the spirit-of-life in some good man, — if 
not by the Angel of the Annunciation. Mystery and unfathomable 
mystery as it all is, I claim I should have had the highest and best. I 
am a good girl ; I am from a good family. I love that story ; I love 
the mystery as the good Father in our mountain village in Germany 
taught it. I meant always to be like Mary, blessed among women. 
Reginald betrothed me ; and betrothal is almost marriage in my land." 

She turned, and gazing again back toward Reginald's chair, said 
again: "Aye, I hate him! Beast, brute ! I think ^ — I think I must 
kill him ! I do hate him I What will my Waldemar think of me ! I 
hate that man ! " 

^' Who ? " said Ethelbert. 


" That man," said Bertha, with a point of her finger, like a sword- 
thrust. And Reginald, as if shocked by an electric charge, sent forth 
a cry, springing forward as if galvanized ; and Bertha, frightened, heard 
Ethelbert say, steadily : 

" There is no man there, — a crippled child, an absent spirit, a wraith, 
a wreck, a ghost, a * remains ' of the criminal who was arrested in the 
act of killing a citizen of this nation, called Reginald Grove ; that 
* remains ' is there ; nothing more. A child waiting to come forth to 
the business of making one more try at self-management, is there." 

"You were right," Ethelbert continued, not unobservant nieanwhile 
of Bertha's alarm at the effect of the electric-battery which her finger 
had fired at Reginald, and at the flush which had mounted Reginald's 
face. " You are right in saying there are too many born and buried. 
Let us not bury him (this * remains '), but let us electrify him into new- 
ness of spirit, and then he will not need rebirth of the body. Give 
him another chance. You and Waldemar shall have yours." 

" No ; for if he gets well you will be making him marry me. All the 
good ladies try to make those kind of men do that. And the men hate 
us, and we hate them ; and even when they are of our own class, they 
always think we are worse for what was as bad for one as for the other. 
And they think they have done us great honor ; and we keep on, never 
able to do anything that will make the wrong right ; and all that comes 
of it is hate, hate, hate ; and more babies are born, all of them full of 
hate ; and the mothers can't take care of so many ; and it's all nothing 
but hate, hate, hate. And the mother dies hating, and the children 
live hating ; and it's all foolishness and misery. You are my enemy if 
you make him marry me; and you can't be my friend if you are his." 

" Now, then, is he going to stay here ? " 

" He will stay here," said Ethel. 

" Then I must go." 

** Must you ? " 

" Yes madame, you would not have too such people under your roof ! " 


" The clear dome above us is the roof I live under," said Ethelbert, 
" and it covers all sorts of acting people. A few boards nailed to- 
gether neither roofs life in nor shuts life out. People who are sepa- 
rated are separated by partitions thin as glass and strong as adamant, 
and repellant or death-dealing as a live electrical wire. Go or stay, as 
you choose. But, dear child, you need never fear that I should make 
Captain Grove marry you, or make anybody do anything. Liberty is 
the law of life. But I see your perception that you are to Reginald a 
part of a dreadful dream, the same as he is to you, may be true. A hun- 
dred marriage services would not in themselves unite you. All you say 
of the disaster which comes from these unintelligent methods of com- 
pelling legal-unions between persons who are abhorrent to each other, 
is true. You need have no fear of any compulsion. 

" We are living in a revolutionary epoch. My family believes mar- 
riage is the great sacrament of life. But we do not perceive, however, 
that all legal marriages are so formed and sustained as to render them 
sacramental to the parties concerned. Yet we do think that the highest 
type of marriage is symbolic of the kingdom of heaven. But I will tell 
you this : If your case were mine, I should not try to right up the 
wrong I had done by going on to do more wrongs under the shelter of 
legality. If you consider that Waldemar was damned into being (that 
was your term, not mine, I should not use it ; I do not think he is), your 
next care should be to bless him out of that condemnatory state, by 
giving him such instruction and such simple joys in life as will secure 
him against perpetuating any form of wrong-doing. Put away sad- 
ness. Bertha, and remember not wrongs against your brother Reginald. 
Correct the past by dealiijg sensibly with the present. Truth and right 
living will bring good results to the future. 

" A large proportion of morals and manners today are unintelligent. 
Yours have been. But all that ceases today. Excessive emotional 
wrath at those who have blundered with us, does not help either them 
or us to better intelligence, nor to the best adjustment of results.*' 


*' Unintelligent ? What a niddering word for, for — " 

" Yes, unintelligent. A fuller intelligence will render all the mysteries 
and miseries of life intelligible. For whatever is in the past, you are, 
with others, responsible. Now waste no more brain-substance in grief, 
shame or wrath, but conserve all your nervous force for your work. 
Assume the motherhood which you /r<?sumed upon. Your mind is 
crowded with artificial distinctions. A few simple principles, held to 
amiably, will make all your life sweet and intelligent, even now. 

" You love purity. That characteristic is rooted deep in your nature. 
You are ethically valuable to the kind of work that must be done in 
this age, because of that characteristic. I will tell you five points 
of faith that abide with me. Then you will see why I say that any 
methods of abusing the brain-substance is unintelligent^ and why I say 
that fuller intelligence concerning woman-nature and possibilities will 
render intelligible the past miseries and mysteries of life, and will dis- 
place them with the spontaneous joyfulness of wisdom's way of living. 

" Do you understand ? " 

" Certainly I understand. Tell me your five points of faith," said 
Bertha, clear-headedly. 

"One is, that purity is- natural and inherent in humanity. Next, it 
consists in an invulnerable ability to garner up the vital force within 
the seven nerve-centers ready for use, just as the electric current is 
captured and held by the electric dynamo, ready to be put to use in a 
scientific and purposeful way ; in order that great things may be 
achieved for the race, by means of its light-giving, heat-supplying, 
weight-lifting and propelling power. Next, I believe purity is a profit- 
able, satisfactory personal possession. For it fills the nerves and brain 
with a reserve force which is a tremendous reconstructive energy. The 
possession of purity is always back of that steady brain-building which 
goes on, with its incessant increase of mental grasp and power of in- 
tuitive perception. So that those who have large reserves of the wealth 
which purity brings, can lay hold on the history of past ages, taking 


possession of such history in great blocks of time and events ; and they 
can apprehend things which are to come, in time to prepare for crises, 
one after another, in such a way as to turn what would have been dis- 
aster into success. Purity gives one self-possession, and creates a 
simple, unsullied self, well worth possessing. 

" It enables people to dare to state themselves in unqualified correct 
terms. For their unmixed simple purposes bear each other out in the 
long run. And I say. Bertha, if all women were legally upheld in being 
what men delight to be called (that is. Right Honorable,) the sons of 
such women would be by nature * Right Honorables.' I will uphold 
you in being right honorable, Bertha, and Waldemar shall be Right 

"Gott be danken." 

"There cannot be a more profitable and satisfactory possession than 
purity. It fills one with courage and truth, and makes honor easy. Its 
joys fade not away. Its hopes are fulfilled, and I believe if we were 
all possessors of this type of purity, and understood how to live accord- 
ing to its law, the social result would be, that humanity would become 
like the angels of God : right, bright, agile and light ; with probably less 
marrying and no divorcing ; because of the well-poised, well-contented 
lives to which such men and women will have attained. If all pos- 
sessed this type of purity, there would be an end to these inordinate 
desires which now make some people to be self-tormented monsters, 
and others to be their victims. When this type of purity exists, then 
family life, worthy the name, will be established on a plane of health- 
giving-comf ort to all concerned. While those who, St. Paul says, * do 
better than to marry, though to marry may be to do well,' will be able, 
Bertha, to cooperate together in simple, unsullied service to the world, 
which always needs such service. 

" When people come once to know the buoyant delight way down to 
bid, old age, which is ushered in by a scientific life of purity, they will 
never thereafter rack themselves with the disorders and maniacal nerve- 


lessness which comes, Bertha, one way and another, from the abuse of 

** It is doubtful if people, as a whole, will ever learn life*s true and 
refined joys until women are legally upheld in their own work of carry- 
ing out that law of liberty to all as opposed to license in any ; which 
law enables the evolution of such a joyous love of decency, and such 
reverence for the God-power in the blood and brain of each, as shall 
secure health, wealth and vivacity to individuals and the nations 
throughout the earth." 

"It is all true, true," said Bertha. " But that comes from beliefs 
which are all one. But yet you said five points of faith, and I shall 
learn them all. So you would better name the fifth, by telling me what 
is purity. You say it is natural and inherent to humanity. And you 
tell me it is profitable ; and what the. social result would be if we all 
possessed it and lived according to its law. But what is it, what does it 
consist in ? " 

" To be pure, the dictionary tells us, is to be unsullied, unmixed, genu- 
ine, unqualified. Purity is free from a burdensome sense of shame^ 
and is full of an invigorating courage which is wide away from all ne- 
cessity of making and loving those things which the Bible calls * lies.* 
Because a robust healthfulness fills with courage those who habitually 
practice the scientific law of purity. So that, in the character of a 
Right Honorable, purity, courage and truth knit each other up into 
a triuned power against which nothing can prevail. Purity knows how 
to deal in an offhand way with its own nature and needs, being full of 
the courage of its own convictions as to what it wants to do and be. 

" The courage of purity is full of simplicity and high achievement ; 
quite the opposite of that bravado which, attached to inordinate desires, 
is full of duplicity and failure. Purity is not timid, for it is its own pro- 
tector. It is genuine, unmixed God-power, and makes its possessor a 
partaker in omnipotent omniscience. This fact all can prove for them-* 
selves who enable themselves to do so. 


" It consists in an intelligent use of the vital element of blood and 
brain ; and this intelligent use is religion itself. For, Bertha, the vital- 
ity within us is the divine creative power of Jehovah, and should be 
reverenced with awe. I repeat it, I distinctly believe this elusive, 
thrilling gladness-element of mind and nerve, is the joy-power, the in- 
tellectual vigor of that Vital One, the being whom we call God ; who is 
the breath of. our lives, and of whom we are competent to know more 
and more eternally. 

" Now the only real class distinction between people is — not that 
some are rich and some are poor, not that some are university graduates 
and some are not, but — that some have cultivated and know their pos- 
sibilities of garnering up this vital force within their own nerve centers, 
ready for use, just as the electric dynamo captures and gamers up the 
electric current, that it may be in readiness to achieve great results for 
this great age. 

" Those who have this order of self-sovereignty have what the world 
cannot give and cannot take away. Those whose self-sovereignty is 
founded on this unimpregnable purity of brain and nerve have entered 
into a permanent delight in life. And no matter to what retreat their 
humble duty calls them, they are among the rulers of the age. 

" Ach, Himmell It is the secret of the sanctuary!" said Bertha. 
** We of the high mountain regions are taught it, in the old fatherland. 
Nothing can be wanted, if Waldemar and I have and hold this, and 
give it to the world." 

So thus came Bertha into the home of the Dakshas. 



AS Bertha left the room Daniel entered it. Then, as do saints on 
the other shore when dealing with those who have come up out 
of great tribulations, so these two looked each into the eyes of the 
other, and met there, love-full-of-wisdom. 

In the silence they stood for a moment, thinking of the " foundation 
stone " on which the ** builders build," — a foundation stone which sup- 
ports that gate of opulence which is coeval and consonant with the 
temple of life. A foundation stone, diamond-like in its adamantine 
strength, and a radiator of shafts of that light which has lighted every 
man who has come into the world. Rays of which, mingling with rays 
are emitted now everywhere, till the dispelling of all darkness is at 

" I have heard from the Landseers," said Daniel. Then, as if that 
statement were but in continuance of the thoughts which had swiftly 
glanced from mind to mind, he added : " The work of individual spir- 
itual construction moves on so fast in the world today, that soon no 
man will question his neighbor, ' Know ye the Lord ? ' for all shall 
know that all others, too, do know him ; and shall know who he is ; for 
they shall see him as he is, and know that he is He-vaw. It is becom- 
ing well understood that the pure in heart see He-vaw, and seeing He- 
vaw as he is, become like He-vaw. But we need for use^ institutions for 
training our young men in this art of life." 

Words were few and powerful in which Daniel and daughter treated 
the mysteries at stake in the swift transactions taking place under their 
roof, and under the broad dome of the blue above. 

As has been said, the Dakshas were what today's people commonly 
recognize as " old, old souls." So though by many this will be unbe- 


lievable, their opulent minds kept always in circulation the thoughts to 
be uttered. And their eyes and ears conveyed and received suggestions, 
information and impressions as swiftly as the electric current receives 
and carries messages. For ** the wheels '' which some joker declared 
were in the Daksha-brain, were there, and what is more, ^* the spirit of 
creative life was in the wheels/' But if (as it was said jocularly) there 
was a buzzing in their bonnets, the bees that buzzed there were all 
honey-makers for humanity. 

But Judge Elkhorn not only lacked all such activity of brain-sub- 
stance, but was an inherent pauper concerning this order of social 
opulence. Moreover, he did not believe any one could have what he 
did not. So the wit about the wheels in the heads of the Daksha family 
and the buzzing of the bees in their bonnets was the judge's own. 
Meanwhile he wished for their power. For he was a man as painfully 
curious to know everybody's past, and the whys and wherefores of all 
that they did, as he was anxious to reservedly shield his own past, 
present and future plans from inspection. 

So, as Mrs. Mancredo did not explain to him her affairs, he only 
knew of them what had been reported at the hotel ; namely, that she 
was an adopted sister of Reginald Grove. He knew that one of the 
women under the roof claimed to dislike Grove as a disagreeable sick 
man, and another had declared that she hated him as a furious fool. 
But as to Miss Daksha's sentiment toward the man whom she was said 
to be saving, he could discover nothing. And therefore that matter 
uncomfortably occupied his mind. For, in his conjectures concerning 
Ethelbert, he had nothing to go upon but a more or less murky form 
of concluding that the acts of all women were based upon some emo- 
tional, self-seeking foundation. 

He was not to say " a nice man," this Judge Elkhorn. But of curi- 
osity, persistence and " prod," he had no lack. He had some things in 
stocks, some things in banks, and some things in mortgages on farms 
put West ; but his poverty was extreme and corrosive. One form of it 


that was eating his vitals this day, made him peer sharply through his 
glasses and thrust his head forward in a way which caused his Adam's 
apple to choke up against his collar ; and that resulted in making him 
pitch his very hoarse voice up very high in the eflFort to get it, if pos- 
sible, a bit higher than that collar, and so on a level with his greatly 
heightened curiosity. 

For this curiosity took form in the desire to know what conditions 
could have existed which made both Mrs. Maneredo and Bertha 
Gemacht look at Reginald as they had looked at him in the judge's 
presence. For in the look of both was repulsion, dread, and distinctly 
a look of enslavement to him, to which was added a portrayed sense of 
angry restiveness under that enslavement. What is more, he had twice 
noticed how invariably they turned away from the sick man, and gazed 
appealingly (it could be called nothing else) into the eyes of Ethel. 
And he had seen that her superordinary manner steadied them, and 
correlated them with strength. For strengthened they were, as all are 
strengthened who are released from fear, and allied to that power which 
comes as direct from All-that-is as water comes into a basin from a res- 
ervoir to which its conductors are attached. 

Judge Elkhorn knew, too, that Mrs. Maneredo, her carriage and 
coachman, John Sullivan, and a North American " Indian-rubber," as 
she called him; were all long since settled in the Daksha family. And 
he knew that the man Fleetwood liked himself very much ; and often 
said : ** We are the ancient people, and we know the laws of the spirit 
of peace and purity, and our medicine men deal with medicine of a 
secret sort, for those who can take it in faith." Elkhorn also knew that 
there had come into the family a Madame Roland, a religieuse in heart, 
and a companion of the toilet to Mrs. Maneredo in practice. He knew, 
too, that Robert one day had imported into the family a Japanese gar- 
dener and a Chinese laundryman. At last in answer to Elkhorn *s urgen- 
cies, Daniel Daksha provisionally admitted him to the family, under the 
promise to withdraw within two weeks unless he was asked to extend 



his stay. He was an expansive liberal-leagued man ; but he did not 
like servants to forget their places, as he had told Robert. Then 
Robert had explained that, as their household was based on the prin- 
ciple that *^a true aristocrat was one who best served the greatest 
number and asked least for self in return,'' Ethel, Daniel and Althea 
were preeminently the servants of the family. But as for himself, 
Robert said, he did not pretend to live up to that ideal as yet. 

In this way Elkhorn learned that this conglomerate household was 
distinctly trying to practicalize the royal law of liberty ; and that under 
that law, one person would no more force chains on any other than he 
would consent to wear chains himself. This sounded well to Elkhorn, 
until Robert, who did not stay his tongue, added : 

" It takes the age long development that comes to the true old aristo- 
crat (like Aristarchus) to carry out this ideal in a really royal way, be- 
cause ordinary selfishness and self-conceit are unequal to the task.'* 

Elkhorn did not like that. But then Robert didn't wish him to like 
it, as he objected to having Judge Elkhorn come into the family at all. 
For he considered that Elkhorn had roots of character which rendered 
liberty for him, an unattainable glory. Because his progenitors had 
been through so much fighting and persecuting in trying to obtain lib- 
erty for their own consciences and for Calvinism, that, though the ten- 
dency to persecute and fight remained with Elkhorn, liberty was neither 
yet obtained by him for himself, nor was it by him permitted to others. 
But this was exactly what Judge Elkhorn did not realize about himself. 
He figured as a liberty league man ; but of late was beginning to realize 
it is a mighty acquisition to really be in league with liberty. . . . 
Meanwhile, Daniel liked Judge Elkhorn for many reasons. For though 
Judge Elkhorn got as excited over his negations as his progenitors had 
gotten over their affirmations of immortality, and though he became 
irascible at the suggestion that there was a realm of life beyond the ken 
of those senses called common ; and though he got very angry with 
people who insisted on a knowledge of " the unseen world," "invisible 


powers," and the theory of a moral accountability beyond the grave, yet 
Daniel liked him, as a make-weight against the top-lofty theories of 
people who lived more in the unseen world than in the seen. And Dan- 
iel knew himself to be one Of these last-mentioned people. And, too, 
Daniel knew the peculiar fact about Robert was, he at this time knew 
a terrifying amount about the unseen world, and was receiving as much 
from the psychical realm as he could support without becoming a 
maniac. And Daniel knew Robert did not relish having Elkhorn come 
into the family ; for Elkhorn 's prowess consisted in trying to annihilate 
the popular and private reverence which the people of this nation have 
for their several partial-statements of religious truth. Meanwhile Rob- 
ert knew it had never been Daniel's way to say, " We — * us and you ' — 
will chum together against the rest of the world. We have uttered the 
last word.'/ But Robert also knew that the fact that Elkhorn was on 
the warpath against almost everything, had but caused Daniel to think 
his presence in the family might act as an antidote against any tendency 
to any form of unity which, when based on indolent, ignorant acquies- 
cence, results in not unity, but nullity. 

Daniel comprehended the crisis which Robert was facing. Poor 
Robert, who had been singled out from the Daksha family by the not 
flattering title, " Robert le Diable." Not that he was so really wicked, 
but because the singular goodness of his style of wickedness made the 
excessive wickedness of some good people's goodness look very wicked, 

To this nearly overwhelming rush of contending forces, Robert at 
times submitted quite unresentingly. He knew appearances were cer- 
tainly against him. He also knew that there was never a crisis at which 
liberty of individual action was to be more demanded by men and 
women than at this crisis at the end of the nineteenth century. Only 
those can understand Robert's troubles who are touched with a feeling 
of that infirmity under which a brain staggers when the inflow of psy- 
chical life is to the full, as much as even the rapidly expanding brain- 


cell can carry. For he was still trying to keep his place in the outer 
world, while passing through such stress of mental weather as is better 
borne in seclusion, if such seclusion can anywhere be found in these 
too public times. For only those can carry this inflow of mental-afflatus 
who have been taught to know that this pressure on the brain-cells will 
but happily result in an increase of the brain's capacity to commodiously 
entertain the life that comes into these cells, if but this inflow of mental 
afflatus can be met with heroic faith and fortitude, well instructed. 

Daniel was his helper, and had told him that persons who were rightly 
taught these scientifically-religious facts do not fear, but on the reverse, 
exult in this brain-cracking-pressure ; being upheld by their faith that 
the pressure, endured as a good soldier of the cross should endure 
it, will but result in the upbuilding of more brain-cells, which will 
then serve gloriously as enlarged receptacles for the incoming of more 
brain substance ; with the further result that as this development 
goes forward these good workers will construct a brain-building fitted 
to carry on an order of cerebration, finer and inconceivably swifter 
and more reliable than that which is now dreamed of by man as 

But well assisted though he was by the dear old Daniel (who had 
walked that way before him), Robert was at a crisis when he was 
getting all the inflow of spiritual afflatus that he could carry. And he 
decided if Elkhorn were to be at the little evening " conversations," dear 
to the Dakshas, this judge should not be allowed to badger him into 
discussing psychical matters, about which the judge was as uneasily 
curious as he was unenlightenable. For Daniel knew that such "grow- 
ing pains " as afflict men whose mentalities are being adapted to the 
psychic burden they have to bear, are, to men devoid of these higher 
inspirational benefits, the unknown quantity in the problem of life. 
And he considered these experiences used to be called " strivings after 
God " and " visitations of grace " by Christians of the true spiritual 
type of the older time. And he believed that in turning his back on 


all forms of religion, Elkhorn had turned his face away from the very 
facts of spiritual development which he was yet curious to dissect now, 
as a new psychical scientific development. 

But Daniel knew that was a time (as it is even now in 1898) when a 
pressure was being brought to bear on the Committee of the Judiciary 
at the National Capitol, by a steadily increasing number of men, who 
(engaged in a religio-politico pull, year after year,) were trying to 
thrust on this country a creedal-constitution, by putting in a compul- 
sory-religion amendment. Though the National Constitution distinctly 
provides for the exercise of liberty of conscience, and for the full right 
of the individual to self-government and self-expression. He believed 
intelligent, alert persons all knew that the insertion of the proposed 
words would not amend but would annul and abrogate the National 
Constitution of this American Republic ; a Constitution whose preamble 
states, that we hold it to be self-evident that men are born free, and 
have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness ; and whose 
whole tenor is to protect the individual in freedom of thought and self- 
expression, and to protect every one from being politically discrimi- 
nated against on account of religious or non-religious views. 

Daniel knew that at a recent hearing at the National Capitol, the 
Chairman of the Judiciary had said to the man who was editor of a paper 
called the Christian Statesman^ and the maker of the little " Christian 
Manual,'* in conformity with which he more or less modestly expected 
to have our American constitutional-liberty annihilated : ** I see you 
refer to God the Father and to the Lord Jesus Christ as Ruler of the 
Nation ? Why not to the Holy Spirit ? " And in reply to this, the 
Doctor of Divinity had made answer : " It is not revealed to us that 
the Holy Spirit has relations to nations." 

So after such an answer as that, of course Daniel was sure that while 
people might not blame the man who, as a subject of the British lion, 
was little likely to have had it revealed to him that a HOLY Spirit has 
relations to nations, yet that their common sense would recognize that 


the ignorance which an unfortunate-national-environment had brought 
upon this Doctor of Divinity did not very specially fit him to go about 
trying wO wipe out other people's Constitution with his little " Manual.'^ 

Daniel knew that lofty souls from Africa, Asia, the nations of the 
Mediterranean and the islands of the sea (represented here as voting 
citizens allegiant to our National Constitution) had age-long been 
taught that life. Life Itself is dependent on that Holy Spirit — the femi- 
nine in Deity — which continuously broods all-that-is into order ; and 
he claimed no government but the one dominated by that desecrator 
of womanhood, Henry Tudor, and his followers, would wish to thrust 
the Holy Spirit out of " relations to nations " ; and that that govern- 
ment (?) whose hand is against every other knows well that if it can 
but starve, evict, stupefy and slay our people through annihilating their 
national money, their national lands, their religious liberty and (that 
once protective agency) their patriotic navy and army made up of 
American citizens^ it can then easily entrap what is left into the present 
religio-politico-pull, which is bent on establishing on earth that particu- 
lar form of hell that riots wherever that plundering, preaching, prosti- 
tuting government (?) makes its lair. 

It was a wild epoch. And the increasing ecclesiastic assumptions 
of a new influx of salary-seeking teachers (?) was on the way to injure 
the simple purity of faith with which the religiously-philosophical science 
of the evolution of man had previously been bettering American society ; 
and some men's hearts were failing them for fear. 

But Daniel Daksha, who had been a simple-souled, devoted man 
from his cradle-days upward, and who had suffered many things for the 
truth's sake, had no fear. For he was a prophet, and had known that 
in the last days it would come to pass that " the mountain of the Lord's 
house would be exalted and would be established in the top of the 
mountains, and that all peoples would flow up to it." He believed this 
was " the Woman Age," and he was not among the men whose hope 
of existence lies in swamping woitien's power, either by its subjection to 


animal-abuse in the home or in the shambles ; wherein he believed the 
new movement was putting woman up as a licensed article, sellable for 
revenue to the would-be on-coming government of the brute, by the 
brute, and for the brute, — a would-be on-coming style of government 
which, in its nature, counts woman out of it, because she is human; 
and the brute-rule has set itself to consume her, when having annihi- 
lated her individuality, religiously and politically, it shall then have 
turned her into a "commodity," — a commodity to be bought and sold 
in marriage and out, for the consumption of that brute-rule, to whom 
" it is not revealed that the Holy Spirit has relations to nations." 

In view of all these things, the Dakshas were more than content to 
have at their home not whist-parties and dancing-parties, but free dis- 
cussions of these things. 



ONE evening after Judge Elkhorn's arrival in the family when many 
guests were present, he opened up his warfare with Robert 
against credulity. 

Robert with a glance laid the discussion in Ethel's hands, and then 
she said : " But if you should succeed in annihilating the reverence 
which people have for their different forms of religion, and should get 
them to believe they have nothing to do but eat, drink and die and 
decay, would they not so eat, drink and be merry as to decay before 
they died, and yet live long enough to multiply what you call * dangerous 
classes ' ? " 

** O ! " said the judge, " I would enforce temperance, because I be- 
lieve people get more happiness out of life by being decent." 

" But suppose others think they get more happiness by being indecent, 
what then ? What more has your belief to do with their affairs than the 
belief of religious people has to do with your affairs ? " 

" Well, of course, as to that," said the judge, with honest hesitation, 
" freedom given to the ignorant and passionate would annihilate society, 
and reduce countries to conditions of carnage. The problem is diffi- 
cult, because ignorance is so brutish that brute force has to be used to 
repress it." 

" Don't repress it, enlighten it," said one Paul Palmer, swiftly. 

But Elkhorn, lifting his voice a little, swung on : " And so it comes 
about that we have to control brutishness by brute force, or we have to 
make a compromise with it, by regulating it through license laws so as 
to repress its encroachments on law-abiding people." 

*' Where do you get your law-abiding people ?" said Palmer; for Elk- 
horn spoke with the high air of one who has uttered that " last word " 



which so many are struggling to put forth in these last days ; and had 
turned a crushing gaze on flippant Paul Palmer. 

" Whatl " said Ethel, "license evil so as to gain freedom from it ? A 
liberty-league man must know that liberty granted to all women and 
men is based on such freedom for each, that no one is accountable to 
any other, and therefore no one is empowered to either forbid or grant 
any act to anyone. Therefore, liberty is inherent only in — " 

"Oh, you're getting on fast,'' the judge interrupted. "On such 
grounds as that we should have anarchy. Besides, leave out all religion 
when you talk to me." 

" inherent only in the real individual. Therefore we want to 

secure that simple form of education to all, which will create a citizen- 
ship of real individuals," said Ethel, with an amiable but marked imita- 
tion of Elkhorn's manner of riding on serenely to the end of his subject ; 
— a bit of esprit which amiably amused him and them all, without dis- 
tracting attention from the argument. And she continued : 

"Judge Elkhom, if you believe in granting license, you believe in 
stultifying liberty. For liberty to all leaves no man to grant or forbid 
anything to anyone. License is the antagonist of liberty. For liberty 
is the use of law, and license is the abuse of law. 

" Briefly then, in this country, where everything consistent with the 
right of others is already constitutionally conceded to each one, the at- 
tempt to give anything more to anyone, is an encroachment on liberty. 
For it is plain that if among ten people everything is granted to each 
one which is consistent with the liberty of the other nine, then to grant 
more to five of the ten is to encroach on the other five, and at once con- 
verts the favored five into masters, and fixes the status of the other five 
as slaves. This has been done. The result is, liberty has been de- 
throned, and licentiousness is set up in her place." 

" But," saicf Elkhom, " if it were agreed to all around, for the sake of 
peace ? " 

"It would be an agreement to dethrone liberty, and the compactors 


would be traitors and self-made slaves ; and war, not peace, would be 
the result. But it has never been agreed to all around. • I never agreed 
to it. It was done by trickery and the feebleness of the enslaved, with 
the result that for the lack of courage to stand by the law of liberty, 
we have all become the slaves of license, and not peace, but war pre- 
vails concerning every question which is before the country, yes, before 
the world, — Europe, Asia, Africa, America and the islands of the sea." 

" Miss Daksha," said Palmer, "according to your opinion, how did all 
this muss creep in ? " 

"In this era it practically was never out," said Ethel. "Liberty, as 
formulated in the preamble of our Constitution, has failed of prac- 
ticalization, because people were not, and are not, up to the level, 
requisite to even mentally grasp the idea. It is God-like, and far be- 
yond the popular ideal of what God is like. And .what makes matters 
worse, it is beyond what the average pulpit now claims God is like. 
But shall we feel badly about all this ? No ; let us rather say, that as 
yet we have not had time, conveniences nor methods adequate to the 
evolution of the ideal commonwealth of the United States, into which 
individual intelligence will be presently annealed." 

The power of her thought reached every mind there, poorly as these 
words convey it on paper. But to invite fuller explanations, Mrs. 
Daksha said: " Ethel, what precisely do you mean by commonwealth? 
Anything in the ordinary communistic line, or on the Bellamy idea ? " 

" Please take from my words the simplest dictionary sense of them, 
quite unrelated to any elaborated theory," said Ethel, with that com- 
fortable assurance which comes to each of us, that anyone ought to 
know what we are talking about, however misapprehended other theorists 
have chosen to make themselves to be, by their play upon words. 

** According to my idea," said Ethel, " Commonwealth consists in 
the common services which each can perform to others, in releasing 
and distributing those natural commodities which earth, water, air and 
the spiritual substance of the universe put potentially into the posses- 
sion of each individual." 


** Ye Goths ! " ejaculated Judge Elkhorn. " You are going into 
things deep and high." 

" Things deep and high have gone into the question. That's what 
makes an intelligent handling of it so difficult on the part of the gold- 
worshiping, materialistic class of irreligious-religionists who are trying 
to annihilate our present r^^/ constitutional Theodicy, a natural Theodicy 
in which * the voice of the people ' (might it be really but heard) is the 
voice of God, the Holy Spirit ; that spirit which Churchianity declares 
before our judiciary *has not relations to nations'; and which that 
set of people apparently intend shall not have, if that vox populi^ which 
is * the voice of God,' can be silenced," said Daniel Daksha. 

" It must be gone into deep, broad and high, if we are going to 
handle it on the square," said Palmer, who was a most intelligent 

" In politely giving the masses possession of the universe," said 
Elkhorn satirically, " how would you regulate people's way of taking 
possession and working and sharing ? " 

" If once we rightly got hold of the principle at stake, that matter 
would regulate itself. I accept the natural distinctions which now 
actually exist, and which really will eventually control everything, in 
spite of all our artificial attempts to the contrary." 

" For instance," said Elkhorn. 

** Will you admit that as we go on now, it takes much of our time to 
make and enforce laws for building up and hedging in artificial distinc- 
tions ? And the rest of it to crush out those real distinctions that inhere 
in the nature of things ? " 

" For instance," said Elkhorn again. 

" I see Mr. Palmer has made a note of my definition of common- 
wealth," said Ethel. " So instead of giving instances of what I mean 
by artificial distinctions, I will repeat my definition of commonwealth, 
and go on. Commonwealth consists of the common-sense service 
which each can perform to the other, by releasing and distributing 


those natural commodities, which earth, air, water and the spiritual 
substance of the universe, put potentially into the possession of each 
individual. This commonwealth, then, is divisible into three classes 
of valuables ; namely, personal common-sense services ; secondly, the 
natural * commodities ' of earth, water and air, and the spiritual sub- 
stance-of-the-universe, and for the third class of values — ^ credits,^ 

" Now my happy philosophy of the matter points to the fact, that 
one's natural (not his artificial) desires are in the line of his ability, 
duty and destiny. So that if each man and woman is left free to fol- 
low intelligently his and her desires, each will attain the true develop- 
ment and best use of self, for self and others. Thus, a real civil service 
will come about, not by expending millions of dollars and days in arbi- 
trarily dictating ways and measures by which individuals shall civilly 
be serviceable, but by leaving each individual intelligently and blithely 
free to use self-inherent possessions in a way which will occasion a self- 
adjusting supply of everything to the demands of everybody. This will 
naturally release and distribute first, personal services ; second, the 
commodities which fill earth, air, water and the spiritual substance-of- 
the-universe, and will bring into play the third element in the class 
of values, recognized in the system of social economics ; namely, 

" But what will be your medium," gaid Elkhorn dubiously, " of 

" Time," said Ethel simply. ** For of course to meet the orderly 
demands of each and all, with an orderly supply, will take a great deal 
of time. But then we each have all the time there is ; and this, at the 
start, equalizes the distribution of that medium of exchange. And our 
bank can never fail us, for when our drafts on it are very large, we will 
still have reserves of it in eternity. So time is the medium of exchange 
for the common-sense services which will release and keep in distribu- 
tive-circulation the common-wealth-commodities of which earth, water, 
air and the spiritual-substance-of-the-universe make each of us pos- 


sessed. (Silence invited her to go on.) Time is a commodity, for 
as we all know, * commodities are a class of valuables organic and 
inorganic, which may be fitted by human effort to satisfy human 

" Franklin used to say ' Time is money,' but the point I make is, 
that time is value per se ; so intrinsic in quality, so invariable in quan- 
titative supply, that it is the natural medium of exchange for all the 
valuables precious to a morally sustained government of people, by and 
for people. But, though time is value, it is difficult to place an exact 
valuation on time without asking, Whose time ? And that would seem 
like asking, Whose rain, whose air, and whose sunshine ? Yet it is 
impossible to place an exact valuation on time without first getting an 
answer to the question, Whose time, whose services? For the value 
of a person's services depends on the use which the servitor has there- 
tofore made of his or her time. So here comes in the matter of per- 
sonal * credits.' So, in coming toward your question. Judge Elkhorn, 
concerning distinctions as to the way of * working and sharing,' we 
might take it as an axiom in the morals of social economics, that the 
value of personal services, broadly considered, is measurable by the use 
which the servitor has heretofore made of his or her time. And as time 
is the medium of exchange, a person who has not theretofore made 
skilled use of his time, might wish to contribute more of it to help out 
the works of a person who has made great use of his time. This 
would only include that one day from many people would have to be 
given to execute the plans which another person might have potentially 
worked out in the hours of a vision-filled night, as these plans thus led 
the way into that which would advance the interests of all concerned. 
All this, American economists of two hundred years ago must have 
known ; judging by the zeal with which, in the midst of their straight- 
ened circumstances, they held themselves to the business of developing 
the capacity of children (the born citizens of their ideal on-coming 
Republic). These true human-economists bound themselves to culti- 


vate in humanity a capacity to utilize time. For the development in 
each little citizen of the capacity to well-use-tinie, enabled each such 
well-developed person to hold the other in well-poised personal liberty ; 
while each chose for self such an order (or such orders) of personal 
service as makes each one to be of most value to himself and others." 

" Oh, oh, oh ! " ejaculated the judge. " Who are the fellows who 
really did this ? Name them, do, Miss Daksha." 

Ethel halted at this onslaught from the man who claimed to believe 
of everybody and everything only what his external senses revealed to 
him concerning them. Everybody laughed good-naturedly ; and Ethel 
laughed with them at herself. For she knew there was a line between 
things, perceivable only to the inner senses and those perceptible to the 
outer senses. But she, like her father Daniel, was a dreamer who 
worked ; and therefore took care to protect herself from seeming like 
a dreamer who lied, as she saw Elkhorn thought and meant to hint to 
her that she was. She felt what she said was truth, as to the interior 
aspirational thoughts which were held by many women and men, who, 
like Hawthorne, Emerson and others of earlier date, had philosophized, 
romanced and poetised over common-sense facts, and had thus en- 
throned them ; till they now, at least, were lodged in the memories of 
men like Elkhorn, as entertaining fictions. 

Luckily for Ethel she had a merry soul, as well as a philosophically 
religious one. And, too, she had the faculty of standing off at a dis- 
tance from herself in a way that enabled her to see herself as others 
saw her. She was not self-conceited, though to others she seemed so. 
If she had been, her gift of seeing herself as others often saw her (so 
frequently was she misunderstood), would have many times a day taken 
down her self-conceit. 

She saw the confusion in Elkhorn's mind concerning her. She knew 
he was a stoical man, and had no power of imaging the unseen. He 
was like the men of that class which long ago sprung up and outlawed 
the poets, and repressed everything of that sort (music included, I be- 


lieve) ; because these things, according to these realists (?) led to lies, 
and were lies. All this was in EtheFs mind as she caught Daniel's eye, 
and they both laughed out cheerily. For Daniel had often been 
called a — (that name you know) and, too, he had been quite outlawed 
long ago by deacons, who called him a " rationalist." And then when 
he patiently inquired if they would rather he should become "irra- 
tional," he was churched for it. So when Ethel and Daniel had rung 
forth that swift chime of laughter, it had rung up memories of these 
things to the ears of all who heard it. 

Her pleasantness and just estimate of others seemed to have cleared 
the atmosphere. And Judge Elkhorn said cordially, but a little quiz- 
zically, " Well, we'll take all that on the strength of our faith in you, 
Miss Daksha. But go on, and take your time." 

" Yes, take your time," said Robert, accenting significantly. " This 
is not half bad that you are saying, Ethel, but it is quite a fairy tale to 
everybody who is listening to you, you know." 

" On, on with the fairy story," said Paul Palmer. 

" I am talking to you about the realness of these men's ideals ; men 
like William Ellery Channing, Warren, Emerson, Thoreau and men of 
earlier and later date than either of these ; men some of them who had 
the serious scholasticism which was held in the college of * Mary and 
William,' of Baltimore. And I receive from them proofs that they had 
hold of the fact that the spiritual essence of the social economics of a 
self-governed people, was their goal ; and that their idea of real social- 
economics included a full,^-a supernal evolution of national moral- 

" These men and women of early and later date steadily put forth 
teachings which impressed the fact that, to the faithfulness of the indi- 
vidual conscience, the liberties of the race were committed. And so I 
legitimately conclude that national moral-power must now be evolved 
by persons who, with leisurely intelligence, apply themselves to dealing 
with the commodities of earth, air, sea and the spiritual substance of the 


universe as they engage themselves in graciously exchanging mutual 
services. America has such men and women, and needs many. 

" There is time ; there are personal services. What hinders us that 
we are not baptized in the water of life, flowing out from the throne of 
supernal power ? A social waste hinders us, and that waste results from 
a fallacy which seeks to sustain the relation of supply and demand, on 
the basis of the legal tender of a money token ; as if to say : " I know 
that man is hungry,- the money in his hand shows it." 

" But, Miss Daksha, we can't keep brutes in order with these elusive, 
transcendental theories," said Elkhom. 

*' Yes," said Palmer, " the question is. How can we keep brutes in 
order without throwing license as a ' sop to Cerberus * ? " 

" To keep brutes in order is not this nation's problem, as woman, the 
mother of man, understands it," she answered swiftly. "We are not 
dealing with a menagerie. We are dealing with a nation of immortals 
whose native air is liberty. And as to raising the question as to 
whether all people shall be allowed to breathe their native air of liberty, 
that would be but insolence on my part, if I should name it. These, 
' the people ^^ are endowed with certain inalienable rights, among which 
are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. How, then, can any two 
or three people talk of keeping the rest in bounds ? " 

" But, Mr. Palmer, the simile is fortunate which compares license to 
a sop thrown to Cerberus, that hundred-brained-monster. For you re- 
member in the Greek story, that sop was flung up to Cerberus, by those 
who dwelt down in Pluto's regions, and who wished to keep Cerberus 
down there to guard the mouth of Pluto's regions, and who wished to 
keep him content with being chained there." 

" Do you see ? It is in exact correspondence with the doings of mod- 
ern Pluto-crats who toss the sop of license up to the enchained masses, 
to keep them content with conditions which are hell-on-earth to us all." 

Such angelic tones filled her voice, such angelic pity illumined her 
paling countenance, as she said these hard-sounding words, that that 


hell-on-earth appeared at once to be what it is, a hideous intrusion on a 
fair realm. And two men sprang to their feet, as if to smite the thing 
back to the under world, and deliver Cerberus from his chains. 

Ethel stood beside them, one with them in the purpose ; sa)dng, 
swiftly, with the flame of a white-light-spreading through the very pores 
of her fine face : 

" Hold to your present thought ! And take home now the part of the 
story popularly forgotten : Pluto promised Cerberus, as a gift to whom- 
soever could release and bring him to the upper air without the use of 

" The promise holds good today. But — but among the Greeks there 
was a man — Hercules. He did it. 

" There are such men among Americans. Hercules did it. How ? 
Certainly not by licensing Cerberus to remain chained down in Pluto's 
regions. What Hercules did do, was this: he brought Cerberus a 
morsel fresh from the feast of the * gods of Olympus ' ; and Cerberus, 
at the taste, aflame for more, burst his chains, and willingly he went 
away with Hercules to the upper air, where such feasts awaited him. 

" Men of America, the trouble with our nation is, there is a dearth 
of deities at our Capitol ! There is still a lack of Herculean power ! 
We want more there at the moral-feasts of our Olympus, the flavor of 
which would be new to our desiring, fighting, frenzied Cerberi 1 It is 
not that our ' masses ' are so greatly degraded. It is that our superiors 
are so little superior; are, in fact, so much at one quality with the chained 
Cerberi, that, for the gift of Cerberus, no man has yet been able to bring 
him to the upper air. Worse than that, faith is nearly gone, that there 
is any upper air, or that there are at our Olympus any Capitolian gods." 

" No. The smoke of hades and the * sop ' flung up by Pluto are 
there ; and the snapping of the jaws of the Cerberi-congress, as they 
jump this way and that to catch * the sop.' These things are there," 
said Elkhorn. 

" Plus — some men who are to be honored," said Paul Palmer. " Still, 


that is only partly the fashion of that place," continued he ; "the smoke 
of the torment still ascends. But the question there honestly today is, 
What is to be done about it ? There is an upper air somewhere, and 
there are men in the Congress of the United States, and in the par- 
liament of Britain, and in the legislative bodies among the peoples of 
every country in the world, who are seeking for these heights." He 
halted, then looking out from under his deep brows, in intensit)" of up- 
flaming hope, he said with ferocious directness : 

" Ethel Daksha, I ask you, what can be kept restrainingly before the 
masses, if (according to your idea of liberty) we take away from them 
fear of punishment ? If no man or woman is amenable to any other, will 
it not be grab, tear and carnage, by the hundred-headed-monster? " 

"What is it now?" said Ethel, "when everyone is presuming to 
frighten and to dictate to everyone else ? But I will ask a better ques- 
tion than that. I will ask if you are kept up to duty by fear of punish- 
ment ? If not, by what ? " 

It was long before he spoke, and no one thought of breaking the 
silence, for it was a solemn one. 

" Whatever rectitude there is in me," he said, "comes from an in- 
herent repugnance to making chains for myself by forming habits that 
would fit me to dwell in Pluto's region. Yes, it is a repugnance to the 
smoke, stench and torment of the Pluto-cratical domain, which was 
graphically and practically explained to me in earliest childhood, by my 
most vigorous mother. It is this deep-seated repugnance to moral 
smoke, stench and torment, which keeps me up to my idea of duty. 
And then, Miss Ethel, I certainly am not better than other men, but I 
surmise I was vastly better taught than some men are, from babyhood, 
and before birth. For, like thousands of men everywhere today, there 
comes to me a sort of homesick, perplexed feeling, at having to sojourn 
amid such * hell-let-loose ' conditions as (so-called) society today repre- 
sents. But we all seem to be chained, paral5'^zed, hypnotized, — heaven 
knows what, and unable to break up the influence, which has its grip on 
the church, and which the church wants to clamp on to the state." 


" Paul Palmer," said Ethel, with Quaker-like simplicity, " if thy 
mother had beien at the Capitol, those who now conduct like Cerberi 
woiild have long since known themselves for what they are — not brutes, 
but interiorly pure spirits — perplexed and homesick at having ever to 
breathe the miasma o the Plutonic shores. 

" Look at this picture." Ethel showed one of Flaxman's engravings 
of Psyche in the lower regions : a fair spirit, standing in a dark defile, 
gazing upward in a maze of wonder, as with hope astrain. " Believe 
me, brothers, that is the spirit of the new age. A beautiful thing, intel- 
ligently expectant of soon being itself. We are all immortal men, and 
those whom Pluto seems to have chained, are not chained except by the 
fetters of one delusion — they deludedly think themselves beasts. But 
they are inherently of the so-called Dios Kouroi. And the Dios Kouroi 
know there is food in the upper-air, and place and pleasures there 
convenient for the hundred-brained Cerberi who are but undeveloped 

" Believe me," she said slowly, a look of infinite joy glorifying her 
upraised countenance, *' the Herculean power of the Dios Kouroi can, 
when ordered, bring from the upper air a morsel to the Cerberi, and 
without weapons win them away to the heights." 

Then to her it was as if down-reaching mighty arms, with clasped 
hands passed under her feet, lifted her with blissful enswathement to an 
electric oneness with delight-in-right. 

Elkhorn felt as if he were walking on a wave of light whose warmth 
filled the marrow of his bones. Feeling, too, he was one of the very 
gods for whom Ethel had asked, he opened his mouth to boast : " I have 
tasted, I can give," when it all passed, and he dared not boast of what 
he now doubted having for the moment received. 

Paul Palmer had covered his eyes, and stood trembling, white, 
radiant and reverently assured forever, that there was an " upper air," 
and that there was a goddess there ; and that for him life held but one 
purpose, — and that was to do Herculean work for the hundred-headed 


masses who all hated their chains as heartily as did he. Masses all of 
whom would win away to the heights, to go no more down forever, 
could they but be fed with such morsels as these there, in that moment 
of transfiguration had tasted. 

" There will be no more working against nature when in the near 
future the mountain of the house of Yod He-Vaw shall be established 
in the top of the mountain," said Daniel, "for the center of gravitation 
will be established in the upper-air when woman, released from bondage 
to brutality, bounds up and stands at her post. Then all men will scale 
Alpine heights of purity, wisdom and wealth, for the love of the wom- 
anhood there, the eternal feminine in Deity." 

" Alpine heights ! Woman there ! " 

It was a cry of rapture from beyond the portiere, in the added suite 
of rooms which had been built on for Reginald Grove's use. 

Ethel heard it, and explaining it as if she were double-brained, said : 
" He is in the garden of Eden, the place of innocence where spirits 
in liberty live, as live the lilies of God ; neither fearing, fighting, nor 
desiring desires ; but where, welcoming the will-of-wisdom, they become 
like the self-unioned One. See ? " 

With a swift impulse, turning on one toe-poised limb, winding so, her 
clinging gown about her svelt figure, with arms extended, head thrown 
back and face upraised, she stood, a radiant image of dual being, unified 
in cruciform. 

What had come to her ? Had the ecstasy of the " real cross" drawn 
her up into itself ? Had she for a finality won away into the company 
of those who unintermittingly do the will-of-wisdom ? 

Free and far through Emperean space on wings of vision fleetly 
she fled, gleaming from the gladness of the star-filled air the truth 
(known to the intelligences) of the meaning of that victory won over 
Semiramis, when defeated on the banks of the Indus she flew away in 


the form of a dove. For the starry hosts were showing them the 
meaning of the " whirling wheel of Ixion," on which the spirit of the 
world will still be crucified until the coming-woman, by self-use, shall 
have expressed to the race her relation to the world's work, and wor- 
ship ; and so shall have healed it of its woes. 

And the two men to whom Ethel was giving participance in all she 
was sharing with the angels, heard jubilates in the upper air, pitifully 
tremulant, yet glad, which revealed that the cries of the world are but 
the growing-pains which all endure while getting the growths that bring 
forth new forms of life, of knowledge and beauty. 

To Paul Palmer's entranced uplook, it seemed as if the bounding 
moon, shining through the great window back of where Ethel stood, 
could hardly wait for gladness in going through the blue ; where the 
sparkling stars were the dust of the wisdom of the ages, transmuted 
into the gold of those supernal heights. 

And lovingly laughing together, the moon and earth and they seemed 
bounding through realms where old beyond compare had grown that 
seed-thought, which now, falling to earth, is sowing itself and springing 
up daily in the electrical doings of those who, inwardly yearning for it, 
put forth the deeds which the reception of this seed enables. 

On, on, through spheres where the inhabitants know full well that 
the crassness of selfhood is but the undeveloped manner of the crea- 
ture, as it struggles toward the real humanity, whose spirit is a form of 
WILL refined to wisdom. 

On and on — till — oh, ecstasy — next — 

<* Ethel, my daughter." 

It was to the three as if those words had buffeted their way to them 
across ages of absence and realms of peace. Then, somewhere in the 
star-garden it seemed Daniel must have met them. As friendlily*near, 
with swiftness indescribable, they shot earthward together (or thus it 
seemed) lighting so, as a thistle-down alights upon the earth. 

Ethel's eyes met Daniel's as he stood beside her; and with the 


memory of how the star-seed was sowing the earth with thoughts for 
this new age, she cried out ringingly: "Was such bravery of beauty 
ever before seen by you, Daniel ? ** Then — " oh, I understand," she 
whispered hushedly, steadying herself and them all. 

For she perceived what had befallen. But she well knew how to 
bridge the chasm between ecstasies and earth's needs so as to turn rap- 
tures into rational-spiritualized results. 

Her first swift act was to concentrate on Reginald this focussed 
energy, in a way to fetch his wandering mind into harmony with the 
work of this epoch ; not by sundering him suddenly from the realm he 
lived in, but by giving him an interior sense of the presence of those 
who stood there with her and with him, in that instant's transfiguration 
on the mount of vision, when altogether they were allied to the doings 
of the dualized. 

Ethel never " lost herself " — as the term goes — in these ecstasies, 
any more than an eagle in the delight of its ascending flight to heights, 
even above the eyrie where it dwells, loses itself. It is an eagle still, 
and knows its way aloft and below. Nevertheless, she knew that when 
she went aloft this time, it was as if at the sound of a triumphal trump, 
persons there rallied and sped away with her. And upborne by her 
wings and seeing with her un-sun-blinded eyes, they saw what she saw, 
and learned what she knew. For when the urgency of her need rang 
through the silence, calling on life, that Life per se should show itself 
to those who knew it not, that the sight of it should baptize this house- 
hold into fitness for the Herculean-labors of this epoch, she knew 
trusted helpers then, with an underlift, had upborne her and hers into 
participation with all-creative bliss. And that what they then learned no 
art, not even music's own, with octaves ever so many, can hint to mortal 

For what these seers then saw, tones, nor half-tones, quarters nor 
eighths, in octaves ever so many, not yet have learned to melodize. 

" Grace of heaven, Daksha, is she living woman, or spirit only ? " 
said Paul Palmer breathlessly. 


" I only know," said Robert, in tones muffled by his heart's quick 
pulse, " that one day the spirit of harmony came and dwelt under the 
roof, where I had had cradle. And this is she." 

" Yes, yes, it is the new Madonna," whispered Reinsvelt, Robert's 
artist friend. And he sped away out at the path from the house to the 

" He does well," said Paul. " He goes to whiten white canvas with 
that white * vision's inward illuminings.' Visions, which will * pierce 
gross sight, and with mild persistence urge man's search to vaster 
issues, whose growing sway controls the growing life of man.' " 

" He has caught the art-thought of the new age. For you see, 
Robert, as the pictures of the Crucified Man have tortured woman's 
soul to a devotion of self-sacrificing desire to rescue man from the 
cross which man's passions make for him, — so the new picture of that 
dearer self, in ecstatic union with the gladsome heights above, will 
arouse men themselves to become the sanctuary of nuptial rites. For 
see you not the meaning of George Eliot's most wonderful poem ? 
* Oh, Might I Join the Choir Invisible ? ' Robert, Madonna, self- 
crossed by the will-of-wisdom is Elohim ; the cabalistic feminine- 
duad of the Hebrew. And it lacks not the mother there, but * shapes 
it forth before the multitude, divinely human, raising worship so, to 
reverence more mixed with ' Wisdom." 

And Paul Palmer, like Reinsvelt, as if empowered by some dyno- 
metrical battery affixed to the forces of heaven, sped away to write of 


new deeds for the redemption of that hundred-headed power, the Cer- 
beri — the masses of the people. Seeing that we are all of the mass 
— the high mass. 

For as Ethel, raised from private considerations, lived amid public 
and illustrious thoughts, those whom she attracted were attracted not 
to her, but to \h& public and illustrious thoughts which were her realest 
and most entirely creative self. So that the centripetal attraction tow- 
ard this self was balanced by the centrifugal force which sent those 



who admired her out and far away from her bodily-presence to work 
the work of that force which sent them on its way.. 

As had done Paul and Reinsvelt, so did the rest, one after another. 
For they speedily bethought them of deeds that should be wrought at 
once, impelled by the new force to high enterprise. 

For the centripetal power that attracted people to Ethel was like that 
of the sun or of mightier Arcturus, never absorbing them emotionally 
into her atmosphere ; but on the reverse, filling them with the vigor 
of God, and sending them to achieve newly discerned lines of public 

Thus Ethel suddenly found herself standing alone. For everyone 
had fallen away from her presence, away and out to do the will-of- 
wisdom. And for an instant she halted, with a sense of sudden and 
unaccountable desertion ; forgetting for the moment how many hun- 
dred times the same thing had befallen her, after one of those mystical 
uplifts had filled with power those who had entered with her into the 
moment of full vision, and who from thence had hastened gladly down 
among the multitude to practicalize there what the vision had but illus- 

" Twas but that * loneliness which inures to oneliness,'" she said 
to herself; entering then herself again into the at-one-ment with the 
divine purpose. 

Then it came. And reeling under the sudden inflow of the might of 
the Eternal, as it surged through brain and nerve, she knew some great 
need was at hand, calling for all the power with which she was now 
being surcharged. Then arms trembling with the eagerness of a shud- 
dering souPs necessities, closed around her. 

" I have waited years. Love me, Ethel. I am friendless, distrusted 
and forlorn. Let me tell you f611y now, my story and Reginald's. For 
I have a suspicion that haunts me, and I want to get square with all 
moral questions all round. But all stands still, while Reginald is as 
he is. It is time he was well." 


In external stature Ethel was a grand, large woman. And with a 
solemn glorifying of her power, inhaling a breath which attendant 
hosts supplied, seating herself, she took to her arms her courageous 
friend, holding her commodiously, and saying : " Your hour has come. 
Tell me what you will. Your work is ready for you now, and you for 
your work, choose what you may." 

And as great Isis might have held a woman, childlike in proportion 
to herself, so held she Alitza Roccoco, bathing her spirit in a love now 
again becoming known to mortals Tn this passion-wearied age. 



** But Reginald's mother died," said Alitza, in a singularly half- 
muffled tone, as if she had been long going forward with the story, and 
now but made an addition. "Then Uncle George (as I called old 
Grove) sent me to a good school. It was thoUght by some to be very 
good of him ; but there was much more back of all that, you must 
know. I was a thin ghost of a girl then ; thinner than I have now be- 
come, and I had cross-eyes (as people call it), and I was sallow. But 
little Reg was used to me ; so to come to it at once, the summer I was 
seventeen I came home from school to the old Grove place. There was 
no one there but one old servant and Reg, who had been suspended 
from the academy on some charge ; so there we were together two 
months, as good as in a wilderness. 

** The first thing I knew we were engaged to be married, and then 
nothing would do for Reg but a drive to Hartford, to the minister's ; 
but I knew the minister would not marry us if he knew we were both 
under age. So as quick as he asked how old we were, I said I was 
eighteen and Reg was twenty-one. And then came the trouble ; for 
truth, of a sort, was always Reg's strong point. And as we rode away 
together, married tight enough by the minister, he looked at me with 
absolute dislike, and wanted to know what I told that story for. 

" I told him that as he had been teasing me for six weeks to marry 
him, and as I had at last said I would, some one had got to tell the lie ; 
and as he hated to, I did it for him out of kindness. I felt bad about 
it myself. And then the minister had looked at us in a queer way ; 
and Ethel, I was such a simple, ignorant little child, that I did not even 
know then what disagreeable thing the minister might have been think- 


ing, other than that I was telling a lie. And I knew I was, and that 
made me color up ; and that had made Reginald mad. And so the 
• outcome of his haste to tie me to him by that ceremony was that he 
had called me a liar, and I had told him I hated him. Then I would 
do nothing other but drive straight to the old home, half frightened to 
death at what I had done. 

" Then you must know, as we drove up to the house up came a com- 
mon sort of a fellow on horseback ; and the first thing he did was to 
joke Reg for riding with me, when he was suspended for a flirtation, at 
least, with a common sort of a girl who lived in the academy town. I 
was as mad as a lunatic at that ; for though I understood nothing about 
such sort of talk, I loathed the least breath of it as badly as Reg hated 
lying. And while I was in a frenzy of wrath, and tearing away at both 
of the impossible rowdy boys, up came old Grove, driving in from some- 
where with * friends ' to whom he was going to sell the so-called Grove 
place. The sight of me there made him mad anyway, for a reason that 
I can now understand ; and in a minute the other^ young boor had let 
out all about our foolish work at the minister's house ; and, too, Reg's 
affair with the other girl; all this — imagine it — was blazed out before 
those four men ; mixing me, Reginald's good straight maiden wife, up 
with things which I simply felt sure were very detestable. 

'' Well, I went to my old nurse's room (she had always staid there in 
the family for my sake), and I got from her papers which auntie had 
gotten from old Grove before she died, and had made nurse keep pri- 
vately for me, though he had hunted for them everywhere. For you 
must know that they were legal documents which showed that the estate 
we lived on and every cent of money on which he had been speculating 
was my money, which he, as one guardian, held in trust for me, and 
was bound to invest for me. So the more successfully he turned it 
over, the richer I was growing. Well, you see ? But the point with me 
was, I knew the possession of this paper gave me a jack-wrench to put 
on old Grove, whenever I got ready. But I loved Reg then in a way. 


and could not disgrace his father without disgracing him. And I didn't 
see how I could go to my other guardian without letting him know how 
bad old Grove was. My nurse had talked a good deal to me about it, 
and I had made up my mind the week before, romantically, that I would 
marry Reg and turn my property all over to him, and save his feelings, 
and keep him as rich as he thought himself to be, and give him a sur- 
prise the day after we should be married, by telling him all about it. 

" What I did do was to take all those papers and my wedding certifi- 
cate and get away, carrying with me a look as if I would just as lief kill 
anyone who spoke to me disrespectfully, like old Grove had done. I 
was hateful enough looking to get on quite well. I got a good place to 
do housework under the name of Jane Collins. I stayed there two 
years, saving money, and terribly frightened lest Grove or Reg should 
find me. Next, the lady I worked for recommended me as housekeeper 
for a half-paralyzed old man, because I was good, and as ugly looking 
as gloomy sin. I was a good nurse, and he said my touch made him 
stronger. He was kind, but rather romantic ; and finally I had to tell 
him my story, because he wanted to marry me. I showed him my cer- 
tificate, and then I showed him my other papers ; and because I could 
trust him, I told him I had a plan of my own. I wanted a very fine 
education, and I wanted to put my other guardian on old Grove's track, 
so as to get my money all into my own hands clear and fair, and then 
make it all over to Reg, who wasn't fit to rough it, somehow. But that 
I had got to do carefully, for I was legally his wife, and so the money 
was his in a way ; but that I would never be Reg's wife any longer than 
till the day I could find myself in a condition to be divorced, and could 
make him marry the girl who had been a good girl till he ruined her. 
My idea was that she really was (law or no law) his wife more than I 
was. Heaven knows I didn't want ever to see him again. Yet I had 
that romantic, real, dispassionate sort of principle which made me 
determined to keep my vow to do him good and not evil, all the days 
of his life. So, as I say, I was bound he should have the money, and 
marry the girl of whom I have told you, but whom I never could find. 


"All this seemed just fun to old Mr. Mancredo, and he took so 
much interest in the *joke of the thing/ as he called it, putting a 
lawyer on Grove's track, and fixing things up a little, while getting 
at facts, that he grew better in health under it ; and he had my eyes 
straightened, and gave me the best of teachers, of which he was chief. 
And with kindness, approbation, good treatment and all, by the time I 
was twenty-four I was not only quite handsome, but had everything all 
about my business in my own hands. But the poor little girl had died, 
— so somebody said, but Tm not sure, — and that took my courage 
down. And Reg was at West Point, * swinging round on my money,' 
Mr. Mancredo said. But you see Reg had called me a liar, and I 
loathed the whole mess. But you see I had a woman's pride in being, 
myself, intrinsic wealth of a finer sort than that thing called * money ' 
can fully represent. I wanted to know how to do well (and in a way 
which would be of marketable value) every sort of thing which could 
be needed in the economics of a broad social-system. It made me sick 
to see men, who inherently had nothing worth exchanging, quarreling so 
much to get their clutch on the * medium of exchange ' called money. 
But not to stop about all that now, I can only tell you that old Mr. 
Mancredo laughed so much, and had such a good time over my theories, 
that he legally adopted me as his heiress and daughter, and then got so 
well that we travelled all over Europe and the Nile country, and he made 
my guardian stop bothering about the laws of the matter, and appear- 
ances, and the rest of it. For why should I go back to Reginald, who 
hated me, and force on him my money as a gift, which he now was 
enjoying much better under the supposition that it was his of right ? 
Besides, I was really punishing old John Grove most deliciously ; and 
I relished that. For he was a singularly offensive old animal ; and be- 
sides, * if your enemy thirst, give him drink,' and he was awful on the 
money-thirst. And I was helping him to pour gold down his own throat, 
with just enough of a scare with every gulp to make life a terror to the 
old animal ; and it was fun to me. But just before we sailed for the 


Mediterranean I did send Reg one ringing slap. For I was angry that 
he was such a coward as not to have fought for me against his father. 
But then he was afraid as death of his * old dad,' as he called him ; just 
as his mother had been. I wrote to him that his mother in heaven 
would never forgive him for his treatment of me ; for that she had left 
me in his care, as a younger sister. And that now, however low he 
sunk, he might look about him in the sloughs there, for any woman 
whom he met might be the sister to whom he had betrayed his trust. 
I did not mean to give him a chance to take much comfort in his bad- 
ness. But I meant to do more than to merely put a * death's head * at 
the feast of life which he had spoiled for me. I knew that this letter 
would put him on the wrong track, so that he would never look for me 
among the cultivated, scholarly, useful women, whom I intended to lead 
before I was forty. And besides, I felt it would give him an idea of the 
fact that all women are the sisters of all men, and that a man is a felon 
if he betrays their trust. So I thought this letter hit off all these things 
pretty well ; don't you see that it did .'* 

" Well, we travelled everywhere, Mr. Mancredo and I, and I culti- 
vated a leisurely, haughty manner, and grew high-colored, with magnifi- 
cent eyes, they said, and then I knew how to dress. And people 
commonly called me 'Mrs. Mancredo.' Sometimes I corrected it and 
sometimes I did not. The world was so full of tangles that I scorned 
to bother myself about names. I knew how staunch I was. And be- 
sides, I had such an innate passion for chastity and continence, that 
the other sort of life seemed as idiotic to me as to have dashed my 
brains out a little every day would have seemed. Dear old Mancredo 
called me a very brainy woman, and I valued that, and I enjoyed being 
good without letting anybody know it, if you can imagine such a no- 
tion. But then, always, Miss Ethel, I have devotedly loved my guardian 

She became silent, and the silence was preserved. Then — 

'* We lived in Italy several years. My mother was an Italian, and so 


was Mr. Mancredo, and I felt to be the middle-aged, rich Italian 
woman whom, by adapting myself to dear Mr. Mancredo's language 
and needs, in his lameness, I was becoming. When he died I was as 
much a widowed heart as if I had been his wife. He called me always 
a truthful, sound nature, and encouraged me to believe that my last 
* slap ' at Reginald would sicken him of vice, which, by the way, he 
curiously enough did not believe Reginald was particularly guilty of. 
He said the false conditions of woman's environment had cultivated 
lack of frankness in me, and that a certain sort of farcical manoeuvering 
even now made me like to put people in the wrong, to my own disad- 
vantage, rather than to allow them to intrude on my business, which is 
true. ' You are too fond of being privately good,' said he, which was 
a funny fact. 

" After everything was over and I had gotten back to America, Mr. 
Mancredo's lawyer (and he was my guardian) wanted me to come 
down on old Grove, whose touch was turning everything to gold. They 
had come out West here, and Reg was riding the social wave buoyed 
up by my money, and I decided to come West and take a look at him, 
with the agreement that at a word from me my lawyer should come 
on and fetch old Grove with him, for he was under close surveillance on 
two accounts. 

'* And then at the hotel I found the poor fellow, awfully gone down, 
and drinking away like a man with something on his conscience. I felt 
vexed with him for getting nothing but brandy-slings out of all that 
money, for there were people who needed it, and could have used it if 
he couldn't. I found it was said that he was a fellow who was afraid 
of women. He had a queer way of looking at them, and his way with 
me was his general way. Perhaps he thought any one of them might be 
me, and the dread wore on him. But he did not know me, and I rather 
had to press myself on his attention, to try to make things come about 
so we could settle on a divorce. But my attention to him made him 
shyer and more distrustful than ever ; yet he was perplexed by a half 
recognition at times, too, I think. 


" He never knew me, though, till that night on the stairs when I 
asked him what would have become of that sister of his if she had been 
as unprincipled as he had been. And then, oh dear, poor fellow, 
that was the end of all for him I I have never been much to him, and 
never anything to anyone else, but I have always been true to myself 
and to my guardian angel." 

She stopped and gave way to the weeping that had twice interrupted 
her, then said, drawing a full breath : 

"So I am honestly and only Mrs. Reginald Grove." 

" Oh, my good Lord ! " 

It was Reginald's voice, in full manhood's tone. 

** Oh, go to him, Ethel, I am afraid 1 " said Alitza. 

But Reginald, parting the blinds, stepped out of the long window and 
stood in the moonlight looking about him, with his hand to his head, 
gazing at Ethel, who, rosy-red with joy, looked into the eyes of an irate 
but not insane man. 

" I have had enough of this talking outside my window. I tell you 
I don't know where I am. Send for Mrs. Mancredo. She's a straight 
woman, but by George, how she will lie. Why, Miss Ethel, I didn't 
know you. You are looking old and queer, somehow. I'm frightened 
somehow. This room and place — ? Send for Robert. He'll take me 
round to my hotel in his trap, as he did yesterday." 

" Take my arm for a moment, and we will walk up and down the 
balcony," said Ethel. "Your foot feels as if it were asleep, does it not? " 

" It feels as though it were waking up. Get out, man ! Hold off 
there I " said he, bracing back against the wall ready to strike out at 
Fleetwood, his nurse, who approached too much in the character of an 
attendant to escape distrust. 

" I am here. Captain Grove," said Ethel. "You are my guest." 

" I am your guest. Miss Ethel ? Well, that's all right then. You 
hear that, you peeping idiot back there ? I'm Miss Ethel's guest ; but 
I tell you others, the whole posse of you, to keep away from me, or I'll 


knock you all down, like ninepins in an alley. They are for shutting 
me up somewhere. I have heard lots of talk about it, and if that dark 
fellow isn't a doctor, what is he, with his soft-stepping ways ? 

" There, look at that. There are my roses, not wilted yet ; and 
there is my Petrarch. There^s no drunk about me. I was here yester- 
day. I remember everything : only I forget some of it. Oh, — oh. 
Miss Ethel, what has happened ? " 

" Just this : you have been ill, but you are getting well now." 

** There now, you're telling 'the truth. But when have I been ill, 
and where hav^ I been ill ? " said he, reassured, yet with the anger of 
a proud man fighting against the treachery of his faculties. " Look 
here. That's — thafs Mrs. Mancredo that I hear crying somewhere. 
It breaks me all up to have that woman so unhappy. Come, Miss 
Ethel, if you believe in prayer, down on your knees, and tell them up 
there to keep paralysis off a fellow like me. I'm not half a bad lot, I 
tell you. No, indeed; I'm not half bad." 

At last Ethel brought him to see that if he would submit to patient 
thought he would soon bridge the mental hiatus that now afflicted him, 
since his mind had been abstracted from things about him. But that 
only made him anxious to have one good fight with the best fellow 
there, to prove that there was nothing the matter with him, and never 
had been. 

" Well, then, take me," said Daniel Daksha, coming up ; his presence 
so full of blessed content that Reginald laid his hand in that man's with 
a comforted sense that " old Heem," as he was sometimes called, would 
see him through all right 

It was held to be desirable that Reginald should be saved from the 
sudden shock of the knowledge that as thirty odd years had been 
blotted out of his memory at the time of his paralysis, so now at 
this crisis of probable recovery the years which had since intervened, 
with their life of other worldliness and other consciousness, were swept 
away for the moment, like a dream forgotten. 


DaniePs full comprehension of a brief but similar lapse from con- 
sciousness that had once befallen him, prepared him to help Reginald 

Reginald was singularly, courteously grateful for the care which he 
saw had been taken of him, in bringing him to this private home. But 
his mind was full of shadowy incidents related to the two worlds in 
which he had lived. And Daniel well knew the terrors and mental 
perils of a man recently returned as from a far country. He knew 
Reginald Grove felt badgered and broken-hearted at the incongruous, 
conflicting memories which bewildered him ; and he felt that presently, 
when Reginald should begin to recall the blissful states of existence 
now left behind him as in a dreamland, he would fall into conditions 
of homesickness for those states of exaltation, which might result in 
settled melancholia or suicide. 

The possibility of this man's being mentally wrecked, after all the 
lofty care which had been bestowed on him, seemed a disaster which 
could and should be diverted. For it was Daniel's theory that a man 
who had gone through such an experience as this, should find a way 
to make himself of use to others tempted and tried in a like way ; and 
that therefore he must pull through. 

So rising to his feet, and standing between Reginald and Ethel, he 
said staunchly, looking at Reginald : 

" Ethel, he is well now ; and what I have to say is, that a man who 
has been so expensively educated by angels in heaven and on earth, as 
this Captain Reginald Grove has been, will of course be honorable and 
soldierly enough to review coolly all the extraordinary lessons he has 
learned, digesting the facts which seem confusing, and winning out of 
them at last an order of knowledge which will fit him to do for other 
needy fellows the same things which we Dakshas have done for him.'' 

Reginald looked up with a glad, proud expectancy, now quite sure 
that all was right enough with him, and that he had had some unusually 
good thing befall him, which in some way fitted him to be quite a friend 
with the Dakshas, and a coworker with them in unusual lines. 


Then with the strong tone of one determined to get at facts, he said : 
" Miss Ethel, what whitened your hair since — since the day on the 
balcony? " 

*' It turned white in one night. For I will tell you this : there is a 
world where a day is as a tho^isand years ; and we learn fast in a few 
seconds there." 

" And did you go to that world ?" 

'' I did," said Ethel. 

" How did you get back ? " 

" It was my inner self that went. No one looking at my outer self — 
my body — could have seen that I was away." 

'* Well," said Reginald, after a prolonged look into her face and his 
own memories : " I see that you are the same old truthful young girl, 
who said kind words to me one day out on your balcony, all about my 
mother and roses, and the goodness of wealth, and that you wished, with 
me, that I was but five years old. Now what you say would look to 
some people uncommon unlikely. But — but if you don't know about 
your own hair — whose hair should — " He heard an hysterical giggle. 

" Oh, there she is at her old tricks. There's Mrs. Mancredo making 
fun of a fellow," he said irritably. 

'* But then, you see," said Ethel, *' she's not been away, as you and 
Daniel and I have. But you will soon find your way back ; we did, 
though it seemed unnatural at first, and we felt homesick for the upper 
air. Sleep now; in the morning all will seem more natural, and Mrs. 
Mancredo will help you." 

He slept, and slept soundly. In the morning he was up early. What 
he wanted to see now, was Mrs. Mancredo. She seemed to him some- 
how to be his oldest friend ; and a homesickness for old, old friends had 
begun to lay hold on him. 

He warily looked about. The doors were open ; he would go out. 
If any one stopped him he would know they thought him mad ; and if 
they did, he would knock them down and run. But no one seemed to 


care where he was going. He passed Ethel and she bowed to him, with 
a cordial good-morning; and Daniel Heem, who was reading on the 
other balcony, bowed cordially ; but it was all with the air that they . 
were all alike, and at their ease in that house. 

There were two men down by the lake-bluffs. But no one seemed to 
care where he was going. The air and the sunshine were good ; and it 
felt strangely good (though queer) to use his own legs. He looked 
about warily, tarrying in the rose-garden. But no infant ever longed 
more than he for caressing love ; and no man fired with wrath against 
some tormenting thing, felt readier than he to deal a death-blow. Yes, 
he would get away to the little old arbor in the shrubbery, and there, all 
alone, he would cry his heart free (he told himself) for something he had 
lost. Then crying as he ran, and running as he cried, he at last flung 
himself down on the breast of mother earth, longing for some unnam- 
able treasure. 

What had befallen ? Realms of being had been opened to his 
knowledge, whose delights the repeating power of his brain could not 
repicture. He felt as if starving for what he had lost. He bit at the 
earth, with inarticulate cries of soul-bereftness. 

Suddenly two arms closed about him, lifting him till his head rested 
on a throbbing bosom. They tightened till he felt himself swayed 
gently to and fro, while sobs, strong as his own, shook the rocking form 
which held him. As he lay extended, half along the ground and half 
in this sheltering care, there came to him something of that sort of 
peace in which his senses had been enveloped when he before had 
floated away into that child-kingdom from which he had had last night 
so rude an awakening. He waited wonderingly. 

A hand pressed back the hair from his forehead. 

" Don't you know me, Reginald 1 " 

He opened his eyes and saw black velvet. Was he dead ? Was cof- 
fin couch so soft? Did angel arms so sweetly clasp poor mortal form 
within that narrow bound ? 


Not yet, at least. For bending over him he saw black orbs and 
cheeks tear-flushed. The velvet was a woman's dress ; and laces there 
rose and fell with the palpitations of a woman's heart. 

It was Mrs. Mancredo ; and she held him tight, as if she would never 
let him go. 

** I thought you were my mother," he said. 

** Ethel Daksha, do you mean ? " she asked, after a strange pause. 

" No-o-o, my own dear mother. I thought I was well dead at last ; I 
wish I were. I have been so knocked about." 

Presently he said, out of the silence, in a good common-sense way : 
*• I must be awfully sick, or you wouldn't hold me — like this, as if — as' 
if I were fainted, you know." 

She shivered. " Don't you know me ? " He sat up and looked at 
her, aj\(l wondered if he must doubt his own senses next. No, the 
thish on the dark cheek, the soft brown orbs and wealth of black hair, 
were all beauties possessed by his tormenting friend, Mrs. Mancredo. 
Like a summer night-lightning memory flashed, sending him to search 
her face to find in it — the link lost in his twice-dissevered life. 

♦* Of course I know you," he said angrily ; " and as I don't seem to 
he dying, I'll stand on my feet." And he gave her his hand, helping, 
her to rise, with his wits all about him. 

Something in his act and look whelmed the soul of this strange 
woman who had been his playmate from childhood up, and had parted 
from him on the bridal hour. And sinking on the arbor-seat she wept 
violently, With a scowl of distress and of another emotion, in which 
there was no liking, tortured by the mental hiatus which the sight of 
Mrs. Mancredo intensified, he said suddenly : " Why do you tell such 
falsehoods ? I hate it in woman." 

Astonished, and giggling nervously at his queer starts and turns, her 
eyes shining like lambent stars through the mist, chiefly concerned not 
to startle him, and falling back into the way which, as " little Alitza," 
she had had to use toward him for the last five years, she gently said : 

'* Well, Regie, I never will again." 


" Oh, oh, they speak like that where I just came from ! " he cried. 
**Tell me, oh, tell me, was it a trance? I cannot endure this cloud 
over my mind which is so thin that I can almost see through it, and 
yet so dense that it stifles me. Tell me all 1 '' he pleaded. 

" I will. Stop me if I skip anything that you want explained. You 
have been for quite a while with the Dakshas. I have been here, too. 
You have lived a double existence ; and though I could see you every 
day, you seemed never to see Mrs. Mancredo, but instead, your thoughts 
were away in some other world and time. You thought Ethel Daksha 
was your mother, and always called her so. And once I dreamed, or 
I saw you, with your real mother and Ethel Daksha together in the un- 
seen world, and — " 

" Yes, yes, angels and my mother's touch — and — Laura and Petrarch, 
and sustained ecstasies she brought in on my soul, flooding my very 
brain with joys, warm, white, flying joys — which — oh, it is gone, I am 
lost again. No, no, I have it. There was great whiteness, great light, 
Alpine heights and woman there, in the grace and glory of electric 
might, competent to make man mount as on wings, as eagle's wings 
ascending heights, else inaccessible ! I was a boy,*always playing with 
joys, sweeter than wine and more freely fine. No one blamed another 
there, and no one hurried. And I saw always Alitza there ; and 
nothing had harmed her, for her angels had guarded her at every step. 
Oh, take me back 1 No, no, I will not go back ! You think I rave ; I 
do not, I only remember too much at once. I must remember that 
Daniel just said — you heard it yourself — that a man so expensively 
educated by angels of earth and heaven must be honorable and sol- 
dierly, and gather himself to do for others what has been done for his 
redemption to good use on earth. Come, oh, once more try and bring 
me what I lack ! " 

" You know, Reginald, after we all had last night a strange, a 
heavenly strange evening, you suddenly roused out of your long, long 
inattention to what was going on about you. And now you seem to 


have forgotten everything since the night five years ago when you 
quarrelled (are you listening ?) with Mrs. Mancredo on the stairs of 
the hotel, when — " 

'' Oh where, where is little Alitza — playmate, sister, and — she, you 
— it is strange you are both such liars ! " 

'* Reginald Grove ! You miserable thing," she said in wholesome 
anger ; " is that all you can remember about me — us ? You are not 
worth saving." 

** Oh, Mrs. Mancredo, you are — are only and honestly Mrs. Regi- 
nald Grove ! I heard you say it. Wait, my brain can't stand it. You 

are — 

*' Only and honestly Mrs. Reginald Grove," she repeated. ** My 
only marriage is with you, just as you understand and remember its 
limitation, nothing more. We are all seeking a simple Ufe here, with 
little marriage or giving in marriage, because the power of the angels, 
with whom we co-operate for the redemption of the Cerberi, is all and 
in all for us. 

'' And Reginald, listen to me carefully : No one blames another 
here ; no one hurries or worries, or enters on wordy discussions of past 
blunders or future plans. We act, leaving no room for license, but 
taking the liberty to each one be his or her best self, according to 
individual judgment. 

" Now, Reginald, my permanent relation to you is that of sister. I 
have in no real sense ever been, or wanted to be, your wife ; neither 
shall I ever be. You will hear from the lawyer tomorrow how abso- 
lutely sisterly was the affection which impelled me to agree to your wish 
for our marriage, such as it was ; and you will see that the plans I laid 
in my own mind at eighteen, will be carried out if you like them, now in 
our maturity. I shall then be legally divorced from you, and — " 

She looked at him. His face was bright and cheerful, interested, and 
perhaps a little perplexed ; but above all, cheerful, alert and rather 


She continued. " Remember this : We here are all dwellers on the 
threshold which is between things seen with the physical vision (so to 
say) and the things which are invisible to those eyes. We are chiefly 
interested in getting ourselves (and keeping ourselves) in right relations 
to the realms of supersensuous life, with which we may choose to sur- 
round ourselves. For of course we draw about us spirits, which in 
tendencies and longings are like ourselves. Listen to me : One of the 
family here, who has a far-reaching inheritance of psychic-faculty and 
self-poised spiritual power, is — " 

" Is,'' said Reginald, "the one woman in the world who is, in a way, 
my wife more than you are." 

Alitza sprang to her feet, flushed and with blazing eyes. For how- 
ever thoroughly she ought to have been glad that the way was so clear, 
and Reginald so evidently relieved and ready to give her up, she was 
not prepared for this raw style of arriving at the conclusion. Till, sud- 
denly, "Truth is his strong point, you know," seemed uttered in her 
ears, as if in Ethel's distant spirit tone. She caught herself up and 
steadied her angry pulse, and listened, trembling and expectant ; but 
there was nothing more. 

Then " Very well, you know your business and I know mine," she 
said, and left him. 

He had all his wits about him, and filled with a sudden sense of 
the electric shock which Bertha's finger-point had sent through him on 
the day of Ethel's conversation with her, he gathered up (with a tin- 
gling sense of shame) all that they together had one day said of him, 
as being '' a fool not worth mothering." 

The blood surged through his brain, bubbling up cleansingly through 
all the stagnant cells, bringing him in its parts and as a whole, a 
memory of the things which had been going on about him for the five 
years of double-consciousness through which he had lived. 

Later in the day he felt strangely happy, and clear-headed and proud, 
and ready for life ; as if he had been assured by competent judges that 


he was really a much more level-headed man, and had always been more 
level-headed, with a much clearer eye for the main point at stake, than 
anything in his stultified life heretofore had proved. 

He saw perfectly well that the story of his life could not end here 
amid the congratulations of his friends over his return to health, and 
their assurances in relation to Mrs. Mancredo that he was a lucky fel- 
low, with a wife possessed of such faithfulness and maturity of youthful 
power. For of course the story that she was his wife, and all the rest 
of it, had gotten abroad. And Reginald knew it had. 

Perhaps if his mental grasp as to moral relations had been as bewil- 
dered as it was when, five years before, he regularly turned to his 
" drinks " in order to quiet his perplexities, he would have accepted the 
congratulations and slipped along the lines as publicly expected of him. 
But five years' immersion in the blithesome delights of a world where 
righteousness reigned, had fortified Reginald in his inherent love of 
truth and straightforward dealing, and had enabled him to adopt as 
theories to be immediately practicalized, the methods of honor (founded 
on simplicity and courage) toward which the Dakshas aspired. 

So when a few days later he found Alitza had legally passed over to 
him a good little fortune, and had taken steps to secure (on some of the 
many available pleas) a legal release from the results of that marriage- 
ceremony, he said, cheerfully and blithely : " That's all right." And 
when he further learned that Alitza had deeded a further amount of 
wealth to Bertha Gemacht, he said : *' That's all wrong; I won*t allow 
it. I hope to marry her, ^nd so right up things. And the other money 
is enough for both of us," showing that, as Alitza said to herself, "five 
years, even in the society of angels, could not rid the Grove blood of 
the thought that a man can cast off a woman when he chooses, and then 
marry her when he gets ready ; but that, having married her, such a 
man felt it was better for him that she should possess as little of that 
legal-tender called money, as possible ; seeing (to the Grove notion of 
things) it was sum and substance of independence. She told Ethel that 


the irrepressible young hoodlum stood confessed at this touchstone, as 
far as his relations to what he would have called * this sort of a woman ' 
were concerned. Then she said to Grove : " It seems difficult for you to 
understand that you have nothing to do with what money someone else 
may choose to gi^ to a third person, let that third person be whom it 
may." For quarrel these two people must, by nature. And glad Alitza 
was that she had always kept him beyond arm's length, and now had 
not let her sympathy with his sickness, or her joy at his recovery, cause 
her to abbreviate the distance between their ineradicable antagonisms. 

'' This is a different case," said he. 

"All cases are alike here, for all are individuals," said she. 

" But — she — she's to be my wife." 

" That's what you don't yet know," said Alitza. " Pah, it takes more 
than a visit to paradise to take that sort of stuif out of your brains. I 
see the use of .purgatory now. You ought to have gone there and staid 
longer. We've all agreed to let you drop, the next time you knock your- 
self to pieces. So look out ! " 

" All right, then, I won't take your money," said he. 

" Well, leave it ; or you can put it into the sinking fund for the enter- 
prise of this family," she said. " No one is overinfluenced here." 

And he did it that day. * 

And then the divorce was amicably enough accomplished, but the 
other marriage did not occur. 

He said to Ethel afterwards, with wide eyes full of childlike wonder : 
" How queer 1 Do you know she refused me ? I'm — I'm afraid, you 
know, she's somehow gone wrong, in spite of all your good opinions." 

And Alitza, speaking of this remark, said, irate, to Daniel : " After 
all, it does seem as if it took a burial six feet under ground to get that 
stuff out of him and his like. Why can't they take to decency as nat- 
urally as women do ? " 

" Oh, all he needs is some real misery," said Daniel. " Leave him to 
get it in his own way. He has dreamed of heaven and languished sen- 


timentally in paradise, but his business is now to pull himself up out of 
sluggish uselessness to others. Turning away that money of yours into 
the public good, is a hint at something courageous." 

" Anyway/' said Alitza, " Regie's as truthful as a dumb brute, even 
when he is tossed about by his instincts. He told me, today that he had 
never had any feeling toward me but a brother's anxiety and sense of 
responsibility, and that he knew all about the property matter from the 
nurse ; and that he did hate his * old dad,' and had a sort of hankering 
after revenge ; and besides, felt it was too mean for the old man to be 
cheating me out of my money. And when the nurse said * there was 
enough for both, and for him to ask me to marry him,' he thought it 
would be about the only way to fix things up easy all round. Yet that 
when it was done, and we quarreled all the way home from the minis- 
ter's, he felt sick of it. For he had no love for me like that. And the 
sight of his * old dad's ' fury threw him into confusion and terror, and 
a sort of dumb sickness, just as he had seen in his mother many a time. 
So he said today, in his simple way, he was as glad as anything that I 
had pulled through life so splendidly; and was glad, in a way, that we 
didn't in the least care for each other, and could be divorced all com- 

" It's a queer case, and, in a way, uncommonly sweet, take it alto- 
gether, as these sorts of confusing marital troubles go in these days. 
For I was privately planning to marry him, so that he could have the 
house and money that he thought were his own, without creating any 
fuss with old Grove over the affair. And he was chivalrously going to 
marry me (in fact did in a way) so as to deliver me and my money out 
of old Grove's clutches without disgracing his father. Of course it was 
all quite as if the question of managing the money were the one ques- 
tion on earth to be considered. Isn't it disgraceful? Think of the 
confusion that comes of unintelligent conduct, in regard to what real 
love and real marriage is. In a way, Reg is a lovable fellow, and has 
some common sense in him. He is my own cousin, anyway, and I 


would do anything to save him except to marry him, and luckily he 
don't want me to do that ; so I can mother him still, as I have always 
done. I promised his mother I would do my best for him ; and I find 
he had promised to do the same by me. And I think we have both 
blunderingly tried." 

"Oh, he'll be well mothered among them all," said Robert, when 
Daniel one day told him all this. " And the queer part is, it is my 
opinion that Mrs. Mancredo loves him with the soundest kind of a real 
wife love, whether she knows it or not. But as for him, he says he has 
never had a permanent attraction toward any woman except the mother 
of his child. And now she dreads him with a furious fear, lest he 
should somehow set up a claim, and get power over her boy. I've seen 
women like that before. I wonder where these transitional states will 
land us all." 

'* It is the great question of the day," said Daniel. " But manoeu- 
vres on the part of men to disguise from women the conditions of this 
crucial epoch will not help the cause along. Men must come into 
recognition of the fact that perfect frankness between men and women 
will lead up to a natural settlement of the matter as nothing else will 
do. In fact, it depends altogether upon the courageous doings of the 

'* Just what do you mean by dualized ? " said Robert. 

"I mean first, as Bacon says, the men and women *who have pro- 
cured the will to obey the reason, not to invade it.' " 

** He called that the moralization of the whole being ; you call it the 
dualization. But you include something else," said Robert, " in your 
last meaning." 

" Oh, that last point comes later. And no person is ready even to 
discuss that, until first the subjection of the will to the reason is accom- 
plished by them and in them. That includes the real moralization of 
the whole being, body and spirit," said Daniel. 

"And so, Robert," said Ethel, " it is mother-wisdom, full of divinest 


love which impels Bertha to protect herself and child against what she 
fears in Reginald. But perhaps the same mother-wisdom, full of divine 
love, will — now that she is financially independent of him — bring her, 
in the near future, to be as noble a wife-friend to Reginald as ever a 
poor, struggling fellow-creature had. She is a noble woman, rightly 

" She is," said Mrs. Mancredo. ** And she is quite the person to 
never rest until she puts one for whom she feels responsible (as she 
now does for Reginald) into the way of finding his best self. She wants 
to help Reginald exactly as she will Waldemar. That is, to tell him all 
the facts, and then leave him free to become what he adores in — well 
— that is — oh, how can one express it ! 

" For my part," she resumed, " my love for humanity is and always 
has been broader, more intelligent and spiritualizing than a self-arrested, 
masculine soul can imagine. The fact is, men in the past have praised 
a simulacrum of womanhood which with dire arts and infernal-wizzardry 
they, themselves demonologically concocted. Then they have set up 
before the androgynous mind of a vigorous, virginal womanhood, this 
unclean simulacrum of woman, as the thing that she must emulate, or 
be damned, to use * pulpit words.' 

" It is of no use opening your eyes, Robert ; I may take my departure 
the next moment, but I will tell the truth this. But the best way to stop 
talking disagreeable things is to set vigorously about doing agreeable 
things. So now what I have to propose is this : In this house we bach- 
elor-maids (glancing toward Ethel) and maidenly-mothers who enjoy 
a celibate life, and who are legally and financially independent of men, 
should hold on to our shekels and our homes (not as foolish social- 
centers or as unremunerative idols, to be scrubbed and garnished, but) 
as centers where we can do what the Bible speaks of when it says, ' He 
sets the solitary in families.' 

" It takes so much time to run up and down the earth and to salary 
ofl&cers to show us how not to do it, that I would rather permanently go 


right on here, ready for emergencies, with an occasional timely home- 

"Oh, I imagine that really would be about like our Daniel's idea, 
when I was a little fellow," said Robert. " When we first came out 
West, and when we had plenty of grain and three or four cows, and a 
well-built, sunny house, and the big windows full of plants, and an outfit 
of kinder-garden * gifts' and Daniel's perfect knowledge of the philo- 
sophically-religious-science of child-gardening ; and when I had agreed 
to buy all the clothes for as many children as happened to come to the 
door, and when we were hindered, because the mother there," he said, 
halting with a quizzical glance at Althea, ** would not have all sorts of 
nondescript children homing themselves in our house. Your thought, 
Mrs. Mancredo, is about like Daniel's and mine then was. 

** But, Mrs. Mancredo, my mother was queen of that home, and was 
a splendid homemaker, with Daniel's help ; only in our case she was 
the money-maker, and Daniel was the family philosopher. Yet she 
would no more tolerate the thought than as if there were some moral 
taint, in being simply good to folks. And as Daniel was taking the part 
of mother-man and Althea of the man-mother^ Daniel succumbed. Now 
seeing we are all telling the truth, just as if the light that lighteth 

TION TIME, — let's have the man-mother tell us, if she can, why she did 
not let other children share Ethel's ideal surroundings and true academ- 
ical-advantages, which that man-of-men, Daniel, was so lavishly bestow- 
ing on one little solitary girl. Will you tell us, lady ? " said Robert. 

The giant was timid and fragmentary in his statements, like one 
whose brain was crowded full of self-adjusting ideals. His headaches 
made him distrustful of himself in these days. But better times were 

Althea, the man-mother, the business head of the family (for that she 
had been), looked perturbed. She wished Robert had not brought up 


that question, either publicly or privately. She looked at him in a way 
that meant : " Robert, tell them it's no matter about it." But he did not 
tell them so ; he wanted to know. They were all hunting for truth, and 
women were wanting men to tell the truth squarely to them, so that men 
could start and eventually " square the circle." By inference, women 
are to now explicitly unveil the remote recesses of their mental-hiding- 
places ; and that was what the judicial-looking Robert now said blankly 
to Althea. 

Althea, quite amazed, raised her eyes, so like Robert's, with a half- 
challenging shake of the head. But he looked stringent and unmoved. 

She rose a little uneasily on her chair, quaintly folding her handsome 
hands, like a child who "did not know the answer." No one smiled. 
All gazed at her unflinchingly, every eye magisterially beholding her. 

For all the years of the children's lives she had taken them to task 
like this, saying : "Of course you know why you do each act ; or, of 
course you would refrain from action till you found out." 

She had never been taken to task before, and had rushed through too 
many strokes of big business to submit to much interference. 

It was not that she was unwilling to explain the facts of this affair ; 
it was that she did not ** understand such a little thing." So she said : 
" I do not know." • 

" Oh, oh, Robert, would you ever dare to ' not know ' ? " said Ethel, 
folding her hands in imitation of Althea. 

" Not in my wildest moments," said Robert. 

" Why," interposed Althea, " what else would you have me say, when 
I don't ? Doubtless it is something to do with some two or three-thou- 
sand-year-old-scare which some antediluvian ghost of you men put on 
my ancient shade, when you tried to tell as bad falsehoods as are be- 
times told now, concerning woman's nature, duty and — concerning the 
secrecy necessary to be sustained about home-affairs, because of the un- 
tenable horrors prevalent within palace and hut, — where worse than 
brute passions usurp control over the priestesses of what — home ? 



No, that is a word very generally needing to be illustrated by a new 
style of marital life. However, Daniel and I know what home is ; and 
so do my children. There was nothing in our home which would not 
\ have bettered the world to know about. That is the reason I can't tell 
you why I was averse to have a lot of little children educated and 
homed and cared for with Ethel/' she said perplexed. " Perhaps I was 
feeling stingy and tired. At any rate, I remember I wanted to get rich. 

** But Daniel; consider what an exclusive home I was born and bred 
in, and how long ago it was, and what departures from old-fashioned 
dependency I even then had risked. The fact that of old, woman was 
chiefly protected in an enforced-penury, of which she was bitterly 
ashamed, tended to give her that preposterous fashion of (metaphori- 
cally) peeping out of doors and windows, and scurrying round to make 
the best of things before admitting eyes (much less individuals) into 
the secrets of the domicile where she slaved (as I never did) ; but where 
she did not intellectually and morally reign, as Daniel and I together 

*' Now, Robert, I hope you are satisfied. I have told the truth as to 
an age-long tendency in women * to want their home all to themselves.' 
But other things and complications there might have been about it, too. 
I am tired of that subject now, Robert." 

" But just one word. Why should women feel so afflicted about this 
penury business ? " 

Althea, for reasons of her own, did not like this following up of this 
matter, and Ethel took on herself to answer : 

" The reason was and is, because the world is the continent of every 
form of life, knowledge and beauty necessary for all the needs and de- 
lights of an intellectualized humanity. So woman's discontent, anger 
and unrest at stagnant, self-stultifying conditions, are elements especially 
serviceable to her less alert and foreseeing companion." 

Adding : ** * The sense of beauty, next to the miraculous^ divine suasion^ 
is the means through which human character is purified and elevated.' " 



"I like that answer well," said Robert. "And I think the power 
which beauty has over us all makes us more amenable to that * miracu- 
lous, divine suasion' through which man is finally purified and elevated. 

" Well, that's finely finished, and I think we are to be congratulated 
on the success of our attempt at square dealing," continued Robert. 
" But you know, Ethel, in the old days you and Daniel had some myste- 
rious talisman by which you discovered if any goddesses came to town 
in the Civil (?) War-time days, when so many unhappy babies were likely 
to be neglected. Other kinds than the goddess sort you seemed to 
think were material not worth your time and attention. I have thought 
of your way of discriminating then, in association with the amount 
of time which you blessed souls have since seen fit to give to that 
Reginald ? " 

He put this in the form of a question, and Ethel said : 

'* There is in Reginald * a little seed of immortal power, which will 
save its kind alive.' Therefore he was especially worth saving. He 
will help progress toward conditions in which the arts of peace will 
prosper. For this progress is dependent on the intelligibility of the doings 
of dualized — self -harmonized natures. He will make such things intel- 
ligible when he gains equilibrium. 

*' Hertha, now, is such an one. She has come up out of the scarth of 
great tribulation, and she has washed her robes white in the life-blood 
of her own bleeding heart, image as it is of the bleeding heart of the 
Mother of divine Humanity. She, the outraged, has become pitiful to 
him who crucified her and put her to open shame — a shame which she 
will never forget. And," continued Ethel, after a strange pause, " which 
I should be sorry to see her forget. For such dealings with woman are 
not to be permitted nor condoned. Nevertheless, Reginald is worth 
saving, though he should not be encouraged, Mrs. Mancredo, to suppose 
Bertha will have anything more to say to him than to — " 

** What, Miss Ethel, do you really mean that you women are going to 
conspire to make all other women leave us men alone in peace?" said 
Reginald, walking out from his secluded chair in the corner behind the 


portieres, where he had half relapsed into his old fashion of floating 
away into union with reflective agencies, " Do you mean," he repeated 
stumblingly, as he came into their circle, " Do you mean that women are 
to be taught somehow to leave us men to mind our business ? We men 
are dead tired of women, all of us ; but we can't really get rid of them. 
We often feel like shrieking out at women : * For heaven's sake, take 
yourselves out of sight and hearing for a thousand years. Get out of 
our light, and give us a chance to find ourselves / * 

" They take too much out of our self-esteem when they tell the truth ; 
and when they don't, they take too much out of our esteem for them, 
which is worse yet, for our comfort. We know there is something 
wrong about us, but as we don't quite understand ourselves, of course 
we can't make them understand us. The reason I want to shriek out at 
them is — well — it is queer, but it is because I like them so much,^' 

Robert laughed out, as if he had a fellow feeling for Reginald in this 

" Now that sounds queer, but it is the truth, isn't it, Robert?" he said, 
with translucent, beautiful orbs raised in integrity. For Reginald was 
having an amazing good time, telling the truth as he understood it. Uul 
then he went on and told other truths so simply and helpfully, that they 
began to fear he was really getting sick again. 

" See that ? Now look at that," he said. ** I have been listening to 
you, to see how much you would bear in the way of real endeavor at 
truth-tellings. And now, when I speak as plainly as I can, you think 
my brain is giving way. Now listen to me. If a lot of good men and 
women don't speak the truth about this matter of love, a lot of good 
brains will give way under the contradictory teachings that some sorts 
of churches are by silence consenting to, while protecting men in 
debauching woman-power, in marriage and out. Protestant churches 
never, in my experience of their doings, assist women to establish 
themselves on their own moral heights ; even though these churches 
know that, standing thus and there, women would lift men up to these 


heights, and so easily hasten forward man's truly human development. 
Besides, such women's sons would be born right the first time, and have 
less need of a second birth. Woman could do so much for us if we 
would only give her a fair chance to work according to her genius. 

" You know how it was with Laura ? " Nothing could exceed his 
tenderness and devotion as Reginald uttered this name, once so dear to 
Petrarch. And then, as if reciting a memorized matter he went on in 
his distant, ventriloquized voice : 

" If that idolized object of Petrarch's vehement passion had not held 
to her rectitude (notwithstanding the harsh vicissitudes of her home), 
that man Petrarch would never have known that that woman's personal 
attractions were not her real charm for him. For that t?iey were ex- 
celled by her inherent moral glory and her spiritual-percipience. 

" He would not have known that what he really adored was her 
interior self, which self it was his business by the grace of he-vah 
to develop in himself. And if by lack of rectitude she had failed of 
holding him up to the business of understanding her spirit (instead 
of merely possessing her personal attractions), he might not have 
learned the truth as to what love for woman is foundationed upon 
EVEN IN THIS LIFE. And in that case he would not, at her translation 
to the unseen world, have been carried forward by his love to the 
TRIUMPHS OF SELF-DISCOVERY which befalls us when the Lord into his 
garden comes and the lilies grow and thrive." 

He was looking straight into the air as one does when remembering 
(or putting together again) the parts of a total, which, though perfect 
in its whole, is yet painfully puzzling in its stages of partial develop- 

He was looking into the air much as he had been used to do before 
his recovery of speech, when in mellifluous tones, scarcely audible, he 
had talked on in a language quite unknown as the listening Ethel 
upbore his highest intelligence, aiding him as he tried to tell what 
Petrarch had sought and at last had found in his " vita solitaria." 


"As it was, after Laura's translation to the unseen world his love for 
her spiritualized into a worship for that love-full- of wisdom which our 
Lord promised to send to lead us into all truth, and which he called 
' the Comforter/ which was to dwell in disciples of holiness. 

*'Well would it be for us if we could first, chastely love all woman- 
hood as sisters; and tfien as mothers, noble and dignified, which is far 
from being cold and proud. I am sure woman could (if we cleared her 
way respectfully) put us at our ease with her on her own supernal plane, 
without descending to us from it. If woman remained on her lawful 
heights she would leave us men always aspiring toward some veiled and 
virgin loveliness which would quicken each dulled spirit, and set it free 
from the chains that bind thought to the person, instead of to the spir- 
itual-principle toward which, in reality, man's interior nature aspires. 

'* Of course all this is only saying that woman is a help, able to meet 
her brother's painful needs at thisyf;/ de siecle. And that she is awfully 
benevolent to do it, when she has a right to better enjoyments than that 
of the misery of birthing and burying babies — many of whom are not 
fit to be born — and to better enjoyment than this taking care of men, 
who are not fair enough to secure to her those advantages which would 
enable her to act freely, according to the teachings of supernal light. 

" I have always been sure," added Reginald, " that at a certain stage 
in man's development the best thing a wisely-helpful-woman can do for 
a man, is to set him absolutely free from love to her. That, chained to 
her no more^ she can then, with kind demeanor and dear reserve, explain 
him to himself by revealing to him the mental-mystery of that finished 
femininity, which is type and potency of the ' sleeping beauty ' within 
his own being, — a sleeping beauty yet to be electrified into activity by 
man's strenuous englobement of his brain substance. Thus, a fair face 
will conduct men by a fairer way to his one means of self-releasement 
from loving an extraneous self, and will bring him to the treasured bliss 
which will ne'er abandori the man who attains it! Thus man — like 
woman — will become wholly sexed : neither male nor female, but — 


both; being self-whole, self-harmonized, like the lilies of the Resur- 

Robert had grasped Reginald's hand. 

A silence had settled upon them. 

Then Robert, with smouldering rage, broke forth relative to he — 
knew — what — 

" And yet in the face of all this, think of the embrutalized form of 
marriage-ceremony which thrusts words into the mouth of a spiritual 
man who is suitor for a life-long union with a woman who is an image 
of the feminine in Deity I Think of a decent man having to take into 
his mouth that indecent, shoppy remark ; a remark which is prescribed 
to him by a shoppy-church in response to woman's enforced promise 
that she will obey him. The decent man is made to say (and worse 
still, the intellectually-hungry maiden is made to hear him say) * With 
my body (why not with my brain ?) I thee worship.' * And with all my 
worldly goods (why not with his best intelligence ?) I thee endow.' " 

"Is there not some immediate way to lift the grace of fine living out 
of the sloughs with which a most materialistic on-striding form of 
religion is saturating it ? " he asked impatiently. " It is you women 
who are to blame for upholding this materialistic-sacerdotalism," con- 
tinued Robert. 

" There is a way," said Daniel. 

** And we will fetch it forward," said they all at once, steadying poor 
Robert, who had had a peculiar state of nature, added to a sight of 
*' the better way," to rightly adjust. 

" Yes," said Daniel, "there is a way ; and it is bourgeoning forth on 
every side. It is the Resurrection-dawn, for now the Lord into his gar- 
den has come, and the lilies grow and thrive." 



"... the lover ascends to the highest beauty (to the love and 

knowledge of the Divinity) by steps on this ladder of created souls. 
Somewhat like this the truly-wise have told us of love, in all ages ; the 
doctrine is not old nor is it new. 

" If Plato, Plutarch and Apuleius taught it, so have Petrarch, Angelo 
and Milton. It awaits a truer unfolding in opposition and rebuke to 
that subterranean prudence which presides at marriage, with words that 
take hold on the upper world, whilst one eye is prowling in the cellar ; 
so that its greatest discourse has a savor of hams and powdering tubs. 

"Worst, when this sensualism intrudes on the education of young 
women, and teaches that marriage means nothing but a housewife's 
thrift; and that woman's hfe has no other aim." — Emerson. 








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